Monday, January 24, 2011

Blast in Baton Rouge

I just returned from a fabulous trip in Baton Rouge! It was nice to get away for a couple of nights and see the sites of somewhere I had really never been. Well, I had traveled through Baton Rouge on my way to other places but never actually stayed and seen the city. My great-aunt (Joe Joe) and I love to travel so we decided to take a spur of the moment trip to this cajun city to do a little relaxing, shopping and, of course, eating!! With that being said, I'm going to dedicate this post to all of the delicious bites we tasted while away on our mini vacay. And let me just go ahead and preface...these pictures don't do any of it a bit of justice! It was all fantastic!

Lunch @ Zea Rotisserie Grill

Dinner @ Fleming's Steakhouse
Breakfast @ La Madeleine

Strawberries Romanoff,
Lemon Madeleines,
....and tomato basil soup to bring home!

Lunch @ Las Palmas Mexican

Dinner @ Gino's Italian Restaurant (a local favorite recommended to us!)

Oh, and the best part of the trip was finding The Ambrosia Bakery!! I can't even begin to explain to you how amazing this place is...pastries, desserts, cakes, donuts, truffles, cookies, trifles, pies, fresh name it. They even serve breakfast and lunch! Of course , their specialty this time of year is the King Cake so we brought home a few - yes, a few! Collin loves a good king cake, and I join him in that liking :) 

We brought home the cream cheese, cream cheese & strawberry, praline and pecan/cream cheese and bavarian cream! YUM!

Look at the cases of goodies!

Oh, and to finish this Monday morning post, I'm going to brag on my wonderful husband. He cooked an amazing meal for us last night...grilled filet with corn, asparagus, fresh bread and onion. He is one good griller, and it was the perfect way to end our busy weekend.

Is your mouth watering yet?! Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Cup of Joe, Anyone?

One of our latest purchases is the Keurig Special Edition Single-Cup Brewer. For those of you who know me, you know how much I love a good cup of java - any time of day, and this coffee maker is just what I needed! If you 're not familiar with this fabulous appliance, it brews one cup at a time (small, medium or large - I usually go for the large!) so you don't have to fuss with making an entire pot of coffee and then throwing the extra down the drain. Plus, it's so easy to use and brews in no time so you can have a delicious, fresh cup of instantly!! Another plus is that there are TONS of flavors and brands to choose from so you can change it up anytime you, tea, hot chocolate - even iced drinks.I personally stocked up on a few different flavors (decaf, hazelnut, cafe mocha, hot cocoa, cappucino, iced vanilla latte, etc) so I can sample them all! It's simply fantastic...can you tell I love it?!

So with all of this coffee craziness in my life, I began brainstorming about the different ways that coffee is incorporated into design. I mean, think about is a major phenomenon all over the world! I did a little research online and found some inspiring images that show just how popular a "cup of Joe" is in this world. What do you think about this anytime-of-day treat? Yay? Nay? Do you like how it has been incorporated in design, or should we leave it all to taste? I would love to hear your thoughts!

So how have we paid homage to this delicious drink???

We've created super cool appliances to make our cup just perfect!

The Keurig Single-Cup Home Brewer

We've named furniture after it...
Oly Studio Yves Table

Aidan Gray Cole Coffee Table

It has become artwork - literally! There are world-wide contests for the best latte design...

We use it as our subject for artwork...

Spoonful Coffee

We decorate with coffee as our "theme"...

Fine China pays tribute...

Herend Rothschild Bird - Green Coffee Urn

Desserts are made (and named) to compliment this delicious drink...

Coffee Cake (great with a cup of joe!)

And of course, we develop super chic containers to keep our snack hot (or cold if you prefer)...
Pavina Highwall Double Wall Glasses by Bodum

Of course there are many more ways that we show our adoration for coffee, but these caught my eye!

Have you had your cup of java today??

Monday, January 17, 2011

Asian-Inspired Powder Bath "Spruce Up"

One of my latest house projects (I have quite a few going on) was our powder bathroom. Although our house was new when we bought it, there have been small changes that I have wanted to make along the way so that our home truly reflects our style and personality. One of the things on my "Project Home" list has been to wallpaper our half bath. The room was painted a toffee color before, and it looked nice, but I really wanted to lighten the space. Because the room is not extremely large, the toffee paint was making it a little dark, and I knew that wallpaper would really bring some spirit to the room that is located off of our kitchen and keeping room. Plus, I just LOVE wallpaper, and it's really making a come-back in the world! It's such a great way to add a touch of individuality to a space.

When I ran across this Asian-inspired paper, I knew it was the perfect match for our powder bath. Not only is it light and airy, but it has a small-scale pattern with Oriental motifs including pagodas, boats, men and antelope that truly reflect our style. It is traditional with hints of coral and blue yet has a contemporary twist with the light linen background and an Asian theme. It turned out great, and with my husband being a fanatic about Asian food (if you know him, you know where I'm coming from!), he was a big fan too! It's always makes me happy when he loves something I've done!

Below are some photos of the half bath. My photography skills aren't that great, but I tried to get some close-ups of the pattern as well as some overall room shots for your viewing pleasure :) But as always, it looks so much better in person, but these will give you the general idea. Oh, and I've listed some wallpapering tips below the images for you so check them out!

I hope you enjoyed the photos, and below I have listed some tips when thinking about installing wallpaper in your home or in any project you may be working on.

1) Try installing it in a small space such as a bath, foyer/entry, bar or butler's pantry, etc. It can really add a "punch" to your space, especially if you're not sure you are sold on the idea of wallpaper in a large space or are scared to take the risk on making too large of a statement.
2) If you don't have the budget for artwork for the walls, try wallpaper! Pick one with a pattern and you won't have to spend the money on expensive art. It's "built-in" to the paper already!
3) Be aware of the pattern when selecting your paper. Installation prices can be quite a bit higher with an intricate pattern that will need special attention when matching at the seams.
4) Be aware if the color gradiates within the pattern. When installed, one side may seem lighter or darker than the other. Just something to think about!
5) Try wallpaper on your ceiling. If you're willing to take the risk, it can really be something different! (I am dying to do this in one of my rooms!)
6) Always check to see if the paper is pre-pasted or not...this will affect your installation costs.
7) Find a good installer! You want someone reliable who has some experience because lining up the pattern can sometimes be tricky.

Good luck, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me! And if you have used wallpaper before, I would love to see how you may have incorporated it into your home or projects.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stella & Dot: Giveaway!

So, I'm a little late to the giveaway and just posted my entry in the knick of time!! Elizabeth Lassiter, author of the great blog A Wedding Story and The Life Thereafter..., has posted about her fabulous Stella and Dot giveaway. If you haven't visited her sites, then you are really missing out! Her blog is fantastic, she has a fabulous Stella & Dot website you can check out here, AND she has a Facebook page dedicated to her Stella & Dot site that you can find here. In celebration of her giveaway, I have listed below some of my favorite pieces.

I'm dying to have these earrings - aren't they great?!

Here are some other favorites...

Needless to say, I hope I win the giveaway but regardless, I think I may be owning a piece from Stella & Dot very soon!! Love it!! I hope you all have had a great weekend!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I've Got Style?!

I was thrilled to learn that Anna Applegate, author of An Apple A Day, listed me as one of her choices for the Stylish Blogger Award. Me? Really?! I'm so very flattered and couldn't be happier to be in Anna's company, as she was nominated for the Stylish Blogger award by another great blogger, Elizabeth of Life of Style. If you aren't familiar with Anna and her amazing site, you must take yourself there now, and I promise you'll be a huge fan of hers!! She is a very talented designer from North Carolina, and her blog is all about her fabulous finds for her shop - Anna Applegate Interiors located at Hunt & Gather in Raleigh. There is no mistaking she deserves all the recognition. Thanks again, Anna, for the nomination :)

To participate in this exciting Stylish Blogger Award experience, you must follow the rules below:
-- Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.
-- Share 7 things about yourself.
-- Award 10 great bloggers that you have recently discovered.
-- Contact those bloggers and tell them about the award.
Without further ado, here are 7 things about myself that you may, or may not, know:
1) Pilates ia favorite hobby of mine. It's the perfect way to wind down a busy day, and the best part about it is that I can continue my regimen during pregnancy...helping me stay in shape, somewhat :)

2) In my spare time, I love to tour open houses. I enjoy seeing what builders and other homeowners do to make their spaces unique. It's a great brainstorming tool and really gets your creative juices flowing!

3) I LOVE coffee. My favorite? A tall, nonfat latte with 1 Sweet-n-Low to be exact! Yum!

4) Yellow roses make me happy!

5) My favorite indulgences are:

--Cookie Cake from Great American Cookie Company

--Iced Sugar Cookies from Primos Cafe (couldn't find a picture of their cookies but you get the idea...)

--Frozen Yogurt...some of my favorite places to get this treat are Millie D's and Sweet Tree Yogurt in Ridgeland, We Love Yogurt in Jackson and Berry Berry Good Yogurt in Flowood.

6) Don't hate me, but I'm not a huge fan of Stevie Nicks or Elvis. I don't know why...their music just doesn't do it for me. Random, I know - ha!

7) My favorite movie of all time is "Girls Just Wanna' Have Fun!" I haven't seen it in a while, but it's a classic with Helen Hunt, Sarah Jessica Parker and Shannon Doherty. Girly but fun!!

Now, moving on to name those that make my list for Stylish Blogger Award. Drumroll, please...

These are all great sites so check them out! Well, this has been fun, and I hope you enjoyed learning a few things about me. Don't forget to check out Anna's site, An Apple A Day, and have a fantastic weekend!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fabric Fetish: A Nursery Sneak-Peek

Before going any further, I want to say good-bye to one of my favorite blogs, Keeping Up with Stella, whose author, Marla, has decided to give up blogging to focus on her adorabe family. I enjoyed her delightful blog that focused on the very best finds for babies and toddlers. If you didn't get a chance to visit the blog, go now...or check out her last post here where she dishes on some great Etsy shops for children. Oh, and I want to say a big thank you to Marla for listing me as one of her daily are too sweet, Marla!! You will be missed, and I wish you nothing but the best in your future.

Now moving to more baby news, I want share with you some of the fabrics that will be front and center in my nursery. If you are new to my blog, you may not know that my husband and I are expecting our first child, a girl, in early April. We are beyond thrilled, and the nursery has been such a fun project for me! I have been busy working on the room - pulling all of the details together without stressing about the little things that ultimately don't really matter...and that's hard to do for me to do sometimes. After a little deliberation and sifting through fabrics for hours on end, I have decided to keep it neutral with shades of creme and brown, and I'll add touches of a light, baby pink...not bubblegum or hot pink, but a very subtle pink - a "you barely know it's pink" pink...if that makes sense.

Anyway, below you will see a collage of fabrics (sorry the photos aren't that great) that will surround my baby girl as she sleeps - or cries- ha! I will be posting next week, hopefully, on some of the items and pieces that I have purchased for the room including the crib, rocker, ottoman, side chair, etc. I'll also share with you my vision for the room through a collage of sketches and photos. Before then, though, I hope this gives you a sense of where I am headed with the space. Enjoy the sneak-peek!

Click on image to view larger.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A "Wood-sy" Reminder (and chicken soup)

This past Sunday I posted about some of my favorite things that are black and white. Well, I was so happy to hear from Sue at The Zhush that she indeed has the lovely Cole and Sons woods wallpaper (see post below) in her ski home in Vermont. Of course, I immediately took myself to her blog (she has an awesome blog by the way!) to view the photos of the wallpaper installation, and WOW, it is gorgeous!! She has really used the paper in the most perfect application. It truly enriches her wintery home and mimics the amazing views from the bedroom. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

Below, I have posted some of my favorite photos of the wallpaper but you must take yourself to her blog and view them all in her Home Again, Home again post - or you can click on the "Our Ski Home" link on her sidebar. The transformation of the entire home is absolutely won't be disapppointed!

I mean, were those not fabulous photos or what?! Isn't it amazing what a great wallpaper can do to a space? And speaking of wallpaper, I recently had our powder bath covered in an Asian inspired paper and am really pleased with the result. I'll be posting about that soon!

To change my tune a little bit, I decided to make homemade chicken tortilla soup for me and Collin last night. It was delicious, and I will definitely be adding it to some of my standard recipes. It was the perfect way to share the night with the one I love while watching the BCS Championship game. Oh, and I also served warm bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping...our favorite appetizer while honeymooning in Italy a few years back. YUM!! If interested in making this soup, click here for recipe.

Happy Tuesday to you all...