Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Finds

Hope everyone is having a GREAT Friday.  This week was a toughie but it also seemed to fly by - crazy how a packed schedule makes you feel that way.

So Wednesday evening before trying out my latest work out scheme (more on that next week) I popped into Target to pick up a few essentials and of course cruised the home decor section for some inspiration/bargains. 

I've been meaning to post about the amazingness that is the new Threshold line by Target for some time now.  Have ya'll seen it?  I did some research on it after seeing a new lampshade with the Threshold branding about a month and a half ago (scooped up for these awesome lamps) and apparently Target is rebranding their Target Home line, both in actual logo and product assortment. The new product selection was described by one of the top Target merchants as "New England Country Chic."

Sign me up, hook, line and sinker, I'm sold. 

Everything I've seen is super reasonably priced and surprising well made and exceptionally well curated for a house brand.  Right now they have a much better selection in store and are still clearly working through the branding change over on their awful .com site (love the store, hate their website - soo not user friendly after the relaunch!) but I've pulled some of my favs from the new collection below.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
I feel some zhushing in my future after all this inspiration from Target, although my weekend will  likely also involve some trim painting and mulching as well.  More on that on Monday. Happy weekend loves!

ps i wish target paid me for this (preferably in threshold items, duh.) but sadly they did not.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekend Recap: the 'Sip

Hope ya'll are having a fabulous start to your week.  I'm a little late posting this weekend recap as I needed to fully recover (both liver and sleep) from my amazing weekend in Mississippi, where my best friend E got married!

We started off the weekend by renting this guy: a brand new Altima with only 200 miles on it and no license plates.

what? apparently this was "no big deal" LOVE the honor policy!
As I've mentioned a hundred times, E's parent's are incredibly talented in the kitchen so naturally the home cooked food for the rehearsal dinner was delish!  With a wedding of only 75ish people total, we got to meet nearly everyone and I came away missing the south and all these lovelies more than ever!

wasn't she just the prettiest, happiest bride?
I find that as I get older it's fun meeting all the friends of your long time friends, because as corny as it sounds, it's nice to know that they have good people in their lives who will give them a hug when they need it.  On this trip, I loved everyone I met, mostly because their friendships with E remind me much of my own.
boobalicious i know.  i may have forgotten to get my significantly too large dress altered until the last minute and still could have used about a half inch taken in. oops.
D and I ended up being the DJ and emcee (respectively) due to some last minute changeroos, but thanks to the Mr. Jobs for creating the iPad and some (probably 19 year old) genius for creating Spotify, AND lots of wine on my part, we were able to pull it off without a hitch.  Not to toot my own horn but I may have received a job offer from the Blue Rose in Biloxi :) Just sayin...
Naturally, today (and really yesterday, although not as consciously) I'm back at work and trying to rehydrate.  Good thing I have THE BEST WEDDING FAVOR EVER, a very Mississippi koozie.
that's sparkling water, not a miller lite.
On a related health note, I'm going back Paleo today, at least mostly.  I tried this awhile ago and discovered in progress that I'm pretty sure I have a mild gluten allergy because as much as I love pasta and bread, I feel AMAZING when I obstain.  To kick it off, I made these pancakes, recently crafted by one of my besties who just did the Whole 30.  Check out her blog to see all the yummy treats she made (pre and during- she's a rock star baker)

food porn that is legitimately delish.
Hope you are having a wonderfully healthy fall day!  Back with more fun house nonsense this week, now that we've put a bookmark in wedding season - whew!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall Essentials

Continuing my obsession with fall, I've done a little online (and in person - shhh) back to school shopping of my own. Just a few things to embrace the change in weather, cozy up and hunker down.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
I already have the gap boyfriend cords in the red and mustard; can't wait for more colors to come out!
What are your fall essentials?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Weekend Recap: Local Fair

Hi All!  Can you tell I'm in a Fall mood?  This past weekend definitely ushered in all the best that Fall has to offer with the Forest Park Balloon Race on Saturday followed by a bike ride to the Kirkwood Green Tree Festival for live music and some local food and fun!

look at that gorgeous sky!  we had to beat the sunset home on our bikes, but we're grateful that it's only a quick 15 minute ride.
The crisp air and my new leopard scarf definitely got me in the mood for the changing seasons and I spent most of the weekend tinkering around the house, changing some decor out - no gourds here, no worries! - and making some yummy food.
way cuter and nicer in person - def worth the purchase

I highly recommend you check out this recipe from my hero Ina - it was super easy and made the house smell great!  I'll be back tomorrow with my top pics for fall essentials - stay tuned!

Happy Fall, ya'll!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Feeling like Fall

These past few nights D and I have been sleeping with the windows open and it's definitely starting to feel more like Fall.  I always used to favor Spring over Fall, with everything starting to bloom and those big blue skies and crisp air after what can only be described as a gray Missouri winter, but then we decided to get married in October so fall has definitely grown on me.

This fall is going to be a bit different, both because we have a new home (and TONS of leaves to rake) and it's our first married Fall together.  This time last year I was entering the home stretch of wedding planning and sleeping with the windows open and enjoying a few crunchy leaves didn't even cross my mind.

D has always loved Fall. I think my husband is the only grown man who still does back to school shopping and gets giddy about all the coziness that Fall brings. I'm excited to embrace some of the fun Fall things that we missed last year what with wedding planning and taking our honeymoon for most of October.

lots of fire pits and smores in our fall future - this was the set up at our wedding!
st. louis balloon glow is this weekend - the official start to fall!
In addition to game nights, wine parties and lots of movies by the fire, I'm also excited to work on my "Fall To Do List" - all the house things I've been putting off until it's too cold to pull weeds, paint furniture and putz around in the garage.

Before we get to Fall, we still have a few more projects to wrap up outside, namely: cleaning up the ivy mess in the front, taking down a poor tree in the back that didn't quite make it this summer and installing a french drain.  That last one should be pretty laborious but we should have some family/worker bees coming to visit in October so hopefully that will help the progress along.
What are you most excited about this Fall?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Weekend Recap: NOLA

Hello Loveys!  Sorry for the delay, I got stuck in NOLA for one more day after my flight got canceled but let me just say - WHAT.A.WEEKEND.  Holy Moly, where to begin!

E's bachelorette party got started with a bang on Friday with some fun details, food and drinks in the room and then we hit Bourbon that night.

our mini set up in one of the rooms at the W.  yes, I traveled with all that nonsense.
little gift cups for all the girls.  got these at target for only 58 cents each and
added names and filled them with pool ready essentials.
This was my first time to NOLA and I have to say, I was a little surprised by how chaotic and dirty it was.  EVERYTHING smells, it's just crazy.  As E's fiance later put it: "doesn't it feel so good to leave that place?" Haha. 
Smells aside, we had fun and got to check out a few local haunts.  We had breakfast at Mother's, which featured all the classic southern dishes like baked ham, sausage, eggs, grits and biscuits but the general consensus was that only the biscuits were really remarkable.

via. yes, this is the creepy street corner of mother's.
We later hit up Johnny's Po Boys for lunch where the po boy was invented, also a questionable interior with lots of greasy soul food, but significantly better - try to muffalata - i know, weird choice.
And some of us checked out Palace Cafe on Sunday for brunch.  This was my second favorite meal with a bloody mary bar, banana beignets and eggs benedict with debris.  Debris you say? like Trash? Ah yes, this is a common meat term in NOLA that refers to either beef or pork shreds that fall off when roasting - they are served with a light gravy (no cream) on biscuits and it is like eating a delicious heart attack on a plate.  Been there. Done that. Not going to happen again for my health.  Seriously though, the Palace Cafe was beautiful and quaint in such a way that only a little french restaurant can be - caned back bistro chairs, lots of heavy wood work, black and white octagonal penny tiles - be still my heart!
and this is their sign out front.  isn't it darling?
So if you're keeping track, Palace was only my second favorite restaurant - because we went to Luke for dinner Saturday and it was INCREDIBLE.  Probably one of the best dinners I've ever had - easily in the top 10.  Like Palace, this was a traditional southern take on French food with all the delicious pomme frittes and bearnaise sauces a girl could want.  The service was excellent, the menu had something for everyone and I feel that the price was a deal considering the quality of food and presentation.  two thumbs up!

loved the design of the Luke menu.
You'll notice that this post doesn't detail any of the debauchery of the trip - let's just say we had our fun and NOLA won't be forgetting these 8 girls any time soon.
night two. W lobby.
Especially after this. We love Texas and the USA what can I say?
and you can totally tell the part where none of us knows the words. perfect.
More house stuff later this week once I got started on the detox that my liver and heart so desperately need.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Foodie

So D finally emailed me the rib recipe, and I see that it's lacking the rub part - no malice on his part, probably just forgot. Here's what we know to be true: the cooking method is just as important, if not more so, as the flavor.

We usually use this rub that we get in Nashville from the greatest grocery store EVER - Fresh Market. We don't have a Fresh Market in St. Louis or even Missouri for that matter due to some crazy (to me) grocery labor unions. This is also the travesty the prevents us from ever getting a Super Target with legit grocery - painful. I digress. TFM has tons of rubs for poultry, steaks, potatoes, you name it there's a rub for it, but we always use the "Anything Goes" rub which includes: sea salt, paprika, sugar, cumin, fennel, brown sugar, coriander, mint, red chili flakes, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne, in that order so you could probably guesstimate this. We ran out of the mix so we added in most of the above and ground it together with a mortar and pestle.

Once you have your rub fixed up, you follow the below instructions. It should also be noted that this is Big T's recipe that he has worked on for a LONG time and consulted lots of local butchers, chefs, etc. on. We keep using baby back ribs because that seems to be what's most readily available here in St. Louis but regular back ribs will be slightly more fatty but will also yield a more tender finished product - baby backs are fine, you just have to watch them and adjust accordingly if things look like they're drying out too much.

"Big T's Ribs"

adapted by D

with clarification notes by katie

Purchase Back Ribs or Baby Back Ribs. Remove membrane from bone side of ribs. Do this when they are all together before cutting racks into smaller sections. Easiest to work on this with a tea towel rather than paper towels to get a better grip - this is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF GETTING TENDER RIBS.

Blot dry with paper towels.

Generously apply rub (see above) and brown sugar (about a cup total across 4 full racks of ribs) to both sides of ribs. Push spices in deep. Wrap each section of ribs tightly in plastic wrap and

cover in an aluminum pan overnight - in the fridge, duh. There's no time limit here but we usually prep them around 12 or 1 the day prior to cooking to give you an idea.

Next day, remove plastic and place all ribs in aluminum pan bone side down. Recover pan (with aluminium foil or the topper that came with it) and bake 3-4 hours at 225.

Put on grill on low-medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side. When they begin to get crispy, it's time for barbecue sauce. You can use whatever sauce you'd like. We usually use whatever's regional (as in nashville sauce in nashville, stl sauce in stl, and even Toronto bbq sauce when we were in toronto earlier this summer)

Move to indirect heat. Then brush sauce on heavily. Then grill on low heat for ten minutes. Brush again and grill another five to ten. Take off grill and eat. um i love that last part.

So there it is - enjoy! I usually serve this with these green beans a la my hero.

via. pretty sure i could be happy as a clam living in the hamptons,
cooking in this kitchen and being the barefoot contessa in training.

I'll be getting my foodie on in NOLA this weekend for my bestie's bachelorette party! Pics with the cute deets I've been crafting when I return. Hopefully we stay dry, apparently someone named Nadine is trying to crash the party.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Somethings Old

In addition to my little hampers, I also worked on spiffing up a new-to-me piece of furniture over the holiday weekend, and hatching a master master bedroom plan!

Currently, in our bedroom we have a "step in" closet, as D likes to refer to it, which is about 3 and a half feet deep and over 6 feet wide.  It's great and houses a lot more than our old closets did (yes, we were in two closets, in different rooms), but it's still not enough for ALL of our junk.  D has a ton of sneakers and sweaters and surprise: I have LOTS of shoes and purses, not to mention all our unmentionables and work out clothes, t-shirts, etc.  So while we have a bigger closet, we're both currently still relegated to two dressers (his being in his office, mine in our bedroom) and two additional closets semi-full of purses/shoes/sweaters/etc.

My jewelry has also become quite the collection.  Being from Texas, I LOVE big, chunky, bright (and sometimes gaudy) jewelry and while I have a pretty jewelry box, it has just started to overflow.

And with that, here comes my master master bedroom plan!

I'd like to add in two new (likely refurbished or painted) three or four drawer dressers to act as big ole chunky nightstands and use those as overflow for some of our currently displaced belongings.

love this chunky chest.  spotted originally in either Elle Decor or House Beautiful and then rediscovered on Pinterest!
recreation: stumbled upon a pair of these at one of my local favs 
just a tiny bit too tall for our space

Then cram additional stuff into my dresser (thereby becoming OUR dresser) and move all my jewelry into a separate little new-to-me piece, which should free up some space that I'm currently hogging in the closet.

new-to-me piece snagged at an outdoor flee for super cheap - look at those caster feet!
So here's the thing about this new little vanity.  It sat in my garage and I thought and thought about what to do with this. I even went and picked out paint chips and decided on one, and then when I went to look at this little guy in the garage before a weekend trip to the Home Depot, I realized I felt really bad about painting this when it has such a beautiful, original stain and pretty patina to it. Whew, Holy run on....  So I haven't really touched it. I bought some scratch cover and polish and scrubbed it good before bringing it in and then tried out a few new knob looks.
of course, it's already in a state of disarray.  Went with the top knobs also from
White Rabbit, and with dainty little details
So the other thing is that this piece is old, like REALLY old, so in order to freshen it up a bit and feel less like I was using someone's gramma's makeup table, I grabbed some pretty scrapbook paper and decoupage and went to work.

turns out gingham doesn't photograph well.
Ultimately I plan on collecting a bunch of mini tea cups from thrift stores and putting them in at least the first drawer so store all my baubles - similar to Miss. Camila's.
doesn't this look so nice and organized? via.
But all that aside, I'm still stuck on to paint or not to paint.  With the new chunky dresser/night stands I want either painted white furniture or lime wood/mango wood (no surprise there - the obsession continues) The problem is the dresser that's currently in there and will stay in there - it is also this same stain of dark wood.  I feel like now its just too much wood and the dresser isn't even really that nice, it's mostly solid wood but from JCP several years ago.  My major problem is that I feel bad about painting the vanity but I think it would be more difficult to paint the dresser.  Something's gotta give and D's dresser is no better - it's black.
So - what would you do? Paint the vanity or keep it original?
Also as a VERY important side note: Happy Birthday to the best dad I know, Big T we love you!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


So one of the projects I worked on this weekend was a little stencil design on our hampers in the master.  We both really like a little bit of the industrial look and actually have purchased a vintage laundry cart that we plan on putting in the den once we get that far, but I wanted to bring a little of that to our bedroom which is turning out to be more refined and needing a little age and distinction to it.  While a little stenciling isn't going to get us distinction it at least helps with the age part a bit.

via. very similar to the cart we got for the den,
except ours is way older and needs some serious TLC. 
via. closer to the look we're going for in the bedroom.
We already had some canvas laundry hampers that we purchased at target a long time ago that we currently use to separate our whites and darks.  For this project, I grabbed some Martha Stewart paint in navy at Michaels along with some stenciling letters, stenciling brushes and some spray adhesive for stenciling.
i loved the old school traditional stencil look of these, and the size was perfect!
This project was easy-peasy and probably only took 10 minutes tops.  I just cut the corner stencil down a bit, sprayed the adhesive on the back of the stencil and centered it in the middle of the hamper.  I then grabbed my stencil brush and dipped it into the paint on a small paper plate I had and lightly dabbed the fabric surface - starting from the outside edges of the stencil and working in.
stuck on, pre paint!
All in all, the adhesive did a pretty good job creating a barrier between the interior paint area and exterior non painted space.  If anything my minor goof up was that I cut the letter a little close on one side (the lower case W was creeping in!) and didn't give myself enough of an overhang.  The paint that did run over on the W was easily removed with a Tide pen.
finished product!
Considering that I put in only 10 minutes with minimal tools that I'll likely use again, I'd say this was a quick and easy win!  And to top it off our house guests noticed and commented on it right away when we were giving a tour!  Glad to know I'm not the only one that loves fun details!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weekend Recap: R&R + D

Hello Lovelies!  Hope you all had a fabulous Labor Day.  With Mr. Isaac passing through much of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I got in my fill of R&R with a side of decorating and DIY.  I have a fun few mini DIY's to share later this week but thought I'd include some pics from our weekend.

wished we were enjoying this yard all weekend but had to admire the
green grass from inside the kitchen.
i made a roasted chicken on friday night a la julia child with fresh herbs from our garden. yum.
added a pair of these guys to my office - a score from a local thrift store for only $10 EACH!
shades from target.
hung this guy up in the kitchen with some mini clothespins. just need to add some cute hooks for keys. excited to have a mini command station for invitations, pictures, bills and more!
We still had our "BBQ" as planned on Sunday but with a few more rain drops than anticipated.  We had some wonderful friends in town (M and his lovely bride C) and got to use our newly decorated guest room (pics later this week) and D made ribs.  I'll see if I can score the official recipe this evening and hope to share it out later this week.
In addition to roasting a chicken on Friday night, I made some chicken stock from scratch (always good to have around) and whipped up a batch of Chicken Tortilla Soup on Saturday.  I'm not a big soup person at all, but my good friend E's mother, Miss. T. makes THE BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup ever and has shared some of her secrets over the years. 
- 5 cups chicken stock/broth (whichever you have, I used stock in this case)
- 1 lb cooked and shredded chicken (I used half of the 3lb chicken I roasted the night previously)
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 2 small/medium sized jalapenos, deseeded and chopped (our's were a little on the small side because they came from the garden)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (less if you don't like it spicy)
- 1 corn cob cooked and removed from the stalk
- 1 roasted red pepper - chopped (good tutorial here)
- 1 half of a tomato (I used an heirloom variety from our garden and about 10 cherry tomatoes I had from our garden that needed to be used up)
Combine the celery, onion, carrots and jalapenos in the bottom of a soup pot with the cumin, chili powder and butter, heat over high.  Saute until onions sweat and carrots and celery turn brighter version of themselves - 5 minutes max.  Add in half the chicken stock to the cooked veggies.  Cook for 10 minutes more over medium heat. Carrots and celery should be softer now and stock should have reduced a bit.  Add in red pepper and corn and remaining stock and cook for another 10 minutes.  Add in the tomato and chicken.  Cook for 20 to 30 minutes on lowest heat.  Adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve with tortilla chips, shredded colby jack cheese, a squeeze of lime and fresh chopped cilantro.
Hope you enjoy this as much as D and I do - he frequently asks for this dish by name year round!