Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Fiscal Cliff Day

Good luck to the people of the world relying on American politicians not tipping the USA back into recession today!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Less and More in 2013

I've got a lot on my mind for 2013.  I began jotting down some ideas of what I want more of in my life and what I want less of.   The list started off with "less sugar" as I came down from my Christmas sugar coma and felt so blah- yucky skin, lower energy, and a feeling that I needed a sugar detox.  But the list immediately grew into deeper things.  The older I get, the more I find we all want these deeper things.  We all crave inner peace, a full life, and true love.

I'm hoping to keep the momentum of slowing down, keeping priorities straight and spending time purposefully going throughout the year.  I want peace and beauty.  Life and joy.  The promise of hope and a fresh start that a new year brings.  

I really think it's going to be a beautiful year.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Honey We're Home 2012 Recap

One of the things I like best about home blogging is that it's a chronicle of your life, a record of what you've been up to on the home front.  As the year comes to an end, it's fun to look back and see the visual reminders of what happened throughout the months.  2012 marked the second year in this house and we definitely made some improvements.  I picked one post from each month to show some of the progress/projects throughout the year.  You can click on the picture to read the entire post.


I stared the year by restyling our media cabinet in the living room.  I painted the back Jamestown Blue when we first moved in, but the shelves were mostly monochromatic until January when I added in more books (some for $1 at Half Price books), and some other decorative objects and photos.

I get a lot of questions about the media cabinet, where we got it, etc.  This unit was built in with the house and designed by our builder.  I plan to show you behind the doors and drawers in the near future.  Handy things like diapers, crayons/paper, and television equipment lives in there.  Hopefully, diapers will be obsolete around here in the near future.  Tips anyone??


In February, our master bedroom got a whole new look with new upholstered bed and bedding.  The bed is from Overstock and I still love it- although a taller headboard would be more dramatic.  We previously had a dark brown leather headboard and this change makes the whole room feel lighter and brighter.  

(Surprisingly, this was one of the most popular posts on my blog this year.) 


I was feeling a little crafty in March and punched out about 400 mini hearts and made some paint chip art on canvas.  These boards hung on my office wall for many months, but have since been replaced by a large silver mirror.  


One of my favorite new additions to our home was the fiddle leaf fig.  It was so pretty and looked so good in the living room.  Sadly, the tree died.  I had one in my old office that thrived (the office got a ton of natural light and there was a professional to water it).  If you've kept your fiddle leaf fig alive, I'd love to hear how!


I added a cowhide rug to the living room after eyeing it for months.  I liked the layered look, but have since moved the rug to my office.  


In June, I showed you our master bathroom.  I like to keep the counters pretty bare and use the drawers and cabinets to store everything. 


I updated our summer mantle with a large aqua and white chevron vase from Kirkland's that people really liked.  I also changed out the mirror from a heavy wooden square to this larger gold one.   


One of my favorite projects of 2012 was painting our kitchen cabinets dark grey (Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams) after being inspired by Emily A Clark.  The dark paint and white accessories made such an impact in the kitchen. I only wish I'd done it sooner!


Being passionate about healthy eating, I launched a health and fitness blog, Honey We're Healthy.  The blog features recipes and workouts, including the routine I'm currently doing and my progress.  The most read post this year was actually a post from 2011 "My Eat Clean Meals" and another top post was  also from 2011 "Losing the Baby Weight".  Having seen such interest in these posts helped me decide to start a second blog so I could develop those topics more and keep Honey We're Home mainly about home/decor.  


A favorite room makeover this year was my home office.  The simple act of turning my desk to face the window made a huge difference and then I painted the walls white, changed out the drapes and rug, and lined the Ikea Expedit bookshelf with a flat sheet.  


Another quick update to our home was achieved when I painted our interior door dark grey.  I love the result.  


Finally, I showed you how to make your own Christmas card with the free online photo editing tool, PicMonkey.  It's so easy and fun to use- I'm always playing around on their site. 

I also wanted to thank my top ten blog referrers of 2012:

Most of all, I want to say THANK YOU to Honey We're Home readers!  A few months ago, I mentioned I might have deleted some reader emails before responding when I intentionally cleared out my inbox in an effort to simplify my personal life.  I have felt terrible about it ever since and have begun to filter emails so I don't miss any of your messages from now on.  Thank you for sticking with me and supporting this blog with your readership.  

I appreciate you. 

To FOLLOW Honey We're Home, go HERE.


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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Tree Inspiration

We had a wonderful Christmas with a house-full of friends and family keeping things merry and bright.    Did you have a good day?  I cherish the holidays, but also enjoy the start of a new year and I'm really looking forward to 2013!  Before we pack up Christmas and start celebrating the new year, I wanted to highlight some of your beautiful, carefully decorated, and memory-filled Christmas trees.  Thank you to everyone who linked up at our Holiday Cheer link party this year.  We had such great participation, I'm sure we'll bring it back next year. :)

One thing I like about these link parties is that it introduces me to new blogs!  When I clicked on the links to read the posts about the tress, I often found myself browsing around older posts, peeking into people's homes and admiring how lovely each of you live.  Thank you for giving me a glimpse into your life.  That's the beauty of the home blogger! :)  

Here are some of the trees I found intriguing, but you can see them ALL

Chelsea's jewel toned tree really wows.

This branch tree is really stunning- so creative.

I found the book page garland really cute.

I loved getting to people's holiday decor complimenting their trees too.

This red heart ornament was knitted with a wooden heart during a blog ornament exchange.  I think that is so sweet!

How cool is this tree sitting atop an old galvanized tub?!  The sled in the background is great too. 

How pretty is this?!  It looks even better between those two chairs and against the backdrop of the minty walls and window. 

Don't underestimate the beauty of a tiny tree!  I love how she wrapped the ribbon.

There's something so sweet about a baby's first Christmas.

Rustic glam at its best!

At Wills Casa, Amber showed how she DIYed Polaroid photos into Christmas ornaments.

Oh wow, an ombre tree!  I had never seen this before!

I was crazy for this sewn bunting on this baby's tree.

I loved the shape of Amanda's tree.

Jennifer's tree is as gorgeous as her entire home.

Thank you again for linking up!  Merry Christmas to you!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Hi friends!  As we approach the final days before Christmas and make our last-minute preparations, I hope you are finally getting to sit back, relax, and enjoy it all.  The last few days around here have slowed waaaaay down and we're just chilling, making meal plans/grocery shopping, wrapping the last gifts (debating on Instagram (@honeywerehome) whether Santa delivers wrapped presents), and tidying the house for guests on Christmas.

I'm super excited to share Christmas this year with our almost 3-year old son.  At this age, he understands more what Christmas is about.  Having him around makes everything so much sweeter!  He's singing Christmas songs nonstop, enjoys the "beautiful" tree, and identifies Jesus, his mother and father in the Nativity.  We'll be heading to visit his cousins on Christmas Eve to decorate cookies for Santa and I can't wait to get cooking on Christmas morning.

I wish you a day filled with family, friends, and love. Thank you so much for reading, it really means so much. 

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The #economia50

My thanks to those who voted for me in economia’s (the official magazine of the ICAEW) list of the top 50 most influential sources of finance news and information in social media.

I am number 30 on the list.

As per economia:
We asked, and you responded. Here are the top 50 most influential sources of finance news and information in social media, voted for by economia readers and ordered by PeerIndex…

Using the hastag #economia50, readers sent us their nominations, we counted the votes and ranked them according to influence in association with PeerIndex, to reveal the economia Finance Twitter 50.

Topping the list is Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner who oversees financial regulation. The bilingual bureaucrat’s presence at the top of the list suggests the significance of the ongoing EU audit debate as well as the general uncertainty over the eurozone.

Aside from the influence of Europe, the list is dominated by journalists, with Newsnight’s economics editor Paul Mason coming in at number seven. The energetic tweeter offers insight to the UK economy and the political machinations behind it.

Flying the flag for chartered accountants in the top ten is Richard Murphy, founder of the Tax Justice Network and an advisor to the TUC on taxation and economic issues. A sometime columnist for The Guardian and, he offers his followers forthright views on the profession.

Never afraid to express his opinions on HMRC or the profession in general, Ken Frost rounds out the top 30. Frost writes regularly on his own website and blogs for Metro.

Given her role as chair of the Public Accounts Committee, which has spent the last month lambasting tax avoidance schemes used by large companies in the UK, it’s no surprise that MP Margaret Hodge features on our list at 37.”
The full list can be seen here economia.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Metallic Holiday Party Dresses

Today is the final day of our Holiday Cheer link party at Michaela Noelle Designs.  Michaela is the purest, sweetest, (youngest!) blogger out there and a big thanks goes to her for spearheading our party the past two years.   She's wrapping it up today with your holiday apparel, hair, makeup, accessories, and style ideas.

Being into metallics and sparkly things right now, I put two super shiny holiday looks together.  Because I'm so short, I like short dresses, but when showing a lot of leg, I typically keep the top more covered.

MICHAEL Michael Kors Sleeveless Sequin Dress is 50% off right now for just $79.98.

Eliza J Long Sleeve V-Back Sequin Sheath Dress is $178.

I'd pair the dress with some sparkly barely there strappy heels to not detract from the dress.  The taller the better for me!

The top ones are Ivanka Trump Hara Sandal ($134).

The bottom are Pelle Moda 'Gleam' Pump ($149).

And since the dress is so showy, I'd keep the earrings more subtle. 

This post is making me wish I had a fancy party to go to this year!  


See you over at Michaela Noelle Designs!  Please grab a button!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

UBS Fined $1.5BN

Last Friday I wrote that UBS was to be fined $1Bn for its role in the LIBOR rate fixing scandal.

I was wrong, UBS has in fact been fined $1.5BN.

Mea culpa!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Dining Room

Our Holiday Cheer link party continues today with Courtney (A Thoughtful Place) featuring vignettes (tablescapes and decor are okay too) and I wanted to go ahead and show you our dining room with splashes of red, white, and black.  The inspiration began with the black and white pillow covers I found on etsy back in August.   I dig the geometric pattern and felt they worked with our drapes and could be used in other rooms in our house (living room/guest room/or my office) later.  Things have a way of moving around pretty often here.  Do you do that too? 

In the dining room, I arranged a collection of things we already had on hand like the Hobby Lobby lanterns, mercury glass candleholders, and birds on top of a black cabinet.  

I'm also loving wreaths hung on mirrors this year.  You can see in the picture below we used a suction cup hook  ($2 at WalMart for the large) to hold the wreath and it hasn't budged.  

I made an advent calendar last year with the tags below, but this year just put the tags out in a glass bowl.  I like seeing them piled up this way with the cute washi tape and baker's twine.  We have been terrible this year at keeping up with each day, instead just doing things at random.  Decorating that Gingerbread house still needs to happen . . .

These little birds have gone from black (originally) to gold and now bright red. We'll see what color they end up next.   The fun polka dot fabric is the same one I used in the Pottery Barn challenge.  

The swag was already assembled with the pinecones and berries, I just added in a couple of red ornaments. 

And a single "snowflake" hangs from the chandelier.  Sweet simplicity. 

I'm looking forward to seeing your Christmas vignettes/tables/decor at A Thoughtful Place.  Please grab a button!

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RBS and NatWest To Refund £10M

It appears that some bank customers when withdrawing cash from an ATM are a tad forgetful and, believe it or not, don't actually take the cash dispensed from the machine.

What happens then?

The ATM sucks the cash back in and recredits the customer's account.

Well that's how most banks treat it, except NatWest and RBS which don't; instead, up until now, they have been crediting a "dump account".

However, that seems set to change as Finextra reports that Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest have set aside a £10M reserve to refund up to 300,000 customers who made a withdrawal at the ATM but walked away without the cash.

The bank is apparently checking its records over the past seven years and will repay the money, plus the interest earned on the sum, to customers who forgot their cash. 
This brings a whole new meaning the phrase "bank error in your favour".

Cyprus To Default

According to Cyprus Finance Ministry Secretary Christos Patsalides Cyprus is going to default within days unless it receives Euro300BN.

Oddly enough there are some people who have been taken by surprise by this development.

I don't understand why, in August I wrote the following:
"Cyprus has barely managed to sell Euro23.1M of government bonds.

It achieved a "bid to cover ratio" of 1 (ie there were only just enough "punters" prepared to buy them), at a yield of 7% (the last auction in June achieved a yield of 6.25%).

A yield of 7% is "the point of no return"; it is the level at which Greece, Portugal and Ireland went with their begging bowls to others asking for a bailout.

Why is Cyprus having problems?

Around 40% of its largest banks' exposures are to Greece
Therefore this should come as no surprise to anyone.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Greece's New Fence

Today's announcement by Greece that it has completed its "anti immigration" fence along its border with Turkey could not have come at a better time, for it seems that it is still struggling to collect back dated taxes.

The Washington Post reports:
"The European Union says that Greek tax collection is still falling well short of some key targets that need to be met to reduce the government’s staggering debt pile.

The EU’s task force to help Greece overcome the crisis that brought it to the brink of bankruptcy said in Monday’s quarterly report that Athens still has trouble to deal with old, outstanding tax claims. With 2 months to go in 2012, it was still about a billion euros behind the EU target of recovering €2 billion."
The fence will not only help prevent immigration, but also stop Greek citizens escaping from their own country.

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him

I know we all have heavy hearts and are likely to for a long time given the unimaginable tragedy in Connecticut.  It's hard to be merry and bright when your heart is breaking for so many families so close to Christmas.   I take breaks from the news because with each piece of new information about the children and adults who lost their lives and the people who loved them, it stings.  I do think there is comfort in understanding that we grieve together.  My son is too young to know what's going on and this weekend we spent some good time just being together.  He's at such a magical age and it's sweet to find joy in him.   

Many of us, me included, are back at work today, keeping on keeping on.  I didn't get much accomplished around the house this weekend, but did print out and frame this free printable from AKA Design.  You can visit their site to print one for yourself.

We will continue our Holiday Cheer link party on Tuesday with Courtney (A Thoughtful Place) featuring vignettes (tablescapes and decor are okay too).  I'll be sharing how I decorated our dining room and I'm looking forward to seeing your spaces too.  Hugs to you all today. 

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Saturday, December 15, 2012


I think we're all holding our loved ones a little tighter today.  I hope Connecticut feels the world's love and prayers. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

UBS $1BN LIBOR Settlement

UBS is, according to the Telegraph, close to agreeing a settlement with UK and US regulators on LIBOR rigging.

The bank is expected to announce next week that it has reached a combined $1BN deal with US and British authorities to settle an investigation into the role it is alleged to have played in rigging global borrowing rates.

To put the $1BN into context, LIBOR is the basis for $800 TRILLION of financial products. The banks that participated in its rigging would have made billions out of this over the years.

Additionally, UBS's bonus pool was $2.79BN in 2011.

Therefore shed no tears for them!

DIY Christmas Card Display

Happy Friday y'all!  I'm definitely in the Christmas spirit over here and ready for the weekend!  Our weather has finally turned chilly and I can't stop thinking, "Baby, it's cold outside!"  Time to cuddle up!  I've had a chance to get a few thoughtful gifts for friends and family and I'm already anticipating giving.  Love that part of Christmas.  I'm thinking now about holiday food and fun as we plan to host this year.  It will be nice to stay in for the day. Eat, drink, and be merry!

As the Christmas cards arrive, we're displaying them on a festive red shutter door that I turned into a card holder.  Head on over to Jen's blog, I Heart Organizing to see how I made it (and the wreath)!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Homemade Dark Chocolate and Natural Peanut Butter Cups

Oh my word, why didn't I ever try to make these before??  Chocolate peanut butter cups are so easy to do at home and are seriously delicious! The only ingredients are dark chocolate chips (20 ounces), natural peanut butter (1 cup), powdered sugar (1/4 cup), and salt (1/4 teaspoon).  This yields about 12 large and 12 small chocolate peanut butter cups.

Let me show you . . . 

I used Chirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate (about 20 ounces- 1 3/4 bags) and natural peanut butter from Target.  

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. That is, put a small amount of water in a sauce pan and heat to boiling and put the chocolate chips in a glass bowl on top.  Don't let the water touch the bowl.  Turn off the heat when the chips begin to melt.  Stir until fully melted.  This heats the chocolate slowly so that it melts smoothly without seizing up and getting chalky and clumpy.  

To make the peanut butter filling, combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt until mixed. 

Using cupcake liners, coat the bottom and sides with the melted chocolate.  Then set aside so the chocolate sets. I put mine in the fridge for about 10 minutes.  

Then add the peanut butter mix, patting it down to flatten.  

Finally, top with chocolate and let set.  Again, I popped mine in the fridge.  

After a few minutes, you have the most delectable little chocolate peanut butter bites of goodness!

Oh, Lord, these did not last long at our house.  

I will definitely be making them again!

I'm sharing this recipe with Natasha at Schue Love for our Christmas Cheer Holiday Link Party.  Come on over and link up your recipes!  Don't forget the button:)

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Also, the $100 Staples/Martha Stewart Giveaway ends tomorrow!  Go HERE to enter!