Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Sometimes I hate making decisions. I remember when I could make any decision in less than 10 minutes; like where to eat, buying new clothes, what college to go to, where to live, etc. But the older I get the more I analysis and debate any decision until I just don't even want what the decision will get me! So my latest decision is deciding what to do with my car. Now you may say what is wrong with your car; well nothing really except that my lease is up and I need to decide if I should just buy it or trade it in for a newer model. So far I think I want to trade it in for a new car. My 2 choices are a Toyota RAV4 or a Nissan Rogue. They both have great features I want and are similar in price. I want it in either white or red…. now if I could just hurry up and decided.
Toyota RAV4
Nissan Rogue

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I am in Texas for the week! One of my best cousins lives here and I decided I needed to take a trip to see her and Texas. So far it's pretty cool. I mean its snowing at home and beside the quick hailstorm we just had its really warm and pleasantly humid. The trees are green; whereas everything is just the color of mud at home right now and the company is great even though I miss my roommate, family and my dogs. Over the next few days I hope to experience some fun Texan culture and see some of the great sites of the Lonestar state!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shoe Mania

With the promise of Spring close upon us my desire to buy all things bright, summery and fashionable is in full swing! This weekend was full of successful purchases. I have bought a number of new shoes recently but my current favorite are these stinking cute sandals. And imagine my glee when I found out that I got a screaming deal on them; at they were $61 and at TJ Maxx I bought them for $35. You gotta love a good deal like that and the fact that they look so good on my feet. I heart my new shoes.

Clutter Be Gone!

Do you ever feel like you are constantly just trying to keep up with the clutter that accumulates in your life? I am embarrassed to admit this but I have lived in my house for over a year now and my spare room is still a disaster! It has everything I just don’t want to deal with in there; old clothes that I swear I’m going to be able to fit into again, décor that I don’t have a place for but I still love it and think I will use it one day, magazines!, lots of photos, spare blankets and I could go on and on but you get the picture.It’s amazing how many excuses you can invent to put off this task; but having a new roommate moving in next week (yeah, Jenny we are so excited you are moving in!) has helped with my motivation. I was surprised to see how many garbage bags went to goodwill or the trash. I can’t believe the relief and sense of accomplishment I feel having just thrown away “stuff” I have been holding onto for years. My mind feels lighter and I feel refreshed and revitalized; and that was just one room! I think de-cluttering might just be addictive; now I want to attack my bedroom and then just my life in general.I have posted a few pictures I love of organized spaces to keep me motivated and maybe help you feel motivated with your own clutter ordeal. Remember add a punch of color, your personality and get organized!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Orange Cashew Rice

Oranges, cashews and rice-OH MY!!
This looks like a delicious dish. I'm going to try it this weekend.

1 cup water
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp. dried orange peel
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt to taste
1 cup raw basmati rice
½ cup roasted cashew pieces
¼ cup yellow bell pepper, diced
¼ cup red bell pepper, diced
3 scallions, finely diced
1 tsp. salt
White pepper to taste
1 8-ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained well

In a sauce pot bring water, orange juice, dried orange peel, olive oil, and salt to a boil and stir in rice. Cover saucepot and simmer rice 25-30 minutes or until rice is cooked through and liquid has totally evaporated.
Empty rice into a large mixing bowl and add roasted cashew pieces, diced peppers and scallions. Just before serving season rice with salt and white pepper and add orange segments to rice, folding in gently to prevent oranges from breaking. Serves 4.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wallpaper or Art?

This is wallpaper, REALLY it is! This wallpaper comes with all these empty "frames" on it and then you can draw, paste and fill them with your own artwork or art you like. I think it is a really cool idea; especially for those of us who would like to draw them ourselves but don't really have the artistic ability to do so. This would look so cool in a hallway; with a few frames left empty. Also in a children's play room; its a great way to encourage kids artistic creativity and then by showcasing it on the wall would give them a sense of pride and accomplishment.

This picture is NOT wallpaper; someone has freehanded the appearance of moldings and details. I love the sketched look. I think this is fun and definately unexpected way to add a touch of whimsy and character to a space.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Taking Time to Enjoy the View

I have this favorite trail I take my dogs on a few times a week. The other day I thought I would take my camera with me and capture some of the amazing views of Cache Valley I enjoy on this hike. This is the Bonneville Shoreline Trail; it starts just at the beginning of Green Canyon in North Logan and goes all the way to First Dam; its about 4 miles total. I like it because it's close to my house and I can set my pace; its also great to mountain bike as well.
My dogs love, love, love this trail. They get to run and explore and smell everything. We frequently get to meet other canine friends as well. Who knew exercise could be so fun!
My friend Trish and I enjoying the sun and having lots of laughs, what a great day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Life is Life

I saw this saying on a canvas at TJ Maxx the other day and I started thinking about it. I think it means whether good or bad whatever is going on in your life is suppose to be happening. I tend to let the good and exciting things happen without any questions but when the bad or hard stuff happens I am always full of questions. The point is that even though it’s not always clear to us why things turn out the way they do it's just how life goes. We can choose to let life make us bitter and cynical or we can let life take us where we need to go and find happiness and contentment. I think it’s okay to question life, to push the boundaries and fight and love for what you want the most. It’s important to dream, set goals and make plans; but then we need to roll with what we are given and hold on to it. If we can do that I think life will be good and the best things that happen to us will be the ones we didn’t plan or expect.

Larger Than Life

I have no idea where my fasination with horses came from but since I was little girl I have had this weird obsession with them. I even owned one for a summer and learned to ride pretty well. I found this first picture a few years ago and I just thought it was so cool. I have looked for where I can find my own such canvas but so far I am out of luck; I guess I will have to admire these rooms. In general I love huge pieces of art; showing off your passion in this extraordinary style makes an awesome statement. I love how they make an instant great focal point and I can imagine the great conversations they incur.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Green Fits Me

I am revitalized by green. I love it in my house, and I have decided I love wearing it! I love the bright, bold, green as grass kind of green. Green is the color of nature and life; it is also the color of growth, balance, harmony, relaxation and stability. It gives us a sense of hope and the promise of spring and life.

Some fun names for green are:
Emerald, sea green, seafoam, olive, grass green, apple, mint, forest, lawn green, lime, spring green, leaf green, aquamarine, beryl, chartreuse, kelly green, peridot, jade, sage, sap, viridian, clover green, pine, moss.

My new purse, I'm quite thrilled about this purchase.

Some great green rooms. Bold and daring or soothing and calming.

Green is great when you need to restore balance to your life, feel a need for growth or change, want freedom to pursue new ideas, or want to calm your nerves.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Great Friends are the Heart of Life

A few of my best friend memories….
  • Getting a text in the middle of the night that makes me laugh so hard I think I might pee my pants and then laughing for the next hour as we take turns cracking the other one up- we think we are hilarious!
  • When a friend shows up at my door and tells me he is taking me to dinner because he knows I had a rough day.
  • Checking my voicemail at work and hearing the most bizarre made up story ever.
  • One Tree Hill and The 4400 marthons
  • Going for long hikes with our dogs.
  • A mixed CD of our favorite dancing music.
  • Sleep overs.
  • Road trips, need I say more?
  • Dancing around the house to “Womanizer” and eating cookie dough.
  • A note on Facebook that tells me I’m beautiful.
  • My roommate running and jumping on my bed in the middle of the night just to talk about how our nights went.
  • Shopping for hours and hours!
  • Rockband Tour; wahooo for "The Brittney’s"
  • Café Sabor….. Sweet Pork Quesadillas, so delicious.
  • DSH days!

Let's always remember what makes our friends important to us.

Thanks to all my great friends!

Zebra Zeal

Zebra prints are out in full force. I have watched them become popular; liked a few pieces I have seen but I hadn’t decided if I was a supporter of this trend or not. Well this is what I have decided; I like a little zebra pop; the key being "little". If you are in love with zebra keep it in small accent punches. The following pictures show this idea nicely.

I think a pair of chairs would give a strong punch against a more subtle pattern or color palette.

This stair runner is bold and definitely compliments the black and white color scheme.

I love this rug; it makes this otherwise traditional, sort of plain room come alive with movement and a bold contrast.

These stools are great. They give just enough piazza without screaming for attention.

I think a pair of chairs, an ottoman or a rug can make a bold classic black and white statement; but a whole sofa or this print in multiple places creates an overdone zoo theme.
My advice- while a zebra print is wild and will definitely brings life to any space remember less is better with this fun print.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Backyard Bliss

I WANT A PERGOLA IN MY BACKYARD! I have loved pergolas for years now and I finally have a backyard and the perfect spot to build one! My favorite part is that it you some shade and light while it gives the illusion of a covered deck. I wish the landscaping and furniture would magically appear when I am done too. My only dilemma now is deciding if I want a stamped concrete patio or a wood deck..... decisions, decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Favorite Childhood Book

As a child I read all the time; I loved imagining the people and seeing where they lived and all the adventures they experienced. One thing I never did was read the same book twice. I'm still that way today; however this book I have read many times. I'm not really sure what draws me to it time and time again; maybe it's this little girl's desire to have a place of her own and how she develops a love for this little abandoned cottage she finds. I suppose I have the same passion for my cute little house and have turned it into my own safe haven and a place I love to be. I also believe my desire to me an interior designer was inside me long before I realized it and I have always related to beautiful surroundings my whole life. My love for this book could just be that it has a happy ending and who doesn’t enjoy a feel good book from time to time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sea Urchin Sculptures

Jennifer Maestre is a Massachusetts- based artist, born in South Africa. She is known for her amazing pencil sculptures. Her creations were inspired by the form, function and texture of the sea urchin. She said this about her work, “The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion.”

I’m amazed and sometimes a little envious at people’s creativity. I think it’s fantastic that there is so much inspiration in the world and so many daring and curious minds that crave to explore all the possibilities.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bohemian Magic

I think I am experiencing spring fever. As a result I want to surround myself with everything bright and colorful. I think these plates would make a great addition to my life. I imagine by eating on these plate everyday my life would have one more extra splice of joy. As I finished my meal I would see this fabulous plate staring up at me, wanting to say "appreciate me, I'm here to make you happy!" And I would laugh and think happy thoughts. Well okay not really but I am laughing right now; so I think the plates are working their magic.

Victorian Italianate Remodel

My good friend bought this amazing house (at my insistence) and is now beginning the daunting task of gutting and remodeling it. This 100+ year old house still has many of the great architectural features from the Victorian era. I'm not usually a fan of Victorian "clutter" (like gingerbread molding, turrets, finials, belt courses patterned shingles and wild color schemes) but the Italianate style has a classic look that I love. This style was inspired by country villas in northern Italy; it was considered very elegant with its asymmetrical design, flat roof, elaborately carved window surrounds and intricate glass work. I think by restoring and accenting the features of the late 1800's era while giving it a fresh modern update this house will awe its future visitors. Now if only the 15 layers of wallpaper would take themselves off the walls!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Students Practicing Sustainable Design

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of my favorite American architects, and is arguably the most ingenious architect of modern times. He created 2 schools for aspiring architects to study his work and carry on designing great architecture. This prefab 600 square foot, one bedroom house was built by a group of these students. The house is sustainable and economical. "It can be connected to utilities or be "unplugged," relying on low-consumption fixtures, rainwater harvesting, greywater re-use, natural ventilation, solar orientation, and photovoltaic to reduce energy and water use. The structure is dimensioned and engineered to be transportable via roadway." I love seeing earth-friendly practices being incorporated into education. Part of our responsibility as designers is taking the environmental challenges we are facing and creating work that is eco-friendly as well as beautiful design.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Space Expanded

This dining room was designed by interior designer Vincent Wolfe. I love how the mirror reflects the entire length of this studio apartment. Mirrors are an excellent way to open up a space and make the room feel bigger. In this picture the mirror acts as an architectural feature as well; the mirrors large scale makes a dramatic statement just by simply being there. And I love how the light is reflected from all the windows; it gives the room a natural glow and refreshing ambiance. So if you are feeling cramped or dreary in your own home- go buy a mirror and expand your space!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

If I were a sofa... would I be this one?

There is an assignment I have my students do to help them understand Harmony as a principle of good design. In this assignment they have to observe a random person and then design a sofa that represents that person. I want them to be able to take an abstract idea and execute it into something concrete. I want them to see how everything around them can be used to inspire design! And while I don’t think I was the inspiration of this amazing sofa can you just imagine the little old lady with a big floppy red hat and a long, flowing, patchwork skirt meandering down a busy street; her socks bulging out of her vintage high heeled shoes; her hands full of colorful bags; a pleased smile on her face; excited about her recent treasured finds? I most definitely can! And maybe if I’m lucky in 60 years I will be the inspiration for a sofa much like this one. How can we not be inspired by life every day?

I could have this view!

Maybe its because the weather is less than shiny lately or maybe its just because I love the water but I could definitely live here. Exactly on this amazing deck; I wouldn't even have to go in the house! Can you imagine just sipping a fabulous fruity concoction, getting some blissful sun rays, watching the boats cruise down the river, doing a few laps in the pool and not having a care in the world? Even if I could have this paradise painted life for a few weeks I would take it.

He's Just Not That Into You

For months I have been eagerly anticipating the day this movie came to theaters. So a few weeks ago my BFF and I went and saw it. Now this same BFF and I also purchased the book a few years ago and laughed and cried our way through it and then agreed it was TOTALLY and COMPLETELY true! It changed how we thought and saw ourselves in a relationship.

Since that time I have had countless discussions with a variety of girls about this book; and sadly most of them have very strong opinions about the subject and most of them hate it and think it’s JUST not true. Mostly I think they believe they are the exception. I feel bad for these girls and wish they could catch the vision! But then I understand that most of them are just trying to cope with some “hopeless to get back into relationship” that was never really that great but they have imagined it was and they are just not ready to face reality.
Now I can’t say that I have NEVER been this girl, I have, but I would like to think that I can see relationships as part of life and that most people will have good ones and bad ones and way more than they really want before they find someone that everything just clicks.I have had great guys who were really into me; for a time anyway. And for whatever reasons things didn’t work out; and I am sad for awhile because I lost a friend and someone who I had a lot of fun with and then they are gone. But I also leave knowing that at the end of the day or the end of my life I want someone who can love everything about my spunky personality and wants to put up with all my crazy ideas and sporadic quirks.

So I guess for me it’s not about why a guy doesn’t like me anymore; it’s about the great memories I have and what I gained and that’s how it should be. And eventually I know this dating thing will be over and I will have a whole new set of rules to learn and I hope I embrace them and figure out to be me and be happy.

So girls everywhere- love life and yourself and have fun on the journey to finding that amazing person; I have a feeling it is going to be worth it when I finally find it; and until then happy dating! Ha Ha Ha!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Breakfast of Champions?

I wake up every morning; throw myself together and head out the door for work. I am not a morning person and food is the last thing on my mind at 8am. When I get to work I am wrapped up in what I need to get done for the day; again I'm not thinking about food. But by about 9am my stomach IS thinking about food and screaming at me to stop and think about it too. Well this use to be such a frustration because my options were the cafeteria (I love the BATC cafeteria but my calorie counting doesn't) or the thought of all the food I have at home that I forgot to prepare during my hurried morning routine. This use to be an everyday occurrence and you would think after repeating this everyday I would learn to plan my breakfast but sadly I didn't; that is until I met Fiber ONE! Now my breakfast decision is fast, simple and above all else yummy. I really love these crazy bars. They fill me up, give me a small dose of chocolate and keep my stomach content through the whole morning. While not everyone would consider this a breakfast of champions I will admit it's good enough for me. So thanks Fiber ONE for being there for me every morning (and honestly sometimes for my lunch too)! Now my only dilemma is remembering to buy more!