Monday, May 30, 2011

Show Some Leg!

I have recently lost some weight and am excited to buy some new Spring dresses one size smaller!I have been looking online for my reward dress and there are so many cute options out there this Spring. I love so many of them. I am trying to decide which I will get the most out of... date nights, work, a wedding in September on the beach... but, there are so many options!

Here are a few of my favorites- let me know which ones you like most!
Nordstroms- purple or pink

Garnet Hill- maxi, flowers or big sleeves

Lands End- green or red (these are both in the lead in my eyes!)
I think they'd be light and fun on the hot summer weekends and cute paired with a cardigan and big jewelry during the week. They are under $50 which is also a big plus!

Boden has a TON of dresses I love- click here to see all of them. They always have the best prints. Plus, the Macy's dress was recently on sale, so I bought it up! I think it'll make a great summer church dress, especially with the patriotic holidays coming up!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cowboy Cavier

My husband and I are on the final leg of a 40 day very low carb diet. We have both been successful, but are wanting "real" food as we celebrate with friends pool side this weekend. So, I dug around and found a pretty healthy side dish. It isn't real low carb (corn and beans), but it isn't potato salad which I almost always make.

If you are looking for a semi-healthy and colorful side dish, give this one a try!

Cowboy Cavier

1 can drained- corn, black beans, black eyed peas
1/2 each- red bell pepper, green bell pepper
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 sm. caron grape tomatoes, sliced in half

Mix all ingredients and toss with 3/4 cup Zesty Free Italian Dressing by Kraft. Let it set overnight and enjoy with Baked Tostitos or as a salad.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday's Foot Fetish: Bubblegum Pink

Love love love! I own two pairs of bright pink shoes- always fun with black and white outfit, with my favorite white pants or with denim and a springy top!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Outdoor Living Room

You might recall back in February, I listed my home goals for 2011. I am thrilled to have accomplished the big one this past week- we expanded our patio and created an outdoor living room!
We went back and forth on flagstone, brick pavers, or concrete and ultimately the slope of our backyard made the decision for us- we went concrete. The picture above shows the slope- it is level with the ground on the right side and 7" off the ground on the left side!

They framed it out at 10' deep by 15' wide. I would have loved to go deeper, but our backyard is shallow and I didn't want it to be all concrete back there!
Hooray! Once the patio was poured we had to wait 3 days to place our furniture on it! We (I am sure you know I mean he) had already put it together out of excitement! It sat all sad in the garage for 5 days just waiting! We want to stain the patio, but decided to wait a while since Abby is really into sidewalk chalk. She is ready to decorate her new canvas!
Ta Da! Our new patio with the lively furniture! I just love it! I searched patio furniture online for weeks and polled my Facebook friends for recommendations. We ultimately went with the Catalina collection from World Market. The wood feel was more homey than the metal and I think we can keep the stain up annually and make it last. The pillows are all scotch guarded and weather proof. Plus, the covers come off to be washed!
We opted for the storage bench over a traditional coffee table. It gives us a place to store the throw pillows outside, allows for additional seating if needed and serves as a coffee table. Everything was 25% off, too which made the cushions all free!
When moving our plants to place everything on the new patio, we discovered why a bird kept visiting our old patio- it was her home! Look at these little blue bird's eggs! I'm so glad we neglected our fern the past few weeks!
Can you tell who loves the new patio the most? I have a feeling come rain or shine, this little girl will want to spend all her time out here! We did our nightly reading and computer time outside and read books in our jammies at 6:45 this morning.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Project Flip- Part Two

I am in love with my new craft room! We flipped it with the guest bedroom (in the post below) last weekend and I just want to hang out in here! The sunlight is wonderful and the pops of color make me happy! I bought new curtains and picture frames for this room, but everything else is from the smaller craft room. It doesn't have to cost money to look new- just move things around!

This is the wall to the right of the entrance. The closet door is covered with a shoe rack that is filled with tulle, paint brushes, mod podge and more! My create letters are here.
The china cabinet was featured months ago- we bought it on Craigslist for $100 and fixed it up with paint and wrapping paper! She holds so much for me including pretty books in the glass shelves and boring things like envelopes and shipping tape in the drawers and lower cabinets.
Behind my desk (really just a dining room table!) is my console, big Ballard Designs beloved bulletin board (a bonus purchase 6 years ago!) and my homemade shutter notecard holder.
Just inside the entrance, opposite the china cabinet, is one of my low profile bookcases. It is filled with scrapbook albums, stamps, inks, and notecards. My perfectly matching storage boxes are stored here and on the other bookcase by the window. The spinner on top and the white lazy susan are Pottery Barn Kids purchases from years ago. I love them both! The platter, is a simple chalkboard paint project.
Next to the bookcase is my zebra chair. It was another Craiglist find! I wanted a cozy little corner in case I wanted to read a craft magazine! I need to find a fun ottoman for this corner!
I'm so grateful my husband agreed to move my fancy lighting- this room has taller ceilings and it fits in here perfectly! I think lime green shades would also be fun in here! And, it I was able to spend more money on this redo- a bright green ceiling would be in my plans!
Finally, the new additions! My Delta Girl frames are perfect for the wall between the windows that you see when you first walk into the room. And, thanks to my sewing Momma, I have buffalo check curtains to pretty up my windows. Her poor overworked sewing machine died during the second curtain. Luckily she owns more than one, so I'll have a new curtain for the window above next weekend!
Thanks for visiting my new room! I hope lots of fun new projects are inspired out of this room! I know I'm inspired to do more in here!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Project Flip- Part One

Do you remember when I redid our guest bedroom here? Well, this past weekend, I redid it again!

The front of our house has three rooms- Abby's room, our guest bedroom, and my craft room. The guest bedroom was the front room in the house- it has a walk in closet, 2 large windows, an arch, and is the largest of the three. The craft room was in the back of the hall and had lower ceilings, one smaller window, and the smallest closet. With me spending more time in my craft room, we decided to flip the guest bedroom and craft room last weekend.

It was a simple weekend project- change our shelving in closets, switch ceiling fan into new guest room and chandelier into new craft room, oh, and move lots of furniture.

Here is the new smaller and cozier guest bedroom!
Since I was moving things around, I went ahead and changed up the configurations of the art on the walls. It makes it feel new without spending any money.
I really like the way our furniture fits into this space and my Mom (our most frequent guest) likes that the room is darker allowing her to sleep better.
My new and totally lovely craft room/home office pictures coming soon! I am finishing up the new curtains and waiting on my one new purchase for the room- Delta Girl Frames! I recently made a day trip to Dallas for work and decided to blow my mileage check on these frames! They are in the mail and I'm so excited to see them!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday's Foot Fetish: Color Changing Cros

Abby Lu would LOVE to watch her shoes change color outside! What fun a toddler could have with these!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring Baby Shower with Birdies

I co-hosted a baby shower earlier this month for my friend, Heidi. Heidi is a school teacher with a wonderful husband and is expecting her first child, Lily, next month. She is one of the good people of this world that you want to bless. We had a lovely brunch with friends and enjoyed seeing the wonderful things others blessed Heidi and Lilly with. Let's just say she is well loved and will be dressed in such cute things for months!

The other hostesses gave me full reign on decor, so I went with a spring-like birdie theme using many items I already own. I have blues and browns with birdies in my master bathroom.
I incorporated reds, browns, and aqua blues into the color palette. I hung moss balls from the lighting, used bird houses, robins' eggs and birds throughout the table decor. I just love brunch food- we had bagels with an amazing dip, coffee cake, fresh fruit, mini quiches, bacon appetizers, a veggie tray, and a meat and cheese tray. Oh, and a fresh strawberry cake from my friend Kelly at Billa Cakes. I just loved the fat bird and the dimensional nest on top. Kelly also made my daughter's first birthday cake and cookies for her second birthday.
Along with about 10 ladies at the shower, we had these two little girls! Aren't their squished up nose smiles the cutest? My daughter was at story time since I can't seem to manage hosting and parenting at the same time!
Congratulations Heidi on making it this far in the Texas heat and best wishes for a perfectly sweet little girl real soon!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Polish

Have you heard of Deborah Lippmann nail polish? She is a manicurist to the stars and came out with her own polish. It is 3-free which is always nice and is said to stay on for more than 7 days!

I stopped getting Shellac a few weeks ago. It started just peeling off my nails and my nail tech and I just couldn't make it stay. I don't know what happened! So, this long wearing polish was worth a shot to replace my Shellac. Pardon my cuticles- I am in need of a real manicure!
I've worn it for 5 days straight and it still looks good! It is expensive, so it is a splurge, but is cheaper than Shellac and can be used again and again!

See all the colors here. I bought mine at Luxe Apothetique in the Domain shopping center (in northwest Austin). You can also find it at Nordstrom's online.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday's Foot Fetish: My New Toms

I posted on Facebook a few weeks ago that I thought TOMS were so ugly and I didn't get it. I'll be honest, I hadn't seen them on anyone, just online, in pictures and at the store waiting to be sold. This past weekend, I saw the cutest little Mom in these silver glitter TOMS and I immediately wanted them. She had one a white boyfriend shirt, rolled up jeans, a red belt and these shoes. I was sold!
My Mother's Day gift didn't work out like I had thought it would so after a little return on his part, I ordered these instead. I can't wait to wear them on the weekends and this summer when my office goes to casual summer attire! We wear jeans and capris from Memorial Day to Labor Day!

I love that for Mother's Day I not only got new shoes, but I gave a pair to a child whose Mother can't. I feel like I am sharing Mother's Day with someone I don't even know whose love for her child is just as great as mine for Abby Lu.

Here are some other favorites in case you want to give and receive also!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Quick and Easy Teacher Gifts

Abby's school is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week and they gave us a list of what to bring each day for her teachers. It is simple small things to honor her teachers without spending a lot of money. Monday was candy day- here is our candy.
I have also given a big jar of Smarties for a friends graduation. Something fun! You could also play off Dum Dums!

Tuesday was fruit day- so we skipped the traditional apple and honored her "pear" of teachers Kristen and Sabrina.
These are both placed in the treat bags you can buy at Hobby Lobby or Michaels in the cake aisle and small gift tags from the scrapbooking aisle. I try to keep both on hand because they make great packaging for little items.

I have many friends that are teachers. To all the teachers out there- thank you! You do such important work, spend long hours and your own money, and put up with a lot from difficult kids, ungrateful parents, and do it all for less pay than so many other professions. Thank you!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Green or Pink?

It is like an espadrille purse! How could you not just love these two?
Cabana Stripe Raelin from kate spade

So tell me, green or pink?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday's Foot Fetish: Little Girls

My daughter says the door to her closet is the door to her shoes. Uh oh! Can you say problem? I try hard not to overbuy for her- she is just 2, is growing, and needs to be able to play and get dirty. Every know and then, I splurge and buy her something I just can't live without.
These are her splurge shoes- silver Pampili sandals. She will wear them most every Sunday this summer to church! I just love them!

They aren't in silver on Zappos anymore, but they do have white and pink!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day Ideas

This post is partially for my husband, but in scouring the web for gift ideas for him, I came across a few too many things and thought I would share them here.

We operate differently than many couples- we share bank accounts and therefore I want to make sure I like my gift. To be honest, it isn't the thought that always counts with me. I know what I like and like to give him options including direct links. He has the final say in selecting what link he purchases from. And, I get to be surprised within reason :)

He also gets reassurance in knowing I will like my gift. No fake "thank yous" or awkward return conversations have to occur. It just works best for us! Sometimes he sends me links also, but often I just listen to what he needs, complains about, or looks for things they are worn out.

Here are some of my favorites I sent to him:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

As You Grow Up...with correct link

I saw this box frame in a sweet nursery on another blog and just fell in love with it. I ordered it for my entryway because in some ways, we are all still growing up.
You can find it here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Desktop

This month's desktop is a digital quilt in honor of my Mom and Mother's Day. So many of my crafty talents come from Mom. One day I'll take up sewing like her, though I doubt I will ever be a quilter with her- I just don't have the time and patience for quilting. Happy Mother's Day Mom!
To enjoy this desktop all month long, just right click to save the file and then open it and save it as your desktop. It should keep you cheery all month long!