Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Seasonal Elegance: Fall Mantel

I long for a nice big fireplace with a huge mantel to decorate with the changing of the seasons.  Right now, I don't even have a fireplace, and I have a make shift mantel.  Technically it's a shelf, on a wall, above my TV, but I call it my mantel, and I change it with the seasons.  Well some of the seasons, I've made three of the four, summer got a little bypassed.

Last week I shared my fall mantel inspiration.  I was drawn to the natural tones and white pumpkins.  I wanted to use what I already had as much as possible, but I needed to add some white pumpkins into the mix.  Who knew white pumpkins were so hard to come by?  Now, I know I could have just picked up some pumpkins of any color and painted them myself, but I didn't want them to be stark white.  I like the ones that look like they have some dimension and shadow to them, and if I was going to DIY that, that would take me forever.  I searched JoAnn's, Michael's, Hobby Lobby and was able to scrounge up a few white pumpkins.

I picked up the grapevine wreath at Michael's and used a 40% off coupon to get it for about $2.50, while I was there I also picked up 2 white pumpkins, you can see one of them on the far left above.  The window pane mirror is a DIY I did back in the spring, check out the tutorial here.

If you take a step back you can see what I was talking about, with my self, on the wall, above my TV.  In my opinion the close ups are much prettier.

Most of the decorative items I used in my fall mantel have come from previous after Christmas sales.  The round mercury glass containers were a Target score, while the mercury glass candle stick came from Crate & Barrel.

The large glass candlesticks I found at Z Gallerie, again I remember picking them up at an after Christmas sale.  It's amazing how many things you can find at an after Christmas sale that can be used for decor any time of the year, these candle holders are all in heavy rotation.  Now I know to keep my eyes open for white pumpkins, for they are not easy to come by.  And I have a feeling I won't be spotting any of those at an after Christmas sale.  If anyone knows the secret of where to come by small faux white pumpkins, please spill, because next year I would love to have an entire mantel lined with them.

This has to be one of the hardest rooms in my house to photograph because it hardly gets any natural light, I had everything open trying to capture these photos, including the front door.

Which the cats thoroughly enjoyed, and it reminded me to get a little fall up on my front door.

Hopefully fall will make it to a few other places in my house before it's time to break out the Christmas decorations!  I have till Thanksgiving, right?!

Have you decorated for fall?

Monday, September 22, 2014

What I Wore: Olive & Gray

I am in love with my new gray denim skinny jeans.  I shared a few ways I'd style them when I first added them to my closet, and I have since worn them every weekend, I won't lie!  They are so comfortable and just perfect for this fall weather.

This Saturday Martin and I went to see Jo Koy at our local comedy club.  I always loved him when he was on Chelsea Lately, and was excited to go see him.  He definitely did not disappoint, and we had a great time.  Here's how I styled my new favorite gray denim for our date night.

This shirt is a last year Nordstrom Rack find, and I just love the detail on it.  I had a hard time finding any similar detail, but I did round up some olive alternatives.  I found the shoes at the Bloomingdale's Outlet last fall, and they are still available online for pretty much the same price I paid for them.  They are a comfy pair of flats, which in my book can be hard to find, and I just love the tarnished gold color.

Shirt| Pleione (Options below)
Jeans| Old Navy
Shoes| BCBG

Friday, September 19, 2014

High Five For Friday

This has been one of  those whirlwind kinda weeks.  Things have been pretty much going nonstop, but it still felt like the week was going on and on!  I'm so glad that Friday is here!

We are getting a makeover at work, which I really couldn't be more excited about, but that means my work environment has been pure chaos and mess all week, I'm really looking forward to seeing it all come together.  In the mean time, here are a few moments from my week.

1|  I had a few hours on Monday afternoon to crash on the couch and catch up on some guilty pleasure TV.  Am I the only one who gets sucked into watching Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleaders: Making the Team?  I will totally admit I have watched all 9 seasons!

2|  Sleeping with the windows open with the cool air blowing in has to be one of my most favorite things ever, I get the best sleep.  I hope this weather stays around for awhile, I can't get enough!

3|  This has felt like my life this week, nearly everyday, except for today because it is Friday, yay!

4|  I got to spend a few of my working hours at Home Depot on Wednesday, it's like my home away from home.  I love being able to take something else that I love to do and bring it into work to help with our makeover and transformation.  If I could be crafty all the time, I would.

5|  3 day weekend!  I took tomorrow off of work and I am so excited to have a long weekend to enjoy this beautiful time of the year and frankly to just catch up on life!

Whatever you find on your plate this weekend, I hope it's a good one!  See you next week! 

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Easy Cooking: Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin season has officially arrived!  They are out everywhere in masses, they have hit the Starbucks menu, I love them!  The good news is they are also really good for you.  They are low in calories, but also contain tons of great antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.  I plan to try them in a couple recipes this fall, some old and some new.

I stumbled upon this recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins and was super excited to give it a try.  Some of you know I've had to make a lot of adaptations to my diet lately and this fit the bill.  Grain free, dairy free, and naturally sweetened.  And they turned out so good!

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
makes 12 muffins

3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup maple syrup
6 eggs
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
3/4 t. baking soda
1 t. apple cider vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F, and line a standard muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and use a whisk to get out any lumps.
  3. Divide the batter evenly amongst the 12 baking cups and bake at 350F for 25-30 min, or until the edges start to brown and a toothpick pulls out cleanly from the center.
  4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove onto a cooling rack.
  5. Enjoy!

Do you look forward to pumpkin season?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall Mantel Inspiration

I have mentioned before that fall is my most absolutely favorite time of the year.  There is something about it being just right, it's not too hot, it's not too cold.  All the leaves are starting to change color, and it's just beautiful.

I have this memory from my senior year of college.  The leaves had all already started changing colors.  It was a beautiful sunny fall day and I was walking across campus at the end of the afternoon back to my car.  I was on the edge of campus walking behind an old building and there were a ton of huge trees with yellow and orange leaves on them, as well as scattered all over the ground.  A gust of wind came along and swirled the leaves in the air all around me as I walked along, and it was the perfect fall moment.  This was 10 years ago and I can still remember it clear as day.

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 With fall upon us it means it's time for some mantel inspiration.  I hope to change mine up this weekend so I can enjoy it for as long as possible.  I found this year I'm really drawn to the lighter, more natural looks.  I'm loving all of the white pumpkins.

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Those candle sticks are amazing, I love the rustic vibe and they would be useful for so many different seasons.  I definitely have my eye out for something similar.

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The little burlap banners would be so easy to DIY to add a little message and texture.

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The grapevine wreaths are a simple, inexpensive way to bring a touch of fall in, it would be easy to layer over my DIY window pane mirror.

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I love the natural touches of the birch logs, and fall colors.

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You can never go wrong with mercury glass, at least in my book.  Loving these pumpkins, especially the mixture of textures.

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This is the color palette I am most driven to this fall, which is funny because it's so neutral and doesn't contain any of those traditional yellows, oranges, and reds that you think of with the changing of the leaves.

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There is something about keeping it so clean and fresh that I just can't get enough of, but I may find that a little tradition sneaks into this years fall mantel.  We will just have to wait and see how it all turns out!

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What's on your mantel this fall?


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Elegance Obsession: Cognac

There is something about fall in the air that brings out my love for anything that falls into that cognac, caramely leather category.  The last few falls I have been on the search for that perfect cognac leather bag, and I just haven't found the one yet.  It's probably because I can picture exactly what I want, a good size, but not too big, with a zipper closure, and gold details, and it has to be that perfect cognac color, not too light not too dark.  Does that ever happen to you?  You know what you want with too much detail and then you can never find it!

Here are a few pieces I have my eye on this fall.

What color do you have your eye on this fall?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Oh hey, Friday

Yesterday was the first really feels like fall day here, and I loved it.  We've been sleeping with the windows open and I swear I get no better sleep than when it's slightly chilly and you are huddled under the covers.  I really hope that we have a long fall because it is truly my favorite season.

Here is a look back at a few moments from my week.

1|  Last Saturday Martin and I had a fun double date night with some of our friends.  First we had dinner at P.F. Changs and then we went to the comedy club to see John Lovitz.  We all definitely needed some laughs and we sure got them!

2| Sunday I took my first bath in my new tub!  I did the detox bath I shared last week, and it was crazy.  You could really feel it working!  I also had a curious little friend the entire time.

3| Four acupuncture treatments down and I really feel like it's helping me manage and channel my stress.  It truly amazes me at the things that can heal out bodies.

4| On Monday when we came out of the grocery store there was one of the most beautiful sunsets, it was such a perfect way to finish out my #100happydays challenge.

5|  I could eat avocado's every day.  I only have 2 complaints, one why is the pit always so dang hard to get out, it always ends up flying somewhere and two why does the price just seem to constantly increase?

Enjoy your weekend where ever you are, hopefully you are lucky enough to be getting some of this fall weather!
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