Architectural Trellis


Jason and I had been brainstorming what kind of architectural design element we could add to our house to create a backdrop for our spineless prickly pear cactus (which is the same color as our house.) At one point we were considering using decorative concrete block.

As we’ve also been discussing the design of a fence for our backyard, Jason decided to create the accent for the front of our house using the same style we’re thinking of for the fence. He used 1×2 untreated planks and 2×4’s for support, then stained the whole structure before mounting it onto the house. (I helped a little with that step.)

It took a little bit of getting used to but I’m really loving it now! We’ve decided to call it an architectural trellis (or an architrellis!).


Design Lounge


My company moved to a new office space several weeks ago. (Yes, that’s the 4th location in 4 years if you’re counting.) In the designers’ area there is a space large enough to create a lounge. Our manager suggested that the other designers and I come up with furniture ideas and present them to our boss. Here’s what we came up with, all in the $850 range:

#1: $841 Mid-century sofa from Urban Outfitters, TULLSTA chairs in white from IKEA, African Suns rug from Urban Outfitters

#2: $841 Mid-century sofa from Urban Outfitters, TULLSTA chairs in white from IKEA, Chenille rug from Urban Outfitters

#3: $827 KARLSTAD sofa from IKEA, TULLSTA chairs in white from IKEA, JORUN rug from IKEA

My two fellow designers and I decided that we liked #1 the best. Except that one design homie didn’t like the rug and he suggested red chairs instead of white so they won’t show dirt as easily:

#4: $841 Mid-century sofa from Urban Outfitters, TULLSTA chairs in red from IKEA (no rug)

I just saw while I was posting this that the Chenille rugs from Urban Outfitters are on sale for $19 … hmm. Maybe I can convince my bosses that we need one of those. Or maybe I can convince Jason that we need one in our house!

Where have you been?


Sorry for my absence this week. Aside from my day job I’ve been soaking up lots of Jason time: going out for dates, meeting up with friends, taking a day trip to IKEA, working on landscaping projects in the dark, entertaining new friends at our home, watching shooting stars from a hot tub on a cool night … we’ve been been busy, y’all!

Where have YOU been this week?

Bonus phone photo this week: Lucy sticking her tongue out at me after I gave her a bath and a haircut.

Phone Photo Friday


New doormat for the fall.

Phone Photo Friday


Basil Cubes: Saving Fresh Basil


I love adding fresh sweet basil to my Italian food but sadly, basil is one of the few herbs that doesn’t survive through the winter in our garden. It often drops enough seeds that it will come back in the spring. If not, we buy a plant and I can’t wait until it’s mature enough to pluck off some leaves to chop up and sprinkle on my pasta. Two years ago a fellow basil lover shared a little secret with me: basil can be frozen with extra virgin olive oil to make basil cubes! I’ve never tried drying basil, but freezing it is great way to preserve fresh basil and save it for cooking through the winter.

Before the first frost warning, I start by cutting back most of the basil plant. I left one branch with flowers and seeds on the plant.

Then I chop it up pretty fine. I used the food processor / blender for the second batch and it worked a lot better. If the leaf pieces are too big they wont stick together enough to freeze with the e.v.o.o.

Mix the chopped basil with extra virgin olive oil. (Again, chopped finer than this is better.)

Spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray, packing it pretty tightly.

After the cubes are frozen—I waited until the next day—they’re ready to be popped out of the ice cube tray. I used a knife to loosen the edges of the basil cubes from the tray and flipped them on to a piece of wax paper. The olive oil melts pretty quickly so work fast.

I store my basil cubes in a couple of layers of zip lock bags and stick them back in the freezer.

To use the basil cubes, I toss them in with pasta sauce as it’s cooking or heating. It would probably work to put one in with hot, cooked pasta too. It doesn’t take much for the e.v.o.o. to melt. Not as good as freshly picked basil but it’ll get me through the winter!

Kitchen Coat Area


Since we lost the hall coat closet to my new home office, I decided to do a mini makeover of our angled kitchen wall. I once had big plans to turn this into a wall of pegboard on the bottom and cork tiles on the top. Apparently a lot of people liked that idea because it’s one of my most popular post. Maybe we’ll still do that someday but for now, I repurposed a small coat rack from IKEA, painted it the same teal as my home office nook and hung it below my Are You Happy? flow chart. Quick easy solution.