Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

6-3-14n 032 Apple Cake 2 @

I finally realized last year, that our family has a Summer tradition. A family tradition that has nothing to do with sunshine, sand or sea. Or sprinklers, sparklers or fireflies. No, this grand family Summer tradition consists of nothing more than consuming extra amounts of sweets, treats and goodies.  Yes, it's true. Now, I'm not sure exactly why that is, but I have a theory.  (Actually, two.)  1) We have a little more time to bake. … [Read more...]

Snap Zebra: a Look Through the Lens

7-13-14n 153 Snap Zebra @

Well, hello! Charming Zebra has been on Summer holiday for the last month.  No blogging or much social media action around these parts.   We've been so busy that it hasn't been much of a vacation, to be honest.  I spent a week in St. George, Utah for my grandma's funeral and a less than enjoyable day at jury duty last week.  Mainly, I've been keeping busy as taxi driver and doing a few projects around the house. Here are just a few … [Read more...]

More Coffee Table Styling

6-3-14n 170 Glass Vase @

Coffee Table Styling. Just a fancy way of saying that I rearranged some items on my coffee table. And bought more flowers.  (At the grocery store, no less) But the coffee table isn't the story.  Neither is the stack of decorating books or my saucy gold rhino.  (Love him.)  No, the star of this little vignette is a simple glass globe vase. I previously filled it with moss and used it for transplanting a bright pink orchid.  Well, as … [Read more...]

Design Crush: 47PARKAVENUE

DesignCrush 47avenue(edited)

  My favorite thing about Pinterest is finding great new design images. Sometimes though, it's tough to find the original source. Frustrating when you want to find out more about that cool image, who the designer is or if there are more related photos. But every once in a while, through a little luck and a bit of serendipity, the image will cross your path again.  This time with the original source, designer and additional … [Read more...]

Chicken Grape Salad Sandwich

5-22-14n 088e Chicken Grape Sandwich @

How do you know when you're finally a grown-up? College graduation, home purchase or wedding day, perhaps? How about the day you find yourself eating (and liking) all the unpalatable foods you shunned as a wee child?  All the mushy, tangy, spicy foods that adults love. My daughter confessed to me the other day, (as I brought home yet another avocado) that nobody her age likes avocados.  Who doesn't like avocados?  She said that all of … [Read more...]

Snap Zebra: A Look Through the Lens

5-25-14n 046 Snap Zebra @

        (My High School Senior.)   Have a wonderful Memorial Day! ~Miss Charming … [Read more...]

That Time I Hit the Craig’s List Jackpot

5-22-14n 198 MCM Dressers @

What would compel a grown woman to show up at a stranger's house, money in hand? For the possibility of a great deal on an awesome piece of furniture, perhaps? I've been searching for the better part of a year for a few specific pieces of furniture.  Thrift stores, Craig's List, eBay and garage sales were all fair game.  I wanted a mid-century modern, upright dresser for my son's room and a small cabinet for a night stand.  Also, a long MCM … [Read more...]

Design Crush: The Hunted Interior

DesignCrush The Hunted Interior edited

  One of my favorite DIY designers is Kristin from The Hunted Interior.  She and her husband, recently transformed their backyard into a stunning outdoor living area. They painted, built, mulched, planted and designed the lovely space themselves.  I love all the beautiful styling, but I'm totally crushing on the floating deck.  (Or potential dance floor, perhaps?)  Either way, it looks as though Kristin will have some fabulous garden … [Read more...]

Bits & Pieces (A Tale of 2 Tables)

5-14-14n 035 Bits and Pieces @

  I'm always on the hunt for a good bargain. That's no secret. I have a seemingly endless list of items I'm searching for, so I'm ready when the right piece at the right price comes around.  Sometimes all that is needed is a little paint or a tweak here or there to make it exactly what I want. And in the last few weeks, I've been fortunate enough to cross a couple more items off my list.     I've been on … [Read more...]

Bright Flowers in Vintage Mason Jars

5-9-14n 003 Mason Jar Flowers @

  I enjoy buying flowers for myself. Truly, I do. There is nothing like a colorful bouquet of blooms to brighten up the home.  And my local grocery store usually has a nice selection of flowers in the $4.00 range.  They sell more expensive bouquets too, but I'm usually able to find something pretty for less.  I buy flowers there quite frequently.  I guess you could say it's my guilty pleasure.  (That and a nice pint of Ben & … [Read more...]

Fabulous Fruit Dip

5-1-14n 027 Fab Fruit Dip @

Many years ago, a friend confessed an embarrassing story. As friends sometimes do. About the time she attended an important business dinner, and thoroughly embarrassed herself in front of her husband's co-workers.  She didn't mean to.  It was an honest mistake.  And she can laugh about it now.  But at the time, well, it was a different story... ...My friend "Laura", (name changed to protect the guilty) was actually looking forward to an … [Read more...]

How NOT to Make a Wrist Corsage

4-26-14n 092 Wrist Corsage @

There is one Do-It-Yourself rule that I always seem to be breaking. Rockin' rule breaker or just frequently forgetful? The DIY rule that's almost always true for me, is that the very first time I attempt something new, there is a definite learning curve.  It usually takes a bit of tweaking to get a new project exactly how I want it.  So when I had the semi-brilliant idea of DIYing the corsage for my son's prom date, well, let's just say … [Read more...]

Design Crush: Cuckoo 4 Design

Design Crush Cuckoo 4 Design hallway

"What's black & white and red (read) all over?" A skunk with a diaper rash? No, A fantastic hallway makeover from Cuckoo 4 Design! One of the few things I remember about being in kindergarten is the discovery of lame and somewhat cheesy jokes.  (Our tiny, undeveloped minds loved them.)  And just to give you an idea of the level of cleverness and wit, here is one of the more popular jokes told repeatedly by my kindergarten … [Read more...]

Coffee Table Styling

4-23-14n 030 Coffee Table Styling @

I've been tinkering around with my coffee table, lately. You know, the ugly one I bought off Craig's List. Because as everyone knows, coffee table vignettes and stylings are almost up there in importance as protecting National secrets, ninja warrior training or creating a decadent chocolate recipe with zero calories.  Or quite possibly as important as not getting your hair cut by an incompetent stylist on the morning of Prom.  (But alas, … [Read more...]

When You Have To Makeover a Makeover

4-22-14n 129 Sofa Table @

Some days, you need to makeover a makeover. It happens. Perhaps the original makeover was semi-fantastic, but eventually the needs of the space changed.  Or perhaps you initially thought your makeover project was terrific, but three months later you suddenly hated it.  Or maybe, you realized right away that the makeover wasn't successful, but you just didn't have it in you to start the project all over again.  sigh   Meet my sofa table.  … [Read more...]