January 27, 2012

color coded

I stare at these bookshelves a lot. Most of the action in our house happens in this room. Barbie's wardrobe is stored just below these shelves, as well as puzzels, legos, movies, games. Everything. And of course there is the TV as well. I watch a lot of TV. I love TV. So again, I stare at these suckers all the time.
every bookcase looks a little better with Aiden in the middle

And as I stare, I always think to myself, "You really need to paint the back of those suckers. I am over that brown. Why didn't you paint over that when you painted the rest of the room?" 
"You need to find something to actually go in those big picture frames if you are going to hang them up you lazy fool. A picture of a flower on its side is not doing it for me."
good gracious the lighting down here is awful

So a few weekends ago I had the rare treat of an entire 24 hours with no one to take care of. I took it as a sign. (to paint and drink cocktails) So, I stripped them down, clean up about a pound of dust (does anyone dust bookshelves on a regular basis) and taped them up. Buh bye brown.

I looked thru my pins and found that I'm obviously loving the whole color coded look. Like this.
via Pinterest
 Or this.
via Pinterest
As a side note - isn't it funny to look thru your boards and find you pin ten variations of the same thing? Subliminal design. Hey, that would be a good name for a business...I'm getting off track.

To go polar opposite of the brown, I wanted something fresh and clean, but not white. I liked having a color of some kind back there. Martha pulled thru with just the right fresh, clean but not white color. (I need to get better about keeping paint chips so I can remember the name of the color)
Thanks to the power of the internet...voila. Painted shelves.
Much cleaner. Much brighter. A good start. Now lets see if I have enough books for a rainbow.
Who knew I had so many red books? And yellow? Crazy.

An afternoon of finger painting and I had some new artwork...from Amelia. Not me. My finger painting days are behind me.

Old cup/bowl/whatever it is made by me, age 8

 Rainbow continued on the other side. I apologize for the horrible lighting.

The finished product with the Olivia stamp of approval. Not a huge change, and not a lot of work but it makes me feel like I've done something. And its nice to stare at something new while watching TV.

Have you made any small changes around your house lately? Is this all the motivation I need to get started on some of my bigger projects? And more importantly, who's ready for Monday's RHOBH reunion show? Viewing party at my house!

January 12, 2012

pop of pantone

I'm lucky to know many talented graphic designers. I try to speak their cool lingo - san serif, 4 color, pantone...and I'm out. So clearly I'll never be a graphic designer, but I know good inspiration when I see it.

So, inspired by the Pantone Color of 2012 -  Tangerine Tango - here are some ways to add a POC (as Brad Goreski would say) to your day. No BFA needed.
Earrings from Anthropologie

Pillow from Caitlin Wilson

Dot Glass Votives from C.Wonder

Fifth Avenue Red Nail Polish from Essie (red-orange and looks saucy on)

Market Street Plate from Kate Spade
P.S. - Is it just me or does 'Tangerine Tango' sound like it should be in Airplane? "Tangerine Tango, you are clear for take off. Roger roger. What's our vector victor?" Good movie.

January 9, 2012

tommy smythe get out of my dreams

...and into my car. More cheese at this table please! (I just heard that song this AM so I have to make others suffer with me. You're welcome.)

OK, what was a saying?

Ahh yes, Tommy.

Thru the craziness of getting back into the post-holiday school/work routine and 3 people down with sickness(es) I'm just now getting to my January issue of the beloved House and Home. (this is where you put your hand over your heart)

House and Home January 2012 issue

Tommy Smythe is a genius.  A genius that creates big piles of awesome every day. The kitchen. The red chesterfield. The paint in the powder room.

Get a copy of House and Home and a bottle of wine. Now that's entertainment.

January 5, 2012

minty fresh

What do you bring over to your dear friends' house that will go well with champaign (New Years Eve champaign) and also make 5 kids under 10 happy? Chocolate - mint cake. I made this for our New Years Eve celebration after drooling over the recipe here.

My layman's attempt
Chocolate, peppermint and almost 3 full sticks of butter? Yes please! All that's missing is bacon and this would be the worlds best recipe. OK, maybe not bacon in the cake, but you know what I mean. And, even better, I had a bag of peppermints left over from my wreaths. It was obviously ment to be.

You can get the cake recipe from the link above, so I won't repeat it here. Instead I've give you my insider tips. The perfect 'I wish I'd known this' accompaniment for all your baking needs.

1. You need some muscle. The thing that makes peppermints perfect for wreath making is what makes them 'challenging' for cake decorating. Those suckas are hard.

I had them switch to something stronger than serving spoons.

The whole 'haphazard, randomly broken into varying shapes and sizes peppermint' is actually hard to attain. I had two helpers whacking away at those suckers for a good 20 minutes. I would recommend 1 - 3 glasses of wine (depending on the strength of your whackers) to drown out the loud ringing in your ears. (hard candies equal hard whacks)

2. Invest in a vat. If the cake serves 18-20, then the frosting must serve 40-50. We cooked the frosting in my big pot. The one I use for spaghetti. And that sucker was full. We had enough left over to frost 2 other cakes and a dozen cupcakes. Luke suggested I freeze the rest in a tupperware container and use it the next time I bake a cake. I'm sorry, I don't have a tupperware container big enough to hold a vat of frosting.
Leftover frosting

3. Its flourless cake with the flour. This cake is three layers. Wonderful layers, but very dense. Almost like fudge. Mmm, fudge. I am an anal freak, bordering on Rain Man precision, when it comes to following recipes but for whatever reason I thought the actual cake would be a bit spongy-er. (that can to be a word).

 4. Feeds an army...or 18-20. Wait, what? Had I noticed the small print that says serves 18-20 I might have rethought the whole thing. But as Dr. Phil would say - lets get real - is there ever too much chocolate cake? Turns out the answer to that is yes. A little piece of this goes along way. It is rather tasty, but be sure to enjoy it with your entire neighborhood, church or office...or friends (if you are that popular).

With all of that said, it was a fun family baking activity. And a tasty treat.

We finally finished the last piece...yesterday.

January 3, 2012

etsy pillows

There is no better pick me up (is that a hyphenated word? I can never remember) on a hectic first day back to work than going out to get the mail at lunch and finding an Etsy package at your feet. I love working from home! Let me stop for a minute so you can ewww and ahhhh.
happy new pillows
wonderful pattern front
pretty velvet back

Aren't they pretty?! Awesome pattern in the front...yummy velvet in the back. Like a really awesome mullet. OK, an oxymoron, but you know what I'm getting at. These suckers are stellar!

"Oh yes Elizabeth, they are fab! Where did you get them?"

Well I'm so glad you asked. Katie Peters, from Radiance From Ruins, is her name. (I have many of her pillows saved to my favorites) And on top of the wonderful work she does, she is just about the nicest person I've encountered on Etsy so far.

Thanks Katie for perking up my day, and my living room.
happy in their new home

January 2, 2012

2012 goals

It was the whole point of starting this blog after all, so I might as well commit them to (digital) paper. Its been a yearly tradition, even before we had a house, for Luke and I to have a glass (or bottle) of wine and write our 'house list' for the next year. And while I won't share the whole list with you (#12 get new basement windows) here is the top 5. Does anyone hear a drum roll?

via From The Right Bank
1. Redo the master bedroom. We swapped bedrooms with Amelia right before I got pregnant with Eve, as they are roughly the same size (the rooms not the girls). But a year and a half later we still haven't gotten around to doing anything to it. A common problem I know. I'm over the lavender nursery walls, and we need some grown-up curtains, among other things. The room needs some major love.

via Elements of Style
2. Repair and redo deck and stairs. This has been on our list since we bought the house (can you tell how much we are dreading it?). In fact, when we were doing our walk thru the inspector said, "You are probably gonna need to redo those stairs in the next year or so." Five years later...we are finally getting around to it. I think it was the visible jiggling they make when our 30 pound dog runs down them that made us push this up the list. They are officially unsafe and so they're outta here. There are also several rotting boards to replace and we need to redo the railings. We have never used our deck as much as we'd like for these reasons so its time to give this extra room a spruce. This is going to put Luke's wood working and midar cuts to the test.

3. Plant a herb garden. We've got the space, I've got an interested and energetic 4-year-old helper and as many herbs as we use, it might even be a money saver.
via Pinterest
4. Lighting. Always on my list. We need to resolve the chandelier issue in the dinning room ( i.e. I hate it), replace the light in the hallway and twist someone's arm into helping me figure out a way to add outdoor scones to the deck. Ugh, that damn deck. Its gonna kill me. Refer to number 1.

via From the Right Bank
5. Reupholster couch. I got the best little love seat for my birthday last year but it has one flaw - the nastiest, ugliest fabric on earth. Unbearably ugly. Since its can't get any worse, I'm toying with the idea of taking a crack at it myself. Stop laughing, its not the worst idea.
via Bijou and Boheme

OK, I showed you mine. Now your turn. Fess up. Do you have any plans, goals or resolutions? House related or otherwise? Are they repeats from last year?

January 1, 2012

i'm joining Bloglovin'

Its a great site and a cool way to find some really awesome blogs. Check it out and ... Follow my blog with Bloglovin!
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