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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Miracle Grow

Keeping a house and yard up all on my own can be overwhelming sometimes. For those of you who have been to my house, you might be saying Kelly; it’s a pretty small house and yard. Shut it! It is, but it’s still a lot. Partly just from the psychological factor, if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. Despite the pressure to tackle everything at once, it’s still the best decision I’ve ever made. I have a space that is all mine. I have a space that feels safe and beautiful. I have a space that feels like home, my home. 

Every spring for 6 years now I’ve made the rounds outside to look at my humble abode and each year I find myself saying God, there must be things I’m supposed to be doing and I’m sure I just don’t know what they are. Please send me a sign before it falls down or I have to sell my ever-aging eggs to pay for repairs. To say that I was ignorant of what taking care of a house would entail is a gross understatement. When I ask people how they know so much about what needs to happen they say it just took time and they learned along the way. I’ve learned a lot along the way too, but I still have miles to go before I sleep. 

I do have a few nuggets of wisdom I would like to impart for anyone in the market for their first house or in the thick of an exciting new purchase.

  1.  If you do need work done always get at least three quotes. Your gut will tell you which one to go with and you’ll learn a lot about how to deal with different contractors. Some of them are really hot too, which is a total bonus.
  2. How in the hell can ants get in there?! They can. They can get anywhere. Kill them all I say. Have your home sprayed. You might get cancer, but at least your time on earth will be ant free.
  3.  A new coat of paint can fix anything.
  4. New or old, every house will need to have repairs and upgrades. It really irritates me when people say they don’t want an old house because of all of the maintenance costs. I believed this lie as well when I bought my house. Over the years I’ve known people with new construction who’ve had tons of expensive problems. If it’s made well it will last. If it’s made crappy it won’t. Crappy costs a whole hell of a lot more in the long run.
  5. The outside of a house needs to be cleaned. I kid you not, I didn’t know this. I thought you just painted it. PS who’s available to paint my porch and trim over the next couple weeks? Pretty please?:)
  6.  Read up on plants before you plant them. I don’t have a green thumb so my strategy was to plant things and hope they didn’t die. I’ve since learned shade plants go in the shade. Plants that like the sun need to go where the sun hits. Plants need to be fertilized. All of that Miracle Grow at Lowe’s isn’t just for decoration. Who knew?
  7. Date a guy who comes over and says I can help you mulch the backyard next week if you want? Don’t date a guy who comes over and says you really need to clean your fan.
  8.  There will be some things you just can’t do on your own. Some because you don’t know how and some because you just aren’t physically strong enough to do them. I made so many ridiculous scratches on my wall trying to hang a 75 lb. mirror myself. I could barely lift it but I was sure one more try and I’d get it. Calling a friend to come help meant it was up in 5 minutes minus the scratches.
  9. Bad stuff will happen. One day you’ll come home and your heat pump won’t turn on. Don’t worry, you’ll get it fixed.
  10. A house is a lot like any other relationship you’ll have in your life. If you wait until there’s a problem it will be too late. Do the little things every day, every week, every month that will produce a better outcome in the future. It might mean another hour until you can relax on the porch with a glass of wine, but you’ll thank yourself in the end. Maintenance = you care.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A New Coat

A couple colleagues and I found ourselves on Newbury Street in Boston not too long ago with roughly an hour to kill. We'd had back-to-back meetings all day and this last one was the only thing standing in between me and a dirty martini. After perusing a couple shops, we happened on 20 people queuing to get into a store. Nosey me inquired and found out Diane von Furstenberg herself was inside filming an episode of her TV show. Holy s&*$!

I figured I might be able to see her across the room, shake her hand, breath the same air as her.....basically whatever I could get, because she's such a hero of mine. She understands and designs for strong women because she is one. She doesn't tell you that to be successful in business you have to forget that you're a woman, she tells you to celebrate it. Why shouldn't I feel beautiful and sexy every day of my life whether I'm in a boardroom, a meeting on Capitol Hill, a restaurant, on stage singing, in a grocery store or on a bike ride? We are many things, learning to be confident and comfortable in our own skin allows those things to shine.

When I made it inside I was literally overwhelmed and wondered how much room I had in my carry-on. Certainly once I relayed this story the flight attendants would let me board with 8 suitcases full of gorgeous creations. Luckily DVF came to the rescue and actually helped me focus, quit spazzing out and pick out a coat. Well, she helped me once I figured out how to speak again and stop smiling like and idiot when she walked up to me. I think spazzing, a technical term of course, pretty much describes it. I also managed to make it out with a black and white wrap dress that should be perfect for shows.

It was such a pleasure to meet her and she couldn't have been more lovely. What an experience! I was definitely on a high the rest of the night. I was actually on a high that whole trip and carried the feeling back home with me. I needed a little bit of a boost. You see I've reached that last lonely stage of grief, acceptance. Grief has kept me company for over a year now. It's been my albatross and my friend. My lover and my enemy. Now it's gone. I don't know what comes next, as I often write about here on the blog. What I do know is that I feel better than I have in a very long time.

Everything runs it's course and hopefully gives way to a new chapter. A new idea. Happiness in this new skin. It's nice to feel good again. It's nice to want life to be good again. Sometimes it just takes time, but you will wake up one day and want to start again. You will want to have new adventures. You deserve to have new adventures. I'm very excited that my new coat will be traveling with me.

Friday, April 24, 2015

It's Friday, Love

{ The whole room lit up by the light of our hearts at the American Heart Association Ball }

Crazy busy, but fabulous couple weeks. Lots of fun travel and great projects to work on. A last minute invitation to the American Heart Association Ball and a mad dash to find a dress. Making great progress on the band's first album. We should be ready to distribute by mid-May. When I got back to RVA this week the trees had suddenly decided to hang out with us again. Makes the neighborhood feel cozy and yet full of possibilities. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

{ Let the planting begin }

{ Our Annual Advocacy Day and Reception were a huge success }

{ Channeled my inner Jessica Rabbit for the ball in this vintage '50's strapless }

{ Don't be fooled by the cute face, this is the s#&% Miss A is bringing in the house }

Monday, April 20, 2015

Boston Strong

Amazing time in Boston last week! Hope you enjoy the photos. Crazy busy week for work in DC so I'll see ya Friday with a wrap-up. Have a great week!

Friday, April 17, 2015

It's Friday, Love

{ A few bumps and bruises from clipping in for the first time last weekend }

Whew....what a week! Travelled a ton, but it was totally worth it. DC and Boston were hugely successful and productive for work. Didn't hurt that I had a lot of fun in the process and also had a randomly magical encounter that I'll tell you about on Monday. Looking forward to an unexpectedly exciting weekend. See ya Monday!

{ I know it sounds crazy, but Avocado on Whole Grain Toast with Sauteed Beet Greens is the best breakfast ever }

{ A week of planes, trains and automobiles }

{ My hair was in need of some TLC }

{ A little clue for Monday's tale of awesomeness }

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Who Knew?

I love beets! Who knew? The things that change as we get older. Roasting them has become a simple favorite. Pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour with some salt and pepper and they're perfect in a summer salad. Enjoy!