January, 2012

feathering a nest

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a home truly is a nest that you feather.  bringing things in, one by one, in attempts to make a house a home.  i tried to do some feathering this past weekend in the form of a family outing…both kiddos, rbb and i set sail on a beautiful sunday to a place that i had read about called my favorite place.  i had passed it many a time and just knew it looked like a place i would love.  random junk scattered about the sidewalk by the entrance, sort of a run down looking joint…tons of deals to be scored inside, i was sure.  so we traipse down there, get everybody situated with rinne in the bjorn and rush in his stroller and weave our persons through the narrowest of aisles to find….nothing but junk.  and i mean JUNK.  normally i can find at least a couple of things to take home, but there was nothing that i even wanted to touch in the place.  well, except for this one miniature rocking chair.  it was so precious, teeny, toddler-sized and could have been re-upholstered with a chic fabric and sold on serena and lily’s website, that’s how cute it was.  at all of $28, i was ready to make it mine and started daydreaming about what fabric i would put on it (big pattern?  tiny pattern?  girl colors for rinne…hmm, maybe pink and grey…).  that is, until rbb was all in my ear about the upholstery cost, do we really need it, would anyone even sit in it?  talk about a buzzkill.  i told him in no uncertain terms that i would totally buy it if he weren’t there.  a lady working at the store overheard me and yelled, “GO HOME!”  ha ha.

that will be the last installment of family home shopping for a while.

anyway, what was i talking about…ah yes, feathering a nest.  the perfect adage for a new home, which is why i adore this moving announcement designed for my friend anne.  she and her adorable family just moved, and we announced such news with a color palette of greens and cream as well as a sweet nest motif.

envelopes were lined in snow and graham’s hydrangea print…totally perfect for a southern moving announcement sent in the summer (i told you guys i was behind in my blogging, right.).

simple and chic, just the way i like things.  and exactly how that rocking chair would have looked in this one corner of rinne’s room…


pumpkin pie smoothie

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after being ordered by rinne’s doctor to eat “less salads and more milkshakes” (i swear!) in order to make fattier milk and also fatten up that baby in the process, i am getting some good mileage out of our blender.  ever since i tried it in the fall, this pumpkin pie smoothie has been one of my go-to faves for breakfast.  you can easily make it low-fat with skim milk and non-fat yogurt, which is what i would normally do.  and don’t worry about any exact measurements…i just eyeball everything and it always tastes great.  i mean, it’s hard to mess up a smoothie.

pumpkin pie smoothie:
1 banana
1 cup greek yogurt (use whole, 2% or non-fat depending on how thick you want it)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
pinches of: ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. turbinado sugar {optional – i just like mine a little sweet}
ice (i usually add one and a half handfuls)

then you just whir it up!  and it is deee-licious.  rush agrees.

mmmm.  off to finish mine now!

habitat shopping

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watch out y’all…i am getting a fair amount of rest now (6+ hours a night which seems like an eternity compared to Q411) and holiday card season is o-v-e-r so i am en fuego with house improvements.  and by improvements, i don’t mean of the nail and hammer variety…i mean the pretty kind.  decorating! bring it.

i had a few errands to run downtown last week, and thought i would poke my nose in the habitat restore.  do y’all know about these?  they are awesome, and i am positive there is one near you.  it’s where the habitat for humanity folks sell the surplus donated items they receive, also to benefit the charity.  talk about a win-win — you get a great deal and you’re helping a good cause!  love that.  plus they have weekly “specials” – like last week, they offered an extra 20% off all furniture and an extra 30% off all lighting.  um…don’t have to tell me twice.

so, the one here in atlanta is MONEY.  namely because there is a circa lighting showroom not too far away…and guess where they drop off discontinued / a tad bit worn but still amazing lamps and lighting fixtures?!  you guessed it.  and it’s your lucky day, pal.  they just unloaded a bunch a couple of weeks ago so i would make my way downtown if i were you!  here’s what you can get…

i salivated over these bad-a art deco lamps for a long, long time.  thinking about them on either end of a buffet…or on bedside tables…or flanking something, anything!  but alas – just did not have the right place for them.

this lucite beauty had me at hello, but then i noticed it had a bit of discolored glue from a repair about 3/4ths down its base…drat.

now this one i did walk away with.  i really don’t have a place for it, but i am making room in my office since she was such a beaut (and a steal).  she is made of quartz and there is more about her here.  and get a load of that price tag!!!!  what’s funny is that i told rbb that she cost around $200 (…conveniently shaving off a good $50 to $75 never hurt anyone…), but she is high quality and will look great in any room for years to come.  he responded with – who in the WORLD pays that much for a lamp?!  (so hard to not laugh…i think he believes lamps cost just a little bit more than lightbulbs.)  i am going to send him this link and tell him that there are people – somewhere – that are paying $1,365 for that same lamp.  i think his head might explode.

and check out this here pendant!!  if we were further along in our kitchen banquette project, i might have tossed this in my car too.  i love the industrial look of it.

here is another fun price comparison.  this modern library chandelier was so pretty, and would look dynamite in a big foyer.  just the right amount of attitude to it.
retail price is $3,780…price as marked here was $1,199 with 30% off, bringing the price down to $839.  holy smokes!

i also picked up this one (not circa lighting…i think this one was from a company called cyan) to go into my living room.

i think it’s so fun and cheery, and y’all know how i feel about a punch of color!  of course the peanut gallery consisting of rbb thinks it looks like a mood lamp slash bong…what am i going to do with him.

they also had sconces galore (indoor and outdoor…all circa), so many other chandys and a bunch of floor lamps too.  get yourself down to check them out!

and you’ll find more than just lighting there…they have everything from appliances:

to great antique furniture (tell me how fab this would look painted?!):
p.s. doesn’t that ship on top totally remind you of kim and creepy ken from real housewives of beverly hills?  that scene from when they were moving in together placing the ship above the fireplace completely crooked was hilarious.
best part; here’s the price tag on that cabinet (and don’t forget furniture was 20% off marked price):
oodles of shutters (i think these were all $11.95 and they had the bigger plank ones too):

i almost took this guy home as well, to recover and paint.  but he was kind of a low rider…and i really need a pair, anyway.  oh well.

he even had nailheads on his back!  be still my heart.

i mean, that’s some pretty good stuff, am i right?  the habitat restore – it’s thrifting, but with heart.  a feel good flea market, if you will.  i should let them know my slogan services are available in exchange for some lamps.



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look who’s getting their act together in the way of stocking their etsy shop

it’s amazing what you can accomplish on a saturday night without wine. 
more to come!

p.s. y’all know that if you want to place an order for any of the above, you can also do it the old-fashioned way by emailing me.  no middle man needed!

chevron for a baby shower

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if you are a red-blooded american female, chances are you know and love chevron…it’s so in right now and everywhere you look, which i LOVE.  to me, it’s a timeless pattern and i never tire of gazing at it.  i recently designed a somewhat hip baby shower invite with a grey chevron pattern and turquoise giraffe motif.  it really could have been gender neutral, even though this mama is having a little boy.  lord help her!

turquoise and grey really suit each other.

the baby shower bookplates continue to be a best seller!  these featured a smaller giraffe to match the invite.

i can’t wait to hear the news of this little man!!

speaking of little men, if anyone was in the UPS store on howell mill yesterday observing a two and a half year old boy laying on the ground throwing a tantrum because mean mommy wouldn’t let him push all of the buttons on every xerox and fax machine in the place…that may or may not have been me and my little guy.  and p.s., it’s damn hard to carry slash lug a 35 pound toddler to the car when you have another bambino in a bjorn…if you were thinking about doing that sometime soon.

hope y’all have wonderful weekends!!

fabric tidbits

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do y’all love fabric as much as i do?  a couple of occurrences to report on about that today.  first, i am happy to announce that i was the lucky recipient of some amount of yards of a fabulous trina turk outdoor fabric that will be made into cushions on my kitchen banquette.  well, it will one day, when we get around to painting the kitchen, building the banquette and a bevy of other facelift items in there.  i operate under the “buy something you like when you don’t need it and save it for when you do” policy.  this drives rbb crazy. at any rate, trina is hanging out in the linen closet waiting for her day in the sun.

how cheery, right?!  i can’t wait to eat a bowl of cereal resting my tush on a cushion made of this fabric.  and if someone miniature spills something on said cushion…no worries.  outdoor fabric, remember?

i think it can run over $100 a yard, which is a mite steep i’d say.  i didn’t pay near that much.  where did i procure you ask?  y’all need to know about the designer’s attic, a blog run by a cute interior decorator in south carolina.  she runs across ultra high end remnants and discontinued fabrics…swoops them up…then offers them to you at a discounted price on a daily basis!  but my advice, be quick…very quick.  they sell out fast!  she always seems to have lots of alan campbell / quadrille, which is my fave.  i’m waiting to pounce on just the right one.

back to the banquette.  here’s where i’m getting inspiration for that under utilized space in my kitchen.

and lastly, i am on the hunt for a new desk chair.  or really a chair at all, since the one i’m currently using is part of our dining room set.  i don’t know what kind of chair i’ll get, but i would love one that i could reupholster with some fun fabric.  i saw this chart and isn’t it just the most helpful?  
this chart, some bargain quadrille from the designer’s attic and a ratty office chair that i can make new would make me one very happy gal.  at least until i get my banquette for that cereal…

come and get it

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around these parts, dinner doesn’t make itself.  i don’t know about you, but there is always at least one day a week (if not…four) that i look at the clock which says 5:00 p.m. and think, “well shoot. what in the world am i going to make for dinner!?” my saving grace as of late has been a new business that just blossomed a hop, skip and a jump away from where i live, and it’s called – come and get it.

from my understanding, come and get it is run by two friends here in atlanta who are pretty talented in the kitchen.  they make large quantities of lasagnas, soups, veggie sides, breads, desserts, etc. and keep them stocked in a freezer in brookwood hills, which is open from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. every day.  the convenience cannot be beat – you drive down a little path, see the open garage, check out what’s in the freezer, write down what you took and leave a check.  i mean, how cute is that.  i love an honor system.  here’s what the freezer looks like…

now people, this is not your average frozen dinner.  these are things like ina garten’s turkey sausage lasagna…confetti quinoa…spinach chicken burger patties.  everything is made with fresh ingredients and it is DELISH!  we have tried the chicken and mushroom crepes, turkey lasagna, chicken & wild rice casserole and vegetarian taco pie.  YUM!  it was all scrumptious and at $15 a pop – i couldn’t even buy the ingredients for the dishes, not to mention spend the time to cook said items.  the soups and veggies are even less than that at $9 and $12, respectively.  
here’s a picture of the (well done…i love crispy cheese) chicken and mushroom crepes.  mmm.
i try to keep at least one of their concoctions in my freezer at all times…i mean, all you need is to defrost that sucker, toss it in the oven, throw together a salad and voila – dinner is served!  
to get on their listserve, email them.  they will send you all of the particulars (exact location, etc.), as well as a current menu of the dishes they offer, since some are seasonal.  and they aim to please – they do deliveries to the brookhaven / dunwoody area once a week (to your door!!!!), and will also open the freezer earlier than 3:00 p.m. if you need for them to.  i mean, let’s hear it for a flexible, customer-centric small business with a great product that makes life easier!     
come and get it indeed.  i sure am!

and p.s. after you’ve picked up your meals to go, take a spin through the neighborhood…brookwood hills is my favorite in the whole city.  when rbb and i play the “where would you live if we won the lottery?” game, my answer is so predictable…and you’ll see why!

at long last

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it’s been a long road to having our dining room wallpapered.  well, with wallpaper that i like.  here is how we inherited it…

it drove me crazy since the day we moved in.  i’m just not a red person.  i do love red as in….lipstick, ballet flats, georgia game day attire, m&ms….just not in my house.  too brooding and masculine for me.  and the toile, don’t get me started.  although rush did have fun asking me “who’s dat??” and pointing to surely every little chinese man drawn on that wallpaper over the course of any given lunch.  we had it taken down back in june and the room has had plain white walls, primed and ready for their new pattern.

you may recall i found the wallpaper on sale by happenstance many moons ago…but then stalled on getting it up because i could not a) find someone to hang the wallpaper for any reasonable sum of dollars and b) find someone that didn’t want me to buy like 12 rolls of not cheap wallpaper when i only had ordered 8 on my calculations.  and then i had a baby and holiday card season happened and wallpaper was the furthest thing from my mind.

enter my fabulous client britt, who came to pick up her birth announcements and saw our nekkid white walls in the dining room.  i explained to her that we had the paper, just no one to hang it…and she forwarded me the name of the most wonderful lady.  i called her, she came over, looked at the room, told me i had the perfect amount of rolls, sent me a reasonable quote (less than half of those other folks – !) and had someone come out yesterday to hang my wallpaper, who was so nice and professional and did such a fabulous job i sort of wanted to kiss him when he left (bless his heart, if you had seen him…this was not happening.  well, and i’m married you know.).  beginning to end, this all transpired over a week’s time.  don’t you just LOVE instant gratification projects like that?  well, instant as in…8 months coming.

here’s the blank slate we started with yesterday morning, after mr. wallpaper man had begun his prep work.  and you can see the succulent i recently killed with no leaves on the table…i thought those things were hard core?!  gah.

and just a few hours later…OMG i’m in love.
just a few more finishing touches and the room will be done!  i’ll do a full post on the room when it’s all finished.  but i am loving being in there or just catching a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye. yay!!!

’round the corner we go

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did i really not ever show y’all our moving announcement?  um, i pressed “send” on those to my letterpress printer back in april so i’m a little tardy to the party here (see new year’s resolution to be better blogger).  our move and announcing it kind of makes me laugh because we moved like a mile away from where we were living…but crossed over into a different school district and neighborhood (goodbye collier hills, hello springlake!).  i guess my family beat that when we moved next door to our house in sandy springs growing up…but anyhow.

i wanted to use a color palette i had never done on these and i love the muted but stylish combination of chocolate brown and yellow.  the last time i thought about those two colors together was probably during a game of MASH in 5th grade, and that would have been the ‘bad choice’ of wedding colors.

text was letterpressed on super thick paper (natch – i have paper thickness issues).

envelopes were lined in a sweet smock pattern with ferns.

watch out people – i had to ENGRAVE the return address on the back flap.  engrave!  i have never done such a thing, but it is the only way you can print on a dark, dark cardstock like chocolate brown.  i actually really like the texture and look of it, even though letterpress is still my fave.

and i know i should probably blur out my address. i dare someone to come and steal my high dollar inventory of envelopes.

details, people…it’s all about the details.

and after nearly ten months of living here, we are finally hanging new wallpaper in the dining room this week!  hooray!!  some of the quotes i got from wallpaper hanging professionals were so ridiculous that i actually did, for a fleeting moment, think…how hard can it be?  should i attempt?  so glad i finally found someone reasonable to jerk me out of that madness.

will report back, of course.


welcome, new friends

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there is nothing i love more than a sale that’s on sale.  and darnit, i get SO many emails in my inbox in january telling me about these sales on sale and i just can’t resist all of them.  i fell prey to loeffler randall’s email last week offering an extra 20% off sale items.  i’m still mourning the loss of my one pair of LRs, as exhibited here…and still haven’t found a cobbler to help me!  anyway, i have needed some new black flats for a while.  the pair i wear i have had forevah and a girl needs an update every now and again.  so look what arrived on my doorstep yesterday…

um…maybe the prettiest shoebox i have ever seen.  but with my receipt tucked into a letterpressed envelope?!  be still my heart.

love shoes that come with their own shoe bag.

and of course i just adore the shoes.  and need to clean my floors.

life is so exciting with new kicks on, no?  i am still trying to find a way to smuggle these into my closet…i mean, HOW fab.