Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Recap

Not much in the way of a "recap" actually because we did precious little.  Just what I needed!  We drove down to my parents' condo on Saturday morning where we spent much of the day lounging around enjoying the PERFECT weather.

We saw this little guy: a lone duckling who seems to have been abandoned by his duck parents.  He seems to be doing pretty well though, so I'm hopeful he'll survive.  He's apparently been on his own for several days and he keeps getting bigger, so that's a good sign.

We also got to see two glorious sunsets:

We enjoyed some great company and some good food, as well as a trip to Ikea where I found two plain white duvets for $14.99 each!  I'll hopefully have a project to show in the next few days.

Hope everyone had a lovely Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh weekend!  I'm so happy to see you!  And it's Memorial weekend--even better!  I see some fun cooking, limeaid, a good book and some afternoon naps in my future. 

Also in my future?  White pants.  I have a pair of white JCrew jeans that I love and I'm always looking for different ways to wear them.  Some ideas:

Images via pinterest

Hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ooh! Pom Poms!

A sweet reader, gimme_emmey, commented on yesterday's post that I should look at Pottery Barn Teen for white duvets for the upstairs bedroom.  Don't know why I didn't think to look there before--they have some cute stuff!

I love the pom-poms on this one (and it's on sale!):

This is cute too:

This could be cute too, although the ruffles are decidedly "girly":

Right now the pom-pom one is definitely my favorite, but I'm going to keep my eyes peeled a bit longer before making a decision. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Anyone know a source for simple white twin duvet covers or coverlets?  I'm having the hardest time finding twin bedding that isn't plastered with Disney princesses or Disney Cars.  This shouldn't be that difficult, right?  Help a sister out!

I'm thinking something along this line that I can easily customize:

Image from Little Green Notebook

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More progress!

The upstairs bedroom is coming along!  Still needs a bunch of work, but it's finally resembling a room in which people can sleep.

Here's what it looked like when we moved in (and how it looked for our entire first year here):

Then it got a coat of orange paint:

A few weeks ago I bought this ugly little dresser for $40:

So I painted the dresser this weekend with primer and two coats of cream paint (the same I've used in the living room and one wall in Future Kid's Room):

(Still needs drawer pulls on the top drawer) 

Also this past weekend we got another bed frame and put on the ruffle duffles (dust ruffles):

We still need to hang the art, get some comforters, some wall lamps, a mirror, and a nightstand.  But we're making progress and we could technically have people sleep upstairs now!  Wheee!

And not that this has anything to do with anything, but here's a cute (slightly blurry) pic of Griz:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend recap!

This weekend was just what I needed--a perfect mix of relaxation and productivity!  Chris replaced the toilet upstairs, I refinished a dresser, practiced the piano, we got a bed frame for the upstairs bedroom, and we went for a 5 mile walk along the greenway.  We also finally watched Black Swan and OMG that was creepy!  Really good, but really creepy.

Capping off the weekend, I had a great idea to make the chicken and chorizo paella that's in the current issue of Martha Stewart Living.  As is often (but not ALWAYS) the case in our house, I had the idea and then Chris ended up being the one left to cook.  Oops!  In my defense, I told him I was happy to cook, but he was enjoying himself, so it was his choice.

Anyway, the recipe was delicious and I highly recommend it.

4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground saffron
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces dried chorizo, sliced 1/8 thick in the bias (we couldn't find dried chorizo, so we used andoille instead)
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup fresh shelled English peas (we used frozen)

1.  Preheat oven to 400.  Warm stock, saffron, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat.  Season chicken with 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the paprika.  Heat oil in a 14-inch paella pan or a high-sided ovenproof skillet over high heat.  Brown chicken for 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate.
2.  Pour out all but 1 teaspoon oil.  Cook chorizo over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes.  Cook, stirring, until thick, about 5 minutes.  Stir in rice, then add broth mixture.  Bring to a boil.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add peas, then chicken.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve.

And the recipe in pictures:

Browned and crispy chicken

 Chorizo, onion, and garlic cook
Fresh tomatoes get stirred in

Cute husband

Peas, arborio rice, and saffron-infused chicken stock get added in

Chicken goes back in the pan and into the oven it all goes

20 minutes later and ta-da!!!  Soooo good.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I'm so excited that it's Friday!  Our plans for the weekend:

Order a rug for the living room
Go on the Raleigh Tour D'Coop (so fun!!!)
Hit up the Farmers' Market
Play around on Pinterest (I've signed up, but haven't had a chance to even log in yet)
Paint a dresser that I bought a few weeks ago
Make one of the recipes in the new Martha Stewart Living magazine (pick up this issue--the recipes look GREAT!)

Posts and pictures to come next week!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Miscellany

This is awesome:  What Your American Girl Doll Says About the Rest of Your Life

Also, I bought this dress over the weekend (but in a blue print that's not online) and I'm in love:

Also, I just finished Tina Fey's book over the weekend and I proclaim it good.  However, if you are a TF fan, you should listen to her interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.  In it, she reads her "Prayer for her Daughter" and it will make you LOL.

That's all for today.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Upstairs bedroom update

We have beds!  (They were a total steal as a result of a Groupon.)

I may have forgotten to buy a bed frame for one of the beds, so whoops on that one!  I still also need to get some more bedding, hang up the art, and get some bedside lamps and a nightstand.  So, in short, it's still very much a work in progress, but at least we have some furniture now.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting back to my roots

For many years growing up, I played the piano, even getting to the point where I was actually "good" and competed a few times.  I loved to play, but hated having an audience, and eventually an over-ambitious piano teacher who really wanted me to keep competing took the fun out of it and I pretty much stopped.  That was about 15 years ago and after that, I'd periodically sit down and play just for fun, but that was about it.

This weekend my dad came to visit and he and my mom had talked about treating me to a digital piano.  I had no idea these things even existed, so we checked them out and I'm now a total fan.  There's a built in metronome feature, volume control, a headphone jack (so I can play without making anyone's eardrums bleed!), and different sounds.  And it weighs about 80 pounds and looks pretty decent!  So, for what I want, it's perfect.  So, after a little research, we got this guy:

I can't wait to start playing again!  After sitting down to it yesterday, I realized I know how to play a C scale, and "Heart and Soul" and that's about it.  So I definitely have some work to do.  Good thing for the headphones.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bathroom Inspiration

Someday (soon?) we're going to remodel our master bathroom.  Why?  Let me count the ways:

1)  No medicine cabinets = cluttered countertops
2)  The vanity is too short
3)  The countertop is AWFUL
4)  There is no way to keep the shower grout clean.  This is disgusting (and embarrassing), but the corners of the shower are always black
5)  The shower door is missing all of its hardware
6)  The shower tile is a bit dated
7)  The floor tiles don't match and it. drives. me. crazy.

This is kind of what I have in mind:

Source:  Can't remember

I love the dark floor tile and very simple, clean look.  Should be easy enough to do without spending a fortune.  We remodeled the master bath in our first house for about $1,500 and I expect that we could do this bathroom for about $2,500.  Like our first house, we'll keep the footprint the same, which keeps costs and time down and allows us to keep it a DIY project instead of having to hire stuff out.

I'll keep you posted. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Drink of the Week: Singapore Sling

Over the weekend, we drove down to South Carolina to check out a liquor store called Frugal McDoogal, which has quite a selection of liquor in addition to beer and wine.  For the past year or so, we've subscribed to Imbibe magazine, which we love, but so many of their recipes reference liquors that we have just not been able to find in North Carolina.  One of those liquors is Cherry Heering, a type of cherry brandy, that's used in a lot of classic cocktails.

As soon as we got back home, we christened the bottle by making ourselves a Singapore Sling.  It's got enough tartness to balance out the sweetness of the cherry brandy and the result is very refreshing.

Super simple to make too.

Singapore Sling

2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Cherry Heering
1 oz. Lemon Juice
3 oz. soda

Shake together the gin, cherry heering, and lemon juice with some ice, strain into a glass, then top with soda and enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Monday!

I just woke up about 5 minutes ago and my coffee is still too hot to drink, so please forgive me for the lame post and lack of photos.

We had a lovely weekend celebrating Mothers' Day with my mom at Lake Norman.  Gorgeous weather, some fun shopping (I got both dresses I posted on Friday--will share later), and a great dinner out!  We had to board Grizabella though and as nice as the place is where we board her, she still gets all out of sorts and holds a grudge.  This means waking me up at 3:45 by clawing everything in sight and then overtaking my pillow (annoying, but it's really cute actually), then knocking everything off my nightstand and batting my glasses around on the floor.  This process (claw, take over pillow, knock things off all horizontal surfaces) repeated itself over and over this morning until the alarm went off at 6:00.  I'm totally going to be on top of my game today.  Ugh.     

Anyway, as I said, I bought those two Loft dresses and they're both super cute and I plan on wearing one today.  Also super cute?  Baby ducks.  We saw a bunch this weekend.

In other news, my manicure still has zero chips.  I'm very pleased with this development.

So, that concludes my worst blog post ever.  I'll be back tomorrow.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dress Round-Up

I don't know if it's because of all the coverage of Kate Middleton over the past few weeks, but lately I'm inspired to buy dresses.  She always looks so pulled together and she almost always wears a dress.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Last weekend I set out on a mission to buy a few dresses because a) they make a gal look pulled together, 2) they make getting dressed super easy in the morning and iii) because they're a bit more forgiving size-wise than pants.  Anyway, I ended up with these two dresses that were 40% off!

This weekend Ann Taylor Loft has 30% off all dresses and I'm seriously considering these two:

What do you think? 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

About time!

My twin mattresses should be delivered today!  So exciting!  I only ordered them at the beginning of April.  Thank goodness I didn't actually need them immediately.  If you'll recall, they're going in the bedroom upstairs (which is now orange) and I'm hoping for an overall look that's similar to something like this:

or this:

But with color and texture similar to this:

Soooo excited!  I'll post pics as we make progress.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shellac Manicure

On Saturday I felt like I needed a bit of beautification, so I decided to get my nails done.  I know this doesn't sound significant, but I honestly can't remember the last time I had a manicure.  It's been years.  With my former nail-biting habit and current habit of picking at my cuticles and tearing my nails, manicures were just a waste of money for me.

Then my coworker told me about a shellac manicure that she got and it lasted about 3 weeks, so I decided to try.  I think it may have cost about $5 more than a regular manicure, but it won't chip for 2-3 weeks!  So I decided to give it a try and so far I'm really really happy with it.  Here we are 4 days later and no chips!  (That's unheard of for me.)  Plus, my nails feel stronger and so I'm not tearing and picking at them like I normally do!  Hooray!

Oh yeah, and I got a new shiny sparkly a few weeks ago as a replacement for my grandmother's ruby ring and my 30th birthday Tiffany key necklace.  The style is remniscent of the ruby ring and the stone (peridot) is interesting and a bit unusual.

I'll post an update of my manicure in a week or so--I'm optimistic this will actually last!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strawberry season is here!

Over the weekend Chris and I went to the farmers' market and we bought a huge container of strawberries.  What could be better???  Nothing beats fresh, local, in-season strawberries that are red all the way through.  The giant supermarket strawberries just do not compare.

So, naturally I did what any sane person would do after coming home from work on Monday: I made shortcakes from scratch.  I used my friend Lauren's recipe (here) and they were delicious.  So delicious that I forgot to take photos, so you're just going to have to take my word for it.  I also made homemade whipped cream and drizzled just a little Pimm's into it.  Heaven.

Now, if I can just find some rhubarb, we'll truly be in business. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hooray for preggo friends!

One of my super good friends from college just emailed me last week to tell me she's preggo!  Wheeeeeee!  I'm super super thrilled for her and her hubby--they're one of the best couples I know and they're going to be awesome parents. 

They moved into a new house this winter and now it's time for them to decorate a nursery.  They're not sure what they're having yet and are undecided on whether or not to find out.  (I personally think she's having a girl.  Based on nothing of course.)

Anyway, she wants to paint the room with wide gray and white stripes, which I think will look great with her preppy-ish style.  So here's the preppy-inspired, gender neutral nursery I dreamed up for her:

Of course, once they find out if it's a boy or a girl, they can add some pale pink or some dark blue accents in the form of accessories, like books, storage, and a mobile.

And now for the sources:

Crib, Overstock, $179
Pendant light, Ikea, $90
Love Poster, Etsy, $25
Grey fabric (for bedding), Premier Prints, $9.99 per yard
Yellow fabric (as curtains and as bedding), Premier Prints, $11.99 per yard
Mirror, Z Gallerie, $179
Faux Bois rug, Home Decorators, $397 for an 8' x 10'
Elephant Lamp, Jonathan Adler, $350
Monkey fist doorstop, Uncommon Goods, $40
Chaise, Ikea, $299
Monogrammed Pillow, Luxury Monograms, $95
Ceramic side table, West Elm, $129
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