Cupcakes, Chandeliers and Charlie

The lovely MrsD at Everything I Am tagged me for the letter C. See her blog post here for details.

So, here is what comes to mind with the letter C:

1. Charlie- the best and cutest dog dog ever:)

2. Cupcakes. So cute, so good!

3. Chanel (the classic hand bag) Absolutely drool worthy
4. Chandeliers. I love all kinds, especially ones found in unexpected places like a half-bath or nursery.

4. Cocktails! I'm more of a wine gal these days but one sip of a rum and diet or a long island iced tea and I'm instantly transformed back to sophomore year of college.
5. Chris Issak -Love his voice & lyrics. Wicked Game is one of my favorite songs of all time and the video is simply breathtaking.

6. And finally...Charlotte. My favorite name of all time. If I'm ever blessed with a daughter of my own, I'll name her Charlotte Sue. It's just classic, timeless, but uncommon. It works for a little girl and a grown woman. (Yes, I have a boy name picked out too:) ).

Charlotte -From WikiName
Pronunciation: shar-let, shar-lit
Meaning: petite and feminine
Related Names: Carl, Caroline, Char, Charlene, Charles, Charlita, Charlot, Charlote, Cheryl, Lottie, Sharlene, Sherry, -otte
Let me know if anyone else wants to play and I'll assign you a letter.


Basement Beauty

One thing J and I had to compromise on when purchasing our current house was to forego a finished basement. Our 1st house had a partial finished space that J deemed the 'man room'. Since it meant that his Xbox, video games and beer box (mini-fridge) would be hidden in the basement, I happily obliged. However, our builder wanted an obscene amount of $ to finish our current basement, so we agreed to go without for now. We'd love to finish it off in the next few years, once we have kids and need to increase our living space. Here are a few inspiration pics that I have collected so far:

My dream finished basement: The wine cellar/tasting room

Behind the glass door, is this glorious wine cellar

The homeowners used marble coasters from the vineyards they have visited as a back splash, what a fantastic, personalized touch.
*photo credit: RMS Frustrated Architect

How I *should* finish our basement: The Gym
*photo credit: RMS Frustrated Architect

J's dream finished basement: The Game Room
*photo credit: RMS Aldridge4

Best realistic inspiration for finished basement: Family Room/Den
*photo credit: RMS jlgraddy
The funky chandelier adds character to the room.

photo credit: RMS srodr1220
I love the laminate flooring.

*photo credit: RMS rdonaldThe light, airy colors and open space make you forget this is the basement.



Fab Frugal Finds

In these trying times, I find myself being much more practical and frugal in my purchases. Now, I limit my visits to Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Z Gallerie and find myself heading to Target, Gordmans, Home Goods and even my own basement. So, here's my favorite budget finds-

Best $5 I've spent: Yankee candle tart warmer seen here on my kitchen counter

This is always burning and keeps the entire 1st floor smelling lovely
*It was originally $14, then BB&B marked it 50% off, plus my 20% off coupon =$5.60

I keep the tarts close by (super budget buy- tarts 5/$1 at Dollar Tree, try Pumpkin Spice)

Best $10 spent: Cabinet organizers ($8.88 ea)

Since cabinet space is down right sacred in most kitchens, these cheap, yet durable organizers hold cleaners, paper towels etc. They make one for foil/plastic wrap boxes too. No more searching for paper towels or having to leave a sponge on the sink for everyone to see.

Best $25 spent: Iron Scroll (from Kirkland's)

I love my 2-story entry but all the wall space from the front door to the ceiling looked so plain. This large iron scroll fits this space perfectly and was much cheaper than the original one I was planning on purchasing through Ballard Designs.

Best $50 spent: Frames for photo wall

I'd been wanting to do a photo wall for quite some time but knew how expensive frames could be. It was also almost impossible to find inexpensive expresso colored frames. I decided to take my time and collect frames from Michael's (during a 40% off sale), Big Lots and Dollar General. The original frames were various colors but all were the size I needed. I bought a can of black spray paint and a can of brown and spray painted all the frames to match. Since the mats were all from Dollar Tree and the majority of the frames were $3 each from Dollar General, the entire project was less than $50. More people comment on the photo wall than any other thing in the house:)

Best $75 spent: Mirror for our mantel (thrift store find)

There's a local thrift store that gets items from local model homes and sells them cheap:) This mirror is huge (at least 3ft in circumference) and would've been $$$ anywhere else. It fills the large space above our mantel and matches the iron spindles adoring our nearby staircase.

Best Splurge Item ($500) Dyson Animal vacuum
With 2 dogs, this vacuum is a must. I got it at BB&B and was able to use a 20% coupon, giving me $100 off. The price is steep, but I figure this had saved many carpet disasters.

What are some of your awesome deals?



So, my blogging has been lagging a little recently...

has gotten in the way. I spent the weekend with dear friends, at a fabulous wedding-

think you can tell we all enjoyed ourselves (wine glass in hand)

and got to catch up with some friends in town from Chi-

Also, I spent Sunday relaxing and relishing some new artwork I found on Etsy. I don't have anywhere to put these prints at the moment, but have bookmarked the artist for future reference. I love the colors, design and simplicity.

Aren't they fun?
Hope you all had a fabulous weekend as well.
xoxo -S



If you're like me, you have an appreciation for many different styles, tastes, designs and ideas. Makes for a well balanced life, right? But, it also creates a challenge when it comes to decorating your own space in a cohesive way. I love rooms that are crisp, white and modern. However, I also heart spaces with warm, deep color and lots of visual interest. What's a girl to do?
Take HGTV's Find Your Style Quiz

What was my style?

Old World, New Way
Deep, rich and regal but muted for a time-worn effect. Finishes are distressed, woodwork is rough-hewn. A lived-in but luxurious old world.

Some examples:
photo credit: Range Hoods Mall website

photo credit: Post Card From Paris Designs website
photo credit: Accents of Salado website

photo credit: Restoration Hardware (I LOVE this chandelier)

So, what's your style????
Have a great Friday all. xoxo-S


This or That...

After looking at hundreds of bedrooms for inspiration (yes, literally hundreds), I have narrowed down my top 2 choices for a new bed. Of course, I fell in love with 2 beds that are WAY out of my price range (what's new), but I've been able to find some pretty great knock-offs at much more affordable prices. I'm still deciding between the 2 different styles, as well as waiting on my tax return:). However, I know when the time comes to actually redo my bedroom, it'll pay to shop around.

Dream Bed #1 Warner bed from Restoration Hardware $2050-2650 (yikes!)

Budget Option #1 Colette bed from Crate & Barrel $1599-1799 (still pretty $ for me)

Budget Option #2 Eaton Nail Button headboard from Target $299-429 (fantastic price!)

Dream Bed #2 Cambden Panel bed from Restoration Hardware $1640-1825

Budget Option #1 Canopy Classic bed from WalMart.com $429 (the reviews for this bed are terrific btw)
“The bed has become a place of luxury to me. I would not exchange it for all the thrones in the world” -Napoleon
Sweet Dreams-S


My New Bible

The Nest recently posted an article on a new-ish book The Wine Trials. I have found this book to be my new wine bible, it lists 100 bottles of wine that are all priced $15 or less. These wines have outscored even $200 bottle wines. Find it here on Amazon for $10.

For those that love champagne, let me suggest the lovely Edge flutes from Crate&Barrel:

Classic yet modern. Enjoy!


My fab find of the day

I've been lusting after the Clarisonic for about a month now, but the $200 price was not quite in the budget. For those of you that may not be familiar with this device, it's by the makers of the Sonicare toothbrush and promises:

-6X more makeup removal
-Skin is soft and smooth
-Cleanses so well that products absorb better
-Gentle for use twice daily
-Reduces oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes
-Reduces the appearance of visible pores
-Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

I was determined to find a knock-off for a much lower price. I searched online and found a very similar version at Sally Beauty Supply for less than $30.The i-Skin Pore Perfecting System is wonderful! Your skin will feel smoother and softer after the first use. I find myself using less product as well. I highly recommend this! I'm SO glad that I held off on buying the Clarisonic and tried this first. I have not used the Clarisonic before and can't compare the two, but I can say that the i-Skin is fabulous and works like a charm. Who says beauty doesn't come cheap?


The evolution of a room

After all the fantastic suggestions of fellow RMSers with our great room, I decided to add pics of our breakfast room as well. Found here. Once I found a table that I loved, everything else just fell into place. For those of you that know me, you know that I love a bargain. So, this room like all the others was done on a budget. The table and rug were found at a local furniture store. The window treatments were a steal from Linens N Things' going out of business sale and the Pottery Barn knock-off candle holders are courtesy of Gordmans.

Pre-move in (still under construction)

Curtains hung, still waiting on table

Curtains now hung with drapery clips (much better) and table now in place.

Candle holders installed. Art work hung.


Eat, Drink and Be Merry

One of my goals for Spring is to design my dining room. With any new construction home, every room is a blank slate. This is both wonderful and daunting. I love all the sunlight this room gets, the tray ceiling and crown molding in this room. I don't like the boring walls and lackluster overall look.

Here is the current space-
Here is my mood board for the room-

Dining Room

The ever-popular Silver Sage wall color by Restoration Hardware is the perfect mix of blue, green and gray and would work well with the tan walls in the connecting rooms.

The next several weeks are going to be super crazy hectic but I'm hoping that when things settle down, the weather warms up and I can talk my 'helpers' into it, I can get our dining room transformed into a beautiful space that will serve many holiday meals, dinners with friends and special occasions in the years to come.

Cheers -S