Archive for July, 2011

A Welcome Entry from Hernando House


Posted by Rebecca, July 20th, 2011

My first guest poster this week is ::drum roll:: Cait from Hernando House! Cait is one of my very loyal blog friends who always takes the time to say something nice around here. We started blogging around the same time, so she holds a special place in my heart as a part of the class of 2010. Maybe someday we’ll have a 25 year class reunion and meet up at the punch bowl…

Anyway, here’s Cait with her entryway plans! (You like what I did with that title? Taking a break has made me witty… or delirious… it is questionable at this point) 🙂

Hey y’all, I’m Cait and my husband and I blog over at Hernando House. I’m so happy to guest post for Rebecca & Mike today, their blog is one of my daily must-reads! I’ve enjoyed watching their house evolve. I thought since Rebecca & Mike have recently been tackling their entryway, I’d show you my entryway.

this is actually a nightstand

Our house was built in 1955, and it doesn’t have a true entryway, at least not in the same sense as a lot of newer houses. Our front door opens directly into our library, which was the living room when the house was built. To make a “landing spot” for things we placed a nightstand next to the door and added a hook for keys, a small metal basket for outgoing mail (which was once mistaken for holy water by a friend’s toddler), a bin for shoes, a small bowl for spare change, and a rug to help define the area. To the right of the door we hung a HomeGoods mirror that I painted (Valspar’s La Fonda Grassy Knoll), and we started a gallery wall of door pictures (most of those are from Katie Bower).

I should add that the late afternoon sun made the yellow a lot more “gold”.

This worked for us for about a year and a half, but there was never really a good place for my purse or our reusable bags, we needed some more shoe storage, and during the winter our dining room chairs were constantly draped with jackets. We decided to put a console along the wall opposite the front door, and add a coat rack to the right of the door. Ever since we moved our hutch back into the dining area (which was longer ago that I like to admit to) we’ve used a couple of stools as a placeholder for our console.

one day a DIY version of the West Elm Chunky Console will go here

This is what we’ve come up with so far:

We’re planning to remove the tile and paint the wall it its own color to help define the space. I’ve been coveting this Frameless Arch Mirror from Lowe’s ever since I saw it on their website, and I’ve been thinking about putting it over the console table we build. The inspiration for our coat rack is from Kara Paslay Designs, her husband Tim made it for her, and the inspiration for the console is the West Elm Chunky console, which is no longer available. Something like this Pottery Barn Beachcomber Basket would be great beneath the console for shoes, our current bin is too small. We also need a new door chime for our doorbell, and this one from Amazon looks nice. We hope to put a wall sconce above the over the console, but we haven’t decided exactly what style yet (the one show is from West Elm).

Thanks again to Rebecca and Mike, and I hope those of you who don’t know me will stop by my blog!

Yes, go stop by her blog… now 🙂 Mike and I considered making our own version of that West Elm chunky constole when it was still around. And you know I love a good shoe basket and I’m trying to work out a solution for our own entryway. Doesn’t Cait make great moodboards? She has more… at her blog 🙂

And no, THANK YOU Cait, for giving me a few spare hours to breathe tonight!

I Get By With A Lil Help From My Friends


Posted by Rebecca, July 19th, 2011

I am very very happy to report that Darwin is back home safe and happy. He ran straight to his food bowl and is currently sleeping in his usual spot, next to his toy 🙂

His oncologist called him an amazing cat today, which we already knew, but to have someone who you are trusting your animal’s life with say that is very reassuring and melts my heart. After getting his updated blood work, she could not believe that he is eating, drinking and playing when he is so sick. My baby’s a fighter and I couldn’t be more proud.

He’s very happy to be reunited with his dadda, his toy, his food bowl, his water bowl and his spot in the family room… despite his little shaved legs and belly.

I’m seriously overwhelmed with all of the responses we’ve received about Darwin and I haven’t had a chance to reply to them. THANK YOU. Seriously. You all make me feel less crazy and make me feel like we’re doing the right thing for him.

I said yesterday that I’m going to be taking it easy this week, but if you miss my house rants, today (I know it’s almost midnight…) I guest posted over at Decor and the Dog!

Who wouldn’t love a blog called Decor and the Dog?? Michelle also has a new construction home and she does some amazing things with it. I couldn’t resist her offer to bring my cat-y self on over. Don’t tell my kids I crossed over for the day…

Since I am forcing myself to stay somewhat away from blogging this week (I’m busy at work, in my last week of summer classes with 2 final projects due Friday and spending time with Darwin), I am fortunate enough to have some amazing bloggers who volunteered to post for me the rest of this week.

I could not be more thankful for every single bit of this post tonight. Thank you oncologist, thank you readers, thank you Michelle and thank you to my guest posters (who will start tomorrow!) 🙂

Feeling Empty


Posted by Rebecca, July 18th, 2011

We took Darwin to the oncologist tonight. After discussing our options, we decided to leave him there overnight to begin chemotherapy.

There is a very small chance that he may not make it through this first round. The oncologist has had one cat that reacted badly and the chemo began to attack healthy cells. Hearing this made it extremely, extremely difficult to leave him there tonight. But we know that without trying this, he’s only expected to live several weeks. With it? He has a chance to make a full recovery. It’s going to be a very long and complicated road for us regardless, but we had to give him that chance. The form of cancer he has (renal lymphoma) is very aggressive and we didn’t have time to wait to start treatment or second guess ourselves.

Our hearts are empty tonight, missing baby D, wondering what he’s wondering about, wishing we could pick up the phone and talk to him.

I’ll probably be keeping it light around here this week. If anyone is interested in guest posting for me please shoot me an email at

Glossy White


Posted by Rebecca, July 14th, 2011

Thank you all, once again, for your kind words for Darwin. We’re all hanging in there, just taking things one day at a time. Darwin’s been enjoying his brand new toy, Larry the Lion.

He’s currently sleeping on him 🙂 Darwin also took an interest in our therapeutic painting project.

That picture was taken with my iPhone. It’s amazing what some good light will do regardless of the camera.

We’ve spent the past few days finishing up our painting. Since we only did one coat of primer, we ended up having to do 3 coats of paint to cover up the taupe we previously had on the wall! Lesson learned, but it’s finally done 🙂

We have our entryway lamp on a timer, so that’s why there is a funny contraption in the outlet. We’ve been searching for a round, textured, chunky ottoman to stick under the table to make it more substantial looking, so that timer will someday be hidden.

We also still need to change out the gray lampshade for a white one, but we haven’t had much luck with finding one of those either!

The white we used was Olympic’s Crumb Cookie, which was the closest match to the existing trim. It is slightly less yellow, though not noticeable unless you’re me or Mike. We can’t figure out if it’s just a slight difference in finish between the different brands. Regardless, not a big deal. The baseboards in the picture above are the old paint and the wall/chair rail are the new paint.

Warning: I was completely lazy and left the mop and floor cleaner in this picture. I even saw it as I was snapping pictures but overtiredness=laziness. I didn’t feel like walking down the stairs and moving it for the sake of the picture. Whoops.

Macky thinks he’s a model. He seriously loves to photobomb.

And we forgot to put the outlet covers back on upstairs, whoops!

For the Macky fans…

I love these little mittens…even when they hit me on the way down the stairs.

I still have some touch up work to do tomorrow with the taupe. Macky thought it would be funny to rub up against the baseboards minutes after I painted them last night. Black cat + white paint = no bueno. He put himself in the tub (no seriously, he loves to play in there) and I seized the moment and gave him a wipe down before he licked himself. He thought it was funny and purred and rolled over the whole time. I wish I had pictures.

And for the fans of a good before and after? Here’s the hallway several months ago…

And today…

We cannot wait to finish up our molding and add the picture frame boxes like we have in our adjoining living room!

Then we’ll get to use our new nail gun too! 🙂

Update! Had to include a picture of Darwin sleeping with his toy, because he is just too cute 🙂

Yes, Larry the Lion is buried under his paw/face somewhere.

All of the Books, All of the Books


Posted by Michael, July 12th, 2011

Several weeks ago (who am I kidding, several months ago (we just didn’t tell you)), we began decorating our television media console furniture thing with books. The console has a very dark stain and consists of several rectangles — a library or bookshelf feel. It screamed PUT BOOKS ON ME! several times while we were watching (or obsessing over) Dexter.

But the thing is, I’m not really a book reader – and neither is Rebecca – so what could we possibly put on this thing? I’ve read two or three books, in full, maybe in the last decade.

And one of those might have just been an audio book, too.

I began searching Google and Amazon for queries such as ‘all time classic books’ and ‘must own books’ which gave me a great starting point. Most of the books presented I certainly recognized (probably because I saw the movie-adaptation) so I quickly added them to my shopping cart. They were DIRT cheap since I only added used books mainly from Goodwill stores across the country.

The first batch of books came and we started to organize and decorate with them. Sure they were great, but being we were not readers, they were only decorations and they didn’t hold much meaning for us. The smart thing would have been to pick up those books and start reading, right?

Nope.  Instead I opted to buy more books!

I started to look for used books that could at least potentially hold my interest: sports. And specifically, the New York Yankees. I quickly picked up several great and relatively new books, too: Selena Robert’s ‘A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez’ aka ‘Arod: Steroids’, Buster Olney’s ‘The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty’ and ‘The Yankee Years’ by Joe Torre.

And so here is my little corner of books that I can actually speak about! Or at least bullshit about the contents of the book.  Hey, I’m just being honest.

The other day, Rebecca began moving some books on top of the mantle when we put the new mirror on the wall. Suddenly, our media console was lacking books. She then gave me the nod to order more books. And once again, I began searching like mad for used books. I filled my cart up with maybe 8 or 9 books when I thought back about my Yankee books. I once again was adding books to my cart only for decoration.

So I began searching for books on another topic that I’m very passionate about: lyrics and music. Being that I co-manage a great music community focused around lyrics (cheap plug), how great would it be to house some music or lyric related books? I quickly found some used (and cheap!) lyric books from artists such as Sting, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. I also ordered some non-lyric music books, too – Jay-Z’s ‘Decoded’ and Kanye’s ‘Thank You and You’re Welcome’. They’re all on their way this week!

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