pretty little things

Have you ever heard of Ruche? I'm not sure how I am just now discovering this magical website, but everything on it is so pretty and so affordable. Most of it is less than $50!
Here are some of my favorite finds:

mirror, mirror

I've always wanted a beautiful mirrored cabinet for our living room, but unfortunately they are usually at least a thousand dollars and I figured it would always be on my "wish" list.
BUT, today I purchased this baby
Instead of these three pieces, I purchased two of the center cabinets that will go side-by-side. It was normally $800, but I found it on clearance for 50% off, plus an additional 20% off the clearance price, with no sales tax and free delivery! After a quick OK from Charlie I snapped it up and I'm so excited to get it. I really, really hope it works.

Also, do you remember these living room plans? I'm sure it is no surprise, but I've done a little revising. I was afraid the couch would become dated rather quickly, and I wasn't really able to find an ottoman and chairs that I loved. Here is my latest plan:

The couch is already $500 off, and goes on sale for an additional 25% off for the next two days, so I may or may not be the proud owner of a new couch tomorrow ;)

I feel like this is a good mixture of these rooms that I keep coming back to for decorating inspiration


name change and a birthday

After a couple of months putting it off I finally made the trip to the social security office to change my name. I put it off for so long because: 1) I wasn't looking forward to waiting in line for hours, 2) I now have to change my name at the bank, at work, on my passport, etc. and 3) honestly, I'm a little sad to see my old name go. It feels weird that it is no longer me. Plus, every time I give people my new last name that immediately say "what?" So far, even though I've spelled it out, I've been Mrs. Grades and Mrs. Grapes (wha?) :( 

Anyway, here are some pictures from charlie's birthday last week:
Our appetizer at Whiskey Cake. Fried green tomatoes that are so good you'll want to punch someone. Seriously.
Outside whole foods on our way to pick up some beer.
One of charlie's b-day selections.
Charlie and his mini cake. It was delish.



I've been having quite a love affair with chevron prints lately
so bright and pretty
if we had wood floors I would buy this in a second
these curtains need to go our bedroom!
oh, how I wish we had room for a pouf
chevron and lucite. how could you go wrong?
chevron bath mat
how fabulous would a pair of these be at the foot of the bed?
these adorable invites and favor tags are FREE!
Set of Four Herringbone Napkins
Zig Zag Rug
Charcoal Chevron Curtains

Blue/Ivory Chevron Pillows
Grey & White Chevron Floor Pouf
Tilly Maison Chevron Lucite Tray
Tribal Bath Mat
X Ottoman
Free Printable Chevron Invites



I think I may have found a solution for the very sad wall space above our couch
I found these super affordable fretwork panels from O'verlays 
They're made to paint any color you want and to be attached to anything you want
I got 2 of the 13.75" panels that I think I'm going to keep white and place over a mirror. 

Now, I'm imagining what I can do with the greek key o'verlays...


be thankful

Lately there have been a lot of reminders for me to count my blessings. Random things on TV, blogs, people on the street. Things that make me stop and think "I am so lucky for my life."

This is one of those blogs:
Ani and Matt Taylor (Warning: If you don't want to spend the next hour with a box of tissues, I suggest you skip this one)

Here is another:
The NieNie Dialogues  I remember seeing the Nielson family on the Oprah show a few years ago, and just recently found their absolutely inspirational blog. Every time I read their stories I am amazed at how much love there is in this family, and how they've managed to stay together through such a difficult accident.

Now any time I start to feel myself getting worked up that Charlie has left his socks on the floor again, I make sure to stop and think about how lucky I am that he's here with me to make all those messes, because I know I'd sure miss them if they were suddenly gone one day.

Now, go hug your family, your friends, and your pets and make sure you tell them every single day how much they are loved :)


happy birthday

Happy birthday to the love of my life!!


recent happenings

My first trip to World MarketI couldn't get over this vintage packaging.
 Inappropriate? Yes, but I don't care! 
Have to try this!
  I probably spent at least 30 minutes in this aisle. Everything was so interesting and pretty.
Love those sweet puppy dog eyes.
 His new toy. He's obsessed.
 We finally made it to In-n-Out. I had fries and a shake. Yum!
 Charlie said the burger is delish.
We found a lizard in the house. I almost fainted. 
Charlie took this pic to remind me of how tiny it actually was. How nice.


lesson of the day

When we got this little guy I started becoming a lot more aware of the chemicals we were using in our home that could possibly hurt him, and have since been using plain white distilled vinegar to clean pretty much everything. 
Today, however, I decided to do a deep clean in our bathroom and scrubbed our bathtub with bleach spray because the bottom of our tub has some weird texture that makes it nearly impossible for anything except bleach to get white, and even that sometimes doesn't do it. Anyway, I also used some toilet cleaner with bleach and then finished cleaning the rest of the toilet with vinegar. Well... here is your lesson for the day -  do not mix vinegar and bleach!

My throat started burning and my eyes were watering so I opened the windows, let Toby out onto the balcony, and then googled mixing vinegar and bleach. Apparently, it mixes together to create chlorine gas that can be dangerous. Now it's 106 outside and Toby and I are sitting on the other side of the house with all of the windows open!

I started reading the labels on these products and sort of freaked out knowing that I've been using this stuff for so long without realizing how dangerous it is. For example, my toilet bowl cleaner recommends wearing goggles to prevent permanent eye damage. WHAT? And the spray I used in the bathtub says to wear gloves to prevent burns to your skin! I threw out that stuff and will be purchasing these natural, safer alternatives! It's better for us, the environment, and it helps that the packaging is so darn cute!
Happy (and safe) cleaning!