30 December 2007

Santa Baby...

Best Christmas present this year, bar none was the wonderfully generous gift from my husband - a Canon Digital Rebel XT, 8 megapixels of pure joy!

He also bought me a bag, extra battery, 2 gig memory card and a 75-300mm zoom lens.
I've been playing with the camera since the week before Christmas (we opened gifts early to have time to ourselves) and will post pictures soon...

29 December 2007

Almost a real bedroom...

A free weekend would not be complete without a trip to the mothership. And my mothership I of course mean Ikea. Dearborn to Canton is a mere 20 minute trek, filled with anticipation of the joyous shopping to come.Today's mission: FINALLY get a real bed! Not that the boxspring and mattress on the floor, as we have been sleeping for the last 3 years, isn't sufficient - but let's face it, we're grownups now, we need a real bed!

2 cinnamon rolls, 2 hours and several dollars later we had MOST of our bedroom - we were seconds too late from picking up the last headboard and footboard in Aisle 30, Bin 17 but are assured that four more are on the truck unloading tomorrow morning so at 10:00 am we'll have the whole bed!

Since you can't have a bed without a place to put all of your books and...well...general junk, we bought matching sidetables in red:

Light is usually helpful when reading said books - found these really cool brassy table lamp bases and shades (we bought the top shade, white with off-white stitching):

Now if I could just find someone to paint upstairs - of course that would mean I would have to have picked a color!

Oh, and we also bought this great duvet cover (to match the tables of course!):

04 August 2007

Waspy Chic in Newport

The New York Times had a great article this week on John Peixinho, a decorator that is ever so gently updating the fabulously waspy homes of Newport's elite. There was also a beautiful slide show of homes/interiors, my favorites are shown below (you can see the rest here...)Photos: Tony Cenicola/New York Times

What I love about Mr. Peixinho's work here is that rather than the rather popular "gut and redo" method, he made minor changes to these interiors - new paint here, slipcovers and draperies there, re-arranging furniture and re-using heirloom pieces. Very classic and chic.

28 July 2007

The great Chandelier search

I want to put a chandelier in my office at home (Tim thinks I'm crazy). I've always wanted a pretty chandelier and think that they instantly turn a space, when done correctly, from blah to wow. The problem is finding the right one...
Here are a few I've found:
Kristaller from Ikea

Teardrop Chandelier from Urban Outfitters

And the search continues...

25 July 2007

The Birds

I've noticed a trend towards birds in design lately. Kind of a throwback to kitsch with a modern twist.Love this trio of olive sparrows from CB2
Even Pottery Barn is jumping on the wagon with this spin on traditional patterns..Love this pillow made of vintage handkercheifs by seller PleasantView on Etsy
I also love these jade bird bowls from the fabulous Jonathan Adler.

Todd Oldham as Photographer?

As I was perusing the blog world, I came upon Desire to Inspire and a great post of Todd Oldham, designer extraordinaire, as photographer. Photos are courtesy of Marek and Associates.
I love the use of repetitive patterns and melding of the bright colors that somehow should clash but do not.The stripes on the walls are classy but playful and the pink and yellow are fabulous!
Todd Oldham for the New York Times Magazine. Organized chaos in the pantry.

15 July 2007

Lazy Sunday...

I woke up around 9:30 and let the dog out. Breakfast consisted of warmed up waffles from yesterday's sumptuous breakfast of waffles and bacon (we usually have waffles or pancakes, homemade of course on Saturday and/or Sunday when we're home). It is now almost 1pm and I have been leisurely perusing the internet after finishing my new Domino that came yesterday. I finished my new Marie Claire yesterday. These are really the only magazines that I get although I'm debating a subscription to Vogue simply for the pure indulgence of it all. I've been sitting on the sun porch with a cup of coffee, now cold, and just enjoying the gorgeous weather. There is a gorgeous breeze coming in the slider doors and the gentle twittering of the birds who have found my newly filled bird feeder and are bound to empty it today! I am really learning/beginning to enjoy these lazy weekend mornings - it is so peaceful and calming. Especially after the ever increasingly stressfull weeks at work (and of course the klutz incident of this week!). I think that I am finally coming to terms with myself and my life and beginning to enjoy myself. It is strange to think that it took me this long to really love where I am in life - for so many years I felt so transitory and uprooted which I've discovered is not good for the OCD girl hidden inside of me! Now that I have "roots" or a place that is really mine (or ours I should say) I am just enjoying the calm. And for the first time since starting college, I am learning to NOT feel guilty that I'm doing nothing! No homework/studio work that I'm just putting off until the last minute, nothing hanging over my head that HAS to be done. I can just relax. It's a novel concept but one that I intend to indulge. Often.

12 July 2007

If they were looking for a Queen Klutz...I'd win hands down!

I've always been a bit of a klutz...my friends are rolling their eyes right now because we all know that I'm more than a "bit" of a klutz. Never has this been more true than today...

I was letting Reilly out one last time before we went to work this morning, all dressed (cutely too I might add) for work. My heel caught on the sliding door track and down went the Ashley - down two steps and right onto the new patio! Of course my neighbor was in his back yard and calls out "you ok?" What do you say but "Yes" resignedly as you pick yourself up and go inside to cry? I hobble inside and take stock of my injuries -much less skin on my left arm and left shin. Nice big bruise already forming on my right shin and lovely gash on the right palm. And to make matters even better, it pains me to put weight on my left foot. Lovely.

Long story short, Tim sets me up on the couch with a bag of ice on my elevated foot and my computer and cell phone by my side and heads to work - one of us has got to make some money today! When my foot still can't seem to bear any weight around Noon, I google the nearest
Urgent Care center and hop to my car, drive down Ford Road and hop into the center.

The ladies at the Urgent Care center were so nice - even got a wheelchair to push me around from the lobby to the exam room to the x-ray and back so I didn't have to hobble around! X-rays show that I did NOT break anything (BIG sigh of relief here!) but just induced some nice trauma to the foot. There's no need to wrap anything as I didn't hurt a joint, just need to try and stay off the foot as much as I can and take some nice Darvoset!

Well, kids, darvoset is really nice in that it makes you nice and sleepy...I just woke up after a quick 2 hour nap with my computer on my lap, meeting report mid sentence! Can't wait to see how easy it is to work tomorrow on the stuff...either sleepy or in pain...should be fun!

At least it's not broken...

09 July 2007


So I'm totally in love with Clotilde Dusoulier's blog Chocolate & Zucchini and today's post was for "Biscuits Epeautre et Miel." Basically, if you've ever had those lacy oatey cookies at Ikea then you've basically had them. The recipe sounded so good that I had to make them for myself...they're in the oven as I type! Even though it is now 9:45 and probably later than I should be eating cookies or any sweets for that matter - you know I'm going to have at least one before bed! Check out Clotilde's blog and definitely buy her book, also entitled "Chocolate and Zucchini" - You'll fall in love too!

07 July 2007

Building a Patio is easy...right?

So the great "build a patio over the July 4th Weekend" adventure began on Wednesday. We obviously had the day off but took Thursday and Friday off as well just to ensure we had enough time to do this seemingly mundane task of building a patio. It should be easy right? We had the stone - two large piles of sandstone and blue slate from the neighbor behind our house who was "just going to throw it away." The neighbors to the west had loaned us a rake, sod cutter and another shovel. We knew where we wanted the patio to be located. How hard could it be?

Apparently VERY hard!

Wednesday consisted of 2 or 3 hours of removing all of the sod and relocating it to the large bare patch of earth in the back west corner of the yard. Now when I say sod cutter, I mean a half moon shaped spade on a curved metal rod attached to a shovel handle. So we're talking full manual labor here folks! This of course deserved an end of the day trip to a co-worker's house to mooch some time in the pool!

Thursday was dirt day. After taking Reilly to the Vet to get re-tested for Heartworm (That's a whole other post!) we spent a good 4-5 hours removing an endless amount of dirt from the sod-less ground. This of course resulted in huge piles of dirt moved from the side of the house and sun room to behind the garage - what will happen to it next is unknown. The evening was spent on a long hot shower and comfy sweats...and a sore body...little did I know that the best was yet to come!

Friday - ouch! Friday morning we made two trips to Lowe's for gravel. Let me tell you that after you load 40 bags of stone (50 lb each might I add) onto a cart, into a Jeep and then out of the Jeep and onto the driveway, your body simply won't work anymore! Of course it doesn't just stop at unloading the stone... you have to actually pour and spread the stone over the freshly raked dirt and of course make sure the damn stuff is level! Once the stone is level, the real fun begins...tamping. We tamped that stone until our hands were shaking...all by hand of course! Friday we didn't work as long as the other days as we drove to Ann Arbor to meet my high school friend Sarah, her husband Mike and daughters Maria and Rebekah for dinner. Considering I hadn't seen Sarah and Mike since their wedding 2.5 years ago, it was a welcome and deserved break in the action!

Saturday. Today. Well, we worked harder today than the other days combined I think! After a trip to Lowes for 20 bags of sand and 10 more bags of stone (like we didn't get enough of the stone yesterday!) we said goodbye to our (now former) roommate Jessy :-( and got to work. Finished leveling and tamping the stone and then on to the sand. The sand seemed to actually go faster than the stone although it certainly wasn't easier on the old body! Once we had sufficiently leveled and tamped the sand it was jigsaw puzzle time. At several times during the process we both wondered aloud if we were going to have enough stone. We had made the patio area a bit larger than originally discussed so we came frighteningly close to running out. We mad it work, however, this may have been our undoing. The middle of the patio is all smaller stones and we realized as we were fitting stones together that alas the stone was of varying thickness. Of course it was too late to stop now and even if we did, would it help? So we pressed on and filled in the whole space. Swept more sand over the area to fill in the cracks and then decided to hose the stones off to see how it looked. It looked better before the hosing! In a somewhat defeated moment, decided to let the sand dry and hopefully settle a bit and see how it looks tomorrow. Basically we're exhausted, our bodies ache and we're hoping we didn't just spend four days building something we're going to hate or have to redo.

Hopefully it's better tomorrow...

20 June 2007

Mini Herb Garden

Tonight it's just me and the pup. Tim is in Port Huron at a work function (that, despite working at the same company, I didn't get to attend) and Jess is at work. It's weird being in the house by myself...I kind of feel like there is stuff I should WANT to do but I feel a bit lost and also tired. Would I be a loser if I went to bed at 9:00? Probably.

I went to English Gardens on my way home from work, they're having a HUGE sale, and bought the fixings for a little herb garden. I purchased a gorgeous ceramic pot for 50% off, potting soil, more fungicide for my poor rose bushes, and herbs: French Lavender, Arugala, Sweet Basil, Oregeno and Rosemary.

After a quick dinner of chicken whole grain rice with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (don't ask, I'm strange sometimes!) I put the sprinkler on in the front yard and set to work. The plants all fit although I'm sure once they start to spread I'll need a bigger pot or a couple of pots. I planted the Rosemary in the middle and arranged the others around the outside of the pot. Let's hope my luck with plants changes and my little container herb garden thrives - I can't wait for fresh herbs to cook with!

Now I'm off to move the sprinkler...have to water evenly!

15 June 2007

Sangria Party anyone?

I think I've always wanted to throw a Sangria Party but just didn't know it! Something about just saying "sangria" sounds like summer. And even though I've never had sangria...I know that it would taste of summer...taste of fruit and heat, freshly cut grass and the pavement after it rains, of sweet and just a bit sour...summer.

I've recently discovered that I'm not an adventurous cook...I seem to always gravitate towards the foods and ingredients that I know and take my chances when I bake. I love to read new recipies and watch the Food Network and I want to cook different dishes but somehow do not.

My goal this summer, along with working on the house of course, is to try and cook at least one new dish a week. That shouldn't be too hard right?

I've also decided that my dream, never going to happen, job would to be a freelance Travel/Food writer. It would combine my two favorite things, traveling and eating/cooking...so if anyone knows of a job opening in the field of traveling foodie writers...let me know!

16 May 2007

The joy of boxes

So the big move happened on Saturday and we are still trying to resurface amidst the piles of boxes in the new house. I don't know where, in 2.5 years, we accumulated all of this "stuff" but my was it exhausting to move it all! Two trips with the "medium" size Uhaul, four cars and one small truck load later the apartment was a vast wasteland and the house was a maze of cardboard, furniture and garbage bags loaded with stuff.

I've set the lofty goal for myself of unpacking at least 1-2 boxes per day...an edict I think I have already failed in following! Sunday was a good day - after 9 or so hours the kitchen was at roughly 90% completion. After calling in sick on Monday, I spent part of the morning at the dentist and picking the dog up from the kennel and then unpacked some more...I think it's safe to say the kitchen is probably at 99% now...and the bathroom and hallway closet are pretty much done now too.

Next up is the Dining room (so we can eat at the table rather than on the sun porch) and my office. Really the Dining room consists of carefully unpacking the china and servingware and gingerly arranging it all in the buffet. The Living Room is easy...we just need to get bookshelves from Ikea and get all of the books out of the boxes and we're good to go on that room!

It seems quite daunting at times but it really is fun to arrange things exactly like I want them and to be able to FINALLY design and decorate without feeling temporary or that I don't dare ruin the walls...they're my walls now and I can do what I want...it's a heady feeling, this freedom!

The big Housewarming is scheduled for June 2nd and I'm really hoping that the house will be in some sort of order by then! We are in Baltimore this weekend but I still have all next week, Memorial Day Weekend and the following week so I'm not panicking yet...yet!

Speaking of the party...all jokes aside I do really need to start planning the menu...do I do finger foods accompanied by burgers and dogs on the grill? Do I stick with a theme or do a combination of favorite hors d'oeuvres? Decisions, decisions, decisions...

I think Reilly is definitely enjoying the freedom of a backyard - Finally! And living in a REAL neighborhood where we can take real walks! We took a great walk today with Jess and Andrea (who actually is renting a house just a few blocks away surprisingly!) and it was met with much tailwagging and excited sniffing!

It's now 10:38 and this girl is exhausted so I'm off to bed...another new thing I'm trying...going to bed earlier in hopes of not being so tired all the time...

21 April 2007

RIP Mr. Vonnegut...may the next world be kinder than the first...

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”
~ "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater or Pearls Before Swine" by Kurt Vonnegut

07 April 2007

Paint by Numbers

So having just bought a house, we are in the throes of painting. We are basically re-painting every room except the kitchen and it's definitely harder than I thought. Painting is not really physically hard (other than your hand cramping) but it's exhausting! I think that the ceilings were the hardest...our living room and dining room have these beautiful coved ceilings that I LOVE but man are they hard to paint!

I'm still a little apprehensive about color - don't get me wrong...I love the colors we've chosen but they're bright and bold and it's quite a chance we're taking here! Especially because paint is NOT cheap and I don't have the time or energy to repaint!

This is our basic living room colors in a sample room...I think the red is a bit more red than in this picture though:

Our dining room is also the same red...the first coat of the dining room went up last night so I'm anxious to see how the first coat dried...it was pretty bright when we left but not as scary as I thought it would be!

Last thought: Why is it snowing in April???

06 April 2007

Blogging...take 3?

So this is not my first attempt at a blog...

Blog Experience #1 - Hosted by a site whose name I cannot completely remember...ejournal or eblog or something to that extent. I kept it up for awhile but got bored pretty quickly when my friends stopped posting and I eventually forgot about the site...

Blog Experience #2 - The famous (or infamous) livejournal.com. This one I maintained for about 2-3 years or so until life inevitably took over and I forgot about that one as well...
This will be my third attempt and hopefully the "third time is the charm" right? I can't promise that what I write will be interesting or even the slightest bit funny but then again, I'm not sure that anyone besides myself will even read this thing so there you go!

I won't do the usual introduce myself and list all of my favorites...if you really care you'll find out eventually or if you know me (as I'm sure will be the only people reading) you probably already know and don't care! I will post a few pictures as way of an introduction:

My Husband and I at our wedding reception on Belle Isle in Detroit:

My pup Reilly:

And my Best Friend:

This blog is mainly my way of teaching myself to better record my thoughts and to document a life...