Monday, March 21, 2011

Moving on...

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It is with mixed emotions that I tell you, this is my last post on cupcake monkey.  I thought dropping down to only one post a week would be fine for me, but it turns out it just is not.  I still find myself almost obsessed with things to post and with checking in with other blogs daily and while I love doing that, it turns into another obsession...an obsession with "stuff."  I want everything I see and it is making me ridiculous.  I have also seen some ugliness in the blog world (definitely not from any of you!) and it is making it clear that I want a break from all of it.  Sooo, that's all for cupcake monkey!  I realize this sounds incredibly dramatic and like I am fishing for attention and I can assure you that I am not!  :)  I always hated when blogs I used to frequent would just end with no explanation, so I wanted to let you know what was going on.  I'll still check in here and there at other blogs, just not regularly.  Thanks so much to those of you who have stuck with me this long!  Your friendship and support have been wonderful!!


Suzie

Love of a photo...turned master bedroom re-design...

Happy Monday!

I know that title really makes no sense, but here is the story...I mentioned last week that my husband was out of town and when he is gone, I go home project crazy.  I decided it was time that we finish our master bedroom.  I have been through a whole army of throw pillows, but none of the combinations I have come up with over the years have been right.  I found an old magazine article I had ripped out describing batik fabrics. I knew Etsy wouldn't let me down, so I typed in 'batik fabric pillow' just to see what would pop up and saw this:

SISTERBATIK

I fell in love with the photo...not just the pillow, but the whole look.  Then I found this one:


and I really fell in love.  I just love that pillow.  I mean I LOVE that pillow.  I can't explain it...kind of how I can't explain how I love my husband.  I just do.  It is so beautiful, so different from other things out there...I am in love with it.  For real.  So after coming back to that photo easily 400 times, I took a break and went through some of my favorite blogs.  I was reading a post (can't remember which one) on The Decorista and the very first comment was from SisterBatik.  Sign #1 I need that pillow.  A few minutes later over at Look Linger Love, I did a search for pillows because I remember I had fallen in love with one of hers and just wanted to check out some of her color schemes for inspiration and found this post!  Somehow I missed it when posted back in January...Sign #2.  


Sign#3...who really needs more than two signs, right?  I decided to sleep on it and then obsessed a little more the next morning.  Then I pulled the trigger and ordered it.

As you may know now, when I like something, I obsess about it for a while.  After I made the purchase, I went to their blog and looked through it forever...completely enthralled by the colors of the photos...kind of like a child.  :)  The photos of their studio, loaded with all of their beautiful fabric just made me so happy:




In addition to all of their gorgeous pillow covers, they also make lavender sachets and a variety of bags.  You really must take a peek at SisterBatik's shop and their blog!

I can't wait to get moving on the bedroom re-do!  For now, here is how I am feeling:


~Those window panels have already been purchased...just waiting for them to arrive.

~That fantastic Michelle Armas painting NEEDS to be in my bedroom.  My husband says he reads my blog.  We shall see.  Honey, I want it!!  Mother's Day will be here soon!  :)

~That pillow!!...my soon-to-be-pillow...I hope it arrives soon!  :)

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Happy Week!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Green for St. Patty's Day?

Can you guess how I'll be sportin' green for St. Patrick's Day?  I am over at hello, splendor today to tell you all about it!  Here is a clue:

I guess it's pretty obvious.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Before & After: My Laundry Room Makeover! ...and some other stuff.

Our laundry room was in sad sad shape.  It was just plain white and just plain boring.  Honestly, I hated being in there and since laundry has to be done, I decided I needed to make the space a little happier.  It is also the first room you see if entering the house from the garage...definitely time for a makeover, since first impressions are so important.  

Here are the depressing before shots:




Pretty dreadful, right?  Now for the after shots:










A few details:
1.  Paint:  Naturalist Gray, by The Freshaire choice (a Glidden brand) in semi-gloss (on sale for $14/gallon).
I agonized over painting the ceiling the same color.  After reading this article,  Why do Americans have a fascination with white ceilings?,
I was finally not feeling like I had to have a white ceiling.  I admit to doing it partly because it was so much easier, but also because I thought it would look great.  I am happy with the results.
2.  Rug:  HomeGoods $20  I needed a punch of color and also something to prevent our dog from ice skating out to the garage when we leave the house because he is deathly afraid of the vacuum.  It is a little more hidden now, but he knows it is there.  This rug makes his exit better for everyone.
3.  I added a hook (an extra one we have had for years from Pottery Barn) for his leash.  For some reason we never had a real home for it and always had to go on a hunt for it.  Now it has it's own place.
4.  The mirror by the door:  We have two.  One is here and the other one I decided to put in here with magnets for last minute messages I might need before running out.  Also not a bad idea to check your face before leaving the house.  :P
5.  The photos are from my son's first birthday photo shoot with my friend, Adrian of Canyon Photography.  Looking at his sweet face makes laundry a bit easier.
6.  Doesn't  everyone have a bowl of fake oranges in their laundry room?  ;)

It's really nothing spectacular, but I can honestly say I now love being in there and love leaving the laundry door open.  My son loves it too and likes to bring in a stack of books to look through on the rug, while I fold clothes.  :)
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When my husband goes out of town, I usually spend the time doing home projects.  While on his trip to New Orleans, I did this laundry room makeover.  He had to go out of town again the following weekend and this time, had he been spying on me, he would have thought I was a complete crazy person.  Each night after my son went to bed, I fluttered around the house re-arranging accessories, mentally making over rooms, enlarging a photo of a pillow I have fallen in love with and then placing the laptop on my bed to visualize what it will look like, since I have no desire to ever learn how to use Photoshop.  I watched all of my ridiculous, trashy tv and looked through countless magazines and catalogs, all while wearing a mud mask and giving my hair a deep conditioning treatment.  I also ate Indian food (which he doesn't really like) and wine one night, banana pancakes and wine the next night, and a sleeve of Thin Mints and wine for dinner the last night!  That bottle of wine (which he really would have hated) only cost $3.99, so I felt completely justified in purchasing that pillow I mentioned above.  I will share more about that next week.  :)

My son and I also tried getting photos of ourselves to send him while he was away.  Using a camera timer with a toddler is tricky, but we did manage to get these shots:



I hope you had a wonderful weekend and have a great week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I love...

~MARDGRAS!!~

This time of year in New Orleans and its surrounding areas is simply amazing.  There are so many parades to see in the days leading up to (and then of course tomorrow on) Mardi Gras.   It is such a wonderful experience that I feel everyone must do once.  We had the pleasure of living in New Orleans for almost four years and while there, my husband started participating in the Caesar parade.  Since moving, he still takes part when he can and this year was no exception.  My son and I had planned to go (this is family-friendly, I promise I would not put my son in a bad situation) and then I started stressing about food because of his allergies, naps, crazy crowds, and so I decided we would stay home.  I gave my husband strict instructions to take lots of pictures and he did!  The theme for the parade this year was 'When I Grow Up.'  His particular float's theme was 'I Want to be a Rockstar': 


That's him on the left.  :)


Some other floats in the staging area before the parade started:










The crowded streets during the parade:




Since I wasn't able to go on the trip and enjoy the food, I thought it would be perfect to try out some recipes from my New Orleans cookbook.  I am so glad I finally did!  I made these this past Saturday night for dinner and they came out beautifully.  I just scanned the recipes from the cookbook to avoid making this post even longer.  If you are interested in the recipes, just click on them to enlarge.  :)






















This soup was delicious!  We actually ended up having it on Sunday for lunch because by the time I was done making it,  I was too hot and I didn't feel like eating it!  Ha!  We had cheesesteaks on the patio, instead.

This souffle was fantastic.  It was so simple and easy and went perfectly with the soup.

We enjoyed both on our patio on Sunday afternoon.  Absolute perfection:


Now I kind of want to make these:
pastry crowns filled with cheesecake mousse and topped with glazed banana bits


If you have never been, you really owe yourself a trip to New Orleans.  It is way more than just Bourbon Street, boobs, and booze, I promise.
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For some reason, every time my husband is out of town for a few days, I feel the need to paint something.  This time while he was in New Orleans, I gave our laundry room a makeover.  It was long overdue.  I will share that transformation next Monday!


Have a wonderful week!


[ I apologize for the weird spacing.  I have no idea what was going on there, but my laptop almost went through a window a few times.]

Monday, February 28, 2011

Letters!

~ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~

My sister reminded me a while back that when I was younger, I carved my initials into the side of my Dad's car. These were no tiny initials...I seriously carved one foot letters onto his car door. I have no clue why and when questioned, I tried to blame a friend.  ???

 My son has quite the fascination with letters. "B" was the first letter he learned and for quite a while, every letter was "B". Now he knows almost the whole alphabet and loves to point them out when we are out, when he sees them on signs or boxes or whatever might have a letter.  In my true fashion, I had to scour the WWW for fabulous letter images.  Here is my tribute:

C is for C O L O R

large wood letter D

Make your own alphabet crayons!

Make your own alphabet marshmallows!

letter pillows

modern classics alphabet poster

vanilla poppy seed letter soap

And then when I came across this birthday party, I think I squealed:


Mia and Mike's Alphabet Birthday Party


And then I saw this and it sealed it for me:


alphabet/flashcard party

What a perfect theme for my son's second birthday!  Yay!  This stuff excites me a little too much, perhaps.  My head is spinning!!  Eeeeeee!!  Oh well.  Let the party-planning begin!!  [His birthday is in June, in case you had no idea just how crazy I am.  Ha ha!]

His love for letters started last year just before his first birthday.  Photo by the fabulous Adrian of Canyon Photography, taken in June 2010

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My husband was in New Orleans this past weekend, participating in the Caesar parade.  I cannot wait to share his pictures next Monday for a special New Orleans/Mardi Gras tribute!

Have a great week!!  I can't even believe March starts tomorrow!