house buying…not for the faint of heart

Two years ago, my fiancé and I bought a house and completely gutted and remodeled it.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time, as all terrible decisions initially do.

After being told it would take six weeks to complete, 6-8 months later they were finally ‘finished’.  And by finished, I mean it looked like absolute shit.  The painter, after initially painting all the rooms the incorrect colors, had stopped showing up.  He honestly painted half the kitchen and never returned (but did manage to steal my sunglasses on his way out).  Our hardwoods all started buckling and coming up so bad, we even took a nail gun to them one fateful evening.   Our General Contractor (who ended up not actually being a contractor) had moved to Idaho and stopped returning phone calls.

Then we learned while hard, it’s not impossible to sue someone in Idaho while in Louisiana.

And while I learned a great many things about myself during this period, be it the fact I can easily now paint, tile or stain anything, another interesting thing I learned was apparently if you take my money and run, I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth.  Idaho included.

So after sinking another round of ungodly money into the house to actually finish it, we finally sold it.  Literally, a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into that house.  And since we had a lot of trouble selling it, we decided to take a break from house buying for a bit.  We needed time to lick our wounds and have lots of drinks to dull the memories.  And just have some drinks in general.

Apparently, forget we did, because we just bought another house.  And it needs so much work, it’s getting completely taken down the studs.

I barely survived House War I, lets see if we survive HWII.

I’m already skeptical.

moving is fun!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted; as ‘they’ say, “life gets in the way sometimes”.

We finally sold the house that we spent an eternity (and an ungodly fortune) remodeling but it hasn’t really set in yet.  While we look for a new house (oh God.), we’re renting a temporary space in a gorgeous area called Bayou St. John.

Last week, I had two hours to find somewhere for us to move to before the movers got there.  As my mom has not subtly informed me several times since this happened, most people do this in advance.  And that most people probably don’t live in an insane housing market quite like New Orleans.  Hindsight blahblahblah.

But the most exciting part of all this is I finally had the opportunity to open the champagne that I have been dragging around the southern part of the country for the better part of three years.  [side note: I’ve actually found none of this is very exciting, it’s more like a big incredible stress inducing money pit.  I honestly might as well take my checking and savings out of the bank, head-on into the backyard (that doesn’t exist because I live in New Orleans, which is just a weirder, smaller New York space-wise) and light it all on fire]

So in any case, here is my new stoop.  And my traveling champagne.  Which, not surprisingly, tasted funky.  Apparently hot/cold/hot/cold/hot/cold/hot/cold over the course of three years is not good for the quality of your bubbles.

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So you live, you learn and so on.  Except I seem to have trouble with the learning part so I just keep living and repeating the same shit.

But at least I’m finally in New Orleans.  On my stoop.

imaginary gardening…

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Much to the dismay of everyone that has ever met me, I’ve taken up gardening.

Thanks to Google, I’ve learned the difference between perennials and annuals.  Although sometimes I still need to look it up because I can’t keep them straight.  I still have to do “lefties” and “righties” on my hands to know direction.  Apparently, there’s just some things my brain won’t keep on retainer.

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But as my interest in flowers has grown, my interest in gardening has like-wise grown.  And I’ve been quite successful.  Until I planted some lavender and three days later is was dead.  That one’s not my fault.  I don’t know who to blame but it’s not me.  Three days seems a little record breaking.

So now I’m trying my hand at bulb planting.  I ordered Lily Trees, Daffodils (my complete least favorite flower ever created but they were free with Lily Tree purchase) and Poppy Anemone hybrids that will (hopefully) bloom in the spring.

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And these are some lackluster pictures of planted bulbs.  After planting over 100 bulbs, which oddly takes forever and in the end you have nothing to show for it, The Boyfriend came outside to bring me a cocktail.

Just kidding, there were no cocktails.  Apparently he only came outside to ask me, “why’s this imaginary garden taking forever?”

a new season for cocktails…

It’s finally cooled down here in Southern Louisiana to a brisk 85 degrees, so that means it’s finally time for fall cocktails.

About this time last year in Texas, I made a Maker’s Cider because for some reason we had nine bottles of Maker’s in our pantry.

Fast forward to this year in our new home in New Orleans.  While at the grocery store I saw it was cider time of year, so I bought an orange, cloves and a bottle of spiced cider.  Went home, then started to put all my ingredients together:

I baked the clove stuffed oranges at 350 for 20 minutes.

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I put the cider in a pot on medium heat.

I went to add whisky and, imagine my surprise, we had none left. I guess moving to a different state and renovating a house for 6 months will do that to your liquor supply.  I’m honestly surprised it was only nine bottles.

But guess what I do have a lot of.  Wine.  Me without a full stock of wine is like The Boyfriend not screaming at the TV on LSU game days.

So I swapped a copious amount of whisky for a bottle of wine.  Either way, win-win.

Other than the wine, there was only one other little change.

Me cider drinking last year vs. me cider drinking this year.

cider me

Apparently the only thing that didn’t change in a year is my love of cocktails and dark nail polish.

wednesdays are for cocktails…

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Today is the first day of fall.  And so to celebrate (as I always do when I’m celebrating) I made cocktails.

I found this pink elderflower rose sparkling lemonade on my last grocery store venture, and since, I can describe it as nothing short of life changing.

I mean, it’s great alone but, as I’ve found with many (all) other things, it’s better with vodka.

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I added a little ice, Ketel One, lime and springs of lavender.   I used to order Stoli but one night when I ordered it, a friend of mine made the comment, “how can you drink that?”.

So now I order Ketel One, which I don’t know if you know this but it tastes like Stoli.  And since I care little for getting reprimanded (ask my mom), I order differently now.

Ketel One it is!

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On another note, I’m currently trying my hand at growing lavender; ask me in three months how that went.

Actually you can ask me now.  It’s dying.  But just another reason to make cocktails!

white linen & flowers…

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Tonight is White Linen Night in the Warehouse District.

You roam, gallery to gallery, dressed in white linen and sip street cocktails.

Normally I’m a fit & flare dress and Marc Jacobs mouse flats kind of girl, but today I’m feeling more bohemian-ish.

And by bohemian, I mean I bought a linen tee-shirt at the Gap (not very bohemian) and am hoping not to pass out of a heat stroke traversing the streets of New Orleans.

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{freesia, dahlias, calcinaia and sweetheart roses}

To add to my Gap ensemble (why is everything always 40% off?), I created a little delicate flower crown of blushes and pinks. 

DSC_0041So, I’m off.  Cocktails are awaiting me.

And I hate keeping cocktails waiting.

 

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!

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.

book table

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.

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.

wine wednesday…

My friend in LA sent me this from Refinery29.  ‘What Your Signature Drink Says About You.”

I probably couldn’t have described myself better.  And wine happens to be my drink of choice.

As they said, “easiest to refill…”

wine

 

Personality Type: You feel generally happy and dissatisfied at the same time. You are ambitious but don’t feel lucky. You would call yourself jealous because you are also very self-aware. Your preferred party position is talking late into the night.

Signature Drink: Wine. It’s the drink that’s easiest to refill.

what drink are you? : Refinery29