Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Let's pick up where we left off, no? We were sneakin' and peekin':

For such a small room (maaaybe 5'x5'? maaaybe), this has been one expensive, laborious process. When I moved in, there was wood paneling on the bottom half and particle board on the top. That's right, this sucker was not even dry-walled. To take the ugly up a notch, the former owners had half-heartedly applied pastel wall paper on the top half of the walls and the ceiling. I say 'half-heartedly' because I was able to pull the wall paper off with two fingers. It was an eyesore, and it also so happened to be the first thing people saw when they walked in. Excellent.

But as part of my Christmas present, my dad and brother (to the rescue again!) put tongue and groove cedar on the walls and trim. My dad also hooked up some wiring (you know, things dads do) and I got a new light fixture, as well as one with a motion detector for driveway.

Then in a steroid-fueled burst of energy (I guess I have something to thank my sports med guy for), I applied stain for the first time in my life. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! The one take-away I have from this is that Pandora is useless when you are doing a project that is this messy. It will shut off and "ask" you if you are listening every so often... and every time, you will need to get off your ladder, clean your hands, click yes and grit your teeth while muttering curse words at modern technology. I don't really recommend this technique.

I then painted the trim white to match the adjacent door. Then I picked out a bright pink (I used the leftovers for the desk...) to paint the inside of the door. It's such a small room and I wanted a good pop of color.

(I should add, for accuracy, that I was going to have it dry-walled and paint the whole room white, until my dad and brother, ever so cautiously, suggested that tongue and groove would look good. I conceded, but was adamant that I would just paint it white to look like paneling. They cringed but knew not to argue. And then I stained it like they recommended and I love it and I hate when I am wrong especially about my own house so let's just move on already, okay? Gees. :)

I decided I wanted a lot of hooks. As you know, I am an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of girl. I like my things in front of me where it isn't possible to lose them or forget about them. So I picked out some nice big metal hooks and after some serious Nease-kid planning (me with the big crazy ideas and Jakey saying, "Well, Bobbi... let's think about this" while trying not to let on how incredibly bonkers I sound), my brother hung them with the precision of a brain surgeon. I love that kid. And I now owe him 741 beers.

I went with baskets because I saw it on Pinterest. No joke. I just like the way they look. I put Henley's leash and harness in them, as well as things I need to remember to bring to work, or my sunglasses, or just about anything really. They are handy!

Hey, guess what? I spent an entire afternoon scouring the antique stores in Ishpeming and Negaunee looking for the perfect bench. Thanks go out to Allison who was patient with my pickiness and then did not feign disgust when I picked out this beauty:

Before I painted it blue, it was a gross poopy-green color. (I just said 'poopy'. It was the only word to describe it.) I then used studded nails to secure the fabric over the top. I found the fabric at Ben Frankin's. It is a peachy-orangy squiggle pattern that looks nice next to the pink door.

The pillow is from my Front Street apartment. I probably will never use stud nails again. I wasted about as many as I used because I was so innacurate with the spacing.

I found the two orange frames at Big Lots for $4 each. They are a fun, texture-y raffeta. Inside, there are two pages from a book called Haiku for the Single Girl:

I smile to myself
Because I have a secret.
My time is my own.

Sadly, the only
Guy I'm going steady with
Is my bartender.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Color Explosion

As I mentioned the other day, I've been spending some time lately sprucing up my dining room. You have to understand that when I moved into this three-bedroom house, I had enough stuff for a two-bedroom apartment--just barely. Meaning it's taken me a year and a half to get to the point where I could put up art and fill a room with furniture.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted the dining room to be navy. In fact, it was the first room my mom and I painted. It took 3 coats! With the height of the ceiling, and the openness of the room (the dining room and kitchen are the same room, which spans the back half of the house's first floor), the color only serves to make it feel cozier, not boxed in. There is a big window and the room gets plenty of light, which plays off the crisp white trim.

I had a minor set-back in March...
..,in the form of a nasty leak stemming from a crappy roofing job. Daddy and Jakey to the rescue! (Plus three days worth of work by a contractor and a $500 insurance deductible...)

I have been stockpiling art (via Pinterest) and scoping out deals (like $195 for the 8x11 chevron rug) since Christmas, but I have been waiting for a piece of furniture to put at the end of the room. I thought it should be nice and wide, plus kind of low, to leave room for a wall of art, but when I walked in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore last weekend, they were having a liquidation sale to prepare for their move. Everything was 75% off and I snagged this desk and chair for $18.50:

Over the weekend, I sprayed two coats of primer and three coats of white semi-gloss over the entire set. At the last minute, I changed my mind on the matchy-matchy strategy and bought two bottles of chartreuse spray paint:

I used some metal spray paint for the handles; I was going to leave them in their original condition, but the buttery color didn't look good against the crisp white. I went shopping for fabric to use for the chair, but nothing stood out. (Here's the thing. Every since I was little, I would conjur up the perfect thing [blue sweater, jean jacket with cool buttons, red Jeep, whatever] and I would spend hours and hours trying to find it without settling for something else. I think it says that I'm not willing to settle; my mother--who spent those countless hours trying to convince me that the sweaterjacketJeepwhatever that was in front of us, on sale, was good enough--would tell you otherwise.)

Anyways, I realized after a trip to Walmart and Ben Franklin that what I was really looking for was a pattern that was on a rug that I picked up at a rummage sale last year. So, since I had two rugs and only one was being used next to Henley's water bowl, I just cut the rug to size and whipped out my staple gun. I really enjoy the results.


It's very playful and has a nice texture. I spray-painted a mirror that I have had since high school and leaned it on top, with a few pictures stuck in it. The gold bowl may get painted, but for right now I am just getting used to all the color in general. Here is a close-up of the rest of the items on top:

Clockwise from top left: A framed image of a dilapidated door that I found while Antiquing in Ishpeming, with years' worth of paint jobs peeling and rusting; a vase that finally found a home -- a birthday gift from my friend Kelsey last year; a paper crane; a wooden bowl from Jamaica and, at center, a frame I received for being a good employee at Target. The photo is from my first legal New Years' Eve.

The art on the wall is equally as random:

Clockwise from top left: Two bargain frames with approximately 15 paint layers on them; an empty frame surrounding a framed poster of Van Gogh's Starry Night (every apartment I've ever lived in has had some version of this painting); a framed owl print on a page from a dictionary; the leaning mirror from high school; and an engraved ABC's of life plaque, a graduation gift from a family friend.

In the corner, I stuck the fifth chair from my grandparents' dining set, which sit on top of the bargain chevron rug. You'll see a peek of that rug in a bit.

On the wall that faces the door, there are three other pieces of art, the first thing you see when you walk in, if you can manage not to be shocked by the pink top of the desk. I snagged the curtains from a friend's rummage sale for $4--they just showed up after weeks spent debating over a $75 version from Anthropologie. Thanks, Lucy.

Clockwise from top left: I can't decide if it's a placeholder or not, but this is just a framed ad from a magazine; a watercolor world map from Etsy that I found via Pinterest; and a sweet birthday gift from my friend Krista, a framed piece of art called "Roots and Wings" by an artist named Mika Holtzinger. Here's a better look at the map; the print Krista got me did not agree with my camera/the lighting, so you'll all have to come over for dinner and check it out.

The rest of the room is in progress, but here is a quick peek at the rug:

Don't mind the Windex and art piles on the table. I guess this picture also serves as a sneak peek of the entry way, which I'll post later in the week. The rest of the afternoon is strictly reserved for reading near the biggest window in the house, to take full advantage of the sounds of this beautiful rain.

The rest of my plans for the dining room include agate coasters, this NYC subway print, open shelving, this Aries poster (ring any bells?), this flight plan print, and the tree of life.  Though I may have to spread these plans to the living room yet, which sits empty but for a couch, chair, and art supplies. One room at a time, right?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bobbi Lately

I'm a lazy blogger--this whole numbered/bulleted streak I'm on makes posting incredibly easy.
  • Lately, I'm obsessed with drinking aloe. Don't knock it 'til you try it.  It started when the Co-op had Alo drinks on sale, but morphed into a full-blown addiction when I stumbled upon this Aloe Cocktail. Now my brain is on fire coming up with aloe cocktails of my own. Currently experimenting with Tart Cherry Juice for a yin-yang effect. So far 3 tbsp tart cherry + plus 4 tbsp whole-leaf aloe gel + juice of one lemon + club soda is the winner. It's really light, and is good for digestion and joint health, so winner-winner.

  • Lately, I've been walking in the morning.  With my wonderful friend, Allison, and our two equally hilarious dogs. She takes the reins of Henley so that I don't have that additional strain on my body. It's been wonderful to start each morning swinging my arms freely (walking Rubin, who is approximately 1/9th the size of Henley), inhaling the fresh air and chatting with a supportive friend who shares a lot of my obsessions. It's also nice to walk into work feeling awake and ready to deal with people.

  • Lately, I've been on the phone. With my insurance company, with my doctors and with the good people at Mayo Clinic. I'm trying to get a second (third? fourth?) opinion and an appointment with ONE doctor who can be my advocate and coordinate whatever comes next. No one is making this easy, as I'm sure I don't need to tell you. News flash, the health care system is jacked up.

  • Lately, I've been feeling a little more wing-y than root-y. Restless, confident, ready for something.

  • Lately, I've been sprucing up my dining room. I wanted a tribal/travel/color explosion theme. I'm close, and pictures will be posted shortly.

  • Lately, I've been wondering if maybe John Mayer has been hanging out on a dusty shelf  in my heart. My friend Eric said, "This album is on point with the lonely well-intended generation." I adore Eric and I adore John, so of course I downloaded as soon as I got a free moment, and gees louise, Mr. Mayer, get out of my head. Pretty sure I am an architect of days that haven't happened yet is my tagline and this is my theme song:
You are hiding in your mind / Working all the time / To make it better than you got it / You been spending all your time / Searching for a sign / That's never gonna look the way you want it / Think you better wise up, boy girl

Monday, May 21, 2012

Things I've Googled Lately

1. "YOLO."

2. "Fracking." One of my Facebook friends casually used this in a status, and according to my research, it's kinda scary. (Somewhat related: DID YOU KNOW that we mine helium? And so therefore we can have a shortage of helium? This recently happened. Kinda makes you wanna think twice about inhaling it just to have a funny voice?)

3. "tl;dr." This upsets the very core of my English major. It also makes me feel very old, because upon Googling, I shook my fist at my iPhone and said, "Kids these days!" and then took a big gulp of my Metamucil.

4. "Weather." Every morning. Because how the hell am I supposed to dress this time of year? 42 degress in the morning but 89 degrees by 4pm? I cannot win. There is not an App for that.

5. "How to download books to the Kindle iPhone App." I can't find how to download new books, only how to upload books from a Kindle account. Welp, my dog ate my Kindle... but I can't find that in the help section!

6. "John Travolta scandal." WTF?

7. "Raw mint chocolate cheesecake." My recipe wheels are turnin'.

8. "Cute pill organizer."  This search came up inconclusive. I take so many damn supplements (so it needs to large), and I want to keep them in my purse (so it can't be too large), but I also want it to be cute. Allison... I found an idea for a third website!

9. "Cute comfortable brown leather flats that are on sale." In a moment of desperation, I just typed in exactly what I wanted... and you guys, it actually worked! Behold.

10. "Words ending in Z." Don't even tell me you've never Googled when playing Words With Friends! I rarely resort to this (English major pride again) but when you can get a triple-letter score on a Q and a triple-word score but the word must end in Z, you are going to bust out the Google, am I right? (You'll also then curse your iPhone addiction, because, duh, QUIZ.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Up in the air

Per the ever-present theme of roots and wings in my life, change tends to send me scrambling for some certainty. I really only thrive when there is a balance. I am constantly searching it out.

I realize change is pretty much the theme of life ("Change is the only constant" and all), but I can only take so much of it before I need a good, healthy dose of something concrete. Today, for many reasons, was the tipping point. Whether the change is good (progress!), bad, or to-be-determined is usually not the point. After passing a certain threshold, I head for home.

One of the blessings of living in my hometown is that I can retreat to my parent's house in about 6 minutes. Tonight I watched the news with my dad, took a sauna, and holed up in my old bedroom watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother (I feel for you, Teddy) while waiting for my mom to get home from an event. It was exactly what I needed--my roots.

I know there is opportunity in change. I know change means growth. But change just leaves me a little up in the air. Albeit in really, really good company.

Dad and me at my undergrad graduation party, 2006.

 Jake and me in New York, 2011.

Mom and me in Rome, 2008.

Henley Boo-Boo on the way home from Wetmore, 2012.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


1.  I've recently started taking an hour nap when I get home from work. Usually that's a no-no, as it often times messes up my sleep that evening, but it hasn't affected anything. I wake up at 6 or 6:30 and go about my evening. I've been listening to my body and it's working. 

2.  I only want to change my name when I get married if my husband's name is really awesome. Bobbi McGee, yes. Bobbi Brown, maybe. Bobbi Johnson, eh. Bobbi Gyllenhaal, hell yes. Bobbi Brady, no.

3.  I'm alone a lot. And when you're alone a lot you have to choose your thoughts wisely. This is sometimes difficult for me--the choosing-the-thoughts part, not the being-alone part. When you're alone, there is no one to cheer you up or say, hey here's another way to look at that. Except for a 3-month-long period right after I bought my house, I have always loved being and living alone. I still do. In fact, it's pretty necessary sometimes. But I've been straying some with the positive thinking lately. The bright side (hey, look at me pointing out the bright side!) is that I'm aware of it and that makes me less likely to stray and more likely to steer myself back in the right direction when I begin to dwell.

4. I spent 45 minutes yesterday unsubscribing from places I've previously asked to send me email.  It was kind of like when you go a little nutty and before you know it, your whole house is sparkling clean (which has happened to me maybe twice in my adult life). I don't know what it was, but I just couldn't stand the state of my inbox at that moment. Fairwell, marketers.

5. I've never cut my own grass and I never really intend to. I'm pretty sure I'd be the girl who ran over her own foot. Begging my brother to help me out is much safer for all involved. 

6. I'm attending seven weddings this summer and do not plan to find a plus-one for any of them. This is equal parts terrifying and liberating.  If anyone gets married in 2013, there is a strong chance I may be in Brazil that weekend. Working on finding my plus-one.

7. I have been patiently waiting for two avocados to ripen since Saturday. It's embarrassing to confess how much of my time I've spent thinking about those avocados. I've even tried the banana-in-a-brown-paper-bag method. If all goes according to plan, I will be rolling in the guacamole for the next two days.

8. If eating homemade honey-almond butter by the spoonful is wrong, I don't wanna be right. Speaking of honey, I think I may have to start wearing a disguise when I stop by the co-op bulk honey stand. If you see a brunette in a 'stache in the bulk food aisle loading up on honey, please look the other way.

9. I'm kinda anti-social on Facebook. I would wager to guess that about 30% of my Facebook friends are unsubscribed on my feed (I just don't want to hear what you had for breakfast/whether or not your child's poop was normal this morning/how much you love your boyfriend of 2 months), and about 15% can't see my wall or pictures. I'm careful to post only things I would say in front of my Grandma on Facebook, but if there's a chance you might actually bring it up to my Grandma, you're blocked.

10. Sometimes it feels a little selfish to have a hot tub of my own. But then I turn up the jets and I practice choosing my thoughts.