Archive for March, 2011

My New Hobby

Posted on March 24, 2011. Filed under: Home, Newlywed | Tags: , |

Here’s a little tidbit to hold you over until I write a meatier entry on (sneak peek) planting a spring garden!

Since we’ve been shopping for a home, I’ve become slightly obsessed with all things home décor. One of my sorority sisters introduced me to John and Sherry Petersik’s blog about DIY décor and remodeling. I’m addicted. When I talk to Adam about home things, I’m starting to say, “Well, John and Sherry painted their ceiling this pale blue.” And, “John and Sherry recommend living in a space at least 6 months before making major changes.” Adam’s response: “Who? Oh… your blog people?” accompanied by a major eye roll. I may be a tad attached to my pretend friends and DIY-experts, but I have adopted a new hobby: home décor blog surfing. And I’ve been surfing a lot.

Through my obsessive perusing of home ideas, I’ve noticed that I have a recurring fascination for certain items – quirky or not. I will list them here.

1. Chinese garden stools – I have a sentimental love for these. My mother has a blue and white one in her foyer that she uses as a plant stand. When I was little, I remember constantly sticking my fingers in the little holes trying to figure out what exactly was inside that glass barrel. They make a great accent piece and now they come in all colors. I wouldn’t pay over $100 for one. I hear (through the blogosphere) that you can get one for $50 at Garden Ridge.

I want one in this color

 

 

a little more mod

Orange is pretty modern too, but I don't prefer this one

Similar to the one my mom has

 

 

And a black one for boring people. Just kidding

 

 

2. Throw pillows – Contrary to Adam’s opinion, you can never have enough. Nothing says cozy like a couch full of throw pillows. Cost saving tip: order the cases and switch them out with the inserts you already own. Etsy is a great place to look at throw cases.

3. Birds – I know that one day in the not so far off future the bird motif will be out of style. I can’t help myself. I LOVE IT! I plan to make my own wall art by copying these tiles in an aqua and gray color scheme to match our bedroom. I may cave and get a few ceramic birds to scratch my aviary itch. I don’t plan to invest in expensive bird décor like fabrics or rugs, just things that can easily be switched out when the Scottish terrier fad makes a comeback (just kidding). For laughs, here’s a video on the dangers of decorating with birds. Everyone should use caution.

4. Antique keys – Don’t they look so nice when a group of them is framed? It’s so nostalgic and a creative way to decorate.

5. Tufted furniture – There’s something so old-fashioned-men’s-smoking-room about it. It makes me think of old Hollywood. Apparently it’s fairly easy to make. We’re thinking about converting a Malm headboard from Ikea to a taller tufted one once we move. If that goes well, we may decide to make an over-sized tufted ottoman instead of paying $800+ for one.

Well that’s all I have time for now. There are some other developing obsessions – area rugs, hobnail glass, cobalt glass bottles – but I should stop before I get ahead of myself.

Stay tuned for the gardening post and an update on our upcoming 5k race!

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Spring is in Savannah

Posted on March 17, 2011. Filed under: Food and Beverage, Newlywed | Tags: |

Finally, spring is in the air! I love it when the daffodils are blooming; the tulips are shooting up through the ground ready to bob in the breeze. The pollen is high and the days get longer! Adam and I are convinced that I am a victim of S.A.D. (that’s seasonal affective disorder). The lack of daylight and the cold weather depress me every year. With the recent influx of 70-degree days and sunshine, my mood is on an upswing.

This past weekend we decided to go to Savannah for a little break from the real world. It was such a nice vacation that was chock full of eating, drinking, shopping, and exploring. We ate at Vic’s on the River Friday night. It was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. We didn’t feel rushed; I think we savored our meal and conversation for over two hours. It was wonderful. After dinner, we went to the Bohemian Hotel’s rooftop bar and Savannah Smiles. It was ironically reminiscent of my Bachelorette Party, except less booze, no outrageous to-do list, and the whole married thing. I jest. I love being married! Along the way, I had a reality-star sighting: Marci from the Biggest Loser! No pictures, I didn’t want to be annoying. She looked fantastic and I told her so! I digress.In front of the bridge

Before our night out

Savannah was so beautiful. I’ve never been there in the spring before. The tulips were already in full bloom; the azaleas were starting to open up in all of the park squares; the fountains were full of green water in anticipation of Saint Patrick’s Day. The activities were slowly starting to pick up, but did not escalate to full St. Pattie’s binge-fest by the time we left – thank goodness (wow, I sound old and boring). Last week, I was so occupied making all of our reservations and trying to finish up some work before our trip that I forgot about the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. So I was pleasantly surprised when Adam told me Saturday night that we’ll need to spring forward. Actually, I thought he must be mistaken. How did I forget? I LOVE springing forward. Bye, bye S.A.D. and darkness. Hello warmer weather and sunshine!

Me in Forsyth Park

Adam in front of the fountain

 

Green Water in the Fountain

We brought Daylight Savings Time in with a bang, I must say. We attended mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Sunday morning simply because we wanted to go to mass and we wanted to see the Cathedral. What we didn’t realize is that it was the Celtic Cross Mass (the mass preceding St. Patrick’s Day). There were a lot of bagpipes, green jackets, familial banners and flag waving. There was a priest who began the mass in Gaelic; all of the hymns were of Irish origin. We love traveling places, even if it is in the same state, and experiencing something with the residents that is culturally unique to the area. Adam and I couldn’t believe our luck. When Mass ended, the church members gathered and marched parade-style to River Street where they held a prayer service to kick-off the festivities.

processional before Mass

the leader of the parade - I'm sure there's an official name

It was a great weekend. I think it made us realize that we need to make a habit to do new things and go different places. Since the vacation budget is limited while we squirrel away house money, we’re looking into doing some day trips in the coming months. If you’re in the Atlanta area, there are tons of places to go on a Saturday: the Zoo, Chateau Elan, Callaway Gardens, Serenbe, Stone Mountain, Lake Lanier.

And to cap off the fabulous weekend. This is what we saw on I-75 North heading into Atlanta.

Oh. I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner! That is what I’d truly like to be. And if I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner, everyone would be in love with me!

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Life’s List of Being a Grown-up: 1) Marriage – check 2) Homeowner – in progress 3) Get a puppy – soon, I hope so very soon…

Posted on March 7, 2011. Filed under: Home, Newlywed | Tags: , , , |

Devoted followers, my apologies for the lack of blog posts in 2011, this year has been a little busy. Between lots of running around (literally), kitchen fires (seriously, but we’re okay), our pesky jobs (kidding), and the event of Olympic proportions, house-hunting, I’ve been preoccupied. Who decided that buying a house was the American Dream? I’m not living the dream, Uncle Sam, no sir.

     I should probably suck up my pessimistic attitude and put a smile on my face because we’ve only just begun. I’ve seen 5 houses so far and no cigar. There are hundreds more out there. My parents were gracious enough to come with me one Sunday afternoon to visit three different Open Houses in Decatur, Toco Hills, and Brookhaven. Husband had to work, so the three of us grabbed some lunch and set out for a day of real estate jollity. I will say that while none of the houses were right for us, it was a good learning experience and quite entertaining. Dad’s sticker shock was hilarious when he saw the listing price on a 1950’s renovated ranch in North Decatur. He told me that “ten to twenty grand can sure buy a hell of a lot of gas out in the suburbs!” Yes, daddy, but it can’t buy us the happiness we would have with 15-20 minute commutes. Driving to Midtown from Roswell everyday is not fun. I’ve done it. I was teetering on the cliff of insanity by way of road rage mixed in with a little depression due to the fact that my life was slipping away during my commute. No drama here, folks. It’s true.

     I don’t think that I am picky, but even if I was I have a right! Houses aren’t cheap. I would like to like where I’m living. The most frustrating thing about house hunting is that you will look at house after house that seem perfect until you get to this one part of the property that is a deal breaker. And there is nothing you could do to change it – ever. Yards cannot be made bigger; bathrooms on the fronts of houses cannot be made larger unless you want to sacrifice your curb appeal. Closets cannot magically expand when there is no room to do so. You can’t count on the next door neighbor to plant some grass so their yard isn’t a giant mud pit. You cannot add a garage when property lines are so close to the existing house that you can’t even drive a car behind it without trespassing. It’s really depressing. I’ll see beautiful kitchens, awesome basements, a pretty dining room, and then a 5×5 master bathroom. NEXT!

     Luckily for us, we don’t have our minds set on a specific type of property. As long as it’s in our price range, we’re open to new construction, some moderate fixer-uppers, 1950’s ranches, bungalows, and foreclosures. Short sales scare us. You put in an offer, wait for a few months and pray the bank takes it. If they don’t, you’ve wasted two months waiting for something to come through, meanwhile foregoing other properties that you may have liked.

     We have been watching more and more HGTV these days. There was a young couple on there a few weeks ago in North Carolina buying their first house. This girl had a laundry list a mile long with must-haves on a modest budget. Her demands were insane: 4-sides brick, two-story foyer, crown molding, large deck, hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, etc. I’d just be happy in a nice house that passes inspection. We’d like a two car garage, a decent kitchen with counter and cabinet space – or the potential for space. A nice master with a walk-in closet would be nice as well as a larger bathroom. I don’t care what the house is made out of. I don’t care what the counters look like, the cabinets, or the floor. If the price is right, we can make it the way we want. And let’s face it folks, it’s a FIRST house. It won’t be perfect. There does need to be a backyard so the puppy I’ve pined for can have a place to be happy and room to take care of business. Most of the stuff HGTV girl wanted was cosmetic. I can paint. We can hang crown molding (I hope); we can put in hardwood floors over time. Heck, we could make a renovation party out of it and invite all our friends over in exchange for pizza, beer, and the promise we’ll help them with their house. It would be fun! Beer and power tools!!! If we end up buying a fixer-upper, this blog may become a home renovation blog. Sorry. Speaking of home renovation blogs, I’ve found some really good ones lately. Check them out here: http://www.thekitchn.com/

 http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ 

http://decor8blog.com/

www.ikeahackers.com

     We are meeting with a realtor this afternoon. I hope the process starts to get a little better now that we’ll have a professional working for us. I’ll keep you posted on any updates – good or bad. Until then, you can find me on Trulia, MLS, Zillow, HUD, various open houses in Atlanta, and on my home décor blogs.

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