Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the burning bush

Our front yard needs new landscaping. I think I have mentioned this here before. Since we moved in May, landscaping has not really been at the top of our to-do list. One, it is hot. And two, it is better to plant in the fall. However, there are certain things we can do now, like taking out old shrubs, removing an old concrete pathway and re-surfacing our front stoop.

Well we took the first step the other evening after work. And be "we" I mean Peter. He decided it was time for the burning bush to go. The burning bush is right in front of our house and a very awkward shape. It used to be green, but our refusal to water it (knowing we were not going to keep it--hey we are doing our part to conserve!) caused it to turn a flaming orange color, thus the name burning bush. Sometimes we would come home and notice the burning bush was wet. I think our sweet neighbor would water it occasionally for us, probably feeling sorry and a little disappointed that his new, young neighbors were letting their poor shrub die a slow death.

Well the bush is now gone! All that is left is to dig up the roots. So for now an empty space exists, but just imagine grass, a small shade tree, and some fabulous flowers. But dont hold your breath. And dont ask me about it, its probably going to be a long process :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

peachy weekend

So, house project wise, this weekend was a little slow. Peter did tons of yardwork, for which I am so grateful. And I mainly cleaned and did countless loads of laundry. Why is it that I let my laundry pile up so high I, one, run out of things to wear, and two, spend all weekend folding clothes? One of my least favorite things to do. On that note, I would like to give a shout out to my laundry room. While walking/riding bikes around the neighborhood recently, I have noticed a lot of older homes around us do not have indoor laundry rooms. They are either in front garages or back sheds, and although my laundry room is not big by any means it provides a lot of storage and the ability to sort, wash, and dry in the comfort of my house. In all her glory...

The rest of the weekend was spent receiving and waiting for my
Redoute prints from Ebay. I have loved these prints and artist for a while now and knew they would look great in our front room. I was hoping to find one of his vintage books, but I fortunately found someone who sells the individual prints straight from the books. Two have arrived and I am waiting on a few more. Here is a sample....

We have also eaten A LOT of peaches this weekend. One of the perks of having a almond farmer father-in-law, who happens to grow amazing peaches on the side. They have been in smoothies, sliced, diced, on cereal, and are going to make an appearance on waffles tonight. Thanks Sammy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

recent favorite things

Lately I have been hooked on this HBO miniseries. I had heard about it only a few weeks ago and thought it sounded interesting. So last weekend, I went over to my parents house and lo and behold discovered the dvd collection of this series in their office. Score! No one was home to ask or object, so I promptly took the unopened box home. I love history (I think it comes from my dad and his love for historical biographies, novels, and movies and having those around the house when we were younger). Especially US history, so I was excited to start watching these last Saturday. I will admit, the first half of the first episode was a little slow, and it took some time to get used to Paul Giamatti's accent, but I have become completely enthralled in the series. Giamatti and Laura Linney do an amazing job portraying John and Abigail Adams. The dynamic of their relationship is fascinating to watch. I dont know if the series is completely historically accurate (I am assuming not), but it provides a different view and insight into the foundation of our country.

I cant wait to go home from work everyday and watch another episode. Nerdy, I know. Sadly, I only have two left.

Luckily, this is back! I know, I know, much more superficial and on a totally different level than John Adams. But just as entertaining.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


So, I must say, the previously mentioned barbecued hamburgers kicked off a great weekend. Saturday morning was spent collecting supplies at our second home, Lowes. We then came home and got straight to work. the majority of the day was spent painting and replacing a ton of electrical outlets and plate covers. Nothing dates a house like beige outlets. Eww. While he was at it, Peter also rewired many of our switches, so they now actually turn something on. Overall, we were very productive. Here is a pictorial synopsis....

True to form, the multiple paint samples

Paint is done! Up next wall art, accessories, and baseboards...

This was only one bag. There were more.

There is a fabulous 50's light fixture, that came with the house, above our breakfast table. It moves up and down and I knew I couldn't part with it. So I covered the ugly antique brass with oil rubbed bronze spray paint. I think it looks great! Very dark, almost black so it blends nicely with the table, curtains, and other accessories in our family room.

Whats better than Sunday afternoon baking?

Back to work

Friday, July 18, 2008

b is for...

burgers and buns.... Most weekends, we try and have a burger night. We use our bbq throughout the week, but there is just something about barbecuing hamburgers that says the weekend is here. I think this little tradition comes from my parents, who used to bbq hamburgers for us on Saturday nights. This has also spawned my distaste for most burgers that are not barbecued. I honestly do not remember the last time I ordered a hamburger at a restaurant. Seriously, I sat down and tried to think about this and nothing came to mind. This is not because I dont like burgers, I do. Its just that I can only eat homemade, barbecued hamburgers. So we have begun this small, summer weekend ritual in our own home. Sometimes we share with family and friends, sometimes its the two of us. But everytime has been super tasty. I love to try different combinations of ingredients with my burgers, keeping juiciness the top priority. Tonight I used dried onion soup mix and lots of steak sauce. They were perfect.

But my true feat tonight were the homemade hamburger buns. Peter suggested this today in an email. I think his mom made homemade buns for him when he was younger a few times, so I thought I would give it a try. And work was a little slow, so I had plenty of time to research recipes and read reviews online. I settled on
this one. I thought it looked easy enough for hamburger bun novices, and I was right. I scaled the recipe way down and they still turned out great. They just kind of melted in our mouths, and yet were hearty enough to handle the juicy burger. Best part...I didnt have to go to the store and buy 8 buns, only to use 2 and have the rest go moldy.

So, the moral of the story is ....If you find yourself wanting hamburgers and do not want to run to the store to buy buns, make your own!

Here are some pictures of the yummy goodness, my apologies for the bad lighting, it was late and I was too hungry to care--Yes, the buns look a little deformed but they cut perfectly and tasted great. Come on people, it was my first try!

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I am interrupting my real world of Project Pine renovation to bring you a little fantasy. Cote de Texas had a fabulous post about the interior design of the Hampton's beach house in Something's Gotta Give. One of my favorite movies and definitely one of my favorite movie houses. In my next life I will move to the Hamptons (with Pete of course), live in a fabulous white beach mansion, have dinner parties with Ina Garten, and take my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with me wherever I go. Pretentious? maybe. Fabulous? absolutely.

So here are some pics of the beautiful home. And although one chair probably costs as much as my entire college education, I will always love this style and look to it for inspiration.

*love the muted colors, slipcovered chairs, and collection of plates

*how fabulous are all those windows and the trim work? so cozy and yet so chic

*yes please

*not the actual kitchen, but a replica. and quite possibly the most beautiful kitchen I have ever seen. what is not to love? the white cabinets, vintage hinges, subway tiles, contrast with dark floors and counters, drop pendants, glass front cabinets. I am lusting....

Monday, July 14, 2008

next up

Things seem to have been a little slow around here lately. We have been working on small projects (painting doors and trim, etc) but nothing major. So, I am feeling the need to work on a room. We are trying to take this house one room at a time. So the front room is next up. The front room (as we call it, for lack of a better term) is not well documented on this blog. For good reason. It is an unfinished, rarely used room, however it offers a lot of space and potential. Currently, the room is being used as a formal dining room of sorts. We received a big, beautiful table as a wedding present from Peter's grandparents and we are so happy we have room to use it, but the room right now is not conducive to being used.

For one, it is bare. Except for some curtains on the window(that I love and will stay) there is no paint, pictures, or personality on the walls. And there is a lot of empty wall space. We have some things that need to be hung (and need to acquire more) but I need to paint first. Which brings me to another dilemma....paint. Lets not even go there.

We have an antique buffet that was purchased at an estate sale that needs to be redone, but its a great piece to work with and will look fabulous in the room. There is also the matter of the built-in bookshelves. They are original wood, but not really my favorite shade and currently house nothing. Why no books? Well somehow along the way, we have misplaced most of our books. We sold most of our college books, I usually read novels in a series (not exactly shelf-worthy), and Peter reads ESPN magazines. Call us what you will, but I am not ashamed by our lack of books. It just means I need to search harder on Ebay. I am also planing on filling the shelves with pictures and accessories of course.

So here are some pics of the next project. It will probably be a long process, but I am up for the challenge.

**the carpet is a thorn in my side. but it will be dealt with. later.

Monday, July 7, 2008

3rd is the new 4th

In our town, the Fourth of July is celebrated on the third. I am assuming this is intentional, to give families an opportunity to spend the actual holiday somewhere else. Or have another family get together. For us, it means we celebrate on the third and relax on the fourth. For the first time, we celebrated America with our close friends. We are so lucky to have amazing friends that live nearby or are willing to travel and are such a blast to be around. Our friends are the best and we had a fabulous time! We spiffied up our house and backyard just in time for the big shin-dig. Sadly, I do not have any other pictures of the event. Some of the highlights were.....tons of yummy food, slushies, perfect view of the firework show, dance party, and karaoke time! Thanks to everyone who helped and came to the first annual 3rd of July Party!

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, cleaning, lounging by the pool, and seeing a fab movie--Wall-E
Go see it now!

Friday, July 4, 2008

blue bathroom

Our hall bathroom is finally done. For now. Hopefully in the next couple years we will be able to re-tile, put new flooring in and change the tub, toilet, etc. However, I am not ready to get rid of the original 50's tile and color scheme just yet (both physically and financially!) Eventually we want to have a completely updated bathroom, while still keeping with the era of the house. But for now it is much more so fresh and so clean. For a minimal amount of money we were able to create a bathroom that people can actually use. One without butterfly wallpaper. Here are some before and after pics...

before: wallpaper, yellow-beige cabinets, aged brass hardware, clunky medicine cabinet, horrid light fixture

after: new lights, ikea mirror, white cabinets with new hardware, Martha Stewart's Starched Linen on the walls, white trim and door, towel hooks and shelf, vintage inspired shower curtain to bring all the colors together

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

opened the box

This was in the box.

A new cruiser bike! I love it.

**edited....Thanks to my Peter for 1. surprising me with this bike and 2. surprising me with this post. He knew I had been wanting to post about it and must have done it while I was asleep last night, exhausted from all the stuff we have been doing around the house. He's the best.

Hopefully, I will get a couple more pics up of my retro cruiser. It took a long time to find a bike that was cute and not covered in hibiscus flower decals. I love the stiching and whitewall tires and light blue rims! The last time I had a bike was my sophomore year of high school, so I was definitely pumped to take my first ride around the neighborhood!