Behind The Butter

Mom, Come Back

My mama just left to head back to Georgia and I’m really bummed out. We had the best time together and she’s my very best friend. Hopefully both my parents will be back in September but that seems like so far away!

Anyways, let’s talk about happier things. Last night was my birthday party! We had the boyfriend and his four visiting friends come as well as my good girlfriend, Kelly. My mom made a Mexican feast and we sat on the couch. It was a big deal. The couch, that is. Pictures to come at the end of this post!

But first, there was homemade sangria!


And plenty of it. Trust me….when we ran out of white, we made red. It was awesome.
Mom also made homemade guacamole and chicken enchiladas!

And, for dessert, mom’s famous (and top secret!) chocolate walnut torte!!!!!!!

Best dessert……ever. I’m playing with the recipe for the book though so I can’t release it to y’all yet. But trust me, it’s good.
I’ve been waiting to post pictures of the new apartment because I wanted to surprise the boy since he was out of town last weekend and hadn’t seen the couch yet or anything. I LOVE it!

Can we all just pause for a moment and recognize the fact that I built this couch with my own two paws after consuming half a bottle of champagne? In my 25th year I shall build furniture.
Not really. Just this once. I love the red though…was going to go with floral but thought the red really brightened the place up. We also bought this awesome bird fabric by the yard and hot glued it to foam boards for a little art on the wall:

Originally, I was only going to paint ONE bird red to pull the red from the couch. But then I got excited and painted another…and then painted another wing yellow. What can I say? Once my creative juices start to flow there’s no stopping.
We also fixed up my office area and got that white chair from World Market as well as the cushions. That map is vintage and from a shop in Healdsburg.

Whole living room together:

Book shelf was 50% off because there’s a ding in the back. How’s that for awesome?
Mom, come backkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

You Might Also Like

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    June 15, 2010 at 7:59 am

    That torte looks to die for! Glad your party was a blast! I would really miss my mom, too.

  • Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks
    June 15, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Oh my gosh, you are quite the decorator! I love what you did with that birdie fabric, and how it ties in with the couch . . . I can’t wait to move in with my boyfriend next year when I’m done with grad school and do projects like this! Inspiring stuff.

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please
    June 15, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I love the apartment! What a neat idea to use fabric for wall art. I searched FOREVER to find prints to hang up on my walls. I never thought to try to make my own. Very clever!

  • Meg
    June 15, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Glad you enjoyed your Birthday 🙂 and I’m sure Mom misses you just as much as you miss her! You’ll see her soo enough. I miss my Momma and Dad as well. I feel ya!

    That dessert looks RIDICULOUS…as in really, really freaking awesome…I can’t wait for the recipe 😉

    Have a great day Jenna 🙂

  • Mom
    June 15, 2010 at 8:01 am

    On my way back to Savannah ~ Missing you sooo much!

  • Amanda
    June 15, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Such a cute place! Love the red!

  • Meg
    June 15, 2010 at 8:02 am

    p.s. how is Dexter?

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini
    June 15, 2010 at 8:03 am

    That is so gorgeous. We have a similar couch but in bright purple. Bright furniture rules!

  • theemptynutjar
    June 15, 2010 at 8:04 am

    wow. its beautiful. i am back to rock-bottom again…i don’t even have a home , much less furniture! home sounds nice, but just not an option….i am having a semi-breakdown at my shambles…your weather looks lovely there!

  • ashleigh
    June 15, 2010 at 8:07 am

    First the sangria looks delicious! I love homemade sangria.

    Second, you apartment looks awesome!!1 You guys did such a great job!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    June 15, 2010 at 8:07 am

    I love the fabric-as-art idea. I’ve been planing to do something like that but with cool gift wrap I got and some frames.

  • Therese
    June 15, 2010 at 8:11 am

    It looks AWESOME! Love what you did with it!

  • caitlin
    June 15, 2010 at 8:12 am


  • Emily
    June 15, 2010 at 8:12 am

    It looks like your place is really coming together nicely! I LOVE the birds fabric idea. I’m moving to my own apartment soon, so I might borrow a decorating idea or two from you!

  • Nichole
    June 15, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Awww! Cute cute. We’ll wait for the recipe but dayum that pic looks good enough to eat.

    I adore red couches. In my first place they were red, three of my girlfriends bought the same couch. Good deal and color. 🙂

  • Sarah for Real
    June 15, 2010 at 8:13 am

    It looks great! I had red accents in my first apartment. Pops of red really go a long way when you’re stuck with generic white apartment walls. I can’t believe you built that couch, I’m in awe…

  • Jenny
    June 15, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I always get so bummed out after my parents leave after a visit too. There is just something so comforting about having your folks around – especially when you only get to see them a few times a year.
    Love the bright red bird!

  • R @
    June 15, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Those enchiladas look amazing. And I love the idea of using fabric as wall hangings. Place looks awesome

  • Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit!
    June 15, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Now that is a couch! I love the lounge-y part for maximum reading-spot comfort.

  • Becca
    June 15, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Beautiful! I love that couch. I lived in an apartment after college solo, and the best part was making it mine.

  • Lauren @ louisianagrown
    June 15, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Love the coach and your idea for using the fabric as art. So cute and totally excited for you to finally live in a place with furniture!

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy
    June 15, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Love it!

    What a great idea to use fabric like that!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair
    June 15, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I LOVE that couch! The red is amazing!!!! Your apartment is so cute and bright!

  • Still Life in Southeast Asia
    June 15, 2010 at 8:33 am

    You and your mom did such a nice job! I love it.

  • Crunchy Granola Gal
    June 15, 2010 at 8:33 am

    this sounds like the perfect birthday party. mexican food, girlfriend, boyfriend and momma. all lovely!

  • Carrie @ TV and Dinners
    June 15, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Love love LOVE the bird wall art. You could say I’m a bit obsessed with birds — I have them on pillows, in prints on my wall, on dishes, etc. Is it strange that I am kind of afraid of real life birds? Oh well. Just because they’re pretty doesn’t mean they can’t fly at me and get stuck in my hair.

    Great decorating! 🙂

  • Brynne
    June 15, 2010 at 8:35 am

    LOVE the couch and wall decorations! So, so cute Jenna :0)

  • Jess @ MTL Veggie
    June 15, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Congrats on the apartment Jenna. The place looks awesome! 🙂

  • Kim (Imperfectly Perfect)
    June 15, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I love it! You guys did a great job decorating. The red from the couch really pops!

    My mom is my best friend too. Nothing like a hug from mom. Sometimes that is the only thing that will make things better. I’m glad she got to spend your birthday with you. Plus, whenever you are in the apartment you’ll have the memory of decorating together. She’ll always be close in spirit!

  • Becky
    June 15, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Looks great! What an amazing transformation from an apartment with no furniture to this beautiful living room! You and your mom did a great job decorating!

  • Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary
    June 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

    You place is looking so cute Jenna! Better than floor living…? I think so 😀

  • Jen
    June 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

    RED is my absolute favorite color! The couch is awesome! The room looks great. 😀

  • Dorry
    June 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

    What a fun birthday dinner! And live your living room- the red couch is fab and anything bird-related is a winner in my book.

  • Tina
    June 15, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I LOVE DIY art-so cheap & custom!

  • Coco
    June 15, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Oh my goodness! First off, Happy Birthday Jenna! Sounds like you had an amazing time and I am seriously loving your red couch. Great color!
    I’ve been dying for an awesome sangria recipe and I was wondering what your’s was you used…it looks sooo yum!!!

    • Mom
      June 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

      Coco ~ This Sangria is Amazing!:
      1 bottle Viogner wine
      1 Cup Grand Marnier
      1/3 cup sugar disolved in 1/3 cup water (chill after heating and then add to sangria)
      2 peaches sliced thin
      1 mango chopped
      1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

      Add all to pitcher, stir, serve over lot’s of ice and ENJOY!

      • Tricia
        June 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

        I am definitely trying this! Thanks so much for the recipe 🙂

        • Ingrid
          June 15, 2010 at 11:13 am

          WOW! i am making this! tonight! yum! and Jenna, your place looks fantastic!!

      • Christina
        June 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm

        THANK YOU so much for this recipe. My Mom and I were just contemplating how to make a yummy sangria & I knew Jenna’s would not disappoint.

  • Sarah
    June 15, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I love love love the red! Don’t mom’s just make the world a little bit nicer!

  • Christie {Honoring Health}
    June 15, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Your living room is so cute!

  • Ellie
    June 15, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Looks great! Love the fabric idea! I’m looking at my first apartment this afternoon (ahhhhh)

  • Coco
    June 15, 2010 at 8:54 am

    your place is SO CUTE! i LOVE ikea 🙂

  • Betsy
    June 15, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Jenna, I love the apartment. Especially the fabric art on the wall. That is genius. I must remember that for when I move out of my house…someday. It will happen, right?

  • Jo
    June 15, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Aw that’s so great that you’re that close with your Mom. And your living room looks really cute!

  • Andrea @ Sweet N Green
    June 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I hate parting with my mom, too. She only lives 2 hours away but that is far enough! That torte looks amazing. I love the wall art, that’s such a good idea!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    June 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

    LOVE the apt!!! and the chicken enchiladas, the guac, the sangria, the torte…so basically i love this entire post 🙂

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances
    June 15, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Oh wow – everything looks amazing! The sangria, the food, the apartment… I absolutely LOVE the bird art!!! And the fact that you painted some of them red. 🙂

  • Emily
    June 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

    That couch is so, SO cute! I decorated my walls similarly – I used scrapbook paper.
    Also, sangria is one of my favorite drinks and I can’t wait for that yummy dessert recipe!

  • jenna
    June 15, 2010 at 9:26 am

    what a fab birthday!! 🙂 LOVE your red couch!!

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life
    June 15, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Yay for furniture! You’re place looks great…and so does that torte! Happy (late) birthday!

  • Jennu
    June 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I love your apartment!!! So Cute:)

  • Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches
    June 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I love your decor! The painted red birds are SUCH a great idea. Glad you had a good time with the mom! 🙂

  • mindy
    June 15, 2010 at 9:30 am

    The dinner looks awesome – props to mom!

    The living room rocks!! Great work!

  • Mollie
    June 15, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Very cute apartment! That white wine sangria looks so good! Please post recipe?!!

  • Kelly
    June 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Very cute decorating. I love the couch. It looks so cozy. I’m definitely a fan of stretching fabric to make interesting art. (If you have one near you, the Crate and Barrel outlet always has really cute fabric by the yard. I snagged some a little while ago and am debating whether to make aprons or something cute for the house.

  • style'n
    June 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Hi. I just started following your blog and added you to my blogroll. Great Blog! I wanted to ask you for the sangria recipe but I see it above. Mom’s are the best!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    June 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Awww, this is one of your ‘read it twice’ posts!! I always skim through Huffingtonpost before read ELR. It’s amazing that even tho she’s an Oxford grad/best selling author, tres rich, 60 y-o with something like $25 million in funding, tons of celeb writers, pages and pages of info, all the top news–but 99.9% of the time–as with this post–for pure life enhancement power–ELR rules my day! Red sofa, birds, guac, sangria, your Mom, successful DIY-ing!! Love it!! So cool to have the lounge part of the sofa–and love the Provencal fabric, too.

    Now, unlike Holly Golightly in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ you have furniture AND the cat has a name!! [Her famous line was if she found a real life place like Tiffany’s–‘I’ll buy some furniture and give the cat a name!’] September will be here before you know it!! Fabulous job–thanks for the great pix!!!

  • Lauren
    June 15, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I love your living room! It does look so bright and cheery!

  • eatmovelove
    June 15, 2010 at 9:58 am

    So great! The colors will definitely get the creative juices flowing!

  • Ermi
    June 15, 2010 at 10:00 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope that you had a fabulous day!

    JUST Love-love the red…such a vibrant color..lots of good energy. 😀
    Yummmmmmmm – would you be able to share the recipe for the enchiladas? 😉 pleaaaase??!

  • M.
    June 15, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Love your place!

    A request for more photos of kitchen etc?

    (do you really have a table to eat off of too now?!)

  • Samantha @ Foodedu
    June 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Love the red couch! Congratulations on all your decorating! Your mom’s food looks delicious!

  • Christy
    June 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

    It looks amazing! I love the red, happens to be my favorite color!

  • Heather Rose
    June 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Nothing better than homemade sangria. Good pick with the red couch, it looks great in that space!

  • Katy(The Balanced Foodie)
    June 15, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Everything is GORGEOUS! I love that you finally seem to be settling in there. I know how empty it feels when mom leaves, mine is my best friend too and it just feels like something is missing when they aren’t around. I hope you start feeling better soon!

  • Kelly
    June 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I love the pop of color the red gives the room. Nice job Jenna! Hope your mom has safe travels!

  • Liz
    June 15, 2010 at 10:45 am

    WHERE did you get that bird fabric? LOVE it.

  • MMiller
    June 15, 2010 at 10:52 am

    The recipe is posted as a reply under comment #35!

  • Becki @ HikeBikeEat
    June 15, 2010 at 10:53 am

    You have a real home now! I love the bright, happy colors!

  • MMiller
    June 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Love the place Jenna! Awesome job decorating! Love the fabric as prints! And I can’t wait to make that Sangria! I’ll make that dessert when your book comes out!

    September will be here before you know it!

  • Amy D
    June 15, 2010 at 11:00 am

    What a chic way to make wall art! Very classy! I think I’ll be hiring you as my interior decorator. 😉 The enchiladas and torte both look lovely and I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

  • Shannon
    June 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Happy Birthday!! Looks like you had a great birthday. Thanks to your mom for the sangria recipe! I LOVE ME SOME SANGRIA!!!

  • Cara
    June 15, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Nice apartment. Pictures of the kitchen? other rooms? Would love to see them.
    Glad you had a great time with your mom. Moms are the very best !

  • Jessica
    June 15, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I am not sure which looks better, your apartment or your desert!

  • Dee
    June 15, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I love your whole living room! Especially the red couch, vintage map, your DIY art (so cool btw!), and your bookcase (it looks just like mine!). 🙂

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    June 15, 2010 at 11:15 am

    You’re apartment is the cutest thing ever! I love the bird fabric & the red birds make it awesome!!

  • Annie @ stronghealthyfit
    June 15, 2010 at 11:17 am

    It looks fabulous! Impressive, Jenna.

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    June 15, 2010 at 11:28 am

    The room looks great! Moms are awesome, aren’t they? 😀


  • Annie D. @ Annie's Simple Life
    June 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

    LOVE the room!!!!!

  • Chandra H
    June 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

    omigosh, i LOVE that couch! the bright solid red is awesome. & your whole place is just perfect. great job, Jenna!

    sorry about your mom leaving though 🙁 my mom lives across the country from where i am, too. i guess we appreciate them that much more when we see them, right?

  • Cali
    June 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

    What an awesome birthday weekend! 🙂

  • Lauren @ Running Examiner
    June 15, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Aww, I still always get sad when my mommy leaves me too 🙁 It’s hard!

    Your apartment looks lovely — beautiful couch! I adore red couches.

  • Sarah (OC2Seattle)
    June 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

    That torte looks amazing! Great choice on the red couch is does really brighten up the room and is a fab focal piece. Heading up to Healdsburg this weekend, keeping my fingers crossed it’s sunny and warm.

  • Sara @
    June 15, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Your living room looks cool! I love how you painted the birds red to pull the pictures and the couch together…very nice 😀

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    June 15, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Your living room is adorable!! Cozy without being cluttered…the red couch is such a great statement!

  • Kellie
    June 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I bought the Ikea fabric and did the same thing in my kids room. It is such a cute, inexpensive way to add some color. That torte is making my drool. It looks wonderful.

  • runnerforever
    June 15, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Your place really has come together!
    Man do those chicken enchiladas look good, yummmers!

  • Amanda
    June 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Your living room looks great. The couch really makes it pop! Can your mom do my living room too????

  • Kristin (Salty Tooth)
    June 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Wow, your living room looks awesome. Love the couch!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    June 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Looks gorgeous!! I was a bit more in love with that floral couch but I suppose red is a little more gender neutral 🙂

  • Camille
    June 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Yay for having furniture!
    And extra yay for sangria… the best of the fruit based alcoholic beverages 🙂

  • Karen
    June 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Jenna, glad you had a good time with your Mom, it’s never long enough but nice that she gets to come often..Your apt is too cute, and I just love the pictures, at first glance I thought it was an actual picture from Ikea, what a clever idea, must pass this along to my daughter. I would have also done the red couch, and with your choices of other furnishings you brought it together so well.

  • Sana
    June 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    You officially have a homeee :)! That couch looks PERFECT for naps and cuddles 🙂

  • Sharon
    June 15, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Great choice on the red couch….I love it! And the wall art idea is great too. Very crafty! Thanks to your mom for sharing the Sangria recipe…now can we have the chicken enchilada recipe too? yum…..

  • Jen
    June 15, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    It looks amazing, Jenna!!

  • Helen
    June 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Your living room is so cute. I love everything in it. We have a red sofa too and I love it as it brightens up the rest of the room. It is the focal point in out living/dining room too. Our’s came pre-made so it’s so impressive that you built yours.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    June 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Your apartment looks so classy, but also comfy. I love it!

    Aw I hate it when my parents have to leave too. But at least you have September to look forward to! 🙂

  • Cassie @ Tasteful Tales
    June 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Love love the sofa! My living room has red as it’s accent color and I love it! Makes you feel good when you walk into the room.. good choice!

  • Krista
    June 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    love the decorations 🙂 I have the same coffee table! you, me, and 1 million of our closest bloggies I bet

  • Kath
    June 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    LOVE the decor Jenna!! I might need that couch when we move. Ours is SO not cozy!

  • Michelle @ NewLeafEats
    June 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Great idea about the fabric for wall art! I have a mess of fabric, some pieces of foam board, and a few blank walls that are unfit for placement of any of my currently unhung art pieces. Must implement new decorating strategy! Stat!

  • Christin
    June 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Jenna, I love the necklace you’re wearing in that first pic. Would you mind sharing where you got it??

    You celebrate your birthday like I do! All week long!!! Glad you had fun with your Mom. 🙂

    • jenna
      June 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      I’ve had that forever….I feel like it came from Urban Outfitters though…probably a few years ago!

  • Mai
    June 15, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    My boyfriend and I have that exact same couch!! We’ve had it for three years and we love it. We’ve napped on it, had other people sleep on it and just generally spend most of our at home time on it. It’s a great couch, really. A year or so ago we also added on a matching big oversized chair and the ottoman. Also love those two.

    In short, ikea couches=love.

    Also I really like what you did with the fabric, your place looks awesome.

  • Rebecca
    June 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Firstly, Happy Belated Birthday! I’m glad you’ve been celebrating all week and having a blast. Secondly, we have the SAME coffee table. IKEA is amazing! Yours doesn’t have a huge dent in it like mine does though. My boyfriend tried to lift me up to bring me to bed one night after I passed out on the couch. Then he lost his balance and fell onto our coffee table!! We spent 4 a.m. in the emergency room.

  • Fredricka
    June 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I miss my mom too *^*

  • Michal
    June 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    That’s such a kool idea with the fabric – I’m going to keep that in mind for someday! 🙂 Also, love the couch.

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    June 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Love it – so cute! And that is an awesome idea – with the fabric!!

  • Laura (Starloz)
    June 16, 2010 at 12:39 am

    omfg those guacamole and chicken enchiladas look like heaven on a plate. woah.

    Your apartment is super cute, I need to get my renovations done & start decorating already

  • Amanda
    June 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    You’re place looks fantastic! 🙂 I have to ask. Where did you get that super cute desk? I am on the lookout for something similar… Also the sangria does look so yummy! Glad that you had a great time having your mom out. You’re one lucky girl! Have a fantastic week!

    • jenna
      June 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm

      That was my friend Kelly’s childhood desk! 🙂

  • bobbi
    June 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Good job girl love it all!!! I too put together a desk to surprise the Hubby (it was from Ikea) and it took TWO days!!! We have that coffee table too. I am sure the BF will love it!

  • Clearly Composed
    June 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    It looks really great. Love the calm open feeling with pops of color. May your new home bring much happiness. 🙂