Thursday, December 30, 2010

Surprise baby shower in Denver

Jeremy's sweet sisters planned a surprise baby shower for us while we were in Denver for Christmas. There are 7 grandsons in his family and NO granddaughters. So, needless to say, everyone was dying to buy something pink with ruffles! Here are a few pics of the festivities and the lovely things our little bean got that night.

I put a onesie on the bear that says "my dad rocks" :)

Move over boys....a little lady Lutito is comin' to town!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Peppermint Lip Balm DIY

In my quest to save money this Christmas and make meaningful gifts, I made yummy peppermint lip balms for some ladies in my life. It was super easy and I love the way they turned out!

1 tablespoon beeswax pellets
2 tablespoons carrier oil (I used olive oil)
essential oils of choice (I used peppermint)
three 1/2 oz tins with lids
lipstick shavings in color of choice

This "recipe" above will make about 3 small tins, so multiply that by however much you want to make!

1. Heat beeswax and carrier oil in a bowl in the microwave until melted (about 1.5 minutes) or in a heat proof jar in pot of hot water.

2. Once pellets are melted, add in several drops of essential oils until desired scent.

3. Add lipstick shavings until you get the color you want. I used a red lipstick.

4. Pour hot wax into tins and let cool for 1 hour. Voila!

Rosemary Eucalyptus Bath Fizzies DIY

Christmas is expensive and I always appreciate gifts that are handmade anyway. So this year I decided to make some delicious smelling bath fizzies. I chose to make eucalyptus and rosemary, but any scents work! I love how they turned out and think they will make great gifts!

1/2 cup citric acid (found at Whole Body)
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cane sugar
food coloring (I used green and blue)
essential oils- eucalyptus & rosemary
mason jars or other containers
flexible silicon ice cube trays
small spray bottle

This "recipe" makes about 1 dozen larger fizzies or about 24 smaller ones.

1. Stir together citric acid, baking soda and cornstarch.

2. Pass mixture through a flour sifter into a mixing bowl. Add in cane sugar.

3. Fill spray bottle with water and several drops of food coloring. Spritz mixture lightly and mix to distribute color. Be careful not to saturate it. You only want it damp enough to be able to mold it in your hands. I ruined my first batch by making it too wet!

4. Pack molds with mixture and let them sit overnight to dry.

5. Next day: press fizzies carefully out of molds and place in mason jars for packaging.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Miles Warren Pillsbury

I am so thrilled to have a new nephew! He is just perfect in every way. My sister Desiree was a trooper with a 35 hour labor, but I think she will agree that he was worth it. Born 4 weeks early and still 7 lbs 20 inches long! He was ready to make his entrance into the world. So here is a pic of the little fellow wrapped in the blanket I made for him.

Miles, I already love you so much it hurts!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Little Lady Lutito on her way!

My husband and I found out this week that we will welcoming a daughter into our lives late April! We are so incredibly filled with joy and excitement as this journey becomes even more real and I start to feel more of a connection to her. She is kicking around in there like crazy and letting her momma know she's an active one. Of course, I am so excited to think of the fun possibilities decorating her room and naming the little bug. We feel so blessed to be on this journey.

Fun facts about our little one:
She kicks a TON when I'm reading Harry Potter. I like to think she will have a vivid imagination :)
She loves grapes because that is ALL I want these days.
She already has beautiful little lips (see glamour shot below)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Loveliest of Lovelies

This little film made me tear up. So beautiful and inspiring. Please give it a watch and then give your loved one a smooch on the lips. This video is of Naomi from her blog Rockstar Diaries and her hubby. Cute couple!

Postcards From Italy from ForYouLoveMe on Vimeo.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Orla Kiely at Target

I just found out that this amazing design collection is set to arrive at Target next February and I can't wait! Orla Kiely's dreamy vintage prints make me want to turn into a balloon and float away into a happy fairytale dream. Here is a preview of some of the amazing goods that I'll be snatching up when they arrive. Just don't buy them all before I get there.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Herbs de Provence Chicken with Winter Veggies

Last night, I was able to bring dinner to my good friends who just had their baby this weekend and made this dish. Didn't use a recipe for it and I don't want to forget it, so hence the blog! No pics unfortunately!

1 whole roasting chicken
half an apple (any kind)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1-2 tbsp herbs de provence
2-3 tbsp of butter
4-5 cloves of garlic
1/2 large sweet potato or 1 small
4 parsnips if small, large only 2
1/4- 1/2 sweet onion
6-8 brussel sprouts
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Start by cutting all veggies and fruit. You'll need to peel your potato and parsnips before you chop. I cut these into about 1 inch cubes, the brussel sprouts I cut in half lengthwise and the onion into large chunks. Apples just need to be cut into slices.

Cut little slits in the skin on top of the chicken breasts and slide little pats of butter up under the skin (thanks Joy for this idea!!! Yum!) Mince or chop garlic and slide under skin as well. Rub top of skin with extra butter and garlic as well as sprinkle the herbs de provence, salt and pepper to cover the top the chicken. Stuff inside of chicken with 4-5 slices of apple and the sprigs of rosemary. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string or twine. Place chicken in a shallow dish that has a lid. Arrange vegetables around chicken to cover the bottom of dish. Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Take out of oven after 1 hour, and ladel about a half a cup of chicken stock onto top of chicken. Cook for another 15 min uncovered. This will allow the skin on top to get crispy and brown. Yum!

That's it. Enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

DIY mirror project

Jeremy and I decided to make our own mirror for our master bathroom. We've been giving our bathroom a makeover lately. We went to an old salvage yard and bought some door jam wood and found a cheap mirror at Southern Thrift and voila! Pretty funny process though of figuring out how to make something like this, but we like how it turned out!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dreamy Kitchen

This kitchen picture is just dreamy and makes me want to cook! Thanks Apartment Therapy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Down the Mountain

Today is Blog Action Day at and the entire blogging world is focused on one thing....clean water. As I write this, I sit at my desk with a glass of cold, clear, clean H2O, free from disease causing bacteria that could cause my body harm. I got this water from the refrigerator in my office, 20 steps away. That very same refrigerator is plastered with pictures of communities that lack this very basic resource. Its a funny thing we do, putting pictures on our fridge. We can't explain why we do it, but we do. I usually put up pictures of my friends' babies or wedding announcements to look at and smile. The pictures I look at in my office still make me smile, but they also make me think. What would my life be like if I couldn't walk 20 feet to get a glass of water? How would I feel physically? What would this mean for my family? What would my days look like in order to solve this problem?

You see, the reason our fridge is filled with photos of communities that lack access to this resource is because I work for an organization called Blood:Water Mission. We are an organization that empowers communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa. I can't think of any place else I would rather be than fighting alongside these amazing communities for this basic right, communities like this one in Larachi, Kenya, which one of my staff was able to visit this year.

These families of Larachi have moved their homes down to the bottom of the mountain where they lived to have more access to development in the hopes they will one day have clean water and medical care. Here's where you come in. You can enter into their story and stories like theirs throughout Africa by being a part of a movement. A movement for clean water.

Ask yourself...
Who do you know? your own community to join forces with
What do you love?...what are the things you love to do that can create change
How can you act? make a difference in the lives of your neighbors a continent away

How can you be the movement in your own community? You can find out more at

Also, you can make a difference in a community in Rwanda or Uganda by donating and your money will be matched dollar for dollar. Donate $10 and it becomes $20. Donate $100 and double that! The need is great and every little bit counts. Click here to donate.

Thank you,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mini Shepherds Pies in Acorn Squash

So, If you know me, you know I'll stuff just about anything in a green acorn squash. I love them! So sweet and delicious. I also LOVE shepherds pie. So, I got this thought on my way home last night to stuff squash with mini shepherds pies. Once that thought was in my head there was no turning back. Luckily I had everything at my house to make them, but remember you can put anything you like in shepherds pie. I include my favorite veggies.

2 green acorn squash
1/2 lbs ground beef
1/4 of red bell
1/4 of an onion
handful of sweet corn
handful of peas
2 cloves garlic
2 tbls butter
salt & pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
pinch dried sweet basil
Idahoan instant mashed potatoes (herb and garlic)
handful of shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Cut tops off acorn squash like you would a pumpkin and scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff. Cut a little sliver at the bottom so the squash can sit upright without falling over to one side. Baste inside of squash with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in oven to bake for 30 minutes.

While squash is cooking, saute red bell, onions until tender. Add garlic and ground beef. Cook until beef isn't pink anymore. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and basil. Add in handful of peas and corn, can be frozen when added in. Let all saute for a couple minutes together.

Boil water for mashed potatoes and prepare when ready. I totally cheat on the taters. These Idahoan ones are so good and EASY! Once squash is done in oven, fill each with the meat mixture. Top with mashed potatoes. Return to oven to cook for 15 minutes. Take pies out then and top with cheddar cheese and put back in oven for an additional 5 minutes to melt. Voila! You're done.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My "wanted" fall collection

My friend, the lovely and talented Elise Yetton, has a wonderful blog called Pennyweight and posts a weekly "Wanted This Week" edition. I decided to create my own for today, inspired by the changing weather of my favorite season! Now, if only I could find $1600 for this leather bag. Maybe I'll check the couch cushions :)

Welcome to Polyvore!

Amsterdam 2 Cup Teapot - Red

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nashville Cares AIDS Walk

I'm so excited that I'll be participating in the Nashville Cares AIDS walk this Saturday Oct. 2nd. I have set up a fund raising page for friends to support my 3-mile walk and the proceeds will go directly to Nashville Cares, a local non-profit serving the community affected by HIV/AIDS here in our own town. Please consider donating to this amazing cause! Even $5 helps! OR if you are in Nashville, please join me for a beautiful walk on a lovely fall day!

I exceeded my goal of $100 already, so I upped it to $200 for my last 2 days of fund raising! Please help spread the word!


Click Here to Donate

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Braised Pulled Pork Tacos

My husband loves tacos! So, when I got a beautiful pork roast in our CSA box I decided this was meant to be. I experimented and made up my very own braised pulled pork tacos and thought I would share.

2-3 lbs pork roast
corn tortillas
1-2 limes
1 avocado
1/2 sweet onion
fresh cilantro
1 small head red cabbage
12 oz beer (lager)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp course salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika (smoked if you can find)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic whole
8 oz Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in skillet on stove at medium high heat until oil starts to smoke slightly. Dry meat and rub with all spices on both sides. Place roast in pan and sear on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to an oven safe dish deep enough to fit roast but one that doesn't leave a ton of extra room. Make sure dish has a tight fitting lid. Dutch ovens or roasting pans work great for braising. Fill bottom of dish with about 6-8 oz of beer. Place whole garlic cloves on top of roast. Braise for 2 hours in center of oven.

While the roast is cooking, I prepped all of my toppings. Shred red cabbage, chop cilantro and onions, slice limes and avocado and you're ready to go!

After 2 hours, remove roast from oven and transfer to cutting board. Shred pork with 2 forks or whatever you have. I left some of the meat in bigger chunks so you can really taste the delicious braised outside layer. Dress up tacos with all your fixings and you're ready to eat!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Greer and Tennessee Moak

They have finally arrived! My best friend Talitha had her twins last Friday Sept 3rd and they are just perfect in every way! What an incredible journey this has been that God has blessed so richly! So glad they are here and I can hold them. They are just too amazing for words.

On the left: Paul "Greer" Moak IV and on the right Tennessee Elizabeth Moak

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dotting I's and Crossing T's

I came across this artist Dalton Ghetti today and was just inspired by the beauty he creates in the tiniest package! Such precision and detail out of pencil lead. Truly amazing! Thanks for the beauty Design*Sponge :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thai Red Curry with Coconut Rice

What's better than cooking with one of your dearest friends? Just about nothing in my book. My sweet friend Kathryn and I made a delicious Thai dish that I found on Deb's Perfect Bite. She's amazing! Check out her website. I took some liberties with her recipe to make it my own and added in some veggies I love. Also, the curry sauce is a total cheat from Trader Joes, but its amazing!

First off, Kathryn made these amazing fresh spring roll appetizers that were just to die for!

Thai Red Curry w/ Coconut Rice

3 bottles Thai red curry sauce from Trader Joe's
2 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1 lbs chicken tenderloins cut into small pieces
1 red bell pepper julienned
1 can baby corn
1/2 broccoli head cut into florets
couple handfuls of fresh green beans (with ends trimmed)
1 small yellow straight neck squash (halved and sliced)
1 can bamboo shoots

Rice prep: bring water and coconut milk to a boil. Add in rice and let it return to a boil. Bring down and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover allowing to set aside for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

Veggies prep: Empty 2 bottles of curry sauce into a soup pot and add in all sliced veggies. Cook over low-medium heat until veggies start to get tender.

Chicken prep: empty 1/2-1 bottle of curry sauce into a pan on medium heat and sautee until chicken is cooked through. Empty entire pan with sauce and chicken into big pot with all veggies.

Let veggies and chicken simmer in pot until veggies are tender. Serve over coconut rice and enjoy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The story of Danny and Annie

This is the sweetest love story I've heard in a long time. No need to say anymore, I just hope everyone watches it and learns to love this way.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Giving Bedside Tables New Life

Recently, I got a little tired of drooling over the DIY project section on Design*Sponge and decided to give it a whirl myself. For those who don't know, like me until recently, DIY stand for Do It Yourself. I had no idea!

I found a pair of bedside tables at Habitat For Humanity Homestore that had potential for only $40 for the pair, a steal of a deal. I thought I'd see what I could do with them. After many pep talks and picking the brain of my best friend Talitha, who has refinished many pieces, I jumped right in. Here are the tables when after I stripped them.

Supplies used:
paint stripper
scraper or stripping brush
2-3 sand blocks (medium and course grit)
1 quart espresso colored primer
1 quart Martha Stewart paint in Custard color
lint free rags or pieces of old t-shirt
2 mini-rollers (5 in or so) with handle
1 2 1/2 inch brush
wood filler (if needed)
new knobs

I decided to do a dark espresso primer underneath a beautiful Martha Stewart paint color called Custard, then give it a distressed look by sanding the edges to make it look worn and old. And of course, what re-finished piece of furniture is complete without beautiful knobs from Anthropologie?!

First, I had to strip both pieces with paint stripper. This was NOT a fun part. That stuff stinks! I was able to strip one piece to the wood, but the other had a layer of paint that just wouldn't budge. So, I just had to paint over it with the primer. Once the pieces were stripped, I cleaned them well and sanded them to remove any access paint and smooth the areas. I also used a wood filler to fill any areas that were dented or where unwanted holes were and sanded those areas. Then, I vacuumed out the pieces entirely. I painted them inside and out with the primer I chose, which was a dark brown. Once that was dry, I started coating them with the custard color. I gave it two coats since the primer was dark and showed through some on the first coat.

Once the second coat was dry, I was able to take a sanding block and distress them. I wanted them to look worn, so sanding the edges and corners let the brown show through the yellow. I especially sanded on the edges of the drawers since those get used the most and would likely have the most wear. Thank for the tip on this Talitha!

I picked up these pretty knobs at Anthropologie for the tables. Probably the most money I had to spend went to these babies, but they really brought it all together!

So, here is the finished product! I think they turned out great and make a nice addition to our bedroom! more books on the floor!