Monday, June 28, 2010

i love New Jersey: Asbury Park

From it's start as a Victorian resort town to the namesake of Bruce Springsteen's debut album, Asbury Park is steeped in history, a mix of the very old and the brand-spanking new.

We took a drive down the shore yesterday to check out Asbury Park and it did not disappoint.

After we arrived I took a little walk. I would've explored further but it was BRUTALLY HOT. And after a little while I just had to return back to our blanket - and pass out. But I hope to come back soon. Here are a few of my favorite things:

The abandoned casino is one of a few remnants from Asbury Park's heyday as THE place to be in the early 20th century:

Inside the building, a nautical mural...

You can walk through the casino into the beach next door, Ocean Grove. This is a view looking back on Asbury's boardwalk.

The entire length of boardwalk is lined with American flags, no doubt in preparation for this weekend:

A re-purposed carousel:

View out to sea:

View up the beach to Asbury Park's famous Convention Hall:

A few clouds came by before we packed our bags and headed home:

Most of New Jersey isn't remotely close to what you see on tv.
This is just one part of an ongoing series that will show the awesome side of NJ to the world.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vintage glassware

I found these glasses in John's grandparent's house a year ago. Then they stayed packed in a box at my in-laws for a few months. We bought the house and the box was brought over and shuffled between our guestroom and attic. The glasses were almost forgotten, until recently when I started unwrapping all my old goodies.

Right now I'm displaying on the side table in my dining room. I think I might move them into my glass bookcases in the living room. Because there are many pieces and I think I could do better than stacking them out in the open.

Through the magic of modern technology (internet) and also looking really close at the glasses themselves (duh) I found out that these are all Culver glassware. For the curious, there are many Culver glass items for sale on ebay.

Did I mention how awesome they are?!?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Paint colors

I don't think that everything in -or related- to the house has to be matchy-matchy, but I do believe that there should be some harmony between things.

So I started a little notebook to keep track of some things we have going around the house...
This page in particular shows all the colors we have in place right now. The center swatch is our trim and ceiling color - Decorator's White, surrounded by the colors of our living and dining room, bedroom, guest room, bathroom, and office.

One of the things that prompted me to do this was just a need to have all our paint swatches in one place, for future reference. But I'm looking at this page right now and thinking - there are no warm colors! I prefer cool tones - but one room in a warm color won't hurt... and it may balance things out a bit. Neutral camel, pear yellow/green - or even a soft raspberry pink! - might look nice in the third bedroom, so maybe I'll start thinking about that when I get back to painting this fall.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bathroom - Part 10 - Can we just finish it already?

I've had several ideas floating around my head in regards to the bathroom sink area. But it's hard to think about how it will all look together without actually ordering all the components and hauling it all upstairs.

Enter stage left, Mr. Photoshop Mock-up:

I tried to preserve the proportions in the image.

And I'm actually liking it! Who would have thought it would come together so easily after agonizing for months?

Now all I'd have to do is order everything.

Park sink console - Restoration Hardware
Simone mirror - Z gallerie
Irvine wall sconces - SchoolHouse Electric

Thursday, June 17, 2010



Just got a sweet haircut last night. I know it's still looking kind of large, but that is my hair after all, and I'm trying to embrace the crazy waves.

He actually cut off like 4-5 inches! And layered everything that was left. Then he gave me this awesome goo:
It's called Hair Resort by Kevin Murphy. And it makes your hair look, smell and feel like you just spent the day at the beach.


So sorry for the lack of house updates. We have so much to do, but every weekend we're working the barbeque circuit, as my friend Kim always says. The warm weather will do that!

But maybe if I start keeping track of my goals it will start nudging me in the right direction...
My goals for the next 6 months:
1) Lots of painting/mini construction projects coming up: finish the bathroom door, finish touching-up trim in the guest room and painting the vestibule and stairwell area, to name a few.
2) Lighting: I just counted the number of electrical fixtures that need to be replaced: 4 ceiling fans, 5 wall sconces, 1 dining room chandelier, 1 hallway light, yikes! Hope to have at least a few of these done soon.
3) Backyard clean-up. Still haven't touched a huge portion of the yard.
4) Window treatments: Everything in place right now is a temporary fix. Got to get it going!
5) Furniture. I need a bed, dining room table/chairs and a coffee table in the worst way. Also have huge plans to neaten up the desk area in our office/sunroom.
6) Bathroom sink! Hello?? We're still brushing our teeth in the bathtub!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Golden Boy

My home renovation equivalent of Golden Boy. I can't imagine how I get any painting done without him, and I am already dreading his inevitable demise.

He was only like $2 at Lowes, but I can't figure out his brand name. It's all corroded around the metal part. I might have to take him on a field trip one day, do a little research in the paintbrush aisle. Buy all his cousins.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blues Sisters

We just spent yesterday with friends at our First Ever Annual Summer Kick-off Party. So much fun!

Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the actual party, or photos of the food, or even John and I in a traditional posing-on-the-front-stoop pose. (our friends took those and soon I'll be begging them on Facebook!).

But I did manage to squeeze in a couple of shots while I was getting things ready.

In the living room...
Grabbed some hydrangea from the backyard and stuck them in a vase. I still can't get over the quantity of free flowers we have just hanging out in the backyard.

To go off on a tangent - I am thinking more and more about decorating the living room - furniture, window treatments, cushions and pillows, new chairs. Right now everything is brown, white and greige. It's all just begging for some kind of color to punch it all up.

I've really been feeling this Cerulean and Rust combination, like the photo above. Picking up on the blues, (as usual, no surprise there) but also my new-found love of orangey colors. I swear I'm just starting to "get" orange.

In the dining room...
I also decided if I'm going to be psychotic about blues, might as well go crazy with it. I picked up this tablecloth, above, in Kmart of all places. For our party, I just made sure all the plates, dishes, etc, were either blue, white, or clear. It was actual pretty simple once I committed to the tablecloth! I'm also starting to become a little excited about tablecloths. Perhaps because our dining room table looks so hand-me-down-dorm-roomey? It's an easy fix. And most likely one I'll be using for a while!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thinking about...


I've been a bad bad blogger. Trying to keep up with everything else, and all my free time I'm spending outside.

Just got home a while ago from work, and instead of my usual Friday nap I chose front lawn maintenance. It needed to be done and I needed to burn a few calories, so there you go.

And the thanks I get? 7 huge mosquito bites!

Thanks Great Outdoors!


Back to vacation... the photo above was taken in Kauai last summer. Wish I could go back, but 3 times in 2 years might be more than a little excessive. So we're thinking LA. Maybe we'll rent a convertible and do a little road trip north or head out to Catalina Island for a few days.

Any recommendations welcome.

And now it's time for my nap.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Luck be a Hydrangea

We have 5 huge hydrangea bushes leaning up against the back of the house. How sweet is that?

What's more, we purchased a few of these cute aqua blue resin chairs from Lowes a while back:
We didn't know the hydrangeas would grow in the same shade of blue, even sweeter!!


In other news:

What's not sweet is that SOMETHING keeps digging up little holes ALL OVER our new front lawn. This has been going on since we first planted new seed. But now, he (she, it?) is digging up the grass.

WTF? Anyone know what this could be? Squirrels? Really aggressive birds?? How do i stop it? There are more and more everyday!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Long weekend

We had a super busy last few days: Kicked off the weekend with a mani-pedi, then a late night airport pickup, Yankees game bachelor party, our new iPad (!), lunch with the family, dinner with friends followed by an intense Dance Revolution competition, found out our good friends are having a baby (!), mowed our lawn for the first time, gave a few house tours, set up for and attended my niece's wedding (!), took a bazillion photos, spent half of Monday editing said photos and posting on Facebook, a long walk, an impromptu BBQ, and acquired a new-to-us air conditioner.

So since things are winding down a bit today, wanted to send all my belated well-wishes to anyone who might be reading this.
Our new lawn, coming quite nicely!

Our new flag, looking all spiffy, courtesy of Mom and Dad.


Also wanted to take a few moments to share some words my father wrote about his experiences growing up during WWII in the Bronx. This is his response to a recent article in the local paper. I hope he doesn't mind me reprinting it here! So you understand a little better, Dad had just turned 7 a few days before Pearl Harbor was attacked:

"We'd scour the neighborhood for metal, paper, glass, rubber and take it all to an empty lot a few blocks away. The stuff would pile pretty high and trucks would come and haul it off for the war effort.

Lots of our staples were rationed and each family had their ration allotment.

In school, we were given small identification discs on a cord worn around our necks. We also had buttons of different colors with different numbers which we'd pin on our clothing to identify where we lived (just in case). And we had to do frequent air raid drills in school. Our church (St. Dominic's) was to be used in case the school was damaged. We rehearsed going there (just in case).

My dad was an air raid warden and had to go out when the community had night drills - sirens, lights out, the works. He was a bricklayer and was often called upon to work for weeks at a time in the construction of army facilities and landing fields. Many others, including people in my family, worked tirelessly in the defense plants

My small block had twelve service personnel including one WAVE. Three died. One man next door was in battles in the Pacific Island raids throughout the entire war, always on the front. And fortunately, he never got a scratch. The candy store had a big cardboard display in the window with a photo of everyone in the neighborhood who was in the service. They'd paint a gold border around the guys that were killed.

Families displayed small cloths in a window facing the street - red border with a blue star for each serviceman in the family. They'd replace the blue star with a gold one if one of them was killed.

At the end of the war, many of the streets had block parties in celebration. But those which had people killed, respected the families and refrained from having the parties.

Please thank Kay for bringing back those great (and sometimes sad) memories when the nation was called upon and responded to war with incredible sacrifice. Very, very different from today when we fight a war and still insist on tax reductions."

Wise words, Dad.