Monday, March 30, 2009

Living Room Idea Board

So, here's my idea board for the living room- a look I am calling Comfy Vintage Modern. That entertainment center is just a close approximation to what we have, about the best I could google up. That's our current couch, which will probably be joined by two white slip-covered chairs. I realize that my all-white furniture compulsion will be the death of me- what with owning a black cat that likes to sleep on every cushion he can find. That's what lint rollers, hand vacs and the washing machine are for, right? The table is a general idea of what I want, and in fact my mom has a round mid century table that we're going to try out. Hoping it works fine, cause it's free. All the posters are what we already had- I love them and they aren't going anywhere. The rug is on my to-buy list, as are a few vintage chotchkies for the built-in to layer in around our books. I'm looking forward to getting this room finished. Not that any room is finished at this point, though. I'm working on it, I swear.

Weekend Roundup

-Up early for satellite installation
-8 hour satellite installation, guh
-Run soaker hoses
-Work on budget while watching sweet, sweet television
-Decide that neither of us wants to paint the bedroom, to be done later
-Grab some dinner
-More TV with Josh while eating
-Start closet organization, work late into the night
-Crash into bed

-Shower and get ready
-Over to apartment for final pick up of stuff and patio rocks
-Drop off the keys and say goodbye to home for the past 61/2 years
-Drop rocks off at house
-Grab some lunch
-Eat and watch telly
-Start putting together new dresser
-Matt & Ashley come over
-Angie comes over
-Lots of pizza and hanging out
-Everyone leaves, finally finish putting together dresser
-Hit the hay

-Breakfast and coffee
-Get ready
-Move dresser into bedroom
-Holly picks me up and quick stop at Ulta
-Meet Steph at World Market
-Hit Montgomery Antiques, pick up cool old brokeny camera
-Stop at Target for Pet supplies and snacks
-Holly and I back to the house for post-shopping wind down
-See Holly off, put knobs on dresser drawers
-Eat dinner
-Catch a little britcom before bed

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Start

I get so easily stressed when tackling big projects. When we were first thinking about trying to buy a house the whole idea was so overwhelming. And soon thereafter I had to start the process of completing a lot of dental work (still not completed, but soon to be I hope). One thing that I found very helpful was an article in Real Simple by life coach Gail Blanke. I wish that she were still writing for the magazine, and I also wish that Real Simple hadn't re-tooled their website, removing all but one of her articles. Luckily I saved all of her articles from back issues that made an impact on me so that I can revisit them when I need to. Here is her suggestion that really helped me see how I could get from crappy apartment to homeowner, and how I could overcome my fears and manage to get through my dental work step my step (again, still stepping here). Now I need to work out the steps to get from living out of boxes to a well-run household and open dirt, rocks and weeds to a beautiful back yard and garden. I didn't make a "mountain", you guys now how I love a list, so adapt the idea to work for you.

Gail Blanke:
"Design the future from the future. Pretend you've already accomplished your goal. You've got the job, the bod, the girl or guy. How'd you do it? Draw a triangle on a piece of paper. At the top of the triangle - or "mountain" - write the date when you'll have gotten what you want. Be specific. Put down the day, date, month and year. Then, working down the "mountain" ask yourself, "What did I do right before that, that allowed for that to happen?" Write it down. And then, right below that write down what you did right before that to make that happen. Continue all the way down the mountain with your "steps" until you reach today - the day you've decided to design the future. When you're done, you'll have a plan. Now all you have to do is execute it."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend Roundup- Moving Edition

-Get to house
-Paint first coat on doors and shelves backs
-Paint second coat on built-in
-Paint second coat on doors and shelves backs
-Clean up and head back to apartment
-Pack a couple of boxes

-All day packing
-Josh gets home, Chinese for dinner
-A bit more packing
-Move some boxes to the house
-Hit the hay

-Get Josh up
-More packing
-Holly comes to help
-Grocery store for trash bags, paper towels and donuts
-Eat said donuts, load Holly's car with boxes
-Head to house to unload
-Jason helps Josh with all the furniture
-Repeat more times than I care to think about
-Thank Jason for his help
-Hit the apartment for one more load and Chick-fil-a for dinner
-Eat and unload one more time at the house
-Thank Holly for all her help and time
-Make one more trip ourselves
-Start unpacking stuff
-Get everything arranged in kitchen cabinets
-Go to bed very, very late

-Oversleep, despite the total lack of sleep from a freaked-out cat
-Make Josh get up
-Get ready
-Stop by apartment to empty fridge and freezer
-Back to house
-Drag Josh's brother to IKEA to pick up dining cabinet and bedroom dresser
-Grab Sonic for lunch afterward
-Return big truck to Josh's dad
-Get groceries
-Back to house
-Random moving chores
-Install pantry shelves and build microwave cart
-Eat frozen pizza
-Tidy up

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I've got my "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" button on, wore my green coat to work and even my lunch today is green- green veggie wrap and a green apple. And I actually am Irish, so I don't think I've gone overboard. In fact this summer will mark 100 years since my great-grandfather came over as a boy with his family. So there, I do deserve all your kisses! :) Anyway, I've really been missing Conan lately, so here's some funny clips to celebrate the day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Roundup

Really all I did this weekend was paint. Thursday I spent all day priming the office and living room walls. Friday I slept in a little bit from exhaustion and painted the living room, with Josh helping on the last 2/3 of the second coat. Saturday we primed the built-in, me finishing it up and doing one side of the doors and shelves since Josh had to leave for his Fate Lions show. I also got the first coat of paint up in my office that night. Yesterday I did laundry, made some closet adjustments and put the second coat on my office while Josh primed the other side of the shelves and doors and put the first coat of paint on the built-in. Saturday Josh's mom and brother were kind enough to come by to see the house and bring us some good food. If there's a holiday with a theme Deana is happy to celebrate it so she came bearing homemade soda bread, corned beef and bread pudding with apples for St. Patrick's Day. It was delicious, especially since we've hardly had a home-cooked meal lately. The yellow in my office is a bit stronger than I was expecting, but it's good. The white for the built-in is not as close a match to the crown molding as we thought, but that's just too bad. As I told Holly I'd rather gouge my eyes out with knitting needles soaked in acid than start over on that beast. We just have to finish the built-in and then prime and paint the bedroom (which unfortunately also involves dismantling the closets to some extent). I keep saying that we aren't going to paint the bedroom, but then Josh says we are knowing that I really do want it painted I just don't want to lift another roller or brush. All of me hurts. My knees are various shades of red, purple, yellow and green. And the fleshy part of my hand between my thumb and index finger is actually swollen from so much painting. Or it has become very muscular, I guess that could be another possibility. Either way, it all hurts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Office Conundrum

With the new house come a lot of wonderful things- the bigger kitchen, more than one tiny bathroom, space for Josh's musical experiments that isn't three feet from the couch. And my own little room, my office. A place just for me! And of course I'm totally stumped on what to do with it. It's a 9' x 11' space, and is also the pass-through to the backyard. I was at first very concerned about making it sort of neutral for that reason. I guess I've more or less given up on that, ha. The only thing I am certain of iss that I am going to put the bookcase currently in our bedroom in there and that I want to frame this fantastic map of NYC that I bought on Etsy recently, one of a trio. The map's main color is a fun turquoise and I started leaning towards a buttery yellow for the walls to go with. I chose Valspar's Spun Honey this weekend and will be priming and painting the space over the next two days. I also have this fun An American In Paris poster that I had in my bedroom before we moved in together, and I'd like to hang it back up too. But aside from that I am totally lost. So, any suggestions? I've been most inspired lately by Nicole's studio, particularly her round table. But I have to wonder if something like that would be enough workspace for me. And really, I need to start weaning myself from IKEA (did I really just type that?). Anyway, putting this out there to see if anyone has any suggestions. It's driving me crazy that I finally have a little space that is entirely my own and I don't know what to do with it.

In the space I hope to:
.handle household business- file paperwork, keep track of important information, maintenance calendar and other to-do stuff
.meal planning- do all my weekly meal planning and keep track of my to-cook/bake ideas, possibly store some of my cookbooks and magazines in there
.blogging- looking to re-invigorate my cooking blog once we're settled back into daily life and continue my personal space here
.photography- studying photography, editing photos, storing my cameras and accessories and possibly even some shooting with the lightbox I intend to finish
.projects- the occasional random project I have to do, wrapping a small package, writing letters or notes, etc.


Monday, March 9, 2009

The Casa: Before Shots Volume IV- Spare Bedrooms

To the left of the hallway are the two spare bedrooms. The first room is Josh's music room and the second will be a modest guest room until we need it for a nursery. Both rooms were previously occupied by the owner's children and were decorated for them with an alphabet border painted by their grandmother. Unfortunately for her we don't have any kids so they won't be staying, ha. In fact, Josh's room is already painted. I don't know when we'll be painting the other room, it will definitely be waiting till after we're done with some of the other areas in the house.

Weekend Roundup

-Ugh, so tired, head to house to work
-Water front yard and run soaker hoses
-Clean out and line some cabinets, run out of liner
-Wet and dry dust built-in repeatedly
-Sand pantry walls where slats were removed
-Vacuum up pantry dust
-Sweep and dry mop dining room
-Estimate size for backyard garden
-Head back to apartment
-Shower and get ready
-Head to The Moon for Fate Lions show
-Hang out with Niki, Jason, Floyd, Eddie, etc.
-Crash into bed

-Oversleep big-time
-Breakfast and coffee
-Get ready
-Target and Container Store for more shelf liner, Lowe's for more paint
-Back to apartment for lunch and grab supplies
-Head to house, see Josh off to Rollins show
-Line cabinets till midnight
-Catch ride to apartment from Mom
-Eat leftovers
-Hit the hay

-Oversleep, grr daylight savings
-Breakfast and coffee
-Make grocery list
-Get ready
-Grocery shopping
-Drop groceries at apartment, head to house
-Eat lunch
-Spackle nail holes in pantry
-Finish lining kitchen drawers while Josh cleans built-in doors and shelves
-Make a plan for the next week
-Pick up Goodwill donations and make drop off
-Back to apartment, prepare moving boxes
-Pack magazines and watch second half of Fred Astaire movie
-Make dinner, turkey burgers and fries
-Eat and watch a bit of TV
-Watch most of The Gay Divorcee while trying to fend off insomnia

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Apartment Therapy LA has IKEA's Summer '09 sneak peek! Just when I thought I'd figured out everything I wanted, I've got a lot more to think about.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I can't wait:
-until we've got the painting in the house done so we can move in
-until we've got our stuff moved in so we can go to Ikea for new stuff
-until I've got the inside of the house done so I can fix the outside
-to get my kitchen cleaned up and organized so I can get back to cooking
-to have John help me plan a plot and pots of herbs, veggies and blackberries
-to organize my new closets, with inspiration from Nicole
-to have some more time to study more photography
-to make some time to try Marta's writing club prompts
-to be ready for entertaining our friends as often as possible
-for spring to be sprung (as Josh would say) so we can head to the zoo and parks
-to see the Barbara Crane and First Look exhibits at the Amon Carter
-to settle the possibility of a vacation on the horizon

So much that I have to muster patience for!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekend Roundup

-Up and to the house
-Prime the entire hallway
-Lunch and 2 episodes of 30 Rock
-Finish sanding part of the built-in I can manage
-Start ripping out the old, gross shelf paper in kitchen cabinets
-Josh arrives with Chick-fil-a dinner and boxes from the apartment
-Eat and shower while Josh finishes off the built-in sanding
-Head back to apartment and hit the hay

-Up early and to the house
-Granola bar breakfast and coffee
-Paint first coat in bathroom
-Run to Home Depot for Josh
-Paint first coat in hallway
-Break for PB&J lunch
-Paint second coat in bathroom
-Steph and Trisha stop by to see house while Josh grabs dinner
-Chipotle dinner
-Paint second coat in hallway
-Clean up
-Back to apartment
-Pay bills online
-Hit the hay

-Breakfast and TV while making grocery list
-Sort laundry
-Grocery shopping
-Unload groceries, load laundry
-Stop by Josh's dad's house to pick up speakers and visit with Grandma Dorothy
-Head to house
-Start laundry
-Show house to Josh's dad and stepmom
-Clean up tarps and newspaper, remove tape, finish laundry
-Clean up and head back to apartment
-Shower while Josh makes dinner
-Watch second half of Pride & Prejudice