Friday, September 21, 2012

falling for fall

I love fall.

It is by far the most pleasant season in the northeast.  The humidity drops, the temperatures dip just enough so you are comfy in a t-shirt or maybe a sweatshirt and you don't even have to give up your flip-flops yet (if you find this to be a painful process each fall as I do).  Granted tomorrow is the first official day of fall and the temperatures will begin to plunge further there is something about those first sweater days, the leaves changing, pumpkins and apples and that back to school melancholy feeling that never goes away despite being a "grown-up".  I love it all and although this summer was a wonderful one I'm thrilled to greet autumn.

Hubby and I got a chance to get away all on our own last weekend to celebrate our 6th anniversary.  A rare and wonderful treat to be enjoyed before our three becomes four this winter.  Check out this beautiful inn in New Hope, PA.  I am a sucker for an old stone home.

Our little guy started pre-school which has proved to be a difficult adjustment but when I picked him up the other day the teacher told me he had been comforting some of the other children that were sad.  He was telling them "don't worry, Mommy will come back" and even asked the teacher to "put down" a friend of his that she was holding so he could "play with her".  He is such a sweet boy and an old soul and the realization that the child I left sobbing that morning had calmed down enough to comfort his classmates warmed my heart beyond words.  You don't realize just how much your heart will swell and ache as a mother before you start this gig.  Sigh....   the most wonderful and difficult job there is. 

I've been enjoying setting out some little touches of fall through the house. 

Turns out that my ceramic pumpkin makes a good place for Buzz and Woody to hang out.  Who am I to argue?

We might go get some Mums this afternoon to get some fall flair on the porch as well.  Oh, and I'll be having some of this tea and these yummy cookies for a snack later on.

Happy first day of fall tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ahhhh... that's better!

Isn't it funny how something doesn't bother you in the slightest and then all of the sudden it does.  It is all you see when you walk in a room.  Your eye goes straight to it or them in this case and they distract you.  Well that is the story with our bedroom furniture.  We bought the unfinished wood furniture piece by piece when we were in the city.  In fact our dressers don't match but not so much so that you can really tell.  My Mom helped me paint them chocolate brown for our last apartment in the city to match our blue and brown theme at the time and they have remained brown since then.

Which was fine except they looked kinda dark to me.  Ignore the cluttered mess on top of the dresser.  I seem to be incapable of keeping that surface tidy.

The bedroom was feeling otherwise light and airy and then there were these big brown behemoths that I couldn't stop seeing.

 So after a trip to the beach on Sunday I decided it was time to paint them and my patient husband looked at the crazy pregnant lady dragging painting supplies upstairs without a word and we took turns making coats while the other entertained our toddler.

And so now

We also took up the deep gray rug we had at the end of the bed.  You can just make it out here.

I'd like to replace it with a seagrass rug maybe.  Something light.  We need more yellow too.  The tiny touch in the pillows just isn't enough and I want the room to read as grey and yellow rather than grey with random yellow pillows.  We are really pleased with the change and I can't resist white furniture.  I think it makes a space instantly light and clean.   Ahhhh... I feel like I can breath in there now!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

big boy room peek

The big boy room is pretty much complete.  I haven't gotten a chance to take real shots of everything but here is a little peek!

I'm happy to say the transition to a big boy bed has been a smooth one and strangely the room feels larger with a twin bed than it did with a crib. 

Hilary over at My So-Called Home was kind enough to pass along the Liebster award to me.  She is a fellow New Jersey resident and her home has a lot of similarities to mine.  I love seeing her updates and style.  I'll be pack with the answers to the 11 questions she posted so you can learn a little more about moi and I'll work on getting more pics of the big boy room.  Is it just me or are these summer days slipping by at an alarming pace?!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sigh... here they are

Here they are, I'm experimenting with how to "dress" them


and all naked just as they were completed


We started with this

We have a ton more storage now.  It was one of those projects that went anything but smoothly and was filled with frustration.   Going from the baker's rack you can see here to built in cabinetry is a serious upgrade so I'm trying to move forward from a sour experience and enjoy the end result.  I'm toying with how we'll deal with the back splash area.  We have some left over butcher block material, I was thinking of hanging plates...  I'd love some under cabinet lights.  It will take some experimenting and time to get it just right.  I want it to serve as a command center of sorts so we need an area for a calendar and keys and all that good little stuff.  

I'll be back with more progress and details. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Are you ever really "done" with a house?  I'm not sure and since I tend to forever fuss and fluff and change my mind I would probably have said no BUT it seems that we are nearly done with our home.  This week is bringing the completion of two projects that threatened to go on for eternity.  The rest of the cabinetry will be installed in the kitchen and we had our flaking and scratched tub replaced.  All of the big projects we seriously considered have been done.  We are in the process of finishing up the quarter round trim and painting the doors.  We are updating our son's room and decorating the guest bedroom so it will now serve as a nursery for the new baby.  That brings us to....   well, done.

Since we moved in about 2 1/2 years ago we:

1.  removed old carpet and refinished wood floors throughout
2.  painted every room
3.  re-tiled bathroom, replaced toilet, sink and vanity, reglazed tub and tile and ultimately replaced tub
4.  painted kitchen cabinets, replaced counters, replaced all kitchen appliances, added dishwasher, added backsplash and added additional kitchen cabinetry
5.  painted and carpeted the finished basement area
6.  painted screened porch floor
7.  re-sided a portion of the front of the house
8.  updated landscaping in front and back yards
9. replaced light fixtures throughout the house

I think that might be it?  Not too shabby for the amount of time we have spent here.  I see us here for another year or two but when we move will depend on lots of factors and I'm trying my best not to get too attached to a particular time frame since we don't know what the future will bring. So perhaps we'll have a year that is free of projects before we move on and begin again. 

I don't think I'm capable of not doing some little changes here or there.  Painting furniture, adding different decor elements... I don't really count that in my assessment of "done"  I'm only counting the big projects and changes and I have to say I'm happy to be done with them for a while.  We had discussed adding a second bath in the basement but we don't think it would add enough value to our home for the amount of money and work it would take. 

It is probably best to save some of our money and energy for our next home because I have no doubt it will require work and updates and since it is our hope that the next home is one we can stay in for a while there will undoubtedly be many things to change over time. 

It feels nice to make peace and decide we are done with big changes here.  I think my husband doubts that I'll be able to control myself and not suggest some other update but my need for change can easily be contented with little decor switches and I'm truthfully happy to just enjoy our little home for a while. 

Here are some of the photos from the original listing of the house

When I look back and see where we started from and then all it took to get to this

and then this

and now when I look up from the computer I see this

That makes me pretty happy.

And instead of looking at this when I go in the kitchen to cook

I can instead look at this

and instead of visiting this lovely loo

I can step into this room instead

Not bad.  Not bad at all. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I showed you the new guest suite so I thought I ought to show you what is happening in the nursery so far.

Not a whole heck of a lot but I have to admit I got excited about it all the same.  I like the striped rug in there and that grey chair we brought up from the basement is so comfortable I will be happy to spend some serious feeding time in it.  I am working on convincing my Mom to make a white slip cover for it.  I offered to cut and pin the fabric for it and she gently told me that my sewing "help" would probably not be all that helpful.  Sigh...  I'm just not a sewer.  

So, imagine that chair covered in white with a pillow in this fabric

Pillow Mio

I'm thinking an ottoman in front of the chair so I can put my feet up and if there were storage for toys all the better.

The white floor lamp will stay but I'd love one of these woven shades from Ballard.

Ballard Design

You can see my nursery design board here, things are already changing a little.  I'm thinking the white drapes may be a bit blah and perhaps I should do drapes in the same khanajali glacier fabric as the pillow above?  Yes we will be moving the dog crate and I'll have to stop dumping random piles of stuff on every surface available.  What do you do when your guest room/random stuff piling area is inhabited?  I'm gonna need more bins to hide my piles!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

you say basement, I say guest suite

You are supposed to be singing the title of my post to the melody of "you say tomato, I say tomahto"


Very well, so what do you do when a new baby will be joining the family and the free bedroom is the guest room?  Well, in our case the guestroom becomes part of the basement.  What I shall now refer to as the "guest suite" and the former guest quarters will become baby number two's new digs.  We have many months before baby's arrival but I'm impatient and wanted to start fussing with the new decor.  Also the big boy bed upgrade for our little guy is imminent so the crib will cross the hall to the baby's room. 

We carted the bed down to our basement and we decided that styling it as a day bed would help it blend into the decor rather than scream "there is a bed in the middle of the room!!!!!"

We pushed the frame against the wall and I realized I was going to need to modify the dust ruffle since your standard dust ruffle has nothing at one of the short ends of the bed which for our purpose was not gonna work!

After taking these pics I realized I should have shown you the empty end... oops.  You get the drift...

The above pic is a little hard to understand but I cut away the back panel of the dust ruffle that would now be pushed against the wall and modified it to cover the short end.

I folded a little faux pleat for the corner and attached the length with glorious hot glue


Now to dress the bed with what we already have.  Some shams from our old bed set, white sheets, a tan blanket and some throw pillow that were already down there on the sectional.

 Not bad.  It blends well enough with the decor.  I may switch up the blanket and add a pillow or two but for a no cost change it isn't too shabby and the wall sconce centered above the bed helps it look all the more intentional.

The guest suite is open.  There is a sitting area, desk, bed and a play area.  What else do you need?

In another matter the lights we had in our living room will be going into the kid's rooms, one to the baby's room and one to our son's room.  I found new lamps at Marshalls today for only $20 a pop.  I removed the shades they came with and replaced them with my shades.

I really like the lamps but my question is do I paint them white?  It looks a little beige-a-riffic in here.  What do you think?

 As you can see Olive has decided to sleep on it...


Thursday, July 26, 2012


I'm visiting a friend at her new house tomorrow and didn't want to show up empty handed.

I found this little bin at Target

 and stuffed it with this pink paper filler I had

I made some simple sugar cookies and dyed half blue.  I individually wrapped them in little cellophane treat bags I had.

placed them in the bin

then replaced that blah blue ribbon with fuschia

and there is even room for the card

Now I have a sweet treat to bring.  My favorite gifts to receive are the edible kind and I love to give them as well.  What do you bring for housewarming or hostess gifts?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

photo banner

When we celebrated my father's 60th birthday at the beach we decided to put together a bunch of photos from his life.  At first I thought we'd make a big poster/collage but then I realized I would have to transport a huge piece of poster board in the car with us which wasn't going to work.

A photo banner was the perfect answer.  I took some red and white baker's twine and tiny little colored clothes pins I had purchased a while ago for decoration in our son's room.  

Here is one of my favorites.  Dad as a little guy playing at the beach.

Below is another banner we put in the window.

A good celebration.  Happy Birthday Dad!