Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Surprise...

Hello lovelies.  I hope you all had a very merry Christmas.  Can you believe it has come and gone already?   I had to pop in today to brag on my beloved.  My adorable and hugely talented husband.  Who spent an entire night finishing the most exquisite Christmas present I have ever received.  Who endured splinters, cold temperatures and the smell of Bondo in the name of love.  Who always listens to my interests and tirelessly works to create and re-create beauty in everyday things.

On Christmas Eve, the man I love more than anything in the entire world, gave me this work of art.  And, yes, he made it.

Isn't it amazing!?!  Most of the sticks are from our property, which makes this one of a kind starburst mirror even more meaningful.  I love you, Paul Damien.


Monday, December 20, 2010

The Christmas Bug...

The impossible may have happened.  I may have caught the dreaded Christmas Bug.  My husband may have been born with the Christmas Bug and there are a few other unfortunates I know who have fallen victim to this awful spell...

It's the bah hum BUG.

That's right.  I'm admitting it: Bah Humbug.

I don't know what is happening, but, people, this year Christmas is kicking my ass.  Between work, dealing with a sick household and seemingly a million other "issues" I was barely hanging onto the Christmas spirit.  And then...

Our tree died.  DIED.  Are you kidding me?  And, yes, it's really dead.  The most dead a tree can be.  I can't tell you how devastating I find this.  As a believer of real Christmas trees, I cringe thinking of all the  households still enjoying the glow of their fake Christmas tree.  And I hang my head in shame with jealously.  Sigh.  Anyway... I spent last night taking down our Christmas ornaments (tear).  By the time we took the lights off there were only about four pine needles left on what was once our {glorious} Christmas tree.

So, I'm trying to find humor in cynicism and find the beauty in the season {like the pretty flowers above}.  I do, after all, love getting together with both sides of the family and eating wonderful food!  I'm hoping my man and I can also snag a movie date to go see Little Fockers for a holiday belly laugh.

And, since it's been 10 days (!) since my last post, I'm guessing you figured out that this holiday season also kicked my little novice blogger butt.  I wasn't nearly organized enough!  So, for my three dedicated readers...sorry!  Maybe next year I'll get my act together.  Although at this point, I'm thinking a Christmas vacation sounds pretty dandy for 2011.

I'm officially signing off until after the holidays...although you never know, maybe I'll pop back in and post a lil' somethin', somethin' {no promises}.

Hope you have a bah humbug free holiday...sending my love to you and yours!


Friday, December 10, 2010

happy weekend...

I'm just going to admit blogger defeat and accept the fact that I don't have it in me to post the holiday themed loveliness I had planned on posting this week.  Sorry.  It's Christmastime though, so please forgive me promising you wonderful gift guides and then failing to produce them.

You should check out these awesome modern gingerbread houses though.  And, if you really want to know about stuff I find gift worthy, you can take a peak at my Pintrest gift guide page and see lots more gift ideas from very cool peeps while you're there.

Enjoy!  I know it's not much link love, but I couldn't leave you completely link-less, now could I?

Have a great weekend, chickens.  See you back here on Monday.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

winter sniffles...

Sorry I've been missing in action; I haven't been feeling very well.  So, forgive me for leaving you post-less yesterday and with only a tiny one today.  My head feels fuzzy.  I'll be back (hopefully with my gift guide) tomorrow.

Wishing you a warm + cozy winters day...


{image via april + may}

Monday, December 6, 2010

sweet success!

Well friends, the cake was a success!  It was easy to make, a complete hit and totally yummy.  Here are a few pictures of the reveal.  Can you tell how excited I am?  I had a moment of panic when I cut into the cake and thought, "What if it looks terrible!?!"  The last photo is of Dylan and his best bud, Will, enjoying a little huge piece of rainbow heaven.  

I didn't hire a photographer for the party, so I'm going through the photos my sister took (thanks, kate) and some a friend gave me today.  Hopefully, I'll have some more to share! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We spent most of Sunday recuperating from the party-mania.  We slept in, ate waffles, played outside and went out to eat.  Somehow, I'm still tired and craving more family laziness today.


p.s. after a long run of potty-training regression, dylan wore his big boy undies all day yesterday (even when we went out)!  he went to school in them today, too.  i'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping we've reached the beginning of a big milestone and that the second time's a charm!

Friday, December 3, 2010

happy weekend...

I lucked out and snagged an unexpected half day at work, so I am off to do some mad-dash, day-before-party running around.  Sometimes, when we do the party thing,  I wonder how we are going to pull it all together, but, remarkably it happens.  I hope the same goes for this party.  Does it make me a crazy person if I'm considering baking this amazing, adorable, so perfect rainbow cake tonight?

Here's a little link love for you...

How crayons are made.  Do you remember watching this as a kid!?!  It totally took me back in the best way.

1001 books to read (before you die).

Author and illustrator M. Sasek.  Dylan loves these books and I love M. Sasek.

Paul Rand Rocks.

How fun is this zoo?

Very cool album covers.

Santa's Portable North Pole.  This is the coolest!  I made a message for Dylan and it was hilarious watching him watch it.  Check it out!

Reindeer Cards.  Free templates for adorable reindeer cards that the kids or you can color! 

Enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Le Saint Cover Illustrations


 Beautiful Le Saint illustration covers.  A long-standing French book series (1928-1963).
Tres chic, n'est pas?

DIY Scandinavian Star Garland

Hi lovelies!  Once again I am on a tight schedule, but I thought I'd post this adorable DIY from Creature Comfort.  What a great gift idea!  Enjoy!

p.s. I'm making myself push the Holiday Gift Guide until next week!  Check back then for some great holiday finds!  p.s. Cup of Jo and Design Sponge have 2010 Gift Guides up now!

DIY Scandinavian Star Garland
This project was inspired by the sweet simplicity of Scandinavian holiday decor and I really love how it turned out. You can hang these vertically, drape them horizontally, or even use them to adorn gifts! 

Supplies needed:
  • LaDoll Premier Light Weight Stone Clay - I purchased my clay from a local Michael's craft store, but it is also available online HEREHERE, and HERE.
  • Rolling pin (nonstick) - You can also use your hands to flatten your clay for a less uniform, more handmade look.
  • Mini star cookie cutter - I used the insert of a LINZER COOKIE CUTTER for my garland, but you can use any size cookie cutter you'd like. The clay in this project dries very light weight and will lend itself well to a wide variety of sizes.
  • Sequins (optional) - available at craft stores.
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks - I used the hot variety, but I recommend the low heat varieties for safety reasons.
  • Baker's twine / twine - Baker's twine can be found just about everywhere online these days (a quick google search should give you plenty of options). Alternately you can use embroidery thread, ribbon, twine, or even dental floss.
  • Covered work surface - I used the waxed side of butcher paper to roll out my clay and work on.

Step 1: Roll out a small amount of your clay on your covered work surface until it is smooth and the desired thickness is achieved (there is no right or wrong thickness for this project).

Step 2: Using your cookie cutter begin punching out your shapes. Set them aside and allow to dry. This should take anywhere from 8-24 hours depending upon the thickness of your cut shapes.

Step 3: Once your stars are dry, plug your hot glue gun in and let it heat up. Once heated, apply a tiny dot of glue to the back of a star and place your twine through the middle of it.

Step 4: While the glue is still hot carefully set a sequin on top of the glue/twine and press down lightly to adhere. Repeat this process spacing your stars as far apart from one another as you'd like. Be sure to leave a decent length of twine at both ends for hanging. Your garland will tangle easily so I recommend wrapping it gently around a piece of cardboard (cut a notch at the top and bottom of the cardboard for your garland ends to lock onto).

Your garland (or modified versions of this project) can be used to embellish special holiday gifts too (you can even write or paint on this clay once it has dried)! Experiment with other cookie cutter shapes to make unique gift tags and embellishments...or even ornaments for your tree!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Sorry for being MIA ever since Thanksgiving.  After waking up from my deep food coma, I've been running around like a mad woman preparing for Dylan's birthday party this weekend.  AH!  I'm really excited.  Last year we just had a 'little' family + close friends get together, but this year I actually got my act together and invited Dylan's entire class.  I can't wait to see how much fun he will have with his friends!

Plus, what could be more fun than an art party?  Here is a shot of the invitation I made for the party.  I had meant to order them off of minted., but ran out of time so I just did it myself.  I can't wait to share the rest of the party with you!

So, hang with me and forgive my sporadic posts.  I'm hoping to get a little holiday gift guide up this week, but don't hold it against me if it takes me until next week.  In the meantime, there are TONS of fun holiday ideas out there right now.  Check out my favorites!

Design Mom's great finds for the men in your life.  (Plus tons more!)

DIY pom-pom garland.  I just love pom-poms, don't you?

Pintrest gift guides!  I just joined pintrest and I'm pretty much obsessed.

Oh Joy! gift guides just started.  Check out the first two posts here and here.

The sweetest Advent Calendar ideas.

A yummy 10-minute meal for those crazy holiday evenings after those crazy holiday days.

There is lots out there to share.  I'll be sure to post some more link love when I can!  For now, I hope this made up for my absence.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Childress Thanksgiving

My grandmother was an amazing woman.  To begin with, her name was Laveda Texanna Childress.  She was smart, beautiful, funny, loving, compassionate, wise and an incredible cook.  I'm not sure where my family's love of cooking came from, but I like to think it began with her or her mother.  I learned to make my grandma's Chocolate Meringue Pie when I was eight years old.  And, to this day,  my cooking goal is to roll a pie crust like my grandmother did.  She would make the dough without seeming to touch it and then roll it up on the pin and lay it, perfectly, in the pie dish.  I still have no idea how she did it.

I miss her terribly.  Especially during the holidays.  But, I am thankful that the tradition of making her Sweet Potato Casserole, her ah-mazing stuffing, her Cranberry Freeze and her countless pie recipes carries her presence into my mom's sweet smelling kitchen and keeps us warm.

Sorry, this post didn't get up yesterday.  By now these recipes probably won't make it in your Thanksgiving arsenal.  But, they'll be here for you and I hope one day, when you make one, you'll think of sweet Laveda Texanna and how good cooking can keep memories alive!

Sweet Potato Casserole

6-8 baked sweet potatoes

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup canned milk

2 eggs

3/4 of a stick of butter

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon


3/4 sticks of butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cups of cornflake crumbles

Cook sweet potatoes in 400 degree oven until tender.  Cool.  Mix meat of sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until well blended.  Add milk, nutmeg and cinnamon, mix well.  Pour into baking dish and bake 35-45 minutes at 300 degrees.  Casserole should be set. (We sometimes make the casserole up to this point and then cover and freeze until Thanksgiving).

Melt butter, combine with brown sugar, chopped pecans and cornflake crumbs.  Spread on top of casserole  May be refrigerated at this point.

When ready to serve, bring to room temperature and bake, 10-20 minutes or until hot, at 350 degrees.

Cranberry Freeze

3 cups of cranberries (1 bag)

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 small can (2/3 cup) of crushed pineapple, well drained

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1  8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Combine cranberries and sugar in food processor.  Blend well.  Add pineapple, chopped pecans and cream cheese.  Blend well.  Fold into whipped cream.  Pour into a 6 1/2 cup ring mold.  Freeze.  Unmold on pretty platter.  Serve frozen.  

Grandmother's Pie Crust

1 stick of margarine (make sure it's cold)

1 cup of flour

3 tablespoons cold water

Cut the margarine and the flour together until mixture is the size of small peas.  Try not to overwork the dough.  Add the water and form into a ball.  If the dough gets too warm, wrap in saran and put into refrigerator until cool.  Roll out onto a piece of wax paper, sprinkled with flour into a circle; adding more flour as needed.  When the dough is the size of a pie plate inver the paper over the pie plate and gently peel of the dough.  Gently fit the dough down in the plate and crimp the edges.

The crust is ready to bake until golden brown in a 350 degree oven.

Pecan Pie

1 stick of butter

1 cup of light karo

1 cup of sugar

3 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 dash of salt

1 cup of chopped pecans or you can arrange whole pecans on top of the pie in a decorative pattern

9 inch unbaked pie crust

Melt butter in a small sauce pan until it is golden brown, do not burn.  Set aside and let cool.  In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients in order listed.  Stir.  Blend in browned butter.  Pour into the unbaked pie shell and bak at 425 for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 and bake for 40 minutes.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Turkey plans

Although this is not our feathered friend of the season, I thought this photo was simply lovely.  

How you  today?  I hope you are gearing up for a wonderful Thanksgiving feast this week.  I was telling my friend about our family's Cranberry Freeze recipe and became so giddy with excitement that I'm not sure I can wait a whole day to eat it.  It is so good.

I will say though, that every Thanksgiving I experience a strange phenomenon:  I usually spend the day cooking greatness with my mom and, by the time I sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, I'm not hungry!  And no, it can't be explained by my eating throughout the day.  Because I've made a conscious effort to not snack while preparing Thanksgiving goodness and my hunger strike still hits.

Don't worry though, it usually wears off 2-4 hours after the Thanksgiving meal.  With me around you won't have very many leftovers.  That's when I usually pig out.

Have a fantastic Tuesday.  Tomorrow I'll be posting a few family recipes and our Thanksgiving place settings! Can't wait!


Monday, November 22, 2010

chicken coop

I've wanted chickens ever since we moved out to Montgomery four years ago.  There are two issues with this desire though: my fear of finding a snake when reaching for eggs and the cost of building the chicken coop itself.  It seems like the chicken coop is always pushed to the bottom of the house project list.  Probably because the coop I have in mind includes a 25 foot concrete run.  And, when it comes down to it, pouring a concrete slab for a chicken coop just isn't a priority.

But, this chicken coop wouldn't require a slab.  Plus, it's adorable.

Maybe my speckled, blue eggs aren't that far away after all.


Friday, November 19, 2010

happy weekend

Lovelies,  I am always ready for the weekend, but after this week, I am especially happy.  It was one of those weeks where you demand the universe tell you, 'what is going on!' and I am glad to bid it adieu.

What will you be up to this weekend?  We have a f.u.l.l. schedule which includes shopping for a new car and franticly preparing for Dylan's birthday party.  I am really excited about my little man's 3rd birthday festivities, but didn't realize that I would only have one weekend to plan it when I set the party date for December 4th.  Whoops!  Darn December birthdays...there really isn't an easy way of doing one.  But, I can't wait to share the party details with you!

Some link love...

It's my sister, Katie's, birthday today.  She was going to amputate a patient's leg on her birthday, but that got cancelled.  So she did fat injections to the buttocks of another patient instead.  WOW. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATIE!  You are truly a special duck.

If you think the feathery purse above is gorgeous...wait until you see the wedding.  Oui! Oui!

Beautiful polaroids.

Oh, wouldn't it be amazing to spend a day here.  I don't know if I'd ever leave.

A pretty Thanksgiving paper-chain. Free template download + instructions!

More pretty Thanksgiving decor!

This is my kind of library.

The pesky coat closet organization solved.  At least, it's something to think about doing.

Speaking of coat closets...check out this glam entry way.

How to properly warm up.

The perfect striped shirt. 

A gorgeous calendar.


happy birthday katie!

happy, happy birthday to my partner in crime, my little katie-bunker!
love you and hope you have a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

blue lily photography

I recently snagged a very cool thing.: a time slot with Wendy + Tyler of Blue Lily Photography!  This adorable, fun, crazy couple sets up photo sessions in cities around the world, and they are coming to Austin in May. The location is a horse ranch and I am so excited!  I can't wait to meet the creative force behind these beautiful photographs and see the photos they take of our little family!  See more photo goodness, here.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An escape...

Today was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  I just want to scoop up my little one, grab Paul's hand, pack up Django and go stay in this quiet, little tree house for days and days and days.  

When (if) we decide to come back, I'd like to return to a clean home.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Royal Love

William and Kate are engaged!  A royal wedding is in the future, friends!  Is it shallow that I can't wait to see her dress?   I think they are adorable and who doesn't love a princess wedding?

Maira Kalman + inspiration

Maira Kalman is an amazing, amazing illustrator, writer and creative.  This morning I read something she said in an interview:

"I do everything I do because I love to do it, even when I worry or am confused or slightly in despair. Those feelings usually pass. And then the next day is there.  
Always a good thing. The next day."

To me, a good quote is like those yummy Flintstone vitamins I took when I was little:  I can never have enough.  

If you haven't already read Maira's book, The Principles of Uncertainty, you should.  It's just a fun book to own.  And keep out on your coffee table to thumb through and then realize you just spent an hour thumbing through it.  Dylan loves her children's books, too.  We have this one and this one.  Whenever I pick up her books I think: "I want to be her friend," and then, "I wish I was good at drawing."  And, really, I am a terrible drawer.  It has happened, on multiple occasions, that I have drawn a requested 'thing' for Dylan and he simply looks at me in confusion.  It's as if he is 32-years-old and thinking, "Mom, what the hell is that?  Because I asked for a monkey."



Monday, November 15, 2010


These pictures have already popped up across the blog world, but every time I see them I think happy thoughts.  Classy, pretty, vintage and modern all wrapped up in one.  Love.

p.s. the cream, knitted sweater is a boys' sweater from crewcuts.  genius.


Pretty Flags DIY

{all images courtesy of Project Wedding, Oh Happy Day!}

I saw this Flag DIY by Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day! a while ago, but was recently thinking of making these for Dylan's birthday party next month.  Of course, these flags are great because they would look good for any event really.  You don't need much of an excuse to make them! 

Flag Sculpture DIY

Materials Needed: 
Dowels (strong enough to place them in the grass), Fabric (we chose varying hues of yellow) 
Sewing Machine, Scissors, Elmers Glue, String, Tape, Large Bowl

1. Cut out the shapes of flags that you want. The shorter flags work better than the longer lengths. 
2. Fold a flap of fabric over on one side and sew a space big enough for the dowel to fit in.

3. Taking the large bowl, add about 2 cups of Elmer's Glue. 
Then mix in 1/3 cup water and stir until it is completely mixed in.

Step 4. Dip Flag into the glue mixture (with dowel already inserted) until it is completely covered. 
Remove some of the excess glue with your hands but make sure 
it still has a generous amount of glue covering the surface.

5: Hang the flags to dry by taping the dowels to the string. 
Make sure the string is level and is in a place that isn't windy (somewhere like a garage is best).
Line the area below the dripping flags with newspaper or scrap materials to prevent mess.

Flags should dry and harden within 12 hours and you'll have yourself some cute flags to decorate your event.

♥ ♥ 

Jordan always comes up with the best DIY projects!  This sweet flag project was posted on Project Wedding, which offers an endless amount of DIY's that can be used for any kind of party, plus it has beautiful wedding things-something I never tire of seeing.

Have a happy Monday.  I don't know about you, but I'm kind of fighting the Monday blues.  I want to be at home!


p.s. Don't you covet that dress the model is wearing?  I seriously love it.

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