New Beginnings

Happy New Year!

Today I’m doing lots of planning, making lists, and catching up on Gossip Girl.

Here’s a little video that always gets me going when I need some inspiration. Here’s to a year of being your best! Lots of love xoxox.





I wish I knew how to quit you! (pottery barn)

It’s happened again.
I should have known when this cute little catalog arrived in the mail full of delicious monogrammed goodness that it wasn’t some little boutique mailer I had somehow stumbled upon and signed up for.
I should have known something so perfectly simple, so perfectly curated, so perfectly appealing to the deepest corners of my homebody heart came from the PB. I’m working to repair our relationship, but after they royally ruined five consecutive online orders over a 6 month span I’m having a difficult time moving on.
But I can’t resist you for long Pottery Barn, even though 70% of my affection is spent tirelessly DIY-ing your most recent catalog.

Back to the heart of the matter: It’s Mark&Graham. Yes, I realize the majority of these adorable trinkets can be found somewhere on Etsy, but sometimes a girl needs a cute little gift in a pinch. It’s everything, this new M&G, there’s pretty much the perfect gift for any occasion, not to mention I am currently OBSESSED with anything monogrammed (blame the newlyweditis), especially a traditional item monogrammed with a very untraditional moniker (maybe a set of six wine glasses monogrammed “Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, etc. – or silver coasters bearing the always favorite “that’s what she said”, a napkin embroidered with “dirty mouth” in beautiful cursive….I could go on forever).

Here’s my current obsessions:


Here’s the link up!: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven

How cute would those glasses be monogrammed with reindeer names?!

Also, heads up, if you’re my friend, and you get engaged/buy a new house/celebrate any other momentous life occasion – you’re getting an acrylic tray. Deal with it. Again, the possibilities!

ps – as if this wasn’t enough, they also have an adorable instagram account that snaps pics of cool typography all about town. of course 😉

Tell me what your favorite is!!!!


Let’s Talk Turkey.

Oh, hey! Christmas is 13 days away, so talking Thanksgiving is basically right on schedule, right? It is my all time favorite holiday. Always has been, probably always will be. I’m really the only one in our family who loves to cook, so we’ve been hosting the holiday at our house since our very first year here about 4 Turkey Days ago. Growing up we always had our Thanksgiving dinner early afternoon, then decorated the (faux – gasp!) Christmas tree, and then all went out to a movie together. I’ve been trying to get back to that timeline for a few years now, but man, cooking an entire dinner is pretty exhausting. This year we managed to eat early, put up the tree (sans decorations), and cheer our Skins to victory. I’d say it was a success.

I wanted to pop in and share my favorite recipes for the biggest meal of the year. I usually tweak here and there, but I’ve linked them all up below for your cooking pleasure :-). Now listen closely to this next part…that Sandra Lee may be considered as a lazy mom’s cook, but woman can make-a-TURKEY. This is literally the best turkey you will ever make in your entire life – trust me, people think I’m Ina when I make it, not kidding. Just smile coyly and say something breezy like “Oh, it’s all about that basting” or “Oh, that old thing? I cook 20 pounders in my sleep”.

Bower Family T-Day:

Roasted Turkey: Two words – BUTTER COINS. droooool.


Cornbread Stuffing (water chestnuts – yum!)

Paula Deen Crock Pot Mac and Cheese (this is a big deal people, saving some major oven space with this one)

Paula Deen Green Bean Casserole (it’s a little too cheesy for my taste, so I would take a lighter hand with than Paula advises – don’t tell her I said that):


The Neely’s Sweet Potato Souffle (this is out of control ya’ll, I tried it for the first time this year and nearly fell out of my seat, it’s that good, plus The Neely’s are just about the cutest, um, EVER)

Then you just make some yummy mashed potatoes, butter glazed rolls, ask your amazing Granddad to make one of his famous pies and you have one delicious meal.

Turkey Day Tips: Oven Schedule, Night Before Prep, Appetizer Finger Foods, Lots of wine.

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Curtains for Lila

Well, kind of. It’s actually curtains for the bathroom and a blog post for Lila’s mom, but “Curtains for Lila” just has a sweeter ring to it, don’t you think?

Because Kevin and I are the biggest procrastinators ever (it’s true, we both had to repeat biology together in college – our academic record says it’s because we procrastinated and didn’t study for our exams, but we all know the truth is that Kevin just wanted another semester of studying the human body with me 😉 – see what I did there?) we’ve decided that maybe we’ll get more done if we just focus on tiny little projects throughout the week instead of dreading a huge, long to-do list on the weekends.

We’ve been trying this method out for about two months and so far we’ve installed a toilet paper holder and make a pair of curtains, so yeah, I’ll let you be the judge of how well that’s going.


You should start with this “before” pic so you know what kind of nonsense we were working with. Here’s the random curtain we found in our linen closet that we put up as a “for now” option when we renovated this bathroom almost 2 years ago:


I bought this sweet little pair of panels from Ikea awhile back, the print is on the verge of being too girly for Kev, but he let it slide.

I followed this tutorial as a guide, it was especially helpful because oddly enough using two panels on this window turned out to be way too wide, especially because I wanted to make sure I could open the panels to let some natural light in. Example A:

Then we just took that one panel above, cut that sucker in half vertically, made a finished edge with the iron on hem tape and…perfection!

Cute right? It still kind of bums me out that we have to use a suspension rod instead of a traditional curtain rod because of the weirdness of the window (see how the left side sits flush with the wall), but we’ve definitely come a long way since we first moved in. This bathroom was a beauty, huh?

Yay for pretty little $5 curtains. And yay for Lila 😉

A Little Hallway + A Little Paint = 4 years

I’m no mathematician, but I’m pretty sure 4 years is a really long time to paint an 8 foot hallway.

Let’s go back to the beginning…

When we first moved in to this house 4 years ago the very first thing we did was paint the living and dining room. Now, when you’ve never owned a home, or ever really “decorated” a home, it is extremely challenging to get started. So we did what I’m pretty sure at least 50% of first time home-owners do (right? just tell me I’m right, even if I’m not) we picked paint colors that matched our furniture. Ugh. Just, UGH. Huge mistake, don’t ever do this. BOOOORRRIIINNGGG.

Then we sulked around for about 2 years talking about what color we would repaint (I talked, Kevin rolled his eyes) until finally we realized that our to-do list was way too long right now to focus on repainting and we should just work with it. Don’t worry, I WILL wear Kevin down one of these days and we WILL repaint ;-). So for 4 years our little main hallway off the living room remained stark builders white until we finally decided that we weren’t repainting any time soon so we should just make the hall feel as cohesive as possible.

The hall went from this:

(notice how awkward it looks when the living room paint job just stops and doesn’t continue through the hall)

And now, to this!:

What a difference!

I still hate the color, and we still need to rip out the old molding and install new baseboards (which explains the paint all over the current ones, we aren’t THAT messy people!) but it’s a nice temporary fix. Makes the space just feel a little more cozy. Next up we need to replace that awful light. I’ve narrowed it down to three options so I need your help! Which one do you like the best?

1. Bushel pendant from Shades of light. I LOVE this one, but would it look odd to have a hanging pendant in this space?

 Bushel Basket Lantern

2. Mama’s got a PB gift card burning a hole her pocket, AND only one month left of our registry discount! Plus, I love how this option is semi-flush (a seriously underserved lighting option in the marketplace imo)

3. Love these two flush mounts, but still hate that they’re descendants of the boob light.


Help a girl out, vote in the poll below!


ps – MODERN FAMILY IS BACK TONIGHT!!!! AAAHHH!!! Dear big man/woman/vampire upstairs, thank you for fall tv. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sunday Sprucin’

I’m back!

Now that we got that out of the way…

There’s something you should know about Mama D, she is a firm believer in little things making a big difference. She’s also a very visual person (like me) so she’s adamant about making little changes in your surroundings to make your home feel cozy and pretty. She’s the type of gal that when you’re feeling a little gloomy, she buys you a perfectly adorable new tube of lipstick, or brings you a delicious smelling candle, or sends you a beautifully embellished card. The lady likes pink, and glitter, and frou frou and aint nothin wrong with that!

So this weekend when we were standing out in the front yard and I told her it was a mess, and we had to do something about it but I didn’t have the time, she jumped on it with her typical gusto and said “Come On! It’ll only take a few hours let’s do some quick sprucing”. The next day was gorgeous and we headed over to the nursery and got our green thumb on.

Here’s a few shots of how sad things were looking before.

Mama D getting us started.

Welcome to the weed garden. Enter at your own risk.

The plants actually weren’t in bad shape. It’s just that we had planted them right when we moved in and we’ve since learned more about what works well in that part of the yard. For example, the right side of this garden bed (where the flag is) is directly under the heating vent and water drain from our laundry room, so anything that is planted here grows to monster blue ribbon winning size whereas the left side of the bed stays normal. So we did some shifting to balance everything out.

Oh man, this next pic is a mess. We’ve got grass, weeds, remnants of some mums from forever ago, and then some bulbs that my husband “promised” he pulled up last year. 😉

And now, some pretty little afters!

We planted some mums for Fall color (don’t they get you so excited for T-Day? Can’t WAIT!). We also planted three azalea bushes for some low maintenance greenery that will last almost year round. The others are all plants we already had in the bed just shifted around.


We kept it simple and low maintenance here. What I love the most about this bed is that aside from the pansies we planted four little ground cover starters that will fill in the bed pretty quickly and they will flower pretty little white buds in the Spring.

And then, because this is my blog, and I am obsessed with my beautiful pooch, here’s a shot of Soph helping out 🙂

Yay for a Sunday Funday filled with mommas, pooches, and flowers!

Nail Art? Sure, we can call it that.

9:30PM, me to husband: “In case you were wondering, I’m having a nail art disaster over here.”

Oh man. There are reasons that the most adventurous nail art I’ve tried is ombre nails (painting each nail a different variation of the same color).

1. I generally steer towards the quiet and the classic. My most favorite nail colors are tomato red and a true fuchsia. I typically admire fancy nail art from the safety of my pinterest home screen.

2. I’m too lazy to attempt fancy nail art. Once that polish is on, it’s not coming off until it’s peeled halfway off my nail by the end of the week.

Enter the glorious Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere. Oh Emily, you make me feel so empowered, like I’m just a regular girl with effortless ombre hair, a closet full of j.crew, and of course the coolest, most subtle nail art on the block. C&C posted this polish tutorial recently and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. “Wow!”, I thought. “It’s so easy that the video doesn’t even have broken down instructions! I MUST be able to do this on my own!”.

I should have known better.

I chose three colors I already had on hand in various shades of pink. “Totally office appropriate” and “This is going to be sooo cute and soo easy!”, I’m thinking.

The goods:

Every thing was going pretty well in the beginning. I had my two base coats of pale pink on and I started the sponge on my medium pink. The medium pink ended up being too light so I mixed the darkest and medium pink together on the sponge. Things were still OK at this point, not the best, but I thought I was making headway towards a good first nail art attempt.

Then came the dreaded stage three, and it all went down from here.

Step 3 involves painting a thin strip of your darkest shade at the top of your nail (french mani style) and then you’re supposed to be done. Nails are supposed to be perfect.

I looked jacked up. Cuticle bed to tippy top of the nail. So then, in an attempt to blend the polishes together I took my sponge and started blotting.

Bad idea.

The sponge started pulling up random bits of polish, and well, you’ll see.


The right hand turned out a little better since I had learned from my left hand mistakes.

I’m too lazy to remove the polish on the left hand, so it will have to stay for now. Please someone else try this and either fail miserably with me, or do a really awesome job and tell me how I managed to mess up a completely fool-proof method of nail art!

Here we go again…

Those of you who know me (which I’m assuming all 5 of my blog readers do) know of my recent love affair/unhealthy obsession with the Missoni for Target capsule collection. It was intense – We’re talking daily Target stalking, website stalking, even a Facebook trading group! While it was strangely satisfying to finally score some elusive pieces (rolling suitcase!-aaahhh!), it was also somewhat of a relief (for both my wallet, and my husband) when Missoni was said and done.

Enter: The September Issues…which I finally had a chance to sit down and start reading this weekend. I believe it was about 11:00 on Saturday night when this happened:

ZOMG! How could I forget? Maybe it’s because the Jason Wu and Summer “The Shops” were borderline mediocre? I got to googling as fast as my little hands would let me, and oh my, what happiness. When it comes to home decor, this one is a home run folks.

You must, must, must check out the lookbooks! (ps – HOW did I not know about “A Bullseye View”? – are you as giddy as I am to have stumbled upon this??)

Lookbooks! After you’ve browsed through that eye candy, let’s look at my Fave Five that are on my shopping list for September 9th!

1. There’s gonna be a mad rush for this one, I’ll make sure to wear my elbow pads!

Look 71

The Patch Candelabra $39.99

2. I collected all of the Liberty of London ceramic canisters, and this one will be a perfectly adorable addition. Imagine the possibilities! Dog treats, coffee, office supplies, pocket patz holder…

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PATCH NYC Deer Canister $29.99

3. Man, oh man. That road trip print is after my heart. I’m going to need to snag everything from this collection that comes in that print! Typically, the gift wares/stationary items don’t seem to go as quickly at my local Target so hopefully they’ll be enough of these by the time I make it over to the stationary aisle!

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The Curiosity Shoppe Kitchen Tea Towel Set $10.00

4. Critter Lamps, YES. I couldn’t find a photo of the brass fox lamp (which is the one I’m really lusting after), but if you scroll back up you can see it in the Fall ad. Here’s the official Lookbook shot of the woodpecker lamp. Again, these are going to go super fast I’m sure.

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PATCH NYC Figural Lamp $49.99

5. Rounding out my favorite are these throws in the most delicious Fall colors. Remember the Missoni throws? I do, but only in my dreams, since they were gone in a millisecond never to be seen again.

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PATCH NYC Throw $34.99

So there you have it. Have you made your list yet? Are you starting to train on your treadmill like that awesome red jumpsuit crazy lady from the Target Black Friday commercials? I-CAN’T-WAIT.

Ps – this next little snippet comes with a medical warning. You are clicking at your own risk. I’m pretty sure I almost passed out when I was breezing through it this morning, and then I squeeled…literally. Here you go lovers:

“A modern woman is not just a woman who buys expensive stuff, a modern woman is someone who buys intelligently.” Watch the videos!!! They are beyond.

Decisions, Decisions.

Disclaimer: I am not a good picture taker.

Silver Lining: I’m trying to improve! 🙂

Now that we got that out-of-the-way, I can give you something to ponder with me! I have been searching and searching for a glass front cabinet for our living room for about 6 months now, but what I’ve found on CraigsList and out thrifting has been out of my budget. Enter a lucky find at Goodwill last week for 45 bones!

That’s a pretty hefty piece of furniture for 45 bucks right? Now I would like you to take a moment to imagine me trying to fit this in a Jeep Wrangler, and then trying to unload it by myself when I got home. Hint: it involved batting eyelashes and some construction men pouring concrete at our neighbor’s house.

One of the most happy accidents is how well this piece matches with another goodwill find we have in the living room that we made over two years ago: (poor lighting alert)

See the similar lines?

I’m still deciding how to spruce her up. Maybe my first chalk paint project? I’m thinking she could look nice in a warm white with the cabinet interior stained a rich mahogany. We’ll see.

The fun part is deciding what treasures she’ll hold.

I’m dying to start a vintage Pyrex collection…

Or maybe I’ll start a Jadeite collection like Ms Martha?

Pinned Image

Maybe Santa will decide for me and bring me a super fun vintage find for Christmas! 😉 Any collections you love or wish you could start??

Pendleton Perfection

Oh Pendleton, let me count the ways you make my heart pitter-patter.

It’s no secret that Southwestern and Native American styles are continuing to explode in the market, finally making their way to home decor. As evidenced by the bible’s Fall look book. I obviously was way ahead of this trend by marrying a native 😉 (Hi Husband!). There’s something so comforting about those gorgeous southwestern colors and the tradition of those Native American patterns isn’t there? Let’s have a swoonfest over one of America’s most famous purveyors of style, Pendleton.

Here’s my Fave Five:

1. The Heroic Chief Cardigan and Pillow and Backpack.

Heroic Chief Cardigan  Heroic Chief PillowHeroic Chief Backpack

Did you just gasp out loud? I did, and then I had visions of sitting outside on a crisp Fall day wrapped in my chief cardigan, sipping a pumpkin spice latte. (in my visions I do all sorts of fancy, movie-esque things – don’t you?)

2. I’m going to give you a second to sit down…because if not this will certainly make you weak in the knees – fair warning. It’s the Lindsey Thornburg Trench Cloak.

Lindsey Thornburg Buell #2 Trench Cloak

I don’t know who this Lindsey is, but girl has got it goin’ on. Just ignore the price tag on that bad boy and imagine how ridiculously chic you would be actually owning something called a “trench cloak”. I like to imagine how amazing I would look outside at a football game, hair perfectly styled, all the ladies wondering how I came across such a fabulous cloak. Reality check – my outings involve sweatpants and target. 😉

3. One day I will have a bambino, and she will have gorgeous Native American skin like Kevin and I will fawn over her while we sit in her nursery with these adorable stitched pieces framed on the wall.

Framed Stitched Artwork - Tepee Framed Stitched Artwork - Deer Framed Stitched Artwork - Donkey

My favorite is the teepee. What about you?

4. There’s a whole series of these art pieces, but I think this one is my favorite.

Trophy Deer Artwork

5. And then there’s the bags. SWOON CITY. I mean, you could spend hours trying to pick a favorite, but here are my tops:

Leather Tote Posse Bag Handbag

That was fun wasn’t it?? Now if you want to get in some serious trouble and accidentally blow through a couple of hours go and search “Pendleton” on etsy-vintage. Love!