Friday, August 31, 2012

Our Long Overdue Bedroom Rug

I'm sure I've mentioned before that Micha and I aren't really rug people. More out of laziness and uncertainty than dislike. So when the right rug presents itself to us on a daily deal website (of course, like I shop anywhere else these days!), we are not opposed to snatching it up. Which is just what we did way back in May. And lo and behold, it finally arrived one day this month, much to the chagrin of our poor mailman who is starting find the packages he has to schlepp up to me both absurd and perhaps a teeny bit annoying (get over it, buddy), and has been merrily warming our feet each morning and evening ever since. (The rug, not the mailman. That would be a very strange turn of events.)

Sooooo fluffy and soft! Also, it looks a tad more blue in person, which I really wanted for this room.

Nat's been telling me we needed a really big, statement-making rug for the bedroom all year, ever since she helped plan to rescue our sad excuse for a bedroom. We had two tiny rugs at the sides of our bed that just weren't cutting it, she told me many o' time. (Somehow, I have no pictures of those rugs in the room, but they were tiny blue and white chevron-striped ones from Impressionen, that they no longer seem to sell and that Natalie was convinced were actually bath mats. But they weren't!) The room is just too darn big for small rugs and I'm so pleased with how perfectly this big guy really ties the room together.

Slowly but surely we're turning this bedroom into a cozy little haven...(despite the bikes that reside there still :).

The rug is by the brand Papilio, purchased on Westwing. I'd seriously recommend this brand because sweet valley high, I've never felt such a soft rug in my life! (Non-soft rugs are such a turnoff for me, no matter how pretty they may be.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Inspired By...

...a gallery wall that's colorful and whimsical--and paired with an awesome striped settee. What's not to love?

Photo by Nicole Franzen, styling by Kendra Smoot

...a beautiful beachscape print that I've been madly in love with and finally ordered! I can't wait for it to spice up my bedroom wall.

Available at 20x200

...a DIY dresser handle project that's both fairly straightforward and bright pink! F may not like what I now have in store for our old dressers...

Photo by Tony Amos for Real Living

...another neon pink DIY (okay, okay, I have a thing for them all of a sudden) that would add the perfect hidden but accessible floor storage needed for our small office nook.

Photo and DIY by Fargevandring

...Gold cabinets. Gold! I'm speechlessly in awe...

Photo by Elle Decor

Image credits: Living room via Little Green Notebook | Apres Grande 12 by Christian Chaize via 20x200 | Flouro rope handle DIY by Erin Michael via Poppytalk | Storage on wheels DIY by Fargevandring via Design Crush | Gold kitchen from Elle Decor pinned by Julie

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Weekend in Pictures

This was a weekend that I direly needed after a not particularly enjoyable work week (sometimes I feel like my office is a mix of Office Space and The Big Bang Theory, but the best characters are unfortunately not the most prominent...) and Micha was also in need of, seeing as he managed to come down with a cold during the hottest week of the year. I know, how does that happen? Poor guy.

My very first package arrived from at long last (woo!) and even Micha, the atypical, not-quite-environmentally-friendly-enough German was aghast at the massive box and amounts of paper used to deliver two not-that-large rolled-up posters...

Friday night was girly night at Kerstin's where we spent most of our time doting on this little lady while she tried to tell us why she was just so darn unsatisfied with her Friday. (We never found out why but I think we did a pretty good job of showing her a good time anyways.)

On Saturday, we headed to the opening of a new scuba diving supply store that, randomly, a couple of the Eisbären would be at. I think the idea to go there started as a joke between Micha, Kai, and me and then turned into reality, like these kinds of things do. In the end in turned out to be quite worth it, though; Kai got a bargain on a mask and snorkel for his upcoming basic scuba class...

That's Constantin Braun (whom we lovingly/mockingly refer to as Tine) in red behind them, injured and so put to work at events like this instead of on the ice. :)

...and I found a new best friend.

Afterwards, I stole the car while Micha headed back home to bed (summer colds really are quite miserable) and made my way to Ikea to buy frames for my new posters from Fab. I don't think I've said it quite enough how much I thoroughly enjoy having an Ikea within 20 minutes driving distance from's magical and completely dangerous at the same time.

I managed to show massive restraint on this trip, shocking myself along the way. Though I'm now slightly regretting not having bought this cheeky fun doormat. I may have to go back next weekend.

I couldn't find this one the Ikea website yet but trust me, it's there!

The night was a relaxed one at a home with a lovely sunset view, a good movie (Der Gott des Gemetzels, which apparently is called Carnage in English?! I can't say I like that title much... but the movie was fantastic), some perfectly rare steaks (courtesy of Micha), and a fresh caprese salad with tomatoes and basil from the balcony garden. Kind of perfection.

We also spent Sunday at home, Micha nursing his cold and me embarking on random craft and baking projects around the house, with a quick and fruitless trip to find fruit (haha! ;) somewhere in the middle. I found a crappy flea market instead. So it goes.

My random projects included: Switching out some of the kitchen pics for newer ones: on the left is a wee tomato from our balcony garden and in the middle is a close-up of cappuccino from Nat's and my sister trip to Paris last year. (The far right picture has been there for a while, it's of grapes from a vineyard in Argentina that Micha visited.);

Whipping up two mini peach cobblers (inspired by a scene in  Carnage, though, if you've seen that scene, you'd probably question our desire to actually eat cobbler afterwards...what can I say, Micha wanted to know what cobbler was and I was happy to test a new recipe and show him!) for an improved variation of the detested (only by us) Kaffee-und-Kuchen hour that we like to call Champagne-or-Beer-and-Kuchen-but-preferably-Wurst hour. Much better, no?

Peach and blueberry cobbler | Playing around with neon

I also played around with some neon paint I had leftover from last Thanksgiving and I hope to show you the fruits of my labor later this week.

Ahhh, 'twas a good weekend. Now only one more until vacation! Woo!

Loved + Pinned

Image credits: Stripes & floral tablescape by My Sweet and Saucy pinned by Melissa | Notknot pillow by Umemi available at Touch of Modern pinned by Josh | Kid's room from Highway Design via Mamamekko pinned by Jen | Words of wisdom by Bippity Boppity Boo pinned by Ez | Dining room from Covet Garden pinned by Casa haus

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! Down here we're preparing for the possibility of hurricane/tropical storm/yet-to-be-determined natural disaster Isaac, which means stocking up on water and possibly camping out at our friend's apartment come Sunday, since we're right on the water! Fingers crossed it only bring some crazy rain and nothing more. I also just got a copy of Game of Thrones in the mail from Nicole (two actually, thanks to a delivery mistake--thanks, sister!) so plan to start that and, according to everyone I talk to, not put it down. What are you up to this weekend? Anything fun?

This week we saw dolphins right outside our front lawn! Dolphins! Something about them always makes me feel like a kid at heart...

P.S. I love this commercial for our new car (we got the yellow one!). Although this one is still my favorite.

Words of wisdom.

The news about Lance just makes me sad. What about you?

I've been coveting this lamp and I finally treated myself to it! Hurrah!

Photo by Natalie's iphone

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Travel Thursdays: The Ill-Fated Moped Tour in Siquijor

Welcome to part 6 of the trip that only lasted three weeks but will take a million years to recount... You can find our Philippines vacation part 1, the lost luggage saga, here; part 2, island hopping, here; part 3, the Bohol adventure tour, here; part 4, our arrival in paradise, here, and part 5, the jaw-droppingly gorgeous sunsets on Siquijor here.

Siquijor had much more to offer beyond just sunsets, even though those really were so beyond stunning and watching them was a fixed part of our daily routine, if you can call it that. We spent most of our five days on the island sleeping in (I think we slept something like 10 hours each night. It was heaven...), having meals at the "resort" restaurant (I use that term loosely because, while they called themselves a resort, it was nothing like the expensive, fancy schmancy places one associates with the word. It was small and intimate and my idea of vacation perfection.) that was literally about 15 steps from our hut's door...

This was the entire distance between relaxation in bed and relaxation with a drink in your hand

...enjoying the view of or floating in the warm ocean that was about 10 steps from our door...

You can just barely see me napping in my favorite spot here

...or enjoying drinkies - fresh mango juice or smoothies during the day, cans of San Miguel (San Mig, as the Filipinos call it) beer at night - near the pool or at the bar with our newfound travel buddies.

Me & Chantal - most of this picture was cute but this is the interwebs and modesty is a must. Micha really needs to learn to tell me when a pose is unflattering or inappropriate before snapping...

The resort had kayaks and canoes for us to use at our leisure so one day, we paddled out in two kayaks to the buoyed platform that was floating far off shore to enjoy the view both above and below water.

The cloud formations above the mountainous island across the way always made for good pictures

Our room was the left side of that adorable little hut with the two beach chairs in front of it. (Overly friendly German man was next door)

We tested out our fancy new snorkels and masks that Micha's momma gave us for Christmas, along with our will to venture in close proximity to sea life, to see if both the equipment and ourselves would be ready for some scuba diving sometime soon...

I may be the most ungraceful snorkler ever

Another day we rented a motorbike and rode around the island. Oh, that motorobike. It became part of quite the epic tale. First I have to say, the main reason Micha really wanted to go to Siquijor in the first place is because he read that you could ride around it easily on a motorbike in a couple hours and that the roads were well-paved and, more often than not, pretty empty. Both of these things, we learned, are a rarity in the Philippines, where traffic, crazypants drivers, and potholes abound.

Our first stop was the oldest Balete tree in Siquijor... please note bathing man in the bottom left corner. He made that view and moment a little less magical.

The ridiculousness all started when Micha realized he hadn't actually brought his driver's license with him to the Philippines. (Can I just stop her for a minute and repeat that. He forgot something for once. Not me! I will hold this against for as long as I can because it happens so seldom. Ok, moving on.) He spent the first couple days in Siquijor first plotting how to get his brother to scan and send him a copy of his driver's license and then trying to convince me I should just drive. (Oh dear god, can you imagine me driving a stick shift motorbike with Micha hanging on to me from behind?) Needless to say, neither worked out. Or rather, Kai pulled through and emailed a scanned copy of his license, but there was not a single place to print it on Siquijor. I kid you not.

The motorbike in question, shortly after "the incident"

So we asked in our resort about renting motorbikes and the cute front desk girls literally told us, "you need a driver's license, but you know, it's cheaper if you just walk down the street and rent it from somebody else." True story. And it was true, so we walked a ways and ended up renting a bike from an adorable little Filipino boy who could not have been more than 15 and was super sweet and accommodating, even borrowing helmets from his friends for us after first laughing at the fact that we even wanted helmets.

Siquijor gas station

During the course of the ensuing adventure - we were headed for a waterfall in the middle of the island - we managed, after quite a bit of searching for a gas station sign and gas pumps, to discover that gas stations there mean small huts with coke bottles full of red, green, or brown liquid displayed in front of them, that liquid being the gas (how is one supposed to know that?!).

Next, when stopping for a pee break for Micha, I stood near the moped and watched as suddenly and with no real rhyme or reason, it started to ever so slightly lean further and further to the left before toppling in slow motion to the ground. The most useful thing I managed to accomplish during the fall was to flap arms (uselessly) and yell, "moped! falling!" (helpful, right?). Micha ran out from behind a tree, looked at the moped, looked at me, and quietly grumbled for a disconcerningly long time...

After that, we tried to continue to enjoy the day, but mostly we just fretted over the cost of the resulting broken mirror on the moped. Then we also managed to get ourselves nice and lost on a huge mountain - at one point, I had to get off and walk while Micha rode the bike up a particularly steep incline - in a teeny tiny village on our way to the waterfall, all because we missed the giant sign for said waterfall, having been distracted by the ladies waving their arms to sell water bottles right across from it. (Why else would they have been selling water randomly on the middle of a mountain road, we should have asked ourselves!)

We did make it to the waterfall, though, and despite being small, the water was the refreshing pick-me-up we needed

In the end, our moped troubles held us back from completing our cruise around the island and we decide to return it and see what the damage would be. We were thinking along the lines of 20€, which annoyed us - the moped cost 6€ (300 pesos) to rent and by now we had grown quite accustomed to such prices - so when we brought it back to the cute 15-year-old, we told him what happened and apologized. He kind of looked at us blankly and said, "ohhh, ok." Then we offered him to pay him double the price of the rent, so 600 pesos total, and as his eyes lit up in amazement, we realized that that was waaaaay more than fixing the mirror could possibly cost. (Lesson learned!) But our consciences were clear, we were only out 6 extra euros, and our tushes were mighty glad to be off the moped and back on the beach anyways.

Needless to say, the night ended with beers at the bar while gazing out at the sunset with our German crew...

More to come again soon! (Well, somewhat soon...)

Inspired By...

...a living room that is totally not my style (there's no chartreuse!), but that I'm finding myself swooning over. That plushy sofa, those knitted pillows, and the calm color palette. I'm sold.

Photo by Pella Hedeby iphone case that is cracking me up. Yep, every time I see it.

Previously available at Kate Spade

...the patience people can have to make beautiful things. Like this city made of staples--only staples, standing up. I envy the willpower.

Created by Peter Root

...a happy print of my former (and favorite) city. I think my apartment needs this asap.

Available at Maybe Sparrows Place ties! Someone give F a reason to wear a tie, and I'm buying these for him!

(Sold out) by Flux Productions

Image credits: Living room via Poppytalk / iPhone case by Kate Spade via Creature Comforts / City of Staples by Peter Root via ManMade DIY New York print by Ashley Davis via Design Is Mine / Surf ties by Flux Productions pinned by Design*Sponge