Thursday, April 4, 2013

I Hear Crickets

Cricket cricket.
I call bull**** on myself.
"My New Years resolution is to devote more time to blogging."
Really, Ashley?
Yeah, I'm a failure and a liar.
I fully admit to that.

I've probably lost my few readers.

Carlo is 9 months old now and to simply put it... I'm a busy mom.
Boy do I have respect for all you mamas out there doing your blog thang.
I can't seem to hack it.
I continue to obsess over interior design.
I love sharing my home with you.
And I miss my blog and all of you desperately.

Between Carlo's tummy troubles and his larger than life personality,
I just can't seem to find the time.
.wash bottles.
.change diapers.
.do laundry.
.bathe carlo.
.bathe myself.
."try keeping the cottage" in order.
.being a wife and a mom.
.taking part in the outside world.

Uff.  It's not as easy as it looks, people.
Okay enough about poor me.
Complaining is the one thing I'm good at lately.

Things are a-happening around here.
Carlo will be 1 in June!
That means we will be throwing a party and the cottage needs sprucing.
I'll be tidying and decorating the interior
but for the most part we will focus on the exterior of the home.
I know it's an important aspect to a home.  Good ol' curb appeal.
I do tend to judge a home based on how it looks from the outside.
So superficial, no?
I just can't get passed spending all that money
dumping hm... all over.
And paint.  
Ah, the topic at our place right now.
Can we get by another summer?
Hubby says yes.  Mommy says no.
We are currently in the process of receiving some quotes.
I've already lost myself in paint colors.
Picking paint for the outside is no joke.

Here's a reminder of how our home's exterior is looking these days.

She's a charmer, no?
That's why we chose her!
I needed about 5 more years of dual income and no baby
to get her to where she needed to be.

Wouldn't trade the little guy for the world though!
So we'll make due and get creative.

Some thoughts and inspiration coming your way!

And one of my Easter babe, just because!
Promise to keep you in the loop.
Until next time!

*photos courtesy of letschipit, houzz, unknown, unknown

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Let's Catch Up Next Year?

I wished you a Happy Thanksgiving.
 I'm going to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I'm slacking.
I hope to bring life back to the blog in the coming year!
New Years resolution numero uno.
2 days to go...

...look how much my man has grown.

Let's catch up next year?

*photos courtesy of homebunch; crush cul de sac

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

5 Months Flew By...

Hello, friends!
How I've missed you...
Things are quite slow around the cottage.
I do, however, have a few things I'm working on.
Most of my time is spent taking care of Carlo.
We have good days and bad.
His poor little tummy...

I missed Halloween on blog land...
...and I can't believe Thanksgiving is upon us.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year. 
God blessed us with the greatest gift of all.
Our son.

I pray that Carlo continues to grow strong.
I look forward to showing you more of the cottage very soon.
I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

*photos courtesy of home life magazine, home stories a to z

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Cool Drink of Water: Master Bathroom Sinks

It's been a month since I last blogged.
I'm so embarrassed!
But Carlo has been my main priority.
As I've explained in past blog entries, Carlo has MSPI.
That's an allergy/intolerance to cow's milk and soy.
He also has some reflux.
It's truly been an experiment trying to get our little guy to feel better.
Finally, 3 1/2 months in and I see some improvement.
I'm going to keep my fingers crossed.
I truly believe that Carlo's the only thing in this world
 that could keep me away from design.
I need some creative energy in my life though.
I finally convinced the hubs that we could take on the master bath remodel.
It would be an ongoing project for us and we could
use the other full bath during the process.
He told me to begin hunting for deals.
This may take awhile considering our sons formula is costing us
a pretty penny
I began my search for sinks/consoles.
Ideally, I would have liked to find an antique buffet or dresser to convert into a vanity.
I haven't been successful yet.
Here are some other options for us to consider.
We would need two of the single styles.
{Restoration Hardware Weathered Oak Single Console}
{Kingston Brass Wall Mounted Double Leg Sink}
{St. Thomas Double Pedestal Sink}
{Restoration Hardware Gramercy Washstand}
I'd like this in the single or double stand.
Pretty darn pricey though!
Any thoughts? HELP!
In the meantime I'll keep my eyes open for an antique piece!
Can't give up on that dream quite yet.
Stay tuned.  I'm going to reveal our finished mudroom!
*photos courtesy of restoration hardware, faucet direct, faucet direct, restoration hardware

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ready To Take a Bite Out of the CL Fair!

Hey, all!
My house and my plans for it are falling a part!
I spend my days and nights stuck on the couch...literally.
I know it's not forever.  I need to keep reminding myself of that.
And boy, what I wouldn't do for Carlo.

Yes, in this instance, this is intended for my son.
Don't we all feel that way about our children?
I can stare at that dude for hours.  

Enough mush.  More design.

Before moving to the upstairs master bedroom and bath,
I'd like to finish the mudroom and dining room (maybe family room!?)
That sounds like a lot, no?
The family room may not be done before heading upstairs,
but the other two rooms shouldn't be a problem as they are almost finished.
Items for these two rooms are on my radar.
Hello, Country Living Fair!
I'm looking forward to it. 
Last year we hit the jackpot on a few items
and spending some time with my husband sounds like pure bliss.

I have one wall in my dining room that I can't commit anything to.
That's why I need your help.
Shelves? Plate display A painting?

One option would be to install shelves and display pictures/frames/cake name it.
Another idea is to have something custom built to display platters and dishes
similar to those in the three images above.
My final option is hanging a large painting.
I'm loving this one from Ballard Designs.

These are some of the things that I think about while gazing into the eyes of my boy.
I can't wait to share my day at the fair with you.
Hopefully, I'll get inspired and get out of my reality t.v. and p.j. rut.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!

*photos courtesy of crush de cul de sac, milk and honey home, unknown, southern living, nine and sixteen, nine and sixteen, ballard designs 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Baby Carlo's Must Have Items!

During my pregnancy, I did a lot of baby product research.
I was a first time mom without a clue.
I figured no one would be better informed then other moms.
So reviews it was.
Some items were hits while others were complete misses.
What works for some babies doesn't always work for others.
You need to keep that in mind.
I'll keep it real -
Carlo has some pretty cool gadgets that he doesn't seem all that interested in.

I went ahead and put together our must have list.
At 2 1/2 months old, our list is likely to change (and fast!)
But for's what we're loving.
From one mom to another (or a soon to be!)
I hope this helps!

1. Baby Aquaphor - one word...obsessed!
I use this on Carlo's tushy in between diaper changes and on his face when he's in character (a tiger!)
Any scratches he gives himself clears up within a day.  I call that magic!

2. Nap Nanny Chill - It's sort of big and pretty pricey.  However, with Carlo's acid reflux, this is the only way Carlo will sleep on his own.  The Nap Nanny was designed on an incline to keep the little one upright.  The giraffe print is super cute too! 

3. Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets - I don't know where I'd be without these blankets.  If your little one likes being swaddled (Carlo doesn't), they make for the perfect swaddling blankets.  They are super soft and easy to work with.  We use them as blankies, burp cloths, you name it.  Again, super cute prints.  Baby blankets with peacock feathers? Ring me out for a few more.

4. Wubbanub Pacifiers - We've got a few of these little guys.  They stay in your little ones mouth easier since they prop up on their chest and our easy to find when they've gone lost.  Enough said.

5. Mustela Products - There isn't one product I haven't liked.  The fragrance is light and they don't irritate Carlo's sensitive skin. 

6. 4moms Clearwater Infant Tub - Yes, we're embarassed to admit that we spent nearly $100 dollars on a bath tub.  It was before we had him (not sure we would agree to dropping that kind of dough now).  But this thing is purely genius.  The tub filters water through it so that your little one is never sitting in soiled water.  It also reads the temperature and tells you when it's safe for your babe to bathe.  As a first time mom, that reassurance is priceless.  Let me warn you, this tub doesn't come without it's problems. We've had the thermometer fall out a few times.  For that kind of money, nothing should go wrong!  It still makes my list though.

7. Dekor Diaper Pail - Normally, I despise these things.  Hoarding stinky diapers in one place is stomach turning to a neat freak like myself.  I've used them at other moms homes and have always felt that I was pealing the skin of my hand trying to push the diaper down the small hole.  This diaper pail is easy to use and extremely easy to change.  Yes, the diapers are still smelly.  But if you change out the bag often, it will be a lifesaver to you and your family.

I'm always on the hunt for new products.
Do you have any must haves that you can share with me?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fallin' for World Market!

World Market's fall line recently caught my eye.
During my escape (oops! did I say that?)
from the cottage and from the babe,
I stopped at some of my favorite stores
to re-energize and to get my design fix. 
World Market (Cost Plus) is one of those stores
 that never seems to disappoint.  Lately, they truly get it.
It's great for those of us who love a look but who may not want
to commit to the trend or empty out their pockets.
My kind of place!

I snapped pictures of some finds while I was there.
Then I jumped online to see what else they would eventually get in for the season.
Without a doubt, I would purchase this armchair.
The upholstery is a zebra print linen and is nice to the touch.
The wood is weathered gray.
Nice, World Market!
The chair normally retails for $249.99. 
Right now you can snatch it up for $219.99.

Ikat print has increased in popularity over the past few years.
This chair features walnut spindle legs and pewter nail head accents.
Personally, I wouldn't use more than one of these chairs in a space.
I do, however, think that it would be a great addition to an office or
a space where the chair could really stand on it's own.
For a limited time, you can purchase the chair for $99.99!

This rolling steamer trunk bar stopped me in my tracks.
I'm not sure it's something I'd use here at the cottage,
but it's a unique piece to have in a room.
Here is a picture from the website
that shows how it looks from the outside.
The trunk is wrapped with straw hemp and is trimmed with faux leather.
You can get one for $449.99!  It normally sells for $649.99.

We're seeing cowhide in the design world a lot lately.
Cowhide is great on it's own or when it's layered with other rugs.
It's $329.99.  Unfortunately, it's not a part of the dining sale.
Sign up to become a member and get 10% off :D

Here are a few other items I found while browsing online.
The mix of wood and metal is sure to be a conversation starter.
I can see this looking great in a breakfast nook!
This table is a part of the dining sale and will run you $319.99.

I've got an obsession for all things rattan/wicker
 (you name it...I love it!)
I would adore these placed around a table.
A comfortable yet chic look!

Love the pearlized look!
Actually, a lot of their flatware is pretty snazzy.
Take a lot for yourself!

On another note, I can't believe it's September.
Time for football, sweatshirts, and warm beverages.
My summer flew by due to the birth of my son.
He's such a great little guy.
We have been battling a milk protein allergy and acid reflux.
Not easy.
Let's just say I got the baby 411 down now.
I know what works.  What doesn't.
In a future blog entry, I plan on highlighting some of my favorite baby items.
Stay tuned!

Anyone going to the Country Living Fair this year?

Hopefully, one of our lovely family members will watch Carlo
so that Rob and I can attend.
Anyone reading this? HAHA!
We do plan on going to the Columbus, OH show.
Let us know if you will be there!

Enjoy your long weekend!

*photos courtesy of world market and country living