Erin McLaughlin: Blues and Neutrals

After taking a look at Erin McLaughlin's narrow row house, I'm ready to repaint our walls a light silvery white and add a couch to the dining room. Now, how am I going to convince the dude...

Living room

Entry Hall

Back lounge and kitchen

Modern display


Dining Room

Bed room

via Style at Home

Check out DecorPad as they recreated Ms. McLaughlin's dining room in their Look 4 Less section. Awesome!

Raised veggie box update

The vegetable garden is starting to get it's grow on...as well as the neighbor's weeds (see them trying to creep into the veggie box).

spinach and tomatoes

bibb lettuce, chives,
radishes, and hopefully pole beans

Stay away weeds!

This is the first time I'm growing spinach and lettuce. Any tips for growing and harvesting?

This post explains how we built the raised vegetable bed.


Celebrating Earth Week In My Closet

Your closet can give Earth a big high-five this week too. Check out these eco-friendly options to add to your wardrobe (I think I'll be doing some online shopping this week!).
Zoe&Zac for Payless
zoe&zac for Payless
Currant Peep-toe Flat $24.99
(organic and flax seed blend cotton, recycled rubber soles)

American Apparel Organic Tee
American Apparel
Unisex Organic Fine JerseyShort Sleeve V-Neck $19
(organic cotton)
I have this shirt and would wear it everyday if I could. But that would be weird.

olsenhaus balance
Balance 2 Peep-toe Pump $219
(made of vegan-friendly materials)
Endless.com is offering $25 off on eco-shoes
stewart + brown
Stewart + Brown
camilla dress $168
(organic crepe cotton, made in the usa)
Stewart + Brown's site also have a great sales section
Vivienne Westwood and Melissa dragon shoe
Vivienne Westwood Anglomania and Melissa
Lady Dragon Ball $154
(breathable PVC)

Mociun dress
Tie-front dress $400
(organic bamboo)
I can't wait for this dress to go on sale!


Celebrating Earth Week In The Kitchen

When the dude and I first started dating, he mentioned that I was a little bit of a hippie. It's true! I may love to wear the tallest heels that I can find, but I've always been a little Earth conscious and um...cheap.

Here's some of the little things that we do to be a little nicer to Earth in the kitchen:

We compost our veggies, egg shells and coffee grounds. The Compost Bucket from gaiam.com does a great job of holding the yucky stuff until we take it to our compost pile in the back yard. The filters keep everything from getting stinky (um, yeah we've left some scraps in there way too long once and no funky stink from the bucket was detected). I know that there are cuter compost buckets on the market, but I'm cheap and it was a good price.

All of our compost made some awesome dirt that we used for our raised veggie beds. Oh the circle of life!

We haven't purchased small plastic bags in about two years. Washing them out and turning the bag inside-out seems to work for us. Aluminum foil also gets a rinse and reuse. I think I need to pick up this bag dryer from cooking.com to help in the drying process.

Remember the post where I made my own All-purpose cleaner. I'm still using it and actually just made another batch (this time with some drops of peppermint-grapefruit oil). This is another diy project that shows that you can be eco-friendly and not spend a boat load of money. This cleaner also makes my gas stove top really shiny.

Do you have any eco-friendly kitchen tips to share?


A new addition...

We have a new addition to our house! It's not a puppy (yet) or a kid, but an elephant!

A few weeks ago, I won a giveway from Laurendy for the Fauna Elephant Mini Pillow from Allmodern.com. I've wanted one of the Fauna animal pillows for ages, so I was super psyched to have it show up on my door step.

What would you be psyched to have show up at your door? And don't say Publishers Clearing House!!


Easter Bread

Okay, confession: I'm not a good cook or baker. I'd rather eat chicken nuggets and work on a project around the house. On the other hand, I like the idea of being able to bake and cook. And I like the accessories.

Last Sunday (Easter), I broke out my Kitchen Aid mixer for the first time and crossed my fingers that I wouldn't screw up the recipe that my mom used each year for making an Easter sweet bread.

(hello, mixer. ignore ugly kitchen)

I started to worry a bit when the recipe starts out saying, "About 5 hours before serving or very early in the day...". I continued on and did not cheat like some other people and try to pass off a crumb cake purchased at a store as her own.

Success! The bread tasted yummy and no one died from eating it. My favorite part of the recipe is that you insert the eggs raw into the bread and they become hard-boiled when you bake it.


Jon Carloftis:Country Living

Garden designer, Jon Carloftis's home in Bucks County, PA has such lovely outdoor spaces as well as a thoughtfully styled tree house and tool shed that match well with his 1850s farmhouse. Love it!

Featured in April 2010 issue of Country Living:

Tree house

Interior of Tree house

Tool Shed Interior

Horse themed paint by numbers in fruit carton shelves (in the tool shed).


In Memoriam: Roof (1980ish? - 2010)

You had a good run, Roof. You protected us from many storms and had only one major leak which you conveniently located over the bathtub. We tried to fix the leak by putting some leftover shingles on you, but you were very crafty on hiding the source of the leak.


More Knee wall storage

We finally finished getting the knee wall access door installed. It's such an improvement from the old "doors" (which were just two pieces of thin fiberboard leaning against the opening). The panel is held in place with magnets and has no hinges (so when you take it off you have to place it to the side).

Now I gotta figure out what kind of handles to install. Please comment with suggestions!!

Do I stick with the stainless European pulls that are on the other doors or switch it up? Should the pull(s) be installed horizontal or vertical?

Also, the door is pretty heavy. It's mdf and is backed with board insulation.

Check out flickr to see what it looked like before.

Here's some old posts about creating the built-ins in the knee wall and some about the upstairs.


A new office friend

Cardboard Safari from Urban Outfitters


Exterior house colors

I've never been really "sold" on the exterior colors of our house. What I do like about the exterior color is that it's different than the other boring houses on the block.

About two summers ago, we updated paint of the bottom portion of the house with just a slightly darker color than the original color. It's sort of a dark newport blue. We also painted the porch a light gray and freshened up the white railings.
After - from summer 2008

Before - summer 2008

Our front door is now painted black and the dude has plans on making a new screen door this summer. We also have plans on a new walk way (once our street is done being dug up from a massive sewer project). I would also like to get new spindles and railings too.

So the question is ... should we change the porch and bottom paint to this...

What do you think? Or is there a different color combo that would work with our yellow house?