Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Here's to the Red, White and Blue!

I love summertime.  I love holidays.  I love desserts.  That is what inspired this 4th of July dessert post!  I look forward to the day when Stephen and I have a nice backyard where we can celebrate this great holiday by being outside and hosting friends and family at our place.  When that day comes, maybe I'll make one of these scrumptious desserts!

Super simple!  I remember being a little girl and seeing this on the front cover of my mom's Women's Day and instantly thinking it was amazing!

You could also do this with the regular old dessert pizza on sugar cookie crust

Evidently I love trifles! :)

Easy Peasy!

Which one do you think looks the best to try?  I can only make one and I obviously need your help deciding!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy 50th Anniversary, Aunt Shirley and Uncle Gene!

Stephen and I split town on Wednesday night and headed to Louisville in anticipation of a great family-filled weekend!  Our agenda: spend time with our family, meet little baby Elliott and celebrate my Aunt and Uncle's 50th Wedding Anniversary.  We succeeded in all of the above :-).  We spent time in Louisville on Thursday with Stephen's side of the family and then headed off to Johnson City, TN to spend the weekend with my immediate and extended family.
Meet my amazing Aunt and Uncle.  My Aunt Shirley is my mom's eldest sister and with my Grandma passing away when I was in kindergarten, my Aunt became like a Grandma to me.  In fact, so much so that Stephen and I asked her to walk in in honor of my Grandma at our wedding.  Things you should know about my Aunt Shirley and Uncle Gene: they love the Lord with all their heart and they love and serve each other in ways that I hope Stephen and I do when we've been married for 50 years.  With that being said, we didn't bat an eye at the idea of driving 11 hours to celebrate such a wondrous occasion with them!
Their anniversary celebration was Friday night with a day filled with family reunion festivities on Saturday.  For all you Nascar fans out there, my Uncle Gene arranged a private tour of the Bristol Motor Speedway for us on Saturday morning.  I begrudgingly went, thinking it wouldn't be that fun and I couldn't have been more wrong!  We got to drive around the track and had a blast doing it!

This was us on the top of the embankment - it was super steep!  

Stephen was driving - going 60 felt like we were going 160!

Unfortunately, I've gotten REEEEAAAALLLLY bad at taking pictures and so I have no other pictures from this weekend...except for all of these:

Needless to say, I love him, A LOT!

What you do this weekend???

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 64

It's been a whole week and I've been MIA...SORRY!  I have been busy with grad-school and I split town on Wednesday (I'll share my adventures with you in a bit); the good news is that it's actually Monday and I'm getting the Magnificent Blog to you on the right day (who cares if it's towards the end of the day).
If you've found yourself eyeing that Goodwill dresser or the yardsale coffee table, then A Few Good Pieces is a blog that's right up your alley!  My mom and dad are playing around with the idea of getting new dining room furniture and potentially handing their current set to me.  I'm super giddy at the idea of saving money by not having to purchase a set for myself and also at the potential that this furniture has!  With that on my brain, I found myself "oooooooo-ing" and "ahhhhhh-ing" over at A Few Good Pieces.

Like, for real, check out this dresser!  I'm loving it!

I've played around with this idea of painting the bottom of the table white (as well as the chairs) and staining the top of it dark.  Thoughts?

I'm loving the pop of color that this dresser brings and the ornate detail of it...so fun!

I love the wood detail on the top of this first coffee table!

Get your booty on over to A Few Good Pieces and be inspired...your husband might not appreciate the spurring of new thrift store trips that this blog will cause :)

Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 63

For the sake of this post, let's all pretend that it's Monday....ready?

I've been following a bowl full of Lemons for quite sometime now and I absolutely love it!  It's full of great projects, inspirational decorations and practical tips on organization.  A little jack-of-all-trades kind of blog :).

I really like this version of the PB inspired moss letters for the kitchen!

Looking for a good mantle decoration on the cheap?  What about these beautiful DIY topiaries?

These PB inspired numbered pillows turned out fabulous!

I love her redecorated vintage kitchen - so pretty!

Okay, your turn!  Go check out a bowl full of Lemons and get going on your next crafty kick!

Happy Blogging!
{p.s. it's really Tuesday - isn't it fun to blink away a Monday?!?!}

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I really hope this isn't real...

Have you seen this???

This can't be real.  This poor girl has so many issues if she's crying over thinking about rainbows and cats.  I hope it's not real....what do you think???

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Fun Weekend!

On Friday night Stephen and I hung out and played the low-key card because I had to wake up at the booty crack of dawn on Saturday to take a test.  It was a lot of fun just being able to relax and be without much craziness or a hectic timeframe.  We both enjoy Friday nights like that.

On Saturday, I took a certification test and lost 3 hours of my life that I will never be able to gain back.  I guess I shouldn't be so Debbie Downer about it considering it could very well be the last test I ever have to take!  After my test, Stephen and I ran a few errands in preparation for one of my best friends Katie and her husband Kyle's arrival.  They rolled into town at around 1:30ish and we immediately started having a good time!  We headed to Wilde for lunch where I enjoyed a scrumptious buffalo chicken sandwich on pretzel bread with sweet potato fries.  Stephen and Kyle both feasted on bison burgers while Katie enjoyed their marvelous macaroni and cheese - seriously, ah-mazing.
We rolled ourselves out of Wilde and walked around Lincoln Park for a bit, headed back to the apartment where Kyle and Stephen both took on the roles of old men and fell in and out of snoozers on the couches. We talked and caught up on life and just really enjoyed each other's company.
After we felt like we had a little bit of hunger return to our bellies, we headed to our favorite restaurant: The Basil Leaf.  Katie and I enjoyed a cup of their awesome tomato basil soup and a salad while Kyle went for the whole mamma-jamma and got a bowl of the tomato basil and Stephen altogether lost his mind and ordered a full on entree...he obviously had his hunger return in full force!  We walked out of Basil Leaf happy and stuffed and so we took a stroll down to Lake Michigan and then called it a night.

On Sunday we woke up and headed off to church to get an awesome teaching on forgiveness from Pastor Lutzer.  If you're ever in the Chicago area and are looking for a good church to attend on Sunday morning, may I suggest The Moody Church?  You'll hear a solid scriptural message and be surrounded by people seeking their Lord with their lives.  Okay, enough of that :) after lunch we headed back to the apartment and packed up a wonderful picnic.  We hauled everything to the lake and enjoyed a wonderful lunch with an awesome view and great conversation.  Throw in a little walking (okay, a lot of walking) and some beach volleyball and you'll get a good idea of what our Sunday afternoon looked like.

That night, Stephen and I both had small group so Katie and Kyle ventured out into Lincoln Park solo.  My small group went to RibFest and enjoyed 2 slabs of ah-mazing ribs!  Stephen enjoyed poking fun of the fact that my girl's small group went to and was excited about RibFest - he said that his guy's small group was going to have a tea party.  If they did, I wouldn't make fun of them....that's a lie.

I sent Katie and Kyle on their way on Monday morning, only after I stuffed them once again with a wonderful breakfast at Yolk.  I was sad to see them go, but so happy and refreshed at the time we got to spend together!  This upcoming weekend will be another full and fun one as Stephen has some college buddies coming to town.  We'll have a second round of company and lots of food to keep us full and thankful for the blessing God has given us of great friends!

What about you - did you do anything fun or refreshing this weekend?  I sure hope you didn't have to wake up early on Saturday morning to take a test!

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 62

Melissa over at The Polkadot Chair is a crafter after my own heart!  Not only does she offer great ideas, tutorials and inspirations, but she also resides in my Old Kentucky Home - that's enough to make her blog visit-able! ;)

I'm loving this quilted table runner.  For those of you out there like myself who are trying to pump themselves up to quilt, this looks like a good place to try your hand at it!

I'm loving this photo wall - especially with all those promotions that the canvas people have!

This subway tile job is to die for!  I'm loving the timeless shape of the tiles, the glassy finish and the olive color.  I'm sold!

If I thought I liked her subway tile, I was really smitten when I saw her fireplace tile work!  This looks so good!

Don't waste a second - go check out The Polkadot Chair and see why I love it so much!

Happy Blogging!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Baby Elliott's Blanket

I finally finished Baby Elliott's blanket!  Now all that's left is the fitted crib sheet.  This kid's nursery is going to be styyyylin'!

I used this tutorial at Sew4Home except made my blanket 36x50 instead of 36x36.  

Here's a recap of his nursery bedding all together so you can see how cute it is:
The crib skirt

The bumpers

I'll be sure to show you the fitted sheet whenever I get a chance to make that!  When the whole nursery is up and running, I'll be sure to share pictures with you!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And the Baby Has a Name!

Introducing Elliott Owen H.
Born: Monday, June 6, 2011
7 lbs. 14 oz. and 22 inches long

There's little Eliott with Aunt Laurel :)

So Melissa and David finally found a name that they thought sounded good with Elliott: Owen.  I agree. I think Elliott Owen sounds like my nephew is going to be a smart little whipper snapper.  Wanna know something that's cool?  Remember how we called this little guy "Ho" throughout the entire pregnancy?  His initials are E.O.H.  You know that that is backwards?  Yup.  H.O.E.  That was purely coincidental - not planned at. all.
Super cool!  Makes me love his name even more!

Don't go getting all big on me little Elliott, I wanna experience teeny-weeny baby when I meet you for the first time! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm an Aunt...again!

So, many of you who have been following my blogs and posts know that my oldest sister, Melissa and her husband, David were preggers.  Her due date is June 13 and they opted to not find out the sex of the baby. Aside from really wanting a healthy baby, Melissa wanted a little girl - again, the health of the baby was the upmost priority.  It was fun all nine months long not knowing the sex and just thinking about what it would be like if it were a boy or if it were a girl...it's a really LONG story and it's nothing inappropriate at all, just too long to type out, but we starting affectionately referring to the little babe as "Ho".
I really wanted Ho to come this past weekend so that I could get down to Louisville to meet "it".  Unfortunately, little Ho did not come, but I decided to spur on "its" arrival by working on "its" bedding.  If you remember, I made Ho's crib skirt and this past Friday I made "its" bumpers:

Let me tell you, working on little Ho's bedding worked like a charm...my sister's water broke on Sunday morning and she headed to the hospital on Sunday night.  By yesterday morning she was on the roller coaster that is known as labor - dilating, then stopping, dilating, then stopping.  After a loooong day yesterday she finally had little Ho.  And I'm pleased to announce that "its" a beautiful, healthy baby BOY! :)
(sorry for the blurriness - these were taken on my sister's phone)
Here's little Ho looking like my dad (or Pop)

And there he is again - all 7 pounds, 14 ounces of him!

For now, Little Ho is still Little Ho because no name has been decided upon.  Needless to say my mom (Grandmama) and dad (Pop) are tickled pink.  My mom always wanted a son and God blessed her with 3 girls...you never second guess the plan of our Maker, He knows what's best, and I know that this little guy is going to be a huge blessing to our family!  Little Baby Boy Ho, Uncle Stephen and Aunt Kari love you and we can't wait to get our hands on you!  Mama Melissa, you better watch out!  Aunt Kari is going to spoil the socks off this little guy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 61

Kim over at Savvy Southern Style has just that - some savvy southern style!  What I really love about her blog is how she has decorated her home in this style without breaking the bank.  Kim offers wonderful inspiration to decorate beautifully on a budget.  Go Kim, go!

I fell in love with Kim's blog as soon as I stumbled upon her Sun Room.  I love all the yellows, reds and different elements that she has going on in this wonderful room.  If I knew where she lived, I'd come over and just hang out in her sun room...okay, that's creepy, I probably wouldn't (but I would) :)

I'm also loving all the different fabrics Kim chose when she was "styling" her sister's porch.

The repurposed frames look absolutely stunning with the new life that was given to them.  Makes me want to go to the thrift store right now and snag me some...too bad they're not opened at the moment!

Oh, and check out this awesome sideboard that now looks amazing thanks to some blue paint and Kim's touch!

Waste no time and head on over to Savvy Southern Style to grab some southern inspiration for your home!

Happy Blogging!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


So last week before Stephen and I split town to go to Pittsburgh the weather here in Chicago was anything but nice.  In fact, on Thursday I had to bust out my winter coat because it got down into the 30s.  Yep.  You just read that correctly.  Stephen had checked the weather for Pittsburgh during that week and told me that it was warmer there - in the 70s.  Cool, exactly what I wanted.  So, while I was packing I was thinking 70s.  I'm the fool that didn't check the weather right before we left to make sure that it was still what I had originally thought.
Fast forward.
We arrive in Pittsburgh.  It wasn't in the 70s.  In fact, it was in the 80s, humid and reached 91 on Monday when we left.  I was sweltering in my jeans.  Stephen, trying to help, suggested that I wear the dress I wore to the wedding in the car for our ride home.  "You'll be more comfortable..." hmmmm...I don't know about that.
Our whole drive back to Chicago, I didn't know what to expect when we arrived.  Would it be cold?  Doubtful, considering it had felt as though we were hanging out in a giant's mouth the whole weekend.  My curiosity was satisfied when we arrived back on Monday night and it was hot.  Stuffy.  Ugh.  Stephen and I don't have a/c - we have window units that are a pain in my tush to put in.  Needless to say, with 30 degree temps, those units hadn't been installed yet.  So we opened windows and took it like a man (who really says that?).  Tuesday was hot also.  Like, walk outside and never receive an ounce of coolness - just H.O.T.
Yesterday was beautiful.  I was LOVING every minute of yesterday's weather.  It was in the high 70s, close to 80s and just sunny and breezy.  Yes, please!  This morning I woke up feeling the chill in the air...checked the temperature and it was 55.  I am so confused.  My body doesn't know whether or not to sweat or goose bump up.  It's really gonna be thrown off its kilter when the temperatures hit the 90 degree neighborhood like they're calling for.  I'm not quite sure what season it is - is it fall?  is it winter? is it summer?  Nope.  It's spring - unpredictable and crazy spring.  With that I'll leave you with some spring-ish pictures I took a couple of weeks ago in the city...it'll make me feel as though it's a steady spring out there (does one of those even exist???).

Some tulips doing their tulip thang outside of Stephen's office

Every year, sometime in April, the Macys on State Street (otherwise known as the old Marshall Fields) has a flower show inside the store.  There are hundreds of gorgeous flowers all over the place!

How's spring springin' in your neck of the woods???