Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! This morning we had to take the kittens to the vet for their first set of kitten vaccines. Happily for us, they're great travelers and patients--no shaking, scared mewing, or clawing at us in terror. They're also super healthy (yay!) and both over three pounds (they were only about one when we got them just five weeks ago!). (Yes, the new mommy in me that you thought you'd escaped is still here. Sorry!)

What are you up to this weekend? We're deep cleaning the bathroom (exciting stuff, I know, but it desperately needs it) and then majorly organizing it (okay okay, we meaning me because I desperately need it done). And on Sunday, we're going to see a polo match before going to a friend's birthday party in the evening. By the way, I had no idea polo could be played on the beach...or outside of England. I hope your weekend is filled with springtime fun and we'll see you next week!

Photo by Natalie's instagram.

P.S. This art installation is awesome.

I just ordered this map for our bedroom map mural. So excited!

Speaking of maps, how cute are these for a wee one?

Nicole's made me dot garlands before, and I think she needs to make me this colorful one for summer! (Hint hint)

Handmade Finds: Stripes and Florals

The spring weather totally has me in the mood for stripes and florals. Here are a few handmade goodies that feed my craving, two for you, two for your home.

Stripes: I've been hunting high and low for new striped bedroom storage (to replace the classy giant Ikea bags I've stuffed things in) and a decent sized stripey bag to replace my current gym bag (since I carry it around with me so often, I'd like something a little less...bright pink and bulky), and I like the look and size of these cute striped storage containers and this shoulder bag

Florals: I'm totally lusting after this ranunculus ring but worried that I still may not be over my ring aversion (I definitely OD'd on them as a teenager in the '90s so rings make me feel about 13-years-old); and I'd love to gaze merrily at this calming tulip print when hanging around home on a warm, sunny spring evening.

Clockwise from top left: Storage basket by Alexia Claire | Ranunculus ring by Aarre | Striped shoulder bag by Bagy Bag | Tulip print by JK Photography

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Travel Thursdays: Fun at the Glasgow GoMA and Lighthouse

While I'm sifting through the (literally) 774 pictures we took in 4.5 days in Glasgow, I thought I'd share my few favorites from our visits to the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art and the Lighthouse, an architecture and design gallery. Both were fascinating, even if sometimes the exhibits were a wee bit over my head (like listening to the sound of a rock and, apparently, playing dominos. Read on to see what I mean.).

We were told that Glaswegians just like to put a traffic cone on the head of the horse in front of the GoMA. I never found out the reason, but I think the shopping cart is a nice finishing touch. 

This modern art exhibit was a bit beyond my comprehension, but the elements it was made out of were definitely to my like: sand, (the plastic is eh), and gold paint.

This is Jerrick. He never ceases to entertain. 

Mike and Erik joined the ranks of many a 4-, 6-, and 11-year-olds and added their artwork to the wall. The best part is that he hung this right above one by "Latifah, age: 4."

Mike actually listened to the rock, but didn't tell us what it said. And that would be Alyssa being classy at the top of the lighthouse (love her).

These bathroom signs, at the Lighthouse, are pretty clear in any language. I kind of want them to replace our Ampelmann bathroom sign in our apartment (a necessity for the yearly Thanksgiving party as our bathroom lock broke off years ago).

What we thought was a poker table turned out to be a domino table. When I found this out, I exclaimed, "you couldn't make many good domino formations on this." To which everyone else burst out laughing and asked me if that was the only domino game I was aware of...(it kinda was)

We hiked to the top of the Lighthouse, which was not terribly enjoyable in super tight pink jeans, but I persevered, as did Deanna despite her butt injury (literally; from working out, no naughty thoughts!). The view of Glasgow was certainly worth it.

And here are my two quite possibly, very favorite pictures of the trip that show off Micha's mad self-picture-taking-in-a-mirror skills.

 Yeah, those are getting framed.

(More to come next week!)

All pictures by Nicole or Micha, as usual

[Loved + Pinned] A Pastel Party

I'm not usually much of a pastel girl, but I'd love to throw a springtime party decked out in gorgeous muted tones. Under some bright sunshine, that would just be perfection.

Images: Outdoor party pinned by Mary Catherine | Candy favor printable pinned by Bright.Bazaar | Indoor party pinned by EZ | Confetti invitations pinned by Joy | Washi tape gifts pinned by Bright.Bazaar | Balloon party by Martha Stewart pinned by Elizabeth

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Inspired By...

...a simply stunning (not to mention gold!) hand-painted wall. That's right--hand-painted. It took the artist/home owner over a year to do, but the time was well worth it--the result is breathtaking. (Although based on her lovely cakes, this comes as really no surprise.)

Photo by Brenda Liu

...the prettiest, spring time-y gift wrapping I can imagine. And in perfect time for Mother's Day, am I right?

Photo & DIY by Stephanie

...Holly's stunning living room. The bookshelves! The colors! The photos! The pillows! I could go on and on... Oh how envious I am... (and how happy I am for Holly that the room is finally complete).

Photo by Holly Burns

...a swoon-worthy keyboard! Seeing as my computer is still out of commission (F and I have to share his lately, which he just loves, let me tell you), I'm tossing around the idea of getting a new one, and a Mac at that. If I did, I think this washi tape DIY keyboard would most definitely be in order.

Photo & DIY by Kira

...ridiculously cool geode street art. That also kind of looks like a gold-teeth-filled mouth coming out of the side of a building. Just awesome.

Photo by A Common Name

Image credits: Hand-painted wall by Ava Roth (in her home) via Design*Sponge | Bloom gift toppers by Stephmodo | Holly's living room for Nothing But Bonfires | DIY washi tape keyboard by Her New Leaf via Oh Hello Friend | Geode street art by A Common Name via Design for Mankind

My Weekend in Pictures

I so wanted to post this yesterday, but then work and the final hockey game of the year got in the way, so I hope the suspense didn't kill you. On a happy note, our team came through for us last night and once again won the championship! Yay Eisbären!

I won't give you an entire recap yet of our 5-day Scotland trip (after all, that's what Travel Thursdays are for!), but here's a nice little selection of the many many pictures of our shenanigans throughout the very long weekend.

Sunrise over Berlin while waiting for the bus to the airport

Probably our last flight out of Tegel (as the new BER airport opens in June); I'm gonna miss this silly wee excuse for an airport

Reunited with Alyssa (and I'm looking mighty attractive here)! One of my favorite Padovane (we studied abroad together in Padova, Italy, along with a couple other of my favorite ladies, Liz and Emily)

Mirrors and a horse butt at the entrance to the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art

Glasgow cherry trees in bloom

True story | Glasgow humor (yes, that picture was taken in a bar bathroom)

Haggis (with neeps and tatties)!

Our gracious American-turned-Glaswegian hosts, Jerrick and Dawn

 Our hike up the moutain behind the Glengoyne distillery. We got more than just a wee bit wet.

Courageous Erik and Mike

Hiding from the rain yet again, this time in a phone booth in Edinburgh

More pictures and trip details to come but the very short version is:

We tried haggis (Micha liked it, I could live without it)
We drank a lot of warm beer - what is it with warm, barely carbonated beer in the UK?
We made new friends - already knew Alyssa and Erik, but now we can call Mike, Deanna, Jerrick, and Dawn our friends too!
We understood at least 75% of what the Scots were saying to us.
We tried (and enjoyed) Airbnb for the first time.
We even learned to look right every time we crossed the street (and as a result, no one got hit by a car!)

And finally, it really does rain a lot in Scotland. Like, every day. But I'd still move there in a heartbeat; it was that awesome.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! What are you up to this weekend? It's been alternately rainy and 80-degrees here, so while we're hoping some to do a long bike ride on our new road bikes down to Key Biscayne, we'll have to wait and see. We're also checking out Juvia, a new restaurant that recently opened on Miami Beach and that's getting a lot of buzz here. And can I just say that I'm kind of ridiculously excited for a dressed-up Saturday night date night?

Hope your weekend is lovely and we'll see you back here on Monday (with tales of whisky and Scottish accents from Nicole, to be sure)!

P.S. Love this tank! (As seen on the ever stylish Oh Joy.)

This would be awesome for a summer party!

The Ikea PS collection is coming to the US! Hurrah!

Made me laugh.

Image: Reason to smile letterpress print by Honeycomb Print Shop via Design Is Mine 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Have a Garden! (Well, Almost)

Okay, I know it's Travel Thursdays over here, and appropriately, Nicole's jetting off to Scotland today, so I was going to say something about that--something like how we've wanted to go to Scotland since starting Ian Rankin's Detective Rebus novels years and years ago, yada yada--but then F suggested we run to Home Depot this morning to stock up on supplies for the green balcony of my dreams, and I got distracted. And then I got excited. And then I had to share with you.

We went to Home Depot to get enough supplies to replant what is turning out to be the massive amount of tomatoes, peppers, basil, and parsley we planted last week. We got those, and the neccessities like soil and fertilizer, and then I got all ooh I love this! and this! and this! and we ended up also taking home a large palm plant and what is basically a hibiscus tree. Evidently I have a lot of faith in my green thumb. Let's all cross our fingers it doesn't fail me.

I went home and immediately started rearranging the balcony to accommodate all the plants (and also, if you're wondering why the paint roller is there, decided to paint a few storage boxes I'd been meaning to because hey, if I was going to be crafty, I might as well go all out). This is where your ta-da! moment comes, right? Where I show you the beautiful green dream balcony I've been talking about since the beginning of the year? Well that's not quite what I ended up with (yet!), and here's why:

The seedlets, as I have decided to refer to them, are, to my dismay, not quite ready for replanting. We only planted them a week ago and despite the fact that they're growing much quicker than we expected, I was assured replanting them too soon would not be a good idea. They need to grow roots first or something like that. So I'll have to be patient, which I'm not great at being, especially when it comes to a craft project I want to do now, and settle for the loveliness of my Dream Green Garden-To-Be.

All photos by Natalie's iPhone

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inspired By...

...striped sofas! We're stripe-lovers in my household (wee striped kitten included), but I'd never even dreamed of a striped sofa until I saw one. Now, I'm in love.

Photo by Henry Bourne

...the most delicious-looking popsicles I can imagine. I've never been a big popsicle eater, I'd rather go straight for the ice cream, but these homemade gourmet yogurt popsicles would certainly change my mind!

Photo by Victoria

....the cutest of pillows for wee ones (or for wee-ones-at-heart).

Available at Land of Nod

...DIY picnic baskets! What a cute, clever, and best of all easy idea! And since it's already picnic weather in Miami, I need to make these soon!

Photo by Alexis Birkmeyer

...blank canvases to create your very own maroushka dolls. (If only mine could turn out as cute as these did...)

Available at Blank

Image credits: Harriet Anstruther and Henry Bourne's living room via SF Girl by Bay | Gourmet yogurt pops from A Subtle Revelry | Pillows by Land of Nod via Oh Joy | Picnic basket DIY and printable by Alexis Birkmeyer for Oh Happy Day | Blank maroushka dolls via Creature Comforts

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A German Baking Exchange!

So I recently signed up for what might possibly be the one of the most fun things I will be involved in all year. It's a mail baking exchange started by three awesome bloggers here in Germany, called Post aus meiner Küche ("mail from my kitchen"). It's really the coolest idea I've heard of in a while and a great excuse to get me to try out some new recipes I've been dying to make. Plus the added bonus that I finally get to share the results of kitchen endeavors with someone else so that I don't gain 8000 pounds in the process. (Oh the downside of having a non-dessert loving boyfriend...)

Basically, anyone could sign up for the exchange and then each of the 300+ (!) participants was given a "Tauschpartner in Schokoladencrime" (exchange partner in chocolate crime). Partners exchanged emails and addresses and could then get to work. The exchange date is set for next week, when we'll be sending each other packages full of as many themed goodies that we can concoct and fit in a reasonably sized, mailable package. This is the very first exchange and the theme is (quite happily for me) chocolate. Could you even think of a better one? Cuz I couldn't.

While I can't yet say what my recipe choices will be (I don't want to spoil the surprise for my partner in chocolate crime!), I will leave you with a little mouthwatering inspiration today from one of the Post aus meiner Küche masterminds, Jeanny of Zucker, Zimt, und Liebe (which translates to the adorable title "Sugar, Cinnamon, and Love"). Even if you can't read German, her blog is worth a visit for the amazing pictures alone (plus, it's extra easy to translate all her delicious recipes into English with the sidebar button she's got there).

 I'll update you with my sent and received packages hopefully the week after next, when they've both arrived safely at their destinations. And if you'd like to help a girl out in devouring lots of chocolate-y goodness, well, you know where to reach me!

All images by Jeanny of Zucker, Zimt und Liebe, originally found via Sodapop