Friday, April 23, 2010


I realized this evening that I need to fast from blogspot.

No new posts, no comments, no reading other blogs.

{I'm giving you a heads' up so that you don't think I've completely abandoned ship}

I need to realign my priorities and spend some serious time focusing on what is truly important in life.

Please keep me in your prayers during my time away.

See you in 14 days...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Loads of Fun

Laundry night. We are currently living in an apartment and have a laundry closet in the hallway just outside our Guest room/Office. Perhaps I would find this chore more enjoyable if I had one of these gorgeous laundry rooms:

Do you have a pretty laundry room like one of those?
Or do you just daydream about them like I do?

In honor of Earth Day, here is a link to an etsy shop that sells recycled cards:

How cute are these??

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Won!

The word "Giveaway" is one of my favorites seen in the blogging world...

I like it even more when it's followed by something like this:


Thanks, ohhellofriend, for hosting the Giveaway!
And thank you, Friedasophie for for the fantastic prize! There are so many beautiful pieces to choose from.

Here are some of my favorites from her etsy shop {If you can't tell, I've been on a gold kick lately}:

Which one do you think I should choose??

P.S. I just found a cute printable card for free over here ~ enjoy! :)

P.P.S. Fabulous giveaway of some gorgeous stationary here, from!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cheap Treats: Mini Herb Garden

I love using fresh herbs when I'm cooking. However, I do not love how much fresh herbs cost and I really do not love that they only seem to come in large quantities, resulting in throwing away half of what I purchase.

So, I have decided to start my own little herb garden.

There are lots of bloggers out there with gardens of their own who have helped inspire me to begin this project.

Lindsay, of "From the Aisle to Aloha" has a great herb garden growing on her patio

John and Sherry, of "Young House Love" have a large herb garden growing right outside their window.

Beth, at "The Stories of A to Z" has a great container herb garden.

RubyEllen, of "Cakies", has a truly impressive garden in her back yard.

"OhDeeDoh" featured an incredible Container Garden housed in a Shoe Organizer.

Since the husband and I are currently living in an apartment and since I want my herbs ready now, here is what I will be using for my herb garden:

1) Small plants from Home Depot {instead of seeds}





2) 6" Kardemumma Planters from IKEA

3) 41 oz PS Vallo Watering Can from IKEA

Since I tend to neglect my plants, I'm hoping that having a cute little watering can like this will motivate me to consistently care for my little herb garden.

And, just for fun: a picture and caption from the website,

Flipping the pages hurriedly, he sensed that the potted plants were advancing.
(Photo: Dean Kaufman; Dwell, Dec/Jan 2007)

Flipping the pages hurriedly, he sensed that the potted plants were advancing.
(Photo: Dean Kaufman; Dwell, Dec/Jan 2007)

Do you have a garden? If so, do you have any tips on how I can keep mine alive? :p

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cheap Treats: 4/15

When it comes decorating, the problem most people have isn't that they need to buy more items: it's that they have too many items. The solution here is simple:

I:    Pick one room in your home and remove every single item {furniture, accessories, etc.}

II:   Paint the walls a fresh new color {as I mentioned in another post, you can find paint as low as $3 ~ just ask the people at Home Depot or Lowes where they keep the mis-tints. You can even buy a solution that allows you to paint OVER wallpaper...though this is not recommended for amateurs DIYers}.

III: While the paint is drying, go through the items you removed and separate them into 3 piles:
      A) MOVE: Items that somehow wound up in that room but should be kept elsewhere {ie. shoes found in the Dining Room should be relocated to the entry or closet}
            * If there are items in the room that make it seem smaller and do not need to be there {ie. an extra chair, side table, etc.} relocate them to another room. Otherwise, they go in category "C"
      B) KEEP: Main furniture or other items that need to stay in the room {ie. Dining room table and chairs obviously stay in the Dining Room, but a desk does not need to be there if you have space for it in another room}
      C) TOSS: Throw away stained or damaged items; Give away items that you no longer use/need

VI: Return only the main furniture to the room {ie. If you're dealing with the Dining Room, return ONLY the items you absolutely need - no accessories}

V: Here's the fun part: "Shop" through your home to find items that could be moved to the new and improved space. A lamp that has been in the Guest Room for years might look better on your Dining Room Buffet. Or maybe a painting that has always hung in the Living Room would look great with the new wall color in your Dining Room.

Joi, from Nuestra Vida Dulce, does a fantastic job taking items from other rooms in her home and repurposing them.

VI: Be Patient: Sometimes, you can't find items in your home to relocate to the new space, which means you'll have to purchase them. However, don't just run out and buy the first thing you see. Scour places like Home Goods, Walmart, thrift stores, and yard sales for unique and inexpensive pieces. It will make you feel so much better when you see it in your new space, knowing how little you paid for it!

This is basically what the husband and I did before our recent move to West Chester. We removed everything from our old home, discarded what was stained or damaged, and gave away what we no longer used {that was definitely the hardest part for me ~ I am such a pack-rat!}.

When we moved into our new apartment, we put just the main furniture in each room {we opted out of painting since we're not sure how long we will be here because we are saving our $$$ to buy a house!}. Then, I went through ALL of our accessories and thought about how different items would work in different rooms. This was a challenge because I was used to having certain items in particular rooms and it was difficult to envision them elsewhere. However, it really paid off because I came up with some pretty neat alternatives {pics to come}!

Now, each of our rooms are tailored to our specific needs, are not cluttered, and are places where we can feel comfortable and refreshed.

I dare you to try this!

What are some other tips on clearing the clutter and reinventing your home on a dime?

On a completely unrelated note: Happy 23rd Birthday to my little sister, Rachel!! I love you and hope your birthday is as fabulous as you are! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


I am a restless sleeper. I toss and turn almost every night, regardless of how tired I am. I don't snore or grind my teeth, but my constant fidgeting {and covers-stealing} tends to keep my husband from getting sleep as well. I saw an article on Yahoo! "Healthy Living" the other day and thought it was too good to keep to myself. Although the tips are common sense, they are good reminders of what to do to have a good night's sleep. get good sleep

  • by Gretchen Rubin

  • There’s a lot of advice out there about getting good sleep; here are tips that work for me:

Good habits for good sleep:

1. Exercise most days, even if it’s just to take a walk.
2. No caffeine after 7:00 p.m.
3. An hour before bedtime, avoid doing any kind of work that takes alert thinking. Addressing envelopes—okay. Analyzing an article—nope.
4. Adjust your bedroom temperature to be slightly chilly.
5. Keep your bedroom dark. Studies show that even the tiny light from a digital alarm clock can disrupt a sleep cycle. We have about six devices in our room that glow bright green; it’s like sleeping in a mad scientist’s lab. The Big Man's new pet, a Roomba (yes, he loves his robot vacuum), gives out so much light that I have to cover it with a pillow before bed.
6. Keep the bedroom as tidy as possible. It’s not restful to fight through chaos into bed.
If sleep won’t come:
1. Breathe deeply and slowly until you can’t stand it anymore.
2. If your mind is racing (you’re planning a trip, a move, Christmas shopping; you’re worried about a medical diagnosis), write down what’s on your mind. This technique really works for me.
3. Slather yourself with body lotion. It feels good and also, if you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re hot, it cools you down.
4. If your feet are cold, put on socks.
5. Stretch your whole body.
6. Have a warm drink. Some people claim that warm milk contains melatonin and trytophan and so helps induce sleep, but in fact, a glass of milk doesn’t contain enough to have any effect. But it’s still a soothing drink. My nighttime favorite: 1/3 mug of milk, add boiling water, one packet of Equal, and a dash of vanilla. A real nursery treat.
7. Yawn.
8. Stretch your toes up and down several times.
9. Tell yourself, “I have to get up now.” Imagine that you just hit the snooze alarm and in a minute, you’re going to be marching through the morning routine. Often this is an exhausting enough prospect to make me fall asleep.
Re-frame your sleeplessness as a welcome opportunity to snatch some extra time out of your day. I get up and tackle mundane chores, like paying bills, organizing books, or tidying up. Then I start the day with a wonderful feeling of having accomplished something even before 6:45 am.

One thing that has helped me fall asleep more quickly is to turn off the computer at least an hour before bed and to turn off the TV at least half an hour before bed. Studies show that the bright lights and motion from each of these electronics stimulates your brain so much that it can prevent you from falling asleep.

Another thing I do is pick out my outfit before I go to bed. Sometimes, I stay up for hours, wondering "Is my black jacket clean? Did I remember to iron my pants?" By planning my outfit ahead of time, I prevent any unnecessary wardrobe franticness. Sometimes, I even plan my outfits for an entire week! I'll write them down in a notebook on Sunday {including which top, bottoms, and shoes to wear} and refer to the list throughout the week. It not only helps me sleep easy, but it makes getting ready in the morning a cinch!

I also try to give myself at least 45 minutes to get ready for bed. This includes running the dishwasher, washing my face, picking out my clothes, doing my devotions, and reading at least a few paragraphs of fiction {currently: Lord of the Rings}. This routine helps me to both physically and and mentally prepare myself for bed.

What do you do to help yourself fall asleep at night?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Clutter Chaos

This is what our guest room closet looks like...

...except it's twice as cluttered and half as pretty.

I've been meaning to clean the clutter and organize this mess of a space for weeks. Unfortunately, not only have I neglected it, but I haven't done any upkeep...which means the clutter has actually become much, much worse.

Any suggestions on how to break down the project so as to prevent me from losing my mind???

Some clean closet/dressing room inspiration for us all:





Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Details, Details

When it comes to decorating, it is important to focus on the details. Even a room filled with expensive furniture can fall flat if it isn't given the right accessories. The details of a room are what give it personality. For example, a pair of vibrant green drapes can spice up a beige living room, while a punchy aquamarine lamp can add life to a monochromatic bedroom.

Some of my favorite accessories are those with unique stories behind them or ones that have been thrifted or used unexpectedly {such as a group of old horseshoes strung together to make a wreath}. Here are some of my favorite details found throughout blogland:

I love the yellow painted vanity and the little pops of turquoise. It is evident that each piece was chosen for both visual dynamics and sentimental value. Such a great addition to a neutral bedroom.

Rather than hanging your children's artwork up on the fridge where it can be damaged, purchase some inexpensive frames from stores like Michael's or Ikea. Then, display the artwork in a hallway where there is lots of foot traffic. It not only spruces up the wall but it also makes your child feel incredibly special to have their personal artwork framed for everyone to see.

This grey retro phone is so chic ~ any idea where I can buy one?

These inexpensive candle holders were painted white to add both drama and uniformity. I think they look incredibly romantic grouped together like this.

Combining vintage and modern elements adds interest and prevents monotony. The white, painted mirror is gorgeous, especially when paired with the modern lamp and candleholders.

This Pottery Barn replica is an excellent way to take an expensive item and turn it into something unique and thrifty. All that was used was a sharpie marker and a sentimental quote. I also love the little Eiffel Tower!

What are some of your favorite ways to add interest to a space?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pop Culture: Alexis Bledel

I've decided to add another feature, entitled "Pop Culture". It may include pictures, quotes, blog-worthy gossip about celebrities ~ basically, whatever I feel like writing about ;)

Today's feature: Alexis Bledel

This 28 year old has so much potential. As a painfully shy 8 year old, her parents encouraged her to try community theater. Her courage grew, and she spent the majority of her high school years working as a model.

Since then, Alexis has blossomed as a model, eventually became and actress, and even tried her hand at producing.

She has the prettiest eyes ever!

Doesn't she make the cutest "Rosie the Riveter"?!

I love that Alexis hasn't tried to conform herself to Hollywood's typical idea of an early twenty woman. She remains classy, sophisticated, and beautiful ~ three qualities we should all aspire to have.

Although she is known for somewhat fluffy roles {i.e. her goody-two-shoes character, Rory, in "Gilmore Girls"}, I think she has the ability to become a well-respected actress.

Fun Fact: Her first language is Spanish; she learned English just by attending school with other English-speaking children in Houston, TX.
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