Thursday, May 28, 2009

A tour of George W.'s new house

**If you are unable to see the pictures, you can follow this link to see them:

I was forwarded this through an email, and thought it was pretty cool so I thought I would share. Although these pictures are from a previous sales brochure and are not of the current owner's furniture, it shows what a lovely house this is. And can I add that I'm a little glad they didn't go the McMansion route?

By Josh Hixson
Real Estate Editor

Courtesy Photos
These photos come from the pages of an April 2007 sales brochure marketing Daria Place , which was sold to the Bushes in late 2008.

To see the entire photo gallery click here.

George and Laura Bush’s home on Daria Place may have never been officially listed for sale on the North Dallas real estate market, but that doesn’t mean its rooms never graced the pages of a sales brochure.

While most gawkers will have to settle for a view of the former president’s Preston Hollow palace from the distance of a Secret Service-guarded gate or via Google Maps, a recently discovered real estate brochure offers a rare glimpse inside the five-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom ranch-style abode.

The home was renovated in 2005 by architect Paul Dickel and designer Nancy Leib and features custom doors and windows, ironwork, a library, a limestone fireplace, a gallery, a large play room, and a marble bath. It’s situated on 1.15 acres with a great view of a tree-filled 20-acre adjoining lot (Tom Hicks' property), according to the brochure from April 2007.

“We just gutted it and renovated it to the direction of the client. [The previous owners’] taste is a little bit more contemporary, but the house has more of a transitional feel to it,” Leib said of the home that was originally built in 1959, according to the Dallas Central Appraisal District. “They had small children, and we took that into consideration and just updated for their current living needs. It could actually live very modern or it could be traditional depending on what type of furniture you put in it.”

The asking price listed on the brochure was set at $3.95 million. The loan issued for the home in October 2008 was $3,074,239, according to North Texas Real Estate Information Systems. The home’s market value is appraised at $2.08 million, according to DCAD.

Brad Edgar, owner of Edgar Appraisal Services, appraised the Bushes’ previous Dallas residence at 6029 Northwood Road in 1988. His company was called by Allie Beth Allman & Associates last July to appraise 10141 Daria Place for a then-undisclosed buyer.

“I don’t remember anything in it that was original to it. [The previous owners] doubled it in size through the reconstruction and remodeling. It’s like an art gallery on the inside,” said Edgar. “A real good looking ranch-style traditional house; not ostentatious. Understated in my opinion.”

Described in a 2007 brochure as ‘a grand dining room,’ this 23-by-17-foot-space is adjacent to a courtyard that can also be accessed from the kitchen.

To see the entire photo gallery click here.

It’s not every day that Edgar gets to set foot inside a former president’s house, but to say that he had an inkling that he was looking at the future home of George and Laura Bush would be an understatement.

“In our circles of the universe, it’s kind of a small world,” Edgar said. “I told my daughter, who’s in college, I said, ‘Grace you need to go with me to a house on Monday.’ She said, ‘No Dad, I don’t want to do that.’ I said, ‘I think this is it.’”

Edgar described the residence as deceiving from the street. At first glance, it doesn’t stand out next to a large stone French house situated in the middle of the cul-de-sac.

Its modest exterior hides a lavish 8,051-square-foot interior design: wide hallways, his and hers walk-in closets, an outdoor kitchen and fireplace with covered terrace, and an oversized three-car garage with a staircase leading to a potential living quarters over it are just some of the features that make the home stand out, according to the brochure.

The Bushes were unavailable for comment as of press time.

Mid-Year Resolutions

To me, this view is really inspiring... can't tell you why, but it is. Love it.

Now that we've all forgotten about and gotten over our New Year's Resolutions, and summer is finally upon us (well, it is here in Texas), it's time for some Mid-Year Resolutions. I realized a couple of years ago I could start a new "resolution" at any time - if I wanted to do or accomplish something, there was no time like the present. So, in honor of that, I thought I would share with you all some of the things that have finally pestered me enough to want to make a change.

  1. I need to start exercising again. This whole come home from work and park it on the couch isn't working anymore. Even doing chores isn't enough. My pants are tight. My rings are tight. Time to get moving.
  2. I really want to find a creative outlet. I've thought for a while about starting an Etsy store selling accessories for the home, pillows, etc. I've wanted to start experimenting with fabric printing and stamping too. I need to just go ahead and do it. What am I waiting for? Why am I so nervous and scared?
  3. Organize Organize Organize! From where we have our mail, to our office, to our bedroom, to the garage. Piles of stuff do not = good way to keep things.

With the change of weather, the end of all those season finales that we've just gotta watch, it just feels like a good time to me to pick some of these new and better habits up. I think I've just put a lot of things on hold indefinitely, waiting for the "right" time.

Is anyone else feeling like this? Is there anything you're changing for the summer? Anything you're doing differently?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A little honesty...

Damn. My dogs ate my wedding dress painting. Not this dog in particular, although I'm sure he joined in the fun a little. But the little chihuahua who is hiding from me in this picture because he KNEW he was bad.

Luckily for me, Sabrina has agreed to redo my dress painting for me. And this one will be hanging on the wall. Not artfully propped up and displayed against my mirror on my dresser next to the bed where the dog can climb up and get to it.

I'm also kind of bummed out this morning because our weekend wasn't really as productive as I wanted it to be. I've come to realize more differences between the 'huz' and I. For instance, when I say that I'd really like to go through and organize the office which is full of (his) stuff, it really bums me out when over a 3 and a half day weekend we can't manage to get it done. Or, when I say that we really need to go through and organize/get ready the stuff for a (long put-off) garage sale, and it doesn't happen, it really bums me out. I hate not feeling "productive" and like I just pissed away my weekend. I'm not trying to say that I don't enjoy relaxing and taking it easy, but when you've got stuff you really want to do (and have for a long while), it's frustrating when you don't even make the effort. Instead, you sit your butt down in front of the TV and nap. I mean, dude couldn't even mow the yard.

I know I'm guilty too, and I think my frustration is as much with myself for allowing this to go on and bother me like this as it is with him for not getting up and actually getting anything done. We've had our discussions on this type of thing before. It doesn't bother him. It doesn't bother him that things are messy, dirty, out of place, cluttered, or shoved in clear plastic tubs in no particular order and not to be looked at again. It doesn't bother him that every flat surface in our small house has become a catch-all for "stuff" like our mail, his work bag, his plug-ins and cords, his medicines, his random papers, his change, his baseball hats, his magazines..... It doesn't bother him, and I know this. But it does, however, bother me. A lot.

So, on my work this morning I decided that instead of fuming about my unproductive long weekend, I was going to own up and do something about it. Even if I have to go through all his junk and risk his anger at possibly throwing away something that he might have someday used for something... I don't care. I mean, our office is so full of stuff, you can only walk to the chair at the desk and that's it. The rest is piled up. I might be having a garage sale by myself this weekend, but it's going to happen. And so what if it's all just laid out on the concrete driveway?? I'm donating whatever doesn't sell so it won't come back into our house.

I'll add to all of this that I'm not the most anal person in the world about order. But I do like a somewhat clean and tidy house. Plus, he's been saying that this is something HE wants to do. He wants to go through his stuff to make "room" (probably for more stuff). I don't mean to sound like a mean ungrateful wife, but this has just been eating away at me since Sunday afternoon. Why do I have to "nag" to try and get things done?

I am so glad that I have this place to kind of "vent". But more than venting, this is an action plan for me. I was supposed to take pics this weekend of our "work" for a Make-under Your Life post. Yeah. That didn't happen. But it will now. I've let him be like this because it's "his" stuff, because the office is "his" space (to decorate), and because I thought that he would eventually do something!! But that is not looking too likely at this point, so.....???

(Thank you for letting me rant a little)

Friday, May 22, 2009

This Memorial Day

Remember why we are celebrating it.

There is a great program I wanted to share. It's called Patriot Paws:

Mission Statement:Patriot Paws is passionate, committed, and obligated in our goal to train service dogs that will enhance the lives of disabled veterans who have given so much for our nation, and to provide a service for other Americans with mobile disabilities. We are committed to build partnerships with community and state organizations which will allow us to give back to our community while enhancing the lives of all individuals involved.

They train dogs, primarily from shelters and rescue organizations, to help disabled veterans with everday tasks/chores/life. The primary training is done by inmates of the Texas Department of Corrections, and the whole program is run strictly on donations.

It's a win-win-win all around. A wonderful organization that I wanted to spread the word about!

Yes or No?? What do you think?

In my neverending quest to find some throw pillows that I really like (and can afford), I've come up with this combination. The floral pillows are ones that I already had, and the "La Fiorentina" in Wine/Magenta is just a sample that I've kind of laid over another pillow so you can get the "effect".

I'm not sold 100% on this. I really like the pattern, and that it kind of modernizes such a traditional floral, but what do you think about the color?? It's a tad off.

Or is it close enough to say "Who cares?" And should I even be so concerned??

So here is the question I pose - to all decorators, wanna-be's, and the general public - if you were to walk into my house and see this, what's your gut reaction? Love it? Hate it?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ABC's of me

I saw this over at Jenny's site, and thought I'd play along:

ABC's of Me
A - Age: 23... oh wait, I'm supposed to erase Jenny's answers and use my own?? But I like hers so much better than mine (33)
B - Bed size: Queen
C - Chore you hate: Mopping the floor
D - Dog's name: Rascal, Riley, Murphy, JJ, and our foster dog - Charlie
E - Essential start your day item: Diet Coke and a shower
F - Favorite color: Orange is the front runner.... but I pretty much like all colors - purple, turquoise blue, green, yellow....
G - Gold or Silver or Platinum: White Gold??? ;-)
H - Height: 5'8"
I - Instruments you play: Do piano lessons from 3rd grade count?
J - Job title: Sales Representative
K - Kid(s): See "D"...
L - Living arrangements: Husband and I live in our own house in the 'burbs.
M - Mom's name: Charlotte
N - Nicknames: Rach
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: None
P - Pet Peeve: The blowing of a nose in public - especially at a restaurant. Gross.
Q - Quote from a movie: I'm not good at remembering quotes from movies.
R - Right handed or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: 2 younger sisters
T - Time you wake up: 6:45-ish
U- Underwear: Like as in do I wear any or what kind do I wear? Lacy boy-shorts
V - Vegetable you dislike: Peas. I hate peas. (me too, I'll second that!)
W - Ways you run late: Sleeping in, or playing with the dogs
X - X-rays you've had: Dental, lungs (pneumonia), right knee
Y - Yummy food you make: A bad-ass stir-fry. Also, I'm really really good on the grill.
Z - Zoo favorite: Don't have a "favorite", but I don't like the snakes!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Make-under

If you haven't read her blog, or don't know what a "makeunder" is, you should go check out Jess' post over at Kelly+Olive today. Great idea for how to live your life.... or at least motivation to clean out that closet!!

Check out my "new" vintage chair

Yes, the upholstery is ugly. It kind of reminds me of a time when Duran Duran were big... but that is of no matter! With a few coats of paint (or dark dark stain, we haven't decided yet), and some new prettier fabric, this chair is going to be gorgeous!

I'd been kind of keeping my eye out for a smaller side chair that I could use for extra seating when we needed it. I wanted it to be 1. inexpensive 2. comfortable 3. able to be moved around easily. In fact, I had been imagining a kind of a barrel-backed chair with caning as what I wanted, so when I spotted this, it was perfect!

My weekend went really well, we had a great time with our friends in from New Orleans! Friday night was a poker party (which I did not win any money from... boo), and Saturday we grilled out and played Guitar Hero: Metallica. One word - hard. Much harder than regular ol' Guitar Hero, not that I'm ANY sort of expert. But when you have it on "Beginner", and you're having a hard time just strumming fast enough, you kind of have a clue!!

By the way, I think I now have carpal tunnel in my wrist from playing so long! Has anyone else had this problem??

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Prada tote giveaway

You could win this bag from Ideeli. The drawing ends in just over a day - so get over there and sign up quickly!!

Just couldn't resist...

Passed along by one of my friends via email...
You must go check it out. The commentary is priceless.
And try to giggle quietly if you're at work, like me.


Our close friends from New Orleans are staying with us this week and weekend! While I'm really excited to see them and catch up, I've missed y'all.
But I'll be back soon!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday inspiration

I'm not sure if it is the (finally!) sunny weather, or the margaritas from Cinco de Mayo.... but I'm wanting to go back here:

Fond memories of my honeymoon....
And no, I wouldn't even be worried about the swine flu.
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thank you

I've really really got to stop looking around online and get to working on finishing my Thank You notes!
That's right - the ones for my wedding. Which was last November.
So just a little note to tell you that I'll be back when I get them finished. Actually, I just need to address them, which isn't hard.
Just boring.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How our garden grows

Upside down!!!

We made our own "Topsy Turvy", and it's been working really well! This tomato plant will be the first to produce. Chris thinks next year we should have our whole garden like this.... lol!

I tell more about it over at EAD today.

Oh, and yes, after being fairly sunny yesterday, it's overcast and supposed to rain again today! Ugh! After Saturday's monsoon, I'm ready for the sunshine. I know we need the rain, but can it come, like, once a week or something?

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Only, can I have mine without salt, please?

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