Master Bathroom

When I came to Wisconsin to narrow down our choices for homes, there were some outstanding bathrooms in the houses we toured, but undoubtedly, the one that left me speechless was the one we dubbed the Captain America shower.

Either we would go in as ourselves and come out mutated in some way, or I’d end up pressing the wrong button and launch the whole thing into space. The master bathroom in our home, while still gorgeous, is a bit more normal looking. This is what it looked like at first:


It has a double shower, a separate alcove for the toilet, a sweet soaker tub and a lot of storage. A mirror that spanned both sink areas was added before we moved in, as well as light fixtures. We added cellular blinds to allow light in and retain privacy, and a few touches to make it more pleasant to get ready in the morning.



I brought my Georgianna Lane framed photos and Steve was sweet to placed them above the tub for me. The Paris map also made the trek, and lives on my side of the vanity. We purchased the same towels we had in our apartment in Paris last year. Six months later, they’re still like new.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of our master bathroom, we’re certainly very happy with it!

Garden Update: July 2013

We’ve been enjoying our fruit and veggie bounty – I mad 2 loaves of zucchini bread and a batch of chocolate chip zucchini cookies from just ONE monster squash, and we’ve been eating our delicious tomatoes in sandwiches, salads, and a sauce that had my friend’s kids asking for lunch at 10am πŸ˜€

Some more future cookies πŸ˜€

We’ve recently planted some more corn for an autumn harvest:

And, hello! Check out the awesome planter my husband made!!! He’s planting bamboo in it, and he got his inspiration from a couple of gorgeous river photographs by Keith Liang.

Steve made the mold with a high-relief design and then built a structure to pour the cement in. This turned out amazing, and yes, I’ve put in an order for a smaller planter with a fleur-de-lis πŸ˜€ Of course.

Our strawberries continue to produce as well:

The other day we harvested some lavender for our neighbor. I think I’m going to make some eye pillows with the rest.

This crazy madness going on here is our Concord grape vine. Well, one of them. The other is just started to go all wild but this one is going to become another yummy batch of grape jam.

This is what the vine looked like in April:

Current goodness and future grape jam, nom nom nom.

Our pretty flower frames are doing great as well!

We are also harvesting potatoes and onions, and mint for our mojitos.

Gardening is to me an incredibly rewarding experience. Which is not to say there aren’t days (usually those in 100+ degree weather) where the last thing I want to do is go out there and water and tend to the plants. But homegrown veggies taste so good, and knowing that my family gets to eat fresh, delicious, healthy food is pretty awesome.

I say this every year, but next year I’d really like to get more flower plants for cuttings. I just love having fresh flowers in the house. I’ve killed some gerbera and hydrangea, though, so we’ll see how I do in that goal.

Have a wonderful week!

Redwood flower frames


We love our backyard, no question about it. It is a pretty decent size, it allows our boys to play hard and it allows us to entertain and grow fruits and veggies for our family.

THAT said . . .

Sometimes things out back get kind of, well, boring.

True, we will have lots of lavender and tomatoes bringing in the reds and purples of summer, and there will be fresh corn and plums, too, but we wanted some instant gratification and my husband decided to put together some frames for nature’s works of art.

The frames are made from redwood planks – we painted them using leftover spray paint and some mistints that cost $5/gallon.

I love looking outside the playroom/office window and seeing these bright pops of color!




We are very happy with how this project turned out, and it has been featured at:
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Springing and stretching!

These last few days have blessed us with glorious weather here in Sili Valley. The sun has been out, but it hasn’t been super hot, I’ve been loving it! This past weekend we decided to hit our local gardening stores – two of them!


Our front yard got some much-needed brightening up with these trailing white flowers on the hanging baskets:

My youngest was determined to get some yellow goodness ;D

In the backyard, we started our herb garden:

My husband added a brick border to define our salad greens area:

Caged and ready!

We also planted more potatoes, including some purple varieties. Our potatoes come back every year but we wanted some russets as well, and then we saw the purple sets. Can’t wait to eat some of those! Our onions and chard are doing great, they come back, too, and hopefully our garlic will do well this year. My husband planted two blackberry bushes in the side yard. We have a blueberry bush that is my boys’ favorite treat. Hopefully the vine will do well again this year so we can make some grape jelly again, and I look forward to the lovely scent of my lavender plants.

My husband and I have the sorest hamstrings ever from all the planting and weeding, I’ve been stretching because otherwise the pain doesn’t let me sleep very well. I hope you’ll follow our gardening adventures this year, I’m very excited to see how our veggies do!

Garden Update: First Week of May

There has been a lot of growing going on in our backyard — I can’t wait for harvest time to start enjoying our veggies and fruits, do some canning with friends and family, and feed my family lots of wonderful, homegrown food!


Imagine about 40 of these babies and you’ll get an approximation of what we have in the backyard. From the original 72 plants I grew from seed, I gave some away and donated some to my youngest’s school. I figure a few are not going to make it, but the truth is, I need to buy more cages — eek!


We grow some of our strawberries on the top of those upside-down hanging tomato planters. Last year we got lots of berries and lots of tomatoes, so we’re going for it again. A friend gave me another planter so hopefully they both do well.


My roses make me smile every time I go out to the backyard. I think some of them are going to decorate our home this week.


Our plum tree will give us lots of sweet, juicy plums this year. Plum jam is a pain to make but just so good!


There are hundreds (thousands?) of tiny grapes, the size of a pin’s head, all clustered and green right now. They’re Concord grapes, and once they’re ripe, my boys love to run around the backyard, scooping up a few each time they pass the grapevine.


I had never heard of Swiss Chard until I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle — and no wonder Barbara Kingsolver likes it so much! We bought the plants once, three years ago. It just comes back on its own. I did get some Chard seeds for my 40th, so I’ve added to Chard Row.


One of my favorite fruits to eat as I’m working in the backyard are blueberries. I’ll be weeding for half an hour or pulling tomatoes off their plants and run over to grab a few blueberries. Then the boys see me and pretty much empty the plant of its fruits within 10 minutes. And hey, that’s why I grow stuff, right?

I have lots more to show you in the next Garden Update – peas, broccoli, corn, carrots, beans, etc. Stay tuned!

Tender Tulips

I do not often purchase flowers – my veggies keep me busy enough, but on Monday I saw these sweet little tulips at Trader Joe’s (my home away from home) and I could not resist them.

I put them in the little spring vases I made from Starbucks drink bottles and they brighten up my dining room so much that even my husband commented on how cheerful they are.

One of my goals for next year is to grow some pretty flowers. This year, there’s just no way, all the veggies I am growing from seed will (hopefully) keep me super busy, but next year, I will be looking for pretty bits of sunshine to scatter around my house.

Wishing you a fabulous Wednesday!

Lush table decor

There is a little table in a corner of our house that got some glam treatment recently:

D’oh! A little elf got in the picture!
My son saw me taking photos and decided I should take some of him, too πŸ˜€


It is layer upon layer of holiday items surrounding a huge hurricane vase we used at our wedding.


The table itself is from IKEA; then comes a folded table runner my mom made a few years ago. Then you can see the wreath we last used in a Thanksgiving centerpiece. A beaded garland sits on top of the wreath, then I stuck in some large silk flowers with their foliage. I placed the vase in the center and had no idea what to put inside, and my husband added a candle, which I now love because the glow from this little table is just gorgeous.

 

The Lettered Cottage

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Fashion Friday: Embellished Tank

I had some leftover fabric from the pillows I made a while back, so I decided to make some flowers and sew those onto a plain tank from Target:
0929shirt
If you Google “rolled flower tutorial” you’ll get hundreds of links to learn how to make these. I made a few in various sizes and then pinned them to the tank top. Once I was happy with the positioning, I sewed them on, et voila! a pretty tank that makes getting dressed so much easier – no need for necklaces with this one, I’ll wear mine this fall with jeans and a cardie.
0929shirt2
I swear, now I want a tank in every color with pretty flowers on them! I hope you enjoyed my little sewing adventure – have a wonderful weekend!

Fall Wreath for $5 and change

I got the idea for a wreath with my last name initial on it from my friend L at Challenging Martha – she made a super cool fall wreath and I had $5 in my pocket, so I hit up the dollar store and dug out some leftover scrapbook paper I had from a project I will share with you tomorrow.
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I started with a wreath form, some greenery/flowers in fall shades, ribbon, and brown leaf forms – there went my $5.
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I played around with the “ingredients” and the floral wire I had leftover from the lavender wreath I made this past summer.

I have to admit I preferred the wreath form from Walmart because it was fuller, but it was a little more $ and I wouldn’t have been able to get the rest of the stuff for my fall wreath, so I made do with the skinnier, and lighter-in-color wreath form from the dollar store.

I made a letter B from orange scrapbook paper, and glued it onto black cardstock that was glued onto an oatmeal lid, for stability. Then I punched a hole through the paper and lid, and used more floral wire to hang it from the bow I made with the ribbon:
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Notice how the wreath blends in really well with my door. I kinda don’t like that. I think a dark chocolate brown door would be more awesome, but that’s a project down the list for now.
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I love my fall-toned wreath – the lavender wreath now resides between the windows that face onto the front yard, and looks lovely there with the window boxes and more lavender below. Now it is this beauty’s turn to grace our front door, and I am very happy with the result.
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I hope you liked this little project – I had lots of fun making it, although stuff kept coming up and I started it over three weeks ago!

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