July 31, 2011

A few days in Newtown, CT

I had to go to New York a few weeks ago for work which is great because I got to stay with my very good friend Danielle and her family. I went to college with Danielle and we lived together for years at MTU. I like to take credit for her marriage since I convinced her to go on a second date with her now husband.
and now they have this little cutie patootie
Reese met me at the door shouting, "Momma, Aunt Kiki's here!!!"
 whenever I'm in town they get out their best wines
this one was from a trip they took to Chile
sooooooo good!
 D- is a great host - she made recipes off my blog because
a. she knows I will like them and b. I can teach help her make them
it's worth a mention that they have the best guest bedrooms ever
better than any hotel I've ever stayed at
her bed was so comfortable we bought the same mattress
I've thought about stealing the pillows but I'm not sure how to get them home

I love when I get to visit them and hope to go back soon
until then I guess I'll just have to meet them in Paris next month
oh how we suffer

Thanks guys!

July 29, 2011

Guess where we're going this weekend?

Torch Lake, Michigan
we're staying here
we're gonna spend some time here
with all of them
on their second anniversary
we're gonna have burgers and beers here
 we're gonna do a little of this
and some of this
and we're stopping here for sure
hopefully doing a little of this
then maybe a little more of this
my sister Maura is coming with us this trip so we will take the mandatory trip to Mecca
aka Batchelder Rd.

Torch Lake pics from a trip we took in 2006
pics from Todd & Anne Marie's wedding courtesy of Marija Thomas

July 28, 2011

Bernie's Room Update

I haven't posted anything on Bernie's Room in 3 months and that's because I don't think I've done more than 6 hours worth of work on our spare bedroom makeover in that time. Maybe admitting this to the world will shame me into finishing. We have made progress, but I need to get this room finished before we head into another year of having it in shambles.

Bernie installed a simple Elfa closet system from The Container Store awhile back
"system" might be a bit of a stretch for this mini closet but it is better than what we had

Ta da!
2 shelves, 2 hanging rods and a row of hooks
remember the dresser makeover? I did get it started...
but then it had to move across the hall to make room for the new bed
The bed and headboard finally arrived from West Elm after 4 frickin months, you heard me,  4 frickin months! At the time I placed the order the narrow leg bed frame was quoted at 2 or 3 weeks I think, ours took about 16 weeks. Custom upholstery is 10-12 weeks standard, ours took at least 15 after expediting. After all that we didn't even get the bed frame we ordered because they had no clue when those would get on a boat to the states. 

On the bright side, a great customer service rep stepped in and made everything right. Right enough to keep me as a customer even after such a bad experience. But they should have put her on the job a month sooner and it shouldn't have taken a dozen or more emails from me to get this level of response. I was ready to cancel the entire order because there wasn't a doubt in my mind that we wouldn't have gotten the bed frame without her intervention. This woman knew how to make things happen - thanks Mary!!!

Bernie put it all together in under an hour
I assisted
note: here is proof that men do sometimes read instructions!
install tip: god help ya if you have to attach the headboard with the allen wrench they provide, get out the drill
diamond tufted headboard in dove gray performance velvet
simple bed frame in white (duh)
need to go buy a mattress
 I wish the tufting was more pronounced, but the price was right
dresser parts are strewn about the second floor
I can't believe I'm even showing this mess
this is "my room" aka our other spare bedroom and will be our next makeover series
if when we ever finish Bernie's room
and please, no comments about the sad and lonely sewing machine waiting to make this rug
it wouldn't have been so bad if I just had to paint the drawer fronts

but that dresser had a stank that wouldn't go away for nothin'
I had to prime and paint his insides too
and this stinky old gentleman was thirsty

new champagne colored curtains & white linen sheers
curtains and the duvet
 rug fabric, sham and duvet
a mix of champagne, gray, slate, silver and white that I hope will work well together
it is getting close, closer than it looks hopefully

we will finish this room we will finish this room we will finish this room

July 25, 2011

When am I ever gonna learn?

I thought by now I had learned never to say never, but apparently I didn't. I still do it occasionally and usually end up eating my words.

I have never lived down getting married after YEARS of saying how I would NEVER get married, EVER! I went on rants about it. I didn't want to do it, I didn't see the point, but then slowly my mind changed. My friends knew better, and giggled about it after.

I've always said I would NEVER have children and have happily stuck to my guns on that one despite years of having people (rather forcefully) tell me, you'll change your mind! I've noticed in the last couple of years people don't ask me if I want to have kids or tell me I'll change my mind which has led me to the sad conclusion that they must think my eggs have dried up. While I'm happy not to have these conversations anymore, I do not like being considered old. A lot of friends my age are still having babies, so if I wanted to, not that I do....just saying, my eggs aren't old, they're just mature.

Can I tell you how much I HATED Uggs? I mean seriously, the ugliest shoes ever produced. It took a long long time but they finally started to grow on me. I now own two pair and it's like having puppies wrapped around your feet. So warm and cozy. And the tall pair are pretty awesome if you ask me.

Along the same lines as Uggs, my cousin-in-law's wife Marija blogged about her purchase of a pair of Toms:
"So here it is. The latest trend that I find vaguely revolting, but I've given in, joined the club, sold my soul. Toms shoes. They are so ugly they are cute. They look like I should be wearing them to wash my sarong by a dirty river." 
I left a rather rude comment (even for me), "...the ugliest f'in shoes I've ever seen." But like Uggs and marriage, Toms started to grow on me. It took over a year from Marija's post but yesterday I bought a pair. Oh the shame! I have wanted to buy them for a little while now but couldn't bring myself to admit that I now find these shoes....cute. I was going to keep them hidden but I thought it better to come clean than get busted after posting vacation pictures or something random like that. So here they are....and looking online, there are a couple other pairs that have caught my eye. So sue me. I like Toms. There, I've said it. 

July 15, 2011

Grow Dammit Grow

warning...Bernie told me yesterday that the hail storm did a number on our garden while I was in NY so for all I know this could be the last GrowDammitGrow post in 2011. The tomatoes and cukes got the worst of it. Keep your fingers crossed it can recover!

as promised...here is the rest of our garden
The North Garden
not too sure on this one, kind of small and bushy
I planted basil from seed around the pot
 bought this tomato at the farmer's market
Nebraska Wedding
the Rose tomatoes in the containers are doing well
Amish Paste is in the garden on the right
 more basil, Longfellow cukes on the trellis
Rainbow Chard up front
all for green juice!
nothing is producing yet, but soon!!!

July 12, 2011

Mr. Cooper Hoffman

I do believe I may have the cutest dog in the world
he has been in a few posts here on the blog
I know I post a lot of grainy pics on Facebook that don't do him justice so...
I formally introduce you to
Mr. Cooper Lee Hoffman
he is a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
(not a Beagle)
(nor a shaved Bernese Mountain Dog)
he is 7.5 years old
he loves very short walks, food, biscuits, getting his teef brushed, and lounging around
he dislikes too much exercise, people trying to pet him all the time because he's so pretty, 
getting brushed or washed, the vacuum, and any kind of electrical cord
he is the sweetest dogbaby on earth
but you wouldn't know it from his rancid breath
we love you Cooper
good dog!

July 10, 2011

Grow Dammit Grow

here are some pics of the South side of our garden
this is our first planting on this side and we didn't do a great job working the clay
green beans have replaced the poorly growing spinach
they seem very happy here
 Garlics are almost ready
 lots of different lettuces and that's basil in the bottom right corner
 here are my herbs just starting out - the chives and tarragon came back from last year
 here they are now, the tarragon has gone wild
mint, thyme, italian parsley, chives, garlic chives, rosemary
next up....the North side, where all the action is

July 3, 2011

Parlor Painting Commission part I

As some of you may or may not have come to realize, our home is full of rooms just waiting to be finished. Almost done...but not quite. Normally I'm a great task master, drill sergeant, finisher, etc., except when it comes to decorating a room. Unless it's a bathroom, or better yet, a very small bathroom. Our parlor has been moving along at a snails pace the last two years so when I saw this post over at My Favorite and My Best I thought to myself, I'm totally going to do this! Assuming it doesn't cost a fortune. Like MFAMB I thought commissioning a painting was something only rich people do, but nope, totally affordable. I won't give too many details because Jenny already wrote about the process here and it's kinda hard to beat her at the storytelling game. And if you want to get details from the artist herself, check out her blog post So You Want to Commission a Painting

When it comes to art, I don't like to hunt for it, I like to stumble on it. I like a piece to evoke memories of  a certain time or place. I like to have (or create) some sort of connection with the artist or the gallery. Every piece should have its own story. So far I'm loving the story of this piece!

What I will say is Michelle Armas is not only a lovely artist but she has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The process has been so simple and fun and when I saw her own home on her blog I knew we were a good fit. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have images of our very own painting to share with you. In the meantime, here are some of the inspiration pictures that are going into my piece.

some pictures of our room...
 I told her the chairs may or may not stay and no need to get matchy matchy with the rug
I told her I loved the colors in our stained glass
the wall color will probably go lighter, eventually
we used terms like not too frantic, looser, bold, elegant to describe the mood of the painting
I told her which of her paintings I was most drawn too (below, more here)
Float Away
 Dr. Riversong
I sent her pictures of rooms that elicit a general feeling of "like" in me
not artwork inspiration per se
she totally got that which is awesome
and here are a few more for good measure...
*all pictures borrowed from the internets

Thank you in advance to MFAMB for the idea, I'm soooooo excited to see my painting!!!
p.s. after I commissioned my painting, Michelle was featured (again) on Design Sponge!!!


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