Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Long time, no see

These photos are of two friends who had not seen each other in over 10 years! This is Susan...and she was one of my BFFs in college. After college, I ended up in Missouri and she ended up in Maine. We tried to stay in touch over the years with the occasional phone call and Christmas cards but these things are not the same as being with someone in person.

In college I always wanted to be just like Susan. She was super smart, confident, creative, beautiful and compassionate. Well, it turns out that she is still all of these things (no surprise!).

She was recently in St. Louis for the weekend and we got the chance to catch up on the last 1o years. We talked weddings and introduced husbands. We talked about jobs, homes and families. I took her to see the Arch and to my favorite place, The City Museuem. It was like no time had passed at all, as if we picked up right where we left off.

The older I get the more amazed I am by how people come and go through my life. I never really thought I would get to see Susan again, but now that I have, I can't believe I let so much time pass between us. It is actually really comforting to know that no matter how much time passes until the next time we can share a meal, a walk or a slide (wink, wink, Susan!), I know that I will be happy to see her and that she will be happy to see me. I know that even if another 10 years pass I can always call Susan my friend.

My goal is to not let another 10 years pass. I have always wanted to see Maine and Andrew and I have a deep appreciation for lobster so with a little planning I think we will see Susan again very soon. Thank you for tracking me down Susan! I miss you and love you lots!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


How sad that I forgot to talk about the hotel we stayed at in Chicago...considering I can't go anywhere in public without staring at the floors, walls, ceilings and furniture for at least 10 minutes before I can breathe or have a conversation.

Check out pictures here...

I really liked our room but the lobby in this hotel was over the top, way too trendy for me... I must be getting old.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Windy City

First off....my hubby of 366 days has a new blog (his fourth). As he is a much better writer than I, I suggest you go and visit his blog to read about our little weekend getaway to Chicago this past weekend. The trip was mostly to get out of the house, since we haven't traveled for fun since our honeymoon, however my other motivation was to see the Smart House at the Museum of Science and Industry. Other side benefits, my darling friend Rachel lives in Chicago and it happened to be our first anniversary.

While Andrew's recap is great I'll throw in my two cents. We decided to take the train to Chicago to 1. save money and 2. be good to the earth. The train ride up wasn't so great, but mostly because we were delayed 2 hours and didn't get to Chicago until 1:30 am. The train ride home was great! We had our own sleeper room, had dinner with a very interesting 78 year old German gentleman from Toronto and had a great time watching the scenery pass by.

The Smart Home was disappointing. They rushed you through the house in groups of twenty and only gave you moments to take everything in. It was way too rushed and I thought our guide was not very well educated on all things "Green". She couldn't answer any off script questions and explained VOCs incorrectly. The only highlight of the Smart Home were the bathrooms. Andrew and I are planning to renovate our main bath soon and both baths in this house were exactly what we were envisioning. We ended up getting a great list of resources to look into.

The architectural river tour was awesome, an unexpected treat.

Seeing my darling Rachel was also awesome! You look great Rachel and we loved spending time with you!

For opinions on our meals....see Andrew's blog.

Other things going on.....
  • Andrew started fixing the plaster wall in the dining room. Lesson learned: take the time to cover your furniture before sanding plaster for 30 min. There is still white dust covering parts of the living and dining room...
  • I was very surprised by all the cards and phone calls we got for our anniversary. So, so sweet to know that there is so much love and support out there for us.
  • Getting ready for a family visit. My mom and two aunts are on there way to St. Louis soon. Got to clean up the plaster dust!
Some items of interest:
  • I found this musician via Dooce and have been listening nonstop for the last few weeks.
  • Get rid of your vinyl shower curtain! It is full of toxic chemicals. Get a nylon curtain that you can wash, over, and over in the laundry.
  • Found this bag designer over the weekend in Chicago...I'm lusting after this one for the work days and this one for the weekends.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chateau V

A lot has been going on here at Chateau V.

As some of you may, or may not know, St. Louis has had the wettest spring on record. And strangely all of this rain started showing up in our basement, in very large amounts. Then last Friday we had a heavy storm and Andrew ran to the basement to see water gushing out of two drains in the basement floor. Gushing so hard that the water blew the grates off of both drains! Ankle deep water filled the basement and Andrew rushed to Home Depot to get a pump to help get the water out. Needless to say, it was a stressful event and we realized that this wasn't a home repair we could ignore. On Saturday morning a very nice man with a very large roto-rooter came and cleaned out our pipe. He said that phosphorous from our laundry detergent built up in the pipe and created a clogged artery of sorts. Such an easy fix for so much worry! Thank you, thank you universe for not being a broken pipe and just a clogged pipe!

The pipe cleaning inspired us to keep the home improvements going and this week we have had some men tuckpointing the front of our house. This is something that has been weighing on my mind a great deal because there were a lot of spots where there was NO MORTAR left between the bricks. These men grinded out the existing mortar and replaced it with new mortar. Despite the HUGE amounts of mortar dusk covering the front (and BACK!) yard I have to say that the front of the house looks much, much better. And now I don't have to lose any more sleep thinking about the front of the house falling down.

The contractor that we found to tuckpoint the house is also helping us get a carpenter and painter to finish some more repairs to the front of the house. We don't have a final bid yet, so I'm not sure how much we will get done but it feels so good to see things getting done.

Mom...the house is going to look beautiful when you come in July!!!

I've been SUPER busy at work the last two weeks, working late and on the weekends. I was also busy coordinating my team for the Relay for Life which was last Friday. We raised over $3500.00 for the American Cancer Society! WooHoo! It was a really fun event, although it was moved indoors and shortened to 6 hours due to severe weather (hello water in the basement!!).

But after so much work and fundraising I am fried. Andrew and I decided that next weekend (our one year wedding anniversary!) will be spent in Chicago. We really want to see the Smart House by Michelle Kaufman, we will also visit my dear friend Rachel, and I'm sure eat lots and lots of good food. Here is to working and playing hard!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yellow Iris

The St. Louis spring has been so wet and cold this year that Andrew and I haven't planted a signal thing in the yard, but for some reason irises must like wet and cold weather because they bloomed in full force! We had about 4 irises last year....and this year they were out of control! So pretty and I love that they are all yellow expect for one....

Andrew and I made it to Belleville Art on the Square on Saturday and purchased an oil pastel by Jeff Condon.

Here is a peek at what is going into baby quilt #3.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo was one of the very few nice evenings we have had this spring. We made it out to the St. Louis downtown Public Library to hear our friend Jeff's Jazz Trio. I forget how much I like his band. They take modern music and arrange it into jazz which turns out to be such a refreshing combination. A lovely evening out with friends.

I finished the book I was reading and it was a very good read. I found myself actually wanting to go upstairs early each evening just so I could fit in a couple chapters before going to sleep. It was very hard to put down at the end.

I want to go and visit this house in Chicago.

Doing some online shopping
Martin and Osa
Shabby Apple

Urban Country Style
Green Building and Remodeling for Dummies

Working on baby quilt number 3 (pictures of #2 still to come...)

And trying to introduce exercise to my lifestyle.... I've run 5 out of the last 7 days and did yoga one of those days. I'm trying to sign up for a yoga class for the summer with some of my design school friends and researching some more yoga DVDs. I figure if I write about it maybe I'll have more motivation to keep going...since it would be sad and embarrassing to have to tell everyone reading this how I'm too lazy to get off my couch.

Next weekend Andrew and I are heading to the Belleville Art on the Square to look for our first anniversary present. The first anniversary is paper so we decided that this was a good way for us to both get something we want for our home. It will be our first time to this art fair so I hope they have some good stuff.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Business of Being Born

So life is crazy busy.... I'm not complaining but my social calendar is very full, which makes blogging difficult, since I'm not home most evenings.

Here is what I've been doing:
  • I watched the documentary "The Business of Being Born" twice this weekend. It was excellent! I'm sure some will say it is biased but for someone that is considering having kids I thought it was very enlightening. If you are of child-bearing age and you don't know much about the baby "system" of hospitals, I highly recommend this movie.
  • I have started a new blog obsession...green building/remodeling...(please see right hand column.) I am studying to take the LEED exam and we also just found out that our new neighbors are doing a green renovation to another house in the neighborhood. Andrew and I are dreaming about doing our own green renovation someday so I'm gung-ho to get educated.
  • I made a new baby quilt....except I don't want to show it to you until the new owner gets it. Wait in suspense.
  • I am reading "The Memory Keeper's Daughter".
  • Oh, and Saturday Andrew and I went to hear Martin Sexton on his latest tour and it was awesome!! It was just him and a guitar, which is how I heard him the first time. He is extremely talented....and he is from my "home"...NY. When he mentioned Syracuse I gave a loud hoot and got all home sick. Check him out.
That's it for now! I have to eat dinner, take Andrew out to buy the new Grand Theft Auto game before he bursts and then learn some more about LEED.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Absolutely in love with these two home makeovers at DesignSponge.

bungalow makeover

beach makeover
(Love, love, love this house!.... I hope Andrew and I have a house like this someday...)

Toy Story

So, I managed to find a new obsession this weekend....

I've been really stressed out the last week and Andrew thought I needed some retail therapy so Saturday we went on one of our antique outings. At the second place we went to I saw a small bead maze and I thought, "Hey! We really need some toys in the house for all of our friends' kids...let's get this!" And then two steps later I found a vintage Fisher Price dog pull toy...so I grabbed that too. You see where this is going....

The next antique mall we really scored.... vintage playskool stacking thing, blocks, cobbler bench, camera, puzzle and vintage phone! It was awesome! There is nothing better than going to an antique mall looking for something specific and finding it.

We also got a vintage Fisher Price xylophone but we gave that to Jeff and Leslie for baby TBA... since Jeff is a xylophone player... it was the only sensible decision.

So now this new obsession has transferred itself to ebay (I'm trying to keep the high going!). It is so sad.... and expensive!

Now... the only thing I have bought so far is a vintage 1980 Fisher Price Dump Truck... (remember this mom??)

Sadly it is missing the front shovel piece but it was the only one I could find. I also bought one of the little men who go in the truck.

Now for those of you who think this it is odd that my first ebay vintage toy purchase would be a dump truck ....take a look at this....

THAT'S ME! On the side of the box! Playing with the dump truck! I was 2 and a half. Pretty sweet huh? I can't wait to get this truck!

Stay tuned for more vintage toy purchases.... Goodbye purses.. hello toys!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Sarah and Chris have approved of my wedding invite design...so here is your peek.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Daylight Savings

Look at this...three little babies in my house. My, how life has changed in the last couple years.

Besides entertaining babies and their parents, I've been busy nursing Andrew back from the flu and from a badly cut finger; my third work trip to Omaha; and creating some mock wedding invitations for Andrew's sister.

I have really enjoyed making invitations again and I can't wait for her to see them (they should be in the mail tomorrow!) Once I know she has them I will post a peek for the rest of you to see.

In other news, the Schaus's are expecting baby #2, Baby Scott is due in 3 weeks and tonight is the third annual Seed Exchange Potluck.

I am:
reading the book The Tenderness of Wolves.
lusting this purse.
and studying for this test.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Taco flavored kisses...

First, Congrats to my sister-in-law and her boyfriend who just got engaged this weekend! Very exciting that we will have another official addition to the family and another party for all the cousins to dance, sing and partake of many, many tequila shots.

Friday we found a great new Mexican restaurant El Paisano where we celebrated Leslie's birthday, complete with a personal mariachi serenade.

It was followed by bowling and an impromptu modeling session with Wendy's sweet hat.

Check out my new specs!!!

Saturday was my dear, sweet Australian friend Sonya's baby shower. Baby expected early April.

Sunday was tea with Leigh, my other dear, sweet friend who is expecting, at The London Tea Room. I love this place!

Weekends go too fast....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Children are not Decor

[photo via NYT]

Andrew started getting the New York Times sent to the house a few weeks ago. I came home one day and saw this story Parent Shock: Children are not Decor. I found it to be a very humorous article because as many of you know...I am a bit of a design whore. This has become more apparent to me as all of my friends have had babies in the last two years and those babies are starting to come over to my house and climb on my vintage Lane coffee table; throw their food on my Interface Tile carpet and drool on my Intaglia couch. (I love you friends and babies!!)

My point is that times are changing and I need to adapt...which is exactly what this article was about. How do grown ups like me....who love design, adapt to having kids around. If Andrew and I want to keep our friends it is obvious that we are going to have to either baby proof our house or get used to the idea that our design fancy things are going to get some good old use from kids. I think it might be a combo of both. Stay tuned.

Stainless Steel

So there was a bunch of stuff on my Christmas list that didn't make it under my tree last year, so I decided that I needed to get it for myself. The first item on my list was this Timolino vacuum infuser bottle. I got it from Amazon but first heard about it from Oh Joy. There were a couple reasons this bottle caught my attention.

  1. I like to drink tea and this bottle has a built in infuser so you can put loose tea leaves in it but still drink out of it without having to remove the leaves.
  2. It's made out of stainless steel. I'm not sure when this scare started...but it was sometime last fall when I started reading everywhere about the dangers of hard plastics (such as the plastic that Nalgene bottles are made out of). Something about bad things leaching out of the plastic and the more time that passed, the more articles I read in the design and magazine world about people switching to stainless steel options like Sigg and Klean Kanteen.

What really sold me was one of the Amazon reviews from a solider who took his Timolino to Iraq. You really can't beat that kind of endorsement.

I have to say that I am a satisfied customer. The bottle has a great design - sleek, clean and light. It is made of double walled stainless steel but has a coating on the outside that keeps it super cool to the touch. I have gotten several compliments and questions about it at work. Best of all it works really well. It keeps your beverage SUPER HOT... for a LONG TIME! If I make tea in the morning it will still be hot 3-4 hours later. Also, the lid really is leak proof.

Since all of my friends have been having babies lately, the next two products caught my eye.

  • One is a baby bottle that claims to be free of BPA (the bad stuff that they claim comes out of hard plastics).
They also have a stainless steel bottle design for adults. I like the design of this one...I might get it to use for water.

  • The other product is a stainless steel sippy cup.

I guess I just wanted to put this info out there to educate my friends and family about the possible risks of BPA and to educate my friends and family about their options. While the risk is still disputed...why not err on the side of caution and use a safer alternative.

Here are some articles about BPA. I hope some of you find this helpful.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Well as you can clearly see I've been doing some renovating around here.... Blogger has come a long way in the last few years and it's about time that I took advantage of it...plus I'm hoping that it will inspire me to start posting again on a regular basis.

January was full of cosmetic changes...in the house and to myself. We moved our TV to the living room and changed the use of our room off the kitchen into a mudroom/breakfast area. We have big plans for this room...but it won't be for awhile. (still paying for that great wedding...)

Speaking of the wedding...if you live in Missouri or Kansas, check out your newstands around the first week of June. Andrew and I will be in The Knot magazine. If you don't live in the midwest we are also supposed to be on the website. Obviously I'll post more details in June.

Back to cosmetic changes.... I colored my hair (although it's faded a bunch already); and I got new specs! This was a birthday gift from A. since I have been dying for a new pair for 2 years. It was the only thing I really, really wanted. I will try and post a picture asap.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Yes We Can!

Vote for Change!

Don't forget to vote tomorrow!

Obama 08'

Feb. 3, 2008

Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Lao Tzu [via
ali edwards]

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!

[May 2007, Me and Andrew toasting after "tying the knot" at City Hall.]

December 20th was my birthday and in my circle of dear friends it has become customary during every birthday for the Birthday Boy or Girl to answer the Schmidt-Baker Birthday Questions.

The first question is: What happened this year? Give your year in review.

2007 was a HUGE year for me (hence why I had no time to blog!).
  • January - May I was busy finishing up my wedding plans and completing my Associates degree in Interior Design.
  • In June I got married.
  • In July and August I anxiously searched for a job.
  • In September I started my new career as an interior designer, saw my brother-in-law get married and started yet another class (I can't get enough of school!).
  • October - Present I was busy finishing my class, learning a new job and trying to get my life back to a normal pace.
It was a whirlwind but I loved every minute of it. It was really a very, very blessed year.

The second question is: What did you learn? (This one is always the hardest for me...)
  • I learned how to plan a wedding
  • I learned how to knit a hat
  • I learned that I can't eat pork
  • I learned how to "run" at 80% instead of 120% (a.k.a. RELAX!)
  • I learned to face some of my fears
  • I learned that dreams can come true

The third question is: What are you looking forward to for your next year?
  • Our wedding is going to be in "The Knot" magazine and website! (how cool is that!)
  • Hopefully attending a wedding in Napa Valley
  • Hopefully attending a wedding in Austin, Texas
  • Meeting Baby Parker and Baby Scott
  • Spending quality time with family and friends
  • Doing yoga regularly
  • Getting better at my job
  • Sewing more
  • Fixing up my house
  • Cooking more with my husband
  • Being a better blogger!

As for New Year Resolutions Andrew and I picked 3:
  • No more eating on the couch
  • Exercise more
  • Paying off our debt
I'm feeling pretty confident about the last one....but the first two are gonna be a challenge!

Actually last night I read Ali's one word for 2008 - vitality. "Vitality is the state of being strong and active; energy.

I couldn't have picked a better word! I have been sick most of the last month and it sucks! In 2008 I want to feel strong and I want to have energy. That's my most important goal. I figure if I can do that, everything else will fall into place.

In order to start the year off on the right foot I am going to spend part of my day today with my meditation group for a special program. I just hope I can keep myself from coughing through the whole thing.

Sending you wishes for a fantastic first day of 2008 and many more fantastic days to follow!