Monthly Archives: April 2012

Turns out I’ll have two birthdays this year

The first is coming soon, the day I came into the world, that we will celebrate April 30.

The second will be the day I give birth, that we will celebrate in the fall.

Yep, we’re pregnant! 🙂

This is our bun in my {proverbial} oven at 8 1/2 weeks.

And we’re now at 12 weeks (the due date is Nov. 3)!

I’m sure it’ll come up in a post or two between now and November, after all, this is a fairly large first-time experience.

Happy Monday!


Spring improvement projects

Our home has definitely been under construction for several weeks. But it feels great to see things changing that we have put off forever!

Here are two things we’ve been up to…

Main bathroom closet makeover:

With it’s oddly-spaced, less-than-attractive wire shelving and inconvenient door that always banged into the main bathroom door, we knew we had to do something. We decided to do a mix of pre-bought solutions and DIY.

The top square is about two feet of wasted space. 1, 2 & 3 are the wire shelves. 4, 5 & 6 are the original wooden shelf braces nailed into the plaster.

Naturally, the first step was to rip out all the shelves and braces. Jeremy was just the man for the job. 🙂

I'm taking the picture into the mirror. I hoped you could see the tight spaces we were working with here.

Let’s just say, they didn’t go down without a fight. Since our walls are plaster, the wire shelves’ anchors took chunks of plaster out with it. And the old wooden braces were nailed in. With four-inch nails!

All the ruckus made Bear very curious. Can you see the boards and nails behind him?

On the fun side, when the boards came out, we found stuff that had been hidden behind them for who knows how long I’m assuming it’s stuff that fell against or behind them and then never got noticed and each time the closet got repainted, it sealed them in a little more.

Here is a safety pin and a penny we uncovered!

It’s also funny to see that it was originally white, then bright green at some point and most recently, the soft yellowish-green color we inherited.

The next step was to clean and spackle.

It was a lot of patching and spackle.

Then, after it dried, sanding!

He was cov.ered. in a thin white coating by the end.

So much so that I could track his every move. Like this one where he obviously came to the kitchen to get some water.

Haha, no sneaking around possible.

The nice part about it being in the bathroom was it was easy to just jump in the shower. Then we cleaned up the room, wiped down all the walls and he got to painting it back to a crisp white.

We left the very bottom wooden braces attached and built a shelf on top of it. Then we assembled some Closetmaid assistants (on sale at Target!) and started organizing.

We had to put all of THIS back in. Truthfully, a few things never made it. They were wither moved or thrown away. Like the six free gift lipsticks I got in 2004. I can probably not put those back in.

And voilĂ !

One happier closet.

Living room light replacement:

So, the light in our living room was sad.

Really sad.

It was crooked, too small for the space and it looked like crazy boob (you can blame Young House Love for calling them that, haha).


Thanks to a coupon at Lowe’s, we made an unplanned purchase a few weeks ago of a beautiful drum pendant. Then the following Saturday, I woke up to clanging and drilling noises. I stumbled out to the living room at 8 in the morning to find Jeremy up on a ladder…finagling with this:

Hmmmm. I don't think that was put in correctly by whoever had the brilliant idea to "make it work." No wonder it hung crooked!

Apparently, I was getting my new light fixture! Isn’t it funny what you find that you’ve “inherited” buying older homes?

Luckily, with the power off and little know-how (and a couple repeat attempts), he had the new fixture up before breakfast!

9:30 a.m. and looking good. 🙂

It’s so fresh and clean looking during the day and has a wonderful warmth to it when it’s on.

Let there be light!

And with the placement and design, it is so. much. brighter than the old light.

Mucho light. In person it's even better. No more cave feeling--hoorah.

Ta-da!  So that’s what we’ve been doing. We also have another project–the biggest one for the house yet–but someone else is tackling that since it means a lot more know-how in masonry, electrical and more. More details to come. 

What’s happening in your house? Any spring projects? And in case you’re wondering, finally cleaning the lint trap counts to me!

Our 3rd Housiversary

Hi, friends! With some excitement coming later this week, I almost let today sneak by! Today marks three years since we made our biggest purchase yet and settled into our home.

To celebrate, I thought take a couple days this week to review how much has changed since last year’s housiversary and our biggest house project to-date announcement on Friday. Although it’s easy to feel like it’s the same ol’ stuff, actually, a LOT has happened in the past 12 months…

We said goodbye to couple things:

April 10, 2009--note my old car in the driveway

In exactly the same spot it was stolen from, too. And our regular photobomber pup, Alaska, went to dog heaven last year.

And then we made several, big and small, upgrades to most of our rooms. Pictures and details to come, but here’s a quickie list:

We changed the living room boob light out for a pretty drum fixture.

We bought a new and larger rug to fit the space.

We deep cleaned and reorganized the whole office space.

We ripped up the closet to repaint and reorganize in the hall bathroom.

We got our new refrigerator!

And redid the layout of the kitchen.

We repainted the whole dining room white and scheduled demolition of an entire exterior wall for this week! I can’t wait to update you on this room.

We also made some updates all around like changing all the light switches to white, cleaning the AC ducts and holding two yard sales to clean out the garage.

Read Our 2nd Housiversary post for some of my greenhorn tips on buying your first home (plus an awesome horror story from one of the houses we didn’t buy). I’ll also be updating my House Tour page this week. Happy Tuesday! What’s changed for you in the past year?

Some days when you feel like it’s not enough…

In recent days, more than anything thing else, I think I spend most of my time wishing I had more time or wishing time would go by more quickly. I’m not working out as much as I want. I’m working more than usual. I’m avoiding laundry more than I care to admit. I’m posting here much less than I like.

But, rather than feeling torn and half-assed, I had decided to just ride the wave. Some days I’m grumpy and have every intention of using a ponytail to hide that I chose sleeping another 30 minutes over showering one morning. Other days I feel great and accomplish some things (even if it’s not everything out off the list).

What’s funny is, as I was deciding how or if I wanted to post about it, I read Emily’s Daily Garnish over lunch. Apparently, I’m not alone! 🙂

Such funny timing!

She wrote about being in the present. How important it is to occasionally reflect on the past and look forward to the future, but really–appreciate the moment you’re in, right now.

I think it stands even if that moment sucks. You’ll never be in that moment again. And if you overlook it, the suckiness might continue because you aren’t focusing on what’s right in front of you at the time.

Interesting concept, right?

I know I struggle with not constantly being a slave to the future. I’m not bad about dwelling on the past but I’m very impatient when it comes to myself and the future. I can remember even being a kid and just wanting to be a teenager. Then as a teenager, wanting to go to college. Then, in college, just wanting to get out of college. And I have a terrible memory of the past–probably because I didn’t pay much attention at the time since I was busy planning what was next! I’m totally the nerd with a 10-year plan.

So, if I don’t post daily or sound a little Dr. Seuss-y at times (no one is more youer than you!), I hope you forgive me. I’m going to try to focus on enjoying and improving the now.

Have a great day! Seriously, do it, right now. 🙂

Home and Patio Show

I’m baaaaaack after my brief respite. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed your last week. I’m feeling ready to tackle some things again so first, let me share our experience at the 2012 Jacksonville Home and Patio Show held at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

Heading in on a dreary day.

The city makes a big deal about it every year and Jeremy and I have gone a couple times in the past. I will say that this year was the most disappointing. My biggest complaint was the vendor selection.

There were a ton of as-seen-on-tv type vendors selling everything from mops to kitchen pans, none of which interested me. There were also four (four!!!) separate cable company booths–the same company. Overall, it was just an issue with what I was in the market for.

However, after we paid the $8 entry fee, we certainly found a few ways to get our money’s worth and enjoy an afternoon out house and out of the rain.

#1: The huge train display. Since we have family and friends who are obsessed with trains (and whose sets rivaled this one), we got a kick out of admiring this set up.

Railroad crossing.

#2: Finding a contractor to install our French doors. After nearly three years of knowing what we wanted to do but deliberating over a trusted resource and the cost, we *finally* are going for it. The owner and employees were just easy to get along with right away, they have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a great customer project gallery. I’ll definitely be sharing more with you later this month.

#3: A “celebrity” sighting. OK, maybe we didn’t sit and listen or get too excited about this one. But, I did recognize her and do love the show. And it was fun to see so many others getting excited and inspired.

Kimberly Lacy from HGTV's Curb Appeal: The Block.

#4: Heavenly Dips. A couple-owned company who makes dips that you add mayo and sour cream to for instant deliciousness. They had a ton of flavors and we went home with three. Mmmmm.

We were well fed from this couple.

#5: The Living Statue. One of the “stage performances” was a woman who is dressed like a marble statue who has water shooting from her head and fingertips. She dances and sways to music as guests were encouraged to sit and “be entranced.” It was neat but we quickly moved on.

Oooo, ahhhh. Do you feel entranced?

And, if nothing else, we got a nice reusable grocery bag and just enough inspiration to check some things off our to-do list at home. And those things I will plan to entrance you with later in the week. 🙂

Do you go to home shows or expos in your city? What booth would most likely draw you in?