Tuesday, November 29, 2011

what a little coat of paint can do.....

BIG props go out to my husband who painted his entire vacation over Thanskgiving to make the first floor of our home even more lovely.  We went from browns/reds/beige to a very cool, clean & bright shade of gray.   I can't describe in words how much I am enjoying the change and the clean lines....

What do you think?

Monday, November 28, 2011

our home

Every time the seasons change, Joel and I get the itch to change something....

When spring rolled around we installed a new backyard fence and can I just say something that will sound very dramatic?

That fence changed our lives.  

Seriously, gone are the days of me panic-stricken thinking that Lee will wind up getting hit by a car.  Not only is he SUCH a good listener these days and doesn't even run out in the street but that fence gives us added confidence.

Once Autumn came, our focus was on our trip and then when we got home, we had to discuss the fact that our boys would need to become roomies since a new sibling was on the way.   We have drawn up a plan for their room and gosh, I can't WAIT to see that become a reality.

This last weekend, however, was all about our first floor - dramatic change from warm tones, reds & brown to cool grey & crisp white with shiny hardwood furniture & floors.  Think of a happy version of Restoration Hardware....yes oh yes.

Not only are we in LOVE with this grey tone but it's making our accessories that were 'ho hum' suddenly feel like new.  My husband is a rockstar because not only is he a fantastically successful & BUSY designer but he gave up his long Thanksgiving Day weekend to paint, trim, re-tile our hearth, & paint some more.

Here are some before's.....once we finish up the trim, wash our floors & put art back up on the walls, I'll post the afters!

Friday, November 25, 2011

so so thankful

What a lovely weekend full of family time, rest, and lots of turkey!  ;-)

We avoided the crazy shopping & kept it simple.  Joel painted our first floor and I can't believe the difference it makes in our home.  I feel like we added square footage we didn't know we could have.

Hope you are continuing to be thankful for all you have as the life of gratitude is truly a life full of joy...



photos courtesy of my cousin, Michele.  ;-) 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

our 'little' (ok HUGE) news...

Happy Thanksgiving.

For some, they take a day to give thanks.

I feel as though for the last few months, I've been in a cloud of gratitude for what I've been given.

Joel and I went to Ireland just 2 short months ago.  We seriously connected in ways we hadn't ever.  We explored, we laughed, we experienced food & culture and we solidified decisions for our future.

Little did we know how the future would change.

The final evening we spent in Dublin, we chose a small Asian restaurant that was quiet and unassuming.   We gave each other our favorite moments spent in the glorious country and we just grinned at how blessed we felt to experience such beauty.

With our feet tired and our alarms set very early in the morning for flights back to the US, we decided to catch a movie and call it an early night.

With 20 minutes to spare before the movie started, I left Joel munching on popcorn to run to the restroom.

I noticed a pharmacy right nextdoor to the movie theater.  I decided to run in there and a grab a little pregnancy test.  (All week I was surprised at how late I was....but I was the girl with the 'fertility' problems and only one fallopian tube, right?)


There I was in the movie theater bathroom...looking at a positive test...opening and closing my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing something wrong.

"Maybe it's opposite in Europe.... and 2 lines means NOT pregnant"

"Maybe American urine won't work on European tests..."

Yes - I actually thought these things to myself.

I sat through the movie, stunned.

Afterward, Joel and I got back & I decided to tell him about one more 'Dublin moment' I'd never forget....the moment I told him we were pregnant.

Stunned is the only word to use to describe his response....

When a husband walks through a difficult journey of multiple surgeries, fertility testing, a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy & the loss of 2 babies and a fallopian tube....it HAS a major effect on your ability to believe.

I thank God today that my ability to believe has grown far greater than a mustard seed....and my little one inside is about the size of a lime is our proof of that....

Happy Thanksgiving....thanks for reading the story God's writing out for us....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


So, this muppet movie comes out tomorrow.  I can't stop thinking about it.  I feel almost silly that I'm as excited as I am about it but I am.  I guess it just points to my generation and how lovely the memories I have from those silly characters on TV each Sunday evening....

Truth be told, I have a tiny little wish....a little wish that I'm not sure will ever really come true.  But, I kind of want to sing with Kermit.  Is that nuts?  Am I crazy?

I just want to be standing next to him (pretend I'm Debbie Harry) & Kermit is there with his banjo....

Here you go cuties, hope this makes your Tuesday all smiley....

Monday, November 21, 2011

these 2 little men

I'm gearing up for a beautiful Thanksgiving - with my extended family and my little family.

I am a tad excited to just enjoy and not host this year.  I love to entertain but this year we are simply going to relax, get some house projects completed & cut/decorate our tree. 

This weekend was really eye-opening as my sons are starting to develop a certain language in which they speak to one another.  I'm watching their eyes light up at the same things...their giggles are contagious & they are finally able to wrestle without me being all "Be careful with the baby!" 

We are also planning to surprise Jude with a night out (with just his parents and no little bro) to go and see the new Muppet movie.  Not sure who is more excited....Joel or I!

Enjoy your short week  -  a fun new announcement from Jude & Lebe coming Thanksgiving weekend....be sure to check back! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

gift tags

The holidays are approaching and since I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year, I am massively excited about planning out thoughtful gifts that are both affordable and help my LOCAL economy.
I am in a happy & content place this holidays season....but moreso look forward to giving as it's really better than receiving.

My darling husband is helping me design a personalized stamp for gift tags but thought these tags featured on Made by Joel are so darling!  Free template so print 'em out!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lasagna, My Lasagna

I am looking for a Lasagna recipe that is PHENOMENAL.  I want to have one I make that tells stories.  I thought of trying to master a vegan type but am open to suggestions...this one sounds pretty delish....

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • 10-oz. bag fresh baby spinach
  • 2 12-oz. pkgs. firm tofu, drained
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 12 uncooked whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 12 oz. vegan Italian sausage links, cut into thin rounds, or soy sausage crumbles, broken apart
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella flavor rice or soy cheese (3 oz.)
Want to try it? 
Heat oven to 375 degrees. 

Saute onions & garlic, add spinace & wilt.  Transfer to processer & add tofu, cream cheese, basil & nutritional yeast until smooth & thick.  Season with salt/pepper.

Start layering with red sauce, noodles, filling & finish with remaining sauce/shredded cheese on top.

Cover/bake for 30 minutes until bubbling hot.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

tree skirt lust

If there is one thing Joel & I argue over is the lack of creativity in the tree skirts out there - can you tell I'm massively excited about the holidays?

I am taking the time well before we venture out to cut down the Miller family Christmas tree so the skirt we've always dreamed about is ready when we are. Here are some of my favorites....

this little lovely makes me swoon
i love how this one comes with edges unfinished to give a shabby chic look over time..
I love how pretty & polished this one is....not sure about green on green...
and this one quenches a thirst I have for burlap...

what do YOU think?

Monday, November 7, 2011

after years of runny eye liner....

It's such a treat to live in a world where the perfect liner exists and that will stay put, stay dark & full of pigment & last FOREVER.

I remember wiping liner from the bottom and corners of my eyes after Zumba & all the sweating I would do.

I tested out Bobbi Brown's Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink & not even a smudge of it went anywhere on my face.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Leland Ryan...

Dear Leland,

Today is your day. I'm not sure you get it.

You are 2, little love.

This is a phenomenal surprise as it literally feels only moments ago I stared you in the face when we met. I will never forget the first words I spoke to you: I prayed for you for so long.

I did.

So many did.

Here you are, the perfect combination of rough & tumble, lover & snuggler, sass & wit. We have been your biggest fans since day 1. You carry with you such a loving smile & tender heart. We are so proud of you & how great a little brother you are. One day, we hope to call you a big brother.

In all that you may encounter in birthdays to come, know you are backed & whole-heartedly loved by a family that believes in you, your creativity & your dreams. Nothing is too big or too grande. If you can imagine it, go after it.

For now, I'll take all the snuggles you give & tickle you until you can barely stand it. Your laughter makes life beautiful & your kisses are sweet as honey.

Happy Birthday to my Leland....



Before you go to sleep,
Say a little prayer,
Every day in every way,
It's getting better and better,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,

Out on the ocean sailing away,
I can hardly wait,
To see you to come of age,
But I guess we'll both,
Just have to be patient,
Yes it's a long way to go,
But in the meantime,

Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is just what happens to you,
While your busy making other plans,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,