Mar 26, 2015

Finishing the Master Bedroom

Our next big project is finally finishing our master bedroom. Like the upstairs hall, we got it to a good place but didn’t quite finish it. We’ve decided that now would be a good time to finally take those last steps.

Our master bedroom is small but comfortable. We’ve made slow, thoughtful changes over the past few years to improve the space, little by little.

When we first moved in, our furniture didn’t fit in this room. The closets only allowed for a small full bed between them, not our king, so it was a very tight squeeze for our furniture. We lived with it for one day, banging our knees and turning at funny angles, then called our contractor.

We made some big changes - we converted the overly long hallway into the closet and moved the doorway. We took out the original closets that took up floor space where the dressers are now. From there we put down carpet and moved our furniture back in. Mike built a radiator cover. We added a few finishing touches that made the space feel homey - curtains, a large floor mirror, artwork.

Recently we replaced my old dresser with my new white one and the room is really starting to feel so close to finished. It made me realize how close we are - why not finish it all the way?

So that’s where we are now, planning out the final steps. Here’s what’s left:
  1. Repainting. After doing some touch-ups with the wrong can of paint, I need to repaint the walls
  2. Crown molding around the ceiling
  3. Matching nightstands
  4. Picture ledge over my dresser mirror for photos
  5. Finalize/Rearrange artwork

Mar 25, 2015

Easter Tree Is Blooming

Our Easter tree bloomed! Just like last year, it’s beautiful. It won’t still be blooming by Easter, but we’re enjoying it now.

We had snow on Friday, the first day of spring, so having some real flowers inside definitely helped cheer me up.

Mar 20, 2015

A Few Things

I know I disappeared again. It wasn’t intentional and no one was even sick this time, but there were not enough hours in the day. My regular job was extra demanding, my two freelance projects were due at the same time on top of long work hours. I had a conference in New York City, we had Oliver’s first dentist appointment, cars to be inspected, car services appointments, doctor appointments. I’ve also been trying to make fresh air and exercise more of a priority, so my breaks have been spent away from the computer. Excuses, excuses.

Next week is going to be even worse, we have 3 different preschool interviews (for Fall enrollment), another car service appointment, new projects starting, busy days at work… I’m not sure how we’ll fit it all in. I am going to try to post more though and be a little more proactive, but I don’t think we’ll be back to a regular posting schedule for a little while.

Despite my lack of blogging, we have been working on house-related things...

Mike has been working on the electrical in the basement. The new light is in, though he needs to finish the wiring side of things.

I planted the tomato seeds for the garden (and the musk melon seeds as an experiment).

We’re patching the living room ceiling (in progress) from the radiator leak.

Oliver also officially stopped sitting in a high chair. He just woke up one day and completely refused to sit in a “baby seat” anymore. I had planned on using the high chair for as long as possible, since it converts to a junior chair without a tray at the table, but Oliver was having none of it. It took a ton of convincing to get him to even use the booster seat, he just wanted to be a big boy in a grown up chair.

Lastly we’re also planning our next big "finishing" project - the master bedroom - which I will share more about next week (hopefully).

Mar 13, 2015

Melt the Snow Already

Georgia would like to politely request that the snow hurry up and finish melting. Seeing some grass would be nice.

Mar 12, 2015

New Portrait of Oliver

I still need to get this framed, but I have a new portrait of Oliver from my friend who made this baby portrait. She's so talented - it looks just like him!

This is definitely going up in the gallery wall ASAP.

Mar 11, 2015

Easter Decorations

In addition to making the Easter tree, I put out our Easter decorations over the weekend (realizing that there was less than a month until the holiday).

The Easter eggs and bunnies looked odd with the winter decorations, so I pulled out my favorite things for spring. But then my favorite spring stuff looked odd with all of the snow still sitting outside! Luckily the weather has been lovely and warm this week, so it's melting fast. Hopefully in a few more days it will be gone!

Mar 10, 2015

Easter Tree

Last year we did our first Easter Egg Tree of forsythia branches brought indoors and when it bloomed it looked so pretty. Easter is less than a month away, over the weekend I pulled out the decorations and trudged out in the snow to snip a few branches from our forsythia bush.

I am excited for it to bloom again this year, bringing some spring inside early. We've had a long winter and I'm looking forward to some life and color.

Mar 9, 2015

Over the Rainbow

Last week I didn't post much, but it was just one of those weeks. I ran out of steam, there weren't enough hours in the day. Last week by the numbers went like this...

3 colds (all of us)
1 doctor visit (Oliver)
1 double ear infection (Oliver)
2 full time jobs that were extra demanding
3 snow storms
1 full snow day and 2 delayed openings
3 freelance projects between Mike and me (his is done, mine are not)
1 dentist appointment
6 degrees in the morning (that is REALLY cold for NJ in March)
3 serious cases of cabin fever 
1 baby blanket that had to get finished for a little girl due very soon

The baby blanket came out cute though and I'm glad to be finished. I went with a rainbow theme (quite possibly because St. Patrick's Day is coming up).

The good news is that weekend was just what we needed to catch up, recover, clean the house, get some sunshine, start new projects around the house, see our friends and family, and get through the time change (yay to more light and ugh to losing sleep).

Mar 3, 2015

Basement Boxes finally Reorganized

This isn’t really blog worthy or photo worthy, but I needed the motivation to finally get all the boxes organized down in the basement from my childhood. It was one of my big winter to-dos along with the upstairs hallway. It’s one of those emotional (everything has a memory attached to it!) and tedious (SO much stuff!) tasks that would have been easy to put off forever, so I’m relieved it’s finally done. The garbage bags are gone, the donation bags are lined up by the door, and the rest is organized in tubs.

The final task on our winter to-do list with the basement is the lighting/outlets. The fridge and freezer should be on their own circuit, so we need to add another outlet on that side. Then on the other side of the basement we desperately need another outlet or two over there for the electronics on the media cabinet.

And while he’s doing electrical, it’s time to address the lighting situation when we first come down there stairs - the light controlled by the switch at the top of the stairs turns on the light by the washer and dryer. Since splitting up the basement, it leaves the area when you first come down the stairs really dark at night. In the top photo I have the camera flash on because it would be impossible to see without it. In the second photo you get a better sense of how dark it really is.

Mar 2, 2015

Wishing for Spring on the Walls

We’re not changing the wallpaper in the living room anytime soon (I still love it and even 5 years later you can still get it at Anthropologie), but sometimes I think it would be fun to change things up. I think it’s the longing for spring, but I’m drawn to bright florals these days.

These in particular have really caught my eye. I think they would look great with the stained glass window and gray walls.

Anthroplogie | Hygge and West | Grow House Grow | Spoonflower

All that I would need to go with the new wallpaper are a couple new pillows... or maybe the snow will melt before I go completely stir crazy and the crocus will bloom.

Feb 27, 2015

Snow Buddies

As much as Oliver sometimes annoys Georgia, she never wants to go on a walk without him. It's fine if Mike or I stay home, but she digs her heels in and tries to turn around the entire walk if he's not there. (This is frustrating when it's dark and 10 degrees!) Georgia prefers a family walk.

Of course Oliver loves to take Georgia for walks. He often insists on holding the leash for a bit. Ollie's now at the age where he HATES the stroller, so our pace is slower than before, but he has good stamina and can make it surprisingly far for a little kid. Both of them know the "rules" of the road - where there are sidewalks we stick to the sidewalks without fail. We stop at every crossing and wait for the parent to declare it's safe to cross. And when we're on side streets without sidewalks, if there's a car we get to the side immediately (and hold an adult's hand until the car passes if we're Oliver).

Feb 26, 2015

When Radiators Leak

This actually happened right before President’s Day weekend, but that Friday we woke up to this.

That’s our living room ceiling, right under our bedroom radiator. Water was slowly dripping out of that crack.

It had sprung a leak overnight during a polar vortex, so basically the heat almost never shut off and the water dripped, dripped, dripped while we slept. We got the name of a good emergency plumbing/heating place who sent a great guy out the same day (we weren’t about to mess around with a DIY attempt when it was zero degrees and a holiday weekend looming). It was a quick fix and he had all the spare parts we needed in his truck, so it all worked out fine. And while assessing the ceiling damage we realized there was the shadow of a much larger patch and crack there - this had happened before, much worse. Knowing the history of how things were done in the house, the previous fix had been a cheap patch job that created a ticking time bomb we didn’t know about.

All other radiators have since been checked and two others were fixed - the one in the playroom had the same problem and another with a totally different issue (it wasn’t getting hot anymore so it was nice to have that fixed). Since then we haven't seemed to have any more problems, and hopefully one of these days things are going to warm up... though I'm not holding my breath because last year spring didn't show up until the very end of April and it was torture.

Now the ceiling looks like this. We need to patch it but we wanted to give things some time to dry out and then we’ll assess what we need to do. For now the ceiling is held together with drywall tape. It actually looks worse now because the original patch (done with paper!) started to curl as it dried. I'm also a little nervous because I have no clue what shade of white paint the ceiling is. After we patch there's a very good chance we'll have repaint the whole thing and that's a huge job with all our furniture...