a little progress…

In our new uptown home, we had a bit of remodeling to do.  Every single wall (interior/exterior), ceiling and floor is being removed, so essentially we are just starting with the façade and building back.

But something I’ve found interesting with this house, and in older homes in general (I think ours is about 100+ years), every couple decades people just seem to slap on another layer of whatever is popular at the time to redesign.  The family that owned the house before us, and whose family it has been in since its house birth, apparently stopped updating around the 70s.  Although too bad for us they didn’t stop before they decided to nail laminate over all the original hardwoods.

Or cover every single wall and ceiling, upstairs and downstairs, with this swirly plaster shit. But we later realized, you know after buying the house and all, the plaster swirls were added to hide the fact the walls aren’t straight.  Which, of course, we didn’t realize till the siding went up and the exterior of the house looked like heat waves coming off sand dunes in the Sahara.

We’re currently working on that, just FYI.

But they did leave the original fixtures, and these antique crystal chandeliers are enough to make all the time and pain (and expense!) due to remodeling worth it.

And thankfully this time we are hired someone we trust-ish and aren’t forced to do any work ourselves.  We’re currently about 3 months in and have about 2 months to go.

 Here’s a pic of that room to-date.  We’re opening up the large double living room, brought the kitchen to the front of the house and combined the spaces.  Although unfortunately for us, I read an article recently that said ‘open concept’ is over.

And I hope to God that’s not true, because at this point I really can’t do much to stop this open concept freight train.

So that said, our ‘post-work’ evening ritual has become heading over to the house to take a peek at all the progress.  I asked my fiancé, “once it’s completed, what are we going to do after work everyday?”

“Sit in our new house and figure out how to pay for it.”

So if you’re ever looking for me, that’s where you’ll find me.  And hopefully the walls will be straight.

orchid whisperer…

Several years ago, I decided I wanted to grow orchids.  They died.

Fast forward several years, I’m wiser, I drink slightly less (more?) and I am less fashionable than I once was (somewhere along the line leggings were introduced into the mix).  It was time.

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Plus, now I’m a floral designer.  All the orchid shaped puzzle pieces have fallen into place.

I am an orchid whisperer.

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Actually, I just have five orchids from Trader Joe’s  that have lasted two years.  I fertilize them.  When they don’t die, I give them tiny kisses.  And I put them in our sunroom.  Finally have a purpose for  that room.

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Once I felt confident I was past the point of murdering orchids, I have moved from Dendrobiums (in my professional orchid whispering opinion, the easiest to care for) and added Cymbidiums to the mix.

This one came from Whole Foods.  It’s all too easy, just throw an orchid in the cart while grabbing some eggs.

Today I went to Fresh Market to pick up coffee and walked out with coffee and a potted hyacinth.  The Boyfriend told me to stop buying plants, we’ll run out of living space and have to start sleeping out side where the plants actually go.

I’ll stop buying plants when we agree I don’t have to go to the grocery store anymore.

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?”

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.

ncla

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…

sidetable

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.

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.

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.

bathroom wall

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.