Friday, July 29, 2011

Changes and the Shabby Apple Winner

Master Bedroom
Before - that white stuff on the walls is wallpaper

Last November I decided to do a little remodeling in my Salt Lake house.  My master bed and bath were terribly outdated and I'd finally saved up enough $ to do the work. I picked out carpet, paint and tile and got started. First my mom helped me strip wallpaper until we could barely life our arms.  Next up tile to replace the carpet (yes, I said carpet) in the bathroom.  Then the painter came in and I started to fall in love with the new room.  I started picking out accessories and scheduled the carpet installation.

Master Bath Before

There were bumps along the road, everything took longer than I anticipated, but the end was in sight.  Then my sister and her family needed a place to stay while their new house was built and we decided we'd take on the adventure of all living together at my house.  So I put the new carpet and the rest of the final touches on hold until everyone moved out (two toddlers on new carpet would have made me a nervous wreck.)

Last week I repainted the guest bedroom and started getting ready for the carpet to come in.  As I write this the carpet installer is still doing his work, but I'm hoping next week to FINALLY call this project complete - and it only took 6 months.  My goal for the weekend is to get everything upstairs put back together and to share some photos next week.

Anyone else had one of those home improvement projects that you thought you could finish in a month then had to live with it for 6 months?  Frustrating at the time, but so joyful when it finishes.

Congratulations to Tiffany, the lucky winner of the Azure Coast dress from Shabby Apple.  I think there are a lot of Shabby Apple fans out there, thanks to you all for stopping by and I hope to see you back here again in my little part of the blogging world.

I listened to Josh Ritter yesterday while I worked and this one got stuck in my head, maybe because of all the changes going on at my house lately.

Josh Ritter - Change of Time
Pin It

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Still Running

When was the last time you had one of those weeks, where no matter how fast you run or how many things you tick off your to do list, you feel further behind with each day that passes? My week just isn't long enough, but at the same time, I feel somewhat energized because I am actually ticking things off the list (and some big things too like getting my second story re carpeted - a project I've been working on since last November.)

I'm also FINALLY getting around to turning part of my blog into a Blurb book.  I bought a Groupon to Blurb a few months ago, and it expires at the end of the week (I'm not a procrastinator at all.)  I started with the goal of turning my blog from 2008 and 2009 into a book.  Now I'm just hoping to finish 2008.  Anyone else used Blurb before?  I'm happy with it so far, but it is somewhat time consuming.  The only thing that is saving me this week is that 2008 was before I discovered photography so there are more word than photos in the book, but I'm also reliving an amazing vacation I took in 2008 and going through those photos (like the one above) have been so much fun.

Don't forget today at midnight (mountain time) is the deadline for entering the Shabby Apple Giveaway.  The dress I ordered arrived today and it is so cute, I can't wait to wear it.  Their 20% off plus free shipping sale also ends this week.

I suspect that at the end of the week, I'll still be running.

Eastmountainsouth - Still Running

Pin It

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Love Letter to Kathmandu

Stupa Prayer Flags
I hope you had a wonderful weekend - mine was full of a lot of work around the house and the chance to meet up with a friend (I'll tell you more about that later.)

The lovely (and lucky) Amanda of Project Simple Life is off on her great European Adventure, and while she is aways she's running a series of guest posts where she's asked fellow bloggers to write a love letter to one of their favorite places.  My love letter to Kathmandu went up over the weekend.  If you want to see and hear a bit about one of my favorite places in the world, hop on over and check it out.

Have you entered the Shabby Apple dress giveaway? Here's the link, you wouldn't want to miss out on this fantastic dress.  Even if you don't win, Shabby Apple dresses are 20% off with free shipping, using the code summer20 - so if you are looking for the perfect summer dress now is the time.

I woke up Sunday with this Ingrid Michaelson song in my head:  Be Ok.  I can't help but wonder if there is some sort of subliminal message in there:
Pin It

Friday, July 22, 2011

Giveaway: Shabby Apple

I hinted on Monday that I had a surprised planned for you today, it's something I've been excited about all week long - a giveaway with a fantastic prize - this gorgeous, blue women's dress from Shabby Apple!

My summer wardrobe staple is a sundress. I don't love the way I look in capri's or shorts and jeans are too hot, so I spent the summer in dresses. My closet is full of colorful, fun dresses that are easy to dress-up or down depending on the occasion.  Wearing a flirty dress makes me feel girly, a maxi dress makes me feel carefree and the all-purpose little black dress makes me feel elegant.  In fact, a suitcase full of dresses is how I managed to fit over 3 weeks of clothing for a trip to Switzerland in a carry-on bag.  I love this quote from their website:  "A return to what dresses were always meant to be - a one piece outfit.  No need to add tank tops, no cardigans, nothing (except accessories or course!)"

I've spent a bunch of time browsing Shabby Apple's website in the past few weeks, picking out a dress to giveaway and to find the perfect dress for myself (I have a gift certificate I'm ready to cash in) and the only problem I've had is narrowing my selection down, there are so many beautiful options, here are some of the dresses I'm considering for myself:

Amazing yellow dress

Sophisticated navy dress

To enter the giveaway, head over to Shabby Apple and look at their dresses, then come back here and comment telling me which your favorite is.  If you are a subscriber/follower of this blog, add a second comment for an extra chance at winning.  Comments will be accepted until end of day Wednesday, July  27, I'll announce the lucky winner next Friday.

Even if you don't win (or if you find a dress you just have to have NOW) Shabby Apple is giving you all 10% off with the coupon code: lyricaljourney10off, which will be good for the next 30 days.  Even better, they also currently running a huge sale, with many of their dresses 20% off, so the time to shop is now (just enter SUMMER20 as the coupon code)!

If you fall in love with Shabby Apple like I have and want to start filling your wardrobe with dresses, be sure to head over to their Facebook page and "like" them so you can get in on special offers and deals. Even for those of you who may not be dress fans, give their website a look, they also sell the most awesome, retro women's swimwear, have some adorable girl's dresses, and gorgeous women's jewelry.

Thanks to Shabby Apple for providing the dress for this giveaway.

Because I'm in a super girly mood after writing this post and I've been listening to the new Peter Bradley Adams album all day, I think his song Katy is the perfect way to end this post:
Pin It

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vacation Cottage: Before

As promised here are some "before" photos of my little cottage.  As you can tell, all we did was clean (which was a LOT of work), move furniture in and get out the linens needed to spend a day there.  I've got a list of projects I want to do waiting for me to find the time and cash.  Many of you are expert DIYers, so I'd love your suggestions and ideas.  Most of the house is furnished with furniture that came from my grandparents' house, so it is gently used, but from a variety of different decades which makes for an interesting overall "look."  Get ready for a long post.....

Living Room
This is the front room/parlor.  I only vaguely remember the couch my grandma had before this one so I'm betting this set came from the late 70's.  I actually adore the shape and lines of the couch and hope to have it reupholstered some day, I'm thinking a dark, midnight blue shade.  What do you think?  Anyone out there had something this large redone and have any ideas about cost or recommendations on fabrics?

I'm less in love with the chairs, but hope redoing them will help.  As for the side table, I like the lines, but don't love the finish.  It's wood veneer, so I don't know how painting it would turn out.  Anyone tried painting wood veneer before?

Great Room
Great Room Couch
This is the great room/family room.  I love the high ceilings and how open it is, I also like the light fixtures (which are great throughout the house.)  Doesn't the couch just scream 90s?  I'm hoping a slipcover will fix the couch and chair.  I'd like to go a soft gray (do you think that will work with the tan/taupe walls?) as a backdrop for some bolder pillows - think sunny yellows and bright blues.  Any favorite sources for affordable, but durable slipcovers?

The desk was mine (circa 2002, Target) I'm still trying to figure out where my workspace will be in the house, so this is a temporary spot for now.  You'll notice nearly all the wood pieces in the house are light/blonde wood.  Something I'm not in love with, but some I'm unsure about painting.  The end tables and round coffee tables are veneer, the desk, kitchen table and chairs are wood, so a bit easier to paint.  Any tips - would you use latex or spray paint on them?  Color suggestions?

The kitchen is open to the great room and sits just behind the front room.  I'm dreaming of painting the cabinets a creamy white - I just need to work up the nerve.  I also dislike the white fridge next to the other black appliances - but don't know whether it is better to save up my pennies for a new one or get brave and paint it black (note, it had quit working between the time I got the keys to the house and the day I moved in, thank heavens for a insurance plan I asked the seller for.)

The table and chairs were mine, Crate and Barrel (circa 2000.)  I'm hoping to find two more chairs to add to the mix at Goodwill or a consignment shop.

The Master bedroom - and the site of my first project.  This bedroom set came from my grandma's house (mid 80s-ish) and I'm thinking of painting it all the pieces white - the gold of the French Provincial style doesn't really work against the tan walls (and I think it is dated.)  Would you try latex or spray paint?  Part of me wishes I was brave enough to paint it a bolder color, but I'm afraid I'd hate it next year.  I'm planning to swap out the bedding, but am still figuring out what I want (and can afford) but until then, I love this hand-blocked bed cover I brought home from Delhi.

Guest Room
The main guest room, better known as "mom and dad's room" since they supplied the bed.  There is only space here for the bed and a couple of nightstands (to be found, for now I just put a couple of old book cases on the sides of the bed.)  I'm hoping to do some sort of DIY headboard, spray paint the ugly lamps and replace the shades.

2nd Guest
The 3rd bedroom is the smallest, only big enough for a day bed (I had one found on the local classifieds, but lost out to someone else.)   The photo is of the dresser, in the room.  I'm guessing it is from the 50/60s since in my grandparent's room for as long as I remember.  I probably won't attempt to do anything to it for that reason.  When we got it out of the trailer, we discovered there were still sachets and a small container of body powder in the drawers so it even smells a bit like my grandma, which I loved.

Master Bath
There are two bathrooms, which are identical (but reversed.)  I loved the framed mirrors and, like the kitchen, am hoping to paint the cabinets a creamy white.  I'm also hoping to add some color with rugs, shower curtains and towels (when I find some on a killer sale.)

Finally, here is the back patio and a bit of the backyard.  I'm hoping to find a little bistro set and spend the evenings out here when it cools down.

One of my very favorite parts of the house is actually the front yard, but I've decided it probably isn't wise to post the photo of the front of house on the internet and admit you aren't currently there, so you'll just have to trust me that it is adorable.

Thanks for sticking around for the tour of my little cottage - as you can tell I have some projects in my future.  I really would love your advice and ideas - so feel free to share.

For today's song, I've been obsessing about Marc Broussard this week since I finally got a listen to his new album.  This song isn't off the new album, but I love it and it seems the perfect song for today's post - so here's his Home:
Pin It

Monday, July 18, 2011


Zurich River
Thanks for all of your best wishes for my move.  It went well (thanks mostly to my incredible parents.)  I'm still in recovery mode and haven't had a chance to get the photos off my camera, so I'm going to save them for another post and instead share my last set of photos from Switzerland (I promise this is it!)

Iron Gate
My last day was spent in Zurich.  It was a quiet Sunday and it was one of those perfect days where I had the entire day with nothing to do but wander, explore and take photos.  I love days like that when there are no pressure and I'm free to just wander wherever the path takes me.

Zurich Church
I was trying to get the sun just behind the steeple for this photo - which meant I wandered around a bit and at one point sat on a wall and leaned back over the ledge.  A couple of women were watching me closely, so as I walked past them I shrugged and grinned, they smiled back and started talking to each other.  I figured they were calling me a crazy tourist.  But a few minutes later I glanced back and saw one of them using my  angles to take a similar photo.  That made me feel a lot less nuts.  Does that kind of thing ever happen to you?

Threshold Motorcycle
Hope you had an amazing weekend, I'm looking forward to getting caught up on your blogs - and make sure you check back here Friday or over the weekend, I have a fun surprise for you.

I spent a lot of time in my car this weekend and Sarah Sample kept me company while I drove, her voice is lovely and she writes incredible songs, give her a listen.
Pin It

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Lot of Moving

Stand Out Little Flower
I love this little flower - it take courage to be different and stand out proudly in the crowd.  

If everything goes as planned (fingers crossed) I'll be moving furniture into my little vacation house this weekend.  My awesome family all pitched in last weekend to move my sister and her family out of my Salt Lake house into their new one and then to move my furniture back into my house and now I'm asking them to turn around and help me move furniture into the new place - that is a lot of heavy lifting to do in just over a weeks time. I think it is safe to say, I have a wonderful family.

If I can still lift my arms after the big moves, I'll share some photos of my little pad.  It's going to be full of my late grandparent's furniture - I'm hoping over time I can make it look 'granny-chic' and not just 'land of cast-off furniture.'

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

Avett Brothers - A Lot of Moving
Pin It

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Luzern - Lake Cruise

Luzern Train Station
When I arrived in Luzern it was pouring rain.  Since wandering old town while wearing sandals in the rain didn't sound like tons of fun, I decided to do a lake cruise and hope it stopped raining by the time I was finished.  It was a brilliant idea.  Not only did I stay dry (for the most part) the ride was beautiful.

Moody Lake
My favorite photo from that Saturday trip is this moody shot - for me it summed up that cold, dreary morning perfectly.  The water, the trees, the mountains peaking out behind the layers of clouds - ah, just the way I remember it.

Lake Village
This is pretty much how I expected most of the little Swiss villages to look - completely charming and beautiful.

We cruised past this castle and I couldn't help but wish I could see inside - or at least know what type of person owns a castle like this along the lake.

This song came up on my iPod while I was on the train to Luzern, I knew I'd heard it before, but I couldn't figure out where.  It drove me nuts until I could bet back to my computer and do a little googling.  Then, of course, I felt silly for not recognizing it right away.  Which version do you like best?

Placebo - Running Up That Hill

Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill
Pin It

Monday, July 11, 2011

Luzern - Old Town

Bridge and Tower
One of the highlights of my trip was meeting up with the incredible Krystal - we've been blogging buddies for a while and it was so fun to finally meet her in person.  She graciously got up extremely early to meet me at the Zurich train station for breakfast on my last day in Switzerland.  She was even more lovely in person, and if you don't already read her blog, you really should check it out, she finds and shares the most beautiful things.

Luzern Old Town
Krystal has just moved to Luzern, a charming little city I visited on my first weekend there (turns out she was there that day showing some friends around too, but we didn't know that until later.)  I think she is crazy lucky to live in such a charming place.

Metal Bridge to Old Town
Luzern has a charming old town a short distance from the train station.  There are several bridges you can cross to get to Old Town, I loved both the old wooden bridge (first photo) and this lovely metalwork bridge - it was a very rainy day so the umbrellas added a bit of color.

Luzern Old Town Street
I didn't spend a lot of time shopping in old town (a three week trip in carry on luggage means no space for shopping.)  But I did stick my head into H&M to look for sunglasses since I broke mine the day before I left.  I was sad to find that I'm too old/not cool enough for the sun glasses they are selling now - how did that happen?  Instead I gave up completely on the shopping and kept wandering.

Anyone out there have any good tips on finding sunglasses this year?  I'm after a pair that doesn't cover my entire face - and that fit my sunglass rule - nothing over $30.  I've found the second I shell out more money than that they will break/get lost within the first two weeks of ownership.

I finally picked up the entire Noah and the Whale album - some very good music.  Here's their Life Is Life
Pin It

Friday, July 8, 2011

Picnic at the Grove

Maple Grove Eye 2
When I was growing up my family had a favorite campground just 20 minutes from home.  We loved spending weekends at Maple Grove, where there were lots of trails, a little creek and lots of shade.  It is still one of my favorite places on earth.

Family on Bridge
Last Sunday we decided a picnic at the Grove was a perfect way to spend part of the afternoon - and we were right.  It was so fun to show the kids some of our favorite trails.

Do you like camping?  Do  you have a favorite place you like to go back to time and time again?

Ryan Tanner is a Salt Lake artist and I'm a little in love with this song.
Pin It

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hometown 4th of July

T Face Paint
Maggie in Shades
My favorite way to celebrate the 4th of July is in my tiny hometown.  Everyone gathers at the park where there is good food, games and races for the kids and usually lots and lots of sunshine.

T eats cotton candy
M eats cotton
After lots of prep and coaching in the weeks leading up to the big race my niece pulled off a win, her second in 3 years.  My nephew did well too - 3rd place isn't bad for a 2 year old.  Next time I think we'll make sure to give them the cotton candy before the race - a little sugar can only help their speed.

Joe Whyte - 4th of July
Pin It

Friday, July 1, 2011

All in the Details

A lot of little things seemed to catch my eye on this trip.  It may be because I spent most of the trip as a commuter and didn't have a ton of time to play tourist and take in the sites.  Here are a few of my favorite random day in the life shots:

Waiting for the train (grunged)
I saw these bikes while I was waiting on the train in Friborg

Along the tracks
I walked past this house every morning on my way to the bus stop.

Woodpile (grunged)
This may be the most orderly woodpile I've ever seen

Pully Houses
The houses/shops across for the bus stop where I switched lines each evening.

Parking Signs
Mirrors at nearly every driveway.

Over the past 5 years I've spent so much time away from home, first in Brazil, then India and finally Kentucky, it felt like I was always experiencing a new place.  Then as I settled in at home for 8 months (most of which was winter), I think I let myself get into a bit of a rut.  It was nice to shake things up and feel inspired to look around again, now I just have to figure out how to keep the inspiration flowing at home.

This song came on as I was walking to my apartment on Friday - it was one of those songs I felt could have been written about me.

Holly Williams - Let Her Go
Let her go, let her go
Let her fall, let her fly
She wants to touch the whole world with her hands

One of those rare times YouTube has let me down, you'll just have to track it down on your own.
Pin It

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...