Thursday, November 20, 2014

house in the 'hood

I spotted this one last night on my beloved
and immediately went gaga over it.
Can you tell why?
Turns out I run past it on one of our running routes
but since we run before sunrise
I've just never noticed it.
Until now.
The home owner is either a designer, 
hired one,
or she stalks blogs like I do
because this house is divinely decorated
as you will soon see.

I love the chutzpah of whoever did the design.
Right off the bat you know this is going to be good.
They painted the hardwood floors in a glossy gray paint.

The downstairs office had me at hello.

Brave decisions were made all around.
Like I always say to my kids
different is good.


A better look at the floors in the entry hall
leading into the family room...

The plate arrangement on the wall reminds me
of one Sally Wheat used to have in her old house.
She lives in this 'hood too...
wondering if she helped with this house???

Wine room anyone?

Honestly I keep staring at the pillows.
And the mix of seating.
{Annette...see what I mean about mixing chairs?}
What goes with a wine room better than a bar area
especially with marble countertops and herringbone backsplash?

A lovely respite right outside the wine room...

Back inside there is a guest room and bath on the main floor...

Just the sight of the mudroom makes me happy...

I love the Houston subway art
in an otherwise tone on tone palette...

I'm taking notes on this bedroom.
Bungalow 5 dressers as side tables.


Two things I would do if this house were mine
is update the fireplace surround and the master bath...
But that wouldn't stop me from buying.
Especially if they threw in the furnishings :)
Just saying.
I spy one of my favorite light fixtures below...

Look at these boys' rooms below....

I will be showing these to my boys so that they can vote
on which one I will be copying for their bedroom update.
Because imitation is the most sincere form of flattery :)
I love the gallery wall in the second stairwell...

These last two rooms make this a winner winner in my book...
the game room...

and a bunk room.

I'm adding these to my new house file.
Which we may be needing sooner rather than later :)
More on that on Monday.
all images via


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

a few of my {new} favorite things

The poncho I posted about on Friday is not one of them.
Seems like everyone and their brother
had the same idea to go to Target on Sunday
when the new Target + Toms collaboration made its debut.
Call me crazy but I went to two different Targets
right after church on Sunday
and the Toms kiosk at Target was torn apart.
At both places.
My sweet husband even stopped by a Target close to his work
on the way home to see if he could snag one for me yesterday.
The same husband who said to me on Sunday
as we were running in and out of Targets
"Aren't you wearing a poncho right now?"
Me: "Yeah, but its khaki tan.
The new one is gray."
As in DUH.
Plus I added "this one is from Target too.
You're lucky I'm low maintenance
when it comes to clothes, buddy."
Oh well.
Put it under the category of win some, lose some.
I have found a few other favorite things lately.
You know I'm a beauty product junkie.
As in I'm pretty sure I need rehab.
I'm letting my pixie hair cut grow out
and it has been complete torture in that every day
feels like a bad hair day.
Until my hairdresser used this recently on me...
Loreal's Mythic Oil
This one is for color treated hair.
To say it smells good is the understatement of the year.
I put it on my hair when its damp then blow dry.
Prepare to be a goofball who smells your own hair all day.
I just finished up my first bottles of these new products
I first read about on preppy empty nester.
One is a vitamin C serum
the other is a hyaluronic acid serum
Both by Day by Day Beauty.
I just reordered yesterday.
I put it on, first the vitamin C then the hyaluronic acid second
and seriously it looks like my skin is glowing.
And I don't think its my bad eyes playing tricks on me either :)
Its hard to say that glowing skin is the best part
because these two products also hit two more of my favorite things.
One you can order it through amazon and number two is the price.
Each product is less than twenty dollars each.
You can barely buy a drugstore product for under $20 anymore.
Now that we've got our beauty fix
{for now}
let's talk another favorite thing for me.
I've been working with a nutritionist to get ready for the marathon.
His main goal for me was to increase my protein
and to get me to eat more of my daily calories in the morning
rather than in the afternoon.
Believe it or not eating breakfast within an hour of waking is hard for me.
Anybody else have that problem?
Maybe its the gallons of coffee I drink first
but I'm not usually hungry until about ten.
Apparently that's not healthy according to him.
So I've been trying my best.
Finding this product has helped me tremendously...
I eat one of these with a teaspoon of peanut butter on it.
Heaven on a waffle.
Seriously this waffle by Van's is so tasty on its own
but I add the pb for a little extra protein.
Lastly I'm loving Shutterfly right now.
I got their catalog in the mail over the weekend
and fell in love with their card selection.
I played around on their site with a couple of them
and sent in my order since they are having a
buy more, save more promotions.
PLUS they let you stack coupon codes.
I saved, sit down for this, $109 off my original total.
I know.
Go to shutterfly right now.
That sale ends tomorrow.
Here's their own special offer page for their codes.
You're welcome :)


Friday, November 14, 2014

what I'll be buying on Sunday

When the new Target collaboration
with Toms hits Target stores nationwide
I will be there for this...
For $28 you can snag this poncho
for yourself or as a holiday gift.
Plus its the gift that keeps on giving in that
for every Target + Toms item purchased
they will donate either
a blanket, a pair of shoes, or meals
to those in need.
Hey, did you hear that Target Canada 
is partnering with one of my favorite designers,
Sarah Richardson?
I know.
Take a minute.
I hope Target knows that we in America need her stuff too
when it hits stores next year.
If not I think a road trip to Canada may be in order.
Who's in?

what will they think of next?

I had an idea at one time,
one I'd always meant to mention to my peep Laura
whose husband is an inventor.
Seriously this guy is off the chain smart
and writes apps and invented a device for dishwashers
to let you know when they're clean or dirty.
What I wanted was a way to turn on my automated coffee pot
if I woke up earlier than it was set to turn on.
You know, so I didn't have to go all the way
downstairs and wait for my coffee to brew.
First world problem right?
Well, I never followed up on it.
Then low and behold last week
 I'm bebopping around amazon
and I see this...
Apparently its a plug that you can control using your iPhone
to turn lights and electronics on and off remotely.
Who knew?
I'm thinking coffee pots and Christmas lights
are going high tech in my home this year.
No more going outside to unplug everything
when its cold outside!!!!
Now that's what I call hitting the easy button. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

high end double happiness

You know I have a thing for double happiness.
I've collected pieces for years.
This picture may give a clue as to why...
Just the name double happiness makes me smile.
Over the years it has become a popular thing to collect it seems
and this has driven the prices up.
has increased in price from $199 a few years ago
to its current price of $449.
If I were starting a collection today
I'd wait for a big sale
{like today they're having a spend $350,
get $75 off using the code "JOLLY"}
and grab them then.
They really are beautiful and HUGE.
I have two of the tallest pots in my kitchen
Not sure if you can tell but they are so tall
I had to take the tops off
to get them underneath the cabinets.
See what I mean by huge?

For the collector with a money tree in their backyard
{sadly there is not one in mine}
this one might make you giggle like it did
when I saw Ethan Allen's latest catalog...
I know its weird that this symbol makes me smile
but if that's wrong I don't want to be right.
This temple jar version is a tad shorter than Wisteria's biggest pot
and a tad heavier on price...currently on sale for $335.
Again if you have a money tree then go for it.
What I haven't seen before is double happiness in black.
Blue is more my style but you lovers of ebony
might find this interesting...
Who knew?
I've seen them in red recently on OKL
but this is a first for black.
Blue, red, black.
Now they just need to work on price point.
The good thing about high end versions
is that there will be knock offs imitations.
And I'm hoping its sooner rather than later :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

long time gone

It wasn't intentional.
One day I was on the computer
and all of a sudden I got a blue screen
with the words "bad pool caller."
Rut roh Shaggy.
I googled it on my phone
and words like "screen of death" came up.
Good. night. nurse.
Thankfully a friend {Molly} had introduced me
to her computer guy Martin so I texted him.
He came over the next day and within about three minutes
he said the dreaded words
"your hard drive is failing."
Um, its less than two years old.
Yeah, he said.
They don't make parts to last any more.
He starts digging in the history
and can see that its been failing since April
with big errors noted in red.
Just after my warranty expired.
I'm just lucky it didn't totally crash.
Do yourself a favor and right now
go back up all your pictures
or anything you want to save from your computer.
I bought a 2 terabyte backup disk
then Martin helped me configure it
{after he changed the hard drive}
to where I just leave the thing plugged in
and it backs up my computer automatically.
Paranoid me also backs up my pictures on another
separate hard drive.
Yes that's a duplicate of the duplicate.
You call it OCD.
I call it peace of mind :)
In other news
we snuck over to our friend Deb's house
while she was having surgery on her shoulder.
We ninja-cleaned her house.
It was fun except for when I thought her neighbors
were going to call the police on me
while I waited for the other peeps to show up with a key.
I just kept waving at them as I sat in my minivan.
Forget the neighbors and the police.
I was scared of Debbie's reaction.
We were afraid she would be mad that we snuck in
but if we would have asked she would have told us no.
Its easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission sometimes.
She later said she was so happy to come home to fresh sheets,
a stocked fridge, and a tidy house. :)
We also delivered a big bag of stuff to our peep little E.
who was diagnosed with cancer two weeks ago.
Stuff like scarves and lotions,
socks with aloe, tea, tervis tumblers and straws,
special mouthwashes and lip balms
I'd read that chemo patients have found helpful.
Our peep Joyce had a nightshirt monogrammed
with a big E on it "Laverne and Shirley style"
and as an "inside joke" she had
something like "Kick cancer in the ass}."
embroidered on the inside collar
so her kids wouldn't see it but so
it would make her smile when she saw it.
Molly bought a token for parking in the medical center.
That is a HUGE tip I never thought of.
We went to a hospital in the med center last week
for about two hours and the bill was $9 to park.
I know this is probably boring,
like I'm writing a letter home from camp
about what I've been doing.
Its boring but true...just keeping the bus running.
And by running I don't mean on two feet.
Not sure if my marathon dream is going to happen
but as my boot camp teacher likes to say
"fake it til you make it."
I've got until January to figure this foot thing out.
And if that's the biggest problem I have in my life right now
I'll happily take it. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

rainbows in clouds

I'm not sure what it is but something is going on in the universe.
And I don't like it one bit.
Last Saturday was a long training run for the marathon.
17 miles.
I woke up feeling great.
Things that had plagued me in prior weeks had gotten better.
I got ready by 4:15 and seriously was ready to run.
We stopped around mile 8 to pick up some friends
and to replenish our water bottles.
As we started running again I had gotten a bit stiff.
Nothing unusual, just needed some distance to warm up again.
I was in the back of a long pack and the last one with me
was about to peel off for home but I still had six miles to go.
I started to sprint to catch up to my pack.
Funny little thing about where we run
is that its covered by a magnificent forest of trees.
Big trees with big roots.
My right foot caught one and rolled.
My already hurt foot (plantar fasciitis).
Dummy me kept on running.
But for only about two more miles until it was too painful.
And my peep Tarsy refused to run any more with me.
She very sweetly made me walk back to the car.
The bigger pack found us on the home stretch.
Part of them took off to get a car,
the other very kindly walked with me until the cavalry arrived
before they got the rest of their mileage in.
I love these people.
My tribe.
The next day during a run in the same area
another friend fell and broke her shoulder.
She's having surgery tomorrow.
Send Debbie a big fat prayer for speedy recovery if you will.
Thanking you in advance. :)
She's the hardest working woman in real estate in Houston.
I cant tell you how sweet and kind and honorable she is.
She is a just a gem
and I know it is hard for her to be down like this.
Last night around dinner time we all found out
that another member of our running group has cancer.
Within the last two months
she lost her father and her sister.
Both to cancer.
I sit here constantly thinking of her.
Just heavy of heart.
Like why her of all people?
Why do good people go through this
and yet evil people, well, it just seems like they get away evil.
Or is that just my perception?
I know that there are no answers really.
No rhyme or reason or explanation to have or to give.
No turning it over in my brain is going to figure it out.
It wouldn't help any way.
Whys can be a waste of time.
Now I'm just focusing on whats.
As in what I would want my peeps to do
if roles were reversed.
via more magazine
I know bad things happen to good people all the time.
The most important thing is to gather around when people are suffering.
To be on standby ready to help in any way.
To be a rainbow in the clouds.
I found this today...a chemo care package
that I'm gathering stuff together for little E. (my nickname for her).
I remembered this post from my favorite the silver pen
Any ideas or tips on how to help my peeps please leave a note.
Thanks and blessings to you.

Monday, October 27, 2014

night at the museum

Actually it was a day trip to the museum before school started
but lately with daylight slipping away earlier and earlier
pretty soon it will feel like night
in the middle of the afternoon around here.
I'm hoping that brings cooler weather to H-town.
Houston is an awesome city to live in
{especially when it cools down}
and one of our favorite things to do is visit
one of its many museums.
This particular day we went to see the Soto exhibit
but first you have to go through,
literally walk through,
an exhibit called The Light Inside
which is inside the...
Read more about it here.
The Soto exhibit was unlike any other I've ever seen.
It was literally intended for you to touch, move, and walk through.
I'm sorry to say its no longer at the MFAH
but here are some a lot of pictures in case you missed it.
Read more about it here.




Soto was onto something.
My kids did not want to leave.
They could have stayed here for hours.


I'm not kidding.
My kids felt right at home on the floor.
I, on the other hand, noticed this exhibit behind the Soto...
it was like a giant sunburst mirror calling my name.
except this was made of pots and pans
This spoke to me too.
To the OCD neat freak side of me...


Look at the perfect spacing.



 Speaking of perfect spacing...


A view of the Soto from upstairs...

I am always blown away by the pieces the MFAH has acquired...

A favorite by Mark Rothko...

Stained glass by Tiffany...

This reminded me of you Tery...
oysters :)

A better shot of the Tiffany...

Everywhere you turn there is something glorious...
Georgia O'Keefe...

This reminded me of Kerry Steele...

and just when I thought I'd seen everything I could that day
we ran into this...
Anyone else a Downton fan?
I was in hog heaven to say the least.






 I kept coming back to the wallpaper.
Reminds me of several Schumacher fabrics especially this one.

That was not my flash by the way but the museums' lighting.

This was on the ceiling...



The tapestries were unbelievable.
As were the following items I had not expected to see.
Did I ever mention that I'm a huge Anglophile?


How gorgeous is this painting?
especially the peacocks...

I'll leave you with that.
Sorry for the photo heavy post.
Hope you enjoyed that little museum tour.
Have a great Monday!