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Ooh la la, I tell you, I’m so giddy. Today, my mom and I are off to Charleston for a long weekend away visiting her sister, husband, my cousins along with my mom’s brother, wife and more cousins.
Charleston is hands down one of the most beautiful cities in the country. I absolutely love its southern charm.
I recently won a major bet with Graham; the winner of the bet got to pick our next destination for a vacation. I chose Charleston. Somehow, Graham got out of his bet but I still get to go to the beloved city, while he stays home with Josie.
I’m lucky enough that my fabulous cousins live there. So we get to go see the real hotspots with locals. And Saturday night, we’re having dinner at a home in the charming South Battery Park area. Lucky us!
My cousin, the talented Julia Lynn, is office mates and close friends with Angie Hranowsky. I know!! I’ve put in a special request that Angie put together her favorite decor spots and that we could possibly meet her.
I can’t wait to spend some time with my lovely mom, cousins, Aunts and Uncles!! Let the fun times begin!
In so many ways, I can’t believe the day has arrived when I can officially write this post. Graham and I have achieved a goal that we have worked at since the start of our marriage.
Before I get to the goal achieved, let me give you some back story. Pre-Graham I was a blissful spender. I wanted something, I bought it. I wanted to eat somewhere, I went. A last minute trip, I flew there. I never went into debt but I never ever saved a single penny. I thought saving was for the birds and that it would all work out. I was also in my young twenties living in New York, where they encourage rampant spending in the pursuit of fabulousness. And you know what? I’m perfectly fine that I got swept up in the tide because it was one hell of a ride.
When I met Graham at the ripe age of 23, he wasn’t exactly spending money on clothes. On our second date, he wore a skater sweatshirt that he boasted to me he had since high school. When Graham and I first went to meet my parents, we pulled up to the driveway in Graham’s 1982 Volvo station wagon, complete with comfy sheepskin seats. After the dinner, I asked my parents what they thought. My dad said, “I really like Graham. I love the questions he asks and the real interest he takes in people. And I really like that he drives an old car” My dad wasn’t one for flashy cars; hence, my parents still owning their 1982 suburban. Here was my new boyfriend, working at a nice hedgefund (at the time), surrounded by possessions dating back to his high school days. For the record, Graham did eventually upgrade his car, but he has forever regretted it. If there were someway I could get him back his old Volvo, I would.
If you’re a long time reader, you’ll quickly know whose spending habits won out. After some resistance and retail therapy rehab, I began to mend my ways. I actually came around to Graham’s way of thinking. This post way back in March of 2010 shows how I started thinking of purchases as the percentage of house that I was going to lose out on. So, paying $100 for a pair of shoes meant losing out on 1/10th of a square foot of a home (joy of expensive California real estate).
I’ll admit, there were many times when it was exhausting. I know what’s in style (and it aint my closet) and lord knows I’m tempted daily with decor pieces. I’d avoid looking into our actual savings account because that just felt so tempting to me to go spend the cash. It was better for me to “believe” we were living paycheck to paycheck, even though, every month, Graham was stashing away into our investment portfolio.
Well finally all those pretty shoes, dresses, chairs, sofas, wallpaper and spa days that I resisted have paid off. And more importantly, all of the hard work and countless hours Graham has put into his career has rewarded us. We splurged people.
We bought a house!!!
I couldn’t be more proud of our gorgeous home that is all ours. It is a stunning home. One that our dreams were made of, in a beautiful community with the nicest people. We feel very lucky and blessed.
We’re back into savings mode while we pay the bank and do glorious things like bolt the foundation. But, hey I’ll take it any day of the week. Volvos and sweatshirts are good for the soul.
We took this photo on Monday morning after signing the deed. It was a momentous, glorious and slightly nail biting day. That is not our house in the background. Because I’m paranoid, I’m not going to share the exterior of our home on the internet. But, it’s a beautiful spanish style home in the Burlingame area, just outside of the city and much closer to our parents. It has a beautiful backyard that makes it so easy to envision our kids happily playing around in. We are so excited to make lasting memories of our home. And while, I wont be showing the exterior, you can come along with me as I decorate the interior, on a budget.
Now that I’m almost 16 weeks along, the nursery does cross my mind every now and then. Okay, okay – it’s on my mind all the time.
Today, I thought I’d share some nursery classics that have stood the test of time and remained mine and everyone else’s favorites, even though most of the babies these nurseries were made for are no longer babies. These nurseries are kind of like the “Domino” of nurseries – no matter how many years later, the rooms still feel relevant.
1. Erika Powell of Urban Grace’s nursery for her daughter -
A part of what makes this room are the fabulous vintage pieces that she collected such as the lamps and the ceiling fixture. I also love the custom bedding and the stripe on the leading edge tape of the drapes.
3. Domino Magazine
One of my classic favorite nurseries came straight out of the pages of Domino Mag all those years ago. I’ll never tire of that petite striped chair, the butterfly roman and the bold pink rug. Mix it up!
4. Jennifer Delonge
Isn’t this the nursery you just dream of having? The drapes and valance with apple green trim are what really do it for me. That, and the fabulous David Hicks daybed. Lucky baby! Can I move in?
Megan’s son’s nursery is timeless with the classic faux bamboo armoire, the deep ink walls and the fabulous weathered antique rug, which all ties beautifully with his crisp white bedding.
How do you like my top five all time favorite nurseries? It was hard to narrow it down. Are there any that you would add? Which one would you pick?
Thank you so much for your comments and e-mails on my big reveal post. We’re both so thrilled and the support absolutely means the world to me. I was on cloud nine feeling all of the love.
Now back to decor…the other day I was looking for a very affordable outdoor table and chairs. I was blown away by how expensive outdoor furniture is, even at the big box stores or used on Craigslist.
Alas, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks…Ikea. Duh. Ikea. Sure, it will not be your forever outdoor furniture. But, there is a time in all of our lives when Ikea is where it’s at. Anyone ever had the Applaro Drop Leaf Table?
Sometimes life absolutely surprises you. Isn’t it great when those few moments happen? When you are really truly suprised?
I’m so pleased to let you all in on the biggest surprise of my life that occurred this past December….
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, I took a pregnancy test two days before we had a scheduled appointment to meet with our IVF Dr to discuss a grueling round of IVF for baby #2. I was thrilled to cancel the appointment.
I’m now 14 weeks along with the little miracle. I’m due August 7 and Josie and the baby will be 18 months apart to the day. We keep pinching ourselves that we get to have another baby.
However, I’ve been sick as a dog and throwing up all hours of the day, which explains the lack of blog posting. Between morning sickness and looking after a one year old, I haven’t had time for much else. But, that seems to hopefully be curtailing and I can return to more regular posts. And as I’ve been told, morning sickness is “very Kate Middleton” so that makes throwing up sound so glamorous!! Hey, I’ll take it.
My dearest Josie,
If you ever take the time to read through my blog, what will in your time be a relic of communication, you will see that your dad and I were so excited to have you. We were giddy as can be for your arrival one year ago. Let me tell you, you blew that hype right out of the water. You surpassed even our greatest expectations.
You are a very happy baby. I feel as though you were born smiling and you haven’t stopped since. Do your cheeks get sore? You’re very good at going with the flow, even when I drag you all around town and you’re either confined to a carseat or a stroller.
You are a massive people person. Sometimes when we are out walking the neighborhood, you can have a breakdown, crying away in your stroller. But, without fail, when a person walks by, you immediately stop crying, smile and give them a little wave. As soon as the stranger has left your sight, you resume crying, ever faithful to your cause of being heard.
Quiet, you are not. You recently discovered the absolute highest shrill your voice can go to and you really like to exercise those vocal chords. You’re pretty convinced that screaming loudly is another way of happily cheering. No, these are not screams of terror or frustration. Rather, these are shrills of joy and happiness, even if we are in a restaurant. You want everyone to know just how happy you are.
Your eyes light up as soon as your dad comes home from work. You two have a very special relationship. And, a little secret, you’ve already got him wrapped around your finger. So go ahead and try to go rampant with those credit cards you love pulling out of my wallet. Kidding – don’t you dare, little missy.
Those eyes of yours that light up the world are stunning. Big brown beautiful eyes with perfect round cheeks and adorable baby curls sprouting out of your growing hair. But it’s your sweet personality that really brings all that beauty forth.
We are so truly blessed. You’ve brought us more joy than we knew and our love has doubled over. You’ve made the world and life more profound and precious. We’ll continue to thank our lucky stars that you are ours all the days of our lives.
Happy first birthday, my love!!
One day I’m telling you I can’t get enough of saturated greens. And the very next day I come to you with the love of pastels. My heart falls all over the place and I shall follow where the heart taketh me. So, I beg you to come along the ride with me. Today, we are visiting the more subtle color palette of pastels…
Don’t you feel like you just took a splendid swan dive into a macaroon? Felt pretty good, didn’t it?
I told graham the other night that I’m on a green kick lately, to which he politely feigned interest. I realized he may be the wrong crowd for my new color obsession – but you design obsessed readers may care a bit more.
Here’s what is inspiring me…
Apparently, I’m open to pretty much all shades of green. But, I seem to be leaning more towards the saturated greens. I realize that green was last years Pantone color of the year so that may be what is influencing me. But, I think it’s a fresh, invigorating color and just the kick in the pants that I’m needing at the moment. How do you feel about green?
I’m not going to lie, last week was a tough one for me with Nina’s passing and Josie had her first stomach bug all week long. This week, I felt like I was playing catch up and now that it’s Friday, I’m finally feeling on top of it again. Just in time for the weekend.
I ran across this house from Trisha Troutz’ blog a few days ago and I keep dreaming about it…
Isn’t it fantastic? To see more of the house, you can go here. Unfortunately, it’s located in Texas so that’s a pretty long commute for Graham. You want to hear some depressing reality? The house is on the market for $1.1 million. I decided to look in the area that Graham and I are interested in eventually buying and this is the house that is listed for 30k more…
In case you think for some odd reason the houses seem sort of on par. This home is a 2 bed 1 bath and 1,190 square feet, not in the best location. The texas house is 4 beds, 4 baths and 4,352 square feet. The local house will probably sell within about ten days of being on the market and go for well over asking. Can someone please remind me how incredibly miserable the Texas summers are? I’m at a bit of a loss here.
Last week, I lost someone who was very special to me. She was like a grandmother, as all of my grandparents passed before I was born. Thankfully, she lived a long and happy life. But, still there is pain in losing a loved one.
The funeral was this past Friday and I said some words on behalf of my family that I thought I would share here as a further tribute to Nina. To all those who knew me or my family growing up, surely knew Nina and the wonderful part of our family that she was.
We had a very happy childhood and a big part of that was thanks to Nina.
She loved us as though we were her own. From special nicknames to sweet hugs, she loved each one of us fully. And she helped, along with our parents, set the foundation to love ourselves and others with full hearts.
Nina was clever. When my brothers and I were squabbling at times, she would say to us, “that’s it, I’m going to the moon” and she would run off and hide. After a while, we would stop our fighting and we would say, “I think she really did go to the moon” and we’d run around the house looking for her. Whenever we found her, we’d all laugh forgetting all about the sibling squabble .
She loved to bake. There were days that I would come home from school and the house would be filled with the sweet fumes of homemade apple crisp. I have never tasted a cookie as good as her chocolate chip persimmon cookies, made from persimmons she picked fresh from our backyard.
Nina was a protector and she made me feel safe. When my parents were gone and I felt scared, I would run down to Nina’s room and sleep there with her, resting easy that she would keep me safe .
Nina was patient. She could almost handle my dramatic teenage years the best. She had a magical way of finding the exact piece of clothing that I absolutely had to wear to school that day or my life would be over. I would be a mess looking for a specific sweater and Nina would come up and pull it out of a teenage pile of tormented clothes and save the day.
You couldn’t get anything past Nina. In those teenage years, I would have a better chance sneaking out of the house or doing something against the rules when my parents were home. When Nina was on duty, nothing got past her and everything got reported back in full detail.
She was a great listener. She would listen when you would tell her stories and even when you weren’t telling her stories. My love of eavesdropping may have originated from Nina. I used to sit and listen so intently to her phone conversations with her family, even though they were all in Spanish and I couldn’t understand a lick of it.
She was a joker. She didn’t always joke but she would pull out these clever one liners that were very hilarious. My brother, Joe, was always slow and late for school. One year, she gave him batteries for Christmas to help speed him up. He thought that was the whole gift and we all had a good laugh. But then, she pulled out a radio for the shower. Joe was super into music and took the longest showers so this gift couldn’t have been more perfect for him, even if it only further slowed him down.
She was a story teller. She would tell stories of her childhood growing up and of her beloved family. She would also tell wonderful stories of my mom’s brothers, sister and parents.
She was nurturing with all of our pets and she loved them dearly. When you’ve got four kids and 1 million pets, life gets hectic. But Nina always thoughtfully cared for the pets and she was very concerned with their well being.
Nina was a hard worker. There were many times that my mom would ask Nina to please not clean something because it was dangerous and to rest. But, Nina, wouldn’t have it that way. She wanted to work, even if it mean climbing up a step stool or carrying baskets down stairs. She was determined and dedicated to her work.
Nina was a care taker. My family was incredibly blessed to have been under her care. From bringing us chicken noodle soup in bed to stave off the flu to celebrating our most major accomplishments with us, like our weddings, she constantly loved and cared for us. We are all the better and all the wiser from her sweet tender care. And I’m thankful for the honor of having 33 wonderful years with her.