Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Mantel: I'm Jumping on the Bandwagon

Every blogger ever has shared their "fall mantel" in the last month and I finally have a mantel to decorate for the first time in my adult life, so its time to share mine! I've always wanted to be the kind of adult person who decorates their house seasonally. And by seasonally, I mean seasons other than Christmas. Obviously I've always decorated for Christmas. I'm not an animal.

Now that I have a mantle and a house of my own, every season will have it's own decor! I'll have boxes of labeled, organized decorations that come out every month: Silver pine cones for post-Christmas winter, pink candles for Valentines, Easter eggs and porcelain bunnies for Easter, etc. Or maybe (probably) I'll never be that organized. For now though, my mantle makes me feel like sweaters and pumpkin pie, even though it's still 90+ degrees in Texas. Also, its the only place in my house that consistently looks nice and neat and doesn't have Dr. Pepper cans or water bottles or mail or magazines or cats on it. That alone is reason for celebration!

Here's the wide view. I still need to paint the fireplace screen black because the brass is the tackiest thing in real life. However, it kind of goes with the color scheme so my lazy self is leaving it temporarily. Also, please ignore how dusty the hearth is. Yuck. Remember how I said I was lazy?

Here's a closer view, with another view of the horns of our Gimsbock in the mirror. More on him later. (spoiler alert: my house is full of taxidermy against my will) I'm not usually an earth tones person but it's fall and you have to be. Fall does not look like fall in my favorite teal and grey. It just doesn't. I did sneak in some navy though. Change is hard.

Here's a quick rundown of the setup from left to right: Black and white chevron urn from the Nate Berkus for Target collection, pumpkins and gourds from my local grocery store (aka the worlds greatest grocery store), candles from Target (the brown pine-coney ones and the funky orange mod one were on clearance but the red petal-y one was there a few weeks ago), Chinese evergreen plant in pot from Lowes that was ugly so I spray painted it navy,

gold honeycomb candle holders from Goodwill, Hey Y'all poster in this frame, another plant,

antique ship lantern from my grandfather (in case you care it's the starboard lantern because the glass is blue), distressed moravian star, more gourds/pumpkins.

PS sorry this picture is crazy blurry. I blame the laziness again.

Side note: Here's a lesson for you kids, if you're at a store and see 2 really cool, mercury-glass moravian stars for $8 each, BUY BOTH OF THEM! If you don't, 3 years later you will look back at your 23 year old self and think you were an idiot. It will cloud any good or important things you did that year because there was nothing you did that made up for the fact that you walked away from a 2nd star that could be hanging as a light fixture on your stair landing. Especially since you saw one last week on Ebay for $200. You idiot.

Anyway, Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our hood...

This might be a random post but I wanted to give a little context to this blog by explaining where we live and what makes it so awesome!

First of all, this is our 100+ year old home in the Tobin Hill district of San Antonio, Texas. This picture makes it look a lot better than real life by the way because its from the realtor's website. Notice how you can't actually see the front lawn? I'm pretty sure that was on purpose...

Anyway, San Antonio is a pretty awesome city for a lot of reasons but part of what makes it awesome is its focus on urban revitalization. Tobin Hill is the most recent neighborhood to benefit from the public works projects and tax incentives that the city is offering to bring the area back to life. Here's a map of the area, which won't mean much to you if you've never been to San Antonio, except that it shows you that we live just north of downtown and just west of our city's famous "Riverwalk".

This picture is from
Ironically, this neighborhood was considered one of San Antonio's first suburbs in the 1880's because it was outside of the city center. Now our city is so sprawling that most people consider our neighborhood to be "downtown" and the "suburbs" are a good 30-40 minute drive away!
Here are a few things that I love about our neighborhood:
-Its one of the few truly walkable neighborhoods in San Antonio. We live across the street from several bars and restaurants and many more are within a 5 block radius. I can get burgers, pizza, hot dogs, tapas, Greek food, Mexican food, Jamaican jerk, sandwiches, and pancakes in less than a 8 minute walk from my front door. Not great for my waistline though. Can someone please open a salad place?
-We're really close to downtown. When you live in a big city I think it's hard to get downtown very often and enjoy the parts of your city that usually just tourists get to see. Living close makes it easy to visit our favorite restaurants, see shows and enjoy the sites of our city.
-Our neighborhood is really a mixed bag when it comes to it's residents. Because its an up and coming neighborhood, and its near a university, we have families who have lived in the area forever, college students and professors and young families (like us) who are moving to the new "cool" neighborhood.
In summary, I love where we live and if you're in San Antonio, you should check out our hood! Now enough talking, here are some pictures from our evening walks on the northern reach of the river...


Monday, August 12, 2013

The beginning...

I'm Forrest, a 26 year old newlywed trying to renovate a 100 year old house, be a good employee, feed my husband and enjoy my life. This blog is an attempt to record those things so that when there's paint in my hair, my shoulders are aching, it's Saturday night and we're staying in to paint and the risotto doesn't taste right I'll remember that we are making progress on our (soon to be) beautiful house, I do make good food most of the time and I don't always spend Saturday nights at home! Here it goes!

PS This blog is called Summer of the Butterflies because during the summer my darling husband and I started dating an unusual migration of butterflies settled in our home town and the streets were literally swarming with tiny white creatures all summer. The summer I fell in love with the boy who I'm spending my life with was the Summer of the Butterflies...