Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas

We sure did!

We went to my brother and S-I-L's house for immediate family Christmas.

My 2.5-year-old niece.

My 6-year-old niece.


My brother wearing the LED headlamp my parents got all the boys.

My mom wearing Big Sisters headband.

My S-I-L's tree. 

We had Christmas at Misters parents house on Christmas Eve.

His mothers tree. 
And my grandmothers on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

My Oma's tree. 
On Christmas Eve we light the Firesangboulie(I have no idea how to spell that). 

You put cheap red wine in a punch bowl, balance a sugar cone at the top, pour Bacardi 151 over the sugar cone, and light that baby on fire! Tasty! I have a video, but my iPhoto doesn't want to load it. I also have a lot more pictures of various things, but they won't upload... Hm.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I am not allowed to shop at Wal-Mart. My dad is/was union, worked for A-B for 30+ years, and my fiance is union, works for Missouri American Water for 12+ years. Apparently the unions have something against Wal-Mart for their refusal to pay decent wages, give good healthcare, allow humane sick time, etc.... Anywho, my cousin just directed me to the funniest website I have seen in a very long time: I am not generally a judgmental person, but some of these people are just so ridiculous you wonder what they see when they look in the mirror.

I was/am not always the most normal person. I had guy friends in high school who wore skirts. But I am pretty sure none of them wore tails. Or high heels.

When I was about 12 or 13 I wanted to be a boy so I could cut crazy designs in my hair and my beard, ala  Sam from Clarissa Explains it All. Also know as "THE BEST SHOW OF ALL TIME", when I was younger, of course. But this lady really takes it about 120 steps TOO FAR! Maybe she didn't check her rearview before she left the "salon"?

Just "Wow". No other words are needed. I am sorry, but this wouldn't be appropriate if she was 13 or weighed 120 lbs. Daisy dukes, half a cheerleading costume, and socks with sandals? Never okay.

Check it out. Seriously. 

Design Sponge: Sneak Peek Jessica Helgerson

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

I love Design*Sponge. I think they juggle a great mix of topics; such as recipes, before & afters, and sneak peeks. And I love how organized and well-designed their site is!

Did you see the most recent Jessica Helgerson sneak peek? I think the first floor of this house, just the way it is, would be my absolute dream home, plus a bedroom or two. Those mirrors in the hallway? Fab. I just love the way the light dances around and makes your eye wander. I also like how she recessed that gorgeous armoire in the dead space next to the stairs. I think a lot of people struggle with what to do if they have a space like that. It never ceases to amaze me what brilliance you notice through the eyes of another that you may never have seen on your own.  The way she mixes the super-traditional space with the ultra-modern décor is seamless.

I know high design is pricey, be it décor or clothing, but do you realize those poufs in the living room cost approximately $1,000 - $2,200? For a pouf? In a “young family” home. I wish my mom knew how to knit with giant needles. Although, she creates and follows through at the rate I do, so I would probably never see the finished model. I do learn from the best!

And the velvet couch? It’s custom. I cannot even imagine how much a custom, tufted, velvet couch of that magnitude would cost. Insane. But absolutely gorgeous.  I would love to have the coffee table, but it is the size of my entire living room! Once again, very obvious in this room, is the beautiful mix of traditional and modern.

The abundance of white built-ins everywhere is great; functional and lovely. The charcoal (black?) on the dining room walls looks so fresh and unstuffy with the white trim, shelving, and chairs. I wish the trim in our house had been painted before we moved in. I could never bring myself to paint it now, nor would Mister EVER let me. These chairs are so fun, and I love them mixed with the traditional table. This is similar to what I would like to do if Mister ever finishes our table.  I also love the inset Roman shades and wish my trim was deep enough to pull it off.   

The dual-sided glass shelving units between the kitchen and the dining room are so fun and practical! Love those pendant lights and the absence of upper shelves. Once again, makes me wish my kitchen was larger than 40 sq. feet. {sniffle}  


That farmhouse sink is lovely, as well. I think the downstairs is remarkably more impressive that the upstairs, although the bathrooms and the laundry nook are pretty fabulous!

What do you think? Is it to stark for you taste, not enough clutter? Do you like the mix of modern and traditional? Do you feel the house flows well? Thoughts? 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Etsy Pillow Extravaganza!

I love Etsy! I love pillows! A match made in heaven, really... Where else can you find an eco-felt pillow with a tiger and a deer saying "omfg."? Why would a tiger be attacking a deer anyway... that just makes it more ironic, yes?

She also has a supercute skull pillow for all you pirate lovers! I, for one, love anything with a kitchy skull and crossbones... Especially if it's pink!!

I also love pretty, classic pillows. Aren't these just lovely? She has many more.


These are for all you "modern traditionalists" out there. I love the colors she offers.


Who needs a last minute Christmas idea?

A classy damask option...  Ellen has a great selection of beautiful items at very reasonable prices. This fab 16" pillow cover is only $16.00!

Let's  finish things off with a bit of whimsy, shall we?

Obviously, I have eclectic/diverse tastes. That is making my home decor decisions VERY difficult. What kinds of pillows do you like? Do you think the style of your accessories, such as pillows, needs to "match" the style of your decor or do you find perfect coordination stifling?


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Discount Code?

Does anyone know if Crate and Barrel has a coupon available besides the free shipping?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Give a Little Bit...

I recently learned about an organization called Kiva on the Design*Sponge website. Kiva "connects people through lending to alleviate poverty". It is a peer loan service for entrepreneurs in developing nations who would otherwise not have the means to further their business. I think it is important to support people who are striving to help themselves and Kiva gives you that opportunity. Plus, since it is a loan and not a donation, you get your money back within six months and you can then turn it around support someone else!

You can choose where who you want your loan to go to and you learn about why they need the money and how they will use it. I decided to loan to Evelin Ruth Juárez De Ramírez

Evelin lives in El Salvador with her husband and two children. She runs a clothing kiosk and the money from the loan goes to help her further her business. I just signed up and loaned on Friday, so it should be interesting to see the updates and stories about her business as they roll in. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Alternative Ideas for Ornaments

When my mom and I went to Ikea this last time, they already had their Christmas stuff out. They had some really cute, simple coordinating ornaments in big tubs and some other similar sets in, well, sets. I decided to buy them and see what I could come up with. I didn't do a very good job, but remember I'm still new at this. And I'm not a natural.

Here it is with the lights out.

Kinda looks like a shrine, doesn't it? Well, like I said I'm definitely not a natural, like Mikael is. She claims she's not "crafty", but I beg to differ.

These are absolutely stunning and they are made with foam, ornaments from Walmart, and "snow" from Target. Can you believe it? Well, of course you all can, you guys do stuff like this all the time!

And Redhead did basically the same thing I did, yet her's looks a GAZILLION times better.

And Lauren from Little Big Nest just hung a bunch of ornament on a wire hanger and made it look magical (and expensive)! 

I am so jealous of all the natural drive and talent all you wonderful ladies seem to posses. 

I have seen all the DIY Christmas links at NewlyWoodwards and I have been mighty impressed. Has anyone made anything they haven't yet shared with the class?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stocking Stuffers

My Oma (grandmother for you non-Germans) always had fancy-schmancy guest soaps when we were younger. After these soaps were used a few times and no longer looked pristine, she would let up play with them in the tub. I don't remember much about my childhood, but I do remember the soaps. 
I have four female cousins on my moms side of the family and apparently they all remember the soaps, as well. I brought it up at Thanksgiving and Oma said she has been cutting them into her laundry! She brought out the soaps that remained, three small flowers and two Santas. We split them up and each took one home. It's silly, but I guess they were an integral part of our lives at that time. Or at least an important part of how we viewed our grandmother.
Recently I started noticing soap makers on Etsy, there are 1,967 pages of soaps acually. They are definitely not your grandmothers soaps (ha), but some they are fun and funky and unique. I thought as an extra little gift for the holidays I would get each girl a fun "guest" soap that matched some part of their personality.





I thought the buttons would be perfect for Trish, the seamstress.   Obviously no one would get the penis, I just thought it was funny! LOL! Some of these would make great hostess gifts to keep a stash of for emergencies, too! Never hurts to think ahead, even though I never do.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gingerbread House

My cousins and I had lots of fun Thanksgiving weekend making  a Gingerbread house!

It's not the greatest design and follow through, but we had fun! Plus, how many others can say their Gingerbread house has a Monster Truck and a pool!

Trish thinks it's pretty awesome! The pool was her idea.

BTW, my little cousin (she's 17), made her dress.

It's Electric Blue and taffeta and pretty freakin' rad (what word are kids using these days?), if you ask me!! 

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Has anyone ever seen a prettier face?