For months I have thought about how to come back to this blog. I discovered a few products I used, liked, and thought about recommending to my readers. There were also a few websites I had found that I could have shared. In September, I booked a last-minute four-day trip to Hawaii!  However, each time I visited my blog to publish a new post, it all felt so hokey. I had to remind myself why I started this blog in the first place: as a creative outlet for my writing.

It wasn't until this morning that I understood why I hadn't published any posts, or visited any of my favorite blogs, in months!  And that reason is I had previously been using the virtual Blogland to escape my day-to-day life. It took me the better part of this year to finally wake up and come to terms with the fact that I was unhappy/stuck/heavy.  But don't cry for me Argentina, because I am in a very good place right now.  :)

When I removed myself from the virtual world and immersed myself in the real world around me, BIG things happened. I am constantly going, from one social scene to the next, and I am loving it. I am on two adult coed social sports teams, and am about to start a third sport. I have met so many fun people, and have made several acquaintances, a handful of whom have become dear friends. Life has changed drastically, and those still involved in my life are my true support system. My loves. I will never take them for granted.

The best part about my current state is not having to act; I can just be.  When I was stuck, I did some things that can only be defined as 'acting out' with behavior I am not fond of.  Fake smiling and auto-pilot are not healthy. In addition, I have reconnected with my family. I talk to and see my parents and brother several times a week.  And when my sister-in-law shared with me that she and my brother are expecting, I cried so hard that I cannot recall another occasion where I cried as hard. Tears of pure joy!! I am so anxious to be Auntie; I get chills when I think about it. They already know they've got a stellar babysitter when the little miss/mister enters this world...Bowie loves kids! ;)

I haven't decided the direction of this blog--whether I will continue posting or perhaps start a new blog. clean slate
So many things in my life right now are up in the air, and I am just bouncing from one fun cloud to the next. What?? That sounded totally ridic.  Anyway, I leave you {for now} with a visual representation of my current joyful state.  This is me in Oahu.

Take care of yourselves, friends. YOU are #1.  #1 comes first. :)


yummy summery asiany lettuce wraps

...or 'we finally went grocery shopping!'

This month has been go-go-go and I am loving it, but the downside is that we haven't prioritized domestic basics.  We've gone camping almost every weekend and have various social engagements throughout the work week, be it sports, gymtime, happy hours, etc.  I know, boo hoo.  I'm definitely not complaining.  However, it felt so refreshing to go nuts at the market yesterday so that we could eat at home more, for all the day's meals.  Gabe and I eat vegetarian at home so we stocked up on fresh vegetables {hello! it's summer!} and basics like pastas, potatoes, wine.  Of course wine is a basic, how dare you question.

I love wine. Winey wine wine. Here it goes down. Down into my belly. Mmm mmm mmm.

Since it is summer, and it is warmer than I expected today {read: didn't think I needed to shave my legs, so I wore pants} I felt like making a cold and raw dinner.  That sounds odd.  I just mean I didn't want warm food.  I was starving after my hair appointment, so naturally I chose to spend an hour to prepare dinner.  All that chopping of vegetables and blending of saucey goodness was worth it, and I snacked on some veggies while I was prepping, so I lived.

You know when you make something and you are so freaking proud of yourself?  It doesn't even have to be something all that significant, but you know that is rocks and you are awesome!  {Assuming you are viciously nodding your heads} That is how I feel about the dinner I just made.  And enjoyed solo.  Solo supper.  Don't feel sad, I had wine.  What is that rule about not drinking alone?  Pssshhhh.

Peanut Sauce:
1/2 c  natural peanut butter
1/2 c  milk
3 T  freshly squeezed lime juice
2 T  packed brown sugar
1.5 T  low sodium soy sauce
2 T  Asian chili and garlic paste
1/3 c  orange juice
KS&P  to taste

Several butter leaf lettuce cups
radishes, thinly sliced
yellow bell pepper, julienned
button mushrooms, caps only and thinly sliced
fresh basil, chiffonade
alfalfa sprouts {cuz they're awesome!}
mixed vegetable salad {slaw of cabbage and carrots and such}
toasted sesame oil
rice vinegar
teriyaki tofu, chunked

First blend all the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a blender and set aside.  Then toss all ingredients, except for the lettuce cups of course, in a bowl and drizzle some sesame oil and rice vinegar to taste.  I normally press and marinate my own tofu, but I grabbed some Wild Wood baked teriyaki sprouted tofu at the store and was eager to try it.  So yummy!  I highly recommend it.  Their brand makes all good stuff.  Then, fill your cups with the goods and top with peanut sauce.  The most important step is this one:  Open and pour yourself a glass of Bogle Chardonnay to enjoy with your lettuce cups.  I mean it.  Speaking of, time out...tank's empty.


Okay, I'm back.  Bogle is a local and a favorite wine of mine.  I went to school with the Bogle boys, and their vineyards dominate are located in the Delta.  Nugget had the chard on sale for $8.99 so I grabbed a couple, which is not nearly enough.  Sorry babe, I know you said you weren't going to drink in preparation for climbing that undisclosed mountain, but that doesn't mean I am going to cut back out of sympathy.  Love you!
Oh man, this peanut sauce! I made extra so I could pour it over anything and everything.

What have you friends been proudly making these summer nights?  I'd love to hear!  And even more importantly, what wines are you drinking right now?  Summertime is primetime for white varietals methinks.  Give me a delicious and chilled Sauvignon Blanc and/or Chardonnay, or perhaps a Viognier, and I will be happy as a clam.  Why do they say that?  A clam?  Is it because the split in their shells is shaped like a smile?  I wonder.


guy walks in to a...

's funny how new people enter your life and expose you to new things.  While all too often I hear my new coworker friend shriek, "you've never heard of {fill-in-the-blank}?!" he's actually exposed me to some coolness.  I could structure this post in such a way where I express my gratitude for his teachings, listing all of said coolness, but that would give him way too much flattery.  ;)

Instead, I will share a cool company he told me about  today.  Health-nuts {and seeds} rejoice!  You Bar, a family owned company in L.A., is providing you with the tools to build-a-bar--where you get to choose everything that goes into the making of your customized bar, starting with the base right down to the packaging. You could DIY the bars using their ingredients list, but you wouldn't get their cool custom packaging.  The company lets you choose how much of a certain item you want in your bar, i.e. less / normal / extra protein, and also provides you with suggestions for quantity and combination.  Depending on the size you choose, a box of 13 bars ranges in price from $37.57 to $41.47.  Not too bad.
If you've been following my blog for a while, you have witnessed my excitement with sites that let you customize and create!  I've showed you virtual paper dolls, room compilations, outfit montages, etc.;  add custom snacks to that list now... Plus, anything that allows to me incorporate agave nectar is sweet!

Here are the ingredients for my 'guy walks in to a' bar I just made:
I don't necessarily care for dates, but they recommended them as part of the base so the bar won't be too delicate in texture.  I think these would be so fun to make for party favors.  Light bulb!!  Ohhh man, I hope the best friend slash bride to be doesn't read this before her wedding, cuz methinks I found a great bachelorette party favor.  My job as Matron of honor is to make sure the bride has 1) a kickass time and 2) coherent partyers watching her back.  These bars will provide sustenance for us while we're out at the bars {maybe? not giving away any party details!} and energy to party all night.  Watch out!  Now, to find the perfect name...  Got it!  But, it won't make any sense to anyone other than the bride.  Kinda an inside joke, so maybe something more universal.  "Got prenup?"  No, that's just wrong.  Help me out with some ideas will ya?

P.S.  The coworker friend is a virgo, so he gets major cool points for that.  No flattery, just fact.  What about "The ol' bar and chain" ?


"we could totally do this"

After dropping off Megan and Tommy at their hotel Friday, I was a bit worried that Ethan would never stop crying for his parents.  I tried several approaches, alternating between speaking to him in soft dulcet tones, to completely ignoring him hoping he would self-soothe, but he continued to cry for the entire ten minute drive from the hotel to Gabe's dad's house. My plan was to bring the boys over there to go swimming, so I tried using this fun fact to divert Ethan's attention away from being apart from his parents.  Loud squeals in return.  When I got to the house, I called Gabe to come outside and surprise Ethan. He opened Ethan's door, popped his head in, and said, "Hey bud, wanna go swimming with uncle Gabey?"  Ethan happily said, "yeah!" and that was that.  My husband is a God-send.  From that point on, neither kid even whined, let alone cried.  We got the boys in their swimmers and spent the next hour playing in the pool.

We worked up an appetite after all that splashing, so we headed over to my parents' new house to visit and eat some all-American grub: watermelon, applesauce + Taco Bell. ;)
 My busy-bee-DIY-home-renovator-mom finally got to meet Blake! :)

My parents purchased a home on an acre and have spent the last year renovating the property.  I was so excited to bring the kids over to explore the yard and the back orchard, and Ethan loved seeing the neighbor's horses and watching the hawks fly overhead.  Next time we'll bring his quad over...

When we got home, it was bath time {so fun!} for the boys, then E brushed his teeth and we popped in Alice in Wonderland.  I remember showing that movie to E the last time we babysat him, so I hoped he would still dig it.  B fell asleep after chugging his bottle, and E kept looking over at me and rubbing his eyes, so I asked him if he wanted me to turn off the movie so he could go ni-night. He whispered, "yeah," then turned over and passed out.  Really?!  I had no idea it would be that easy to put the kids to sleep!  Gabe and I looked at each other, stunned, and Gabe said, "we could totally do this." 
The boys slept like champs until 7:30!  Gabe + I wondered why we were wide awake at 6.

Gabe made Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes for E, and I warmed up some baby cereal for B.  I was happy that both kids were 'morning people' and Bowie was happy to serve as babysitter while Gabe and I cleaned up the kitchen.
Before the triple-digit-temps kicked in, we took all four kids--including the furry four-legged ones--for a nice walk around the neighborhood.  
While B took a nap when we returned home, Gabe headed out to work and E and I colored a few pages in his Peanuts Halloween coloring book.  He said he wanted to color a picture for Bakey, and about four pages in, Bakey woke up.  
The three of us gathered on the quilt on the floor and watched my all-time favorite movie, that I was more than thrilled to expose E to, Labyrinth!  I was so glad he was in to it, and even cracked up at a few parts.  After the movie, we had a snack, then it was time to pick up Megan and Tommy from their hotel. 

Our house felt kind of empty and quiet without the kids, especially since they wore out the dogs so much that they were passed out in the front room for the better part of the day.  When I asked Gabe if he was ready for another baby slumber party, this time with our other friends' baby, Chloe, he replied, "next month."  :)

{all iPhone photos/video}


July 4th weekend!

What are everyone's plans?

Tonight, Gabe and I are having a slumber party with these two monkeys while 
their parents celebrate their 4-year wedding anniversary. 

 B says, "brother, can I have some of that cookie?"
E says, "no way, mine!" B says, "c'mon just a bite"

We're so excited!


it's the end of June and pouring rain in the capital city...

...which is extremely unusual, so I am sitting in my office with the door open allowing the smell of the wet pavement to fill the room.  All I hear is the intermittent thunder, the drops of rain hitting the ground, and the occasional truck driving by the warehouse--it's very slow today.  The smell of the moist pavement mixed with my cup of steeping honey lemon tea has put me in a leisurely mood, and as a result has led me to discover this site in my distracted state:

eerie ghost towns with stories and photos
So far there are eighteen pages of former amusements parks, asylums, castles, farms, highways...
Abandonment can be so beautiful.  Strictly speaking of structural abandonment, of course. 
I have always been fascinated by deserted antique buildings that are now overgrown with vegetation, inhabited only by wildlife and insects.  Imagine walking through one of the old, grand hospitals or theaters featured on the site.  When scrolling through the photos and skimming their accompanying stories, I could picture how great the places were in their prime, bustling with activity.  Like Old Hollywood, many could be restored, but will unlikely ever return to their former glory.  Mmm, nutella and graham crackers...sorry, 'food Tourette's.'  Clearly this weather has temporarily made me forget that it is in fact bikini season.

{all photos via fuckyeahghosttowns.tumblr}


you can put anything in a quesadilla

I have been excited to use the beautiful squash blossoms in our garden since they bloomed, and had grand plans of hosting a brunch or luncheon with friends to showcase some gourmet chevre-quinoa-something-stuffed blossoms, but I didn't see that happening in the near future.  Quite a few of the blossoms have already shriveled up, so I knew if I wanted to eat them this year {I missed out last year for the same fancy plan procrastination reason} I had better just do it.

On my lunch hour today, I went home and quickly surveyed the goods I had on hand, which is how I came up with this quirky recipe:

Brie and Squash Blossom Quesadillas
{sub any ingredients with your favs}

2 black bean garlic tortillas
few squash blossoms, torn into pieces
hunk of brie, mostly creamy part but some rind is okay
Mexican blend shredded cheese

Ya'll know how to make a quesadilla, so instead of instructions, here are some pretty photos of my lunch. :)

 these locally made tortillas are my favorite...every flavor i've tried has been super delicious
hey mom, you should probably take us for a long walk to work off that fatty cheesy thing you just ate...good lookin' out, pups.

The blossoms don't have a strong distinguished flavor, probably because the tortillas and brie were both so flavorful, but they do provide a pop of pretty color.  Plus, eating flowers is fun! 


the BEST anytime lotion

Not kidding. JĀSÖN Natural 70% aloe vera lotion is, is, well I'll just list its awesomeness:

  • smells lovely
  • soothes skin after shaving {without stinging}
  • doesn't cause breakouts or clog pores
  • quenches skin
  • non-greasy
  • vegan
  • available for under $10 @ Target
  • hubby loves it too
  • can go on before or after self-tanner
  • heals sunburnt skin
  • light fragrance does not compete with perfume
  • gives skin a healthy glow {not sparkly}
  • packed with healthy all-natural goodness like Vit E, green tea, ginseng, aloe vera...
I don't know if it's possible but I have noticed fewer breakouts on my skin in areas like my shoulders and back of my neck since I started using this lotion about a month ago.  My skin feels healthy and happy, and I smell goooooood.  I never really made applying body lotion part of my morning routine, unless of course I was wearing a skirt or shorts that day, but I now look forward to slathering this delicious lotion on after my shower every morning!  Sorry to sound like a commercial, but this stuff is seriously awesome.  Try it and let me know how it worked out for you. :)


as addicting as Etsy?

Thank you {and curse you!} apartment therapy for introducing me to Ruffled!  Ruffled is the place where all the junk you 'favorited' {but didn't act quickly enough} in Etsy went--Mason jars, doilies, milk glass--that you can now claim!  Although geared toward brides and other wedding participants, Ruffled has a ton of cool stuff that doesn't have to be used for nuptial-ness {?}.

Clearly best suited for a wedding gown, but I am loving this Temperley dress for special occasion!
These rose garlands would be adorable in a girl's nursery or birthday party. Or, um, my room! Sorry Gabriel.
And these vintage crates are super handy and versatile for around the house. I have one storing tp in our newly remodeled bathroom {still no post on that--procrastinator!} but could use a few more on my bookshelf in my office to store craft supplies.

Check it out and let me know what you think!  I haven't gone through all the listings yet, but I'm inspired to get my dresses I wore as a bridesmaid cleaned and post them for sale.  Tiffany blue is still hot, right?


i love polyvore to jumpstart the work week!

During my morning bloghopping, I clicked on an ad featured on desiretoinspire for 2Modern--a shopping site that has everything from home to baby goods, all super stylish.  I spotted a link on the sidebar that read Style A Room, and I was intrigued.  Oooooooh what fun!  Check out what I created:

No, I'm not prego, but the rocker was the first item that grabbed my attention, so I was immediately inspired to create a hip kiddies room.  Powered by the awesome polyvore, there aren't a crazy number of options, so I did my best with the items offered.  I believe I had more fun creating this room than creating these outfits!  

If you feel inspired to create your own room {it'll make your Monday!}, please send me a link so I can see yours!  Help spread the creative bug for an inspiring week. :)

**update** And I'm hooked.


'world's most comfortable thong,' you say??

I concur.
I know $23 a pair seems a bit steep, but these Hanky Panky thongs really truly are the most comfortable chones I've ever worn!  I picked up a few pairs at Nordstrom, after hearing Abby and the sales clerk praise them.  The tags read, "World's Most Comfortable Thong," so I was intrigued.  They're one size fits all, which is difficult to believe when you see them arranged on the display table because they look small, but they fit like a dream.  Bye bye Target and VS cheapos!  My challenge will not only be to budget wisely so I can afford to swap out all my non-Hanky Panky chones, but to keep Bowie away from them...the dog's got expensive taste.

Pick up a couple pairs this weekend.  Your bum will thank you!


honing the wardrobe

Today's outfit is a perfect example of my true style and how I wish I dressed everyday.  Why don't I dress the way I want to everyday, you ask??  The answer is simple: I don't know!  I suppose laziness has a lot to do with it, but it could also be that my work environment is not conducive to arriving in my ideal ensembles. 

I finally found the perfect {read: doesn't make me look butch} denim jacket and black knit maxi skirt!!!!!  Both have been on my shopping list forever, so it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood when I got to check them off.

jacket Lucky Brand, sweatshirt J.Crew, maxi skirt Express, necklace vintage {gift}, gold ring Express, gold bangles Love Culture, gold and black friendship bracelet Express, leather "Bowie" cuff custom, nail polish OPI's a good man-darin is hard to find

I was so comfortable and happy with my outfit, that I didn't bother styling my hair or putting on makeup.  A quick blow-dry and some chapstick and eyebrow gel {daily essentials!} and I was out the door.  You can't see my shoes, but I'm wearing my coveted Camden brogues from J.Crew and some J.Crew mauve trouser socks.  All these pieces are super versatile, and this skirt is so cozy I want to nap right now.  I also bought a longer maxi with a less casual waistband from Express to wear with heels.  Love!


laughs in Napa w/ hubby

Gabe and I saw Lisa Lampanelli perform live in Napa on Friday night, and we had a blast!  We did not stop laughing during her entire set.  She is one ridiculously hilarious broad.  Here are some photos from that night + the next day.

  • This sweet message was posted on the outside wall of a business, randomly, on First Street in Napa.  We saw it while walking to eat the yummiest Mexican food at Bistro Sabor.  Two words, friends: homemade. churros.
  • Me, enjoying a glass of {free!} Cabernet at Embassy Suites, where we were lucky enough to stay for a very reasonable rate.  Not only is the hotel beautiful and conveniently located in downtown Napa, but they offer free drinks for several hours every day in their in-house restaurant. Score!
  • A black swan!  There were two of these fellas chilling in the pond area at our hotel. 
  • The theater Lisa performed at was so cute and old-timey.  
Our hotel fed us a full-on-super-awesome-made-to-order-breakfast the next morning {included}, then we hit up some antique shops and Ben + Jerry's downtown.  It was a quick, close little getaway, and the weather was nice enough to cooperate.  We got the impression from the locals that Bistro Sabor is a newer restaurant, and I think it's going to last.  I've been thinking about those mouthwatering tacos and churros all day...


i've been thinking a lot about leisure

Leisure, by definition, is time free from work or duties, or time available for ease and relaxation. 

... allow me to ramble on for a while before getting back to this ...

Perhaps it is the lack of sunlight combined with this annoying funk I have been in for too long, but I find myself looking at others' pastimes and glamorizing them to the max.  Just as easily as photos and stories that friends share on their blogs can inspire me, they can turn the magnifying glass on my own life for close observation.  Would you agree that Blogland can very easily do that to you?  I'm not complaining, and I know things aren't always what they seem, but my overactive imagination can get the best of me at times. 

For example, I won't name names {or blog titles}, but in the past couple of months I have discovered a beautiful blogger with incredible style, who is super crafty, and has the most picturesque family; another adorable blogger full of spunk and humor, and who has a stellar relationship with her husband; and another {younger} blogger who seems to never stray from her style and knows exactly her aesthetic.  I can't help but feel a tinge of jealousy as I follow these people, but I am trying to take a positive approach.  I think:  What about their photos or their stories or posts makes me feel jealous?  Do they have something I don't have?  Am I missing out on the fun?  Am I wasting my time and talents when I could be doing similar things that would bring me joy and that I could share with others?  ... Am I a total brat for thinking this way when I have so much in my life for which to be thankful?  I remind myself I am not alone, and I know if these people heard me asking these questions, they would assure me their lives aren't perfect. 

... this post has turned in to a rambling on 'vulnerability' apparently, rather than 'leisure' ...
Getting back to discussing leisureA year ago I canceled our television service, and we have proudly been a TV-free household.  I thought this would encourage us to make our leisure time more beneficial, and I think in some ways it has.  When I'm not feeling completely mentally drained {Virgos exhaust themselves without even trying by incessantly overthinking everything}, I leisurely take the dogs for a walk, reorganize a room in my house, spend time with friends, grab my new fancycam and take some shots, scout new recipes, or sketch room layouts.  But when I just want to turn my brain off, I pop in a DVD, read a book, shop online {dangerous!}, or blog-hop.  The bad weather lately is partially to blame for my spending most of my leisure time doing these brain-off activities, so I am desperately anxious for consistent sunny weather so I can improve upon that.  I look forward to riding my bike downtown to Ginger Elizabeth {Abby's fav} for delicious macarons--exercise + a treat!--and cranking happy-summertime-folk-tunes while sun-basking in my backyard.  Maybe that's it!  My creativity has been washed away by all this rain and crappy weather, that I need sunlight and warmth to recharge!  I hear the next few days are going to be sunny here, so QUICK, gimme some ideas to make the most of it!  I will take any/all suggestions to heart. 

I started this post with the intention of lightly joking about clichés, after watching a super cute video I saw on Isabelle's blog, but it somehow morphed.  Maybe I got caught in my own joke: the French make you jealous! hahahahaa...  So I leave you with said video with the hopes that it makes you smile.  And should you feel a little jealous of this cute Frenchie, just know, you are not alone. ;)


homemade cake + soup make this bleak weather bearable

Make your own soup from scratch!  Please.  :)

No canned or tubbed store-bought soup can match the taste and enjoyment of preparing your own.  And if you're in the mood to whip up your own soup this weekend, I recommend smitten kitchen's mushroom and farro soup!  I made it at the beginning of this week, with a few substitutions depending on the goods I had on hand, and it lasted us all week, up until just a few minutes ago when I polished off the last bowl. mmmmm... 

Here are her ingredients, with my changes in green:

Mushroom and Farro Orzo Soup
1/3 cup dried mushrooms like porcini 1 1/4 cups dried wild mushroom mix {Costco!}
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium parsnip, grated and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound 5 fresh button mushrooms* (white, cremini, shiitake or a mixture thereof; I used 100% brown/creminis)
1/2 cup farro, pearled barley, or spelt, rinsed orzo
6 cups low sodium or salt-free beef broth or stock (vegetable, mushroom or chicken stock can be swapped)
1/4 cup dry sherry Marsala
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar ume plum vinegar

So, as you can see, I made almost an entirely different soup, but it came out amazing!  The first night, Gabe made little garlic potato bread toasts to go with it.  *Quick note about the lack of fresh mushrooms in my recipe:  that's all I had!  lol.  I would like to have used a whole pound of fresh and fewer dried, but it worked out fine.  

Aaaaaaand for dessert, I baked two cakes--one for the office {lucky guys!} and one for home--using another intriguing recipe from smitten kitchen.  She calls it Clementine Cake because--you guessed it--it calls for clementines!  Or cuties, or mini tangerines, or whatever you call them in your 'hood.  I don't know if they are popular everywhere, but around here folks buy these by the bushel all winter long, sometimes paying up to $10 for a small box. No joke!  In our home, we are always stocked up so I was thrilled to find this recipe and try my hand at it.  I love that it is a flourless, dairy-less cake that is super simple to make.  Oh, and it is especially delicious...for dessert, snack, or even breakfast as it turns out.

I opted to dust the tops of the cakes with powder sugar rather than make a glaze to drizzle, admittedly because I was feeling pretty lazy at this point and wanted to be done in the kitchen.  And don't worry about the cake being too tart or sweet, it isn't too anything.  It has a fun texture and a balanced flavor that will satisfy even this non-orange-flavor-liker {??}. 


spring is here. officially.

Gabe and I spent all day Saturday 'Spring cleaning,' and oh man what a difference it made!  We're not completely finished, but already our home feels lighter, happier, refreshed, and it begged to be redecorated.  Seeking inspiration yesterday, I grabbed my bible and started absorbing.  I can always count on domino to pull through for me. Always!

One piece in particular I was hoping to learn how to liven up was my IKEA Docksta table {ya know, the Eero Saarinen tulip table lookalike}, because where I had it placed was not working.  While reading the chapter on entry rooms, it hit me.  I decided to swap my beloved vintage heavy green chest {an old craigslist find from Iceland!} that was next to my front door with the Docksta table I had in the dining room.

Voila!  The chest--which stores all of our games, wine corks, and candles--works fabulously as a buffet, and looks pretty sophisticated with the extra dining chairs flanking it.  And the green next to the red hutch is so gorgeous. 
The Docksta in the front room works beautifully.  Although it is wider than the chest, it feels like it takes up less space.  Most of the pieces in this room are rectangular and boxy--including our new chaise from IKEA {a major score last weekend in the As-is section!!}--and the round table breaks up and lightens the overall room.  I just love it.  Now all I need is a few bulbs of fragrant paperwhites in the tall cylinder vase on the green chest, and a short and full bouquet of fresh spring blooms in the entry way.  Hubby, are you reading this? ;)  Oh, and I can't wait to find better lampshades for both the lamp on the chest and on the entry table because I don't love the current ones. 

I have been coveting this bed since its debut, so yesterday I finally sprung for it.  After brunch, Gabe + I braved the weekend crowds at IKEA and picked it up, along with an adorable outdoor patio set {but that's another post}.  To my surprise and excitement, the bed only cost $99!  For some reason I had thought it was twice that, but no.  Only a bill.  Sweet! 
We didn't buy the slats that support the mattress, so we used the boxspring from our guest bedroom, which made our bed super tall and hotel-like.  I am not sure I love it being so high, although I always said I wanted a high bed, so I am living with it for a week before I decide whether or not to go back, get the slats, and ditch the boxspring.  And one of these days I will have matching, or at least coordinating, bed linens like a grown-up.  lol

Still haven't unveiled our master bath renovation, because the decorating is taking longer than expected...soon, I'll post some before + afterish photos. In other big reno-news, we ordered all new dual pane energy efficient windows and sliders for our whole house!  This is our next big project that will definitely produce major results.

What's the last thing you did to make your home happy?

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