Monday, May 31, 2010

Roger's Gardens

As part of our shopping excursion on Saturday, Mandy and I went on a field trip to Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach. It's awesome there. Even if the big containers of fire sticks were $70. Dang it! I bought a $4 mini version at Home Depot and we're just hoping it will grow into the $70 size quickly.

Here are some pictures of what we saw:

Their succulent arrangements were really impressive. And expensive.
Check out the dinner plate dahlias! That's Mandy's hand for size comparison. Crazy huge!
I really want one or five of these vertical succulent arrangements. I think they'd look awesome hanging on the house walls in the back yard. They were $200 each though, which is why I plan on begging Jen to make one for us instead. :)

I bought a bunch of seed packets, and a couple mini greenhouses to start the seedlings in (ran out of potty pots with the basil). I started these Baker Creek white bush scallop squashes but then read on the packet that they're supposed to be planted 3 feet apart, which means I could get like four of them in my whole 4x8' bed. But I have like 30 other seed packets I also want to plant in the bed. Not sure what I'm going to do about that... might have to call in an expert...
I was such a sucker for the big pretty Franchi seed packets. Look at those beans! Aren't they gorgeous? I can't wait to plant those.
I also finished my composter yesterday. Jeffy  helped and drilled the holes for me. We had a BBQ that night and we used my disposable and compostable biodegradable plates and serving ware which we then tossed in the composter when we were done. They're made from sugar cane fiber. Neat!
We also revamped the front yard this weekend. Pictures of that coming soon!

I smell fantastic.

My kai perfume oil is on it's last rolls, and I felt like switching things up a bit. I'm picky (of course) about my scents and tend towards the fruity and softly floral. My nose is bothered by the stronger spicier perfumes. Mandy and I went shopping on Saturday to Anthropologie and when I saw the packaging for this Mor Cosmetics perfume, I said a quick prayer to myself that the scent was equally lovely because I wanted this bottle. It's perfect! It's from their Nordica collection, and is a white glass bottle with a wood cap and a little wooden Dala horse decorated in a white doily! I had a mini aneurysm when I saw it. It smells DELICIOUS. And it looks awesome on my vanity... because THAT'S important.

Friday, May 28, 2010

This is what I do in my spare time

I geek out with my garden book. I didn't like the cover of the garden book organizer that Jen gave me, so I glued on a magazine photo of a cute boy with a chicken. He kind of looks like Jeff so I don't think Jeff will be jealous.
I also do stuff like this. Draw up perfect grids with a ruler and plan out my plants according to season and symbiotic plant relationships. It calms me.
I made my collection of empty toilet paper rolls into potty pots today. I like the idea of reusing something that was going to get thrown out, and I like that you can grow a seedling in them and plant them straight into the ground, and I like that they were free, but I still want one of those greenhouse trays with the seedling starters kits. I think they look cool.

Here's how they're made. You squash the empty roll in half and crease it, then fold it the opposite way and crease again, making it square shaped instead of circular.
Cut about an inch and a half into each crease on the bottom and fold in the squares to make the bottom.
They don't really sit up straight which bothers Type A Liv, but Mellow Liv let it slide today.
I planted them with genovese basil seeds (using an organic seed starter mix) and put them all in a shoebox which I'll cover later with plastic wrap, and put that on a plastic box lid for leakage, and placed it on the windowsill above my desk. This room gets super warm and sunny for most of the day, and pretty much IS a greenhouse.
I hope they start growing! I want a shit ton of basil. I love me some pesto!

I went to the Home Depot to get some supplies and found these beauties, which are getting planted out in front tomorrow. Yay!

These guys are called "Calico Kitten". Of course I bought them.

Dusty Miller! I love these plants. Color, velvetiness, everything. I can't wait to get everything planted with my cool new planting tools!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Houseguests = good food

I love having houseguests. We always eat well and indulge. We had Sue visiting this weekend to check out the new digs and we had such a nice and relaxing time. She brought me trash magazines so I'm all caught up now on the Hollywood gossip. Speidi is CUH-RAZY!!

We had our dear family friends over for dinner on Saturday which fed us for the next three days as well. Pete, his daughter Nicole, her husband Ben, and their freakin' cute kid Henry made us a fantastic dinner. Roasted eggplant and roma tomatoes pasta with a crusty bread, Italian-style broccoli, salad, and lots of dessert. Pete and Nicole did the cooking while Jeff and Ben drank beer, and Sue and I played with Henry. He was so energetic, and it made me realize how many breakable chotchkies I have (he didn't break anything. Mom Nicole's first order of business as soon as she stepped inside was to sweep through and move everything within his arm's reach. HA!). I'm just going to have to straight-jacket our baby because I'm not moving all my cute stuff while he or she learns coordination and respect for the cat figurine collection.

On Sue's last night, she treated us to a lovely dinner at the King fish house in downtown Long Beach. It was super good. We'll have to take my dad there sometime because Jeff said the cioppino was excellent. Doesn't he look dashing in the bib?

Thanks for visiting Sue! We miss you already...

The backyard and garden

I'm slowly getting ready for my gardening adventures. I need to seriously weed the plot behind the garage where my raised beds will go, start my potty pot seedlings that Adriana showed us how to make, go to the free Home Depot workshop next Thursday with Mandy and Jerod to watch how they build raised beds, build my composter (I'm doing it the cheap way after seeing THIS on the Young House Love blog, and realizing how stupidly expensive the tumbling composters are), and get my garden on! 

I want fancy Sneeboer tools for my new garden. Pretty posh though for digging through dirt and compost. I'll probably just settle for some Home Depot ones on sale.
I wrote this before my awesome brother surprised me this weekend with THESE beauties:
Totally me. Thanks Jan! They're from the Alice Supply Co. I know you don't need cute garden tools to get the job done, but it sure does make the job a lot more pleasant! They have other patterns too, but Jan hit the nail on the head with these ones. So nautically lovely. I'm going to ask for the matching hose for my birthday. 

I also really want this river rock fire bowl for the backyard. Clean burning and safe! And Jeff and Jerod don't have to build it, just haul it to the right spot. Dang Restoration Hardware has nice stuff! We decided together that Jeff building a fire pit might be dangerous, so we're going to buy a fire pit and then Jeff is going to build the brick seating to encircle it.

These 100% recycled materials Adirondack loveseats are kick-ass too and would be so nice to lounge in. They have colorful ones at Home Depot that are cute and WAY cheaper (like $16 each I think) but I somehow doubt they too are 100% recycled in materials. Ah well. We'll probably just sit on blankets on our grass.

And check out our sweet BBQ!!

It was a housewarming gift from Sue and Grammie, and we got to go to BBQ Galore and choose whatever grill we wanted. Jeff was adamant on a charcoal grill with no knobs or doohickeys that could break, and I really wanted something with a table attached to it, so we decided on the Weber Platinum. Fancy! We also got a cover for it to keep it nice when not in use. Can't wait to fire this baby up! Thanks so much Sue and Grammie!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Her kommer vi DANMARK!!

This Scandinavian adventure of ours coming up is going to take some serious planning. We want it to be spontaneously fun, but I'm afraid that if I don't book things and make an itinerary, we're going to end up spending a lot of money and missing out on a lot of things. My dad just had a nice vacation in Norway this month (for the 17th of May) and collected a bunch of maps and brochures to help us with that leg of our trip, so I'm excited to go through them with Jeff.

The plan right now is to fly into Oslo on August 24th, stay until August 29th, hop on a train to Denmark, spend 3 days in Copenhagen, and then be in Stockholm the 1st through the 6th.

The Design*Sponge city guide for Copenhagen was super useful to start planning out the Danish part of the trip. I wish they had ones for Oslo and Stockholm too! One of the hotels on the guide is the Hotel Fox which sounds AWESOME. I want this room with the tented bed.
So neat!! Doesn't it look cozy? The price seems reasonable too (~$150 a night, which includes a lovely breakfast) so that might be a nice mid-trip luxury after and before the hostels we'll likely be staying in for the Norway and Sweden adventures. The hotel has free wireless which will be nice for my blogging, and they rent bicycles!

Also suggested was Audiowalks, downloadable podcasts with walking tours of the city, the Danish Design Center which is next to Tivoli, the botanical garden and museum, and a Netto-boats tour of the harbor.
This list of free things to do in Copenhagen is also helpful. Will it be weird to carry around a trip folder with tabs and print outs and maps while traveling? I don't care, I'm making one.

Art is up!

Day by day we put art up on the walls. It makes SUCH a difference for the feel of the home. We still have a ton of pieces left to go up, but we're deciding on whether to do a salon style of little pieces in the bedroom or the living room. We're on the hunt for a nice low Danish credenza to go on the long wall of the living room, to drop our keys and mail on to, store games, etc. A big piece will need to go above that, but it's looking a little too gallery in that room as is so we talked about doing an installation instead. Sounds intense, no?

My idea, which Jeff liked, is to slice up a bunch of our birch logs from our wedding into thin (1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick) rounds and then "glue" them up on the wall in a flowing organic shape. Sounds crazy but it's pretty in my mind. I say glue in quotations because really I'll be using the removable Command strips which have revolutionized the way we hang art. They are genius. We've been using the picture hanging strips for the art pieces, and because they are repositionable and removable and need no nail holes, we can be as indecisive as we want. They work out to be around 50 cents to a dollar each so they're not as cheap as nails, but with our crazy strong plaster walls, they are worth it. The strips I'll use to hang the log pieces are like those sticky foam squares, but they are removable (without damaging the walls like the foam squares) and a lot cheaper than the picture hanging strips, so doing a bunch of the log pieces on the wall won't be expensive. The only problem now is actually slicing the logs, which Home Depot refused to do for me (safety issues because they were too small and their saw too big), and we need some power tool to do that many slices, so I'm going to wait for Jerod to get back from the Bay Area to help. He's a good problem solver.

Here are some pictures of what we've recently done:
Jeff's soaring bald eagle curtain for his studio went up. He likes it. 
My mini arrangements from the leftovers of Kelsey's wedding, the very cool scabiosa pods and my favorite- craspedia, aka billy balls.
Lily Mae's embroidered mantra went up too above her dining room.
I like this corner of the sewing room/library/guest room. Those paint by number horses were found at a flea market for two dollars, the Lily Mae drawing was done by Jeffy, the Sasquatch drawing under the clock is by Jill Bliss, and the Sew for Victory is a WW2 repro.
We hung up Ken Garduno's piece next to Jeff's painting and inadvertently went with a black frame, light mount theme for the living room. Alex Gross' print was a wedding gift and went up first. We love it so much, it'll be one of those art pieces our kids will be fighting over when we kick it.
One of our favorites, Natalia Fabia's cougar with glitter blood, broke the black frame rule but works perfectly.
This is probably our creepiest piece (next to Ken's boogeyman piece which hasn't yet been hung due to the extreme level of creepiness it contains), Pennywise from the Stephen King movie "It", done by Alex Pardee. Who isn't scared of clowns??
I finally took down that awful metal and glass shelving unit from the bathroom which opens it up so much more. We don't want to destroy any art with our hot shower steam so this skeleton piece went up. It's a $3 frame from IKEA with a $2 sheet of printed wrapping paper. The wood frame looks good with the new mirror, and the colors complement the accent tiles that I used to hate and now really like. Just goes to show me that I don't always have to replace everything I dislike, I just have to find ways to make it work.
How awesome of a score is this? It's a toilet brush holder!! And it was the cheapest one they had of their tacky toilet brush holder collection at Bed Bath and Beyond so it wasn't even a question for me. Kitty toilet brush holder? Yes please. Sold. I bet my Mom is peeling out in her Mazda right now, headed to Bed Bath and Beyond.
My clock came!! I was so excited when it was waiting from me at the front door. I love it, and it does the job in the morning. Haven't been late since!

We're picking up Sue from the airport in a few hours and then driving out to Claremont to pick up our chef for the day (family friend Pete) who is going to make us a feast at the house tonight. After all this work, it'll be nice to kick up our feet and be cooked for. Something I could get used to...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Craving a Norwegian breakfast

Sweet Paul's new online magazine had this recipe on it and I'm drooling. It sounds sooo good...


Rubber-dipped arrow ring by Miju, as seen on the lovely Creature Comforts blog...

Jeff and Crum have a special connection.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Closer... CLOSER!!

I was pretty pleased with myself over the pink bedroom curtains. I was saving that pinkish red linen for a perfect project and when I noticed how perfectly it matched my balsa wood cheetah, it filled me with butterflies and rainbows. But with the gray walls that sometimes look lavender, the bedroom is looking a little girly. Luckily Jeff doesn't care, but in the interest of balance, I started looking for some masculine bedding to butch up the room.

Hellllloooo Target! Thomas O'Brien's menswear line of bedding is perfect. It's done in suiting fabrics but they're really soft and the look is just what I wanted. Here's a picture of the collection:

And a close-up of the pillow sham:

And then to tie it all in with the room frill, I'm going to sew a bolster pillow in the cream linen from the tops of the curtains with buttons covered in the pink linen. Adorable! Here's my pillow inspiration pic:

And Mom, learn how to crochet giant so you can make me these poufs. Thanks!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kelsey and Jake's wedding!

Here are the pictures of the flowers Mandy and I did for the wedding! It was such a rad wedding, in a gorgeous location (the Botanic Gardens in Encinitas), with awesome people, perfect weather, a Mexican food buffet, Stone IPA beer, cupcakes AND a candy bar! After doing the flowers for 16 hours the day before the wedding, and then setting everything up the day of, we were SO in the mood to party down and enjoy the party. Maybe that's why we've only done friend weddings... it'd be weird to set up all the flowers and then not get to join in on the party! Anyways, Mandy is setting up a flower blog soon and she's going to let me guest post on it. Stay tuned!