Phase II

Break out the heavy artillery. This is finally happening.

girly and garden-y

I got a makeup Mother’s Day last Saturday (since Belle always goes to her mom’s and I go to mine) to do whatever I wanted, all day long. I highly recommend this as a gift. It was awesome.

Since I spent the last three weekends gutting fish, I picked the girliest thing I could think of: Longwood Gardens. But first, we hit up Terrain for brunch. It was as adorable as the website leads you to believe, and the menu was small, organic, and delicious. I got the steel-cut oatmeal with crème fraiche:


It was fantastic, and I normally find oatmeal too runny. The shop and nursery were beautiful, too, but Longwood was just amazing. For example:

Then they had a featured exhibit, Lilytopia:

Sigh. I want season passes. But unfortunately, Jill Day only comes once a year.

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rampant materialism

I do not need a table lamp. I do not even have a place to put a table lamp. And I have a fantastic desk lamp that is still unopened in its box.

Yet I desperately want this lamp.

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we’re on a boat

Here’s what I got instead of a kitchen redo. And I’ve got to be honest on this one–Joe was right. This is so, so much better.

We had the perfect weekend weather for taking our maiden voyage, 80 degrees and sunny. And even though I had to get up at 5 a.m. (Joe was like a kid on Christmas morning), it was awesome.

It’s a really nice boat. It seats seven, has a bathroom and separate coolers for bait and lunch (all as essential as life jackets, in my book), and a radio. You can hook it up to your iPod so I’m already at work on my first cruise mix (lead track: SNL’s “I’m on a Boat”). Song suggestions welcome.

We’re pretty much going to be spending every decent weekend from here out aboard, so I doubt much will get nothing done around the house this summer. But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

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hanging in the balance

I need a chandelier. The one we’ve been living with is not only fugly, it’s taken to burning through bulbs, which Joe says is probably a result of old wiring.

Normally, the prospect of shopping for light fixtures fills me with joy. And chandeliers—I swoon. But I’m kind of surprised by what I’m discovering I like, which is fairly traditional and wildly expensive. Here’s the first round:

The prototype. I am in love with Murano Venitian glass. Who woulda thunk? I doubt I’ll ever swing this with Joe, especially the price tag, but I can’t help myself, I keep coming back to it.

This one is vintage, and sold. Just as well for my wallet.

Martha Stewart’s version. Also not being made anymore. Clearly I’ve got a thing for that traditional shape though.

Although I’m definitely anti-brass, I think I’d enjoy something like this in a different metallic finish. But I don’t know … too spidery?

I think a visit to a lighting showroom is in order. It may help to see these in person. Or we may be eating by candlelight a lot more.

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adventures in landscaping

I’ve been reasonably pleased with how the yard’s coming along. All our plants came back, and are blooming gorgeously. The grass seed is finally starting to sprout, and will hopefully stick around for a while this time.

But I’ve got bigger plans, so I have a landscaper coming over to consult today. They mailed out a brochure and questionnaire ahead of time, and it’s helped me outline my goals. I jotted down a few to discuss. Among them:

  • How to fix the lawn
  • How we can add evergreens to the front bed. Joe came around to what I’ve been telling him about year-round appeal, just like I knew he would.
  • What we can do to discourage squirrels. This is underlined twice.
  • Why my composter doesn’t work.
  • What the results of our soil test mean. No one told me it would be in periodic table of elements code.

My longterm plan is to makeover the backyard. It’s huge, and private (all our neighbors have fences and we have lots of hedges), and easily one of the best features of this house. I want to eventually add a patio and grill station and make it into a nice place to hang out and entertain.

Joe is just hoping they look around and say, “Wow, fantastic work, nothing we can do to improve on this.”

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taking a stand

We bought this nightstand for five bucks. It’s our official starter project.

We’ve been going to flea markets since the end of February without any luck, and I was getting desperate. I convinced Joe to give the one at the fire station near us another try, earlier in the morning this time, and whamo, paydirt.

It’s solid wood, pine, we think, and not much else. I didn’t even have to haggle for the five-buck price. It’s probably more work than it’s worth, and Joe’s already bugged by the fact that it won’t be part of a matched set, but it’s a start.

Of course, he’s already banned me from sanding, staining, or pretty having anything to do with restoring it (and this despite the fact that I did all the woodwork in the entire house). But that just means I can keep haunting flea markets for my own project. I’m good with that.

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