August 28, 2009

Something Pretty: All Colours In...

I was invited to add the photo above to a really cool Flickr group called all colours in.... It has such an inspiring collection of photos! I definitely enjoy browsing the collection. Here are a few of my favorites.

August 27, 2009

Something Roomy

This is New York City's skinniest house. Located in Greenwich Village, it's only 9 1/2 feet wide and 42 feet long. Supposedly, it gets a lot of light with large windows and a skylight. And, it can be yours for 2.7 million dollars!

Apparently, it had some historical figures that called it home in the past, including anthropologist Margaret Mead and poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. I honestly don't know who they are, but it sounds good.

Could you live in a home that is only 9 1/2 feet wide? I think it would make for some interesting design challenges!

But, I think I'll hold off. The price tag is just a bit too steep for me.

You can read the original article here. The photo is from the link, too.

August 26, 2009

Something Etsy: New Items in my Shop!

I just posted these two items in my Etsy shop! I think these are two of my favorites, so far. I'll be posting other new items over the next few days, so check back often!

August 25, 2009

Something Random: Begrudgingly...a new phone

I'm the type of person that tends to hold onto things until they fall apart or just plain don't work anymore. I'd especially like to be that way with technology. Too bad it's constantly evolving. I love my current cell phone, but because I've had it so long they've stopped offering it. This tells me, from past experience with another phone, that there probably won't ever be a new battery available for it if I ever needed one. And my current phone's battery life is slowly dwindling away....

Enter Verizon's 'New Every Two' do-jiggy. I ordered my new phone online so I could get it for free and in my mailbox in two days. Although it's probably 'old' to some people, my new phone will be the LG enV®3.

I'm getting it in the maroon, as shown above. I like red. It's pretty.

To me, this phone isn't quite as advanced as other ones available (read no touch screen, just 'prehistoric' buttons), which is fine with me because I use a phone to make and receive calls, and send the occasional, like once a month, text message. I don't listen to music on it, read e-mail, browse the internet, or any other things like that. Call me old-fashioned.

I am digging the 3 megapixel camera on it, though. I can't wait to try it out, especially since I'm doing this blogging stuff now!

Does anybody have experience with this phone?

August 21, 2009

Something Pretty

I wish I were on this beach this weekend! But, I guess I'll have to make do with home. It's always nice at home, anyway, especially when I have my wonderful hubby with me.

Enjoy your weekend!

August 20, 2009

Something Roomy: IKEA Kitchens

I have some friends that are looking to redo their entire kitchen, including knocking out walls, repositioning appliances, and the whole nine yards, while finishing the kitchen on a smallish budget. I suggested they look into Ikea to see what they had to offer since I knew they offered affordable kitchen cabinets and appliances. 

I just recently got the new Ikea catalog in the mail, and was instantly enamored with some of their cabinet styles. I never knew they had so many options! I now need to take a trip there so I can see some of these beauties in person, and pretend that I have my own kitchen that I could redecorate. Oh, the woes of renting...

August 19, 2009

Something Etsy: Tea Towels

I have a horrible time buying things for my home. I have no problems buying clothing, jewelry, or makeup, but when it comes to my home, I almost feel guilty for buying things to put in it. Especially since we're still saving up for some furniture to replace our old hand-me-downs.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll break down and buy some cute tea towels that match my kitchen colors...turquoise and red.




And stay tuned for an exciting update on my Etsy shop! I'll hopefully have something to share by the end of this week.

August 18, 2009

Something Random: Samantha Robinson

I love pretty things.  I love tiny things.  Pretty tiny things are even better.  Pretty tiny prints on pretty tiny things are the bestest yet.  I found Samantha Robinson's work via Paper n Stitch, and I've been obsessed with her work ever since.  I would love to have a few of these pretties in my kitchen.  They'd be a great complement to the white china I already have.

Soon, there will be an order form and product list on Samantha's website, so I'll probably be hawking it until it appears.  And then I'll trouble myself with what to buy, how many to buy, and how much I could actually afford to buy.

August 17, 2009

Something Yummy

So this isn't particularly yummy in the edible category, but it's definitely yummy in the food for my sole category. Get it? Sole? Like sole of your shoe?

Okay, I digress...

I don't normally lust after material things. I'm normally bothered by how many people think they need things, when they really just want things. But, today, I shall not be bothered by that, because I am now officially in the same category as them. I will only be in that category today (or maybe until I get them) as I show you this pair of awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, I-gotta-have-them shoes. And yes, to me, they are yummy!

I got this picture from the Real Simple website, but I had also seen it in my newest Marie Claire magazine. They're made by Calvin Klein, and are available in pony hair, soft nappa/patent, and shiny nappa/ stretch satin. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any other information on these shoes, yet, so if anybody knows anything, can I know, too?

August 14, 2009

Something Pretty

Take time to enjoy the simple things this weekend!  We'll have my in-laws staying with us for the weekend, and it's always a great time when they're around.
Photo: hilwegner on Flickr

August 13, 2009

Something Roomy: Tiny Cabin

I've always been drawn to all things tiny, and this is no exception! How wonderful would it be to have a simple getaway cabin like this?

It looks like the greatest place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I treasure those quiet moments, and would love to have tons of them here! How inspiring would it be to sit on the edge of this pier, soaking in the sun and looking out on sheer beauty while listening to the sounds of nature?

View the whole slideshow here.

August 12, 2009

Something Etsy

I have been addicted to necklaces, lately. Especially necklaces that make a statement. I have to be careful with statement necklaces, though, because I'm petite and I don't want a necklace to completely overwhelm my outfit, let alone me. I bought this necklace from fleurfatale on Etsy and it instantly became my favorite necklace. She has some wonderful pieces, and I definitely have my eye on several others. Just look at these beauties!

Check out this wonderful shop here.
Photos: fleurfatale

August 11, 2009

Something Random: This Warms My Heart

My dear, dear younger brother has dealt with many inner demons and mental disorders for most of his teenage and all of his adult life. He's gone through so many struggles, and I believe he's now emerging from his cocoon of depression, repression, and all that other nasty stuff associated with mental disorders.

I came home to visit a few months ago, and my mom showed me what he had stuck up on her refrigerator. I had to take a picture! Now, every time I look at it, my eyes well-up, and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that my brother will be okay after all. He's just recently accomplished so much in a very short period of time. He makes his big sister proud.

August 10, 2009

Something Yummy: Easiest Brownies Ever!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we usually go to a friend's house on Thursday nights and take turns making dessert to eat while drinking their yummy coffee. I found this recipe from The Kitchn, and had to share it. I did a test run last week with it, just to make sure everybody would like it. Mr. M and I both liked it a lot, so it's a definite go for this week's dessert. Here's the uber-simple recipe:

The One-Minute Brownie
  • 1 box cake mix (pick any flavor; I used a devil's food cake mix)
  • 1 box sugar-free jello (I originally wanted raspberry, but Target didn't have it, so I went with strawberry)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Apply non-stick spray to an 8"x 8" pan. Mix all ingredients together well, spoon into pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

And, voila! Nummy brownies! I did have to leave mine in the oven about 15-20 minutes longer than the recipe. I think my oven gets testy at times. But, regardless, they were definitely well worth the wait.

If you're wondering why I have no pictures for this post, it's for several different reasons.
  1. I'm too lazy to take a picture, upload it onto my computer, and resize it so Blogger actually likes it and will stick it in my post properly.
  2. I eat the stuff before remembering to take a picture.
  3. I think I take pretty crappy food pictures, so I tend to just avoid taking them.
Enjoy your brownies!

August 7, 2009

What a Giveaway!

I love reading oh, hello friend and just today she posted about a new shop that just opened called papermash. I am a huge fan of pretty paper products, and when I heard there's a great giveaway in celebration of the papermash opening, I hurried straight over to their blog to check it out. They're giving away a year's worth of free stationery! I am so in! Check out all of the details here!

And I wish you luck to all those who enter!

Something Pretty

Have a wonderful weekend! I have in-laws in town, so it should be fun!

August 6, 2009

Pretty Pictures

I'm having so much fun with this whole blog thing! I'm loving reading other people's blogs, leaving comments, getting involved in projects and giveaways, and writing my own blog posts.

Vicki from Simply Hue has been running a photographer spotlight since the beginning of this month, and she's using pictures from pros, novices, and basically anybody interested. I figured I'd go ahead and submit a few photos I've taken although they are from from professional. She posted some of my photos yesterday, so go take a look and let me know what you think!

Something Roomy: Southern Living's Georgia Idea House

Seriously, that is our dream home. We both love the Craftsman style and want something mostly on one level. This house has three levels, though. The main floor, what Southern Living calls a 'retreat' on the upper level, and several bedrooms and a family room on the lower level. And the two lower levels also have some serious porches off the back!

Yes, this is Southern Living's Georgia Idea House, and if you're in the Dahlonega, GA area, you should totally check it out! Too bad I live to far away to warrant a vacation just to see this house. In the meantime, I'll just drool over the pictures.

Dining Room

Multi-purpose Room


Guest Bedroom

Master Bathroom

This whole house is drool-worthy! So full of inspiration, too! Check out the complete slideshow here.

All photos from Southern Living.

August 5, 2009

Something Etsy

I've had this in my Etsy favorites for quite some time. It's a small size print created from an original drawing by Ayco of Childlike Wisdom. I love birds, and simple drawings like these really charm me. The choice of words at the bottom of the print just add to it's character.

Buy it here.

When one door closes...

Another one opens!

Last night was a testament to that saying!

It starts out that the night before Mr. M came home from work and mentioned how he was having trouble getting his truck to downshift on his way home. Now, I must say that I've had a feeling his truck had been on the fritz for a while, and it was only a matter of time before something was going to happen. It does have over 220,000 miles on it! We talked to several different family members that night to try to figure out what could be wrong. After several suggestions, Mr. M figures he'll go outside and tinker around.

The next thing I hear are gears grinding. Not a good thing. At all. Mr. M managed to take the truck around the block, but I guess he felt he was in a rodeo because the truck was bucking all over the place.

Now, this is where we came to a crossroads. Did we want to put money back into his old truck, his dear White Pony? Or did we want to try to find something used, or maybe new with all the incentives available right now? Did we want to try to fix the White Pony and stay with a small truck, or did we want to try to upgrade to a full-sized truck? We had a lot of questions that night!

To fix the White Pony, it would have cost us more than what the truck was worth. So, I took off work the next day to be Mr. M's right-hand woman. We got some money out of the bank to either by a truck outright, or put down some money on financing. We talked with a loan guy at our bank, and he gave us some really good insight. Thank you, Jorge! We got back into my little car and sat there for a few seconds wondering what to do next.

First stop, new car dealers, preferably Toyota and Ford. It was rather disheartening, though, as even the most basic full-sized work trucks were being sold new for about $22,000 or more. More cost at Toyota, of course. That took up half our morning.

Oh, did I mention that Mr. M was supposed to meet with a client that evening and get materials to start a job? Without a truck at this point? Yeah, we were scrambling.

Next stop, home for lunch. We looked online at several local used car dealers, but they really didn't have anything that Mr. M was looking for. So we ate our sandwiches and said a prayer. Then I started thinking, 'You know, the good Lord always works things out at the last minute.'

Next stop, a local used truck dealer, specializing in commercial trucks and vans. We had seen a '92 F-150 with decent mileage there before, and the price was good (we could pay for it fully), but we never took it for a test drive. As soon as we pulled out of the lot with this truck, I knew it wasn't a good thing. It honestly sounded like every bump we went over was going to make the windshield pop off. Then, Mr. M (bless his brave soul) decided to take the truck on the highway. Let me just say that my father has always had older vehicles, but this was the first one I really didn't feel comfortable, let alone safe, in. Mr. M could even wiggle the steering wheel without the truck responding at all! Scary! After we pulled back into the lot, we left there rather quickly.

Last stop, not even a planned one. Mr. M was getting ready to turn onto our street to head back home, but instead drove past and pulled into another local used car dealer that had a full-sized F-150 with a cap on the lot. Originally, he wasn't going to get out of the car to take a look, but I somehow convinced him to. We test drove it, and Mr. M loved it. We pulled a few strings, chit-chatted with the sales people, and Mr. M pulled off the lot in his new-for-us White Stallion. Oh, and only a half hour before he was supposed to meet with his client.

Now we have to figure out what to do with the White Pony.

Sorry for such a long post! I'm just so happy that things worked out and Mr. M is a very happy camper!

August 4, 2009

Something Random: Necklace Storage DIY

So, I'm trying to decide how I want to store all of my necklaces, especially out in the open. Right now, they're stuffed in one of my dresser drawers, and I hate sifting through it every morning to find a necklace to wear for the day. I guess it has its upside in that I occasionally find necklaces I forgot I had, so it's kind of like my birthday all over again or something. But, I'd love to be able to see all of my pretties hanging up on my wall.

And here is the perfect spot:

It's such a plain corner right now. Please don't mind the dust or the super, design-savvy laundry bags. Our bedroom is definitely still a work in progress. I'm thinking, though, of hanging the necklace hanger on the same wall that the lamp is sitting along.

I'm torn between two different ideas. The first is to attach a few random knobs to the wall, or use a pretty board to attach them to and then hang on the wall.

Knobs from Anthropologie

Or using this idea from Young House Love:

I wouldn't leave so much space for earrings, as I wear mostly studs. And I'd probably hang the bulletin board (a smaller one than above) so the long sides are horizontal. I haven't thought of what kind of fabric I'd use yet, and it's pretty difficult for me to browse for it around here since there aren't too many fabric stores left in my area. Bah.

If you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them. I'm not sure when I'll actually put a plan into action, but rest assured that you will get an update once this project is complete.

August 3, 2009

Something Yummy: Tomato 'n Beef Casserole with Polenta Crust

I admit it. I take pretty craptastic food photos. There really was no way to take a picture of this meal without it looking nasty in some way, so I apologize from the start. And, to make it easier on you, that's the only photo I'm going to show.

Although the photo may make it look kind of yucky, this recipe is actually quite good. Enough for Mr. M to get seconds even though it has zucchini in it. He ordinarily detests zucchini.

This recipe is simple, albeit slightly time consuming. But, it's so worth the wait!

Tomato 'n Beef Casserole with Polenta Crust
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in cornmeal; reduce heat to low, and simmer, whisking constantly, 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in steak seasoning and 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese. Spread cornmeal mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

Brown ground chuck in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain and transfer to a bowl.

Saute onion and zucchini in hot oil in skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in beef, tomatoes, and tomato paste; simmer, stirring often, 10 minutes. Pour beef mixture over cornmeal crust. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle casserole with parsley just before serving.

And enjoy!

This recipe is from the April issue of Southern Living. I don't want to take the credit for creating this recipe. I rarely ever create my own, and, instead, love to find new ones all the time. I get bored easily, so change is always good!

If you make this, you'll have to let me know what you think. I enjoy how hearty it is, but still being somewhat decent, nutrition-wise. Yummy!

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