Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Dream Christmas Tree

I'm definitely some who would vote real in this week's Bam or Slam over at The Mustard Seed.  When I was younger, there was a Christmas tree farm on the outskirts of my home town.  On the morning of the Friday after Thanksgiving, my Dad and I would go pick out our tree, then my Mom and I would decorate it while we watched the Arkansas-LSU game. 

My first year of law school when I had my own apartment for the first time, I drove to the Christmas tree lot on in the tire center parking lot on Cantrell in Little Rock and negotiated down the price of my tree so I could have the one I loved.  I stuck it as far into the trunk of my white Nissan Maxima as it would go, then tied the trunk lid down on top of it.  Back at the apartment, I dragged it up the steps by the trunk to my second floor home.

Several years ago, I found this image in a Cottage Living magazine (RIP).  I fell in love~

I'd never seen a real flocked tree before, so I tried to recreate my own version with an artificial silver tree that I found on Ebay~

It just wasn't the same, though.  Last year when we walked in the Calloway's Garden Center where we get our trees in Texas, I wanted to cry.  They had a whole section of the most beautiful trees I'd ever seen...they were flocked!  I was too nervous to pull the trigger last year, but now I've waited 11 months to get my flocked tree.

I woke up at 7 a.m. on Black Friday--not to shop--but to go get my flocked tree!  After a stop at Starbucks to fuel up with a skinny latte, we were on our way!  I ended up lucking into finding a 10' foot "skinny" tree that I had custom "super" flocked.  And, yes, the sales lady and I went through a whole round of "flocking" jokes.  I don't think her manager was as amused as she and I were!  I had to wait over 24 hours for it to dry, so at 7 p.m. on Saturday night, we went to bring my baby home!

I want to keep the suspense a little longer, though, so I'll leave you with a few of the images that inspired me to flock my tree!

{all images via my Pinterest}

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Card Outtakes

Yep, I'm one of those people who puts their dogs on the Christmas card.  I imagine that our friends and families would rather see three goofy dogs than two goofy 32-year olds.  It's pretty much impossible to get all three of our dogs to pose together (one of them doesn't like the other two...). 

With a little patience and a lot of dog food, we made it happen, though.  On the way to the final picture, though, we had a few interesting moments.  I hope they show up as funny in picture as they were in person~

I'll share the final shot with you once we mail our Christmas cards.  And, more on my Christmas decorations as soon as I get them finished!  Are yours up yet?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The "S" Word

Yep.  I'm just going to say it.  The "S" word, that is.  Stuffing.  Oh, you didn't know that's what I was talking about?  For those of you who live in the north, this may not be such a bad word, but down south, we make dressing.  Any other description is an insult.  Stuffing is that stuff that comes in a box at the grocery story.  No good Southern cook would dare...

This morning on the Today Show (which I still think was hands down better with Meredith), they did a segment on "stuffing" with Giada De Laurentiis.  She described her first recipe as "traditional."  It's main ingredients were Ciabatta bread and pancetta.  *I about died.*  Fortunately, she later clarified that it was a traditional Italian stuffing...who knew Italy celebrated Thanksgiving? Anyway...

So, what's on your menu this year?  It's just the two of us for Thanksgiving, so we're having exactly what we both like best: a homemade honey baked ham (using this recipe), chicken and dressing, creamed potatoes (I can debate creamed v. mashed with you, too), Kraft deluxe macaroni and cheese, Southern green beans and rolls.  And for dessert, a caramel and sea salt cheesecake I found through Pinterest.  Hopefully, it will turn out well enough to be worth it's own post next week.  And, yep, you probably noticed the absence of turkey.  I'm just not a big fan. 

I'm not sure how I'll decorate the table this year.  Makes it more complicated with just two place settings.  Here are a few shots from last year, though.  Oh, well.  Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tweet, Tweet!

On Sunday I flew to Little Rock for the first birthday party of Ms. Ava Lile, my best friend's daughter.  My friend and her mother-in-law did all of the work-except the cake and cookies--and it was just too cute!

"My, my! How the first year flew by!"

Her mother in law made the banner!

The Smash Cake

The cookies were made to match a piece of scrapbook paper from
Hobby Lobby that served as the inspriation for it all!

The felt birds were cut by hand and added to the cupcakes by the baker.

Party favors!

The birthday girl!  Her dress came from Etsy. 
The bird on it was used as the patter for the invitation and the cake.
She changed for her cake into a birthday onesie with a tutu. 
There were so many people gathered around that I didn't get a picture, though!

I know it was a ton of work, but it was so adorable!  Well worth the effort!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Traditional Living Room Challenge

A good friend of mine recently moved into the new home that she and her husband built.  Eric and I went to see it for the first time a few weeks ago.   Her living room is an open concept with the kitchen.  It only has one solid wall on which their TV is mounted.  They have a natural stone fireplace in the corner of the room.  The walls are a warm beige with dark handscrapped hardwood floors. She mentioned that she might want to do a leather sectional, and my wheels started spinning.  She has very traditional taste and loves, loves the color red and other warm tones.  Quite a challenge since I love all things turquoise.  I played around for about an hour tonight and this is what I came up with~

**This is my first time building an Olioboard, so please forgive how amatuer it is.

Henry Sectional by West Elm
Fringed Hand Loomed Rug by Pottery Barn
Holbrook Coffee Table by Home Decorators
Sidney Storage Drum by Home Decorators
Wavy Table Lamp by Robert Abbey at
Leonzio Mirror by Uttermost
Schumacher Bleeker Pillow in Absinthe by Etsy seller Lab Designs
Schumacher Chinoiserie Chiang Mai Dragon Aquamarine lumbar pillow by Etsy seller Aurelia6311

It's certainly not professional quality, but it was a fun little game for me!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Powder Room Updates

Way back in the spring, I showed you our downstairs powder room~

Then, I shared our mirror removal~

And, our paint updates~

I've been hesitant to share the rest of the pictures, because we just haven't completely finished the room.  But, I thought it might be best to get your advice.  Here is where we are now~

We painted the bathroom Atmospheric by Behr, removed the old mirror and added this mirror from West Elm (because of our hand trowled walls, we had to stick with a 24" x 36" mirror), added a new rubbed oil bronze faucet found on, added a new towel holder and toilet paper holder from target, a new hand towel holder from Bed, Bath and Beyond, new cabinet hardware from Lowe's and a new toilet handle from Home Depot.   Eric installed everything for me, so we didn't have to spend any money aside from the new hardware. 

Because I was hosting a wedding shower at my house this summer and really wanted the bathroom finished, we bought a $29 bronze light fixture from Home Depot to make due.  We're still searching for something permanent.  The issue is that the light box is really close to the mirror, and I don't want the light hanging onto the mirror. 

Here are two finalist in the Ms. Powder Room Light Fixture pageant~

via Shades of Light .com

via Restoration Hardware (available in bronze)

So, do you like any of the options?  Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Three Years!

They say you  won't meet your husband in a bar.  Not only did I find my husband in a bar, I also found my soulmate.  Today, Eric and I celebrate three years of marriage.  We are very grateful and blessed to have enjoyed three fun years of marriage complete with job changes, a move out of state, dogs and a *few* fun bar filled evenings.  You never know what life may bring you, so we are grateful everyday for what we have.  Here are a few of my favorite candids from our wedding.  We married in the morning at the church where I grew up (First United Methodist) followed by a brunch.  It was the perfect day~

We waited until the ceremony to see each other.  It was perfect.

It was cold that day, but the sun felt so warm.

Taking a moment to breathe while the guests moved to the reception.

My dad is a rice farmer and our wedding was right after harvest, so I gave bags of rice as favors.

This is my Granny.  She's awesome. 

Yellow butter cake with buttercream icing.  My fave.

Eric's from Ohio-quite the rebel to love Michigan.

I took my mom's fur out of the coat room.  We were giggling about how she would react.

Yes, we actually threw rice.  I kind of have a thing for it.

And, off we went!

I don't have the rights to any of my photographer's photos; these are all candids.  I wish I could share my favorites with you, like those of my and my dad and the look on Eric's face when we first saw each other.

You can see us on the front of her website, though~ and under the bridals tab. 
We got married at a restored train station, so we had fun taking pictures after the ceremony.

My only regret is not staying on my diet after the wedding!  I wish I was still that thin!