Monday, June 15, 2009

Fab Way to Start the Monday Morning

Just had to share my little bit of happiness from my corner of the world this morning. A cup of Joe in my new mug that a fab friend created herself. How amazing is her work!I finally encouraged her to open up an etsy shop. Check back this fall as she enters her final year of Ceramics schooling and adds more advanced, amazing pieces!

Friday, June 12, 2009

T-2 plus 6?

The Sip N' Meet looming in the near future (two days). Literally 62 hours away & I am scrabbling to accomplish the mile long to-do list.

I am the epitome of a procrastinator. (I'm such a big procrastinator - that when I read this Inspired Room Procrastinators Unite challenge, immediately got excited, focused on my goals, made my list - only to push off the imaginary deadline so far, that I missed the challenge all together.)

So this evening, I was racing around like a crazy woman trying to finish up as much as possible to surprised DH when he arrives home from a long week of travel. With the help of Mum, I "staged" my own home. In moments of clarity, swapped 4 pieces of furniture from one room to another, takin' this, swapping's a snapshot of the journey my furniture traveled tonight:

Added the fab chaise, moving arm chair from master to living room. Wooden table went from living to dinning. Small table moved to Master (hold DH's suitcase when home), Chairs moved about, occasional tables swapped, "refreshed" and antiqued pieces finding a home...

The house had evolved in the course of less than two hours. I have a theory on decorating styles (will blog about it later), but my instant itch to get it done hit me, and poof - I saw where the pieces of the furniture puzzle should all fit in my house.

So, T-2 - party being 2 days away had to change the plans. I talked to the fab friend of the Sip N' Meet tonight. Long story short, RSVPs are low, regrets high, meaning the party would be better if we moved it ahead 6 days.

Never what a procrastinator wants to hear, "You have more time"...

Pleasant Dreams!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Big Reveal

After much ado, here are the Sip N' Meet invitations that I sent out last week.
(Sorry that portions are blurred - for protection of course - but, I hate the way it makes the pictures look!)
The first picture depicts the unjazzed-up invite, the second the final product.

Click To Enlarge.

The breakdown of the invites:

The base paper is from the Martha Stewart wedding collection boxed invitation set. I luckily found it on clearance at our "Wal-Mart of the future" for $3.50 a box. I picked a paisley paper up at Joann's and found inspiration for the invites colors from this.

I struggled trying to decide if I wanted a graphic design/picture, or just fancy letters. To keep the event less theme oriented and more friendly gathering at the wish of the new mommy, I thought avoiding the typical, darling baby illustrations was best. Also, with my recent obsession with fonts and the impact a great typeface can have, the picture-less path was the way for me.

After designing the invites in photoshop, I took the basic invitation and sent it through my canon printer at home. Once printed, I trimmed the bottom of the invites along the embossed scallop Ms. Stewart's invites provided (this turned out to be my favorite part!).

Using the paisley paper, I added a strip to the back of the invite, allowing the new scallop edge to really pop out against such a graphic paper. Used the remaining paper to line the envelopes - and Voila! Sip N' Meet invitations were born, stamped with the new LOVE stamps, and send to find their happy guest-to-be.

(P.S. - The sweet little baby's older sis just happens to have the middle name Paisley!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Saturday Well Spent

Calligraphy-ing the day away...
Last Fall, Mums and I took a calligraphy class from Susie Melissa. Her work (pictured below), is divine and is used by biggies – even note, she has created menu cards for past presidents.

I loved the class, the overall “concept” of the class & what Susie Melissa was preaching. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m die hard for calligraphy. The class did however, bring me to the realization that traditional calligraphy, while gorgeous, is not in the cards for me. I cannot begin to travel down the road where I critique every letter that I write. I am already teetering the line of OCD/perfectionist, and I can-not open myself up to that amount of critique with regards to my handwriting.

I do, however, LOVE the way handwriting can look in a casual, calligraphic manner using simply their fancy pens. Striving for perfection is second nature to me, so realizing that the flawed rendition is still just as fabulous takes some coaching and reassurance from the mum. Pictured below are the works of three women I find very inspirational and blessed up to their ears in talent.

1. Love, Jenna 2. B Dunlap by Betsy Dunlap 3. lettergirl by Gina Sekelsky

I worked on my dear friend’s invites this weekend. (Sidenote - My hands look like those of the guy down the street at Firestone, as the ink has stained the nail beds and nails of my right hand – by stained, I mean black). But, I am overall happy with the end result.

I keep telling myself, “Self, one day you will look back and say, wow look at what you use to claim was calligraphy – you’ve come so far”. So, in this line of thinking, looking at this as practice, and leaving the flaws will only aid in giving the appearance that I have improved years from now.

Sorry for the blurring – but here are a few snaps.

(Does anyone know the word for the act of calligraphy? Webster is not fond of calligraphying)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sip N' Meet

A dear friend of mine recently gave birth to the sweetest little girl! I am throwing her a “Sip N’ Meet” (really a sip n’ see, but I had a cute rhyme for the invite. I will have several posts over the next couple of weeks as I prep. The up-side to the quickly approaching deadline is I am a procrastinator. Loud and Proud – I need that date looming over my head, holding my feet to the fire, to accomplish most things. Including actually decorating our home. This means, lots to do, little time. Whew – I’m tired just thinking about it!

No specific colors or theme, this way I will be able to utilize what I have. I'm thinking ,various soft, muted tones and pastel colors, giving off less of "baby shower" notion (not her wishes) and more of a gathering of friends for a joyous celebration of baby girl.

I will be serving drinks and sweets - cakes, cheesecakes, sangria, etc. It will be on a Sunday, mid-afternoon to allow everyone to go to lunch after church before coming over. Boys were not invited - sorry guys! - making the lighter fair acceptable. Her guest list included about 2 dozen ladies - give or take a few. I dropped them with the postman yesterday. I will have pictures of the invites (I'm thrilled with how they turned out.)

A girl's gotta start somewhere - so I scoured my coveted photo collection. Here is a inspirational photo collage...

Click to make ridiculously large.
Top to Bottom,Left to Right:
Decor 8, Concrete & Honey
Kristybee, No Idea (sorry!)
Sunday Suppers, Sweet Paul

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lillian Ray's Lovelies

I have long loved the look of Lillian Ray's work - and when I spotted on the lovely blog of this fab lady (and hubby)- I couldn't resist passing the entry along.

Click her name above to peruse her etsy shop.


Monday, June 1, 2009


Sorry for the long departure from blog land. I have no excuse. No real good reason – except, it just wasn’t there. The magic, the finesse – whatever it takes to blog on a steady basis. That must be something I have not quite acquired.Have no fear – I’m gearing up to jump back in with lovely photos to boot!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


After an invite to friends' home for dinner and 4 drop-in guests on their way, I was forced to break open the reserves in the pantry, get crafty, and create a new recipe working with what I had.

I love to experiment with new recipes and tweak them to be my own, however, being gluten-intolerant, I do not get to be the guinea pig. There is no dress rehearsal on my recipes...only an Opening Night.

I baked the evening away, making 26 baby bundts. and one large bundt (Center of Cinnamon Roll Recipe) Bundt.

Cinnamon Honey Rum Fudge Bundt Cake


· Box of Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix

· 1 1/3 C. of Milk

· 1 stick of Butter

· 3 Eggs

· 2 tsp. Instant Coffee

· 3 TBSP. Honey

· 50 g of Dark Chocolate (if available, Hersey's 60% dark with espresso bits)


· 1/3 cup water

· 1/2 cup sugar

· 6 TBSP butter

· 1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Chop chocolate into small bits. Combine all cake ingredients and chocolate and mix thoroughly for 2 minutes. Pout cake batter into bundt pan. Place batter in cake pan. Beginning checking cake for doneness after 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. (Very important!) While cake is cooling, combine glaze ingredients over low to medium heat in a sauce pan, stirring occasionally, until butter and sugar have melted.

Once cooled, flip cake onto wire rack or cookie sheet. Using a skewer or chopstick, poke holes in top of cake. Evenly pour glaze over warm cake. Can use a spoon or pastry brush to completely cover cake with remaining glaze.

Combine glaze ingredients over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar and butter are melted. Do not cover cake while still warm. Wonderful served warm with coffee.

The bad news is, Rum Chocolate Cake mix was discontinued - so I have opted for fudge to replace the rum. (Chocolate to alcohol is not TOO big of a concession).

I have to apologize for no after shot. I am re-doing this cake this weekend for Memorial Day Cook Out and will take PLENTY of pics.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009


A recent jaunt I had to make as a sorority advisor, an hour and half drive after work I was not looking forward to, left me a few spare moments to hit up a new thrift store. In record time, I scored a few treasures! In and out with less than $4 spent and a "need" fulfilled always brightens my day.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I read this blog yesterday by the lovely Kelly at Design Crush - and then...the world stopped. (Well, not entirely). But, my OCD-ness did get the best of me and I fell in love. I fell hard for the font used to create this beauty of a card by up up creative.

A little sleuthing here and there, the font was identified. Then, one thing lead to another, and I am now the proud owner of an additional 300 new fonts to play around with. Now that my repertoire has grown extensively, I feel powered to tackle any font hurdle that may come my way!

A few more beauties...
(Do not start the font-snowball-effect unless you are prepared to spare a few hours)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Self-ish-less Help Please

Well, I guess really self-less (sorta). My friend's hubby needs your votes to win his own jersey night!Please follow the link and vote for Kevin Hart!
How fabulous would it be to have your own jersey night?!?


Months ago, when I was way deep into planning my wedding, bride-obsessed zone, I stumbled across this beauty below. What a perfect way to sort my response cards as they came in, or better yet, after my wedding, create a new “retro” address book that would allow for easy Christmas card distribution. A lovely design limited edition creation - only 1,000 crafted. I knew I needed it – but, didn’t have the $70 cash to spare. And like lighting – they were sold out.

I have searched for months and months to find a noble stand-in, but couldn’t find one that was just right. (Martha Stewart even tortured me by featuring the lovely design version in MS Weddings weeks after being sold out.) I also struggled with plopping down any cash for it, as I was afraid I would lose enthusiasm half-way through, and succumb to the wonderful digital address keeper my Macbook has to offer.

Then, in steps our heroine.
  • Heavy, Cardstock tabs – check;
  • Pretty Patina Wood – check;
  • $1.99 – Winner!

    While it may seem silly to you, this was a victory in my book. Now all she needs is a few extra up-cycled cards added for a personal touch.
Nothing like a successful bargain hunt to brighten any day!

Friday, April 24, 2009


I am in SUPER love with this Etsy shop!

She is having a secret sale and you can find out what it is after registering for her newsletter (I promise you – SO worth it.)
I think I am about to go kid-in-candy-store on her shop.

These are just a couple of the pieces my heart desires!

The Verna Necklace in
Sterling and Pearls.
(Can choose to be in gold or
colored cultured pearls as well)

This was a custom piece for
another customer. I adore the delicate
green color the "leaves" have contrasted
against the sterling.

These pastel moonstone colors would
be incredibly flattering!The subtle
hues are neutral enough to be
versatile for daily pairings.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Swoozies - Oh My!

I am racing (yes, racing) over to stock up on a few of these essentials!

Hurry - the $9.95 tag with free monogramming is only good this week. A perfect Mother's Day and MIL's (mother-in-law's) Birthday gift, if you ask me!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marlo Noel Jewelry

I was fortunate enough to win the Wedding Chicks Marlo Noel giveaway and shop my hearts content in her amazing Etsy store.

Her work is even better in person! I had such a hard time deciding what I wanted to purchase, and I added several additional pieces to my "Honey-I-Want" wish list I keep for the DH to be inspired by at special occasions. Keep in mind this talented Ms. Marlo will customize anything you'd like. I received the adorable box in the mail yesterday, with a sweet note and a beautifully wrapped box.

Excuse the poor photography - picture here is the Mary 1
(I couldn't resist and am already donning the Anna)

I ended up selecting the Mary 1 Long Necklace in White Topaz and the Anna 4 - but customized it by replacing the Mystic Pink Topaz with the Champagne Citrine. I ordered both in sterling and am going to layer it with the wedding present from DH.

Please head over to her shop and check the beauties out - you will not be disappointed!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Fridays will be "Currently Lovin'..." days and Today is:

Not a novel idea or a far departure in the slightest, but I do love a good monogrammed item any day of the week! Luck has it - I spotted a plethora this week - here couple of pretties I found. Enjoy!

Dress you can customize (embroidery, color, trim)
at Baby Thread's Etsy Boutique
Monogrammed note cards on sale - 10 for $6! So fabulous
Available here at Cotton Idea Studio

Even Baby gets their own monogram at this Etsy boutique,
Tiny Tots Greetings
5 Custom Monograms for $20!
at MTKDesigns

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Festivities

Our first Easter as a married couple was wonderful. We spent the morning with our friends at Sunday School opting for an Easter brunch instead of our lesson; then the hubby and I headed home to enjoy a meal at our house prepared and brought over by my parents.

I was slightly disappointed and not being able to find the time (or items) to decorate for Easter, but I did continue the tradition of giving the DH an "Easter" basket (it was a little sparse this year - the grass was edible!) and Mums gave us a basket together.

Mum's basket to us and DH's on right

Friday, April 10, 2009

Secrets Out...

My DH was pleasantly surprised by the family room furniture last week I surprised him with. Surprised because: 1) it was already moved in with none of his muscle 2) he had never seen it before.

The Thursday before he arrived, my mother and I were out late galavanting productively at Wal-Mart, only to get lost on the way home in my new neighborhood. What a blessing that was!

We spotted our new couch and chair sitting on the side of the road. Perfect condition, neutral colors (my fave), and F-R-E-E, which just so happens to fit our shoe-string budget. All they needed was a little cleaning, and to retie the springs below! While I would not marry the pieces, it will help us save up for the fabulous ones we want and put off the purchase process to a more doable time.

When informed - DH's immediate response was, "What happens when we invite our neighbors over?!?" He was more calm when I explained that they weren't a street over (wink, wink)