Find It…Fab It!

Bedside Table Project

I am still hard at work on my guest room, but it’s not quite complete. When my mom called to say she’d be coming up for a few days of shopping, I had to kick it into high gear! Luckily, the big portions were already complete thanks to a crisp white duvet from Pottery Barn and my grandmother’s quilt. But, I really wanted to work on a vignette I had in mind for the bedside table.

The duvet for the bed is outlined in a small border of red dots, providing just a pop of color. Running with this idea, I spray painted the base and finial of an old lamp in the same bright cherry (Valspar, Berry Gloss). Then,I added a new white shade from Lowe’s. The shade is a tad shorter than I had envisioned, but it works for now. I really wanted to bring in another color, too, so I went back to my beloved palette of blues. I painted a small side table in a color called Sea Tickle (really, what a great name), also from Valspar, and then covered a few books with some wallpaper scraps I had leftover from a past project.

I always like to try and include one special item in the room that will make my guest feel at home and that is personal to them or our relationship. For mom’s visit, I placed a picture of the two of us from the 80s in a frame on the bedside table. You can see the proof of her Farrah Fawcett wings in the picture above here!

Perhaps I will finish the rest of the updates by the time my next guest arrives — I’m so close!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

YUM! In a single word, that’s pretty much all you need to know about these cookies.

I am a long-time lover of all things pumpkin. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cheesecake. Pumpkin-spice lattes. I am the Bubba Gump of pumpkin.

In fact, rumor has it my aunt only makes a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving to satisfy me. (I’m sure it’s true, I’m usually fortunate enough to take at least 3/5 of the leftovers home!!) However, as much as I love pumpkin, I can say I’ve never had a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. I’ve heard there are cakes of this nature, and so I thought why not try it with a cookie?

I have a favorite recipe from Southern Living for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. They are always a hit, so I thought, why not modify this with a can of pumpkin? Now, dear friends, as you’re aware I RARELY find a recipe and fab it. Anything I cook is considered fabulous if we haven’t called the boys at the fire department in the process. But, this time I was really on to something. Here’s the recipe for these yummy-licious cookies. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies  – adapted from Southern Living‘s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 15 min per batch

Makes 3 dozen

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2/3 cup of canned pumpkin

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 (12 oz) pkg semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Directions:

1. Beat butter, sugars and pumpkin at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
Add egg and vanilla, beating until blended.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and cinnamon in a small bowl; gradually add this to the butter mixture, beating well.

3. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
The dough should be a little moist at this point; it has a texture that is mousse-like.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes. If you make larger cookies, cook longer.
They tend to be doughy anyway, and will be especially so if not cooked long enough.

Trust me, these cookies will go from this…

to this in no time.

The Hiatus Has Ended

If anyone is still out there, you’ll know that I have recently been on a bit of a blogging hiatus.
It happens to the best of us…
It’s not because I haven’t been inspired by projects from friends, great fall magazines and the changing of the seasons…I have been.
It’s more so due to a lack of time, oh, and maybe a bit of focus.
The good news is I’m back and I’ll try to do better.
Speaking of inspiration, here are a few things that caught my eye while I was away. Enjoy!
[image: apartment therapy]
One thing I’m dying to try is covering antique pieces in funky, bold fabrics.
I love how the formal structure of this Louis XVI-esque chair is immediately made
modern with a pop of pink.
[image: pintrest]
Get your shopping fix, and then use the bags to decorate.
Love this idea for a large closet wall.
[image: jacolynmurphy.blogspot.com]
What a sweet gift idea for visitors or house guests.
Think of the seasoning versions you could come up with for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
[image: collegeprepster.com]
I’m thrilled that CAMEL is a trending color once again. As my college friends know, I was a bit obsessed with my camel coat during my days at Auburn. Unfortunately, colder weather didn’t normally hit that part of the country until about January. I didn’t let this deter me. By October 1 I would have “the camel” (as we referred to my beauty of a jacket) out and wearing it around campus. Yes, I was a hot mess by the time I reached my destination, but I thought I looked very chic! Since I now live in a cooler climate, I think it’ll be safe to break out my new camel coat a bit earlier!
Also, during the hiatus I have been rather obsessed with the new issues of both Matchbook and Rue.
I seriously could’ve written about six blog posts in the time I spent pouring over these gorgeous, useful, inspiring works of online magazine art.
You should really check them out, if you haven’t already.
Well, that about does it for my hiatus inspiration.
Fingers crossed I’ll see you again this week for another post.

If You Like It, Then You Shoulda Put Wheels On It

Wheels make the world go round. Ok, well they at least get us from A to B pretty darn quick. Fortunately, they’re not just road tested. They can make just about any piece of furniture more functional — especially in small spaces.  Better yet, they look good while they do it. Here’s a few of my favorites:

[from horchow]

Lilly Pulitzer furniture. Double heart.

Rolling Cart[from decor interiors]

[from IKEA]

Sooo mod.

[from IKEA]

A $99 steal for the kitchen.

[from IKEA]

Utilitarian, but still so sleek.

[from pottery barn]

Must-have for a small bath.

[from west elm]

You could change your entire patio set-up in two minutes by moving the table.

Unfortunately, not everything is on a roll. That’s where casters come in to play. For about $15 you can make virtually any piece mobile. Check out different sizes (and look at the locking mechanisms!) at your local hardware store. As long as your piece is real wood and the surface area is large enough to support a caster, you can have a brand new look in less than an hour.

If I were a caster, I’d attach myself to this:

[from IKEA]

…and these. Hello, instant extra seating!

[from pottery barn]

Or maybe even this…


[from re-nest.com]

Where would you add wheels?

We’ve Got Spirit…

The long awaited, much anticipated days of glory are upon us.

That’s right, praise the Lord, football season has arrived.

With that in mind, I hope you’ve been polishing your wardrobe for the occasion. Afterall, tomorrow is Wear Your College Colors Day or, as I like to call it, dress rehearsal.

I hate to leave anyone out, but I am fortunate enough to have a full-time job. Therefore, I can only pull looks for one school. So, naturally I chose my alma mater — Auburn. Here are some of my favorite finds to wear on the Plains.

You’re probably aware that sundresses are a must for September game day marathons. However, for College Colors Day you can keep it classy in the office with a long-sleeve look. I created this look in Polyvore. You can shop it here. I am especially smitten with the gold tiger bangle. I would wear that any day of the year.

Orange and blue together? Yes, please. This dress pairs perfectly with a Lulu Frost bangle from their new exclusive collection for J.Crew.

Mom – are you getting any Christmas ideas?

Alas, I must not forget the gents. Top honors go to Brooks Brothers’ new Collegiate Collection.

Swoon… 

Right now they are only carrying a few select schools (Alabama, Auburn and Vanderbilt for the SEC). However, I talked with my good friend at Brooks Brothers (it’s amazing how you can make friends via customer service emails), who informed me they were looking forward to welcoming more schools to the refined collection. Hopefully, they’ll start with the rest of the SEC.

So, if you’ve found an outfit, all that’s left is planning your tailgate decor and menu.

Luckily, my good friend Christi has a few ideas. Head over to Christi’s Chirps to see the tasty tailgate treats she’s whipped up.

Wishing you and yours crystal footballs,

Savoring the Last Days of Summer

I love summer. I mean if Christmas and football season fell between May and August, I could live with just these four months. I would wear Jack Rogers and Lilly dresses and have a sunny outlook every day of the week. Even when a new J.Crew catalog filled with tweed tempted me to look to the days ahead, I’d still savor every last drop of s-u-m-m-e-r.

Speaking of summer, I recently had the chance to work with At Home in Arkansas on a story about a fun couple who loves to garden — and have the evidence to prove it. Cindy and Mark McNair live in Fayetteville and I was fortunate enough to be invited to their home for a tour during our interview. It was such a treat. Their entire outdoor space is an ode to all the great things about summer — gorgeous flowers, the pool and hanging out with friends. To put it mildly, the space was love at first glance for me. Don’t you agree?

This pool is equally tempting in person…

And who doesn’t want to lounge on this fabulous chaise?

After I had taken in every square foot of the garden, I asked the McNairs about their favorite flowers. They shared this list:

1. Solomon’s Seal

2. Oak Leaf Hydrangea (oh my, I have always loved these…)

3. Korean Spice Viburnum

4. Oriental Lilies

5. Golden Bleeding Hearts

Now, I have to admit, I had to look up a few of these. I was particularly intrigued by the bleeding hearts… While I don’t have any of these planted now, I’m looking forward to digging in next year and enjoying a few of these blooming beauties.

As for now, I’ll appease myself by enjoying the last few moments of summer — oh, and perhaps by purchasing some new tweed for fall.

How are you savoring the last days of summer?

Read the full At Home in Arkansas story here.

[images: athomearkansas.com]

Put a Cork In It

I don’t usually  recommend drinking and decorating, but in this case it’s necessary to imbibe a little to produce a beautiful end result.

About, hmm — shall we say, 4 years ago I started collecting wine corks from special occasions. Birthdays, ball games, girls’ dinners –any time there was a fun event where I shared a bottle of wine with good friends, I saved the cork. I started writing who I was with, where we where and the date on each cork to commemorate the event. Today, I’ve got a lovely collection of about 50 corks.

They all fit neatly inside this green glass bulb bowl — which I scored for $2 at a Southern Living prop sale (gosh, I miss a prop sale!!).

I have a little bit of everything in my collection —  from the night Chizik was announced as Auburn’s next head coach to a weeknight dinner I enjoyed with my sweet friends Brooke & Lyndsey. I love that each cork is a reminder of a special time I’ve shared with people I love.

Now, I must admit this idea was not my own. My stepfather, Lewis, has been doing this for years. I thought it was such a great idea that I started my collection. Now we fight over who gets the cork at family dinners! 

Tools of the Trade

If you follow my boards on Pintrest or you’ve seen the large binders of tearsheets I’ve been known to tote around, you know a shortage of ideas isn’t my problem. If there’s any obstacle to creating the pieces I envision, it’s finding the right piece to update — oh yeah — and the time!

One of my favorite Pintrest idea boards.

Here are a couple of my favorite online browsing sites:

In Northwest Arkansas there’s a great site called Makin’ Room. They connect local sellers with local buyers (think Craig’s List specifically for home wares). You’ll find everything from artwork and furniture to kids’ playhouses.

No matter where you live, Auction Zip is a super useful resource. Simply type in your zip code and all the auctions in your area appear. Now sometimes things like tractors and RV sales come up, but don’t let that deter you. Once you find the ones you like, you can come back on a regular basis to see sale times and dates. Bonus: Many of the auction houses upload pictures for a little pre-sale browsing.

Happy hunting!

Guest Post: Byrd’s Designs

Meet my charming friend Holly. She is truly living the dream in Charleston, SC, where she crafts jewelry from relics and unique beads. Today she’s sharing the story of the to-die-for gems she creates in her fabulous studio on King Street. Don’t worry — they’re available no matter where you live via her site ByrdsBeadsOnline.com. Enjoy!

Hi Everyone,

My Name is Holly McGetrick and I am guest blogging today for Ms. Tiffany while she is enjoying some downtime. I have a little blog on my jewelry and accessory website where I talk about upcoming events with Byrd’s Designs, new fashions and trends, and also new merchandise on the website. Today I thought the perfect fit for Find It, Fab It, would be to talk about reclaimed jewelry.

So here we go, most of my pieces on my website are bits and pieces of old vintage jewelry interspersed with a few modern touches. I am lucky to have my boyfriend’s mother, Terrie, send me bags of estate jewelry from her family’s antique store, Morris Antiques. My mother also sends me all of her old 80’s jewelry, and I take it apart and re-work to fit my style and personality.

Not only does it take something that has probably been lying around for ages and turn it into something useable again, but it also puts a little less stress on the environment, buy reusing materials, instead of creating more.

Another place you might want to try for old jewelry is a great Etsy shop called hellodali. It’s got great bundles of antique jewelry that you can use for anything. Below I have some pictures of some pieces I have made that might get the ideas flowing for you!

Each piece has a different theme and they are all vintage inspired, and some actually use real vintage pieces. I hope you all enjoyed the post and if you have any questions feel free to stop by Byrds Designs. I will actually be having a tutorial on how to create some of the pieces you have seen today! Again, hope everyone enjoyed today, and a special thanks to Tiff for letting my guest blog today!

Have Your Cake…

Just like a recipe for a great cake must be tested, so should a formula for making cake plates. I’m in the process of turning a few flea treasures into cake plates now. My apologies upfront for the images; I just snapped these with my phone. Let me know what you think of the designs and if I find some options that work, perhaps we’ll have a proper photo shoot.

I picked these candlesticks and plates up at various estate sales and flea markets in central Arkansas. The great thing about these materials is they’re affordable. The twist on this project is the hunt for the perfect pieces and pairings. Oh, and did I mention that’s the hard part, too?

The larger versions are obviously for cakes and pies. The smaller versions are meant for cookies or a single cupcake or nuts or cheese…gee, the possibilities are endless.

While I’m in the test phase I’ve also been looking for ideas.

[google images]

These bowls could be great for toppings at an ice cream bar or BBQ condiments.

[From twoshadesofpink.blogspot.com]

And, of course, I love this color combo.

Ok, back to the “test kitchen.” Drop me a line and let me know your ideas for the project.

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