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July=houseguest month June 30, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, Andalucía, fiesta, jobs schmobs, Missoula, Spain, Travel.
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I’ve been on a roll with the blog this week (not to be confused with blogroll…har. A little nerd humor…) as the picked-up pace of blogging is mirroring the rest of my life. I’ve been on hyperdrive in the past couple of weeks, scrubbing, unpacking, hammering things into the walls after midnight most nights and doing more painting than seems natural. This is because I’m desperately trying to feel settled in the new house, yes, but also because I am preparing for basically one entire month of houseguests. On Friday, my dear friend Anna arrives from Sweden. We first met in Spain in 2005, when she was in my class temporarily and then, before moving on, invited me and my then-roommate out for churros con chocolate. We became fast friends and spent a semester painting the town red, making fun of Spanish dancers, and doing a lot of laughing. In 2007, I visited her in Sweden and, after the two initial awkward minutes, realized that time didn’t really matter – we still got along swimmingly and were talking a million miles an hour, in English and Spanish, as though we needed to catch up after a few weeks away.

When I moved back to Spain, she came to visit me in time for Las Cruces, a strange holiday involving lots of drinking in the streets in front of these huge floral crosses. A month later, I took the train to Pamplona, where she was putting in Spanish semester #4 after a year of Swedish uni. More going out and eliciting eyerolls from the other subdued Swedish exchange students. Our paths haven’t crossed since June 2008, as she was finishing up school in England and spending holidays in Sweden and I’ve barely left Montana.

Her graduation present from her parents was a ticket to come and see me, info I received last summer via one of our long, multi-part, bilingual letters. We’ve spent the last 6 months planning and getting ready for her two weeks here, and I’ve booked us flights to Vegas (first time for both of us) and have made Glacier plans. It’s going to be a blast.

Then a couple of months ago, two Spanish friends (a couple – she taught elementary school with me, he’s an elementary teacher in another district) sent me a message on Facebook, saying they had a surprise for me. I figured they might be getting married….but then didn’t hear anything else from them for a while. They are an absolutely hilarious Sevillano duo and introduced me to the intricacies of the fabulous Feria de Abril, flamenco-style dress and dance lessons and all. They had talked about coming to visit at some point, but have a camper and have spent most of their recent holidays at the beach in Spain or Portugal or tooling around other parts of Europe.

Three weeks ago, I get an email from them saying they are coming to the US, along with her brother, and would like to come and visit me in Montana. They’re also going to be here in July. So…we’ll have one night with all 4 of them – the 3 Spaniards, plus the Swede – staying in my house. Then I’m going to put the Spaniards on a plane to Las Vegas (one week after I’ll get back…thanks Allegiant!), so they can go and check out Sin City, spend some time by the pool, and Anna and I can finish up our time here. I think I’ll have a day to wash the sheets and then they’ll be back for 9 days here – with Glacier and possible Yellowstone plans in the works. I’m hoping to be able to join them for one of the two, and maybe send them off with my car to the other. Sorry about the lack of air conditioning, guys…the Volvo’s all I’ve got. 🙂 At least Europeans know how to drive a stick. (weird note: Anna used to work at the Volvo factory in Sweden. It’s fate.)

Luckily, there’s an extra bedroom at the house. I bought a bed on Craig’s List and spent $35 on a bedding set from walmart.com. It’s pretty cute in person, actually:

It’s been nice to have this Friday’s deadline to motivate me, and I’m hoping to be largely done with the important unpacking by the end of the week. Come August, when I return from my family reunion, there will be some other unpacking/organizing to do, for sure, and probably a couple of lingering painting projects, but in the meantime, July will offer lots of good times and adventures with old friends I don’t get the chance to see too often. I get to show all of them Montana and the US for the first time. And I’m really ready for the vacation.

summer in photos (v.1) June 29, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, colors, new house, photography.
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A few recent Flickr faves. Can you tell that I have summer on the brain? I want to be wearing tank tops, sitting in a swimsuit by the pool, barbecuing every night!

Hung most of the living room/dining room/kitchen art this past weekend. Next up: my art wall in the bedroom. Trying to get some ideas there, too.

1. Gone Camping, 2. Nature’s most beautiful gift, 3. lantern, 4. Untitled, 5. my favorite wall, 6. hotels with swimming pools, 7. Peek at the new art wall, 8. Untitled, 9. Untitled

How cute are these? June 28, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, design, moving, new house.
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Now that my house is all painted, something I didn’t think I’d be able to do (or have done, and choose colors) in a rental, I apparently want what I can’t have and have been strangely interested in pendant lights lately. Go figure.

These caught my eye:

I can’t decide if I like the yellow or the turquoise best….

(via Remodelista)

Let the sun shine in! June 25, 2010

Posted by Emily in Missoula, new house, photography, things that make me smile.
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After weeks and weeks of blah, rainy weather, we’ve finally had some beautiful, sunny days that feel like summer. And I am so ready for summer!

This weekend, I want to finish a couple of painting projects, put away a million things at the house, hang some art, and wash the outside of the windows. Let the sun shine in!

Keeping my fingers crossed that the marigolds recover – too much water and not enough light and they are looking more than a little sad. It’s kind of tragic.

Sooooo…what’s on your weekend agenda? What about summer gets you excited?

Update: cleaning things up June 17, 2010

Posted by Emily in moving, new house, The Purge 2010.
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I’ve been sort of MIA in life lately, consumed with cleaning at my new house and getting everything prepped for living – and for the painters. It’s going well – we are almost done cleaning walls, we vacuumed and RugDoctored like mad and did my loveseats with the upholstery attachment while we were at it. The water that emerged looked like Coca-Cola. We’ve gone through 2 or 3 boxes of Magic Erasers at this point. And, thanks to my organizing class, I now have a cleaning closet where I can find just what I’m looking for. Here’s the before and after, plus a few more photos from the process.

(blurry) Before:

And after:

Went to wipe the dust off the light switch and discovered another wall color. I guess they had an oven fire at some point.

Stove was more than a little greasy,

but looks like a brand new appliance.

Here are some more “before” photos. Some things currently on the radar/in progress/getting dealt with include:

tub surround (getting regrouted this week)

blinds (soaked in tub overnight, then sprayed with hose outside and wiped down with 409-style cleaner):

(sticky) kitchen floor and cupboards:

The power of the Magic Eraser (before-right and after-left). The color isn’t quite this bad, but close:

side of fridge, before (has also been Magic Erasered into oblivion since this photo was taken):

this entire teapot used to be that dark brown color on the base (this one is thanks to steel wool pads):

My roommate has been powering through so much cleaning while I’m at work, and I’m trying to do what I can when I get home from work, which has led me to drill holes for closet rods after midnight, scrub walls until the wee hours, and generally flit from one project to the next like someone on speed. But I have also been doing some baking, so hey – progress all around.

More “afters” coming soon!

Yes, $12.99 June 9, 2010

Posted by Emily in things that make me smile.
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recently bought these shoes when my go-to black flats basically cried uncle.

I rarely buy shoes from Payless, but these are cute and comfortable. And less than the price of a delivered pizza.

I haven’t been this pleased with a $13 purchase in a long time.