Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Patio

It is finally feeling like summer outside and with that comes my urge to sit outside, eat outside, play outside, read outside, sleep outside...you get the picture. The neighbors in our duplex were recently on a vacation and they let us borrow their bistro set. We ate on it a couple times and lounged outside after our girly went to bed a handful of times. We really enjoyed it so we decided we want to invest in a patio table of our own. There are some really affordable 3 piece bistro sets at Target. I like a couple of them but after online window shopping I'm starting to think a more full sized table would be fitting for us. So, because I am who I am, I went straight to the moodboard! Here is what I've come up with.
I've been wanting to make a sunshade using this tutorial for a while now. I love the french feeling of the black and white stripe. I would add outdoor pillows in coral and light blue as accents. And, of course we would have our grill and plants. My husband is planning on making a screen for us to put at the far end of our patio to kind of separate us from the close driveway of our neighbors. We want to put a string of lights in a kind of v-shape from the patio to the back porch. I put paper lanterns in the moodboard but I think I would like the simplicity of good ole twinkly string lights.
Well, now it's on a moodboard-ready to make it a reality! We'll see...!

Monday, May 30, 2011


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Being Lovely

A while back, I talked about what I think it means to Be Lovely. I talk about how loveliness has to do with surrounding ourselves with beauty, filling our minds with good things but being able to take the bad when it comes, and loving who we are inside and out. In my blog title, it says, "Setting the stage for a life full of all things lovely", but what am I really writing about that is setting a stage for anything? So, here is the rundown of the topics my blog will be covering and how they contribute to holistic loveliness.

Family and Motherhood-The most important job I have and the loveliest, at that. Being a wife and a mother is very fulfilling but can be trying at times. I'll talk about the joys, the challenges, and share tidbits or products that I find. This will also include yummy recipes.

Mental Health and Psychology-This is my passion. Don't worry, folks: I won't lecture or share any rambling journal articles-just interesting findings or tips to live a happy and healthy life.

Interior Design-My hobby. As I said earlier, part of living lovely is surrounding yourself with beauty-however you interpret that. I'll share my journey to make my home and the home of loves into a beautiful place.

Books, Music, Movies-What goes in, will come out. I have always felt at my best when I've been reading, writing, listening to good music, and treating myself to comfy socks and a movie.

Spirituality-This is the core piece to who I am. I am on my own journey so I'm not going to preach or act like I have all the answers.

I feel like I've been on this train before, so I apologize if this seems repetitive-it's probably because it is. I just want to clearly map out the purpose of this blog for the readers and for myself.

Thank you for continuing to read during all my weird transitions!
Be Lovely!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grown Up Grilled Cheese...Yumm

Normally, Tuesdays will be reserved for a recipe run-down. My plan is to bake or cook something delish on the weekends, photograph the process, and write about it for posting on Tuesday. But, because the 3D living room was such a process and didn't go up until this morning, I'll be doing a mini post today.
Today's recipe comes from Jana Laurene via Pinterest. My little family and I actually had these a few weeks ago and it was so yummy.
We called it "Grown Up Grilled Cheese" and naturally, Abbey didn't partake-she opted for her usual "haaaam" sandwich. It was so quick to make and a really cheap meal to boot!
-Sour dough sandwich bread or loaf cut into slices
-Bacon (we really liked Turkey bacon on it)
-Pepperjack cheese slices
-Avocado (squished up for spreading, of course)
-Apples (yep, you read that right!)

Just make the sandwich and grill it like usual! Rusty opted for no apples but I loved the crunch and tang that they added. This is a must-try summer sandwich!

Living Room Makeover!

FI.NA.LLY. These pictures took alllll daaaaayyy to load. Totally worth it in my opinion! The program I use does have some limitations. First of all, for some reason it automatically puts all the wall art at this weird level. If I had it my way, I would put them a bit higher. Also, I have some fairly unique art that I couldn't find (Casablanca movie poster, my lovely Black Apple painting, and a few prints from Urban Outfitters). And because we're renters, we can't change any of the wall, trim, or fireplace colors. The wall and trim colors honestly don't bother me much, but the fireplace is another story. More on that another day. So now, the moment you've all been waiting for (at least I have!), our living room:

I'm in love with these red stripe lamp shades. And that turquoise console table is actually 2 put together but I'd love to find just one long table at a thrift store and repaint it myself. The chair is representative of a chair I have now that I'm going to be reupholstering-more on that later.

How great is that little mustache man pillow? I have to find it in the US.

So, those big shelves are a bit heftier than I wanted. Ideally, I'd like them to be a bit slimmer and a dark walnut or espresso color instead of black. And I think I would want the tops to only be flush with the top of the television so I could still hang a big family photo. I'll have to have my hubby build us some!

The curtains. The curtains, the curtains, the curtains. They looks super grey and drab in this picture but they are really supposed to be an oatmeal color. And there's that floor pillow again!

Now that our daughter is a bit older we are going to try a real coffee table! I love the rustic look of this one. Maybe another project for my hubster? See that side table by my favorite chair? Not really indicative of what I want, just small enough for that space. I'd love to find something more streamlined and not so "Hey, look how modern I am!". What I really love about this shot is the little Mozart bust on the side table and the cluster of goodies on the coffee table. Octopus vase and black and white stripe candle? Yes, please.

This would be the view from said favorite chair-where I am sitting as I write this. I think this view (with the addition of my missing art) would make me a very happy girl.

The best part of this plan? Husband approval! Yessss!

My hopes for this plan is that most of these changes can be DIYed (sew my own pillow covers, re-do and makeover garage sale or thrift store lamps and tables) or bought inexpensively. We are at the point in our lives where we have a limited budget but are beginning to see the value in splurging where it's needed.

So, what do you think? What are quick fixes you enjoy doing in your own homes?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pardon the Interruption! Bailey's Mood Board

I've been working on this 3D living room business all day. I keep finding glitches or things that aren't quite flowing with the rest of the room. So that'll be up tomorrow. In the meantime, please enjoy this mood board!

My lovely sister, Bailey will be going to college this coming fall (sniff, sniff!). So, I've had the task of creating a mood board for her dorm room based on the bedding that she's already purchased (Xhiliration from Target). Bailey and I tend to have very different tastes on things like this so this was my attempt to smush the two together. So, without further adieu...

Like I said earlier, I based this room off of the black, white, and pink bedding. Then, I added in that pretty turquiose-y blue as an accent. The black curtains are neutral except they have that pretty ruffle. I stuck with using those scroll-y lines and curves (so technical of me, eh). One of my favorite things about this room is the turquoise chandelier. This one is pretty pricey but this is an easy DIY (just find an old chandelier and spray paint it). Because you can't necessarily change the lighting in your dorm room, I thought this would be a cute "prop" to just hang over the bed. Some places even sell cardboard chandeliers that you can paint-a lighter and less wall damaging alternative. That blue rug is from PB Teen so the price tag is a bit hefty but I bet that idea would be easy to find at Target or the like. And how cute is that Boston Terrier rug? I die. Oh yes, and that little green alarm clocking peaking on the side of the page is a must. Don't want to be tardy! I added a typical dorm chair because the ones provided are typically less than comfy. I topped it off with a ruffly pink pillow, of course. College desks almost never look like this one that I found, but you get the point. A cute trashcan to remind you to throw away your Snickers wrapper and a handy desk organizer are essentials. Oh, and it's hard to tell but that lamp is actually an Arkansas lamp-from Target. I think that pretty much covers it. Oh, yeah. The Jonas Brothers-they're going with you, right?

I hope this is kind of what you were thinking of!
Happy dorm-ing...?

Workin' On It!

I've been working on a 3D rendering of what I would love my living room to look like! Here's a little sneak peak:

Stay tuned for the big reveal later this evening!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Living Room Tour

Our living room is one of my favorite places to be. Even though the decor isn't exactly my aesthetic, it's so cozy and warm.

Below is the view from the kitchen. The door across the way is our front door. The bookshelves were made by my hubby and I really love them. I've toyed with the idea of painting them or even staining them a darker wood. Our red couch is one of my favorite things. It's so comfy and it really is pretty. I have a hard time decorating around it and I'm currently playing with color combos that will accomodate that much red without being too graphic. I'm trying to stay away from red and white; red, white, and blue; or anything with too much contrast.

Below is the view from the hallway. See that lovely paper lantern? It's another of my favorite pieces. I can't remember the name of it, but it's from Ikea. I'll look it up :) Our living room has a ceiling fan but no light, so we use that as our main overhead light. I only wish we had a better place for it because our vertically gifted friends almost always bonk their heads on it when they stand up from that chair.

Our fireplace is not actually a working fireplace so I've used it up to this point as pillow storage. I would love to find something beautiful to put in there. I've thought about birch logs, candles (but probably never light them because of our little one), or hiding it with an extension rod and curtains.

This is about the view from the couch, maybe behind the couch, actually. But you can see in this picture how massive and ugly our "entertainment center" is. I'm planning on hanging tons of framed art and pictures on that wall around the TV so that maybe the black square-ness of it will blend in a little. I just really wish there was space on the mantel for pretty decorative items.

Here is a close-up of our shelf...obviously. I love all of our decorative knick-knacks I just wish I had a prettier and more simplistic way to display them.

And, now: the little green table. I found this table at a garage sale 2 summers ago. I really do love it but I'm afraid it doesn't have a home here. Not in the living room, anyway. I've thought about using it for Abbey's bedside table when we re-do her big girl room. It's just too small for the massive furniture that we have, and it's a bit wobbly so setting drinks on it is always a bit nerve-wracking.

I've got big plans for this room! I feel like a few textile and organizational changes would make a big difference.

Bathroom Tour

The bathroom is probably one of the least exciting rooms in the house but it is also the most "done"-well, as done as a rental bathroom can be. We have gone through probably 5 shower curtains as a family, but this is by far my favorite (by Urban Outfitters).

The gray towels, rugs, and that handy, little shelf are from Target.

We definitely need to find a more discreet place for our mouthwash.

That little morrocan lantern and turquoise feather sculpture are from UO, as well. That cute little owl is from a local thrift store. I would love to find some prettier things for that shelf. Like some tiny white vases with a single flower in each.

This close-up of our curtain doesn't begin to capture how bright and bold that pattern really is. I was nervous when it first arrived, but after putting it up and living with it for a while, I fell in love.

A tour of our bathroom wouldn't be complete or genuine without a nice potty-seat-shot. Can't wait to get that thing outta there!

This is by far my favorite part about our bathroom. One of the easiest and most bang-for-your-buck fixes that can be done in a rental bathroom. Everyone should have a rain shower head.

And this would be the view from inside the shower. Boring, right? My point of including this is to show you how bare that opposite wall is and how I desperately need to find something to put there. I've considered wall decals or just a big piece of art, but nothing seems quite right. So, I'm on the lookout!

So, there you have it! Our ridiculously tiny, but happy-making bathroom.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mood Boarding!

For the next 2 weeks I will be homework free! I've got plenty to do around my house but, I've decided to open my time up to have a little fun. I'm going to offer some free, just because, design "consultations". If you have a design delimma or you're just bored with a room in your home, send me a picture via email and I'll post a custom mood board for you! Here are examples of mood boards I've done:

Get busy sending those photos and telling your friends :)

It's Home Tour-Prep Day!

That's right-today is the day! I'll be cleaning and sprucing and snapping lots and lots of photos of our home. I hope to have many photos uploaded by this evening so I can have the big reveal tomorrow. Don't get to excited-these are the before pictures, afterall.
Throughout the course of the summer I'll be improving and decluttering the house-a process I'll gladly share with you! So tonight is trouble-shooting night. I'll post pictures of our house as it is now-flaws and all-and then walk you through my plans for improvement. Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts!
Also, we got our pallet today! More on that when I upload our pictures :)
Now I'm just waiting for Abbey to give in to nap time then I can turn on my music and get to work!
Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 20, 2011


After a couple all-nighters and an ungodly amount of coffeee, junior year is over! I'm officially a college senior...finally! I have a couple weeks of rest ahead of me and then a very exciting June! I need to enroll for my summer courses which start June 6. Then my hubby and I are cruising to Canada! I can't wait! When I get home from the cruise, one of my best friends gets married a week later and both my daughter and I are in her wedding. It's going to be a very exciting month!
For the next 2 weeks or so I am going to really focus on getting the blog hammered down. I also need to clean the house so I can take pictures for our home tour! Maybe I'll do that today...
I'm going to read, read, read and write, write, write.

Thank you for reading and be lovely!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Final Countdown

Well, I spent about 5 hours studying tonight. I got everything done that I had planned on doing today-I'm trying to pace myself. So, here is my to-do list as it stands now.

Study for Leadership Development Final-Expect to get an A


Compose APA final book

Study for APA final-Expect to get an A

Study for History of Christianity final-Expect to get a B

1 Presentation for Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology Notebook

Study for Abnormal Psych Final-Expect to get an A

So, there.

Goodnight, Monday...er, Good morning, Tuesday.

So, this is finals week...

...I hope you stress out...?

Finals week is one of the most dreaded and miserable weeks of the school year. Why? Is it because it truly is more work and longer hours necessary to finish it all and to finish it well or is it because we have been conditioned to believe we are supposed to freak out? Seriously. If you've been paying attention and doing well on tests throughout the semester then that comprehensive final you're about to take should take some studying but you should have a pretty good grasp of the material. And if you haven't put in the work or done well to this point why do you care now? It's too late for you.
In reality, it's just a test, a little longer than usual, but the same material. And that paper you've been working on has been on the syllabus all semester...maybe you should have started earlier.
This is as much a note to me as it is to my fellow students. I get nervous during finals week, but a healthy amount of nervousness is actually beneficial. If I walk into a test totally confident and feeling like I already knew the material before I studied (if I studied), I will bomb. But, when I look over the material with a healthy amount of fear I am more aware and I do better. But not sleeping for 4 days and breaking down to cry in stairwells is a little much.
One of the most important things my momma ever taught me was to always make new mistakes. Last semester, I didn't start one of my 8 page papers until 2 nights before it was due. Mistake. This semester, I planned better and spaced everything out so that I've been working over the last 2 weeks on things.
My new mistake this semester is that now I have a bunch of three-quarter-finished assignments that I need to wrap up. But, I'm not stressed...too much.
Take a deep breath, friends. It's just three days. Get some coffee, take a twenty minute nap, do some Yoga, and get over it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Study Fudy Dudy

Well, I took my Friday off but now it's Saturday...4:30 pm on Saturday, but Saturday nonetheless. So now I must begin studying for finals and completing unfinished assignments. I had a great conversation with my mom the other day and she suggested I sit down with my syllabi and make a list of things I need to get done and then find ways to squeeze out extra points in all I do. So that's what I did.

Leadership Chapter 7 Response Questions

Leadership Chapter 8 Response Questions

Study for Leadership Final-Expect to get an A

Art Therapy Write-ups for: foam, masks, and final


APA Seminar Chapter 6

APA Seminar Practice Test

Compose Final APA Seminar Book

Study for APA Seminar Final-Expect to get an A

1 Abnormal Psych presentation

Compose Ab Psych folder

Study for Ab Psych Final-Expect to get an A

Study booty off for History of Christianity Final-Expect to get a B

There isn't much room to truly squeeze points out of anything except to rock the finals. And I can definitely do that. As my Momma says, "You can do anything for 3 days."

...except maybe stand on your head...

So now I'm off to study. I'll leave you with a few images I came across yesterday on Pinterest. PS: If you aren't on that site yet, you must. It's beautiful and addicting. I'm dreaming of my own office area where I can escape and work for hours...

Be lovely, friends!

Friday, May 13, 2011

May Day!

This Friday the 13th has a different name: May Day...or All Schools Day. It's fascinating, really. The whole county shuts down. No one goes to school and most people have off work. The town puts on a parade, brings in fair food and a carnival, and has festivities all day and some continue into the weekend.
We braved the cold this morning to go watch the parade. After a week of 90-100 degree temperatures, today has been a real drag. It's in the 50s out and the sky has been threatening rain. Subsequently, all I'm interested in doing today is drinking coffee and blogging.
I really should be studying for finals. But I have all weekend and Monday so I think I'm going to take a mental health day. I need it.
I've been itching to get some pictures of our home on here so I can begin the process of posting "home improvement" updates. But alas, that would require that I get up and clean something...it's just not that kind of day.
So the point of this post is to update you on my lack of updates, I suppose.
You're welcome.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Yes, I am changing the focus of my blog once again! I have added tabs at the top...see? Only 1 person voted in the poll for me to have posts about interior design but it is a passion and hobby of mine so I wanted to incorporate it somehow. I will do so in the form of updates on our home and how we are making it more "ours". I also added a tab for a wishlist so I could feature products that I like.
And I added a tab for my wedding! Because everyone loves a good wedding sneak peek...and I think mine was particularly wonderful ;)
There are also buttons now to share my blog on facebook or twitter so if you see a post you like, feel free to share! Actually, I would love if you did!

Well, it's dead week and next week is finals so I'm not going to have time to do much else for at least a week or two. What do you think of the new additions? Do you think they're worth while-anything else you would add? Thanks for reading and check back soon!

Be Lovely!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The results are in...

...and it's a darn good thing I asked for your opinion! No one voted for me to continue in the fitness updates. And truth be told, I was bored with it, too. I'll still put those in posts every once in a while but it won't be my main focus.
The general consensus seemed to be that I should just write general insights and such. Sounds great to me!
So be on the lookout for some new content and perhaps a new layout. Thanks to the 7 of you who voted :)

Be lovely!