Thursday, December 20, 2012

baby love

If you're wondering why I've been absent lately, I think I have a pretty good excuse:

She's even better than we prayed for!

Monday, December 3, 2012

baby news (no, not me yet!)

A royal bundle of joy is on the way! Congratulations, Wills and Kate!

I'm almost as excited about this as I am about my own nugget.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?
* I am in need of a new alarm clock...

* A message to our little bun in the oven: "We love you, but HURRY UP."

* Every year I'm so smitten with Anthro's Christmas ornaments. She's particularly posh, don't you think?

* Surely you could find a worthy recipient for these hysterical socks.

* I'm 100% on board with these Peppermint S'mOreos.

What's your wish?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thankful Thursday

What am I thankful for this Thursday?

* Puppy dog snuggles and kisses.

* A truly wonderful husband.

* Fall weather! (How lovely was today?)

* A healthy (especially Mom!) and happy family.

* An indescribable God. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

nursery reveal (with DIY links)!

Kell and I are finally finished with our little cupcake's nursery! Or at least finished enough that we're not embarrassed to show anyone. I even tried out Kell's fancy new camera to take the pictures!

Read on if you'd like to see...

First thing's first: the door hanger!

(Sorry for the grainy image...It's from my phone. Follow me on Instagram! @mary_straton)

It's perched right on her door at the moment, ready for its trip to the hospital. I can't take credit for the design (actually, almost everything in this room is a copycat of some sort). A friend showed me one that looked similar, and I made it up as I went along. The bird is a Christmas ornament that I got from Anthro a few years ago, and the little bows are made of ribbon I got from the $1 rack at Michaels. The gold letters are tiny stickers; I only thought I had a steady hand until I tried to put those on...

Come on in!

I must confess: I can't take credit for the color scheme, either. I was totally inspired by this sweet little nursery, and wanted to re-create it somehow. You may remember my post about the wall color. We're still very pleased with it! It's sweet without being too sweet. Plus, Kell nixed pink walls for a girl LONG ago. (But I snuck some Behr Spring Song pink in there as an accent color. What's a little girl's room without SOME pink?)

Would you like to see a little more closely?

The valance I made (sort of) following this tutorial, except I did a scalloped edge and added some pink pom-pom trim with FabriTac. I also painted the E because 1) I couldn't find an acceptable gold fabric, and 2) I was apprehensive about cutting it out and gluing it on. The panels are just cheap white ones from JCPenney.

The puppy paintings actually are our beloved Olive and Charlie! This tutorial just uses a generic dog silhouette, but that simply would not do. I printed out some pictures of our pups, cut around them to make a stencil and traced it onto some canvases I'd painted Spring Song pink. Then I just filled in with some Liquid Leaf, and voila!

How do you like the bookcase? It's just a cheap laminate one from WalMart that I sanded and Kell primed and painted. The "back" was totally horrible, so I bought some foam board from a local art supply store, cut out this stencil, and painted it with Spring Song again. It took FOREVER, but I think the final product is worth it!

Onto the bed and bedding!

I ordered the bumpers and skirt from Serena & Lily after searching high and low for something that didn't look like a "set" (and not really wanting to pay for custom bedding - I have freakishly expensive taste in fabric). When it arrived, I noticed the pink on the skirt was way brighter than the rest of the room. Since I have a mental disorder, I decided the only way it would be acceptable is if I painted the pink part. So, I mixed the Spring Song with some fabric medium and painted away. You can't even tell!

This bunting above a crib was so adorable to me, but I didn't want the sharp edges of so many triangles for some reason (again with the mental disorder). Enter DIY Gone Wild again. I found this garland on Etsy and did my best to copy it, too. Again, a total labor of love, but just perfect for our sweet little girl.

Those of us with expensive taste know we are blessed and cursed. I adored this mobile, but $100 seemed steep, and I was convinced I could make something similar myself. At one point, I texted Harris and told her I was over it and ready to build a bonfire with felt and embroidery floss. She convinved me to keep going, and I have this mobile to show for it! Not nearly as detailed as the inspiration piece, but it will do. Plus, I ordered a part that makes it spin and play "You Are My Sunshine." Awww.

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I love a gallery wall. I'd gotten it in my head that I wanted one above the changing table, so I started collecting things for it (enter this and this).

Dawn with The Pinwheel Press made the Avett Brothers print for me. You can't really read it, but it says, "always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name," from this song.

And what's a room for an Eleanor without her own little song lyric? A little gold pen and some more Spring Song, and we're in business!

Now all we lack is our little one! Just a little over three weeks to go! We cannot wait to meet her.

Have a great Thanksgiving, darlings! Wish List Wednesday is Thankful Thursday this week, so come back soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That it hadn't been so long since my last post! Do you forgive me?

* Aren't these napkins fun? I totally think we could DIY them...

* A win for the Dawgs this weekend. We need a pick-me-up!

* Let's keep some of these adorable coasters around the house for holiday parties!

* Have you seen all the fun scarves at Target these days? I'm particularly taken with this one.

What's your wish?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

to God be the glory!

We got some wonderful news about my mom today!

Her scan this morning looked wonderful; the oncologist even used the word "phenomenal!"

Thanks be to God for his faithfulness and his many blessings!

"The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

wish list wednesday - Halloween edition!

What am I wishing for this Halloween Wednesday?

* That my hair would be "scared straight" forever!

* Instead of trick-or-treaters coming to my house to GET candy, I'd rather a line of people BRING me treats.

* These are clever last-minute Halloween decorations (don't act like you don't have empty wine bottles).

* I think my car battery this morning was celebrating Halloween by dropping dead.

* That I'd had a place to wear this today...

What's your Halloween wish?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* A fancy trip. Maybe a return to where the Mr. and I honeymooned?

* I'm wearing my hair straight these days, and I'm wondering if this new-fangled brush is worth a try.

* That it were as cool in the afternoons as in the mornings.

* Is this not the cutest mobile you've ever seen? Yikes on the price tag, though.

* This is the perfect amount of chevron.

What's your wish?

Monday, October 22, 2012


This weekend, I thought I was going to die if I didn't have a cinnamon roll. I'm really trying to be conscious of what I'm eating these days, but I had a weak moment.

Fortunately, I happened to have the ingredients for this recipe in my fridge, and I lived through the weekend to tell you all about them. (Thanks to Kell's mom for the recipe!)

Mama's Mini-Cinnis

2 (8 oz) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
6 tbs butter or margarine, softened
1/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c. pecans (no thanks)
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 c. powdered sugar
1 tbs milk or half-and-half
1/4 tsp almond or vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Unroll crescent rolls and separate each dough portion along center perforation to form 4 rectangles; press perforations to seal.

Stir together butter and next 4 ingredients; spread evenly over 1 side of each rectangle (I had to use my fingers). Roll up jellyroll fashion, starting at long end. (Make sure you have butter mixture on the same end where you start rolling.) Gently cut each log into 6 (1-inch-thick) slices, using a serrated knife. Place rolls, 1/4 inch apart, into 2 (8-inch) greased cake pans.

Bake at 375 for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden. Cool 5 to 10 minutes (yeah, right).

Stir together powdered sugar and remaining ingredients. Drizzle over warm rolls.

Confession: I used a whole batch of icing for half a batch/1 pan of rolls. If you're really halving the recipe, use 1/2 c. powdered sugar, 2 tsp milk.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?
Ceramic Bear Speaker
* A French woman's wardrobe.

* Wonder what this lamp shade looks like in real life?

* Banana bread recipes to use up all the bananas we have in our house at the moment. (I've already made these, and this is next!)

* I can't decide if the fox, the bear or the owl is the cutest!

* Wait, wasn't it fall yesterday? Come back!

What's your wish?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* This great infinity scarf, made by the super creative and clever Kristen Ley. Check out her other stuff, too!

* A standing appointment for a weekly blowout. Y'all should see how smooth and straight my hair is!

* Isn't this a great alternative to a Christmas tree? Perfect for small spaces! (wish I could find the original source!)

* A little treat from Muddy's Bake Shop in Memphis.

* Hurry, boot weather!

What's your wish?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

fancy sugar cookies

I'm extending an olive branch (you like that?) for not having blogged in a few days. Yikes!

Since I can't bake each and every one of you a batch of cookies, how 'bout I share a recipe from Mississippi Magazine's Patty Roper? I'm sure she won't mind.

I had one of these delightful sugar cookies at a recent conference, and they were perfectly sweet and light and adorable. Take one look at the ingredients, and you'll know why.

Patty's Sugar Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened (in a time crunch? Real Simple tells you how to fix that problem, among others)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fondant Icing  (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in mixer; add egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Shape into 3 balls; cover and chill one hour. Remove one ball at a time and roll onto floured surface to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Yield 2 dozen cookies.

Fondant Icing

7/8 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 (2-pound) bag confectioner's sugar

In a microwave, combine milk, shortening and salt. Add vanilla, butter flavoring, and almond extract. Pour into mixing bowl. With mixer, add sugar. Thin with warm milk. Brush over cookies on a wire rack over wax paper to catch drips.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?
* Do you die for this leather peplum top like I do?

* I'm getting antsy for some new hair products again. Any suggestions?

* Some new shoes for fall (not even boots this time!). I have always thought these are so cute.

* Is it weird that I kind of want a Snuggie?

* For this fall-ish weather to stick around. It is football season, after all...

What's your wish?

Monday, September 17, 2012

nursery before...

Forgive my absence, darlings! Things have been busy around our neck of the woods. One thing in particular: working in the nursery!

Here's the only "before" picture we took (thanks to Kell's mom who insisted!):

No hiding that belly anymore! And I'm not sure if you can tell what the paint color looks like really, but it's a lovely shade of aqua, Benjamin Moore "Ocean Spray," to be exact. Side note: don't waste your money on anything other than Benjamin Moore paint. It's the best, and that's it.

Also, if you can see, we wrote a little Bible verse on the wall right above where her bed will go before we (read: Kell) painted over it. Got you a close-up of that, too:

If you follow me on Instagram (@mary_straton), you've probably already seen these shots.

What do you think? We love it!

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2012

what makeup do you use?

I’m always fascinated by other people’s routines getting ready. It was one of the most interesting things about living in a sorority house, and it’s compounded by about 1,000 when you are married to a boy. For example, when I get ready in the morning, the t-shirt I slept in becomes the towel on which I wipe my makeup brushes or the eyeliner off my fingers.

Which brings me to my question today: what kind of makeup do you use? I used to use drugstore makeup in high school and college, and then I met Haley who introduced me to Sephora and to blush that cost more than $3. She single-handedly made my cost of living skyrocket, but I’m a believer in quality cosmetics now because of her (and clothes…and home d├ęcor…).

Here’s my routine:

Foundation: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm
This is the most recent addition to my makeup. I like a little more coverage than just a powder, but I hate a liquid foundation. Oh, and I also have super oily skin, and most foundations look pink on me. This really is perfect for just the little coverage I want, and it’s SPF45! Bonus: it makes my face feel great.

Powder: Sephora Collection Smoothing Translucent Powder
Someone told me one time that I needed to “set” my foundation with a powder. I believed them, and so now I use this. As I just mentioned, my skin is crazy oily, and I put this on at the end of the day to keep the shine off my nose (and forehead and cheeks and chin, etc.) if I need to go back out.

Bronzer: Too Faced Caribbean in a Compact – Sun Bunny
I wear bronzer every day. Every single day. Not sure why; I just got used to it, and in my mind, I’m contouring my face so that I look like Brooklyn Decker. I used to use NARS bronzer, but I got this last time I was in the store, and I’m a big fan! Swirl the colors together with the brush, and it’s a good not-too-dark glow.

Blush: NARS Blush – Orgasm, Deep Throat or Mounia
For my money, there’s no better blush out there. It lasts a long time, so I think it’s totally worth the $28. Most NARS stuff is.

Eye Primer: NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
At the risk of beating a dead horse, I have oily eyelids, too. This helps keep my eyeshadow from sliding around all over the place and from getting creases at the end of the day. I can totally tell when I forget to use it.

Eye Liner (and brow filler): MAC Eye Pencil – Coffee
Yes, I realize it’s weird that I use the same eyeliner as brow filler, but I don’t care. This is a perfect black-brown, and it’s the only reason I ever go to the mall. I’ve used it for years.

Eye Shadow: MAC Eye Shadow – Shroom, Mulch, Club, Woodwinked, Twinks…
Yet another product I’ve used for years. Again, it lasts forever and is just better than stuff from drugstores. I use Shroom to highlight under my brows and another color on my lids. Just whatever I feel like.

Mascara: CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion – Very Black
I’m being serious when I say I think I have tried every mascara on the market – expensive, inexpensive, highly recommended, obscure… I’ve spent countless dollars on it, and I always come back to this kind. It goes on great, doesn’t clump, you can build on it, and it’s less than $8. What more could you want?

Lipstick: CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain – 402 Scarlet Pucker
I was really surprised to see the lukewarm reviews on the site for this. I use it every day, and I really love it. It’s very light and goes on just like a magic marker. I have several colors and have always been pleased. Of course, with it being a drugstore product, you run into the chance that you might get a wonky color, but that’s the price you pay for it being inexpensive.

Lip Gloss (when I feel like it): Laura Mercier Lip Glace
For just when you want a little more sass on your lips. Again, expensive, but worth it. It's not sticky and lasts a long time.

I hope you enjoyed the little round-up of my daily face! What products to you use? I’d love to know!!

Have a beautiful week, darlings.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?
* Clean hair at the wiggle of my nose.

* I love this antique map of my favorite city in the world!

* Some rain so I could wear my new Hunter wellies (yes, I finally got some)!

* Wouldn't you love to have a bunch of these for your next get-together?

* I think I could get used to the idea of caramel apple ice cream.

What's your wish?

Friday, August 31, 2012

when is boot time?

It's no secret on this blog that I'm very much enamored of boots. I look at them year-round trying to decide what new pair I'll buy in the fall. So, needless to say, when the months start to creep closer to cooler weather, I get the itch to break them out. That's assuming it will get cold enough here to actually wear them this fall/winter. (Bonus: I'm glad they'll cover up my inevitable cankles.)

I'm fully aware that August 31 is way too early to wear a knee boot, but when do you think is an appropriate time? I can't decide. After Labor Day? After the first official day of fall (September 22)? Not till October? At the first nip in the air? I'm interested to hear your thoughts...

Have a great weekend, darlings. Football season finally begins! Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* I haven't been able to get these popovers out of my head since seeing them on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

* Who wants to have a Favorite Things party with me and MK?

* That I could sing like Scarlett Johannson. Don't you want her and Pete Yorn to love each other in real life?

* Inclement weather always makes me want Hunter wellies.

* Prayers for my friends in Louisiana and on the MS Gulf Coast! Hang in there!

What's your wish?

Monday, August 27, 2012


Remember the dog silhouette art Anthropologie sold a long time ago?

I remember them well because of their cuteness, and I also seem to recall they were very expensive (as many items are there). I love to copy artwork for my own home, and on a whim I searched for "DIY dog silhouettes" and found these.

I (of course) already have pictures of my little pups' silhouettes, so I'd use those instead of just a generic dog image. But I think they're pretty darn cute!

What do you think? Do you woof them too?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?
* A new 'do. Every few months or so, I get bored with my hair, and I want something different (read: calmer and less massive).

* How pretty is this dress? It would probably look good on about 1% of the world's population, but elegant nonetheless.

* I kind of adore this bag.

* How do y'all feel about these? I fully support them.

* Great weather at the beach. Yes, I'm going back!

What's your wish?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


If this doesn't make you want to shop at Gap, nothing will.

Friday, August 17, 2012

that don't impress me much

I'm not over the Olympics. I would watch them for a solid month if we could find enough athletes to compete.

And I, like all Americans, are enamored of the ladies' gilded gymnastics team. I remember watching the Kerri Strug vault in real time, and McKayla's was just as exciting! Speaking of McKayla, have y'all seen this tumblr?

People are so clever! McKayla, teach me how to Dougie!

Voldemort casting a Killing Curse? McKayla is not impressed.

all images from here

Have an impressive weekend, darlings.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?
k studio™ iPad Case
* Banana bread donuts with nutella glaze? Excuse me?

* Do y'all think the John Freida 3-Day Straight works? I wonder...

* Maybe when my fingers get fat, Kell will buy me this.

* A few extra prayers for my mom this week. She needs a boost!

* This iPad case is WAY cuter than the one I have (oh, and it TOTALLY matches my blog, too).

What's your wish?

Monday, August 13, 2012


I've really been trying hard to avoid baby talk as much as possible. We all know those moms (and some dads) that seem to only be talking about their kids, born or unborn. And while I can't wait for Eleanor to get here, it's the nursery that I keep thinking about. So, since we're talking design and not technically baby, it's cool, right?

Sorry if it's trendy, but I love white walls. Love them. And for a house like mine that doesn't have tons of windows, white paint really opens and brightens the space up! The room we'll use for the nursery is tiny, so I want it to look as big (and clean) as possible. And seeing all these images on Pinterest is making me lean towards an all-white nursery! What do you think?

Pinned Image
So calming. I am SO getting a fluffy white rug.

Pinned Image
I love the white + neutral bedding with the white bed.

Pinned Image
I even like the dark changing table.

Pinned Image
Y'all know I would never be able to do a white nursery without SOME color.

So what do you think about a white nursery? Super soothing or a collosal mistake? You can see other ideas for the nursery on its special little Pinterest board.

Have a great week, darlings!

Friday, August 3, 2012

that reminds me...

Music evokes. Emotions, memories, inspiration and the like. But my favorite thing music brings up are thoughts of people I know and love.

Ever hear a song on the radio, and it reminds you of a specific person? Maybe someone you are super close to, or just an acquaintance you once saw dancing on a table at a fraternity house. Wait, what? Pretend I never said that…

I’ve always been one of those people with a really strange train of thought, but there’s something about a song that takes me right back to a time, place, person or cotton candy bubble gum (can I get an “amen,” Claire?). Y’all might not know any of these people, so you may not care, but I found it to be a fun exercise.

“Listen to the Music” by the Doobie Brothers reminds me of Kell. I seem to remember one time in college him telling me that he loved that song. I’m sure he has no recollection of that and might not even like the song anymore, but I think of him every time I hear it.

“American Pie” by Don McLean reminds me of my friend Lauren. It is well-known in our circle that this is Lauren’s favorite song ever. Fortunately, she loathes the Madonna version as much as I do. Blasphemy, if you ask me. (Check out her Etsy shop while you’re at it! She's crazy talented.)

“Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison is Claire all the way. I have to admit, I had to look up the artist (and I do use that term loosely) to whom this song is attributed. It just never really mattered because the only information I needed to associate it with is Claire.

“Walking in Memphis” by Mark Cohn reminds me of Mary-Kathryn, only because that happens to be where she’s from. Every time I hear that song, I kind of wish I were from there, too. How can I not?

“Doctor My Eyes” by Jackson Browne makes me think of my sister Harris. She has the most diverse, random taste in music ever. One minute she’ll be gyrating to Nicky Minaj and the next she’ll be looking for a Richard Marx station on Pandora.

That was fun, huh? What songs remind you of your peeps? Scarier yet, is there a song that reminds YOU of ME?

Have a thoughtful weekend, darlings.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?
* Have you seen the new TOMS Desert Wedges? How cute with leggings or under a maxi dress/skirt for fall?

* What would it take to get a break from the heat?

* That I were in London this week! I LOVE London AND the Olympics!

* Speaking of global references, these would certainly take a block of cream cheese and pepper jelly to a new level.

* Can you imagine Olive and Charlie riding around in one of these?

What's your wish?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* No more rain at the beach! Is there anything more depressing?

* An at-home shellac mani set. Use this one 4-5 times, and it's paid for itself!

* What an adorable way to fancy up a birthday cake!

* I would get so much wear out of this blazer!

* A plateful of these for breakfast (hint, hint, Kell).

What's your wish?

Monday, July 23, 2012

it's a...

Our little cupcake is a girl! Did you guess right? I didn't!

Baby Eleanor will be making her grand debut in December, and we couldn't be more thrilled (especially Daddy).

What do you think about the cupcakes? The "bee" is a chocolate-covered almond with frosting stripes and sliced almond wings!

I'm at the beach this week, but I'll be blogging with my toes in the sand.

Have a great week, darlings.

Friday, July 20, 2012

what'll this darling bee?

Hard to bee-lieve, but tomorrow is blue or pink day! We're having a little get-together to present the big reveal. Any last-minute guesses?

In addition to the gender reveal cupcakes, I'm going to try my hand at these. What do you think?

Have a great weekend! Come back soon!

PS - if you like the invite, please visit Dawn's Etsy shop, Pinwheel Press!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

Mini ram bangle* Don't you just love a vintage apron?

* That I could spill the beans on what Baby Smith is! You'll have to wait until next week!

* This would match my snake bangle!

* I really want a flokati rug. Too bad I don't live near an Ikea.

* An offer to paint two rooms in my house...for free! Any takers?

What's your wish?

Friday, July 13, 2012

the great jean jacket quandry

I’ve kind of had denim jackets on the brain lately. Not sure why; the heat index around here hovers at about 115 degrees on a regular basis, and most of the time I’m not interested in any additional layers, not to mention one that is as heavy as denim.

I’ve owned multiple jean jackets in my time. Some had patches (you know it), one had a shearling collar, another was cropped to a ridiculous length, and as a child of the 80’s, I totally had an acid wash one. Pretty sure I wore that one with my matching jeans. But as an adult, I have one in my closet that just hangs and collects dust. I never know how to wear it. Stacy and Clinton always talk about the versatility of a jean jacket, but I always feel like Marty McFly in mine.

Maybe I’m not styling it right? Look how great these babes look!

Nicole works it with a maxi and a bump...

I love this totally destroyed one...

How do you feel about a denim jacket? Do you love them or loathe them? Do you have one? If so, how do you wear it?

Have a totally rad weekend, darlings.