Saturday, October 29, 2011


Ok, so it's totally cute, right?
But, what do you DO with a hot pink, lime green or peacock blue fake birdcage, you may ask...
Here are some off the cuff suggestions:

Put a fake bird inside.

Sure. Feathered, "realistic" version from the craft store? Why not.

It's the ultimate "pet" for your child.  Or yourself, if you're kitschy.

try putting a loose, messy bundle of twinkly christmas lights inside for an unusual, homemade light fixture.

fill with brightly colored, shatterproof ball ornaments at holiday time (or, really ANY time. Ornaments don't always have to mean "Holiday") for a fun and quirky display.

Birdcages: Again, Hobby Lobby. 
The "H.L." is a home decor mecca.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tips-y Tuesday by Eloise

Adorable Halloween project alert!! And I am proud to announce that this little project was thought up entirely by budding designer, Eloise Thompson. 
Sharpie Marker.

Wet pieces of tissue (or any paper, really), squeeze water out and maneuver into little ghostly shapes. Let them dry, then add eyes with your sharpie marker. Adorable. You could do a number of things with these cute creatures but we strung them into garland and hung them from our wreath.

Good job, Ellie!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Boo! All Hallows Eve's A Comin'....

Halloween is one week from today! I know we get excited to decorate for it around these here parts (aka, the girl pad). This year is admittedly different, though. There isn't as much space to hang spiders and webs, or put inflated blow up haunted houses on the lawn, or "gravestones" in the garden...
But, we got into the spirit anyway! We just "toned it down" a tad.

Pumpkins weren't carved this year, (at least, not yet) but we sure did get a lot of them! Short ones, warty ones, varigated ones, white ones....

Because we don't have ample storage space for holiday decor, I opted for a generic green, leafy wreath that I can tweak as the seasons and holidays change. Here, we used different black and white ribbons, lime green and purple skull ribbon, clip on jeweled spiders and Ellie's homemade ghost garland (which will be tomorrows post).

Sparkly pumpkins? Yes, please!
Sparkly skulls? Uh, huh. Those, too! I think we have at least six of these scattered around the apartment, and for $1.00 each at Five Below, I have no problem with that.

A hot pink skull sitting in daisies. Why not?

A china cabinet wearing a witch hat. Again, why not? Eloise found this hat in the dollar section at Target and it was too cute to pass up. But, since she's going to be a Monster High Barbie (shocker) for Halloween, I thought the china cabinet could wear it instead.
What did YOU decorate with this year?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Simply, Saturday: Spotted, Spooky Style!

Spotted by Eloise, the skull trend lovin' pre-tween, at Target. The boney limbed salad servers are rather awesome and come in plastic or metal. Eloise was begging for them. But, cool as they are, and reasonable at $4.99 and $12.99, let's face it, they're completely unnecessary. Maybe post Halloween clearance! Save a set for me, ok?
(The $2.99 holographic placemat made a nice backdrop.) 

Friday, October 21, 2011

E is for Elizabeth & Ellie!

Once upon a time, there was an empty, almost sad and sorry, looking section of wall next to our front door. Being on the same wall as the hot pink clock and citron painted china cabinet, this spot just whimpered "help me." This little patch of plaster and dry wall wanted to be special, too. The notion of a letter "E" collection seemed appropriate and once that idea settled in my head, I was on a mission.

Ellie and I already had a few letter "E's" from our previous home just lying in wait. But, I wanted to make this collection different, new, updated, and... "us." Something that could hang, literally, with all the other lively objects in the living room. I wanted big ones, little ones, cursive ones, colorful ones...
I knew just where to go for the coveted letters: Hobby Lobby. I knew they'd be there and I also knew they would likely be 50% off.  (About Hobby Lobby: If what you want isn't on sale this week, it will be the next...and if for some rare reason it isn't? Hobby Lobby almost always has a 40% off coupon on their website to print out. So, seriously, sweet deal.)

Of course the store had exactly what I needed. I even laid out a little pattern right there on the linoleum. I think the ampersand is the perfect accent to break up the monotony and being that the E's represent Elizabeth AND Eloise, absolutely appropriate.
Naturally, once home, the pattern was remapped, and slightly altered on the berber.

Some were hung with nails and some were hung with Command Strips. (Oh, how I lovelovelove the Command Strip! I even blogged about it once. Look!)

No longer "sad" or empty,  for under $30.00, the wall is quirky and cheerful, and personal...
E & E like it. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tips-y Tuesday

In the words of Sandra Lee (google her, I love her) I am keeping it "super simple" today.
This tip is like an awesome, back to basics, science experiment using 2 items you likely have in your kitchen.


Tin foil.

Did you know that if you put some lemon juice (or lime juice, in fact) on a piece of tin foil, it cleans and polishes chrome? Or stainless steel? I had no idea until my friend cleaned the rust and general "oldness" off my bike recently, using this method. Who knew? Love it.
According to my sources, squeeze the juice onto a piece of foil. "The more, the merrier."
And? Rub it onto the metal surface as if you were polishing it. Done.
Be prepared for it to be a little bit messy, as the chemical reaction creates a blackish film. Maybe keep some rags near by or throw on some gloves, or,  just tread lightly...
A totally "green" and safe way to make something sparkle and shine using items you have at home anyway. 
Now, that's a tip.

Monday, October 17, 2011

More Monday Make-overs....

Does taking a completely blank slate and tweaking it as inspiration strikes count as a make over? I kind of think so. I could be wrong, in which case, I'm sorry and thanks for hanging out with me anyway. When we moved into our girl pad the dining area (and every other part of the apartment for that matter) was barren and neutral, but utterly pristine and just waiting for someone to come along and love on it a little bit. Ellie and I were perfect for the job.

I already had the chairs. Basic.  And, again, neutral. The mod rug was Target's doing and I found the iron and glass table on Craigslist. I knew the glass would be the perfect surface for a multitude of uses including, of course, eating, but also homework and crafts... 
It's also ideal for small spaces since, visually, it doesn't appear bulky, but airy. 
So, I played here and there, deciding what I wanted to do with the space. While I am allowed to paint the walls, I wasn't sure that was the direction I wanted to go in and therefore opted not to. These days, I like keeping the background somewhat plain and adding really strong pops of color elsewhere instead. Keeping in mind that I wasn't going to paint, I still needed a striking statement on the dining room wall. What else but a huge vinyl wall cling of Audrey Hepburn's face could do the trick? I mean, right? 

I admit, she stayed up on the wall in her pre-stuck form, dangling by tape for awhile. I wasn't brave enough to tackle a cling of this size. And, in all honesty, I didn't. My friend Arlie did. But, now? Now I could handle that. 

(Hi, Arlie!)

I think Audrey looks amazing. She is graphic and gorgeous, and grand...
A pure white chandelier was hung up in place of the probably more practical ceiling fan (because, on a rare occasion, beauty trumps practicality). And, I painted the iron table a shade called "Sunflower." A glossy, deep yellow. But, I like to call it "Tommy" yellow because it reminds me of that musical and precious time in my life. Some sassy cushions were added to the chairs and an old, empty, gold frame I've had for years went up on the back wall to"frame" the light fixture.  I actually just added more gold frames of various shapes and sizes around it. No pictures of that. Yet.

It's still a work in progress... like it's "designer".... but, for now, it it feeling like home.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Simply, Saturday. Yum. There's no other word...

It is my humble opinion that there is a bakery in Greece N.Y. that trumps pretty much all others in the Rochester area:

Jackson's, 614 Stone Road, in business for more than 50 years, has the best rolls, eclairs (I have had far too many) and custard crumb cake of all time. 
Ok, maybe not of all time, but seriously, pretty close.
The other tidbit about Jackson's is that they haven't become inflated in ego or price. Their products are consistently  delectable and affordable. 
The aforementioned crumb cake shown below, oozing with custard and sprinkled with confectioners sugar, is $6.00. 
$6.00! And it's large enough to feed 4-6 hungry people.... 

...or, 8-10 "normal" people.

 Above those are "single serve" vanilla or chocolate mini cakes, iced and delightfully decorated  for $1.50.  They make a really lovely little gift for someone special. 
 And, you can see my personal weakness on the bottom right.

Just look, and drool, over these other sweet treats:

Brownies, cookies, coffee cakes, danishes, breads and more. You really can't go wrong here.
It's simple. 
And scrumptious. 
And Saturday. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Simply, Saturday... Simply, Gorgeous..

Fall is my favorite.
Crunchy leaves, cooler temperatures, cider, donuts, pumpkins...
But, mostly?

and, this:

The best part? 
This is just the tip of the Autumnal iceberg! 
The best is yet to come...