Friday, April 29, 2011

Union Jack Day

In honor of today's great big Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton, I thought I'd showcase a few of my favorite pieces that feature the famous Union Jack. I LOVE the Union Jack. Don't get me wrong; I'm a PROUD American and I love my flag. But there is a design strength to the Union Jack that really gets me - I love seeing it and I enjoy seeing it used in ways other than the flag. So enjoy!

Sooooooo cool...

Yes please! What a punch to a living room!

Now that is a sweet rug...

Agreed :)

These would be cute in a foyer or bathroom...

All links for images found through my Pinterest boards...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

These are a Few of my Favorite Things...

A quirky pair of painted chairs...

Fabric birds on branches...

A boldly painted piano...

A knitted armchair...

A juicy green tufted leather couch...

The week is young...I'm sure that more will strike my fancy :) Visit my boards at Pinterest to see what else I'm enjoying these days!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Perfect Bookmark

It really is the perfect bookmark. I want one. And it doesn't look complicated to make, no?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Laundry Room Inspiration

Lately I'm a little obsessed with beautiful, well laid out laundry rooms. My laundry room is one of the hardest working rooms in our house, as it is in most houses. But hardest working doesn't mean that it can't also be a lovely oasis. Check out these pictures for inspiration:

I think of this as the creme de la creme of laundry rooms. The beautifully appointed storage, multiple machines, large table for folding/projects; even the vintage looking glass canisters on the counter above the machines are both beautiful and functional. I LOVE this space.
This is a great example of a laundry in a smaller space. I like the built in look with the counter top and above storage. Not sure I'm a fan of the functionality of the curtains in front of the machine...though it does look pretty.

I love the wall color in this laundry room and the beadboard ceiling. It all comes together to make it feel more like a ROOM instead of just a dumping ground for laundry. And that great vintage sign makes the whole space.

This space just feels happy, owing to the floral curtain and that jaunty striped rug. I'm also partial to the world map on the wall. Again, while storage is important it is equally important to bring objects of beauty and even quirkiness into the laundry area to make it into its own SPACE, to give it its own IDENTITY.

And for our final inspiration picture, I give you this very generously sized room. Can you imagine washing and folding laundry in a room this size? What a beautiful space. Although it is large and well appointed (love the marble topped island) it is a bit devoid of character, in my opinion.

We spend a lot of time caring for our clothing. If your house is set up anything like mine, the laundry room may also act as a pantry of sorts, so food storage and cleaning supplies may be housed in this space as well. Just because the laundry room is a workhorse doesn't mean it can't be beautiful, however.

Take a look at your space today. What can be organized a bit better? What can be beautified? Can a wall be painted a bold color? A rug runner laid down in front of your machines that alters the look of the room? Changing a few things around may make you want to spend a little more time in the laundry room after all :)

Next week I'll bring you a few pictures of my laundry room.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Purple Kitchen

When was the last time you saw a purple kitchen? Make that a purple kitchen done beautifully? you go! Gorgeous purple cabinets, clean open shelving, stainless steel appliances and table and chairs. I am swooning over here. Seriously, those cabinets are killing me.

Just a little something for your Tuesday :)

PS: I am in LOVE with Pinterest. Have we talked about this yet? I spend WAY too much time on there. If you are in love with pictures and inspiration and color and all of it, head on over and apply for an invitation. You'll be glad you did. Also a little sorry - you will soon become the most ineffective person ever :).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Children's Tour: Sebastians Room

Sebastian is almost 2 years old. He is mine...and I am so glad :). He is my youngest and I have enjoyed making his room a colorful place that reflects his joyous personality. Most of the furniture in the room is from friends or thrift shops; my favorite thing in the room are the hanging fabric circles that I made. My other kids call them "the planets". Sebie tries to call them circles :). Large room carpet by Lakeshore Learning. Green lamp from Target.

All three of these paintings I found at Target; the smaller two are from about 6 years ago and used to be in my older sons room. The larger alphabet one I purchased about a year ago. Isn't Target perfection?

I found this dresser/changing table at my local Goodwill right before I brought my son home. I fell in love with the glass front drawers. I remember that it was $75 and when I brought an employee over to point out a scratch on the top she knocked it down to $60. It is a really solid piece, very heavy and well made. I still can't believe that I lucked out with it for only $60 (and that scratch is totally no big deal - I just like to negotiate when I can).

I found this little States pillow in an antique store in Orange last summer and fell in love with it. I thought it was the perfect size for a baby and Sebastian agreed with me :). He LOVES his blankies and pillows. Sheet by Serena and Lilly.

And what boys room is complete without a train table? This one belonged to my oldest son who has since outgrown it but it was in such good shape that I held onto it and have now pulled it out for Sebastian. He is just starting to play with his trains and the room is plenty big enough to accommodate the table.

That's Sebastians room! Thanks for visiting.

Misery...and Recovery

My blogging and really, all other activies have been light this week because THIS was the hardest, most painful week of my life to date.

I have an autoimmune disease. I try to stay on top of it, not to let it slow me down but it is powerful and sometimes gets the better of me. Plus I am a mom of 4 so between life, kids, husband, home and sickness - well, you know the drill :)

On Monday morning I had a simple spinal tap . Spinal fluid was taken from two punctures to test. It wasn't that big a deal. It was done at a surgery center about an hour away - I was sedated and well taken care of. Since I had epidurals with my first two kids and no issues, I wasn't worried about side effects with this tap.

This one, however, went wrong.

Less than 24 hours after the withdrawal I suddenly got that massive, slowly incapacitating headache the nurses had warned me about. It literally became mind numbing. It became hard to see. My arms started to feel fuzzy. I felt like I was floating. In actuality, I think I was getting close to passing out from the pain. nearly went away when I laid flat on my back. It was a spinal headache...and it was monsterous.

The surgery center advised A LOT of fluid intake...and caffeine. They said to see how things progressed over the next 24 hours. And if it didn't get better, we had to take action.

It got worse.

I couldn't raise my head at all without intense, horrible horrible pain. I was in a whole new territory of problems. I could only lay down. Remember that I have 4 kids :).

Now, I have lived with pain for many years. In fact, I don't remember life without pain, it has been so long. Kind of sad :). I am accustomed to pain; I even have a high tolerance for it.

This pain was blistering. And it just wouldn't stop. From the base of my neck to the top of my head, filling my BRAIN. It WOULD NOT STOP.

All day Tuesday. All day Wednesday.

Wednesday evening the surgeon returned my call and said that I needed to come back in for a blood patch. I remember starting to cry into the phone but trying to hide it because my oldest daughter who is only 6 was lying next to me on the couch and I didn't want her to see. I knew that blood patch meant going back in to have my blood FREAKING INJECTED INTO MY SPINE. Seriously, how bizarre is that?! Weird right? She told me that I was leaking spinal fluid and the blood patch was the only way to fix the pain. And that it WOULD fix the pain. After I hung up with her I covered my head in a blanket and started to cry. My daughter pulled the blanket down so that she could see my face and said, "Oh no! You really ARE crying! Mom, don't be sad! You'll get better!"

Wednesday night was the longest night of my life. I sobbed in the shower. I prayed to the Lord to please help me get through the night to just get to the morning. At this point the pain wasn't abating enough lying down. In retrospect, I should have gone into the emergency room, but I wasn't thinking clearly and wasn't talking very much so my husband had no idea how bad a shape I was in. I actually started to feel like I was going crazy from the pain.

Once I finally fell asleep, I woke myself up GROWLING like an animal. Which started the pain up again.

Thursday morning my husband loaded me into the car and drove me an hour back to the surgery center. It took everything I had not to throw up or lose my mind in the car from pain. I kept chanting in my mind "You are strong". When we walked in the door I told the admitting lady I needed a gurney PRONTO. I knew that I was pretty close to passing out from pain.

My friendly nurses were back, though very worried to see me. They loaded me into a wheelchair and undressed me into a hospital gown. I don't remember a ton after that except that things moved fast and there seemed to be a bunch of people in the room. The surgeon came in and she herself started the IV. Someone took blood from my arm. Someone else asked my pain level on a scale of 1 to 10 and I whispered "10". Electrodes were popped on my chest quickly. I closed my eyes and started to shut things out. I quietly asked to please take away the pain.

They gave me Versed and Fentanyl and probably some other things as well and within 1 minute I was free of pain. It was blissful. I love those two drugs. After that I vaguely remember being propped up with oxygen and some pressure in my back...but the details are very fuzzy.

The blood patch. What a miraculous thing...

When I came to, I was not in pain. That was ALL that mattered. I was there for several hours. I remember that one of the nurses dressed me back in my clothes and put me in a wheelchair and that for the first time in days I was HUNGRY. I had no real appetite for 3 1/2 days and now it was back.

The rest of Thursday was a blur - I slept and stumbled around a bit dazed...but NO headache. Just a very sore spine.

Friday was the same - very very sore spine but no pain in my head. My kids were so grateful to see their mom again. The weather was beautiful on Friday. I went to my 8 year olds Little League game and sat with my friends that night on the bench and was so incredibly grateful to be alive and BACK again. I put on some makeup that night and real clothes. I felt like me again. It felt SO good.

I went from absolute misery and pain for 3 1/2 days and was blessed to come back to regular me again. That is a beautiful thing.

I am beyond grateful.

This experience was kind of life changing for me. I have a well of gratitude for life and color and beauty and my family and the weather - for ALL of it. We all take things for granted, don't we? I know that I did. I took my spinal fluid for granted and I never will again :) I live with illness; that's not going to change. But going right to the edge of what I could physically handle really got me in touch with my emotions and God and my true core ...I don't know. I'm not the same now. I'm better.

And THAT is a good thing.

My spine is still sore; it probably will be for several more days. But my head is clear and my heart is full.

Now...let's return to dwelling :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Handmade for Home: Upcycled Crayon Holder

OK, this is one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" ideas. It's genius. It's for kids crayon/marker organization but you could make it work for many things.

It'll cost you some empty cans from your pantry (ie: fruit, veggie or soup), a scrap of wood and some spray or acrylic paint. And a little time to assemble the whole thing. That's it.

Go here for the simple step-by-step instructions and get to work on making your own!

Seriously, I'm making it THIS week. My kids art table is in desperate need of organization - I am ON it...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Childrens Spaces Roundup

Here are a few pictures of lovely children's spaces to start off your week. I find each space, whether it is a bedroom, a nursery or a playroom to be colorful and most importantly, inspiring! To visit links to each of these pictures, go to my Pinterest page in the Childrens Spaces section - each picture will take you to its individual link.


I love the paint treatment and the poofs on this one!

Here the barn door and unusual grey color of the crib makes sets this space apart...

Poofs, pink and vintage...

Loving the blue and white stripes, the tremendous wall of books and that awesome ottoman!

I flat out love EVERYTHING in this room - I want it all. But especially the rug :)


I like the blue, the built in, the storage drawers. And the detail of the same blue wood timbers overhead.

SUCH a happy room! What's not to love, right?!

This is such a light and effortless girls room, with the window treatment and iron bed. Love the red hat hanging on the bed.

What child wouldn't want to sleep in a bed like this?! Talk about opulent! WOW!


Red, turquoise and white is my favorite color combination - I heart this room.

What an awesome indoor fort! And I am loving the rug

This playroom looks like hard core FUN. Messy, artsy, creative and a little larger that life.

I love the teepee and the wood plank ceiling/walls. It looks like a cozy place for fun.

I hope that you enjoyed this Children's Spaces Roundup!

Handmade for Home: DIY Glass Bubble Chandelier

I wish I could claim this creation as my own, but alas, I cannot. Instead it belongs to the incredibly creative and zen Rachel Meeks of Small Notebook (one of my favorite lifestyle blogs out there). She gathered up the necessary supplies, spending just $70 and with a little time following instructions from designer Jean Pelle she created an incredible, unique light fixture. WOW, right?!

Head on over to Small Notebook for a more detailed look at the steps to make a light like this one. DIY really is the most fulfilling way to go :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pixel Furniture

It's not often that I see furniture I find truly stunning. I am loving these pixel-inspired prints found on seating by Cristian Zuzunaga.

Isn't this seating beautiful?! Would you be able to find a place in your home for such bold pieces?


My offering today is small, sweet and colorful:

Love the sentiment, love the patchwork. Wish I could find it for my couch. Hmmmmm...maybe I should just make one?

Hope your day is bright today.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I'm back and my computer is better...well, nearly. We've still got some rebuilding to do but I won't bore you with the details.

Anyhoo, I am loving this gorgeous door, this PORTAL found in Morocco.

It is my dream to go to Morocco someday; I plan to celebrate my 40th there in 4 years and with something like this door as my backdrop, I think I will look pretty fab in my wise old age :)

Nice to be back - cheers!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Poor little Mac...

My Mac is its off to the Genius Bar we go...again. We went there for a check up earlier this week and it turned out there were some bugs in the hard drive so we wiped the computer and installed an update to the OS - mine is a 2007 so we put in Leopard since that was the most my computer could take at the time. But now I find that I'm missing iphoto and imovies and a host of other programs that I need/want and can only get them through iLife...and need Snow Leopard to install iLife. Which means I need to beef up my hard drive. And the whole top to my computer needs to be replaced because it is chipped (common problem with 2007's - they're doing that for free). computer is going to be in the shop for a few days but once I'm back online I'll be good as new AND with all sorts of new bells and whistles. Sorry to leave Dwelling for a few days. Have a great, beautiful, inspiring weekend! xoxo, Sara