Friday, July 31, 2009

happy friday!

woohoo it's Friday!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

just a piece of thread...

I tried something new last night and I think I like it...
While walking through the mall trying to find the perfect gift for my gorgeous niece I came across what looked like a new hair salon minus the hair equipment, and these women laying back in these chairs having something done to their faces... The were having their eyebrows done, and I thought to myself - wish I had time to have my eyebrows, which look like caterpillars done... So I went in to see if they had any appointments and to my delight, it is a 'walk-in' system so I went right in and sat in the chair.

I must admit a small wave of 'what if they suck???' panic did wash over me at that point with a quick flashback to one time when I walked out looking like I was ready to join the circus with clown-like semi-circles for brows... but I was tired and figured well I have a fringe now so I can always hide them...

So she sits me down in the chair and I realise that it's
threading, not waxing - so then I was scared as I didn't really know much about it - just that lots of hairy people do it so it must be good... and besides I was in the chair now, so there was no turning back... She got some cotton thread and doubled it over and started whipping out the hair with a little twisting motion. It took a bit longer than waxing, but nowhere near as long as tweezing and there were no chemicals, no skin being ripped off and since the string is straight no clown like eyebrows!

Cooper's new hair cut

leaving on a jet plane...

tomorrow night I am heading home to Australia for a few weeks to visit my family and friends, it's been a while since I was there - wonder if I'll remember how to drive on the other side of the road again...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pulsing pod people, raving burkas, and icicle conjoined twins!

Interview with a Landscape Designer

Kate and I conducted our first professional interview last Saturday with our friend Julie Orr! We had a great conversation with Julie who was gracious and knowledgeable. Julie spent quite a bit of time with us talking about her design philosophy and her areas of expertise. One of the services she offers is the Express Garden Design where she will meet with her client at their site to conceptualize and design a garden with a focus on excellent design and sustainability using eco-friendly materials and native/water-wise plants. Julie took us through the process which starts with gathering information from the client then onsite with her laptop, Julie builds a plan that includes the client’s wishes and requirements such as walkways, designated outdoor living areas, plants.

The cool thing about her service is that she creates your new landscape on-site using CAD to draw a to-scale plan that the client can use when working with their landscaper or if they choose to -do the work themselves. Julie's services include everything from plant selection (Kate was in love with Julie's plant portfolio!) to suggested hardscape materials. I was particularly impressed by Julie's expertise in water conservation and her dedication to green design.

She offers other services as well, but the Express Garden is something I'm very interested in because it's very affordable (since she designs on-site her fees are considerable lower than traditional designers) and is a great way to get started on a gardening design project for the clueless (like me).

As a member of the Green Dream Team, Julie is on a board of professionals that includes architects, builders, and other professionals who are dedicated to green design and advocating green practices. One of the things Julie talked about with us is how to sheet mulch as a green way to encourage healthy soil without the use of chemicals or resorting to using a Rototiller. Here are some pictures from a recent project she designed showing the process.

I'm going to give it a try and am currently collecting cardboard and horse poo. I'll put up a post about my success with sheet mulching later in the month.

One other very interesting thing we talked about was grey water. Kate was very familiar with the practice of re-using grey water since it's common in Australia but, I'm embarrassed to admit, I had never heard of it before. Julie told us that Australia is light-years ahead of California when it comes to conservation of water and we should really look to them for ways to handle drought and conserve our resources. I'm fascinated by the idea of using our water to do double duty and want to learn more about installing a system at home - I guess because of the bureaucracy of having to apply for a permit to install a grey water system, they aren’t quite common place yet, but I can't see why not. In the meantime, we have a starting point by creating great landscape design that makes the best use of native and drought resistant plants. Thank you Julie for spending time with us!

Refrigerators at Jones Store

Cody and I went up to Bass Lake for his 10 year high school reunion this last weekend. On Saturday afternoon we took a trip up to Beasore Meadow to visit his grandma and grandpa up at Jones store. I love going up to visit and I just love seeing the old refrigerators that are still in action. I'm not sure how old they are exactly, but they look like they're at least from the 1950's. I took some pictures of the little name plate and am planning to print them out to make posters that we'll hang up once our home renovations are done. I think Cody will like having a bit of his family history displayed in our new home.

swinging in the breeze

in our front yard stands a very large modesto ash tree which is just begging for a tyre swing or a rope swing or any sort of swing to hang from it's huge branches, but as we don't have kids it's hard to justify a swing in our front yard... until I found this pic in my InsideOut Magazine... wouldn't they look gorgeous under our tree?

I smell like pickles and chicken....ask me why

Here is a delicious sounding recipe from Wendy who tried to share this with me last night. Unfortunately, I was unavailable because I was exhausted from the weekend and only had enough energy to eat potato salad while laying in the bathtub and then go to bed. Anyway, here's her recipe which I will try this week only I will be using a store bought rotisserie chicken because I'm lazy:

Wendy's Delicious Chicken Salad

I season the chicken first (sea salt, pepper and garlic powder), then add spicy brown mustard, ranch dressing, mayo, yellow mustard, chopped onion, chopped granny smith apple, chopped dill pickle that I peel the skin off of first. Serve with sweet midget pickles on the side, preferably on wheat bread. It is super delicious, even Haley likes it.

Sadly, Wendy left her salad at home today, so now she can only sit at work with a shadow of a fantasy about the chicken salad that awaits her in her fridge. Hopefully she can send her friends at flufflefritz a picture before it's all gone!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

architecture lust

found this photo I took on my last visit to Chicago of Millennium Park, wouldn't you love to sit on this lovely green grass and watch a concert?

High School Reunion

Cody and Lonnie
I went with Cody to his 10 year high school reunion on Saturday at the Pines Lodge in one of their banquet rooms and we both had a surprisingly good time. Cody thought it was going to be boring, but ended up having a blast seeing all of his old friends and just hanging out and I actually knew many of the people there because we spend so much time in Bass Lake so didn't have to cling to Cody's side all night. After dinner and a slide show we all headed next door to the Pines Bar where we closed the place down. The next reunion coming up will be my 20 year reunion in 2011 which is slightly scary to think I've been out of high scholl that long.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

look what I found

my bathroom has this funky green floral wallpaper which I must say has started to grow on me - it kind of reminds me of my Nanna and Poppa's house as a kid, but I noticed this little patch of brown peaking through so I peeled it back and look what I found...
As you can see the green wasn't their first choice, or even their second... I love their first choice! It's a shame we couldn't peel the other 2 layers off and leave this retro abstract design... think I'm going to make a painting of it and of course it will have to hang in the frame I am going to make with a sample of each different design of wallpaper we find while renovating. :)

guest room options

found this great sofa bed at CB2 which I think will be perfect for our spare room when we get to decorating it...

Friday, July 24, 2009

happy friday!

imagine laying in a hammock, with the fresh breeze blowing across the water as you look out at this view...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fondue on a Tuesday

On Tuesday we went and saw a pre-screening of 500 Days of Summer, which was uber cute and not what I was expecting at all... The cinematography and costumes were beautifully dreamy and Zooey Deschanel is just gorgeously hip.

I definitely recommend you go out and see this movie and buy the soundtrack - I did :)

Afterwards we stopped at Left Bank for some delicious Fondue and french wine... yum!

Cool Stuff

I was looking around on Desire to Inspire one of my new favorite blogs and I found this cool website for Kir Devries. I loved pretty much everything I saw including the serving trays, cool lunch/food carrier, the deer paintings series, and mobiles.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

one of those 'AH HA!' moments...

We have been painstakingly removing the carpet from each of the rooms in our house, well the carpet is the easy part, but removing those damn nail strips is a total pain in the butt! Anyway, last weekend the tool we were using to pry up the nail strips gave out on us so we made a quick dash to Home Depot for a new one... and made a miraculous discovery that I felt compelled to share in case it helps just one other person remove carpet from hardwood flooring!

When I was researching how to pull up carpeting from hardwood floors online, I got some good advice but I didn't find any pictures of nail strip removing tools, or even carpet knives, so I assumed they were an easy to buy tool... So we trotted off to the local hardware store to buy the tools, and after searching for a while, we asked a couple of different people but nobody knew of a tool designed specifically for pulling up the nail strips... This was the best thing they could come up with.
It seemed a little flimsy, but we thought, well it has to be narrow to fit underneath the strip - so we bought it, along with the carpet knife (which they had several different versions), and the kneepads and gloves and off we went.

After 1 room and half the hallway the thin metal started to give out and bend... so we decided we needed another one. So we headed off to Home Depot late on Sunday night where we had 10 mins before closing to find a replacement tool, so we asked the closest guy in an orange apron and he said oh sure they're over here... and this is the tool he showed us, it's actually called a baseboard lifter and looked much bigger than our previous one, but it was a lot sturdier!
Once we got it home we finished the hallway in no time, this tool made it SO much easier! You just wedge it under the nail strip, use a hammer to hammer it all the way under and then pry up the nail strip. You can put it right where the nails are nailed into the strip and it will take them out at the same time. Amazing what happens when you use the right tools for the job!

Blog Crush

We follow Zen Can Cook on Twitter and I spent some time today looking at his site. I just love the creativity of his recipes and the stunning photos of his dishes - everything is colorful and so beautiful. I'm already thinking about throwing a summer dinner party using his recipes when the house is all ready!

What Cute Swimsuits!

I found these swimsuits today bare necessities and think they're adorable! I already have this years suits, but will definitely check back for next summer for our trip to Europe.

boyfriends sometimes suck, but my dog is always awesome

Ezree in her purple chair
Daisy and Teen
Cheena smiling as usual
Gino at 11 months
Teen, Cheena, Lise, and Daisy

No matter what has happened in my life my dogs have always been the one of the best parts of being me. From Cheena, Daisy, Ezree Dax, and now Gino I would be useless with their sweet, furry faces and beautiful spirits. I love my doggies :)

Get Crafty

On Saturday we headed up to the city and went to the Renegade Craft Fair on the pier at Fort Mason which was lots of fun. Not your usual arts and crafts show, but lots of very cool pieces. Melita has more pics than me, but here's one I took of these great posters, which I think I need to decorate my cube with to brighten it up...
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