Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bohemian Chic...

It's been a while...too long in fact. Sorry about the pause.
It's been a wild month- parties, medical emergencies, painting, pay cuts and a puppy.
While looking through my favorite blogs today I found this one  which perfectly describes my decorating style and it inspired me to post.
As a college student I lived on the Main Line (a gorgeous, well-to-do section of PA) and spent quite a bit of time as a nanny for a beyond fabulous family (if you are reading this- you know who you are and I love you!). This particular family had a sense of style that left an indelible mark upon me...the way they casually decorated with fine items from exciting vacations or exotically worn family heirlooms created a sense of comfort and story. I am constantly drawn to things that remind of this style- worn Persian style rugs, hand carved knick-knacks, vintage silver candlesticks, oil paintings, aged get the idea. Apartment Therapy finally gave me a name for this learned style of mine: Bohemian chic...
"an eclectic decorating style that is hard to define. A little bit hippie and a little bit hipster. A little bit retro and a little bit romantic. Boho chic may look haphazard and random but don't be deceived. Eclectic styles are sometimes the most difficult to pull off. When done right, the effect is magnificent. Bohemian rooms have a dynamic, evolving movement to them; the design aesthetic does not feel overly engineered and planned. Comfortable and inviting, these are rooms to be experienced, not merely admired." 
 You can't easily buy this style- you can find it in an isle at Target- it takes time, yardsales, exotic vacations and a collection of experiences which is why my house looks so completely unfinished (this is a valid excuse right?).

I finally have a boho chic vision for the master bedroom and one day when money stops disappearing so quickly it will be accomplished- for now we at least have color on the walls.

The Vision 
I cut this out of a magazine years ago- I love the richness of the room; the way it feels comfortable but exotic. It took me 10 paint samples, one gallon of comfort grey that I hated and the final gallon of "Wrought Iron" by Martha Stewart to get paint on the walls. 

This was the comfort grey that I spent 5 hours painting only to realize I couldn't live with it.

"Wrought Iron"

The first "I Love You" was my attempt at being cute...the second "I Really Love You" was my attempt at keeping my husband from running away after I made him take our Martha Stewart paint sample to Sherwin Williams (because we like their paint better) and bug the paint man to tweak it three times to get the right color, only to get home and hate the fact that it was a tiny shade wrong and have a breakdown while he went back to the store and bugged the paint man to tweak the color 5 additional times just to make me happy. I REALLY love my husband and the dark dark blue on our walls. 

For the time being this project is at a standstill but in the future we hope to:
  • Make and upholster a gorgeous headboard (in a goldish yellow fabric)
  • Install hardwood floors 
  • Paint the beat up trim 
  • Score some vintage dressers 
  • Decorate our (my) boho chic heart/s out 
After all- this gorgeous girl deserves a gorgeous room to sleep in. 
Introducing our beautiful new family member- Naya (a retired/rescued greyhound). 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Good Morning?

Its 8:30am and its already been a busy day here at 119...a little too busy.
The AC folks finally showed up to fix the central air (we've been waiting 13 days)- they tested for leaks and didn't find any so they filled us up with freon and went on their way. With the dangerous heat headed our way- its nice to feel chilly in my house again.

I also have PSEG here doing a home audit- which is a really great program where they test your home for leaks (gas/air etc) and they fill any they find (for free!) then they make recommendations about what units you should change out in your home (AC/water heater) and give you 20-80% off of new units. Well, Joe and Dwight are here and while wandering the home they found asbestos in the basement walls and two gas leaks. Sweet!

Dwight told me that the asbestos isn't an issue unless we touch it or do major renovations but he suggested that we might want to have it sealed just to be safe. He fixed the gas leak on the heater but couldn't fix the leak on the water heater (pipes are too old). So the water heater is shut off for now and I'm waiting until 4pm for the plumber from my home warranty company to come and fix the pipe/leak. While we are waiting Joe filled in the spaces around the wall AC unit, weatherproofed the doors, caulked the windows and replaced old bulbs with CF bulbs...for free!

I'm upset that things keep happening/breaking/leaking but I'm glad that so far everything has been fixable and that we have a home warranty that covers most of it (for a fee of $95 per visit).

I suppose this is what I get for buying a 100 year old house.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The perfect summer dish

Before I met Surf Taco the thought of a "fish taco" made me sick. I imagined something really fishy/salty and was I wrong!

Oh Surf you have changed my life and hooked me on your amazing coastal cuisine! Unfortunately ST only exists down the shore (1.5 hours away) and even though I sometimes schedule work meetings there (just to enjoy a taco or two) its just never enough!

Lucky for me a few nights ago I re-discovered a recipe for fish tacos in a favorite/retired magazine- Domino (remember this glorious publication?)! It was a messy meal to make but it was so so very worth it. Mike and I pretended we were at our favorite beachy Surf Taco as we sat out on the porch and enjoyed this...

As I was taking this picture he was already a few bites in and told me that I needed to seriously put the camera down and take a bite...quickly! He was right- it was so stinkin good. The slight saltiness of the grilled fish, the crunch of the cabbage, the richness of the avocado and the refreshing blast of cilantro/salsa made for the perfect summer meal.

It was so fresh and delicious I think you should make it for dinner wont be disappointed.

Fish- We used cod but you can use any kind of thick, white fish. Cover both sides of the fish in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill 5-8 min both sides.
Fresh Salsa- Chop 4-5 plum tomatoes, 1 red onion, jalapeƱo pepper and fresh cilantro in a food processor- add in a splash of olive oil, fresh squeezed lime juice and salt to taste.
Avocado Drizzle- Blend 2 ripe avocados with 1/2 cup of sour cream and salt to taste.
Red Cabbage Crunch- Shred 1/2 of a red cabbage and season with 2 tsp. of white vinegar and salt.
Tortillas- Let the tortillas heat up a bit on the grill (just a minute or two).

Mmmmm....I think I might substitute shrimp for cod tonight just so I can have this again.
Other than this amazing meal...what is your perfect summer dish?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My favorite Saturdays...

As a kid my favorite Saturdays were spent with my grandparents driving around in the pick up and scouring yard sales for hidden treasures. The thrill of finding a new toy or a set of Nancy Drew novels was addicting and time with my grandparents always filled my heart- ending each Saturday morning with a diner breakfast didn't hurt either (I still order my eggs just like Grandpa). I wish I hadn't gotten so busy as a teenager and let these precious Saturdays go. By the time I started going to yard sales again in college I had forgotten all the tricks of the to spot a good deal, how to negotiate a better price etc. In fact, I got really self conscious about it all and shied away from the haggling and the awkward small talk with sellers. Thankfully, in the last few years I've regained my grandparent given confidence and have a lot of great treasures to show for it. I have four tricks I like to attribute my success to...

  1. Map it out- My grandpa always knew where the next big yard sale would be...having a map really keeps things efficient! Hitting up town wide yard sales is really your best bet because the sales just keep coming. 
  2. Wear sunglasses- I know its silly but wearing sunglasses makes me feel more I can hide my not so poker faced excitement and play hard to get when negotiating a price.
  3. Say "Thank you"- I know I'm easily guilt-ed but I really do feel bad when I don't buy something from someone's yardsale...especially after we've made small talk or there is no one else at the sale. Instead of making a pity purchase I've learned to just say "thank you" and "have a nice day" and go on my way. 
  4. Never offer a price or accept the first price they give you.  Often I'm tempted to offer a lump sum for a grouping of objects only to find that the price the seller offers is way less than what I would have suggested. Also, when the seller gives you a price always ask, "will you take {insert cheaper amount here}?" 
All that being said...I think I had one of my greatest yard sale adventures this past weekend at the C-Wood town wide yard sale. There were over 100 sales in this adorable town and a really great selection of treasures. Mike had to force me to go home because I seriously couldn't stop. Check out my haul: 

I decided to be a total nerd and I looked up each item and found a comparable one with a price tag (either in store or on e-bay) and if we had purchased this lot any other way we would have spent.... $410.00! Instead thanks to one Saturday morning adventure, my stealth sunglasses, my handsome husband and some birthday money I saved $360.00! 

We also scored a large dog crate (not pictured) for $5 (regularly $80) for the dog we hope to add to our 119 family soon <3.  

What is your best yard sale find?