Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Master Bedroom Mood Board

I'm not very good at these, but with Matt's bonus around the corner I'm thinking a change is in order. I already have the paint, and most furnishings. I just need to get off my bum and get things done! Matt is even on board with my choices. How odd because he hates green... better not ask too many questions!

Can you see my vision? I hope so, I didn't leave a lot to the imagination.

The dresser is close to what we have now. I couldn't find a picture online since I bought the thing seven years ago at Art Van. But the color and mirror are right, so this picture is serving it's purpose.

The ceiling fan right now is brass with faux wood blades. I found an awesome tutorial through Pinterest on how to paint a ceiling fan, so I'm going to give that a shot. The faux wood will stay the same but the brass will become an iron color (the hardware on my dresser is iron as well).

Next, I plan on painting my wall lamps (also bronze). I'll do those in an iron color as well. Probably at the same time as the fan... heck, I'll probably do the ceiling fan in the living room then, too. Kill four birds with one stone. Woot!

That brings me to what I'll have to purchase. First on the list is a headboard and bed frame. Right now our mattress is on the floor. Classy huh? I found a bed frame on overstock.com for $79.99, but I hope to find one used somewhere cheaper.

Speaking of overstock.com, that's where I found the headboard I like! It's composite with MDF so I might have to build something like it because $175.05 seems like a lot for a fake wood headboard. Hmm... Maybe I'll just forgo the bed frame and headboard purchase and make something instead. Ana White has a great plan on her site for a King Size Storage Bed. Maybe if we alter the plans and make the bed a bit longer we can add a bookshelf headboard. I like that idea. My guess is we'll spend the same amount for a better quality bed we'll enjoy more. Keep looking at the headboard in the picture above, though, because I really like that look!

The bedding is what I'm most excited about. Matt actually liked it. He hates green! I found it at Bed Bath and Beyond on clearance for $89.99. I would love to get it before it's gone but I don't think it's in our budget right now. Darn!

Those brown pillows are on clearance there, too, for $23.99. I love them! They are floor pillows, so I'm thinking we can make a bench for the end of the bed to store sheets and things and those pillows can be the cushions.

I will either make the nightstands and paint them green, or I will search second hand shops, garage sales, and craigslist for something. Either way, I'm not buying new! Nightstands are expensive!

The curtains pictured are from The Land of Nod and are a whopping $39.99 per panel. Yikes! Clearly I'll be looking for something different. My guess is the fabric store will have a similar fabric I can work with. I've gotten pretty good at making curtains so that's no biggy. Bet I can make four panels for $39.99 or less. Dare me?

Do you see the weird pattern behind the curtains in the picture? I'm going to buy some black out shades (love those things) and paint them. They're awesome but super ugly so I decided to beautify those babies by painting them. I'll let you know how it goes!

Finally the carpet. Right now it's a dark green color. Not exactly what I want. It will cost us around $350 to recarpet the bedroom in a more neutral tone. Keith's was done this summer for that amount, including install, so I plan on using the same carpet (it's so soft) in a different color for our room. Here's what it would look like with the current carpet. Yuck, huh?

Ahh much better! Carpet really does make the man... er master.

I can't wait to get started on it. I seem to be starting upstairs and working my way down. Probably because the farther down the stairs I go the more expensive the design ideas get! I'm estimating this to cost us around $1,000, but I don't plan on doing everything at once. This idea is much brighter than I'm used to but it seems relaxing at the same time. What do you think? Too much, too little, or just right?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Roman Shades and Living Room Envy

Have I ever posted pictures of my living room? It's a hot mess so probably not. None of my furniture matches, and there is absolutely no design. It can barely be considered functional. One day we'll get there, but it will be a while.

When we moved here the biggest thing missing was window treatments in the living room/dining area. So, I went to (gag) Walmart and found the cheapest and nicest looking blackout curtains I could find. I actually like them a lot, but I had no way of hanging them. The window is one hundred inches wide so Walmart didn't have a rod long enough for me to put the curtains up. Sad face! So, I improvised. I bought four panels. Two for the siding door, and two for the front window and door.

Here's the living room when we bought the house.

The entryway.
 The dining room.

Here's the dining room after I put up curtains in June.
 The living room window after I put up curtains. Sorry, these are the only pictures I've got. These are the panels I turned into roman shades... they are just held up by a tension rod. Not so pretty. I folded them up for the picture, probably because I wanted to look outside. Folding them was difficult, and not the what I wanted to do every time I looked outside!

That brings me to today. There are thousands of roman shade tutorials online, but I did mine a bit different than tutorials I saw elsewhere.  Roman shade kits are $60 at Joann Fabric (yowza!) and only go up to 40 inches. I needed 43 inches. So, I went to Lowes, and look what I found!
Yep, Blindz! And only $9.96 a piece. Win!

So, back in June I cut up the curtain panels I bought and hemmed the top and bottom and sides to prevent fraying. In the end they were 43 inches wide, just what I needed! From there, I measured fifteen inches down and took an inch of fabric and pinched it together, pinned, and sewed a straight line across the curtain. This gave me a half inch, hollow pleat (I have no idea what to call it). I made three of these, each fifteen inches apart. I took the picture below when everything was said and done, but it shows you what I'm talking about.

This is where the blinds come in. I put the blinds on my messy floor (I had everything clean and Avalyn spilled cheese puffs everywhere... and when there was finally time I couldn't vacuum because she was sleeping... *sigh*), and took them apart.

 It was super easy. I popped the caps off the bottom and untied the lift cord. 

Then I cut the ladder looking cords (the ones that keep the blinds spaced apart and twists them up and down, also much thinner than the lift cord), and from there the vinyl slats slid right off the cord! Yey! That left me with this:

 Let me explain this picture further. I put what was left of the blinds on top of my already hemmed fabric and used Velcro to attach the fabric to the top of the blinds. I would have used glue, but someone *cough* Keith *cough* stole my glue and wouldn't tell me where he put it. Yeah, awesome. I love it when he takes my stuff and loses it. Seriously ticked about that... but back to the shade! See the Velcro? It worked pretty well.

After I Velcroed the sucker I took the three lift cords and ran them down the length of the fabric. I used a pencil to mark where I needed to poke holes in my hollow pleats. I took two of the vinyl slats and cut them in thirds (the middle section was discarded). The pieces were just small enough to slide into the hollow pleat. Nice huh? Then I used my nippers to poke three small holes in each pleat and I threaded the lift cord through the holes. The picture above shows I knotted the cord, but do not keep it like this! I only did this to hold the cord in place for the next step. Here's what it looks like without the knot. Make sense? I hope so, I'm awful at explaining how I did things!
The next step requires glue, but I couldn't go out and get it because the roads are horrible. Unfortunately, I had already started the project, thinking I had my supplies. So without glue I had to improvise, and it's not pretty. See?
 Yeah, I had to tie on the bottom of the blind. Ew. It's supposed to be glued. Can you see how that would look a million times better? I sure do... As soon as it stops snowing and the roads are clear I'll go out and buy me some glue, until then I will make do with the unfortunate bottom of the shade.

After I did that the shades were done(ish)! So, I snapped them into place, just like you would mini blinds and gave it a little test. Viola! Roman shades!

 Here's the dining room now. With the two untouched panels. Still needs work in there. Let's not look for too long...
  A view of the front door. When I cut the panels that I used to make the shades, I used the leftovers to create  curtains for the window over the door. I just used an old rod from our last house and some command hooks to hold them in place. Not the prettiest but it makes it so people can't stare into my house!
And here's the living room now. With shades! I've got to say I'm loving that I can look out the window with ease. The snow out there is blinding, but that's okay because I don't have to turn on any lights. Yes, Avalyn's pants are around her ankles. She decided to come upstairs when I took the camera out (she was watching Muzzy in the playroom)... she then decided it would be a good idea to pull her pants down and dance for the occasion. Silly girl.

Here the shades are again, this time without a pants-less toddler in the picture. Hooray nap time!

 Well, that was my weekend project. It took me about three hours. Probably would have been longer with gluing, but we all know what happened with that. :p

A side note: The gray carpet on the floor is the color I'm going to paint the wall (probably next year, we have to get new flooring first. Don't ask, it's just what Matt says, no painting until the floor is in). I'm also going to paint the ugly honey oak trim white. The burgundy chair will probably go blue, and the pillows will get new cases when I find fabric I like. I'm not sure what will happen to the futon, but I seriously hope that a sectional couch is in our future.

Look at this room from one of Young House Love's house crashing posts. Isn't it beautiful? It's got a similar layout to my living room, in the gray that I like, with wood floors, a wingback chair, and a sectional! This person is totally in my head. If you check out the link above you can see their dining room, too. It has a cow painting. Seriously, this person is awesome. You can find her blog here.

Okay, I'm done stalking other people's living rooms for now. Does anyone else have living room envy? Or put up super awesome roman shades? I might be a little too proud of them, but I can't help it!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Avalyn's Room Change Up

With a new brother on the way Avalyn's room needs a bit-o-rearranging!

Remember the before?

Now the in progress:

No, I didn't change the color of the room... the snow outside just gives a weird blue cast to everything. And yes, there is a drawer missing from the dresser. It was in my bedroom and Matt was napping so I couldn't get it when I took the picture.

Avalyn's side of the room is still very much a girl's area, but Grasshopper's area needs some work! I saw this nursery on Google and it got my creative juices flowing. How cute is this room? I really like the shelf and frames above the crib. Maybe I can find some fabric that is similar to Avalyn's curtains and make something more boyish out of them for the small window in the room. Hmm...

From there I went to Olioboard.com to put some ideas on the table. I'm thinking about making a blue and brown blanket from fabric I saw at Joann's, buying an orange rug to cover the pink, moving my table lamp from the living room upstairs and putting a new shade on it, and buying a shelf and letters and farm stickers from Michael's to finish everything off (I found the adorable name on a picket fence here). I couldn't get the rug in the picture, but this will give you an idea of what I'm thinking.

What do you think? I think something's missing. I'm sticking with the farm theme. It looked so nice in Avalyn's nursery and it's so gender neutral! What kid doesn't like farm animals? Crazy kids, that's who! Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Name Game!

The cat is out of the bag. We made it Facebook official (that's the real deal, right?) on Thursday night.

Now it's time to name the grasshopper! That's the hard part. Matt is totally not into naming babies. Avalyn was a fluke. I saw the name Ava in the baby book and added the lyn from my name, voila! Girls name. Matt loved it, too. Easy peasy.

For some reason boy's names are not my dear hubby's strong suit. Every name has some bad memory associated with it. "That guy was a jerk in school," or, "That sounds like a girl's name," or, "Do you hate our child?" Yeah, he's super fun to play the name game with.

Nicolas - This was my great grandfather's name (spelled Nicholas). I would have been named Nicholas if I was born a boy. But I wasn't. Instead I got Nicole in my name. Neat. I like the name and I like that I can call him Nic because his initials would be NIC, how cool is that? Keith is named for Matt. If Matt would have been born on any day but Sunday he would have bee Keith Everett... well he showed up on Sunday and Matt's grandma said he needed a Biblical name, hence the Matthew Everett. So, I also like Nicolas because both our boys would be named for us in a way.

William - This was my late Grandpa. He died when he and my grandma were babysitting my brother and I when I was eight years old. Scary stuff. He was a great man, a war hero, and a fun grandpa. I wish I could have gotten to know him better. Anyway, I like the name because it has a meaning to me. I also like the nicknames Will and Liam. Matt doesn't like it though because Keith's stepfather's name is William, which I understand. 

Parker - I have loved this name since I was sixteen. I have always said that my son would be named Parker. Then I met Matt, who told me it's a girls name... but he knew a girl named Parker who was not so nice. Bye, bye, Parker... I loved you.

Stefano - This was Matt's suggestion. I'm not thrilled with it. He likes Italian names because of his ancestry, but this one sees a bit out there to me. Not to mention I have an Uncle Steve, a cousin Stevie, and Keith's Godfather's name is Stephan. There's a lot of that name in our little world... not to mention his initials would be  SIC. Yeah. Kids get teased enough, let's not make it easy.

Jeffrey - Another one of Matt's suggestions. Not bad, not bad... but I just can't see a little tiny baby with such a big person name. Totally my issue, maybe it will grow on me. Doubt it though. My baby boy doesn't feel like a Jeff. Jeffy maybe? Hmm.

Roger - This is Matt's late Grandfather's name. It's a very important name it him, just like William is to me. However, Roger doesn't work for me. Sorry, Matty!

Mason - I suggested this one. Matt is a mason, so I thought maybe he would like it. I was wrong. Next!

Cameron - "When Cameron was in Egypts land... let my Cameron goooo!" Right? Right? Ferris Bueller anyone? No. Okay... well I like it.

Aiden - I like this name, but I also know it's really popular right now. Do I want my son to be Aiden C? Probably not. It is a nice name, though.

Ira - This is my dad's middle name. Keith has his grandpa's middle name, so little Grasshopper can have my dad's middle name. It means cautious. My dad is, maybe this little guy will be, too. Avalyn's a daredevil so having a kid who isn't might not be so bad!

I think Matt might be on board with Nicolas (because I used the Italian spelling), which would be wonderful. I would like to have a name picked and Grasshopper here feels like a Nicolas. Nicolas Ira, it has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Did anyone else struggle with names? Just us? Gosh, I hope not!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Woot! My car is finally fixed!

After a week of having a beautiful new fixture in the house...
Did you see it through the after dinner mess? Here's a close up, just in case you missed it.
 Yep, that was a muffler... a muffler that's now on my car. This means I don't have to yell to talk to my husband (while he's two feet away) in the car. Life is good! It's also good that he used to be a mechanic. Do you know how much it costs at the dealership to replace a muffler on an Impala? $1300! Yikes! At the local muffler shop it was quoted at $207. That's better. AutoZone and Advanced Auto sold the muffler alone for $103. Oooh, getting warmer! Amazon.com won the race though. Coming in at $67 and free shipping. Yes, please!

So while my free labor worked away in the garage at 9:30 pm, I gave Keith my camera to play with. Yes, my good camera. What was I thinking? Next time I'll give him the point and shoot - that's probably a little more nine year old friendly. He did a good job for his first time, though!

Here's a picture of Avalyn's farmyard that Grandma and Grandpa got her for Christmas. Apparently the animals can climb a latter!

Here's where autofocus fails Keith... but reminds me that I need to vacuum the sides of my furniture. Darn cats. I hate pet hair.

Here's one of Waffles (I took it since he was too fast for Keith).
Here's a picture of Avalyn Keith took. Not too shabby, huh? I cropped it because she unzipped her shirt and we don't need her flashing the world. ;)
That was my night! Anyone else have a handy hubby? I'm pretty thankful for mine. He's my favorite DIYer!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Big Day!

Today we go in for our 20 week ultrasound. I'm praying for a healthy baby! This little guy/girl has been doing flips in my belly for weeks so I hope that's a good sign. I will be back later today with an update.

In the meantime, my daughter has been preparing for a baby in her own way.

Pushing one of the cats around in a stroller...

Putting the same cat in the cradle.

And feeding her stuffed cat cheese puffs.

I will update soon. Hopefully with good news.


The appointment went great! Everything looked normal. The baby's heartbeat was 144 bpm. I also got a few pictures, you know I love those!

 The 3D ultrasound pic!

And the money shot!

Can you tell what gender the baby is? I could. That should say something! Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Saving up to tear down

So, I'm ready to get rid of the ugly carpet in the living/dining room. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put white carpet in such a high traffic area probably didn't have kids! Matt and I are thinking

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Eva's Birthday Party

Saturday we had plans to go grocery shopping, but on our way we stopped by BK so Keith could see his friends (our neighbors from the old house) Lacie and Eva. He was shy at first (Lacie seemed to be, too), but he seemed to warm up later on. Hopefully we will be able to see them again soon. Those girls are such great kids, and I really miss having awesome neighbors like Nick and Liz.

This was also Avalyn's first time in a play place. We aren't frequent visitors to BK.

She was ready to go! And Keith was right behind her keeping a close eye on her.

My child the ham.

Avalyn got up to the second level and kept yelling, "tall!"

Eva was waiting for Keith and Avalyn to come down the slide.

Avalyn was not a fan, and this kid usually loves slides!

That's okay, it was just time for some chicken. Oh, and ketchup of course... she is her daddy's daughter.

Watching the big kids (with an entire chicken nugget stuffed in her mouth).

Hamming it up again.

These bubbles smelled so gross.

The birthday girl!

Anyone else have a birthday party they went to this weekend?