Scout - The Dog Diga De

Please meet the newest member of our family, Scout!

We adopted Scout this past weekend from the Las Vegas Dog Rescue. Scout is a 3 year old Whippet mix. She was a stray in Kauai Hawaii, so they are not certain about her past or her exact breeding, but it is pretty clear that she has had a pretty rough life with all of her scares and skittish nature.

Even if she has had it rough, she is still so sweet and gentle. She is friendly to everyone she meets and wants to be buddies with all her canine friends too. I think with some time and lots of love she will totally come around. I've already noticed a difference in her since Saturday and even got a few tail wags in the last few days.

I've been doing my research for how to care for a rescued dog that may have been abused and will continue to try and grow her confidence with a set schedule, some training, and lots of praise and love. She is pretty awesome, and will get more comfortable with us and herself as time goes on.

(First time I left her unsupervised for an hour I came home to a little bit of a mess. I couldn't even get mad at her because she is just too cute and I was glad to see her acting so dog-like.)

Jeff and Opal (our cat) are still unsure about the whole things too. Jeff isn't a "pet" person and didn't grow up with any animals around, but I think they'll be pals soon enough. He is after all the one who named her (Scout is from his favorite book To Kill a Mockingbird) and already has loads of pictures of her on his phone. Once Opal realizes she's still my #1 cat I'm sure they will get along too (Scout seems to already want to be friends with her). It will take us all a while to adjust to one another but I am SO EXCITED about our new addition. I have wanted a dog for so long, and this sweet girl was meant to be ours!


Online Decorating Magazine Amazingness

Did you know that you can peruse magazines online while you’re at work or just aimlessly searching the web? Sometimes without even having a subscription or anything. I’m not talking about the West Elm Catalog (although that is entertaining), but actual magazines that are only published online. It’s pretty amazing. I need to remember to check the sights more often.

So that I have everything all in one place, I thought I’d write down a list (I’m feeling very list-like lately) of all the cool sites that host online magazines.
Styled by a subtle revelry must be first on the list. Four to five years ago the creator of Styled, Victoria, and I were in the same spot. We were married with no children and working the same J.O.B. Her life however has truly transformed with the birth of her adorable twins, awesome blog, party planning services, and of course, a nifty online magazine free to you and me! Even without knowing her, its plain for everyone to see how hard she works on everything she does.

You can find Styled here.

Next on the list has to be Lonny Magazine. This Bi-monthly magazine is so great. The editor and chief is the same as that other beloved magazine that was squashed a few years ago. For the life of me I can’t think of the name of it right now, which is awful, but the magazine is most definitely not. Maybe Domino magazine? No matter, Lonny definitely stands on its own and I LURVE it!

You can find Lonny here.

I’m also starting to fall for Trad Home. I don’t know why the older I get the more traditional my taste becomes. I think it’s kind of odd, but I’ll go with it. Maybe it’s because I’m tired to paying for things and just want pieces that will last a long time? Whatever it is, Trad Home online magazine is a great way to introduce myself more fully into the world of traditional home decor.

You can find Trad Home here.

A more recent discovery to me is Matchbook magazine, even though they’ve been around for just over a year. This is a great “lifestyle” type magazine, more than just about pretty things, although there are plenty of pretty things to be found inside the pages (or screens ?) of this magazine.

You can find Matchbook here.

Another good stand by is Rue magazine. So, so pretty and full of inspiration. This one kind of skirts both design and lifestyle as well.

You can find Rue here.

And lastly I found a few other online mags while searching for all those links above. These look very promising and I’m excited to test them out!

Ivy and Piper

Nesting Newbies

Pure Green

I can barely believe all this amazingness is available for free online. I am not much for magazine subscriptions that come to the house, but I totally adore these online magazines. Enjoy!



My last post about feeling like I’m in a rut with the house got me thinking about “my list”. You know, the list that I keep running in my head with all the ideas I have to revamp our little condhouse. Everyone has their own list. I recently came across a list Jeff wrote with ideas on how we should spend our tax return money (an awesome list with vacations, cool toys, and perks- but of course we are going to use it to reduce debt and not have any fun. We’re cool like that). I thought it was very enlightening because what’s on his list is very different than what is on the list I carry around in my head.

Back in January of 2010 I wrote a small list of things I’d like to change downstairs, so I thought I would jot down an updated list for the house and then, maybe – just maybe, I’ll even review my 30 x 30 list. I only have a few months for that you know. Imagine that Amber, don’t be scared, you’ll be alright! Gray type is the old stuff and blue is the NEW. Here she blows . . .


Granite Updated counter top for the kitchen island
Cute cafe curtains for the kitchen window (I should post about this one)
Microwave mounted above the stove
Herringbone marble subway tiles for the back splash

Fix plumbing behind the fridge so we can hook up our water and ice

(I’d love new appliances too, but since those normally stay with a house, I think I’ll wait to make those big purchases in a more “forever home.”)

Living Area:
Nicer TV stand (not just my old dressers painted brown, maybe something that is actually wood),
Brown carpet tiles for an area rug,
I got an even better rug! Woot! Woot!
Pair of unique antique chairs to replace the Salvation Army finds
Round glass kitchen table from Crate & Barrel w/ upholstered dining chairs

Buy/ make an upholstered ottoman/coffee table in burlap or something
Reupholster or make a slip cover for my sofa in a linen fabric
Add more texture to the room through fabrics, plants, and natural materials
Large art piece or installation to go above the sofa
Finish the flooring with baseboards and trim
Paint the Stairwell
Tare up the carpet on the stairs and install wood

Clean out the closet to prepare for when it’s a bedroom
Fix electrical for light and ceiling fan

our back yard no longer looks like this. All those plants died

Fire pit
More seating
Bamboo & Shrubbery (Something I won’t kill off so fast)
Stained cement

Update patio table top with rustic farm wood
Create a planting or art instillation to give us more privacy from the street
When kids come- make sand box, chalk board wall, and toy storage benches

Guest Room:
Turn into a Nursery/Kids room someday. (It is okay for now; we don’t really use it that often.)

Add art and accessories to the entire space
Add some kind of blind treatment
Paint the settee legs gray
Add texture with a rug, pillows and throws
Clean out the closet to make it more functional
Fix electrical for light and ceiling fan

Master Bedroom:
Re-paint the room a warm taupe-y gray. (Enough with the Easter green walls. I may even go white?)
Possibly do a wallpaper-like paint treatment on the bed wall
Navy and burlap decorative bed pillows
Better art for above our night stands
Make legs for Jeff’s night stand
Better style our nightstands
Buy an attractive laundry basket
Fix electrical for light and ceiling fan

Upstairs Bathrooms:
Paint Walls (Master= Navy, Hall=?)
Install Board &; Batten wall treatment
Flooring (hopefully cork)
Paint vanity cabinet
Update lighting
New shower curtains
Hang bathroom friendly art

Geeze, and I thought my Jan 2010 post was reaching for the stars. I’ve actually done better on that small little list then I thought I would ever do. Hopefully in another couple of years I have a few more checked off my list of wishes! (I understand this list means nothing to anyone except to me, so sorry for anyone who actually tried to read this.)

Alright that is enough listing for one day. I just don’t have it in me to look at my 30 x30 list today. I’ll take a gander at it next week. After all, a girls got to pace herself from all that list making and not actually doing anything. All that typing is just such hard work!


I'm Stuck!

I seriously feel like I am in a decorating/ updating rut around here. I’m at that spot in finishing our home where I don’t really know where to go or what the next step is. We have most of our main furniture pieces (even if I'd like to upgrade some of them), I think that our rooms function well for what we need, but I don’t know how to bring my house up to another level. What do I add? Should I take things away? Will I have to spend big bucks to get my home looking more polished? How do designers make a room feel so complete and finished?

I feel like I am at a crossroads of sorts. So, I have been trying to brainstorm and think about what I can do next. I tried to do some research on the subject but Google wasn’t playing ball. I guess Googling things like “How can I bring my homes decor up a level?” didn’t really translate well. It brought up pages that were literally talking about raising a home’s elevation. Eek! Not what I’m looking for!

So I looked up my Pinterest page and started to look at rooms that I like and decide what makes them seem finished? Here is a list that I’ve come up with for how improve my homes overall look:

Texture: There is so much beautiful fabric out there that I really should start adding more fun pillows, change up the curtains (or add curtains at all in other rooms), or be more creative covering items with it. No matter how much Jeff may disapprove I’d even like to add more rustic elements like burlap, wicker and wood. I need to start adding things that will bring in more layers on top of what I already have and I hope it will create more depth in our spaces.

Kristen, at the blog Sixth Street Design (source for the picture above), really knows how to do this. I think she may be obsessed with fabric and pillows a little bit . . . in a good way. But while following her blog I’ve been introduced to a lot of wonderful fabrics and has really made me aware of what a difference just a little (or for her, sometimes a lot) of fabric can do to a room.

Art: I am always way too cheap to buy real art. Like, I won’t even pay $30 bucks to get something off of Etsy. That may be okay if I had any artistic talent whatsoever, but I have tried making my own art before and failed miserably. I need to just buck up and but the Benjamin’s down! My grandparents have a cabin that is full of art and paintings they have collected over the years. I LOVE IT. Each piece has a story, or brings back memories of where it used to hang in their old house. I need to think of art as of an investment and something I will enjoy for many years. Maybe I’ll start slow, and purchase less expensive items first, then try and work up my courage for more substantial pieces.

Finish those finishing touches: DUH! I have lots of little unfinished projects around my house. Example? We still haven’t replaced our base boards from the flood. If I can tackle those small projects here and there I am sure my home will start to feel more finished. I’d like to have a few quick lessons and familiarize myself with Jeff’s power tools. That way I could safely dive into projects myself, instead of waiting around for that magical day when we are both off work at the same time. Last time we refinished the floors getting the molding done was my favorite part! I couldn’t believe what a different it made.
Go outside my comfort zone: Contrary to how it may sound above, I love my house. It totally feels like home to me, an escape from the big bad world. BUT, I think I need to stretch myself more when it comes to the interior. Maybe try a color I normally wouldn’t go for, or take a leap when I usually always hesitate. Nesting place did a post last year dedicating a day in March as "Take a Risk Day." I need to heed her advise and start taking a lot more risks around here!

I see stylist who suggest purchasing multiple items to try them out in a space to see which one works the best, and then return the ones that didn’t. I, of course being super cheap, would never try and do that. But, at the same time, I have issues like- I feel I can never get the bookcase in the living room styled right. Maybe it’s because I’ve had the same items on it for pretty much 4 years! I should try something new. Maybe multiples of something’s new and see what actually ends up working!

(Lucky for me one of my favorite stylist Emily Henderson is starting lessons on her blog next week about how to style things. Hurray for me . . . and anyone else that reads her blog. She is also the source for the picture above.)

If all else fails, hire a decorator for a consult: I most definitely can’t see myself laying out thousands of dollars for an interior designer to come re-do my house, but designers do a lot more than that these days. I could hire a designer to come in, look at my space with fresh, well trained eyes, and have them give me some new ideas on how to finish my space.

For a little more mula a designer can even be hired just to finish a space off and make it seem more complete. Crazy right? And with all the design bloggers out there that will send you a mood board or can be hired a la carte, it is more in reach these days than ever. I think it would be fun, but I’ll see how far I can get on my own first by trying some of these ideas above.


Easter Happenings

Jeff tried to make these cute little deviled egg chicks for me this year for Easter. He said that I am always doing cute little things for him so he wanted to try and do somethings for me. My cute little deviled egg chicks (which will not be pictured here, save him the embarrassment) were served along with my favorite dinner (couscous, grilled talapia, and mango chutney), out on the patio, with a bouquet of yellow tulips he had picked up as the center piece. Okay . . . swoon. My husband is the best!

You can find these cute eggs pictured above and the Recipe/How To over at the Simple Homemaker.

Besides my sweet hubby making me an awesome dinner this past Easter week we also went over to his parents house on Sunday for a traditional Easter dinner with ham, funeral potatoes, and homemade rolls. Easter dinner is always my favorite. With that and the awesome candy, I really do think it's the best holiday when it comes to food!

Jeff's parents also have an interesting tradition where instead of hiding Easter Eggs, they hide entire Easter Baskets. They put baskets all over the backyard, on the roof, in the shed, and every where in between; we each have to find the basket with our name on it. It's pretty fun. They get very creative with where they hid those things. I think it must have stemmed from having 8 kids and wanting to make sure everyone got the same share, instead of the older kids taking the whole haul.

It was a very lovely Easter week. So sad to see it go! How was your Easter?


Window Shopping Wednesday

The weather the past couple weeks has been so amazing. It makes me want to go clothes shopping, which is odd because I hate shopping for clothes. Instead, I did some virtual window shopping. Wouldn't it be lovely if I could just go home and have all these goodies in my closet? (Free of charge of course. In reality I probably wont pony up any money to buy anything- haha!)

Clothes can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
If you can't tell I've had a thing for Navy and Gray lately. I think they can still work in spring.


Recently Jeff went out of town on business (training employees at a new restaurant opening in Idaho). Let me tell you, it bit the big one! Jeff and I have only ever been apart for a few days at a time since we started dating over 5 years ago. And when we are apart, honestly, it’s usually me out vacationing or having some kind of fun. I’ve never been the one stuck at home for more than a day or two.

Jeff didn’t seem to think it was a big deal leaving for so long, but I knew it’d be a bit lonesome, so we rallied the troops and went out to eat with a bunch of family before he left.

We ate at a new spot called Genghis Grill. It was super good; I totally recommend it, especially for a big group like we had. It was so fun to just sit around with parts of both of our families and visit. We are so blessed to live by so much family. (Funny note- we ended up sitting by this couple that use to be Jeff’s parents neighbors, who had moved out of the neighborhood 5 years ago. What are the odds?)

Besides gathering the family up for a visit, I also made my hubby a little traveling survival kit to pack away in his suitcase. It included playing cards, word games, some of his favorite snacks, my trademark “Traveling Action Plan” full of good eats and places to see, and a handwritten letter for each day he was gone (which noted something different I would miss about him each day while he was away).

I’m not sure if he really got much use out of his traveling survival kit, but at least he knows his wife loves him like a nerd loves quantum physics. Some things I noticed while being on my own . . .

1-Making the bed in the morning is much easier without Jeff tossing the bedding to and fro during the night. Honestly, it barely even looked like someone slept in the bed when it’s just my lonesome.

2-Instead of the regular 4-5 loads of laundry during the week I only had one load. IT WAS HEAVEN! (As laundry is my long time hated nemesis.)

3-The garbage never magically emptied itself and moseyed to the curb for pick up. It’s odd because I’ve always just assumed it was magically done before? Along with some other house hold chores.

4-My house is very, very quiet and I may or may not have started talking to myself and our cat Opal to add a bit of noise.

It was a long week. I hope he doesn’t make a habit of leaving on business trips! I made sure he came home to a nice clean house, a miniature Welcome Home banner, and dinner in his own bed with his favorite shows still unwatched on the DVR.
His work has started talking about opening a restaurant in Hawaii, I would totally be down accompanying him on that next trip! So I guess there are exceptions to the no more work trips rule.