upcycle containers

I had two ideas – not original because people do this all the time but nonetheless I wanted to share them on the blog. The first is using a kombucha bottle (which I love the shape of) to store salt. I cook a lot as you know. Having the salt right by the stove is convenient. Putting it in a nice bottle means I can leave it out and it will look nice. Eventually I will do this with all my spices! Make sure to put a few grains of rice in the salt jar to prevent clumping. To remove the label soak in very hot water for about an hour, changing the water several times once it cools. I used a sponge and regular dish soap to remove the glue.

upcycle-spices-1 upcycle-spices

The second upcycle idea is using a red vinegar bottle to replace the mouthwash bottle I usually have on my bathroom vanity. You can use any bottle you like. This is a space saver and of course looks adorable and could look christmas-y if you get the green Listerine!

upcyle-mouthwash-2 upcycle-mouthwash-1

Have you created similar upcycles like this?  If so please let me know, I would like to include on this post.

tagged in diy, upcycle

the red slab

The kitchen will be done in a few weeks. Yes, repeat, my kitchen will be done in a few weeks. Long story short we had to change cabinetmakers – that’s why it’s taking so long. Ben and Patrick are finishing the job. Their work is excellent – they designed and built out the wine shop. Expect pictures of the cabinetry and shelving soon. If you need a refresher since it’s been a while, here is my first post on the kitchen.

In the meantime, I finally ordered the red slab! Matt was apprehensive about a tomato red slab in the middle of the kitchen but I never had any doubt, I love it!! The colors/materials of the kitchen are red, stainless steal, gray and wood. On the shelves I will integrate the red color with plant containers and jars – oh the glory!

This is last year


This year


Dave (thanks Dave) and Matt adhered the slab to the wall with super strong construction adhesive. The real weight of the 200lb caesarstone rests on a one inch piece of wood that is screwed and glued into the wall behind the stove. Getting the slab to fit just right wasn’t easy. They had to shim up each side while holding it in place until it was perfectly straight.


kitchen-slab-wolf wolf-red-slab-kitchen

What do you think?




Grams of the Week – Nov. 29

Here’s a recap of the best instagrams of last week. If you want the day to day follow me here!

Busy week! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Somehow I don’t have any Thanksgiving food pictures???


Above is Grandma Walsh’s beautiful blue glass hanging fixture. Throughout the whole renovation I’ve thought this and here’s another example of why people buy new things – new houses, new doors, new molding, new furniture, new fixtures… because it’s a lot of work to refurbish the old. Like really a lot of work. Matt made two trips to the hardware store to rewire and customize this fixture to fit our space in the sunroom. Finding tiny screws, washers and such is not easy! Also, he spent time just figuring out the mechanicals and best practices. Stay tuned, I’m going to write a post about this with lots of pictures.



Thanksgiving Eve was awesome at Wilderness Yard. This new locally owned venue keeps a low profile so you won’t find their Facebook page or a website. You’ll just have to visit (99th street and the blvd.) to check it out. Wilderness Yard is primarily a medicinal herb shop but also offers light fare, coffee, books to read and plants to buy. They host events as the rockin one the The Forms and Unigen played at this past week.


Last year I never made it to the burlesque shows at the Surf Club, this past Saturday I went for the first time and wow! It was unbelievable entertainment. It was hosted by Cardone the Magician (@cardonethemagician) – he was hilarious and his magic impressive. I can’t believe this event was all free – props to RBSC for hosting.


tagged in instagram, rockaway

The magical foxtail lily

If you remember, in the spring we implemented Cousin Lesley’s garden design –  the flower beds thrived and looked beautiful all summer. In fact, it still looks great now. But one thing was missing – the magical Foxtail Lily. This floral is a bulb, so I couldn’t plant it until now!


As the common name dictates, this plant looks like a fox’s tail. It’s stunning with an impressive hight up to 8 feet! It is native to semi-desert areas in Asia – so perfect for the sandy soil conditions in Rockaway. I’ve never heard of this plant until Lesley introduced me to it. Have you?

I can’t wait (like really really can’t wait) till these wild looking florals sprout up next spring! They will bring everything together, adding the “wow factor” element, in addition to the pop of warm color needed for the final balanced design Lesley envisioned.


Photo Credit: gardenofeaden.blogspot.co.uk  Also some great information here too.

Additional background…

Eremurus robustus is a plant native to the Tien Shan and Pamir Mountains in central Asia that is often used as an ornamental plant. It often goes by the common name foxtail lily.

E. robustus has a stem six to ten feet high, with leaves as long as 48 inches, and 4 inches in width, the widest in its genus. The leaves can vary from a bright green to a bluish-green in color. Inflorescence goes to four feet in length which is covered with many deep to pale pink flowers, four cm across. At the base of the flower is a brown blotch, and have a green keel. The lower flowers have long pedicels, and shorter ones higher up. The flowers, as many as 700 to 800, bloom in June. By the time of flowering, the leaves will usually have already shriveled.

The plant was introduced from Central Asia in 1874 and is popular in gardens. However some may find the plant to be too tall for normal gardens. It prefers sandy, well-drained soil and full sun. via en.wikipedia.org

There’s a special way to plant these octopus like bulbs. If you want some of these freaky flowers for your own garden, watch this how-to video before planting.