Archives For April 2011

Located on the main floor of our house and sandwiched between the office and the guest bedroom, this is the bathroom used by most folks who visit our house.

I love the beadboard wainscoting (that you can’t really see here because it’s on the left wall), the octagon and dot tile, and the original medicine cabinet. There’s also a pretty big linen closet to the right of the camera in the above shot, providing some serious storage (a valuable thing in a house this old).

It currently houses a lot of toiletries that probably need to be tossed, extra towels, air filters, and our vacuum cleaner. I have a feeling that when our family grows I’ll probably have a lot more stuff that needs to live in here and I’ll have to find a new spot for the vacuum cleaner.

We haven’t done a thing to this bathroom beyond putting our stuff in it. I love the sunflowers shower curtain but I go back and forth about whether it makes sense in this room. Sometimes I think about replacing it with just a simple white curtain, but I worry about the room feeling too cold and sterile. My biggest problem in this space is with the sink, because it is so not what I would’ve chosen and I think it’s way too modern for this house. I’m considering replacing the bowl and faucet with something more my style, like this:

White vessel sink | Amazon.com

Tall Brushed Nickel Faucet | Amazon.com

The “vessel” aspect of it will still be very much intact (which is in my opinion too trendy and likely to look dated sooner than I’d prefer), but at least the white porcelain and spigot-ish faucet are a little less stark. The glass sink and polished chrome faucet are such a pain to keep looking nice. I need to look into whether it would be more cost-effective to just replace the whole cabinet-sink-faucet operation, rather than throwing money at it to try to make it work.

And now for the dueling octopuses. Our friend Ryan pointed out to us last week that these hooks hanging next to the sink bear a striking resemblance to two octopuses ready to fight.

Some things just can’t be unseen.

I bought this adorable birdhouse for $20 at a local arts and antiques market when my friend Lauren was visiting last weekend. $20 is a little steep for me to spend on just one pretty thing without a whole lot of function (it’s not like I’ll be sleeping in there) but it was just so charming I had to have it.

Unfortunately, I often find myself in the uncomfortable position of having bought something on impulse and then having to figure out how to make it work. In this case, I’d imagined my quaint little birdhouse hanging from our oak tree, but had no idea how to hang it.

I did some brainstorming and gathered my supplies:

I tied the keys to one end of the wire and uncoiled a generous allowance, then got Nick to toss them over my chosen branch. I cut the wire and tied the cut end to the birdhouse, then pulled on the keys to hoist that baby up into the air.

And that’s when my plan fell apart. How to keep it up there? Finding ourselves in want of a ladder and not having one, we created a super-person to get the job done. I tied the wire into one giant loop hanging from the tree branch and twisted it near the base of the knot until my little birdie hotel was oriented just the way I wanted it.

You like how I got that shot above? I had a feeling it would make a funny picture so I set my camera on the porch railing and started recording video, then took a frame to post as an image. Some lady actually walked by mid-tying and said, “Now that’s a pretty picture!” As for the video, there’s no way that’s ever getting posted. Me, in leggings, hoisting myself up onto Nick’s shoulders = not flattering.

It’s a bit lower than I’d originally planned, since even our super person could only reach so high. I’m feelng inspired now to hang a few more at staggered heights, so I suppose we’ll need to procure a ladder. Does anybody have any better strategies for hanging a bird house? After the fact I considered maybe installing an eye-hook in the tree trunk and tying the end of the wire to it, then maybe obscuring it somehow.

Remember when I mentioned that I was trying to grow tomatoes this year, but I thought I’d already ruined my chances?

Look what I found the other day!

I actually said OHHHHMMMMMGEEEEEE when I saw them. Out loud. To the tomatoes. Yes, I think they were pleased with my enthusiasm.

As of now these three little guys are the only ones, but there are several other flowers blooming that I’m hoping will turn into big juicy fruit. I’m freakin’ thrilled. Even if giant caterpillars ate these tomorrow and all the flowers fell off with no intention of bearing fruit and this were the end of my 2011 tomato train, I’d be happy to have gotten this far. I can’t believe I stuck a plant in the ground and it actually grew tomatoes. It’s a brave new world.

One of my favorite ways to add a little luxury to my life is to whip up some fruity ice cubes. These are awesome in the warmer months and make a delicious addition to all my summertime beverages.

The exact recipe and proportions are usually based on what I have on hand, but the basic idea goes a little something like this:

  • Fill an ice cube tray with fruit. Sliced strawberries, halved grapes, fresh or canned chopped pineapple, and raspberries have all worked well for me.
  • Pour some liquid–like water, gingerale, or juice–into the tray and freeze. My fave is a mixture of pineapple juice and gingerale, but the possibilities really are endless.

This is a great way to use up fresh fruit that you don’t want to spoil. Strawberry season is in full swing in Louisiana and I am about to freeze me a whole summer’s worth of frozen strawberry goodness. I make several trays at a time and pop a few cubes into a glass of water here or some iced tea there. If you add some triple sec or tequila to the mix (but not so much that it won’t freeze) a cube or two added to a glass of wine equals instant sangria. You can store the frozen cubes in a ziploc bag if you’d like to free up your ice tray, and I’ve had no trouble keeping these in my freezer for several weeks at a time.

I’m working to give up coke and this really helps me satisfy my sweet tooth without the guilt. Nothing but simple fruity goodness.

P.S. I’m 85% sure my neighbors are starting to think I’m crazy hanging out on my porch taking pictures of flower pots and ice water.