Wednesday, August 31, 2011


That's a pretty color below, isn't it?  Aqua, turquoise, not sure what it's called. But I know that I pinned it to "Fern's room" as the color that I'm hoping to use.

The next two pictures are also pinned to my board called "Fern's Room."

I'm talking in a language called Pinterest.  Many people I know speak this language, but many people I know still don't really understand.  I love explaining it, so here I go.  

Some people have inspiration boards or inspiration notebooks where they keep things they want to remember.  For example, decorators might tear out pictures of magazines of rooms they like and stick them in a notebook.  Chefs might put bookmarks in their favorite cookbooks-or the pages are naturally bookmarked from many splatters of ingredients, like some of mine.

Pinterest is the same, but it's online.  When I see a picture I like of a recipe, a quote, a craft, a decorated room, I "pin it."  Then I decide which board I want it to go on.  I have one called "Fern's room."  That's the name that I think we're naming our little girl, due in a couple months.  You can check it out here-it's a collection of fabrics I like, colors I like, decorating ideas, etc. 

When I click on any of the pictures, it takes me back to the original website where the picture was found.  That blue mason jar above, it's painted blue.  I can go to my Pinterest board called Craft Ideas, find the picture, click on the picture, and find the directions to make my own blue mason jar.

Every pin that I do has to have a caption.  Two of my friends that I follow pinned the picture above.  One said, "I love the curtain rod." The other said, "I love the framed gun."  Too funny, Rennee.  

Another Pinterest word is follow.  That means that whoever I follow, I see every picture that they pin.  One of my friends pinned the picture above.  That's a DIY painted carpet.  How cool!

To become a part of Pinterest, an invitation is needed.  Or a faecbook account.  Or a twitter account.  I made a fake twitter account to use.  If you would like an invitation, then leave me a comment or email me at  If there are any questions, then there are very nice and helpful people that will email any answers to any questions asked.  I know, I asked a lot of questions.

I hope that helped a little bit.  If you haven't signed up, then go do it right now!  Then, let the addiction start.  It's kind of like decorating magazines but with a better picture:word:advertisement ratio.

All images can be found on my pinterest account.  Click HERE for it. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rock Collection

This picture reminds me so much of my childhood.  Mod podge rocks, I would have a ton of them.

I would make them like they were my job.
With friends.
With kids I babysat.  
Oh, the fun!

Reminds me of when I melted crayons on a glass coke bottle for a pretty candlestick...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Urban Grace and BHG

There's been a collision of my decorating worlds.  Better Homes and Gardens did an interview with Erika from a blog that I read called Urban Grace Interiors.

Here's a little advice I gathered from the whole experience:

1. Read her blog.  Including this post on favorite Etsy finds.
2. Read this month's issue of BHG-it's full of stylemakers and their advice.  Fun stuff.
3. Start incorporating more printed fabrics in la casa.  That was one of Erika's rules, and I quote: "Every room needs a printed fabric, either floral or graphic."  I think that's what I'm missing, so I'll start saving my dinero now to purchase those great fabrics when I see them. great is that long pink skirt?  It's from Anthro-and we all love Anthro.

{pictures from here}

Sunday, August 28, 2011

This Week's Menu

Here I am again to post my menu for this week.  Nothing too exciting, but I love doing this!  First, I always forget what I planned to make, and this is a great reminder.  Second, if I ever have a recipe from the internet the link is right here.  Third, I can look back at old menus to see what I want to repeat or what I want to not-make-again-for-the-3rd-time-this-month.  

Again, nothing exciting.  Just our food.

Broccoli Soup and Tomato/Cheddar Sandwiches
Grilled Burgers and Oven Mashed Potatoes
Cornmeal Catfish, Salad, Corn on the Cob
Tuna Salad Wraps, Chips and Salsa

Friday, August 26, 2011

Burl at the Beach, 2011

He was only 5 months old last year when we went to the beach, so I guess we can say that this was Burl's first experience with the beach?  Right?  As soon as we put the mini in park, John grabbed Burl and I grabbed my camera (with a lens that kept fogging up) and we introduced Burl to the beach.  

First up was the sand.  Watching him walk on sand was like watching him take his first steps.  Wobbly.  Unbalanced.  Completely new.  

Eventually, sitting and playing in it was the more enticing option.  

The next morning, we greased that baby up with Water Babies SPF 4,000 and hit the ocean.  The waves crashing on the beach were a huge hit.  More than the water, he loved the current that  pulled him straight into the ocean.  This is where things got a bit interesting.  The more he was tugged and the more he laughed, the whiter our knuckles got on our grasp around him.  He was a wild man in the waves.

For the most part, he liked sitting in the sand with us, under the umbrella-ella-ella, digging holes in the sand with John.  For the most part.

A few nights we went out for dinner.  I asked some locals, aka, the skim-boarders who hung out awkwardly close to us, where to eat.  He asked us what we were looking for, and I quote, "you lookin' for like a bar scene?"  Uh no, dude.  Not sure if people in my 6-month-gestation-stage are allowed in bars.   So we went with the rowdy restaurant instead.  He told us what to order-the pucker sandwich with fish-and we were rowdy, toddler style.

Two other nights we went to a restaurant floating in the bay during sunset.  Insert perfect beach scene.  Burl was mainly occupied by his new found love for small ice.  Whatever it takes to let me swallow my dinner whole.  Whatever it takes.

We went back to our condo for some pictures on the beach.  We forgot our matchy-matchy full blown khaki jumpers that I made for each of us, so we had to wing it.  The whale shirt was pretty fitting, I think.

Every time I squatted to take a level picture of Burl, he squatted with me.  Now that is just cute, but really, Burl, stand-up, I want that cool ocean-in-the-background shot.

The morning that we left, we took a little family stroll on the beach.  At first Burl wasn't into it, rubbing sand in his face.  

Then, John scooped him up and we went for a walk.  What did we find: a small sandbar stretching just enough into the ocean for Burl to have some fun.  Fun he did have.

We couldn't get enough of him.  Laughing and screaming.  Totally enjoying himself.  

Who cared if he was in full clothes, a regular diaper that absorbed 93 gallons of ocean water, Burl had fun.

And that was the perfect way to end our beach trip of 2,000 and 11.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vacation Recovery

It was just one week ago that we were wrapping up our beach trip.  It was a wonderful trip...we went with friends this year, which made it better, the water was wonderful, and Burl was older and able to enjoy more of it.  One of the great things about this vacation was we came home to a week full of fun activities.  It's been a lot of fun.  Everyday has brought a new adventure. 

There was a shower for Jenny.  {Does the pink stripe bag give a clue to what kind of shower it was?}  The shower was small, which was nice.  We could all be included in the same, rowdy, funny conversation.  The setting was great as well.  It was on Jenny's apartment rooftop overlooking downtown Chattanooga.

The next day, we had family over for Sunday lunch.  John's parents, his brother and family, and his new found family from France.  The French family was here for 3 1/2 weeks-vacay European style-and it was so fun spending time with them, getting to know them, and getting to know a bit more about French culture.  Ooolala.  As we waved goodbye that afternoon, I got way more sad than I thought I would.  It seems that it's hard to let new family go.  Oh, how I wish I would have taken a French course to make more conversation with them!

In typical Monday-Funday style, I got together with some girls for a little fun-in-the-sun.  Here we are fresh out of the river.  For the record, my stomach is just as firm as their's when I'm not pregnant.  Like, wash laundry on my abs-firm.  Just take my word for it.  

A little change to dry clothes in the bathhouse and we drove home.  Laughing the whole way.  That's what 3 hours floating down a semi-calm river will do to you.  I plan to join the annual tube-the-Hiwassee trip.  Boobs and Tubes 2012, sign me up.  {Borrowed that name from my neighbor's girls tubing weekend-too funny not to!}

Now that school is back in session, so is our normal Tuesday lunch date.  We road, windows down, to meet my dad.  He cooks at a local private school that is cool enough to allow us to show up at the end of lunch and eat leftovers.  Since my dad is the chef, I know there is never any typical lunchroom food.  Foods from scratch-yes please!

My dad has sent out so many pictures of Burl to the entire faculty and student body that it's less of a lunch date and more of a public appearance for Burl.  Something's a little weird about walking through a cafeteria with a couple tables full of teenagers pointing at us, saying, "LOOK-IT'S BURL!!!"

Down the street from the school is a little park.  A friend lives pretty close as well, so I texted her for a last minute meeting of the minds at the bouncy horse.  

Wednesday was a work day for me-four hours at the Gap.  Four pretty fun hours.  People are getting braver in their assumption that I'm pregnant.  I play the "I'm-not-pregnant" card, but as one fun customer told me yesterday, "girl, you're way past playing that game!"  Too true.

And here we are at Thursday.  Today, I'm recovering from a wicked case of kickball.  I might have talked a little trash, played way too hard as a pitcher, and not sat down enough, but it's all worth it: my team won.  At kickball.  Church, youth group kickball.  North Shore youth, you made me proud last night!  Now, get mama an ice pack.  

Too match my post-game "injuries," Burl came down with a little fever.  We're both hurting today, but that's ok because we've got a plan.  It involves crackers, apple juice, movies, puppy, and a lot of snuggling!  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My TV Cabinet, Re-purposed

There's been a bit of a furniture swap at my house.  With the updating of our den, we've done a switch-a-roo with some furniture.  One of our neighbors came over late one night and moved a lot of furniture with John.

The small TV cabinet to the room with the stencil.
The sideboard to the dining room.
The bottom of the hutch to the den.  
And finally, the big TV cabinet to the dining room.

I'm a big fan of using furniture in ways that it's not intended.  When we decided that the TV cabinet was not working in the den, I knew it's new life-purpose: to store my hoards and hoards of dishes.  

A friend gave me that little wooden angel.  Isn't she cute?  And all wood-sy?

Here are my dishes.  To be honest, this is only a portion of what I've gathered over the years.  These are my most frequently used things.  The rest of my stuff is in other pieces of furniture, in our attic, or sitting on the shelves at Goodwill.  I'm in serious danger of drowning in dishes.

Eventually, John is going to add another shelf in that big blank space, so I can store my table linens in there as well.  (Oh table linens, how I love thee.)  For now, I'm storing several other things.  I have some candle holders, "fancy silverware," silverware caddies, 

loads of serving pieces, (including this wooden salad bowl that was a wedding present from my mom.  It's pretty cool because it's made from one piece of wood)

(When we got married, I was working at a home decor place that had the cutest stuff for super cheap.  The owners were great and gave me a HUGE discount-and I developed a little addiction of platters.  Those teal platters below...I got both of them for less than $10.)

and lots and lots of dishes!  Besides the fun stuff, I have the practical stuff as well...the actual dishes to eat off of.  I think that I could feed 35-40 people at one time without running out of dishes.  Been there, done that, have the stories to prove that one year we did a huge potluck Valentine's dinner...that was great!

There are two things that I don't use much in the TV cabinet, but I'm not ready to hide away yet.  When I got married, I didn't register for china.  However, my grandmother gave me one of her sets.  It's kept in the bottom half of the cabinet.  It's pretty with little pastel flowers around the edges.  I love seeing it and being reminded of being at my Polly's house.  Eventually, I want to get in the habit of using them.

The other thing that I keep in there that I don't use are these cute salt and pepper shakers.  I found them at an antique store in Ann Arbor and I love them!  They are just adorable.  Maybe one day I'll start using them as well...

For now, I'll just leave them be and I'll enjoy seeing them when I open the TV cabinet.  That's in my dining room.  That doesn't hold a TV anymore.  But instead is weighed down with dishes.  Lots and lots of dishes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This Week's Menu

We are back from a week at the beach.  Last week was full of good times, fun, and more memories of our family and our friends.  

Everyone jumped back into routine.  Embraced it with open arms.  As much as we love a break from routine, we love returning to it as well.  Oh stability and structure, you suit us so well.  In our routine, I make the menu and buy my groceries before the week starts.  This week is no exception. Here we go...

BBQ baked potatoes
Cream of chicken and wild rice soup

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Cream Ruffled Tote

Meet the Cream Ruffled Tote.  She's very cute.  Like super-duper cute.

There are so many things that I love about her.  First, the, love the ruffles.  Second, the flower pin on the corner.  Third, it's casual and fun at the same time.  She and I are really getting along well!

By the way...that pin comes off.  It can go on my shirt.  In my hair.  Or it can take the day off and one of my other flowers can have a turn.

She came to me packaged so wonderfully.  Vintage paper.  Vintage cards.  Cute Gift tage.  Fabric ribbon.  Muy bien.  Very, very, muy bien.

I met the ruffled tote through a blog giveaway from Dreamy Whites.  Originally, I won a really cool camera bag that hung low on my waist.  Since I prefer totes because they fit neatly under my arm, I asked for a little swap.  Jeanne was so nice to do that and I couldn't be happier that she sent me the Cream Ruffled Tote.  For more cute items, check out Jeanne's shop.  Then, go back and check the shop at Dreamy Whites.  It's all just gorgeous!  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mossy Letters

Remember those mossy letters from Jenny's bridal shower?  I made them.  They were so easy and so cute, that I'm trying to find more excuses to make mossy letters.  Green moss.  Brown moss (except brown moss isn't really moss is it?)  And it's not really moss that I was using.

Here's what I used:
cardboard letters
hot glue and glue gun
that straw stuff*
spray paint, but that's really optional

*There was real moss at the craft store but it was $16/ bag, the straw was only $3, so I went with the straw.  

First, I spray painted them green.  I happened to have some green spray paint, and I thought that it would help camouflage the letters.  I think that I would have been fine without it.  

Then I squeezed some fresh melted glue on the letters, grabbed a wad of straw/grass/moss stuff and pushed it into the glue.   

I put moss on the front and sides of all the letters.  I think it took all of 15 minutes to do three letters.  They were a little wild looking, so I trimmed them with my scissors.  

Before trim!                                                    After trim

Wa-La.  A fun decoration.  I knew that Jenny was interested in using them in her wedding, so they didn't go to waste after the shower.  Now, think of all the possibilities that moss letters could enter your life!  Baby's room.  Showers.  Office inspiration.  Christmas decorations.  Oh the fun of moss...or stuff that kind of looks like moss...

(A little tip if you buy the real, more expensive moss:  apparently the moss smells pretty bad, but that problem can be eliminated if they are sprayed with hairspray.)