Burlap & Blue!!

I am SUPER EXCITED to be starting a new venture as a contributor on the fabulous blog Burlap & Blue!!!  My guest posts will be mostly design focused with posts on current design trends and design inspirations.  My first post last week {here} was a “1 in3”.  For these posts I select 1 fabulous find {usually something handmade} and show it in 3 different types of spaces.  Check out today’s post all about a hot design trend: Dip Dyed!  Pop on over to Burlap & Blue for all the details!

Huge thanks again to the lovely Linda for bringing me on as a contributor!!


~ Jillian


Monday Mantra: Those who matter

Monday monday monday…why do you keep coming so fast??  Hope you had a lovely weekend!  We had a BUSY one!  We attended the 80th anniversary celebration of my hubby’s company!  {which happens to be a family business!}.  And my company MOSS spent a few hours putting together a bunch of arrangements for the event!  {which was at the Georgia Aquarium…i am in LOVE with the Beluga Whales…i want to jump in the tank with them!!}

We also caught up with some fabulous friends & family and spent some much needed time snuggling my sweet niece!  All in all it was a lovely one.  AND to make it even more lovely…the weather in Atlanta right now is just perfect!  There is a slight chill in the air, a nice breeze and the sun has been shining!  Here’s hoping this Fall weather sticks around for a LONG time!!  Coming up soon we have featured posts from some of your favorite HSE contributors about their favorite things Fall!  Now on to this weeks mantra…

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter
and those who matter don’t mind”

~ Dr Seuss

Namaste & Happy Monday

~ Jillian

Yummo – Roasted Red Pepper & Corn Soup

I love soup.  Its easy to make. It makes you feel warm and snuggly.  Its healthy {usually}.  It’s just overall yummy!!  Now I’ve told you before that I tend to be a toss in a little of this, add a pinch of that kind of girl…this soup recipe is no different!  It was a random weekday, and I wanted something yummy for dinner!  So i literally stood staring into my pantry trying to put random things together to make a satisfying meal.

Roasted Red Pepper & Corn Soup

  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 3 cans corn
  • 3 cups of stock or water
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup of jarred salsa {more if you like}
  • 1 can northern beans {or beans of choice}
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne
  • dash of ground mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • Lime {for zesting}
  1. In large saucepan on med/high heat add stock/water, condensed soup & salsa,
  2. While mixture simmers, finely chop roasted red peppers and add to pot.  Add garlic, cayenne & ground mustard
  3. In food processor or using a hand mixer smooth together the beans and corn until desired thickness {i went for more creamer to add some weight to the soup}
  4. Add corn & bean mixture to the soup, stir, add salt & pepper to taste and the zest of 1/2 lime.  Allow mixture to simmer approx 15 min {if you have more time it will only get tastier!}
  5. Serve with a scoop of Greek Yogurt & Cilantro

Turned out yummy, was super satisfying and hearty!!  {The beans give it a nice rich texture and add a boost of protein too!}

What are your favorite fall soups?  Have you tried any new recipe lately??  Send them in…we would love to share!!


~ Jillian

{and HAPPY friday!!!}

Design School: mixing patterns

One of the best ways to pull together a high end looking interior that doesn’t give off that “room in a bag” kind of vibe is to mix patterns; but to many that can be super intimidating!

Pattern is one of those things that when blended together right looks amazing but it is possible to have too much of a good thing or to get overwhelmed in the process!  My general rule of thumb for interiors is if you love it then go for it!!  But for those that are a-scared to jump off the pattern ledge here is the first ever HSE addition of Design School.

A little disclaimer first, these are just “guidelines” to follow, these aren’t hard and fast rules.  Most important is that you give it a shot…some attempts might be more successful then others but in the end I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the effect a little pattern can have in your life!

– Work with the same color “intensity” {pastels with pastels or jewel tones with jewel tones}  Now this doesn’t mean that every single color has to be in the same tone {a pop is always encouraged!!} but if you are struggling to find a combo that works this can help you pull it all together.

– Combine different types of patterns.  Mix large scale floral patterns with linear stripes or plaids.  Ikats with textured fabrics.  Just don’t combine patterns that are too similar {ex. two different types of polkdots = big no-no}

– Find balance in your space.  Don’t put all of the patterns in one spot in the room, locate them around the room.  For instance in the picture below there is a large scale pattern on the window treatments, a texture on the fireplace  {the stone}, small linear patterned chairs with large scale pattern pillows and a patterned rug.  The patterns are balanced throughout the room using large scale patterns in combination with smaller scale and textured pattern.

{Image found here}

– Use a mix of scales of patterns as well as types.  In other words include large scale, medium scale and small scale patterns that are a combination of linear, organic and textured patterns

– Start with one pattern with lots of color and base scheme around that {a colorful stripe, floral or organic would be a good place to start}

– Don’t forget about those textures too!  Mixing up textures {velvety smooth with chunky knit or soft cotton} is another great way to add depth to your space.

Homework Assignment: Choose three or more patterns {odds are always better then evens}

  • Pattern #1 sets the tone for the other patterns.  For this pattern go big and bold.  Make sure there are more then 2 colors and look at patterns like ikat, floral or plaid.
  • Pattern #2 should  be about 1/2 the scale of the first pattern.  For this pattern try a geometric, animal print or stripe.  Try to use less colors then #1 {but at least 2}
  • Pattern #3 should be a small scale pattern or a texture that pulls from either #1 or #2.  Try a tone on tone pattern or a very strong textured fabric.  {remember pattern doesn’t have to only be bold and out there!}

Still nervous about the whole pattern mixing thing?  A great way to play with pattern without getting overwhelmed is by picking one color combo {in this case black and white} that way all you have to focus on is the scale and pattern type!

So get out there and get creative!  Start by looking around your house {or even in your closet} to see what kinds of patterns you might already have!  Push the limits of what you think “goes” together and try something a bit more unexpected!

Class Dismissed

~ Jillian

* There’s still time! Enter to win an adorable custom onsie for a cute munchkin in your life {here}!

Monday Mantra: Do it

Happy Monday to you. Hope you enjoyed a relaxing weekend.  We spent the weekend catching up with friends, running errands and getting things done around the house.  I’m getting very excited about the fall weather that is slowly creeping in {stay tuned for posts from some of our contributors about the reasons we love fall!}  and resisting the urge to make every single pumpkin recipe I have pinned!!  Although I’m {obviously} super excited about fall its so hard to believe that the summer is already over.  This year is flying by!  With so much going on and with everyone’s busy schedules its easy to fall into a routine.  Never loose the drive to keep learning, reaching for new goals and dreaming about doing things that truly make you feel whole.  Today’s mantra seemed just right…

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.
If you can dream it, you can become it.”


Don’t stop dreaming!!

~ Jillian

*  Don’t forget to enter to win this weeks giveaway!

** I’m SUPER excited to be an official contributor at the fabulous burlap+blue!  Check out my first guest post {here}

{Giveaway!} – Gina Creates (closed)

This giveaway is now closed:  Congrats to Shauna Oberg from Satori Design for Living!

It’s GIVEAWAY time again!!  This one comes to us from the lovely Gina of Gina Creates found at Etsy.  Gina makes adorable customized onesies for your little one or to pass on to the little ones you love!  I stumbled on Gina while searching for a kick-butt onesies to give to my sweet little Niece.  I had my heart set on a “I Just got here & I’m already AWESOME” onesie and Gina did not disappoint!  {I mean lets be honest…that little Alys girl is pretty much the most awesome thing ever} Gina customized the onesie to be just perfect with the colors and fonts I was looking for!

Here are a few other awesome designs she’s put together…

**Giveaway time !! 

  • Prize: one custom printed onesie {any design – the sky’s the limit!}
  • To Enter: Check out Gina’s shop Gina Creates  and leave a comment telling us what your favorite design is or what custom idea you would love to see!
  • Bonus Entry: To increase your chances of winning, earn a second entry by posting this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. {Then, simply leave a 2nd comment telling us you did!}
  • Giveaway Closes: Thursday, 9.20 at 8pm
  • Details: The winner will be randomly selected using random.org & announced next Friday morning as an update to this post. {so be sure to check back!!}  Giveaway is open to U.S. readers only.

{Guest Post} New York: State of Mine

Happy  Day to ya!  Hope you are having a great week.  Today, we’ve got a fabulous little tour thru one of this country’s most fantastic cities brought to you by another rockin’ HSE contributor.  Ladies and Gents, allow me to introduce Sarah… take it away, lady!!

It’s over. It’s really, really over. My school district’s been back in session for weeks already, but Labor Day really was the final nail in this summer’s coffin, wasn’t it? Yep, summer vacation is just a sweet, faint memory as I face this long new school year.  Summer… it was glorious. It was the first summer break in… well, forever that I wasn’t eyeball deep in graduate programs, or coaching cheerleaders, or… anything.  The sole item on my agenda was recovering from my first, whirlwind year as a new middle school media specialist. Well, that and a much anticipated trip to NY to visit my family. That definitely was the highlight. You see, I am no Georgia peach; nope, I’m just a (transplanted) New York apple. And though I’ve now lived in Atlanta much longer than I lived there, New York is still home.

It’d been a while since I was last in NY and even longer since my husband Kevin had.   When we go to NY, we stay at my grandparents’ property which sits on the Queens Borough / Nassau County line. The property is two acres large and the main house – my grandmother’s and where we stay – is situated in Queens borough while the other house – where one of my uncles and his family live – lies across an invisible line in Nassau County. Also on the property, are old barns and the remains of a greenhouse from the family florist shop my grandfather ran until his death. It’s a pretty cool piece of property and it’s quite rare to have so much land in the city.

The focus of my visit is usually visiting family, but we always make time to visit Manhattan! If you have never visited NYC, you really should try to make a trip happen. New York City is AMAZING. The people are nice (really!), the food is fantastic, and the energy is both palpable and infectious. Most importantly, there are endless things to do and see. I dare you to visit and not find something about it to love!

This year, I went into Manhattan twice; which is so NOT enough time for all that NYC has to offer! Every time we visit, we try to cross a few more attractions off the list. Here are some photo highlights from the trip; maybe they will inspire you to visit the Big Apple, too! (Click any collage to view larger)

The National September Memorial: The Memorial is comprised of two reflecting pools that sit within the footprints of the Twin Towers. Each are nearly an acre large and they feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. It was a sobering experience visiting the memorial and seeing all those names of lives lost. And yet, it was also really cool to see the construction on the new Trade Center building. (Most skyscrapers were built before my time and though I have seen pictures or videos of various building – include the original Trade Center – being built, I’ve never seen anything like it in person before.)

The American Museum of Natural History: My nephew is really into dinosaurs these days, the hubby loves science, AND once toyed  with the idea of becoming an archaeologist, so I actually went here both days I went into the city. There are four floors of soooo much to see and learn about. You could totally break it all up over a few visits and there are always reasons to return thanks to the many special exhibits the museum offers. (Since we had never been before, we didn’t do any of those but we will next time.)

Rockefeller Center / Top of the Rock: On a past trip to the city, Kevin and I went to the top of the Empire State Building and the views of downtown were great.  But when we went around the observation deck to look north, I was really disappointed that there was a big, stupid building blocking my view of Central Park! See where I am going with this? Yep, it was Rockefeller Center! So I vowed then and there to go to Top of the Rock the next time we had a hankering for rooftop views of Manhattan. It took a few years but we were not disappointed. We went first thing in the morning so we got to see the crowds of people watching The Today Show. Then when we made our way inside, there was no line to go to the observation deck! (Woot, woot!) Looking north or south, we got fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline. There is even a Viewfinder Mobile App that turns your smartphone into a guide of the Manhattan skyline, with info about the iconic landmarks. You can use it to take pictures, apply effects and share them right from the app. Technology is cool.

New York Public Library: I am a librarian… and a geek. So, of course I had to visit the New York Public Library’s “main branch” AKA the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street. Oh my GAWD, this building is BEAUTIFUL! It’s one of the coolest places I have ever explored. I couldn’t help but imagine myself reading/studying there – like I would if I actually lived in a Soho loft like I do in my head. 🙂 I’m not sure if Kevin was as into it as me, but I was in heaven. My infatuation with the place must be why I’ve included so many pictures of it! 😀  (And I’m sorry but how cool are those leather nail-trim doors?!)

Central Park: Central Park is huge. HUGE. As in, 2.5 miles long and .5 miles wide! Though I have been before, I’d never made it to Strawberry Fields. As both a Beatles and a John Lennon fan, I was looking forward to experiencing this quiet corner of Central Park. People from all over the world seek out and pose for pictures on the iconic black-and-white mosaic bearing the word “Imagine.” I love the photo below of the little girl. It looks like she is really broken up about Lennon’s death, but in actuality, she just didn’t want to stop posing/playing on the mosaic. Everyone there found it terribly cute.

Oh! I have to tell you about a total “fancy meeting you here” moment we had after leaving Top of the Rock.  (You’ll have to humor me a bit while I go a little off tangent.) We were headed to the library, but as we got closer we realized it wasn’t open yet and there was a photo shoot occurring on the famous library steps. When we got really close, I saw the photographer was Atlanta-based, mega-talented Liz Von Hoene (who long ago worked as a photo assistant to my dad, but now is Big Time). Before leaving Atl, I’d seen on FB that she was in NY for a shoot but I never imagined that in a borough of over 4 million people, almost a thousand miles from Atlanta, our paths would actually cross. What are the chances?! I hadn’t seen her in over a decade, so of course I hung around until the shoot was over in the hopes I’d be able to  say a quick hello – which I did.  (I remember when I was a teenager, I basically wanted to be Liz when I grew up. To me, she was exceedingly hip and sophisticated; among other things I’m sure, she introduced me to  Indian & Thai food, well-shaped eyebrows, and hair dryer diffuser attachments.) It was a totally random, cool experience to run into my yester-year hero after all this time and it completely took me back to the days when I babysat her son at her studio/loft and I got to watch the magic of photo shoots all day long. (BTW, that darling little boy is in college now! Whoa…) On that sobering note, thank you for indulging me – tangent complete! 😀

Before I wrap this post up, here are just a few more random shots from our travels (including a few I snapped of the photo shoot).

I realize not everyone has family they can stay with while exploring NYC and that it can be a pricey place to visit. But there is lots of information out there on the web about how to do it economically. One thing to check out is the New York Pass, if you going to be visiting enough attractions it can really save you a lot of money.

I hope you enjoyed my little recap of my trip to NYC!  But as I said at the top: summer is over. It’s time to put the bathing suits and sunscreen away and look forward to autumn! And that isn’t really too hard to do – after all, there are SO many things about fall to love…

{hint hint…Stay tuned for a few of the Lovely Ladies’ favorite things about fall!}

~ Sarah

Monday Mantra: the Journey

Morning!  Its monday again {they just seem to sneak up on you don’t they} but this one for us is a little more difficult then usual.  Last week we secretly snuck off to the beach for a much needed vacation!  We enjoyed lazy days in the sunshine, eating great food and most importantly  just relaxing and enjoying our days!  The doodle girl took the journey with us and let me tell you…she is QUITE the beach bum!  That girl loves the beach!!  So now its back to reality, back to work and back to the craziness.  Today’s mantra is one that is easily forgotten when life gets busy but when we have to the time to take a break and breath we remember how important it is to stop and enjoy what life has to offer us.

“Take it all one day at a time and enjoy the journey”

Enjoy your journey!

~ Jillian

*Enter the HSE Mystery Box Design Challenge!  Entries due this friday!!

P.S.  Remember our fabulous giveaway with Rayna Lane?  Well I received a sweet email from our winner Anni {check out her blog Notes from Dixie} with an image of the gorgeous pillow!  Thanks again to all the HSE readers for participating and of course to the sweet Rayna for such a great giveaway!

Hi Lady,

I already received my pillow today and it is even more beautiful than I could have imagined. What a great gift! Here is a picture and my little post about it! http://www.notesfromdixie.com/2012/08/my-rayna-lane-pillow/

Thanks again!

Thanks again to all the HSE readers for participating and of course to the sweet Rayna for such a great giveaway!

the Perfect Pin – Food addition

I think i’m hungry…or at least looking at all these yummy food pictures from my pinterest page are making me hungry!!  Get ready for an extremely random assortment of all things yummy. 

{Hummus & Horseradish Deviled Eggs}

{Creamless creamed corn w/ mushrooms & lemon}

{Chickpea & tomato salad w/ basil}

{Pumpkin Pie Sheet cake}

{Hungarian Mushroom Soup}

{Blueberry Beet Pancakes}

{Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups}

{Pumpkin Crunch}

{No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls}

I haven’t tried any of these yummy delights yet…but have no fear…they will be happening soon!  Check out my pinterest boards for the original recipes and sources!!  Have you made anything from your pinterest boards lately that was a smashing success? {or possibly a huge failure?}  I’m still working on getting a few more things over to my “done and done” board, the ratio of pinned to actually done is out of control!!

Eat up!
~ Jillian

* There’s still time to get those creative juices flowing and enter to win the HSE Mystery Box Design Challenge!!  


I hope that you know and love the fabulous app that is Instagram, but for those of you that don’t…be prepared to fall in LOVE!!  Instagram is a free photo sharing program that allows you to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it and then share it!  It posts on Instagram but you can also share it on other social media sites like twitter and facebook.  Such a fun way to keep up with and share those fabulous memories!  Trust me you will Love!  You can follow me at hersplitends.

Instagram it up!!

~ Jillian