Sunday, January 30, 2011

From Blah to Spa...

Hello everyone, well its been a while since I've posted simply because I've been busy trying to recoup after hip replacement surgery on January 10th. 
Thank you all for all the well wishes, sweet cards and nice emails, its been very much appreciated!

I'm participating this week in another "Metamorphosis Monday" with Susan at Between Naps On The Porch along Traci's "Bathroom-Organization" at "Beneath My Heart"  for our master bathroom renovation.
This ensuite bath renovation is not "brand new" but every time I walk into this room it feels, timeless and fresh to me compared to what it used to look like.
We built our house in 1991 and at the time everything was "builder grade special" and the color of the day in the early 90's was peach, peach and more peach. The more peach one had, the better we thought it looked...wrong, wrong, wrong!
Now, nothing in my house is peach except if it comes from the produce department and is edible.
Anyway, back to what it used to look like; giant plastic garden tub with peach tulip tile surround, two sinks with peach tulip tile counter tops and everything had matchy-matchy shiny brass faucets that matched the shiny brass tulip lights. There was a stand-up shower stall and "potty box" combo and oh ewwwww...of all things, peach carpeting! What on earth was I thinking!!!
Here's what it used to look like:
This was the only picture I could find (I'm sure any others ended up in a landfill somewhere!) and as you can see it was builder generic. In the bottom right corner, you can see the giant plastic tub and big brass faucet.
So with the windows and plumbing in place that made the lay out easy...kind of, we ended up having to re-plumb for the tub faucet so it could be centered on the big window. Also (GASP!) we ripped out the walk-in closet to locate the new tile shower in its place. Oh yes, we also had to install all new plumbing for the new shower odd the walk-in closet didn't have it already:) I wear scrubs to work everyday and I've never really been a clothes hound therefore a "normal size" closet works well for us.

So...come on in...
 my husband built all this you see...
here's what its looks like today taken from about the same spot as the "peachy original"...
New, lighting, bead board and beveled mirrors in custom built frames...all built, installed and hand painted by my hero, Mr. La Bella Vie...Porcelain pedestal sinks with a re-purposed vintage sheet music stand for storage
(inside we installed plastic pull out drawers for essentials). New hardwood floors replaced that disgusting peach carpet and a new double hung window replaced the fixed window at the end of the tub...

A view of where the double sinks and tub were located. That mark on the ceiling (to the right of the skylight) is the old walk-in closet and is now the walk-in double shower shown below.
Here's what it looks like today. A walk-in double shower and the new closet in the right of the picture.

Subway tile, polished nickle fixtures, rain head shower and hand-held shower head...
and the unexpected...salvaged vintage glass door knob for a shower door handle.

Gone is the "tub in a box" and in its place a white Porcelain cast iron
pedestal of my favorite places on earth:) 

"Telephone" shower/bath handle...
The details...
collected vintage door knobs and escutcheons' for the closet doors and linen closet...
custom linen closet and door knob...
Through the looking glass...
this picture is taken from the reflection in the linen closet door:) I love the sunshine against the hardwood...

no neighbors to obstruct a lovely view....
I hope you've enjoyed your (long) day at the spa, I know I do every time I walk in here thanks to Mr. La Bella Vie:) He took my initial rough sketch and idea then drew the actual design to scale on "Visio", a technical drafting  program. Below you'll see the sink and floor plan elevations he sketched to bring my vision to fruition...I'm convinced the man must have "Super powers" to be able to do this:)

He's used Visio many times over for other home projects including this room I posted on another Metamorphosis Monday.
Believe me when I say this project was truly a labor of love and the ultimate test of patience on my part because this lovely space turned into a very complicated DIY project but at the end of the was so worth the time and effort!
Thank you again Susan for hosting another "Metamorphosis Monday" and Traci for the great "Bathroom Organization party", this was a fun post to do and I thank you both! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

OK so sign me up for any kind of surgery...

Just to get more of this bread!!!!!

My sweet neighbor, Hjordis came over last night with this fresh from the oven, homemade whole wheat bread and it is THE best bread I have ever put in my mouth! No kidding!
She made this from scratch by grinding the wheat fresh yesterday morning...yes you read right...grinding her own whole wheat!!! Then baked it into this beautiful loaf you see here.
I have never in my life made had "real" home baked bread and all I can say is, its a good thing I don't know how to make this because I'd have to live on it!

I had the first slice after my neighbor left last night while the hubs was putzin' around. When he walked back into the kitchen he asked "well how is it" and I said; its just awful honey, you won't like it at all, you should just stick to your own "store bought bread" so as not to waste your time on this, but don't worry someone HAS to eat it so it doesn't go bad so I'll do it.
Seriously, he's been so good to me through my surgical recovery, I was trying to spare him the anguish...really...I was honestly!
Well all it took was one teensy weensy little slice with a little of Ms. Sue Bee clover honey on it, which Hjordis also brought along with this lovely loaf...
and he was hooked! Then he had the audacity to tell me I was liar, liar pants on fire and a cheater, cheater, punkin' eater for trying to steal the bread from him!!!! What? I would never do such a thing!
I don't know what he was thinking, I was trying to do him a favor and eat it all up before he tasted it and liked it and was forced to eat it...sheesh any how!!!!

Poor hubs will be working late tonight so guess what I'm having for dinner?? :)

Let's see...toasted cheese Sammie's and salad sounds just delish...then perhaps a slice or two toasted with a little honey for dessert...then perhaps a thin little slice before I get all tucked into bed...then I think I need to hide the rest for tomorrow morning's jam and bread and tell him its all, so sorry but in my delicate post surgical state, I'm sure he'll understand...

Or not...but oh well someone had to eat it!!!!!!!!

Thank you again my sweet neighbor and friend, Hjordis we love you!!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Home Again...

Well I have to say the below post was just the cutest from Mr. LBV, what a sweetheart! He has been through this entire "adventure" with me every step of the way including staying with me the first night in the hospital and not getting one wink of sleep with all the "goings-on" in my room. Also, as I have come to realize, he makes a great nurse! He has done everything possible to make this transition as easy as for me as he can and without his help I may not have been able to be home just yet.
Thank you to everyone that sent well wishes via the blog, email and even snail mail, it means so much to me!

Meet my new "dance partner" the debonair; Mr. Walker steppin' out with Douglas the kitty. The hubs brought Douglas into my room after surgery to keep me company!
Oh and this is the lamp I got after winning a fifty dollar gift card from Home Goods for the "Mom Cave" contest  I entered in November. I decided I needed a living room lamp and this was the one I chose...I think Mr. Walker and the lamp have "a thing going on"...

Thank you everyone for your well wishes. I'll be posting a bit infrequently but will pop in to say hi every now and then.


Monday, January 10, 2011

My Loves New Lease On Life...

Though most of you have never met me, I am Mr. La Bella Vie, this blog owners husband. Mrs. La Bella Vie calls me Mark...

As the saying goes, behind every good man is a great this case, my "Mrs. La Bella Vie". She is inspiring, creative, funny, talented, beautiful and most of all positively charming! I am convinced she married beneath her station in life when she married me therefore I became the luckiest man in the world the day we said "I do"...
Oh and did I mention she is also very brave? This week, January 10th 2011 she is taking a huge step toward a healthier future by having this procedure done and I applaud her for that! But then again, this is one of the many reasons I married this little charmer, her courage and enthusiasm about living life to its fullest without fear!
Please keep my little Lady in your thoughts and prayers while she recovers these next few weeks and takes "one giant step toward womankind!"


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Who you callin fat !!!!!

 Does this chair make my butt look big???

All supermodels know if you do the "photo-shoot lift" it'll camouflage that pesky double chin
And just between us girls...our New Year resolution...
 is to stay on track with a diet of tuna and exercise
(chasing mom and dad's wine bottle corks around the house)
 so we can fit into these beautiful fur coats again by spring!

Friday, January 7, 2011

January 7th 2011

Today would have been my sweet Mother's birthday.
Joan Vivian Armetta would have been 78 years old.  
 After all this time, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her and remember her smile.
Happy Birthday Mommy!

She is Gone  

You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't
see her or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live
 yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow
because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she's gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty
and turn your back or you can do what she'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins

It is also our first night back together as a group for "Girls Night Out" or better known as; "quilting, bitching, sewing and moaning" since concluding in early Fall. Shortly after we wrapped up in September for the 2010 season we received the sad and very unexpected news that our beloved friend and mentor, Sandi Ray passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 4th 2010. 
It was difficult to even think we would be able to continue on with class every other Friday night at The Pine Needle without her. She was not only our instructor and friend but was truly the heartbeat of the group. 
However after many tears and much discussion we all came to the same conclusion; "what would Sandi want us to do?" She would never ever want us to stop gathering for "Girls Night Out" just because she "couldn't make it to class". In fact I can hear her say..."what were you thinking, you gals need to get together and I need to get outta the house!"
So this evening, we are continuing our tradition of the last ten years to honor and remember our sweet, funny and adorable Sandi Ray...

We will laugh till our cheeks hurt just for you dear friend!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday January 3rd 2011 back on track...

My New Years get back to healthy eating habits after the holidays so as not be the girl in this add...

because I can tell you, I don't look very good in plaid or as a "Chubbette"!