Feeling Better!

28 03 2011

So I’m feeling MUCH better, though still not 100%.  I didn’t get anything remotely Handy done while I was sick, but I did want to mention something that I discovered.

If you’re sick and live far away from any friends or family that can take care of you (my mom did come to visit me for a couple of days, which helped tremendously!), you might want to take a look at Peapod.  They’re not everywhere in the US, but they’re a grocery delivery service.

Although I’m feeling better, I wanted to be able to concentrate on work, and put off going out in the cold as long as possible. So I figured it made sense to order my groceries online.  It was really easy to do, and I set up a delivery time for today (I ordered them last night), and this afternoon, they arrived by truck!

Everything is guaranteed, which is awesome.  I was so pleased with the service, I’m thinking of using them in the future for when I’m coming back from long business trips to no food in the house – the last thing I want to do in the midst of unpacking is run out to get food! And with their App, I can order food right from my phone the day before I want it, and I’ll be all set.

I know a lot of pregnant moms use this when they can’t easily get to the grocery store anymore, but after a girl mentioned it to a friend of mine just for regular use, I thought I’d check them out.  I’m glad I did!

**Peapod doesn’t know me and I’m not endorsed by them – I just really liked their service and wanted to share it with you!


My New Blue Chair!

24 03 2011

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s here! And it looks great. I can’t wait to get some time relaxing in it!


It's a bit lighter than the chair I originally wanted, but still very pretty!


It also needs a throw pillow, but I have one in mind already!

Sick as a Dog

23 03 2011

I’m sorry that I’ve been MIA, but I’ve been sick as a dog – I’ve got a terrible sinus infection and the beginnings of bronchitis, so I’ve been spending all of my time resting and recuperating.  So all of my plans to paint and work on electrical sockets this last weekend went right out the window.  So did any plans to work on the garden.

However, my new blue chair for the office did arrive! I promise to post pictures of it in the next day or so.

Once I’m back to handy homeownership duties, I’ll be blogging regularly again!

For Japan, With Love

18 03 2011

Thanks to Mandy over at Mommy Musings for the link and button:

One week ago, I was in Hanoi when news broke of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.  One of our Japanese clients was with our group, and he was fortunate to be able to get news quickly that his family and colleagues were all okay, although they all had to walk home from the office – which took some of them more than ten hours.  There are many heartbreaking and uplifting stories coming from Japan, and the thing I keep thinking is that this is when we need to join together and offer our help.

So take a moment today to send a prayer, or make a donation.  The American Red Cross is one option, or click the link attached to the photo below to head over to For Japan With Love, which has raised almost $40,000 for Shelterbox.

Travel Inspirations

17 03 2011

I’m sorry for my recent absence, dear readers, but I’ve been traveling for work, first in Paris, and then in Hanoi, Vietnam.

However, when I’m abroad, I am interested to see what inspires me in terms of decorating in my own home.  So I’d like to share some of my inspirations from this trip with you while I’m still getting over jet lag and getting back into home projects!

This bathroom was fabulous - I just loved the dark grey stone everywhere.

Loved this plate we had at dinner one night in Hanoi - maybe I could recreate it!

These lights were really beautiful. I don't think it's something I would recreate in my own home, but they were great to look at.

I tend to be into Asian decor, and I really liked this shelving unit - very different.

The hotel in Hanoi had a great shower - all glass can be a bit much, but I thought it was simple and sleek.

These stone steps were surrounded by water on our way into dinner one night - just very peaceful feeling.

I have a soft spot for lanterns. I saw them everywhere in Vietnam!

I just love the architecture in Paris - who wouldn't love a wrought iron balcony?

This blue door adds such a lovely pop of color to the brick facade.

Another lighting fixture in Hanoi - I really like the diffused light that the paper gives off.

These chairs were both beautiful and comfortable. This is just what I need in my dining room.

I thought my mom might like these chairs - our hotel had a very British colonial feel to it, and these chairs certainly fit in (and were comfortable!)

The Homemade Home

2 03 2011

A few weeks ago, I picked up a book at Michaels called “The Homemade Home” – it has a number of thrifty and chic handmade projects in there that I’m excited to try.

Some of those include:

  • China transfers: I didn’t realize you could do this, but it looks really cool!
  • Teacup plants: I did realize you could do this, but I’ve never tried it before.
  • Applique pillows: Maybe this is what I’ll do for my new chair!
  • Lacy bed runner: This might be good for the guest room.
  • Stitched portraits: I love, love, love this idea!
  • Flower and leaf art
  • Framed clothing: This is a great idea for parents who want to display some of their children’s baby stuff. I may do this with some of Barney’s puppy stuff.
  • Fabric covered notebooks: These would make good gifts.
  • Lavender bags: I love lavender everywhere, so I could put these all over the house!
  • Embroidered scarves
  • Sock cats and dogs: I like stuffed animals made out of unexpected things.
  • Herbal bath salts

There’s so many great ideas in here – now I just have to find the time to work on them! What kinds of projects do you like to do?


1 03 2011

To keep in the theme of flowers and spring, I wanted to talk a little bit about my orchid. The phalaenopsis.

Orchids are notoriously tough, but I got one because it was part of the Trash it or Treasure it tasks.  Plus they’re pretty – how hard can it be, I thought?

Well, it’s not a simple plant, that’s for sure.  Fortunately, I live next door to some orchid experts, who have probably 20-25 plants, of all different species.

Mine is a phalaenopsis, which is the most common one you’ll see.  I’ve had it for several months now, and it’s still alive.  But it needs maintenance.  They really like the same temperatures we do, but would prefer high humidity, which is not what’s in my house.

And apparently, they need to be re-potted and cleaned out. Who knew?

So on Friday, my neighbor came over to help me.  We laid out newspaper on the counter, and he pulled the orchid and it’s “stuff” out – it’s a New Zealand moss that the orchid was living in.  They don’t live in soil.

The moss was starting to deteriorate, which was starting to affect the root coverings of the Phal (I won’t go into the technical terms for everything, because I don’t remember them :)).  So it was good that we were cleaning it – this should be done after it’s finished blooming, which mine had.

It turned out there were two orchid plants in there, but one had died, so we got rid of that.  Then my neighbor pulled out all of the old moss from the roots of the plant while I washed the pot with soap and water.  He pulled the stalks off of the leaves – he said we were done with them, they wouldn’t flower again. Then, it was time to re-pot.

First, you place some fresh orchid mix in the bottom of the pot – I was using some I’d picked up at Lowes which looked like mulch.  It’s got to be specific to your orchid though.

Next, my neighbor placed the orchid in the pot, while I filled around it with the remaining mixture.  While doing this, he used a regular pencil to push the mix down among the roots of the orchid – he said we’d know we were finished when we could pick the orchid up by its leaves and it stayed in the pot.

This went on for a few minutes, and finally, we were finished!

I asked about watering – when I plant most things, I water them right away.  Not so with the orchid.

He said that the next morning, I was to water it with a light shower from the kitchen sprayer for 2-3 minutes.  Then leave it for about 10 minutes, and do the same thing again.  This kind of watering is what should be done every 10 days or so.

In terms of fertilizing, he suggested I do that when I can see the roots starting to grow over the soil, and can see that the tip is a different color to the rest of the root – that’s when the orchid wants to be fertilized.  Good tips.

So now my orchid is fresh and ready for new blooms next year!  If I don’t kill it, my neighbor said he’d give me a cutting of his mount hood orchid when he separates it next year – it’s really beautiful, so let’s hope I can keep this one alive!

Lookin' good!