Saturday, December 29, 2012

Let it snow...

It may have arrived a few days after Christmas but it's finally here... pretty, pretty snow.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fun stuff to come in 2013...

Two of my favorite Christmas gifts mean lots of DIYing and cooking in 2013.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

history in the holidays: decorating with family treasures...

For me, the most important part of the holidays is family. Admittedly, I am super sentimental. I save everything that I deem "meaningful." Cards, furniture, pillows, ticket subs, clothes... if it has a memory attached, I save it. So when it comes to the holidays, if I can decorate with things that have family meaning, I am all in.

One of my favorite memories of Christmas is my Grandma's Christmas Village. When we were little, every year we would drive to visit her in Cleveland and get in late at night. Even at that late hour, my sister and I would race to get into the house and start playing with the village. It was pretty elaborate. It had multiple levels, ice rinks, skiers, all kinds of shops and houses, fake snow... the works. So it was with great honor that I inherited the village -- well, parts of it. No one knows what happened to the houses but I got all the people.

Santa no longer has reindeer and the horse is missing a leg, but it makes me so happy to see this Village in our front room. It reminds me of that magical feeling you would get as a child during Christmas.

I added some new houses and trees, a blanket of snow, and I even gave the Village their own version of the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree. 

This year, my mom and dad found some old ornaments from my other grandma, and I jumped at the chance to decorate with them. 
The ornaments have a great patina to them that make the pearl and silver ornaments look like mercury glass. My mother-in-law gave me three faux mercury glass decorations this year for Christmas so I filled a vase with some of the ornaments to create a "vintage" vignette. 

Our tree is full of ornaments from our families and childhoods mixed with some new ones we've acquired since we've been together. 

I know that decorating with a theme is popular around the blogosphere but there is something about decorations that evoke fond memories that puts me in the holiday spirit. 

What are your holiday decorating traditions? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

the most wonderful time of the year...

I look forward to this day every year... the day the Kardashian Kristmas Kard komes out. 

Seriously, it is the most over-the-top, ridiculous display of ridiculousness and everyone is photoshopped within an inch of their life. And I can't get enough of it. 

Happy Holidays! 

Friday, December 14, 2012


I was about to post another cheerful Christmas entry when I heard the news about the Connecticut school shooting. I can even begin to fathom what makes someone do this and what these families will be going through for the rest of their lives. I pray for the lost little ones, the ones who died trying to protect them, for those so lost in their illness or sadness that they see no other option than violence, and for all of us that we can come together to figure out a solution to this growing and senseless epidemic.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas mantel...

my love affair with mantels has been well-documented on this blog. So it's no surprise that I was chomping at the bit to decorate ours for Christmas. It is collection of some pieces I already owned, some new purchases from our Thanksgiving trip and a craft project.

I love a good mirror above a mantel, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the design this year. I thought I would hang a wreath in front of it but it made the whole look too busy. Simplicity was the name of the game. On a recent trip to Target, inspiration struck. I bought three $1 ornaments and some fishing line.

I tied the fishing line to each ornament individually. 

Then I tied all three ornaments together, being sure to stagger the heights of the ornaments. Fishing line stays put after you knot it, but just to be sure, I tied them together multiple times to make sure they were secure. Then I securely taped the line to the back of the mirror with packing tape.

I love the way the mirror makes it look like a bigger cluster from certain angles and how it adds just the right amount of sparkle. Plus the fishing line gives the illusion they are floating in mid-air. 

I paired it with a topiary that I plan on using all year round and a candle and base from last year's decor. 

Now we just have to remember to turn on our fireplace at some pint and it will be a cozy first Christmas in our first home. 

Merry Christmas!! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

float like a butterfly....

This is what I feel like today. The hubs and I got Living Social deals for two weeks of boxing classes and took our first class last night. Today, I feel like a badass. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas decoration shopping...

during our visit to Iowa, my awesome mother-in-law took me shopping at some local shops for Christmas decorations. My husband's hometown has so many cute antique shops and home decor boutiques. I wish we had that many in our town. There is also an apple orchard that has a home store on the property and was full of great finds. It was two days of shopping and I loved every minute of it!

Some of the goodies I got include:
Cool coasters made of wood circles. 

Wool snowflake pillow that has an envelope closure on the other side. 

Reclaimed metal Christmas tree.

We had such a great time shopping and it was fantastic to get to spend such quality time with my mother-in-law. I wish we lived closer so we could spend more time together. I'm excited to share all of my finds with you and unveil our Christmas decorations. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

my Christmas gift to you....

if you were teen or tween girl in the 80s or early 90s, I bet you dreamed of a Christmas like this...

Sunday, November 25, 2012


A trip to Iowa
A stay at a B&B in a sleepy little town
A visit to my hubby's alma mater
A wonderful dinner with great friends and their hilarious kids
A week with family
Drinking, eating and drinking and eating some more
Shopping with my mother-in-law
Visiting old friends
Hearing stories about my hubby in high school
Quality time with amazing in-laws
Driving 11 straight hours and having a blast
A fantastic Thanksgiving week
Lots of love
And one incredible man to share it with

So many things to be thankful for. How did I get so blessed?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

pinned it then did it: nailhead trim tray...

while cruising Target one day, I happened upon the new Nate Berkus line. I really liked his lacquer serving trays but at $30 a pop, it was a little too much for something I knew I could make myself. so I pinned it, then – as usual – forgot about it.

a couple of weeks ago, we got a some new furniture for our loft area and I wanted to put a tray on the coffee table to harness magazines and remotes. So I consulted my Pinterest boards and was reminded of the Nate tray. The round shape wasn't going to work for what I needed, so I headed out to find the right rectangular tray. On a trip to Garden Ridge, I found this one for $12.99. 

I sanded it down...

then sprayed it with an olive spray paint. I struggled to find the right green and then low-and-behold I found the perfect color that was actually camouflage paint, like for hunting and stuff. but seriously it was the perfect shade to match the throw pillows on the couch. plus, the added bonus is that it has an ultra-flat finish. I am loving the look of furniture in flat finish right now, so this was a match made in heaven. 

for the decorative embellishments I found some nail heads at JoAnn Fabrics. they were perfect, except that they had the actual nail part. I couldn't nail it into the tray because it was too long and it would split the wood.

So I took some heavy-duty wire cutters and CAREFULLY (while wearing sunglasses so I didn't poke my eye out) snipped off the pointy part (that's the technical term, right?).

after they were all snipped, I used Gorilla super glue to adhere them to the tray. 

I love the flat finish paired with the brassy embellishments. 

and it works perfectly in the new room. another successful pin! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

nice rack! black and gold magazine rack...

black and gold is my latest design obsession. I may or may not have spent $40 on 9 clearance vases at Target and 5 of them may have been black and gold. OB-SESSED. I'd been looking for a magazine rack for a while and when I found this one at a local vintage store for $12, I knew I could restore it to some black and gold loveliness.

I loved the detail. It was a little beat up but nothing a little spray paint couldn't bring back to life.

First I taped off all of the areas that will eventually be gold. 

Then I sprayed the exposed metal with semi-gloss Rusto-leum black spray paint. 

I let it dry for 24 hours then removed the tape. After another 24 hours, I taped off the freshly painted black areas. If you're doing a similar project, make sure to let the paint dry for a couple of days before taping it off so that the tape does pull off any paint that hasn't set yet. 

I thought maybe the frame was tarnished brass, but some scrubbing with a good brass cleaner revealed it was not. It was beat up and rusted so I grabbed my gold spray paint, Rusto-leum again. 

After letting it dry for 24 hours, I removed the tape. There were a couple of areas where the gold had leaked onto the black so I just grabbed a small craft paintbrush, sprayed it with some of the black paint and touched up any gold overspray. 

The result was better than I imagined. 

Retro, glam and totally unique. I'm so in love with it. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012


I knew there was something about Tom Brady.....

* If you like this graphic, by all means share it, but I created it, so please make sure to credit the photo. Thanks!