Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Finding Peace in the Garden

When I moved in, my yard had some good hedges and basic landscaping, but it needed the finishing touches.  I've been adding little things here and there, mostly yard ornaments and some container plants.  I've been wanting to add some bigger plants for awhile, but putting it off because of cost.  I especially wanted some blue plumbago (below), a pretty blue flowering shrub that is super popular around here.

via Slice of Coastal Life
I had a little health scare this week.  I've had a few weird things going on, then I went to the doctor and she found some lumps.  Based on family history and some other factors, I didn't think it would be serious, but it was still a little scary.  I was lucky enough to get checked out and given the all-clear within 6 days.  Still though, I was very thankful and breathing some sighs of relief after my appointment yesterday.  I think gardening is good for the soul, so I decided to splurge and buy the plants I wanted.

One of my new plants!
And the other one!
I got a few other little ones too. I love the fuzzy balls.  That's the technical term.
Red ixora that was already in my yard.  It attracts so many butterflies!

Like the rest of my place, still very much in progress, but it's a start!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thrifting to Decorate My Kitchen: The Corner Cabinet and the Girl Scout Fiestaware

When I was house hunting, I wanted built-ins.  Oh my goodness, did I want built-ins. I craved cute little fold down ironing boards and bookcases and cute corner hutches.  One of the main things on my house wish list was one of those cute wood scroll things above the sink that were so popular in 50s kitchens and seem to be ripped out constantly on those awful remodeling shows.  Alas, when I found the right house for me, while it did have the original wood cabinets that I so desperately wanted and a nice built-in bookcase in the living room, there was not a cute scroll-y thing in sight.  

A few months ago, my mother and I were at an estate sale (we do love a good estate sale) and I saw this corner hutch.  All the fun scroll work I could handle, plus it looks like something that could have feasibly been built into my 1947 house. It had a few coats of old flaking paint on it, but a fresh paint job and it’s good as new.  Here it is mid-paint job:

personal photo
Around the same time, I scored an awesome stash of Fiestaware at a Girl Scout fundraiser garage sale.  My mom had gone to the garage sale before me and told me that I had to go back.  They had Fiestaware... cheap.  We got there just as they were closing and luckily, they reopened just for us.  There was tons of Fiestaware, much of it brand new and never used.  I scored all of this awesome stuff for about $25.  Super exciting.

And here is my new corner hutch with a piece or two of Fiestaware, some awesome family pieces also by Homer Laughlin, a few other pieces, and my (fake) raven lurking at the top.

Obviously, it’s not totally done looking, but it’s well on its way.  This corner was the catch all for a long time, so to get it to this point is a victory. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vitamin String Quartet: Alternative Wedding Music that Sounds Traditional

Vitamin String Quartet has been a popular choice for wedding music for quite awhile now and their awesomeness is not breaking news.  Still though, I was pretty surprised when I was reading some comments on Rock N Roll Bride and saw that there was VSQ version of the Smashing Pumpkins' Stand Inside Your Love.  I'm pretty obsessed with the Pumpkins, so I was excited by this revelation.  Then, I found out that there's an entire album, "The String Tribute to Smashing Pumpkins."  I went on YouTube to hunt for it and fell down the rabbit hole of VSQ options. 

This cover of 1979 is amazing.

Pompeii by Bastille is a fun song anyway, but it is gorgeous in the VSQ cover.

All I Want is You by U2.  So good....

Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance.  So beautiful and the cover has a completely different feel from the (awesome) original.

Wake Me Up by Avicii

And because we love Avicii so much, Hey Brother.

Covers by Vitamin String Quartet are an awesome way for couples to use their favorite pop and rock songs in a way that sounds traditional and pretty, plus doesn't cause elderly Great Aunt Ethel to clutch her pearls.  Although go ahead and use the original version if that's what rocks your boat!

Also, can I just say that being a blogger is awesome, I got to listen to this music all afternoon as "research"....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HOW TO: Make a Fun Rehearsal Bouquet

It's traditional, at least around here, to make a bouquet out of bows from the bridal shower for the bride to carry at the rehearsal.  As the Maid of Honor, I got tasked to make one for my friend Jessica.  It's a pretty goofy, not-supposed-to-be-glamourous tradition, but I still wanted to try to make something cute. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Finding Gems in Chain Stores: Decorating with Pottery Barn Kids and Land of Nod // Land of Nod edition

So, I don't have children and I'm not planning on it.  I'm also not one of those women who loves to ooh and ahh over cute kid stuff.  However, every time we're at the mall, I can't help going into Pottery Barn Kids.  They have some really good stuff, that I could easily see working in an adult space.  It's not always possible to have the time/money/resources to find unique pieces, so it can be super helpful to know where to find good stuff at the big box and chain stores.

Emily Henderson is a great inspiration for using cute big box kids' stuff in not so cutesy ways.  She uses Pottery Barn Kids as a good resource for affordable draperies.  She also did a really great room with the similar Land of Nod. Granted, this room is for nine year old, but most of the stuff I want for myself.

Style by Emily Henderson

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When the season of life is changing...

I've been in a somewhat melancholy contemplative mood today, as I have been, like many, saddened by the passing of actor Robin Williams.  I always felt a kinship with this man that shared my name and brought such joy to so many people.  People and things all have their seasons of life and sometimes they leave us before we're ready.

I recently started a new job and while new beginnings are exciting and hopeful, it often means that with this same cycle of life, some people and things reach their end.  I was thinking along these same lines a few weeks ago, when I heard that Chalet Suzanne, a local restaurant and inn that had been open for 83 years, was closing.  It was a quirky family-run landmark that had a special place in many people's hearts.  I always feel change very acutely and it makes me sad when the vintage places that I love close and are so often torn down.

B and I went out to Chalet Suzanne a few weeks ago for a final meal.  We brought the camera and got some great pictures of this awesome old place.  It is obviously in need of some maintenance, but you can still see the greatness of what was there.

Monday, June 30, 2014

HOW TO: Make a Potted Felt Fern

I love having potted plants in my home and for the most part, I'm pretty good at keeping them alive.  The sad exception was a poor little aloe plant that I had in my bedroom.  There's not much natural light in there and the plant didn't fare too well.  I love the look of houseplants though and I was determined to have one in the bedroom... preferably without killing anything else.  Then I got to thinking... I make things with felt, why not make a felt plant?