Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunday at the Park

Gracie's first time on a swing!

I am so lucky to have these girls in my life!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rustic Serenity Bathroom

Look at this gorgeous bathroom remodel, spotted over at Design*Sponge. All the elements were thoughtfully chosen by the owners. I love the white brick wall, the reclaimed wood shelves, and the dresser-turned-vanity. This is totally my inspiration for my master bath one day!

all images via Design*Sponge

Oreos are Evil

Grace and I joined the masses at Costco this morning. Everyone else was stocking up on water, milk and bread in preparation for Hurricane Irene. We were getting San Pellegrino and Hansen's soda because we had coupons! Grace decided that she wanted to feel everything she passed, so it took me a while to get through the store.

Her exact words when she saw the sheepskin rugs: OOOOHH!

Even Grace knows that bathroom rugs are yucky, hence her less-than-enthralled expression.

Hmmm...these towels are a little better!

And now to the finale: the evil Oreo cookie sample!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

National Harbor

National Harbor for brunch, August 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Grace wandered into my closet while I was reading my e-mail and this is how I found her...

Grace trying on my favorite necklace, August 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sick Weekend

Three out of the four people in my family are sick with the flu this weekend.  Guess who is the well person who has to take care of them all?  Yay.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Breakfast and Antiquing...before it all went bad...

Grace coming home from "antiquing" in Clifton with her aunt Michou and Mama.

....and as we were headed out to our second destination, Luckett's Store, Sophie's school called and said she was feeling sick.  I picked her up, and she projectile vomited in the back of the car.....beautiful day over.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicken Breast Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are one food that I can count on my kids eating.  Unfortunately, the options for healthier nuggets are pretty limited, not to mention that the meat is usually "mysterious".  So, when I ran across a "Real Simple" recipe, I knew I had to try it.  And you know what--it was so easy and delish.  And where else can you get organic chicken nuggets?  I've already made it twice in a week!

Here's how:

1. Cut chicken breast into 1-inch pieces.

2. Season the chicken breast pieces with salt and pepper.

3. Dip into buttermilk.

4. Drag it through flour.

5. Fry in 1/2 inch of light oil, like Canola.

6. Drain off the pieces of chicken on a dish lined with paper towels.  Let cool and enjoy!

Singing in the Rain

Sophie, August 2011

Random Obsessions

The Napa Valley...

....and specifically, Calistoga Ranch *sigh*

Private cabins at Calistoga Ranch, nestled among the trees.

and outdoor showers!

all images via Calistoga Ranch

Friday, August 5, 2011

Homemade Linen Pinboard and Photo Display

Remember a while ago, I posted about a DIY Photo Display? Well, it's something that I've been wanting to do for a long time, but I wanted to cover an entire wall and couldn't find anyplace that sold bulletin boards in the large size that I needed. Pottery Barn sells big linen pinboards, but at $150 each, it would easily cost me over $1000 to cover my wall. Soooo...I made a wall-to-wall linen pinboard myself for about $100!

Darren and I are not handy people (we wish we were!). So, the fact that we were able to do this project speaks to how simple it really is. The only downside is that the boards are so huge and unwieldy that it's really a 2-person job. Other than that, it was a breeze! I'm thrilled with the results and am excited to share my tutorial with you:

Before: my little photo ledge looked a bit pathetic against that big blank wall.

1. Start off with a big sheet of Homasote.  This is compressed recycled paper that is commonly used for soundproofing.  It's the same size as a sheet of drywall (4 feet by 8 feet) and can be found at Home Depot or lumberyards for about $25 per sheet.  It's not heavy, but it is very big.  Because my wall was so large, I used two entire sheets.

2. Drape your homasote with the fabric of your choice.  You will need 3 yards of fabric to cover an entire sheet of homasote.  I chose white linen and this was the most expensive part of this whole project. It cost me about $65 for all of my fabric.  I've seen people do this with patterned fabric too and that can be very pretty, but it's hard to line up the pattern with the edge of the board.

3. Using a staple gun, staple the fabric to the board.  I used binder clips to hold my fabric up as I stapled.  When I got close to the binder clip, I would remove it and stretch the fabric with my free hand while stapling with my other hand.  Make sure you are pulling the fabric as you go, to ensure a smooth surface.

4. Once the fabric is all stapled, trim off the excess fabric so that you don't have a bunch of loose fabric in the back.  Then, flip the homasote board over and pre-drill holes where you want the screws to be.  I made three holes along the top and three on the bottom.

5. Line up the board against the wall exactly where you want it to go.  This can be very hard if you are using a huge board, like I am.  To manage this, I decided to use my dining table to hold up my board and pushed the board flush up against the wall.  Using the drill again, drill through the holes on the homasote right into the wall.  You are marking the wall where the drywall anchors will go (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this).  Put the homasote board back down and install drywall anchors.

6. Put the homasote board back up, right back in the exact spot where you had it last against the wall.  All the holes should now line up with the drywall anchors.  Screw the board in using drywall anchors and finishing washers (optional).  Once you line up one hole, all the other ones should be a breeze.

Drywall anchor and finishing washer.  I intend to cover these up with photos.

Voila!  Here's the finished project!  I love how it easy it will be to add and change pictures.  Plus, I won't need to spend money on frames every time I want to print out new pictures.  We often have guests over and I think it will be fun for people to look through our family photos and see how we've changed over the years.  I'm looking forward to making new memories to add to our new photo wall!