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Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Lovely Way to Wake Up





Okay, so...I came across these entirely fabulous images from Brocade Home over at Haute Design, and I thought they were the loveliest rooms to usher in the New Year.  The details are totally gorgeous from the fleur patterned wallpaper and headboards to the girly-chic bedding.  Oh-oh, and there are the chandeliers and the fancy mirrors and little accent tables (I love the silver accent tables in the second picture), and those silver dressers!  Ahh, it's all so great.  Of course, a room wouldn't be complete without a lovely vase of flowers...always the perfect touch.  Clearly, I'm totally digging Brocade Home.  How about you?  So, with that, I wish you all a wonderful and oh-so-Happy New Year!

Ciao!

Nikki

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Treats

In the past, I've hosted cookie exchanges around the holidays, which is always a wonderful time.  However, Christmas came way.......WAY too quickly this year.  It seems like if I blink, I just might miss the entire month of December, so...much to my dismay, I haven't had the time to host this fun little party of mine.  BUT a girl still needs her treats to give away, so for the past couple of years, the stud and I have tackled making the goods all on our own.  It's a ton of work, true enough, but we love taking old creations and coming up with something new by putting our own personal spin on it.  Not always worth the effort, but for family?  On Christmas?  Most definitely a "must". 

It's no secret that I love to cook and bake, but have I mentioned that the hubs is quite the amateur chef?  No?  He really is, which is why we spend so much time together in the kitchen concocting whatever we're in the mood for.  Whether it comes to cooking, crafting, designing or training for our next in-line skating race, we just like being together, and we like to make our projects fun and interesting.

So...I thought I might share with you all a little peek back on some of last week's goodies that the hubs and I whipped up for the holidays...

Mint Orea Truffles and Chocolate Coconut Truffles...

Red Velvet Cake Balls inspired by Bakerella (we used a different recipe that I fell in love with awhile back)...

The "standard" pretzels covered in almond bark and dark chocolate, corn flake/almond flavored wreaths, chocolate peanut butter date balls with pecans (they taste far better than they sound), and Andes mint bark with almonds...

The ridiculous part is that even after sharing the goods with our families and friends, we still have so much leftover that we don't know what to do with it all!  Come on over, friends; we love to share!

Ciao!

Nikki

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Placecard of the Week: With Cherries on Top

Oh my!  Yet another new week is upon us.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  It's so sad that Christmas comes and goes so quickly each year.  Really, it is.  The good news is that we have a chance to carry on all that Christmas is and represents...love, kindness, giving, and forgiving....throughout the upcoming new year.  Speaking of which, New Year's is now on the horizon, which for many means a new beginning and a new chance at perhaps some old dreams and a few new goals.  How about you?  What are some of your New Year's resolutions?  Do you have any big dreams left to be claimed?

Well, I'll tell you my nerdy little secret (I have no shame)...for years at the beginning of each new year, I would write myself a letter explaining where I would like to see myself in 6 months, listing out all of my goals and so on.  Then I would seal the letter in an envelope and then put the date of when I could open it on the outside of the envelope and stash it away in my journal.  Completely and utterly nerdy, I know, but the funny thing is that often times I would forget exactly what it was that I wrote in that letter, and when it came time for me to open it, I would always be amazed at what God had brought about in my life during that period of time...sometimes tough stuff but for my own good, sometimes He would answer prayers that I had never spoken outloud, and other times, I would be reminded that I still fall short and have so far to come.

Years later, I sometimes look back on those letters and I laugh at the little things in my life that seemed so monumental that year, but every little step...as goofy as they might seem...was one step closer to yet another dream in my life.  I will never fully achieve all there is to be claimed in this life, but it's nice to know I'm still moving forward.  Like an ant, I'm moving one grain of sand at a time, weaving an intricate path all my own.

Which somehow brings me to my Placecard of the Week....

I tried to create a fun, happy placecard.  You know, something with an old-school icecream shop vibe that you might use for a birthday party.  More importantly, though, I wanted to wish you the very best as you approach the New Year and as you embrace new challenges ahead and strive to reach new goals.  May your new year be filled with all that your heart desires...with cherries on top!!

Ciao!

Nikki

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas



Merry Christmas from my home to yours! May you all have a blessed and safe Christmas. I love to celebrate this precious holiday as we honor the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We will be traveling today in a snow storm, apparently the "snowiest" Christmas in 30 years here in Minnesota so we're praying to make it to our destination in one piece. Yikes!

Have a wonderful weekend, gang!

Wishing You Blessings!

Nikki

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Fabulous Dessert Buffet

So........I am a HUGE Amy Atlas fan.  For those of you who aren't familiar with her work, she is the genius/designer/creator of the ultimate in dessert buffets.  Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, the Hostess Blog, Style Me Pretty and about a zillion other wedding and design blogs floating out there....and rightly so!  Sure, sure, we know desserts can be pretty, but with Amy Atlas behind the wheel, they become deliciously stunning.  Seriously, gang!

Her latest project was designing a dessert buffet for the O Magazine Holiday party.  Yes, that would be the big O...Oprah, and the best part is that Amy was kind enough to let me share a little sneak peak of what she designed for all my buds here.  Cool beans, right?  Her color palette was lavender and cherry red...so, so lovely! Check it out...

Photography by Mel Barlow Photography












Wow!

For details on how Amy designed this fabulous dessert buffet and for even more pictures, be sure to stop over and check out her blog.  You won't be disappointed!

Ciao!

Nikki

Monday, December 21, 2009

M.I.A.

My body has this terrible habit of freaking out on me from time to time.

It's become quite frustrating, really.

Well, hello darlings, you may have noticed that I've been missing in action the past few days here in blogland. Then again, maybe you haven't! However, for those of you who are so sweet to follow my little ol' blog and have noticed my absence, I must explain...

I mentioned this briefly last week, but I've been a little (or a lot) under the weather the past few days. From a seven-hour visit to the ER (boo!) to a week's worth of nausea, abdominal pain, a few tears here and there, and all other sorts of...ehem...fun, I've been home resting and working out the kinks. Of course, I miss all of my blogging friends terribly and am praying for a speedy recovery so I can get back into the swing of things and visit with all of you again soon, which I know the good Lord is faithful to provide.

Unfortunately, this means that I don't have a new Placecard of the Week to share with all of you today (sigh), BUT I just couldn't leave you hanging without a snipit of pretty, pretty Christmas-y eye candy from House Beautiful to start the week off right, so for my visual buds out there...this is for you...








Ahh...so cheery!

In the meantime, I'm counting my blessings, as I have been surrounded by the most amazing and encouraging family and friends. I couldn't even begin to tell all of the incredible ways I have been blessed this week. Thanks, gang, from the bottom of my heart for praying me through!

Ciao!

Nikki

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Winter Photo Shoot

So...the hubs and I decided to do a little winter photo shoot with our pups this past Saturday in an attempt to scrounge up one decent picture for our Christmas card.  The good news is that we found a few photos that we loved!  One of my very closest friends, Sarah over Serendipity Photo and Design, was our photographer, and we loved every minute of working with her, as always.  These pictures were taken at Rice Park in downtown St. Paul at Sarah's suggestion, and I thought the location was perfect.  It was a gorgeous day for photos, but it was freeeeeeeeeezing!  Seriously.  Anyhoo, here are just a few of the photos that made us smile...








Happy Wednesday, gang!

Ciao!

Nikki

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Placecard of the Week: Pearl & Black

Hi, gang!  I apologize that this is coming to you a day late, but I was a little under the weather yesterday, so I took the day off from work and even steered clear of my home computer and television to recuperate.  I'm still working out the kinks, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you all this week's Placecard of the Week and bonus menu...




So...there's actually a story behind today's post and a sweet one at that.  You see, this past Sunday was my sister-in-law Jenna's and her husband Erik's one-year anniversary.  Well, most of you know that there are different themes that go along with different anniversaries.  I have no idea who came up with this concept (let me know if you do), but most women and a few men are familiar with it.  For example, for the first wedding anniversary, the theme is "paper", so my brother-in-law Erik asked me if I would design a "paper" menu for him to give to Jenna for this amazing meal they were cooking together to celebrate their anniversary.  Totally sweet, right?  I decided to throw in a couple placecards just for fun.

When I was creating the menu and placecards, I wanted to design something simple yet elegant that would remind them of their wedding day.  I also wrote out all the names on Jenna's placecards for her wedding, so I tried to replicate her theme with a swirly, elegent stamp and black embellishment gems.  I found this really pretty shimmery, pearl colored paper (although it's hard to tell in the pictures), which I thought added another lovely element.  That being said, I hope they enjoyed the finished product, but most of all, I hope they had a wonderful day.  Happy Anniversary, Jenna & Erik!

Ciao!

Nikki


Friday, December 11, 2009

Lovely Wedding Details

Yes!  Friday is finally here!  Anyone else excited about that?  Okay, gang, so...yesterday, I stumbled across this vibrant, ultra detailed "Real Wedding" over at Green Wedding Shoes, which has some fabulous inspiration for all the brides-to-be, or just simply eye candy for us married gals.  The photography is courtesy of The Nichols, which, by the way, are amazing photographers. Yes, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G., but what I'm most excited about today is all of the brilliant, little details that have been brought to life through this darling wedding.  To see even more details from this super fun wedding, head on over here.  Check it out...






Those colors!  Oh my, I just love the color scheme.  I think the photos speak for themselves, wouldn't you agree?  I would love to have been a guest at this wedding celebration!

Ciao!

Nikki

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Whole Lot of Zebra

Okay, so do you all remember me mentioning my love of the fabulous zebra pattern over here?  Well, looky-looky what I found today!  I found this stunning room designed by Michael Partenio over at Desire to Inspire, and I must say, this room does not disappoint.



Granted, I'm not the hugest fan of yellow and gray, and although, I think this room has somewhat of a cold feeling, I think it also has a loveliness all it's own.  Of course, the zebra print accessories are rockin the room.  My goodness, from the chairs to the book cover to the pillows, and oh my, that black chandelier!  Oh, and that quilted-coverlet ottoman...perfect!  It's all pretty wonderful.  I might take bits and pieces of this room and create something new with a Tiffany blue or lime green.  Who knows?  The possibilities are endless! 

Ciao!

Nikki

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Happy Kitchen


It's no secret that I have this obsession with pretty kitchens.  Afterall, it's where I spend the majority of my time cooking, spilling, making all other means of messes, and so on.  Then, I stumbled across this adorable, let's be honest, happy kitchen over at House Beautiful, and the ol' wheels started spinning right along again.  Usually, when I get a bout of kitchen inspiration such as this, I immediately dial up the stud with my new, already mentally incorporated home makeover and suggest that we do a few tweaks here and there.  It usually doesn't get me very far, but to his credit, he's a great sport for at least hearing me out.  Gosh, I love that guy! 

Anyhoo, last month, I suggested we paint our cabinets turquoise like this stunning kitchen from the House of Turquoise, but that's only if I scrap my green makeover idea over here or my white cabinet idea over here.  Let's be honest, there's just too many fabulous ideas out there, but for today, I'm going with this adorable kitchen.  It's just too cute!

Ciao!

Nikki

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Home at Christmas

Hey, gang, I finally got around to taking pictures of my home Christmas decor...a massive accomplishment this week.  Yahoo!  I don't typically put up holiday decorations beyond the main level of my house, so even though it's essentially the same couple of rooms you see here, I tried to focus in on some of the details.  With that, I welcome you to my humble, little abode....






Yes, that's a zebra print rug (on top of carpet...is that tacky?) I'm obsessed with zebra print, and nearly broke a record (and a leg) racing to Target when my husband told me he saw it on clearance.  Good man!


Above the kitchen sink...











I'm still playing around with my new camera, so some of the nighttime photos have a yellow-ish tint.  I'll keep practicing!

Ciao!

Nikki
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