Sweet Paul Fall Issue

Do you all read the online mag Sweet Paul?

If not, you should.  It is full of beautiful food and design.

I finally got around to reading the new Fall issue and as I flipped through it all I could think was "I want to eat that...and that...and that..." 

I can't wait for these hot temps to pass so that I can get my fall cook on.
{White Bean and Squash Stew}

{Apple Butter}

{Goat Cheese and Dill Quiche}

{Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake}

And More Chandeliers...

After browsing many, many home décor sites for my chandelier post the other day, I started to consider buying my own chandelier. {Actually, I am becoming a bit obsessed.}

My ideal hanging spot would be above the day bed in my guest bedroom/studio/office.



Or, I would also love one outside, but I am not sure how I could hang it. There are no trees above my patio table and chairs. Any suggestions? I really love the outside chandelier look.


Here are some budget friendly chandeliers I found online window shopping at Ikea....

{A candle chandelier would be fun for outside.}

{I like this for above the guest bed.}

{This would also be great for outside - it's simple and so pretty.}

Fall?


I know the official start to fall was last week, but we have been having record high temperatures here in Southern California.  It was like 113 in downtown Los Angeles the other day.  That's crazy!

I am a fan of the heat...but I am ready for fall. 


Chandeliers

Chandeliers are everywhere these days – almost to the point of major over kill.



Despite the popularity of them, I still like them… I am not a fan of them as wall decals, {I am not a wall decal fan in general}, but I do like them in unexpected places.


My favorite look is a super fancy, crystal laden chandelier expertly hung in a non-frilly space. I love the contrast


What do you think of chandeliers? Are you over it…or still on the hunt for that perfect thrifted piece to hang in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or porch?
 
{Love a chandelier outside.}

{This laid back look is perfect with a fancy chandelier.}

{I love all.of.this.}

{Yes.}

{White and a chandelier? Love.}

Fall Wants - Skinny Cords

{Gap}



I have been craving skinny cords for a while and have just added them to my pending 30th birthday wish list.  I think they will be perfect for fall, paired with boots or heals.

DIY - Super Simple Cushion or Pillow Tutorial

Last week I blogged about my new patio chairs and the cushions I made for them.  I went to Joann Fabrics looking for my first choice {of fabric which was this trees pattern...thanks for all your input}.


Apparently, this one was not available and had to be ordered.  Actually, none of my choices were available.  All were available on order, but I procrastinated until the last minute and wanted fabric asap, so I had to search around the store and pick from what was available.

I found this aqua and with dark brown geometric shapes pattern:



and this brown with aqua geometric shapse pattern:


I am happy with both choices, but would be happiest with the trees.  I can always order it online and make a few cushion covers - it was so simple.

Here is what I did:

First, I cut one piece of fabric that was the size of my cushion insert, plus about 1 1/2" on each side.


Second, using my cut piece of fabric as a guide, I cut another piece that was the same width and 3" longer than the first piece.


Next, I cut my longer piece of fabric in half and sewed a small hem (about 1/4") on the cut side of each small half of fabric.


Next, I put my uncut piece of fabric down, presentation side up, and placed my two halves on top of it, presentation side down.  The two halves will overlap - you want this to happen because it makes a flap for inserting the cushion or pillow.



Then I pinned up one side (if you are confident, you can just wing it) and sewed the two pieces together.  I removed the pins and sewed the remaining three sides.


Finally, flip the cushion cover inside out to reveal the "right" sides of the fabric.  Stick your insert into the back, one side at a time.


That's it!  Easy peasy. 

If you try this, tell us about it in the comments and if you have any questions - please ask in the comments or email me.

 

Much Love Monday - My Little Niece and Food

After a short week last week, I am back at work tomorrow and will be for there for the next 5 weeks until I quit.  Every day it is  harder and harder to wake up, show up, and do...just about anything!

I am so happy the end is near!


Today I am loving...my baby niece, Elsie, who visited last week with her mom {my sister} and her dad.  She is the best baby ever and so sweet and cute.  She loves to dance and laugh and watch Elmo on my sister's Ipad. {Or, "Melmo" as she calls him.}



I also love my new farm box which has fresh baked bread and eggs and veggies and juice and potato salad.  All the items are supplied by a local farm and the entire box was just $30.  I am definitely going to be a repeat customer. The tomatoes taste like heaven.
Have a great Monday everyone!

{What do you love today? Blog about it and link up over at Much Love Monday.}

Before and After - Patio Chairs

I have been blogging about these chairs for weeks and I am finally done. 


Just to recap - My husband and I moved to a new house with a nice outdoor space that is perfect for a patio table and chairs.


I looked around my usual budget friendly furniture stores and was shocked at the high price of patio furniture, so I went to Craigslist.  I am not usually  too interested in a matching set of anything, so buying chairs from one seller and a table from another was my intention.


I bought a set of four rusty and paint-chipped wrought iron {my husband says they're 'fake iron' but I rarely believe him anyways} chairs for $40 and a round vintage-esque yellow table for $50.  Add aqua spray paint for $10 and fabric and foam inserts for the cushions at $25 and voila - an inexpensive patio set that is unique and has my personal touch.


Check back later this week for a super simple pillow/cushion tutorial and to find out why I didn't buy my first choice in fabric {it has quite a bit to do with procrastination...but I think the cushions will do for now}.

Fall TV Premiere Week

I always thought I was a tv junkie...that is until I met my husband.  He watches so.much.tv.  And, while I often watch with him, I am usually doing something else while watching {blogging, writing, creating, etc}. 

I have way too much energy to just sit and watch tv, but my husband can zone out for hours.  It is quite the skill.

This week is Premiere Week and I am excited for many of my favs to return and for some new shows. 

How I Met Your Mother {Neil Patrick Harris is amazing, but we better find out who that damn mother is this season or I might lose interest.}



House {House and Cuddy, love it!}


Grey's Anatomy {Can't wait to see what has happened since the heart-wrenching-stress-inducing season finale last spring.}

The Office {Steve Carell’s last season should be a good one.}

30 Rock {Always so funny.  I love Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan and everyone else.}

What show{s} are you most excited about? Any canceled shows you will be mourning?  {New Adventures of Old Christine...it was funny!}

{All photos courtesy of TV Guide}

Much Love Monday - 3 Day Week and Visitors

This week my sister, brother in law, and niece are coming to visit so I am taking a threw day week.  I love three day work weeks and I love family visits!

{Shirt by CLE Clothing Co}


I also love lazy Sunday evenings filled with wine on the patio and watching my doggies play.

What do you love today?  Blog about it and and link up at Much Love Monday.

Live Like a Mexican

I heard the most clever commentary on NPR’s Marketplace show {one of my fav NPR/APM programs} this week.  It was written and read by Gustavo Arellano and was all about the new wave of frugalness sweeping the country.  You know, people like me {and I assume a lot of you}, are doing more and more ourselves. 


We want to live a sustainable and affordable life so we do a lot of diy around the house, maybe even can our own vegetables and slaughter {or pay to have it done} our own animals.  I love the notion of getting back to the root of our foods and supporting handmade/indie businesses.  I am attempting to make a life out of a handmade business, so I completely embrace the trend...and I believe it is more than a trend


Gustavo Arellano says all these trends are what the Mexicans have been doing forever. 

 
"Canning. Food trucks. Knitting. Urban homesteading. Home brewing. The rise of these DIY activities amuses me. Don't get me wrong: I'm all for people growing their own food and sewing their own clothes. These are the new ways of life in middle-class America, a way to save money during the recession. But I gotta ask: What took you guys so long to become Mexican?"


Now, I actually will take this a step further, it isn't just Mexicans that live this way, it was probably your grandparents {or great grandparents, depending on your age} that lived this way too. 

I am not one that hates technology and wants to go back in time, but I do find it oh so interesting that it took decades of over abundance and misuse of our resources in order for us to get back to the way it should be


I like it this way.  I like the trend of handmade, diy, brew your own beer, raise your own chickens {I must try this}, support the small guy, etc.  And I think it is uniquely modern.  We can mix together the time tested practices with our modern conveniences to live in a better place. 

Do you think this is just a trend, or do you think the "Mexican" way of life has staying power? 


Listen to the entire commentary here:

Weekend diy

This is my around the house to-do list:

-make cushions for patio chairs
-hang black and white photos
-buy an inexpensive sander and convert an old coffee table into an end of the bed bench
-paint small new-to-me entry table

That's a lot for one weekend and my desire to finish things is always way larger than my actual energy to complete things.  Therefore, I am hoping to get cushions done and if ambitious, paint the small table.

I also have to take Finn to his new group training class.  He has major anxiety and craziness inside him, so we are hoping a class will give him some much needed structure.  {Structure that my husband and I are, apparently,  incapable of providing on our own.}



I hope you all have a super fun and/or productive weekend!

Rue Magazine

I am obsessed.  The new online mag, Rue, has has so much amazing style.  Such an impressive first issue.  Cannot wait for the next one....


Fall Wants - Saddlebag

I love the saddlebag purse trend and am putting one on my birthday wish list.  My 30th {ahhh!} birthday is just over a month away and I always buy myself a little something.  I will have just quit my soul crushing day job, so I will be tight on funds and all my gifts will have to be budget friendly. 


So far my wish list includes new boots, a new jacket, and one of these bags... 

{Vintage Coach bag by Dear Golden Vintage on Etsy}


{This black purse from Lulus is so inexpensive, maybe I could justify two new bags}
{Dark brown vintage bag by Vintage Shop 11 on Etsy}

{I would love this Hobo bag, but it's out of my price range...sadness!}



The Housewives - Are you over it or do you still get sucked in?

Are you guys excited for the newest Atlanta Housewives season?  This is the first time I am not that excited about a new Housewives season.  I think I might be over the Atlanta ladies.  Everything they do just seems so contrived and desperate.  It is so apparent that every lady is clawing her way to another paycheck by shamelessly promoting either a fashion line, a book, or a song.


A few months ago, I read a fantastic article in New York Magazine about how reality stars make the worst reality stars.  The article discusses how the first season of most reality shows is fun because the cast is naive and unknown.  If the show is a success, then by the second season the cast is aware of their pseudo fame and they are milking it for all it's worth.  By the third season...any authenticity is pretty much gone.


I feel like Atlanta's feel was far from genuine in the second season, so I cannot even imagine how bad the ladies will be this third season.


Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the Atlanta cast, I am ridiculously excited for the Beverly Hills season. This show looks like some old school housewivery nonsense.  These ladies are fresh and new and should be entertaining.


I don't know if it is Will Smith or Pretty Woman, but Beverly Hills just screams stupid rich.

Studio Chair Re-do

I have been on the lookout for a cute, inexpensive chair for my studio/office.  I already have an old kitchen chair that sits at my desk {it is boring, but serves a purpose} and needed something for my work table.


Last weekend, my husband and I stopped at a furniture consignment store and I found this - for $22!

{It's a cute little vanity chair}

There were about 10 other pieces {all under $100} that I wanted to buy, but that would have been ridiculous.  The shop is near my new neighborhood, so I will definitely be stopping by again soon.


The chair I bought had a fugly cushion on it, so I popped the cushion off {it was surprisingly easy} and ripped off the upholstery {also surprisingly easy}.  Once I got the fabric off, I recovered the chair with a $2 upholstery swatch from the fabric store, which was just the right size. 

{Not a fan of the fabric}

{$2 upholstery sample of pink toile...much nicer}


I don't own a staple gun, which would have been ideal for this project, so I used small silver thumb tacks...which were not ideal, but I made them work.


The nice thing about this chair is that I can easily re-upholster it if I get bored in a few years or a few months.


I am happy with the result.  It is pretty and feminine.

{It isn't pulled perfectly tight, but it will do}

{My little work space...super messy as usual}
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