Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's


Hope all of you have a wonderful time ringing in the New Year this weekend!!  We'll be hanging out with friends and family on the coast drinking lots of bubbly....and my husband's dream is finally coming true...he'll be the owner of a BOAT!!! finally.  :)

Tara

Friday, December 23, 2011

Simple Gift Idea

Here is a really quick and simple gift idea to maybe help those of you that need a last minute gift.  I did these for some of my co-workers, and I think they loved them.  To start with, I bought some instant hot chocolate mix, peppermint crunch chocolate covered pretzel sticks, clear treat bags, and ribbon.


I put the hot chocolate mix and chocolate covered pretzels in a mug.  I used these initial mugs from Anthropologie.  I then put them in the clear treat bags, gathered the top together and tied a ribbon around to secure.



I  gave them to the ladies I work with so they could use them at work for coffee, tea or the hot chocolate.  This will give them something cute to drink out of while at work (but hopefully will help reduce the amount of paper cups we use too!).


We're on the final countdown to Christmas!!  Good luck to any last minute shoppers!!

Tara

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Weekend Re-Cap

This past weekend I went back to my hometown for a dear friend's wedding.  We've been friends since the 7th grade, and it was such an honor to be a part of her big day!  The wedding was really spectacular.  Everything was beautiful, and the whole weekend just went along smoothly!  It was perfect really.  My friend looked absolutely gorgeous!! Seriously, her dress was one of the prettiest dresses EVER, and she looked fantastic in it.  I think they are an amazing couple, and I really can't wait to see what the future holds for them!

I feel very blessed that I still have such a great group of friends from high school that I keep in touch with after so many years.  We always try to make it back home to be there for each other for important times.  It was so good to talk to them and catch up.  We always seem to pick back up right where we left off, and then after spending time with them, I miss them like crazy!!  Here is a picture of me and my husband at the wedding along with my other best friend since 7th grade and her husband and adorable baby! 


On Sunday morning after all of the wedding festivities were over, Jeff and I got up early and headed back to Houston to go to our first Texans game.  It was so much fun.  There was so much energy and it was so LOUD, which was wonderful!  Luckily the TEXANS won, but it was a close game right up until the end.


Right around game time, it had started raining and a cold front had blown in, so when the game was over, we went out into cold rainy weather - perfect! ;)  But I came home and took a bubble bath to warm up and got to bed early.   Perfect ending to a fabulous weekend!

Hope all of you had a great weekend too!
Tara

Thursday, December 1, 2011

For the love of Mercury Glass


Pottery Barn


Wisteria


Z Gallerie


I love the sparkle and glam that mercury glass can add to any decor.  The stores have it everywhere right now, and I LOVE it!! 

Tara

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kendra Scott...Perfect Gifts

As I've confessed, I'm obsessed with jewelry.  But really what girl isn't?  A piece of jewelry is ALWAYS a great gift...at least in my opinion.  And I know I've said this before too, but I just love Kendra Scott.  She has an amazing collection that ranges from studs to statement pieces and in all different price points, so you could find something for everyone.  Here are my personal faves!













Maybe this will help you finish up those last few people on your list.  HAPPY SHOPPING!

Tara

***all pictures taken from kendrascott.com.  I'm in no way affiliated with Kendra Scott and am not paid for anything said in this post***

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving


Wishing each and every  one of you a
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
 
Today and this weekend we are going to be spending time with the ones we love.  Our home has touches of fall throughout, yummy food baking in the oven and feels cozy with a fire going.  We truly have so much to be thankful for. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
 
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Hope all of you have a blessed day!
 
Tara

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hosting a Girl’s Night In

Last Monday night, I hosted a girl's night at my house for a CAbi party.  If you aren't familiar with CAbi, it stands for Carol Anderson by invitation and is clothes that are only sold by hostess parties.  So to show the Fall line, I hosted the girl's to a night of eating, drinking wine and shopping!  Doesn't get better than that.

Keeping with the Fall theme, my menu consisted of:
Cheese, Nut & Fruit Plate
Autumn Chopped Salad

Pear & Brie Tart
Mushroom & Goat Cheese Tart
Vegetable & Hummus Tart

Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Pumpkin Pie Dip with Apples & Cinnamon
   Graham Crackers

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The Autumn Chopped Salad recipe came from here at Espresso and Cream.  I left out the bacon to make it vegetarian friendly.  It’s a delicious salad, and I’m already wanting it again!

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For the tarts, I was inspired by Natalie’s recipe here at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers.  I did make a vegetable and hummus tart although I didn’t quite follow her recipe exactly.  I cheated and bought hummus instead of making my own, and I used puff pastry sheets for all of my tart shells.  I used red bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini and green onions for my vegetables, and I sprinkled a little feta cheese on top. 

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The Pumpkin Pie Dip recipe was found here at Skinny Taste and the Caramel Apple Cupcakes were from here at Mrs. Happy Homemaker.  They are both amazing desserts and were fun to keep with the Fall theme!  The cupcakes are probably some of the best tasting cupcakes ever and they are super easy to make. 
Finally, here is a shot of the Fall table centerpiece and my new lanterns filled with gourds and candles to make the house a little festive!

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Thanks to all of the fabulous bloggers that helped me get inspired for my Fall Girl’s Night In.  I loved trying these new recipes, and I know my friends sure enjoyed trying them too!
Tara

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A New York State of Mind

I'm so excited to share with you all that my hubby and I are going to New York City in mid-December!  I'm over the moon excited because it will be the first time for both of us to visit the big city.  We've had it on our "must visit" list, and the fact that we are going during Christmas time is definitely a dream come true for me.  I'm like a kid, and just can't wait to see the big Christmas tree, the window displays at Macy's and all of the other festive decorations!!  We are staying in a great location and will be right in the middle of it all on Broadway. 


I would love your help though.  Since we've never been, we want to make the most of our time there.  We'll be staying for four nights, but two of the days we'll be there, my husband will be at a conference.  I know for sure we want to visit the Ground Zero Museum.  What other things/places would you suggest should be on the top of our list to see/do? 

We will be going to a Broadway show one night, and we'd like to have an early dinner somewhere close before the show, so any suggestions on that would be great as well.


Also, I'm completely in the holiday spirit now.  I have been Christmas shopping already, and I got my first peppermint mocha this morning in the RED cup!! 

THANK  YOU for your help!
Tara

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Finds at Marshall’s HomeGoods

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Lately I have been finding some amazing deals at Marshall’s HomeGoods.   Each of these lamps were only $40!!  Also, I’ve been wanting lanterns for the holidays.  I think they can be used in so many fun ways.  Of course with candles lit in them, they are beautiful, but I also love the idea of stacking pumpkins or other d├ęcor in them.  I think they’ll look beautiful on the side of the fireplace during the Christmas season.   The two above were a great deal.  The small one was $20 and the large one was $40!  I know they sell for way more at other retail stores, so I was so excited when I found these!!  I had my sister-in-law guard them while I went to get a basket. Maybe a little too protective…but I just couldn’t risk someone else possibly walking away with them.   I did also see a beautiful floor mirror that maybe I’ll go back for….

Tara

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Random Going On's Around Our House

Where do I even begin?  I feel like there are so many different things I wanted to show you all, but then again I feel like everything is a whirlwhind right now.  Time is just flying by so fast, and I'm having a hard time keeping up or maybe it's just that I'm having trouble staying focused on one thing.  haha  I did start decorating around the house for Halloween/Thanksgiving.  I do have a wreath on my door, a festive spread on the dining table made up of pumpkins and candles, and some other things around the house to make it feel like Fall.  I even made a yarn wreath I was going to show you and started a second one that I wanted to hang on our double front doors (still not quite ready).  So, the house was getting all cozy, BUT then this happened on Sunday:



Not the greatest pictures as I snapped them quickly with my phone, so they are a bit blurry, and just in case you can't really tell what's going on, my Sister-in-Law and I decided to paint my dining room!!...yes on a complete whim.  It was the first rainy day we've had in LONG time down here in south Texas, and while our hubby's were watching football, we jumped in the car, bought paint and supplies, and got busy painting the dining room.  That is just a start, I'm painting the whole downstairs!!  The faux finish has driven me crazy for two years since we bought the house, but hubby kept insisting he liked it, so when he finally said he was fine with us painting, we took full advantage!!

I can't wait to show you actual good before and afters  (you can see more pics of the dining room Before if you click here), and I can't wait to finish the rest of the painting. 

Oh yeah, also if you look in the first picture on the middle of the dining table, you can kind of see a hint of the candles and a pumpkin that I had for the fall decor on the table! Also, there is a white lantern that I just purchased on Saturday at Marshall's that I'll have to show you as well. We had some great finds!  So, that's it for now....just a little of this and a little of that...not too much going on around here, is there?  ;)

Tara

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Antique Mercury Glass Pumpkins

I've been slowly adding some Fall decor around our home (I'll take some pics soon!).  I have a few decorations that are specific to Halloween, but I'm trying to keep it as nuetral as possible so that my decor will last through Thanksgiving as well.  I love the bright colors with the orange, yellow, reds, etc.. but I also like the look created when mixing in Mercury Glass or other textures to add interest.  As such, I've been on the lookout for Antique Mercury Glass Pumpkins, and here is what i've found:

Pottery Barn's Antique Mercury Glass Pumpkins $19-$39

via

Z Gallerie's Antique Mercury Pumpkins $20-$40



Wisteria's Antiqued Glass Gourds - Set of 3 is $34


I think I have to order the ones from Wisteria, since I can get all 3 for a good price although the PB's ones are so pretty, but a little too pricey for me!
Tara