Wednesday, April 30, 2014

To Do Lists

Whew!  Well, we made it to the airport and eventually to Berlin after a crazy week toting around a to do list that you wouldn’t believe.  I’m sure I looked like I’d lost my mind, clutching my paper full of scribbles and crossed off items, but without my list I definitely would’ve forgotten something major.  I think we did it— the dog sitter is all set, the bags got packed, the grass is cut— you get the idea:)  

 One thing I’ve been meaning to get around to is planting these little boxwood bushes that we’ve had sitting around for months in pots leftover from a planting project in the front yard last fall.  I can’t believe they survived this winter of constant polar vortex temperatures, but they’re putting out new growth and looking as healthy as can be, so I felt like I had to give these little fighters a chance somewhere in the yard.  Since we won’t be there to water for a while, and spring is a great time to plant anything, I wanted to get them in the ground before we left town.

Along the side of our house in the back yard, there’s a whole bare patch that I have plans to fill in eventually, so I figured these boxwoods would make a good start.  Once the winter set in, my progress on the deck railings and lattice skirting ground to a halt, and there is still a whole side section waiting for me to finish it.  Before planting the boxwoods I decided to break out the saw again and inaugurate a new project season by building my next-to-last section of lattice.  

Here’s how it’s supposed to look... 

And here’s what’s been staring at me all winter… It’s definitely time to do something about this gaping hole, don’t you think?

To support the lattice frame I measured and built, I used scrap pressure treated 2x4s screwed into the deck posts about an inch and a half back from the front edge, so that the lattice would be flush with the posts.  (For the full how-to, check out this post.)  Once these supports are in place, I just screw the lattice frame straight into the scrap 2x4s for a clean look.  And then I could finally plant my patient boxwoods.

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to finish the one small lattice frame or the final two sections of deck railing before we left.  But I had to cut myself some slack, since our last three days before leaving for Germany were spent at a conference in DC and at the wedding of some good friends.  So I guess I’ll keep things in perspective this time:)



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kitchen Update: Casa Smith

Hello Tuesday! Just a little info, Liza is away in Germany for a couple of weeks, so you will be hear a lot from ME! This is my chance to catch you up on all our small improvements around the casa. Do you remember our floors that were in desperate need to be replaced?

 Before they were replaced, our friend Ginger had the BRILLIANT idea to paint our wall. I think we did the right thing!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Small Meals Big Punch

The Rev. and I are so excited to host our dear friend D.Roseberry for supper this evening. Now, when your regular dinner crowd consists of at least 10 hosting ONE friend feels like a breeze. 

Since we penciled dinner together a week ago, I have been thinking about what to prepare. I thought I may do something a little special in the kitchen, but then when it came down to the shopping I opted for my favorite dinner choices; roasted chicken, brussels sprouts, patatas bravas, and a little Ciao Bella for dessert. 

 Now for a little something special……

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Cleaning

After hosting 30+ on Sunday for brunch, my apartment was in desperate need of a little refreshing. With the traffic of 25 grownups plus 7 kids, a deep clean was on the top of my to-do list. After the dishes were put away, dead flowers thrown out, and our carpets vacuumed, the house still did not feel fresh. 
What to do??? I turned to my full proof refresh regiment. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Our dear friend Melody Moore took beautiful photographs of our Easter Brunch. She made our party look beyond celebratory. If you are in the NYC area and would love her contact information, email MEL.  As you can see, she is fabulous!
Take a look…

Mil Besos!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014


When it comes to any event we host I am always hoping to create a setting that pops. The same goes for the settings I create for the children's table. Sometimes, I think I would rather sit at their fun little tables then the grand farmers table.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Back to Berlin: Call the Doctor

Happy Easter Monday!  We had a wonderful weekend here, with lots of moving church services, seeing tons of friends and absolutely perfect spring weather.  Happiness and hope all around!  Perfect for Easter.  

These past few weeks have been a little crazy for us, since we are about to leave town for nearly a MONTH (gulp), and I'm tackling long to do lists of appointments, house maintenance, yard work and other loose ends that need to be dealt with before we go.  I find leaving town always a little stressful, but leaving the country for a month takes things to another level:)  

This trip evokes a whole mix of emotions for us, too, since partly it's a fun tour of Germany and Austria with a group from our church (that's the awesome, relaxing part).  But we're also going over early so that Jady can take oral exams and defend his PhD in Berlin.  This doctorate degree is what took us to Europe years ago, and after so much hard work and stress and wondering if he could ever finish, he submitted his thesis last year (fireworks! standing ovation!), and now this is the final step in the whole process.  This is it!  We're almost there, and I couldn't be prouder.  Even if he doesn't pass and never gets the degree, I admire him so much for all that he has studied and learned, and the fruit of that hard work is already so evident in the depth and quality of his teaching and preaching.

Sorry to go on and on-- but I feel like I'll be awarded a degree, myself, since we lived through this together, and I'm just so proud:) 

What this means for me is that I have had barely any time to work on fun renovation endeavors lately in my flurry of other, less hands on tasks, and I'm missing my power tools, paint brushes and the satisfaction of a start to finish project.  Now that spring has finally arrived, I did get to enjoy a glorious day of yard work, weeding, planting and cutting the grass on Saturday.  Allergies be damned!  ;-)  I loved every minute of it.



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Settings that POP

A few days ago I set my Easter Brunch table. I find it less stressful to complete set up days in advance. Completing the table in advance also gives me a few days to layer and add fun details leading up to our BIG event. Here is a little before photos, just a few dishes and flowers that POP
(poppies, lilac, ranunculus, wax flowers).


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Streets of Paris

Indulge me one last time. Remember my trip to Paris? Well, I was thumbing through few more shots and I thought you all might want to see what caught my eye in the streets of Paris. 


Easter Decor

What can you accomplish with balloons, glitter, and glue? The kids and I have been busy bees working on fun crafting projects for Easter. This time around we have really been experimenting with crafts around the house. 
Here is what our process looked like.

More after the JUMP

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Perfect Flower for Easter

With a full week ahead of us, I have begun prepping the house so I avoid feeling overwhelmed come Easter morning. On my to do list was to buy our Easter clothes in advance. I never want to wake up the morning of Easter and think through my outfit for the day. The second thing I do before Easter is buy flowers for the casa. Lucky for me, I have had a few gigs in the last week, and I happily took left over branches home. They are just beginning to bloom, so fingers crossed they will be in perfect condition for Sunday. 


Happy Easter!!!
 If you're looking for a great church at which to spend Easter, come to Calvary St. Georges Church in NYC.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Blooms

Happy Monday!  We had a wonderful weekend, with perfectly beautiful, warm days and much needed sunshine.  I'm so tired of hearing myself talk about the weather (can it get any more boring?:)), but we've been genuinely elated and enjoying the first days of real spring.  And the back yard is beginning to come to life!!!  After our big landscaping project last fall, we've been dying to see everything start to leaf out and eventually bloom.  

Here's how I spent as much of my weekend as possible:

 (Ignore the overgrown grass, please!  It's on the to do list... :))



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