decking the halls

Last weekend was pretty productive. We managed to put up Christmas lights on our house and I even had time to make a wreath for the front door and stockings for everyone.

Sunday we loaded up the cars with good friends and drove to North Bend to chop down our trees. It was freezing cold, but still an absolute blast. We all found almost-perfect trees for our homes and even had enough time to enjoy some hot cider and fill up on BBQ.

We got home somewhat late, but still made time to trim the tree with white lights and beautiful baubles. A little charlie brown-esque, eh?

Deck the halls with boughs of holly Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la 'Tis the season to be jolly Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la Don we now our gay apparel Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la. Troll the ancient Yule-tide carol Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!!!!


merry christmas to all

December is here... and Christmas will be here before we know it! This entire year was a whirlwind for me so I am ready to slow things down and relax for the holiday season. My family will be visiting from California and Texas this Christmas, and I couldn't be happier. We are so lucky to have family who doesn't mind hopping on a plane to spend the season with family. Actually, this year they will be arriving by rail. My parents are jetting out to the Bay area to spend a few days with my brother and his wife, then all four of them are boarding a train for a 24 hour adventure along the Pacific coast. I am very jealous! They arrive a couple days before Christmas and I can't wait to show them our home...

 ...and to introduce them all to Belle, our new canine addition this year.  
Isn't she just a sweet lady?

This will be our very first Christmas in our very first home together as a family with our two dogs; and Bailey, our other dog, will be turning 10 so this year is a very special year.

Now I just have to start decking the halls!!!


sweet dreams

Have you ever seen a more adorable dog bed? It is actual a duvet from molly mutt. You stuff it with old clothes and sheets, and then can just throw the whole 'stuff sack' in the wash when needed! Genius!

I'll have to stow this away for a later day when our pups chew through theirs.


{ giving thanks }

This past week, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving holiday together as man and wife in our first home. It was wonderful. I have so many things to be thankful for this year. The perfect husband, a home to call our own, two amazing pups who love us unconditionally, and families who travel across the country to spend the holidays with us. My hubby's parents flew all the way from New York and I couldn't have asked for a better week. It was honestly perfect... With the help of my mother-in-law, I prepared a rather traditional turkey dinner. I do love to cook, but was a little nervous about how it would all work out. Everything turned out fantastic. The only mishap was when I tried to transfer the pumpkin pie to the oven and everything spilled onto the oven door. Not too shabby for a first timer, huh? Here are a few photos from the visit, including the guest room I decorated with existing stuff for their arrival.


leaves are falling.

I want to first begin by apologizing for my brief hiatus from posting. Things have been a tad busy lately, but I finally have pictures for you. I was anxious to see how our house looked in autumn, and was pleasantly surprised at how vivid the colors were.


Whenever the weather is nice enough, we load up the pups in the car and head to Discovery Park for a long walk.


{ go yankees } 2009 world series champions

Photo via New York Post

For those of you that don't know, my huz is a huge Yankee fan. This year, they won the world series, so you might imagine how happy he was. Being the good wife that I am, I slaved over making a fondant NY Yankee logo for his birthday cake a few weeks ago. His birthday was before the final series game, but since it seems fitting I thought I should share.

We even carved pumpkins, and some friends made these lovely pieces:


autumn bliss.

Fall this year seemed to blow by in a breeze. I wish I could rewind a couple weeks and freeze time. Autumn is gorgeous around here. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, things just smell differently. I only wish I could share it with you. I have taken photos over the past couple weeks, but I need a card reader for my camera before I can upload and share. I especially can't wait to share photos from the hubby's birthday this past weekend. We had a blast! I even made a Yankee cake celebrating the Yankee's making it to the World Series (I can say this now since Sunday was the determining game). We carved pumpkins, drank mulled cider, ate cheese and crackers with cherry chutney, and of course, drank some beer. I will try my best to get photos up next week.


{ ode to the classics }

Is it wrong to buy a book because of it's cover? Does it count if it is a Penguin classic? http://www.doobybrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/coralie-bickford-smith-book-designs.jpg This is the first set of the cloth-bound series designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. The 10 book set was released in November of last year, but exclusively for Waterstones in the UK. Now, almost a year later 8 of the 10 titles from last year will soon be available at Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Amazon.com. I have already placed my pre-order on Amazon.com for a few of my favorites. A second set, again exclusive to Waterstones, was just released on October 5th. Unfortunately I don't really want to pay International shipping fees and Foreign Exchange rates so I might just have to wait until next year if they decide to sell them here. I especially love the designs for Oliver Twist, Emma, and Alice in Wonderland. Adorable. Book spines of the second set of cloth-bound classics by in penguin. They will look lovely next to my vintage typewriter, don't you think?


busy bees this weekend

After about a month of taking a break from work on the house, we got back into it. In fact, this weekend was fairly productive. Steve fixed our bathroom fan and installed new fresh white outlets. Our old ones were a dingy beige.

While out scouting for a large area rug to pair with our sofa, I finally found a door mat for our front porch. And today, I weeded the garden and trimmed back some of our flowering plants. You can never have enough fresh flowers in your home, so I made sure to snip a few buds to scatter around.

Next weekend we plan to finally start decorating since we should be receiving our sofa on Friday! I also have it on my list to pick out ground cover and some fall flowering plants to fill blank spots around the perimeter of our front yard.


vintage typewriters

One of the great things about owning an older home is finding hidden treasures. In our attic, we were more than pleased to find a vintage typewriter. Correction: we were ecstatic to find it. I would love to have a home that displays many vintage finds. Here he is:

And here is some inspiration for how I plan to display him!  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/__9zkUspWZdA/Sm-XQJmDjTI/AAAAAAAABKo/nvLnp8F7vA4/s400/typewriter-mirror-desk-HTOURS1005-de.jpg


sofa shoppin

For the past month or so, I have had some major angst over one major purchase...the sofa. We had some criteria to fill, which I struggled with continually throughout the process: 1) A relatively small and narrow room that has to function as a dining area as well :: It must not be too large or dark because it will overwhelm the space 2) A dark furred dog that loves to snuggle on the sofa :: It must be easy to clean and hide daily grime well 3) A 6' tall husband who needs a place to put his feet up after long days :: It must have a seat that is at least 72" long (and deep enough for us to both lay on comfortably) 4) A wife (me) who wants the entry of the home to look good :: It must not be generic and/or ugly So after dragging the huz to shop after shop and looking at numerous retail websites, we finally (and I mean finally) settled on one. Meet Rachel...

She may look boring now, but take a look at what I am envisioning... actually I have two options...

Option A:

Option B:

Thoughts? Opinions? Concerns? Do you have a favorite? Please oh please...do tell!


decorating 101

If you are as sad as I am about the demise of the oh-so-lovely domino magazine earlier this year, you really need to pick up the domino book of decorating and browse through it. This book is fantastic...all the decor advice you could think of for designing a home that fits your style all wrapped up in fabulously beautiful book. All it needs is a ribbon.

Now that you have rushed out to the nearest bookstore to pick up your own beloved copy, turn to page 78 and you will find the sofa that I have been drooling over forever. I absolutely love this sofa from the domino book (better photo on page 78) and have been drooling over it for awhile now. It can also be seen here in Domino Editor, Deborah Needleman's Tribeca loft.
Photo via NY Home Design

Everything about this room tickles my fancy...the gorgeously plush sofa with tufted seat, the greyish-taupe accent chairs, the jute rugs, the acrylic mod coffee table, the pile of logs next to the fireplace, the white garden stool used as a side table....the list goes on. There is something about this room that intrigues me. I love the neutral palette and she does such a lovely job of making it fun and inviting. I want to curl up on that sofa with one of her coffee table books. I also love how it doesn't really match but it works for some reason. Oh why can't I have skill like this.... maybe I need to study the domino book of decorating for some much needed advice!


disco inferno

You might wonder why I haven't really mentioned the bathroom yet. Well, maybe you can help me figure out what to do here while we save up some dough to complete gut and redo it...  
Doesn't it just make you want to break out the disco ball? 

Can it be salvaged? Any ideas?


the farmhouse look

Take a lesson from history and the farmhouse style. In those years, the main floor was typically an open area used for everything - from eating, spending time with the family, gathering around the fireplace, and even cooking in the same area. I like to believe that this type of setup instills a sort of family togetherness and I don't think I am the only person who feels this way. There has been a definite trend moving back to this way of living. It can be seen with the open floor plans you often see in magazines and on the home/decorating channel. A lot of people are taking their homes back to their roots by tearing down the living room wall to expose the kitchen or maybe just widening doorways. While this is something we would definitely like to do, it is a couple years down the road so until then I have to find other ways to get that look and feel. My first attempt will be with an important piece of furniture - the dining room table. I have never had a dining room table to call my own and fortunately the huz and I share a desired look. We both love the raw and rustic wood farmhouse style table preferably one that extends to hold our friends and family for gatherings. I tend to gravitate towards lighter colors...

Photo via Ballard Designs

 ...while the huz definitely flocks towards the darker pieces.
Photo via World Market

I think we might have to meet somewhere in the middle with an amber colored piece.
Photo via design sponge

I particularly love this one because not only is it a trestle table, but I love how they paired it with black simple chairs for an unfussy look.


...and breathe

All that hustle and bustle finally paid off. We are now officially living upstairs and couldn't be happier about it. We still have our work cut out for us - things are a little barren at the moment...

Well maybe a lot barren, but we will get there eventually! And the wall color is actually much prettier in person. It looks a bit drab here, but it actually has a lot of personality! Now on to the bedroom.... Our bedroom is quite cozy actually (cozy is code for small in the real estate world) and I actually really love the nook and built in shelves.

Although I think we might need some color to brighten things up a bit.