Saturday, January 30, 2010


In case you were wondering, the Barlin house WAS a hot mess inside. Granted, we had to see it at night with no electricity, but the light coming from our iPhones showed us enough to know we wanted the get the heck out of there. WAY too much work needed on it, plus there were awkwardly large windows in the "master" bedroom and living room that led to the backyard that really creeped me out. Bad juju in that place. Pass.

Mail joy!

I got these new mailers from Oh Joy! in the mail this week, aren't they the prettiest mailing envelopes you've ever seen? On sale for $9.72 on Amazon, they're a pretty good deal since each pack comes with 16 envelopes (4 of each design). I love sending pretty post.

Cutest puppy in L.A.!

Notice how I did not say cutest puppy in Southern California Mandy. Crum is still up there. This little muffin though made us have a freak-out on Melrose Avenue today. We saw him across the street and the second that light was green Jeff and I bee-lined for him. No wonder these are your favorites Sue. It's pretty much impossible not to fall in love with them.

A new addition to our family...

Nope, not knocked up, a new computer!! This baby is sweet. As you recall, jerks broke in and ruined our life a few weeks ago. Harmony and joy has been restored in our home, now that it is again whole with a fabulous new iMac. Jeff was teary in the Apple store. They were so nice, and hooked us up with a teacher discount, an upgraded keyboard, discounted Apple Care, and a free HP photosmart printer/scanner combo. Deal! Jeff wanted the big boy 27" iMac and what Jeffy wants, Jeffy does not always get. But this time I allowed it. Those 6 inches make a world of difference when you have 18 screens open at once in Illustrator toggling back and forth between them. He works hard and deserves an awesome tool to make the job a little more pleasant. Here's our little bundle of joy:

And Jeff looking weird. But handsome in his new J. Crew shirt! Grammie gave Jeff a gift card for some new duds at x-mas, we both loved this shirt. I think he looks lovely in it.

And don't think that I didn't get anything fun out of the shopping trip to the Grove. Oh yes, mama treated herself to something pretty too. Also courtesy of Grammie's x-mas gift card! This one is from Anthropologie (of course), and I loved the royal blue color. I don't have anything in this color and it may be my new favorite.

We both had to pose with the new child. Look how cute the trim and buttons on the shirt are!
Love it. Thanks Grammie!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh geez...

Another one! This is getting silly. We thought this Lakewood house was going to be "the one" because it was our first offer acceptance which we thought meant the house was ours. Oh how naive we were... It's been on hold status forever because the owners were claiming bankruptcy and going through a divorce AND it was a short sale but apparently things have been settled now because it's no longer on hold and the listing agent is saying it's ours if we want it. It's vacant now so we get to go check it out, but I have a feeling it's going to be similar to the Fairman house we saw on Sunday: a hot mess inside. We'll see though! 

Housing update

Alarm installed and hot water is flowing- good times are back. On the purchasing side of things, we got an update on Daisy last night from Noelle that the BPO (the seller's bank appraisal) was ordered for this week and a negotiator was assigned so those are positive steps forward. Interestingly, two other houses that we put offers on eons ago became available to us this week. Here's one:

This one is in a really nice neighborhood in Lakewood and looked cute from the outside. I had been in it during an open house when we put the offer on it, and I don't remember it being the hot mess that it was when we saw it on Sunday. UGH. Water damage in the bathroom, mold in the kitchen, no appliances, really dated oak cabinetry, broken and missing countertop tiles, floors in need of refinishing, faux paint finishes everywhere (no, I'm sorry. Your walls are not Tuscan plaster. They are drywall.), teeny rooms, and a backyard with 4 foot fences all around so you can be up in your neighbor's business. No thanks! Noelle told us last night that after we refused it, they dropped the price 36K and offered it to us again at that price but we still passed. It would be a huge headache to fix up, and we just didn't like it.

The other one though we really liked when we saw it back in August (was vacant then so it was an accurate representation of what we'd be getting into) so it could be a viable alternative if Daisy (still our favorite) falls through. It's in a nice neighborhood in Long Beach, is a 3 bedroom/2 bath, and is on a huge lot. Here's a pic:

So we shall see what the cards hold for our housing fate. Hopefully another update soon!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our creepy afternoon

Jeff has been raving about this cemetery here in Lakewood that he went to when he was bored one day, and kept saying how I HAD to go check it out so this afternoon we decided to mosey on through and check it off my list of things to do before I die. It really was incredible. It was built in 1921 in the Spanish Renaissance style of architecture and has a huge mosaic interpretation of a Vatican fresco done by Raphael. Here's a picture of Jeff thrilled to be in its presence:

It's 45' wide by 35' high and made from over a million bits of venetian glass. It was so sparkly in the gorgeous Southern California sunshine we were given today. Here's a picture of it's sparkliness:

Inside was even more incredible. Sooo much marble. In respect of the building's occupants, we didn't take pictures so you'll have to take our word for it. The coolest feature was a three story Foucault pendulum swinging in perfect time. It made a deep vibration with each pass that sounded like a heartbeat. Totally spooky!

Converse & Paper

Last night, Jan, Mandy, Seth, Jeff and I went to the Montalban Theater in Hollywood for a show/event Jeff was in. It was sponsored by Converse and Paper magazine (who interviewed and photographed Jeff earlier in the day so we'll be looking out for an upcoming centerfold spread with him in it). He did these great paintings that spelled out LIFE and a photographer then snapped shots of them and blew them up to poster size which were displayed next to the originals.

It was such an awesome party, we all had a great time. Belvedere vodka and Heineken were other sponsors so those beverages were flowing, as was Red Bull and lots of free candy. Two bands played (Dum Dum girls and Best Coast) and they had interactive stations where you could decorate plain tote bags with provided fabric markers and stencils. A bunch of celebrities came through (it WAS Hollywood), and we saw Kelly Osbourne and her boyfriend, Kat von Dee, Perez Hilton, Bam Margera, and Christina Ricci. And our good friends Roger, Pete, Jana, Matt, Dave, Candice and Darren (who curated the piece of the show Jeff was in) were there too so we had lots of fun. Just what we needed after this week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

New blogs!

I just got the latest issue of one of my favorite, not yet cancelled, magazines ReadyMade, and found they have five new blogs linked on their website! I just peeked at them and got excited so they were quickly added to the reader. Here are the links if you want to do the same!

Editor's notes:
Home and Garden:
Food and Entertaining:

When it rains, it pours...

This lovely little chain of storms we were so looking forward to has ruined our week. Apparently there was a big hole between our house foundation and our basement that was directly under one of the gutter pukers (what do you call those things? Gutter drains? Spouts? I don't know. But it looked like it was puking rain water, mud, and leaves) so the big storm on Wednesday filled up our basement with 9 inches or so of muddy water. Just tall enough to reach our water heater pilot making hot showers a thing of the past for us. Ugh! Luckily Jerod and Karen (and other friends of course) offered up their facilities to us, and our wonderful neighbors Dave and Christi came over with a sump pump to help us drain it out. Jeff woke up early this morning to intercept the sandbag shipment Home Depot was expecting and plugged up the hole as best as he could. Brian and Gina are hopefully getting a service person out here today to look at the water heater, and have plans to buy a new tankless system to replace it if need be. Good times...

Dave and his awesome LED headlamps surveying the mess... That muddy hose being tracked through the house did not make Liv happy.

So we (the boys) started filling up a bucket with the sludge instead to carry it outside. We didn't know where to dump the liquidy mud so Jeff just dumped it in the dirt next to our sidewalk. It looked like a T-Rex came and had diarrhea all over our front yard.

Strong Jeffy. He did a lot of work yesterday and today. TCB, takin' care of business!

My positive perspective is starting to fade. It's an inverse relationship- my mood goes down as my lack of showering increases. Fingers crossed this gets taken care of soon...

Btw- for anyone worried- we got our house alarm system set up. With motion detectors and the works! Take that crack addicts!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Our house was broken into today. :( I came home early from work after our conference wrapped up, dreaming of getting into peejays and curling up with a book. Unfortunately some jerks pulled the window A/C unit out of our den window and helped themselves to our Wii, flip camcorder, and Jeff's desktop computer. It was an awful feeling. The police were really nice though (they swarmed the house and brought a K-9 unit because we thought they were still in the house when I got home) and Jerod came over to stay with me until Jeff could make it home from LA. As shitty as it was though, we are thankful that Lily Mae wasn't hurt or escaped, that we are fine, and that they didn't steal too much. We had a little freak out when we thought they stole Scott's video camera that still had some footage on it but we found it tucked in our media cabinet and out of the bag.

Also, we're thankful that we are blessed enough to be able to leave a neighborhood we don't feel safe in. I realize a lot of people don't have that option.

There is a lot of horrible suffering going on right now in Haiti and in our neighboring hills (the rain is crazy right now!! Simmer down El Nino!!) so when things are put in perspective, we're doing just fine.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This ain't yo grandma's wallpaper!

I'm starting to vibrate with pent-up house decorating energy. I'm jotting down all sorts of notes on what I (we) want where, what colors, what plants, etc for the Daisy house so when papers get signed and keys get dropped into our hot little hands, we can get going. Fortunately, not a whole lot needs to be done to the Daisy house as it's essentially turnkey, drop the furniture, and start living. There are just a few aesthetic changes we'd like to make (interior lighting fixtures all over, dining room and kitchen paint, and new flooring for the den) and topping my excitement list is wallpaper for the dining room and bathroom that I got clearance for from Jeff. Yay!

If you've been paying attention to the design blogs in the past year, wallpaper is hot. It's exploded with edgy cool artists designing their own paper. Anthropologie is carrying wallpaper now, ferm-living wallpaper is beautiful, and our very own LA-based Walnut Wallpapers has our favorites. I think I've blogged about Geoff McFetridge wallpaper before, but this one (shadow of the paranormal) is a winner for us. I mean, seriously. It has a big yeti in it!! We want it for the bathroom, in the gray and white colorway which we think will pair nicely with our retro pink fixtures.

A close-up of the detail...

I found this awesome mirror at IKEA too that I think would be perfect for the bathroom. If we have to share a sink, we should at least have enough mirror to not have share that space too. These Molger mirrors are long and have a nice deep wood ledge around the whole mirror, perfect to balance a bud vase or two of posies.

I have so many favorite wallpapers, I'd love to wallpaper single walls in all of our rooms, but wallpaper (and the professionals that hang them) are expensive! So we're thinking just the bathroom and dining room for now because those are the only rooms that we don't like the current colors of. The dining room right now has a lovely little chair rail so I'd like to paint below the chair rail and wallpaper above it. This wallpaper (also from Walnut) is pretty dang cool. Dinosaur skeletons! Love it.

And so tasteful me thinkest. Jeff of course loves it. Another option that I haven't shown him yet but that I've been lusting after is another McFetridge called Dead Trees. Don't like the name, but love the design and the color. I've been fixated on having a plum or dusty purple or violet room lately. I don't know why, I've never even been that fond of purple. Ah design cravings, what can you do but indulge them?

And a close up...

Decisions, decisions... anyone know a good wallpaperer in the greater Los Angeles area? I know wallpaper is fairly easy to DIY, but it has to be done carefully for a bathroom and we would want to keep these wall gems for a long time so professional application seems worth the splurge. I can't wait to post before and after shots! Gah!


Mandy and Seth went up north for a friend's wedding this weekend and asked us to puppy sit which we happily said yes to. We love Crum, he's an adorable little Frenchie that got us a whole lot of attention wherever we brought him. He's an energetic and needy little bugger though so one of us was with him every minute that he wasn't in his crate sleeping (somewhat) through the night. Renting Crum for the weekend definitely opened our eyes to what being dog owners entailed!

Crum was SO insistent on getting up the stairs to make friends with Lily Mae. She's really exclusive with her friendships though so we kept the doors closed and he would sit and whine (really, whine. That dog barely barks.) until we convinced him to come hang out with us. This is him pleading with his eyes to let him upstairs.

Jan thinks Crum's color is like a potato chip. Here he is spread eagle on my leg, watching stories with us.

Such a snugglebutt cutie!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Daisy update!

We just heard from Noelle today with a Daisy update... we have an approval on the short sale from the 2nd lender already and the listing agent thinks the approval on the 1st might come in as early as next week or the following. Exciting! They anticipate the BPO (the bank's appraisal, not ours) to be done next week which is a hurdle so we'll be waiting anxiously on that. After the approval, we're looking at a super short escrow (when we would do our appraisal and the home inspection) so the ball is a'rollin! Good news!

My next read

While still being stressed out and busy with work (the conference is on Monday- the end is near!), I'm dreaming of an upcoming week of doing a whole lot of nothing. This book, Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America by Tom Lutz, is perfect. Must read it. I don't really want to be a bum or a slacker, but loafing and lounging sounds right up my alley. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The lovely Ditte

Someone in the Bay Area should snap up this beauty. I'm still obsessed with this Anthropologie sofa, and if Jeff and I hadn't agreed to get a vintage leather/vinyl sofa for the den to prevent Lily Mae's likely attempt at destruction via pee/puke, I'd steal his truck and drive up there this weekend to pick it up myself. 50% off people! Anthropologie Ditte sofa on Craigslist- SF

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I've been working a ton recently over the holiday break and the first few weeks of the new year on a grant proposal for a four-year project on major depressive disorder. I had to work all day yesterday and today and I'm pretty wiped. It has to go in this Tuesday but then next Monday we're hosting our annual Imaging Genetics Conference that I coordinate so I won't really get a break until the 20th. Ugh! When I work a lot of long days, I like to treat myself to a fun splurge to make it feel worthwhile for putting in so many work hours. FinnStyle is having a Marimekko sale and I love this PVC coated printed fabric. It's pricey ($41.60), even on sale, but it's a really wide bolt so you get a 59"x36" piece for that price. I'd love to make a laptop bag out of this.

On the plus side of working long hours, I'm relaxing now on the couch with a glass of wine while Jeff makes me dinner and let's me watch my stories. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ideals vs. Style...

On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad do you think non-organic linens are for you? Eco-friendly and health conscious Liv wants all organic cotton or linen bed sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and towels. Cheap and style shallow Liv wants these new lovely linens from West Elm.

They're so perfect! The striped sheets look just like the DwellStudio Draper stripe sheets I've been lusting over, but a lot less expensive.

And c'mon, they're our wedding colors! I had been thinking of a grey/chocolate/ivory/pop of blue color scheme for the bedroom, a la Lily Mae, but now that I'm seeing how good grey, chocolate, and that mustardy yellow look together I think my mind is a changing.

West Elm is doing a whole lot of things right this season. I got the catalog in the mail yesterday and started flagging every page while Jeff watched me nervously. I'd love these poufs (mostly so I can just tell people when they come over "have a seat on a pouf!") and this round coffee table.

And to continue the yellow/brown/grey obsession, let's now turn to CB2 and their spring offerings:

Parlour sofa.  Holy crap I want this.

CB2 is doing the whole organic sheet set thing but they're just a boring solid percale, which is decidedly less awesome than stripes. Oh what's a girl to do...?