Category Archives: home

design ideas: corner chandelier

I mentioned this in my post about wall art, but Brian and I bought a new chair for our living room.

It fills up a previously awkwardly empty space and also meets my totally random need for an ottoman. I love ottomans, did you know that about me? I should add it to the list. It’s orange – well, sort of rust-colored actually. Brian picked it out and it is a great pop of color in our otherwise-fairly-neutral living room.

I’m working on a pillow for the chair – more on that soon.

So, one of the reasons we really wanted a chair for that corner is so we can have little reading nook. We both love this set up:

Isn’t that wonderful? Another reason to not do a gallery wall on the big wall across from the chair. Too many gallery walls in one room.

I also love this idea for above the chair:

Source: via Natalie on Pinterest

Isn’t that neat?

But this post isn’t about walls… it’s about ceilings. And light.

Instead of doing a side table with lamp set up, we were thinking of stringing up a sort-of-chandelier. Like these:

What do you think? I’m a little worried that it would be annoying to see the direct light (lamp shades were invented for a reason).

I saw this recently and thought it could be a fun option:

Have you ever done anything out of the ordinary with lighting in your place?


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design ideas: wall art

So, as you may have noticed in my home tour, we have very little on the walls in our house. If you were counting, we actually only have five things on the walls. All the walls. Oh, and did you notice that those five things happen to be in the same room? Yep, all are in the dining room.

See the art in the upper left? My dad took it and it’s in an antique frame – love it.

Those three picture were taken by me when I was inadvertantly ignoring Brian on our engagement hike.

The last picture is to the left of the doorway in the above picture, on the way up the stairs to the second floor.

Our wedding party – my mother in law thinks it looks like something out of Twilight. I’m not sure what that means/how to take that. I think it’s a good thing.

So yea, that’s it. Since we are pretty much all settled furniture-wise (we just bought a chair to complete the living room, woo!), the next step is to get some things up on the wall. Here are some ideas I’ve gotten from Pinterest.



Lots to see there and all so different… but some good ideas, I think. I love the idea of the gallery wall, but if we go with that I’d want it to be a little more a-traditional (like non-white/black frames or lots of different kinds of frames and objects).

I also like the idea of something big for our big wall…

{it’s actually even bigger than it seems in that picture…it keeps going to the left of the photo}

I think something  like the nail and yarn letters (though what would you spell?) or the big frames with either wall paper or a unique piece of art or a photo could be neat.

So many ideas, so many walls to fill, so many options… it’s a little overwhelming. Anyone out there have any ideas about where to start?

Do you have any experiences filling blank walls? Where did you start? Should I just go for it or compile things slowly?

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house update

It seems like it might be a good time to update you all on what our lil’ home looks like. There have been lots of additions/changes/etc. since I gave my first tour and we made good on our plan to furnish first, decorate later. Without further ado…

The front of our house.

Not too much has changed from when we bought it, but we did make some adjustments to the plants in the front. I wish I had a photo of how it looked before… well, actually I don’t. It was awful. The builder put in a few small bushes and the tree thing (holly, maybe?), which we kept, but there was also four tufts of monkey grass and pine straw instead of mulch. Now, don’t go assuming I’m a monkey grass and pine straw hater. I’m not. The can look great in many yards, but my teeny tiny yard was just not one of those yards.

I know I need to rake up those dead leaves… and you can’t really tell what it looks like with everything barren and trimmed back. I’ll try to remember to show you what it looks like in the spring all blooming and flourishing.

Let’s move inside, shall we? These are some shots I took of our first floor right after we moved in.

I’m basically standing at the front door in the above picture. In the next picture, you can see just a smidge of the reclaimed wood drop-leaf table I bought for $45 that we used as a dining table for a loooong time. It was about 3 square feet. See the corner of it there in the bottom left?

So, what does our first floor look like now?

{sorry about the glare on the walls… not sure how to fix that – it’s a reflection from the glass-topped coffee table}

We are waiting on the chair to go with that ottoman – it will add some much needed color. Yea!

Moving through the doorway you see in the above picture, you get to our dining room and kitchen.

And our new dining table (whose chairs I recovered here).

The kitchen is the same, since there wasn’t really any furnishing to be done in there (you know, since it’s just appliances mostly and we had nice, new ones when we moved in). But all in all, a pretty big difference on the first floor, right?

So, what all did we do?

1. We bought a couch that could fit more than three people at once.
2. We bought a dining table that could fit more than two people at once.
3. We bought a coffee table and media stand, then upgraded those two pieces to the ones we have in there now.
4. We bought some things to put over the mantle.


5. We painted.

There is still lots we plan to do (like get a table non-wonky lamp for the living room and um… put some things on the walls), but we feel like we’ve come a long way!

Have you ever started from scratch with a room (or an entire house, like us)? What did you do to make it feel more like you actually lived there? Any tips for us as we continue to make our house a home?

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rogue basil

This has happened to me two years in a row and I’m trying not to take it personally. I plant a cute little basil plant from Lowe’s in the early spring (remember when Brian built me this amazing raised bed?). It grows and gives me some beautiful basil leaves for a month or two. Then somewhere around mid-to-late-summer, despite adequate watering on my part (well at least this year), its leaves become small and yellowy. And crazy little white flowers sprout up all over it.

But! Then, a rogue basil plant sprouts up in this totally random spot (it’s been the same spot both years…) and flourishes.

It got even bigger by the end of the summer with absolutely no attention (I shunned it).

But as the weather turned colder and I realized I should take advantage of the random fertile patch by the air conditioning unit. What to do, what to do… Should I make pesto? I don’t really want or need that much  pesto… Was there a way to preserve this bounty without making pesto? What if I just pureed the basil with a little olive oil. Would that work? I decided it was worth a try. If I ended up with usable basil, great! If not, I was no worse off than I was at this point last year. So, I cut off all the branches from my rogue basil plant and brought them inside.

I picked off all the leaves and washed them.

Then I loaded them all into my trusty food processor and chopped them up.

Once I added a little bit of olive oil, I spooned it into a mini muffin tin (you could use a regular muffin tin, you’ll just end up with larger servings). Then I stuck it in the freezer and let it harden.

Once it was all frozen, I popped them out and put them in a freezer bag.  Now I use them just like I would fresh basil – did you see my most recent pasta sauce? I just pull my basil bag out of the freezer whenever a recipe calls for fresh basil. You can either let the little pod thaw, or pop it frozen right into a sauce.

I know this is a little late for immediate use, but something to keep in the back of your mind for future use. I’ve used several of my pods with much success.

Do you have any other suggestions about how to preserve summer’s harvest?

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A Strawberry Update

I came home to find a veritable plethora of strawberries in my little mini garden. So, of course I picked them.


I am officially amazed. And proud.

Have you grown anything recently? Please try not to show me up too much… My gardening-related ego is still pretty fragile.


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I can garden, yes I can

Earlier this spring, my handy husband built me a big wooden box so I could try my hand at growing things. Well, I had tried to grow things before, but with only limited success (remember my sad, sad basil plant?). So, while he was busy building things in the garage, I went down to Lowe’s and talked to the smart people there about starting a small garden. Boy are they helpful. The Lowe’s man piled me up with a few bags of regular dirt, a bag of manure, a bag of lime, and a few bags of miracle grow garden soil. Oh, and some plants. I got home and got planting and only a few short weeks later I had this:


What is growing here? Well, from left to right on the front row, we have parsley, lots of yellow onions (those are the tall skinny green things that are all over the garden box), strawberries, and basil. In the back row, left to right, we have rosemary, leeks, cilantro, mint, and lettuce. I planted four lettuce plants, but only one survived. Fortunately it is thriving! Brian is super excited about the mint (he actually was sad I only bought one mint plant) because he is eager to make homemade mojitos – yum!

I am super excited about the strawberries (Chambers is too – he checks them out whenever he happens to walk by).


See his nose there? And do you see what he’s checking out?? Yes, it is our very own strawberry.


And yes, I picked it soon after taking this picture and it was perfect.

I may actually have a greenish thumb after all (or at least I know how to take instruction well).

Have you planted anything recently? If so, how’s it going?


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Design Ideas: Modern Canopy Bed

I love the look of a canopy bed, but Brian thinks they are too fru fru. I wonder what he would think of this one:


Of course, it’s from Paris… shocking that I am in love with something Parisian, I know. But isn’t it a neat “new” canopy bed – plus it has a platform base, which just adds to the perfection. I’m not crazy about black, though… What do you think?


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