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Staying in Barcelona

August 20, 2012
tags:
by thenestinggame

The past few times I’ve traveled to Europe I’ve rented an apartment. (Good Lord, that sounds so obnoxious. I’m talking 3 times in 7 years.) The benefits are many: More room than a hotel, giving me somewhere else to sit other than the bed. A kitchen for some simple food storage and prep. A peek into the neighborhoods so I can feel like a local (provided my fanny pack doesn’t give me away). And it seems more special than a hotel, so I can feel okay about taking some time to enjoy the apartment and relax instead of feeling the travel pressure to see justonemorething in the city.

We rented a 2 bedroom apartment in El Born district. What sold us from the listing was the terrace. And it did not disappoint!

A cool staircase led up to the window that you climbed out of. Really, it was just a step over the lip, not a big deal.

This is Wally and Leigh Anne after I suggested that we head back out to walk Las Ramblas one more time! Yeeeeahhhhhhh……no gracias. It was so nice to come back to the large terrace every evening for some cervezas and olives.

We even planned a dinner one night, but it didn’t quite pan out. Our host told us we could roast a lamb shoulder with the heat of the sun in his tagine.

So Taylor got up at 7am one day (which in Spain might as well be 4am) and set up the lamb. 12 hours later he pulled off the lid and found….raw lamb. I don’t know if the host was just playing a joke on us or has a deal with the lamb guy or what. But, in thinking about it, I guess it really doesn’t make much sense that the sun would cook the lamb enough to eat it. Oh well…

The terrace also had an outdoor shower, which I tried out with my bathing suit on. Taylor, after setting up the lamb, shared his goods with all of Barcelona while the rest of us were sleeping.

The building itself was beautiful and we didn’t see one neighbor the entire time we were there. The location was ideal, about a 5 minute walk to Las Ramblas and a block from a gorgeous park, La Ciudadela.

And did I mention our view?

I guess it’s a Sea View, technically.

Have you had luck renting an apartment or home when you travel? This was my first time using airbnb, but I’ve used VRBO and Homeaway in the past.

That said, it’s nice to be home.

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DIY Dishtowel Pillows

August 15, 2012
by thenestinggame

I’m BACK!

Spain was so much fun. More on that coming up soon, as soon as I sort through 600 pictures of chorizo. But we came home to a deck, y’all! It was pretty far along when we left and they put the finishing touches on it while we were gone.

So, clearly, the day after we got back, before I did any laundry, I lugged the new furniture that’s been sitting in our living room for a month out onto the deck and ran out to buy fabric to make pillows in my green color scheme.

Ta da!

Let me back up. Here are the pillows I started with. Not horrendous, just not completely up my alley. They came with the furniture set (from Target).

My fave fabric store, Lewis and Sheron, is closed on Sunday. So I went to plan B, Forsyth Fabrics. I found several swatches I liked (2 were in stock, 3 were special order), but couldn’t really pull the trigger on one or two. They all ran between $15-25/yd. (Totally reasonable.) And I figured I needed about 3 yards total for 3 pillows.

So, I meandered about to a few other places: Hancock Fabrics, Homegoods and finally World Market. I didn’t see much outdoor pillow inventory. I guess it’s too late in the season for that. I did see someone walking out of Homegoods with a life-sized grim reaper, however.

But I did come across a stellar grellow ikat napkin at World Market. Only one. And it was $1.98. While the manager was calling another store to see if they had any in stock, I spied these dishtowels over by the cash register.

Um. Bingo. I bought three packs, even though I really only needed 2. I figured I’d rather have an extra in case I messed up. Which was likely. And which happened.

I followed Kate’s method of making envelope closure pillows. I wanted them to be easy to remove to wash and I didn’t want to fool with a zipper. I decided I would pair 2 shades of green on each pillow, one on the front and the other on the back.

Since the edges of the napkins were already hemmed, I could skip that step and use the hemmed edges for the “envelope” ends of the pillow, where the insert goes in.

And after a short bit of sewing, I ended up with 3 pillows perfect for my evergreen scheme.

Here’s a better pic of the color pairings:

I think my summer travels, as fun as they were, created a bit of a nesting drought. I was out the door as soon as I could on Sunday to get this project underway! Meanwhile, Taylor took it easy.

Yes, I even trotted out my plant stand for the full effect.

So, $32 later I have 3 pillows that are EXACTLY what I wanted. (And I still have a pack of dishtowels to return, so I could be netting $22.) Also I may have bought some MORE napkins future pillows at Target that look something like this (but less olive-y in real life):

It’s pillow mania! Somebody stop me.

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Vacaciones

August 3, 2012
tags:
by thenestinggame

So…

With my friends.

And Taylor.

We are eating some of this:

And lots of this:

I’ll be back to my (ir)regularly scheduled programming in a week or two.

Hasta luego, mis amigos.

C.Wonder

July 30, 2012
by thenestinggame

Hi friends! I promised you some NYC shopping goodness and wanted to deliver. On my list was a trip to the prep paradise, C.Wonder. And it did not disappoint, I promise!

You love a good monogram? I hear ya.

If it’s not moving, I’m pretty sure it can be monogrammed. Although I see CARS that are monogrammed nowadays, so there goes that rule.

I loved this pink and orange clutch. The big ol’ knobs at the top. If there’s a pink/orange colorway in just about anything you can bet its my fave.

I wish I’d fluffed the pillows before I snapped this one, but I already felt suspicious enough. You can only pretend you’re sending so many text messages before it becomes completely obvious that you’re taking pictures.

I loved the warm colors on the green sofa and the nailhead trim popping with that yellow pillow. Although this sofa does have me wondering if 90s hunter green can be far behind…

More pillows! You can see that the jewel tones are really big here. Also, more monograms! Dishes on the left.

A little subtler, this tortoise shell collection was really pretty. I could see using this on a bright piece of furniture (like a kelly green) to ground it a little bit. I also liked those faux-horn boxes.

Speaking of kelly green, I loved these enamel frames. They came in several colors and sizes. They’d look so pretty mixed in with a silver frame collection to modernize it a little bit.

Price-wise, I thought C.Wonder was very reasonable, especially for how upscale it looks. There were also lots and lots of cute clothes, but I didn’t have the patience to try anything on, so I didn’t delve into that very much. But basically the entire store is like Tory Burch meets Lilly Pulitzer at J.Crew/West Elm prices. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

So clearly I had to buy SOMETHING, right?

 I got one of these. Can you guess which one?

(hint: rhymes with “knee-bra”)

Have you been to C.Wonder? There’s one opening in Atlanta soon and I’m psyched.

Stay tuned for some Fishs Eddy shopping pics!

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NYC Girls’ Weekend

July 23, 2012
tags:
by thenestinggame

My niece Morgan turned 16 this summer. To celebrate, my sis-in-law planned a trip to the big city for the Aunts and teen(ish) cousins for a long weekend.

It’s official. We <3 NY.

Half of the gang had never been to New York before, so it was fun to see the city for the first time through fresh eyes. Kelsea summed it up best, “New York is like one big, outdoor mall.”

And we didn’t even go to Sbarro.

We did, however go to 3 H&Ms. And we got fake eyelashes, Real Housewives-style.

Did you know they’ll apply them at Sephora for free?

We took in a show: Newsies! It was chock full of extremely attractive teenage boys. It brought me back to my high school theatre days where pretty much no one looked like this:

(For the record, I was no prized peach either.)

We went to Sardi’s for an after-theatre dinner. I thought it would be fun to show the girls all the caricatures of famous people on the wall. But guess what? 12-, 14- and 16-year-olds have no clue who Carol Channing is. Or Gene Kelly, or Carol Burnett, or Bernadette Peters, or, well, anyone but this guy.

Kermit! From Muppets Take Manhattan!

The big girls had just as much fun as the young’uns.

We found ourselves at this charming Tennessee-reminiscent restaurant, Back Forty West. Kerri inadvertently ordered Pig Face. Which, FYI, is not a euphemism. It is actual pig face. Poor Wilbur.

They used old whiskey bottles for water bottles, which was charming, and had cut petunias on the tables. I love the idea of using bed plants for table decor.

 Sadie and I rocked some stripes (as all good bloggers do).

My next posts will cover some of our shopping extravaganzas! Don’t worry, it won’t be a photo essay on how H&M has stolen all their merchandise from the Limited Express circa 1991. Though it easily could be! Nope, it’s my first visit to C. Wonder and a spin around Fishs Eddy.

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More TV Blueprints

July 13, 2012
by thenestinggame

Last summer, right about this time actually, I posted about these awesome blueprints of famous TV homes belonging to the likes of the Bradys and the Jeffersons.

Well, this week, while watching the blissfully Ann Curry-free Today show, I learned about another source for TV blueprints featuring some more modern homes, Fantasy Floorplans.

I love the little touches the artist adds, like the second-hand smoke clouds in Betty and Don Draper’s Ossning, NY kitchen.

 

And the layout of Carrie Bradshaw’s dream closet, with the Fendi Clutch on the bed.  I do wish she’d added Carrie’s rotary phone.

 

Here’s the most famous peephole in all of TV. Scene of the Rachel/Ross “Over me? When were you… under me?” scuffle over the cordless phone.

And the birthplace of Jerry and George’s halfbaked schemes and Elaine’s dance floor.

There are lots more homes to explore. Tony and Carmela’s Jersey Estate, Dexter’s Miami Lair, Charlotte’s Upper East Side Classic Six, even commercial spaces like Cheers and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Aren’t they fun? I’m so glad there are people who love TV as much as I do.

Fantasy Floorplans can be yours for less than 50 bucks for a 13×19, and less for smaller sizes.

Tennessee Pride

July 11, 2012
tags: ,
by thenestinggame

So I lived in Tennessee for 20 years, but now the word “Tennessee” means my brother- and sister-in-law’s ranch in Belvidere [sic], Tennessee [duh].

And according to my nephew Michael, “Tennessee” is actually the house itself. He was across the street with his Dad taking a photo and when they were done, asked if they “could go back to Tennessee now.” Silly rabbit.

So what do you do with 6 adults and 9 kids in a 3 bedroom house with 1 bathroom? Have a lot of fun, actually.

Sure there are lawn chairs all over the yard and at least 2 beds in every room. “Goodnight, John Boy” would not be an unusual thing to hear. But there are fun things to do. Like build a hitching post. Or play corn hole.

There’s also some good food. Watermelon (not my fave, but others seem to dig it), burgers and some good Italian meats from The Hill in St. Louis, courtesy of my Dad and Stepmom. And, naturally, summer beer.

There’s a lot of relaxing and catching up. Some swatting bugs away. And welcoming new friends like Molly the Dog.

Molly the Dog (not to be confused with Molly the Human) lives down the street, but hung out with us the whole weekend.

We discovered a drop-in point for the nearby Elk River and went tubing a couple of times. We also rented Pontoon boats and headed out on the Lake one sunny day. No pics though. Molly + Vaguely Sporty Things + Water + Fragile Electronics don’t really mix.

There may have been some redneck off-roading.

Since Dad and Sheila came to join us for a couple days, we took a trip into Fayetteville to see the town and the plaque at the courthouse in honor of Taylor’s great-uncle for whom he’s named. (No relation to Sweet Baby James.)

Here’s the whole Clampett crew.

It was a wonderful long weekend. I can’t say I wasn’t excited to get back to my own bed, but I enjoyed everything the great state of Tennessee had to offer.

PS. See what treasures I found at the TN/AL Fireworks store last year.

Peach + Mint

July 3, 2012
by thenestinggame

I went to a gorgeous wedding this weekend with best buddies in the city of Chicago.

And while I didn’t buy a new dress, I did pair it with some new shoes.

And some minty fresh nail polish.

And so begins my obsession with all things peach and mint.

{via}

Does this make me an old lady?

Also, a little housekeeping. Summer is kicking my butt. Between weekend trips (fun) and a new position at work (sometimes fun) and a recommitment to working out (fun when it’s done), I am in the midst of juggling a lot of things. Who isn’t, I know? Anyway, posting is a little lighter around here than usual.

It’s summer. Get out there and have some fun.

PS. Some Red, White and Blue rooms for July 4.

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50 Shades of Green

June 25, 2012
by thenestinggame

Consider this officially putting the cart before the horse.

Of course since we started thinking about an outdoor space, I have been thinking about how to decorate it. The thing that I love most about our backyard is all the green, so I figure there’s no better strategy than to embrace it!

These shades will be my guiding green light. We already have a dark green wrought iron table and chairs and the Big Green Egg (both closest to the darkest shade).

Earlier this spring, I was totally taken by these candleholders from Crate & Barrel. Then, this weekend, I spied this $7 plant stand at Goodwill.

20120625-123937.jpg

I hightailed it to Lowe’s for some spray paint. (I find that Lowe’s has a better selection of colors than The Home Depot.) I really wanted a lemony green like in the second paint chip, but I didn’t find one, so I bought a bright green closer to the third chip instead.

Oh, and I snagged those candleholders at Crate & Barrel.

I know this is a pretty small assortment of “furniture” and accessories, but I love the way the colors play off each other. And the gold dust bushes represent the colors perfectly in, you know, actual nature.

I can’t wait to get the full mix of greens going together.

Hopefully before the leaves change.

PS. See some pretty green rooms.

PPS. Shared on Rhoda’s Thrifty Treasures party!

Guest Post: Plants on the Deck

June 21, 2012
by thenestinggame

Today I’m thrilled to feature a guest post from Houzz contributor Becky. Houzz is a great website FILLED to the brim with amazing photos and home inspiration. They have a great search function, too. (That’s a real treasure in web world! Pinterest only gives results that users have described with your search term.)

Read on for some lovely (and timely) deck inspiration!

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Hello everyone! My name is Becky and I’m a contributor at Houzz, a home design site focused on helping design professionals and homeowners manage the remodeling and decorating process. Thanks so much to Molly for having me!

First of all, I cannot figure out how I live in the same city as someone who makes summer beer and has a Pac Man pillow and not be best friends with her already – I love this blog! I just had to get that out there; now let’s get down to business. Because Molly and Taylor’s deck dreams are coming true, I thought it would be fun to look at how to add plants to their deck area. If you are interested in incorporating large planters to a deck, it’s important to talk to your contractor before you start construction to make sure it is built to handle the weight of the plants, soil and planters, and that you are able to place them where you’d like them. You can also have them incorporate built-in planters or windowboxes into the deck design. Here are a few options to consider.

Eclectic Patio design by Seattle General Contractor Logan’s Hammer Building & Renovation

Incorporating window boxes into the railings provides a great transition from deck to the view of the greater landscape along the edge.You can go for large ones like this, or have smaller ones built into the tops of higher railings.

Contemporary Patio design by San Francisco Photographer Alex Amend Photography

 

Add height and interesting shapes with tall planters. Many lightweight planters in all sorts of shapes and sizes are available on the market today. Using a row like this adds a rhythm to the deck. Shrubs clipped into round shapes are a nice contrast to all of the straight lines on this modern deck.

Contemporary Landscape design by Other Metros Landscape Designer Ascher Smith Landscape Designs

 

Look to bamboo for a tall, architectural plant structure. You can spread it out to emphasize verticality as you see here, or plant the trees closer together to create a living privacy screen.

One more note about working out your deck plans with your contractor: Think about whether you’d like some built-in seating, perhaps with storage for items like throw pillows, hurricanes and candles, trays and other items you’ll want to protect from the elements when you’re not using them. I can’t wait to see what Molly and Taylor come up with as they go from graph paper to a real live backyard perch.

Find more inspiration from Atlanta landscape architects and more design professionals at Houzz.

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Thanks, Becky! Sounds like we have a ton in common! (At least Pac Man and Summer Beer are are great start.) I love those raised planter beds. Now I just have to work on my green thumb.

You can check out the plans for our new deck here. Since then we’ve chosen a contractor, gone to the county to get our plat, gotten a survey done, alerted the utility companies, checked out stain options and are in the process of getting a permit. Boring stuff, but progress nonetheless!

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