Shared posts

24 Aug 18:03

A black homeowner called 911 to report a carjacking. He wound up getting shot by police.

by Lindsey Bever
Indianapolis police called it "a tragic incident involving a homeowner attempting to protect his family and ... officers trying to do the same thing."
24 Aug 22:07

New planet 'Proxima b' reminds us that the universe isn’t about us

by Joel Achenbach
Another reason to cherish Earth.
25 Aug 09:29

On the Street…The Fortezza, Florence

by The Sartorialist


24 Aug 12:33

12 Trendy And Chic Laptop Skins For The Girlboss

by Gemma Bonham-Carter

I recently got a new computer (my first Mac – can you believe I’ve held off this long?!). I’m all kinds of in love with it. It’s like my third baby. Running my online biz is such a big part of my life, and my computer is the hub of that… so what’s a girl to do? Obviously I want that little machine to look gooood. So I proceeded to lose several hours down the Etsy rabbit hole and came up with some gorgeous laptop skins. Kinda like wallpaper for your computer.

Here are the ones that made the cut – my 12 fave skins. Is it just me, or is it weird that they are called “skins”… kinda gross sounding, right? Anyway, they are all vinyl adhesives, meaning you can just peel them off your computer if you tire of the look with no residue or damage.


The one that you see across a gazillion instagram pics: Classic marble. I ADORE this. It was what I originally searched for, and it’s probably the one I’ll buy. [Grab it here]


But as I kept looking, I kept finding other goodies. Like this “Rose All Day”? Yes, please. [Grab it here]


Can’t decide between white and black marble? How about this two-tone beaut? [Grab it here]

If marble ain’t your thing but you still want that stone look, how amazing is this agate one? I love the veining. [Grab it here]


Pink and pineapples. So cute. [Grab it here]pink-pineapple-laptop-skin

Coconuts more your jam? How cute is this?? I might just have to get this one instead of the marble. Decisions, decisions.  [Grab it here]


I love the geometric pattern, colour scheme, and polka dots in this guy. [Grab it here]


This watercolor cactus skin is so pretty, hey? [Grab it here]


On-trend banana leaf. It would match our new family room perfectly. [Grab it here]


This aqua and lemons pattern is super cheery. [Grab it here]


And how pretty are these succulents? I love love love this one. [Grab it here]


And these ferns? Like straight out of an English garden or something. [Grab it here]


Go grab one of these for yourself to give your laptop a little makeover! Or give as a gift to an entrepreneur, college student, or someone starting a new job. Makes such a cute gift idea, hey?

Which one gets your vote? Got a fave?

The post 12 Trendy And Chic Laptop Skins For The Girlboss appeared first on the sweetest digs.

18 Aug 17:50

Ind. Courts - "ACLU uses RFRA to sue jail on behalf of Muslim inmate" [Updated at 1:47]

by Marcia Oddi

Faulk trolling Republicans.

Madeline Buckley of the Indianapolis Star has the story here. Some quotes:The Indiana American Civil Liberties Union is suing the...
18 Aug 12:22

Old Favorites: Café Patachou and Jasmine Thai

by Erin in Indy

Never been to Jasmine Thai!

Since I have been back in the country after being away for a month, and because the kids are back in school and for about a minute I have more time on my hands to go to lunch (until I start school-oy!), and I have been missing my favorite stand-bys, here’s a couple of the places I visited in one week. (Seriously, you have no idea how much you dream of Asian food and American sandwiches after three weeks in Italy and one in Greece).

First stop: Café Patachou. And while I sometimes vary my order, I knew exactly what I was going to get—my ultimate comfort food sandwich—egg salad on toasted sourdough with chips and an extra pickle (it’s about $10). Everything was going great until the server informed me they have stopped serving the pickles. Devastating. Apparently, they are composting a lot more these days and realized how much they are throwing away and didn’t like how many pickles they throw out (how could you not eat these pickles?). They have also stopped automatically serving the tomato and cucumber unless you ask as well. So, I think they should do the same with the pickles—only if you ask for them. Bring back the pickles!

Anyway, the sandwich was just as good as always (except I really like a bite of pickles mixed with every couple bites of sandwich). I also tend to eat my sandwich open-faced because I like a larger salad-to-bread ratio. Their egg salad is simple—eggs, mayo, salt and pepper, but they do it just right and it is delicious. Still, bring back the pickles! (please?).

Next stop a couple days later-- Jasmine Thai for my favorite sautéed eggplant with basil (and I add chicken—it’s normally a vegetarian dish) (also around $10). I normally like food a little spicy, but here I order this dish mild. First, they are serious about heat at Jasmine and second, when this particular dish is spicy at all, it seems to me it loses a little bit of the rich basil flavor—the heat just overpowers it. 

The eggplant is nice and tender and the chicken is sliced thin and mixed it—I wish they would give just a little more chicken because I like a bit of chicken and a bit of eggplant in each bite for the texture variation, but other than that, this is one of my favorite dishes. And Asian flavors, because they are so different from what I had been eating were one of my top cravings in Europe (we did manage to get sushi twice in Italy, but that’s it).

Anyhow, those are just a couple of the favorites I have been in the last week or so…. I am sure I will be hitting up a few more here soon.

Café Patachou
8697 River Crossing Blvd
Indy  46240

Jasmine Thai Restaurant
4825 East 96th Street
Indy  46240

12 Aug 21:16

Making a Murderer: Federal Judge Overturns Brendan Dassey’s Conviction

Steven Avery’s nephew was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse, and first-degree sexual assault.
09 Aug 19:48


by designlovefest

summer corn soup | designlovefest

i was born and raised in the midwest where summertime means roadside stands filled with fresh berries, tomatoes and sweet corn. i find frozen corn to be completely uninspiring and almost never eat it but fresh corn is a completely different story which is why i’m only going to recommend making this soup in the summer time when you can use fresh corn on the cob! it makes all the difference. what have you been making and loving this summer? i’d love to know, i’m always looking for new ideas. i find that my enthusiasm for cooking goes down in the warmer months so i’ve been focusing on simple meals that require little effort and work as leftovers as well. i just made this chicken salad from the NYtimes last night and really enjoyed it.  – joanie

summer corn soup | designlovefest

what you’ll need:
serves 4
• 4 ears of corn, remove the corn from the cob
• 2 jalapeños
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 white onion diced
• 2 sprigs fresh marjoram
• 1 32 ounces box of vegtable broth
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoons salt
• 2 limes
• garnish and serve with tortilla chips, queso fresco (feta would be good too!), sliced avocado and spicy salsa.

summer corn soup | designlovefest
summer corn soup | designlovefest
summer corn soup | designlovefest

• heat the olive oil and add the onion. chop the jalapeños (remove the seeds if you don’t like it too spicy) and add to the onion. add the cumin, salt, marjoram and corn and mix until incorporated. add the vegetable broth and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. remove the sprigs of marjoram. the idea is to barely cook the corn so that it stays really crisp and fresh.

summer corn soup | designlovefest
summer corn soup | designlovefest

• ladle into four bowls and top with fresh avocado, queso fresco, and the juice of half a lime. serve with tortilla chips and a spicy red salsa (which you can add to the soup if you want more of a kick!)

summer corn soup | designlovefest
summer corn soup | designlovefest
summer corn soup | designlovefest

styling by: joanie cusack and ivan solis
photos by: ivan solis

05 Aug 16:00

A Modern Mash-Up in a Bright Echo Park Bungalow — House Tour

by Jessica Isaac

Love the white, gold, blue/green color palette. Makes me wish - even just briefly - that the wood trim at our place was white.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Name: Alyssa Valentine
Location: Echo Park — Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,414 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 7 years

Alyssa works in real estate and it's no surprise she's staged her share of interiors. Her natural knack for tastefully blending a variety of styles to give rooms a unique personality is hard to match. Her bright and cheery home, which she shares with her husband and two children, feels both comfortable and refined, with a touch of whimsy.


02 Aug 15:21

On the Street…Soho, New York

by The Sartorialist


29 Jul 15:03

On the Street…Spring St., New York

by The Sartorialist


24 Jul 16:00

A Farmhouse Industrial Style Home in the Hudson Valley — House Tour

by Eva Deitch
(Image credit: Eva Deitch)

Name: Leigh Baumann (with renter Eli Barrett)
Location: Beacon, NY
Size: 960 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years

Leigh is the owner of this lovely home in Beacon, New York. But it wasn't always so lovely—Leigh gutted the house, completely renovating it. The result is a wonderful mix of architectural elements, an earthy color palette and vintage finds.


25 Jul 16:00

A Cozy Cali Rental as Colorful & Quirky as the Photographer Who Calls It Home — House Tour

by Marisa Vitale
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Name: Jennifer Emerling
Location: Pasadena, California
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 6 months

Jenn is a visual storyteller specializing in travel, editorial, and wedding photography. She considers herself a modern day explorer, particularly enchanted by her muse of the American West for its exaggerated folklore and whimsy.


25 Jul 19:00

A Cool & Earthy California Home — House Tour

by Adrienne Breaux
(Image credit: Kim Marcelo)

Name: Vanessa Matsalla
Location: South Oceanside, California
Size: 1800 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 2 years

The words "California Cool" come to mind when you see interior designer Vanessa Matsalla's South Oceanside house. An earthy color palette mixes with natural textiles and textures. But contemporary—and even quirky—elements are sprinkled throughout the home, making for a dynamic space. The huge windows letting in a lot of natural light don't hurt, either.


26 Jul 23:59


by bri

e66901962f4f826abbeef930f4b84800 13_Nauman_FiveMarchingMen 8b872246889855cae1178608494f32f1 6a6a0e99934f27110eecca60a0548e3b-1 Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 4.52.13 PM bruce-nauman-1 12108771_722430751195827_7906519792539288494_n bruce-nauman-violins-violence-silence

feeling very inspired today…


18 Jul 09:00

Nicole Taylor's Back Room Eatery

by Erin in Indy
I stopped by Nicole Taylor’s the other day to pick up some fresh pasta and remembered that they are now doing lunch in their back room—I didn’t really know what to expect but it is actually a super cute room back there—they have a couple of communal tables and then a couple of tables for four. You can also see the little room where they make the pasta. You order at the front counter and they deliver your food to you in the back.

On the day I was there, there were three sandwiches, three pastas, a couple of soups and a salad. We split the fried mortadella sandwich ($9.50) with melty robiola cheese and onion jam on the thin sliced bread. It’s a proper grilled Panini and it was very good. They are quite large—so the soup and half sandwich is a very good option. We just wanted to each have our own half as well as trying other things. But you can’t really go wrong with a fancy fried bologna sandwich.

We also had a cup of the soup of the day—the onion soup ($4.50). It was a broth-based soup—it was French onion in flavor, although without the bread and cheese. I really enjoyed it though—it was lighter than I was expecting and had lots of soft caramelized onions. It was a nice break from the rich and cheesy taste of the other items. I would eat the soup again as a counterbalance to the richness.

We also shared one of the pasta dishes. It was penne with peas and prosciutto in a heavy cream/garlic/parmesan sauce. There were some toasty breadcrumbs on top. I enjoyed the crunch and texture variation from the breadcrumbs, but I can’t say I loved this pasta. It was just so kind of one-dimensional. There was a lot of cream, and I can’t say there was much more to it. I would have loved some acid somehow. Maybe some lemon zest in the crumbs or something. Looking back, we probably should have gone with the dish that had lobster and capers—at least I know it would have a bit of a briny kick. The pasta itself at Nicole Taylor’s is lovely and they certainly know how to cook it just right so it doesn’t get mushy or anything.

Also, after looking at the sample menu on the website, I would kill for the egg and asparagus sandwich with lemon oil (yay! acid!) or the pasta with a poached egg on top. It’s a place I definitely need to go back to.

Have you guys been yet? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Nicole Taylor’s Back Room Eatery

1134 East 54th Street

Indy  46220


21 Jul 12:10

Michelle Obama Gets Her Freak on With Missy Elliott and James Corden in Carpool Karaoke

Best. First. Lady. Ever.
20 Jul 13:57

On the Street…Via Cola di Rienzo, Milan

by The Sartorialist


22 Jun 13:50

Ind. Gov't. - "Utility commission job sits open as cases stack up"

by Marcia Oddi
That is the headline to this story by John Russell in this week's $$ issue of the IBJ. A few...
20 Jun 16:30

i have a thing for these mirrors.

by victoria

gold rimmed F.A.33 mirror on pale pink wall / sfgirlbybay

charlie forever.

every time i see one of these uniquely shaped mirrors i’m suddenly stopped dead in my tracks. there’s just something so striking, and so feminine about the curve and shape of their pretty brass frames. i did a bit of research on them and i believe they are called an F.A.33 mirror, originally designed by the legendary designer Gio Ponti in 1933 for prominent lamp and glass manufacturer FontanaArte. i’m not certain, but i think they were then made popular throughout the 1940-50’s because the mirrors i keep finding online are labeled as ‘mid-century modern 1950’s italian designed’ mirror.  i’ve also been seeing some similar, modern ones with a sleek, radius round corners, and those are quite lovely, too. i think the vintage version may be quite rare, because they are also quite pricey, so i’m going to keep my flea market eyes peeled for one of these pretties — i’d just love to own something so classically beautiful.

two mirrors vitnage italian mirrors via marie claire maison. / sfgirlbybay

these two mirrors have such stunning shapes, via marie claire maison.

1950's vintage italian mirrors / sfgirlbybay

pretty in pink framed mirror from 1st dibs; this one from Lamp and Co. on etsy is tempting me; and a couple beautiful 1950’s vintage mirrors from the apartment.

1950's italian mirroron pale pink wall and a mid-century modern teak framed version. / sfgirlbybay

1950’s italian mirror from the apartment; and a mid-century modern teak framed version.

retro bathroom mirrors / sfgirlbybay

a pair of bathroom mirrors, via xnet; radius corner mirror with a shelf, via the design files; and a 1950’s vintage mirror from the apartment.

extra large, radius corner mirror with large potted cactus  via one hundred layer cake / sfgirlbybay

extra large, radius corner mirror via one hundred layer cake.

vintage mirrors with silver frames and little hangers, via inside closet. / sfgirlbybay

i love these vintage beauties with their little hangers, via inside closet.

designer vanessa alexander's white and black malibu bathroom with matching mirrors and moroccan rug via my domaine. / sfgirlbybay

designer vanessa alexander’s malibu bathroom, via my domaine.

vertical mirrors are hung from industrial hardware via The Shop Of The New, Copenhagen. / sfgirlbybay

i quite fancy the way these vertical mirrors are hung from industrial hardware, at The Shop Of The New, Copenhagen.

17 Jun 13:00

84 Affordable Amazing Sofas Under $1000

by Emily

Very few posts in the history of my life have been as popular as our first design mistake about avoiding the generic sofa. It swept the Pinterweb, leaving men, women, and children staring at their sofa wondering if it qualified and then clicking through to our roundup which gave them/us some hope. We concluded that most people don’t want to buy bad sofas, they just don’t know where to buy good ones for an affordable price. We did a roundup then, but so many more really good sofas have come out in the last year that warranted an even bigger, better roundup. I am SHOCKED by how good many of these are. Have I placed my own rear-end on every sofa on this list? NOPE. Can I vouch for their in-person comfort? No. Nor do I know how/where or under what conditions they are made. Typically more affordable sofas have less amazing quality – but for the price, style, and sheer ease of online ordering – I think these sofas KILL it in the non-generic and, yet, affordability category.

Grab a seat (non-generic sofa preferred) and feast your butt on these 84 REALLY, REALLY good sofas that are under $1000.

Chic and Cheap Sofas Under $1000 affordable Emily Henderson budget roundup

1. Synchronicity Sofa in Laguna | 2. Dove Gray Woven Apel Sofa | 3. Bella Tufted Settee in Pink Linen | 4. Cielo II Loveseat in Tess Fuchsia | 5. Paxton Sofa | 6. Anderson Sofa in Blue | 7. Kinsley Sofa in Light Blue | 8. Emerald Green Velvet Marian Loveseat | 9. Carl Sofa | 10. Quincy Chaise Sectional Sofa | 11. The Sterling Sofa in Red | 12. Eddy Sofa in Indigo | 13. Stockholm Sofa in Gray | 14. Cirrus in Pacific Blue | 15. Oliver Sofa | 16. Central Shadow Sofa | 17. Billie Sofa in Dusty Blush | 18. Engage Sofa | 19. Annette Sofa in Maroon | 20. Ceni Sofa in Pyrite Grey | 21. Linen Lounge Sofa in Cream | 22. Julie Storage Sofa in Blue | 23. Happy Sofa in Quartz White | 24. Adeline Storage Sofa in Olive | 25. Kiko Futon Sofa in Cayenne | 26. Midnight Blue Velvet Kendall Sofa | 27. Teal Kaira Loveseat | 28. Richmond Sofa | 29. Fabris Sofa in Red | 30. Catalina Sofa in White | 31. Oasis Sofa in Smoke Gray | 32. Seaford Swoop Loveseat in Grey | 33. Flannelette Sofa | 34. Emil Sofa | 35. Slipcovered Standard Sofa | 36. Felton Tufted Sofa | 37. Mid Century Modern Sofa in Blue | 38. Martine Tufted Settee | 39. Empress Upholstered Sofa | 40. Carolina Sofa | 41. Gordon Tufted Sofa | 42. Stocksund Loveseat | 43. Jarvis Fabric Sofa | 44. Bria Tufted Settee | 45. Blvd. Sofa | 46. Flatiron Rouge Apartment Sofa | 47. Retro Sofa | 48. Teal Velvet Kendall Sofa | 49. Braxton Sofa | 50. Hamilton Upholstered Sofa | 51. Remark Sofa | 52. Winslow Sofa | 53. Modway Loft Sofa | 54. Walden Two-Seater Sofa | 55. Jodie Cappuccino Sofa | 56. Deegan Sofa | 57. Anna Tufted Settee | 58. Metropolitan Sofa | 59. Anders Loveseat | 60. Bonded Leather Sofa | 61. Turquoise Linen Sofa | 62. Metro Sofa Bed | 63. Mid-Century White Sofa | 64. Marco Sofa in Frost Gray | 65. Rounded Retro Armless Sofa | 66. Sectional Sofa with Reversible Chaise | 67. Rocket Loveseat | 68. Mid-Century Tufted Sleeper Sofa | 69. Echo Sofa in Coral Red | 70. Chesterfield Tufted Scroll Arm | 71. Jessica Sofa | 72. Finn Sofa | 73. Anywhere Convertible Sofa | 74. Cherie Sofa in Fiery Orange | 75. Singular Sofa | 76. Scotia Fabric Sofa | 77. Liza Tufted Settee | 78. Clare Sofa | 79. Rostanga Sofa in Beige | 80. Puget Sofa | 81. Square Arm Bonded Leather Sofa | 82. Norsborg Sofa | 83. Sofia Chesterfield Sofa | 84. Clayton Sofa

So many favorites and steals, but if I had to between them I’d choose #2, #3, #5, #9, #14, #17, #31, #37, #51, #72, #41, #67, #56, #71, #17.

The shockingly good ones for so cheap are #56, #71, and #17. If someone were holding me over a huge vat of centipedes and I had to decide I’d choose #71. I think it’s just such a pretty sofa for $598.

Now you go. Someone, is holding you over a big vat of (insert whatever you want here, could be cats, snakes, lard, mice, cockroaches, rabbits…) and you HAVE to choose one of those sofas or you will be dropped. WHICH ONE DO YOU CHOOSE???

**Photo by Laure Joliet

The post 84 Affordable Amazing Sofas Under $1000 appeared first on Emily Henderson.

06 Jun 14:00

IKEA’s Latest Collection Designed with Ingegerd Råman

by Nanette Wong

IKEA’s Latest Collection Designed with Ingegerd Råman

IKEA launched a limited edition collection of accessories and furniture designed in collaboration with famous Scandinavian ceramicist and glassblower, Ingegerd Råman. The collection, named VIKTIGT, is focused on creating a statement through understated beauty. Rather than bright, flashy colors and over-the-top shapes, the collection’s strength lies in subtle beauty created through natural materials and functional forms. Though she is best known for her work with glass and porcelain, Ingegerd embarked on a new craft with woven materials to create this line. However, despite the foreign material, craftsmanship remains the same, making it easy for her to embark on this journey. The objects are designed to stand alone and be highly functional, or used together to create a sculptural silhouette.





























08 Jun 15:00

Handcrafted Andalusian Inlaid Wood iPhone Cases

by Caroline Williamson

Handcrafted Andalusian Inlaid Wood iPhone Cases

Adrián Rosales & Rafael Ruiz Casares are two graphic designers based in Spain who have partnered together to develop Tarxia, a collection of handcrafted iPhone cases that are made using a seven centuries-old technique. The Arabian Andalusian technique, known as Taracea, is still being used in Granada, Spain and it involves artisans with both patience and skill creating geometric compositions out of inlaid wood.


There are nine designs available, all influenced by Andalusian art mosaics, the Alhambra, and by the inlaid wood aesthetic. Hardwoods used are lignum vitae, ebony, walnut, wenge, sycamore, and sapele, which are then finished using natural materials to result in cases that are 100% ecological and hypoallergenic.
















Photos by Alfonso Acedo.

25 May 15:11

John Gregg picks Christina Hale as Lieutenant Governor running mate

by Doug Masson

The news is out today that Democratic gubernatorial candidate, John Gregg, has chosen Representative Christina Hale as his running mate for lieutenant governor. She is a Democrat, representing Indianapolis’s District 87 since 2012. Prior to that, she worked as chief communications officer for Kiwanis International and spent some time as a reporter for the LaPorte Herald during college.

I first became aware of Rep. Hale through her efforts with respect to the under reporting of sex crimes against girls. At the time, Rep. Hale was working with the Criminal Law & Sentencing Study Committee because, as she reported:

[A]ccording to the Center for Disease Control, one in six girls in Indiana has been raped or sexually assaulted. Rep. Hale further indicated that the number is actually higher because crimes are under-reported. According to federal data, Indiana is the second worst state in the nation for rape and sexual assault against high school aged girls.

And, in fact, she has continued her work to combat sex crimes. You can see her legislative initiatives for 2015 and 2016. She has worked with a number of bills involving subjects such as rape, harassment, domestic battery, human trafficking, and underage prostitution.

If a Gregg/Hale ticket is successful, it appears very evident that they will have a more effective relationship with the Indiana General Assembly. While the General Assembly will almost certainly continue to be dominated by Republicans, the fact is that Gregg & Hale have a lot more experience with the legislative process than Pence and Holcomb. I don’t know much about Holcomb. He definitely seems to have his strengths, but it’s pretty easy to argue that Gov. Pence traded down with respect to his ability to navigate the legislature when he ditched former Lt. Governor Sue Ellsperman. Ellsperman was highly regarded and had served in the Indiana House of Representatives. Even so, the Pence administration has often seemed to have trouble communicating effectively with the General Assembly and navigating the legislative process.

John Gregg, of course, was Speaker of the House and, in that capacity, seems to have managed a good working relationship with the Senate Republicans across the hall. Rep. Hale is probably a choice that adds to that strength.

27 May 16:07

Well That’s A Stove of a Different Color: Appliances That Will Make Your Kitchen Unforgettable!

by Mandi

Oh my gosh you guys, I am OBSESSSSED. A few months ago I stumbled upon the world of colored appliances. Now. I know what you might be picturing…


These are nothing along the lines of that tragedy.

Soak in some of this goodness:


 Apartment Therapy


Kelly’s Studio

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 9.53.55 AM

Elsie’s Kitchen

One day I fell down the rabbit hole, as one does on the internet, and sourced colored appliances (hey, a girl can dream!) From what I’ve learned, none are as versatile as Big Chill. So here is why they are special.  I love that they dont have just one style of gas stove or fridge. They have a Pro line (more modern), a Retro line, and a Classic line (you’ll LOVE this one if you’ve been lusting after a La Cornue but choke when you see the price)

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 9.21.33 AM






As if having a whole array of styles isnt enough, they also have over 200 colors that you can choose from. TWO HUNDRED.


I dont care how, come hell or high water these are going to be part of my life.

I’m dying to know, if you could have a stove in any color of the rainbow, what would it be?!


19 May 13:20

Simple Landscape Lighting

by Scoops

Simple DIY Landscape Lighting How to | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Guyses! Earlier this spring I made the biggest easiest improvement to increase our nighttime backyard chill vibes, and it was so incredibly simple. I’m unlocking the mysteries of landscape lighting for ya. I command (yep, command) you all to follow my lead and do the same with your outdoor spaces!

So, I always thought you had to have tons of money and an electrician to enjoy a nicely lighted landscape. I mean that would make sense to me, for lots of reasons. Number one, we’re talking about electricity and the elements (like rain, and kids!), so I would assume cables would have to be buried 18″ below the ground, and stowed safely inside of conduit – but that is not true. Also, because you’re hooking up light fixtures to wires with flaming hot electricity running through them, I would assume that you would need a professional electrician to hook it all up properly – nopers! Also, I assumed it would all cost thousands of dollars, and it totally doesn’t.

Landscape Lighting Supplies

Seriously, alll you need is an GFCI outdoor outlet, a transformer, some low-voltage cable and landscape light fixtures.

The key to making this easy enough for you and I to do this without electrocuting ourselves is the transformer. It plugs into an outdoor outlet and doesn’t need to be hardwired. The transformer knocks down a 120V standard current outlet, to a low 12V, which is safe enough for us typical non-electrician homeowners to use without worrying about getting zapped. And with the advent of LED lighting, the wattage necessary to run a backyard full of lights is incredibly and surprisingly low. For reference, I have 9 lights in my backyard running on a whopping 48 watts – that’s like the same as one incandescent bulb! I insist that you purchase LED lights for this reason alone. Because of the low wattage, the transformer can be really small, I am running everything on a 120W transformer, whereas just a few years ago, the same lighting layout might have needed a transformer that ran between 600 – 1,200 watts – and watts cost, bros. To figure out what size transformer you need, add up the total amount of wattage your fixtures will be using and then purchase a transformer that can support that amount. I would recommend leaving at least 25% extra in case you want to add extra lighting in the future.

of Portfolio Transformer

The low-voltage transformer then hooks up to low-voltage landscape cables, it’s recommend that you use 12 to 16 gauge wires for small wattage transformers. I used about 130 feet of cable in my backyard. After using the chart below, I determined that using a 14 gauge wire would be cool for me.

Landscape Lighting Chart

It’s super easy to connect the wire to the transformer (which should come with easy to follow instructions). To break it down; after unplugging the transformer, strip the wire, and then attach it to the bottom of the transformer using a screwdriver. Then… ha ha, jokes on you! There is no ‘then’, that’s it!

Bottom of Portfolio Transformer

The Portfolio transformer I purchased has two transformer connection points so that I could run two lines of cable off it. This made it easy to run wire from one side of the backyard to the other, since our outlet was located near the middle of the house. Imagine the wiring as a ‘U’, and the transformer is in the center of it, the cables extend outward in each direction.

Simple DIY Landscape Lighting How to | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Simple DIY Landscape Lighting How to | Deuce Cities Henhouse
When figuring out your lighting situation consider what landscape that you’d like to illuminate. I wanted to illuminate the small trees that we have in our gardens by using spot lights. The trees are spaced evenly in the yard, which in turn allows for evenly spaced lighting, each spotlight is about the same distance apart. We have another walkway that runs along a garden to our garage. This garden is full of plants all under two feet tall so spotlights weren’t necessary. Instead, I thought it would be appropriate to use a path light to light both the garden and the path. I did have to fish the wire under the walkway (call 811 before you dig!), and to do that I created a crimped pipe (aka old curtain rod) and hammered it under the path. I used a third type of lighting near our garage where we have two branchy dogwoods. For this I illuminated the dog woods with a buried well light. I love the dramatic effect of all of it! Seriously, you guys!

Simple DIY Landscape Lighting How to | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Simple DIY Landscape Lighting How to | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Simple DIY Landscape Lighting How to | Deuce Cities Henhouse
You always want to consider how many lights you have on a cable. As you attach more and more lights, the ones farther away from the transformer may be slightly dimmer, so don’t overload yer cables! This is why I used two lines instead of one. Also, your first light on the line should always be placed at least 10 feet down the cable – if you want to place a fixture near the box, just bury the ten feet of cable in the ground – make sense? The pros say you should stagger your lights down a pathway and try to avoid light overlap. I mean, you wouldn’t want to confuse people walking in the evening with overlapping light, I guess it can be a trip hazard?? Also, if you think you might want to add more light onto your cables down the road, make sure to bury extra sections of cable every once in awhile so that you can have that option later on. I already want to do this, because duh, it’s me.

Landscape Lighting Connection Points

Now that you are designing landscape lighting like a bawse, the only thing left to do is to attach your fixtures. Remember guys? No fancy splices required here! Just purchase fixtures with connection points. All you have to do is screw two prongs down into the landscape wire, and it’s safe and secure. After connecting all my fixtures I lightly buried the cable under the mulch near the border of the garden. Running the cable along the border makes it very easy for me to find it if I want to add more plants to the garden or if I want to add more lights onto my cable. Bury or cover your low-voltage cable in a safe spot to avoid accidentally digging it up or catching it on the lawn mower. If you want to make it harder for yourself and decide to purchase fixtures that need to be hard wired, make sure to use a weather proof electrical nut, however the fixtures I choose come with their own connection point.

Simple DIY Landscape Lighting How to | Deuce Cities Henhouse
The expense is all relative. Personally, I thought it would cost much more, and the impact that it had on our yard was well worth the $300 we spent on the project. You can easily find lighting kits that start as low as $80 and still achieve the same effect. I’m already planning on doing the front foundation garden and side garden next year, and asked my concrete guys to run a channel of PVC under the walkway in the front yard so I can easily get cable from one side of the yard to the other. We’ll need an electrician to come install an exterior outlet in the front of the house, otherwise I’d already be all over that.

You guys gots to do this, I’m not kidding!

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16 May 09:30

Vida - Revisit

by Erin in Indy
I was excited to try Vida again—I mean, we had such a good experience the first time; we were intrigued to see if it would hold up. So we went with friends (all the better to try more things with) and went in for our second go round.

Right away, we noticed the service was a bit off. Our server couldn’t get to us. It was fine; another server apologized and took our drink order. Our server stopped by to say he would be there when he could but that he was really busy. He assured us an amuse bouche would be served to us soon. Anyhow, we looked over the menu and made our negotiations and eventually got our order in.

We started with the charcuterie plate ($14 for the small) and the crab and octopus roll ($16). We were torn about whether to go with the large or small charcuterie, and settled on the small. Other than needing a little more of the toasty (and delicious) bread, there was more than enough for the four of us. There were a lot of good, and interesting things on the board. There was morcilla (a blood sausage), ‘ndjua (spicy spreadable pork), and some lovely crunchy chicharones. How can you not like crispy fried pork skin? There was also prosciutto and another salame. They did a great job with the accompaniments here as well.  There were a couple of types of mustard and some nice pickled veggies—lots of red onions, my favorite.

The crab and octopus roll was also very good. It was wrapped in exactly ripe avocado, and was a little light on the crab and octopus filling, but it tasted wonderful. It was a light appetizer, and honestly, I could have easily eaten at least half of it on my own. Let’s face it, I would happily eat the whole thing on my own.

At this point we got the amuse, which was kind of weird after we had already started eating our first course (it’s supposed to be a tease for your palate), Anyhow, I can’t remember what it was at this point, but we ate it up.

The entrées came next—I had the salmon ($29). It was lovely—really really good. It was a thin piece of salmon that was seared really crisp. When I first saw it, I was worried that it would be dry, but it was moist inside but just wonderfully crispy outside. It was served with asparagus, artichokes, yellow tomatoes and Nicoise olives. Ok, it also helped that those are all some of my favorite things, but this dish was great. There was great acid balance, which is my thing.

The server had convinced hubby to get the New York strip steak ($39) because he just kept talking about how great it is. Hubby rarely orders steaks out, and even more rarely is wooed by a NY strip, but he was convinced. And this was an outstanding steak. While nicely marbled, it was still really tender and not chewy. It was served on a bright Béarnaise sauce and topped with these light and wonderful pommes soufflé. We had these before at an old line restaurant in Cincinnati and these were just as good. Almost like a 3D potato chip. Another wonderful dish.

Our friends had the shrimp dumplings ($26)(which we had the first time and really enjoyed) and the short rib dish, which was also really good—the two men kept negotiating bites of their dishes with each other. 

We also got dessert this time. Those little doughnuts with the Bourbon caramel sauce? Outstanding.  Their pastry chef is doing inventive things and you should really try one of the desserts when you’re there.

Well, I think if anything I was more impressed with the food this time because there were no dishes that I thought were inferior. I will say the service was nowhere near as good as it was on that first visit, but it wasn’t horrible. They were definitely a bit in the weeds on this particular night though. I’m really happy to have Vida on the Indy list of cool and really good restaurants to recommend. I just hope the food stays as good as it has been on my first couple of visits.

601 East New York Street
Indy 46202

12 May 18:00

Gold-Plated LEGO Bags and Jewelry

by Caroline Williamson

Gold-Plated LEGO Bags and Jewelry

Last year we fawned over agabag’s handbags made from LEGO bricks. Now, they’ve taken it a step further by incorporating gold-plated bricks into the bag designs while also adding jewelry to the line.


After spending months working on getting the gold-plated bricks right, they finally made it happen by doing the process in three stages at three different facilities. The resulting brick has a thin layer of 24k gold that still allows the bricks to be stacked and connected, while still keeping it pretty durable for wear.

















If you’re interested in purchasing, check out their Etsy site here.

09 May 13:00

Best Affordable Vinyl Tile

by Emily
DIY Vinyl Kitchen Floor Tile Peel and Stick Retro Brady Tolbert Kitchen Vintage Dining Room After 1

Remember a few weeks back when Brady revealed his amazing $50 kitchen makeover using vinyl peel and stick flooring. The internet gave a resounding applause which made us think… are there other vinyl flooring options out there for those of you/us who don’t want this black/white option? Well, the answer is, “woah, YES there is…” So, we rounded up some of our favorite easy-to apply and inexpensive (for the most part) vinyl tiles for the kitchens, bathrooms, and mudrooms in your life that are in need of a quick and easy update.

NEW Vinyl Tile Patterened

1. Starry Night Tile | 2. Mexican Indigo Blue Cleft Tile | 3. Stargazer Tile | 4. Italian Chiave Teal Tile | 5. Moroccan Agadir Cobalt Tile | 6. Flirt Tile | 7. Tumbling Blocks | 8. Black & Rose Syracuse Tile | 9. Mexican Indigo Diamonds Tile | 10. Rose des Vents Tile | 11. Oyster Travertine Tile | 12. Velvet Weave | 13. Parquet Charcoal | 14. Blossom Tile | 15. Bali Tile | 16. Amtico Mineral Glass | 17. Urban Marble Tile | 18. Roman Travertine Tile | 19. Rose des Vents Tile | 20. Moroccan Agadir Mercury Tile | 21. Floor Parquet Tile | 22. Equator Wave Tile | 23. Red Stars Tile | 24. Palm Beach Tile | 25. Porto Tile | 26. Nexus Black & White Tile | 27. Casablanca Grey Tiles | 28. Azulejos Tile | 29. Namaste Tile | 30. Flower Folk Tile | 31. Cafe Tile | 32. Green Geometric Pattern Tile | 33. Gray Linear Travertine Tile

Of course there are always some solid options and we find it best to mix like Brady did – two or even more colors together to form a checkerboard, a stripe, or to get crazy and come up with something fun and new. Some of them go a bit “retro” but that’s great for a vintage house, right?

New Vinyl Tiles Solids

1. Nexus White Tile | 2. Rio Red Tile | 3. Alternatives Iron Gray Tile | 4. Alternatives Forest Green Tile | 5. Alternatives Aqua Spring Tile | 6. Nexus Black Tile | 7. School Bus Tile | 8. Cadence Delta Tile | 9. Frosty | 10. Alternatives White Tile | 11. Touchstone Tango Tile | 12. Ecru Tile | 13. Touchstone Silver Pine | 14. Plum Tile | 15. Tangerine Tile | 16. Pistachio Tile | 17. Black Tile | 18. Gray Tile | 19. Dark Blue Tile | 20. Excelon Red Tile | 21. Touchstone Banana Cream Tile

Lastly, and I know this goes against my past self that used to be against anything faux, but I have a couple things to say about wood vinyl tiles:

1. I’ve seen extremely high end versions of this and you can’t tell them apart. The new stuff coming on the market is expensive, but so perfect for commercial use because it looks identical to wood and is virtually indestructable. And 2. I think for a budget makeover (maybe not a full reno where you are spending money only once) it’s a good option to help create a clean, warm, new surface. I did it once for Secrets From a Stylist, you can see it HERE, and it looked great for just a few hundred dollars. But, obviously be careful with it – and don’t go putting it in your $50k kitchen renovation to try to save money because you spent too much on your faucet.

NEW Vinyl Tile Wood

1. Empire Bamboo Plank Tile | 2. Montana Plank Tile | 3. Graphite Tile | 4. Five Spice Plank Tile | 5. Prestige Rosewood Plank Tile | 6. Pearl Tile | 7. Tabacco Pine Plank Tile | 8. Rustic Barn Wood Tile | 9. Broadway Plank Tile | 10. Galleon Tile | 11. Seaside Tile | 12. Mahogany Plank Tile | 13. Birch Plank Tile | 14. Brazilian Cherry Tile | 15. Chêne Blank Plank Tile | 16. Bostwana Plank Tile | 17. Newport Tile | 18. Kingston Walnut Plank Tile | 19. Amazon Tile | 20. Cool Tile | 21. Grey Maple Plank Tile | 22. Sawtooth Grey Plank Tile | 23. Dove Wood Tile | 24. Woodland Oak Plank Tile | 25. Medium Oak Plank | 26. Cornfield Tile | 27. Botswana Picturesque Tile | 28. Signal Point Tile | 29. Saddle Flooring Tile | 30. Saint Maclou Tile | 31. Toasted Walnut Tile | 32. Breckenridge Vinyl Plank | 33. October Oak Plank | 34. Terrain Plank Flooring | 35. Livelihood Vinyl Plank | 36. Terrain Deluxe Flooring

What shall we source for you next? Are you liking these market research posts? A lot of it happens when we ourselves are looking for something, but we have also hired a couple of stellar researchers who are scouring the internet for the best of the best. We have a HUGE cement tile roundup coming soon as well as a “Timeless Patterned Rugs” which I’m excited about… Let us know what you want and we’ll put it on the list and start scouring.

Meanwhile check out these if you are craving some more of our recommendations and roundups: Shag Rugs, How To Zen Out Your Kitchen, Favorite Pastel Paint Colors (For Grown-Ups), Budget Friendly Hardware, How To Mix Multiple Rugs In The Same Room, 63 Favorite Temporary Wallpaper Patterns, 32 Beds That I Almost Bought For My Bedroom.

The post Best Affordable Vinyl Tile appeared first on Emily Henderson.

02 May 17:57

My April Garden

by Scoops

Love their fence and wish I had any gardening chops at all. We're finally paying someone to remove poison ivy, I'm hoping that's the start of something great for our yard!

April Garden

Hey! It’s April garden share time! Right now I am in the thick of getting the flower beds ready for the summer. The spring always seems like a mad dash to edit and rearrange flower beds, divide a few perennials and mulch before the heart (and the heat) of the summer really begin. The front yard and foundation gardens are basically mud since getting our new stoop, and I have been focusing most a lot of my time on getting grass growing and the flower beds whipped back in to shape. After a few rainy weeks, the coming week should allow me lots of time to get the mulching, spring weeding, and maybe even annual containers taken care of.


Sunny Garden


Bleeding Hearts


Bleeding Hearts

As I mentioned in my last post, Bleeding Hearts are always the first bloomer in my backyard. They are seriously the best, I love them, and you should too.




Maiden Hair Ferns



After moving this new addition multiple times around the gardens last year, I was happy to see it survive and come back this spring – it didn’t seem like it was a for sure thing.


Shade Garden


Vanilla Strawberry Hydragena

A brand new addition to the gardens is this Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea tree. I placed it in the same spot that I had my Japanese Maple that I unfortunately lost last spring. I removed the soil and roots that were in this location and planted this new tree, I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will be happy and healthy here.


Japanese Maple

After losing the Bloodgood Japanese Maple tree to fungus last spring, I purchased this new Emperor I Japanese Maple and placed it in a different location. It wintered well (I wrapped it in Burlap and buried the base deep in leaves). The leaves come out late in the spring which helps to protect it from potential spring frost. I feel confident that this one will be sticking around for awhile.




Rose Bush

Roses are a mystery to me, after cutting this one back for the last three winters I realized that this bush likes to just be left alone, it’s thriving this spring, so I won’t be touching it anymore.


Sun / Shade Garden


Sun Garden


Flower Beds


Spring Snow Crabapple

For the first time since planting our Spring Snow Crabapple seven years ago, it finally fully flowered. I’ve been babying this thing for years, trying to figure out why it wouldn’t flower like other trees in the neighborhood. Last summer I removed some of the bigger branches that were crossing over one another allowing more light to get at the tree. I also watered it constantly during the summer. I don’t know what the secret was, but it makes me so happy to see it bloom this year, it’s seriously amazing to me.


My Boys