9.26.2011

early mornings

I know it sounds crazy, but on the weekends, I can rarely sleep in past 7 am. It's partly genetic (my dad is the same way), partly my job (I am usually at work by 7), and partly the fact that I really like early mornings. Everything is in the house is so quiet and peaceful and everyone (Nick and the animals) is sound asleep.  It's the time of day when I can read, drink my tea, and enjoy the solitude for a couple hours.

9.23.2011

more non-art art

I've been saving this funny story for awhile...and today seems like the perfect opportunity to share it with you! Sometime in July, Nick and I went for an evening walk around the neighborhood with Miss Lucy. We passed by one of our favorite thrift stores, which sets all it's goods out on the sidewalk daily. They were cleaning up for the evening, and Nick spotted a gem right before it was moved back into the store.
We thought we spotted a vintage picture of San Francisco, but no... it was actually a card table with the legs folded up. It had a $12 price tag and Nick decided it would be perfect for our house. So, he sweet-talked an employee into letting him buy it after hours. (On a side note, another employee noticed this transaction and thought that the table was underpriced. His under-his-breath muttering let us know that he thought we had gotten a good deal).
After our purchase, we still had at least a mile and a half of our walk to go, and Nick awkwardly scooped up the table under his arm and we went on our way. So picture Nick and I taking our dog.... and our table for a walk. Naturally, the table got progressively heavier, so at the midpoint of our walk we ended up carrying the table between us, parallel to the ground. I regret not having a picture of this silliness, but I'm sure you can imagine how strange we looked carrying our table up and down the Oakland hills. We joked that we might as well put Lucy on the table and carry her around Cleopatra-style. 
We made it home and then couldn't decide where we wanted to hang our card-table-art, until this weekend. After installing our new shelves, we moved some other things around and decided to finally hang our "art". 
Someone did not oblige with my request to get the heck out of my picture.
You can see from the following before/after angle that hanging a smaller piece of art, removing the radiator cover, and relocating the leather chair makes things look and feel more open:
Before:
After:
Has anyone else scored some awkward/cheap/non-art art recently? We're fans! 

9.21.2011

ch- ch- ch- changes...

This past weekend, we changed up our living room, after having the same arrangement for the last nine months. While the previous furniture placement was symmetrical, it made it a little difficult to walk around. One of our leather chairs stuck out in the middle of the room and left a narrow walkway. Plus, the view from our breakfast nook was the back of this chair.
So we decided to move both chairs on the same wall, creating a more open layout in the room.

However, this didn't solve our second dilemma- that huuuuge empty wall behind the chairs. Nick hung our PB floating shelves in the "dining room" section of the room a while ago, but they felt off-center, too high, and kind of lonely. So after much convincing, Nick accompanied me to Ikea to remedy the empty-wall situation.  After some awkwardness, well-documented by my friend Erin, I felt confident that we had found the right solution. 
We purchased 3 long white floating shelves, but quickly realized that two would suffice in the space. (Drat! That means a visit to the dreaded Ikea return center!)
I took down the smaller floating shelves to move to a yet-to-be-determined location, while Nick installed the longer shelves.
Of course, I couldn't leave them sitting empty, so...
The shelves make the space feel more defined and purposeful. Of course, this change inspired a few others, which I'll share sometime soon!  

9.20.2011

donut muffins


Sunday morning I was up early and in the mood to bake. I found a recipe for donut muffins in one of my cookbooks and decided to give it a whirl. The recipe was very similar to this one. I used my mini-muffin tins to make bite-sized treats for breakfast. I even added jam to the middle of some of them for a "jelly donut" muffin. The muffins had the consistency of cake and though they didn't exactly remind me of donuts, they were delicious.


9.19.2011

a touch of fall


Even though we don't yet have the cooler temps that typically accompany fall, I couldn't resist bringing a few fall-themed decor items into our home this past weekend. Saturday's farmer's market was my true inspiration for autumn decorating; I picked up this beautiful bouquet of orange wild flowers for only $5. The flowers, along with my homemade ikat pillows, and a couple pumpkin spice candles round out my fall decor...for now.
Is your home fall-y yet?

9.16.2011

a trade-off

 Yesterday, my friend Erin and I had a date to shop the new Missoni for Target collection. We read about it over a month ago and knew that some of the items might just be perfect for Erin's new apartment. Unfortunately, due to school/work/etc. we weren't able to go on Tuesday when Missoni arrived at Target. Instead, we had to wait until yesterday, which we figured was fine. Actually, it wasn't. Both (yes we went to two) Targets we visited had not a zigzag in sight, save a few baby clothes, 1 pair of heels, and several misleading posters claiming they carried the Missoni. We couldn't believe the entire collection had sold out in two days!
To make ourselves feel as though the shopping excursion wasn't a complete waste, we headed to our mutual fav, Anthropologie. I picked up these pretty pretty hand towels for our bathroom. I feel like they complement our shower curtain and the rug we have in there. We originally had white hand towels but I felt like they needed constant washing to look pristine, plus they were lacking in character. So I brought these lovelies home to take their place.


9.14.2011

play-doh

Who doesn't love play-doh?! As a Kindergarten teacher, I find it to be an invaluable resource (and great fun!). However, store-bought play-doh can be costly, so I prefer to make my own. I made a new batch this weekend using this recipe. What I love about homemade play-doh is the fact that it's cheap and easy to make; it can be made all in one color (yay for no fighting over colors and no mixing!); and the size of each batch is fairly large. One batch yields enough for each of my 12 students to have a large handful of play-doh to play with at the same time.
Unfortunately, my play-doh making left me with blue cookie monster hands for a couple days...

9.12.2011

Shine a little light on this mystery

Hello. I realized the we never shared with you the secret of our bedside lights. So my lovely husband has volunteered to share his Ikea Hack with you all today.
I purchased two of these wall sconces from IKEA for $14.99 a piece. We liked the simple lines of these lights and didn't want anything to take away from our headboard. However, we weren't too excited about the very noticeable white cord that ran out of the bottom of the light. So, Nick worked his magic to make these cords invisible. 
My not-so-silent partner is here to explain his method:

First, I drilled a hole, using a 1/4 inch drill bit into the back plate of the sconce. 
Since it wasn't a perfect circle, I used pliers to pry off the metal stragglers.
Tada! Nice, clean cut:
Next, I removed the grommet that was originally located at the bottom of the fixture, and reinstalled it into the newly drilled hole. 
After this was complete, I removed the back plate to gain access to the wiring. Then, I removed the wire nuts from the cord so that it could routed through the back, rather than the bottom of the fixture. 
Next, I routed the cord through the back of the fixture.
Make sure and tie a knot once it's threaded through, so that you don't run the risk of the cord getting disconnected from the wire nuts. That would be BAD!
I rewired the lamp using the original wire nuts.
Before completely reassembling the fixture, we plugged it in just to make sure it wouldn't burn the house down! Let there be light! 
The last thing I did was drill holes through the headboard so that the cord could pass through and sit behind the bed, thus no cords detract from our headboard. 

I hope you like my first post! My wife promises that I'll be back here more often to share my side of the story- instead of just sticking behind the scenes.
-Nick 

9.09.2011

sweet boy

Somebody's been scoring husband-of-the-year points today. : ) When I got into my car this morning, I found that my gas tank had magically gone from empty to full overnight. Then my sweet hubby bought me my favorite fall treat- a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte...
Finally, while at school today, I got a call from the office that these were waiting for me:
What a guy! 

9.08.2011

september

Although we're a good week into the month of September, it sure doesn't feel like it in the Bay Area. Summer is holding on with temperatures reaching 90-degrees in my classroom (!!).  As much as I love summer, I am quite ready for autumn to appear.
I'm so excited to share the calendar page my mom made this month:
My mom actually took leaves from her yard, painted, glittered, and modge-podged them to create this super-cool three dimensional calendar page. She rocks!
 Since my new chalkboard usurped the calendar's old spot above the stove, it's temporarily wall-less. For now it's living among the pink on the kitchen sink...


9.06.2011

chalk talk

As a birthday gift, my parents made me this fabulous PINK chalkboard! My mom bought and painted an old frame from a consignment shop while my dad spray-painted and engineered the chalkboard portion.
I've been wanting a chalkboard in the kitchen for a long time and planned to DIY one myself, but happily my parents beat me to the punch!
We hung it over the stove, since it was the only accessible empty wall for a shorty like me!
I like how frame brings out some of the other pink accents in the kitchen- since you all know it's my fav!

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