"Two are Better than One!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ornament Craft Night!

I have wanted large, sparkly, red ornaments for our traditional Christmas tree in our living room.  It has lime green mesh ballooned on it, with all of our childhood ornaments, but it really needed something else to help pull it together.  I searched all over this holiday season, but couldn't find anything like what I wanted -- who knew large, red ornaments would be impossible to find??  So, this crafty girl decided to make her own!

I bought round craft ornaments at Michaels for dirt cheap -- no really, I think they were a dollar a piece.  Then, armed with red glitter and decoupage glue I went to work!  I removed the tops of the ornaments, and swished a mixture of the glue and water through the inside of the ornament.  I let the excess glue drain, then poured glitter inside and moved around until it was completely covered.

Todd came home from work halfway through the fun and decided to help!

...and these are his picture-taking "skills"??  Now you know why I am never in pictures!

For 14 ornaments, I spent right around $20!  The entire project took about an hour, and we have handmade ornaments we can enjoy for years!  The best part -- the glitter is on the inside, so we won't have shedding issues over the years!!

We tied the ornaments with sheer ribbon and placed on the tree!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Back at it, Baby!

After 4 months of no kitchen, concrete floors, dust, no sink, plywood countertops, and 6 weeks of living out of a wine fridge the kitchen is almost done!!  Things have been so slow, but the week of Thanksgiving, several large variables (countertops, appliances, plumbing) fell into place, and made us have a working kitchen!  We are still lacking backsplash, undercounter lighting, lightrail, and some final touches (scribe, paint, windowseat cushion, etc), but for the most part it is complete!  Simply being able to use the sink, fridge, and stove make me happy!  Now if we can just get a coat of primer on the walls, I will be elated!!!

The Bar!

Gorgeous fresh, wreath from my grandparents :)

12 foot island!  Organization heaven!

I have made several meals in the kitchen now, which has been so exciting!  It is so nice not to have  to eat out every meal!  I even went to the farmers market yesterday and stocked up on fresh fruit and veggies, eggs and honey!  We love dinner guests - come on over :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rodeo Drive....my Kind of Black Friday!

This crew had no intention of getting out in the crowds on Black Friday this year.  However, my brother took a noon flight out of LAX on the standby list, and we decided to hang around downtown to make sure he got a seat otherwise he'd be stranded until the next flight at 9pm.  What to do???

We had no issues finding things to do.....we started out with a little Black Friday shopping on Rodeo Drive!
Heading to Tiffany's :)

The stores were still being decorated, and I loved these Santa's being placed on one store's balconies.

It is hard to tell from these pictures, but the decorations for all of Rodeo Drive were provided by Swarovski!  There were crystals hanging down the trunks of the palm tress, on the street signs, and strung between these sculptures in the median.  Gorgeous.

Clearly, this crowd is not price sensitive, and these stores feel no need to discount anything.  So, there were absolutely no crowds....

.....with the exception of the PETA protestors!!  Protesting fur, leather, and any type of animal products this crowd very slowly made their way up and down Rodeo Drive chanting "Blood, blood, blood on your head," escorted by police.  Made for quite a sight and very awkward moments considering even the children walking around were decked out in fur vests, and leather boots!

After much excitement, we decided to go to a throw-back, elementary school, cafeteria-style place for lunch that I've been interested in trying for a while now.  Lemonade LA did not disappoint with organic and eco friendly salad and soup options....and of course several options of lemonade!  Between us, we tried the blueberry mint, watermelon rosemary, and cucumber mint lemonades -- all amazing!

Once we got the all clear from my brother, we took the scenic route home through Beverly Hills to Sunset Blvd. to gawk at the big homes, and a few celebrity houses.  Good day all in all!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Some of the granite went into the kitchen today, which meant we could finally unpack parts of our kitchen and load it into the base cabinets!  My favorite part of this project was organizing the bar...which unveiled some very inconvenient truths.  Truths that I could handle, like that we have way more stemware than I want to wash, and that we have quite a lot of bottles of wine.

Yet, I am a little embarrassed to share this next thing I realized, but I am secretly proud of it at the same time!  How does that work out?  Okay, enough stalling, here it is:

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you!  This is practically the only stash of cocktail napkins one will need for the remainder of their life, and possibly even some leftover for children to inherit!  I am estimating over 700 napkins, in over 20 different designs.  Now that I think about it, I have at least 2 more packages I purchased last month that I need to add to my brand spankin' new napkin drawer!  I feel like I am constantly pulling from this when we have people over, but apparently not as often as I thought.  Or else, I purchase faster than we can use!!

Besides my cocktail napkin obsession, how about my organization obsession?  I will save that for another post!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Progress in Pictures...

Thought I would share a little of what has kept us crazy busy over the last few weeks:

Staining mirrors!  
Cabinet install and flooring removal
Tub and fixture install
Marble counters installed and mirrors complete 
Brand new shower complete!!
New floors in kitchen and den!
Grout sealing was our exciting Saturday activity! 
Granite install (as we speak...or type and read??)
Back to fumes, drywall dust, furniture strewn all over, and this house we have grown to love :o)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween at the Hoods

Our Halloween party was last night, and based on the amount of recycling that went out this morning, the amount of food that was devoured, and the pictures as I puruse them this morning I would declare it a success!

The house is still in the middle of construction, so we made it haunted :)

Our house was full last night, and at one point I turned to Todd and said, "I had no idea we had made so many friends here!"  Not only do we have new friends, but we have fun friends who like to dress up!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween is Here!

It has not felt like Fall here for two reasons.  The first being that the leaves are not changing color, they are just dieing and falling off the trees (the ones that do, that is).  The second reason being that our house has been a mess of drywall dust, pallets of tile, buckets of grout, plywood for kitchen countertops...I think you are getting the point.  I have wanted to put out Halloween decorations, but it is pretty much pointless, since it will just be one more thing to dust!

Yet, us crazy people wanted to embrace the fact that we are living in LA and all of the fun costume shops! So, what did we do?  Decided to throw a Halloween party, of course!  Clearly, not being able to entertain like we usually do has gotten to us!  We spent last night finalizing our costumes and the menu.  While the menu consists of mostly easy appetizers and desserts, I was having a huge craving for pumpkin bread I couldn't curb.  Todd and I headed to Whole Foods last night to buy the last can of pure pumpkin (no, seriously it was the last one) and everything else we haven't had in our house for months!

Maybe I should explain why this pumpkin bread venture is so crazy....our kitchen is still not complete, we have plywood for temporary countertops, no fridge, no stove, no working sink, BUT we do have a working oven!  In addition, we have 4 contractors here today grouting tile in our foyer (which is of course the route to the sink we are using for dishes), prepping floors in the kitchen, installing the tub in our bathroom, and prepping for our glass shower enclosure.  Yet, amidst all of the bustle I managed this:

I am feeling so accomplished this morning!  It is not even 9 am yet, and I am on my second load of laundry, Breck got a bath (twice after walking through the grout!), and now there are two loaves of gluten free and dairy free pumpkin bread in the oven!  I am going to spend the rest of my day preparing for our party and carving pumpkins with some fun ladies I have met out here!  Wonderful start to my Friday! :o)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Return Home.

Todd and I were out of town for the last 10 or so days.....funny how fast time goes by!  We were standing at baggage claim at LAX last night saying how strange it seemed we were already back from that trip.  I was able to spend a lot of time with my family in Atlanta; it was a much needed vacation!  I'm missing them already!

While we were away, our contractors continued working, as there were several projects that would be easier with us out of the house.  Foremost, the chandelier in the foyer was replaced using scaffolding.  Then the foyer, hallway, and laundry room tiles which were uneven, cracking, and lacking grout were removed (which apparently was a huge job).  The floor was then leveled and laying of the new tile and grouting began.  Here are some pictures of the foyer before:

While many commented on this floor,
it is not as nice in person....
just photographs well! ;)
The foyer, in progress, now looks like this:

As you can see, the new chandelier is in!

In addition, the master bathroom was at a point in which we were temporarily going to not be able to walk through it to get to our closet.  Our contractors had built walls in our bathroom to close in our shower (no more brass and glass), and moved some plumbing in order to accommodate the new tub and additional fixtures in the shower.  They were ready to tile and needed us out for a good 3-4 days.  It was so nice to come home to this:

Shower enclosure - sorry so dark!

Tiling and new wall enclosing shower on left
Gorgeous white tile and new cabinets!
I was so relieved to get home and see that my design decisions were sound, and that nothing went horribly array.  I am now so anxious to see this all come together!  Off to pick up more tile! ;o)