Gone to ...

{via here}

Rest, relax, sleep, simmer down, unwind, decompress. Whatever you call it, I need it and have been trying to do it, so sorry for the pause in posting. I'll be back soon...


Personal Note: Give What's Needed

With finances the way they are, many people are foregoing their usual charitable contributions in order to keep more money in their own pocket. Of course you are your #1, but that doesn't mean there aren't other ways to help those who need it.

Start at the top- with your hair that is! As an elementary teacher I have watched several of my students, colleagues, and parents participate in the Locks of Love and Pantene's Beautiful Lengths campaigns. Every school year about 15 of these brave girls, women and even a boy, grow their hair out just to have it chopped off for a good cause. Both of these amazing organizations collect hair to make wigs for survivors of cancer. Locks works exclusively for children while Pantene works for adults and children. My school has donated over 1,000 inches of hair over the past couple years!

So as I looked in the mirror and groaned about how I needed a haircut because my long curls were becoming unmanageable, I thought of those survivors. I thought of them also because my colleague Marsha just lost all of her hair to Breast Cancer, and is now sporting her new cropped cut after months of wigs. That's it, I told myself, off  with the curls! They must go NOW! Friday after noon the lovely Aveda stylist took 2 7" ponytails from my mane- yes I have, had, a lot of hair. 

I was very traumatized at first. I hadn't had short hair-meaning above my shoulders- for a very long time. My neck was now exposed and ponytails are no longer my go to for bad hair days. But as the weekend has progressed so has my love for my new 'do. 

My curls are happy to lose the weight.

And when I straighten my locks I feel the presence of Twiggy.

If you are heading to the salon for a new shorter summer cut, get out your ruler and see if you have enough to give to someone who could use it. Visit Locks of Love here to find out their donation guidelines, and Pantene's Beautiful Lengths here.


DYI: Painting Bi-fold Doors

They are yucky, those folding doors, but most of the time they are a neccessity. There is either not enough room for a full door or not a full wall for a pocket door. But those bi-fold doors are soo ugly! Paint to the rescue! I have folding doors on my hallway laundry room. My walls are painted a beautiful bronze color and the white doors were way too white for the hallway.

Extra paint = chic, detailed doors!
Here's How:

  1. I have to start with the fact that I HATE taping to paint, I happen to have a steady hand. So if you are like me, then no taping necessary, if you aren't then get the blue stuff and go!

  2. Get to painting. Even for a small area, two coats are needed to ensure a smooth finish. Decide which areas to paint. You can do the raised square portion, or the recesses- I did the recesses for a frame look.

  3. If you tape, I would pull it off ASAP. Interior paint is usually latex based and could peel off with the tape, so pull when it is still a little wet.

  4. Finish the doors with some fancy hardware. I had cup pulls left over from our master bath switcheroo.

  5. The result a not-so-ugly, classy bi-fold wonder!


Exterior Paint

HOA's suck. Sorry, but they do (personal experience talking) because they limit your options when trying to make your house your home. We love our little 'hood but it is difficult having to abide by the covenants.  Yes I know you can avoid them by not moving to a neighborhood that has one, but we have a townhome so it is unavoidable. I say these things because I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to paint the exterior of my little craftsman black. It would be a pain in the behind, due to the fade potential, but what a statement! Maybe I should do it, just to ruffle some feathers! I've always wanted to be a rebel...


Danielle Mac Innes

So here's the dirt on her: Danielle Mac Innes from Fuse Interiors, awarded ‘Best Newcomer’ at Ireland’s premier interiors show, Interior Design 2008, she has been widely recognized by the media for her fresh and unique style.

Here is another project she did for Fuse. Her funky, casual interiors are to die for. They are hip without being pretentious. Her pops of color are crisp and refreshing. Of course, if need be I can be ready and packed in about 2 hours! If you know my husband at all, he is a lover of the Heinz, so the artwork above the fireplace is a must.

{ text and images via freshome }

THE lamps: Part 2

Apparently I am not the only one with the obsession. I was poking around FresHome when I found an adorable interior designer that made use of 3. Danielle Mac Innes of Fuse Interiors designed this apartment in Dublin that I would move into immediately. I mean really, how amazing is that coffee table?!

{ all images via freshome, fuse interiors }


Steal my Heart

Architect lamps are the best. They are modern and simple. They bring an industrial feel to any space- my favorite style. So when I was searching Flickr for one and this popped up, I gasped joy.

{ via flickr }

It is amazing. The mass of all the lamps has a dark edge, but a mechanical one too. I think it would be even more dramatic with white lamps. Anyone that visits my house knows I like them since I have 3 within 10 ft. of each other. 

{ in the office }

{ in the living room }

I go for Ikea's version for 1 reason- cheap! For $8.99 I have a useful light that I can modify with a little Krylon and not feel bad if it falls apart in a year. They are such a great lamp that can move anywhere and light up anything. You must try one, really, you'll like it.


Open Shelving?

Even as an avid clean-freak, open shelving scares me! I love how orderly the dishes, bowls and cups look, however I think that it would bother me when the shelves are half full. I would constantly be washing dishes so that the shelves were complete. There are a variety of types of shelving to choose from. Glass, wood, floating, open cabinets... I like the look of the floating shelves, but with an interesting background like the glass subway tile. Maybe cabinets with glass doors is a good way to ease into the wide open spaces.

{ via annsacks.com }

Do you think you would indulge in this over-exposure of kitchen wares?


DIY Tips: Container Garden

{ via iseli-nursery.com }

If you are lacking in the lawn area, container gardens are the way to go. They are portable, easy to install, and can bring color and softness to any porch or patio. Garden Guides provides some wonderful tips when planning your own container garden.

  • Avoid containers with narrow openings.
  • Cheap plastic pots may deteriorate in UV sunlight and terracotta pots dry out rapidly. Glazed ceramic pots are excellent choices but require several drainage holes.
  • Wooden containers are susceptible to rot. Redwood and cedar are relatively rot resistant and can be used without staining or painting. Avoid wood treated with creosote, penta or other toxic compounds since the vapors can damage the plants. One advantage of wooden containers is that they can be built to sizes and shapes that suit the location.

{ via gardenviews.com }

  • Use containers between 15 and 120 quarts capacity. Small pots restrict the root area and dry out very quickly. The size and number of plants to be grown will determine the size of the container used. Deep rooted vegetables require deep pots.
  • Make sure your pot has adequate drainage. Holes should be 1/2 inch across. Line the base of the pot with newspaper to prevent soil loss.
  • In hot climates use light-colored containers to lessen heat absorption and discourage uneven root growth.
  • Set containers on bricks or blocks to allow free drainage.
  • Line hanging baskets with moss for water retention.

  • Keep baskets away from afternoon sun.
  • If you choose clay pots, remember that clay is porous and water is lost from the sides of the container. Plants in clay pots should be monitored closely for loss of moisture.

{ You can grow stuff just about anywhere! via sliceofawesome.com }

To get more tips on soil, sunlight, fertilizer and what to grow visit Garden Guides!

Modern Patios

{ Need it. All of it.
via cottageliving.com }

As I think more and more about my back porch- because I don't have a back YARD, I long for a patio. I'm not a huge gardener, I like evergreen and low-maintance growers, but I do enjoy a nicely landscaped yard. I also prefer simple designs when it comes to hardscaping and architecture. I love the idea of a outdoor living space, which is what we have planned for our porch this summer, but until then I'm drooling over these:

The chairs are a.m.a.z.i.n.g. and I'm usually not a fan of purple, but it works well with the green landscaping.

White is very daring for an outdoor space, but when it works, it is crisp.

{ via hgtv.com }

The simple structure with the mat finish combined with the stainless is easy on the eyes. Also by keeping the colors neutral the scenary is more of the focus.

{ via hertslandscapesltd.com }

These ottoman/tables look great with the tall planters in the background. Who would have ever thought of uplighting?

{ via gapphotos.com }

What is essential for your outdoor space?


Color Combos: Gray + Yellow

Sorry I'm behind on my Interiors Post. Yesterday the husband and I celebrated 3 years of wedded bliss so I took the day off! But what makes me almost as happy as a delicious celebratory Italian dinner is beautifully combined color schemes. Gray and Yellow is one of them. Gray is my favorite neutral at the moment and yellow gives everything a punch. The colors look best when the contrast is at the max- charcoal with pale yellow and vibrant lemon with a airy gray.

{ via flickr.com }

{ via apartmenttherapy.com }

{ via
designspongeonline.com }

I'm thinking my guest room is going to receive a Gray + Yellow make over... maybe... sometime...


For Alexa

A friend is looking for some curtains, I hope this inspires her...

{ courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com}

{ courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com}


Accessories: Globes

Whether they are for teaching or display, globes are a beautiful shape to add to any decor. They are rustic, classic, and can even be modern. I love how they add an academic feel to a kid's room, or a traditional aire to a study. In any case, they are a great accessory to add to a visual display in just about any room in any home. I like these the best:


Container Search

What is the use of organization if you can't figure out where to put things? The container is one of the most important tools in organizing. There are so many different varieties so you must keep 2 things in mind:
size and purpose. Blankets and linens need a much larger container than thumbtacks. But you also don't want to put your super soft satin sheets in a rough wicker basket! Here are my favorite containers for all purposes.

This would work best for magazines or file folders because of its tall sides and narrow shape.

For the linens in the closet. The soft fabric covering will help avoid snags.

DVDs and books would love a home here. The handles help you pull it off the shelf to sift through for the perfect movie.

Pens, scissors and staplers would fit well in the shallow long shapes of these bamboo pieces.

Your off season clothing would be seen but not forgotten in these boxes with windows.

Q-tips, hair bands, and lip gloss can be easily accessible but hidden in these round containers.

Your pantry or office supplies can be stacked- a space saver- but still visible in this transparent stacking shelf.

The best part about all of these products- They are all from Target people! The most wonderful and affordable place on Earth. Happy shopping!


DIY: Etched Glass Jars

As mentioned earlier, I love organizing my home and labels are my favorite part of it. However if you are working in the kitchen paper labels are not the best idea especially if your containers are ever going to need to be washed. Again, leave it to Martha to solve the problem. Here is her directions for putting glass etched labels on your glass storage containers:

1. Clean and dry the glass. Using painter's tape, mark off the area you want to etch. Attach vinyl stick-on letters and decorative tape; press hard to ensure they are attached firmly. 

2. Cover work surfaces (be sure to work in a well-ventilated area). Put on protective gloves and an old shirt with long sleeves. Paint an even layer of etching cream onto glass. Let stand for amount of time indicated by manufacturer's instructions. 

3. Rinse with warm water in a stainless steel sink. (Avoid porcelain sinks; the cream damages glazed surfaces.) Remove letters and tape.

© Martha Stewart.com

These glass jars from Ikea would be perfect for etching. 

I MUST do this immediately! Flour, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and chocolate chips here I come!