Friday, July 29, 2011

New and Improved

My new camera!

I'm so excited! After 3 years with my old, basic camera I'm finally getting an upgrade. I didn't want to go the dSLR route bc my purse is full enough as is and I like to bring my camera with me everywhere so I went for the next best thing. The Canon S95 is supposed to be the best point and shoot on the market. I will find out if that is true in 7-10 business days when it arrives at my door.  So expect prettier blog pictures in that same amount of time. For now, hope you all have a fabulous weekend filled with plenty of beautiful and fun things to take pictures of. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Heart Tiny Prints

The Father's Day card I gave my Dad this year

Tiny Prints is truly one of the best discoveries I have personally made. They are an online shop that offers customizable invitations, announcements, stationary, address labels, and my personal favorite- greeting cards.  For the price of a Hallmark (and if they are having a sale, half the price) you can give your loved ones a totally personalized, quality greeting card. Assuming you have a computer and a few extra days (to account for delivery) there is really no reason to give a generic store bought card again They have tons of great designs and all you have to do is pop in your favorite picture (if you so choose) and add you own words. They will even send the card to your chosen recipient for you for the mere price of a stamp, exact same as it would cost you but without the hassle of finding a mail box. Every person I have sent one of these cards to has really loved them (at least that's what they told me ;) and I have had fun making them. I have also used Tiny Prints for our Christmas cards and their sister website for our wedding invitations so I really am hooked.  Below is a small sampling of the cards we have sent out this year. And no they aren't paying me for this but they should:)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Flower Power

Entry way flora (and my new vase!)

With the exception of a party, nothing adds more life to a home than fresh flowers.  Every week,  in lieu of a happy hour, I spend $10 on blooms from Trader Joes. I buy them on my lunch break and constantly have coworkers comment on the fact that I am buying myself flowers again. Some may see it as a waste, or that you should wait for someone to buy you flowers, but that mini splurge is one that I never regret. I love walking in my door and seeing a beautiful bouquet, so much so that I have a mini vase in almost every room of the house. Here is what is currently making my home happy and alive.

Mini carnations in my Jonathan Adler Vase

Hydrangeas from my parents' front yard in our living room

Fragrant lavender* in the bathroom
*Fun Fact-After cutting and arranging the lavender,  I made a salad in the same spot and I accidentally ate tastes exactly as it smells

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Flea Market Fix

On a sunny Sunday afternoon I made my first visit to the Alemany Flea Market. After 20 minutes of looking for parking I was able to navigate the tail end of the sale. I was amazed at all the pretty junk. Someone more patient  than I could furnish a very stylish home with the hidden treasures everywhere. I stuck to the things that were front and center. I got the above haul for a total of $20. I can't wait to fill the globe vase with dahlias and use the parrot tray to hold champagne flutes the next time I have guests over. Sadly I was not able to get one of the ladies to lower the price on a Princess Di and Prince Charles wedding plate (to add to my collection of Charles and Camilla shot glass, and William and Kate mug), if I was able to score that it would have been a perfect day. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Favorite Restaurant- Bursa, San Francisco

Last Friday night we did the exact same thing we did the Friday night before, ate dinner at Bursa. My husband and I at one time had the goal to never eat at the same restaurant twice so us going back to the same place two weeks in a row is a non existent occurrence. We did this because we are in love with Bursa. Located in the West Portal district of San Francisco, you can expect no wait (lucky you!) and absolutely amazing food (even luckier you!). Your experience begins with complimentary fresh warm bread served with a mix of spices and olive oil. After that order yourself a glass of One Hope Cabernet. This wine is not only gets you buzzed but does good, a percentage of the proceeds benefit cancer research. Back to the food, for starters you must get the the dolmas, that's all we have tried so far though I'm sure everything they offer is amazing. If meat is your thing then you will be very, very happy with the entree selections. The kofte kebab and rack of lamb are out of this world, lick your plate good. The salad and rice pilaf they come with are delicious as well. For dessert they offer a few home made Mediterranean delicacies and Turkish coffee to end your meal the right way. 

Mixed Grill
Kofte Kebab

Friday, July 22, 2011

Those would be the best memories

Getting to work

Last weekend I needed a picture of my husband by himself, when I went to my photo album to find one I realized that I hadn't printed any photos since July of 2009.  In college my photo album was never more than a month behind, so this is totally unacceptable. While I have taken my fair share of photos since then and have access to them on my computer, its not the same as cozying up on the couch with a photo album to reminisce and point and laugh. So when snapfish was offering up a sale I jumped on it to get my pictures updated to at least this decade. My photos arrived yesterday and I will be spending the afternoon with good music, and a nice glass of wine, getting myself back on track and remembering all I loved about 2009. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Be a Good Guest - Bring Wine to Your Hostess

All wrapped up in a pretty little bow
Everyone knows, or should know, that when you get invited to some body's home you should never arrive empty handed. The easiest (and in my home most appreciated) gift is a simple bottle of wine. Now you don't want to look like you just pulled said bottle from your own bar (even if that is the case). You want it to look like you put some thought and care into your selection, like it is an actual gift. Most people do this with the wine bag. In my personal opinion I would much rather have a wine that costs $3 more than have a pretty bag which costs $3 that I will either reuse or throw away, with either option it's not going to be appreciated. My solution to this is the mini bow. These little guys not only look terribly cute, but cost less than 5 cents each and fit perfectly on the top of a wine bottle. Keep a pack on hand and stop by Bev Mo during a 5 cent wine sale and your thoughtful hostess gift will cost you no more than a dime, take that recession!

Who's inviting me to dinner?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Before and After- Chandelier Rehab

Before- Rescued from the basement

This DIY project is by far the most impressive one I have personally tackled, and it was easy! My grandmother had the sad chandelier pictured above in her basement for the last 10 plus years.  I remembered it hanging in her living room during its glory days and brought it home to resuscitate it. I knew it had potential to be great again-my husband on the other hand wasn't so convinced. The arms were wayward and all the crystals were caked in dust and spiders but a little Windex, paint and time got this lighting back in shape.

We decided to only paint the metal so every inch of glass was carefully covered with plastic bags and  all loose crystals were secured within. Once that painstaking process was complete we spray painted it white, 4 coats to be exact. Due to  the pieces age some rust did come through so we needed additional coats to cover it. I then individually cleaned each crystal with Windex and made new hooks out of picture frame hanging wire for those that were missing them. At this point it was ready to be hung but we needed some additional hardware to attach it to the ceiling. We also needed additional convincing for my husband who was still not excited about having this in our home. Thankfully last Saturday was a lazy one and he was feeling handy and got to work hanging it, it's quite nice to have a hubby that knows how to do these things!  For additional impact we added a ceiling medallion (very easy to install and cheap!) and guess what happened- we BOTH could not be happier with the outcome. Rather than buying a $300 chandelier we were able to rehab this one for less than 15 bucks! And it looks even better turned on so you'll have to come over and see it in person!

After- The new pride of our bedroom

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dear Diary

My bedside, where the book lives
 I have always been better about capturing my memories in photos rather than words, but keeping a journal  has always been something I have at least attempted to keep up with. The last "diary" I bought was purchased at the long defunct Clothestime when I was 14 years old. It was bright pink, decorated with glittery butterfly stickers, and starts with me complaining about my acne and never being kissed... it ends with the news that I will be leaving my first solo apartment to move in with my boyfriend of a year (who is now my husband). It took me 11 years to fill that book and it certainly covers a lot of ground, but my newest attempt, should take exactly 5 years to fill. I purchased this book on my 28th birthday and have diligently filled out one line a day. Some days it doesn't say more than what TV show I watched (Shout out to The Bachelorette) or that I didn't want to go to work (surprise, surprise), other days it states a new revelation or big plan for the future (start my own organization business, babies!). No matter what the day says, 4 months in I'm already enjoying looking back on where I was weeks ago; I can only imagine how much value it will hold for me 5 years from now. Here's hoping this diary contains as much growth as my last, without all the teenage angst.

Monday, July 18, 2011

This Ish Works- Bar Keepers Friend

I have come to accept the fact that I am indeed a clean freak, but really it goes beyond that. Cleaning and organizing are truly two of my biggest passions. I will dust and vacuum until the cows come home and enjoy every minute of it, but when it comes to washing pots I'd rather be a cow coming home (does that joke even make sense? No? Okay forget it.). My disdain for scrubbing pans leads to my love of Bar Keepers Friend. It has been around forever but I only recently got introduced to it by the lovely sales people at Williams-Sonoma. This is the stuff to gently clean your fancy, dirty, food encrusted pans with the absolute greatest of ease; no arm work out required! Just mix a little of the powder and some water onto your sponge and buff away that burned on food that has been soiling your pans for months and months. And as the package so proudly proclaims, it removes rust! So next time you are at Safeway, spend the few bucks and add this to your cart. Your shiny pots will thank you. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Very First Post

This post right here goes out to my Mom and my best friend Romy, the two people who I know will actually lay their eyes on it. I'm starting this thing because I have spent countless hours reading blogs myself and getting inspired countless number of times. And when people are out on the town taking pictures while simultaneously thinking that they will post said pictures on facebook, I am doing something to beautify my house wishing I had a blog to post and brag about it on (kidding!...sort of). I don't see all the people I love nearly as much as I would like to so this blog will hopefully help us stay connected, and maybe it will help me make a new friend or two. So here goes...wish me luck!