Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No more secrets!

It is huge for me to post before photos of our master closet...HUGE.  It was an embarrassment.  The rest of my house is clean and organized 99% of the time, but for some reason I could not manage to keep any order in the closet!  I have been talking for years (!!) about how I need to just get in there, sort through everything, donate the unnecessary, and call it a day...but nope...I just kept letting it get worse and worse!  It was definitely my dirty little secret...but not anymore!!!  I spent a good part of the weekend going through piles and piles of old sorority/fraternity formal t-shirts, shorts I haven't worn since college, shoes covered in a nice layer of dust...OMG.  I even found one of my favorite shirts that I thought was surely gone forever.  It was a happy reunion.  :)  The amount of #@$;%*^# wire hangers we had is shocking.  My husband's shirts for work are dry-cleaned and those hangers just began to take over.  I let it happen.

Have a nice life, wire hangers:

I would love to say they we got new beautiful wooden hangers for everything, but since I have an aversion to folding clothes and putting them in drawers and I hang everything, all wooden hangers would have been very expensive.  I really mean everything...like my 54 tanks in every color of the rainbow...I am not joking.

I think we will gradually switch over to all wooden, but in the interest of not spending a small fortune, I opted for all black hangers.  I do have one wooden hanger on a hook, not only as a reminder that we will one day have all wooden, but as the hanger for my outfit for the next day.  Now for some photos!!

View from the doorway...before vs after:

My husband's side of the closet...before vs after:

My side of the closet...before vs after:

That cubed shelf above is a cd shelf I have had since college.  It is now the home to my scarves and a few tops I no longer wear, but that have sentimental value.  :)  I also have a few of my favorite InStyle and Vogue magazines up there for inspiration and my little stool (actually a side table from Target, on sale for $13) for when I need to sit and put on shoes or flip through the magazines when I am hiding from my family need to reach a scarf.  ;)

My jewelry was taking over my husband's dresser, so I decided it needed a house of its own.  I found two flatware sorters for $5 at Marshall's for my necklaces, and a multi-shelf cabinet organizer step thing (?) also for $5 from Marshall's for my earrings.  The tray I had elsewhere in our home and the little white pinch pot housing my rings was made by my niece.

I just cannot even begin how to express how much nicer it is having a clean, organized, cheery closet!! 

 ...I am trying to think of some sort of project for all of those wire hangers.  Any ideas?  ;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dirty Little Secret

Happy Monday!! I am so beyond excited for tomorrow's post!! The following images inspired me to make a big change in our home and conquer my dirty little secret:

The two images above are from Nicole Balch's (of Making it Lovely) gorgeous closet.

closets contemporary closet

dominomag- closet idea eclectic closet
eclectic closet design image found via Houzz

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a fun reveal!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cupcake Friday!

I have a new favorite cupcake blog to share this Cupcake Friday.  Each week Kristen, of  The Weekly Cupcake,  posts beautiful step-by-step instructions with photos, the recipe, and its source.  Here are a few of her finished products:

Cookies 'n Cream Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting
Stout Cupcakes with Whiskey Ganache and Bailey's Buttercream
Lime Cupcakes with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
Deep Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Don't they look and sound delicious??  I was going to try to take a week off of baking, but I am thinking I need to make some cupcakes on Saturday or Sunday.  Be sure to check out  The Weekly Cupcake!!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beauty...Part 3

Take a look at the following photos:

Any guesses as to what is in these images?

Tuesday I made barbecue in the crock pot for dinner and forgot to wash the pot that night.  I put it in the sink to soak the next morning and when it came time to wash it, I was stopped in my tracks.  I stared at it for a second and saw an alligator (crocodile?), a puppy, and an evil eye??...so I grabbed my camera, so my husband would believe me.  As time went on and I kept snapping pictures, the soapy water continued to change.  It kind of morphed into some sort of animal or silhouette, then into a happy face, and then into some freaky pumpkin or monster mask or maybe a dog wearing sunglasses?

Here is a shot of the sink, just in case you don't believe me.  :)

What do you think?  Am I the only one who sees these images?  It reminded me of my post a few weeks back about finding the beauty in rather annoying or mundane things.  So...I found the beauty in a dirty crock pot.  :P

Upon looking at these further, they kind of reminded me of some of the artwork we have in our kitchen/dining/family room:

...or maybe I am just crazy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


We made the best pasta several nights ago with some of the leftover ingredients from our pizza night!  I need to post it, so I can come back when I want to make it again.  This was another one of our creations with no recipe to follow, so I will do my best to make sense of how we did this.  This is nothing fancy, but it was delicious and so easy.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. pappardelle
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
two big handfuls of cherry heirloom tomatoes
two big handfuls fresh basil, chopped
4 oz. goat cheese
1/2 cup chicken stock
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Place chicken breasts in baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
2.  About halfway into the baking of the chicken, place whole tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a saucepan and drizzle with olive oil.  Cover and cook over medium heat until the tomatoes burst.
3.  Boil the pasta.
4.  While the pasta is cooking, alternate adding the goat cheese and the chicken stock to the tomato mixture, making a creamy sauce.
5.  Chop chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and mix into the sauce.
6.  Add pasta and a tiny bit of the pasta water to the sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add chopped fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan just before serving!

There was honestly enough for at least four people, but my husband and I ate every bit of it.  Oink!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I am all about a great cuff with a simple outfit.  I found these by Etsy seller, bringaboutart, and think I need at least one.

These are so different and I just love them!  Click here for more details!


Piggy is a set of two savings banks that nest together. The larger “momma” bank is for a child’s personal savings, and the smaller bank is for the child's charitable savings.
I saw Piggy on Design Milk and thought it was too fantastic not to share.  This has touched me in a way I cannot even explain.  The ideas behind Piggy are the very values I hope to instill in my children, as my parents did with me.  It is very important to me that my husband and I raise our children to have integrity, compassion, gratefulness... and hearts of gold.  Philanthropy will be a part of their daily lives and Piggy seems like such a wonderful way to continue this journey with our son and (possible) future children.
Our son has already participated in two charitable events and I cannot wait to see what we do together next as a family.
His first Race for the CureOctober 2009

We helped prepare dinner for the families staying at our local Ronald McDonald HouseJanuary 2010
If you are interested in learning more about Piggy, please click here

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pac Man

This post is completely random, but for some reason I could not get Pac Man out of my head this weekend. Everywhere we went,  I either saw a child wearing something with PacMan or saw a PacMan bumper sticker or heard the sounds of the game in my head as I was trying to fall asleep on Friday night.  I have vivid memories of playing Pac Man at Pizza Hut with my little league cheering squad and football team on Saturdays after our games.  At least I think I have memories of this!  Ha ha...or maybe I am going crazy, but either way I decided to take this as a sign that I needed to look into this a little further.

Here are some of my awesome finds to re-live a little moment from my childhood (and perhaps, yours too):

Pac Man cupcakes image found here, however I believe the image was swiped from here.   I originally saw them in this post.
Video Couture:  Pac Man earrings and necklace

Maneater Card
Pac Man Fruit
Make your own little Pac-Man game for cupcakes!

And if you missed out on the day you could play Pac Man on Google's main page, click here to play!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Inspire Imagination

I am unsure how I had never heard of this organization before, but I sure am glad to know about it now and thought I would pass it along!

Their Mission: The Art of Elysium, a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization founded in 1997, encourages working actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. We provide artistic workshops in the following disciplines: acting, art, comedy, fashion, music, radio, songwriting and creative writing.

You can make an impact by donating just $25.  That $25 will provide a hospitalized child with their very own art kit and the opportunity for creativity, imagination, and of course, a smile.  :)

There are other ways you can contribute, if interested.  Please visit their site for more information, by clicking on the link below:
The Art of Elysium
3278 Wilshire Blvd - Penthouse
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone: 213-389-3201 

Cupcake Fail...I mean, Friday.

I can only assume the s'mores cupcakes (that I decided I needed to make after seeing post after post about s'mores over the past few weeks) should have looked like these:

image found via Tracey's Culinary Adventures
or perhaps these:
image found via Sew Darn Cute

Oh well...they looked like this:

I have no clue what went wrong with my marshmallow frosting.  It was so runny that I decided to just dip the cupcakes in it.  I followed the recipe from Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor and managed to eat about three cupcakes-worth of the (DELICIOUS) batter before they even made it into the oven.  The cupcakes themselves seemed great, but the frosting was just a mess.  Since they looked so sad, I decided to give one lucky one its own photo shoot:

Despite their less than perfect looks, they were still yummy!  Have a great weekend!!  :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The way I look through a catalog...

My way of looking through the million catalogs I seem to get is a little complex....I mean as complex as browsing a catalog can really get.

1. I quickly flip through and want every single thing I see.

2. I immediately look through again, starting from the back. This time I seem to want/like nothing. Funny how that happens.

3. Several days later, I look through again and find things I didn't see the first or second time...things I find to be really interesting and different. ...kind of like when you watch a movie a million times and see or hear something you never did before.

4. I pull the pages of these found pieces and file them.

5. About a week or so later, I go through that file and decide which things I really like and which things get cut from my wish list.

6. #5 is repeated several times until my list is either non-existent or contains something I really REALLY like/want. I never usually buy anything, but it is sort of fun for me to see how I can think I really need something and only a few weeks later, I don't even like it anymore.

Here are a few CB2 finds from stage 4 of my process...I wonder which ones will make my final cut...

pulley pendant lamp

russian nesting dolls, set of six
stikit tape dispenser
birch storage boxes, set of four
laugh 20" pillow
8-piece seven fortunes miniature vase set
red bird pillow

I am unsure if any of these will be cut from my list!!..I really love all of them.