April 4, 2014
We had a little birthday party for my dear friend Christine last Saturday. We met Christine back in 2000, when Caitlin took violin lessons from her. We always lingered around after the lesson and chatted up a storm, and became fast friends. I have watched all of her children grow up right before my eyes, and oh boy they are the sweetest, smartest kids you will ever meet, such a joy to be around! So we thought it would be fitting to have one more celebration before we move out of this house, and what better celebration to have than a dear friends birthday! Since Caitlin didn't get a birthday cake on her actual birthday on the 25th, we kind of made it a shared cake, so they decided to blow the candle out together.
Moving up date.....well, it has been just as yucky and taxing as you can imagine. Nothing really to look at to make a choice on Craigslist, so we are counting right now on a house that is part of the portfolio of properties that belong to the property management company that we are under right now. We went to look at it today. Lets just say that it wasn't ready to look at, and combined with the previous tenant leaving it in a bad state, and some dated issues, I was a bit deflated about it. Problem is, in our town the rental inventory is a tight one, so I think we will most likely have to take this house. I'm going to list both pros and cons of the place, just so if we do end up taking it, I can look back on this post and wonder why I was so worried about some of the negatives, so bare with me.
Cons: The garage was converted way back when, so you can't put cars in it, just storage and laundry. The cars will have to be on street parking. The bathrooms are 1960's dated. Sure I know you can put little chotskies in it to spruce it up, but the bigger issues are the grimy shower stall and the odd main bathroom with a door by the shower, just in case you want to go out in the back yard I guess. It could have been part of an old mud room??? Lighting is an issue in both bathrooms with horrible light fixtures! If they don't update them, I will, because they are horrible. 1960's wood doors that make everything super dark. I asked if they could possibly be updated, and if not painted, lets hope! There are two old AC units that were never yanked out of the wall when they put central air, one in the master bedroom and the other in another bedroom. I suppose I could cover them by putting a bookshelf in front of them. The yard is interesting. Some of it is pretty because of some old growth, but neglected structures make it look a bit run down. There is an in-law unit that isn't in too bad of shape, but that means that someone is living back there. They said they are putting up a privacy fence....I hope so! Oh, and in the dinning room there is a huge mural that was suppose to depict Versailles. I lived 10 min, away from Versailles, and that mural in no way depicts it! Hahahah. The owner is super reluctant to take it down because she grew up with it I guess. If they can't convince her to take it down, I'm putting temporary wallpaper over it. Front door needs some attention and better door knob so you don't get robbed. Lighting in the long hallway are weird spotlight type of track lighting, like you are in a movie set. Hopefully we can take them down or they can replace these.
Pros: The house is huge. It has over 2,500 sq. feet! Hardwood floors throughout except the family room where they are putting in a new carpet. To be fair, they are replacing the kitchen flooring, master bath flooring and the entryway as well, which helps me not freak out too much. The living room is very spacious and bigger than what we have now. One of the coolest features is the fireplace. It is a pass through one, where you can see into the family room from the livingroom. When I heard this house had that, I was imagining a super nightmare looking thing. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the part that faced into the main living room was painted white, and the back was left in used brick look and both work well with each room. I guess you light a fire in the center and you can see it from both sides. I think it might be my favorite thing about the house. The kitchen was remodeled not too long ago with granite counters and the cabinets are white. In the old photos they had of this property, the kitchen looked great, so I was really hopeful about the rest of the house. The previous tenants left it a complete shambles and even the handles of the nice fridge were destroyed! Who does that?! It has four bedrooms! In this area, a four bedroom house is expensive, but because this house has some funkiness to it, it rents for less than what it could. The yard, even though it has some structures that should be taken down, has beautiful trees in the back and a ton of citrus bushes in the front yard. So many citrus bushes that you can smell the heady scent of all of them when you walk up to the house. Some beautiful rose bushes also. The other plus is that we would be paying less than this house. So question is....would you take it? I wish I had seen it finished and not in the state that it is in right now, I'm fussy that way with things looking just so. I think I would have then not been so freaked out. I mean I can see the potential, but I'm concerned how much of MY wish list they will want to do. When I got home I jumped back on Craigslist, and there is still nothing :( I really need some moral support here to move forward. I do remember when I moved into this house there were a lot of things I didn't like about it either, but I made it work and now those things kind of faded into the background and I don't notice them. Will I be able to get past funky bathrooms?? I hope so. ...........Stay tuned.
March 26, 2014
Yesterday was Caitlin's birthday. I went into the city to meet up with them earlier to see the new Wes Anderson movie, "Grand Budapest Hotel." It was amazing, and if you love Wes Anderson, you must go for sure! After the movie let out, we met up with David to head to our dinner destination. This year, Caitlin wanted to go to our favorite Greek restaurant named Kokkari. It was wonderful as usual. Caitlin had the whole grilled fish that is pictured and was surprised with a candle on her sundae she ordered. I can't believe my little one is 24! What a blessing to have her in our lives. I love the picture of her with Cyrous, mainly because I have another photo of them when he celebrated Caitlin's 19th birthday when they first started dating almost 5 1/2 years ago, and it is fun to see them side by side! They are such a wonderful couple and it is so sweet to have seen their relationship grow into what it is today. I think she had a good 24th :)
Things are about to get a bit spotty on here for posting, as we found out last week that we have to move. We don't own our home, and the owners of this house have decided to sell it. We have lived here for 7 1/2 years. We have lived in our town for 20+ years, minus 2, when we lived in France. I love our little town but the real estate is expensive, and while my husband makes a good living, we have always been three steps behind in the housing market! I could whine and complain about it, but it is what it is, and we have been fortunate to live in some pretty fun houses I must say. This house served its purpose, and that was to have Caitlin attend the right high school. I suppose this chapter is now about to close. Lots of fun memories here, but now it is time to pack it all up, like a set from a play, and make new memories somewhere else. I have been on Craig's list everyday, but there isn't anything to look at yet. Hopefully something will turn up soon. I panic each time we have to go through this process, and wonder if my luck will run out in finding a reasonable home that will suit our needs. It kinda makes me crazy sometimes how people make you feel when you say you don't own your home. I'm always honest about it and try to see the positives in renting. Like you never have to worry about losing the house that you put money into, you don't have to worry about coming up with money to fix things, and you can move to whatever school district you want to be in, because you are not tied down to an area where you could afford the house, but then the schools are bad. You also have a lot of flexibility if you want to do something like we did when we moved internationally. We were not tied down to a house, nor did we have to worry about someone destroying our house if we had to rent it out. The company chose us to go because they didn't have to worry about dealing with a house. So, while I'm sure there are great rewards to owning your own home as well, there are also some rewards to renting too. I just wish I didn't get that pitting look every time we tell people that we don't own our home!
I'll keep you all posted as to what new home we end up in, then you can follow our journey in making another place our home. Not sure if I will be slowing the shop down as well, or it might be something that will take my mind off not finding a place! hahah. You will just have to come back and see I suppose.
March 16, 2014
Wow, I turned around for a second and it is already mid March?! Yikes.....My poor blog is getting a bit dusty and quiet, and I really didn't intend to be gone for so long. I have been working on little dresses and enjoying all the spring weather California is giving us. March is always so very beautiful in our area, with sparkly sunshine, blooms and spring showers. Every time it rolls in, I remember when Caitlin was born, and all the wonderful memories of her baby times. I had a memory the other day of a beautiful spring day going into the city to buy Easter candy, when she was a few weeks old. I remember holding her up by my shoulder and her sleeping quietly while we walked in a quaint San Francisco neighborhood. I wanted to forever capture that moment in my mind because it was such a beautiful day. When spring comes around every year, that is one of my most fondest memories. Caitlin will also turn 24 next week, and we plan to have a special dinner in the city with both Caitlin and Cyrous.
The dress above is now in the shop and ready for some lucky little girl to wear possibly for Easter. I truly wish people could feel this dress in person, because it is really dreamy I must say! The shell buttons on the back are iridescent, so it picks up all the pinks and purples in the dress! The collar is so pretty against the Liberty fabric. Oh Liberty you kill me with all your gorgeousness! If I could shrink myself I would wear this for Easter! Next on the cutting table are some matching bloomers in this same fabric. They would be cute underneath this dress, or just as is. Hopefully they will be in the shop early next week. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see more of what I'm up to. I try and not duplicate photos on here so, if you want to see a variety of photos from me, go there too and follow me if you would like. Say hello, and if you have an Instagram I'll follow you too. Just mention that you came from here :)
Hope your weekend is a good one!
March 5, 2014
Hey there, I know it has been a while, but of course life has gotten in the way of blogging and sewing these days. I did however finish this little linen romper. Now I had full intentions of making this a little boys garment, but as I started to construct it, I just couldn't see it! I tried to add the wooden buttons that I thought would make it more little boy, but I just didn't like it, and then it just turned out that these shell buttons looked so nice against this linen, and the little trim that are tiny little flowers, were the perfect match. I'm hopeless.....I just can't get into the groove of boys clothing. I think I will only take special orders for boys clothing, like simple linen pants etc. I'm just not inspired, sorry to moms with boys.
The last picture is so funny to me and sad also, because it shows how much time has passed as well, and makes me yearn for the days when these little shoes fit Caitlin. The little black Sam & Libby shoes were Caitlin's when she was not even a year old, so I think I bought them in 1990 or so! Target just relaunched this iconic shoe, and yesterday Caitlin asked me to pick her up a red pair. I was really pleasantly surprised how nice quality they actually were. I tried some on in my size, and they had a very nice fit. The uppers are leather and the inside is quite cushioned for a Target shoe. Anyway, thought I'd share this comparison and if anyone didn't know they were in Target, check them out, because they are pretty cute.
I'm starting a baby Liberty of London dress tomorrow that I think will be really sweet for Easter and after that more girl clothes Hahahah!
February 24, 2014
Super duper sunny out today as I type this! Had my lunch out on the patio and listened to all the birdies chirping away, and the sun actually got a bit too hot on my legs! Wednesday the rain returns I hear, and I couldn't be more happy about this, since they are predicting two strong storms. Hope it pulls us out of the severe drought category.
Well, back to the studio to finish up some sewing.
February 19, 2014
We all got new iphones this weekend. Kinda like a Valentine gift for all of us. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw my Valentine flowers and Chocolates I received. My flowers didn't get delivered until nightfall, but they were welcomed none the less. This year we did a low key dinner, and went to our favorite Mexican place. I sure hope everyone had a nice Valentine's day with the one that they love or surrounded by friends. I love the day not because of the commercial aspect of it, but a day to stop and think about love and people in your lives that are special to you.
Back to the iphones. The picture above shows the evolution of my cell phones that I have owned. The pink Razor phone is actually Caitlin's, mine is hiding somewhere, but I have one like it only in black. The tiny samsung cell to the far left was the phone that I had when I lived in France! I loved that little phone, but it wasn't my very, very first one. That one too is hiding somewhere in a box, but it was big and had an antenna that you pulled out. I think it was a Nokia, I'm not sure, but whoa, look how far they have come! I'm really excited to try out the camera the most, and it is so nice that Instagram actually works on this phone! My last one was a 3Gs, and apps were running slow or not at all.
I have completed the vintage sunsuit, and you can see it in the shop. I'm going to cut out another boy romper of the above fabric. It is a really nice lighter weight gingham linen. Then I think I might do some dresses after that. I'm itching to cut into some Liberty!
Well, just thought I'd pop in and say hi to blogland and not be gone for too long.
Back to work I go!
February 11, 2014
I just finished these two pieces as my first few boy items for the shop, I'm also almost finished with a cute sunsuit that is from a vintage design. It is turning out really cute, and if you follow me on Instagram, you probably caught a peek of what it is starting to look like. These two seersucker pieces were fun to make and I think they will be really cute for summer time fun!
I just realize as I started this post, that it is by blog anniversary on Wednesday! Six years has past since I first started this blog. So fun to go back and look at the first post and how all the photos were much smaller! Lots of friends made, and wonderful opportunities opened up through this blog for me. It is also fun to think of all the trends that were in blogs in these six years. More blogs use to do giveaways for following, or tagging people to answer questions about themselves. Rarely do you see that anymore. A lot of bloggers have slowed way down too, and instead have gone to Instagram. I try not to duplicate photos on here from my IG, like I have seen on other blogs, I feel that it's cheating somehow, but that's just me. I'm still here for the long haul, like I have said before, because it is a record for me and I'm not really doing it for too much else. So those of you that follow and read, thanks, and I hope you enjoy my slice of life, even though it has become more sparingly on here hahahah.
Last week was spent keeping Nicole company via Skype while she packed up her current flat to move to a different location in London. Scary thing when you are doing it on your own in a foreign country, but she did it, and it feels like I was right there along with her! She is now unpacking, and today I took a virtual tour through her neighborhood on facetime! Love technology when it works well.
Thanks again to those who have followed, and to those who are new. Don't be shy, leave me a comment, because I love to make new blog friends!
January 30, 2014
I love to have dinner parties in the winter months. If you are a long time follower you will already know this about me. Summer time has never been my season for entertaining, because for the most part it involves BBQ, which I'm not a fan of. So most of my entertaining usually happens in the fall and winter. Anyway, I decided to show you my latest cake endeavor. A While back I bought the latest Martha Stewart Cake cookbook. Many of the recipes looked like they were right up my ally, and I could not wait to try them out. The one that caught my eye was this tangerine winter cake above. The batter was beautiful and the smell was heavenly while putting it together. I used really nice butter, and hey anything with six eggs and good butter, with a dash of liquor, is going to be good right? It was good, and I loved it with tea. We had some friends over for some cassoulet and to share the winter cake.
The photo of the croissants are from a new bakery in Berkeley, that we really wanted to try out. Ever since La Boulange was bought out by Starbucks, we have been in search for a local mom and pop baker for our croissant fix, but it had to be a good one, and this one really was quite tasty! I don't make a habit of eating too many of these, but when I have a taste for one, it is nice to know that this little place exists!
We are finally getting some rain this week, and I sure hope that the storm door is open wide, otherwise we are in big trouble! It has been dry as a bone here for going on 10 weeks! I have always loved the rain, so I'm a happy camper.
This weekend we are planning on going to see an exhibit in the city and wander around. We aren't a football watching family, so this is usually where we spend our day. For those of you who love it, have fun and try and not eat so much junk!!!
January 24, 2014
I've been eyeing this cookbook for a long time, and even had it on my Amazon wish list in hopes that I would get it as a gift, but I finally decided to just buy it, after I had thumbed through it many times in bookstores. There isn't a veggie that I don't like, so everything in this book looks so good to me, especially the cover of the book! I plan on working my way through this book :) I had to hunt down the herb mix at a Persian market, but other than that it was pretty simple and was a very nice side dish. I served lamb chops and brown rice with it.
In the book it tells how to successfully take out all the little pomegranate jewels. You cut in half horizontally, and then with cut side down, in the palm of your hand, you start to whack it with a wooden spoon quite vigorously. I really didn't think this would work and would cause a huge mess, but it didn't! They all popped out neat and clean with minimum mess. I was so thrilled that now I will not look at a pomegranate the same again! So.....doesn't my picture on the bottom look like the cover of the book? :)
This weekend we are having friends over for dinner, and I'm making cassoulet. It is a two day affair, so while I'm waiting for the beans to rest, I thought I'd say hi!
Still unseasonably warm out here in Northern California, and I'm hoping that my cassoulet won't be that out of place to eat with the sun shinning brightly outside!
Got some good news from Nicole this past Monday! She landed a really nice job here. We are all proud of her and I think she will really enjoy working there. She won't be designing, but instead she will be the studio manager, which gives her a lot of new tools to add to her resume.
Oops the timer just went off....cassoulet building time!!! Have a wonderful weekend everyone.