Wednesday's Child is Full of Woe

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Yup.  I was born on a Wednesday and I am, apparently, full of woe.  I'd like to think that even on my very worse days, this might be halfway true, but certainly not the norm.  Usually I feel more like a Thursday or Saturday child, but that is never here nor there.  I can't change my birth so I might as well embrace it.

Each Wednesday, I will be doing a post that gives my readers a "woe" and my solution for it.  Most will be based on first hand experience, but there might be a few that I simply have researched or have been enlisted to solve for someone else.  You will basically be getting a solution for all those times life gives you lemons. 

Keeping with the lemon theme, and to give you a few examples.....

1.  Woe:  you want to get the juice from citrus without having to use your hands (welcome to hang nail hell) nor do you want to use an outlet.  Solution:  get a citrus juice squeezer that costs almost as cheap bag of lemons you are going to be squeezing.

2.  Woe:  you are super dehydrated or want to jump start weight loss, but you aren't a fan of plain water and don't have a time to use the aforementioned citrus juicer.  solution:  True Lemon adds a natural lemon flavor to water by adding one powder packet to one 8 ounce glass of water.  It is also sugar free and made from real lemons.

3.  Woe:  you need a quick pick me up.  Solution:  girlfriend, go get yo nails did.  (please note that something like this won't actually be a typical "Wednesday's Child" post, but who doesn't love a bold & bright nail color.
4.  Woe:  there is no way you would be caught dead wearing Croc's and Hunter rain boots are too bulky for warm weather, so what sort of rain shoes does that leave me?  Solution:  jellies are my go-to shoe.  I wear them constantly from April - September.  They can get wet without getting ruined, they look way better than Croc's (and last longer, too), and no more sweaty (and stanky) feet from wearing rain boots in the warmer months.  My favorite ones are by Melissa because they are higher quality and come in a wide range of colors and styles.

5.  Woe:  I having a hard time finding stuff that I can afford and would actually want to hang on my wall.  Solution:  there are so many great letterpress companies around these days, as well as super talented illustrators that convert their hand painted works of art into beautiful prints.  



Storage Solution: Vintage Lockers

My style has always been a bit eclectic, which is why I love using vintage items around my home.  My main vintage go-to in regards to storage are lockers (and locker baskets), since they are incredibly sturdy and have a wide range of uses.

My newest client recently moved into home after extensive renovations.  Lucky for me, we have a very similar design style.  During the assessment, every closet, unique corner, and cabinet felt like it would be perfect for some vintage lockers. 

If vintage isn't your thing, then check here, here, here and here to find new options that accomplish basically the same thing.  For vintage selections, I'd check out your local flea markets/antique stores or hit up Etsy & eBay.

Here are a few lockers and locker basket inspirational images to get you thinking outside the (boring plastic) box. 

crafting decor is categorized and stored in galvanized metal & wire locker baskets

who needs one basket when you can have the whole set - kitchen & general storage get a unique touch

children's books are kept contained and tidy with vintage wire locker baskets

wire baskets become floating shelves for cookbooks; bathroom towels find a home in a wire basket spray painted white; saving past zines are kept organized; entry way shoes are anything put sloppy in a vintage basket

remove the top three doors and paint a fun shade of coral for a truly unique piece

All Images via Pinterest



Edible Interiors: Spiced Citrus Tilapia

Remember how I said I had some new stuff in store?  Well, this is the first installment of "Edible Interiors", which will be posts featuring beautiful spaces and the goods that fill them mixed with some of my favorite recipes.  Combining my passion for food & design makes me kind of giddy!

For today's post, I choose Mexican inspired design being that it is Cinco de Mayo.  Think bold colors and ethnic touches.  Keeping with the Mexican theme, my recipe is going to be spiced citrus tilapia that can be eaten alone or made into fish tacos.  Holy guacamole - I'm hungry just thinking about it! 

Colorful & Eclectic Dressing Area via Undecorate

Bold Fabric with Bright Whites via Pinterest

Pillow via Burke Decor; Mexican Blanket Lamp Shade via Design Sponge
Cactus & Earth Tones via Pinterest; Pops of Color in Bedroom via Elle Decor

Festive Chair via Name Design Studio

Spiced Citrus Tilapia
Serves Four 

- 4 tilapia filets (fresh is preferred)
- black pepper (to taste)
- sea salt (to taste)

- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder

- dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil 

- 2 large lemons
- 3 limes 

 1: In a bowl, mix the cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper.
  2: Take the tilapia filets and place on a plate.
  3: Pour the olive oil on the filets, ensuring you coat both sides of the fish thoroughly.
  4: Pour the seasoning mixture on the filets, again, ensuring you coat both sides of the fish.
 6: Cut the lemons and limes in half and pick out any visible seeds.  This will save you from having to pick them out of the hot pan or the cooked fished.  Ain't nobody got time for that...

 7:  Squeeze the lemons and limes into a measuring cup ensuring you get as much juice as possible.  If you find a few seeds floating in the citrus (trust me, you will) then remove them using a spoon.  
 8:  Heat a medium sized pan on low heat.
 9:  Once the bottom of the pan is warm, place the fish in the pan.
10:  Real quick like, you will want to pour HALF of the citrus on top of the fish.
11:  Let the fish cook until brown and flaky on the bottom side.
12: Flip the fish and pour the reminder of the citrus juice on the fish.  
13:  Let the fish cook until flaky on this side.
14:  Season with salt and pepper to your liking.  
15:  Remove the fish once you know it has cook thoroughly.  It is now ready to serve as an entree or broken into pieces for use in salads or tacos. 

Now folks, if you don't like spice (really?) then you can skip the steps 1 & 4 and just use the oil, salt, pepper and citrus.  I have never met a fish eater who didn't like it prepared this way, but the spice makes it much more fun.  Of course, this does ensure kids and picky adults will enjoy the meal, as well.     

Mexican Inspired Outdoor Oasis via Sunset Magazine

The spiciness and citrus notes added to the fish make it perfect for eating by itself or adding to a salad or as a taco.  This interior design style, just like spicy food, might not be for everyone.  However, small doses of a color are a great way to add a little heat.

Cinco de Mayo Image via VK Rees Photography; Food Styling Images via Pinterest


Springing into a New Season

Hello, Spring!  Hard to believe that the long winter that seemed like it would never end has finally ended.  Of course, I feel extremely lame that I haven't written anything since February.  Right after my last post, I was in a car accident, which happened while I was in the middle of two very large client projects.  Good news is that my vehicle has since been fixed and both clients are extremely happy.  That was basically the rest of February.  

Fast forward through March - I finished painting my house (well, almost finished), bought a vintage dresser I've been drooling over for years, learned how to patch holes with plaster, finished painting my custom designed desk, finalized designs for my custom coffee table, created one hell of an antipasto platter for a client event, put up new shelving in several closets, and had a fun weekend playing hostess to my lovely cousin (and friend).  

Then came April and the desire to inspire and be inspired.  My goal was to get done with my taxes, take my own spring break away from Nashville, and return revamped and refocused.  My break came in the form of a broken nose.  Basically, you should never ask someone to slowly slide a metal trunk down to you from the top of an attic, or, if you do, wear a catchers mask.  The past two weeks have been sort of a blur, which is good considering I haven't looked so hot.  Of course, all of this has made me more aware of a few things:

 1.  Q-tips are awesome. 
 2.  Straws are really awesome.
 3.  Don't stare; it's rude. 
 4.  It's extremely hard to play up your eyes with a splint on your nose.
 5.  Etsy should be avoided when on pain medication.
 6.  Baby wipes really are the next best thing to soap and water.
 7.  Ceiling projects might happen when forced to rest on your back.
 8.  Everyone should have Netflix.
 9.  Things like blowing your nose and wearing sunglasses should not be taken for granted.
10.  Vodka helps (a lot).

Here's hoping you enjoyed your spring break vacation and started this new season on a high note!  

lovely spring image VIA


House of Cards: Cocktail + Drinking Game

Netflix knew what they were doing when they chose Valentine's Day to release the newest season of their hit show - House of Cards.  Who wants chocolate, wine and roses when you can have scandal, lies and manipulation?  

For those of you who have seen the show, you can relate to my addiction.  For me, there is nothing better than relaxing with a cocktail while watching the captivating performance of Kevin Spacey as ruthless politician, Frank Underwood.  He is both the protagonist and the antagonist.  Both the villian and the victor.  You know you should probably want him to fail, yet for some reason you are happy when he succeeds.  

If you haven't already spent the past 24 hours watching all twelve new episodes, then here is a specialty cocktail and drinking game to maximize your House of Cards experience.

If an old-fashioned decided to have a threesome with a mint julep and a glass of sweet tea, then you'd have a perfect House of Cards cocktail.  This creation is full of southern charm, but far from anything pure - just like Underwood himself.   

Sweet Tea Old-Fashioned
2 ounces of Bourbon Whiskey (4 Roses Small Batch was my choice)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Sweet Tea Simple Syrup (recipe below) 
Splash of Club Soda or Water
Ice Ball (link here, here, here and here for various molds)
Orange Peel
Old-Fashioned Glass

Place ice ball in an old fashioned glass then add the angostura bitters and bourbon.  Pour in sweet tea simple syrup to your liking (depending on how sweet you prefer you drinks).  Top with a splash of water or club soda (I prefer the fizz of club soda).  Garnish with an orange peel.

Sweet Tea Simple Syrup
5 1/2 cups water
1 heaping of loose leaf tea
3 1/2 cups of sugar, stevia or splenda

Place water in pot and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat once boiled and add the tea to hot water.  I used good old fashioned Lipton, since I did not want to have anything overly sweet or fruity to take away from the drink.  It is very important to not stir the water once the tea has been poured.  Just let the tea immerse itself and steep for 10 minutes.  In a measuring cup, pour in the sugar.  My choice was Splenda, since I prefer to limit my carb and sugar intake to things I can chew, like cake.  Once the tea has steeped, strain the tea infused water into the sugar.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Strain the tea & sugar mixture, this time placing a coffee filter over the strainer.  This will remove any tea leaves or residue left in mix.  Chill before using in drinks.  This will make a large batch, but you can stored it in the fridge for up to one month.  I use Italian bottles for a pretty presentation and tight lid seal.

Take a Drink...
  • when Frank speaks directly to the camera
  • when a text communication is posted to the screen
  • when Frank taps his knuckles (or ring) on a desk, wall, etc.
  • every time Doug asks if Rachel will read to him
  • when Frank throws something
  • every time someone references the bible or you see one
  • every time Claire calls Frank "Francis"
  • every time you see someone taking a pill
  • when anyone mentions packing or is actually packing 
  • every time Doug is just sitting inside his car
  • whenever someone sings, even though there is no music playing
  • when Frank is eating ribs or drinking sweet tea (drink twice if having both) 
  • anytime Claire or Frank smoke (drink twice if they share the same cigarette)
  • anytime someone says something about a promise 
  • whenever you see blood
  • whenever you become distracted by the "hole" in Robin Wright's neck 

 Raise your glass to cheers...
  • whenever someone in the show is drinking booze

Finish your drink...
  • whenever someone is murdered or dies (including animals)
  • when there are three people present during a sex scene

Polish off the bottle...
  • if you watched season two, in its entirety, in one day
Anyone else counting down to season three?


Solution Found: Unique Jewlery Storage

My current home is small - this is no secret, as it has been mentioned in past blog posts and I tell pretty much everyone I know.  Basically, my bedroom closet is the size of an average coat closet.  That is about 75% smaller than the closet I had as a child.  Hell, it is even smaller than the closet I had in my studio apartment when I was living in Washington, DC.

Being that my closet barely holds my clothing, the problem when I moved in was finding a place to store my jewelry.  Since I fall into the "out of sight out of mind" category when it comes to my accessories, I knew that I would have to find a way to make everything easily accessible or risk never really wearing any of it again.

One option was to get an armoire that allows me to keep these things hidden yet seen when needed.  Since I refuse to get a smaller bed and storing my grandmother's bedside tables is never going to happen, there really is no room for aforementioned armoire.  I considered getting one of those standing jewelry pieces that is about the size of a small podium, but again, where would I put it.  Using dresser drawers was not really an option, since those are packed full of clothing that did not fit in the closet.  The only real conclusion was that my jewelry would need to be displayed out in the open, turning something I would wear into home decor.

Other than a few big furniture pieces, very little in my house is new or straight from the catalog.  Most things are vintage, custom made or somehow altered from it's original concept.  My approach to jewelry display would be no different:  vintage items with new purpose.

The letterpress drawer, which takes center stage on the wall, was purchased from etsy with hooks already in place for hanging jewelry.  You can find tons of these for sale, but I opted for an unpainted version with less hooks on the bottom.  I figured I could always add more hooks if I more necklace storage is required, but I prefer having ample space between each hook.  The look is less jumbled and allows my larger statement pieces to really standout.  By hanging a few similar style necklaces on one hook, I was also able to leave room to hang little momentos, like the little thumbprint owls my mom gave me a few years ago.

The slats, that in another lifetime housed actual letterpress pieces, hold my earrings and other small keepsakes.  I changed out a few of the black hooks that came with it for some brass teacup hooks from Home Depot.   Some of the hooks were odd for holding fish hook earrings (the majority of my earrings have fish hooks) and I like the contrast of having both black & brass hooks.

Some of the slats are larger than others, which left space for both earrings and little keepsakes.  Now my favorite Alex & Ani earrings can find a home next to some of the smurfs my father gave me way back in the day when he sold toys.

The top of my dresser is home to other organizationed jewelry storage....  

My grandmother's vanity tray is where I place my own fragrances, vintage perfume bottles gifted from my mother and an old champagne coupe that holds my brooches;  a vintage green depression glass candy dish keeps all my extra buttons;  a tiered brass stand from the flea market is where I put my rings; and my mom's old glass & brass box is where I put my bangles and watches.  Of course, I still keep my nicer stuff that is not worn on a regular basis in a jewelry box out of sight.  

Seeing all these things each day makes me happy, and it definitely is a conversation starter when people come over and want a tour of my humble little home.  I mean, who doesn't love Smurfs hanging out amongst a little bling-bling....

Don't you just love when a problem leads to a really fabulous solution?  


Whole Foods Cleanse - Detox Broth

Every so often I decide to do a whole foods cleanse to get my body feeling its best.   Considering most of my meals in December consisted solely of wine and chocolate, I figure now is as good as time as any.

The regimen I follow works by eliminating the foods that could be irritating your system.   This is the same cleanse that helped me lose the initial 11 pounds of the 24 that I lost over the span of 18 months, not bad for someone who had very little time for the exercise portion of the weight lost equation.       

During this cleanse you will steer clear of the "big six" - wheat, sugar (Stevia is allowed), alcohol (sad, but yes), corn, caffeine and dairy.  If it is processed, then you can count on it not being part of this cleanse.  That means avoiding those energy bars and packages of instant oatmeal.     

Basically you can only consume whole foods, and to better understand this you need to think in terms of a food's origin.  If what you are consuming is in almost the same form as when it was picked, then it usually is a whole food.  Fruits and vegetables are whole foods. Whole grains are whole foods. Animal proteins are whole foods. Beans are whole foods. Along with this, you are going to drink lots of filtered water (sparkling water is completely acceptable so long as it does not contain sodium) and herbal teas.  

You have to do this cleanse for at least five days to feel the benefits.  Truth of the matter is I usually feel worse before I feel better.  This is what is called a "healing crisis", in which you experience heightened symptoms while the body is riding itself of toxins.  Headaches, fatigue, bad breath, or breakouts - all normal and should pass by day four.  Basically this is not the cleanse to start right before you are making your grand debut on The Bachelorette in hopes of making out with Juan Pablo.

If you still have symptoms by day five, then your body is probably telling you that you need a few more days to get rid of the bad stuff you have been putting into it.  Once your body adjusts to doing its job more efficiently and "eating clean", you will feel like a million bucks. 

The first day of the cleanse consists of consuming a Detox Broth and loads of water and herbal teas.  It is my version of a fasting day, but instead of cayenne infused lemon water, you get a healthy broth.  I don't care what anyone says, putting a hot spice in water is just gross and I'd rather have nothing while fasting than that water.  Sure the broth isn't going to taste like a perfectly seasoned, juicy steak, but it does beat the water phase. 
On a side note - be sure to buy organic veggies, because you will have to peel everything if not.

6 carrots
3 large white potatoes
1 daikon (white radish) or 4 red radishes
2 turnips
1 cup parsley
4 celery stalks
1 garlic clove
1 strip of kombu (Asian food section of Whole Foods)

1 tube of wasabi paste  (optional - I add it to the broth to give it flavor and an added kick)

1. Fill saucepan with 2.5 quarts water. 

2. Pop in the veggies and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
3. Strain veggies and save the broth.
4. Refrigerate for the next day, when you begin the cleanse. 

5.  The broth is good for up to three days, which you can have throughout the cleanse.

Do any of you have a detox or cleanse that work for you?  Ever try a whole foods diet? 



New Years "Want-Tos"

It pleases me to say that after 13 days of being somewhere other than home, I am back.  It is going to be so awesome to sleep in my own bed tonight, just like it was awesome to take a shower and use a full size bath product of my choosing.  I was so excited, it might as well have been a trip to the spa.  Of course, it does take a while for the body to get fully acclimated to a change in water pressure, which leads me to think I might want to take a trip to Home Depot for a new shower head.  Anyways, I digress.

While my bed is calling me, I just had to sit down and churn out a resolution related blog post while the new year is still new.  There never has been a time in my life where I have not been trying to better myself in some capacity.  Blame it on my upbringing or just the fact that I'm a virgo, but either way I am not one to sit back and accept the status quo.  I'm a doer, and I feel like I kicked butt this past year, but that doesn't mean it can't get better.  So, my resolutions list is going to be quite long and probably a tad bit more personal than you are use to getting from me.  This could be a good thing or a bad thing, but here we go.

Resolution #1:  Blog more often and with more heart.

This is a pretty general statement, but the truth of the matter is that I never intended to just write a handful of times a month and call it a blog.  In my line of work I am with clients 90% of the time, which only leaves me a small window in which to blog.  So, when I do sit down to write, I find my mind exhausted and drawing blanks.  That was until I realized I was making it a "to-do" instead of a "want-to".   I know myself well enough to say that I am not going to be compelled to do something "just because"; There has to be a desire present.  While I have enjoyed writing about every topic so far, the surface level aspect of things doesn't work for me.  

It dawned on me late last year that perhaps the reason why I was finding myself less personal in my writing was because I felt I had to be.  Maybe the pant suit wearing, rule following employee of some corporate company was still hiding somewhere under my current uniform of yoga pants and jersey tees.  Those years killed my spirit, though, so I knew I had to make some decisions about how I wanted to grow myself and my business.   My conclusion is that my work is essentially an extension of me, and I should be able to write from the heart.  I'm hoping that other people will enjoy reading something if I enjoying writing it.   This may mean that from time to time I write about something like the best hair removal products, which might include a not so awesome tale about leaving one cream on my upper lip too long reaulting in a mustache shaped red rash.  But hey, I was 13 and someone should enjoy the solutions I've found over the years while getting a good laugh.  May not be as glamorous as the design posts on expensive rugs or designer lighting, but who says all solutions have to come from Vogue.  My life is interesting somethings a lot of the time, and hopefully you benefit from the lessons I've learned along the way.

Resolution #2:  Love myself.

Another general statement that very well could have come from the lips of Richard Smalley.  I don't think that listing out everything I want to improve about myself in resolution form is the best way to love myself.  To me, I would just see it as a list of things that make me not perfect and feel overwhelmed.  Don't get me wrong, I like myself plenty - just not sure I'd call it love.  However, if I expect others to love me how I want to be loved, then it needs to start with me.   Over the years, I have let a lot of really toxic people into my life, only to have them get great joy in telling me everything they think if wrong with me.  This year I am going to try not to put myself in those situations, or know when to walk away if I do end up on the receiving end of hatefulness.  Of course, loving myself also means I am going to try not to throw my hair in a sloppy top knot every single day.  Oh, and I'm not starting until Monday.  Sure it might already be 2014, but loving myself also means being realistic....and waking up tomorrow looking awesome is not on my agenda quite yet.

Resolution #3:  Strengthen the relationships with those I love (and love me back).

First of all, notice I said love me back.  That has been a hard concept for me to accept, but sometimes there are people who just don't want to let you in. However, I really am lucky to have plenty of people love me for exactly who I am.  I want to call on their birthdays, exchange laughter inducing emails, and send snail mail to them on a regular basis (not like I don't have the fun stationary to do so).  I figure that instead of just missing my friends back home, I should tell them how much I love them....and for all the care packages my mom has sent me every single holiday and the numerous sweet letters she mails just to say hello, it is about time she get a few in return.  This year is going to be about the people who love me, just as much as it is about me.

Other Resolutions:

Finish the little home projects I started last year.

FINALLY begin writing the book that has been in the works in my head (and random scratch paper) for the past few years.  This gets me pretty excited just thinking about it, so expect something good to come of this.

Plan a trip somewhere fabulous and foreign (looking like Australia thanks to a friend's recent job change).

Get plans drafted for my house's add-on.  This project may be a good five or so years down the road, but this dream is going to happen.    

Read more books.

Take more pictures with friends...less of skies, food and stuff.

Well, there you have it - 2014 resolutions in a not so brief outline....can't wait to see where I will be this time next year.  What about your resolutions?  Are they all new or continuations of a previous year? 

Cheers to a productive, happy, prosperous new year - I have a feeling this is going to be the best yet!

Images via Pinterest 
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