A Place for My Peeps!

Spring is here and I couldn’t resist adding a few little peeps to my birdcage light fixtures. I love a good holiday and never miss the opportunity for a little decorating! And come on….it seems only fitting to add birds to my bird cages!

Aren’t these the MOST fabulous light fixtures. I fell in love the minute I saw them. I almost passed them up because they were so outrageous. But once they were  hung over our island,they MADE my kitchen. I couldn’t get a photo with the lights on- but the shadows make the most interesting design on the ceiling. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Sometimes a little risk reaps a big reward. And I do love to walk on the edge.

Spring is here

Spring is all about new beginnings and here are three things to kick of my Spring…..

1. Hydrangeas

Costco had the most beautiful potted hydrangeas. Yes…I’ll have 25 lbs of dog food, 8 bottles of red wine and some hydrangeas. Just the bare essentials please.


The hydrangeas add a nice pop of Spring color to our living room.

2. A new blue lamp

Lamp-$8 @ Goodwill...Lampshade $15 target. Pure bliss!!!!


Not sure what this lamp's history is. Check out the switch. How old fashioned! I think someone got crafty and painted an old lamp! What character.


Looking for just the right piece of art for this wall. The piece shown is just a place holder until I find something really fabulous. The skeleton keys on the chest are from the house I grew up in! Just a little piece of my past!

3. A new straw clutch

Now, I need somewhere to go!


Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down

Oh the rain. Will it ever end? Are we living in Seattle? How could we be in a drought? Those spring flowers better be extra great after all of this rain.

So what’s a girl to do…make my own sunshine and treat myself to some spring flowers! I don’t care about the rain..I just got cozy in these new Lilly Pulitzer PJs with these FAB Laura Ashley slippers and a little Jasmine-Mint linen spray. Am I in West Palm sipping on a mojito?  oh no, I’m just enjoying the rain!

Fire-side perfection!

A perfectly cozy fire! I think I'll nestle in for an afternoon on the sofa!

Now that winter is over, I finally found the perfect fireside set. I have looked high and low. The pottery barn models look too fabricated…too fresh, the big box home improvement store models-way too cheap looking…the antique store sets- too brassy, too shiny….too formal. All winter poor C has had to stoke the fire with a stick. And sometimes I got confused and used the wrong end of the stick so when he would go to stoke the fire, he’d end up with a soot covered hand..explicitive..explicitive.

WOW! Don't you love the round accent on the top?

But yesterday, thanks to my new found hobby of thrifting, I found the PERFECT tool set. Not too “new”, not too “brassy”, not too “cheap” looking. The lines are soft and comfortable with an interesting circular top. I’m not sure I have ever seen a set that has this look. Most have a sharp pointy top. Love.Love.Love. (Cost-$5…love that too)

And it’s a cool, rainy day. Perfect for a fire and a test run of the new-old tools!

PS- Our mantle is a pine mantel from a 1700’s South Carolina farm-house. The paint is original and the distressing is real! I love its chunky lines and stately presence. And the bricks are hand-formed, probably from the 1800s. They came from a building that was torn down in our downtown area.

You know how the saying goes, one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure!

My Selfish Self

By: Linda Yuki Nakanishi

 Sometimes I catch myself being completely self-centered. Sometimes And when I catch myself in this mode….I am incredibly humbled by just how human I am….and horrified at how easily I can slip into this mode.  

On Friday, I had big plans to scoot out of the office a bit early, begin work on my weekend home projects and clean the house so I could enjoy a day on the lake with C and the pups on Saturday. Not to mention…it was 80 degrees outside.

But on Thursday at 4pm….I was given a new project….my company needed me to orchestrate a Red Cross fund for the Japan disaster and develop a communications plan for our 30 offices. All to be completed in 24 hours.

Long story short…I had my end of the project completed around 3:00 on Friday….but I had to wait on others to launch. I was tired. I was annoyed. My brain had reached its limit for the week. Thank goodness I was the only person left in office so no one could witness my selfishness. It wasn’t until I began driving home after 5pm that I began to think about what had shaken out.  

I started to think about the people in Japan. The lives lost. Complete towns obliterated. People trapped for days. People searching for their missing loved ones. Individuals who fear going outside because of radiation. No gas. intermittent electricity. Contaminated food sources.

How could I be so selfish?

Here is a blog that showcases some artwork to benefit Japan: http://www.blissfulbblog.com/blog/2011/3/21/japan.html

To purchase a print of the image above: http://www.society6.com/shop/product/98948/prints?cl=34&curator=designmilk

Spring Has Sprung

Time to come out of hibernation. The birds are chirping a little more brightly and yellow bells are announcing Spring is here! So happy to see fresh asparagus, strawberries and sugar snap peas lining the shelves in the produce section.

In honor of Spring I made a yummy, low fat, good for you appetizer for our supper club cook out. I made it up this afternoon in three shakes of a jiffy!

AG’s Happy Spring Dip
8 oz plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 pack of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
Mix together…and presto a delish dip for all of the fresh Spring veggies.


Color Me Happy!

On a cold sunday morning about a month ago, I came across a large, 42 x 42, ottoman on Craig’s list…And so the adventure began. Though I had been looking for a large upholstered ottoman for sever al weeks, none, that I found, had the look I wanted within the budget required. At last, something I could work with.

C. wanted to have nothing to do with this little adventure. Afterall, the ottoman was 20 miles away and he was off to play golf. So, I called on T., who is always ready for an adventure. We loaded up and headed out with the GPS leading the way. We arrived at an apartment complex…a not so nice apartment complex….

So far my interactions with the seller had been all texts. The ottoman was a zebra print so in my mind it surely belonged to a girl. Imagine my surprise to find it belonged to a big, burly man with lots of piercings…everywhere…all over his face. Yikes. Really I just wanted to get the heck out of dodge. The ottoman was broken, falling down, and the guy scared me. I figured it was worth $40 to get it and go. Even if it went on the trash pile the next day. We weren’t in the best area of town.

What an idiot I am. That ottoman could have had fleas or worse, bed bugs. Luckily it didn’t. I called the upholstery guy, who is my new best friend, to come get it ASAP. I wanted it OUT of the house. YUCK.

First thing Monday morning, I called Joey, the upholstery dude (who has transformed my house) and requested that he come right away. I mean if it had bed bugs…it needed to get out of my new house.  Joey quickly told me with a little work, the ottoman could be salvaged. Now the pressure to find the perfect  fabri with just the right pop of color.

I found this fantastic Ikat in the remanent section of the fabric store…$6. I had the chocolate-brown piping fabric from another project and the linen on the sides was given to me by my MIL (leftovers from her living room sofa).

$40 ottoman
$6 fabric
$40 ottoman rebuild
$150 upholstery

TOTAL- $236  

I’m in love! We had friends over for dinner last night and it was so fun to lounge and talk around the ottoman. The perfect pop of color for our cozy family room. And when I am tired of it…I can easily change it – Guilt free!