Monday, November 25, 2013

Updated Entryway

Yay, here's a little peak at our updated entryway! As a reminder, it used to look like this: 

I always have a really tough visualizing things when other people share stuff that involves new walls going up, so this might not help too much, but basically a wall was added where the linoleum meets the carpet in the picture above. The window next to the door was covered up (the siding on the whole front section of our house was replaced because of all the changing windows!). Now there's a closet there instead!

The wall with the mirror on it above is the bump-out for the new closet, which I love, love, love. We painted this room Benjamin Moore glade green - the same as the small half bath. It looks a lot more minty in the bathroom since there's no natural light, but I love it both ways. Edith Wharton had this theory that the best color for entryways was green since it helps people transition to or from the outdoors, and I like to heed Edith's decorating advice when possible :)

You can also see a little peak of my new red front door in the mirror! I'll try to snap some picks of the outside to show you how that's changed, too, but there's still so much to do out there. Maybe in the spring, ha ha.

One quick story about the art above the table. It's a painting of Le Petit Zinc, which is a restaurant I went to with my parents on my first trip to Europe when I was 13 years old. The whole vacation was magical; I felt so grown up, and I know it helped me develop my passion for travel.

Years after the trip, my mom and I found that painting in Bombay Company on clearance, and she snapped it up. It was in her home for years, and I always loved it. A few years after that (are you still with me? this is beginning to feel a bit like recounting a dream that's only interesting to the person who experienced it...), my mom was cleaning out the basement, and in a pile of pamphlets and maps from our Paris trip, she found the receipt from our dinner at Le Petit Zinc! It's in francs and everything. She gave me the painting a while ago for my house, and the receipt is still taped to the back of it. I've always thought it would be fun to get that matted and framed on it's own. One of these days...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chase Woodlands + Peters Reservation

A couple weekends ago, we went out to Chase Woodlands for a walk in the woods. It was such a great afternoon that we tacked on Peters Reservation, too, which is right across the street. The parking lot for both only fits about six cars, so it's very quiet and peaceful along the paths. Great mile to two mile loops with pretty views of the Charles on the Peters side.

That night, Peter put this together. I'd been wanting breaded pork tenderloin from The Fort so badly, and luckily, Peter's version was an amazing substitute. In case you're inspired to make your own:

Happy almost weekend to all! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Feast for a Reader

This is perhaps one of the stranger things I've revealed on the blog, but I am really into betting. Not in a dangerous way - don't worry, you won't find me sneaking off to Mohegan Sun at 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday to spend away our mortgage payment. But I love little, frequent bets - who can guess what time we'll arrive, or who will show up last at the party. These almost never involve actual dollars changing hands; that would stress me out. The prizes are more like, I'll make you a fun dinner if you're right!

Last fall, I was in Connecticut visiting my family, and a frequently repeated conversation came up again. This is going to sound mean, but we regularly made fun of my dad for not being much of a reader. He reads newspapers - I think at one point, there were three delivered to their house. But books - not so much. He'd do maybe one a year, and he'd read it over the course of the entire year, but just on vacations. We'd jokingly refer to his "book of 2011" or "the San Diego-Italy" book.

Somehow, on this particular day, the conversation morphed into betting territory. An official, signed agreement was drawn up betting that he couldn't read ten new books in the next year. If he won, I'd have to cook him a five-course dinner (and - I'm about to reveal something else weird about myself - I would have to switch my toilet paper from over to under for an entire year. I am PASSIONATE about toilet paper that comes down over the roll, and he is equally passionate that it should be under. If he had lost, he would have had to do it the right way my way for a year, womp womp.)

Well, guys, he blew the bet out of the water. I think he finished his tenth book sometime over the summer, and he has truly, officially, become a person who loves to read books! I sent him a few options for his five-course feast, and we held it at my parents house a few weeks ago. The dinner was an absolutely joy to make, and it was wonderful to celebrate his new-found love of books. The toilet paper, on the other hand, will continue to plague me for many months...

Feast for a Reader Menu

5th course: Crack Pie

If you're curious about his book selections, they were a very eclectic mix! He read the Hunger Games series (loved), a Harlin Coben novel or two (loved), The Paris Wife (we told him he wouldn't like, and he didn't!), Outcasts United (loved), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (loved), and a handful of others. And now - post bet - he's reading a WWII book about fighter pilots.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sets in the West

There have been some amazing sunsets in Boston this week! I think I snapped this on Tuesday night? One of the best things about the new house is the view from our back deck, which faces west. We're up on a little hill, and there's this great view of the sky peaking through the roofs and trees.

This weekend I'm going to finish painting our front door red - it currently has one coat of paint on so it looks hot pink. Hopefully our neighbors aren't too worried! And I'll maybe tackle the treads of the stairs, too; we'll see how motivated I am :) The past few weeks, we've been furiously painting and cleaning and setting up, and I think it's time to take a bit of a step back. So tomorrow night we're also planning a fun dinner here, and something else good for Sunday, too. If the weather cooperates, a hike, and if not, a museum.

Happy weekend to all! Here's to not painting too much.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Half Bath Mini-Makeover

Yay, a completed mini-makeover to share! Over the weekend we painted the entryway (still being set up, but pictures coming soon!). There was half a gallon of that pretty green paint left, so I couldn't help but add the half bath to the list, too.

I did have grand plans to go with a cute stripe in here, but laziness won out. Maybe in a few years when everything else in the house is done / adorable (HA!), I'll have the motivation to tackle more creative things. But for now, this feels like a big victory - one (itty bitty) room in our house is now looking a-okay.

The before shots above are actually better than what I was starting out with because there were two truly horrible bathroom cabinets over the toilet and sink. You can see the creepy shadows on the walls where they once were. Since we have a full bath upstairs with storage aplenty, I was fine with getting rid of those cabinets down here, and there's still some storage under the sink for my blow dryer and cleaning supplies. 

This room was clearly a blank slate, and we certainly won't be don't anything major to it in terms of renovations. But if I had been the one designing this bath, I would have gone with pedestal sink to free up some real estate - it's a very narrow room. And for the love of Nancy, I would have centered the toilet on the wall (!!!).

I've tried to counteract that left-leaning toilet by centering the art work above it (obviously), but also adding a free-standing toilet paper thingy-majig and putting the tissues in the middle, too. It helps a little? If anyone has any additional brilliant ideas, I would love to hear!

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