I’m on YouTube!

You guys.

I did a scary thing.

I put myself out there for the world to see! Blogging always allowed me to “hide” behind my words, so being on camera is a totally new experience! Yes, it’s scary but it’s also exciting and I’m loving it so far. I think I like it better than blogging! You can expect to see more consistent posting from me on YouTube than I ever did on the blog. *Pinky Promise*

City Southern

I’m still learning – I’m trying to figure things out and improve with each video I film and edit, but I would love for you to take a look and give me some feedback! I’d also love to know what types of videos you want to see!

…See you in my next video!

Catherine Calligraphy

Baby Valentine

Valentine’s Day was truly never a favorite of mine. It still isn’t a favorite holiday but it’s nice to feel extra loved and wear hearts, and I do get a little bit excited for Avery. She still has no clue what a “holiday” is and she can’t grasp the concept of having a Valentine but she does love all the things that go along with February 14th! A few weekends ago we snagged a few new pieces for Avery’s wardrobe that are perfect for the lovey-dovey occassion. I thought I’d share a bit of our heart-filled favorites for baby girl this year!

Baby Valentine

1: Heart Pajamas | 2: Sequin Heart Tee {long sleeve version} | 3: SMOOCH Hoodie | 4. Mother & Daughter Heart Necklaces | 5: Stripe Heart Tee | 6: Pink Hearts | 7: Knee Patch Jeggings | 8: Canvas Tote | 9. Heart Tutu Skirt

Avery uses hoodies and jackets as a security blanket. This morning she cried {REAL tears} because she wanted to put on “Jackie” but it was downstairs. This cream colored *smooch* hoodie from J.Crew will make her so insanely happy! These tops and bottoms are great for mixing and matching. None of them are too over-the-top so they can be worn until she grows out of them {which, let’s face it – could very well be BEFORE Valentine’s Day! #growslikeaweed} The canvas tote from ban.do is adorable for Valentine’s Day, or any day of the year! I hardly ever use a “diaper bag” these days but this provides just enough room for a few extra toys and clothes when we are going to a friend’s house or to visit with the g-parents. It might also find it’s way to Trader Joe’s!

Catherine Calligraphy






Dreaming of: New Bathroom Tile

Happy New Year! Taking down the Christmas decorations has me re-thinking our home decor and itching to fix up a few things around the house!

One of the rooms that needs fixing up at our place is the powder room on the main/middle floor. I hate the yellow walls, the {last-century-style} shiny brass fixtures, and the lighting mostly. If all of that changed, a new mirror would be nice too. But I can live with all of those things because they are functional and it’s a rental. What I cannot live with is the tile floor. The grout is cracked or missing in places {to the point where the plastic spacers are visible}, a few of the dingy “white” builder-grade tiles are cracked, and the tile beneath the toilet is stained from what I can only assume was a leak at some point? It just grosses me out! If the owners don’t want to replace the tile {since we are renting} then we will have to fix the grout on our own at the very least. {Any suggestions?!} But, if I had my way, this small space would be perfect to throw down some HEX tile. Why? Because I’m in love with it and I’m dying to use it somewhere, that’s why. Plus the small footprint = major impact and lower cost…lower than using it in a large space…it’s not super expensive but it’s also not the cheapest material available.

Noir Hex - the tile shop

Tile - BlackHexFloor Mandy Milks

I just love how it looks in this bathroom belonging to House & Home Magazine art director, Mandy Milks. And even though the space isn’t finished yet, this bathroom over at House*Tweaking {one of my major blog crushes} is looking fantastic already with slightly larger tiles than Mandy’s. I can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s all done!

So I started browsing the usuals – Houzz, Pinterest, Decorpad, and various other resources for inspiration. I found tons of pictures of gorgeous tile but not all of them linked back to a place that listed the actual tile resources! Apartment Therapy must have heard my thoughts because they rounded up some resources for me!

Tile - Capree Kimball Bathroom Tile

Capree Kimball’s Bathroom on Curbly | Tulum Tile from Cement Tile Shop

This Tulum tile is the first picture in the article. It reminds me of this fabric that I talked about in this post on possible fabrics to reupholster my ottomans. I love a bold design in a super small space like a powder room. I’m sure our home owners wouldn’t want to do something quite as bold as this or some of the other tiles featured in AT’s post but it won’t stop me from dreaming! You can read the full Apartment Therapy article here and keep reading to see a few more fabulous tile options that I’m loving.

Tile - Home-Depot-The-Makerista-Hex-Tile

The Makerista’s Master Bath via her post on The Home Depot’s Blog, The Apron
Home Depot Tile: White | Antique | Black



Tile -Helgerson Bathroom

Jessica Helgerson’s bathroom design via The New York Times | Circulos Tile at Cement Tile Shop

{apparently I’m really into black and white cement tiles?…}

I’m not sure how it would look since the flooring right outside the bathroom is hardwood, but the wood plank tiles intrigue me as well.

In the end, I think a timeless classic will be the winner. Something that will stand the test of time, will coordinate with the traditional features in the rest of the home, won’t outshine the 3 other bathrooms in the house that are not updated, and will be great for resale value. *Fingers Crossed* that we can get this done sooner rather than later! What tile would you love to use in a super tiny powder room?

Catherine Calligraphy

DIY: FREE Halloween Art

A few weeks ago when I was looking for my Halloween decorations, I happened upon an image that inspired me to DIY a little Halloween art. You can look back at that post and see my inspiration here. As promised, I’m going to share how I made it so you can do the same!

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - ONE

I looked at Wikimedia Commons and found a bunch of options. This one was my favorite. It looked aged and hand sketched like it actually had a scientific or medical purpose instead of just a picture of a skull. Intentional Art – I love that!

Skull aged WikimediaCommons

Here are a couple of my other favorites. I ended up searching both skulls and full skeletons.

Skull Wikimedia Options

The first option looked aged already but I wasn’t sure if it would look the same after I printed it, and the others were bright white. I decided they all needed a little doctoring {wait, I seriously didn’t say that to be funny}. Do you remember in grade school when you soaked paper in tea after you crumpled it up and smoothed it back out? Well that’s exactly what I did. I printed the image on a regular printer, soaked it in tea, crumpled it up, let it dry, and then framed it and hung it on the wall. Take a look:

What you need:

1. An image printed on regular white printer paper

2. A 9″x13″ pyrex baking dish, or other container that is at least the size of your paper and can hold hot liquid

3. Three to Four tea bags {any variety you have on hand is fine}

4. Hot water

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 2

First things first – get your water hot. I used my tea kettle on the stove but you could just as easily heat some water in the microwave. It needs to be hot enough to release that beautiful color from the tea leaves in your tea bags, and the warmth of the water will also help the paper absorb the color.

Once your water is hot {but not boiling} pour it into your dish so that you have about an inch of liquid. The amount of water will vary depending on the size of your dish {and the size of your paper} but I used between 2.5 and 3 cups of water. Add your tea bags and dip them repeatedly so the tea leaves inside are fully saturated and plenty of the color is released. Then place your piece of paper in the water and use a utensil to make sure it is fully submerged – you don’t want it to just sit on top of the water. When I did this I used my finger but the water was pretty hot. Please make sure you don’t burn yourself!

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 3

CitySouthern DIYHalloweenArt 5

CitySouthern DIYHalloweenArt - 4

Now that the paper is fully covered in brown water, you can leave it alone or you can place the tea bags directly on top of the water. This will create a few spots of darker color when you remove the paper from the water – it’s completely optional but I like the effect because I want the end result to be imperfect and uneven.


Let your paper soak in the water for a while. 30 minutes is probably long enough. The time will vary depending on what type of paper you use, how saturated the tea is, and how dark you want the result to be. I would suggest not leaving the paper in the tea for longer than an hour so the paper doesn’t get too soft.

When it’s time to remove your paper from the tea, use caution because the paper is delicate and will rip easily. Carefully transfer the paper to a flat surface for drying. I used a cookie sheet with two layers of paper towel on top. This helped to prevent a big mess and also absorbed some of the excess tea.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 6

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 7

If you want to take the aged look one step further, there’s one final optional step to this process. Take that piece of paper that I just told you to be super careful with, and crumble it up into a ball! Of course, you have to be even more careful when you open the paper back up.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 9

See how much more authentic that looks? Instant age!

Once your paper is completely dry, the only thing left to do is frame it and hang it on the wall. I used a simple black frame that I happened to have on hand. You can get the same one here. I figured a black frame would help the image stand out now that I made it all a bit darker. Plus it’s for Halloween and black is the obvious choice for the theme.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 10

So there you have it, friends. A fun little Halloween DIY that will cost you nothing but your time and a few items you probably have on hand already. This is also a fun project to do with kids! If you try it for yourself, be sure to come back and let us all know how it turns out!

Catherine Calligraphy




Autumnal Inspiration and Kara Rosenlund

Let me walk you through this recent chain of events while trying to gather some autumnal inspiration and plan festive outfits for Avery.

I recently purchased Avery this top for Halloween {on SALE for $5!!} but really wanted some orange leggings to go with it. Then I remembered that Jessica of Little Baby Garvin had both of her adorable girls decked out in some super cute orange striped leggings which would be perfect! You can see their matching Halloween ensembles here, and here. The leggings are only available in 4T so I scratched that idea and returned to Little Baby Garvin to catch up on the latest posts. I read this post which reminded me that Jessica was participating in the next Home Depot Style Challenge and I thought oh yea, I should head over to The Apron and see if there’s an update on the Fall style challenge. So I looked and remembered that Joni of Lay Baby Lay was participating in the current challenge. Some of her past challenges have turned out amazing like this playhouse. I haven’t visited her actual blog in a few weeks and wanted to catch up and see if there was any progress teasers for the challenge. So over to her blog I went and there I saw this post from yesterday on Fall Inspiration {or Fall-Spiration as she called it}. How appropriate since that was got this whole little chain of events started in the first place! Joni featured the image below.

KaraRosenlund Fall Place Setting

I am all sorts of OBSESSED with this place setting. If we host Thanksgiving this year, here’s your preview. Grey linen, natural burlap, white plates, fresh herbs and spices, feathers, monogrammed silver, pretty penmanship?! In. LOVE. {Even if Mom hosts this year I think I will demand to take over tablescape duties}.

So I clicked on the link from Joni’s blog which led me to The Kitchn. But this beautiful image did not originate from The Kitchn. Oh no. This image was featured here by Aileen of At Home In Love who did a whole post on the photographer who took this image. And now my obsession goes way beyond the table setting.

Meet Kara Rosenlund.

KaraRosenlund 4

KaraRosenlund 1

KaraRosenlund 3

KaraRosenlund 2

Her photography is amazing. Her style and styling is impeccable. Her aesthetic is my vision brought to life. And she’s only 30! Australia is lucky to have her.

Discovering Kara when I did was perfect timing because her images really did help inspire me for some Fall decorating, and they’ve also inspired me for my upcoming photography class! I start on Monday! And that makes you some very lucky readers because my less-than-wonderful iPhone photos aren’t the best for the blog. I can’t wait to see how I improve!

That’s all for now. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten to share my Halloween DIY art that I promised. That’s coming next week!

Have a great weekend!

Catherine Calligraphy



All images in this post via Kara Rosenlund and I strongly encourage you to check out her work. Please credit original source.

The Little Things: What a Fox

I haven’t the slightest clue how it started but one of my most recent obessessions is foxes. It’s weird to me that I like foxes because they hold no special meaning to me and my only real life experiences with foxes have been ones I’d rather forget. {Growing up in such a wooded area means lots of foxes. A howl from a fox sounds like a woman screaming which is a very unsettling noise to wake up to in the middle of the night. Also, I was very young when I witnessed Animal Control…take care of…a fox in my front yard. Traumatizing.} I also hate that stupid song that tries to play on my Kids’ Radio station on Pandora. The fox doesn’t say that. Anywhoo, I’m going to blame my love on the coloring of foxes. Real foxes and pictures of foxes seems to have my favorite color combination of black, white, and brown. Sometimes the brown can look really orange but other times it’s that perfect saddle brown leather color. The colors together seem to be the palette I prefer when interior decorating.

I use lots of paper clips at work. {I know that sounds completely random and unrelated to foxes but just stick with me for a minute!} My paper clip storage and access at my desk just wasn’t working. And then I found a fox that would fix my problem and add a little bit of fun.

CitySouthern Magnetic Fox

Not only is it wood, white, and gold…It’s magnetic! When the package with my new fox friend arrived in the mail, he came with a paper clip and a bobbi pin. How genius is that?! Not only is he perfect for your desk but you could stick this little guy on your nightstand or bathroom sink to help you corral those loose hair pins! Trust me, if he goes on sale, I will buy a second one for that very purpose. I love that the clip and pin were attached in the box to show you ideas on how to use him to the fullest!

It really is the “little things” that make such a difference in life. Last time I mentioned how fresh flowers can always brighten my day. Now this little fox makes me happy every time I see him on my desk. And we could all use a little happy at work!

If you’re jealous, head on over to CB2 and get a foxy friend of your own!

Getting Ready for Halloween

The end of September is near and I’m getting ready for Halloween. Avery was just a little lump of a tiger {she was Aubie} last year for Halloween at 3 months old. But this year she can walk around and is a little more aware of what’s going on which means I’m excited to see her reaction to it all! When it comes to holidays, there’s something about having a kid that gives me back the kind of excitement I had when I was a kid. We have plans for a trip to the Pumpkin Patch and I’m researching costume ideas. I also decided to locate our Halloween decorations…and had no luck! I was in a slight panic last week thinking that the tub of Halloween stuff was donated with the last trip to Salvation Army. If the plastic skeletons that hang from our front tree didn’t make it, then I’ll be okay. But the actual home decor that’s a little more chic {and expensive} is what I’m worried about. Not to mention I’ve been collecting it since before Chris and I ever started dating so it would take me a long time to build back up to what I had before!

Should the old stuff be truly gone forever, I need a backup plan. So I started thinking ahead to how I can quickly and cheaply add some new decorations this year and I came up with a few ideas. I was inspired by this picture I found on Houzz.

CitySouthern Halloween Decor Ideas

See the skeleton picture reflected in the mirror? I saw that and thought – that would be great to hang on the wall for Halloween! I began searching Etsy for a skull print and there are tons of options. This one seems to have similar qualities to the inspiration photo with it’s sketched look and antiqued paper.

Skull Artkurka Etsy

It’s a really reasonably priced little print which makes me happy. And I’m sure I have an empty frame I could use. But I’ve got the DIY bug and I don’t want to just buy an aged-looking crisp piece of art. I want something that looks and feels like a page from an antique book, or was hanging on the wall of creepy haunted mansion. Maybe it was salvaged from an abandoned asylum? It’s Halloween afterall! So…I decided I’m going to DIY it. For FREE! I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out but at least I know I’ve got etsy as a backup plan!

And because I love a good happy ending, I found the box of missing decorations when I cleaned out the entire garage this past weekend. {There was definitely an embarrassing happy dance in the driveway for all the neighbors to see.} I can’t wait to start putting them up!

So when do you put up your Halloween decorations? Comment below, and stay tuned to see how my creepy skull print turns out!

Catherine Calligraphy



UPDATE: My artwork is complete! To see the tutorial for my DIY Project, click here!