Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Downtown St. Charles

We love, love, love that we live near amazing historic homes. We always drive or bike by our favorites just oohing and ahh-ing at the parts we wish we could duplicate on our own home someday. This is just a small sample of the neat homes near historic Main street in St. Charles.

This green home with the glass garden room in the front was actually built in the 1920's and is original to the home. The house is also believed to have had the first air conditioning in St. Charles.

This home below is just behind our street and is one of our favorites.

Although far from being an historic home, I love how they've used minimalistic landscaping to modernize and set their house apart from the pack. Apparently other people think so too, as they have been awarded a local landscape award.

I love the lookout deck at the very top of this home

Monday, July 27, 2009

The $5 Makeover

James and I finally solved a small issue we had been struggling with in our bathroom - window treatment or not to window treatment our only source of natural light in that room. Now to our neighbors, seeing inside our bathroom probably was more of a bigger issue then small ;) so we needed to solve it fast.
First we had mini-blinds that came with the house up for almost half a year, which every time I saw them I felt like we were renters instead of the actual owners of the home. We pulled those down and put up a dark brown, natural roman shade, but it just made the room too dark during the day. So off to Home Depot where we found Rust-Oleum Specialty Frosted Glass Spray. Incredibly easy to use and cheap!

We just lightly washed the windows and after taping the sides up,
we sprayed about 3 coats on each pane.

In less than an hour we had the perfect amount of privacy and natural light. The only downside was the smell! Just terrible, so make sure it's a nice day so you can open some windows for fresh air. Also, between coats make sure you wipe off the extra frost dust on the glass so the next coat applies thicker.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Baby Shower

I recently had the honor of throwing a baby shower for my sister in Kansas City and wanted to share some of the pictures of this wonderful event!

My sister wanted to make sure everyone had a great time so there were no mocktails at this baby shower! I made refreshing mimosas, sangria, and watermelon martini's (used real watermelon for the puree and froze some for 'ice cubes'), while also serving red and white wine. Don't worry my sis had lemonade.

We played a couple of those fun baby games such as guess what's in the baby food jar, guessing how big the mommy's belly is with toilet paper, and transferring cotton balls from one bucket to the next...blindfolded (which was a big hit)!

We served lots of snacks - homemade cheese fondue, not-so-homemade quiche appetizers, fruit and veggie trays, as well as cupcakes and a strawberry cake from the Ozark-famous Spring Creek Tea Room.

That cake topper was actually the same one I used for my wedding. I just reperposed it for another fabulous occasion.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

DIY Veil/Headpiece

When I was planning my wedding I knew that I would want to wear a birdcage veil of some sort. Everywhere I looked they were pretty expensive. I decided that if I really wanted one I was going to have to make it myself. There were, thankfully, a couple of DIY editorials online. 100 Layer Cake blog had a good one in particular that helped me get the materials I would need. Things were going good at first. I made a prototype to see how it would look on me and to make sure that this was the veil I wanted. It wasn't 3 weeks before I was to get married that I started to panic. With everything needing to get done I was running out of time to get this piece made. Luckily for me, I married into a pretty creative family and my new sister-in-law, Ann, happens to be a talented artist.For my wedding gift she made not only my veil and headpiece, but my sister's headpiece as well. She did an amazing job and I love the look it gave to our wedding photos.

Veil Material:
*Regular off-white tulle from Hobby Lobby (about 9 inches of material for length and width, but that will be determined by where you want the veil to fall on your face)
*2 Bobby Pins (use extra pins once the veil is made if you need to shape it more)
*Off-white satin string (used to attach the netting and cover the bobby pins)

*Felt (creates a stiff backing)
*Bobby Pin/Headband

Ann also made her own feather piece to wear for the wedding

With the netting I had left over I was able to cover two topiaries to help give them a more bridal feel.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our Misch Misch and Jack Jack

I was recently tidying up my old laptop when I came across this interesting photo I took back in May of 2008 of a lady walking her cat at a famous park called The Parque del Buen Retiro in Madrid, Spain.

Well, we don’t have any cats so we can’t try this out, but we do have a miniature poodle named Mischka and a blue tick hound/beagle mix called Jack who love to go on walks and will be in the market soon for a new lead and collar.

"City Dog"

"Country Dog" with his baby

And if I had to purchase today I would be picking from a recently featured company in ELLE DECOR magazine called Mascot

These chic, yet durable braided collars are constructed from water-repellent, lightweight polypropylene and come in a number of colors.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blast Off

Being that today marks the 40th anniversary for the first manned mission to land on the moon, I thought it would be appropriate to share some pics of a recent date night I had with my husband at a great lunar rooftop bar in the loop area of St.Louis called Rooftop Terrace .
Located on top of the Moonrise Hotel it features a great lounge atmosphere with pretty good drink prices and view of the Arch. The decor was a bit stark for our taste, but I guess that's supposed to be part of the lunar experience. Towards the later part of the evening the bar features local DJ's.

The bar was really pretty with blue-green iridescent tiles covering most of the space

Apparently James thinks he is too cool for the camera

Tiny House

Although, it can sometimes feel like James and I are living in a small home (especially since we are sharing one bathroom) I know how terribly grateful we are to have a home...and a wonderful one at that. I recently found out about the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company who specializes in building homes ranging from 65 to 837 sq ft!

Talk about green livin'. I think we all have memories of living in small apartments or dorms and having to make the best of the space you are given, well this company takes that to the extreme. For one guy, it isn't a temporary living arrangement. Jay, who owns Tumbleweed, has been living in 89 sq ft since the late 90's.

To see his home on video click here

My Favorite Tiny House: 837 sq ft - Naturally, I chose the largest plan available ;)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Urban Garden

James and I recently flew into Kansas City this weekend to go to a cousin's wedding and of course being the recessionistas that we are we stayed at my sister's and brother-in-law place in Kansas City.

(Their building is the largest one in the skyline in the middle of the picture)

After getting picked up from the airport by our pregnant chauffeur...

(okay, okay, it's my sister) we were whisked away to their new apartment in downtown Kansas City, complete with it's very own rooftop garden! James and I are in love with this great use of space.
You can read more about this green winner (literally) here. This urban garden is 17,000 sq ft and sits on top of an 8-story parking garage. It is an amazing place to sip coffee in the morning, sun in the afternoon, and drink wine in the evening. I know I just stirred up images in your mind about having a fabulous English picnic so may I suggest this one from Dean & Deluca

For those of you in the surrounding St. Louis area on July 28th the U.S. Green Building Council - St. Louis Regional Chapter will be presenting for *FREE* the basics of green building and LEED certification at Lewis and Clark Community College in Edwardsville, IL from 6:30 - 8:00 pm.

And to sample some herbs fresh from a rooftop garden head over to Bowood Cafe on Olive Street were they have utilized many green building practices including their 2,000 sq ft green roof.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Small, But Needed Updates

I love to cook and if given my choice I would kill to have a gas stove, but I suppose there will always be sacrifices I'll have to make through out life. OK, I'm really not that pretentious, but seriously our old white stove had to go. We have all stainless steel appliances and this bad boy was one of the last couple of pieces to our puzzle in the kitchen. We actually had our eye on this Frigidaire stove for a couple of weeks and to our surprise last night during one of our many weekly trips to Lowe's our stove had been placed in the clearance section with almost $140 taken off the price being that it was the display model. Well James likes a bargain and even more then that he loves a challenge so we asked for another 10% off. We got it for only $550!

Old stove with James hidding behind it ;)

Oh yeah, that's lookin' good!

But our light in the dining room wasn't lookin' so good. So while most people were having a pretty typical fourth of July holiday James and I updated this light fixture as well as painting the living room and hallway (which you will have to wait for living room pics).


We’ve been looking for this type of light fixture for sometime now and were actually contemplating making it ourselves, but we were able to pick it up at Lowe's for around $250. Currently is not on the Lowe's website :(

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


When I was planning our outdoor wedding I had envisioned a lot of different paper lanterns in the trees. Although James and I were able to find lanterns on sale, we wouldn't be able to keep within our budget and get the look I was wanting. Luckily I came across a cheaper alternative from Martha Stewart. Her Pom-Poms are easily made out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners and probably cost me only $8 to make 10-12 poms. We think they looked great mixed in with the paper lanterns!

Even one of my friends took inspiration from my wedding and used a pom-pom to make a topper for a gift at my sisters baby shower.