Thursday, September 4, 2014

Project #2 - Teaser

Project #2 has a caveat! but we'll get to that in a minute...
You've all heard me talk about the "Swap Shop" and how much it has changed my life... well, this project is another tribute to that very place.
Mr. Man and I had been talking about wanting to get one of those old style, everyone's parents and grand-parents have one, type rocking chairs for our house.  One day, it came to us, via the Swap Shop!!

It's in pretty good condition, super sturdy, and has only a couple minor dents & scratches, but that gives it the Loved&Lived-in look that we like.  The only thing I really wanted to do to this chair was make a nice think butt-cushion.  Knowing I'm going to be spending many middle-of-the-night hours with my butt in this chair, it was a pretty important piece to me!

I bought some AWESOME fabric at Fabric Place Basement in Natick and invited my Mom over to make me a cushion :)  [My sewing skills are good for straight lines and single panels, but the curve of a chair cushion, with room for padding, totally eluded me!]

Enter Mama and her awesomeness!

And then here comes the Caveat.... I don't have awesome "After" photos for you because.... we are both super special, and with all of our measure-twice-cut-once philosophy, we forgot to take note of what was the back and what was the front of the cushion when it was on the chair... and we made a fatal design oops!  So my awesome mama took it home with her to pull a repair job on it and I will have it all magically fixed and beautiful in a week or 2 to show you!!!  :-)

In the meantime I'll be throwing away the huge bag/box of trash you see sitting next to the rocking chair in that first picture, and hopefully getting a few other Fabric-projects going for this little nursery of ours.
We've also been doing some updates to other parts of the house (does it ever end?) so I may have those up for you soon too....maybe.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nursery Project #1

The very first thing I had the inspiration for this baby's nursery was a Mobile!  There are so many awesome ways you can DIY a nursery.  I of course immediately went to Pinterest to see what others had come up with before me.
The one thing I really wanted to focus on for our baby's mobile, is the baby's Point-of-View and that being interesting!  So many mobiles that you see these days are interesting from the angle of the adult standing next to it, but not the child laying beneath it.
Like this:

What does baby see...?  A ring of slivers of paper!  While the adult gets to see the gradient colors and the round shapes.

So our mobile ended up more like this:

Baby gets to see fun Spiral shapes as they float around and spin in the air.

And the adults get to see the colorful paper too.
It's a win-win, and I can't wait to hang it above a crib or Changing station for baby's endless amusement!

(I also can't wait to find out if "baby" is a "he" or a "she" because man, it's hard to use pronouns when you plain old don't know what pronoun to use!!)

Thursday, August 21, 2014


OK, I've been MIA for way too long.  I have no guarantees that I won't go MIA again... but for now, I have some news, that most of you already know.  It's not an Excuse per-say, as to why I haven't been here, but it's most of the reason.  Many of the projects and activities in our lives lately, that I would normally blog about, revolve around one very key element of our lives that's been a secret up until a week or so ago....

Yup, our Brody is gonna be a big Brother!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

2 Years and Counting...

 Two Years ago today, we were surrounded by family and friends while I prepared to spend the rest of my life with this amazing man!

Two Years ago today, we pledged our love for each other and had the biggest party of our lives!

Two Years ago today, we started this new Chapter together...

And today.... I am thrilled to celebrate our love once again, and to call him My Husband.

Love You Babe!!
'Here's to many more!!'

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pinterest Inspired

This was a quick update... took me about 3 minutes.... Once I found the loops!!

Ok let me back up a bit.
I own scarves!  I have started to use scarves as a fashion piece and not just to keep me warm during our New England Winters, so I have more "decorative/delicate" scarves than I ever have before.  They are also relatively new to me, so they're not totally ingrained in my head as to what exactly I have.  So I needed a way to see them easily so I can readily choose the appropriate one for daily outfits.

This hook situation inside the closet..

...just wasn't working for me.

I saw on Pinterest someone had used Shower curtain loops on a hanger to organize their scarves and make them easily accessible.
The kicker to this story is that I knew I had those hooks somewhere, wasn't using them on a shower curtain, they're still in the box... but I couldn't find them... even in the Move!

The one Saturday morning, they Appeared to me!

I stopped what I was doing and dove into this 3 minute project.

Take Loops out of box
Put hooks on Hanger and click closed
Feed scarves through Loops
Hang Hanger

Super easy and oh so satisfying!!

Full access to Scarves and Closet where scarves previously impeded.

Gotta love a 3 minute FREE project!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hang It Up

Another update from my weekend loot:

I do love when one shopping trip can provide so many updates.  It helps to make it feel like we're really making our mark on this place, making it our own, and adding our personality to it all at the same time.

Let me back up a quick step before I tell you about the next one...
I got started into blogging when I stumbled upon Young House Love blog.  They are an amazing couple who blogs together.  I've mentioned them a few times already on this blog of mine, but this time I mention them because they designed a line of merchandise..., and I bought a piece of it!

The little box to the right in the above photo, in front of the plastic door knob case, that's it!  It's a Picture hanger designed by Young House Love that I bought at Target!

I have this amazing shadow box full of our wedding story that has been sitting in storage since we moved into this house of ours.  When I read about John & Sherry's line and that it included a hanging knob for just this very purpose, I was excited!
It was super easy to install, and worked great to add interest to my already interesting piece when I hung it on the wall, instead of just having a screw or ugly gold picture hanging hook above our wedding box.  This shadow box was hand crafted by my Dad specifically for us to display all the little memories from our Wedding Journey, and it finally has a rightful place in our House.

Thanks again Dad for making us such a wonderful and personal piece, and thanks to Young House Love for the inspiration and interest-added to my wall!  This is literally the Only thing hung on all the walls downstairs (besides in the man-cave) and I love it!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Door Makeover

Have you ever wanted to paint a room, or a wall, or a cabinet... and you know you want to paint it, but you're not sure what color would look best.  So you go to the hardware store and grab a couple paint chips to hold up against that spot.  Then you narrow it down to 2 or 3 colors, so you grab a test-pot of those colors and paint a patch of each on that wall, then you finally choose a color and get to painting....?
Anyone have that experience?
Because I sure didn't!!!

This door in the Laundry room was white... kind of....

It was trying to be white, but like many things in this house, it was done poorly by the previous owners.  You can even see in this crappy iPhone photo that the area by the locks only got one coat of white way back when.  That's not dirt, it's a crappy paint job.

 From the first week of living in this house this little voice in my head has been saying "Why isn't that door painted Red?!!?"

There was no thinking about colors, Paint chips, or paint swatches.  I went to Lowes, grabbed a test pot of pain (Hoping that would be all I would need), and painted that door.  After 2 coats it was starting to look as magical as I knew it could be.

The third coat and a day of drying, and I'm in Love!

I am so happy to have this door painted Red, you have no idea!  I'm also happy that it didn't require going through the full scenario from above.  (Though I have other painting plans that will be more like that first scenario just waiting in the wings :)

Have you ever painted a Door? Had a hard time deciding on a paint color? Think I'm crazy for choosing red?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Under the Kitchen Sink

Ok, back to this Loot and the Bang-for-my-Buck projects that stemmed from it all:

See that shelfie looking item and the pink command-strip hooks that are in the tray below it... these two items facilitated probably the most functioning update from my shopping trip.

That pesky space under the kitchen sink got a make-over.  This make over even got a "Nice job on that" comment from Mr. Man, so you know it had to be good!

We started with this:

It's not that it was disorganized per-se, but stuff was behind each other and it was very hard to reach anything but those 2 bottles that were right in the front.

So with a little bit of elbow grease, pulling everything out to see what I was working with, and adding in a shelf and 3 pink hooks we ended up with this:

The plastic drawer was all we needed at the condo to organize under the sink, and we were able to utilize it again here, but with the corner shape of this kitchen v. the rectangle of the last one, that drawer just wasn't enough.

I am thrilled with how this little update has made daily tasks so much easier.  I know what we have and can reach everything without having to move anything else out of the way.  Our Cascade Complete packets and garbage bags are easily accessible and not blocking access to anything else.

It's a win-win!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Little Updates

They say life isn't a destination, it's a journey... well, I feel like our house is also a journey.  We have been living here just over 2 months, and patterns have started to emerge.
I've heard people say that you should live in a new place for a few months before making any larger changes, and I 100% agree with that.
2 1/2 months in this house have showed us where the dust (i.e. dog hair) collect.  We know where we end up throwing our clothes (i.e. not always in the hamper).  We have discovered the paper-collection areas that we didn't necessarily want to have that title.  We know how much easier life is when we have the Dustbuster nearby, and we know which doors we use the most.
These little facts about our house and how we live in it help us to make better long-term decisions about how we live here long term.

This past weekend I did a "little" shopping and a couple "little" projects.  By "little" I mean that I literally bought Little things that would make the most difference for us.  The most Bang for our Buck, if you will.

Here's a picture of the loot from my trip...
(don't mind the mess in the background)

Some not-exactly-for-the-house doggy treats snuck into my basket... but we'll just ignore those for now :)

On the left, you can see a carpet rolled up.  This carpet now lives in front of my stove, and makes cooking for any length of time a much more enjoyable task now that there's some cushion under my toesies.
(Don't worry, I centered it on the cabinets right after taking this picture.  Just forgot to re-take it!)

The next Item from my shopping trip that I opened up was those blue scissors!  They are my new kitchen scissors and are totally awesome in my all black-handled knife block.
Why did I need new kitchen scissors you ask?  well, I have a dog, and he apparently really enjoys the soft rubbery handles of kitchen scissors.  So my black-handled matching nice kitchen scissors are no longer a part of the family, so this happy blue pair steps in to fill the void for a whopping $2.50!

That tray there found a home on top of our microwave to hide some of our paper collections that seem to congregate there even when there wasn't a bin.  So now we have a pretty bin, and it looks like they're supposed to be there.

The "littlest" project of the weekend was an un-screw, then re-screw project.  Remember that craft closet, with the awesome new wrapping paper holding towel bar in the craft room...?
Well, the mechanism in the door knob for that closet was installed backwards.  The angled part of the latch was facing out, so you could just pull the door open, but had to turn the knob in order to close the door...
So I switched it around for proper function.

And all is once again right in the land of door knobs.  (well except for that one that you see in my "loot" picture above, because that knob project was unfortunately not nearly as simple, nor successful... but more on that another time...)

Check back on Thursday for more about what I did with my "little" goodies.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Today is my Parents' Anniversary!

31 Years ago today, they were married and began in incredible journey together.

1 year ago today, we were in Rome Italy Celebrating their wedding day once again!

We love you Mom & Dad!!

Thanks for getting married and having us Kids :)

Happy Anniversary!!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Showing Off

I really do love a good opportunity to show off our new house!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this feeling of pride when a new visitor comes to our house for the first time and we get to give them the tour.
I'm sure the excitement and eagerness will die down a little as time passes by, but even to us it's still a novelty that we own this house, it's ours, and we really do live here.

This past weekend we got a chance to show off our house to my Grandparents, all the way from Brooklyn.  Two people who have unwaveringly supported me in all of my endeavors, and are always proud of my accomplishments.

Thanks for coming to visit Grandma & Grandpa, your pride in us and love for us is a gift I never want to take for granted.

And thanks to my parents who came with them and provided dinner so I didn't have to cook :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Happenings

I always enjoy taking pictures... Pretty much everyone knows that about me.  I'm a very Novice photographer, I take pictures mostly of people, and most of the time I get the settings wrong.  I've tried some books to help me figure it out, and I follow a bunch of photographers' blogs to get pose ideas, but I really would love someone to sit down and teach me about MY camera, ya know?

Anyways, I digress...
Easter is always a fun time for me to take pictures, for a couple of reasons.  1: I always spend Easter with my family, and they usually tolerate my attempts at photography pretty well, 2: somehow the lighting always seems to be good on Easter weekend.  So without further ado, here are some photos from our holiday weekend.

Crazy colors in Flowers from my brother, with our Egg-Coloring masterpieces in the background:

Delicious baked clams for Good Friday dinner, courtesy of my dad.

Crafty project, all supplies and the idea of course provided by my mother!

The fruits of our Craftiness, or lack thereof.

And The Fam, smiling for the camera on Easter Sunday.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend with your families and friends.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Swap Shop

I don't know what I'd have done all my life without the Swap Shop at the local dump near my parent's house.
My first apartment was almost completely furnished by swap shop finds. And of course, now that we have an entire house to furnish, it's coming into play again in a big way.
Some of the items in our house that are from that very special place include a grandfather clock I've had for 6 years and moved with me twice, my favorite bookcase, and my husband's nightstand.

The latest addition to that list is this display cabinet!

When my mom found this guy he had only half of a backing board, and some cobwebs, but otherwise is in great shape.

He has become a great addition to the craft room to make it multi-purpose as an office too.  I can't wait to put a fun backing on it and fill it with my office supplies and files.
Thanks to Mom and her Swap Shop!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Typical WeekNight at our House

Just thought I'd give you a glimpse into our lives on a weeknight after getting home from work and what the process looks like...

I arrive home from work after my 40 minute commute, Mr. Man has Brody on a walk, so I am alone for the moment.  My plan is to do laundry and grill pork chops for dinner for a low-key evening in our house.

  • I hang my coat on the hooks we installed in the mud/laundry room and go upstairs for the laundry basket.
  • Bring basket downstairs and start a load in the washing machine.While doing this I realize there's a load in the dryer from who remembers when, so I fold those clothes.
  • The sun is out so I pull up the shade on the window as I fold and realize the window is filthy.
  • I take the laundry upstairs and put it away before grabbing the Windex & paper towels to go downstairs and clean the window.
  • After spraying the window and wiping it down I realize that the dirt i'm seeing is on the outside, so I head outside in my slippers to clean the window out there.
  • Cleaning the window uses the last of the paper towel roll, so I head back inside to get a new roll and install it upstairs in the paper towel spot.
  • As I passed by the door to the guest room downstairs I find a blanket crumpled on the floor.  As I start to fold it Mr. Man arrives home and asks me my plans for that room. (At this point we had literally done Nothing to that room, and it was completely empty but for a blow-up mattress.)
  • I told him my plans, and he immediately got out his industrial demo-hammer and went to work taking apart the crooked crappy shelving while I headed upstairs to get dinner marinating.
  • While that's marinating I pull up my bank's website and research auto-pay for a new bill of ours.
  • After taking care of banking, I open the pantry and remember that stuffed peppers were part of my meal plan for the night, so I start throwing together a filling and stuffing it into the mini sweet peppers I had bought.
  • I fire up the Grill! (I absolutely LOVE having the grill right outside the French doors on our porch!)
  • I take advantage of this pre-heating moment to photograph my man during his Demo before putting our food on the grill.

  • When it's done I pry him away from his progress to eat dinner.  We finally have our few minutes of quiet together and enjoy our meal.

  • After dinner I go to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, but it's full of clean dishes, so that has to get emptied and all dishes put away.
  • The leftover food gets put away, pans get washed, and the dishes get loaded into the dishwasher.
  • The empty beer bottles were headed for the recycle bin when I realized it was full, so I take it down to the garage bins to wait for trash day.
  • While downstairs, I realize that I never went back to switch the laundry, so the wash switches to the dryer, and Finally it's time to sit on the couch.
  • Before long Brody needs to go out, so he starts talking and nudging my elbow as I sit on the couch. After our 20 minute walk around the neighborhood it is finally time to be horizontal, off my feet, and go to sleep!!!

I know there are many people out there who have evenings that look like this.  There is always something to do, and I try to follow the mantra "Don't be Lazy" when a chore comes up that I'm less than enthused about doing.
Life is busy, and there's always lots to do, and I wish you all enough energy and dedication to do it!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Simple Things

It seems like every minute of every day I'm thinking about what the next project is, and where we can get the most bang for our buck. There's always some project going on or some daily chores to be done.
What I'm realizing as all these tasks pile up and are constantly being crossed of the to-do list... It's important to take time for the simple things in life that just plain old make you Happy :)
This weekend my mom visited, and she and I made time to go to a craft show in Boston. We even managed to somehow have lunch at an awesome restaurant!

I also stole 45 minutes for myself and painted my nails a vibrant pink!
These little time-out items make all the other stuff even more fun and better appreciated.

Don't worry though, plenty of house stuff got done this weekend too...we worked on the gardens (by 'we' on this one I mean Mr. Man.) Painted a door, Demo-ed some poorly built built-in shelves, vacuumed the entire house, did 5 loads of laundry, cooked many meals and made more curtains for the rooms upstairs.

Everything in moderation...!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Coat Closet Part Deux!

Yes, I am a little obsessed with our coat closet.  Which is kinda silly, because it's not even really where we hang our coats on a daily basis.  But whatever, it's fine.

We started with some random hooks thrown into a closet with patchy dry-wall and no paint:

Then we graduated to a nice freshly painted white walled closet with black trim hooks:

The last thing that this closet needed, was character!  And a good utilization of the upper space above the top row of hooks.  So in order to not disappoint any closet-lovers (wait that sounds wrong) out there, I went to work making the shelf my dad got us perfect for this space....

Masking tape stripes....

Black paint to match the trim....

Put some of Brody's stuff on our new shelf...

And call this Make-Over Complete!!