The Past Few Weeks, According to My Phone

Oh, hey, everyone. I really hate when I don’t post for a long time, but I’ve been stupid busy, which is partly good and partly just obnoxious. I have a bunch of projects I want to start/finish and a bunch of things I want to take pictures of, but I haven’t had a free second! Boohoo, poor me, etc. So, I figured I’d share a few of the things with iPhone pictures of subpar quality. Please, keep in mind that I took most of these for myself, so the areas of my home you’re about to see are, uh, not styled or cleaned up or prettified. We’re keeping it real today.

I recently took some rough measurements of our downstairs to get an idea of how much it might cost to redo the terrible, tragic floors, and I confirmed what I already knew – that it’s going to be a while before we can afford it. So, I’ve endeavored to cover them up as much as possible so that my hatred for them won’t burn me up inside with QUITE as hot of a fire. I started with this runner from Overstock.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Foyer with gold frames and geometric area rug

I pushed myself out of my gray comfort zone to get the Brown/Bone, and ultimately, I’m glad I did. We needed some warmer shades up in here, and it also should be pretty good at disguising dirt. In the above photo, you can also see that we’ve made some progress on the gold frame collage in the stairway, and you can see my new vintage brass(-ish) mini cabinet thing in the bottom left! I don’t know what time period it’s from or even what to call it, but I just love it. I found it at DuPre’s Antique Market in Marietta Square and felt that I couldn’t live without it, so my mom bought it for me as an early birthday gift. I’ll post better pictures of it some day soon!

I’m still pretending to know how to take care of plants, so I got a few hanging baskets for our porch. I did a fair amount of research on shade-friendly flowers that can handle being neglected, and I came up with lobelia.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Hanging lobelia

Aren’t they pretty? They droop when they’re thirsty, then I water them and they perk back up. I like plants that tell me what they want.

Speaking of plants, I was CRAZY bored the other night, so I said to myself, “Self, you should gold leaf something,” and the first thing that came to mind was terra cotta pots, a la The Hunted Interior. I’m really feeling how they came out.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY gold leafed terra cotta pots

I usually try not to tell the internet if I’m going out of town, but now that I’m back, I can tell you that I spent last weekend in California(!). Brad was there working with our insanely talented friends from Manchester Orchestra, so I got to see them play two nights in a row.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Manchester Orchestra Cope tour

I’ve been to many Manchester shows, but they inexplicably get better every time I see them, and this tour is particularly amazing. If there’s a show near you and it isn’t already sold out, you need to get yourself a ticket.

For another part of my trip, I visited my dear friend Katie in San Francisco.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Steph and Katie in San Francisco

Katie and I met in college, and after graduation, we both scattered across the country, so we don’t get to see each other much. I was really pumped to spend even a couple days with her, and she showed me SUCH a good time. I love San Francisco! I couldn’t believe how GREEN everything was. I know I probably drove everybody nuts by talking about the plant life so much, but it’s just a really beautiful city. And really fun, too.

Another great thing about Katie is that she introduced me to this amazing kale and brussels sprout salad recipe.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Kale and brussels sprout salad

I made it the other night and it was even more delicious than I expected. To counteract the healthy factor, I served it with spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches. Holy moly.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Spinach artichoke grilled cheese

I find food photography to be an extremely intimidating art form, and I’m pretty sure this phone photo hasn’t captured the magic of these sandwiches. But trust me when I tell you that they may be one of the tastiest things I’ve ever put in my mouth. TRY THEM. TODAY.

Jumping back to when I went out of town: My dog, Macy, had a bit of a tough time. She was at the kennel and decided she was just done and wanted out, so she wouldn’t let anyone near her. I had to hire a trainer to go pick her up (PS: Frogs to Dogs is AMAZING) and then our petsitter took care of her the rest of the weekend. She’s a very special creature, and I just want to be with her and protect her at all times.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Steph and Macy

My poor sweet little fool.

Lastly, I ordered this rug during the Rugs USA Mother’s Day sale, and it came today. Imagine my surprise when I unrolled it and instead of being violet, it was hot pink. Of course, I had to lay it out to see how it looked.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Rugs USA Windsor Overdyed Grove Rug in Pink

This is what it was supposed to look like:

Windsor Overdyed Grove Rug in Violet

Ohh, you guys, I don’t know what to do. Fuchsia is my favorite. And I think that would look really good in here. But the pink is so cheerful and warm, and it has less of the distressed white parts, and UGH, I don’t know. I attempted to PhotoShop it into fuchsia to see how it would look.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room with Photoshopped rug

I’m very, very torn. I’m not sure I can live with myself if I don’t try the fuchsia, but how much would it stink if I sent the pink back and ended up liking it better? I’m going to call Rugs USA tomorrow and see what my options are.

So, that’s what’s been going on in my neck of the woods. What’s up with all of you?

Keeping Our Home Cohesive

Hello, friends. Is everyone having a nice spring? I’ve been having a lot of fun cooing over all my new plants on the deck (I deadhead my hanging baskets daily and I LOVE it) and actually attempting some gardening in back. Last weekend, I got 300 free ladybugs from Pike Nursery to take care of the aphid problem on my rosebushes and released them at midnight. It was totally cool, and now whenenever I see them (I assume they’re the same ones), I cheer them on. I am a big old dork. Go ladybugs, go!

Another thing I’m having fun with is decorating the final frontier of our house: the two upstairs bathrooms. We painted them and replaced some light switch plates when we moved in, but other than that, they’ve been largely abandoned, and I finally just got sick of it. Since they’re bathrooms (i.e. small and more easily changed), I’m giving myself a little leeway to try new things. I really try to be brave with our home decor, but because I have such design ADD, I worry a lot about our house looking like a crazy person lives in it. I mean, there’s eclectic, and then there’s just whacky.

Lately, I’ve been so inspired by Lesley W. Graham‘s gorgeous home. Her aesthetic is modern farmhouse, and she uses that as a guide to keep things cohesive. I try to use my style as a guide, too, but modern rustic glam doesn’t give me much in terms of parameters. I can’t even really use our house’s architecture style as a guide. I mean, it’s a 1980s … neo colonial? Or something? I love it, but it doesn’t have much character. I know what I can’t do in here (I probably couldn’t pull off formal Hollywood Regency or super-rustic farmhouse, for example), but it doesn’t exactly inspire me, either.

To try and give myself better parameters, I recently made a new Pinterest board called “Rooms I Could Live In.” I’m trying to collect design inspiration that I could really apply in our home, and that I actually have the balls for. I adore things like marble walls and velvet upholstered doors and rose gold bar stools, but let’s be honest: I don’t have the cajones. Or the money.

When I got really honest and selective with my pins, I discovered a few common threads:

  • Warm woods. OK, I knew that one!
    Style by Emily Henderson - Wood and brass dresser

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Pops of color on accessories and neutrals on the bigger pieces. This one was more of a surprise. I’m crazy into bright colors, but when I look at the rooms I pinned, there isn’t color everywhere. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

  • Brass and gold used semi-sparingly. This house just isn’t fancy enough to have gold everywhere. I know this. I also know that I can’t afford to replace brass faucets and light fixtures and cabinet hardware everywhere when we’re trying to sell this place in the next 5-10 years. Must control the gold, as difficult as that is.
    White campaign dresser by Emily Henderson

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Mid-century pieces. What?! I’ve been telling myself I don’t like mid-century modern for years. And it’s true that I still don’t like anything shaped like a spaceship, or chrome, or anything too low to the ground. And Eames loungers still aren’t my thing. But I do like tapered legs, and hairpin legs, and straight lines, and warm woods mixed with brass. So I guess I like mid-century. Weird.

  • Chunky, rustic elements. But just a couple pieces mixed with more modern items.
    Rachel Bilson's living room via Lonny

    Via Lonny

  • Plants errywhere. Duh.
    Bri Emery's living room by Emily Henderson

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Patterned vintage-y rugs. I thought I was into modern, graphic patterns, but not so much when it comes to rugs! I just love the lived-in feeling that a worn-looking rug gives a space. I also inadvertently pinned a ton of off-white souk rugs, but my dog would somehow manage to vomit on one of those and stain it before I could even lay it down, so that’s out of the question.
    Emily Henderson's bedroom with warm woods and teal velvet

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • A lived-in, casual feel. This is key. Nothing tailored, nothing formal, nothing that looks even remotely uncomfortable or too precious.

Here’s a quick little mood board I made on Polyvore (which incidentally, is totally addicting):

Wood, gold and fuchsia


So, uh, with all that said … I still don’t know what our official aesthetic is. But at least I can try to be honest with myself about what I really like, and what I can realistically pull off. That’s better than no guidelines at all.

I recently put together a bunch of pictures of our home for a house tour, and I was pleased to see that the rooms don’t look as scatterbrained together as I thought they would. So, that’s good. Just gotta keep that up and rein in the crazy, I guess.

How do you keep your home cohesive? Have you picked an aesthetic to stick to, or do you fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best?

PS: Yes, I noticed that the vast majority of the rooms I like are by Emily Henderson. And that my last post about our style was all about her, too. Apparently, I just want to live inside her brain. I bet it’s pretty in there.

Post-Winter Hibernation Supplies: Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream


Does anyone else turn into a total slug over the winter? Or is it just me? Call it seasonal depression, call it hibernation, call it laziness – either way, from November to March, all I want to do is sink into my couch and inhale spaghetti and Chardonnay. And this spring, I’m lumbering out of my cave 10 pounds over my healthy weight with flabby arms, uneven skin and brittle hair. It’s a rough scene over here, my friends. And it’s time for me to do something about it.

Now that the sun is finally coming out, I need to protect my skin and give it some much-needed TLC, so when Studio Gear gave me a chance to try their Hydrating CC Cream with SPF 20, I didn’t need much convincing.

Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream

The “CC” stands for Color Correcting, and that’s exactly what I need. Over the years, I’ve done some serious damage to my skin with tanning beds (DON’T JUDGE ME; it was in college) and other unprotected sun exposure. And lately, I’ve had the joy of experiencing acne on my chin. Add that to seasonal dryness, and my face is a mess. Studio Gear’s Hydrating CC Cream is supposed to simultaneously fight aging, retain moisture, and cover and treat blemishes all while brightening and illuminating your skin. Gimme!

I chose the “Natural” shade (it also comes in “Linen” and “Wheat”), so I was surprised when the cream that came out of the tube was white.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Review of Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream

But when I rubbed it with my fingers, it turned to a more beige shade. Weird, right?

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream - Review

I applied it to bare skin and immediately noticed that my skin glowed a bit more and looked slightly smoother – and maybe even tighter? The CC cream has very little scent (always a plus when you’re using a product with SPF) and goes on smoothly and easily. I continued applying my regular makeup (Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation and Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder) and was thrilled with how much healthier my skin looked.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Before and after photos of Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream

You can definitely still see the freckles and pigmentation on my face, but let’s be realistic – I’m not going to be able to cover all of those without wearing a Halloween mask.

If you’re interested in seeing whether Studio Gear’s Hydrating CC Cream can improve your skin tone, you can save 10% at StudioGearCosmetics.com with this discount code: bloggercc. Make sure to comment and let me know what you think!

I’m trying out a few other things to kick my post-hibernation body back into shape and will share them over the next few weeks. Wish me luck!

Note: Studio Gear provided me a sample of the Hydrating CC Cream for review, but all opinions are my own.

Our Updated Deck: The Source List

If you follow me on any social media platform, you definitely now know that our updated deck was finally revealed on The Home Depot Apron blog yesterday. Woohoo!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Newly updated and colorful deck and pergola for The Home Depot Patio Style Challenge

I’m so sorry for the onslaught of self-promotion! I had three posts launch yesterday, and oodles of work and love went into each one. Just had to get them out there!

To everyone who has been supportive and excited and so, so sweet over the past couple months: thank you! I know all the sneak peeks and vague mentions have probably been a little irritating. I hope the reveal was worth it!

So, the majority of the items on our fancy new deck are from The Home Depot, but we also incorporated some things we already had, plus a few new pieces. I figured I’d share the sources in case anyone’s interested.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Sources for blue turquoise and fuchsia deck

The furniture set is the Hampton Bay Raynham 4-Piece Patio Seating Set from The Home Depot. We also bought a set of two matching ottomans.

The black and white striped outdoor rug is from Overstock. It was a gift from my mom and stepdad – thanks, guys!

The hanging baskets are from The Home Depot. Inspired by this beautiful window box, we stuffed them with alyssum, petunias and creeping jenny. They smell like heaven.

The teal chandelier is from Goodwill, and was painted with Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch spray paint in Lagoon.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Various potted plants on stands

The bronze watering can is from Target. I can’t find it on the site, but last time I checked (yesterday), they still had it in the store.

The aqua stool is from Ikea, and the three plants in it are croton petra, sedum and peperomia. All three pots were thrifted, and were spray-painted with Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Flat White, French Lilac and Aqua.

The black stepstool is from Ikea. It’s meant for indoor use, so I sanded it and coated it with spar varnish before putting it outside. The round cement planter, which holds a haworthia, is from Target (I can’t find it on the site, but it’s from this collection and should still be in most stores). The two white polka dot pots came from the planter cemetery in my garage, got spray-painted with Flat White, and hold another peperomia and a snapdragon (which refuses to bloom! Any tips?!). We found the brass urn in the garage, drilled a hole in the bottom, and added a ZZ plant. The oval gold planter was another garage find – we just spray-painted it with Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic in Gold and added three cacti.

The metal plant stand is from Target and also got spray-painted gold. The white glossy pot came from our garage and holds a sweet broom – which again, will not bloom anymore! What gives?!

The aqua and white pot, which I LOVE, is from HomeGoods, and holds a Persian Shield plant, which I also love. Look at those gorgeous purple leaves! I’m obsessed with it, and may or may not stroke it and whisper to it lovingly on a daily basis.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Hampton Bay Raynham chairs with blue and fuchsia throw pillows

The bronze “side table” between the chairs is actually made from a tall planter from Target (similar) and a 12″ pizza pan. It works pretty well, though the pizza pan fills with water when it rains. We’re debating drilling tiny holes in it (the planter has a drainage hole at the bottom), but we’re a little nervous about the cancer-causing particles that would fly out of the anti-stick coating.

I sewed all the throw pillow covers myself – quite the undertaking, but very rewarding! The geometric blue and white fabric (called “Baja Sapphire”) is from Forsyth Fabrics, as is the solid fuchsia (this might be it). PS: The solid fuchsia is the only one of the fabrics that isn’t meant for outdoor use, so I make sure to put it away when it’s not being used. The blue ikat fabric is called “Journey Sea Glass” by P Kaufmann and is from Fabric.com.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Black and white ikat and fuchsia suzani outdoor throw pillows

The black and white ikat fabric is called “Aztec Black” from Terrasol. It’s sold out on Fabric.com right now, which is where I bought it, but HouseFabric.com has it, too. The multicolored suzani fabric is called “Kaleidoscope Quartz” by Braemore, and I bought it on Ebay. A note about my pillows: I honestly just couldn’t afford to buy outdoor pillow inserts, so I used regular cheap inserts instead. I try not to leave our pillows out in the rain, anyway, but I may have to replace them if they ever end up getting mildewy.

The lantern you can see in the background is from this post.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Hanging gold frame planter and teal chandelier

You can find out how we made the hanging gold frame planter in this post.

The three plants on the coffee table are another snake plant, a burro’s tail, and a crassula mesembryanthemoides. The little paint drip pot was made by me with leftover orchid paint from the tray. I’d post a tutorial, but it was so easy – you just spray-paint a pot white, turn it upside-down, and pour paint on it. One tip: Pour the paint and let it dry over aluminum foil so it doesn’t get stuck!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Radiant Orchid and gold tray and spray-painted coasters

There are tutorials for the Radiant Orchid and gold leaf tray and spray-painted coasters in this post.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Bronze geometric garden stool and blue planters

The metallic garden stool is from Ross Dress for Less. (I know, right?!)

The mass cane with a pothos at the base is from The Home Depot and is so cute, but got totally bleached from direct sunlight and had to come inside. Boo! Guess I should have done more research! The portulacaria afra and snake plant are both in planters from The Home Depot (here and here), and the sedum/sempervivum assortment is in a tall ceramic planter from HomeGoods.

I had so much fun picking out all the accessories. I love color, but I have a tendency to go overboard – and am not very good at editing, as you can probably tell – so I forced myself to stick to colors from the pillow fabrics.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Black white fuchsia and blue updated deck and pergola

I’m actually fairly impressed with my own discipline: The only time I went outside the pillow palette was when I used the French Lilac spray paint on one planter and a coaster.

Oh, and I can’t forget the globe lights!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Pergola with globe lights

We used these from Target. The Home Depot has a bunch to choose from, too, but we already had the Target ones strung on our railings, so we figured they might as well match.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Deck and pergola strung with globe lights

And I think that just about covers it. If I forgot anything, leave a comment and I’d be happy to let you know more about it!

DIY Hanging Gold Frame Planter

Exciting news: Now that you’ve all heard me talking about the Home Depot Patio Style Challenge for well over two months, the reveal post is finally coming! TODAY! (Update: IT’S HERE!) And that means I’ll finally shut up about it!

… OK, no, it doesn’t. I mean, I have to tell you guys more about it. One post just isn’t enough! Let’s start with one of my favorite DIYs: our hanging gold frame with ombre plant pots.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY hanging gold frame with ombre plant pots

One of the biggest reasons I wanted a pergola over our deck was so I could hang plants from it, and this project did not disappoint. It was one of the first things I started working on, and one of the last projects I finished. Things got a little crazy, and I’ll admit, I was a bad blogger and didn’t take enough process pictures. But I promise, you’re going to be able to recreate this sucker so easily. It’s very self-explanatory, and I’m going to throw in some pictures of the finished product to show what I’m talking about.

Supplies

I started with a big picture frame that I found at Goodwill. It’s 43.5″ x 34.75″, and when I found it, the backing had already been removed and there were pieces of string stapled across the opening. Someone else was definitely using it for some kind of DIY display – it was a sign!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Large thrifted gold frame

I removed the hanging brackets with a screwdriver and pulled out all the staples with some pliers.

I didn’t love the frame’s color, so I hit it with primer and Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic gold spray paint. Specialty Metallic is meant for indoor use, so I coated it with Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Clear Gloss, too. Make sure you spray both sides of the frame – even if you won’t see the back, you’ll want to seal the wood to protect it from the elements.

At first, Brad and I weren’t sure what to use to hang the pots from the frame. We knew that whatever it was should be able to support the weight of the pots on its own, since the frame isn’t meant to hold anything very heavy. When we saw a punched angle at Home Depot, inspiration struck.

Home Depot - Punched Zinc Angle

Brad cut it down to size with a Sawzall, and then screwed it into the back of the frame with the horizontal part on top. He used washers to make sure the screws didn’t go through the holes in the punched angle.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Punched angle attached to back of frame

To hang the frame from the pergola, Brad drilled pilot holes into the underside of the end beam and then screwed in brass ceiling hooks. We attached an S-hook to each end of the punch angle, then hung the frame from the ceiling hooks using deco chain.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Frame hung from pergola with chain and hooks

(Note that my S-hooks are gold. I couldn’t find brass ones, so I spray-painted ‘em!)

So, that concludes the frame-hanging portion of the tutorial. Next up: the pots.

If you want to paint your pots, you’ll need to waterproof them first. Otherwise, when you water your plants (or when it rains), the moisture will soak through the terra cotta and make your paint bubble and crack. Get yourself some Thompson’s WaterSeal spray and apply a couple light coats to the inside of your pots, then let them dry for 24 hours. I know that’s a really long time. Be patient! They must be completely dry both before and during the waterproofing process, so make sure to cover them if you’re spraying outside and it’s going to rain.

Next, use a masonry bit to drill two holes in each pot. Make sure the bit will create a hole slightly larger than your S-hooks. The surface of the pot and the drill bit get really hot while you’re drilling, so try to keep the area wet to cool them down. I draped our hose over a nearby chair and set it up to drip on my pot while I was drilling.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Drilling holes in terra cotta pots

Once your holes are drilled, paint your pots with whatever design your little heart desires. If you’ve chosen a lighter color, I’d recommend using a spray primer first. I was planning to create a two-tone look like this, but while I was spraying the color on the top portion without tape (I was going to tape for the white coat), I noticed that I was accidentally creating an ombre effect.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Spray-painting ombre pots

I liked it (and didn’t feel like taping), so I flipped them over to add the white coat on the bottom, and then flipped them over again to finish off the color on top. The tapered angle of the pot helped to create a natural ombre, since the top is wider and therefore closer to the spray can.

After the spray paint was dry, I attached my small S-hooks (which I’d spray-painted gold) to the pots, using needle-nose pliers to squeeze them shut. Then, I added my plants – two ivys and three ferns.

I used a single piece of jack chain to hang each pot from the punched angle, running it up through one hole and down through another. I’d recommend experimenting with string to choose your lengths before you cut the chain – I screwed up and had to go buy more!
Glitter and Goat Cheese - Ombre gold and white pot hanging with brass jack chain

And that’s it!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Gold frame with ombre pots hanging from pergola

Feel free to customize your picture frame planter with bigger pots, smaller pots, more pots, less pots, black chain, nickel chain, potted herbs, flowers … the world is your oyster. Comment if you have any questions! I have an “always respond to comments” rule, so you know I’ll get you an answer.