Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Put a Little Chevron in Your Life. . .

Chevron, you have seen it. . .that awesome geometric zigzag pattern that is EVERY WHERE!!! I used it on my kitchen bench pillows and can not wait to add it to other rooms in the house. I am thinking of painting it on the big wall above my fireplace, or maybe just to paint a painting for the wall. Or there is always the ├╝ber affordable rug version at Urban Outfitters for our new upstairs study room. (ie: Coop's old Nursery!)

Here are some inspiration photo's.. . .Now, how will you use it!!

Cool Painting, I could totally do with tape and a brush. So could you!

chevron nursery

I am out of the nursery market these days, but if I were. . .

chevron on the ceiling

Metallic Chevron on the ceiling is a total statement!

historic chevron.

Chevron on the floors, historic style!

chevron fllor!!

Or Chevron Tile , in my Master Bathroom Dreams!

Chevron bookcase solution

Cool Bookcase Solution!

pretty schweet

Totally Affordable Urban Outfitters Chevron Chair. . . .



This awesome rug . . .

wear chevron!

Most likely, I will try and rock this style:)



Sunday, August 28, 2011

In the Immediate Future

Sometime in February, when we were on parental cruise control, I thought it would be a GREAT idea to keep my wonderful and well-behaved children at home with me this summer. The bohemian life I always wanted, the last summer before I have to answer to CMS and it's thousands of rules and regulations; a summer straight out of a children book. You see where I am going with this, of course. . . .

Ha! This summer has kicked my butt! I mean, my kids and I have done everything there is to do around this town, and they are still B-O-R-E-D!! I am not bored, my to-do list is ridiculous! And while I have been toting my kids to and fro, my house feels like it is crumbling down on me! I have lost the little control I was able to maintain, and my summer of leisure has turned into a summer of chaos!

Tomorrow morning at 7:45, Sadie Bug goes to Kindergarten, but tonight I am dreaming of the future. The future of me that is. . .

Here is the  top 10 things I will do immediately:

10. I will clean out my attic and my closets and donate and gift what we do not need. I will call a dumpster service for the rest.

9. I will write the 1,000 thank you notes I owe everyone from summer birthdays! I am the rudest person alive and I am sorry about that.

8. I will go to the Mint Museum Uptown and actually leave the children's area.

7. I will go to Trader Joe's and Harris Teeter and purchase real food.  I will give up my pool snack bar addiction.

6.  I will call all of my friends and family and have an actual conversation with them that does not include begging and pleading for silence . The call will last longer than 2 minutes.

5. I will plan a weekday visit to our favorite live music venue The Fillmore, and I will stay up way to late.

4. I will call my tennis pro and beg him for forgiveness and plead with him that he fix my backhand.  Oh, and I will use the new, super cool, tennis racquet my mother gave me for my birthday. (*Mom, see #9!)

3.  I will start reading the newspaper again. For better or worse.

2. I will download music and create playlists that do not start with "The Wheels on the Bus!" I will listen to the music through out the day, creating a calm and happy environment for myself.

1. I will spend quality time with my man Scotty! I will have lunch with him once a week and we will NOT talk about the children! I may even make him dinner.

The above will undoubtedly make me the best, happiest, most rested, well-rounded mommy and wife in the universe!

Until next Summer!!!



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Intern Wanted: No Experience Necessary

Intern Wanted to assist in all domestic and child rearing responsibilities.

  • Duties include changing poopy and wet diapers, cleaning of Diaper Genie, wiping runny noses and seepy eyes.  Administering all medication as need with occasional mild force.(See below)

  • Ability to effectively manage and punish unruly children is a requirement, although no use of excessive force is permitted by State and Federal Laws. One must master such infective forms of control such as "Time Out" and sayings such as "it hurts my feelings when you throw large plastic trucks and Barbie's at my head."

  • Children will  nap at appropriate times. Your time will be spent scrubbing showers with Tilex. (There is no conclusive evidence that there is permanent respiratory damage). Please limit exposure to no more than 20 minutes at a time. Just in Case.

  • Daily vacuuming,  dusting, collecting of toys from small vents and uneven surfaces, dishes, and windexing of handprints and jelly smudges is a must.

  • You will run 3 to 5 loads of laundry a day. You will fold 6.

  • Intern will be expected to remain in the kitchen at all times. Healthy and nutritious meals must be provided at least three to five times a day.  Snack's must be readily available all day. You may not help yourself to the food. Should this happen,  you will gain an unfair amount of weight that you will not be able to lose for several years. This is discouraged by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

  • There is limited exposure to the all forms of media other than the internet. Please limit yourself to no more than 10, 2 minute sessions. Television is to be left on Nick Jr.

  • Please do not expect any reassurance or positive feedback. Once you prove yourself, in 18 or 20 years, you will be appreciated.

  • You will work 20 hour days for unknown amounts of time. Vacations are only deemed necessary before emotional breakdowns.

  • Finally, This is an unpaid position.


Taylor C. Presson

Sheriff around these parts.

Interested Partys should contact www.sweethomecharlotte.net

I saw an ad for a Cool Design Intern this morning and thought I needed one as well. . .  GENIUS!!!

Charlotte Smarty Pants liked my blog so much that they posted it on their site. Check it out at:


Friday, August 19, 2011

The Center of The Sun

Our house sits in  the CENTER OF THE SUN!! Or at least that's how I describe it to every landscaper and gardener that has ever worked on our yard. I mean NOTHING can grow. . .

On winter days, when the rest of the neighborhood is buried under sheets of slush and ice, our home is as warm as it is in August. It is like there is a large, tree sized, hairdryer pointed straight at our porch. . snow melts as soon as it lands, and sadly most flowers will scorch before they ever even had a chance. . . ughhh, how I wish I could keep my planters full of lush, cascading flowers and ivy...Can you imagine that I used to try and keep window boxes alive!

So last Saturday, I rolled over to our neighborhood Lowes Garden Center to nicely explain that I needed several plants that could grow in the desert. A very nice women with a name resembling Laura (who I am sure thought I was exaggerating) helped me come up with a couple of options.

Before I trapped this nice women into helping me, I discovered on my own this awesome tall, curling, Maiden Grass, that I knew I had to have!!! So I told Laura I wanted to start with the grass and she said it could grow to 6 feet tall and maybe I should pick something else,. . . so I told her. . . well, it might not make it that long, so not to worry!

Laura then helped me pick this cool merlot colored, leafy, Queen Victoria Lobelia that will add a medium height variation that I have learned I need. (Is this a sign there is hope for my future?) We grabbed a couple of Trailing Annuals, that seem more like succulents if you ask me, and are supposed to cascade over the planters.

While Cooper was napping, Sadie and I got to work!

Planter Before:

Planter After

Not bad for the desert??

Hope you all have a great weekend!



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Atherton Market: An Urban Mommy's Dream

If you havent been you should, or that's what everyone kept telling me before I went. I mean, there are ton's of markets in town, impossible to hit them all. . . .right??? Oh so wrong. . . Atherton Market is an urban mommy's dream! 

I took the kids on Wednesday, which is a slow day for them. . . A GREAT day to take the kids and stock up on basic grocery's before the weekend.  Sadie and I fell in love with the cheeses at Simply Local.  For $4 each we scored the small size of New Moon brie from Chapel Hill Creamery and the Goat Lady Diary's Grapevine Ash. . . .delicious!! Paired them with local bakery Polka Dot's Sweat Potato and Rosemary Crisps and  went to heaven early!!

We had such a great time, I took Scotty and the kids back on Saturday morning. This time while we shopped, we checked Sadie in to the SUPER SAFE, air-conditioned, glassed in, FREE, childwatch area for a half hour of supper fun arts and crafts. 

First Stop: Local South End shop Vin Master's wine tasting. For $14 we scored a liter of red 2009 Austrian table wine from Zum Martin Sepp. Like Pinot Noir but lighter and a bit spicier. So cool, it was closed with a beer bottle top.  Thank you!

Second Stop: Pam Mahaffey's home-made soy candles!! Instantly brighten your mood with a $7 lemongrass candle. Smells even more amazing in my kitchen than actual food! For that price, I can burn it all day. . .and when I need a new one, she recycles the containers and the refill's are just $6. . . .Sweet!!!

* Invited my neighbor Karen over to enjoy the goodies with me and had a great afternoon!

On the way out Scott and Cooper grabbed a cantaloupe shaved ice, but I am not sure from where. . .so good I forgot it was healthy!

The best part of the day was signing up for the Fair Farm Bill in support of local farmers! Go to www.foodandwaterwatch.org/fairfarmbill to sign the petition and keep our farmers going strong!

*Sadie wrote this herself!

Shop Local, Eat Fresh!!!



Atherton Market is located in Historic Southend in Charlotte, NC. It is open Tuesday through Saturday's with limited hours. Like them on Facebook for more information or check their website:

out http://www.edensandavant.com/oc_center_detail.asp?cid=1001

**Make sure to bring cash, I could have done a lot more damage but the ATM was out-of-order and only a couple of vendors take credit cards.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Interior Design: The Begining of an Obsession

Five years ago my husband and I moved into our new house in Dilworth. It was our second and his third house in the same quad of our same neighborhood, Dilworth. This house needed a TON of work, and was my LEAST favorite, but we had big plans for our little home. It was June 2nd 2006 and I was 4 weeks from delivering Sadie Lane, and I mean it when I say that I was a HUGE, GIGANTIC, SWOLLEN MESS! My sister-in-law Melinda and Scott arranged everything (everything that I did not throw away) in the house. I told you they were the best! The only problem was that the house didn't feel like mine.

I had never actually "lived" in a house. Houses were for necessary functions like sleeping, eating and basic grooming...they were not for hanging around in and never leaving. . . If you have ever had a newborn, or been close to someone who has, then you know there is almost NO leaving of the house. Sure you get to leave to go to the pediatricians and the grocery store, you may even leave to go for long walks . . . but you are there, in your house, for long, long periods of time.

*My totally empty family room. . .

Then I met my friend Erin, a women who LOVES to be in her house. The first time I went over there, I knew why! There were big comfy couches, and TV's in all the right spots and sophistication in the form of a master bath with a ((*&^%$) master tub and separate room for the potty. There was food in the refrigerator, coffee in a coffee pot and I am pretty sure real baked goods on the counter.

I went home and pondered this. . . I had heard about the domestic life, but that was for the suburbs, we live in the city. . .How could this be and how could I be so far behind. I bought my food at Dean and Deluca (or the Circle K Convenience Store), our beer and wine at a bar and my coffee at our local Dilworth Coffee Shop. . . fresh from them! Upon second thought, my new friend, well, she might be onto something!

So I started to learn, I bought Elle Decor and House Beautiful, I cut and clipped and created folders. I went to Robyns Fabrics and Callico Corners, and I cut fabric swatch after fabric swatch. The problem was that everything was SOOOOO EXPENSIVE!! Ask Callico Corners how much it costs to recover a chair and you will be lucky to get a quote less than $700. It was hopeless, I would never be able to afford anything. So I dug some more, and I found the best upholstery guy in the south and he was $250....and so it started, my obsession with fabric and interior design. I recovered almost everything in our house, everything that was left of course!

*My almost finished living room minus a cool modern lamp and the just the right throw rug!

Any one have any suggestions???

I wasnt doing half bad, a couple of mistakes along the way, but I was learning! Yet, I knew I needed more help, a friend refered me to her decorator, a women with a professional background in interiors, who was a new stay at home mommy as well. Meet my friend Collin, who has guided me so well over the last couple of years. I don't have a picture of her, but as soon as I see her, I am going to snap one of her, she is just that awesome!

So that's how it all began, a friend opened my eyes to living in comfort and another friend showed me how! Now I have coffee in the pantry, enough beer and wine for a snow day in July, a crisper full of fruit and veggies and at least three tv's in proper spots.

I don't think Scott ever cared one way or another, but one day, a long time ago, he walked in the door and said "it looks like a family lives here." And he was right, it was beginning to feel like home.

I could have titled this blog, the Domestication of Taylor, but I still have a long way to go! Now all I have to conquer is parenting, cooking and gardening. . . in that order!



This post is in support of Ruby, a wonderful women and friend of Collin's who has made pillow after pillow, curtains, slip covers and bench seats for me. . . . and to her battle against cancer. It is amazing how one women, who I have only met once in my life, can have brought me so much joy and comfort. I wish this for her.

*These are my very favorite curtains in the whole house!!! Ruby did them:)


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blogging Obsessions

I am not sure if it is an "actual condition" but I think blogging may be pretty addictive. Like reality tv for the girl who doesn't watch tv. . .me. Once I started blogging I couldn't stop and I can't stop reading the blogs of other bloggers, and all of this blogging is making me think of new blogs and old blogs and blogs I should have written. . . gosh I am tired just typing this!

While I was in Connecticut, I thought I would get a bunch of blogging in and because I am, well me, I couldn't figure out my iPad wordpress app. . . and so I took a writing break for a while.

Well that just FUELED THE FIRE, and I read and followed my favorite bloggers to their new favorite bloggers, and WOW has my inbox been FULL every morning with new blogspots.

So here are my latest obsessions, the blogs that I may or may not be able to live without:

1. The Southern Eclectic


My Photo

Follow super cool mommy, fashion designer, lifestyle blogger Sheridan French's blog and become cooler just reading. . . easy peasy. FIY-She started it all for me. . . .

2. Amber Interior Design


Amber's interior design blog will more than inspire you with her daily post's of fabulous fabric, amazing furniture, inspirational pictures and too cool for words posts!

3. Emily A Clark


Local Charlotte mommy Emily Clark's design blog is awesome! Here she shares her portfolio, decorating ideas and how she works her magic. fascinating! Plus her finds are local. MAJOR SCORE!

4. Clementine and Olive


Follow Erin, mommy to twins and DIY/affordable expert extraordinaire! She has the best Etsy shop and I can't believe I forgot to add her to my Best of Etsy awards. For sure she will top the charts in the fall!

Check out my new artwork purchase (from her Etsy store) for Coop's big boy room. It was $15!

Keep Calm and Carry On Painted Art
I can not wait to get it!!!

4. Dilly Dallas


If only I could have been. . . Follow Wilmington, Delaware Artist, Fashionista, Interiors Guru and style icon Dallas Shaw on her daily amazing finds and excellent adventures!

Check out this awesome find on her website from Dannijo for $80

Next week I swear I am going to own this. . .

5. Things That Sparkle


Things That Sparkle

Alexandra Berlin has a fun, light-hearted blog where she shares pictures of her favorite finds, travels, etc. So I love it of course!

That should give you a running start to my world of blogging!



Monday, August 8, 2011

The Best Projects Are Not Mine. . . .

I just came back from the most amazing  beach vacation with the kids at my Dad's house in Connecticut. Every time I go home I am truly inspired, and as soon as I get my pictures up, I promise to share tons and tons from recipes to gardens.

For now I am way to tired to actually start a project of any kind, but you know how I can't help myself, so I started on my sisters project. Ashley has this super awesome natural pine armoire that she plans to use in her new nursery and everyone at home is promising to paint it for her. This is just in case they need a little help. . .

*Found on the blog www.thenester.com

Painting Pine Furniture


This is a repost from July 2009, but it’s one of the most common questions I get asked:: “where did you get your armoire?”

I recently painted my yard sale purchased, pine armoire.

This is how it looked before. I think about 25% percent of houses in my neighborhood have a piece of furniture that looks like this. I love how warm it was and how it was such a great victim to withstood the abuse of 3 boys.

I’ve wanted to paint this piece since I saw Meredith’s painted armoire {here’s her before}. So, naturally, two weeks before we moved, I grabbed a pillow and an oval box for color inspiration and then all my color wheels and found a color I thought would be a good choice.

My goal was to have a robin’s egg blue but not a bright one like Martha leans toward but a dirty, natural feeling blue. Also, since I was painting over pine that had plenty of knots, I wanted to make sure it was a color that would look ok if and when the knots bleed through the paint. Because bleeding always seem to happen with knots.

I have painted raw pine in the past. I’ve used coats of primer and paint and within weeks, yes, WEEKS the knots start to bleed through. This time, I tried Behr Paint and Primer in One. {And wouldn’t it be nice if I were getting a big fat check from Behr since I’m broadcasting how much I love this product? I am not. Behr has no idea what a Nester is.}

So, it’s been almost 6 weeks now and so far, no bleeding. I will tell you if and when I see any signs of knots coming through. And if and when they do come through, I will be ok with that because I picked a color that will look even better with knots.

Here’s how I, the world’s most horrible, impatient painter, painted my armoire. And it turned out great.

1. Put the furniture on movers {those round things} and put plastic on the ground and move the armoire onto the plastic away from the wall. I did this all by myself thankyouverymuch. I think I even left the TV plugged in.

2. Get your professional paint roller holder thing and line it with your professional liner. Cake pan and aluminum foil.

3. Get your paint. Here’s the formula for what I used if you must have it. I think I would have been happy with any of the 20 colors I choose from. Usually, when people try to pick a robin’s egg they go waaaay too turquoise. You almost want a gray. Then, when you put the color next to gray it should look robin’s egg. {216 is the bottom number under the “B”}

I used Sherwin Williams Halcyon Green 6213. But remember, you really cannot tell what paint colors truly look like by looking at a computer screen. And I adjusted this photo so you could read the words so, if you think you would like it please get a sample first. In real life, the color is more greenish grey than what you see in the photo on my computer. Quietude, the one above also looks fantastic. I like the eggshell finish. I don’t like it really shiny so eggshell is a good choice for me. Why did I do a color match? Because I decided to paint this the same day I painted this. I didn’t have a Behr color wheel and I didn’t want to go to Home Depot, grab colors then come home and decide. Which is how you must do it. Never decide a color in a florescent lighted store. You need to choose it in the room where you will be using the color.

And for the record, the color in our front room is Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray.  It’s a more watery, lighter, gray blue than the deeper more intense blue/green Halcyon Green.

4. Start with a brush and do the corners. Or start with a roller and do the sides. I don’t really have a set way. I did wipe down the piece with a damp cloth first too, I guess I should add a number in for that. But other than knocking off the dust, no prep work.

5. I took the drawers out and left them for later. I also removed the handles with pliers because I didn’t want to mess with painting around them. I picked out some I liked better.

6. Decide where you want the paint to stop. You can paint all of the inside or be lazy like me and just do the doors. I simply painted whatever I could with the roller and let it stop at the edges. No brushing meticulously for me. I only used the brush in the tight corners and around the hinges.

7. I admit I didn’t do the best painting job ever to grace the internet. I painted three coats, I waited a few hours between coat one and two and then overnight before I did the third coat. I think it took me maybe 4 hours total from clean room to clean room.

8. I liked the fact that I had big square hinges to work around. I got a little paint on them but so? I’m not expecting the paint police anytime soon. They are busy arresting people who are too afraid to paint, because we all know that is a much bigger offense. And, yes, I left everything inside while I painted it.

9. Why am I still numbering? Here are some close ups, I won’t bore you with my words…

I love that you can still see the wood when you open it up.

Don’t forget to paint the top. I didn’t paint the back.

Where I decided to stop the paint. There’s no wrong.

I didn’t let the paint dry long enough before I shut the doors so there is a little paint that rubbed off. I could fix it but I probably never will. {One year later~still haven’t}

There you have it. I feel like every time I see this piece it thanks me for taking the time for painting it. It was so quick and simple. My only regret? I should have painted it years ago.

Want to paint your own furniture but want to do a little more professional job?  My friend Mandi from Altar’d furniture wrote an ebook that will tell you all the tricks and tools that she uses in her business {she sells painted furniture}.  For $10 you can get her secrets and step by step real, correct processes to paint something that’s nicer than my yard sale armoire.

click that button to find out more

One year later update:: I’m really surprised that NO KNOTS have shown up through the paint.  It’s like a painted pine miracle.  I still love the color and it’s held up great.  Twice, when I’ve had the paint out for anther project, I’ve put a little paint on my finger and touched up a few tiny places where the paint has rubbed off {mostly caused by me moving furniture}.  I still LOVE the color and the piece painted.