9.30.2012

LOOKING AT LEAVES... FROM THE TOP OF PIKES PEAK

Every fall driving around and looking at leaves is a must, especially here in Colorado.  This past weekend, we wanted to do just that, but couldn't decide where to go.  We didn't want to go too far but we also wanted to go someplace that would be worth it.

Fast forward a few hours and before we knew it, we were on top of Pikes Peak.  Yep, we drove up the Pikes Peak Highway and ended up at an elevation of 14,000 feet, higher than any aspen tree even grows.  The drive up was beautiful and it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.







This view was breathtaking - Pikes Peak, the aspens and a snowstorm rolling in.






Due to said snowstorm, the road was closed for about an hour, but we waited patiently and then headed on up once it reopened.  It's amazing how quickly the weather rolls through when you're that high up.



Snow and little pools of water just above timberline.



On top of the world!  At the summit, it was a balmy 16 degrees and given the fact that we randomly decided to make the drive right after church and didn't have coats, we pretty much sprinted inside, grabbed a few world famous donuts and sprinted back to the car.  I did manage to snap a few pictures at the top though.















Just for fun, I thought it would be kind of neat to snap a picture looking back up at Pikes Peak when we got back home.  There we were!

9.28.2012

CHELSEA LATELY 9.28.12

It's that time again... life according to my iPhone.  Thanks to Instagram's recent update plus the fact that I don't do these as often as I should, we're now switching it up to nine photos a box.  I'm sure you can deal.  

By the way, as you can see, I'm still updating this blog here.  It's coming along!  Nerd alert, I know, I know.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!  Enjoy!


specs // tomatoes // bed // chow down // color // j.crew // cat mac // work // caprese


fugly no more // dress up // yum // green eyes // fav // blue eyes // fall // pumps // rain


cheers! // pedi with khloe // street // no go // double // clouds // not subtle // us // party


our peak // figalicous // shopping // mmm // beauty // city // din // new mug // season

9.26.2012

CAN WE BE HONEST RIGHT NOW?

I desperately need to remember the quote below and want to make it my mantra for the time being.  Time to take a break from the cooking, cleaning, picture-taking, blogging, Facebooking, shopping, Tweeting, pinning, socializing fiends we can be recognize this:


Life, in this day and age, as a women, can be a challenge.  And that challenge often results in the feeling that we are constantly chasing something.  The realization of this is beginning to become known, with articles encouraging people (not just women) to stop the over-glorification of busy and bring the focus back to what it should be: the people in your life, what makes you happy and taking time to care for yourself.  We all know that these days it's go, go, go and I'm afraid we all are getting a bit too close to the tipping point.

Add to that the fact that we're all privy to (what seem to be) the perfect lives of everyone else and at times it can seem like a constant game of show-and-tell.  The problem with the social media these days is that by comparing our lives to others, our own completely warranted joy can seem squashed before we know it.

We're comparing the behind-the scenes of our life with the flashy highlights of others, for the most part.  I've read on numerous blogs, and even had a few comments here, about how readers get this idea that the author is living a glamorous, charmed, put together life and I'll admit I often do this when reading other blogs.  You see the pretty pictures and smiling faces and then you find yourself filling in the blanks of what you don't see and all of a sudden you're comparing their amazing recipes, impeccable wardrobe and picture-perfect family life with your spilled coffee, day old dirty hair and snapping at your husband... sigh.

If I just trolled through my blog, not knowing myself, it would look pretty great.  Nothing extraordinary, but definitely a good life.  And while I definitely do have a life that is blessed beyond I deserve, it's also much harder, messier and un-put-together than it might look.  Yet even though I know this, at times I still find myself idealizing when looking at others and then I end up putting too much emphasis on things that are not near as important as the amazing husband I have, the loving family I live near and the creative abilities God gave me to use for His glory.

I love the quote above.  We MUST move along at a pace that is comfortable for us and develop the maturity to STOP trying to prove something.  The people in our lives love us for who we are, and nothing we can do (good or bad) will change that love.  We need to take joy in our abilities and also know when to rest, and then actually do so.

Over the past few years, I am proud to say I've gotten better at this.  However, I've still got a ways to go.  It is cyclical: I feel like I have things together, but then I become too caught up in having things together and what the image of what a successful, creative, balanced women should be, and then I fall on my face.  God has a sense of humor, I do know that.  And we all know we'll be humbled if need be.

Let's be honest - I can be a hot mess sometimes.  But how boring would life be if you had it all figured out?!  All this is not to say I don't love all the inspiration I find all over the place.  I do, I love blogging and reading what others have to say.  It's a source of creativeness and joy and fulfillment.  I just need to remember that at times, it can be a fine line, and I would much rather live my happy, messy life than constantly try to make it something it's not.

Does anyone else experience this?  I would love to hear your take on it and any advice you have to offer.  Thanks for reading, as always.

Photo credit

9.24.2012

FALL DECORATING

It is officially fall now and we've got another cool, cozy day here.  Time for top-knot wearing, pumpkin spice latte drinking, cozying up on the couch reading, pumpkin carving, candy eating and fall decorating.

This time of year has me craving natural tones in soft, complimentary shades, so I decided to put together a little display of fun little things I would love to incorporate into our home right about now.  Anyone wanna take me on a shopping spree at Crate&Barrel?  *Ahem*  Anyone?  Fine, I guess I'll just have to sip my latte and settle for the eye candy.  Links below!


Vases from Crate&Barrel // Candle from Crate&Barrel // Orange and Gray pillow from Home Decorators // Brown and white pillow from Home Decorators // Owl from west elm // Basket from Crate&Barrel // Plaid throw from Crate&Barrel // Give Thanks plate from Crate&Barrel // Recipe book from Anthropologie // Gold-rimmed glasses from Williams-Sonoma // Mushroom place card holders from Williams-Sonoma

Hope your week is autumnal and cozy!  Also, I realized that this blog has been lacking in the "us" area recently.  I think I just get to caught up in all sorts of fall festivities, but can you blame me?  Anyway, I'll be putting more of our "life" back into this lifestyle blog, like it should be, right?

9.18.2012

ENTRYWAY REVEAL

Remember when I talked about the entryway moodboards I created here, and the inspiration for them here?  Well guess what... our entryway is finished!  Cue the happy dance.  I've wanted a warm and welcoming area in our foyer since we moved in and the fact that it is a small space with only one wall to work with made it a bit of a challenge.  But the perfect little table finally presented itself and then I used a mirror we had laying around and collected accessories we already had as well and with that, finally our entryway feels like it should.

I still want to add a cozy runner and a cute coat rack, but it's come a long way.  Oh, and I put a source list at the bottom with links if available.  Now, without further rambling, welcome to our little entryway!


You all know I love my neutrals, but as I've mentioned before, I want to incorporate a bit more color in our house.  Starting here with some warm shades of green.


Given my love of fall, I couldn't help but incorporate some autumnal elements as well.





So there we go, this to-do can (almost completely) be crossed off the big old house list.  This area served as inspiration to carry this color scheme into the rest of our home.  It feels homey and cozy but still fun and modern, which is the style I love.  And I've already got a few more updates in the works based on this color palette, so stay tuned!

Source List:
Mirror - Hobby Lobby
Console table - Target
Woven vase - Home Goods
Candy dish - Michaels
Candle holder - our local grocery store
Sea urchin - Dwell Studio
Flavors - Nordstrom
Entertaining With The Seasons - Williams Sonoma
Fresh American Spaces - Barnes and Noble
Faux sheepskin rug - Ikea
Woven basket - Michaels
Lantern - don't remember, sorry!
Candle - our unity candle from our wedding

Also, thank you to Michaela Noelle Designs for the inspiration found here, and seriously, go check out her blog, it's a daily read around here.  Hopefully you're having a great week!  The lower temperatures around here feel oh-so-wonderful, don't they?!

9.14.2012

FALL BUCKET LIST

Fall is my favorite, we all know this.  However, it always goes by so quickly!  It seems like once I'm on my third pumpkin spice latte, the eggnog latte is making it's debut.  So, given that I can't get enough of fall and the limited time I have with it, I decided to put together a "Fall Bucket List" to encourage the husband and I to take advantage of this glorious time of year.

And even if we don't get around to tackling everything on this list, it sure will be fun trying.  Here's my take on a good time this autumn (we've already crossed off a few things!)  Who's with me?!


Anything you would add to this list?  Anything you've already done?  Have a wonderfully autumnal weekend everyone!

9.13.2012

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

My family went to the apple orchard this past weekend and although we couldn't go (we're going soon for pumpkins though!), we still ended up with tons of apples.  Every fall my mom makes a batch of delicious homemade applesauce and it's since become a fall staple once September rolls around.


This year, I decided to make some of my own as a kick-off to what will surely be many more apple recipes to come.  It's really simple and only requires a few basic ingredients.  The added bonus is that it makes your home smell seriously amazing!


Ingredients:
  • 20 small naturally sweet apples (ex. Red Delicious, Gala, McIntosh)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 lemon slices
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
Directions:

1.  Peel and core apples then chop into bite-size pieces.
2.  Place apples, water, white sugar, brown sugar and lemon into a Crock-Pot and cook on low for about 4 hours.
3.  Top with cinnamon and serve warm.


If this doesn't welcome in fall, I don't know what does.  Bonus points if you pick the apples yourself.  Enjoy!

9.12.2012

NEW 'DO

I just finished making over this blog, again.  It's actually quite fun and I'm learning how to customize stuff more and more.  Nerd alert, I know.

I wanted a clean, modern look that still had some interest.  I'm pretty happy with the results so hopefully this look will last.  I still need to add buttons, comment bubbles and all that fun stuff, so as always, it's a work in progress.

How's everyone's week going?  After a crazy-busy-productive weekend, this slower, cloudy week feels great.  We volunteered, cleaned and organized our garage, had dinner with the 'rents, went to an incredible church service, lunched and shopped with the little sister, and made some scrumptious fall food.  Pics to come!

9.11.2012

REMEMBERING 9/11

We all remember where we were.  The American flags, emerging voicemails and promises to never forget have had my heart in a quieter, somber mood today.

Thank you to all heroes that day and all the ones that have been fighting to protect us ever since.  This hits especially close to home given the recent events in our city.  Our thanks will never be enough for what is sacrificed every day to protect our country and its citizens.



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Never forget.

9.10.2012

FALL FANCIES

I thought some cozy fall photos would be a wonderful way to start out the week... of course, it's my favorite season and always has been.

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Have a wonderfully cozy week everyone!  We're putting away the summery decorations and bringing in the fall ones around here and I could not be more excited... pictures to come!

9.07.2012

COFFEE TABLE CONUNDRUM

Now that summer is winding down and fall is settling in, I've got the nesting bug.  During the summer months, we were pretty busy and it was so unbelievably hot this summer that not much got done around the house.  However, that is about to change as we're plugging along on our ever-growing and ever-changing to do list.

One thing that has been on that list for awhile now is finding a new coffee table.  We have a gorgeous one now that was a hand-me-down from my in-laws, but it is just too big for the space (that and it's the toe killer... seriously, I jam my poor toes on it at least once a week).

We're going for a more modern vibe and it would be great to get something that takes up less space, both literally and visually.  The room would open up a lot and feel more fresh.  For awhile now, I've been thinking about getting a simple square wood table with clean lines, something like this:

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But then I was perusing some blogs and I know it's been trendy for awhile, but the clear coffee table really caught my eye.  I know it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I think that if it were mixed well with some cozy, eclectic pieces, it could be fabulous.  It would take up less space visually, so it would add an airy feel to our family room and would be completely functional, but would open up the space.  Case in point:

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I haven't made up my mind yet which way to go, because I still love that square wooden table in the first image, which also provides a more open and modern feel.  As I mentioned before, I think it's about having a mix of modern and cozy than makes a room feel put together and "us."  I just can't stand it when everything is all the same style, you've got to mix it up!

So now tell me what you think... would you ever jump on this trend?  Fun, but too modern and you'd get sick of it soon?  Perfect solution for a small space?  Let me know your thoughts!  I still love that first one, so we'll see where we end up.

Have an amazing weekend while you're at it!