Friday, March 26, 2010

A Dream Weekend

A few years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to stay at the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay. We had no idea what we were in for. I had heard that it was nice, and was expecting something like the Hilton. The Ritz Carlton makes the Hilton look like a Motel 6. My friend and I spent the afternoon with glasses of wine, reading books in Adirondack chairs that overlooked the ocean, while the boys played a round of golf. At night, the fire pits were lit. The food was incredible, the spa was amazing, and the garlic fries in the golf clubhouse were a bit too yummy. I would really, really like to go back.

This is the kind of thing I think about when wondering whether or not to have kids. If we didn't have kids, we could go to the Ritz Carlton a lot more often. I wouldn't have to give up my reading habit. We could travel, be financially secure a LOT earlier... there really is a trade-off, and I will admit that sometimes having children does not seem worth it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Shoes

Un-manicured toes need not apply. From JCrew.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Today I Love: EmersonMade

The beautiful handmade flower above is from EmersonMade. I've been stalking their blog for quite some time now. Their lovelies never fail to amaze me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Have YOU Met Miss Jones?

The Australian company Have You Met Miss Jones has incredible decorative pieces for the home. Some of their items are whimsical and baby-shower worthy, (hello, mr. owl!), but some are breathtaking works of art. Aren't those wings lovely?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spotted: Custom IKEA Slipcovers

The incredibly talented Dana from the blog DanaMadeIt whipped up these oil-cloth slipcovers for her IKEA Henriksdal counter stools. I love this idea so much, I literally squealed a little when I saw them. Aren't they gorgeous?!

This idea helps me get past the last hurdle of buying my new dining room chairs. My husband has been objecting that the white slipcovers that come with the chairs will not hold up to daily use, especially once we have kids. But Dana saved the day! With her idea, I can have as many slipcovers as I can sew, including an oil-cloth set for everyday. (Read: waterproof and damp-rag-wipe-able.) Totally kid-friendly. Go over to Dana's blog to check it out!

Toodles, Starbucks!

For the first time in my life, I am on a strict budget. That has been a little bit of a transition. Gone are my morning Starbucks visits. I am using a recipe that my friend Jamie passed on to me, and it is a very delicious, inexpensive alternative.

- Chilled coffee, (I keep mine in a pitcher in the fridge)
- Sugar-free syrup, (I bought some Starbucks sugar-free hazelnut syrup from their website.)
- Low fat milk

In the morning, mix two to three pumps syrup, about a cup of chilled coffee, and about a quarter cup milk in a to-go coffee cup. I never measure this concoction, but I taste test and add ingredients as needed. I don't miss out on taste, and I certainly don't miss that $4 latte bill in the morning.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm Intrigued: VIPP Trashcan as a Diaper Pail

Hurray! My sister in law is pregnant! Besides the obvious benefit of a new bundle of joy in the family, this gives me a semi-legitimate reason to be stalking baby retailers. Now, I am no longer the crazy, wanna-be-pregnant lady. Now, I am a future aunt!

So, I was browsing Giggle the other day, and came across this beauty:

This stainless steel lovely is the Mercedes Benz of diaper pails. It's a VIPP trash can, and you may have seen it at your doctor's office. New parents have discovered that since it is stainless steel, it does not absorb the odors like plastic diaper pails can. VIPPs are made to last forever. And heck, isn't it cute? There is a downside, though. This little bugger costs about $320.

Even so, I am quite interested in seeing more reviews about this pail. So far, I have heard nothing but positive things about it. And if it really keeps smells in as well as people claim, isn't that money well-spent, especially if you can continue to use it long after baby is grown?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Things I Love Right Now

- Pandora: a website that creates you a custom radio station, based on a song or an artist that you like. You click whether or not you like songs, and the radio station figures out what you like. It's free, with very few commercials. Love.

- My Paper-Source letterpress calendar. My sister bought me this lovely desk calendar for Christmas, and it is incredible. Each month has a new, beautiful piece of letterpress art for you to look at. I never get sick of it. Right now, it is 30% off.

The Meaning Behind Our Things

My baby fevah has returned with such force that it shocks even me. However, since I need to get into and through nursing school before trying for a baby, I am trying to focus on and enjoy the aspects of my life that will be gone once we have a kid. This includes getting my house all spruced up and organized. I'm so, so, so excited about that. Hot Husband and I are going through all of our closets and getting rid of anything we don't need.

I am bringing all my old clothes to a local consignment store to see if I can get any money for them, and HH's old clothes are being re purposed as sewing material, or they are being sent to Goodwill. I have started asking myself very important questions about the items in our house, which have helped me clear out a few boxes of items for Goodwill already. These questions are very simple, but very effective:

- Do I love this item?
- Do I need this item? Am I sure?

If the answer is no to both of those questions, the item goes in the charity pile or a trash bag. As I started looking at the things in my house under this light, I was amazed at how many things I was keeping for no reason at all. And I was surprised to find that there were quite a few things that I was keeping because I felt guilty for getting rid of them.

Case in point: a teapot that HH's grandmother had given us for our wedding. I held that thing in my hands for a long time, before it finally went into the Goodwill box. I never loved that item, and I certainly did not need it. I had never used it. But it had been taking up valuable real estate in my cupboard because it was a wedding gift given by a person who is special to us. Even as I am typing this, I feel so heartless for getting rid of it. But I did not have enough room to keep it without sacrificing something I did love, or that which was useful.

"It's just a thing," I finally thought. But getting rid of that teapot made me think about the meaning that we put on the items in our environments. If that teapot had not been given to us at our wedding from someone we love, it would have been out of the house years ago. It was the meaning behind the object that I was treasuring, not the object itself. I realized that I can still treasure that meaning, while passing the teapot on to someone who will love and use it.

How about you? Do you suffer from guilt when deciding what takes up space in your home?

Oh Mylanta...

I am so sorry, internets! I've been busy. It is nursing school application-alooza at my house right now. Applying to school sounds very simple. But... when every school has different application requirements, and you are applying to six different schools, it gets a tad complicated. I am hanging my whiteboard back in the dining room tonight, just so I can keep track of it all.