this blog is a strictly personal virtual paper

Finally Something

Our house hunt is still on; it’s more an info gathering process than a real hunt since we haven’t made the final decision on our final destination and we don’t really know when will we actually go back to the States. Things have changed over the last few months and we have a few more options these days. However, we have made a decision to purchase a house instead of a townhouse or a condo. Reasoning behind this is that Mr. Man prefers it that way; he wants privacy and a yard and I am OK with that as long as it’s not too big! We are also keeping the house in the Bay since it’s not the right time to sell it (talk about housing market in the States!). That’s why our new home will have to be a lot smaller. We are thinking of 1500-2000 sq. feet. I finally found something I like but it’s not really in our price or size range. If we didn’t already own a house, I would go after this one immediately. I adore it.


It’s Quite Trendy: Mustrad Yellow

I’ve never been a big fan of yellow. It’s not my color at all. Still, one of my favorite (a few years old) cardigans is mustard yellow and I enjoy wearing it.  It’s something like this:

My favorite yellow piece is my large tote that I carry around most of the winter. It’s perfect for cold winter days. It brings in a little bit of brightness. My family doctor loves it too. Every time I go in without it he asks me where’s my ‘happy’ purse. It looks something like this:

Those are 2 of 2 yellow items I have in my house. I am not planning on getting more, at least not any time soon. However, I am considering furniture in that color. I love this living room. A mustard yellow sofa in the gray environment.

Or this chair in the corner.

While it’s not likely I’ll get a yellow sofa, I may consider getting a yellow office chair!

Patterns. Could I pull it off too?

I am not big fan of patterns in clothing, especially loud patterns. While running errands the other day, I saw this beautiful girl in front of me in the bank. She was wearing dark jeans, red flats, and a nice loose white top with red patterns. I liked the way the top looked and I kept wondering could I pull that look off too? I liked the top and shoes but I didn’t like jeans in that combination. It’s probably me but I don’t like wearing red with jeans. I would opt for a pinkish/purple top instead with pink or purple flats. Nice black purse will tell the world you mean business and a single bracelet adds a nice touch to the outfit without overwhelming it.  Overall, it’s a nice and polished look to run errands in, meet clients for lunch, or to go to school.

Finding the Right Bed

The bedroom is kind of tricky to decorate if we share it with someone: a spouse, partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. Unless your partner is totally uninterested in decorating, you probably face a question or two (or even a doubt) from your partner every time you have an urge to update the decor.  I would say that is pretty normal since the bedroom is a really intimate space and we’d like to feel comfortable in there – and you cannot feel comfortable if you hate the decor.  Although I don’t spend much of my awake time in my bedroom, I have a very special relationship with that room. Of all other rooms in the house, the bedroom is the most important for me. Therefore, I want to fall in love with it every time I enter it. My husband would not appreciate pink decor, or teddy bears for that matter, so I always try to make sure I balance masculine and feminine sides. Right now, our bedroom is not being used. We sleep in the guest bedroom because we cannot find the bed we like. We used to have a cali king size bed without a headboard. Another problem was that movers damaged the frame and for a long time we kept mattress on box-springs directly on the ground. So, we decided we need a new bed and we also decided to downsize to king size. Of course, we discarded the old one before finding a new one. I guess the good thing is that we have a queen size bed in the spare bedroom.

The best thing is that I can purchase a bed that fits my decorating idea and arrange the room the way I want. Our dressers are white, nightstands are matching but mine is red while my husbands is white (I wanted it that way!). The rug is also red. So, here are the ideas.

I love this neutral natural wooden frame; I am even considering ordering a custom made frame like this.

 Next, this beautiful bed is like my dream bed. I love it! Blue is one of my favorite colors and I’d love to have this bed.

A simple and elegant solution.

Another beautiful bed(room).

 Finally, a really lovely bed I also like very much.

What to Wear to a Class Reunion

My 10th class reunion is coming up and I am getting a little bit excited! I am excited to see some dear people and I am not so excited to see some less dear people. All these years I’ve stayed in touch with only one of my high school friends. She’s a nice girl, still unmarried and single. Others are mostly married with kids. A several of us have graduated from college, others either dropped or didn’t even attempt to go to college. From what I know, I will be the only one with multiple undergraduate and graduate degrees. I am also one of two who are living abroad, the other one is a friend who’s living in South Africa. I am  the only one married to a foreigner, an American to be precise. From the info I have, everyone else, especially girls, are focusing on family life rather than a career. So, in many ways, I will be getting a lot of attention. The good thing is that I have my old BFF who is also focused on her career and has no kids. I would not go to that reunion without her. I have no prejudices or stereotypes but even though I’m living abroad, I’ve heard rumors and gossips. I know people are interested in my life.  Still, I am interested to see and catchup with some of them. I am also looking forward to showing them who’s the girl these days! The truth is that I had quite rough time in high school.  I was a sort of nerd who hang out with popular people. I was smart and ambitious and those were not very trendy features. Good looks and money were way more important. I wasn’t ugly or anything, but I had a few extra pounds and not much of very trendy clothes. The worse thing that could happen to anyone in high school is that teachers actually like you. Other students notice that very quickly. And teachers did like me.

So, this dinner is more than just a meal with people I used to hang out with. It is more about “who’s who?” today. I want to look nice, youthful, successful, and happy. Basically, I want my look to mirror my life but I don’t want to look like I’ve tried too much. Actually, I want to look like I didn’t try at all. I understand that details play an important role, so this is the time to give your best to look the best. Luckily, my new hair style takes off those 10 years, I am in a way better shape than I was in high school, my skin is clean and healthy and I have great legs.

Sure, I may be overreacting but all of you who have experienced similar treatments and feelings in high school understand why it’s important to shine and glow at your class reunion 10 years after. So, in order to avoid “I tried too much” effect, I’ve decided to go with this combination. The dress seems to be nothing special, an average summer dress. That’s the effect I want.

If you ask me, I would switch these Piperlime shoes for the pair of Valentino pumps but I don’t think my hubby would like that. So, I’ll stick to Piperlime. I could choose different accessories, more dressing or matching but I refuse to. If possible at all, I’d like to look like this reunion is just one of my daily events and that I didn’t really pay too much attention to what I am going to wear.

Smart Solutions for Small Kitchens

This was meant to be a girly fashion post but WordPress freaked out in the middle of my writing and I lost half of the post. I know – write it in MS Word and c&p. However, I’ve decided that it wasn’t meant (for this post) to be the fashion one so let’s make it a homey post instead. As you know,  the PT family is apartment hunting. Until we find what we’re looking for, I’ll keep gathering decor8ing ideas. I have a pretty much good idea of what I want out next home to look like but the final decision will depend heavily on the space and floor plan itself. As any other European, I am used to smaller spaces and actually feel better in them (than in larger ones). Therefore, we are looking for a smaller place with a lot of potential and some charm. We’ll see what we find!

Although our bedroom will be the first room to be taken care of /shopping-wise/, the kitchen will have the highest decor priority. Yes, I love to cook and I want a lovely kitchen to cook in. Anyway, have you checked Ikea’s US website lately? I have and I fell in love with their idea of setting up a small kitchen.

Still, this solution lacks a few things. The first one is the placement of microwave. Where would you put it? In this setting the space above the trolley looks like an ideal spot. That way you would also get a place for jars/cereal boxes and a nice print in the back. You could also place a paper towel rack under the microwave. We also need to make sure we have a spot for a dishwasher.

What I love the most about this kitchen are these stacked wall cabinets: a great way to get some extra space and storage.  I would never think of that, not even in a hundred years! Even though my husband does not like Ikea, he admits they do provide some smart solutions for smaller spaces. 

More great ideas for small kitchens:

Please, if you are familiar with any of these photos and know the source, please let me know because I’d like to provide a credit. Thanks!  : )

PT’s Family Apartment Hunting

Mr. PT and I, Ms. PT, are in a middle of an apartment hunt. Well, to be precise, I am in the middle of apartment hunt since Mr. PT seems to have enormous amount of trust in me. In other words, he is not that concerned with finding a perfect apartment. yet. We still have at least several month of life here in la bella Italia so he thinks we’ll be OK. I don’t think we will since we have no idea where we will live once we leave la bella Italia. We know where we will not live–we won’t live in a stupidly large 4-bedroom house at Florida’s emerald coast. We still plan on living in Florida but in a smaller apartment (read townhouse) and more urban area – Tampa/St. Pete area. Why? because I am a city girl and need city environment to be completely happy. So, we are an apartment hunting in Tampa Bay area. I am also considering Raleigh, North Carolina since the nation’s #1 school in my desired Ph.D. field is located there. However, that part of the country (which I fell in virtual-love with) has almost-unexisting job market for my husband. Since it’s not a good idea to have a jobless husband, NC will stay only a silent desire unless something major changes on the job market there.

Since we are about to start from the beginning again, this time as a married couple, this is a good opportunity to force my interior design and decoration ideas. When we moved in together years ago, he gave me open hands to do anything I wanted decorating-wise. However, he already had a bunch of stuff that I couldn’t completely get rid off. I did get rid of bunch of it though (and I am proud of it). 😀 The biggest limitation of our current (another stupidly large) house it’s its preexisting rustic Italian structure and fixings that we are not allowed to change since it’s a rental. So in order to avoid emphasizing its outdated feel, I avoided filling it with trendy elements. Instead, I played along and updated it with details and furniture that compliments the existing feeling of the space. This means more classic and a little bit rustic elements. I don’t hate it all the way but I definitely don’t want to move it with us to our new place. I already have ideas of what I want our home to look like and here are some of the ideas.

I am totally in love with this kitchen which doesn’t necessarily need to be large. The corner stove is a brilliant idea, tiles are fantastic and the wooden counter top is just great!

A great idea of bringing in a fabulous color in an overall all-white kitchen or dining area.

An excellent way to tie in the entire apartment would be installing the same color chest in the hallway, dinning area or even in the bathroom.


Something I would like to create in the kitchen in future is a charcoal wall like the one below but that will depend on the floor plan and space available. I definitely want smaller square footage,  the apartment needs to be under 2000 square feet (185 m2); 1650 (150 m2) would be perfect!


Finally, if you are familiar with any of these photos and know the source, please let me know because I’d like to provide a credit. Thanks!  : )