Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Master Bedroom: Sneak Peek

I know, I know, I've been talking about this damn master bedroom for-ev-ER. Trust me, it feels like it. But I actually HAVE made some progress. I've (for the time being, anyway) finished our bedding.

You'll have to forgive me - the bedding is wrinkled, it's totally unstaged, but let's face it - this is where we SLEEP. So, I'm just keeping it real. :-)

I'll probably add in another long skinny throw pillow that I hope to DIY (maybe something like this?), but for the time being, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Believe it or not, the bedding is a mix of Target and West Elm (Whaddya know? Two of my fave stores.), and I ordered the pillows from this GREAT shop on Etsy. I seriously considered DIY-ing the pillows, but let's face it - I can't sew. I work full time. There's just no time. Or skill level there, for that matter.

I feel like I splurged on other items, so was happy to see the final breakdown of the bedding pieces:
Comforter: Target (on sale for $83)
Coverlet: Target (on clearance for $18 - um, holler.)
Sheets: West Elm (on sale $80)
Pillows: Etsy ($32)
Pillow forms: Joann's ($26) - I opted for the down alternative that the Etsy shop owner suggested

TOTAL: $239 (And yes, I've been very patient as I acquired all these pieces.)

Now, all I have to do is add the lamps (come on April 7!), hang wall art and add some decor. Then, I'm going to stick a fork in this room. At least for the time being.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I had Monday off for President's Day. These are dangerous holidays for me. What makes them so dangerous? First, the hubby doesn't have the day off, all stores are open and I have nothing to do. So what do I do? I spend money. Thank goodness I go to work every day, I'm not sure I could afford myself.

So, an innocent trip to Target (don't they all start out that way?) for new running leggings and a couple of gift cards suddenly went a little out of control. Why? Target has really upped their game this spring. Check out a few of my finds (Editor's note to my husband: I didn't actually *buy* these, but let's just say some of these are on my "want list.")

How fantastic is this side table? It's called the Hexagonal Accent Table - it would work great as a side table or even a small nightstand. Love the door that opens in case you'd like to display anything and I love the $79 price tag!

I was walking down a main aisle and total did a rubber-necking double-take when I spotted this yellow lamp. Then, I spotted the matching lamp shade and had to go give it a hug take a closer look. Of course, I automatically pictured it in my guest bedroom (I'm actually working on the nightstand for that room, so it's really good timing!) It's a little larger than I had pictured and while $60 isn't too bad, I'm trying to focus on finishing up our master bedroom re-do, so I gave it a kiss and said goodbye.

Another option

And finally, I spotted this adorable, red, greek key-esque picture frame on a clearance end cap that immediately made me think of my pal, Emily. Emily, if you're reading this - you totally need this frame (I saw it on clearance for $7!)

And this was only the home decor stuff - they have some adorable spring dresses and bathing suit cover-ups right now.

Uh. Love Target. Love it. I also feel that my hubby is very fortunate that he has a wife that lusts after $79 side tables and Target dresses. It could be worse. :-)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crafty Bitch: Copy Cat

I'm a lot of things, but one thing I am NOT, is an artist. So when I decided I wanted to DIY some artwork for our master bedroom re-do, I knew I would need some reinforcements.

Enter the reinforcements:

I got these adorable Martha Stewart stencils as a Christmas gift and have been dying to use them. I knew I wanted matching artwork to go on either side of the bed above the lamps on our nightstands (I adore symmetry, what can I say?!).

It was actually this pin that gave me the idea:


Fair warning: on a scale of 1 to annoying as shiz, this is pretty darn close to the latter. I think we all learned to use a stencil in kindergarten, but for some reason, this took me a good 4+ hours to finish. At first, I was extremely frustrated by all the imperfections (look closely, you'll find quite a few smudges), but as the hubby pointed out, it makes it a little more personal and gives it kind of a cool look.

Here are my masterpieces!

Unfortunately, I can't hang them until my lamps come in (first world problems, I know...), but can't wait to see how they look.

Has anyone ever stenciled anything for their home (I mean, after the age of about 8)? I totally recommend these stencils!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wizarding World

I have a new love in my life. Have I told you yet? It's OK, Greg knows all about him. His name is Harry. Or as some might call him 'Arry Pottuh.

So, I'm about 9 years late. I get it. There are those people who wonder why I'm a 26-year-old just now reading Harry Potter and those that are jealous that I'm getting to experience it for the first time. (My hubby falls in the latter category.) Before last summer, I had never read the books or even seen the movies.

Here are a few observations I've gathered along my Harry Potter journey:
1. I should have read this series at a much younger age. I keep reading about these awkward moments between Ron and Hermione and I really want them to start making out. Can we take this PG-13? Um, I know that's highly inappropriate - this is a children's book. I know what you're all silently judging me. I accept it.

2. I love Dumbledore. I think of him like a grandpa. He's so sweet, he literally makes me want to cry.

3. I could create a whole board on Pinterest devoted to Harry Potter quotes and whatnot.

4. Don't ask me to compare them to other series I've loved (Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.). I just can't. They're like my children - I love them all differently. Twilight is like my sexually promiscuous daughter, Hunger Games is like my headstrong, determined-to-a-fault daughter and Harry Potter is like my nerdy son. But they're all so wonderful and I love them in their own way.

5. I am constantly trying to find a way to tell a "muggles" joke, but have yet to find the opportunity. Just wait, though. It's going to be really good.

I'm about 80% through book 5 and can't wait to see what else is in store, although I kind of don't want it to end.

Any other grown-up Harry Potter fans?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Showing Some Love

Ah, Valentine's Day. The day of lurrrrrve. I thought I would share a little craft I did. Well, I really can't call it a craft craft, more like a computer nerd craft.

So when I came across this tutorial for how to make your own printable, I knew just what I could do. I've been thinking about doing a small gallery wall (we'll call this Happy Wall, Part Deux) in our master bedroom and was looking for a quote that I could frame. I couldn't find what I was looking for on Etsy, but when I came across this one on Pinterest, I knew it was perfect.

I just thought this was the sweetest quote and really signifies what makes a great marriage. You know, never "owing" each other anything, covering each other's blind spots, and the like. (I know, I'm really cheesy.)

So, I figured I would just make it myself. I used my fave photo editing site Picnik (which sadly enough is going away in April, RIP) but you could probably use Photoshop or something similar. I sized it to ensure it would fit in a 8X10 frame and simply printed it at Walgreens Photo (although you could probably print at Kinko's, too).

Here's how it turned out:

Total cost? About $2 and an hour of time. (I was moving a little slow.)

Side note: when I showed my hubby the final product, he read it and looked at me with a most quizzical look. "Why would the sun owe the Earth anything?" he asked me. So, after a bit of explaining, he seemed to get it. :-)

And just in case anyone wants it, feel free to steal my template (happy to send you the high-res version):

Since it's busy season, the hubby and I will be celebrating Valentine's Day on Friday night (as we always do) by grilling out steaks, wine and dessert.We generally skip the crowded restaurants and pre-set menus to spend an evening in.

Happy Valentine's Week, everyone!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tea Time

I love tea. Cold sweet tea, hot green tea, flavored tea, you name it. Tell me you love a McAlister's tea and we'll probably be instant friends. (Fun Fact: I worked at McAlister's Deli in college for a year and was even named Employee of the Month once. My name was on a plaque on the wall. Show some respect.)

In fact, a few weeks ago, a co-worker of mine was going on a soda run [read: walking to the break room], which is a pretty regular occurrence at my place of employment, and he pointed at me and asked if I needed anything. Then, he was like, "Oh yeah, I forgot you're a tea-drinker." Um, I am? Well, apparently so. And within the last month, my enjoyment of tea has gone a step further.

Enter Tub Tea. Yes, it's a larger-than-regular-size tea bag that you put in your bath tub. They generally are hand-made (I mean, I think?) with an assortment of flowers, herbs, minerals, etc.

I was introduced to this over Christmas when friends of mine, who own Beau Tye Boutique, gave me some as a gift. I decided one night last month to give one a whirl. I thought I would try the "muscle relief" tub tea after a particularly grueling 2.5 mile run. :-) I'm not sure if it was the herbs/minerals, I'm not sure if it was the wonderful, but not overwhelming smell of amazing, I'm not even sure if it was laced in crack. But. I. Liked. It.

It didn't even stain my bath tub, although it was a little odd to step into a tub of tea-colored water. I even considered grabbing a Sweet 'N Low and a straw from the kitchen and having a sip.

Um, I'm kidding. That's gross. Don't drink the tub tea!

If you're intrigued by the tub tea like I was, you can Google "tub tea" and see all different kinds from all different brands, but I order mine from Beau Tye* (you know, support local!).

*Of course, I wasn't paid or perked for writing about this product. (Do I even need to type this out loud?) I just like to share things I enjoy every now and then.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Home Goals

Wow, I can't believe it's already February. I suppose I'm a little late on this one, but I've decided to make home goals this year. So, outside of my new years personal goals, there are some things I want to get done this year with the house. And between you and me, I'm afraid if I don't write these down, I probably will forget. I have crazy to-do lists at work and it's starting to spill over into my personal life.

So, here goes:
Finish Master Bedroom
Honestly, the only things left to check off are get throw pillows for the bed and decorate a bit with wall art and around the room. This should be "complete" by early to mid-April, when the final pieces come in - our bedside table lamps that I'm patiently waiting for (back ordered)! Pics to come soon...

Fill in the Gaps
I've worked on a number of rooms in my house (Master Bathroom, Guest Bedroom #1, Master Bedroom) and quite frankly, none of them are really totally furnished. But the truth is we came from a one bedroom apartment to a three bedroom + office home, so it takes time to fill. I'd like to go back through a few of the rooms and finish them out a little more.

Things like a cute bedside table and lamp as well as some more wall art for the guest bedroom. Also, adding some cute, but functional organization to our master bathroom.

Master Bathroom Re-paint
Our master bathroom was really the first room we tackled in our new home. We had this wonderful vision for this great, fresh, light mint green color for the wall paint, which we hoped would be toned down by the dark tile we had installed and all the dark furniture, mirrors, wall art we put in. But to this day, the hubby still hates it. The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Part Two - Secret of the Ooze" wall color has to go. And if Greg has anything to say about it, it'll be done sooner rather than later.

Furniture Re-do
I've been thinking about tackling a "furniture re-do" for quite some time. But I've been pretty afraid. I don't want to ruin anything or waste my time on something that looks terrible. But I'm gaining my confidence and have just the item to re-do. More on that later...

I'm not sure if it's reasonable that these will all happen, but I've got to start somewhere. Has anyone else set any lofty home goals?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hungry Lady: Favorite Recipe Ever

This is a new series (what's with everyone creating new blog "series"? And here I am jumping on the bandwagon...) about food/eating/recipes. It's really more a way to categorize what I'm talking about (see tags below) kind of like the Crafty Bitch posts. :-)

Right. So. It's happened a hundred times (maybe not a hundred times, but errrr, yeah maybe a hundred times?) you're hungry, you're pinning. Must I go on? Then, you take it up a notch from passive pinning to active Pinterest-searching, seeking out those beautiful, aspirational food images. (P.S. Am I the only one whose food never looks quite as beautiful as it does on Pinterest?) The next thing you know, you've pinned 20-30 recipes (of things you quite possibly won't ever make) and people are thinking, "Oh man, that's a hungry lady."

So, I feel the need to share with you my favorite recipe I've ever stumbled upon. I used to get these quarterly Kraft Food & Family magazines. They are chock-full of some amazing recipes. I have Pinterest now, so I've let me subscription go, but I still reference them all the time when Pinny just isn't doing it for me.

I've made this recipe at least 10 times and it still does the trick. It's relatively easy, relatively healthy (key word: relatively. As in, relative to a Big Mac Extra Value Meal, it's healthy) and damn good.

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta
1-1/2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1 jar (14 oz.) spaghetti sauce
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) Cream Cheese (1/3 less fat), cubed
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
(Editor's Note: I actually skip the Parmesan cheese and throw in fresh, sliced mushrooms. Yum!)

HEAT oven to 375ºF. COOK pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding spinach to the boiling water for the last minute.

MEANWHILE, cook and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 3 min. Stir in tomatoes and spaghetti sauce; bring to boil. Simmer on low heat 3 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in cream cheese. (I use a whisk for this stage)

DRAIN pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella; pour into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray. BAKE 20 min. or until heated through; top with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

I just totally stole this from the Kraft's website, so let me give credit where it's due!

Has anyone else ever tried this gem? If not, I've pinned the recipe here.

If you try it, let me know how it turns out!