Wednesday, July 27, 2011

living room progress (a coffee table, ekk!)

We are so excited, yesterday our new coffee table came in and we couldn't be happier with how it looks and fits! I promised a while ago to post pics of the new sofa, but I was kind of waiting for this table. Honestly, neither of us has ever had a real coffee table before. We were using two small square Ikea tables pushed together as our coffee table/dinner table. They were so ugly, it was embarrassing.

In the below pic you can really see the details in the finish of the coffee table. The entire table is made of reclaimed wood, we absolutely love it!

Although the living room is coming together now, we still have a long ways to go. But it all takes time as my mother-in-law says. :) Above I've listed the more immediate (as in the next few months) plans for this space.

- Sofa Pillows: We're getting close to deciding on a color scheme so I can go pick out some pillows...or fabric to make pillows. Thinking of doing lighter colors in the spring/summer with dusty turquoise (like the blanket), yellow, terra cotta and neutrals like ivory and tan. Hoping to get some deep red pillows for fall/winter.

- Hang Mirror: The beautiful mirror we bought last month still needs to be hung up above the buffet.

- Carpet: We are still using an old carpet/rug that my parents had bound and used in their old house and that I have been using for a few years. Its not really the right color and has a ton of stains on it now. We're hoping to get something a bit darker and less gold.

- Collage of Frames: So far we have two starter frames for the collage so now we just need to order some wedding pictures. This wall will be devoted to professional pictures (engagement, wedding, family).

- Coffee Table Centerpiece: Possibly a low vase with some dried or very real looking fake flowers in it? Definitely needs to be low though.

More pics to come as projects get completed!

Monday, July 25, 2011

DIY house projects

This weekend we started to get serious about the projects we want to do to the house and actually started looking at the supplies to get them done at Lowe's. It was pretty overwhelming so we went home and had to make a list categorized by each room. I'm such a list person, so I'm hoping this will help us tackle one project at a time.

So one of the things I have been seeing on different decor blogs lately is how to paint metal fixtures in an oil-rubbed bronze finish. Our master bathroom layout is very similar to the one in the pic below.

On this site, the designer goes through very detailed steps in painting anything to be oil-rubbed bronze. I may have found my new obsession (if it looks good in person)! I think we'll try this out first on a silver lamp we have from Ikea. No loss there if we mess up on it or don't like it, but eventually we'd love to have this finish on all our door handles, showers and faucets. See the tutorial here.

Another project we want to try is paneling on the walls. We live in Arizona, our home is about five years old and while we love it, it doesn't have many interesting architectural details or wall treatments (beige everywhere!). We looked at the paneling and moldings at Lowe's and Mike was pretty confident he could figure out how to do this. I would love to do a wall of moldings and paneling on the large wall behind our bed like in the below pic...maybe even add in some textured wallpaper in the openings.

My brother has done crown molding in his house and has warned us that it is a lot harder than it looks, so we're thinking of trying some basic wall paneling and molding in the spare room first. Image Source

Another DIY project I've seen on blogs is using molding to create a frame around builder grade bathroom mirrors (which we have in all three bathrooms).

I LOVE this idea because taking those big mirrors down scare me...and mirrors with frames are crazy expensive. You could paint the frame any color you want too. This project is so great, I want to try it asap! Maybe on a smaller bathroom mirror first? Image Source

I'm crossing my fingers these projects can work for us. You all probably know Mike is really good at drawing, but he's also really talented in sculpting and woodwork. I'm hoping between his skills with that and my skills I learned in design school (I'm a pro with an exacto knife!), we can make these projects happen and look gorgeous.

Any tips out there or anyone tried any of these projects??

weekend highlights

- Celebrated my mom's birthday (two weeks early)

- My mom finally got her iPad for her birthday
(which is why we celebrated early, we wanted to give her time to learn how to use it before our trip!)

- Had a girls outing which included pedicures and shopping for mint tinted lip gloss

-Swapped makeup tips and products with my sister-in-law :)

- Watched Mike and his band play at an outdoor venue (it was hot out!) 
and ate sushi with my parents (they had pizza, I had sushi)

- Lunch with Mike's parents at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants

- Scoped model homes and Lowe's for home design ideas

- Started a list of what seems like a million things to do to the house...still figuring out where to start

Hope you all had a great weekend too!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

tacos for dinner

This week I tried a different method for our meal plans. I made a list of all the possible meals, lunches and snacks we could make based on what we had in the house (plus shopping for a few items) and hung it up on the fridge. So far it's worked great! It's really cut down on how much wasted food we've had or things that just have gone bad because plans changed throughout the week.

One of our favorite dinner meals (besides this...which we are having tonight), is tacos. The best thing about tacos is that you can basically throw anything you have in your fridge in them and it tastes good. Just be sure to have the basics for ultimate flavor – cilantro and lime. We've also found a corn/wheat mix tortilla at Sprouts that is delicious and just the right size. You have to heat them on a skillet though or else they taste a bit doughy.

The first is your basic carne asada tacos. Now the ones in the picture include corn and some sort of green salsa, but we keep it simple. Just guacamole (with lots of lime in it), carne asada meat (you can find it raw and pre-marinated at Sprouts, Costco or Fry's) and a splash of hot sauce on top. This is really the quickest and easiest meal, but oh so delicious. Sprouts also has pollo asada meat which is just as good as the steak. Image Source

Another of our favorites are these shrimp fajita tacos. I'm pretty sure these are Mike's favorite as they have onions and peppers in them. We use crushed chipotle chiles instead of the powder. Find the recipe here.

Another of our favorites is fish tacos. We've used mahi, halibut and ahi tuna in the past. I've searched for a simple yet delicious fish taco recipe, but haven't been able to find one. Usually we just improvise and make it up. Shredded cabbage is our topping of choice in fish tacos and I like to sprinkle the fish with some cayenne pepper before grilling. I also will mix together a mayo/sour cream sauce for these. Using a lot of lime and cilantro is key here! Image Source

Today I came across a new taco recipe that I really want to try. They have charred corn in them with a zucchini-relish slaw...and of course cheese. Sounds so refreshing doesn't it?

Now I'm it time for dinner yet?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

new coffee table!

We have been needing a new coffee table for a while now...actually, we never really had one. We have been using two ugly square Ikea tables pushed together as a coffee table since, well, I had an apartment in Scottsdale. The Ikea tables are in really bad shape and I'm pretty embarrassed of them, especially now that we have such a beautiful sofa next to them.

We knew we wanted something round, a certain size and something we can still sit at to eat dinner (yes we do this nearly every night). I wanted something unique and worn looking. I love the reclaimed wood look, so after seeing this beauty from Pottery Barn, I knew we had to have it. It is made of reclaimed acacia wood and is everything we wanted in a coffee table. Well, last week we did it, we went in and ordered it! We still haven't seen it in person, so we're not 100% sure we will be keeping it, but from what we can see in the pictures it is perfect. Its just that right color where you can still coordinate dark woods with it. Plus the style fits in nicely with our refined/classic style of the sofa and the rustic/worn look of this mirror (which we still have to hang up).

I promised I'd post a picture of the new sofa and I haven't yet...mostly because I'm not the best at taking pictures of things in the house, but once we get this in I definitely will. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

nyc love

Last night my niece told me that when she grows up, she wants to move to New York City and become a famous fashion designer. It reminded me so much of the dream that I always had of moving there to work for a big time magazine. Sometimes I think about that and regret not trying or even spending a summer there as an intern while still in college. We are so settled into living in Arizona now that I doubt we will move anywhere as extremely different (and non kid-friendly) like NYC, but it made me miss that dream from when I was younger. I'm hoping she follows all her dreams and sticks to doing what she loves. :)

And someone, please, remind me why we love Arizona? Its pretty miserable here right now and just feeling a little bit like we need to get out. I'll glady trade for a little bit of culture and walkable city right now.

Image Source

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

bringing paper back

Believe it or not, I used to be a good writer and I enjoyed it. Years ago I kept a journal. It was something I looked forward to doing at the end of a long or emotional day (because high school is pretty emotional for everyone, isn't it?). I never really stayed consistent with writing or journaling though because I would get so critical of my handwriting or the book itself and on a few occasions, I even rewrote entries in a nicer handwriting...which kind of makes no sense at all, but I guess that was the designer in me.

Lately I've been finding myself writing long intense blog posts only to delete them and not publish them because I realize I don't want all those thoughts out there for everyone to read (such a tease, aren't I?). So, I'm going to start writing and journaling again. I think it will feel so refreshing to get a pen to paper since now all I do is sit in front of a computer screen all day. No one can judge what I say, how I say it or critique my writing style. Just me and my thoughts.

So now I have to find just the right journal to write in. Sounds like an easy task, but I'm a little crazy when it comes to paper, books, pens and such....this kind of relates to the rewriting I used to do. A true designer would make their own book, but I'm not THAT crazy. ;) Any recommendations for nice blank books?

Oh and I wouldn't mind writing at a desk like in the picture above....with a gorgeous view like that. Doesn't it just look so homey?
Image Source

Monday, July 11, 2011


Seriously, this stuff is from Forever 21?! I've been trying to find clothes that go beyond my everyday denim shorts/capris/pants and basic top. I love the look of the blousy top tucked into a skirt, maybe with a chunky belt. I found a skirt at Loft (actually my mom found it) for a whopping $3! Just looking for a top to go with it...and a place to wear it. I'm definitely going to have to go check out this stuff in the store though...if I can find it.

Images: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


This weekend was so wonderful! Tonight I feel happy, motivated and inspired to have a great week. I haven't felt this way in a while and I hope it lasts! I think a lot of it has to do with us talking and dreaming about our future and figuring out how we are going to get there. Its so fun and motivating to come up with new ideas for our house or talk about our future kids or upcoming vacations or just enjoy relaxing and joking around with eachother. Oh how we love married life.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

(sorry, no pictures from the weekend to share...I know, this post is visually a bit boring)

Friday, July 8, 2011

wedding items for sale!

So we have decided to sell a few of the items from our beautiful wedding from last April! Below are the items for sale, please email me or comment below if you are interested or would like to see anything in person. We would like to avoid shipping anything, except possibly the linens or ribbon wall.

Ribbon Wall – SOLD

Dimensions: 8' tall x up to 20' wide
Price: $175
This ribbon wall consists of neutral brown and tan tones and is the perfect backdrop for a photobooth, cake table or to create interest on an otherwise boring or blank wall. Each ribbon has a loop sewn on it which perfectly slides on to a 1" pipe (not included).

Table Decor

Dimensions: 24" tall with an 8"x 8" base
Quantity: 11
Price: $30/lantern or $300 for all 11
These lanterns were purchased at Pier One Imports, but emulate the look of very expensive lanterns that were sold at Pottery Barn. Use them like we did as table centerpieces, or arrange them around a space to create a nice ambient evening. We still have all the candles we used, they hardly look used at all and still have a lot of life left in them. We will include those for free if you would like them.

Table Runners & Cloth
Dimensions: Table Runners - 15" x 120", Table Cloth - for 8' table
Quantity: Table Runners - 20, Table Cloth - 1
Price: $120 for all
We had these french blue table runners and cloth custom made for our wedding. They are made out of a bengaline fabric and neatly hemmed on the edges by a professional.

Gold Altar Cross – SOLD

Dimensions: 24" tall
Price: $20
We had an incredibly hard time finding a cross for our altar that was both stylish and would stand on its own. We actually bought this cross, painted it and attached it to a base to make it stand. We were so happy with how it looked on that day with the floral arrangement, and we know how hard it was for us to find something like this, so we thought we would pass it on to another bride.

Birdcages – SOLD
Dimensions: 21" height & 18" height
Quantity: 2
Price: $25 for set
We used these birdcages as a holder for our cards on the gift table and also for the holder of the wedding wishes at the cocktail hour. They can also be used with floral arrangements inside or in the women's restroom filled with necessities.

Lace Candleholders – SOLD
Dimensions: 8" tall x 4" diameter
Quantity: 10
Price: $40 for all
We used these as candholders on the steps at our reception and also to hold the bridesmaid bouquets on our dessert table. They are the perfect size to hold bouquets!

Blue Hanging Mason Jars – SOLD

Quantity: 24 Large, 12 Smaller
Price: $20 for all
We recreated the turquoise antique mason jars and used them as hanging candle holders in front of blank wall space behind the band at the reception and in the trees by the lounge area at our wedding. Most are in good condition, but a few have started to peel. If you do not want the blue jar look, the paint easily peels off for a clear mason jar look. These are priced to sell as the jars themselves cost more than $20. All have the twine covered wire on them.

Candy Buffet Glass Containers – SOLD

Quantity: 7 containers of various sizes. 
Price: $50 for all, contact for individual pricing

All pictured are for sale except the cake stands, plates and trifle bowl (not all items pictured). Please contact to see more detailed pictures. We also have about 90 candy bags and two plastic scoops that we will include for free if you would like.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

chalkboard entryway?

I came across this website yesterday of a tract home in Tucson with such a unique style. I've loved chalkboard paint for a while and have been waiting for the appropriate use of it. When I saw this picture, I thought, what if we used chalkboard paint in the wall inset in the entryway of our home? I love that it gives such a playful feel with somewhat of a French bistro vibe. We've developed a really neutral palette for our home so far, we're ready to start adding some playful elements. Only thing is, what would we write (or draw) on it? And would that make things look messy and not nice enough for an entryway of a home? Maybe we should just use the chalkboard paint in a back room once we have kids...

What do you think? Yay or nay to the chalkboard paint in the entryway?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


to my Ingrid Michaelson pandora station. I pretty much love everything that comes up on it.
avocado pasta. I am obsessed with it right now.
water. Lots and lots of water.
my new knit dress from J Crew. Its my new favorite outfit.
bloated. Time to get back to a workout schedule after the long holiday weekend!
is so dusty. We had a major haboob last night, check it out here.
to be on our Wisconsin/Chicago trip already. We can't wait to be on the lake with all our family in Wisconsin. I'm hoping it looks somewhat similar to the above picture. :)
a vacation. Yup, August needs to get here sooner.
that I miss summer vacations from when I was younger. No school, no work, just swim all day.
my husband. He has off work tonight, so tonight is dinner with the in-laws. Excited for quality time with him!

Image Source