Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Polka Dot Cottage

Like all of you, I often turn to Flickr as a source of decorating inspiration. In fact, that is exactly how I stumbled into this wonderful world of blogging. I have held on to my favorite Flickr set of all time. It is a vacation cottage in upstate New York called 'Polka Dot.' (

I have never been here, but if there was ever a cottage of my dreams, this would be it. The cottage is decorated and owned by Romy Kolodziej. I have absolutely no idea who she is, but given the gorgeous nature of the cottage, I have to give credit where credit is due.

Monday, April 23, 2007


My favorite movie star of all time, hands down, is Carole Lombard. I know, I know, everyone probably thought my #1 would be Doris Day. And while the race was close, Carole always wins out.

Anyone who loves old movies will not be able to help but adore her. She was the perfect combination of beauty and comedy. Carole was Lucille Ball's icon... Lucy later claimed she patterned herself after Carole. After watching Carole's movies and a thousand I Love Lucy episodes, I can see a lot of similarities.

I highly recommend all of her movies, many of which are sadly unavailable on dvd/video. But Turner Classic movies plays a wide variety. Some of my favorites are: Mr. and Mrs. Smith (the only romantic comedy ever directed by Hitchcock), My Man Godfrey (which also stars William Powell... another great), Love Before Breakfast (the ultimate in screwball comedy), and last but not lease, my very favorite, True Confessions. This movie co-stars Fred MacMurray. They were an often combined team, but this is the best of their movies. Fred is a straight laced lawyer, and Carole plays his zany, fib-telling-prone wife. You wont be disappointed.

Hitting Pay Dirt

This was the by far one of the most pleasant weekends I can remember. The weather was gorgeous, the yard sales were plentiful, and my sweetie and I had a sushi date. It doesn't get any better than that.

I started out my weekend by eating my Saturday cereal on the patio (along with the 5th Harry Potter book... Im re-reading before the movie this summer). Matt and I scrounged this patio table and chairs for free off the side of the road. At the time, it was an incredibly huge hassle, not to mention a large source of embarrassment to my hubby when we somehow strapped the table on top of our car for the ride home. But this past weekend, as I sat out there enjoying the morning sunlight and listened to the doves, I was once again reaffirmed for my love of freebies.

We spent Saturday afternoon at the local nursery, where I bought a couple of pots of geraniums. They only get a few hours of afternoon sun, so I hope they do alright. Mom warned me that they will get 'leggy.'

And this, ladies and gents, is what I mean by hitting pay dirt. I have searched high and low for a pedestal table for my breakfast nook. I have actually been looking for a couple of years. I found this set (solid oak) at a yard sale on Saturday. The table is solid as a rock, and has a large leaf to go with it. I will definitely be painting the chairs white, and I always thought I would paint the table white as well ( in my plans). But now, as I look at it, I might chicken out. The wood is so pretty, and eventually I would like to get some white bent wood chairs to go with it (like I have with my dining table). I think that will look very modern/flea market.

In confession, I felt a little guilty about this find. The woman selling it was going through a divorce, and was only asking $75!

We did our usual grocery shopping, and I was so happy to find that the produce is actually starting to look appetizing this time of year!

My final quest of every weekend is Mabel's food. When the pet food scare started, I in my seriously overly attached panic, began making her dog food. Its pretty simple; ground beef, long grain rice, peas and carrots. The trouble is now two-fold. One= this extra expense is reeking havoc on our grocery budget. Two= the little spoiled thing EXPECTS us to do this forever. She actually snorts like a pig when we feed her now. I cannot imagine how horrible that dry dog food was compare to this.

It is a dilemma, but one of my own making I suppose.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New End Table

I'm forever seeking after little cheap tables, usually cast-offs on the side of the road (one of the huge perks of owning one of the smallest houses in a neighborhood full of people with more money=they are always throwing something good away). I stumbled onto this guy (old beverage cart) in an antique store. You can find these pretty easily these days, and in better shape I might add. But there was something about this one. Perhaps it was his cute worn paint. Or, perhaps it was the $10 price tag. Yep, that was it, the price tag.

Anyway, I just love it. It is sturdy, and the baskets underneath hold movies, and the top is big enough to display my maracas and Jamaican carvings. Someday I may spray paint him a cleaner, happier color. But for right now, I kind of like how he looks.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Project Kitchen

My kitchen is my favorite place in the house. Not because I’m an excellent cook (my husband does most of that, I’m the cleaner). Not because it is big or fancy (the cabinets need replacing and the counter tops/back splash is not my favorite). The kitchen is my favorite room because it holds the most sentimental items that I have. Some people decorate with brand new clocks, feathers and wooden wall keys from department stores. I love to decorate with things that are old and mean something to me. My great-grandmother’s bowls. Tablecloths. Old plates and black and white photos. My kitchen has been a work in progress since we moved in. I’m still not totally sold on the yellow color of the walls, but here are some photos of some things I’m satisfied with.

This is my small collection of my favorite turquoise pottery. The two bowls on the bottom shelf to the far right are Homer Laughlin Orange Tree bowls. Growing up, my mom always had a set of three that she used to make cookies or any type of baking. They were her grandmother's bowls, my great grandmother's. Well, after several years of scrapping with my sisters over who will get them (we all love them), I stumbled on these two at an antique store. I had never actually seen any for sale (other than on ebay), and snatched them up. Even though they aren't family items, they remind me of Granny. I store these in a white wooden hutch/shelf that my husband bought for my birthday. As you can see, it in need a new paint job, but it is solid wood and I absolutely love it.

These are some of my tablecloths. Thanks to my mother in law, Linda, I have developed an obsession with these.
This is a wall arrangement that is a work in progress. I put this in the breakfast nook. Black and white family photos are usually relegated to people's hallways, but I cant think of anything more pleasant to look at. Mine are all over the house, despite my Meme's hard and fast rule that family photos should not be hung or displayed in the living room of a house. Whoops.

This is by far my most beloved item in the house for two reasons.
1. It might be the most gorgeous vintage tablecloth on the face of the earth.
2. It was my great grandmother's. Enough said.

I'll post an update on my kitchen eventually. Like I said, it is something I find impossible to STOP changing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Seeing Red

I adore the color red. Actually, I adore a lot of colors, but red is one of my favorites. I ran around the house snapping pictures and noticed a ton of rojo in the living room.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Weekend Fun

Thanks to my mother-in-law and two Home Depot gift cards, I completed two projects this weekend. I don't know about anyone else, but it seems that I keep a running list of 'to-dos' in my head at all times. Don't get me wrong, I wish that I didn't. For example, this morning, as I ran out of the house late as usual, all I could think about was my stove and its dire need to be cleaned. Even as I drove to work and sped down the freeway listening to one of my favorite songs of all time (I Hate Myself for Loving You), I couldn't forget about that blasted stove. I'm working on this. Back to the topic at hand, I'm very happy that I finally got to these two projects.

1. I still adore my white walls. But our little hallway needed some extra punch. I chose this color (which is pretty bright) b/c I thought a small space with no furniture could handle it. I really like it now, and am considering painting over the yellow in my kitchen. The color is Feldspar by Behr.

2. When we moved in, I found these two shutters in the back shed. They were covered in cobwebs and unfinished. After a year of not throwing them away, but not knowing what to do with them, I decided to put them here. I think it added some much needed color to the dining area.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Girliest Place On Earth

When I was six, my mom brought home a JC Penney catalog and blew my mind. She opened it up the the children's bedding section and said, "Elizabeth, lets decorate your bedroom. Which bed set do you like the best?" It wasn't hard for me to settle on a favorite; a two sided heart patterned comforter with matching ruffled shams. One side was covered in small hearts, the other in large hearts. They were every shade of the rainbow, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on.

So mom ordered it, along with matching valences. Then, we went out and bought some bookshelves (looking back, I realize how nice those solid wood shelves really were) and painted them a purple-ish blue. Mom framed and matted my drawings, and I got to carefully arrange my Madame Alexander dolls on top of the bookshelves for display. It really was a great little girl room, and ever since then I have searched in vain to create the perfect bedroom.

In my wayward teenage years I horrifyingly covered my Laura Ashley wallpaper with posters of Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam. When I got to college I realized that no amount of Christmas lights strung on the ceiling could make a dorm homey. After I got married we spent several years with a bedroom of mismatched furniture. My choices early on were questionable, and I inevitably ended up hating whatever cheap comforter I could afford to buy.

Now my bedroom consists of four of my favorite things: 1. The color pink, any variation or combination 2. White sheer curtains 3. Black and white photos of our family 4. White painted furniture I'm a firm believer that bedrooms are meant to be girly. Whenever I hear my friends say things like, "I love floral prints, but my husband just wont let them in the house," I confess, I cringe. Luckily for me, I have a very long suffering husband (although, he isn't totally mistreated, he does have his man-room with one very large TV). But now, finally, after such a long quest, I finally love my bedroom again.