Friday, May 31, 2013

now playing: jessie ware...

Rarely does a whole album by a new artist wow me, but this one does. Devotion by Jessie Ware is amazing. Her current single, Wildest Moments, is destined to be on my iPod for many decades to come. It's that good and that classic. It has a very Annie Lennox mixed with Shakespears Sister vibe. I can't get enough. You should check it out.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

everything's coming up roses: coffee table styling...

we were lucky enough to inherit three beautiful knockout rose bushes when we moved in. Now that I've learned the beauty of cutting back roses in the early spring to ensure they blossom better, I am reaping their reward -- beautiful fresh flowers for my house. I added a few to the vintage blue Ball jars my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas and they give the coffee table a jolt of pink that's perfect for Spring.

Wondering what's in the cigar box? Those are cedar coasters that my uncle made from reclaimed wood from their property. They smell so good!

Here's a shot to give you some perspective on the table. 

If you look closely in the reflection of the TV you can see some of the new decor updates I've made. I have a few finishing touches to wrap up and then there will be a full reveal post. Can't wait to share!

Do you love fresh flowers in your home? How many of you pick them from your own garden? I have spent waaaaaay too much money in the past buying flowers for the house. It's nice to be able to go outside and pick my own. Down the road I'd love to add a peony bush in the yard. Those are some beautiful blooms!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

what's cookin'?: homemade hummus...

A little while back I took a cooking class and one of the dishes used garbanzo beans. I always thought I didn't like them, but I loved this fresh salad, so I bought some cans of beans thinking I'd recreate the recipe. I never did.

Then today I was craving some hummus and the tub we had was expired – gross! Then I remember the can of beans. With just a few more ingredients that I already had on hand, I whipped up some homemade hummus in a matter of minutes. So good and good for you!


  • 1 can of garbanzo beans drained
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Half of a small can of diced jalapenos (if you're using fresh, I would say 3-4 medium sized jalapenos, seeded)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil

Combine those all in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and you've got yourself some homemade hummus.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

bathroom sneak peek...

Our downstairs guest bath is almost complete, thanks to some new finds from the Nate Berkus line at Target. Just a few more finishing touches and it will be ready for the big reveal. The slate blue, coral and white give it just the pop of energy this little room needs.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Monday!

So refreshing to see such a joyful couple. "Get it, girl!"

Hope this made you smile. Have  great day! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

laying it all out there: persian rugs...

They always say you want what you can't have. Currently, we have a completely carpeted house. The plan down the road is to put hardwoods throughout the downstairs, but for now, it's carpet town. So naturally, I have been obsessing over Persian Rugs. Yes, I know you can put rugs over carpet, but I just can't get on that bandwagon. Instead I have been pining away for them on Pinterest and pinning my little heart out.

Here are some of my favorites:

Love the worn look of this one with the hints of blue and the faded reds. 

On the flip side, the vibrancy of this rug is stunning.

More rich, warm tones. 

For a mere $42,000 this rug could be mine. WHAT?!??!

And imagine them placed on top of this A-MAH-ZING (shout out to Penny Hartz!) herringbone wood floor. Gorgeous. 


Friday, May 3, 2013

what's cookin': Pineapple tomatillo tacos...

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I'm sharing one of my new Mexican creations. If you follow me on Instagram (@jenlifebydesign), you know I posted a pic of our delicious dinner the other night -- pineapple tomatillo tacos. They were yummy and, best of all, easy.

First, the ingredients. 

Fresh or canned pineapple (chunked, crushed, it doesn't matter)
Chipotle pineapple salsa
1 jar of roasted tomatillo salsa
3-4 large chicken breasts
Mozzarella cheese
Corn tortillas
Rice and beans for side dishes

In a slow cooker put your chicken and jar of tomatillo sauce. That's it. Cook on high for one hour then turn down to low for 4-5 hours. The longer they cook the more they absorb the tomatillo sauce. About an hour or so before it's done, shred the chicken and cook for the remainder of the time. Just before you're ready to serve, warm the tortillas in the oven for a few minutes. 

Then layer shredded chicken, chipotle pineapple salsa and cheese, and top with a pineapple chunk. Pop those into the oven, or on a low broil, just to melt the cheese. Serve with a side of rice and beans. It was plenty for the two of us. We had left overs for two days. So easy and so good. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

livin' on the edge: landscape edging....

one thing I have learned about myself since owning a home is that I like to putter in the yard. I am constantly weeding, cutting back my plants, mulching and making sure everything looks nice. With a lot of the inside projects tackled for now, this spring, I have a few things on my yard to-do list that I want to accomplish. Edging some trees on our tree-lawn was the first thing I attempted from that list.

We live in a neighborhood where the homeowners association takes care of the general landscaping and maintenance, but the tree-lawn on your property is your responsibility. They don't dictate that you do anything to your trees, but we had two that looked so sad just plain. 


So I grabbed a can of spray paint and marked where I wanted to edge. Most of our neighbors have landscaped their trees in a circle design, so I decided to follow their lead to keep everything uniform. 

Then, I just started edging. I seriously underestimated this undertaking. The first tree was pretty easy, the ground was soft and there weren't many roots near the surface. But the second tree was much harder. There was thick grass, a few roots and much harder soil. Edging wasn't bad but removing the "innards" was brutal. Once I edged everything, I went into the inner part of the circle at a more horizontal angle, trying to basically skim the top layer off and leave as much dirt as I could.

At least that was my plan. The project quickly dissolved into me stabbing at the ground and pulling out large chunks of grass and dirt with my hands. Good times.

But alas, it was ready for mulch. I used roughly a bag and a half per tree because I wanted the mulch mounds to be pretty high since dogs and kids will be traipsing all over them.

It definitely was a labor-intensive project, but the result is well worth it. Now on to sprucing up the mailbox landscaping, which entails more edging.... oy.