Thursday, November 29, 2012

King of the Fridge

And he doesn't plan on relinquishing control any time soon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Filoli Estate and Gardens

We just squeezed in a visit to the Filoli Estate before it closed for the season in October.  I decided to still recap it for you because it opened again briefly for the Christmas season! I love Christmas decorations and would love to go see it all spruced up - so if you visit, tell me about so I can live vicariously.

We started our visit with lunch at the cafe and were as pleased as you can be with cafeteria style food.  The butternut squash soup was really quite tasty!  It was the perfect day to sit outside under the pergola and the surrounding grounds taunting us to finish our lunch already.

The grounds are self-guided so we started at the house then moved on to the gardens. The gardens were somewhat sparse, but due to the recently wetter weather they experienced a bit of a revival.

I waited for about 3 minutes for the folks in the background to pass through my frame, but eventually Mr. P got bored and started playing on his phone while they still intently stared upwards.  I still have no idea what they were looking at!

You could really get lost in the gardens and I definitely had the thought that it would be best to go in the spring when everything was alive and blooming.

One of my favorite things was the 70% sale in the garden shop! Ha, I know.  We got tickets through Google offers at a 2 for 1 price, lollygagged through the gardens then piled up on cute stuff at the sale.  I was thoroughly pleased with the greeting cards and mini chalkboard place cards I found.  Afterwards, since we were down on the peninsula, Mr. P took me to a consignment store and Homegoods.  He really knows how to show a girl a good time, huh? :)

While it's no Hearst Castle (recap of that trip coming soon!), Filoli is lovely in its own right and definitely worth the drive if you have a discount ticket.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Family Room in Progress

Last week I showed you the progress to the master bedroom and today I thought I'd show you the latest in the family room. Here's what we started with shortly after moving in.

This summer we took the doors off the closet to start an office nook.  The rest of the room was still a mess.

Which brings us to today. You'll recognize the couch from our appointment, but nearly everything else is new (or at least new to us!).  We bought the rug on craigslist and I originally intended it to go in our bedroom. Turns out, after disassembling the bed and reassembling, that our duvet really didn't match it.  So we disassembled the bed and reassembled it again, moving the rug into the family room. And Mr. P has refused to ever disassemble the bed again.

The new coffee table is a solid wood beast I wrassled up the 2 flights of stairs.  We got a great deal on it at the Salvation Army store on Valencia and we should have used the money we saved to hire some guys to carry it up.  But we didn't and I swore we'd never move anything again.  I love the scale and the color!  The small side table is a stand in for now.  It was a $25 Craigslist find (originally from World Market) that I thought would work someplace else.  I actually want to have something smaller and round there since the rest of the room is so rectangular.

In one fell swoop when we had an SUV on loan from the dealership, we made a trip to Ikea and bought two  Jappling chairs, the Expedit bookshelf and several storage boxes.  We're really happy with the chairs so far, but are constantly on edge to see how they fare against the cat's claws.  We'll report back on that!

The office nook is coming along and has all the right pieces, but I haven't styled it for photographs yet and we're using it as a bit of a staging area for tools and such.  On the left hand side of this picture, we need to figure out a different storage solution for some office supplies, files and home goods.  The sheepskin rug is a previously owned rug we brought from the apartment.  The metal desk was a freebie on Craigslist and the linen driftwood side chair is from Homegoods.

This is the only photograph that looks remotely stylized!  I pulled out a few large coffee table books in green hues, added a cute boxwood topiary set I got at Homegoods and the pillows are a mix from Target and Homegoods.

The big stuff seems to be in order, but I can't see past the problem areas.  A media console with more storage would be super helpful and I'd love to find a way to hide the weights and yoga mat.  There's also lots of cat stuff that I'd like to hide better - like cat grass, spray bottle, electronic laser and cat toys.

And this little secret stash . . . maybe some linen boxes???

And this . . . after really paring things down, I still can't seem to make this look pulled together. I'm really into organizing books by subject, but it's just not working for me here.  Less books? No dust jackets? Start over with nothing in there?

Someone is coming by today to buy our old desk and bookshelf, so I'll have another corner in which to pile the stuff I can't figure out what to do with.  :)

So far, my favorite things in the room are the boxwood topiaries and the Jappling chairs.  How about you?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Finds - Spectacles

I've worn glasses since shortly after I began to read. I wear contacts a lot, but I love having cute specs to wear when my eyes need a break. This is an ode to the vintage plastic comeback thanks to hipsters - but for those of us who loved them before they were cool.


Clockwise from L:
Vintage Optical Shop - Blue Cat Eye Glasses

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Hall Rug - Ollie Approves

I ordered a rug for the hallway from Overstock.  While it's definitely for floor protection and decor, it's also to dampen Ollie's galloping that my Mother-in-Law can hear in the unit below!

I set out some heavy books so that it would settle down from the tight shipping roll. Oliver wasted no time in making himself right at . . . wait for it . . .


After his personal grooming sessions, it was time for a nice long nap all stretched out on the thick pile.

Do your animals break in new house items?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Bedroom In Progress

The last I left you, I think our bedroom was somewhere along the lines of barely unpacked and bed on the floor.

While we're not done yet, I wanted to show you an in progress picture of how we've been living for the past few months.  I make small changes here and there, like a new pillow  last month or bed skirt change this month and we're sloooooooooowly pulling it together.

You'll recognize the same bedroom furniture from here and here.  The lamps and the blue throw pillows are also from the last set-up in the apartment, while the rug and side chair were previously in the living room. The  new cable knit sweater throw is the Ursula from Ikea.

The blue wall color isn't showing so prominently in these photos, but it's a gorgeous blue and we really love it.  You can see it more clearly here.   I guess it really sunk in about it being robin's egg blue because I succumbed to the bird craze and have touches throughout.  I got the new duvet cover from Pottery Barn on deep discount and love that it incorporates the blue bird, but also adds more color with the lively greens (the Sylvie is no longer available, but the Bird and Fig set is close).

I repurposed the green pillow from Marshalls because it matched the foliage in the print and I picked up this cute finch pillow at TJ Maxx.  I got the new sheet set from Costco in the Sand color because our old sheets from Nautica finally bit the dust after Mr. P had them for nearly 7 years.

We're making due with the rug and chair for now.  I thought the red color tied a little bit to the reddish brown branches and butterflies in the duvet.  However, I definitely want a larger rug in the room and probably more neutral, like a tone on tone print.  We were playing around with the idea of finally reupholstering the Queen Anne chair from Mr. P's great grandparents, but haven't pulled the trigger.  The bed skirt is the linen hemstitch from Bed Bath & Beyond.

I have an immense respect for stylists on bedding shoots now.  Heaven knows I fussed with the duvet, I ironed the bed skirt before putting it on, I fluffed the pillows - and heaven help me but if they all don't look like I crumpled them all in a ball then threw them on the bed.

Of course, Oliver photo bombed a little towards the end.  Can't have a photo shoot without the curious cat!

The things left to do in the room are:

- Switch out rug
- Hang art (some I have already framed!)
- Re-upholster chair
- Switch out lamps (something darker to match chandelier better)
- Get the laundry situation under control!!!!

I get frustrated at times with the slow progress and have to keep reminding myself that we've only been here since April!  It took the full two years to really settle into the Durham house.  The projects and decor are surely different, but the time it takes to take on those challenges is not!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Treasure Island Flea

I recently ventured over to Treasure Island for the fun flea market held at the end of every month. I wasn't shopping for anything in particular, but a friend and I spent a good two hours combing through the booths. I ended up picking up some cute felt finger puppet sets for some new babies and a few fudge samples (pumpkin pie for me and chocolate peanut butter for Mr. P).  It was super fun to see the huge variety of vintage, reclaimed, upcycled, and new creations.  The best part was my friend said that the vendors rotate each month, so next time, there'd be new vendors.

Have you been to the Treasure Island Flea? Any amazing finds?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Navy Airshow

Amidst the Giants playing in the playoffs, blue grass festivals and generally gorgeous weather, Fleet Week wrapped up in the city with back to back air shows.  I was working downtown at the time and saw the Blue Angels practicing.  Even when I couldn't see them, I could hear them!

It's cheesy, but I felt really patriotic that week.  I snapped a few photos with my telephoto lens from our house during the air show.

Recently, our minister was talking about the pilot's training and how it's imperative they be completely focused on their job.  I had heard this before, but if there are any distractions in a pilot's life, they're grounded. A while ago, I saw a list of disqualifying life events for pilots and realized that I would never pass that stress test with the number of house moves, job moves, and other personal life stressors.  It made me want the clarity of mind that the lack of these stressful life events would hypothetically allow me to have.

Have you seen the Blue Angels fly?

And because it's Veteran's day, I couldn't help but say, "Thank You," to all of the veteran's who have served their country, but especially my two granddads and my favorite veteran, Mr. Palindrome.  Happy Veteran's Day!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Finds - Squirrels and Nuts November

I haven't seen any squirrels in our trees along the sidewalk out front, though plenty of pigeons! These little guys remind me of East Coast autumns and for some reason my appetite for hot apple cider has spiked.


Clockwise from Top L:
Cabin + Cub - Happy Squirrel Brooch
The Baker's Daughter - Autumn Wreath
Too Fashion 2010 - Pretty Retro Pendant
Studio Rhino - Forest Squirrel Earrings

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Google Self-Driving Cars

When my parents were out for a visit, we stopped by the Google campus.  Outside of the usual awesomeness like the crazy good food and posing in the sculpture yard, we also saw a Google self-driving car!  I wasn't quick enough to capture a shot of it then though.

As it turns out, it's pretty rare to catch a glimpse of the futuristic technology on the road. A few weeks later, Mr. Palindrome and I were returning from the airport in the middle of the day.  Lo and behold! 

This is pretty much my dream. I want flying cars, sure, but I really hate driving, so this development would enable me to have the freedom of wheels without having to have the moolah to hire a driver!

Any other self-driving car glimpses?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Baby is All Grown Up

I came back to my desk after a quick coffee warmer to find this.

I had thought he might have outgrown it since then.

 But nope. He's 4 times the size and still tries to squish on.

He's a little more mellow now than this alert guy from a year ago.

As it turns out, he's just as easily distracted as ever.

Gah! That tum tum and white fuzz gets me every time.