Archive for ‘Events’

December 26, 2014

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

Ok, so technically, Christmas is over, but I’m never one to blog on time, right? This year, family photos were taken in front of our tree, so I had a really good excuse to out-do myself with tree decorations. This year, I went a bit nuts with silver and gold ornaments as well as bows and icicles.

I’m just tickled with how it turned out.

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Merry Christmas, Friends!

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November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, and food. Here’s this year’s Thanksgiving tablescape.

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Every year I try to change/add/improve something about the table. This year, I added gold chargers from Target. I had hoped to add a table runner made from Hmong indigo Batik fabric like these:

find on Esty


find on Etsy

And blueprinted Asian rice bowls like these:

But they were too expensive/unavailable/hard to get, etc, etc. So I did what I usually do: I made myself a runner. Using this tutorial, I cut, tied, and dyed a length of cotton duck cloth.

After all of this indigo dying, and blue printed dishes, I’m beginning to realize how much I really like the color indigo. I’m going to have to start keeping an eye out for this color.

Oh, and just in case you haven’t had enough of Thanksgiving food, here are some snapshots of the dishes I made for the holiday.

turkey brine

apple cider

broccoli salad


Happy Thanksgiving!

January 1, 2014

Good Riddance, 2013

If you’ve been following the blog this past year, you’ll know that 2013 has been a doozy for us and one we are thrilled to be finished with. Every year, I recap the year with a blog countdown. This year has been so overwhelming that I hardly have any material to recap. BUT, this is a blog for documentation, so I’m going to do my best to accurately reflect the haps and mishaps around the house on Penny Lane.


10 In January, we finished our Kitchen Improvement baby steps and recapped it here.


A bad taste was left in our mouths in February when a slab leak flooded our HVAC ducts.


8 In March, we continued to clean up the slab leak mess with cleaning and sealing our ducts.


7 On the bright side, our yellow chairs were reupholstered in March.


A trip to California in March inspired me to work on our Master Bedroom decor in April. I continued working              on the decor in June and September.


5 In May, I recapped our new front garden bed.


4 Although it was purchased in February, I finally revealed our healthy and growing Fiddle Leaf Fig in May.


3 In June, I deemed 2013 the Year of Ugly Money when our 30 year old A/C unit went out. The Year of Ugly               Money was further confirmed later in June, when a fender bender totaled my car. Not Penny Lane related,                but it helps to demonstrate just how excited we are to move on to 2014.


In November, I hosted my first all-matching place setting Thanksgiving.

2013 Tablescape


And as we excitedly reached the end of the year…


1 I crafted a DIY Advent Calendar for Christmas.


In an effort to save you from having that same bitter after-taste in your mouth about 2013, I will say this. While it has by no means been an easy year for us, the mishaps we experienced throughout the year have left us better off (aside from the new loan payments, of course). We have a more efficient heating and cooling system. We are paying significantly less every month to heat and cool the house. We are thankful that we can experience these mishaps and know we can find a solution that won’t devastate us. We especially want to thank our family who has been there to support us this past year. From borrowed cars to borrowed beds, the support has been much appreciated. And as always, we are so incredibly thankful for our family, our friends, their health and ours, and our continued success in our careers.

So how about you? I’d love to hear some stories about how great 2013 was for others!

December 31, 2013

Christmas Craftiness

I’m racing the clock to turn in a post about the Penny Lane Christmas before the new year rings.

Every Christmas, I get the urge to be super crafty. I think it’s because crafty Christmas decorations are far more acceptable than crafty Tuesday decorations. It’s late. I don’t know what I’m saying.

This year, my craft was an Advent Calendar. I’ve been wanting to put one together for the last few years, but never had a design fully conceptualized until this year. I have Pinterest to thank for a plethora of options from the store bought to the simple DIY to the crazy design-y DIY.

Here are some of my favorites.

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

In the end, my final design was driven by circumstances and opportunity. Due to our beloved fig tree, we relocated the Christmas tree to our dining area. Opportunity came from a blank wall next to the tree that needed to be filled. Circumstances came from trying to create the calendar almost entirely from materials I already owned: a 24″x48″ canvas with layers upon layers of different paint color from its previous lives, white paint, colored construction paper, double stick tape, and gold paint. All I had to buy were the containers and velcro.

I painted the canvas white (the same white as our walls), laid out a grid for 24 boxes (yes, I was the girl who bought out all the 3 inch paper mache boxes from the metro area Hobby Lobby stores), painted gold numbers on construction paper, labeled the boxes, and attached them with vecro.

The boxes are currently empty, but over the next couple of years, I’d like to fill them with small ornaments each to symbolize a different bible verse telling the story of Christmas.

What about you? Do you get crafty during Christmas? What have you made recently? Tell me in the comments below!

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I’ve been away so long and feel a bit like I’m talking to an empty room, but I’m doing it anyway.

We just hosted our third (third?) Thanksgiving and I feel like I’m getting a little better each time. This year was all about acquiring a complete set of dinnerware. A typical table setting count for our Thanksgiving dinners has been 8, and in previous years, we have made do with glassware and flatware in sets of no larger than 6.

So what do I do when I want new flatware? I hit up Ebay for a 24k gold set, of course. I found a great, used, vintage set on Ebay called Florentine. It was much less expensive than buying new and further idealizes my Vintage-or-IKEA product selections.

And what do I do when I want new drinkware? I arrange an IKEA trip, of course. We also managed to get some additional folding chairs for when we have extra guests.

2013 Tablescape

Next year, I’ll work on a better Tablescape image. I get so caught up in getting the food ready that once it’s on the table, we all dive in. I did get talked into taking a picture of the bird in all its glory.

Bird 2013

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

December 31, 2012

Cheers, 2012!

It’s incredibly hard to believe that 2012 is already over. But looking back, it’s amazing how much was accomplished. Hey, I have a great idea. Let’s list it!

10 In January, I deemed 2012 the year of the exterior when we ripped out the front shrubs.

Shrubless Bed

9 In February, I recapped the renovation of Nate & Aurelio’s.

Nate & Aurelio's

8 We replaced the front door in March.

New Front Door

7 In April, we did some landscaping and picked our exterior paint brushes back up.


6 May was all about organization and more organization.

5 I planted Irises in June.


4 Art was thrifted in August.

Thrifted Art

3 Art was found in September.

Found Art

2 We hung swag and a new light fixture in November.



And last but definitely not least…

1 We began our kitchen improvement in December!

Kitchen Improvements


2013, here we come!

November 23, 2012

Giving Thanks

This year’s Thanksgiving Tablescape isn’t the best and honestly, I wasn’t trying too hard. I’ve been focused a bit more on other things and for that, I’m thankful. But in honor of tradition, here’s our lackluster 2012 Thanksgiving Tablescape.


December 31, 2011

It Was a Pleasure, 2011!

As a blogger, this is my favorite time of year – when I get to look back at all that we have accomplished. 2011 has been  particularly good for us and the house on Penny Lane. Cheers to you, 2011!

Here’s our annual countdown!

10 In February, we hung room changing roller shades.

 9 We also made-over Rob’s office in February.

8 In March, we hung linen drapes in the dining room and began contemplating reupholstery for our dining room chairs.

7 I drove to Carrollton, Texas on a whim to purchase a CraigsList coffee table in April.

6  In June I recapped the gardening I did in April which was unfortunately scorched by September.

5 Our dining room chairs were given new life in August.

4 In September, I began the redesign of my buddy Nate’s living room. Check back for my final recap of that space.

3 I crafted up some Fall decor in October.

2 I was also generously gifted a Flag in October.

And finally…

1 Our master bedroom’s style was pumped up a bit with a new old bed in November.

image courtesy of

Here’s to 2011! We’re greatly looking forward to 2012!

December 24, 2011

Christmas Time is Here!

Surprisingly, even though Rob and I have been window shopping for a new, larger Christmas tree, I am very happy with my Christmas decorations this year. Just like my fall decorations, my Christmas decorations are very sparse, but I think a slow acquisition works best for me.

We moved the tree to the back corner of the living room. I like it being surrounded by windows and how the location makes it seem like there are twice as many gifts under the tree.

I added sprigs of silver berries to my tree decorations. Too bad Jin likes them as much as I do. For the first couple of weeks after putting the tree up, our floor was littered with chewed up silver berries. I might have to rethink that decoration next year.

This year we got to hang our new Disney ornament from our cruise trip in May.

Our little ornament nibbler.

I bought these craft trees from Hobby Lobby right after the holidays last year. The cashier asked how I was going to decorate them. I’m getting the feeling craft paper as decor is not as acceptable in Oklahoma as it is in other parts of the country…

See our past Christmas posts here and here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

November 26, 2011

Bird Day

Thanksgiving was hosted on Friday this year. It was not my first time hosting; as you may remember my tablescape from 2009.


It’s hard to believe I pulled this off just 3 months after Rob and I moved into the house.

As I said, it was not my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but it was my first time cooking the bird myself. I got some help from my mom and grandma to prep the bird, but I cooked up the brine and butter and roasted it myself. I put the bird in the oven at 9:30 am to allow time to roast (15 minutes per pound equals 3.75 hours), rest and carve by 2:00pm. My bird was done at 11:30am… Apparently “tenting” is an important practice.

So then it was a scramble to finish the rest of the sides. I had taken a before shot of my kitchen Thursday night. I wish I had taken a during shot Thursday afternoon. It was a sight. Luckily, Rob is a dish washing machine and we had that kitchen cleaned up in no time.

Decor around the house stayed relatively the same from Halloween – subtle and minimal.


And the tablescape was quite possibly cheaper than Thanksgiving 2009. I used small glasses and vases that I already owned – purchased during many trips to my favorite thrift store for about $.50 each and filled with yellow tulips I bought that morning for $9.


Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I’m off to nibble on some left-overs for breakfast.