Monday, December 7, 2009

Bay Beautiful Bay

I've found myself another absolute favorite!

I've been hinting to the hubs to get this for me for my Christmas decorating.

I keep telling him it'll last forever and isn't just for Christmas. So far he is putting up a front that he isn't going to get it for me but we shall see.....

What is it you ask?

drum roll please....

It's a fresh Bay Leaf Wreath from William Sonoma!

Isn't it perfect for me....I'm mean really isn't it?

They come in two sizes



I personally like the bigger one. Plus, get this, since they are fresh you can use them for your holiday cooking. Just pluck a leaf off of the wreath (from the back honey....) and it's ready for use. Fresh Bay for your soups or stews or what-have-you. Then as it dries out, you have dried Bay Leaves. Do you know how much Bay is at the store? Do you? Well, this much Bay would cost wayyyy more than 30-60 bucks. For sure....

And really the price is right, the 22" is $59.95 and the 15" is only $29.95.

I can see this hanging at my kitchen window from a beautiful ribbon.

Not only is it beautiful but so super useful! I mean who couldn't use a Bay Leaf Wreath, right?

Simply Bay's Place sure could use a fresh Bay Leaf Wreath.

A Marriage made in Heaven.....


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes....

It's a beautiful snowy day here in Colorado and I'm in love.

Not only am I in love with the wintry white gorgeousness that is happening right outside my window but I'm in love with this:

Origins Ginger Essence™

My wonderfully sweet sister remembered me oohing and ahhing over it when we were shopping last week and bought me not only the perfume but body butter, scrub,body wash and a roller ball perfume for my purse. Lucky me! (It was my birthday but she went all out and gave me the sweetest card~it made me cry...)

Now, I'm not much of a musky, rich, citrusy, heavy, scented girl.

I love me some light, flower-ish, breathy scents. I adore LOVELY by SJP!

But this sensuous skin scent (that's what Origins calls it- and they're right) is just plain perfect. Fresh, earthy, and light. Listen to their description, or I guess READ their description....sometimes it seems like I'm chatting and forget that you are reading ;)

Ancient Chinese tradition holds that where there's yin, there must be yang. And so the fragrant fire of spicy Ginger is balanced by the refreshing zeal of Bergamot, Lemon and Lime to create a sensuous synergy between warm and cool, energy and calm, tempest and tranquility. Skin is surrounded in an enticing aroma that's impossible to resist.

I love the scent. It makes me smile and puts some spring in my step but calms me at the same time! Yes, it is that wonderful.

So, speaking of favorites....were we speaking of favorites?

Oh yes, that's right I was headed there but only made it past the title....

I was singing some Christmas tunes the other day and found myself singing one of my all time favorite songs EVER, albeit not a Christmas tune.

My Favorite Things. You know, The Sound of Music. It's thundering outside and Julie Andrews sings of raindrops on roses and brown paper packages.

I started thinking of all the things she sings about.

All classic lovely little things.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with string

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudel
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into spring

Who would have known that all these things would make such an impression on my life. I was just a little girl spinning around in circles singing this song over and over.

Now I'm a woman who loves simple brown packages, copper kettles, sleigh bells, white horses, raindrops on any kind of flower, and well....schnitzel. I love me some schnitzel with spaetzel....But let's not go down that road.


I was thinking about simple lovely things and how wrapped up we can all get around Christmas time.

Christmas isn't about lists of what YOU want. It isn't about finding THE gift for the kiddos. It isn't even about gift giving and receiving.

It's about faith and hope and love.
It's about family and friends and neighbors.
And it's about helping people, giving of yourself, and listening to your heart.

Christmas in our house going to be a simple one.

Simple but lovely.

And that's o.k. Actually it's better than o.k. It's perfect. It's really the way it should be.

So, since I'm listening to my heart and I've seen some amazing stuff in the last couple of weeks. Each week of the month of December I'm going to share some of my favorite things.

I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I will! Now go check out that perfume. I promise you won't be let down. Simple divine!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


What have I been up to for a month, you ask?

Well just to name a few things I've been UP to....

Creating for a show I'm in the next two weekends

A car accident (minor but still ouchy....)

Working for a friend while his assistant has been on maternity leave

Finishing up with Halloween and moving on to Thanksgiving which is now turning into Christmas

Dealing with the fact that my hubs got news his company is closing. Last day January 5th. 6 WEEKS!

Let's see what I have not been UP to....





Working out

But you know what? Today I've decided to be thankful.
A good week to choose to be thankful don't cha think....

I'm thankful for:

My family

My friends

My health

My heart

My creativity

My home

And last but not least Me.

I'm thankful for me.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

You know those weekends away, albeit few and far between, that make you refreshed and possibly fall in love all over again?

I was lucky enough to have one of those over my anniversary weekend. It was simply blissful.

We ate, we laughed, we walked, we talked....blissful.

Beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado!

I realized while uploading my pictures that I did not take one picture of Main Street. Not one! It is a large but quaint few blocks with shops ranging from mountian gear to a doggie bakery with the cutest Starbucks (that is in an old tiny house) and a crepe cart smack dab in the middle.

Oh the crepes....yummmmmmmmmm!

We did a little hiking up by lake Dillon.


Oh yea, remember how I said we ate? And boy did we....
My favorite part of the whole weekend (except for the crepes-yummm again) was our "fancy" dinner out.

Le Petit Paris is an amazing little French Restaurant right off of Main Street. Sisters Arielle and Marie are the sweetest little team and make you feel at home from the moment they take your coat until the usher you out the door and wave goodbye until you are out of sight. Precious.

Just my kind of place. French bisto-esque with while linen table cloths and vintage advertisements all over the walls.

And the food. Well, the food was To. Die. For.

3 course meals that change with the seasons.

I was trying to be sneaky and not bother the people sitting 2 feet from us, who were probably wondering "who is this crazy girl taking pictures of her table".

After ordering that bottle of wine that is now my new favorite, and having some amazing fresh french bread we dined on French Onion soup and a goat cheese salad that I am determined to duplicate. Boeuf Bourguignon that was deconstructed and amazing and profiteroles that were beyond melt in your mouth!

Now I'm hungry....

The weather was beautiful all weekend, it seemed to be in the stars for us.

And yes, even though we were leaving fat and happy I had to end my weekend here....

Of course, before I realized I hadn't taken a picture of my crepe, it was gone....

I'm thinking of opening one of could be a fun opportunity.

But the pounds I would pack on would not agree with maybe not.

Here we are fat and happy (not in that order~giggle~).


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

HomeGoods Happy

Don't you just love that feeling when you walk into a shop and a calm comes over you're in your special place....your domain.

That's how I feel when I walk into HomeGoods.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love myself a good antique store. I love the feel of those stores too. And the smell....that smell of timeworn textiles and antiques.

But that gives me a whole other feeling....

The clean, crisp, feeling of HomeGoods, the feeling of knowing there is a special gem in there just waiting for me to find it. Some inexpensive little bauble that is whispering my name. Knowing I enjoy the hunt, and hiding from me on that bottom clearance shelf. Ohhhh it makes me shiver just to think of it.

So when Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality offered up an amazing giveaway and a quiz. I jumped at the chance to find out the definition of my "style".

Per HomeGoods here is their definition of my style. I'd say they're pretty right on!

Laurel, you are a Bohemian Classic

You have a refined sensibility and bring a sense of history and tradition into your decor. You appreciate how symmetrical arrangements and beautiful, well-crafted pieces create a solid foundation to a room. But you like to shake up this restraint with objects and accessories that express your personality and your love of other cultures. When traveling, you seek out unique objects that reflect what you love, and you use them in a sophisticated way. You want people to feel comfortable in your home, and cozy chairs, ethnic fabrics, unique pieces, and even a little touch of quirk or humor give your house a laid-back, Bohemian flair.

You value creativity. You are stylish and fun loving, and can be an inspiration to others. You have a natural sense of drama, and you know you have to be willing to take risks—whether with colors, finishes, furniture choices, or ideas—for your home to stand out. Your home can be happy and lively and the place all of your friends want to be.

Putting Your Style to Work!
With your style and needs in mind, here are a few tips that will help you make your home a little happier.

1. Your Design Challenge: ORGANIZE
The front hall sets the mood for your entire home. Consider how to accommodate all the room's functions as beautifully as possible. At the very least you need a console, and if you're short on storage, consider a dresser. Outfit the surface with nice trays and bowls for mail, keys and sunglasses. Keep a trash can for immediately tossing the junk mail. Closet-door or wall hooks encourage coat and bag hanging rather than dumping. If you have children, try to give each a basket in the closet for hats and gloves. It's nice to have a chair or bench for changing shoes, a mirror for last-minute lipstick checks, and a lamp or sconces for warm light.

2. Your Happy Place
Think of your outdoor space, no matter how small, as rooms, and create distinct areas. A pair of chaises flanking a little side table makes a living room. A lantern hanging from a tree or pergola over a table and chairs makes a dining room. A cluster of potted plants on a patio can create a cozy nook, and a single urn or bench placed at the far end can draw your eye, making a space seem longer. Big lanterns with candles sitting on the ground create a sense of space and give beautiful light. Try out new ideas before you start shopping by taking a photo of your area and laying some tracing paper over the print to draw whatever you're planning first.

3. Be Party-Ready All the Time!
Scent: The first thing you notice about a home is how it smells. Use naturally fragrant cleaning products. If you find a scented candle or fresh potpourri you love, stock up on it. Any scent you like, whether perfume or linen spray, can be used on upholstery, bedding or just spritzed into the air.

Mood: Nice, flattering light makes us feel good. So nix the harsh, direct light from overhead fixtures in favor of the softer glow from floor and table lamps. Also, stock up on some votive candles and a couple of hurricane lanterns for setting around the room.

Food: Devote space in your pantry or on a shelf for go-to party essentials: crackers, dip, chips, nuts—whatever you like to serve. Keep on hand a collection of attractive bowls and cocktail napkins, and you'll be able to set a spread—instantly!

Drink: The simplest and chicest thing is to have a drinks tray or table always set up. Include a mix of pretty glasses, an ice bucket, a lovely pitcher, and bottles of soda and water. When the bell rings, just add ice and limes.

How fun was that! Now it's your turn. If you haven't entered Rhoda's giveaway you have 'til tomorrow. I know, I know, not much time to meet that deadline but you must's for 100 bucks people! Who would pass that up? The link is up top....

Even if you miss the giveaway, the quiz is still super fun!

Enjoy and have a great day.

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
~Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let them eat cake!

Taylor, a lover of all things marshmallow, had a birthday recently.

Since we share an infinity for all things mallow, I decided to make him a S'more cake for his party and surprise him.

Oh how I love surprises....
But only when I get to do the surprising.

Unless of course it's diamonds, or shoes.
But who ever gets surprised with shoes.
No one. And that's too bad....
I wouldn't mind be showered with shoes on my birthday.
Obviously not actually showered, that would really hurt....

Anyway, this very special cake for this very special boy turned out beyond my wildest dreams.

Check it out! Isn't it adorable!!!!

It's chocolate cake with a Jet Puff Marshmallow center that was sprinkled with graham crackers. The cake is topped with buttercream, then fondant.

Yep, this one isn't good for the diet but, it was sooooo worth it!

I personally love how fondant looks on a cake but it doesn't taste half as good as straight buttercream.

After covering the cake. Then rolling out and poking holes in the fondant for the top "graham cracker" I cut Hershey's bars at an angle and used some frosting to keep them in place, as if they were melting right out of the S'more. Yummmmm! Makes me wish I had a campfire right now....

This puppy sure had some WOW factor at the party and all the kiddos wanted to know if it was real.

Well yea! If it looks like a S'more and tastes like a S'more.

It's a S'more.

Then 2 days later I was asked to make a baby shower cake for a precious little girl.

I've always loved cakes that look like packages so.....

White almond cake with almond butter frosting. My specialty!

It was actually humid here that day. Humid doesn't happen very often here in Colorado and of course it was on the day of the baby shower. My bow didn't dry well and wasn't quite as big as I wanted it but everyone was none the wiser! I got so many compliments and everyone wanted my business card.


I have a lot of people requesting cakes now and it's keepin' me busy. It seems I am the new Ace of Cakes around here.

I wish.

~On a side note, today is my 5 year anniversary. The hubs and I are spending the weekend in beautiful Breckenridge, CO and I am super excited. It will be crisp up there and the leaves should be amazing.

Hope you all have a fun filled weekend!

Happy October!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy.....

Yes, I've been nominated and I accept this award, on behalf of my family, my wonderful husband, Julie (my starbucks lady), my dog who warms my feet while I write, and of course in hopes of one day achieving.... World Peace.

So since I accepted, and with such grace if I do say so myself....
I have to follow the rules.
Normally I hate rules but since I am now an award winning

I guess I can do it.
Here we go


1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each

First things first, thank you Nancy, not only have you inspired me to get my blog up and running but you are a great friend. You are there for me always and rarely tell me no. Even when I ask you to meet me 20 minutes North of where we live to help me unload some flithy dirty pre-war wingback chairs that I picked up for $10. Even when I made you wait for 10 minutes with all three of your kids in tow. What a good friend I am huh!

O.k. kiddos here we go.
7 things you might not know about me....(except for you N, you know A LOT about me...)

1. My 5 year anniversary is Friday. Boy, 5 years has just flown by!

2. When I was 4 years old my sisters car broke down and since I went everywhere my dad went, I hopped into the truck to go with him. I asked him where we were going and he said "To jump Krissy's car". At that moment we were driving down a hill and I said (remember I was 4) "Well we better speed up or we aren't going to make it". I still remember my dad laughing the hardest I have ever heard him laugh. It makes me smile just to think of it. (just incase you didn't get it-I thought we were going to jump over my sisters car-so funny....)

3. I was a dancer in a former life. O.k. in this life I was a dancer, but it just feels like so stinkin' long ago that it has to be a different life than this one, right? Anyway, I was a classically trained ballerina who was in a company all through high school and beyond. I miss it terribly.

4. I have watched 4 episodes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I'm ashamed to admit it but I have.

5. I know every word of The Princess Bride. (I stole this one from you N)

6. I was the lead in our city's high school summer musical. I even had a kissing scene. It was awfully embarrassing at first but since he really was the only guy I really wanted to kiss-It was awesome! My very own Zach Efron. I got to kiss him every night for a week, not including rehearsals. (funny thing is my now husband was in the musical with me too-didn't want to kiss him then, but do now!!!!)

7. And last but not least, I'm adopted.

Now on to the Nominations:

Da da da dahhhhhhh

Susie Harris from Bienvienue- this is one creative lady. Check out her signs! Hand painted pure awesomeness.....

Jeanne at A Bushel and a Peck- check out her shop. TO DIE FOR STUFF. Plus her photos and the way she writes, simply inspiring. She's just up the road (or highway, really) from me and I like to keep it local ya know.

Chris at Just a girl- an organizing maniac and I love it. She can show me one cabinet that she has organized and I am off and running.... And, she finds the most amazing stuff at Goodwill and transforms it into something you couldn't have even imagined. Plus, she seems super sweet. What a combo, sweet, organized, and a frugal shopper. My kind of girl.

Ahrisha from Joyously Living Life- this girl loves her essential oils! You should check out her garden. Amazing is all I can say.

Donna at Funky Junk Interiors- her kitchen is gorgeous, her entry way is finished, and her barn, well you have to go check her out. She is one inspiring lady.

Kasey at Lola B's- This girl can write and she is so funny I am still laughing at a joke she told probably a month ago. And she shares not only her "hottie" husband with us but her to die for mailman as well.

Erin over there at Perfect Sentiment- I love to keep the love in this world, ya know. Love the idea that we can all be nice and kind. And Erin, does just that and with weekly meal plans to boot. She makes me feel all warm and cozy and I like that!

No worries ladies, if you choose to not blog about your 7 things. I really just wanted you all to know how great I think each of you are. Some of you might not have know you inspire me so much, so I just wanted to share.

And to N, and P, and H, and D. Really I couldn't have done it without you. You made it all happen and without you I wouldn't be here....
(cut to cheesy award music as I walk off stage, waving my beauty queen wave, with my designer dress flowing at my ankles)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Music makes the world go round....that I know.

Is there anything that you go to to heal your wounds? Is there a special song or friend or book that helps you move past something hurtful?

Music is what heals me.

I had my feelings hurt by a fellow blogger and I let it get me down.

I am completely aware that I was allowing it to happen, but sometimes it's hard to not let it hurt your heart, just a little.
All the while telling myself to not allow something somewhat silly to hurt my feelers. But it did and now I'm over it.

O.k. I'm almost over it.

Music heals my soul. Music allows me to be me. Music reminds me what I love about life.

Music reminds me that I don't have to worry about other peoples intentions, or what they think, or why they did what they did, when they probably don't even realize the hurt they caused.

So Kasey, over at Lola B's inspired me today. I LOOOOVE her. (sorry Kasey but I do....A lot. Yes, here is me gushing....)

If you, my few little readers, haven't been by her blog to see her...DO IT...GO NOW..No wait finish reading my post first, then go!

She'll make you laugh every single time you read her and her writing makes you wish you had her wit and ability (and her house, all I can say is gorgeous).

I must be channeling her today (I wish) because I've gotten a little distracted....
Kasey tends to do that too. But she is funner than I am....

Anyway, because of Kasey I decided to focus on what I know I can do....

I can cook a Hungarian Pot Roast that is to die for(I'll share someday soon).

I can take a photo that makes me giddy and keeps me that way all day long.

I can be nice and polite to every person I contact throughout a day. (I set out every day with this intention)

I can grow a delish tomato.

I can appreciate the beauty of nature and it can take my breath away.

I can paint like nobody's business.

I can love unconditionally and completely.

I can hardly ever say NO when a friend needs me.

I can sing...and not just in the shower.

I can be best best friend and wife I can possibly be.

I can weld a glue gun and not glue my fingers together.

I can throw an elegant get together and party like a rock star all at the same time.

I can throw a not-so-elegant affair (think Halloween) and try to not be instantly at their feet cleaning it up when someone spills their beer (which is inevitable) on my hardwood floor.

I can plan anything with detailed lists and drawings. A little anal? Guilty as charged.

I can appreciate the good that is in everyone.

I can find a diamond in the rough.

I can bake a white almond cake that is out of this world. Cupcakes too!

I can shop with a budget and stick to it.

I can negotiate with the best of them.

I can fall in love. With shoes. Many many pairs of shoes. The Hubs is sick of hearing me say "they are just so comfortable and adorable. I must have them."

I too can make a mean box of Mac and Cheese!!!

I can control what I put into my body (minus the Mac and Cheese) and live mostly chemical free.

I can appreciate, yet not agree, with other's opinions.

I can rearrange my living room in an afternoon by myself.

I can be inspired by all the creativity in the blogosphere. You ladies are so amazing!

I am a creative and loving person who only has the best intentions and loves her life, her family, her friends, the earth, and herself....

What I know I can do is be me.

I like me.

Noone else has to like me but me right?

And I choose to like me and to not allow others to dictate whether or not I'm inspiring.

Thanks Kasey, for your wit, your insight, sharing your stories, and just being you.

I like you. And I like me too!

Now, I'm gonna go turn up the music really loud and dance!

Life is good.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's here

I can't lie.... This morning it was difficult.

My bed was saying "Bundle up and stay a while" but my head was saying "Time to wakey wakey and start your day".

There is nothing like when the air turns crisp and the first hint of fall shows it's face in the mornings. The mornings in the garden are no longer sunny and warm. They require fleece pants and slippered feet, rather than shorts and flip flops.

The wood was more weathered than usual, or so it seems. All glistening with dew from yet another midnight rain/hail storm. The garden doesn't like the hail but everyone seemed to be doing just fine despite the cold this morning. The geraniums made it through and seem to be quite happy about all this rain!
At the end of the day, the clouds form again. Soon the leaves will change, and the crispness will stay.

Then maybe, I along with my garden, can hibernate for a while. Myself in my bed and all my lovelies in theirs. Fall is here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Isn't it Thai-riffic!

O.k. that was just silly. I mean Thai-riffic. Just silly. Anyway, I just had to share this recipe with you because it is mmmm-mmm good and so easy peasy that anyone can do it.
My version of Thai-riffic (o.k. it stuck) Chicken Wraps.
I altered a version of Rachel Ray's Thai Chicken Wraps, so I guess It's part hers and part mine, either way, it's DEVINE. Now if you've never had Thai food, don't worry. This is one simple recipe that I dare you to try to mess up. Ya just can't. Plus, it's really just like a stir fry but so super yummy that you'll make it again and again and again. Well, you get the idea.
Alrighty, on to the recipe.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 c. sweet chili sauce
1/3 c. honey
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 lime
Handful of fresh Basil
Dash of red chili flakes (opt.)
1 Iceberg head of lettuce
1 c. cooked brown rice

Now you see green pepper here because when my hubs brought home the red pepper it was moldy! ewwww!
Start up your brown rice now (or really much earlier cuz this only takes about 15 minutes or so).
For this recipe I used a cup of white rice because the hubs brought home a new brand of brown rice and it takes an hour to cook. So we settled for white, I was up for quick and simple not long and nutritional. We still got the nutritional with a tinsey bit of white. Oh well.

Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips. This chicken was cut into strips that were way to big. I don't know who did that but they should have known better.... now salt and pepper the chicken.

Turn on your the stove to medium/medium high and add approx. 1 tsp of Olive Oil. I don't measure but around one turn of a medium sized pan gets you about 1 tsp or so. Add chicken to pan and cook until golden brown on each side.
*Here is my quick tip regarding the chicken. When you first add the chicken to the hot pan let it sit for a few minutes. Let the first side get nice and brown and don't move it around. If you do the chicken will just tear apart and it will be unevenly cooked. I know it's hard to wait and you'll question it but really, don't move it until you see the underside gettin' all nice and toasty. Then turn and continue to turn until all sides are toasty roasty. Then add in red, uh I mean green (the green aren't nearly as good because they aren't as sweet as the red, oh well) bell peppers and cook until peppers are soft. RR says about 3 minutes.

Next, your gonna need that red pepper sauce. You can find this glorious stuff usually on the top shelf of the oriental section of your supermarket. Just look for what says sweet chili sauce and you have a winner. My hubs uses this stuff on everything now. It is tangy sweet deliciousness. Is that a word?

Add to the pan the sweet chili sauce and honey and let it start to bubble. Then turn down to Medium Low and let simmer to reduce sauce to about half. All the while stirring to coat the chicken. Add in rice and stir.

O.k here is another hint but one you might already know. When cutting the Basil, bunch it up like so, and cut it thinly. It really is the easiest way to cut Basil and it will make nice little ribbons. So pretty for garnishing!

Cut the head of lettuce in half and find the best cups.

Fill each cup with just enough chicken mixture. Don't overfill or you can't pick these puppies up with your hands. That's the only way to eat them!

Top each cup with a little Basil and a squeeze of lime juice. Don't skip the lime. It is devine! ;)

My camera died right before the final pic so this is missing the basil and the dash of chili flakes for my hubs but really, Isn't she lovely. Isn't she wonderful. Isn't she precious. Less than one minute old. O.k. pure silliness. Sorry. I'll stop.

Is your stomach grumbling yet? Mine is. Bon Appetit!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Knock? Knock?

It's DIY day over at ASPTL and thank you Kimba for making me get this simple little project done, finally. It's one of those easy ones that you think you'll do one of these days but personally I generally take on the bigger, more time consuming projects first, like new floors or the painted cabinets I'm currently working on. So, getting this done and reaping the benefits of doing something simply but beautifully just makes me giddy. I can't wait to do the next one.

If I'm still alive.

These cabinets might just kill me...No really...They might.

During the summer our front door is open 80% of the time so I stare at this ugly thing day in and day out. How have I put off this project for so long?

Do you like the big red NO SOLICITORS sign? Yep, it was there when we moved in and up until yesterday was still there! You would think that would keep the Comcast and security companies from ringing my door bell, but no. They must not be able to read simple english....
No soliciting at this zoo people!

I got out the tools and pried off that ugly red sign and boy, it wasn't easy but GONE!

Thank was about time.

And what do you think of the lovely plaque that is glued, and I mean SUPER DUPER glued, in the center of our front door. I have tried to pry this puppy off but I was always afraid of breaking it and having a big chunk of ceramic just hanging on my door. At least I could cover this up with various Happy Fall or Happy Winter signs since it doesn't always feel like a zoo around here. Not always.

So out came the paint that was leftover from my sisters bathroom DIY project. I can't tell you what color it is because I didn't buy it but it's a nice warm tanish earthy color. I covered the blue up really well and even though I could have gotten away with one coat, why when this project is so simple and fast? 2 coats did it and even covered up the inviting entrance to the zoo!

I painted the trim black and distressed it a bit. I may have distressed it a little too much for my liking but that's an easy fix. I'm going to live with it for a day or two then we'll see. I cut a piece of scrapbooking paper and fit it to the zoo sign. Ahh it already feels so much better!

Luckly, I have this handy dandy little machine

I cut out the all the necessary letters to finish this little project

Nope, you're right... I didn't iron that runner before putting it on my table.

I used transfer tape to lay out the letters and ensure that they are all straight and spaced correctly. Then transfer the letters onto the door. I suggest always using transfer tape. I like things to be straight and this allows you to see your project before that, you can't turn back, stage.

My transfer tape was too short for the whole word so I applied the other letters first then added the E. Again, transfer tape allowed me to make some adjustment to make sure my E wasn't askew. I burnished the letters to the door a little to ensure there were no air bubbles.

Then I just pulled off the transfer tape at a 45 degree angle and voila!

Isn't she gorgeous, all sunshiney and happy.
Now for that pesky zoo sign I added an S for our last name and the year we were married.

I love it! The black goes well with our wrought iron on the front porch and the tanish color blends in nicely with, well everything. Some day I might change that S to a monogram but until then I am so happy to say I will be greeting by this every single day!

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.

~Emily Dickinson

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just a little ditty about TLC

If you haven't heard of the amazingly talented and beautiful (inside and out) Layla Palmer, you MUST go and check out her blog and read about her newest venture.
Not only does Layla, of The Lettered Cottage, have a thriving design consultation business she does commissioned pet portraits, sells her quote and good jars (which I LOVE and have given as a gift), works with her mom on shell boxes, and her and her adorable hubby also have Lettered Cottage Art (which I love as well).
Now if you haven't been over there then you might not know how talented her hubs is too!

Sorry Layla, but I have to share just a little about your adorable and just as talented hubby. Kevin is not only A-dor-able and just as goofy but he is a musician (swoon) and not just any musician. He is the lead in a band, and a band that I really like! How did these two find each other (in a bar, none the less)? So, I guess what I am trying to say is over there at TLC they are all talented, I think even their little pooch Max has talent in his blood!

O.k back to the real reason for this post. Sorry I'm a sucker for both musicians and cutie-patootees, so Kevin had to get a shout out!
This talented little lady is the reason I am blogging. I adore her style, her attitude, her drive and determination, and her real goofy self, which we don't get to see enough of!
Ehm... more instructional videos or fun "day in the life of" videos Layla (and Kevin) PLEASE!
So if you haven't guessed it Layla has been my inspiration and she continues to inspire me each and every day.
Her new venture with her friend Sarah has just begun but I know it will be just one more thing that Layla is great at.

If you haven't been there already please go visit Lettered Cottage Home and give them some love. Once you are there, I know you will just love everything Lettered Cottage like I do! There is a reason that The Lettered Cottage's initials are TLC. Every thing that girl touches receives a little of her TLC!

Good luck Layla and Sarah. I wish you only the best in all that you do!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cafe Curtain Cover Up

It's Make your Monday at Twice Remembered and I'm sharing this Cafe Curtain Cover Up!
When remodeling our house we took out some old closets and made this bookcase cubby out of a corner of our master bedroom. It sat like this forever.

I can't believe I even shared that mess. Fabric, batting, old sweaters for felting, oh my!
So I needed something simple yet beautiful to cover up this crazy cubby.

I am constantly inspired by Nester to mistreat my home. It was wayyyy past time to do something about this cubby, so mistreatment it is.

I bought a cafe curtain at Wally World for about 3 bucks and the clips at a K-Mart that is going about of business for .75 cents! Whoo hooo! My plan is now in action and for only $3.75. The hubs can't complain about that!

When I found this King Flat sheet at Marshalls (I sing when I say Marshalls because I oh so love them sooo sooo much) on Clearance for $5 (I think). It is the softest material ever, and I am going to make pillows out of what is left of the sheet when I'm done. How about that for coordinating fabrics in the Master Bedroom!

Yes, yes it is Ralph Lauren, which made me love it even more. So classic! (although very wrinkly)

I just measured my cubby and multiplied it by two, to ensure I had enough fabric for my folds. Then I folded over the edge like so....

Very Nester inspired eh? Then started folding material in the middle and worked my way out so that at least the fold in the middle would be centered. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful but I do have a thing about centering stuff, and right angles. I have a thing about right angles...Anyway.....

I made a little box pleat for the front, pretty part of the fold. Then folded approx the same size folds in on each side. Overlapping a little on the back so that when I clip them everything stays put!
Then clip them up. The teeth on these clips make this work really well. It holds all of the fabric in place!

For the ends I made a little box pleat again but just folded the end under and clipped.

Voila! Now the end is kinda poofy like the other pleats. It stands out from the edge of the cubby nicely.
Grab your cafe curtain from where you laid it against the wall.

Screw in your cafe curtain holders. Heh couldn't think of the name of these at the moment so that works, right? I measured my fabric to be about an inch off of the floor but had to put the "holders" a little bit higher to ensure that the fabric covered the cubby holes. That's the point of this right?

Hang the mistreatment on the cafe rod.

And Voila! A perfect little cafe curtain cover up. Much better than the cabinet doors we were originally going to use. And the doors were $40 each. Total for this cute little cover up = $8.75
Does it get any better than that? Well, I'm off to check on everyone else's Make your Monday's.

Have a great week everyone!