Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy, happy, joy, joy...(& the dentist!!!)

Hooper's out of town and I am taking 4 kids to the dentist this morning. hmmm...wonder who is having more fun? I can not believe Jan 1 is on Sunday. That gives me just enough time to cram all the sugar and carbs I can get my hands on into my mouth only to declare Sunday my New years resolution is to eat healthier. Maybe I'm setting the bar to high. Maybe my resolution will be not to rob a bank. I can stick to that one....

Anyway, I need a happy picture to get me through my morning...
What is this happy picture you ask? My new barn wood counter tops my hoty (husband of the year) and bro's put in. It was a total surprise! Jeff got me out of the house for 4 hours and when I got back, VOILA! They are old greyed out boards from a barn in a neighboring county. Jeff thought this was the extent of our kitchen re-do. Poor Jeff...

Now I need to...
1. paint the cabinets (thinking grey)
2. repaint the floor (thinking solid blue)
3. Install back splash...loving this...

Right before they put them in (I really had no idea) I painted the whole kitchen Ben Moore revere pewter. It looks amazing with the counters! This was my original inspiration when I first started talking about my kitchen (years ago)

Maybe I'll do the cabinets white... thoughts? (Can't wait to show you the finished product!!!)

Anyway, I have a lot of time to think about it while I'M AT THE DENTIST WITH 4 KIDS!!!!
Enjoy your Friday and have a safe and Happy New Years!

Bye, bye Birdie,
~A

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Let's talk... tango tangerine!

So, the holidays are over and as great as they were I had no problems pitching my tree out the back door yesterday. The decorations are down around here. I'm not really an over achiever, I did have a tree up until March one year. I just had a few extra minutes yesterday and since our tree was only 4 ft tall it was easy to take it down...

January is right around the corner (4 days) and Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2012....
drum roll....(like you don't already know what it is)...

Tango Tangerine! That just sounds fun! I was reading an article that said the blues and greys are too safe and it's time for them to go. We need color and freshness in our lives. So paint everything tango tangerine!? To me, that sounds like a complete disaster. The blues and greys are here to stay and this fun punchy orange is a great accent but don't get crazy!

You know I'm a sucker for a painted stair. See here. I might of done without the stripe on the wall but LOVE the stairs!

Works here! Although, I think orange makes you hungry. I wonder if you are allowed to eat in this room?

I know you are allowed to eat here! This is one of my fave dining rooms (for traditional!). I know, you wouldn't think so but I love the wallpaper, mirror, window treatments (can't see them in this image but trust me, they are great!)

remember when Hooper did this room? See here. The window treatments are AMAZING and the perfect dose of orange!
If you need to start out small, try a tray...and a lacquered one, bonus!



We've said it before, never underestimate the power of Overstock. Love this rug!!! 

And, I've also said... be on the lookout for red! We're dancing around it. Pink was last years color and now orange? hmmmm... Much to Hooper's dismay, it's gonna come back!

Orange ya glad it wasn't this year? (I crack myself up!)
How 'bout you, any orange in your life?

Happy Tuesday!
Bye,bye Birdie,
~A
credit to: Canadian House and Home, CB2, Overstock, Domino, and Southern Living

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The best gift

Merry Christmas! This Christmas, I am especially thankful for the true meaning of Christmas and for the blessing of my family and friends. I have spent the last year reflecting on what is really important and have watched sadly as my mom has had a difficult year. At the same time, I have been inspired by her life-long friends that have stuck by her and been there for every laugh and every tear. 
One special friend, gave her one of the most beautiful gifts and I just had to share it. She collected all of her "moon stones"...stones we find along the seashore and make wishes on (if you grow up with my mother). 
She painted words of inspiration on each stone and gave them to her for Christmas in a beautiful bowl. May your wishes for 2012 be filled with contentment, laughter, new beginnings, gratitude, faith, goodwill and a bowl full of hope.
Merry Christmas!
~H

Saturday, December 24, 2011

You Won't BELIEVE this!!!

It's a Christmas Miracle. Last night, after putting my very naughty children to bed, I did what all good moms do and prayed searched the internet for help. Well, I found it. 
Portable North Pole takes 5 minutes and emails you a live feed from Santa himself about your child's behavior. He calls them by name, shows pictures of them and says things like: 
"My elves tell me you have been throwing silly tantrums! "
We need some magic over here. "Elfie", our Elf on the Shelf hasn't moved in three nights because their dead-beat mom fell asleep early. 
Kids are out of control, and mama could use some magic (and I'm not talking the liquid kind). 
The magic "naughty and nice" machine takes their list and then determines their fate. Mine were all naughty and my husband made me re-do (ie:lie about their behavior) because he thought it would scar them for life. 
Dear Santa, please bring me a lifetime of professional therapy because my mom totally screwed me up.
Check out Hutson's here. It is amazing and what's better than watching their little faces light up with wonder, plus now that I have Santa's email, I can send him updates throughout the day (it's 8 and I've already sent three).
Merry Christmas Eve! May you have a very NICE day.
Bye bye birdie,
~H

Credit to: My very funny friend who posted Elf pic on facebook. Genius.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our nest feathered for the Holidays and....

....A little Birdies Birthday! Today, Hooper is 25 for the 13th time! (More about that later....)

As for now... you asked to see how we decorate our own homes for Christmas. Will you be shocked to know ,very differently? One of us is less is more and one of us is more is more with some bling on top. hmmm.... wonder who that could be....
Come on in...
I'm definitely not a Griswald... And since we live down a little dirt road no one would see our lights anyway, simple pine garland and a wreath tied with burlap is all the decorating the outside gets!
You know you are a redneck when you want to decorate with antlers and all you have to do is call your brothers and they bring you a basket full.
Who's table could this be... lots of coral set in a silver bowl on a mirrored table reflecting metallic wallpaper...hmmmm

Feathers, driftwood and tree clippings adorn my Grandmother's sideboard framing my favorite tin nativity scene.
 It makes me so happy...
Hooper keeps her beautiful sideboard  very simple ....

 her mantle... not so much. But isn't it gorgeous? Driftwood, coral, garland, magnolia leaves, candles. It is over the top and pretty great! Also love the Norman Rockwell shot with the boys reading in the chair...

So for the past few years we have only used the ornaments the kids have made. 4 paper plate angels, 4 tongue depressor tiny baby Jesus, about 10 hand print reindeer,etc... There is no room for anything else and though our tree is a little Charlie Brownish- I LOVE IT and cannot imagine it any other way. (Especially with my new large colored retro bulbs!)

Hooper has a 2 story living room which allows for a very tall tree. Her kids ornaments are up along with all her other ornaments, starfish, ribbons and white lights. She has enough room for everything and it is stunning! Hooper's tree looks like it should be in a magazine. My tree looks like it should be in a Hallmark movie in the basement of a community center where all the children  discover the true meaning of Christmas by the end. Though our spaces are different, we both love the season and celebrating with our family and friends. 

speaking of celebrating...
Happy Birthday Hooper!

(you don't look a day over well, um, er....16.)

You are my kind, funny, beautiful friend and I am so thankful we are finally the same age again! Welcome to your late 30's! Yep, I said it... mid 30's are over. But 40 is still the new 20 so we have a lot to look forward to!
I hope you have a fabulous day and none of your presents are combined with Christmas!
L.Y.L.A.S. and...

Bye, bye Birdie,
~A

Monday, December 19, 2011

A surprise for my American girl

Plane ticket: $200
Tickets to the Nutcracker: $25
American Girl everything: $1,000,000 
(might as well have been)
4 hot chocolates (per day): $20
Being able to surprise my 8 year old with a Christmas trip to Chicago: 

Priceless.

Friday, December 16, 2011

We have a WINNER!

Thank you to our wonderful readers (and new followers) for all of your comments. It paid off! We have a winner for the "Christmas Memories" candle. 
Drum roll please.... 

NEESHA ALLEN! YOU ARE OUR LUCKY WINNER and can make some Christmas Memories of your own with this deliciously scented soy candle from Heather's fab Etsy Shop, Sawgrass Candles. Thank you Heather for your generous gift and Neesha, Merry Christmas and Enjoy!
We have some Christmas Memories of our own. We remember when it actually FELT like Christmas...
Ah yeah, good times. This was last year. It was 32 and snowing. 
And here we are just yesterday. That's me in the red bikini and Ann in white (and our hot husbands) as we grill out in the back yard. Ok, not really. The heat is getting to me (I'm a little delusional). It is going to be 73 today and sunny. Not quite feeling like Christmas, but perfect if we were celebrating the Fourth of July. I hope that wherever you are, you are making lifelong Christmas memories. 
Enjoy your weekend,
Bye bye birdie...
A&H

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A very drastic before and after

DISCLAIMER: What you are about to see is the BEFORE (and it is not pretty).
I recently had the privilege of working on a renovation project and was blown away, I'm talking speechless, over the before version of this space. This is REALLY what it looked like before. My delightful clients did NOT do this, it was this way when they bought it, but it is still one of the worst "before" spaces I have ever seen. Take a look...
 The floors were all tile, the built-ins were, well some shade of red paired with plum, oh yeah, with mint accents.
 Below was the entry to the study It was inspired by, I'm not sure what?
A rainbow perhaps? Hmmmm. And now for the after...
 We put in hardwoods (out with the dated tile), took out the "architectural rainbow" above and selected all new furnishings that reflected the couples love for a well-traveled collected look. 
The TV was moved above the mantle and the built-ins were ripped out (as fast a humanly possible. 
 
Reclaimed river wood was added as a mantle.
The previous accent wall got new accents. Not to be confused with the new kitchen, see the old kitchen below.
The kitchen got a total gut with all new cabinets, new appliances repositioned for better function, new tops and the giant (almost) one story hood above the range, got relocated and shrunk to a normal size. Kitchen and Bath Galleries did an amazing job with the new kitchen and were kind enough to trust me with the decor. 



 The couple liked the blue (color only) in the original countertops so a bright blue exotic granite was selected with stainless backsplash tiles and blue accents. We added this above the breakfast table to update the lighting (it felt a little like Applebees pre-remodel). 
Quite a drastic change, don't you think? Tell us your thoughts and you will qualify for Friday's Sawgrass Candle give away!
bye bye birdie...
~H




Monday, December 12, 2011

A Good Scented Giveaway!!!!!

Cute Heather over at Etsy's Sawgrass Candles has generously offered one of her candles for a holiday give away!

One lucky winner will receive a 12 ounce Christmas Memories candle. If you win, that is one less thing you have to buy! Though, we suggest keeping it (her candles are amazing)!

To Win:
Follow us for 1 chance
Leave a comment on ANY December post for another chance
Go visit Heather's Etsy shop and tell us you visited for another chance. Her candles are so beautiful that you may want to buy some for those on your nice list.
We will pick a winner on Friday... So, hurry and enter!
Bye, bye birdie.
~A&H

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Little Strung Out...(again)

I know it is a major blogger faux pas to re-post BUT in our defense jet lag is real and set in for me on day 2 after being home. 3 a.m. seems to be the new 7 a.m....ughhh... So, I am re-posting my sweet baby angel post from last year because once again this is how I am feeling and I left all my creative juices in London...

A little strung out...

This is the angel my parents put on top of their tree every year. I am sure she used to be pretty. She is 50. About 10 years ago we started calling her the crack angel. About 5 years ago my brother took her mug shot. My mom does not think we are funny. I think we are hilarious!

This is kind of how I feel... A little strung out with last minute things to do....
Minus the crack part, or the jail part. Though a night with undisturbed sleep away from home does not sound bad.



(kind of brings all new meaning to 'Angels we have heard on high')

Anyway, Hooper and I hope your Christmas is Merry and Bright. (Not police car flashing light bright, tree light bright!)

Enjoy your weekend! 
Bye, bye birdie,
~A 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jolly Good Times

 On the second day, we ventured over to the famous Portobello Market (us and a million other tourists).  While it is major shopping/attraction, it was totally worth it! Of course they prey on tourists, like us, but... 
 We loved this art booth and bought a piece or two. 
 Ventured into this amazing men's clothing store where all of the walls are covered in metal scaffolding with vintage sewing machines lining the walls. It was an architectural masterpiece! We made our way to a few auction houses...
 Hoping this finds it's way above the mantle at the house in the mountains... waiting to hear from the auction. 
 Some more killer pieces from Lot's Road Auction. See here...

 We purchased this for the house from Portobello market and it was almost too big to fit into the cab.
 This piece of art needs a new frame, but was a gift to our hostess (who loves peacocks).
Ann is coveting this nude oil painting that we picked up at the market for the house in the mountains. 

We capped off the day at Harrods. It was beautiful and the windows were amazing.
It was a whirlwind trip but oh so much fun!
Bye bye birdie,
A&H

 
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