To follow up from yesterday, I am happy to report I got to check a couple of things off of my list last night! My wonderful husband was able to be coerced into hanging a drapery rod (I believe this might be his least favorite thing to do, although he has also recently been tortured by hanging blinds – I’m sorry honey!!).

In the quest to turn my office into a more functional, inspirational space, I have a long way to go! But a good start has been made.:)

(previous owner’s furnishings)

The walls have been painted a MUCH better, more neutral color (BM Edgecomb Grey is my go-to neutral because it works with EVERYTHING, warm or cool colors) and, as of last night, I now have a little more privacy and pretty-ness thanks to some clearance drapes and a colorful piece of art to somewhat hide the unsightly electrical box.

What do you think? More to come!

February 8th, 2012

rome wasn’t built in a day

You may not know this about me yet (if you don’t, you will), but I am a very organized person. I like for things to be neat and in their place, and I live and breathe ‘to-do’ lists. I have a list for work, a list for grocery shopping, a list for gift-giving, and my biggest list right now is the list of ‘to-dos’ for the house, categorized by floor and by room. (Yes, I’m a little crazy OCD…don’t judge!)


I love my lists because I get so much satisfaction as I cross out each completed task; but with this many lists growing faster than I can cross things off, I’m becoming more overwhelmed than ever. And here’s another thing about myself: I stress out. A lot.

I realize that the key is to prioritize, and I do try to prioritize to the best of my ability. But then there’s always really important deadlines for work, the house is a mess, laundry is piled up beside the hamper, plus I have a million and one projects going at one time…so I shut down until I can clearly think through what needs to happen and how to most efficiently get it done.

Maybe I need to get one of these to remind myself to slow down a bit?

Finch & Hawk    //    Modern Emotive


So, what’s next?
Lunch. I’m starving.
Then work projects, a meeting, more work…then maybe trying to convince my hubby to put up the drapery rod over the sliding glass doors in my office? Or maybe head to Benjamin Moore to pick up a few more cans of paint?

What’s on your list??

February 6th, 2012

sunday day trip

Hope everyone had a fun weekend!

After a few days of being house-bound, we decided we needed a day trip on Sunday to Fredericksburg, Va. for The Big Flea. There’s another one in DC in March that we may try to check out too (I hear it’s usually a big deal!).

Anyway, we didn’t luck out much with our finds (too much costume jewelry for sale for my taste), but we did see a couple of fun things.

I got caught searching through a box of zinc Ball jar lids. Typical.

Inside the radio. Somehow this thing still works (not so sure about the paper towel roll).

Shiny Brite mecca. Too pricey for me, though!

And, of course, we took a trip Downtown to check out our regular favorite antiquing spots and grab lunch. We were bummed that our go-to Fburg lunch spot, Goolrick’s Pharmacy was closed on Sunday, but we were pleasantly surprised by Eileen’s. We had a couple of yummy sammiches and this tasty California slaw (garbanzos, limas, avocado deliciousness).

And we might have brought home a couple of irresistible pastries, which we enjoyed during the Super Bowl commercial show. Not too shabby!

February 2nd, 2012

groundhog day

Happy Groundhog Day, folks! So apparently Punxsutawney Phil is expecting 6 more weeks of winter. I’d normally be upset about this, but seeing as winter has been beautiful weather in the 60s thus far, I say bring it on!

In other news, this week has been a little crazy. Without getting into details, let’s just say I’ve been a little distracted and I apologize for neglecting my blogging responsibilities! On the plus side, I just have to say how blessed I am for my wonderful husband, amazing parents, and incredibly supportive family and friends. I truly have a lot to be thankful for and I love you guys!

And now, here’s a little mini update on the last week-ish via Instagram.

1.  love this pup // 2. dragon oolong tea // 3. year of the dragon at p.f. changs //
4. new sperrys:) // 5. necklace from lady lee & drew jones // 6. sunrise on my drive to work. so pretty //
7. dad’s pimento cheese. yum-o! // 8. i mean, seriously? how can you not love this face? //
9. mom’s homemade chicken & dumplin’ s cure all <3

January 30th, 2012

before/after: powder room

Another big decor change for us in the new house took place in one of the smallest spaces…the powder room!

Our powder room is located on the second floor between the living room and kitchen. It is a place that many guests will see, but is not always a room that many people think about when decorating their home. I decided I wanted to make a big impact in a small space, so the result was bright, modern look!

We erased all of the drab, and made some small, but impactful changes. The biggest change is obviously the paint color! I chose a dark teal (BM Casco Bay) to make a big impact. The door to the powder room is usually shut, but I wanted a fun pop of color when someone opens the door!

Another big change came with the mirror. Another before/after project, this mirror was found by one of my good friends at an estate sale. I had long been searching for an ornate oval mirror and she found the perfect one! I cleaned it well and spray painted it with a glossy white so that the frame would be a big contrast against the darker wall color.

I also painted a small corner shelf (found at an antique shop in Elloree, SC, last summer) with the same glossy white. It still needs a few pieces of decor to adorn its shelves…I’m thinking a hot pink peony in a tiny glass vase. (It had a few colorful vintage Christmas ball ornaments last month, but they have since been packed away.)

We also replaced the hardware with a brushed nickel finish (door knobs and hinges, an oval towel ring, new TP holder, TP storage), and added a fun striped hand towel and decorative soap dispenser. I also want to replace the faucet…but that’s still to come. In addition, we replaced the light fixture shades and I painted the the fixture frame to make it a brushed nickel-type of finish to match the rest of the hardware.

I love the result and think it adds a little bit of fun to a sometimes-forgotten space!

January 27th, 2012

spice up your weekend

How about a little salsa to spice things up? Chips and salsa may be one of my favorite snacks, but this recipe is also great to add as a side (or ingredient!) to any of your Mexican recipes! I like to mix it up in my Mexican casserole or quesadillas, or as a side with enchiladas or nachos. I pretty much need no excuse to make this as often as possible!

So without further ado…

Grace’s Slammin’ Salsa Recipe

4-5 plum tomatoes, cut in quarters
1/4 large red onion (or 1/2 – 1 whole small, depending on how much you like onion)
1 jalepeño, seeds removed, cut in quarters
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1 bunch/handful of fresh cilantro leaves (this is my favorite part so I always use quite a bit)
juice from 1 lime
salt & pepper, to taste
Texas Pete or Tabasco sauce for an extra kick (optional)

1. Wash and prepare the first 6 ingredients ingredients. I usually chop everything in large quarters, except for the garlic which I mince or chop very fine.

2. Place all of your ingredients together in food processor.

3. Pulse food processor, stirring occasionally as needed, until chopped up to your desired size. (Try to make sure there aren’t any large chunks.)

4. Pour in to a sealable dish and add salt and pepper to taste. This is also when you may want to add a splash or two (or four or five…) of your hot sauce for an added kick, depending on the heat of your jalepeños.

5. Stir well. Taste often (to make sure you got it right, of course!).


And hope you have a wonderful weekend!

January 25th, 2012

creative space needed

Today is one of those days where I feel inspired to DO something, to create something…to just take my mind off of the everyday work at hand and enjoy a quiet project. It’s been a crazy work week and…what? It’s only Wednesday?!

I’m sitting at my desk with a cup of hot tea and a sleeping dog at my feet, looking all around the room trying to decide what to tackle next. My office needs a complete makeover. We painted this room before we moved in, but that’s about all that’s happened in here. I have temporary drapes up to have some privacy and my desk is covered with work computers and notes and paper…then there’s the hubby’s desk covered in tools and projects that had to be put on pause when we moved. The laundry is also down here, as well as a few boxes yet to be unpacked.

I have a blank canvas: white Pottery Barn desk, armoire and bookcase, and BM Edgecomb Grey walls.

This space needs life! I spend a lot of my days here now that I am able to work from home a few days during the week and it is just screaming for a creative touch. I need this space to make me feel inspired! Plus, I want to have a place designated to fun crafty and sewing projects too. You know, for those days like today!

Here are a few of my inspirations:

Better Homes & Gardens

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

homemade grits

Home Decorators


Deming Design Studio

Apartment Therapy


Maybe my problem isn’t so much that I don’t know what to do…maybe it’s that I want to do everything at once!
Any suggestions?

January 24th, 2012

before/after: console table

When we moved into our new house, a friend of my mom’s let us know that she had found a console table that she thought we might like. And by found, I mean she literally found it sitting on the curb while walking her dogs in a snowstorm! She went home and took her husband’s BMW Z3 convertible (with the top down!) out in the storm to beat the trash truck and snatch up the table. Apparently it was quite a scene! But I’m sure glad she did it and was so sweet as to think of us!

Here is the table before. Filthy dirty, kind of wobbly and the paint job looked as if someone tried to put stain on top of the paint and left globs and drips in various spots on the top and legs. But, overall, it was in pretty good shape.

After the hubby tightened up a few bolts to remedy the wobbliness, I spent a couple of hours scrubbing and sanding. Next I took a couple of cans of satin black spray paint to the table and had an instant makeover!


I absolutely love it and think it is just perfect in our front hallway/foyer! It’s amazing what a little elbow grease and a can of spray paint will do!

January 23rd, 2012

hello monday

We had a very grey, icy weekend. After hibernating most of Saturday, hubby and I spent Sunday afternoon taking in a movie (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is great, by the way), shopping and running a few errands to prepare for the week.

By the time we got back home I was so cold and ready to warm up in some cuddly clothes and some kind of hot tasty soup. I decided to whip up a yummy white bean, bacon soup and tried my hand at making cheesy garlic knots. Whatcha think?

Continue reading for recipes. >>

January 20th, 2012

three cheers for pompoms!

Before Christmas, while we were still trying to unpack boxes, I decided to have a little crafty fun. On Pinterest I kept seeing all these cute crafty projects with yarn pompoms, so I just had to do a few myself.

Well, a few turned into about 20 in one afternoon. They’re addicting once you start making them…and kind of relaxing at the same time. So, using a long embroidery needle, I strung them all on a long piece of yarn to make a garland for our stair-rail. It would also be great over a fireplace mantel.

The best part about these is that they’re SUPER easy.

To make pompoms of this size, just take the yarn color of your choice and wrap loosely around four fingers (you don’t want blue fingers!), about 60 times. Gently slide the yarn off of the end your fingers and tie a piece of yarn (about 4 inches) around the center very tightly, making a bundle of loops. Now, with a pair of sharp scissors, beginning cutting through the loops and trim ends as necessary to make them as even as possible all the way around. Roll pompom around in your hand to fluff, and voilà! Instant cuteness!

You can also vary the size of your pompoms by wrapping around fewer fingers, or even using a fork for smaller poms; try wrapping around more or less times, too!