Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When Boys Go Grocery Shopping...

You might just end up with 10 large boxes of pop tarts. TEN. BOXES. At least they were on sale. He's a bargain shopper, I'll give him that.

Monday, October 27, 2008

No-Cost Decorating

Like most everyone, I feel the need to curb unnecessary spending these days, despite a raging desire to improve, redo, and finish decorating the house. I hit a few thrift stores over the weekend, but as usual I completely struck out. Then I remembered the "rearrange and reuse what you have to freshen your decor without spending money" tip which I've read no less than five times this month. So I decided to try it to see if it would curb my shopping lust. The arrangement on my fireplace mantle is an example of something I've never quite gotten right, so it seemed like a good place to start.

The first problem I encountered is that anything I own and like is already on display. I confirmed this suspicion by going through all my boxes in the attic and basement and realizing that yup, there's nothing good hidden away that I forgot about.

First I tried removing the small items. I liked the clean look, but it was a little too minimal, even for me.

Then I tried adding some art that still hasn't made it on the wall in the three short years I've lived here. That felt like too much and was too symmetrical, another compulsion I struggle with.

Finally I tried just one picture, which is the look I settled on, for awhile at least, even though the boy doesn't like it. I think it's am improvement and even a small change like this does make the entire room feel a bit fresher.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Summer That Wouldn't End

It's after 10 p.m. on a mid-October day and I'm sitting here in my living room in short sleeves and shorts, surrounded by open doors and windows and the ceiling fan going. Still, I am a little warm. Outside while the mums decorate the deck, the tomatoes are still growing. The zinnias in the side garden are still growing and some perennials are beginning to rebloom.

This weather is simply amazing! So amazing in fact that I had to officially note it here. So that I can remember this night in a few months when I'm sitting here in layers, shivering. But I also note it because it may never happen again. Or maybe with global warming this will be our new norm? Whatever the reason, I wish the weather would stay this perfect forever. Or at least through another weekend.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beach Vacation

Last month the boy and I traveled south to Carolina Beach, North Carolina. Now that my camera has arrived home after being rudely abandoned in North Carolina by moi, I can show you a glimpse of just how lovely it was.

There are numerous beaches near Wilmington, NC:Wrightsville, Carolina, and Kure. We stayed just three blocks from Carolina Beach (thanks to the boy's sister putting up with us) and this little beach pier bar. But Kure Beach is even nicer and has cute little beach shops, restaurants, the arcade and the quaint Kure Beach pier. September was the perfect time to head to the beach. The weather was warm, but not unbearable and we missed the main tourist season.

So when's the next trip, honey?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Good Mail Day - Marimekko!

Today the mail wasn't just stuffed with political crap (stop the insanity!) and bills for a change. My Marimekko tea towels (Kaiku and Unessa) arrived! I plan to frame these and use them as wall art just like Door Sixteen did. After seeing the towels in person today I'm even more pleased.Since these are 100% linen, they look more like canvases than your typical cotton towel to me.

I've been wanting to use Marimekko fabric as art for ages, but I couldn't decide on one pattern. When I finally settled on Kaiku, I saw that the size of the entire pattern was entirely too big for my space. Then I came across the Door Sixteen post on Apartment Therapy and months later, voila. Now I just need to frame them and finally figure out how I want to do my living room art wall. At the rate I'm going, that shouldn't take more than a few more months.

In the end, I was just pleased to be able to purchase the Kaiku towel. By the time I was ready to buy, I couldn't find anyone who had it in stock. I was cursing myself for procrastinating, when I found Kiitos Marimekko, the online storefront of the Marimekko Concept Store in the Upper East Side of New York. I definitely recommend them, they sent a nice note explaining when my shipment would arrive and the package was nicely wrapped in a Marimekko bag. Kiitos!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Introducing the Side Garden

I'm thrilled with my little side garden, even though it's still very much a work in progress. All the flowers in my side garden were grown last winter as part of my winter sowing project.

My goal in planting them here was to have something pretty to look down on out of my bedroom window. Unlike my other garden beds, I just plunked the tiny seedlings into the small bit of cleared former rock-filled yard. I just love the way it turned out, just like the cottage garden style I'm going for! There's Zinnia, Love in a Mist, Cleome, Brown-Eyed Susans, some mystery purple flowers I've now sure of (the spikey ones, in case anyone can help me out), and even a tomatoes plant or two (thanks to the compost). These plants are so large and healthy too.

See the tiny little white Love in a Mist? I just noticed them today, although those seeds were three years old!

This little side garden has made me a winter sowing convert for life!

Gardeners, plant and nature lovers can join Green Thumb Sunday every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


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