September 27, 2010

Eye Candy This Week

These are my latest drool worthy mentions:

Bobble-Knit Lumbar Pillow
Pottery Barn

Sweater-Knit Throw
Pottery Barn

Natural Tree-Stump Side Table
West Elm

(even though I would have called this
an ottoman rather than a side table...
but no one is knocking on my door asking)

These are some things that make me feel happy when I see them.

Cooler air is setting in.
Leaves are falling.
Colors of the scenery are changing.

I think I'm into

What do YOU think?

What is YOUR eye candy this week?

As always, thanks for visiting

September 26, 2010

Fall Family Visit...

Dad and Linda finally made their way back to the
East Coast for a much deserved extended stay.

Boy, was it hard to wait the 10 months since we'd seen them last.

As you can see from the smiles, we were all
more than happy they were here.

I know the photo is a bit fuzzy
(again, we are NOT professionals)
but we didn't care.

The weather was sunny and beautiful...almost too beautiful.
I think they brought the San Diego sun...temps got a bit balmy that week.

Tatum and Gramps check out the view off the Master Balcony.

Grandma and Tess talk about all their plans for the next week.

G & G showered the family with love, affection and
goodies all week.

We are still die hard Charger fans...despite the East Coast move.
(thanks for the new visor, guys!)

We spent the week doing all the things we love:

Eating well

pointing out the cool East Coast foliage
(love the GW Parkway)

Driving around town discovering unseen Historical Sights
(White House tour, Mt. Vernon, Pentagon and
of course the National Mall)

Cheering the girls on as they dribble, pass, run and sweat
(Hello soccer practice and cross-country meet)

*not to mention all the Mr. Fix-It items my dad
tackled on my ever growing "to do" list.
Thanks, Dad!

It was so great to have family to hang out with.

There really is nothing like it.
That is what life is made out of, really.

We had a great week and now count down the days until we can do it again.

Thanks for a great time,
Dad and Linda!

We miss you already.

As always, thanks for visiting.

September 20, 2010

Fall Welcome!

It is the smell that tips me off before the sights...


You know that smell in the morning...that crisp, dewy fall smell.
That is usually the first thing I notice before any leaves turn,
any fall decor in store fronts, or even before Football season begins.

It's official.
It's my favorite season of all time.

I like to get out my favorite fall candle
(Yankee Harvest, in case anyone is interested)

I like to get out my fall recipes:
soups mostly and stuff with squash in it.

But that is really not what this post is about...

Sorry, I digress.

The Brookes fam is expecting another set of visitors today.

We are expecting these guys:


The house is clean.
Candle is burning.
Guestroom is ready.

I did make a few seasonal changes to help with the "welcome".

If you remember this porch post,
you'll appreciate the "new" look.

Had to throw a little fall in the picture...
Tell me what you think.

How do you dress up your house for fall?
As always, thanks for visiting.

September 15, 2010

Favorite New Song Find

My daughter turned me on to this song.
Listened to it once and was hooked.

Little Lion Man



my new favorite London quartet,
released this song as their debut single.

Can you guess which song is
going to be downloaded on my ipod next?


*There is one inappropriate word in it
(sorry, to those under aged ears...didn't intend for that)

Let me know what you think.
As always, thanks for visiting...

September 14, 2010

The Modern Day Charm Bracelet

Are you looking for just the right gift to get that special gal pal in your life?
Your daughter? Your mother?
Let me enlighten you with the latest and greatest jewelry craze.


Founded in Denmark in 1982, this company has hit it's mark. Now a world wide delight,
these "design your own" bracelets are all the rage.

PANDORA bracelets are created with a patented threading system that allows charms to be placed, added and rearranged to your own liking on the actual bracelet. Available beads, or "charms" are available in sterling silver, 14 carat gold and murano glass, sometimes with semi-precious and precious stones.

Other accessories for the bracelets include spacers and clips, which secure the lose beads in place and prevent them from falling off the bracelet when it is opened. One must screw each bead onto a small section at the beginning of the bracelet and across two small sections along the bracelet. This allows for the separation of beads, creation of patterns and prevents the beads from falling off.

Bracelets run from $40 all the way up to $1170 for a solid gold bracelet
Charms, clips and spacers vary from $25 on up.

Although it can be a pricey endeavor it is fun to pick out favorite beads and watch your bracelet grow.

I have been turned on to these glimmering little beauties by some great friends back home. After starting my own bracelet, I am now "linked" to my peeps with the love of our own uniquely individual, and stunning bracelets...all the same, yet different.

In fact, for a recent gift giving occasion, one was sent to me!
Now we all three have the same charm on our bracelets.
Makes me think of them each and every time I see it.

This is what mine looks like.
See that starfish bead?
That is the bead that unites!

Let me know your thoughts.
As always, thanks for visiting...

September 10, 2010

Favorite Fall Foods

Diet Coke Roast

Love making this in the fall.

You will find it to be quite the crowd pleaser,
and it feeds many.

Here is what you'll need:

Put all your ingredients in one of these bad boys.

Next you will add these 3 ingredients
atop your favorite roast
(a shoulder roast works well for me)

one package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix

One Can of Diet Coke

One Can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup


Let cook on low all day.
The meat will fall apart...and that's a good thing.

Mashed potatoes go great with this because
of the yummy gravy it produces.

I also like to add steamed broccoli to the plate.
Throw a little garlic, basil mayo on the side and forget about it!

Complete meal!

As always, thanks for visiting.
Let me know if you try it...I love comments.

September 8, 2010

Project Time!

Kids are back in school.
Got it.
Routine is back.

You know what that means?

It's Project Time!

Who's with me?

I'm going to invite you to join me on this one.
Kind of like a group effort, here.

I'm pretty sure I've got two other bloggers behind me on this.

Peardownliving (Seattle)
Mi Casa (San Diego)

Let me know if you'd like to join in on the home project fun.
We'd love to have you.

We are going to document our progress and
(hopefully) post some before and after pics.

This is what we are attempting:

Adore, right?

This particular one is a DIY project.

Here is the same "look" at Restoration Hardware but for a lot more moolah.

This is called a Subway Sign used way back when to indicate the next stop
on a subway, bus or tram. Cool, huh?

As you can imagine, you can personalize your words into phrases, mottos to live by,
or even places you and your family have visited or lived...the list goes on.

Here is a website, I found, that actually specializes in this very thing.
Check it out:

This is what they made for another blogger.


Are you feeling it?
Can you see the possibilities, here?

Rather than pay someone else to have fun and make this...
we can roll up our sleeves and dive in, right?

Regardless, this is my next mission.
No timetable, though, so be patient with me.

Just thought I'd sweeten the creative pot with the next fun idea.

Tell me what you think...
As always, thanks for visiting.

September 7, 2010

Middle and High...School, that is

It is the dawning of a new age...
a new era...
a new chapter in our educational journey.

Elementary School is dead to us.

We have moved onto
higher level learning,
an awareness of the opposite sex
(Oh, Lordy be).

Marshall High School

Kilmer Middle

Here we come to conquer the day!

Hey, Mr. Brookes. Get out of there!
This is not YOUR first day of school.

My Freshman

Middle Schoolers
(7th graders to be exact)

Yeah for school!

Tell me how YOUR first day of school send off went.

As always, thanks for visiting.

September 3, 2010

West Elm Super Sleek Side Table

Sleek Slender Side Table

This is the Super Sleek Side Table
West Elm

That I want for THIS chaise in our "reading corner"

There is something about a table that takes up very little space
yet provides a spot for my beverage of choice,
whether it be a woodsy Merlot in the evening or
a hot cup of Steamy Joe in the morning.


As always, thanks for visiting

September 2, 2010

Laptops and Ipads, Oh My!

It happened...
It was wonderful.
It was decisive.
It was earned.
It was ownership.
It was deserved.


As you know, back in February, my girls started

3 sisters sitting service

You can read all about it here.

Lo and behold they started getting calls, and more calls and
now we call those calls "regulars".

It's been great.
The girls stood tall in responsibility.
They became savvy little financiers.
They made financial goals.
They saved most of their money and
spent a little.

...all part of moms grand master plan.

Finally it was time.
They were ready to make that BIG purchase.

We researched.
We picked and
we purchased.

It was pure reward.
Check it out...

As parents we love to make our kids happy
and shower them with stuff they'll love.

But nothing is sweeter than
seeing your kids pay for a well earned, well deserved
item of choice that
they worked for,
sweat for and
saved for?

Delayed gratification builds character.

Would love to hear some
good sweat equity stories on your end.

Thanks to my mom and dad for teaching me
good old fashion saving techniques and passing those on to my kids.

As always, thanks for visiting.