Rib Cut Out T-Shirt {DIY}

Halloween is just a few weeks away and my kid's haven't decided what they want to be yet.  I have a feeling that we'll be scrambling to get costumes done at the last minute.  Last year, for Halloween, I made this rib cut out t-shirt for Olivia.  It's definitely my type of Halloween costume, cheap and easy to make.

Here's what you'll need for this project:  
Image sources: t-shirt, exacto knife, tape, rib stencil, cardboard
I used the front rib cut out stencil that I found at the Martha Stewart web site here is the link.
After I cut out the stencils, I taped it onto the front of the shirt.  I did go a little overboard on the tape didn't I?  I put the cardboard inside of the shirt so it wouldn't cut all the way through to the back.  Then I just used a utility knife instead of an exacto knife (whatever works right?) to cut out the ribs.
Layer a white t-shirt underneath it and that's it!  Very easy and great for a last minute Halloween costume.

Are you getting ready for Halloween yet or are you procrastinators like us?


Chairish French Country Dining Room (Mood Boards)

You guys know that I love a good thrift store find, right?  The thing with thrift store shopping is that it's hit or miss.  Some days you're lucky and can find some fantastic and unique bargains to decorate your home with.  Other days, not so much.

The nice folks at Chairish wanted me to tell you about their fantastic selection of antique furniture.  What I discovered is that they also have an excellent selection of curated vintage, or previously loved, items that you can imagine for your home.

I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year and have dining rooms on my mind.  So, I had a little fun with Chairish's constantly evolving selection of vintage items and imagined this French country dining room.

Chairish French Country Dining Room

I found everything for my mood board, from the furniture to the flatwear, at Chairish.  If you've never visited their site, take a few moments to look around, you just mind find the perfect piece that you've been looking for.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!


Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies {Recipes}

Good morning!  I'm feeling a little under the weather, as I write this, so it's going to be a brief post.  It's fall break this weekend so I'm hoping to relax a little and enjoy some down time with my kids.

I was going to make our regular oatmeal chocolate chip cookies this past weekend, but I was in the mood for something with pumpkin.  It is pumpkin season after all!  I found a great recipe over at Baking Bites and decided to give it a try.  It was soooo worth it!  These cookies are moist, delicious and exactly what I had been craving!

If you'd like the recipe, you can find it on this link at the Baking Bites blog.

Have a Great Weekend!


Six Things You Need for a Dia de Los Muertos Halloween Party

I'm toying with the idea of having a Halloween Party this year.  When I was at Costco this past weekend, I ran across some wine from a vineyard here in New Mexico with a Dia de Los Muertos label (see below).  It got me to thinking how fun it would be to have a Dia de Los Muertos inspired Halloween party!  If I did, here are six things that I would definitely get for it.


I'd set the tone with the perfect invites from Tiny Prints.

I'd make some of these individual seven layer dip appetizers.  What a great idea and so adorable! 

I'd DIY some spray painted black pumpkins.  
Sweet Paul Magazine via Remodelista


And, some wine bottles to burn some candles in.

To offset all the black, I'd get these colorful fondant skull candies from Lulu Bell Cakes to top off some cupcakes.

Here's the bottle of red wine from South West Wines that I mentioned at the top of this post.  Isn't that label great!  I doubt it will last until October 31st.  ;)  
What about you?  Are you planning on having a Halloween party this year?  Taking the kids trick-or-treating?  I'd love to hear your plans!

Thanks for stopping by today!


New Living Room Pillows

Last week, I wrote about how I had neutralized my living room to point of it looking very bland and vanilla.

I decided that the room needed a source of inspiration for me to design around.  Then, I realized that I actually already had my inspiration pieces in the room, my kids' artwork.

So, I searched all around the internet for some fabric that would tie in with my kids' artwork.

I fell in love with this ming dragon, aquatint, fabric from Tonic Living and decided that it was "the one".  You know that perfect fabric to tie in with my kids' artwork and add some interest and color on the couches.  A fabric that I would love longer than five minutes and not want to change out.  Ever.  Death-Do-Us-Part type of fabric.

Here it is as a pillow so you can get a sense of the scale of the print.  That's one of the things I love about the Tonic Living site is that they also sell pillows so you can see what a pillow will look like, if you decide to sew one yourself.  Tonic Living  also takes custom orders for window valances and drapes.  And, this post is quickly turning into a commercial for Tonic Living, but I swear they are not paying me to write this, I just love them!  You know how some people dream of going to the Great Wall of China, or the South of France, or Disneyland?  Well, not me, I dream of going to the Tonic Living store in Ontario, Canada.  Although the South of France sounds pretty nice too.  ;)
So, I decided that I loved this fabric and that I was actually going to tackle my sewing demons and order this fabric to sew some pillows for our couch.

Then, I had to return something to HomeGoods, and the ming dragon fabric was was just a distant memory by now.  Just another pin among many thousands on my Pinterest board.  Just a vague recollection of one, among many, designer fabrics that I have fallen in love with on line.  (Click here if you'd like to see more of my pillow and fabric obsession).

Because before me, on the shelf at HomeGoods, was instant gratification in the form of a two pack pillow package for $25.00!  That's just $12.50 per pillow people!  (#mathwhiz)  Plus, they were already sewn for me.

So, there would be no dragging out of the sewing machine, no trying to remember how to thread it, no calling my mom begging for "help", or no attempting to cut the beautiful ming dragon fabric straight.  Because you see, it's confession time here, I have never ever sewn a pillow.  Well, this isn't completely true.  In middle school, I did sew my name, S-H-A-R-O-N, in pillows for my bed.  But, you see, I never finished that project, so it doesn't really count.  Any way, I'm getting wordy here, which might be due to the fact that I'm hopped up on caffeine and sugar right now from some tea and chocolate covered pretzels I just ate.

These are what I found at HomeGoods.  #HomeGoodsHappy!
These pillows are like sprinkles on vanilla ice cream.  I love the interesting pattern and the variety of colors in these pillows.  Ok, yes, I will admit that I would love them even more if they had a dragon on them!  But still.  Look how pretty they are and how the colors go with my kids' artwork without being all, matchy-matchy, in an obnoxious kind of way.
I also found the pretty blue throw so I'm feeling a little more comfortable in the room now that my house has some consistent flow again.  These are the types of things that keep me awake at night with worry.  Just kidding.

But wait!  Not only did I find these fabulous colorful pillows and throw.  I also found two of these.  The grassy green of the ribbons ties in with one of the greens in the sprinkle pillows.  Plus, I love to mix a geometric print with a floral.
I know that's a super close up, but what I was trying to show you was the sparkly metallic that runs throughout the green ribbon on the pillow.
Here's a better shot of the sparkly thread.  I love that!  Especially in contrast with the linen fabric of the pillows.  And, yes, I do know it's just not quite normal for me to be getting so excited about pillows.
So, it was HomeGoods to the rescue in the living room!  Now, I can start decorating for fall and bring a little bit of the beautiful outdoors in.  Does anyone else out there get this excited about pillows, or am I just strange?

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have a great day!


Tomato Basil Toasties

When I was little, my dad was in the Air Force, and our family was lucky enough to be stationed at Aviano Air Base in Italy.  We rented a beautiful house off base from an elderly Italian woman who we all called, "Nona", (grandma in Italian).  Nona had a son who owned a cafe in Venice.  She used to take me and my sister, Michelle, to his cafe where we ate toasties.  Toasties were, essentially, the Italian version of our American grilled cheese.  The ones we ate in Venice were made with the local bread, mozzarella cheese, and prosciutto.

Those toasties were some of the best food I've ever eaten.  Not to mention that when I remember eating them, I also remember Nona taking us on the train to Venice and going to St. Mark's Square after lunch to feed the pigeons.  The toasties and the whole experience surrounding them opened my young eyes to the realization that there were other ways of living and eating, besides what I had grown up knowing.

Sometimes, I'll make the toasties like we used to get at Nona's son's cafe in Venice, but I also like to make my own version of the toasty.
I think one of the reasons I love Italian food so much (besides having lived in Italy when I was little) is that the ingredients are fresh and so basic that it's hard to go wrong with anything you make.

Every summer, I grow a small garden with tomatoes, basil and some squash.  I usually use large tomatoes for this recipe, but I got a late start with planting my tomatoes this year, so I didn't have any large ripe ones to use.  Instead, I used some cherry tomatoes that I just diced.

fresh basil cut into strips
large tomatoes sliced into 1/4 inch slices 
(or cherry tomatoes diced)
fresh mozzarella sliced into 1/4 inch slices
slices of sourdough bread 
(or Italian bread like I used for these)
sea salt


Preheat a nonstick skillet on medium high heat after you've prepared all of your ingredients. Butter each slice of the bread on one side and put one side into the pan butter side down.  Place the mozzarella slices on the bread (just one layer), then the tomato slices or diced tomatoes, sprinkle with sea salt (don't be tempted to skip this step - the salt really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes.  I've forgotten this step before and it really does make a big difference in the flavor).  I usually just use some kitchen scissors to slice strips of basil onto the top of the tomatoes).  Put the other piece of bread on top and the sandwich is usually ready to flip over at this point, but flip it when the bread is golden brown).  I like to put a lid over the pan after I flip the sandwiches to make sure that the mozzarella melts.  Cook until golden brown on the other side.  

I made these toasties for lunch on Sunday.  It was a crisp, cool, fall day, a little overcast and windy.  It's the perfect sandwich for this time of year.  You get the smooth, creamy, melted mozzarella contrasting with the sharp tanginess of the tomatoes and salt then the bright pop of flavor from the fresh basil, all trapped inside the crunchy, buttery, warm toasted bread.  So delicious!  And, so easy to make.  Wish I could make one for you!

Do you have any favorite foods that remind you of your childhood?  Thanks for stopping by and reading today.


A Blank Slate

Hi guys!  I hope you had a great week.  Mine was super busy and a little stressful, I am so glad it's the weekend.  Today, I wanted to bring you up to speed on what's been going on in the living room.
Please don't get me wrong, because I loved, really, really, loved the beautiful Chang Mai pillows with their pops of coral and dark green and the graphic black white going on in the living room. There was just something bothering me about it though.  It was the flow, or lack thereof, with the rest of the house.  You see, to me, rooms are like shoes, it doesn't matter how beautiful they are, if they aren't comfortable to be in.
It hit me when I was redoing our laundry room that the one thing every room in our house had a common was the color blue.  It's in Jacob's room, my room, and Olivia's room (still be completed).  However, there was not a stitch of blue in those beautiful Chang Mai pillows or in the living room!

Now, I know that for a lot of people, this wouldn't matter.  But it was bothering me enough that I decided I needed a blank slate.  So, I painted the backs of the book cases white.  
I took all of the pillows off of the couches just so I could get rid of all the visual clutter in the room and let myself imagine something new.
So, now I'm looking around for pillows, throws and accessories to layer into the room.  Some things that will make a little more sense with the rest of our house that we all love and make us feel at home.  I hope I find it soon because it's feeling very sterile and bland at the moment, exactly what you don't want your house to feel like!

Thanks so much for dropping by and reading.  Have a great weekend!