July 26, 2011

Most Expensive Homes in America

Any horse lovers out there have any extra $175 million dollars laying around?  If so, you might be interested in the Jackson Land and Cattle ranch  that was listed for sale earlier this week.  The ranch that's just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming is currently the most expensive home for sale in America 

175 Million Dollar Wyoming Home

For one easy payment of $175 million you can own this 3 bedroom home on 1,750 acres.  But wait!  If you call within the next 5 minutes, we'll also throw in three fishing ponds, a spring creek, and view of the Rocky Mountains! Doesn't everything sound better as an infomercial?  Realtors, take note.

Jackson Wyoming Multi Million Ranch

For America's most expensive home, surprisingly the home isn’t the main selling point at all.  The actual residence is a barn that was converted into a 3 bedroom home and the property also comes with a four bedroom guest house and two employee apartments.  But the real selling point is a 52 stall equestrian center. 

Jackson Ranch Equestrian Stable

But if enormous LA mansion is more of your thing, you just missed your chance on the Spelling Manor.  

Aaron Spelling Manor

Earlier this month Aaron Spelling's mansion, the previous title holder of most expensive home for sale, sold for an estimated $85 million (down from the original listing prices of $150 million).

Most Expensive Homes in America

The 56,500 square foot mansion comes complete with three stories, seven bedrooms, elevator, five bars, bowling alley, and dog grooming salon.  The 4.7 acres also holds a pool complex and tennis courts.

Spelling Mansion Foyer

And apparently it comes with a dining room big enough for 20 people which I imagine makes it tough to pass the potatoes at dinner.

Spelling Mansion Dining Room

Back in March, another one of America's most expensive homes sold- a 25,000 square foot mansion in Los Altos Hills, California.  The house is estimated to have been sold for between $75-$100 million dollars.  

Silicon Valley Mansion

The home sits atop 18 acres overlooking the San Francisco Bay and has a north and south wing.  You know you're rich when your house has separate wings!  They must get a lot of exercise walking from one end of the home to the other.

Yuri Milner Mansion

The north wing includes a ballroom, home theater, spa, and wine cellar.  The south wing of the mansion contains family living areas and bedroom suites.  

California Mansion Kitchen

Mansion Living Room

I can't imagine what I would do with all of that space, even if I did have hundreds of millions of dollars to spare.  But think of all of the DIY projects you could do in a house that size!

July 25, 2011

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Purple Peppers

Since it's humble start earlier this summer, my backyard garden is looking much better these days:


Not bad considering that less than 2 months ago this area was an empty canvas (well except for the patches of crabgrass).  But these days, I have an actual vegetable garden!  Check out these pepper plants:


If you look closely, you might notice something a little odd:


Purple peppers!  I never knew it, but in addition to red and green bell peppers there is such a thing as dark purple (almost black) bell peppers called Purple Beauty.  I found them at a local farmer’s market where I bought all of my herbs and veggies and decided to give them a try.


And beauties they are!  They’re not very big and the flavor is similar to a regular bell peppers.  They're just a a little less sweet than red bell peppers and a little less crispy than green bell peppers.  Strangely, I used the peppers on a pizza and after baking they turned from purple to green!


In addition to two purple pepper plants, I also have two banana peppers and two red bell pepper plants.  I have yet to harvest those varieties, so in the meanwhile I'm enjoying these oddballs!  Have you ever tried a purple pepper?

July 23, 2011

Doggone Welcoming Committee

Visitors to our home are getting a special greeting these days.


Not one schnauzer, but two, greeting visitors upon their arrival!  Except the new addition barks a lot less than our existing pup.


One of Rob’s birthday gifts was this cutesy schnauzer welcome statue.  I’ve been known to like things that are a little on the kitschy side, so the doggy d├ęcor found a home right on our front steps.


Nothing says “welcome” like an adorable pup- or two!


July 19, 2011

Three's Company Apartment: Modernized

I'm having a lot of fun "modernizing" old TV show sets.  If you missed it, check out my take on modernized and updated Golden Girls and Brady Bunch living rooms.  Today, I'm having some fun with the Three's Company set.

I love watching old episodes of Three's Company.  My favorite episode was the one where there was some kind of misunderstanding and crazy hijinks ensued (just kidding, that was every episode)!  Here's Jack, Chrissy, and Janet on their living room couch.  I prefer the original cast, with Chrissy.

Three's Company took place in Santa Monica, California and their apartment had a beachy vibe.  Janet was a florist so they had plants everywhere.  

Now here's my take on the Three's Company set and how I'd modernize their living room if the show took place today:

Here's the breakdown of this updated Three's Company living room:

-Instead of a patterned sofa, I chose a neutral sofa with patterned pillow.
-I kept the drum shape of the coffee table, but modernized it with this cool dark aluminum version.
-The lamp style stayed very similar with this thin floor lamp.
-The side table was updated with a dark finish and a new storage basket underneath.
-The entryway chair is still wicker, but also has a new dark finish.
-The curtains are very similar to the original, with a fun beachy feel.
-There's also a new dark finish for the ladder style bookshelf.
-Janet added her touch to the place with wicker planters like this round one and this square one.  And of course lots of plants like this, this, and this.

I can picture Jack, Janet, and Chrissy having a lot of fun in an apartment like this.  There are plenty of plants for Janet to take care of and plenty of things for Jack to trip over!

What do you think of this Three's Company inspired decor?  Any suggestions for which TV show to modernize next?

July 13, 2011

30th Birthday Party Time!

This was the scene at our house last weekend:


My wonderful hubby, Rob, turned the Big Three-O and I didn't let him forget it. On Sunday, we celebrated his birthday with a 1981 inspired party.

To decorate for the big day, I made movie posters plastering his name and the number 30 in the titles of the biggest movies from the year he was born.  Like Rob and the Raiders of the 30th Birthday (I blurred out our last name in the photo below).


And SuperRob 30 instead of Superman 2.


And Cannonball Rob instead of Cannonball Run.


For desert, we munched on banana chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing (I modified the recipe to use more peanut butter and less butter and sugar).  The cupcakes were delish and very light and fluffy.  Of course I couldn't miss out on another opportunity to remind Rob of his age so I made paper pennants and decorated them with 30s.


If those didn't do the trick, his birthday cake was a sure reminder of his new age complete with a number 30 candle and 30 individual candles.


A playlist of the top songs from 1981 helped set the mood too.  Our guests appreciated classic ditties like Jessie's Girl, Keep on Loving You, and Bette Davis Eyes that topped the charts back in '81 (you have to watch the music videos for a full appreciation of their Eighties awesomeness).

And for some party fun, I created 1981 trivia cards and our guests took their best guesses (or tested their memory) at questions like the top TV show, cost of a dozen eggs, and the Superbowl champ from 30 years ago.


If you're throwing a 30th birthday party this year and want a copy of the 1981 trivia or the list of songs from my birthday playlist, feel free to email me and I'll send it over.

Update:  I have updated the 1981 trivia with 1982 trivia that you can download here.

The party was a hit and Rob may have even enjoyed turning 30.  Well maybe not, but at the very least he enjoyed and appreciated the party.  Happy Birthday again to my handsome, smart, caring, funniest guy I know, all around wonderful, love of my life, husband!

July 11, 2011

My Favorite Projects: June 2011

July is flying by already!  Before we get too into the month, I wanted to take a look back at June.  Looking back, I had quite the busy June!  In case you missed it, here's a look at my favorite projects of June and the wonderful projects I came across in blog-land.

In June, I...


And had some spray painting fun

Whew!  That was a busy month!  Now here's a look at the wonderful projects I came across on other blogs in June:

Tree Stump Coffee Table

P.S. If you've been featured this month (or last month), feel free to grab a button to display on your site!

July 05, 2011

Patriotic Landscaping

Since summer is in full swing, I wanted to share another update on our front yard landscaping.  You may already be tired of hearing about the paver walkway and retaining wall we installed earlier this year.  But don't expect me to stop talking about it yet, we're still not done the landscaping as I'm still in search of the perfect perennials!  But in the meanwhile I wanted to share how we're looking so far.

In May, our retaining wall was looking like this:

Since then, the petunias have been growing like crazy but some of the other flowers didn't fare as well. I moved all of the impatiens to the backyard as the petunias were overshadowing them.  I also moved the peony to the backyard and added a hydrangea in its place.


I added a few cute accents, like this smiling snail whose chipped paint only makes him more charming in my opinion.


And what's a garden without a gnome?


To celebrate Independence Day, I also added some patriotic updates (you can read about how I decorated for the 4th of July indoors here).


I added a few small flags...


..and a few of the confetti looking stars and stripes.


I love coming home and seeing all of the blooming flowers!  Do you have any landscaping favorites for full-sun areas?