a design & lifestyle blog

weekend…time for cocktails

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Saturday I woke up with the idea I needed to make some Sangria.  I looked online for recipes (hello my dear friend Pinterest) and came to the quick realization, apparently I might not have the patience for making Sangria.

The first recipe I stumbled upon would have me slicing grapes (slicing grapes?!) along with some liquor I’ve never heard of.  I almost lost my thumb last year tying to slice a giant tomato.

Four stitches later, I’m still scared of tomatoes.

So I decided to improvise.

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Improvising to me means lazily walking down the aisles of our local grocery randomly picking things that sound good together.  Grapefruit? Check.  Rosemary?  Check.  Flavored San Pellegrino?  Throw it in.

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One bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, two cans of Grapefruit San Pellegrino, a couple springs of rosemary and some sliced limes and grapefruit later I had White Sangria.

I had found another recipe online for white sangria that looked amazing but in the pic it was pink at the bottom.  Then I noticed the caption read “we added a little red wine to the bottom to add a little color for the picture.”

I like their style.

DSC_0335Around glass two, I told The Boyfriend I was going to rename the sangria “Margria” (I’m Margaret).

Funny story, The Boyfriend and I went to the Caymans a couple years ago and they had a drink (which was just a piña colada with Chambord swirled in it) that we loved (probably too much).  Fast forward a couple months and we were in Vegas around the pool at the Wynn (this story makes my life sound cooler than it actually is…).  I asked the bartender to make me the jazzed up piña colada.  He tried a little of the leftovers and said he was going to add it to their pool menu.  Since I was the reason, I got to name it.

“Margaret”.

“Well…………….maybe something else.”

“Ok, ‘Margaret goes to Vegas.'”

“We’ll probably just name it Pina Colada with Chambord”.

So alas, if you’re ever hanging around the Wynn pool and drinking some ‘Margaret goes to Vegas’ enjoy.

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But what does one do with their leftover Sangria ingredients?

Red Sangria Sunday!

nailsnailsnails…

Since moving this house, the only nails I have had time to think about are the ones I hammered into the drywall.  And if you knew me before, during my life in fashion, this would seem incredibly out of character for me.

I’ve come to think of my life as ‘Pre-House Margo’ and ‘Post-House Margo.  ‘Pre-House Margo’ was considerably better groomed and wore dresses everyday.  ‘Post-House Margo’ is covered in paint and stain and can’t paint her nails because she took up gardening.  Oh, and wears running clothes everyday.

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But, thankfully, I still have stylish friends.

My best friend in LA (that’s the city, not the state…) has started working for one of my favorite nail lines, NCLA.  I wrote this post forever ago about ikat nail stickers.   That was back in my more fashionable days, when I wrote about fashion, beauty and other topics of great importance.  I believe the post I wrote yesterday was about a table I stained.  Sigh.

So in the meantime, I live vicariously through her.  She’s significantly cooler than me.  Although she doesn’t know how to lay tile.  I guess then we contribute to this friendship in different ways.

I think I should take the hint because she’s sent me some NCLA nail stickers and polishes.  Which are amazing, by the way.  My nail polish actually lasts through dunking my hands in buckets of roses all day.

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She needs to hit up the archives and find me those ikat stickers from forever ago.  Now that would be a good friend.

a table here, a table there…

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This gem was ‘given’ to me by the florist shop where I have been learning floral design.  They were using it to store tissue paper on and had been using two ply wood boards to prop up the table panels.  At least once or twice a day, I accidentally kick over the board and the ensuing thunderous near-deafening noise was driving me to the brink of insanity.

I guess at some point I had mentioned I like to refinish antiques (which sounds ridiculous coming from me, but trust me, is more ridiculous to watch) and I guess saw me as a dumping grounds for this table that’s seen better days.

By the looks of it those days were roughly 70 years ago.

refinished side table

But I sometimes appreciate a challenge (key word in that sentence is sometimes).

So I gave my newly acquired table a little attention.  Attention in the form of me sweating and swearing in the blazing Louisiana heat.

Someone once told me, ‘in Louisiana, if you’re not sweating, you’re dead.’  And I find that sentiment to be extremely accurate.

refinished sidetable 2So I removed the panels (I’m not a miracle worker) then sanded and stained.

On another note though, staining sucks.

brass and crystal
And on another note, I hope my mother isn’t reading this because I stole these pieces from her house when I was in-town two weeks ago.  She had stored them in the bathroom cabinet because my little nieces had visited and I guess children can’t be around nice things.

So their loss is my gain because my new side table looks great.

I need to go visit again.  See what else I can sneak out of there with.

Free shopping!

 

 

 

 

lemon tree, oh lemon tree…

 

Several weeks ago, I was shopping at Winn Dixie (that still exists in Louisiana, as does The Piggly Wiggly) and they were having a sale on lemon trees.

To this day, one of the greatest regrets in my life would be not buying that lemon tree.  Why did I choose that one moment to be practical?  I’m never practical.  I’m a ‘chips land wherever and deal with it later’ type of girl.

But I told myself I would come back for lemon tree.  And I did.

And lemon tree was gone.

lemon tree 3Since then, I have agonized over missing out on this tree.

But fate intervened.

lemon tree 2The other morning I woke up and the first thing I thought was ‘by God, today I’m buying a lemon tree.’  So I roll over, grab my phone and looked on Amazon Prime.  When I want something, I want it now.  Prime honestly isn’t fast enough, I wanted lemon tree in bed with me at that moment.

So I dragged myself out of bed to get to Home Depot by 7am (I know, weird) and was perusing the caladium sale ($3 for quart sized caladiums!  It looks like a caladium bomb exploded all over my front and backyard) and imagine my surprise when I saw rows of citrus trees.

As I dug my way through all the trees, I found the last lemon tree.  Apparently everyone else feels the same way I do about kumquat trees (who wants whatever that is?) and it was a pink lemon tree.  Pink lemons!

The only way I could be more excited about this tree was if it was pink.  Pink lemons!

yellow pot

To go with my new found purchase, I fell in love with the idea of putting it in a yellow pot.  I should have put it in a pink pot since it’s pink lemons (!) but The Boyfriend only lets me go so far.

Well, Home Depot has a great ceramic one for $42, which is so ludicrous I can’t even wrap my mind around it, so I bought a cheap plastic one and a can of glossy spray paint and made my own.

I’m a cheap DIY genius.

lemon treeFast forward to 10am, I now own a pink lemon tree and several hundred caladiums.

Winn Dixie can keep their dumb yellow lemon trees.  And they don’t even sell caladiums.  But they do have great egg prices.

 

 

 

books…check ‘em out

This morning I started promptly at 6am, was at Home Depot by 7 (to buy at lemon tree that I decided I absolutely had to have at 6am), had painted a fence by 8am (sounds weirder than it was and it was spray paint;  I freaking love spray paint) and by 9am was over this day already.

reading corner

That was, until I walked into the garage and saw we still had one last box to unpack.  Just when I’m positive I couldn’t possibly own any more crap, another box materializes.

But then I got excited.  What could it be?  More dresses?  Suddenly I couldn’t wait to get it opened.

Books.

Womp.

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How did I not notice we lived in a  library before we left Texas.  The last book I read that was actually made out of paper was probably over four years ago.

So as I unpacked (and was heckled for my slowness incredible accuracy), I started to wonder where exactly these new found books were going to go.  And then on a sidenote, wondered why we have four copies of Runaway Jury by John Grissom.  Honestly, who even needs one copy?

I had set up a reading nook under the stairs the other day, but quickly realized that while antiques add an amazing aesthetic value, they’re a horrible option when aiming for comfort.

So this time I set out to create a more comfortable sitting/reading area in our bedroom.

vintage vogue

I had to work within a budget of $0 on this improptu project, so I, once again, went shopping in my garage.

I remembered seeing a table of some sort in there fairly recently, so that combined with some vintage Vogue magazines, I was still within my budget.

marble coaster

Oh, and some granite coasters I had made from leftover granite from the kitchen remodel.

So for the rest of the day, I’m going to sit in this chair, read non-paper books on kindle and drink margaritas.

eight minute bathroom remodel…

bathroom artWe recently remodeled the master bathroom and it turned out great.

Except I hate it.

Pre-remodel, the bathroom looked like a 70’s Greek revival.  Post-remodel, it looks like it belongs in an expensive bachelor pad.  Neither theme really appealed to me (I just thank God there’s no more carpet) so I set out to add a little color.

And I wanted to do so by spending zero dollars.  I’m positive next time I step into an antiques store my Visa will spontaneously combust.  So instead, I stepped into my garage (currently full of crap) and went shopping among things I already own.

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Eight minutes later I’m slightly happier with my bathroom. It’s not a major change (next bathroom I get my hands on I’m wallpapering), but enough to make a small impact.

Fortunately for me, my cousin is an amazing artist.  Unfortunately for her, one time when she was out of town, I raided her closet and ‘grab-and-dashed’ all I could get my hands on. Thankfully she lives in New York and not New Orleans.  If she walked through my house she’d probably call the cops.

perfumesAnd this finally gives me a place to put out all of my pretty bottles of perfume that smell like old ladies.

Win-win.  I need to go shopping in my garage more often.

 

 

gardening & flamingo beers…

berr & flamingo

This is what my day (d)evolved into.

I began early this morning, determined to finally outwit the deer that are eating all the roses I spent hundreds of dollars on.

While in Alaska (weird beginning to any sentence), I learned when Alaskans want to keep deer away, they spray their gardens with cougar pee.  Well, first of all I don’t want to do that, and second, I’m afraid it will scare off deer and bring around the cougars.  And I really don’t want that.

Instead I went to Home Depot, where I bought some spray of the non-cougar pee variety that’s supposed to keep deer and rabbits away (and ideally the neighbor’s golden retriever that uses my yard as its personal bathroom twice a day).

So I hosed down my garden, i.e. rose graveyard, and planted a bougainvillea I bought on sale at HD.  When I ask why my bougainvillea (normally $49.95) was only $8, he said, “I don’t know, but if it dies in the next week or so just bring it back with the receipt.”   That sounds sketchy at best, and the odds of me digging up a dead bush, throwing it in the back of my car, driving across town and returning it for the large sum of $8 is pretty slim.

But thankfully the weather went south, thank God because I was sooo over gardening, and I brought the party inside.  And we all know what that means, time for flamingo beer.

I saw these online and although I don’t have a pool, these obviously were a necessity.

Happy Saturday.

my life, slightly more organized…

Normally it’s around the New Year when I think to myself, ‘wow, I really need to get it together‘, but in 2015 I’m running a little late.  I had my birthday last week and it left me with the overwhelming feeling to get myself organized.

The Boyfriend inquired if there was anything I was going to do differently this year.

My first thought: God I hope so.

My second thought: probably not…

organizers 2

I didn’t realize it was common to analyze and assess your life January 1st, then re-assess around your birthday.  That’s a lot of self-reflection.  I’m more of a skim the surface type of girl; these waters only run so deep.

But I have several projects coming up that I’ve been working on and can always be more organized (understatement).  The Boyfriend is always giving me a hard time about not knowing what day it is, so I think giving me a Day Designer for my birthday was a subtle hit.

organizer day designerBut I love it, and now I know what day it is.  Today’s Friday (don’t give me any credit though, everyone always instinctively knows when it’s Friday).

organizer sugarpaperlaAnd I’ve been working on a side project in floral design and have papers, drawings and general ‘stuff’ everywhere.  So I got the ‘Perfect Binder‘ from Sugar Paper- LA and am obsessed.  All my ‘stuff’ in one place.  It’s a revolutionary concept.

Unfortunately the binder doesn’t help with all the flowers currently taking over our house.  The Boyfriend asked what I’m going to do with all the hydrangeas everywhere.

I know what day it is and he knows what hydrangeas are.  Who would have thought…

 

 

sewing, whiskey & brass cats…

sewing machine bar cart 2I received this antique sewing machine from my grandmother (and it belonged to her grandmother, etcetcetc…) around the time I was 21.  Apparently everyone had a little too much confidence in my ability to take care of antiques, because, not only do I cringe when I think of what this table has been through, I cringe when I think of the crap I’ve decorated it with.

But thankfully, it has remained in storage the last couple years so the damage I could inflict has been minimal. Now I’m a fully functioning adult (I’m sure some people who read that will get a good laugh on that one) and can decorate a table.

Well, I at least won’t be putting Hello Kitty stickers on it this time.

sewing machine bart cart

And as I mentioned, since I am a fully functioning adult, I need a whiskey bar.

I had previously thought to use it as a side table and place of gorgeous piece of slate colored granite on top.  My contractor said he had a piece and would give it to me for free (he used to like me).  As our friendship turned into him never showing up for work and me constantly bitching at him, I realized my dreams of a granite covered side table were like dust in the wind.

Similar to my thoughts of remodeling this house on budget.  God, I love remodeling.

But since, I’ve ‘revisited and revised’.  I modernized my sewing table into a whiskey bar.  Complete with an antique brass cat The Boyfriend bought me for my birthday last week.

brass kitty

And doesn’t everyone need a whisky bar?  Whiskey can make all your problems go away.  That is, until you wake up with the original problem and the additional new problem of being hungover.

Maybe I still have a little too much of my 21-year-old self in me.  But at least my tastes in whiskey have improved…

 

under the stairs…

Recently we were the recipient of a set of gorgeous antique dupioni silk covered chairs previously belonging to the Boyfriend’s late grandmother.

antique chairs

I was hesitant adding antiques to our very contemporary house, but as they say ‘only dead fish go with the flow,’ so I decided to be adventurous and throw them into the mix.

And seeing as this weekend we’re moving all our furniture in from storage (IcantwaitIcantwaitIcantwait) and I wanted to have a good spot for these oldies before they were lost in the mayhem.

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I love to read, but not so much while The Boyfriend is watching every TV show ever created on Netflix so I invented a nook style reading space under our stairs.

I’ve always wondered what to do with this little area.

The previous owners had a gorgeous baby grand piano under there and it was a perfect fit.  Apparently they weren’t willing to leave it behind, and seeing as we aren’t terribly cultured we don’t own one.

Thank God they left us all their books.  I remember when we were moving in wondering what in the hell we were going to do with Encyclopedia Brittanicas dated 1969-1984 but yesterday I figured it out.  Put them under the stairs.

book nookLastly, added some little antique finishes along with my modern carara hairpin table.  Now I have a TV-free reading area.

I told The Boyfriend’s mom how much I love them, so now were are receiving two more matching orange love seats.  I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this but orange is actually my least favorite color.

So those will be getting recovered.  A little orange goes a long way.