December 28, 2011

Things I want to steal...from my parents

During Christmas break I took a little time to comprise a list of things I want permanently borrow from my parents. Over the years they've amassed quite a collection of antique, vintage, random and just plain 'cool' stuff. Most of it is always free too! How do they get so lucky?

First up is this desk chair. I have no idea where they got it (I know for a fact they didn't buy it). I think it's even better than Pottery Barn's Armless version for $399. The only downside is that we can't figure out if it's adjustable. We assume that is has to, but without a wrench and can of WD40, we have yet to find out. I still want it, so if anyone if driving down south soon and wants to transport it, let me know!

The thing I most want to steal is this Baccellieri Brothers Wine Press. I did some cursory research on it, but really couldn't find too much. There is one for sale on Craigslist in NY and I did find a blog post on it. When I saw it on my parent's porch, I realized that they were planning on getting rid of it! What a crime. I told them they better put it back inside until I can figure out how to get it down here. Sadly, there is no direct family history to this wine press - it was left behind by the previous owner of my grandparents house in Queens. They bought the house in the late 60's, so it has to be older than that. I'm thinking it would work really well in a bare corner of our dining room.

The next two items are things I don't necessarily want right now, but I've offically put 'dibs' on them. Like this antique dresser from my grandparent's basement, which my mom refinished years ago:

Haven't yet mentioned to my mom that I want to steal some of her plates (shhhhhh), but ever since I discovered this plate wall idea, I've been mentally collecting ideas.

Plate Walls:

December 27, 2011

Weekend Recap: Christmas!

Brian and I spent Christmas in New York this year. I haven't celebrated Christmas with my family in two years, so this was extra special. On our first night we spent time with one of my best friends. Don't you love our dating pose? Devon is the man. :-) 

Saturday night (Christmas Eve) is the biggest celebration for Spaniards (and I think Italians too), so we all go to my aunt's house in NJ. My grandma celebrated her 88th birthday just a few days earlier!


Food, wine and family - yes, please.


Christmas Day was laid-back and we had a few family members come over for dinner. I wish I got some pictures of the food - prime rib, turkey breast, roasted potatoes, broccoli raab and Yorkshire pudding. Yea, my mom rocks. One thing I miss the most is my mom's tree. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but the popcorn strands take me waaaay back to be a kid and you can't hate her for loving tinsel:

This cracks me up. My parent's are obsessed with Camellias and they don't grow in New York. On their last trip down south they stole a branch from a plant we had in our backyard. This is the branch now:

Of course Brian and I made some time to stop by the Goodwill and see if they had any cool things for my parent's house. Strange thing I noticed - the Goodwill up there is way more expensive than the ones down here. We found this super cool movie projector, but it was $30. Ugh, no thanks.

The weekend would not be complete without visiting my handsome little godson. Ladies, watch out.

And finally, as we sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Rt. 6 (headed to the airport), I realized there are things about upstate New York that metro Atlanta just doesn't mountains, big, rocky mountains:

Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays!

December 21, 2011


If you don't already know, my mom is a private chef in Manhattan. Of course she would balk at being called a chef (that only comes with a trained education), but let's just call it what it is. She works for someone Monday through Friday and then caters cocktail parties a few times a month. She has recently learned how to send picture texts (scary) and she sent me this the other day:

It's a realllly bad photo, but she was working on a crudites platter for a party and just magically decided that the tightly wrapped purple cabbage leaves would make great veggie holders! I don't know about you, but my brain does not work that way. When I cook, I like instructions and rules - my creativity does not extend to my kitchen. This just made me realize that although my creativity might show up in different arenas, I definitely 'get it from my mama'.

Check out some more shots from another party she worked on:

December 20, 2011


We decided not to put up a Christmas tree this year. I'll pause while everyone gasps.

See, I've never been the overly-festive-decorator type. In all honesty, I'm happy with waiting to decorate until we have kids that are old enough to know what Christmas is. Being that we weren't even going to be in the state for Christmas, Brian suggested it wasn't really worth all the effort. In an attempt to not be a total scrooge, I did pull out the mantel garland and dining room table decor. Keep in mind that I decorated this at night, in dim light and when I was really tired. Even I know I can do better:

I switched out my normal chargers for the gold ones that Brian got me one Christmas:

I got those napkin rings at an estate sale - 12 for $1.00!

The reindeer are solid silver candle holders:

That's about Christmas-y as our house is getting this year. On a side note, I attempted to make Lacy Cookies for the first time ever. They are my absolute favorite cookie and I cannot find them anywhere down here!

December 19, 2011

Dining Room Curtains

I've always shied away from curtains/drapes and could never really explain why. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my mom never did curtains - we grew up with hand-sewn valances that were always in some country-calico fabric (in her defense, that was 'in' at the time). My practical side always thought that curtains were silly since blinds already provided shade and privacy. So what changed my mind? My lackluster dining room. I love how it all came together, but it was missing a pop of something - color, pattern, etc. As I stared and stared at the room thinking of what to do, curtains popped into my head.

First step was a trip to JoAnn's Fabrics. Yes, I cheated on Hobby Lobby, but I really needed a larger array of fabrics to choose from and believe me there is so much fabric at JoAnn's, I almost had an anxiety attack. The best part? They pre-cut little samples for each fabric for you to take home! No more buying an awkward 1/4 yard for testing.

Here is what I came home with:

Here are the two finalists:

The one of the right really wasn't a contender for the dining room, but I fell in love with it and I hope to use it somewhere else in the house (yea, I am fully on the curtain-bandwagon). The fabric on the left was everything I was looking for - neutral, soft, patterned.

Check out how well it looks against the Lenox Tan walls:

Just to be extra-super-duper sure, I went and bought a 1/2 yard of the fabric so I could hang it up in the room.

The lighting is a bit off because I was trying to take these at night. Also, the way the stripes ran made it difficult to position the fabric for 'test' purposes. I'm really thrilled with how it looks and can't wait to see what the finished curtains will do for the room.

Of course I don't know the first thing about curtains or how to hang them. I already called my mom and she said she would sew them for me, but it was up to me to measure and buy the remainder of the fabric. The other day I just happen to be in Pottery Barn, when I came across this nifty sign:

I honestly had NO idea what the different curtain-threading ideas were called. I narrowed my choices down to 'Pole Pocket' (second from left) and 'Grommet' (last from left). I knew Pole Pocket would be easiest for my mom to sew, but I also decided to check out Pinterest for some inspiration (ignore the colors, this was more about shape):

Pole Pocket was the winner! I also wanted to be able to tie-back the curtains with something fun, like these:

Next up it's deciding how high to hang the rods, how wide to make the curtains and then buying the fabric. Ideally, I'd like to do this all before Christmas, since we are headed to NY for the holidays. Again kudos to Pottery Barn for providing this handy guide for measuring:

December 15, 2011

Hasta Luego

Notice anything missing?

My beloved Pottery Barn coffee table!

Ever since we struck gold with this Goodwill find, I've been meaning to sell our Metropolitan table on Craigslist. I had it listed a few months ago, but no one was interested. Two nights ago I decided to repost it and got a call that very day. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love Craigslist. This little old couple came to buy it as a surprise for their daughter. The mom had been at the PB outlet with her earlier that day and the daughter mentioned that this was the table she wanted. Kudos to this 70+ year old woman for coming home, stalking Craigslist and buying this thing for her child as a surprise!

The bad news is that our other coffee table is definitely not done. It's been sitting in the garage since the first post I wrote on it. We are having unseasonably warm weather, so maybe I can get some work done on it this weekend!

December 14, 2011

I'm old...

Seriously. Between my company Christmas-party-after-party and a 'cookie exchange' on Monday, I feel like the walking dead. I even took two days off from the gym! I laugh a little when I think back to my younger days of working a day job, bartending at night and then partying until the wee hours of the morning - all in the same day.

What does this all mean? It means I don't have enough brain cells to compose a blog post. I also have several open-ended projects that I need to just go ahead and finish. Hopefully I will be back in action later this week.

I'll leave you with the cutest picture of my parents. Married 30 years and counting!