Wednesday, December 28, 2011


OK, so is everyone on board with the resurgence of wallpaper?  Now just a back story for you, I actually walked out of a home when we were searching for one because the entire thing was covered in wallpaper.  Now, that's saying something because I am not afraid to get my hands dirty and work at turning something dated and past it's prime to something beautiful.  Let's not forgot there were squirrels living in my house before we bought it.  But wallpaper from top to bottom, left to right wasn't for me. 

Well, wallpaper has made a comeback and I'm liking what  I see.  It's much more graphic, modern and luxurious looking, and doesn't have to be used cover an entire room but can create an accent wall, back a book shelf  or put into a frame for some cheap art.  Here's a sample of what I saw that I am digging.  Now I just need to think of something I can wallpaper.



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Everything Happy Always!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Holiday.  We spent it at my mom's house with my younger sister, along with multiple visits from her boyfriend and my Dad.  All in all it was a great, relaxing, long weekend.  So nice I think I will enjoy another three day weekend this week. 

On Christmas morning I made a little sweet treat for breakfast for everyone.  It was a cranberry buttermilk breakfast cake and it was A-W-E-S-O-M-E.  Now being that this thing is a blog ... and I blog about my life and other such things you'd think  I would come equipped with a picture of the final product, but you would be wrong.  Yes, I completely forgot to document the process.  I forgot my camera and only had my 1987 cell phone with me (No, it's not really a 1987 phone but it is a blackberry curve so it might as well be from the 80s... Zack Morris would be proud).  So the  closest thing I could find came via pinterest and it was a blueberry buttermilk breakfast cake.  The only true difference are the berries and the zest of lemon was swapped for the zest of an orange. 

I really enjoyed it, next time I will add more berries and maybe a smidge more buttermilk.  Hope you enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Cactus Garden

On our recent trip out west we came across a cactus garden on the grounds of the Naval Post Graduate School and it reminded me how cool succulents are.  Living in south eastern North Carolina limits the variety of succulents that can actually thrive here, which is a bummer because I love the way they look.  They are so low maintenance and they come in a  multitude of shapes, sizes, colors etc.  Here's a little look at some of what we saw along with a couple of cute ideas for indoor plantings and table scape options.  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I love farmer's markets

I love a good farmers market, after all it is the "eat & buy local" movement at it's best.  Our farmer's market here in NC is pretty good, it's right on the river and runs from April through December.  It's a great stop but it's still fairly young and is definitely still growing.  By comparison, the farmer's market we went to when visiting in Montery, CA is certainly an established market that runs year around. 

There is a surplus of local farmers in that area because the land is so fertile and there is a substantially more diverse community which in turn creates a multitude of shops, farmers and foods.  The climate is very moderate which allows for year around access to all the tasty fruits, veggies, herbs, etc.  The market is packed and it's full of all different ages, professions and ethnic groups.

Along with the standard fruits, veggies and flowers they also have many food vendors offering up made to order empandas, fresh baked pastries, homemade falafel and so much more.  It's the kind of market you want to go to hungry so you can taste a multitude of different flavors all while picking up fresh produce, just picked berries and more flowers than you could even imagine.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Decorating

This weekend I finally got around to putting up some holiday decorations.  We chose not to do a tree this year since our home is small and it's just the two of us so we opted out on the tree.  Nonetheless, I still wanted to "deck the halls" of our little casa. 

I love holiday decorations, but I am very particular about what it is that I do like.  For instance I have an affinity for white lights only and I like a little less traditional decorations in terms of colors.  Red and green aren't really for me.  I want the house to look festive but also be indicative of our personal style. 

I'm still not done yet but here is a little peek at what I've done so far.

 The wreath hanging from the curtain rod was an idea I originally got from an old Cottage Living Magazine holiday issue.  Ohhh how I miss that magazine.

It's not quite finished but it's coming together and it's definitely putting me in the holiday spirit.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tis the Season

So what do you do when you have close to zero extra dollars and Christmas is right around the corner?  You get crafty, that's what you do.  I have been doing some "research" aka spending entirely too much time on pinterest and have gotten some really good ideas.  Here's a look at what I've got cooking (note: nothing is actually cooking right now)  :)

I have started the process of the vanilla extract has it takes quite a bit of time to get to optimal vanilla extract status.

The scrubs will be made just prior to giving, I'm just on the hunt for cute jars that make since for a body scrub (ie have a large enough mouth to get your hand in to scoop the scrub).  And the magnet board is just a cute little gift that I may just make for myself.  I will keep you updated on how everything turned out. 

You can find all of these diy's and more via my pinterest page. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday LEW

Happy Happy Birthday to my awesome little sister Linda.  I hope you have a great day darling.  xoxo

Ooh La La

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving holiday. Mine was terrific, spent with family in California.  During our recent trip we were walking around San Francisco and Paul's sister took us to La Boulange.  It is literally like a little slice of heaven right there in the middle of San Fran. 

They have all kinds of french pastries, sandwiches, breads and coffees.  It is soooo good its ridiculous.  They went straight to the top of my favorites list with a giant jar of nutella at their condiments station.  I mean that is just insane... in a good way.  If you are ever in the area you should definitely stop by one their locations.  The food is fantastic, the ambiance is great and they have nutella. 

Doesn't it all look soooo tasty, it's making me hungry just writing this?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another food post....imagine that.

So in my effort to seem some what productive on these "chilly" fall days I have seemed to taken up baking and cooking.  I was looking through the 25th anniversary issue of House & Home magazine and came across a recipe for spiced nuts.  It was great because I had all the necessary ingredients and didn't have to leave the house.... perfect for my very consistent lazy behavior lately.

All I needed was:

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of cane sugar (like demerara)
1 tsp each of cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt (give or take depending on your taste)
2 cups of almonds (also, your choice)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
Heat oil, vinegar and sugar in saucepan over low to medium heat, sprinkle in spices and salt and mix well
Add almonds, stirring to coat and cook in saucepan approximately 5 minutes until everything is sticky
Pour mixture over a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Let cool and serve at room temperature

This is sooo simple and could easily be changed based on your personal taste but would make you look like some kind of super star at your next gathering.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my Dad.  You are an awesome guy and I hope you have a great birthday.  Love you.

P.S.  If I was rich I would buy you this bad ass truck that probably gets  a wopping 7 miles to the gallon.  :) 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Inexpensive Wall "Art"

Now if you are anything like me and can't stand blank wall after blank wall in a home but don't have the moola to purchase art you live by the theory of "if it can go in a frame... it's art" . Which is how we roll in this casa.

There are several low cost things you can do to add a little something something to your walls instead of just leaving them as big blank spaces.

I myself have framed coffee bean bags  and they are proudly displayed on a wall in my living room, seen in a previous post.  I have also framed maps I got from a $3 book of state maps  from TJ Maxx.  I chose three states that have had significance in our lives and framed those bad boys up.

My Aunt was kind enough to take this photo outside of a home on Caterina street in Italy when she was there and had it framed for me.  Obviously, her photography skills are waaayyyy more superior than mine. 

I just love the colors of the laundry and the shutters, such a simple thing but full of life and color.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Can I interest you in a drink?

So there is a trend I have been noticing in decor magazine and across the world wide web and me likey what I see.  I don't know if it is because of the down economy, the popularity of Mad Men or if this country is just filled with a lot of drunks (probably a combo of all three) but bar carts and other such related items are huge right now. 

Instead of having an entire space dedicated to a bar (i.e. a basement bar with cheesy dogs playing poker "art" hanging on the walls)  these are little vignettes  carved out of a spot in a room dedicated to the "drink".  They are makeshift in sorts and take up very little space but offer up a lot of opportunity to demonstrate your personal style and entertain your guests.

Here's a little look see on what I have been eyeing:

When space is limited who says your bar area can't serve as a side table?

I love the creative use of materials in this little corner.

I love the mix of the old gold cart with the wall color and little bouqet of flowers.

Again a multi-purpose space serving as bar area and magazine shelf with stacks of the iconic yellow national geographics at the bottom.

The baskets and foliage add an organic element to the bar area.

I love the old furniture with the modern ghost chairs doing double duty of storage and extra seating as well.

The battered industrial style cart with modern geographical art is a great use of space and design.

And if you are completely awesome you get to have this in your house... I mean shut the front door.

Monday, October 24, 2011

There's Been Some Baking Going On

There has been some serious baking taking place in mi casa as of late.  As the weather turns and the cooler it gets, the less I enjoy being outside...hence there has been some baking going on.  Over the last couple of weeks I have been baking up these little goodies, all of which I found on the oh so fab pinterest.  I will say I am by no means a pastry chef, my approach to baking is twofold simple and delicious.

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
This one turned out ok, super easy and was good for just using two ingredients.

                                                          Cream Cheese Sopapilla
This one was amazing!!!  So good and very easy to make.

                                                              Honey Beer Bread
The bread was hands down my favorite, I made it with a lager beer and it was soooo yummy in this tummy. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Fall weather has officially arrived here in North Carolina....and I'm loving it.  I have big plans this weekend to do nothing but relax, wear some comfy warm clothes, maybe drink some hot tea or a few glasses of vino to stay warm.  Who knows, I may get a little crazy and bake something up.