Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kitchen Love

Who doesn't adore a beautiful and function kitchen?

Coastal Living

What I love:

1. The extra long bar on the island. It's counter height so it's perfect for teaching the kiddos how to cook their favorite meal. Or for chatting with a friend over drinks while cooking.

2. The rustic wood of the bar with the gorgeous and sophisticated countertop.

3. The juxtaposition of the stainless steel over the range with the plank walls and beadboard ceiling. What an amazing contrast!

4. The beadboard ceiling. 'Nuff said.

5. The windowpane cabinet doors. They match that door so well! I love how it pulls your eye along the room.

6. The cool barstools. The seats are great for adjusting to your counter or bar height as well as spinny fun! Adelle would agree, that is exactly what she did at the furniture store the other day ;)

7. The lamp. Yet another contrast. Shiny silver on top of that yummy wood bar. ahhhmazing.

What do you love?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The new beauties!!

Hi! I am so so SO very excited to introduce you to the two new lovely ladies that now live with me! They both came from my awesome mom :)

This first one was a birthday present, and I think this may be the best present ever. I have been dreaming about owning one of these bad boys for many years, as I'm sure most ladies do regardless of whether they actually like to bake or not! Well, I DO bake, and I am happy to announce that a brand new, pistachio colored Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer now lives happily on my kitchen counter :)

Isn't the color just fabulous?! It's so soft and pretty. I really wanted something that was classic and soft enough to fit in with whatever colors I might want to use in the future, yet also something that was a fun pop! This gorgeous green did it for me, plus it looks beautiful against our green walls.

eeeh it makes me giddy!

Thanks mom!

You may have seen it in action when I made the Cranberry and Lemon Zest Oatmeal Cookies
They turned out fabulously and were much easier in my gorgeous new mixer :)

Adelle is super excited about homemade marshmallows.

Or maybe some pretty pink strawberry mallows? I think Miss Adelle Marie would approve.

In other news:

The other new beauty that lives in my house is......... (drumroll please)....... 

A beautiful antique secretary!!!!

This little lady is just absolutely gorgeous! And it was completely free!


I was seriously doing a happy dance after I cleaned it. Look at that wood! The grain and rich color is so amazing.
My wonderful mother acquired this from a woman in her knitting class. Apparently this lady had a room full of gorgeous old wood furniture that she was giving away for free because she didn't want to go through the hassle of selling them on craigslist. (Really?? This is SO worth more than free!)

 So my mom went "shopping" and came home with this. Even though she had no use for the piece it's obvious that this thing is worth some money, and I'm not even going to mention how beautiful it is!

Oh, wait. I already have, like a thousand times. :)
And when I saw the thing I of course flipped out, and my dad brought it to me! The knitting friend did have this piece, and apparently all of her other antiques in the "cat room" though. And it looks like they may have used one side of it as a slide... 
A little polishing has already helped so much though, so I think I can save it :)
No such luck unfortunately on an absolutely amaaaazing Hepplewhite desk that my brother took... poor turned leg.

I have always wanted a secretary. I luuurrrve the classic style of it. I used to dream about the fancy house I would have when I grew up, and one of these babys was always in that dream! Hehe

There is a metal stamped tag on the back and one that says it is made with genuine mahogany. I tried to take photos but they came out horrible. boo.

:) pretty awesome for free, eh?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Marshalls {a.k.a. accessory wonderland!}

Went for a little stroll through Marshalls today... man was I wishing I had brought my camera!

(warning: the photos you are about to see have been taken with a camera phone... just so you know.)

I pop in TJ Maxx regularly and although the two store have many of the same things I usually find more or better things at Marshalls. This trip was no exception. Anywho, went shopping for a cutie backpack for Adelle, sadly I wasn't in the market for all the the pretty home things I found.

But just in case you are, check out what they have now! It is SO worth a trip to your nearest store too!

This grayed out entry table is SO gorgeous! If  I had a place for it, believe me it would be mine...

And this wood tripod lamp is so chic and masculine! Adore

I want this campaign chair SO BAD! The seat is fabulous and it is really nice solid wood!

A whole photo full of pretty! You can't see it but the tufted chair had gorgeous feet.

These trunks, get this: BURLAP. With painted on vintage stamp designs. They had three sizes and many different patterns and slight color variations to them. I realized after that the trunks in the photo have the same design, but there were others.

Adorable Frenchy ottoman

I was in love with these chairs. The legs are perfectly whitewashed and the natural muslin was so Restoration Hardware-ish. Fortunately for my bank account one of the chairs was slightly wobbly. :)

An entire display full of hands. VERY cool pieces here.

These vases are woven out of old magazines! How clever and cool is that??

TONS of gorgeous baskets. Stock up if you need them!

But this baby is probably my fave. Check out the amazing shape, with a perfectly textured and rustic linen shade!

And in case you couldn't tell. This is what the base is made of. Mercury glass with wire overtop.

If you've been thinking about popping into your local store, GO! They have even more great treasures than what I just showed you. And who doesn't love a great deal?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cranberry and Orange Zest Oatmeal Cookies


I love to bake. Specifically yummy things that contain a lot of butter and sugar :)
I do try to give most of it away, unless its brownie related. Then it's all mine.

It's pretty easy to fool yourself into thinking that these cookies are healthy, though. Saves you from the guilt. ;)

I made up this cookie recipe about a month ago as part of Adelle's teacher appreciation gifts. I made the Chalkboard Teacher Gift along with cookies for all of her various teachers and assistants. I've used this oatmeal recipe in the past with cranberries and walnuts, but since Adelle attends a nut-free school I had to get creative!

I remembered having a cranberry and orange zest scone once that blew my mind, so I thought it just had to be good in oatmeal cookies.

They are extra yummy, so I thought this photo deserved an extra large size. :)

Would you like the recipe?

Cranberry and Orange Zest Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups oats
1 cup dried cranberries
zest of one orange
Heat oven to 350*
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda and cinnamon, mix well. Slowly add oats, cranberries and orange zest, mix together.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheet. 
Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool for a minute and move to a rack.

This recipe makes around 4 dozen cookies, plenty to share at work and enjoy at home!

I also thought you might like to see my awesome new mixer in action!

I love these cookies, and you can experiment with different add ins. I'm not really a fan of raisins, so that's why I used cranberries. It's also amazing with chocolate chips and walnuts or pecans. And I promise it tastes great with whole wheat flour. You can't even tell! But if you don't believe me, you can always do half white half wheat or plain white flour. 

I hope you enjoy this treat and your weekend is going as wonderful as mine is! We had fun at the beach yesterday :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sweet Girl Birthday Party: Inspiration

Did you know?  Miss Adelle is turning five!

I can't believe it either... BUT it's coming up soon and this momma better start planning!
My daughter has given me the wonderful task of throwing a "Princess Ballerina Fairy Birthday Party."

Yup. That's what she wants! She has already had a ballerina and a princess party, but she's not into the idea of a strictly fairy theme. As you can probably tell, I definitely have a full. on. GIRL.
So, I've decided that this year I'm gonna play up that theme!


Isn't that just scrumptious!? I'm going to throw a totally girly girl party with LOTS of pink, princessy pretty things, tulle, and flower fairy stuff. 
And maybe throw in some vintage.

Love this! I think the poms are so pretty. I will have to have some of those.

These doily favor bags are so sweet! And since I'm on a tight budget they'll be perfect!

Check out these adorable invitations for a picnic party! So creative!

Using items you already have to decorate for a party is a great idea. It adds that perfect vintage homey touch, and free too! I love the pretty bottles with the flowers. Summer flowers will be playing a big part in the party!


Cake pops! They are the cutest thing! Perfect for little girls and they add just the perfect whimsical/vintage touch. I will have to try my hand at these!

We can just ooh and ahh over this one for a moment.... Everything about this photo is gorgeous.

So here's what I'm thinking:
white, burlap
colorful treats and candy
poms and banners hanging from the ceiling

I've decided to have the party at our house this year, instead of at the park just across the street. (no playground, just grassy space) Mainly since I don't have the money to rent a bounce house this year, and last year the wind blew all of my pretty decorations away! I'll probably deck out the back patio.

And I know cupcakes are so chic right now, but I just LOVE making cakes. I have so much fun decorating them. The fondant, the tiers, the challenge! This year I'm thinking of fondant flowers everywhere :)

Stay tuned for design projects coming up. I've worked the last 10 out of 11 days at the jewelry store (I'm tired!!!) but starting next week I hope to get going on some things!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Simple Custom Dry Erase Board

Since I'm in summer cleaning/organizing mode at my house right now I thought I'd show you a super simple project that I made a while back to help me keep organized! At our house it SO helps if we have a to-do list of things that need to get done. When I first moved into the house, this is the system that Russ was using:

Yeah... a HUGE metal dry erase board. 
On the floor. 
And while, yes, it was a place to write down our chores, it was big (ugly), on the floor (ugly) so Adelle was constantly drawing over our organizing list and the thing was a constant culprit of stubbed toes.  :(
And I'm not even going to mention that it was ugly.

While shopping around for something to replace the big ugly thing I kept seeing decorative dry erase boards that were made of glass. Most of them were like window boxes with a pinboard behind and glass on top. I thought that was a pretty cool idea, but they were too small and too expensive. Then I started thinking, "Well, it's just glass, right? Can't I do the same thing with any picture frame?"

So that is exactly what I decided to do!

I have this gorgeous matelasse creamy white fabric that I thought would be the perfect backdrop. Not too busy and beautiful without any writing on top. All I did was find a frame that I liked (at Wal-Mart of all places!) It's big enough to fill the wall that it's on and I love the streaky dark finish. I just took out the mat and cut the fabric to size. I backed the fabric with the thick cardboard that came with the frame and made sure everything fit snug inside the frame.

And that's it!

Russ had no idea what I was doing at first but when it was finished he loved it! It looks great on the wall and it works the same as a traditional dry erase board does. It's just pretty!

Adelle got an easel for her birthday so she is free to draw all over her dry erase board :)

I went google searching and found a few other examples of easy peasy boards that are fabulous as well

So have you been searching for a stylish way to keep yourself on track with chores? Try your own customized dry erase board! They can literally be made to match any decor. 

Happy crafting!

Linking to:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

End of the Year Teacher Gift- Chalkboard fun!

Hi lovelies!

Adelle just finished preschool! Crazzzzaay! I am extremely excited and sad for her to start kindergarten. We've had a great time at her Montessori school and of course we had to give her teacher an appreciation gift. After wandering through Michaels with Adelle for forever with absolutely no inspiration I spotted a little wooden board on a stand. Near it were the cutest tiny wooden ABC blocks I had ever seen. Immediately a chalkboard idea popped into my head! How much more fitting could you get for a teacher anyway?? After finding a few more school themed wood appliques I headed home and we created this!

Here is a shot of the back side.

So, here's how I did it :)

These are the supplies I started out with, minus the ribbon as I decided to add it later.

I happened to be spray painting for another project so I went ahead and sprayed on a light coat of primer to the chalkboard area just to help the chalkboard paint adhere better. So then I started off by taping the area off for the chalkboard, gave it a coat with a foam roller and painted the entire back. While that dried I rummaged through my acrylic paints and decided to paint the base yellow. This required several coats. I had originally painted the sides green but the sides of the board were very rough, so I ultimately decided to cover them with ribbon. (which turned out so much nicer, btw!)
After a few hours I painted on a second coat of chalkboard paint.

After everything was dry I played around with my little blocks, I wanted to spell out her teachers name. I had first planned to write it on the board in a white paint pen so that her name would always be on there, but I decided on this instead.

I hot glued on her name and then just arranged everything else and hot glued it all on. I made little bows as accents (glued them together so they don't untie) and sealed all of the ribbon edges with a lighter. To hold the chalk I just tied it to a long ribbon that was tied and glued to the leg. I glued the red ribbon with white stitching along the sides of the board and the rainbow on the base. I LOVE how it turned out. I was scared for a bit but the ribbon really finished everything off nicely!

Adelle wrote her name on the chalkboard and signed it with a little note on the bottom in sharpie.

I am pleased to say that her teacher loved it! I even spied her showing it off to the other teachers. :) I think it turned out SO cute and we might just have to do this every year! 

Of course Adelle does have several teachers, so we baked cookies and put them in cute little boxes with the recipe on them. I felt a little bad just giving the head teacher a gift when there are so many wonderful teachers there that Adelle loves. Here's a shot of Adelle with her head and asst teacher after their performance. 

So cute! We'll miss that school. Welp, I just wanted to share our little project with you! It's super easy and didn't take too long at all to make. And what a great and useful gift for the teacher to keep in the classroom with her for years to come! Happy crafting!

Linking up to:

The Lettered Cottage