Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hi. Welcome.

This is the front of my house. At the bottom of the stairs is the front door.  If you’re standing at the door, facing in, go right, living room.  Go left, dining room.  I’m standing in the farthest corner of the living room.


One of the cool things about our house is the light, it comes in really good.


When I take pictures of items, I do it at the base of the stairs, preferably with the door open.  The light here gets the colors jussssst right, there is a big window above the door too.  It warms the floor and our dog likes to lay where the sunlight lands. 

A week or so ago, I switched the lamps here.  I never heard of switching your home around for the seasons until I began reading blogs.  Now all of a sudden, the black felt heavy for Spring and this one wasn’t being used so easy update.  I haven’t mastered the vignette so suggestions are welcome for the buffet.


That’s the chair I mentioned a while back with the IKEA bookshelves purchased earlier this year.  The pillow was being tested, I really liked the colors and style, helloo affordable IKAT, but it went back.  Mostly because it was a one-hit wonder, I couldn’t use it anywhere else and I genuinely did not need another pillow.  However, if you’re interested, Kohl’s.

I really don’t hear much about Kohl’s in blogland but it’s so close to me, I like to pop in.  You can get some steals there, always, always, always go armed with a coupon.  Here are some links for coupon apps, Weekly, RetailMeNot and Shopular, all free.  Kohl’s usually has a Sunday newspaper circular too.  PowRug PowRug2

I got these two rugs there for about $13 each, I wasn’t sure which would look better, the darker color won.  Although now I look and think the mustard doesn’t compete with the curtains. 

Also, if you are a makeup newbie like me, did you know you can try on their products, I love that!  So fact is, I’m on a drugstore budget, but what is up with the packaging???  The colors on the outside do not match what is in the container.  Many a mistake has been made, many a lip gloss tubes have been tossed.  Tragic.  So, yea at Kohls, you may pay a buck or two more, but it beats wasting $8 on a color that looks horrible on.  I know some of the big makeup stores let you try on product, but none are close to me, so Kohl’s it is. 

Plus, my daughter is usually my roadie and she likes to try-on stuff too, our girl time. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

No hesitations

If I like something online, a deciding factor for me is cost: product cost, shipping cost, return cost, bonus (!) if I can return in-store.  When I noticed that Nordstrom’s is now offering free shipping and free returns, no minimums.  Game.changer.  Over the past year, I’ve made 2 purchases.  I beat that in the past month, I’m at 3.  Game.changer, yall.

I genuinely think they offer a variety of price points as well as a pretty good assortment of products.  And they Price Match, which takes the sting out of seeing it elsewhere for cheaper. 

With that said, did you know Mother’s Day is only two weeks away?  Lucky for you, I did some Mother’s Day homework and I made the shopping hesitation free – price points under $100 with free shipping and free returns.  Holla!!!

Now, to me gifts are little (or big) treats you give to someone that they wouldn’t normally purchase for themselves.  So here are some suggestions to hook up your Mom’s or yourself, I’m sure you deserve it!

This one is for the mom who likes to sparkle.  Kate Spade.  Boom!  Six colors available.


There’s always the sentimental Mom, you know her, she gushes over her kids to anyone who will listen.  So let’s help her wear it already.



I like these as a “party”, I think they are so cute, the new pandora.  You can mix colors, textures and styles.  And if bracelets aren’t your jam, how about these necklaces.  (Lisa Leonard is offering free shipping on her personalized goodies too)

How about the Mom that needs TLC, her schedule is go.go.go, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

essie colors 

Schedule a lunch date but give her the address for the nearest spa.  Grab her a gift card for a facial, massage, haircut or mani-pedi.  She doesn’t even remember what it’s like to go to the bathroom alone, a lil’ ME-time is just what she needs.  Time to de-stress and enjoy her own thoughts, be sure to throw in her favorite magazine and snack, nomnomnom nomnomnomnomnomnom.

And last but not least, this Mom doesn’t want you to spend any money on a Hallmark holiday, but you still want to show ya love.

gift wrapped flo 

Gift wrapped flowers!  I don’t care the occasion flowers make me smile, they add life, they smell great, they brighten the room and lift your spirits.  I’d also add some local goodies.  Our local fair is chocolate at Josh Early, West Coasters like See’s, Chicago likes their Garretts, you get the jest, support your locals. 

Now what about me, here’s how I would like the day to play out: 

I want to sleep in, like Im on vacation with not a care in the world.  And when I do get up, I want to go out for about 2 hours uninterrupted.  I dunno, window shop all the regulars, Target, Marshalls, etc with a vanilla latte (and maybe a slice of lemon loaf, gosh, I miss you lemon loaf but your calorie count is ridic). 

By 11, I’m hungry, so lunch, preferably something salty, Chinese, Thai, hot wings.  Not all 3.  Everyone should come.

Here’s where it’s tough, I’m full and happy, do I keep moving or go home and have a lil’ siesta?  It’s Mother’s Day so let’s assume the house is clean and quiet, I choose a nap.  Just for 20 minutes or so. 

How’s the weather, it’s beautiful out right?  Normally, I would be thinking about groceries, laundry, weekly chores, but all of that is being handled for me today.  So, I choose spa time.  A mani-pedi, facial, and back massage would set it off and I am full on relaxed.  But this Momma’ s day is not quite done.

We should be knocking on 4-5pm and I could eat.  Nothing heavy, a light dish, seafood, veggies, sangria.  And one last hurrah, the Cinema, I love movies, take me there.  I definitely want popcorn and soda, so bad but so good. 

That’s my idea of a great Mother’s day 2015 style, casual and relaxed.  But honestly, if I get none of that, the best gift I could receive is to see my children happy and living life abundantly. 

P.S. I loved this tribute to Mom by Stephen Colbert.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Flowers for me


This weekend was a weekend about nothing…and it was fantastic.  The temperature hit 77 degrees (!!!) and all the sunshine gave me a burst of energy I haven’t had in years.  Years.

dahlia You see, the bulbs and seeds at the supermarket and home stores, somehow they find their way into my cart, but they never actually get in the ground.  That was until yesterday, I grabbed the box from the basement and got to work. 


I warned myself cause some of the seed were old, (like they expired 2008 old) and might not grow, but my optimism got the best of me.  I figured, shoot, some of them might grow and won’t that purrrdy.  I snagged that last one from the Dollar Tree of all places just last weekend, so the flowers have multiple price points and are available everywhere.  But I have no zero experience and don’t know if they will work, but we’ll see. 

A few quick notes before you set out yourself:

Tool suggestions:

- Gloves: I can’t do bugs or worms, so gloves were a must for me. 

- Hand shovel: It looks like a shovel but mini.  It was really helpful in digging up the soil in small areas.  I worked no larger than both my arms out for a hug, maybe 3x3. I  typically just patted the soil and mulch back on with my hands after the seeds were planted. 

- Soil:  I liked having the bag around to put fresh soil over the seeds, it felt like making them a comfy bed.  Not necessary tho. 

Where will these plants go?  Does that area of the yard get sun or shade?  I love hostas but my house gets full sun, so those don’t work for me here.  I have to look for seeds and plants that like full sun.  Don’t be discouraged, there really is variety for both. 

Do you like to change them up or are you happy with your faves?  If you like variety, you should get annuals, they require planting each year.  However, if you want to fix it and forget it think perennials, they give you a show year after year. 

And yall it seriously was so easy, most only required an inch or two of digging.  I’m genuinely excited to see what will come of it. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

We all family



bwahahahaa!!  When I hear Family Reunion, I think of Poetic Justice and Cuzn Pete.  Finding this pic definitely made me a little nostalgic.

Anyhoo, Haik’s family does a family reunion every year, on both sides of his family. We don’t always make them, but we always try to hit at least one.  This year they are hosting the reunion locally, so there is lotsa planning going on and this weekend the meeting is at my house. Like tomorrow.

It’s all very casual, but all week I’ve been cleaning the nooks and crannies, you know those areas you mean to get to, like behind the coffee maker, windowsills and under the dog bowls.  The funny part is, when my family comes, they know the routine, what you see is what you get.

On top of the cleaning, we need something for these folks to eat.  All week I’ve been thinking, what am I gonna feed everybody?  How many people…how many kids….I want to keep it as simple as possible and here’s what I’m thinking hotdogs.   I kid, I kid, small plates, tapas, ya know appeteasers:

Mini Pizzas

Mini pizzas: Quick, easy, inexpensive and fresh. I make these all the time for the fam.  Bonus, they reheat really well.  The only con is you have to remember to take the rolls out in the morning, so they have enough time to rise, I’d say you need a good 6 hours.


Nacho bar: I tried the crockpot version for the Superbowl but it kept burning my cheese.  I have to do something different this go ‘round, cause I still really like the idea.  I mean look at all those toppings!!  Salsa, black beans, jalapenos, green onion, chicken, sour cream, guacamole and melty cheese. The best part, customize-able, e’erybody can chose what they want and pile it on. 

This was unintentional, but notice how both of these dishes can be meat-free. With all the dietary needs and restrictions these days, you just never know. 

And just in case you have an event soon and need ideas.  Here are a few other tried and true favorites:

Buffalo dip, it’s not pretty but it’s a crowd pleaser.  If possible, use fresh cooked chicken instead of canned, serve with celery and tortilla chips.  Keep the recipe handy cause you will get asked.

Buffalo wings, just the smell makes my mouth water.  I like them extra crispy, seriously, just say no to soggy wings.  And if you need a new flavor try this sauce, around here they call it hot and honey.  These look really good too.   

Oh well, wish me luck.  I hope you have a great weekend, it might actually hit 70 degrees here tomorrow and I can’t wait!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

For weeks, months even, I have been on the look out for a fireplace mirror.  Specifically something like Emily A Clark’s, it has just always caught my eye. 

RoundMirror emily 


36” diameter - Rafia


38”, banana plant, online only


36”, mango wood

I tried all the usual suspects, WestElm, PotteryBarn, Target, WorldMarket, local Goodwill.  And as per the usual, once you’ve begun a search, similar items will pop up in your ad sidebars.  So, I’ve been looking even when I wasn’t looking. 

But nothing fit my budget or comfort level with buying online.  I could not handle the idea of trying to return an oversized mirror ($$$) and I was really concerned about materials and size.  I can be picky, not Bridezilla picky, but picky nonetheless. 

Well Gang, on Friday, I got an email from PB, 15% off everything for your walls.  So, I quick looked again and the Wood Sun Mirror caught my eye. 

round mirror5

35" diameter, mango wood frame

It took me a good whiiiile to pull the trigger cause PB is not exactly cheap.  On sale $340, regular $399.  Whimper, whimper, whimper, my budget was closer to $250, preferably less. But as I get older, I realize something’s require top dollar, like good fitting jeans, cute comfortable shoes and a big ol’ mirror for your mantle. 

So, when the local store confirmed they had it in stock, the scales tipped.  No S&H and a hassle-free return (if needed).  Ok, still hesitant, but sold. 

After a little measuring yesterday, the mirror was up, honestly yall, it took less than 30 minutes.  I forgot to mention, the mirror came packaged with the necessary wall fasteners, looooved that!  No extra trips.  I really love the color, shape and details.  It definitely fits my neutral vibe and once I find some complimentary accessories, I think she’ll be fantastic in her new home.