Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Blue grape leaves, pink dogwood blossoms, green roses, Conestoga wagons, whimsical teapots, strawberries, red checked, yellow checked, or a brand new tablecloth from Czechoslovakia...

All and more will eventually make their official debut here. Which design is your favorite? Mine is the blue floral one pictured last.

Here's to bare tables waiting to be dressed in fun vintage style!

Monday, August 30, 2010


We had a refreshing overnight adventure in Baltimore this past weekend. My birthday was a couple weeks ago, which gave us reason for a little indulgence and adventure. So off we went... It was nice to arrive somewhere new and different without having to drive far (less than 30 miles!)

We checked into our splendidly luxurious Inner Harbor hotel Friday evening (by far the nicest I've stayed in... flat screen bathroom TV, fantastic feather topped king bed, HUGE window overlooking downtown, gourmet coffee & tea, rooftop tennis court... what a birthday surprise!) Then walked to catch a water taxi to Fell's Point where we ate supper at Bertha's Mussels. Matt's entree was yummy (crab stuffed shrimp over rice) but mine was strangely sweet and unexpected in a wrinkle-your-nose kind of way (scallops and shrimp in cream sauce.) Luckily we both thought our appetizer was good. Beer, mussels and buttered bread. Yum. (What? Yum? Do my taste buds really like those things? Wow.)

While walking in Fell's Point we stopped for gelato, heard street performers, and saw Jupiter. An older man had his telescope set up perfectly so that Jupiter could be seen in all it's four-mooned glory. This kind gent was an electrical engineer who in his spare time reads physics magazines and helps tourists glimpse into space on clear nights. I hope other weekenders appreciate and love him as much as we did. On our return water taxi ride we imagined the best life we could for him, marveled at talented street musicians (in particular, those who perform good renditions of Somewhere Over the Rainbow) and sat close in the 70 degree late summer sea air.

Saturday was glorious. Warm, but not humid. We continued our Inner Harbor experience with lunch at J.Paul's, took a peek inside the Power Plant Barnes & Noble, saw that jellyfish really did invade the Aquarium, and toured the USS Constellation. I loved the bookstore because an old building was being re-purposed. Matt loved being surrounded by books. We both enjoyed a glimpse into a world that is part of ours, but not ours at all, via the aquarium exhibits. On the Constellation I easily spent two hours exploring all four decks and imaging life on a ship during the Civil War, while Matt happily spent most of the time napping in the breeze on the top deck.

Our last highlight was driving into Little Italy for a delicious pasta dinner and slice of chocolate cake at Amiccis. A dang good way to shrug off 26 and embrace 27.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Many moons ago a mother and daughter got hooked on auctions and estate sales in central Missouri. Their personal treasure collections grew very big very fast. So they decided to sell some of it at the daughter's home in Alabama. Customers quickly saw the appeal of their beautiful linens, etched glass and shiny silver, so the mother and daughter happily went into full-time business. Twenty years later the daughter's daughter has grown up, now views that old stuff as wonderful stuff and is helping sell some of Mothers Stuff via the wonderful website Etsy. Spread the word to all your treasure hunting friends!

A fun seafood print hand towel; the first Etsy sale for MothersStuff!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Barefoot Contessa

I like food. And when I find the motivation to plan for it, I like to prepare it. So when I received my library card a few weeks ago (after finally getting my MD drivers license) I immediately took advantage of the cookbook selection. I've had a lot of fun with and good feedback from these yummy (& relatively easy) Barefoot Contessa recipes:
Last weekend I thought it would be a good idea to watch the 1954 movie, where the name originated. I won't call watching it a complete waste of time, but... Humphrey & Ava, your movie wasn't a fraction as entertaining to me as the cookbooks.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Going Global

After buying a second globe at Goodwill yesterday I am officially growing a collection that will hopefully one day look like these:

Only spending a few dollars at a time, I'm going global.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Home / Hotel

I miss our first home and neighborhood. I like our current place for certain qualities, but I really miss the place we sometimes still refer to as home. The atmosphere there satisfied my "quaint and cozy" desires. We were home when we parked next to the grassy yard, passed through the rod-iron gate, stepped onto the back stoop and walked through the kitchen door. I miss that.

Our second home is good too. But we both had to adjust big time. Parking in a five story concrete garage and walking down the long hotel-like hallway doesn't have the same cozy effect when coming home. Living in a shopping center is convenient & exciting. But the pro of being surrounded by convenient things makes way for the con of being surrounded by commercial things. This complex is so different than any I would have imagined myself living in. I am grateful for the many wonderful things about it, but am eager to one day find another neighborhood to call home. Home is where your heart is and sadly my heart ain't here. So when we decided to sign a second year's lease it was hard to say goodbye to the idea of renting elsewhere. Now I will have to learn from our first year here how to better enjoy the second. Because one day I'm sure I'll miss this place too.

Here's to the pursuit of turning an address into a home.