Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pinterest Inspiration: December 2013

Ah, our last inspiration set of 2013.
I have been a slight bit lazy with regards to the blog this week. I have given myself a bit of a hiatus. I have still been reading others, but just took a step back from mine to reboot my inspiration brain and it seems to have worked because I am getting set to revive my decor as the glitter and glitz goes back into the bins for another year.

Lets see what was inspiring me this month non-Christmas or sugar related ( am I the only 1 that feels like the sugar bees are flying around in my brain still)

dark lantern in front of plate rack with ironstone and tarnished silver trays

i enjoy the plate rack and the black metal candlesticks immensely

ironstone & old bread boards with a bit of greenery

Tone on Tone: My Myrtle Topiaries in Southern Living

the topiaries and simple rustic colour tones of loi thai's home is enchanting to me. feels very similar to the patina farm i so love

Hvítur LAKKRÍS: Open in Motherwell Agusta garage, tomorrow, Wednesday, 16-19 WELCOME!

Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence Mill Valley Cottage (4)

a black church in Iceland — so beautiful against the landscape

House Crashing: Textured & Tribal | Young House Love white buffalo kitchen

i love lindsay's kitchen. the island is so original. there is a lot going on but it looks clean and organized. eclectic perfectness!

Well have a happy new year all.

Looking forward to a new year of projects and fun.


Friday, December 27, 2013

It's been a crazy year... Happy 2013

It is hard to believe another year is coming to a close.
Oliver and Rust has bloomed wonderfully this year (namely in transferring from MT-Tails into Oliver and Rust) and as such has had some successful posts that you all enjoyed.

Here's a roundup of the posts you loved in 2013

our office got a little reorganizing and vintage styling to become a more functional work space

we are certainly feeling the need for an outdoor siesta right now with the crazy 
winter weather

almost a year later and i wouldn't change a thing about this runner. we are now considering using the same company for the stairs to the basement.


and a few runner ups

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking around.
Look forward to lots more furniture transformations, house renos, crazy antics and vintage love here for 2014

Have a wonderful day,


common ground 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Christmas Eve tablescape

Merry Christmas and Boxing Day all.
I hope Santa was good to you all. He spoiled us at our house, we want for nothing.
He even heard me say I would like to have lots of snow for the holidays and we keep getting more so wish answered.

On Christmas Eve we hosted a little family gathering of parents and siblings and the night went splendidly. I had the opportunity to snap some photos of the table prior to everyone's arrival and thought I would share. Everyone is trying out their new electronics right now so why not have some pretty photos to sort through.

elf boot napkins. would you like to make your own? here's the link


lots of candles, lots of wine and food and lots of laughter.

Have yourself a wonderful day with family,


Monday, December 23, 2013

Entertaining 101: The Open House

Merry morning my friends. At least I am hoping your morning is merry, I look like Halloween this morning or some extra from True Blood as after our lovely gathering of family Saturday (the topic of this post) we got our share of the freezing rain storm, leaving us powerless 1 hour after everyone left and bailing a losing battle of water in our basement. We are thankful as it could have been much worse and after 15 hours of switching cords on the generator from our sump pump, refrigerator, freezers etc we are still cleaning up a bit of a swampy basement. Cripes I say! What not to do when entertaining.... make guest flip their own chair over a lake of water lol! Thank goodness I had most of this post ready to go or it would have been excuses from me to you.

So if you missed my inital tips on ENTERTAINING check it out here 

Open Houses can run a little different as there is a general staggered feel to guest arrival. There is no set dinner time so people have the leisure of coming when is comfortable for them and leaving as such.

all still apply the same as with a large group. When setting up furniture for an open house keep in mind more people will be standing as there is generally more people attending. 

Set up your table ahead of time

you have already planned your menu. you know what others are bringing if they have offered and you have accepted. we use our dining room table for an open house for the food setup. all the chairs are removed to allow people to easily walk around the table and it is in close proximity to the kitchen for me removing things from the oven and unloading the fridge.
setting up your dishes ahead of time can prevent scrambling for a platter for the cheese dip and not having any room to put it   

mix and match hor d'oeuvres plates and napkins are setup for all night nibbling
i set out the plates, stands i plan to use for each dish during the day and figure out where they are going on the table. while this seems neurotic it saves me a lot of headaches at night when i am cooking, answering the door, making drinks, talking and laughing

slap on a couple sticky notes so that if anyone is being your night wingman/woman they can easily set food out and not wonder where they should put things



no one wants to think about all of the cleaning up at the end of the night but having a couple of trash areas set out will help guests help you by throwing out their napkins, cans and keep the pileup off of your counters. i used a crate with a clear trash bag under the table and a big crock in our kitchen got a bag. at the end of the night they are just lifted out, no muss no fuss.



as it is an open house and people will be coming and going, it is important to stagger your hot food and have enough selection so people can find something they like but not too much that you throw all your hardwork in the garbage can with those napkins.
finding old silverware chafing pieces can keep some food hot (keep in mind they need a regular dish inside if they are old plated as many can contain lead), making use of that warming drawer you use to store your pots, or an army of crockpots.
fruit trays and antipasto platters are always sure bets. lots of sliced breads, meats and cheeses, tapenades can be found readily in stores taking away some of your prep work.

we clean out our fridge the morning of the party and move everyday food items into our garage fridge so the kitchen fridge has lots of room. i go down the food list and group all the items that go together in pyrex pans. the cheeses are sliced, sitting with the meats, the jars of antipasto, goat cheese logs and grapes. i pull out the pyrex pan when ready and everything hops onto the platter ready for presentation. you won't be hunting for that goat cheese you know you bought but can't remember if it went in the other fridge.

split hot food into groups. make 1 batch early and make 1 batch about 1.5 hours in so there is always warm food coming out but less effort. if something needs to be watched when broiling, SET THE TIMER. you will get distracted and it will burn. people will never let you forget it. burning fire buns or parmesan crisps are hard to live down. trust me!

 these lovely parmesan crusted goat cheese balls were delicious. i found the recipe here


we continued with our trusty bar setup as again it keeps the flow out of the kitchen.
consider serving a festive punch. drink dispensers are available pretty well everywhere housewares are sold. make it non-alcoholic that way the DD's can join the fun and everyone else can add their poison whether it be wine to make sangria or rum for a rum punch caribbean style

make lots of ice. when you think you have enough, make more. we have an ice machine (the grey box on the stool) that runs non-stop for 3 days prior to any large event. if you entertain a lot and don't have a fridge ice maker one of these machines can be a life saver and no one has to run to the store to get more.


Light your candles,have a blast and enjoy your company!

Have a fantastic day everyone,

and if I don't talk to you before then



a stroll thru life 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Kind of sums it up

I came across this pin yesterday and after some mild computer issues (when I say mild there was swearing, crying, calmy retorting at the snooty man trying to help me at the local electronics store like I was just another incompetent ludite) I decided that with all the pretty photos of our homes this time of year, I would take a break today and just throw this out there.


It sums up how I feel most of the time. There are always days where I wonder what the hell I am doing trying to work full time, get a creative business off the ground and be present enough to not miss my life. Trevor and I have had the hardest (self-inflicted) working year of our life this year and we are proud and exhausted to say we made it. We have goals and we are pushing, biting and scraping to get there.
This time of year with open houses and entertaining central can also bring out some awkward conversations and others offering opinions on our chosen path in life.

I like who I am at almost 30 (dear me it's right around the corner) and make no apologies for the vocal, strong headed person I was raised to be.
I have amazing role models in my wonderful encouraging parents, and a husband who supports every crazy hair brained scheme I come up with (even trying to strip a brass faucet...more on that soon, still calming down from that nut haired DIY) 
I push and shove, make mistakes, learn from them and try to be better and remember not to take things too seriously ( I'm working on this)

We're getting to the end of the year and most blogs will be doing a year wrap up, no different here but I just wanted to THANK YOU my reader for liking me and this blog.

Have a fantastic weekend,

We'll be drinking and eating the nights away and I will share some open house tips with you on Monday

Ciao all,


Monday, December 16, 2013

The trees of 2013: a roundup of excessive delight

Why have 1 tree I ask you when you could have 2 or 4 for that matter?

I am corralling our lovely trees in a post to look back on in the coming years. I hope you enjoy seeing them as well and are finding time to enjoy your Christmas trees.

Our Living Room Tree

our main tree is artificial  and was purchased last year from tree classics when the duct tape wasn't holding the top on our old one anymore. this tree carries the brown, white and green with natural vintage touches and graces the corner near our laundry room. our court jester continues to hold court on top holding his piece of the crocheted garland i made last year


Upstairs Hallway tabletop tree

i love the glow of lights from the trees so added this tree to our repertoire two years ago from michaels. it is prelit and has minimal ornaments. i used webbing this year to make it look a bit fuller. i also added a few of the lightbulb ornaments i made. the crochet angel on top was my grandmother-in-laws. the tree makes walking up the stairs to our bedroom or office just a bit more cheery

The Red Basement Tree

i may not embrace red in the upstairs parts of our house but i love it in the basement. our real tree is a balsam fir this year and smells delicious. i added our "crystal" ornaments, pheasant feathers, 6 red acorns, red beads and called it gorgeous. it is much simpler than our upstairs tree but suits the natural feel of the basement. i used a huge galvanized bucket to hold the tree stand this year as someone SAMMY kept taking the burlap skirt away.

The Patio Tree

our patio need a little something to see through the back door when you come in the house. i took the top off our wine barrel ottoman and plopped a tree inside. i picked up a stand and some light strings at the thrift store to make this a lovely glowing display


Then I started playing with my camera and took some glowing nights shots of our trees. 
These photos were taken as the only light in the room at night. f3.2 and 6.0s shutter on a tripod.

  Thank you for visiting our Christmas trees.

See the rest of our Christmas tour HERE 

Have a great day,