Sunday, January 7, 2018


Anybody out there?  Yes, it's been a very long time.  A little awkward even.  I think about the blog a lot--like, I should really do a post on X--all the time.  But instead I sleep.  Or worse, I sit on the couch scrolling through my phone and then I realize its 11pm and I need to go to sleep.  So I do.  

Where did we leave off?  Me moving across the country.  I think cross-country moves are difficult, but I think downsizing is more difficult.  The combination is quite trying.  We have 6 people living in 1500 sq ft.  It doesn't help with blogging.  Nor does it help with sanity.  There is less to clean but the mess is more overwhelming.  And it seems impossible to do anything without making a mess. 

Like when we had to make Halloween costumes this year.  We made Molly's wings using this tutorial, and it was pretty much accurate.  We used a heavier fabric (a stretchy metallic lycra, to match the leotard).

(early notes to architect)

We are pretty close to finding a contractor to put our planned addition on the back of our house.  So hopefully I'll be blogging about that, soon.  We have the architectural plans pretty much done, and are down to a couple contractors who are in the budget, at least on viewing the project.  It has taken a very long time...I thought we'd be wrapping up construction now, so yeah....

We did throw some parties prior to departing Indianapolis, and we've even thrown one party here in FL--albeit a smaller one.  So I'm working on those posts now as well.  But I've been working on my ballooning game...I highly recommend watching the Poppies for Grace instructional videos.  So, so easy and no special tools required.  

What am I scrolling on my phone for hours?  Well, sometimes just Pinterest, but I'm also obsessed with Palm Beach real estate.  I think its important to know where you would spend your Power Ball winnings, just in case.  Many of the million dollar properties are whomp whomp, but every once in a while you find someone with good taste AND money, and its such a pleasure. 

How am I finding the time now?  I am home with a broken ankle, and my kids are at the beach.  It is too cold for swimming, but they are shelling.  Molly is sure that this is the next phase of our Sparkly Cans.  And while I was skeptical, these showed up on 1stdibs for just under $1K

To me, the question is whether we strive to keep it strictly found shells, or do we supplement with a few orders from China (or our local souvenir shop)?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Surprise, I live in Florida now.

Yeah, so there was a sort-of good reason for the radio silence.  Turns out selling our house, buying a house, commuting out of state every other week and finally moving a family of 5 across the country really, really, sucks.

Obviously, there is a lot to discuss.  Like the fact that my new address is on the Dixie Highway.  And Circa Who is a walk away, next to my new cupcake place.  And the fact that I am renovating a 1953 mid-century house.  And I renovated my old kitchen prior to selling the Indy house.  And I threw 2 birthday parties.  And then I took 3 children to Paris for a week at the end of March and there was a more recent Montreal/Quebec City summer vacation.  A lot to keep going, let alone blog about considering I don't have my shit together on a good day.

But let's talk about the Indy house, because like it or not that project is over.  And it was just the best house ever (i.e., WPB is expensive).  I really wanted to have shelter-mag style photos taken, but I didn't really have time and wasn't really cool spending the money since I did not consider it "finished" or even close.  Compromises had to be made for listing purposes. But I do have some real estate photos, and as much as they are your standard wide-angle photos that highlight the floors we all make fun of, they are the only house tour we've got. 

Living room .  They really wanted me to repaint it gray, but I refused.  Kevin and I decided that if you came in that living room, you could tell that it could be a great room even if blue walls aren't your thing.  Plus that couch, chairs and mirror weren't going to look good with gray.  I wanted to cover the red coffee table with black python auto vinyl, but it didn't happen.  Well, really I wanted to commission a custom table from my trusty wood worker/labor lawyer Chuck.  Oh, and don't get me started on the fact that no one fixed my pillows on the striped couch.  I had a call during the photos and FREAKED when they came in.  We had to reshoot the kitchen b/c all the papers and magnets were left on the fridge.  But the house sold anyway, so I guess I won't kill anyone.  

I wanted to do a crazier cushion in the dining room, besides my grand plans for the drapes, but I didn't want to deplete my hoard of La Fiorentina just to leave it behind.  If you live in Indy, I got a cushion/slipcover lady for you.  Just convo me for digits.  

We'll talk about this later.  

Henry's room....I never loved the green.  It had it's moments, but just wasn't optimal.  So this gray was in the works for a while, to be paired with a ceiling wallpapered to match his closet/changing nook.  Obvs I'm not wallpapering a ceiling right before I list my house.  I love that paper so much that I took it with me to paper his ceiling in the new house (hopefully that happens in the next 3 years).  That rug is Ikea and I love it.  Very soft and plush, 8x10 ish.  

Ah, the girls room.  We were forced to finish the canopy bunk bed because I didn't want to take down the hardware that we installed in the ceiling a year ago.  A special thanks to churchmember Stacia for sewing the panels.  The valance and the inner valance each took me a full morning/half day.  That chartreuse dresser was going to be the end of was supposed to be neon yellow but neon spray paint is not furniture quality.  Probably for the best, since that might have photographed odd.  (Odder?)

While I didn't have a full photo documentary done of the house, I did schedule family photos in the house.  While we talked a long time about a full on Wes Anderson styled shoot (so we could have a corresponding yet totally different Wes Anderson styled shoot in FL), I did not have time to style it and get by-in from the kids (although my fav Design Crisis literally did just that as part of her kitchen reveal--so check it out).  I was travelling and got in at midnight before the was overcast, started raining during the outdoor shots and Henry was in a very bad mood BUT my trusty photog at Lumatic Imagery seriously delivered.  Having lived through it, I have no idea how there are any shots of all of us or any of Henry.  

Yes, Henry is eating a giant sparkly lollipop as a bribe to be in the shot.  Sailor dresses from H&M.  Henry is in Janie & Jack + crewcuts (at 3 times $$).

Monday, May 29, 2017

So I threw this party.....

This has been in draft for MONTHS.  But I've got a 3 hr layover (in the C Terminal of Reagan--yuck), so without further ado....

So back in February, I threw a little Valentine's Day party.  It was very, very pink.  I needed wanted to practice a balloon installation, and it was high time I got to have a party.  The starting point was a desire to use this cool silver dessert tray my brother gave me (Two's Company, via EBTH) and a pink sequin tablecloth I saw on Amazon.

I made the cupcakes and I bought the macaroons.  We dressed up some favorite junk food in fry boxes.  The roses are from  I bought them by color (cheaper than variety).  I bought a few bunches of the different "pink" colors (light pink, dark pink, coral) but I would recommend sticking with just one category.  My bunches didn't blend together as well as I had hoped, so I stuck the different colors in different arrangements/locations.  Also, the tablecloth is just OK.  Not as sparkly as the pictures on Amazon.  Those are plastic tablecloths framing out the sequin tablecloth for extra width and light blocking--it is covering a set of french doors (it makes sense for traffic flow).

The big story here are the balloons.  Hundreds and hundreds of pink balloons.  I used this tutorial from The House that Lars Built and hooked a chicken wire frame to the wall (on preexisting hooks or nails, etc.).  I also used this balloon tape for the balloons over the window bench.  Mostly  b/c I wanted to try it--I think it is perfect to keep around for a more casual balloon install.  The balloons came from eBay, aliexpress (those marbelized ones!), and Party City. We had 3 ft balloons partially filled, lots of 18" balloons, hundreds of standard 11" balloons, and then 5" balloons to fill in the gaps.  This balloon pump is required.    

Overall, blowing up balloons and installing them, took AT MOST 8 hours.  But I was working solo.  Also, I left it up for a full week and besides a few of the glue dots failing, it looked perfect.  So this is one install that can be done ahead of time (at least indoors).  One of the random things delaying this post was that I meticulously counted all the balloons, by size, used in the LR installation.  And someone threw away my sheet.  I was sure no one would toss such an OBVIOUSLY important document, so I thought for sure it would turn up.  But no dice.  I can only say I multiplied the length of the install x 6 (i.e., 6 balloons per foot) and then used their expected diameter to come up with how many I needed.  

The dining room installation was a last minute decision, but I enjoyed the excess.

We had plenty of champagne, Diet Dr. Pepper, and La Croix.  Because it was my party.  And yes, I had napkins printed.  I'm too lazy to find a detail shot but they said "You Look Fabulous".   

And what did we do?  We made Valentines, naturally.


Photos by Tyler Hromadka/Lumatic Imagery.  And a styling credit to Charlotte (who assembled favors and foiled all my tags) and churchmember Sarah, who flew in from NJ to help set up.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

I'm still alive

Hey all. I've been travelling quite a bit and in the middle of that I had my entire digital life erased/compromised and decided to list my house.  So it has been madness.  But I'm hoping to post some party pictures from a massive balloon installation I did soon (by Sunday).  In the meantime, I would be remiss not to mention that this month's AD and House Beautiful are worth picking up.

Bon chance.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

My kids were greeted by these adorbs mice from Steiff.

Happy Pink & Red Day!  I put my Valentine's efforts into a crazy balloon installation and crafting party this weekend.  Panoramics below; hoping to have some good pics next week or so and a breakdown on how to install one in your own home.  Because I'm sure everyone wants to.  Also--how groovy are panoramics?  Kind of want one of all my rooms.....

If you haven't checked out Ben Kling's portrait Valentine's, you should.  James Polk might be my favorite (the obscurity really adds a few points in my book).

Hope you consume plenty of sugar!

Friday, February 3, 2017


The main thing I checked out at the Kitchen & Bath Show was Tile.  I am longing to shop for tile.  And more tile.

There were a ton of Chinese companies there, adding legitimacy to my almost purchase of brass mermaid tile off of Alibaba years ago.  Honestly, the quality was really nice.  Stone and glass mosaics.

My major find was Barbie Kennedy.  A small booth by the back, the designer (Kate, not Barbie) has all the mosaics waterjet cut in Central Florida.

Designs are scalable, so you can size up or down (custom) based on the application.  The mosaics use a variety of stones, wood mirror and metal, and her new line incorporates agate.  No agate on her website yet, so this is as good a photo as you'll get.

This is my new favorite wood floor (with that agate hexagon mosaic on top as my new backsplash/bathroom tile of choice).

Walk Zenger is Walker Zenger.  Fabulous.  And Ann was all so lovely, just as you would expect.  I was, however, happy to see this in person as I've been trying to imagine it.

While the tile is lovely, I was not a fan of the pattern w/seams--so close, but not quite loving the grout interruptions.  Reasonable minds could differ.  These two are remaining on my daydream list:

I talked to the guy from Merola tile (operating under several trade names, including SomerTile), which is supplying Home Depot with all of its cement tile knock-offs.  The guy said that porcelain tile might run you $8/sqft vs $40 for cement.  And you have to reseal cement on the regular--maintenance is not my forte so cement tile may go in the same basket as soapstone and carrerra marble....nice for other people.

They had a ton of patterns in both ceramic and porcelain.  This is my new fave front porch tile.

I'm pushing tile for outdoor spaces (you'll need porcelain tile or cement tiles).  I've been looking at Moroccan courtyards and decided that pavers are sad and overrated.  But if you are doing pavers, do these guys:

Tumbling block 4EVA.
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