The "I knew she'd do that" Project

Remember when I challenged myself to add a bit more color to my monochromatic bedroom? Remember when I was busy organizing my jewels? Remember my organizational inspiration post?

Well, I combined them all and finished a project that won't take anyone by surprise.

I took this boring, basic, brown jewelry box that has been residing in my closet for the last 8+ years and sprayed it to give it a new lease on life. And now, a prominent position in our bedroom. 

I'm not going to lie, my first instinct was to go white. Safe. 
But then, I thought white on white? No. My next thought was to go gray. But again, I felt I could go bolder. In the end, I went with a moss green. Then I paired it with another existing jewelry box. I love how it brings out the green in the venetian glass box as well. Double duty.

Not to mention how it highlights some of the mossy green tones in the shams. All in all, I'm diggin this little hit of color in my yellow and white bedroom. 

Keen observers will note that the pictures thus far of our bedroom have been on the other side of the room and the side shown here previously housed the antique English dresser. Fear not, I haven't gone and painted that other dresser without letting you know.
We're just trying out some other arrangements in the room. I'll let you know the details on that later, once we commit to something :)

Still on the look out for great lamps as well - wish me luck. 

Have a great weekend!

until next time, 
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It's not all glamorous around here

The other day I was skyping with my Mom. It was a day like any other: my toddler was hanging all over me and repeatedly saying,  'Momma, Momma, Momma' in that special tone that sounds strikingly similar to nails down a chalkboard. Meanwhile, baby E was teething and whining to make sure I knew about it. I picked her up to comfort her, she showed her appreciation by throwing up all down the front of me. I kept on talking. Mom started to laugh. 
She said, this is what your blog should really be about. 

{garage before}

Isn't that the truth? 
Reading these posts, you'd think that I just sit around making fancy food, rearranging my mantel, or playing in the garden all day. Well, let me assure you, it's not all glamorous around here. 

{garage before}

Take our big weekend project, for instance. The dreaded seasonal garage cleaning. Actually, I'm not sure why I said 'seasonal' as this is only the second time we have cleaned out the garage since we moved in, almost 3 years ago. 


We're a one car family, with a two car garage. How did we manage to let it get this bad? How was it possible that I couldn't find the kiddie pool? I am sure I put it in here, somewhere. Why do we need to move 4 strollers out of the way just to get to the lawnmower? Enough is enough. 

{more junk, different angle}

Everything had to come out. At this point, a neighbor out walking his dog stopped by to see what was going on. He was in disbelief that we actually had all this stuff in the garage plus a car. 

Not sure this is something we should be proud of. 

{that's some serious dirt/dust/funk in the air}

We blew out the garage, we shop vac-ed the garage, we aired out the garage. {And by we, I am sure you know it was Mr. DD - that's not my gig.} It was nasty in there. 

We categorized the stuff, moved some things inside, put some stuff on the curb and threw out a lot. It was almost beginning to seem manageable again. 

Then, of course, came the time to put it all back in. Actually, this is the part that I like best. Have I mentioned that I'm a bit of an organizational freak?

Well, if I haven't. I am now. I like everything to have it's place, and for that place to make sense, at least to me. I've been known to stand in a room in silence, willing it to speak to me and tell me how to better use/organize the space. It doesn't always work. But sometimes, sometimes it does. And those are always good times.

Seriously, this back wall makes me a little giddy. Look at all those shelves - so beautifully organized. {Small happy dance.} Everything in it's place. Sigh.

We even left enough space for a little work bench. Happy days.

Instant gratification. That's what this project was. So happy to have it done. Now, onto something a bit more glamorous. 

until next time, 
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Inspiration Organization Comes to Life

I've been on an organizational kick lately. It all started with my inspiration post on vanity storage last week. Next thing you know, I'm re-organizing the kids toys in the built-ins in the breakfast room, then came the beer fridge in the basement {doesn't everyone have one of these?}, the garage and finally I tackled the disaster area - also known as my vanity. 

Check it out. I made myself a fabric covered, jewelry display, cork board. Oh yes, I did. And it was super easy. 

I had the cork board from my Mom Cave, which incidentally has been taken over as a storage area, sadly. { Don't even get me started on that one.}

For the frame:
I primed it, spray painted it 'brass', then applied an antiquing gold leaf craft paint. The left over fabric {from my bed pillow project}, was attached with my staple gun. Then I added the fun nailhead trim to cover the staples. 

I ordered the nailhead trim forever and a day ago. It's the kind that comes as a long rope and every 5th nail is actually nailed it. Seriously cuts back on the time and effort - great 'get the look quick' kind of thing. Not for everyone, obviously.

As for the rest of the vanity area, I choose an acrylic make-up organizer and hid it inside the woven bread basket. Both came from Target. I wasn't loving the acrylic so this works great to hide it, but still keep everything organized. 

And the bowls, I could go on and on. Love them. The peacock bowl came from HomeGoods, while the coral and green bowls both came from Anthropologie. Admitedly, not my normal stomping ground because the prices can be a bit out of my league, but I decided to make an exception for these bowls. I'd been eyeing them online for so long - I just couldn't hold out any longer. And honestly, the coral bowl just makes me smile every time I see it. 

I've got another jewelry organization project coming up, then I'm afraid it's on to the more serious projects like: tackling the window treatments, painting that other dresser, and sourcing some fun lighting. Mr. DD and I both decided we are sick of living in this semi-finished space, so I guess I better make it happen. 

Hope you had a great weekend. 

linking in with:

until next time, 

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Listening to my own advice?

The other day I was chatting with my cousin about her home. She just recently purchased her first home in a great area of Cincinnati and has been working to modernize and redecorate it over the last year or so. 

Of course, always eager to help, I was excited to receive an email looking for advice about her bedroom.

{Pottery Barn}

She has made some great decisions on her own, but was looking to bounce a couple of additional ideas around. 

So far, she has purchased this bedding from Pottery Barn. 


And these window panels from Target. 

Now, she's in search of floor covering. Her initial thoughts were to go with another warm, neutral in the form of a natural woven rug. But after going back and forth over email a bit, we decided to go in a different direction. 

I just threw this Mood Board together to give you an idea of where we are going. Actually, she hasn't even seen it yet. But, she tells me she reads my blog daily, so here's the test. We'll just see how long it takes her to see this :)
I kid, I kid...I appreciate everyones support. 
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I suggested she go with a rust colored rug, perhaps layered with a natural woven rug, to add another dimension to the room. I like the idea of highlighting one of the lesser seen colors in her bedding. It makes it far less predictable. 

This is the rug she actually purchased from Overstock. {Did you see their massive sale?} 

Of course, a gold colored rug would have looked nice, but maybe just a bit boring. Adding another color to the mix helps add interest. And, of course, some extra textures are always a great addition.

All this talk about her bedroom got me thinking about mine. {Shocker} 
And I came to the conclusion that my room is becoming a bit too predictable. It's all yellow and white, yellow and white. 
Yellow walls, yellow window treatments, yellow accents in the bedding. 
My attempts to lighten up the space are turning it too monochromatic. I definitely need to take it to the next level by highlighting some of the other colors in the bedding. Like the mossy greens, khakis, and even the smoky grays. 

Now, I've got to put on my thinking cap...this is what happens when I listen to my own advice. Craziness. Stay tuned.

until next time, 
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Vanity Organization Inspiration

Now that I have a much less scantily clad vanity area {I finally put a skirt on it. In case you missed it, click here.}, I'm desperately in need of some stylish organization for the counter-top. 

You see, we have the smallest of master baths, with virtually no storage whatsoever. So, my vanity area has to work hard, but it has to look good too. Lately, I've been on the look out for some super functional, yet attractive storage solutions for jewelry, make-up and the like. 

Time to get creative, because let me be the first to tell you, there aren't a lot of obvious solutions. 


I love this super eclectic mix of storage and display options for all my jewels. A space saver as well, which is always good in my book.

Martha has done it again with this interesting mix of plates, bowls and tea cups. Unfortinately, I don't have the drawer space to make this happen and it would just take up too much space on my one and only counter-top.


An interesting framed wall display is always an option, plus it frees up the counter-top. I smell a DIY project coming on with this one. 

I love how Rene, from Cottage and Vine, has one big bowl as a catch-all, paired with a tray for her perfumes. Simple, easy and elegant. 

I'm also digging this sweet grouping of painted jewelry boxes, from Sarah at The Yellow Cape Cod. I've got a huge, brown and boring box that usually resides in my closet.  Perhaps I'll dig it out and make it over. Simple enough. 

My luck really wore out when I turned my attention toward counter-top make-up solutions. An acrylic organizer doesn't really screaming out cute and creative organization solution, now does it? Back to the drawing board on that. 

Well, there you have it. Inspiration. Lucky you, I've got more images saved on my organization board on Pinterest. Feel free to check it out.

I'm off to get creatively organized.

until next time, 
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A Day at the Races

We had a wonderful Father's Day weekend around here, if I do say so myself! A little bit of work, but a lot of play and relaxation as well. 

{Arlington Park Grandstand}

As custom around these parts, the celebrant gets to select the activity of the day. Ever the out-of-the-box thinker, Mr. DD choose to spend the day at the races with the family. A lot of men would have picked time away from the kids, playing golf or something of the like, but not this guy. He's family all the way. 

{Arlington Park Race Track}

But, truth be told, when he made the arrangements for the day out I was little less than excited. I mean, it's not the Kentucky Derby, people. How good could it be? And most importantly, was it going to be family friendly or would I be spending all my time chasing the kids around?

{Arlington Park Marquee Tents}

Well, let me be the first to tell you that I was wrong. A day at Arlington Park far exceeded my expectations. Being Father's Day weekend, much of the park was sold out, so we ended up in the Marquee tent section, which was great. All you can eat, a tented area in the shade, picnic tables on the lawn and track-side viewing. What more could you ask for?

Most importantly everyone had a great time. Although there were no wagers made, we did manage to come home with loads of great family memories. {Not to mention, a sunburn for me.} And that's invaluable.

I have a feeling there will be more days spent at the races in our future. 

until next time,
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Now you see it, now you don't

I had originally intended on sharing my patio today, but a couple of over-cast days and some craigslist inspiration changed my mind. So, I thought I'd share a bit more progress in the master bedroom. Remember the $23/pair Restoration Hardware Outlet window panels I picked up the other week? Well, I am finally starting to put them to good use. 

How bad is this picture? Just look at that vanity. Clearly, it's calling out for something to cover it up. {Not to mention a bit of counter top organization and some actual window treatments - but that's another post.}

This is how it has looked for the last ummm, I don't know, 2 years. Sure the stool is cute. And it kind of covers up some of the exposed pipework and the corner that we forgot to paint. But not sure it really covers the radiator, now does it?

So much better. 

Thank goodness you weren't there to see how it all came together. It was pretty pathetic, really. There may or may not have been a rod already in place that I couldn't figure out how to remove. So I may or may not have tried to hot glue the panels to it, which, for some reason did not work out. Not sure on that one. Seemed like such a good idea. 

Plan B. Use a tension rod. I turned the panel upside down, split the existing hem seam to create a pocket, slid the rod through and secured it into place. Then, to really drive home the quality job I was doing, I hot glued the bottom seam while the panel was in place. Yup, that's right, nothing but quality around here. Mr. DD was appalled. 

Speaking of Mr. DD, hope you've had a great weekend and Father's Day. We are heading to the races this afternoon. Check back later in the week for a peek at our day. 

linking in with:

until next time, 

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Shells and Succulents

Shells and succulents - has a nice ring to it, no? They go hand in hand, right? Well, when I stumbled across this gigantic concrete shell planter at HomeGoods the other day, I immediately thought it would look great on my patio table, filled with succulents.

Into the cart it went and home it came. A couple of days later, at our local grocery, I found a huge succulent for under $5. A match made in heaven. 

I filled the planter with gravel, to help with drainage, topped it up with potting soil, planted my succulent and called it a day.

Then, the plant whisperer came for the weekend. 
The plant whisperer? 
Oh yes, you've heard of the dog whisperer, the horse whisperer, the ghost whisperer - well, there is also a plant whisperer. Who just happens to be my Mom. 

Seriously, this woman is good with the plants and the flowers. She sees things that I wouldn't even begin to understand. In fact, in one weekend she managed to transform most of my outdoor pots. She is that good. 

So, she added a little bit of this and a bit of that to my shell planter...and just look at her now. Of course, it looked good when she initially filled her up. But a couple of weeks on, and she's really coming into her own. 

Sorry, ladies, not going to share the talent that is my Mom. She's all mine. And my patio looks so much better for it. Speaking of, perhaps I should show you around sometime. 

until next time,

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Food, Food, and more BBC GoodFood

Now, I'm the kind of girl that usually plans her posts out in advance. But, after yet another weekend celebrating with family and loads of good food, I decided I had to share some of the highlights from the weekend. Unfortunately, I don't have a ton of pictures of the food due to my poor planning, but I am sure you can bear with me. 

For our part of the hosting responsibilities, we hosted Friday dinner and Sunday brunch. Friday dinner was cooked entirely from the BBC Good Food, July 2012 issue. Unfortunately, non of the recipes are I will include our favorites here, just because I love you that much. I know, I am so sweet.


We started with a couple of dips. Our favorite was the Minted Pea and Pecorino Dip, curtesy of {again, this recipe was not on their site}. It was a quick and simple dish, packed full of surprising flavor. 

3 large handfulls thawed frozen peas
handful of mint, roughly chopped
Olive oil
few gratings of pecorino cheese
1 small green chili, deseeded and roughly chopped
sea salt

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Adding oil to reach your desired consistency. Serve with pita chips.
Serves 4-6


For dinner, we served Homemade Turkey burgers, which were an adaptation of Olympic swimmer, Lizzie Simmonds recipe as seen in the July Good Food issue.  Usually, I'm not much of a fan of turkey burgers as they can be fairly dry and flavorless, but not these. We'll definitely be adding these to the repeat list.

1 tbs olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
1 egg
handful of bread crumbs
2 tsp Sriracha sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ketchup
1 tsp worchestire sauce

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Saute the onion until soft. Mix in with all other ingredients. Form into patties. 
Serves 4-6, depending on how big you like your burgers.

To accompany the burgers we served quick pickles, a Rachel Ray recipe, which Miss T loves. And Mediterranean potato salad, also from the BBC Good Food magazine. The potato salad is served warm and is a good alternative to your standard mayonnaise based salad. I made mine the day before and it really helped the flavors to develop overnight.

1 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4oz jar roasted red peppers, sliced
11 oz new potatoes
1 oz black olives, sliced
handful of basil leaves, torn

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Cook the onion for 5-10 min until soft. Add the garlic and oregano and cook 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and peppers, season well and simmer gently for 10 minutes. {at this point, I added about 1/2 c water to make more of a sauce}.
meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain well, mix with the sauce. Sprinkle over the olives and basil and serve warm. 
Serves 4

Mr. DD also made a beautiful Black Forest {from the July issue} cake for his Mom's birthday that I just have to share. He did such a great job! In our experience, it was very much in line with British baking, which means it was a bit drier than most American style cakes. Not sure everyone was a fan. But, we loved it and it sure was pretty!

Now, moving on to brunch. We made two Barefoot Contessa recipes that were both exceptional. My favorite was the Peach and Raspberry Almond Swirls, which is a drained yogurt that is reconstituted with peach nectar and flavored with honey, orange zest and vanilla. So yummy.

We also made a baked French Toast, from the Barefoot Contessa, which was excellent, and extremely indulgent.

What a fun weekend! But I must say, thank goodness Boot Camp starts this week. Three weekends in a row of celebrations does not bode well for my waist line!

I hope you had a nice weekend as well. 

image 1,2 - BBC Good Food, July 2012

until next time, 
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