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Countdown to Christmas!

Well ho-ho-ho-hello there! Can you believe we’re in the “final countdown” to Christmas? Only 2 more weeks to Thanksgiving and then it’s right around the corner! We are officially embarking upon my absolute favorite time of year! Yes, the Brown household is already decorated. Last Sunday was extremely chilly out so hubby and I popped in Elf (favorite movie ever!) and brought the Christmas decorations down from storage. I figured I’d wait on the outside for this weekend so our neighbors didn’t think we were THAT weird for decorating the first weekend in November… ha!

Another thing that I’m absolutely looking forward to is CHRISTMAS CARDS! I get down right giddy about sending and receiving cards every year. I love to see peoples pictures and what they’ve come up with and how they have changed over the past year. Shutterfly is an amazing place to order your photo cards among MANY other things… I’ve used them for photo calendars, photo books, mouse pads, coffee mugs personalized with whatever photo you want. And they don’t disappoint… everything turns out first class!

How cute would these invitations be if you were hosting a cookie exchange. I’ve never done one but who doesn’t love cookies?

Or how about this invitation for a Christmas “dine-around”.

Me and some girlfriends hopped in a few cars last year and made our rounds from house to house and had appetizers at one house, dinner at one house, and dessert at the last. It was so much fun! And it’s such a great way to be “nosey” and see everyone’s Christmas decorations!

Now hubby, pup, and I need to start thinking about our Christmas card picture! I can’t wait to dive into Shutterfly and get our cards picked out and ready to go! Picking from their new enormous collection is going to be hard!

And ATTENTION ALL BLOGGERS: Shutterfly is giving away 50 free Christmas cards to YOU. Go here for details.

Thank you Shutterfly! I can’t wait to get my cards and spread the cheer to all of my friends & family :)

if you’re pinterested…

Just when you thought social networks couldn’t get any better… I think I have found my new favorite!

It is still in beta testing so there are a few kinks here and there but it’s so amazing I can get past those kinks until it runs smooth as a baby’s bottom.

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, now you have… and be thankful all of you blog readers out there! If you’re like me, I have tons of blogs that I follow on my Google Reader and quite often there are those things that make my jaw drop in awe. I “star” it and then forget whose blog I saw it on, when I saw it, yada yada yada. Pinterest (pronounced pin-ter-est… it bugged me for a while on how to say it… ha!) lets you “pin” things as you see them to put them in any category you find! So you have your own pin boards that are easy peasy to come back to and find what you want! Mine is still a teeny tiny collection because I just got my invitation to join last night… but this gives you a jist of how the pinboards work…

It’s like a new toy! :) Because it is in beta testing, they are working on an invitation only basis. I can send out 5 invitations so let me know if you’d like to join! You’ll be glad you did!

happy anniversary, my love


I love today. I love October 6th. Today is the day I married my best friend 3 years ago.

This is the day that I can remember just as clear as if it was yesterday…
…waking up and eating a delicious breakfast
…watching the rain clouds move on out so i could have a perfectly sunny wedding day
…getting ready with the girls i love with all my heart
…walking down the aisle {way too fast… ha!} with my first love, my Dad
…our first kiss as Mr. & Mrs. Brown
…dancing our little hearts out all afternoon
…eating super yummy cupcakes after a delicious pig pick’n
…being whisked away on a boat to start our new life together

I remember thinking one year of marriage went by in what seemed like a month! Then two years passed… and this is still only the beginning :)

I love you, Philip Brown!

Hembakat är Bäst

So I have heard rumors that Raleigh may be getting an IKEA. I cannot tell you how exciting that would be if these rumors were true.

On a totally opposite topic (yet totally related)… do you remember when the only book you would read would have to have pictures? Even still now I love it when a good book has pictures! Ever since getting married and being “forced” to cook (which I love to do!) I am always on the lookout for fun, easy, new recipes (in no particular order.) Last year I found one of my favorite cookbooks… and it was complete with pictures! I mean pictures all the way through from prep to finish. If you don’t follow The Pioneer Woman‘s blog, you should! She came out with her first cookbook last year (“The Pioneer Woman Cooks“) and it’s amazing!

So coming back to my IKEA topic… lately in my Google Reader list, a lot of people have been talking about IKEA’s new cookbook, “Hembakat är Bäst” (Homemade is Best). Can I just tell you that these pictures are total works of art and I simply just can’t look away. Who thinks of this stuff?!!? Unfortunately it has only been released in Sweden. I hope it’s available in the U.S. soon! I can’t promise I wouldn’t rip it apart and frame the pictures for kitchen art :)

I just wanted to share how awesome these pictures are…

Here’s the cover:







Pretty awesome, right? Yea I know!!

there’s a new “Bloodworth” in town!

During dinner tonight I got some crazy exciting news!

My beautiful cousin, Kristen, and her awesome hubby, Steven, are expecting! I’m so excited for you guys! Love you both and you are going to be amazing parents… and Dozer and Kasey are going to be happy big brother and sister, too :)

hello fall… oh, how i have missed you…

Can I just tell you that we have officially entered into my favorite season of all! Hellooooo fall!

I just wanted to compile a few pictures of why I love fall so much. There’s really nothing I don’t like about it but these are my FAVORITES :)

Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice (yum… if you haven’t had it you need to!)

Pumpkin Muffins – which by the way is a SUPER easy and scrumptious recipe. All you do is combine a box of spice cake mix with a can of pumpkin pie filling (no other ingredients). Line your cupcake tin with paper liners and bake a little longer than the cake box asks you too. You’re gonna love ‘em… I know you will!

Fun trips to the pumpkin patch (Hill Ridge Farms to be exact – SO much fun!)

Crispy, cool nights sitting by a bonfire (smores are an added bonus)

The changing (and falling) leaves (and walking around with my hubby and pup of course).

Until next time :)

Cheetah-licious :)

For as long as I can remember there have been these two amazing chairs that keep moving from place to place in storage (the garage, the attic, my parents old office mud room, etc.) They never quite had a chance to fit in anywhere. These chairs were my great grandpa, Harper’s. And I was itching to do something with them when I had the chance.

About a year ago when hubby and I moved, I finally had to space to use them! Now the task was to cover the retro-fabulous green pea colored tweed cushions. The job kept getting pushed back and pushed back… until this past weekend (yay!)

I tried to salvage some of the old piping to use in the new covers but that idea got scratched when it started shredding in my hands. Oh well. Maybe one day soon I’ll add the piping. Now all that’s left to do is make a pillow with a punch of color but for now… This shall do :)

For your viewing pleasure (if you like this sort of thing… ha!):

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Yes, blame the photos on the iPhone if you may… it’s just so quick! Can you blame me?

On a side note: these chairs were made in the 50s by the original company that is now called Ethan Allen. I spotted the (almost) exact same chairs in my Anthropologie catalog for almost $1500 (for one)!! YOWZA!

Have a fabulous Tuesday, everyone!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Operation: Brighten It Up!

So a few weeks back I was sitting in our living room enjoying the quiet and eating my lunch. As I was sitting there… it dawned on me that our living room was WAY too dark! We live on a really wooded lot so our big bay window doesn’t really let a whole lot of light in. Our walls closely resemble terra cotta (they are NOT the orange that my pictures are portraying.) Our couches and furniture were dark. All in all… it just needed a heavy dose of some brightness!

I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and finally hit the road and went to Lowe’s to pick up my “Quail Egg” paint. The next day it was game on! My furniture was getting a facelift because I didn’t want to sacrifice my wall color. I love it too much even though it is dark.

I have to say, white paint is definitely my new best friend! It made a world of difference and it is SO much brighter in there now. So I painted two pieces of furniture, I made some new pillows for the couches, made some tie-backs for the window panels to let some more light in from the big (and only) window, and a few other touches here and there.

It just made me so excited I had to show you the before and after! Granted, they are iPhone photos and I didn’t really take any good before photos… but you get the gist! Enjoy :)

BEFORE:


AFTER:




Ta-Da! It’s amazing what a little white paint can do…

Until next time! :)

my little knock off

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I have never really been the person to sit down and make jewelry… up until recently that is. I’m basically googling how to do it and learning as I go. I guess that’s the best way to learn anything… with some help! :) So from time to time when I’m feeling inspired, I use some of my free time late at night and get to work!

Today I was browsing Anthropologie (love love love this store!) and ended up looking at their jewelry and accessories. I came across this necklace that I just HAD to have… and then I looked a little to the right and noticed the price tag of $198! Yowza! That’s when that little click went off in my head and I thought “I can totally make that!”

Shortly after my wheels started spinning I took a quick trip to the craft store to pick up a few things… I had most of what I needed already.

So tonight after hubby and I got home from running around town, he wanted to watch a movie that we have already seen. It was the perfect time for me to gather my goodies and sit down beside him while he watched his movie and get to work! So here is my end result… I can’t wait to wear it!

Here is the necklace from Anthropologie… $198.00

Here is my version… $4.00 Yay! Sorry for the poor quality photo… blame it on my iPhone. I love the thinner stripes on the Anthro version but we’ll find that ribbon some other time. I wanted to use what I had for the first go round!

Lose the shoes?

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Lately I’ve been toying around with the idea of having a no-shoes policy in our house. This has never been a rule that I have had to follow… only out of respect for other people who have this policy in their home. You would think it would be an easy decision… but it really does take some committing to follow through on it.

I was never a Sex in the City watcher but I did run across a few episodes back in the day. There was one episode I saw where Carrie went to a party where the hostess asked all of the guests to remove their shoes before entering her home. I remember thinking “Who does this woman think she is asking everyone to take their shoes off?”

I wouldn’t ever be the person to make everyone take their shoes off at the door at a large gathering… after all, the shoes make the outfit and I wouldn’t ever want to sabotage a cute outfit! I recently read an article at one of my favorite blogs that got me thinking about the topic. The article was talking about the benefits of not wearing shoes in your home. I’m not a neat freak by an stretch of the imagination but (until now) I’ve never really thought about all the germs, dog poo, chemicals, and who knows what else you can carry into your home on the bottom of your shoes… Not to mention the dirt that I just can’t seem to get rid of on our hardwood floors. Plus… you just feel so relaxed when you ditch your shoe at the door.

It’s actually considered disrespectful if you wear your shoes in someone’s home in Hawaii and Japan… I’m sure it is this way in more countries (I know, Hawaii is not a country) but those are the only two places I ran across. They must know something that we don’t (well… now I do… but you get what I’m saying!)

If nothing else, I think we can commit to this as an ode to hubby’s Japanese roots :) I’m interested to see if I notice a difference in the cleanliness of our home and the condition of our hardwood floors over time.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you have a no-shoe policy in your home? Have you notice a difference if you have recently made the switch?

And just for kicks (no pun intended) I thought this little chihuahua was cute :)

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