Sunday, July 31, 2011

What do you mean they shrunk??

Like I said in the last post, it can take me for-freakin-ever to make a permanent decision.  So, of course, it would naturally prevail that when i DO finally settle on something, something is going to happen that will throw a wrench into the works.

Like today.

Long story short - i found the cool chick who owns the house that this picture was from.  

Honestly, i had given up and then i found similar blog, who fluke of all flukes, links back to her.  Yippee Skippee!

Anyway.  She wrote a great post that hit me like a ton of bricks about finding your decorating style.  Like so much, that I literally sat there and had my own "Aha!" moment without Oprah.

In short - go to your closet to determine your decorating style.  To quote the cute Katie, your closet is a good indicator of what you typically allow yourself to spend on items.  So true.  I am a Target shopper so I would be physically ill pulling out my wallet to buy home stuff at Restoration Hardware.  Your closet is also a good indicator of your style (classic with a little trend thrown in) and color too.  

So...I thought about that.  Then i went to my closet and did a little testing of this theory.

Here are 4 pieces that i go to a lot.  

That ice blue soft cotton maxi is perfect for casual date night, or having the neighbors over by the pool. I am wearing this dress so much lately that the fabric is starting to pile. (so aggravating).  But it's a trendy, inexpensive dress that makes me feel cute, hides some figure flaws and i love the color.

The black dress is a work staple.  Very cute, classic - oh, and did I mention it's from Target? 

The red top was a TJ Maxx find that i have paired with white denim, blue denim, and black.  Again, i'm wearing this shirt to shreds.  See how wrinkled it is at the bottom?

Lastly, the denim jacket (also Target) - a classic.  It's been worn over that blue maxi with chunky jewelry (Cute!) - over tanks and boho skirts - this thing lives in the backseat of my car.  

So when I looked at that, i thought, why am I not using what I know works??  I think I got so wrapped up in new, different house, madness that i forgot how much I love what i have.  Like these drapes:
(sorry for the blurry pic - i was enlarging my old realtor photos and it gets like that)

This is from the great room of my last house.  Those drapes are from PB and cost a fortune.  They are lined double width dupionis - (I think i paid close to $600 for the pair but i had been gifted about $300 from a few friends for house-warming so it was doable.)  They puddled beautifully, which you will have to take my word for since the pic stinks - and i was over the moon for them.

So...i thought - i obviously love the touch of red/cranberry/brick in a house and in my closet  - why am I not using those?  So, i pulled them out of the closet and ran those puppies over to the dry cleaner last week.

And that's about where the story goes bad.

We picked them up Friday, and Vance hung them....and they had shrunk at least 6 inches!!!  Oh, and the best part? The lining didn't shrink, only the drapes.  So she hung there like used up prom gown to short for her crinoline.  Sad.

Talk about infuriating.

So, V and I drove over to PB with the drapes and the dry cleaning receipt in hand, and had a conversation with the manager.  She was very nice, and i have to say, I still love me some Pottery Barn.  Especially after today.  Those drapes were at least 3 years old and she gave me back full credit without even batting an eye.  Very apologetic, and very much wanting to keep us as customers - and it was so freakin painless that i was shocked I didn't have to fight a battle.

However.  The don't make double panels in that color anymore.  Awesome.

Plan B has now turned into Plan C it looks like.

So, she sent us home with a PB credit and some options. And I'm back to being undecided.

Here are the 3 out of the 4  we came home with.  The cranberry silk below is much more red than the brick red i had before.  The double width is less of an issue in this house since we're just using them to flank the windows here - as opposed for privacy like i did in the old house.

 Vance picked the stripe - but i've rejected that one - sorry honey - not doing it for me whatsoever.  The other print i had up - but the print was more of an Indian Batik than a traditional floral - so that got nixed too.  The red, i think, is too red.  The brick color i had was perfect. and when i say perfect. i mean matched the brick in all of V's duck prints (which i have a love hate relationship with)   Which leaves us with the Vanessa in cream, that i have hanging.  In the wrong length - we'll have to order the 108" if we decide it's the one.

I like that the blue in the drape is the same blue as the kitchen wall and the green is the exact green of the rug.  Where I'm stuck is that I was thinking more contrast is necessary....?  

Here is what it looks like when you come in the front door.

They also have it in these other 2 color ways

I want to tie the blue in the kitchen to the ivory in the living room you see up there. I also need to keep the rug in there - too expensive to ditch right now.  

And yes, i did this butt-backwards.  I painted colors i love with absolutely no plan first - and i'm trying desperately not to repaint.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Never Ending Project and How I Change My Mind a Million Times....Which is WHY the Project Never Ends.

I really am trying to blog more.  Really.  But just when I think my life is going to quiet down some...BAM....another thing.  Lately it's been the rental houses, we've had to flip renters in both houses in the last 2 months, one of which we had to evict, the other decided mid-lease to bolt.  But with both came costs - some expected, some not (eviction is not a cheap process - but it was quicker than everyone told me it would be).  And it came with a lot of hands-on, fix-it work at both places.  

Anyway - on to the stuff that has taken a back seat.  That darn hall bath.  The bowling alley, remember this?

Anyway - we have not progressed very far....except to say that the beadboard is done!  And considering what we have been doing on other projects (pool, vacation, rentals, frozen shoulder, new boss - did i even mention that??) - i'm surprised we made any headway in this room!

And that led to framing out the door with chunkier trim - this poor tract house is going to be turned into a cottage/farmhouse one way or the other LOL.

This isn't the art that i had on my design board...not even close.  But I always seem to get drawn into anything that reminds me of the low country.  I think I picked this up at Old Time Pottery for like $7 bucks.  I'm not sure it's going to stay here, but i know it's going somewhere.  I can't seem to get rid of this picture either, and as soon as i determine where it's going to go I'll let you know, but not in this spot - i don't think.  

I really hate that orange cabinet.  And now that i'm staring at the TP holder, i'm not too fond of that view either.  That's our cat, Bill Compton.  He never comes out during the day, in fact, i think i see his fur starting to singe from that light coming thru the door window.  I'm surprised he even showed up on film - seriously this cat never comes out during the day.


As you can see, the cabinet's not painted. There are no places to hang towels, which means they end up on the floor.  All the time.  I shoved them into the bathtub and closed the curtain for this picture.  I don't have a bath rug yet.  And the list goes on....

But any progress is progress, right? 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I am slacker blogger extrordanaire this week.

I have no deep thoughts to share.

I had no beautiful moments of introspection.

 It might have to do with the boys being home and summer calling us outside more.  

I'm not sure what IT is.  But the only thing i have going on in my head is nesting.   

And I can't think of a more beautiful nest than this one.  All of these gorgeous pics are from    What a house.   What an eye she has for warmth and detail.

 I keep telling myself that less is more.  But I may have to rethink this.  This corner is just like a little hug to me...all warm and glowing and sweet.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Faking Comfort

Maybe it's because i don't feel all that great but i wanted some serious comfort food yesterday.

The only problem was I didn't feel up to the shenanigans of cooking something from scratch.  AT ALL.  I felt like poop.  

So i did what i do a lot.

I faked it.

I had this in the pantry.  But alone, that doesn't do anything for me.  What to do, what to do...

Well, we had apples from the car trip.  And the fridge celery was still kind of good. And i had a red onion.  I could "help" the box get closer to something good.  No offense Stove Top, but you are a last resort in my house.  

I sauteed up the onion and celery in butter for about 5 minutes or so, and then threw in one chopped red apple.  Doesn't that look good? It smelled amazing. Just like thanksgiving. Kind of.

I made the stuffing in a separate pot just like the box called for.  Easy enough.  Then threw in my appleonioncelery goodness.  And it looked like this:

And that my friends is fake stuffing.  And it was awesome.  And, like all of my short cuts and cheats, this is for my friend Ashley, who at some point is going to have to learn to cook since she's getting hitched this fall :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hot and Cold

I am back.  From a very long 2 week trip.
Megan - did you notice i used the word trip, not vaca, this time?  You were right.  

I'm throwing in some random vacation pics just because.  This is the sign the boys made when they built their fort at my parent's house this year.  Funny they called out new, and to go around "this way" when it's much shorter to go straight.  Reminds me of those family circus cartoon where the little boy gets sent to the store but takes the long way.  Remember those?

I'm back, and it is so hot here.  2 weeks can really play with your memory - out of sight, out of mind i guess - but i seriously don't remember it being this hot when i left.  This is just an abandoned homestead i saw when i took the long way home from the market. Apples do not fall far from the tree here.

And...I have frozen shoulder - thus the cold reference.  I can't raise my left arm, and my left shoulder is permanently raised higher than my right.  As if i'm trying to hold a phone to my ear.  I look fabulous let me tell ya.

The pain was so bad that yesterday i broke down and called my Dr begging for relief - and he provided - but now i'm on prednisone and flexirol.  Which, i understand the flexirol to be a muscle relaxant, but i guess my muscles don't know that because i don't feel any different - i even took before bed last night because he said it would make me sleepy.

Yea, not so much.

Just a random shot of mailboxes all lined up on the road my parents live on. I like it.

I am back, laundry is done and put away, and plans to see friends are in the works for the weekend.

I may have to recreate some of the family fixins we had on the 4th above.  Cold cucumber salad, Pineapple casserole (ohmygoshmywaistdisappeared), macaroni salad that i will admit was better than my own, and made by my man. Thanks honey. I will never question you again. right.

This is literally a one car pass on the way through 7 mile ford.  it freaked the kids out. I found it very...ireland-esque for some reason - does that even make sense??

Anyway, I do feel better - a lot less pain - so thank goodness for that - back to the grind now :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pinterest is going to be my un-doing, and this is why:

This is why: See this pic? I am stalking it.  You are probably thinking "hey, it's ok, but it's not ALL that - what's all the fussin about?"  The fuss is that i can't find out what blog this came from and I want more pics people!!  I even went so far as to email the girl that originally posted it with the comment "I miss her blog posts" because I ABSOLUTELY NEEDED THAT INFO.  

No dice.  So...if YOU know, please please email me.  

ALL florida houses built in mass over the last 10 or so years have this look, and i have had the HARDEST time marrying some country into it because i felt it didn't "go".  It's ok to shake your head at me. I understand.  Oh if you only knew how i stare at the TV when "Secrets of a Stylist" comes on. 

and this is why Vance wants me to stop going there - now he has to build this for the door to our porch..... (Just kidding, he actually loves this too)

Oh, and the accessory love.  I love this.
And I'm now on the lookout for one of these for Nate's room - he is the Lego King of Orlando - I mean, how cute is this??

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What a house this is going to be...

Our friend Kevin, whose green house you saw in the last post that y'all all loved, owns Varney Construction here in town and yesterday we took a drive outside of town (read "pack a lunch, it's a hike) to see this house that he had started last spring.

Let's start with his view 

This is looking to the right from his back yard.  Amazing, sweeping views huh?  I cannot imagine getting to wake up to this.  

   This is the view looking from the front porch down to the river below.  That sweet house you see is fairly new, and that little peak of a roof to the right is a picnic shelter that the built to match the house.  Sweet!
    This is the house.  You can't tell from this, but it's over 8k finished square feet and over 10k if you include the basements and garages.  Yes, garage-s.
   This is the kitchen - i can already see the finishes going in here, the cabinets, the counters. I know it will be stunning.

It is still a year away from completion, and we will be back again to see it before then, so hopefully i can update with more pics. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Vacation House Stalking

I know that some of you are a lot like me in the house stalking department.  No matter where I go, I look at beautiful homes and wonder what it's like to be inside. 

Some of these, like this one, we know the owner.  In this case, it is owned by my late grandfather's doctor.

This one, the property takes up an entire half a block.  I love the overall "americana" feel of the front porch.  Look at those quilted cushions.  And the flag.  How much more "Mayberry" can you get?

    This is one that my parents considered buying before they bought the house that they now live in.  Every year, the bushes seem to have overtaken more, and not in a good way either.

This is the working shed of the house above.  It doesn't "go".  I like it more than the house itself.  I find it very "cape cod".  Loving the lavender and the arbor.  It's perfection.

This house is on the historic registry, thus the white oval sign.  It doesn't give history, which would be great, just the house number and the words "historic registry" - thanks for the info, right??

    This one is now sitting empty, but is also on the registry.  The previous owners were moving out yesterday, but they left their flag i see.  That's Sarah up ahead with camera on hip.

This yellow cream puff is also on the registry, and was re-done and sold to the current owner, by a very good family friend of ours.  He does beautiful restorations.  He wasn't even done with it before he had a contract on it.

Here is his current home.  Also a restoration, a few doors down actually.  And also on the registry.  It is circa 1700 from what I understand.  It's gorgeous inside too. 

    This home is across the street. On the registry too, and those lamps on the garage are really gas lamps.  Love.

  Vance loves this one, however, it isn't my favorite.  That's not to say, of course, that I would turn it down LOL.  See that flag with the pink on it? Does anyone know what that is? We saw that same flag on a few different houses today.

I honestly think that nothing is more appealing to me than taking a walk after sunset and seeing the warm glow of lights lit from within a house.  Doesn't that just say "you're home"?  I love that amber glow.  Especially in the winter months.

These are not after sunset - but they are beautiful and welcoming all the same.  These are all on the same 2 blocks of the street my grandmother still lives on.  Each is beautiful in it's own right.  They scream "americana" to me.

Which one is your favorite?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Having Fun Is Work.

I don't feel like we've stopped all week.  Torturing children is not all fun and games people.

The plan was Williamsburg one day, York and Jamestown the next, and then head back across the state to my mom and dad's for the rest of time.

First we had to cross the ferry.  The weather was amazing.  Look at the little one and his shades. That kid cracks me up.

I know i am behind on my blogging...but here are some shots of our trip to Shirley Plantation. As the kids said, the property was WAY BETTER than the house.  I have to agree.   Not that i could show you pics of the inside anyway  because photography was prohibited.   So...enjoy the grounds.

Here is the house.  Note, when you are yelling  asking your family to come gather for a family picture - remove the camera from your husband's hands.  Otherwise you will get a picture of yourself lecturing said family to get their arses in gear.

can you imagine having this as your front porch, overlooking the James River??

   This is what we voted the best place on the property - the grape arbor - i can just picture wedding photography done here

   The family pic...finally they listened.  Good family.