Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tailgate party time ...

Football may only be a sport in other places, but in Texas, it's a sacred rite. Fan frenzy comes with its own ritual at this time of the year, the ceremonial tailgate party. Sadly, hubby and I have never tailgated ... ever.

Photo via Tailgating Ideas.

When we were young, he was playing football and I was performing for fans at the stadium as a member of the dance team. There was no opportunity to enjoy just being a part of the fan activities. By the time we were college age, we were pursuing our sport of choice every weekend - auto racing.

Photos via Country Living (left) and Better Homes and Gardens (right).

But, there has always been our love of football that has remained constant, albeit on television. Even our children attended college out of state, so that eliminated any parking lot picnics at the games. As a result, I've often thought that we missed out on something on game day.

Image via Houston Texans.

There are no professional football teams in our city, and it's a pretty long haul just to tailgate with fans of the Dallas Cowboys (5 hour drive) or Houston Texans (3 hours away). But, this year marks the inaugural season for two college football teams in San Antonio, the Roadrunners of The University of Texas at San Antonio and the Cardinals of the University of the Incarnate Word.

Maybe I could pack some football-inspired mini-pies as appetizers (via Old Time Favorites left) and munchable sammies (via Taste of Home right) to take out to the fan lot on game day.

I think I'll throw in some iced cookies, too.

Image via Whimsical Originals.

I guess there is no question about the ice chest full of beer. Building on new traditions is a reason to celebrate, even if it's in a parking lot!

Tartan season ...

Every season brings with it old traditions and new expressions in soft goods. The one constant is the enduring marriage of autumn with tartan plaids. So, you can see how those first cool mornings of the season send me into a tartan tizzy.

Image via Country Living.

I've posted about my equestrian love before. Although I have no horses, I would be happy to share my blanket with a beautiful mare any day.

Image via Pinterest.

Just hand me a cup of hot chocolate, a plaid piece of heaven and leave me to my thoughts.

Image via Country Living.

With the weather turning cooler, I'm ready to pack the picnic basket and gather my plaid blanket for a delightful day at the park.

Image via Country Living.

While tartans come in a variety of charming shades, I prefer the traditional red and black (a fondness stemming from my old school colors).

I'll gather my blanket, and we can be off on a great outdoor adventure now that fall has arrived!

Runway inspired decor: Part II

Fashion week in New York fueled a creative firestorm in me, so I'm adding another installment of my visions for runway inspired decor. Last week, my post paired fashion and spaces in the hottest colors for Spring 2012: coral, pink and lavender.

This week, I've curated a few of the similarities I've seen in the blue, green and yellow color trends.

Images via designer Nicholas K and From Me to You.
 It's hard to tell if great interiors have informed the catwalk, or if fashion designers influence home decor. Either way, sumptuous fabrics are speaking volumes about the desire for glamour in our lives.

Images via Elene Cassis and Olympic Hue News.

The hint of an Asian influence above or a strong Chinoiserie bloodline below offers a striking silhouette on and off the runway.

Images via Chinoiserie Chic and Carlos Miele.

I love the watery blues paired with lime!

Images via Luca Luca and Baylor Says.

For a more dramatic colorway, I find chartreuse absolutely fabulous with black! I would love to own both the decadent dress and parlor below. Chartreuse updates each of these classic designs.

Images via Mode Avenue Paris and Coburn Architecture & Interiors.

Below, chartreuse is at its best as a pop of vivid color in a modern design.

Images via Panache and Passion and Pics Decor.

Don't let the pale players fool you. A touch of vanilla is so elegant, and with unexpected shots of black it can be definitely playful.

Images via Calvin Klein and Cote de Texas.

Just give me yellow, and I'm in a happy mood. The flirtly little dress (below) is as cheerful as the tone in the dining space. The styling of the artwork with the nibble-worthy centerpiece is perfection!

Images from Tibi via Living Flashily and Brabourne Farm.

Oh, there is more to come. We'll see the neutrals like black, white, taupes and grays in future posts. I'm hooked and can't stop now.

Kitchens that rock ...

I'm closing my eyes and thinking of freshly baked bread coming right out of the oven. Yum! That perfect picture in my mind's eye takes place in a rustic kitchen with stucco-covered rock walls and lots of warm woods.

Images above via Sanctuary.

The village house kitchen (above) is so inviting with its glazed tile surround and aged stucco. I love the light streaming in from the tall window, and that oven surely bakes splendid French bread, as shown in the photo at right.

Image via Home Life.

Okay, maybe it's a bit too rustic for some, but I can image how cozy this kitchen must be on a chilly autumn morning. Beautiful beamed ceiling, white-washed rock walls and warm wood floorboards. This seems to be the perfect gathering room for a dream cabin in the woods.

Image via Eclectic Revisited.

A bit more modern in its approach, but no less appealing, the combination of stainless steel against the rustic rock walls and brick floor (above) is a delightful way to update a space full of character.

Image via Design, Interior and Decoration.

Who can deny the beauty of an Italian-inspired, barrel ceiling made of red antique bricks? And, those rustic beams ... bellissimo! Somehow the white tiled backsplash and slate flooring creates a beautiful canvas for the black and white decor.

Image above via Sanctuary.

The virtue of white tile is a bit lost on me. I keep thinking of endless hours spent cleaning tile and grout. But, there is such an inherent, simplistic beauty and compatibility with other elements of decor that I think white tile may deserve a spot in a rustic dream kitchen.

Spoon fork bacon ...

Every once in a while I find a new blog that mesmerizes me. Yep, I'm talking about serious blog love! Spoon fork bacon is one of those great go-to blogs that combines incredible recipes with spot-on food styling and amazing photography.

Spoon fork bacon is the brainchild of photographer Teri Lyn Fisher and stylist Jenny Park. Together they make adventurous cuisine look effortless and stunningly beautiful!

I can resist this week's recipe for Bacon Gruyere and Green Onion Scones.

I doubt that the ladies would mind that I'm sharing this scone recipe with you. As a matter of fact, I highly recommend a visit to their blog. If you are like me, you'll find their work impressive and enticing!

Makes 12 3-inch rounds


2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2/3 cup gruyere cheese, grated
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut cold cubes of butter into the flour mixture until the butter is completely incorporated and the mixture has obtained a fine, mealy texture.
Add the bacon, cheese, green onions, and black pepper and mix together until well combined.
Fold in the buttermilk and mix together until just combined and the mixture has formed into a dough.
Form the dough into a disc and place in fridge for about 30 minutes.
Once chilled, flatten the disc to about ½ inch thick and cut the disc into circles using a 3 inch circle cutter (or a fluted cutter) and place the scones onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush tops of each scone with a small amount of cream and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the scones puff up and the tops just start to brown.
Serve warm with a side of honey butter.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Runway inspired decor: Part I ...

In the midst of Fashion Week in New York, I've begun thinking about runway inspired design in interior decor. The more Spring 2012 shows I see (via media photos), the more I see similarities to some beautifully styled rooms I've stashed in my photo library. So, here are a few of my pairings ...

Images via Classic Chic Home (left) and designer Tracy Reese (right). 

Fashionistas were shown lots of bright colors on the catwalk that can also translate easily into home decor. Of the spring color trends, coral and orange made the most striking statements. These colors can be dramatic with the addition of black or breezy simply paired with white.

Images via designers Kimberly Hall (left) and BCBG Max Azria (right).

I think every girl has a secret longing for the endless possibilities of pink. Blame it on Barbie, if you must. Pink, in any shade, is thoroughly feminine and playful.

Images via Architectural Digest (left) and designer Rebecca Minkoff (right).

Ethnic inspiration abounds on this season's runway. Rose hues and textural embellishments look fabulous with a Moroccan vibe above.

Images via An Indian Summer (left) and the Academy of Art University (right). 

I love, love the dhurrie-esque duvet and runner on the bed. Their contrast with the soft pink wallcolor and accent pillow is decor pefection. Indian inspiration is also flawlessly translated in the iridescent couture dress.

Images via Simple Everyday Glamour (left) and designer Suzanne Kasler (right).

If it's shiny and luxurious, I am totally sold! Even out on a fire escape, pink and nude colorways are absolutely charming. Inside, these shades create a delicious space for dining.

Images via Min New York (left) and designer Helen Yarmak (right).

It's haute pink! Couture color of vibrant fuchsia is an undeniable showstopper. A large dose of confidence must be present to wear this shade. 

Images via Kim Grant (left) and designer Michael Kors (right).

Clean lines and the season's trendiest color are a recipe for classic elegance on the catwalk and at home.

Images via designer Adam Lippes (left) and Houzz (right).

Lavender can be enthusiastic and flirty, and like the blossoming flower, it can also convey a sense of calm and serenity. Yellow accents give a fresh face to a lovely shade.

I love curating these runway inspired designs, so I think I'll offer you some more in an upcoming post or two. Until then ...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gold rush ...

All that glitters may not be gold, but the addition of this precious metal makes even the most tame decor shine. Taking a cue from runway couture, lots of decorators are pairing black and gold for dramatic effect.

Image via Atmosphere Interior Design.

Accessorizing with gold always reminds me of a perfect piece of jewelry that gives a finishing touch. While silver provides a cool sophistication, gold offers a warm elegance.

Images via Interiorly (above) and Decor Pad (below).

Sure, gold does have traditional roots, but it's equally at home in contemporary settings, too. Both of these spaces (above and below) certainly have a modern vibe, and in each case, gold pulls all of the elements together with a glam finish.

Image via Ralph Lauren.

I concur that gold is gender neutral, but I would also say that gold lends itself better to masculine spaces. Who better to demonstrate that than Ralph Lauren in the dining room above. His rugged asthetic and equestrian themes never shy away from the golden touch. Lots of gold-framed art looks stunning against a black wall and complements the table's dark wood and leather chairs.

Image via Shock the Bourgeois.

I am in love with charcoal gray! As black's first cousin, it has that rich, refined look that makes me swoon. Paired with gold, it's just about as good as design gets in my book.

Image of Rubani wallpaper by Romo.

This wallpaper and chair combo has all the elements found in heaven, well at least what I would consider as heavenly decor. Smoked charcoal, burnished gold and jet black are a dynamic threesome. Stunning! Absolutely, stunning!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Idea paint ...

I've sat in more than my share of dull meetings daydreaming of new ideas. But, someone stared at a conference room dry erase board and came up with a novel and ingenious concept ... IDEA PAINT.

IDEA PAINT can turn virtually anything into a high-performance dry-erase, whiteboard surface. A zillion applications for work, school and home are buzzing through my head right now.

Restaurant menus and graphics ...

project solution walls at work ...

home office reminders ...


... and kid-friendly wall artboards are just a few places where IDEA PAINT could play a great role in our lives.

But, I have to tell you that Reebok conceived one of the best uses for the product when they covered their mannequins in IDEA PAINT and drew their clothing designs directly on the body to see their concepts in 3D. Brilliant!

Check out the Reebok video on YouTube.

Oooh, this is inspiring all kinds of ideas. Time to pick up the paint at Lowes and buy a rainbow of dry erase markers and erasers!

All photos via IDEA PAINT.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A paper trail ...

I have a confession: I have no wallpaper in my house. Years ago, I ripped and steamed for days on end to remove it from my dining room, kitchen and bathrooms. But, that was then and this is now! Wallpapers have come a long way since and so has my opinion of them.

Image of Addison Damask Wallpaper by Thibaut.

The bold patterns and colors have renewed my interest in giving my walls a vivid shot of pizazz. Updated damasks, ikats and geometric shapes are just a few of the new possibilities in 'shout out loud' colors as well as subdued neutrals.

Images above via Pinterest (left) and Artura Design (right).

There's nothing to fear about wallpapering, but if a subtle approach is more in line with your design asthetic, go for the neutrals with less contrast between background color and pattern. They add wonderful texture without overpowering.

Image via Material Girls.

Just because it's neutral doesn't mean it has to be boring. I love the lotus design (above) in taupe and cream!

Image via X Javier.

Check out all the patterns at play in addition to the wallpaper. Whoa! It took some real confidence and talent to pull off this much diversity in one room.

I can only imagine that a bright, bold yellow ikat would add instant impact to any room. Image (left) via Design Decor Staging.

While the green geometric (above) is a little less bossy, it still has all the best attributes of a design leader. It is gender neutral, making it a contender for any room in the house. Image via Shelter.

Image of 'Napoleon' wallpaper by Bond Harrington.

Some of the coolest new couture wallcoverings are from Bond Harrington. I love their innovative designs and custom options. I hear some of my walls calling me ...

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