Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Little White Dress

As I type this, I am eating my weight in popcorn and milk duds.  It's true.  I have yet another head cold/allergy attack/sinus deal that is wiping me out, and I wanted a snack.  So milk duds and popcorn it is.
Here's the recipe:
Milk duds
Pop the popcorn.  Are you fancy?  Use a popper.  Are you lazy/hungry/tired?  Use microwave popcorn.  (I know, I know, pinterest says you can pop real popcorn in a brown bag or something.  One day I may try just that.  Today is not that day.)
Dump in your box of milk duds.  Add as many or as little as you like.
Consume voraciously.  Be sure to eat both the popcorn and the milk duds simultaneously.  That is key.

So.  Bet you didn't know you were going to come here and get a tried and true recipe, did you?  Well, have no fear.  I'm pretty sure Julia Child wouldn't have classified the above as a recipe.  But it is delicious.  I promise.

So today was hot.  I think spring forgot to stick around for a little bit, or else the desert just chased her away, because we kind of went directly into summer out here.  80+ degrees here today, people.  I'm not complaining, believe me.  I'd rather be too hot than too cold.  But I did don a dress, and it got me thinking about updating my dress collection.  And while I have a couple of white sleeveless numbers, I do not have anything like these...

Little White Dress

     A lot: burberry /   A little more: Ganni dress, $100 / A little: Forever 21
That last dress was my inspiration dress; it is gorgeous Burberry perfection. It is silk cotton. It is $495 and out of this little old teacher's price range. The other two dresses are fairly similar, for hundreds less. The F21 dress is ridiculously low, at $23. The middle dress, which can be found at ASOS, is $100. Not bad, but give me the Burberry any day!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Welcoming Entryways

A pink front door opening into a foyer with a hide rug and an octagonal table
I think everyone would agree with me when I make the statement that a home's entryway is the most important place in the house in terms of first impressions.  It should be welcoming and give some sort of style statement about your house and family.  It can be casual or formal, but first impressions are lasting.  Even if you have a very small entry (as I do) you can make it work if you use your imagination.  Even just a mirror and small table with a bowl of flowers and lovely light fixture will do the trick.  Here are a few pretty examples of large and small entry ways done in a variety of styles.  
The juxtaposition of an oversize antique table and pale walls against dark bluestone floors has a quiet power. Design: Kay Douglass
small entryway, tons of function & style
Center table with chandelier
Perfect for my small foyer.
black + white entry
Skirted Table - Palmer Weiss
groin ceiling / Steven Gambrel " A Tudor Reborn"
Here are a few pictures of my humble little entryway:

See, I told you, not much of an entryway.  Room enough for a shelf/demi-loon table and a mirror.  That's about it.  Still, I hope it is pretty and welcoming to my family and guests.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

5 Books Every Woman Should Read

I am linking up today with Spillerina to talk about 5 books I think every woman should read.
Interesting topic.  Hard to choose 5.

 But, choose 5 I must.  So here I go.

1.) Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean Sasson
I had to read this book for either a psychology class or a women in literature class; I don't remember which.  Maybe it was for a philosophy class.  It was for college; I do remember that much at least.  (It appears I had better start taking a multi-vitamin and some omega 3 pills, because lately I feel like my mind has been going.)
Anyway.  This book was a very interesting look into a culture completely different than my own.  Some have speculated that it is not completely nonfiction (the princess divulging secrets could face death if her identity was discovered), but nonetheless it is a compelling look into what life is like for some women.

2.) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
A classic.  Pure and simple.  And I love that this version is annotated.  I love me a good annotated book, dorky as that may be.  My favorite copy of Alice in Wonderland is the annotated version I bought at the Huntington Library years ago.
3.) The Portable Dorothy Parker
I have an older version of this, but  I should buy the updated version- they've added some more of Parker's work and a mini biography, apparently.  Why should women read this?  Because Dorothy Parker was clever and funny and honest.

 4.) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Another classic.  I don't think this should just be a book every woman should read; I think it should be a book that every person should read.  But I don't think today's kids should read it when they are in the 8th or 9th grade; I think a lot of them are too young to appreciate what a fantastic character Atticus Finch is.

5.)  His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Maybe this title belongs more to "books every young woman" should read, but I love these books.  The protagonist, who  may be a bit of a brat sometimes, is a strong, smart, clever girl.  Quite a lot of my favorite young adult novels (I read a lot of them, being a 5th grade teacher) happen to be about young men, but this book centers on Lyra and her adventures.  I love that it is a girl who is setting out to save the world.

So, there's 5 of my top choices.  I could add to the list, maybe a little Virginia Woolf or Kate Chopin, but 5 is 5 and I am done.
What books do you think every woman should read at least once?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

DIY Birthday Banner

farm party - Kara's Party Ideas
Pinterest via Kara's Party Ideas
I saw this adorable pony banner on pinterest and thought I would try to duplicate one for Gwenna's pony birthday in June (check out the website, Kara's Party Ideas here for more wonderful party inspirations).  I want it to go on our back gate where the kids will enter for their pony rides.  Here is what I did:
1.   My mom found a cute horse image online and printed it on heavy card stock then cut out the    
      center to make a stencil. 
2.   Starch and iron your fabric before you begin. 
3    Cut out your flag shape.  Have fun with it!  They don't have to be triangles.  
4.   I mixed my own brown paint using tempura paints. Any fabric or multi- purpose paint will work.
5.   Use a stiff paint brush to pounce on the paint-so it doesn't bleed under the stencil. 

You could really do anything you want and make this work for most party themes.  

Here is the beginnings of my banner!  All I need to do now is cut a few slits at the tops of each little flag and string them on to ribbon; lavender ribbon, I think.  I also have one more little surprise I will add and share with you a little later.

Should be cute, right?!  Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 26, 2013


I believe in tomorrow. Especially because it is Saturday, people. Hooray for the weekend.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Inspiration: Vintage Destination Posters

Oh to be on vacation.  That's not going to happen for awhile, so the next best thing is these vintage vacation posters.  I think they would be so fun in a very neutral space so that the great colors and stylized images take center stage.  They would be perfect around a flat screen TV or over a sofa.  Take a look:

Aren't those great!  Have a wonderful day my friends.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday Pinsday and Preview to Summer Swap

Hello, all. Happy Wednesday! Today I will be linking up with The Vintage Apple for Wednesday Pinsday, but I will also be linking up with I Believe in Story's Preview to Summer Book Swap.  I can't seem to get enough of book swaps lately!  I am, of course, participating in our swap with Martha, and I joined another swap too.
(Have I mentioned that I LOVE books?)
So some of my pins have to do with books.  Some don't.  This first one has to do with cake.

Oh, Julia Child, how right you are. And wouldn't just about every meeting be made better if someone brought cake?!
Wouldn't you love to just cozy up in that space with a good book and a cup of coffee or tea? So much light! Just gorgeous!
I am loving the simplicity of this outfit. That dress! Those shoes! Guess where that dress is from! Give up? Target. Not just Target's regular clothing section, though- Target's maternity section! I love that girl for buying that dress even though she isn't pregnant! (I'm glad to know I am not the only one who has wandered into Target's maternity section and bought clothes from there!)

Okay. Now for the hard part of this post. I had to choose my top three favorite books. Do you know how hard that is?! I have more than three favorites, and for different reasons and different times. I've done my best to narrow it down. (From my list, you would not be able to tell that I was an English major. I have chosen what my favorite professor would refer to as "potato chip" books.) In no particular order...
1.) Harry Potter  Which one, you ask?  All of them.  I'm counting all of them as one choice.  I can't say just one, but if I had to choose... nope.  Can't do it. Well, okay.  Twist my arm and I will say... The Deathly Hallows.  Why?  Simple- I love Snape, and I tear up just thinking about him in this book.

2.)  Can You Keep a Secret?  by Sophie Kinsella
I can't help it; this book is one I can grab off the shelf and read over and over again.  It is laugh out loud funny.  The last time I read it was on a plane ride home from Chicago.  I had to watch myself so I didn't wake my fellow passengers with my cracking up.

3.) The English major in me wants to say To Kill a Mockingbird or Lord of the Flies or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  The 5th grade teacher in me wants to say Maniac Magee or The Giver.  But for my third choice, I will stop cheating (The Golden Compass series should also be mentioned) and say Ella Minnow Pea.  I love this book for its cleverness.
But I also have to include The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  I read this book ages ago, and it is still with me.  So haunting.  So amazingly good.

I am such a cheater.  I'm sorry.

So those are my top three... but I had so many more to add to the list, that I wanted to mention.  I feel like I am cheating on my favorites!
Thanks to Michelle at The Vintage Apple and Maria at I Believe in Story for hosting the link ups!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Powder/ Laundry Room Preview

Every project hits a point where you just want it finished already.  I'm there.  I'm going to make you feel my pain by posting on this again.  The floors are in and we are just waiting to walk on them.  Next we need to paint and install all the beadboard and tongue- and- groove.  I have chosen everything and it is now just a matter of labor....lots and lots of labor.  Here is a peek at all my choices:

Powder Room

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday: Spring Flowers

kale and hydrangea arrangement
It has been the most beautiful weekend!  It's in the 80's and the wind has decided to give us a break.  This kind of weather deserves to be celebrated with flowers.  
Spring Table
lilacs *love*
I am in love with this gorgeous fabric!  Isn't it just amazing?  It would be spring forever in a room that had this fabric in it.  Possibly paired with a very pale blue wall.
Friday afternoon my Gwenna was picking "flowers" to give as gifts.  I love her thoughtful, giving heart.
Hope your weekend is going well!  I'm off to paint a few ceilings but not before I devour a glazed doughnut and a few cups of coffee...


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