Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blogging from bed this morning. I think I found my new guilty pleasure. My favorite contractor Stan and his crew are tearing out the 1970's wet bar from the lower level so me and little L are hanging out where it's  a little quieter. I'm so excited this project is under way. In the first hour they had already torn out the bar, the cabinets.

Here is a sneaky peak of the impressively awful before:

The glass front cabinets are the only things being saved. They will find a new home hanging in the laundry room. 

I especially love the beautiful textured wallpaper and the matching faux finished up lights.

In other exciting news we got cable yesterday for the first time in almost two years. In the old house we were able to get quite a few channels with out it with our receiver box but since we moved and are under sooo many trees those days are over. I'm not even gonna lie and say "we never watch TV" or "we don't believe in lot's of TV." I love my stories. I missed HGTV and I was sick to death of  missing out on "Sarah's House." So I told Nick I have lot's of junk TV to catch up on this weekend so we won't be making any plans that involve leaving the house which is just as well anyway because it's downright steamy outside. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Last night we hosted Linda and Daniel who are here in the states road tripping from Chicago to the East Coast winding down in Boston. Linda's mom and my dad are cousins and Linda is Finnish and her husband Daniel is Swedish. It was so much fun to play 20 questions with them. We picked one another's brains over dinner and then some post dinner wine. I learned a lot!

In Sweden there is really no such thing as a "Stay at home mom." Day care is affordable and everyone works. Mothers are given paid maternity through the government for 1 year and after that time is over the father receives 2 months paternity leave. 

It is illegal for you to install your own dimmer switch! (or any other electrical projects) You must hire a licenced electrician. If you don't and your house burns down insurance won't cover it. 

At Easter little girls dress up like witches and children go door to door to ask for Easter candy. Daniel said it's a lot like Halloween. 

It's standard for everyone to have between 5 and 6 weeks paid vacation every year. And your salary is based on age not on seniority. 

It's pronounced "Ick-ea" people. 

I think my brain exploded all over the table when Daniel mentioned Helsinki having the best white chocolate ice cream. I showed them the swedish blogs I read and had them translate a little of it for me, that was really cool! I'm so glad they made a stop at our house, this morning they were headed off to Amish Country and then Linda was determined to find a great Outlet Mall. ( a girl after my own heart- le sigh)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Holy shirts and pants I'm late to the party. Yes it's true we've talked about it for years but just never got around to it until today. It was so blazing hot out (again) and we knew we'd go stir crazy if we stayed home all day so it seemed like the perfect time to finally make the pilgrimage to IKEA in Cincinnati. I'm embarrassed to say I was an IKEA virgin until today. I had seen things I loved on countless other blogs and had a running list on their website.

So we packed little L up in the car for her first road trip and headed out. The goal was to pick up the mighty Expedit and a rug for the playroom plus a few other things for here and there. I was on total sensory overload. It was like the first time I sashayed into Anthro x's like a thousand. All in all it was a success and Lucy was a trooper. We'll go back soon but maybe leave little L with grandma so we can really dig in.

Now it's time to switch gears and prepare to host dinner for my Swedish relatives Tuesday night. On the way home from IKEA today Nick asked if they could maybe help put together the Expedit. ; )

Playroom rug

The Expedit. Ours will more likely be filled with toys, books, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVDs but you get the idea.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This is very pretty! That is all I wanted to say...

$3,000!? That was pretty much my reaction when the landscape company gave us their quote to to clean up our new digs. Thats just clean up mind you, I almost fainted. I hate paying people to do things I feel like we can do with a little hard work and some elbow grease but after having countless people tell us "It's just too far gone" or "I don't even know where you'd start" my confidence is waning. The guy dropped by again today at lunch when Nick was home and was trying to talk us into having a drawing done. He fears that if we just simply rip it all out it will just come right back. Darn the lady that loved her perenials too much that lived here before (two families ago).

Ok maybe it's not as desperate as Grey Gardens but it is pretty bad. Here are just a couple of shots of the back of the house.

I'm seeing 7 foot thistle, ditch lilies and Queen Annes Lace in my sleep and not in a good way at all.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Greetings from a house in progress! It was one of those weekends that felt so scattered. Like nothing really got done but a lot really did. The inhibitors of this home 3 owners ago were here over 15 years and from what our new neighbors tell us the lady of the house was huge into gardening. Unfortunately the two families that followed were not. Add in the fact that no one has lived here in a year and other than a weekly mowing no weeds have been pulled in a long stinkin time. We've got our very own Grey Gardens on our hands here folks. I'm talking endless thistle that stand over 7 feet high. We filled the back of Nicks pick up truck with brush and the yard barely looks touched. The goal is to just get it cleaned up by autumn before another layer of leaves falls on top.

Our favorite contractor Stan dropped by to take a look at some things for us too. I'm convinced every family needs a "Stan." A guy you can completely count on and trust to do a great job and be totally fair about it. We want Stan to convert our 1980's wet bar back into the powder room it once was. He said it should be "no big deal" which is exactly what we were hoping to hear. He's also going to fence in our side yard for us and fix a few minor things like doors that don't close and find us closet doors that are missing from two of the bedrooms.

So today per Stan's request I'll be stripping the lovely wall paper from the wet bar so he can get started soon. I can't wait to show you before and afters of this project! I ordered these wall sconces from here today. I think they were a bargain and exactly what we were looking for.

I love,  love this bathroom! It's sort of my inspiration. The wall color, the finishes, the mirror. It's got the feel I'm going for but this is on a much grander scale.

Happy Monday everyone! I'm off to roll up my sleeves and open a can of gettin' it done! Do those Home Depot commercials give anyone else chills? I'm such a dork but I can't help it...

Friday, July 16, 2010

TGIF, TGIF!!! Whew what a week! To recap since Monday we've closed on both houses, moved completely out of our old one, celebrated our anniversary, Lucy cut her first teeth (two at once), and today we celebrate my best friend since kindergarden, Ashley getting married! It's been so crazy I think I'm wearing myself down a bit so I'm thrilled tomorrow is trusty ol' Saturday. I'm joining up with the rest of the bridal party in a bit but I wanted to stop by and wish everyone a happy weekend.

I can't wait to start sharing some photos from our new house. We've had painters in almost every day this week working. They've finished the third floor and the carpet was installed up there as well. Next week the carpet is coming for the first floor and hopefully paint too- there is a lot of red and A LOT of faux finishing to cover up. Our family feels so blessed to be in this new house, we just love it!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary to the best guy I know. Three years ago today you made me the happiest gal alive! 

P.S. We are all moved in to the new house but we are in the dreaded where is my toothbrush and where are the spoons, plates,  diapers etc... stage. I'm working hard today to set up the kitchen. I'm never moving again... 

Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm putting out an ALL POINTS BULLETIN... Can some one out there puuhhhleazeee tell me where Whitney Port got these awesome yoga/ sweatpants???? I need some stat, seriously they're sooo stinkin' cute!!!

Dorm room at Ox-Bow (heaven on earth) Saugatuck, Michigan

Printmaking studio Ox-Bow, Ox-Bow is a summer program through the Art Institute of Chicago

Junior Painting Studio, Herron School of Art/ Indiana University

I know you've all done it too. My husband is probably the guiltiest of them all. It's taking him f-o-r-e-v-e-r to pack up his office because he keeps getting distracted. I'm guilty too I'll be chugging right along and then I'll go to empty some random drawer and uncover an old photo or greeting card next thing you know it's an hour later and I'm knee deep in long lost memories feeling super nostalgic. I've run a across so much stuff from college in the past few days. At the time of graduation I could hardly wait to scoot out of there and quickly assumed a sabbatical from art. I think art school can do that to you. You're bound to get burnt out.

I graduated a few years ago and I'm still on that self-imposed sabbatical... sort of. Lately I've found a new outlet in refinishing and painting furniture. A lot of it. It the past month alone I can account for a china cabinet, a wicker settee plus two matching side chairs, a corner cabinet, 2 more chairs, a side table, a rocking horse, and a foot stool. I get the same rush every time I complete one piece that I did when I was working on a painting. It's funny how things you've always loved resurface and manifest themselves. I love that.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

We went to visit the new house yesterday. The owners have moved out and it was the first time seeing it empty. It was sort of strange and overwhelming all of a sudden. Of course it's a good thing, but there is just a lot that needs to be done. Some things I'd noticed before but a lot didn't become apparent until the furniture was removed. Like wow there are like 50 wires hanging out of the wall in the living that we assume are for the homes speaker system. Before we thought "Cool! We can play music throughout the house." Yesterday I looked an Nick and said "Um.... do you know how to fix that?"

It will all come together. I'm just the kind of girl who would just assume snap her fingers and sing a song and get that place put together faster than Mary Poppins' can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious but all in time. What was I saying the other day about taking my time?

Yesterday the slipcovers I ordered came and I absolutely love them! I can wait to share some new shots with you! But until then I leave you with one last shot of the old house. I'll always remember the way my first Mothers Day peonies filled the corner of the dining room so beautifully.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nick sent me this picture of Trixie chillin on the recently made over settee Saturday night. She's such a fancy little thing. By the way The Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover for wicker made the paint job super easy! One coat and then a second just for touch ups is all it took. I used the color Granite in satin to get a grey look over the old white, it's actually much lighter than it appears in the photo. The cushion is from Pier One, and pillows on the sides are from Pottery Barn and the center pillow is from Restoration Hardware. There are two matching side chairs as well and they will all look perfect for the new 4 seasons room.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Now that I'm chalk full of hotdogs, chip n' salsa, festive drinks (thanks Chrissy M!), fireworks and family fun it's time to get down to business this week. The posts might be a little scarce for the next week or two. We get to let our contractors into the new house Wednesday after the current owners move out tomorrow so I've been busy picking out new paint colors, carpet and even a little landscaping will be done before we get the keys next week. Hopefully it will help make the transition into it easier.

I'm going to take my time and be very thoughtful with the big reno's though. I want to do it right and not rush into anything. I feel like we need to live in the house for a year or two and really get to know it to find out what our needs are before we carry out anything that comes with significant expense attached. We want this to be the house our kids will grow up in, another move is not planned for a very long time. To be specific I said I would "die in this house," so that's why I don't want to throw away money on quick fixes. I'm enjoying swimming in all the eye candy that comes with research in the meantime.

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

*inspiration via here

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Independence Day to my fellow American friends! We pre-partied today with a fun good old-fashioned parade and I just finished making 2 batches of salsa for tomorrow ala Flower Patch Farm Girl here. If you like your salsa runny and fresh (which I do!) this is the best. Hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend with you're friends and family!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In a quest to use up everything in our refridgerator before we move I was inspired to whip up these super easy "petits pains au chocolat" al la Fern Valley Farm. They were so easy and even more importantly soooooooo yummy! I can't wait to try them again and maybe add some hazelnut.