Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and that you have a Happy New Year!

Sammy wishes you a Merry Chistmas as well, but please keep it down. He's trying to nap.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 2010

It has been one hectic month.

Courtsey of microsoft clip art

The holidays are always crazy, but on top of it, my class for the semester was finishing up. And let me just say that I am glad that one is over! Best of all, this time next year I hopefully will be graduating.

Courtsey of microsoft clip art

Of course that all depends on the classes I need being offered when I need to take them. Fingers crossed! Plus work has just been super busy. I am very much looking forward to the holidays and some time off. Lots of time with family and friends and good food.

On top of all that, Mr. Moore and I will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary before the end of the year.

Courtsey of

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you have had a safe and happy holiday with family and friends!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

33 days until Christmas...

Last Sunday Mr. Moore and I began to prepare for the holiday season by hanging our outdoor lights.

This weekend I continued the holiday preparation trend by almost finishing my Christmas shopping and by beginning to wrap presents.

Christmas 2009 @ my parent's home.

I am very much looking forward to offically beginning the holiday season and gathering with Mr. Moore’s family for Thanksgiving later this week.

Photo courtsey of Pottery Barn

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, Mr. Moore and I will finish decorating our home for the holday season. Then we will wrap up with holiday festivities at my parent’s home, including seeing A Christmas Story performed at the local theater.

A Christmas Story movie

Super duper fun way to get into the holiday spirit!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Make hay while the sun shines…

…or hang your holiday lights while the daytime temperature is still reaching the 60’s:

Just be sure to ignore the odd looks from the neighbors. After all, you will have the last laugh while they are hanging their decorations in the freezing cold.

And p.s. don’t worry, we won’t be lighting them again until after Thanksgiving. (We aren’t that crazy!)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

For everybody’s there’s a one-a-day.

There are many 365 days projects floating around the internet these days. People are doing amazing things every single day. Here are a few examples:

1. New Dress a Day: This creative chickie is creating a new dress (or top) every day for this year….and only spending $365 for the entire year! As of right now, she is on day 335 and I must say she has made quite a few great pieces.

2. A Year of Slow Cooking: This momma is cooking up meals everyday in her crockpot and has been going at it since 2008. Guess that just goes to show that one year does not have to be the limit. She is even cooking gluten free to accommodate her daughter (*hint*hint* good recipe source). There are a variety of recipes that she has worked through and many look might tasty! I will be stopping back here for inspiration.

3. 2010 at a Glance: This young lady is taking a photo each day for the whole year….mostly of nature and food (yum!). I could get in to that.

Those a just a few examples of what many people have been doing over the past (few) year(s). A quick online search will bring up many other projects that bloggers and the like have been creating.

It leaves me to think about starting my own one-a-day project. Now I just need to come up with a concept…

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Goodbye Summer…

Hello cold weather!

With colder weather comes those heating bills that we all wish we could decrease. There are many things that can be done to help reduce costs. One simple and affordable modification is to our wall outlets and switch plate covers. Outlets and switches along the exterior walls of a home can allow in a draft. The good news is that a simple fix is possible. Many stores sell kits to insulate outlets and switches like this:

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Then you can also add in child safety outlet covers for extra draft protection:
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Last winter we insulated our outlets. We were fortunate to pick up a free sample kit of the foam pieces (3 outlets, 3 switch plates) from a local power company. From there we simply saved up egg cartons (yes, you read that right) to make the rest of the pieces we needed for our home:

We simply traced the sample pieces on to the cartons and made the rest that we needed. We were able to make two covers per carton. Then we picked up a set of outlet plugs:

We took our outlets from this:

to this:

Granted, you probably could have visualized the outcome, but I really just wanted to show off my paint job. If you remember, continuing painting the house was on my summer to-do list. Plus, as you can see, no one is any wiser of the changes you just made.

Another option to help you stay warm this winter would be to find a furry friend to snuggle with. From past experience, furry friends like these are good choices:

Man, that is some nice looking paint.... :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day dreaming

Lately I have been dreaming a lot of our next home. Ideally I would love us to be able to build exactly what we dream of. Here is what I hope for one day...

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It official… I am 26.

My 26th birthday was a few weeks ago. Looking back over the past year, I must admit, it was a rough one. I really began to notice the aging process taking affect.
 Yea. Yea. I know. Everyone is telling me that I am crazy for thinking that I have wrinkles. But I see them. And I want them to go away.

I came across an article in Real Simple that recommended this product:

Photo courtsey of Target

So I decided to give it a while. I must tell you, I love it. It works incredibly well. I am so happy with the results that I have been seeing. My brow no longer has a permanent furrow and my skin is much softer. For ease of application, I mix one pump with a bit of my daily moisturizer and smooth over my face twice a day.

While I really enjoyed the product, I decided that I needed a pair of Boots. So I also added this eye cream to my regime:
Photo courtsey of Target

It adds just a bit of shimmer around my eyes that lights up my face after too little sleep and further to help keep those wrinkles at bay. Perfection!

The final addition to my 25+ beauty routine included a heavier moisturizer that I apply only at night. I use the Target brand version of this:
Photo courtsey of Target

So there you have my altered beauty routine. Have you added any new products to your beauty routine lately? Have and recommendations to share with the class?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Confessions...Wedding Shoe Search Part 6

I have to admit something.

I have been holding out on you.

When we last spoke about my brother's pending nuptials, I led you to believe these would be the footwear I would be sporting:

Photo courtesy of

Comfortable and practical.

But, I changed my mind. I came across and their wonderful shoe selection. And I fell in love with this pair:

Photo courtesy of

With an online coupon, I couldn't resist ordering them and at least taking them for a test ride around my home. As it turns out, they were comfy too. And they wiggled their way in to my heart.

So there you have it. I'm no longer feel weighed down with this secret. I promise there will only be one more post about the shoes and the wedding. After all, I do have to share the entire ensemble!

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Budget Finds: West Elm Wannabe

The new West Elm catalog arrived in the mail the other day. And this is what I found on the back cover:

Photo courtsey of West Elm

Doesn't it look awfully similar to this pillow that I made earlier this summer??

West Elm version: $39
My verson: under $5

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reduce, Reuse... Repurpose??

For our first anniversary, Mr. Moore surprised me with a delicious Edible Arrangement. And it looked something like this:

Photo courtesy of Edible Arrangements
See the “vase” that it came in? Not too bad, right? But, still not too good. For 7 months it sat in a junk catch-all” basket in our kitchen.

Then I got the idea to cover the row of hearts so it would blend with our decor and could be used for something other than collecting dust. After all, the rest of the design was pretty cute:

I originally thought to cover the hearts with a chocolate colored ribbon. But once I got the ribbon home and began to wrap the "vase", the tapered sides were just not cooperating.

So, on to plan b: spray paint. And luckily, I had exactly what I needed already in my garage! I taped off the hearts to be sure to only get paint where I wanted it:

After a few coats of paint and a top coat of clear for extra protection, here is what I ended up with:

And if we zoom out a little bit:

You can see that has now taken up residence in my sewing nook to hold odds and ends.

What do you think? Pretty good for a project that did not cost a dime, huh?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The goods

You may recall my upcoming Ikea trip. Well that day has come and gone. Reusable shopping bags were packed and meatballs were enjoyed.

You may also recall the shopping list I prepared before the trip. Unfortunately, I did not leave the store with all of the contenders. In fact, only one item on the list came home with me.

Let me explain…

1. The curtains. I had actually planned on taking 8 pairs of these home with me. They are great and lightweight. Could be perfect for almost any room. My concern was of the possibility of little kitten toenails playing with them. I need to find something with more weight and texture (to hide the potential pulls).

2. The frame. The mats were cut to fit a 5x7. My pictures are 4x6. Therefore, a no go.

3. And lastly, The mirror. I did not even see it in the store.

The search continues for other items like these. But that is ok because here is what came home with me:

The picture ledges.

But, I also happened across this fabric.

Hopefully, Mr. Moore and I will have some time in the next few weeks to hang the ledges over the desk in the living room. I am going to leave them white for now and revisit painting them after a few months. 

I plan to use the fabric to make throw pillows (yes, more pillows. here and here) for our master bedroom. I am thinking the big, oversized variety.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sewing 101

Over the past few months, I have been slowly dipping my toes into the world of sewing. While creating placemat pillows and repairing dog toys have become common practice in our home, I decided it was time to step it up a notch and dreamt of creating pillows (from scratch) and one day, baby items. Plus, if I hope to make any children’s clothes in this lifetime, I better start practicing!

So I began to look around for an affordable sewing machine. I looked at Joann’s and Target at new ones, but the price tag always scared me off. Paying $200+ for a machine that I may quickly fall out of love with did not make sense. Next stop was to look at second hand stores, Craigslist, and Freecycle. This took quite a bit of patience. You never know when someone will drop off or list an unwanted (and working) machine. So waiting can take weeks or even months!

Finally, one Saturday morning when I checked in with my good friend Craig, I spotted a like new machine in a recent posting! Unfortunately, the price the seller was asking for was still out of my range. But, I decided to take a chance and email her an offer that I was happy with. Sadly, she declined. So I moved on with my search.

After a few days, I had another email from the sewing machine seller in my inbox. As it turns out she was willing to accept my offer and asked when we could meet. I was in pure joy! I scheduled a time when Mr. Moore and I could meet the seller to make the exchange. After all, you should never meet a stranger alone!

Over the next few days, I began to collect ideas, free online patterns, and even went to a local second hand store and found some fabric to get me started.

Once I had the machine in my little hands, I began to set up a nice little home for it:

my new Brother!

After dusting off my memories of home economics I began to thread my machine with what little thread I had from a tiny sewing kit purchased in college. While at the local second hand store, I had purchased 4 tan colored, cloth napkins in hope of making, you guessed it, pillows. They were my first experiment project. After running my finger tips over numerous times and wishing I had straight pins, here is what I ended up with:

Perfect? No. But a start? Yes. These little pillows gave me the confidence to make an “envelope” pillow case for an existing throw pillow on the couch that had seen better days, buttons and all:

Next on my sewing list? Larger rectangles! More pillows are on the horizon and so are a few cute bags. Maybe one day I will venture into making a few clothing pieces for myself. And someday down the road, I can begin to make all of the baby items I have seeing around.

Now I just have to get over the fear of drowning in the large pool of fabrics at Joann’s!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

To-do list check in.

#3. The garden around our house is finished….for now. We added landscaping along the side of our home to connect the front and rear gardens. It has made such a HUGE difference. The yard now looks so much more connected and complete. The shrubs and tree out front came with the house when I purchased it and last summer when we added the patio, we put a few boxwoods along the perimeter. For continuity, we used the same types of plants out front and out back to line the side of the house. The only new type of plant we added was some decorative grass. We chose the grass for some height…now it just has to grow.

Existing front garden

Patio installed last year with our tiny boxwoods

New side garden

Side garden connecting with rear garden around patio

Since I took these photos, we have added mulch, but you get the gist of it. Now Mr. Moore and I are trying to decide if we want to add edging. I vote 'yes'. He votes 'no'. What do you think??

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You may be wondering...

...why Mr. Moore and I were in the car for 13 hours.

It is because we were travelling home from this:

The greatest place on earth AKA the Outer Banks!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I am thankful for...

...having a puppy who is such a great traveller...

...even on a 13 hour car ride!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Counting down the days...

One of the downfalls of living in rural PA, is that there is not an Ikea nearby. And unfortunately, Ikea does not ship many of the things that I would like to purchase. So when I do get a chance to go to the mecca of inexpensive home furnishings (once a year, if I am lucky), I need to make it count!

Later next month, the pilgrimage will be upon us. I have been preparing for months: scouring their website for new ideas/products and trying to envision them in my home.

The best item I have across during this time? Ikea’s online shopping list feature. You are able to create a list of the items you would like to purchase and best of all you are able to see if they are available in your store of choice!

Needless to say, I have created, recreated, edited, and changed my list more times than I can count.

Here is the current list of what I hope will make it into my shopping cart in August:
Photo courtesy of Ikea

I have slowly been putting curtains up in my home this year. When I purchased my house back in 2007, my first priority was to put up blinds, as to not give the neighbors a free show. After they were installed, I lost momentum and chose to simply enjoy the coverings that were up. Plus, I really was not sure what type or color of curtains I even wanted and could not justify purchasing curtains for the sake of having them. Fast forward 3 years. From what I have read on other blogs and websites, most people seem very happy with the Vivian curtains. They are not too heavy and not too sheer. And best of all, they are a great price! Since I love a good bargain and am only really looking to soften the edges around the blinds in the living room, kitchen, and dining area, these seem like a good fit.

Picture Ledges.
Photo courtsey of Ikea

 As you know, I have been looking at picture ledges for a while now. I am finally going to take the plunge. I am after 2 of the 22 inch ones. They will go over my little “office” nook in the living room in a staggered arrangement. I have debated on whether I wanted 2 of the shorter variety or 1 of the longer variety. I have decided on 2 shorter ones, because, well, if I want longer one, I can simple butt the 2 up against each other. Problem solved!

Photo courtsesy of Ikea

Last summer I went to a local art festival and purchased lovely photos of common items that look like letters:

In case you can’t tell, it spells out “Moore”.

While I love the pictures themselves, I never cared too much for the “frame” they are in. It has really no presence and is almost cold. I have a few Ribba frames from Ikea already and they are great! So I plan to find one with 5 openings to give our name a new look. And who knows, it may just end up on the lovely new ledges that will live above my desk…


Photo courtesy of Ikea

Our master bedroom has been a work in progress for quite some time. I am not one to simply purchase new items just because I don’t like the ones I have. We have a great big tv that sits on top Mr. Moore’s dresser. It takes up ¾ of the space available and has to be pushed up against the wall to even fit from front to back. I would love to purchase a new flat panel model, but can’t justify it when the one we have works just fine. Since it is so large, this makes it quite difficult to put anything on the wall above the dresser. We inherited a mirror from a family member with the hopes of it working in the space. Unfortunately, it is simply too large for the space and still would not fit even if we got a smaller tv (which won’t happen until the one we have dies…). So rather than mount a mirror on the wall, I am thinking that a standing mirror may be the way to go. My only concern is that since they are fairly tall dressers, I may not be able to see my self in it…

So there is my list. Although chances are a few other items will be leaving the store with me as well. Now I just have to hope that they have everything that I want in stock.

My plea to Ikea? Love Harrisburg as much as you love Philly and Pittsburgh. Open a store in the middle of the Keystone State!

And yes, I plan to consume a plate of their meatballs before I begin to fill my cart.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Final Stop. Wedding Shoe Search…Part 5

The bad news: I realized that I probably needed to up my budget in order to find shoes that I would be happy with. But with any luck I hoped to find shoes that I could wear again on a regular basis...aka to work.

The good news: This was the last order of shoes to be delivered to my home in the quest of the golden shoe.

This time I hit up All in all I was very pleased with my order. And free shipping both ways with a 20% off coupon doesn’t hurt either!

Here are the goods:

Photo courtesy of

This pair is insanely comfortable! My feet love wearing these shoes and I easily could wear them to work. The extra bonus is that since the wedding is outdoors, a wedge heel is a much safer bet than a skinny little heel.  But I am a little concerned that they might not be dressy enough. I mean, it is quite a far stretch from what the bride originally recommended.

Photo courtesy of

This pair was also up there on the comfy-ness scale. But not quite as good as the first. I did like the sweetness that the bow added to the shoe. Although I am not sure they are quite work appropriate.

Photo courtesy of

This pair barely made it out of the gate. Same issue as the pair from Overstock, the strap across the front was too big. Next...

Photo courtesy of

This pair was super cute. I love the bit of attitude the "snake skin" detail on the strap brings. However, there was no chance of wearing this pair to work.

And finally:

Photo courtesy of

This pair struck out before even being tried on. What the picture does not show well is that the leather (real? faux?) is distressed. So the gold finish has a crackled look. No Thanks.
So which pair did I decide on? Which pair will I be wearing to my brother's wedding?
Drum roll please....

Surprised? Agree? Disagree? Find any pairs like the one I originally wanted around the $40 mark? Please share!