Welcome to Beer House


We don’t get many trick-or-treaters on our doorstep, for a few reasons. For one thing, our home isn’t very far from a busy(ish) intersection. For another, there aren’t many families on our street with small children. So, on Halloween-occasions when we DO hear a knock on our door (followed by hearing three familiar words), it’s an exciting moment.

For the first time, last night, we received a few visitors who were well into adulthood. (Which I fully support – Because I, too, adore Halloween. And I’m not the sort of person who believes that Halloween festivities should be reserved for kids.) When two “matured” trick-or-treaters knocked on our door, wearing amazingly detailed “Día de Muertos” costumes (that were, also, homemade), Hubby thought it was only right to say, “You both look amazing! Hey, can we offer you guys any beer, instead of candy?”.

The man, out of the costumed couple, started to look as if he was just told he’d won the lottery. “Are you serious!?”, he exclaimed.

“Sure! Wait just one moment!”, said Hubby, leaving and returning with two chilled bottles of Yuengling. The costumed couple was very appreciative, needless to say.

After they left, Hubby and I returned to our living room, where we were watching “Insidious” for the first time. (Which was awesome, by the way!) About thirty to forty-five minutes later, we heard another knock on our front door. When we opened the entryway this time, we were greeted by a new costumed couple. The man’s costume wasn’t impressive…I think he went dressed as a cockroach. The woman’s costume, however, was AMAZING. She was a winged devil, with these bat-like wings that would fully extend, as if she was about to lift into the sky and take flight. “You guys look incredible!”, I said. (Really, only referring to the woman’s costume.) With that, I extended a few pieces of fun-sized Milky Way candies into each of their bags.

About ten seconds of silence went by, with the couple staring down at my chocolatey offering. “Um…Thanks.”, said the winged lady. “So…Is this the house where we can get some free beer?”

To me, this was hilarious. Graciously, Hubby retreated back to our kitchen; and reemerged with a single bottle of the chilled drink. “Ok…”, he said. “But, this is our last bottle. So, you two are going to have to share it.”

The couple didn’t mind, that they’d have to share. They thanked us and went on their merry way.

Hubby and I just looked at each other. “Well, hon…”, said Hubby. “I think our job, here, is done for this year.” With that, we pulled the homemade “Trick-or-Treaters Welcome!” sign; and turned off the front porch light, as a signal that we were closed for business.



My Favorite Space

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If someone were to ask me the question, “What would you say is your favorite space, in your home?”, my immediate response would be… My living-room.

At least, it’s certainly where I spend the most of my time, when I’m at home. Here are a few reasons why…

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It offers some of the best light, throughout our house. In the morning, the light pours into the dining room; but, it increasingly strengthens into the living room, throughout the rest of the day. By dusk, the room has a nice glow.

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For another thing, it houses our delicious television, along with my entire library of movies and TV shows. I haven’t even begun to talk about my fetish for movies or TV; so, if you’re new to knowing me, you have no idea of what kind of cinephile I am.

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And, It maintains a cozy and safe place for Bella (pictured above) and Caspian (not pictured), when we’re away.

Being my favorite space, it’s the room that’s received the most of my attention, when I focus on home-decoration. (Plus, it’s…literally…the first room you see, when you enter. So, it has to stay pretty!)

Unfortunately, I fear that too many neutral tones will result in a room that’s a bit drab; so, my plan is to get some colorful window treatments, for my sparse windows. (Something along the line of this, to really pop against the grey walls.)

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Additionally, I’m on a mission to find a console table, to be placed along the wall, under my Jim Datz print. The carved hummingbird sculpture that I bought on our recent trip to Jamaica (pictured above) would look sooo pretty, on a console like this beauty from West Elm.

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What are some of your thoughts? Share them with me, in the comments!

Using Weapons of Mass Creation


After my last venture into the realm of DIY artwork, I became infected with an insatiable hunger for creating more.  It was a lot of fun…and, (good news/bad news) I have a LOT of empty wall space.  And, after visually ingesting so much of Rifle Paper over the internet, I was left with a particular thirst for implementing Rifle-style.

So, I did what I always do.  I got back on good ol’ Google and scoured for my next muse(s).  After seeing this, finding this and also reading this – my next DIY concept was born!


1. I selected my “weapons” of mass creation.  Lately, my preference has been gouache, such as the assortment of Turner Acryl Gouache paints that are pictured above.


2.  I printed out the design I’d selected, traced it, and transferred it to Arches watercolor paper.  After selecting this simple color scheme of black and gold, I got to work!


3. Mission completed. Now I can sit back, and enjoy the frills of filling another empty space with beautiful art!

What are some of your thoughts, on how this turned out?

Applying Passion: In Home & Life

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Yesterday, I spoke a bit about my spontaneous road trip to Anna Bond’s studio in Winter Park.  I admit that I’ve been a little obsessive about Rifle Paper, lately – which isn’t uncharacteristic of me, when I become passionate about something.  For me, being truly passionate involves falling head-over-heels in love with an ideal; and, in the case of Rifle’s aesthetic, this translates to loving its representation of whimsy, timelessness, class, and beauty.  Fundamentally, these are all things that I try to apply in my own life.

So – being the die-hard Rifle fanatic that I’ve become, of course I bought some goodies, upon my little pilgrimage into “The World of Ms. Bond.”  Some things I purchased out of necessity; others, out of sheer pleasure.  All-in-all, this is what I took home…and how I plan to use these items, as I apply my passion into my life and home:IMG_0894

Above: This iPhone case was bought, out of total necessity.  I ordered the iPhone 5s, on September 20th, as my sad little Android is dying.  (It’s become the technological equivalent, to being placed in hospice.)  While I’m still waiting for my new phone to arrive, I’m pleased to have this case on-hand.


Above: I’ve been thinking about keeping a diary, to measure my progress as a blogger. I’ve kept diaries, on-and-off, all of my life; and I find it useful, to reflect on a particular period of my personal history. This journal should serve me well, for this purpose.


Above: Ok. To be perfectly realistic, I didn’t need these notebooks in my life. But, I wanted them. Instead of using them for their intended purpose, I’m thinking of having them framed and hung as wall art. (They could, potentially, go in just about any room in our home.)

So, all-in-all, my trip was productive. More importantly, it makes me look forward, to my next adventure!

I Left My Heart In San Francisco

Yesterday, I spoke a little bit about recreating the art of your dreams when you can’t afford to buy it outright. I thought I might expand a little more on this subject, today, to share what I’ve learned about actually purchasing artwork for your home. (For all you guys and gals who save those pennies, euros, etc!)

I’ve never really been to San Francisco. I’ve never even been to California! But, I want to visit – and, badly. (San Fran, along with the rest of sunny Cali, are on my “Must See, Before Dying” list.) Though I’ve never stepped any where remotely close to San Francisco, I knew this piece from Jim Datz had to be mine. You see, I’m fascinated by the culture on America’s West Coast. Its free-loving attitude, its history…its roots in art, music, and motion pictures. (I’ll talk about my passion for film and television, some other time.) Maybe I romanticize it; but, the area seems to call my name. So, all that being said, you might be able to understand how I see this piece as something more than “just an illustration about San Francisco.” It represents the values I associate with that entire area.


So, there you have it – I’ve explained how this piece is meaningful to me. I’ve learned that, once you can establish an item’s personal value, these are the key things to consider before taking the plunge and buying any item:

  • Its Quality. (I managed to snag my print, as a first edition. The value will only increase over time; and, because it was produced in fine quality, it’s less likely to fade or deteriorate.)
  • Its Scale. (I opted to have it framed in a large frame, to serve as a statement piece. If I didn’t have the space, I wouldn’t have bought it.)
  • Its Impact. (Was I happy with the colors in the print? VERY! Because I loved the impact it made, popping against the colors of my walls.)


I think Caspian is as happy with the way things turned out, as I am!

When In Doubt, Roll Up Your Sleeves & Get Dirty

You dream of owning a home. You go through all kinds of craziness to buy said home. Finally, you find yourself as a proud homeowner, with a pair of keys that are exclusively yours! What do you do next?  If you’re anything like me, you immediately jump headfirst into plans for decorating.

I started scouring the internet for inspiration on how to make our new nest reflect our taste.  And, boy did I find my inspiration!  Unfortunately, our budget couldn’t match my expensive taste in furniture and artwork.  (Particularly, for those first few months that followed after paying a hefty down-payment.)  For one example, this gorgeous piece of artwork at DwellStudio really caught my eye – but, I couldn’t (and still can’t) meet its $1,625 asking price.


If I couldn’t afford my crush-worthy items, I realized that I could try to recreate them…  So – that’s what I set out to do.  I recreated the Paule Marrot Pink Maze piece from DwellStudio.

These were my materials at-hand, for the reproduction:

  • A printer
  • Tracing paper & pencil
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Watercolor Paper (I prefer Arches Water Color Blocks, for projects that involve watercolor paint or gouache.  Its quality is excellent!)

Above: My first attempt at recreating the Paule Marrot piece. About a quarter of the way through, I grew really unhappy with the color and started again from scratch.  (I wasn’t impressed with the way the red took on a “tomato” sort of hue.  I felt like I was painting with a can of V8!)


Above: The second attempt at recreating the same piece, using a bright pink pigment.  This time, I was pleased with the results!

Now, if only I could decide where to hang it…

The House of Sand & Snow: An Introduction

It took several years of patience and hard work, for Hubby and I to reach home-ownership. Although we envisioned ourselves going the route of the “American Dream” and anticipated things being as simple as getting married, buying a house, and starting a family – we were met with a lot of bumps in the road…

Round one. Two days after returning from our honeymoon, I was laid off from the job I’d had out of college. Eventually, I found my niche with an organization and career that I really love; but it took nearly a year of unemployment-survival. After finding occupational-stability and saving up a nice little “nest-egg”, we felt ready to court the housing market again.

Round two. That was…until some devastating family circumstances unfolded; and my father, shockingly, passed away.

Round three. After dealing with these life-changing hurdles and followed by enduring what was a VERY competitive and challenging housing market… We finally found a home that had potential charisma, a location we were satisfied with, and could fit our budget. I guess that “three’s a charm” is really true, because we ended up buying the place!

So, without further ado, meet “The House of Sand & Snow”.  It’s small – Only a two-bedroom/one-bath. It’s older – Built in 1955.  Most importantly…it’s ours.  I look at it as a symbol of how far Hubby and I have come in our journey together.

Below, you’ll find a sample of the pictures I’d taken while we were closing on the house.  True, it doesn’t look fancy – and, as it was a foreclosure, the building encountered some mild neglect.  (As I look on these images and reminisce, I think it looks much worse than it really seemed in-person!)

Despite its rugged appearance, keep in mind that great things come from humble beginnings…

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See you next week!  I’ll talk about how we started to fix this baby up.