Saturday, December 31, 2011

Beautiful Views

What a great day!

Laying out by the pool. 
Dinner at Sharkey's (coconut shrimp, lobster artichoke dip and a frozen mango drink - yum!) .
Followed by a beautiful sunset.

Definitely not tired of Sarasota just yet.

Spending the day at the beach tomorrow.


*~ Ina

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fun in Flo-Rida

The day after Christmas we boarded a plane and were Sarasota-bound.

Zach and I are here with his family for the week and LOVING it! Yesterday the biggest decision I had to make was which swimsuit to wear: the red one or the black one? 
This is the life. :)

Here are just a few snapshots of what we've been up to here:

1. My awesome husband let me have the window seat. 
2. Views of Florida from above. 
3. & 4. On our way to the house from the airport. Sunshine and 79 degrees!

1. Parrot I spotted in an antique store.
2. Beautiful decorative pillow we debated on taking home with us. Might still go back for it...
3. & 4. Displays of jewelry and other trinkets at a local shop in Sarasota. 
Safe to say, I love everything in there!

We were lucky enough to get a private tour of the Ca' d'Zan Mansion - a 56 room mansion built by John and Mable Ringling (of the Ringling Brothers Circus).

1. Zach and I on top of the tower of the Ringling mansion. 
2. & 3. The patio circles the back of the mansion and looks out into Sarasota Bay. 
Parts of the 1998 movie Great Expectations were filmed here. Just a little FYI. :)

The Rose Garden on the Ringling Estate - 
over 27,000 sq. feet of beautiful landscapes and the most fragrant roses! 

All for now. More adventure coming soon!

*~ Ina

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Decorating with Twinkle Lights

So, maybe I got a little carried away ...

Poor Skya.

*~ Ina

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hello Monday

hello christmas tree.

 hello hot chocolate.

hello christmas decorations.

hello yummy candles.

hello movies and popcorn.

hello "new" computer.

goodbye thanksgiving.
it was fun.

hello winter.

 *~ Ina

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Few New Things

A couple of posts ago I hinted about about a little something we picked on our way back from Minneapolis. Quite a few people asked me about it at work and I was so ECSTATIC to find out I had a few readers/followers, I decided to torture them just a little bit longer. (In actuality, it took me a while to figure out exactly how and where these were going to be hung).

Zach spotted these old (and heavy!) wood doors tucked away in the corner of Painted Porch antique store and after walking through the place a couple of times to make sure we hadn't missed anything, he decided to "pop on it."

That's American Pickers talk for "buy it." :)
After a trip to Lowe's, a few hours of measuring, two trips to Home Depot, and remeasuring again just to be sure, we hung them on a large empty wall in our living room. They're painted black, and even though I wish they weren't painted, they still look pretty cool. Our plan is to put some pictures behind the glass to bring the doors to life.

So there you have it.

Oh, we have a few other additions too. For the longest time we could not figure out how to make our house a home. Slowly we've been finding things here and there and it feels great to make our own mark.

This wood trunk came from Found Things in the East Village. We mosied in there one Sunday afternoon and noticed this right away. Ginn & Co Publishers shipped school books in this box to Lowell Elementary School in Boone (there are markings on the sides and the lid).

That pretty much sealed the deal for me, since when I used to write for the Boone News years ago, I was on the Eduction beat, and visited Lowell Elementary almost weekly. I've been wanting a trunk like this for a long time and for now it houses blankets and pillows in our living room, but we also like the option of maybe even using it at the foot of the bed in our bedroom.

almost took out a window while we were in Found Things with this old amplifier. I was trying to turn it around when it knocked over a lamp, which in turn knocked over a coat rack, which then banged against the store window. 

Very loudly.
Embarrassingly loud.
Zach turned around and walked away.
I wished I was invisible.

The amplifier itself is original from the 1930s I think, but the base was made recently so it has something to stand on.

And while we're on the subject of new goodies, I've got one more thing.
We found these candle sticks at Goodwill this summer for $2 for the pair. 

They were black when I got them, but a can of red spray paint made them perfectly compliment the Keep Calm and Carry On framed piece we have hanging in the hallway.

I just thought I'd share the little touches that are slowly helping us make the house "our house."

All for now.

*~ Ina

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My week in pictures

1. I randomly discovered the Porch Light in the East Village one day. The prettiest antique/gift store I have ever been in - I could live in there! From picture frames made of recycled barn doors, to jewelry made my local artists, this place is like Disneyland for me.

2. Quinoa with butternut squash, fresh cranberries and roasted walnuts. Sounds weird, but is so yummy! Anyone want the recipe? :)

3. Yes - my fall decorations are still scattered around the house. Our neighbors have their twinkle lights hung already but fall is too pretty of a season to skip through. So I'm milking it for all it's worth.

4. We're hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time and we're even busting out the fancy china we received from Zach's grandma as a wedding present. There will be lots of cleaning, cooking, and decorating (did I mentioned cleaning?) going on next week. So excited!

All for now,

*~ Ina

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where does the time go?

The last few weeks have kept this girl pretty busy. Either that, or I've been really lazy.
Verdict's still out.

Since the days have gotten shorter and it's pitch black outside by 6 p.m., motivation escapes me as I turn on the fireplace, cozy up under a blanket and am lost in my latest obsession - The Big Bang Theory.
Doesn't help that we got Direct TV last week either...but let's not get into that.

So where has my time gone?

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to score some awesome tickets to the (sad) Iowa vs. Minnesota game in Minneapolis, and any excuse to visit my favorite sister-in-law is enough for me to pack up the car for a mini road trip!

Tailgating VIP style.

Perfect seats to a terrible game.

The tickets (outdoor box seats on the 50 yard line, did I mention?) came with a VIP parking pass right in front of the stadium.
A group of us tailgated and then made our way into the stadium. The box seats gave us access to a huge common area that included a fireplace, hot chocolate and lots of yummy food.

Me and Angie staying warm by the fireplace

The following day we stopped at the Original Pancake House for breakfast. I had the most delicious pumpkin pancakes EVER...

...and Zach had this:

Apple "pancakes."
For breakfast.

On our way home we stopped in Medford to check out this antique store I've been told is great.

Just a few things I spotted:

Funky magnets made out of tin cupcake pans.

Love this hanging cabinet.

We even took something home with us.
What was it?
More on that in an upcoming post, but let's just say we were glad we had the truck that day. :)

So that's what I've been up to.

(Well, that and quoting Sheldon.)

Lots of projects coming up.

Stay tuned.

*~ Ina

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ready, set, Fall !

I love fall!
Leaves changing colors.
Football season.
Apple cider.

Recently I jumped into my cowboy boots (what else would a girl wear to a farm?), revved up the truck and we made the short trip to Howell's Pumpkin Patch to find the perfect pumpkins.

Finding our pumpkins was easy. The hard part was walking through their gift shop and not taking everything home with me. They were also selling huge mums (and by huge, I mean GINORMOUS).

How could I resist?
So along with our pumpkins, we brought home the monster of a mum below, as well as a few other small goodies to display around the house.

I can't get over the blooms!

And just a quick view of our mantle:

We snatched the ceramic ghost pumpkin last year, along with another one that has a witch hanging from the "window," at a craft store for 75% off.
The bail of hay, corn and pumpkin stake came from the gift shop at Howell's Pumpkin Patch.
The tall candle to the right was a bridal shower gift from a good friend of mine.

P.S. - While we're on the subject of candles and fall, I am obsessed with Bath & Body Works "Leaves." It's the perfect soft blend of apples, cider spices and cinnamon. I burn it every year around this time and it's just the perfect fall scent.

All for now,

*~ Ina

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Keep Calm and carry your own junk

A while back a friend of mine told me about Junkarama. How have I not heard about this before??

I was pumped to find out one was going to be held close to where I live this weekend. Junk, antiques and refurbished treasures? I am so there!

Here are a few pictures I snapped:

Initially I didn’t think about bringing Zach along as he might “cramp my style.” But as I thought about it, I figured he could at least help me carry some junk, in case I found something I couldn’t live without.

Case in point:

We decided to pass on it but as we were walking back to our car, we agreed that we hadn’t seen anything like it before and we wanted to bring it home. As we turned around to go back for it, I was hoping it was still there and someone else hadn’t snatched it.

Luckily, we got our hand on it, paid the lovely ladies at the booth, and carried it out to the car. More specifically – I carried it out to the car.

How could I not? Everyone was staring! I even heard a few “That is so cool.” Needless to say I felt pretty cool.

We loaded our newfound “junk” into the backseat (not trunk) and now just need to decide on a home for it.

First junk show = success!

~ Ina

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How we met our house

This time last year Zach and I were crammed in a teeny tiny one bedroom apartment, with way too much stuff and hardly any room to move around. The living room also served as the dining room/guest bedroom/office and was jam packed with college text books, video games and dog toys belonging to this vicious beast:

Who, me?

Zach landed a great job before graduating in May and we knew that looking for a house was our next step. Back then my job barely paid more than minimum wage, so I was terrified of a mortgage (our tiny apartment also came with a tiny rent).

Once we figured out our budget, and agreed on what we wanted in a home (great backyard, large kitchen, 2 stories ...), we met with a realtor and the search was on. Our lease was up in July and we wanted to take advantage of the First Time Homeowner's Tax Credit, so we knew we had to hurry.

We looked at 6 or 7 houses in one day before we found, what we like to call "the one." It was the last house on our list and within minutes of walking through the front door I knew it. I think Zach was trying to keep an open mind as we walked through the open floor plan, into the big kitchen, up the stairs to the 3 bedrooms, a master bathroom and walk-in closet....but I was sold. He was starting to really like it and after seeing me mouth the words "I LOOOOVE this house" about 10 times when our realtor wasn't looking, he realized I really did looooove it.

That night we made plans for both of our parents to walk through it, and I remember watching my mom's face as she looked around. Everyone was happy for us and, while we didn't need their seal of approval, it meant a lot to us that they liked it - a lot. The next morning we made an offer and within a day or two, the sellers accepted!

We moved in on June 4, 2010!

Street view of our humble abode

Stay tuned for tales and photos of our adventures, as we discover what being home owners really means (hello giant deck staining project!).

All for now,

~ Ina