Friday, May 20, 2011

Goobye To My Goobers

It is with a heavy heart that I have to say goodbye to some of the most amazing children I have ever had the privilege of knowing. For almost 4 years I watched these children grow, learn, and slowly mold into amazing little people. When I started Gabriel had just turned two and now in July my little man (who is not so little anymore) will be 6. And where there once was nothing, we now we have little Astrid to complete the family. My heart is breaking now, but I know it is time. There are amazing things ahead and who knows what my future will hold. For the last 10 years my career has been about other people's lives and families. Now it's time to take care of me and my own. All I can say is that it was a complete honor getting to know and love these children, and I am a better person for having them in my life. Thank you form the bottom of my heart...
Benjamin Harper
Ben, you are one of the coolest kids I have ever known. You have so much passion and interest for so many things and when you love something you really give 100%. Sometimes you get all side track sally and forget EVERYTHING, but somehow it's part of your charm. I will miss playing games with you and the tantrums you would throw when I wouldn't let you win. Have you noticed now, that you're winning? It's not because I let you, it's because you are getting better. I always pushed you Ben because I knew you were capable of amazing things. When you don't listen and I have to say things 9 times it drives me nuts! I hear my mother's voice come out of me at you all the time. "I sound like a broken record... Two wrongs don't make a right..." Maybe it's because you and I are more alike than I thought! You have a kind heart and you are so good with Astrid, I know you will always watch out for her. Remember that Sophie and Gabriel need you too! You're sort of the head of the family Ben, that doesn't mean you're always right but it does mean that your siblings look up to you! So do good listening, and keep making people laugh! Keep living life the way you are now Ben and you won't miss a thing! Thank you for teaching me patience Ben! I love you.
Sophia ElizabethWhat can I say Sophie, you are incredible! You have more energy than any child I have ever known! And not the bouncing off the wall kind of energy! The energy that has direction. You are totally bored unless you are busy 100% of the time. You are definitely going to be one of those "24 usable hours in a day people" Gross. Just kidding honey. Between your singing, acting, soccer, lacrosse, friends... You are like the energizer bunny you just keep on going and you do it with a smile. You are one of the kindest people I have ever met. You are the first to help out when needed and the first to make friends with anyone. I can always count on you Sophie for whatever I need, I would have been lost without you! I'm going to miss all of our drawing time and the talks we would have, I always felt like I could tell you anything. You're an old soul Sophie, I think all of you kids are. Thank you for always making me feel special, you were always the first to say good morning and good bye and you always made me feel like such a good cook! Keep singing Sophie, your voice brings so much joy to people. I love you honey.
Gabriel Alexander
I'm almost at a loss for words when it comes to you. Not since my little Jesse years ago, have I found a connection with a child so strong as the one I have with you. We were instant best friends you and I. You are so sweet, you are the epitome of the word loving. You love everyone and everything. You are curious and smart, funny and strong. You can do anything you put your mind to! Way back when you and I used to have our little adventures together and there was nothing you didn't want to see or experience. Over the years I got to see you through preschool at Clinton Path where I know you were the teacher's favorites. And now look at you, you are almost done with kindergarten. I am so proud of you Gabriel. I'll miss seeing your Sprouts performances and your Tiger Team soccer games. Who will help me make dinner and be my taster? You give the best hugs Gabriel and you make me feel loved every day. Everyone that meets you smiles from within because you are so kind and genuine. You truly are one of my best friends and I am SO LUCKY to have been able to spend these years by your side. Words can't express how much I love you Gabriel, Domo Arigato my sweet Lovie....
Astrid KayAstrid you came in blazing to a family of already awesome kids. You had huge shoes to fill and I must say you have exceeded everyone's expectations. It's hard to be the following act to someone like Gabriel but you have bowled the world over with your heart and huge personality! You are my lil' pickle. You are spunky and feisty and you know what you want or DON'T want for that matter. For the first year of your life all you did was laugh and throw up, sometimes in reverse order. One day the throw up stopped but the laughter never did. You are such an amazing little girl and I KNOW you are going to do great things. My little fashionista and shopper. With your outfit changes, "Fancy shoes" and love for clothing catalogues you are a goober after my own heart. I'm sure I had a hand it though : ) From day one you had a larger than life personality, you LOVE to make people laugh and you HATE when you don't get your way. You are the cleanest one of the whole crew and because of this crew you are so strong and independent. With Gabriel in kindergarten this last year was really just you and me babe. I am so grateful for all of our time together. I love you to the Moon and Back Astrid. Forever and ever and ever...
It has been a honor getting to be part of this family. I have always wanted to be a mother but being with these children has really solidified that for me. They are the poster children for why people should have kids. I know it's not the end and they will always be in my life, But this is the end of an era and I can't help but feel empty inside. Thank you for letting me in to your lives. Thank you for showing me true, unbiased, unadulterated love. Thank you for giving me the BEST job anyone could ever ask for. And thank you for helping me become who I am today. I love you all so much and always will.

"Promise me you'll never forget me, because if I thought you would, I would never leave..." ~Winnie The Pooh

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Things In My Mouth

It occurred to me that I often have strange cravings and really like some weird things. But as I tell my kids, it's important to be "Super Food Tasters" You don't have to eat it or like it but you have to try it. So here is a list of some of the strange things I have tried and loved and now eat often! I dare you to try some - no judging. Apricot Baby Food Apricot has always been my favorite but over the years baby food has come a long way and now Companies like Happy Baby and Plum Organics have come up with awesome pouches of baby food that come in every flavor under the sun! Not only are they delicious and easy to eat (uh you don't even have to chew) but they are super easy to throw in a bag and take with you. They contain only real fruit and no added sugar so at the drop of a hat instead of reaching for a Twix or a bag of chips, you can reach for this little pouch and shoot a whole serving of fruits and sometimes veggies down your throat! mmmmm..... I'm sucking on Spinach, mango, Pear right now! I am also in love with Plum Organics puffs, they are meant for tiny goobers because they basically just dissolve. What's great about them though is that they are a little crunchy and come in a whole rainbow of flavors, in fact their whole approach is helping kids eat their rainbow, which is very important for a Super Food Taster. I keep them in the car! Don't even get me started on the yogurt melts! Cottage Cheese Mixed with Apple Sauce Namely onion and chive cottage cheese with cinnamon apple sauce. There is something about the sweet and savory mix that hits all the right spots for me! Cinnamon Raisin Bagels With Onion and Chive Cream cheese Please see above. Macaroni and Cheese with Ketchup Eating Mac N' Cheese always makes me feel like a kid, it's so gooey and comforting. But adding ketchup to it just puts me in childhood overload. For some reason it really works, and don't forget to add a ton of cracked black pepper. Strawberries and Basil Though not that strange, I know allot of people have not tried it! I'm obsessed. It started with the strawberry Basil martini at Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge - it is to DIE for. The sweetness of the strawberries and the smoothness of the basil go hand in hand. And if your feeling a little randy add some balsamic and black pepper to a bowl of fresh cut strawberries and torn basil. Try it for dessert, I promise it will change your life. Cheese Ball Sandwiches Take cheese balls and put them in a hot dog bun. Eat. Love. Ramon Noodles With Cheddar Cheese Wow, that does sound gross. But I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. I make a steaming bowl of ramon noodles with half the broth and I add a handful of shredded cheese, any shredded cheese will do but I prefer the bright orange cheddar. As it melts it gets all gooey and stringy with the noodles and it's the best rainy day lunch/supper. Pineapple, bacon, jalapeno pizza We have the Upper Crust to thank for this one. I have always loved Hawaiian pizza (Sorry Kapitz) but swapping out bacon for anything is always a good idea and adding the jalapenos gives this sweet salty pizza a nice kick in the pants. It by far is my favorite pizza combination. Gimme a slice of that with a little low fat ranch for dipping (I'm a huge believer in dipping) and I'm a happy gal. Peanut Butter Puffins with Non Fat Plain Greek Yogurt and Blueberries The perfect way to start your morning! PB Puffins are the bomb on their own, but mix them with a handful of blueberries and plain yogurt instead of milk and A. its much more filling B. you get more protein and probiotics with less fat and C. the sugar from the puffins seeps into the yogurt and the moisture from the yogurt seeps into the puffins to make them soft and its magic. I'll stop saying seeps now, it grosses me out. Crunchy Soy But Nutter I just realized my typo but I'm keeping it because it's fun to say. I discovered this years ago from a set of twins I nannied for that got substitutes of everything, poor kids. But in this instance it works. It's a little less sweet than peanut butter and has way less fat. Try it on anything you would have peanut butter on, I love it on celery with dried cranberries! It's like a coutoure "Ants On A Log" I'm a fan of the I.M. Healthy brand. And it totes comes in chocolate! Tofu Plain and simple I love the stuff! I tried it first at Whole Foods. They make a fried seseme Tofu that is quite simply God's gift to earth. Of course frying anything makes it taste good, but beyond the taste it helps with the texture which is usually peoples beef with Tofu. Ha. Beef with Tofu. Anyway Once I got past the first step I was in love. I drain and cube it and roast it for a snack or to throw in stir frys. I'll eat right out of the package though that is my least favorite way. I even discovered these slimy tofu noodles. You have to rinse them because they smell like ass but they have th consistency of ramon but with the benefits of tofu and like zero calories and way low carbs! It's also a great pasta substitute for all you South Beachers out there! You may have to try tofu a few different ways but I bet you'll find one that doesn't make you throw up! I even converted Pete! Fresca I just love the stuff. Usually I drink seltzer water but if I want a little something extra this is my go to can. I heart Fresca plain and simple, I know it's only a tiny step up from TAB but a nice cold can cannot be beat. Not enough people are choosing this as their diet soda in my humble opinion. That's all I can think of right now, But I know there are others. Sometimes I get strange looks for these things, even Pete after all these years still can't get over the cottage cheese and apple sauce deal. What kinds of strange things do you eat or crave? Preggers or not!

At Least There Ain't No Hole In The Wash Tub!

Emmet and Ma Otter had it right. Don't sweat the small stuff. They were as poor as dirt but they were okay because there wasn't a hole in the wash tub! But can I just bitch about my own "wash tub" for a moment. Being a Nanny for the last thousand years I have seen my fair share of Laundry, and actually don't mind doing it provided I have a great laundry room to do it in! The thought of even having a "laundry room" made me do back flips! My whole life growing up and in every apartment I've had (that is if it even had laundry) I have been forced to take my clothes to a cold, wet basement. The point of doing Laundry is to have a basket of fresh smelling clean clothes, Nothing feels clean or fresh smelling in those basements - no matter how many dryer sheets you put in. So when we bought this house, the fact that it had an actual laundry room, well a large laundry closet, made me ecstatic!! No more dungeons!! The washer and dryer we were left with were okay, so we thought. But a few weeks ago Pete tried to dry his clothes from the rain and the dryer sounded like the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and it started to smell of smoke. I'm sure we could have had someone come over to fix it, But before Pete could take a breath I was on the phone ordering our brand new Washer and Dryer!! Obviously I had to assume the washer was bunk too, I needed a matching set after all. So we sprung for the Energy Star, front loading Samsung set! I was so overjoyed I actually cried a little. Last weekend we painted the pale yellow laundry room a gorgeous deep red in preparation for the delivery men! I felt like a little kid waiting for Santa as I jumped every time I heard a noise outside! I think I was most excited because once they were installed the room would be 85% done! I had dreams of hanging some shelves for storage, maybe a small table where I could fold things, a few fixtures to hold our broom and mop and maybe even a cheesy laundry sign that said something awful like "Put your duds in the suds" or "Colors free, Whites 50 cents" (who wouldn't want a somewhat racist laundry room?) Anyway the point is that in this seemingly endless battle over the house, we were so close to having ONE completely done and brand new room, and that felt GOOD! Finally they arrived and I was overjoyed!! I kept Hurley out of their way as they got rid of the old pieces of junk and installed my new gorgeous appliances that actually play a little musical diddy when they are done instead of that horrible beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. But then I heard it... "Uh, Honey... You might want to come check this out..." Not Good. They don't fit!!! They are Huuuuuge and take up almost the whole room. We stacked them to save space which isn't the problem, they are so damn wide they hit you in the face when you open the door and now the corner space is useless because you can barely squeeze by! Now we have to try to "walk" this behemoth bitch over to the other side of the room. But that's not all... The plug for the dryer is on the other side where it is now, so we either have to find a nonexistent plug extension for this massive beast or we have to hire an electrician to come and switch the plugs out - not cheap. And even when they are moved, I'm not sure there will be room for any shelves or a table if we want the doors to open. My Laundry dreams are slowly crumbling. At least the red looks good. One step at a time...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What's In Your Mouth?

Let me start this by assuring everyone that I am NOT preggers... That being said, I have had some crazy ass cravings lately! The kind that punch you in the face and make you want to punch someone else in the face unless they are quenched immediately! Some are normal. Whenever Pete asks me what I want for dinner, for the past few months all that comes to mind are meatballs or chicken Parm. Don't know why. Maybe because my heart longs for dinner at Sweet Basil in Needham. Only THE BEST Italian place in all of Boston (yes even the North End) if not the world! (I know that was a large jump) It's not just food there that will bowl you over (What what!) Its the atmosphere. Its small and cozy, cash only and you have to BYOWine. The staff is friendly and attentive and every visit feels like an intimate dinner party at a friend's house. I'm gonna miss that little gem. I would drive back the hour and half for the chicken parm there. Sigh. They sell a cook book that I am totes picking up before we leave! Anyway something that I can't explain is this new "water" that I can't get enough of. I think part of it is form that whack L.A. diet that made you violently shoot out your ass. But this doesn't do that. It just tastes really good and makes me drink water! One day I was craving something spicy and also cinnamon. So my crazy water was born.
Totally Gross and Awesome Water
1 Glass of filtered water
1 tablespoon of Lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
a few shakes of Cayenne pepper
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
small squirt of honey
I know it sounds really gross, and it is, but I really like it. Plus cinnamon is STOOPID good for you! Just 1/2 teaspoon a day can help lower your LDL cholesterol, it has an anti-clotting affect on the blood, sniffing it has been proven to help memory and it is a great source of iron, fiber and calcium! BAM! Also there was a study at Copenhagen University that gave people with arthritis a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon before breakfast for a week and it significantly helped there pain! Listen up Grancheeky! Anyway, drinking water is really important and sometimes (Okay Lots of times) I don't drink enough, so anything I can do to get the ol' washington in me is good! Plus all the tastes and smells sort of trick me into thinking I just ate so hopefully it will help me from snacking as much!
And for a little green in my diet, I have been obsessed with Kale chips and SeaSnax! Cambridge Naturals is a funky crunchy store that I work near and I can't help but stop in on my walk with the kids and pick up one of these fun new snacks. Kale chips are exactly that, freeze dried kale. Who here can say they have enough kale in their diet?? Once just a garnish now a delicioustreat! And again, Kale is really good for you! Why snack on potato chips with zero nutritional value, when you can snack on these lil' buggers that are packed with antioxidents, fiber and carotenoids which help protect your eyes from UV rays. Plus they are a cruciferous vegeatble so they really bitch slap your risk of cancer! All they do is dry out the kale and add crunched up nuts and spices and pour it all over the kale to coat it and give it a really satisfying consistency. I'm big on the consistency of food, it's why it took me so long to get into sea food! Anyway they come in really good flavors like Ranch and chedder cheese, my favorite is the Spicy Miso! Which is a perfect segway into Sea Snacks! (A little Japanese theme here) Sea Snacks are a fun little company that make dried seaweed snacks. They come in littl etravel packs and bigger family sheets or sprinkles for your soups and salads! They come in a few different flavors like onion but my favorite is the OG Just a touch of olive oil and sea salt! at first I turned my nose up at these thin green sheets, but then one day it was the most delicious thing in the world! Funny how that happens. The tag line for the company is "Strangely addictive" and that is so true. On the first day I had three packages. I couldn't help it they melt in your mouth and are gone before you know it! But the good news is each serving was only like 30 calories! Plus Seaweed is the king of nutrition! Jam packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidents. It has anti-inflamitory, anti-cancer and anti-viral properties! And for centuries women in Korea have eaten seaweed to help with postpartum recovery! They learned it from watching the whales eat kelp after giving birth, crazy huh? You can learn more and order snacks at I suggest you do! Anyway I can't claim that chicken parms reverse the signs of aging, but everything else has got some good benefits! Hopefully you'll try one or two of my strange cravings and find something new and healthy to add to your diet, or at least have an amazing time at Sweet Basil. I kinda want avacado right now...

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Heart Of The Home

They say that "The kitchen is the heart of the home." And I fully believe this. Pete and I both LOVE to cook and entertain. In fact we fell in love while breading chicken cutlets in his kitchen. True Story. Anyway, every house we looked at, the first place we ran to was the kitchen. Now this kitchen DEFINITELY needs some help. It has some shaky bones and is small But I know we can make it work. When we first saw the kitchen during the open house it was lime green with a gorgeous vinyl floor (You know the kind that will NEVER BE CLEAN) and hunter green counter tops. But the blue bottles in the window, FIREPLACE and fun little chachkies (Which I just learned is Yiddish??) made it feel super cozy. I have always wanted an open plate rack too! Except for some reason these people only put SEVEN spaces!! I literally loose sleep over how much this bothers me, Why not EIGHT?! A Normal place setting you ding bats! Now I will have to take out the bars and move them closer together and pray that eight will fit because I can't live with that kind of malarkey. Pete wanted to get rid of the whole desk section completely and put in a big cupboard but I fought him. Don't get me wrong I am always one for storage and we certainly need it here in this kitchen, but I fell in love with this little nook! I want my laptop right there to look up recipes and Facebook stalk people while I wait for dinner to cook. Who knows, it a year or so I may be over it and want more storage but for now I'm pumped. A project in the future is to make a cork board out of our old wine corks for the wall. I would make it in a frame so that it can be removed, But I want to cover that back wall with a wine cork board to tack up pictures, coupons etc. And let's be honest, It'll only take a week or two to get the corks... As I said before we are working with a tiny budget for the WHOLE house, so we have to get creative and pick and choose what really needs to be done. The truth is, the kitchen is fine the way it is. No leaks or huge cracks anywhere and the appliances seem to be working - it does it's job. I just don't like it! I want brand new appliances that are shiny and not covered in old grease! I want a counter top that doesn't make me throw up a little!! I want cupboards that are functional and stylish that don't fall off in my hands when I open them! Sigh... For now I will have to focus on inspiration and things I can change easily! The whole inspiration for our soon to be gorgeous kitchen was a Tuscan Villa. I went back and forth between my love for things rustic and European and my love for things Bright and coastal. Europe won this war. And it's all thanks to this baby... I saw it at Anthropologie last year for over $900 and I found it at The Maxxsters on clearance for $250! I bought it before we even closed on the house! I just knew, without measuring that it had to be in our home! Our landlord called it "an old industrial sized storage unit" - he thought it was junk. He is an idiot. It just may be the most gorgeous table ever created. The top this beautiful untreated wood and the bottom is old almost rusted steel, and the shelves can be moved up and down. I was hoping to make it out kitchen island and I think it will actually work. The feeling of this table is what I wanted to puke all over our kitchen. The first step was paint. Our kitchen and dining room are open to each other in an L shape, so it was hard to paint them different colours. The kitchen technically stops where the linoleum floor stops. The area with the fireplace is supposed to be a "den". Whateves, I say its still part of the kitchen. But the point is I couldn't divide the spaces without it looking too compartmentalized. So all the walls were painted in Eclipse, which was that old yellow we saw in the Dining room. But we decided to keep the walls plain in the kitchen, instead of continuing with the pearlized look. Already it has made a huge difference. But now the counter tops look even more awful, don't know how much longer I can live with them! I'd love to see something natural like soap stone or concrete, I was never a fan of granite, especially not for the price, I don't care how "in" they are - they ain't IN my budget! I also need to put in a back splash. That is something I am fairly confident that with a little help from I can do myself. I just can't decide what I want. Originally I wanted white subway tile with a few ceramic Mediterranean/Italian painted tiles thrown in. But now I feel the subway tiles would be too modern. But I would love to incorporate the Italian ceramic somehow, I absolutely fell in love with the gorgeous red, blue and yellow colours when I was in Capri and really want to showcase them somehow. I really like that the cabinets are white but they are made of really cheap wood and not painted in the inside. One thought would be to remove the cabinets completely in the corner to the right of the sink and have open shelves. Very farm house/cottage and I wouldn't have to worry about painting that section of cabinet, I'd also like to have a little more wall to make the kitchen seem bigger. OR we could just remove the doors from those cabinets - but the bases are so crappy I don't like that idea. What I would love to see is some sort of aging on the cabinets. They are pretty boring and since we can't afford new ones, I'd love to give them a cheap face lift with a little fancy paint. At first I though A crackle look, But that requires a ton of time and paint, and it was a bit busy. Then I thought good ol' distressing to give it that antiqued Provencial look - which is still a strong contender. But then I found this picture of an amazing kitchen, where they white washed the cabinets and it was the perfect combination of light bright cabinets with an old touch. I have to decide soon though because in less than two weeks we will actually be living there and will probably be wanting to use our kitchen! As you can see my design is all over the place. I Just can't decide, and am scared to commit! Once we are actually living there for more than a night and things start to get cleaned up, I'm hoping to have some more focus. Right now my brain is spinning a million different directions and I'm petrified of screwing up the most important house in the kitchen. Simple does not come easy to me. This Home's heart is about to have a triple bypass!
Two Kitchens I really freaking LOVE! Look at the DRAPER sign!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Au Revoir Murs Rose!

Goodbye Pink walls!! Hello France! The previous owners of our house obviously had a thing going on for the country farmhouse look. I don't mind the old Farmhouse part, but the living room was a little too country, and certainly not enough rock n' roll for Pete! The trim and accent walls were a Muted Pink. I have no idea why they thought this was a good colour. Next to the light glossed wood it was just screaming for wooden apples and a cow theme. Which my mother would have adored! We are going for something a bit more Euro Modern Meets Farmhouse Rustic. I think. When it comes to design my brain goes in fifty directions even though I have my binder o' Design. Then I walk into HomeGoods and have a seizure because I am so over stimulated and want EVERYTHING. Pete is no help either, he almost convinced me to buy a 5 foot flamingo made out of driftwood?! I was so caught in the moment I almost said yes! But a new Designer friend (who has a fabulous blog herself suggested I make design boards to stay on track, which I think is a wonderful idea! It'll help tame my brain! The walls in the living room will stay how they are because they are at least 30 feet high and neither one of our asses are gettin' up on a ladder that high! But the trim and the accent walls will be a deep olive green. We painted our living room in Belmont a very similar colour, but just using it as an accent really makes it pop. If we had used it on the walls it would have shrunk the room! But We used the Valspar paint and primer in one and it was AMAZBALLS at covering up that pink (which is the hardest color to cover BTW) While I was poking around HomeGoods I found the perfect pillows! They have the European letterhead which I love (clearly by my blog background) and a lighter shade of the green in a silk damask on the back! At $30 I knew even though we don't have a couch, I still had to have them! Side note: When buying things off of Craigslist REALLY make sure you know who you are dealing with! On Sunday we left NH early to meet a woman in Medford to buy her gorgeous microfiber eggplant living room set! It would have been PERFECT!! The eggplant would have looked amazing against the olive! So we get there with the van, ring the bell and she opens the door and is all "Oh my God I'm so sorry! I totally sold it!" What the hell woman?!? She gave me her number and address. We set a price and time, she knew I was coming!!! I was so pissed. Now I have my heart set on an eggplant couch, when will another set just fall out of the sky in perfect condition for $450?? When I ask you!!
Anyway I found sweet HUUUUUGE ASS French Antique clock that I thought would be the perfect piece to be displayed above the huge windows in the living room. I mean this clock is BIG. But at $200, I can't really justify it, even though it was PERFECT! As Pete would say "I can't sit and watch the game on a giant clock!"He has said that about allot of pieces I want to buy! We really need some real furniture haha BUUUUUUUUT being the amazing TJX shopper that I am, I scouted around in the back of the artwork at Home Goods and found this!! It's not AS big, but it still makes quite a statement! And it has a gorgeous blueberry milk paint on it! Any guesses how much?? $24.95 bitches! I'll bring it up this weekend to see if the blue works with the green and see if the clock can hold it's own against the massive walls. Even if it doesn't work, that clock will have a place somewhere in our home!!
One thing the previous owners did that I LOVED was using birch sticks to hold up the curtains. They were various sizes and lengths and held together with white twinkle lights! I asked that the "window" treatments be included in the P&S. Not that I couldn't find my own sticks, but these already fit so well! Unfortunately the fabric for the curtains is just God Awful! They obviously took their pink from the fabric. Maybe they lost a bet, or maybe they were made from one of her Great Grandmother's dresses, But they needed to go! Now I have no idea how to sew, but while shopping around Savers (My new hot spot for deals) I found this fabric! 2 big panels for $2.99! And I had a 30% off coupon so these babies were practically free! I Loved the colours in the fabric and the pattern was just ugly enough to be retro! Pete thinks the house looks like our house! So my plan is to take the horrid fabric off the old panels and replace it with this! I knew sooner or Later I would have to learn to sew!
So we have no furniture for the living room, but a French/Olive theme is slowly being born. I think this means the upstairs will have to be of Spanish Influence. Clearly I am in need of a European vacation! Our plan is to put a wood burning stove in one of the corners, that was a MUST for our new home! Gas is great, but we need the smell of wood! Also I need suggestions for this strange space at the foot of the stairs. They had a desk set up there, but our office will be upstairs, I was thinking lining if with shelves like built-ins? I'm not sure, definitely need help here! I'll try to post a better picture of the awkward space! I will leave you with this!

How do you say no to that face??

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Terrible Ideas... Don't You Just Love Those?

"The Trick To Overcoming Buyer's Remorse Is To Have A Plan. Pick One Room, And Make It Yours. Go Slowly Through The House And Introduce Yourself So It Can Introduce Itself To You." ~ Under The Tuscan Sun Kinda how I'm feeling right now. Completely overwhelmed with all that has to be done to this house. The truth is it has great bones, but there is just so much to do! I know Rome wasn't built in a day, but it would be really awesome if our new home could just come together. We have barely started and already it seems endless. I'm channeling my inner Francis Mayes. No I didn't buy a villa in Tuscany, if I had the money for that, I wouldn't be writing this now! But I did buy a giant farm house in Epping NH, which I would like to eventually exude the feeling of a villa in Tuscany. Having found my true self in Italy and having read and watched Under the Tuscan Sun over 30 times combined (I get obsessive when I find something that speaks to me) It's now time to project that feeling into the house. When we first saw the house the owners did an amazing job of staging it. I think she must have been an antique collector becuase nothing in that house was younger than 40 years! It had a fabulous "This Old House" feeling. Maybe not the most practical of placement for things - who needs a children's school desk from 1920 in the mudroom? But it felt earthy and interesting. We had to look beyond the staging to the soul of the house because that is what we would be left with. And at the end of the day the wide Oak floors, exposed beams and floods of sunlight are what called our name. Our own little Bramasole. This is how our dining room started, a lovely shade of lime/mint green. It wasn't awful but it was poorly done and was not singing to me. So the idea came from a leaflet at Lowes that was entitled Tuscan Sun! Un Segno! We would paint the walls in Eclipse (shout out team Edward) and then once dry we would go over the whole thing with a pearlized version. First in Xs then with a flat trowel in swirls. The idea is to create that Tuscan Stucco Look... After 5 hours of precise taping and another 3 of painting, the Eclipse No VOC paint (no fun getting high off fumes on a ladder)has been applied. VOILA! It took almost the whole weekend, But I think we did it! Once we get some furniture in here and stuff on the walls, it just may be the beginings of our European retreat! What do you think of the Antler chandelier? Pete says if you're gonna play that game you have to go huge. I say there is a fine line bewteen rustic and redneck. That should be on a t-shirt. I'm thinking a collection of Mason jars with lights is more what we need. Thoughts?