Craftastic Pinterest Ideas for the weekend

Well, lucky for us the rain will be back just in time for the weekend.  Boo Hoo!  I have been looking for smaller projects that I can do while stuck in the house to keep me from losing my mind waiting for my friend the sun to make another appearance (probably just in time for me to go back to work and sit in the office!).

Here are some ideas I gathered from Pinterest that won't break the bank and will keep me from tearing a room apart and starting an insane project that I haven't thoroughly thought out yet. 

Well this one is not really a craft but I need to do this.  Anyone ever attempted re-tipping their heels?  Looks easy enough:

I haven't painted anything in a while and I like the idea of using the billions of frames I already own, painting and distressing them and making a picture gallery in my den :)

Perhaps make some soap dispensers with mason jars, how fun!

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Or make my own Myer's hand soap!  I love this stuff!

What I will probably end up doing is building a couple upholstered headboards, cheers to this!  Finally, my room will feel grown up and the guest room will feel more inviting. Stay tuned next week, I hope to have new pictures for you!

Have you done any easy crafts lately?  Send them on over and share with us!

See you swoon,


That's right my bloggie friends - I did it! I finally reached my life's goal of running a half marathon in under 2 hours. If you haven't figured it out, the title of this post was my time.  I am on cloud 9 right now.  And into the bucket list it goes (sorry for the lack of pictures in this post!)

Only ... it did not happen as I expected.  I ended up having to leave the course at mile 4 at the National Half in Washington DC (I posted about that race here).  I made my PR just yesterday in the Wilmington Delaware half marathon.  Want the full stories? OK.

The day before the National Half I woke up with awful chest congestion.  My kids had been pretty sick for the prior couple of weeks, and I was on an antibiotic myself as I had a sore throat earlier in the week.  I felt great all week though and was excited.  However, that Friday was not good.  I hoped it was early morning funk and I'd feel better.  I tried Mucinex and water.  When that didn't work, I tried green tea, Emergen-C and vitamin water and more regular water.  I sounded and felt awful.  I tried a nap, spicy food ... nothing.  I was coughing but the congestion was not loosening at all.  I knew this was bad: running is all about breathing and my chest hurt.  I was confident I'd wake a new woman, so I pressed onward.  I woke up the morning of the race and felt a little better but not 100%, not even close.  I felt a little warm but not so warm that I couldn't give it a go. I got to the start, felt fine, and ran normally for a few miles.  Around the 5K split, I started feeling really bad: I think I had a fever, my chest was screaming and, scariest of all, I was light-headed and dizzy: something I have not felt in the 20 years I've been running.  I told my friend with whom I was running that I didn't think I could go on and she should keep pressing.  She was kind enough to slow her pace and tried encouraging me, but I felt that awful at mile 3.9 ... I knew I could not handle another 9.  At mile 4, I told my friend to go kick butt and I ran off the course.  I sat in a beautiful spot in between the White House and the Washington Monument on a glorious day and hung my head and cried.  I felt like a quitter, and I do not quit.  But I knew in my gut that if I had continued I would have toppled over.  Quitting was the smart thing to do.  So I hobbled back to my hotel and crashed in the bed.  

Later that night, I was feeling marginally better, but still disappointed.  I decided to look for another half the following weekend. I was trained, ready, and committed to making my goal.  Lucky for me, I found a half marathon in Wilmington Delaware the next weekend. I signed up on the spot.  I felt better and better each day last week.  My runs were hard - my chest wasn't happy with me, but I kept it up and was easy on myself. 

This morning, the weather was cool and damp.  I love running in the cold, so this was perfect.  The cannon went off (seriously: this race starts with a cannon, not a gun!) and off I went.  I was stunned that my first couple of miles had an incredible pace - probably because the course was all downhill.  The rest of the course was good, if extremely hilly, and culminated in a .25 mile climb up to the finish line.  When I crossed and saw my time, I jumped and yelled and OH MY GOSH I did it.  I had that feeling that you only get when you finally reach a life's goal. True and total joy. 

Next up: a sprint triathlon in a few months.  Onward!

See you swoon,

Guest Blogger: Jessica from Arcadian Lighting - At Home Coffee Bars!

Happy Hump Day, all! We have another guest post today.  Anna and Jessica from Arcadian Lighting reached out with a request to do a post here on Swoon, and we welcomed the chance to feature them.  Take it away!

Hi! I'm Jessica from Arcadian Lighting, a blog and website where I get to write about the latest interior design trends and all the beautiful lighting fixtures that go with them. I'm delighted to be guest posting today on Swoon today because I'm going to be sharing a collection of inspiring interiors that are definitely swoon-worthy. If you're anything like me, you love coffee, and what's more amazing to have at home than your own elegant coffee bar? I hope you enjoy!
Coffee Bar
A brilliant, warm red wall color makes the white coffee cups and rustic black chest really pop. The bold colors are certainly fitting for a coffee bar.
Coffee Bar
The crisp gray color of this kitchen is so chic and contemporary, and the open shelving makes it easy to show off beautiful color coordinated cups and saucers.
Coffee Bar
This cozy space has everything for making coffee and tea right within reach. Plenty of storage is necessary for a good coffee bar, and the oversized industrial pendant light is an interesting contrast.
Coffee Bar
Sometimes simplicity is the most beautiful design aesthetic. This lovely neutral coffee bar is so neat and tidy, with only the bare essentials and no clutter.
Coffee Bar
This weathered table creates such a dreamy, romantic coffee bar in the dining room. The vintage cake stand and sprig of cherry blossoms are beautiful touches.
Coffee Bar
This elegant coffee bar demonstrates what a beautiful effect under cabinet lights can have in a kitchen. The mosaic backsplash adds an extra bit of texture and detail.
Coffee Bar
A wrought iron baker's rake can be re-purposed as sophisticated shelving for coffee mugs and dishes. The cupcake coffee pots are certainly charming and playful.
Coffee Bar
I love the rustic French country style of this coffee bar. The distressed French menu and the wicker wrapped jugs are beautiful authentic accents. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Which of these home coffee bars is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to stop by Arcadian Lighting for a light fixture or two to brighten your very own coffee bar!

Spring has arrived!

Before I get into my post I wanted to give you an update on our new posting schedule.  Shanna and I have decided to post three times a week rather than every day.  The decision to do this is mainly to give us more time to work on projects around the house and bring you really great detailed posts and tutorials on everything we do.  Be sure to pop in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to visit us!
Now that it's SPRING (yes can you believe it) I thought it would be the perfect time to show you some of the outfits I have been pining over on Pinterest.  Of course they came from Pinterest because I cannot keep myself off of that site and they have outfits and accessories already assembled for you, gotta love that!

Loving this flowy, airy top and wedges!  Welcome back sandals!

After I found the outfit above I checked out the blog that was tied to it saying 17 outfits for spring called It's Written on the Wall and found outfits that are totally my style so thank you to this blogger for making this so easy for me!  I actually found that if you go to Pinterest and type in Stacy Gustin there are the most drool worthy outfits for this season for you to pin and find through Polyvore.  So, SO excited about this!

Check these out:
The cuffed jeans and blazer make this outfit look casual and classy at the same time:

White jeans?  Yes please:

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

And this adorable polka dot top and more wedges!

This dress and jean jacket are adorable together

I am starting to think I need more blazers in my life.  This look is so pulled together and the pops of yellow make the outfit really stand out:

I could go on and on!  Go check out this pinner, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Are you ready to break out the spring wardrobe?  What are some staples you plan to add to your closet this season?

See you swoon,

Luck O' The Irish ...

Happy St. Patrick's Day Eve!  

This year, St. Patrick's Day is very exciting for me.  No, I'm not donning green plastic shamrock earrings or drinking green beer at the crack of dawn.  Instead, I am running the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in Washington DC.  This is my tenth? eleventh? (i've lost count) half marathon and the first, but not last, one of my 2012 racing season. 

I am super crazy excited about this race for so many reasons.  Shall I list them?  OK - ready set go!


  1. I have been training my bum off for months and am poised to make my time goal of running 13.1 miles in under 2 hours (this goal is an ever elusive one for me as I posted here -- note: I didn't make my goal at the November race.  I ran into some tummy issues that slowed me down but didn't stop me!).  My training runs have been speedy so I am confident I can do it.  In fact, I ran 12 miles with a sustained pace of 8:45 per mile two weeks ago.  I know in my heart that my PR is just within reach.  
  2. I get to run the race with a friend of mine!  She just started running relatively recently and we discovered our pace is about spot on the same.  The only thing better than making a PR is making a PR with a friend at my side.
  3. I get to visit one of my best friends and her family in the DC burbs.  She's good for my soul.  We bonded our freshman year of college outside our college bar while waiting for people to, um, help us get inside.
  4. I will be running around a city that I adore, near so many of my old stomping grounds at Catholic U.  I can't believe I'll be running right up North Capitol Avenue!  
  5. On my way home, I'll stop and visit the memorial tree that my best friends and I planted in memory of our dear friend who left us far too soon.  Five years ago this weekend was the last time we all got together.  The timing is pretty perfect.  
So if you don't mind, do a little virtual cheering for me tomorrow!  I promise I will post my time next week - even if I don't make my goal.  

What about you? Got any St. Paddie's Day plans?  Are you making some corned beef and cabbage or drinking a brew or two?  Have a great and green weekend, my friends!

See you swoon,

My {Affordable!} Secrets for Flawless Skin

I don't want to toot my own horn here, but I often get compliments on complexion.  I can't take all the credit: I am sure genes have a lot to do with it.  But I've noticed a huge improvement in my skin since I started using and doing certain things.  I'm happy to share with you all.  I've discovered that healthy glowing skin is a combination of things: both inside and out. And it doesn't have to cost a fortune.


I do not spend a lot of money on products.  I simply do not see the need to do so, since there are so many tried and true products available on a budget. Back before I had my kids, I splurged on super pricey products and my skin wasn't nearly as nice as it is now.  Friends of mine recommended the website: The Cosmetics Cop and in particular her review site, Beautypedia.  Check this one out!  Beautypedia has a product-by-product review and really puts products, and their claims, to the test.  I don't buy anything without first checking this site.  And she even has an app for your phone!  Here are my products:

Most of these are highly recommended by Beautypedia (she gives a more neutral review of my cleanser, Cetaphil, but it works for me so I won't change it).  Anyway, my routine is this: every night I use Cetaphil cleanser on my face.  I love it.  It's very gentle. But the Cosmetics Cop is right: it isn't great at removing make-up.  So after that, I use Up and Up Magic Makeup Remover (from Target).  It's inexpensive and works great.  Then I use some witch hazel. I put it on a cotton ball and swipe all over my face. It is gentle and gets off all the make-up.  Then I round it out with Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream.  A tiny dab goes a long way.  

In the morning, I just splash some cool water on my face and use Cetaphil Day Cream with spf 15.  Done!  


I happen to think that what you put in your body makes a huge difference in how your skin looks.  I know when I've had one too many cocktails, my complexion shows it immediately.  About ten years ago, I decided to cut out all sodas entirely.  I used to have a diet coke or two each day.  I stopped this and switched to water.  That alone made a huge difference.  I still have sodas from time to time but only on the rare occasion.  I drink about two liters of water through the day.

I drink a cup of peppermint tea per day.  Every day at 2 pm ... it's like my own personal tea time.  I'm not sure if the tea has anything to do with my face, but I noticed an improvement in my glow once I added this to my day.  

And there you have it!  All of these things are either free or really inexpensive. I think the priciest item on the list is the night cream and that's only $14.  What about you? Have any skin care secrets to share?  

See you swoon,

Slip cover changes

Well actually I haven't done anything yet.  A lot like Shanna, work has been very busy so I have been itching to get back to work on projects at home but have not had the time!  I am going to need a little help and advice on this one. 

You remember this Ikea couch I bought shortly after we moved in? I took pictures from a few angles so you can see the white with the other natural elements in the room (jute rug, bamboo blinds, lamp shade and rustic tables):

The couch just seems so...white.  Gasp I know.  I love white but it I feel like I want it to be a little warmer in color.  I have looked around for Rit dye to give it more of a cream/ light tan look but no dice.  Next thought was to dye this whole thing with tea bags.  I have read a lot about it and my concern would be that the color is not the same throughout or blotchy in places.
This is the look I am going for:

I know it is a very subtle change but I want it and I need to know how to make this happen!  Has anyone out there tried to do this before?  Any recommendations on how to successfully dye my slipcover to give it this look? Needless to say, my new pillows will probably have to be switched out because the gray is just not doing it for me.

I will be sure to keep you all posted when I tackle this project :)

See you swoon,

More Blogs You Need to Read

Happy Monday!  You may notice that I haven't posted many house projects lately.  There's a reason for that: work has been absolutely gang-busters.  I've been working a lot more than normal, so my time and energy for projects around the home has been at a minimum.  I hope you understand!  Believe me: I am itching to get cracking on them.  

In the meantime, why not check out the blogs of some of my dearest friends? They are all terrific reads.  Check them out and let them know I sent you!

Tangerine and Turquoise

Tangerine & Turquoise

looking for my favorite colors everywhere

My friend Jennie's blog, Tangerine and Turquoise, is among one of my favorite reads.  She is immensely talented - she takes stunning photography, tends to her garden (and her children!), and sews and crafts simply beautiful things.   I love her writing too.  One of my favorite things that Jennie has done is to take a picture a day for a year.  I know you will enjoy her blog.  Jennie says this about herself:  Jennie lives in the South where she takes care of people and things. Previously in her past life, she was an elementary school art teacher, a professional photographer, and a knitting instructor. She now mothers, works part time at the family business, cooks food, sews things, photographs, and tries to enjoy all the moments big and small in her life.  

Post Modern Childbirth

Next up: my friend Rachel's blog: PostModern Childbirth.  Rachel is a doula in Queens and Post Modern Childbirth is her company.  Rachel naturally birthed two babies at her home and is a champion of natural birth.  She's also one of the most grounded, truly kind people I have ever met.  If I were to ever have another baby (no), I would ask her to be my doula.  She's amazing, and I am honored to be her friend.  Her blog is all about her thoughts and musings on birthing and mothering.  

Madelyn Ridgeway: A Southern Flair

A Southern Flair

Finally, last but certainly not least, is my friend Madelyn Ridgeway's blog: A Southern Flair.  Madelyn is an event planner in Iowa and when I tell you she makes Martha Stewart look like a slacker with zero creativity, I mean it.  Madelyn continually awes me with her boundless energy and inspired ideas for making events look effortlessly pulled together and special, not to mention beautiful.  Her attention to detail is truly remarkable.  Madelyn is a Southern girl to the core and believes in the lost art of hospitality. You'll see this in her blog.  

And there you have it!  A trifecta of blogs for you to check out.  I hope your week shapes up to be fabulous.

See you swoon,

What to do with a hole in the wall?

The middle room has gone completely unfinished.  I painted it last year during a hurricane and loved the color by Sherwin Williams called Ancient Marble, you can see it here:

It reads a little more green in person but I was so happy with it after changing it from this:

Believe it or not, I am not going to talk about paint today although I am going to repaint this room because I feel like I need a little more color, you know you will be the first to see (besides my husband and Shanna) once I paint the room over again.  What I really want to talk about is that weird area next to the bed with an Ikea spinny mirror stand shoved in it.  Keeping with the spirit of Shanna's post yesterday, I am going to enlist your help.

What are we going to do with this small, very awkward, hole in the wall?!

When we moved it in there were shelves going up the entire wall (they were painted gray, and still are but now reside in the basement).  Useful yes but just didn't seem right to me.  For now I plan on keeping the full bed in the room but I want to make this guest bedroom functional and cozy which is just not the case right now.  No night stand?  Should that be a closet?  Should I make a fold out nightstand and keep some shelves or close this entire thing up and call it a day?

Here are some photos of this area, oh and if you have any idea for the open "window" area at the very top, I am all ears.

Speedo was trying to help. He really just wanted to sit in the open hole once I moved the mirror to take pictures but it does look like he is helping me analyze the situation!  Always so curious!  You can see where the shelves hung, there are quite a few of them, one you cannot see but it goes right where the window is at the top.

Here is the window at the top. 

Looks like there used to be a door for this, you can see where hinges used to be.  Unfortunately, there is no door hanging around the house anywhere to rehang if I wanted to.

What would you do with this area?  I would love to hear what you think and if you have any other ideas for the room let me know.  I have to get moving on this area of the house!

Happy Friday!!

See you swoon,

Swoon Reader Poll: What Color Should I Paint the New Chair?

Hi all!

Happy Thursday!  What better on a March Thursday than a poll?  And not just any poll ... a poll about paint.  Woo!

A few weeks ago, a family friend stopped by with a house warming gift for us: a super cool thrift store find - a cane chair.  Here it is:

I love it.  But of course I want to paint it. I think it will be perfect in the guest room, which I posted about here.  I'm a little stumped on what color to paint the chair thought.  Should I stick with super safe and use my beloved Dover White?  Or go with  dark grey? What about a fun color like yellow or green? Or something completely different?  Please vote on this important topic.

  • Dover White
  • Yellow
  • Dark Grey
  • Green
  • Other (specify in comments)

I can't wait to see what you all think.  Thanks! And here's hoping the weekend is upon us in record time.

See you swoon,