2/28/2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!


Do you ever wish that someone would make an official declaration that the weekend be four days instead of two? I wish that all the time, especially when I have a really busy weekend and no downtime. This past weekend was one of those weekends. Work has been really busy for me lately, so that means that my weekends have to be very organized and prioritized! My "weekend to-do lists" help me stay on track. I make the list on Friday and pray that everything is checked off by Sunday night. I can honestly say that I was able to check off everything with the exception of one thing. Here was my "weekend to-do list":




1. Assemble this bookcase together that I purchased from Target.

I purchased two of these bookcases for my loft. Click here if this is your first time hearing about the loft.  The bookcases were a steal at $69.99 each (unfortunately the price went up this weekend to $72.99) and they fit perfect into my plan for the space. For the record, I HATE putting furniture together. It intimidates me. But after an hour and a half and several conversations with God about WHY I didn't have help, I can proudly say that I got it together and I love it! The second one will have to be on next week's to-do list. An update on the loft is also on next week's to-do list, so stay tuned.


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2. Pilates

No, that is not me, but my goal is to get there! I'm addicted to Pilates and it's on my to-do list every weekend. It's a total stress reliever for me. It does wonders for body alignment and posture. I sit at a desk all day, so slumping can become second nature. It also tones the body, so hopefully I will be good and ready for my sundresses!




3. Babysit a set of 3-year twins and a 6-year old.

I babysat these three adorable children on Saturday night. The last time I kept them, the twins were already asleep when I got arrived, so it was just me and the 6-year old. This time, everyone was awake and alive when I got there! My time with the kids actually turned out to be the best part of my weekend. They were complete dolls. After I gave the girls a manicure, we all sat together in front of the TV and they introduced me to Phineas and Ferb. Their explanations of the characters were hilarious! After the cartoon was over, THEY told me it was time for bed. How amazing is that? I will MOST CERTAINLY be taking some notes from their parents when I have kids! 


After they went to bed, I spent some time with their gorgeous 20+lb cat, Bailey. He is the same breed (Ragdoll) as my cat Maxwell and is just as sweet, too.

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4. Laundry

After four loads of laundry- whites, darks, floor mats, and delicates-  all I have to say about laundry is that I wish they made machines that would wash and dry all of that at the same time. And having a laundry room like this one would make doing laundry a heck of a lot more enjoyable. I love the chandy...




5. Cook Dinner for the Week

Not liking to cook after work often makes makes it easy to succumb to fast food. But I work and feel better when I eat healthy,  so I try to make a good healthy meal on Sunday's for the following week. Yesterday, I made Paula Deen's Turkey Sausage, White Bean, and Swiss Chard soup, which was perfect because it only had a few ingredients... 


Publix didn't have any swiss chard, so I used collard greens- a Southern staple. I saved some time by buying them pre-washed and pre-shredded. I also added some Rotel tomatoes and the soup turned out really good!



6. Take a Nap

The one thing I didn't get to do this weekend was nap. I have been taking naps each Sunday for the past two weeks. Taking them just makes for a much better Monday. But in order to get this post done and discover some new blogs, I had to forgo my Sunday nap. But it was well worth it because I discovered a great blog,  Pink Postcard. Denise recently did a great post on blogging and how she felt as a new blogger. The lack of time can make blogging very difficult and the lack of followers can make it discouraging. She felt the same way I often feel and it's nice to know that I am not alone. Her thoughts were very inspiring and her advice was extremely helpful- well worth a missed nap.

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7. The Oscars...

I finished this post and a few hours of work just in time to for the Red Carpet! Who was your pick for best-dressed? My pick was Mila Kunis in this lovely Elie Saab creation. I loved the color and the fact that it wasn't nude or red like every other dress on the carpet. I think I could dedicate an entire post to my worst-dressed picks, though...

I apologize for the novel, but like I said, I had a busy weekend! Even though it was busy, I got a lot done and I am grateful for it. I am sure that there are others out there that did 100 times more than I did.

I hope you had a great weekend!
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2/25/2011

Friday Favorite: Jennifer Aniston's Lovely Locks

One of my favorite actresses has a new haircut! I love it! It's fresh, sexy and fun! What do you think?


I hope you have a great weekend!

Image here
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2/24/2011

On Happiness...

Each day, I strive to surround myself with people, places and things that make me happy. If I am having a rough day, I try to think of one thing to be grateful for. That always makes me happy. My point is that there is always something to be happy about- even if the thought of it seems impossible or unthinkable. Here are some spaces that make me happy along with some quotes of interesting people on the subject of happiness. Enjoy...

"People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made."- Joan Rivers (gotta love Joan)


"We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same." - Anne Frank


"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family." - Thomas Jefferson
 

"Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more." - Robert Heinlein


And something else that I am REALLY happy about... Tomorrow is Friday. :)
Images 1 & 3: Canadian House & Home
Image 2: Lonny
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2/22/2011

I'm In Love...


Love is certainly in the air- for Anthropologie that is. I'm loving their new collection of wedding gowns. The BHLDN collection debuted on the ever so appropriate day- February 14th. The dresses are absolutely beautiful, whimsical and stylish, which is exactly what I want the atmosphere of my wedding to be like. The older I get, the simpler I want my wedding to be. As a young girl, I would flip through the 400 page bridal magazines dreaming of a wedding with no less than 200 guests, at least 10 bridesmaids and me walking down the isle in a big poofy dress. Now, I want my wedding to be an elegant and stylish affair with just me, Mr. Right and my close friends and family. The poofy dress is no longer desired or necessary. Maybe not even a veil. Therefore, I could see myself wearing just about any of these.




I would even consider wearing a short dress- well maybe to the rehearsal dinner or to the reception...




This one is especially unique and gorgeous. Very old Hollywood...


The prices of the gowns range from $600 - $4,000. Love that, too.

What do you think?
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2/21/2011

Fresh Start


It's Monday and the word "fresh" comes to mind. It's the start of a new week and its fresh. The old stuff is in the past. My mom always says that "fresh" is my favorite word. She's right. I'm always saying that everything has to be "fresh." I'm a sucker for fresh food, fresh air, fresh linens, and fresh decor. I'm loving this bedroom by Atlanta designer Jackye Lanham. It's exactly what I mean by "fresh."

I hope your week is off to a "fresh" start. If you need a little inspiration, click here to see last Friday's post.
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2/18/2011

Friday Favorite: Aha! Moments


A few weeks ago, I was browsing one of my favorite blogs, Makeunder My Life. In her blog, Jess gives great advice on how to design your best life. She's also a great jewelry designer. Anyway, she posted this collage of advice and I had several "Aha! moments" as I read it. All of this represents so much of what I have done, what I am doing now, and want to do in the future- all in the name of living my best life and being the best possible person I can be. Click here to see the list of things I am working on this year.

We only get one shot at this thing called life, so we don't we owe it to ourselves to make the best out of it? With that, I wish you a happy weekend! 

Image here
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2/17/2011

New Sofas by Serena & Lily

Have you seen the new sofa collections by Serena & Lily? I wish I knew them personally so that I could call them and tell them how beautiful the sofas are. They are chic, casual, and comfortable all in one. They are also pricey ($2,450 - $2,750), but they are classic.

The sofa of the Miramar Collection is just fluffy and lovely. It would be great for people who have laid-back taste with a pinch of style. I could certainly see myself curled up on this in my pj's with a cup of tea, a design magazine, and the remote. Couldn't you?
 

The available fabrics for this sofa are solid colors, so one could have quite a party with the accessories. Hello Etsy...

{via}
I'm not really into furniture "sets", but I would heavily consider buying the chair to match. Patterned fabrics in addition to solids are available for the chair. I'm loving this fabric... 

The sofa of the Spruce Street Collection is a bit more tailored and modern. But Serena & Lily promise that it is comfortable, too. I adore the nailheads.

It might look like similar to this if it were all dolled-up...

{via}

Just loving Serena & Lily...
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2/16/2011

Mid-Week Treat: Chocolate Souffle




It has been a while since I have posted a sweet treat. Things have been busy, so I haven't had a lot of time to bake. In case you didn't already know, I love chocolate. I'm addicted to it. Therefore, we interact at least once a day. Last weekend, I had a little date with chocolate. I made a chocolate souffle- one of my favorite desserts. Click here for the recipe.

In the event that you have not had it before, let me tell you what it's like. Simply put, it's like a big, fluffy cloud of chocolate. It has a spongy texture that is moist and delectable. My favorite part of the souffle is the top and the bottom. The bottom is a layer of sugar that caramelizes in the oven, so its has a bit of crunch. The top of the souffle also has a slight crunch and I love anything that's crunchy.

Souffles are very simple to make, but they are very delicate. Therefore, they must be prepared in a very specific way. Here are my tips for the perfect souffle:

  • Don't attempt to make souffles when its humid in your house or outside. They have a tendency to fall in the oven if its too humid. They should get nice and puffy like this...
    
  • Be generous with the butter when preparing the ramekins, especially if you want to take them out of the ramekins after they bake. I personally like to serve them in the ramekins- better presentation.

  • Souffles involve very few ingredients. So use REALLY good REAL ingredients. No shortcuts. The chocolate should contain at least 60% cacao. I use the Ghirardelli chocolate bars. I also use organic eggs. They just taste better.

  • All of the ingredients must be room temperature. No exceptions. The souffle won't bake evenly if the ingredients are cold. If you forget to take the eggs out of the refrigerator, put them in a bowl and place them in a microwave for 10 seconds. They won't cook- I promise.

  •  Use a little TLC when folding the egg whites into the chocolate. Click here for a video on how to do this. This is a flourless recipe, so the egg whites are what make the souffle rise. Air is slowly being incorporated into the mixture as they are folded. Stirring the egg whites will deflate the egg whites and the souffle will not rise.

  • They must be served immediately after taking them out of the oven. They will eventually fall, so you want to serve them when they are warm and at their best.

  • Powdered sugar and a side of vanilla ice cream are an absolute must! Enjoy!
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2/14/2011

Friday Favorite: My Family (I Know It's Monday)


Happy Valentine's Day friends! I hope your day is going well so far. 

If you follow my blog, then you might have realized that I did not post a "Friday Favorite" last Friday. Work and life were hectic last week which left me little time to focus on the blog. But it so happens that it worked out because my Friday Favorite was going to be my family. It just seems more fitting to introduce them to you on Valentine's Day since they are the loves of my life.


Starting with my mother (gosh I hope I can write this without getting that dreadful knot in my throat). She is honestly my best friend. I can talk to her about anything and I can trust that she will listen and honor every single word that I say. She is THE single most giving person that I know and she has always put the needs of others before her own. She is  the person who will help out at birthday parties, weddings, and even funerals for people that she barely knows- all in the name of giving to someone else who is in need. She is also very loyal and loving. She has been married to my dad almost 35 years...

and they still love each other very much. I'm one lucky girl.


People say that I look like my mom, but they also say that I act more like my dad- which is true. My mom is very outgoing and is certainly a people person. My dad and I are more reserved and quiet. Dad is the most devoted, hard-working, supportive, loving and kind man that I know. Perhaps that is why I'm still not married- I have yet to meet any man like him. He is also exceptionally smart. He loves the news, history and politics. By the way, that picture is of us in the White House press room. We took a tour of the West Wing together last year. Great times...


He just retired from NASA after working there for over 30 years. Right before he retired, he had the opportunity to meet President Obama. I know that Obama does not make everyone smile. But that is one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen on my dad. It's rare that people get to meet any President and he was just elated that day.


My brother has a mixture of both of our parents personalities. He is extremely loving and giving. He's the guy that will literally give you the shirt off of his back if you need it or if yours is not sufficient. He also gives the best hugs EVER. But like my dad and I, he also has the tendency to be quiet and reserved at times. He is an extremely talented graphic designer. He started an airbrush business in our garage in his early teens and now works as a graphic designer and runs his airbrush business on the side. He is also really good at fencing, which I find to be quite fascinating.

 


And last but not least, my "child" Maxwell. You should know that it has taken me FOREVER to write this due to the fact that he has been in my lap nudging my hand and wanting attention the entire time. But I love him, so it doesn't matter. Max was originally supposed to be my mom's cat. I planned to purchase a cat for her shortly after her cat passed away. But she called me the day before my appointment with the breeder to tell me that she was not ready for another cat. But I kept the appointment anyway, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made. He is very human-like, loving, loyal and just a great pet.

Those are the loves of my life and the people who I am thinking about on this special day. I am so blessed and I thank God for them everyday.

And yes, I do have a knot in my throat. :)

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2/10/2011

Simple + Sophisticated

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
Leonardo de Vinci

Image: House Beautiful
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2/09/2011

Pink + Pretty


So it's Wednesday and I'm still thinking about Valentine's Day and love. In Monday's post, I talked about turning to Etsy to see the creative side of love. Of course I had to turn to the blogs and design mags to see what they had to say about the Day and how it inspires them. As I was searching, I found the color pink to be quite consistent. I'm not a girly-girl type of person, but I think touches of pink can be sexy, romantic, dramatic and elegant. Here is what I found...  

I absolutely adore this Valentine's Day inspired tablescape done by Maria of Dreamy Whites. She does wonders with white and this table is proof. It's creative, it's clean, it's crisp, and it whispers love. The hints of blush flowers create even more of a soft and romantic feel.

 




Kirsten of 6th Street Design School (LOVE her blog) did a post earlier this week on pink pillows. It was so hard to pick a favorite, but...

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 
I think #7 and #14 are my top picks.

Speaking of pink pillows, the latest issue of House Beautiful features a beautiful home in Mountain Brook, Alabama (my home state). The pink pillows and accessories add the perfect amount of drama to the otherwise neutral but elegant palette.


I searched House Beautiful online to find some more pink-studded rooms. I grew out of the whole "pink room" thing when I was about 10, but this grown-up pink retreat designed by Smith Hanes makes me want to revert back to those days. It's soft, relaxing, and not overwhelmingly pink.


Pink paired with complimentary colors like white, brown and gold can create a very romantic setting like this one. I am even liking the light pink ceiling here.


Pink and red can be nice together, too.

So I think pink can be quite pretty.
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2/07/2011

Finding Love on Etsy

Well, Valentine's Day is coming up. It's a day that people (or women rather) either take very seriously or a day that people think of as nothing but a cliché. But let's be honest, whether you celebrate the day or not, you at least think about the concept of love. Maybe you think about the people, the places, and the things that you love- or at least I do. Things that I love were on my mind over the weekend. One thing I love is Etsy, so I turned to it to find some simple, yet creative expressions of love.

 I love these prints. They would be perfect together...
The Love Shop

ReStyle



I love these "Love" throw pillows, too. This one by Dear Lillie is a favorite of mines. There is nothing like someone telling you they love you in foreign language... 

 This one is really wonderful.

Jolie Marche

And I love a good card. To me, cards that are simple, personable and to the point are worth a thousand words.

Red Letter Paper Co.

I especially love a good laugh...

Story Shop

And for all the "Single Ladies..."

Creativity Cards

I hope you have a lovely Monday!
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