Top 3 Items on My Halloween + Harvest Wish List

I’m always looking for super unique, quality seasonal decor. For cheap. My goal is to eventually be able to buy new (real) pumpkins each year and call it good. Or a Christmas tree, or Easter eggs. You know, the perishables.

Here’s what’s currently on my fall decor wish list, but I will probably hold off until next year or a post-holiday sale (for the brass pumpkins). But if you haven’t started decorating for fall, it’s not too late! Start here.

  1. West Elm Brass Pumpkin ($14-$24)West Elm Brass Pumpkin
  2. Aluminum Candleholders (DIY) Tin Candles
  3. Skeleton Wreath Hands (DIY)Hands Wreath

What do you think? What’s the most creative thing you’ve seen out there lately?



The Reveal: Halloween Home Tour 2015

And when some bloggers say “home tour,” they really mean it. I mean “come see three vignettes in my teeny teeny home.” And you guys, I have no energy to stage cord-free, shadow free photos. You’ll get the idea.

This year, I purchased a few new items.

  1. Fun and versatile felt balls that I can re-string with a few different color schemes (hello, Husky games!). Purchased over at GroopDealz ($13.99)
  2. A very exciting and unique burlap leaf runner from Home Decorator Collection ($23).

… and I completed a few projects that were on my list from last year:

  1. Poison bottles (instructions are coming soon!)
  2. Pumpkins on black candlesticks (which I already had from our wedding). They actually aren’t shown in these images because I have them scattered around the house.

What’s hilarious is that I didn’t even realize those ideas had been marinating in my head all year. I did both projects without referring to the list from last year!

Without further adieu, my three vignettes.


Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (1) Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (5) Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (6)


 Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (9) Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (10) Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (11)

Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (8)


(covering up a ghetto area of the wall…also that’s a changing table we’re using as extra storage, complete with child lock)Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (12) Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (13)


Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (14) Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (15) Bluea and Orange Halloween T&T (16)

PS – Does anyone else love the HULU Christmas Fire “movie”? I work from home and have my digital fire log going in the background…it’s great!

Coming up next: the items and projects on my wish list for next year! Maybe I’ll even remember to look at it this time.



Laying the Foundation: Halloween Home Tour 2015

As we discussed last year, Tristan and I are on Team Jesus, so we don’t really do anything witch-y ghost-y curse-y in terms of decorations. We go for what I like to call “eerie over evil.”  So, anything that one might find on Sherlock Holmes is fair game – crows, spiderwebs, old books, feathers, leaves, skulls, etc.

I love decorating for Halloween because I also get a chance to use my very favorite colors in FULL FORCE (rust, orange, gold, black, white, gray).

In case you missed it, here are the last few years’ worth of decorations… check ’em out!




This year, I’ve also added touches of blue glass and blue chinoiserie, my new obsessions. I have a separate post eventually coming that will attempt to summarize just how versatile of an investment these pieces are (baby showers! bridal showers! Fourth of July! Seahawks tablescapes!), but for now, I’ll start by sharing the harvest-y looks.

Here was my inspiration:

Blue and Orange Trend Watch via Torie and Tristan

1 – Our Southern Home 2 – Tokyo Ninja 3 – Stone Gable 4 – BHG 5 – Decor Adventures 6 – Bejing Notebook 7 – Stone Gable

Fun and different, no?



Remodel and Living Room Decor Update

And just like that, I felt like blogging again. I think it was a combination of me finally decorating for a holiday again (Halloween & Harvest reveal coming soon) and that the remodel of our downstairs unit is finally starting to look exciting.

Here’s our progress report.

Before (on demo day, August 2014):

DEMO (2) basement 8

After (looking same direction, taken this week):


In the interim, while NOT helping out with the remodel, I started decorating upstairs a bit more. Our our plan has always been to live upstairs while redoing the downstairs unit, move downstairs while we redo the upstairs unit, then move back upstairs and rent out the downstairs. So, you can imagine why I was hesitant to put a ton of effort into decorating and/or purchasing furniture for the upstairs unit before all of said moves. Well, I got over it, and I’m glad I did.

Here was my original inspiration. I bought curtains, a leather chair and a rug for the living room, and procured this amazing table at a garage sale that converts from a console to a dining room table that seats up to 8. It even stores 4 chairs inside the base. It’s like that IKEA one everyone has, on crack. It’s solid wood and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to part with it.

Here is how the living room looked right after we moved in. It stayed in this sad little form for a good six months.


And here is the last full length picture I took of my living room when it was clean.

T&T Updated Living Room

I’ve since rearranged the pillows and added cognac leather chair in the corner. Here’s two fuzzy snapshots to give you an idea.

USE ME (4)

T&T Updated Living Room

I also had two parsons chairs reupholstered, so you can see those and my console/dining table in my upcoming Halloween decor reveal!

Thanks for tuning in.



Orange & Gold: A Match Made in Heaven

For more than a year, I had my heart set on wearing an orange dress with gold accessories for my 10 year high school reunion this past June. Much like with prom, I was on the planning committee, so I had plenty of time to obsess. I made my prom dress for my senior project, and I spent almost as much time and energy pinning orange/gold combinations for my 10 year reunion.

But then, of course, just when I found a cute, appropriately-priced orange dress at NastyGal, I simultaneously found a retro-inspired white dress with yellow daisies at Nordstrom Rack and I changed strategies altogether.

But because it’s the season of orange and gold, I wanted to share with you my robust findings so that the general public can benefit from my time investment. It’s been so long however that some of the original links are now dead. I’ve linked to the source whenever possible.




Julia Louis-Dreyfus The 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards held at the Nokia Theater - Arrivals Los Angeles, California - 18.04.09 Mandatory Credit: FayesVision/

Julia Louis-Dreyfus
The 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards held at the Nokia Theater – Arrivals
Los Angeles, California – 18.04.09
Mandatory Credit: FayesVision/



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Vanessa Hudgens


2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Sunset Tower - Arrivals Featuring: Elizabeth Banks Where: West Hollywood, California, United States When: 24 Feb 2013 Credit: Brian To/

2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Sunset Tower – Arrivals
Featuring: Elizabeth Banks
Where: West Hollywood, California, United States
When: 24 Feb 2013
Credit: Brian To/







A model displays a creation by french designer Stephane Rolland Spring Summer 2011 Woman's Haute Couture collection show in Paris, France, on January the 25th, 2010. Photo by Roberto Martinelli/ABACAPRESS.COM

A model displays a creation by french designer Stephane Rolland Spring Summer 2011 Woman’s Haute Couture collection show in Paris, France, on January the 25th, 2010. Photo by Roberto Martinelli/ABACAPRESS.COM

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For the record, I accessorized my white/daisy dress with kelly green purse and shoes and Brigitte Bardot-inspired hair. Here is how the look came together.

Pre-makeup, leaving Salon Rae:

Reunion (2)

Reunion Before Bardot

The final look:

Reunion (3)

Reunion (4)

Reunion (5)

Reunion (1)

Whew. That’s a lot of pics for one blog post. Did you stay with me? What are your fave color combos right now?



Crisp Cooking Giveaway!

I first became acquainted with Crisp Cooking at the International Food Blogger Conference last year, and now I have had almost every season to use their cute, clever line of kitchen tools. I’ve used the herb mincer for making cocktails and sauces, 4-1 zester for my lemons, limes and hard cheeses, Bird’s Beak Paring Knife (with included sharpener) for … paring, tongs with removable handles for salads, and berry baskets for darn near everything.

What I appreciate about Crisp Cooking’s line of products, beyond the adorable branding, is that each tool has been so well thought out. There are always multiple uses, extra gizmos, plus removable parts for easy cleaning. Here’s what I’ve been playing with:


3-PK Berry Baskets


Salad Tongs


4-in-1 Zester


Bird’s Beak Paring Knife


Herb Mincer

And here are a handful of the recipes I’ve completed with Crisp Cooking tools:

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The Canlis Salad (tongs, mincer)

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Vodka Mint Lemonade (mincer)

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Mincing for the above cocktail

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Asian Noodle Salad (tongs, mincer, paring knife)

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Storing my Rainier Cherries (berry baskets)

I am delighted to be able to give away one set of the 3-pk Berry Baskets (value $13.99) and the 4-in-1 Zester ($12.99) to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment between now and next Monday, July 20 below, on our Facebook page or Instagram saying how your quality of life would improve with the Berry Baskets and Zester. Creativity welcomed and appreciated! 🙂



Items for giveaway were provided bylogoThoughts and opinions my own.


A Gluten Free Blueberry Morning

At the International Food Bloggers Conference last year, I attended a session in which Hostess with the Mostess showed us bloggers some themed recipe ideas (with corresponding tablescapes!) using some of Krusteaz‘ newest baking mixes.

Obviously the tablescapes were my favorite part…of the entire conference. So thrilling, in fact, that I decided to model the tables for our annual Tijuana mission trip auction after the Hostess’ fiesta-themed tablescape. More on that later!

Anyway, one of Krusteaz’ newest offerings is a line of gluten free mixes, and after the conference, they sent me some mixes to try.

2015-02-01 11.39.10-1

Nice touch with the branded spatula.

I’d recently tasted the brunch donut holes at Capitol Cider (a gluten free restaurant), and was just starting to believe that gluten free baking ≠ equal dry, thin tasting and dense. But mixes by nature are iffy.

HOWEVER. I made up a batch of the Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin Mix and … I’m pretty excited about them. It took five minutes, for one.

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Et Voila!

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Second, there’s definitely not a lack of flavor. The texture and richness reminded me of a cake pop. I could only eat one muffin per sitting (as you can see from my photo, I originally intended to eat two). That’s not a bad thing – all of the fancy-pants cupcakes around are a similar intensity. I think these muffins would be great for a group brunch or bridal shower, and I’d imagine most people wouldn’t even know that the muffins were gluten free. Plus, there are all sorts of other recipes you can make with this mix on the Krusteaz website, such as tropical blueberry cake.

My parents, for instance, are now gluten-free and were delighted to experiment with some of my extra mixes. I tried using the pancake mix for waffles… and, well, I’m bad at making waffles so I didn’t think the mix could be blamed for my own personal issues. I also tried the Double Chocolate Brownie Mix and the end result was a strong “good” when accompanied by my normal brownie accessories of vanilla ice cream and raspberries. Alone, I could tell the brownies were gluten free (that aftertaste thing?) but the texture and chocolateyness were on point.

Torie and Tristan Blueberry Muffin Mix

What are your favorite gluten free foods? I am going gluten-free for the next few months because whenever I do, I feel better. And get skinnier. What? It’s summer.

Would love your ideas!



Country Concert – Outfit Reveal!

So … as a refresher, Tristan and I attended a major country concert last month and crossed a huge item off Tristan’s bucket list. We had a great time and I actually knew half the songs, despite being rather new to Garth Brooks. (Apparently when you’re a legend, your songs creep their way into people’s life whether they seek it out or not). I was excited because I knew Garth would be a great entertainer, regardless if I actually knew the songs.


I was also excited to have an excuse to plan a themed outfit. Here is the inspiration outfit I put together.

What to Wear to a Country Concert final

And here is how it came out!


YEEHAW, my first animated GIF!


Tristan held it down in some flannel.


Anyway… you get it. That’s enough pictures of me. 🙂 What do you think?  What do you usually wear to country concerts?



What To Wear To A Country Concert

…If you’re a huge poser like me.

One of Tristan’s life dreams is to go to a Garth Brooks concert and in just two short weeks, that dream will come true! I’m not a huge country fan, though I can get excited about country if there’s a concert or road trip involved. When in Rome, as they say.

Given my obsession with theme dressing, I took to Google and Pinterest to find outfit ideas. The requirements were that it couldn’t be too country and also couldn’t be super bare, since it’s not summer. The latter was the major challenge – most of the outfits were definitely for summer concerts. Like this cute round-up, for instance.

I found a few inspiring looks on Pinterest before hitting the jackpot: Free People’s blog. More Western, less cowboy.

Country Closet 1 Country Closet 2 Country Closet 3 Country Closet 4 Country Closet 5 Country Closet 6 Country Closet 8 Country Closet 9 Country Closet 10 Country Closet 10

I found this look on Pinterest:


I also referred to Facebook to check out my friend Cassie’s concert outfits. Cassie Correlle is a country artist and has been singing/songwriting since I met her in high school. She’s got some darling outfits that aren’t too country or too bare.

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My research culminated in this outfit, for which I have secured all of the pieces. I purchased similar shorts and the kimono at Ross, I bought the boots last year at Buffalo Exchange, and the belt I found on Etsy. I have burgundy and gold dangly earrings (but aren’t the little tassels perfection!?). I will be wearing nude tights to help with warmth. What do you think?!

What to Wear to a Country Concert final

Earrings // Shorts // Shirt // Kimono (similar here) // Belt (vintage) // Boots