A Week in Photos

5/24/09 – 5/30/09

You can see our yummy grilled pizzas here

Otherwise, a rather slow week in photos.

For some reason, this sign at Café Brazil always catches my eye. I think I just like the colors in it.

And you may remember my recent Chanel purchase? Well, here is Cosmic Violine on my toes. I am so in love with this color.


Week in Photos

5/17/09 – 5/23/09

Sunday night at dinner, Eric indulged me by making our favorite salad – Caprese – with fresh basil from the garden. Delicious. I’m still kicking myself for not having this in Rome. But at the time I was anti-tomato. What was I thinking?!?

I remember buying this little book for Eric the year we got married, for Valentine’s Day I think. I thought it was appropriate since we were going to Rome for our honeymoon.


As often as I can (due to school), I like to meet my girlfriends at Barnes & Noble one night during the week to visit and stitch. This week it was just Sylvia and I. I always enjoy her company and as you can see, I brought along the Adam & Eve I am working on.

I’ve been trying to keep my two blogs separate, but occasionally I suppose they will overlap. Particularly in the case of the 365 photo project, I’m bound to have many of them be of my hobbies. This week, that’s happened a couple times – the photo above, and now this one.

I sent this piece out to be professionally finished, and I just got it back. I’m thrilled with how it turned out. But, I especially love the hand-painted hanger I purchased for it.

Eric and I decided that now that our leak in the ceiling was fixed in the media room, it was time to put the cd towers back where they go. That room is usually a disaster area, since it’s kind of a catch-all room, but the least we can do is move the big pieces back where they go. Of course, moving one of these massive cd towers involves first removing all the cds from it. I attempted to keep all the cds in alphabetical order, even when they were stacked up on the floor.

I find it endlessly entertaining to look through Eric’s portion of this collection. He has some bizarre stuff!

We did manage to get the towers back in their correct places, and move all the stuff out of the middle of the room. What a project this was though!! One of these days, I’ll get this room cleaned out and I’ll share a before and after photo.


My Inner Carmindy

Recently, I observed my sister doing her makeup and she had in her possession a shadow palette of fabulousness. Although I love my go-to shades in their little MAC containers, I am always on the lookout for something that will add a little variety to my makeup toolkit. Enter the above new purchase (made prior to the spending freeze of ’09). My sister, who is always someone I consider to be in-the-know with regard to makeup, directed me to Coastal Scents. They had this fabulous palette for a very reasonable price, and I immediately had to have one shipped right to my door. L’Amour!

The palette allows me to stretch outside of my boundaries a bit, and is especially fun for a night out, when I want to have a little more drama in my shadow. So far I’ve stuck to the outer two edges of the palette, but there are so many possibilities here (88 to be exact).

And you know I’ve spoken before about my love of Ms. London and her impact on me a few years ago. So, now I feel like I’ve been able to channel my inner Carmindy (also of What Not to Wear fame). And above all else, shouldn’t make up be fun?

Once the spending freeze is lifted, I will be on the hunt for that ever elusive be-all, end-all mascara. I think I’m going to give this one a try or maybe this…I’ll let you know!


Week of Photos

5/10/09 – 5/16/09

I love these zen-like photos that I took over by my dentist’s office.

I love the leaves against the texture of the wall.

Eric loves cherries, and I thought they were so pretty in a white bowl.

Photos from 5/14 can be seen here

And on my way to book club. The book we were discussing was Old Masters by Thomas Bernhard. (yuck)

And more blooms on my violet. They make me so happy.

On Saturday, we invited Jennifer over for dinner. So, I was trying to decide on which wine to have… (coincidentally, the one we chose is the one she gifted us previously – the Codici). It was excellent, by the way.


And we always love to set out some “nibblies” as Eric calls them. This time we had marinated olives, stuffed grape leaves, salsa, chips and queso. (Notice how I have strategically placed the queso next to my seat.)

And the table is all set. I rarely get out our good china and silver, but I love to use our crystal. And I had bought a little gift for Jennifer, just because – a pair of earrings she’d admired.

We really love entertaining and I wish we did it more often. Eric is such a fabulous cook and we always have the best time. I only wish I was better at getting photos of the actual dinner!!


An Artful Display

Last week I had a wonderful opportunity. My friend, Jennifer, called and invited me to come to an open house that she was taking part in along with several other artists and interior designers. There were beautiful things to buy as far as the eye could see. Every room was filled with such exquisite treasures. I started outside on the patio and decided I would work my way inside.

I loved all the tablescapes and they way they combined so many elements.

The coverless books tied into bundles with a sprig of rosemary were a favorite of mine.

I had to cut my time outside short due to a slight mishap. Note to self: do not attempt to use both hands to take photo when one hand is holding wine – you will spill wine all down the front of your blouse and be thoroughly embarrassed for rest of evening. Luckily, I was outside. I did, however, miss the photo I was trying to get which was of a collection of Hands of Fatima. So, pretty. I wish I’d brought one home too, then I wouldn’t be so sad about missing my photo.

Inside the house was filled with more treasures.

And look at that stunning fireplace with the tile surrounding. I think I need one!

This home had two of these gorgeous fireplaces. Isn’t the tilework beautiful against that dark wood?

I loved the colored bottles with the sunlight streaming through them.

Gorgeous flatware, linens, crystal and art – oh the art! I didn’t take photos of any of it, because I wanted to be respectful of the artists who were there. But there was one woman who did these amazing boxes – like treasure boxes. Some of them were covered in shells and were reminiscent of Sailor’s Valentines or something a mermaid would have. I would love to borrow that idea and make something for myself along those lines. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a treasure chest of your own?

I loved this beautiful cloche and the table that it’s sitting on belonged to Jennifer (as well as the chair). The table was adjustable and you could move it up and down.

Some pretty silver pieces with a lovely patina.

A selection of mercury glass bottles Jennifer had for sale. I loved these.

It was such a delightful evening, and I’m so thankful to Jennifer for inviting me. I felt like I’d stepped into the pages of a magazine. So many pretty things and so inspiring to look at.


Three Years

On April 8th, Eric and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. As a reminder of the Rose Ceremony that was a part of our vows, Eric brings me a single white rose each year. It is a renewed promise to each other.

Eric made a wonderful dinner for us that evening, as our anniversary fell on a Wednesday this year. I gave him the gift I had picked out for him after we finished our meal.

The traditional third year gift is leather, so I gave him a leather-bound Family History journal. Eric has been researching his family history and genealogy, over the past three years. In generations past, many families recorded their history in a family Bible. They jotted down births and deaths, marriages and other information just inside the cover. We do not have a family Bible, so I thought this Family History journal would be an excellent way for us to record that important information as we begin our own family.

And of course, Eric can’t just bring home one rose…

He also surprised me with a day trip, which unfortunately had to be postponed a couple of weeks. We were able to get out of the city finally, and I can’t wait to share the photos of our adventure. Until next time…


Artful Readings

I am off to book club again tonight, which I am looking forward to. Unfortunately, the book for tonight was less than stellar in my opinion. The book we read for tonight’s selection was Old Masters: A Comedy by Thomas Bernhard. I think the interesting parts of the book could have been slimmed down to a mere 30 or so pages, out of the 150 that it actually was. But, I love my book club. I have been a member since its inception back in 2002. It’s a program through my local art museum and it is called “Artful Readings”. We meet every other month, and while I haven’t enjoyed all of the selections I have probably enjoyed 90% of them…which is saying a lot! And, one thing I love about this book club is that for the most part none of these are books that I would have picked up and read on my own. So, I appreciate that it gets me out of the box a bit with my reading. The other thing I love about my book club, is that as the name suggests the books all have something to do with art. Often, our fearless leader will choose books that go along with the current exhibition at the museum, which is wonderful.
Book club begins with a bit of mingling, there are light hors d’oeuvres and wine. We begin our discussion of the book and then for the last half of the time we go out into the galleries or the exhibit to look at some pieces and tie them into our book, either through genre or time period or even artist. It is something I look forward to every other month. And if you knew how far I have to drive on a Friday at rush hour to get there, you would know how much I love it.

I’d love to spend a little more time discussing book club and the past books we’ve read…but I’ll leave that for another time, since I have to gather my things and head out. But, our next selection is The Man Who Loved China, which I am looking forward to. Eric and I are planning a trip to China, so reading this book will be interesting.
You can see on my sidebar what I’m currently reading and what I’ve read so far in 2009. I’m challenging myself this year to see how many books I can read (hopefully more than 25!). As a side note, not all of the books in these photos are for book club. In the top photo, the bottom three books were for book club and in the bottom photo, the Sookie book was not book club. Giovanni and Lusanna was the selection before Old Masters.
Until next time, happy reading!

Get Into the Groove*

First things first, I need to discuss my 365 photos. I am still taking photos everyday, and I’d like to think I am getting better at it. But, as I may have mentioned previously, the weekly photo overload is not necessarily the best way to highlight my burgeoning talent [ha ha]. Anyway, I decided that instead of doing a post that just includes all of the week’s photos, I’ll just use the photos where they seem to be appropriate to illustrate my posts. We’ll see how that works for awhile.

Now, onto other things. I thought I’d give a little update this week on where I’m at with my fitness. My weigh-in on Saturday showed that I was up 0.6 on the scale, but I attribute that to going in with wet hair and having eaten breakfast right before. So, not overly concerned. Especially since on Monday morning when I weighed myself at home (I weigh everyday), I was down three pounds. As of this morning, I am up a pound from that…but still doing pretty good. I hope to see that change at WW on Saturday morning.

The big change this week though is in my workout routine. Every couple of months, Eric switches up what I’m doing at the gym. We try to keep my workouts short and sweet based on the fact that I fit in my workout between leaving work and going to school. So, as of Monday I am doing a new routine. This is a circuit workout that was published in the May 2009 issue of Oxygen magazine, called “Tone your entire body Fast”. It’s a four-week program, and they give you a beginner 20-minute program and an intermediate/advanced 30-minute program to choose from. I’m doing the 30-minute, which is basically just doing an extra set of everything. For week 1, I’m following the workout on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and then doing cardio. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I just do cardio. Here’s the breakdown…

Three sets of 12-15 reps
1. Dumbbell squat
2. Push-up
3. Bent-over row
4. Shoulder press
5. Hammer curl

I did it on Monday and it was a pretty thorough workout, so I’m excited to be doing it. And I like that each week is different. That keeps my body guessing and having to work at it. I’ll let you know how it’s going, when I switch to next week’s set of exercises.

In an effort to give myself a little incentive to lose the five pounds I’m working on, I’ve put myself on a spending freeze of all non-essentials until I reach that goal. It’s already proving to be interesting. But, I figure that it will be a good reason to reach that five pound mark fast! I’ve also been noticing that when I pay more attention to my appearance (ie dressing well), it gives me a feeling of wanting to get moving and taking care of myself. It works the opposite way as well…I think the two things are rather interrelated. So, here’s to investing in myself! Today I am wearing my new pants that are actually long enough! Yay! And also my new seamless undergarments…so thankful to finally be removed from both forms of fashion faux pas hell. Feeling pretty good today!

*And if Madonna can go from a cheese puff-eating, undershirt-wearing material girl and become a toned yoga goddess…so can I.


Sunday Night Cocktail – Hpnotiq Blue Breeze

Eric is not so much a fan of the fruity, umbrella-laden cocktail. So, when I mix up a batch of anything requiring coconut rum and sunscreen…I drink alone. I’ve been rather remiss at researching what we’ll be drinking prior to six o’clock on Sunday night. I’ll have to rectify that situation. Because really, we’re gonna have to break out the good stuff (and by good, I mean unusual) soon. But, in order to do that, I will have to prepare. There will be recipe research and shopping and all that good stuff. Rather than what is currently happening, which is this…

Eric: The burgers will be coming off the grill in about five minutes.

Me: Ok, what are we going to drink tonight?

Eric: I don’t know.

Me: Let’s see what’s near the front of the cabinet/fridge/memory banks.

Me: How about [fill in the blank with above-mentioned fruity drink].

Eric: I’ll just have water.

So, here you go, the Hpnotiq Blue Breeze.

2 oz Hpnotiq
1 oz coconut rum
Splash of pineapple juice

Pour ingredients over ice, stir and garnish with a lemon or orange twist*.

*As you can probably tell, I am not so big on the garnish. Note to self: planning ahead might help.


Another week, another cocktail…cheers!


A Week of Photos

5/3/09 – 5/9/09

Just a mishmash of photos this week.

I finally bought lemons for my new rooster bowl that Julia bought us for our kitchen window. I love this so much.

My neighbor doesn’t do a lot of lawn care, so sometimes I get a little surprise coming through the fence between our yards. I did think it was pretty though.

Over the weekend at church they had had a new member tea. Monday night I stumbled across the tea set that hadn’t been put away yet and snapped a few shots of it. Silver tea sets are just so pretty. They are, however, a nightmare to take photos of. So many reflections!


While at Ava’s house last week, I stitched on this little piece called Petites Lettres Rouges. I personalized it with my grandmother’s name and year of her birth. I’ve added it to my guest bath near my vase of champagne corks. It feels very Parisian to me.


When I picked up the lemons for the bowl in the kitchen, I also picked up a silk plant to put in the entry way. I needed a second plant in here, because the lone silk ficus looked sad. Yes, I’d rather have real plants, but I can keep these alive. And you can see my gallery wall in the background, which I love. You can also see the pretty baskets I have the two plants in. I bought both of these years and years ago, and just now put something in the second basket.

The entry way is coming along. I just need some sort of a two-door cabinet in there and I’ll be all set.


My African Violet bloomed. I can’t believe that not only is this thing still alive, but it still blooms for me. Makes me think of my grandmother every time. She loved and grew African Violets.

And my very first Chanel purchase. I love the gift wrapping.

Chanel Cosmic Violine laquer. Love the color even more in person. I can’t wait to try it out.