December in Photos

★ Treated myself to the Shoshanna Amulet from BaubleBar to wear for our annual Eggnog & Dessert party after seeing it here.  I adore this statement necklace.

★ Put the finishing touches on our living room tree and on the blue tree in the hallway.  The lights make me so happy.

★ I’ve been saving this book for December – the perfect book to curl up with on a chilly winter night (it’s My True Love Gave to Me).

★ Lots of baking –  chewy chocolate ginger cookies and orange cranberry mini loaves for our party; cannoli cheesecake for Christmas dinner (my first cheesecake!).

★ Eric took me to an amazingly beautiful display at the Dallas Arboretum of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

★ Participating in a fun book photo challenge and remembering some books from earlier in the year.

★ A holiday isn’t a holiday without a holiday mani!

Share

Playlist: Stormy Weather

Some things I’m loving this week…
tumblr_m6pqggJAJi1qj9geco1_500

Spring is such a transformational time of year and it’s a juxtaposition in extremes – on the one hand full of color and flowers and new life but on the other hand it also brings with it a darker side.  Living in Texas, Spring brings with it storms of a fierceness that is both beautiful and frightening.  This week’s playlist was inspired by just that.

I’ve been obsessing over this polish for what seems like forever.  NARS Stormbird is a gorgeous grey with a blue undertone that was part of their Fall 2012 collection.  Scrangie described it in the bottle as “a thunderstorm brewing inside it”.  I actually own a “dupe” of this color, but I’m still hearing the siren song of Stormbird calling me.

nars_stormbird001

Eric and I recently spent three days watching back to back episodes of the first three seasons of Game of Thrones on On Demand.  I had to talk him into watching it, but after the first few episodes, he was hooked.  Of course, almost every episode we watched included a trailer for Season 4 that was starting that weekend, and the song HBO used was a brilliant choice.  I fell in love with the haunting tune, Chelsea Wolfe’s Feral Love.

 

We both were so glad we managed to get through all three seasons and enjoyed every bit of it.  I’m inspired to conquer reading book 2 now.  And in a strange coincidence, I received an email from one of the ladies in my guild pointing out Michele Carragher’s website.  She is a costume embroiderer who has worked on the costumes for Game of Thrones.  And I love this photo of her.
MICHELE CARRAGHER

I am absolutely amazed at the detail and talent in her amazing pieces.  I’m absolutely enthralled with her work.  I am going to make myself a goal to learn stumpwork and goldwork so I can add them to my needlework repertoire.

In an effort to finish up some of the decorating we’ve been doing at the house, I’ve been spending a bit of time on Houzz, which is a great site for ideas and inspiration, as well as sourcing pieces for home decor.  I was looking through dramatic rooms, specifically those with dark walls and came across this living room.

Of course I love the black walls, but what really struck me was the artwork.  The framed pieces flanking the fireplace are mesmerizing.  Skimming the comments told me that the artist is Todd Murphy.  I believe both of these pieces, the straw goose and the straw dress, were both available through Restoration Hardware at one point.  I loved that the images were floating on a black background, and when hung on a black accent wall the effect is striking.  So, then I went on my own “goose chase” so to speak and found a number of Murphy’s other pieces that I fell in love with.

Todd Murphy-Met. Home 2008

What a statement piece for a room!  I especially love this one…

404689584_HRDu8N6U_c

I’m wishing I could add one of these to my own decor.

What’s on your playlist this week?

Share

Things I Love Thursday

Been awhile since I’ve done a Things I Love Thursday post, so I thought I’d share some things that have been catching my eye lately.

I’m so in love with Sarah Jessica Parker. But after seeing this video, I may love her home more.

Gray Malin‘s photographs from Antarctica. I’ve been following him on Instagram and watching his snapshots from the shoot was just incredible.

anarticagraymalin

I’ve been trying to catch up on some of my DVR’d shows, including The Carrie Diaries.  Saw this Elizabeth and James Raincloud sweater on a recent one and fell in love.

elija4110912567_q1_1-0_336x596

 

And today I stumbled on this amazing powder room redo…gasp…that wallpaper!!!!

PowderRoomAfter3edit

Which, of course, reminded me that I recently ran across another fabulous wallpaper install on Instagram by 101 Things I Love.

c3a16082dac611e297d322000aaa0a71_7

So many lovely wallpaper options these days.

And finally – this song kills me every time I hear it.  #sofunny


Here’s to a great rest of the week!  #almost Friday

Share

February in Photos

February 2014 in Photos

How can I possibly sum up my February in 16 photos?! I’m still in the midst of keywording and editing my photos, so I’ll have to make due with just some snapshots for now.  I flew to Germany on the first and from there Sylvia and I traveled by train to Paris.  We rented a little apartment and spent an amazing six days there.  We traveled back to Germany and then had a couple of days in Bavaria.  So different from Paris, but beautiful as well.  I flew home the day before Valentine’s Day and Eric met me at the airport with a bouquet of flowers.  I finished two books on my trip – one on the plane there and then I started/finished the second on the plane home.

These photos bring such a smile to my face.

Share

January in Photos

January 2014 in Photos

January was mostly full of preparing for my Paris trip.  Eric gave me a gorgeous Kelly Moore camera bag (my first camera bag!) for Christmas.  I had a few shopping trips to pick up shoes, PJs, etc.  I even bought a gorgeous tangerine trench to wear!  I made sure to keep up with my cardio at the gym to prep for all that walking we’d be doing.  I even picked the perfect polish to wear.

I finished reading the last of the Stieg Larsson books (so good) and started a new to me series.

Eric made a fabulous King cake to enjoy for Epiphany.

I’m absolutely enamored with the Dracula tv series, and the sets are stunning.  I look forward to this show every week and it never disappoints.

Share

December in Photos

December in Photos

 

December was a very emotional month, full of equal parts joy and sadness.  There was a lot of stuff going on that resulted in a lot of stress, upset, etc. in my world.  So I felt a bit like I was balanced on a razor’s edge throughout the holidays.  But, there was definitely a lot of good stuff in December.

Over the months leading up to the holidays, Eric and I spent some time doing some home improvement and a little bit of decorating.  We really wanted to have some things “done” before we had guests over for our holiday party.  One of the big things we did was buy two rugs.  We bought one for the living room back in October, you may remember, and you can see it in the photo of our dessert table.  At the beginning of December, our second rug arrived for the kitchen.  It took us a long time to finally find something we loved, and as you can see Thutmose loves it too!

We also got snow near the beginning of the month, and ice with it, so we were cozied up in the house for several days waiting for it to thaw out so that the roads were passable.  The ice storm put us a little behind in getting our tree, so we were rushing a bit to decorate this year.  Once all the decorating was done though, I always realize how happy the site of a decorated tree lit up makes me.  It’s amazing the transformation everything goes through at this time of year.  Magical!

I worked on some Christmas projects – one was a mystery stitching piece that a part was released each Sunday from Thanksgiving through December 10th or so.  It’s the little nativity scene you can see.  I loved working on it, and most especially I loved that each Sunday I was able to focus on a related Bible verse and really think about the season.  And I also bought the backing fabric for my Christmas quilt so that I could get it finished up.  Those hot cocoa cups just did me in.  So cute!  One of the things I do love about my time off around the holidays is getting to work on some of my crafty projects while I’m home.

We had our dessert party as usual, which was lots of fun.  Of course, I always love picking out recipes for treats I’m going to make so that each year it’s a little bit different.  I loved the vintage look of our Christmas cards too (Target!).  And Thut’s favorite napping spot was on the table with my Dickens Village.  He was so happy there, and every time we would see him, we’d comment that he was scaring the villagers.  So funny!

We took my niece to see the Trains at Northpark at the end of the month, our other annual tradition.  It included lunch at Pie Five and that chicken pesto pizza is to die for!

I also started and finished the last book in the Beautiful series on one decadent Saturday morning, had my very first macaron, and treated myself to a facial.  Such fun!  So, as I said, there were definitely some great moments of joy and peace during the last month of 2013.

Share

November in Photos

Nov in Photos

November started off with a bang!  The first Saturday I attended a book signing for Christina Lauren for their latest book in the Beautiful series – Beautiful Player.  I’ll have a post up soon on the series and the book signing too, but I finished Beautiful Player shortly after getting it at the signing!  And speaking of books, I also got to go see Catching Fire the night it came out in the theatre – loved it!

I spent some time during the month looking at my in progress craft projects, working on some, and planning for some new things.  One of my big projects towards the end of the month was working on finishing some Christmas ornaments I’d stitched.

Of course, one of the things I was excited about was visiting a local camera store and checking out a variety of camera bags in preparation for my trip to Germany/Paris.  I loved the bright yellow of the one in the photo, but I ended up going with something slightly different.  Post to come on that as well and why I chose what I did.

As the holidays approached, I celebrated with a super blingy manicure – I used my new polish, When Monkeys Fly, over a gold I already had on hand and wowza!!  Eric and I made apple pancakes for breakfast, which is our tradition for Thanksgiving morning, and then watched the parade.  We went to my mom’s for our cozy Thanksgiving dinner and it was really a nice, relaxing day.  So much to be thankful for!

Share

October in Photos

October in Photos 2

So….October.  Is it perhaps an indication of how the last few months have been that I’m just now posting about October?  October is always a crazy crazy month for us.  We see to try to cram in so much stuff in October it leaves my head spinning.  I think I still have photos from last year’s whirlwind October that need editing, or blogging, or…something.  This October was no exception to the rule – we kept it jam-packed, but were able to enjoy some fun things.  But, I know I’m playing catch up a bit with some of the things I intended to post last year – but I’m starting where I left off and my intention is to stay more in sync with my blogging because it’s important to me.

I started off October with a ton of excitement and inspiration.  I really want to take some time and try to capture what really hit me, and some of the things that spun out of that, but for now I’ll just focus on capturing the month itself.  One of the things that I tapped into was Lara Casey and her newsletter.  I’d been following her on Instagram for a little while, but I finally subscribed to her newsletter in October.  The theme for the month was Clear October.  She wrote in her newsletter about having a clear mind and really being intentional about the time before the holidays and the end of year craziness sets in.  It really struck a chord with me too – I wanted not only to have clear intentions and clear ideas about my plan for the remainder of the year, but it also meant a clear heart.  I’ve always been a firm believer that you have to make room in your life for what you want – if your life or your space or your heart doesn’t have the space to receive God’s gifts, how can you expect your prayers to be fulfilled?  In an effort to do my own clearing in October, I started off the month by cleaning off the white board in my office.  It literally took me about an hour.  There were notes and diagrams on there that had been there so long I could not get them erased and I had to scrub at the words to remove them.  My Instagram photo shows my clean and clear whiteboard – out with all the “junk” that no longer serves me and opening up a space to receive.

The rest of the month was, like I said, jam-packed with all sorts of things.  We went to the State Fair, as usual, and I finally got to see the Chinese Lantern Festival at night.  It was just as stunning as I’d imagined!  Plus we got to see the Kildares play, which is always fun.

I spent a good amount of time reading in October, particularly the Beautiful Bastard series by Christina Lauren.

I did some baking – pumpkin bread and then my very first Italian Cream Cake for Eric’s birthday.  We had amazing Thai food for his birthday dinner at one of our favorite local spots.

I finished up my memorial sampler for my dad at the end of September, and finally blogged about it over at my other blog.

I got a little “on the spot” award at work for the work I did on a project, and what better way to celebrate than with leopard pumps?  You can’t go wrong with leopard.

We did some projects around the house, including installing some shelves in our media room to contain some of the things that came from my mom’s house when my dad died.  We also bought a new rug and pouf for the living room.  I am so in love with this rug, it is not even funny.  My absolute dream rug – and Eric was won over by it too!

And we also spent some time with my niece in October.  As part of that whole idea behind making room in your life, we decided that we definitely needed to make some room in our lives to spend more time with her.  She came and spent the night with us, Eric made her pink pancakes for breakfast and we watched The Breakfast Club.  She loved it!  I also worked with her on designing her Halloween costume.  This year she went as Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas – and the dress I worked on tirelessly was a huge hit!

As usual, October was a great, busy month.  I’m looking forward to sharing November with you!

Share

September in Photos

September in Photos

How in the world is it November?  October is always a crazy busy month for us, but damn!  And today it actually feels like Fall outside.  Back in September, we had a few Fallish days, but mostly it was still pretty warm.  It was still in the 90s and I was seeing tons of Instagram posts of the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte…but I just couldn’t embrace it wearing shorts.

I went down a bit of a rabbit hole in books during the month.  After finishing City of Fallen Angels, I picked up Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren.  I’ll probably do a post on this series after I read the latest one, but suffice it to say that I read Beautiful Bastard in three days, and then read Beautiful Stranger in three days.  I literally could not stop reading these!  You can see that toward the end of the month I attempted to start something completely different, The Girl in Hyacinth Blue.  That barely caught my interest and held it.  It’s a little bit sad though that I read two books in six days and then mostly didn’t read the rest of the month.

Of course September also brings with it Fashion Week, and I had a ton of fun watching streaming videos of the shows and of course I’ve already posted on some of my favorites here and here.  And it made me long for New York in the fall and spicing up my wardrobe a bit, evidenced by my OOTD photos with some statement necklaces, fall colors, and some fun polish colors.  In fact, speaking of polish, that pink I’m wearing in several photos was in honor of NYFW – OPI’s Passion for NY Fashion.

I made my very first lemon meringue pie (with Eric’s help).  Lemon meringue pie is my absolute favorite, so having one for my birthday back in August just wasn’t enough.  I decided it would be a perfect time to learn how to make it myself, since my mom won’t be around forever (and she took over from my grandma who used to make them for me).  This one turned out beautifully and tasted even better.

Even my fabric shopping took on a fall color scheme…love all the browns, oranges, and reds that I found.  That’s all from Juliana Horner’s line, Rosette.   I just need to find some time to actually work on my crafty projects!

Now, off to look at October’s photos!!

 

Share

August in Photos

August in Photos

I always feel that my birthday and then Labor Day signal the end of summer – marking the change from longer days and saturated color to cooler weather and wardrobe layering.  Even though I’m sure we’ll have many more 100 degree days in front of us, my thoughts immediately turn to the new season.  And judging by the number of Pumpkin Spice Latte pics I’m seeing on Instagram, I’m not alone in this.

August is, of course, my birthday month and it brought with it a much-needed vacation from work and time to get together with friends.  I’m still enjoying breaking out some statement jewelry pieces, which has been great fun.  I was also treated to some new nail polish, new (much needed) perfume, and a blow out.  I even made it to the gym again.

I finished reading City of Glass and moved right into City of Fallen Angels – both so good.  I’ll have a review of this series up soon.  One of my birthday outings was getting together with a friend to see the Mortal Instruments movie on opening night.  So good.  So much love for Jace.  Go see it if you haven’t yet.  I’m looking forward to reading the fifth book.

I also spent an afternoon with another friend and we met for lunch at Bluebonnet Bakery, which was absolutely delicious.  I had their famous chicken salad sandwich and then we both topped off our lunch with a slice of Italian Cream Cake.  To. Die. For.  I haven’t had Italian Cream Cake that good since last April!

For my birthday, Eric bought me new perfume.  As I’d mentioned on this post, I was in dire need of some new perfume.  I ended up with D&G Light Blue for a lighter, summery scent and Thierry Mugler’s Alien Essence Absolue for my deeper fall/winter scent.  I love them both!  He also took me out to dinner at Ziziki’s, which I just can’t stay away from for my birthday dinner.  Everything there is absolutely delicious.  I had the first glass of wine I’ve had in awhile, I can’t go wrong with a Riesling and this one was fabulous!

We also hit a milestone with Ramses and Thutmose.  We decided that they were finally old enough that our Moroccan pouf would be safe to put out again.  It has been locked away almost since we bought it, so it’s nice to actually have it out in the living room again.  If we can get to a place where the other kitty-proof measures can be done away with I’ll finally be able to share our living room redo.

August was a good month, and I had a wonderful vacation and birthday.  Exciting things are on the horizon for my new year!

Share