Archive for June, 2011

Gumballs!

8 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, June 30th, 2011

At this point in my short blogging life, I have uploaded over 1,400 pictures to this thing. With nearly 200 posts, I’m beginning to forget what I’ve written about, what I’ve photographed and what pictures never actually made it to the computer. Yes, my memory cards are currently housing something like 8,000 pictures. I’ve heard many people who maintain blogs say this and I shall repeat, the picture part is the most time consuming. For every one picture you need to post, you take like 10-15 and choose the best one.

Since I am a weekend warrior, sometimes I am so inspired on Saturdays that I take a million pictures and think of a million blog topics. Then Monday hits, as well as “real life” and sometimes I just don’t have the energy and can’t even remember what I was planning to say. The short summary to all of this rambling? Sometimes my projects fall through the cracks.

Back in March/April when we were working on the office full steam, I took on a little project that I forgot to tell you about. It involves this guy.

Yes there are two different sizes of gumballs in there. When we replenished the stash we bought the wrong size. Whoops. But anyway, we received this amazing gift from Mike’s brother and his wife about 5 years ago. We love the the novelty and unexpectedness of it. I have always adored gumball machines, especially the giant one from Family Double Dare in the early 90s. Remember? No? It’s okay I found a picture!

(via)

Everytime I see Mark Somers on the Food Network it just feels wrong. Also in the 90s, way back when I was in elementary school, I remember seeing a girl who was dressed as a gumball machine for Halloween. I was so jealous because it was obviously the coolest costume out there. It looked like this, but with balloons for gumballs…

(via)

Some girls aspire to wear lingerie and animal ears, I aim for a garbage bag and a sheet. I think that explains a lot…

While we loved our gumball machine, we thought that it was time to give him a makeover. So I (very nervously) disassembled him.

Taped off his important parts…

Then I sprayed him. I sprayed him bright green…

I understand that he is likely not food safe at this point. We never really ate the gumballs from him anyway. I imagined a green machine with bright white gumballs. He took a while to dry and when I removed the tape, I discovered a little mishap.

My taping missed a few spots around the metal (the red on the plastic piece where the gum comes out is actually printed there). I planned to touch this up with some acrylic paint in the closest match possible. I knew I could never spray it any closer than I did!

It seemed genius, perfect. And then I put it in the office.

Not so bad, but then I stepped away.

And away some more.

Then Mike and I declared this project a flop. Maybe not a full and complete flop, but we don’t like it. The green is too John Deere, which is funny because they sell John Deere spray paint and I purposely avoided it. With the addition of our white chairs, we decided another pop of white in this little corner would be perfect. Actually I think I sprayed this the same day we bought our chairs, so yes, it took me nearly 4 months to post my failure. Not because I was keeping it secret, but because I wanted to report on a final product before posting.

I bought some high gloss white spray paint soon after this mishap, but then life got crazy and the last few months have been a blur of coffee, textbooks and Pinterest. The office still looks exactly as it did in the pictures above, but maybe I need to conquer a small project to satisfy my painting itch. Can of white spray paint? I’m coming for you.

That is of course, after I pull the 4 foot weed in my front yard. Yes neighbors, we still live here….

…Wait do my neighbors read this? Hello, is that you guys? Yes, this IS why I stand in the yard with a camera and run away when you spot me!

Island Dreaming

4 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, June 28th, 2011

Remember waaay back when (last week) I was envious of Dana’s kitchen island?

(via House*Tweaking)

Well I think it may be partially possible, we can probably add the shelves but not the stools. This excites me beyond belief because I have wanted to add a different countertop to our island since, well, before we moved in! I thought we could add stools to our island and we planned to extend our countertop with butcher block long before this blog was born. But once we moved in, we realized that the salesperson was wrong when she told us we could fit stools at our island :( it would be too close of a squeeze near the refrigerator and the lower cabinets next to it.

Despite the sad news, I never gave up hope of making our kitchen more customized. For a while, Mike and I thought we may want to add a sunroom type of thing to the back of our house so that we could extend our island.

(via another model home in our development that has since sold)

But obviously, we have since added our patio and we will not be putting any additions on the back of our house. It was a fun dream while it lasted!

Mike and I have been thinking about adding a bookcase area to our island since I discovered Dana’s. When we talked it out, we realized it was completely realistic if we made one simple change.

The cats can’t eat anymore. I’m kidding I’m kidding. Yesterday, I moved their bowls out of our eat-in area so that it now looks like this…

Now that I look at this picture, it looks like Darwin is standing there like “Maa! Where’s my food!?” He was just photo bombing, as my cats always seem to do. Actually, since Darwin was diagnosed with kidney disease and started his special food last week, we’ve been feeding him separately so his bowl got to stay in the kitchen until he gains some weight. It’s back there by the sliding glass door for now.

Macky and Mowie are now dining, in the dining room. They feel all classy and stuff.

(Yes my cats are messy eaters. Sometimes the placemat and dog tray can’t even contain their messes)

We figure that we only use the dining room for special occassions and during those times, we usually leave just one bowl out for the cats or put their food in our bedroom. This keeps them protected from the chaos and foot traffic, and makes a little more room for people to walk around. Since our kitchen/eat-in area is an area we use daily, we figure we can spread ourselves out a little and let the cats eat in their own room. Don’t worry, we really don’t eat at the same time anyway. They’re on a 8:30am/8:30pm schedule. We usually eat our dinner around 6:30 :)

With the bowls out of the way, we have a lot more room to plan our island area. We’d probably move our garbage can to where the recycling basket currently is.

Then probably move the recycling basket to the opposite corner so that we can extend our island about a foot or so. I thought it might be weird that we have a half wall across from the island and I wasn’t sure if the island was lined up with it, but apparently the island isn’t lined up with anything! It sort of falls in between the half wall and the cabinets behind it.

We have a lot more space now to push our small table over so that there’s still a nice amount of open space in the area.

I think that if we add a rectangular table down the line, we will have even more space. But I’m not ready to part with my $199 table and chair set just yet.

These pictures were taken while heating up some leftovers for dinner. The toaster oven magically appeared on the countertop halfway through my pictures.

Just incase you were wondering where we keep our gargantuan toaster oven :) Yes we have the fanciest toaster oven around (it’s a Calphalon one we received as a bridal shower gift) and we use it probably once a day. I am not exaggerating, that thing is my favorite appliance in the world.

While I had a bagel, Mike had some Chinese food. So please ignore the weird combination of food on the island during these full kitchen shots :)

Wouldn’t an island bookcase like this one look wonderful where our garbage can is?

(via Megan at Honey We’re Home)

I can’t wait to give it a try. We’ll probably mark out the area and make sure it’s not too intrusive before making any decisions. It’s on the short list right after finishing our chair rail/wainscoting project :)

Big Blue

3 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, June 27th, 2011

Our umbrella has arrived! Okay we’ve had it since last week, but we needed a base for it. We checked Target during one of our many visits there and they had nothing. In fact, most of their outdoor area is already on clearance and it’s not even July 4th yet! On Saturday we made a spontaneous trip to the Crate & Barrel outlet and were lucky enough to find an umbrella base there, among other things. That place was magical on Saturday. Anywho, back to that umbrella!

It’s definitely larger and prettier than I imagined. The patio just feels so classy now :)

The blue breaks up all of the brown we have going on with the stained stairs.

The umbrella base we found worked out perfectly. I really wasn’t going to be picky about a base, since no one is going to see it and it will mostly be kicked, but I love the one we found. Most of the others I saw in my brief search were black and had a wrought iron type of design.

In complete Pottery Barn fashion, the umbrella opens by a rope and pulley system rather than a crank thing. I still have yet to figure out what to do with the rope when the umbrella is fully extended, so for now I’ve just been wrapping it around one of the metal parts. I’ll have to check the PB images to see what they do.

All of the inner parts of the umbrella are wood, which is probably my favorite part. I’m looking forward to hanging some laterns all up in there :)

Thank you reward points for a free umbrella! Okay I guess we technically paid for it, the least Pottery Barn could do was throw in an umbrella with our patio furniture purchase. Nothing is really free, right?

The backyard is slowly coming along. Last weekend Mike seeded the freshly cleared part of our backyard, but nothing has grown yet :(

That green stuff you see around the sprinkler? Weeds. Why is it that they always grow and grass doesn’t?

I picked up some $4 planters at the Crate & Barrel outlet, but other than that, we don’t have much else planned for the patio at the moment. Summer is quickly running away from us and we have so many weekend commitments that I’m not sure how many patio projects we can fit in. It looks like our built-in grill plans will actually be pushed back to next year. My bank account is very thankful :)

Old vs. New

8 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, June 23rd, 2011

I recently started reading a new-to-me blog, House*Tweaking. Yes, apparently I live under a rock for not finding it sooner, but it is wonderful. Want to see my favorite part so far?

(via Dana at House*Tweaking)

This picture made me all giddy. You see, Dana is selling her new house and is renovating an old house. I not so secretly wanted an old house that I can gut, a la Dana.

Don’t get me wrong, I love by brand spankin’ new house and bought it for a reason. But sometimes I am envious of the creativity that goes into the befores and afters I see all over blogland. I recently told Mike that if we had to buy another house? I don’t think I’d want a new one. Mostly because I want to wield a sledgehammer and partly because I felt like many of our choices were limited. There isn’t too much room for customization when you buy a new house, in a new neighborhood. Generally, you get to pick from tile group a, b, or c and floorplan 1, 2 or 3.

We missed the opportunity tile our bathroom seamlessly, like Ashley and Greg of 7th House on the Left did in when they renovated their ranch….

(via Ashley & Greg at 7th House on the Left)

Or gut a kitchen to our exact needs, like Katie Bower’s kitchen renovation in her previous home complete with peninsula…

(via Katie at Bower Power)

Ooor paint some paneling, like the so dramatically different it’s famous den of John and Sherry at Young House Love

(via John & Sherry at Young House Love)

And give an old fireplace life, like the fireplace makeover of Layla and Kevin of the Lettered Cottage

(via Layla & Kevin at the Lettered Cottage)

After being inspired by so many great makeovers, I find myself watching House Hunters or browsing Realtor.com and playing the “how would I renovate this house” game. Once, I was watching an episode of House Hunters that took place very near my house. The people walked into a house with wallpaper and green carpet and I’m sitting on the couch yelling “Don’t pass it up!! Tear up the carpet! Paint the trim!! It has great bones!” While we have torn up some carpet, added some trim and painted some walls, I know that I won’t get the dramatic befores and afters of those who tear up some 70’s shag carpet, or the satisfaction of tearing down a wall (though we have added one :)).

Even though I’m envious of those who can make unwanted homes into dream homes, I’ve also learned that a new home doesn’t have to be boring! There are also many wonderful bloggers with new homes that don’t look like your run of the mill model home.

Like Dana, once again from House*Tweaking’s current home…

(via Dana from House*Tweaking)

I had hopes of extending our island and adding a butcher block countertop quite like Dana did, but after we moved in we realized we didn’t have the space to do so. But, I am still inspired to take our house to the next level. I know it’s going to take some time (especially with our busy schedules), but I think even the simplest changes, like removing all of the builder brass and adding some more trim work will make a world of difference. I think I’m in a much more different place design-wise than I was just a year ago. Thank you, blogs and Pinterest for pushing my limits :)

Maybe someday I can be a house flipper to get my extreme makeover fix in, but until then, anyone see any great makeovers lately? Do you prefer new homes, old homes or just a great makeover wherever it takes place? Please share :)

Baskets and Boxes

5 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, June 22nd, 2011

Thank you all for your kind words and support for Darwin. I’ve never met a cat person that I didn’t like, they just seem to be the most caring and genuine people around. You guys are no exception :)

Darwin wasn’t quite acting like himself on Monday night, so we were a little concerned. He’s been inhaling his special food like a champ and drinking tons of water. Thankfully, yesterday it was all back to fun and games and I took the opportunity to relax with him.

We watched some HGTV together…

Then I took out some new toys for him from the secret stash…


Which reminds me, part of my about me section mentions making this place comfy for us and the cats. You know, like form and function or something designerly. Well, the cats have a “toy box” where all of their little belongings are kept. It’s actually the smaller of our 2 Target baskets that live in our entertainment center.

(we will hide that tv cord one of these days…and this happens to be an old picture, I have taken the tag off of that Ikea vase)

They love this little supply and can easily access it. It is really adorable to see them dig in there and always grab their personal favorite. It’s equally adorable when we wake up in the morning and toys are suddenly scattered all over the floor. If only I could train them to put them back as well….

The big basket actually has cat toys in it too. I usually keep new toys in there and only give them a few at a time because chances are, they’ll end up under the couch in a few hours. Plus it helps to make Santa’s toy supply last all year. Last night I took some toys out of a brown themed Christmas stocking, which is why Darwin’s supply is so very well coordinated :) Someday we’ll probably reserve this side for human kids’ toys, since I know trying to conceal that clutter will take years of scheming. And perhaps some engineers, inventors and scientists…

Also falling into the “family room storage basket from Target” category is another little adaptation we’ve made recently regarding the basket we used to store our wood in the winter.


It is now a flip flop basket for the summer, that was moved to the entrance of the room. Mike and I realized we were dumping our shoes by the laundry room door, so to minimize that clutter I moved this currently unused basket over closer to chuck shoes in. It’s weird that I never take my shoes off in the house, but I always have to kick them off before walking on the carpet.

Apparently, Macky thinks this should be a toy box too.

We love having loads of storage in our family room since it’s our most frequently used space. Most of the time all 5 of us are in there. Once we get a new sectional and some end tables that are actually end tables, we may be able to fit even more storage. Can you ever have enough in a room?

That’s our kitten design trick for the day. We’re going to have to come up with a lot more of those since we have to add a litter box to our second floor for Darwin. I’ve been dreading having to do that, but his health comes first. Our first step to keep my sanity is possibly switching litter brands. We currently use Feline Pine and it tracks a lot, which is fine for the laundry room but not for upstairs. Does anyone use any other all natural cat litter? We’re considering Yesterday’s News, does anyone have any experience with it?

Page 1 of 3123
Copyright 2010 - 2011. The Lil House That Could. All rights reserved.