Friday, March 30, 2012

{ }

:) amc

from dog house to ottomans

the boy owes me. big time. 

luckily, i have remembered his new found upholstery skill. 

let's get right to it. ottomans are the hottest home accessory since the toaster. all things considered- i think i need my own collection of them. 
them= plural. and more than two. i am thinking a collection of sets. load the staples.

I love sitting in front of the fireplace in the winter. So I will take 2 ottomans there please. 

There is a great little nook in the front hallway that would be perfect for an ottoman.

Of course my bedroom needs some too

Many options for the living room. From thick cushioning to light, but always always in a fun graphic patterned fabric. 

see you at the fabric store bright and early sucker! 
:) amc

spray day

inspiration for my next spray day

a spray paint job just might be the cheapest and easiest way to upcycle furniture and home decor. and once you pop- the fun don't stop {i couldn't help myself}

Mom, I need my chair like this back. :) 

It's time we venture back to the Goodwill for some lamps. I would love to finally have a matching pair in the living room and bedroom. 

I'm officially out of wall space at the moment, but one day I will make the infamous frame wall. I love how these are a glossy bright unexpected color. 

Event just painted the legs of this table, makes it custom cute

Drooling over this color combo- mint green and grey stripes. Need more rooms....and furniture :)

Since I am out of space and furniture...I may have to revert to spraycycling {get it...} little home accents. This bowl is very chic 

That's got to be easy! Eventually we will need a place to store dvds, magazines and books. And if a bookcase isn't in our future- these easy DIY boxes would look cute tucked under tables.

Gotta get my hands on cardboard letters. Metal spray paint will become my new baby.

maybe tomorrow will be goodwill/spray day :) 
{or pool day....!!!!!!}
:) amc

***all images and links are on  my pinterest boards

It's not easy being green

It's not easy being green. But it is my favorite. 

I do believe I have done many posts on the loveliness of this color; but pretty pretty green spring things keep sprouting up. 

And I am here to share. You're welcome. 

Tie-dye and Ikat will never go away in my world. These plates would be gorgeous hanging on the wall. 

Stripes? Green? Stop traffic. 
P.S. Can we please wear jean shorts to work? Life would be better. 

Via many many impulse buys, I have become a collector of throws. All three of these lovelies {which by the way, are soooo soft} would make great additions to our robust collection. 

Unless you live under a rock, you've noticed that jeans don't just come in faded blue and dark blue anymore. The whole dang rainbow has been converted into jeans. Last week I picked up a pair in this pretty seafoam color. 

I may have tested out my new bikini at the pool this week.... :) And I fully intend to do it again tomorrow! How cute is this ruffled pom pom green one? Tropical! 

A green post just isn't complete with my new favorite green obsession. GREEN DRINKS! 
Some new recipes:

{Green Smoothie Girl}
1 avocado
1 large cucumber
2 cups spinach
2 large leaves collard greens
2 leaves black kale
3 lemons, juice only
1.5 cups alkaline water
(a few slices of a Gala apple sometimes)

{Dr Oz}
2 cups spinach
2 cups cucumber
1 head of celery
1/2 inch or teaspoon ginger root
1 bunch parsley
2 apples
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 bunch spinach
1 handful watercress
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 celery stalk
2 apples
1-inch slice of ginger

:) amc 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

hopes & dreaming of the blendtec

About this juice cleanse...
blended broccoli and celery makes me gag. 

And I am addicted to reading blogs about green drinks/smoothies. This habit/lifestyle/diet/breakfast is so amazing for so many reasons!!!

However....most of the green drink world is able to put more vegetables into their drinks than I am. I have found that if I put more than 4 whole foods into my drinks, it creates an applesauce texture that is too difficult to get down. Not fair! I want more veggies! And I want to be able to actually drink my concoctions. 

Turns out- the green drinkers have POWER BLENDERS!!!!!!!!!!! 

No surprise, now I want one. 

{We don't even own a blender now! I borrow my roommate Kim's every morning, but she moves out soon. sooo sad. }

Meet the BlendTec. The man of my dreams. 

With the push of a button, this puppy beats fruits and veggies down to a "Whole Juice Drink."
Don't you LOVE that term! Smoothie sounds weak. 
This "whole juice drink" is perfectly smooth and I don't have to sacrifice the fiber found in whole foods. 
I am talking like I own this sucker. I don't....

Anyone want to fork over $430 for it? :) Santa? Easter Bunny? Tooth Fairy? Hello?

Hopes & Dreaming...
:) amc

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Veggie. Juice. Overload.

Day Two...

Veggie. Juice. Overload. 

I am hardly 24 hours in and I may have ruined my favorite breakfast. Up until this morning I craved and looooved my giant green veggie filled smoothie every the morning. Now my crazy brain has taken over and I want a warm breakfast that requires chewing. I know it is mental, the drinks still taste good but I can't stop thinking about...

That is really a strange craving for me. Dang you juice cleanse that messed with my mind. Knowing that I "can't" bite into warm food has me craving things that I really don't even like anymore. 

Maybe it is because it took me no less than two hours last night to produce this line-up: 

Aren't they so pretty though! :) 

Exhausting just to look at... last night I met my vegetable chopping quota for the month. 

But how yummy does that pink one look!!!!
I am drinking it now and totally in fruit juice heaven {go away veggies, grrr}

10 ounces water
1 chopped up fresh mango
pulp & juice of one grapefruit
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 strawberries

Blend until its pretty in pink & enjoy

This drink is just so good! Take me to a beach!!! The consistency is that of applesauce...but I am getting used to that. Except that when I get sick of the taste {veggie smoothies, I'm looking at you} you can't exactly chug it down and get it over with. Another downfall of the blended juice cleanse {vs. using a juicer}. 

now about lunch... hmmm 
:) amc 

Monday, March 26, 2012

the cleanse

Why is it that weekends are always filled with tasty temptations? Oh! I know...cause the weekends are sooo much better than weekdays. Better things just always happen on Saturdays and Sundays. 
As it turns out, my Saturdays and Sundays are sometimes not so #EatClean as they should. Therefore, I rely on my Tone It Up Bounce Back Smoothie to snap me back early Monday morning. 
But this weekend I felt so bummed about bad eating choices that I made an impulse decision to  do a juice cleanse. If I make it through today, I would like to do this for 3 consecutive days. 

The breakdown...
I don't have a juicer. And I am not forking over $200 for someone to juice for me. So how in the world will this work? My trusty blender. Sometimes I think I spend more quality time with it than my fiance. {JK haha} 

Go on a Google trip and you will find one billion opinions on juice vs. blend. What I took away from it {in the four minutes I spent reading.....} is that when you juice you lose some of the fiber. Since I don't mind the slightly chunky texture of blended drinks and have no aversions to increased fiber...I am down with blending. {I use the "liquify" setting on mine}

{packed and ready!}

Meal 1 Smoothie {breakfast}: The Green Starter

  • 2 stalks of kale leaves
  • 1/2 sliced and frozen cucumber
  • 1/2 banana 
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups of organic carrot juice
  • 1 scoop brown rice protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2-6 oz water as needed
Meal 2 Smoothie: Great Grapefruit
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 8 oz water
Meal 3 Smoothie {lunch}: The Green Starter {again...}
  • 2 stalks of kale leaves
  • 1/2 sliced and frozen cucumber
  • 1/2 banana 
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups of organic carrot juice
  • 1 scoop brown rice protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2-6 oz water as needed
Meal 4 Smoothie: Veg Out
  • Handful of baby carrots
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 celery
  • 3+ florets of raw broccoli 
  • 3+ florets of raw cauliflower
  • 5+ baby tomatoes
  • 6 ounces of water

It's a bit after 4 pm now and I am sucking down my M4 Smoothie. This is the one that I was most worried about. Broccoli and Cauliflower are far from being my favorite vegetable. Especially raw. And never have I ever had tomatoes in my smoothies so that was a new venture as well. It is the most vegetable tasting one, reminds me of a V8. I am able to get it down when I remind myself of all the amazing nutrients that it is packed with. 
All 3 smoothies today have been sooo very good. I drink the Green Starter every single morning and have become very accustomed to its taste...I actually LOVE it! The grapefruit smoothie made getting in my daily grapefruit one billion times easier; grapefruit is one of my favorite fruits but it can be messy to eat at my desk. 

I have been reading that when people go on juice cleanses they tend to keep their workouts very light or cut them out all together. I am not really feeling that route...I still want to workout and Josh is less than thrilled to drink his dinner so I am going to stick to a lean & green dinner. That requires a fork instead of a straw. This will consist of baked fish or chicken {seasoned with lemon juice and Mrs Dash} and fresh roasted veggies {asparagus or brussel sprouts}. Hopefully this won't entirely kill my cleanse plan. 

In case you were wondering {deepest apologies if you weren't}, I have been peeing constantly. Also no headaches, crankiness, stomach pains or negative side effects. But the cleanse is young! 

:) amc

Two more things. 
1. While I would like to lose weight, I am NOT doing this cleanse for that purpose. I am doing it to kill my curiosity about the whole cleanse phenom. 
2. If you find that this is unhealthy or I am doing something so totally wrong, please tell me!!!

DIY Projects: Dining Room Chairs, Wall Art and Fabric Trays

DIY Hopes & Dreams

I don't have to remind you that I am obsessed with home decor or that I redecorate rooms more often than I blink {exaggeration. duh}. Nor do I have to tell you that I have the patience of a puppy. 

Those things combined with my "Oh please, I can so do that myself" mindset led to a DIY filled weekend. 
Lucky Fiance :) 

First Project: Dining Table Chairs 

We scored 4 wooden chairs with cushions that were in great shape from Goodwill for $40! I knew it when I saw them that were full of potential and I probably couldn't get chairs for less expensive. 

Off to the fabric store we went. We were looking for a great taupe/brown/white pattern OR a colorful blue/green pattern.

My insightful heart led me to this DwellStudio fabric. We fell in love instantly. 
Then I found out it was 40% off. 911 was almost called to resuscitate my happy heart. 

The chairs were then sanded down and painted a lovely green color. Then my handy fiance discovered his best kept skill. Upholstery! That man can work a staple gun.

Ohh these chairs make my heart skip a beat

The dining room is now more than just a table and bench. It feels like a real live dining room!!! Who wants to come over for dinner? :)

My mouth smiles and my heart swoons. 
Happy Hopes & Dreams project: done! 

The chair project was lengthy and included a bit of down time for drying. So in the meantime...I kept on crafting! 

The dining room got new wall art. I am really happy with how this turned out- I love the colors and it feels balanced to me. 
Left to right: 
Words Canvas: gift from Mom The Easter Bunny
 Large Dandelion Painting: I made yesterday with brown craft paint and a sheet of linen fabric. The art got tucked into a old frame, then I stepped on the frame and shattered the glass... not cool. 
Green Medallion Canvas: Believe it or not, I used spray adhesive to glue wrapping paper from last Christmas to a blank canvas. I then used glossy Modge Podge to seal it and give it a sheen. Turned out great and hello inexpensive! 
White Frames: I found these at the dollar store many moons ago; they will be filled with pictures of Mason very soon

The living room area above the couch also got new art. It looks soooo much better in person, I promise! 
I used 3 old ikea frames and spray painted them glossy gray {to match the art over the fireplace, our rug and some other accents in the room} then filled them with scrap fabric. 

The fabric in the middle is from my first DIY tray project, the other two are leftover striped fabric pieces from the fireplace project. Always save scrap fabric and don't throw away old frames! 

While searching through my stash of craft materials I came across some great linen fabric and two old serving trays. The trays were salvaged during a clean-out-the-Cottage-Cheek-family-fun-weekend. 
Using the same method as here, I covered the trays. To spice up the taupe linen, I pulled out my paint and got artsy. I just loooove this one, it turned out so well {especially given the fact that I was completely glued to Sunday night ABC tv shows}. 

The other one is a bit more simple and classic. But I love it all the same {pun intended?...yeah}. I have trays all over the house, they instantly make tabletops, magazine stacks, remote controls, Miley food bowls, jewelry, candles, books, keys and mail look better. Wow...I really do have a lot of trays....

That just about does it for our DIY filled weekend! Other than the lingering smell of sanded wood and spray paint; the place looks great and feels more like home. 
Couldn't have done it without the wonderful Josh, he is a fantastic DIY accomplice {probably because he is focusing on much money we are saving} and handy man. 

Happy Hopes & Dreams! 
:) amc

the parties begin

another installment of my instagram weekend. 

it was a busy one! goodwill hunting, yummy dinners, diy projects, engagement party, baby shower and more. 
{more pictures of the party and shower to come later}

The weekend started at There. A new "gastropub" in the super Hopes & Dreams land of Town Brookhaven. Each table had a lovely little sprig of rosemary and thyme that smelled divine. 

The menu is a short one but full of fresh, local ingredients and fun food pairings. Like the devil above: Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs with Duck Prosciutto and Pickled Shallots. 

I failed to take a picture of my dinner {thanks google images for this one} but I had the "There Burger" ...a classic burger made with.... grass-fed beef and homemade pickles. You are what you eat, if I am going to be a cow- I want to be an #EatClean cow. :) 

My wonderful friends Sara, Emily and Kim hosted Josh & I's first party as a couple! Our Engagement Party! We had such a blast and it was beyond amazing having all of our closest friends together for a night. The girls {and Mom!!!} did such an amazing job with the party- everything was so perfect and we enjoyed our time so so so so so very much. 

Mom's house was perfectly pinterested- bunting, food labels, tissue pom poms, tablescapes in our colors, scrumptious snacks and sweets and fabulous sangria! 

On our way to the party! 

Lovely AmericasMart besties! 
Sadly this is the only picture I took all night :( Luckily many "real cameras" were snapping throughout the party- so real pictures will surface soon. 

Sunday afternoon the Ya-Ya's {Mom's group of best friends} hosted a baby shower for the lovely Brooke. The newest {and first!} petite petite ya-ya in the group.  

Second generation Ya-Ya's 

Mom made lovely pink gluten-free cupcakes- amazing! 

The precious family and star of the shower: Miss Brooke Richards and her parents Eddie and Bria. Such a wonderful little family- I loved getting to spend time with them! 

This weekend was just so amazing. After looking at our calendar- it seems this is the type of life we will be leading this Spring and Summer. It is so wonderful seeing great friends and family and celebrating engagements, weddings, babies, etc. 

Grown up life is turning out to be quite fun and exciting! If only some of those boring responsibilities would go away....

:) amc

Will post pictures of the DIY-ing and Goodwill hunting later today.