Here are a few things that suck about being a blogger: coming up with new content, acting like a perfectly sane human being when your neighbors walk by as you are posing in front of your house, the fact that you would lose all your readers if you posted in the sweatshirt and yoga pants that you prefer to the cute mixed pattern/pop of color/trendy masterpiece you created. Yeah, most of the time it's great fun, but sometimes it sucks a big one. Today it was freezing, and I mean FREEZING! I rolled on down to the park and even left the car on so it would stay warm while I was taking photos. After five minutes of being out in the wind, I was so totally over the adorable outfit that I was excited about putting together earlier. The rings on my fingers were so cold that they hurt my hands and I was two seconds away from snot dripping down my face. I spilled my coffee all over my arm. Too bad it wasn't hot any longer, and then, it started sleeting. I got fed up with this so-called photo shoot, drove straight to the grocery, and got all the ingredients for a big ole lasagna. The second I got home, before I put the groceries in the fridge, I changed into my sweatshirt and yoga pants immediately.

With that being said, we are in the Virgin Islands for Thanksgiving, so this freezing cold weather couldn't have had better timing.  I have never been so ready for the beach in all my life!  It won't be all fun and play, though. One of the tasks at hand while we're there is to find a place to get married and I have no idea how that is going to turn out.  As much as I love style and design, planning is certainly not my strong suit.  I'll let you know how it goes!  In other news, and speaking of something that I'm super stoked about, WW is going to be getting a major facelift in the next couple weeks.  It's about time y'all have something prettier and more professional to look at, so I finally bit the bullet and can't wait to see the results.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I hope you all enjoy friends, family, and football!

Button Down: J.Crew Factory (in store only)
Vest: Target (old) this season's version
Denim: J.Crew
Bag: (no brand) via K-Sera Boutique
Boots: Dolce Vita (old)
Necklaces: Max & Chloe (use link Black20MC for 20% off!), Brina Box, K-Sera Boutique
Bracelets: J.Crew, Stella & Dot, Cara's Boutique, Hermes, Banana Republic



Bedroom on a Budget

Hi lovlies!  I hope you all had a fabulous week and are ready for the holiday ahead!  We've been fussing around here preparing for our annual trip to St. Thomas for Thanksgiving, which means LOTS of laundry.  The man went to Baton Rouge for a quick guys trip to LSU and I stayed behind to manage some last minute choices for the renovation projects.  Hopefully we can stay on schedule while we're out of town.  God willing.

So, I got the thumbs up on devoting Sundays to a house and home post, so I will be getting domestic on y'all from here on out.  I wanted to share our bedroom with you because I really tightened up the purse strings on this little makeover.  After the renovation of our home, we didn't really have much left in the budget to decorate. After pulling as much as I could from what we already had, I finished up with some wonderful items from Target, Joss and Main, and even the neighbor's garage sale!  Yep, they were moving out right as we were moving in and I snagged those Restoration Hardware lamps for $30 for the pair.  Major score!

In terms of the renovation, this master bedroom had one of those double entry bathrooms, so we walled one side up to make room for a bigger closet and to open up the space altogether.  I can show you the bathroom in the coming weeks.  New hardwoods and my trusty paint color  (SW Amazing Grey) makes the space much more comfortable and fresh. We spend sooooooo much time in here when we are home and it's definitely my favorite space in the house.

Bed: Joss and Main
Pillows: West Elm (old), Target (old), Ikea Sanela
Art: World Market (in store)
Rug: Sam's Club
Drapes: Ikea Merete



Home Sweet Sunday

I've told you before that both my fiancĂ©' and I are mortgage bankers during the week, but on the weekend we enjoy renovating and remodeling homes.  Back in May, I posted this remodel and you guys went absolutely bonkers and have been begging for more ever since.  I'm thinking about reserving Sunday posts for stuff that has to do with home.  I have a ton of content (I haven't even shown you guys the house we live in!) and we have more projects in the works.  What do you think?  I'd love to hear your feedback in order to keep the integrity of the blog.  This is a huge and very enjoyable part of our life that we don't really get to share.

So, about the house: we bought this little junker a couple months ago that had been horribly neglected for several years.  Of course it smelled absolutely putrid, and someone had even left an old dog out back in the jungle of a yard, poor thing!  We always say "The uglier the better!" and we took this home to heart.  The neighborhood is very desirable and is a great place to buy for couples, small families, and even empty nesters who want the suburban feel without being too far from the city.  This particular home sits on a green belt and had a layout very similar to White Cliff, so it was a relatively easy project from a design perspective.  The challenge was the sheer amount of work.  The sweet couple who bought the home really is getting a brand new home, inside and out (minus the brick). We got a little squeamish on the budget and really bargain hunted for everything we could, without sacrificing quality.  We found some AWESOME buys and they ended up looking so great.  I was so excited for this house to be finished because it really is a great home for a couple starting a family.  Our buyers are 7 months pregnant with their first little one and it just seemed like it was meant to be.

I'm gonna take you on a little tour, friends.  Without further adieu, here is 11811 Cheswick!

We had a lot to clean up on the outside, as you can see from the before photo below.  The ivy had grown all the way up into the trees and completely taken over the front yard.  We had it cut down (it will eventually die and fall off the trees) and we pulled up all the ground cover and laid sod.  The junk trees in front were removed so you can see the house, and we left the nandinas to fill out after someone did a hack job on them before we purchased the property.  We replaced all the original metal windows with bright white vinyl ones and painted the brick a gorgeous grey.  We salvaged the original shutters and front door and painted them black for a little contrast.

This is where the biggest difference was made, in my opinion.  Not only did the kitchen have carpet,  (yes, you heard that right), but it was completely cut off from the huge family room and felt completely disjointed.  We opened that wall and replaced the dated cabinetry with a new shaker style.  New stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, Santa Cecilia Light granite, and shiny light fixtures finish out the kitchen perfectly. All the drywall was retextured and repainted so the home feels brand new inside.

In the original layout, there was no pantry, only a very small double oven and some cabinets.  Luckily, there was a random, but huge closet on the other side of the wall in the entry way, so we took half of it and designed a walk in pantry.  The other side is a cute little half bath.

I love making the most out of 'accessories' in a home, especially in the kitchen.  At this price point, little luxuries made a huge impact and shiny chrome does the trick.  I love using chrome fixtures whether the price point is $100,000 or $1,000,000.  And it's always the least expensive finish when fixtures have multiple options.

The house has a funky little angle to one side of it, so we decided to incorporate a peninsula rather than an island.  I would have had to place the island at an angle an well and it just felt a little uneven.  I'm big on symmetry, especially in the kitchen, and the peninsula provides plenty of bar stool space and room to gather.

Can you imagine not being able to see this gorgeous fireplace and get the natural light from the new french doors?  The old design blocked it all and the old peninsula made you feel trapped in the kitchen. What a difference it makes to simply turn it ninety degrees.

Typical with homes built in the 60's and 70's, there were big built in hutches on either side of the fireplace, that we simply popped out.  There were also decorative (if you can even call them that) circles on the ceiling throughout the home that just had to go.  We slapped some paint on the fireplace, replaced all the wall paneling with fresh drywall, and laid new hardwoods.
I messed up and didn't take before photos of the rest of the house, but you can imagine how dated and stale it was.  There are two bedrooms that are connected by a Jack and Jill bath.  The bedrooms got received new carpet and shelving (how cute will this be as a nursery?!!?).  I chose the pinwheel tile for the bathroom floor because it's playful and cute and I had the guys cut down some white and grey tiles to 12 x 24 for a more modern feel.  Simple ideas like changing the shape of your tile can make a world of difference.  This tile was .49 a square foot on special at a surplus store.  It has a rougher texture so soap won't show as easily as with a polished tile.  

Now, for crowned jewel #2: the master bath. This room was a hot, disjointed mess.  First off, it had a hallway entry, which took away the ensuite convenience.  We walled that up and completely redesigned the bathroom.  It had a tiny shower that felt like stepping into a cave and had another wall that made it tiny.  We basically started the whole space over from scratch and added two closets, a large walk in shower, and double vanity.  It's hard to see in the photos, but I have been dying to use ceramic planks in a wood pattern and I finally got the opportunity.  They are a gray white washed wood grain and are just stunning with the marble.  Speaking of the marble, this was a remnant that my contractor picked up at the stone yard.  To.die.for.  

In the back, we replaced a chain link fence with a gorgeous, stained one and replaced all the dirt with fresh sod. Once we cleared away all the junk, we discovered that the yard was tired for drainage by these pretty stones, so we kept that detail and I love the way it looks.  This house also had a white gate in back that, when we purchased the home, we didn't realize was electric.  It wasn't in working condition, but after a quick visit from the electrician, it works like a charm and is a rare amenity for the neighborhood.  We had it painted black to go with the color scheme.

This was a really fun little remodel and I was really proud of the way it turned out.  I think it will be a great home for the couple that bought it and I hope they have a million happy memories here!



A Shearling Story

When I was asked to work with Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation and The Impeccable Pig in styling a look for their silent auction, of course I jumped at the chance!  I've been blessed to know the folks at The Foundation for a few years now and their annual Yellow and Black Tie Gala benefiting the medical and cancer centers is a wonderful event.  These men and women work tirelessly each year to put together a fabulous evening that raises money for cancer research and awareness.  The Impeccable Pig, a boutique with locations in Texas, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee graciously donated the fantastic bag in the pictures below as an auction item for this years event.  My job was to put together a look that showcased the bag, along with my favorite items from their store.  It's such an honor for me to participate in something that has a cause behind it.  A huge, giant, Texas-sized thank you to everyone involved and for the opportunity to participate.  

Now, let's talk about the clothes!! The second I walked in, I just knew that I had to style an entire outfit around this shearling vest.  I mean the bag.  Oops.  Anywho, I fell in love with the vest and lucky for me, it went flawlessly with the bag.  To be totally honest, the palazzo pants weren't my cup of tea, simply because this chick generally steers clear of prints on her booty.  The girls at The Impeccable Pig insisted that I try them, so I set my trunk junk aside and trusted them and guess what?  They were right!  These pants are not only comfortable, but they are slimming.  Yep, you heard me.  Once I threw on my big girl platforms, I had legs for days and the roll down waist band kept everything right where it needed to be.  Once we had those three pieces knocked out, I added the sweatshirt and y'all know I've never met a sweatshirt I didn't like.  I piled on some of my own accessories and voila!  A luxe boho look that is both comfy and chic.  By the way, this bag has a removable clutch inside, so it's super versatile and will go with just about any look and any color.  What do you guys think?

If you aren't familiar with The Impeccable Pig, get your can over there ASAP.  They have unique boutique clothes at great prices, not to mention some awesome jewelry and gifts!

Shearling Vest - c/o The Impeccable Pig (in store)
Sweatshirt - c/o The Impeccable Pig (in store)
Palazzo Pants - c/o The Impeccable Pig (in store & other colors here)
Bag - c/o The Impeccable Pig (in store)
Necklace - Tory Burch (old)
Hat - Forever 21(similar)
Shoes - Aldo Cybil (on sale for $12!!! no kidding!)
Bracelets - H&M (love this option, it goes with everything), J.Crew Pave' Link (option here for 1/2 price!), Stella & Dot
Rings - Francesca's, H&M

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!



Ducks in a Row

Hey y'all!  Boy, do I have some crazy fun stuff to share today! So, you all know that I have been writing and styling the fashion features in DeltaStyle Magazine and this past weekend, I hit the mother load.  If you follow me on Instagram, you probably got sick of my incessant posting, but if not, here's what went down. Not only did I get to do my own shoot with the fabulous Gary Guinigundo but I spent the entire day on Saturday styling a shoot for Jep and Jessica Robertson with photography by Brad Arender.  Not only was I surrounded by amazing creative talent all weekend, but I got to hang with Jessica who is one of the sweetest most down to earth and honest people I've ever met. 

I blew into town on Saturday morning and went to every boutique in Monroe to pull clothes for both shoots.  Monroe is such a great town, if you ever have the opportunity to go there, by all means, it's worth the stop.  The boutiques are all amazing and unique and have so much to offer.  I mean where do you get a leopard hair clutch, a tiger sweatshirt, and a pair of hooker heels all in the same place?  I was super impressed by the longevity that these boutiques have had.  One of them has been in the same location for 25 years with the original owners.  It's a testament to staying current and relevant in a small market, but still appealing to the masses.  Make sure you visit K-Sera, Cara's, Herringstone's, The Toggery, and Bayou Gypsy if you are ever rollin' through town.

Monroe is also a destination for antiques and gift shops, along with some pretty stinkin' fantastic restaurants.  We had a beautiful dinner at Cotton, which is run by Chef Cory Bahr who won the show Chopped on Food Network.  Now, I've been a very lucky girl and have been able to eat of some really amazing places across the country and I would rank this food in the top three.  Chef was so sweet and arranged for us a sampling of their most popular appetizers (the pimento cheese stuffed beignets with green tomatoes made me want to eat until I puked), and then we shared stuffed catfish and shrimp and grits for the main course.  Besides the food, the space itself is beautiful (think Restoration Hardware with a little southern charm mixed in). Freakin' amazeballs, seriously.

So Jessica and Jep's photo shoot was at the private plane hangar and runway, which turned out to be a fantastic setting.  We had to make do with the space we had, which was basically a small conference room.  The theme was jet-setters mixed in with a little holiday.  The planes and runway in the background added to the scene and Jessica is so stinkin' beautiful that it could have been in a landfill and still turned out perfectly.  Jep was very funny and laid back, as expected and it felt very much like hanging with my friends in North Carolina that I've known for years.

After that, we went to a jewelery store where Miss Kay was waiting with the grandchildren to do another promo shoot for that store. It was just a really great experience and I felt like Rachel Zoe all day long, plus I got to work with Brad Arender, who's work is phenomenal. You've gotta check out his stuff. Beautiful! You've gotta be super talented in order to make such a busy setting work and he did it flawlessly. I can't wait to see the final cut and work with him again.

Monday, I shot some fun stuff with Gary Guinigundo who is our super duper talented staff photographer with Delta Style. Sweet baby Jesus, what would we do without Gary?  I don't even want to know.  We have some upcoming features that we are working on (ways to wear the little black dress, gift ideas) and I was able to actually have someone else take my photos rather than standing out in front of my house while all my neighbors watch the weirdo next door taking pictures of herself.  It was a little weird for a few minutes, but then I remembered that I look at my own photos all.the.time and know how to pose in order to make my body look good.  Gary kind of let me be my bossy self and I just ran with it (sorry, Gary!!) 
I also styled some items for future articles that turned out really pretty. It was awesome, though and you can see a couple of the photos he took by visiting his site here. We had a ton of fun with it and I'm excited for those edits to come across as well. 

After that, we did some quick shopping while returning all the borrowed items to the boutiques and then hauled balls home to Dallas.  Southern hospitality at it's finest.  Get on out to Monroe, LA if you have the opportunity!