My fall table

Fall is my favorite time of year – not just because it’s a celebration of surviving yet another sweltering Texas summer. Not just because it’s my birthday (Another year older? Didn’t I just have one of those?). Not just because it’s the World Series and the trees turn colors and my house is filled with orange pumpkins and brown burlap and I get to wear big baggy sweaters and tall boots. And it’s at least seven months before I have to wear a swimsuit.

Fall is my very favorite time of year, if you don’t count Christmas, the first time I can wear a sundress on a warm spring night, and anytime I get to eat chocolate. Or flat bread. Yes, fall is definitely in my top 5.

I’m not a big seasonal decoration girl, but I do enjoy decorating my table, since that’s where we spend a lot of our quality time. The fresh pumpkins and gourds are compliments of Trader Joe’s (it’s like Six Flags for girls like me who are scared of roller coasters), and the decorative (not real) pumpkins are from Market Street circa 2007.

Got any fall decorating tips for a girl on a budget who doesn’t like clutter? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment, or link to your favorite blog post featuring some gorgeous (and practical) fall decor.

Friday Favorites

I’m sending you a very earthy, crunchy hello from gorgeous Portland. I keep telling Mr. Right I may come home with a nose ring and a tattoo. Which, for the record, is perfectly lovely on some people, but if you know me, I’m a bit conservative scared buttoned up not cool enough to pull that off.

But anyway, today I’m linking up with The Bargain Blonde for Friday Favorites. In particular, here are some of my current favorites for fall. Click on the pictures to be redirected to the original source.

Decorating with pumpkins – this makes me want to host a dinner party.

A free fall printable from one of my favorite bloggers (she draws these herself – crazy, huh?).

I’m thinking of making something like this as Christmas stocking stuffers. I could add a loop of thread and convert them into ornaments (with different fabric of course).

This gal’s etsy shop is like a burlap heaven. I love everything in there.

I love pairing my chambray shirt with skinny jeans and boots. I think I may have to add a scarf as well. I also do the white tank beneath it to hide my hiney in those skinny jeans – glad to know it’s considered fashionable and not just functional.

I found the perfect place to display one of my Texas Lovely designs in my kitchen. Although now I have a hankering to paint that frame and distress it. Hmmm…

I adore the applique on this pillow. It would take me forever, but might be a good ongoing project. Speaking of projects, I’m currently recovering all of my living room pillows. I figured I’d done enough sewing for others, it was time to spoil myself for a bit (besides, they were a bit worn, which is ridiculous considering I sell pillows these days). Pictures to come soon. One is a temporary home for some yo-yo’s I’ve been making for the past year – a definite labor of love.

One of my very favorite things is my newest nephew Jack. You may have prayed for him when he decided to arrive eight weeks early. Crazy thing is, he isn’t even really “due” for another three weeks. Is there anything more wonderful than a preemie baby’s grin?

On the fourth day of being home sick last week I finally had the energy to finish piecing together this yellow and gray quilt. It’s made from the same fabric as the chevron quilt I made last month. I love the endless possibilities that come from piecing triangles.

I had planned to put it in my shop but an old sorority sister with an adorable newborn baby girl called dibs, so it will be headed to Austin just as soon as I can get this gal quilted.

And that’s it! I hope you have a wonderfully fabulous fall Friday.

My Summer Bucket List Update

It’s time for a little Summer Bucket List update (if you’re new, here’s 2011). We have been busy bees over in the Right house, crossing things off our list and dreaming up new and unexpected adventures. We’ve done pretty well, considering summer brought some unexpected new items to the bucket list (like starting a new business, building a patio, and a few other things that deserve their own blog posts). I’m choosing to think of this list as pure fun, and if I don’t hit all the items, then I’m not going to stress one iota. In fact, it’s my goal to add a little slacker-ness to my summer, which is a bit out of my nature. More than anything, this list helps us come up with ideas for fun date nights so we avoid the “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” rut of marriage. Mr. Right and I want to be FUN.

Here’s a list of what we’ve done, with just a few weeks to go before the end of summer.

Eat dinner on a patio

Dinner at the ultimate patio… Joe T. Garcia’s

The at-home version – a leisurely dinner on our back
patio one night while Mr. Right was working late –
just me, my ice tea, and The Bachelorette on my laptop. Bliss.

Have a picnic on Trinity Trail

Trinity Trail is like a little oasis in the middle of the city. If you want 
to get some fresh air, have a CHEAP date night, and enjoy a 
little romance, I highly recommend it.

We even brought Harley the Wonder Schnoodle along.

Learn to bake a pie

I learned to make peach cobbler (from fresh peaches no less!). My
definition of “pie” is something that you’d bring to Easter, Thanksgiving
or Christmas dinner. So cobbler definitely falls into the pie category.
I loved my peach cobbler so much I made it over. And over. And over.

Take a moonlit walk with Mr. Right on the beach

Marco Island, Florida

Wear shorts and heels

I actually did this quite often. Each time I felt kind of silly
but also kind of awesome. 

Ride my bike

I may be one of the few people who has a bike with cup holders.
Don’t be jealous.
Mr. Right and Harley came along for the bike ride
(they go every single morning).

Plan a secret date for Mr. Right

I surprised him with tickets to Concert in the Gardens in Fort Worth. It was
one of the last cool weekends in June before the Heat Wave of 2012 hit.

Hold my new nephew

Luke James, born June 11, 2012

Man, he’s a cute kid.

Go to a Rangers Game

We had a big debate before this game – is it trashy to wear workout clothes 
(running shorts and a t-shirt) to a Rangers game? Do you get a free pass 
if it’s 104 degrees? We chose to go with the all-wick-away fabrics. 
And we chose right.

Rangers lost. But I got a lemon chill. So it was a good night.

Kiss Mr. Right while watching fireworks

Bucket list fail. I have no pics because I was too busy a-smoochin’. And excited because we hosted 35 friends for a fireworks watching party. But trust me – we crossed this one off the list, and have a few witnesses who will vouch for us.

Learn to sew something new

Want one of your own? 

Finish my husband’s quilt

This was a quilt top we bought at an antique mall for $10 – the steal of the century.
The whole thing was hand-pieced, which took hundreds of hours. Mr. Right
picked out the quilt backing (his old sheet from college) and we bound it with
the shirt he bought for his first job at a Young Life camp in Colorado.
The whole thing has a ton of sentimental value.

This is Mr. Right modeling the finished product.

Host a dinner party

We hosted about 27 dinner parties, including one for our visiting preacher 
(that was pretty cool), dinner for about 35 people on July 4th, dinner 
for 15 girls at a bachelorette party, and a bunch with 6-8 guests. 
Each one was a blast – one of the highlights of our summer.

Dip my toes in the ocean

Marry off my dear friend Katie

Photo Source for both photos:
Confession: I’m showing this one because it shows off my calf muscles, which I’ve never had before. Finally, those 800 million bazillion box jumps from crossfit have finally paid off. Oh, and it was a LOVELY wedding.

Do something spontaneous

We did a lot of spontaneous movie/sushi dates. Especially after we 
found out our local movie theater offers $5 Tuesdays. Score.

Get a mentor

Done – but this doesn’t really lend itself to picture-taking.

Cook with vegetables from our garden

Man, those are some GIANT tomatoes, eh?

Get a pedicure

Eat a sno-cone

Make one of the recipes from my Pinterest board

This is not exactly “cooking” but I “arranged” based off my Pinterest board. 
Judge says – good enough.

Eat a candlelit dinner at home
If you don’t take a picture, does it still count? We’ve had a few candlelight dinners including one where Mr. Right surprised me with one (along with a love note). That one was my favorite, and I was way too googly-eyed to remember to take a picture.

Finish writing Chapter 1 of my book

Done – but again, not really photo-worthy

Visit a state park

And here’s what’s left:

Take a photography class
Pre-plan all my meals for one week (confession: I have zero desire to do this, so it’s probably not going to happen)

Go to a museum
Go to a festival
Dance with Mr. Right in the kitchen
Take a road trip

Get a new dog (This will one is probably on hold for a little while)

Have a fish fry (with chicken strips for me, since I don’t eat fish)

Two weeks to go – we’ll see how many more I can cross off between now and then.

Hand-sewn Christmas Cards

I wanted to show you the Christmas cards I made. It was actually quite easy… I just printed the cards on white cardstock, then sandwiched them around a piece of red fabric, and sewed them on my sewing machine with red thread. The hardest part was cutting everything out – the sewing part was a breeze.

I experimented with different types of sewing – zig zags and straight lines – and found that the simplest technique looked the best.

I’m very pleased with how they turned out, and they were some of the least expensive cards I’ve ever sent (good for our Dave Ramsey budget). The most expensive part was the fabric (but I had a 40% off coupon) and the postage. Which is a good thing, because combining our two families means that we sent out a LOT of Christmas cards this year! Speaking of which… to my blog friends, if you want to exchange Christmas cards (which would be so fun!) message me on Facebook and we can exchange addresses. This only goes for blog friends whom I also know in person…

In case you want to see where I got my inspiration, I got it from Pinterest. Of course.

My lifelong pursuit of curly hair

I am blessed with fine, stick-straight hair. Thirty seconds with a hair straightener and my hair will be straight for days, no matter the humidity.
But curls? They last for about… three minutes. Four if I’m in the glorious mountains of Colorado with their 0% humidity.
Nevertheless, I continue to try, pursuing every DIY curl option… it’s a lot like people who are always wrapping their arms around the latest fad diet. I own every kind of curling iron known to man (3 sizes). I’ve tried curling with a straightener (2 sizes). I tried sleeping in pin curls. I’ve bought $18 hairspray. And a hair diffuser. I’ve found minimal success with the triple barrel hair curling iron, which takes 45 minutes and leaves me with singe marks on my neck and a head that may or may not remind you of Taylor Swift on a very humid deserted island.
Then I discovered this hair tutorial on Pinterest, which uses a technique where you wrap your hair around an elastic headband and sleep on it all night. I tried it last night, and I like it! Poor Mr. Right had to put up with me looking like a milk maid with my hair wrapped around the headband, but it’s better than going to bed with gunky cold cream on my face (something he expressed worry about before we got married).
Here’s the results:
It only took five minutes, and it didn’t hurt my head while I slept. I didn’t spray my hair first, which I think will make it hold longer, but the curls stuck around for most of the day, and it took until after lunch for my hair to become a wavy frizzy mess. I think that has more to do with the fact that it’s 105 degrees in Fort Worth today and uber humid. I’m determined to try it again tomorrow.
Do you ever wonder, after trying something new with your “look,” if other people around you are secretly judging how awful you look? Maybe it’s just me. It happened when I cut my bangs… I felt like people could tell that the bangs weren’t the real me… that I was a hair imposter, pretending I could pull off the look. Then, just as I start to completely overthink my fashion choices (Mr. Right calls it “bean plating”), I decide that I can choose to pull off funky/whacky/imposter-hair and people will just assume I’m an artist. I totally give off that funky artist vibe, right? (I see you rolling those eyes!)
And now you know the inner workings of this crazy curly head of mine. Scary, I know.