Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Painted Cabinets

The painters are at my house as we speak, painting our dark, dated cabinets a lovely, crisp white. When I arrived home yesterday, the kitchen was torn apart, but I could already see a vast improvement with the paint color. Yea!

Tonight at 6 p.m., a kitchen designer who was recommended to us by Casey, our interior designer, is stopping by to survey the space and offer some ideas. I realize that a complete kitchen redesign can be astronomical in price, but it’s helpful to have quotes on a variety of options. Be it a modest cosmetic makeover to a tear-down-the walls renovation, it’s good to know price points.

I would love to hear from any readers who have been through a kitchen remodel, be it a simple makeover on up to a complete renovation project. Any words of wisdom to offer? I would love to hear your experiences and recommendations.

P.S. In my never ending search for kitchen design inspiration, I came across these fabulous sites: The Kitchen Designer. Part blog, part design catalog, this is a great source for ideas if you’re planning a kitchen makeover or just looking for simple tips on updated your kitchen space. And, The Inspired Room, which provides design ideas for all aspects of your home, inside and out. Enjoy!Image courtesy of Coastal Living

Monday, June 29, 2009

Keep your chin up, Mrs. Sanford

Alright, I feel the need to drag out the soap box again. First of all, I don’t like to use this blog for political commentary or debates on the world. I feel we have so many other news outlets doing that. We’re bombarded day in and day out with stories about war, death, scandal – you name it. It can be overwhelming at times. So, I prefer to reserve this space for more light-hearted fare.

But, this morning I came across a photo of South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford (above) and just felt complete empathy toward this woman. What her husband has put her and their sons through is, in my mind, unforgiveable. I grow so weary of these politicians and their complete lack of regard for their families, and the people who elected them to office. It never ceases to amaze me how these men think they’ll get away with it. The arrogance is palpable. They ruin lives and others are left to pick up the pieces.

So, on this Monday morning, I wanted to tell Mrs. Sanford that I admire her and the fact that she didn’t “stand by her man” at the press conference where he revealed his unseemly behavior to the world and began the process of dragging her through a publicly humiliating series of events. She has a very difficult road ahead, and I’m sure there are days where she just wants to crawl into bed and not come out from under the covers. But, from what I’ve seen, she’s handling this with aplomb, holding her head high and focusing her energy on the welfare of her children. Cheers to you, Jenny Sanford.

As for you, Mr. Sanford, I think you should resign as governor of South Carolina. After that, I frankly don’t care what you do.

Perhaps if we elected more women to office, we would have fewer of these situations. No woman I know who is married with children, whether she works outside the home or stays at home, has time to initiate an affair. Heck, we can barely find time to do the laundry!

Okay, I’ve now put my soap box away. Thanks for the opportunity to rage, I mean, vent. Hope everyone has a good week. It’s a short one, thanks to the 4th of July holiday. Enjoy it!
Photo courtesy of MSNBC.com

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hi, My Name is Jen and I'm a House Stalker...

In a post from a few months ago, I discussed my tendency to house stalk. It’s not a regular activity, but every now and then a house comes on the market that I really like and I find myself thinking about it constantly and driving by it any chance I get.

It can be a charming architectural gem or it sits in a neighborhood I particularly like. The urge to stalk comes and goes, but lately it’s reared its ugly head and I’ve found myself driving by a couple of dwellings that are for sale, wishing I could afford them. Now that Hubby is starting a new job in an opposite end of town, I have this strong desire to move to a more centrally located neighborhood, that will be closer to our kids’ future school and where we attend church (the school is part of the parish church). Of course, this practice drives my husband nuts.

Please tell me I’m not the only who does this. Is there cure for this sickness? Do I just need to avoid these spots altogether? I realize we’re in a depressed economy, so the idea of selling and buying a house right now is somewhat crazy. Dear readers, please talk me down from this ledge!
Photo courtesy of Semonin Realtors.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Meet Crafty Paper Girl

Lovely Amanda over at Crafty Paper Girl has named me the winner of her latest giveaway: her designer stationery. I'm so excited! I love her new line of colors. Perfect for summer.

If you haven't stopped by Crafty Paper Girl's blog, be sure to do so. And, her shop on etsy is open for business, so click on over and peruse her creative wares.

It's mid-week everyone - we're almost there!
Image courtesy of http://craftypapergirl.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Don't jump off the furniture...

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times to my kids: "Don't jump off the furniture!" This applies more to my daredevil two-year-old son, who likes to climb, jump and generally scale anything he can find.

Well, in the craziness of last night, getting ready for dinner and preparing for a visit from my father-in-law, Little Man decided to take a swan dive off a club chair, lost his footing and then slammed into the cabinet door of the entertainment center. A gash to the head later, Little Man and Hubby were headed to the emergency room. Luckily, it didn't require stitches, only the glue application. But, it was a big scare to us all. Miss E. kept asking if he was going to get a shot, because that's all she associates doctors with anymore and was worried for her little brother.

And, of course, today is picture day at daycare so he's sporting a nice bandage above his left eye. Oh, well, at least he's in one piece.
Image courtesy of dreamstime.com

Friday, June 19, 2009

Giving Thanks

As we come to the close of the week, I must give thanks for some wonderful events that have taken place over the last several days.
  • Hubby has accepted a new job and I can't be more thrilled for him. He's such a talented and intelligent man and I know that he's going to do amazing things in this position. Cheers to you, my lovely man!

  • My brother and his bride closed on their first house on Tuesday. Yea - they're homeowners!

  • A huge tree fell down in our yard yesterday during a terrible storm. It broke the neighbor's fence, but did no damage to the houses and no one was harmed. Thank you, God.

  • And best of all, our dear friends met their daughter for the first time on Wednesday, when she arrived from Korea. I'm so happy for them. That's daddy and daughter above - how's that for a Father's Day gift?

To all the wonderful dads out there, including my dad and Hubby, I hope your Father's Day is full of joy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What does preppy mean to you?

In today’s New York Times Style section, there’s an article about the so-called comeback of the preppy style. Although, depending on where you live, I argue that this style never really went away, especially for those of us who went to college preparatory schools and attended universities with strong Greek systems.

The article focuses on how the all-American prepster style now has a strong Japanese influence, highlighting the 1965 book of photography, “Take Ivy,” by Teruyoshi Hayashida.

The article mentions a bevy of preppy brands, including Sperry, L.L. Bean, Brooks Brothers and even some I had forgotten, such as Woolrich. This made me smile. In high school, I had a tan Woolrich jacket lined in red and black tartan wool. I also carried my books in an L.L. Bean backpack and wore L.L. Bean moccasins. In addition to my bob haircut, an add-a-bead necklace adorned my neck, and my class ring – a signet, of course – was firmly in place on my right hand, exhibiting great pride in my all-girls school. Ah, the late 80s/early 90s. Weren’t those the days?

So, dear readers, what does preppy mean to you? Did it ever go out of style or has it constantly been evolving?
“Take Ivy,” by Teruyoshi Hayashida image courtesy of A Continuous Lean.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Just Madras

Be still my preppy heart! While blog surfing, I came upon Just Madras, a wonderful online shop that features madras bags, tennis covers, belts, key fobs, apparel, you name it. So, if you’re a fan of the patchwork style, and what good preppy isn’t, then stop by this site.
Image courtesy of Just Madras.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vacation Montage

Here are a few images from vacation. Time at the beach, some shopping and our little visitor, Mr. Fox, who stopped by our patio each night. I couldn't resist posing by the Lilly Pulitzer Jeep in Duck. A store called Life's a Beach carries Lilly and Vineyard Vines. Hubby bought me a pair of McKim's for my birthday (I'm wearing them in one of the photos - not the best pic of me, but the shoes are fab!), while I got him some Lilly swim trunks (aren't we cute?). Anyhoo, a great time was had by all. I head back to work on Tuesday - one more day to take it somewhat easy.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back from the Beach

I'm back! We had a wonderful time in the Outer Banks. Great weather, lots of time in the sun and surf and quality time with family. I promise to post pics once we get everything unpacked and situated.

When we arrived Friday evening, we went straight to the beach for a walk. Hubby threw a fishing pole in the water and we played in the sand. All was well until a small wave knocked the kids down and scared them. Miss E. kept screaming "I swallowed the soap!!" meaning the sea foam. Knowing she was fine, it was a little comical. But, she didn't go near the water the rest of the trip. And, it took Little Man a few days before he would get brave enough to go in the water. Oh, well.

The house where we stayed provided an interesting wildlife show each evening. Foxes, deer, a raccoon and rabbits were regular visitors. We kept our distance.

Hubby and I celebrated our birthdays on June 10, so my mother-in-law babysat at the beach house while we ventured into Duck to our favorite beach restraurant, the Roadside Bar & Grill. Matt the bartender makes the best mojitos known to man.

Can't wait to catch up with all of you and read your blogs. Hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Unplug and Unwind

Tomorrow I am beach bound! I plan to enter "slow living mode" and disconnect from computers, cell phones, schedules, etc. Hubby and I will be celebrating our birthdays (yep, we have the same birthday - how crazy is that?) on June 10. If you're going to get a year older, might as well do it at the beach with a stiff drink in your hand!

So, while I'm gone, I hope everyone has a wonderful week. I'll take plenty of pics and post them when I return.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Side Dish

The other night, Hubby and I went to dinner at a Cuban restaurant for a delicious meal. One of the dishes I had I definitely want to try at home: baby peppers stuffed with goat cheese.

No, this is not likely a low-fat dish. And, I might have well just applied the cheese directly to my thighs, because that’s where it’s going anyway. But, you have to indulge a little every now and then. I kept telling myself I’m eating vegetables – peppers on a bed of greens – so that’s good for me, right?

So, if you’re looking for a summer side dish that’s colorful and oh-so-tasty, try the stuffed baby peppers.

Organic Baby Peppers Stuffed with Fresh Herbed Goat Cheese

Serves 4

1 package baby bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
11 oz of fresh goat cheese
3-4 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs - marjoram, basil, chives
Balsamic glaze

Preheat oven to 450°

With a small pairing knife make a small slit or incision down the middle of the peppers. Wash and clean peppers inside and out, removing any seeds.

Mix fresh goat cheese, herbs and salt and pepper to taste, in a small bowl until combined.

Stuff each pepper with goat cheese. Drizzle peppers with olive oil. Roast in oven about 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and peppers are soft. Remove from oven and lightly drizzle balsamic glaze over each pepper (you do not need to use a lot of balsamic glaze as it is an intense flavor).

Serve warm.
Image and recipe courtesy of www.organicauthority.com

Monday, June 1, 2009

Preppy Paper Giveaway

Preppy Paper Girl is having a fabulous giveaway in honor of her upcoming birthday (she and I are only four days apart - how fun is that?). Anyhoo, stop by her blog and check out how to enter.

She does great work. I ordered a monogrammed Christmas ornament from her last fall, as a wedding present for my brother and his wife. It was super-cute, as are many of her designs.
Image courtesy of http://preppypapergirl.blogspot.com/

Lots o' coffee Monday

Well, I forget which cup of coffee I'm on this morning (third, fourth?), but it's much needed. I had some at home and, then, while taking the kids to daycare this morning, I had to hit the Starbuck's as well. (It's pretty sad when the kids know the name of the barista - "Hey, it's Kitsy!" my eldest child shouted. Yeah, I'm a frequent customer.)

But, in just a few short days, we'll be heading to the beach. I can then enjoy coffee at my leasure, rather than downing it as I'm rushing into the parking garage at work. So, as the mug states, Life is Good.

Did everyone have a good weekend? Any special activities or events?
Image courtesy of Life is Good.