November 24, 2009

I Am Such A Copy Cat

Kids need a funky bright room to call all there own, I think it allows them to be creative. I found this modern boy's room on and it was love at first sight. It is in the Beaux Arts mansion in St. Louis. They have a beautiful large tree mural in the bedroom/playroom on the right wall. The upholstered tan beige bed is wonderful and very poplar. The yellow chair is so fun and really brightens up the room with the black and white striped pillow to accent the chair and pull in the curtains. I like the modern pendant light, but would defiantly suggest more recessed lighting. You can not forget to use and orange accent like she did with the book and flowers on the nightstand. Lime Green, bright yellow, teal, black, orange, all colors totaly outside my comfort zone, but I think for these results I could make it fit.
This one is for you Amy, little Jackers would flourish in this cool creative room in his soon to be new house. Can you just see the letter J with the bird sitting on it.

It's CopyCat time (where I would get the cheaper stuff to recreate this room):

Wall color I love Benjamin Moore Bone White with rug from Target - Shag Rug in winter white, but white rugs in kids rooms are scary to me:

This Trellis Wallpaper from Ballard Designs would be a great alternative:

Bedding from Pottery Barn (and they will do the monograming on the pillows, I am a sucker for monogramed stuff). The teal colored coverlet on the end of the bed is such a great color, I found one at Crate and Barrel very close to the color in the room.

For the curtains I would go with a more leaf or damasks pattern instead of the flowers because its a boys room, I love this fabric on the left from Robert Allen but they have great fabric on ebay for amazing prices. I just got 10 yards of Kravet fabric for curtains in the bedroom for $75 total. On the right is a great curtains from Peir One in the damasks black and white.

The adorable lamps in the room are from Jonathan Adler white giraffe lamps ($395) per lamp - ouch, not gonna happen. He also has horse lamps that are equally adorable. If you are on the same budget as little old me an alternative is Pottery Barn Kids with the duck or elephant and just change out the lamp shade, or just plain white lamps. End Tables are also Jonathan Adler but I would elect to find old matching end tables at a flea market or garage sale and paint them this Vibrant Lime color...

And finally some accents. The stuffed animals, the gator on the side of the bed to catch the boggy man under the bed, this one is from Out of the Toy Box, sooo cute. The oversized zinc letters and I would throw in that vintage rotary phone both from Anthropologie.

November 22, 2009

I'm So Excited, And I Just Can't Hide It...

I am not gonna lose control, but the new curtains came in this weekend, and I think I like it. Really, I think I LOVE them. I ordered them from W. Home Furniture in Lafayette, they were so helpful and have great prices on quality curtains!! I dashed over to Lowe's to pick up some new curtain rods, and started drilling holes. After a few hours of ironing, pinning, and hemming they are up and beautiful. I was nervous about the stripes but they add much needed pattern and texture to the room. Look how amazing.....

I bided a happy farewell to the plastic vertical blinds hiding our beautiful windows. Whoever invented vertical blinds should be spanked. Up next on the grown up shopping list is an area rug. I have no idea what or where to begin looking, I think my brain needs a break.

November 20, 2009

Now Playing.....

"The Blind Side" movie with Sandra Bullock opens today!!!! I have been waiting to see this movie the first time the trailers started airing on cable. So tonight on the menu: raw sushi and salty tears. I can not even watch the trailer without crying, so I hope they hand out tissue with my popcorn. The movie is based on the life of NFL football player Michael Oher, a homeless kid who is taken in by a local family and given a second chance. I love inspiring movies with people who have the courage to step outside the comfort zone, against society, and follow a road less traveled.

Did I mention that hunk a hunk Tim McGraw plays that Dad.

I hope you all have a relaxing, fun, inspiring weekend!!!!

November 19, 2009

Great Grandma Choate Gets A Makeover

My grandmother came to me with this picture of her mother, and needless to say the photograph has seen its better day. She wanted me to scan it and make a copy for her and her brother on my computer thing. I scanned the picture and notice all the white spots from the original and knew I could do something to make it better. So Grandma Choate, I don't remember you, but we are getting a makeover today!! I am willing to bet this will be your first one.

The original picture:

The little action called the healing tool brush is a miracle in Photoshop. It's on the left hand side bar and has the icon of a band-aid, very fitting!! Right click on the icon and select "Healing Brush Tool." Once the tool is selected hold the option button on your keyboard to copy the area you want to mimic. Then carefully apply the brush tool on the area to be healed. It's really that simple. If you are dumb enough to believe anything is that simple in Photoshop.

Goodbye blemishes:

Grandma with a little Sepia Tone:

She was nineteen years old in this picture, and she made her dress by hand. My grandmother says her mother was the kindest sweetest person she knew. Considering I think (no, I know) that my grandmother is the kindest sweetest person I know, I bet my family owes a lot to Hellen Veazey Choate for raising her family with such beauty and dignity. She had eight children. I did a little math in my head and have come to the conclusion that this picture is around 109 years old, probably taken in the 1900's. So there you go Granny your very first makeover - looking good!!!

November 18, 2009

Desert Lady

When I was young my cousins would call my grandmother the ice cream lady. They would come visit and she had a deep freezer in her kitchen filled with an array of ice cream. Vanilla, chocolate, mint, coconut, banana, you name it she had all 31 flavors. My grandfather and I were making milk shakes before milk shakes were cool. Anyway, I have become sorta the desert lady on Sunday Saints Day with Britt's friends. (FYI Britt, if you ever leave me I get custody of your friends.) I completely dropped the ball last Sunday and did not prepare a desert, we had nothing sweet to wash down that amazing gumbo - the travesty!!! So I am planning ahead this week and we are taking it to the polls for a vote. That's right you guys get to pick what I am making this week. Let me introduce you to the three finalist:

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle: Remember its almost Thanksgiving and what better way to prepare yourself than PUMPKIN - did I mention this desert got 5 out of 5 stars from over 700 people on the Food Network!!! I could lick this picture.

Mar-a-Lago Key Lime Pie: News Flash - this is the same chef that created those out of this world turkey burgers that I cooked. Hint, Hint this will be equally amazing!!!

Red Velvet Cake Balls: I know I have been talking about making these suckers for a few weeks now and really been waiting for the weather to cool down (it makes a difference in the chocolate coating). My cousin ate so many of these he pooped red, while I know that story is not very appetizing it gets my point across - these are to die for.

So, no pressure but Please, PLEase, PLEASE vote even if you are not coming to the party, because I will blog the recipes and pictures of the desert I make before Thanksgiving!! If no one votes, no one gets desert and I mean it. Remember this is my world and their are no rules, you can vote as many times as computers you can find!!!

Shaken or Stirred? Who Cares

A few weeks ago my best bud and I went to a martini party at our favorite watering/feeding hole. They served us suburb sushi as always, and showed us how to mix a few of our favorite drinks. We stumbled out of the place after tasting a good bit of 6 different drinks, but I mantained my pose enough to remember my favorites of the night. And you guessed it - I'm passing them right on to you. So happy drinking and please drink responsible enough for the both of us!! O' and Happy Hump Day.

Cable Car
1.5 oz Oronoco Rum
0.75 oz Orange Curacao
0.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Chocolate Martini
1.5 oz Godiva Liqueur
1.5 oz Cream
0.5 oz Ketel One Vodka

November 16, 2009


It's Monday afternoon and I am still in shock that the weekend is over and another work week has begun. I heard this song on the radio on my drive this morning and it always makes me wanna move my hips. So all of you with the same Monday morning/afternoon blues, turn up the volume and dance like no one is watching!!!

November 13, 2009

Picture Perfect: Stripes

I just left W. Home Furniture, and with the help of their lovely sales staff I finally found the perfect curtains for the living room. While the tan and cream stripe pattern is a bit out of my comfort zone, I have no doubt they will add a much needed pattern to the room. They should arrive in about a week and I can not wait.

So today I am showing my love for the stripe!!!

Curtains from William Sonoma Home

Living room with the striped rug from the ever so cute and famous Nate Berkus

Love this nursery from Dwell

November 12, 2009

When You Mix Girls, Paint, And Wine

You get..... well, I still have not figured out what it is that I brought home. Let's just say my first name is not Vincent and Van Gogh will never be my last name. It was suppose to be twelve trees, but mine really only had nine trees. And that's just the most obvious mistake. I can now, with full knowledge and understanding, mark off the profession of impressionist painter on my "things I could be when I finally grow up" list. Not to fear, the night was not a complete bust - we laughed a lot, and that's always good for the soul. The best part: we emptied a bottle of my new favorite wine trying to recreate the masterpiece. And I guess that would explain what happen to my trees!!

The girls and I decided to channel our inner artist last night with the much talked about paint class - Painting With A Twist. I signed up hoping it would be a paint by numbers mindless, effortless, noncreative sorta night. Step one would be to paint the color red on all the shapes with the number 2 and make sure not to paint outside the lines. I checked in at the front desk and they handed me a blank canvas. Wait a second lady, mine is defective and does not have the drawing or numbers. What kinda operation are you running here? Well I soon realized that everyone had a canvas just as defective as mine. And that's about the time I popped open the cork!!!

For your viewing pain this is the finished product, while it was tons of fun, I think this one is going in the laundry room. It's addictive, the teachers are fantastic, and we are already talking about which painting we want to do next. Don't worry all you talented local artist your jobs are safe for now.

Sorry, this one of a kind is not for sale.

November 09, 2009

Granny's Sausage Bread

I promised all our friends that came to our little football party yesterday that I would share my granny's sausage bread recipe. (Let's pause for a second here and brag on our New Orleans Saints being undefeated at 8-0, whoopee!!) This is a special recipe in our family, so handle with care. We gonna do things a little different today, instead of me just listing the ingredients and a brief how to, you coming shopping with me. I love cooking, and I love talking about cooking so buckle up cause I got lots of pics for you.

Let's start with the most important ingredient for sausage bread: the bread. For years my grandparents had Schwan's delivery service and she would get this amazing dough to make the bread, but times are changing and we don't see Schwan's around this part of town much. So, in my best effort to not let this legacy die I went on a mission to find the next best thing to this miracle dough from Schwan's. And stop the press, we found a comparable ingredient in Bridgeford Ready-Dough. You can find it in the freezer section next to the frozen deserts at your favorite grocers (Alberston's). It comes in a pack of three, and yes we are making all three. Don't worry you don't have to eat all three in the same day. This is a great recipe for freezing, just wrap loaf in aluminum foil and you have super for a rainy day.

Anyway, once you find the ready-dough you are well on your way. Just set it out on the counter for a few hours to let it thaw out while you prepare the rest of the dish. Up next you will need 2 lbs of ground meat and 1 lb of pork sausage. With a mixture of onions, bell peppers and celery (I cheat sometimes and buy Guidry's creole onion mixture and mince half the container in a food processor - shhhh.)

Mix the ground meat, pork sasuage, minced onion mixture and simmer until the meat is brown. I have no idea how long this takes, just make sure the meat is cooked. This is the perfect time to add a little seasoning to your meat (shake the Tony's generously). I know raw meat does not look that appetizing but.....

Once the meat is browned, set it aside to cool.

Take out your knife cause its cuttin time. I use Velveeta cheese (because I am worth it) but you can use cheddar or a mixture of you favorite cheeses. Cut the cheese in cubes.

It's pepperoni time, and I always eat a few on the side!!! I like to cut my pepperoni in half. So go ahead and cut away.

Now that everything is prepped and ready it just a matter of putting it all together. Lay out three pieces of aluminum foil and spray with Pam, place the thawed bread on each piece of foil and flatten out. I spray my hands with the Pam to work with the bread cause it likes to stick to my hands. Once you have the bread ready, wash your greasy hands and start layering. First layer is the meat mixture, then a layer of pepperoni, then a layer of cheese.

After you finish layering your fat free, calorie free stuffing, pull the bread on each side over the stuffing and pinch the bread closed. Sorry I should have taken pics of this but my hands were preoccupied. Where is Britt when you need him? After your stuffing is completely encased in the bread, wrap the foil around bread. I made this recipe the night before the football party so I put 2 loaves in the refrigerator and let is rise over night. I put the third loaf in the freezer for when I lose 10 pounds or I get hungry for it again, which ever comes first.

So after the bread has risen all you have to do is bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and BAM (as Emeril says) you got homemade sausage bread!!! It's that easy, and no Craig you don't have to have soul in you to bake that good.

Here is the list of ingredients for you shopping trip:

2 lbs. Ground Meat
1 lb Pork Sausage
Pack Ready-Dough Bread

Guidry's creole mixture
1 Onion
1 Bell Pepper
1 stick Celery
2 gloves garlic

1 medium package of Velveta Cheese
Sliced Pepperoni
Aluminum foil

November 06, 2009

All I Want To Say Is...

PHOTOSHOP will be the death of me. I have taken on the dreadful task of learning this photo editing program, while I consider myself somewhat of a savvy computer user this little undertaking will no doubt be the cause of many stinkin' headaches. To say that Photoshop is not user friendly at all would be a huge understatement. The user manual is larger than my Bible. I am trucking along and after many hours have made a little progress that I can share with you. It is highly addictive and highly frustrating all in one breath. With all this talk of layers, masks, actions, and filters who knows what is up or down anymore?

All criticism, suggestions, pats on the back, and wine are welcome and needed.

So here goes nothing!

This is Britt's beautiful cat Sigma my very first victim.

SOOC (straight out of camera) picture:
After a little seventies editing action:

SOOC (straight out of camera) picture:
A boost of contrast and color and bringing out her eyes:

SOOC (straight out of the camera) picture:
Using a little warming action:

November 05, 2009

Kiss My Grits

What exactly is a grit? Growing up in the South grits have been a part of my life since before I can remember and it was often on our menu for breakfast. We had cheese grits, instant grits, grits with shrimp, yellow grits, white grits, etc., etc. But I really never thought about what's in a grit. So I google "grit" and find that they are small broken grains of corn. That does not sound very appetizing but mixed with heavy cream, and alot of butter they are amazingly delicious. Take it from a resturant that has put these little grains on their menu and made them famous. Zea's roasted corn grits are a must every time I dine at their restaurant. I found a few different recipes on the web but they were all missing a little something or had to much of something else. So after much trial and error, and many different taste testers (thanks guys!!), I have found what may be the closest thing to the real deal.

Zea's Roasted Corn Grits

2 cups water
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup yellow grits (not the instant kind)
4 ounces butter (1 stick)
1 cup roasted/grilled corn
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup green onion tops

To grill the corn you can do it the right way: 1- lightly butter corn on the cob and place on grill over open fire until corn is slightly blackened let cool and shuck corn off the cob. Or you can do it the easy way: 2- drain can of corn and roast in skillet with spoonful of butter until slightly blackened. Salt and pepper to taste.

To make the grits bring water to a boil. Add heavy cream and return to boil. Add grits, salt and butter and simmer for about 20 minutes (make sure you add salt here, if you cook the grits without salt it is very hard to get them salty after they are cooked). Turn off heat and stir in roasted corn and half of the onion tops, garnish with remaining onion tops.

November 03, 2009

Coastal Living Magazine

If you are a faithful reader of my humble little blog you know that Britt and I just returned from an amazing island vacation. I brought my camera and Britt brought his golf clubs so it made for a great vacation. I took around 380 pictures in 7 days and thinking back I must have lived with that camera in my face. Blaaa, blaaa, blaaa - let me just cut to the real reason behind this post: Yesterday I stumbled upon this kind little plea from Coastal Living asking for island vacation photos!! How fun would that be to share my pictures with a magazine. I am not delusional thinking that my pictures are in the same league as these professionals that make a living behind the lens, but the magazine asked for my help and I wanna help (and I love entering contest). But before I answer their plea I am asking for your help. Have a little fun with me and vote for your favorite photo using the poll at the bottom of this post. Which photo should I send them?

Picture #1 - Walkway

Picture #2 - Holding Hands

Picture #3 - Lighthouse

Picture #4 - Bridge

Picture #5 - Searching for Seashells

Thanks for voting and don't forget to send them your favorite island vacation photos before November 17th!!

November 02, 2009

Just a Thought

"The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teaching, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity." -Paulo Coelho "The Alchemist"

November 01, 2009

Pooping in Style Part II

My deepest hearts desire (depending on the day) is to be an interior decorator. When I walked into Britt's life he had just purchased an amazing house and every single interior wall was painted white. I instantly thought "I gotta stick around long enough to paint." Don't get me wrong I love white, it is very elegant, but every man needs color in his life. I just had to wait for the right time to introduce my Picasso skills. He hesitantly started me off with small projects, and hence everyone who visits his house will surly be pooping in style. Again, sorry I did not take a before picture. We are still working on the master bath, but I could not wait to show you the "almost" completed room. I would like to add a disclaimer here: Bathrooms are so dang hard to take pictures of. No matter how great the lighting or decor - a toilet is still a toilet. So these pics are my best effort to show off my hard work using natural lighting. New faucets and sconces are a little more costly therefore they are further down on the list of "things to do" but it's only a matter of time!

Upstairs Guest Bathroom
Paint color: Behr / Sage Gray
Glass Shelves: Target
Art: ZGallerie / "One Who Must be Taken Care of"
Shower Curtain: Hotel Collections
Mirror: Kirklands (for a 50% off steal $29.99)