Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I've been listening to this song on repeat and the lyrics really sum up the reason we're celebrating this weekend. We have so very much to be thankful for!

How Many Kings

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe after all we’ve projected
A child in a manger

Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliness hero, wrapped in his mothers shawl
Just a child
Is this who we’ve waited for?

Cause how many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn savior
All that we have whether costly or meek
Because we believe
Gold for his honor and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he’ll suffer
Do you believe, is this who we’ve waited for?
It’s who we’ve waited for

How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me

Hope you all are having a most blessed holiday season! I look forward to checking back in after the fun....for now have a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


So a little recap: Thanksgiving was at our place this year (I pretty much sequester holidays and hold them captive, so it's not like my family has much choice), but unlike last year, we had a whole year under our belt of living in the house and being settled. Which can I tell you - it just felt ohsoverynice! I took off Wednesday too, which meant FIVE whole days off of work in a row.

People. Newsflash --- THIS WAS AMAZING! I don't think I even really realized how tired I've been, but holy mashed potatoes, it was awesome! I haven't had that many days off in a row to just be at home in...ummm...never. Remind me to take vacations at home from now on, they are where it's at!

Long story short, all this time off resulted in my feeling brave enough to take on the turkey. I don't know why, but with how much I love to cook, I've just never felt like I could take on the bird. But this year was different, this year - I was empowered!

But then - SO MANY CHOICES. Do you deep-fry? We are in the South now, wouldn't that be appropriate? Do you brine? And with what brine? Do you glaze? I amassed more Thanksgiving-menu related magazines than I thought possible trying to exhaust all options. I went a bit overboard - at first I was going to butterfly it and stuff it with ricotta, fennel, and sausage. That was till I learned I needed to find an actual butcher from whom I could purchase such a turkey, your regular grocery deli will not butterfly your turkeys. Trust me. I tried. In the end leave it up to a blog to make my mind for me, and I took La Dolce Vita's advice and made her favorite recipe. And she was right - I will never make another turkey. It was the BEST.

I wish I had more pictures, but honestly, I was cooking the whole time, which really didn't allow for much picture taking! However, we managed a few:

Becky drove up late the night before to pitch in:

Recipes/Magazines on parade:

Some people opted for games instead of cooking:

Mom made pie...hahahaha. Becky and I were in tears after I took this picture...
Sorry, mom - couldn't resist!

The green beans were a hit - I'll include the link to the recipe below, so easy!

There she is - my pride and joy - about 1/3 of the way cooked:

We all gathered together to pray before dinner...ALL of us:

The Thanksgiving table...

I took a cue from good ol' Martha and walnuts served as our placecard holders:

Then we ate and we thanked and we ate and thanked some more. The End.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!

For more on green beans go here:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Birthday!

On the slim chance that Ty finds the time to meander online and sneak a peek at our blog, I wanted to wish him a VERY happy birthday!!!! Yup, today is his 29th birthday. The last of the 20's...though we're both in agreement on this one and can't wait to be in our 30's. Some people don't like growing older, we love it... Odd ducks, us two.

Anyhow, happy birthday to my husband! You are wonderful in too many ways to count here on this lil ol' blog of ours....thanks for being mine! I think 29 is going to be your best year yet!

P.S. You look good.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall's Fool

While temperatures outside waffle between Fall and an Indian Summer, inside I can play Mother Nature. So to keep my sanity when I see the weather approaching 90 degrees (umm, what? where did 70 go?), I know there's nothing like a little gourd action and a few spice-scented candles to fool me into thinking otherwise.

Our kitchen/breakfast area...

I have an editing problem, note in the picture above just the candles and arrangements, but no I felt the need for MORE white pumpkins. But really, can you fault me? I love those things!

Our living room...yes, the "J" is a touch ostentatious. But I love it and had stalked it on Horchow forever and then when it moved into the clearance section, well - that was just the end of the story.

Our bookshelves - nothing says Fall like the "Fall of the Roman Empire" series and some bronzed pumpkins.

And last, but not least...a sneak peek at the Thanksgiving's by no means done, but note how natural of a theme I have going! No gold, glitter, or sequin in sight! I know, I know...I surprise myself too;)

Well, that's it for us this year and Fall decorations. I'm saving the big guns for Christmas...and there will be reindeers, ornaments, poinsettias, and gold...yes, lots of gold;)

Monday, October 18, 2010


Yesterday we spread out a blanket in the yard and I gathered all the magazines I've been wanting to spend time know, not just peruse, but really read all the content, dog-ear for inspirational purposes, and maybe start planning my holiday tablescape. Yes, I treat my issues of House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Traditional Home, and Veranda like textbooks.

And though we have patio furniture it just seemed so appropriate to spread out a blanket and lay in the grass. So we did.

And we watched leaves fall with the light whispers of wind that moved through the trees. While fall is here technically, FALL is imminently approaching, and signals were everywhere of its pending arrival. Soon the leaves will no longer be overhead, but on the ground. Quieter moments such as this will be hustled and bustled as the Holiday season nears. And while I love the Holidays most of all, there is a quiet reverence found in moments so unexpected like yesterday afternoon. When the house has been cleaned from top to bottom, when the list of "to-do's" for the weekend have been completed and set aside, and when all that's left is simply to sit.

So sit we did. We sat and we sipped rosé, all under a rosé sky.

(Image from my blanket's view, courtesy of God)

And it was wonderful.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Have you all seen the new Crate and Barrel ads floating around there these days? I think they are brilliant. I'm kind of obsessed with them right now. It's like they took a cue from all the home design/fashion bloggers and are capitalizing on it for their efforts. It's very The Sartorialist of them don't you think?

Also brilliant - the newest issue of Lonny. And lucky for you I've shared the link below that takes you to both the specific ad of which I reference found in Lonny.

Check it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fan Friends

While we were in AZ a couple weeks ago, we made sure to carve out some time to go and meet Nolan, Kelley and Patrick's new baby boy. He made his big debut on Aug. 27 (good day, also my brother Matthew's bday!) so we officially made it to see Nolan within the one-month mark, which has been my goal since he was born...Anyhow, it's so amazing to see your closest friends turn into parents, it's a beautiful thing to watch, and we are SO excited for both Patrick and Kelley. And super excited that they happened to produce the cutest baby boy ever!

So before I go on...and on...and's our meeting in pictures.

We were both excited to finally meet...

Happiness is lounging with a baby, Red Vines, and football...

Bottles were everyone...

Yes, this is my most favorite picture in the universe, yes it is being framed...

Umm, this is gorgeous. Kelley and Nolan. Look at that face he's giving me!

The new family...CUTENESS! Nolan's not quite sure if he's going to stay up though...

Then it was our turn to get in on the group picture action...

The end...time to go back to sleep...

This really was the highlight of our trip - Thank you Kelley, Patrick and Nolan for such a perfect day! We love you guys!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The One in Where I Meet NieNie

Yes, you read that right. I met our beloved NieNie.

I have so much to tell you all about from our AZ trip, but as I have no photos of this event to keep it fresh in my mind, better to share earlier than later.

So where was I? Oh, yes. Nie.

After a long and unfortunate series of events, which resulted in me running from the Phoenix airport to the rental car shuttle to the actual car rental only to be turned down by the car rental agency because my name wasn’t ON the rental reservation (grr…), I was running back to the rental car shuttle so that I might take a cab over to my brother's dorm to wait it out till Ty arrived from Dallas.

Ty flew in from Dallas, I flew in from Oakland...the fact that we had to fly to another state to meet, well let's just call that the story of our lives as of late. But that's another post altogether.

But I'm getting off-track. So, there I was - huffing, panting, and exasperated beyond all measure to not have successfully rented the car, and all my plans of having a nice evening all ready for Ty completely thwarted, and about to board a rental car shuttle for the second time in an hour - when who should I see, but Christian and Nie! (I realize now, with the slight rhyme, which was totally unintentional, that this last sentence reads like a line from a Christmas tale...but I guess it was like Christmas for me, so I'll leave it.)

Now here's the interesting thing about the story, it wasn't like I had a moment where it was like "Is that Christian and Nie?" Nope. There was no questioning. In fact, it was more like "Oh, Christian and Nie, SO nice to see you here!" Like I was running into an old college roomie at a cocktail familiar, like long-lost friends.

So I reacted thusly, as long-lost friends would. I yelled (yes, yelled out) as we were passing (remember we're at the rental car shuttle, it's a LARGE place) "Stephanie and Christian SOOOOO nice to see you!" Please note, I didn't say "meet" I said "see" as you would do to a friend whom you have ALREADY met. This is critical.

Now I had their attention, because they didn't know who I was, but I indicated they should...But shoot, immediately I could tell they were in a hurry. (If you go read Nie's post she says they missed their flight.) At this moment my inner dialogue is a frenzy, but logic is no foe to my Nie-induced state of excitement. So I ramble loudly, and quickly, all while moving past Nie and Christian (we were all walking past one another as this scene takes place, and I couldn't make them stop, they were in a hurry, remember?) and I say, in under 20 seconds: "It's sooo great to see you, can't believe I'm running into you here, I used to live here, but moved, and I always wanted to meet you, I love you guys and have read your blog forever, and wow - SO SERENDIPITOUS!!!!!!!!!"

Wha?? Wha? What??? Hold the phone. Serendipitous?!? Really? Ty thinks this part is just hilarious. When I recounted the tale for Kelley, Patrick, and Ty in detail he was all "Who uses serendipitous like that in casual conversation to total strangers?" And you know what, he has a point. I don't normally go all "serendipitous" on people from day-to-day, but there was really no other word that could sum up my feelings in that exact moment.

So there I was, having just yelled at Nie that things were sooo serendipitous, and I boarded the rental car shuttle. I was sitting there trying to reconcile myself to the fact that I just acted like someone with a joyful case of Tourette's and was about to call Kelley to spill the news of meeting Nie, when I looked up and saw Stephanie and Christian walking back towards the rental car shuttle I was on and climb the stairs to come on board.

Uh-oh. Time to face the serendipitous music.

Stephanie smiles and heads right to me after she boards the shuttle, and I did a quick round of self-deprecating humor saying something like "Oh no, now you have to sit next to the crazy lady." And she laughed, and then she came and sat right next to me.

And there I was, sitting next to Nie and Christian, on the rental car shuttle. Thankfully, all awkwardness was already put aside by this time, and we had the most pleasant conversation on our ride over to the airport. We talked of Fall (how splendid!), her adorable kids, the blogging universe (so small!), and her purse, my moving to Texas from Arizona, my love and adoration for her sister, my large family and her large family, etc...

And the fifteen minutes or so that it took from the shuttle to the airport were just delightful, so natural, and thankfully, I do believe I saved myself from any further embarrassment. We parted our ways and as they went off to try and catch their flight, I thought to myself: had I been able to rent the car, or had I not haggled with the rental representatives for a good 15 minutes, or had I not then proceeded to call our reservation hotline and tell them their policies were unacceptable and I would never be using their services again (take that, Priceline!), had not all these things happened....I would never had met Stephanie and Christian.

Serendipitous, indeed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just the essentials...

Just got back from a packed weekend in AZ. Had to make a quick trip to the store... here's a snap shot (excuse the horrid quality from my phone!) of the purchases that were made:

Yup, that looks about right!

p.s. I AM WEARING A SWEATER! Never mind that it's a thin one, but it's still sweater-status over here in the morning/evening now...Heavenly. Fall you are the BEST!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Tomorrow Becky turns 21. I can't believe it - I feel old. I remember praying SO earnestly for a sister (for years and years) and finally she came along. Red, curly hair, and blue eyes, just like I had asked God.

I'm sure my parents thought I was nuts...praying nightly for a red, curly-haired sister with blue eyes, but the little girl I loved who I helped watch during church service in the nursery had those features and I was convinced those were the BEST features any baby girl could have! Genetics be darned, prayers can influence that stuff, right?

Well, evidently they do because, lo and behold, that's what I got!

During her early teen years she hated me for it, as she straightened her hair into a helmet of frizz. Obviously now she knows better;)

Do you know my parents let me name her? Really. Talk about a lot of power to give a 6-almost-7 girl. She very well could have been named Stacyelle. WHICH was my favorite name ever. I loved putting -elle on the end of all names, making what was surely to be the next big name of the decade.

It didn't catch. DEVASTATING, I know.

Well, now it's 21 years later and she's starting to hit all those really big milestones of early adulthood. And it's SO fun. We're more best friends than we are sisters and that's definitely the best part of it all. So as any good friend would naturally do, we helped her move into her first place this last month...and we documented for you all, aren't you lucky?

The new homestead - it was getting prepped for painting, so this is the best shot I have right now, but I'm sure it looks much better now.

The gang, drill included.

Creativity is key...get it? This was outside Becky's new house when we arrived, inspiration left behind from a former tenant maybe?

Becky's requisite "first place" photo

The cutest vintage dresser Becky scored at a local Goodwill in Kingwood, isn't the little bow detail at the bottom adorable?

Vintage finds mixed with my old, old, old jewelry armoire that Becky made her own with a coat of pink paint.

Seriously, I was so proud of that piece back in the day. It came with a matching vanity set and it was my most prized possession. So, it's fun to see it have made it this far. Which also makes me think - where the heck is my big sister? I need some furniture and cool hand-me-downs stat.

Proof I was there too; well a sweaty version of myself was...

And now, if you'll excuse me...I'm off to Austin to share a toast with Becky for her 21st. And possibly to look for someone who wants to adopt me as their little sister? Austin's weird enough, it could happen;)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August Redux....

So August isn't over, but it might as well be. I feel like I'm having one of those "Dude, where's my car?" moments except it's more like "Dude, where's my life?"

Where did the first part of August go? I think I blacked out in early July.

We have been so busy, but only because we are SO blessed to have so many wonderful friends who have decided to make the trek out to see us this summer. And it's been SO much fun!

John and Kendall came out the last weekend in July and helped us usher in August....and we hadn't seen them in THREE years! Hours flew by as we talked late into the night and played multiple rounds of Beanie (only the best game ever which they introduced to us, thanks J&K!)

(Best group picture award goes to ....US!)

The fabulous news is that I'll be seeing Kendall in just another few months for her baby shower, they're expecting in early January and I'm SO beyond excited!

Then shortly after their visit we had another Oregonian couple come out - Ty's cousin and wife - Matt and Beth. Or as I kept calling them when I was tired late at night, Bat and Meth. That's a fun twist, huh? We took them to Kemah and it was H-O-T out there on the boardwalk, but we had tons of fun!

(The Gulf! So pretty...and STEAMY hot., I think I lost 3 lbs. of water weight that day!)

(The Fam on the Boardwalk)

(This cracks me up, you know the Seagull's got to be thinking "Why you gotta be a no-person in a yes-world?!)

THEN...immediately after Bat and Meth left we helped moved Becky to Austin into her first place because my parents were moving Matthew to ASU. We have a ton of pictures from the move to Austin, and I still need to upload them since we just got back a day ago....stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Orange You Glad?

My hair is orange.

Yup, that's right. I've made a huge boo-boo and trying to get my roots to not look SO blonde against the dark brown it was colored below, has now resulted in a shade of orange. Ty says I'm dramatic, but people...I implore you - when I have ever been dramatic???

Okay, so I can be a wee enthusiastic from time to time. But really people. It's a shade of ORANGE.

So a few things have been decided.

1. I'm going back to blonde, or a shade of, by my 28th bday. That gives me about 3 months. Not long, but hopefully long enough so I don't fry my hair completely and have to go all Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby on you all.

2. I need to cut off some of the length and I need more style. But this is where you come in - any suggestions? I'm willing to take it up to the collarbone but not above, because that results in mushroom face explosion (it's a real diagnosed condition). AND I'm keeping the bangs in SOME form, because without them I have five-head, a la Miz Tyra Banks.

SO leave me a comment and tell me what to do!!! Orange you glad I asked?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blog much?

My answer would be apparently, no. As if you couldn't tell! I think this has been the longest spell of no-blogging in a really long time. Not that I'm some major blogger to begin with, but geez, I can't seem to get my act together. Bottom-line, it's been busy over here!

So a little re-cap: there's been lots of shower planning for this guy's arrival. Then there was the actual shower, and my-oh-my was that loads of fun! And I have no pictures. Boo! But don't you worry, there are pictures to come, I just figured I should leave it to Julie and Sarah, because they're the pros;)

As soon as I got home from the shower, it was off to California for work, and well...I just got home this past Friday night. I'm home for a stretch now, and we have so many FUN things heading our way. Which you know what that means? Lots o'blog posts in the future!

John and Kendall come out from Oregon this weekend, Matt and Beth come out (also from Oregon) the following weekend, and then it's time to start moving Becky into her very first apartment! Which also means we have lots of home decorating in our future! For her upcoming 21st birthday we gifted her with this couch and chair:

Pretty fabulous little set for a first place, don't you think? She loves it as-is, which I have to agree we're working on the accessories to match. So, I've got lots to stay-in-touch about over the next few weeks, and I'll do my best to stay on top of it all, so check back often;)

Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


One of the fabulous blogs I read, From the Right Bank, put out a challenge asking other readers if they could define their style in one picture. And immediately I knew my answer. I know this picture has circulated the blogosphere more times than I can count, but since I saw it in House Beautiful all those months ago, I've seriously carried it around with me. Every time I look at it, my heart skips a beat. Maybe it's the mismatched chairs, the color (yes, I'd even take the pink, and I'm not a pink person!), that gorgeous chandelier, or the way the artwork finds its place without looking forced, it's simply perfection.

(Design by Windsor Smith - she is a genius!)

Don't you agree? What's your style in one picture?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Some housekeeping...

So I played around with the background on this thing today on my lunch, and I'm not really pleased but enough was enough, so I'm letting it stand for now:)

In other news, it's been far too long since I've shared my most recent set of before-and-afters with you all! This one is probably my most favorite to-date because it was EVERYTHING I had hoped it would be;)

I had been on the hunt for a breakfast table and chairs set since we moved to Texas, but nothing was just right. So the IKEA set we had brought with us from Arizona stayed, and stayed, and stayed...and stayed in place some more:) Till finally one day I was perusing the most fabulous website ever (, which is really just a micro-site of Craigslist specific to Kingwood, and there it was! We picked it up and took it home that day. Needless to say, it took a month or two since that time to refinish and cover the set, but now it's right at home.

And let me tell you - this was the best $50, I've ever spent! Can you believe that? Just $50 for a table and five chairs. Killer. Add to that the clearance paint and fabric - and voila! I'm in love.

A chair's humble beginnings:

Almost there...

A close-up of the fabric - the detail is gorgeous! I love the gray against the mustard/linen color of the fabric. Just wait till we finally get this kitchen painted gray, it will be GRAYT;) jk. Great.

The whole deal:

And last but not least, to appreciate the table, you have to check out the column.

It was finally able to get some love and be put to use with Kelley and Patrick's visit, many Cheerios were had:) We can't wait for everyone else to come and put it to the test...let us know when you're on your way!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Matthew Graduated!

This last weekend Matthew graduated from high school - CRAZY. I am getting old, y'all. Like certifiably old. I remember bouncing this baby on my lap like it was yesterday, but here he is getting ready to head off to college! *sigh*

Speaking of college - Matthew's decided to attend Arizona State you know what that means?? More trips to AZ are in my future! Not only will I get to check in on the kid, but I'll get to visit with situation I say!

So I'll keep it brief and share some photos, enjoy!

I was trying to get Mom and Matthew as they first embraced, Mom was about to lose it crying. Note all the funny faces in this picture...there's actually four family members in this pic, can you spot em?

HAHAHA - Mom crying. This is funny because it's a family thing to wipe our eyes about as ungracefully as possible. Oh, and to cry at all family events. Cracks. Me. Up.

Dad, Matthew, and Mom...fresh from drying her tears (happy ones;)

The G-parents came in town, my Grandma is a pee-wee. She kept remarking how short she was all day, as if she just realized she's only 5'2" that very morning;)

The whole gaggle of us, save for Ty who was taking the picture.

My Mom wanted one with all "the kids" so here we are in all our glory;)

And last but not least, just one of me and the graduate. I'm so proud of him!