Monday, November 30, 2009

California: The Hotel

So, if you haven't noticed by now, I'm a tad bit obsessed by architecture/interior decorating.
This being the case, I could not tell you about our stay in California without showing you the beautiful hotel we stayed at.

Isn't this a pretty succulent plant arrangement?

Here was our room:

And the view from our window:

Hotel lobby:

The top floor of the hotel was a restaurant/bar.
We went up during the morning when no one was around. I loved all of the glorious sunshine the many windows let in (what can I say, I'm deprived here in MI). I bet that the lights of the city look super cool at night though too.

Neat fireplace:

See, the fire came up through this colored glass.

And I'll leave you with two shots of the amazing view. *sigh*


So, we had the opportunity for a quick trip out to California.
Leaving Michigan for California is always a good idea, especially if the dates fall between November and April.

I'm not so good at the story telling with pictures, so I'll just hit you with the random pics and maybe give a blurb about each, OK?

So, 3rd Street in Santa Monica is called the Promenade. It is an outdoor shopping mall that has most any store you could wish for. I spent some quality time drooling in Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.

For breakfast we ate at the cutest little old timey diner named Callahan's. I loved it so very much.

So, looks are deceiving. From our hotel, the beach looked just one street over. Which was the case...kind of...but when you approached the beach you found a completely hidden highway (pacific coast highway) you had to cross to get to it.

The Santa Monica pier.

On the pier they happened to be having some sort of car show. Mostly gangsta style :)

...but a few of the variety that I think are beautiful.

While there we were able to meet up with some friends for dinner.
We went to this new-ish place called RockSugar, and I am in love. Try the princess chicken, you won't regret it.

Brian, Me, Curt, Derek
*love* these boys so much.

Derek and a lady friend, Tori.

*sorry for fuzzy pictures, but I wanted to document the cool atmosphere without ruining said atmosphere for others, so no flash*

And that is about it.
It was a great break with lovely views.
Note to self, you may a few months that you hate red eye flights. Please do your best to resist the low cost temptation.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

one year in Michigan House

Well, we've done it.

We've hit a first time milestone in the course of our marriage.

we have now lived in the same place for a whole year!


Let's review what we have done in the home in that year, shall we?

We have:

This is a good start.

Here are my goals for the next year:

  • Paint some more. I want to paint the two guest bedrooms this year, and maybe the front room.

  • Accessorize. My walls are still wide open. I have a whole shelf in one of the bedroom closets full of framed art...but most of it is small scale and of a style that I will only be using it in the two guest bedrooms as they are finished. So, I need to force myself to spend some of my monthly household budget on stuff that finishes a room. It's hard though. I love accessories...but I *absolutely adore* the high-impact-low-cost paint projects. I'm addicted. I just have to keep telling myself "you can't take the paint on the walls with you when you move next, only the stuff that is not permanently attached".
  • Flesh out the Yard. We got the bulk of a basic yard put in this year, but in the next year I want to make it pretty.

Alrighty, I will check back to this post in one year and we'll see how many of the goals we meet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Closet Makeover

So, you know the point that you get to where you walk into your closet, scrutinize every piece of clothing you own, and say to yourself "I just don't want to wear any of these again"?

Well, I had just gotten to that point when a good friend of ours asked me "so I have a couple bags of clothes that don't fit anymore and are destined for goodwill, do you want them?".

Ummm, let me think about that. YES PLEASE.

So, a "few" bags turned out to be six.
And there were a lot of really, really awesome clothes that fit me perfectly.
Gosh that's cool.

Well, this lovely turn of events brought a focus on the closet, and I decided that our closet needed a bit of organizational help.

So, after a trip to IKEA, the organizational Mecca, we were ready to at least start the project (because, can you ever really be done organizing?).

First, I took out everything I didn't want in the closet.
Then I put up some shelves underneath my hanging items so I could put pants where I can reach them easily. I think one of the reasons the high shelf got so messy was because I am short and it is hard to reach all the stuff. To get stuff up there I sometimes had to resort to tossing.

While at IKEA we found some neat holders for another problem area, Curt's ironing station.

Pause: when you are mounting anything on a wall you need this tool.

It is a stud finder.
But it's not actually its stud finding ability that I value most, but its feature of telling you when you are near or over electrical wires. I can put an anchor in drywall not backed by a stud, but I can cause some serious damage that is dangerous/hard to fix if I drill through a wire.
Get one. It's $20.

End Pause.

So, using the glorious, no-word IKEA directions, I knew that I needed to mount a metal plate to the wall.

Kind of annoying that no IKEA item comes with its own screws, but I always have a few packs of screws/drywall anchors on hand, so no biggie.

My tool selection for this job.

Drill, drill bits, hammer, screws, anchors, stud finder.

I decided where I wanted the iron holder to be and found that there were no studs behind it. I decided that two drywall anchors would hold the weight needed.

As you can see I also mounted a small basket to stick the spray starch in.

So let's remember the before...

...and here is the current view of my side of the closet:

{Wowsa, that is sure some reflective stuff on my favorite CAT hat, huh?}

Before, Curt's side...

...and after:

Leaving a whole entire empty top shelf exposed.
I think I might get a bunch of baskets with labels to fill this space, but I kind of like how the white upper walls reflect the light, it is so much brighter now.

So, what do you think?

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