Well, my sinuses are telling me it’s spring again – a time of year that the trees around my house up-chuck pollen all over everything. I got around to cleaning the big sliding glass doors we have 3 TIMES with windex and paper towels only to still have streaks of pollen on the door. Clearly this most holy pollen war can only be won with a squeegee.
After I had emptied half a bottle of windex (with little result), I went to the local nursery and bought some plants for my container gardening this year. Every year I plant tomato plants and last year even got lots of tomatos, HOWEVER, the rabbits around the hood (who I have all named “Klaus” – why not) all seem to LOVE tomatos and I got to eat very few of them. So, the war on pollen has turned into a war on rabbits. My sister, the chef, suggested I just catch and eat said rabbits, but that is more war atrocity than I can stomach at this moment. So, after some internet research I found that rabbits apparently don’t like marigolds, mint, or cayenne powder. So, surrounding my tomato plants is a sentinel of marigolds backed up by a beefy mint plant (which will make nice mojitos in the summer!) and i will sprinkle cayenne pepper around the plants when the fruit starts to come in. I also planted basil and other florals, but I’ll take pictures and post them later.
So, it seems that the world has caught floral fever – not just me, and everything from fashion to furniture is getting decked out in spring-y awesomeness. Now, pile all of these floral patterns on top of each other and it will look like your grandmother’s hanky exploded all over everything, but used judiciously, you can get a feminine and sophisticated look…
from top left to bottom right: capiz flushmount (pottery barn) $200; floral burst knob (anthropologie) $8; sakura full/queen duvet cover (crate and barrel) $140; strandmon chair (ikea) $280; vine flower silk pillow cover (west elm) $30; dahlia candle holder (cb2) $20; rosie rug 6×9 (crate and barrel) $300; klovsjo 3 piece art (ikea) $20.
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visitor centre – vancouver botanical garden
Architect: Perkins + Will
Key GREEN facts: LEED Platinum, net-zero energy usage, 400 solar hot water tubes, 75 square meter PV array on the roof, 54 geothermal boreholes (each 60m deep), prefabricated green roof, 300,000L cistern for rainwater harvesting, bioreactor for on-site black-water treatment connected to a percolation field, biomass boiler uses reclaimed wood waste for extra hot water heating, natural ventilation with an automated solar chimney.
Watch the 9min video HERE!
…and remember to go GREEN this weekend!
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an update on all things me
Well, it’s been a while, I know, so here is what I have been up to…I have been so busy that I had to actually take a day off from work to clean the house! I had a slow day coming up and desperately needed to get some errands and chores done so, yes, I admit that I took a day off to do it. AND, I apparently now am of the age that I need to stretch before and after cleaning because after vaccuuming, scrubbing, laundering, dusting, etc. I had pulled every muscle in my body. I know, lame. And probably could have been avoided had I cleaned at least once in the past (ugh) month(s). Ick. But I have been busy!!!
I just found out that I – miraculously – passed my Structures exam (2 of 7 DONE if you are keeping score), so that was a huge relief! I really was dreading having to take that again. Also, my sister came to visit over this past weekend and we took in the Cherry Blossom Festival here in DC and went to a VA winery as well! A lovely time had by all (aside from the crowds and sunburn). It is officially SPRING in DC (nevermind that 90 degree weather we had for a few days there) and even though everything is coated in about and inch of pollen, i am enjoying the sunshine and lunches outside in Dupont Circle!
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punch it – spring edition
Well, it’s been a while. I know what you’re thinking: “What a lazy blog-writer!”. You’re so judgemental. Actually, I have just taken my 2nd architecture exam (of 7), Structures, which I am pretty sure kicked my butt (unless I am suddenly the luckiest/best guesser ever). By the way, let me just say how unfair it is to have a fill-in-the-blank math problem!!! At least I have a fighting chance with multiple choice!!! NCARB can shove it. I digress…
In the mean time, it is now spring (YAY!) and the DC area just had it’s first real snow (even though nothing stuck for more than 24 hours, AGAIN). That said, the spring-cleaning bug seems to have bitten me (AND the hubby) in a really big way. Those of you who know us are picking yourselves off the floor right now. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t cleaned the house in an embarrassingly long time (I’ve been studying, geez) or that we finally realized we have way to many “donate” piles still in the house and not at Goodwill/Purple Heart. I know.
So, you may remember a while back I wrote out a punch list for the house. And I am pleased to say that a good chunk of things are crossed off, but now it’s time for a new list. Here goes: (completed is crossed out, new list items in pink)…
LIVING ROOM/DINING ROOM
- Replace sagging curtain rods and rod-hangers in living room (+ patch and paint)
- Hem and install new sheer curtains in living room
- Paint stained/patched ceiling in dining room from bathroom renovation
- Patch and paint ceiling damage at stair due to leaky A/C
- Fix settee arm
- Fix wood on lounge chair
- get rid of old magazines in bookshelf, replace bookshelf?
(there is a depressing lack of progress in this category)
Call electrician regarding non-working bathroom outlets Fix striker plate on door/replace door hardware of full bath so that the door actually closes
- Replace painted-over vent register in full bath
- repaint bathroom walls (still struggling with the color…)
Paint patched walls in office from bathroom renovation Install ¼ round trim in office Get a new office desk Frame and hang miscellaneous artwork
(this makes up for the lack of living room progress!)
- Install threshold at ½ bath
Replace loose knobs at ½ bath vanity
- Rent ladder and paint beige wall over the stair
- Clean or repaint white interior doors as needed
- Fix bedroom door veneer that is cracked
- Sand and repaint stair hand-rail
Clean/repaint white stair treads
- Change ceiling fan light bulbs
- Add legs to Hubby’s dresser
- Clean out/organize tool/storage space under stairs
clean out exterior storage closet
- Hang bike hook in storage closet
- repaint front door (navy or robin’s egg blue???)
- clean donation/trash piles out of bedroom and living room
- repair steam cleaner in process of scrubbing down the entire house!!!
Well, that may not have been the most exciting blog post, so here are some pretty pictures of things I have pinned to hold you over…
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emerald and mint
It always throws the hubby off when I use color names other than the classic ROY G BIV colors, and even some of those colors are not in man-speak (I’m looking at you, Indigo). However, I maintain that there is a huge difference between “salmon” and “orange”. I hope all of you agree. If not, go on with your bad self lumping every color into it’s nearest basic category. You’ll be missing out though on names like “prussian blue”, “raspberry”, and “pistachio”. So there.
Anyway, the big trend now is color blocking, that is, pairing two or more colors that play well with each other. That said, they can be complimentary, like pink and orange (very popular right now), or contrasting like green and orange (hip in modern circles). I have been gravitating towards the mint and emerald camp which is almost like a tone on tone. They are both blue-ish greens (rather than yellow-greens like lime) and while emerald is rich and thick on it’s own, the contrast with it’s airy and fresh cousin – mint – is pretty cool. So, here are some items I pieced together to illustrate…
from top left to bottom right: industrial sconce (urban outfitters) $49; smeg refrigerator (west elm) $2000; enamel tea kettle (world market) $15; feather watercolor painting (etsy: rakla) $18; luscious langoustine plate (anthropologie) $20; birch cutting board (etsy: SilverPineWodworks) $40; kitchenAid mixer (overstock.com) $350; lacko table (IKEA) $39; everett chair (west elm) $466-599; origami throw pillow (world market) $30; knitted pouf (world market) $80; aimee wilder rug (overstock.com) $110-1449.
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manhattan storm barrier
Location: East River, Manhattan
Architects: WXY Architecture + Urban Design
Key Facts: As a response to hurricane Sandy, the redevelopment plan would mitigate storm surge threats by creating natural barriers along 4 miles of the East River. The plan will create a series of wetlands, parks, and pedestrian/bicycle paths which would not only reduce storm impact on the shore but also relink the community to the waterfront.
For more info and an image slideshow, go HERE.
and remember to go GREEN this weekend!
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The hubby usually complains that all of my vacation pictures are of buildings rather than the people on the trip (namely us) and that all of the pictures will be in sepia or some such hipster photo effect. So, he may be right. Our honeymoon trip to San Francisco/Napa apparently consisted of mainly joinery studies, bolt details, and stone masonry observations - if you go by my picture slideshow…
Whatever. So I like details more than people. So what if i think things look better in black and white or color isolated rather than as God intended. Sue me.
Anyway, we went on a mini vacation to West Palm Beach, FL (Singer Island) for a long weekend with my parents. It seems like a great beach place, but when we went it happened to be in the 60′s and windy so we didn’t get much beach time in. We did go to the Morikami Japanese Garden which is really nice and the hubby and I went for an evening of live blues/funk at BB King’s in City Place. All in all, a good trip, and here are some of my pictures (FROM MY CAMERA – got my new charger!)…
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Again, a very productive weekend - I completed all of the last minute details in my office! [I also did a mountain of ironing, baked a gluten-free chocolate lavender cake, and studied! The hubby was even super productive too - he replaced the lockset on the exterior storage closet our condo has since we don't have a key to lock it and have recently been noticing stuff going missing from there. Yay hubby!] Anyway, last post I talked about the costs associated with this overhaul, so now it is time for some final pics! See below….
p.s. please excuse the grainy pictures, I have officially lost the charger for my digital camera and was hoping I would find it when I cleaned out the office, but, alas, no luck. I have a new charger on order from amazon and when it gets here, I’ll take some better pics. For now, this will have to do.
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dolla dolla bills, y’all
I often get asked how those shows/articles that boast how to get the look for less manage to actually do that. The answer is: you get your hands a little dirtier and roll up your sleeves a little more.
One aspect is that you can find a similar product for less, like, say, a chair. Sure, you could spend $2,500 on a Bantam chair from Design Within Reach (not within my reach) or you could spend $550 on a similar Karlstad chair from Ikea. Are the details the same? No. Are the details worth $2000 extra dollars? Depends on how deep your pockets are. For myself, I generally draw the line at “Is this more than my mortgage payment? Yes? Then perhaps not.” So you end up having to do a lot of looking, comparing, etc to find those deals. It takes time, but, personally, I’d rather spend time than money. And the fun is in the hunt too, right?
Also, if you have the inclination, and we all know that I do, you can DIY/hack/bootleg your own versions of the items you are looking for. This is the part where you get your hands dirty, but if you want to save $$$, it’s a must. The amount of DIY demends on your skill level, but even basic projects can go a long way because you are not paying someone else to do it for you (a cost embedded into products bought at a store as well as literally paying someone to do things for you).
For my office project, I did spend some hard earned dough, but not much. Here is my breakdown:
- $40 quarter round trim for entire room + finish nails + spackle
- $25 gallon of Behr Himalayan Mist paint
- $10 quart of Rustoleum black chalkboard paint
- $50 Ikea storage bins (6)
- $65 light fixture components – DIY project
- $20 Ikea frames/artwork hanging accessories
- $40 glass desk (craigslist find)
- couch, wood desk, bookshelf, side table, accessories + art already owned
total: $250 for a new office!
Stay tuned for the big reveal…….
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progress is my middle name
…well my middle name is actually my maiden name (I changed it from my actual middle name when I took the hubby’s last name, so that I could keep it in part). Middle names aside, I made more progress on the office this weekend! It is almost done – I still have to hang the light fixtures and art of the walls so a lot of stuff is still piled up around the room, but the painting is done. The light blue color actually needed 3 coats – yuck! I didn’t think the gray that I was painting over was all that dark, but after the 2nd coat of the blue dried, I could still see uneven-ness (not that anyone else would notice it, but one of the downsides to being an architect is that you notice every minute detail). So I used the entire gallon of blue paint, but after 3 coats, it looks great. Once dry, I rearranged the furniture according to the plan that I had sketched out and the room is coming together. I hung two shelves over the glass desk so that I could display my school models while still having drawing space on the chalkboard wall.
Here are the progress shots, and do note that the stuff pile don the desks and couch will be going on the walls as soon as I get frames, hooks, etc. AND, stay tuned for how those hacked light fixtures turn out!
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