Friday, February 26, 2016

LIVING PRETTY WITH YOUR PETS {GUEST POST}


Today I'm over at Cuckoo 4 Design talking about something a little different... our cats!  Julia is a pet lover and has a series on her blog called "Living Pretty With Your Pets," and I'm honored that she's asked me to participate today.


Our boys show up on Instagram from time to time, but not too often here on the blog.  I'm spilling all of the details of how they came to live with us and what their life is like at our house.  If you're a pet lover, you'll enjoy this series, and I'd love for you to come check out our post today!


While you're there, be sure to poke around Julia's blog a bit.  She can truly do anything she sets her mind to (she just cut apart her couch and put it back together so it would fit down her basement stairs), and in addition to her stellar DIY skills, the girl can decorate.  A few of my favorite posts-

(Please click the link to pin photos from Julia's original posts, thanks so much!)

She loves pillows as much as I do-


Check out her absolutely dreamy back yard... oh, the foliage! 


Her hallway makeover is an all time favorite of mine-


And check out the amazing outdoor enclosure she built for her kitties to keep them safe while allowing them to enjoy the outdoors-



You're welcome.  ;)   Now, come see me over at Cuckoo 4 Design!

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

THE SECRET TO MIXING BLACK AND WHITE + LEOPARD

In a recent interview I was asked my secret to pattern mixing, and I didn't have a cut and dried answer or formula for that.  I generally just rely on my eye and what I think looks right.  However, after some thought, I have come up with a "rule" that I use for a combo that some might think strange, but can actually work if done right... mixing black, white, and leopard.

And here's the secret:  When mixing a black and white print with leopard, I've found that it works best if the black and white has a balanced, even pattern.

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

It's even better when one more colorful pattern is thrown into the mix!

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

These patterns are a little bit on the fence for me because they're slightly busier, but I think they still work because of the even weight of the black/white mix.

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

A pillow and throw pattern mix-

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

So those are all examples of how the mix can work, but here's what I wouldn't do:

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

I don't think the mix works if the black and white is in a random pattern like this ikat, or really any pattern that isn't an even mix of black and white.

Here's a little slide show of all of my pillow combos just for fun-

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

PILLOW DETAILS AND SOURCES:
Black and White Buffalo Check- discontinued Ikea fabric but similar here  ||  Leopard- Hobby Lobby or online here  ||  Bright Floral- Chiang Mai Dragon  ||  Green Fabric, Greek Key Trim- Hobby Lobby  ||  Ikea Lappljung Ruta graphic pillow  ||  Black Multi-colored Toile- vintage Markwood fabric (thrifted)  ||  Houndstooth, Diamond, and Ikat older fabric not currently found online  ||  Black and White Striped Throw


black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

The same concept can apply for fashion as well! 

I wore a black/white/leopard combo almost every day on our cruise last Fall.

All outfit details HERE

For outfits, I recommend adding the leopard item through an accessory... most often shoes or a bag for me, but could also be a belt or bracelet.  In other words,  I wouldn't mix a leopard top with black and white pants, or vice versa.  I wore this outfit to church last week on Valentine's Day.

leopard heels, gingham shirt, leopard heels
Gingham Shirt (similar)  ||  Red poncho (old)  ||  White Pants (similar)  ||  Leopard Heels


Ray wanted a photo to celebrate the fact that we finally got a mantle made and up outside!  :)


Another tip:  I generally stick with ONE leopard accessory... you don't want to overdo it.  Every once in a while I might wear my thin leopard belt and my leopard sandals, but I really try to stick with a single leopard piece.

This striped shorts and chambray shirt outfit was a favorite last summer, and the leopard sandals added a pop of pattern. This is one where I probably added a skinny leopard belt also, but it wasn't enough to scream RAWR.  ;)

leopard sandals, chambray shirt, black and white striped shorts
Chambray Shirt  ||  Striped Shorts (old Gap)  ||  Leopard Sandals (similar herehere or here)


Occasionally, though, I will mix both patterns together on top, like this.

leopard cardigan sweater, black and white gingham shirt, statement necklace
Leopard Cardigan (similar)  ||  Gingham Shirt (similar)


When first considering the combo I wasn't sure about it, but by following the secret formula it works.

leopard sweater, black and white gingham shirt
Gingham Shirt (similar)  ||  Leopard Sweater (similar)


Here's your what NOT to do with mixing black and white with leopard for your outfits- see how the random pattern of the black and white competes too much with the leopard?



leopard heels, black and white, outfit ideas, fashion, chambray shirt


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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

MOLASSES COOKIES


This is one of my favorite cookie recipes, yet somehow it got shifted to the bottom of the recipe basket, and I hadn't made them in a long time.  I resurrected the recipe last week and made a batch, then remembered that this cookie well deserves to be at the top of the stack!  Seriously, they're quite addicting, and my kids especially couldn't stop pounding them down.

Molasses Ginger cookies, recipe, baking, sweets, spice cookies

Fair warning... these are so good you will have stuffed 5 in your mouth before you know what happened!

Shopping tip:  If you've never bought molasses, it should be near the breakfast syrup at your local grocery store.

Molasses Cookies:

3/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt


Cream together butter and sugar in mixer.  Add egg, mix slightly, then add molasses.  Add in dry ingredients and mix well.  Use scoop to form dough into balls.  I use my small scoop, and by the time the cookies spread out as they cook they're just the right size.


Roll each ball to coat in sugar.


Place dough balls on cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 9-10 minutes.  A longer baking time of 12-13 minutes is an option if you want a crunchier cookie, but I think 9 minutes is perfect, leaving them soft and chewy with a little bit of a crunchy sugar coating.


They may not appear to be finished, but let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes then remove to a rack to finish cooling.


Many times I like to double the recipe, then wrap smaller portions of the extra dough in plastic wrap in a ziploc bag then freeze.  It's nice to pull out the dough and just bake a dozen or so at a time when my family wants a treat.

Molasses Ginger cookies, recipe, baking, sweets, spice cookies

Let me know if you try these sometime, I'd love to know what you think!

Molasses Ginger cookies, recipe, baking, sweets, spice cookies


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Monday, February 22, 2016

SPRING ACCESSORY PICKS FROM ETSY


The past few days in Oklahoma have been in the 70's and even 80's, and although I know it's premature I can't help but have a bit of spring fever!  The warm sunshine has me thinking bright, happy thoughts, and I did some browsing on Etsy for a few fresh accessories for the season.

There are two trends that have been around for a little while, and I don't think they're going anywhere soon.  Agate slices and tassels... they just keep getting better and better!

Agate Slice Bracelet- I love the dainty simplicity of this piece,


Agate Brass Cuff- but I also love the bold statement that these bracelets make!  I would add some simple hoop earrings and let this piece be the star of an outfit.


Agate Tassel Necklace- An agate slice/tassel combo?  Yes please!  The chain is really pretty of these, too.


Scalloped Monogram Clutch- Outdoor BBQ and Wedding season will be here before we know it, and this would be the perfect little clutch for all of those summer events.  It comes is a variety of colors, and is SUPER affordable, because I know you'll want more than one!


Wood Bead Tassel Bracelets- My friend Amanda sells these in her Etsy shop.  She stacks 2-3 together and they are just as cute as can be!


Aztec Foldover Clutch- The black/white/cognac color combo is so appealing on this bag.  I think it would complement just about every outfit in my closet!


Gold Bar Personalized Necklace- This style is everywhere, perfect worn alone or layered with a longer necklace.


Swan Phone Case-  This color combo, lily pads, and little swan faces are just sweet.  Love everything about the print, AND it's personalized... bonus!  I also like this cute pineapple and stripes one.


Fur Pom Pom Tassel Keychain/Bag Charm- Do those colors not just scream Spring?  One of these would add some fun to a clutch or tote, or it's perfect on it's own as a key chain.


Monogrammed Umbrella-  I've decided I need a clear umbrella.  When the rain is blowing sideways in Oklahoma (which it usually is), this is what I need so I can pull it down over my head and still see where I'm going!  Monograms never hurt anything either.  ;)


Are you feeling the itch for Spring yet?

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Friday, February 19, 2016

FRIDAY FAVORITES {INSTAGRAM EDITION}


Next to reading blogs, Instagram is my very favorite way to spend a few free minutes (which can quickly turn into half an hour if I'm not careful!).  This is by no means an exhaustive list of my favorites, so I'll only share a few today so you're not overwhelmed.  I like them for different reasons, appreciate each one for their own unique style, and draw inspiration from them all in one way or another.

Laurie of LB Originals is as cute as she can be, has an affinity for darling vintage dresses, and check out these mad pattern mixing skills.  I have to watch it or I want one of everything she posts!


I first came across Jenny Tamplin when I was co-hosting an IG hashtag series, and she quickly became a fave due to her fearless use of color.  You MUST see her hot pink gameroom!


The Makerista- Everybody loves Gwen. I'm enjoying watching her transform her 80's super traditional full of orange oak house into a moody yet energetic, colorful showstopper.


I've followed Julie's Life of Bliss Blog for a long time, and am so happy that she recently started an IG account too.  One word comes to mind every time I see her posts... sweet.  She seems sweet.  Her family seems sweet.  Her posts are sweet. Her home is gorgeous and inviting, you'll like her.


Sarah M. Dorsey Designs always gets it just right.  She relies on a heavy neutral base, but adds gorgeous pops of color in just the right way.  She and her husband David are a dynamic DIY duo.  I think they can make/build/do anything (you won't believe that this makeover is the same piece of furniture!).


Thistlewood Farms- Classic.  Dreamy.  Heartfelt.  Purposeful.  Humorous.  You'll feel right at home at Karianne's.  And although her home is a neutral wonderland, she can definitely do color if she wants to, too.


Have a great weekend, friends!  We're finishing up a few last details on the patio, hosting a little get together for my daughter's basketball team as they've wrapped up their season, and planning to enjoy an unseasonably warm forecast.  Do you have any fun plans?


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