Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Home Again

Long time no post! We are back home from our trip to the US now but had a great time. Although we were there three weeks, time flew, as it often does of course when you're having fun. One thing I did with Lois and my mom is make peg dollies or at least try to. The one above is one of my inspiration peg dolls by Jess Quinn. I also love Alicia Paulson's peg dolls. So cute! This little "home" gal greets us in our front hallway. We haven't finished ours yet, but I hope our sweeties will be almost as cute. But peg doll making just took up a teensy fraction of our time. So lets see, what did we do? So much really!

Of course Andrew cooked a ton, much more than I did. He's really into the new Tartine cookbook. He cooked so many things and loved using a new rotisserie attachment for the grill as well. But one thing he made that he's made many times that everyone in my family loves is sticky buns. Yum. He often makes and eats things that are gluten free because wheat gives him heartburn, but this was not a gluten free version. He only had a taste while we all devoured them.
Oooey, gooey, delicious! We also had the pleasure of revisiting some of our favorite restaurants and trying a few new ones like Chai Pani, who have some amazing matchstick okra fries on the menu. So good. And also the best mango lassi I've ever tasted. 
And we ate black eyed peas and collard greens for New Year's day, of course. Andrew made them with sauteed bacon, apples, and pecans. 
We had some fantastic ice cream at Jeni's, including a delicious sweet potato and roasted marshmallow, and the riesling poached pear sorbet, ah, good stuff. You know how much I love ice cream
But back to Christmas.... We wrapped and opened lots of presents of course. Lois was a great helper. We love to make our own wrapping paper. You can probably tell which one is hers. 
Lois was so happy Santa came and brought her a Barbie. Not my top pick for a gift, but she's been begging for one. 
I actually finished making some gifts as well, like these crocheted washcloths to go with soaps. This is a ripple pattern washcloth I learned in a class by Nicki Trench
And I've started knitting a cowl for myself, this pattern from the Purl Bee. Super easy and fun to make. I was just starting in this photo, but I'm almost finished now. 
My mom gave me a gift certificate to one of my favorite shoe stores in Atlanta called Sole. I got these cute short wellies there. I've been looking for cute shorties for a while now, and I love these. 
And speaking of feet, the girls went for a mani-pedi day. Lois thought it was so cool to get polka dots! 
We spent time with a lot of family and friends. Here I am below with my sister and her sister's in law's daughter (not sure what that makes her to me! other than cute).
Lois had a blast with the kids in the family and spent most of her time with her cousins, my sister's three boys. They played for hours and built many forts. 
When we go home, we divide our time between a few family member's houses, Andrew's mom's, my mom's and my sister's. Sometimes we stay with a friend too. This visit I especially liked staying at my sister's because she and her husband have recently renovated their house to add a master bedroom and bathroom, a family room, laundry room, a basement, and a great screened porch with a fireplace. I LOVE her house. Our place is very nice, but I went all green with envy over her house. They've lived there for many years now, but the new addition just makes it that much better. Her house is almost always spotless. For someone who has three boys who are 8 years old and under, it's remarkable really. Everything has a place, and everything is in its place at least 50% of the time. Now, she's human and her kids are normal boys so it gets messy, but when my sister cleans up, she means business! Her house is basically photoshoot ready after she cleans up. She cleans up every morning after the boys go to school and then again every night after they go to bed. But it's not just stuff that she puts away, toys and whatnot, it's incredibly clean. It's so clean that her fridge always looks brand new, and there never seems to be any smudges or crumbs on the cabinets or in the drawers, ever! And it's so pretty. Her style is very neutral and natural, open and airy. Being there this time lit a fire in me. I ordered curtains and a rug after staying there just a few nights, two things I've been so indecisive about, and I vowed to clean out every cabinet and closet this month! I didn't bring our Canon with the wide lens but here are some glimpses with my phone. This is what you see when you walk in. Spotless!
There used to be a wall between the dining room and kitchen, and it's much more open and light now. I love being able to see through a whole house. 
Part of their new family room with a huge "L" shaped leather sofa, perfect for a family with three growing boys. My sister painted the painting in the background as well. She wanted some art there and thought she'd just attempt to do something herself. Good job, sis!
Their new bedroom is so pretty, they just need a new headboard to complete the room. 
The other bedside. 
And their new bathroom is amazing. This photo does not do it justice, but take my word for it. 
Also in the bathroom, across from the sinks and mirrors are these shelves. She found the wood in the attic (it was an extra beam) and asked the contractor to make shelves out of it. 
Their new screened porch with the fireplace is wonderful as well. 
And I love her family photo walls. I would like to do the same someplace in our house, but I'm not sure where yet. 
And the little boys' room is very cute. 
So that's a mini tour. Here are a few older pics of her house as well. They have 2 other bedrooms and bathrooms, and a lovely front sitting room as well. Next time I'll bring our Canon and take some better photos. I also stumbled upon a great antique mall near my mother in laws house called Antiques in Old Town. So many of the booths were styled so nicely and looked so pretty. 
The journey home wasn't too bad except that I don't sleep much at all on planes so I'm super tired afterwards and this time we had to wait for our luggage to show up on the carousel for more than an hour. Last thing you want to do after a long flight with children! There was some sort of accident that delayed the bags. 
But we did make it home and our new rug arrived yesterday! And we love it, whew. It's so hard for me to pick things like rugs. This is the Kite Kilm rug from West Elm who now have a new London store, yay! 
I also ordered some curtains from Ballard Designs, these and these for different rooms in our house, which I received and love, but I need new curtain poles before I show those. Ballard Designs has some great things. Quite a few things at my sister's house also came from Ballard. We did so much more, but that is a little bit of our holiday that I thought you might enjoy. Hope you enjoyed your holiday as well! I have a lot of exciting things to share with you this month and am looking forward to it. Happy New Year! 


Liz said...

What a beautiful home your sister has. Glad I found your blog.
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Michelle said...

You weren't kidding, your sister's house is very beautiful and fresh and clean. I love it! So happy to have been able to see you both while you were here, love the new rug!

claire said...

I love the polka dot toes. So cute! Welcome home.
Claire xx
somewhere... beyond the sea