It’s My Blog and I Can Ask You to Vote for Holly’s Cake if I Want to…

Cakes for Occasions's photo.

so I will!

I know I’m way far away from gardening at the moment, but I’m not far away from creativity, passion and spirit!

My oldest daughter Holly decorated this cake to represent Salem High School in the Cakes for Occasions Cake Wars event on Sunday morning. Cakes for Occasions is a bakery in Danvers, Massachusetts that specializes in absolutely delicious nut and peanut free cakes and pastries.

Holly really put her all in to the design and decoration of this cake because that’s the way she does things like this, and she wants to win cupcakes for her classes’ prom.

Now it’s time to vote and we need your help!

To vote, click on this link 

https://www.facebook.com/cakesforoccasions 

on facebook, like her cake and share with your friends so they can like and share too!

I just know she can do it!

Please share my post widely, re-blog, like, share on facebook, tweet… whatever social media your into!

Thank you all so, so much for your help!
Michele
Cakes for Occasions's photo.

 

This Year’s Deck

DSC00769Here’s our deck last year. It was a construction zone and kayak storage area. I felt very, very anxious every time I set foot out there.

IMG_1953It’s really cozy this year. We finished the office construction and found other storage for the boats. Then we put up a canopy, added furniture and I filled it with flowers. I feel that some type of “roof” is really important on a deck. It can be an umbrella or a canopy like this, or a really nice pergola, but it reigns the energy in and makes it feel good, kind of the way an area rug makes a difference in a room. It provides shade too.

IMG_1927There’s lots of color!

IMG_1943There’s also cucumber plants because I kept them out of the garden beds in the hope of outwitting the cucumber beetles.

IMG_1941Remember when we painted this bench last summer?

painting chairs and benches
IMG_1935I planted a pot of succulents this year and I love them. Margaret Roach said that their everywhere and I have to agree. I’m seeing them in lots of posts and ads right now. Their very forgiving and easy.

IMG_1936I love this pink metal stool.  We painted it on the same day that we painted the peach bench and the metal chairs that are near the cucumber pot.

IMG_1924I also put out a little pot of kitchen herbs. They were growing beautifully until Maddie (the cat) jumped out of the window and onto this planter on the deck railing. She and the planter went flying into the succulents. The herbs are coming back and their very nice to have on hand when I’m cooking. Fortunately Maddie survived her flight with no problems.
IMG_1932Aside from being a wonderful place to relax, the best thing about our deck is the view of the garden. We like to plan our day here over morning coffee, then we’re on the move until lunch or dinner. It’s a great place for a rest or for family time.

Did you decorate your deck or porch this year? It’s as simple as adding as many plants as you’ll enjoy taking care of, creating a roof of some sort and finding a chair or two so that you can relax a little bit.

Enjoy everything!

Michele

Who’s found Houzz?

I have and I think we’re in trouble here!

Houzz.com is kind of a gathering place for anyone and anything related to design, decorating and gardening. It probably extends beyond that but I’m completely overwhelmed and I’m too lost to explain further.

You can browse rooms;  both indoor and outdoor in any style or decorating interest area that you can think of.  You can also create your own idea board and look at thousands of others ideas, including designers everywhere. It looks like you can post photos of your project and ask for input from others. You can collect ideas and post them to your idea book, or to pinterest or to facebook or to your blog/website.

It’s madness!

I can easily share things that I find there, here.

Check out these photos of winter arrangements:

and fun garden markers

and beautiful rooms

You can then click on the photo and you’ll land right at the houzz page that I found it on.

Then you can create your own profile and idea board

and we can share, and discuss our projects and ideas

and I may never get another room vacuumed again.

Help!!!

This is so. much. fun!!!

Check it out and follow me and I’ll follow you!

and we’ll all eat take out tonight.

A Little Office Update

Not a “big” office update, but a small, little check in, just to let you know how it’s going.

I’m very happy to report that the painting, temporary floor and heat are done so this space is now being used as our official office! This is a folding table/temporary desk/temporary chair, but it works.  I have a great Ikea desk picked out, but I’m wondering if we (“we” being used very, very loosely here) should build one into the corner instead.

IMG_0490My change in thinking came from this project

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This is going to be a workbench/table that will fit perfectly into this spot:

IMG_0482This is right inside the door coming from the kitchen. It’s going to be used for projects, for wrapping, for study and for storage.   I think we’re going to install shelves above the work bench between the door and window, and maybe some above the window too. The possibilities completely overwhelm me sometimes. Needless to say, my office ideas pinterest board is getting bigger and bigger.

As I thought about the infusion of color that I’d like to add I came across these pretty boxes at TJ Maxx right after Christmas.

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I love them and I think that their the perfect inspiration for the rest of the storage boxes, office supplies and artwork that I’d like to add to the space.

The light is perfect with no need for lighting during the day. The shade of white that we used (White Fur by Behr) has just a bit of a pink undertone so it’s cozy and welcoming.  It pulled all of the  crazy angles in the room together, just as I’d hoped.

It was great to go from this

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to this

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and I love the view

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This project has taken a very long time. It sits on the outside (literally) of our house so it was possible to avoid it while we took care of the five children (who now enjoy it too) and the many pets, plants and commitments that we have. Even unfinished we’re all ready feeling the benefits of having a dedicated workspace.

Now I just have to get this wonderful pile of paper sorted and stored.

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But that’s another post for another day.  🙂

Enjoy Everything!

Michele

Which White? and a Cute Christmas Theme Change

WordPress just released this cute Christmas/Holiday theme and I couldn’t resist.  I had also struggled with the formatting of this post for hours and a few clicks to change the theme solved the whole problem. Talk about a win, win for me…and for you too I hope! In other good news, our sunroom/office project has come along nicely lately…

Here it was a few weeks ago

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and here it is now

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Again, a few weeks ago (actually this photo is dated September 26th, so quite a few weeks ago)…
IMG_0133
and now  🙂
DSC01147
  I’m planning to paint it white to pull it together and tone down the effects of the crazy angles and window sizes.
So, which white should I choose?

Navaho white, seems to have some yellow in it..

Antique White, definitely a green undertone…

Off-white, a pink undertone

Linen White, a pink undertone, I like this one a lot, it reminds me of our first apartment on Derby Street, I had the whole place painted this color, except for the bathroom, which was supposed to be green with white trim, but the NPS decided to paint the trim olive. Eventually I talked them into fixing that, but it took a few years…

Cottage White, this may work, I see some pink here too.

Will This Be an Office?

When we’ve not been out in the garden, or at soccer games or dance rehearsals, we’ve been working a little bit on this project.  I’m using the word “we” rather loosely here since Michael does the work and I pretty much run interference with everyone else so he can work. But I do hand him things, hold things, consult about decisions and cheer him on. He doesn’t love this project but I think as it comes together he’s starting to enjoy it more. We’d both rather be outside in the garden.

We’ve always called it the “sunroom”… We used it as a three season playroom, which was wonderful when my kids were very small.  The exterior wall leaked quite badly a few (actually maybe four) years ago. Since then it’s been kind of a no man’s land. Michael tore out the middle section of the interior wall  because it was very damaged. Then he spent lots of time replacing the trim and some of the siding on the exterior. Last summer we added new windows on the sides and replaced the door.

He recently added insulation and new paneling, and the heater and outlets went in. My hope is that we’ll now be able to finish the trim and the floor and paint it. Our goal is to use it as an office. I have visions of counter space, storage space and work space. That’s a pretty big challenge given that it’s a walk through to the deck and it’s quite compact.

As you can see  we have some crazy windows and peaks and angles.

panning to the left

It’s a decorator’s nightmare but I am determined to make this into a beautiful, usable space.

Here’s the view

That’s the garden just to the right of the dogwood tree. I have to admit that I’ve flirted with the idea of taking down the tree so that we have a better view of the garden.

Since I’ve had time to think about it, I have ideas about what to do here… maybe some type of shades or window treatments that are all hung from the same height would bring the windows together? Maybe we’ll paint it all one color to decrease the chaos? What color will that be?  Blaire found a nice raised desk at Ikea for me awhile ago. I think I’d like to sit up high so I can look out easily.  It’s on my list for a little further down the road.

What do you think? Thoughts, ideas? Share them please!

and we were all wondering what I was going to blog about once garden season was over, lol!

Dream House

When I think of my dream house, it’s this one. I’ve gone by it for years and I’ve always loved it.

It’s right on the ocean, here in Salem. 

The borders and architecture are beautiful with just the right mix of colors and textures. Every detail is perfect.

 I love the way the pots of flowers welcome visitors all the way up the steps.

Imagine sitting on this bench and enjoying the view.

And turning around to see the beach!

It’s really a little bit of heaven!

What does your dream house look like?

The Green Monster

No, It’s not Fenway Park… It’s my house. I have my very own Green Monster here in Salem  It’s what  Michael is calling this wall outside our back door that we painted a few weeks ago…

What should we hang on it or decorate with? Any thoughts or ideas are welcome! Yes I did go kind of bright with the paint color but we wanted it to be cheery and welcoming.. it’s always been a very dark space full of clutter, but it has such a nice view of the yard.  We wanted to brighten it up a little and make a nice place to sit for a few minutes.

I know that there are a few wonderful designers out there who might be reading…. share your thoughts please!  Comment away!