Sunday, August 30, 2015

Be Right Back....soaking up the last summer days

We're enjoying our last few days before school starts but I have some exciting new projects I've been working on that I can't wait to share with you. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! 

Friday, August 21, 2015


I had the honor of meeting Leah back in our college years at our sorority. She is such a sweetheart and I was so lucky to have crossed paths with her. Leah doesn't know this but I had college apartment envy. Don't get me wrong our Ben Affleck posters adorning our walls were hot but hers was waaaay better, like grown up better. 

Leah's a wife and wonderful mom to 3 beautiful littles....I mean how cute are they? She has written a great blog called Unbored Housewife, where she shares yummy recipes and daily life with the littles. Her basil strawberry ice cream recipe sounds delish. She's honest and real and I know you will enjoy reading her blog as much as I do.

Meet Leah from Unbored Housewife

Allie Skylar Photography

What made you decide to start a blog?

I worked as a lawyer for many years and although I spent a lot of my time writing, it was in a confined and restricted way.  I craved an outlet for creative writing.  After quitting my legal job to be a stay-at-home parent, I submitted an article to MOPS International's blog, Hello, Dearest, on a whim.  They chose my piece for publication, which was thrilling.  However, I realized that most of the women writing for Hello, Dearest were legit writers with fancy blogs of their own. I decided to carpe diem and start my own blog to include in my byline. That is how Unbored Housewife was born, and since then it has been an absolute joy to write about food, fitness, family, friends and God. 

What is your favorite dish to cook?

Red beans and rice.  As a Louisiana native, I grew up eating this down home staple, and now it's my kids' favorite comfort food.  It's the dish they ask for most often and it's also surprisingly simple to prepare - dried red beans, smoked sausage, onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper - and you're in business.

What is one beauty item you can't live without?

Mascara.  Always mascara.  I have blonde lashes and I feel positively naked without it.  I use the classic Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara in Blackest Black.  That pink and green tube has been around forever.  It's tried and true and I heart it.

What would you say your decorating style is?  And if you could make one room your dream room which would it be?

My decorating style is a modern farmhouse vibe.  I love the look of combining rustic, primitive pieces with shiny chrome accents and clean lines.  And although I enjoy color, I tend to decorate most of my home in shades of white with muted, neutral grays and tans and pops of black.  Nothing makes me happier than an all-white kitchen, no colorful accents required.

If I could makeover one room of my home it would be my master bedroom.  With two dogs and three little kids - aged six, four and two - my bed is usually overflowing, and my bedroom always manages to be the last spot in the house to receive attention.  I would love my master bedroom to be an organized, peaceful retreat, with crisp white linens and fresh flowers on my nightstand.  Maybe one day!

Favorite store to shop at?

The two stores where I draw the most inspiration are Anthropologie and Terrain (both of which are owned by the parent company Urban Outfitters).  The folks who style both stores are wildly creative and adept at creating an intoxicating look, smell and feel that inspires.  At Anthro I can pick up a unique outfit (complete with cool accessories), gorgeous tableware, eclectic home decor accents and the most fragrant candles around, all in one trip.  During my visits to Terrain, sometimes I browse for hours, soaking in the detailed and inspirational home and garden displays.  Then afterwards I grab lunch at Terrain's Garden Cafe, where they use hand-selected seasonal produce, dairy and meats sourced from local farmers.  I leave feeling fresh, creative and pleasantly full.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Painting with High Gloss Black Paint

I've been on a high gloss paint high (no pun intended) for awhile now. Since the majority of my house was professionally painted I only have a few rooms left to experiment with. The bathrooms and the boys rooms. Since they like to decorate their walls with stickers I won't be touching those for awhile, although my sons houndstooth wallpaper would look amazing with black lacquer trim. So that leaves me with my bathrooms and one was in need of a touch up anyway. It's a room I'm trying to salvage because the black and white basket weave tile is probably what I would have chosen if redoing it anyway and I'm kind of digging the library wallpaper. The trim was painted a matte gray and I thought of doing a high gloss gray but wanted to go bolder. So black it is. My 6 year old even got in on the action. I had a moment where I said no you can't paint wth black paint and then something came over me and I decided this is a great opportunity to teach him about painting, why not start with black. Razors can scrape paint off the doorknob, right?! 

Now that it's painted I'm not so sure I like the wallpaper anymore and debating a different window treatment. Since I have bold graphic wallpaper in the kitchen I'm debating a simple grasscloth or this Philip Jefferies I've been wanting to use somewhere. 

The toilet and sink need to be replaced but finding one that fits this space that I like has been a challenge. Off to Pinterest and Houzz I went to get some high gloss black inspiration to help out with my decisions for this bathroom and I came upon these great uses of high gloss paint.

Here are a couple bathroom looks I'm loving 


I'd love to do a sink like this but not sure they exist in airplane bathroom sink size. 

Apartment therapy 

I LOVE black front doors!!! Especially when they're glossy and have a pop of color or on a brick house. 


My favorite and My best 


A little hallway or entryway is a great place to use a high gloss for a dramatic impact on a small space. Or using it on the ceiling in the entrance of this home. 

Laurel Been Interiors 

Justine Taylor

Windsor Smith

Country Living 

Nate Berkus 

Turn simple white closet doors into the statement piece of the room. 

Jessica Helgerson Design 

Highlight amazing woodwork in a home with a gloss finish paint. 

This makes me want to rip out my office shelves and redo them like this. The solid color makes your eyes go to the items displayed on the shelves. 


One of the easiest updates with high gloss paint is on furniture. If you're not ready to take the plunge on a room in your house this is a great way to add a little glam. Remember you can always change paint and it's the easiest way to update a space! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fall Fashion Trends to Try

Plaid, suede and fringe, bring on the Fall Trends! Blanket coats, which I adore and lots of fringe which I'm slowly growing to like. Beautiful suede ladylike midi skirts and backpack handbags. Flare jeans in washed and dark finishes. A combined look of 90's preppy with 70's Boho Chic. Layered gold rings and statement jewelry. All things to try this fall! 

Ahhhh....Can I get one with my initials please? (last years style but still loving it)

Perfectly paired! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Back to School Shopping

Back to school shopping was one of my favorite childhood memories. I still remember one of my favorite outfits. Remember these? Yeah, I wore them with scrunch socks and thought I was the coolest. 

Back to school shopping isn't as big of a deal around here. As long as it's neon and has under armour on it they're good. But I still like browsing the catalogs as they come in and here are some of my favorite things I've seen. 

To Do list vs. Done List

As I was thinking about what to blog about, maybe high gloss paint or an awesome new fabric I found I was interrupted with a "Moooooooommmmmmmmm" .....quickly my daydreams disappeared and off to work I went. I'm calling it work today because I can't recall one enjoyable or proud moment of parenting today.  

I then thought about a recent trip to the doctor and had an idea. I was asked by my migraine Dr. how many migraines I had last month. I guessed....maybe 12? I really had no idea because I wasn't keeping track. So she sent me home with a homework assignment, keep a migraine diary for a month. It wasn't until doing so that I realized it was much worse then I thought. 

I've been going to bed at night asking myself why I feel like a chicken with my head cut off (and yes I get that it's summer and kids are home and works busier then ever...etc etc) I decided maybe I should track my day. Like write down everything I do from the moment I wake up. Instead of making a to do list make a Done list. I've done this before but not every little thing I've done throughout the day. 

I'd like to add that for this task tracking I kept a piece of paper in the kitchen and every time I finished something I jotted it down after each task. You'll notice some have times and some don't. The times are when I remembered to look at the clock or I was curious how long it actually took me to do a task. 

I'm not sharing this to complain about my day and maybe it's more for me personally but more of a wake up for me that although I feel like I'm walking in circles accomplishing nothing,  I actually am. We all put so much pressure on ourselves as parents to make each day as fun and enjoyable for our kids as we can while also managing the house, life and work. We need to remember to take time for ourselves too. Clearly on this day there wasn't much enjoyment for either side but the next day is a new day, right?  Actually the kids had a great time playing outside and throwing stuff off the deck.

If you have a good hour or even care to read, continue on....if not scroll to the bottom where I share what I've learned from this little experience of mine. 

(This was not edited or made more dramatic this is exactly what happened on this particular day)

630am youngest comes in room day begins
Take dog out 
Make breakfast 
Feed dog
Fix the block I have on iPads because I actually need to be presentable today 
Shower and attempt to get ready with many interruptions
Race out of house before someone else needs me 
Host an Open House (the most relaxing part of the day) 
2-345 leave open house, pick up rugs for clients, return pillows, grab food 
345-415 try to organize work because my head is spinning 
430-5 youngest has a meltdown
Take dog out
Feed dog 
Another meltdown because I accidentally put the healthy orange shit on his Mac & cheese and he wanted to do it himself (irritability rearing it's ugly head at this point, stay calm) 
Wash youngest bedding because the dogs favorite place to pee is blankets laying on the floor and this is my kids favorite place to leave them 
Clean up dog accident 
Load dishwasher with dishes from last night 
Email client back
Text friend 
Take dog out (we have a puppy so they go out a lot) 
Clean kitchen 
Clean up another accident because dog pees every 5 min 
Text friend 
Dog chasing younger son-separate them and get her pb on bone to keep her content 
Get lemonade for demanding 6 yr old
Loud cries come from LR because demanding 6 yr old took toxic Mac & cheese in there and dog has her head buried in it 
Take dog out and clean up yard 
Frantically text hubs to get more toxic Mac & cheese 
Read an article on (2 min)
517-525 put laundry away 
525-540 empty trash
540-601 put more laundry away 
Screaming 6 yr old needs a band aid 
Take dog out
Make dinner 
Text friend 
Switch laundry 
Youngest has diarrhea 
Put dishes away (I washed my hands) 
Pick up kitchen 
Tell kids not to throw cushions off the deck 
"Moooommmmm diarrhea!!!!" 
Run out of tp
Run downstairs
Ugh....dinner in the oven 
Run upstairs 
Crate dog because she's trying to get in bathroom 
Run downstairs to save dinner because I'm sure this first one won't be good enough and they'll demand a second where I'll say no and then they'll cry at 830 because they're hungry, then I'll say too bad go to bed and it will drag bedtime out 30 min longer 
Clean out fridge because it hasn't been done in weeks 
Found leftover lemon pound cake from last night and did a little happy dance in my head 

Go to pack lunch for water park and realize we're out of snack bags 
Clean out car
636 pack cooler 
Switch laundry 
Cut up peppers I found & froze before they went bad with the last ziploc we had (it was a tight squeeze but they fit, remember I'm out of ziploc bags)

Take dog for walk with kids 
Empty dishwasher 
Straighten kitchen 
Text friends about water park plans
730-8 put laundry away 
Find appropriate bathing suit for water park 
Find socks for hubs (least fav chore is matching socks and I always get asked at the best time and it's nothing against him he's just getting ready for the next day) 
Kids showers 
Read kids book (trying to redeem myself for the day)
Attempt to do a little puppy training then put her to bed
Take out trash 
Go through mail until 938 
Fold towels and pack pool bag 
Quick pick up of house 
Go to bed at 1138 and have an awful nights sleep 
But no big deal were only headed to a relaxing water park in the morning for the day!!!!

Here is what I've learned from this little experiment of mine:

-I don't stop all day 
-I am actually accomplishing things even though I don't feel like I am
-writing things down actually kept my ADHD self moving 
-I really need to do a load of laundry a day (if you've ever read the FlyLady she says a load a day keeps the chaos away and I have kept that saying in my head I just need to stick with it)
- my youngest drinks too much pool water 
-I need to do a better job of keeping a good grocery list so I'm not running out of things 
-I now have proof for the hubs if he ever asks me what I did all day although he knows what it's like 
-Next time I'd like to keep track of how many times I go up and down the stairs

FYI: Although keeping track of every little thing you do can lead to irritability, I think it's a good idea to jot down things you did accomplish. For me it was realizing I put away 5 loads of laundry. 

I'm curious if you've ever done this and what your prefer. To Do List or a Done List? 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Finds.....amazing wallpaper, fall jeans and more!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


This little cart purchased on a yard sale site has come in pretty handy in our household. It's first purpose was an eating area for the kids in our narrow kitchen. Then it moved to the garage as a work surface (collect junk area) and then to the deck where it looked out of place in it's unfinished wood state. I decided it needed a little update/love.

I'm lazy or I should say impatient when it comes to prepping pieces to be painted. (It's like having to read the instructions to something) I wiped it down to get off all the dirt and started staining away. I used a gray stain to match the grey deck. I thought this color would work well outdoors because it would naturally weather into a gray color. You could use an outdoor stain to be water resistant if you'd like. I had this sitting around the house so I just used what I had.

Since I was starting with a blank slate I thought it would be fun to add a little detail on the drawer fronts. I taped a border with painters tape to add a little dimension/detail. You could add fun drawer pulls as well if you're doing a similar project. I'd also like to add a little towel bar to the side of this as well but that's another project for another day. 

Frog Tape I have found works best for this type of project. I've found that it is the best for preventing bleeding of paint. It would also be fun to add stripes to the top of this cart. 


This cart works great for entertaining because of the open shelving below. Extra bottles of water, glasses and a throw blanket are stored for easy access. It would also make a great gardening cart and an arts/crafts cart.  

Place glasses in baskets so they stay contained and when cleaning up you can fill the basket to carry everything inside. 

For cool nights I love having extra throw blankets on hand. The kids love them for picnics too! 

Store backup items on the shelves below 

Look for items around your house to store fruit etc. used for cocktails. Here I use a vintage white pedestal bowl I found at an antique store and a tea-light holder to hold straws

Use a tray to hold all the items needed for your cocktails  

I love these little glasses I found at Homegoods that say 



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