Sunday, January 30, 2011

And We're Back

The weather this weekend was cold and rainy, and I took a few days off from the blog (due to a raging migraine).  It is hard to believe that it was almost 70 degrees last weekend, when the high today was around 46.  I didn't get much accomplished, but here are some small highlights of the weekend.

I am Italian (by marriage) and like to find little accents for the house that reflect this. I found this sign at our local Navlet's, and I can't wait to hang it in our kitchen.  We repainted our dining room/kitchen last year, and have been slowly finding items that bring the room together.  Pictures of it hanging are coming soon.

One of my oldest and dearest friends lives in England, and always sends me the most fun packages.  This one is for my birthday, and I can't wait to open up the wrapped gifts.  She always always sends me an interesting variety of candy (and other goodies) that I can't find in the states.  I can't wait to try the popcorn (one of my favorite things in the world) that pops right off the cob.
I purchased this necklace from Stella & Dot, and I just adore it.  It seems to be quite a conversation starter (people seem to really like owls). It also receives a lot of compliments, and one lady even asked me if it was made of jade (it isn't). 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Won A Lucky Giveaway!

Be still, my beating heart. This came in the mail today.

I love Lucky Magazine giveaways.  And Since I am just about to turn 35, anything that promises to retexturize and exfoliate my skin sounds delightful.  Especially when that thing is free. And it comes in such a pretty package.

I can't wait to give this little baby a try.   Has anyone else won anything from Lucky?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some People Say All the Right Things

I am not one of those people.  I often feel clumsy when I try to write the perfect message expressing my sympathy to a friend who just experienced a great loss, or like I am just repeating the same things everyone else is saying when I sign the office congratulatory card for a co-worker who is receiving a promotion. 

And then I discovered Curly Girl Design 


Artist Leigh Standley makes the most perfectly whimsical items that say just the right thing.  The collection contains cards, wall plaques, magnets, calendars, post-its, and even Christmas ornaments.  Here are a few items from my personal collection. And I just want to add that I am in no way affiliated.  I just really  adore her stuff.

Some pages from her 2011 calendar, that I have hanging in my office at work.  I sent my mom a wall plaque of the  design on the right for Mother's Day last year.  It said everything that I wanted to perfectly.

Some inspiration I keep where I can see it every day. 

Wall plaques that are part of my bathroom decor.  They make me smile every time I read them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Proper Introduction

Aside from husband and myself, there are currently three other members of our family.

This is Petunia the Pug (who also answers to Petunia-Fish, Tuna Fish, Tuna, and Fishy, and is probably very confused), and Meatball (also known as Meaty B), our American Bulldog.  They are best friends.  She weighs 14 lbs.  He weighs 125 lbs.  I am pretty sure there is a great children's book in there, just waiting to be written. 

And this is Harriet (HattieCakes for short).  Yeah, I know that isn't shorter.  We think she is part Border Terrier and part whoknowswhat. At some point, we are going to do a doggie DNA test on her. She is the newest member of our family.  We rescued her from the local SPCA, where she was wearing her perfectly sad "please don't go home without me" face.  Oh yeah, and we haven't told our families about her yet. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

So Much to Do

Husband and I tried to plan our weekend around watching the playoffs and having some actual relaxation time.  However, the weather is still beautiful, and we have a lot of work to do in the garden.  Just an hour won't kill us, right?

I am a die-hard Gator fan and I adore the way my growing gnome collection adds a little school spirit to our garden. 

Our fruit trees are dormant for the winter, and as you can see, I really need to do some weeding.  We also need to replace our apple tree that died mysteriously this summer .  I am hoping for some kind of a granny smith hybrid.  Our pups love to sit in the exact spot we need to be assist us in our gardening endeavors.  Petunia is right in front of an ugly spot that is just waiting for some annuals this spring.

Not sure you can garden in Northern California and not have at least one grape vine.  It is almost hard to believe that this will be big and lush in a few short months. 

We have long-term plans that involve breaking up the aggregate and getting more things in the ground.  But for now, we are still doing a good deal of container gardening.  We are in mid-clean up here.

Here, the gnomes are guarding some newly planted Swiss chard, onions, broccoli, garlic, and shallots.  Can't wait til summer!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again

My new haul, just waiting to be planted. 

January days like today are deceptive.  Two weeks ago I was scraping ice off of my windshield, and today, it is t-shirt weather.  It is a good time for hubby and me to get out back and start planting. 

One of our hauls from last year
It is a lot of work, but the reward in the end is just delicious.  I will try to keep this blog updated with the progress we are making.  Hopefully, we can outdo that great planting season we had last year.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Savoring the Small Stuff

-The first time all winter that I notice the days are getting longer

-Working on my laptop while my sweet pug Petunia curls up next to me and goes to sleep.

-A bag of buttered movie theater popcorn that I don't have to share with anyone

-Picking out all of the flowers I want to plant in my garden each spring

-Watching Diner's Drive-Ins & Dives and hearing Guy describe a duck confit pot pie. YUM!

What are you savoring this time of year?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Home Sa-Weet Home

Buying a house was one of the greatest decisions of my life.  Hubby and I finally became homeowners about 3 years ago, after years of renting in the high-priced Bay Area market.  We just adore our house and our neighbors (which I sometimes have to remind myself when I am in the midst of a particularly hairy work commute).  Slowly, we have been transforming our house into a home, by adding our personal touches (good thing hubby is VERY handy). 

There are still so many things that we need I want.  It is fun to peruse the home stores for things that would add that certain something to our decor.

Samantha Entryway Collection from Pottery Barn

I could see this filled with dog leashes and winter coats and I would finally have a place to sit down to take off my shoes.  Right now, my entryway is kind of a mishmash with a wine rack that holds keys, tools, assorted dog items, and pinot noir.  Not quite the first impression I want visitors to have.

Marseille Tray from Jayson Home & Garden

This beautiful tray would be a great place to throw our keys at the end of the day.  Or maybe to hold little odds and ends I keep on my nightstand.  Just looking that the pretty pattern makes me smile.

Rest in Grease Spoon Rest by Fishs Eddy

How clever is this little spoon rest (which in my opinion, you can never have too  many of)?

Steamer Bar Cabinet by Crate and Barrel

How else is a girl to store all of her barware?  Our house does have a small built-in bar, and this would be the perfect addition to that area.  Maybe one day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Separated at Birth?

Sometime last summer, I saw a picture of Jennifer Aniston wearing some adorable wedges.  Wedges that I immediately realized I needed in my closet.


After a little good old fashioned fashion stalking, I discovered that these were the Stuart Weitzman 'Alex" espadrilles, and at $365, slightly very much out of my price range. 

Stuart Weitzman 'Alex' Espadrille Sandal

As I was plotting a way to get my grubby little mitts on them, I came across something...we'll say awesome (and at $79.95, affordable too).

Steve Madden 'Fantastik'

And like that, my world is a better place.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Audiobooks Changed My Life

I have a long-ish commute to and from work.  It isn’t that I live that far away, but traffic in the Bay Area is a real mess.  This means I spend over 2 hours a day sitting in my car.  It really used to drive me nuts, until I discovered audiobooks.  Now I feel like I am actually accomplishing something while sitting and inhaling fumes on the freeway.  Sometimes I don’t even really notice how long it takes me to get home.

For the last few months, I have been reading listening to the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard.  Yeah, I know what you are thinking- didn’t you say that you were about to turn 35, and isn’t this a young adult series?  Well, I’ll tell you a secret….once I started in on the first book, I couldn’t stop.  And there are eight books.  I promise, I couldn’t wait to get into my car in the morning.  And for me, that is saying a lot (I told you I wasn’t a morning person).  And didn't the Twilight series make "grown-ups" reading young adult fiction cool, anyway?

I think Wikipedia summed up the premise of the book pretty well, so I won’t try to recreate the wheel (I will just copy and paste it), “The series follows the lives of four girls — Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Emily  — whose clique falls apart after the disappearance of their leader, Alison. Three years later, they begin receiving various messages from someone using the name "A" who threatens to expose their secrets  — including long-hidden ones they thought only Alison knew.”

The character development here is fantastic.  There is plenty of mystery and intrigue, enough to last though 8 books.   I was never quite able to figure out what was really going on, or who was behind the mystery until the book would reveal it.  In fact, I am sad that the ride is over.  Although I hear that Sara Shepard is going to start working on books 8-12, so maybe all of the mysteries aren't solved. 

Image via
What are you reading?

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Am Random

Admittedly, I considered this as a name for my blog.  I don’t mean to be so scattered, but I seem have a way with effortlessly switching topics mid-discussion, for reasons that all make sense in my head, but my friends don’t always follow.  We’ll call it a quirk:)

I believe that making lists helps to reign in some of that randomness.  Plus, I don’t forget all the things that I need to buy, do, try, sample, etc.  Here is a list of some random lovelies from Anthropologie that are on my mind today:

I need this.  I can just picture it on a tray with a teapot and dainty spoon, while I curl up on the couch and read through my never ending stack of magazines.


  Gulping Guppy Ring Dish

Hubby is always taking off his ring to wash his hands or do dishes.  He also loves anything having to do with fish.  This would be a perfect place for him to always know where he put his ring. 

China Cabinet Bracelet

I just love the idea of wearing something made out of a really pretty china pattern. And the satin bow makes it about as girly as can be.

In The Rough Earrings

I just adore the accidental look of there earrings.  They are perfectly imperfect, and I can see them easily transitioning from day to night, and adding a little bit of funk to my work attire.

Sumi-E Scape Top

This tops somehow manages to be interesting visually, while also very muted.  I could see wearing this with so many things in my closet, is it definitely  high on my list of spring purchases.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

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Slowing It Down

Sometimes I feel like I am rushing my way through life.  Rushing to get to work because, well, I am so not a morning person. Rushing to get home, because I always have a million things to do after work.  Rushing to get everyday tasks done.  Rushing my way through the fun stuff.  Rushing, rushing, rushing.  But when it comes right down to it, I am not always sure why I spend all this effort rushing around.  Why do I need such a sense of urgency about everything that I do? 

So, as I am about to embark on the big 3-5, I have decided to slow down my pace a bit, and start to savor the small stuff in life.  I have a really good friend who has a philosophy that states, "Whenever I get there, that is when I am supposed to be there."  Her words really made me think about the way I am going about things, and what I want my life to be like.

That brings me here, to Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies, which are three of my favorite things in the world.  I wanted a chance to try to document all of the things that make my world a happy place.  And learn how to use a DSLR camera.  I have a feeling this is going to take a while:)

Meet Petunia the Pug.  She is one of my favorite things. 

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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