Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall Mantel

I hope you are having a great week! How's the weather where you are? Has it cooled off yet? We're still having some pretty humid days here in the South and haven't been able to wear long sleeves yet. But, this weekend it supposed to get cooler. I am hoping to have a fire out on our patio in the woods. Definitely one of the joys of Fall

This is my first Fall mantel in our Family Room since moving the tv out of the niche.
I love the warm glow of my simple burlap wrapped votives.

I kept the iron artwork against the burlap as the backdrop. The pumpkins are on cake stands so that they can be seen above the floral garland.

Everything on the mantel and in the niche is something I already had.

Hope the rest of the week is really good for you and that you are working on something fun!

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, September 26, 2011

Bring Beauty Indoors

Hey everyone! Thanks so much for the great conversation on Friday and all your great comments on watermarking. I've noticed some of you who didn't do this before have started watermarking your photos. Yay! I know it's an added step, but it's definitely worth doing.

As I was doing household chores today, I was wishing I had a gorgeous bouquet of flowers like this one that I brought home from Trader Joe's awhile back. I  love green and white even though it's fall. Maybe my craving for flowers was due to all the rain we've been having these past few days.
I can't always rush off to the TJ's to pick one of these up and sometimes I just don't want to spend the extra money. (For all of you Dave Ramsey fans, I'm a money nerd).

I do, however, love flowers and foliage around the house. Don't you? 

When I went out on the deck today I could smell our gardenia bushes were in full bloom again, so I grabbed my clippers and cut a bunch.

I bet you have something beautiful in your yard that you could bring indoors, as well.

Whenever you cut flowers to put in water, be sure to cut off the foliage below the water line.

Then just put in a pretty vase, pitcher or glass.

Gardenias are so fragrant!

Had to pick something with fall colors, so I picked a bunch of Marigolds I had out back.

I put both vases in my foyer to greet any guests that might stop by.

What do you have out in your yard that would look pretty in a vase in your home?

Hope you have something wonderful! 


ps: if you missed Friday's conversation, you can see it HERE

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Where'd The TV Go?

A month ago we took the tv out of the niche in the Family Room and now the niche looks like this:

Our oldest daughter (who moved to SoCal this past May & is 19), left me this comment:

Where'd the TV go! :(


I got a kick out of that, especially because of the sad face. 

Guess she thought the house would stay the same forever. In a conversation later that same week she asked if I had done anything with her old room. I answered her with the question: "why, are you moving back home?" LOL. I already knew the answer to that :(
She's having way too much fun out in SoCal.

Back to the tv situation...Remember we found another matching armoire on Craigslist and put the two armoires on either side of the fireplace...

The Family Room now looks like this:
The tv, stereo, etc., are in the left armoire and the right one holds books, pillows and blankets. Oh, how I LOVE all the storage since our house is short on closets in the main areas on the first floor.

Well, here's where the TV went.

But, the TV isn't just set in there on a shelf because you wouldn't be able to see it very well if you were sitting on the sofa, so Mr. Fanatic installed a swivel TV roll out shelf.
 We ordered a swivel roll out made for tv's. Only, you can't just put the tv on the swivel rollout because it would fall out without being attached to something. They sell a special  mount to attach to the roll out, but we didn't want to spend the $150+ on it, so Mr. F. made the tv attachment himself for about 20 bucks with some unistrut. The swivel was $19.99. 
Here's what the swivel roll out shelf with the tv bracket looks like without the tv attached:

He attached some of the unistrut to the back of the tv. Then they were attached to the horizontal bracket that's in the armoire.

This is what it looks like now:

This new arrangement is so wonderful because the tv can be hidden when not in use and I have a mantel to decorate!
I couldn't be happier.
So glad I have a husband who can fix or make just about anything : )
Where do you keep your tv? Do you keep it hidden or is it the focal point of the room it's in?


Friday, September 23, 2011

Pinterest...Another Reason To Watermark Your Photos.

Hey everyone! Happy Friday to you!
Gonna rant today, but it's for your own good and could affect traffic to your blog and even get you more followers, so read on!

I'm not a photographer and my photos aren't on the professional level, but I now watermark my photos put up on my blog. As always, there are a few exceptions~ I don't watermark my boring tutorial photos.
I don't mind people using my photos and encourage everyone to share. Of course, if you use someone's photo for profit, that's another story.

Having said that, please watermark your photos! With the popularity of Pinterest, photos are being pinned every day and because some Pinterest users don't know how to pin properly or something happens with Pinterest as you are pinning, sometimes the original website is missing. 

I really love the  dining room below and would love to visit the website or blog and maybe even become a follower, but because I don't know where this photo is from, I can't.

(update:Thanks to Lisa, who commented below, I now know that this dining room was designed by  Hunter - Barnes interior design and the website it originated from is cococozy.com. Now I need to go to my Pinterest page and repin it!)

Here's what the photo looked like when I pinned it...
You can see that there's a blogspot.com listed on the top right above the photo, but when I  clicked on it I got a Google 404 error...whatever that means!

Here's a photo of my daughter's shabby chic bedroom with my diy Design Fanatic watermark on it:
 If for some reason, website link is missing, at least the person looking at the photo can google the blog name.
There are several free photo editing software downloads on the internet...I use Picasa. 
Would love to know if you use editing software that's free and what it is....please let us know!

Hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Birthday Cake

This makes the second time this week that I'm going to bring up food. Seems like that's all I see on blogs and Pinterest these days. Or maybe it's just because I'm on a low carb diet. LOL! I'm hanging in there and hoping this won't go on til Christmas!


Our daughter Jenny just celebrated her 18th birthday earlier this month. She didn't want a big party this year, but wanted her daddy to make her a strawberry whipped cream cake with some blueberries on top. I just have to show it to you because it was so beautiful!

Look at all those candles! Our baby is all grown up!

We went out for a nice dinner, then came home for dessert.  This cake is one of our family favorites!

Make a wish!

Here's what the inside of the cake looked like. Yum! I saved my carbs for dessert on that day. It was totally worth it!

This is a really easy cake to make, although if I made it, it wouldn't look nearly as nice! Y'all know Mr. Fanatic used to be a chef and spent some time as a pastry chef, don't you? 

To make this cake you need: a yellow cake mix, then whip up some heavy cream(add powdered sugar & vanilla), cut up some strawberries and put it all together.

Does your family have a favorite cake that gets requested for a birthday or  special occasion? 
Would love to hear all about it.


 We usually just wing it when we make our whipped cream, but here's a recipe for making whipped cream at Allrecipes.com  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Little Touch of Fall

With cooler temperatures and Fall only a few days away, it just seems natural to warm things up around the house. 
I brought up a box from the basement with a few fall things and started in the foyer.

Here's what the chest in the foyer looked like before...

...and here's what it looks like now:

I also added some faux Fall foliage to the table in the family room...

and to the fireplace mantel.

Have you brought out any fall decor at your house yet or are you waiting a few more weeks?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How To Make The Best Quick & Tasty Snack

I'm going to let you in a little secret of mine.... It's the best tasting snack or quick dinner out there...
Or, at least it is for our family!
Today I'm going to show you how to make a Chicken Club Quesadilla...
Doesn't that look good?

Make sure you always have the following things in your house...
Ranch dressing(chipotle ranch is REALLY good on these), cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and...

...pre-cooked grilled chicken strips(no breading). 
I happened to have Trader Joe's chicken strips, but the next time you grill chicken, just grill a couple of extra chicken breasts, slice them up and freeze them in a ziplock.  Do the same with bacon. I have a baggie in the freezer with cooked and chopped up bacon bits that I cooked up the last time we had bacon.

Since your chicken and bacon are frozen, heat those up on the griddle or frying pan first.

Then put your tortilla on the griddle and add cheese, chicken and bacon.

When the cheese is almost melted, add tomatoes.

When the tortilla starts to brown, pull it off the griddle and add shredded lettuce and ranch dressing.

Then fold it over and you're done! You can cut this up in three pieces, as long as you don't put too much in the tortilla like I did. I was making this one for Mr. Fanatic and he likes his in one piece.

Of course, Mr. F. likes to have a good bottle of beer with his Chicken Club Quesadilla and just had to show it off.

The next time you're at the grocery store be sure to pick up the necessary items you need to make these because they are SOOOOOOOO GOOD!

Hope you have a great day!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Pottery Barn Inspiration

Cooler temps and a visit to Pottery Barn Charleston is inspiring me to start decorating for fall. Their vignettes and displays are so gorgeous and filled with  wonderful ideas.

While I didn't care for the thickly stacked place setting, the printed napkin, woven napkin ring and name tag was perfect for fall.

This table is a little more difficult to see, but the tall candle holders woven with fall leaves were really pretty. I loved the faux gourds, as well, but would rather use real ones since they can be found everywhere in grocery stores right now.

I LOVE this pillow....

My daughter loved the lit up owls.

Burlap lamp shades were everywhere.

The two little ottomans are great for extra seating.

This was my favorite display...I loved the white sofa with the blue, gold and rust pillows. I think the big rattan tray would look fabulous on a large tufted square ottoman.
Now that the weather has cooled off it definitely puts me in the mood to get out the fall decor. 
Where have you found some inspiration for your fall decorating this year?
Would love to know.