December 2019:


Winter has arrived. We had early snow Halloween weekend (3-4 inches) and about a week later we got another 3-4 inches on top of that, and cold weather. The snow melted (thank goodness!) but winter caught autumn unprepared - a surprise ambush!

The house is now decorated for Christmas season and I snuggle underneath a thick throw blanket on the sofa at night admiring the Christmas tree. It's cold enough now to fire up the fireplace, brrrrr!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed holiday season. May we all be jolly and bright and happy.


Friday, March 29, 2019

HGTV's April 2019 Copy Our Cover - The Look for Less! The Finale

Hola!  As a reminder of the cover I wanted to High/Low:

The total cost for HGTV's picks:  $2,517.50 (includes 3 yards of fabric at $17.50/yd)

(1)  Carrara marble top and wood double vanity with oval sinks:  $1,599
(2)  Two bath mats in palm leaf print on white 20 x 30 at $29/ea.:  $58
(3)  Roman shade fabric by Boxwood Press, Scalloping Circle Ikat cotton fabric in green and blue (yardage needed not listed) at $17.50/yd. (estimating 3 yds):  $52.50
(4)  Three patterned towels in teal/green and white floral pattern at $13/ea:  $39
(5)  Dip-dyed teak stools, one each at $68 and $78:  $146
(6)  Two polished chrome cross-handle faucet with arched water spout at $291 ea:  $582
(7)  Two glass with cork top cannisters at $15 and $14:  $29
(8)  9 x 13 plastic tray in aqua: $12

My picks:

Total cost for my picks:  $1,624 (includes 3 estimated yards of fabric at $12 a yard)

(1)  Home Depot Stufurhome Marla Vanity in white with oval sinks, 6 drawers and framed mirror included:   $1,174 with free shipping.
(2)  Two bath mats from Target's Opalhouse Collection, Soft Solid Bath Mat in Dark Green, 20 x 32 at $12/ea:  $24.
(3)  Joann Fabrics Premium Wide Cotton in Blue and Green Watercolor Triangles, $12/yard (estimated 3 yds):  $36.
(4)  Target's Opalhouse Collection Sheared Floral Fringed Cotton Bath Towel in teal green, 3 at $13 ea.:  $39 (same as HGTV's pick and homeowner's pick as listed in the Sources).
(5)  Bob's Discount Furniture Teak Top Nesting Tables (pair):  $100.
(6)  Wayfair Kingston Brass Millennium Widespread Bathroom Faucet with Cross Handles, 2 at $108 ea:  $216.
(7)  Ikea Saxborga set of four glass clear glass jars with cork lids (2 large, 2 small) and cork tray, $15.
(8)  Home Depot Studio California Mauna Green Crackle Decal Melamine Serving Tray, 13.5" square, $20.

John-Richard Sutton Place Sideboard (Perigold) - The Look for Less

Hola!  So there was I was this morning, peacefully reading my Washington Post online when an ad comes up on the side from Perigold featuring this drop-dead gorgeous sideboard that just took my breath away!  Let me introduce you to the John-Richard Sutton Place Sideboard:

I tracked it down, thinking (1) that it was painted wood and (2) wouldn't this be a great hack for somebody who can hold a paint brush and knows how to use it on a less expensive sideboard!  The possibilities...

Well, turns out it is NOT wood - it's glass and steel, no wood mentioned at all in the Specifications, which I find strange; are the sides, bottom, back and top all glass, too?  Are they painted steel?  What about the inside shelf?  The front glass doors are painted on the inside (reverse painting) with "continuous golden dunes."  And it's huge:  34.5" H, 84" W (length), 20" D.  Regular price is $4,948 with free shipping and assembly; the sale price is $3,793.

That is more than what I paid for the furniture in my living room and dining room combined.  I love a challenge, so I thought rather than starting work on my 2018 income taxes (YUCK!), I would look for something to give me the look/feel of this piece for less money, something more in the range of "feasible Jan skimpy budget." 

For those of you who are daring with a paintbrush, let me propose this piece as a possibility: 

Yes, its an iconic Ikea piece - the Stockholm Sideboard in walnut veneer and solid ash.  More petite than the giant size Sutton Place Sideboard at 31 7/8" H, by 63" W, 15 3/4" D, it is available to order online at a price of $449 (but you pay for shipping and have to assemble) or you can check the stock at an Ikea bricks and mortar store if you have one within reasonable travelling distance and pick it up yourself.  This piece off the look of four doors; one door on the right opens separate and features a drawer and shelf; the other door on the left end opens and the two doors in the center open as a single (hinged together) unit to reveal a longer drawer and a single longer shelf.  While the grain does not run horizontally, I can imagine that a brave soul with a paint brush could replicate the look of the "continuous golden dunes" on the Sutton Place Sideboard.

Or, another iconic Ikea piece at a lower price that features horizontal wood veneer doors (but only 3 doors, not 4) and three shelves behind each of those doors - the Besta Storage Combination with doors in white, Inviken ash veneer, at 29 1/8" H, by 70" W, 15 3/4" D, at a price of $305, this finish is available only in store, not online.  You have to assemble.  The same unit with the doors finished in Inviken black-brown with white sides and legs is available at the same price, can be ordered online (you pay for shipping and have to assemble).  Here's the Besta in the Inviken ash veneer finish:

There are several different finishes (color and material combos) available, including several with glass door inserts if you wanted to try your hand at reverse painting on the glass. 

But - if you're like me and have zero talent with a paint brush and/or are chicken to try it (I'm both), then you'd want an already finished piece.  Like this beauty, that I found at AllModern:

It's the Terresta 4 Door Sideboard by Hooker Furniture.  It is poplar and hardwood solids with birch veneer.  The description does NOT, however, indicate what the finish is on those doors!  There are 4 doors with one adjustable shelf behind each, as well as the shelf running across the bottom of the unit.  Dimensions are 34.25" H, by 68" W,  18" D, regularly priced at $1,648, on sale for $990 with free shipping.  It is unclear, though, whether the piece is delivered fully assembled - or not.  Because there is a something called "Full Service Delivery and Assembly" for an extra $120 that is listed separately with another "check" box right underneath the "check" box with the listed price.  However, under "Assembly" beneath the Description and Specs, it says No Assembly Required.  Confusing.

Wayfair, LuxeDecor, Hayneedle and Bellacor offer the same product for the same price with free shipping.  I did a quick Google search for "Hooker Furniture Terresta Sideboard" and up popped more than a dozen different mini photos of the same sideboard with links to different sellers at different prices, some indicating it included free shipping.  

The bargain is at AFA Stores for $770 including free shipping, two man delivery AND assembly in the room of your choice.  This particular sale ends later today, though, at least according to the "countdown clock" at the website.  It also indicates at this website that there is a "wallpaper wrap" on the inside and outside of the piece.  Is that some kind of translation for "wood veneer?"  Perhaps this is an applied finish similar to what Ikea calls it's "foil" applied finishes.

A less expensive option with a faux marble look in a more petite size is Mercer 41's Selzer Console Table, 28" H, by 60.25" W, 16" deep available at Wayfair, AllModern and Walmart all for the same price of $338 (Reg. $629) with free shipping, assembly is required.  The piece is constructed with brass metal work, solid and manufactured wood with ash wood veneer and a faux marble finish:

Buyer Beware:  I read the reviews on this credenza/console table at Wayfair and several of them included photographs of the assembled piece in the homes of the purchasers.  The unit looks beautiful and the doors appear to have a sheen to them as if they were covered in polished stone veneer.  That being said, purchasers generally had a lot of issues and problems in assembling the product, particularly with getting the doors all leveled and even, and many returned products that arrived damaged inside their shipping boxes.  

Monday, March 25, 2019

HGTV's April 2019 "Copy Our Cover" - The Look for Less! Part III

To wrap things up, check out the options to HGTV's picks:

The Faucet

HGTV's pick for the cross-handle faucet (widespread standard 8" 3 hole) is the Portsmouth Suite brass faucet in polished chrome by American Standard, $291:


My first stop was Home Depot. HD offers the identical faucet for $203.45, so you could save around $87 by getting it there. e-Bay also offers the identical faucet for $149.98 with free shipping.  That's nearly 50% less than the $291 standard retail price tag.  

My other picks give you the look with the cross handles and polished chrome finish:

Sold by Google Express from Overstock, this is the Vintage Cross Widespread Bathroom Faucet in polished chrome finish, $177 with free shipping (pictured below):

An elegant option from Wayfair is Elements of Design Widespread Bathroom Faucet with Metal Cross Handle in a polished chrome finish, $180 with free shipping (pictured below):

This option, from Wayfair, is the Kingston Brass Millennium Widespread Bathroom Faucet in polished chrome with cross handles, in a sleek "Art Deco" style.  It has solid brass construction and a great price at $108 with free shipping (pictured below):

The Stools

The teak stools in the HGTV room are from serana and lily, 15" tall dip-dyed, $68, and 19" tall dip-dyed, $78, in teak, $146 for both. Now I don't know if anybody other than a child would actually use the 15" tall stool as a seat.  I shopped for stools, but I couldn't find coordinating duos at the right price in teak.  So I switched my search strategy to side tables/stools and came up with a few options.  

I really like this pair I found at Bob's Discount Furniture online: Teak Top Nesting Tables, they are sturdy enough to be used either as nesting tables and as stools.  The website is a bit confusing, but it appears the height of the taller table is 14" diameter by 16" tall and the shorter table is 13" diameter by 15" tall.  The set is $100 (pictured below):

I love them as they are, but I think they'd also look cool with the metal base spray painted white below the stablizing ring.

I found this pair of round stools at Target, offered by Baxton Studios set of Zula Midcentury Modern Walnut Wood Stools in dark brown, 17 3/4" tall and 13" diameter, $78 Reg., on sale at the time of this post for $68, and free shipping.  NOTE  The legs are rubberwood with a walnut finish but the top is MDF.  Pictured below:
Also from Target, this is the Chase End Table in dark brown from their Threshold collection, 18" tall and 15" diameter, hardwood frame and wood top (what kind of hardwood/wood is not specified) for $40 and free shipping (pictured below):

The Canisters

Because of shipping costs, I would shop for glass canisters locally at Home Goods, Tuesday Morning, TJMaxx, Target, and Family Dollar, Ikea, etc.  

A relatively new bricks and mortar store in my area is Hobby Lobby. It has a 4"tall by 4"diameter cork lid clear glass canister for $9, and a companion smaller size 3 1/2" tall and 2 1/2" diameter for $6 (pictured below):

Glass Cylinder Jar with Cork Lid - WideGlass Cylinder Jar With Cork - Small

Ikea offers a great deal on a set of five clear glass canisters with cork lids and a tray for $15, the Saxborga, Sizes: 2 jars dia. 3", height 2", 2 jars dia. 3", height 4⅜" and 1 tray length 10", width 4" and height 1", pictured below:

The Tray

HGTV's find of the approximately 9" x 13" plastic aqua tray for $12 is from Poppin, which offers free shipping on orders over $35.  This is another item I'd shop for locally, visiting office supply stores and sections inside retailers, the Dollar Store (never know what you may find there), etc.  

I found this option online at Target, I would check to see if it was available at my closest local Target, the Room Essentials Bathroom Tray in aqua, but it's small - 5" x 8", $5 regular price, on sale for $4.74, so I would get two of this size (pictured below):  

This gorgeous melamine tray will be free shipped to a Home Depot store near you for pick up.  It's the Studio California Mauna Green Crackle Decal Melamine Serving Tray, 13 1/2" x 13 1/2" for $20 (pictured below):

My picks and cost comparisons are posted in the Finale!  

Monday, March 18, 2019

HGTV's April 2019 "Copy Our Cover" - The Look for Less! Part II

Hola!  Here's the cover from HGTV's April 2019 magazine.  Normally I don't pay too much attention to the magazine's covers, but last month's and this month's, wowsers!

The easiest item I had to shop for was the vanity, believe it or not!  The rest of the items - geesh. 

The Shade Fabric

For instance - that fabric.  It didn't occur to me until I started hunting for something similar just how hard that would be!  Turns out that shades of green, blue and white in a circle pattern that would work great for scalloping doesn't grow on trees.  Whoda thunk it???

The original fabric is from and is a hand-painted design from a Schumaker collection called "Op"in "Prussian/Kelly" (you'll have to scroll down to find "Op.") No prices were listed, which clues me in to the fact that since I want to ask, I can't afford it, LOL!  HGTV's fabric choice is by "Boxwood Press Scalloping Circles Ikat" cotton fabric in green and blue, $17.50. 

Kudos to the HGTV people for finding the Spoonflower fabric, which was the closet match to it I saw anywhere I hunted for a fabric online.  After failing to find any fabric that was close to the original or to the Spoonflower fabric in look (or price), I went with what I thought were the best options I could find for less than $17.50 a yard.  

First up, from, this is Terrasol Indoor/Outdoor Tetris Ocean Fabric at $9.21 a yard; if 3 or more yards are purchased, the price drops to $7.36 a yard:

Terrasol Indoor/Outdoor Tetris Ocean

From Joann Fabrics, this is their Premium Wide Cotton Fabric in Blue and Green Watercolor Triangles at $11.99 a yard, this pattern is triangles, not circles, but I love the color and the dreamy water-color effect, and it would work well (I think) in a Roman shade:

The Bath Mat

This was another difficult look to replicate.  The original bath mat from Urban Outfitters is no longer available, and I couldn't find it anywhere else I searched.  Maybe that's a good thing considering the comments that purchasers made about the rug at Urban Outfitters. 

 I found plenty of palm leaf bath mats and area rugs, but nothing that had the scale of green palm leaves or the kelly green color.  Amazon has a lot of palm leaf bath mats, I shopped there after general Google searches and searching specific online vendors of bath products didn't turn up what I was looking for at a price below $29.  

This is the rug I found that I thought best replicated the look of the Urban Outfitters mat, although not the size.  This is the Emvency Green Leaf Hand Watercolor Monstera Leaves Pattern, 16" x 24" for $16.98 and free shipping (Amazon):

Another Amazon find is the Hi Space Bath Mat in Green Tropical Leaves, 20" x 31" for $21.99 and free shipping on orders over $25.  The pattern is not palm leaves but I like the scale of these leaves and the ratio of green to white:

I also picked out some solid colored fluffy/plush bath mats, thinking in the alternative to go with a couple different sets of patterned towels (you'll notice that the cover bathroom includes solid green and solid white towels, in addition to the dark tealish green patterned bath towel with the cool fringe).  The color selection in blue and green solids is large.

This selection is from Bed Bath & Beyond available in many colors, including a deep rich teal.  This is the Jean Pierre Mega Butter Chenille Bath Rug in aqua, a large 21" x 34" for $19.99 (free shipping on orders over $39):

From Target Opalhouse's collection, its Soft Solid Bath Mat in dark green, also available in a deep turquoise and an appealing (much lighter) mint green, 20" x 32" for $11.99 (free shipping on orders of $35 or more):

The Towel(s)

Both the original HGTV bathroom and HGTV's pick to copy the look are from Target's Opalhouse collection, Sheared Floral fringed cotton bath towel in teal green, 27" x 52" size, $12.99 (free shipping on orders over $35) - here's a close-up of this beautiful towel (it's reverse side is white background with teal green flowers):

There are towels in solid colors of the rainbow, in multiple shades, at all price points. Target's Opalhouse collection features 100% cotton pile bath towels in dark green (it's a green teal color similar to the bath rug above), a lime green, a mint green, and a very blue deep turquoise.  This is the Opalhouse Soft Solid Bath Towel in Dark Green, 30" x 54" size, $5.99:

From Target's Threshold collection is this cool Palm Leaf Towel in cream/green, 27" x 52" 100% cotton, with fringed ends, $12.99:

If buying in sets is for you, here's a great deal from Amazon:  Two bath towels , four hand towels, and six wash cloths, all in a beautiful shade of green (Gumdrop Green) with a honeycomb jacquard pattern on half of the set and plain green plush on the other half of the set (one bath towel in each finish 27" x 54", two hand towels each, three wash cloths each), Superior's 100% Cotton (500 GSM) Plush and Honeycomb Jacquard, $34.33 for the set and free shipping:

Superior̢۪s 100% Cotton 500 GSM, Plush, Absorbent, High Quality and Durable Honeycomb Jacquard and Solid 12-piece Towel Set- Gumdrop Green

A smaller set also from Amazon in Dark Green by Swiss Republic, 100% Cotton 6-Piece Towel Set, two bath towels (28" x 56"), two hand towels and two wash cloths, $22.99 with free shipping on orders over $25:

Swiss Republic 100% Cotton 6 Piece Towel Set (Dark Green); 2 Bath Towels, 2 Hand Towels and 2 Washcloths, Machine Washable, Super Soft, Quick Dry, Double Stitch Hem

Part III will include the tray, canisters, stools, and faucet.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

HGTV's April 2019 "Copy Our Cover" - The Look for Less! Part I

Yes, I'm at it again!  I'm antsy because I can't get outside yet and start doing those yard improvements I want to do this year.  DRAT! The weather just is not cooperating.  And while I could tackle some projects around here that have been waiting patiently for me to develop sufficient ambition to do them, well - here I am doing this instead.

Here's the cover from HGTV's April 2019 magazine:

HGTV Magazine  April 2019

Once again, I had a lot of fun hunting around the internet for lower priced bargains to try and replicate as best I could HGTV's room. HGTV's room totalled out at $2,116.00, not including the fabric it found at $17.50 a yard.  I have no idea how many yards of such fabric it would take to recreate the roman shade in the original bathroom, so I stuck to hunting for a fabric that might pass muster as a "comparable" for less per yard.

The Vanity

I LOVE the vanity, both of them - the original and the HGTV pick. The original sourced vanity was not listed in the magazine.  HGTV's pick is from Houzz, the Elma white 60" wide Carrara marble and wood vanity, $1,599.  It has oval undermount sinks, like the original sink.  As I'm working on this - it's on sale for 25% off the regular price of $1,999 (ouch!) - so now it's at $1,499!!!  Note: Faucets are not included with any of the vanities (HGTV or my selections), but are pre-drilled for standard 8" widespread 3 hole faucet set.  

So, that was the price I sought to beat.  Here are my picks, in no particular order:

Also from Houzz: This is the Madalyn 60" Solid White Double Vanity with two undermount rectangular sinks, Carrara marble countertop and backsplash, solid wood construction, polished chrome hardware, $1,299 not including shipping.  There are four functioning drawers. I picked this vanity because it has sleek pulls that remind me of the pulls on the original vanity and also smooth front panels on the drawers, neither of which the HGTV selection has.  Pictured below:

If you want to give up some drawer space, this may be an option for you to consider:  From Lowes, it is the Allen and Roth Presnell 60" Dove White Double Sink Bathroom Vanity with Carrara White Natural Marble Top, MDF with wood veneer construction (the description says this is solid wood, but I don't consider that "solid wood"), with two undermount rectangular sinks and a white Carrara marble top and backsplash, three soft close drawers and two separate "cubbies" that would hold a lot if you put some extra shelves or shelving units inside, polished chrome hardware, at a bargain price at $909.30, but not including shipping.  The bottom shelf is solid, not slatted; although it's hard to tell from looking at the cover of the HGTV Magazine, it appears that the bottom shelf on the original vanity may also be solid, not slatted.  The bottom shelf also features a back-stop so towels or baskets used for storage won't tip off the back side. Pictured below:

I found this option at Home Depot:  It's the Stufurhome Marla 60" W x 22" D Vanity in White with Marble Vanity Top in Carrara Marble and Mirror, solid wood construction, backsplash is NOT included, $1,173.85, with FREE delivery. The hardware has a brushed nickel finish - so it's not shiny chrome.  Yes, the giant framed mirror and free delivery are included!!! Note: Even though this vanity does not include a Carrara marble backsplash, the original vanity didn't have a backsplash either because it was installed on a tiled wall. Even better, the sinks are oval shaped, like the original vanity and the HGTV's choice for vanity.  Even better yet - there are a total of six separated drawer areas in two long soft-close drawers drawers!!! If you want to go with different mirrors, you can always use the one that comes with this vanity elsewhere, sell it or even gift it to someone. Pictured below:

Another option also found at Home Depot online is the Stuforhome Rochester 60" White Double Sink Bathroom Vanity with Marble Vanity Top and White Basin.  It features four soft-close drawers (each is divided into two parts to make room for the plumbing pipes), a bottom shelf with a backstop, no backsplash provided, two rectangular undermount sinks, and solid wood construction, with brushed nickel hardware, for $1,200.38 and free shipping.  Pictured below:

I'll be back with my selections for the other featured items in the HGTV April 2019 "Copy Our Cover."

Think PINK! Pics of the Refresh in the Living Room

Hola and Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody!

To get right to it, here are the pics, my usual not so good quality.  I'm all heart and no skill when it comes to taking pics.

There are the new throw pillows (the 2 smaller ones) and three new throw pillow covers (the 3 larger pillows) on the sofa. The sofa has been put back into its regular place when I'm not displaying the Christmas tree in the front window.  The ottoman holds the pink and white throw my second sister gave me for Christmas, but I opted to use the all cream colored side instead of the pink side with white hearts - see next pic and maybe you'll understand my decision.
Um - no to the white hearts on the pink.

Now my beautiful Mexican made pink and cream alabaster 
chess set can clearly be seen with the furniture rearranged.

This is by the entry "hall" at the front door.  The table is convenient for
catching gloves and keys, and I use it to hold my laptop when I'm
working in the living room because it can slide underneath the sofa or a chair.
The art above was printed from the internet and framed in some of my
existing stash of frames.  The gray and pink elephant is from my collection.

The spring/summer look for the mantel.  One one side is my black elephant and a black/gray crystal behind it; the other side is a parade of some of my pink elephants and a large chunk of quartz dug out of the ground on the shore of a lake up in the Gore Mountains outside of Denver in 1973. It has delicate veins of pale coral and a pinkish color running through its white color and although you can't tell in this photo, it has sparkles in it too.  One of the many souvenirs I've collected over the years.

They just make me smile, can't help myself :)  The little one on the far right end is from Banff.

The sofa is a wonderful place for my afternoon naps.  Here you can see the interplay between the two patterns on the complementary colored area rugs.

The two shades of pink in the new area rug (from the Jonathan Adler New Home Collection at Amazon) are so pretty!  I'm usually in stockinged feet inside and walking on two area rugs on top of carpet makes me feel utterly decadent - so soft and cushy!

Taken from the dining room threshold.

Sitting on the sofa, I can see all the way into the back yard through the patio door in the dining room.  That's the wall I had opened up a few years ago so there's great flow in the house now and it feels way bigger than it used to.  I still have to repaint the walls where the drywall was repaired after the to the floor wide opening was created.  Well, I still have a lot of painting to do - motivation is sometimes hard to come by. I admit, I've really gotten lay since I retired in January 2015.  

I call this the meditation wall because of my Buddha on display near the built-in bookshelves.
At night with the elephant lamp on (you can see it in the photo below), this is the view I see down the hallway that houses the entries to the bathroom and bedrooms.  These are two old wood "gold" frames I painted (they aren't antiques, I bought them at Target many moons ago) with some black acrylic craft paint watered down so some of the gold would peek through.  The art was printed from the internet.  The mats are the back side of very old dark forest green mats from my stash to fit inside these 11" x 14" frames. 

Taken from the front "hall" area.

Because my living room is now fully open to the dining room, I added a few touches of pink into my grey/cream/goldish-yellow dining room, which now has its spring curtains up, the spring/summer art on the walls and the formal tablecloth is banished for the season.

These silk flowers were purchased back in the early 1990s when Marshall Fields still had its downtown Milwaukee location open.  Sadly, it closed many years ago, long before Marshall Fields became part of Macys.  I dug them out of my stash, they're perfect for the table.

It's the same old frame that's been hanging in the dining room area for a few years now, I just swap out the art from season to season.  The Christmas/winter cardinals collage is tucked away until December 2019.  This is another print from the internet, similar (but not identical) to one in the living room.  This hangs on the right side of the patio door; the kitchen starts to the right of the picture.

Looking from the patio door in the dining room area toward the living room. The enlarged entry into the living room is about centered with the large picture window there, but the dining area itself is skewed because on the other side of the wall on the right is the stairway to the basement and the side entry hallway off the driveway.  The table is more or less centered in the actual space underneath a ceiling fan with light (another thing on my endless "to do" list - to replace that fixture with a gorgeous but budget-wise chandelier), and it's pretty much centered on the patio door, where I'm standing to take this photo.  

So, that's it!  I got such a wonderful complement the other day when one of my neighbors dropped by to borrow some baking supplies - not kidding, it happens in real life around here :)  I invited her into the kitchen while I rummaged around for what she needed and she said "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  It's so pretty," and she was pointing toward my living room.  And then she said it a couple more times as she stared at it.  HOORAY!  Success.  The pink worked its magic.  I love it too, but then - I'm partial.