Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My 2013 Christmas Wishlists.

Per my mom's request who says it is too hard to buy presents for me, I've created a few wishlists. This year we are doing something new with the kids for gifts. A few years ago I first heard of a tradition I'm sure you've heard of already... "something you want. something you need, something to wear, something to read". It basically limits gifts to 4 per child/person whoever you're giving the gifts too, but we're hoping this will help our kids be a bit more grateful of the gifts they receive this year. It seems as though every year there is really only 1 or 2 gifts they truly want and everything else they want just because. And we tend to buy them things just to have more things for them to open on the BIG day. This year we are taking this simpler route. We'll also throw in a 5th gift that is from Santa as well as little gifts in their stockings that Santa brought, so they don't think Santa completely forgot about them... After all we do have an elf spy going back and forth each night giving Santa updates on them. And a bonus to this idea, less toys mean a less mess to pick up at the end of the day since all of our toys tend to have to come out of their baskets and be scattered throughout the house!

So anyway I decided to make my wishlists in this same fashion. I picked out a few things in each category...


"SOMETHING i WANT":



"something i want"




I love Blue and White pottery, my collection is pretty sad so a few more pieces {whether old or new} would be a great addition to it. Our Ross has a storage ottoman that I've been wanting for about a year now. It looks similar to the one on the board but has antiqued brass nail head trim to it and opens up for storage. I want it to go at the foot of our bed. I have always loved Pottery Barn's Vintage Pewter collection. I have the non slotted scoop but would love other pieces, the salt and pepper shakers are adorable as are the napkin rings. I would love another dutch oven in either copper or just a white/cream. TJMaxx and Marshalls is a great place to buy copper cookware at a great price. We just ordered a cannon rebel and I have been told that I should get the 50mm lens because it takes amazing pictures. I love Target's brass bar cart, not that I drink but I think it adds a fun element to a dining room, plus it offers extra storage which you can never have enough of! Also at Target is a set of 3 starburst mirrors that I have been coveting. And last we have had a breakfast bar at all of our homes for the past almost 9 years and I have yet to invest in any bar stools.  I love the look of the Tolix ones and Target as well as Overstock.com has packages of 2 for a great price and since we would need at least 4 for our family the 2 pack makes it easier, of course in the metal finish.



"SOMETHING i NEED"


"something I need"



This area could be a little tricky but here is what I came up with... You can never have enough casserole dishes. I often discover just 2 in our home will not cut it. White will go with anything and any holiday, it's a safe color for dishes. I really could use some more wooden spoons. I like using them when I cook and I only have 2 at the moment. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this next one but I really need new dish towels. I should make it a rule to replace them every 6 months or at least every year. I've had mine forever and you can tell. My current wallet is starting to fall apart. I can't decide if I want a medium leather brown one similar to the color of my purse or go for fun with a neutral polka dotted one. Brand names aren't important to me although I do like Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade. I can never have enough baskets, I'm always needing more to store things, have always loved this one from Target. And pillows. We could use quite a few new bed pillows. I like Target's. {can you tell i"m a Target fan?}


"SOMETHING TO WEAR"


"something to wear"



This category for me is a bit tricky at the moment considering I'm temporarily not my usual size. Regular clothes don't fit me and with only 2 months left of being pregnant after Christmas buying maternity clothes wouldn't be the smartest choice. However I love neutral bobbly jewelery that I can use to dress up my t-shirt and jeans. Even though this shirt from JCrew wouldn't fit me now, I love stripes and boat necks, so this equals love for me. I would love some high gloss red Hunter rain boots. Not that I live up north where they are really needed, I think they are fun and we get loads of rain down here during hurricane season. My leather boots that I loved somehow got ruined. I think some little munchkin spilled something on them and they are now stained and not so pretty. These from Nine West sound to be comfortable and I like the look of them, not too casual and not too dressy.


"SOMETHING TO READ"



"something to read"




Not that I'm going to have much time on my hands after baby gets here but I do love having books whether to read or set out as coffee table look books. I'm not a fan of "serious" books. My favorite author Sophie Kinsella has 2 books out that I currently do not have in my collection. Even though I'm in the middle of reading 3 other books, i can always make room for more of hers. Ralph Lauren's A perfectly Kept Home sounds fun to look through and I love his style. The Perfectly Imperfect Home has been a book I've been wanting for a while, as well as The Great American House. And those last 3 would look great sitting in my coffee table top basket.


So there you go {mom}. Some of the things I wouldn't mind finding under the tree Christmas morning. Hopefully some of these things will give you ideas for gift giving this year. Have any of you adopted the 4 gifts idea? Any tips or advice about it? We haven't prepped the kids yet but we'll be working on it. I don't think they'll be too upset, especially if they get the one thing they have been asking for all year!

Happy Holiday shopping!

xoxo Meg

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Operation Master Bedroom re-design... or just plain start putting together, and a Pottery Barn giveaway.

Have you guys seen the contest Jenny from Dear Lillie is hosting with Polyvore? Apparently Polyvore is trying to get into the home section instead of mainly fashion so they're kicking off their new section by hosting this contest. Just create a room that you think exemplifies casual elegance, publish it on Plyvore, and then Jenny will pick out her favorite. the winner receives a $500 gift card to Pottery Barn. But a second winner determined by how much attention their board gets on Polyvore will also receive a $500 gift card to Pottery Barn. Who wouldn't be happy to receive that in the mail?

Anyway I gave it a shot and here is mine... I'm actually in the process of decorating our master bedroom since it's the only room {besides the nursery} that hasn't been touched since we moved in. Here's a bit of what I'm going for in it:


operation master bedroom re-design


If you want to join the contest, or just go vote for mine by liking it, or comment, or view, go here. You can see all of the rooms.

Tomorrow I'll have my Christmas wishlist on the blog, per my mom's request... I'm pretty sure one of my items will be pretty hard to answer, but hey tis the season for miracles!!

xoxo Meg

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Treats: Toffee Bars.

As promised here is a recipe for the first holiday cookies I've made this season. And apparently I made them just for me as no one else in the house is interested... I'm not complaining!

Toffee Bars




Ingredients:
1 C soft butter
1 C packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
semi-sweet chocolate chips
toffee heath bits


Cream together butter and brown sugar.


Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Gradually add flour and salt, beating well. It will look like this:


Press into greased 15x10 in baking pan.


Bake at 350* for 17-19 minutes or until golden brown.


Immediately place chocolate chips on top and return to oven for 1 minute.


Spread chocolate over the top...


And sprinkle with heath bits.


Let cool for about 10 minutes and then score the bars. Place in fridge for about 30 minutes or until chocolate is hard.


You should be able to get a clean break for the most part now.


Pile them on a pretty plate and eat up!


I created a recipe card on Picmonkey.com if you'd like to print it out. I've also added it to my HOLIDAY board on Pinterest if you want to Pin it.


They're addicting let me tell you! I may or may not have already eaten about 3/4 of them myself!
Happy Holiday baking!!!

xoxo Meg

Sunday, December 1, 2013

is anyone still there?!?!?

Hello?!?! Is anyone still here?!?!? So I kind of took a non planned vacation from blogging, an over 4 month vacation, yikes!!! However I kind of have a good excuse. We've had a lot of things happen around here since we last talked. We moved {I know big surprise there}, started school {I now have 2 in grade school, ahhh}, celebrated an 8th birthday, participated in the annual craft fair I do each year, started a once a month mom's day away craft day, and the biggest change that's happened over here {the one that started this forever long hiatus}, we are expecting baby boy #4!!!


While I was thinking it could only be time a baby girl entered our family, I was completely wrong! This pregnancy completely turned my world around for a few months. I had the true first trimester sickness that a lot of women face but I never truly experienced to the fullest until mid July rolled around! Let's just say I slept a lot and participated in another activity I'll spare you with, and the boys had full run of the house... it was a disaster. On top of that we moved right in the midst of it and no lie, I didn't pack a thing until actual moving day, as if my stress level wasn't already high with everything going on... I like to live on the wild side!


The boys are completely thrilled and excited for their new brother to arrive this spring. If you would like to view the videos we made to announce the future arrival and the gender, the links are below... You'll even get a sneak peek at the new place. The first one is the announcement and the second is the reveal, just click on the "watch on Vimeo" button on each one to view it.
I have a ton to catch up on here and a million and one posts to write involving new projects, makeovers, decorating, crafts, and even some recipes... I didn't forget about this place! Hopefully I can get back to a normal blog schedule again, at least until baby is here, and then I'm sure I'll be so much in zombie land none of my posts will even make sense! I'll be back tomorrow with a cookie recipe for this holiday season!

xoxo, Meg

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Giveaway winner and Christmas in July.

So sometimes life doesn't go as planned and your youngest ends up in the hospital with acute abdominal pains and they can't figure out exactly what's wrong for 3 days and then you get home and everyone in the house including you gets sick... Yep that's what's been going on over here since we got back from Charlotte, NC. But I've finally chosen a winner, actually hubby did, and he picked commenter #4 which is Lorna!!!

Congratulations Lorna! I'll be emailing you soon on how to claim your prize. 

If you still would like a ruler I'm running a Christmas in July sale starting today. Use the coupon code JULY10 at checkout and receive 10% off your total purchase through the end of the month.

Hopefully things will return to normal around here soon so regular blogging can resume. Until then enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation!!!

Meg

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

stripes on the stairs and some family room updates.

Last year I shared with you my sister's stairway and the art we did for the space. It always bothered me and didn't quite look finished. It still looked empty, even with a gallery wall of around 15 pictures. Then one day while I was face timing my mom who was up there to help care for the new baby, I think the entryway and stairs were in the background, I brought up the idea that the entryway needed some color, possibly a dark grey but lighter than the powder bath. I convinced my sister it would look good and then convinced my mom to do the painting. Then when the issue of where to end the paint came up, I mentioned on the stairs in stripes. That way it would transition nicely into the swiss coffee colored walls that surrounded the stairs, no one wanted to scaffold 2 stories high to paint the entire stairwalls. 


 
I absolutely love how it turned out!!! It adds a graphic punch and interest to the otherwise boring wall. And in case anyone is wondering I believe the stripes are 12 inches wide each. You can see in the 4th picture the first grey stripe began where the entryway ceiling hit the wall. The last grey stripe is not as wide as the others but it is in just a little corner as you see from above so it's not that noticeable, don't stress out if you plan to do this same thing and can't get measurements exact... it'll be our little secret! We are still in search for a large wall clock to hang in the middle of the striped wall.

 
This is the wall you face when you descend the stairs. The drop leaf table use to be brown but the dark grey goes better with the color scheme of her home. Yes she too purchased some of those incredible glass lamps for a steal!!



 
The view from standing in the dining room. See how well it all transitions instead of a harsh paint line between walls?

 
Some changes have also been made to her living room. She switched out the wrought iron clock for this gorgeous mirror, I believe it was found at HomeGoods, along with some faux boxwoods and milk glass leave it simple and classic.

 
During a trip down here to visit we went shopping for items to fill up her bookcases. We stayed simple and went with white, glass, and natural woven items.





 
Eventually some framed pictures of their little one will be hung above the tv to help fill in that space and create a "bridge" between the bookcases. I think that concludes the updates made to my sister's house for now. Thanks Carlie and Matt for letting me take some risks and trusting me with your home's look. Now to finish my own!!!
 
Meg