November 30, 2012

washi tape crush


I am so in love with this Christmas washi tape. I picked it up at Michael's a couple of weeks ago, not knowing exactly what I would do with it, but knew the occasion would arise.

Last night I saw the Santaland Diaries at the Alley Theater with a group of friends. Before the play we met for dinner and did an ornament exchange. I was so excited to use my new craft tape in lieu of ribbon to wrap my ornament.

Can't wait to use the red and aqua, and see what other projects I can use this tape for.  There might be craft tape everywhere ;)

Happy Weekend!

November 28, 2012

diy christmas banner


You probably know by now that I love banners and garland :)  I made this little Christmas tree & star banner yesterday to add a little Christmas decor to my desk area.  I have a wall behind my kitchen desk with and picture board and a chalkboard.  I like to keep a seasonal or inspirational message displayed on the chalkboard and the Christmas message "Oh What Fun" needed a little something extra.  I think this simple banner is just right.
How is your Christmas decorating and shopping going?  I finally placed my first order of Christmas gifts...but I still have lots more to do :)

November 27, 2012

turkey zucchini chili

Turkey & Zucchini Chili

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes {I used 1 teaspoon chili powder}
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1(14.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 (7 ounce) can salsa
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes {I used 1 (14.5) ounce can petite diced tomatoes}
1 (7 ounce) can of chopped green chile peppers
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 medium zucchini, halved lenghtwise and sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.
Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.
While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 15 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency with water as needed.
Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.
{original recipe from all}
This is the first time I've made chili and this recipe was amazing!!  It has fresh vegetables and lots of flavor.  I changed just a couple of ingredients (as noted), only because I used what I had. 
It's a perfect way to warm up a cold night!

Have a great day!

November 26, 2012

toy organization ~ puzzles

Happy Monday!  Hope your Thanksgiving was full of many great memories!  It was nice to take a break and relax for a few days.  I did absolutely NO shopping and just took time to enjoy the holiday.

Today I'm excited to share part three of our toy organization in our playroom.  This part involves our puzzles.  I finally got tired of all the beat up, falling apart puzzle boxes, so I decided to use this drawer system to store the kids' puzzles.  I cut the front picture from the box and included it in the drawer so they would still have a guide when putting the puzzles together. 

This system has worked out really well for us.  It sits right next to our desk and mini art center in the playroom.  The drawers also come all the way out, so they can carry the whole drawer to a hard surface and put the puzzle together.

And the bright colored drawers go well with the rest of our bright, cheerful playroom.

I also spent some time cleaning out our toys last week to get ready for the new ones that will come with Christmas and my son's birthday which happens to also be on December 25 :)  So now I need to get my Christmas shopping STARTED (I have not bought one gift yet - yikes!)

What about you ~ are you ready for Christmas?  Have you started shopping or are you behind like me ;)

Enjoy your day!

To read more about parts one and two, click the links below for the full posts.

November 22, 2012



hope your holiday is filled with warm moments and cherished memories

November 21, 2012

Houzz Thanksgiving Tables & Our Christmas Tree

Can you believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving?  I'm really looking forward to it!  I hit the gym hard this week, so I'm ready to gobble up every single dish and dessert!  My head is filled with thoughts of turkey, dressing, gravy, corn casserole, rolls, pecan pie, football, and lots of visiting and relaxing.

Houzz put together a great collection of Thanksgiving tablescapes if your still looking for last minute ideas...and they were kind enough to include mine :) 

Thank you Becky Harris and Houzz for including my table ~ I'm so thankful for the feature.

On another note, we actually pulled out our Christmas decorations on Monday - wow!  This is a first for me.  I usually like to wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving to start anything related to Christmas decorating, but my husband was off and the kids were in school, so we took advantage of the free time and got everything out.  Here is a sneak peek at our tree.

I'm looking forward to getting our house ready for Christmas, but first I plan to soak up lots of Thanksgiving for the next couple of days.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve


November 20, 2012

toy organiation ~ part two

About a month ago I shared our toy storage wall system in our playroom.  Today I wanted to show another corner in this space that is set up as a small art center.  We have a desk that holds coloring books, paper, and a few "upstairs safe" colors.  I keep almost all the kids' art supplies in our downstairs kids' art closet, but I'm OK with them having chalk, crayons and the wonder markers up here. (If you're unfamiliar with the wonder brand markers and paints, they are clear unless used on their specific paper or books.)  They love the Ikea easel which is a chalkboard on one side and paper on the other.  The bucket lazy susan helps keep the writing tools organized and the yellow polka dot container holds a couple of smocks that the little artist can wear while they create ;)  The green lap tray from the Land of Nod comes in handy to sit on the floor and color on too.  My daughter loves to color and create, so having a space in our playroom with art supplies available is a hit with her!
So that wraps up part two of our playroom toy organization. 
Have a great day!!
And if you're interested in more on our toy wall storage system and kids' art closet, check out the links below to read the full post:


November 19, 2012

last minute thanksgiving inspiration

Happy Thanksgiving Week!  We had a great weekend wrapping up our kids' Fall sports seasons, and celebrating birthdays.  And soon we will be heading out of town to enjoy Thanksgiving with our families. 

If you're looking for some last minute Thanksgiving ideas, here are a few of mine I shared that might help make your hosting a bit less stressful:

{need simple table setting ideas...check out this thankful tablescape}
{looking for a yummy, easy breakfast recipe for your guests... try this buttermilk blueberry breakfast cake}
{want some quick & easy decor ideas...create a banner or use other natural elements to decorate}

Enjoy Your Day

November 15, 2012

kitchen hardware progress

We had hoped to finish installing all the kitchen hardware this past weekend, but we had other activities going on that prevented Grant from even being able to get started on them until late Sunday evening. He is about 2/3 of the way finished. Here is a glimpse of how they look.

I knew exactly what I wanted for the knobs - a very simple round knob. But I went back and forth on the pulls and finally decided to go with a classic cup pull.
Hopefully this evening he will be done.  It's amazing how much better the cabinets look with pretty hardware.

Have a great day!

November 14, 2012

bag, boots, bracelet

I would be OK if any or all of these would end up in my closet ;)  Love Anthropolgie's coin purses.  I got one with my initial on it last year and still love it.  And they make great gifts if you're looking for Christmas gift ideas.  I also recently bought a pair of wedged booties that I'm loving.  They go great with my jeans, and with the wedged heel, they are super comfortable. 
Do you have any recent favorite fashion finds that you're happy with?

November 13, 2012

buttermilk blueberry breakfast cake

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest
7/8 cup + 1T. sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the over to 350. 
Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk.
Fold in the blueberries.
Grease a 9 inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray.
Spread the batter into pan.
Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Check with toothpick for doneness. 
Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Good morning friends!  Hope your Tuesday is starting off well. 
Wanted to share this yummy recipe with you all.  I made this breakfast cake last weekend and it was so scrumptious!  I love buttermilk recipes!  We ate it for breakfast and then had it again for snack later in the afternoon ;)
Hope you enjoy!
{recipe from Shorely Chic Interiors}

November 12, 2012

grateful mantel

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope your weekend was great!  We were in town this weekend, so I spent some time making a few minor changes to my mantel to get ready for Thanksgiving.  This is one of my favorite places to decorate for holidays and special occasions, so it is forever changing :)  I choose to use this banner as a simple reminder to my family that we have so much to be grateful for this holiday season.
Enjoy your day!

November 9, 2012

happy friday & thank you

Hi everyone!  I didn't get a chance to get my "Friday Favorites" post finished, but I just wanted to pop in to say "hi," and that I hope you have a great weekend! 
 And I was super excited to get an email from Carrie at Apartment Therapy yesterday letting me know that my toy wall storage system will be featured on their site today.  I adore their site!  It is packed with so much daily inspiration.  Such a honor.  Thank you guys so much!
Below is a screen shot of the post, but if you're interested in seeing the post live, you can check it out here.

Hope Your Weekend Is Filled With
Happiness !!!

November 8, 2012

kitchen runner

I popped into Target yesterday while I was waiting to go to my daughter's school and stumbled upon this runner.  I love Target's Threshold brand for home decor.  I was thinking that I wanted a natural fiber runner for this spot, but I'm really loving this yellow and gray striped one.  I love yellow accents in a kitchen, especially a white kitchen.  So, yellow and gray combo + stripes = this one jumping into my basket!  And it's machine washable!!  Because the rug is between my sink and stove, and in a spot that gets lots of drips, being able to wash it will be great!  I'm thinking it's a keeper and I may even go and buy a second one to put in the closet after this one wears out.

 I love new little accents like this runner. Do you get excited about little things like this?

We also got our cabinet hardware delivered this week and we hope to get those installed this weekend so I can share with you next week. And I've been hunting around for lighting above the island, and I've found several I like, but may need some help from you guys before I pull the trigger on that purchase. Hope you'll come back and check out our kitchen progress next week!

Have a great day!

November 7, 2012

fall salad

Fall Salad

Candied Pecans:
2tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup raw pecans
 (I skipped making the candied pecans & used store bought candied pecans instead)

Maple-Balsamic Dressing:
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Greens, Pear & Cheese:
1 head endive, separated leaves
2 hearts frisee, hand torn
1 large radicchio, torn leaves
(for my greens I used green tango, red oak, sweet frisee & lollo rossa lettuces)
1 red pear
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan

To make the candied pecans, set a nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add the butter and sugar and once it has melted toss in the pecans and continue to toss to coat and cook evenly, about 1 minute.  Transfer to a sheet tray line with waxed paper (use 2 forks to separate pecans) while you prepare the salad.

Make the dressing by combining the chopped shallot, Dijon and balsamic vinegar in a large mixing bowl.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk to emulsify.  Add the maple syrup and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Assemble salad by tossing greens and pear slices in a large mixing bowl with maple-balsamic dressing.  Top with shaved Parmesan and candied pecans.

This is a really delightful salad & dressing recipe from a friend of mine.  I made it last night and we really enjoyed it, so I thought I would share it with you.  I love the variety of flavors and textural differences that make it so appealing.  And it's color contrast of ingredients is beautiful for eyes as well.  Hope you enjoy!

{original recipe from the food network}

November 5, 2012

thankful tablescape


Today I wanted to share my thanksgiving tablescape with you.  I left the reclaimed wood plank in the center as my runner, just as I did with my Fall table.  Then I added the burlap ribbon over the board, and then added another layer with the lighter jute ribbon.  With my Fall table, I added a wider burlap runner under the plank, but I like this better because it doesn't feel so crowded.

The center basket from Hobby Lobby is holding the pine cones that Lyla pick up on one of our walks.  I added a little greenery from our landscape to the basket and also used some for my name cards.

Preston is almost 7 and Lyla is 4.5, so I made the "i am thankful" for page for them to think about and right down what they are thankful for.  And it will keep them sitting still a little longer while we finish our dinner.  {On a side note:  Preston was pouting about a gift he was given last week because he was expecting something else, and Grant and I have been talking with both kids a lot about being appreciative and thankful for all that they have.  So, hopefully this will help reinforce our point with them}

And I'm a big fan of white plates, and I love them even more over the dark rustic table my husband built.  Lastly, I added the glass candle holders that I picked up at Target to finish it off!  Now I can't wait to sit down and enjoy!!

And I'm so honored that this tablescape was featured on Houzz


Hope your day is wonderful!

You might also like:

gold & leopard thanksgiving tablescape