It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Friday, December 10, 2021

Last year at this time, work had been paused on our exterior restoration and paint job, so I didn't do much other than put a wreath up on the door. This year, our house is beautiful once more, and so I wanted to spruce up the exterior for the holidays in a manner befitting our gorgeous antique colonial. The green plaid on the wreaths is what I used on the tree inside our living room, and the antique sled is one we picked up our first holiday season in New England. I especially love how it all looks with our plaque from the Newburyport Preservation Trust. Now all I need to do is figure out where I put the window candles a couple of seasons ago and get them up and we'll be merry and bright.

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Casacaudill Holiday 2021 Living Room Tour

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Honestly, it's not much of a tour. We're still rocking the Ikea TV stand we moved here with and have only hung up a few pieces of art in the living room so without Christmas decorations, it's actually a pretty boring room. We have big plans to fix that in early 2022 though. In the meantime, here's Christmas 2021 in this room. 

As you'll see, I ditched last year's buffalo plaid and poinsettia decor for something a bit more whimsically elegant. In theory, I adored the idea of the green plaid, but unless you're standing close to the tree, you can't really see it so it ends up looking like we have a bunch of blank spots on the tree. On the mantel, I went with my broken-after-one-year-incredibly-expensive Balsam Hill (un)lighted garland offset by some battery powered "mercury glass" lights from Target and a gorgeous mercury glass garland I picked up in town the other day while out Christmas shopping. Happy Holidays to me!

As a reminder, this was last year's look in the living room.

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Getting Our Camp On

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone

That line from Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi perfectly sums up how I felt last summer with not being able to travel. When you got from hopping on a flight once a month for long weekends across Europe to basically not leaving your backyard, it puts things in perspective. At the end of Summer 2020, I knew I couldn't do another one like that. Enter camping.

All throughout winter we casually talked about getting a camper. And in February, we traded in our Subaru Outback and Mini Cooper convertible for a Jeep Wrangler, thinking of all the summer adventures we'd be able to have. What we didn't realize was (1) the Wrangler doesn't really have great towing capacity, limiting our choices dramatically, and (2) everyone else in the known universe decided they wanted to go camping this summer, too, and now there's a six month wait (at least) on the small campers our car can actually tow. 

So now we're back to talking about traditional car camping. 

When we moved to Ireland, we sold off all of our gear, so now we have to start from scratch, and every time I think about climbing in and out of a tent, the longing for one of those adorable (and crazy expensive) teardrop trailers with wet bath and kitchen grows and grows. Still, before we invest that kind of cash in something we don't actually know if we'll make sufficient use of, it seems like a smart idea to figure out if we still like camping. Growing up, that was the only type of vacation my family ever took, but I'm 43 years old now, and sleeping on the floor holds far less appeal than it once did. 

I'm curious to see how this all plays out. 

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Revisiting Mardi Gras 2020

Friday, February 5, 2021

I just saw that Mardi Gras in New Orleans has been drastically pared back this year, with the bars and restaurants essentially closing down during this period in an effort to limit the spread of COVID. Honestly, I think it's a good call by the mayor and the city's health department -- especially since I have a sneaking suspicion we might have gotten sick down there ourselves last year. 

When we traveled down to New Orleans a few days before our cruise, we were still being told the old 'rona was primarily an Asian situation. We sat down and weighed the pros and the cons, and given the information we had available, we legitimately thought we'd be fine. And maybe we were. Maybe the terrible fever, cough, headache, and sore throats that we came home with were your garden variety "We've been partying for 10 days straight and have taken multiple flights with people who don't know how to cover their damn mouths when they cough" mid-winter cold. A couple of months later, though, we looked at each other with raised eyebrows when headlines proclaimed the city's parades, packed bars, and parties acted as Mardi Gras supers-preader events. 

Honestly, I don't know if we had COVID, and I never will. What I do have is some really great memories of three days in one of our favorite cities in the world. 

And let's be real, since it doesn't look like we're getting out of this pandemic any time soon, they're going to have to be enough to tide me over until we can travel again.

Below are some of my favorite pictures from the trip. If you'd like to read a detailed description of time there (written before the world shut down), click here.

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What's Your Style?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

When you live in an historic home, your decor tends to be dictated by the style of your house. One of the problems I'm running into with our mid-to-late 1700s antique colonial, however, is I don't want my house to look like a museum, and I'm not really a fan of the primitive style so many colonial home owners favor. 

If I had to put a label on it, I'd say my (our) style is eclectic. The only style I don't really like is what I call cold contemporary (think all-white walls, minimalist, uncomfortable furnishings, harsh angles). What I do like is color, texture, and comfort. I like a home that looks and feels lived in, one that fits the personality of its inhabitants. 

In going through my recent pins, it's obvious that I really enjoy a place that has warm, natural wood, colors inspired from nature, and fireplaces. (It's probably good then that our home has 8 of them, even if most don't work.)

What about you -- what's your style?

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