Wednesday, September 11, 2019

not one but both bathrooms

In my last post, I left you with the "what to hang on my bathroom wall" dilemma.  A couple of people commented that the shelf needed some faux greenery or faux flowers. To be honest, I'm not into either. When I picture faux plants, I see an old lady's home, complete with floral pink couches and heavy drapes. On the other hand, I have seen faux flowers that bloggers have used in their homes that look really nice. So off I went to Michaels and Hobby Lobby in search of something that didn't look too plastic-y.

All I found that I liked was faux ivy. I got home and stuck it in a variety of bottles and vases, and all possibilities looked terrible. I think it was the mass of green in this room that doesn't have any green at all. My eyes were immediately drawn to the clump of faux ivy when I looked in the bathroom. Not something you want anyone's eyes drawn to.

Then I remembered I had a small faux plant in my decor stash in the basement. I found it and put it in the eyelash cup you see on the left and...voila! Not so much green that it's overwhelming. I also found a tall vase in my decor stash that has green stems, so I think the colors on this shelf now all blend nicely.

Oh ~ a couple of you mentioned that you or your hubby would knock the necklaces into the toilet! It's hard to tell in the photo, but there's no way that could happen. And I am a clumsy person. The necklaces are all the way back against the wall, not hanging towards the front of the toilet.

Another store I ran into was Home Goods, where I found this towel on the clearance rack. I think this new towel brightens up the bathroom, as well.

Other side of the sink...

 Now that one bathroom decorating dilemma was done, I moved onto the next bathroom ~ the main hallway bath. We had the bathroom painted (pretty much same color, just a little darker) back in the spring. At the time, I had three white floating shelves on the wall above the toilet. While I liked that look, I was tired of it and wanted something different.

This time, I went on a hunt at a couple of antique stores in a small town out in the country.

 So much cool stuff to look through...

This vintage plant stand (not the cage) almost came home with me. It was only $20. But I couldn't think where in my house I could put it.

After browsing around for a little bit, I finally found this shelf hanging on a wall. I hemmed and hawed and thought about it for the bathroom wall. Walked away and came back to it. Twice. Finally bit the bullet and bought it.

Here it is hung on the bathroom wall. I have been playing with the decor on it for a couple of days; I keep changing it up because nothing feels right. I like the shelf itself, but I'm wondering if a round or oval mirror might be better instead of this rectangular one. I'm also thinking of a new shower curtain. Sorry for the bad photos of this room but there's no window, so I have to turn the light on. This bathroom is obviously very small too, so it's hard to photograph.

A few hours after I wrote this post, but before I published it, I played around with the decor again. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this. I think the space between the shelf and the top of the toilet needed something. At first, I had that picture you see on the shelf hanging where the heart wreath was. But it didn't look good there.

Will it stay this way? Probably not. 🤣

Thanks for hanging in there with all my bathroom re-decorating photos. I bought an architectural piece, too when I was at the antique shops. Now where to put that...

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

hello september ~ and what's on your bathroom wall?

Even though Labor Day has come and gone, there's fallen leaves on my porch, kids are back to school (they went back two weeks ago here!), and even some trees are already changing colors, I'm still clinging to every last bit of summer. I always feel sad at the first signs of fall ~ these fallen leaves, my perennials starting to fade, the lack of birdsong. 

But moving on to other things that have absolutely nothing to do with about a decorating dilemma? Is it just me or is it hard to figure out what to put on the wall above the toilet? We have two small bathrooms. This one is the master bathroom. Previously, I had two floral prints (one on top of the other) on this wall. I got tired of the prints, plus I wanted hooks for some of my necklaces. At first, I was going to hang a variety of hooks on the wall to the left. But I didn't want to deal with holes all over the wall. Then I started looking online for shelving displays. I found this one on Wayfair (not a sponsored post). I liked that it had a bar on the bottom where I could hang necklaces from hooks.

I wasn't sure about this shelving unit once it was hung on the wall. It was a lot bigger than I envisioned. It feels cheaply made. And I had no idea how to decorate it (besides the necklaces).

This is what I ended up with. The shelf is deep, so it requires decor with height. I used simple S-hooks to hang my necklaces from the bar.

Do I love it? No. Am I tolerating it? I guess so.

Here's what the bathroom looks like from the doorway. 

Funny thing is, I'm having the same decorating dilemma in the hallway bath. We had the bathroom repainted a few months ago and the wall above the toilet is still bare! We used to have three floating shelves on that wall and I want something different this time. I've looked on blogs, Pinterest, Houzz, stores online and in person. Nothing has jumped out at me but yet I'm frustrated with staring at a blank wall.

So, tell me ~ what's on your bathroom wall?

Friday, August 23, 2019

full on summer mode

"We're steeped deep in summer
And everything around me
Seems to indicate it'll never end..."

You would never know by all the photos and talk about fall on Instagram that we still have a month of summer left. It's still August, people! I don't understand this rushing of seasons (OK, winter is excluded in that statement) and holidays. I am soaking up every bit of summer that I can. I went to the local farm stand today and they already had up fall and Halloween decorations! Behind the cash register was a "Happy Halloween" banner. It all looked so out of place with baskets of tomatoes, piles of fresh-picked corn, and bushels of zucchini and cucumbers displayed throughout the store.
Summer seems so short here in northern Illinois. Our winters drag out with never-ending gray skies, bitter cold and snow. And this spring was nothing but rain ~ and even more snow. So I am filled with gratitude for these few short months of warmth and sunshine and have no intentions of rushing them.

"But still I'm spending time
Looking for the subtle signs
Trying to figure out when
We've reached peak summer..."

My butterfly garden is telling me it's late summer...sedum starting to bloom is a sure sign.

 Phlox is looking a little pitiful and bee balm is withered up. 

 But look how beautiful and lush my herb garden is! Yes, I was one of those silly people who planted mint in back of the herb garden many years ago. Everyone told me I'd regret it; that'd I'd have mint all over the place. Honestly, it hasn't been that bad. I pull some out here and there throughout the summer so that it doesn't overtake the other herbs, but it stays contained to this small area. 

Farmers markets this time of year are still filled with summer goodness...

 Last weekend, we came home with a ton of fresh produce and I made a big pot of ratatouille based on Alice Water's recipe. My modifications were roasting the eggplant first, using a combination of onions and shallots, using both green and yellow squash/zucchini, adding more spices and a teeny bit of sugar, throwing in a splash of red wine vinegar, and stirring in some black olives and capers. 

Served over a bed of creamy polenta with a garnish of fresh Parmesan cheese ~ this dish was absolutely delightful!

"When the sun sets a little earlier
And gets a little more noticeable
Each night, night after night
Until you start thinking about
How much daylight you've lost..."

"All of the signs and all of the things
I've been noticing are telling me
That we're right in the midst of
Peak summer and if I'm not careful
It'll be completely over
And I'll have missed it entirely
As the season folds into fall."
(Peak Summer - Eric Nixon)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

weekend birthday

Last Saturday was my birthday. As usual, I chose to celebrate it simply, which meant a day trip to Cedarburg, Wisconsin with Brian.

Cedarburg is a small, charming town 20 minutes north of Milwaukee that's known for getaways. We've spent the night here before at two of their B&Bs, but mostly we just drive up for the day.

The main street is filled with unique shops, restaurants, museums, art galleries, and beautiful flowers.

We had lunch outside on the patio right by the creek, then walked over to the winery for a tasting. A couple of years ago, I met a friend in Cedarburg and we did three wine tastings in a row. Afterwards, we were sitting in Adirondack chairs in the sunshine, feeling relaxed and a little giggly. A woman walking by with her dog looked at us and said, "You two look so happy!" I behaved myself this time and did just the one wine tasting.

 Then off we went down the street to explore some of the cool shops. This one had just about every kind of interesting yard decor you could want. Or not want.

 How about a pig grill for $1125.00?

This is the only way I like mushrooms - faux, cute and cheery.

 Wonder if anyone buys this stuff in the winter?

Weeds is one of my favorite shops in Cedarburg. The store is filled with items that are organic, fair-trade, recycled and handmade. They have a huge assortment of loose-leaf teas and the ones I've tried are delicious. My favorite is called Secret Garden - an organic blend of chamomile, lavender, peppermint, rooibos and rose petals. I like it iced. When I run out of my favorites and I know I'm not going to be in Cedarburg anytime soon, I just order online. Their prices are fair and so is their shipping. If you're a tea lover or want to order a lovely gift for a tea lover, check out their assortment here! This is not a sponsored post ~ I'm just sharing a favorite store and their products that I truly enjoy.

Another thing I love about this store is that it's filled with plants for sale, especially succulents. They even have a garden right next to their building that customers are allowed to browse.

Check out these beautiful plants and the way they have them displayed...

 We got home that evening just in time to watch our town's fireworks display. Our little town has a weekend fest every summer and it ends with a fabulous fireworks display over the lake that attracts over 10,000 people. When a friend of mine lived in a house right on the lake, we used to go to her house for the evening and watch the fireworks from her front deck. But now that she no longer lives there, we'd have to join the 10,000 other people all over the grassy areas. Which means if we'd want a spot to sit down, we'd have to walk to the lake hours before the fireworks and stake our spots. No thanks!

I'll be honest ~ I don't like fireworks anymore. As I've gotten older, I find they're too loud for me. It also upsets me to know that the noise scares off the ducks, geese, swans and birds that reside in the bushes and aquatic plants along the lake. That's their home. I have read that sometimes birds even die from the noise and light of the sudden explosions: they take off and fly into trees and houses at top speed. Dogs and cats are terrified of fireworks, too. I can hear all the neighborhood dogs barking and howling when the fireworks go off. My cats used to cower under the bed all night, but now we put in them in the basement ahead of time with a fan set on high to try and block out some of the noise. Monkey was still so terrified the next morning that he freaked out at every little noise. Then there's the matter of the debris and chemicals from the fireworks going into the lake, therefore poisoning the fish and other aquatic creatures. And...of course, there's the veterans with PTSD.

Since I don't have any control over the fireworks display, I just watch them from the steps of the side door to my house.

I am blessed to have taken another trip around the sun. 
Every morning that we wake up is a gift. 💓
Have a beautiful week and enjoy what's left of summer.