Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Winner Winner Outside Dinner!

Oh craigslist, how fond of thee I am. With the weather being wonderful, we've been eating a lot of meals outdoors. My little backyard area still isn't the oasis-like outdoor living space I'd like, but there's been some gradual progress. Very gradual progress. But I've been keeping a couple plants alive (knock on wood, especially since this was the only survivor earlier), so I think I'm at least headed in the right direction.

So when I'm hosting an outdoor dinner, I've been using those huge plastic and metal folding tables (one is like this and the other is like this). They get the job done, but they require a tablecloth and I have to schlep them from the garage (front of house) through the house to the backyard to set them up. (I can't just leave them in the backyard, they're too ugly without a tablecloth!) So I'd been searching craigslist for an outdoor table option that can seat several people comfortably. AND that could fold down since the backyard isn't that big. I wanted a metal table, but opened up my search to wood after the bf pointed out that I have several metal chairs (that I need to have powdercoated this summer sometime) and it might be a metal overload. After a couple weeks of craigslist perusal I came across an option that met the fold down and seating capacity criteria. Even though it wasn't exactly what I was envisioning before, I liked it and the price--$20!

So that's the background on how the table landed in my garage.

I'll post again with some commentary on the progress to making it a prettier piece of furniture!

Anyone enjoying meals outside? Or waiting to enjoy meals outside later in the summer when I'll have to be indoors with my friend, Air Conditioning?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Was scrolling through Apartment Therapy and found a post on Luke Irwin rugs. Love them (not surprising with my love of certain ikat prints, example here).

This for my bedroom? Yes, please.

Or maybe this for the loft. Sure thing!

When you see photos of these in my home you'll know I won the lottery. Source at Luke Irwin link above.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bed Clothes Horse

Yes, Pat, that is a "Before and After" puzzle answer. And accurately describes my recent purchases.

My bed can be spotted here, but it's seen some iterations before that photo, and with a recent purchase it may change again...I used to use the darker coverlet--it's draped over the end of the bed in that post I just linked to--as my only blanket. You don't necessarily need that much in AZ, so it more or less worked for warmth most of the year, but the color wasn't right for a dimly lit room. In fact, a friend called the room scary! It probably doesn't help that I haven't yet found a flushmount fan/light with that I love, so there's no overhead lighting (even though I did suck it up and get fans for other rooms, seen here and here).

The haul:

I picked up both the throw and the linen duvet cover on RueLaLa (one of the sample sale sites that I frequently check out). I'll post again after I get the duvet all set up and start using it, and we'll see where the throw lands. They might not get use for several months, but it seems that it works well for me to shop during the off-season for some items (an excessive example being the 7 pairs of jeans from RueLaLa and Ideeli that I have in the house now--I buy in various sizes and styles so I can try them all on and debate, then keep what works and ship back what doesn't--the prices are good to justify the shipping cost for me and make it worth the wait since I won't be wearing jeans for another several months!)

Back to bedding--Just in case you were curious how the bedskirt turned out after seeing this post, it's doing just fine (the part you can see, anyway)...

I pulled the coverlet up for the photo, normally it drapes to the floor or almost to the floor.

PS I've been quite remiss on doing a headboard post--I'm loving the headboard and here's a peek in the meantime...

You might recognize the fabric from this post.

PPS, Full Disclosure:  If you click on any sample sale sites, sign up (they're free, of course) and end up buying something, I get a credit.

Nook Both Ways Before You Decide

Sometimes I kill myself with the titles of these posts. Kill myself. Anyway, I was thinking that I might as well expand the camera angle and show a bit more of the area that I call the breakfast nook that houses the bonus mail storage that I highlighted in this post. The room has gone through several iterations, and I'm still not set on it.

View from the KT

View from around the front door

The bifold doors (still not sure what I need to do for those...I've seen some cool alternatives, but they're low on the priority list) open to the washer and dryer area, so it's nice to have a bit of open space there when it becomes the laundry zone. The table is a craigslist find (surprise, right?--haha) and the table supports fold in so the leaves drop down. You can sort of see it folded down in the background of this post. It's heavy though, (the seller said it's brazilwood?) so I don't utilize the folding function all that often.

Just to experiment, I moved the seats around to the windowed wall...

...and didn't love it, so I changed it back. I still think it would be cool to have wrap-around seating that included a corner seat, so we'll see what other arrangements I can come up with.

Right now there are 3 blank canvasses hung vertically above the seating area, waiting for some painting or mod-podging or stamping or sketching or something...

I'm thinking that I might add some wine storage in that corner since it doesn't get any sun and is out of the line of traffic. And I need to get all the bottles off the kitchen counter (they multiply faster than I can drink them, I swear!) before any of my guests feel the need to stage an intervention. So, wine storage either in the breakfast nook corner (maybe I'll stop calling it the "breakfast" nook if it becomes home to a stash of wine) or in a corner of the dining room. Sounds like some fodder for a future post....

Any spaces that seem trickier than others in your place? Or ones you needed to experiment with before you got them right?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Skirting the Instructions

Just a quick post to illustrate why, if a bedskirt says that it shouldn't be put in the dryer, you shouldn't put it in the dryer--even if you know the fiber content of the skirt would be fine in the dryer and you're in a hurry for it to be dry so you can iron it and see how it looks on your bed.

Yeah, don't even put it in the dryer "just for a couple minutes"....

Target bedskirt. Still usable.

Good thing that part of the bedskirt goes under the mattress.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bottles of Polish

I recently got a pedicure (it's approximately a 6 time a year affair--including standard pre-vacation pedis--but I wish they was more frequent, because I love them!) and was looking for a fun punchy vibrant pinky dark coralish color for my toes. But on the wall full of colors I couldn't find one I loved that fit the bill. So I went with my standby, a pale pink-ish, but not too pink color (OPI's Privacy Please), which I love, so it was hardly a letdown.

A couple days later I was grocery shopping and was drawn into the cosmetic/hair items aisle because of a lack of shampoo and a shampoo coupon. Of course I had to check out the polishes, as low and behold there was a bottle of polish that fit all the adjectives I used above to try to describe the color I wanted. So I bought it. (There went any "savings" from the shampoo coupon.) And decided to try it on my fingernails.

Woohoo, a little split personality, but I like the bright color on my short nails.

Ok, this dismembered-limb-looking photo is weirder than I anticipated. 
It will not be repeated for any future toe/finger nail polish comparisons, I promise.

The colors of my nutritionally savvy snack choice at work the next morning further validated my polish choice.

Atypical Breakfast 
(not to be confused with A Typical Breakfast)

Any punchy, spring-y colors you're gravitating toward because of Spring?  Do you think since my house is calm and monochrome I'm living vicariously through my fingernails right now?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You Can't Handle the Mail!

Well, I shared some mail sorting paraphernalia here, and I picked up another craigslist item for some mail back up storage (also known as the magazines we don't want to throw away or haven't had time to flip through, yet. I originally had plans to refinish it, but decided to hang it in the meantime and now I'm thinking that cracks and slightly uneven colors add some character. Phew, it's nice when you save yourself effort and don't have any regrets because you didn't rush into a project.  Not that I ever have any issues rushing into projects...

It's hanging around the corner from the from door, next to a calendar that I haven't really been utilizing as much as I should be.

 Someday I'll decide on and purchase or make some window treatments...someday.

I made a label for each roomie using expensive natural-toned cardstock. Ok, it was the inside of a cereal box--which has come in handy on more than one occasion as nice natural-looking signage, as long as I'm sure that the colorful edges aren't visible and you can't flip it around to see Cap'n Crunch on the back.


I'm a little out-of-love with the calendar, but I'm not sure how to improve it or what would be a useful substitution, yet. Any ideas?