December in Photos

December in Photos

 

December was a very emotional month, full of equal parts joy and sadness.  There was a lot of stuff going on that resulted in a lot of stress, upset, etc. in my world.  So I felt a bit like I was balanced on a razor’s edge throughout the holidays.  But, there was definitely a lot of good stuff in December.

Over the months leading up to the holidays, Eric and I spent some time doing some home improvement and a little bit of decorating.  We really wanted to have some things “done” before we had guests over for our holiday party.  One of the big things we did was buy two rugs.  We bought one for the living room back in October, you may remember, and you can see it in the photo of our dessert table.  At the beginning of December, our second rug arrived for the kitchen.  It took us a long time to finally find something we loved, and as you can see Thutmose loves it too!

We also got snow near the beginning of the month, and ice with it, so we were cozied up in the house for several days waiting for it to thaw out so that the roads were passable.  The ice storm put us a little behind in getting our tree, so we were rushing a bit to decorate this year.  Once all the decorating was done though, I always realize how happy the site of a decorated tree lit up makes me.  It’s amazing the transformation everything goes through at this time of year.  Magical!

I worked on some Christmas projects – one was a mystery stitching piece that a part was released each Sunday from Thanksgiving through December 10th or so.  It’s the little nativity scene you can see.  I loved working on it, and most especially I loved that each Sunday I was able to focus on a related Bible verse and really think about the season.  And I also bought the backing fabric for my Christmas quilt so that I could get it finished up.  Those hot cocoa cups just did me in.  So cute!  One of the things I do love about my time off around the holidays is getting to work on some of my crafty projects while I’m home.

We had our dessert party as usual, which was lots of fun.  Of course, I always love picking out recipes for treats I’m going to make so that each year it’s a little bit different.  I loved the vintage look of our Christmas cards too (Target!).  And Thut’s favorite napping spot was on the table with my Dickens Village.  He was so happy there, and every time we would see him, we’d comment that he was scaring the villagers.  So funny!

We took my niece to see the Trains at Northpark at the end of the month, our other annual tradition.  It included lunch at Pie Five and that chicken pesto pizza is to die for!

I also started and finished the last book in the Beautiful series on one decadent Saturday morning, had my very first macaron, and treated myself to a facial.  Such fun!  So, as I said, there were definitely some great moments of joy and peace during the last month of 2013.

Share

January in Pictures

January 2013

For 2013 I thought it would be fun to start a new tradition at the end of each month and share some photos from the previous month – just as a little look back into my days.

January was definitely a month for refocusing and it seemed to spark my creativity too, since I spent a lot of time working on some crafty projects.  I took a day off work at the beginning of the month to spend with Eric and my niece and go see the Trains at Northpark.  We, of course, had to stop for gelato.  Work has been extra difficult this month, so there were several nights I came home in need of comfort food – like the grilled cheese sandwich Eric made for me.  I did try to take time for myself though, by leaving early one Friday afternoon and going to the quilt shop to pick up my Hex on the Beach kit and a few fabrics I fell in love with.  And we even had snow!  Last Saturday morning I had a couple of hours to kill between my hair appointment and my eyebrow appointment, and I spent that time curled up in a comfy chair, sipping Starbucks and reading.  Decadent!

My last mani of the month was the perfect transition into February – Essie All Tied Up with an accent nail of OPI Berry Berry Broadway.

Looking forward to seeing what February brings!

Share

A Week of Photos

5/3/09 – 5/9/09

Just a mismash 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.

IMG_4161

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.

IMG_4163

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!

IMG_4185

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.

Petites Lettres Rouges Framed

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.

Entry After

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.

IMG_4212

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

IMG_4214

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

IMG_4223

Share

A Few Updates

I have been working on the living room and kitchen a little bit more. It’s been rather inspiring to put my photos up and get some feedback, as well as to see other people’s homes on their blogs. First, the kitchen…

I replaced my three Pfaltzgraf mixing bowls above the refrigerator with this pedestal and platter from Pampered Chef. I’m working on changing out my green garden-type pieces with my red and yellow color-scheme and some white accents. You can see I also swapped out the candle that was up there for a red one.
Here I’ve also replaced my Pfaltzgraf items with white. I’m not overly fond of all this stuff sitting on the counter, but not sure where else to put some of our fresh produce. This was the day before shopping day, so usually these bowls are overflowing with apples, tomatoes, etc.
Above the cabinets on this side, I decided to put my red Le Creuset pot, just for a little pop of color.

And finally, this is the only purchase we have made so far for the “redo”. Eric brought home these pretty dish towels from Williams Sonoma to replace some green ones I had.
So, I think I’m beginning to see my kitchen moving in the direction I want, even though it is not getting there quickly. I’m moving slowly to avoid going out and making a bunch of impulse buys.
And then in the living room, the first thing I did after seeing my previous photos was to get rid of the pillows underneath the coffee table. The cats did love to sleep on them, but boy they were an eyesore. I never realized how much of one, until I saw them in a photograph. So, they are gone. I think the room got an instant face lift by doing that!!
The second thing I did was to bring in some accessories we had hiding in other rooms of the house. This water pipe we bought at the King Tut exhibit in Chicago. I love the cobalt blue glass.

Some wooden hands made their way onto the entertainment center. Eric and I would like to replace this entertainment center with a low table or cabinet that a larger screen tv would sit on top of. We’re thinking we may repurpose this piece of furniture, but it would need refinishing.
A brass pitcher that was my grandmother’s takes a place on top of the bookshelf. I love this piece, and I think it works with the feel of the room that I am trying to create. I’m also experimenting with color-organizing my books to make the bookshelf a little more orderly when you look at it.

And of course, I can’t forget one of my favorite accessories…

And this one too…
I’m pleased with all the little changes. I spent this weekend digging out some curtains that I had at my apartment, and I’m going to see if I can add some curtains to the living room. I think that would go a long way toward helping the room as well as, it will make movie-watching during daylight hours a little easier. Stay tuned!
Share

Kitchen

I have to admit that I am feeling a little unsuccessful with my attempts at decorating my home so far. Seeing the blogs of people that just have a knack for decorating really inspire me, but I don’t know how to translate it to my own space. As I mentioned before, this is a rental home, so we can’t paint or change things up too much. The kitchen is one of those places where it is really apparent that there is so much that really needs to be updated and changed. I almost hesitate to show it to you.
In this room, I would really like to have more of a French Country type feel to it (at least touches of it). Of course, being right next to the Asian dining room may have you all wondering if I am design schizophrenic. Maybe I am. Is there a way to pull all these different things into one house without it looking crazy. I want our home to have a world travel sort of feel to it. Maybe there’s a way to have one style throughout the house, but with eclectic, world touches?
The photo above shows the doorway that goes into the dining room. We were making dinner, so the crock pot is out (which it usually isn’t). I’d love this room to have touches of red and yellow in it. The birdhouse cookie jar on the counter is part of my Pfaltzgraff set of dishes that I’ve had forever. At my apartment I had more of a garden theme going in the kitchen with birdhouses, etc. But, I’m kind of done with that look and wanted to go in a different direction. The refrigerator is ours. Eric had to do some creative “rearranging” of the cabinet above it in order to get it to fit underneath.

There isn’t a lot of wall space for artwork in the kitchen, so I hung this print over the refrigerator to add a pop of red. I wish I could find a place for the panini press other than on top of here. Now that I look at this photo, I’m thinking the candle needs to go too. I’d love to add a wire basket full of lemons or something instead.
This photo really shows the things I would change if I could – ie the cabinets and that horrible flourescent light fixture. Should I try to incorporate more of my color scheme above the cabinets? Fill it in a little more? I’d love to put a ceramic rooster or something up there.
In the corner, we have these great windows. I love all the light they let it (although it makes it difficult to take a great photo). I made the curtains to allow for some privacy since our neighbor’s front door is right there, but still let in the light. I actually just bought some sheers, and then cut them off and hemmed them to the right length. We had to sort of rig something up for the curtain rods though since there is no “wall” in between the windows. We ended up hanging the rods from cup hooks, which seems to work pretty well. I love the decorative plate, which I bought at Macy’s several years ago. We’ve got a pot of basil there in a great pot from Pottery Barn, and three African Violets (two of which are actually blooming).
To the right of the sink is the oven and stove, which are brand new. Unfortunately, when they replaced that piece, they didn’t also replaced the hood and metal “backsplash”, which are a different color from the stove (which is white). I’ve got our cookbooks up above on this side, and I like the color they add (plus, they’re out of the way). The copper tea kettle was a gift and I was told it is an antique.
The doorway to the right here leads into the living room. The microwave is ours (another new purchase when we moved in). I would love to buy my husband a fancy espresso machine.
The framed piece is a Lemon Meringue Sampler cross-stitch that I stitched this year. I love Lemon Meringue Pie, and thought it would be perfect in the kitchen.
So that’s my kitchen. In the corner opposite the sink is a double door washer/dryer closet. We also have a small pantry. I didn’t even think to take a photo of the floors, but they are a neutral tile.
Like I said, I would like to incorporate more of a French feel in here through little decorative touches. Our handtowels are red, and I would like to get some white with yellow dish towels. I’d like to incorporate some more little touches above the cabinets too, like maybe the wire basket with lemons, a rooster, that sort of thing. Any suggestions? Am I heading in the right direction?
Thanks for looking at another room in my home, I appreciate your visit and comments!
Share