26 October 2009


i'm finally starting to feel settled in to the new place - so it felt like a good time to celebrate my favorite season and, equally as important, being able to SLEEP IN on a saturday (!).

this weekend there was to be no painting, no unpacking, no hammering, no laundering, no gardening - nothing but fun with a few of my friends.

on saturday, some of the girls (and dave, who was a total gentleman and very patient with all of our photo taking and general giddiness) joined me on my annual road trip, complete with spiced apple cider, to farmer john's pumpkin patch in half moon bay. (this place is so famous that even martha has visited!)

this is a truly special place. while it is very well known, it is set away from all of the other pumpkin patches in half moon bay - so it is quieter and more relaxed than the craziness of all of the bouncy houses and rides that happen on highway 92.

but, even better is the riot of colors. this place specializes in heirloom pumpkins and squash - so they have every color and shape of pumpkin you could ever dream of. for someone who loves fall as much as i do, this is a dream come true.
just a very few of the species available. can't believe i forgot to take photos of the white stars!

so, we indulged our inner dorks and this happened:
and we got to spend some time with the man himself:
(seriously, WHAT is up with my hair?!)

mineminemine! one of the 3 wagon-loads of pumpkins that made it home with me!

after workin' up some FIERCE appetites huntin' punkins, i took the girls to my absolute favorite seafood resturant-slash-stand in princeton-by-the-sea, barbara's seafood parlor. if you've never been there, do yourself a favor and GET THERE SOON.

barbara's is across the street from the half moon bay brewery - where you pay many more dollars for both mediocre food and service. instead, park at the brewery, grab some cash from their atm, and walk right up to the window at barbara's.

i'm not usually bossy (i lie) but I AM TELLING YOU to order the tempura-fried day boat scallops. they're as big as silver dollars, moist and juicy, with a light and crispy tempura shell.

then steal a picnic table (with amazing views of the marina and the bay), spritz a little lemon on yer scallops and grab a sierra nevada pale ale to wash it down. i mean, seriously, people - LIFE IS GOOD.

...after the lunch, we headed home to prep for the carvin' party.
how could i have a carvin' party without a spooky cake?

and to relax by the fire...
lots of my favorite tricks showed up with their favorite treats (i.e. boyfriends and hubbys), with some fabulous pumpkins in tow (and one very adorable bulldog puppy in a yoda costume).

so, fortified with my "famous" applewood-smoked bacon mac 'n' cheese, we got to carving.
lots o' carvin', in fact...
and there were many jack o'lanterns...
and just general cuteness...
followed by some whiskey with the girls, resulting in some late-night mac 'n' cheese thievery.
good night! hope you all had as much fun as sarah did (ha ha)!

for more photos, click here!

p.s. anyone know how to set picture widths WITHOUT resorting to the html editor?

23 October 2009

how on earth??!!

i'm in shock!

just got a message from my friend michelle - she told me to check out sfist.com.

they plugged my blog in their "day around the bay" post.

me. my blog. me. my little blog.

thank you, sfist! i'm beyond flattered - what an honor! i would kiss you if i could - and it would be REALLY HOT and there would be A LOT of tongue.

xoxo jennifer

22 October 2009

what to do? what to do?

here's another item i have inherited over the years. it's the only "big girl" rug i own (the rest, while nice, are from ikea).

it's been rolled up in a corner for about 7 years and, now that i have a dining room, it's time to trot this puppy out.

anyone have any ideas on what to do for decorating with this thing? i think the walls will be light gray and i have a duncan phyfe table that will sit on top of it, but i need chair and curtain ideas.

want to keep it eclectic and fun. and slightly o.t.t. (or "over the top", for those of you who do not know me personally...)


20 October 2009

19 October 2009

cheap & sparkly weekend project.

you know what they say, "idle hands do the devil's work."

so on a rainy sunday night, with the tv tuned to "the amazing race", i made myself useful and decided on a quick and easy project with (i think) a lot of impact.

i was walking around michael's earlier in the day - to take a break from the target-home depot-costco hell i was in - when i spied these beauties for under 5 dollars. (i am totally a magpie; attracted to anything pretty and shiny).

i asked myself "what could i do with them?" and do you know what my answer was? of course you don't - so, as kanye would say, "i'mma let you" know.

"self," i said, "let's make some refrigerator magnets!"

i picked up these bad boys to the left, for under 2 dollars, and packed them up with my lovelies.

when i got home, and finished painting my new library stool (another post soon) i lit some candles in the fireplace and went to work.

the magnets have an adhesive strip on one side, so all i needed to do was to cut them into small pieces and strategically stick them to the backs of each letter and dot. easy peasy!

for about 7 bucks and 1 hour of work, i had these lovelies - great for kids (i assume, since i have none) and for big kids too:

i love the tone-on-tone look of them against the stainless steel refrigerator! (though i think these would be equally cute on a magnetic chalkboard anywhere in the house.)

and, as you can see, i started with some sweet (and benign) phrases - but i am sure my friends will come up with some much saucier messages soon...

16 October 2009

seriously, who goes "antiquing"?

antique hands from ray's trading co. for my favorite rings from forever 21

and what kind of person uses "antique" as a verb?

well, at the ripe ol' age of, um, 30-something - i do! it's been fun planning for this new house because i have always wanted a home where people just wander about gaping at all of the cool ephemera and artwork.

to that end, i have taken to attending estate auctions, antique faires and making trips up to sebastopol for all of the great "vintage" shops up there.

here are a few of my recent finds... stay turned for more!

the prettiest lamp in the world - from one of the stalls at the sebastopol antiques collective

i got this for 20 bucks at the monthly clars auction house auction! can you believe it?

seriously, how cute is this?! found it at ray's trading co.

word of the day: titivate

something fun for the family room

*giggle* i love dictionary.com's "word of the day" email and found october the 8th's entry very relevant.

titivate \TIT-uh-vayt\ , transitive and intransitive verb:
1. To make decorative additions to; spruce.

intransitive verb:
1. To make oneself smart or spruce.

It's easy to laugh at a book in which the heroine's husband says to her, "You look beautiful," and then adds, "So stop titivating yourself."
-- Joyce Cohen, review of To Be the Best, by Barbara Taylor Bradford, New York Times, July 31, 1988

now that the floors are done, and lots of the painting complete, i can start to "titivate" the house with the fun stuff i have been hording at my apartment!

here are a few of the items i am starting with. what do you think?

a new chandelier for the family room (marked down from $1,349 to $189 at lamps plus - whoopee)!

a pair of over-sized faux bamboo chairs from pier 1 - for settin' a while (originally $179 each and a steal at $89 a piece!)

it's true. I WILL.

and one for the roomie, gina. because she is, indeed, a BAD ASS.

family tradition!

remember that old song by hank williams jr.? i sure do. here it is if you've forgotten...

so, here are a few things that i have inherited from the family to decorate the house with.

the fact that this is appearing on my blog, and in my home, will give my mother something to gloat about for years. wise as she is, she has always maintained that "everything comes back around" in fashion and decor. to my horror, jelly gladiator sandals have indeed re-appeared. however, so has the groovy baroque, hollywood regency vibe that is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY.

i told my mom, for YEARS, to throw this mirror out. "it's hideous" i said. "who would ever want that?!" i cringed.

flash forward to me sheepishly asking, "so, mom, you know that mirror..." she chuckled and said "of course you can have it. i told you so."

people, remember: your mom is ALWAYS RIGHT. (happy, mom? i love you!)

my grandmother's fold-out sewing machine. isn't it gorgeous? and it still works!

and my grandparents' nightstands. i may do these in black laquer, so the lines stand out a bit better. stay tuned on that one...

damn you, ikea! *shakes fist*

damn you, that is, for having such utterly charming things at such low prices that i think i can afford something like 2000 hours of labor to furnish my home!

in all seriousness, though, i believe that good design should be available at any price range. and along those lines, i also believe, that if with good vision or proper guidance, you can make a lovely home from places like ikea, target, cost plus and pier 1 (not to mention that almost my entire wardrobe is from forever 21).

so, while my dad was in town, off to ikea we went with my pre-printed shopping list. we bought about *5000 pounds* of furniture; here's a look at some of the pieces i chose.

next week i'll show you where it all went with some pretty amazing before and sort-of-after shots of the house.

a four-poster bed (edland)!

a couple of nice dressers, also edland line, 5-drawer and 2-drawer.
(these came with AWFUL pulls, so i swapped them out with some knobs that i picked up at anthropologie - appropriately labeled "diamond gal" - that i loved for their sparkle and organic feel)

a sideboard (trollsta) to use as a tv stand and a great b/w rug (stockholm rand)

and a fantastic stainless steel topped desk (vika) with a matching rug (alvine rand)

and 3 billy bookshelves waiting to be assembled *sigh*

this was an incredibly productive shopping spree - all for well under $2000.

aren't you curious how i put it all together...?

our trash is better than your trash!

we were left this amusing little message by our trash guys this week. they, apparently, think that we are too stupid to sort our own trash.

the problem is, because we live in a "transitional" neighborhood and because the house was vacant for some time, we have (a) many neighbors using the front of our house as the local landfill and (2) lots of homeless folks mining our trash every night.

so, when we clean it up, we do our best to redistribute into the correct bins - but, honestly, it is just too grody to be very precise.

but, it's nice to be popular!

14 October 2009


i am super behind on posts! going to try and gather all of the necessary photos tonight and get y'all caught up by the weekend!

x's and o's,

09 October 2009

super dad to the rescue! (and a mini preview of the living room)

as i've mentioned, my dad was in town for 5 days to help with the house. and *bonus*, he brought bonnie as well - who, despite a pinched nerve in her shoulder, did a ton of work too (especially on an antique duncan phyfe i have been holding on to for 15 years - but more on that in another post!).

i took a week off of work for what i thought would be a vacation. it ended up being 12-hours days of manual labor *ugh* - but we got a lot done and had a ton of fun while we were at it.

some of the highlights: countless trips to home depot, 2 trips to ikea (totalling 5+ hours) and hauling about 1000 lbs of furniture, hours putting together said countless ikea products, installing new molding where it was mysteriously absent, installing new thresholds, cleaning and de-vining the exterior, re-finishing that duncan phyfe, fixing the washing machine...

the list goes on and on.

thank you both for the super-human effort (and for the fabulous celebratory dinner at absinthe - i'm still dreaming of that risotto and the '86 diamond creek!).

love you, dad!

project doorway

(l-r) benjamin moore "magenta" in the master bedroom closets, behr "sailboat blue" in the upstairs bath, and chalkboard paint in the guest bath

whether you're saying "auf wiedersehen" or "guten tag" in this house, i hope you'll enjoy it just the same.

one of my favorite projects i have christened "project doorway" (in honor of one of my very favorite tv shows).

my goal is to paint the inside of every door. i love a little (and unexpected) pop of color!

here are a few of the doors that i have been working on. i have MANY to go, but this is a good start!

"make it work!"

trimming the tree!

while it is close to christmas, i don't mean that tree! (between you and me, though, i can't wait! i might even have one in my bedroom this year. *whee!*)

the trees in front, and the vines crawling up the left side, were starting the strangle the house's lovely fa├žade.

so, while dad was in town for 5 days, one of my first priorities was to give it a bit of breathing room. he ripped the vines down (don't worry, the trumpet vine out back is safe!) and trimmed an archway into the trees. he also cut them back from the inside of the house so i don't get those annoying scratchy sounds on my bedroom windows late at night. they were giving me a serious case of the heebie-jeebies!

he also went the extra mile and dealt with the ant "situation" (even killed a bunch by hand!) on the ficus and hand-washed the front of the house.

what a lucky "dottir" i am!
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