Monday, March 31, 2014

Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest!

Why do I feel like I've already named a post that? Anyhoo...

I'll skip right to it: this has been a very expensive weekend around the Woodward Place. Officially, Saturday was the most expensive day since we closed on the house.

The reason why it was so expensive is because we bought a brand new king-size Tempurpedic. I can feel my eyelids getting heavy just talking about it. We haven't even slept on it yet, but I'm pretty sure it's the bomb-diggity. It was crazy expensive, so we slept on it for a few nights before we felt comfortable enough to make a deal.

In the end, the splurge feels much less-splurgy when I consider how much we spend in medical bills for my bad back. I mean, the bed only cost like eight 15-minute appointments with my spine specialist. That works out to be 1/4th the sleep the average adult needs every night. When I put it like that, the bed seems like a bargain. FML.

All that Tempur-purchasing made for some Tempur-movement of our old bedroom set to our guestroom. While we've been calling it the guest room since moving in, it looks something like this:

Doesn't really say spend the night does it? At least not to sober people...

But with the addition of our new bed, we're making headway in the guestroom department. We're wrapping up painting after tonight's HIMYM finale. The bed's already in there and I just need to finish it off with accessories. Hopefully I'll have some preliminary pics for you guys by tomorrow.

Until then, I just let you oggle my inspiration pic (minus the plastic-wrapped floor).

The best part is we officially have no empty rooms in our house anymore!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meet our New Neighbors!

Some new neighbors moved in and we're pretty excited about them. Sure, they're early risers and make noise before we even wake up, but they're too cool for me to complain. And the mom is making way more progress on their home than I am on ours. She should really be proud of herself.

It's a nest! On our front door's "R" wreath!

For those of you following me on Instagram, this is no surprise as I've been documenting the nest's progress for several days. For those of you not following me on Instagram, I ask, what are you doing with your life? Seriously?


There is a mommy bird and a daddy bird. Or two mommy birds. Or two daddy birds. Mommy likes to sit in the nest and Daddy perches on top. It's adorbs.

So far, I've spotted them a handful of times with the help of my trusty watch-cat, Leo. That guy is a veteran bird-watcher. If he's downstairs he's either hungry or staring at them; either way he's talking, so he's like a little alarm.

They are pretty camera shy, and the only pic I've taken that even comes close to catching them is:

Look very closely inside the "R". If you can't see her, you can just admire my new topiaries (still waiting on the planters).

I honestly spotted the bird like three times before Pat pointed out that they were making a nest. I did notice all the random grass on our doorstep, but I just attributed it to Boone-man. That debris/poop is the one thing I'm not loving about being a bird-neighbor.

That and fearing the whole nest will fall when I open/close the door. Future eggs included.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Master Bath fit for a (Future) King

 And by that I mean Prince George because it's baby boy blue. Wah, wah, wah.

Judging by the amount I mention it in Blogland, you would think we've done nothing to our master bathroom. The only time I've mentioned it at all was in a post about how nothing was getting done (there seems to be a lot of those...). I had even left pictures from before we moved in on our house tour page.

Look familiar?

So many of you will be surprised to see that our master bath is the closest room to "done" in our entire house. For the most part, the overall idea of this bathroom has been executed although not the way I envisioned.

Originally, I wanted a very light blue, so light it almost looked white. Think being in a fog.

Sooo relaxing. Exactly as a master bath should be.

That plan faltered when I brought paint samples in and everything that almost looked white on a swatch actually looked white on the walls. I convinced myself to go bluer than I planned in an effort to make it show up. I picked a color that looked great, albeit bluer than I hoped, as a sample. As I painted, I remember feeling refreshed to see that while bluer, it was also greyer so it accomplished the foggy effect perfectly. Then it dried. And it was baby blue.

This was actually one of the first rooms I painted when we moved in back in October. For the next five months I grappled with whether I could make it work or if I needed to paint it all over again. Part of me was saying, "it's done, and even though it's baby blue, at least it's not builder tan," while the other part (clearly the perfectionist part) was whining, "but it's not perfect! It's worth a few hours to be perfect..."

In the end, the lazy side won out and blue it stayed. I'm still not sure whether that's because I was afraid of more failed experiments or the fact that I still haven't widdled out the time to paint the guest room or office. Either way, I still think something greyer but still blue would be much nicer, it's just not worth the added effort... yet.

In an effort to make this baby blue look less nursery and more happy space, I decided to throw in just a tiny bit o' pink. Because what every non-nursery needs is baby blue and pink. The thing that makes this work for me is the pink is barely there and more coral than true pink.

They're not a perfect match and they're not meant to be. I love how it's all a little off together. The orange soap bottles are a little too off, so ignore them; I blame Bath & Body Works with their deliciously scented citrus flavors.

I'm not one of those bloggers who pretends we don't keep the toothbrushes on the counter. Let's be real.

I used glass apothecary jars (left over from the candy bar at our wedding, thanks Mom!) to house the every day basics: cotton balls, q-tips, and a detox bath mix. Maybe the bath mix isn't an "every day" item, but it smells delightful (like ginger), I always have a stash of it, and it looks pretty classy in a glass jar. That little metal box holds my gazillion hair ties and my 4 bobby pins. Anyone else have the same problem?

The room still needs a bit of finessing; for instance, our towels are a mish-mash of ones we inherited, ones we each purchased pre-marriage, ones we bought together but pre-house, and a few that were actually purchased with this bathroom's design in mind. I also want to add more accessories and at least one more piece of art.

The one big project that stands to be done is we want to take down the large builder grade mirror and install smaller ones over each sink. That also involves converting one light fixture into two, so if anyone knows anything about splicing wire, holler at me.

Other than that, I'm calling this turkey done.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring Surprises

You guys remember how I was saying I had too many different projects going on at once? Well let's add one more: our office. Ugh.

My hubba-hubba-husband just came back from a weekend in Atlanta and brought some surprises from the in-laws. Namely a hand-me-down desk and office chair (thanks!).

Neither of them are really my style, but they are free, so it's a huge step up from empty.

Whereas most areas of our house are nowhere near done but well on their way to being something, the office has absolutely no appeal. It's become the dumping grounds of the home, with files and office supplies taking over the floor. Now that I have a reason to be in here, I have a reason to clean up.  I hadn't really come up with a short term plan here (my short term solution was to close the door), but I had an extensive long term plan and it looked a little something like this:

1     2     3     4     5
I'm debating whether I should try to DIY something to make this office we do have resemble the office of my dreams. By "debating" I mean I know I should, but maybe this should be the area I knock-off the to-do list for lack of time, not completion. Regardless, I need to do some serious organizing in to make this room livable.

In Dreamofficeland, I would have a dainter desk, much like this rustic style from Target. I love the idea of keeping the desk and chair lighter visually and putting the bulk of the storage on the walls. This chest has the perfect size opening for our abnormally large printer, plus two drawers for files (all we need at this point). That collection also includes hutches that could be attached, including one sized especially for wrapping paper (yay!).

For the color scheme, this will be one of the few non-gray rooms in our house. I want to do a white-ish wall (I'm still debating doing a gingham design over it, and by "debating" I still mean the same as earlier) and keeping the accents in the golden-yellow family. That print is so cheeky for an office; I love the idea of a light bulb going off in a creative space. Tehehe.

And I want a few plants (actually alive in here) because this is one of the few rooms where the furniture catches enough sunlight. As a matter of fact, this is the room where my famous DIY Terrarium has been living. After we moved, I almost killed it by placing  it in what I believed to be a sunny-enough area; I rescued it from the brink and have been nursing it back to health in here. (If you're wondering, no, that's not my terrarium in the mood board. I've made plenty, but this one is way better than anything in my repertoire.)

So I guess the color scheme will officially be golds and greens.

For now, this is what my office looks like.

Yeah, I've got a long way to go.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Knock-Off DIY for When Pigs Fly

This little piggy went to market. This little stayed home. This little piggy had roast beef. This little piggy had none. And this little piggy went "wee wee wee" all the way home.

A few months ago, I fell in love with this little piggy I saw on Joss & Main. Apparently this little piggy has a cheap Kato.

 He was like $30 for a figurine, so I hesitated, the event ended, and I've regretted it ever since. I've searched all J&M's events since and looked for knock-offs at all the usual places (Target, Pier 1, Home Goods). I even found one at Home Goods but he was an intolerable lime green so I passed him by a second time.

Then, at Garden Ridge, I stumbled across this tacky little guy:

He looks like he belongs in a mid-western grandma's kitchen somewhere. So cute. So sad.

Then I painted him pink! Maybe that should make him a her, but not to me.

I know, he's not quite as rich as the glazed ceramic version above, but he was only $7 and he's mine.

I know this post says DIY, but it really doesn't warrant step-by-step directions. Consider this more of an inspirational post. Literally, I painted him (took a solid three coats) then two coats of poly; I didn't even sand him. Luckily the craft paint dries super fast, so the whole thing took about an hour including dry time.

Right now he lives on the entertainment center in the living room, but someday I think this would be a precious whimsical addition to a baby girl nursery.

I don't care if you think my piggy is tacky. If you don't want to DIY him, just let this be a lesson to you: don't let flash sales pass.

Now we only need a name.

Stop and Smell the Roses

My favorite season is fall, followed by winter, then summer, and lastly spring. Normally, spring is just not my jam. It's nothing more than a lay-over from skiing to sunbathing. And we're all so pale. But this year, I'm craving it. Everything about it. Hell, I'm decorating with pastels.

There's one picture on Pinterest that has sparked a change in me. This one picture has made me want flowers in my home beyond special occasions. I've never been a flower person.

The backdrop looks like our kitchen: white backsplash, black counters. It makes it look so easy to add some color. Just what I needed.

Now allow me to go on a small tangent...who am I kidding, you can't stop me; this is my blog.

Does anyone else remember that scene in He's Just Not That Into You where Jennifer Connelly and (super-gross, cheating, smoking d-bag) Bradley Cooper go floor shopping?

He wanted cost-effective laminate and she wanted high priced hardwoods even though she couldn't tell a difference. Why? In a jab that unknowingly gets the least attractive of Bradley Cooper's characters (and he was in I Want to Marry Ryan Banks)to confess to cheating: "I don't like the way it's pretending to be wood. If you're not wood, don't try and look like wood...this is a lie."

In that moment, I knew Jennifer Connelly (or at least her character) and I are the same person.

"But Katie, why are we talking about a 2009 rom-com in a post about flowers?"

Because that's how I feel about fake flowers. And apparently the way the rest of the blogosphere feels about them too, judging by all the "aren't fresh flowers the best!?" gushing.

But as much as I hate the way fake flowers pretend to be real flowers (you're not and never will be), I'm also a realist. I know that I won't go to the farmer's market every Saturday to get a couple bouquets. I know I'd begrudge myself every time I tallied up how much I spent on a plant that would flourish for a week, tops. And I know, once they stop flourishing, it'd be another week before I actually got around to throwing out my dead flowers. Honestly, fake flowers are the only way I could go.

So I decided to take the plunge. I bought fake flowers.

Ironically, I didn't place either of my arrangements in the kitchen, a la inspiration photo. One went in the new "sitting area mock-up."

The other ended up in the foyer.

I know, my spring vignette still leaves a little to be desired.

I'm not sure how I feel about these yet: they immediately made the house feel more loved and homey, but at the same time they're not fooling anyone. The color is a great balance to all my neutrals without seeming like it's trying too hard, but I do feel like somewhere there's a clown with an empty sleeve.

And I have no idea what to do with the vases. Do I put water in them or leave them empty? Yes, I've seen the gel, but I don't want to do anything too permanent; I like the idea of being able to remix my flowers into different arrangements.

Basically, the consensus is I wish I was responsible enough to handle fresh flowers. I want to be able to have arrangements like this all the time without the fake flower guilt. The funniest part is I'm masquerading as a person with fresh flowers. I'm such a hypocrite; it's the same reason why Jennifer Connelly hates laminate flooring: "if you [can't handle] fresh stems, don't try and look like someone who can."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Keeping Our Toesies Warm for this Extended Winter

Guys, I have no idea what I'm doing.

As in, I'm doing a thousand different things around the house lately. My current "project" changes from day-to-day and hour-to-hour.

On my list of projects at any given moment:
I guess today's update falls into the "Boone's New Room" category, but this one is entirely for his humans' benefit. I explained in this post how we need to do several things before moving him out of his kennel, including re-homing our coats and having anything to fill the empty area he'll leave behind.

Since we moved in, Boone and all his stuff has occupied the area across from our kitchen. In case you haven't noticed, Boo is a big boy and comes without a lot of big stuff: XL kennel, bed made from a queen size duvet, elevated feeder, and his very own toy box.

Coming from a one bedroom apartment, we don't have furniture to fill this space (...yet ...muahahaha!), so the Boone Residency was no big deal. All along, the area across from our kitchen island has been a bit of a sore spot, feeling cold, desolate, and under-utilized (not to mention sloppy; Boonebaby doesn't clean up after himself). But now that we've been here for a few months, we're starting to fill-in those less critical rooms.

Depending on who you ask, this room has different future purposes. I say it's a sitting room where I can read, drink coffee, and watch my boys play fetch in the yard from the comfort of the great indoors. Pat says it's a great place for a pool table (yeah right, that'd be the first thing you see when you walk in the front door). Standard Pacific seems to think it's a ideal spot for a breakfast nook. Real original, StanPac. Real original.

Any way you approach it, we're making progress. 

We bought a rug.

Yes, it's the same rug we have in our living room. Since the rooms are adjoining and I already have a contrasting runner in the kitchen, I decided to keep it streamlined and simple. Plus we looooove our living room rug. It is neutral but not boring. It feels great underfoot. It doesn't show any of our pets' hair. Five stars.

We haven't changed anything else, but that alone changes everything. Now we can't see as many Boonebleweeds. It doesn't look like we forgot about that corner of the house. And then, I did a mock-up of my sitting area. Those are just our dining chairs and the table is an old Ikea castoff. But I think it's doing a great job pleading my case.

 In case anyone is wondering, this is the chair (x2) I have my heart set on:

Sitting area - 1, pool table - 0.