Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Life is just a bowl full of cherries! Tart cherries, that is. One of my favorite "new" family traditions is to make cherry jam with my mother-in-law. They have several bushes of these amazing little cherries on their property, and they seriously make the best jam EVER. Sweet, slightly tart, absolute perfection on a piece of toast. Last year, the harvest was low and so we went a year without jam, but this year there are more than enough!

So, after my MIL graciously picked this entire bowl, we spent a lovely summer afternoon pitting them. It takes forever, but it's definitely worth it.

This little munchkin sat and played sweetly while we pitted and chatted. I am in love with this little head scarf that we are borrowing from my Aunt Elizabeth. When my Aunt and Uncle lived in Germany, she bought a ton of these for my cousin Faith. Apparently, all the fashionable German babies wear them! *wink

I had been on the lookout for a specific type of flower for this new vase I found at GW. I finally found the perfect flowering branch! I just wish it would bloom forever...

And last but not least, I love my husband dearly, but he seems to have taken the term "throw pillow" too literally. Does anyone else have this kind of issue with their spouse or male counterpart? Is there some type of "interior design for men" class that I could send him to?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My FAVORITE Iced Tea Recipe (sugar + caffeine free!)

If you're anything like me, you may feel sad and disheartened by the amount of unhealthy beverages that seem to abound in the summertime. I sure love a nice ice-cold Coke, but I really dislike the sugar content (and my hips agree). I get SO sick of drinking water. I know it's good for you and all that, but seriously, it's the most boring drink on the planet.

Do we want to be boring? I don't think so. 

Last year, a friend introduced me to what would soon become my favorite tea on the entire planet. Celestial Seasonings Decaf Sweet Coconut Thai. You can find it at Target, and at most grocery stores! I lived on this stuff throughout my pregnancy and while pumping because it's decaf, and all it really needs is a bit of milk! You can add sugar, but I'm actually partial to it without sugar.

This Summer, I decided to try it iced and see if that was any good. Well, it may just have been the purest stroke of genius I've ever had! I made it once, and had to immediately go out and buy more! We've been drinking this tea like there's no tomorrow. I love that you can drink it without sugar too!

 Here's how to make it: 

Ingredients: Decaf Sweet Coconut Thai tea, ice, and 2% milk (or your choice of milk!)
(mason jar glass is purely optional)

Directions: Boil 4 cups of water, then steep 6 teabags in it for at least 1 hour. Chill the tea in the fridge for a few hours (if you can stand to wait). When ready to serve, pour equal amounts of tea and milk over ice. Ta da! Enjoy. Makes about 5 12 oz. servings.

And no, Celestial Seasonings did not pay me to write this post. But if they want to pay me with a lifetime supply of this tea, I may allow that. ;)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pulling Everything Together

My approach to decorating is definitely to collect things slowly, over time, from lots of different sources. I like a nice mixture of new/vintage/fun/colorful/classic items for a balanced look. Unfortunately, sometimes this can result in a bit of frustration as you try different things out! Our bedroom just didn't feel complete because I could not for the life of me find something to hang over our bed! It has just been a big, gray, blank wall for the past 3 years.

I really wanted to find the perfect thing- whatever it was. And finally, my waiting paid off! I stumbled across this large painting a few weeks ago in a secondhand store for only $30. For a real, original painting that is actually decent, I thought that was a steal!

I adore the details of this painting! Each flower is made with thick and thin brushstrokes, and stacked paint to create the look of real petals.

I made a couple of new pillows (the green ones) to pull out the greens in the painting, and I had the velvet one already. It's hard to tell from the photos, but the green is more of a mossy color (it looks brighter in the photos).

Now I have a much better idea of how to decorate the rest of the room! And of course, Josh and I just started talking more seriously about moving. But even if that is the case, this painting is coming with me. ;) 

Anyone have any fun thrifting finds lately? I miss thrifting so much. Evie is usually good about sitting in the cart nicely while I shop, but it's just so hard to get out of the house with her sometimes! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ugly Dresser Turned TV Console!

Believe it or not, I actually forgot to take some "before" photos of this guy. I'm sad because it truly was hideous, and I'm rather proud of the transformation. I found it for FREE on the side of the road. And yes, my husband was very reticent and really questioned my sanity on this one. But thankfully, he gave me some garage real-estate and now he admits that it was worth it.

I had found a paint sample a long time ago that was this jade color, and I decided to match it for a fun pop of color against our blue/gray walls. I'm glad I chose this color! It does tie in well with the rest of the house too. 

We brought the lamps that had previously been in our bedroom out here. I like the white base with the green dresser. The shades got dolled-up with some pretty yellow ribbon from Wal-Mart. 

On the left side of the dresser, I grouped a painting (an original watercolor by my grandmother), a pretty white ceramic owl, and a terrarium from my sister. 

The middle section of the dresser had 3 drawers hidden behind the doors. We removed the first 2 and cut holes in the back for all the cords, and now they house the DVD player and sound system! 

I love finding things that make better use of the space we have! With only 880 square feet to work with, we sure can use every bit of help we can get!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Scenes From Life

Picnic in the park, listening to La Boheme live. 

Oh yes, a bathroom remodel. More photos to come... 

Catching small moments here and there of rest. 

Oh so many bottles for a growing baby.

Oh so many surprises too... (first time standing up on her own!) 

The most precious moments, hugs from great-grandma.

Singing at my lesson, Evie sits quietly on Lila's lap while I run through scales. 

Soup in the summertime?  Why ever not?

Visiting Como Zoo with Evie, another first.

Playing in our "yard", a.k.a. the driveway.

Smiles on a Farmer's Market excursion with friends.

Coffee, empty bottle, and lots of laundry on a Monday morning.
 And life just doesn't get any better than that.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


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