Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I'm the 1 in 8...

I've been writing and re-writing this post in my head for months now. But every time I go to type it, I get blocked, or chicken out, or change my mind.  

'Cause blogging can be kind of scary, you know?

But I keep coming back to it....which should tell me something.  Either that I'm a chronic over-sharer, or that I feel the need to share my story in the hope that it helps someone else who's going through it.... 


Today is Day 3 of National Infertility Awareness Week. It's also the 1,394th day that Mr. M. and I have been waiting for our baby, putting us among the 1 in 8 couples who have difficulty conceiving.

Which freaking sucks.

 And while I've alluded to infertility on the blog before, this is really my first time discussing the issue head on. I'm not opening up about this in order to gain pity, although I do welcome your prayers. The thing is, infertility can be a really lonely struggle. And I really feel like the only good thing that can come out of this crappy situation is that talking about it will somehow help someone else on the journey feel a little bit less alone.  Because even though infertility is a lonely journey sometimes...
  
You are not alone.
I am here with you.

Are you humming Michael Jackson now?  We're totally friends.

And neither am I, thank goodness. Mr. M is awesome, and I really don't know what I'd do without the camaraderie, advice and hope that comes from those in my life who've been there and especially you fantastic ladies who open up about this infertility BS on your blogs. Your words make me laugh, give me support, and (kind of) keep me from turning into a crazy, obsessed person. 

So to those of you who are in it....hang in there.  Drop me a email, let me know about your blog...I want to connect with you. You people are the ones keeping me sane, after all.

And to those of you who aren't personally affected by infertility....you probably know someone who is.  Be kind to them.  They're fighting a battle every day, just like you are.


I'll be back to the usual decorating/DIY/random thoughts tomorrow!  Only now that I've started this conversation, expect the occasional update tossed in here and there.  I think there's going to be a lot to share in the coming months :)

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Tablescape


Happy Easter guys!  Hope you're having a great holiday, and remembering the reason we celebrate it :)

We are hosting Easter dinner, so I thought I'd pop in quickly while my ham is busy cooking away to show you my Easter tablescape.



As I've mentioned before, I don't go too crazy with holiday decorating.  I'd rather spend my limited time and money on decor that can be used longer than the few weeks leading up to a holiday.  I am branching out and adding some holiday items here and there, but I don't have any Easter decor.  However, you know I love a pretty table, so my goal was to create one with things that I had on hand.  Since the table is black and I have plenty of gold, I thought I'd put together a fun black, white and gold table.

Which reminds me.......remember a few months ago on Instagram when I asked you guys whether I should buy the gorgeous Nate Berkus black or gold tray that I found at Goodwill?



The correct answer was both, people!  
I would have loved to have that gold tray in my tablescape....I'm so sad I didn't bring it home.

What, you don't follow me on Instagram yet?!  
Please do, I obviously need your help.

Now on to the rest of the eye candy...




Happy Easter!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favs 39

Happy Friday!  Cheers to a three day weekend (hopefully you're enjoying one too)!


Every year, I swear that I'll do something to make our patio and front poor look more pulled together and inviting.  For the cookouts and gatherings I'll undoubtedly be throwing, I tell myself.  But really it's for me and Mr. M. to sit outside and watch our birds at the bird feeder, which is usually the most action that our patio sees.    Regardless of my reasons,  and despite my best intentions.... each year I fail to bring any sort of design to our outdoor spaces. 


It's not that our outdoor spaces are terrible.  They're not.  But they look sort of haphazard and unintentional...which is exactly what they are.  I don't know what I want to do out there, so I don't do much of anything other than set up my hand-me-down outdoor furniture, throw some plants in a pot and call it a day. 

Ok, so that's not completely accurate.  I do know what I want to do to our outdoor living areas, but  an expanded patio with an area for a pergola,  in-ground pool, and outdoor kitchen and fireplace just aren't happening right now.  Or probably ever. 

So in honor of my ongoing, yet unfulfilled longing for a chic outdoor space, here are some of my favorite (realistic) patio decor inspirations.

Fav #1
Interesting furniture, love all of the greenery.

Fav #2
Love the coastal vibe, and especially the whisky barrel coffee table.


Fav #3
Colorful pillows draw me in every time.  Plus, that table and those chairs are awesome.


Fav #4
I'm digging the centerpiece here, as well as the updated wicker.


Fav #5
Pops of color.  Need I say more?!


Over the next few months, I'll be looking for ways to bring these inspirations into our outdoor decor.  New furniture is just not on the agenda this year, so my challenge is to work with what I have.  Hope I'm up for it!

What do you do to get your outdoor areas ready for spring?!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shabby Chic Flower Headbands

After last week's post about the baby shower baskets that I made in anticipation of the arrival of my triplet nieces and nephew, a few of you emailed me to ask about the headbands I used to decorate the girls' baskets. 

So in case you were wondering, I did make the headbands, and they were so simple (and cheap)!!


I started out by ordering shabby flowers and elastic from Pick Your Plum, which cost a total of $9 for a total of 30 flowers in 15 different colors and 5 colors of elastic.  After setting my materials out on the table, I came up with 6 different color combinations that I liked.

  I used Style Me Classy's measurement guide for determining the length of each headband, and added half an inch to each length of elastic to account for overlap when I hot glued the ends of the elastic together to make a circle. 

Then I used the hot glue gun to glue the flowers into clusters, based upon the color combinations that I had already selected. Once each cluster was securely fastened, I used the hot glue to attach each cluster of flowers to the top of the corresponding elastic band.  

And that was it!  I made 6 matching sets of hand bands, all in the colors of outfits that I can imagine the girls wearing.  Whether they are wearing matching outfits or not, they can coordinate and look fab with cute accessories!







Which is your favorite? I can't choose between the brown/blue or the yellow/gray!  Ooh, and I like the black, white and pink as well...it reminds me of something a ballerina would wear.

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Work It Wednesday

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Monday, April 14, 2014

When in Doubt....Make it a Planter




Happy Monday!  I had the best weekend.  The spring weather just makes everything better :)

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this interesting object at my favorite shopping destination (Goodwill for those of you who are new around here!).....no clue what it was, but I bought it anyway.


It had some cool carving along the sides.....


...and some really pretty blonde wood on the bottom.  It's too bad this lighter wood wasn't on the top...I may not have painted it if that were the case.


Whatever this thing was...I thought it would be a cool planter, and a great opportunity to try out my new Country Chic Paint sample! 


I thought it was pretty cool that County Chic Paint let me try out their paint and wax for free.  I chose Elegance, which is reminiscent of a robin's egg blue, and gold wax in keeping with my Midas tendencies.

You know me and gold....we're besties.  
Can't stop. Won't stop.

Before I could paint though, I had to widen the long hole on the top of the object  in order to be able to fit plants in it.  I mostly leave the power tools to Mr. M. (although I'm slowly learning), but even I can operate the Dremmel MultiPro.


I love that thing.  I used the sanding wheel to widen the opening to fit the roots of  the plants into the container, and then it was on to the paint!  

The best thing about Country Chic Paint is that it requires virtually no prep work. So I was able to skip the sanding and get right to the transformation.  Giving the planter two coats of paint was a snap, because the paint dries really quickly.  And once the paint was fully dry, I added a coat of gold wax, which brought a golden, shimmery finish to my planter. 

Then, I used my old trusty, Martha Steward Liquid Gilding and a small paintbrush to enhance the carvings, which turned out to be my favorite part of the whole project.


I added potting soil, some succulents, and a mini cactus that I bought at the drugstore (who knew??), as well as a few white rocks from the outside of our house to mask the soil and keep it in the container.  Since succulents and cacti require little water, I'm not too worried about water damaging the planter.  I just add a few ice chips to the top every weekend, which is when I water all of my plants, and it seems to be fine.


Right now, this little planter is bringing some life to our coffee table in the family room.  But the blue/gold combo will also look great in our living room, master bedroom, or hall bathroom.  

I see this thing moving around the house as inspiration strikes, and it's versatility has me quite pleased.


Anyone know what it was in the first place, anyway?!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Favs 38

Happy Friday!
 I'm so happy for some warm weather this weekend.  It's supposed to be 81 degrees here on Sunday...I can hardly contain my excitement!  Now if I could just get a tan....

The prospect of warm weather really got me thinking about what I need to buy to get my wardrobe and home set for spring.  Online window shopping was in full effect this week.  Here are some favorite finds!

Fav #1
Check out this cool toroise shell from ZGallerie!  How great would this look on the console table in our living room?!  It's half-off right now.....so hurry up if you love it!

Fav #2
I love this anchor sweater for spring.  The weight is perfect for spring weather, and the navy/lime color combo feels so fresh!  Oh, and it's also on sale!


Fav #3
I've shared my love of Dr. Scholl's Fielding flats before. I love ballet flats for their comfort while running around at work, and the comfort of these Dr. Scholl's flats is unsurpassed.  I just discovered this cute red/navy pair and I really want them for spring!  The wedge version is also pretty cute!



Fav #4
One of my girlfriends has this gorgeous fringe scarf, and I drool over it every time she wears it.  For less than $9 and with free shipping, I think it's time to pull the trigger.  Don't worry, I'll get a different color!


Clearly, the warm weather has put me in a bit of a shopping mood.  How about you?  What home and wardrobe updates are your eyeing up for spring?!

Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What We Ate {Oreo Truffles}

You may remember back in December when I told you about our annual Cookie Exchange party at Christmas. Well, hosting this tradition for the past few years has left me with a TON of delicious cookie recipes. Unfortunately I don't bake very often, so most of them go into my recipe box and never see the light of day again.  

But recently, I found myself searching for a recipe that tasted great and looked impressive to take to an event...but I didn't have a lot of time to spend making something that took a lot of work.  Luckily, I remembered that one of my co-workers had shared her recipe for Oreo Truffles at one of our cookie exchange parties.  

They are to-die-for, and I knew they didn't require a lot of time or ingredients.

Sold!


Ingredients
1 package Oreo cookies
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 package chocolate melting wafers
1 tablespoon shortening

Using a food processor, grind cookies into fine crumbs. Reserve 1/4 cup cookie crumbs.  Add cream cheese to the remaining crumbs, and beat cookie crumbs and cream cheese until thoroughly combined.


Roll mixture into approximately 48 one inch balls.


Melt chocolate wafers and shortening using a double boiler.  Or if you don't have a double boiler, just put them in a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water, like I did.


Dip each ball into chocolate, using a toothpick.  Place chocolate-coated balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  


Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs, which is helpful in concealing the holes left by the toothpicks.  Place cookie sheet in refrigerator for one hour to allow chocolate to set.  

I made two batches--one with white chocolate coating and the other with a milk chocolate coating.  They looked so cute arranged on a serving tray, and tasted every bit as good as I remembered. 


Needless to say, there weren't any left to bring back home, which was probably a good thing.  

I'm not sure I could be trusted with them in the house!

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