Thursday, June 26, 2014

Deal of the Day: French Cane Bed

We live in a section of town that's quaint and bustling and offers several fun places within walking distance.  Mostly we take advantage of the restaurants, coffee shop and the local hardware store within a few blocks, but one of my favorite spots is a second hand shop just down the street from our house.  The woman who runs it couldn't be friendlier, and she's always displaying newly acquired items on the front sidewalk, tempting me as I'm trying to get home without stopping in:)  

Yesterday a newly arrived French cane twin bed sitting out front caught my eye, so I decided to take a closer look.  It's lovely in person, with a great faded creamy finish (definitely shabby chic), petite but not too feminine lines and pretty details.  And the caning looks like it's in perfect condition.  

If I didn't already have my own French style twin headboard without a match, I'd buy this guy in a second!  But if you're in the Louisville area, check out the Crescent Hill Trading Company, and for $120 make off with a deal. 

Or there's always this... 



Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Summer is here, and tomorrow is Sophia's last day of school, tear tear...... I am one of those mothers who is sad at the end of each year, because it just means my little ones are growing way too fast. In the midst of Creative Arts Camp etc.... I have been reflecting on our life over the last year. 
Boy what a difference a year can make. 

First Day of School Pics..

We made a move, the kids have grown, and all I can say is I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. We have had another year of work in a church we love, grown closer as a familia, and have had a lot of fun in between. 

Liza and I making decor plans for our new place 2013

Thank you all out there for following along with Liza and me as we hope to inspire new ideas while we share everything in between. Blogging is so much fun for me and I am honored you all join along with us. 

Mil Besos,


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Creative Arts Camp 2014……

We are in thick of Creative Arts Camp this week. This year we choose the theme, " The Forgiving Prince," the story of Joseph. I am literally pinching myself thinking of how LUCKY I am to work with such a fine team of artists, organizers, and all around positive people. 

We have a song writer who wrote such an upbeat poppy song for camp (Matt Veligdan), a play write (Jackie DeMarco), a model maker (Jeremy Coleman) his work as been in the Guggenheim, artists (Ginger Oakes & Chris Anderson) who hand painted many of our crafts & props, PR duo  Elaine Criscione & Lonnie) and an all star team of teachers who we would be lost without. 

Each year C.A.C. is an amazing experience for all our kiddos and for its volunteers.  I can not wait to share more pics with you throughout the week.  Follow me on Instagram (melluna) if you want to tour along with us to Egypt!!!

Mil Besos


Monday, June 23, 2014

All OVER the Place

That's how I feel about what I've been like lately!  While I am still painting and loving my work, these days I am not sure HOW to answer the question, "what do you do?"  Sometimes I paint portraits.  Sometimes I'm a decorator.  Sometimes I do reupholstery work.  And lately I've been working on a new project: planning a wedding.  A dear friend's wonderful daughter is engaged, and they've asked me to help some with the coordination, planning and execution of their big celebration weekend, and we are having the best time already!  Seriously, this mother daughter pair have so much style between them that I'm just along for the ride-- and how fun is that?  

(Here's the latest painting I just finished, by the way.)

In addition to any of the official (i.e. paid) jobs I take on, Mel and I both love to work hard for our churches.  We're both married to clergymen, and that means when we get to share with our minister husbands some of the excitement, planning, burdens and joys of what they do-- which is a perk to this job.  We're a team, and that makes all of it that much more fun.  It also keeps me busy ;-)

This weekend we got to enjoy another of the bonuses of clergy life: going to weddings!  Jady had the privilege of marrying the sweetest young couple from Louisville back in our old college town of Lexington, VA.  We got to celebrate two dear friends and their new lives together and revisit the old spots at W&L where Jady and I first met and dated.  All around a happy, romantic weekend.



Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Cocktails: Part DOS

When I am approaching any party I am always looking for new table scapes, something out of the ordinary. Last week when I hosted our summer cocktail I decided to use old subway tiles as our taco bar. I loved how the concept turned out. I find some of the best ideas can come at the very last minuto. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Nursery Update

Remember a few months back our dear friend Sarah Condon asked Liza and I for a little decor advice? Well, baby Annie has arrived, and Sarah sweetly sent up photos of the updated nursery. I think she hit it out the park--what baby wouldn't want to live in the Condon Nursery?

Via Paper Source

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Cocktail Party

Last Friday we threw a party for 60+ guests and had a wonderful time.  I haven't had time to edit all our photos, but here are few pics from my prep work…….

A big thanks goes to Maialino's for making a food donation. The meats and cheeses were incredible. For flowers I decided to go with dogwood branches.  We were scheduled to have a rooftop party, but when the rain came that day we decided to move indoors. What better way to create indoor summer with some good looking branches?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Yard Work is Hard Work: Part 2

Since we arrived home again after being gone for a month this spring, I have spent quite a bit of time working in the yard, trimming, planting, and overall attempting to tame.  The weather has been nice, and our frequent summer thunderstorms have kept the plants AND the weeds happy and me busy.

We planted most of our landscaping plan last fall before the polar vortex hit, but a few shrubs we couldn't source at the time were left until this spring.  One major eyesore I couldn't wait to give a makeover was the corner where the fence meets the neighbor's garage... 

Lovely, right?  As much as cinderblock walls, climbing vine weed things, and a section of chain link fence are all my style, I couldn't wait to get this area cleaned up.  Our plan has always been to plant a Little Gem Magnolia tree in this spot, partly because its tall, slender shape and reasonable maximum height will prevent it from dwarfing the rest of the yard eventually.  Thank goodness we didn't plant this magnolia in the fall, since they're some of the more sensitive trees in the yard and almost definitely wouldn't have survived.

After calling just about every nursery I could find, this guy was the tallest tree available at a respectable 6 feet.  Before planting it, though, the eyesore corner had to be dealt with (finally), so I dug through our scrap wood/plywood pile and found an extra section of fencing from when we built the privacy screen on our deck.  

By some miracle, this leftover fencing section was exactly the width I needed to cover over the corner and connect the existing fence to the side of our garage, so all it needed was a few decking screws to fasten it in place, and problem solved.  Why didn't I do this months ago??

I realize that the width of the fencing boards and the color from the new section don't coordinate with the old part, but hey, it was a free, easy fix, and the color will fade to match over time anyway.  

This week I finished up the other section of our landscaping plan that had to wait until spring.  In the fall we installed some dwarf hollies that will grow a few feet taller (again, eventually:)) to create a medium hedge distinguishing the main part of the yard from the back, more secluded garden.  But you can see in the photo below, the center section was missing more plants and an arbor to make a doorway to the back garden.

I really did not want to spend a lot on the wooden arbor and even started researching plans on how to build one myself-- until I discovered this one on Amazon for just $135.  Just a few minutes assembling and done.  After more phone calls to nurseries across town, I settled on a pair of boxwoods-- the biggest ones I could find-- to go on either side of the arbor, and two climbing clematis plants that will make their way up the arch and soften the whole look.

Once I had everything laid out and in place I first needed to secure the arbor in concrete footings. 

I love fast drying Quikrete concrete, especially with smaller holes like this.  You don't have to premix it in a tub beforehand, which isn't difficult, but it makes a mess.  All you do is just pour it straight from the bag into each hole, spray some water in there and mix it around with a trowel (or a paint stirrer, if that's all you have on hand:)).

The last area that desperately needed some TLC was the side yard, connecting our side screened porch to the back.  It was just sad looking, with pretty much nothing there at all in the way of living things.  Grass has never grown here, so eventually I would like to cover over the dirt path look we have going with pea gravel or pine straw from this screen porch door down to the back lawn.  But one thing at a time, right?

Last week I bought a few more Nikko Blue Hydrangeas to match the ones already in place nearby and continue the line of them around the corner of the deck. Once the bed continues past these new bushes, the area becomes a true all-shade section of the yard because of some mature trees just overhead.  So I picked out a variety of shade perennials and filled out the space a little and give it some sense of intention.  It's amazing what a few little plants can do!

By the way, after a few days of digging all of these holes, I'm still sore and exhausted!  Landscaping crews definitely earn their money:)



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It is NOT too LATE: Father's Day Ideas

I don't know what you all think, but June has become the new December in terms of business & gifts.  With so many end of the year activities and camp ahead of us, we are feeling a little swamped. But, one thing is for sure we will make time for Father's Day, and if you're looking for end of the year gifts too, I have a few ideas up my sleeve. 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yard Work is Hard Work

This winter's Polar Vortex was so brutal that we've been pretty worried about all of those plants we put in the ground last fall, wondering if anything would survive all those icy months.  It can be hard to tell with some things what kind of damage they've sustained until spring really sets in and new growth begins to bud (or not).  Thank goodness most of our plants, trees and bushes survived, and really most things look pretty happy now-- but there were definitely a few casualties, too.  

This weekend I pulled on my gardening gloves and got to work, trimming off dead branches and cutting away sections of anything burned by the frost.  I've been complaining (pleasantly:)) for years about missing a real yard, and now that we have one, I'm amazed at how much maintenance it takes to keep it looking good.  The weeds!  It's like there's a new batch every day.  Thankfully I do really love to work in the yard, weeding included, so I got what I wanted:)

I also picked up some new plants and finished working on a section of the landscaping that we had put on hold.  Stay tuned for the reveal later this week!


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