Wednesday, December 29, 2010


You may remember that I hacked a Danish-style bed for the youngest Haus boy.
Well, recently while thrifting I found a $600-ish litho inside a very big, very sad IKEA frame.
After giving the plexi front to the boys to see how many dangerous shards they could break it into (answer: still counting, much to the pleasure of my bare feet), I was left with the wood frame and pressboard backing.

Rather than trash it, like a good little child of the Recession I "repurposed" it.
I lightly sanded the frame and the smooth side of the pressboard. I dug a little tube of yellow acrylic craft paint out of the closet for the frame, and bought a $4 can of chalkboard spraypaint.

Four dollars later, and voila, a giant, colorful chalkboard.

I just can't decide; hang it over the bed or over the chair?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Which blogger would you...

Some blogs are super anonymous, but most of the time you get a pretty strong sense of the person behind the blog. And then you tend to draw some conclusions. "Good mother", "funny and smart", "alcoholic". That sort of thing.
So I thought it would be fun to end the year with a game of "Which blogger would you--"Feel free to re-post and play the game on your own blog, or give your answers in the comments.

SO, which blogger would you...
-let re-decorate your house while you were away?
Brick House. I trust that she would take cues from my existing design and inject some of her own.

-travel out of the country with?
Bink & Boo. She seems kind, cool, funny, and laid-back. And she likes to thrift and poke through vintage stuff, so I think we'd agree on the itnerary.

-leave your kids with?
Nonchalant Mom and Soule Mama. Despite her name I think NM is chalant. Very chalant. She would make sure of the tooth-brushing and homework. While Soule Mama would make them go outside and climb trees (but so, probably, would NM).

-want for a big sister?
The big sister of all lifestyle blogs, of course. Joanna Goddard/Cup of Jo. She's cool (but never too-cool-for-school), sweet, knows lots about lots, is well-connected, and would probably be so much fun to stay up all night talking with.

-hire to throw you a party?
Oh Happy Day! She's always putting together these intimate little dinner parties in unexpected locations (a beach under the Golden Gate Bridge, for instance).

-want in your book club?A Bloomsbury Life. Duh. I love how she finds modern parallels in dusty old novels.

-want to give you her wardrobe?
Bleubird Vintage. Maybe someone else's wardrobe is more expensive and modern, but Bleubird is closest to the way I actually like to dress.

-want to be for a day?
This one is hard. Since it's only for a day, you want to choose someone with a drastically different life. Something you couldn't experience on your own.
My Marrakesh, I think. Definitely someone raising kids as an expat, running a cool little business from an exotic locale. Yes. Yes, yes, yes!

Tell us your answers. We'd love to know! Maybe you'll turn us all on to something new...

photo credits: Tongue in Cheek, pret a voyager, Oliver Webber, My Marrakesh

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nature Baby

With babies coming out of people's ears in these parts, and having sworn off any more of our own ("don't you want to try for a girl?" NO, because it will be a boy which is rad but still not a girl), I have to share with you my favorite baby room of all, ever. Go ahead. You can have it. I can't use it anymore. Misty eyes....

And, if you're stumped for a boy's name, take mine. Satchel. Come on, you know it works on, like, EVERY LEVEL. Distinctive, memorable, not weird, historically significant, handsome, strong-but-sweet, oh I know the boy-name criteria. Plus, Satch. The nickname is almost BETTER than the full name!

Got any favorite nurseries to share? Top-secret baby names to part with?

Update: See what she likes. I should know better than to post without checking J out first. That lady is always faster and better!

Nursery is at the drooly, dreamy Jalama Road Family Farmstand, found via Fern and Feather, another perfectly wonderful place to lose an hour.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Other Peoples' Houses...Why Renting a Vacation House/Apartment is Better than a Hotel

There's a certain amount of "ick-factor" in sleeping in someone else's bed. I admit to being pretty easily skeezed out by a house that smells weird, questionably clean sheets, and any quanitity of those massive, "expresso-stained" Mor furniture suites will have me out on the sidewalk quicker than you can say "toxic off-gassing".

It doesn't have to feel just like home (I mean, it's a want to experience something new), but at least like the home of a good friend with taste and a rigorous anti-Febreze policy (when I see Glade Plug-Ins at someone's house I pretty much know there's going to be a compatibility issue).

Despite the pitfalls, after several successful house rentals, I'm hooked. It's like temporarily trying on a different lifestyle. Our stay at this Brooklyn artist's loft had us staying up all hours watching the owner's collection of indie art films, making a run for "our" subway, walking to the famous Brooklyn Flea, and chilling to live jazz at the neighborhood French restaurant.

We rented rich peoples' jungle hideaways in Costa Rica and Kauai and got a taste of the gringo expat life for less than a mediocre hotel room.

And this is my latest "try on a lifestyle for size" mecca...a John Steinbeck moment in Tomales Bay. I could do A LOT of thinking on that couch...

Do you rent houses on vacation? Or is there a dream house you'd like to try out for a week?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Idle hands

So it gets dark real early and I feel a little guilty that my solution to long winter nights is "more 30 Rock". Ack, Season 2 is so weird/bad!

Back in the 1980s my ancestors didn't allow so much television. We would wind up the Victrola and put on crazy antique records (that we knew all the words to), or read from old limerick books from the library, or pop popcorn in a skillet over the fire. People with those electric popping machines were like astronauts to me.

Or the four of us girls would antagonize each other and end up in a heap of long flannel nightgowns. And lest you think I'm confusing my childhood with Little Women, we did not travel by wagon although my ma did pick us up from school on horseback occasionally. Smack in the middle of San Diego. My mom's desire to hold back the sands of time with her bony, Puritanical hands knew no bounds....

Later, of course, I snuck French novels and (more contraband than drugs) Seventeen magazines out of the library and spent many an eve learning the ins and outs of being a French courtisan and keeping my skin soft with homemade yogurt masks. Also, French kissing, hairspray, and penny loafers. Thank you Seventeen. I would have been so country without you. First-kiss bliss indeed (I probably committed that one to memory...)

But I digress. A lot. I know.

The point is, we did stuff at night. And my mom always had a sewing or needlework project going. And with a fire in the fireplace and everyone together in the same room, it truly was a lovely way to pass the time. I'm not saying I want to give up the television to darn my kids' old Hanes socks or anything. But I've kinda been antsy for a little crafty project to do. While I rot my brain with the demon-box.

Purl Soho has the best projects. And they're not even a little country. Here are some I'm considering. Aren't you proud Ma?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin...9 feet of sexy sitting space

Salivate over this monumental collector's piece, available in the shop now.
And just think; it looks THIS good after 60 years and will probably look this good in 60 more. This could be the last sofa you'll ever have to buy...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Is it O.K.?

That just thinking about the words "jazz hands" makes me Liz (see 30 Rock obsession prev. post) in my pants?

That I persist in trying to find a Lean Cuisine that pairs well with Shiraz?

That this man is a national hero?

That I just spent more on the goshdang pillow than on the whole goshdang antique Italian bed for teen Liberace?

That I want to punch the "manly woods" poster maker man in the groin?

Thought so. But I still wanted to check.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Absence has made you love me more

I can trace my internet absence directly back to the day I began streaming Netflix live (shakes fist in the direction of Netflix headquarters).

Two hundred episodes into 30 Rock, I began dreaming as Liz Lemon (she's such an anti-hero and yet everyone claims to relate to does she DO that?)
A personal high point was the episode where her Mexican Sabor de Soledad chips caused a false-positive pregnancy test because they were flavored with bull semen.

Also a must: the jury duty and "night cheese" clips here (although a huge fan of night cheese, I had never thought to give a name to that particular activity...)

In other world news, I scored a fabulous (and dirt cheap) antique Italian bed on Craigslist (see this previous intriguing post about teen son room re-do). Yes, that's right. An antique Italian bed for a teenage boy. It looks like an Italian grandmother's deathbed, minus crucifix nailed into chipping plaster above headboard.

I won't tell him, but the kid looks a little like Liberace propped up on pillows and surrounded by his dogs. Don't worry, I'm going to paint a wall black and get him some Weezer know, man it up a bit. So Novogratz of me, don't you think?

And of course I've been both auctioneering and auctionee-ing. El Hombre de Ascot (from my racially-charged and controversial last auction report) made an appearance as a shadow of his former self. His ascot hung limply at his neck and his cheap romance novel hair was lifeless and more gray than I remembered. He didn't even try to bid against me in an effort to reinforce gender and cultural stereotyping. I guess his machismo has left the building. I recommend a bag of Sabor de Soledad.

And, possibly most interesting, is my transformation from cute hair person to Ringo Starr/Hasidic Jew in four short weeks. Short-haired people like me live in a dangerous world, walking a fine line between cute and absurd. Mere millimeters of hair away from ugly every day. Pray for us. For despite our heroic appearance, we suffer from self-doubt and unattractive side-poufs constantly.

Here is a picture of me and Ringo at the park just the other day:

(I'm just kidding...and this picture is from a actual Hasidic Jews were harmed in the making of this dumb joke).

So it's your turn to embellish mundane activities for our entertainment. What have you been up to? Do tell!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Attention thrifty hipster Jazzercise leotard wearers

See the original "you're probably a hipster" post here!

I can't believe I'm sharing coupons like a dusty geezer.
But just in case your spandex Suzanne Somers-inspired Jazzercise gear is getting threadbare, click here to download a 50% off coupon for American Apparel.

I mean, who doesn't need to replace their buttless tights once in a while?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Place...Kauai with Kids

Path to bliss (walkway to "our" house)

Backyard (river at edge of grass)

Well-stocked (screened lanai)

Happy place (Tunnels Beach)

Teen bliss

Fertile valley (farms outside Hanalei on the North Shore)

Return visits (Kauai grass-fed beef...we felt it was only right to support the environment)

Surfers (please don't die, please don't die, please don't die)

NaPali Coast from the trail

In the mouth of a giant-NaPali Coast

Teen Spirit

A grandson's view of his grandma


From bed

More happy place

This trip taught me the difference between "travel" and "vacation".
Rather than getting all verbose about the trip, if you have any questions about going to the North Shore of Kauai, just let me know!


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