Saturday, February 21, 2009

Flower (staying) power

Brad sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers to my work last Friday for Valentine’s Day - Awww, right? I really thought I took a picture of them, but it is nowhere to be found. Trust me when I say they were a gorgeous bouquet of pink and red roses, red carnations, and a sweet pink flower I can’t name. The bouquet also had lots of great fern and leaves for filler. Today I noticed the roses and fern were fading, so I decided to see what I could salvage. It turned out there was enough good stuff left for three small bouquets.

I stuck some florist’s foam in a little hobnail vase to hold the carnations and a bit of the greenery. The splash of red looks great on the kitchen table.

The mysterious pink flower fit perfectly in a repurposed IKEA spice jar. I stuck a few books with coordinating covers under the vase to give the arrangement a little height. I think the overall look adds a little sweetness to the hallway table.

I stuck the rest of the leaves in this glass vase on a side table in the living room. Although this arrangement is the plainest, I bet it will last the longest.

I always love it when I can make flowers last a little longer. They add so much life and color to the house!

Out with the old

After Valentine’s Day, I always feel like spring should just get here already. In an effort to speed things along, I decided it was time to switch out my winter drinking glasses, with my vintage daisy glasses.

I love the red snowmen and snowflake designs on these Target glasses, and the fact that they were purchased half price after Christmas two years ago.

These stay out for the rest of the year. I think the yellow and white daisy pattern is a nice contrast to the red fiestaware dishes.

It may not be spring outside, but at least it’s starting to feel sunnier in my kitchen!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sundae Fun

My friend Anna came over for dinner last week, and we made these cute sundaes in martini glasses. Not only did they look adorable, but we also felt like we were getting more dessert because a little ice cream looks like a lot when you have an entire glass full. I’ve also layered fruit in wine glasses and made mini trifles in small juice or old fashioned glasses. It’s a win-win because the glass shows off how pretty desserts like this can be and it also keeps the portions under control. I personally feel like I need as much dessert as my bowl will hold, so smaller containers are a very good thing!

How to hide your junk: part 2

One thing that always drives me nuts about shelter magazines is that the people living in these beautiful houses never seem to have any of the everyday items most people have sitting around. For instance, where are the dish towels? Or the bedside alarm? Or the huge bottle of Listerine that won’t fit in any medicine cabinet? I assume that these items must get hidden away when the photographers knock on the door, because it would be horribly inconvenient to live your life with day to day necessities stored in out of the way places. I’m all for convenience and style, so here are a few more ways I keep things handy but hidden.

The Nightstand. My hand-me-down nightstand has two drawers that are perfect for holding things I need only once in awhile, but because the drawers are heavy and awkward to open from the bed, I needed a better way to store things I use everyday. I found the solution at IKEA.

This brown and bamboo storage box was intended to hold CDs but it works great for keeping my glasses, a box of tissues, a couple of books and magazines, and my pillow mist all within arm’s reach. I use a reverse painting on glass coaster to hold loose change, bobby pins, and other little items – sometimes it even gets used as a coaster. I’m not crazy about my clock radio, but at least it’s small. I’m hoping to find something cuter, but alarm clocks that are stylish, affordable, and let you wake up to music are hard to come by, so for now this little black clock works for me.
Kitchen Shelves. I don’t have a lot of drawer space in my kitchen, but I have a lot of pot holders and dish towels. When my Dad was helping us design our kitchen remodel, he pointed out this very handy corner shelving system from IKEA.

I am so glad we decided to go with this instead of small cabinet. I bought the square baskets from IKEA as well, and they work perfectly for holding folded dish towels, wash rags, pot holders, napkins, and aprons. I kept the middle shelf clear for cookbooks, and I love having them right there when I need to check a recipe. The wooden box is an old card catalogue I use for storing loose recipe cards.

The Bathroom. I really hate the big ugly bottle of mouthwash, but in our tiny bathroom there is nowhere else for it to live but on the sink. However, I have a plan to get rid of the offending plastic bottle. I am positive the sink would look a hundred times less cluttered if the mouthwash was stored in a glass bedside carafe, the sort were the lid also serves as a drinking cup. Here are a few I like. They are surprisingly hard to find in stores.
I like the sweet and simple lines of this one from Reform School
The price ($6.99) is right for this one from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but I'm not sure how the glass is going to look on top of the carafe.
I've been thinking of doing this for awhile, but I have yet to find a carafe where I love both the style and the price. When I find the perfect fit, I'll let you know!