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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

{Outift Inspiration} Navy & Yellow, with a Pop of Red

Oh navy, how I love thee! You are perfect with virtually every color on the wheel. Paired with yellow you are crisp, clean and so cheery.




navy yellow collage

Paired with red, navy becomes the perfect preppy and nautical combination.




But what if we combined all three? A primary color cacophony?! Oh no, but a color symphony! Granted, it'd be a bit much if it were I added just a touch with red shoes.

red navy yellow

navy yellow red collage

It's been said every room needs a pop of red. I think the same can be true for outfits.

pop of red collage

I could have paired this outfit with navy or nude heels, but I like to throw in the unexpected.

red yellow navy collage
{Outfit deets: Ruffled top, Old Navy; Pleated skirt, Anna Sui for Anthropologie; Red patent peep-toes, Tahari; Bangles, Old Navy}

How do you feel about my pop of red? Do you prefer to dress in vibrant colors and combinations, or are you more comfortable in neutrals?

PS -- I get a lot of emails and comments about how I create the waves in my hair. I am no stylist and only spend about 10 minutes on it every day (I wash it the night before, and only a few times a week, then curl it the next morning). But Kate at It's the Small Things is a pro and posts some really great hair tutorials. Here's one that's very similar to how I fix mine. Who knows what you'd end up with if I tried to explain it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

{Trip Report} Galveston Island

My history and love affair with Galveston is a life-long one. I started going annually with my entire family when I was only 4-years-old. They passed to me their love of the ocean, and Galveston is where I honed my skills of making drip castles, finding perfect shells, catching sand crabs and playing poker.


We've taken the kids for quick trips in the past, but this was the first time we were able to enjoy a full week. Not only did I treasure the family time (I talked about the importance of it in this post), but I loved passing on all the Galveston traditions and history to my family.

beach collage

In it's early days, Galveston was the largest and busiest port west of New Orleans. The Great Storm of 1900, still the most deadly natural disaster in US history, devastated the busy town and killed over 8,000 people. Today, the port is a major fishing and cargo hub. It is fun to see what the fishing boats bring back each day, and watch the giant tankers and cruise ships come through for unloading. Many of the fish are cleaned on site and the remains fed to the waiting pelicans.

fishing pier collage

We took a one-hour boat tour of the harbor, which is a great way to see all the port activities (and dolphins) close-up. I captured this sweet moment between brother and sister.

love collage

I thought the coolest thing about the harbor tour was this oil rig, which had been brought in for repairs. Can you imagine living on one of those for months at a time?! The wellhead is similar to the one that blew in last year's BP Oil Spill.

oil rig collage

Once back on land, we headed straight for the tall ship, Elissa. She was built in 1877 and carried cargo around the world for 90 years, before being rescued in Greece and lovingly restored. She now lives in the Port of Galveston, but is still a fully-functioning ship, and sails the Gulf of Mexico annually.

elissa night

You can almost feel the spirit of the men who worked her sails, and imagine their life spent at sea. Especially when touring the tiny bunk rooms below!

elissa collage

The Historic East End is a rainbow of beautiful and colorful Victorian homes, some dating back to the early 1860s.

homes collage 1

homes collage 2

Some, like Bishop's Palace, are now museums and fascinating to tour.

Disaster struck the island again in 2008 with Hurricane Ike, and even though they have worked hard to restore the island, sadly there are still reminders.


The Strand, part of the Historic District, suffered a 10-foot storm surge during Hurricane Ike. Apart from losing a few of our favorite shops and restaurants, it is once again open and bustling. Most of my collection of shells and coral were purchased here over the years, and we always stop by Hendley Market for fun treasures.

strand collage

Of course vacation is also about the food! The seafood is amazing, and there are countless individually-owned restaurants. Our favorites include Benno's, The Spot, Miller's Landing and Gaidos, all on the Seawall;  Fisherman's Wharf overlooking the wharf, and Mosquito Cafe and Sunflower Bakery in the Historic District.

restaurants collage

The West End of Galveston Island houses countless homes for rent (most on stilts), but this year we elected to stay closer to town at the new Palisade Palms, on the private East End. The amenities were amazing. Actually, they seemed a little out-of-place in the Galveston of my memory, but we got used to the pools, fitness room, coffee bar and game room pretty quickly. We were thrilled to find this unit for a reasonable rate, with bay views overlooking the tankers and cruise ships. In a blogger-small-world moment, it was fun to find out the owner has a blog and chronicled the condo makeover here!

condo collage

It was a perfect trip spent  with my favorite people. Hopefully the calm and connected feelings we had there accompanied us home.

fishing pier

And I'm happy to report my kids carry on my same love of the beach and sea. We spent every possible moment near the water, even picnic dinners watching the sunset.

sunset picnic

I treasure the memories of this special beach town, and making new ones with my own family is just as special. Is there a town near and dear to your heart?

I'm sharing this post over on Kate's Favorite Towns post!
***I receive no kick-backs from any of these links. I'm just a huge fan of Galveston and want to see her flourish.***

Monday, August 29, 2011

{Living Room} Blue Beauty

Hello lovies! Did you have a fabulous weekend? Do you have some great new throw pillows coming your way? My painting hiatus ended this weekend as I finally painted the beastly armoire in our Living Room.

living room plan

After collecting lots of inspiration (shown in this post), I decided on Martha Stewart Plummage (color matched to Behr paint). I have no experience with Martha's paint, I am just comfortable with Behr.

Isn't she pretty?!? I think she's officially lost her nickname, "The Beast." Perhaps I should call her, "Beauty."


After the experience I had painting the bookcases, which are a similar pine, I decided to try a different route with the paint. After giving her a good cleaning, I rolled on a thick layer of primer (read about my favorite brand here).

Yes, we store our Christmas tree in it! And games. And random decor. Told you it was big! TWSS

I didn't see any point in painting the inside. But my goal was to just get it done! And the thought of emptying it out made me tired.


Since the armoire is so big, I wasn't able to move it far, or place paper under the legs. So when it came time to paint the feet, I slid a notecard under and painted with a small art brush.


Since I covered the wood completely with the primer, it only required two coats of Behr Latex in an eggshell finish. I used a foam roller for the flat surfaces, and an angled Purvy brush for the nooks and crannies. The hinges and hardware are literally branded in to the wood, so I just painted around them with a tiny art brush. So much for switching them out.


I can't believe the difference! And once again, I'm left wondering what the heck took me so long to paint this thing?!?! And I even like the hardware now. The texture and weight of the armoire is still fairly rustic, so I don't think slick new hardware would look good anyway.

armoire b&a

Another unexpected bonus, is how the blue in the armoire connects with the blue undertones of the wingchair. Since recovering the wingchair isn't part of The Plans, I'm thrilled that it blends with the room more smoothly now.


Flashing back to a Before shot:


And now with Blue Beauty. You'll also notice I did a chair switcheroo, and cleaned up the wall between the fireplace and armoire.

I much prefer the cane barrel chair here, as it doesn't block the fireplace like the taller wingchair. A sheepskin throw and pillow add some interest until I can decide what fabric to recover the cushions in.

And that's another item, crossed off the list! I've linked what's been done so far if you need to catch up. What do you think so far?

Paint Armoire
Paint Brick
Paint Table Tiles
Paint Hall Chest
Paint/Wallpaper Nook Walls
Paint Backdoor? Nope
Add Nailhead to Wingchair
New Covers for Barrel Chair Cushions
Clean Secretary

Friday, August 26, 2011

{Score!} Secret Pillow Sale!

I hope your trigger finger is in good shape, because it's going to see some action this weekend! One of my amazeballs sponsors, Fabulous But Frugal, is offering Hi Sugarplum! readers 30% off everything in their store....Today through Sunday only!

But it's not just one store, there are THREE stores to shop from...all 30% off, with no limits.

First up is Idari....Lumbar and Throw Pillows expertly made in all the popular designer fabrics. These are sold with the pillow form in place.


idari collage

Have your own pillow forms and like to switch up the covers? Check out DIY Pillows....a variety of designer fabrics to choose from, starting at just $12.99....and, with Free Shipping!

diy pillows

diy pillow collage

Getting married or a thrift store lover? The Dizzy Tulip has a variety of Ring Bearer Pillows, as well as some vintage treasures.

the dizzy tulip

dizzy tulip collage

Switching out throw pillows on your sofa or bed is the easiest way to usher in a new season, or add new pops of color. I'm certainly going to be stocking up during this sale. They even do custom work, so if you don't see the fabric or size you need, no worries...Fabulous But Frugal will find it for you!

I think I may get some that match the fabric in my new bookcases. Here's a little mock-up...thoughts?


Sale runs Today through Sunday night at midnight....use the code HISUGARPLUM30 at checkout for 30% off your total order in all three shops! Happy Shopping!

I'm getting my shop, and my paint, on this expect some projects next week!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Now & Then

Today I'm guest posting on a blog that needs no introduction.

Emily's fabulous designs are known and loved all around the blogs, but I can't resist showing some of my favorites from her portfolio.

And all the gorgeous spaces she created in her own home. (Or rather, her old home. She and her family just moved and I can't wait to see what she does with it!)

AND, she's gorgeous! Ack, hate love her!

I've gained so much inspiration and fabulous ideas from her blog, Emily A. Clark, and it's been so fun watching her success grow. Today though, she had a mental she asked me to participate in her Now and Then Series. Come check out my post to see what room in my house made me cringe!

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