Archive for January, 2010

Through the Looking Glass.

I don’t know about you, but if it’s not going to snow again here in DC, then I want some more green please. My last warm weather vacation was to Jamaica a year ago and I’m yearning for another. So whether or not that Old Animal with a Hat sees or does not see his shadow, then I’m headed to one or more of DC’s many public Greenhouses for my own tropical fix. The Post shares with us a quick list of local greenhouses where warm-blooded Washingtonian’s can loose the hat and breathe deeply among plants, wildlife, and extreme green. Without doing the high dive at Rick’s Cafe. For now. =)

Botanical Garden Washington DC

US Botanical Garden in Washington DC

National Zoo

The zoo’s Amazonia house is an Amazon rain forest under glass. 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW. Free.

U.S. Botanic Garden

Washington’s most lavish botanic garden features a central “jungle,” with an elevated walk in the canopy. 100 Maryland Ave., SW. Free.

Hillwood Museum and Gardens

The estate contains a decorative greenhouse which holds 2,500 orchids. 4155 Linnean Ave., NW. Suggested donation.

Longwood Gardens

Longwoods’ conservatories cover more than four acres and includes an estate fruit house and major seasonal orchid display. 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, Pa. $12.

Oatlands Plantation

The historic estate contains one of the earliest propagating greenhouses in the United States. Reopens on March 22. 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg. $10.

Mount Vernon

The estate features a rebuilt 18th-century brick greenhouse, a precursor to the glass houses of the 19th century. 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Alexandria. $15.

The Stork Brings Us Another Apple to Bite In To!

Looks like Steve Jobs has unveiled yet another talked about and hyped product from the stylish line of Apple Products. The cutest little Apple iPad tablet was born today to a globe of hungry Mac enthusiasts. The iPad, which is larger in size but similar in design to Apple’s popular iPhone, was billed by CEO Steve Jobs on Wednesday as “so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone.” The iPad has a 9.7-inch touch screen, is only a half-inch thick, weighs in at 1.5 pounds and comes with 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes of flash memory storage. The basic iPad models will cost from $499 to $699, depending on the storage size. That’s $1,000 less then most tech savvy die hards presumed. I’m just glad to have another cool kid in the Mac family.

iPad, tablet, mac, apple

It Starts with A Seed.

Spring is around the corner. Well, not really. But it will show its sunny self when we least expect it. And that means, it’s time to think about plans for spring time gardening. “We love Target” is going to have the shelves full of weed killers, seed packets, and fancy lanterns in no time. So, in preparation for the mass rush to buy buy buy, dig dig dig, water water water, and then enjoy the flourish, get brushed up on your seed germination education. Sunset shares with us tips on starting crops, flowers, and plants from seeds. Don’t fret – its not that hard. You just have to be diligent about watering and feeding.

stat plants, flowers crops from seed

Vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, need a long, warm growing season to produce a harvest. If you plan to grow your own seedlings, start such crops indoors in late winter in order to have plants ready to set out in the garden when the weather has warmed up. If you want to plant tomato seedlings in May, for instance, you’ll need to start those seeds by early March. Flip the page

Craigslistin’ It.

I’ve just managed to sell two cherry wood dressers, a lovely Pottery Barn queen bed, and now a Crate and Barrel sofa! Craigslist and eBay has been my saviors (and probably yours as well at some point). Anyone interested in well-cared for and great looking goods? Click on…

Panasonic Stereo System

Emerson Microwave

Pillow Top Queen Mattress

Pair of Creamy White Lamps

MacBook 15″ Laptop Case

Pottery Barn Pillow Covers

A Yard of Fruit Flavor.

I fell in love with Amanda Nisbett’s line of fabrics stocked through Holland & Sherry when I saw last month’s Traditional Home magazine. The col0rs are sweet and fresh and have adorable names like Grape Fizz and Lollipop. The textiles accompany a new line of lighting fixtures Amanda has launched through the Urban Electric Company. I’m thinking about Spring and these cute patterns and perfectly paired colors are an immediate escape to a tropical place.

Chip 2 in Tutti Fruitti | Amanda Nisbet

Chip 2 in Tutti Fruitti | Amanda Nisbett

Chip 2 in Lollipop | Amanda Nisbet

Chip 2 in Lollipop | Amanda Nisbett

Alannah in Blueberry | Amanda Nisbet

Alannah in Blueberry | Amanda Nisbet (oyster linen)

Alannah 2 in Blueberry Pepper | Amanda Nisbett

Alannah 2 in Blueberry Pepper | Amanda Nisbett

Positano in Kumquat | Amanda Nisbett (fabric on silk)

Positano in Kumquat | Amanda Nisbett (fabric on silk)

Francesca in Grape Fizz | Amanda Nisbett (fabric on oyster linen)

Francesca in Grape Fizz | Amanda Nisbett (fabric on oyster linen)

Pizzetta in Kiwi | Amanda Nisbett (fabric on oyster linen)

Pizzetta in Kiwi | Amanda Nisbett (fabric on oyster linen)

Ready for Some Serious Shredding.

Me about to head up to 10,500 feet!

The One in Steamboat.

My vacation is here! I’m enjoying apres-ski in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I spent the day on the slopes taking in the panoramic views and the charming aspects of the mountain’s ski town at the base. The stone, metal, glass, and timber architecture is fantastic – not somehing I’m fond of back home but slopeside, its all thumbs up. After picking up a Steamboat Springs token pin (have collected them from each ski trip since I was a kid), I stumbled upon the pretty facade of One Steamboat Place. Open for only nine days, this Signature Development of Timbers Resorts is nestled next to the gondola in Steamboat. This luxury resort offers whole ownership private residences with the services and amenities of a five-star resort. Beautifully designed with sustainable design and preservation in mind, the resort retained a very talented designer to finish out the interior spaces. As an interior decorator myself, I was happy top see many of the accessories and furniture pieces from some of my favorite manufacturers. And its beautiful! I tried to get in to take a peak, but the entry was locked. No fear, Michael from Sales was there. Michael let me in so I could take some pics. Look why!

One Steamboat Place Colorado Facade

One Steamboat Place Colorado Facade

One Steamboat Place Lobby

The statement lamp looks great next to the blood red chain embroidered panels.

One Steamboat Place Den

In the den, cozy seating options abound.

Patterns and textures are big in ski country. Love the saffron yellow ottoman.

Patterns and textures are big in ski country. Love the saffron yellow ottoman.

The fireplace has metal spears creating a sculpture behind the hearth.

The fireplace has metal spears creating a sculpture behind the hearth.

Playful spheres accent the entrance.

Playful spheres accent the entrance.

Leather panels and nailhead give oomph to the TV wall. Love the cabinet!

Leather panels and nailhead give oomph to the TV wall. Love the cabinet!


Just a quote that I’m fond of and spoken by the memorable Martin Luther King, Jr…

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”.

Reclaimed a New Household Name.

Hooray! Green home products have finally established a permanent foothold in the home furnishings and accessories market. Wood reclaimed furniture, which has been around for years, is gaining mass appeal. From deconstructed buildings, such as barns, this salvaged wood is typically more interesting then new wood and attractive to home owners wanting that lived-in look so often not found in new development. I lived in an adorable 1940’s Cape Cod with two inch oak flooring that had taken a beating or two and loved it. When compared to my friends and families new homes’ shiny and soft flooring, there is no competition. Hands down, I stick with the old stuff. Varian Designs and Old Wood Co. are two of my favorite manufacturers of reclaimed furnishings. Salvaged, vintage, weather beaten, or water logged wood might be a wise investment if you look to lessen your carbon footprint and yearn to have something already previously owned or recreated from manufactured or handmade works from the past.

vintage fir modern dresser viva terra

Modern vintage fir dresser | Viva Terra

Reclaimed fleur de lis table or bench from TrueConnection on Etsy

Reclaimed fleur de lis table or bench | Etsy

Solid Recycled Wood Toy Blocks Christopher H etsy

Solid Recycled Wood Toy Blocks | Christopher H

vintage reclaimed in patchwork pattern

Vintage reclaimed Wilcox collection in patchwork pattern | Urban Woods

Old Wood Co. Butch oak iron buff table

Butch oak iron buff cocktail table | Old Wood Co.

Antique farm implements this chair

Antique farm implements as materials for this chair | Groovystuff


Paper Toss for Uncle Sam.

Last night, I spent a good two hours going through all of my random papers and folders in hopes of squeezing in a bit more organization while tracking down all of my tax season paperwork. I was successful in locating what I needed for TurboTax, but I found Container Store to have a simple and relatively helpful list to follow when it comes to figuring out what documents and records to toss and what is in your best interest to keep. If you are still in doubt, contact the IRS for more assistance! Recycle away!

Documents to Keep Permanently:

  • Annual tax returns
  • Year-end summaries from financial service companies
  • Stock and bond certificates
  • Deeds of property and ownership, auto titles, insurance policies
  • Home improvement records
  • Health records, wills and powers of attorney
  • Birth certificates, adoption and custody records, death certificates

Documents to Keep Temporarily:

  • Paycheck stubs until reconciled with W-2 or 1099 forms
  • Phone and utility bills for one year (or seven years if business-related)
  • Monthly bank and credit card statements for one year
  • Monthly mortgage statements for one year
  • Brokerage or mutual fund statements until they’ve been reconciled at year end
  • Year end statements from credit card companies for seven years
  • W-2 and 1099 forms for seven years
  • Cancelled checks and receipts for all tax-deductible expenses for seven years

Discard Or Shred:

  • ATM, bank-deposit slips and credit card receipts after cleared on a statement
  • Non-tax deductible receipts for minor purchases
  • Old magazines and articles not read within the past six months
  • Receipts, instructions and warranties for items you no longer own (or warranties that have expired)

Just a Thought.

"A person should design the way he makes a living, around how he wishes to make a life" — Charlie Byrd

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