Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Who loves cake?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

I have ALWAYS maintained throughout my 4.1 delicate years "If I could eat cake and cookies everyday of my life and be healthy, I could be truly happy."

Alas, this is not the case. So in times when I cannot- I sit and look at cakes on Pinterest.

My favorite finds today!

Shabby and pretty!

This below may be the happiest cake viewed today!

Have a huge Busch Light beer fan and need to make a special cake?! Me neither..but just in case..look no further!

This below is pretty and stylish AND I always envision myself eating all of that fondant. Does anyone else? Does it even taste good? I can't recall. This is why I can't watch shows like "Cake Boss"- I just think obsessively about the toppings and batter and fondant. Before you know it, I'm headed to the grocery store and en route to a severe sugar conniption!

Finally...this is just pretty, pretty! I never used to enjoy blues as my older sister has had a life-long obsession with them and it irked me. New house? Blue carpet! Build a newer house? BLUE CARPET throughout! I have leaned into it a bit now and some blues are lovely.

And this below is for Emerson, my sweet nephew. I just find it adorable and he finds everything interesting, which I love. We had a sleepover and he had us do "blind drawings" and then laughed and told me "That's horrible!"

Have a splendid Wednesday!



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Let's Pretend It Hasn't Been Cloudy for Two Weeks!

Yep, you read that right. I can take rain. I love a cloudy day here and there. I can't take two full weeks of rain and clouds and darkness. Not even my sweet, happy cottage can make me pretend that I don't need to see the sun.

I've also learned: Do NOT look at the 10 day weather report. Just. Don't. When you look ahead and see that it will rain for the next 10 days, something happens psychologically.

A deep burn.

Ugh. the interest of  pretending it's super warm and sunny..I give you some fun projects today that are darling and inspiring!

First up: Cute outdoor dog bed! Have an old dresser drawer? Feel like painting and using emerald? Apparently THE color of the year from Pantone!
Courtesy of DIY Showoff blog:

This next room is LOVELY and was designed by Emily Henderson. She was on Design Star a few years back. I THINK she either won or was a runner-up. I have enjoyed her show- for the life of me I can't recall the name of it, but I loved it overall. This room is happy.

This home was featured here:

I don't know who Bri is, but she looks a bit like Rachel Zoe to me and I expect to hear "I DIE!" or "That is BANANAS!" at any moment!

I could use a chartreuse door about now! The hubby never really goes for this kind of color until I just paint something and he notices it a few months later. "Oh, that's kind of cool! When did you do that?" Me: "About half a year ago!"


This is a fun, bright and darling craft room mini-makeover! Happy! From a closet to this cuteness!

I'm off to work now! I have a whole shop in our basement now that is actually well-lit and nice! I'm kind of excited to use it AND I have ideas for hanging fabrics and organizing the space. I will probably eventually have before and after pics!

Have a grand Tuesday. Please send some sun this way!



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Funny.

Since it's a splendid (insert sarcasm!) 50 or so degrees here in St. Paul, rainy and chilly- I have spent my afternoon perusing Pinterest AND watching "Iyanla, Fix My Life!" on OWN. Iyanla, helpful as she is, started to bum me out.

So I headed off to Pinterest.

And this made me laugh OUT loud- AND- I find it to be true! Do any of you?

It never opens so easily.

I made Mac and Cheese yesterday. Buyer beware: I purchased the generic equivalent as I'm trying to avoid FD&C red dyes (they are not in the version sold in England and much of Europe and don't have to be. The "coloring" can be made with natural..paprika! Go figure.) and I must say: It was a disappointment. I was not impressed with the flavor.

I also had to use a knife to stab open the box!

Happy Saturday, Chitllins!



Friday, May 24, 2013

Welcome To The Puppet Show..and a bit more.

This is what covers the closet of my now office in our new place. It was formerly a little girl's room. I love yellow (or "Yeyyo" as Emerson used to say.) but thought I'd change these out pretty quickly. Here's what happened:

We lived in the new house for about a week. Brad was back to work. I took a shower very late one night after unpacking. I was as dirty as "a frenchman" as Homer Simpson once said to Marge. I digress.

As I am showering..suddenly the smoke alarm goes off! NIGHTMARE! Both dogs freak out. They're barking and scared. I'm a bit stunned. I jump out of the shower. Angry. Soaking wet. I realize the offensive alarm is right in the hallway outside of the biffy. I wave my arms. It stops for a second. I think "What a dumb place to put this alarm if the heat and steam of the shower make it go off!" I head back into the shower. What a dummy. The same scene happens again. The second time I'm angrily swearing. I get on a chair, rip it out of the ceiling and remove the battery. Or try to. It's one of those old ones that's hard to disassemble.

Rat bastards! As I'm trying to get it to quiet down, I have visions of hitting it over and over with a bat. I finally get the battery out but it's still squeaking a bit. I can't tell if it's leftover hearing damage or if it's really happening. I finish my shower. I think of Brad telling me "It's just bad luck." which is what he says whenever anything bad, uncomfy, scary or irritating happens when he's at work (such as..sick dogs pooping on carpet, alarms, weird noises, etc..)..I can't find Daisy our older dog. When I do find her..she's in this closet. Upset. Scared. Lying in the bottom there on the blankets my Granny Stolarski made back in the 70's. She stayed there til morning and slept.

She looked SO DARLING. I now refer to it as the Puppet Show. Curtis the puppy sleeps in there during the day when I work. It is so cute. I got down there and looked around as if I were that small. I realized..this is cool. I'd totally live here!

Cozy! Will I end up turning it into a reading nook? Only time will tell! Options are endless!

What I've enjoyed about this house so far: I'm trying to live in it and figure it out rather than painting walls and accessorizing. It seems better this way. Some rooms are unfinished. I have a few where I don't know what color I want for them to be, so I'm just waiting. It's much more comfortable. Normally I rush a bit to finish everything so it feels complete. That is not happening this time. It's slow going. But the parts that are completed feel right.

A cute part of our backyard. Yes, it needs a bit of weeding between the stones. It rained all week. I do have some solar lights from Ikea wrapped around the tree now as well as solar lights in the ground around the tree. I think we'll get a firepit and place it in this area (but away from the tree!)- that's our neighbor's house. He's a very nice guy. Daisy barks at him every time she sees him. Every. time. It is exhausting and sometimes embarrassing. Like having a misbehaving kid that just will not listen. Sigh. Butterballs!

This kid is just tuckered out by 2pm daily! Nap time! This is our living room. Love the wood burning stove, windows and mouldings. Not sure of what color we're going with in here, but it may be a nice moody blue or gray. Or green. Not sure. Like this blue below.

But then again..maybe not. I feel like it will come to me.

I've also been logging some time on Design Seeds lately and I LOVE IT!!

Been there? If not, please go. You just may love it as I do:

Miss Daisy is much happier here. She even seems curious about the outdoors and exploring 91! Our other house always had a very weird vibe. I couldn't talk about it much while living there as it weirded me out quite a bit. In the last few weeks we lived there we had a tealight candle relight itself 24++ hours after it was originally lit (and had burned out the previous night, as they do, after an hour or so.)..the puppy's outdoor leash broke three times in three day his collar broke and he was two blocks away. We began wondering "Was this built on a burial site or something?" but we didn't talk about it much while living there because what can you do? I did some feng shui cures while living there, saged the house and told anything "Go to the light!"- however- in the last weeks, it was just creepy living there. Glad to be out.

Happy Puppy! Sorry for the somewhat X Rated shot! He was so happy had to be photographed! He does need to be neutered, folks. Yes. That will happen soon and his little head will be in a cone for a few days.

I'm very happy about the lilacs! Love them! And about the vine that grows on this lattice. The whole yard has amazing landscaping. The former owner had chickens so the soil is amazing and we've got hostas, peonies, tulips, sedum and all kinds of plants sprouting. Our neighbor (not house pictured above, other side) is a master gardener and does it for a living- her yard is amazing. It's reminiscent of the house and yard in the movie Practical Magic. Very full of character and imperfections, with interesting orbs and items, but stunning. Makes you feel good when you look over. Curtis has begun watching her as she gardens in the mornings. he lies down and stares. It's quite adorable.

I'm off to have a glass of wine and have some relaxing to do. I have been busy and have unpacked, cleaned or had something to do nearly everyday since we moved in. Today I took the day off.

Hope your night is beautiful and your extended weekend is lovely and fun-filled!!



Sunday, May 19, 2013

Big Move..Slow Progress...Milk and Margaritas!

I'm back!!

I never really left. But this move has taken up most of my (and Brad, so "our time") life and time as of the past few weeks. Considering it snowed until May, we were never able to have a huge garage sale. So we ended up having WAY too much stuff to move. We did give some items away to a needy family. We left some things curbside with "FREE" signs (nice things- car seats, golf clubs, etc.)

We both agreed that at a certain point it felt as if our stuff was growing at the old house. Pack up a room, how it is possible that there seems to be MORE stuff in the next room? Good god! We had a huge house. It didn't seem like we had a lot of things or anything excessive until we moved. Considering I'm a recycling freak, I hate that feeling that I get to where I panic and think "Let's just leave it here!" or "Screw it! Throw it away! Throw it ALL away!"  I didn't do any of that, but I was compelled to on more than one occasion!

Como Park Conservatory today-Sunday.

I now live only four blocks from Como Park, the zoo, the lake and the Conservatory! It is beautiful in this neighborhood. Tons of character. Old homes. Mature trees and tree canopies. Interesting colors for houses and garage doors. Great neighbors. I met Elvin the other day as I was in our garden. He's 94. Has lived in the area for 54 years. Raised his whole family. Told me "Looks like you've got A LOT to work to do there." (Referring to our garden which had a good year's worth of leaves)- so cute. He heard perfectly which is rarely the case when chatting with someone that old. Was in World War 2. I wanted to hug him. It would have been awkward since A) I had only just met him and B) There was a fence between us.

Como Conservatory. Love it here. The greatest part: Torrential rains as we were trying to walk around. I ended up with completely wet feet, the bottom half of my jeans were soaked. My hair became crunchy. My umbrella dropped rain on me as it shielded me. The Conservatory was evacuated twice due to all of the glass and severe weather. There was water leaking everywhere. It was...beautiful but uncomfy. The staff was setting up for a wedding. I found myself feeling bad for the bride and groom.

Love. It.

In other news- my niece Kirsten graduated COLLEGE yesterday! So proud! I stupidly said something like "Wow, those four years just flew by!" and she was like "Yeah..not so much for me.."  Goes by fast for those who aren't doing all of the hard work. She's hoping to find a teaching job for this fall. It was a great day! We had margaritas and dinner with her mom (my sister), dad, brother and her grandparents on her dad's side.

Since I can't really find any of my clothing (I'm not joking. I have leggings, casual clothes, tank tops, jeans with holes and tennis shoes but can't find my dressy and nicer items!) I chose this cute safari dress. With leggings and boots as it was 52 degrees and raining when I left. Fast forward to this hour (5pm?) and it was 80 and humid! I was OVERLY HOT. At one point someone said "Can't you take anything off?" Me: "Not without looking VERY inappropriate!" -so I tore off my double long necklace from Romania! As if it helped, but it did make me feel better in that moment as I screamed "it's strangling me!"

This pic makes me giggle because we all had margaritas and Nick, who is 19, had a milk with refills! I could tell he wanted a drink, but obviously couldn't order one. He is so funny. He's forever distressed that he cannot yet grow a beard, thus making him look younger. Man-boy!

 I will have some great Before and After pictures of our new house soon! Brad did the whole bathroom and it turned out great. I LOVE this house. Smaller but well laid out and cozy. The back yard is gorgeous as is the front. The dogs seem happier as the relation with house and yard is better than our last place. Curtis is chasing squirrels and has dog girlfriends already- Daisy and Sati. Our Daisy is happy and  has taken over the downstairs bathroom as her new bedroom. It's hilarious and sometimes a bit stressful.

MOST IMPORTANT: I ate homemade CARROT CAKE yesterday! My niece Kirsten made it from scratch. Her great grandma's recipe. I told her if she can't find a teaching job ASAP that she could have a side career in baking!

Hope your weekend was beautiful!!



Friday, May 3, 2013

Jealous Much?

Well...they have not only broken ground but broken the sound barrier next door!

This is what I woke up to yesterday around 7AM. See that earth mover right in the air? Good times, folks.

Can you also say "time to move?" That's a whole FIELD out there with five lots. A family chose THIS lot, literally right on top of us. Why is it that people like to live thisclose to one another? Yes, we're moving so the timing is perfect. If we were stuck here for a bit or WANTED to stay here, I'd be seriously bummed out. I like people. I just don't want to HAVE to interact everytime I step outside.

My god. I sound like an old lady.

Call me Florence. gets even better noise-wise and as a final gift..SNOW! That's right. It's snowing again.

I think I just threw up a little.

We sold all of our kitchen appliances yesterday so for now- that's a big bag of ice outside and I'm living on borrowed time.


I am nothing if not dramatic at times!

I'm at the point in packing where I wonder why I even have stuff. And to be fair- these are nice items that I love and cherish. But now I am just shoving things in boxes and wondering "Why do I have all of these damned books? Reading?! F**k that!"<-------That's the tired me talking. That is not "real" Tina.

Anyway...I'm a vegetarian about to eat chicken nuggets because it's easy and I'm sleep deprived.

The most interesting part? My hubby. Has no concern that we're not going to be ready at 9AM tomorrow when the movers arrive. I don't want to move twice and our new house is a good hour away. He's also worked nights all week (not his fault) and I'm beginning to feel a bit like a workhorse.

Please send me positive vibes.

Man Down!