Monday, June 27, 2011

front patio

You didn't think I'd be content just crossing two things off my list did you??? CLEARLY NOT!
So we kept going- to cross off 3, 4 and 5 off our list as well. So we made the dreaded (for P, not me) trip out to Ikea. We've actually been looking a lot for patio furniture that was small enough to fit easily on the patio but wasn't SO small P didn't fit on it. It's a delicate balance you see! I had been looking around in stores and online and came up with EXACTLY what I wanted. . . only to get to Ikea and my blue chairs not be in stock and the table I was so in love with online just wasn't that lovable in person.

BUT we did not leave empty handed!! I found the cutest little green table that is perfect and paired it with the cute chairs I wanted just in white instead of blue! Then I topped it off with the most precious (and cheap) little galvanized steel lantern!

Lacko table in light green and Roxo chairs in white- they are strangely comfortable for metal chairs. We've just been loving them!

And as you can see we got some stepping stones as well to go in the dead space between the drip line and the front edge of the patio. We dug down and leveled out the ground and just laid them in and filled in the dirt/ mulch around them. They probably aren't SUPER sturdy but we've walked back and forth on them and they don't move around at all! I think they make the space that much more charming!

Thanks Home Depot for some reasonably priced flagstone stepping stones!

We also got a new front door mat
Dwell Studio for Target!

and some new and more modern address numbers (just one for privacy's sake!)
From the Home Depot surprisingly!
LOVE how they float out in front of the shingles

And while we were at it we decided to get a new and bigger planter to put by the front door with a little more color. The one that was there was just too small/ dinky looking, so it has moved to reside by the back patio door!

Pretty :) And the blue salvia have some nice height to them

For a perfectly "almost" finished look:

The one extra issue we noticed while sitting in our chairs enjoying the fruits of our labor on Sunday night is this:
Ahh the neighbors trashcans. . . just what I want to look at while enjoying a nice glass of wine at the end of the day. Or NOT! But, we've come up with a plan, we just couldn't find the right planter box for the space this weekend. But soon we'll be back with my easy fix for a nice view instead of trash while enjoying the front porch!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tweaking the front yard

After having the landscaping done in the front we kind of breathed a sigh of relief and just enjoyed it for a while, but slowly, little things have started to bother us and we've thought of ways to "tweak" the space. And on a whim, as usual, we turned our lazy weekend into a workhorse of a time and now we can't move!
Ha! This is what it looked like right after we finished all of the landscaping.

First and foremost- we really don't like the mulch- our landscaper didn't really give us an option of what would be put down and then one day it was just done. It's fine but it just isn't my favorite- I really much prefer the black mulch.
2. We really want some edging for the flower beds. The landscaper told us they were not necessary and he didn't like to use them so we didn't but now it's really hard to mow/ edge around the flowers without cutting them, and the grass has started growing in towards the flowers in the bed and creating thatch
3. We need some small patio furniture BAD- now that the bushes are low and you can actually see the front porch, it looks empty
4. I want to put down some flagstones down behind the drip line of the house and in front patio. We talked about with the landscaper but he wanted to charge A TON for something I figured we can do down the road
5. I desperately want new numbers for our house- the ones that are there are small and dinky and barely visible from the street!
6. I want a new front door- which will probably happen shortly down the road. I really want a solid wood door, I just think they have a little more heft and LOOK like a front door, not just a patio door.
7. I want a new light fixture for the porch- the current one is just not cutting it. Again- dinky and just cheap looking.

So, this weekend we decided to start tackling our list!!! It was a ton of work but SO worth it- seriously, it looks so good AND the best part of it is we did it all on our own (pat on the back ME - and mainly P) AND the whole thing cost less than the landscapers estimate just to put down a few flagstones!

Our work:
pulling grass/ thatch out of the flower bed- notice the large pile on the sidewalk behind me

Added corner edging

All edging in!

Still needing a little clean up around the edges, but all edging in AND some nice black mulch brought in
I LOVE the way all the colors, and especially the fox tail ferns pop against the black!

We are already loving it even more!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


  So I'm sure if you live anywhere in Texas, or Arizona or California or any other state that is in a MAJOR drought you have been hearing a lot about wildfires. I have too, and it's not that I have been taking the warnings and information for granted it just hasn't been anywhere around me or affected my life. Until Sunday. I am NOT saying that am a victim of any of this devastation, because I am not, but I did witness some of the fires and it is enough to make you stop and think.

We went to Dallas for father's day weekend and on our way back drove right into two separate wild fires. At first we thought it was just one but found out they were two separate instances. This was on Sunday and both of the fires that we saw are still burning today. They are under control now but still burning.
Driving up toward the fire, just south of Madisonville

stopped on the highway, waiting to find out if the highway was going to be shut down.
It was- and clearly for good reason

taking over the whole sky

And within minutes t was all around us. This is as we crossed over the highway to go back north to Madisonville and cut over through College Station.

I am not trying to be Smokey the Bear or anything but especially in this hot weather and as we approach the 4th PLEASE be VERY VERY careful. Above was the larger of these two fires, the one right on I-45 was started when a hot piece of metal on the wheel of a car sparked as the car pulled over on the side of the highway. As of Sunday it had burned over 1500 acres and forced several evacuations.

The other fire was started by a spark from a charcoal on a BBQ pit that was set up in the grass. It could be the smallest thing to you, but it can do serious damage.

On highway 6 outside of Navasota

Getting closer to this fire

Smoke from the two fires converging!

I know it's hard to get the magnitude of the size of the fire and the emotions from a picture but we were in awe. I've never seen anything like it. We only saw a few flames but seeing all the local/ small town fire fighters going to work to battle the fire in 105 degree heat and the MASS of smoke taking over the sky- it was enough for me. I am GLAD they are banning fireworks this year- and trust me you would have NEVER heard me say that before Sunday! But it needs to be done to keep everyone and everything safe!

Monday, June 20, 2011

BBQ chicken polenta cakes

I saw this recipe last week on one of my daily reads Picky Palate and I knew I was going to be making it soon. For one thing, I already had some shredded chicken sitting in BBQ sauce in my fridge (from when we thought we were going to make a BBQ chicken salad but weren't really hungry) and I mean- LOOK AT THE RECIPE! It just sounds delicious! I didn't even alter her recipe, well I didn't really use a recipe, I just bought a log of polenta and a log of mozzarella (pre-sliced, which was very nice) and added a spoonful of meat on top of each slice of polenta. The flavor was delicious and they were really filling. We thought we'd have a few for an appetizer but they were definitely hardy enough for a meal, with a salad or something!

What you'll need
(of course I had already sliced the polenta so it's not as pretty)
OH and I added a little seasoned salt to the polenta as I grilled them

1 pound/tube of polenta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cooked/shredded BBQ chicken
12 1-inch slices fresh mozzarella
12 individual cilantro leaves (I left these off just because I forgot to get some)

1. Preheat oven’s broiler with rack places 5 to 6 inches below heat.
2. Slice polenta into 1/2 inch slices. Place oil into a grill pan over medium heat. (I brushed the oil on so I would get all the crevices) Place polenta slices into hot grill pan and grill for 4 to 5 minutes, until slightly browned.

Flip - and check out the pretty grill marks :)

and top with a spoonful of BBQ chicken then a slice of mozzarella cheese

Grill for 4 minutes then place under broiler until cheese is melted. Top with a cilantro leaf and serve.


It did actually make 12 individual pieces I just couldn't fit them all into one pan!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

High Fashion Homes

So, call me crazy but we have lived here almost two years and I JUST went in to High Fashion Homes for the first time last weekend!!! How I haven't been down there before I don't know- I think I might have been afraid I would just go on a major buying spree and buy everything I wanted. After going- I realize this was a major possibility as I almost came home with $700 worth of mirrors on a whim! WHAT??? Yeah, serious craziness! I can only plead temporary insanity. But look at them (while ignoring the plastic wrap please)
They are amazing and would brighten up our dining room wonderfully on either side of the china cabinet- I'm going to start looking for something similar that costs a LITTLE bit less! I think it would help bring the room together a little bit.
Anyways- I went mainly to look at fabrics because while shopping on is great and has amazing deals, I like to see stuff in person first AND just see if they had anything that I hadn't seen online that might look good in the living room on some throw pillows. I could have shopped just for fabric for DAYS in this store. Then there is all the furniture. Oh the furniture. . .  there was this coffee table, swoon, would look amazing in our living room. . . and the small chair behind it that would be PERFECT in our bedroom.
I was swooning at all the pieces upholstered in flax color linen- I think I could decorate the whole house with pieces like that
Oh and then this dining room set up with the texture on the chairs and then the chandeliers- again, PERFECT!

But back to the task at hand- FABRIC. After going and seeing lots and lots of fabrics I think I am sticking with my choices. The KW Imperial Trellis in navy, the Waverly lovely lattice and some Chaing Mai dragons in the middle to tie everything together.

I found lots of good stuff though, including these fabrics in a persimmon color that I really love-

I don't know what I would do with it because I need something more multi color to bring together the other pillows, but I could totally see a great chair upholstered in this fabric. . .

And then these:


All in all a great trip with lots of ideas, and mainly it was great to help me nail down exactly what I wanted the living room pillows to be after seeing ALL of my options!

Monday, June 13, 2011

San Antonio

So clearly this post is a little behind as we went to SA for  memorial day but we just had such a fun trip! I had not been to San Antonio since high school AT LEAST and so it was fun to walk around the river walk, eat tons too much amazing Mexican food and just be super touristy!
We of course went to the Alamo

This tree was amazing, snaking through the property.

And I so remember sitting on that well cover when I was like 8 taking a picture with my sister! HA - it's clearly been a while.

We walked all up and down the river walk

La Villita behind me

Ate some pretty delicious meals and even went on a little river cruise like real tourists!

La Mansion- which was beautiful

Oh and of course- the main reason we were even in San Antonio- Patrick's cousin's wedding. Here's the precious couple-
Check out her AWESOME blue shoes!
it was such a personal ceremony and a beautiful wedding and we were so glad to have been there with them

We also ended up going to the outlet mall in San Marcos which took all of 40 minutes to get to, and OH MY GOODNESS! I will be going back for sure. Again- probably hadn't been here since I was a kid and they've definitely expanded and upgraded. A LOT! Tori Burch, Loft, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Coach, Cole Haan, Neiman's Last Call, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, Williams-Sonoma Home, Restoration Hardware, and the list goes on!!! It was insane- and I was in HEAVEN even in the 100 degree heat! We didn't come back with anything major (did almost get a PB slip covered love seat but it wouldn't fit in my car) or any pictures (we had left the camera at the hotel) but I am for sure going back after labor day because the patio furniture sales will be wonderful!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

NBA Champs!!

Dallas Mavericks are the 2011 NBA Champions!

We may be smaller but we CLEARLY have more heart!!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Hello there friend

Wow! Is it already June??? Life has been crazy recently which is my only excuse for the lack of posts last week. Between traveling, transitioning jobs at work (to something that is a LOT busier than my old job), pulling a muscle in my back, then catching a stomach virus that had me out for 3 days and now staying up late to watch my beloved Mavs play in the NBA finals I haven't had much spare time for blogging :(

And I worry that it might get worse before it gets better. Its funny though that as my "real" life speeds up, I have less time for blogging and checking on my favorite daily blog reads in the morning. It's hard to say its bad when we've just been having so much fun hanging out with friends and taking little summer trips, but doing "blog worthy" things just hasn't been on the radar. My posting may be a little more sporadic this summer but I'm still here and I will DEFINITELY be posting as new and exciting things happen around here, and let me tell you- there will be some exciting stuff as we get further into summer. But for now- my biggest dilemma is the pillow situation in our living room. After lusting after SO many pillows for SO long now- I think hope I've made up my mind! There are just so many fun fabric choices I can't seem to stick to what I want for long.
But for now, this is what I'm thinking:

We have two couches, one tan and one denim, BUT I know eventually I want both of the couches to be a light linen/ natural color so I want to make sure that whatever we get will transition well to that.
For now on the denim couch I want to have one of these Waverly trellis pillows on each side:

Decorative Designer - 18x18 inch pillow cover - Waverly Lattice
Etsy- Loubella1

with a small 10 x 14 Chaing Mai Dragon like this in the middle:
Chiang Mai Dragon / F. Schumacher / 10x14 Accent Pillow / Aquamarine / Zipper Enclosure

I actually want to do the small Chaing Mai Dragon in the middle on both couches, and then on the tan couch I think I am going to do two Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis on each side:
Pair of 2 Schumacher Imperial Trellis / Kelly Wearstler Linen Pillows / Navy / 20 inch

Then when we get either a large sectional or two matching couches I can mix them together and add more pillows. This is my thought for now- I'm going to make sure it sticks, and I still like it in a week then I'll pull the trigger.
The problem is, I've been down to High Fashion Homes and I found some really nice geometric and florals in a nice persimmon/ coral color that I might like even more than the green. . . we'll see.
What do you think? Any thoughts to help my pillow trouble?