Tuesday, March 29, 2011


You may be thinking that is an excessive use of the exclamation point. I assure you, it is not. I really am that excited! We finally had a built-in made for the living room. Originally we just had a GIANT niche next to the fireplace. I drew up plans about 6 months ago of my bookshelves with space for his big ol' tv too....


A couple guys: carpenters and painters, came and put them together.

Look at these babies:
Exactly what I was dreaming of...minus the television and its counterparts. You see how much more room I would have for books without that thing! Ah well...marriage requires compromise.

Now, I'm trying to figure out how I want to decorate them. Obviously, I love the books, but I want it to have a little more visual interest. I already put up my baby succulent and my adorable bookends that pay homage to the world's cutest dog. I've been flipping through magazines trying to find some inspiration. Here are two of my faves:
image via House Beautiful

image via Target

It's a work in progress.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Poppy Art

My buddy is trying to put together a "friends" gallery wall. It'll feature pictures of all her buddies. We were trying to come up with other items to add to the wall to give it some interest. The same room includes a giant painting of a poppy field. So of course she gets to be the recipient/victim of one my projects!

First thing is first: trip to Michaels!
  • shadow box
  • lovely *but fake* flowers
  • spring-y green paper
  • glue sticks for the good ol' hot glue gun
I removed the back of the shadow box frame and glued my bright paper directly onto it.  I got rid of the glass, because it would smush the flowers. Then, using my glue gun, I added the poppies. I set the back of the frame back in place. Now we needed a good quote about friends. I typed up "If friends were flowers, I'd pick you," and added it with a dab of glue to the front.

Ta da: quick, ten minute project, that adds some spring color!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Library Bags

One of my friends has two darling daughters. They took them to the library last weekend and came home with 24 books! She said she has to dig out a giant beach bag when they go. I remember having a bag for all my library books. I had to keep them in there unless I was reading them and if I wanted to go again they all had to be back in the bag, ready to go.

So, I whipped them up some personalized library bags.
Canvas bag
4 different fabrics, 1/4 yard each
Matching thread for the *scary* sewing machine
fabric paint

(not sure what the computer did to my pic there...)

I cut out my fabric into little triangles for bunting to be sewed along the top of the bags. Once I had those pinned on, I faced the sewing machine.  I had to rip out a few stitches (this is my first project using a sewing machine and it won most of our battles), but I got them all sewn on with fuschia thread.
Next, I stamped on their precious names using rubber stamps and fabric paint.

Originally, that was the entire plan. Some bunting, a name, and I'd be done. It just didn't look finished. I didn't know what to do besides post it to the "craft fail" blog. My friend Magan (check her out at http://www.curlyhairedandcrafty.blogspot.com/) suggested I paint little stick figures of the girls.

I drew both sisters on the bag using fabric paint and a dull pencil. My paintbrushes weren't working out, so I had to dip the pencil in the paint and draw my smiling, reading chicas.

Last night I took them over to the girls. Miss Emerson got her library books and loaded it up. Then she proceeded to get her baby in a stroller, have Ella get her "keys" and they headed to the library (or kitchen if you're being particular).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Garden Log

We are starting to get a serious garden out there! Erik and I moved into a cookie cutter. It has a pretty big yard for our neighborhood (which we LOVE). Last year we started putting in some trees, because only an ugly little live oak came in our front yard. My GENEROUS parents had a landscape designer come out and make us plans (birthday presents!) for a "park-like" backyard. The trees were our first priority. Anyhow...I'll make another post with what we've got going. For now I wanted to show you my Garden Log! I got the idea from the ladies over at eighteen 25 when they made a Christmas Planner using the same technique.

You will need:
a composition book
2 12x12 sheets of scrapbook paper that match
2 coordinating 12x12 sheets of scrapbook paper
1 pretty piece of ribbon
modge podge
2 6x9 clasp envelopes

First things first: beautifying the compostion book. The ribbon was cut in two and modge podged onto the front and back of the composition book to tie it closed. I cut my two matching papers to the size of my composition book cover. Then I modge podged (I'm making that a verb) them onto the front and back as well. Using one of my coordinating papers (with trees...cuz I'm obsessed with them currently) I made a little strip for the left side of my notebook as well. Finally, I added a little circle with my pink paper with a tag that says "Our Garden."

For the inside I attached an envelope in the front and the back using my modge podge. One is for plant tags (these have the very important care directions) and the other is for receipts (many places have guarantees on the plants and keeping receipts is a must). I also added tabs for the first five years of planting to organize it by year.

Here is the final product:
It's so much more fun to be organized when it's pretty at the same time!

Monday, March 21, 2011

World Poetry Day

Today is World Poetry Day. I'm having my kiddoes read the following poem. I thought it was appropriate for Easter coming up soon!


by Laurel Winter



afraid of heights


in the cold, dark carton

to the rest of the dozen.

They are ten now.

Any meal is dangerous,

but they fear breakfast most.

They jostle in their compartments

trying for tiny, dark-veined cracks-

not enough to hurt much,

just anything to make them unattractive

to the big hands that reach in

from time to random time.

They tell horror stories

that their mothers,

the chickens,

clucked to them-



egg salad sandwiches,

that destroyer of dozens,

the homemade angel food cake.

The door opens.

Light filters into the carton,

"Let it be the milk,"

they pray.

But the carton opens,

a hand reaches in-



Before they can even jiggle,

they are alone again,

in the cold,

in the dark,

new spaces hollow

where the two were.

Through the heavy door

they hear the sound of the mixer,

deadly blades whirring.

They huddle,

the eight,

in the cold,

in the dark,

and wait.

Not to be weird...but this makes me feel bad about eating eggs. On top of the fact that they could've turned into cute little chicks.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum is gorgeous. Before we got married, Erik and I had our engagment photos taken in the gardens. People were having their bridal portraits, engagement photos, Easter pictures and Quinceanera pictures taken last Sunday. It was a beautiful day.
I took a couple quick snapshots to tempt you to go. :)
Chevron is really popular right now and the Arboretum is no exception (top left). I love flowers that are just stuffed with petals like the ranunculus (top right). The hyacinth has such a sweet smell right now (middle left, light purple). Their tulip show was mentioned in Southern Living Magazine this month (middle right)! The bottom right picture is just because I love gross, fat toad statues (not the real thing). These crepe myrtles will be in bloom soon. Some people don't like them because of the weeping, but I think it's pretty (bottom right). 


This coming weekend is Artscape. From March 18-20, the garden is filled with artists selling their wares. 

Fairy tale castles are up around the garden. My favorite was Rapunzel's!

The Arboretum also has a summer concert series. A Hard Night's Day (Beatles cover band) will be there twice. Erik and I saw them in Greenville a few weekends ago. They were so much fun. I'd be willing to see them again. The band Petty Theft will also be there. I LOVE some Tom Petty!

Check it all out here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wanted: Red Necklace

I've been pining for this blazer from J.Crew:
Maritime-stripe blazer
Unfortuantely my friends, it is $118. For Pete's sake I'm a teacher! Well, the good news is I found something pretty similar at Forever 21 (even though I always feel lame going in there...cuz I haven't been 21 for awhile). It was only $22, so I dealt with all the "aren't you too old to be in here?" looks.
I really needed a red necklace to wear with it though. I looked everywhere and couldn't find what I wanted. Then, I stumbled upon this cheapo necklace at Wal-mart for $3. It was one long, single strand with red beads. I grabbed a chain from Michaels, some little metal rings, a clasp and my plyers.
The necklace got folded up twice. I used the chain to loop around the gathered ends of my red necklace and attached one link to the other to hold it in place. After that all I had to do was add my clasp.
Super simple and cheap at $10! Here it is with my $22 blazer! A skinny gold belt and some wedges (oh..and pants) and I'll be ready to go!
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wine Pairings

For the party everyone brought a food and wine pairing. Our wine was Care Tempranillo/Syrah, 2009. It was on sale for $8! Everything I found online said to pair it with red meat or peppers. I couldn't decide what to bring and Erik said "what about that dirty risotto from Giada?" AhHa! This stuff is delicious. Plus, I had made it before, and hopefully wouldn't screw it up for the party!

It's a recipe from Giada on the Food Network. You're not supposed to trust skinny cooks (and she is seriously tiny), but the woman knows food. You can find the recipe here:

I also looked up a pairing for my in-laws to bring. For them I chose a white: Chateau de St. Michelle Pinot Gris (I can't remember the vintage). Together we threw together a super easy veggie.
You need:
one package frozen phyllo dough, thawed
24 asparagus (rough ends trimmed)
about a cup of grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp melted butter

Grease a couple cookie sheets and preheat the oven to 350. Then you take a sheet of phyllo, fold it in half, and brush it with melted butter. Take two asparagus spears and set them on one end of your folded phyllo. Sprinkle in some grated parmesan and roll up in the phyllo sheet. Brush the top with some more melted butter and sprinkle on more cheese. Repeat until your aspargus is used up. Place the aspargus rolls on the greased cookie sheets and put in the oven for 15 minutes or until browned.

You'll love this recipe because it looks fancy and is totally easy to make.