Phone Photo Friday




Only in Nashville would I watch a guy with a cowboy hat walk across an intersection and down the street carrying an un-cased upright bass.

Fall Family Night + Chili Recipe



…AKA Chili Night. Our church had our annual picnic on Sunday evening. This year it was a fall festival where everyone brought chili and fixin’s and dessert. It was a very laid-back afternoon of playing games on a blanket in the grass. Jason looks forward to any opportunity to hold baby Mikaelyn. (She’s the sweet little girl who just might ruin our planned baby timeframe.)



Then chili for dinner, of course. I ate my own recipe and Jason looked for something spicer. He found a New Orleans style Bouron chili that was perfect for him. I had a yummy peanut butter and chocolate rice krispy treat for dessert. Just before dark we went on a hayride. Then gathered around a bonfire to get warmed up afterward. Hayride pics (and above pictures) taken from friend’s facebook. (Thanks!)


In case you don’t have a good chili recipe, I thought I’d share. This is the recipe my mom has been using from a 35 year old Betty Crocker cookbook plus some modifications we’ve made. I turns out very colorful.

Chili con Carne with Tomatoes

1 lb (or so) of ground beef
1 big sweet onion, chopped
1-2 large green peppers, chopped (I used 4 small ones from the garden, some turning orange)
1 can (1 lb 12 oz) peeled whole tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 tsp chili powder (original recipe calls for 2 tsp)
1/8 tsp salt (I always end up adding more)
1/8 tsp cayenne red pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
2 cans (15.5 oz) beans (I used 1 red kidney and 1 black bean)

Cook and stir ground beef, onions and green peppers in a large pot until meat is brown and onion is tender (15 minutes or so). Stir in remaining ingredients except for beans.

Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours covered, stirring occasionally, or 45 minutes uncovered. Break up whole tomatoes with a spoon. Stir in beans and heat until warm.

Suggested fixins: finely shredded cheddar, sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, crackers

Fall Flowers & Foliage



While we were building mini greenhouses on Saturday, I couldn’t resist taking photos of some of our flowers and plants in their fall splendor. The succulent above seems to change colors for every season. I love the rusty orange-brown for October!


Lavender is still going strong. I love the frosty blue-green leaves against the purple buds. The smell makes me gag, though. 🙂


A couple of red azalea flowers still hanging on.


Monarch butterfly caterpillars enjoying our parsley.


I decided to pick the last of the basil and attempt to preserve it for cooking through the winter. Also, before chopping down the last of the zinnia bushes, I cut a few flowers to make two final vases.


In a random conversation with a stranger, I learned of a technique for saving and storing fresh basil that I decided to try. I cut up the leaves into small strips with cooking shears and mixed them in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil. Then I spooned the mixture into an ice cube tray and drizzled with more EVOO. Once they’re solid, I put the cubes into a ziplock bag. I’m hoping these basil-cubes will work! I LOVE fresh basil in my pasta.


Black bamboo: you are stunning. I love you.

Smells like Heaven


Clean laundry is my favorite smell in the world. Not the artificial clean laundry smell they use for candles and air freshener – REAL clean laundry. I love it! Which makes me wonder why I was prioritizing price over smell (and apparently, quality).


After 2 of my husband’s dark gray shirts got bleached by low quality cheapo detergent (I won’t mention the name but it’s pictured above in the blue bottle.), I decided to start buying Tide again. Tide smells wonderful. Combined with Bounce fabric softener sheets? HEAVENLY. Can’t wait to be enveloped by my clean sheets tonight!


In case you’re wondering, we have done anything else with our master bathroom since Stage 2. But, we have shopped around for .75″x.75″ porcelain tiles and we’ve still been looking for a MCM cabinet to use as a bathroom vanity.


Not Too Trashy, Right?


Jason and I spent the afternoon Saturday making cold frames (mini greenhouses) for some of our tender plants—agave, hen & chicks, pineapples, cherry tomatoes, palm tree. They’re actually very simple to make using old wood-frame windows screwed together with 3″ screws. Just be careful not to break the glass with the screws. (We only did that once.)



We’re using storm windows to cover the tops of the frames and black trash bags under the greenhouses to attract more sunlight.


These should work well for starting seedlings in the spring too.


I thought this snail was cute. Jason thought it was gross. Then we cracked the glass in this window.


A Chinese windmill palm (I think…) is frost hearty after it’s been established for a couple of years. This is it’s first winter so we’re being extra cautious with a cold frame.


The moral of the story is: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. These windows were recycled. My parents had new windows put in their house last year and Jason snagged all the old ones before they got tossed. So… these look not too trashy, right?


Lucy, our Mid-Century-Modern Life mascot, kept an eye on things from the lounge chair. She’ll be 5 next month. She’s really starting to act like an old dog, which we find to be very entertaining.


Even though it was cold outside (I’m allowed to call 60º cold, right?) Jason and I enjoyed a lemon berry fruit slush from Sonic. Happy Hour baby! This giganto drink was only $1.03!!

Phone Photo Friday




Pretty sunset, God.

Here Comes the Bride



Anyone else looking forward to a particular TV show wedding tonight almost as much as some real-life weddings?


It’s the only (current) TV series I watch so I feel OK about my irrational excitement. That totally justifies it, right?

On a Bicycle Built for Two


For a couple who met four years ago on a bike ride and in planning their wedding found a vintage Schwinn tandem bike to use as their getaway vehicle, these wedding invitations were the perfect fit. Congratulations Paul and Erin! I hope your wedding is beautiful.


It’s such an honor to be able to create unique wedding invitations for friends and strangers. It’s not that expensive to get something custom made and what a difference it can make in the first impression of a  wedding. Wedding stationery is definitely one of my favorite things to design.

If you’re interested in seeing some of my other wedding invitation designs, visit my Etsy shop.

Meet the Wilsons



Meet the Wilsons: Sully, Kortney, Jett and Dave (and their new baby girl Lennox, not pictured). They live in our neighborhood.  Jason played guitar in their band for several months last year. And he used to work for Kortney. They have their own reality show on CMT Canada. That makes them celebrities. So basically, we’re famous, too. (Just kidding.)


If any of you live in Canada, please do me a favor and check out their show on Sunday nights. Not only is it not on TV here, but I’m very sad that I can’t watch the episodes online. They’re a super fun family. Dave and Kortney are attempting to launch their country music career while raising 3 little kiddos, flipping houses and working other jobs. I’m sure their crazy life will make for a very interesting show.


A Perfectly Lovely Weekend


This past weekend was so wonderful! It started Friday when Jason met me at work with Chick-fil-A for lunch (including chocolate milkshakes.) Then we got on the road towards Valhermoso, Alabama where J was playing guitar in the worship band with our pastor Lindell Cooley at an outdoor festival. Besides the damp chilliness as it got dark, the night was perfect: two hours of worship and dancing and celebrating God, getting to hang out with 2 of my sweet friends and their adorable kiddos, watching our pastor get completely undignified jumping around the stage dancing and worshipping, and ending the night with fireworks! I love fireworks. Here are a few pictures I didn’t take:


Jason and I absolutely adore that little girl (and her parents are pretty amazing, too)! Getting to hold her always makes our days.


Her mama adores her too.


This sweet little boy is going to be a big brother this spring! I love this kid and his mama, too.


Our husbands, our pastor, and the rest of the band picking out some songs for the night (not that Lindell ever sticks to the setlist!).

Saturday, after sleeping in late, J got together with his bro to work on some recording stuff and us ladies went shopping. Found some great deals at the thrift stores and Macy’s. Had my first real fruit slush from Sonic (Half-price happy hour between 2-4pm – seriously?! My drink cost $0.50! Hello mid-century prices!!)

Later that night we went to PM for sushi with friends and then downtown Nashville to the art crawl. We ended a lovely Saturday falling asleep on the couch in front of Seinfeld in a “Roma-coma”. (Drifting into a peaceful rest after gorging yourself on Roma pizza!)

Sunday after church we had lunch at the brand-new abode of some dear friends; overate and then relaxed on the couch on a peaceful rainy afternoon.

I seriously can’t imagine a more perfect weekend. I am so thankful for our friends, for our church and our pastor, for our family. We don’t normally have a weekend that includes just about EVERYTHING we love: worship, friends, BBQ, music, fireworks, friends, art, sushi, “sleepovers”, church, friends, resting. Ahhh. Thank you Lord!