Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Current Favorite: Pens

I feel about pens (no not your every day ball point pen) how most people feel about candy, or chocolate. It never seems as if I could have enough and each new option tempts me with its' unknown qualities. I enjoy taking notes, writing letters, drawing, filling in my calendar (yes I use a paper one, no I am not 100 years old) and anything else I can think of with my assortment of pens. Having kids has not helped with this addiction but rather has caused it to escalate. Kids need fun pens too right?Stabilo pens are my new favorite. I love how the tip is thin and holds up after hours of writing without becoming flimsy and wilted. Their color options are varied enough and the price point at my art store is reasonable.

Any new pens I should be adding to my collection? Have you tried these?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mini-Series: My Favorite Spot: Meagan Lindsay Shuptar

It is such a treasure to have friends that are creative, talented and fun-loving. Meagan Lindsay Shuptar is one of those treasures. Meg and her husband Jon have three adorable (and I do mean adorable) children. Meagan works and owns her own photography business along with being mama to her three little babes. As a photographer her ability to capture moments in time has a simplicity and power of composition that is captivating.  If you aren't already following her on Instagram you might want to rectify that as soon as you can. When I thought of doing this mini-series Meg was one of the first people I thought of asking to contribute. As usual she did not disappoint.

The question: What is your favorite spot(s) in your home?

The walls! I like I get creative with little collages of art, frames, and decor...and one huge reason I love the walls is that they are often the cleanest spot in my house haha. Posters are by Mini & Maximus, the square painting of the woman is by Lady Noel Designs, and the frames etc are pieces from thrifting as well as some vintage things from my grandparents. 

Check out Meagan's photography blog at

Follow her on Instagram: @mlindsayshuptar

Monday, July 21, 2014

My daily face

I've been needing to get out the door in a hurry this week which means I have a total of 5-10 minutes for hair and makeup. This has been my go to as of late. my face some needed defintion

MAC paintpot in Groundwork, put this all over my eyelid and a bit on my browbone

great neutral little pallet

Using a MAC 219 brush I cover my lid and crease with the darker browns, highlight under my eyebrow with the lights and line my eye on top only with the brown and black

few coats of mascara

the smallest dab of this goes a long long way-I use it to cover any under eye darkness

a pea-sized amount will cover all the areas I want to even out and is super easy since I apply it with my hands

best bronzer ever

swipe on the cheeks, nose and chin

blush-my favorite makeup item, just on the cheeks

love this stuff-spray all over my face and it gives a nice dewy finish while making the makeup last longer
apply straight from the tube and then blot down with my finger (color is Sheer Mandarin)

best shot I could get of the finished get the idea:)


Sunday, July 20, 2014

BBQ Chicken Pizza..

           ....with a few jalapenos and red yummy!

I discovered the recipe on this woman's cooking channel.  If you are a visual learner like me then she might be your new best friend. I did make a slight change to her recipe and used smoked gouda instead of smoked mozzarella, my deli counter was out. I think the smoked gouda made the pizza have this delicious creaminess and I have no plans of ever trying the smoked mozzarella. I held back on jalapenos all over the pizza because usually my hubby does not love that much heat. He said, after trying a bite of mine that next time we should put jalapenos all over. They really add something to the dish.  Let me know if you try this or any of her other recipes out, I plan on devouring many of her dishes in the near future.


  And in case you are curious, no my children did not eat this. I made a separate cheese pizza for them, I was in no mood for a food battle on this night.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A mini-house tour: Emily O'Donnell

 Going along with my love for peeking into the places people call home, I asked my oldest sister Emily if she would share with us a few glimpses into her new home. Emily and her family recently ( a few weeks ago recently) sold all of their furniture and belongings-packed up and moved from Naperville Illinois to Brisbane Australia. It kills me on many levels to not be able to see Emily and enter her home. Emily is one of the most welcoming and hospitable people I know so having her as a sister and living nearby was a forever win. Every time I entered her home I would find inspiration in her decorative touches and curbside finds. When she moved she gave me a few pieces from her house and they will be forever treasures to me. Since her move I have been dying to see what transformations this new house of hers has undergone at the hand of my creative Emily. I was not disappointed.  Here are a few thoughts from her on this new place.
I've decided I love small spaces--it has it's limitations of course, but it fosters coziness, it forces me maintain some sense of order, and it makes it easier to parent. I know where my kids are, what they're doing, who is provoking who, who needs time alone, etc. 

When we arrived in our furnished rental home in Australia there was a small dining table, some small artwork on the walks that I disliked, a large brown couch, a great coffee table and a large sisal rug. Within a week, the chairs on the dining table were falling apart, we were all tripping on the couch, and our family of 6 didn't have enough space to all sit in this main room--our family/dining room. So we moved (almost) everything downstairs and started fresh.

A few weeks later, inspired by some items on my kitchen windowsill ( read Emily's blog post on this here), and in particular a ring, my room is decked out with thrifted finds. Everything is second-hand and I love it. The silky oak wardrobe is our visual anchor, along with the bookcase filled with the only things we brought from the States, my husband's books. 

The white walls of our rental home keep it light, so that allows me to have fun with colors--I'm currently loving greens, golds, browns, greys with a bit of blue. Does that remind you of maps? Me too. We cut up an old atlas with spaces where family & friends are living and put them in thrifted frames. Voila--a wall is filled.

Thrifted pillows have helped me tie the colors of my room together. The angled mint leather couch opened up the space to allow for more seating. 

Pushing our new large dining table up against the wall, beneath the window, captured beautiful light, made more space in our room and, for some reason, made us feel like we were eating out for dinner each night.

Our long table has room for a runner, little flower arrangements and candles. We have set the table every night for dinner, and try to remember to light the candles. It makes it so much more special. It gets dark here by 5pm, so we light up the table and we all know that is the place to be.

A quirky edition was this framed statue head--I planned to put a different picture in, but ended up grabbing a dry erase marker and writing our dinner menu on it, along with notes for the day, and the kids now use it for pictures or whatever strikes their fancy. It's fun.

I found this gnarly branch on the sidewalk in front of our neighbours' house and grabbed it. Instant art! I love it.

I'm partial to amateur oil paintings--they're cheap and I just pick the ones with colors that I'm drawn too. 

Can you see why I love this space? Come visit and we'll share a cup of tea and sit & chat.

 Happy Saturday! And thanks Emily, love you!