Refining Style

Since I have begun my new journey on living a life of simplicity, I have also begun refining my style. At times I feel all over the place and I am trying hard not to waste and buy smartly. I want pieces and a home that we can grow with and me not tire of in a few sort months or even years. After much evaluation I think I came down to what I am when concerning my home. I think designer Kristen Panitch nailed me right on the head with her gorgeous designs. Her spaces look easy to live in, welcoming, traditional, with a bit of boho here and there. The textures, patterns. and the layering of all her spaces feel like home to me. This is the direction I am slowly going in. I can't wait to share my home soon!

Her goal for every space they design speaks volumes to me... to create homes that will reflect and evolve with our clients’ lifestyle, tastes, passions, and dreams... That is so what I want and am striving towards.


Yesterday I had high hopes of taking the kiddos to the zoo. When we arrived there wasn't any parking spots. Yes, you heard me right. It was insane. So in my frantic desire to do something fun with the kiddos without going mad I went to the Botanical Gardens a street away. They ran and explored. We had a blast. I visited the shop Leaf n Petal while there and fell head over heels for the decoupaged wallpaper. The colors were quite gorgeous to say the least. Such an inspiring day it ended up being. Today we are getting up a bit earlier and trying for the zoo once again. Fingers crossed.

*images taken on iphone4

For the Love of a House

I try to be somewhat original on this little blog of mine, but sometimes that can be hard. As design blogs become more popular being original can sometimes feel next to impossible. I was feeling slightly uninspired so I picked up my camera and started shooting. Slowly and surely I began feeling inspired again, by own home. Now that's fun and rare. Maybe my simplicity goals are actually working. Here is a glimpse into what makes me happy in my own home...

The color green reminds me of spring. Spending time outside, having picnics, and fresh air.

My 30th birthday party dress stays out. I adore it and it reminds me all my fabulous friends and family. Happy memories. The piano was a gift. Can't wait till the kiddos learn how to play sweet melodies.

My new lamps look extra lovely wearing my jewelry. This nook in the bedroom has changed dozens of times since we moved in and I was never happy with it. Finally, while gaining simplicity and not wanting to buy anything new till I was 100% sure I would love it, I stuck a chair that I had for years there and well, I am smitten with it.

We have been doing so many art projects that I decided to stop putting the brushes away. Ellie then started hanging her art on the wall. I rather like how it looks. I think we will continue to do it until the whole wall is full. Makes me happy.

An old star burst clock that I "borrowed" from my parents against the greige walls makes for a lovely combo. The antlers in the guest/kiddos bath adds a little whimsy. I like whimsy and apparently jumped on board with a few trends over the years. ha.

My garden is starting to grow back. Love seeing the sedum peeking through drinking up the sun. Spring time is on its way.

Can you see a trend? My own home makes me happy. I am so excited. Isn't that the way it should be? Oh, and no it still isn't our forever house, but it is my house and I think she can be pretty.

Seeing Redd

Miles Redd is known for his rather elaborate designs quenched in color and pattern. As you know I am drawn to neutral simple palettes, but I must say all these designs from Mr. Redd have me singing a new tune. I adore these rooms and could easily see my family living in them. Well, if we were loaded that is.

It was also fun to see Ashley sitting on his stoop on her lovely blog. It would so be something I would do.

Antiques at the Garden

Mrs. French was invited to the Antiques at the Garden here in Birmingham. The Friday morning of the weekend long event was a special invitation only Designer Preview. Mrs. French deemed me special and carried me along with her as her +1. The show featured many premier dealers from around the country minus any of the Birmingham dealers. I must say I fell head over heels for so many pieces. Alas I only took home photos while I am sure some others took home these fine pieces.

Adding Green

I found my self highly inspired by Jennifer's fall post the other day. I have been wanting some fresh flowers, but haven't made my way to the store yet, so I thought I would take Jennifer's route on adding green to my home. On our nightly family walk I decided to bring along my clipping shears and collected some lovely foliage also known as pretty weeds for our home. I am rather pleased with the way it all turned out and love the free price tag even more.

A Bit of Provence

I am absolutely enamored with the Provence collection at Restoration Hardware. The weathered gray wicker is right up my alley. All the above pieces are meant for the garden, but to be honest I would have any one of these pieces live in my home. I could imagine dinner parties going well into the night while sitting around that table. Movie watching in the lounge area. The large pedestal bowl would be great to corral all the mail that makes it's way into my home. Oh, and lets not forget how pretty a few of the lanterns set on the buffet would look.

A Place in the Hamptons

This may be my favorite issue of Elle Decor yet and I have been receiving this magazine for years. I absolutely adored the sneak peek into Meg Ryan's summer home on all my favorite blogs, but once I actually received the issue I was elated with Timothy Whealons summer home in the Hamptons. He made the purchase on a snap decision and had to redo the whole place. I think he did a mighty fine job, so much so that I keep on rereading the article and keep on studying all the pretty pictures. I simply can not put it down.

Inspire Me

Here are a few images that have me going back and back again so I thought I would share just in case you missed them...

This gorgeous table set for Easter makes me want to make Easter dinner more of an event for the kiddos. My husband is a pastor so we don't get to see him Easter weekend so it's just me and the kiddos. I want to make sure I still make it special though. I also would not mind having that light fixture, GORGEOUS!

This lakeside retreat has me swooning. What can I say all the white leaves it looking fresh, the cowhide stool is calling my name, the subway tile is a favorite of mine, and that lamp, wow.

Loving this cabinet. The coral inside makes me want to break out my paint brushes. Of course the fabulous wallpaper behind makes it all the better.

I always love seeing snippets of Jennifer's home. She's always changing things around and is a continual inspiration. Our sideboards are even painted the same color. I kindly asked her if she would mind coming over and doing my entry table. I am in desperate need of a new eye. I think she thought I was joking.

It seems in this market we will be calling our house home for quite some time so of course I want to make it the best it can be. Our garden has my full attention for now. This shed makeover has my wheels turning. Isn't it darling? No, we don't have a shed, but we could right?

Via Me oh My | A Life's Design {via Southern Living} | Pink Wallpaper {via Martha Stewart} | Newlywed Diaries | High Street Market

My Garden

I thought since I shared my garden inspiration yesterday then I would share my back garden today. Please excuse my weeds I plan to conquer them today. Oh, and yes I am well aware that the huge hydrangea bush needs to be moved. I had no idea it would get so big so fast. Live and learn, right?

Here is a view of my garden. I would love this look throughout, but wow its a lot of work. Well worth it though I think. What I would love is to disguise the fence all the way around. I love having a fence, but would love to mask it more. Oh, and that's the hydrangea that needs to be moved. I also plan to plant climbing fig to cover the vinyl back of our house. The other three sides are brick. I think this is my cheapest, I mean best option, right?

We have a swing set, not quite inspiration garden material, but it is fabulous for the kiddos. The swings and hand rings are from Ikea.

I am planning on getting new dining chairs this year. I am thinking these for the side and two big wicker ones for the ends.

Now for my garden to bloom so I can have cut flowers for free!

Happy Birthday to my sweet Mama! Can you guess what your present is?

Garden Inspiration


This past weekend I finally watched It's Complicated and I fell head over heels so much so that I watched it twice. The home was stunning but what had me most in awe was the garden. It is simply my dream garden. I am quite proud of what I have done in our yard so far, but I would love to add more. My home's yard is not quite as grand (or even close) as the one in It's Complicated, but this one is quite similar only on a smaller scale. It has me swooning. Any gardeners out there now how much something like this (backyard only) would run me? I am assuming it would be more than our home is worth, ha! This gorgeous home is owned by Troy Rhone of Troy Rhone Garden Design. The home is up for sale, but again out of our price range for just under $390,000. Did I mention how much I love this garden?

Bird Feeders

It seems here in the south we have completely skipped spring and went straight to summer. That's fine with me though as long as the sun is shining. We have been spending most days outside and I am happy to see that most of my plants are coming bake spite the harsh winter we had. This year I think we will add a bird feeder for all our feathered friends. The first one would go quite nicely with the current Auburn bird house we have.

here | here | here

*And for all of you that asked about my hair, I will have a post about it sometime next week. Pictures and all. It is definitely a complete transformation.

A Cottage: Before & After

I grew up in Massachusetts and as a little girl visiting Nantucket gave me such fond memories. This 1920's Nantucket cottage was returned to what it once was by Jeffrey Bilhuber. Although the outside of this cottage looks quite idyllic the inside was worse for ware. Mr. Bilhuber bought the property without first taking a look inside, well can you say buyers remorse, but of course being the great designer he is he was able to make this place into a show stopper. Of course I could dissect every picture into what I enjoy, but I think I will just let you all enjoy.

{via Architectural Digest}

Happy Weekend

I am still not back to my old self, but was pleasantly surprised when I went to my back garden and found these flowers in bloom. I have no idea what they are, but the butterflies seem to enjoy them. Today is going to be a crazy day for us. We are shooting a wedding that my litttle Ellie also happens to be in. If you happen to be of the praying type I would love to make it through the day without getting snot everywhere. Oh, and if my head would stop pounding that would be a plus. Anyhoo, I can't wait to share the wedding with you all next week. Ellie, I mean the bride, will take your breath away.

Keeping It Green DIY

Although fall is my favorite season it does make me sad to see my garden fade. Most of the front garden is evergreen, but the porch which normally houses a few pots of flowers was looking bare. This time around I wanted something that would last and that was easy to manage. I really just did not want to have to think about it too much, so instead of flowers I used reindeer moss that had been dyed a bright green. I bought it from a local garden shop and could not be more pleased with the outcome.

Creating this look was super easy. I simply hot glued the moss to a half round circle that I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics. The circle fit perfectly into the mouth of my pot and stays there quite nicely. Ugly on the bottom...

Fabulous on the top...

A little color in the garden could not make me any happier.

Taking a Walk

I am so happy to be back! It seems I have a lot of catching up to do on your blogs and can't wait to get started. We had a wonderful trip. The weather could not have been any more perfect. Anyhoo, my dear husband and I have fallen in love with The Biggest Loser. As some of you may not know husband and I do not have cable, dish, etc. It's a life style choice we made years ago, but at the beach there is cable and we did watch a few shows. The Biggest Loser was one of them and now we are going to watch it on Hulu every week. It really made us reevaluate how we treat our bodies. For me, having a box of Cheez It's for lunch is no good so we have a plan on eating healthier and keeping active. I went from being an avid runner to basically nothing in less than a year, ouch. One activity that we did do at the beach was take long walks, when I mean long I mean a couple of hours long. Everyday the kiddos would climb into the red wagon and we would walk to here...

So the kiddos could play on this...

This is one of the views that we admired everyday, I just adore the symmetry of it all...

Then my sweet husband decided to take some lovely photos for you all, that way you can feel like you were with me, well sort of...

This puts my fire pit to shame...

Oh yes, my husband has no fear of peeping into people's courtyards. Nothing but the best for my readers I say...

He did have a problem with stealing when I asked for him to carry this home though...

I just adore the beach, sigh*...

If you actually read this whole post then I am quite impressed, way long, I know. Long walk makes for a long post, sorry.

UPDATE: we stayed in Rosemary Beach, Florida. My favorite.

{Oh, and we did arrive home with a few days of vacation left and we worked on our bedroom. Yes, I know it was only a mere 8 months ago that I re.did it the first time, but it just was not working for me. Tomorrow I will post a tutorial on how to make your own headboard, yeah!}

I'On Idea Cottage

I just received my new October issue of Coastal Living this past weekend and I could not have been more excited. So much goodness in one issue, it's a must to pick up if you don't already have it. This home is part of their 2009 Idea Cottage series. This one can be found in South Carolina. Did you happen to see the tile in the kitchen? Oh my, I am in love and it's from Ann Sacks of course. What I would give to be able to afford such a lovely tile, but at around $32.00 a square foot it's a bit a much for us. I adore all the brass used throughout. The fabric choices are stunning. And that outdoor space is amazing. Angie Hranowsky was the designer behind this cottage and I think she completely rocks.

To see more of this cottage be sure to go here.

Leaf & Petal

It's that time of year again when my garden begins to fade and only the evergreens remain, so this past week my kiddos and I headed out to Leaf & Petal here in Birmingham to pick up a few things for some fall color. Leaf & Petal always display the most gorgeous assortments for pots. Our normal drill is to pull in, find our favorite pot, and simply say I want to recreate that. Then they bring us around and tell us about our selections and load it all up. Really it is the perfect way for us to spend the morning and even more lovely when they begin to remember your face.

This is the assortment we picked for the main pot as you walk up to our porch. The main beauty is flowering kale, I love everything about her. Her color and shape have me swooning. A petite evergreen tree was added for year round color. The orange mums and purple snapdragons are short lived and will be changed out to pansy's in a couple of months, but for now they make me happy. Finally we added parsley, because every pot needs something good to eat according to my Ellie.

This is our front porch. We spend hours here in the fall as the weather begins to cool. Normally I do not put a pumpkin out till October, but Ellie made a good point on how beautiful this one was and we should keep it, so we did. The stump is a recent addition and I could not be more pleased. We have some friends who had a some trees cut down in thier yard and I asked for a stump and they so delivered. I love the rustic element it adds.

These are a few pots I bought on my recent trip to Ikea. I finally added a few ferns and am quite happy on the way it further divides the kitchen from the living room. Although the bar is meant to be used for eating it is at a ridiculous height so even the tallest stools we could find are still not tall enough, oh well. Also the backsplash still needs to be tiled. Such a big decision and a pricey one especially when we need about 30 sq ft. One day I suppose.

{Thank you to Gracie Belle Butterfly for my blog award. You made my day.}