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...