27 months

Dearest Monkey Man,

I know it's been six months since I last wrote and for that I am sorry. Mommy has been quite busy taking care of you while Daddy was in Africa for awhile. But now we are all back together and loving life.
There have been many changes in you since I last wrote. You are so tall! You have gone from chubby baby to long and lean little boy! You are 32 lbs and 37" tall now, 75% for height. Thank goodness you still have some of that baby fat though...I squeeze and kiss it as much as possible while I still can!
You are talking in short sentences now and communicating what you want pretty clearly. Although, your requests are a bit odd sometimes. The other day I asked you what you wanted for breakfast and you said "baked beans."
You LOVE Curious George. Completely obsessed. Forget Elmo...just put the monkey on Mommy! He is going to be at the Children's Museum this weekend and Grammie is going to take you. I can't wait to see your reaction!
You love anything and everything to do with balls. You love to throw/catch/hit/roll the ball and request to do so at any chance by saying "ready Mommy?" You also love to swim. I've been taking you to the pool lately and you won't even hold my hand anymore. You want to do everything on your own and be like the "big boys" you see splashing around. I relish every time you come swimming back to me saying "Mommy up?" because I know this will end soon.
A week ago we almost lost you. Somehow you managed to escape out of the gym daycare and a kind lady found you in the parking lot. You are quite the escape artist and gave Mommy a big scare. Just the thought of not seeing your beautiful smile everyday and hearing your sweet little voice brought me to tears. I thank God that His angels were protecting you that day.




Photos of interior to come! I need to actually take some pictures of the current space.

Until then...

It's really fun when I'm surfing online and I come across something that's a dead ringer for a more expensive version. So let's play the "look for less," shall we?

Coqo Floral rug, Anthropologie $398 for 5x7

L4L Printed Medallions rug, World Market $149.99 for 5x8

Rhona Round Gilt Mirrors, Pottery Barn $149 for set of 3

L4LBellesol Mirrors, Ballard Designs $75 for set of 3

Tolix Cafe Chair, Design Within Reach $250

L4LGarden Side Chair, Home Decorators $99


farmhouse industrial

Is anyone as obsessed with Sarah Richardson as I am? I was perusing her site yesterday and came across these images from the 2011 Interior Design Show (under her "Portfolio" tab):

I started thinking how fun it would be to do a house with mostly white walls and each room would have a different pop of primary color. The kitchen could look something like this, with a fun mix of different patterns:

Maybe one day I'll have a little cottage on my own private island like Sarah.

1. Pehr napkins
4. Modernist Mug, West Elm
5. Awning Stripe Table Cloth, Anthropologie
6. Tea and Toast Butter Dish, Anthropologie
7. Groceries Sign, Pottery Barn
8. Lucky Number Knob, Anthropologie
10. Achla Flower Carafe, Vintage Tub
11. Modernist Bowl, West Elm



I reeeeaaallly wanted these boots last year and waited too long to buy them. By the time Christmas rolled around, they were completely sold out. I kicked myself all winter, as I had to trudge around in either my high-heeled boots or my grubby black Converse. These are the perfect "in between" boot. Even though they have a heel, it's small and still totally comfy.

I received this email in my inbox this morning: "UGG Australia on Anniversary Sale." I immediately clicked on the link and squealed when I saw that the Lynnea style was included. Except for the fact that only the suede ones are included in the sale. I really want the leather ones. Suede and toddlers don't mix. UGH (pun intended). Would you buy the suede ones just because they're $60 cheaper? Or would you hold out for the leather? They're not that different, right?


it was a jungle out there: part 2

As I mentioned in my last post, we also did some work to the front flower beds and the entryway. To refresh your memory, here's a before shot:

Let's start with the entryway. See those jelly jars to either side of the door? Yuck. They emitted a fluorescent-like glow at night (because you can see the bulbs) that was not very inviting. Then there were those generic house numbers mounted in diagonally...not my style. I wanted something a bit more charming, so I found these adorable black farmhouse-style sconces at Richmond-based Shades of Light. Dad was awesome and came over one night to help us install them:

I searched forever for the perfect house numbers. Everything was either too modern, too "mission" style, or just plain ol' generic. I just wanted something simple and clean. Then I came across this cute fixture at Pottery Barn and loved the house numbers.

Then I realized I could buy the numbers separately...AND they had little stands on the bottom...AND they were .99/pc!! I thought maybe I could get creative and spray them black (they were icky brass), then stand them up on the little ledge above the door. It worked. And amazingly enough, they have stayed up there with no adhesive. They have lasted through wind, rain and snow! Here's a shot of our house in the winter with the new light fixtures and house numbers:

Sorry, I'd like to zoom in, but for privacy's sake, let's keep some personal space, yes? Much better though, right? I love how the black ties in with the shutters and gives it more of a modern (yet still charming) feel. Now let's talk about the flower beds. To save you from scrolling, here's the before shot again:

See those scraggly low bushes to either side of the railing? And all of that liriope to the left? It needed to be cleaned up. We started with hubs diggling up all of that liriope (with assistance from little man, of course):

and got rid of the ugly black plastic drainpipe (surely there are better options):

We got a quote from a landscaper to do the front flower beds and he wanted $1000!! Um, no thanks. So I decided to try it myself. I worked on the flower beds everyday for a week during Calder's naptime. I started by digging up those scraggly low bushes. Then I weeded, edged the beds and spread some pine bark mulch. Now it looks like this (please note the new water collector, which blends in with the mulch...sort of):

We still need to work on the grass when fall rolls around, but at least the hard part is out of the way. Whew! Glad that's done!


it was a jungle out there: part 1

Before we go inside, let's talk about what we've done to the outside since it's summer and all. Let's start with a side view of the house when we bought it:

That huge ivy bed was totally blocking our adorable house and it was killing that wonderfully mature tree. It was so bad, hubs overheard some of our neighbors wondering when we were going to take the tree out (It leans a bit and looked even more menacing with all that ivy). And for even more fun, let's look at this INSANE photo we found on Google Maps of the house before it was redone (the people we bought it from were house flippers and did some major renovations):

CRAZY, right? Total haunted house. You can see how overgrown the yard was. They obviously did a ton of work, but there was still more to be done. We had an arborist come out to look at our trees to determine which were worth saving. Turns out all of them were fine, but we did need to get the ivy off. Hubs was a saint and faithfully worked on the ivy removal. He started by ripping up the bed (ivy actually comes up pretty easily, it's just time consuming). Then he borrowed a ladder from my Dad to get up as high as he could to remove the ivy from the tree (he used a prune saw). Here's what it looked like post-ivy removal in the fall:

Nothing made me happier than to see that ivy gone. Then we had True Timber come out in the winter (it's cheaper then because they don't have to deal with leaves) to prune the tree and remove the rest of the ivy:

Then we were left with a big dirt bed. We didn't want to plant grass until we were sure the ivy was gone (we sprayed the heaviest chemical we could find at Southern States), so we decided to do a big flower bed. I found some pretty pink flowers that matched our door and some lovely hostas to plant. Then I edged the bed (I actually like this part because it's like scultping) and spread some fresh mulch.

Ahh...much better, right? We also did some work to the flower beds on either side of the house, but I think that will be another post...this one is already too long!


jamaican' me crazy

Today is the start of a new week and therefore the start of my resolution to start blogging again! So I thought I'd start out with finally sharing pictures of the pink living room (ps-my last blog post was sort of a joke...I don't really think that you NEED to know about my pink living room. But, you might WANT to, right?) This is a shot of the room before, in the midst of prep (HATE prep, by the way and I no longer use painter's tape...more on that later):

I settled on pink begonia, the darker of the two pinks and loved the way it turned out. It really warmed up the large space. I added some dark brown furnishings that I already had and the lovely paris chair from Home Goods:

Here's a shot of the other side with the pink anthro pillow on the couch (please pardon the horrible photography):

I loved the bohemian vibe I had going and hubs was even into it. But after living with it for a few weeks, something wasn't working. The color of the couch (a grayish brown) wasn't working with the other dark brown furniture and the white shutters were looking too "beach cottage" next to all of the warm furnishings. It wasn't gelling. AT ALL. I got so frustrated that I completely stopped all decorating. I didn't want to think about it, I didn't want to blog about it. I needed time to clearly define the direction I was going in before buying anymore furniture or painting ANOTHER wall.

Add to that the fact that my kitchen was already lime green (Benjamin Moore's chic lime)...

and my dining room a robin's egg blue (Benjamin Moore's arctic blue)...

and it was getting a little too "island mon" up in there! I mean, my house IS pink and green, but let's be honest...I don't live at the beach. I needed to tone it down. Rethink my whole house scheme. Did I want to go warm bohemian or beachy cottage? Stick with me to see what direction I chose and the end result!


please stand by

Sheesh, has 4.5 months really gone by since I last blogged??

Dear blog, I'm so sorry I've neglected you. Apparently people actually read you and we have totally left them in the dark. Did the pink paint ever make it to the walls?? What on earth have you done to that overgrown yard? What is the latest scheme? The public must KNOW.

Well, I do have a good excuse actually. Hubs was in Africa for two months so I had to care for little toddler man all by myself...not an easy task! But don't worry, I have been a VERY busy bee. Just no time to blog about it. I can't wait to share it with you though because I love it! This will not be blogging in real time, but who has the time for that anyway??