Archive for June, 2011

Patchwork Quilts

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Nothing says ‘Americana’ more than a lovely patchwork quilt, and with temperatures rising I am ready to swap out the heavy duvet with a lovely and light quilt.  I think Pottery Barn has got it right mixing these traditional quilts with clean, crisp linens and a hint of industrial, LOVE!!!

These quilts are so nice and I think they look great together to create an eclectic mix.  I would love to do it in a kids room or loft.

This Cape Cod quilt could achieve a similar look for $39.99 at Kmart.

I don’t think I can resist this Coral Boho quilt for $29.99 at Kmart!!!

4th of July Decoration

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

I love my house, but I absolutely adore my kitchen (I should clean and shoot it for you to see one day), it’s layout is perfect for a regular meal, or a festive party.

Above my island counter space I have two pendant lights, and I’ve just discovered that it’s a great place to hang things from, as it doesn’t require any holes in the ceiling. The island is a great place to have the food spread at parties, as people can circulate easily without having to stand in line.

In preparation for our 4th of July bbq, I got busy hanging some decorations yesterday, and I’m pleased with the results.

The lanterns were purchased from the Dollar Tree, (one long + one circular in a pack for only $1). The stickers were also from there; I simply suck them on some thin coordinating ribbon. The paper dollies are part of the Martha Stewart party line I mentioned HERE.

It’s amazing what you can throw together for around $6. What are your cheap tricks for a big statement?

Cupcake Liner + Coffee Filter Wreath Dressed Up!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Since the 4th of July is vast approaching I thought it was about time to put some decorations up in our home (it’s only fair since I decked out our guestroom for the royal wedding!)

I don’t care if I’m British, I love the 4th of July. Any excuse for a summer bbq, fireworks, and a holler to America and I’m in!

Do you guys remember the cupcake liner + coffee filter wreath I made last year? Today I thought I’d dress it up a little for the 4th; red, white and blue were way too bold for my neutral living room, so I kept it more shabby chicby just adding a banner I simply typed then printed, a couple of dollies and some scrap ribbon.

If you’re interested in making this basic cupcake/coffee filter wreath you can view my instructions HERE, but be warned my hybrid accent is ridiculously cringeful!

Deal of the Day: McDonald’s Smoothies

Monday, June 27th, 2011

UPDATE: THIS WEEKEND WE HAD TROUBLE TRYING TO USE THIS COUPON AT VARIOUS UT LOCATIONS. WE STILL LOVE THE PRODUCT, BUT THIS COUPON IS TOO MUCH HASSEL.

Our air conditioner is broken. Brad and I are taking it in turns with our one fan, and taking lots of cool showers in attempts to keep cool.  Today Brad found this coupon (my couponing is rubbing off on him) for buy one get one free McDonald’s real fruit smoothies.  The heat drew us over to McD’s to try them out tonight.  I ordered the pineapple and mango smoothie:  Cool, and delicious and even better with a dollop of cream on top.

To make the deal even better we got a free Redbox rental code with purchase!  Two smoothies and a red box for $3!!!

Thanks Brad!

I Wanna Move to Texas Y’all

Friday, June 24th, 2011

I think I have been watching way too much HGTV.  They have a lot of shows featured in Texas and all of a sudden I want to move.  They say the stars shine brighter in Texas and these lovely places make me want to put on my cowboy boots and move there in a heartbeat.

pics from architectural digest & country living

Trying to De-Clutter

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Brad and I are rapidly outgrowing our 2 bed apartment, it kind of  feels like the walls are coming in on us.  As I was going through some magazine ‘clippings’ the other day I came across this great article from Family Circle Feb 2011.  I thought it was so great and inspiring that I had to share!

scans courtesy of my assistant:  brad sanders

After reading this I am committed to minimize the clutter around us, and live comfortably in our small apartment.  I will let you know how it’s going…..

Do you have any tips in staying clutter-free?

A Busy Day.

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Today I’m busy entertaining two of my nephews. It’s a special day. We are waiting to hear of the arrival of their new baby brother. It’s going to be one of those days you’ll remember forever, and I’ll have my camera at the ready to document everything…eek…so exciting!

Last week I attended a quaint baby shower for my sister-in-law. Already well stocked on baby boy items, she’d requested dippers. I just couldn’t bring myself to walk into a shower with a packet of huggies, so the night before I used what I had (a used fruit crate) and dressed it up just a little.

Naturally, I couldn’t just welcome my nephew with dippers, so I bought him a special outfit and dressed the box up to match the crate. I love how they looked together.

The blue and white paper is a disposable table cloth I bought at Ikea years ago. It’s been one of the best rolls of paper I’ve ever purchased, I just love the pattern and it’s very think and durable. I think I got it on clearance at the end of summer, so keep your eye’s pealed for similar items this year.

I always get such a kick out of repurposing things!

Free Printable: Summer Fruit Tags + Labels at Creature Comforts

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Yesterday while making the blog rounds, I stubbled upon Creature Comforts and was instantly taken with these adorable fruit tags and labels, aren’t they just the essence of simplicity? So Charming!

Best of all Ez Pudewa (author and creator) has made them available to us all for Freeeee!

Simply click HERE or HERE (or both), to download.

I’m inspired to make some summer neighbor gifts. What will you use these for?

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER EVERYONE!…& Thanks Ez for sharing!

Restoration Hardware: New Corte Madera Store

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a lovely weekend; it was rainy yesterday and I was in heaven!

Over the weekend I was browsing the Restoration Baby & Child site and saw that they have a new store in Corte Madera California, the store is breathtaking and way too pretty not to share, so here’s some eye candy for you.

What do you think? Are you inspired yet? I adore all the Boxwoods!

These pillows below are simply adorable, and on sale! See HERE + HERE.

I’m going to go spruce something up in my home, what will you get up to today?

Deal Alert: Old Navy Swim

Friday, June 17th, 2011

This week at Old Navy all women’s swimwear is on sale for $10.

This tunic comes in white, black and coral, so cute in person.

This polka dot swimsuit is ADORABLE.  $10 each.

Metalic flip flops on sale for $3.  They are super comfy, my faves!

Head on over ladies!

Martha Stewart Party Crafts: New at JoAnn’s

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

I don’t know what’s really going on with Martha products these days. Recently I’ve noticed I can’t find them at both Walmart and Kmart, which in a way is a great thing because I despise both of those stores; but on the other hand, they often had her items on clearance…which I loved.

However, I did just received an email from Joann’s announcing they are now carrying her party line as well has her crafts, and of course they’re charming, take a peek at these:

I find that Martha in general is on the pricey side (hense, love the clearance), but frequently there are coupons in her Living magazine for her products.

Talking of coupons…CLICK HERE to get a 50% off coupon, good on any of these party items, let me recommend the dollie garland just $7.99 reg, so just around $4.00 with coupon, I’ve had this for years and pulled it out for quite a few celebrations and it still looks great.

PS. For our local readers, are you aware that she now sells at Roberts? Not only that, you can use their everyday 40% off coupon on her products, AND if you spend over $50 storewide you get a free year subscription to her Living magazine…can I hear a whoot whoot?!!

Coming out from Hibernation

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The warmth is finally here and I have started my early morning and late night runs.  Oh my it has been a while!  The first time out I thought I was going to die, but now 3 weeks in, I’m back into my regular rhythm.

I have never had a desire to train for a race, I’m a lone rider and love running when no one is about except the birds and the early morning rays of sunshine (I sometimes run like Phoebe and Rachel from Friends, so it’s a good thing for humanity that nobody can see me).

It feels so great to breathe in the cool air, run through sprinklers, smell the flowers, and get my body out of its long winter hibernation.  Sometimes I run in silence when I want some peace and just to enjoy the morning, but most the time I need to blast my ipod to get me going.

Here’s my quick 30 minute crazy-energizing/cheesy/gangsta mix that is guaranteed to make you move!



"baby" remix -justin Beiber/ludacris (i got the fever)
"imma be" -black eyed peas
"when i get you alone" -glee cast
"e.t." -katy perry/kayne west
"firework"-katy perry
"animal" -neon trees
"tonight"-enrique eglesias
"just can't get enough" -black eyed peas
"f'in perfect"-pink

the husband just warned me that I should preface that I buy the "clean" versions
...I am so naive!

Design Dilemma: Above the Couch Wall Space

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Our very first Design Dilemma comes from one of our great friends Emili, who just moved into a new home. They plan on living in this house for three years while her husband attends dental school. Although she already made a great start to her house (loving the paint colour), she had a question as to what to do above her coach.

Take a look at what she’s up to so far:

Suggestions we think would work great:

Option no.1: Frames in Rows, the thing that is a great about this option, is that it can really add visual hight or width to a space that’s lacking. In Emi’s situation it can help unify a tricky wall, as the stair railing is cutting into this otherwise blank wall.

(Image, opps…forgotten source)

Option no.2: Picture Shelves, these are great for versatility…if you’re the type of person who can’t commit these are a great alternative as you can switch out any of the frames and even add accessories.

(image via IKEA)

Option no.3: Large Print, this is a simple yet striking solution to any big space.

(Image via ELLE DECOR)

Final Decision:

We think option no.1 is the best. It’d look perfect in Emi’s space and really help balance out the wall. Here’s what it would look like.

VERICALLY:

HORIZONTALLY:

Which way do you guys like it best?

There are some great frames at Target, that hold a 8×10 print; unfortunately I can’t find them online, but in stores they are around $5 and have a certificate in them. Any prints or snapshots would work as long as the colours are the same, or they’re all black and white.

Command picture hanging strips have been a life saver while living in my apartment.  They take away all the anxiety of hanging things on the wall, especially when you want to hang a whole gallery of frames like this.  You can try the look without having to put holes in the wall and change it around as often as you like.  Come moving time, you just pull them off without having to putty and paint.   The best place I have found these is at Michael’s.  They have a large selection and I use the 40% weekly coupon to make the strips more affordable.


We’re also thinking option no.3 (a large print) would work perfectly above the desk, to help bring the different height of the bookshelf’s together.

Emi thanks for asking us to do this, we hope you like your options, please keep us posted on what you decide.

Best Summer Ever!

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Today I was browsing thru the June issue of Good Housekeeping and noticed a very pretty and article “30 ways to make this your best summer ever”. Typically, I’m not a summer kinda gal…I know, people tell me I’m strange. I’m simply a lover of cooler seasons, and will always prefer boots over flip flops.

Anyhow, this article has left me inspired to fully embrace this season upon us, after all it really won’t be here long.

(Photo of Jackie by Benno Graziani spotted HERE)

Here are my favorite 5 from the list:

No.1 Take your phone call outside, preferably barefoot, standing in a thick carpet of grass.

No.2Teach your kids about the joy of gardening with a no-fail, proven winner: mint. Then add sprigs to pitchers of ice water, or lemonade.

No.3 Have a winning go-to look. Whatever works for you “for Jackie (Kennedy) it was all about white jeans, Jack Rodgers sandals, and a collarbone revealing T-shirt. She wore that look all the time, whether she was in Newport or in New York City.” – Pamela Keogh.

No.4 The 10-minute, $10 personal trainer: a jump rope. If you have to go to work on Monday and have caught a case of the Sunday-night blues, try this 60- second mood lifter, Jump rope for exactly one minute while singing a favorite children’s rhyme!

No.5Life is too short: get your hair wet when you swim!

Beauty Tip: Spooning Your Eyelashes

Friday, June 10th, 2011

I was horrified on Monday when I discovered I had left my make-up bag at Sarah’s house.  Believe me, anyone who has seen me in the wee hours of the morning can testify I need my make-up!  Luckily I have backups to keep me going until I can get back down to Sar’s:  sunscreen, concealer, bronzer and mascara.  When I was getting ready this morning my mind wandered to a friend who once had told me she curled her eyelashes with a spoon.  This is hard to picture and at the time I remember laughing at this, but in my hour of desperation I googled and found THIS:

I tried it and it actually works!!!  I LOVE it!!!  My eyelashes look like they’re naturally curled, instead of kinked.

You have try it and let me know what you think.  Does everyone do this and I am just out of the loop?  When I get that make-up bag back, I’m tossing this:

and keeping this!

Deal Alerts: Free Tiny Prints Father’s Day Card + Bath and Body Works Sale

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Just wanted to let you all know that Tiny Prints is offering a free custom fathers day card TODAY ONLY. Shipping is even free if you have it sent to you, or you can pay 44 cents for a stamp to be sent to the recipient.

Simply CLICK HERE, choose a card…personalize with photographs and text…review…then enter code FREEFD at checkout.

I will say I’m picky when I comes to a good card; I like it to be personal and good quality, so I end up making most of mine myself. But I really really love Tiny Prints, the cards I’ve ordered in the past have turned out so nice, and arrived on time…so I’m giving this company my two thumbs up!     (Thanks Hip2Save for spying this deal)

Also, just a heads up on the Bath and Body Works big annual sale that started today online, and tomorrow in stores. Don’t forget to bring your coupon found HERE, for a free signature travel item with ANY purchase. See what we like to get free HERE.

Two of my favorite products are the wall flowers, and candles, they come in a wide variety of delicious scents my two favorites for summer are Pineapple Mango and Sparkling Mojito. What will you be stocking up on?

Deal of the Day at Payless

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

I have been wanting to replace my hammered flats, and have been waiting for BOGO at Payless to buy this shoe in nude and black. 

Today I went to check them out.  They are super cute and comfy, and with BOGO only cost $25 for both pairs.  When I was leaving the store I noticed a $2 off your next purchase coupon for completing a survey.

I had been debating whether to get the marine eden flats that are now on clearance for $7.  My new $2 off coupon sealed the deal!

I bought the $7 shoes, and decided to use BOGO on a set of clearance nail polishes, originally $9.99, on clearance for $3, and using BOGO only $1.50.  I then used the $2 coupon, for a total of $6.50 for both shoes and nail polishes!!!

I am thrilled with my purchases.  These cheapy flats are amazing.  They look so much better looking on and are so unbelievably comfy.  I am so excited to try these pretty colors on my toes for the summer.  Head on over ladies and take a look, I spied such great shoes for the summer in the kid and men sections and the little beauty kits like this one would be great for presents.

Holler Dollar: Dollar Tree

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011


Recently I’ve been loving the Dollar Tree, and have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of my purchases. Not only do I love the fact that everything really is only a buck, but I make it a challenge to go in and find something cute, or something I can make cute.

For example, these glass jars are adorable and would certainly aid in making a more beautiful pantry (like this one from Vision Decor), without breaking the bank.

Another great item are these Glass Cylinders they are the most versatile, easiest thing in the world to decorate with…simply add a seasonal item like these beachy finds seen at Pottery Barn, and you’re done.

These for a dollar are by far the cheapest I’ve seen, usually they retail for about $3 on the low end.


Items like these usually sell out fast in the stores but you can order on their website by the case, and if you ship to one of their stores then the shipping is free.

Other items I love for a buck: papper cups for parties, pregnancy tests (yes…they’re accurate!), office supplies and snacks.

Have you been lately?

Manic Monday

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Em slept over in my British Invasion guest room last night, we were hoping to get an early start on some projects we’re excited about,but things didn’t quite work…

Dressed in our grubbies we headed outside to sand down an old desk Em found over a year ago at a local thrift shop; after an hour  we were exhausted by the heat and had itchy eyes from all the dust, isn’t sanding the worst?! We decided to take a time out on the grass with an ice pop, when suddenly we heard what seemed to be an army of bees. Looking upward we saw a BLACK CLOUD OF BUZZING and quickly fled inside the house faster than we could even scream….That kinda put a dampener on the sanding because we were a little afraid to use the power sander again incase we couldn’t hear the approach of an imminent attack.

After that trauma we deserved a healthy lunch at In and Out, along with a large diet coke! On the way home we noticed some houses recently up for sale; I’m dying for Em to buy a house in my neighborhood so we thought we’d skip calling a realtor and have a look-see in the windows. Fantasizing how’d we’d redecorate and use the space apparently can soak up a lot of time, and soon it was now mid afternoon…and we’re exhausted from doing nothing.

Highlight of the day, is that the hubs came home with THIS new little camera for moi. It’s actually a replacement because he wreaked the original go-carting a month or so ago, and I’ve been having a hard time living without it. It’s just a little Cannon point and shoot but it’s a little beauty and a great to have it my purse at all times. (Btw it’s on sale thru June 30th at Costco, now $120 down from $140).

So there, we are we’re calling it an end to our “trying-to-be-productive day”, and saying hello to this fun evening. We’ll be using our BOGO coupons at Pei Wei, and taking advantage of family night at the dollar flicks (75 cents each…holler!).

Just wanted to leave you with a little cutie of a deal:

THIS radio is on sale at Target today only for $39.99 (with free shipping) down from $69.95, perhaps a good papa’s day gift?

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Father’s Day is just around the corner so it’s time to start thinking about what to get the men in our lives. I have the hardest time shopping for men, as all the stores recommend the same old things like: tools + ties, but come on how many of those do they really need?

Here are a couple of ideas from the two of us that we’ve found to be great hits, we hope you find them useful:

NO.1 Bucky Balls are a great gift for any kid-at-heart; it’s crazy how entertaining making all sorts of different formations can be!  But watch out, they’re incredibly addicting.

No.2 A gift basket can be a great solution for any gift dilemma. My dad loves cheese, so I’ve used this theme for a yummy basket a couple of times before. But any idea for a basket can work great, for father’s day I’m thinking: football, games, favorite snacks, great condiments & sauces.

This cheeseboard basket pictured below is from World Market, and is currently on sale for $29.99.

No. 3 I really really like DIY projects, I think it adds a ton thought and a great personal touch. Martha has some great ideas and free printables HERE, to get your creative juices flowing.

and now over to Em…

I love backyard campfires.  I think this fire pit would make a wonderful Father’s Day gift.  You can’t beat gathering friends and family in the yard without the hassle of camping and the gross bugs.  This one is on sale at Target this week for $49.

You could also make a s’more kit to go along with it…how cute and yummy.

shimandsons.com

Next, is a total classic; grill stuff.  I think I could buy Brad a new grill utensil for any birthday or occasion and he would we thrilled.  Check out these great deals at Amazon.

I found this fun thing at Crate and Barrel.  A 3 in 1 grill cleaning contraption ($7.95).  Yes, I think it might trick him with it’s funky and mannish appearance and be oh so enticing to use ;)

I am all about these spice rubs for only $4.95.  They look so delicious, and would be a great pressy for any guy.

Have you thought of any great Father’s Day gifts for this year?  Please share!!