Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brie's Shower.

I threw a shower for my bff Brie. I'm in her wedding (June 25th - can't wait!) and have known her for freaking ever. She's a super special person and deserves the absolute best. Heather, Miriam, and I teamed up to throw a kitchen shower - my first shower to throw ever. It was a great success - lots of friends, lots of food, lots of laughter. Here are some of the highlights:

"Love" banner on the mantle from Frankly Linen on etsy with tulips Miriam brought and the shower invitation mounted on a painted canvas - 

Gift table in the den with a sign I made using a canvas, paint pen, and scrapbook paper, paper lantern lights hung from the curtain rod, and my gift to Brie on the table as decor - 

I made a towel cake using a utensil holder as the base (which you can't see but it is apple green ceramic), then wrapped place mats (4) around the base (I folded them into thirds and safety pinned them together). I then took two kitchen towels and rolled them together and stuffed them into the top of the utensil holder. I took two utensils that were green and white and put them as a topper and put ribbon around the bottom. Brie's colors in her kitchen are navy, white, and green (very preppy) and so I got accessories for her kitchen like two colanders, measuring cups and spoons, an oven mitt, and kitchen towels. 

Our main food table had plates, utensils, napkins, and the majority of our hot dips. This was a "dip party" and we all made our favorite dips to serve so there were chips everywhere and people could get all sorts of dips. I got Brie a glass water pitcher as a gift as well and so I put halved limes in the bottom and then roses that Miriam brought in it as well. 

We had even more dips in the back on our island. I made tags for the dips using scrapbook paper and plastic knives so people would know what they were getting themselves in to (someone asked the caloric count on them and I laughed and said you don't want to know). We also had punch that Miriam made and some dessert dips. 

We asked people to jot down their favorite simple, go-to, off the top of your head recipe or cooking tip for Brie to use. I found these recipe cards at Michael's and they fit the shower's colors (turquoise and red) perfectly. 

Brie got a ton of presents (she is so loved) and so I took a picture of the present pile before she dug in:
She got so many nice things and what was really fun is when she opened each present, she told her first memory or favorite memory of that person so it helped us get to know each other since there were friends from soccer, law school, and church all together. 

We had favors for the guests - Heather made a cute recipe book of most of the dip recipes that they could take home with them and I got 3 inch pots from Michael's and herb seed packets from Home Depot so they could grow their own little herb garden (another present for Brie from me was a herb growing kit - one of my favorite presents to give people because it "keeps giving" haha):

All in all, it was a lovely party and even better, a few of Brie's fabulous friends stayed and helped clean, which was just too nice. I'd say it was a successful first shower experience. 

In throwing fabulous parties,
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Monday, May 30, 2011


Well, its June and what that means for me is CAMP GAILOR-MAXON!! I'm headed off to camp for the month. I'll be blogging daily over at our camp blog and will try to share some pics of my adventures over here from time to time. 

I can't wait to be here:
(our art barn at camp and the trail from the cabins to the main buildings)

but I sure am going to miss being here:
with my guys. I think Beamer knows I'm leaving because all morning I've been going around the house gathering laundry and packing things and every step of the way he is about one foot from my feet, doing this:

Well, off to pack some more and make some CDs for the road. See you on the flip side!
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

You must go to the LOFT.

So I'm not buying clothes right now. Something about spending an entire day putting clothes away in our guest room made me realize that I have far too many items of clothing. 

That being said.... oh my gosh - the stuff at the LOFT right now? I die. First of all, they are having a Memorial Day Sale that is just ridiculous. They are having a $25 and under sale and all their basic knits and shorts, cardigans, bags, sunglasses, accessories, etc are on sale. I got this cute top for $15 (well, less because I get %15 off being a teacher):

I was very good and refrained from buying the whole store, but I just had to share what I would have bought if I had an unlimited supply of dollars...

This Empire Waist Knit Dress - a must have for summer:

This Animal Polka Dot Sheath - can't you picture this at a fun summer party or wedding?

The Paris Plaid Madras Short - I absolutely love their shorts, they fit very well.

And this Striped Boyfriend Cardigan? Love. 

But alas, I cannot get any of these things. It is for the best - no place to put them. I can, however, daydream and browser window shop. And so I do. 

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Sweet Melissa.

My friend Rachel is having a baby, a little girl named Melissa, in June - and so today, we met to get our nails done. She looks fabulous at 9 months pregnant. It was a great girly date (and my nails sure did need it!):

I went with Lincoln Park on my toes (I'm into the dark purple and don't know why - and is it weird to post pictures of your feet on the internet?)

And a sheer shimmery glitter for the nails that I didn't get the name of - 
If you peek in the background of that pic, you can see my project for a bridal shower coming up!! I was working on the favors. 

Now that Rachel has had her shower, I can also share with you the adorableness I found on etsy for her baby shower present:
I got a baby blanket, bib, and burp cloth set off etsy from this shop, Sew Divine. She hand makes everything and her proceeds go to orphans around the world. She's the mom of one of my favorite bloggers and pretend friend, Katie from Marriage Confessions. The baby set was just too cute to pass up and since little Melissa is going to just be so cute and styling, I had to get it for Rachel's baby shower. 

Having no babies of my own, I can't vouch for how practical they are but Katie of Marriage Confessions fame swears up and down by the burp cloths - which is good enough for me. 

Gotta love fun afternoons out with girlfriends to reenergize your spirits! 
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back Hall Update.

Back in January, I was all pleased with myself because I finally put up our engagement shots and an art-type greeting card from the Sewanee bookstore:
Well, once we painted the back hallway light blue, you can imagine that the Billy Moore piece we got from Trolley Stop didn't quite go. The Delta Folk Art piece now is right by the back door (which works well) but that left a hole for me to fill.

I mentioned here that I have a love for Wordles. I decided to make one and put it in the spot - free art! I got a frame that sort of matches the others from Target:
Issue solved. Now to replace the tacky old light switch with a new, white one (who thought cream was a good idea?) and paint the bathroom to match the hall. 

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Make this: Gringo Salad.

Last week, Jake and I were craving something a little fresher and decided to throw together our favorite salad we invented. It isn't fancy, it isn't original, but we love it and you may too:
I call it a Gringo Salad because when I try to describe it, I think of a Mexican salad but let's be honest - there isn't much "Mexican" about it. 

What goes in a Gringo Salad?
Lettuce (duh)
Black Beans (canned ones are great, drain them!)
Corn (canned, drained)
Chicken (Jake cuts it up, tosses it with chipotle seasoning, and cooks it in olive oil)
Fresh cilantro
chopped jalapenos
spicy ranch dressing (Hidden Valley Farms makes one)
mexi mix cheese

We toss it all together and go. Now, for this to be really "light", you can't put gobs of dressing on it. Remember that.... (because we didn't!!). 

Ridiculously easy (the salad, I mean),
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Remember when..

When I was writing the post about the changes in the living room, I was exploring pictures from the early days of our house. I found this picture and had to do a remember when:

Remember when my house had carpet in the living and dining room? So glad to get that out!

Now - nope, no carpet here. No door either (do you spy which door went goodbye?):

In saving up for refinishing the hardwood (among other things)...
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's the little things.

Little brothers are so great. My little brother was especially great this past weekend because he came over and did a lot of little projects for me around the house. Of course, the fact that my mom bribed him with some cash since he is broke didn't hurt!

So my little brother came over to do little projects. And these little projects are making big impacts because it is the little things sometimes. For example:

Our whole house was clad in wrought iron bars on the windows when we bought it. The granny that lived here before us was pretty serious about security (she even had a huge baseball stadium style single light put in the backyard) and while we are definitely aware that we live in an urban area, bars aren't exactly our thing. Here's a picture of the ones in the living room from right when we first moved in and decorated:

It's funny, because it really is the little things and this is shown in the transformation of this room. This picture was taken in January of 2010. A year and a half later, we've done little things here and there - taken out the carpet, adding recessed lighting, moving the couch in here, getting new pillows, changing out the lamp, and now taking out the bars. And yet these little things add up:

So glad to have those fugly bars gone! And of course now that I look at the picture, I need to move the floor lamp back over to next to the couch. It is always some little thing, huh?!
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sectional Update.

Wanted to let you all know how our sectional was working out for us. Well, I've provided a little photographic evidence that we're not the only ones enjoying Manny the Sectional:

In floppy ears and basset dreams,
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Go there: Chipotle.

Memphis is moving up in the world. We got a Chipotle, which is basically a Moe's on crack. Jake and I finally got around to checking it out last week (we don't venture out of Midtown/Downtown very much...) when we hit up Target. I had heard rumour of the amazingness but had not actually experienced it ever. 

Well. Chipotle. Is. Life. Changing. Their rice - I die. They have a cilantro lime rice that you can put in your meal that I could just eat by itself. In fact, I think I'm going to ask for a to-go order of it to nom on at home. Moving on...

Jake got the burrito but Eat This, Not That told me to get a burrito bowl to save on the calories. Well, I'm glad I did - I loved the rice so much that I am glad I didn't have the distraction of the tortilla. I was stuffed and could have easily saved half for lunch (and probably should have...). 
If you're in the Memphis area, I recommend checking it out for lunch one day. I'm already planning my return trip. 

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

House Tour: Updated house photos.

Two things happened recently: 1) I got a (new to me) camera and 2) I cleaned up the house. With the collision of these two events at the prime moment came a photographic experience allowing documentation that I do, in fact, having living spaces. I wanted to share these updated photos - we've made some more progress away from the granny-fied house we started with.

Living room with both couches now in, plus an appearance by the new recessed lights:

Another view of the living room:

Our entry way:

Dining room, which is now sans awkward door to the guest room:

Den with the new furniture, patiently waiting for its turn to be modernized. Paneling, be gone!

In loving my spaces,
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Make this: Rotel Mac

OK confession time - I have a soft spot for boxed Mac and Cheese. Not that powder kind - the cheese in a pouch kind. It is my comfort food, going back to the days around the kitchen table with my parents and brothers when it was "my turn to cook." 

Now one of my favorite things to do is take that Kraft or Velveeta mac and cheese and mix in a can (drained) of Hot Rotel tomatoes. It makes for a spicy mac that is killer yummy:

In knowing boxed mac and cheese isn't the best for you but giving in from time to time,
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kitchen Renovation: Step By Step (ooh baby).

New Kids on the Block reference? Anyone?

Ok - a step by step look at the kitchen, through pictures.

Our kitchen on a normal day, circa 1.5 yrs ago - 

 Packing it up prior to demo -

 Cabinets are out! Wall is out!

Paneling out! Walls out!

Electrical in! Wall and header taken up and back! New window!
Ceiling and wallboard in!

 Drywall in!

Drywall primed. Upper cabinets in!

Lower cabinets in! Subway tile started!

Subway tile done! Base of the floor put in! Testing paint colors (yellow? blue?)

Fake/Temporary counters in! Lights in! Paint color picked (on header).

Kitchen painted!

Floor installed! Chalkboard pantry door painted!

Counters in! Fridge in! Accessories in! DONE!

You know, it is funny - everyone talks about how hard a kitchen renovation is...and this one took about 3 months start to finish. But it wasn't that hard. In fact, it was fun. It was so fun to come home and see what they had done. I didn't really miss the kitchen all that much, although my pocketbook and waistline missed real meals and cooking, and picking things out and designing this was so much fun. 

But I don't want to do it again for a while:)
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