Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Black Thumb

I am a plant killer. I've had this problem for some time, and like many of us I've long been in denial of it. I've bought more plants than I can count with the best intentions. This time, I tell myself, I will really take care of that Venus Fly Trap!  

My insanity started out with buying very pretty (keyword: expensive) items at Rogers Gardens near my house only to find they were dead a few weeks later. I foolishly believed that the more expensive plants would last longer (that must have been a sales pitch). I told myself it must have been that heat wave we had in August ('s always hot in August). I almost hit bottom when the $187 palm tree I bought for my husband's home office gradually turned brown one frond at a time. I think I remembered to water it, but I don't visit organized places in my home very often. 

I moved from the good stuff to $7 plants from Trader Joe's. It's not a big deal if it dies in a week, right? It was Poinsettias in December, Cyclamen for Valentine's Day, and the persistent lure of Hydrangeas. The prefix "hydra" means water, so does that mean Hydrangeas already have a lot of water (so I can ignore them), or I need to water them a lot? A friend told me the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I was certifiable.

Thankfully the solution to my problem is silk plants and trees. I know, I know.. you might think I'm talking about those tacky plastic things you see in the homes of little, blue-haired old ladies. Not all silk plants are equal, and the trees and arrangements from Pacific Silk Plants in San Juan Capistrano are amazing. Pacific Silk Plants is open to the public, but the store also sells to lots of very high end retailers in our area (who then add a hefty retail price tag). Best of all, Pacific Silks ship anywhere in the U.S!

Here is a beautiful arrangement in my kitchen. 
These orchids will probably outlive me.

A gorgeous Fishtail Palm. No watering! I can't kill it! Yea!
The basket is from The Plant Stand in Costa Mesa.

Pacific Silks even had this cute aqua pot!

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Splendor in the Bath

I have to confess that I'm hooked on HGTV. Even my 10 year old daughter loves it, and frequently we snuggle together on my bed for special mother/daughter time. Maybe we're just weird, but who knows when bonding will happen with a tween. Perhaps my love for home decorating shows lies in the excitement of new possibilities: new house, new rooms, new design ideas. What I think I really love about these shows is the quick fix. While I intellectually realize I'm watching a pre-scripted, well planned show, I get sucked into the idea that someone could swoop in, show me 3 homes in my price range, and that I'd be in a new home in less than a 1/2 hour.  Better yet, I'd be moved into my first home and decorators would have one room decorated for me in those 30 minutes.

This brings me to my red bathroom. We have been remodeling our home for over a year now (it's more like 10 years since we actually started). In that time the color scheme and style of our interior has changed dramatically. I guess we've gone from farmhouse/nautical to beach/french industrial/modern/transitional (whatever that is), and my new color scheme has grays, blues, creams, browns, and blacks. We've remodeled most of our house with the exception of the bathrooms. Since I've been informed by my CFO (aka my husband) that remodeling is halted until 2012, I must patiently live with our outdated bathrooms until then. Most of them I tolerate (but seriously, how gross is carpet in the bathroom?). The faucets are gold with green corroded pieces chipping off, the cabinets are a pink whitewash, and the dingy tile countertops are a pain to clean. The worst of all is the powder room, and my patience with it is wearing thin. Compared to the rest of the house, the powder room is like being all dressed up with your hair and makeup done, your best jewelry and beautiful clothes on, and then horrifically looking in the mirror and seeing a big green thing in between your teeth. 

The powder room has green walls, a red tile countertop, a pink-cast wood vanity, chipped and rusted gold faucets, and a tempermental toilet that frequently decides not to flush. Today I couldn't stand it any more. In my moment of insanity, I had an HGTV moment. I decided it would be a great idea to paint the red countertop. The rest I could live a while longer, but not the countertop. I bought a $5 can of "superbond" paint at the hardware store, taped everything off, and attempted my own 1/2 hour makeover. Although all the windows and doors were open, I quickly realized that the fumes were rediculously overpowering. You never see someone pass out from paint fumes on HGTV. Reluctantly, I had to stop painting. So much for my quick fix. Now I am stuck with half a painted countertop, and I called a professional painter for advice. On a positive note, I feel less irritated with the powder room than I did before I started painting. I think this is going to take longer and cost more than I anticipated.

Now I wonder, the next time my daughter hollers, "Hey mom, House Hunters International is on!", do I resist or once again get sucked into the fantasy? It depends if she made popcorn or not.

I want my new bathroom to feel something like this...isn't it dreamy?