Eryn brought me some wonderful flowers to decorate the table for our Florida Thanksgiving feast with some people from work. However, the bouquet wasn’t very “holiday-esque” so I thought I would try this tip from Paper and Stitch and add some berries.
Paper and Stitch recommended pepper berries. But earlier in the day I discovered the palm tree in my back yard had berries handing from it. Who knew that was a thing? So I decided to substitute them in, and I think it looks just as good. Check out all the arrangements I made. My whole apartment is done up.
For a little extra spark, I used some extra ferns and berries to make crowns that we wore during dinner. So fun! It felt sort of like a Charles Dickens novel, but with less sadness. When we weren’t wearing them, my home decor got a turn.
In some ways, this has been one of my most difficult years. In other ways, it’s been one of my very best years. Life is funny like that.
I just wanted to take some time to make a list of some of the things I am thankful for this year.
1. My family – I needed a lot of help these past few months, and they were there every step of the way. Now that I am on the other side of the country, they are still making sure I’m not left out. Case in point, this super adorable Thanksgiving banner with turkey handprints and a list of things they are thankful for. I cried when I got it in the mail it’s so sweet.
2. Adeline – This little cocker spaniel is one of the best things to have entered my life. Even when she’s being bad, I think she’s adorable. Her temperament is exactly matched to mine, she barley sheds, and she will almost always cuddle. She’s fantastic.
3. Eryn! – I managed to talk the girl into quitting her job, going on a road trip with a vague plan for the future, and then move to Florida with me. She’s been there for just about every bad day, and she’s just wonderful.
4. Lyndsay Dean – It was so utterly wonderful to go to Denver and Yellowstone and spend time with Lyndsay Dean this year. I missed her so much, and she truly is this wonderful, beautiful gem of a person. Bonus points, we saw bison cross the road, elk, a gizzly bear, a bald eagle and a wolf at Yellowstone all in one day.
5. Employment – The crazy road trip thing did successfully lead to a job (thank you universe), which was excellent. I’m also however super thankful for my time working at the Gardner News.
It literally pulls together the whole house. I smile every time I walk in the door and see all those little triangles.
Originally, I had thought about stenciling the wall, but thought better of it. One wrong mark with black paint seemed like a lot of heart ache to clean up. I spent a little time on Pinterest and realized contact paper was the solution I was looking for.
As it turned out this was pretty easy to put together. For $8 I was able to get roll of contact paper that came with handy dandy graph paper on the back.
To make the wall I cut out about 60 triangles that were three inches wide and two inches long.
While I was cutting them out, Eryn (because whenever I do a craft Eryn is around) was tracing out level lines on the wall.
The trick for it looking good was to make sure it was random, which sounds easy but it actually rather difficult. The key was to try to make sure we weren’t accidentally creating any horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines.
The front door of the my new apartment has 15 window panes. Enough to make me afraid to throw stones, give the neighbors a easy view of my apartment and Addie an even better view of the neighbors.
Addie quickly took to standing at the window and barking all the time.
I was worried the neighbors would hate us so something had to be done. There was a bamboo type curtain, but I thought it was ugly and Addie kept getting stuck in it. So that had to go and we needed a better fix.
My solution was to go to Home Depot and buy some window film immediately. I wasn’t even in the apartment 24 hours before I high tailed it to the store (I also bought paint).
I only bought one roll, which wasn’t enough to fully cover all the windows, but I’m very happy with the results, i.e. the barking stopped. I like the vertical stripes near the top, but I’m undecided on if the top panes show have something on them or if I should try to create a Scandinavian style decoration for up there.
The film was extremely easy to work with. Just a bit of soapy water in a spray bottle, and I actually used a credit card as a squeegee. They’ve been on for about a week now and seem to be holding on just fine.
After the most frustrating Craig’s List negotiations ever, I have started to settle into my new home a.k.a. The Cottage.
From the moment I saw the ad go up online, I knew I wanted it. It has hardwood floors, black and white laminate in the kitchen, french doors, a fireplace, and even a washing machine. Before I moved all my furniture in and started painting and what not, I took three very (very very very very very very very very) rough videos of the place. Here they are if you want to see the basics/before.
Since these photos were taken, I’ve already painted the kitchen, bedroom, part of the living room and the bathroom. I’ve used a lot of mint and white paint.
My furniture has also gotten here so it’s been fun putting that together and seeing how my stuff fits into the new space. This has also given me the great joy of coming up of a list of new furniture to get. So far I’ve got patio furniture (I want to do this), a side table/bar area for the dining room (I have a diy plan) and I need to thrift three more chairs. I hear the thrifting here is pretty good so I’m excited.
Road trips are becoming my jam. It started last month with a road down the eastern seaboard and then back up north, and then this weekend I drove 22 hours (maybe a little more with traffic) as part of my move from Massachusetts to Florida with only my dog for company.
If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that music alone doesn’t cut it with me. Music is entertaining for about an hour, after that is just becomes part of the tedium. It’s doesn’t really hurry the whole trip up.
Podcasts though are great. They are usually between a half hour to an hour long, and are sort of like a television show or a book, just audio. And while I cannot sit on my bed and watch music for 12 hours straight, I can totally read a book or watch a good show for 12 hours straight. Sure, it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but everyone has their guilty pleasures. Plus, I was stuck sitting for 12 hours anyways.
This is a podcast about the things we think about, but generally don’t say out loud. How much money do you make? What’s it like watching someone you love die? Do you deserve your inheritance? Do you resent your siblings? What’s it really like to be a funereal director? A sex worker? The host, Anna Sale, asks all the really blunt questions you’ve probably thought at least one time or another.
In this show, the host Starlee solves a lot of funny mysteries for her friends and some strangers. How tall is a certain celebrity? Why does that vanity plate say “I luv 911”? Starlee is very witty and she throws herself into these things with such a passion that she’s a real joy to listen too.
This is a bit of a nerd podcasts. It’s interviews with topnotch longform journalists about how they do what they do. They talk about structuring the stories, the reporting process, how to freelance, how to make money and life. The interviews are about an hour long and I think I listened to six of them in a row.
The backbone of this podcast is interesting stories – the memories of a revolutionary in Libya, strange art projects, immersive journalists, con artists, etc. The sorts of things that make a good NPR feature. The difference is they use sound in a really creative way I can’t really explain, so you’ll just have to listen to it.
I didn’t listen to this on my road trips because I had already listened to every episode. However, I think this is one of the smartest, funniest shows around. The people they find to interview are fascinating and the hosts have a great dynamic. It’s about the forces that control human behaviors, like emotions, beliefs and psychology. It’ll make you think.
Sometimes, it’s nice to go on a little day trip to some place inspiring.
Yesterday, I had the delight of visiting The Mount, the summer home of author Edith Wharton, with my mom and her friend (my second mother). The 107-year-old home was designed by Ms. Wharton, who valued simplicity, symmetry and details.
Plus, she also liked mint paint.
The home was recently restored to recreate the detailed plaster work and thoughtful place settings at her table. Despite the gloomy weather outside, bright light filled the interior, especially the nooks and crannies she liked to write in.
While the home was beautiful, my favorite part was the gardens.
Despite it being fall, plenty of plants were still in bloom. Any gardner who can still be tending to waves of color in late September is basically a deity in my opinion.
Who wouldn’t fall in love with a space like that? I spent the whole tour asking my mother if she thought they did weddings and how much it would be. Not that I’m anywhere near that point, but it can’t hurt to have a place in mind. Can it?
On a side note, there was a frog that appeared to be stuck in the little pond. I wanted to rescue it, so I, of course, hand my mother my phone and hop over the little border garden to catch the frog. This concerned one middle aged woman, but not anyone who knew me as I splashed around after it. I did not get the frog, but mumsie did get this picture.
This morning, I bid goodbye to my sunny apartment in Gardner, and in a weird and slightly unexpected turn of events, I’m going to miss it.
To be clear, it was not a nice apartment. It was barely insulated, the walls and floors were in bad condition, most of the rooms were a hideous brown. The neighbors came with their own batch of concerns. However, the neighbors had good days, like when Don gave me his sunflower and the fat cat Addie became friends with. I loved, loved, loved my bright white living room. My walking loop had a lovely pond full of wildlife (like an otter). Best of all, I could have little Adeline there.
This was my reading area. Sometimes I would move the chairs out of the way so I could do yoga in the morning light. The chairs were both Craig’s List finds. I redid the stool myself after my grandfather gave it to me. The bookshelf, dog bed and such are all things I made.
My desk with it’s tangled mess of cords is where I created everything. I built the top with my brother, and triangle shelves next to it are something I designed and my dad helped me build. It was, by far, the most difficult project we’ve ever undertaken but I love my mountain shelves.
Side note: Martha Stewart paint is definitely the best coverage. I swear by it.
My favorite thing about the room is that just about everything is thrifted, a hand me down or handmade. The rug was a $4 find at a flea market, the couch was from Craig’s List, I made the pillows, the trunk was my grandfather’s when he was in the Navy, I made the light fixture, painted the deer skull and so on. Heck, even Addie is a little rescue creature.
This apartment came at a time when I really needed just a little bit of space to figure stuff out. I got that, but I also got Cinco de Mayo parties, nights of making flowers crowns on the floor with good people and lots and lots of memories that prove I will be okay. It showed me I can craft the life I want to live and that I have choices.
So yeah, I’ll miss my little space. But not enough to pay the electric bill this winter.
I can not stop eating this popcorn. It’s basically the best thing ever.
This is very quickly becoming my favorite fall snack. I can eat a large mixing bowl of it in like an hour, which is probably not a good thing, but it’s just so very good.
It’s pretty easy to make.
1 Apple diced as small as possible
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4 cup of popcorn kernels
Pop your kernels according to your direction
In a pot, melt down your butter and coconut oil. Then toss in the sugar,apples and cinnamon. On medium heat, let this cook down until the apples are soft. Then mix the sauce and the popcorn and enjoy!
It’s really superbly good. And, it goes great with tea and a book.
I have dreams of long, wavy hair. The type of hair you see in hipster feed on Instagram with the #authentic.
Unfortunately, the hairdresser who does $15 haircuts does not share that vision. She believes in cutting off the hair I did grow, putting me back an estimated year and a half in growth. I was not pleased with Great Clips, not even a little. It was not a great clip.
So I did what anyone with a bad haircut would do: I turned to Pinterest. Here’s five styles I found.
Found here. Note this link goes back to Pinterest and the pin doesn’t direct to a working blog, but the hair is still cool.