Every Rose Has Its Thorn

So here’s the thing: the thought of long stem red roses, baby’s breath, and a decadent, ornate vase literally makes me want to throw up in my mouth.  I would rather be the recipient of a sole, dead dandelion (and at least then, I could make a wish).

I will never forget circa 2006 when my girlfriend and I were living in San Francisco and her then boyfriend sent her a bouquet of red roses from Walmart.com for Valentine’s Day.  Their relationship ended shortly thereafter (obviously).

Since then, I’ve been steering clear of roses altogether, but a few weeks ago I was enjoying coffee in our garden and the scent of our fresh, fragrant roses took me back to a time when I didn’t have such disdain for this innocent, beautiful flower.  After all, it’s not the poor rose’s fault Hallmark exploited it.

So I decided to give them a go, and I’ve since concluded that they are perfectly lovely (and indeed classy) when cut short.

You’ll start with a bouquet from Ralph’s or some other god-awful chain (and hopefully you won’t pay more than $9.99 for a dozen).


Start by pulling apart the roses and one by one, picking off the leaves and clipping the stem.


Make sure the bottom of the rose hits the top of the vase.


Keep going, one by one placing them in the vase.


Eventually you’ll end up with a pile of leaves and thorns.


And a beautiful, small bouquet that looks something like this.


So sweet it kind of makes my heart hurt.



Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat

When we moved into our house in 2009 we gave it a minor facelift, knowing that the ultimate goal would be to add square footage (and whether that means building up or building out, we are just now trying to figure out, almost 7 years later).  We gutted the kitchen, skimmed the walls, put in bamboo floors, and repainted the interior and exterior.  Though my husband and I hated the Boogie Nights retro fireplace, we agreed it was hardly worth the effort to rip it out when a major remodel loomed before us in the not-too-distant future.

So we made do with the space, and honestly, I kind of quit noticing the eyesore (except when I saw it in photos and thought, “WTF is that doing in our house?”).


Recently, we have been meeting with architects in an effort to get the ball rolling with our project.  Because we live in a small beach community where Design Review is notoriously challenging to work with, we know the remodel could literally take years and it’s important that we find the right person for the job.

So a couple of weeks ago we had an architect come to the house for a  consultation and as we were walking him through our space I said, “Obviously the fireplace will need to go…we HATE IT.”  And he looked at it thoughtfully, tilting his head and suggested, “In the meantime, you might just paint it the color of your ceiling, because then it’s just a different texture.”

I literally cannot believe that we’ve lived here for almost 7 years and neither of us has thought of this!  I work at Houzz for God’s sake, staring at home design photos all day long.

As I shared in my last post, we had no Easter plans to speak of and I figured there was no time like the present to get started with our “little” project.  NBD, right?  We’ll just slap some paint up there and call it day. But like most home improvement projects, this one ended up taking 5 times longer than we anticipated and involved multiple trips to the hardware store.  In other words, it was kind of a big fucking deal…the prepping, the priming, the drying, the caulking, the painting, disassembling the mantle etc.  But I can’t really complain, because let’s be honest, I sipped my rosé and played Candy Crush while my husband worked like a mule well into the evening.


3 days and 7 paint brushes later, we were both ecstatic with the end result.


It’s so much lighter and cleaner, don’t you think? ***Don’t mind the painter’s tape we’ve yet to pull up.


Not a big deal unless you make it one.