24 January 2009

a store of my own

a new store in town, stella grace. named after the girl name i had picked out, but never got to use. filled with treasures that i find out junking. some pieces were found in great condition, others have been repainted, or re purposed. all displayed beautifully in a casual, eclectic way that makes you want to visit every week just to see what is new.

services are also provided to stage clients homes. reusing what they have, or help them find the right spot for that piece they just purchased from stella grace. or maybe they just need holiday decorating done, or maybe decorating for a party they are having. i could do it all.

and then i woke up. yes, this is just a dream. a dream that i come back to often. a dream that between being a mom, wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a den leader, at home business owner, cupcake baker, junker, decorator, ect. hopefully someday will become a reality.

the photo above was created by visiting this site (thanks to tracey over at cottage industry) .

my actual store front would have cool, old shutters on each side of the windows and some beautiful green plants in the front. perhaps a cute table out front to enjoy a cup of complimentary coffee at. my desire to junk and resell, display, decorate, play, all wrapped up into one store. and speaking of wrapping, i would offer gift wrapping for the smalls. because who doesn't love getting a beautifully wrapped package?

when i close my eyes.....i can see it. *sigh* someday.

what is your dream?

20 January 2009

a day for history

i am not a history buff. i never liked, or did well, in history in school. it wasn't until i started traveling the world and seeing places, that i had only read about in history books, did i become remotely interested in history. i vaguely remember watching the space shuttle take off for the first time in school. it was cool that we had t.v.'s in our classroom but for some reason it just didn't make much of an impact on me. but today is different.

while watching the inaugural address today, i felt so proud to be an AMERICAN. i also felt so excited to be witnessing history in the making. a day for future hope, a day that will hopefully make a difference in the future of my children. i think i am excited about today because i am old enough, and mature enough to recognize this historical moment. it is a fresh start, it is exciting and it is fun to be witness to it. CHEERS! to the red, white, and blue.

14 January 2009


a valentine tray of mine to be featured in the february issue of Taste Bud magazine. my friend heather writes for them and so thoughtfully asked to use one of my trays in her february article.
the article is on breakfast in bed and who wouldn't love to have THIS delivered to you on valentines day morning. heather also has her own event floral design business called Botanica.
i am excited for the taste bud issue to come out. it is so fun to see your own creations in print, it makes it seem so real. heather, thank you for using my tray and taking such a beautiful photograph!

13 January 2009

small spaces

it is no secret that i am a fan of small spaces. last year my volunteer efforts included trying to save my neighborhood from the mcmansion (you can read more about that here if you are interested http://www.preserveoldleawood.blogspot.com/. i mean really, how much space do we really need? it takes effort to live in small spaces and i really think the biggest secret of it all is simply staying organized. lately i have seen other blogs talking about small space ideas and my local newspaper recently also wrote an article about small space living. i thought i would share with you today the ideas in my house that allow us to live comfortably in a small space.

my house is approximately 1700 square feet. it is the typical ranch floor plan with living/dining in the front and kitchen/family room in the back. long hallway to three (used to be 4 until we decided that a master bath bigger than a closet was needed) bedrooms and a hall bath. i often refer to it as my double wide trailer. i nixed the dining room, since it really wasn't even large enough for a table, 6 chairs and the buffet. i turned it into our mud room with built in lockers to corral all the daily necessities. so now our 'dining room' is on the back of the house and viewed from the kitchen. i also split my couch and love seat up .... one is in the front living room, the smaller love seat now faces the fireplace off of the kitchen. giving me more of a hearth room feel.

my kitchen is narrow. i really wanted a kitchen island and was thrilled to find this old dresser to use for it. this is not your typical eat at island. but with a stool at one end, snacks are often enjoyed here. back to the dresser.... i love all the storage it has. the center doors open to 3 pull out drawers. the sides and back i wrapped with bead board and trimmed it out. new knobs and it fits my kitchen perfectly. with my dishwasher on one side and the ovens on the other i was in need of something narrow yet functional. a long dresser fit my needs and it is probably one of my favorite pieces.

the back of the island - wrapped with bead board. you can see my loveseat and dining area in the background.

in my master bath a towel rack i made out of old door knobs is so functional.

this is pretty to look at, was a fun, easy project and does its job of keeping towels off the floor.

when we remodeled our master bath we didn't put in any built in cabinets. i had this piece from living overseas that i loved. white towels stack nicely and are convenient. all the small drawers below hold extra soap, etc. i love having furniture pieces in my bathroom instead of built ins.

back to the kitchen.... above my cook top i opted for a mantle instead of a cabinet. this allows for me to display some of my favorite things and frees up the counter space.

i love my armoire. i love that it adds height to the room, hides the t.v. and in the bottom the kids have baskets of toys and games. again, i think being organized is key to living in small spaces. everything has a home and gets put away.

again, multipurpose furniture helps. a bench, turned coffee table, also functions as storage for small cars and blocks. it is easily accessible for the boys and encourage creative play.

our hallway to the bedrooms is our photo gallery. putting photos here helps control the clutter of having tons of small photo frames on every table surface in the rest of the house.
those are just a few ideas i have for living in small spaces. i hope you found them helpful and if you have some small space ideas, please leave a comment with a link to your ideas. i would love to hear more.

10 January 2009

apple-cheddar muffins

a new muffin recipe that i tried this week. apple-cheddar muffins....yummy! moist, not sweet, goes well with a bowl of soup, with a cuppa coffee for breakfast or great in the lunch box. enjoy!

apple-cheddar muffins

1 large apple
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup regular uncooked oatmeal (rolled oats)
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup finely grated cheddar cheese

preheat oven to 400. butter standard muffin tins.
peel, halve and core the apple. cut it into 1/8" dice, set aside.
in a large bowl stir and toss together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. set aside. in a medium bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter until smooth. stir in the apple and cheese. add to the combined dry ingredients and stir just until blended. spoon into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup about three-quarters full. bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. cool in tins and then remove. makes about 12 standard muffins.

07 January 2009

a before and after without the before photo

one fall day i hit a garage sale. i found two wing back chairs, one avocado green and the other pumpkin orange. they were heavy, sturdy Hickory chairs. i did not need them. i did not need one more project sitting in the garage. but i loved the shape of them and i had been thinking about two chairs, of some sort, to add to my living room. at $25 each, i just couldn't pass them up. they came home with me and were stashed in our already full garage (my husband hates this!) ;) i searched the internet for fabric and found just what i was looking for..... a linen, java and cream zebra print! my decorator friend had them upholstered for me and they are more wonderful than i thought they would be.

leather piping is a small detail that i am glad i went with. they are just beautiful and they are just the WOW i was looking for in my living room.

they also are so very comfortable. heavy, solid chairs....oh my, did i mention that i LOVE THEM!!! i wish i would have taken before photos, but oh well. i am just completely thrilled with these two beauties in my living room.

they have become my new favorite place to sit in the morning with my vanilla latte and read the newspaper. i never need anything, but love when i find a good deal with potential at a garage sale. is it spring yet? i am ready for more garage sale hunting!

04 January 2009

fun birthday stuff

a friend of mine turned 50 and i attended her surprise party saturday night. i knew i wanted to give her a couple of cupcakes. she loves antiques, so i thought putting them on a small vintage cake stand would make for a good presentation. i didn't really find any small cake stands and i was getting frustrated that i could not find what i was looking for. but then i found this cute little toy drum! i knew my friend L would love it, and it made for a perfect, think out of the box, cupcake stand.
i also thought that anyone turning 50 should have a crown to call their own. L also loves paper crafts so making her a paper crown was another little gift i knew she would love. my kids picked up crowns on a recent lunch at burger king. they were the perfect base for creating my crown for L. here is a photo of it flat.... (just click on the photo to see it enlarged)

and here is a (fuzzy, my camera doesn't do well with glittery, sparkly, stuff) photo of it put together. i used old dictionary paper, sparkle/glitter paper, ribbon, lace, and WA-LA a crown for the birthday queen. happy birthday L!!! i had such a good time at your party!

this crown was so easy to make that i think i will make one for myself....just to wear, when ever i feel like it. maybe it could become my 'mom is in a bad mood crown'....it is sure to lift my spirits when i get cranky and it would be fair warning to the boys and my husband that i might growl!

02 January 2009

happy new year

so hard to believe that it was nine years ago that everyone was freaking out about it being the year 2000. wow how the time has flown by.

we did our baking this year on new years eve. three different kinds of goodies all packaged up and delivered to the neighbors to wish them a happy new year. i love using freezer paper, it is heavy duty, slick on one side and flat on the other. not to mention i love the simple color of it...white. you can buy it at your local market right next to the aluminum foil. it also is great to just roll out a huge sheet of it and let the kids color on it.

happy new year!

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