a simpler sound.

2013: T-minus 12 days to HOME-A-GEDDON!



I've been out of pocket for TWO months now, and it feels like just a blip on the calendar, even though so much has happened!  

Since my last post, I

...traveled to Germany to visit family
...with a side trip to Paris [posts on my travels to follow]
...traveled to New York for work
...helped good friends move into their new, beautiful home
...with some design consultation and business planning on the side
...AND raised a completely adorable puppy named Watson [he's a handful, but a lovable one!]

What's preoccupied my time more than anything else has been the process of designing an entirely new house [well not exactly, but pretty darn close].  

From initial conception, to architectural plans, to re-designing [again and again and then one more time], to permitting [and praying], to slowly packing away the house, to scouting and purchasing plumbing, lighting, tile, furniture, floors, fabrics, to...

12 days [or maybe a few days sooner!] from now, the contractor and his crew will set up camp to: demolish, rebuild, add on, and [hopefully!] finish my house.  The planned completion date is sometime in June [fingers and toes and legs and arms crossed that we stick to this deadline!]. That's FOUR months of mayhem!

One of my favorite places in the world will be completely transformed, nearly doubling the size of my house! I don't think I've been more excited and engrossed [and terrified!] by anything quite so much as this project. I know things will get worse before they get better, but it will absolutely be worth it in the end.

Stay tuned...






The nightstand series: 6-10

6. Glass of milk: yes, you might think- what is a grown adult doing drinking milk by her bedside? But frankly, I don't care- it's a ritual I've continued with since I was a kid, [though over time I switched from 1% to skim- so I suppose that was an adult move...] and it helps me get to sleep, since I can have insomniac tendencies at times.  Nothing too severe, I just get stuck with all the thoughts in my head jumbling about, vying for my attention and preventing me from going straight to a dreamier world. Sometimes I dream about my favorite milk that I could only get while up in Boston during college. Yum.


7. Scented candle: the current one I've got is called 'Vanilla Berry' and it brings me right back to a memory from when I was a kid.  I can vividly recall having a Strawberry Shortcake doll that had this VERY same scent.  I rarely light the candle, but every time I turn to my left, I get a brief scent of Strawberry Shortcake, and I'm soothed to sleep.  


8. Pill box: I don't keep any hardcore drugs here [though it does house some fast-acting Tylenol gel-caps if I'm feeling extra crazy] but it's just such a pretty piece, so I like keeping it nearby.  My Mom got this pill box on a visit to Buckingham Palace in London, when I was ten. I remember not thinking much of it [and the tea cup it matched] but now it's a favorite [or is it favourite?] travel token. 


9. Fresh flowers: I've been a bit lax about this.  I haven't had anything fresh by my bed for a week now- so I'll need to remedy that soon.  I'd love to get fresh flowers from the grocery every week, but usually I end up cutting something pretty from the garden and that does the trick.  Here, I picked a yellow rose and tucked it in an old coca-cola bottle.  I love the combination of pale greenish-blue with the bold yellow. 


10. Moisturizer: I've been using L'Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream with shea butter. It's so decadent on my tired skin at the end of a long day.  A little bit goes a long way, so although it costs a pretty penny, I've had it for almost a year now and it'll stick around for a while. 


So that rounds out the top ten [or really, the only ten] objects you'll find on my nightstand each night.  Some are meaningful, others purposeful, but all are essentials to me getting a decent night's rest.  


Do you have an interesting nightstand, or want to share yours with me? I'd love to hear about it and add to the nightstand series! Leave a comment, or shoot an email my way: asimplersound@gmail.com



Musings on a nightstand: water and writing.

I figured out why I decided to share my nightstand with you.  I mean really, how long can a  person wax poetic about a lamp? [in my case, quite a bit] In reality, I think this might actually give you a little insight into me and my quirky habits, some of which may become recurring themes here, and others I may try to repress and plead plausible deniability that they were ever shared with you.  Think of this as 'show-and-tell' for adults. [I LOVED show and tell in kindergarten- I'm pretty sure this habit of mine traces that far back, maybe even further]


Rather than repeat the same photo I took of the nightstand [with the addition of helpful numbers, just in case you get confused between the glass of milk and a flower- these things are tricky] I figured you could just refer back to the previous post, or use a little imagination.


2. Water: I'm always thirsty, and being parched reaches its all-time high when I'm asleep.  I have an irrational fear of being without water, or really any drink [insert image of the little girl in the M. Night Shyamalan classic, 'Signs' with her 37 glasses of water strewn about the house]. The water pictured here is a rather large bottle of Acqua Panna, the self-proclaimed 'finest still mineral water.' I've never been one who can really taste the difference between obscenely expensive water and water that's free. I'm pretty sure I started refilling this bottle with tap a long time ago, so don't take me for a water connoisseur.


3. 5-Year Journal: I have to be the world's worst diary/journal keeper.  Since I was just a little Jo, I was obsessed with these wonderful, tiny books that held the potential of keeping your deepest secrets under lock and key. I probably had a whole box full of diaries. I could also probably count the number of pages I wrote on with two hands.  Then came the 5-Year Journal, a perfect device for someone like me since all it requires is one brief line about your day.  I've even went so far as to jot down just one word [it still counts!].  This one is a particular favorite of mine since it's filled with Jane Austen quotes that I adore. [I'm that girl who re-reads Pride and Prejudice yearly and watches the movies any chance I get...]



4. Music Journal:  I have no issues filling the pages of this book.  Since I was twelve, I've had a penchant for writing down lyrics from my favorite songs.  They usually had to do with some boy who I thought was just the BEST [but later would probably find him to be the WORST...the trappings of young love].  Fourteen years later, this exercise has become much more therapeutic, and is far less about silly boys, and much more about music that moves me, or reminds me of my past [or future?].  Usually, I just have a standard journal that I'll fill every inch of, but while I was in L.A. this past March, I found a bonafide *Moleskine music journal, which has proved to be very useful. Lyrics are so often overlooked, that it feels right to give them a place to 'speak.' 


5. Writing implements: simple enough, but I have specific tastes when it comes to these sorts of things. I always like to keep a #2 pencil [old-school yellow preferred] and a flair pen in navy or army green or black. [I told you I was specific!]



*fun fact: I've always pronounced Moleskine the way you would pronounce molester [it sounds even more inappropriate when pronounced by this British man] and it's a habit I have trouble breaking- so no, I don't have a molester journal, and no, I'm not a pervert...


a girl's nightstand holds all her secrets.



Maybe not all her secrets...if that were the case, anyone who entered my home would be privy to the whole of it, and that wouldn't be very wise on my part.  What you will find are several items that are essential to my nightly routine. 


When I took this photo, I was having one of those 'everything looks like art' kind of days, where I'll take 30+ photos of random objects in my house or while I'm out on a walk with the dog. [I know I've gone too far when even the garbage bin I throw her 'business' in has an interesting form..]  This compulsion doesn't stop when I'm lying in bed, which is how the 'nightstand series' came to be.  Initially, this was just going to be one post about the objects next to my bed. What was seemingly going to be a brief exercise, has become rather lengthy, so I'll post a bit each day to give you a glimpse into my life. 


The 'composition' starts with a round, white pedestal table I found at an antique store for $25 [$22.50 with my all cash discount- a fairly standard deal at these sorts of places, and every penny counts!] while I was staying on Amelia Island back in November. It's a little wobbly, partly because my 1930s wood floors have lots of 'character' [an endearing term for uneven] and partly because it's a twenty-something dollar table. It's got a great, wide top, which helps me ignore any flaws in design. 


Set atop the white 'canvas' are ten objects that are invariably always there. 


1. Lamp: I'm so particular when it comes to lighting. I have this weird aversion to overhead lights. Even more-so, I loathe the harsh wash of fluorescent bulbs. I know, I know- this is terribly anti-environment of me, but I'll rant about this more another time.  This lamp has a dark, coffee shade, which bathes my bedside in a warm glow.  This object is also essential for my reading and writing, since other than the local coffee shops, this is the only place I do those two tasks. [I'm sitting in bed as I write this, with four pillows propped up against my back- don't judge, it's all very professional...]


Stay tuned for more musings on my nightstand [trust me, things get really interesting by #4, I promise...]