Thursday, April 28, 2011

MultiFunctional Furniture

saw these on apartment therapy. these are my faves. especially the first one. i would totally use that.

hook box from Lucanichetto

coffee table/laptop stand from CSN Stores /

bike shelf from Knife & Saw

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

easter weekend

our Easter was a pretty simple ordeal.

i made cake balls - chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and white vanilla candy coating.

Josh and I slept in late Friday and lounged around until our church's Good Friday service.

Easter Sunday we had church then spent the afternoon at his gram's house.

 look at my sexy husband!

this is max. Josh calls him maxi-pad.

 not sure why i made this face.

much better.

Josh's birthday cake...balls.

 max wants one!

Josh and Olivia, the cutest dog ever!

i hope you all had awesome times with family and friends, lots of food and lots of love!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

fabric friday: 04-22-11: Carpet + Taco Bell

um - how awesome is this? Taco Bell workplace in Irvine, CA.

 hey, carpet is fabric too. i mean, kinda.

designed by Luckett & Farley, this project installation includes Shaw products: mirror image tile, prisma tile, parody tile, etch tile, blox tile, site lines tile, tru colours tile, bon jour tile. i love getting these emails in my inbox, seeing all the cool things designers do with carpet.  i mean, seriously. for our company, the flooring - and usually carpet - is our main starting point for designing a space. once we have the carpet picked, we move to paint, fabrics, tile, window treatments - but the best designs start with an AWESOME carpet!

now if someone would redesign taco bell restaurants to look as cool as this...

images via Shaw Contract Group website.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

herb markers

oh man, i love these. so awesome.

i wish i had the gardening skill (and appropriate weather) to have herbs like this! i recently planted some parsley, basil and rosemary in a combined pot. unfortunately it's been majorly lacking in warm temps and sunshine here the last few weeks, but maybe someday i'll grow something i can actually use. if this doesn't work, i'm getting matching pots and buying already bloomed herbs from a lawn and garden store.

Herb Garden Markers, Oryx and Crake Design. Purchase at

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

easter week

if you're in Erie and looking for somewhere to go this Easter...

and don't forget about the Good Friday Service, April 22 6:30pm @ Grace McKean.

 prayer | worship | communion

Monday, April 18, 2011

chocolate cake w/ strawberry buttercream: sissy's birthday!

my sister's birthday was like YEARS ago, and we finally celebrated this past weekend (and by years, i mean April 2). she requested something vanilla with yummy buttercream and fruit or luscious chocolate with globs of frosting. so, pretty much anything.

i made her a yummy cake based off of a recipe from Annie's Eats for Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cupcakes. the main cake recipe is from David Lebovitz's recipe for Devil's Food Cake. i was extremely pleased with how the cake turned out. moist and delicious.

the frosting however - not quite as i had hoped. i slightly followed Annie's recipe - but planned on only making half the amount called for, but stupidly added WAY too much strawberry puree at the beginning and used a WHOLE BAG of powdered sugar and it was still too thin. it ended up being more like a (very sweet) glaze on the cake, but it still tasted good!

also, the strawberries on the top starting oozing their delicious juiciness all over the top of the cake...which was okay, but didn't look so great.

Josh's birthday is next week and his brother Dan has requested cake pops since he LOVED the ones we made for Chloe's birthday (i had lots of extras). i think i'm going to make some sort of triple chocolate cake balls for the Easter/Birthday celebration! can't wait to do those this weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

fabric friday: 04-15-11: gift wrap

um, fabric as gift wrap? yes, please.

cloth gift wrap / Martha Stewart

In Japan, the art of wrapping gifts in cloth is called furoshiki, 
and it's brilliantly eco-friendly. 
Secure open ends with a button, safety pin, or knot. 

Read more at Gift-Wrapping Ideas

fabric bottle wrap / Martha Stewart

so cute - fabric envelopes / Martha Stewart

fabric wrapping paper /
i adore this fabric.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

inspiration ideas: chalkboard paint

after reading my friend Martina's blog post on applying chalkboard paint to a closet door, it reminded me how much i LOVE that idea and want to do it in my home some day. here are more fun images and ways to use it!

love these ideas: make-your-own-custom-color idea from Martha Stewart

chalkboard paint on photo frame from Real Simple

love chalkboard paint in the kitchen. showcase a favorite recipe or fun way to write your grocery needs. image from

i adore this. wouldn't work too well in unpredictable Erie, however....but still. so cute. image from urbanjane: chalkboard paint!

another awesome use in the kitchen. image from mysweetsavannah. check her post for a lot more fun images.

what are your thoughts on chalkboard paint? love it? hate it? want to see more? want to see less? i love it, but wouldn't want to do too much. maybe one wall or a framed section in a kitchen (or on a door).

Monday, April 11, 2011

lemon blueberry muffins

i feel that a work meeting "first thing" in the morning is the perfect opportunity to bring in a yummy treat to share. also, "first thing" in our office - that could mean 815, that could mean 1015, you never know...but i mean, that has nothing to do with this post.

i really wanted to bring in a blueberry crumble-coffee-crunch type cake, but although The Pioneer Woman's Blueberry Crumb Cake looks absolutely divine, i was saddened that there wasn't any lemon in it, and thought that should be saved for another day. the combination of lemon and blueberry to me - is - amazing.

i had bookmarked Joy Ever After's Lemon Blueberry Muffins when she posted last year and had yet to try them - so here we are.

i didn't have the correct amount of yogurt, so i added a little milk to help it out. i also used honey-greek yogurt instead of plain. the muffins turned out good, but unfortunately were more dense than i would have liked. definitely use the yogurt amount specified in the recipe. next time i think i would add more lemon zest and some lemon juice - for me it just wasn't enough!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Versteel Trip

so, i know i've talked lots about going to Jasper, IN for work to visit this awesome company called Versteel, but i never talked much about the trip itself.

my boss and i left bright and early Monday morning and headed for the Erie "International" Airport. okay, so, the airport may only go to like, three different other airports, but i tell you - 10 minutes to check in and no line at security at almost ALL times? it's worth an extra layover.

we arrived in Jasper, checked into our hotel (where they had shirts for us and little goodie bags of water, coffee and a coffee mug), then went on a short tour of the town before hitting up the showroom and offices.

Versteel showroom/offices on right, manufacture plant on left

the first day we received an overview of Versteel products and got to check out all the fun things in the showroom. Versteel started as a company providing parts to other furniture vendors until they realized - hey, why don't we just do it all? all of their manufacturing takes place in their plant in Jasper, with some specialized parts (like chrome plating) done in a facility a few hours away.

lobby, new furniture series Immix (in orange)
on Tuesday we were given a tour of the manufacturing facility by non other than the president of the company. it was so cool how he understood and explained everything that went on in the plant, knew the workers by name and had such a passion for his employees and what his company stands for. the majority of the parts they use are recycled and what isn't used is recycled. and again - all of their products are made in the USA.

we were able to meet our customer service representatives, government contract specialists, product designers and engineers, tech engineers - pretty much everyone on staff. being able to meet and know your vendors personally really drives you to want to sell their product. and again - seeing how the company functions, what they stand for and how they operate - this is a great company. i love selling product we believe in.

furniture showroom

we also got to see some of their new prototypes of furniture and ideas they are working around (that are still secret!!) as well as see some cool images of custom product that they do. because they are a small company that builds everything on-site - they pride themselves in the ability to do custom work - you want something you don't see as standard? just ask! more than likely, they'll do it - or at least try.
one of the lovely German delicacies at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant

there were three birthdays to celebrate - the waitresses sang to us

i had never been on a plant tour before, and their's was just awesome. walking through and seeing robotic machines bending steel for chair and table parts that we've sold to customers was just so neat. we got to watch them laser cut steel, weld pieces together, go through powdercoating, upholster chair seats and backs, assemble everything and get it in boxes. i suggest anyone selling any type of furniture to try to see how your lines are made! it gives you such a different perspective and appreciation.

another shot of the Immix seating system

Versteel reception. all the metal is done like their Vela series bases.

so, the trip was great. thanks, Versteel, for the opportunity to learn more about your company! now - let's sell some Versteel!