Home Improvements

As of today, we have lived in La Moneda for a year!  A year!  Though it will have been “finished” for a year in July.  But is a home ever really finished?  The warm weather has me re-energized when it comes to getting this place to look like I want.  Here are some of my more recent finds.

wetherly duvet.:

When the Pottery Barn catalog arrived with this on the cover, bam, click, purchased.  Not just that day, that minute.  It didn’t hurt that it was on sale.  We have a patterned carpet in our room, and a big, splashy, floral print, but we’re going big or going home with florals, because I love this duvet.  (Wooden Nickels, allow me to spare you the comment about how you don’t do duvets.  I know you don’t do duvets.)

eating outside.:


Oh my gosh, the porch.  All I want is an inviting outdoor space where I can hang out with friends for hours.  The (Not So) New Girl and I made it happen on a recent Thursday afternoon.  But things aren’t exactly the way we want them just yet.  On the list of things to improve are a patio, grill, seating area, and twinkle lights.  We made that last one happen this long weekend, and have big plans for the others by the end of summer.*

Chip and Joanna Gaines of the HGTV show "Fixer Upper" have launched a new line of furniture, Magnolia Home, manufactured by Standard Furniture in Alabama. Their hit TV show is based in Waco and surrounding Central Texas towns. Photo: Magnolia Home Furnishings


Ah, the dining room.  We have my husband’s dining set from his bachelor days, and dear readers, the only things that table held were some unopened boxes from IKEA.  And yet, here we still are, 10 years later, eating off that table and using the chairs.  They represent a fateful trip to Crate and Barrel in which we learned that I choose furniture differently from others.  Joanna Gaines has some gorgeous looking pieces I’m coveting when the time and budget are right.

my dream.:

(source–and really, are you kidding me???)

And last, but definitely not least come built-ins.  I have dreams of built-ins everywhere in our house to hold my ever-expanding book collection.  Anyone know of a cheap builder?

*Side note, I am obsessed with this porch-themed stuff from Swoozies.


Framed – Type Edition

I’ve learned so much as we’ve been trucking through this #AndThenWeBoughtAHouse adventure, like what a shower diverter is, how wide standard appliances are, and just how darn expensive home-related purchases are.  I’m looking at you, faucets.  You know what else is expensive?  Art!  The nice thing about open-concept floor plans is there aren’t as many walls on which to hang it.  I have some from our last place, but I don’t know how many of those pieces I’ll hang up here.  This house is going to have a (slightly) different feel, and I’m searching for a couple of new prints.

I’m a sucker for anything with type all over it, so I’m breaking this post up into two parts.  Today’s edition, which is wordy, and tomorrow’s, which isn’t.  Here are the prints I’m loving right now.


My Life Would Suck Without You, by Letter Happy on Etsy

Let's Hang Out Print

Let’s Hang Out, by Erin Guido on Leif

Creek Swimming  -   vertical print

Creek Swimming and Tangled Hair, by The Wheatfield on Etsy

The Doxology Canvas

The Doxology Canvas, by Lindsay Letters in her shop.

Over The Rainbow (Judy Garland) Wizard of Oz Movie Typography Print, Film Soundtrack Lyrics Poster, Song Illustration, Music Art Print

Over the Rainbow, by Draw Me a Song on Etsy

Anek LA CUCINA Kitchen Art Typography Print  - high quality fine art print

The Kitchen is Small, by Anek on Etsy

HELLO limited edition silkscreen print - Moss & Neon

Hello, I Love You, by Mengsel Design on Etsy

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing hymn

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, by Riley Writes Scout on Etsy (but really, she has a billion of my favorite hymns and I want all of them.)

Celebrate, Day 9

Allison is asking 31 bloggers 35 questions in 31 days.  I am not one of the bloggers.  But I liked the questions.  Here are my answers:

 1.  A bit about yourself.  Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the suburbs of Philly and never thought I’d leave.  And now, over ten years later, I find myself entrenched in the suburbs of Maryland, renovating a house that looks practically identical to the one I grew up in.  I’m complicated.

2. Main subject of your blog?

Cooking, food, and the stories behind my life and what I make.

3. Was a design background something you were interested in when you were young?

My dream was to be an interior designer.  Sous Chef Lauren and I used to spend hours perfecting the designs in my Playmobil house.  Her work on “The Red Room” is legendary.

4. Fall or spring?

For the flowers, spring.

5. If you could have a different profession, would you?

If money were no object, I wouldn’t work another day.  Because we’re about to pay for a giant renovation, no, I like the job I have.

6. If so, what would that be?

I still think being an interior designer would be amazing.  If I worked with clients who shared my exact taste and style.

7. What style do you usually post about?

Ummm, something to do with piping icing?  I think this is n/a

8. What is a style that you are drawn to, but isn’t part of your normal material to talk about?

Hmmmm.  Again, n/a

9. East Coast or West Coast?

East coast girls are hip.

10. Main go-to colors?

Navy and grey and pink and white.

11. Color combo’s you have been dying to try?

Blue with yellow.  Maybe.  I don’t know if I can betray navy and grey and pink and white.

12. Antiques or new pieces of furniture and decor?

Antiques, given the time and energy to shop for them.

13. Avid DIY’er or would you rather buy it finished?

I would love to be a DIY’er and I am so not.

14. Favorite Music to work to?

It changes with the season.  Fall is for Pearl Jam.

15. Early Bird or Night Owl?

Either, so long as I’ve had plenty of sleep.

16. Eat in or Go Out?

Eat in!  Invite friends!

17.  Coke or Pepsi?

No soda for me.

18. Carpet or Hard Flooring?

Hardwoods downstairs, carpet in bedrooms.

19. Country you want to visit?

Norway.  Again.

20.  What do you do to unwind?

Watch mindless TV, which is a terrible idea.  Scan Instagram, which isn’t much better.  Go to barre when I’m doing it right.

21. Who is your Design Icon?

Sarah Richardson.  Whyyyyyyy aren’t your shows on in America anymore?  And it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include my main girls Carolina Herrera and Ina Garten here too.  For different design purposes.

22. Outside or Inside?

Inside.  Or at the beach.

23. Piece of work that still makes you proud till this day?

I don’t know that I’ve ever produced a “piece of work.”

24. What is the movie that you can watch over and over and it never gets old?

The Wizard of Oz.  Gone with the Wind.  And if you’d like to round out 1939, Ninotchka.  But also Bringing Up Baby.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Meet Me in St. Louis.  A League of Their Own.

25. Favorite Social Media Platform?

Instagram forever.

26. What movie character do you think you identity the most with?


27. Cupcakes or Cake?


28. Best gift you have ever received?

My engagement ring.

29. Best gift you have ever given?

I don’t know.  I thought long and hard about this and I came up short.  Gift giving stresses me out, so maybe that’s why.

30. Would you rather talk to or text someone?

Talk on the phone or text?  Text.  Talk in person or text?  Talk in person.

31. Coffee or Tea?

Iced Grande Caramel Macchiato, please.

32. One thing you cannot live without?

Iced Grande Caramel Macchiato, please.

33. Favorite type of flower?

Peonies!  And hydrangeas.  And ranunculus.

34. Best thing about this year?

Our new house.

35. What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming months?

Decorating our new house.

Humor Me

Please, dear readers, humor me for a minute, and let me be that blogger who’s all, “OMG, I met these people and I love them and they are the coolest!”

Warning: true colors ahead…

OMG I met these people and I love them and they are the coolest!  John and Sherry, whaaaaaaat?

Did you know I read YHL?  Did you know I love YHL?  Did you know I am mega-impressed with everything this duo DIYs?  Did you know I am desperate to get my house exactly just-so and have them crash it?

Our story begins way back when John and Sherry released their book tour schedule.  CV(D) and I were jumping-up-and-down-ecstatic when we realized our favorite bloggers would be minutes away from casa Glass of Milk on a late November evening.

And then things got busy at work.

And then there was my favorite holiday.

And then I totally forgot about it.

Until Monday.  When CV(D) asked if we were still on.

Ummmmm, yes!

It took a little bit of waiting in the cold, but CV(D) and I are nothing if not desperate for more time together, regardless of whether we can feel our toes.

Good thing we had so much time together, because it let us brainstorm exactly how our interactions with John and Sherry would go down.  CV(D) had the brilliant idea of asking them to make my book out to J.Lo.  More specifically, she wanted to say, “$herdog, meet J.Lo,” upon arrival, because obviously, if she did, we would all instantly become BFFs and talk for hours.

And that’s exactly what happened.  (#andthenistoletheirinstagram)


Seriously, dear readers, they both got totally into it and were beyond fun, and nice, and the lovely, witty, fabulous people you see and hear on their site.  Jokes were made about the rocks that I got and then John whipped out his phone to take a picture of them signing my book!!!!!!!!

And for one evening, life was complete.

Now I’m off to read every last word of those 336 pages and see if I can get the back of my bookcase to look the way I want it to.

Making a House a Home

On a recent trip to casa glass of milk, CV mentioned that she wants to see more about our house on the blog.  “I know that’s not really the focus, but I don’t care,” was what she told me.  Or something to that effect.

CV, consider it done.

While home decor is far from my area of expertise, I’m hoping that showing you what’s going on within our walls every now and again might keep me motivated to keep making improvements on this here house.  We’ve been in casa glass of milk for just over a year and we’re head over heels in love with our neighborhood.  I have my little library I can walk to, I have several (not too hilly) runs mapped out, and each weekend is anchored by a trip to the local farmers’ market.  It sounds so picturesque, doesn’t it?

So I should walk through the door each day and breathe a sigh of relief that I’m back in my cozy little abode.  Except I don’t.  Because my cozy little abode needs the following:

  • deep de-clutterization just about everywhere
  • refinished floors (or *gasp* new floors)
  • new windows
  • paint, paint, and more paint
  • new drapes in the living room
  • any drapes in our bedroom
  • did I mention it needs paint?
  • new bathroom mirrors
  • new bathroom everything when I spend too much time thinking about it
  • a new washer and dryer
  • and paint

That’s just the beginning of the list.  Those are only the major revamps.  Yikes.

Instead of worrying about all that, I try to focus on little details and touches that make what could look like an utter disaster, look a little more presentable.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you picture frames.

You probably already have a million.  It doesn’t matter what color or size.  I have a slew of white and black frames from craft stores, discount chain stores, and large Swedish furniture warehouses.


And though none of my walls look as framed as this one (yet), there’s plenty of art awaiting the walls of our house.  Here are my favorite places to gather frameables…

My own camera – Duh!  Don’t save yours for holidays and celebrations.  If you don’t have a point and shoot, buy an inexpensive one (if you have an iPhone4, you can just use that, the quality is really not bad) and take it with you wherever you go.  I rarely carry large handbags, but I my little Canon fits in the smallest of clutches.  You never know when dinner with friends is going to turn into a photo op.

Bonus – did you know you can upload your photos to cvsphoto.com and have them in your hands in an hour or two?  No excuses.

20×200 – Their motto is art for everyone, and I believe them.  There are so many different pieces to choose from, it would be hard to find someone who couldn’t pick at least one print to grace their walls.  The concept behind the motto is that great art can be affordable.  I have Jane Mount’s Ideal Bookshelf 102, which is now sold out, but Ideal Bookshelf 6 looks great for those who are kitchen-minded as well.

Inslee – I found Inslee’s blog a while ago and was pumped to see she also lived in DC.  I felt like we were connected in some way.  Like she could be my 8 million times more stylish friend.  Then she packed up and moved to NYC, and that feeling was replaced by envy.  A couple of Inslee’s glamorous girls are sprinkled throughout our house.

Calendars – Not the glossy, puppy-filled kind you get the day after new year’s at a book store for 50% off, but the kind that feature art.  We tear off a couple pages from the Maryland football posters calendar every year, and they get framed in our upstairs hallway.  There are usually at least three or four winners for every twelve months.

Cookbooks – While strolling through Eastern Market one Sunday morning, Sous Chef Lauren and I happened on our first official flea-market gem.  James Beard’s Fireside cookbook.  For a whopping $4.00, I brought home a piece of 1949.  The illustrations are to die for.  I’m not ready to hack at the book just yet, preferring to keep the recipes in tact should the mood strike.  However, if I score another copy, you can bet I’ll be hanging more frames soon.

Etsy – Another obvious choice, and one that has already seen my credit card many times.  I catalog my favorites when I can’t justifying buying too much, and love coming back to make sure they’re still there.  I’ve also been trying to decide which Claudia Varosio retro movie poster would look best up on the walls.  Gatsby?  Wizard of Oz?  To Kill a Mockingbird?  Maybe I need several.

Happy shopping dear readers.  I’ll check in every now and again in between recipes to bring you more updates from the front lines of casa glass of milk.


This week, I got my John and Sherry on, and tackled a Young House Love-inspired project.  We were lucky enough to buy a house that was not only a good deal, but also in decent shape.  We haven’t (knock wood) needed to do any major work on it since we moved in.  Instead, we’ve been chipping away at smaller tasks like painting and picture hanging, in order to claim these four walls as our own.

I still have a mile-long to-do list when it comes to home improvements.  One such item is to find something to hang above our sofa, and rid this wall of its large, empty, awkwardness forever.

Except here’s the thing with large, empty, awkward spaces.  They are typically filled with large pieces of art.  And large pieces of art often come with hefty price tags.  So this wall just stands here, as-is, and mocks me with its emptiness.  Amidst the mocking the other day, it hit me.

Patterned paper.

Between a recent trip to Paper Source, and my frequent check-ins on Young House Love, I drew up the perfect, albeit temporary, solution.

I walked to Paper Source and chose several pieces with neutral tones, and one with some color.  I took a quick trip to IKEA (that’s no oxymoron, I went first thing in the morning on a weekday and had the place to myself) the next morning to pick up three white frames, and then I spent the afternoon playing around.

First, I tried the frames with and without the mats.  The mats seemed to anchor the patterned paper, and make the look a little more upscale and a little less like all I was doing was putting paper between some wood and glass.

I chose the three designs I wanted, lined them up on the carpet to see how the whole thing looked,

had my husband put the hardware on the frames, and hung them on the wall.

Almost instantly, the awkward space above the sofa wasn’t so awkward anymore.  I love this project because the prints I chose are completely different from anything I’ve ever chosen before, and for now, I’m liking that.  Should my disposition change, it will cost me about $15 to switch things out (each paper is about $5).  And should we snag a fabulous find that belongs above the sofa, these will move into another space and get the job done there.