Friday, April 29, 2011

On the (new!) fence

Our backyard fence was in a sorry state - it was old, and the wind and rains had done so much damage to it that parts of it were tilting dangerously, and some boards had started to fall off.

We got it fixed this week and couldn't be happier with the results.

The fence is torn down and we get a really good look at our neighbor's house :D

Willie-Boo supervises the workers:

My husband takes a look at the nearly finished new fence:

Isn't it lovely? I love the lattice top!

This is the longest side of the backyard and there are veggies planted all along the fence. A couple of flower and corn seedlings did not survive the new fence installation but other than that, our veggies are looking good:Now all that's left is to seal it and we hope to not have fence issues for a long, long time!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring setting

We had the pleasure of having my in-laws over for dinner on Monday night - we try to have dinner together once a week, as much as our crazy lives allow!
I recently made a set of napkins out of a pretty yellow cotton fabric - I love them!

Not only are they better to use than paper napkins but the color makes me happy. I paired them with round placemats from IKEA - don't they look pretty and spring-y?
I only got 4 placemats because I wasn't sure I'd like them but since I love them I am going to get some more. I made 16 napkins since we host holidays, it was super easy and I am happy not to be using paper napkins any more!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter morning

The Easter bunny left a few treats in the backyard:
I love the color contrast of this pink egg and the greenery around it!

My boys did a great job finding each and every single egg.

My oldest was such a good big brother - he shared his loot and helped his little brother find a bunch of eggs.

Then we all pigged out on chocolate eggs, yum!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Carine Roitfeld: "Quite Classic with an Edge"

I'm not even going to pretend I am some sort of fashionista or anything, but I do know who Carine Roitfeld is - the fabulous and fierce former editor of French Vogue - and I have been reading that she may have her own clothing line soon! If you saw The Devil Wears Prada, the character of Jacqueline Follet, the French Runway editor who almost replaces Miranda Priestly, is supposed to be based on Carine.

Here are Miranda and Jacqueline, I mean, Anna Wintour and Carine Roitfeld:
Aren't those nice smiles? ;D

Again, not that a CR clothing line would mean much to me because I seriously doubt that I could afford anything she puts out there, but still, I like most of what she did at French Vogue and would love to see what her line looks like.

She also has a soft spot for Mario Testino, the famous - and Peruvian! - photographer who has captured so many iconic images, including some of a pair that's getting married this Friday. I forget their names.

Anyway, if she does a clothing line, maybe she can do a collaboration with Target - THAT would be awesome. A girl can dream.

The title of my post is from a quote by Carine describing her own style.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Did you know . . .

that potatoes are originally from Peru? (just like me!)
Yep, they were first cultivated in the southern part of what is now Peru thousands of years ago. After the Spanish conquest, potatoes became known worldwide.

that you harvest potatoes when the plant part turns brown and dies?
True. You CAN get potatoes while the plant part is green but basically, as long as the plant is green, the potatoes are still growing.

that there used to be about 4,000 varieties of potato in a variety of colors?
Sadly, now the market has focused on a few varieties and even in Peru, there are less than 100 varieties grown now.

Our potato plants are doing great, I am definitely not patient enough to wait until the plants die so I will be feeling around the soil for some baby potatoes long before anything turns brown. My oldest wants lots and lots of French fries from our potatoes but I am longing for some homemade (and homegrown!) mashed potatoes. If all goes well I am going for some rare varieties next year!

Photo credits: Vantage Travel, SF Examiner, Fans del Espanol.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Favorite Outfit: Spring Day

I wore something very similar to this on Monday to do the school run and do some errands. It was cool but not cold, and it sprinkled a bit when I went to pick up my youngest but I just put the scarf on my head and my hair didn't get frizzy.
And no, I definitely do NOT have that bag, it's like $6000 or something, mine is this one from Tarjay but the one in the pic was the closest Polyvore had. If I had $6,000 to spend on a bag I'd buy one in Paris for $20 and use the other $5800 to have a grand Parisian vacation :D

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Upcoming projects

My husband and I are on a major kick to get some things done around the house.

Here are the plans:
Heh heh.

We are currently halfway through getting our living room gallery done. Then comes our little one's room. He loves his night light, which makes stars glow softly all over his bedroom ceiling, so we figured we'd take a cue from that.

I'll share more as plans progress.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Garden update

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted a garden update so I thought I'd do one.

Our blueberries are doing great, I look forward to never finding one because the boys have already eaten them all :D

Our latest addition are the corn seedlings, we ran out of space at the designated area so we have two "corn hubs" and hopefully will enjoy yummy buttered corn later this summer!

There are hundreds of tiny pinhead-sized grapes, they're the Concord variety.

Orange tree from our friends:

The pea and bean vines are doing their climbing thing, my oldest loves to eat them right off the vine.

First time growing potatoes so I can't wait for these babies to be ready to harvest!

Looks like we'll have pumpkins for Halloween - and soup!

My yellow roses are blooming daily, just love them.

I hope our squash is as good to us this year as it's been the past two years.

We have enjoyed a few strawberries, juicy and sweet - yum!

My lavender is also doing well, I made sachets for Christmas gifts last year. I am very happy with my garden and very thankful for all my husband's hard work! Hope you enjoyed the little update!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Girl Crush: Cate Blanchett

I've had a crush on Cate Blanchett since Elizabeth came out. I thought she was brilliant and she has yet to disappoint me with her acting. She has been in some shitty movies but she is always the highlight. With some overrated (in my opinion) actresses - yes, I mean you, Julia Roberts - you always get the same character. Julia is always Julia in whatever movie she is. And when she is not, she fails miserably at NOT being Julia.

Cate, however, disappears in her roles. She transforms from one role to another (again, is my opinion) and has only gotten more gorgeous and talented with the years.

One of my favorite websites recently featured a spread she did for T magazine and I just fell in love with this photo:
Really, a moment of simplicity, but I love how striking she looks nonetheless. And I want her haircut.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A little corner of my world

We recently got new nightstands - we decided on the Expedit from IKEA in the walnut finish and have been really happy with them. Our boys inherited our old nightstands. I've been on a turquoise kick and I was very happy to receive my LOVE print from Made by Girl this week. I love the pop of color on our neutral walls:
My little corner is full of things I love: yellow roses from the plant my husband got me, pics of him and our boys, and wrought iron/fleur de lis decor. I also got some pillowcases in chocolate brown/turquoise to use as accents, since most of our bedding is in neutral colors. The vase is not as dark blue as it looks in the photo, it is (you guessed it) turquoise and it is from IKEA.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Obsessed with pancakes

When I was little, growing up in Lima, a favorite destination for a weekend treat was Palachinke, a pancake place that served huge, thin pancakes. I always asked for banana pancakes and was never able to finish.

Flash forward to last week, when Mom was staying with me and we headed up to IKEA - we had breakfast there and I enjoyed their thin pancakes:
I learned from a quick Google search that "palacinke" (as well as various derivations of the word) is the Eastern European name for these crepes.

As you can imagine, I am determined to make these at home because going to IKEA for breakfast every day is just not feasible. Tempting, but not feasible. I did get a jar of lingonberry jam because it was so delicious!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paris art

I'm always on the search for art depicting my favorite city in the world - Paris. Today I'm sharing these lovely works by artists that let us enjoy their art without spending beaucoup bucks.

This is one of four postcards in a set, made by TINYKITN. You could mail them, sure, but they would look so pretty framed in a grid, don't you think? I would love something like this for a wall in my bedroom.

Now this one would belong in my kitchen/dining room - as would any of talented Lucille's other prints - not only do you get charming illustrations but many of them include a recipe as well. Gorgeous AND dangerous art!

I love how bright and cheerful Lynsey Hunter's cards and prints are - she also has prints of different cars that I love.

Don't you just want to sit on that chair and look out the window? Kitty on your lap, dog at your feet, what a great way to spend an afternoon. Shell Sherree's illustrations make me want to step into her art for a few hours.

Bon, c'est tout, mes amies, that's all for now, my friends, I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful pieces of art with me!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bookcases revamped

I went through the masses of books my husband and I have about a year ago, our bookcases looked pretty good. For a while.

Then . . . you know how it goes. More books get shoved in, kids put their toys on the shelves, tall shelves get used as spots to put stuff the kids can't get to, and this is what you get:

Pretty disgraceful, huh?

I'd been meaning to get to the bookshelves for a while, and then this post from the lovely Michaela Noelle was the final impetus I needed to get going. After a long process of weeding out some books and packing them up for storage in the garage, this was the result:

Still a lot of books but my husband and I are avid readers.

Here is one of the Fantasy shelves, with appropriately fantastic gargoyle in the middle:

Our Gardening books look lovely with pretty yellow ranunculus!

Two handcrafted home accents my husband got at a craft fair accent our - what else - Home shelf:
I'm pretty happy with the results - which meant four grocery bags full of books got put away in the garage. And some random items that somehow (ahem) got thrown on the bookshelves, like bouncing balls, marbles, the case for a handheld game, etc. found new homes.

Now I only have the kids' bookshelves to deal with. Oy.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Me from A to Z

I saw this great questionnaire at Lissalaneous Thoughts and thought I'd give it a try:

A. Age: 29. Okay, 39. Until November. I need to start Forties' Therapy.

B. Bed size: Queen. Someday King or Cal King but not any time soon.

C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning floors - be it bathrooms or kitchen. Hate it.

D. Dogs: In our future, we have two cats for now.

E. Essential start to your day: Cup of nice hot tea for our chilly mornings.

F. Favorite color: Burgundy.

G. Gold or silver: Gold. Yellow gold.

H. Height: 5'1"

I. Instruments you play(ed): None, but I was a Soprano in my younger years.

J. Job title: Queen Bitch of the Universe. She Who Must Be Obeyed.

K. Kids: Aidan (6) and Alexander (4).

L. Live for ______: My family.

M. Most embarrassing moment: Got an hour? Falling in the cafeteria, running out of gas, not rinsing conditioner out of my hair, etc.

N. Nicknames: Clod. Sooner or later, everyone calls me Clod. They say it's Claud, but I know better.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Two c-sections and a hysterectomy.

P. Pet peeves: Bullshit. Or rather, bullshitters. People who hate their lives and won't do anything to change them.

Q. Quote from a movie: "Which one of you bitches is my mother?" from Lace. Not a movie, but one of the trashiest 80s miniseries ever.

R. Roses: I'm making this up because the R is missing from this quiz. My favorite are yellow, although deep red also make me happy.

S. Siblings: Too many, all half-sibs. Two from mom, four from dad, they have half-sibs and THEY have half-sibs, and honestly, anyone could come up to me and say they're related to me and I wouldn't be able to say they weren't.

T. Time you wake up: Between 5:00 and 6:00 am. On my own. I'm a morning person.

U. University attended: San Francisco State University.

V. Vegetables: Um, yes? I eat some, I grow some.

W. What makes you run late: The boys, usually.

X. X-rays you’ve had: Teeth, back, shoulder.

Y. Yummy food you make: That is up to whoever is eating it, but I WAS told I make a good lasagna.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Butterflies :D

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What I've been doing

I've been feeling like lightening up my home with some spring-y blues and greens. A couple of trips to Michaels and IKEA helped in that endeavor.

These candles got glammed up with some flowers - $2.99 for six at Michaels - and ribbon.
The center one is on one of my yellow ramekins from World Market.

We've had this lovely glass vase since our wedding - we used it for cards with good wishes our guests wrote. After, it languished in the master bathroom for almost eight years. Then I saw this on the PB website.
I got a fake plant (because our dining room is so dark it wouldn't be fair to a poor real plant) and I love how it looks, flanked by my beloved Fleur-de-Lis candlesticks.

With the help of one of my new BFFs, Valspar's Everglad Glen spray paint, I brought a frame into the spring season.
This is one of my all-time favorite pics of my boys together.

Last week I was super inspired by Kimba's Map Decor link party and did this:
The lantern is from IKEA (I also have one in light green) and the tray was paint sprayed with another new favorite, Valspar's Exotic Sea. I love the combination of the bold turquoise with the muted map print and the white lantern.

So that's my mini Spring-a-looza tour - I am currently working on a long project that involves lots and lots - and lots - of fabric. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Little Frogs in my house

The sweet yellow flowers I am SO loving right now are Ranunculus, which is Late Latin for little frogs, according to Wikipedia.

I love their round shape and many layers of petals - here are some tips from The Martha herself on how to arrange some of these beauties.
I have yellow and red ranunculuses (ranunculi?) so I prefer to keep each color by itself when I arrange them around the house.

Another idea, this time from one of my favorite publications - Real Simple:
I usually place three flowers in a little bud vase or a spare glass jar for a sweet and simple look, but I will try the terracotta pots idea.

I've also pinned some lovely ranunculus images on Pinterest if you'd like to join me there.

I can't wait until my yellow roses bloom again, I am hoping for a pretty arrangement of yellow roses and ranunculus with some greenery thrown in for balance.

Do you have a favorite flower?