This End Up

Earlier this week my mom and her friend did a whirl wind trip to Asheville to do a furniture swap. They rented a cargo van, loaded up my mom’s This End Up furniture from her house, drove to Asheville, we moved the current furniture out of the apartment, unloaded the This End Up into the apartment, loaded the van with the other furniture, had a brief evening on the town for dinner at Wicked Weed, slept, and they hit the road early the next morning, unloaded the furniture into my mom’s house, and returned the cargo van. All in 24 hours. So yeah, they’re pretty much the bomb diggity. If you know what I mean.

The first picture is a bit of an oldie from right after we moved in two years ago. But the furniture didn’t really move and it was always a bit too big for the space. But it was free, and for that we were always grateful! (Thanks Dad and Dean!)

old furniture

The This End Up furniture isn’t really that much smaller as far as seating is concerned, but it is much lower profile and feels like it fits the space much better. (Thanks Mom!) Oh, and we have a Classic Overnighter upstairs too!

this end up

Friends!

So there you have it. Our new-to-us furniture!

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Weekend Review: Belated Christmas with Dad and Dean

Since Dad and Dean were in Hawaii for Christmas (and they forgot to buy us tickets to go with them … wink wink) they came to visit us last weekend for a belated Christmas family-time of sorts. We didn’t really do Christmas-y things, though we did still have our Christmas decorations up. We spent some good time exploring the art galleries and studios in the River Arts District and some others downtown on Saturday, followed by dinner at The Walk. Then on Sunday we had a lovely brunch at Sunny Point Cafe (Oatmeal Brûlée with cream and fresh fruit – drool) and a terrific adventure at the Biltmore Estate. All in all, it was a glorious weekend! Thanks for coming to visit guys!!!

Insert photo of Dad, Dean, Scott, and me smiling jubilantly! }

Tandem Bicycle at the Screen Door

Scott found a chair he likes.

Where's Waldo ... er ... Dad!?

Oatmeal Brûlée

Deck the Halls

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! We decorated our apartment this weekend! We put up our tiny two-foot Christmas tree and LOADED it with lights and ornaments. We listened to Christmas music and made Christmas cookies! It felt wonderful, but it’s taking its sweet time to actually feel like Christmas! It was almost 70 degrees today. Oy. But we are loving our wee Christmas tree!

Christmas Tree 2012

Cookies!

Sometimes You Just Gotta

Sometimes you just gotta spend hours playing cards, just the two of you. And that’s exactly what we did! Okay, so it wasn’t many many hours, but still! Hand and Foot is a long game!

The last couple of days have been great. It’s a treat to have two days off in a row! I spent one of them doing nothing of importance or necessity. I watched TV and lounged in my PJs and wrote letters. Okay, and I cleaned the bathrooms (toots horn). And the other one was far more productive! We ran errands, I got my bangs trimmed (they were sitting on my eye lid and that just doesn’t do anyone any good), and we cleaned up the apartment a little! Baby steps, folks. This year is the year of the spider. Last year it was the year of the cricket (so many crickets in the apartment!). So I spent some time freeing some of the spiders that have settled in our apartment. My rule is, if you make your home in a spot I can reach, you must go. If you make your home in a spot I cannot reach, you can continue catching and eating the bugs in my home. Don’t worry, they’re not scary spiders. I would tell you if they were, trust me. Slight arachnophobia here! Anyway, it was a productive day! And I also had time to relax. The mark of a good day off!

 

New Artwork!

We had the great fortune of getting together with a good friend yesterday evening for dinner! It had been way too long! And she and her boyfriend just moved back to the area! We are very excited to have them back.

Among the many things we had to catch up on, we also got a tour of their new condo as well as a personal “tour” of some of her boyfriend’s artwork! He seems to dabble with his interests in water colors, woodworking, ceramics, and several other things that I don’t recall. To make a long story short, we got some new art for our apartment! Four beautiful prints of his watercolors came home with us! I just love them! And I can hardly wait to frame them and find a home for them! It’s very exciting to me to get artwork that has a bit of a personal side to it. I feel like these have a couple of personal sides – they remind me of friends, of the coast of Maine (which we love, and which I know my sweetheart thinks about often, and misses dearly), and of the mountains (which will always have a special place in our hearts). I’ll keep you posted with where they end up on our blank walls!

Update: You can check out more artwork by Nate Barton at his Etsy shop!!! Click here

Learning

I am hard headed. I am determined. I am dramatic. I am always learning. And sometimes I learn life lessons the hard way.

Today I am also admitting. This is not easy for me.

Allow me to explain. I have been tempting fate with this light beige carpet in our apartment for the last year. I balance cups of coffee precariously, I eat bowls of pasta with horrendous-stain-worthy tomato sauce, and a whole slew of other teetering almost-disasters. Yesterday I learned my lesson the hard way. I was painting my nails. I can’t even tell you how extremely girly it feels to admit that I was painting my nails. And the tiny little bottle of polish catapulted off the piece of cardboard balanced precariously on my lap – in slow motion as a small “Noooooooooo!” escaped my mouth – and splattered onto the light beige carpet in our apartment.

Enter stage right: PANIC MODE! After a steady stream of curses slipped out of my mouth, I picked up the tiny bottle of disaster and cleared the area. The first thing that popped into my head was nail polish remover. Then water – keep the stain wet, it’ll be easier to get out. Then spray and wash (because it seemed like a good idea at the time). And I scrubbed and scrubbed. I used an old toothbrush, old towels, I sopped with more old towels. I scrubbed some more. I checked google (who must know me because as I typed in “How to get nail” it filled in “polish out of carpet.”) and I found some suggestions. And I scrubbed some more. Then I raced off to Target for more nail polish remover (with acetone people, which smells terrible) and carpet stain remover and raced back to the scene of the crime accident. I sopped up some more of the moisture and sprayed the stain remover and prayed. I scrubbed and prayed and hoped and scrubbed and sprayed and scrubbed and sopped and scrubbed some more. And then Scott came home and I explained it all to him. He took it incredibly well! He was not even the slightest bit mad. In my defense the stain was mostly out anyway.

After a couple of hours of scrubbing it was finally getting lighter and lighter. And this morning it’s hardly noticeable (you probably wouldn’t notice it, but I do because I know exactly where it is) but it still feels monumentally infuriating. How could I be that clumsy!? I even had a dream last night that I came downstairs and the pink was back!

So I’m moving on. I learned my lesson the hard way. Now I will only ever paint my nails on the linoleum floor and I don’t ever want wall-to-wall carpet in our future-house.

I still can’t even begin to tell you how extremely girly I feel for having spilled nail polish on the carpet.

Terrarium

I feel as though terrariums have recently become more popular. Is it just me? I see them in so many magazines and on blogs, in weddings and casual home decor. I have contemplated full-out making one – and I still might. But for now, here’s what I have done. This serves two purposes for me: 1. I have wanted to experiment with terrariums, and 2. my poor begonia really has not been doing so well lately and I know it could be doing so much better. It’s just barely surviving and I wish it could flourish!

So I was doing a bit of research regarding the “problems” my begonia is having and what one could do about it. The leaves dry out! It starts at the edges and works its way along, eventually drying out the whole leaf. The stems are sort of weak and the leaves are not as vibrant as they were when the plant was new. It’s a rex begonia Escargot, so the leaves really are fabulous. And I do realize that begonias are not necessarily the easiest of house plants. But I am a bit bull-headed (I am a Taurus after all) and determined to do all that I can to keep this plant going!

On to my experiment. I decided to create a terrarium-like environment around the plant to see if the humidity inside would help. Apparently the humidity here in North Carolina just was not enough for the poor plant. (If only you could hear the heavy sarcasm in my head as I write this – all sources point to my plant needing more humidity.) So I started brainstorming and decided that the cheapest way to make a terrarium would be to find and repurpose a large glass canister and turn it upside down over the plant. I thought I might be able to find one at an antique store, but I knew I could get one at Target. And that is exactly what I did! I used a large glass jar found here along with the bottom from a large pot (currently holding one of our tomato plants outside) and some rocks to create my terrarium.

I left the begonia in its pot because I want to see if it likes the terrarium environment. If it does I plan to transplant it permanently into the jar, which I would then turn right side up. I will keep you posted on its progress!

I already had some rocks because I use them for extra drainage in the bottom of my potted plants. But you can get a big bag of them from Home Depot or Lowe’s for a few dollars! I think the bag I got was $2.50!

By putting a layer of rocks in the tray I was able to boost the jar up just enough to let some air in.

I placed the pot slightly off center because that one leaf extends so much over the edge. I did not want to bruise the leaf by having it pressing against the glass. That poor leaf is already having a hard time!

Oh, and I also sprinkled some water on the rocks (if I had a spray bottle to mist them I would have used that instead, but I just dipped my hands in water and sprinkled the rocks).

And here is the final product! My very own begonia terrarium. Here’s to hoping he loves the humidity in there!!! Please flourish little guy! I love you so much!

A Day Off

Sometimes a day off is just what the doctor ordered.

We slept in late and lounged around for a long time. Then we played some cards! We learned a fun new card game when we were in Washington called Hand and Foot and we’ve been playing it ever since we got home. It’s been interesting to learn new strategies!

Once our afternoon thunderstorm passed we headed to the Biltmore for a walk.

And we found SUNFLOWERS!!! Hundreds of them. I love sunflowers. They are easily some of my most favorite flowers.

We went for a nice walk and enjoyed the coolness after the storm. Then we checked out the new exhibit in Antler Hill Village! It’s about the more personal lives of the Vanderbilt family. So many neat little stories and things from their estate.

It was a wonderful day!

First Red Tomato Baby!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012: Check it out!!! This is our FIRST ripe baby tomato!!! It literally made my day. So exciting! And we have an unbelievable number of baby green tomatoes that are just growing and growing and growing! There are even a few of them that are yellow-orange-almost-red! Let me tell you – it was delicious! So sweet and so juicy!

This is how I felt about it. Definitely not the most flattering photo of me, but I’m being honest here. And that tomato absolutely made my freakin’ day!