Calenders Anyone?

I am always behind the curve when it comes to purchasing a calendar.  I am always, secretly, hoping that the calendar I like will be heavily discounted by the time I bother to buy it.  Until then, I rely on my trusty Google Calendar to organize my life.  I purchased this calendar a few weeks ago from Paper Source and at a clearance rate, too!  I saw a few more items I liked as well, but didn't purchase.

All images via Paper Source


Things to Do

Things are looking to be a bit less hectic this weekend and snow is on the ground.

A while ago Arthur Frommer showcased an interesting website on his blog called Goby.  It's an online source to find local activities and events.  I just browsed the site to see if my little town made it on the site, and it did!  I discovered that there are a few plays, sporting events, and a Chocolate Festival nearby.  What a great way to stave off boredom.  You can search your own town here.


Toddler Poltergeist

It is always an endeavor to have nice things amidst a toddler.  I think it's worth the effort to stay stubborn and look for or make nice things that can take a beating. 

Case in point:  I was preparing dinner last night and my son was playing with his trains in another room; or so I thought.  I walked in to check on him and he had a crayon in his hand.  He decided to do a little creative decorating on his own!  Blue crayon on everything and not a surface was missed.  Crayon on the wood votive holders (hand made by my husband), crayon on the coffee table, and crayon on the serving tray...

A Toddler's Decorating Touch
When I saw the above, I couldn't help thinking about the movie "Poltergeist" with the stacked chairs scene.  My son does like to do things his own way.  Why have huts when you can make a tower?

My Decorating Preference

I will say that I really appreciate Crayola's Washable Crayons as everything was cleaned up in about 5 minutes with just a little water and barely any elbow grease.


Spatial Perceptions

The New York Times has an interesting article here on how people perceive space.  The article discusses how making minor changes can increase the perceived value of your apartment to potential buyers.  We are currently attempting to rent our old house, so this article was really pertinent to our situation.  I feel like the fact that we are renting lets us relax a little, though; it's still going to be our house so we don't have to make it absolutely perfect.  I like a little imperfection in my life and I'm getting quite skilled at it!

Here's the house that we put on the rental market last week.  It's a 3 bedroom/ 2 bath house in a historic area just north of our downtown.  This house was really our started home and we put a lot of work into it.  Let me know if you want to see some before and after photos.  The upper floor had been a large, barely finished, storage room and a bedroom with a plywood door.  We converted it to a Master Suite with a large bedroom, walk-in closet, and full bathroom.  That project took us about 3 years to complete and the only reason it was finished in 3 years and not 4 was because we had our son and I really needed a place to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night while pregnant!

Living Room

Dining Room



Master Suite- Upper Floor


Better Late than Never

 Back before we moved to our new house I ran across this post on Young House Love on how to turn cheap gourds into "porcelain" objects of beauty.  I ran over to Hobby Lobby and snatched up some cheap examples at the post-Halloween price.  I brought them home and then...did nothing.  We were busy packing  up the house so I had to put this project on hold.  Three months later and I have finally completed the project and I'm very happy with the results.


Garbage Center

Our kitchen has an ideal space for garbage and recycling located in, what used to be, a desk area.  We use it for trash and our microwave.  Seems like an odd combination, but it works for us. 

When we moved into the house we new that we wanted to have dual garbage cans for recycling and everything else so we went to our local hardware store and bought a couple of plain trashcans with the intent of sprucing them up a bit.  We knew that we needed cans with a semblance of a lid to inhibit nosy toddler fingers and dogs from pulling trash out.  Our final choice was a Rubbermaid can and we popped the rotating cover off because it didn't actually work under our counter.  The remaining lid does a nice job of keeping those hands out, so we're happy with our choice.


I got to work on making labels for our cans now, after putting it off for a few months and confusing all of our guests.  Here are my steps:

1.  Draw the stencils on large sheets of paper.  I used AutoCAD and printed the stencil, but hand drawing works, too.
2.  Cut out the stencil using an X-Acto knife and a straight edge for precision.
3.  Spray adhesive on the back side of the stencil and adhere the stencil to the trashcan.  Pay special attention to the edges of the stencil and make sure they are smooth and adhered well for a crisp painted edge.
4.  Use spray paint to evenly coat the stenciled opening.
5.  Wait for the spray paint to dry and peel back the stencil.
6.  Clean up any stray paint by gently scraping the paint off with a X-Acto knife.


I decided a pretty standard symbol for recycling would work for one trashcan, but we definitely needed a symbol for the garbage can as well.  I used an up arrow to convey a "put trash here" sentiment.  I have no idea whether people will understand that, but I think it's kind of cute.


Michelle Armas Painting

I'm inspired...

via Michelle Armas
Such a beautiful painting for $100.  Michelle just posted a few of these on her site today for purchase.  I would love to get my hands on one of them.

I could just see it in a room with any of these accents pieces:

via CB2
via CB2
via Anthopologie


Monkey's Fist

I like knots; there, I've said it.  My father-in-law, a navy man, got me interested in knots a while back and bought me my first knot book and I've had a fascination with them ever since.  But, here's my secret...I can't remember how to make a knot to save my life.  Every time I want to make a knot I have to reference my book and, no matter how many times I make the knot, the next day that knot-know-how slips my mind.  Most knots serve a utilitarian purpose, but can be beautiful at the same time.  The Monkey's Fist knot is an example of this duality of being.  It can act as great ballast (i.e.: doorstop) and, also, look pretty cool.

Design Sponge posted a how-to guide illustrating an example of a homemade Monkey's Fist knot and it's expensive store bought variety.  I can tell you that I referenced this site in making my knots and the total cost was about $6 for 2 fists compared to $40 in a store.


Low Key Valentine

I decided to keep Logan's Valentine's to his friends low key this year.  I whipped up a quick card in Microsoft Publisher and printed them on pink card stock.  I punched a couple of holes into the card and inserted a heart shaped lollipop.  Logan is eating one right now, so it must be a success!


I Promised

I promised to show our kitchen, too, and I thought that some inspiration might go along with it.  Our kitchen is a bit dated, but has really good bones to it.  I love the wood floor and our appliances were moved from our old place. 

Here are a few photos of the kitchen...

My wish list includes new and updated cabinetry and a solid surface counter top.  Removing the partial height wall and adding an island with fun lighting above it.  Moving the fridge? and expanding the pantry.  I, also, hate the porcelain sink and would love a stainless steel sink. Oh yeah, and paint it a different color.  Detail, details.

Here's my plan for the future and I'm sure it will change as we aren't planning on doing any work in here for a while...

Here are some inspirational photos...

via Apartment Therapy
via NY Times
via Kerf


Go Up-Stirs

When Logan wants to go upstairs he says it like up-stirs.  Funny pronunciation and it's so darn cute, so I thought I would take you on a tour of the up-stirs.

Guest Bedroom

This a is a large bedroom that we haven't remodeled yet.  I like that it's big enough for a small family to stay in while visiting us.

Guest Bathroom

The guest bathroom also happens to be Logan's bathroom.  He's the only one to get his very own jacuzzi bathtub.  Lucky Duck.  We don't expect to make any changes to this room.  It was remodeled recently and has a nice marble counter top and tiled shower.  Fancy digs for a little toddler!

Logan's Room

Logan's bedroom is pink.  He likes it that way and doesn't seem overly concerned about his feminine tinted walls.  We have big plans for his room.  We want to add bead board and trim to his walls as a wainscot and paint the walls in a more neutral, yet masculine color.  We will, also, match the built in seat over the existing ductwork that is locate in one portion of the room.  You can see that his room is actually split into two areas.  His sleeping area and a play area.

Master Bedroom

Our bedroom is more of suite.  We have a bathroom, walk-in closet, and sitting room all attached.

Sitting Room
Messy Master Bathroom
A couple of our bathrooms are like hallways in that they have two doors, a regular door at one end and a pocket door at the other.  We plan on adding pull handles to the pocket doors.  Our Master bathroom needs a bti of work in terms of color and storage.  Right now our towels are piled into a basket on the floor.  Some shelving would help this.

View into Sitting Room
Storage Room
 We have a large storage room off of the sitting room that is over our garage.  It's partially finished and I can't wait to transform it into my craft/ storage room.  It's like a hidden gem that you wouldn't expect to be there.

and lastly...

Bedroom (and Logan's favorite bed to play in)
This bedroom is connected to a hallway and the master bathroom.  It's a perfect room for any future nursery needs.
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