August 31, 2009

Rub a Dub Dub

The master bath is about to get a makeover, the only problem is I can not find the perfect color. I am a bone-fide snob when it comes to paint colors, and when others ask for advise I most always have the perfect color option. So why am I stumped on finding the perfect paint color for Britt's master bath?? He wants a gray color with hints of blue but the samples look so dark for a room with no windows. I wanted to give you guys a little glimpse of the bathroom in its current state: 

1.BM-Weimeraner  2.BM-Ashley Gray  3.BM-Rockport Gray
4.Eddie Bauer-Fig   5.BM-Manchester Tan

It's been like this for 2 weeks, and I know every time he enters the bathroom he thinks - pick a color already!! He is very patient with me and my constant neurotic projects for his house. It's time to make a choice and paint the man's throne. We are both leaning towards BM's Rockport Gray (3), check out the room below painted in this color. I am making one last trip to BM for lunch to get one more sample. Help!!

Stock photos for Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore 

August 30, 2009

Soul Is Waterproof

This past weekend marked 4 years since Katrina demolished the town of New Orleans and my simple little life as I knew it. After my worldly travels I decided that I missed college and wanted to "get smarter" by furthering my education (what the hell was I thinking?). UNO was on my list of schools, one of my best friends was living in New Orleans, so we decided to get a house together. We found a beautiful rent house in Lake View. The landlord had just gutted the entire house and everything was fresh and new. For almost 2 years we made some GREAT memories in that house!
And the horror of Katrina shows up. My sister was in Lafayette, and nine months pregnant with her second child. I anxiously waited for the phone call to head home because the baby was coming. Friday morning I got the call and by that afternoon I had packed an outfit, some cute shoes, and cruised to Lafayette. Needless to say, and unbeknown to the common public, Katrina was following a day behind me. Saturday they began evacuating and I was so excited about the mandatory vacation, which meant more time with little Emily!!! Well by Tuesday I slowly realized that this little vacation was soon to be permanent, and that I had no home/life/school/job to go back to. Our home had been under about 8 feet of water for 5 days. We made a trip to the house a few weeks after the storm to find our beautiful home water logged and mildewed. I picked up a sledgehammer and with tears streaming down my face busted open my nightstand, grabbed my mothers wedding rings and walked out of my life as I knew it. Here are some pictures we took that day.....yuck!! 

Tree fell on the back of the house and crushed the kitchen

My once cute bedroom

Living & dining room (walls were covered in mildew)

August 28, 2009

With a Twist of Vintage

I came across this website from other blogs that I have read. It takes your current photographs and turns them into vintage photos. I have always loved old photographs, so I had tons of fun playing around with my pictures. The website is in Japanese but it is really easy to figure out. Just click on the 'choose file' tab to pick your picture and then click the blue button under that to upload. Don't forget to right-click and save your vintage pictures. Have fun making yourself old!!

Here are some of my favorites from my collection of pictures:

My Niece Emily at the beach (the sand got her dress dirty)

In March Britt and I went to Vegas and stayed at the 
Bellagio Hotel, here is a shot of the swimming pool

Picture of us in front of the Venetian Hotel waterways

August 27, 2009

Picture Perfect: Canary Hotel

Designer Michael S. Smith is to blame for this lovely retreat in Santa Barbara, Califorina. Loving the four poster bed, hardwood floors, fresh bedding, suzani style pillow, and the drapes give the room a light and airy feeling. They have a girls pamper package - who's in?????

August 26, 2009

Fabric Obsession

I found this gorgeous Graphite Trellis linen fabric at Interior Fabric in Lafayette and have become completely obsessed. I need to use it somewhere, somehow, someplace!! They would look amazing as curtains in the master bedroom I am redoing, but at $25 a yard that would get a little pricy. I could recover an old ottoman but I question my expertise for that project. Should I settle for a simple throw pillow or start saving my money?

Stock Photo from L&S

Picture I snapped at the store with my iphone

"Fine" is a Texture

This has to be my favorite DIY project, so simple and so cheap. If you have ever looked into buying new pulls for your cabinets you will soon realize that for a big kitchen it will cost you a small fortune. Most basic pulls will cost about $5 a piece. I know this will not break the bank but come on really?? The current kitchen knobs were in great shape, but the white ceramic mix was just not modern enough for my taste. But no worries people, Rustoleum to the rescue! Yes for only $5 total we got all new pulls for the kitchen. I lie - they are not 'new' by industry standards, only 'new' by my standards.

I removed all the knobs and pulls and used a Rustoleum flat black spray paint to give them the new modern look. No sanding, no scuffing, no prep work at all just point and spray. So, if your counting, I got 22 for the price of one - take that to the bank!! We put them back on the cabinets and wow you would never recognize them.

They look like the designer knobs you would find in the store that cost $5 - $6 a piece. And might I add that's pretty green of you - way to save the environment by using old stuff! Pat on the back!!

August 25, 2009

It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To

It was the last luau of the summer before the start of school!! My niece celebrated her 4th birthday in style with a huge water slide, swimming pool, hot dogs, hawaiian leis, beach cupcakes, flower pinata, flip-flop cake, presents, and of course tons of friends. Everyone had a blast, and Emily had a Happy Happy Birthday!!!

One of my old hobbies was cake decorating, I had to give it up because I kept eating the end result and it was making me fat. But when Emily asked her Nanny for a flip flop cake..... well, I ask what sane human being could say no to that cutie pie? I dusted off my baking pans and my sister and I spent 4 hours baking and brainstorming Friday night for the festive occasion. The results:

Edible Flip Flop's

For the beach cupcakes I used brown sugar to make it look like sand under the umbrellas, and goldfish crackers as fish swimming in the blue ocean/icing. The Cat even wanted a taste! Pink is Emily's favorite color so we had to have a little pink cupcake in the mix. My sister did some research on the internet on how to make a flip-flop cake and it was fairly simple. She traced the bottom of her flip-flop on a cardboard and cut it out. We baked a sheet cake and used the cut out of the shoe for the shape of the cake. We used twizzlers to make the strap and a silk flower for decor. 

August 24, 2009

Turning the Tables

On the 8th day God created PAINT!!! Since buying all new furniture for Britt's house is not an option, I have taken to buying paint instead (it's a lot cheaper). One of my projects this weekend was to take this dusty old worn out night stand and make it worthy of use again. I love before and after pictures so in the middle of sanding down the table I remembered to take a before picture: 

Step 1: Lightly sand entire table 
Step 2: Sand down the table top to the bare wood
Step 3: Wipe table with damp towel
Step 4: Kiltz the bottom part of table
Step 5: Stain table top with a gel dark walnut finish
Step 6: Paint bottom of table with Ben Moore "Bone White"
Step 7: Put hardware back on 
Step 8: ENJOY!!!

August 21, 2009

Life is Cheap, It's the Accessories That Kill You

Let me introduce you all to my new favorite guilty pleasure. Its a simple little candle that will make your house smell AMAZING. It was given to me as a birthday present, and I have now become down right obsessed, imagine that. The brand is Voluspa and it comes in many scents, Champaca Bloom & Fern being by far the best!! It has a cool design with retro brown and cream flowers on the tin can (bottom right). They also come in different sizes, but the 3 wick tin will smell your entire room in minutes. Look how unique the other tin designs are, they make a perfect elegant gift. 

Move over Aveda Shampure candle you have temporarily been replaced!!

August 20, 2009


A Grandmother's Love

This week my grandmother celebrated her 86th birthday. She was my Dad's mom, and grew up picking cotton in a small town community called Pecan Island. Needless to say she has seen much change occur in her life since 1923, the year she was born. She only had one son, but her life has been full of family, friends, and church. Both of my parents passed away at an all to early age, so my grandmother has been the rock of our family and a savior in my life. Trust me - I would not be the person I am today without this woman. 

If any of you have met my grandmother just the thought of her would bring a smile to your face. She has such a happy disposition on life, she is ever so humble, and kindness oozes from every fiber of her being. She still leads a very active life, and makes the best chocolate cake ever (this is her speciality and everyone always request it). Growing up my grandfather and grandmother showed me a wonderful example of a loving respectful relationship. My grandmother evokes such precious childhood memories, and I am so blessed to have her in my life. Happy Happy Birthday Maw Maw!!!!

August 19, 2009

Picture Perfect: Flipping Out

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I have collected thousands of pictures from some of my favorite designers. I am always searching for new inspiration, in sharing my favorite rooms with you I hope we can get inspired together!!
First on the picture perfect series is a bathroom by Brown Design and Jeff Lewis Design. Please tell me you have been entertained by the neurotic sassy behavior of Jeff Lewis, star of Bravo's Flipping Out?? Jeff and his business partner Ryan Brown have impeccable design taste and their many makeovers are breath taking. A design style I personal love is mixing classic and contemporary, and rustic with refined. This bathroom is from the first season of Flipping Out as they remodeled a 1920's Spanish Villa. I love the talavera tile, huge mirror, carrara marble countertop, clawfoot tub, bridge faucets, and the sconces. It truly is picture perfect!!! The new season 3 of Flipping Out aired last night complete with loads of drama.

If I had this bathroom I would live with wrinkly toes!!

August 18, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Tyler Florence is one of my favorite chefs, he has amazing skills in the kitchen and his dishes are truly the "Ultimate" (he is also pretty easy on the eyes ladies). This is the first recipe I cooked with my new 5 quart non-stick Calphalon pot. I am total in love with my new pot!! I tried making his recipe healthy by using boneless chicken breast instead of a whole chicken, cutting out half of the butter, and using whole wheat penne pasta. This is one of my favorites so I hope you ENJOY!!


6 pieces of boneless chicken breast
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
2 cups mushrooms cut in half
1/2 cup diced onions
1 1/2 cups marsala cooking wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 stick butter, cut into cubes
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
2 cups whole wheat penne pasta 

Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Add a dash of olive oil to the pan and brown chicken for about 10 minutes on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. To the pan, add garlic, thyme, onions and mushrooms, and saute until muchrooms are brown and onions are slightly caramelized. Add marsala wine and chicken broth to the pan. Take the chicken and put it back in the pan making sure each piece has good contact with the bottom of the pan. Dot the top of each chicken piece with butter and cook over low-medium heat for 30 minutes, basting the chicken with the pan juices periodically. When finish cooking add in the parsley and penne pasta. 

August 14, 2009

Treasures of Yesterday

I found this old sewing table at an antique store for a steal. I liked the blue color but it was a bit to standout-ish for the little spot I bought it for. I brushed light coat of off-white paint on the table, but just enough to mute out the blue and still have bits of the color shine through. The finished product looks amazing in the back corner of my living room. Yes, I do sew and my next project it to figure out how to install my sewing machine in the table so I can sew some new curtains. 

Before                                                         After

The night light on the table is a statue of Mary given to my grandmother 23 years ago by my mother. She is holding a flower in her hands, and it stays lit every night. It also makes a perfect night light for those late night trips to the bathroom!! Also, I have some dried lilac flowers on the table. I tend to be a incurable romantic at times and the lilac flower is symbolic for love's first emotion. Who does not like being reminded of that???? My grandmother had an old sewing table in her house when I was young, I thought it was the neatest thing. You fold down the sewing machine in the table and it is stored upside down. When you are ready to sew you unfold the top and pull the machine up and it locks in upright position. Fantastic space saving idea for my humble home.

August 13, 2009

Saturday Night

My brother-n-law has some of the most talented friends, above is a piece of art created by Killian Williams using a technique called woodblock printing. I fell in love with his art after viewing a few of his pieces in a gallery downtown. He has created an entire series of these woodblock prints; he explained the whole process to me and I was instantly intrigued. Killian has a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in printmaking, so being an "idiot" to the world of fine art I had to do some research to actually understand the process. Here is a little explanation from the land of google for us common folks.

"The wood block is prepared as a relief matrix, which means the areas to show 'white' are cut away with a knife, chisel, or sandpaper leaving the characters or image to show in 'black' at the original surface level. The printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed. The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller, leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas. It is only necessary to ink the block and bring it into firm and even contact with the paper or cloth to achieve and acceptable print. The content would of course print "in reverse" or mirror-image."

Yes, a copy of this beautiful piece resides in my living room. It's called "Saturday Night" and you can make out the images of the people sitting on and around the porch on a lovely Saturday evening. Killian is a true artist, and his love and passion for art comes out not only through his prints but also in his sheer joy of teaching others and giving back to the community. Stay tuned, I have more of his art that I am saving money to have framed.

August 11, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action!

Let me start with professing that I am a happy content Nikon user!!  In researching to buy my first SLR camera I felt pressure to pick a side. The first question that always came to play was "do you prefer Nikon or Cannon?" I have made my decision, I am as loyal as an old dog, and still love my side of the fence. With that said, last night I got to play around with my brother-n-law's Cannon Rebel while they were on set filming a movie. I wanted to share with you guys two of my favorite pictures that I snapped with the Cannon. Gosh why do I have the guilty feeling that I am cheated on my camera. 

My grandparents abandoned house from the storms

Niece and Nephew

I Can't Be Overdrawn, I Still Have Checks

I have a love hate relationship with you Rohl and your cross handle bridge design.  Actually I guess its not much of a relationship since you don't even know I exist. Once again you have melted my heart with your sophisticated sleek body and shinny new look, but I can not afford you. So, once again I sit in my lonely chair admiring you on a computer screen, hoping that one day you will be here with me helping me wash my dirty dishes. Maybe in my dream home, you can sleep each night next to my Viking stove, and spew water out into our zero radius sink. 

Goodbye for now, maybe on ebay we will finally find each other. 

August 10, 2009

Cool Kids Club!!

For Me? Thanks for the award Amy!!! I am new to having/ writing/ owning my very on blog. It's been a fabulous experience and it's kinda become my scrapbook on life. I have never been good at following rules, but here are a few rules to follow on this post: On receiving this award, make sure you tag/link the person that gave you the award. When you post your 5 winners, make sure you link them as well. Also, include your 5 addictions for everyone to relish in!

My top 5 addictions:
APPLE - Not the kind you eat everyday to keep the doctor away but the kind that keeps this blog alive. Yes I am secretly in love with Steve Jobs and Yes I am a closeted computer nerd.
RED WINE - I would no sooner cut off my left pinkie (what use is it anyway?) than live my life without the all relaxing, all healing, all powerful glass of wine. People don't get me wrong I love my pinkie for I am a very vain person but wine trumps certain body parts.
MAKE-UP COUNTERS - Some people prefer talking to a stranger, some (rolling my eyes) prefer exercising, I find my inner peace and therapeutic sessions most healing at the make-up counter with the likes of Dior, Laura Mercier, Chanel, and Mac.
BRITTON - The moment I laid eyes on this man my world has been turned upside down, and life had become pretty boring right side up. Hello, my name is Ann Marie, and I am addicted to a wonderful man!!
DECOR - I simply have an OBSESSIVE compulsive personality when it comes to that sweet little place we all call home. If I am surrounded by beauty and cleanliness I feel like a calm complete person capable of anything. Everything has to be perfect therefore I could (and sometimes do) spend hours strolling through home decorating blogs.

My current top 5 favorite blogs:
Shelter (interior design), Tyler Florence Fridays(fav chef does a twitter cooking class on fridays), and Life of Mark (cause he is just that funny). Wait that's only three.

August 09, 2009

In Tennis Love Means Zero

I usually don't like to post negative things here just cause life can throw enough negativity your way and this little blogshere world is my escape from all that. But sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. So let's see, are you one of those who likes the bad news first or the good news first? Well this is my world, and I always like to share good news first.

Our USTA Lafayette 7.0 mixed doubles tennis team is STATE bound!! After a grueling summer we finishing the season with a very impressive 9-2 record. So, lets rip the band aid off and give the bad news: last night my tennis partner Jerry and I lost our final match of the season and therefore lost the bragging rights to be called Division Champs. We were on top all season and actually finished in a 9 win 2 lost tie with Team Nguyen, but Nyguen has fewer individual and set loses than us, and so they are declared Division Champs in the final hour. Congrats to them!!

Yesterday, in a corageous performance, Jerry and I made a gallant comeback in both sets of the final court of our rain-out with Team Toby only to finally capitulate on court 1, 6-7, 5-7. We were down 1-4 in the first set and made a magnificent run to rally and tie the score at 5 all. We went on to win the next game to go up 6-5, then tied again at 6-6 necessitating a tie-break in which we lost the first set 7-5. The second set we started slow again and found ourselves down 5-2 but Jerry & I gutted out 3 wins in a row to tie the game 5-5 again. But the other team prevailed in the next 2 games to give us our hardest loss of the season. Our team plays 3 courts every week and the best 2 out of 3 courts take home the "W". With court 2 coming out with a victory and court 3 falling to a 3rd set tie breaker our team was handed our 2nd loss of the season. The USTA league takes the top two teams from each division so we are still state bound, and Champs in my book. We travel to Mandeville, Louisiana the second week in September for tournament play. Wish us LUCK!!!

"There is no team, like the best team, which is our team, right here."
- You're a Good Man Charlie Brown

August 07, 2009


I had to share these pictures with you guys, they are hilarious!!! As I said in an earlier post, last Thursday night we went to Coyote Blue to celebrate another completed year for Britt. I love his friends and we had such an amazing time laughing and celebrating!! The dinner was almost over and it was time for the first bite of birthday cake .....

The happy couple before!!

In Mexico a great Birthday tradition is not just the eating of a birthday cake but the tradition of the first bite. Just after blowing out the candles, everybody starts chanting "mordida, mordida" (bite, bite). The birthday person is expected to take their first bite of the cake without any utensils, and with their hands behind their back. Then of course customarily someone is sure to push their face into the cake. With this all being done in great fun; I have seen many people love getting cake on their face.  Britt's friend Mike got pictures of the new Felize Cumpleanos tradition I tried on Britt!! 

The after pics...yes Britt had to get me back!!

August 06, 2009

Movin' On Up!

Friday was Kim's Birthday; she is only 2 months younger than me so I am keeping her little age a secret. We became friends 9 years ago, and from day one it felt as though I had met my long lost twin sister. I have so much in common with her, and we have entirely too much fun when we are together. We have literally traveled around the world with each other and by the grace of God made it back to the good old dirty south alive. Kim, I know you had a wonderful weekend and I pray that this year be the best year of your life; that God grants you all the desires of your heart.

Kim just did a major upgrade on her current hacienda. Her husband is out of town so we had a good old fashion slumber party last night. It felt like we were in our 20's again staying up late talking and giggling. Only this time we were living large with brick floors in the kitchen, granted counter top, walk-in closet, marble shower, air jetted tub, a wet bar, crystal chandeliers, and all the wine and sushi we could stuff in our face (and of course Kim's adorable 2 year old clone running around). So I guess getting older, having real jobs, and finally making money does have its perks from those piss poor college years we lived through.

In the beginning:

The add-n-on is almost complete and I could not wait to let you guys in on all the "fun" she has been up to. That is if you call washing dishes out of the bathtub for 3 months fun. I am so excited to share a few pictures because Kim has impeccable taste.

The work in progress:

Kitchen still needs the finishing touches: bar stools are being
covered, pendent lights hung, curtains, and hardware installed.

Antique vanity (sconces are on order) & Walk-in closet with chandelier
Kim has the bathroom that dreams are made of!!!