Thursday, April 2, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Spring Fever

I went a little crazy in the fresh flower section at Trader Joe's yesterday. 

Clearly this is the time of year that I crave fresh spring florals and lots of green because I seriously did the exact same thing on this day last year! 

I'm becoming so predictable. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Peek a boo!

Typical: A Honey Bear, A Partially Finished Painting Project, and A Basket of Laundry

Oh my! Where did the time go? I did not mean to leave y'all hanging high and dry for so long.  I've entered a stage with my little one (18-24 months) that I didn't even remember was a hard age until many kind strangers (other moms) recognized my struggle and gave me reassuring nods or pep talks.

As I try to maneuver my grocery cart through the store with a two-foot tall "helper" determined to push it with me one way or another, someone will catch my eye, laugh, and then, more seriously say, "that's a tough age, isn't it?"

I completely forgot. 

It's also an incredibly cute age. Like crazy cute. They're little mini-people, walking short with teddy bear like bodies, clapping for themselves and giving hugs and kisses for cheers. 

So I really can't take my eyes off of my little guy for one second because he'll either do the most adorable thing in the entire world or the most dangerous thing. 

And then there are the moments when I'm vacuuming bits of egg shell out of the washing machine or explaining to an upholstery cleaner over the phone that the substance in the button-tufting of my sofa is most likely chewed up fruit snacks. 

And in those moments, I am thinking, I'd rather be blogging. 

So bear with me!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My New Mural from Susan Harter!

Hello friends! I'm so excited to show you my new custom mural from Susan Harter Muralpapers.  I posted about her work back in October (see here) when I came across this image on The Pink Pagoda's Blue and White Monday Post (always a good way to start the week).

I thought the concept was pretty genius.  Basically, you pick a design, send in your room measurements and they tailor the paper to fit your room, only selling you what you need.  I decided to order some samples to see if something might work above our fireplace, which was sort of an awkward space.  Not only is it visible from almost every room in the house, but it is also rather long and narrow.  

I needed something that is visually easy on the eyes and pretty enough to do the mantle justice.  

I just noticed giant Costco Bear hiding behind the palm!

Pardon the horrible, dark images.  This is what I sent Susan to show her my space.  She was so sweet and wonderful to work with!  When I tried to order samples, I couldn't figure out what I wanted so I pretty much tried to order every sample they had available.  I remember thinking it was odd that I was allowed to order so many samples, but thought, "oh well, no harm in trying!"  Susan contacted me herself offering to help me narrow down my options.  Ha! Oops! Really, she was incredibly helpful in choosing scenes that would work best in my space and sent me a couple samples, all of which were gorgeous.  

Together we ended up choosing the Calmsden True Scenic because of it's size and color.  While they normally do wallpaper she suggested having the scene painted on canvas to be stretched and hung.  After a few more emails, shipping and stretching, this is the end result:

Again, sorry for the iPhone pics. 

Still playing around with the styling

I'm so incredibly pleased with the painting and Susan was such a joy to work with.  I highly recommend her work if you are considering wallpaper or have an awkward space to work with.  Her prices are so reasonable considering how beautiful and custom the designs are.  If we didn't already have so much wallpaper in our house I would do a whole room.  Hmmm maybe our second home ;)

So go check out  and all of the beautiful murals! It looks like they just added a new trellis scenic inspired by Elsie de Wolfe's famous 1907 treillage room at the Colony Club, NYC.  Ya, I'm dying.  It's at the top of my list for things I need in my house someday.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tricky Tuesday: Chartreuse Love

I can't tell if I'm being tricked by amazing designers into thinking I can use a color that I don't use a lot or if I really am inspired so I thought I'd throw it out to y'all.

It started with this vest from J. Crew.

I saw it in the store and could not stop thinking about the color.  I eventually went back and bought it and then worried that I should have gone with something more in line with the colors I wear, which are mostly navy and white (I know, surprised?).  

It is now quite possibly the item of clothing I've worn most for the last four months (just ask my fellow moms at preschool pick-up and drop-off), and it's definitely my favorite thing I've purchased this year.  

Soooo it's established that I like the color.  

Do I use it in my house?  Because I keep thinking about it in my dining room.  Just a pop.  Either some chartreuse velvet on the dining chairs or bring it in with some less permanent accent pieces.  

I know if it's done right, it can look really elegant and interesting.  


See!  I prefer the color in small doses.  

So what do y'all think?  What do you think Theresa will think?*

* If you are new here, Theresa is my judgmental shepherd lady in my dining room who looks over my household and keeps us in check.  You can read more about her here.  I'm pretty sure I just saw her eyes float down to the candle sconces that have been sitting on our dining room table for the last six months waiting to be hung.  I tried to explain that things get busy around here and she should lay off to which she replied, "Who gonna check me boo?" (We're both Real Housewives fans). 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mood Board Monday: French Blue Accent Chair

Hello Friends!

Who's snowed in? I am, but it's not so bad.  I should be organizing, but instead I'm making mood boards.  Classic procrastination move on my part.

Do y'all have the Chairish app on your phone? It's an app (and web site) that allows regular folks to buy and sell cool vintage furniture.  They asked me if I would do a mood board for fun using one of their available accent chairs.  Obviously, I'm in.  I'm a nerd and find that kind of thing relaxing.  It' also a nice break from purging and organizing.

So I picked out this blue velvet number to take a room from white to bright per their request.

So pretty right?  I can't believe it hasn't sold yet.  I love an accent chair.  A room with lots of seating just looks more inviting, plus I'm always looking for a chance to sit down.  

Here's how I would use it: 
Blue Velvet Accent Chair (Chairish)

I love a bright pop of blue in an otherwise neutral room. This chair is bold and fun, but I also think it's really versatile.  I'd prop it right under a fun piece of art like the one above from my sister's friend and amazing artist, Hallie Eubanks.  I like the idea of a fancy french velvet chair mixed with slightly more contemporary furniture.  The two white lacquered occasional chairs are from Chairish as well.

#blueandwhiteforever right?

And, I'm back on my antelope carpet kick.

Do you like?  I think I'd be pretty relaxed in here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Organizing Update

My kind of organizing 

I'm still in the thick of it with my organizing.  It's a sloooowwww process when you have little ones at home.  My progress is completely contingent on nap schedules and how many snacks my children need in a given hour.  (The day they scream "Ma! The Meatloaf!" I'm out.)

I would give anything to have Mr. Carson live with me.  I don't like to let silly terms like "fictional characters" get in the way of my dreams, but this might be one I have to let go.  So instead, I turned to another expert: 

I started reading the incredibly popular book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. The whole idea behind the book is to surround yourself with only those things that spark joy, and during that process you have to bid the things that don't spark joy a literal farewell.  

It's totally kookoo for cocopuffs, except it's not.  In fact, I find myself nodding as I read and quietly whispering, "Yeesss, That's right." Once I started the process of asking whether or not a particular item sparks joy, I was all "Holy Oprah! I get it!!!"  It's an easy, quick read, too.

Dare I say, I am a Konvert (had to).  I have successfully gone through my closet and while I maybe have 5 outfits now, I can tell you, they all bring me joy AND are really the only things I wear anyway.

I also have 9 bags of perfectly good clothes ready to go to a local thrift shop, which supports a domestic violence shelter. And I've gone through all of my jewelry and delivered a box of pretty things for a formal wear drive for low-income students to go to prom. Nothing about this feels wasteful.  I actually feel bad that all of that stuff sat in my closet, unused for so long.  I always thought I might sell some of the stuff, but ultimately I realized I was just adding another item to my "to-do without the kids" list.  

That line almost made me cry, which is so silly.  But it's so true!  
I've read through the entire book once and now am going back to go through the "KonMari" Method, one category at a time. You start with clothes, then books, then papers, miscellany and finally sentimental items.  Her theory is that by the time you get to the sentimental items, you will be a seasoned pro.  I feel like I'm on my way!* 

*Thank goodness because The Container Store is opening down the street from my house, and I swear my credit card jumped out of my wallet and hid trembling in fear.  I can do some damage at a store full of acrylic boxes and good pens.

I'll be back to regular pretty pictures with not a lot of words next week!

Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Random Tips and Tricks

I wanted to share a new series I'm going to try. (And by series, I mean, random posts on the go from my iPhone). I love a good tip or trick to make my life easier. And anyone who knows me knows I love to tell everybody and their mother about my new discovery (usually the mother already knows these things). So I'm going to try to pop in every once in awhile and share a tip or trick that's working for me. Whether cleaning, cooking or beauty related, just a little something I might text my sisters or best friends. It will always be something that I've actually found helpful in my daily life (and probably not at all revolutionary. Ha!). 

Today I have a couple: 

* The wet paper towel trick also works to soften brown sugar in a hurry. Just microwave for 20 seconds. 

* I actually texted my sisters that last tip, which gave me the idea for this series. Hope y'all like it! 

Feel free to leave your own tips and tricks in the comments. I'd love to know more!