Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Again J.K. Rowling gives us some rules for life... 

Kelly, or No?

I have a question for all of you mommies out there.  Those of your particularly in the South.  What do you think of Kelly's Kids?

If you don't know it's a clothing line that carries girls and boys clothes.  Lots of appliques, monograms, etc.  It seems like people either love it or hate it.  I'm on the fence.  There are certainly precious outfits and a lot of their dresses and pants have landed on my shopping list for E's fall wardrobe but I hear so many people groan at the name Kelly's Kids.  

I have two complaints.  First up, monograms.  I don't love the quality of their monograms particularly when the monogram is the only detail on a shirt.  You can get away with a less that perfect monogram when its small but when its large and the only embellishment, you need to have a big thick monogram.  Also, I don't like that their limited monogram options.  My second complaint isn't their fault but is just overexposure.  I don't like things that are common.  It's a huge flaw of mine but if everyone likes it or has it, I am not interested.  It has cost me a lot in my life like reading the Hunger Games when it was first published.  :)  

Now that being said, several of their clothes have landed on my shopping list mainly one of their dresses in every color and pattern they have.  I do love this outfit which sadly isn't in E's size. 

How cute is this?!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

15 Months and Shopping Fun

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  Friday night we ran a few errands, grabbed dinner and then watched the Opening Ceremony.  Did anyone else watch it?  What did you think?  

Source: google.com via Emily on Pinterest

I thought it was good.   It totally reminded me of this clip from 30 Rock, which is hilarious!  

I really liked how the opening ceremonies focused on Britain's contributions to the world (including music and I will admit the UK contributes about 80% of the music on my iPod) and the beginning was awesome.  I loved Kenneth Branaugh reading the excerpt from The Tempest.  

Saturday, we had lots of errands to run but it was fun to spend the day with my husband and E.  I picked up E some fall clothes and my husband got some much needed goodies at his favorite running store.  He's training for his second half marathon and I'm so proud of him.  

On my former blog, I got a question once about how much of the things I featured on my blog did I purchase.  Since I post about so many things, I don't buy all or even most of them.  I am the absolute opposite of a hoarder so I don't buy a lot of random things although I do buy 99% of the children's clothes I feature.  

I did want to share some things I actually did buy and I am loving lately.  

First up, is this Pantone board book I picked up at B&N (available here from Amazon).  It's a Pantone Board Book which includes all different shades of yellow, red, pink, purple, blue, black, orange, etc.  Each page features an object and a color like red then the opposite page includes blocks of a dozen different shades of that color (rubberband pink, coral, etc.)  It's precious.  I love it. 

Next up, I have found the most perfect mascara ever.  It's called They're Real by Benefit.  I bought a $5 small tube at Sephora to throw in my purse and quickly found the tube drained.  I picked up the full sized version and I have to say this is it.  I was on the hunt for a great mascara and I have found it.  Available here at Amazon.

Finally, a glimpse at E who turned 15 months old this weekend.  Enjoying a refresher with Dad this weekend and enjoying brunch on Sunday. 

Wishing everyone happy Olympics watching and a safe week.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What I Bought...

I am officially thinking about Christmas.  I know I know it's only July but I swear with our schedule there is no way I could get it all done if I didn't start early.  I did buy the first present of the year this week and I ordered E this book. 

A Christmas Carol!  It's one of the Baby Lit books I am always raving about.  They have Pride & Prejudice, Romeo & Juliet, Jane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland (click titles for links).  Their most recent releases were A Christmas Carol and Dracula.  I ordered Dracula but its not here yet.  I love these little board books and I thinking these will be my go to gifts for the little ones in my life this holiday season.  

So what about you?  Are you even thinking about Christmas?  Are you an early shopper or do you not start until the turkey leftovers are in the fridge?  What do you have your eye on for yourself or your little ones this season?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I love these simple, clean lines.  

Wishing you an organized Thursday!

More Crewcuts Inspiration

Cutting Up

Source: google.com via Jessica on Pinterest

I have to say again that I cannot wait until E can wear Crewcuts clothes.  I love love love their fall line. I will definitely be picking some up to save for next year.  Here are a few of my faves...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What A Happy Entry!


A few of my favorites!

Lamp from Land of Nod.  Sweater and Clutch from J.Crew (I love dots can't you tell?!).  Socks from crewcuts.  Canvas buckets from Chewing the Cud.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Weekend Review

Hi guys!  I hope everyone had a fun weekend.  We had a rare date night on Saturday and went to see the Dark Knight Rises, which I thought was a good ending to the series but as good as The Dark Knight.  I love the way the movie ended although I figured out two of the big twists before they happened so I think it was a tad predictable.  

I finished Catching Fire and started Mockingjay.  For those that don't know those are the second and third books in the Hunger Games trilogy.  I thought Catching Fire was excellent.   Mockingjay is slowing me down a bit but I will get through it.  

Of course I didn't take pictures but I found a healthy family tip and recipe I love.  Zucchini Fries!  I have been picking up zucchini at the Farmer's Market.  I slice the zucchini and toss it in egg and then a breading mixture of flour, panko, salt and pepper and then pan fry them.  They are excellent and while still fried a great french fry alternative.  

Ella had a good week.  She is now officially walking.  We had some smatterings of unassisted steps last month but now we finally have her walking a good distance although we have to force her.  Crawling is still her preferred method of transportation.  :)  She got her first temporary tattoo at her baby cousin's birthday.  It's Mickey Mouse so its wholesome and makes her look tough for a one year old.  She also learned to use the mouse and hung out into her toy bin.  

I am going to have a busy week at work so I wish everyone a happy and lovely week!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back Yard

I have always wanted to do this for E somehow.  From Living, Etc. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rustic Dining Space

Bedroom Update

So as I said last week we have started working on our house again.  You can see the saga that was and is my house at my old blog Lavender and Lilies by clicking here.  

I decided to go room by room.  I started with the rooms that needed the least work and Ella's room was first (more on that tomorrow) followed by our dining room (still debating on curtains at the moment).  Next up was our bedroom.  I really want to take my time and build a great room we love.  We have never really put any work into our bedroom and so I really want to devote some time to it.  I couldn't photograph the whole room this weekend because of other projects but here is a shot of the first thing we did, which was to paint the walls.  

The room has been painted 4 times now.  First it was a mint green, then a dark dark dark chocolate brown, then Hopsack by Ralph Lauren and now its cumulus cloud by Martha Stewart.  Paint colors change a lot in my house because our house can be very dark.  This room has great windows but since we live so close to our neighbors we have to keep the windows closed a fair amount of the time.  The lighting in the room makes everything have a yellow tint so I tested several colors and finally settled on this paint color.  

I really do like it.  The room is so much brighter and bigger now.  

As for the remainder of the room... Our bed is custom and I love it.  Right now the headboard is just attached to a regular bed frame and we have a dust ruffle.  I really want to find a bedframe that has exposed legs so we can do away with a dust ruffle.  We also need several new pieces of bedding, new nightstands, a dresser, something for the end of the bed that will provide storage (would love to find an old trunk) and a chair and table for a sitting area.  My new project in the room is the ceiling and the moldings.  The moldings are in bad shape in certain parts of the room.  I have found some tutorials via Pinterest and I hope to tackle those soon.  The ceiling just needs to be sanded in some parts.  Then I want to add a ceiling medallion and a new light fixture.  I do not want anything really flashy although I considered buying the Makros pendant from Ikea and spray painting it cold like is seen below but I have decided against that.  I think something simple will do the trick just fine.  Any suggestions?

This room will take some time because I want to find pieces we love after we get the moldings fixed.  Eventually, we will have to replace the windows and the floors but that is a whole different to do list.  Sigh.  It just makes me tired thinking about it.  :) 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Loud Pop of Pattern

Boycots, Fortunes and a Random Rant

We had a fun weekend.  Friday night we went to dinner with my Dad and Ella had her first experience with Chinese food and got her first fortune cookie.  

Her fortune made me laugh because she's 1 and really doesn't have old friends.  

But look at this face...

Also, my niece competed in the Miss South Carolina pageant this weekend.  She did great but is not the new Miss SC.  We are all so proud of her for so many reasons in addition to the fact that she was in the pageant.  My true moment of pride I did not see but heard about from my mother in law.  My niece was asked who her favorite reality tv star was and she could not answer the question.  I loved it.  My honor student, full ride to college, basketball playing, sorority sister, volunteering at summer camps for disabled children niece could not answer the question and I loved it.  If I was a judge I would have given her the crown right then.  :)  

I was thinking about it and remembering that one of my most popular posts on my former blog was this one about my strong dislike of a certain reality TV family known as the Kardashians.  I remember seeing links to my post on twitter and facebook all day.  It turns out most of you despise them as well.

Now I will admit I have watched some reality shows.  In this day and age how can you avoid it but I mainly have stuck to competition shows like The Voice, etc.  I do like Guiliana and Bill too but they seem like good people who aren't doing ridiculous things just to get attention.

I also posted here about my fervent love of Jon Hamm who called them idiots.  Excuse the language but here's a screenshot.

Anyway, the Kardashian cot does continue and I hope you all remember the rules.  I was so proud of my sister who has purchased People magazine every week for the past 20 years resisted when one of them was on the cover.  She followed my rule that if the Kardashians are involved you don't buy, listen or watch it.  I still have faith that if we ignore them they will go away.  

Oh and I totally judge Oprah for interviewing them on OWN.  I have gone to desperate measures to make sure my DVR does not record their appearance on Oprah's Next Chapter because I do not want to contribute to any ratings that supports them.  I don't see why she interviewed them and how she thought they represented any ideal or set of values she wants to perpetuate.  I'd like to know what the thinking was.  I haven't watched it but I hope she lectured them or at least gave them judgmental stares. 

Anyway, that's my rant for Tuesday.  Thanks for listening!  Remember the Kardashian-cot lives on!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Nursery

Ella's nursery was the first room on my to do list once we decided to start working on the house again.  The bones were there but I was never 100% thrilled with her nursery.  I frankly just got tired and took the easy way out and her nursery was not as cute as it could have been.  Here are some pictures of the updates I have done.  

I added some pomballs and lanterns to make the mobile over her crib.  These were actually decorations I used at her first birthday party.  I need to beef it up with some pom poms and finding some is one my to do list.  

I changed her bedding to the cute ruffle crib skirt from PB Kids and the gray chevron sheets.  The bumper is a breathable bumper.  All furniture is from Restoration Hardware.  

This is the wide shot of the room. 

I love the toy basket from Restoration Hardware as well.  I like just being able to throw her toys in there and the room be clean.  Lots of the added things were gifts like the lamb chair from PB Kids.  The wall bookshelf is from PB Kids too.  I am not 100% sold on it but I plan to use it for the foreseeable future.  If you are a book crazed mom like me, its very easy to fill the shelf up very quickly.  I really want some new bookshelves from Land of Nod but I'm holding off on that until we are ready for a toddler bed.

My favorite detail we added was the table in chairs.  E is way too young to use them but my grandfather made these for me.  My name is even engraved in the bottom.  My mom painted the set and we put it in Ella's room to sit in front of her ruffled curtains.  

One last shot.  The growth chair was a gift from my cousin and the tiny bench was also made by my grandfather.  I love having things he made in the room for her.  

So there's our update.  I plan to keep her room like this for the near future.  This room is also on the list to replace the windows and floors.  Also, an apology on the tint of the pictures.  The lighting in my house gives everything a sick yellow tint in pictures.  I really need to switch out my lightbulbs.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Followers and Faves

Some favorites for your weekend....

Ella had to share her faves which are truly two of her favorite things.  First are the silver sandals from See Kai Run.  She loved these shoes.  She got so excited when we put them on.  They are on sale right now at Zulily too.  Here's the link.   She also loves these chunky little Favorite Words board books from Eric Carle.  

As for me, these are all things I saw on Pinterest this week.  First up is the adorable art I found on Etsy by Sarah Jane Studios.  I love the ginger jars from Dana Gibson.  The whale bottle opener is so fun.  I always have wanted a custom return address stamp like this one from Lindsay Letters.  

Next up, I must confessed I have been a tad bit bummed about the blog lately.  This seems so silly but going from this number of followers on L&L...

to this many followers on 11Gray ....

has made me sad.  So if you aren't a follower,  will you just click that follow button and make my day?

Happy weekend!

Garden Seats. Is There Anything Cuter?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Floating Away

One of the biggest challenges for me in my weight loss has been to drink enough water.  I had developed a really bad habit of drinking soda right before starting the diet.  I had given up soda previously but somehow slipped back into the bad habit.  Luckily this was the first habit I kicked when starting my weight loss plan; however, drinking enough water has been difficult for me.  I don't drink 64 ounces of anything in a day so I have to consciously make myself drink drink drink all day.  

Do any of you have this problem?  What do you do?

I use a 32 ounce cup with a straw that I take back and forth with me all day.  The fact that I know I have to drink two of those helps me keep track.  Any other tips or tricks?


Source: tumblr.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Dining Room

Okay.  If you followed me on L&L, you know of the love/hate relationship we have with our house.  We bought a bungalow built in 1930 about 5 years ago.  We have put it on the market 3 times.  We constantly go back and forth from wanting to live here until we retire to wanting to get out as fast as we can.  Right now, things are on the upswing most likely because we haven't had any disasters lately.  After much deliberation, we decided that we need to stay where we are for right now.  Obviously that could change but if we are going to stay we want to again attempt to make this a place we want to stay.  

Now with that decision came quite the to do list of things we would like to do to the house.  We have done a lot in the past and now we have a lot of decorating to finish up and some major projects (replacing windows, insulation, gutting and creating a decent backyard, etc.).  I decided to tackle the easiest projects first so our dining room quickly rose to the top of the list.  I like our dining room.  It's large and has 6 large windows.  It's well lit and there is nothing wrong with the room.  

In the room is a farm table that my grandfather built.  Paired with the table are seagrass chairs from Pottery Barn which I did love at one point but I have grown tired of them.  Luckily a friend has asked to buy them so they will be headed out shortly.  I plan to replace them with the bench my grandfather built to go with the table and 4 aluminum chairs from Crate and Barrel.  

Next up are the curtains.  I hung an extra set of chocolate brown silk curtains in the room but I really had grown sick of brown in general so I took them down.  It's a double rod so right now there are just sheers hanging.  I am torn over which curtains to hang.  I have it narrowed down to two.  First is a white curtain with a silver swirl pattern from West Elm.  Second is a blue green solid drape from Pottery Barn.  I am a huge fan of Pottery Barn's silk drapes but I have felt like the room needs some pattern but I also fear the West Elm curtains are too gray.  The walls are Sharkey Gray by Martha Stewart and there isn't much color in the room.  Those facts make me lean towards the blue green silk curtains but again there is no pattern in the room.  I do eventually want to replace the rug but I want to hold off on that until Ella gets a little bigger just to avoid any food incidents.  

So which curtains do you think?

We also installed a ceiling medallion a few months ago and hung the lantern from Williams Sonoma home.  I do love this feature.  I also hung some photographs I took in Charleston, SC.  You can see those in the first picture.  

So I need guidance.  Which curtains would you choose?  

Forgive the quality of the photos, I had to snap them quickly using my iphone.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kitchen Cousins

I mentioned last week my love of the show Kitchen Cousins.  These are my three favorite kitchens they have done.  They are amazing.  I love how professional and high end the final looks are.  Also, the "cousins" are great at making a custom kitchen that is tailored to their needs.  Great show!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Holiday Week

I was so lucky to have last week off to spend a week with my baby girl.  I accomplished a lot too.  We painted our bedroom (more on that soon) and did some other projects around the house.  We are clearing out a lot of trees and brush so we can start working on our backyard.  We have torn down so much but we have a long way to go.  

On a fun note, we spent the 4th at the lake with family.  Ella went on her first boat ride.  I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast (no, totally not on my diet).  We also took her to the Children's Museum and she loved splashing in their toddler lily pond.  On a healthy eating note, Ella has discovered grapes and she is a big fan.  I hope everyone had a happy and healthy weekend.  

I will be back to featuring more home renovations/ redecorating projects.  Check out the blog tomorrow for a dining room update. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I've always heard that fashion is cyclical and sadly today that fact proved itself on the Baby Gap website.  I was on there hoping to find some cute things for E when I came across this...

No one.  Not anyone ever.  Who is not riding a horse.  Should wear stirrup pants.  Particularly not an unsuspecting child who doesn't appreciate the disaster that was 80s fashion.  My mother put me in them and I look back in those pictures in horror.  Please do not do this to your child.  Some things need to stay in the past and this is one of them.  :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Friday Favorites!

Hi guys.  Sorry for my absence from your blogs this week.  I was off of work and as usual I was busier than when I am at work.  Ella kept me running along with some work to the house.  I'll be sharing some house plans and updates next week.  We finally pulled out the old paint rollers and brushed off the dust and started working on the house again.  The saga of our carolina bungalow never ends.  

Anyway, I did want to share a few of my favorites from this week.  

I finally started Catching Fire.  I really liked the Hunger Games book.  I never saw the movie and I can't wait to see what happens.  I also loved this precious tote from Jess LC.  I got caught up in a Kitchen Cousins marathon on HGTV and I am hooked.  That show is awesome and this was one of my favorite kitchens they did.  The home was a row house and the owners had a very eclectic antique style and the kitchen was amazing.  

Finally, Ella turned 14 months old this past week.  She's getting so big!

Happy Weekend!

Some Lonny Love

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I have been in a very preppy mood lately and there's nothing more preppy than a monogram.  I love these precious finds from Haymarket Designs and Preppy & Pink

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Life, Liberty and Favorites

Happy 4th to everyone in the US!  We will be spending the day with family.  I wish all of you a happy and safe holiday.  

I have to share a few things that I have found and loved today...

1. Candleholder, Design Within Reach
2. Bee Earrings, Anthro. 
3. Owl Cookie Jar, West Elm. 
4. Chalkboard Labels, Williams Sonoma.
5. Ruffle Curtains, Anthro. 
6. Herbs Jar, Williams Sonoma.
7. Quilted Sham, Anthro.


I love this cute bar area!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Feeding a 34 Year Old and a 1 Year Old

Sometimes it's just as hard to feed my vegetable hating husband as it is my one year old.  Wait I actually think Ella is easier to feed.  One recipe/ trick I have developed of my own is related to cooking peas.  

I personally love peas but Chris hates them and he doesn't love this version either but I was super proud of him when he ate them tonight to get Ella to get them.  Ella shoveled these in and even passed up macaroni for more peas.  

These are my peas with pancetta.  It's just one bag of frozen peas cooked according to package directions.  Go to the deli section of your grocery store and ask for one slice of pancetta about half an inch thick.  Dice up the pancetta and toss it in a skillet with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Brown the pancetta until it begins to render its fat.  Pour the pancetta and oil over the peas.  Toss to combine.  It gives the peas a great flavor.  Ella loves them!

Also, I am loving visiting our local farmer's market.  This week I stocked up on heirloom tomatoes and made a tomato pie from Southern Living mag along with some pork kabobs (that is the cause of the bourbon on my cutting board).  Both are delicious.  

Happy Tuesday!