Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October 2009 Desktop

Click on the image above. Then, right click and save to your desktop.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Would You Like A Piece?

Does this not look heavenly? All that ooey gooey creme filling! What if I told you it is super easy to make and it is low fat. Now that I have your attention...
meet my new best friend- Chocolate Eclair Cake.
Combine 2 small fat free boxes of vanillas pudding with 2 2/3 cups of fat free milk and 1 container fat free cool whip.

Pull out your 13x9 pan and grease it up. Put one layer of low fat honey graham crackers on the pan. Pour over it 1/2 of the pudding mix you made. Layer with graham crackers again. Pour the remaining pudding mix on. Generously ice the final layer of graham crackers with chocolate icing.

Cover and refrigerate. The longer is stays in the cold refridgerator the softer the graham crackers will be and thus the better the cake. If you can leave it in the fridge for 24 hours before touching it, I'd be so proud. We left it 1 full hour and enjoyed.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Baby Showe Decor: Scripture, Quotes or Jokes

I love assigned seating. It gives me control of the table and ensures that people sit next to others I know they like or can at least carry a good conversation with. I have always wanted place cards and bought these on clearance from Southern Living last year. They also serve as napkin rings. The duel purpose sold me.
For our baby shower this past weekend, I wanted a way to bring scripture to the party decor. The little monkey's Momma has endured numerous miscarriages and bed rest from the 4th week to meet her little man. We know God's hand in her pregnancy has led her to this day and very close to a full term pregnancy.
I thought about what I had in the house that could serve my purpose and remembered my place cards still boxed up and wrapped in plastic.On the same turquoise paper from the pennants, I printed out 5 of my favorite scriptures about trials, babies and God's power and mounted that onto the green paper also used in the pennants. This was completely done with scraps.

I then added left over ribbon from the baby shower baskets and voila you have a simple and FREE way to add a little more decor. If scripture didn't fit the event, quotes from the guest of honor or their family or jokes pertaining to babies or marriage would be fun conversation starters.
Southern Living no longer sells these, but I did find comparable options on ebay.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Baby Shower Decor: Garland

Here is an easy garland that makes a great focal point for a baby shower or even a birthday party or wedding shower. It is much easier and simpler than the original garland I made. I don't expect it to last as long, so it can be more theme specific. Here is the upclose shot. It is simply 3 coordinating papers. The green and monkey are cut in freehanded triangles and the letters were printed in 200 point font on turquiose paper. I just cut them out straight from the printer.
I used ribbon to connect each pennant and attached the ribbon to the triangle with mini clothespins. They are not even glued on. The extra ribbon on the ends and additional clothespins can attach the overall garland to your fireplace, bar, entertainment center. You could also hang this on the wall, across a doorway, etc.

I think this could be lots of fun for a wedding shower with the couple's new last name. In all, I used 1 sheet of paper per letter (1/2 sheet of monkey and 1/2 sheet of green) along with simple colored copy paper for the letters. With the ribbon and clothespins, I would estimate this project at around $5. What a bargain!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baby Shower Decor: Baskets

Somebody I know is welcoming a little "monkey" in a few months and my friend Natalie and I have the privilege of filling gift baskets for her baby shower.There are such cute things out right now for monkey fans, like his Momma.

You know God cares about the little things when Carter's does a line that matches your favorite animal and thus your nursery at the same time that you are pregnant.

I got this idea from my friend Alison who decorated for one of my baby showers with buckets of baby goodies. She used lots of cute ribbons on my buckets too.
The cute little round monkeys on the shirts were purchased on Etsy. There are people out there selling fabric already cut and ready with Steam A Seam backing. I got 12 of these circles for under $2. If time is money, I got a big deal!The baby shower this weekend is the third this month! I have October off and then it is time for a monster/alien themed shower in November. It know it sounds crazy, but we've got some cute ideas to share!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Halloween Costume

I love sweet baby Halloween costumes. Knowing that we have a child this year, I am really looking forward to her first Halloween. We'll likely dress her up, take lots of pictures, visit the homes of a few friends and still go to bed early. But, it'll be wonderful!

My husband and I looked through a few different catalogs and online for her very first costume. We had strong opinions- it should work in warm or cold weather, it can't constrict her legs (she's a kicker!) and it needed to be something different that she wouldn't likely pick herself. I know the princess and cheerleader years will come.

Look at this cute glow worm costume we decided upon! It is on eBay so we didn't have to spend a lot and we can put tights and a shirt underneathe it depending upon the weather. I just know we will have great fun taking glow worm photos in the grass.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It is Never Too Early

There are some things in life that you want to get while the selection is good- swimsuits, a winter coat, Halloween costumes, and planners. I am the person that Franklin Covey releases planners for.... I have called before and asked why they can't release 2010 in Summer of 2009. Why do we have to wait until October of 2009? I don't think they'll be many changes! I am well aware of where I will be July 29th of 2011 and March 13th of 2013. I am a professional event planner for heaven's sake!

See Jane Work has released these SUPER.CUTE. planners for next year and I can't decided which one I like best. The skull and crossbones is not a factor, but I love the other three.

I use Outlook and my Blackberry calendar, but there is something satisfying about a paper planner. I am going to give it another shot. We'll just pretend it is still 1995.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cross Collections

I collect crosses. It started with my wedding when I received a sweet silver cross with the Lord's Prayer on it. I now have about 50 crosses in my home, most of them in my formal dining room. While traveling this weekend, I came across a cute little gift shop in Santa Anna, Texas. Santa Anna is a SMALL town with very little, but this cute gift shop. It took everything I had not to buy the cross on the left. It is huge- maybe 3 feet tall and would look fabulous in my bedroom.
It was cheaper than I expected, but more than I could spend right now. Honestly, my husband would have KILLED me. I'm hoping it is still around in a few months and I can get it for Christmas. It belongs in my home!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Newest Trend- Socks and Sandals?

I love Sanuk sandals and I love Zappos, but this is too much!
Zappos is selling Sanuk's newest trend- the Tube Flop. Promoted as given your legs the warmth it needs and your toes the wiggle room they need. Seriously?!?! I can't even imagine an adult wearing this-
So, tell me, would you wear the tube flop?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spray on Chocolate

As a professional event planner, I get to do some pretty amazing things. This past week I attended a conference with other people who do what I do. One of our sessions was touring a hotel from the "back of house" which is the operation side where hotel guests normally do not go.
We had a dinner planned that night for 400 and were able to see how they were getting ready for our event. We even helped prepare dessert.The event was in San Antonio, so the Alamo provided dessert inspiration. On the plate is the outline of the Alamo and it was created with chocolate. They used a paint spray gun and a specialized liquid chocolate. The form was a rubber shower mat with the Alamo shape cut out. We literally layed the mat over the plate and sprayed the chocolate through the Alamo shaped hole. What fun!

Monday, September 14, 2009

More Digital Projects

Rarely do I scrapbook things for boys- it just seems all my friends have girls! I found these fun circus and alien/moster sets online and have had great fun playing with them both.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shopping Marble Falls

Saturday morning, we drove about 45 minutes from our home to the quaint and up and coming shopping areas of Marble Falls. I grew up near Marble Falls and remember when they got a Wal-Mart and a Chili's... they were big time! Today, those stores are still around, but I appreciate so much more the cute little shops that have opened.
A trip to Marble Falls always begins with pie at Bluebonnet Cafe. This place is always packed, the wait staff is always personable, the food always comes out quickly and we always forgot they are cash only! Luckily, we had money in the wallet!
I skipped the Weight Watchers for the day (calories don't count when you are out of town!) and had Chicken Fried Steak. It came with 3 sides for $7.25. Seriously, it is wonderfully cheap and wonderfully tasting. My husband and I shared pie for dessert- chocolate cream. I just couldn't bear this much meringue and face the scale tomorrow.
After lunch, we drove across the street to the Red Oak Square shopping area which I just love. It has this beautifully landscaped courtyard with a giant oak tree, thus the name.

Look at this cute trunk turned pot- love it. I also love the old metal chairs mixed in with the newer wood. It is a good representation of the area- new trendy cute stores and old brick buildings.

Look at the storefronts- all of them are personalized like this. This store is going out of business, so I can't wait to see what takes its place next time I am in town.

Before we left the square, we went into my very favorite Marble Falls store- Zoo La La. Their store front is zebra print with hot pink and lime green. They are a kitchen specialty store with every kitchen gadget imagineable. They make me want to be a better cook!

Get the girls together and make a day trip to Marble Falls! And, be sure to invite me!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fall Decor: Living Room

Besides the formal dining room, I love decorating a mantle! We don't ever light the fireplace, but it is such a focal point and a great place to decorate. I always start with the mantle and begin with garland. It can be very inexpensive garland. I just put in berry "picks" and ribbon and then fill in empty spots with bigger items- candles, pumpkins, apples, acorns, pictures, etc.
I made the flower arrangement on the left with simple supplies from Michael's. It didn't cost much but makes a big statement.
I bought this turkey at Hallmark a few years ago- I thought he was so cute with his skinny little striped legs. He is a great centerpiece at Thanksgiving and will provide a great tall piece for the mantel until then. I added another inexpensive Hobby Lobby garland with extra berries, pumpkins and acorns to the red table and kept the pictures and lamps that are there year round. Luckily, most of my home decor has reds and browns and therefore can match the seasonal items.
The end table between the couches is really larger than decor I had left over. So, I used a place mat to define a smaller space and put decor only on the mat. I added another piece of fabric on the metal pumpkin and placed a Cinnamon Apple candle inside it.

Thanks for joining me this week in a tour of our fall decor. I hope you found something you liked and will be inspired to decorate over the next few months. You don't have to spend a lot of money to make your house feel like an autumn home.

If you've decorated, please leave a comment so I can see your blog and get ideas for next year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall Decor: Kitchen and Dining Room

Let's be honest here- my formal dining room doesn't get used much. It is just a great room for decorating! It is open to the living room and kitchen and therefore a major part of our home. I try to keep the kitchen table where we sit more decor free so that it can be cleared and cleaned often. That leaves the formal dining room for the fun!
This is on the sideboard in the formal dining room. The towel was in a collection from Kohl's and reads, "Lettuce Be Thankful". The acorn is part of a set from Hobby Lobby and I have about 12 of them throughout the house this time of year.Here is the full Ragamuffin Garland lying along the table. I placed it on a fall colored runner purchased in the off season from Pottery Barn. Along the runner is also a set of 5 candlesticks, a gift from my Mother, with small glittery pumpkins and candle on the sticks. The pumpkins are from a boutique in Westlake and were purchased 5-10 years ago. I love placing unexpected items on candlesticks and do this often in the fall.
On the counter top in the kitchen, my husband has a bowl. It is his place for his wallet, keys, cell phone, change, etc. I don't mind it all being out, as long as it is in a fun bowl. So, his normal silver star bowl was exchanged for a wooden pumpkin. I also replaced a summer-scented candle with a fall candle inside a metal jack-a-lantern holder.

Tomorrow, is our last day of fall decor and we'll peek at the living room.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fall Decor: Bathrooms

The majority of my fall decor goes in the main living areas; however, I try to save a couple of things for the bathrooms. I think it is an unexpected place to find decor, so I love to put something special inside there.
Our powder room has very little decor space. But, you can easily change up the towel to a fall color and switch around the handsoap to match the season. I also added a wooden acorn to the pedastal sink and placed a large pumpkin on the floor under the sink. Just a little pop of orange!In my daughter's bathroom I added a witch's candle behind the toilet. I love this candle. It was left by an employee at my old office and I took it in the office clean up. I don't burn it because I want to make sure it lasts a long time. The big hat is the candles lid and the boots are a detachable base.
This tin pumpkin was purchased at Round Top Trade Days in October of 2007. He was a pain to carry around the trade days, but I'm glad he made it home with me. I placed him on a cake pedastal to raise him up and make room for the q-tips and cotton balls. These are placed in small ice cream bowls in falls colors. I tied a spare piece of fabric from my Ragamuffin Garland on the pedastal stem.

Tomorrow, we'll look at kitchen and dining room decor.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fall Decor: Entry Way

All this week I will be featuring fall decor around my home. It is all up and since I love this season so much, it is worthy of a full week on my blog!
If I had my way, I would spend a fortune every year adding more home decor; however, I love my husband more than grapevine pumpkins, so I have to keep it simple. I have 3 total rubbermaid tubs for fall. If I have more than that, I may be in trouble!
In the entryway......
I bought this fall runner from Pampered Chef a LONG time ago. The other side is solid army green, so it has a multitude of uses in the fall. The grapevine pumpkin was 1/2 price at Hobby Lobby last year. It works well outside on a red wagon also.
I visited a super cute gift shop in San Antonio last August and bought these funky letters. They are great for these little ledges in my entryway that scream for small decor. The end caps are super cheap and little candy buckets from Hobby Lobby.
I threw an old wooden pumpkin on the ledge among my daughter's photos. I think it is also a Hobby Lobby find. I added straw colored raffia to the stem a few year ago.

Finally, I took down a blue tin star to hang the oversized Autumn bottle cap on the wall in the guest hallway. I tied some spare ribbon from my Ragamuffin Garland to the triangle nail hanger to add a little softness. The bottlecap is also from Hobby Lobby 2 years ago and was under $10.

And yes, both my husband and I are Texas born and bred!
Stay tuned tomorrow for bathrooms!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ragamuffin Garland for Fall

Oh how I love my new Ragamuffin Garland!

It was super simple to make, but did cost a little more money and take a little more time that I thought it would. Here are the instructions and some tips I learned along the way.
Start out my picking out your fabric, ribbons, tulle and whatever else you want to place in your garland. I went with a fall theme and bought a variety of prints. I found upholstery fabric on sale at Hancock when I went, so I got the most fabric from that side of the store. Focus on a variety of colors, prints and textures. I had burlap (rough) and suede (soft) in my mix.
Tip #1- look at both sides of the fabric. Those with the print on both sides will look best since you can't control what ends up on top when tying knots to make your garland.
Tip #2- Upholstery fabric is richer in color, but also stiffer. It was more difficult to tie knots with the higher end fabric.
I bought my fabric 1/4 a yard. That made it 9 inches long. I then cut it into 1-1.5 inch strips. I cut my ribbon and tulle the same length and width. In total, I believe I used 10 fabrics, 2 colors of tulle, and 4 different ribbons.

Tip #3- I bought my ribbon on the roll like this instead of the bolt. It made it quick and easy to cut.

I decided to tie everything onto brown ric rac and bought 3 yards of it. I found it to be sturdy and an inexpensive option.

Tip #4- leave about 6 inches from each end on the string/ribbon/ric rac that you are tying everything to. That will allow you to hang it on the wall or tuck it under a heavy item on your mantle. Make sure the string/ribbon/ric rac blends with your garland in case it shows.

Start tying knots. And, tying knots. And, tie some more. If possible, make sure the pattern is showing on both ends when your knot is tight. It'll help liven it up. After you tie 10 or so, it'll look really flat. Take the ties and twist them up. Doing that will put the tied ends in different directions and give it the fluff you need.

Here is the finished project! More photos to come with the dining room fall decor.

Tip #5- Save your extra fabric strips- they can be used in your decor. I tied them around candlesticks, pumpkin stems, wall decor hangers and more.

Tip #6- I laid my garland on my formal dining room table; however, if you hung it on your mantle you can easily add small clothespins and hang letters to spell "Autumn" or "Harvest" or add matching pictures, like these on etsy.