Nomad Flower collection at World Market

I was recently lucky enough to win a $50 card from World Market. I took a couple of days to browse before choosing what to buy, and in the end I was charmed by their new Nomad Flower collection.

Isn’t it lovely? I have wanted to purchase a cake stand for a while but I am glad I waited. The colors are beautiful, bold and vibrant, and the collection also includes mugs and bowls.

I also picked up two of the mugs, the ones with olive green and teal handles, and a set of oasis green buffet napkins. The green goes very well with the greens in the Nomad Flower collection, and I had wanted a set of olive green napkins for a while.

My boys love plain vanilla flavored cake. They don’t even need frosting 😀 I made some cake for them today and my oldest, who is not into home decorating at all, told me how pretty the pedestal was. I agree. It will come in handy all spring and summer, for Mother’s Day, even Christmas since it has reds and greens, Valentines Day, etc. I’m so glad I had the chance to get these pieces for my home.

Sweet Vintage-style table setting

I was going through my fabric stash the other day and I came across a couple of pieces that I thought would look great together, so I set up a quick little vintage-style table.

I love the small pumpkins we got at the patch last month, we each get one pumpkin, but my choice was the 4/$1 deal on the little ones 😀

We had a mishap last holiday season and lost half of our dishes. Steve had had them since before we met so we decided to donate the rest and get some new ones at IKEA. We chose cream and brown so we can mix and match.

I love that I have a brand new palette for my table setting and I didn’t have to spend any money on it!!

Bringing spring color inside

A few months ago I made some embellished kitchen towels using Sharpies, in a craft inspired by Heather from Setting for Four. This time I decided to use a bunch of different colors for a very colorful accent to our dining room table.

I had lots of fabric left over from some old curtains and I decided to make some colorful flowers using Sharpies:

Then I cut out the shapes I wanted – even though my “G” ended up looking like a “6”, grr – and appliqued them onto a length of the same fabric. I chose a contrasting color for the stitching so the letters would stand out:

I might also hang it above one of our hutches as a banner when we have friends over. I love that it was such a simple craft and is bringing so much color into our neutral dining room.

We had a few adventures during the boys’ week off, I will share some this week and some Top Secret goings on will have to wait to be revealed next week ;D I will tell you that I just finished a wonderful debut novel by a local author and I can’t wait to tell you all about that, too!

The Chair Affair

A few months ago we got rid of the red walls in our dining room/kitchen — this time, we got rid of the red fabric on our dining room chairs.

It’s not the we don’t like red. Instead, now we keep an eye out for red accents for our dining and cooking areas. You see, beforehand, a red vase or red flowers either disappeared against the red walls, or clashed completely. Now, we have a neutral background for red, or olive green, or whatever other color we choose to accent the room with.

In the case of the chairs, it was also a case of eager kitties sharpening their claws, and our poor chairs were looking so much worse for wear. Happily, a new fabric gave us a clean, fresh slate AND brightened up the look of our dining room:

I like that it has a cream background and a bold print and still keeps it all neutral. I could put a red tablecloth on the table, or a green one, or warm yellow, and it would not compete or clash. LOVE that.

Now that we have recovered from the plague (knock on wood!!!) we hope to have a fun weekend and wish you a super happy and healthy one as well!

Pretties in the dining room

My love affair with Paper Source is never ending. Their Cavallini paper is my favorite “cheap art” and it has graced numerous frames throughout the house. This time, our newly-painted dining room got some pretty prints to jazz it up.

My beloved Eiffel Tower anchors a corner next to the sliding doors.

Above one of the hutches, two vintage-looking prints become a focal point:

Our kitchen and dining room are very rustic and very, very far from modern, so I thought these prints, with their old-fashioned images and desserts from yesteryear, would fit in very well. Hope you like this little update!

Dining Room & Kitchen Makeover – part 1

We loved our red walls.

Our red walls were so awesome.

There was just one teensy little problem. A complete lack of light coming into the kitchen and dining rooms.

See where the pots are hanging?

That’s where the big window used to be, looking out onto the backyard, with lots of natural light coming in. But a previous owner decided to add a room there – which is now the playroom/office. I know it looks like light is coming in to the kitchen, but the truth is, every single light has been turned on. The two kitchen lights, the dining room lights, the playroom lights, and I took the picture on a very sunny day (July of last year).

It didn’t help that the other source of natural light – the doors to the side yard, were shadowed by our pear and avocado trees, which we are NOT parting with.

Again, it looks bright and sunny here but every light was turned on.

Over the last few months we came to the realization that we could spend more years turning the lights on just to do dishes, because it really is that dark in the kitchen, or we could replace the red and help things along by installing some canned lighting.

We didn’t want to go back to the dreary off white that we found when we moved in:

We love warm, cozy colors – so off we went in search of a color we liked. It turns out there were two.

This is Valspar’s Cafe, a warm, creamy shade.

My husband wanted to try a sponging finish with a slightly darker color, so I chose Warm Buff, also by Valspar.

He did two walls so if we didn’t like the result, we could paint them over and start again. However, we both loved the finished look so we worked until late at night to get the painting done. We also made some minor changes and are still in the process of figuring out some final details, but we love the change. We went from this:

to this:

Some more views:

Already so much brighter and lighter, my dining room and kitchen no longer feel like such a cave! And I love that we can still have red accents around, but the neutral walls are open to so many colorways.

Now we are working on Canned lighting:

In fact, my husband is up in the attic as I type 😀

I hope your weekend is a wonderful one!
Weekend Bloggy ReadingPositively Splendid

Our 2011 Thanksgiving

Our thanksgiving lunch went beautifully; Steve and I planned, made lists, set up a schedule, and with some help from our family, we had a great time.  I printed the menu and set it up in the dining room:

My father-in-law showed up early — he was in charge of the turkey — and also helped out with the rest of the cooking. He and my oldest had a blast peeling potatoes:

Soon my boy was a potato peeling expert!

I had told my husband that I’d seen (can’t remember where!) an idea to use a wreath as a centerpiece and he came up with this:

Isn’t that cool?

Soon the rest of the family showed up and we started doing the oven-revolving-door dance. Dishes would go in, in twos and threes, and something yummy would come out. Soon our dining room table looked like this:

This was about half of the food we made. The wine took up one of the hutches ;D and the desserts people brought took up another.

Here is some of my wonderful family.

The little cups hold the butternut squash bisque, which was DELICIOUS – Steve made it from scratch and I am so happy there is some left over, because I’m having some of it for lunch!

One of my favorite moments was when we all shared what we were grateful for and my oldest said he was grateful for “the colors of autumn”, I thought that was so unusual and sweet.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, and if you don’t celebrate it, then I hope today is a great Friday and I wish a wonderful weekend for everyone! I’m going to leave you with the menu we had for our Thanksgiving Lunch.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

My house colors

We’re in the middle of a little living room project:


and I had to look up my living room wall color. I did a post about my house paint colors in my last blog so I thought it better to list them here for future reference.

Our master bedroom has a sponge-finish treatment on the wall combining the 2 shades of tan. The wall where the lovely mirrored closet doors got the dark burgundy but lord knows I regret that decision. My plan is to do away with the closet doors completely and paint the wall to match the rest of the bedroom.

Our living room has a similar warm palette but instead of the burgundy we’ve added a dark chocolate brown accent color in the form of our new IKEA TV console and the project we are currently working on, which will be painted to match the console.

My little man’s room has two shades of light blue, and we seriously need to upgrade his bedroom soon. Aside from a few Mickey-themed items, there’s nothing else there and he outgrew Mickey a couple of years ago.

My kitchen/dining room colors are super warm and cozy, I talked about the changes we made 8 years ago in this post.

My bathroom got a cheerful coat of bright, warm yellow paint, which I continue to love, and it’s going to get remodeled in the next couple of months (fingers crossed) – I’m debating tile choices.

The paint color is Ralph Lauren’s Chamois. The cabinets were painted dark brown, echoing the living room console.

I will be updating the progress on our living room project in a few days!

Past Projects: Our Kitchen and Dining Room

The first project we tackled when we moved in to our home in August 2004, was the kitchen/dining room. The cabinets needed to go, and the general color, although light, was very dingy and dreary. The white appliances probably didn’t help, and the tile wasn’t our favorite either:



That’s our realtor in the last picture 😀

We decided to go bold and my husband chose a warm red for the walls – Briquette by Behr and honey colored cabinets with a granite top. He and a friend did the demo and my husband’s uncle hooked us up with the cabinets and granite.

Now here is the dining room as you walk in from the living room

Our hutches are both from IKEA

The door goes into the laundry room/pantry area and then into the garage

I found these sweet fleur-de-lis candles on clearance at Pier One – score!

My fridge is covered in picture magnets as you can see

I love the hanging pot rack so much that we added another one – saves so much storage space!

I have a lazy susan to the left of the stove with my oils, vinegars and often-used condiments, some of them I’ve decanted onto glass bottles and labeled with chalkboard labels. On top of the microwave are our Torani syrups. We had a Torani bar at our wedding since it was kind of our signature to offer guests an Italian soda 😀
Next to the fridge on the counter you can see the most often used ingredients in the house – oatmeal, peanut butter and honey. I recently stopped using the instant packets and now make the less sugary kind, with just a dash of honey. My youngest sure loves his oatmeal!!!

I love my kitchen and dining room, it is warm and inviting with colors that draw you in. I hope you’ve enjoyed look at this Past Project!