Thursday, October 29, 2009

Carving Out Some Family Time

We have had a crazy week of fantastic house guests and Halloween festivities, and we have a lot more celebrating to do in the next few days, but still my all time favorite is carving the pumpkins. Steve got home late tonight and I was exhausted, so exhausted in fact I was just going to leave it up to him this year, but then I saw those smooth pumpkin skins that were just crying out to be carved, and got my second wind.

I ♥ Halloween.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Our Ibiza: The Final Chapter

Yes people, here I am FINALLY putting some photos of the house on the blog. My planets must have aligned the other day because we were finally able to have the photographer in to take some photos, and I've taken some myself lately, so here are the results:

First, the front of the house. You've all seen this before on other posts, but here it is, finally finished:

It's funny how the little features of the house are my favorites, like these custom made house numbers that were designed by our architect and fabricated by the contractor that did all the railings in the house, so they're totally unique. I love that.

Here's the view from the backyard. I thought I might feel a little too exposed because I didn't want to put any window coverings on these amazing windows, but it really doesn't bug me. We did put some shades on the master bedroom, but otherwise the trees surrounding the house give us a good filter from the neighbors.

The view from the deck looking out to the backyard. I am so happy to finally have a yard I actually WANT to hang out in, that has plenty of shade, mature trees, and is truly a beautiful place for the kids to play. We're going to be adding a lot of landscaping that will fill it out and make it feel more green and lush, but we've got that whole living in Paris thing coming up, so it will have to wait until next year.

And did I mention that I love the railing that our contractor made that matches the staircase railing inside. I didn't? Well I LOVE IT! The trellis part will have a custom made shade cloth for the afternoon sun and eventually we will grow vines up to block the sun naturally and add to the lush green of the yard.

The view as you walk in the front door. There's a cool office off to the left, but it's still in a bit of disarray, so I will have to add photos of it later.

The dining area. I love the faux Eames chairs and the great light fixture from Gus Modern. I ordered a lot of Flor Tiles for area rugs, and really love them; They're as cool as everyone says. And those windows above the table are one of the coolest features of the house. They're high enough to give us privacy, but have an incredible view of the mountains. Genius. Unfortunately I couldn't get a great shot of the effect, so you'll have to take my word for it.

The main living area. I love this room and all the natural light. I've had a lot of people tell me it feels like living in a treehouse, and I have to agree. All the huge trees are beautiful (especially now that they're changing colors), and it almost feels like you're sitting outside. I can't wait for the snow to come. I love the snow, and I know I'll love the views of it falling outside while sitting by the fire in this room. Bring on winter.

And I know you've seen it before, but how cool is this staircase?

The half bath. Funny to add pictures of a powder room, I know, but I love how the tile turned out. It is so beautiful, and I adore the color. Actually, the tile is Lush 1/3 x 3 in Moss from modwalls, and you should check out my most recent post on their blog for more photos of the tile. Awesome.

Also odd of me to include the laundry/mud room, but I love it. There's so many cabinets that I can actually keep it clean and organized, and I love the bench that holds all our shoes so they aren't in piles by the front door. And why the closeup of the cabinet, you may ask? Well, my friends, remember how I said it's the little things that make a house? That's a laundry chute that comes from the master closet. And I love it a little too much.

The kitchen. Oh, the kitchen. I love it, especially now that it is FINALLY done. It took our cabinet guys FIVE MONTHS to finish the cabinets, and they still aren't exactly right, but I love them anyway. And that tile. Love the tile. I think I'm putting modwalls in my will for making this new Lush 1 x 4 tile in Cloud just in time for me to use it for my kitchen backsplash. I love it that much. And the stainless steel countertops? They are a major pain to clean and keep streak free, but if I had to do it all again, I'd do it. They just look so cool that they're worth the extra time to clean them. I think. I'll get back to you in a year and let you know if I still feel the same way.

The master bedroom is awesome. I love it for a few reasons: 1) It feels like you're floating in the treetops when you look out the window, 2) I love all the natural light that comes in and makes the space feel huge, 3) I love the sliding barn door that closes it off or goes into the wall to make it feel completely open 4) I love that it is on it's own floor so there is a kid free area for us to retreat to at the end of the day, 5) I love the skylight that's tucked into the corner and gives us a view of the mountaintops while we're lying in bed (another one too hard to capture on camera). I'll stop there, but there's really a ton to love.

And the love continues into the master bathroom. I love the blue tile (score another one for modwalls with their Lush 3 x 6 tile in Vapor), and we had to wait three extra months to get exactly the color we wanted (they were out of stock), but it was well worth the wait. And those windows above the shower and tub add to the feeling that you're living in the clouds because you get a view of the sky as you bathe. Clear and sunny or cloudy and stormy, it's a beautiful thing to look at as you get ready in the morning. And those rocks on the floor of the shower were a bit of a sore spot with Steve. He thought they might be uncomfortable to stand on, but they warm up and give you a foot massage as you shower, so he's been converted.

And finally, the Orange Candy Bath, or so it has been dubbed by my kids. I love these ModDotz tiles from modwalls, and I love how it made it youthful, mod, and a little bit retro. Everyone loves this tile the most, and I can't blame them. It's pretty cool.

So, there's most of it. I didn't add the kids rooms and the media room because they're still being sorted out, but you get the idea. I'll add more pictures later.

So, now you have the photos, what do you think?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No, I'm Not Dead

But Max has had a stomach bug, I've had a three day migraine, and all of us have had too little time to do just about anything. My good friend Andrea emailed me from Canada today to say it had been SIX DAYS since I've blogged, and is everything all right? So for all of you out there that are worried, I'm fine. And guess what? There should be house pictures on this here blog in the next few days. If I can just find a time for our photographer to come by when the house isn't in shambles and we aren't all asleep.

Hey, it could happen.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Name Is Blossom, I Was Raised In A Lion's Den

I just became friends with a cool eighteen year old named Mary Rose who is in my French 101 class. She and I have been talking about music, and come to find out she studied jazz at a performing arts high school in Washington State. I figured since she studied jazz she would have heard of Blossom Dearie, but, alas, she hadn't. I chalk it up to her age. But then I got to thinking that there are probably a lot of other people who haven't heard of her out there too, and I admit, I didn't discover her until my early thirties. She has a voice that sounds like she's been sucking helium (in a good way), and she is just the essence of cool mid-century jazz. I love, love, love her. I mean, check out that photo. I have a lot of favorite songs of hers too, but I really love her song "Blossom's Blues," which is where I got this post's title. Way too cool. A few years ago when Steve and I were visiting New York City I found out she was still performing regularly at a club in the village, but was off the week we were there. And then, in writing this post, I found she died in February, so my chances of seeing her live are gone for good. Oh well, the woman was 85, I guess I can let her go. I wish I could have found a video on youtube, but I couldn't, so I'll just add another favorite for you to check out:

And if you don't know that one, here's some Blossom Dearie you're sure to recognize:

I really think I was supposed to be a jazz singer, but for some reason I wasn't blessed with either the talent or the chutzpah. Lucky for me there's the Blossom Dearies of the world out there to give me some vicarious pleasure.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bibliophiles Beware

I hate to admit I'm still unpacking.

And unpacking.

And unpacking.

In fact, the only good that came out of Briscoe's death is that we now can use our utility room for all the boxes we haven't got around to yet. And what is in all those boxes, you may ask? Books. Way, way too many books. Look, I was an English major, worked in bookstores for years and years, and love books. I just love the look of them on shelves and seeing them all lined up there is like seeing a nicely organized row of good friends. So, as you may imagine, I find them hard to part with.

But since I got a lot of free books through my book selling career, there are many that I haven't read, and I keep thinking I am going to throw them out. But they look so pretty there in their dust jackets, and I admit, I feel like the more books I have, the smarter I look (whether I've read them or not). Moving into a modern, minimalist house has made me rethink though. I abhor clutter and I don't want them shoved under the beds. It's been a bit of a dilemma, but I think I have finally seen the light after reading this article that was in The Guardian today. I mean, really, do I need a reminder of all the books I think I should have read looming over me all the time? I think not.

It's time for, as the British say, a little culling.

Anyone want some good novels?

Monday, October 5, 2009


Jack and I have spent a few days in the city lately trying to get my car fixed (nothing major, just a seat heater that wasn't working, and after three trips we finally got it back today).

We've spent a lot of that time taking the train around town, and I loved this picture of him waiting for it to come. He looks like he's pondering his upcoming week at the 9 to 5 job and wondering what it's all for.

Luckily he has a few more responsibility free years before he has a real existential crisis.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I Love To Walk In The Rain

The boys went to play at their friends house tonight after dinner, so Steve and I decided to take a walk, one of our long lost, often missed, past times from life before kids. Who cared that it was pouring rain, in my opinion it made it even better. The iPhone portrait isn't the best, but I just wanted to capture the moment.
It reminded me of a lot of things, mostly how much I love spending time with Steve, but also of my favorite day of our honeymoon and walks in London together. But it also took me back, way back, to Sunday afternoons when I would watch Shirley Temple movies on TV. My dad made a recording of a bunch of the songs for me, and this one was always my favorite:

Even though I live in a desert, I still love to walk in the rain.

And I always will.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Best Wedding Photo Ever

Britnee Jean Photography ©

I totally stole this photo off of someones Facebook page when I was checking out some photos from a wedding that my friends Tim & Alison went to in London (by the way, they're coming to visit this month, and I couldn't be more excited). I loved it because it took me back to the days Steve and I lived in London as newlyweds. It was heaven, and I love the memories so much that this photo brought happy tears to my eyes. I had to share.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


So, I had my birthday today, and now I'm FORTY ONE. Did you hear that people? I thought last year was going to be the big one, but I have found this one a little more depressing because being in my forties feels much older than turning forty. But then I saw this photo that my sister put up on Facebook and it made my day. It's of me and my sister Liz (who is just one year and three days older than me) sitting on my grandma's front steps (I'm the one without the mismatched prints). I don't know why, but for some reason this photo made me feel young again.

Hey, I'll take that wherever I can find it.