I might like pumpkin…

It might not be news to you guys that I love pretty much everything pumpkin. When August hits, I have this uncontrollable urge to go fall crazy. Football…cooler weather…baking season…comfort food….spicy pumpkin scents.

Yep. I love it all.

Now, the minute Bath and Body Works comes out with pumpkin products, I tend to a go a little crazy. Labor Day weekend, however, it’s like they were in my head. They offered a pumpkin pail that weekend, and I was STOKED.

Pumpkin B&BW Basket

I mean…that pumpkin bath poof? Ugh. I LOVE it all. I’m going to smell of pumpkin spice all fall and winter…I have no issues with this. :-)

Then, since I’m obsessed with home scents, I went crazy with candles. I have to admit, I usually go with candles at Bath & Body Works or Yankee Candles. However, after reading rave reviews on Jessica’s blog last year, I decided to give Candles by Victoria a try.

Her prices are comparable to other brands, and she always offers 10% off with code: cbvictoria (or sometimes more if you check out her Facebook page). You do have to pay for shipping, but I’m OK with that. I love the idea of supporting a family business, and these candles are SO scented….it makes my old candles seem like they barely smell like anything. These candles have spoiled my nose.

Pumpkin Candles (Candles by Victoria)

I’ve already made a few orders. These are just the pumpkin-y scents I purchased. She has about 900 scents to choose from (yeah..), so this definitely helps to give me my pumpkin-y fix for the fall. I also purchased some holiday scents and normal bakery scents. My current favorite scents from her shop are gooey pumpkin butter cake (I know, right?), buttercream, pink cupcake, and pumpkin cupcake.

And the two candles in the center? I can’t even. The one on the left is Maple Butter Pumpkin Frap and the one on the right is Pumpkin Gingerbread Splash. Wouldn’t these be adorable as gifts? They’re just too pretty to burn…well, almost. :-)

And then of course….there is this. Not at all pumpkin scented…smells more like outside, but this is the cutest pumpkin ever. EVER.

Happy Halloween!

Yay for the Fall! What are your fall favorites?

Disclosure: I purchased all of the mentioned products with my own money. These opinions are 100% my own. I just love pumpkin/pumpkin spices. I also like to randomly plug in pictures of my dog whenever I can. :-)

New Bathroom Curtains

We’ve lived in the new house for about four months now. It’s sort of weird to think that it’s really been four months already. Back when we viewed this house, I took a ton of pictures and decided that some things needed to change.

These curtains were one of them.

Bathroom Curtains (before)

These curtains just aren’t our style at all. I’m into modern, geometric patterns and sheer lace-y sage green just doesn’t fit the bill.

It stinks that it took me four months to get to this, but I’ve been trying to get in the craft room more often to de-stash. I think I own way too many craft materials, especially since my husband nearly panicked when he saw how full the closet in the craft room was. Yikes!

So, I need to get some projects done. The bathroom curtains were one of them. I’ve had this fabric sitting in a folded pile for almost a year now. I won a giveaway on a blog, and the credit got me two yards of this super cute home decor chevron fabric.

This morning, I decided today was the day. Two hours later, our bathroom had new curtains. :-) What do you think? (Note: our bathroom windows are not see-through…they’re frosted, so no one can see in.)

Bathroom Curtains

My next personal project to help me de-stash? I think it’s time to attempt my college t-shirt quilt. Just getting that project done will move a huge laundry bag full of shirts out of the craft room’s closet. :-) I’ve been really looking forward to making that quilt too, so I can’t wait to get started on it!

Oh, what paint can do!

It’s crazy to think that we closed on our new house exactly one month ago (when I wrote this yesterday). One month ago, we were cleaning an empty house that would soon become our home. :-)

When we had the inspection done on our home prior to the closing, the inspector pointed out that our house would soon need a fresh coat of paint and some minor caulking around the exterior. It wasn’t a huge deal to us, since paint isn’t really that expensive. With this news, we had a decision to make. Keep the colors or change it up a little?

Here’s a refresher so you can see the color of our house on the day that we closed.


The New House

We decided that the green just wasn’t for us. So, we went to Sherwin Williams on a weekend where paint was 40% off and started brainstorming some colors. I really should admit, I stink at choosing paint colors. I just don’t have a knack for it. However, my husband? That’s totally his thing. The only color we debated on was the color for the doors and the shutters…Joey wanted a dark olive green color and I wanted a dark chocolate color. In the end, we ended up going with the dark chocolate color as a compromise.

Just to note, we hired someone to do the painting. Exterior painting/caulking is something we leave to the pros. :-)

Here’s our house now:
New House

The colors on the house are from Sherwin Williams: Paper Lantern, Lanyard and Chateau Brown.

What do you think? To me, it looks like a completely different house! I love what a couple coats of paint can do.

Bye Bye 1980s

So, our house is about 25 years old. When we moved in, there were a lot of things reminiscent of the 80s. Wood looking laminate floors, really old closet doors and well, in our bathrooms, super ugly pink formica countertops.

It was always something we wanted to change, but we knew it would be a fairly large financial change. We originally thought to do granite, but the quotes to do such small amount of work were just terribly nauseating. At that point, we knew we wanted to DIY, but heck, what a huge project to take on!

We actually thought about using a pre-cut piece of formica that looked like faux granite. However, the measurements were for kitchen counters…2 inches longer than needed to go over our cabinets. :(

So, we decided on tile. This was the most fun part for me. I love choosing things like this for our house, and after a couple of trips to Lowes and Home Depot, we ended up choosing this for our bathroom.

This ended up being quite a huge undertaking for us (mainly the hubs). We chose a porcelain tile, which is harder to cut than ceramic. The hubs is the power tool genius of the house, and worked HOURS on cutting this tile. He’s awesome.

Here’s how things looked during demolition. That stuff was glued on WELL! Eesh!

Pink Formica

Like I said UGLY pink formica. :(

The hubs really made these counters happen. Not much credit for me, except I did occasionally vacuum up tile pieces and dust, and helped him position tiles as needed. :) Please don’t flame me…our guest bathroom is fairly small, as is the countertop. Two people in there at once ALL THE TIME is a crowd.

The cost of this countertop makeover? Just over $300, including tools that we’re going to use for the master bath redo as well.

OK, I’ll stop rambling and just show you the after.

Gorgeous Tile After

Isn’t it AMAZING? We’re going to eventually end up doing the master bath in the same tile too. Can’t wait…I’ll be able to help much more this time around too.  :)

What house projects are you working on?

A new addition

This weekend, my dog got jealous. Mad jealous. Something was taking up her precious play space, and well, she wasn’t going to have that happen! So, she stared it down, I guess hoping that her eyes would turn into lasers or something and burn this new intrusion into dust.

Millie Aug 15 2010

I bought a table this weekend on Craigslist. Not just any table, but a sewing table. I do already own this table, but it doesn’t look much like furniture, and I thought that a new table in the guest/craft room would look much more welcoming than my current table.

Table Before

As you can see, it’s a little rough looking, and it’s totally sitting on Millie’s play rug as we work on it. She’s an angry pup.

Before: Sewing Table Top

Hubs went to a local hardware store and bought an orbital sander. Look at the gorgeous wood that was hiding underneath!

What's Underneath

Now, the dilemma. Originally, I was inspired by Heather Bailey’s studio furniture and thought I could paint this a gorgeous turquoise color and distress it slightly to give it an antiqued look. However, the hubs mentioned that her furniture that had a lot of detail that made the paint job look awesome. Also, now seeing this wood underneath, I want to stain it (a la Young House Love).

Now, the problem is, the table-top folds out revealing a drawer for the sewing machine to sit in, but that drawer is veneer, not solid wood. We’re sure it’s plastic veneer, so you can’t sand that down to reveal bare wood, meaning it can’t be stained, but possibly painted. I’m thinking of staining the wood that you can see, and when you fold out the table, it reveals a fun painted color (where the veneer is)? What do you think I should do? I really need help/advice on this.

Done and done!

My first quilt has been quite a great experience. I learned a lot about sewing straight lines and really feel proud that it all started with this. I now have a fun blanket that will keep me warm, and I’ll cherish it even more since it all started from a few yards of Hobby Lobby fabric. Amazing, no?

This quilt is a tied quilt with some funky green yarn that I had in my knitting stash. Yeah, I have a stash of yarn too…eep!

Yarn Close-Up

I found this to be an excellent quilt for a beginner and it gave me much confidence to try this again! I can’t recommend this book enough to people. I’ve learned the most from this book, as well as sewing blogs. :)

Without further ado, here is the quilt. Isn’t it just so much fun? It’s now hanging over a loveseat in our living room until I can figure out a permanent place for it. :)

Finished Quilt

Oh, and another thing? I finally hung up our fleur de lis from the painting class we took last week. Hubs is embarrassed of his painting, but hey, I think they look great in our room!


By the way, feel free to leave lots of comments with painting love for the hubs. He thinks his painting is terrible…he needs a boost. :)

A bright weekend..

My husband and I have been cleaning maniacs for the past week and a half. We tackled clutter, dog hair, dust bunnies…you name it. It was really gross how much dust can accumulate in a month. Why the sudden urge? Well, we decided to host a party for our families on Saturday!

Besides cleaning, I had a little sewing to do as well, because I’m nuts like that.

I’m sure you remember when I purchased these pretty fabrics.
Fabric for Bunting

I was definitely going to make bunting with them because I have a sore spot for bunting lately. Plus, how easy are little triangles? I also was planning to make napkins, but realized that my guests probably wouldn’t care and Party City napkins would work just as well.

I was trying to think of other ways to incorporate the fabrics into the table decor. I originally thought a long table runner would be nice, but I quickly imagined our puppy pulling the runner to the ground and playing with it like a new toy. So, I shortened it, incorporating most of the fabrics in there, and it served as part of the centerpiece.

table decor

You can tell it’s not ironed…funny story. The centerpiece fabric  has fusible fleece on the inside, and not thinking, I placed the iron on the fusible fleece as I was assembling the top, fleece and bottom together. There is heck of a LOT of residue on that iron now from that mistake, and I can’t use it on fabric until I get it off. I hope this stuff does the trick.

Oh, and here is the bunting. This was after the guests left and my feet were basically jello from standing up for hours, prepping, cooking, etc. Right after this picture, I basically glued my head to the  pillow and I was out until hubs woke me up.
party decor

I will say the work was worth it, and the party was an awesome success! I’m still getting the hang of hosting large parties, and I was so glad that everyone loved the food! If you want to see food-wise how it went down, check out this post on the ol’ food blog!

How was your weekend?

And there are happy times…

I’ve been in such a funk lately, but don’t judge me too harshly. I’m living in the Louisiana Summer right now. The afternoons went from pleasantly breezy to horribly disgusting. It’s to the point where my car air conditioner JUST balances out the searing heat, but I never feel cold in my car anymore.

Most of the time, I can’t help to think of all the negatives that summer brings. It takes a good awakening to realize that things are, in fact, amazing.

Millie 5/12/2010

Millie had a 3 inch long coat of fur a week ago (she’s been groomed since). It’s the border collie in the Heinz 57 that she is. She decided to look up at me and just smile in the middle of the summer heat. Sure, she’s probably hot as hell, but she’s still amazingly happy. I love her for that. I need to think like her.

So, I thought of the positives of summer. LSU is out, so traffic is substantially less. The tomatoes are ripening and peppers are finally growing. Snowball stands are open (even though I’m on diet, I will occasionally splurge on my wedding cake snowball). And also, summer parties.

I’m very excited to be having my family over next weekend. We’re throwing a huge party, and I’m going all Hostess with the Mostess with party colors/theme. I know it won’t be as pretty as her parties, but I’m hoping it will impress. :)

I even found inspiration at Hobby Lobby today. It’s not quite the 4th of July yet, but I can’t help but do some red and (aqua) blue.

Yes, I’m sure you’ve been seeing that color combination everywhere lately. Go ahead, call me a copycat, because I’m going with that color palette. :)

Fabric for Bunting

I love hosting parties with the hubs, and seeing everyone have a great time. Parties also make me super excited about my food blog. I enjoy it when I have quite a few fun recipes to blog about. :)

So, it’s time for me to get out of this funk. I need to remember that there are some positives to think about and enjoy in this hot, gloomy Summer. However, if I ever forget, I know I’ll have this face to help me remember. :)

Millie Smiles

What are some positives that your summer is bringing?

Cheap Centerpiece!

I have been wanting to add some cute, classic centerpieces to our dinner table for quite some time. I was able to do this centerpiece for less than $20. I’m probably going to decorate it for every holiday too. I’m pretty excited!

Don’t hate on the iPhone pic! :)

This isn’t too fancy, but it’s pretty classic. I purchased two hurricane vases from Ulta, of all places, because they were clearancing out these vases because they were free with fragrance purchases around Christmas. Afterwards, they were both $6.99 to purchase!

Last night, I went to Hobby Lobby to buy some fabric (yep, I’m sewing now..can’t wait to blog about it!) and found these 2 candles for 50% off, as well as the marbles. Total cost? About $9.00…gotta love sales!

I can’t wait to dress these with some Mardi Gras ribbon and beads! :)

Surviving the Holidays: DIY Decor

A lot of stores like to take advantage of the holiday season. Prices for decor can be completely outrageous, but it’s classic, beautiful and you feel like you gotta have it for your home.

Well, if they can make it, there is a good chance you can make something similar or almost identical for a FRACTION of the cost!

For example, I came across this wreath and was seriously smitten.


Really? $79? How about MAKING it for $20? :)

That’s right folks, $20. I bought a fake pine wreath and sparkly foliage at Michaels for $5, as well as a few boxes of ornaments from Wal-Mart for $15!

Supply List:

  • fake pine wreath
  • wire cutters
  • floral wire
  • hot glue gun/glue
  • ornaments in different sizes
  • ribbon
  • fake snowy or sparkly foliage

First, fluff up the wreath. Basically move around the branches to make the wreath look fuller.

Now, hot glue the ornaments to the top part of the ornament. This is to ensure that the ornament ball doesn’t just pop off in the wind or anything like that.

Then, wire the ornaments, 2 or 3 per wire and tie each wire around the back of the wreath and twist until secure.

After you have it situated the way you like it, start hot gluing in foliage randomly on the side of the wreath. Hot glue a bow to the bottom of the wreath and voila! Instant classic ornament wreath. :)

Here’s a close-up of the ornaments with the sparkly winter foliage that I chose.

I can’t wait to put this bad boy on the door! :)