Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wanna Buy It Wednesday: 1214 Olivia Street, Key West, FL

This tropical paradise seems to good to be true! Located in Key West, Florida, this gorgeous Turn-of-the-Century Victorian home sits on 2 and 1/2 lots in The Meadows, with restoration and renovations by award winning architect Tom Pope. Boasting almost 4500 Sq. ft. of renovated living area, a wine cellar, outdoor kitchen, newly renovated one bedroom and one bathroom guest house, mature tropical foliage, ipe decking, theatre, solarium, Chef's kitchen, and an impressive master suite with one of the largest closets in town, this home is built for entertaining.

My favorite part of 1214 Olivia Street is the open layout and tropical decor. It's truly a dream home.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Once Upon A Time...

I went on a "shopping diet." Then one day J. Crew came out with their 2010 summer line and I said forget it!

Check out all these wonderful goodies.


Key West Style

In honor of a much needed vacation.

Filling You In

Sorry for the lack of posts as of late! It's been quite a crazy few days.

Yesterday I got back from a wild birthday party in Florida for my mother who's turning 60 tomorrow. I'm planning to post pictures later this week.

I'm also in the middle of planning a huge fundraising walk, which is my day job. It has rained for the past three years, so were really hoping we'll have a bright sunny day this Saturday.

I promise to be a more faithful blogger this week and next. Also, if you are a reader of my blog I would like to thank you so much for your support! I love all the friends I've made so far via the blogosphere!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nashville Cupcake Challenge

This past weekend, I embarked on the ultimate cupcake challenge here in Nashville. Cupcakes have become such a trendy dessert in the past few years and new bakeries are sprouting up everywhere. With all the cupcake hoopla lately, I decided it was finally time to find out who has the best tasting cupcakes.

It all started with visiting five cupcake shops in Nashville: The Painted Cupcake, The Cupcake Collection, Whole Foods, Bread & Company, and Gigi's Cupcakes. To keep judging as uniform as possible, I purchased a chocolate cupcake at each store and based the results on frosting taste, cake taste, and overall taste.

Although I didn't take into account cost, packaging and store aesthetics I think it's important to note how each cupcake did in these categories in case your looking for the best bang for your buck or a fun atmosphere to take friends for a quick dessert.

Now, for the judging...

1. The Painted Cupcake

Cost: $2.66

Store: Funky feminine vibe decorated with black chandeliers and green and pink striped paint on the walls. Plenty of seating.

Packaging: The cupcake came in a clear plastic container with a pretty sticker on the top.

I thought this cupcake was a great size for one person. The frosting was extremely creamy and not too sweet. You could also taste that it wasn't made from a mix. The cake itself had a nice chocolate flavor and was very moist.

2. Whole Foods

Cost: $2.99

Store: Just your regular grocery store, however, the bakery where these cupcakes are housed looks amazing!

Packaging: The cupcake was packaged in a brown square box.

I really don't think the picture above shows just how massive this cupcake is. Although it's about 3 bucks, I would say it could feed 2-3 people. The frosting, although slightly tart, had a creamy texture and strong chocolate taste. If you like a lot of frosting this is definitely a cupcake for you. The cake was very moist and together with the frosting it was a truly delicious dessert.

3. Gigi's Cupcakes

Cost: $2.99

Store: Adorable little shop adorned with pink accents.

Packaging: I must say, Gigi does a fantastic job with her marketing. We received our cupcake in a bright pink box with a Gigi's sticker holding the top closed.

This is another big one. I mean, check out all that frosting. The frosting had a lovely cocoa taste, however the texture was slightly stiff. The cake was a little dry but still good. Overall, the frosting was definitely the best part.

4. The Cupcake Collection

Cost: $2.99

Store: Nothing to write home about. The store interior is maybe 100 square feet of standing space.

Packaging: I wasn't impressed with it at all. They just threw my cupcake in a paper bag with no support. By the time I got home, the frosting was smashed on one side.

I was a little surprised I didn't like this one more. The frosting had a nice consistency, but wasn't sweet enough in my opinion and the cake was really crumbly and dry.

5. Bread & Company

Cost: $2.99

Store: Busy

Packaging: Nothing too special

I was shocked at how much I didn't like this cupcake. And for the price, I felt like I got completely ripped off! I practically needed a knife to cut through the frosting and the cake was like cardboard. Need I say anymore?

The Results:


It's really hard to find a cupcake that doesn't satisfy your sweet tooth. I was picky in this contest, but it's all about what YOU like. If you want a ton of frosting Gigi's or Whole Foods is your best bet. If you want a well-balanced bite, go for The Painted Cupcake. In the end, anything involving a cupcake is a winner in my book.

Color-on-Color Effect

My parents renovated their waterfront home down to the studs about 10 years ago. They have a new layout, kitchen and master bedroom they really love. The guests rooms on the west side of the house, however, are in need of a facelift. My mom asked me to help her starting with the jack and jill bathroom. The tile is in great condition, but the vanity is beginning to look dated and the wallpaper is totally 90's.

This will be a budget makeover so we will start by painting the vanities a dark brown color to give them a fresh look. We also decided to try a stenciling color-on-color technique for the walls. We'll begin by painting them in a soft blue-gray satin finish shade. Once that dries and we line the tile with painters tape and stencil a design in the SAME color, but instead of a satin finish, we'll use a semi-gloss finish. I prefer this idea opposed to using a different color, especially in a small space like a bathroom. It will offer just enough contrast and depth in the confined space.

I just started my stencil search and have come up with a few contenders. Apartment Therapy has a great guide on where to buy them and I found my favorites on a site called Sunny's Goodtime Paints. They have a great selection. Here are some of the choices so far.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pillow DIY

I'm currently on a major pillow kick. In fact, my new pillows have been popping up in our living room, guest room and master. Can't help it! Anyway, here's a few picks of me in the sewing process.

The easiest pillows to make are ones without zippers.

1. Start by measuring your pillow- The piece of fabric will need to be 2-3 times as long as it is wide. So, for a 30 inch wide bolt of fabric, you might buy around one yard, then split it down the middle of the width to make two 15x36 inch strips. This would be good to make two 14x14in pillowcases.

2. Next hem your edges on the shorts sides only.

3. With the right side of the fabric up, fold the long side so one end over laps the other. Sew the two open sides of the pillow together so the only opening is where you slip your pillow threw. Turn the pillowcase right side out.


12South Home Tour

Each year, the 12South Neighborhood Association organizes a tour featuring some of the newest remodeled homes in the area. My friend Kristen and I both love to look at houses so we couldn't wait to see what this tour had to offer. Instead of showing you every single house, I decided to post what I thought were the best homes on the tour.

2119 12th Avenue South: A 2-bedroom 1930's Craftsman Bungalow with original oak flooring and 10 foot ceilings.

I loved the sunken back porch with an outdoor fireplace and ample entertaining space.

Really interesting curved hallway. The owner did this to create more space for the second bedroom on the other side.

The hallway ceiling has a beautiful stained glass that allows for plenty of light.

913 Knox: A 2 story 4 bedroom Neoclassical Tidewater style home. This couple had a really cool style.

The kitchen wasn't huge per se, however I loved the layout and top grade appliances.
I could easily cook here.

Gorgeous lawyer bookcases.

Brilliant floating bookshelves in the master.

Another great idea. You could tell this couple was extremely creative and I loved their funky style.

1003 Montrose Avenue: A four bedroom Arts and Crafts home with a functional layout and separate office/guest house in the home's backyard.

Check out the mosaic tile in the kitchen.

I love marble in the bathroom. This space was such a tranquil retreat.

The office space in the backyard.

3203 Granny White Pike: A four bedroom 1930's Craftsman Bungalow overlooking Sevier Park.

Hey, I've seen those pillows before! I like that they have different lamps.

Really love the metal dresser and houndstooth chair.

Another great pair of chairs.

1012 South Douglas: A 2 bedroom Queen Victoria style home with 11 foot tall ceilings. As one of the oldest homes in the neighborhood, it was built in 1905.

I really like this woman's style and this wallpaper is some of my favorite.

Guess she likes her whiskey.

Beautiful window in the kitchen.