Rustic Dining Room Table

Hi Friends!

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m back after popular demand! Well, maybe not that popular and maybe not “demand” per say, but let’s… just …whatever. Stop nitpicking!

Many of you remember my Dining room Decor  post and how I was getting my dream rustic table custom made from my Table Maker Man. Well guess what, it’s finished! I actually received it about 3 weeks ago. It’s so prettty. It’s also so lonely because it doesn’t have any chairs yet. Momma’s working on it though!

Without further ado, meet table

Some nice looking legs uh?!

That is some thick, solid, wood. (I swear I don't mean that to sound dirty)

I'm working on the decor, people...

Well there she is ladies and gents! What do you think? Tell me pleaseeee!

I’d love to hear your opinions on it. I happen to really love the table and while I was a little trepid about how it would turn out, the second I saw it I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

If it looks heavy, that’s beacuse it is! I dragged took the 3 men in my life (Hubs, Dad, Bro) with me to pick it up and even with me helping it was still mucho heavy to bring in. But that’s just a testament to its authenticity, I think.

Now I’m on the hunt for those modern chairs, studded preferably. I saw some BEAUTIFUL ones from Z Gallerie yesterday but way out of my price range. I’m going to stalk them for sales.

This is a nice examle of the things you can find by doing a little research. The table is an original made for me, to my needed dimensions and for way less than stores wanted for something similar. Way. Less.

Thank you Craig’s List for putting me in contact with my Table Maker Man!

If you are interested in getting something like this or similar made, let me know. I highly recomend them. (obvs)

Please tell me what you think below! Thanks peeps! Have a great weekend!

Spring Weekend Fun

Hi blog amigos! How was everyone’s weekend? I’m totally aware that today is Tuesday but a small tidbit about me…my week starts on Tuesday.  Yes, I have a regular 9-5, Monday thru Friday job like the rest of you but my brain starts functioning on Tuesday. Monday’s are like the transition period back into the week and Tuesday is when I get moving.  I barely ever make it to the gym on Mondays, I barely ever make it to work on time on Mondays, I hardly ever pull off a home cooked meal on Mondays, etc…

Monday’s are especially difficult after such a super fun weekend.  You all remember what a drag last weekend was and how I hoped this one would be livelier? Well it was!

Here are the Top 5 things I did:

1. Took my 7 year old niece shopping for her 1st pair of Toms shoes. Apparently, all the kids in her school have them and her favorite uncle (my hubby) promised her a pair if she got a great report card. She’s in 1st grade, people. It ain’t that hard.  😉

So we took her to buy her shoes, had yummy dinner, watched The Muppets movie, and had a sleepover! Super fun, cuddly times. And if you’re keeping score of who owns Toms, it’s Niece-1, Auntie -0. :/

2. Installed a hammock! One of our favorite things about the new house is the backyard and all the fruit trees that we have. Someone gifted us a great hammock when we first moved in and the first weekend of spring seemed like a good time to install it. With the afternoon breeze and the shade of the fruit trees, swaying in the hammock was nothing short of heaven. Needless to say, once we went out there, there was no going back indoors. My niece was still with us and we all had a picnic, hoola hooped, played games and had a truly wonderful afternoon outdoors.

3. Saw The Hunger Games! If you’ve read the books, then you know. If you haven’t, then I’m sure you’ve at least heard all the hoopla. There’s usually hoopla for a reason. Because its good. Really good. The books were fantastic and the movie was great. Was the book better? Yes. The book is always better but it was still a great adaptation. Go see it! Better yet, go read it!

4. Saturday night we went out for drinks to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We had a great time in a new (or new to me) bar called Crave. The outdoor seating and ambience were perfect and the weather was delightful! I was sitting talking to a friend when I look across the street at some people waiting for valet and thought it was funny how much their silhouettes resembled that of my parents. I kept thinking, wow that looks so much like them. Except that wouldn’t be them because my parents don’t go to restaurants where there’s valet. They’re simple folks, my folks. But wouldn’t you know was them! Funny run-in if you ask me!

Later that night, when our bar bill reached 3 figures (no food, JUST drinks) we decided it was time to go. And never, ever go out again.

5. Sunday was my sister in law’s birthday and we went to my brother’s house for a pasta dinner with the family. More play time with my sweet little niece!

Then it was back home to watch the Mad Men season premiere. Oh Don Draper, you just get more handsome by the second don’t ya? Can I please be your next secretary? Please?!








So that’s all peeps! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too. Next weekend I think I’ll be back to house work (blah). At least we installed the hammock this weekend…that’s something productive right? Oh and got a small, small start to painting the living room with the chosen gray color.

I have some new Fabulous Finds Left Behind that I’ll share with you this week as well.

Have a great week!

Parents and Painting Weekend


Hi Blog friends. Hope you all had a nice weekend. (Yes, I know it’s Wednesday. I aimed for Monday but didn’t I make it.) I had a terrible weekend. Or a great weekend. I guess it really depends what angle you look at it from. Fun angle= terrible weekend. Productive angle= great weekend.

Though I am completely exhausted from non-stop house work this weekend, it is nice to look back and see all that was accomplished. I barely have enough energy to write this post so bear with me. (At least when I started it I felt that way. That’s probably why it took me 3 days.)

My weekend started of with some overnight guests…mom and dad! My parents were getting their house tented for termites and they stayed with us Friday night into Saturday.  I was a little apprehensive about how this would work, the four of us, plus the dog, under 1 roof, but it was totally fine. I came home friday afternoon to find my mother had swept up my whole house, although I myself had swept, vacuumed and mopped the night before. She was apparently doing me the favor of hitting up the few spots I obviously missed.

Ah, Mothers.

The next morning I made a big breakfast for everyone, a few rounds of cuban coffee and put everyone to work!

Check out my spanish tortialla with ham, potatoes, onions. Special shout out to my friend Xen for the “reciepe”!

My dad and hubby got to work putting together this super huge and super awesome umbrella we bought for the pool deck. Along with our new chaise lounges, this may become my permanent “spot” all spring and summer long! Check out my dad and hubby testing it out.

Que Buena Vida! (What a good life!)

Looks good, uh? This scene would continue to call my name all weekend though I was never able to enjoy it.

We then proceeded to clear out our dining room so that we could install our West Elm lamp AND paint the dining room and sunken living room.

Empty Dining Room

Sunken Living Room/Staging area

Unlike my picking a gray color fiasco, I wanted a neutral beige for the dining room and got the color right on the first shot. Go me! It’s called Parisian Taupe from Behr. Even the name is fab!

The lamp from West Elm was finally taken out of its box and we then discovered that every single one of what I estimate to be about 300 of the lamp’s crystals were individually packaged and had to be unwrapped. Not sure if that explanation makes sense. Here is the lamp.

See the little hanging crystals? EACH one was wrapped. So I sat there unwrapping and then my mom helped and I swear we were at it for at least 45 minutes. Wow!!

Half way thru unwrapping

Ta da!

Part 1 of the lamp...

Screwing it in...

Look how dang pretty it looks up!!!!

Don't mind the ladder, chair, roller, etc..

Starting to love this room already!

Next we started prepping to paint. Wow, did I forget what a pain in the arse painting is. Prepping, edging, painting, cleaning, repeating steps, etc…



Mom’s helping me spackle paste a few holes in the wall. Did these old folks think the rent was free at this hotel?! Nope…get to work, Parentals!

The Dog is really tired from helping out too.

By the time Saturday night rolled around, I felt exhausted and defeated. I only got as far as 1 coat in the dining room plus a 2nd coat on one wall.

Painting, Painting, Painting...

Though it was St. Patricks Day, I consumed NO beer & wore NO green.


I did, however, manage to sneak in some wine (of course I did). Just a girl, her painting tools and some vino on a Saturday night.


Sunday I got up and got right back to it! More painting!  My poor hubby got sick somewhere along the way and was laying down with a cold most of the day as I persevered on and continued painting ( I like to make myself sound like Joan of Arc or something uh? Settle down there with the sensationalism, Susy).

Luckily, my hubby felt better later and helped me finish up the other room. I had bought enough paint for 4 different rooms and even thought we worked all weekend, I barely got thru two rooms. My goals were apparently too ambitous.

And *don’t* think it was an ugly weekend outside, either! It was beautiful and sunny and totally beach or pool appropriate. This is what I wish I was doing this weekend!


It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it! (I don’t sarcastically mean the lounging, I literally mean the painting). I could have (almost did) pay someone else to paint for me but I figured this is one of the few things I can do myself so let’s save some dough.

Can’t wait to share the final room look with you guys! It’s gonna be great! Here’s a sneak peak.

Lamp light on...

Light off...

This is the temporary table. Remember, my rustic table is getting made by my table maker man!

I can’t wait to aim to do something normal next weekend like go to the movies (hello Hunger Games!!) or eat something other than take out! Fingers crossed!

What do you think of the color?  Any suggestions? Leave me a comment with your thoughts!

Have a great rest of the week!


Summa, Summa, Summertime!

It’s almost Summer time ya’ll!! (Did I just say ya’ll? Sorry, I’ve been catching up on Friday Night Lights and it must have stuck). Here in Miami we’re pretty lucky that its basically summertime all year round. This past Sunday, I spent the whole day at the beach and even though it’s mid-March, that’s totally normal! It’s a beautiful thing.  The only difference from now to real summer is that the water is still a little cold, at least for us Floridians it is -northerners come and think its warm.

Either way, it has me thinking about the very soon approaching beach and boating season. Additionally, we are blessed that our new house has a pool so I’m expecting lots of pool parties and bbqs this year!

Here are some essentials I’m thinking every summertime gal/dude needs to put on their list:

Chaise lounges: A must for good tanning! I’ve been trying to hunt down a “cheap chaise lounge” forever but I’m starting to think that phrase is an oxymoron because wow, those things are pricy! I finally scored two decently priced ones last week at Big Lots.

Here are some dream set loungers and set ups.

Love the look of the uniform loungers.

These modern loungers are low to the ground yet, they look real comfy!

Now that's comfort...for two!

These are from Pottery Barn but click thru to ShantyChic for a how to DIY!

1 umbrella, 4 chaise lounges, an end table, a beautiful background and landscape and of course, a gorgeous pool complete with waterfalls. Yea, I think this would work for me.

Love how there are loungers spread out all over the pool area.

This is one of the more affordable ones I've come across. $129 from Not sure how sturdy that looks though...

Now that I have a pool, I’m looking into purchasing some fun pool items besides just noodles. Pool activites have really changed from my childhood days of playing games like Marco/Polo and Chicken! While those are still fun, here are some updated pool fun items I’d love to get my hands on!

A rock climbing wall! How freaking cool is that?!

You already have your shades on so its the perfect place to work on your Poker face!

This is for a game I like to call, Drink and Relax. This is my favorite game.

Beer pong anyone?! I actually own this little gadget! I've only played it in the ocean which didn't work out well because of the constant motion but can't wait to use it in the pool!

No summer gal or guy is complete without a cute summer outfit! Here are some summer acessories I’d love to see in my closet!

This cute $10 fedora from Target is on my things to buy list! A cute summer hat is a MUST to shield your face from those UV rays!

Bright colored bikini from VS (Sorry, body not included. I already asked).

The perfect summer shoe is the wedge. How cute are these from Target for $25?!

Did you know that Toms makes more than just shoes? Neither did I! $139 @ Nordstrom

How gorgeous are these Kendra Scott earrings? I have them in black but love this aqua color for summer!

Love this nautical bag...perfect for a summer weekend getaway!

Speaking of nautical, how cute is this simple, braided bracelet?

Once it hits mid April or so, I send my jeans into hibernation. It's just shorts, skirts and dresses from there! This is the perfect summer outfit. Light and airy.

I inserted this photo and then realized I have those shoes!! Total coincidence, I swear! Anyways, I knew I would get sidetracked into other non-home topics. To be fair, I did warn you.

But finishing up, here are a few more images to drool over. Summer lovin’ indeed!

Since one of my favorite pastimes is napping, this looks like an ideal tool for summer afternoons.

Speaking of napping, this would work nicely too. Actually, it would work perfectly.

How perfect is a private, outdoor shower after a day in the pool?

Remember those summer barbecue's I planned on having? Well how nice would they be with a built in bbq in the backyard?! Um, Yes. Please.

Well we have a lot of summer lovin’ ideas there. Some doable, some doable for the future. The far future. Either way, it’s nice to think of warm summer days, grilling with friends, cooling off in water (whether it be the ocean, lake, pool or a fire hydrant) and soaking in the sun- with sunscreen of course.

What are you some of your summer essentials?

Dining Room Decor

My dining room is a part of my house I’m really excited to see come together because it has so much potential. Usually, I’m all over the place with ideas but for the dining room, I’ve known for a while what I want: Rustic Table, Modern Chairs.

I saw this combo at some point and loved it ever since. Every time I see it, I love it more and I’m sure that’s what I want. But even when you know the style you want, finding the exact pieces is always hard. My biggest fear is finding what I want and the next day, month, or year, finding something I liked better. I guess it’s inevitable so picking something you are sure you love right now is the closest you’ll get to a guarantee.

What does the rustic table/modern chairs combo look like? Well like this…

Pottery Barn. $3,173.00 – $4,253.00

This is the dream table, chairs and lamp. The Dining Room Dream.

Pottery Barn. $999 for table.

World Market

Via Pinterest

Not a fan of those chairs but its the right concept.

Via Pinterest

Victoria's Armoire

I had also seen, probably on Pinterest, this modern lamp that I really liked from West Elm. As a bargain shopper, West Elm is a source for ideas more than a place for purchasing. I love most of their pieces but few of their prices. However, I did love this lamp. And my husband loved it too. A double love equals a buy. It’s simple math, folks.

West Elm- $300.00

So this pretty little lamp has been sitting in its ugly little box for about 6 months now.

It’s not one of those “we haven’t gotten around to it” type of things (though we have plenty of those), its just that we wanted to wait until we had the dining table and chairs to install the lamp, basically to do the whole room at once. Well, I’m really happy to say that at least the lamp seems to be coming out of its box this week and hopefully, going up! While I don’t have the table or chairs just yet, I am very very close!

Trying to find this rustic table has not been easy. It’s been almost as hard as finding a true gray color (we all remember that saga).

I had actually found my dream table at Restoration Hardware- another store that is for looking at pretty things but not touching any of them and much less buying them.

Aren't I so pretty?!

You can imagine my heartache when I walked into my local Restoration Hardware store for the first time, saw the dream table I had seen online, found out that particular store was closing and everything on the floor was 50% off including the table, immediately saying “I’ll take it!” and then having the salesperson tell me it was already sold. I tried bribing negotiating begging asking the salesman in a totally normal way if there was any chance that I could buy the table or any chance the person who originally purchased it had perhaps changed their minds. He said no. Like 10 times.

So much for that.

After recuperating and moving on, I continued to surf the web, peruse the stores, check out pins and even search on Craig’s List every once in a while. I actually thought Craig’s List would be my best bet since I was looking for style AND price and it turned out that I was right, but not exactly in the way I had thought. Instead of scoring a great deal on a used or new rustic table, I found someone to make me one. Ahhhhh!

And way cheaper than any I’ve seen anywhere.

Double Ahhhhh!!

I went to meet my table maker man and check out his work and it was legit! We worked out a good price and a nice style and my table is literally getting built as I type and you read. Yay!

Now I jut have to find my dream chairs….in the dream price.  I’m sure it’ll be super duper easy. 😉

Here are some ideas!

World Market- 2 for $279.88

Home Decorators. $79.00 (sale)

Ikea- Henriksdal $69.99

Love, love, love, love, love. Restoration Hardware- $$399 - $479

World Market 2 for $299.98

West Elm $169.00 – $676.00 (On Sale) Love the blue/gray color.

Z Gallerie $299.00

Z Gallerie $349.00

Wish me luck!

Fabulous Finds Left Behind

Every time I go to a store and see a house item I like, I usually snap a quick picture of it. As a bit of a rule, I won’t actually buy something unless it has the right price and a proper place to go in my home (or closet). There are, of course, always exceptions to this rule….either it’s so cute or so cheap that some use to it MUST be found!

So I take the pictures to remind myself the item exists, give myself ideas, share with my husband to get his take on it, stalk it till the price goes down, etc. While maybe I can’t afford it or don’t need it or have no current place for it, it just might be the perfect item someone else is looking for…and I did all the work for you! You’re welcome. 😉

I want to share my pics from some good finds around town that I liked but ultimately left behind. However, there are always a select few I go back for. Let me know what items you would have purchased! If you want any further information on anything specific, just ask.  I’m happy to help. 🙂


Not sure what this would work for, mainly because it has so many possibilities, but I find it very cute!

Target- $19.99

 Saw it, loved it, left it, thought about it ,ultimately went back for it. Confession: This is the “exception” I was talking about earlier where I don’t really have a spot for the item right now but I know I love it and the price was good so I had to buy it.

Pier 1 Imports- $700

Loved this studded sofa from Pier 1. It has a great beige color and would look great with any cushion color such as the red currently on display. Would go perfect in my sunken living room if I ever decide to furnish it. 

Miami International Airport

Can you believe I saw this at the airport? Thought it was such a cute vignette for a bookcase and would be perfection in the reading nook I don’t have. :/

Pier 1 Imports - $30.00

Not sure why but I’m totally obsessed with lanterns. There’s not a decoration scheme that they don’t work well in. I’m also not sure why they are so expensive! Buying one is fine but its a collection of them that really start to make your wallet hurt. 

Bed Bath & Beyond

I love paisley. Think it’s so perfect for a guest bedroom. 

Pier 1 Imports

How fun is this little swing thing?

Pier 1 Imports

I don’t necessarily like the pattern of the chair and sofa but love their style and shape and the shaggy rug. What a perfect scenario for a small space right?


If you think this one little white mirror is adorable on its own you should see it as a pair . It’s double the fun and the cuteness. They are so girly and chic! Love. 


This little studded bench is a winner for any space. 

HomeGoods- $299

I love this chaise lounge as I do most chaise lounges that look like this. But who can deal with their crazy price tags? And you know you need at least two. 

Not only is this mini, shaggy rug adorable, it is the softest thing your feet will ever touch. $30 for a bath rug seems a bit much but I’m really thinking about it. The softness was unreal.

HomeGoods- $79.99

Not sure what to label this (miniature computer desk?) but it’s small, cute and possibly very efficent. I’m looking for something to hide my modem, wireless router and cables into and was thinking this might work. 


Who wouldn’t love to swing on this hammock on a warm and breezy day?


I’m kind of in love with this blue garden gnome. I think he really wanted to come home with me. 

Home Design Store- Merrick Park

This studded and tufted sofa had the most gorgeous soft gray color. Ain’t she beautiful? And the picture doesn’t even do her justice…

Home Design Store- Merrick Park

I’m loving this dining room chair. So classy. Highly considering it. 

Pottery Barn

Great rustic table from Pottery Barn. Going for this look in our dining room.

(Side note: If you’re a big FRIENDS fan like me, Pottery Barn might always remind you of The One with the Apothecary Table episode. Remember how much Phoebe hates and then ultimately loves Pottery Barn? lol)

Pottery Barn

Dream backyard retreat set up. If you’re like me, PB is for ideas, not so much for buying. These dreams are pricy. 

Pottery Barn

Great buffet table for dining rom. 

Pottery Barn

More pretty paisley. 

Victoria's Armories

Light wood, rustic table. Lovely. 

Believe it or not, I have lots more snapshots! We’ll save those for next week. Let me know what you liked, loved or loathed!

I’ve Got The Blues Over Gray

I’m feeling gray.

But not in the way you think!

Also, I’m starting to think that every one of my posts might include the word Pinterest but oh well, can’t help it. It’s where all my inspiration for home, and otherwise, comes from. After I first discovered Pinterest ( coincidentally and amazingly RIGHT as I was putting an offer on a house I now live in) and started pinning away, I realized that there was a common theme amongst A LOT of my For The Home pins : The color gray.

I’ve always really liked the color gray for whatever reason and own a few gray tops and what not but had never taken a real look at it as a color scheme in home decor. My previous home had no gray color.

It’s funny because when you think of gray, it kind of alludes to feelings of dullness, cloudy days and just all around mopey-ness (yea, I don’t think that’s a word either).

But its actually nothing of the sort! A large percentage of my current, and lets assume future, pins include gray and they all look AMAZING!! Least I think so. Every time I see it in a room, I love it! It’s subtle enough that it goes with mostly everything and yet pops enough to make a difference. It goes beautifully with colors like yellow and pink.

So when I first moved into our new house a few months back, I decided I was going “to go gray”. Problem was, I wanted ALL the rooms gray. I mean, it seriously matches everywhere! Don’t believe me? Check it out.

Living Room- dark floors

Living Room -light floors

Baby room

Dining Room

Guest Bedroom

Reading Nook


Master Bedroom

And so on!

Told ya.

But even *I* know it sounds crazy (and gloomy) to want to paint all the rooms in your house gray so I decided I’d go with the the bedroom I spend the most time in (mine) and the living room area. Easy right? Not so much. Took me, correction, its taken me, FOREVER to pick the “perfect gray”. Think i’m kidding? Again, I’m not….

Ah, my wall of colors. And this is just a section of it! Also mixed some browns and whites I’m testing for the dining room & kitchen respectively.

So after settling (because of time constraints) on a gray-leaning-towards-blue color for the bedroom, its time to pick the one for the living area. A true gray this time. NO settling.

The bedroom has dark wood floors with dark furniture so I thought it warranted a lighter gray color. The living room however has light floors with white furniture so I think it merits a darker gray. Enter more inspiration:

White couch and light floors like me- Pin

How gorgeous are those chairs and that whole Christmas look?!!- Pin

Love how this room looks both sophisticated and cozy. Ah, those soft colors.- Pin

So. Freaking. Beautiful. Seriously, a dream! – Pin

The dark gray looks phenomenal against the light couch and window treatments.- Pin

I would NEVER have thought that finding a true gray would be that hard. When I say “true” gray I mean a color that it doesn’t have tones of any other color. That I’ve even spent so much time on this blog taking about it is baffling! But alas, it is true. So this past weekend I tried two more colors. I keep going to Home Depot and buying samples. Thank goodness that they’re about $2.50 a pop. I’ve bought about 10 of them. Think I’m kidding? Again, I’m not.

None of these were a true gray.

I then see on Pinterest this picture of the look I was going for AND it actually had the exact name of the paint color: Early Morning Mist! Perfect right?

Early Morning Mist- allegedly a true gray from Ben Moore.

I skipped Home Depot and went specifically to a Benjamin Moore paint store and bought their $7.99 sample paint in Early Morning Mist. I had also gone to Benjamin Moore’s website and looked up Early Morning Mist and it didn’t really look gray at all but I figured , eh its probably just the computer distortion.

So went home, painted the wall and although it was grayish, it wasn’t like the picture. At all.

Back on Pinterest, I see the SAME picture with a DIFFERENT color name.

Meet Revere Pewter.

Lesson learned: I should not trust everything I see on Pinterest to be completely accurate. Please take pins with a grain of salt.

Anyyyyyyways, long story shorter, I painted a bigger sample area to try to get a better visual hoping that this visual wold help me truly decide and not just settle which I felt myself on the verge of doing.

These are Early Morning Mist by Benjamin Moore (I paid $7 for that sample, I wanted to believe it was “the one”) and Behr’s Gentle Rain, which is the darker one on top.

So I think, I THINK, I’ve decided Gentle Rain.

What do you think blog world? Do we like? Is it a true gray, not too dark, not too light? Think it will go well with the light floors and light furniture? Crown Molding would make it even nicer but that’s still on the future To Do List.

So before I make that leap of faith, before I go all the way, before I commit..what do you all think?????

Help a sista out!

Thanks! Have a great week!

Valentine’s Day Breakfast: Feeling the Love

Hello sweethearts! I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day. I’ve had an ever changing affection for Valentine’s Day every since I can remember. In high school, when I was single and when Valentines was like, the biggest deal ever, I hated it!! Then I got a boyfriend and it was cute and fun and exciting. Then I got a husband and it was still cute and fun but nothing to go crazy over. We’re way too mature for that you know. Cue Facebook on Feb 14, 2011 and it was a montage of people’s pictures of flowers, gifts, chocolates, balloons, surprises, etc, etc, etc.  While my husband and I always do a nice dinner at home or bring out some bubbly or bake some heart shaped cookies or something different than a regular night, I wouldn’t exactly say we go crazy and celebrate. I can’t remember the last time we went to a restaurant for the holiday. It’s just too hectic. But after the Facebook montage last year, I remember telling my hubby that next year I wanted the oversized stuffed animal, chocolates (which I likely won’t eat because I’m not into sweets), jewelry I don’t need, expensive flowers delivered to my work, a card with a beautiful hand written message and so forth! I think my exact words were “Some of that first-year-together, still-trying-to-impress-me type of crap”.

I was, of course, kidding (mostly kidding) and whether it stuck unconsciously in his head this year I don’t know because while I (thankfully) didn’t get the stuffed animal or the chocolates, I did get a quite incredible and memorable Valentine’s Day. This year, apparently, we celebrated for real.

But before we get to his celebration, I did a little SusyHomemaking of myself on Sunday morning. I of course got the inspiration from the only place I get inspiration from these days, Pinterest! Ah, my beloved Pinterest. I decided to make a recipe for Heart Shaped French Toast. Don’t they look pretty?!

Well of course mine don’t look exactly like those but close enough! These were actually pretty easy to make though I will admit, my hubby did help in order to speed up the process. I had never made french toast before so I was excited to take on the challenge!

Here’s the recipe.

I started with slicing the Italian bread.


Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, we cut the bread into heart slices. I almost ran into a problem when we realized the cookie cutter was bigger than the length of the bread but we made do.



I whipped together the Half and Half,  eggs, and vanilla extract. Then we were ready to dip the bread into the mixture.



The recipe also calls for strawberry butter which is basically butter and strawberry preserves blended with sugar. This was a nice twist to plain butter. I used Brummel and Brown nonfat yogurt “butter” as my butter. If you haven’t tried this stuff, its awesome. Tastes great but much better for you than real butter. The strawberry preserves were Smuckers, my fav! The Half & Half was Land O Lakes, since they were the originators of the recipe, thought I owed it to them buy at least one product!


Of course, while one is cooking any sort of long meal (read: anything more than pouring cereal) one should have a tasty beverage to keep them entertained. Bring out the mimosas! Ever since my half marathon, I’d had a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge that I never got around to so we popped it open and made some mimosas. I’m a huge fan of orange juice (Tropicana is a favorite) and a big fan of champagne so you can imagine my love for mimosas.

Back to the food!

After letting them little heart shaped breads soak in the mixture, we “buttered” up the pan and cooked them on each side for a few minutes. I topped them with some raspberries (was out of strawberries), spread some of the strawberry butter on them and voila, breakfast!

I’m personally not the biggest french toast fan because just like pancakes, I find them a little bit repugnant after a while. So while my hubby had like 5 of them ( he doesn’t share my repugnancy problem), I had one….AND some bacon I decided to make on the side!

This was also a recipe I got off Pinterest but its from Martha Stewart. It’s called Less-Mess Bacon and here is the recipe. Makes sweet, easy, delicious bacon. Vegetarians, look away…now!

Yes it was as delicious as it looks! Way I see it, I had protein (bacon) and vitamin D (OJ) with my breakfast while my husband had most of the carbs. Who says dieting isn’t easy?!

Valentines breakfast was a hit and I recommend the french toast, heart shape optional, to anyone wanting to spice up a weekend breakfast.

As far as my Valentines night, my husband basically turned our backyard into a romantic little bistro complete with table settings, champagne, sushi, music, and candlelight. We had an al fresco dinner under a beautiful sky and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a beautiful night and wonderful partner but I’m in awe of him and this life every day and eternally grateful for both.

I wish I could go back to 15 year old, high school me and let myself know how much better my valentine would eventually become! Even if its not a significant other, we all have someone to love. While some say its a silly holiday and they may be right, it’s almost like Thanksgiving in the sense of…you are supposed to be thankful everyday and not just the 4th Thursday in November. Well, you’re supposed to show the people you love that you love them everyday, not just the 14th of February. But sometimes a little invented holiday gives us the excuse we need to show a little more love. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Super Food Bowl

Happy National Drag your Butt to Work day everyone! I believe that is the unofficial title of the Monday after the Superbowl. I mean really, I understand Football is traditionally played on Sundays but can’t they make an exception for this final game and play it on a Saturday? Well, I guess traditions are traditions for a reason.

One major Super Bowl tradition is that of the Super Bowl party and the food that comes with it! It seems like chips and dips (and beer, duh) are as essential to SuperBowl Sunday as Turkey is to Thanksgiving. I kept this in mind while preparing the menu for the Super Bowl party I hosted at my house this weekend with family. Though I had lots of hands helping in the kitchen, my biggest helper was Pinterest! You all know what Pinterest is and if you don’t, climb out from under that little rock and go check it out! It’s basically a virtual pinboard where you pin all sorts of ideas, recipes, designs, styles, etc, etc, ETC.!!!

The game plan was to make a some football themed appetizers per some Pinterest inspiration. I kicked it off with a football pizza. How cute does that look?

Well mine looked pretty similar and tasted great!! This really can’t be any easier to make and everyone loves pizza so you can’t go wrong. Final score: Winner! You can get the recipe here from Pillsbury.

Pre Cooked


 Next I decided to tackle some Football Field Guacamole ( I just made that name up). I also got this idea from Pinterest but the original source is a blog named A Little Tipsy. Hers is more of a seven layer dip but I just took the concept and made regular guacamole and spread it out evenly. Then, per my bright 14-year-old niece’s suggestion, put some sour cream in a Ziploc bag, cut a small hole at the end and made an impromptu cake decorating pen to make the yard lines. Put two toothpicks at each end of the field and scored a game winning field goal with this guac!


I also decided to tackle some Saucy Asian Meatballs from Gimme Some Oven. They were very easy to make and a whole new twist to meatballs. I hate to admit that while I often make my own batch of delicious meatballs, I usually go the easy route and use frozen meatballs. This time, I used lean ground beef and really got my hands dirty! Aren’t they pretty?!

{Source: Gimme Some Oven}

Full disclosure…I personally wasn’t crazy about them BUT…everyone else seemed to be a big fan! Even my pickiest eaters loved it after they tried it!! I guess I was still expecting a marinara type taste when eating a meatball and the asian sauce kept throwing me off. But that’s just me! My sister actually called me this morning asking me to email her the recipe because her boyfriend loved them so much! Touchdown!

I didn’t want to fumble up the appetizers since that’s the best part so my husband made his can’t-go-wrong, world famous “tomatico” commonly known as Pico de Gallo. It’s equal parts tomato, onion and cilantro. It’s a huge hit, no one can pass it up! I didn’t take a picture of it but it looks a little something like this!



Besides the food, the best part of the Super Bowl is the commercials of course! I’m a huge fan of all the funny and creative spots that air during this game. My favorites this year included the Doritos commercial with the dog, the VW commercial with the dog, the Clint Eastwood Chrysler commercial (seriously makes me want to buy American), and of course the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off inspired Honda CRV commercial! I also loved the sandman commercial for Kia and the vampires commercial for Audi.

The food and the commercials are really the best part of the super bowl for me. Even cuties like Eli Manning and Tom Brady aren’t enough to get me excited for a football game all on their own. Someone call me when the Dolphins make it to the Super Bowl and then maybe I’ll watch the game more than my expanding waistline!

What Superbowl food was your favorite? What commercials did you like best? And most importantly, did you catch all my football lingo within the post?

Be a good sport and leave me a comment! (Ok, I’m done)


Top 10 Places to Wander



Love that saying.

Sometimes it’s the smallest things in our homes that reveal the biggest expressions of who we truly are. I am a traveler. Not in reality so much as in my heart…but that’s only a small detail. I believe what I have is referred to as wanderlust- a great desire to travel and rove about. Love Webster’s definition

As with the rest of us, this “hobby” is more of a luxury than an actuality most times but that doesn’t mean a girl can’t daydream. My personal methods for achieving my vacation dreams, whether big or small, include planning for it as much as possible. I plan by researching, saving money throughout the year, building up miles/points on my credit cards, drilling it in my husbands head for days, months, even years, following travel blogs, signing up for travel deal emails (Travelzoo is my favorite) and etc. so that when the opportunity arises, I’m ready!




A little insignificant piece of decor in my home holds a big piece of my wanderlust spirit. It’s nothing more than a small dry erase board that I believe my brother picked up for me at Big Lots one day after we first moved into our townhouse. One day about 3+ years ago, I decided to make a list on it. Like most of us, I make lists all the time. Things  To Do list, Groceries list, Blog Post Ideas list, New Year Resolutions list, Books to read list, Wish list, Christmas Shopping list, etc.

On this little dry erase board I decided to write my Top 10 Places to go in the Next 3 Years list. Without further ado…here is the list:



My only mistake was not writing the exact date on it when I first made the list but I know it was around 3 years go. I was actually able to cross off TWO locations on that list. The biggest and most exciting (and also the most significant one on the list as illustrated by the star next to it) was Paris. After months of planning, harassing my husband, saving, racking up miles and etc…we went to Paris this past November for our 5 year wedding anniversary. It was something I had also wanted to do for my 30th birthday which was in August. I feel so very blessed that we were able to take that amazing, memorable trip.  That little list served as a constant reminder of a goal we had set and a dream we (I) had and it felt damn good to be able to actually reach it.




Since its a new year and the 3 year anniversary of that list has come and gone, I’ve decided to make a new list. Without further ado, once again, here is the new Top 10 Places to go in the Next 3 years list:




I’m hoping we can make 1 or more of those places happen but who knows what life has in store for the next couple of years. It doesn’t really matter though because the list will do its job as I look at it from time to time and remind myself that there are still many places left to wander.



What location would be a must on your travel list?