Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Celebrations | Charlie Turns 6!

I didn't mean to disappear for a couple weeks like I just did.  October is my favorite month of the year and I try to enjoy it to it's fullest.  The splendor of autumn in the midwest never ceases to amaze me.  It almost appears out of nowhere and never stays around long enough.  All the sidewalks filled with crunchy leaves, the chilly morning walks (or bike rides lately) to school, the afternoons baking (I recently tried this recipe and it's amazing), watching gusts of wind shake buckets of golden leaves  off the trees - yes, living in the storybook world that is October is all it's cracked up to be.

Charlie celebrated his 6th (!!!!) birthday on the 16th.  Another reason October is the greatest. Usually it falls on the prettiest weekend of the year.  Our colors always peak right around the second week in October.  A very fitting day to celebrate this bright, life loving little guy.

This year his class went on a field trip the morning of his birthday and I was one of the chaperones.  It was so special to get to spend so much of the school day with him.  We went to a nearby park and they did a series of nature inspired activities.  Thankfully the weather cooperated because it had been raining the last 8-10 days prior (the less glorious side of October!).  He had the best time. And so did I.

 ^^ Once back at school, C presented his Star of the Day poster.  A few of my favorite things he included were: favorite food - "my Mom's chocolate cake" , one of his favorite things to do at home - "cuddle my stuffed animals", and favorite place to visit - "Cape Cod." Of course there was also lots and lots of sports, nerf gun, pizza, Lego and Star Wars mentions too.^^

 ^^ For his birthday dinner he wanted Larosas pizza and homemade chocolate cake (with blue stars).^^

 ^^The gift he was most excited about was his new scooter, which he rode to school on the morning of his birthday, telling everyone, "it's my birthday and I got a new scooter!!"  He had planned to only open one gift before school and the rest in the afternoon, but by 7:05 AM they were all unwrapped and Andrew was busy assembling Lego sets for him. ^^

 ^^ On Saturday afternoon we partied at Pump It Up!  Charlie desperately wanted a party where he could have a lot of boys and they could run and be wild.  It was the first party I'd ever done at an indoor play place.  I'm usually not the biggest fan and prefer to make everything cute and thoughtful with a party at home, but I have to say it was so simple and completely stress free and the boys had such a great time.  It was perfect for Charlie.^^

^^They all got sweatbands in their treat boxes, it's Charlie signature football and soccer look. :) ^^

Friday, October 3, 2014

Interiors | A NEW option for decorating consults...

Since day one of offering decorating consults I've wanted to find a way to make the final presentation feel just a little more special + personalized, especially for e-design clients because we never have that face to face interaction.  After developing and tweaking the decorating plan for a room, I typically email the inspiration board and source list (unless you are local, then I print them for you).  It works great and we all get super excited and then I pretty much turn the reins over to you to make it all happen.  However, I wanted to give an option for those that want just a bit more, like having me handle the sample ordering and printing the inspiration boards and room layouts on high quality linen card stock.  I wanted to create a pretty place for you to store all the ideas too since for most of us our rooms evolve little by little, over time, and it's nice to have a spot to refer back to the plans and details now and again versus looking back through old emails.

Enter the NSH STYLE BOX!
 (NSH - that's short for Nine & Sixteen Home, just in case you were wondering.. :))

It is a pretty way to "wrap up" a project, plus a practical and accessible way to preserve your decorating plans.  Since I limit the number of clients I take on (this is a part time gig for me) it feels nice to be able to offer something a little special at the end of a project.  In the future, I may make this a standard feature. I will revisit the idea when I look at my rates for next year, but for now it is optional. 

If you are interested in a consultation click here
or email me at: nineandsixteen@gmail.com

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Recipes | Links to Fall Favorites

Earlier this year, uh, in January, I believe, I promised the year ahead would be sprinkled with meal planning posts.  I said that, but I lied.  I should never, ever, never commit to writing about a certain topic at some future date because 95% of the time I don't.  (hello, cheese board post, kitchen essentials post, fall fashion post 2012 + 2013, craft closet post, need I go on?)  I have so many posts in draft format I can assure you I will never be at a loss of what to blog about should I ever get around to finishing those posts up.  What usually happens is I don't like the photos I took, or I have text with no photos, or I no longer feel inspired to write about it.  Excuses, excuses.  Anyway... Back to meal planning.  Like I said (back in January ;)) I go through ups and downs.  Typically in the summer I'm pretty lackadaisical about dinners in general, lots of grilling, salads as entrees, farmer's market grab and go sorts of affairs but come autumn I'm back on the horn.  I like to have a short list of go to meals each season that I make once or twice a month to fill in the gaps when planning a week's worth of dinners.  In the fall it's a lot of squash (stuffed, soup, roasted), recipes with apples (homemade apple sauce, crisps, salads) and earthy pasta dishes (my favorite meat sauce recipe is coming soon.  (Did I really just promise that?!).

Here are links to a few favorite staple dishes from a salad, to a side dish to an entree... 

recipe via Half Baked Harvest
(my notes: I make it just like it is written except I add a bit more of everything so I have enough to stuff 3 whole/6 halves)

via Barefoot Contessa
(my notes - recipe is perfect and doesn't taste too mustard like at all.  i.e. kids will eat it!)

via Camille Styles
(my notes - I serve with rotisserie chicken breasts from store.  Also, I have added dried figs in place of currants and goat cheese in place of blue and almonds in place of walnuts and it is equally stellar.  This salad is all about the homemade raisin + nut bread croutons.  I use Blue Oven Bakery bread, if you are local, find yourself some and thank me later.  I buy several loaves at a time and freeze them especially for this salad.)