Monday, September 28

Falling Leaves

Look how fun these are! What a great idea and of course, it's from one of my favorite artists, Gennine.

Bedroom Inspiration

Currently, my bedroom is a soft blue with even more blue and a mix of patterns all over the place -- curtains, bedding, etc. It all works, but I think we're ready for a change. And I'm thinking brown. I wish this West Elm rug was still available, I'd hang it behind my headboard for a punch of graphic drama. 
I like the moody, sexiness of this room with the low furniture, soft lighting and pop of color. Looks luxe, but more work than I've got time for to keep it looking this good. {via Apartment Therapy}.
I think I can adapt this style to my teeny tiny bedroom. The small chandelier, spirograph mirror and cream accents are lovely. And it has enough softness that a rumpled bed and a few clothes strewn about aren't going to kill the romance. Yes, I'm that messy. {via flickr - photo from decorpad}

Wednesday, September 23

Handmade Cards

I've spotted quite a few handmade cards in the blogosphere today and it reminded me of some cards I made a few months ago. I was experimenting with Mod Podge, fabric scraps, thread and old pages from a book. The thank you circles were hand-drawn, scanned and recolored. I was pretty happy with how the the cards turned out, but should have given them more time to dry. There were a lot of stuck together ones that never made it to their intended recipients!

Monday, September 21

My Office

My office often becomes the dumping ground for everything after I've organized a fundraiser. For the last few weeks, I've only had enough room to slide into my desk and not much else. And finally, when I couldn't take it for one more day, I reorganized, rearranged and cleaned my office. Now I just have to find somewhere to hang my coats!

I sewed a little curtain for my table to hide the mess underneath. It used to be up pushed up against the window. This way, I can work work from both sides. Fabric from IKEA.
I had started a DIY dresser makeover project, but never completed the job. But all is not lost, I flipped the drawers on their sides and stacked them into makeshift shelving (inspired by a project I saw on Poppy Talk). Tokyo Police Club print from Hammerpress.
This lasercut owl tray desperately needed a home. Now it hangs prettily on my paper shelf.
Almost everything in this image was given a facelift. The desk was a yellow brown wood color in its past life. With a fresh coat of antique white paint and new pulls, it has been a permanent part of my office. The side table was a George invention, made from an old sewing table stand and a big butcher block. And now an actual sewing machine sits on it. The chair was refinished by my friend Stuart and is brightened up with a reversible chair pad from IKEA.

Sunday, September 20

Fall Basics

The White Shirt, feminine ruffles make this basic flirty and romantic.

The Black Shrug, a staple for any chilly office.
A Transitional Sweater, stylish and cozy for going into fall.
Pants Perfect, effortless casual corduroys.
A New Coat, great lines and details for dress-up or casual.

From Anthropologie....
{+} Deidre Blouse, $118
{+} Knit Knot Shrug, $68.

Wednesday, September 16

R Bar

R Bar, located in the West Bottoms, just opened yesterday. I love the type treatment on the logo, the repetition of the letter R all over the restaurant and the scattered horseshoes along the length of the brick wall, all nods to their neighbor, the American Royal. Read The Kansas City Star review here.
This is not the patio, it's the smoking lounge.
The retro and vintage details are a nice touch.
Savory funnel cake and grilled octopus on fingerling potatoes.
R Bar » 1617 Gennessee, Kansas City, MO 64102 » 816.471.1777

Tuesday, September 15

Hot! Sauce

Since I have a garden full of habaneros, I decided to put those peppers to good use by making my own hot sauce. I found this recipe recently  but modified it a little bit. I've been putting it on absolutely everything.
1-1/2 pounds tomatoes
1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
4 habaneros, roasted
6-8 cloves garlic, sliced
a handful of cilantro
salt to taste
white vinegar, to thin out sauce
sugar to balance vinegar, if needed

1. Roast tomatoes and habaneros for about an hour at 300°F. Cut tops and bottoms off first to make peeling easier.
2. When tomatoes cool, peel skin and discard. Keep all the juices, the juicier the tomatoes, the better it tastes. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in sauce pan and sauté onion and garlic until it browns, about 8 minutes. The house will smell delicious. 
4. Stir in tomatoes and habaneros. Simmer for about 15 minutes until it reduces. Taste and season with salt.

5. Dump the whole mixture in a blender (or food processor), add cilantro and blend it into a liquid. It's a bit thick so I add vinegar at this point and keep blending. Then I add sugar to cut some of the acidity, and more salt if needed.
6. It's really hot (temperature and spice) at first, then as it cools, it mellows. After a day or so, it became super hot again. Adjust the number of peppers depending on how hot you like it. And of course, you can use any kind of hot pepper.

Enjoy! And if you make it, let me know how it turns out.

My Garden

I can't believe it's the middle of September and my garden is still so bright and green. A few years ago, we pulled out all the grass in the front yard. The grubs had taken over and frankly, it's tough to mow on a slope, even a little one like ours. It's the best thing we ever did. All the plants and flowers are a haven for bugs and we are constantly amazed by how huge and varied they are. Giant bumblebees, grasshoppers, praying mantis and at least 10 different kinds of spiders have graced our yard this year. Last year it was wasps and butterflies!
Our little yellow house. I have a ton of potted plants on the porch which unfortunately have to be housed in my office over the winter. It gets kind of cramped in there! The stone steps leading up to house were all dug up from our backyard. My talented and hard-working husband dug them out and put them in place. We have one especially large rock we call our "rock of love." Lots of yelling at each other while it was happening, but once it was in, it was a testament to how much we could put up each other.
Mint, parsely, a succulent and habaneros are just some of the plants we have in our garden. The very bottom picture is actually a door mat! Moss and a variety of weeds made themselves a home on that mat and it's so funny that we just left it there.
The grasshopper and the spider. They are actually so huge they frighten us. But it reminds me all the time how awesome nature is.

Friday, September 11


I've often heard from my wine-loving friends how incredible Riedels are. They make wine taste so much better and according to Time magazine, have done more for the wine industry without growing a single grape. I went to a Riedel wine tasting and dinner last night and got to experience it for myself. And all the hullaballoo is true. Even though they're expensive and insanely fragile, they are a must-have if you've paid top dollar for a bottle.

Riedel has over 130 types of glassware,
one for every single varietal you can think of.
And soon to come, a Norton glass specific for the
Norton grape, the official grape of Missouri!

Eve, a $500 decanter that aerates wine 7-times faster than
traditional decanters. It comes with a video showing you how to use it.
There are two chambers and a special technique to get the wine out.
The second chamber swirls around and pours exactly one glass of wine!

Corn chowder with a seared scallop, lobster and chives.

Sea bass with butternut squash. Don't tilt your
plate to photograph food. It slides right off!
Ended up in my lap, but I scooped it back on
and enjoyed every single bite.

Beef Wellington - never had it before but loved it.
That puff pastry was perfect.

Dessert was something chocolatey with whipped cream,
raspberries and shortbread.

Thursday, September 10

Bold Color

Kate Spade has fun, colorful tights and I think I have to have these three. The new fall line looks inspired by Mad Men, which is my new favorite show, so I just love all of it.

UPDATE: I picked up two pairs of tights at Forever 21, opaque ochre ones ($5.80) and a burgundy pair with a herring bone pattern ($7.80). There are no "feet" on these tights which is awesome because I have small feet and invariably end up with some "heel" dangling around my ankles. Not this time!

Friday, September 4


Lavender Lemonade looks and sounds delicious, makes me sad that summer is almost over. Get the recipe over at Design*Sponge.

Thursday, September 3


I love succulents because they're so hardy and almost impossible to kill, but so varied and beautiful too. And now I have even more inspiration. Photos taken by Housemartin at Ovando in New York City.

Tuesday, September 1

Day Trip

{photos from Weston, Missouri visitors' site, which FYI
 I designed many years ago. They've made some changes,
but have done a great job of keeping it consistent
with the original design. }

Weston, Missouri is one of my favorite small towns for day trips. It's full of historical drama (floods, fires, the Civil War), there's a gorgeous state park nearby and it's loaded with charming farms, restaurants, pubs and shops. George and I look forward to the Weston Wellies Race every year. All participants ALSO have the chance to win a trip for two to Ireland! Click here for the registration form. We hope to see you there!

And of course, the race makes me think of getting new boots. :)