Bathroom Update

I’m naughty. It’s been 20 months since I posted about my horrific bathroom. But, since this is a bit of a “no apologies” zone, I won’t be saying sorry anytime soon. Instead, I’m going to thank the heck outta my husband and pat ourselves on our slouchy little backs. We’ve officially been jump-started.

This is what we were faced with when we bought this place…

Say goodbye to poop brown. Hello, sleek, clean white!


Sure, it’s just the trim, but it was a pretty huge undertaking — especially around Christmastime. We did one coat of primer (probably should’ve done two) and we think about 7 coats of white semi-gloss. It wasn’t low-VOC because we’ve used the same trim color throughout the house from Day One.

I did a couple of coats; the rest were Dave. Originally, I hoped to do the whole job myself.

Psht. Yeah. Right. The downfalls of motherhood. The blindness of idealism.

As it is, we’re lucky that my stepdad has offered to help with a handful of the projects, and even says that “after the painting, it’s easy.” Then again, he was a plumber by trade. Here I thought that taking up the toilet would be the rough part.

So, what’s next? I’m hoping to paint the upper half of the walls (in a low-VOC paint); Dave’s not the best at cutting in, so that’s why I’ll be working on it. (Gotta do some more sanding and spackling first. Why can’t a project be as simple as “paint, done”?) THEN, the beadboard and floors will be attached (ie toilet up, sink out — we’re replacing the sink with something more practical; ya live, ya learn). Next, a bathtub surround fix-up. Then it’s really a matter of accessorizing and art-ifying!

Oh, and we’re also replacing the teetering monstrosity of a behind-toilet shelving unit that Winston loved to jump atop. Every time he did, I thought I’d get knocked out by the thing falling over. What a way to go — sitting on the potty.

Stay tuned! Hopefully, the next update will come this year rather than 20 months from now, ifyaknowwhatImean.

Sock Sack O’ Beans

I know what you’re going to think — “Wait. You’ve been absent HOW LONG and all you’re going to write about is a stupid DIY heating pad? What about the B-A-B-Y?!?!” And you’re more than entitled to have those thoughts. But, let’s just say that it takes all the power in me to write a post at all.

Not saying that I’m that full-blown exhausted that everyone talks about. Sure, tired, but generally speaking I’m doing fine. Got some strong emotions going on that I’m sure I could talk about (no post-partum depression, though, as far as I can tell :-D), but I don’t really feel like wasting time discussing that stuff, either. But my days have been pretty much a sequestered existence consisting of rotating feedings and changings. So, I thought, “I could wallow in the fact that it’s now August (“sweat drops, sweat drops” – anyone? “SNL”/”Cathy”?) or I could finally write a blog post.” So, here I be! Arrrgh.

Yeah. Maybe I am a tad overtired. I’ve had one nap since we brought the baby home. I’m not a big “napper”, but maybe I should take advantage of “free time” while I still can.

Why the HECK is this post about an old sock filled with dried beans? Because I don’t make it out of the house much…I needed a heating pad solution…and I was pretty proud that I made one. Don’t judge. These days, it’s the little things that make me happy.

So, I suppose what I’m getting at is more so the fact that I need a heating pad in the first place. As far as pain goes, I’m usually pretty tough, and wouldn’t have anything on hand for aches and pains. Hey, I felt like I was, in a way, gypped over Hadley’s birth in having a C-section; I didn’t get to experience LABOR and didn’t have much pain (beyond the whole issue of coughing, sneezing, laughing, etc with that darned incision), but I’ll post more on that when I feel good ‘n ready to do so. πŸ˜‰ Long story short, though, through our trials and triumphs of breastfeeding (also more on that in a future post), I seem to have developed a blocked milk duct.

Funny. Had’s got a blocked tear duct that causes one of his eyes to goober up with yellow stuff (not puss, and ’tis completely normal – believe me, the doc has been consulted as to every inch of his cute lil’ body). Wonder if there’s a connection beyond grammatical. And, now, I’m not leaking yellow goobers.

Anyhoo, being a) quite the independent bugger and b) more than a tad intimidated by the overbearing lactation consultants, I’m determined to handle this issue on my own – unless, of course, it becomes a bigger issue (ie mastitis…an infection…in da booby. Yeah. Let’s hope not, shall we?). So, after researching via books ‘n the interwebs, I found myself filling a cute ol’ sock with dried beans. I wasn’t up for going all Martha Stewart with my sewing machine, so I took the easy way out.

Between using my bean-filled buddy (microwaved for a couple of minutes and wrapped in a kitchen towel), “pressure massaging”, attempting to pump (and feed) more on “that side”, and taking the occasional ibuprofen, I’m hoping that the issue

Otherwise, for those of you who are wondering (and since it’s World Breastfeeding Week), I should say that breastfeeding has been a challenge — and, in some ways, way easier than I had expected (example being – even though Hadley had been given a small bottle right after he was born — due to his size and a necessity to keep his body heat regulated, and the fact that I was getting stitched…er, stapled up — when he was brought back to me in Recovery, he immediately latched on — what a moment!) and in others, purdy darn frustrating (example – let’s just say he doesn’t always latch well, and he’s got a temper AND an impatient streak that make for meltdowns…can’t IMAGINE where he got those traits, hee hee). That’s the nature of breastfeeding, though.

I should shout from the rooftops that I’m terribly lucky. I’ve healed very well, have lost weight VERY quickly (some might say TOO much too fast – I swear I’m eating and trying to drink enough for the both of us, though! And, no worries, my tummy still looks like a satellite image being beamed in from Mars), can almost always get him to settle down for a feeding (even when there are latching issues), am able to pump so Dave (AKA “The Dorky Daddy”, AKA “Best Father and Husband on Earth”) can have some one-on-one time with his little man…and, miracle of miracles, my milk came in before leaving the hospital. The little guy was already starting to gain weight after his first week home, so all appears to be working! And, hey. Isn’t that all that matters? πŸ™‚

Thanks, as always, for reading. I promise to write the birth story when I’m up to it, as well as more on breastfeeding. Oh, and for those who are wondering, we’re not using cloth diapers quite yet — not with how quickly this lil’ guy goes through them, and with how few we currently own. Gonna stock up and move onto that next step when things are a tad more, um, solid. One thing at a time, but we’ll get there. Oh, and just so I’m not a completely stingy b-word keeping things from you, here’s the unofficial birth announcement for those of you who may not have heard —

Our wonderful Hadley Allston was born onΒ Β 
Friday, July 13th at 11:48am via scheduled C-section.
He weighed 10 lbs., 1 3/4 oz and was 22″ in length.

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!

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.

Rain, Rain…You Know the Rest

In our neck of the woods (depending on who you ask Upstate or Central NY), spring is a luxury. It usually lasts a month, tops, before hitting the gas and speeding into summer. While we’ve had some humidity and high-ish temperatures this year, we’ve definitely had a SPRING. I write that in all-caps because we’ve had an ungodly amount of rain.

Aside from some flooding and already a few tornado touch-downs (which is rare around these parts), we’ve generally been subjected to just lots ‘n lots ‘n lots of rain…or at least warnings of rain. Some days we had “chances” of rain, so we made plans accordingly, only to see a mostly sunny, gorgeous day. Looking at the 7-day forecast has been enough to make you cry, especially when you’re dying to get your garden going.

So, rather than bitch about things that we cannot control (but, sigh, isn’t it good to do that from time to time?), I shall focus both this blog post and my general mental state towards the projects that I’m itching to complete…once the forecasts for rain (and tornado waches) taper off.

My list includes those things that I’ve look at while holding Winston for his once-and-awhile “outside time” (gotta hold him tightly, that cat is FAST), thinking to myself “I should….” In other words, these may be summer projects…or autumn projects…or….

– Stain and paint the deck (which has had a year to “cure” since it was built – and, yes, I’m both staining AND painting the thing. Don’t judge. It’s gonna look fab.)
– Actually put furniture and the grill ON the deck!!! (Clearly have waited to do that until the above is completed.)
– Finish weeding.
– Prep last year’s veggie bed and build/fill/prep the new one (and mound a “pile o’ dirt” for the zukes ‘n taters). The building can’t be accomplished ’til a weekend since the hubs and I enjoy building stuff together. Gotta keep things fresh and exciting, ya know!
– PLANT both veggies AND flowers, finally.
– Get the front porch fixed…and stain/paint accordingly when done. It’s fine, really, just not regulation. Whatever (ahem, holding my tongue) individual built the thing originally before selling/dumping the house built the porch part without measuring the proper height for the stairs, so there’s a mini 1″ step up at the top. Not so safe. Silly.
– Take tree pictures. Gonna miss that sucker, especially with its wildlife and shade…but it’s just too dangerous and half-dead. Bittersweet. The cats will hate us for getting rid of their #1 place for entertainment. (It’ll be taken down in late June.)
– Finish digging out the rest of the intrusive ivy plants.
– Get the windows wrapped… (This one’s kind of out of my hands, but they look bad so it bugs me. Oh, and I’d just like to brag that we have almost all-new windows. Almost.)
– Power wash the house. Hope that the siding doesn’t lose any color in the process. Paint the whole darn thing if it does damage. *sigh*
– Paint the foundation, side door, shutters, and possibly scrape ‘n paint the garage. Yeah, you know this isn’t all going to happen this summer. A girl can dream, right?
– Speaking of “ain’t happenin’ this summer” (there IS such a thing as $$$…wait, does that make me an adult now? Crap.), one compound word: driveway. It’s N-E-V-E-R been re-done since it was first put in well over 50 years ago. Can we say “ruts”?
– Spray paint my clearance matchstick blinds. Yeah, there’s no other place to do that without asphyxiating myself, and we wouldn’t want that, would we? All I can picture is the cats saying, “But but but who will take us outside? And clip our nails? And punish us LOUDLY? Oh, wait.”
– FINALLY Drylok & paint the basement, then organize. Yes, that’s inside, but the walls and floor need to be completely dry before we Drylok, and right now we’re experiencing seepage. Hee hee. Seepage. Love that word!

I’m guessing there’s more, but I just don’t have it in my head right now. But, guess what! Here are some things that I CAN do INside while I wait for the weather to change:

– Turn my sights back to the bathroom. Why is it that whenever I get the motivation (sorry, but the ceiling work makes my hernia act up, very uncomfortable…TMI?) it’s at a moment that I have plans coming up and probably shouldn’t show up to them with drywall dust and paint all over my head and face.
– Clean. That includes the fact that I probably should go down to the cellar and condense stuff so that things are easier to work with when we DO finally get to the painting.
Reupholstery.
– Work on plans for my sister’s baby shower. (Excitement!!!!!!!!!)
– Redesign the blog. Somehow, this gets me nothing but more frustrated.
– Actually FINALLY order professional-ish prints from the wedding. Ka-ching. πŸ˜‰ But, this could help with adding some art to the house. This is another thing I should ppprrrrobably do with Dave.
– Draw/paint.
– Read.
– I’d bake bread, but it’s sooooooo humid and hot lately!!! Okay, okay. I’ll crack out the bread maker that my mother-in-law so graciously let me take. Oh, but that means I’ll have to look up baking instructions online. There. That’s on the checklist.
– Research some grants for the theater.
– Start planning for the next show we’re doing.
– Determine a final color scheme for the living room/staircase. When this rug is finally pulled up (oh, what a happy day that will be! Er. I hope. God, I can picture something horrible happening and my going nuts just tearing this sucker out. *shivers* Okay, let’s hope that doesn’t happen), that will change the entire ball game as far as design. Currently, the living room feels okay but slightly outdated with dark tan, sage green, crimson and cream (the dining room is crimson and also neeeeeeeeds to be transformed)…but things seem to be leaning towards the tans/browns/creams — too monochromatic. Eh. Clearly need more thinking on this point. Any suggestions are welcome.
– I’m sure my husband has a handful of friendly reminders. There are far too many “to do” lists when one owns a house. But, we’re lucky.
– Ah! Sleep!! You can SLEEP inside. Nice. A thousand points for me.

Did I miss anything I should add?? Do you have any projects or overwhelming (or even underwhelming) tasks on your radar? Feel free to vent.

As a post-script, I’d like to send my condolences to those who have lost everything, from belongings and homes to loved ones, in the tornadic events of the Midwest. I can’t imagine and am lucky. Period.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Actually so jealous of this picture. Dirty secret time:
I have a huge crush on these wide-plank wood floors.
*drools like Homer*

Go ahead and sing along. Yes, the corny Johnny Mathis version. Don’t scoff or sneer, it really is a wonderful time of the year. For me, this is the time of the year when, for whatever reason, the most good gets done around Casa de Dellecese.

Last year, we were fast approaching our first holiday season in our very own house. I’m not sure why, but we got on a painting kick — first, the dining room; then, the living room. The dining room took place at the time of year when the pace of activities REALLY picks up — ie I wasn’t a huge fan of getting the job done, but Dave encouraged me that it needed to be done, sooner rather than later. So, using a couple of evenings in the middle of a hectic week, I rolled a more muted red over a *POW* of purple paint — much more rich and less in-your-face. Unfortunately, I was so miserable, I failed to put a 3rd coat on. It’s not THAT noticeable, but to me…of course, it is. Still gotta get on that one. Nothing’s ever quite *perfect*.

The following weekend, we rolled up our sleeves to lighten up our living room. It had been a deep brownish taupe; a good color, but just too dark for a living room. So, while we picked up the new red tone for the dining room, we grabbed a lighter taupe for the living room, and a back-up sandy color swatch as a back-up option.

This just happened to occur during the first weekend that it snowed, so there we were with the room torn apart, newspaper (always reusing, even before we were aware we were doing it, hee hee) everywhere, and Christmas music blaring from our local “Christ-Mix” radio channel (no, not necessarily Christian; the “i” is short). I’ve gotta tell ya that the feeling of FINALLY giving in to the Christmas hype every year definitely helps when you’re undertaking a labor-intensive DIY project. The experience brought Dave and I together more (it was one of the first projects we actually did TOGETHER, even though we’d been in the house for a good 6 months) and also taught me a valuable lesson: If you’re the better painter, odds are you’ll get stuck doing a majority of the painting. Dave’s incredibly talented at many, many things in this life; I’m envious of him for a lot of wonderful traits and characteristics. However, painting is one that he does not excel at. He can roll, for the most part, but who was the one at the top of the ladder when it was past bedtime, brush in hand? That’d be me. Whose partner-in-crime was holding a bright flashlight (lots of shadows!!!) saying what a great job she was doing? That’d be Dave. We’re good like that, though.

I LOVE the color of our living room. It’s a modern tan, yet “fits” with the age of the house. It made Christmas decorating a lot more fun.

Oh, and one final DIY project I performed before some holiday relaxation: a bit of a makeover surprise. My ever-sweet, -willing besties, Mary (my sis) and Beth (best friend for yyyyyears) came over the morning of Christmas Eve (while Dave worked — a shortened day, so we had to haul hiney) to help me empty, paint, and redecorate our tiny front “sun room.” It’s a room we were never able to use — here are the “before” and “after” shots. Man, was he shocked when he got home to see a new seating area, storage areas, etc. Oh, and the color was the other paint chip that we had picked as a possibility for the living room — which Dave preferred.

Sorry, no “cluttered, full o’ crap” “before” shot. I’d already moved it all out.
The antique rocking chair from my grandpa’s house.
Means so much to have it.

Any home improvement projects going on around your place this time of year? I know several of our good friends are going through the process of purchasing homes — eek! Good luck to you all! Us, we just put in a new front door (SO MUCH SAFER!!! I’ll be posting about it soon) and are making plans of projects around the house when the white stuff finally starts to stick – dependent, of course, on the newlywed/Christmas budget. πŸ˜‰ Don’t want anyone thinking that I’m not realistic or that we’re not normal. Money is not endless. Home improvement project plans, apparently, are. Planning, however, is free.