Thursday, December 30, 2010

We're going to be on TV!

Jeff and I got interviewed on the street in Hollywood tonight by comedian Ross Matthews for a TV show our friend Ted is working on for Oprah's new network launch on January 1st! He is my new favorite person. I love him on Chelsea Lately but he was so nice and friendly and genuine with us. We talked with him for a long time and had a lot of fun. Hopefully we'll find out what time we'll be on so we can watch it! Maybe we can just set the DVR to record a full day...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Spicin' it up!

We made a few changes in the house the last few days, thanks to some generous X-mas gifts we got from our family, and then mixed up our art work a little too. Here's what's going on:

The main piece that spurred us to do the rearranging was a gift from Jeff's aunt Jane. It's an Art Deco blue tinted mirror from around 1930-1935 that she found in an antique store. Sooo cool! We love it.

Here's a close-up. I had wanted a mirror by the door to check for crazy Baby Jane lipstick smears or crooked ponytails on the way out so we really liked this location for it. Of course that meant that the Mark Millers we had flanking the console had to be moved so we tested out a few options and decided to move the Mark Millers to where the Alex Gross print was next to the TV, and swap that out to the other wall. I'm very pleased with this new arrangement. Liv likey.

It feels more balanced (yet not perfectly symmetrical which would look too perfect for our mish-mashy living room) to have two pieces on each side of the TV. And look it! A new piece of furniture!! I know I said I was done for awhile, but this piece was necessary (and on sale at Cost Plus!). Jeff and I have made a 2011 NY resolution that we will be shoeless in our house. I'm tired of vacuuming and mopping the wood floors constantly (even though I love my steam mop) and we track in SO much dirt and filth on our shoes so that's it. Sorry friends. We will buy a big basket of Asian slippers to offer you in exchange for your kicks when you come over. It's also another DIY project in the making. I'll be reupholstering the top cushion with something Lily-proof soon.

You may have noticed our lovely new crocheted blanket on top of the couch in the last picture. My mom made that for us! She was going for Lily Mae's colors, and here she is demonstrating how nicely they coordinate:

Sue also got us an amazingly soft ivory knit blanket for x-mas, but that bad boy is dry clean only so that one will be saved for when company is over and Lily Mae (and her bodily fluids) is nowhere to be seen...

A new addition to the bathroom... An architectural piece by our friend Seth Drenner (who also helped us with our wedding invitations, thank God).

And then the last major art piece to go up: our beloved friendly Yeti. Jeff did this piece way back when for his senior show at the Art Center. He was up in our TV room in the old house and stashed away in our closet in this house until now. We missed him. Look how perfectly he fits!! The chandelier is bothering me though because this is the view from the kitchen through the laundry room. It blocks his face and I don't like it. I think I  might replace this chandelier with the one we got from the seller of our Danish bedroom set, and hang it lower so you can see his face and it's closer to the table. Another day.

These copper cups (which I'll use as vases most of the time) were a x-mas gift from Jeff's other aunt Lee Ann. I love how they look with the woods and the other metallics we have going on in our sparkly dining room. Purdy.

And lastly, we treated ourselves to some gardening help with the money Santa gave us. Our orange tree was eating the fence, just as the weird pod tree was eating our roof so we got those trees trimmed, along with the two cherry trees in front and all of the weeding that needed to be done along the side of the house. They did it so quickly, and saved us a huge effort. Well worth it we think. The kitchen is so much brighter now with those low hanging branches gone, and the backyard is so much sunnier with 1/2 of the orange tree gone!

Here's a before:

And an after:

Hey neighbors!! Bye privacy! It's okay, it'll fill in soon I'm sure. Here's the pod tree, trimmed back to a respectable size:

That's it for now! We have a reason for making these spruce-ups but it's a mini-secret until next week. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Quickbread!

We made these quickbread bottles for our neighbors for a little Christmas treat. They were pretty easy for me to make, and will be easy for them to make as well! Here's what they have layered inside of liter sized Weck jars:

2 cups of flour
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Then for the included instructions:

1) In a large bowl, dump in the contents of the bottle.
2) In a small bowl, beat 1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk, 2 eggs, and 1/4 cup of melted butter.
3) Add the wet mix to the dry mix and make a lumpy batter.
4) Scrape into a buttered 9x5" loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
5) Enjoy with egg nog or a spiked coffee!

Jeffy's a good daddy.

Even though I asked about 7 times and there were about 4 tablespoons of litter left in the poopy box, Jeff put off cleaning Lily Mae's bathroom until today. I was busy doing indoor chores, but not too busy to take a picture!

I tried to get him to use the rain barrel water to clean the cat diarrhea off the sides but he insisted it needed a full force hose spray. Oh Lily. 

The culprit. Here she is doing her Jesus on the cross pose. Look at all the toes!

Holy Rainfall!

We're in the middle of huge storm that is just dumping water on us. It's so cozy inside, I love it. And just about everything except our overly watered lemon tree could use the downpour. I went in the backyard during a break in the rain to smell everything and take a few pictures. Here is the state of things:

Our rain barrel completely filled up in under two hours. !! That's a ton of water. Or like 70 gallons of water. Too bad we don't have anything to water...

Our orange tree is ripening! Jeff opened one up earlier this week and said it was tart but good, and the segments were better formed than last year, when we toured the house for the first time and put in our offer! Jerod! Come over and take like 100 of them.

Our camellia trees are going nuts! I like how we have a hot pink and a light pink. So girly.

Our basil needs to be ripped out. And the tomatoes. The whole garden needs to be tended to actually and replanted with winter goodies. After this storm is over, I'm going to inspect our compost which I think is just about done. That'd be perfect to amend the soil and put the little seedlings into.

Keep it coming Mother Nature! You're making Long Beach smell good.

We have the Christmas Spirit.

We're not winning any awards this year with our Christmas decorations (and believe me, awards were to be won on Daisy Avenue), but we wanted to be a little festive and put up bright little LED light strings in our front windows. Twinkly! Jeff has grand plans for a 40 ft. tall inflatable Yeti (what else?) for the front lawn next year so maybe we'll win the $25 Buono's gift certificate in 2011. We decided not to do a Christmas tree this year (or sticks) so I made a wreath for the fireplace instead.

I cut out some circles of leftover felt and gold pleather, pinned them and wired them to my quilting hoop. Easy-peasy and oh-so-modern. Next year I want a real pine wreath though. I miss that smell in the house around the holidays. Yay for Crismis!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So neglected...

I wish I had a better reason for not posting lately, like "I've been soooo busy Christmas shopping, finding, and making perfect gifts for all my family and friends, knowing that Christmas is 8 days away" but it's sadly not the case. This is my busy month at work with a conference in January that I have to organize everything for, and with two weeks off of work over the holidays, I fill up my December work days pretty tight. Plus my sewing machine is broken, which threw a wrench into my sweatshop plans, so you all are getting hugs for Christmas instead.

I have had time however to see all the lovely gift guides and presents circulating through my reader and inbox this month and dang, it's hard not to shop. We're trying to save our pennies for the studio/garage conversion so I keep my credit cards as far away from my computer as possible. If money grew on Linus the Lemon tree though, I'd be buying these crafty gems:

Retors du Nord embroidery floss set for my mom. How beautiful. And better organized than her ziploc bag of half-used skeins.

How adorable are these little embroidery scissors? They're called "Petits Monstres" or Little Monsters. Love them. These would go to all my crafty ladies. Except for Mandy. She would get these:

Wicked step scissors from Sublime Stitching. So goth.

These scallop pinking shears are on my Etsy favorites list so I can buy them as soon as the shopping hiatus is over. I borrowed Mandy's when I scalloped all the tablecloths for our wedding reception and fell in love with them. I'd keep these for me, but I would loan them out to anyone wanting to scallop. :)

This Maxi Eco bag looks deceptively plain, but it's a nice heavyweight waterproof cotton canvas that is sewn to look like a generic brown bag but is so much more luxe. As it should be for that price!

I better stop. This isn't helping my situation.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What is good art?

Jerod and Jeff attempt to answer the age old question in his new experiment, posted here. Science and rainbows collide!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This is my new workout. I'm being serious. It's fun.


I'm going to be rock solid in a month. Thanks, Random Inspiration!


Yay Hawaii!! We just booked our plane tickets to Maui for a week long getaway in March with the family and I'm already excited. It will be whale season and I'll be dying for some time off of work to lie on a warm beach right about then. We haven't done a big family vacation like this in awhile, and never before with the merging of the families, so I really can't wait. Chi-Chi's and bikinis. *Fist pump*

*picture courtesy of Jan, who literally has seen the entire internet.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dog Cat Jeff!

Jeff's animal art website is up! Check it out at What can I say? Jeff likes to
keep busy. He always has fun painting animals and figured it could be a good little side commission project. If you are interested in having an original piece of your furry one (or scaly one? He's not limited to only dogs and cats... the guy has range), email him for details at!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cats Playing Patty-cake, what they were saying...

Thanks Roger!! This made my life. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010


Two years and five and a half months later, we have our wedding pictures framed and hanging up! We put it off for awhile wanting a special place in our new home to put them and with the big empty hallway wall freshly striped, it was the perfect place. We got the frames from IKEA (Ribba birch wood frames) but unfortunately either the frames were an irregular size, or the prints were. We needed to get the mats recut and I foolishly went to Michael's first. They are so incredibly useless when it comes to framing. You're either going to pay $387 for a custom frame or they're not going to be able to help you at all. The latter was my case. *sigh*

I went then to our local awesome art supply store in Long Beach, Lyon's Art Supply, and they were able to cut them for me and ready for pick up the next day. Best part- 50 cents each! $3.00 total! So awesome.

Next up- our wedding photo album!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New favorite spots

She did it! I asked, and my mom complied and made this awesome crocheted jersey cat bed for Lily Mae. She was unsure of it the first day but was all over it the following and slept in it for like 16 hours straight. She loves it!

She's also been loving under my bent wood lap desk. It's her little house!

And so it begins...

My dad was chomping at the bit to do some demo while he's down here so the men rolled up their sleeves and go to work on the garage/future studio today. They did such a good job! I just thought they'd move the garage stuff into piles but they pulled out the stuff to keep, dismantled the Wedding Yeti, ripped down the old shelving, and loaded it all into the truck for hauling to the dump tomorrow. Mark came over too to brainstorm layouts with Jeff since he'll be sharing the space for his studio too. Next week hopefully the electrician and drywaller will come for estimates and we'll get this ball a rollin'!

Holy 31!

I turned 31 on Friday! Holy moly time flies. Kind of crazy. But I have a good feeling I'm going to like this year. It certainly started off great!

Look how pretty my new necklace!! Jeff is a good gifter. It's made by Stephanie Simek and is a Japanese quail egg coated in 23K gold leaf on the inside (and coated in plastic for strength) and hangs from the most delicate 14K gold chain. Loves it!!

We did a little shopping down in Belmont Shore (I only got gum! Black Friday left everything picked over).

My parents took us out to dinner at La Parolaccia later that night. Jerod and Karen live around the corner and joined us, as did Jan's girlfriend Meghan. They sang me happy birthday and we dug into the assortment of desserts that we ordered. Sooo good! My mom's going to be so mad I used this picture but it was my birthday and this was the one that I looked good in.

This is my "Hey, I'm 31 and I still look good in plaid flannel" pose.

Happy Sankgibbing!

I'm back! My parents are down south visiting and they are major time sucks. Always wanting attention, it's very tiring. Just kidding, it's been so lovely. We're calling my mom Esmeralda because she won't stop cleaning and my dad is also quite useful in the garage (that post to come later).

My mom was also super helpful on Thanksgiving and we had a lovely dinner here. We almost had a humongous one with the Haak's but we decided to split them up into two dinners because our dining room can't hold that many! We ended up with 9 and a half (Henry didn't take up a Danish modern chair, he had a chair with vice grips attached on our table so he counts as a half-guest).

The day started with BBQ'd oysters! Jake and Jenny brought over a bunch of awesome oysters and throwed them on barbie. They were sooo good! 

Mandy made a beautiful arrangement for her table, I got lazy and chopped bunches of bolted basil from the garden and put them on the table. They smelled good though!

Mark and Karen brought the turkey (a happy free-range organic one!) and, I'm a little embarrassed to say, it was SO good. Yep, over 9 years vegetarian and I've been able to resist turkey on Thanksgiving for this long, but it smelled so good and it made me feel better that it was a happy turkey. Ah well!

Someone was upset he wasn't given a Danish modern chair to sit in... I don't blame him.

That's my Mac n' Mad Cheddah Jake is making a face at. It was a bit dry. JUST EAT IT!

My mom was in charge of saying grace this year and had a nice one that she memorized. "Lord, You that have given us so much, give us one thing more: A grateful heart. To those who hunger give bread and to those who have bread, give the hunger for justice." Amen!

Happy Thanksgiving friends and family! Jeff and I are very thankful for all of you and wish we could have crammed you all in our dining room.