Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Party Dresses.

It's that time of year again where I try to find the perfect dress for my firm's holiday party.  It's cocktail attire, but since it's with work people (hi, Ellen!), I tend to favor more conservative-cocktail dresses.

Anthropologie is generally the first place I look because it usually has fun dresses, and most people from my office don't shop there.  But this year nothing there caught my eye, so I headed over to Nordstrom, which I feel always has a great selection.

Here are a few of the ones I considered:

(But yeah, I am not spending $525)

So which one did I get? . . . None of the above!  I actually bought two dresses because I couldn't decide at the time, but I can't show them to you because Nordstrom doesn't have either one of them online!  At this point, I am pretty sure I have decided which one I will go with.  So that I don't completing leave you hanging, I will post a picture of the winner (and the runner-up) later.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Inspiring Spaces.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  It's beginning to feel like Christmas around here -- we have our tree up (pictures to follow) and did some Christmas shopping this afternoon! 

I am trying to take care of a few remaining items on my to-do list tonight before heading back to work tomorrow (boo!).  So I will leave you with some inspiring spaces from Samantha Pynn of Pure Design.  I love all of the various patterns and colors she uses in her rooms -- they all look so comfortable and pulled together. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving enjoying family, friends, and food!

(photo: martha stewart)

I have many things to be thankful for . . .  a wonderful husband, the cutest puppies ever, the best mom, and fantastic friends (just to name a few).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole.

Some of you may have noticed that the blog posts have been a little sparse recently.  And there's not been a single post regarding Thanksgiving (gasp!).  Well thanks to work, my mind has been on motions, court dates and deadlines, depositions, and a bunch of other boring things rather than Turkey day, Christmas, decorating, and all the fun things! 

But in case you are still searching for the perfect sweet potato casserole recipe, I've got one for you.  If you're looking for a healthy version, you can skip this post and head over to Cassie's blog where she has a tasty, good-for-you sweet potato recipe.  I got this recipe from my grandma, who cooks the absolute best southern food ever (I'm talking gumbo, chicken and dumplings, and banana pudding), so her sweet potato casserole isn't light on the butter (or sugar).

(photo: here)

4 1/2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup milk  (optional: I add this when I make it)
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten

(for the topping)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup butter, milk, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Spread sweet potato mixture into the prepared baking dish.  In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients.  Sprinkle pecan mixture over the sweet potatoes.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Enjoy!  It is more like dessert than a veggie, but hey it's Thanksgiving!  At least it doesn't have marshmallows on top -- I'm a big fan of marshmallows in s'mores and hot chocolate, but not on my sweet potatoes!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

5 things . . .

5 things I'm currently digging . . .

1.  Cassie's (over at Hi Sugarplum!) highboy dresser makeover.  Her daughter is one lucky girl to have such a fun and beautiful piece of furniture.     

(photo: hi sugarplum!)

2.  Cole Haan's Violet Air Wingtip Pumps.  These may be the most comfortable pair of shoes ever thanks to the Nike air, the reasonable heel, and the hidden platform (all while still looking stylish too). And I love the wingtip design.      

  (photo: cole haan)

3.  The song Teenage Dream by Katy Perry.  (Maybe I should have kept that one to myself.)  I really disliked the song when it first came out, and now I love it.  Along those same lines, it cracks me up when Rihanna's song Only Girl in the World comes on, and Justin sings along.  It's probably one of those things you have to hear to fully appreciate, but just take my word for it.  

4.  Gingerbread lattes and steamers at Starbucks.  And I am pretty sure it's a fact that they taste better out of the holiday red cups. 

(photo: here)

5.  The 8x10 trellis rug we got at Garden Ridge for . . .  wait for it . . . $99.00!  Emily over at A Well Dressed Home blogged about the rug, and it met all the criteria for the rug I had been searching for in our office -- inexpensive, gray, and geometric/trellis pattern.  I immediately hit up GR and found it at the bottom of one of the piles of rugs.  It looks great in our office!  Better (non-Blackberry) pictures to follow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bathroom Updates.

This past summer we made some renovations to our bathroom.  In case you missed it, you can see all the before and after pictures here.  

While these more recent updates aren't quite as dramatic, they are still fun!  First up, we (and by "we," I mean Justin) hung these cute "J" and "E" alphabet hooks from Anthro.  We also bought "R" and "Z" ones for Riley's and Zoey's leashes to hang downstairs.     

And the second update is still a work in progress, but I thought I would give you a sneak peek.  I was loving the look of the trellis stencils I had been seeing around, so I decided to paint the one wall where the window is.  I downloaded the template from Jones Design Company.

I am loving the look of it so far.  The color of the trellis pattern really changes depending on the light.  I'll be back with more "official" photos once the wall is finished.  This project is taking a whole heck of a lot longer than what I thought it would, but it will be worth it in the end (at least that's what I keep telling myself).

In the meantime, here are some gorgeous (and completed) painted trellis pattern inspiration pics:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yarn-wrapped Obsession.

It's official -- I am obsessed with anything that's wrapped in yarn.

It all started back in October when we were in San Francisco and I came across the Yarbie Bangle Boutique.  They have gorgeous bangles wrapped in cashmere, silk, tweed, etc.

I ended up getting this variety, but plan to add some additional ones to my Christmas list.

Since then, I have been seeing all kinds of yarn-wrapped things that I am loving.  Like this wreath from take heart (found via Nuestra Vida Dulce).     

(photo: take heart)

These letters from Let Birds Fly (found via A Thoughtful Place).

(photos: Let Birds Fly)

These mason jars:

(photo: here)

These fun twine-wrapped trees:

And last but not least, yarn-wrapped frames from Centsational Girl.

I see a trip to the yarn section of Hobby Lobby in my near future! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Closet Crush.

Check out these amazing closets . . . 

Heels as far as the eye can see!  Um, yes please.

(photos above: decorpad)

But my favorite closet of all belongs to Megan of Honey We're Home.  If you don't read her blog, you're definitely missing out.  Seriously, check out how fabulous her closet is here and here.  (And yes, it's her closet that she doesn't have to share with her hubby).    

Does it get any better than a chandy in the closet (and especially one that looks like this!)? 

Every part of her closet is so well thought out.  For example, having a bigger top shelf for her boots -- genius!  We have similar shelves in our closet, but the height of each is pretty tall so there's way too much unused space between them (my heels aren't that high!).  I have always wanted to move the shelves closer together and make room for more shelves (more shelves = more shoes). 

And I love the creative way she hangs/displays her necklaces.  She used clear Command adhesive hooks.  I love the idea because it keeps things tangle-free and you can easily see what you have all in one place. 

Such an inspiring space!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bedroom Vanity/Desk Update.

The vanity/desk (or whatever it is since we don't use it as a vanity or a desk) in our master bedroom, has been in some major need of help.  I didn't really know how to accessorize it, and what I had been trying so far hadn't been working.

I finally feel like I am on the right track, but certainly still have some tweaking to do.

For starters, I need to get a picture for the empty picture frame.  I also need a new lamp.  The current one isn't bad, but I am thinking about a ceramic lamp.  I've been eying this one.

I originally included another (empty) frame, but decided it may look a bit too cluttered. 

I don't know why something that is seemingly so simple can cause such a mental block!  But I am glad to be making progress. 

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Busy Week.

This past week was a busy week for me at work (and the upcoming weeks aren't looking too much better).  As a result, I was pretty tired last night (Friday night).  I was on the couch and evidently falling asleep while still trying my best to have a conversation with Justin.  Part of it went something like this . . .

Me:  What are you drying in the dryer?

{me drifting off to sleep}

Justin:  Are you going to stay awake for the answer to your question?

Me:  I asked a question? 

Oops.  We had a good laugh about it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Just My Luck.

I found an awesome dress tonight when browsing Anthropologie's website.  I was all excited about calling the store in the morning and having them hold my size so I could come try it on.  The best part is that you can use the Houston holiday shopping card and get 20% off at Anthro (and a bunch of other great places) though this weekend.

Then I saw it . . . the dreaded words . . . "online exclusive."  Nooooo!  {Read in super whiny voice} I want to get my discount and I want to wear it this weekend to a baby shower!   

Seriously, how pretty is that fabric? 

(photos: anthro)

I may just have to order it anyway . . .