A Belated Celebration

May I have your attention please? Let’s everyone raise a glass! Cheers to passing all inspections and to new insulation! Hear hear! A mighty achievement! Well done old sport!

OK, too much Gatsby lately! (Which was fabulous by the way)

But back to the belated celebration. There has been much progress in the last few days and in the coming weeks… there. will. be. walls! Actual, tangible walls! Can you believe it? It’s so exciting!

The day of insulation was a looming deadline that my Dad and Jared would chat about timidly every night. They had pushed it back once or twice but last Friday came with a vengeance.

Ten men covered head to toe in white suits shuffled into our new home at 6:30 in the morning and shot Icynene into our studs’ every orifice. We went with Icynene closed cell spray foam insulation which not only insulates but creates a sturdy seal for the lifetime of the structure. It’s kind of the Cadillac of insulation.

Jared reported that the truck parked in our driveway powering this whole operation was obnoxiously loud and we did go around and apologize to our new neighbors for the early wake up call.

When the Icynene team left in the afternoon, Dad and Jared ceased all work at the house to let the foam settle and harden and let any fumes dissipate. I couldn’t wait for a peek though. As soon as I left work I headed straight to the house. I hadn’t been there alone yet. I turned the key and for the first time saw what looked like less of a construction site and more like my new home.

Yeah, I cried. Just a little. It was just so different. I always had the vision. When I close my eyes at night, I see my gorgeous white kitchen and our lovely bright bedroom. But it was just so different to go from the dark cavernous studs to bright whip creamy “walls.” I could just see it all so clearly and yeah, I cried. I am really very lucky and so so happy to have this home with the love of my life and to know that my whole family helped us make it a reality so that we can raise our own family there. It’s just lovely.

So here are some more progress shots of our lovely whip creamy home. The same view day one, after demo, and today.

View in Living Room looking into Dining Room2013-04-15 14.51.23



View in Dining Room looking into Living Room

2013-04-15 14.52.35 IMG_0848


View in Kitchen looking at sink & basement door

2013-04-15 14.52.51 IMG_0850


View in Kitchen looking at Front Door

2013-04-15 14.53.53 IMG_0853IMG_0945

My Garden Reveal

There has been way too much build up to this post and I’m afraid my garden will not live up to the hype and anticipation! Oh who am I kidding, you already forgot I was planting a garden in the front yard, didn’t you?! Well it’s true. I wanted to remove this useless patch of grass in front of our house…

8732549909_2e0752b696_bAnd turn it into a lush and wild utopia. And it will be! It so will be in time. But for now, it’s an adorable newborn garden patch.

IMG_0928IMG_0931 IMG_0933I would highly recommend joining Home Depot’s Garden Club. With my coupon we came out with 4 bags of garden soil, 2 bags of black mulch, and 6 perennials for under $50. Not to shabby!

But it wasn’t until we visited Northeast Nursery that we found the Honeysuckle Bush that I wanted more than anything! Here it is in all it’s tiny glory. But in time, it will use that lattice to reach towards the sky and perfume the neighborhood with a sweet hello every morning.


The “lavender” isn’t exactly lavender but it’s a close second. It’s a form of Salvia that grows tall and wide like I wanted. Not much of a scent but as formally mentioned, that’s the honeysuckle’s department.


Shasta Daisies will bloom all white and chipper this summer. To quote Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail, “don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?”


Some alternating dark and light grasses make up a front border and along with some strategically placed rocks, that’s it for our little garden.

IMG_0934 IMG_0929It should fill in over time and I am still looking for the perfect rusty old antique to put in among the plants but for now, I’m pretty pleased with the little patch. Oh and did you notice no more window boxes? They were rotted out completely and had to go. The minimalist in me says we don’t need them but who knows if I’ll add new boxes or even a collection of potted annuals now that I’ve caught the gardening bug.

A big thank you to my parents and to Jared for hacking up all the grass (the things a man will do not to mow a lawn!) but special thanks to Mum for all her advice and coming with me to find the best plant picks – even bugging the Northeast Nursery staff to find out why the honeysuckle didn’t smell yet – it was most definitely a team effort!




My Big Blue Swedish Friend

IKEA! IKEA is my big blue Swedish friend and unfortunately, I hadn’t seen my friend in quite some time. A visit was long overdue so I headed over there faster than you can say lingonberries for some quality shopping time!

IMG_0958There was some business to take care of first- I returned the under the cabinet lights we bought because IKEA’s lights were not able to be hard wired and I picked up two previously out of stock cabinet side panels for our kitchen. But after all that ‘take a number’ and wait, wait, wait mumbo jumbo, I was off wandering through my very own hipster Disney World.

I bought a lot of kitchen organizational products like pot lid holders and drawer dividers and all that. Plus the most perfect round mirror for our half bath and a navy blanket for our guest room because you know me and navy! (read here and here) But I also just meandered through the magical Swedish wonderland and dreamed about these patio tiles covering the floor of our sun porch…


And oh the things I could do to our walk in closet…

IMG_0954And at the end of it all, I got myself a Combo #2 at the IKEA Market which is a beverage and the most delicious slice of cheese pizza at the lovely price of $2.50. I’m pretty sure I’ll get mobster death threats for this but I’m saying it anyways- IKEA pizza is better than anything you can get in the North End. There. done. Bring on the mean tweets! Haters gonna hate but I sure do love me some IKEA pizza!

So that’s my tale of Julie and her Big Blue Swedish Friend. Och de levde lyckliga efter! (And they lived happily ever after!)

Mad About Navy Blue

Between the obvious nautical association and it’s bold rich hue, Navy Blue has always been one of my favorite colors. I love the way it pops with white and cozies up to browns. I wear it, I decorate with it, and I swear it is just one of those colors that is so classic it will never go out of style.

Here are some of my favorite Navy Blue design pics…

All the rich wood tones look gorgeous with this Navy wall though I think the choice of just one dark wall is a good one. The white ceiling and other white walls keep the room bright and fresh.

b068526af1e32fc0f99493c3f40e8502Continuing the Navy walls up onto the curved ceiling is so bold and dramatic but I think you can get away with drama in a dining room. The framed tall white wainscoting compliments the dark tones nicely.


You know I’m obsessed with a Navy Blue powder room. Holla!


One of my favorite blogs, Young House Love describes their built-ins as “tall, dark, and handsome!” Their white books and ceramics pop in front of Navy walls.


And finally, not a home decor choice but I wanted to prove my love for Navy with a glimpse from our wedding. Check out these lovely ladies…


Memorial Day

“Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service… By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as people visited the graves of their deceased relatives in church cemeteries, whether they had served in the military or not.” (Source: Wikipedia)

However you are spending Memorial Day, I hope you are having a good day.