Looking ahead to 2013

2012 was a bit rough and certainly left us looking forward to a new year. We’re only a few weeks in, and it looks like things are looking up. Bill completed and did very well in his first semester at grad school. He is working as well, so its been hard to find a balance. He’s done very well.

We welcomed a new addition into our family just days ago, little Oliver de Veer. He is the cutest baby and is absolutely perfect.

I am also looking forward to some new opportunities in my professionally life in 2013. But does anyone care about that? I know everyone pretends to :)

Some outstanding projects from 2012 is my vanity. I still haven’t upholstered the chair. I’m a slacker, I know.

I redid the vanity, but haven’t gotten hardware for it yet, I know, I’m a slacker. I had contemplated cleaning off the top before I took the picture but then thought “it will make the after picture look that much better”. I have learned a few things from HGTV.

In my true fashion, I have about a million outstanding home projects and thought, why don’t I refinish the dresser? Here is the dresser I think I may refinish. For your convenience, I have cropped out the pile of clothes on top of said dresser.
Bill is barking at me that the dresser looks fine. ( it has a nice finish, but there are some nicks you can’t see here). Maybe we’ll compromise and I’ll just spruce up the hardware. We’ll see. I have a long laundry list of new furniture I want to get, so hopefully you will all be able to see it in 2013 (don’t tell Bill).

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Another guest spot!

I’ve been doing some posting for the tomato lately. Newest post here on a Turkey Chili recipe.

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A trip to Spain with ROMEO

Check out my glorified tomato post here

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My mom, the best

I know everyone thinks their mom is the best, but my mom gives those moms a run for their money. She is down to earth, stunningly beautiful and completely insane, I take after her a lot. Here is a video of my mom and a message she sent to everyone who was concerned about her and the family.

My mom aka Super Woman

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Weddings optional, funerals a must

I know Katie will make fun of me for this post title a bit, because its a chapter from Rudy Giuliani’s book, “Leadership”. Disclaimer here: I am not a Giuliani supporter, but the book had some viable points, the above being one of them. The general thought of the chapter was that, its nice to be there to celebrate a happy time, like a wedding but when people really need you, you should make an effort to be there, like a funeral. The past 2 weeks I would term as ‘funerals a must’. So many people have reached out to see how my parents are doing and have offered their help. There has been an outpouring of support from volunteers helping Rockaway people they don’t even know, its really heartwarming. It’s times like these that show the character of people around you, and I’m glad that there has been an abundance of people with incredible character in my life.

Thank you all for all the support in the past 2 weeks, it means everything to me and the family.

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Business as usual

Its been a while billandclare fans. ( sorry Ivana!) I’ll kick off this re-vamping with some of my most recent work, an end table I got from my mom that was mid-refinishing.

As you can see, my mom has stripped most of the initial of finish and has already began removing the felt from the chair my Aunt Carol found for me.

I took a Saturday and decided take a crack at staining the wood. My mom and my local surly hardware store guy told me to use a fine steel wool to try and sand down the initial finish. The drawers were treated with tongue oil ( it has the same effects as normal stain but gives a sheen you dont see in a regular stain) so I removed the finish with some pain thinner. ( Initially my mom told me to use acetone, but my local hardware guy said paint thinner would work as well). Another before shot:

Here is the “after” shot. I still need to upholstery the chair and find some hardware for the drawers.

I got a mirror at Michaels to add to the top:

Once the chair is upholstered you can take a look at the completed project in all its glory!

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A new obsession

My mom is gardener extraordinaire. My sister in law Paula is hot on her trail, and me? Me? I’ve pretty much murdered every plant I have come in contact with the past year and a half. My mom gave me a little starter gardening kit for basil and chives. I planted it one day and checked on it every so often to see if it needed water. You may be thinking “how’d she manage to mess this up?”, but I didnt ! See below for basil boy and chivey (yes, I am naming my plants).

Paula gave me a propagated spider plant in a cute recycled aluminum can for my birthday. I think I waited to long to move Nephew ( thats his name) into a bigger pot, but so far Nephew is doing well. See below for a pic of him. If you want your own, Paula will be selling them next week here!

My mom gave me a mint plant last week, and you guessed it, his name is Minty!

And so, my planting obsession has begun. A few things have been adding to my obsession, the fact I live 4 blocks from a home depot, that hasnt helped. I also watch way too much HGTV, so while I would love to have a beautiful home with a backyard to have my little gardening oasis, the truth is I cant even keep our 1 bdrm apartment clean. I realize because I dont have any outdoor space my planting options are limited. Last week I went to the HD and got myself some herbs and a plant that said it was a low light plant. We’ll see how it goes. Below are a few pics of my new additions (oregano, thyme, rosemary and a plant I forgot the name to)

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And now I miss it

I have no time for original blogs, so here’s a draft of one I has in July 2011. Still rings true today…

I think I was a big baby when it came to planning for our wedding. There was so much going on simultaneously that I think that planning got the best of me. Now when I pass by tLC’s sat yes to the dress or attend a wedding I get nostalgic about my own. I keep reflecting saying “aww i wish we could do it again”. Bill promptly reminds me how stressed I was having a new job , having other weddings to go and just the general insanity of life that got to me while planning (did I mention a bed bug scare that eventually just became a reality?) at the end of the day, the insanity was worth it, being able to see all of my family (new and old) and having my friends there (people who I consider family) all together. The most important part of the day was obviously marrying Bill and when i think about it, i couldnt have lasted another day without him being my husband.

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the journey of the desk

As many of you know, Bill and I love antiques. We love any show on TV about antiques ( or as Bill loves to call them “Garbage Shows”), garage sales, basically anything that has to do with second hand. Right now we are definitely neophytes but we are getting there. This past weekend we went searching for a second desk for our apartment. Bill plotted out some second hand stores he had researched online, our first stop was Williamsburg to look at Two Jakes and Cosmo’s which were right next door to each other.

When we went into Two Jakes, they had a lot of desks. It was a cool spot but we only saw one desk under $700 and all of them averaged at 1000lbs. We looked at this one desk, probably the only one in our prce range, that was solid wood with a veneer top (ew) . We left Two Jakes and decided to go to Cosmo’s and see what he had.

If I had thought Jakes was overpriced I was in for a rude awakening. We made our way over to Cosmo’s and we saw a desk we loved. It was so beautiful, I saw a similar desk in his store priced at $1250, Bill said “this is going to be more”. Somehow, in my delusion I didnt think that was true, but it was. Cosmo priced the desk at $1500. The more insane part of this story is that, after we left the store Bill and I actually contemplated getting it. Below is a picture of said desk. Its nice in the picture, and event nicer in person. We decided we were going to sleep on it, research and then make the decision on whether to get it or not.

We then made our way to Antiques Restoration on E13th between 3rd and 4th avenues ( yes 4th avenue exist for about 5 blocks in Manhattan). There we spotted this beauty who is now residing with the Gehrhardt’s of Woodside. I am actually posting from this desk as we speak. I love it so much, not only for its style but the fact it was significant cheaper than our $1500 desk (to be fair, Cosmo said his best price was $1350, this desk still a lot cheaper than that.)

The guy we bought this from was great. We asked him about the McCobb desk, he said its a collectible and asked if we were really “collectible” people. (we’re probably more like those hoarders on American Pickers who call themselves “collectors”.). When we went to pick up the desk, Bob (the shop owner) loads the desk into the van and says to Bill: “this is your baby now, dont f*&k it up”.

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A delayed Christmas Affair

This past week we had the pleasure of having Marjie and Chris in from Vietnam. Kathy welcomed them home with a delayed Christmas dinner celebration (presents included too!) We sat around and Bill made amazing fires for everyone to eat and drink around (which of course, we did a lot of) Bill and I walked around Bloomsburg last Saturday a little bit while we were there, it has some really nice houses out there, including my inlaws beautiful home and sprawling property ( the first pic below). The follow pictures are just some pics I took while there, I apologize for the ghostly blurry pics. There is a pretty crisp picture (that I didnt take) of the greatest guest that weekend, Mr. Matthew Pokorny! He is both cute and sweet, it is almost too much to handle.

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