Thursday, February 26, 2015

<i>Surviving</i> the Cold in Atlanta


I hope you picked up on the sarcasm in the title.  We are in the middle of a winter storm warning here in Atlanta.  What a joke.  That is the Ohioan talking. With that being said, it has been pretty cold (for Atlanta) so we have been indoors a lot. 

We made a trip to IKEA and the boys were facinated with the bunk beds. 

 

Of course these would be really practical in their small bedroom, but alas, they will not have them, because I scored those beautiful twin Jenny Lind spindle beds.  Maybe on Instagram, but did I ever even show you guys these here on the bloggy blog?  

Yeah, they are goig to be so sweet in the boys room.  I have pics to show.  One has already be transformed with some white paint. 

[Still at Ikea] We checked out the GODMORGAN vanity in person for our little downstairs bath (as seen in my bath plan)  and I picked up six of the sheepskins for my dining chairs. They are so soft and cozy! 

 

We played in the bathtub in the middle of the day. 


Whole Foods has turned into an outing location for us.  We don't full-on grocery shop here, but there are several things that we like to buy, one being the prepared foods.  While I loaded up my plate, Ernesto tried to supervise these little shoppers.  

It got a little too chaotic.  The lunch crowd was there and having to dodge these little carts.  Mateo filled his cart to the brim with cheeses, Marcelo was loading glass bottles, and papi was ready to walk out before I could even put dressing on my salad.  Literally, he walked out [with Marcelo] and I had to convince Mateo that we did not need all that cheese that he had picked out.   Good times!

 We cuddled like there was no tomorrow. 

We hit the Children's Museum downtown.  We should really go here more often.  Ernesto thought buying a membership would ensure that we do.  (we will see) The kids were thouroughly entertained.  They went fishing...


Played in a huge sand box...

 and  painted masterpieces...

They were so worn out, just as I like them!  Guaranteed sleepers they are!  Sleeping beauties!

The boys have been getting in a lot of garbage truck and LEGO time. 


Our days don't go buy without some ipad/tv time as well.  They can't even look away.  Must have been watching Wild Kratts.


My mom and dad stopped in a couple days on their way down to Florida for a month!  What snow birds!  (We will be heading down to stay with them in a couple weeks!  Can you say 75 degrees!?)  We lunched  at  Krog Street Market (of course!) and just when we thought we couldn't come up with any new ideas for entertaining the kids....my mom said Bowling!!  YES!!  We all had so much fun!

 

In other news, we went out on a date last week!!  It's unheard of not too often we get a babysitter (mostly because we don't have one!) But our friends Rob & Fennella volunteered to watch the boys so we could go out with our longtime friends Floyd and Richard.  We met them 15 years ago at our gym when we first moved to Atlanta.  Crazy how time flies! 

They had never been to the Krog Street Market and since that is the only place we go these days, we met there.  We chose the new The Cockentrice to sit down and eat.  As described on the website, this restaurant is a "celebration of charcuterie"  delivered by on-site butchers and cheese mongers all while working with locals farmers and daries. 


We gobbled up two different boards of deliciousness and a couple bottles of Pinot Noir. 


The guys had great seats to the Hawks game...so after eating we Ubered it over to Phillips Arena.  Even though I couldn't care less about basketball we had such a fun night!  Thanks for inviting us guys!! 

Life has been good, dispite the "Winter storm."  How are you northerners surviving the cold!  (and I'm not being sarcastic there!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Thrifting, An Estate Sale and Craigslist

I went to my first estate sale in years, and I kicked myself for all the fun I have missed out on.  The sale was in a mid-century house in the middle of mansions [off Mt Paran Rd-for you Atlantans].  I walked in the house and was immediately saddened to learn that they were tearing the house down to build a.....wait for it....MANSION!  Someone paid $675K just to tear it down.  Such a shame as the house was AWESOME!  

Here are a few teasers, but see the full tour here on Trulia, while it lasts (Im sure it will be taken down soon).


How awesome is that living space?!  Let's move downstairs after dinner to our table in the living room and have a scotch while we discuss politics. UGH! So Mad Men.  So Me!  (not the politics part)   Im totally obsessed now folks.  I really loved the couch pictured above.  It was 103" long and stuffed with down!  So comfy, but would have been a fourtune to recover.  Yes, house was in need of some serious updates, but I would have LOVED to be the one to modernize it.  Anyhoo, house was filled with tons of gems, but many were spoken for/gone by the time we arrived at 1030am.  

Still I walked away this gorgeous Karastan wool rug for $35.  $35!!!!!!


It measures 6x9 and is like new.  Now, I don't necessarily have a space for this, but how could I not buy it when it is worth so much more? The colors are so sweet, it would be great in a little girls room.   (Lucy?- ok actually I don't think I can part with it yet, but let me know if you are interested) 

Also , I could not grab this brass planter fast enough.  It's big!  And it needs to house my fiddle leaf fig...just as soon as I find one at a non-ridiculous price. 

  

Vintage copper canister set for $10?  Uh, yes.   Also scored 3 glass Christmas trees 

I was scared to take Ernesto with me for fear he might veto something I wanted, but he was happy looking around (he loved the house too!) and he found a new leaf blower for himself so he was happy.  Someone else was pretty happy too. 


While at Goodwill one night, I spotted this gorgeous feather filled sofa in great condition (minus fabric).  SOLD!  Ugh.  I had already imagined it in my living room with navy velvet and cream welting around the cushions. 

Next I found this chinoiserie wood mirror and my heart went thump thump.  Not sold, but I got tired of thinking "where could I put that?"  Im kicking myself now.  Dumb girl.  That could have eaisly been snuck into the attic until I found the perfect spot.  And you always do find a spot if you love it. 

Moving on to Craigslist.  I still have not sold Mateo's campaign bed and chest, which really surprises me.  It has been listed for several weeks, but I have not giving up hope.  I don't really care though, if not sold in the next month, I will donate the bed and probably saw the chest in half so it can fit in a closet.  Waste not want not.

In a more pressing issue, I am trying to negotiate a Craigslist [score of the century] pickup in another state which is proving to be harder than I would like.   My correspondant is dragging his feet a bit, but Im hoping I can sweet talk him into it or as a last resort, offer him a serious bribe.

Are you ready to see it?


Don't curl you nose up yet my friends. It is hard to tell, but these ugly ducklings are actually......wait for it....


The same as these Milo Baughman brass dining chairs.  They are wearing a bad faux leather disguise, but I recognized them instantly.  I can't stop thinking about them.  And the price is right!  I will keep you posted on how this pans out.

What have you guys scored lately?  I would love to hear.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2nd Annual Valentine Bake Off!

Valentines Day was sweet.  Although not as warm as last weekend, we enjoyed sun and temperatures in the high 50's.

We stuck with our new Saturday tradition of running on the Beltline and eating at the Krog Street Market.  

The boys kept to tradition by falling asleep in the stroller and letting mami y papi have a beer and lunch -as we did in pre-parent days- in PEACE!!  

One IPA at HOP CITY and I felt a buzz refreshed after my run. 

               Last year Ernesto and I had a perfect Valentines night just cooking dinner at home and competing in our bake-off, we knew it was a repeater for this year.  (it also had to be perfect because we did not have a babysitter!)

 

The Spotted Trotter is a regular at our farmers market (which is closed for a couple months) so we've bought (and sampled!) their meat.  It's not cheap, but it good stuff.  We each picked out a steak-me a tenderloin, and Neto a ribeye.  We bought a couple pretzel breads for the kids' [good] hot dogs, a baguette and a little snack for on the spot.


This little sandwich was crazy good!  It wasn't on a menu, they just threw it together for us.  Some cured meat, cheese, arugula and sweet jam on ciabatta.   Oh my!  

Desserts for that night were a surprise, but we discovered that both of our recipes called for RAW eggs.  While Spotted Trotter was packing our meat, I saw they had fresh eggs.  The most beautiful eggs.  


And they should be!  They were $8 for a dozen!!!  I have never paid that much for eggs, but when eating them raw, I would say that is a good time to do so! 


We were ready to go and the kids were still sleeping!?  They even continued sleeping during the stroller to car transfer.  YEAH, I KNOW.

Once they were awake, it was project valentine.  Painting!  We paint a lot at Casa Espinoza, so these guys are pretty good at making a mess masterpieces. 

I traced some hearts (very artistic!) and let them go to town.  

After it was dry, I added the red and helped them sign their names.  With a sweet little note penned to my lover, papi's card was ready!!

 

I received a very cute valentine too.

 

Next task:  helping papi with the mixer.  Ernesto's dessert needed to chill for 8 hours.  Needless to say, it was not ready...even for our [late] dinner. 

  The pretzel bread hot dogs and broccolli, or "trees," as they like to call them, were a big hit for dinner. 


SOOOOOOO, Im sure you are all dying to know what our no-bake desserts were in the contest.  Mine?  

I saw this mousse on Food Network and it seemed easy enough and I knew with the ingredients it called for, I could not go wrong.  Dark chocolate, eggs, sugar and heavy cream!!  Yeah, muy muy rico!!!  However, admitedly, my presentation was lacking.  I was supposed to make whipped cream for the topping.

My competition?


You had me at tiramisu mi amor?  It was phenomenal!!!  And it was for breakfast!  The vanilla bean custard, fresh eggs, kahlua, espresso soaked ladyfingers, and the cocoa sprinkled on top.  Omg, this is a repeater!  My mouth is watering just writing this.

We agreed that the tiramisu was the winner, but this is not to say that my mousse was not a winner. If you love dark chocolate, this is worth your time to whip up.  So rich and creamy!  Knowing that my husband prefers milk over dark chocolate (and me vis a versa) may have been my downfall, seeing that he held half the vote. 

Still, two delicious desserts made it a SWEET night! 

Did you guys do anything special?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day&nbsp;

What are you guys up to for Valentines Day? We have had a great day so far...starting with our new Saturday morning tradition of running on the Beltline and eating at Krog Steet Market afterwards.  Three weeks in a row is a start of a tradition, right?!


Dinner ingredients were purchased at the Spotted Trotter. (meat!) After dinner, Ernesto and I will be competing in our annual Valentine's bake-off!  (another new tradition for us!)  

We had to really search for recipes, because this a no-bake bake-off due to the POS oven we just bought on Craigslist.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Burned on Craigslist

When we moved into our house there was an electric stove, microwave and dishwasher.  All black, all brand new, but I would say cheaper models for sure.  They work/ed fine, but after cooking with gas for so many years, switching back to electric was not ideal.  And, since a refridgerator was not included, we purchased a stainless one and planned on switching the others out to match at some point.  


This is a photo from when we first looked at the house 3.5 years ago.  Black appliances, no fridge.   Anyhoo, new appliances were not necessity, so looking for a quick (inexpensive!) fix was my thought process. 

Enter Craigslist.  (Of course!)  Seriously, if there is something I want for the house, I always search here first.  I search here even when I don't want something for the house.  Wait!  That never happens.  I ALWAYS want something for my house. 

After the two recent stories of murder involving Craigslist, this post seems insignificant, and really it is. was I physically hurt during a Craigslist transaction.  No.  However, we were burned misled.  We overlooked the cardinal rule.

#1 look closely at what you are buying. duh!

I saw a set of Fridgidaire appliances listed for $700 and thought that was a great deal!  After talking to the guy, I sent Ernesto to buy.  I should have known something wasn't right, he sent me two different pictures of stoves and his english was HORRIBLE.  And I don't mean a foreigner, I mean just horrible English grammer that hurts your ears. 

Ernesto took Mateo for this buying transaction.  The appliances were CLEAN and wrapped in a clear plastic.  Ernesto later kicked himself for not unwrapping them. (rule #1)  He asked the guy if there was anything he needed to know, any scratches/dents to speak of? No was his response.  I guess we tend to trust people.  I know I do.  (and btw, this usually works out for me.  I have made countless CL transactions without any issues!)

First thing.  No bracket with the micro to install.  UGH!  ok.  Ernesto rigged something, but this was annoying.  Luckily it works fine. 


Next.  The stove.  Burner grates were taped down for "easy travel," but after installing, Ernesto removed the tape and low and behold off came the burner....and some paint too.  PAINT?! WTF?  Yes, it seems the top of the stove was painted.  Oh, I was sick. 


All burners do work, and we are loving cooking on gas again.  The convection oven is another story.  The first time we turned it on it smoked up the whole downstairs.  Nice.  Pre-heat is taking a year to reach temp.  And there is a funny smell.  Paint?  The good news is that I baked a cake and it came out perfectly, so it does work, but there are a couple issues.


Diswasher has a couple scratches and dents that were conveniently concealed by the wrap.  This doesn't bother us too much.  It looks like they have been there for a couple years with toddlers.  Nice model, stainless interior, missing a wheel.  So bottom falls off track every time it is pulled out.  Easy fix, but annoying. 

Our guess is that this dude "refurbishes" appliances and re-sells.  His story was that they were coming out of one of his rental properties while a renovation went on.

I texted him to tell him about the paint on the stove and he acted surprised and said he would see if he could get us another one.  I haven't heard back from him.  

Bottom line:  I love Craigslist and will continue to peruse, buy and sell here.  I will, however, not buy appliances from people who seem shady. Seems obvious.  

Eventually you get burned, but I have gotten wayyyyyy to many great deals to be jaded. 

(We bought our front loading washer and dryer over a year ago from a family who was moving and it was a total deal.  They are perfect. )

Monday, February 09, 2015

Weekly Wishes #10

It was a GORGEOUS weekend here in Atlanta.  Im talking sunny and in the mid 60's!  Saturday could not have been more perfect.  We ran to Piedmont Park on the Beltline, and the kids got worn out at the playground.  We picked up a Bucky Bucks [coffee] and the kids napped in the stroller while we strolled back to Inman Park having adult conversations.  Such a treat!  They continued napping while we ordered lunch at the Krog Street Market.  (I told you, this is going to be a weekly thing!)


We got home at 3:45p which was just enough time for me to meet a friend at a 4p yoga class.

Two workouts in a day! Unbelievable!  After yoga, our friends Rob & Fenella came over to cookout and talk the night away.  Mateo didn't even get out of bed once!  More adult conversation. 

Pefect day! 

Last year at this time we were in an ice storm that closed down Atlanta!  Later this week, it will be getting into freezing temps, so....Spring in February was fun while it lasted.   Ernesto said last night, let's get out of here of a few days, it's going to be freezing!  Quick beach trip anyone?  ¡Bienvenido a Miami! 


Let's take a look at how I did on last weeks wishes! 


1.  Get compost bin up and running.  FAIL FAIL FAILED!!! My bucket runneth over! The bin needs to be constructed soon.  This is one week of compost folks.  


2.  Share my "new" plan for our downstairs bath.   Done!  What do you guys think of my ideas?

3.  Final touches organizing laundry room.  YES!  Still need a new recycle bin for in there, but it is ready for its reveal. 

4.  Spend some time with my plants!  YES! I replanted and propogated and shared some succulents.  With most of my plants inside for the winter, I was happy to give some away.  I am working on a post about succulents, my favorite plants ever! 

5.  Buy a yoga package and GO this week!  DOUBLE YES!!  I am so happy with Sacred Sweat Yoga  in East Atlanta.  They specialize in HOT yoga and I come out of there drenched and limber!! I have gone 3x so far and already feel the benefits.  The 6am classes on Tues and Thursday have me feeling energetic ALL DAY!  I also ran a few times with Ernesto this week, so mentally I am in good shape. 

6.  Make appointment at the Genius Bar for my computer.  Yes, but I JUST made the appointment.  But hey, that ws the goal right?  I backed up everything and will be going Wednesday to get that laptop whiped clean, new software loaded and back in working order again. 


This Weeks Wishes

1.  Compost Bin  I probably should not even say this again since the temps are going to be close to freezing later this week, but I am going to have to dump that bucket somewhere!  So if the compost bin isn't built, I am going to just have to start a pile.  (Did you read that mi amor? A pile of compost in the yard! Please oh please build it!)

2.  Jewelry Stuff  I need to focus in.  I missed one of my better jewelry shows last year because I sent the application too late. UGH!  There are several that I need to apply to THIS WEEK!  Also, I have some new supplies to get creative with and need to order others.  First show of the year isn't until the end of April, but I would like to space out the work, instead of my usual crunch time.

3.  Plant a Terrarium!   I counted the other day, and I have 10 of these hanging glass terrariums.  TEN!  Well, I kept seeing them at TJMaxx.  One here, one there.  They were only $4-5.  How could I NOT buy it? 

I have all different shapes and sizes.  These are from CB2 and cost $7 (not planted!) I now know how I will hang them, which I will share with you soon, but for this week I want to at least plant ONE. 

4. Do Yoga 3x  I have always loved how I feel after doing yoga, but have never been a regular at a studio. Now that I bought a package, I can keep going and begin to create "my practice."

5.  Plan something special for Valentines Day and bake heart cookies! Last year Ernesto and I had a bake-off for V-day (after the kids went to bed) and it was so much fun!  I think we are going to do it again, so I need to find my special dessert!  Also, I have gingerbread dough in the freezer to thaw and make heart cut outs. 

I think this should do it for the week.  Hope you have a good one and GET SOME SHIT DONE too!!


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