Friday, September 28, 2007

Back Soon...

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be back soon, just taking a little smidge of a break!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Red Door Part II

Upon Sarah's wise request, I'm posting a picture of my teeny front porch so you can get a better idea. Eeek.. it's obviously, in need of a serious revamp. When we first looked at the house, Matt almost didn't go inside b/c of the porch.... talk about lack of curb appeal.

So, the plan is that we're repainting the awful peeling concrete (into a clean, new concrete color). If I won the lottery, I would totally replace the front door with a brand new one with windows at the top. But, alas, it's not in the budget. So, I'm considering just painting it red for now (I had originally toyed with a the idea of a pale turquoise, but it might kill my husband). I've considered adding a red mail box too, with some red pots full of plants. My fear is that with yellow brick and lots of red, well, you get McDonalds.

Here are a few of my red door inspiration photos. Any opinions?

I Lied

Did I say that the yellow in my kitchen was completely gone? I lied. The inside of my laundry closet was painted yellow to match the walls, and my sister and I could not physically unload that closet to paint it. However, somehow, I don't hate that it's a different color than the rest of the kitchen. Rebecca even said that 'it looks like you did it on purpose.' Ok, I'll go with that.

We finally installed storage shelves (when we moved in it was completely empty with no storage at all) and I hung photos and put in the little milk glass lamp. It's not the most fabulous laundry closet ever... but it works for now.

One Project Down, Five Thousand To Go

Somehow I had deluded myself that after I finally got the kitchen painted, I would be satisfied and take a rest. Hah.

Our house has traditional, plain, no molding doors, inside and out. My front door is plain, flat, and white. Normally, I would never complain about white.. but not for such a plain door. I'm delighted that our peely-painted front porch floor will soon be repainted in a new concrete color, and I'm thinking of painting the front door red. Any thoughts on how a red door will go with a yellow brick house? I do not want to look like McDonalds. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why I Want A New Couch Part 5/ New Hair Cut

This is what my couch looks like on a daily basis. I always make a point of laying the back cushions down flat during the day, but the second I put them back up... whamo. Mabel makes a nest. It's like she waits for it on purpose.

On a brighter note, I got a great haircut this weekend from a friend. I'm very happy with it, which is a rarity, so I though I'd post a pic.

I Caved

I promised myself I would not decorate for Halloween until October 1st. I caved.

I tried to free hand the word BOO on these little white pumpkins (fake of course). Not sure how I feel about it yet...

I hung my banner made by Jerusalem (My Little Life). When I bought it I had no idea where I would put it, but it's perfect in my kitchen!

I didn't go as overboard this year as last. Last year I had orange twinkle lights EVERYWHERE... but who knows... they might come back out before it's all over. Note the new light fixture sitting in the corner. It's going in the kitchen when I figure out how to do it!

I got this banner at Michael's, part of the Martha Stewart collection. It turned out a little plainer and smaller than I thought, but it works. I have the sneaking suspicion that every woman in blogland has this.

I cant live without my electric pumpkins!

I purchased this at the same time I got my kitchen banner. Jeanetta (Splendid Things) painted this sign. I just love it!

I bought this haunted house on clearance last year at Target and am FINALLY getting to use it.

Good Riddance Yellow Kitchen

Ahhh.... I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief. The monster is gone, the yellow/gold kitchen walls shall offend my eyes no more. I had a wonderful, wonderful weekend painting my kitchen with my little sister, who actually turned out to be a painting phenomenon. She rolled, I did the trim and we wrapped everything up in less than three hours. We are considering doing this as a second job! As you can tell, I free handed the trim, and it shows with several messes. But, the trim needs a new coat of paint anyway, so that's my next project.

*** I would like to add a disclaimer. I have no personal bias to yellow in other people's homes. In fact, it looks quite fabulous in my mother in law's home. But... the wrong shade of yellow, especially in the gold family, can go very very wrong. Plus, maybe I'm just not cheerful enough for yellow. Anyhoo, I don't mean to offend yellow-lovers out there.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Good Solution For Bulkheads?

Is that even what they're called, bulk heads? Weird, anyway, I found this photo on one of my daily real-estate-picture-hunts. I really like this, it seems like these storage cubes would be inexpensive enough to do. I had a hard time seeing their merit as I thought of how I would paint every one of those hinges and handles... so many!

Kitchen Decisions

I have been complaining about the color of my kitchen for, well, forever. It's not a horrible color in and of itself, the problem lies with me. I am not a yellow person, or gold for that matter. When we moved in our house, we had to paint every room. By the time we thought about the kitchen (which was the least offensive color in the house), we were too tired to even consider painting it. Well, I cant wait any longer. I've got the time, and I've got the money, and dang it, I'm doing it.
Here is what my kitchen looks like now. I know some people will scream and holler, say it looks fine. And to them I say thank you, but I just cant live with that yellow. I need light and bright rooms, rooms that say "Hey, welcome to your cottage in the country" rather than heavily saturated walls.

So here is my inspiration picture. I found this courtesy of Jerusalem's blog My Little Life. This is a Rachel Ashwell photo. I LOVE it, even though I probably wont achieve this look. I've got brightly colored retro accents, dark counter tops and stainless appliances (am I the only person in the world that prefers plain white appliances?). But I've picked out a Sherwin Williams paint color that matches this soft, dove grey with a tiny bit of blue in it. I'm very excited and hope to post after pictures by next week. Wish me luck, I'm a terribly messy painter!

My Sweeties

As the saying goes, "A home without a dog is like a garden without flowers."

In order to have great happiness you have to have great pain and unhappiness - otherwise how would you know when you're happy?

-Leslie Caron

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Before It Gets Hot Again...

I know that fall weather in September is a brief, fleeting event. It lasts only a few days, and then 90 degree days always creep back into the forecast. We know that here, so inevitably on those blessed fall days you'll find most of us southerners outside in our yards, shopping and eating outside. I celebrated one of the cool nights with twinkle lights, candles, and a big pile of Country Living magazines (courtesy of a local flea market.. $1 a piece). I donned sweat pants, a jacket and relished the fact that my nose was cold for the first time since last winter. I cannot wait for the end of October, when the 'real fall' sets in. But until then, this little break will get me through.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Halloween on the Brain

Here are some Halloween decorating ideas that came courtesy of BHG and Country Living websites. Hope everyone is having a great day!

Glorious Fall Saturday

I spent a wonderful Saturday with my best friend in the world, Carrie. We lunched and shopped until late in the afternoon, it was heaven. The weather was crisp and the light was golden and I found myself wishing life was always so sweet.

Before I get too soppy (I LOVE my friend Carrie), I'll share some photos I took. We shopped in a lovely little section of town where you can go everywhere on foot (so rare for a bigger city). I loved this idea, Happy Halloween spelled out on tiny white pumpkins. I'm really starting to love white pumpkins!

I have been meaning to go to one store in particular because Jerusalem has a room there. I found her blog and was so impressed with her taste and talent. Here is a photo of her room, fabulous! Carrie and I just squealed while people stared. I bought two items, which I will show later this week (I'm breaking down and pulling out the Halloween stuff).

I hope everyone had a weekend as wonderful as mine! Stay tuned for Halloween pictures coming soon. My friends are going to think I've lost my mind...

*** I would like to add that Jerusalem shares with shoppe with Jeanetta, a fabulous artist. Her blog is here

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Back From the Dead

After two and a half days of fever and lots of daytime naps, I'm back. This was a doozey, I can usually push through most things but this guy took me off my feet. Thank goodness for antibiotics.

Mostly I've been puttering around the house in pajamas, watching mindless daytime tv while Mabel napped in my lap. By Wednesday, Mabel and I bore a very similar smell. My time home didn't go completely to waste. I discovered a little treat in my neighbor's backyard. Actually, two little treats.

One; the teenage boys that live there are obviously drop outs. They are home all day and apparently don't have a job. Two; they are growing a four foot tall marijuana plant in their back shed. At first I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but I found it very odd that skate boarders with dread locks would suddenly develop green thumbs. So, I zoomed in with my camera and found Mary Jane.

It's odd, because I've lived in some really seedy apartments in my life, and never ran into this problem before. Now, we've bought a house in a really nice neighborhood and I find myself staring into a backyard felony. So odd.

I also managed to clean out my linen closet and remembered a great little duvet set my mother in law gave me once upon a time. I'm really conflicted, b/c I know it looks nice with my new bedroom wall color. But.... it wasn't really the look I was going for. I was planning on simple white bedding, something a little less 'sweet/country.' Does anyone have any input on this? I would appreciate it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Coughing My Life Away/Why I Want A New Couch Part 4

It's official. I have bronchitis. I spent a hefty amount of time on the couch this weekend, hoping it would go away. But it hasn't, it's worse. And, to make it worse, it has rained for days. This would be a good thing if I felt good, but this morning as I waded into work with wet pant legs and soppy sandals, my mood darkened considerably.

But, on the bright side, Mabel insists on lifting my spirits. How, you ask? By doing this. Aghggh.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

And So It Begins

I fully planned on hauling my fall decorations from the attic this past weekend. Instead, I spent the weekend with my sisters. Being the oldest of three girls often came with its fair share of trials and tribulations. They used my toothpaste. They decapitated my Barbies. They drew in my books and one of them (ahem, Rebecca) used to pick up used toothpicks from the ground and chew them.

Now that they are older, I've discovered that I really like them. They are my best friends, not to sound too gooey or sentimental. It's just a fact. They are the only two people in the world that I share a past with me, that understand me and still love me despite the fact that I regaled them with horror stories of acid filled monsters under the bed. Truly, it was just to get them to stop squirming around in bed at night. I found that I slept much better when they were rigid and still with fear. But, I digress.

Much to my delight, it turns out that all three of us have a love of flea markets. Rachel, the youngest showboat biting my mom's elephant ear, has a massive collection of elephant pottery from the 20's and 30's. Rebecca, the one with the enviable blond hair, owns more McCoy planters than anyone I know. We had a great weekend, except for the few times that all three of us decided we wanted the same item... then we usually squabbled and swatted each other.

I came home with a small pile due to certain financial constraints. But, for $10, I think I did made a respectable haul.

I also added two Halloween items to my collection. I purchased the Martha Stewart Halloween Banner at Micheal's. Albeit, the pie bird isn't exactly a Halloween decoration, but he's so cute. My sister Rachel snuck around and bought him for me when I wasn't looking.

So after a delay in my decorating, I crawled up in the attic last night to begin. It has been raining cats and dogs here, and I'm getting a bad cold, but that didn't stop me.

Every year, it never fails, I always over estimate my decorations. It always turns out that I NEVER have enough or the right kind. I managed to get the table decorations situated, but I'm sure I'll shuffle everything around two or three more times before I finally make myself stop.

I've also discovered that carnival/orange glasses and bowls are fantastic fall accessories. Put a tea light in them and you have instant fall glow (of course you better love orange). I'm still not sure where these guys will end up. One is a bowl with a rose mold on the bottom. The other is a candy dish with the lid removed.

I used two carnival glass tumblers on the table. I found them at a flea market for $2. I keep them in my cabinets all year just for fall.

I'll post more pictures later when I get things 'just so.' Right now I'm going to go nurse my cough and cold with a large cup of tea and some under-my-breath complaining.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm Not Made of Money, But I Should Be

Money seems to be a huge focus this month. I don't know what happened, but it would appear that every possible disaster contingency plan has gone into effect in our lives.

Car dying? Check.

Main plumbing line needing to be replaced? Check.

Dog needs to visit the vet? Check.

Hubby needs a doctor appointment? Check.

I needed a doctor appointment? Check.

Savings absolutely shot in the head and depleted? Check.

I manage to skip along and not get too bogged down, after all, it's just money, right? Until I see something like this. This is a vintage pie safe with its original paint and tin. I found it in a crowded second story of an antique mall in a little town where prices are SO low. I remember seeing it. It was as if a giant spotlight from heaven shone down on it, a choir erupted in my ear drums and I gasped, "I have to have it." And then reality stepped in and shouted, "NO you don't have to have it, you materialistic simpleton."

And reality was right. So I sniffed and wiped away a tiny trickling tear, picked up my $4.00 maracas (which were the only items in the store I could buy guilt free), and stepped away from the pie safe. I was devastated, obviously, but later I felt a huge sense of achievement. It was almost as if I had made a moral decision. I had faced my worst enemy and won. And, since pictures are free, I at least caught a photo of it.