Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Weekend Warriors bring you...The beginning of our new backyard!

Guess what's happening in our backyard today??

Yep, that's right!  The used-to-be-pool-turned-dirt-pit that has been in the backyard since we bought the house (beggars in expensive cities can't be choosy!) is coming OUT!  Eric, my dad, and some AMAZING friends are here helping to hammer, rip, pull, and smash apart the top two feet of concrete so that we can officially take the pool off of our homeowners insurance (REE-diculous that is has had to remain on there until now!  It's supposed to be extra on your insurance in case anyone ever drowns in your pool - how could someone drown in dirt?!).  Pretty soon (i.e. 2+ years), grass, new pavers, and a garden will go in.  For now, I'll be thankful to get rid of the eyesore that has been the "pool."  Did I mention that it's been filled in for so long that palm trees are now happily growing from the deep end?  Sheesh.  What were people THINKING? 

We took some "before" pictures, but they're soooo horrible that I'm embarrassed to post them.  Perhaps I'll do a progress so far post on Monday when I feel like we've made progress.  At least it doesn't look like this backyard...

(AGAIN! THIS IS NOT MY YARD, thank heaven!)

But with the cinder block fence and hard-packed dirt... well, it's pretty close.  *Shame*  But we don't have junk in our backyard, I can say that much!

So, for the rest of today, I'll be listening to jack hammering noises, carting concrete into the back of a truck, and making lemonade/ice tea until I run out of water (gotta keep those workers happy!).  I hope your day is shaping up to be a wonderful one!  Happy Saturday, friends!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Fairytale...

Wasn't she a vision?  I'm an all-American girl, don't get me wrong... but I couldn't not watch Will and Kate tie the knot at 3AM AZ time this morning.  The ceremony was lovely and the looked like they genuinely love each other.  And how about that DRESS?  I'm in LOVE.  She can keep Will, I'll marry the dress tomorrow!  (Also, was it possible for Mr. and Mrs. Middleton to produce a child who wasn't goegeous?!  Sheesh!  Pippa and James are lookers too!)

Sarah Burton, you are a goddess, although it doesn't look like what you normally design, I LOVE it!!

They are going to make GORGEOUS babies (and my bet is they don't wait long to start!).
Ahhh, happily ever after! =)  Happy Friday, friends!
(all images via Associated Press)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dreamy Bedrooms and... Fundido?

After cooking a meal for a relative yesterday, making dinner for 3 last night, cooking dinner for 8 this morning for tonight (here we come, crock pot!), and cleaning my whole house, while writing 4 tests for my students... I. Am. Exhausted.  Holy cow I need a nap.  Good thing my students are so much fun and keep me energized.  Oddly enough, the only time I think about wanting a nap is on my prep time.  Guess I'm in the right profession =)  But, since I'm thinking about napping now, I think I'd like to sleep in one of these rooms...

 Doesn't that throw at the end of the bed scream at you to wrap up in it and snuggle?  It's like it'll be mad at me if I don't, guess I better go snuggle before I upset it - twist my arm... (also please notice the PUPPY in the picture - adorbs!)

 I want to lay in one of these and nap with the soft spring sun on my face... Maybe fall asleep while reading a book.  Mmmkay?  Mmmkay.

This is for my glammier naps (yep, I just made glam into a superlative adjective - and yes I'm the Grammar Queen for knowing what a superlative adjective is).  I'll lie about in my silk drwssing gown with my hair perfectly tousled and makeup fully done and the people from Vogue will come to take my picture because I'm just that glamorous.

Canopy bed?  Amazeballs.  And another throw across the foot of a bed is calling my name.  I must be craving snuggle weather.  Not great for me since it's about to be eleventyhundred degrees here in less than a week and it'll be that way for so long that you might as well burn all of your cold weather things...

Mmmmm, cottage napping should equal love.  And while cottages are cute, I'm always creeped that there will be a spider in my bed.  It's like my brain thinks Cottages + Spiders = Love Forever.  Anyone else feel this way??  No?  Just me?  Yep, thanks brain for making look crazy... AGAIN.

 This is my favorite picture of all of them.  A cozy little nook, adorable bed frame, and cushy cotton bedding.  Doesn't it look like the mattress could be made of down??  Oh I hope it is!  Cue me jumping wildly into this adorable little scene!

 How romantic!  This bed is looking for a napper plus one.  An the gigantic foot board is quite the statement piece.  Perhaps they put the bed together backwards?? ;)  In all seriousness, I love it, and wish I had enough space in my room to do the same.

 Now this looks like something I could re-create in a home around here; albeit, not my home.  I have one 2x3 window in my bedroom.  One.  That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I sleep in Cell Block A at the AZ state penitentiary. Or at least it feels that way sometimes.  I'm working on a plan for the drapes to make it look like the window is much larger than it is.  *Crossing fingers* I hope it works!!!

Do you love sea-grass wallpaper?  I think it's really the only sort of wallpaper that I do like (provided the grain runs horizontally - I'm picky, so sue me).  Don't get me wrong, I've seen some GORGEOUSLY wallpapered rooms, they're just not for me.  I had some bad wallpaper experiences as a kid (seriously), and I'm not looking for a repeat.  But this sparing and tasteful use could be something I'd want in a bedroom someday.  Oooh!  Or a wide hallway above a chair rail!  Mmmmm, maybe wallpaper and I will get together again one of these days - But for now I'm still holding my grudge.

Are you sleepy this Wednesday?  I absolutely am.  What with getting up so early to prep our dinner (again, enter the worlds BEST appliance, the <3 CROCK POT <3 ), I didn't have a chance to make my lunch.  So, I'll be going to my fave fast food Mexican joint, SomeBurros to have the always-amazing...

 5 Dollar Fundidio Wednesday

special. =) It looks like this:

It's OK to be jealous of my close access to mediocre Mexican fast food.  And yes, I can eat the whole thing.  So suck on that, health nuts!!  Just kidding (about the insult, not eating the whole thing - I can definitely do that).

In other food news (can you tell I'm HUNGRY?!), hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to post 2 amazing recipes that are waiting in my "need-to-post-about-this-stuff-because-it's-getting-so-old-I'm-starting-to-forget-what-I-did" folder.  A booze-less (sad face) berry bread pudding, and Chicken in Peanut sauce with couscous.  Cue salivation.  =)  Happy Wednesday, homies!

(all images via ElleDecor - except the fundido, obvi!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New couch!

I FINALLY purchased a new couch last Friday.  I've been searching in Craigslist for over 6 months (I'm picky, can you tell??), and my search has been made infinitely more difficult by my budget: $250.  Yep, $250 for a tight-backed, neutral colored, 3 cushion sofa.  P.S. EVERYONE wants this sofa.  I have been scouring the website at least once a day (sometimes many more times a day - don't judge!), and at times I became so discouraged I worried I'd never find anything. 

On a somewhat related note, can we find the person responsible for overstuffed furniture?  Particularly the faux leather stuff?  H-I-D-E-O-U-S!!!  That's my opinion, of course, but it seen that this is all that is sold on Craigslist.  And futons, let's not forget those.  Aaaaannnyway...

After sorting through 6 months of mostly garbage (made exponentially easier at the end by my discovery of CraigsEasy - which allows you to see just the pictures - TRY IT!!), and having my hopes dashed a few times (YOU try buying a quality sofa for $200!!), I stumbled upon this listing:

Could it BE?!  A Crate and Barrel, tight-backed, 3 cushion sofa for only $175?!!?!? There HAD to be something wrong with it...  But I immediately called the guy and set up an appointment to look at it pretty much less than an hour later.  When I saw it, I was in LOVE.  It needs a cleaning, but since that will cost only about $25, I came in under budget!  Wahoo!!  I made it mine ASAP, and now it and all of it's down-cushioned, linen-covered glory is sitting in my living room looking all gorgeous:

(Don't pay any attention to the curtains or lamp, they're both gone soon!) Ted was thrilled about us buying him a new bed.  We even had to spring for a few new pillows (the one on the right is new - only $15 at Target!)  With a throw and a few green pillows to match the rest of the space (and an appropriately sized coffee table - slow down, April!  We'll get there, slowly but surely!), it should look AMAZING.  I'll have to take more pics of my new baby.  But here is the "blue print" of the sofa, for lack of a better term:

Did I mention that when Crate and Barrel sold this sofa (just last year), it retailed for $2700?!?!  I just goes to show that if you're patient, and dedicated (to Craigslist searches), you CAN have beautiful things and stay in your budget.  Kind of like car or home shopping...  You can't get attached until it's officially yours - if you don't get what you want, something else will come along in a while.

Speaking of staying within your budget...  A friend of mine posted this a few weeks back and it had me rolling.  I'm not sure why I never saw this air originally, but if you struggle with sticking to your budget, watch this: Don't Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford - SNL.  Hilarious, but TRUE. 

Hopefully, we'll have a room that eventually looks something like this:

I love the soft neutrals and bright pops of green.  Add a little navy blue in there and I'm ready to move right in.  Here I come, dream family room! 

Have you had any recent Craigslist victories?  I'm beginning my search for curtain panels, and I may end up making my own (shudders with fear and excitement in the face of another giant project).  I hope your week is going well so far; happy Tuesday, friends!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday blues & House of Fifty

Am I blue today?  Certainly not!  But I am enamored with pops of blue right now (probably why I am changing around the whole color scheme in my house... AGAIN).  I hope you're having the kind of "Monday blues" where your dreaming of things like this...

A soft blue wall makes this bedroom seem serene, and it definitely mutes the dark wood.

 Cobalt blue couch??  YES!  If only I had the $$ to design a room around an accent piece (I like to have a house that can easily change with the seasons)

 Blue bedding is just the pop of color this room needs.  But would you worry about rolling out of this bed?  It's in the middle of the room...  The kind of things that go through my head - OhMyGoodness.

 Well, hello closet of my dreams - how are you?  Ready to run away together?  I just knew you'd have a blue ottoman!  Does it hold shoes like these ones?  Of course it holds shoes, because it's in the closet of my dreams!

(all images via ElleDecor)
Mmmmmmm, this is the ultimate blue space.  Meet me by my dream pool at 5 today, friends - I'll be the one in the adorable bathing suit sipping a cocktail.

In other news, have you seen the new E-publication House of Fifty yet??  It's a new publication featuring contributions from some of my absolute FAVE bloggers!!  And I just got the email that it went live.  Excuse me while I go drool all over my keyboard.  Happy Monday, friends!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Feeling weighed down today, so here's some words from me to you, courtesy of Ginny Owens...

Turnin' molehills into mountains
Makin' big deals out of small ones
Bearing gifts as if they're burdens
This is how it's been
Afraid of coming out of my shell
Too many things I can't do too well
Afraid I'll try real hard
And I'll fail
This is how it's been
Till the day You pounded on my heart's door
And You shouted joyfully
You're not a slave anymore!

You're free to dance
Forget about your two left feet
And you're free to sing
Even joyful noise is music to Me
You're free to love
'Cause I've given you My love
And it's made you free
I have set you free!

My mind finds hard to believe
That You became humanity and
Changed the course of history
Because You loved us so
And my heart cannot understand
How You accept me as I am
But You say You've always had a plan
And that's all I need to know
So when I am consumed
With what the world will say
Then You're singing to me, as You remove
my chains 

Free from worry
Free from envy and denial
Free to live, free to give, free to smile

Are you free to smile today?  I hope so!

 Happy Thursday, friends!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Things I love: Gallery Walls (and my 100th post!)

After just starting my first gallery wall in my reading nook (There are not pictures in the frames, and it's looking a little naked, I'm not done yet!!)...

...I have discovered I am in LOVE with them!  I've been oogling pictures of gallery walls for inspiration and see if you love these as much as I do...

via Belated Domino
Gallery walls are the perfect solution for the otherwise useless walls along stairways.  The mixed frames and textures in this one provide an eclectic feel - they look cobbled together, but their organization and spacing doesn't make it feel cluttered. 

via Pottery Barn
The combination of dark wood and white frames feels pulled together in a way that makes it look super expensive.  But the layering and texture provides a a rich feel without needing rich materials.  And with such a beautiful wall, you would need beautiful lighting.  I'll be looking for some track lighting soon (florescent kitchen lights are coming out!!  Wahoo!!), and this looks amazing.  Of course, does Pottery Barn do anything that isn't amazing?? *sigh*

via Made By Girl
The vintage frames and classic art in this gallery wall make it appropriate for any room.  I also love the mixture of oval and rectangular frames.  Plus the teeny tiny frames are adorbs!  I must get some.

via Young House Love
Check out this entire hallway turned gallery wall!  The Petersiks over at Young House Love are GENIUSES!!  For more pics of their awesome hallway go here and oogle them for a while.  You won't regret it.

How do you feel about gallery walls?  I want to do a gallery wall in my hallway, but it's very narrow and I'm afraid it'll feel cramped?  Aaaaand, problem number one: the hubs isn't crazy about them.  He says they look too cluttered (Psh!  As if!).  Him being a lifelong student of fine art, I understand his attachment to classic "art placement," but my walls, they wanna have fuuu-uuun, oh, my walls just wanna haaaaaave fun...

Do you have a gallery wall?  Want one?  Planning one?  Please share!  Happy Wednesday, friends!

P.S. Today is my 100th post! =)  It's been a fun (almost) year of blogging.  It's opened up so many new opportunities for me, and I've been so blessed by the people I've met and relationships I've developed through this process.  I'm gonna be around for a while, so I hope you'll stick around too (maybe invite some friends?), and we'll go on an adventure to see where we end up after the next 100 posts! Love you all!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TradHome (2 weeks too late)

Ok, so better late than never?  For those of you who didn't know, Traditional Home and Lonny have teamed up to release TradHome, my absolute FAVORITE e-publication ever, based on their first issue.  It was 347 pages of gorgeous, and it made me swoon several times over.  Head on over to their site and take a gander.  If you're a design addict like myself, you'll be there for an hour or so... drooling.  Here are a few of my favorite things from this first issue...

This seating arrangement from 2Michaels Designs is amazing.  I want a bay window so I can do this too!  Can I have a book, this bench, and 2 free hours please?  Oh, you say I have to work to buy said bench?  Maybe not....

 LOVE this over-sized lantern from Amy D. Morris.  I wonder what kind of light it gives at night?  I imagine it feeling like an indoor patio - yum.

 There was an entire spread about different ways to style a Louis XVI chair!!  Suh-weet!

This was my favorite... Tans/yellows surrounded by navy and white... go figure...

They also spent almost 100 pages profiling 6 or 7 different designers, and I've now fallen for the talented Erika Powell.  Doesn't this kitchen scream style?  Yet it also feels like kids and dogs could run through at any moment covered in mud.  Style + function = my home someday

Greens?  Tans?  PURPLE?!  Oh, I want this family room so badly!!  Erika, you are divine.  But lets talk about the white couch for a sec... remember that functionality thing? Good thing it's beautiful and I'd consider putting it in my home (I'd ultimately decide against it... white is pretty much a guarantee that I'll spill wine.).

I'm loving the neutral art above the fireplace here.  This is a functionaal seating area that doesn't look stuffy.  Nice job!

 This is what my bedroom looks like... I wish!  Wouldn't be too hard to re-create though, would it?  I also like that she incorporates ceiling fans into her space.  Living in the good ole' AZ, it'd be difficult to exist without a fan in every room, and I like how she takes something so functional and makes it chic.  *sigh*

These images are from a farm on the Hudson River Valley...  So, who's moving there with me??

 All those colorful veggies!!  Mmmmmmmmm.....

 Here's a Jamie Herzlinger design from the city where I work!  If only all of us could have sprawling views of Camelback Mountain in our backyard!  Not to mention those striped loungers - the sun worshiper in me would kill for an afternoon here with a mimosa.

 Jeff Andrews is another immensely talented designer featured in the lovely TradHome.  Isn't this little desk just the perfect amount of glam??  I tend to lean toward the traditional, but a little sparkle here and there definietly makes me smile =)

 Apart from the strange light features (IKEA, anyone??), I LOVE this faily room.  It's green, comfy, livable, and the subway sign on the back wall is OUTSTANDING.  Love, love, love.  If I ever have a room this size/orientation, this is what's happening it to it.  And I thought I didn't like sectionals....  Hmmm, I guess you never know!

 Yum, yum, yum.  Thanks for all the eye candy, Mr. Andrews!

 After I just did a post on adorable kid spaces, this appears from Kim Winkler.  I love how this room looks made for a little boy, yet the permanent features in the room would age with him.  Long lasting style is key for kid rooms, and the prints above the bed are FAB.  I'm not quite sure what they're made of, but they look like vintage game boxes.  Wouldn't that make an adorable gallery wall in a kid's room?  Someone who has kids should do it and tell me how it looks! 

 If I was brave enough to have upholstered chairs at my table (clumsy alert!), they would certainly have nailhead trim and a soft cream color like these.  Yes, please!

 PUPPY!  I'm in love.  This had to be a set-up...  How can we get the most women to love our magazine?  Put in GORGEOUS rooms and follow it up with a PUPPY.  Geniuses over there at TradHome, I tell you!  Geniuses!

As if they didn't already have me hooked, they had to leave me with this library, complete with a rolling ladder, and bookshelves (which you already know I LOVE), by Tom Delavan.  Have you checked out TradHome yet??  What do you think?  I hope you're having a wonderful day - happy Tuesday, friends!