A floral arrangement by moi
I was driving home from my dermatology light therapy treatment the other day and I called Emily. I asked if she wanted to take a trip to Michael's.
"Nah. I'm kind of tired". She's 7 months pregnant now.
"What are you doing?'
"Sitting on the couch eating pistachios."
"C'mon. Let's go!"
"To look around."
No persuasion whatsoever."
And what a lot of stuff. Fall stuff. We took notes. We separated and when we met up it was sort of funny that we both had dried and silk flowers in our carts. And that's it. I've been loving this flower pail that I've had for years (I showed you a fresh floral arrangement in it in my last post). I found a bouquet of dried flowers and the gorgeous fragrance came from eucalyptus. Other than the bouquet which I arranged haphazardly in my usual inept way, I had a branch of some sort of white fuzzy blooms. Maybe you can enlarge the photo and enlighten me as to what they are. No matter, I'm probably allergic to the real ones. This whole arrangement came to about $6.00 with my coupon. I walk by this cabinet going down the hall to the right and swoon over that earthy scent. I think it actually looks multi seasonal, don't you?
Alstromeria and Roses
I love having fresh flowers on the dining table. I jumped at this $5.00 bouquet at my grocery store. I thought they were just alstromeria (Peruvian lily) which last forever, but once home I found there were several red roses tucked in the middle. So pretty. I've been changing the water every day and they are all doing well. I am really loving to use that vase I found in Asheville, NC a few weeks ago.
In some of the huge pots I have left over from when we grew palms and rose trees, I planted lettuce, spinach and carrot seeds. The greens are gone but the carrots aren't as big as they should be. Every once in awhile I pluck one out (best to do when the soil is dry), and the other evening this put a huge smile on my face. They definitely need more time and I'm waiting for some cooler, hazy days of the waning summer for another planting of baby lettuce and spinach.
New Kitchen Open Shelving
Still not sure if we will be able to go up to the lake next weekend. The moving people may not be able to deliver the van with our belongings by then. All we really want is a bed to sleep in. At this point~~~after 19 months, I'm no longer going to get my hopes up. We just thought that a 4 day weekend would be great. The crew will continue for a bit more but we felt they could work around some of our basics. I'll keep you posted.
I decided to post some pictures of work that was recently finished. I think it's better than bombarding you with a slew of pics later.
I have never had a full on vision of the way I wanted a room to be until I planned this kitchen. I wanted to mix a bit of the old and new, rustic and soft. I've been loving reclaimed wood since I bought my kitchen island and I would carry out it out on my back in a fire. The black hardware, never thought I would have anything 'black' in my kitchen but it simply works in my mind. We kept the same countertops which were intact. They are white Silestone with some little flecks of color. The subway tile needs to be done and then I think we are good to go on the kitchen.
Larger View of Kitchen
No one seemed to: A) Understand, B) Like my idea of a shiplap ceiling. I guess you need to know Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper. Our Great Room already has a pine shiplap ceiling going back to 1978 when the house was built. Yet white planks just seemed to make everyone either: A) Scratch their head, B) Cringe. The only guy that seemed to get it was our carpenter, Lee. Love ya, Lee. He got me. He got me through texts and emails, photos from Pinterest. I think he began to see it all unfold as he worked.
Emily was a huge help in choosing light fixtures. I opened up websites and roamed the aisles of the Big Box stores. She knows me and she knew the look I was going for. Boom, she sent me pics of about ten ceiling lights and the six pendants I needed. THIS is what a designer does. I would still be searching. Trends come and go but I think you can work with and without them by making choices for items that you really love, those which will stand the test of time, and for many of us, increase the value of the home.
Refrigerator and Newly Designed Cabinets
We were beyond fortunate to be able to have custom made cabinets for almost half the cost by way of the old sort of barter system involving a client of The Husband's. I chose the panel style and kept it square and simple, the stain is called called Rye, and dark bronze cabinet and drawer pulls from Home Depot. The cabinets are just slightly distressed. This right side of the fridge is close to the sink area in the above photo. We'd like to make a coffee station. I pray we don't use the other side to drop our keys and random receipts and business cards. ;-D
Newly Designed Staircase
A very nice change we made with the staircase was to change out the white wood spindles for black wrought iron. We had the steps stained the same as the wood flooring but we kept the risers white. I so love it! We actually have a lot of black detail in the room: the old wood burning stove, the hardware that suspends the 4 beams from the 19 foot ceiling, the fireplace screen and the curtain rods...among other small details. Again, I never thought I would like anything black or dark...but it seems to make every subtle color pop. Are you noticing the paint colors at all? We did almost two colors in every room. In the great room we have opposing walls in light gray and cream and this extends down the hall. We have wainscoting here and there and it will go up the stairs on an angle as well. I'll save the other rooms for later.
New Laundry Room
Remember when The Husband and I were quarreling over the paint for the cabinets in here? I wanted white and he wanted a creamier color. He felt white would make the room too sterile
and I've always felt white meant clean. I bowed out, you have to choose your battles and I think his choice is just fine. I mean, it's a laundry room!!
On to the Fitbit Craze
A while ago Emily and I were bumming around the mall and I happened to pause at a Brookstone shop...not sure if you have these stores around your area, they are like Sharper Image; all sorts of techy, interesting and mind boggling products. I wanted to stop in for a good pedometer and I walked out with a FitBit. The Husband and daughter Abby had been encouraging me to get one for inspiration. Inspiration for me is drinking orange juice in the morning instead of Diet Pepsi. I haven't joined the gym again because I've blown the membership off so many times I can't see wasting the money.
After buying the FitBit about 3 weeks ago I finally sat down and programmed it 2 days ago. You can see that I am beyond excited about using this little device to reveal how lazy I am, er...psyched to get in shape.
I have to say it's a game changer. I set my goals yesterday morning and by noon I could see how terribly I was failing. I didn't have any errands as it was Sunday, one of my many days of rest. I didn't want to work in the garden with the heat and humidity. As far as I could see the only dust balls had to be hiding under the furniture and I'm really lucky to have enough towels and linens (since I'm too cheap to toss them out even when they are see~through) to get by for another week. But as The Husband had warned, it will become a war between you and that little calculator of activity.
Okay, visualize Blondie walking in place while she folds clothes from the dryer. Dancing to a little hip hop while making dinner. Jumping up and doing a few jumping jacks after the little beep tells me I haven't moved in a hour. Creepy in a good sort of way. Wish me luck.
Layla Manning the Back Door
We still have heat...I try to get out, of course you know I do it for the dogs, I hate what it does to my hair. And these darn dogs won't spend time outside without me there. So sometimes I sit on the back porch steps and just do some deep thinking. Or Instagram. I turned around one evening when the sun was sinking behind the hills, er...houses, and got this great photo.
Another quiet weekend. I've been trying to watch a movie every Saturday night. Sometimes The Husband joins, sometimes not. I scroll through the romantic comedies. God knows I'm a news junkie and I need the break. Recently I've watched P.S. I Love You, Wedding Crashers, and this past Saturday night, Bridget Jones (the second movie, whatever it's called). And now I have Under The Tuscan Sun on and I know the lines word for word. I have a thing for women who shrug off there fears (and terrible choices in men) and make life changes. Please give me some recommendations if you like these sort of movies.
I want to thank all of you for the kind words you had to say about my friend Traci in Baton Rouge, some of you eager to help or at least relieved to hear from someone right there. You guys rock.
Happy new week to all of you!!