Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Serenity Now & Haven Blog Conference

I have much love and respect for Amanda, the blogger who writes Serenity Now blog.  She was one of the first bloggers I developed a friendship with, and even though it was via the internet through her thoughtful comments and emails encouraging this new mom, I have since considered her a friend.  Amanda was the first blogger to ask me to guest post on her blog! and while she is out of town, I'm happy to guest post on her blog again!  I'm sure she'd appreciate you stopping by for a visit.  :)  I posted an easy and healthy summer recipe from Honey We're Healthy, Quinoa Caprese Salad.

Speaking of blogging and relationships, I am very disappointed that I will not be attending the Haven Blog Conference as planned.  I need to be home with my family and I feel good about this decision, even though it means missing out on getting to connect face-to-face with people I was REALLY looking forward to spending time with.  Online relationships are still relationships, but nothing beats getting together with friends in person and connecting on a more personal level.  I have to thank Cassie, Courtney, and Carmel for being so gracious and taking on my speaking role on our social media panel. They completely support me and it makes my heart melt.  The Haven organizers (Beth, Chris, Rhoda, Sarah, and Traci) have also been so kind to send personal notes of prayers and support.  It makes me want to hug their necks even more.  But, there's always next year. :)

I continue to appreciate your prayers for my family as we deal with my dad's illness.  I know God hears those prayers even if you haven't been able to comment to tell me you are praying.   I feel the peace and comfort through that.  We are enjoying time together right now and that is what matters most.  All things considered, he is doing pretty well.  I love these people.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Barclays £12.8BN Hole

Barclays has gone cap in hand to its shareholders today for £5.8BN via a rights issue, in order to help it plug a £12.8BN capital shortfall arising from the new Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) imposed safety buffer.

The Telegraph reports that rights issue will allow existing investors to buy one new share for every four they currently own at a price of 185p, a discount of 40% to they bank's closing share price yesterday. 

Barclays will also issue £2BN of bonds that are turned into shares or wiped out if the bank gets into trouble.

Additionally in its six months results for the first half of this year, Barclays has set aside £1.35BN against further PPI claims, bringing its total compensation fund to just under £4BN, and a further £650M for interest rate swap redress, increasing its provision to £1.5BN.

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins is quoted by the BBC, in a dig at the PRA, warns that plugging the hole will have a negative impact on the economy:
"It means Barclays will provide fewer financial transactions to big companies, life insurers and pension funds, inter alia, to help those giant institutions reduce their risks. And to be clear that will represent a tightening of credit for those customers, so there may be a negative economic impact."
Barclays share price is currently down 7% on the day.

James' Room // West Elm Shower Curtain into Drapes

For James' room, I wanted wide horizontal blue and white striped drapes, and made them from a West Elm Shower Curtain.  The color is called dusty navy and the material is 100% cotton.  Three problems: 1) I prefer a rod pocket as opposed to the way it's meant to hang on hooks, 2) it's too short for the room at 74x72 inches, and 3) it's not lined.

I'm no seamstress, but I figured I could try what Amanda Carol did and buy three curtains, and use the third one for added length.  She chose the gorgeous grey and white for her office. 

Here are how my blue and white drapes turned out in James' room after I lined and hemmed them.

For the lining, I figured I'd use a lightweight fabric shower curtain liner so the width would match and it would be less expensive than fabric.  They do not cover the length of the drapes, just about below the window sill.  

I simply stitched them along the top of the drapes, just below the rod pocket I made by folding over about 4 inches of fabric on top. 

I used white rope and an inexpensive wall hook as a tie back so the room can still receive lots of sunlight.  On the picture below, you can also see where I added the extra fabric to the drapes.  I tried to line up the stripes so the width of the stripes would be about the same, but it's not perfect.  Also, I should have used blue thread so you couldn't see the seam as well.

I ordered these curtains from the store and they were on backorder forever.  While on backorder, we received the canopy, which was way too much horizontal stripe action for the room.  So, the canopy is going to live in the playroom-that-was-intended-to-be-a-media-room (it will fit better in there too) and James will have more room to move around in his bedroom now.  

This shower curtain also comes in yellow and white stripe which would make a pretty happy bathroom!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Revival Market // Steel Cut Oatmeal

I don't normally post my instagram pics (@honeywerehome) on the blog, I prefer to keep them more intimate snapshots of day-to-day life, but Sunday morning's breakfast I can't stop thinking about.  If you are in Houston, Revival Market is a local spot in an area of town known as the Heights.  The Market is popular for it's fresh selection of meats and food goods, but is also a deli and breakfast cafe.  I tried it for breakfast for the first time this weekend, and was hooked after the first sip of coffee.  I love a good cup of coffee in the morning (so much so that I added a "Coffee and Tea" board on Pinterest:).

I ordered the steel cut oatmeal and it came with fresh apricots, warm milk, and brown sugar.  Pure deliciousness.

My son ordered "toast" and it was the best, flakiest biscuit I've ever tasted.  

I asked him if I could take another picture, and he said, "I gotta put butter on it first."  I will never tire of seeing his pudgy baby hands in action. 

If you're ever in Houston, this is one place I'd recommend.

Where do I need to eat in your town?  Please share! 

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Ever Rising Energy Bills

Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, has pleaded with energy companies to explain their profits ie to be more "transparent".

Ofgem has also been criticised in a report by MPs on the Energy Committee, for failing to do enough to tackle profiteering by energy companies.

That's all very well, up to a point. However, the MPs seem to forget that taxes and green energy surcharges also add to the financial burdens of the hapless energy consumers.

Friday, July 26, 2013

$100 Pillow GIVEAWAY // Festive Home Decor

Happy Friday friends! On Monday, I shared a new source I found on Etsy for pillow covers, Festive Home Decor.  Undecided between a punchy yellow and a sophisticated brown for my dining room, I ordered both and asked for your help in deciding which looked best.

Y'all are so awesome and gave me lots to think about.  Brown was the winner by 9 votes, but several people suggested changing them out seasonally- keep the yellow for summer and use the brown in the fall.

I do think I might prefer the brown overall, but since it's sunshiny summer over here, I'm going to incorporate the yellow into the room and do a table setting next week to show you how it looks.  For now, the brown are lookin good in the living room.

I'm really happy with the quality of these pillows and will definitely order from Festive Home Decor again in the future.  After my post went live, I received a sweet email from the shop owner, Michelle, thanking me for my post and offering a giveaway for my readers.  Um, yes!

* G I V E A W A Y *

To enter, leave a comment for each item below for multiple entries to win.  One winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday, August 5.

*Visit Festive Home Decor and tell me your favorite pillow

*Like Festive Home Decor on Facebook

*Follow Festive Home Decor on Twitter (@pillowcovershop)

*Be a Follower or Subscriber to Honey We're Home

*Tweet, Facebook, Blog about this giveaway

You can also SHOP Festive Home Decor with coupon code HONEY for 15% OFF your order until July 31, 2013.

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I've been browsing online a lot lately for pillows and I found that Festive Home Decor had one of the largest selection of cool fabrics at the best prices.  I've seen what look like the same pillows on other sites for much more, which is what made me order from Michelle in the first place.  She's got TONS of designs to choose from- nearly 1500 items!  But, she makes it easy to shop because you can shop by color or ensembles.

Here are a few more of my favorites, dang it's hard to narrow down, and seriously!, I just saw these combo brown/yellow pillows- I could have tried them in the dining room! :) 

What I've got my eye on next are these black and white beauties:

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

UK Economy Grows By 0.6%

The UK economy grew by 0.6% in the second quarter compared to the first three months of the year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

George Osborne tweeted the following reaction:
"GDP stats better than forecast.Britain's holding its nerve, we're sticking to our plan, the economy's on the mend.But still a long way to go"
However, as I always caution, when it comes to ONS statistics never trust them. They are always out of date and subject to revision.

In the meantime whilst people crack open a can of lager to celebrate the modest signs of economic recovery in the UK, let us not forget that China frets when growth bumps along at a "mere" 7%!

Washi Tape Kitchen Spatulas

Neon colors are HOT right now, so I wasn't surprised to find these elecrifyinly bright tapes at Target recently.  Seems Scotch brand has jumped on the washi bandwagon:) They are in the paper/school supply section of the store.  The smaller washi tapes on the left were purchased online at or

I'm thinking, I've already taped a shoebox lid, plumbing, and my office bookshelves, "What else can I tape around my house?" Kitchen rubber spatulas??  The colors are perfect!  Why not?!

Aren't these fun!  Kinda neon tribal.

It can't get easier than wrapping the tape around the wooden handles.  I wrapped the washi tape twice since it's more sheer and I wanted the colors to pop.  

Coming up with different color combinations and patterns is creative and good, clean fun.

I'm keeping them in a mason jar for now.  They're more for looks since tape and dishwashing don't go very well together!

Just a bit of neon to brighten your day!

I'll be featuring your washi projects next week.  Tag me on Instagram at #honeywerehomewashi or email me at:

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See you tomorrow with a $100 GIVEAWAY in pillows from Festive Home Decor!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Local Lending Data For 10,000 Postcodes

The government have announced that the UK’s biggest lenders will reveal how much they lend at a local level across 10,000 postcodes.

The new data, published for the first time by the end of this year, will allow businesses and the public to see how the banking and building society sectors are serving the wider economy, and in what areas of the UK there less lending.

The data will be published by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders on a quarterly basis and show the outstanding stock of lending that has been committed to customers across three categories:
  • loans and overdrafts to SMEs
  • mortgages
  • unsecured personal loans (excluding credit cards)
Each postcode will be broken down by category to show the exact lending being made to each.

All very well maybe, but why delay it until the end of the year?

Mini Lace Potted Plants

Why are miniature anything so cute?!  From little baby clothes to mini clothespins, I swoon.  I have a terrible time resisting these little plants when they call to me from the grocery store sidewalk.  So much cuteness for just $1.49.  

At home, I put put the plant into an equally adorable mini terra cotta planter that I found at Michael's.

And then embellished the pot with decorative white lace trim. 

The lace affixes easily to the planter with a simple knot tied in the front. 

But I also like the look from behind. 

I'm keeping mine at the kitchen sink for now. 

As I was taking these photographs, the outlet was driving me crazy in the background.  I guess professional photographers could just photoshop it out of the picture (and putting the paper towel holder there wasn't the angle I was going for).

Me, being tape obsessed lately, covered the outlet with white duct (duck?) tape. 


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Also, check back with me on Friday- I'll be announcing a $100 GIVEAWAY in pillow covers from Festive Home Decor!  Thank you Michelle for offering the giveaway!  

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