Category Archives: General

Blog Update

As of today, 7/25/2012, I am no longer posting new content to this blog. All rowHOME content has been transferred to SouthFeasterdelphia. I will eventually delete this blog, but I am leaving it up for now to serve as a redirect tool.

All the best, and I hope to see you over at SouthFeasterdelphia.



I Mustache You a Question

Did you really think I would forget to update the Father’s Day gift guide from last month? Did you?! Well, I didn’t forget…I added a couple more things.  You can find them on the original post.

I’m probably not going to be back with another post on Friday.  This weekend we will be busy finding gifts of all sorts and celebrating a graduation. If we do anything around the house, it might be minor…like laundry and vacuuming. So with that, I bid you adieu. Have a lovely weekend!



Grads and Dads Gift Guide

I was a little slow in getting this posted, but blogging takes too dang long. We had a lovely graduation weekend in the mountains of Virginia. As always, the weekend was too short and the drive too long. Speaking of driving, David suggested I cover some aspects of our life without a car. Gladly! Stay tuned for the first of many Car-free and Carefree posts in the next day or so.

Ok, let’s cut to the chase. Graduates first because college graduations are happening as I type this, and high school graduations will be here before we know it! I always struggle with graduation gifts, especially high school. Generally these people like need money.

Do you know where they are moving? Try a gift card to the local grocery store.

I have one high school graduation gift that I still use to this day. It’s an address book. The binder type with extra pages has worked well for me, and don’t forget to use pencil. People move, marry, divorce, have kids, and die all the time. Maybe even include some classic wood pencils to get that message across.

Reminders of where they spent the past few years will be nice to keep the memories alive. Unless they hated their school…in which case, just give them money.

studiokmo’s Blacksburg print (and money) was our gift of choice for the Virginia Tech graduate last weekend. Karen also has hand-cut paper maps that are spectacular (if your budget allows). No time to get it framed? She can do that too, one stop shopping. Karen is a college friend (go Hokies!), and we love hearing about all of her success with studiokmo. She hardly needs this little shout out, but I know she appreciates it.

Vintage license plates abound on Etsy and other sites. This would be an especially nice reminder of fun times if the graduate is moving out of state. Also, they can be easy to hang from pre-existing nails in apartments and dorm rooms.

I guess a 20×200 gift card applies to just about anyone, especially for the college grads moving on from the emptied booze bottle décor of college apartments nationwide. Let’s put some real art on those bland apartment walls! I like the colors in National Treasures by Amze Emmons.

Are the grads headed off to college? What about a Target or Homegoods gift card to stock up on dorm room essentials? I remember that long list of stuff you need to have for dorm life. Scary!

Speaking of, I vividly remember using my electric kettle in the dorm room. That would be useful combined with some nice Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s noodle packs. The Rival Hot Pot kettle below is from Target.

Are your grads moving to a new climate? What about gear for the new weather, be it snow, rain, or sun? Warm socks, sturdy umbrellas, nice rain jackets, rain boots, or a gift card for a new bathing suit?

Money towards a new suit or business attire would be nice too. A Banana Republic gift card can be used at both Banana Republic and Gap. This is a nice segue into gifts for Father’s Day, since dads need updated work wardrobes too.

Ok, on to Father’s Day gifts. If I were a man, I would really like this Big Poppa sweatshirt by Chris Piascik for Society6. It’s not for everyone, and certainly not for the dads in my life, but just let it be known that I would want this for Father’s Day if I were a dad.

Dads are the original hipsters. Need I say more?

OK, it’s a few weeks later, and I’m back with more ideas. I just had to let them marinate for awhile. There is nothing like a deadline to get my creative juices flowing. This is a disclaimer for David, you may or may not be getting any of the below gifts. You may or may not even read this. It is much more likely that Estelle will spill the beans on all of your gifts anyways. She’s known for ruining surprises, in the most adorable ways.

I like the Tervis Tumbler for purely selfish reasons, I need a good iced coffee and sweet tea container for everyday use and for the beach. That is why IF I go with this, I will get two…or maybe even three. Warning, the Tervis Tumbler website is addictive. There are so many choices! If you don’t like mustaches, they have bacon cups and sports teams cups and the list goes on. Prices vary depending upon the cup size and accessories.

Ties, honestly? Am I really going to go with ties? Yes! Because maybe your guy has switched to slim cut suits, pants, and shirts. Maybe those big fat old ties he has are too big and fat with his new slim cut style. Maybe it’s time for a cool guy slim tie upgrade! Urban Outfitters has some nice ones that are affordable, and I’m sure there are other retailers with unique options (vintage stores). I really like this Madras Plaid tie.

David has requested a hammock and time for naps this year. A hammock…in our back patio? And what is this time thing he speaks of? We will see what Estelle and I can come up with this weekend and next! My dad is the hardest to shop for, so I’m still pretty stumped. Aside from time spent with family, the man doesn’t want for much (that we can afford).


Love the Place You Live: Northern Liberties, Philadelphia

The above image is from The Piazza at Schmidt’s homepage.

Have you heard about the Love the Place You Live blog series over at Gabrielle Blair’s fabulously creative and informative blog, Design Mom? The goal is to explore the place you call home, and tell the world. We had a full and fun weekend, and most of it was spent in Northern Liberties. It’s no secret that we love living in Philadelphia. It’s not perfect, but tell me of a place that is?! Before we headed to Northern Liberties, we first met up with extended family at the aquarium across the river in Camden. If you want to really appreciate where you live, hop on over to Camden, NJ for your own real-life Zoe Strauss exhibit. Don’t get me wrong, Camden used to be and could be a gem (and Zoe actually lives and takes most of her photos in South Philadelphia). Right now, Camden is just a little rough around the edges. Our walk from Camden’s City Hall PATCO station to the Adventure Aquarium included a lovely tree-covered sidewalk, but it was surrounded by parking lots (and a prison next door to a YMCA, hmm)! The aquarium was OK, but I’m not usually wowed by animals in enclosures, so don’t take my word for it. The view of Philadelphia from the aquarium was well worth the trip, it helped to have a perfectly sunny day.

The toddler rushed through the dark aquarium exhibits, with a mixture of fear and wanting to find a neon green Tyvek bracelet some other girls were wearing. I knew we weren’t getting the special admission bracelets, so I allowed her to buy one thing at the gift shop. She chose a baby penguin stuffed animal despite my efforts to persuade her towards something smaller and cheaper. She also got her very first face painting EVER, penguins of course!

Next, we all headed over to Liberties Walk and the Piazza at Schmidt’s for some outside dining at Camino El Real and gelato/ice coffee at Nana Petrillo’s Gelateria. We didn’t take many photos because I forgot the camera, and David is the only one of us with a smart phone (so far).

So, the Piazza is a pretty nice place. It boasts numerous restaurants, retail shops, a fountain, and a huge brick wall with a stage for live performances and an extremely large television for viewing of Philadelphia sporting events. It’s a quick trip on public transportation, which we didn’t realize until this weekend. We’ll probably be back many more times before the summer is over.

Sunday was cold and very rainy, but we headed back to Northern Liberties for a play date at North Bowl for tater tots, oldies music, and bowling! It’s retro, and pretty darn nifty.

I couldn’t get over the tiny bowling shoes.

The toddlers lost interest after about 6 frames and got over-stimulated by all the noise. Estelle scored pretty well. Me? Not so much. I should get bumpers next time.

The food is amazing and not healthy, at all. They have standard tater tots, plus a whole menu of fancy tots. After our tots and edamame, we also ordered broccoli mac n’ cheese sprinkled with crunchy goldfish and two orders of corn dogs. We were so full, we didn’t need to eat dinner last night!

Before we said goodbye to North Bowl, I sent the kids into the photobooth with my fingers crossed that they were tall enough to be captured by the camera. What luck?!

That about sums up our weekend. We did not accomplish any house projects, but so what! We had fun. How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting?


Real World: Philadelphia

Word on the street is that they are casting for Real World: Philadelphia (again). I’m not sure how or why I know this when I didn’t even think that show was still on the air. No, this isn’t a post about how I have hopes of being on a Real World season…those dreams died by the time I graduated college.

This is A HOUSE TOUR post! A very real house tour! By real, I mean barely tidied, not clean, and my photos are not edited…as you can probably tell by the yellow-ness. I had about 20 minutes to take these photos, and only just now noticed the hat on the globe and (hopefully clean) socks on the kitchen counter. Nice. Anyways, nearly every room of our house is in progress. Maybe not the living and dining areas so much, but the table gets moved to accommodate 6 or more dinner guests sometimes. I only wish the kitchen was in progress, but that is just in progress in our heads for now. We have oodles of framed things not on the walls upstairs due to the wall building project we started in the fall. Also, it’s really hard to take photos inside a small house.  Perhaps I should try a video next time around. I will be back with a better house tour when things are a little more finished. Next year, maybe? I wish I was kidding.

The gallery order is entry/living room/dining room, kitchen, upstairs hallway, bathroom, Estelle’s toddler room, the nursery, and the master bedroom (click images to enlarge gallery).

Some things to note:

Estelle’s purple wall is impossible to capture on camera.

The nursery is one hot mess. We left the crib, but there are no siblings for Estelle in the works just yet. Taking apart a crib is just not a priority, and I don’t want to get used to that space being available. I guess we should stop using it as toy storage, huh?

We have only one closet in our entire house…it’s that glorified bookshelf with a door in the master bedroom. It’s not deep enough to fit a hanger, so we added shelves. Good thing we have a basement, which was purposefully excluded from this tour. It’s especially scary right now.

Do you have any easy interior photo tips? Please tell. Do you have questions about things you saw on my very uninformative tour? Please ask. If you think I need to really keep things real by including  a basement photo, just let me know. I’m not ashamed of my basement status, just short on time and daylight to fully capture the glory.



I was hoping to blog a little more than once a week, oh well! I have a whole list of future blog posts, but life has been a bit crazy since Thursday 3/28. When we over-packed our bags and headed to my sister’s 3/31 wedding weekend in Annapolis, MD. Both the toddler and I were in the wedding party, and David was the flower girl wrangler. Given our roles, we don’t have many photos yet. It was a blast, the bride and groom were so laid back, which is the key to a great wedding! You can see a quick video of E and the younger girls walking down the aisle here. My cousin, who is venturing into the world of photography, took some nice photos that you can find here.

I’m hoping to provide some of the fun wedding details we used (I helped in the planning process a bit). I also want to do a post about low-cost, high-impact wedding gifts. Not only that, but my sister and my now brother-in-law announced at their reception that they will be welcoming a little baby towards the end of September. I’m so excited about my future gig as Tia! You can bet your money I have some baby registry tips for you (and them). My parents are headed up to Philly tonight, and we’re highly optimistic that we can install our new bedroom light fixture this weekend. It arrived on Monday, and this mess is what happened after we examined the contents of our box:

Sorry, that image is so small! Now, I know why David prefers horizontally formatted images. I’m actually hoping to use the long strips of paper to make something like this basket, but that might just be a pipe dream. My sewing machine sees the light of day maybe twice a year.

Image from Design Sponge

Ok, folks…I need to get my butt in gear and to work on time. Here’s hoping I’m back with a new post soon.


Welcome Home!

Geez, here goes. I’m branching out the SouthFeasterdelphia brand a bit with the hope of providing information and ideas not easily found in a very saturated blogosphere. Basically, I feel unfulfilled reading blogs about parents who stay home with their kids, do clever crafts, make fabulous meals, renovate their large homes, and basically highlight all that is good in life. I don’t want a random piece of laundry artfully strewn on a chair for a house tour in the hope of making you look real…I want a house tour with your kid throwing blocks everywhere just after you cleaned up cat puke and vacuumed the rugs. That is real. I don’t want to see amazing outfits sent from designers and paired with platform heels only suitable walking to and from a car. Show me an affordable outfit that looks good with sneakers for walking the city streets, and you have my heart. You can read more about my decision to blog (even more than I already do) in the About section.

P.S. – I would love to post house tours of row houses, apartments, and small dwellings from all over. Let me know if you are interested!