Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Subject: They Call Me Mellow Yellow

So, my mom and I took on a fun weekend project with inspiration from your favorite and mine - LGN. Here's my version:

Yup...I painted my door yellow.  It was originally white on the side you can see, and a sad gray on the other side.  It actually is the door that leads into the garage, and since we park in the garage we use this door quite frequently.  Seeing the yellow when you get home makes you want to smile and puts you in a good mood.  I know that sounds absolutely cheesy, but it's true.

Ever consider painting a door in your house a fun color?

I know you mentioned liking Mary's red doors from Million Dollar Decorators.  Can't seem to find a picture of the doors, but how beautiful is the office?!?

Until tomorrow my friend.

PS - The yellow I used was Behr's Pale Daffodil and it totally reminds me of this scene from one of my favorite movies of all time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Subject: Birthday Craft

Melissa -

I hope you had an amazing weekend with your girlfriends and their hubbies! Suz and I had a great weekend together...Mr. Lass was sick with some kind of stomach bug, so we spent a lot of time together and away from the house as much as we could (less of a chance for her to catch whatever Da-Da has). On Saturday we had plans to go to my friend Holly's daughter's 2nd birthday party.

The party was an alligator theme, because little Camille loves alligators, so there were inflated alligators and little kiddie pools in their backyard and kids ran around in the bathing suits - it was a lot of fun. Plus it was, like, super humid, so it really brought the swamp theme to life :) We had sandwiches and fruit for lunch and an alligator-shaped cake that was super-yummy.

I knew that Camille loves to color, so I decided to make her a Crayon Roll based on instructions on found on this blog. The instructions were really easy and I was able to use fabric I had on hand, which was fun to mix & match. Plus, one piece of fabric had animals on it (including alligators!) so it seemed especially appropriate. Here is my finished product:

The original directions used ribbon to close the roll, but I liked the idea of using something different. Plus, it seems like the ribbon could get dirty or fray and I wanted something more durable. I had these D-ring clasps and straps from when I made a few nursing covers, so I cut the straps off one and used it for the securing the roll.

Some more pictures:

I love the way the crayons fit into their own little pockets! And the whole thing is pretty small, which is perfect for moms to throw into their bags and take crayons with them wherever they go. Plus, it seems like the task of putting the crayons back in their slots would be an activity in itself and occupy kids for a few minutes - maybe while you're waiting for the check at a restaurant, aka classic meltdown time? So in some ways, this gift is for moms and kids.

At Target I found a little straw bag that I used to pack everything up. I included some coloring books and a set of animal-themed pajamas and tied on a zebra-stripe ribbon for extra fun.

I think I will be making this for all my friends' kids for future birthdays!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Subject: Friday Round Up

Hey Kara,

A few things I realized I never touched base with you about.

1.  This table is NOT being ordered.  

Light Napa Dining Table
World Market does not have wood samples and if I hate it, since it's an "online only item," I have to pay to ship it back.  I even called the 1-800 number to see if the operator could compare the wood to another table they make, but no.  He was a dope and basically had his thumb up his ass.  What would the CEO of World Market think if he knew an employee working in customer service did anything but provide a service?  I hope that CEO goes on Undercover Boss, works with Mr. No Customer Service and gives him a good talking to.

So, now I am thinking I am definitely going to get this table from Restoration Hardware.  

Flatiron Dining Table
 However, I plan on waiting until November because that's when they have Friends & Family.  Seems totally worth holding out for 20% off, right??

2.  I have to say it...I hate fish tacos.  I've never actually had them and I like fish, but the thought of fish and a taco...gross.  I am sure the recipe is delish though and Hubby's mouth was watering when he read your post.  

3.  Cannot wait to see what you end up doing with your cupboard, hutch piece.  Creamy white sounds good.  One of my favorites is Glass of Milk by Martha.  I used it in my guest bathroom downstairs.  What about painting the pulls either the blue that you are going to use in the inside or metallic silver.  I love the look of those antique pulls.  And it seems to fit the style of the piece.

4.  Regarding my chandelier, for now, I am leaving it white.  I sprayed it myself.  It was ugly brass, but now I think it's kind of cool.   You can kind of see it in these pictures.  There is something fun about the white with the white wainscoting. 

5.  Bought these.  LOVE them.  Will show you pictures next week.
Zoey Curtain Panel - Crate & Barrel
An up close shot of the curtain
Have a great weekend!!  It's my last opportunity to prep before my best girls and their husbands come to town!!  


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Subject: New Uses For Old Things

So, you know how Real Simple Magazine has the "New Uses For Old Things" section?  If you don't, it's totally okay, but just know it exists.  Anywho, I found a new use for knobs.  You know, drawer pulls.  Well, they are the best jewelry organizers out there.  (And the prettiest, too!)

The Before:
The Necklaces:
 The Knobs:
The How To:
(Basically, you just use wall anchors, drill a whole and twist the knob in.)

The Final Product:

I loved walking into my closet this morning and seeing everything organized and in its new place!  Hope that inspires you.  I know you have some pretty necklaces from The Governor's Daughter.  Now you just need to find a cool place to hang them!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Re: Design + TV

Melissa -

Yes! I have been watching Million Dollar Decorators. Pretty much I fast-forward through all the interpersonal stuff and only watch the design parts...those people are a little nuts! I love Mary McDonald's office, with the double doors and those big rings. Yes, please. And thank you for telling me about the Novogratz Family! I loved watching them last year and was anxious to see if they would have another season. Phew! I cannot wait to watch!

I wanted to show you some pictures that came to me in a round-about way: this girl I'm kind of friends with on Facebook (meaning, we're officially Facebook friends but I only know her socially so we're not 'real' friends) had the link to a house for sale on her profile. I don't know if it's her house for sale, or if she works for a realtor (see, if we were real friends I would know that!), but the house is amazing. I might ask her if it's her house and then she can tell me where she got all of her cool accessories/furniture.

Feast your eyes:

Here is everything that I love (since you asked!):

  • The wingback chairs and photos above the couch. The profiles on the chairs are really elegant but still modern. I also love how all the furniture is neutral with some color coming in through the prints on the wall, although some colorful fabric on a pillow somewhere would be nice too.

  • The plates on the wall in the dining room - what a fun arrangement! I wonder if all the plates were purchased at once and, if not, if the collection was added to over time or if they were all put up there at once?

  • The vintage camp-looking bed frame and the arrangement of pictures above the bed. The light fixture fits in well with the room too, I think.

  • I love this nursery! Especially the fur rug (so soft for a baby to play on...but probably challenging to clean when spit-ups inevitably happen!) and the 'poof' in front of the chair.

  • The laundry room is probably my favorite of all: the wainscoting, all the seagrass baskets and - of course - that blue door. I now think you should paint the door in your laudry room. And those glass containers...the whole thing is perfect!

  • Mostly I love the light fixture just before the stairs. Maybe I want something like that instead of the Moravian light I told you about previously.

I hope you enjoyed this house as much as I did. There is definitely some inspiration to be found in the understated elegance and deliberate use of color.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Subject: Design + TV

Hey Kar - 

So, I've been meaning to ask you....Have you been watching Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo??  Quite entertaining.

Million Dollar Decorators Cast

Since it seems NOTHING is on TV this summer (except Switched at Birth and Pretty Little Liars...Hello ABC Family!) this has been added to my personal line up.  I am LOVING Mary.  I heard on one of those trashy gossip shows, i.e. Extra or the one with AJ Hammer, that Karen from Will & Grace was modeled after Mary.  How funny, if that's true?  Anyway, loving her and also I would like to go on a shopping spree at Nathan's store.

But with regards to design and tv, come July 16 Robert and Cortney Novogratz will be back on the air!!!  (Insert Choir - Hallelujah!)

The new show, Home by Novogratz, will air on HGTV.  I cannot wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Until then, let's look at something of the ingenious work by Sixx Design.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Subject: Syroco

Have you heard of Syroco?  Lately, I've been admiring Syroco mirrors like these. 

For Sale on Ebay

For Sale on Etsy

A short history lesson:   Syroco. The SYRACUSE ORNAMENTAL COMPANY, was founded in the late 1890's by Adolph Holstein, an Austrian woodcarver.  Initially the company produced ornamental carvings for the embellishment of coffins and furniture as well as the interiors of fashionable homes.  In the 1950's, Syroco started to change directions and offered highly stylized wall mirrors, sconces and decorations. (Thanks to for the info.)

Some of my favorite stores even sell Syroco-esq mirrors:

From Wisteria
From Horchow
I thought that a Syroco mirror might look really pretty over the dresser in my guest room.  I'll keep you posted as to what I decide.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Subject: Fish Tacos

Melissa -

So going into the weekend, I thought I would send you a very summery recipe for fish tacos. Back in May Mr. Lass and I went to Sandestin, Florida, for our anniversary. En route we drove Scenic Highway 30A, which has lots of fabulous beach communities. One such community, Alys Beach, had this amazing restaurant called George's that had been recommended to us. So we left early Friday morning and went there for lunch. (One of the nice things about traveling west is that you change into Central Time, but our stomachs stayed on Eastern Time, so we were always an hour ahead of the lunch/dinner crowds and never had to wait for a table!)

Jonathan had the grouper sandwich and I got the fish tacos. They. Were. Amazing. Seriously. So delicious. So then I decided I wanted to make them myself, which sent me on the hunt for a recipe that would measure up to what I had at George's.

I first went to (where else?) the Barefoot Contessa website because I remembered once on her show she had a guest chef on making fish tacos. This site was helpful for making the recipe for the sauce, but then I was left asking, "How do you make chipotle paste?"

A-ha! You Tube! So then I used this video for making the chipotle paste. Basically you buy a small can of chipotle peppers and then put them in the food processor and strain out the seeds. Simple!

And finally, I used this recipe for the batter. The beer flavor in it was really nice. I used Corona Light because I bought a 6-pack for Mr. Lass to enjoy with the tacos. I used tilapia because it was on sale that week.

We had ours with just the sauce and fish, but you could add cabbage or whatever the other condiments are they recommend. Seriously, these were SO GOOD. And the sauce is tastes really complex (and hard to make). I would like to find other dishes to serve it on.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Sorry for no pictures in this post. We gobbled up the finished product before there was time to snap any pictures!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Re: Dining Room - Mission Accomplished??

Hi! I am so (SO) sorry I have been MIA for so many weeks. Seriously, you give me a 3-day weekend and I am worthless for awhile :) But I love the progress you have made with your dining room...I cannot wait to see it all come together as a finished product. Are you going to do a rug in there? What about a chandelier? I recently saw this chandelier on Pottery Barn's website and I think I'm in love:

I bet it is gorgeous the way the light bounces off the glass drops. I love how they have two hanging over the table in one of the photos. In a small way, it kind of reminds me of Design Mom's chandelier she talked talked about last fall, just in the way there is glass hanging from the frame that reflects the glass.

Lately I have been in love with the idea of a Moravian Star pendant light (in clear glass):

The entryway off our garage has a boring, standard light in it and I would love to replace it with something fun and unexpected. They are kind of pricey, but I don't need one very big and there are a few available on eBay. It's one of those things that I hope to find at an estate sale or flea market when the seller doesn't realize its value and is selling it for $10. That never actually happens to me, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Last weekend I was trolling Craigslist and found this listed for $50:

It needs a ton of TLC, but I think it could really be beautiful once its done. I'm considering painting it a creamy color and doing the same Covington Blue (by Benjamin Moore) behind the glass and replacing the knobs/pulls with antique brass knobs. Thoughts? Suggestions?

I don't want to do anything too crazy because I want to try and sell it on Craigslist for a profit. I still have some cream paint left over from when I painted my closet awhile back and there are some cheap-ish knobs on eBay, so hopefully I won't have to put a lot into it and will make a decent profit. Then maybe I can buy my Moravian light!



Friday, June 10, 2011

Subject: Dining Room - Mission Accomplished??

I think I found the remaining components to finish my dining room.

Cost Plus - Light Napa Dining Table

Crate & Barrel - Slip White Side Chair

Crate & Barrel - Zoey Curtain Panel

As you know, the debate over the dining room table has been going on for quite some time, but after I see the dining table in person this weekend we might actually have a winner.  (And another complete room!)  Will keep you posted.  Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Subject: Guest Room

You're not mad at me, right?  :)  I mean no e-mailing/blogging (maybe we call what we do e-blogging?) in 10 DAYS!!  Hopefully what I'm about to reveal will incline you to write me back!!  Drum Roll Please.....

Here is our brand new guest room!!

It started off with this throw pillow.  (Which was originally going to be used in the Master.)

Followed by some stenciling.  (All thanks to my mom!)

And voila...

Couldn't resist a little Millie in there!  

So, what do you think?  I'm still doing a little styling.  And that chair in the corner, I plan to recover this one that I mentioned a couple of months ago and put it in the room.

Can't wait to hear from you!!