Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Halloween Decorations

The last few years I've been pretty unmotivated to decorate the house for holidays simply because it was so difficult to get our boxes of decorations down from the rafters of the garage. I felt almost guilty asking the Gnarly Old Guy to get a ladder and lift down these really heavy boxes. When we moved, we had the previous owners of the house leave the storage system they had in the garage, so the boxes are right there just ready to be lifted down. I started talking about decorating in August. When we finally brought the Halloween box down last week, a lot of our decorations had not survived either the years in storage or the move. Not to be daunted, I hit up Target, and came up with a few things there like these grey puffs that I have hanging from the balcony over the living room.

Most of the candles and candle holders survived because I had them inside of the house with all the other candle holders, but I picked up this glam gold ceramic pumpkin from Hobby Lobby.

This pumpkin is actually a candle that I picked up at Bath and Body Works a few years ago. I started to burn it last year, but it still has about halfway to go.

An old wax burner, I think from Yankee Candle. I had a little bit of an accident with some melted black wax and the shelf in the family room. I'm happy to say that the YouTube videos of how to get wax off painted surfaces with a hair dryer actually work.

This is all we've done outside. I don't know that Halloween decorations are as much of a thing here in Nevada as they are in Southern California. We are the only people in our neighborhood except for one other house that have anything in our yard. Hmmmm. Haven't figured that one out yet.

This pumpkin is my favorite. When you light a candle under this old shade from Yankee Candle, it casts little witches against the walls. Happy Halloween everyone. How are you decorating?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

And the Store is Open

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has known me for any length of time that I have been obsessed with office supplies, stationery, and planners for years. If you didn't know, this post from back in 2014 should have alerted you to my hoarding abilities. Little did I know at the time that there is a whole on-line community devoted to planning and journaling and sharing inspiration and decorating tips for planner lovers like me. If you made it here, you are probably one of the passionate, like me, who want to know where every page flag, washi tape or sticker came from.

There are some amazingly talented people out there, and the planning and journaling community is full of wonderful and kind people who love to engage with each other and share information and our common love of all things planner related. I remember when I first realized that the page flags from the Target One Spot were highly coveted items, and the first time someone sent me an sku or offered to pick up something for me if they found an extra set. I truly do believe the planning community is unique in how much it brings people together and shines a light on their camaraderie and goodness. It doesn't matter where we live, we love to inspire and be inspired by others.


Planning isn't just about making it to an appointment on time; it's about feeling in control, setting goals, feeling like you can do just a little bit more than you thought you could do. I never imagined we would have an online store; it was always just a dream. But now we are open and sharing our version of specialty page flags with you all. We want them to be unique just like we are all unique. We'd like you feel inspired by them when using them in your planning spreads or when you need to jot down a note in your bujo. In the upcoming months, we hope to continue to build our product line, giving you options to add on to your subscription every month. We'd love to see how you use them, so please share your pictures with #bespokepageflags, and we hope that you smile a little every time one catches your eye.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Welcome to Our Home

We bought our new house in Nevada in April, but we didn't move in until the end of June. Ironically, the day after we moved officially, and about an hour after the moving truck arrived, I had to leave for the airport for a business trip to Dallas. Then three weeks after that, we left for a three week family vacation in France. When we got back, school had already started, and we struggled to get into the swing of our new life. Needless to say, we still have a lot of boxes to unpack.

It's amazing how different a house looks when someone is living in it versus when it's completely empty. The previous owners were still living in the house and had decorated it very lovely when we made our offer, so it wasn't until we unlocked the door the first day that it was ours that I really took stock of the changes I wanted to make.

The first thing that had to change was the interior paint. I think I could have lived with it in a neutral color for the short term, but with all the furniture out, I was stunned to see what I hadn't noticed before: they had painted every wall a different color. In the photo above you can see that the wall to the right of the entry is green and the wall above the stairs is brown.

This is the brown wall above the stairs from a different angle, and you can also see the green wall at the top of the landing and a different shade of brown in the upstairs hallway. Peeking through into the family room, you see two different shades of lighter brown.

This is a good picture showing the differences in the greens where they come together - the green by the door and the green that is over the stair landing.

And the downstairs hallway is yet another shade of brown.

And some walls were painted more than one color. This is the upper half of that green entryway wall, with beige above. I also found it odd at the starting point for the beige, immediately above the air vents but off center from the brown loft balcony.

This is standing on the landing with my back to the green wall. Here you get a view of walls with 8 different colors.

The family room was fairly tame with only three different colors.

And here looking into my office from the loft, these two walls are actually the same color.

But the other side of the family room was three colors again.

The dining room only has two walls, and they were both the same color.

But the kitchen was four different colors plus the hidden green behind the fridge. I mean, why paint what no one is going to see, right?

I couldn't even count how many different colors there were when you stood in the family room and looked back into the kitchen, hallway, and living room beyond.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that if we moved in all our furniture it would be a pain to get everything painted, so we took advantage of the time before our move date to quickly get the job done. This grey was actually the color of my office already, and since you can see into the office from several rooms, we decided on that one for now. This is with the living room painted but the stairs still the original brown.

But the job wasn't quite done when the move in started.

Even with the scaffolding still in the room, it looked so much cleaner.

Stay tuned for more as we get settled in. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Plan with Me August 26, 2016 - Green Recollections Planner

I hope you find the video quality a little improved on my latest video. Please tell me what you think or what you'd like to see more of.

Planner: Green Personal Size Recollections Planner from Michael's
Kit: The Planner Society

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fall Ham

I know that everyone thinks of ham as a springtime meal, but what's better than a ham in the fall? Of course here in Las Vegas, we have nothing close to fall weather yet, so I combined some summertime sides for our first meal. The other great thing about a ham is that it can be used for so many other meals, making it an economical choice. Having the protein already prepared also makes weeknight meal planning quick and easy.

I chose a bone-in ham so that we would be able to have ham hocks and beans for one of our meals, and for our first meal served the sliced home with a variation on German potato salad and deviled eggs.

For the second meal, I cubed the ham and made scalloped potatoes and ham for the family and

scalloped cauliflower and ham for me.

Not the most appealing in pictures, but this easy deviled ham is just ham pureed with a cube of cream cheese and some seasoning. It makes an excellent lunch as a sandwich or with low-carb crackers.

Of course, the family needed something sweet, so I baked them a quick white cake with buttercream frosting. Making the cake in a layer pan went along with the homey vibe of our meals this week.

And finally, that succulent ham hock and beans cooked in the crockpot all day. I splurged and ate it too even though I did regret the high carb count the next day. But so, so good.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Plan with Me July 11, 2016

I recently posted my first plan with me video on YouTube. Stay tuned as I work on camera angles and lighting.

Kate Spade Rose Gold planner

Friday, May 6, 2016

We All Scream for Ice Cream

We are definitely an ice cream family. My husband tells tales of eating entire half gallons by himself at one sitting. I was going through old pictures one day and couldn't believe how many of our family photos were taken eating ice cream (or a shake). While we are going to miss having a place like Carmela's right down the street, we can always order something like Steve's Ice Cream 
(dry ice makes all things possible!) or make our own with all the options and price rangers for makers and starters that are available these days.

Williams Sonoma Ice Cream Starter

Breville Ice Cream Compressor

Cuisinart Electric Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Who am I kidding. I'm sure we'll find plenty of alternatives for our ice cream consumption in Vegas. There's even a Serendipity for frozen hot chocolate.