Monday, November 29, 2010

First Christmas Project Underway

I have a bucket full of these and ....
a cute pin cushion my Mom made me with a needle and some thread ...
and I plan to recreate this for my daughter's Christmas tree.

Super simple and cute project!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday's Foot Fetish: Square Toe

I am always on the hunt for cute and comfortable flats. I bought the Leoni flat from Jessica Simpson at Nordstrom's earlier this month and I love them. The square toe gives me feet lots of room and the lead color is a great brown/gray neutral.
They are on clearance at Nordstrom's for under $30 and come in lots of different colors.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Very Last Minute Dessert

Another entry into the "I Wish I had Thought of that" category!
This would be so dangerous to have inside your house- a spoonful here, a spoonful there! Yummy, just pour it in the shell and instant cheesecake!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Funky Girl's Room

My daughter will be 2 next month and it is time to start thinking about her "big girl" room. My sister has a comforter obsession and likes to change our her bedding often- I think I could easily go there. I have been looking at little girl bedding options for a good year and think (at least for now) that this is the bedding we'll go to next.
It is called Priti by Land of Nod. Land of Nod is the kid's line of Crate and Barrel. They have some great styles and lots of fun toys for the little ones. I like this bedding since it has some blue in it (the color of her walls) and yellow (the color of the chair in her room). We would pair it with this bed I have had picked out since I bought the larger version for our guest bedroom. I would do the bed in white to match her IKEA Hemnes dresser.
Abby is a bold kid with a spunky personality and I think her room should reflect that. I love these paper lanterns and think a smattering of them in her reading corner or above her bed would be fun! I'd do orange and hot pink for sure!
I also love this capiz shell lamp- the pink and orange or the blue and green would look lovely with the Priti bedding. Such fun options!
Hopefully the budget allows for some or all of these pieces to make her next room super special and a good place she'll want to play, read, and sleep! The task of moving my amazing sleeper out of her crib scares me a little.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Motto for the Week

Do the holidays stress you all out?

I always envision happy families in my neighborhood having the most wonderful Martha Stewart holiday while I am manging a fussy toddler, divorced parents on both sides, a lack of matching serving dishes, and a bland disappointing casserole. I totally bring it upon myself- my optimism gets the best of me and while everyone else in my family is probably enjoying their meal and day, I am stressed.

So, here is my new motto for Thanksgiving. I will just stay calm and bake. No pressure!

My sign is free! Tatertots and Jello posted it as a free download and there are color options. Just click here to get your own.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday's Foot Fetish: TACKY!

These have to be some of the tackiest most plastic boots I have ever seen. I can't imagine where you would ever wear these?
It doesn't get any better with these! The company that makes these boots... Pleaser USA. Wow!
Here is their company description:
Pleaser USA shoes, Pleaser USA pumps, Pleaser USAsandals and Pleaser USA boots all exude a sense of fun, flirty and adventurous style. Pleaser platformsand sky-high heels are seductive and completely captivating, perfect for the girl who loves to get noticed. The Pleaser look is not for the tame at heart. Pleaser shoes offers seductive thigh-highboots, sweet and sexy mary janes, fabulous acrylicplatforms and lots of other funky and feminine styles that let you play to your heart's desire.

Just in case you are looking for fun Halloween footwear for next year, check them out here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Making Whoopie

I have entered the world of whoopie pies and if it doesn't change my life, it will at least change my waist line. My heavens, these little suckers are good! It is said their name comes from the joyous noise farmers would make when they opened their lunch pails and found these treats inside.
I bought this cookbook at Crate and Barrel after seeing it had about 20 different cake/cookie options and another 20 pie fillings. What fun my Kitchen-aid mixer and I could have! I envisioned Red Velvet with Cream Cheese, Cornbread with Chive Goat Cheese, Vanilla with Orange Cream, Lemon with Peachy Marshmallow. Oh the options!
To aid my success in making well rounded whoopies, I bought the pan from Crate and Barrel also. It isn't totally necessary and you could do fine without it. I would recommend a melon baller or small ice cream type scoop- my 2 spoon method didn't make pretty whoopies.
My first attempt was pumpkin cakes with the traditional marshmallow centers. I've been told that the classic whoopie pies sold in the northeast are chocolate with the marshmallow center.
While the cakes cooled, I whipped up my center. Literally! This stuff is thick- it doesn't come off the paddle without some help. This yummy goodness is marshmallow creme, shortening, vanilla, and powdered sugar. You just can't go wrong with that list!
Voila- my first whoopie pie.
Seconds later. I told you it was going to change my waist line!
Since it made 20 whoopie pies and my husband was out of town, I had to share. To transport these little gifts, I used a Solo brand plastic cup and cut it down to size and then wrapped it up in the clear pastry bags you can buy in bulk at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. These are great to keep on hand for gifting sweets.
Add a little ribbon, gift tag, and stickers and you have a thoughtful, yummy and cute gift!
Now, what other occasions call for a little whoopie?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Green Eggs and Ham Baby Shower: Decor and Food

We had a great baby shower this weekend for my cousin. The green eggs and ham theme is super easy to pull off and makes a great shower theme, especially for a surprise baby.

Let's talk decor... on the right side of this picture you can see green eggs and the side view of ham. We made those super easy with felt, pillow batting and pink puff balls for the eye of the ham. They were super easy, very inexpensive and fun!
We ran with the bright orange and lime green color scheme to make the theme happen. I own this chunky orange frame and put the words to part of the Dr. Seuss classic inside the frame in green.
More of the book in my similar green frame. If I had thought of this earlier, I would have used the graphics from the invite to make these more fun. It costs next to nothing to change out the contents of your picture frames for an event- use appropriate quotes, scripture, children's book lyrics, pictures of the guest of honor, or even free graphics from the internet.
We also hung a simple name banner on the mantle. I used a sheet of foam stickers from Hobby Lobby for the letters. It gave it some dimension and was already a big sticker on the back. I used a 1/2 punch to make 2 holes at the top of each to string the ribbon through. Very easy to do.
We tried to make all of the brunch food match the theme. We served orange juice and cherry limeades to the guests.
Here are the cold items including pistachio cupcakes, iced sugar cookies, chips and guacamole and fresh fruit.
I think I have found a guacamole recipe I like- I use fresh avocados, add in enough pico de gallo to give it flavor, a little sea salt and some garlic powder. The pico de gallo (I buy in the produce section of HEB for locals) includes the tomatoes, onions, and jalapeƱos. At the end, I squeeze in some lime juice for freshness.
We also served warm bunco buns, mini quiches, and my favorite Cinnamon French Toast bake.
My co-hostess Natalie had the cute idea of putting whole oranges inside her large glass jars. It was a great and inexpensive addition.
The other tall jar was layered with tangerine jelly beans and apple rings. We filled baggies with these for the kids in attendance.
I hope you all enjoyed our fun Green Eggs and Ham shower. It was definitely fun to do! My next baby shower for a friend is in January, so it's time to start planning again! I love it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Flooring Dream Come True

I love hardwood floors. I have never ever had hardwood floors, so I have always admired them from afar- in the homes of my friends, my family, or in blog land. This past week, my little flooring dream came true and my new hardwood floors were installed.
We bought our home in March 2008, it was less than 2 years old and had perfectly new and clean carpet. We toured a home just like ours down the street that had hardwood that I loved, but it was missing a few other features. We knew this was the house and that flooring would come eventually.

I was thrilled when they started ripping up the carpet. It revealed a lovely pad underneath.
The lovely pad revealed a wonky slab underneath! It was at this moment that I was so glad I paid someone else to do this project.
The end of day one...
After 2 days, my new flooring was complete! Our goal was to match the mantle and kitchen cabinets since both are visible in this room. It turned out to be a great match. We bought laminate hardwood called Acapella Jotoba from Lowes.
It is a Brazilian wood with wide planks and just enough sheen.
I think it transitions nicely from the tiled hallway. If I had a million dollars, I would have ripped up the tiled hallway and cover it in the flooring also. But, I think this works well.
Since we were adding new floors, I went ahead and made 2 new small additions to the space... starting with my new GATHER sign from Sundance catalog. I have been looking for something to put up here for over 2 years. It needed to be big and this did it at almost 5 feet long and 2 feet tall.
We put flooring in the formal dining room also- these rooms are open to each other.
I was always so leery of eating in here with kids since it was carpeted, but now we can use the space more, starting with Thanksgiving!
My other new addition- red buffalo check lamp shades. These were not affordable in the Ballard Designs catalog, but I found them at Stein Mart! Score!
My new checkered shades replaced the Brick Pomeroy Check shades from Ballard Designs. I don't need them anymore and have a set of 6. If you are interested, I will sell the 6 for $40 which includes shipping. They retail for $16 each. Just email me at I'll be placing them on eBay soon.