house in the ‘burbs

rhino rhino on the wall

no, really. there is a rhino on my wall.

but lets take a step back…

for weeks, maybe a month even, this adorned the largest wall in our house:

a number of visitors asked us why we didn’t remove the sticker in the corner with the frame dimensions, thinking that the green leaf pattern was the art we intended to display and not just the place-holder that came with the frame. really, we just hung the frames as an experiment to see how they would look and were too pregnant to deal with taking them down or figuring out what to put in them.

finally, shortly after dane was born, i spent countless hours on looking at thousands of prints to potentially fill these 24×36″ frames.
yes, thousands. and what did i come up with? a blue rhinoceros and a cluster of dots. 

 i definitely had a “what was i thinking” moment when they finally arrived… could i be anymore random than a solitaire blue rhino? but they are totally growing on me.

and don’t forget how pathetic the previous attempt to decorate this wall was:

i flanked the rhino and seaweed with these decorative cube shelves from kohls:

and some brand new pics of the little cherub:

so – for now – i am checking this wall off the list!

ps – how cool is this light??

pps – did you really think i was going to post without pic of my baby bug?

dirty laundry [room]

with a new washer & dryer, a coat of paint, a shelf here, an old ladder there, we’ve gone from this:

BEFORE (yucky)
to this:
AFTER (very yellow)
after craigslisting our old washer & dryer, mike & his dad painted the space a buttery yellow & installed base board.

the re-purposed ladder idea came from these pics i found on pinterest. you can put an old wooden ladder to so many creative uses. 

i salvaged this piece of old attic ladder from a trash heap in our garage (mike is no longer surprised when he finds me picking things out of a trash pile).
we spray painted it grey and suspended it from the ceiling with 4 hooks and pieces of chain from the hardware store.

tada! a space-efficient drying rack for our super narrow laundry room.
the stars of the show:
yes, i wrapped our dryer sheet boxes with craft paper to match the room. i’m aware this is not normal. i blame the hormones!
… finally, 4 grey carpet tiles from flor:
doing the laundry is much more pleasant with the cheerful color scheme and reliable appliances!
and i’ve been doing A LOT of laundry lately thanks to this little poop machine!

my version of the book sling

i was caught off guard by the number of books i received as gifts for the baby on the way. i never considered them something i’d need or want, but they are obviously an important thing to have for raising a genius baby (i’m pretty sure this little guy will be leaving the womb with a third grade reading level).

so to store the new book collection i decided to take on a very simplified version of the diy book sling. there are a number of tutorials on blogs and crafty sites, so i googled one and watered it down as much as possible… ie no sewing, measuring, or power tools required.

i used a cheap burlap-y fabric, a long stick i found in our back yard, and double curtain rod brackets from lowes.

ok, i did use a tape measure once to determine where the middle of the stick was…

then i sawed it in half…. with a bread knife…

i used iron-on hem glue stuff to bond the burlap fabric so i didn’t have to sew anything and used fray guard on the edges to avoid hemming…

and there you have it

i hope the sticks hold up – you can tell the front one is bending (if it snaps, it can be easily replaced)…

exciting news (twins!)

meet the newest family members. thank you. yes. i know they are beautiful.. the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

our washing machine started leaking a couple weeks ago and seemed to get worse with each load. the set came with the house and our guess is they may have been the originals… 10 or so years old. we weren’t going to replace them as long as they were in working order, but the clunking noise and puddle the washer started leaving was enough of a sign that the time had come.

(not to mention the laundry room is hideous and has been begging me for a makeover)

although we didn’t exactly have the money, i was excited to replace the old maytags with a shiny, new set of reliable whirlpools. one less thing to worry about when the cherub arrives. putting them on a new lowe’s credit card saved us 5%  (which we plan to pay the off by the end of april). lowe’s was also running a 10% off all front loaders promotion and the models we went with were on sale to begin with- so we got these at a good clip less than the ticket price.

i haven’t exactly started the washing any of the baby clothes, so its just not an option to be without a functioning machine right now…

so the irish music is cranking and operation laundry room reno is currently underway

happy st. patricks day.

and to my dad, i am missing you badly today.

nursery (calm before the storm)

deadlines are always helpful in getting things done and the deadline for this room is just over 2 weeks away. in a few short weeks we will have our very own human living here!

here are a couple “before”s i snapped during the home inspection:

and here is our “safari chic” nursery today patiently waiting for a baby to move in:
shakespeare is mystified by this room. every now & then i find him in here sniffing the giraffe’s bum or trying to play with the lion. little does he know there is an even more intriguing creature joining the jungle animals very soon!

living room [minor] progress

the ball is rolling, but we have a ways to go before this room will feel complete. it is in dire need of color- but i feel like we need those chairs before i can choose the right art, window treatment, etc etc.. oh and we need money too… 
i guess its good to still have lots of finishing touches to look forward to. its only been 2 month after all and we have been a bit preoccupied with preparing for the human life we will be solely responsible for in 32 days (not to mention the fact that for the past week or so, i have been barely capable of getting thru the work day then almost immediately into bed).
to quote the great dave matthews, “if i had it all, then what would i go on for”… or something like that…
here is the underwhelming progress:

the rundown
– “gina sectional sofa” from macys
– “hunter trunk” coffee table from crate & barrel (already owned)
– “recycled accent table” from home decorators (already owned)
– “driftwood wall sconces” from shades of light
– mirror from christmas tree shop
– wall hangings from homegoods & kohls (will be replaced.. am not feeling it)
– “columbus wood brown tv console” from overstock
– corner cube table from walmart (already owned)
i think thats everything
wish list
– big, colorful, art for the wall behind the couch
– some sort of area rug to layer (flokati?)
– the perfect drapes for the sliding doors (and remove those hideous blinds)
– colorful throw pillows
the new living room has become home to shakespeare’s favorite spot in the house. these pics make me happy 🙂

make-shift models

i started decorating this house long before our closing date… or the acceptance of our offer… ok..  before we made an offer… i don’t know what it is. its so fun for me. a creative outlet i guess.
its funny looking back on these pathetic, make-shift, mood boards (i made them by copying & pasting images onto an excel worksheet – i’m a spreadsheet nerd). one day i’ll learn how to make real ones.
the living room would actually look a little bit like this if these west elm upholstered chairs we ordered in NOVEMER. EVER. CAME. apparently there has been some delay by the manufacturer and we are still waiting for them with zero idea of when they will actually come (they did tell us they were reversing all delivery and surcharges which will save us over $200 but still – i want my chairs). patience isn’t my thing.

naturally, along with the virtual decorating, came virtual shopping. and at times of weakness – real shopping. first came the table from pottery barn (via an amazing sale and will probably be the only pottery barn furniture we will ever own). i then considered a gazillion chair options. the finalists were the west elm “modern windsor” on the right and the “virginia cross-back” i found on over-stock (and eventually ordered from walmart) on the left. 

this bed visual is the saddest of all! we did end up getting the headboard and frame from overstock (and love it). but luckily i went to the actual west elm store and realized i hated this duvet cover.

next i’ll post the real things!

catching up

so the music festival was fun.

but now its february. hi. i’d like to appologize to my fans (kathy, ryan) for the little hiatus. i finally have some interesting new material to chat about:
1. a new house in the suburbs (technically it is no longer 80 miles to brewster)
2. a new baby (still baking, but should be ready to go pretty soon)
3. a silly bulldog (ok, not new material, but you can never get enough…)

we have been working really hard at getting the new house in order, but experiencing major budget limitations at this point. so a lot of prioritizing and patience needed around here.

despite the lack of time and money, the house has really come a long way in less than 2 months… i’m going to attempt “before” & “after”s of each room as we make more progress. here is a sneak peak of some of our accomplishments so far –

this house purchase came much sooner than we had planned. our closing was almost exactly a year after the closing on the cape house. one house per year is not an average we were going for! tho i must say, so far so good. i have zero regrets and in retrospect am so happy to have the chance to settle in and nest away before the baby comes. it is definitely a bit of an adjustment from our city life, and we are only a couple mortgage payments in, but i am cautiously optimistic that we have not bitten off more than we can chew and we will be happy here for a long (long long long) time.