Friday, November 30, 2012

Our House: Holiday Homes Tour

Tomorrow these houses and school will be on tour in Pendleton Heights! More info here

(Hey, I think this is our house! Come on by.)

And now for a bit of history...we live in the first suburb of Kansas City!

In the late 1800s, Pendleton Heights was developed as Kansas City’s first suburb from the original 200 acre Jones Farm (what a coincidence?!). It is bounded by the Paseo to the west, Chestnut Trafficway to the east, Independence Boulevard to the south and Cliff Drive to the north. Recognized by Kansas City as a Historic District, Pendleton Heights has the distinction of being the oldest surviving neighborhood.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Interior Design Tips: From My Home to Yours

Hello. It's Monday. Let's get this week started with a drumroll, please. (Holy cow, I meant Tuesday. It's Tuesday. Monday was so good I wanted to do it all over again.)

Tip #8. 

Take drapery floor to ceiling and puddle it.   

Put that curtain rod up high and let the fabric drape down low. How low can you go? Can you go down low? All the way to the flo? Below are some examples and good sources with more detail on the topic (Note: I wish I had more time to discuss all of these tips/topics, but I've linked some good posts on drapery and puddling below!) :

Puddled drapery. 
Works well in a formal setting. (This length is more of a trouser than a puddle.)
Puddling also works well in a casual setting. 
These drapes barely puddle and I love their minimal track style mounting. 
Big puddle. Very casual and cozy.

Puddling also works in patterned drapes. 

I love this inexpensive and lovely way to hang drapery. Piping, rope, and gauzy twin sheets! You have to see the rest here.

I Dream of Drapery - check this out for simple tips and photos with dimensions.
Ragen has good tips on drapery types and fabric + details.  
Roses and Rust - good post on puddling.

Good day to you whether you're living in a Monday or Friday mentality,


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jonesing: For a Holiday + Thanksgiving Recipes

Hi there. We are so looking forward to this Thanksgiving weekend.  Then we'll trudge through to next weekend when our house will be on the Pendleton Heights Holiday Homes Tour. After that we will really kick back and enjoy Christmas break. A break, a holiday, some true relaxation is just what we need. I've had this severe sinus toothache that makes my teeth throb. Today I warned and then apologized several times to the children for my impatience. Phew. When mama is throbbin' ain't no body better get on her nerves. Michael came home with some antibiotics from the doc. Sweet relief, please come my way before I dig to the back of the medicine cabinet for my codeine pills from surgery. 

Hensley, you had a tummy bug that seems to be clearing up, but the laundry aftermath is still going. Poor girl. You've been acting normal this whole time. It's odd, but we're glad it totally didn't wipe you out. 

Tegegne, you love school. Some days spent at home, like today, get really long, especially when I don't give you ideas of what to do. We will be glad to have dad around. He's finished sanding, mudding, and painting, so he's all ours! You had a Thanksgiving Feast at school yesterday and did a little program on the stage. You shouted out, "The Mayflower," when Mrs. Donna asked the name of the Pilgrims boat. We love your preschool. Your teacher has become a good friend of yours, since this is your third year with her!

Fields, you slept all night. Yay!  I put you to bed at 6:30, woke you at 11pm for a late night feeding (I'll usually do this right before I go to bed, normally between 9 and 10.), then you slept until 6:30am. Following that you took a long morning nap. Love you little sleeper!

We are hosting Thanksgiving and are in charge of the turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and cranberry sauce. Yum. Michael will do the turkey again via Cooks Illustrated Herbed Turkey. I'll do Ina Gardners' sweet potatoes and this year I'm going to try Pioneer Woman's stuffing.  The rolls will be from our Artisan Bread book and the cranberry sauce will go in the crock pot. 

Cooks Illustrated Herbed Turkey - From this book
Ina Garten's Sweet Potatoes
Pioneer Woman's Stuffing
Artisan Rolls - From this book
Heather's Cranberry Sauce: Crockpot

With lovin' from our oven,



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Interior Design Tips: From My Home to Yours

Drumroll please. 

Tip #9.

Do not transition paint colors on an outside corner. Do you know what I'm saying? No? Okay, then I drew up two little rooms to show you what I mean. This first one here shows the walls all white except for the blueish wall paint accent. What this dear couple wanted was an accent color in the room. What they didn't realize is that they should have wrapped the blueish paint around the outside edge of the room. See the orange arrows. This is the transition I'm speaking of. This fine couple should treat the walls not as 2D planes but more like 3D objects. Think of keeping one object one color. Photo two, with the paint wrapping the edge makes for a much more finished look. The blueish paint edges get to hide out in the corners and not be fully exposed as in Photo one. 

(Click here in case you missed Tip #10!) Oh, and I must this. First, this fine couple could use some art/mirrors on their wall and a few chairs to complete their room layout (but hey, I'm drawing on a tight time schedule here...all the kids are napping!) And secondly, I do admire their sweet sofa. (its still my fave!)

Thanks and stay tuned!

Much love from your designer friend,


Friday, November 16, 2012

Featured Friend: Friday

So I've decided to do a Featured Friend Friday! Today I'd like to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Ashleigh. We met at Mizzou in 2002, and I have always wished we lived closer since. When we are together real conversation and laughter fill our time. She and her awesome husband Ryan live in southern Illinois with their beautiful children, Elle, Cece, and Parker. She answered some questions for me below.

1. What are you passionate about? 

My children! Someone once told me that the one job you would do for free is what you should do. I LOVE my "job" as a stay at home mom. My kids light up my world!
Orphans I also love orphans and often think about how we should care for the least of these. I got to help with orphan sunday this past week at my church. I love helping with different organizations and hope to one day be able to adopt a child of my own! 
Crafting: I love making crafts from pinterest...especially when they turn out..I give myself a 50 percent success rate ;)
Reading:  I'm also passionate about reading and love getting lost in a good book! "Same kind of different as me" is my all time fave read! 
Good Cuisine: And lastly I'm passionate about good food...I can't imagine life without enjoying great food! 

2. Tell us about your adorable family.
My husband is Ryan. May will be our ten year anniversary! He's my best friend and knows me better than anyone. I have twin girls that just turned four in October..CeCe and Elle. They are best friends and we are the three musketeers! We always talk about the "girl trips" we are going to plan when they get bigger! And our newest addition John "Parker" just turned one in September. He adds so much life to our day I am not sure what we did without him! 

3. Ryan's a bit obsessed with hunting, right? What is his most prized possession/best hunting trip? (Hasn't he, like, killed a bear?)
Oh yea, if its "brown its down" is his motto! He hunts all types of things...but deer hunting consumes him...I look forward to the glorious day of January 12th every year when bow season is over. During hunting season he's so busy taking "non scent showers" and soaking his camo in dirt wafers and sprinkling doe pee everywhere he walks that the quality time gets cut back a bit...and no i'm not kidding..LOL

Do you have a favorite quote or scripture that has stuck with you?
Up until this year my favorite passage is one my mom would comfort me with as a kid..Matthew 6:25-34 on worry. But this year the Lord has matured me some. I have had the awesome privilege of having a godly Sunday school teacher that is training our class how to "fight" in this fallen world. Our struggle in this life is against so much more than what we see..BUT we are NOT helpless for God gives us power to change circumstances through him!  Have faith for it can protect us...know the word so we can be on the offense..This is what I am trying to apply to my life right now! 

Ephesians 6:10-18

New International Version (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Thanks for sharing with us, Ashleigh! 

Love ya!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fields: 2 Months

Fields. You are such a snuggly little bug. Two months have gone by, wow. You are 13 lbs and 22 inches. That puts you in the 90th percentile for weight (chub, chub) and the 25th for height! You've slept 10 hours straight twice and 7.5 hours and soon enough you'll be sleeping all night consistently. I'm hoping so anyway, because we like our sleep around here. 

You have smiled a few times, and often smile through your eyes. You get held and soothed by Hensley and Tegegne, which is sometimes not so soothing, but they're just trying to help! You love to eat, about every 3 hours, and always spit up afterwards. Sometimes a lot. You eat in like 7 minutes, and I try to get you to slow down. You are a sweet, sweet boy and we love watching you grow and are so blessed by your presence. 

Love you so much.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Interior Design Tips: From My Home to Yours

Hello friends. I thought I'd share some tricks of the know...little tidbits about design that may inspire you to rearrange, move that chair "over there", or buy something new since we (at least the northerners and midwesterners) are about to be spending more daytime hours inside. So bring it on winter. Bring all of your bone chilling winds and wicked snow drifts. Our homes are about to be so inviting that we will no longer dread those dark winter nights.

(I must give a shout out to my old boss and dear friend, Tracy, at 360 Architecture who taught me many tricks of the trade.)

Over the next two weeks check back periodically as there will be 10 of at a time.

Drumroll please. 

Tip #10.

Lighting. For the love of lighting put a dimmer on that switch! 

Lighting sets the mood, and offers the unspoken gesture of peace in the room. If it's an overhead light, a dimmer is a great idea. If you can't rig the dimmer, then at least put a lamp or two in the room and turn off the overhead light, to keep a soft glow present.

For setting the mood, an incandescent light bulb will put off a nice yellow glow.

The house above has lovely evening light, doesn't it? It looks so warm and inviting in contrast to the cold winter outdoors. 

There you have it. Tip #10. Stay tuned my friend.


(DeForest Architects House.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Little Treat: Pumpkin + Cinnamon

I hope to make these little delicious treats this afternoon. Will you send my kids a telegram to tell them to be good while I'm baking? Or maybe I'll get real patient and let them help. Either way, Hensley, you'll cry a little (a lot maybe) because when I mention food you are looking for the immediate result and you circle the kitchen island chanting the food of your preference. You're 20 months and I love you at this age, but when I'm in the kitchen and you're crying I long for the day that you can successfully crack the eggs. 

Happy fall and food of pumpkinny goodness.

(Recipe and photo from Glory at Glorious Treats.)

Pumpkin Doughnut Hole Muffins

Pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar make a delicious combo in these cute mini muffins.
Yield: 24 mini muffins


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/3 cup oil (vegetable, olive, etc)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup milk
For the coating-
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350*F.
Spray a mini muffin pan generously with cooking spray.
Pull out two large bowls.
In one bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
In another bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk. Mix until smooth and well combined.
Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined (do not over mix).
Divide the batter evenly among the 24 muffin cups (using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop).
Bake 10-12 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
While the muffins bake, prepare the final coating.
Melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.
Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat. You will likely not use all of the butter, or cinnamon/sugar but this amount makes them easy to dip.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Preschool: And Politics

Yesterday I pick Tegegne up from school and he enthusiastically shares some news:

Tegegne: Mom! Obama is the new president!
Mom: (I'm thinking, wait, it's only Monday, right? Did I forget to vote?) Really? How do you know that?
T: Because we voted today and Obama won.
M: Oh yeah, did you vote for him?
T: No, I voted for the other president...what is his name?
M: Mitt Romney? Why did you vote for Mitt Romney?
T: I just felt like it. He likes horses and granola and skiing. Skiing! Obama likes his dog and chili and basketball!
M: Cool. Do you know who your friends voted for?
T: No, it's a private secret. Can I go with you when you vote?

(Thank you, Scholastic, for giving our kids a chance to vote in a friendly way!)


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trick: Or Treat

Hey Sweet Little Dino and Super Hero Spiderman (and Sleeping Lumberjack Baby Fields)! We had a good Halloween, huh? Our neighborhood goes all out and we love it. The big pretty houses are decorated, the homeowners dress up, there are bounce houses, and a train ride! Isn't that dog dressed as a cheetah awesome? We had lots of fun with our pink owl buddies, Jay and Liv, trick or treating. As for all of that candy, you get to pick a piece a day at 3:00 snack, but I don't know where all those suckers and not-nice-to-your-teeth candy went. 



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