[Not so] Straight-as-an-arrow: Stripes

“On the straight and narrow path,
You need to learn to bend..” – Jake Owen

When I think stripes, I think streamline, classic, structured, and directional. I love when stripes are used outside of the box with whimsy and purpose. And I love when stripes aren’t so literal – think “chevron” and “zebra-print”. I love when they change direction, when they add height, and when they add just a touch of pattern without appearing too busy.

Some excellent, inspirational stripes…

Stripes in Stairwell, a gorgeous foyer | via HGTV.com

Chunky Stripes | via Erin Ever After

Stripes on Bedspread | via Country Living

Stripes Outdoors | via Pinterest / Tumblr

Zig-Zag Stripes - Chevron | via Decor Pad

Safari Stripe - Zebra Rug in a classic space | via Simply Grove

Chevron Stripe as Back Upholstery | 6th Street Design School

There is not enough room in the month to feature stripes, so this shall be a two-part-er.

Until next stripe, enjoy.

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Ree’s New Cookbook (and clever ways to store it!)

Wahoo!! Pioneer Woman has a new cookbook coming out! I hope to add this to my collection. Which gets me thinking… my collection is growing. And this shelf ain’t without limits. Feast your eyes on the pretty book cover below along with some solutions to my aforementioned storage dilemma.

Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

Up High Storage | via Mini Manor

private residence, la jolla, california traditional kitchen
Built-ins Framing the Pantry | Denver Interior Designer Brett Valenstein via Houzz

Books in the Island | via Better Homes & Gardens

Hideaway Shelves for the Streamline Kitchen | via Re-Nest

And my current cookbook home, population growing:

Above the Refrigerator | via Me

Happy cooking, happy storing, happy decor-ing.

2012 and a new furry friend…

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s been a wild, busy, and blessed past few months for us. One thing I’ve been truly missing is blogging daily and weekly.  However, I believe this break to focus on everything else we had started helped me realize that a beautiful, meaningful blog requires time, thoughtfulness, and devotion. It also thrives on passion. Feeling less than devoted in recent months, my husband said something I really needed to hear (He’s good for that): “If it feels like an obligation or forced, skip that day or that week or even that month. The people who love your blog would rather read something you poured your heart into than something you felt like you had to write for them. Write for you.”

This year, I’ll be writing for me and you. Look for posts [every other day or so] with substance, love, and well, a more casual, design-and-life-lovin’ gal behind them. I can’t wait to share the beauty of happiness, home, hard-work, family, and the little things in 2012.

And some news since I last posted – we have a new addition to our happy home. Find purr-ty photo (don’t let that face fool you – she’s rarely this still) and Cat+Home+Style tips below.

Daisy, our adorable/crazy rescued kitty from Chester County SPCA | 9 months old, Christmas Day 2011

Cat-Proof Decor Tips for the New Year

1. Keep kitties busy with crinkled paper balls, cat-nip, plushy toys, and other kitties. This will keep them away from your prized second-hand furniture collection and off your clean tables. Old-fashion re-direction.

2. Store small items like mail, cell-phone cords, and little trinkets in baskets or enclosed, glass door cabinets – out of convenient kitty reach.

3. Provide soft, warm surfaces for cat naps. Keep a lint-roller on hand for inevitable kitty fur left behind from hours of snoozin’. I like fluffy down throw pillows that cradle small curled-up munchkins and can be fluffed back into shape post-slumber.

4. Use pretty, hand-made, food-safe pottery for food & water bowls. Extra cute touch: make them yourself at a Make/Paint Your Own Pottery shop. Adorn with paw prints, names, and little fish skeletons.

5. If you have scratching kitties, look into a stylish scratching post like this one or this one. You can’t even tell what that first one is!