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DIY | Houndstooth Shoes

9 Jan

We’ve probably all got that pair of shoes that we once loved but could use a facelift… or maybe we never quite loved them but saw the potential… or MAYBE we loved them and bought 8 pairs. Whatever category you might fall into, this easy DIY project looks pretty easy and a fun way to incorporate Mod Podge into your crafting repertory.

See this project in its entirety on the blog …Love Maegan. And, because today is the BEC Championship game between Alabama and LSU, Roll Tide…! 

DIY | Cute Pushpins

5 Jan

If we’re gonna have giant inspiration boards, we’re gonna cute some cute pushpins. Hey – it’s the little things…! Let’s just start off with these Design*Sponge DIY Twig Pushpins. I love them so much! If you’ve got a bunch of cute nail polish colors you can follow this easy DIY for nail polish push pins. (Let me say that I use nail polish to mark everything from keys to bartending tools to whatever I have that needs to be marked, so I like this one…) I know I’m always seeing cute buttons and baubles and wondering what I could do with them… Here’s a great (and easy!) DIY Button Pin project – all you need are buttons and a glue gun! If you find an old keyboard somewhere, this easy project would make for cute pinning. This fabric-covered pushpin DIY is a slightly more involved process, but hey, I believe in you! And as usual, Martha’s gonna out-effort us all with a very cute Bottle-Cap Magnets and Thumbtacks DIY projectBut I was thinking “You know what would be cute…? Acorns.” So I googled acorn thumbtacks, and I was right! They are cute!

So, arm yourself with a glue gun ($2 at Michaels), glue, tacks, and various cute things and get to work already! PIN, my little crafter, PIN!

New Year | New Projects

3 Jan

I’m unwillingly dragging myself into the New Year (still working on completing those resolutions) starting today. Because doing that on the 1st of January is just so passe. Ha. Or because I’m just now getting my first “day off” since the holiday break began, i.e. a day at home alone.

And boy did I need this time to myself because Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar: An 8 Week Program starts today. I’ve been working my way through Sugar Busters! for the past month, but it is really badly written and I hate the way they have to mention Sugar Busters! (Title! Italics! Exclamation Point!) every paragraph… But there’s some recipes and  some helpful information about how your body metabolizes nutrients and the way insulin works etc that makes it worth drudging through as slowly as possible reading.

But if you’re too busy with life and stuff to bother with it, I highly recommend reading Sarah’s ebook or just read my summary of Sugar Busters!…

-Sugar is like fat, only worse, because *it can’t even be used by your body helpfully to metabolize nutrients the way fat can. (*Amounts in excess of a few teaspoons a day.) We’ve all heard of good fats, but who’s heard of good sugars?

-The average American eats like a bajillion times more sugar than our bodies can possibly insulin-sweep into energy or belly fat, which means that we’re going to be obese and illness-prone the longer we continue eating so much sugar and processed food.

-Lastly, there is a great deal of sugar hidden in almost everything we eat, especially processed foods, but also including fruit and even some veggies. Quitting the obvious things like soda and chocolate isn’t enough to detox, especially if you replace them with seemingly healthier low-fat options that actually have more added sugar to replace the flavor of fat… and the cycle continues. 

So yeah, the kitchen is being exorcized this morning. I’ll be keeping folks up to speed on this endeavor, but I anticipate that I will get grumpier before I get off sugar entirely. I’m shooting to get all the way through the No Sugar-Sugar Can’t Get Me Down-I Hate Sugar-Sugar Is Tasty Sometimes stages and then return to some fruit and some chocolate etc. We’ll see.

Beyond that, once I get my resolutions in order I will get them up, and I’ll also be re-organizing my blogging patterns and bringing in some new subject areas in addition to interior design and DIY projects.

So there’s a lot a-brewin’, I’m just easing into the New Year. Now what do I do with my tree…?

Style | The Gibson Tuck

1 Dec

I saw a post on this blog the other day involving the Gibson Tuck, and I am now mildly obsessed with the idea – perhaps due to the fact that she’s got fabulous hair and I’m obsessed with everything bright orange right now (ahem and ahem)…? Or maybe it’s the essay’s visual addition of my accompanying style addiction to button-down shirts in this age of clingy pullover tops. Who knows. I followed the links to a very easy instructional, complete with a cute video! Here’s the link on Sara Lynn Paige’s blog…

And here’s what happened when I tried it myself (growing out my bangs so I have to do a little front bump instead of a part)…   Not the best pictures in the world (I just *love* shooting from under and behind my chin, it’s so flattering!) but I did put a golden tint on them to bring out my reddish highlights for continuity’s sake… I’m thinking it’s not too bad for a first try! It was super crazy easy.

So, go! Be free! Experiment! And then report back…

Test Kitchen | Thanksgiving Favorites

25 Nov

Entering back into the workforce today I have only a few regrets about the holiday past, and the biggest one is that I didn’t score myself a leftovers plate! We went to an “orphans feast” of types for Thanksgiving and I have never, I mean NEVER seen that great a variety or mass of food outside of a chow hall. It was cruh-razy. (The photo above is table 1-of-4, by the way. And we didn’t even get to TWO whole turkeys.) Crazier, perhaps, were my favorite dishes of the day! So I’m going to share them with you along with similar-looking recipes. Because odds are good I’ll be making these myself very soon…

1). Chicken Liver Pate

I was actually pretty shocked by how good this was, and it totally overshadowed all the other dishes, despite the all-around deliciousocity of everything. Man, I’m thinking about it now and my mouth is watering.

2). Oyster Dressing

I pretty much like any and all dressing/stuffing. Down to the Walmart brand boxed stuff you just add water to and let sit for 5 minutes. Oyster stuffing, though? That little unexpected kick is just fantastic. A faint seafood taste that is totally not overwhelming, and really sets off those great herbs and other deliciousness. Yum.

3). Cranberry Sauce, not the canned kind.

As far as I’m concerned, that canned jelly business is for the birds, despite its apparent popularity resurgence on The Facebook. Just type “canned cranberry sauce” into the search box. Anyhoo, fresh cranberry sauce is super easy to make, you can mix up the ingredients to your own liking (try brown sugar, port wine, lime juice, pomegranate seeds…) and it is TASTY. Tasty, I say.

4).  Ginger, Cranberry and Almond Scones. With Cranberry Curd.

Everybody’s heard of lemon curd. Cranberry curd is tart and delicious like lemon curd, but it is even more better! The awesome color alone sets it a mite above (although LAYERING cranberry, lemon and lime curds on, say a crepe cake would be UH-mazing) and it has crazy character and of course, the element of the unexpected. Pair it with scones (I used the above recipe and then added fresh cranberries, ginger and almonds) and you’ve got a not-too-sweet surprising holiday dessert that people will think took forever, but it really didn’t.

5).  Wheat Berries and Sausage.

“‘The heck is a wheat berry?!” you might ask. “Exactly,” I would reply. ha. From what I can tell, wheat berries are 1). Something hippies eat, 2). Cooked like rice, and 3). Actually really tasty! This young fellow (who wants to pursue community gardening and healing as a career after college) brought an especially tasty wheat-berries-n-sausage dish that made me want to delve into the terrifying (but oh-so-enticing) grains bins aisle of Whole Foods and emerge Victorious! with wheat berries, sprouted grains, and fresh peanut butter. Because I AM HEALTHY! Well, baby steps first.

Did you eat anything different from traditional Thanksgiving fare that you want to start incorporating into your own holiday tradition?

Design Sensibilities | Speaking of Trees…

22 Nov

I’m sure it’s bad form to start talking about Christmas trees before Thanksgiving has even come and gone… But I am determined to acquire one this week and I am torn, TORN I tell you!

Since I was ousted from the house many moons ago, I have never had a real Christmas tree. I have loved and cherished my respective 3-ft pink and white trees, but a little part of me has always regretted not having a big, smelly, pine-needle-shedding behemoth of a water-slurping Christmas tree.

The catch is that I’m not totally wild for the multi-colored arts-and-crafts style traditional trees. I mean, you really can’t mess up a Christmas tree but if I get a real one I want it to look like… well, like something I’d like. Personalized. By color and style, not just “this pasta ornament is personal to me.” I’m sure that if the hubs and I have children that kind of decor will eventually become my reality, but we’re not there yet so I don’t have to choose between love and design. ha.

So I need some inspiration to contemplate before we head out to Baldwin Farm and start sawing away with a pocket knife and a Ka-Bar. Real or fake…? Monochromatic or modern? Tree or artistic display? PINK or…? I can’t pick my wrapping paper until this whole matter is settled.

           

You know, as much as I love a good pink tree, and the little one with all the purple ornaments, and the branches wrapped in yarn… I’m thinking my favorite here is the big green tree with all the white ornaments… There’s something really clean and un-fussy about it that I like. But I’m not really an all-white kinda girl. Maybe mostly white with grey, lilac and chartreuse accents…? What do you think? I’ve got some new ideas brewing now…

 

 

Design Sensibilities | Tree Branches as Decor

18 Nov

       (Here’s my first branch-decor attempt back in 2006.)

Bear with me now, folks, I’m going to make a case for the awesomeness of tree branches as decor…

I know, I know. Not the most exciting-sounding topic in the world, but I think you’d be surprised at how much a few branches can bring a rustic natural feel to your decor: They can look really architectural and minimalistic, or end up turning into a compelling and delightful art/holiday installation/hanging object display.

It all depends on what you do with your branches: You can paint them… or not… Wrap them in Christmas lights. Get all crazy and wrap a few twigs in twine, ribbon, or yarn for added textural interest, or spritz them with glue and toss glitter all around — outside, please!

Also, they’re pretty much gonna be free, don’t need to be watered, and won’t shed on your carpet. All of the above I consider to be compelling arguments, but maybe you need to see a few examples to really appreciate the awesomeness…                

I’m ready to embark on a project similar to the third one to the bottom, what do you think? Are you ready to head out to the woods yet?

DIY | Acorn Projects

17 Nov

I think acorns are the “cute” nut because they have the little gnome caps. Either way, here’s some fun fall decorating projects if you happen to live under an acorn tree (otherwise known as an oak)…! A glittery acorn garland idea from The Long ThreadCute acorn magnets by Make and TakesLook at this cute little acorn next ornament from the bloggers at Twig and Toadstool… Get-Me-My-Gluegun Acorn Wreath, from DIY CraftsI’ve thought of a name for the business that makes and sells these… Crochet Is For Hookers! Copyright! Pearl your way to decor with this a-corny project from Seams of LifeThese painted acorns really spruce up this winter wood centerpiece… Very cute, methinks!   These little nutters look cute in these mason jar candles… I love these cute pushpins from Apartment Therapy.

Or, if you want to get all super crafty this felted acorn tutorial from Rhythm of the Home teaches you how to make cute felted acorn necklaces and a few other cute lil’ things…

Storyboard | A Rainy Day

27 Oct

So this storyboard idea is to take an image/series of images and translate them into a design concept, or “shopping trip,” as they say in some (foreign, very foreign) cultures… Today’s concept: A Rainy Day. Via Etsy shops, of course.

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1. Handmade Oils Recipe, 2. Rainy Day Office Supplies Set, 3. Hammered Silver Wedding Band, 4. Wooden Typewriter Keys, 5. Rain Drop Clock, 6. Diver and Goldfish Tea Towel, 7. Organic Lavender Sachets, 8. Wonderful Felted Cat Cave, 9. Monster Coffee Mug

 


 

 




Style | Look! Fashion Being Interesting

21 Oct

Let it just be said that Italian Vogue doesn’t play around with the awesomeness of its editorials. See the whole spread here    Because sometimes they really are like creepy life-sized dolls… There’s got to be a Ryan Gosling movie in there somewhere…