I found it on another blog-September

I can't believe it's the end of the month (and summer) already. We have had a chill in the morning Carolina air all week. Before October officially gets started I want to share my favorite ideas that have been floating around the blog world in the last month.

Click on the links to see the full post or to visit the highlighted blog.
#1-Eco-chic Shopping by Lavendar and Lillies. L and L has been highlighting ways to "go green" all week. I think the lunchskins from 3 Green Moms are genius.

2-A Barnyard Birthday from Simply Creative Insanity. "More Cow Bell" anyone? Have I mentioned how I can't wait to plan children's birthday parties? They are still a few years away.

#3 Operation shower is such a neat idea and the fruit centerpieces that Celebrations at Home put together are so mod, not to mention pretty inexpensive and easy.

#4-Everything LEB put these pillows on her to do list. I'm inspired.

#5-Hostess with the Mostess gives another reason to host a colorful party. Invite friends and family over to learn and celebrate the gender of a new baby with a reveal party. This would be a neat way to thank close friends and family for all of their support (past and future) around a new baby. You must click through to see how they made the reveal.

Hope you enjoy these posts as much as I did.


Holy Baking Soda Batman!

I had this post planned for awhile but decided to finish up when I read that Lavender and Lillies is doing a "going green" week on her blog. Check her out all week for more helpful hints.

I was searching for a good cleaning agent for chrome. Before I could put together the bar cart (check of this post and this one for pics) it needed a good scrubbing. Small rust spots and grime wouldn't come off even with a harsh chemical cleaner. The cart was in my grandmother's house for years, then 2 college apartments, then stored under a bed, so it was quite a bit of work to make the chrome shine again.

Several websites suggested a paste of baking soda and water matched with elbow grease. I was amazed at the shine. It worked so well, I felt a little like I was in an infomercial for the next fad cleaner. It's now on my "clean green" list for shiny things (think bathroom fixtures). It also works wonders on pots and pans.


(Ceramic) Note to Self

I keep the front of our fridge clutter free. No pics, magnets or notes visible on the front.

This is true unless I need a serious reminder about something, then I plaster a note-to-self on scrap paper on the front of the fridge. Most of my notes are non-work related, out of my normal routine and/or on the weekend-the smart phone can only do so much reminding when it has been hidden in my purse since Friday at 5pm.

Enter in Can Stop Making Things' ceramic note tablet project. The basics of the project are pretty simple. A $. 79 ceramic tile from Lowe's plus a dry erase marker equals an small erasable surface for reminders. I took it a step further with glue and magnets and I now have an attractive tablet that can be popped on the front of the fridge when I am in need of a reminder. It looks much more pulled together than a note on a scrap sheet of paper tacked up with a Garfield magnet.

It's an opportunity for creativity and artistic talent. Can't Stop used a permanent marker to make the tile look like a note pad. If you are not artistic (which I am not) or do not have pretty "teacher" handwriting (which I also do not), find the nearest scrapbook aisle and stock up on glue and scrapbook embellishments. I used 2-D flowers for this tablet, but I can also see a monogram or initials on the tablet.

I like it so much I think that I am going to spend the 5 minutes this project takes to create another for my desk at work for quick notes and messages. No more searching for a scrap of paper and no need to use a clean sheet for a reminder that won't matter anymore in a few days.



I have several project going right now and I think Carolina husband is ready to see me get some of them finished before I start anything new. Something about him not being able to get into his closet because of the 1/2 finished headboard in the way.

A lazy weekend at home was just what I needed to make some progress. I still have plenty on the list, but its a start.

Mrs. Limestone's recent progress pics of her secret shame box room got me inspired. I started with my own secret shame that looked like this.
A few hours later...
And all finished up. I still have one more box to sort through, not to mention figuring out what to do with the found square footage.
I also put this together...
which ended in this.
It's the missing bar cart from this post. Do you love it, I do.

I even had a chance to put this together. Wondering what it is? More on this later.

So yes, Progress. Maybe next weekend I'll finish up the headboard:)


Open Up

Despite having many projects around the house yet to be finished and plenty of time to tackle them I have used my time lately to just be lazy (and watch massive amounts of football).

The result, I am fairly uninspired about what to post. I'm sure I'll be back soon. Until then, consider the idea of open/glassed shelves in the kitchen, I am. The glass doors seem more my style, but I am not sure I want to shell out the cash for special order cabinet doors that I can't return if I get cold feet.


Southern Charm

"The South is a very special place, rooted in tradition and strength of character-both of its men and women. As a professional business woman, I have always admired the strong southern women who maintain grace, but hold their ground and the Rhett Butlers of the world who embrace them...Southern women seem to balance strength, femininity and a spitfire perseverance--and thrive in a world even more traditionally thought of as a 'man's world' than the rest of America." -Katherine Stefan, Editorial Director/Publisher

The quote is from an editorial I clipped in the last few years from a local lifestyles magazines. In recent years, I have come to accept how growing up in the South has shaped much of who I am as an adult, including my general attitude and notions of home and hospitality.

Try as I might to escape to the world of Ikea, I continue to be drawn first to the grand yet relaxed and classic southern style which is often times just modern enough for me with a Lucite table or shiny tile in the design. Seeing pics in print of this style is getting a little tougher as it seems like all of the Southern design mags are folding. Recent posts on Garden and Gun's Design Blog, Belle Decor highlight the loss of some of these mags as well as profile Southern Designer, Suzanne Kasler. Her work in the South (Atlanta) for Southern homes of all styles, not to mention her new book set to arrive later this year is truly inspiring, Southern style.

Images from Suzanne Kasler Interiors

In addition to seeing more of Suzanne's work at Belle Decor also check our Garden and Gun's article on the "The Southern Part of Heaven".



It would come up in conversation that Carolina Husband and I were heading to Baltimore to visit my sister and one of the standard responses was "Well there is plenty to do in D.C. It's only a short drive." But as we learned on the Baltimore duck tour (quack, quack), the city has gone through quite a renaissance in the past few years. We managed to take in most of the sites on foot and water taxi.

Our highlights for the 4 days were we in Baltimore included an Orioles baseball game finished a bit early for us by a downpour of rain;

Duck tour through the city on land and through inner harbor by sea;

Dolphin show, jelly exhibit and 4-D movie all in the National Aquarium (the 4-D experience was very cool even for two adults);

Oysters for lunch, crabs for dinner;

And a water taxi trip to Fort McHenry where the star spangled banner was written.

Baltimore seemed like a great educational trip for kids with the aquarium, science center and fort and there is no shortage a restaurants, shops and watering holes for us adults. It's worth it really just to see the architecture and residence's in Federal Hill, Fells Point and the downtown/harbor area. Plus I am a sucker for any city that is on the water.
Oh yeah, we even had time to get in a fantasy football draft for the boys.


Mama Dinner

In addition to celebrating years of friendship with my college friends, our 2009 ladies weekend trip from a few weeks ago also celebrated one of us becoming a first time mom. Many of us had already celebrated Baby L with a shower a week earlier, but we wanted to surprise the new mom-to-be with a unique something just for her.

In our emails before the trip I affectionately referred to this idea as planning the "mama dinner." It was not really meant to be another shower, more of a celebration of this new chapter for Soon- to-be Mama L.

Shower or not, the surprise afternoon started with ice cream and an invitation for Mama L to join us for a pedicure and special dinner. We were all going to be together regardless of the invite, but it was a nice way to start the special celebration. After pedicures we headed back to our hostesses house, while Mama L was relaxing the rest of us prepared a special table and finished up dinner and dessert.

Orange gerber daisies matched with green apples and seedum blooms from the yard created a summer centerpiece.

A large hosta leaf was the base for place card apple and each place setting (we even broke out the fine china).

We shared pasta and green salad with fresh vegetables, lemon cake with raspberry for dessert, wine and sparkling cider for Mama L. After dinner we presented Mama L with a basket filled with warm fuzzies and notes for her to use and read pre and post baby.


Simple, Spicy

Here is a quick recipie share for anyone who likes shellfish, spice and a simple recipie.

The noodles have a great combo of spice and freshness with the basil or onion topping. As a one pan dish it's easy prep and clean up. Add a glass of wine and I feel like I am eating dinner in a chic urban Asian eatery instead of my suburban kitchen.
Shrimp and Rice Noodles with Lime and Spicy Kick

16 oz rice noodles
12-16 raw shrimp, peeled
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic
4 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (more or less depending on you desire for heat)
2-4 cups chicken broth
red pepper flakes to taste

fresh lime wedges, basil or green onions as garnish and topping.

Prepare noodles according to package directions and shell shrimp. Mix olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Cook shrimp in a wok or large frying pan until pink with 2 tbsp. of the prepared sauce. Add small amounts of chicken broth to the shrimp to keep some liquid in the wok. Add cooked noodles and remaining prepared sauce; mix with shrimp and heat through. Just before removing from heat add red pepper flakes to taste and chicken broth to achieve desired soupy-ness. Serve with lime wedge or a spritz of lime juice, topped with chopped fresh basil or green onions .


I found it on another blog-August

I am finally back from my marathon August, which did not allow much time for posting (especially the last few weeks). I have tons of things that I want to share so bare with me while I play catch up a bit over the next few days.

But lets start with something completely unrelated to all of my fun over the last few weeks. I regularly "star" blog posts in my google reader when I find something that I really like, but don't quite know what to do with. I thought each month I would start sharing a few posts that caught my eye. I hope that you find a new idea, recipe or even blog to keep up with. So here we go.
Click on the links to see the full post or to visit the highlighted blog.

I loved the idea for this theme that Celebrations shared. This was a bridal shower, but tell me is it not also cute for a girly twins baby shower? I have plenty of shoes to pull this off.

It makes me want to redecorate our entry to have a bit more flare.

And this post makes me want to start over on my kitchen. Turquoise and fabulous storage anyone?

IMO, A beautiful mix of fresh and classic. I wish she would give me lessons.

(And a bonus #5 because my grandmother taught me to decorate in odd numbers)

Elegant and casual at the same time.
If you are looking for new reading material. Spend some time on any of these sites, archives of inspiration will not disappoint.