When I logged into the blog today, I was somewhat surprised I was even doing it. I mean, I haven’t blogged in two years, so I’m not sure what the impetus was for TODAY. I had this looming sense of dread, and was surprised I even remembered my password. I found that there had been several comments left in the last couple years, my edition of wordpress was ages old, and there were literal cobwebs hanging in the corners.

The last couple years have held a lot of changes: my husband changed careers, we moved twice, I had a baby, I quit working outside of the house, and my new boss is not even talking in sentences.

I’ve thought about shutting down the blog and website; I’ve thought about this for a long time. During late-night feedings, naptime musings, the always-in-the-back-of-my-mind “I have a design business that I’m neglecting” thoughts. My solution to this was: I will ignore the blog! Yes, if I pretend like it’s not there, it’ll be fine and no one will care.

So when I first pulled up the blog today, I was cringing inside, thinking that a band of roaming hackers had probably turned it into something awful and I was pleasantly surprised that all was intact! I don’t think anyone follows this blog (or they don’t anymore) and so I’m pretty low on the priority list for hackers. (I hope.) But as I skimmed the posts and looked at the design…I was somewhat surprised at my reaction. Rather than having the feeling that shutting it down was the right thing to do, I had this strong affinity for it. I still really like the design of it, I liked writing…I kind of missed the whole thing. (Color me as shocked as anybody.)

I wasn’t expecting that reaction.


All that to say…I’m not dead, the blog’s not dead. Good things to come.

Food posts usually aren’t my thing, but this recipe needs to be shared. Two years ago I was diagnosed with a bunch of food allergies/sensitivities. Apparently, they’re all the rage these days. I told my doctor that it was impossible that I was allergic to anything, because I’ve never had the slightest hint of an allergy. She responded with “You don’t have allergies…until you do.”


So my sister-in-law shared this recipe with me, and I was quite a skeptic at first because I’ve tried my hand at homemade brownies, and lots of “alternative” recipes, and they just never tasted as good as Betty Crocker from the box. Seriously. So I gave these a whirl, and ho–lee cow. Even my non-allergic husband gobbles these up. They’re that good.

Anytime I feel like I want some sweets, I make these, and I don’t really feel that bad eating them! It’s almond butter and real maple syrup people! It’s like breakfast! So without further ado, here they are:

1 cup almond butter (we use homemade and they taste better)
1 egg
1/2 cup raw honey or real maple syrup (No Aunt Jemima’s)
1 T vanilla
1/4 t salt (I usually don’t add this, if we’ve added salt to our almond butter)
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 cup cacao powder (I just use regular old unsweetened cocoa powder)
*Optional: nuts and/or chocolate chips. I usually throw a generous handful or two of chocolate chips in).

Blend together almond butter, egg, honey/syrup, and vanilla until smooth. Add salt, cocoa powder and baking soda; don’t over-mix the baking soda. Place in a greased 8×8 pan and bake at 325/350 for about 20-25 minutes. (I’ve found my oven varies a lot, so just check ’em at around 20 minutes).

And here they are in all their glory:

(I doubled the recipe because I needed a 9×13 amount of brownies. :) )

So to all of my gluten-intolerant friends, and people who just want a healthier brownie: enjoy!

*To see the original creator of this recipe, go visit the link above.*

“This thing on? Anybody out there?…”

Truth be told, I’ve been somewhat avoiding this blog, because I just wasn’t sure what to say to remedy the six-month absence. (SIX MONTHS?!) At the start of this year I had grand plans to get back to blogging and designing and well, let’s see. It’s now the end of July, and that didn’t happen. I know we all feel like time is zooming by, and I’m no exception. Except that I still keep writing June on things. I’m having a hard time catching up. And I got an email from a friend the other day that said, “Dude, I checked your blog and it’s been six months. Get on it!” So here I am, getting on it. :)

Allow me a bit of an explanation for the last few months: I was working full-time up until the beginning of June and then I cut back to part-time, and am now figuring out how to go forward with the kind of design that I want to do. I’ve done a few projects in the last couple months, and just haven’t had the time to photograph and blog them. It was like, “Great! I have two seconds, I’ll pump out those invites, and then stain that mirror and paint that lamp, and oh look, it’s Monday again.” So free time went to doing things rather than photographing and blogging about them.

BUT. I’m not here to simply write what’s been happening, I have a cute baby shower invite to share! Hooray! This was for a shower that my mom, sister, and I threw for my cousin’s wife who is having a little girl. And we.pulled.out.the.stops.

We had tissue poms, flag banners….and gold edible glitter hearts floating in pink champagne. It was slightly ridiculous. And really fun.

So here are the cute invites! They were backed with two different color pinks to match the pinks on the invite itself, and then enclosed in the same pink envelopes. They were darling. It kind of made me want to have a girl just so I could OD on pink and coral and peach and mint green. I even matched myself to the shower and wore an awesome green mint bauble necklace.

Like ’em? I think they’re fun.

So in lieu of making blog promises and not keeping them, I will just say that I will be making a more concerted effort to keep a presence here. :) So, to the one person who reads this: thanks for hanging in there! 😉

See ya soon!

Hi there!

On this random Wednesday, I’m-home-sick-from-work-today post, I thought I’d share some things lately that have inspired me or stuff that I’ve had my eye on. Because who doesn’t love looking at awesome stuff?

The UO Slipper Chair in Ikat. I wasn’t sure about the whole Ikat trend when it first started, and I guess like most trends, it just wore me down and after months of seeing it pop up everywhere, (without even realizing I was starting to like it), I am now dying for an Ikat chair for my living room. Ok, not dying. I’m being dramatic.

And this little baby. I would like to pretend that I am the amazingly talented designer behind Rifle Paper Co. I love everything they do!

The Plaid Shirt. They sold out of this before Christmas, and then fortuitously it is back in stock!

I really want this coffee table. End of story.

I stopped in World Market the other day on my lunch break and it was a bad idea. Very bad. In my head I ran around screaming, “I want it all!!” Good thing I didn’t actually do that. But this chair. Oh my. For my office nook. Just one. I just want one chair!

And now I am starting to sound rant-y, and my throat is hurting again from all my imaginary banshee-screaming. So, on that note, I’ll leave you with these lovelies and go drink some more tea.

Happy Wednesday!

Hey there! I hope you had a restful Christmas Holiday and enjoyed a fun New Year’s! I’ve been on vacation since right before Christmas, and it has been wonderful and never more needed! But tomorrow means back to the grind and back to all the lovely dental patients. :)

I wanted to kick off the New Year with a post about a design board I did for a couple who is re-doing their house. Some friends of ours asked if I would help them make over their house and I enthusiastically said yes! I think I’m even more excited than they are! Interior Design is something I have loved forever–I have a picture of myself at two years old sitting on the couch reading Better Homes and Gardens, so this is literally a dream for me to do. And once I got the design ideas rolling, my husband had to tear me away from the computer because I could have just kept going the entire day.

I’m doing two boards for them: a “Base Layer Board” and a “Jewelry Board”: all the pretty stuff that makes a house a home like the hardware, fabrics, textures and decor.

Currently, their house is an interesting combination of styles: multi-level with cold, white ceramic tile throughout, and a huge lofted ceiling in the entry way/front room area. The lofted ceiling has wonderful beams which will be stained a warm walnut to add depth and character to them.

The new look for their house is warm traditional with a mix of global/latin colors and textures. My friends are like most couples and don’t have the exact same taste in decor and home-related things. The husband likes crisp white trim and white cabinetry, while the wife likes more earthy textures and surfaces. But we’ve been able to combine what they like with a look that speaks to both of them and results in a warm, inviting, totally “them” home. So here’s the base layer board:

All the paint colors are Dunn-Edwards, the countertops are Cambria Quartz, and most of the flooring you can find at Home Depot or Lowes.

To help with “where do I put this color” dilemma, I did a quick layout of their house to show where all those wall colors would go, with a caution to get samples, samples, samples, before they actually go ahead and paint their whole house to make sure these colors work in the rooms they’re assigned to. :)

The Entryway and front living area will be Ripe Pineapple, the raised dining room and kitchen area will be Caramel Bar and Spiced Nectarine, the dropped den and bedroom/bathroom on the lower level will be the yellow-y green Grass Root and Lustrous Yellow. The upstairs bedrooms will be Grass Root, (they’re not that skinny, just wanted to give a small swatch so they could see), and the Master Bed will be Lustrous Yellow with a shot of Spicy Tomato behind their bed. The Master Bedroom has a raised platform area where their bed is, so it acts like it’s own little room or cocoon, that’s why the shot of Spicy Tomato might work really well. But, again, that’s why I stressed getting samples, because these are bold colors and they might not work in the actual space. Maybe we’ll balance the Spicy Tomato with Buckskin or Birchwood for the rest of the room…we’ll see. :)

Next up: The Jewelry Board! I will post this one as soon as it’s done, and then I’ll be sure to post some actual progress photos of their house!

If you’re interested in having a design board done for your space, feel free to shoot me an email! I’d love to chat about it with you.

Hope you have a wonderful start to your year and are blessed beyond measure.


It’s Christmastime! I kind of can’t believe how fast it has come upon us! It’s such a cliche to say how fast time is flying, but seriously. I wrote 2010 on something the other day. My brain is going to explode when it hits 2012.

Now, I know I’m not alone in my love of Christmas. It’s just such a special time of year. I love going over to my parent’s house and seeing all the same decorations that we grew up with–they just make my heart so happy. And I actually get pretty emotional about some Christmas tunes. Especially the ones about the Lord coming down for us.

All that to say, I had a blast designing these Christmas cards. With all the craziness and busyness that this season can bring, and the busyness of life in general, I was craving some simple cards with a simple message. Here’s a sampling of what’s over at my Etsy shop:

As for me, I can’t decide which one I want to use for our Christmas card…I just love them all! So head on over to my Etsy shop if you’d like to take a closer look at them!

Happy Wednesday!

Hey all!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got to spend the long weekend relaxing. We spent it with family, just hanging out, and also went on a crazy house hunting spree. We went to one Open House and drove by at least 12 other potentials. All of which elicited a “No need to see the inside, thank you!” response as we drove by. The Open House house was the only one we liked, so we’ll see what happens! (True to form, we’ve already been photoshopping and brainstorming how we’d update it. We can’t be stopped. It’s what we do.) But I digress.

I wanted to share this really easy wreath I made the other day when I got a hankering for some seasonal greenery. It’s not really even a “tutorial” as it is a “Pull-apart-plastic-greenery-and-stick-into-already-made-store-bought-green-wreath-post”. All you”ll need is a fake green wreath in the size of your choice, some fake pine needles with attached pine cones, some dried basil stalks, and some fake pears. And a hot glue gun. All compliments of Michaels. (The wreath was only $3.99!)

To my delight and surprise, the pine needles/cones just popped right off their stalks of plastic, so there was no wire-cutting needed. So here are the really complicated instructions: Stick pine needles/cones and basil stalks into wreath at your leisure. Hot glue pears or fruit where you’d like them to go.

And you’re done.

I was actually really pleased at how well the stiff green wreath held all the extra stalks with no gluing necessary. This was my kind of craft. Simple, and over in about 10 minutes! And all of it cost only $20! (I saw just the fake green wreath at Target later that day for $20.00, so I was pretty pleased with myself.) AND it doesn’t look fake because most of the fake wreath is covered up.

So now this wreath is proudly hanging on our front door, and it makes me smile every time I come home.

With that, I bid you happy wreath-making, and a happy Monday!

Hey there! I wanted to share an invite suite that I did a few months ago for a family friend of mine for her wedding in July. The idea behind the design was lacy ironwork gates with a botanical theme and lots of muted metals and neutral shimmer.  The reception took place at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, which is an amazing venue with beautiful gardens and architecture and–lacy ironwork gates! The suite turned out beautifully and included the works: Menus, Programs, Signs, Thank you Cards, Escort Cards, Table Numbers, Custom Map, etc. We printed on Classic Linen in White Pearl 110lb, and used a different metallic paper for the Menus, and a lighter grayish metallic for the Outer Envelopes. (Complete with a wax seal!) So fun. Seeing the finished product continues to bring a smile to my face; I love how everything turned out. Enjoy the pics!

Hope you enjoyed the pics! Have a great Monday! :)

It’s been a long time since I’ve been around these parts. The blogging all but sputtered and stopped for awhile here. My life changed a lot when I went to work for my dad, and I’m still adjusting to how to fit things in and really make time for what I love.

This summer I took a break from clients and projects and designing and gave myself some down time to recoup. I had been through some situations that threatened to suck all the design right out of me, and I was desperately needing time to regroup and find my groove again. Then about two months ago, the desire to design came back. I wanted to get back to design and figure out my next step forward.

The first thing to update was the blog. I was never 100% in love with the design of it, and after a quick bonus-branding session, I updated some things and I’m now totally loving it. I added some banners and switched up a font or two and am really pleased with the new look. So I’ve got some wind under my wings and some fire in my pants and I’m back to blogging. I’ve got a lot of things to post about and a refreshed blog design to kick-start this new beginning! My goal is to blog much more regularly and make this blog less of a ghost town. So with the awesome coding abilities of Tim Brandon, this blog begins again.

(Over on the right you can find me all over the interwebs on Twitter, Pinterest, and on my website. If you ever have any questions, feel free to holler.)

Hello to anyone who still remotely even checks this blog! When I logged onto the blog this morning and saw that my last post was NOVEMBER of 2010, I cringed. I can’t believe that much time has gone by with no blogging. Life has a way of changing, eh? Since the end of October I’ve been working full-time in my dad’s office which has been a big blessing on many accounts, but has also dramatically–as you can see here–cut short on blogging time, among other things. Add in the holidays, moving right after Christmas, my husband going to Haiti on a mission trip, and all around working full-time, and it’s been a little bit crazy at our house these days.  So right now, it’s Saturday, I am still in my pajamas, and I am making myself blog.

We moved at the end of December to be closer to our church and our workplaces, and we are loving it. I’m back in my “hometown” so to speak, but “hometown” is relative when all of Orange County is one big metropolis with no real borders. Anyways. I’m back. We’re back. And we live in another apartment. We weren’t super excited to be moving to another apartment as we would really love to buy a house, but housing pricing in Orange County are somewhat ridiculous. Plus we get a heated outdoor pool and gym thrown in with this new place, so hey! We’ll take it! :) One of the nice things about our new place is that we can paint. And paint we did. :) We have to take it back to white before we move out, but we don’t mind. The walls were so stark when we moved in that we couldn’t handle it–it just looked unfinished. Now, I am usually a lover of white walls when those walls belong to, say, a beach house that has lovely wood floors and lots of windows, instead of, say, an apartment with beige carpet and linoleum. So, the walls had to be painted. And being DIYers, we were not going to pay the Apartment Complex Paint Man to do what we could do in a few hours. So we painted. The living room and dining room is one area so we did Olympic’s Classic Khaki in the living room, and Valpsar’s Royal Gray in the Dining Room, to divide things up a bit. (We tried to get them to color match the Royal Gray to an Olympic color for us, but they wouldn’t. I was a little disappointed with Lowes.) The Royal Gray color turned out to be more blue than I wanted/was expecting, but we decided to live with it. The walls in this place are so textured that it took a lot of muscle to get the paint into all the texture bumps and we weren’t about to spend more money on paint and more time painting over it, so it’s here to stay for awhile. The reason we did the blue/gray in the dining room was to pull in our awesome royal blue couch that we can’t get rid of yet. And you know what? It worked! It ties in nicely. :) So here is the Living Room:

Gotta love that blue couch 😉 :

(Sorry for the terrible sunlight in the above couch photo!) Obviously, we still have some work to do on the wall above the couch. We’re thinking something streamlined and orderly, because we have such a random collage in the bedroom, which you’ll see in a minute.

Here is the Living Room and “Dining Room.”

I put it in quotes because it’s not actually it’s own room. More like a general area, if you will. At first, I postponed blogging about our new place because it’s not done yet. As in, these next pictures are totally chaotic and I have no idea what’s going on with the bookshelves. But I’ve realized something with working full-time in that I don’t have a ton of time these days, and what you see is what you get somewhat. Spending time with my husband is more important than having a perfect looking house. (Not that I still wouldn’t love to have a perfect looking house, I’m just sayin’.) So here is the awesomely un-finished Dining Area complete with scads of white vertical blinds and every single nicknack in the house:

We would love to update to a more modern dining table and chairs, so we’re keeping our eyes peeled.

Now, here is the challenge with this space: it’s an Entryway, Dining Room, and Living Room All-in-One! Aren’t we lucky?! And the hardest part is that we have TONS of books. They are coming out of the woodwork. The whole TV Media Cabinet is surrounded by books, there’s a big bookshelf by the couch that’s filled, and these shelves in the dining room are having an identity crisis because I’m not sure what to do with them. And there’s more books in the garage. Help. I seriously don’t like the shelves beneath the window, and am just not sure what to put on them/what to paint them/what to replace them with? I’m thinking something darker wood instead of the sanded white…

The wall behind the front door would be perfect for a small console table, but there’s no room. So, all we put up is this mirror. And I think it’s as good as it’s gonna get. We contemplated another photo collage here, but thought it might get a little busy with all the available walls covered in photos.

But I do love that transom window. (Except when the building is getting painted, and you’re sitting on your couch and you look up and see a strange man peering through that window as he paints the front door. That was just lovely.) See what I mean about the stark white paint? Ugh.  And that basket that holds the shoes? I love it. I want 3 more of them.

Now onto the bedroom! We decided to paint an accent wall in there to take down some of the whiteness, and it worked really well. Because the wall opposite the painted wall, is a full wall of mirrored closet doors, it makes the room feel like the whole thing is painted. And drop cloth drapes are the best. They look like linen when the sunlight shines through!

I am currently figuring out what pictures are going to fill the empty frames, so that should be done shortly. Here’s a close-up of the drop cloth drapes:

And here is one of my favorite parts of our new apartment:

The reason we were sold on this floor plan is because it had this little nook area behind the kitchen. The other plans that we looked at had similar square footage, but it was wasted space in the entryway, and we needed a place for an office. (I really, really didn’t want to do a desk in the living room). This nook works perfectly. My husband’s old desk slides right in the space with a couple inches to spare, and because of the vertical height that we have, he built shelves that go on tracks all the way to the ceiling to utilize that space. My Pottery Barn Daily System got dismantled a little bit, but was able to fit perfectly on the sides of the walls to help with organization. The shelves are either going to painted or stained either white or dark walnut, and so is the desk. I’m not sure if white walls, white desk, and white shelves might be a little much, so I’m going to play around with it and see what I can do.

My inspiration for the wire baskets and woven baskets came from this gal. I was drooling over her office spread in BHG a couple months ago. Oh man, I can’t wait to have our own house!

And the kitchen? I’ll leave you with this parting shot of an awesomely-nineties dual-tone honey and white kitchen. This is all you’re going to see. It’s just not that pretty. And there’s nothing I can do about it, because we’re just renting. :(

So there she be! Our new place. It’s still a work in progress, and I’ll be sure to post any updates that happen. Especially to the Dining Disaster Room. I have the itch to freshen things up and get some fresh, bold colors in here now that it’s Spring.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Update: As I was reading over my husband’s shoulder last night as he read the post, all of a sudden a plan for the wall in the dining room came to me! I figured it out! I’ll share it with you when it’s finished….now I’m off to hunt for a piece of furniture...