Mom Mode


I promise to be back to design posts soon. We've been in mom/baby mode over here this week.

Lots of friends have been having babies so I whipped up some chicken pot pies on Monday... here they are without the tops on (and the recipe is here in case you are interested):

On to other mom things. I have a question and need some help/guidance.

Collins is ready to move from his infant seat to a convertible car seat. Which one do you recommend? I've read all of the safety ratings, thoughts, etc. and I narrowed it down to a few and ended up picking up this one yesterday at Target:

As you've probably heard (it's been all over the news this past week since released)--- toddlers are suggested to stay rear facing until age 2. When this seat is installed (rear facing) in my backseat (and I have a large SUV) I have to put my passenger seat pretty far forward to make this fit. Is this seat extra large? Do I need to take it back for a smaller one? I know everyone doesn't have a large SUV so I just wanted to see what car seats you might have/what you recommend? I also looked at the Graco ComfortSport (which looks a tad smaller) and the Britax Roundabout 55 (which seems to be about the same size). I'd love any thoughts... suggestions. Thanks!

put on a pedestal


I've been on the lookout for a stained pedestal table for my breakfast room. I've found several on Craig's List--- I've just been too slow and they've already been snagged up.

Love the look of this one with the industrial chairs:

1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4



While blog hopping this morning I came across the blog of a friend from church. Kelley and her husband are in the process of adopting their second daughter from China. Kelley has decided to partner with (Cover)ed  to help with their fundraising in bringing Caroline home. I thought that the towels were so cute (and go towards such a great cause) that I had to share with you!

Each towel is $25 and their family will receive over 50% of each towel sold to go toward their adoption!

If you'd like to purchase a towel, you can email Kelley at Please put (Cover)ed in the subject line. She prefers cash or check--- but if you would like to pay by paypal let me know and we can figure something out. There is no shipping for Birmingham residents and just $2 for one towel or $3 for 2 or more if you live out of town.


To see all the different color and design options that are available for purchase, please click here (but please email Kelley to order so it can go towards her fundraising).

They would be perfect for a birthday gift, to take to the pool this summer, or to include in an Easter Basket:

Go here to this post on Kelley's blog and enter her giveaway to win one of these precious towels! Please let her know that I sent you over. Thanks for your support!

a small reveal


I've been busy working on a kitchen renovation that has ended up including parts of the dining room, foyer, guest bedroom, guest bath, living room, and powder bath. You know how that goes... one thing leads to another. Here's a sneak peek of the work going on in the client's kitchen:

love list


1. Everything from Oliva Manna. But especially these items:

Image of Pennant Sticker Sheets

Image of Aged Shipping Tags

Image of Divine Twine Mini Pack

2. This new scent from Dove:
3. This top from Anthropologie:

4. This simple entryway:

5. This little mister:

carefully cultivated


I love that Country Living included so many exterior photos of this cottage in this month's issue. The english ivy and oak trees are beautiful!


*photos by Christopher Baker

add this to your list


Michael and I just returned from a week on Ambergris Caye in Belize. We went to celebrate Michael finishing up his medical residency... and the week away happened to fall on our 6 year anniversary! It was such a great vacation. We stayed at the Victoria House---after staying there, talking to people on the island, and looking around---- it's where we will go back to for future vacations. I highly recommend adding it to your list of vacation spots.

The view from the front porch of our casita:

 Michael fished for two and a half days--- so I joined him for one of his half day trips:

Dinner and Drinks around the Island:


My view for the week! I stayed poolside which was pretty much on the beach:

Kitchen Overhaul by Abode Love


Hello all of you people who LOVE abodes! I am Laurel-Dawn from Abode Love and I am here to share my kitchen remodel with all of you! (Thanks for the feature Brooke!) So fasten your seatbelt and get ready to see my skank-tastic kitchen become lovely. (and a LOT less granola-ish... this girl doesn't like granola!)

Check out that gorgeous light fixture-- Also, don't you just love how I didn't use primer?! I should have used primer... the deep brown looked purple for far too many coats of paint... live and learn!

After painting the walls it was much better-- but it was still just too dark for my taste. 

Now it was time to paint those skank cabinets! It was a really long process- but completely worth it.

Colonel Dad coming over to begin demo on the backsplash.

kitchen backsplash and countertops being gutted... read more about this here

skank countertops gone... backsplash gone... sheetrock gone by default...

new granite and sink! I got a GREAT deal on this DEEP and beautiful sink on!

I added about 3 inches to the overhang on our bar to gain more counter space and make the bar seating more comfortable. I would have liked to add another foot- but without support, I didn't want to take the chance. Also- the island isn't made of solid wood... these cabinets are mostly particle board... and granite is hea-vy. All that said, I'm content with an extra 3 inches.
fab-faucet installed... (also an unbelievable steal!) read more about this here
 new hardware! bye bye knobs! read more about the kitchen hardware here
 Colonel Dad laying down tile, I chose a white porcelain tile in a lovely moroccan style shape. I love that it's simple in color and finish, but special because of the interesting shape!  read more about tiling here

tile placed... now waiting for grout and lighting...

me applying grout - read more about this here

 ready to sponge!

cleaned up- ready for lighting- grout done. 

Colonel Dad starting in on the under cabinet lighting

after the under cabinet lighting was installed, we did ONE last thing to the kitchen/dining area....



The under cabinet lighting is the icing on the cake! I really love how much it brightens the backsplash- it makes the space look larger than it actually is!

 Here is a view from the living room

I really love the West Elm Andalusia runner- it really brightens up the space

 I painted the island gray to mix it up a bit- I wanted a custom feel, and I didn't want the space to be overwhelmed with cream cabinetry.

Here's the dining nook... I love the cowhide rug addition, the Pottery Barn chandelier adds glamour to the space- and also notice that I painted the ceiling a warm, metallic gold to warm up the space and tie in the golds and browns that are seen in the tile on the floor... read more about the surprise cowhide addition here.

The center mirror is gorgeous, right? It's from Wisteriaand I couldn't be happier with my purchase. When I planned for this wall of mirrors, I really wanted to be able to hang artwork or mirrors on the wall- so, framing it in was my best option! 
I thought about doing the pattern in squares, but I really love the center mirrors being large- I feel like it opens up the space more that if it were divided. I love that this little, dark nook has turned into a shiny, glittering space! The chandelier's reflection adds even more light and sparkle to the space-- it feels MUCH larger now- don't you love that a mirror can give you extra faux square footage? I do!

 The mirror in the center also breaks up all the vertical lines with something that feels much more organic and natural. 

 This image really shows off the metallic ceiling that I painted almost a year ago!

some of these fresh "after" shots were taken around Christmas... which is why there are stockings hung with care...

So THAT was my kitchen's before and after! I am so happy to be visiting all of you today- please stop by Abode Love and say hello! Have a wonderful day abode lovers!

and now, just a little reminder of how the kitchen began...
I had wanted to add mirrors to this small space for years now-- and I finally did it (with help of course!) Read about the process here