Weekend Wrap-Up

It got really project-y in here
this weekend. I started to paint the TP holder for our master bath yellow, ran some errands and stopped in at the awesome vintage stores here in Story City and scored some awesome project materials. Did a little 14 month photo shoot post-afternoon nap (and way post turning 14 months, oops). This morning Jamie and I went down to Target for the NEW NATE BERKUS displays that we have had in our calendars for like eight months and we were there as SOON as the store opened to get first dibs at all the glory and guess what. Well, I’ll go ahead with a direct quote from a Target staff person (who have become increasingly and annoyingly “helpful” lately, am I right? They are all over me when I’m there. Target people, just leave me alone! I don’t “need” anything. That’s the point of going to Target, right?) Anyway… where was I… Oh the quote- “Well we are just putting out the Nick Berkus stuff as it comes in and don’t have anything right now.” Er. Meh. Gerd. NICK? Hellooo! It’s like Nate Berkus isn’t earth shatteringly awesome to her or something. Just doesn’t make sense. So needless to say Jamie and I were super disappointed and had to engage in some retail therapy to get ourselves through. Scored some more awesome trinkets, got a Starbucks… all in all it was a great morning!

Here’s the weekend through pics.

First, I bought some Army Guys at the vintage store for a quarter a piece. I think that was pretty high priced, but since I only bought 8 it’s not a big deal. I took them home, cleaned them up, and glued them to jar lids (I always save glass jars) and will spray paint them next. I’m planning to line them up on Jackson’s little desk with his little things in them. Total cost for this project was $2!

Next, while watching the ISU disaster I decided to add some paint to this toy. My dad made it for Jackson a few weeks ago and he loves it. I used some wall paint we had on hand since that seemed to be the least toxic option and these will probably end up in his mouth at some point. The first pic is a halfway done project (since I always forget to do “before” shots) and the second is all done, just hanging out to dry. I love it! The colors are a soft teal, beige, grellow, and gray. My faves.

Then it was time for a big nap and big GOFCP for Momma (Good Old Fashioned Cleaning Party, a term Seth coined a few years ago). I also set up his monthly photo shoot while he was napping. It’s not something I can accomplish while he’s awake because it’s too exciting and he can’t leave it alone, causing a total disaster. Here are the two I’m choosing between, and will take them over to Pixlr to add the month numbers. I actually painted the numbers on onesies for the first 12 months, but this is a bit easier and we don’t burn through as many onesies this way.

Now for today! Like I said earlier, Nate Berkus for Target was a bust but Target herself didn’t disappoint. I scored this awesome metal plane that I can’t stop looking at now. I stuck it on top of the “media tower” in the living room for now. I love it because I tend to have a lot of tall cylinders and this breaks things up nicely. What’s not nice are all those CORDS snaking between the TV and the tower. Seth is “on it.” I think he’s going to look for something that will tack them to the wall all in one little cover thing that we will then paint the same color as the wall. I think. This is his territory. I just want them gone. The deal is that if they’re still there by this coming Friday I am going to take them all down. Ahem, honey. Get ‘er done please!

This morning Seth and I also tackled the garden- taking down the fencing, pulling out the dead plants, and picking the last of the onions. We are heading to the Pumpkin Patch this afternoon with Seth’s brother and his family- we all are super pumped! I’ve heard they have amazing cider donuts…

I’ll be back with those pics tonight maybe. Until then, See ya!


Thank goodness for Sesame Street

I stayed home today with a very sick J. It started last night. He was suuuuper cranky and fell asleep just sitting on my lap (normal J wouldn’t sit on my lap more than 4 seconds, let alone fall asleep there). he woke up with a temp and was very lethargic. He hardly ate all day and just wanted to snuggle. A (very guilty) part of me loved to cuddle with him all day but it really is heart breaking to know your love is feeling so crummy. Even through his crumminess he managed to crack me up. Here is a pic of him at lunch. Apparently he felt that he could be much more efficient with skipping his hands and going straight table to mouth. I sent this picture to my sister who responded, “hands are a waste of time.” love it.


Yep, a toddler lives here.

We had a serious Snack Time Situation yesterday. I gave J his fruit packet (if you don’t know what I’m talking about- there are these awesome pureed fruit/veggie/yogurt/grain blend packets for toddlers that are great. I even grab one from time to time and like to put them in my morning smoothies) which he usually is good at just sucking down in 13 seconds. Usually. At this certain time, however, Seth and Max came in from outside in the middle of Snack Pack which is apparently the most exciting thing in the world. J took off running and screaming towards them, flinging his pack around along the way (think of how a toddler runs- arms everywhere). The end result was purple carrots, blueberries, and pears all. over. the kitchen. It was one of those moments where you choose to go insane or laugh. I laughed so hard I think I scared Jackson. Seth found it a little less funny… Anyway, I got a quick picture of a small portion of the mess. I felt like Dexter, analyzing and photographing splatters. And yes, that is a bottle of ketchup on the floor. J loves to get food out of the pantry and re-distribute it around the house. I found quinoa in the herb planter the other day. Makes sense, thanks J!

Maybe I should go ahead and talk about how I made the growth chart. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve made so far. And it was super easy. I saw these growth charts that looked like giant rulers in some of the kid catalogs (maybe Pottery Barn or Land of Nod) and fell in love instantly. I started looking for a 1×12 but was having a hard time finding one that was at least 7′ (It’s quite likely that will be necessary!). I talked with my dad about where to find them and he mentioned that he had a shelf that was about that size. Seriously, he took down a shelf so I could make this project. I just had to square it off at each end with a saw, sand it way down (the front, top, bottom, and all edges to make it toddler friendly) and stain it with a dark wood stain I am obsessed with. Then I marked every inch with a Sharpie, making the 1/2′ and 1/4′ marks longer (like a ruler would at the 1/2″ and 1/4″). I wanted the bottom to be flush with the bottom of the cabinets, so I measured and started the ruler at 3 1/2″. I copied the Century font for numbers (1-7) because I thought they looked especially ruler-ish and painted those using black acrylic (I just folded a piece of paper and used that as a guide for size for each number and free-handed them). Then Dad and I used 3 screws and put ‘er up on the end cap of the floor-to-ceiling cabinets in the kitchen. I decided that this is a permanent feature in the house so I wasn’t worried about putting holes in the cabinet, but if that wasn’t the case we’d have to think of another solution. My intention was to make it blend in with the house but be something we can eventually take down if we do decide to move (which we never ever will decide to move).

How many globes do we really need?

That was actually a question Seth asked me last weekend. I was out running errands, stopped at the little vintage shop in Story City and found an awesome gigantic globe, surrounded by several equally awesome but smaller globes. I grabbed the big ‘un and also one of the baby globes and happily paid the cashier on her from-the-future iPad credit card swiper. Those are pretty neat, and she emailed me the receipt on the spot. I love that I can easily find it if I need it and I saved a tree! Probably not an entire tree, but maybe a branch. Or a twig. The big globe I got was too big for Jackson’s bookshelf and the small globe is a little too small, so I haven’t decided what to do with them exactly. But here is a picture of the globe we had (from West End Architectural a while back) in our foyer. Refinishing the top and painting the table base is on my to-do list, so ignore it for now. So to answer Seth’s question: 3. Or maybe more. This girl has a thang for globes, what can I say?

You can even catch a glimpse of the awesome blingy light shades on the sconces going upstairs. And the tassel border. And the fancy little embellishments all over the staircase and columns. And several other things I’d love to update! I do love the rug in front of the door. It’s from IKEA and has a giant herringbone pattern (Hessum, http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40114014/). And I love love love the globe. (forgive the darkness of the photo… we were in a hurry and I didn’t take the time to set the camera correctly)

Also, for some reason I just singing “I’ve got glooobes, from different area codes, a-re-a codes, area codes, a-re-a codes…”


No before pic of the table or the chandelier, so I will do my best to describe it. Imagine a faded greeny-goldy-bronze chandelier in the back of the antique store collecting dust and getting sad looks as passers-by realize it will never ben loved again. That’s what we had folks.  In fact, it’s the style of every light fixture in the entire house. Fo Rils.  Awful.  Also not cool- the price of new chandeliers. So in hopes of a quick update to get us through until we have the cash to buy a new one, I spray painted the baby.  Not Jackson- the chandelier.  I spray painted the chandelier.  I started with a cool gray primer that I almost ended with, but since the point was to add a little pop of color (I kinda despise that phrase) I powered on and coated it in yellow.  I would say it’s closer to mustardy yellow, not exactly a sunshiney bright pop, but it’s as close as this gray lovin’ girl is gonna get. The plate that goes on the ceiling (previously dark brown) was going to be white so it blended in with the ceiling, but after also spraying it with the gray primer I decided I kinda loved it and it balanced well with the gray table and chairs. (Sidenote: the table and chairs are also just sprayed with primer, but I will get to that later) SO I coated it with a nice shiny finishing coat, popped it on the ceiling and called it good. As far as the electrical part of taking it down and putting it back up, I had some minor help.  As in I minorly helped my dad take it down and my brother in law Jake put it back up.  In my defense, Jake is an electrician so it would just be silly not to call on those skillz.  In addition to painting it, I also removed some be-dazzled dangly shades and the faux candle light bulbs and swapped in some more modern round frosted bulbs.

Here you can see the ceiling plate, painted with gray primer and a shiny top-coat:

And here you can see how it goes with the table. And my little fall pumpkin I busted out of the garage this afternoon. Oh yea, it’s getting real cray in here:

Side note regarding this post’s title: Those roller shades are not much to look at but awesome. You can see out, but you can’t see in them! It’s magic!  It’s also very handy considering our backyard butts up to the city trail (you can see it through the windows) and we regularly have people walking through the backyard.  Not really, but they might as well be! So some privacy is nice. Anyway, back to the post title.  The shades had a strip of shiny fabric and tassels (there was a consistent tassel theme in the house) that  my mom and I promptly removed. Seriously- I had a box of tassels to take to Goodwill that would make any nightclub dancer swoon.  Even the light fixtures have tassels engraved on them, which is a huge and obvious reason that this is not the end of the chandelier saga.

Better late than never

I wish I started this a year ago when we first moved into our new house (October 2011)!  Better late then never though, eh? So here we are- Seth, myself, Jackson and Max (“pup pup” according to J) a year later, lots to share and lots to still do!

So here’s my attempt at blogging. I don’t know how committed I’ll be, how random it will get, and how many typos and misspellings it will include. What am I going to blog about you ask (so curious!)? Good question!  I guess we will find out… I’m thinking that it will vary between baby/toddler, home improvement, living with Seth, marriage, the dog, travel, sports, photography, family, beautiful things, outside, the Muppets, music, addictive TV programs (House Wives anyone??), books, cleaning products, and whatever is currently making me say “ermehgerd!”

Seth’s here with my latte- I will start to add more pics of the house and try to explain what we’ve done, and of course will update current projects along the way.