Victory lap.

Well, hello, last day of November - how are you? Today, I am celebrating more than one victory - I successfully (while maybe not wonderfully) blogged every day in November and I won a sales contest at work which lasted the whole month of November. Assuming they really do judge it by items sold and there's no curveball thrown in at the last minute, I should be getting a very nice $100 bonus. Since I've already completed most of my Christmas shopping (I know! I'm shocked too - more to celebrate!), I'm thinking about treating myself. I'm torn between picking up one or two of these guys:

source: Anthro, of course.

Or, going on a nice, expensive dinner date with my husband, something we haven't been able to afford in quite some time.

What would you do with an extra hundred bucks?

Also, be prepared for the blogging more often (or even every day) thing to continue, because I've got some December fun up my sleeve. Ever since experiencing finals season in college when it was supposed to be Christmas season, I've vowed to always do at least one Christmas-y thing every day of December - from drinking something peppermint or wrapping a present to full-blown ice skating and looking at lights. That way even on normal and busy work days I can still feel festive, and the season won't pass me by. I plan to hold myself "accountable" by blogging about my daily Christmas joys.


Tim Walker.

Today, I am oh so inspired by Tim Walker Photography. His images are very whimsical and imaginative. I just want to live inside them.

sources here, here, and here.

Isn't the art of creating an entire dreamland for a photograph so interesting? I love a good portrait or landscape photo, but high fashion and imaginative shoots like these are so lovely.


Anthro wrapping.

I've picked up a few gifts for loved ones so far and David and I are talking about getting our Christmas tree in the next few days. Clearly, the next step (and the one I'm most excited about) is wrapping the gifts so they can go under said Christmas tree. I've become pretty inspired by Anthropologie's gift wrap and baubles.


Sigh. Oh, how I love pretty packages. I'm thinking about picking up some Baker's twine, using these downloadable gift tags, and possibly splurging on some of this pretty paper or some from paper source and going wild. I do think using butcher paper, tissue paper, and other papers with pretty ribbons and tags and such will also look great. Time to get a'wrapping!


Shuffle Time.

Stephanie tagged me on facebook with one of those music shuffle things, and since I can't think of 25 people on facebook who would really be interested in playing along, I decided to post my list here instead.

Once you've been tagged...
(1) Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer.
(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
(3) List the first 25 songs that come up--artist and song title--NO editing/cheating, please.
(4) Choose 25 people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you. Other people can join in too.

[1] Polyethylene Part II - Christopher O'Riley
[2] If I Needed Someone - The Beatles
[3] Grapevine Fires - Death Cab for Cutie
[4] Drive My Car - The Beatles
[5] You and I - Audrey
[6] Hey, Soul Sister - Train (I didn't even know I had this song...)
[7] Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry
[8] Hills and Valleys - The Rocket Summer
[9] Violet Hill - Coldplay
[10] Strawberry Swing - Coldplay
[11] I Want None of This - Radiohead
[12] Happy Boys and Girls - Aqua (Yesss! hahaha)
[13] ABC - The Jackson 5 (definitely added for the wedding)
[14] I Believe in a Thing Called Love - The Darkness (more wedding gold)
[15] Street Spirit (Fade Out) - Christopher O'Riley
[16] The Way You Shine - Tyrone Wells
[17] Pity and Fear - Death Cab for Cutie
[18] Map of the Problematique - Muse
[19] Sandstorm - Darude (wedding for sure)
[20] Isn't it a Lovely Night - The Decemberists
[21] Fog - Radiohead
[22] The Wind - Cat Stevens
[23] Phone Call - Jon Brion (Eternal Sunshine score)
[24] The Hazards of Love 1 - The Decemberists
[25] Here Comes a Special Boy - Freezepop

I cheated and skipped a few songs because all my iTunes wanted to play was Christopher O'Riley and Coldplay songs over and over, and I figured a little more variety would be more fun. This is really a very small portion of my music collection because this computer was used for our wedding music and is missing a lot of my music that wasn't used in the wedding.

You're welcome to play along and post your list in the comments or on your own blog. Happy Saturday!


Black Friday.

I opened at work today - needing to begin an eight hour shift at 6 am means no early morning shopping for me. I did, however, get some great deals at Target this afternoon. I was able to pick up a comfy sweater at half off, some super cheap dvds, an ornament set for our soon to exist Christmas tree, and a pretty sweet gift for David at almost half off. Did you know you can print out tons of Target coupons from this site? You pick and choose which ones you want and print 'em out. You can only use one per transaction, but I'm not above coming right back in for another transaction. I got an extra $5 off my ornaments and David's gift added to the Black Friday sale price with those babies.

This is a sad sad excuse for a post, and I just barely made it today as it is, but I have Thanksgiving photos to share with you as soon as I get them from my sister's camera, and I'll be back in full posting swing next week.

Happy weekend!


Happy Thanksgiving!


Today, I'm reminded how very blessed I am. This year, I'm most thankful for my husband, home, health, and hope. Oh, and all you readers, too.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!



My main Thanksgiving responsibility and the thing that I am second most looking forward to (next to my mom's sweet potatoes of course) is our chocolate pudding pie.


While not a typical Thanksgiving dish, this pie has been a traditional staple in my family for as long as I can remember. To make your own, grap a couple boxes of Jello stovetop pudding (NOT instant, trust me, it makes a difference and all the stirring on the stove is worth it) and follow the instructions on the box. Yum.


Xapu Notep.

I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 on Friday, and it reminded me of some photos I've been holding on to.

You see, in college I worked in the third largest library in the world (bested only by the library of congress and Harvard's library). My job - in the interlibrary loans department - was to receive and process the books that we borrowed from other libraries because we somehow didn't have them in our library so that students, professors, etc. could access them. Some grad student was apparently studying languages. or Harry Potter. or Harry Potter and languages. or something. Anyway, they borrowed these:

Really, I have no idea what kind of research these were for, but they were actually the least of the strange books I saw come through. I was actually reading the Harry Potter series when I processed these and it was really fun looking through these and comparing them - seeing all there different character names and other things I might recognize in whatever languages these are in.

But yeah, who has seen the newest movie? I enjoyed watching it, but it was pretty anti-climactic knowing what's to come and not being able to see it. While I think it was a pretty great adaptation of the book (er, of the first half anyway), it was definitely not a stand-alone film. I know they've made it clear that parts one and two are a single film released in two parts, but can you imaging someone who hasn't read the books or at least seen the other films trying to make sense of it? What did you think?


To do list.

Today is a day off. This week is Thanksgiving - which means I will very quickly be hurdled into Christmas mode where I will have no time for little things like cleaning and such. Plus, we need to magically find room in our house for a Christmas tree. Thus, here is today's to do list:

1) 6+ loads of laundry. Is there even time for that in one day?
2) deposit at least 2 paychecks that have been sitting around.
3) magically transform furniture/house so there's room for tree.
4) attend to all the cleaning that magical transformation requires.
5) grocery shop so husband and I have food through the holidays.
6) return unwanted items at Macy's for possible Christmas gift money.
7) finish watching Dollhouse on netflix instant now that I'm addicted.
8) sit. sip hot cider or cocoa and bask in the joy that is the end of November.

oh... and 9) blog for the day... um, does this count?



My favorite, most simple food to cook up fast is zucchini - which I jokingly and endearingly call "Zucchs" (zooks). Hear me out: I had no idea how to prepare zucchini or squash of any kind until a college friend and I decided to journey through one of her cook books for our weekly dinner together. What we discovered (aside from the most amazing ice cream dish) was a super easy, super delicious recipe for zucchini as a side dish.

Basically you take 2 tablespoons butter (or oil if you're good - I normally use half of each, but the butter really makes it delicious), 2 minced cloves of garlic (if you have a garlic press, use it), and 2 sliced zucchinis. Brown the butter and garlic in a frying an for a minute and throw in the zucchini. Fry it up until it's softer and tasty. Simple, yeah?

I honestly got addicted to zucchini after making this for the first time. It's simple and really nothing special, but I love it. You can also play around and add ingredients. In the photo above, I sprinkled the zucchini with some lemon pepper seasoning, and I often add soy sauce to eat it over rice. Yum.

Also, I promise this isn't becoming solely a food blog - I guess I just have food on my mind with Thanksgiving around the corner.


Baby it's cold outside.

It's been chilly and rainy today which really puts me in the mood to sip hot cocoa, go Christmas shopping, and curl up with a blanket. It also makes me wish the rain and cold could be a little more - maybe like a nice, snowy day.

personal photos circa 2006.

Happy Saturday everyone!


Sweet, sweet potato.

I was going to share my absolute favorite Thanksgiving dish with you - with pictures and the recipe - after I made it on Thanksgiving day. But, while perusing The Pioneer Woman Cooks!, I found the same dish - Of course, she beat me to it. Anyway, since posting her recipe saves me time and gets it to you all before Thanksgiving so you all have time to try it yourselves, that's exactly what I've decided to do.

So, here I give you the best Sweet Potato dish ever. Honestly, it puts shame to that marshmallow-y thing I've seen on other tables on Thanksgiving day.

Get full recipe and more delicious photos here. Yummm.

I grew up with this dish on our Thanksgiving table for as long as I can remember, but for some terrible reason I never even tried it until a few years back. Now, I find myself opting out of a taste of the delicious pies we make just so I can have seconds of this baby. Actually, come to think of it, my mom's recipe has coconut in it (so, it's even worse for you than PW's - awesome), which is why I wouldn't eat it as a kid (I fooled myself into believing I did not like coconut. and nuts. dumb kid.) Maybe I should try Pioneer Woman's recipe this year - or I could make both and compare them. That way I can still post about mine.

Anyway, try these sweet potatoes. You'll thank me.


So Much Love: Dinner Details, part two.

I'm so glad that my mix-up of projects, ideas, and collections turned into what I consider to be very beautiful tablescapes. Here are even more details from our tables/dinner.

My wine bottle votives were put to good use, scattered along the tables, providing lovely candlelight.

Each place setting had a name card which I Gocco'd with the little monogrammed globe from our invitations and save the dates and a mini Moo cards with an engagement photo and instructions for how to share and upload wedding photos.

David's and my places were even better, with our amazing vintage champagne glasses. I loved toasting with and sipping out of these lovelies, and they sit on display with my other stemware (honestly, I love any and all stemware!) in our house.

Those salads were as good as they look. We were served salads at our tables and then everyone was released to get dinner from the buffet. Everyone was very happy with the food - I've heard nothing but rave reviews. David and I were supposed to be served before people got up, but either by misunderstanding or my servant husband being too humble, we ended up eating last. But, don't you fear, I did eat at my wedding!

Ah, now I'm salivating. Dinner was a great time to sit, eat, soak in the reality of the day, and joke around with my new husband and our siblings (who were sitting at our table). The night had just begun!


So Much Love: Dinner Details.

After the cocktail hour, it was time to move on in and take our seats for dinner. We did not to a formal grand entrance. We must have been held back talking to the stragglers, though, because I don't remember seeing anyone taking their names from our seating chart map (which we also have no professional photos of - it was one of my favorite details, but I don't know how much of an impression it made.)

photo by lifesaver friend (for many reasons) M. Thanks, M!

The little tags had our guests names and the location on the map matched the location pictured on their table. I added the numbers to each region and table to make things easier. This method for a seating chart proved very useful because nothing was set in stone - we ended up having to make a lot of seating changes and shifted a lot of people, and we were able to simply move their tags to show their new table. The engagement photo to the left is in an awesome vintage frame that I found while rustling around in my grandfather's garage way back when. I stuck the frame in one of the boxes to bring to the wedding, and I'm so glad I did.

Anyway, everyone found their seats, so the map must have worked. The chairs had all been moved back to their places, and the dining room look amazing.

I'm so grateful to my maid of honor for making the beautiful table runners, and to my sisters and friends for setting the places so beautifully.

I had such a love/hate relationship with my DIY centerpieces, but I think they ended up looking rather nice on the tables. The head rounds in the front got my and my bridesmaids' bouquets as centerpieces.

The above photo also shows a great example of the regions from the seating map. Each table got a frame with one of the regions (and number) where the name tags on the main map were. The Alaska one above was by far one of my favorites.

Those frames came in a pack of three for only $2.50 at Target. They were a great deal, but they came in a glossy white. Painting those darn things gold was quite the challenge. To make things worse, the glass did not come out, so we had to tape over it to keep from painting it. Three+ layers later, my mom and I were very tired of the frames, but pretty proud of our work.

And, believe it or not, there's more. I can't believe the details on the tables alone take more than one post. To be continued...

* All photos, unless otherwise stated, are by Sarah Shreves Photography.



It's pretty obvious that I adore antique globes. When I saw these adorable "updated" globes on Design*Sponge, I was smitten.

Wendy from ImagineNations decoupages recycled materials onto antique globes to create creative and interesting artwork for the home. I love the look of antique globes enough as they are; and I think they can always add interest to a room, but Wendy's creations take them a step further. Still, I think I like the ones (Like the "Bon Voyage" globe - top and second left photos) that still show the original map look.

See more globes from Wendy here.


A happy bedroom.

If you recall, I mentioned that I was painting our bedroom awhile back. Well, It's time to show it off! Our landlady mentioned to us that her husband hated the pinkish color on our walls and that she would love for us to paint if we'd like. I took that as permission to paint the room pretty much any color I'd like that wasn't pink.*

Here's my inspiration photo:


and now for our room:





all personal photos.

What do you think? I think it's amazing what a little color can do.

I still have some work I'd like to do. I would love your suggestions for attractive storage on top of the dresser (it easily becomes a junk collection spot), and I'm working on the best way to display the cosmetic case and mirror on my night stand.

Obviously this photo was taken before I painted, but it gives you a good idea of the space. What do you think, should I hang the mirror? If so, on which wall/side of the corner? Also, I like the lampshade, but I don't know if it quite goes. The lamp is from Ikea and I'm willing to replace it and/or the shade if necessary. Any ideas? Oh, and don't worry; I've replaced the tissue box under the lamp with a stack of old books.

* Both the landlady and her husband came into our house a few weeks after I painted to work on something. They noticed the paint right away and told us the liked it, for the record.