Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for September 2013

Adios 31st Floor!

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So today is my last day in the office (I’m going to work the of the rest of the year from my office at home).  It’s really the LAST day in my office because the company I work for is moving to a different location in a few weeks (we’ve outgrown our current space after only being here 2 years).  The new office is on the 2nd floor of a building instead of the 31st and has views of the street versus the East River (BUMMER!!!!!!). Since you’ll never see this office and since I love it so much (and spend so much time in it) I figured I would share a few pictures.

This is it . . . nothing too special other than its super bright (and clean, of course).

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This is the view . . . do you see the face in the clouds on the top right?  Or was it just Mike and I that saw it?

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Oh well . . . onto bigger and better things!

Written by bevanddara

September 27, 2013 at 8:36 am

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits

Congrats To Ashley & Steve!

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Our great friends, Ashley and Steve, got married this past weekend in Carmel (where Ashley grew up) at the Mission Ranch.  We were invited, of course, but flying and being across the country from the hospital I’m delivering Baby D at . . . at 39 weeks sounds a little irresponsible . . . so we didn’t make it.  Its okay, though, because I’m making Ashley and Steve re-do the wedding next year on their anniversary so I can experience it ( :)). 

How amazing?


The owner of Mission Ranch even stopped by to offer them congratulations! (I know, its like sticking the knife in and turning)


They are in New Zealand at the moment . . . soaking up sites like these.

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After NZ they’re off to Fiji.  Hope you two love birds are having a great time!  Congrats again!!!  xo

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Written by bevanddara

September 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Flowers On Friday . . . On Thursday

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Its Fall . . . can you believe it!?  I’m expecting that our plants on the deck are going to start to die soon which is SUCH a bummer because it looks great right now.  One of the plants that actually survived a plane ride from Florida and then a New York winter is this one . . . an elephant ear!

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I recently picked up two fall plants from Sprout – a cabbage and some sort of lavender (I think?).

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Some more flowers I picked up at Sprout was a beautiful orchid that is on our kitchen island . . .

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and this beautiful bouquet (centered around my favorite flower, rhinoculous).

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Hope you’re having a good time in New England!

Written by bevanddara

September 26, 2013 at 10:28 am

Posted in Dara, Flowers

New Bathroom

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Another room I never revealed was our new bathroom. 

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After three weeks of work (my goodness!) in June/July (not to mention a TON of headaches!) it turned out ALMOST exactly how we planned. ALMOST.  This was the before.  Wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling subway tile that was yellowing (this was a real estate photo so of course you don’t see that).  I hated it because you couldn’t hang anything up easily.  I hated the sink cabinet – it was just one large box so you couldn’t organize efficiently.  I also HATED the marble floors and countertop.  HATED.  The medicine cabinet was chipped and old. The whole room just lacked character.


 Everything was removed except for the tub and here are the results. 

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Tons of new storage, double sinks, new light over a new medicine cabinit . . . the slate tile floors . . . the new eco toliet . . . turned out pretty nicely, right?

Written by bevanddara

September 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Posted in D & M New Home, Dara

Baby D’s Room

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I just remembered that I never posted pictures of Baby D’s room, finished.  Well here you go (not a ton to see – but I really love how it turned out).

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This is now Chet’s favorite room.  He told me that he is willing to share it, though.

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Pretty much everything in the room is very special . . . each book, each stuffed animal, each little outfit packed in the drawers . . . but here are some of my favorite things right now.

First off, the PINK sweater mom-mom made Baby D because she KNOWS it’s a girl.  She’s made so many of these adorable little sweaters for pretty much every baby I know.  It’s just nice to now have one of my own . . . even though its PINK and I’m 74% sure we’re having a boy (she may know something we don’t!). 🙂

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The elephant on this ring was Mike’s when he was a baby.  Ellen (Mike’s mom, of course) drove a female senator around during the Republican National Convention (which was held in St. Louis in 1976) while she was pregnant with Mike.  After the senator found out Mike was born she sent this as a gift.  And in typical, thoughtful, Ellen fashion . . . it was put in a safe place for 37 years so Baby D could play with it.

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On to these three . . . the alpaca on the left is from Vicki’s mom, Linda, who has a llama and alpaca farm (I’ve featured them many times on the blog).  She was at our “Baby D BBQ” a few weeks ago and gave us this and an AMAZING blanket made out of alpaca fir.  The smiling pig in the middle is from when you were a little girl, mom.  It’s just so cute and happy . . . I love that Aunt Kitty gave it to me.  The bear on the right was given to us by one of Mike’s co-workers.  It’s a mechanical bear that plays peek-a-boo with that blanket.  It’s seriously one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen and no one can watch it do its thing without giggling like a little school girl/boy.

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Katya gave me this the other day and it may end up being one of the most well-used items in this room.  It’s a little diaper clutch bag.  If anyone really knows me (like she does – which is so sweet) they know that I HATE purses.  I much prefer little ringlet purses and the fact that I may have to carry around a huge diaper bag, and a kid, and a stroller makes me feel a little stressed out.  This can’t be used for long journeys, of course, but I see myself strapping on the kid . . . throwing a diaper in this little clutch along with my keys and cell phone and just walking out the door.  That’s possible, right?

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Now of course to my most favorite item in Baby D’s room . . . a quilt that its grandma made for it.

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I know it killed you to make such a calm, quiet, understated baby quilt . . . but you did it.  I told you to make this quilt in greens and creams. (Little did I know that you couldn’t find the pattern of this quilt for the life of you and when you finally did you realized that the grey strips were part of the fabric – not individual strips – so you pretty much had to create the whole thing from square one).


It’s perfect because it’s a little me . . . and a little you . . . and soft and big and just kind of feels like home when you hold it. 

Of course Chet feels the same way . . . 🙂

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Written by bevanddara

September 24, 2013 at 9:39 am

Posted in Baby D, D & M New Home, Dara

Interesting TidBits From David & Kate

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Hope you had a great weekend!  I had my post for today already figured out but then I read two articles this morning that I wanted to share.

The first is this article from the New York Times Style Magazine.  It’s about David Karp’s (the founder and CEO fo Tumblr, of course) South Williamsburg (hey! that’s where I live!) loft . . . but it goes a little beyond that to talk about technology companies based in NY versus the ones based in Palo Alto (the mecca of tech companies as I’m sure you know).

First off, his loft is pretty freaking amazing.


Tin ceilings will always remind me of the house we lived in, in PA.  Such a cool effect.



I love how he describes the style, “The materials and methods are genuinely old: the reclaimed oak that dominates the living room comes from an old dairy farm in Pennsylvania, and the brick and concrete have aged with the building. “It’s very open and honest,” he says of the design. “Everything is exposed, and you can see all the connections.” Switching metaphors, he compares the home to the design of classic motorcycles, one of Karp’s obsessions, which are naked machines, all working parts exposed. Above all, Karp’s home is about as different as it is possible to be, style-wise, from the tech palaces of the West, or the smart homes of the 1990s that were once supposed to be the future.”

Eventhough our apartment is spotless a majority of the time we still have unorganized cabinets and closets.  Kills me to think of it but that’s just how you live when you are on-the-go nonstop and live in 800 square feet.  I hope to some day have a home where everything is just “open and honest” and minimalistic and organized.

Tumblr is such an organic technology (does that make sense?).  Its kind of refreshing to know what the founder lives this way.  The article continues, “In the popular imagination, tech leaders don’t live this way. They inhabit some kind of indistinct place, defined less geographically than temporally, for the technologist is meant to live slightly ahead of the rest of us. One imagines Google’s Sergey Brin spending his days encased in advanced wearable technology, orbiting the earth in a driverless spaceship, landing only to introduce humanity to new products from the mother ship. On the West Coast, the credible technologist simply must use devices and materials more advanced than the masses use. One wouldn’t want to be caught lugging around an old Dell laptop, or, God forbid, a BlackBerry. Karp’s style may not fit the public’s idea of homo futurus, but it is perfectly consistent with the image of New York’s tech industry. New York tech, where Tumblr is based, is distinguished from its Silicon Valley cousin less by technical merit, and more by its design aesthetic and its close relationship with the creativity and culture of the city itself. While still small, New York has had legitimate hits and is now being taken increasingly seriously.”

Its pretty interesting the perspective he has on Palo Alto and the tech industry in general, “Nonetheless, Karp, who admits “we’ve got a ton to prove,” is optimistic about New York tech over the long run. “Historically, single-industry cities eventually collapse,” he says, referring to Silicon Valley and effectively throwing down the gauntlet. “It’s the New Yorks, the Londons, the cities that have multiple industries, that are able to survive.” That’s what history teaches, he says, but “it’s really easy to forget that when you’re at the forefront of whatever industry.”

Anyway . . . kind of found the whole article fascinating so take a look if you get a chance.

Up next is an article written by Kate Bartolotta for the Huffington Post.  It’s titled, “How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps”.  The whole premise of the article is “We chase this idea of “I will be happy when… ”

It KILLS me when people are miserable for no reason (or a stupid reason . . . which would include anything other than loosing a loved one or a limb . . . in my opinion).  I try to be as positive as humanly possible . . . its hard people . . . but certainly do-able. 

Here are a few of my favorite tips she calls out in the article.

3. Look at the stars.

It won’t fix the economy. It won’t stop wars. It won’t give you flat abs, or better sex or even help you figure out your relationship and what you want to do with your life. But it’s important. It helps you remember that you and your problems are both infinitesimally small and conversely, that you are a piece of an amazing and vast universe. I do it daily — it helps.

6. Learn to apologize.

Not the ridiculous, self-deprecating apologizing for who you are and for existing that some people seem to do (what’s up with that, anyway?). The ability to sincerely apologize — without ever interjecting the word “but” — is an essential skill for living around other human beings. If you are going to be around other people, eventually you will need to apologize. It’s an important practice.

8. Be kind.

Kurt Vonnegut said it best (though admittedly, and somewhat ashamedly — I am not a Vonnegut fan): “There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.'” Kindness costs us nothing and pays exponential dividends. I can’t save the whole world. I can’t bring peace to Syria. I can’t fix the environment or the health care system, and from the looks of it, I may end up burning my dinner. But I can be kind. If the biggest thing we do in life is to extend love and kindness to even one other human being, we have changed the world for the better. That’s a hell of a lot more important than flat abs in my book.

Happy Monday!

Written by bevanddara

September 23, 2013 at 11:00 am

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits

Things that make me happy

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Thank you for keeping our blog going while I was on a blog  sabbatical.  Maybe I’ll get around to writing about the last few weeks…

Sewing makes me happy.  I’m not the only one:

Thinking about You, Mike, Baby D. makes me really happy right now!

Written by bevanddara

September 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Posted in Bev, Bev's Inspirations