Friday, April 30, 2010


Meet my Mom, Dad, and oldest brother.  Oh to be this chic. This wasn't for a night out - it was dinner at home.  Holy cow they are a good looking couple.  I have a stack of pictures of my parents looking like models for LIFE magazine.  The only thing this picture has to do with the rest of the post is that I find it endearing. Most of all, I find my brother endearing in this photo.  Isn't he the cutest, little clueless one?  I love that he has one hand in his pocket. 

I started to think this morning about what I find endearing.  My mind wandered to a few budding friendships and what I find endearing in those friendships.  It struck me that the very things others may try to avoid doing or may find cringe-worthy are the very things that I hold dear. I never find someone more attractive than when I see him/her as they really are -- goofey, struggling, insecure, posturing, uncertain, or awkward, yet still pushing through those things to connect with me.  When I see people as they truly are, I want to lavish my affection on them.

I once had a pastor friend say, "If you knew me like I knew me, you wouldn't want to look me in the face. But if I knew you like you know you, you wouldn't want me to look you in the face."  I agree with this on a performance level.  However, what if I really knew you like you knew you and I looked you in the face and loved you?  What if you did the same for me?  Powerful, right? Endearing? Certainly.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Say What?!

Peonies are my favorite flowers - hands down winner.  It is so rare that I get them because they are available for a super short season.  My best friend knows that these are my favorite flowers (or she should if she doesn't).  I was playing with her girls in the backyard and what did I see? 

This is just one of two peony bushes in her yard.  Say what?!  She has dozens of them about to bloom and she shared that you can cut a peony before it blooms, put it in the fridge and then put it in water up to two weeks later and it will still bloom.  Again, say what?! 

She has had this gorgeousness in the backyard for THREE YEARS and I have never received one stinkin' peony.  I gots issues with this.  Big issues.  Ok, not really much of an issue but I feel a little like a woman from the depression finding out her friend was stashing sugar for a birthday cake she wouldn't get a piece of someday.  I'm just sayin'.

Well, I have a key and I am not afraid to use it.  I accidentally typed 'lose it' - oops, bad slip. No, use it to swipe some peonies leaving nothing but a bare bush in my wake.  Well, ok, not a bare peoony bush but one about a dozen buds short.  Ahhh....the trials of my life.

The World Might Be Mocking Me

I stopped by Beneath My Heart today and saw her encouragement to check-out Poppies At Play for their tour of homes.  Have I mentioned that I love Traci?  Finding her blog was like a cup of cool water.  I am an expert at stalking the design blogs and people who stalk magazines and design blogs, but I had grown weary of finding beautiful design that I couldn't afford and didn't know how to duplicate on my budget. 

One day I stumbled on Traci's blog.  I think I googled 'refinishing an armoire'.  The angels sang and I saw a woman who was decorating on a budget and was teaching me how to do the same. More than that, I think Traci teaches you how to create a home that invites people to stay awhile.  Her stories about her family and the lessons she has learned from her mother, Wanda, are priceless.  Check her blog out if you haven't yet.

While on Poppies at Play, I saw a picture from her tour of homes and there was a settee that was very similar to the one I lost on Craigslist.  It is on All Things Thirfty (a site I am fairly sure will become a favorite).  I mourned again for a moment but then I got really excited that I had a tutorial of what to do if I ever find the right settee, again.  Check it out when you get a minute...the world may be mocking me but I still think I win with this find!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Dining Chairs/Area

I promised pictures of my dining room area in the previous 'One That Got Away' post. It's a bit of a blah/blank canvas right now.  My plan is to find a settee for the wall side and then I will find artwork for this space. 

The table does have a leaf and I usually use it when I have more than three people over. I love this table. However, my dream table is one that seats 18 people in an Italian olive orchard - a rustic table with bottles of local wine and olive oil with all my loved ones gathered around.  Someday.


I am not sure about the chairs on the other side. I bought two at a consignment store that I can't stand. It was like $50.00 for both of them (tops) but the fringe bugs me.  I had to have something for people to sit on while I find the right pieces so they are fine for now.  Eventually, I will sell them on Craigslist.

The One That Got Away

I need a settee for my dining room table. The end chairs are a modern version of a wing chair and I  want a settee on one side that offers equally comfortable seating. (check back tomorrow for pictures of the table/chairs - didn't plan my posts well).  The poor people on the other side of the table are out of luck.  Get to dinner early or sit on the uncomfortable side.

I found this settee at Pier 1 that is the exact shape I want...but am not super crazy about the colors:
I refuse to pay full price for a piece of furniture that is not exactly what I want. I will pay $30.00 at Goodwill for one I will makeover but new pieces need to scream PERFECT.  I did find one that was pretty darn close for $25.00 on Craigslist that I could slipcover. I passed it over because I had no way to get it home and I was tired of obligating my friends to tote my stuff.  It is now the one that got away.  Every other settee is antique, victorian, or just plain strange. 

I will continue hunting though.....just needed to grieve the one that got away for a moment first.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Single Ladies: Do Not Ever...

Whatever you not let your roommate take funny pictures of you with her camera.  You may find them posted with strange notes in strange places at strange times of the day.  Like this one:

The caption read:  Is it 5:00 yet? I suspect a husband would never do this....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Marinated Flank Steak

I am officially in love with the marinated flank steak recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  It is DIVINE.  Tons of flavor and it cooked up perfectly.  I have made it twice and even though I almost smoked myself out of house and home both times I made it, I give it five stars.  I have a hard time cooking beef - I either way over do it or way under do it. Both times I have made this recipe, it came out perfectly. 

Above is Ree's image of her flank steak.  I borrowed it because it looks a lot better than mine. I could trash talk right now but I won't because I have way too much of a crush on her blog and I don't want her to block me...or mock me...or otherwise dismiss me publicly...little ole' me who has no right to trash talk her highness.  And...trash talkin' and ripping off photos don't really go together.

Go, grab your grass fed beef and give it a go.  I would say just go to Winn Dixie and choose any old cow but the food documentaries have spoiled the grocery store for me and I care about my readers. I do.  I care.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Something a Single Girl Rarely Sees

You Moms out there are totally used to stepping over bath toys to wash your hair. This is something single girls do not deal with on a daily basis.  My nephew recently came to visit and Noah came with his family and he was even able to tote the ark along.  I whipped open my shower curtain and what did I see but this:

I burst out laughing and grabbed my camera. They were either mooning me or offering me a little privacy - I am not entirely sure.  Thoughts ?!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How I Met My House

AnNicole over at Suburban Cottage is having a link party and it is such a fun one that I just have to join in.  It is a How I Met My House party.  I love this story because I am the most accidental home owner in the world. Please do not use me as a case study in how to purchase a home.  The picture above is before I bought it.  Reminds me of a baby picture because of all the new landscaping.  It's so full and big now - like a child rather than the baby in this picture.

The house itself is a 60 year-old brick ranch in a transitional neighborhood.  We have a little bit of everything in our 'hood.  I love the 'hood although there are some shady characters who come and Two Boots. He is a gentleman who used to walk our streets at night drunk in his boxers and cowboy boots. He would stare you down - standing there in all his booted glory in the middle of the street.  I wasn't scared because I could have nicked him with my car if he got fiesty. Thankfully, he would hiccup and stumble away.  I'm suspecting he's in prison now. Good ole' Two Boots.

Oh yes, this is How I Met My House.  I was not looking for a house. I was a tumbleweed in an apartment complex.  I had already spent $100,000 in rent over the years and was poised to do it all over again until my friend Patti called me.  She said, "Girl, you need to get over here. A lady on my street is selling her house and it looks like you." I said, "I am not looking for a house. That would require money and responsibility - two things I am short on.  Thanks anyway."  She continued, "I really think you are supposed to have this house - please come see it - as a favor to me."

Patti is one of those girls who has a red phone to the Lord and I was curious to see if He had placed a call to her for me.  Off I went to take a tour of what would be my new home.  It really did look like me. It was everything I dreamed of in my first home - older, brick, ranch, hard wood floors, built-in bookshelves and a fireplace (that I never use because gas prices make it outrageously expensive to run).  I called Patti and said, "You were right - that is my house."

That was five years ago and I have never once regretted the decision to buy my home.  Not even when the air died in the middle of an August heat wave and I had to wait a week for the part to fix it.  Not when I realized that I was responsible for changing the air filter and light bulbs.  Not even when the oven over or under cooks every single thing I put in it because it is about as old as the house. Not once.  I love it. It feels like home. It is peaceful, comfortable, and I see it as a gift from the Lord to me.  There is no natural reason why I should have this home but I do - and I thank Him for it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Piwwwow

I made a pillow...a fancy pillow with fringe and a zipper. It turned out to be hugely expensive when you add in the lessons and the supplies that I bought at top dollar because I was way short on time and just chose the first fabric store in sight.  However, this super expensive pillow will set the stage for many future pillows....hopefully cheap, custom pillows...

Once again, please excuse the poor lighting..but TADA! I had to try it out on various pieces of furniture...

Up next?  A skirt.  Oh no.

I want, I want

I am absolutely floored
by this slipcovered chair from Pier One.  It is very rare that I REALLY want something but I REALLY want this. It is perfect for my room. I need to add in a little more color/flair.  I was so excited becasue I thought it was $69.95. Um, that's just for the slipcover. The chair is another $160.00.  I am not sure I would pay that much for a side chair and of course it appears when my redecorating budget has long been spent. Sigh.  This is what we call a character-building moment.

White, white, white

I settled.  I went for white.  Plain, boring white.  I had the paint and a trip to the store was not in the cards last night.  Here is the transformation of the door.

This is the door 'before'.  It was a dingy white - didn't match the trim. This was the case with three or four doors in the house.  Why is that?  Did they paint it at different times? Does white paint yellow over time?  I don't know but it was BUGGING me. 

I decided to follow my inspiration picture and try the layered color look.   At first I taped.

But that was taking way too I ripped all the tape off and just went for it.  I was surprised how well I did.  However, it caused me to use too many coats of paint - and so the color was much darker than the walls..making it look dirty.  Here is the finished door.

See what I mean - it looks like a bad, fake tan?  However, please note my super straight paint job.  Wow..I may have a marketable skill? 

I promised a friend I would leave it this way for three days to be sure it was wrong.  I did and hated every single day of it.  I considered going with a teal or a taupe instead of the wall color but settled on plain, boring white.....although it does look so clean and now matches the tape!

Much is a poor lighting job but you get the drift.

Tonight, I go to my sewing lessons where I finish my's a sneak peek...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

DIW - Did it Wrong!

Centsational Girl inspired me and I stepped out on a painting limb.  Her spaces are gorgeous and I loved the closet door in this office picture.

It really finishes the room and takes the whole office up one notch.  I decided to try the same effect on my front door but made one critical mistake.  I painted the door the same color as my walls - Pristine - a blush color.  In order to get the lines straight, I had to use several coats and the result reminds me of a bad self-tanning job - a little orangey pinky - just off. 

I wanted to review my inspiration photo again and it was then that I realized she used a different color on the doors. That is why it pops.  Now I have a dilemma.  Do I just paint the door white and move on with my life or do I try the painting effect again with a different color from the walls? (I'm thinking a light teal/aqua)

I won't tell you what I am going to do but I will post the pictures in the next two days.  Here's to taking a design risk!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Much Needed Rest

I took a few days off...of everything.  I went to visit my parents and ate, slept, and shopped. No crafts. No home renovations. No cleaning. No errands.  Just rest and time spent with loved ones.

I am smack dab in the middle of some projects right now.  This blog will be chocked full of goodness soon - but for right now, I am at the midway point and nothing is very impressive.

One thing I did notice though was how much I loved my redecorated home when I came back after being away for a few days. I think I needed some distance to love it as a whole rather than focusing all my energies on the unfinished bits. 

Here's to finishing some projects!