Sunday, June 27, 2010

100 Artists See Satan

Jeff and I went to an art show he was participating in last night at the Grand Central Art Station in downtown Santa Ana. It was a really interesting show and we saw a bunch of cool people there. Best part of the night? Jeff's piece sold! Woohoo! Here it is (and keep in mind, this is what Jeff thinks of when he thinks of Satan):


And my two favorite pieces of the show you ask? These ones:
Honestly, I don't see Satan in this. I see an adorable hood rat cat with skinny white jeans. Again, by the talented Mike Stilkey

This T-shirt with a photograph screen on it cracked me up. It's entitled "I met the devil" and was done by Mat Gleason.


So Gold Sparkles 2.0 wasn't meant to be. The deal at the Toyota dealership 2 miles away from us turned out to be a sweeter deal so we leased this 2010 Prius today! Which means she's mine for the next 36 months at least, and hopefully we'll buy her outright at the end of the lease agreement. I LOVE HER. She is so easy to drive, gets twice the gas mileage Sparkles did, and comes with some nice perks. We get 2 years of free maintenance from Toyota, 3 years of free oil changes from the dealership, and unlimited car washes whenever she gets a fleck of dirt on her (although I won't abuse that privilege, gotta save water too to be eco-friendly!) PLUS they hooked us up with a free Bluetooth setup wired into her!

I initially wanted the sparkly white one but the closest one is 100 miles away and they had the gray one with the Bluetooth on the lot so I conceded and went with her. I was thinking of naming the white one Snowflake and so when they told me I could only have the gray one, we called her Dirty Snowflake. A term of endearment of course. Jerod is calling her Silverflake so that will probably stick. Here she is:


Friday, June 25, 2010

Gold Sparkles 2.0

The verdict came in on Wednesday, Sparkles cannot be saved. I was screaming and crying and then the nice insurance lady told me they were giving me a lot of money for her. Yay! It was more than I was expecting by several thousand so that was a sweet bonus. I've been test driving the Sandy Beach Prius for the past few days and I like it a lot. I think she might be The One. Even though Mandy said it was an old person's car. Whatever. It will get us to our 4:00 dinners at the Souplantation safely and more importantly, in style.

Catalog living

Catalog Living is like my other favorite, Unhappy Hipsters. I can read them and crack up for hours...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Photo shoot prep

Check out our latest flower job here. I'll post more behind-the-scenes pictures after the shoot!

LA Style Unveiled!

Kelsey and Jake's wedding was featured on LA Style Unveiled today and our flowers look freakin' amazing if I do say so myself. The photographer Jean Tsai and coordinator Lindye Galloway, and Kelsey's vision really made this wedding shine, we were lucky to get to work with all of them! Can't wait for the next one!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Car of the fruture

Carpool 3.0.

I still haven't heard from the insurance company yet if Sparkles needs to be put down or if she can be fixed. But Jeff and I have been looking at our options and this baby came along. It's a 2010 Prius and it's pretty sweet. It was leased for three years by Jeff's temporary boss who just decided that 4 months into this brand new car's lease, he wanted the newer 2010 Prius and went out and leased that. So he wants to get out of this lease and is offering it to us. He's paid the signing fee and 4 months already and is offering several more months paid for us. Pretty sweet.

We're test driving it around for the next couple of days while we wait to hear about Sparkles and so far I likey. The futuristic features are really nice and it's AWESOME on gas which is great for my commute, but I have a couple hesitations. It's an automatic, and I've always driven a stick. I'm going to miss that. Jeff's truck is a stick but it's not a sporty stick with zip which is what I enjoy driving. And it's champagne gold. Excuse me, sandy beach. Blech. But it's a great deal and a really safe choice. Good for when the bambinos come!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Garden updates!

Jeff just walked in and mocked me. "My name is Liv. I like to blog. All I do is blog. Blog blahg blahg." Whatevs.

Our garden is looking good! Check it:

Our 'pot o' gold' swiss chard sprouted right away and is now just chillin' at the tiny sprout stage. I hope they get bigger because I don't know how to cook chard this tiny.

My 'mortgage lifter' tomato plant that Adriana gave us is doing well and sprouting! I counted four mini green tomatoes on it this morning. We also planted some of my basil seedlings in the same pot, hopefully those will take off.

These tomato plants came from my work friend Dingying. She brought Jerod and I two plants each but Jerod didn't have soil so I adopted his and promised him 1/2 of the bounty. Basil seeds went into this pot too, and I'm a little worried I crammed too much in this pot, but I'm taking copious notes so if it fails, I'll know better next time.

We have a spot on the side of the garage where I want to put a potting bench. Sue showed me this picture from the Sunset magazine where they repurposed an old ladder and some wood planks to make one. I'm going to start trolling Freecyle for a ladder.

We also took out some dead plants and weeded the hell out of the backyard to make room to plant Soobee's hydrangea gift, Sean & Gretchen's bee garden gift, Gina and Chris' succulents, and Tom Broesma's miniature cacti gifts. Things are shapin' up around the McMillan homestead!

Oh Lily...

Bows and Arrows

Um, new favorite blog. Such gorgeous flower arrangements!

Happy anniversary to us!

We got the gold piglet! Well, he's being shipped to us right now but soon we'll have the gold piglet!! Jeff and Sue were in cahoots to get it for us as our 2 year anniversary present/Jeff's early birthday present and I'm so excited. I love that little pig, and we've been coveting it for awhile. I think he's a work of art. Thank you Sue!!

Image from Simple Lovely...

Lavender fleur-de-sel caramel sauce

This would be SO GOOD over my honey lavender ice cream...

From Amy at angrychicken and featured in the February issue of Martha.

This kind of stuff just makes my day.

From Etsy knitters, ScooterKnits and xmoonbloom, via the ReadyMade Home and Garden blog.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Be the Match!

We have some family friends going through an impossibly sad time right now with the dad of the family being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He had cancer before and fought it all off so he's a tough cookie and we're praying for him and his family that he can do the same this time. My mom has always had this joke about wanting an island, where she would get to decide who would get to live on it, so she could be surrounded by only good and decent and awesome people. The Elders would be invited to that island in a second.

When these things happen, I know most of us struggle with what we can do to help. Being 500 miles away, we can't do a lot for them in particular, but I've been thinking about joining a bone marrow donation program for awhile and decided to sign up today. I know my marrow or stem cells won't get to help Jim, but his fight inspired me to try to help someone who is also fighting.

There are two forms of donation, which the doctor of the patient that you match decides between. There is peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation which is a nonsurgical procedure that takes place at a blood center or outpatient hospital unit. For 5 days leading up to donation, you are given injections of a drug called filgrastim to increase the number of blood-forming cells in your bloodstream. Your blood is then removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm. Your blood-forming cells are back to their normal levels within 4 to 6 weeks. Ah, science...

The harder donation is bone marrow donation which is a surgical outpatient procedure that takes place at a hospital. You receive anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation. Doctors use a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone. The marrow replaces itself completely within 4 to 6 weeks. Ouchies.

It's really easy to sign up. You go to the Be The Match marrow registry website, click join now, enter a bunch of information and a donation amount if you so choose (it costs them $100 to type you and process the DNA etc so any little bit helps them), and they send out 4 q-tip swabs to rub in your cheeks to send back to them to match you and put you in the database.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

It's a super personal decision so I'm not trying to convince anyone reading this to do it (except Jeff. I'll wear him down.), I just think there's a lot of misunderstanding about what's involved with these donations. They're relatively easy, painless, and safe and they could ultimately help save a life. I think it's worth it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We like flowers!

Okay, that was enough suspense. Mandy and I are launching our freelance floral "business" blog today! Please visit us at We went with the obvious name after throwing a few fun ones out there, but we wanted something straightforward that didn't limit the style or event that we would do flowers for and we just said "You know, we like flowers. We want to do this." And so it begins...

If you need any arrangements or a florist for an event and are in Southern California, you give us a call! We're pretty cheap and have a lot of fun ideas. We're keeping our day jobs but would like to take on a few projects and we'll take it from there. We're super excited!


I have something exciting to announce soon... (no it's not a baby or a cat)

I'm horrible at keeping secrets so I'll probably post about it tonight. :)

Poor Sparkles...

She was a good car to me, and protected me from a runaway Yukon with no brakes slamming into the back of her. A disposable camera fell underneath the brake pedal of the Yukon so she couldn't stop in time. Dangerous. She's getting towed to a salvage yard today to have the assessment done to determine if she's fixable or a total loss. I hope she'll be able to be fixed, I really like that car. But I'm reminded that it's just a car, and no one was hurt (I don't even have whiplash or soreness- I saw her coming so I was able to tense up which probably helped.) so we're lucky.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I love you, and that's it, forever

Happy 2 years baby!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Housewarming party!!

The house has been officially warmed. It was such a fun party! We had about 50 friends cruise through the party from its 2:00pm start time on Saturday until it petered out into a sleepover party around 2:00am. We gardened and bbq'd again today and I am freakin' tired! But it was such a happy fun time and we were thrilled to show off our new home. Pictures!

So Jeff and I wanted to have a few activities going on during the party to keep everyone entertained (and you can only hula hoop for so long) and we realized that we were going to have a ton of really great artists pass through our backyard, so we got a bunch of paints on clearance and some leftover spray paints from Mark, and we had a free for all on our ugly cinder block wall! Mark Miller started it off with his signature stripes:

Apparently everyone liked the idea because this is what the wall looks like now!
Dang!! It's pretty amazing. And awesome for the resale value on the house I'm sure. Good thing we're not selling EVER! We had a lot of fun with it so all of our parties will have the backyard wall painting going on. It will be a revolving mural of craziness.
Here's the other wall and a sneak peek of my raised garden bed! Andrew tagged the big white piece and Jeff practiced his tagging right below it. I love Sue B's garden goblin with the bean belly, he's like my scarecrow!
Here's Soobee! She did this funny little onion guy that Lee and Andrew put laser beam eyes on later. The collaborations that went on were so fun!
Here's little Izzy posing next to her masterpiece. She started out small and then grabbed a spray can and went to town. She was pretty impressive.
Here's Lee and Andrew Bakofsky painting sausage tears on the big face Matt started. So weird!
And of course, what's a backyard party without hula hooping? Miller and John were really good at it, which only strengthened Jeff's resolve to get better.
Here's my white trash Kodak moment. Silver bullet!
Crum was a hit! Of course... He was so well behaved too! 
Check out our new babies! Mark and Karen got us these sweet coolers, the big one has wheels and a pull handle! Such a great present. These will get LOTS of use.
Our friends were so sweet and we were showered with tons of wine, treats, flowers, and succulents! These gorgeous hydrangeas are going in the ground this week, thanks Sue and Scott!!
We got several beautiful orchids, I'm going to have to learn how to take care of these...
Isn't this neat? It's a glass bowl that looks like an open sandwich bag. Jana and Matt knew I'd love it. I'm going to put treats in it!
Naughty bottle openers!
Mandy made this awesome arrangements of peonies and lisianthus. It smells as good as it looks. 

Thanks so much for coming and helping us to break in the Daisy house friends! Many more to come...

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I've been trolling Craigslist and eBay since we moved in looking for the perfect Danish modern credenza for the long living room wall and haven't found anything with the elusive combination of being the right size, right style, and right price. Impossible? Never. I have faith the piece will find me one day. In the meantime, we needed a placeholder. Jeff and I both hate buying temporary stuff, and would rather pay more to have something that will last either forever, or a really really long time. But that spot is the first thing you walk into in our house though, and we needed a place to drop our keys and mail and stash our games and had to put something there.

Anyways, I went thrifting today around Long Beach and found a perfect (for now) credenza. It's a little beat up, but with some orange oil love and some decorating, I think it's great and we'll be happy with it until the elusive one comes along. And the best part? IT WAS $15.99!!! A solid piece of vintage furniture for under $16. Only at the Goodwill I'm tellin' ya...

I saw the vintage dish drainer used as a mail and bill organizer in an issue of Budget Living magazine one time (I totally miss that magazine, right up there with Domino. So sad.) and thought it was so smart. I obsessively searched thrift stores in Irvine until I found one. I wish it came with the plastic silverware holder cup though, which would have been perfect for pens.
It has pretty good storage, it's about 55" long so the Monopoly set fits well in one of the drawers.
The top drawer even has partitions which worked out nicely for our decks of cards and Jenga. I have to say, I'm pretty thrilled with this thrift store score.

This was the wall that we were leaning all of the art pieces that hadn't yet been hung, so I had to get busy putting them up. Jeff went to go see the Lakers game at Jerod's so I hung everything without consulting him. That sort of happens a lot. Luckily he never seems to mind...
I made the hallway a little photo gallery of our family pictures and this photograph from Jeff's bachelor party. He's blowing a dandelion and Brian and Max are watching. I love it. We still need to print out some of our wedding pictures, those will go up here too.
I finally mounted the cut-out prints of my Jill Bliss Anima pieces. Jeff cut them out with an exacto knife (they were on brightly colored backgrounds that were red and green which was a little too Christmasy next to each other) and we sprayed them with adhesive and mounted them onto white illustration boards. I love how they look now. They are so stunning up close when you can see the detail.

Here's my collage of pictures of our parents and grandparents, which I've done about four times now. Every time I move, I take them all out and then have to rearrange them again. Hopefully this will be the last time. 
I hung this creepy self-portrait of our friend Matt Groller in the hallway where the Pennywise painting is. It seemed to match. We should hang Ken Garduno's boogeyman piece in there too, but he needs to get framed first. 
Jeff found these prints done by our friend Mark Allen Miller and I'm so glad he did. I can't wait to get them mounted and framed and hung up. Not sure where we'll put them yet... maybe the bedroom. We're running out of wall space...