Sunday, October 31, 2010

{playing dress-up}

Is it weird that I enjoy Halloween more as an adult than I did as a kid?

Maybe it's the fact that it is not often as adults we get to play dress-up and pretend we are something completely different, perhaps be a little more crazy than we typically are. There is something so very exciting about a night where pretty much anything goes. I am a fairly conservative dresser...but Halloween I definitely like to get a little sassy. Can you guess from this odd-angled shot what I went as?

Hubby and I went for the first time to the neighborhood Halloween bash. Most of the guests were folks we had never met. It was hilarious getting to know the "characters" in our neighborhood! 

The table decor was fabulously freaky...

...and we danced, laughed, and made merry 'til the wee hours of morning.

Me and Popeye.


Hope you had a fun, spooky, delicious Halloween!


Friday, October 29, 2010

{tale of an ikea dresser}

I bought my Ikea Hemnes 6-drawer dresser back in my college days, when I was living in little studio apartments, working 50 hrs a week and going to school full-time. I needed something cute and cheap. {Ironically, for as thrifty as I was, I also splurged on a Pottery Barn couch for $1400. Which we still have. And I still love.}

I assembled the dresser all by myself, with love and care. You should have seen me beaming with pride when it was complete. {ps: I have a weird fancy for assembling furniture.} The "faux-oak" color matched with my Pier1 living room coffee/end table {also still have} and my cheap Target kitchen table {again, still have, though used now as the kiddo table brought out only at holidays.}

Now my bedroom, shared with amazing hubby, looks like this:

We still have Ikea furniture, but it is the more modern-looking Malm platform bed with nightstands. The old reliable dresser just doesn't match! So, blog friends, I painted it! Believe me, I was nervous as you are reading this, thinking, "Ikea stuff seems cheap, the wood has a faux finish on it that does not seem paintable...seems like a bad idea, G! Why not just buy a new dresser at Ikea -- they are cheap!" Uh, yeah, cheaper than PB, but I decided I'd rather pay $15 for paint than $180 for a new dresser. Sooooo....

...stay tuned for the for the finished product - I will post the "after" pics very soon. You might be surprised at this re-do!

{I know, I know...I'm a total tease!}

Has anyone else dared to paint Ikea furniture???? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

{oh brother!} happy birthday!

This is my big brother. It is his birthday today. I cannot believe he is 36! This makes me feel a little old...
Josh is GREAT. Although I didn't really think so when we were younger and he would "tickle torture" me, lock me in trunks, and yell at me for the TV being too loud early on Saturday mornings when he was a teenager and trying to sleep...

But now I think he is GREAT. :)

He is extremely smart, hard working, policeman, husband, and also father to two beautiful kiddos...

Aren't they a cute family?

{this pic is minus lovely Ella - I couldn't find one with all of the whole fam}

So just wanted to take a moment to introduce the blogosphere to one member of my family.
(Plus, I watched Supertroopers for the first time recently...and it reminded me of him. Or at least his uniform. Ha!)

Love you lots, Josh!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

pretty pantry

This morning I opened my pantry door to begin my weekend ritual of brewing a full pot of coffee {which I sip blissfully throughout the morning while doing laundry} and I realized:

My pantry is a hot mess.

It has no rhyme or reason.

It is not, NOT pretty!

So I decided today I need to organize/revamp my pantry -- and find a way to make even my normal, boring pantry look {pretty.}

Here are some pretty pantries I found while searching for inspiration {aka avoiding the laundry}:

I love the bright yellow in this pantry -- so vibrant and cheery! This is showing Elfa wire shelving from The Container Store, which my husband lovingly installed after we moved in. It is fantastic! Hubby maximized every inch of our walk-in pantry! (I promise I will share pics once my pantry revamp is done!)

Here is another Elfa pantry...this time with fun lime-green accessories. {Can I just say I am in love with that citrusy lime mixer?}

I really like the wood shelving/cabinets in this one, and that there are some drawers that actually "hide" things -- not everything stored in the pantry is pretty! I am actually also digging the glass jars storing all kinds of things. Hmmm...perhaps I could incorporate some of these?

So now I am off to begin the organizing process, and create a pantry that makes sense! Oh, and finish the laundry. :o)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

get spicy: bake {gingersnaps}

I am not much of a baker, though I would like to be.

One things I will bake during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season (or why not Halloween?) is a batch of gingersnaps. They are small, sugary, spicy, and oh-so-nice! Perfect fall flavors...cinnamon, cloves, cardamom...these spices smell like holidays!

Speaking of spices...have I ever told you my spice rack drawer is my absolute favorite part of my kitchen?

{I am in love with this spicy pull-out!}

But I digress. Back to gingersnaps. They are perfect to bake for a holiday party, with a little dish of delicious creamy {pumpkin dip} on the side (recipe for that coming soon!)


1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, room temp)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 cup more for coating
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup molasses
1 tb balsamic vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 TB baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp black pepper
(recipe yields 6 doz. snaps)

1. Mix butter and 1 3/4 sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on high

2. Lower speed, add "wet" ingredients: eggs, molasses, vinegar, vanilla

3. Sift together the "dry" ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and spices!

4. Slowly add the flour/spice mixture to the wet mixture and mix on low until well-mixed.

5. Divide dough into thirds. Place each portion on a piece of plastic wrop and form a 12 inch log with each. Wrap and chill for 1 hour.

6. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

7. Slice logs into 1/2 inch thick disks. (Here is where I stray and roll the disks into balls!)

8. Dredge the disks {or, in my case, balls} in remaining half cup of sugar.

9. Bake for 10 minutes on a foil-lined baking sheet.

10. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

11. Dip in a little {pumpkin dip} and enjoy!
(I promise to link up this sinful creamy recipe soon!)

Hope you're doing something spicy tonight!


Meanwhile, I am headed to the gym. Ate too many cookies!


PS: Linking up to these fabulous link parties:
A Little Knick Knack

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I love a room with an accent {wall!}

Who loves color? Oooh oooh me, I do!

Yeah, I get rather excited about a brightly colored wall. If you don't believe me just check out my very bright dining room!

Unfortunately, many of the rooms in our shotgun-style house are pretty small, so dark colors are definitely out. Unless....

...I do an accent wall!

So that is exactly what I decided to do in our current bedroom. It has the perfect wall for an accent color. There apparently used to be a fireplace there, which I wish longingly was still there; however, when a previous owner did renovations the fireplace was removed and was replaced with new drywall. However, it still juts out -- making it the perfect little accent wall:

So it is really just part of a wall which I thought would be easy to paint over in case of disaster, right? {in my house there are occasionally "paint disasters..."}

And there was a slight disaster. The paint I chose is metallic paint (bronze, Valspar.) Tip: follow the instructions the nice Lowe's paint employee gives you in that handy dandy brochure {that I, um, completely ignored when I first tried to do it.} I was much too impatient and schlupped both layers as fast as I could -- I was so excited!

Then I had to go back to Lowe's and get another can of the top-layer to redo it...and that stuff ain't cheap, folks. In paint terms, at least.

After my second go round I was much more pleased! Here is my new accent wall, all shiny and new!

I added my West Elm wood block ledges, and moved my stone candles from the guest bath to create a simple, modern, organic look.

So here is another look at the before:

{just another cream-colored wall}

And the after:

{shiny, modern, new}

So I didn't exactly go "bright" or "dark"...but I definitely went "unique," and I love it.

Has anyone else played around with metallic paint? This was pretty much a wild-hair design decision -- but I'm glad I tried something new!

Have a blessed Sunday!


PS: Linking up to this lovely party...check out other ideas here:

{morning bliss}

I like a lazy Saturday morning.

Sleep in.

Make coffee.

Cook a delicious breakfast.


Wake up.

Enjoy the day!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

r.i.p. camera: {the last shots}

I went camping over the weekend in Kentucky's beautiful Red River Gorge with my husband and our 'doodle. The weather was perfect, and our time together was great: hiking, talking, laughing....

and then my camera broke.

The lens just decided, "Sorry, not popping out anymore!"

I was a little discouraged, but deep-down I was thinking: "Hmmmm...Christmas just might have to come a little early this year. Ya know, considering how good I've been and everything." Right.


So here are some of the last shots my poor, dear, deceased camera mustered:

Rest peacefully in camera heaven, my scratched-up, strange-noise-making, dear little Sony camera.


Friday, October 8, 2010

sneak peek: {bedding re-do!}

Can't resist. Have to share something new from my bedroom mini-redo! I changed up my duvet cover...which I know is a small change, but it really brightened up the tiny room we use as our bedroom for the moment.

{duvet before: dark, blah}

{duvet after: light, organic, chic }

Many more changes to follow in this space {new window treatments, accent wall, hardwood flooring?!?} but for now, simple, organic bedding change-up.

{Sweet dreams}


PS: Lnking this to this sweet link party:

A Little Knick Knack

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

{i feel pretty, oh so pretty} : my top 5 beauty must-haves

What makes you feel {pretty}?

(And who now has that song stuck in their head?)

The last couple days I have been feeling very blah so I decided to whip out my Top 5 Beauty Must-Haves that make me feel oh-so-pretty and share them with you...

1. Baby oil.
Not trying to be weird here, but I love baby oil. I use it instead of body lotion. Partly because I am lazy, and partly because I am cheap. For $3/month my skin stays glowing and baby soft, and it is easy to just slather it on after a shower, quick rinse, towel dry. Lurrrve my baby oil.

2. High heels.
These are not my fabulous legs or my Louboutins, but even I can go from shlup to sassy just by putting on a pair of 4 inch heels. Sometimes I wear them around the house. With my sweatpants. Just 'cause.

3. Bronzer.
I'm no Snookie...but I love to be tan. At least a little tan. So when I am going out and feel a little pale I am instantly energized when I use some mineral bronzer with a touch of glitter. Oh yes, I did, in fact, say glitter.

4. Bright scarves!
This is my go-to accessory to feel lovely. Jeans, t-shirt, scarf. Something about a fun, bright pattern hanging loosely around my neck makes me feel cozy and chic at the same time...and brightens my mood!

5. Clear lip gloss.
You know, the really shiny, plumping kind? I don't know why I bother, as it ends up being licked off unconsciously within the first hour, but for that first five minutes my lips look, well, fantastic - and shiny!

{So what are your top 5 beauty must-haves?}


Saturday, October 2, 2010

at last, my mums!

For the past 5 months the mums I planted last fall in my perennial bed have been growing into the most gigantic mum forest I ever could have dreamed of...

...but have taken literally forever to bloom!

However, I am happy to say {mainly because this is the first time I have had mums that have re-bloomed!} that the yellow have arrived, more bright and gorgeous than I could have imagined:

I took these photographs today, and I have no idea why the background is coming out black - but I love the drama it adds!

Still waiting on the purple and orange...
come on ladies!