Archive for the ‘Apartment Therapy’ Category

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Weekend Update: clearing the head and the teen’s room

January 5, 2014

THANKFULLY no before pics were taken but instead of cleaning the floors and buying flowers, per The Cure, the kid’s room got gutted.

Apparently we won’t be following directions – entirely 馃槈

You may recognize more than a few things in the discard pile (like my precious and done silver vanity). But onwards and upwards!

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The huge TV, vanity, desk chair and SIX bags of trash went. The computer armoire and top bunk are slated to go. All that will be left is a twin bed, a dresser, bookshelf and W I D E open space that’ll be her own personal music studio.

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Taking the top bunk off = breathing room

We need to paint next weekend – but lots of trim and picture rails means a lot less to paint! We’ve settled on an ultra modern color palette. Can’t wait to see it all come together.

Next weekend we’ll finish her room and start ours. By the end of January our house will be much, much improved!

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Circling Back

January 3, 2014

Remember why I started this blog? Redoing my apartment, inspired by he book Apartment Therapy.

I have signed up to do the “January Cure” in our house. Three people, 1 big dog, a dirt accumulating passion, and a house that’s roughly 1,000 sq. ft. …. three years of living there means it’s time to re-evaluate, clean, organize and prepare for the next 3 years.

Assignment #1 was making a project list. There are only 3 really troublesome areas (both bedrooms and paperwork), but here’s the grand damage…

Sun Porch

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Better storage

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Wash windows

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 New rug

Living Room

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Better lighting

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Repair couch

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Clean gray couch

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Mantle decoration

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Paint side table

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Hook up DVD player (get a Blu-ray?)

Dining Room

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Repaint chairs

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Deep clean b/w rug from Haley鈥檚 room and put under table

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Clean and reorganize built-in

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Replace overhead light

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Thin out picture rail 鈥 rethink photos

Kitchen

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Repair ceiling over sink

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Paint

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Storage corner (tool boxes, files, dog food)

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Aluminum behind stove

Our Bedroom

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 DECLUTTER

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 New dresser

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Reading lights

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Artwork

Haley鈥檚 Room

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 DECLUTTER

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Paint walls

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Break up bunk bed

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Paint dresser

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 New bed linens

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Projects: big and small

February 4, 2013

Projects come in all shapes and sizes – but the size is often more determined by the emotional outlay required to complete it than the physical expenditure.

BIG PROJECTS THAT SEEM SMALL

I am the Queen of Pain Avoidance.聽 If it makes me uncomfortable I will go to amazing lengths to push it to the bottom of my To-Do List.聽 Dealing with the deluge of incoming mail at home is boring聽and ungratifying.聽The lack of pleasure I receive dealing with it results in MOUNTAINS of mail that gets stashed in a bag or box or some such聽receptacle聽do be dealt with at some vague date in the future.聽Needing to find something in that slush pile takes so much time and frustration.聽 This leads to imagining THE most stylish and efficient solution that will CURE ALLLLL MY WOES… when I can find just the right cabinet, or when the exact thing I want goes on sale.

See what I did there?聽 I’m still avoiding it.

So I end up with this.

wpid-2013-02-03-15.05.12.jpg

This started out as a the pile that grew in the corner of the dining room when we moved in 2.5 years ago.聽 When we threw our Christmas Eve Eve party it took over the only meager (and not at all clear) corner of our bedroom.聽Yesterday morning I dragged it out back into the light of day.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Clearing the way…

April 19, 2011

If you’ve been reading this tripe blog for a while you will know that I love going to the dump. Unloading massive amounts of dead weight from your life frees you up to move forward.

Last night I needed to find the last of my tax forms to file my taxes.聽 I waited until the last possible minute to do them because I needed to dig through the dunes of paperwork that has accumulated during the moves of last year. It was something I was having trouble steeling myself to undertake.

You know, I have a problem with that… when a task seems quite huge, I run and hide. Then, in my head, the task keeps growing and growing like some helium filled unconquerable monster until I feel like no human in the world (and most especially not I) can finish said task. Ever.

As the kitchen clock tick-tocked-tick-tocked (and it did not stop) I sat down at the table armed with paper bags, my trusty shredder, a dozen piles and two overstuffed boxes. If I was gonna start looking for the one 1099 I was gonna go through it all.

Perhaps this all or nothing approach contributes to my slacking聽procrastinating… hmmmm. I think I’ll choose to pretend I didn’t just have that revelation 馃槈

In the end the massive hoard was reduced to these perfectly managable file-piles.聽 As soon as I walk in the door they will all be slipped in to manila folders and nestled in the file cabinet.

Believe it or not, there is order there! (Note the blue tape used to keep the bulging tote closed. Yeah, you’ve really got your shit in a pile when you resort to such tactics!)

Outside, the recycle bin is now over half full. Yes, it’s one of the super big recycle bins. And, yes, it didn’t have a damn thing in it before last night.

Filling the recycle bin isn’t quite as thrilling as an outing to the landfill, but it was still pretty awesome.

And you know what? Honestly, it took me less than 2 hours. TWO HOURS. So much for the unconquerable monster theory…

Some of the crap I unloaded has been following me since we left the Avenues – last minutes bills hastily packed on my way out the door that never saw the light of day again.

Really – who doesn’t pay all their stuff online any way? And why can’t I make paper bills go away entirely??

Away went all the paper reminders of the debacle that was 2009… away went a bunch of unread magazines that I never got around to… away went random useless receipts… away went 401k statements that said the same thing month after month (You have $3.58 in your account – close it out for good you jackass!)… away went things I couldn’t find because now I know where they are.

No longer is there a massive pile on the table or in my head… I have cleared the path to breathing easier and focusing on the next thing that I will blow all out of proportion only to find that it really didn’t take that long after all. Ha!

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Lessons Learned

March 21, 2011

This weekend I had grand plans to accomplish a million things,聽but I barely touched my To-Do list.

I did manage to fill the kitchen for the next two weeks, get the bare minimum of house-keeping done, and take care of three horses (but no time to ride even though the sun was out on Sunday).

In the future, even when I plan to have a lot of time to myself, I am going to refrain from list-making. The incomplete items overshadow the things that I did get done and I ended my day on Sunday in a rather foul and resentful mood.

I am learning that I can no longer run run聽run run without running out of gas. My work-weeks are the same each day: rise, shower, pack breakfast and lunch, commute, work, commute, work out, make dinner, go to bed. On the weekends I try to pack in all the neglected household chores, errands, and fun freedom I don’t have during the week.

I should have been able to get everything accomplished that I planned. But it rained. A LOT. Mucking and grooming 3 horses took a lot longer than I thought. My attitude began to work against me in ways I didn’t anticipate.

Something has to give.

I have to learn to be reasonable with my expectations because setting myself up for failure doesn’t do anyone any favors. Most especially the people I live with. If I were to make a To-Do list (which I won’t) I need to build in time to do nothing – and I need to be ok doing nothing when there are things still left to do.

Do you do that, too? Do you only allow yourself to relax once everything is finished?

Yeah, that’s not really fair to yourself, is it?

I did manage to get the bedroom about 80% completed. And I am very happy with it (post to come once I deem it “complete”).

I do also need to acknowledge that my adventures in decorating have become so much easier. The agony I previously endured over every minute decision has been replaced with a stunning efficiency and confidence. Even my crafty ideas are translating much easier in to reality. My headboard turned out exactly as I envisioned – and it cost $29.

Another good thing I eked out of an otherwise frustrating weekend was a long, hot bath. Intoxicating were the vanilla-verbena bath salts in the water and the cold pina聽colada in my hand…. yes, that’s the kind of thing that belongs on a To-Do list.

Oh… and I also learned that I cannot eat things out of a bag. There is just no stopping my gluttony if it involves my hand reaching in to a bag for something.

Not all lessons have to be earth-shattering, right?

馃槢

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Weekend To-Do List

March 18, 2011

It is going to be a dark and stormy weekend in San Francisco, leaving me with more free time than usual. The Child is at her dad’s and The Man will be working all day on Saturday, so I think I’m gonna do some stuff.

  1. Spend some extra time at the barn and take a ride or two in the rain.
  2. Super clean the kitchen and do a little decorating in there.
  3. Super clean the bedroom and do a little decorating in there.
  4. Work out until I fall down – watching my heart rate skyrocket on my shiny new heart rate monitor.
  5. Grocery shopping and cook ahead for the week.
  6. Church on Sunday.
  7. Go to a thrift store.
  8. Attempt a fantastical artistical聽project using the big box of fabulousness mailed to me a year ago from Arkansas. Yes… I do believe the time has come.
  9. Oh…. and I feel the need to plant some things and add some living green things to our home.

Happy Weekend everyone! May you all be well, safe, happy and healthy.

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Won’t you come to dinner?

February 1, 2011

With much help and patience from The Man, I have done it. I have fully, perfectly and exactly realized my artistic vision and style, in the form of a place to dine.

We have transformed this in to this….

One small space contains everything I love in this silly hobby of mine…

  • a very modern classic tulip table – bought from Rachel so she could get one she really wanted
  • sleek and sexy聽black lacquer chairs聽– yard sale $50, former 80’s crap
  • Regency-esque chair seats – fabric on super sale, my first adventure in upholstery
  • they feel like they belong together – yet nothing comes close to matching

The Man may even let you sit in his chair. Its arms are sturdy and inviting of long after-dinner conversations.

And if we have too much fun and end up on the floor, there are plenty of beautifully curvy lines to surround us while we giggle.

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Such busy little bees we were

January 31, 2011

Ok, all y’all know that decorating is just about my most favorite hobby in the world. Moving聽in to this house has been a very long process… more settling in than decorating. This weekend we finally got around to some PROJECTS – YAY!!

A big fat gigantic THANK YOU goes out to The Man for being a perfect project partner! He helped when I asked, did an amazing job, and steered clear when I was acting a total maniacal bitch not so pleasantly.

First up… The Man and his friend finally got rid of the God-awful, non-functioning light fixtures over the fireplace. They are much more appropriate to the house and cast a lovely light, if I do say so myself!

Read the rest of this entry ?

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If you loved me you鈥檇 buy me this: proof that I am a trendsetter pillow edition

January 19, 2011

Well lookie here… guess who was ahead of color trend AGAIN.

That’s right – my idol Jonathan Adler has put out GREEN AND GRAY. Yeah, I totally beat him to the punch.

If you have been following me for a while you will remember that I also called the turquoise and orange trend way before the stores.

That’s right, bitchesss, I am totally badass like that.

p.s. BUY ME THOSE PILLOWS! 馃榾

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Christmas decoration inspiration

November 28, 2010

Every year we choose a theme for our Christmas decorations: red/green, blue/silver, sports, more is more, etc. This year I am finding that the style of our house is giving me decorator’s block. Hopefully some of these ideas will help me break free from the Craftsman confines 馃榾

Since I can’t have snow and barren wintry landscapes here in the temperate land of evergreens.

Playing with scale!

Um, helloooooo? SHINY!!! aaaacccckkkkk!

I am oddly attracted to this modern meets country look.
I need to ponder that for a hot minute…
nope… the word ‘country’ still gives me the dry heaves

(pssst… notice the light fixture!)

What says CHRISTMAS!!! more than shiny, hanging balls?

More is more, especially when it comes to twinkling things!

Ok, so let’s recap. What have we learned here?

  1. I like modern
  2. I like MORE
  3. I like sparkly, twinkly, shiny things

Groundbreaking stuff here, I know.

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Submitting to retail therapy – against my will

November 19, 2010

Shopping, oh how I hate thee! Let me count the ways!

I am sitting here in a completely empty office in the dark save for the one light in my cube. The only sound is the soft whirrrrr of my computer fan and the HVAC. It is very calm and peaceful and I kind of wish it were like this all the time.

To add to my morning zen I actually put 2 minutes of thought in to my outfit. I am accessorized. I’m having a good hair day. I even managed to put on perfume! (Yes, Rae, the French whore perfume)

And, thanks to The Man who insisted, I have $300 cash waiting patiently in my wallet for a shopping trip this afternoon.

Cue anxiety attack!

Seriously. My stomach is in knots at just the thought of stepping foot in stores and – even worse – trying on clothes.

But as I admitted to The Man as he was delivering me to the front door of my office, I’ll never improve my self image if I’m always feeling like I am wearing sausage casings.

My wardrobe has become incredibly limited and I have stubbornly refused to buy fat clothes. I am cheap and I don’t want to admit I’m not a size 6… 8…. or 10 *ACK!!!* any more.聽 It’s hard to get out from under the wet blanket of self-loathing when there’s nothing you can put on to make you feel good about yourself.

So I am going to do that thing that I hate most in life… I am going to shop. My strategy is this:聽 a few multi-use pieces, mostly in black, with lots of colorful accessories. Hopefully I’ll soon be able to ditch the fat clothes and I’ll still have a lot of cute accessories. Then I will go home and purge my closet of all but a few things that don’t fit. No more reminders of what size I was.

Wish me luck.

Oh… on a happy note here is another smidgeon of聽 progress on the home front.

You may remember this picture from the first day we were in our house. We took a LOT of crap on Facebook for our sexy TV stand (and blow up mattress and cardboard dining table) even though our real furniture wouldn’t arrive for a few more days.

Confession:聽 that was still our TV stand until last weekend. Actually it was another tote higher! HAHA

That’s fixed now with a much more practical solution…

p.s. I got another 10 straws done last night! At this rate I may have a lamp shade before the world ends in December of 2012!

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Pick one, because clearly I am insane.

November 18, 2010

I want to redo my dining room chair seat cushions. Clearly I want green. I have narrowed it down to the following…

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

All of these will be a huge contrast against the chairs – which I am redoing a la this black chair. Wicker painted in gloss black = HolyEffingFabulous!! (And OMG that room RULES!)

Tell me in the comments which one you like best!

Don’t make me shame you lurkers for your lack of participation!

You know who you are! And I know who you are!

馃槢

Now on the topic of crazy… If I ever could lay claim to even a shred of sanity I can no longer. I have undertaken the Grand Daddy of All Ridiculously Time Intensive Projects.

The bare bulb on the sun porch just cannot remain naked. Nooooooo. I could just go buy a shade, right? Again, nooooooo. Why? Because the shade I want costs $10,000. That’s right – $10k!

Me being the cheapest of all frugal, purse clutching, bargain shopping, penny-pinching sorts is determined to recreate the look of said shade for the princely sum of $4.50. Of course that does not take in to account the 12+ hours of freakishly tedious labor it will take for me to complete this project.

The major material used is drinking straws – and cutting them in to about a gazillion pieces.

So I got about 6 done in an hour. A box of straws has 100 straws in it.

Think I’ll ever finish it? Shall we start a pool?? Or should I just “do not pass GO, go straight to loony bin”?

Again, pick one.

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Holy Mary, Mother of Productivity!

November 16, 2010

I think I set some sort of record for weeknight productivity last night!

This, if you remember, is where I started in the dining room…

I started in the opposite corner and cleared one small space. We hadn’t seen this corner聽since the day we moved in.

But clearing one space means destroying another.

I was feeling rather down about that when my friend Patty pointed out聽“It’s Newton’s 3rd law of house cleaning: “For every clean and organized anything, there is an equal and opposite mess to make it happen.”

So I pressed on…

I ended up with 5 bags of trash and a tower of recycling.

And a TON of donations.

The result?

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Sage words from my domestic mentor, Jonathan Adler

November 10, 2010

I am currently experiencing a sadness with my house. It’s so beautiful and perfect and wonderful and lovely – but it’s not making me happy. There are still boxes unpacked. There are no pictures on the walls. Nothing new and pretty has been purchased just for it.

It seems to be a reflection of my self-image struggles of late.

Then this morning my idol for all things happy and fabulous around the house, Jonathan Adler, had some words I needed to hear – yet again.

Our 10 Commandments for a Happy Chic home

1.聽 Thou shalt embrace maximalism.
Thou wilt find minimalism to be something of a bummer in thy abode. Thou wilt grow tired of an endless sea of beige and thou wilt long for a splash of color & a dollop of pattern! Bargello pillows, Furnace bottles, and rustic modern lamps – these shalt be the accessories that add some panache to your pad.

2.聽 Thou shalt not deny thyself hotelish comfort at home.
Thou shalt furnish thy rooms with paw-pampering, hand-loomed llama wool rugs, luxurious lighting and our fabulous furniture.
Thy rooms shalt feel like the most opulent hotel rooms in which thou hast ever stayed.
Thou art worth it.

3.聽 Thou shalt buy an X-Bench.
Then, thou shalt buy another. Thou shalt use them in pairs, perfect under thy console or placed near thy sofa. Thou shalt rest聽thy feet upon them & so will thy guests. In fact, thy guests might even fight over who gets to rest upon them. Therefore, thou shalt establish house rules about thy X-Benches. Perhaps thou should consider a sign up sheet.

4.聽 If thy nest needeth zest, consider聽thy crest!
Thou shalt emblazon with thine initials wherever possible.

5.聽 Thou shalt mix fancy with frisky.
Thou shalt not be overly formal, for if thou art, thou will be sad. Conversely, thou shalt not be overly whimsical, for if thou art thou will not feel chic. Therefore, thou shalt embrace a mix, pairing the chic classical foundation – excellent proportions, classic furniture – with a layer of playful punctuation. Then thou shalt rest.

6.聽 Thou shalt honor the funsters of yore.
David Hicks, Alexander Girard, Piero Fornasetti, Bonnie Cashin, Bjorn Wiinblad – if thou dost not knoweth them, thou should. Thou can use Google Images to learn more about them and thou shalt channel their fun, idiosyncratic, playful spirit in thine own interiors. Thy home will be fun, happy, and chic.

7.聽 Thou shalt not commit murder,
…unless thou art murdering for a decorative accessory.
If thou should find thyself at one of our stores and seeth the last bird bowl on our shelf, thou shalt feel free to use whatever means necessary to obtain that special something.

8.聽 Thou shalt not be afraid of orange.
Thou shalt use orange copiously in thy interior, whether it beeth聽in an orange breakfast room or via the zing聽of an orange lacquered box. Thou might even consider painting thy front door orange to pique thy neighbor’s curiosity. Thou shalt also covet chocolate brown.

9.聽 Thou shalt play ping pong.
Better still, thou shalt have a ping pong聽table in thy living room. Then, lo, thou shalt play ping pong with thy spouse rather than sitting around watching thy tv.

10.聽 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.
In fact, after following these 10 commandments, thy neighbor might covet thy house. So there.

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If you loved me you’d buy me this: DWR Semi-Annual Sale edition

October 7, 2010

I will take anything and everything on this sale ad, or maybe four 馃榾

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Tease

September 23, 2010

Do you miss the “Before and After”s? Were you on the edge of your seat, riveted, with each post?

I know you were because, honestly, card tables are high drama 馃榾

The good news is that you’ll get your fix, you naughty little minx. The bad news is that you will have to wait until Monday.

Until then I will offer you a little tease… Dining Room: from dowdy to (you fill in the blank)

p.s. Rachel shhhhhhhhh

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City Conveniences

September 22, 2010

One of the really great things about living in The City is that you can get just about anything delivered.

Of course there are restaurants: pizza, Chinese, Thai, even four star haute cuisine. You can get your laundry and dry cleaning delivered. You can have a rental car delivered. And yesterday, for the princely sum of $31, I got the country delivered.

Yummmmm! Fresh, organic, local. I’ve got some serious cooking to do!

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Zero to 60 in one month flat

September 17, 2010

Our lives have聽certainly聽become a flurry of activity lately! It seems not so long ago (like a month) that we were spending a lot of time sitting on our hands just waiting for our lives to begin. The Child was out of school for summer, I wasn’t working, our house wasn’t ready… except for daily trips to the barn, our lives were a whole lot of nothing but waiting.

Really?? That seems really hard to remember already!

The Child’s softball (and The Man helping coach the team) takes up a lot of our weekday bandwidth. I rush out of work every day to catch the end of practice and we all go home together. Two days a week are game days so weeknights are generally consumed by softball and the less homework and family time she has. But it’s a VERY short season and will be over in a couple of weeks.

Next week The Cousin (Rachel) will be here a night or two and The Man is off to Chicago for 5 days. The Child and I will have to learn to survive without him because we really depend on him… A LOT. (Eek!) Then the week after I may be going off for a Girl’s Weekend which will likely leave my liver screaming for mercy and in desperate need of sleep!

You probably remember that I get a little wound up by and obsessed with politics聽… 聽The Man shares my lunacy – especially a deep loathing for Glenn Beck and an extreme fondness of Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert. When they announced their Rally to Restore Sanity/March to Keep Fear Alive we couldn’t resist – we have in our hot little hands tickets to Washington DC the last weekend in October.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 聽

聽Oh yeah… and I am working on the house in my “free time”.聽 Annnnnd we are waiting for word on a possible dog on its way to the rescue we are working with.

Once that’s “over” we can settle in to a nice mellow ….. uh …. holiday season which will mark the launch of wedding plans in earnest. Then it’ll be summer, honeymoon, and back to school again.

*Sigh*

To think I just desperately wanted to be doing stuff again. HA!

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Dining table dilemma

September 3, 2010

The good news:聽 we have a dining table!

It really is a high quality piece of furniture, it fits perfectly and has room for six!聽I am so excited that we can actually have people over! YAY! (Thank you, Susan!! 馃榾 )

Like I said, it’s a lovely piece of furniture. While it’s not really my aesthetic I have to admit that its lines are growing on me and the size could not be more perfect!

So my dilemma is how to make it fit better with my style and with the house… Please give me your suggestions!!!

You know how sometimes just the right accessories is all something needs? Well, I thought I’d give that a try…

Read the rest of this entry ?

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How Emily got her sparklies back

September 2, 2010

A little at a time, bit by bit, shiny things are making their way back in to my life.

Getting all my worldly possessions back under one roof again sure helped.聽 Unpacking has been slow but steady and little corners of the house are getting “settled”.

I am happy to report that one of my most prized possessions has taken a prominent place in our home again – my UmberDove聽triptychs. And, fittingly, they are flanked with shiny things!

Yes, I do kind of like the sconces, but hate the gold tone and they seem to take a non-standard chandelier bulb (I’ve tried 2 sizes so far and no dice.)聽 I don’t think they are long for this world…

Last night The Man, The Child and I ate dinner at a reception venue that we thought could be a strong contender. We definitely want a real Chicago Italian-style affair and their food was fantastic!聽With much anticipation we were led up to the largest banquet room and when they hit the lights… well… The Child and I kind of lost our shit minds!

SPARKLY!!! And do you see it?… A DISCO BALL!

*swoon*

This is the view we’ll see when we look down on our guests before the big entrance…

Could it be any more perfect? No, I think not!

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