Friday, December 30, 2011

We are all mad here...

I have been MAD about Alice in Wonderland from the time I was a little girl.  In my youth, I re-watched my VHS cassette of Alice so many times I am surprised I didn't wear a hole in the tape.  My love of Alice in Wonderland has carried over into my adult life, which has left me in a weird position.  I want to surround myself with things I love, I love Alice in Wonderland, but I just don't think it I could never bring myself to have a curio cabinet of Alice in Wonderland Disney figurines and teapots.  BUT!...I stumbled across this amazing print on Etsy that is perfect mix of my childhood dreams and adulthood decor. 

I ordered the print exactly as shown above, but you can get it in an array of colors.  I want to get a few more prints from this shop but am waiting to get the one above to see what the quality is like, which I am assuming will be awesome.

Below are some other prints I am loving right now.

Right now this shop is running a special - $27.55 for any 5 prints.  Imagine 5 of these cute prints hung together on a wall.  There are so many amazing pieces and variety too.  You could use different frames of all the same color, or go for a wide variety of shapes/colors.  I think it is just important to find great frames, you could use mats on some of them (or all), and don't substitute plastic for glass.  Happy hunting!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wreath Craft

My sister strikes again!  This is the amazing wreath she made me for Christmas.  Made with re purposed fabric, shells, crystals, pearls, pins, 1 antique key, and lots of love.  Laura warned me that if the wreath ever becomes a part of a murder investigation she will get hauled in on DNA evidence alone.  I guess the handmade rosettes took a few chunks out of her along the way, and she ended up with some wounds, but it turned out so amazing.  As I have mentioned in the past, as a mother to 2 little ones she doesn't have a ton of time to be crafty.  I feel the love when she does stuff like this for me. 

I really love the whimsy of this wreath.  It has a very cottage and shabby look about it.  I have not figured out where to put this yet, but it will likely become a fixture in the Master bedroom.

Thank you again Laura, for the wreath, and all the other ways you are amazing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pop of color

 Green shelves $149

Regal Red Headboard $282

 Turquoise table $99.95

I need more color in my decor.  I need to learn how to stray away from my usual color palette and find something that pops like the pieces above.  There is something about a room decorated with a collage of colors, fabrics, textures, styles, and all of them working together.  The most special pieces in a room, are often the most colorful. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One Nightstand

I am really starting to toss around the idea of a full revamp of the master bedroom.  The first place I want to start is the nightstands.  I need more surface area than I have now.  The current nightstand is a very cute cottage/shabby green table but I am feeling myself being drawn more to the modern look and more of a dresser/table.  I need more surface area than I currently have, and also want it to have some height. 

I love the look of a large bedside table full of romantic details.  I want to be able to surround myself with candles, flowers, beautiful books, a gorgeous accent lamp, and still have room to spare. 

Photo Credits - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Monday, December 26, 2011

After Christmas Shop-o-rama!

Don't forget!  Today is the day to hit the stores looking for deep discounts on holiday items.  Go pick up wrapping paper, decor, ornaments, etc and set them aside for next year.  Also, retailers are going to be trying to get rid of anything that is holiday related. Gift sets, gift items, candles, pajamas, anything that is a holiday item will be marked down today.  


Bed Bath & Beyond

Too Faced

Bath & Body Works



Old Navy

Z Gallerie

And SO many more....

Grab your gift cards, your check from grandma, and get your coat!  Get out there and get it while the getting is good!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! Let's Eat!

 I love to try new recipes, especially around the holidays.  There is nothing like a new dish to break up the usual holiday fare.  Lucky for me I work with some fantastic ladies who have some great recipes and provided me with some inspiration for my Christmas Eve meal for K's family. 

I can credit Jillian (from the Holiday Dresses a go-go post) for the sweet potato and monkey bread recipes.  This was the first time I made the sweet potatoes and they turned out awesome! Creamy, sweet potatoes smothered in sugary coconut -- borderline dessert fare here.  The kiddos especially loved them. 

The monkey bread I have made in the past, and K keeps asking me to make it again.  After discussing that I needed to create my own holiday traditions at home, Jillian recommended I give these a go.  This is Jillian's recipe again (minus nuts) from the link under the photo.  I have decided these yummy rolls will be a new Christmas morning tradition.  They are the perfect warm, comforting, and delicious breakfast to devour before opening presents!  And super easy to make, too.

My friend Audra brought the cranberry sauce to a recent holiday potluck at work and it was a major hit.  I decided I would make it for Christmas Eve dinner and it was super easy.  There is a BIG difference between canned and homemade cranberries.  The orange adds a sweetness, the cranberries are still tart, with a cinnamon hint.  So good!

And the Oreo truffles...we have a love hate relationship.  Love to make these, everyone always raves about them, and they couldn't be easier or turn out cuter.  The problem!?  I can't stop eating them.  I will eat myself silly on these...and then push it beyond silly into food coma.  But oh so delicious!

Christmas dinner this year will be at home, small, and very simple.   It is going to be just the two of us. K and I will have honey baked ham, mashed potatoes & gravy, candied sweet potatoes, broccoli, rolls, and apple blossoms for dessert.  And for breakfast - Monkey Bread, hot cocoa, fresh fruit, and Oreo truffles (if there are any left) :)  In between the eating we will exchange gifts, open stockings, and relax in our Christmas jammies.

I hope that this Christmas brings you many blessings, laughs, hugs, tears of joy, and a few spoilings from loved ones.  Don't forget to slow down and enjoy every moment.  Remember to laugh with  your family (or at them sometimes) and always tell them you love them.  Celebrate the little things.  Let's enjoy our Christmas holiday and hopefully time away from work!!!

Feliz Navidad!

Friday, December 23, 2011


This week, as I pretend to work and kill time staring at my computer monitor, I can find nothing to occupy myself but daydreaming.  I cannot focus on my job, and have been so checked out these past few weeks. I find myself looking up excursion for my upcoming cruise, looking at places close by to take a weekend trip to, and really anything that can take my mind away from the reality of my desk job. I think I am trying to send myself a message... 'you need a break'. 

 Today I found my thoughts drifting to a spa day full of services and relaxation.  But with the Christmas season fully upon me, not time nor wallet will allow such a thing.  So, I settled for the next best home DIY Spa time.  I got my flannel pj's ready and set aside.  Sliced up a cucumber for my tired eyes, drew up a hot bath, and used a lavender foaming mineral bath (that smelled amazing!).  I lit a candle, turned off the lights, and put on Pandora Radio to the Spa Suite channel.  Using the Orgins charcoal mask, I slathered on a layer over my face, put my hair up, put the cucumber over my eyes, and sunk myself into the hot bath.  Total and complete bliss.  It is amazing what 15 minutes of pure relaxation can do.  I also heated up my bottle of lotion by putting it in the hot water, and once I got out, slathering on warm lotion felt amazing. 

Every time I have these little nights to myself, I think, why don't I do this more often!?  Everyone needs to have some time to drift and just be one with themselves.  I need to restock my DIY spa treats, and am going to be getting more of the mineral bath (shown above) at Whole Foods to have on hand.  Below is my list of wants for nights like these.

(I just ordered this...I couldn't resist)

Pure Fiji is used at Qua spa and the products are amazing.  The moisturizer is so emollient and they all have an amazing scent.  Love this stuff.

Everything in this set is delicious

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's a Wrap.

Monogram Wrapping

'l' for Lucas
Stamped craft paper, fabric ribbon, cardboard die cut letter, & Christmas Seal

For my Lukey Dukey <3
Craft paper, Bright green bows and ribbon, green die cut letters, Christmas seal

'A' for Amelia
Christmas Polka Dot paper, Ribbons, Bows, Die cut letter

'MiMi' as Amelia calls herself
Craft paper, Christmas Tape (it reads: Have yourself a very Merry Christmas), Bow, bright green die cut letters

Easy wrapping ideas from other sites:

I had to buckle down and get some wrapping done tonight.  In preparation, I lit some candles, made some hot tea, and neatly laid out all of my supplies.  When all was said and done, I wrapped for almost 2 hours.  The good part is that I am done with my sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew, aunts, mother, father, and grandmothers.  The bad part, I still have a ways to go.  I still need to wrap K's family, my girlfriends,  co-workers, and K's gifts to finish up. 

 I started tonight's wrapping with a thunder, I was super into it!  On all the gifts, the edges were all perfect, every detail got taped down, ribbons were set, etc.  After about one hour, I really started to lose steam.  This was the part where you are just slapping labels on, using huge pieces of tape, cutting really rough pieces of paper, losing the pen 15 times, and your back is aching from sitting on the floor slumped over gift after gift...I KNOW you know what I am talking about.  Why does it always end up like this!?  I guess the remedy would be to start super early and just wrap one or two presents at a time.  Or to have an entire room dedicated to gift wrapping like Candi Spelling and go at it all year round. 

I ended up putting half of my family's presents in gift bags, which luckily I have a lot on hand, and I don't feel one bit bad about it!  I know that gift bags aren't nearly as fun as tearing into paper to reveal your present, but they can still be really cute and don't hurt your back as much!  I am also going to use the excuse that all of their presents were odd shapes, which also calls for a gift bag ;)

Here are my tips for Christmas wrapping & preparation:

* Find die cut letters at craft stores and places like TJ Maxx & Tuesday Morning to use on packages instead of labels. You can put initials or spell out the name

* Buy craft paper and decorate it to fit any present - you can use stamps, ribbons, stickers, etc.  It is like a blank gift canvas.  I got mine at the dollar store.

* Purchase ornate, glittery, vintage looking stickers to put on packages

* Try to buy all your paper, ribbons, bows, etc in the same color families so that you can mix and match your supplies - wrap gifts in a theme

* Go to after Christmas sales (read: Target) and pick up wrapping and gift bags at 75% off.  Store them for next year - you will be SO glad you did.  This is why I have so many gift bags

* Look for decorative tapes and ribbons at Michael's.  Also, don't be afraid to use fabric ribbon on your gifts.  Just tape it down like regular ribbon - totally cute.

* Buy small ornaments to use as decoration to hang on gifts (hopefully when my back stops hurting and I wrap more gifts I can show you how I do this :)

Good luck with your wrapping this year!!

And here is a visual journey of what NOT to do...