Sunday, January 31, 2010

what's cookin' this week

saturday night i found out that i have apparently been slacking off in the menu department.....kristin....not to name names or anything!  so, here is what's on the menu this week....

Mom's Chicken Tortilla Soup
Carrissa's Sausage Rice Casserole
Chicken Tikki Masala {tikki masala simmer sauce from target}

what's cooking in your kitchen this week????????

Saturday, January 30, 2010

avery lyric {3 weeks}

here are some more pictures of the adorable avery lyric.  she is now 3 weeks old and getting cuter by the day!  i got to spend some time with her, her mom, nana, and great-grandma.  we had lots of fun taking pics!  i have got to say that avery's mom is one of the most laid back moms i have seen...which is great for taking pictures!  itsy babies are just too cute....nothing compares....

this is great-grandbaby #2 for Grandma & Papa....both girls!

check out the crochet flower bow i made!  isn't it cute!?!?


the thought crossed my mind...that i could bring her home in my suitcase...she fits so perfectly!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

i'm loving yellow these days

here recently i have been drawn to yellow...whether it is clothing, accessories, or furniture.  maybe it's because it is bright and cheery and we've had a bunch of grey days.  anyways, i decided to post some pictures of beautiful yellow things!

all the clothes are from macy's inc international concepts line, the rug is from west elm, the pillow is an etsy find

the chandelier and chairs are all from west elm, the kitchen towels are from target and the pillows are an etsy find

i love yellow with grey's, browns, blacks, white and geometric prints.
 it brightens your wardrobe or house immediately with a fresh crisp look. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

calling all knitters and crocheters {is that a word???}

i have a project for you.....

to crochet or knit a scarf for foster care teens.  the website craft hope was mentioned on another blog i read,, and i checked it out.  they do craft projects for all different charities, groups of people, communities and even countries {check out their work for haiti!}. 

Their most recent craft project is:  Project 6 : : Foster Care Teens.  They have partnered with Orphan Foundation of America’s Red Scarf Project to help provide warm scarves.  below i have listed the main guidelines, but please read here for even more details on the Red Scarf Project. 

    ** Scarf Size: Approximately 60" long and 5" to 8" wide. Scarves should be long enough to be 
        wrapped around the neck, with tails long enough to be tied in the front.

    **Style: Think unisex collegiate. Ask yourself if your son, brother, and/or husband would enjoy receiving
       the scarf. Fringes are optional. Your scarf should drape and tie easily.

    **Yarn: Preferably DK, double fingering-weight, worsted weight, or light bully yarns. No laceweight,
        super-chunky, or mohair yarns as there are many people who find mohair too itchy. The yarn should be

    **Color: Red! However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or 
        multicolor hues including red. Other unisex colors, including black, navy, teal, olive or gold are also

    **Finished and tagged: Yarn ends should be securely sewn in. For a personal touch, attach a tag saying 
        "Handmade for You" with your first name, city, and group affiliation, if any. Donors have also included
        washing instructions, messages of encouragement, gift cards, burger bucks, books of stamps, etc.

so, i know some of you readers out there {in particular mom, grandma, aunt kathy if you are reading, and sarah} know how to either knit or crochet and i challenge you to make a scarf for this cause.  the deadline is valentines day, february 14th and they should be mailed to:

Orphan Foundation of America

The Red Scarf Project

21351 Gentry Drive

Sterling, VA 20166
happy knitting and crocheting!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the "glamorous" life of an interior designer

sometimes i think most people get the impression that an interior designer gets to have "fun" all day doing all kinds of "fun" things.  while it is a great profession, it is not all "fun" and games.  i hope to do some more blogging about what i do in the future....but it seems that by the time i get around to blogging i really don't want to blog about what i do all day.  anyways, this week has been a crazy week so far and we are only half way through.  monday was....monday.  i found out that some boards we had taken to a client were wrong and that one of our renderings {3D computer drawing...allows clients to see exactly what we are proposing} we had done basically needed to be completely redone...thus tuesday morning myself and one of my partners would be having a meeting with the client discussing the changes that needed to be made.  tuesday morning arrives and my 11x17 printer won't work.  i grab all my stuff for my dreaded meeting and start on my hour drive to the client.  get to the meeting and although it isn't as embarassing as i thought it would be, there are a TON of changes that need to be made ASAP. 

****side note:  b/c we use computers all the time in my profession most people think that means that changes don't take very long and things can be added to renderings really "quick" and that they can have their stuff the next day.  news flash....yes, computers help speed turnaround time up but it is NOT as simple as a push of a button.  there is a lot of time that goes into drawing plans on the computer and especially a lot that goes into building a 3D model and rendering it on the computer*****

on our way back to the office, we decide to go by another job site that is close.  here's the background on the job:  it is a school that about a year ago burned to the ground.  i believe they were about to celebrate their 100th year in the original school building.  it was really a sad situation.  luckily we were able to get the job and within 48 hours had a floorplan to the superintendent for a new school building.  they wanted the new building to be reminiscent of the original school building and to achieve this we chose to reuse the original stone, down to the stone that has a bullet hole in it.  

the job is very far along in construction and is looking great.  upon arrival we notice that the building is surrounded by a mud pit.  after looking for a somewhat decent path into the building we realize that this:

is our best option.....rickety pallets placed side by side that move as soon as you step onto them.  "oh yea!" is what goes through my mind, along with "suck it up alayna, you do NOT want to be girly girl, prissy interior designer who can't hack it on the job site!"  luckily i had worn flats...that looked like this afterwards...

{i narrowly missed my socks being soaked with mud!}

the interior is looking awesome.  pre-k through 2nd grade will be in the new building, so our design is very playful.  in the following pictures you can see the corridor with the exposed ceilings that are painted a sky blue. 

there will be floating clouds to help with acoustics and to add a sense of scale.  the lower parts of the walls will be a light yellow vinyl wallcovering that has a subtle design {this will help with durability and maintenance....easy to clean}.   on one end of the corridor, up high above the doors, there will be a large sun with rays painted.  the other end of the corridor will have a big rainbow.  lower on the walls, on top of the vinyl wallcovering, there will be trees that are 7' tall that are made out of really thin acrylic.  the floors in the corridors will be stained concrete with a design using 4 different colors.  like i said...a very playful interior.

my philosophy is that students should be proud of where they go to school.  it should be a place that is welcoming and comfortable....not a huge sterile white box.  luckily our client was willing to go with me on this design concept!  i am excited to see the final product and i will be sure to post some pictures.

as we were going through the building i noticed that the millwork had been installed.  as i got closer i realized that the counters on all of the millwork have the wrong plastic laminate on them.  i pointed it out to the contractor, so he brings the plans, specification book and submittals over.  i look through all of them and they all clearly state that the counters are to be "PL2".  the millwork company has used the "PL3" plastic laminate instead.  now, sometimes when things like this happen i will say "it's okay....we'll work with it".  this  the millwork company was a butt to work with.  their shop drawings {drawings they send us to look over and sign off on} were terrible.  our contact at the company would not call us back....when they finally did they assured us they would call and discuss before they started production to make sure they understood everything.  we never received a call from them.  so, i am not about to let this one slide for them.  they have ALL the millwork installed and ALL the counters are wrong...lovely!  the contractor was nice about it and put a call into the millwork company....i haven't heard their story yet but i am sure they will have something to say.

 wow...this post has turned out a lot longer than i expected!  anyways, the profession of an interior designer is not always "fun" and pretty colors.  a lot of times it is sorting through crappy shop drawings, trapsing through mud pits on the job site, dealing with hateful contractors {luckily not this time}, trying to decifer clients wants/needs, and wanting to throw your computer out the nearest window b/c it just froze and lost your last 2 hours of work!  but, all that to say that i do love my has just been a LONG 2 days!

Monday, January 18, 2010

recipe (beer-cheese bread}

i typically don't mess with making bread from scratch b/c i am impatient.  i don't like to wait for it to rise.  i absolutely love the final product and get really excited when mom makes her wonderful homemade rolls and other breads.  so, when i saw this recipe i was a little hesitant b/c it sounded to easy.  let me just say that it really was the easiest bread i have ever made. 

mymichael took it to work with him one day a while back everyone there loved it as well.  the beer makes the bread really moist and you don't have to wait for the bread to rise.  you simply mix it and bake it.

we give this recipe

Friday, January 15, 2010

recipe {cranberry bliss bar}

have you ever tried the christmas cranberry bliss bars at starbucks?  they are pretty tasty and now i have a way to make something similar. 

the pioneer woman has a great recipe for some cookies called "spreads".  sarah made them and told me i needed to try them.  they are very easy and really good.  i made them exactly like the recipe the first time and thought to myself that the cookie part is very similar to the cranberry bliss bars.  the second time i attempted them i changed it up a bit...
add chopped pecans to the cookie part
instead of using milk or semi-chocolate chips on top i used white chocolate chips
after spreading the white chocolate, put the pan in the freezer for them to set up
mixed 1/3 less fat cream cheese with powdered sugar until you get the spreading consistency you want {not too thin but not too thick...very descriptive, huh!?!}
once the cookie with the white chocolate has set up, then spread the cream cheese mixture on top
finally top with dried cranberries and chopped pecans.  i think they are best served cold.

this is a really fast dessert to make!

we give this recipe

Thursday, January 14, 2010

snap shots

here are some of the shap shot pics...

my handsome "mymichael"

me, sarah {the bride} and lindsay

carissa, sarah, me & lauren....bunko & book club girls {well, except for carissa....she knows sarah from way back and i met her in high school}

my talented "chair balancing" husband

my sister....kelsi jane

yea...she has some wicked eyes!

being tough...don't mess with us!

we love you sarah!  sarah and i have been best friends since 7th grade.  but i remember even being in the same 2nd grade class together....she was a great colorer if i do say so myself!

oh....and we finally got real wireless at our house!!!!  no more trying to use the neighbors!  woo hoo!!!!

happy friday =)

sarah's fun reception

sarah just got her pics back from her reception and they were super great!  i wanted to share some fun ones.  her photographer was Andrea Murphy {; the adorable couple on the page is sarah and dave at their wedding back in march} and she did a great job!  she had a fun "snap shots" lounge where she set up and took wacky pics of people throughout the night.  kind of like a photo booth....but much more fun!  these first ones are from before.  sarah didn't have a traditional wedding, so no bridesmaids, but she does have great friends {if i do say so myself!}. 

this was the first really cold day of the season....we were all FREEZING and bundling up in between photos.

the flowers she had were beautiful!

alright....more to come....these take FOREVER to upload!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

recipe {chocolate croissants}

over christmas break i saw the movie, "it's complicated", with meryl streep, steve martin & alec baldwin.  it was really cute.  i LOVE meryl streep....she is awesome.  in the movie, she owned a bakery and after one of her dates with steve martin they go to the bakery and she tells him she will make him anything off the menu.  he selects the chocolate croissant.  they go in the back and she whips some up...from scratch.  they looked amazing!  afterwards, i thought to myself, "i could make something like that!".  so, here is my version:

crescent rolls

chop your chocolate and then put pieces in the crescent rolls and roll up.  bake until golden brown. 

now, i totally belive that if you made your dough from scratch that these would be 100% better.  and if you used phyllo dough they would be 50% better.  but for a super quick and yummy dessert, these worked well! 


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


during my week off from work i decided to get some things organized around the house.  what you might think of "spring cleaning" as...i decided to do in december.  i made a list of a couple areas i wanted to tackle and what storage containers would be needed and headed off to target.  after a basket full of containers i was ready to get started...

area #1:  the tv cabinet that we have in our bedroom has the tv on top and the inside has become a catch all for a variety of things ranging from a ps2 to house slippers.  so, here is a before and after picture {i of organizing?  really they were simply for my motivation....if i took a before then i would have to actually finish for the after!}


on the left you will find belts in the top drawer, light weight scarves in the middle and winter scarves in the bottom drawer.  to the right are winter sweaters...neatly stacked.  on the bottom shelf is a bag of mymichael's hunting clothes b/c i can't hog ALL of the storage.  to the right of that is a dry cleaning basket.  the drawers in the bottom contain house shoes, corn bags and candles.  random, yes, but at least they have a place.

area #2:  our guest bedroom closet {aka my shoe closet}.  this is a place where i keep all of my shoes and then in tons of other stuff has found its way there as well...take a look...

as i started taking out the seasonal decorations and failed art projects, the shoe shelf that i had searched all over for and purchased a couple of years ago, decided to completely collapse! was great.  that meant yet another trip to try and find a shelf that would work.  i have determined that there is NOT a good shoe shelf that is somewhat affordable.  i piled all my shoes on the bed and headed to find the perfect size shelf for both the width and the height in the closet.

mymichael says i have too many shoes...i personally don't think thats possible.  i did however get rid of about 6 pairs.  here is the before and after of the closet organization.....

i even made room for some of michael's shoes and boots on the bottom shelf.  that made him very happy!
it's nice to see everything nice and neat.

in other organization news {that i don't have pics for}, i got a big box for all the decorative flowers and another big box for all my tablecloths/placemats.  they are in the tops of other closets.  it always feels good to nice and organized!  i think my bathroom will be on the list for "spring cleaning".

Monday, January 11, 2010

meet mak & oscar

mymichael and i don't have children right now, but we do have two adorable dogs...mak and oscar...

mak benefield
mymichael got mak the spring of our junior year at osu.  my uncle's dog had a litter of labs, so he brought them to tulsa to sell and mymichael took home adorable little black lab.  he has been through a lot with in an non air-conditioned/heated house with mymichael & his roommate {nate with his dogs: jesse, daisy & duke} in stillwater, graduating osu, moving to dallas, getting married, a burnt pot of beans***, apartment living, oscar as a puppy, living with mymichael's mom and husband for 6 months, moving to tulsa, and a possible seizure.  he is the most loyal dog...especially to mymichael.  mymichael is a great dog trainer and taught mak very well.  he is a very energetic dog and loves for you to throw anything and he will bring it back to you.  many times we have found a fire log in our house b/c he carried it in wanting us to play with him.  you will notice that he is getting older...his chin is now grey...he will be 7 years old this spring...yikes!  he's so sweet and we love him bunches!

***when we were in our first {700 sq. ft.} apartment in dallas, i decided one night i was going to make beans.  i put the beans in a big pot and covered it with water.  mymichael and i had to run a quick errand and when we got back our fire alarm was going off.  when we opened the door smoke came pouring out and you could not see 2' in front of you.  the fire alarm was ear piercing and mak was huddled up in a corner shaking.  poor, poor mak.  i haven't tried beans since then.***

oscar benefield
oscar originally was "my dog".  i had decided that i wanted a small dog and was looking at shitzhu's when i ran across the cavalier king charles spaniel.  once i saw a cavalier in person i was head over heels in love.  the only problem was that they typically run around $1200...mymichael was NOT going to spend that kind of money on a dog.  we were at the farm over memorial day weekend in 2006 when mymichael was looking in the paper and saw an add for cavaliers for only $350.  we jumped in the car with my grandpa and drove over to "take a look".  needless to say we had a new addition to our family!  he was the CUTEST puppy you will ever see.  i wish i had some of his puppy pics on my laptop, but i don't...i think there are some on my facebook...check him out there.  anyways, i was immediately in love and mymichael immediately informed me that i would be the one training him.  well, as you can imagine, i am not *quite* as disciplined as mymichael.  he really kind of hated oscar at the beginning {mymichael will probably deny that last statement...but i totally think its true}.  anyways, oscar loves anything soft.  in particular this super soft and snuggly off white blanket that i bought a couple months ago.  he is drawn to it.  the other night i was watching tv and heard something....i look over and in the basket that holds our throw blankets, oscar is in the basket trying to curl up on "the" blanket and continues to fall out on his head.  gotta love him.  so, yes, anything soft or warm, he likes being curled up beside you, he has great big adorable eyes that make it impossible to punish, he does listen {despit what mymichael might say}, he gets cold easy and shakes all over, he likes to pounce on mak, when he is totally asleep it is usually on his back with his legs up in the air, and he growels kind of like a cat purrs.  he's fabulous and now mymichael loves him as much as i do!

my three guys.....yes, that is the infamous off white blanket that oscar loves.  please notive how he is curled up in the nook of mymichael's knees with only his head poking out!

so, now you've met mak and oscar....our two kids for the time being!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...