pretty storage

This must be some kind of ice or beverage storage container because of the insulation on the inside, but I’m using it to store my magazines and koozies. From the moment I saw this, I was already dreaming it in a pretty new color and ended up choosing something that would complement my bedroom colors.

Here’s what I did:
1. Paint with mint color.
2. Paint with mustard color.
3. Sand and distress.
4. Spray with clear acrylic spray.
5. Add knob. (Anthropologie has the best!)

design sponge at home

Design Sponge has been one of my favorite blogs for a while.  Between the sneak peaks of other’s amazing decor to endless project inspiration, I always enjoy reading the variety of posts.  When I found out that it would be published as a book and one of the book tour stops was here in Athens, Georgia, I knew I would have to attend.  At the book signing, I met Grace Bonney, the lady behind the blog and author of the book, and had her autograph my copy of the book.  There were donuts from a local bakery and music from Corduroy Road, the same band who played at Grace’s wedding.

Here is a link to Grace’s post on this part of the book tour: d*s book tour: the south

5 places I love to shop

Home Goods

  • My go-to shopping place for everything.  From kitchen accessories to furniture, I can always find something here for a great price.
  • Favorite finds: a Williams-Sonoma cashmere pillow case for $3, distressed finish coffee table, mercury glass lamps, Le Creuset canisters, night stands (and the list goes on…)

Pottery Barn

  • Also known as the place I will register at whenever I need to register for ANYTHING.  (Everyone buying me PB? That sounds like a great idea.)  I love the style of their products and have enjoyed their catalogs since I was a kid.
  • Favorite finds: my bedding set, chunky knit Euro shams (they look and feel like a warm, comfy sweater), Christmas stockings, linen and velvet trimmed napkins

Dillard’s

  • One of my favorite stores ever.  When I’m not wiping out the stock of Lilly Pulitzer dresses, I make sure to look through the home department.  They have amazing sales, and I’ve been able to find some great home items during this time.
  • Favorite finds: all-white shower curtain, Candice Olsen bamboo bathroom accessories, Fiesta kitchenware for gifts

Target

  • Target has everything.  A source of temptation every time I walk through those aisles, they make me want to redecorate often.  They also have great weekly specials for the items I actually need.
  • Favorite finds: Pyrex casserole dishes (set of 3 dishes with lids on sale for $12), Mr. Coffee coffee maker, coverlet (great bedding for summer)

Pier 1

  • A great place for holiday decorations, Pier 1 also has a wide array of furniture, dining accessories, and decorative pillows.
  • Favorite finds: ruffle edged shams, classy kitchen canisters (who says storage has to be boring?), napkin rings, ruffled dining chair cushions

Image 1: Utica Square

Image Sources: LampNapkinsBathroom AccessoriesCasserole DishesBedding

pretty pillows

I’m a big fan of invitation only flash sale sites like Gilt Groupe and One King’s Lane, but Rue La La is by far my new favorite.  Offering a mixture of home items, men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and travel offers, this site has something that everyone can enjoy.  Today, I purchased these new pillows that will match some of my furniture and decorations for a fraction of what the price would be elsewhere.  And the best part: you pay shipping once every 30 days, and then order to your heart’s desire.

Here are a few others I liked:
All Images: Rue La La

pottery barn bedding

Last summer, I was on the hunt for white bedding.  After searching high and low, I found a nice duvet set with gold pearl embroidery on sale at Pottery Barn, and a free shipping promo was just the push I needed to make this purchase.  However, when my new bedding set arrived, there was a problem with the embroidery on one of the shams.  I contacted PB and they promptly arranged for a pick up of the defective product and immediate (free) shipping of a replacement.  I didn’t even have to leave my house to make this exchange happen.  I’m so happy with this purchase and PB’s exceptional customer service, as always.

Image 1: Pottery Barn

a kitchen full of kitchen aid

It all started with a few measuring spoons on a college shopping trip with my parents.  My Mom insisted on me starting with nice kitchen supplies, and since she wanted to buy them, I had no problem with that.  I’ve picked up a few other things since then on shopping trips here and there and even borrowed my Mom’s stand up mixer for a short period of time, eventually leading to the purchase of the glossy white one I wanted.  So this Valentine’s Day, when I desperately needed new pans, my Dad stepped in and paid for the newest addition to my kitchen, a 10 piece pan set.  I’m sure one day I’ll be adding Williams-Sonoma, Cuisinart, and other brands to my cooking supplies, but for now I’m sticking with the Kitchen Aid theme.

Image 1: Target
Image 2: Target

pumpkin cupcakes

The weather the past few days has made me miss fall and everything about it, including pumpkin EVERYTHING.  Lattes, cupcakes, candles, even the color orange… I just love it all. Can’t it be fall all year? The leaves can just stay their vibrant, pretty colors and my home can permanently smell like pumpkins and baked goods.

Here are some pumpkin cupcakes I made this fall.  I finished them off with maple cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Recipe via Martha Stewart

tyler candle company

Last week I stopped in a local store I’d never been to, Simply Southern, and was pleasantly surprised to see my favorite brand of candles made by Tyler Candle Company.  (I also found a slew of monogrammed goodies, but that’s another post.)  Tyler Candle Company, based out of its namesake city of Tyler, Texas, boasts an amazing selection of scents and such strong fragrances.  They even had my favorite scent, along with all of their other fall scents, on clearance.  I definitely stocked up on the Mulled Cider, which I used to burn anytime someone stepped foot in my house, Pumpkin Spice, and Family Tradition.  The store also carries several other scents as well with catchy names I can obviously appreciate, such as Miss Priss, High Maintenance, and Girly Girl.  They all come in these cute little jars with a leopard print lid.  Now who can resist that?

Candle burning safety tips:

  • Always trim wicks to 1/4″.  High quality, high performance candles have a tendency to develop a “fragrance mushroom” on the wick that needs to be trimmed before each lighting in order to prevent any popping sounds or excessive smoke.
  • Never burn a candle that has less than 1/2″ of wax remaining.  This can cause the glass to break, presenting a fire hazard.
  • Always burn candles in a draft free area.

Image 1: Tyler Candle Company

rustic furniture

I’ve been on the quite the furniture buying spree lately, starting with a new dining table (more on that later) and most recently these two night stands, and they all seem to have the same shabby chic look to them.  I thought the rustic, unfinished look of these night stands would pair nicely with the whites, satins, and ruffles in my bedding, and I’m so pleased with the resulting combination, a juxtaposition of polished femininity and rough textures.

Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, and many other furniture stores have some great options for high quality furniture with an aged, rustic look.  Mine in particular (Image 1) are made by Broyhill.  I liked that the lower shelf allows for a place to keep a few books instead of having a stack taking up space on the top surface and also the amount of storage space offered by having 3 separate drawers.  Ranging from dining sets to bedroom suites, I am such a fan of this look.

Image 2: Early Settler

Images 3 & 4: Pottery Barn

terrariums part 3: the finished product

During my tutorial searching, I was surprised to learn how old the activity of making terrariums actually is.  The earliest activity can be traced to the Victorian era, as affluent housewives were already obsessed with collecting ferns.  The prosperity in Victorian Britain left many of these women who weren’t working with plenty of time to get creative and find ways of using these plants in their homes.  It wasn’t until London physician Nathaniel Ward discovered that his plants having difficulty surviving in polluted 1820s London were thriving in covered environments that the first terrariums were actually made.  He then published On the Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Cases and soon after almost every Victorian home had a Wardian case, an enclosed container for growing delicate plants in the home or transporting precious plants over long distances.  This discovery also allowed other countries to grow and transport tea plants that had been previously only been able to grow in China, making tea drinking a more accessible activity for all social classes.

Source: Design Sponge