to plot (a garden)

 2013GardenPlan 1Last year I was lucky enough to score a garden plot from my condo association behind our building.  While I would die for a real farm with backyard chickens and maybe even a goat, I figure my own garden plot comes in a close second, especially given my current location.  I have to imagine my D.C. condo association has rules against goats.

Now, let’s get serious.  Yesterday, I noticed a new neighbor weeding his plot next to mine.  Last year, I was pretty much the only one who weeded my garden, nevermind plant anything, so there was no competition.  But NOW.  And with something as public as a garden plot.  Bring it on.

I had unknowingly prepared for this, and the spring bulbs I planted last fall bloomed on Easter.  So, without even lifting a finger to weed, I figure my spring blooms kept me on par with him.  But today I forced myself to spend a vacation afternoon weeding and planting some seeds (that have been sitting on my kitchen counter for over a month).  It’s amazing how competition fuels me (even when it’s made up in my head).

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(shout out to the hyacinths and daffodils for saving my butt)

Then, with the help of some OCD, I sat down with a sheet of graph paper and mapped out my plot for the year (aka the game plan).  So far, I planted the seeds, and moved the left over strawberry plants from last year.  I got a little overzealous with the pea seeds… still working on that self-regulation.

I thought a lot about companion planting, and I plan to move the tomatoes next to the path so I don’t have to trudge through the whole plot to get to them like last year (2013: the year common sense is on my side).

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Um PS, according to MS’ calendar in Living, Martha herself also tilled her garden today.  That must mean the gardening gods are on my team, no?


to protect and serve (a Flokati)

Hi, friends.

I apologize for my incredibly long blogging hiatus.  Essentially I have been feeling a little like this, and mostly like this.

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 10.49.36 PMEnter, Flokati.  A couple of months ago, I bought this fabulous Flokati rug on ridiculous sale from Rugs USA.  It is soft and glorious to walk on.  Except.  Teddy Roosevelt will not stop peeing on the thing.  I think he is jealous of its hair, and the fact that the rug is never subjected to nightly combing.  Regardless, Craig has washed the darn thing, in the bath tub, four times (with detergent and pet odor remover), and I’m pretty sure the next time he’s just going to throw it out the window. I mean, if I woke up earlier than him and was the one who saw it first, I might throw it out the window.

So, since I’m on spring break, and since I cannot sit still, and since I’m not exactly known for sitting around without a project, I decided to rearrange some things. I have some grandiose plans for our itsy bitsy dining space, but for now, enter the Flokati.  I’m hoping by shoving the thing under our table, it will distract Teddy.  Also, he’s pretty good about leaving that area alone.  The proportions aren’t exactly right, but my plan is to get rid of two of the chairs, and use a bench in the back (that will double as storage, since those chairs are used way more for piles of things than actual guests), a la:



Except I think I’m going to do it with DIY les touches chairs like this:



holiday spirits


Mostly, the name of this post is appropriate because I started the weekend with a Friday night rendition of wine club and ended with a whole lot of Christmas prep. For wine club, my friend Martine made the most delicious chana masala (Smitten Kitchen has a similar recipe here, but Martine added way more than a teaspoon of most of the spices, including cardamom, but no amchoor powder), and we all tried to bring a wine that would pair well with it. I wish I could remember the name of mine, but it was a viognier blend that was great and we drank it all. And isn’t this the coolest bottle ever (below)? We didn’t even end up opening this one, but it was from Trader Joes and enormous.


My family has always cut down our own Christmas trees, so it’s no surprise that even in D.C., I make C come with me to cut down my own. No, buying one pre-cut at the farmer’s market is not the same. For any D.C. friends, we went to Butler’s Orchard this year, and it was very easy (you drive right up to the lot, grab a saw, find your tree and then they shake the tree, wrap it up and tie it to your car for you. We went to Homestead Farms last year, which I love for pick-your-own fruits, but Butler’s had a much larger selection (but was a bit pricier).


I love looking at other people’s Christmas trees; don’t you? We listened to my epic Christmas playlist while decorating the tree and the apartment. My favorite Christmas albums are Elvis’ Duets, Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas, and Now That’s What I Call Christmas! 3. What are yours?


to reflect: how I got the perfect mirror

And this is why it is so wonderful to source everything, especially in blogs and Pinterest. I have been trying to find a perfect mirror for the wall above my new bureau. Since there is a small flat screen TV on one side of the bureau, and I plan to hang some pictures around that, I was thinking about a sunburst mirror. I have a full-size dressing mirror on the other side of the bedroom, so function is not as important as decoration. I pinned this photo months ago, even before I read Little Green Notebook daily, because I love how the TV is not the focal point on this wall, as it so often ends up.

living7I almost bought this sunburst mirror from One Kings Lane (which is pretty good deal for $49), but I wasn’t feeling great about the proportions. I was going back through my files to find walls like mine to get ideas about which mirrors may work best, and I found this photo again and remembered how much I love this mirror. I clicked through to LGN, and sure enough, there it was. Here’s an even better picture of the mirror itself.


At the bottom of the post, there was even a source list for most of the objects in the apartment (fantastic), and would you believe this mirror is from Hobby Lobby?! Since they are pretty much always doing 40 percent off a single item online, I was able to order it for $29.99. With $1.95 shipping. AMAZING! If you are in the market for a sunburst mirror (and why wouldn’t you be? (: ), you should buy this right. now.

If you are also in the market for a round mirror to break up all of the straight lines on your wall, and you are not buying the ridiculously cheap Hobby Lobby mirror, I found some more great ones on Etsy, like this one for $75:


to entertain

This beautiful tablescape set up over at Oh Joy! has me wishing I had many more square feet (and a huge Carolina Farmhouse farm table (:) to entertain lots of family and friends this holiday season. While I’m dreaming, how much fun would these pretty little things be to help you entertain?

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

what was your favorite part?

One of the questions we ask after reading aloud to preschoolers is, “What was your favorite part?” So far, my favorite part of the bedroom redo has been this bright, cheery Marimekko pillow. I love how it brings so much color and personality to my gray duvet.

TO ENJOY: etsy prints I love

When C and I brought in our new bedroom set, we moved out one old Ikea wardrobe and one tall bookshelf, leaving us with lots of new wall space, even with our new set all moved in. I’m planning to create a gallery wall, so it’s been really exciting searching through Etsy for prints and art. I love this hair bun print above from Elizabeth Mayville. Here are some more of my favorites…

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