Doing It All

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I may regret this post later, but what do I have to lose?

I’ve been thinking lately about us gals, and how we seem to constantly be faced with the duty? responsibility? charge? opportunity? of doing it all.

I’m not complaining here, and I only tell you this because I think many of you can relate, but from my own experience and from chatting with friends, it seems like we ladies are responsible for quite a bit: Working outside the home; Working inside the home; Paying bills; Creating budgets; Meal planning (which must be healthy, kid friendly, and budget friendly, right?); Grocery shopping (ugh); Cooking (double ugh); Cleaning/Organizing the house (triple ugh, ugh, ugh); Cleaning vomit (kid…dog…whatever…it falls on us); Home repairs?; Planning/budgeting car maintenance; Cleaning the car; Looking pretty (within said budget); Being phenomenal wives, friends, mothers, daughters; And, of course, having a beautifully decorated home that’s blog worthy/guest worthy at any moment.

And does anyone else out there feel an enormous amount of guilt if they don’t accomplish all of these things to perfection? Or at least within the ballpark of perfect (not sure which ballpark that is…maybe Lambeau Field…which is more of a football stadium than a ballpark…but whatever…Brett Favre played there and that’s good enough in my book). And does anyone else feel insanely overwhelmed and like they’re falling short all the time?

This blog started out as strictly being a decorating blog (my heartbeat…aside from the true, meaningful things in my life such as faith, family and Reeses Peanut Butter cups), but I feel strongly that I need to start talking about a few other things: The struggles and obligations we face as women (no offense to men and their own struggles); Healthy living (for my own selfish benefit); Fashion (again…selfish, selfish, selfish); and DECORATING!!!…which will of course continue my heavy emphasis on creating a beautiful home on a budget and paint, fabric, and do-it-yourself-because-you-are-WOMAN! projects.

I am planning on a 2-3 post per week schedule…more if I’m able…but that’s what’s been stirring inside me. I have to write from my heart. I have to write from my experiences and passion…and hope that those things help, inspire and resonate with some of you out there.

Cool? Cool.

With love,


Fall Faves: Let’s Get Cozy

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

See? I told you I’d be back today. You weren’t sure if you could believe me or not, huh? That’s okay. I did abandon you for a spell. It might take a little time to re-earn your trust :).

Shall we break some pumpkin bread and look at some of my Fall faves?

Now I’m a big fan of Summer and I always hate to see it end, but I’ve learned to embrace Fall….mostly by equating it with coziness – a feeling that’s hard to recreate in 100 degree weather. Here are a few of my favorite ways to get that cozy feeling. 

Pumpkin or hazelnut candles from Walmart…yes, Walmart. They’re from the Mainstays brand and they’re super cheap and so incredibly delicious smelling. I normally buy the type that come in a glass jar.

Walmart CandlesAnd nothing beats sitting by a  candle glow wrapped in a plush, soft throw.  This one from JC Penney is looking pretty darn good to me. See? Doesn’t she look happy?

JC Penney BlanketAnd I have to share my number 1 fave: Restoration Hardware’s Luxury Plush throw.  It’s reasonably priced (at least at the moment), is SUPER soft, and comes in a variety of attractive colors.

RH Plush Throw

Another thing to look forward to in the Fall? Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks. Ohhh soooo goooood. As is their Caramel Apple Cider. Mmmmm (oh dear, you don’t want to get me talking about food right now – I just downed a brownie and approximately 50 Cheetos)


Another Fall fave? New Fall pillows at Pottery Barn. I bought these Simone pillows last year and I still love them. You can pull so many great colors from them (smoky blue, deep red, wheatie golds), and they give a sophisticated but inviting vibe.

Simone Pillow 

Finally, I look at Fall as a new opportunity to buy (or simply lust after) beautiful boots.

“Oh,  hi adorable riding boots I wish I’d bought while they were still available in my size   for $99.”


Perhaps I could comfort myself with these adorable $49 jobbies from Target instead….I’m sure my bank account will thank me for saving it a few bucks.

Target Boots


Stay tuned for more Fall faves. In the meantime, what about you? What are some things you look forward to in the Fall?



Monday, September 13, 2010

Hi Kids! So a bomb kind of went of in my life the past few months, but GUESS WHO HAS A NEW JOB?! MEEEEEEE!!!!

I’m so excited. I’m doing something I enjoy and I will now finally have more time to devote to my first love…this here blog.

I have been working on a few projects around the cottage that I can’t wait to show you; including a little fancy work around my fireplace, some creative work in our powder bath, and some embracing that old man inside all of us (I’ll explain).

Stick around kiddos! I’ll be back with some Fall favorites tomorrow.



5 Ways to Enjoy What’s Left of Summer

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I’m one of those rare creatures that can’t get enough of Summer – even when it’s hot as Hades. Yes, I love Summer so much that it can be 110 degrees outside and humid and I’m happy as a clam (…I’m assuming clams are down with hot and humid).

So before we start pulling out the apple wreaths and chenille throws and our latest straw/burlap creations (hee hee) let’s savor just a little more Summer, okay? Because, lest you forget, it’s going to look like this outside before we know it. Brrrrr!!!

ice storm


1) Can You Say BBQ?: Ohhh, this is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. It’s not so much about the food (which is of course a bonus) as it is about hanging out on the deck with friends and family. Invite some friends over for a bring-your-own-meat potluck dinner, or just make it a special night for you and the family.

2) Savor Summer Foods: Eat a popsicle on the front porch; Top vanilla ice cream with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream; Drink lemonade; Get a real life ice cream cone from an honest to goodness ice cream shop.

Image: Martha Stewart

3) Swim: Now I’m as swimsuit averse as the next girl, but there’s nothing like a cool swim on a hot day. Sneak into your neighbor’s pool if you have to (totally kidding…no getting arrested and blaming it on me).


4) Stroll through a Farmer’s Market: Most cities have these. There’s nothing better than spending a sunny Saturday morning mingling with your community, looking at fresh produce, fresh cut flowers, and crafts.


5) Keep it Light: Don’t pack away the floral pillows, white cotton throws, and fresh accents just yet. Breathe in the moment just a smidge longer.

Image: Apartment Therapy

What special things do you look forward to in the Summer?

A Little Mental Cleaning

Sunday, August 1, 2010


So over my little breakity-break from the bloggity-blog world I did a some mental cleaning. Part of the reason I stepped away (beyond stress at work) was that I knew my head wasn’t in the right place as far as the blog was concerned. I started this here blog just for the plain fun of it – just because I love decorating and love sharing my ideas and love of decor with you. But somewhere along the line my competitive nature took the wheel and I wasn’t happy anymore. I was constantly comparing myself to others and beating myself up for not being as creative, inventive, blah blah blah as others. Crazy, right?!

I only share this with you because I know if I felt this way, many of you out there have to be feeling the same thing. Let me share one of my favorite quotes with you:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

from The Life and Work of Martha Graham

In a nutshell – we all have worth; We all have value; We all have something to contribute to this world that nobody else can ever contribute. That’s true whether it’s with your family, your friends, your career…or yes, even your blog. You don’t have to be “perfect” you just have to be 100% authentically you, and share the fabulousness that God blessed you with with others.


Chic Duvets Under $100?!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I’m a firm believer that nothing can give you bigger bang for your decorating buck than paint and fabric. As a result I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive curtains, pillows, bedding, etc…and I’m constantly painting and re-painting rooms…but I digress.

So imagine my glee (yes, I said “glee”), when I stumbled upon several super cute duvet covers for under $100. Let’s have a look see…

Clover Duvet Cover – F/Q $59


Organic Carved Circles Duvet – F/Q $79


Organic Imperial Duvet – F/Q $79


Winter Berry Duvet – F/Q $59

See what I mean? Happy shopping!

Our Suburban Traveler

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hi kids – I thought I’d share some pix from my recent travels with you. I went to Amsterdam for work – yes…Amsterdam…as in The Netherlands. I promise you the experience was far less glamorous than it sounds – but I was grateful to be able to go nonetheless.

I was shocked to discover that they force you to wear wooden shoes there,


but I quickly adjusted once I found out there were at least more size appropriate options (I know…I’m hilarious) :).


But seriously, Amsterdam is a seriously gorgeous city. Here are a few pix for your viewing pleasure. Isn’t the architecture amazing?!

Amsterdam 1


I had a free day the last day I was there, and I was able to get out to the countryside where I saw some seriously fantastic windmills. Like…seriously.




Aww, see the ducks?


And I knew only YOU would appreciate the beautiful of this bicycle. The lettering, the basket, it’s state of casual repose….Perfection.



(that’s goodbye in Dutch – although I’m not saying “goodbye” goodbye…just “until next time”)

To My Readers

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hi friends,

I’m really sorry that I’ve been missing in action. A few of you have sent me emails saying “Where the heck are you?” and I really appreciate it…and apologize for my absence.

I am so grateful to each and every one of you that have taken the time to read my thoughts and follow my projects. We are indeed of like mind, and (as Anne of Green Gables would say) kindred spirits.

In a nutshell…I’ve been overwhelmed and a little fried. You see, my day job is kind of like this:

In fact, I’m pretty sure The Devil Wears Prada was written by someone who was actually in my job at one point. Although, I may have read that on Wikipedia ;-).

And at other moments I’ve felt like this lady:

But with better makeup and clothes (sorry Ms. Brockovich)…and I probably cry a little more.

I’m not complaining – I imagine many of you feel the exact same way. That’s why I’m willing to pour my heart out here. I just wanted you to know what happened, and reassure you that I am coming back.

I love writing, and sharing fun ideas and inspiration with you. With all the craziness in my life, it’s a much needed creative outlet that feeds my soul. And I’m glad that it can occasionally inspire some of you in the process.

Thanks so much for your friendship and loyalty.

With Love,

New Living Room Pillows

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The “new” living room is coming together piece by piece – and I’m loving it so far. I had to share the fun pillows I ordered on Etsy.

These arrived yesterday and I’m in love. I didn’t realize when I ordered them that the design is actually hand stamped onto the fabric. Gorgeous! Here’s a link to the seller’s shop.

Etsy Vine Pillow Covers

And these pillows are being custom made for me by this seller (which is a fancy way of saying I was too lazy to make them myself). I can’t wait to see them in person!!!

Etsy Orange Damask Pillows

Also, the new rug is in it’s place in my living room and I love it. This is where I should insert a real life photo of said rug in said living room…but I’ll let you wait for that and instead post the Urban Outfitter’s stock photo. Yes…I’m truly that lazy right now…or more accurately, I truly am that busy. You should see the dishes in my sink… Sorry loves.

uo flower stripe rug

I’ll keep you posted on the progress!


Where’s the Fun At?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I wrote a post last week about my love for Anthropologie, and it kind of make me look around my living room and ask myself, “Where’s the fun? Where’s the whimsy? Where’s the personality?”. It just kind of felt a little stiff, a little serious, a little too staged. It was pretty and comfortable, but not totally representative of me. In fact, it’s the only room in the house I haven’t really loved yet. So I thought, and I thunk, and I thinked, and I decided to freshen things up a bit.

I’ll give you the “full reveal” soon, but I will tell you it involved a little of this…

And a dash of this

uo flower stripe rug

And a teaspoon (or gallon) of this

And my own homemade version of this

Anthropologie Ruffled Curtain

Stay tuned!


Anthropologie Dreaming

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back when I was a single gal dreaming of owning my own home, I used to imagine what it would look like. I always thought it would look like an Anthropologie store…more or less. You know – all artsy and feminine. Now that I actually own my own home, I’m not totally sure why my house looks so…well, normal. Although, it probably has something to do with not wanting to embarrass my son when his friends come over since Anthro stores can be a bit over the top. I still can dream, though. Want to dream with me?

In my dream house I would have this bed. I love this bed. I’ve big fat loved this bed for years. Yes, it’s $1500, and yes, it’s a little over the top, but we’re dreaming here. Remember?

I’d probably add this floofy fluffy white bedding. Doesn’t it look like a cloud? All feminine and dreamy-like?

And may I tell you how much I love this Astrid Chair? I even love the name. And are you noticing that absolutely nothing in my house even remotely resembles the style of this chair? Hmmm, makes one think.

I want one of these letters that I talk myself out of every time I visit Anthropologie because they’re $28. Were they $18 each I would have done it, but that extra $10 is a deal breaker for some reason – which ironically I’ve probably spent over and over again at Starbucks or McDonalds. Go figure.

For my kitchen I want these fancy measuring spoons that would make me smile each time I used them. 

Same with this adorable milkmaid butter dish. Oh c’mon. The cuteness is killing me.

And I seriously want to eat off of these dishes…or maybe even just lick them.

And after dinner I’ll retire to the study where I’ll light a few candles

Sip some tea


And read Sense and Sensibility…or just gaze at its darling cover.

Ahhh…isn’t it fun to dream.

What would you have in your dream house?