Month : December 2011

a quick bite of organization…

I really don’t know how households with more than two people do it…organize all those mittens, hats, gloves, and scarves. We’re just two people but between your “nice” dressy stuff for work and the crap you snow blow or go running/sweating in, plus the necessary black/gold stuff for game day…well, let’s just say there’s a lot…and not a lot of free space in this “standard” size coat closet.

So a quick shout-out to my mom for my this awesome idea – hang a cheap shoe organizer on the door. It’s sort of see-through so at a glance we can locate stuff, as opposed to getting down those big bins you see on the shelf above and digging through them every morning.

I just love a good organization solution. Thanks, Mom!

Linking up today with Delightful Order!

company’s coming!

A couple months back, I posted some initial ideas about what we’d like to do in the guest room. We’re kicking this plan into high gear now that we have not one, but two sets of overnight visitors coming in January!

Like all other projects, we’re sticking to a budget and being realistic about the time frame and the fact that this room won’t be “done” yet this month … but all that considered, here’s my list of things to accomplish before that doorbell rings in a couple of weeks:

  • order mattress set/frame
  • order bedding
  • find a new home for the random stuff we’ve been throwing in here as we move
  • hang a mirror and some artwork on the walls
  • find a shade for the $3 lamp I scored and painted back in October
  • if I can find what I’m looking for (and the price is right), add a bedside table (or two)

This room has received very little attention (all we’ve done is fill up the closet and hang a set of curtain panels) so it will be nice to dedicate a little TLC to this space…and even nicer to have a designated place for guests to come and stay. Back soon with some updated (and better quality!) photos…

a master plan…

Meet our current master bedroom, three weeks post-move-in (and prior to receiving my new flash for Christmas – better photos in the follow-up post!). There’s not much to see here, but I am excited by its lovely blank slate potential. With the downstairs pretty well pulled together, and our much-needed office spaces in order, getting a plan for this room is at the top of the priority list for the new year.

Things I love:

  • the wall color
  • the curtains and large window
  • the bedside lamps
  • the comfy, inviting look of a duvet (I hate when beds feel so “perfect” you are nervous to get in them and mess them up!)
  • the size of the room overall (more space than before!)
  • the ceiling that comes to a point over our bed

Things I kind of hate but might have to live with for a while:

  • the ceiling fan (this was the “standard” fan with our house plan and it was one of those details we just didn’t get around to finding an alternate to in the couple weeks of planning with our builder…at the very least I’d like to take the light kit off…boo for harsh fan lighting)
  • the furniture (I love the look/color, but we bought it four years ago on a very small Ikea budget and have known from the beginning we would be lucky if it got us through five years of use…love Ikea for many reasons, but everyday high-use furniture isn’t one of them!)

Things I want to incorporate into my “master plan”:

  • some color (!) in the way of accents, so we can change with the seasons, and/or altogether in a couple years without much investment
  • some sort of seating – either a bench at the foot of the bed, or an armless chair in the corner between the window and bed (maybe both?)
  • a headboard or some focal point that can “act” as a headboard
  • new bedding (ours was a wedding gift and we have loved it but are ready for something new)
  • a mystery project! (it’s hard to explain and will sound weird without showing the finished product…so just going to wait to reveal this one!)

I’ve been allll over the place with ideas for color. We’ve done our share of green between the living room and Page’s office, and I’m feeling saturated on yellow now that the kitchen is in place. If I could do whatever I wanted, I’d use a coraly-orange color in here with the grey and white, but Page can’t stand orange and I suppose part of being married is learning to compromise (lame). I’ve been dying to try some crisp and preppy navy somewhere in our house, but I also want a more “pop” color in here as well. I started to venture out from the orange part of the color wheel and thought more of a coral/red might fly. Plus, when I mentioned doing red and grey in the guest room, Mr. Smith was all over it, so I think we can consider anything in the red family, safe.

To close, here are a few inspiration photos that have spoken to me for a variety of reasons – hoping to put together my own version of an inspiration board over my nice week-long break the end of this month!

Source: via Elizabeth on Pinterest

home for the holidays.

The best gift I got this Christmas? It has been the gift of calm and contentment. When my parents offered to drive our way for Christmas this year, we jumped at the chance – not only did it mean less driving on a particularly busy holiday week, but it was the extra push we needed to knock out the remaining “to do” items around the house. It was so great to have the bustle of people around the house, and to have more space for them than in years past. I found myself so many times just sitting on our couch, relishing the merriment and that there were more than five consecutive minutes I could sit on the couch and relax! There is still some decorating left to be done, but the basics were all accomplished. There was nothing left to hang, nothing left to unpack, and no more projects on the “to do” list (well, until January, anyway). After weeks of living in craziness, it was so lovely to be able to clean, put away, and then indulge in our new space with loved ones. And RELAX. And aside from glitter getting everywhere (Page’s pet peeve for years lol) – we did just that.

I didn’t take as many photos this year, aside from some shutter speed experimenting on Christmas Eve, and a few quick snapshots on Christmas morning…

sound bytes from a moving adventure.

About a month ago, I started an email draft to myself with a list of “sound bytes” if you will, from our moving experience. For most of this adventure, it has been just the two of us around taking on one hurdle after another, but sometimes I laugh out loud at the thought of someone overhearing a montage of all our vocal commentary – both the ups and the downs.

A peek into the past few weeks….


“How much does that cost?”

“Our budget is X.”

(when paying for our couches and the total bill magically jumped a couple hundred after I added the fabric warranty)…

(Sigh) “It’s fine. I’m used to the fact that if my wife is involved it somehow always costs more than I expect it will.”

(true story – this email is still in my inbox…)

“Attached is the addendum to the first addendum – ammendment item #26 has been added.”

“How much does THAT cost?”

“Our budget is X. But we could go higher…”

“I’ve never seen anyone move to a new house…in a skirt.”

“Ummmm……I think that just broke.”

“Seriously? It costs THAT much??”

“Wait…what was our original budget?”

“If you can sit backwards where the passenger seat was and rest your feet up on the cushions, we might be able to fit all of this in one car load, total.”

“How am I supposed to clean out this fridge if the breaker is off?”

“Well, how am I supposed to uninstall this ceiling fan if the breaker is on?”

“High five, I just uninstalled that ceiling fan. In the dark.”

(him) “Measure from that corner to the beginning of the hardware…”
(her) “It just needs to come down a skoshe”
(him) “Okay, a ‘skoshe’ is not a unit of measurement”

“Do you have it? You got it?”
“Yep, I got it.”

neighborly christmas cheer.

After our nose-dive arrival into the neighborhood with the martian green front door, I figured we owed the neighbors a little peace offering. Plus, a couple have already been by with holiday treats and I’d like to return the favor. The problem? My kitchen is still half-packed and baking is about #407 on my to-do list right now.

Enter the wonder that is the holiday “oreo” cookie from Trader Joe’s…Peppermint Joe Joes.

I saran-wrapped a handful of these for each house, and whipped up a little card with a nod to the whole door disaster…and everyone loves a little store-bought humor…right?? 🙂

From our (crazy and still half-packed) house to yours…Merry Christmas. 🙂



channeling Manolo Blahnik.

Earlier, I mentioned my desire to go cobalt blue in my office (aka “Manolo blue”).

The original plan was to paint my previously black trestle desk in this color, but after too many painting projects recently (too many projects, in general!) I took the easy way out on this one and decided to purchase this lovely white desk and leave it as is. My trestle desk has had a good run for several years but this final move gave it a little more wear and tear and I’m always wishing for some little drawers to stick pens/scissors/etc inside and I loved the simple modern lines of this one. The price was right AND I had a coupon AND shipping was free. Add to cart. Going more neutral with the color of this larger piece means less commitment should I change direction a year from now – which I’m known to do.

But on to the blue accessories. I brought home an assortment of paint chips from which to choose…

…and “Deep Space” from Lowes’ Valspar paint line was the winner. I picked up some semi-gloss (going for that shiny, lacquer finish) – I love how it will look with this Marimekko  pillow I bought for my reading chair (that will eventually be purchased – it wouldn’t fit in the car during our last trip).

…and this Etsy throw (from The Comforts of Home) that is absolute perfection:

Next up, it was time to paint the lamp I scored for $5 at the BHG Garage Sale last spring.


…and after!

While I was at it, I painted these metal crates I scored (originally in hot pink) for $6 on clearance. These will fit perfectly in the white Expedit I have yet to build in this room.

I can’t wait to get everything built, put the finishing touches on it all, and get to work in my new office! I leave you with some very “before” shots…

Moving trucks and IKEA successes and failures.

Just when we were getting the first several carloads put away, the truck with the “big stuff” from our townhouse pulled into the drive on Saturday…back to square 1 ha! We are SO grateful to the handful of friends who helped us install our garage door openers and load/unload the truck this weekend. We could not have done it alone.

To add to the chaos, we also made a trip to IKEA on Sunday. There was PLENTY to be done at the house, but in the Midwest in December, you take a day of clear roads when you can get it. We underestimated how much we would find in addition to the shopping list we were armed with (organized by location in the store, thankyouverymuch) but when we thought about taking the time and money to find/rent a second vehicle to drive it all home in, we decided to just take it as a sign and pare back for now on our selections. We had already taken out the passenger seat and I was sitting in the back the whole way haha. But it was worth it to get these goodies and a bunch of little things on our list home with us…

If you need us you know where to find us…we’ll just be here…building a bunch of stuff according to directions like these… 🙂