Antiquing in Arkansas

My family is spending two days in Arkansas. My husband coaches collegiate volleyball, so we travel all over the country for their tournaments. When we go to a state like Arkansas, it’s the perfect place to go antiquing. The prices are reasonable in this part of the country, and I generally end up with some goodies that have to ride on the bus home because they don’t fit in the car. I’ll take some pictures of our adventures today and share them with you next week. Hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend! After we get home from Arkansas, we’ll be laying low for some good ol’ laziness and family time. Enjoy!

Heat Wave

Granted we are used to HOT days here in the great state of Kansas during the month of August, we were spoiled a bit when mid-month temps dropped into the 50′s for the low and 70 degree days were here for a week.  We actually haven’t hit 100 yet on the thermometer but with the humidity this week feels like 100 degree plus outside.  And we are talking all week it has been HOT and it looks as though that continues through the weekend.  I guess summer is here to stay for a bit longer and that means soaking in the sun a bit for the long Labor Day weekend.

Here are a few items that we will be enjoying over this long weekend.  Although I am still on maternity leave, it will be nice to have the mister around for the long weekend – perhaps I can coax him to finish some of the many projects we have started around here…(PLEASE and thank you honey!)

Other than that – we plan to spend plenty of time in the pool…

Pool Fun

Pool Fun

Me – not so much.  This lady here is not exactly pool side ready being 5 weeks post baby…but I love to eat – and eating on the side of the pool with yummy ice cream sandwiches sounds fun – so I WILL try to attempt making these

Full recipe found here.  NO, I am not vegan but they sound pretty yummy and look incredible.  I’ll let you know how they turn out.

AND – since swinging is plain out awesome no matter how young / old you are – we will spend some time on my parents farm doing this…

photo-39

We bought this tree swing for my mom’s birthday last year and it is amazing.  You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this simple activity and the surrounding on the farm are beautiful and peaceful.  We have a large tree in our backyard and in time I may just talk the mister in to making our own tree swing.  I found a great DIY for this on A Beautiful Mess.

If you are feeling optimistic and are in need of a tree swing, you can find more info on the great DIY here.

We have a little volleyball and football mixed in our schedule which makes me think FALL but for now we will be holding on to our summer activities with those listed above.  I know it is only Thursday and I am getting a bit ahead of myself by talking about the weekend but what do you have in store this Labor Day weekend?

Annagrams

A former colleague of mine now turned friend, Anne Simmons, owns a darling little online shop called Annagram Cards. An “Annagram” is simply a monogrammed card or piece of stationery that can be given as personalized gifts. Monogramming is so popular, and these cards would make great shower or graduation gifts. I can think of several people in my life who would love these – and her signature square size is right up Middle Redefined’s alley since Jill and I pretty much love everything square. They’re $20 for a set of 12, and you can buy them with stripes, dots, or just bright, bold colors. What a fun idea!

Here are some photos of these gems. Check them out when you get a chance!

Annagram Cards

Annagram Cards

 

Annagram Cards

Annagram Cards

 

Annagram Cards

Annagram Cards

 

Annagram Cards

Annagram Cards

 

More Than Just a Book

Two weeks ago my beautiful mother celebrated her birthday.  Not just any birthday – this year was a milestone birthday – my mom turned 60 years young.

My mom and I

My mom and I

I know by the picture you would think we could be sisters.  She is one hip mama – I am one lucky girl to have such a cool mom.

SO, I knew I couldn’t just get her a typical present from J.Crew like I usually do for her birthday this year.  I got to thinking and decided I would try and compile a book of meaningful letters, notes, pictures, memories from many of the people who my mom has touched over the years.  Of course we had to get at least 60 cards, notes, letters to represent her turning 60, but wouldn’t you know by the end of it we well surpassed the 60 mark and that just means she has more letters and notes to grow on.

With the help of my Dad hitting the phones and me emailing family and friends the letters and notes came pouring in and I had so much fun myself receiving all the fun mail over the span of a couple weeks (much better than bills!)

Then the task of compiling all the notes, letters, cards, photos into a book – enter my sister in law Nancy – a.k.a. master scrap booker to the rescue.  After many hours of hard work and a lot of learning on my end we put together one heavy book of what I call love for my mom to cherish.

Pages and pages filled with handwritten letters, photos and love from family and friends

Pages and pages filled with handwritten letters, photos and love from family and friends

IMG_5931

And I think (correction I know) she LOVED it!

Opening her birthday book - happy tears

Opening her birthday book – happy tears

Happy tears were flowing and I know the book is definitely coffee table worthy and one true keepsake.  It is more than just a book – but a book of love for one fantastic lady who means so much to so many people.

Have you made something recently for someone you loved??  Please share…

 

Dressing Up My Side Table

Last week I showed you our new bedding. Bedding is so personal and can make such a statement, as we all know. When you walk into a room, the most important element is obviously the bed. It’s where we spend a huge amount of time. Well, just as important are the side tables. You use your side tables every night, to set down your phone, to lay extra items you’re too lazy to put away, and to turn on a lamp when you need some extra light. So I decided to spend a little time getting our night stands just right during this bedroom update.

I started by moving our previous ones to the side of the settee – I showed these in this post.

Sitting Room Update

Sitting Room Update

 

They were perfect in our teeny bedroom in St. Louis when we had a 100-year-old bungalow. But they are just too small to go beside our bed now. I also decided that this time I didn’t really want matching pieces, so for my side, I decided to use an estate-sale item that I’d had in my house for about seven years.

New Bed - www.middleredefined.com New Bed – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

I first got this little beauty when my mother-in-law did estate sales several years ago. It had a light honey stain on it, but on top, someone had painted an apple green color. I actually liked it and thought that was such a fun way to bring color to a piece of furniture without committing the whole thing to it. I had painted it white when I first got it, sanded it a bit to keep it feeling distressed, and kept the green top. It has served as a guest room nightstand, side table, and printer holder in my old home office.

 

Now, it’s been promoted to the master bedroom. The one thing I had to do was repaint the top. The green it used to have was a little too apple-y. So I used one of my mint green test pints to give it a fresh, custom look.

Personalized Night Stand - www.middleredefined.com Personalized Night Stand – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

Then I got new lamps at Home Goods for $45. And finally, my friend Katie (the one who had the beautiful pink and navy wedding), gave all her bridesmaids these adorable elephant ring holders as one of our gifts. I wanted a place to put it on display, so I grabbed one of my grandmother’s old serving plates and set it on top, right next to a bowl I found in the clearance basket at Anthropologie.

Night Stand Accessories - www.middleredefined.com Night Stand Accessories – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

It all feels very personal and comforting right next to me every night. I think more furniture needs to have a fun colored top, don’t you?

 

 

Delicious Bedding

I have a new bed! As part of our bedroom update, I wanted to DIY a new headboard since I had done our last one. This is our old bed.

Old Bed - www.middleredefined.com

Old Bed – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

However, the more I tried to figure out exactly what fabric I wanted to do, the more I just realized that maybe it was time in my eight-year marriage to finally buy a bed – we’ve only had hand-me-downs and DIY’ed ones. So one day, a sale on Joss and Main inspired me to buy a charcoal grey, tufted headboard. Here’s a sneak peak – I’ll dig up the link to the bed online and share it with you once I find it.

[caption id="attachment_1615" align="alignleft" width="600"]New Bed - www.middleredefined.com New Bed – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

You’ll get to see the rest once I have my bedding all done. Now that I had a pretty headboard to show off, of course that meant new shams and throw pillows! I found the perfect coral bordered shams from Biscuit bedding. Bailey, the shop owner, has a blog that I visit often. While I probably would never do floor to ceiling floral wallpaper like she does in her designs, I find her writing witty and fun. And her outlook on design just makes me smile – such a happy person. She aptly named her shop Biscuit because she wants her bedding to feel delicious. Even though the shams were a bit more expensive than I normally would have gone, I knew they were exactly what I was looking for, so I bit the bullet. I’m going to have them monogramed in the same coral color to finish them off. Her packaging is even adorable.

[caption id="attachment_1616" align="alignleft" width="600"]Biscuit Bedding Biscuit Bedding

For accent throws, I found some remnant fabric on sale as Calico Corners for $15 a yard. It’s a pale mint Greek key pattern, and I think it will make the perfect compliment to the Biscuit bedding. I just have it laying over some lumbar pillows right now so you can have a vision of what it will look like. I’m hoping to get everything over to a family member this weekend who will make the throw pillows and do the monogramming. So excited!

This…That

I am amazed each day how the choices I make via fashion inspires my decor choices and vice versa.  Hence, why I am going to start a post called “This…That”.  Because this (decor or fashion item) inspires that (decor or fashion item).  Without further ado – this is how I was inspired this week from this and that…

1. THIS…

Jonah's Whale Outfit

Jonah’s Whale Outfit

inspired me to buy THAT whale for Jonah’s nursery to store goodies and keepsakes.  And it’s on sale now at Furbish Studio.

2. THIS fabulous DIY featured on Little Green Notebook

inspired me to wear THAT dress today.

3.  THIS light fixture…that I have starred at A LOT lately at 2a.m. or so rocking Jonah in his room

IMG_5732

inspired me to buy THAT top.  J. Crew – on sale now, extra 30% off!

What has inspired you lately in fashion and/or decor that you translate in to the other??  You might be amazed how much they are connected.

 

L.A. Chic – Lisa Vanderpump

One of my guilty pleasures is watching “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” I can’t even explain why I love it, but I do. And my favorite housewife is Lisa Vanderpump. She’s an English woman who has owned restaurants all over the world and is obviously incredibly successful in Cali. She’s strong, level-headed, tells it like it is, and has a sense of style that has put her on the map for sure. She owns two restaurants in the Beverly Hills area – Villa Blanca and Sur. I’ve been to Villa Blanca, and it was de-lish. And I want every single bit of decor she has in it – from distressed wood to white and cream throw pillows to crystal chandeliers – my appetite is fulfilled just by walking in.

Villa Blanca

Villa Blanca

 

Villa Blanca

Villa Blanca

 

Villa Blanca

Villa Blanca

 

 

Villa Blanca

Villa Blanca

 

Villa Blanca

Villa Blanca

This week I had meetings in San Diego for work, so I made a stop in L.A. first to visit my girlfriend, Amber, and check out Lisa’s newest adventure Sur. The vibe there is more loungy, and it oozes Lisa’s over-the-top style.

Sur

Sur

 

Sur

Sur

 

Sur

Sur

 

Sur

Sur

These are the kind of restaurants that inspire home decor for sure. Isn’t she fab?

Photos, photos, photos

Ever think – what do I do with all these photos?  I do love me a good collage of great photos on a gallery wall – but there are only so many walls.  And you know you need to get them off the hard drive on your computer.

My go to solution – My Publisher.  See I have this goal to take great photos of each of my kiddos and make them a photo book each year so they can one day have for their own.

I just recently came home to my latest book for Liam and his 4 year photo book.

Liam's Photo Book from My Publisher

Liam’s Photo Book from My Publisher

Of course my rule of thumb is having to start with great photos to get a coffee table quality photo book.  In our case we have been blessed to have met Rusty Wright, owner of Waldron Photograph Co. , who has captured our family so beautifully over the past couple years.  More on this later because his photos deserve an entire post (or two) but once I have these lovely digital files I hop over to My Publisher and start creating.  Easy to use and only a simple download program to your computer.  You can even have My Publisher create a book for you by placing photos in order when you upload.  I choose to create the books myself and it is still very simple and easy to use.

My first photo book was made after our wedding when purchasing a large photo book wasn’t in our budget.

Photo book from My Publisher

Photo book from My Publisher

My advice – because of course there are many “add-ins” that you can choose to pay extra for – spend a little extra for the lay flat pages.  The super glossy finish is not worth it – but I also prefer more of a matte finish.  Go for the photo cover instead of the photo jacket.

Also – wait for coupons.  No joke, I get great coupons and discounts via email notifications almost weekly from My Publisher.  I can typically get a great photo book for under $50 with the photo cover and lay flat pages.  And if you are a new customer I have noticed a pop-up offer for new customers so check that out!

I typically like to sit my recent photo book out on the coffee table for a while to enjoy and then they go nicely in bookshelf.

Photo books in bookshelf

Photo books in bookshelf

Next dilemma – what to do with all the photos on my iPhone?!…has anyone out there tried Mosaic?  If so, let me know what you think!

Homemade Salsa

I haven’t shared any recipes for a while because honestly I haven’t been cooking much. Between vacation a few weeks ago, work travel, tons of weekend family activities, and just keeping up with daily life, I have only cooked a handful of meals in the past month!!! So now that Summer is winding down, I was thinking it might be fun to make a fresh and easy salsa this weekend to munch on while painting my master bathroom – yes, I’m finally able to work on that!

I found this one for Serrano and Corn Salsa via Camille Styles’ blog, and it looks fabulous! Think I’ll give it a whirl.

Serrano and Corn Salsa - Camille Styles

Serrano and Corn Salsa – Camille Styles

Ingredients:

2 ears of corn

1/4 cup chopped cucumber

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped scallion

2-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons olive oil

drizzle of honey or agave

salt & pepper

Serrano and Corn Salsa Ingredients - Camille Styles

Serrano and Corn Salsa Ingredients – Camille Styles

Directions:

1.Slice corn kernels off the cob. Next, using the back of your knife, scrape the cob to get some of the leftover corn pulp. (you should get about 1 tablespoon per cob).  2.Mix everything together. Let chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or up to a day. Taste and adjust seasonings. This is great served with chips, on tacos, on salads, or on grilled fish.

Enjoy!

 

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