Monthly Archives: January 2015

A Tunic and a Long Necklace

I love a good tunic. Tunics cover your bum when you are feeling modest.


A tunic is not quite a dress but a little more than just a top. They go perfectly with leggings which go perfectly with a no-jeans kind of day.


And tunics are great for showing off a long necklace.


I layered a lace top underneath the gray tunic to tie in with the lace of the necklace. My long necklace is one I created using a rusty piece of hardware as the base, covered in vintage lace and adorned with a chunky red vintage button. The small pop of red was enough color to keep my outfit from feeling drab and dreary like the winter days we’ve been having.



Wearing a tunic and leggings is much like wearing a dress and tights. Often times I feel like an occasion doesn’t quite call for a dress. When I want to wear something just a little more casual I pull out my tunic. Now that I have sung the praises of tunics, I think I need to get a couple more!


Here I am wearing the same outfit in our newly renovated wine cellar where we hosted our couples Christmas party this past December.


And here are the guys at the same party, showing off their looks.


I’m linking up with The Rich Life on a Budget for How I Wear My…,Style Elixir, Rachel The Hat, Lena B. Actually, Not Dead Yet Style,Because Shanna Said So

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DIY Home Goals 2015

The amount of DIY projects my husband and I did on our house in 2014 was minimal compared to other years. If you’ve read my blog long, you might know that we live in a home built in 1856 that we purchased in a dilapidated state, both inside and out, 20 years ago.


In that amount of time, we have worked and worked…..AND WORKED on making it a place we love. We aren’t finished (you never really are, are you?) but with what I would call 80% completion of the goals we initially had, and feeling beyond burned out with all the remodeling mess over the years as well as physical and mental exhaustion, we took it easy last year and tried to spend more time enjoying what we have.

I don’t have a lot of home improvement goals for 2015, because I’m still in the “enjoying” mode. The horrible laundry room with the falling apart plaster ceiling and walls and seriously inadequate surface and storage area will have to wait. But there are a few things I would like to change this year.

Such as:


**Paint the dining room. I loved the pumpkin walls for a while but I want something lighter. In fact, I would like to lighten the feeling in all my rooms one way or another. I’m looking at Benjamin Moore Tranquility but it might have too much blue, or Benjamin Moore Grey Wisp.

**Make the two guest rooms guest-ready. This will be the most costly, both money-wise and time-wise. It will require fresh paint, new carpet or other flooring and new mattresses. I plan to accesorize mostly with things borrowed from other rooms and things I have stored in cabinets for future use. But almost all of that is vintage and I really want to balance it out with some modern accessories too. I have a small budget to work with, so that means I’ll be doing some thrifting and couponing. Of course I can’t thrift shop for the big ticket items. Have you shopped for mattresses lateley? Sheesh!

**Introduce more natural elements into my decor.


I love nature! By using more of it in my decor I hope to give the entire downstairs a more simplified and unified feel. I’ll have to let go of some of the things I have to make room for the new so it won’t feel cluttered. For me, that’s easier said than done since I have carefully culled and curated each item over years of hunting. I’m hoping that by “donating” some of the things I now have downstairs to the guest room cause, it will all balance out.

So those are my 2015 DIY goals for our home. Can we accomplish all this AND build in some R&R? It seems reasonable. Only time will tell. As we get to each item on the list I’ll show you the “before” pictures and promise to keep you updated with our progress.


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Leopard Love

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an outfit so I decided to share what I wore to church a couple of weeks ago. I’ve shown this leopard vest in an outfit before, where I paired it with shorts, tights and a button down shirt.


It’s super soft and cozy so I reach for it every chance I get. It goes with any color and even works with print mixing. I love that it has both brown and black in it.


Here I have it paired with pants that have a tiny houndstooth pattern in black and white, and black boots. In the previous outfit I paired it with brown tights and brown boots. I chose a basic scoop neck top in cobalt for a pop of color and to dress it down a little bit.


Red leather gloves add more color and interest and were just enough warmth for the 40-ish temps that day.


I kept my jewelry simple with blue drop earrings and a bracelet from my own collection stacked with a couple of beaded bracelets.

One of the things I love about leopard and other animal prints is how it can make an otherwise stuffy outfit feel relaxed and playful. It’s impossible to wear it and feel like a bore! Are you a fan of animal prints? Meow.


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Wine Cellar REVEAL ~ Part 2

In a previous post, I showed you the before pictures of our wine cellar as well as some after the renovation. My husband got the idea to have his man cave located in the space a few years ago. But we had way too many other renovation projects to think about so like all good DIYers we kept the idea on the back burner. Well, a whole lot of thrifting and a whole lot of WORK later…

I still want to hang dropcloth curtains at the bottom of the stairs. The space needs that softness and it will also help keep the drafts out. And I can tie them back for a different look.


I showed you the lanterns I bought with the intention of having them electrified. My husband made this one electric but when it came down to it, I decided to keep the other two to use with candles.


For the table above, we married a huge circular grate with a drafting table base. We already had the chair and the stool that weren’t really being used properly, so I pulled them in to “up” the industrial feel of the room.

As with the rest of our house, we stuck to a very minimal budget for the furnishings and décor, using mostly thrifted items from garage sales and flea markets, as well as repurposing items we already had. The circular grate was on our property but wasn’t being used. It made a perfect table top for two.


Fireplace #2


The above vignette from top to bottom including the cart (but not including the wine) comes in at under $100. There’s a lot you can do on a budget! The cart, skull, mirror, and frame were found at the flea market. I picked up the metal screen, wire baskets, glass bowl, ice bucket, and wicker basket for practically pennies at yard sales. The glasses came from the dollar store, the faux flowers are some I’ve had for many years, the tray was a clearance item and guess where the corks came from?




The hanging shelf was inspired by one we had seen at Restoration Hardware. Theirs used heavy rope and slabs of wood. We had the rope and decided to use the shelves from a storage rack we had. But don’t worry, the rack had several shelves so we didn’t rob it completely.



Ping pong storage ~ a must-have for this ping pong loving bunch!

Now we can reap the rewards and enjoy a very cool (temp stays 65-ish in the summer months) place to hang out with friends and family.

I still have some tweaking to do but it will have to wait. I’m tired I tell ya.

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8 Things I Want My Blog To Be in 2015

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my blog and what direction I would like to take it. I have decided that this year I will put more time and effort into it than I ever have. I’m going to consider it a “real job”. That decision will require more commitment and consistency from me and I am ready for the challenge. While soul-searching, I came up with some definitive characteristics I want my blog to possess. And now I give you…

8 Things I Want My Blog To Be in 2015

1) REAL, down-to-earth, transparent
I value sincerity and fear being phony. Being transparent is sometimes difficult, it means I have nothing to hide. Or rather, that I am hiding nothing. If we were to meet in real life I wouldn’t want you to walk away disappointed, having experienced a different person than the one my blog portrays. I have faults ~ a lot of them. I give you my promise to share not only the good, but occasionally the bad and the ugly as well.

2) PRACTICAL, useful, tangible
I promise to take a hands-on approach to give my readers tips and thoughts to help in their everyday life in varied and specific ways. I certainly don’t have it all together, but I can share what has worked for me as well as what hasn’t in fashion, decor and DIY. My hope is that I can be a tiny catalyst for positive change in the lives of my readers. Someone who does this very well is Miss Mustard Seed. Although I don’t like to paint furniture, I truly appreciate her spirit and many of her posts.

3) FANCIFUL, whimsical, romantic
If I can help readers expand their vision for what could be, I will have fulfilled part of my mission. We all get stuck in ruts from time to time. Sometimes we need to shake off the dust of the limits we have created in our own mind and think with an eye to the infinite. With God, nothing is impossible. There are times to be practical and there are times to leave logic behind and explore the possibilities that beckon us away from the mundane. “The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.” -Rumi

4) HUMOROUS, light, sometimes sarcastic
I like to think that I have a quick wit. Unfortunately I often find myself thinking of the perfect comeback a few moments too late. My desire is to develop my ability to translate my witty thoughts into written form that is enjoyable to read. I love to laugh but don’t do it nearly enough. Do you? It’s so good for one’s health! When we laugh we experience increased oxygen to the brain, which in turn releases more endorphins ~ like exercise only much more fun! Distressed Donna Down Home is smart and funny and her posts often cause me to laugh. Some of my best memories in life are of times I have laughed so hard I’ve almost peed my pants. “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

5) SERIOUS, thought-provoking, deep
Because life is not all fluff. It is important to me to keep a positive tone throughout my blog. Although I am passionate about design, I, like you, have strong emotions and opinions about all sorts of other meaningful things. I will occasionally part from the world of design and get into the nitty gritty things of life. My writing may sometimes get deep because that’s how I sometimes think.

6) VISUAL, artistic, picturesque
peoniesTo inspire. Of all the places I draw inspiration from, beauty in whatever visual form it may take is that which causes me to use my creative abilities the most. It causes me to think outside the box, dream bigger and try harder. And sometimes it just soothes the soul. Particularly the beauty of God’s creation.
“To enjoy beauty in the company of myself

….is to experience beauty bound by the limits

………….. of the sole person that I am.

But, to experience beauty in the company of God

……………….is to experience beauty

……..bound by the limits of Who God is,

which is to experience beauty without limits.”
………………………….–Craig D. Lounsbrough

There are many sources I go to for visual inspiration. One such blog that never disappoints visually is Chateau Chic.

7) HELPFUL, nurturing, supportive
So readers will feel safe here. Because sometimes you want to go…

I can’t offer you a drink, but I can offer the part of myself that is warm and caring, and can hopefully help lift your load if you’re down.

8) ORIGINAL, inventive, unique
Because I gotta be me!
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
……………………………………………………………………………………….–Judy Garland

I have given you a list of eight qualities that I would like my blog to possess. Does it feel like a tall order? Yes! I will keep this list in front of me and refer to it often in this new year to see if I’m on track. I will do my best to live up to it and I give you permission to hold me accountable!

In my next post I will show you part 2 of our wine cellar renovation. Cheers!

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1853 Wine Cellar REVEAL

I told you I would show you the “reveal” of our renovated wine cellar many months ago. I try really hard to be a person of my word. Being reliable is a trait that I value in myself and others. So I’m a little mortified to be publishing this post at this time ~ more than a year later than I had originally stated that I would post it. Yikes! While it did take me a long time to compose this post, it did not take me an entire year! I could give you a list of excuses why I didn’t publish it sooner. But I know that’s not really necessary. Suffice it to say, life got really involved, and the best intentions and goals had to take a back seat.

With that being said, I am so so excited to FINALLY present the Wine Cellar Reveal! Oh wait. Since it’s been so long since I first told you about it, I feel like I need to show the before photos again.



Built in 1853, three years before the house, this was the first wine cellar in our town. The land was covered in vineyards and the owner supplied wine to the river boats just a few miles west of our property.



When my husband and I first purchased the house back in 1993, the thought of renovating the wine cellar wasn’t even on my radar. Because there were so many other things that needed done to make our big old fixer upper livable. Now that we have a majority of the house good, hubby decided he needed his own man cave. And since he hasn’t ever requested his way in over 25 years and 3 houses of remodeling/decorating, I agreed to decorate it in more masculine décor.




That big empty space above is usually filled up with a ping pong table. We took it down for dancing on New Year’s Eve and haven’t put it back up yet.



You may remember these chairs. I think they work perfectly in here!


……………….wine_cellar_after_mantel_2 wine_cellar_after_mirror



It’s really difficult to get good photos since there’s no natural lighting, so they’re kind of dark. We left a lot of it rough and rustic, and still have a few more areas to improve on. I have a LOT more to show you ~ the whole other side of the room in fact ~ including close ups of the bar cart, a converted drafting table seating area and an electrified lantern. See you in part 2 of the reveal!


Linking with: Savvy Southern Style,The 36th Avenue, No Minimalist Here, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,The Scoop, Mod Vintage Life, Between Naps on the Porch, From My Front Porch to Yours, Cozy Little House, Knick of Time, A Stroll Thru LifeIvy and Elephants, Shabby Art Boutique, Cheerios and Lattes, Reasons To Skip The Housework, Classy Clutter, French Country Cottage, C.R.A.F.T. Monday Funday , VMG206, Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo, That DIY Party

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