Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Red Wellies + Plaid

This one's for you, Holly...
Apparently, we are both feeling the love for plaid these days.

{i believe i would have worn this same outfit in 8th grade.
in fact, i'm quite certain i did.  not sure what that says about my fashion evolution, or lack there of}

This gal does it up a little better...
I must find some gray over the knee socks!!
and maybe a green pair of wellies next.

Happy, hopefully-not-rainy-for-you, Tuesday!

(images via)

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Early Christmas Present

I don't know about you, but I'm happy to wrap up this dreary and rainy Monday.
I'd much rather have snow on the ground instead of puddles, but wearing my cute new rain boots helps.
(Red glossies, if you are wondering. I took a accidental departure and ordered them in cranberry, but they were too pink for me. So back they went. I think I counted about 10 mom's sporting Hunters at pick up today.  hmmmm. I'm not so crazy about the trendiness.)  

Anyway....This Saturday,  Jimmy and Andrew went on a little adventure out in the country in Papa's pick up to check out a Craig's list find for me. (ok, not really "the country", only a 45 minute drive away)  I've had my hopes on finding a tall secretary to put in our upstairs office for some time now.  
Ever since I saw this one in Southern Living I've been on a mission...
I was kind of striking out. But on a whim I checked in last week on Craig's list and spotted a new listing for an antique Governor Winthrop secretary.  I did a little research.  The style was created by Thomas Chippendale in the 1920's and named after the first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  
Seems like they go for a pretty penny on ebay and at antique stores.
I also realized I'd pinned quite a few...
(super traditional styling)
(so pretty with a fabric or wallpaper back)
(painted blue from elle decor)
 When I saw the price I hopped on it with my pulse racing.
I was sure someone would of snatched that baby up.
It was my lucky day.
Jimmy asked before he left if I was sure I hadn't missed a zero on the price.
Nope.  A rare steal.  Hard to come by.
Now this is my kind of Christmas present...
(Sorry for the awful picture. This room is unfinished. Needs fresh paint + carpet in a bad way)
Isn't the fretwork fabulous!!
Originally, I planned to paint the whole thing a glossy black and line the back with grasscloth,
Now I'm not so sure.
It's in really good shape, just needs a little elbow grease and a couple coats of dark wax.
You'll have to stay tuned to see what happens.
For now I'm just thrilled to get the ikea bookcase eyesore outta there.
While we use this room as an office it is supposed to be a sitting room and adjoins to ours. 
When you walk in our bedroom you can see straight into this room and now
this secretary is the view.  
There is something so pretty about a secretary in a bedroom space, no?
(the above is identical to ours!!)
Now off for evening prayers + bedtime kiss for my eldest!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Thanksgiving

A few pictures for my memory book....

I'm so, so grateful to have spent this holiday in the company of those
I love most in this world, enjoying a cozy evening, delicious food 
{though I totally botched up my pumpkin pie. twice.} and making happy memories.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Food + Family

Happy Thanksgiving {almost}.
November has been a busy month for me.
I've tried like mad to wrap up my Christmas shopping early in the hopes of enjoying a low key December with my family.   There are few things I detest as much as crowded stores, frantic shoppers and traffic jams.  Yes, I might miss out on a sale or two, but when I'm at home building gingerbread houses or baking cookies while others are out fighting for parking spaces, it seems worth it.
This Thanksgiving I'm especially thankful to be a mother of boys.
To watch them play pizzeria and barber shop together.
To see them sit side by side as they "camp-out" in front of the fire 
and attempt to roast mini marshmallows on wooden utensils with the fire screen still in place.
They make each other laugh and my heart melts.
I love my shared lunches with Charlie at the kitchen counter,
The way he dunks his french bread in his little cup of soup and exclaims, "delicious!"
I love my time with Andrew, after Charlie goes to bed, playing cards or scrabble,
popping popcorn or reviewing spelling words.
I love their gingham shirts, their corduroy pants, their messy hair, toddler pjs + rain boots.
They've been especially cute together lately and I'm eating it up.

{Some of these were taken on rainy day trip to picturesque Lebanon, Ohio. 
A town that has appeared in the movies "Milk Money" and "Harper Valley PTA"}
{The inn has seen many US presidents and famous literary figures, like Charles Dickens}

We had grandparent's Day at school this week.
It was a rainy mess as the children are all in temporary modular classrooms while
the Elementary School is being renovated and rebuilt.
Somehow or other everyone squeezed it.
We did crafts and the kids sang and shared projects and essays.
Andrew, my Mum, and I tried our hardest to win the "Thanksgiving Day" word scramble.
We came in third. With a 148 words.

Afterwards, we took Andrew and Payton 
{his oldest best bud/almost like a sister to him/almost like a niece to me}
out to lunch at the Inn.

Last weekend I went to Edward and Bella's wedding with a group of good friends.
The kind of good friends that recently introduced me to the important cultural phenomenon that is Twilight. I falsely thought my literary taste was a little too sophisticated 
for teen vampire soap operas - apparently not.
While I'm far from a Twigh-hard, I did enjoy two weekends of girl time.
First with a movie marathon catching up on the old flicks and 
then to the theater to see "Breaking Dawn" last Friday.
Since we were attending a wedding, I came prepared with red velvet cupcakes (this recipe). 
{Note, using natural food color does not make the cupcakes RED enough. Or at all, really}

Speaking of food...
I have two recipes to share....
First, a Foley family holiday tradition for caramel popcorn.
The recipe comes from Jimmy's cousin and it wasn't even 24 hours 
after the first time I tried it that I had to make it myself.
I had a craving a couple weeks ago and decided to surprise Andrew with a special after school snack.
If you've never had warm caramel popcorn right out the oven, then I believe you haven't fully lived.

Recipe | Foley's Famous Caramel Popcorn
Measure 1 cup kernels, then pop on stove or air popper {or 3 bags of microwave popcorn}
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp salt 
2 sticks butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 250.
Line two big baking sheets with foil or parchment.
Pop popcorn and spread evenly over both pans. {If you made your own, then sprinkle with kosher salt}
Melt butter, add sugar, syrup + salt, stir constantly
Bring to boil, let boil and do not stir for 5 minutes with heat on.
Remove from heat and add baking soda + vanilla.
Pour evenly over popcorn.
Gently toss to coat.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

And one more...
I made this for dinner last night.
Jimmy had three servings.
The rest of us had two.
It's fabulous. I will make it again and again and again.

Recipe | Moroccan Chicken Stew
4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, halved
3 medium yellow onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
28 oz diced tomatoes, with their juices
8 oz canned chickpeas, drained
1 quart chicken stock
3 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
¾ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ lemon, juiced
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground ginger
2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 tsp ground)
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cut chicken into 1-2 inch chunks, salt and pepper.

In a large pot with olive oil, brown the chicken in batches over high heat. Set aside.
In the same pot, add the onions and sauté until translucent making sure to scrape up any remaining drippings from the chicken. Add the garlic, turmeric, ginger, cumin, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks. Once the spices are fully incorporated and aromatic, return the chicken to the pot along with the tomatoes, chickpeas, and enough stock to submerge all contents of the stew (may be less than 1 quart). Cook uncovered for one hour. Add cilantro + apricots + raisins and cook 10-15 more min. Serve over rice.

{recipe adapted from here}

Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!! We'll be at my parent's home tomorrow.  I'm only on the hook for pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.  This would be the reason I have time to blog this morning!! xo

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cozy + Classic

The fire is blazing bright and my kettle is about to whistle. 
But real, real, REAL quick...
I hit the jackpot on pretty house pictures tonight, 
when I came across this website {GAP interiors}.
I just had to share a few.  Enjoy!

Be back in a jiffy to talk about vampire movies, caramel popcorn,
auction items, Christmas shopping and my boys..

PS. I am very behind answering emails. 
I promise I will try answer questions about fabric, paint, and other things in my next post.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'll take one of each, please...

Can I tell you how excited I was today to open my laptop and go check out High Street Market's new online store?!!!

High Street Market was the very first etsy store I {hearted}, which if you aren't on etsy means you tag it as one of your favorites.  I absolutely adore Kelly's finds.  Her vintage items are just the sort of finishing touches that I feel can make a room.  Those one of a kind, hard to copy pieces, that keep a space from looking like a page out of a Pottery Barn catalogue {I'm not knocking PB, promise.} The sort of treasures that you'd be thrilled to find after a day of scouring antique malls or tag sales.  Something I rarely have time to do at this stage in my life.  When I found out Kelly was opening an online home store with many more items I just knew I'd love it.  She did not disappoint.  Here is a little sampling of some of my favorites....

From vintage maps {Cincinnati too}, to vintage brass door knockers, and lots of gorgeous lighting. I sort of want it all.

So Jimmy, if you are reading, and really struggling with Christmas ideas for me, let's just say this wouldn't be a bad place to start! ;) xoxoxo

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ideas for Charlie's Room

The time is approaching to move Charlie out of his crib and into a twin.
His room is the smallest in our home so there isn't a whole lot of changing and rearranging that's going
to be going on, but I'd still like to make a few {inexpensive} updates.

{not his room, but equally as tiny!}

Here are some ideas....
We just had Andrew's old twin bed painted in Chelsea Gray
I've ordered some new art...

I'd plan to sew {yes, me} a pair of new drapes in something like this...

Add a fun light and wallpaper in the closet {it's a cute closet)

A cozy striped wool blanket for the winter...
The walls and ceiling are already a wheat/ buff color, so I'll just be adding a bit of
gray and a few fun accessories and calling it a day.
I like children's rooms to be pretty simple and restful, 
yet reflect their personality too.

And Charlie has a BIG personality..
He began performing from a podium at a bookstore earlier this 
week while we were out Christmas shopping.
He found a mic and "performed" for about 40 min.
Toward the end I risked getting the phone out and video taping,
this is one of his calmer performances.
I could just eat him up!!!
Have a lovely weekend!!

{sources can all be found on my children pinterest board}