Merry Christmas!

(our white & gold tree this year)

Have a fantastic holiday!
Oh, and my Christmas present to you is that calories don't count on the 24th OR the 25th :)


Christmas comes early at our house....

I'm not very patient. 
The boy and I have already opened our gifts to each other.
AND now I'm going to give you a peek at some of the gifts I got made for other people.
I like to do at least one handmade gift for the girls in the family, they appreciate it much more than boys.
My mom and my grandmother are getting monogrammed linen table runners.

I had to make one for myself too, you know, to make sure they came out okay and that I got the size right :)

My favorite gift to give is this one :

I designed a growth chart for my neice Kendall and had it printed on canvas through Uprinting.  I still need to get a ribbon to hang it, but I know my mom has some at home that I can use.  Her room has a pink and giraffe theme and I think this is going to look so awesome on her wall!  Plus now I'll get an answer when I call and ask "How big is she now?!"

What gift are you most excited to give?


Free Dining Room Chairs....

Scene : Me on the couch, snuggled in blankets watching Christmas movies.
The phone rings, it’s my mom. 
Me : ‘Hi, whats up?’
Mom : ‘Are you still in bed?’
Me : ‘No….but I’m not dressed yet.’
Mom : ‘Okay, well remember those molded plastic chairs you saw at an auction two years ago?’
Me : ‘Yes…..the ones that were sitting in the corner of the room where the hot dogs were’ (I’ve since realized it’s very sad that I map things by their proximity to food)
Mom : ‘Well Mr. X just bought 40 of them for $5, do you want me to go see if I can buy a few for you?’
Me : (Sitting up now) ‘Yes!  How many do you think we can get?  What colors do they have?’
Mom : ‘There is a yellow and an orange.  Do you want me to take a picture?  How many do you want? 4?’
Me : ‘Sure, see if you can get 4 orange ones.’
Mom : ‘Okay bye’.
Me : ‘Bye’
Me : ‘WAAIT’

Mom : ‘Yes’.
Me : ‘I want 6, see if you can get 6.’
Well, I got 6 – for $10.  I was a little surprised at first since Mr. X paid $5 total for all 40 that he would charge my mom $10 for 6, but she offered him $10 so she could go through the stack and pick out all the best ones (she’s a thinker).  BUT THEN, my mom decided to buy an office (not the actual building just all the furniture inside it).  [Sidenote: they were at an auction for a furniture manufacturer going out of business that has been based in my hometown for a very very long time].  She bought the whole office because my dad needed more file cabinets? and Mr. X (the same Mr. X who bought the chairs) was eyeing the file cabinets and said that he could use one of those.  She said $10 and you can have one – he said ‘Here’s your $10 back’.  So I *think* the chairs were technically free!

Short Version : We have chairs for the dining room.  Yay!  They look very similar to the molded plastic Eames chairs, but I haven’t seen them in person yet to confirm their origins.  And the picture my mom sent seems to look exactly like a certain classic and will never go out of style Hermes orange.

Poor lighting cell phone pic from my mom

Maybe something like this? (above)

And I'm thinking that the hutch I picked up here, would get painted Farrow & Ball Mouse's Back (like the cabinets in the photo below) with a Hermes orange interior to let all the white china that is inside really pop.

I'm excited to have some type of plan, even if it doesn't pan out -
What do you think?


4th & Folded GIVEAWAY

There is a giveaway up on the Fourth & Folded blog today.
Click HERE to check it out!

Even if it doesn't tickle your fancy, it would make a great stocking stuffer :)
Sneak peek below -

Good Luck!


DIY : Geometric Rug

Last weekend when we went home for Thanksgiving we picked up a table for the dining room.  Meaning, maybe its time to start pulling that room together........I had been looking online for an inexpensive rug for the room without much luck.  I wanted something geometric and fairly neutral; but didn't want to spend a fortune on it since my husband is prone to spilling.

I picked up this $40 rug at Ikea, and got to work laying out a link pattern with 1" blue painters tape.

I'm not going to lie, taping everything off was not a quick process.

After everything was taped off I started painting.  I'm not going to say this was a huge success, the paint is pretty uneven in places.  I would recommend doing a less contrasting color (if I were doing it again).  But o'well.  I used Benjamin Moore flat paint, in Weimaraner.

I still need to touch up the edges, so I haven't pulled off the tape there yet.

Is it perfect? Nope.
But for ~$60, its good enough for me, for now :)

Supplies : 
1 Ikea Erslev Cotton Rug  (5'11" x 8'2") ~$40
2 Rolls 1" Painters Tape (used just a little over one roll) ~$4
1 Quart Paint (only used about half) ~$15


Knock, Knock....

To go along with our new black front door, we need a door knocker.  The door used to have one, and the previous owners decided to take it with them (along with the vanities in the bathrooms and 90% of the outlet covers - so odd).  Anyways, I turned to my standby - Etsy :)

The first one that came up on my search was this :

I guess it serves as a reminder that if the house is a rock'n don't come a knock'n?  I'm very weirded out by this. 

But in all seriousness -

Option A : Vintage Brass with an area to engrave our last name $25+s/h
This is the most traditional option -

Option B : Vintage Brass Lion (awwww) $28 + s/h
He's cute and he reminds me of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Option 3 : Solid Brass Pinapple $15 + s/h
This reminds me of college, I went to school in Rhode Island and there were pineapples on 80% of the doors of the older homes in Newport and Providence since pineapples are a symbol of hospitality.  According to the legend, it began with New England sea captains, who would spear pineapples on a fence post outside their homes after returning from the Caribbean islands, to let friends know of his safe return from sea. The pineapple was an invitation for them to visit, share his food and drink, and listen to tales of his voyage.

Option 4 : Vintage Brass Whale $68 + s/h (most $$ but he's so cute and comes from Maine)
I'm not sure how I feel about whatever is coming out of his belly; but I kind of love him.....a lot.  Although we are not near the water, so it might be odd to have a whale on our door?

Please tell me which is your favorite, because as it stands right now we might end up with 4 door knockers on our door, which is probably overkill.


Our house is getting GRILLZ....

It's been a while since I posted about our house, things are progressing, but I have a problem where I never fully finish something and therefore never take pictures.  Examples to include: Island that is still missing hardware, striped stair railing that needs new paint, kitchen that still needs paint on 1 wall, half done molding in the bedroom, half built wreath on the living room floor....
I could go on, I get so excited about new projects and then the old ones just seem 'eh'.  This weekend is dedicated to finishing SOME of the projects...and cleaning.  I have an overwhelming urge to purge.

Anyways, I know Christmas hasn't even rolled around yet, but I'm already planning out our spring to-do list.  I've been LOVING glossy black front doors recently, and really want for my own. 
This is the current state of the exterior.
This is what my glossy black front door might look like :
(Plus, we have to buy a cute new knocker since the previous owners TOOK it, and left two holes in the front door - awesome right?)
Okay, clearly I cannot add another color to the exterior scheme, plus EW! baby blue trim needs to GO! (what were they thinking?) and we might as well match the shutters to the door since evergreen and yellow combo isn't really my thing either.

Much better already right?
And maybe a little detail would help the situation.  The windows are actually good quality windows, that tilt in for washing (bonus) so we don't want to replace them, but they are boring, and I want to add grillz.

No, not those kind :)

See, more character right?
And while we are at it.....
Lets help out that lawn situation a bit (boy job).
And ideally, there will be some hydrangea bushes in my future.

What do you think? 
Minimal investment for increased curb apeal?  Or do you like the evergreen/baby blue combo?

*Please excuse my photoshop skills, I really do know how to use the program, but I made these in all of 5 minutes while waiting for something at work :)


Happy Turkey Day!


Renting Mother Nature....

Christmas is looming around the corner.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited - in fact my decorations have been brought up from the basement (but not put out yet, I'll wait until after Thanksgiving).  BUT I have no idea what to get for people that already have everything. 
I think the hubs and I are going to be lame and buy ourselves a new mattress for Christmas - we are so exciting, I know.
I was thinking about getting Rent Mother Nature leases for a few people I have absolutely NO idea what to get.
This is from their site :

Here's How It Works

1 We farm for you: We have a network of farmers, dedicated to sustainable agriculture, who will deliver a share of their absolutely fresh harvest to your gift recipient's door. 

2 We send the Lease Document to your gift recipient: The lease is a handsome parchment-like certificate that is beautifully illustrated, embossed with a gold seal, and personalized with the name of your recipient. This is sent at the time the lease is ordered (or at a time of your choosing) along with an illustrated Gift Announcement (which includes your gift message) describing the program you selected. You can also choose to have the Lease sent to you for personal presentation.
3 We keep the 'Lessees' up-to-date with Progress Reports: As the crop is nurtured, informative and entertaining newsletters are sent to your recipients -keeping them up-to-date about the harvest season. As a humorous option we'll even go out and take an action photo of their tree, hive, cow, sheep, or field hard at work and mail it with one of the Reports.
4 We deliver the Harvest: 'Tis the season... The fresh and natural harvests are delivered right to the door. Yields are guaranteed, along with your complete satisfaction. We do all the work and you get all the raves (while helping America's family farms).
What do you think?  Would you be excited about getting fresh cheese and supporting local farmers?
What are you buying for people this year?


Illegal Biscuits....

A number of you lovely readers and followers commented on this tweet the other day :

Apologies for the terrible cell phone photo, but yes - they were delicious.   And really really easy.  I promised a few people a recipe so here it goes :

I didn't really have a recipe so I'm just going to tell you what I did and let you improve upon that -

1. Buy Pillsbury Grand Buttermilk Biscuits
2. Cut in half, then cut in half again to get 4 'bite-size' pieces per biscuit.
3. Melt some butter, probably like a stick, maybe a little less (I don't know because I didn't make a whole batch).
4. Add in fun stuff.  I chose parmesean cheese (to give a nice cheesy crust) and cut up some bacon.  We almost always have a bag of cooked bacon in our fridge - is that weird?  I hope not.  Its kind of my favorite.
5. Bake according to the directions on the package - maybe a little less since they are smaller, I didn't really time them, just took them out when they looked a little brown.

Sorry for the least precise recipe in history, but go make them now.


Pinterest Obsession....

I’ve discovered two new things lately.

1. A new (reaffirmed) love for writing with Ultra Fine Tip Sharpies.

2. Pinterest (thanks to Brooke for the invite).

How does it work?
You get a little button on your favorites bar (much like the CraigsEasy button, if you did that) and then you can *pin* images and place them onto different boards in your collection. Its super easy.

Why is pinterest so great?
It just is.
  • I don’t have to save images on my computer anymore, freeing up precious hard drive space – (and you don’t have to worry about a crash).
  • I can save images anywhere (home or work) and they all go to the same place.
  • It keeps the source of the image. So if I’m posting an image of a DIY project into my ‘Thing to Make’ board, I can always click on the image when I actually get around to wanting to make said item and get the directions. No more bookmarking tutorials. I would also think this would make a great cookbook…..I may need to start a food board.
  • You can share with other people and other people can see your collections. I signed up using my twitter account so I’m automatically following the people I follow on twitter who also have a Pinterest account (and you don’t have to ask them to follow you, or request to be their friend or anything :)). You can also follow other people whose collections, or single boards, strike your fancy.

Basically it’s a visual reminder of a million things I like, in one place, that is easy to access and contribute to. It’s a virtual sketchbook and I’m obsessed.

I have 5 invites to give away – who wants one?


We're Expecting!

We'll folks, it's official - 

If everything goes as planned, a special someone will be born December 19th.
We have narrowed down our shortlist of names and I have one in particular I'm rooting for.

The best part of this pregnancy?  No stretching, weight gain, random food cravings or morning sickness here - (okay, well random food cravings are actually part of my everyday existance) - but the absence of all other symptoms is due to the fact that someone else is doing all the baby making for us -

Four little paws will be scratching up our hardwood floors in no time, and I coudn't be more excited.  

A few fun facts about our puppy process :
  • We will have been waiting for 6 months before we get to take our little guy/gal home.  It has felt SO long and we still have a few months to go.  Our new arrival will come home with us in February if everything goes as planned.  I can't imagine 9/10 months of an actual pregnancy.
  • It will cost us almost 4 times more money to get puppy, than it would be to have a baby.  I know over time, things will swing the other way, but I find it pretty amusing.  (I'm comparing the hospital delivery costs after insurance, to our adoption fee.)  Crazy right?



The people behind CraigEasy contacted me a few weeks ago after seeing my post on 6 tips to Mastering Craigslist and I regret to say I didn't have a chance to test it out until now.  I had a bit of time this weekend and finally got around to testing it out, and was so excited I finally did!  Basically their 'Easy' button translates all the endless Craiglist listings into only titles with images.

 It makes scrolling through the endless listings SO much faster.  There is no program to install either, simply go to their site CraigsEasy.com and drag the orange 'Easy' button to your tool-bar area.  (They have two quick videos you can watch if you aren't sure what I'm talking about.)  Visit craigslist as you normally would and search for whatever you like, then hit the easy button on your toolbar and it will translate the site into image like the photo above!  If you click on a listing it will bring you to the standard craigslist listing.
So easy!
We may be having Thanksgiving at our house this year, so I'm on the prowl for a decent table and chairs to accomodate our guests!

What do you think?  Will you CraigsEasy?

*I was contacted by the people behind CraigsEasy alerting me to their site, I have not received anything for this review.


Last Minute Halloween Prep....

This will be our first Halloween in the new house. We were forewarned by our neighbors to buy lots of candy, since apparently our neighborhood is a trick-or-treating Mecca. People come from all the surrounding towns to hit our neighborhood due to the close proximity of houses and abundance of sidewalks. We have been slowly stocking up on candy, and while I still need to get some more, that is the least of my concerns. We have been in our house for 5 months now and there is one room that is still entirely empty, the future dining room. As luck would have it, this is the ONLY room that you can see from the front door. I freaked out that our neighbors were going to think we were crazy people with no furniture in their house handing candy out to their kids.

So I pulled together a make-shift dining room, using things we already had in other parts of the house. It works for now at least, although completely out of scale.

I put two large cracks in the plaster wall hanging frames. Awesome.

I also carved pumpkins Funkins. I was really not feeling the cleaning pumpkin guts thing, so I bought fake ones. I don’t think my mom was impressed. I’m not a scary face pumpkin kind of girl, so I just carved our address, (in size 666 font of course).

Happy Halloween!


Bespoke Silhouette Bangles....

Some people choose to engrave their wedding bands with their wedding date or names - but this is taking that to a whole new level!  At Cameo by RUX you can create a custom band with a using the profile of your loved one!
Can you see the profile of the faces? 

I'm pretty sure this is the coolest thing since sliced bread.
AND for those of us that already have our wedding rings, they have bespoke bangles!

Now I just need to figure out which anniversary is 'Resin' so I can convince the boy to buy me one!
Images from Cameo by RUX


Handwritten Notes....

I'm taking a page from one of my favorite bloggers (and people!) Meredith.  If you don't follow her over at &Unlimited you are missing out on fabulous photos, a cute dog named Orvis and fun words like 'micnic'.

Once a week she does "Magazine Mondays" ~ this is my version.

My new issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived this week and I was immediately drawn to the section entitled "Worth Doing Well - Thank You Notes".
 Stationery by 4th&Folded, Photo by &Unlimited

Thank-You notes are such a simple way to show gratitude, and in today's digital age I think they have become more meaningful than ever before.  As the article states "How often do you post emails on your fridge or place them in a keepsake box under your bed?"  I'll admit I'm guilty of not sending them nearly often enough.

The author, Abigail Libers, suggests a few quick tips to achieving the perfect thank-you ~

1. Timing - In today's age it is entirely appropriate to send a quick email first if the gift arrived in the mail letting the sender know it arrived safe.  You should always follow up with a handwritten note in a few days.
If you are anything like me, and sending notes promptly is not always the case, don't start the note with an apology, mention it as a PS.  Ex. 'PS. If I had a nickel for every time I thought to send this'

2. Start and End on positive notes, and avoid starting with 'Thank-You' as it shows a lack of imagination.  (I'm guilty of this one too!)  Be specific, include the occasion it was received for and details of how you plan on using the gift.  Its always nice to mention if someone has complimented you on the gift!

3. 'If it came in wrapping paper, you should write a note' - Margaret Shepherd.

My own personal tip, is to have stationery that you love on hand - its much easier to remember to send a note quickly if you don't have to go out searching for the perfect card!  On that note, I think I'm going to go design some -


7 things you may not know about me....

Kristin over at Bien Living graced me with this :

With this award, I am supposed to pass the award on to 5 other bloggers, and list 7 things that you may not know about me-

Tag You're It...
Bijou Lovely
Minted Life
Life After Lobster
Moments Pass Slow

7 Things
1. If given the opportunity I will eat Nutella straight out of the jar, and it be gone in less than a week.

2. I have ‘practice – sketchbooks’ and real sketchbooks. I’m too nervous to write all my thoughts/ideas down in my ‘actual’ sketchbook. I think this is from years of reading ‘found lost sketchbooks’ type things from long-dead architects. What if I write a stupid note to myself and someone finds it 200 years from now. Perfectionist much?

3. I don’t have a Mac. I always get gasps about this one since I’m a ‘designer’ and all. 2 Reasons a) They didn’t make AutoCAD for Macs until very recently (like within the past few weeks). b) The boy is an engineer, he can fix/take apart/re-build a PC no-problem, but a Mac would be the equivalent of Chinese finger trap for him. I enjoy having my IT staff in-house.

4. When I lived in Italy I didn’t like wine. Tragic, I know, and I think about it every-single-day. Talk about a wasted opportunity. I still drank it of course, but I didn’t appreciate it like I would now. I love wine now.

5. It really bothers me when my toenails are shorter than the end of my toe. I don’t like seeing the nail stop short of where it wants to go, it is trying to protect the top of my toe (which I need because I’m consistently clumsy) and I’m going to let it do its job; much to the chagrin of my pedicurists.

6. I'm loose (and not in the sexual way).  I'm very flexible, especially in my arms/shoulders.  If my hands are handcuffed behind my back, my shoulders are flexible enough to allow me to rotate them around to the front of my body.  I should do a video of this - it's kind of gross.

7. I only wear my hair completely down maybe 30 days a year.  It's curly and unruly and I'm lazy.


Reason #7904 I love my husband....

On a recent trip to Home Depot, while perusing the moulding section, my husband casually suggested maybe we do black moulding instead of white.
I just about melted in his arms right there.


it is not me....

I have google alerts set up to monitor my name/business/etc. The spelling of my first name is not a common way of spelling it, so I don’t get too many un-related hits. There is, however, a plus size model – whose name is exactly the same as mine. Typically she’s a good girl and her photos are pretty. But apparently she’s down on her luck because I got a hit today which included my, her, our? name and a number of graphic keywords from mstrbate dot com (no I didn’t click on the link).

Just in case you were concerned, it is not me.

Do you share your name with anyone?


Happy *Early* Holidays....

I had a few spare minutes over the weekend (and by spare I mean, time acquired by procrastinating the finish any of the other projects I had already started), and decided to whip up a few potential Christmas card designs.  I'm trying to be really proactive about getting our cards out early this year, since I never got around to sending out 'We've Moved' cards and I want people to know our new address (because getting snail mail is my favorite thing ever).

Design [A] : Bow

Design [B] : Ribbon

I may still make some tweaks to the colors, or completely change it up....only time will tell.
I think we'll probably end up with Option [B] since the boy thinks Option [A] is a little sexist, but then again he wont see or sign them before they go out, and would likely never know.....

Which is your favorite?


Adore Home

I have to admit that I'm loving all the online magazines as of late. 
Have you seen this one yet? Adore Home
It's full of bright pops of color, classic lines and essentially, right up my alley.

How do you feel about online magazines?