Monday, February 28, 2011


This weekend, something amazing happened. I was on home call and my pager did not go off one single time. It was almost a normal weekend, except that I had to stay fairly close to the hospital. Saturday I went to work early, Was back home less than 2 hours after I left, and went back to sleep until 11:00. Then we did some garden planning at a local nursery--we're planting starting this week! We are trying cherry tomatoes this year. And planting a few months earlier than we did last year.

Sunday we spontaneously re-created our first date. First we went to the Dallas Museum of Art (fun and most of it is f-r-e-e.)

then we decided to go to our favorite Salvadorian restaurant, Gloria's for some ceviche and margaritas (allowed to have ONE).

It wasn't until we were halfway through dinner that I realized we were unintentionally going to all the same places as our first date. We are creatures of habit I guess. To make it complete, we went to get coffee after our meal at the same starbucks we went to on the first date. It was really, really sweet. And even better than that first date because there was no pressure to be extra entertaining. I was able to just be my regular level of entertaining.

Friday, February 25, 2011

silver arrangements

One of the things that I see ALL The time when I go thrifting is old silver-plated serving pieces. Of course, when I get them they look pretty horrible...

but If I see something that's nearly black and fairly heavy, I have a hard time not buying it. As a result, I now have a pretty impressive silver collection.
(same piece after some elbow grease)

One day when we have a real dining room, I'm planning to use my collection of silver-plated platters and serving dishes to make a gigantic disco-classical-fabulous arrangement on a wall

Imagine this, but less big, and SHINY. It would reflect light around like a mirror, but without making me stare at myself throughout an entire dinner. Sure, it would require some elbow grease a few times a year to take everything down and clean, but it would look awesome. Which is a justification for many, many things.

I'm thinking I could make a decent sized arrangement for about $100 if I trolled the thrifts for a few more pieces (plus the cost of silver polish).

Another pretty option would be hammered aluminum. Hammered aluminum serving pieces were popular in the 1940s and 1950s, and although less popular, they are still made today Ethan and I started a collection when we got a large platter for a wedding present. I have bought two more pieces since, and I love them.

They are readily available on Ebay and I've seen a few in the thrift stores. If you buy a piece new, it's super shiny, but over time they get a dull patina. I think these would also be beautiful hung on a wall. Or anywhere, really.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mirror makeover

The last few times I went to Garland Thift, I looked at a certain mirror. I don't know why, but I kept going back to it. I loved the shape of it but wasn't sure about the old-looking glass (I don't do shabby chic, and I had no idea how much it would cost to replace).
Eventually, though, the mirror went to half price ($12) and I decided that it was a sign. So I brought it home to the losefast house. Here is its kind of sad-looking before.

I went to Home Depot and bought some of the sample sizes of paints for $2.50 a pop. The colors I got were white and Distant Thunder. I painted the whole frame gray, then did a TON of taping off, and painted the middle of the frame white. I was thinking about putting some poly on to make it shiny, but I got impatient and just hung it up, and I like how it looks.

The little bench is from the thrift store, re-covered in a black and white stripe. The pink pillow was a silk sweater that I wasn't wearing, but thought my bench should have an opportunity to. The neon colored pillow was made of fabric remnants from Crate and Barrel Outlet (it's 99 cents per pound) and used some stuffing I cannibalized from a different pillow.

I haven't replaced the glass, but I may in the future. For now, I'm leaving it in its slightly cloudy state. We have a few pieces of Ikea in here and I thought something needed to be not completely shiny and new.
Here's a close-up:

Ethan said that the combination of the gray and white mirror and the striped bench looks a little Mad-Hatter-Alice-in-Wonderlandy. I agree. and it makes me happy.

We're still waiting on the Expedit 5x5 bookshelf to come in at Ikea so that our books can sit on something besides the floor, and the office can be officially finished. But in the meantime, we are already using the room SO much more now that we both have a large and clean work surface.


you know how I said that I was going to have Salvation army take some of our old stuff away? well a week ago they came and took our gigantic oak-finish bookshelves.

We then spent the next day reveling in how much BIGGER every room in our house felt. And I realized that I didn't want to make the mistake of over-crowding the rooms with furniture again.

So after a few days looking at the empty space in our living room, we (actually Ethan) realized that the two dressers we bought for the guest room would actually be great in there for storage and to act as a console. Especially because, whenever we have more than 2-3 people over at a time, we break out a 6.5 foot long folding table with a pretty tablecloth and set it in the middle of our living room to eat there (because you gotta be creative in a little-ish house!) Want to see?

I love that the white just recedes like it's not even there, and doesn't make the room feel smaller. Because we have two gallery walls in this room ( one of paintings and one of pictures) I wanted something to go above that wouldn't compete with everything else in there. I got this mirror REALLY cheaply at Home Goods (seriously, it's gigantic and I paid $25.00 for it). For decoration I used our pewter coffee service (that was my Grandmother's) and a thrifted wooden tray with our decanter and some crystal on it.

I am loving the amount of storage this thing has. It holds all our guest room linens and pillows, my fabric stash, all our CDs, our inside-the-house tools, and we still have empty drawers.

We chose two 4 drawer chests rather than one 6-drawer chest for a few reasons: one is that it's more versatile to have two smaller pieces, and the other was that since E and I are both tall, we tend to get furniture on the taller side, because it's just much more comfortable. We dream of one day having an entire kitchen constructed to be at bar height.

Here's a sneak peek at what's going on in the office/ guest room:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Orange you glad I didn't say banana?

Lately, I have been on a mission to purge my house of all things beige. And most things brown (wood and leather are excepted, because natural wood and saddle-colored leather make me weak in the knees). Don't get me wrong, I think in some situations having a lot of tonal neutrals can be very calming. I was just getting bored.
I would like a present wrapped up in this paper (from papermojo):

the actual gift would hardly matter because I'd be so enthralled by the presentation.

I've been injecting more brights into our house, toned down with white and gray. One of the colors that I love right now is orange with a lot of red. or vice-versa.

I painted a vintage bar cabinet in Rustoleum's Safety Red (and removed the bar fittings from inside) to make our TV chest.

We organized all our DVDs into boxes labeled by genre. Our genres include: comedy- appropriate, comedy- inappropriate, James Bond, Epic Trilogies, Musicals, superhero, Action, comedy-regular, and Ethan (for movies that he likes but I find too dark, like the Departed or Heat or Traffic). I can always find exactly what movie I want. Ethan has to ask me which box it's in. go figure.

We are using the same type of boxes in the office; orange for Ethan's stuff (like leather samples and car magazines) and white for my stuff (like yarn, and more yarn).

Since our office has gone from beige to bright, I'm looking at some new art. I like the graphic nature of these two (both available on

We also got new orange towels from home goods (to go with a black-and-cream striped shower curtain that I sewed up the other day from this fabric:

It looks pretty kicky together!

And since this is a theoretical purchase (which it has to be, because I can only afford chairs with names if they are from the thrift store)

14 reasons

1. He waits up for me if I am called into the hospital at night
2. He can call me on my bullshit and I can call him on his.
3. Snuggling
4. He drives me to work and picks me up if I'm on call overnight, so I don't have to worry about falling asleep while driving.
5. He is honest
6. He is a constant optimist
7. He never gets angry if I hit the snooze button four times before 5:00 am.
8. When I demand praise for something I'm working on (which I do multiple times a day) he gives it, sincerely.
9. He is thoughtful in his speech.
10. He carved a valentine for me last year. Out of wood.
11. He understands the way I think without me telling him. Because he thinks in the same exact way.
12. He is childlike (without being childish)
13. He thinks that engineering is easy, but thinks I'm brilliant for being able to accurately remember movie quotes.
14. He thinks he's as lucky as I know that I am.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Last Friday I got some awesome news... that we are NOT going to be moving after all. Or rather I am not going to be moving. It was possible that I was going to have to move without E because of work obligations, which would have been very, very horrible. And not only do I not have to move, but I get to continue my training at the same institution, without having to take a gap year and losing time. Basically, things could not have worked out any more smoothly.

Because I knew we weren't moving, and because I had a bit of cabin fever after not leaving the house for a few days, I decided it was time for some changes. Like most younger people, we have a good amount of furniture that was stuff our parents didn't want. It was not necessarily our style, and it was not very efficient in layout (most of it was bought for suburbs-size houses, not post-war 950 square feet houses). So I did some obsessive-compulsive planning and then took Ethan to Ikea with me on Super Bowl Sunday. Which was the best Ikea trip we've ever had, because hardly anyone was there. (as an aside, may I say how grateful I am that the only sport E cares about is F1 racing? I will gladly watch that once a week for four or five months a year if it saves me from ever having to pretend to care about any other pro sport)

I can't show you pictures of it yet because not everything is assembled and Salvation army has not been by yet to do their pickup of our old stuff, so it's a big mess. but here are the ingredients:

1. 5x5 Expedit bookcase with two desks attached, one after the other.

We still have to get the bookcase because it wouldn't fit in my hatch after putting in 2 desks, 2 dressers, a bed, pillows, a fake plant, and a live cactus.

2. 2 Malm 4-drawer chests. I am using one to store guest linens in the drawers, and the other will probably hold yarn and fabric. I have a thrift store mirror that I'm making over to put above these (more about that later), along with my framed Italian Column prints.

3. Fjellse bed, hacked

Think of this as a before picture. I have already sawed off the headboard to make it into a wooden platform daybed. I think I am going to upholster the frame in a charcoal gray finish eventually, as well as making matching gray covers for the daybed mattresses and the back pillows. I have already done a poor-man's version of this by using matching gray fitted sheets on the mattresses and making a long back pillow cover out of a coordinating sheet... but when I'm feeling really crafty (and can get to a fabric store again) I'll do it right.

So between putting together ikea furniture (which takes a pretty long ass time and is only fun for about an hour, max) and going to work, I've been pretty dang busy. I'll post some more personal and fun pictures once our house doesn't look like a bomb went off in the furniture for sale section of the craigslist ads.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

make your own dog toy.

for about a year, I've been making Reagan his fleece dog toys. This is because one dog toy cost fifteen dollars and was only available in un-masculine color combination of pink, purple, and lime green. So we made a trip to the fabric store and bought a yard and a half of fleece for about ten dollars, which has already made three dog toys. Because his last one had been finally killed:

(Reagan has a very strong predatory drive, especially for fleece)
I decided it was time to make his new toy.

Step 1: cut 3- 4 pieces of fleece, 4-5 inches wide by about 2 feet long, and roll them into little cigars.

Step 2: knot the fleece strips together very tightly at one end, place end under foot, and make a very tight 3 or 4 strand braid. I used 4 strands because it makes the toy more rope-like. The braid has to be very tight because it is going to be pulled and chewed on repeatedly. If it is loose it will get destroyed more quickly.

Step 3: knot the end of the braid.

Step 4: place a knot in the middle of the toy, and trim ends to even lengths.

Step 5: Play with dog.

So that's my genius dog toy making tutorial. I know it's not actually genius, but it is fast, and easy, so it has that going for it.

A note about fleece: we use fleece dog toys rather than the rope kind because we have read that the ropes can be eaten and wrap around the dog's stomach/ intestines. This is not possible with fleece, so it is safer for the animal.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I know it's snowing everywhere in the entire United States right now, but since we only get it about once a year in Dallas (if that), it's still pretty remarkable to me. We've been having horrible weather all week. On Tuesday, I woke up to a world covered in a wintry mix that had frozen solid. The streets in our neighborhood had about 1-2 inches of solid ice covering them. So what did I do? made Ethan drive me to work and pick me up. Wednesday the ice was gone from parts of the road, and other parts were covered with black ice. same yesterday. so today, we have six or so inches of snow on top of patchy black ice. and I'm on call from home for the hospital. But as of now I cannot make it out of my driveway.

Because of the weather, all of our elective cases and most of the clinics have been cancelled. which allowed me to finish THIS:

The yarn store called me up last Friday and told me that my precious honeydew yarn which I had been waiting on for a month and a half was finally there. So I got to work and finished this lovely.
Would you like to see my favorite square?

It's Orchid, Flamingo, and Wasabi. What a disgusting recipe that would be. but a beautiful blanket.

And the edging:

Mediterrenean, Orchid, and Azul.

The yarn was so soft and so beautiful to work with. If you have a yarn store near you, you should go bury your face in a pile of this stuff. My favorite store in Dallas is the Shabby Sheep. The ladies inside are gracious and there's a big table where you can sit and work or lay out nine colors of yarn while debating what the tenth color should be. And they don't seem to look down on people who crochet as second-class citizens (which some knitting stores do... it's kind of like that scene from Pretty Woman, except with older women wearing really fancy hand-knit clothing playing the part of the snooty sales clerks)

One more picture of our house this morning:

Thursday, February 3, 2011


If I hadn't been a doctor, I would either have been an anthropologist or an interior decorator. Actually, I don't have the guts at this point to start a business of my own that would have potentially tenuous finances rather than an assured salary. As it is, I AM a doctor, so I have to fit in any of my more creative impulses on the side where they will fit.

My mother in law is looking to re-cover some furniture and change up the style in her living room, which hasn't been re-done in quite some time. Her style is simple and traditional. Here are the pictures and ideas that I have come up with

Drawing: the living room is currently wood paneling. not the gross 70's type, it's actually architecturally very beautiful; however, it's a LOT of wood. and I think it makes the room look darker. So in my fantasy living room changeup, I would paint it all either light buttery yellow or a lighter version of wedgewood blue, with white glossy trim. She has a built-in wet bar, which I would actually leave the current wooden color (or possibly put on a little bit of a darker stain).

Posted by Picasa

She has a pair of camel-back sofas with really pretty lines, which I would get covered in a heavy white denim slipcover (multiple dog household). She also has a pair of wingback chairs, which are currently light pink. Since she's told me she is really tired of the light pink, I would have them re-covered in a tonal light blue pattern. I would use a darker blue and white pattern like this for throw pillows. And I would get an old-looking traditional wool rug from someplace like overstock to center the room. And maybe an upholstered storage bench for some extra seating (they have four boys, all with girlfriends or spouses, two dogs and three grandbabies after all)
Posted by Picasa

Aren't these walls pretty? the overall style of this room is more modern than she is ( I could never imagine her having gallery-style randomly placed pictures but the wall color is sooo pretty.

Will any of these changes ever happen? I have no idea. She may hate it. But I still had fun making up a potential makeover. I used to do this for my parent's house ALL the time. And I've been known to repeatedly doodle parts of my own house with slightly different furniture when I'm bored. It's like my version of a coloring book! Actually, I think I'd enjoy a real coloring book also. I think I have one stashed away somewhere around here. I am probably the only 26 year old I know who has a huge box of crayons in their office (and no children).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

books need a pretty house, too.

I am a book nerd. my idea of a perfect date is to go to the biggest used book store in town, buy an armload, and then take them to a hole in the wall bar and read. I am lucky enough that Ethan also thinks books and beers make a pretty sweet combination, so I get to have my perfect date pretty dang often. As a result of the frequent book-buying, our shelves are getting pretty crowded. I've got two shelves that started life in my parent's house. They are huge, oak, and really, really, heavy. The above image is from May. notice that they were completely full at that time. full bookshelves+ never wanting to get rid of any + buying several books per month= unruly, unsafe piles.

I've decided that the next time we move (aka June), Salvation Army is going to have to do some heavy lifting and haul the big old bookshelves away. They are not terrible to look at, but they are REALLY heavy, and I can't buy another one for my expanding collection. There is also some water damage (hidden by placement). I am going to replace them with these:

And to make it look more awesome, I am going to paper the backs with this:

Not sure yet about black or white bookcases. but I am sure that the back will be lined with the most beautiful paper in the entire world.

Other options:

white and gold... makes me think of Liberace.

pink and gray large marbled. less wild than my turquoise choice and maybe more modern.

in a dining or living room:


For someone a little fancier and girlier than I am, in a dining room.

The above, painted charcoal gray, bright green, or white, plus:

a sunny and preppy option

The best part is, if you used a non-permanent method of affixing the paper (like double-sided tape) then you could switch out the whole background for about $15 per bookcase. The paper is all archival-quality, sold in fairly large sheets, and ridiculously less expensive than if you were trying to buy actual wallpaper with a similar design. Plus, books traditionally have marbled paper in the inner binding, so It's extra fitting.

All of the furniture above was from Ikea. The paper is all from

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

gin and jazz

Gin and Jazz go together like peanut butter and jelly. Our hands down favorite place to go for both is the Balcony club, located just above the Lakewood Theater. We went there on one of our first dates (where I was congratulated by E's best friend that I was "approved" ) and we went there on our wedding night (and I have to admit that on that occasion we overdid the gin more than a little bit)

I get a gin and tonic, extra lime. E gets a dirty gin martini. Listening to jazz while nursing a cocktail is almost as relaxing as soaking in a hot tub or getting a massage. Almost.