Friday, October 29, 2010

Dining room and Living room - heart heart heart!!!

Don't these rooms make your heart sing??
This is what I'm going for - light walls and woodwork, dark floors, casually elegant furnishings, mix of traditional and modern elements.
I wish I knew where I got these photos - so beautiful!
More bathroom updates happening this weekend, stay tuned...

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Attic dreaming...

Why do I spend so much time thinking about the attic? Maybe I think it is destined to be something great. It is certainly the rawest, most attic-y room in the house.

I'll keep dreaming...

I really like the exposed ceiling beams in both shots.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


A category of electronics (does a telephone count as an electronic?) I've been eyeballing for a while.
I'm calling it Faux Vintage...
Clockwise from top left...
- Vintage Rotary Phone, Anthropologie
- Diana Lomography Camera, Urban Outfitters
- Roberts Revival Radio, Anthropologie
(would you look at that thing? It's like the Mad Men dream-version of a radio)
- Crosley Turntable, Urban Outfitters
- Moonbeam Clock, L.L.Bean

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kiss my brass

The doorknob and mail slot was rusty and brassy. Two bad things! Anyway to remind you, here is what it looked like before:

We removed all the offending pieces:
(Side note: 1 year ago today I could not fathom removing doorknobs and locks and putting them back in place. In fact this image would have stressed me out, but now this doesn't even phase me)

So to get back to the task at hand, my mother waved her magic wand, and we transformed the hardware to this:

We used those small acrylic craft paints you can get at any craft store. First we painted them metallic copper (which makes the metal look crazy and will get you a raised eyebrow from your husband) then we put a layer or two of dark brown paint on top of that. The copper shines through underneath and just leave a faint metal look, you see?

The key, we realized was to douse it all with spray polyurethene in satin finish. This protects the paint from wearing away, as well as gives all the pieces a nice even sheen.

(Side note: when I say "we" I really mean "mom". The woman knows her way around a craft project and a hardware store!)

It is a small project. But getting rid of that dirty old brass made a huge difference, even if I am the only one who notices:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Uncommon cure for the cold (no really!)

I was just knocked on my ass for a couple of days. Sick, as in a sore throat, clammy hands, feeling hot and cold, STUFFED nose, phlegmy, gross, sensitive, cold.

The last time I felt this way I dragged myself to the doctor and was
given the most insane advice ever. How to knock a cold out in 24 hours. Really. You can turn it around that fast.

We've all felt it. You get a sore throat. You think maybe you're
coming down with something. A couple of days later, you're looking for somebody to baby you. And you can only imagine staying home and laying on the couch in your pajamas all day. You're too sick to even bother watching Oprah - on a day you're laying around in your pajamas on the couch!

The following is a list of rules given to me by a doctor to get over a
cold in 24 hours:

- rest. Rent a bunch of movies. This is your time to be as lazy as possible. Take the day off. Don't move, unless you have to pee.

- drink. make tea all day long. Drink it until you can't stand it. Add lemon and honey for bonus points to soothe your sore throat.

- eat. As much soup as possible. Anything broth-y - vegetable or chicken soup. Or vegetable juices can be great too.

- medicate. This is the most important part. I thought my doctor was nut-so when she told me this. Ready? Ok... So you need BOTH Tylenol and Advil. Start with the Advil when you wake up, take two pills. Wait 2-3 hours, take two Tylenol. Repeat this cycle of switching from 2 Advils, to 2 Tylenols every 2-3 hours FOR 24 HOURS.

- spray. Use a non-medicinal saline spray as needed. Since there is no medication in plain saline spray, you can use as much as you'd like.

For bonus points this is my own advice I'm adding to the mix:

- rinse. Neil Med Sinus Rinse - I can not say enough about this amazing product. If you're prone to sinus infections (colds get worse and worse for weeks and weeks and then you need an antibiotic) this is something you need. It is basically a Netty-pot on crack. So much easier to use and works a bazillion times better. Find it in the cold section of any drug store and follow the directions on the package. Do at least once in the morning and once before bed.

- steam. Take a really hot shower. Fill the bathroom with steam and stay in there a while.

- decongest. Take a Sudafed or so. (Don't take more than the recommended dose. I learned this the hard way).

- continue. Act smart for a while after you start feeling better. You can continue to take some medicine, but cut back. Also the sinus rinse and lots of liquids won't hurt.

And things to avoid:

- over-exertion. For instance don't take a boot camp class in the freezing cold the morning you wake up feeling sick, and then come home to a major attic clean-up. I certainly did not spend last Saturday doing such things!

- dairy. Anything milky does not help. Also avoid all junk foods.

- alcohol. Just don't even try to sneak in a shot of Jack Daniels, I'm talking to YOU.

- antibiotics. Some doctors will whip out their prescription pad faster than anything. If it's a cold virus, the antibiotics will not do anything! I can not stress that enough. Give your body a chance to heal itself for a few days before going that route.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making Cents Out of Sense - or some other stupid phrase

I've always had this aspiration to have a huge glass bottle in my home to use as a piggy bank. So you can imagine how disproportionately thrilled I was to find this gigunda glass bottle in John's grandparents garage:
The conversation was something like this:

Me - "Oh!!! Look at this!! Can we take it?"
Him - "Yeah, I guess."
Me - "Oh, this is so great! I've always wanted a huge glass bottle!"
Him - "Ok"
Me - "We can put all our change in it! It would be the greatest thing ever to happen to us! When I was little my friend Jordan had one, I remember counting the change! We rolled all the money! It was insanely great!!"
Him - "My grandparents filled one with coins and it was so heavy, that when they moved it, it broke"
Me - "Oh... okay, well we better take it anyway, we can put something else in it!!"

Not. I am so putting change in it!
But my plan is to empty it once a year to spend during vacations only.

I thought that was a good compromise - so I can get my change bottle, and we can enjoy the money together, and he can rest calmly knowing that we (literally) won't break the bank.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Front Entrance

I'm delving deep into paint-world again. Our front vestibule needed help, our staircase too. The whole corner of the house faces north and all that dark dark wood meant dark dark corners, even in summer time.

Two weeks ago we were here:

Two coats each of primer and paint later, here we are:

And the front door:


Peeking inside of the vestibule:


The Landing Strip:


I love projects like this because I have such a different FEELING just looking at it. Going from dark wood and mayonnaise yellow walls to white with pale blue has made such a HUGE difference.

But, yes we still have that HORRENDOUS sconce to deal with.

Must... get... new... one.

Something that doesn't look like a quilting bee is about to take place (did somebody say granny chic?). I would leave the bulb bare for a while, but let's just say the electric-works underneath seem a little "raw" and the shade is like the lesser of two evils. Almost.

And if you've noticed - we (as in the paint and I) are inching closer and closer to that dark wood staircase. And pretty soon something's going to give.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Holy Oak - Part II

So, instead of hauling our huge oak over the top of our house via crane, we hired a tree guy to:
1) take down all the dead branches (each the size of a large tree themselves, plus one of them nearly killed our neighbor, hence this whole conversation)
2) take out all the suckers (the small branches that use up too much of the tree's resources, also let's the wind travel through in a more efficient way, plus more sunshine comes in!)
3) fill in the raccoon holes (there were at least 5 gigantic holes, each much larger than a raccoon)

All in all it was more expensive than I thought it would be, yet not nearly as expensive as it could have been. Looking back it was almost a great deal! (Home-ownership-induced brain-washing). I did call 4 companies for estimates and the guy I used was the only one who mentioned the suckers, which I thought was a good move on his part).


This is the part of home-ownership that really really sucks. It is totally the most awesome thing that we have our own house, and we can do whatever we want. But there are many unexpected emergencies in life in general, and the things that the landlord used to take care of are now our responsibility too.

So in the past few months, in addition to the computer replacement ($$$$!!!), the bathroom sink purchase ($$$$!!!)(which was totally my fault for being so picky, and also putting it off for so long)(but it would have been expensive anyway, so does it really matter if it's now or a while back?)... we have to worry about the tree in the backyard (more $$$$!!!).

Plus we still haven't gotten our fireplace working ($dontwanttoknow$), and our furnace is old, like really old, and we have to tip-toe around it and feed it bits of water, and monitor it on a daily-basis, because it's older than either of us ($scaryscaryscary$) and we're hoping it will last a while longer, because who knows what other trouble will pop up over the next few months?

So even if we manage all those un-glamourous house things, it means that new furniture, and vacations, and all the more glamourous things in life get pushed to the back-burner for awhile.

blah blah blah

blah blah...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Holy Oak

This morning as we were racing out the door, the tree guy surprised us with full staff and 3 gigantic trucks. John had to stop the car so we could get in the backyard and warn this guy about, oh yeah, the FAMILY OF RACCOONS LIVING IN OUR TREE.

Our 300 year old oak tree has taken over. Cutting it down would require an insane amount of money and hauling over the top of our house via a large crane. Um no.

To be continued...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Anniversary, take two...

Happy Anniversary to my one and only...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dining Room - Curtain hypothesis

When I'm unsure of what I'm doing in the house, I usually dust off the ol' Photoshop brush tool and fiddle around with things. This time I'm thinking about the dining room window treatments.

This is how the dining room looks right now:
If we lived in the middle of the woods, I would leave the windows as is. But this is the side of the house, and it faces my neighbors driveway, garbage pails, basement windows, etc. I totally understand these things being there, but I don't want to look at them.

This window is perpendicular to the side window, and faces the backyard. The radiator is located directly under the window and moving it is not an option. We also use this window for our AC in the summertime, so the window treatment has to accommodate for both.

After fiddling around with it, I came up with these solutions so far...
For continuity purposes, I think the long wall calls for one long curtain rod. We would need 4 brackets to contain the curtain panels within the limits of each window. I'd like to see solid curtains in a neutral print along the outside of the windows, and white shears along the inside. So light would still come in, but I wouldn't have to stare at a garbage can while eating.

For the back window I think we have to use the same solid curtain/white shear combo and use a hook to hold back the drape.

Any other options?


p.s. I'm in the middle of a MAJOR painting project. Update soon!