Finally getting around to posting on the new house.
I used to say that the La Jolla Half Marathon was the hardest thing I have ever done. Now I say it is the second hardest. MOVING TO LONG BEACH was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done. Something happened between 26 and 30 where Jon and I suddenly accumulated 50% more stuff. And yes, I will be hiring movers next time.
The big cypress trees are getting cut down in early October which will really open up our front yard and allow the house to shine more.
So we are still working on curb appeal but we have gotten a few things started thus far – like the new potted flowers and these chairs that I gave a high gloss black spray paint make over. New cushions will be next.
We love the craftsman charm this house has. It was built in 1922, so it is over 100 years old and most of the hardware is original. We plan to strip, sand, and re-paint the front door in a high gloss black to match the other elements. I also got some new address numbers that go with the style of the house better (not installed yet).
So this is what you see when you step inside. The carpet is ick color wise but clean – original hardwood is underneath! The walls were supposed to be a pale grey but in most light look baby blue. It was making me sad the first few days but the color has grown on me. It feels very cape cod. Plus I just don’t want us to have to paint it again, so we are dealing with it for now.
Here is the view looking towards the front door. We are loving our new couch (from Macy’s) it works great in the space. We hung white sheers (almost to the ceiling – for the illusion of height) that pull the room together. The rug is from Ikea and pillows are from West Elm.
We also added on to our entertainment center (from Ikea) with 2 new bookcases. It gave us great storage for all our books and other crap. Decorating it is hard because the shelves are only so high and there are just soo many options. I will likely re-arrange it constantly.
The gallery wall is a work in progress. We are changing out a bunch of the pictures. I also left a few holes on the wall intentionally so that I can find 2-3 new pieces that represent our new hometown.
The kitchen is teeny tiny, yet functional. It has amazing storage. And there is a mud room off of it that leads to the back patio area. The rug is crate and barrel, the black shade is ikea.
Back inside the house if you turn off the living room you face the bathroom. Shower curtain is West Elm. I didn’t photograph it but the shower has some tile issues and there is literally a light switch IN the shower. So it is getting re-tiled with white subway tile in October. I’m pretty sure my landlord is just indulging me because it has been a long time since he had anyone living in the house that cared.
Outside the bathroom this is your view looking down the hall into our room. I had this wall unit installed (Ikea) for extra storage.
The walls were painted this tan color before we moved in and we just wanted to live in it for a while before we figure out the color to paint it. Our bed is the same as before. I am probably changing the headboard soon – NEVER BUY A WHITE HEADBOARD. They get so dirty and are hard to clean. Lesson learned.
And for the grand finale…the office! Clearly this room has not been addressed yet. It needs a major overhaul. It is still not even unpacked yet. All in good time.
We love the house so far and are still getting used to all the changes it is bringing into our life. Of course redecorating has been fun but I am looking forward to spending the next few weeks just enjoying our new home and trying to recover from the moving nightmare.
I wanted to make something comforting and special to welcome Jon home from a long lake trip the other day. I happened to have a ton of open red wine left from some entertaining I did over the weekend — so Coq Au Vin was an obvious choice.
I’ve made Julia Child’s recipe before and it is great (and really involved) but this one from Ina Garten is fool proof and fast.
4 ounces good bacon or pancetta, diced
1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, cut in 8ths
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound carrots, cut diagonally in 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy
1/2 bottle (375 ml) good dry red wine such as Burgundy
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
10 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pound frozen small whole onions
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.
Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac and put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot. Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot.
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/coq-au-vin-recipe4/index.html?oc=linkback
Today is the start of my favorite trip of the year – my all girls LADIESPALOOZA trip!
As I mentioned here we have an amazing house in Palm Springs we are going to this year. I can see it now…floppy hats, vintage swimmies, lovely ladies, and fruity cocktails. Bliss!
Here is this year’s roster:
(After this trip we decided this group of gals are NOT campers)
By now you have heard the hit single Royals but have you listened to the album yet?
It is super good. I highly recommend.
Here are a couple of my favorite tracks:
They Do Exist!
These are outrageously good and can be found at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach.
I have been enjoying the city of Dana Point’s Summer Concert in the Park series all summer. It makes for the perfect Sunday; just lounging on the grass surrounded by friends and neighbors and good tunes. Here are a few of my favorite items for a successful excursion:
Table in a Bag – All the cool kids have these
Here are a few shots from last week’s concert:
Check out this totally incredible birthday party my sister in law Julia put together for my niece Maddie!
I met Casey at a recent work related event and was so impressed by the TED Talk she gave, wanted to share it with you all.
The short of it: We are moving to Long Beach
The TMI filled long story: So there are some crazy things that have gone on the last few months. First trying to buy a home, then starting our baby journey with IVF, traveling to France, etc. etc.
This all started when I found out that I have a bicornuate uterus and could have some serious problems carrying a baby. This was heartbreaking news as some of you may recall my husband also had a fertility issue. We tried just about everything for the last 4 years and were finally ready to pull the trigger (and the money out of savings) to do IVF – but with the news of my condition we decided to hold.
Then we went to France.
In France, we were sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower sipping champagne having an out of body experience when we began discussing what our life could be like without kids. We both agreed it is not our first choice but settled on the fact that we could be ok if we didn’t have kids. We are so blessed to have big families, lots of nieces and nephews, and 3 god children (so far). There will never be a shortage of children to love in our life. So without making any grand pronouncements we started to talk seriously about staying a duo indefinitely. It was a crazy feeling of relief mixed with curiosity since neither one of us had ever considered this option.
So we are still open to having children at this point but taking it off the table for a while.
All I wanted for my upcoming 30th birthday this year was to be pregnant. No big party or expensive gesture – just a baby. Since that has now changed I decided I still needed to get something in my life that would be a companion, allow me to pour my love on it, and… well, change things. That is when I got the crazy idea that we MUST GET A DOG. Yup, you read that right. I want to get a dog. And, yes I am aware this is going to be hard and will eliminate most of the “leave town on a fun trip every weekend” freedom we have but I am ready for it.
The problem with getting a dog is that where we rent they are not allowed. So then I started house hunting and realized that most of the places I would want to rent would cost me about the same as a house payment. So then I called our Realtor and started house hunting again – because buying a house so you can get a dog makes soo much sense, right?!
Meanwhile I was checking craigslist everyday to see my options. And I stumbled upon this listing:
We happen to be in the car with some Long Beach friends at the time and they assured me this was a fantastic location. It is located in Belmont Heights just blocks from the beach and 2nd street. AND I CAN HAVE A DOG!
We are super excited and a little nervous to make such a big change but I’m trying to hold on to the tiny portion of my heart that is adventurous and stay enthusiastic. New mantra “change is good”. So we are off 9/1 we will be moving to the LBC.