Your Weekly Pins

Another Friday, another week of pins! Here's what caught my eye on Pinterest this week...


[I love how calm this room feels. Although it's incredibly neutral, the room is really jazzed up by the variety of textures from the rug to the comforter to the lamp. So dreamy.]


Pretzel Bites
[For me, it doesn't get much better than a freshly-baked soft pretzel. But I love these bite-sized pretzel bites even more! Perfect with a cheddar cheese dipping sauce. A great app!]

Spaghetti squash au gratin: tastes like hashbrown casserole (without the carbs). sub sour cream w/ Greek yogurt
[We eat our fair share of spaghetti squash in our house, but sometimes it needs a little more jazzed up than just dumping pasta sauce over it. I love the idea of this spaghetti squash au gratin - like cheesy hashbrowns, but soooo much healthier for you!]

S'mores aka: Bears in a Bubble Bath. Cute!
[This was an instant re-pin for me - Teddy Grahams in their own little baked hot tub! The cutest revamp of the traditional S'more I've ever seen.]

Quotations earrings
[I love these quirky quotation-mark earrings. Cute and funny!]

Invitation clutch
[Polka dots have been everywhere this fall, and they're given a classic-cute twist with this envelope clutch. Love it!]

Glitter T-strap ballet flats/
[I love these snazzy ballet flats with a twist. Just a little dressed up for the holidays - they're so chic.]

Christmas cookies
[Ar these not the prettiest Christmas cookies you've seen? Someone took a lot of time to make these ultra femme treats.]

it's true.
[It's true. It's so, so true.]

Christmas mason jar decoration: Leaves, cranberries (they float!), and a floating candle. Rustic and simple!
[This very simple holiday decor is just so pretty - the perfect addition to your holiday tablescape. Simply fill a mason jar with water, add mistletoe to the bottom with cranberries and a floating tealight candle and, voila! An inexpensive, festive accent.]

[I'm gaga over this sheer, dotted tablecloth. What a pretty accent for a reception table!]

[These teardrop earrings are absolutely stunning. Super sparkly and full of detail, they'd make a perfect bridal accessory.]

There are plenty more where these came from! To see everything I pin all week long, follow me on Pinterest.]


What I'm Loving Today 11.29.12

If you remember, a couple of weeks ago I kicked off my “What I’m Loving Today” series, wherein I share products or experiences I’m currently obsessing over. Today, it’s yet another Trader Joe’s fascination and an incredibly useful tool that could save a lot of headaches this time of year!

Dark Chocolate Speculoos-Filled Candy Bars
In the last installment, I raved over the incredibly delicious Speculoos Cookie Butter that Trader Joe’s introduced last year. This year, they’ve gone one step further and are offering dark chocolate bars filled with little pockets of that same Speculoos cookie spread.... and boy, oh boy, are they wonderful. For only a dollar, found at the registers at Trader Joe’s, they’re the ultimate impulse candy buy. I’m thinking they’d also be pretty fun to use in baking....

I’m at the point in wedding planning where I have complete one of the most dreaded, tedious tasks - collecting addresses of guests. Nobody likes doing it - those spreadsheets can be awfully annoying. However, I’ve found a free online tool that has made the process scores easier for me. When you sign up at Postable.com, you’re given a unique page where you can keep track off all your contacts’ addresses. When you want to get addresses from people, you simply send them your personalized Postable URL and the contacts can easily (and securely) take one minute to fill in their own name, address, phone number, e-mail address, spouse’s name, and more! This has been a lifesaver. I’ve been emailing and Facebooking the link out to people and have been enjoying watching the contacts populate for me through Postable! What’s more, everything is kept neatly organized, and you can also make mailing labels through the site! Incredible. 

If you’re not wedding planning, but are looking for a place to store all your contacts in one place (the perfect solution for sending cards this holiday season), Postable is the perfect place to keep track of everyone. I was sold instantly to this site, and could not recommend it more.

These are just a couple of my favorite things today! What products or activities have you been into lately?


Christmas Explosion 2012

It's here, it's here! With the passing of Thanksgiving, the Christmas season is officially here!!!

By this point, you're well aware we don't take the holiday season lightly. We deck every hall possible and jingle bell after bell after bell. Next to Buddy the Elf, you'd be hard pressed to find someone with more holiday cheer than the two of us. And, yes, we believe the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear...

.... and also, lights. Lots and lots of Christmas lights.

Last year, our first year as homeowners, Eric was especially excited to put up Christmas lights outside. We went a liiiittttlllee crazy in the Christmas department at Menards buying our initial light supply. But even after all the lights we put up last year (eventually earning us the title of the Griswolds of the block, by our neighbors), it still wasn't enough for Eric. This year, he added just a bit more to up the kitsch factor.

New to the house this year are the purple-lit wreaths to the left of the side, the hanging colored lights above our patio along the left side of the house, the multi-colored oversized bulbs running along the front of the yard, and, the real spotlight of the show: the red and green floodlights illuminating those trees I hate so much in the front yard. For one month of the year, lit up in colors of the season, those trees bring me joy.

We can't forget an old favorite, it's Mr. Bear! He's made his annual pilgrimage from the backyard to the front yard, decked out with his festive hat and, new this year, a very special holiday wreath. (And yes, Eric is tinkering with the lights in the background...  he's just never satisfied!)

Also new this year? This very adorable little penguin, who sits up on a table on our patio, greeting everyone who comes to our home this holiday season.

Of course, the obligatory leg lamp sits in the front window. And Mr. Pancakes is the ultimate Watch Cat... making sure no one harms the precious wonderland outside.

Sunday was the Grand Lighting, so at 5pm we went outside, drumrolled and lit up the street.

After the Grand Lighting, it was time to make the inside of our home as festive as the outside! 

We played some of our favorite Christmas albums...

And I dug out all my favorite decorations to place around the house.

Even Mr. Pancakes and Lieu Lieu got into the spirit!

Or.... as "in the spirit" as these two can get.

Just as we got with our outdoor decorations, we got a little ambitious with our tree this year. In a totally Clark Griswold moment at the tree farm, I saw this Fraser Fir and stopped in my tracks. "There it is..."
 "It's not going in our yard.... it's going in our living room."

The tree had to be trimmed at the top by about a foot in order for Baby Sinclair to fit on top. But tradition is tradition... and it just wouldn't be Christmas without a little "Dinosaurs" nostalgia.

And, of course, I got a little misty eyed when hanging the most special ornament of all on the tree this year.... I can't believe it's been almost a year since Eric proposed to me with this!

Is it just me or is everything just a little cozier and happier when the house is decked out with all things Christmassy? Our house seems just so much cheerier. And this is just the beginning of all the Christmas fun! Throughout the next month, stay tuned for holiday recipes, crafts and the slight possibility of even more pictures of cats dressed as Christmas characters...

'Tis this season, after all.


Your Weekly Pins...

Another Friday, another week of pins! Here's what caught my eye on Pinterest this week...

Add lighting without wall damage.  And when you move, it goes along too!
[This is such a cool idea. Rather than doing a lot of tricky wiring through the wall, set two old doors on either side of the bed and install a sconce on each!]

Mrs. Godfrey Chair by Jonathan Adler
[I love this mid-century-style chair by Jonathan Adler. The fabric and its texture is wonderful, and I love its simple lines and low profile!]

pumpkin pie fudge brownie bars
[I'm pretty sure I pin a recipe like this every year around this time.... and yet, I've still never baked it. This may be the year I finally make this delectable-looking pumpkin-pie fudge brownie bars.]

Mexican hot chocolate cookies ... spicy, chocolate perfection.  #IDBaking
[I love Mexican hot chocolate... its hint of spice totally transforms the taste of chocolate and makes it extra cozy. So these Mexican hot chocolate cookies would be absolutely perfect to bake on a chilly winter day!]

Easy, healthy homemade fruit snacks! (and no impossible-to-pronounce chemicals necessary!) :)
[Even at my age, I still love fruit snacks... I just can't help it. But those neon-colored, pre-packaged fruit snacks at grocery stores are all just sugar and chemicals... this recipe shows you the surprisingly easy way to make your own fruit snacks at home.... with all ingredients you can actually pronounce!]

[I am crazy over this dress... beautiful lace and that sheer high neckline. Stunning!]

Khaki Pleated Belted Skirt,  Skirt, pleated skirt  belted, Casual
[This skirt is just so cute for fall. It would pair perfectly with sweater tights and a simple long-sleeved top, or a peter-pan-collared shirt!]

genteel gloves | BHLDN
[These gloves are so ultra femme.... I love them! That little bow on the ring finger is such a sweet touch.]

Shoe box & toilet paper tubes = storage for pens and other office/art supplies
[A shoebox and toilet paper rolls... the perfect, cheap-as-dirt desktop organizer for office supplies!]

Dinosaur tails. If I ever have a boy we are 100% making these. Adorable!
[These homemade dinosaur tails are about the cutest little things I've ever seen. If I had a little boy I'd stitch one of these up immediately!]

advent calendar
[I didn't realize until I looked back at my Christmas board, but apparently I pinned this same clothespin advent calendar last year! Well, I still love it a year later, so maybe someday I'll actually make it!]

Advent-Calendar from mini-muffin pan and magnetic circles
[Isn't this such a creative advent calendar idea? Hide a little gift in a mini muffin pan and cover with a magnetic circle. Super clever and fun!]

A great dessert table!
[I really like this dessert table and the salved materials they used throughout the display.]

Chalkboard Wine Bottles DIY
[I love the idea of using chalkboard paint on wine bottles for decoration. You could even write the drink menu on these and sit them up at the bar!]

a popcorn bar with a lineup of faves including kettle corn, caramel and butter. yum!  Photography by laurenkirkbridephotography.com, Coordination by lastingimpressionsweddings.com, Floral Design by sadiesfloral.com
[My love for popcorn is not a secret to anyone. It's right up there in my top three snacks, and I've been going back and forth on whether to have a popcorn bar at our wedding. I love the idea of setting out a handful of different flavors so your guests can mix and match!]

Whoa.... now this is a wedding photo!
[Talk about a wedding crasher! I absolutely adore this gorgeous blooper photo.]

Bernedoodle...Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle.
[Meet the Bernadoodle. A Bernese Mountain Dog/Poodle mix. I want this dog in my life. I want to hug him forever.]

[Or if I can't get a Bernadoodle.... how about a baby joey in a diaper? With a poor hurt foot?! Poor little guy!]

There are plenty more where these came from! To see everything I pin all week long, follow me on Pinterest!



Since it's been lightyears (or maybe more like a few weeks) since I've given a home decor update.... how's about a home decor update for you today? (I know - I'm shocked too!)

And not only am I giving an update about a change in our home - we're talking two living-room updates in one post! It's a Thanksgiving miracle.

You see, we love our living room, but there are two pieces in it that had been bothering us for months: the doesn't-quite-fit-with-our-style IKEA coffee table that ate up a ton of space in the little room, and the dingy rug that sat underneath.

Eric was on the hunt for a new coffee table at thrift stores for months. He kept sending me photos of options and I kept turning my nose up at them. Nothing seemed quite right. However, we both knew what we were looking for: Something smaller, possibly with a glass top that would blend into the space well.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, he sent me a photo of an accent table that oddly caught my attention. I wasn't sold on it right away, but for $30 I told Eric to bring it home to see how it would look. We moved it in place of the large coffee table and I still couldn't get used to all the open space this little table left around it. I still wasn't completely sold.

But that could have been because we still had the dingy, old, it-used-to-be-white rug still sitting underneath.... its dirt stains and faded pattern left harshly exposed under our new, lower-profile coffee table.

The rug had to go.

So imagine my elation when just about the time we got the coffee table, I came across a Google Offer for RugsUSA.com: $85 for $170 toward an area rug.... a huge discount! I bought the offer right away, and then looked through the rug offerings on Rugs USA. Thankfully, the site has a ton of really stylish options at already fairly affordable prices. We settled on a rug pattern we liked, the Tuscan Trellis in gold, and ended up purchasing the 6'x'9' rug for just $206! An absolute steal!

The rug arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I've got to say where I was hesitant on my appreciation for the new coffee table at first, I loved thus rig from the get-go. It's large, plush and adds a bold, fantastic pop of color to the room. 

What's more, I loved the rug so much I quickly changed my mind about the coffee table atop it - its smaller size allows the rug to stand out, taking center stage in the room. And it really does make the entire room look so much bigger.

So, anyway, after that long-winded story about a rug and a table, which I'm sure about 90% of you just scrolled on by, here are our new additions!

The new coffee table:

The table has some water marks that need touched up, and I'm thinking about painting the whole thing altogether, but overall it's a pretty interesting piece... especially for the price of $30. The little hinged door on the front opens up, allowing storage within. It almost feels like a little museum display, under glass.

Under our glass is the latest issue of Marthe Stewart Living and a little ring dish I received as an engagement present earlier this year. What I'm most excited about is making a little wintery Christmas scene in this space over the holidays! My mind has been buzzing with just what I could do to make this space perfectly Christmassy. 

And check out our new rug! It certainly makes a statement, and fits perfectly with the yellow accents that already pop throughout the room.

Of course, the rug had to be given the official Mr. Pancakes Seal of Approval... which we're pretty sure it got, since his new favorite spot (aside from his old, trusty favorite spot, where he's lying here) is lying stretched out on the rug under the new coffee table.

And just for comparison, check out how different (so much warmer!) the room feels before our new additions and after!

Last Fall:


What a difference, eh? (I also can't tell you how sad that weird multi-headed lamp in the corner was in the "before" photo.... Blech!)

I'm so happy about our living room's new, very-badly needed facelift. Not too shabby for less than $300, right?!



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