Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell, 2010

It's my last chance to post before 2010 slips away.  We spent today in sunny, gorgeous LA climbing the Hollywood hills and we're cozily ensconced in a hotel before our early AM flight back home to North Carolina tomorrow.  Then life begins all over again, full of promise and possibility.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things I Love in LA

Despite planting roots in North Carolina, I'm a California girl at heart.  Born and bred in northern CA, I have close ties to southern CA, too. We're heading out there for Christmas this year so I thought I'd showcase some of my favorite places and things to do in Los Angeles:

Bob's Big Boy in Burbank.  One of the last original restaurants, this place is the OG diner experience:

See's Candy is my favorite sweets shop.  Sure, you can get it out here at the holidays, but it's not the same. The black and white shops are always a highlight of a visit back to California. My favorites are too numerous to mention -- I love scotchmallows, bourdeauxs and anything with nougat and nuts!


The LA Farmers Market (adjacent to the Grove shopping center) has a great donut shop. Jake was taken with this pink iced number.

The hike in the hills of Los Feliz and the Griffith Observatory is great. Views of the city and the Hollywood sign make it a fun way to get some exercise.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Beachy Keen

I'm still so very charmed by these prints on 20X200 by Christian Chaize.  I've been drooling over them for a year and they still make me smile.

Of course, the affordable sizes are all sold out but one day, one day they will be mine.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Drum Shades

I'm thinking of adapting the current dining room light to accept a drum shade. I'm wondering it is as easy as I think it may be. Probably not!  I would take off the black disks and attach a drum shade to cover most of the lights. How to do this is the mystery.

Here's what I would love to end up with.  This is the Jonathan Adler Ventana chandy.

These awesome shades from Shades of Light would all be delightful. Though, I really think a 20" diameter shade would be ideal and those are harder to come by. These are all 16" diameter:

Aren't they pretty? All are under $100 which is pricey but cheaper than new light fixture.  I will think about this and decide what to do.  It may be easier to replace the whole darn thing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Family Photo

Every year I like to support the Wake County SPCA through their Santa Paws photo fundraiser. We take Burt and leave Mouse at home. I can't imagine getting a dog + cat in the same photo at once.

The folks ahead of us had 2 people, 2 dogs, 2 turtles and a lizard in their photo.  Talk about a menagerie! 
Sorry for the lack of posts, I've been kinda busy with offline stuff lately.  Hopefully I'll be back to it soon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cowhide in Dining Room

I scored a killer deal on a new cowhide for my dining room. After stalking a million auctions, I logged on this weekend to see this light brindle colored hide with an auction ending in 10 mins! I think I ended up paying less than $120!

Patience, patience is the key to eBay. I am TERRIBLE at being patient, it's one of my worst character flaws.

cowhide in dining room

I'm thinking a darker natural fiber rug under the hide will make it pop and add some dimension to this room. I'm also considering dressing up the plain canvas curtains as well. With what, I don't know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas has come to Casa HV

We finally finished our tree over the weekend. After several attempts to buy white lights at multiple stores, we finally found what we were looking for at Walgreens.


Most of the ornaments are vintage glass inherited from my mom (thanks, Mom!) I don't think I'll ever need to buy any decorations for the rest of my life. My favorites are the rubber elves.  I don't know how old they are but they have the "made in Japan" sticker on the back so perhaps the 60s?

Have you folks finished decorating?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Python Upholstered Headboard

My headboard came back from the upholsterer last week:


Pretty swank.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Martha Stewart Cabinets

Our darling Martha Stewart seems to have switched her allegiance from Lowes to Home Depot. (I loved her Lowes paint line and the colors at Home Depot are great, too. I just started repainting the hall bath in Love-In-A-Mist) She also hawks hardware, flooring, window panels, etc. But most intriguing is her cabinetry line.

There are several styles and colors and coordinating hardware and countertops. It's practically idiot-proof, perfect for me! The prices seem to be in line with other brands.

Now, to find $20k to redo the kitchen...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are You In?

Added myself to the directory for North Carolina style blogs over on Effortless Style. So excited to be meeting new readers!

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Turkey Day

    We had a lovely turkey day in western NC.  Now the countdown begins to Christmas and a much-anticipated trip to California.

    We're also getting our first-ever REAL Christmas tree this year.  We've always lived in apartments and last year, the first year in our house, we went to Costa Rica in mid-December so it seemed a little silly to have the tree sit unappreciated in the house.  I don't do fake trees, not only do they lack the lovely smell but they are also terribly eco-unfriendly.  That said, I do love a white tree:


    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    I'm a Magazine Junkie

    I can't get enough of magazines. The small joy of opening the mailbox a few times a month and finding glossy, shiny pages makes the dreary days of fall and winter more bearable.

    Here's what's currently in my rotation:

     I've always thought of BH & G as an "old lady" mag, kind of on par with FIRST: For Women (only slightly kidding).  But it has some cute stuff and ideas for decor that are a bit more down to earth (read: cheap.)

    I love her recipes and she often has cute styling.

    Esquire has some fun lifestyle pieces with a male slant, obviously. I think this comes to Jake, technically, but I read it too.

    I never paid for this, in my defense, I think it was found online for free. Truly, it's a pretty sad excuse for a magazine.  They are the worst when it comes to misleading headlines.

    The classic. The smell of this magazine takes me back to being a kid for some reason.

    Sunset's a regional lifestyle mag for the western US. Makes me miss CA, too.

    Again, not sure how I started getting this, but it's fun to see how the other half lives from time to time.

    My favorite.  I will gladly pay for Vanity Fair every year.  A staple.

    What do you folks read?  How many do you pay for vs. find online for cheap/free?

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Coming Back to Life

    I've had a hard week. A cold knocked me on my bum there for a few days and I'm finally coming back to life today.

    What I am working on?  Finishing painting the quarter rounds!  Tape, caulk, paint, repeat.

    painted quarter rounds

    painted quarter rounds

    It's such an improvement but a tedious job!

    In other news, we finally finished the bath vanity. Jake hooked up the plumbing this morning and we have a working sink again!   He also attached the hardware last weekend while I was at camp.


    granite vanity

    I think the gray stripes are going to go. The white paint makes the tiles look yellow, which they are not.  I'm thinking a soft gray might be nicer.


    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    A book to consider

    This book of palms looks lovely. TASCHEN books, as a whole, are quite well-done and their price tag reflects that. At nearly $100, it's a little steep but the frameable art possibilities, if you can bring yourself to destroy the book, are endless.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    JCrew Brides

    JCrew is hitting the bridal market hard. They have a wide selection of dresses now, although I find them pretty overpriced and blah, for the most part. They stick more glitter and sequins on t-shirts over there than the bridal wear. 

    Though, this is lovely:

    I also like this, though on my figure I'd look twice as wide:

    And what's up with this pose?  This bride looks like she needs a good steak and a couple hours of sun.

    Would you buy a JCrew dress? 

    Thursday, November 11, 2010


    Yay! Granite's here. The plumbing is just for show right now but we finally got the granite installed on the new hall bath vanity.

    I still need to add the cabinet hardware (I'd show them, but they don't seem to be pictured online anywhere).
    Hopefully we'll be up and running this weekend and I can add some finishing touches, paint touch up and the like.


    I had to stand in the bathtub to take this shot. It's a small room!

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Aminal Print

    Finally ordered some of the Tazo print for the headboard re-upholstery project I have no business spending money on. After this, I'm calling the guest BR done. I swear. Really. If anyone needs an upholsterer rec for North Carolina, I'm happy to pass along who I use. They pick up/drop off which is a huge plus and the prices seem pretty fair.

    Because I'm obsessed with printed pillows right now, here are three more Etsy finds that I love:

    Be Still Shop


    Turquoise Tumbleweed

    Monday, November 8, 2010


    Today, the granite people come to install the top for the hall bath. Yeah!  I chose Luna Pearl:

    And this is the new faucet, Moen Caldwell in chrome:
    After this, projects will need to be slowed a bit, with the holidays coming, the collective wallet of this household has taken a hit.  Boo :(

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Friday Link Roundup

    I've been making slow progress on painting baseboards so I don't have a lot to share this week.

    Instead, let's talk awesome stuff on the internet:
    This Anthropologie chinoiserie bed, sadly no longer available, rocks my socks.  Though, those little extra legs are kinda weird, I guess you'd need a skirt to hide them.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Three Charming Things

     Loving this $10 sailor tee from Old Navy

    Every item from Plum Cushion's Etsy store is great.

    This soup from Trader Joes.  I add my own shrimp - the won tons included are just OK.