Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eyelash Growth Products

I'm SURE you've noticed the new craze for long lashes that's sweeping the country! I have to admit, having long full lashes is something that I long for, especially after seeing the results on several of my friends and the ladies at my Dentists office! I could barely finish filling out the paper work due to the freakishly long spiderleg lashes all the gals had at this particular office! I asked them what was the dealio and they explained that they all use Latisse.  Now with Latisse you'll need a prescription and $120.00 and, upon further research, I learned that Latisse has a few serious drawbacks, especially for gals with blue eyes so I've decided to go another route.
The 1st product I tried was Revitalash.  Revitalash is a better price point at about $70 per tube. But sadly, it took FOREVER to see any results.  I'm an impatient person so I knew I'd need something a little bit more, well...rapid.  Thus my 2nd product tested was called Rapidlash.  Rapdilash costs a mere $25 on the Internet which is quite a deal compared to the prices of the other products.  I purchased this product with a friend who had AMAZING results, but as for me...not a single lash grew in 6 weeks with this stuff.  Nada.  It was a bust.  When I called the company that I purchased it from they blamed "body chemistry." on to my newest trial with Neulash.  It cost $85 but I'm only 3 weeks in and already I'm seeing results.  I'll take a photo every few weeks to give you an update.  But for now, I'm kinda sorta liking this new stuff Neulash.  I'll keep you updated on my lash progress!  ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rave~~Kettle Brand Potato Chips of the Jalapeno Flavor!!!! :)

I've never been a big fan of chips, I'm more of a sweets kinda gal, but I've become a HUGE fan of the ever yummy Kettle Brand Potato Chips in Jalapeno.  And it seems I'm not alone.  In looking around on the Internet I found several blogs with reviews of my new favorite chips.
These are a staple in my pantry now and are pulled out anytime we have veggie burgers, sandwiches, or veggie chili dogs (oh yeah...did I mention we're vegetarians?)  Be sure to have plenty of your beverage of choice on hand as after a few handfuls the spiciness of the chips starts to beg for a cool swig of your favorite soda.  (Mine's Rootbeer...I'll do a Rave about that on another day!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Task At Hand

I love figuring out an organizing dilemma and one dilemma that has haunted me for years has been how to organize receipts!  Recently a friend told me that for work she tapes her receipts onto paper to turn in her expenses.  I've decided to tape my receipts into a folder so I know where they are, how much I'm spending, and where to go if I need to return something!  No more digging around the house trying to find a receipt.  So here's my new method.  I'd love to know if you have a better system!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I have a HUGE love of great advertising.  I just have to share this hilarious new ad for the iPad.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm Baaaaack!

Who said blogging would be easy?!  I have to say, I got a little discouraged and bailed for a bit but I'm back!!  I truly enjoy the writing process so much and I REALLY love connecting with people.  Even though the learning curve here on the blogoshphere feels excruciatingly slow for me...I'm not giving up.  I hope to get more followers to interact with...if you have any tips or advice Please share them with me.  I'm currently looking for a way to add an email subscription link so my friends can see what I write as soon as I post something new.
A LOT has been going youngest started a new school and thankfully, is very happy there.  My eldest is turning 16 this week and we just can't believe she'll be driving soon and off on a whole new chapter of her life!  It's all very exciting and very scary.  I'd love to hear how other mom's waded through these testy waters!  What's the saying? "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone"  Well, my heart is about to get in a car and drive away, and I'm not too sure I like it.

On a cheerful note it was cool when I woke up this morning!!! Yay!! I'm decorating for Halloween so I'll be sure to add those photos soon!  My little one LOVES this tradition!  She loves to hold up each little seasonal decoration as we pull them from the dusty boxes and oooohhh and aaaahhh over it! "Oh! Remember this one, Mommy??!!!"  It's so much fun for both of us to make our home more festive for the approaching holiday.
Plus, all my seasonal decorations were in a storage facility this time last year, so I missed out on decorating for all the big holidays!  This year I plan to do it up BIG to make up for what I missed last year!  We'll be making our usual Popcorn Balls & Caramel Apples for the neighborhood kids and my "Batini" for the adults!!
My father's been sick a lot this past year but thankfully he's back home and healing from yet another surgery on his new "esophagus."  It's the year anniversary in October of his diagnosis of Esophogeal cancer.  Take care of your esophogus' friends!  If you have reflux or anything of the sort...get to a Dr and get it taken care of! NOW.  Esophageal cancer is awful and I don't wish this on anyone!  Take care of yourselves and the people you love!  I'll be back soon with photos for you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stairway to Haven

This may not be a big deal to anyone but me, but let me tell you, I was SO excited when the installation of our carpet went onto our back staircase!  I had seen this carpet in a magazine or online years ago and saved it in my "dream house" file.  When I went shopping for carpet for the stairs I decided I had to have it somewhere in my home.  I thought about putting it in our gameroom but ultimately settled on the back stairs. The stairs are at the back door just off our driveway, the one that a lot of the girl's friends will be using to go upstairs.  The antelope print is so fun and it makes the stairs just a bit more, well, special!  It also really ties well with the golden marble in our kitchen.  In case it's on your list for your dream home, Karastan, Stark, and Couristan all make this pattern.  I couldn't be happier with the look!!

Here are a few more photos of how this print could be used in a home.

Room by Jan Showers

photo by Pieter Estersohn
image via Dallas, TX MLS listing


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Turquoise Tiara ~ A Teenage Haven

Here it is, Sally!  This is the turquoise room in all it's unfinished splendor.  I am currently waiting for another side table to arrive and looking for art work for the walls above the mirrored furniture. I also plan on purchasing the IKEA white slip covered sofa for the kids to hang out on while they splash their fruit punches all over it. LOL Luckily, and smartly if I do say so myself, I found this white Shabby Chic bedding at Target, as my daughter has already gotten red marker stains on adorable is that??  I'm a huge believer that custom or expensive bedding is ridiculous for kids and teens.
I found this super fun fabric for the drapes at High Fashion. It makes the room fun for a teen.  It looks like some sort of animal print. Elissa wanted funky yet elegant~~
kind of a tricky combo but I think I've pulled it off! 
The paint was a HUGE decision as turquoise can go really bright, too blue, or too green.  Erin at Turquoise House had some great suggestions.  A few of her favorite colors were Robin's Egg Blue, Sky Blue, Seafoam Green, and Ocean Blue.  They're all really gorgeous colors! I ultimately found and fell in love with BM Blue Diamond.  I think I did it 75% to make it just a little softer. It's not hard on the eyes and goes really well with the mirrored & iron elements  in the room.
The mercury glass finials were found at Loew's, of all places! My drapery seamstress told me that they had finials and I was in a huge time crunch so I ran over there and was surprised to find these really perfect finials to go with the mirrored furniture!  Who knew?
The bed was custom made at Eloise Abbott at the Decorative Center, but there's one almost identical to it at Anthropologie that a friend bought for her daughter, so I know that one must be quality as well.  We plan to hang white gauzy fabric from the poles to make it very ethereal & dreamy.  It's on my list of To-Do's for this room. 
For the mirrored desk I plan to get a clear acrylic chair. I don't want to take away from the mirrored furniture by adding anything clunky! (I still need to hang her bulletin board :)
And how perfect is this trash canister?!  I love it!

So there you have it so far! I'll update it as it starts to take more shape but I'm really pleased with how it looks so far and, most importantly, my daughter LOVES it!  Let me know what you think! You can leave comments below~~

Saturday, July 10, 2010

For Breakfast~What 's Better Than Yummy French Toast?? NOTHIN'!!

I love watching Bethenny Frankel's new show on Bravo. 
 I find her to be hilarious & heartbreaking at the same time.
She's smart, brutally honest and a breath of fresh air.
I root for her to keep this happiness & success she has finally found.
Why not!
She's so entertaining & she's a gal I think we'd all love to get to know.

Here's her recipe for Whole Grain French Toast!
I found the recipe on her website at:

Whole-Grain French Toast

A healthier version of the breakfast fave.
4 egg whites

1 tsp. real vanilla extract

1 tsp. maple syrup

4 slices whole grain bread (preferably stale)

Topping: real maple syrup and fresh fruit
In a shallow pan, combine egg whites, vanilla extract and syrup. Beat lightly with a wire whisk.

Put the slices of bread into the pan, flip over to coat both sides.

Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the slices on preheated skillet for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Serve immediately. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with fruit.

Enjoy your Sunday morning!

Thanks For Lending A Helping Hand

I wanted to give a shout out to the blogs that were such a huge help to me while I was renovating.  I can't tell you how many hours I poured over decorating blogs at 2am,  reading posts on everything from paint colors, fabrics, upholstered headboards, custom iron bed frames, cabinet hardware, & on & on & on...
I'm not a decorator but knew that if I didn't have a firm hold on exactly what I wanted & could make up my mind on what to do for each & every detail along the way, then someone else would make it up for me and well, that's just NOT how I roll~~
So here are just a few of my favorite decor blogs from whom I've learned so much!

Joni @  What can I say other than Joni is amazing!  We actually figured out that we've met quite a few years back! Joni's blog is fabulous in that she leaves no stone unturned.  She gives out all kinds of valuable resources and I love her for that!!  Thank you, Joni!  You're a gem!  This blog, La Dolce Vita, is so yummy on so many levels!  It's so varied and fun that I look forward to each post!  I especially love her guests blogs on 10 Things I Can’t Live Without!
Check out her recent post on Houston Decorator, Sally Wheat!  Sally has been featured all over the blogosphere & can be seen on Cote De Texas often.  A friend introduced us & we got together and I now consider her a friend!  Which leads me to my next shout out to:

The fabulous Sally Wheat!  Now sadly, Sally doesn't have a blog, but all you need to do to enjoy  her work is google her name and numerous blogs with links to her photos will pop up!  Sally came over one day during my painting panic and helped calm me down so I could choose colors.  She's a big fan of the lovely Linen Weave and rightly so!  Sally is amazing!  Desiree Ashworth was a big inspiration for the style of decor I decided on for my new home.  I had always loved French Country but now I'm turning more towards a Swedish decor thanks to Desiree's absolutely stunning photos of her home!  The green hues throughout her home are so soothing and soft yet thoroughly up to date.  I love her blog!  Julia is a Twitter friend with a blog that has wonderful links and information about all the set designs for our favorite movie homes!  Remember the great house in "Something's Gotta Give" with Diane Keaton? I LOVE that house! I used Julia's blog to look up details in homes like this and printed out photos to show my builder. From "SGG" I used the idea to make the wood brackets under our bar areas and cabinets.
I love the way they turned out.  The Lettered Cottage has so much useful information and photography about renovating that I'd be crazy to not mention it here.  Take a peek and scroll'll love it!

And last but not least, I want to mention Erin at
My eldest daughter wanted a turquoise bedroom, which was quite a challenge.  I took to the Internet to research colors that wouldn't be too bright or too hospital-ly.  I emailed Erin and asked her for her favorite colors and she responded! She was so sweet to email me back! That's exactly what I love about blogging!  Connecting with old friends and making new ones!  :)


As Usher would say....Oh My Gaaa-aawsh~~~
It's HOT here!  I'm so down-on-my-hands-and-knees, full on, thankful for our new yard!! The pool isn't a luxury in's a necessity!  We've been in it every day.  The kids and Todd & I have so enjoyed diving in, hanging out, reading, playing with Kyla the super Sheltie, and having friends over to just relax in our pretty back yard. 
I thought I'd share the photos of the backyard renovation with you!
And like all else, it wasn't easy.  Is putting in a pool ever a smooth process?  Just wondering...

Staking out the pool. At this point there was absolutely no
landscaping whatsoever~it was a huge blank canvas!
Watching the hole being dug was surprisingly exciting!

My daughter had fun crawling down in there with her friend.    
This is the Pebble Sheen crew~What a production!
Now this was a huge decision for us...whether to go with Pebble Sheen or Plaster.
I had really wanted plaster for it's smooth texture but the longevity of Pebble Sheen won.
We chose the color Prism Blue.  It has little flakes of Mother Of Pearl and sparkles in the water!
It's gorgeous.
For more info about Pebble Sheen check out their website:
So far the surface isn't bothering anyone, except me just a little~
I really prefer super smooth surfaces.
My husband chose the tile.  It was a toss up between a very natural, monochromatic glass tile
or a green/blue glass tile.  I liked the green/blue but was concerned about how it would look next to the
yellow toned travertine.  So we went with the beigey tile and it turned out lovely!
Viola!  So pretty!
This is my morning hang spot~I bring my devotional books & coffee out here,
turn on the overhead fans, read my books, & watch the trees.  The sound of the water fountain in the pool is
super relaxing.  Now I just need a few wind chimes hung in the trees & I'll be all set!
We wanted the entrance to the backyard to be pretty so we planted
hydrangeas and placed travertine pads as a's very soothing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Home Is Where The Heart Is!

Oh my I've been neglecting you! OK So I'm putting up the photos of the house with completions as of today. I still have a bare sitting room at the front of the house and need to rally enough to order drapes but to be honest~I've just plain OD'd on decorating. I need a little break and really don't mind waiting until inspiration strikes me again. I've found that anything that I'm not just thrilled with in the house was a product of rushing and settling because I just wanted "it done already"!

So here are a few photos for those of you who've been emailing me to get some up!


This was pretty far down the road of the renovations.  We had
already replaced the old fireplace with a new mantel, ripped out the old bookcases
and built these new ones, placed beams in the ceiling, and painted the room.
It's practically done here.
The paint colors on the bookshelves is Sherwin Williams Nantucket Dune 75%.
It's GORGEOUS.  It has a bit of an iridescence to it.
I wish my photos could do it justice but I'm not a professional
photographer.  Trust me...this color is gorge!!!
Here's the finished product.  The wall color is Martin Senour's Linen Weave. 
The trim is 75% Linen Weave and the ceilling is 50% Linen Weave!!
Can't get enough of that Linen Weave!
We went round and round with the bookshelves but I'm so pleased
with how they turned out.  I put feet on them and I love the effect.
I added beautiful pewter Bouvet hardware which I'm in love with.
I'd have Bouvet all over my house if I could!
I'll get you a closer photo of the hardware but it really makes an impact in person!

I found this mantle in an old Veranda and fell in love!

And the mirror was from Wisteria.  It's amazing.  We built the mantle and the beams just
so this mirror would fit perfectly from the top of the mantle to the ceiling.
It's a bit more green in color than was described in Wisteria...they called it "Khaki"
It's NOT Khaki...but thankfully it works.

My painter could not get the antiquing on this corner cabinet right.
We repainted it so it is now just a soft French blue/green. 
I plan to add feet and the Bouvet hardware soon.
That's on my list of To-Do's.

Our antique Baker's Rack was seemingly made for this space and
it conveniently covers the air return!! 
There's Bella the cat in the bottom
left corner of the photo!
So there you have it!  That's the Great Room.
I'll add more soon!
Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hurricanes and Heath Bars

It's a really rainy day here in Houston and I have to say that I love it.  I just made a wonderful cinnamon crumble cake and sat on our back porch with my little one and a cold glass of milk.  We ate our hot out-of- the-oven cake and listened to the sound of the rain as we watched Chip & Dale (our resident squirrel friends) chase each other through the trees.  It was magical.  It made me nostalgic for my childhood days growing up in Gulfport, Mississippi when my mother would make rain an excuse for grabbing the frozen Heath bars that she stashed in our freezer & would grab me to go sit in the car to listen to the sound of the rain as it hit the top of the car.  Good times.  As an adult I wonder if those Heath bar/car sessions were more an excuse to eat heath bars in the middle of one of her burger patty/cottage cheese diets, than time to listen to the rain, but really, who cares?  I was a kid and I thought it was cool!
Mississippi was a short and sweet time in my childhood.  We only lived there a few years but I have fond memories of those heath bars and hurricanes.  Hurricanes are fun for kids who don't know the real dangers and just think it's fun to have a no school day topped off by Mom and Dad getting out all the flash lights followed by tucking us into the central, long window-less hallway in our home.  The day would include ghost stories, jumping on mattresses that were placed in the hallway for padded protection in the event our roof was blown away, playing dodge the tennis ball in the dark hallway, and lots of junk food!  I mean really...does it get any better than that when you're 7?!
So, I know a lot of folks don't care for rainy days but I use it as an excuse to slow down, reflect on days gone by and connect with my kids by making new memories with them!  I hope someday they'll make a new rainy day tradition with their children and harken back to the days when they'd sit on the back porch of the house with Mom and eat cinnamon crumble cake, drink cold milk, and watch the squirrels dance in the trees through the rain...yes, that would be nice!

Which reminds me of a favorite quote, "Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain!"
I hope you dance!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Growing Pains

Ahh..the last day of school. I remember the good old days when this was a day of excitement and anticipation for the lazy days of summer. But this morning I find myself feeling very melancholy. We've just moved, which means my little one will have to move schools again next year. The 3rd school in 3 years for her. There are times when probably every parent wonders just how much damage they do their children over the course of the 18 or so years we have them at home and today is one of those days. As she walked into her cute little no fuss public school classroom this morning, all her little friends gathered around her with arms stretched open and embraced her with "We're going to miss you, Chloe!" Apparently, word got out that she's not returning. She had wanted to keep it quiet because there's one little special needs child in the class and she was concerned that her leaving would upset him too much. She asked me to keep it on the down low, that way next year Andrew would just think she's in the next classroom. That's my sweet hearted little girl. But today as her friends embraced her, she turned to me with a big smile and looked in my eyes, but all I could think about were her tears in bed lastnight as she thought about leaving all her new friends and starting over again. Oh man, this really sucks. I came straight home and emailed the principle in one last feeble attempt to be allowed to stay even though we've moved a big mile or 2 outside the school zone, and asked her if there are any teaching positions I could fill so she could stay. I'd do anything at this moment to make my little girl happy and keep her life consistent for a bit longer. But I know if my attemps fail, there are some silver linings that I'll grasp for and try to make the transition as upbeat as possible for her. These road bumps sure can feel like mountains at time. But as we all know, this too shall pass. We have them home for such a short flies by. It's my job to take the stingers out of the zingers life tosses our way. So I'm dusting myself off, about to turn of some fun music and juice up my camcorder for the end of year party I'm helping with in an hour in her 4th grade classroom. I know it'll all be fine...I know it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Blog Fog~

I've had a few friends inquire as to my next blog and I have to admit, starting a blog just as I'm about to move into a new home probably wasn't the Best idea I've had lately....Umm...I'M a little busy!!! But I want to exclaim from the roof tops that we are (drum roll please) FINALLY in our house! YAY! AND!...It's fabulous. I'm so happy and truly exhausted at the same time. I honestly feel as if I've just gotten off the Survivor Island. (Only I'm sadly not fabulously survivor tan, nor did I lose all that survivor weight...*heavy sigh*) But let me tell you this, girlfriends...Nothing can make you appreciate a home more than living in a tiny apartment with a crazy woman making massive amounts of noise moving furniture or bowling??~we couldn't figure it out~ at 1, 2, 3, and 4am right over your bedroom EVERYNIGHT! No more cruddy TVMax cable (yes there's a TVMax Cable Co here in Houston....but not for long. They are horrible! Even worse than Comcast! Hard to believe but true!) And as I was trying desperately to make a home away from home for my family with 90% of everything we own in storage, I was deligently trying to cope with my father's battle with cancer. Now if there's something worth sharing it's this...watching people you love go to hell and back will really set you straight on what's important in life. And so I worked to renovate this house into a home that would be a haven for all the people I love. A place to make memories. A resting place with lots of music and laughter and moments to cherish. And so here we are...Home! We now have a lovely home...with a yard for the kids to run in and the dog to chase them in and wine chilling in the fridge for friends to sip on when they drop by (hint, hint!)...oh the joy of joys! So as I unbox my illionth box and ponder how the heck we accumulated SO MUCH STUFF in the past 16 years...I only feel ever so grateful. Thankful for the blessings of my new home...for my children's health and happiness and thankful for a wonderful husband who has worked so hard to get us here. I'm truly blessed~~ XOXO

Monday, April 5, 2010

Smoothie Move~

What a day! The count down is on for the big move to our new home this weekend! And let me tell you...moving is one hum dinger of a time sucker! I'm exhausted from the renovations, just hoping to have enough strength for the crazy week ahead. And to top it off the nocturnal elephant that lives above us has come back in town and seems to be practicing her 3 am bowling lessons...what the heck is that weirdo DOING UP THERE!!? No worries! I was up and at 'em bright and early this morning armed with my AMAZING new VitaMix that my hubby grabbed at Costco last week! Have you seen these things?? They're so phenomenal I think it just may change my life! I can whip up healthy smoothies that rival the younguns at Robeks! So to bone up on all the energy I can muster I made a concoction this morning that consisted of oj, french vanilla yogurt, frozn berries, Emergen-C, and the fabulous All In One vitamin powder. Feeling like SuperMom I crammed my kids in the car with their huge Super Gulp sized smoothies to start the day right! Of course, to make everything very consistent neither one wanted to drink the darn thing and as I was handing it to my precious little one tucked in the backseat, she exclaimed her protest and drew her hand away just as I felt her little fingers around the cup and dropped the WHOLE DARN THING all over the back of my car....we're talking an OCEAN of raspberry seeds, goopy yogurt, etc all down the back of my passenger seat and onto the floor beneath her adorable Converse All-Stars. I looked back in horror and met the gaze of her big brown eyes, as she grasped to one snack size ziplock bag in her hands over the mess, as if she had just narrowly saved the day!! Umm...NOT! I'd like to say I kept my cool and was the model mother but I have to admit that I hit my boiling point and threw quite a little hissy. As if I have time to drive to Bubbles and sit for 7 hours as I wait for a complete detail!! Hilarious...or not. So there you have...not quite the start to tackling this pre-moving day that I expected~but at least we can look back and laugh! Yeah...that's it! :)

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