Friday, May 30, 2014


Happy Friday!

I'm taking a week off from Friday Favs because I'm off to the beach for some bachelorette party fun with some friends this weekend.

I don't want to be that girl.

But I'll probably make you jealous with some beach shots on follow along!

Have a fab weekend!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Refuse to Sink

Hey there!  I shared this post over at Sweet Haute a few days ago, and wanted to share it with you guys in case any of you missed it...

A few weeks ago, when an item that my husband ordered was delivered to our porch on a wooden pallet, I just knew that I wanted to use the wood to create some sort of sign to help freshen up our decor for summer.

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As summer approaches, I find myself looking for ways to incorporate seasonal elements into my decor.  When I think summer, I think of natural, nautical elements.  I find myself wanting to incorporate jute, stripes, driftwood, and other elements of the sea into our home.  For me, the beaten-up pallet wood and anchor just feel like summer.  And I think we all need a reminder to refuse to sink every now and I right?

After taking the pallet apart (which was more easily said than done), I cut and stained three of the boards with Minwax Antique Walnut stain, and then attached them to each other by nailing two pieces of extra pallet wood across the back of the sign.  

Then, I used Picmonkey to design and print the anchor and words in 8x10 format. Initially, I wanted to use the entire phrase 'No Matter How Rough the Sea, I Refuse to Sink', but all of those words made the sign feel cluttered, so I scaled it down a bit.

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To transfer the anchor and the words onto my sign, I used a simple chalk transfer technique (details in this post) to create an outline of each item onto the wood.  

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I'm no artist, so this transfer technique is a total lifesaver!  I used a small paintbrush to color in the images with my one of my favorite products, Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding.  It's a must-own item for a gold-lover like me!

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I love how it turned out!  This fun little sign is a perfect finish to the little toilet alcove in our master bathroom!

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The final result almost makes all of the work that went into getting the wood worth it.  Almost.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!
....or Mimosa Monday, as we call it in my family.

I'll be spending the morning with a mimosa in hand while enjoying brunch, watching the parade, and feeling grateful for those who gave their lives for our country.  

Remember how I mentioned having created something fab from the three measly boards I was able to remove during my pallet-dismantling-debacle?

Well, I'm sharing that project in a guest post over at Sweet Haute today.....pop on over to check it out!!

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Favs 43

Happy Friday!! Ready for a long weekend?!!  I sure am.

Of course I'm excited for some much needed drinks, sun, and R&R....but there are also some great Memorial Day sales that demand some attention.

Fav #1
ZGallerie has 20% off art and accessories, and 10-15% off furniture through Monday.  I'm loving these agate coasters!

Fav #2
Lulu and Georgia is offering 25% off with the code MemorialDay25 through Monday.  I'm kind of dying to buy a sheepskin rug, and this affordable acryllic option could be a great way to test one out without the financial investment of a real one.

Fav #3
Papyrus has up to 50% off and free shipping on all orders through Monday!  I love these ikat notecards.

Fav #4
RugsUSA is up to 80% off with free shipping through Monday.  This is about as good as it gets, people! I've adored the Satara Peacock Plum rug for quite some time, and the 5x8 is now less than $100!
Now if they could just have some 8 foot square rugs for 80%'s an impossible mission, I tell you.

Any fab Memorial Day sales that I'm missing out on?!

Have a great weekend!!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Notorious F.I.G.

Who would have thought that a house plant could be trendy? 
 Certainly not I...

But there's no doubt that fiddle leaf figs are totally trending.  They're EVERYWHERE.

No wonder.  They're really cool-looking with their lush, sculptural leaves.  I wanted one so bad!

But for a small-town girl like me, finding this trendy ficus proved to be a challenge.  Mature plants go for several hundred dollars, which is wayyy out of my price range.  I heard rumors that big box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot carry immature plants at reasonable prices, but I checked several stores to no avail.

Ikea carries them for just $12.99, but they don't ship them and I live nowhere near this Swedish promised land.

I googled 'where to buy a fiddle leaf fig' about a million times before I thought to search for its scientific name. 


Apparently, these fab trees go by the name Ficus lyrata and Ficus pandurata and  Home Depot sells them online for less than $17 here.  I was so excited, I ordered one on Saturday, it arrived on Wednesday and here it is!!

Obviously it needs to be re-potted into something cool, and it has a ways to grow before it gets as tall as my inspiration plants, but I'm pretty excited about it!

I've named it the Notorious F.I. G.

Let's hope for a better outcome.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

I'm calling BS...

We've all seen the multitude of cool project that people create with a few hours and found lumber from discarded wood pallets.  They look great and seem to be cheap and easy.

Pallet inspiration is endless. Here are some of the ideas that I've pinned.

Cheap. Easy. Awesome looking. Of course I wanted to make one.

Mr. M. said it was a bad idea.  He said that pallet wood is crap and that I'd never be able to dismantle one without breaking it.  But when a pallet magically appeared along with a delivery of something Mr. M. ordered, I claimed that baby as mine with the quickness. 

Because I knew better, of course.  After all, I had watched a Youtube video tutorial.
I was practically an expert.

Wrong. So wrong.

Getting that stupid pallet apart became the bane of my existence.  Blood, sweat and tears, I tell you. Eventually I did get three boards loose, and I DID use them (and the project does look awesome)......but the hours it took to get a few-bucks-worth of wood was SOOO not worth it to me.

So, unless there some pallet-dismantling-secret out there that I'm missing, I'm calling BS on the whole pallet wood craze.....
Just. Not. Worth. It.

Have you successfully (and easily) used pallet wood?  Am I missing something?!

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Favs 42

Before I forget, one of my projects is being featured by the fabulous Kayla over at Homecoming today!  Pop on over to check out which one, and while you are there, scope out the rest of Kayla's blog. That girl has some serious talent.
  Wow, this week was busy! 
 I know that I was a little absent from posting this week.  Sorry about that, but the end of the school year is packed full of things that keep me from my regular blogging schedule.
Don't worry, in just a few short weeks I'll be all yours while I make blogging my full-time summer job. Well.....that and getting a killer tan.
Though it was incredibly busy, this week was great!  Here are some of the highlights...
Fav #1
I found these great metal containers that H&M has on sale for just $4.95!  They come in 5 colors and would be great for storage or décor...
Fav #2
...and speaking of H&M, right now they have these cute tea towels on sale for just 3 bucks!  They come in gray and orange, and remind me of the towel I used to wrap up my wood-burned spoons...except these are a lot cheaper!
Fav #3
My rhododendron bushes have started to bloom! I didn't plant these and I'm not the biggest fan of them the rest of the year, but the week or two that they are in bloom is enough to keep me from even considering getting rid of them.  So. Many. Flowers.
Fav #4
The fact that both of these items were found on my Goodwill travels this week.  I eyed up that lamp at Target for months, but never wanted to put out the cash for it.  I won't even tell you what I snagged it'll hate me ;)

Fav #5
But the biggest excitement of the week came from finding out that Jimmy Buffett is coming to town this summer and getting tickets to go with a bunch of our friends.  I'm so excited!
Maybe I should have a margarita know, for practice.
Have a great weekend!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring Planting

Hey there!  This past weekend, I decided that it's finally warm enough to make my annual trek to the nursery to buy plants and flowers for my pots and flower beds.  I love planting flowers and watching them grow, but when it comes to figuring out what to put in the ground and where to put it....I'm clueless.  I usually end up wandering around the nursery searching for inspiration and striking up conversations with strangers to ask about what they are planting and get ideas for what I might want to buy.  

Luckily for me, I do have a few old stand-by plants that come through for me time and time again, even if I don't really know what I'm doing with regard to placement.

One of my favorites for my flower beds are SunPatiens because they flower until I pull them out in the fall, and seem to do well in my very sunny front flower garden....

....and I also have had a lot of luck with Dahlias.  They also bloom all summer, and all I do is water them and pull off the withered flowers every few days, which keeps new blooms emerging until frost.  I love the various tones of the Tequila Sunrise variety!

This year, I'm trying  out Live Wire grass, which looks cool and is supposed to stay under one foot tall.  I'm hoping it will add some interest and help to fill the empty spaces that I always seem to have in my flower beds.

I will admit that I do find planting container gardens to be much easier than figuring out what to put in flower beds.  I use the thriller/spiller/filler formula to plant pots that have height, color and interest. 

So here's what I used for my pots this year.  Not that it's anything particularly groundbreaking, but if you're clueless about what to plant like I might help you out!  All of the plants that I used in my pots this year are proven success stories for me--I used and liked all of them last year.

In my first pot, I used a spike (the tall grass),  white Wave petunias, and a black sweet potato vine.  I loved my black sweet potato vine last year!  It will spill over the edge of the pot and get pale purple flowers in addition to the dark purple leaves.  I buy Wave petunias mostly because that's what my mom swears by.  They flower all summer long and seem to stand up to the heat of the summer quite well. 

In my second pot, I used another Wave petunia (fushia this time), lime red coleus, and my favorite potted plant of all--Creeping Jenny.  It spills over the pot with delicate chartreuse leaves.

Next, I planted a pot with a red geranium, regular sweet potato vine and Kong coleus.  The Kong variety is my very favorite type of coleus.  I love the hot pink center of the leaves, and it seems to grow taller and fuller of other varieties.  

 Finally, it was out to the front porch.  I just popped some ferns into my tall silver planters for next to the front door and called it a day.

 I'd like to add one more potted plant out here, but I ran out of plants, so it's back to the nursery this week to wander aimlessly and ask strangers for advice :)

All of my plants are just babies right now, but I'll keep you posted on their progress as they grow and fill in!

What do you plant? 
 Will you come by and be my landscape designer?

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Favs 41

Hey hey!  Fridays Favs is back!

Many of you are probably familiar with my fav TV shows, since I mention them all the time. But have I ever mentioned how much I love their sets?!  I've been attuned to cool movie and TV sets ever since I laid eyes on Monica and Rachel's cool apartment on Friends.  But I kind of think I must have been unconsciously paying attention to set design and decor even before that.....I always sort of loved the Brady Bunch house when I would watch re-runs as a kid.  Not the 70's wallpaper or boatload of wood paneling, mind you...but the open staircase, stone walls, and Mike Brady's sweet sunken office.  I loved that place.

So here's a look at set envy 2.0.....

Fav #1
Derek and Meredith's Dream House on Grey's Anatomy.  The punchy pillows, those huge windows (and the amazing views they superimpose on the green screen behind them), the warm woods.  Swoon.  Love it all!!  I just wish they would show more of Casa de McDreamy...

And speaking of Grey's...what's up with all of 80's cover songs dominating the last several episodes?  I can't decide if I love them or hate them.  I think I like them...but I find myself missing out on what's going on because I'm distracted by the music.  Any thoughts?

Fav #2
Olivia Pope's Scandal apartment.  I love the muted tones with pops of soft blue, the arches and coffered ceilings...but most of all I love her front door!  That molding distracts me every time they show it :)

Fav #3
The Humphrey Loft on Gossip Girl.  Actually all of the sets on GG were pretty amazing, but the Humphrey Loft was by far my favorite.  I love the white-washed brick, the bookcase full of records and the boho vibe.  It made me wish my dad was a rock star so that I could live somewhere this cool...

What are your fav TV sets?!  Don't even get me started on my favorite movie houses....I'll have to save that for a whole separate post. 

Do other people even pay attention to these things?  Or am I just a weirdo?

Have a fab weekend!!

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What We Ate {Coconut Cream Cupcakes}

I'm pretty sure that I was supposed to have been born somewhere tropical.  I love sun, sand, fresh fish and seafood, the concept of 'island time'.....and coconut. 

I LOVE coconut.
So it's no surprise that I love these cupcakes....I think you will too!

1 box white cake mix
3 egg whites, beaten
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 bag (8 oz.) shredded coconut
15 oz. can cream of coconut
1 2/3 cup milk
1 container Cool Whip
1 box Cream of Coconut Jello Pudding Mix

Mix cake mix with egg whites, oil, 1 1/3 cup milk, and 4 oz. coconut.  Pour mixture into cupcake pan lined with 12 cupcake wrappers.  Bake approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and poke holes in each cupcake using a fork.  Stir cream of coconut well, and then spoon over top of each hot cucake.  Place cupcake pans in the refrigerator to allow cupcakes to cool and cream of coconut to soak into each cupcake.  

Combine Cool Whip with pudding mix using a mixer, adding 1 tablespoon of milk at a time, using as much as needed to reach allow pudding mix to blend and reach desired consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes, and sprinkle with remaining 4 oz. of shredded coconut. 

I'll admit that these cupcakes are kind of messy, but OMG they are so delicious!

Hope you love them!

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