Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aradhna plays Bhajo Re in Varanasi on September 4, 2010

As many of you know, my daughter Christina, her husband Suj and son Kavi are visiting Suj's family in Mumbai, India. I am trying to distract myself with various projects, but last night my husband Ray and Jenny and Rachel and myself went an hour away to downtown Birmingham to eat Indian food at our favorite restaurant Taj Curry House. The food was awesome as usual and after dinner we went nearby to see Aradhana, a band that plays classic Indian music with sitar, tabla, guitar and bass. Before the music started the band served up some delicious chai masala to everyone there. I imagined that Stina was drinking some chai in India with me!
The venue was a large loft apartment in what used to be a old department store divided up in to apartments. Floor cushions were scattered with a few big couches for seating ,adding to the cultural experience. The band was not made up of Indian guys, but non Indians, the sitar player having grown up in India with missionary parents he was fluent in Hindi and played the sitar beautifully. The tabla player (percussionist) was really good also, my husband especially loving the musicianship of all the players. (he has played guitar since he was a teenager)
I loved the fact that I was experiencing India separately together with Stina. And there were various Indian folks there adding to my across the world feel.
Christina told us about this event because she is friends with the band on facebook or we would never have even known about it. If you are reading this Christina, thanks for the hot tip for a wonderful fun night!

Friday, February 25, 2011

I would love to have...

1. the ability to sew!
my grandfather was a professional tailor in the garment district in Manhattan. My daughter Christina makes beautiful throw pillows with her machine. I would like to remember how to thread a machine and own one that I could make curtains, tablecloths, pennants or anything easy with. Maybe one day...
2. the ability to buy my husband this manly and comfortable looking chair!
This one is from Anthropologie and I have sat in one at the store in Birmingham. But...not in the budget! I love this store's unique contents but have only managed to buy some household things and mugs when they have been on clearance. Whenever we need a chair like this, it becomes a hunting trip that can last a long time. Thrift stores, yard sales, furniture stores, etc. You see my husband doesn't like all of the same tv shows that the rest of us girls in the house like, so he watches in our back room/guest room/craft room/exercise bike room. He sits on a kitchen type chair so I am obsessed with finding the right chair for him! Gotta keep hunting and keep hope alive!
3. a rug like this...
or this for our living room. Again, I am too cheap to fork over a lot of dough , so...I constantly check clearance rugs or places like Big Lots. Still haven't found the right one at the right price!
4. the ability to wear cute oxford heels like these!
me and heels don't get along so good these days, so a constant search is on for comfortable shoes that aren't granny shoes!
5. wavy hair like the picture below (I know I only recently posted about this)
In the picture of me above, it appears that I have long wavy hair, but they are hair extension clip ins I recently purchased after Angela from Pickles on Pizza sported her Lace Wig giving her long loose curls. It looks better in the picture than it does in real life because I bought hair that is too wavy to blend with my straight hair. I had to use a straightening iron to loosen the waves, but the texture is still all wrong! I may try buying some that are straighter or with just a little wave to it. (they are human hair, but pretty inexpensive since you sew your own clips to the hair).
I don't know though, because it slightly grosses me out to have someone else's hair hanging from my head.
(this is my goal hair length and style only with shorter bangs)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

around these here parts...

front door before...
and after!

funky little store no more :(
Khargar India, the area Suj's family lives in

Just thought I would give a little update with whats been happening around here. Many of you follow my daughter Christina (Consider The Coffee) and know that she and her husband and little son are on their annual visit to India. My husband and daughter Jenny and our friend Rachel were supposed to visit them in Florida for Kavi's birthday but had to cancel because everyone in my house except me had come down with a stomach virus. We planned to go a week later, but 105 miles in to the 560 mile journey we had to return home because I came down with it! I cried all the way back home and was so disappointed. There was only one more weekend before they left for India, but we very sadly decided not to go to Florida since this virus seemed to hang on and could be contagious for up to two weeks. We didn't want to take any chances of getting the family sick before their 24 hour journey to India especially with a 10 1/2 hour time change. So now we haven't seen them since a few days after Christmas, which is an extremely long time for us.
Well this morning Christina, Suj and Kavi safely arrived in Mumbai and made a quick call from Suj's father's cell phone to let me know that the long flight went really well, Kavi having slept for 7 hours. He really enjoyed the flight and seems to understand that he was making a really far and exciting trip!
Now I have to distract myself from missing them so much. It feels worse when I know that they are on the other side of the world and it is not so easy to pick up the phone and chat.
We painted our front door the other day,from a dark burgundy color to "rare sienna" by valspar. It looks more like a terra cotta , almost coral. I thought it would be a browner color, but this color is very cheerful and leads in to our dining room that has a coral rug and many accents in that color family.
And ...remember my post about selling my things in a store in our downtown? Well, sadly, this morning I received a call from the owner saying that she had decided to close down. Apparently people in this town are not accustomed to the funky decor and accessories that were sold there. It is really sad to me because our downtown has many vacant storefronts and seems ripe for becoming a shopping destination. That Funky Little Store had many creative and artsy finds in a wonderful setup but I guess the people in town didn't get the memo about stepping out and trying something new. Bummer!
Hope all is well with all you wonderful bloggers out there! You have no idea how much you all mean to me!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

oh, hello friend: you are loved.: The Wedding Post:

Had to share these amazing wedding pictures! So creative and so fun!
Click on the link below to see and read more about it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Animal Tote Craft

Doesn't this look like a fun and easy project?? I am gonna have to try this project since I have LOTS of plain totes and tea towels in my craft shelves!

click below for step by step instructions!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Your house should rise up to greet you..."

Sounds weird, huh? Like who has a talking house or who would even want one? Well, if you are a fan of the Nate Berkus Show then you have heard him say this phrase many times. At first I didn't get it but after thinking about it, I understood. When you come home do you get a feeling of relaxation and warmth?A coziness and feeling of safety? Do things in your house make you smile or chuckle? Do the colors make you feel happy?
Nate is a very talented Interior Designer and author who really took off after being a regular on Oprah for many years. His show offers many ideas and tips that can be accomplished affordably. Many DIY segments and thrift store shopping and sharing basic principles to make your home your nest.
Growing up, my home was not cozy or pretty or pleasant at all and I guess I always daydreamed about a house that made me have the warm feelings I craved. This house has been so much fun to paint and furnish and I love the challenge of doing it in a thrifty way. Now my house is pretty full, so I have had to "edit" things. (a term I learned from Nate) I plan on doing some projects around here to distract me while my daughter, son in law and grandson will be in India. Our front door needs painting as well as our shutters and some brick which is already a strange light mauve-y color. Not to mention some unfinished inside painting that needs doing!
If you have the chance check out the Nate Show, you will enjoy it I am sure!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Brooklyn's Small Town Charms

I grew up in Bayside, Queens, and occasionally made trips in to Brooklyn. When my daughter Christina was born, our Doctor was in Brooklyn and we would go for an appointment followed by a delicious lunch at one of the many cafes in that neighborhood. As I have mentioned before, my dream is for our entire family to make a trip to NYC before Christmastime so that they can experience the extravagant Christmas displays at that time of year. Well, any time of year could do, but unfortunately we have no solid plans. Of course, Manhattan hotels are the most expensive, so I have thought about the lesser cost of staying in a different borough.
I also have noticed on various shows on the Cooking Channel or Food Network that Brooklyn eateries are very often highlighted. Martha Stewart once featured the Brooklyn Flea on her show, and I thought that I had never seen such an awesome flea market in my life.
My friend Nancy grew up in Brooklyn and loved a place called Spumoni Gardens and I even saw a clip about that place on the Food Network. So now I am thinking that Brooklyn would be the place to stay. This months Country Living magazine had a large article highlighting shops and restaurants and bakeries which only confirmed that this was a magical place indeed. There was even a map highlighting the specific neighborhoods and places to go and visit!
Click on this link or the pictures above to read the article

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

not just for v day

Friday, February 11, 2011

"hey! I wanna do that ..."

Do you ever think of ideas you can do around your house but never quite get around to it? For three years now, I have wanted to paint my brass dining room chandelier white or something. My husband thinks that if we took it down from the ceiling we would never get it back up since the ceiling is probably plaster and we would make a hole in it. I thought I would just stand on a ladder to give it a few coats. But I never did. I love looking up at interesting fixtures and I would love to do it in my home, but procrastination rears its complacent head. Oh well, maybe one day I will do something like this...
or this
or this
or this
or this. Maybe. One day.

Mickey Ferguson Brings Sexy Back to Weather on the 6's

this should make you smile...

Ever since I have lived in Alabama, my favorite local news is FOX6 out of Birmingham. The weather man Mickey Ferguson makes me laugh and Janice Rogers seems like someone I would love to have lunch with. These two are not stuffy at all and make me smile whenever I watch them. Hope this puts a giggle in your day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Inspirations from Anthropologie

Anthropologie has the most creative displays compared to any other store I have been in. The following pictures show off some of the talent of their staff.

I love the look of old bikes and I love yarn! A match made in heaven!

This cracks me up! The paper plates with toast and the coffee filter lights!
(I have no idea why I can't make this picture smaller!)
I always want to try making a mason jar light. This grouping looks impressive to me. I wish I could take down my dining room chandelier and replace it with a scaled down version of this.
clever book art.
love it!
I want to paint a stump!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

flat fair...

This is my beautiful daughter Jenny. Notice her lovely curls? I love her hair and wish it was mine. She hates curly hair and wishes it was straight!
This is my beautiful daughter Christina (Consider The Coffee). See her lovely waves? I want them too. Unfortunately, my hair is thin and straight with a little wave at the back of my neck. My husband's hair is short, but when we met in the late 70s he sported some end of hippie era waves. No, I take after my mom and dad, dad who was balding in his 40s and my mom who had transparent hair in her 60s. Well, I am not bald or transparent yet, so hopefully I will go a different route than my forefathers.
I have spent my whole life trying to make my hair look fuller. In the 80s I would have my sister in law Margie give me "RAVE" perms. Remember them? Basically a mild body wave until I suggested to Margie to use the smallest perm rods to give just a little more curl. She wasn't sure about the tiny rods, but I said I wasn't worried since it was such a mild perm (or so I thought). Little did I know that it was the previously used large rods that gave me the slight wave. When I rinsed my hair in the sink upstairs and briskly rubbed my towel through my tresses, I was greeted in the mirror by a tight curly fro! I took so long upstairs because I was re wetting my hair and trying to brush the curls out (you see how naive I was about curly anything) only to have a frizzier and bigger fro. Panic began to engulf me as Margie knocked on the door wondering if everything was ok. I answered, "well, I don't have thin or flat looking hair anymore..." Upon opening the door, shock filled my sister in laws face as she gazed at my huge do. "Wet your hair again, I have a pick we can use, maybe that will make it look better" It didn't. And I did all this while my husband was away at a mens retreat from church. I wanted to surprise him and that I did. He was very kind in telling me it did not look that bad, but I knew it did. That was confirmed by the fact that the only person who really liked it was my father-in-law. My mother in law has been sporting a tightly set , teased, molded and shellacked pouf since the 60s. I looked so sad and so pitiful, that my sweet next door neighbor paid for me to go to a salon and have them straighten it for me. Again, I was naive and thought that was a good idea. The end result was a weirdly frizzy straightened look that just appeared dry and damaged and wouldn't bend at all.
Of course it took a long time for that fiasco to grow out.
So...I don't want a perm or anything scary or 80s as that. I just want a little wave. That's all. I guess I will have to learn the art of adding the right touch of wave with a curling iron. NEVER PERM GIRLS. YOU WILL BE SORRY!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

the dreaded virus has Florida for us :(

The stomach virus has been going around town lately and has hit our house. Today.
My husband had debated on whether he could miss work to drive to our grandsons third birthday party all week and when he finally made up his mind to go, he got hit with the virus. And Jenny and Rachel aren't feeling very good either, so we had to do the saddest thing and cancel our trip. We have never yet missed any of Kavi's birthdays (well he has only had two before this one), but we can't easily make a 9 hour drive that takes us 10 hours while feeling ill. And we don't want to pass the dreaded sickness on to our precious family down there. So I am NOT a happy camper right now, no sirree I am not :(

outside there is snow, but southward I shall go

Well, a few hours ago, large snowflakes began to fall, followed by noisy little sleet pellets, then the big flakes again, then the sleet. I guess this is what is known as "wintry mix", a term I never even heard before this winter! I normally get euphoric at the thought of snow, but the fact is that my husband coldn't work for almost a week last month because of it and with no snow plows or salt trucks in this region, the whole town shut down. Can you say "cabin fever"?
Tomorrow, we are to leave for Florida in honor of sweet Kavi's third birthday party, so I was glad to hear that they expect the roads to be clear in the morning due to temperatures rising above freezing. We can't miss this special time, and with Stina, Suj and Kavi leaving for India at the end of the month, we look forward to this visit since it will be March before they return home.