Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Organization Goals

I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions however this year I have told myself that I want to get more organized.  This involves some simple things that I have been putting off that just need to get done.  In an attempt to hold myself accountable, I thought I'd document a few of the things here on my blog.  We moved into our house over a year ago and there are still a lot of things that are still sitting exactly where they were left when we moved in because I was too sleep deprived from the baby, trying to work and overwhelmed from a cross-country move with two babies and a husband who was gone all the time.  Not complaining, just sayin'.  I'm (somewhat) back to sleeping and I feel a lot more settled now so the time has come to do something about some things around my house.

1. Organize my closet.  I need to get uniform hangers, get rid of stuff I don't wear anymore and go through all of my shoes.  That thing is a wreck.

2. Get rid of the clutter off of my kitchen counters.  We have a big junk bowl that houses anything from candy and snacks to random business cards and coupons to screws that go to I-don't-know-what, etc., etc.   I spent more time in the kitchen than probably any other room and I want it to have a little style.  One first step is to get the junk off of there and then a little styling/decorating can ensue.

3. Finish organizing/decorating the dining room.  When we switched the playroom and the dining room, the dining room was kind of left behind and it needs some TLC.   The wonderful built-ins need to be styled and I think the space needs a little color!

4.  Organize our bathroom.  The space underneath the sink is a hot mess and needs to be dealt with.  Pronto.  I'm also sure I keep buying toiletry items we don't need because everything is just shoved in a ginormous basket under there.

5. Organize the attic.  I'm on my way with this one.  I took advantage of the January sales at Target, Home Depot, etc. and bought a ton of those clear, stackable plastic bins.  Now I can see what I have stored up there and not have to rummage through cardboard box after cardboard box.  Also, our hot water heater broke a few weeks ago and water leaked out.  Thankfully I was able to keep it under control and get the water switched off before any major damage was done but it did make me realize that those cardboard boxes offer things like old photo albums and keepsakes no protection in a situation like that.  Now that we have just purchased a brand new water heater (ouch!), we shouldn't run into that problem again but you never know...

So, those are a few of my small organization goals.  I will challenge myself to complete this list by the end of March.  We have dear friends coming from Scotland then so hopefully we (and by we I mean I) can get all of these little things done that I think will go a long way towards helping me feel a little less crazy! 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Vanity Love and a note about framing

I saw this vanity on Framebridge's Insta (**) last week and stopped dead in my tracks.  It is one of the coolest pieces of stones I've ever seen.  You frequently see lots of lighter marbling used in neutral tones but it is not often that I see pictures of stone that bold and I LOVE IT!  You could go so many directions with this.  I love the very contemporary feel of this space with the gold accents paired with the graphic black and white tile but I could also envision it paired with brighter colors, in a more traditional style or even outside of a bathroom in say a wet bar/butler's pantry area.  

**As an aside, if you have art or photographs sitting around that you have been meaning to have framed, I highly recommend Framebridge.  I've used them for several projects and they are great - super affordable, stylish custom framing and you mail it all in so you don't even have to leave your house!  If you do use them, you can use a coupon link here and we both get $20 off our framing!  

I just recently got this picture of the kiddos back from Framebridge and love how it turned out.  Just waiting on a couple of other pieces before I hang a few more things in our bedroom.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Weekend Trip to Norfolk

My little guy Forrest (age 3 1/2) took a quick trip to Norfolk this weekend to visit my aunt and cousins.  Forrest was really excited for the trip with mommy.  We spent Saturday afternoon at the Virginia Aquarium which was great!

Forrest loved seeing all of the fish, sharks and amphibians.  I'd say the two highlights were the seals outside and getting to touch the sting rays in the touch tank.  He was SOAKED afterwards but it didn't seem to bother him at all.

The water views outside of the display areas weren't bad either and they have lots of docks and outdoor paths that you can walk around. 

Immediately after feeding the sting rays, they have an area set up where you can touch things in the sand followed by touching a live horseshoe crab. He was soaking wet and then played in sand so you can imagine that his OCD mother was a little upset at all of the sand glued to him.  :)

They also had these gigantic Komodo Dragons and inside the glass enclsosure where the dragons were, you could climb underneath and "pop" up inside a big plastic bubble so it felt like you were in the cage with the dragons.  Thankfully Uncle Beau volunteered to climb underneath the dark cage so Forrest could "pop up!"

Forrest loved meeting his cousin Harrison aka "Mav".  He is four months and absolutely adorable.  Here's Forrest giving him the low down on his PB and J.

My cousins have moved into the main house since they have the baby and my aunt stays outside in a little guest house which we all fondly refer to as the "shed".  The shed has its own bathroom and is a pretty decent size.  My aunt has her bedroom area on one side and then they have their office for the non-profit organization they run, The Chas Foundation, on the other side.  (Side note: my older cousin Chas committed suicide in 2011 - he was bipolar - and afterwards, my aunt and cousin Beau started a non-profit organization to help families of the mentally ill.  It's a great organization that is doing wonderful things for the community.  I'm proud of how much they have achieved considering they built the whole thing from the ground up.)

Years ago I did a blog post about my Aunt Tucker's house (it was in my early days of blogging and the pics aren't great).   I did notice there is a picture of the shed in that old post if you are interested.  She has such a great knack for mixing old and new and has a great eye for things.  The pictures never do it justice but I was impressed with how homey she made that "shed" feel with just a few pieces of art.  Most of them are Asian inspired and so, so cool.  Hopefully one day she will gift them to her favorite niece!  (She loves to remind me that I am her ONLY niece.)

This one isn't Asian but it is a vintage needlepoint piece that she has framed.  I've loved it for a long, long time.  It's faded over the years but it has such great texture and character. 

Our drive back was through pouring rain but we made it home in one piece.  I haven't traveled that much lately because it just is such a hassle packing everybody up with all of the baby and toddler gear, etc. but we got this great new inflatable toddler bed and Forrest did really well on the drive so maybe I can start getting out and taking more trips! 

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.  Happy Monday! 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Big Changes to this Little Blog

I've been blogging here since 2009 (with about a year-long hiatus after baby #1 was born while I juggling that and a full time job).  I love having this blog as a creative outlet.  I love it even more when people contact me because they enjoy reading something I've written about or an image I've shared.  And mostly, if I could, I would eat, sleep and breathe interior design.  Okay, well, I love food too much so maybe just sleep and breathe interior design but still cook yummy food.  And drink delicious cocktails, duh.

And while I can get around on a computer fairly well from a business standpoint, I am by no means great at graphic design or web design.  Hence why my blog still looks like it is from the late 90's (okay, maybe early 2000's??).  So, I've enlisted some help and hope to be able to reveal the new look (along with some other exciting updates) in the coming weeks.  My goal is that my blog be a better reflection of my actual style.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you can probably get a gist of what that style is but I thought it would be fun to put together a few images that really speak to me from a design standpoint.

A long time ago when my Pinterest obsession began, I started a board called My Style.  It doesn't get as much play these days however, I went back through it and there wasn't much on there that I didn't still agree with.  If you look at it, you'll see a lot of animal print (namely leopard), a lot of classic black and white, and a lot of mixing patterns and styles (ie traditional and contemporary).

This space has ME written all over it.  I love how bold and fearless Jennifer's designs are yet at the same time they have very classic elements.  Note the more traditional coffee table and silver urn that the orchid is in paired with bright, colorful patterns...and of course a little leopard for good measure.   

I'm a sucker for anything Morocco, anything with textured wood grains or bamboo, and of course a good, colorful print like these suzanis and ikats here.  I love how the space feel so well-traveled (something I like to think I used to be!).  While we are on the subject of style, Amber is pretty much a God in the design world.  While  her style tends to be a little more minimalist and muted than mine, I love, love, love every space she does!  She definitely has the mixing old/new part down to an art.

This mix is everything!!  And I adore day beds in general.  I can't wait to get one (I'm thinking maybe my daughter's room down the road) and fill it with soft, elegant pillows (in an awesome mix, obvi).  

This might quite possibly be the sexist chair I've ever seen in all my life.  End of discussion.

via Flickr (original source unknown)

Vintage glassware and a beautiful glass vase.  Awesome, eye catching side table.  Pattern on pattern in a traditional, comfy updated wing back chair.  And books galore.  I could definitely see myself spending time in a space like this!

Peonies are for sure my favorite flower.  They are simply stunning and one day I will have a cut flower garden with peonies galore.  And handwritten notes?  I'm a true southern girl who knows the importance and appreciates a good handwritten note.  Neither of these two things will ever go out of style in my book.

I love being organized!  Having children has made that ever so much more difficult but I still strive for organization in my life.  And who says organization has to be stark and boring?!  Look at this beautiful display of fun baubles in pretty little dishes.  I love the mix of colors, textures and rich jewel tones.  Old and new are perfectly married in this little vignette.  I've loved this image for a long, long time.

So, there's a little overview of some important style elements in my book.  Design truly is so personal and that's what I love about it.  Stay tuned for updates to Adorned Abode coming soon!


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Buffalo Gal Won't Ya Come Out Tonight

I'm on the hunt for affordable but attractive curtains for our upstairs guest room.  It has a small nook of a window that is going to be hard to address.  So I have just kept ignoring it.  However, we have frequent guests stay there and I'm starting to feel guilty because the street light is bright at night and there is bright daylight early in the morning.  Not to mention a complete lack of privacy.  So, I'm working on how to remedy that situation.  I've got some black and white botanical printed bedding from Pottery Barn (I don't think they sell it anymore but similar to this but much more black) and so I was thinking that a black geometric pattern would look good with it.  I came across these buffalo check panels from Target.

I love the oversize, almost watercolor appearance of the checks.  Now I've got to measure everything and see if these might work.  I was a little worried that buffalo check might feel a little county but after sourcing some other inspiration, I think these just might be the ticket.

via OKL 

via Caitlin Wilson 

via Caitlin Wilson

via Dimples and Tangles 

via Beauty for Ashes

#buffalocheck #modernbuffalocheck #bigbuffalocheck #moderntraditionalmix #blackandwhitecheck #blackandwhitefabric #curtains #buffalocheckcurtains #targetcurtains #targetstyle #potterybarnbedding

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Herby Saucy Chicken with Shallot Sauteed Green Beans

It has admittedly been a while since I cooked dinner.  Ever since my son was born (3.5 years ago!), my husband has taken over most of the cooking responsibilities.  He's grown to really enjoy it; it's his way of relaxing when he is at home and not travelling for work.  He has recently started a new job where he doesn't have to travel nearly as much (woohoo!).  So, I figured I better start getting back into cooking since I can't very well be a stay at home mom who can't even pull her weight in the kitchen!!

I concocted this little number and it was extremely well received by my hubs so it'll probably be added to our weeknight rotation.  The chicken and sauce are cooked in the same pan so there isn't a huge mess to be made there.  The green beans can be fresh or frozen.  For a short cut, I used Trader Joe's frozen green beans and they are one of my favorite go-to veggies to have on hand when you don't have something fresh.  And they can be doctored up in so many ways.  

First, the green beans.  

Shallot Sauteed Green Beans (serves 4)

What You'll Need:
3 cups frozen green beans*
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, diced finely
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chicken stock (approximate - add more if needed)
salt and pepper to taste

What You Do:
Heat olive oil in the pan and sautee shallots until tender (about 4-5 minutes).  Add in garlic and sautee that for about a minute.  Remove from the pan.  Add green beans into the same pan and add chicken stock.  Once the chicken stock is absorbed and the green beans are tender, you can add back in the shallots and garlic and add the butter.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  

*If you use fresh green beans, you will probably want to boil them and then blanch them in ice cold water first so that the cooking process starts and then they will stay green.  It adds a couple of steps but isn't difficult to do.  

Here are the green beans in process.  See last pic for the final look with the shallots and garlic mixed in.  They are so yummy!

Now it is time for the chicken!

Herby Saucy Chicken (serves 4)

What You'll Need
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup half and half (or use heavy cream if you really want to go for it!)
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 cup and 3 tablespoons of chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 -2 tablespoons olive oil (or other preferred oil to cook chicken)
salt and pepper to taste

What You'll Do
Dry the chicken thighs off with a paper towel and then season liberally with salt and pepper.  On a plate, mix together the fresh herbs (saving back 1 tablespoon of the parsley) and the onion powder and poultry seasoning.  Mix the ingredients together on a plate and then coat each chicken breast evenly on both sides with the herbs and spices mixture.

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Once hot, add the chicken breasts and cook through, approximately 4-5 minutes per side.  Don't move them around a lot when they are in there so they get a nice brown, crispy sear on the outside.  Once they are cooked through, remove them from the pan and set aside under tented foil.  If you tent the foil instead of covering the chicken completely, it will keep the chicken crispy and also help keep it warm.

Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of chicken stock.  Once all of the yummy bits are picked up, add in the half and half and fresh parsley.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and remaining three tablespoons of chicken stock.  Pour that into the sauce mixture and stir together to thicken the sauce.  After about a minute, add back in the cooked chicken and let the sauce coat the chicken.  Serve a chicken thigh generously covered in sauce over rice, mashed potatoes, or polenta.  Serve with a side of shallot sauteed green beans.

Enjoy!  xo

#adornedaboderecipes #traderjoes #traderjoesgreenbeans #sauteedgreenbeans #cookingwithshallots #pansearedchicken #creamysauce #freshherbs #chickenandherbs #chickenandsauce #chickenrecipe #onedishrecipe #chickenandherbs #weeknightinspiration #quickandeasydinner

Monday, January 22, 2018

New Living Room Rug

Our new living room rug has arrived and I love, love, love it!  It has completely transformed the room in a number of ways. 

First, here is the room with the old rug so you can get an idea of what an improvement the new rug gave the space.


The old rug worked well in our old house but when we got the new couch and chairs when we moved to NC, the old rug just didn't work.  

Enter the new rug.  Details on where I purchased can be found here.  


The first noticeable difference is obviously the color and style of the new rug versus the old one.  It is much more traditional and I love the more muted color palette that works much better with our current furniture.  

Secondly, and you can't get this from the picture but although this rug isn't as thick as the old rug, it is SO much softer under foot.  It feel so good to walk on it.  

Lastly, this rug is bigger than the other rug (9x12 versus the old 8x10) and it makes the room feel so much bigger because I was able to push the furniture out some and it still sat on the rug.  

All in all, I'd say the new purchase was a major improvement to the space! 

The couch and chairs were custom upholstery from The Warehouse 1924 and the side tables were custom lacquered from Finds Raleigh.  The ottoman is custom upholstered Ballard Designs in dodi beige. 

#traditionalmodernmix #rugsusa #livingroom #livingroomrug #moderntraditional #blueandgraylivingroom #homedecor #cameronjonesinteriors #findsraleigh #thewarehouse1924

Friday, January 19, 2018

Snoooooooow Day

Raleigh had a fairly decent snow this week - about five or so inches.  And, of course with snow means no school.  And no gym open. And no children's activities open.  My husband has been in Boston so I've been flying solo with the kids this week. 

My husband travels for work all week every week so being home with the kids on my own is no biggie but we are extremely active most of the time.  Usually the only time we are at home is in the early afternoon at what used to be nap time.  Now only one kid naps and I make the other one have quiet time so I can have a few minutes to myself.  But the snow has had us entirely housebound.  And I am proud to say that not only did we survive, I think we had a pretty good time! 

Day one: a civilized breakfast followed by Gray's usual routine of dismantling all of the spices in my pantry on the racks she can reach.  Yesterday was so funny because after the fifth time or so that she did it, I heard Forrest say, "Gray, clean this mess up.  You are driving me crazy!"  Hmmm, I wonder where he got that from...

My friend Reeves gave the kids the Snowman movie for Christmas and they loved it.  I could hardly believe they both sat still to watch it!!

We did lots of arts and crafts.  Stringing fruit loops onto pipe cleaners was a big hit with Forrest (baby Gray ate all hers after dumping them all over the floor).

We even managed to start a little Valentine's project.

By late afternoon we were getting hard up for activities (clearly):

So, we spent an extra long time in the bath to kill some time that evening...

And then on day two, the snow stopped dumping down and we got to head outside!  Both of my kids have seen snow but I think this is the first time they were old enough to really "get it".   Like everything else in this world, most of the snow ended up in baby Gray's mouth.

And just to keep things real, there was an epic meltdown by baby Gray when she was forced to quit eating said snow and come inside.

The snow tired everybody out and we all took a little nap that afternoon.  Even this guy!

Thankfully after a little nap, she was back to her old self again.

And they could go back to destroying my house again...

My snow days sure have changed over the years.  My friends know that I used to wish harder than anyone for a snow day.  And then after kids, snow was a whole different ball game.  Snow days no longer mean binge watching tv and day drinking by a fire.  It now means entertaining cooped up kiddos and everyone going stir crazy while you try to hold on to a shred of your sanity.  It means hearing people scream mommy every 25 seconds for no reason.   And lots of whining and crying.  But there was also a ton of giggling, dancing, jumping and wiggling happening over here. And I wouldn't change any of it for the world.  I know years from now when my kids are grown up, I will yearn for the time I got to spend with them.  So, despite this crazy, cooped up, exhausting time, I am focused on loving every minute of it. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...