It Ain’t Perfect, But…

Slowly but surely (the operative word here being “slowly”), small bathroom projects are getting accomplished. I decided to start “at the top” and work my way down, for the time being.

This meant tackling the ceiling. When I say “tackling”, I mean it in the most literal sense one can without having torn the whole thing down. It was a bull to work with, and still isn’t completely perfect…but, for our purposes, I’m calling it successfully completed. Woohoo!

The issue involves prep work that our predecessors completed…mmm…shall we say…crappily. My mom insists that she sees proof of duct tape (yes, that) used to try to seal up some cracks, and the paint was separating in a million spots (probably due to improper paint for a humid bathroom, but that’s just a guess). I’m not sure it’s a battle I can ever completely win. Here’s what we were given…


My tactics, be them accurate or not, involved scraping and pulling down tape, sanding everything down, putting up mesh tape, spackling and sanding x2, priming, then painting a few coats of regular ceiling paint. Again, it’s not perfect, but when the lights aren’t all on, it looks pretty darn smooth and almost passable.

There are still some lines to cope with and a *chance* that the tearing/separating paint issue will come back – but just take my word for it. It’s tough to get true-to-life pictures of white. πŸ™‚ The second picture is the most strife with real life issues.


The next steps will be to paint the upper half of the walls with a color soon-to-be-mixed (it’s been selected for a looooong time…oops!), and sanding and painting LOTS of coats of white in the open shelving closet area (and probably around the window trim – can you say “chocolate brown”?). Then comes the real work of doing paneling (I’d much rather call it “wainscoting”, although it’s really just a doppelganger), painting the rest of the chocolate trim (which makes it sound like Willy Wonka’s bathroom, doesn’t it?), and flooring (which will most likely involve having to unhook the toilet ‘n stuff, ugh). THEN, on to the troubled tub area. Whew!

Just wanted to keep everyone updated and keep myself motivated (ie have some sort of accountability, hee hee). So, thanks for providing that – I bet you didn’t even know you were my motivation! Well, you guys and, y’know, a very patient husband and an ever-growing belly. Those are pretty important, too. πŸ˜‰

Do you have any projects you’re whittling away at, even if it takes months? Feel free to share!

It Ain’t Perfect, But…

Slowly but surely (the operative word here being “slowly”), small bathroom projects are getting accomplished. I decided to start “at the top” and work my way down, for the time being.

This meant tackling the ceiling. When I say “tackling”, I mean it in the most literal sense one can without having torn the whole thing down. It was a bull to work with, and still isn’t completely perfect…but, for our purposes, I’m calling it successfully completed. Woohoo!

The issue involves prep work that our predecessors completed…mmm…shall we say…crappily. My mom insists that she sees proof of duct tape (yes, that) used to try to seal up some cracks, and the paint was separating in a million spots (probably due to improper paint for a humid bathroom, but that’s just a guess). I’m not sure it’s a battle I can ever completely win. Here’s what we were given…

My tactics, be them accurate or not, involved scraping and pulling down tape, sanding everything down, putting up mesh tape, spackling and sanding x2, priming, then painting a few coats of regular ceiling paint. Again, it’s not perfect, but when the lights aren’t all on, it looks pretty darn smooth and almost passable.
There are still some lines to cope with and a *chance* that the tearing/separating paint issue will come back – but just take my word for it. It’s tough to get true-to-life pictures of white. πŸ™‚ The second picture is the most strife with real life issues.

The next steps will be to paint the upper half of the walls with a color soon-to-be-mixed (it’s been selected for a looooong time…oops!), and sanding and painting LOTS of coats of white in the open shelving closet area (and probably around the window trim – can you say “chocolate brown”?). Then comes the real work of doing paneling (I’d much rather call it “wainscoting”, although it’s really just a doppelganger), painting the rest of the chocolate trim (which makes it sound like Willy Wonka’s bathroom, doesn’t it?), and flooring (which will most likely involve having to unhook the toilet ‘n stuff, ugh). THEN, on to the troubled tub area. Whew!

Just wanted to keep everyone updated and keep myself motivated (ie have some sort of accountability, hee hee). So, thanks for providing that – I bet you didn’t even know you were my motivation! Well, you guys and, y’know, a very patient husband and an ever-growing belly. Those are pretty important, too. πŸ˜‰

Do you have any projects you’re whittling away at, even if it takes months? Feel free to share!

Prenatal Yoga

I’ve mentioned wanting to try yoga, and most recently prenatal yoga, a few times. My reasons have ranged from exercise to improving my mood to helping in the birthing process — ohhh, there are lots of reasons. So, after work last Friday, I ran home to change into something comfortable and headed to Universal Yoga Center in New Hartford. (That’s about 30 minutes away, for the record. And, no, there’s nothing even similar any closer to home. Boo.) On this particular day, I was lucky enough to have Dave in tow for a post-yoga date.

So, he dropped me off and headed out to kill time while I got my stretch on. I was the first to arrive (I’d been told to come early to fill out a short form), and nervously got myself situated. There were approximately 7 other ladies there (plus the incredible instructor), all ranging from 17 to 36 weeks pregnant.

I don’t remember everything about the experience since I was focusing on learning new stretches and feeling the connection with my body and with the baby. I was definitely the “newest”, so the instructor seemed to pay some extra attention to me at more challenging points. The yoga itself was all about modification — especially focusing on the fact that, being pregnant, we may want to try some moves differently than even other women in the room, and definitely differently than how certain types of yoga might be taught.

What I don’t recall as far as the technicalities of the yoga itself, my memory makes up for with experiences and ambiance. The low lighting (there’s a lot to be said for Christmas lights – it’s the first time I’ve seen lighting like that that wasn’t reminiscent of a college dorm) and Eastern instrumental music were instantly calming. The instructor’s calm sweetness was inviting and caring – and perfect for a bunch of pregnant ladies! The stretching and moving wasn’t altogether too challenging (although there were a couple that proved to me that I need some more balance practice) but just “uncomfortable” enough to provide a mild workout while giving options for relaxation and other needs during labor or as the pregnancy continues. I honestly can’t say enough good about the experience.

The breathing techniques and little “tips” that the instructor provided (such as trying one stretch, in a modified way, to help with sciatica issues — my mom was jealous about that one since apparently I gave her such troubles when she was pregnant with me) were awesome. While the baby stayed pretty much motionless, it started moving during something called the “puppy pose” (an upside-down pose). I like to think the little one enjoyed it, but it just occurred to me that the opposite might have been true, hee hee. At the end of the session, after a long, deep breathing exercise, we made lotus blossoms with our hands and gave up a wish/intention for the baby up and into the universe (or to God, depending on what you believe). THAT was powerful.

The best part of the whole thing (other than that I didn’t realize my first session was free – score!) was when I met Dave at the car. I was throwing my bags in the backseat and getting myself situated while he blabbered on – “How was it? Did you like it? Were they nice? Did something happen? Was it okay? Do you hurt?” I think that he had hopes as high as I did about it, and a quiet Meg is a very rare thing. After I had strapped myself into the passenger seat, I finally said, “I’m relaxed.” “Oh! Good!!” I got to the business of explaining things shortly thereafter, but his excitement (and apparent nervousness) about it all had him bouncing off the walls. Can’t complain about that!

Oh, and for the record, that night he read the children’s book he had purchased (while I was at yoga ;-)) to my belly and got to feel it kick for the first time. Overall, it was a very special evening. Throw in a farmers’ market trip the next morning, and it was one of the best weekends we’ve had in awhile.

So, will I be going back? Let’s just say that there isn’t a session this week, so I’ll be returning for their next class. I enjoyed the process so much that I can foresee trying the “mommy and me” yoga (or even just “regular” yoga classes) in the future. The exercises speak to me in their timing (not too quick/extreme, not too slow/boring), with their focus on breathing, relaxation, and inner focus, and the underlying calmness from the instructor’s tone and the music (a variation of which I listened to on my Sirius satellite radio the next day – seriously).

Prenatal Yoga

I’ve mentioned wanting to try yoga, and most recently prenatal yoga, a few times. My reasons have ranged from exercise to improving my mood to helping in the birthing process — ohhh, there are lots of reasons. So, after work last Friday, I ran home to change into something comfortable and headed to Universal Yoga Center in New Hartford. (That’s about 30 minutes away, for the record. And, no, there’s nothing even similar any closer to home. Boo.) On this particular day, I was lucky enough to have Dave in tow for a post-yoga date.

So, he dropped me off and headed out to kill time while I got my stretch on. I was the first to arrive (I’d been told to come early to fill out a short form), and nervously got myself situated. There were approximately 7 other ladies there (plus the incredible instructor), all ranging from 17 to 36 weeks pregnant.

I don’t remember everything about the experience since I was focusing on learning new stretches and feeling the connection with my body and with the baby. I was definitely the “newest”, so the instructor seemed to pay some extra attention to me at more challenging points. The yoga itself was all about modification — especially focusing on the fact that, being pregnant, we may want to try some moves differently than even other women in the room, and definitely differently than how certain types of yoga might be taught.

What I don’t recall as far as the technicalities of the yoga itself, my memory makes up for with experiences and ambiance. The low lighting (there’s a lot to be said for Christmas lights – it’s the first time I’ve seen lighting like that that wasn’t reminiscent of a college dorm) and Eastern instrumental music were instantly calming. The instructor’s calm sweetness was inviting and caring – and perfect for a bunch of pregnant ladies! The stretching and moving wasn’t altogether too challenging (although there were a couple that proved to me that I need some more balance practice) but just “uncomfortable” enough to provide a mild workout while giving options for relaxation and other needs during labor or as the pregnancy continues. I honestly can’t say enough good about the experience.

The breathing techniques and little “tips” that the instructor provided (such as trying one stretch, in a modified way, to help with sciatica issues — my mom was jealous about that one since apparently I gave her such troubles when she was pregnant with me) were awesome. While the baby stayed pretty much motionless, it started moving during something called the “puppy pose” (an upside-down pose). I like to think the little one enjoyed it, but it just occurred to me that the opposite might have been true, hee hee. At the end of the session, after a long, deep breathing exercise, we made lotus blossoms with our hands and gave up a wish/intention for the baby up and into the universe (or to God, depending on what you believe). THAT was powerful.

The best part of the whole thing (other than that I didn’t realize my first session was free – score!) was when I met Dave at the car. I was throwing my bags in the backseat and getting myself situated while he blabbered on – “How was it? Did you like it? Were they nice? Did something happen? Was it okay? Do you hurt?” I think that he had hopes as high as I did about it, and a quiet Meg is a very rare thing. After I had strapped myself into the passenger seat, I finally said, “I’m relaxed.” “Oh! Good!!” I got to the business of explaining things shortly thereafter, but his excitement (and apparent nervousness) about it all had him bouncing off the walls. Can’t complain about that!

Oh, and for the record, that night he read the children’s book he had purchased (while I was at yoga ;-)) to my belly and got to feel it kick for the first time. Overall, it was a very special evening. Throw in a farmers’ market trip the next morning, and it was one of the best weekends we’ve had in awhile.

So, will I be going back? Let’s just say that there isn’t a session this week, so I’ll be returning for their next class. I enjoyed the process so much that I can foresee trying the “mommy and me” yoga (or even just “regular” yoga classes) in the future. The exercises speak to me in their timing (not too quick/extreme, not too slow/boring), with their focus on breathing, relaxation, and inner focus, and the underlying calmness from the instructor’s tone and the music (a variation of which I listened to on my Sirius satellite radio the next day – seriously).

Parsons Project

So, our office was in a desperate state. Books everywhere. Three, count ’em three desks, all piled with papers – very important papers, mind you (well, most of them), but a clutter of STUFF, nonetheless. It simply wouldn’t do, and the husband was even more fed up with it than was I. Actually, I can live in clutter as long as things are relatively CLEAN – you know, the difference between “cluttered” and “unclean” (and there is QUITE a difference) – but since I used the office way less than Dave, I felt it only fair to put the axe to the grindstone. This is a partnership, after all. We’re all in this together. *insert other team-building cliches here*


A rare Dave cameo.

My plan has evolved over time. It’s gone from tearing up the cheap, ugly, no-padding-used carpet (to our dismay, the floors underneath were treated poorly by the *grumble-so-and-so’s* who were the prior owners – they knew they’d be putting the rug down, so what’s a slop of paint between strangers? While they were at it, they drizzled white paint on the carpet, too) to creating a completely feng shui space for my creative cutie to write and work. Heck, I’ve even posted my frustrations about this space in the past. Between the “big life changes” going on around notre maison (everyone calls their house a “casa”, but I received our Bringing up Bebe book today so was inspired to try out my rusty French skills — hey, it’s Mardi Gras!!) and the “dude, get on that already”-inspired challenge I’m setting for myself, I figured I’d better get things goin’ in this room, be them perfect or not.

The ultimate goal: Declutter by any means possible. This meant moving Dave’s childhood (but space-sucking/only-used-for-storage) desk into the basement. Don’t worry, we’re saving it for future generations…it’s safe down there. πŸ˜‰ It also meant doing away with Dave’s cheap-o, press board computer “workstation”. But, this isn’t all about Dave doing away with his stuff. It just happens that my desk was in the best shape of all three, and I had something else in mind for my own work space (that could hopefully help make an office in a future house more stylish and feng shui-able).

My idea was inspired by, of COURSE, a project undertaken by the folks at Young House Love which involved creating one’s very own parsons table/desk (or a facsimile thereof) using an interior hollow-core door. Since this was my first of such project, I already know that mine is wobblier, rougher and generally more flawed than it should be…but it still looks pretty good and I’ve got a husband that couldn’t be prouder. So, in hopes of not being too premature, I’d say “mission: accomplished”!

We purchased the lumber and had the hollow-core door trimmed down to a manageable size. Man, did that Lowe’s worker look at me like I was a crazy lady! I found a small piece of trim to “finish” that side (although it doesn’t fit *perfectly* – no one would notice but me, probably). I used brackets to attach the legs to the “top”, then “trimmed” out the front and sides (none in the back) below the top. Here are a few “before” shots of the room for a better idea of what we were working with:


Dave’s side of our disorganized craziness.


“My side” of the office. For the record, that’s not all my stuff. It’s a mutual mess.


Even after we removed the third desk (from the right side), it was still…well, embarrassing.

Aaaaand here’s some of the building process:
Β 

Soon-to-be table/desk legs that almost killed our saw. Note the burn marks.

Β Wee Wee and his sidekick, S.U., “helping.”

Spackling (well, wood putty-ing) a bit of the end trim job.

Aaaaand a variation of this is what my poor husband had to deal with for well over a week. This or an in-process version (first coat of primer, second coat of primer, first coat of white semi-gloss, etc). But, finally, as a belated birthday present (or a way to say “I’m sorry for the mess!”), I finally cleared off my desk for the 2012 Great Desk Shuffle. This involved clearing off both desks, moving his “workstation” to the garage (so much easier said than done!), shifting my old desk to “his side”, and scooting the faux parsons table into its new home.

Β Work in progress…

This is where I’ll leave you. Dave’s got lots more on and in his desk now (it looks really good, in my humble opinion), but we’re still working out the organizational logistics. I’m also hoping to get a lengthy floating shelf from IKEA (courtesy a dear friend who lives much nearer to one) to go above my space, and we’ll both be sifting through still more “stuff”.

It already feels so much more spacious and organized, even with the crap still laying in piles. I’ll be sure to share the organizational tricks we’re using (yep, I’ve already got a few tricks up my sleeve, mwahaha) and the final, handsome space when it comes together. There may be lots of work involved, but it is therapeutic to make your space a lot more enjoyable, usable and fresh.

*On a side note, just gotta admit publicly that I’m not in love with the office wall color. It was one of many VERY early color decisions that we made, and while it’s a neutral tan, I see more pink and darkness in it than I’d like. I’m also no longer in love with our green/burgundy vibe (not sure I was ever in love with it…yeah, I should’ve broken up with it awhile ago) and want to come up with an improvement to the curtains. It needs to be a happy, creative, airy space, and I’m going to get it that way if it kills me! Er…let’s take the drama back a few notches…I’m going to get it that waaaaayyyyy uuummmm with lots more online researching for inspiration (ie Pinterest and blog reading, holla!) and hopefully some thrifty finds. Yeah. Like I said, the ultimate goal is for a peaceful, creative, organized space to share with Dave, since he spends a lot of his time at home here. It’s a labor of love more than anything.

Parsons Project

So, our office was in a desperate state. Books everywhere. Three, count ’em three desks, all piled with papers – very important papers, mind you (well, most of them), but a clutter of STUFF, nonetheless. It simply wouldn’t do, and the husband was even more fed up with it than was I. Actually, I can live in clutter as long as things are relatively CLEAN – you know, the difference between “cluttered” and “unclean” (and there is QUITE a difference) – but since I used the office way less than Dave, I felt it only fair to put the axe to the grindstone. This is a partnership, after all. We’re all in this together. *insert other team-building cliches here*

A rare Dave cameo.

My plan has evolved over time. It’s gone from tearing up the cheap, ugly, no-padding-used carpet (to our dismay, the floors underneath were treated poorly by the *grumble-so-and-so’s* who were the prior owners – they knew they’d be putting the rug down, so what’s a slop of paint between strangers? While they were at it, they drizzled white paint on the carpet, too) to creating a completely feng shui space for my creative cutie to write and work. Heck, I’ve even posted my frustrations about this space in the past. Between the “big life changes” going on around notre maison (everyone calls their house a “casa”, but I received our Bringing up Bebe book today so was inspired to try out my rusty French skills — hey, it’s Mardi Gras!!) and the “dude, get on that already”-inspired challenge I’m setting for myself, I figured I’d better get things goin’ in this room, be them perfect or not.

The ultimate goal: Declutter by any means possible. This meant moving Dave’s childhood (but space-sucking/only-used-for-storage) desk into the basement. Don’t worry, we’re saving it for future generations…it’s safe down there. πŸ˜‰ It also meant doing away with Dave’s cheap-o, press board computer “workstation”. But, this isn’t all about Dave doing away with his stuff. It just happens that my desk was in the best shape of all three, and I had something else in mind for my own work space (that could hopefully help make an office in a future house more stylish and feng shui-able).

My idea was inspired by, of COURSE, a project undertaken by the folks at Young House Love which involved creating one’s very own parsons table/desk (or a facsimile thereof) using an interior hollow-core door. Since this was my first of such project, I already know that mine is wobblier, rougher and generally more flawed than it should be…but it still looks pretty good and I’ve got a husband that couldn’t be prouder. So, in hopes of not being too premature, I’d say “mission: accomplished”!

We purchased the lumber and had the hollow-core door trimmed down to a manageable size. Man, did that Lowe’s worker look at me like I was a crazy lady! I found a small piece of trim to “finish” that side (although it doesn’t fit *perfectly* – no one would notice but me, probably). I used brackets to attach the legs to the “top”, then “trimmed” out the front and sides (none in the back) below the top. Here are a few “before” shots of the room for a better idea of what we were working with:

Dave’s side of our disorganized craziness.

“My side” of the office. For the record, that’s not all my stuff. It’s a mutual mess.

Even after we removed the third desk (from the right side), it was still…well, embarrassing.

Aaaaand here’s some of the building process:
Soon-to-be table/desk legs that almost killed our saw. Note the burn marks.

Β Wee Wee and his sidekick, S.U., “helping.”

Spackling (well, wood putty-ing) a bit of the end trim job.

Aaaaand a variation of this is what my poor husband had to deal with for well over a week. This or an in-process version (first coat of primer, second coat of primer, first coat of white semi-gloss, etc). But, finally, as a belated birthday present (or a way to say “I’m sorry for the mess!”), I finally cleared off my desk for the 2012 Great Desk Shuffle. This involved clearing off both desks, moving his “workstation” to the garage (so much easier said than done!), shifting my old desk to “his side”, and scooting the faux parsons table into its new home.

Work in progress…
This is where I’ll leave you. Dave’s got lots more on and in his desk now (it looks really good, in my humble opinion), but we’re still working out the organizational logistics. I’m also hoping to get a lengthy floating shelf from IKEA (courtesy a dear friend who lives much nearer to one) to go above my space, and we’ll both be sifting through still more “stuff”.

It already feels so much more spacious and organized, even with the crap still laying in piles. I’ll be sure to share the organizational tricks we’re using (yep, I’ve already got a few tricks up my sleeve, mwahaha) and the final, handsome space when it comes together. There may be lots of work involved, but it is therapeutic to make your space a lot more enjoyable, usable and fresh.

*On a side note, just gotta admit publicly that I’m not in love with the office wall color. It was one of many VERY early color decisions that we made, and while it’s a neutral tan, I see more pink and darkness in it than I’d like. I’m also no longer in love with our green/burgundy vibe (not sure I was ever in love with it…yeah, I should’ve broken up with it awhile ago) and want to come up with an improvement to the curtains. It needs to be a happy, creative, airy space, and I’m going to get it that way if it kills me! Er…let’s take the drama back a few notches…I’m going to get it that waaaaayyyyy uuummmm with lots more online researching for inspiration (ie Pinterest and blog reading, holla!) and hopefully some thrifty finds. Yeah. Like I said, the ultimate goal is for a peaceful, creative, organized space to share with Dave, since he spends a lot of his time at home here. It’s a labor of love more than anything.

Built-In Beauty

Organization can be a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a “before shot” on this project because Dave had started working on it before I even realized what was happening. Before I knew it, every item in the upper cabinets was on the floor. I can’t really complain about that initiative, can I? That’s what I really call a “dude, get on that already” project!

The built-ins at the end of our upstairs hallway made me want to buy our house in the first place. It sounds silly, but we each had something about the house that made us realize that it had to be the first official “us” space (we had lived together in my apartment for only a short time before finding our house). Dave loved the front porch-slash-3 (or 4, depending on how warm you like to stay)-season-room, so to each his own. πŸ™‚ Either way, the uniqueness of a craftsman-style house is hard to hate.

I try to reorganize this space once a year, but somehow some pills that we had accumulated were REALLY expired, so Dave put a bag together of medications that we’ll dispose of when a pharmacy holds a proper disposal drive.The same goes for lots of beauty items that had been compiled. I always figured that I’d just use them up, but I’d always purchase an eco-friendly option (and want to try it out) after running low on shampoo or body wash. I hardly even USE conditioner. So, after some thought and conversation, we realized that we could donate the un-used beauty products to a local facility called Evelyn’s House (which helps out young mothers and their children). I was ecstatic that, not only could we find a use for our items that were never going to be used and taking up way too much space, but that they could go to help out such an inspiring cause. Win-win!

Here’s the whole shebang, well, way improved. Sheets on top, towels in the middle, random larger items (like a tote holding all of our travel-sized items, my “clothes shaver”, and Neti-Pot), and all toiletries (organized accordingly) and first aide items in plastic containers on the bottom. Seriously, the “before” was craziness.

So, after some moving around…followed by still more shifting…followed by lots more finagling…we figured out how to utilize the space. And, who knows? Next year, it may look completely different. But what I’m most excited about is that we emptied some of the lower drawers for more storage. Y’know. Like for seasonal clothes…or baby stuff. πŸ™‚

How’d we empty drawers? Well, one way was by getting absolutely brutal about what we need. Seriously, how many semi-complete sets of sheets do folks need? Then, we found space to pile the towels and sheets (which, by the way, don’t look any nicer utilizing the “Martha Stewart – put all sheets into one pillowcase trick”…just sayin’) on the shelves rather than hiding away in the drawers. I kind of like that it makes the space look a little airier rather than “stuff laden”. I’m sure a cute basket or two will help add some more storage prettiness, eventually.

On a side note, this project occurred well over a week ago (more like two or three weekends ago). LAST weekend, we did some more organizational work…but there’s still lots more to do, so I won’t bug you with it. Not yet. πŸ˜‰ And the ultimate goal with all this craziness is to create more usable space in our home to make a new baby’s arrival slightly less stressful than it already will be. We’d much rather focus on learning how to parent; not where to fit stuff and having our home AND minds cluttered. Not a very positive way to live, is it? So, every little bit of work that we’re doing – from Drylok-ing the basement to cleaning out a built-in to filling bags for Goodwill – bring us one step closer to the “more fun” baby stuff (nursery decorating, etc).

Built-In Beauty

Organization can be a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a “before shot” on this project because Dave had started working on it before I even realized what was happening. Before I knew it, every item in the upper cabinets was on the floor. I can’t really complain about that initiative, can I? That’s what I really call a “dude, get on that already” project!

The built-ins at the end of our upstairs hallway made me want to buy our house in the first place. It sounds silly, but we each had something about the house that made us realize that it had to be the first official “us” space (we had lived together in my apartment for only a short time before finding our house). Dave loved the front porch-slash-3 (or 4, depending on how warm you like to stay)-season-room, so to each his own. πŸ™‚ Either way, the uniqueness of a craftsman-style house is hard to hate.

I try to reorganize this space once a year, but somehow some pills that we had accumulated were REALLY expired, so Dave put a bag together of medications that we’ll dispose of when a pharmacy holds a proper disposal drive.The same goes for lots of beauty items that had been compiled. I always figured that I’d just use them up, but I’d always purchase an eco-friendly option (and want to try it out) after running low on shampoo or body wash. I hardly even USE conditioner. So, after some thought and conversation, we realized that we could donate the un-used beauty products to a local facility called Evelyn’s House (which helps out young mothers and their children). I was ecstatic that, not only could we find a use for our items that were never going to be used and taking up way too much space, but that they could go to help out such an inspiring cause. Win-win!

Here’s the whole shebang, well, way improved. Sheets on top, towels in the middle, random larger items (like a tote holding all of our travel-sized items, my “clothes shaver”, and Neti-Pot), and all toiletries (organized accordingly) and first aide items in plastic containers on the bottom. Seriously, the “before” was craziness.

So, after some moving around…followed by still more shifting…followed by lots more finagling…we figured out how to utilize the space. And, who knows? Next year, it may look completely different. But what I’m most excited about is that we emptied some of the lower drawers for more storage. Y’know. Like for seasonal clothes…or baby stuff. πŸ™‚

How’d we empty drawers? Well, one way was by getting absolutely brutal about what we need. Seriously, how many semi-complete sets of sheets do folks need? Then, we found space to pile the towels and sheets (which, by the way, don’t look any nicer utilizing the “Martha Stewart – put all sheets into one pillowcase trick”…just sayin’) on the shelves rather than hiding away in the drawers. I kind of like that it makes the space look a little airier rather than “stuff laden”. I’m sure a cute basket or two will help add some more storage prettiness, eventually.

On a side note, this project occurred well over a week ago (more like two or three weekends ago). LAST weekend, we did some more organizational work…but there’s still lots more to do, so I won’t bug you with it. Not yet. πŸ˜‰ And the ultimate goal with all this craziness is to create more usable space in our home to make a new baby’s arrival slightly less stressful than it already will be. We’d much rather focus on learning how to parent; not where to fit stuff and having our home AND minds cluttered. Not a very positive way to live, is it? So, every little bit of work that we’re doing – from Drylok-ing the basement to cleaning out a built-in to filling bags for Goodwill – bring us one step closer to the “more fun” baby stuff (nursery decorating, etc).

Valentine’s Day

This year, I’m all about Valentine’s Day. Who knows, next year I may not be – I’m an ever-changing person who has a hard time ever making her mind up fully about…well, much. The important things (like a husband…kids…), pretty good with. The little stuff like “how do I feel about Valentine’s Day?” – eh, we’ll see.

Last year’s day o’ love was pretty crappy. I don’t recall whether I went to school, but I know that I felt AWFUL. That night, we were in the car, on our way to our favorite “only for special occasions” place to eat, when I knew we had to turn around. Neither one of us was going to enjoy it. It took months to finally get there for our “Valentine’s Day dinner.” Huge bummer.

This year has already gone smashingly. I’ve learned that, although Dave’s not a mushy guy by any means (sensitive in his thinking, yes…mushy, no), he’s got a romantic streak and seems to love showing it…when appropriate. πŸ˜‰ We don’t discuss our feelings a whole lot, so it’s awesome to take some time out to communicate it, and to know you’re appreciated. Plus, this year, we’re sharing an extra special type of love — and enjoying the last semblance of peacefulness in our relationship before parenthood.

Every girl likes getting a flower. Heck, some even love it. While I’m by no means a girlie-girl, I AM a girl, after all…and I, too, enjoy gettin’ me a flower or two.

What’s even cooler is when you get a gift that millions of other people on Earth would probably roll their eyes over, hate to receive, or simply be puzzled by – but which I adore. This morning, after I got my sweet, sweet card and just as sweet pink rose (it’s a good thing pink is growing on me ;-)), I was given the third season of “Avonlea”, a TV series that I watched when I was a kid that I still LOVE to this day (which, of course, isn’t in reruns anywhere). It’s one that I’ve insisted our children watch, and strangely enough, Dave has grown to like it, too. (Mostly when a certain character is in the episode. He’s a Jasper fan. Any idea where I thought of our third little boy’s name?)

Even without our awesomesauce dinner plans tonight, I’d say this is one of the best V-days I’ve ever had. Knowing that the hubs truly knows and appreciates me (and who I am – I mean, seriously, “Avonlea”?!) just. Makes. It.

Oh, and I can’t say what I GOT for him (since I’m giving it to him this evening…and it’s more of a “made for” thing than “bought”), but I can tell you that I made him a card. Half of you will think that’s sweet…half of you will think I’m a 6-year-old. I’ll post a picture soon so that YOU can be the judge. πŸ™‚

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day (which, by the way, is not a “made up” holiday…if it was, then I suppose you could say that ALL holidays were made up by someone ;-); my opinion just so happens to sway in the middle – it was originally a pagan fertility holiday that was merged by early Christians to represent a day to honor St. Valentine (or any variation of the name)…the old jail story’s a good one, too, though) and were able to take time to enjoy and appreciate the love in your life, from wherever it may come.

On a sentimental side note, this day has always been a bittersweet one for a seemingly random reason. My thoughts are inclined to sway into memories of my grandfather on Valentine’s Day. He was one of several men whom we considered our stand-in father (along with our brothers, and eventually a step dad). He wasn’t obligated to do anything special for my siblings and I, but he always went above and beyond the call of normal grandfatherly duties to make us feel special, and to teach us what a true gentleman should look like. As young children, he used to get my sister and I (and, if I recall correctly, my mother) each a huge box of chocolates with which to celebrate the day. Of course, now I’m a crying pregnant mess, but it reminds me of how special he made us feel, and how lucky I am to be married to just such a gentleman.

Valentine’s Day

This year, I’m all about Valentine’s Day. Who knows, next year I may not be – I’m an ever-changing person who has a hard time ever making her mind up fully about…well, much. The important things (like a husband…kids…), pretty good with. The little stuff like “how do I feel about Valentine’s Day?” – eh, we’ll see.

Last year’s day o’ love was pretty crappy. I don’t recall whether I went to school, but I know that I felt AWFUL. That night, we were in the car, on our way to our favorite “only for special occasions” place to eat, when I knew we had to turn around. Neither one of us was going to enjoy it. It took months to finally get there for our “Valentine’s Day dinner.” Huge bummer.

This year has already gone smashingly. I’ve learned that, although Dave’s not a mushy guy by any means (sensitive in his thinking, yes…mushy, no), he’s got a romantic streak and seems to love showing it…when appropriate. πŸ˜‰ We don’t discuss our feelings a whole lot, so it’s awesome to take some time out to communicate it, and to know you’re appreciated. Plus, this year, we’re sharing an extra special type of love — and enjoying the last semblance of peacefulness in our relationship before parenthood.

Every girl likes getting a flower. Heck, some even love it. While I’m by no means a girlie-girl, I AM a girl, after all…and I, too, enjoy gettin’ me a flower or two.

What’s even cooler is when you get a gift that millions of other people on Earth would probably roll their eyes over, hate to receive, or simply be puzzled by – but which I adore. This morning, after I got my sweet, sweet card and just as sweet pink rose (it’s a good thing pink is growing on me ;-)), I was given the third season of “Avonlea”, a TV series that I watched when I was a kid that I still LOVE to this day (which, of course, isn’t in reruns anywhere). It’s one that I’ve insisted our children watch, and strangely enough, Dave has grown to like it, too. (Mostly when a certain character is in the episode. He’s a Jasper fan. Any idea where I thought of our third little boy’s name?)

Even without our awesomesauce dinner plans tonight, I’d say this is one of the best V-days I’ve ever had. Knowing that the hubs truly knows and appreciates me (and who I am – I mean, seriously, “Avonlea”?!) just. Makes. It.

Oh, and I can’t say what I GOT for him (since I’m giving it to him this evening…and it’s more of a “made for” thing than “bought”), but I can tell you that I made him a card. Half of you will think that’s sweet…half of you will think I’m a 6-year-old. I’ll post a picture soon so that YOU can be the judge. πŸ™‚

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day (which, by the way, is not a “made up” holiday…if it was, then I suppose you could say that ALL holidays were made up by someone ;-); my opinion just so happens to sway in the middle – it was originally a pagan fertility holiday that was merged by early Christians to represent a day to honor St. Valentine (or any variation of the name)…the old jail story’s a good one, too, though) and were able to take time to enjoy and appreciate the love in your life, from wherever it may come.

On a sentimental side note, this day has always been a bittersweet one for a seemingly random reason. My thoughts are inclined to sway into memories of my grandfather on Valentine’s Day. He was one of several men whom we considered our stand-in father (along with our brothers, and eventually a step dad). He wasn’t obligated to do anything special for my siblings and I, but he always went above and beyond the call of normal grandfatherly duties to make us feel special, and to teach us what a true gentleman should look like. As young children, he used to get my sister and I (and, if I recall correctly, my mother) each a huge box of chocolates with which to celebrate the day. Of course, now I’m a crying pregnant mess, but it reminds me of how special he made us feel, and how lucky I am to be married to just such a gentleman.