Archive for August, 2011

Return of the Deer

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Posted by Rebecca, August 31st, 2011

This morning before I left for work, I checked on my deer only to find them covered in dew. I figured that would definitely mean I would have to redo them and I was prepared to come home and tell you that there would be no deer reveal.

Well, the deer faked me out. When I got home, they looked just fine! No marks from my failed attemped to move them while they were still wet, no dew marks and you could hardly see that weird stain seepage I mentioned yesterday. I was all set to sand them this weekend, but I think they’ll do just fine :)

I stuck them on the entryway table to take pictures, but I liked them there since the table has been lacking in the accessories department for months. I decided to add books that represented both my and Mike’s websites… so we have decorating and lyrics :)

I decided to angle the books rather than put them flush against the wall. They just looked better that way.

Who knows if they’ll stay here once we finish up the entryway and finally find a white lampshade. I think it would be fun to spray them an interesting color someday (ala Antonio from Design Star’s pink geese), but I’m liking my new display so far :)

Since I was standing in front of a mirror and I promised to try to include more pictures of myself, I couldn’t resist.

Sorry guys, I really tried to take myself seriously, but it didn’t happen. I mean, I was standing in front of a mirror with a camera… what is this 2005? Plus the mirror has a smudge. And I’m wearing the shirt I sleep in. It’s the thought that counts :)

Anyway, I’m in the midst of another entryway project so I’m keeping it short tonight. Hopefully I’ll finish it this year this week…

Update: here is the before picture of the deer again, so you don’t have to click back to the previous post :)

Oh Deer

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Posted by Rebecca, August 30th, 2011

Yesterday, Mike spotted this in our backyard…

I love our random deer sightings. It’s amazing how well they camouflage themselves and I’m sure they’re out there more than we realize. Mike and I grew up in a more congested area (we’re from the same town) and deer sightings were rare and always exciting. I love having furry, speckled butt neighbors :)

I love them so much that when my mother in law was getting rid of these bookends, I decided to take them.

They belonged to Mike’s grandmother and are apparently decades old. But you know what? The oldies are coming back. I figured with a little white, high gloss spray paint these would look like they came straight out of West Elm.

But first, I couldn’t resist doing this.

Yes, I tried to recreate the live deer scene. However, the bookend version was way smaller than I anticipated. But maybe Deer can be our version of the Travelocity gnome and just pop up in random places?

If my neighbors didn’t already know about this blog (yes, secret’s out… hey guys!), then I would have felt weird. But I obviously have no shame and put inanimate objects in my weeds for entertainment purposes.

After I was done gnoming, it was time to get down to business.

I often spray paint in the garage, but all of our outdoor furniture (including a table, 6 chairs, a bench, 2 umbrellas and a fire pit) are still taking hurricane shelter in there. So I decided to use this old Pottery Barn box and spray them in the grass.

I used the short and quick spray method. I confess that I am normally rather impatient and just hold the trigger down, 3 inches away from the object (12 is the recommended) and generally succeed. I didn’t want to mess these up, so I was more cautious.

They look a little more worn when spray painted (they have some cracks) but it doesn’t bother me. Here are the two of them after a first coat.

I went back outside a half hour or so later for a second coat. Even after that, this strange mark keeps popping back up. Chemical reaction or something?

I eventually lost my patience and just sprayed the hell out of it, but it kept reappearing after a minute. Weird.

I have no pictures of my second coat because after the first one, I noticed that this happened…

That is my camera. With a light dusting of spray paint. Ugh. Thankfully, the lens was spared and it just looks stupid. The wind was blowing lightly and I didn’t realize that my camera was laying in the grass, in the line of fire. Therefore, it stayed inside for the rest of the night.

However, my bookends will not be staying inside tonight. I went to pick up the Pottery Barn box to move it inside and the bookends fell over. While soaked. Then I had to use my hands to stand them back up, which not only got me messy but required touch up work. I’m hoping the tacky surface that was left isn’t noticeable, considering I just sprayed right over it. So I ended up leaving the entire box outside for the night. Don’t worry, it’s not supposed to rain. I’m actually more concered with bugs getting stuck to them…

The one time I try to spray paint properly. The one time! ::shakes fist in air:: Hopefully I’ll have true after pictures later this week…

 

ps- The Office wedding episode was just on and that dance scene gets me every time! Couldn’t help but stop to watch :)

Peace Out, Irene!

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Posted by Rebecca, August 29th, 2011

We made it through our first hurricane and let me tell you, it was not fun. We were in the family room Saturday night and around 9, we decided to head up to bed and bring the cats with us (meaning, lock them in the bedroom for the night). As we gave Darwin his fluids for the night (which we now do while he’s eating), the lights began to flicker. We grabbed everything we would need for the night and climbed in bed, only to have the lights go out minutes later. We were congratulating ourselves for our timing and our decision to confine the cats to one area. We had the cat carriers in our closet incase we had to make a run for it in the middle of the night.

Turns out, hurricanes are not very fun on the second level of your house. I wouldn’t know this since a) I grew up in a one story house and b) I have never experienced strong winds. The sounds were awful and we learned via iPad news streams that we were issued a tornado warning. I knew that was fairly common for hurricanes, but it made me nervous about being on the second floor. A little bit after the power went out, a generator must have blown or something because the sky was lighting up all sorts of colors. Have I ever told you about my extreme fear of fire? I am terrified. I have 3 cats, we are only 2 people. I know that if a fire broke out, it would not be good for us.

Cue the panic. It’s now raining sideways, things are blowing up nearby and I am on the second floor of my house during a tornado warning. Oh, and my only fear initially was that one of the trees in the backyard would hit the house. So add that in too! I had a good few minutes where my teeth were literally chattering because I was scared…. and I am NOT easily scared. I couldn’t fathom how people in the south do this several times a year.

Then Mike asked if we should move to the office. We had thought about this before, as it’s low, away from the back of the house to avoid trees and it’s about as close to the interior as the 5 of us can get together, but we really didn’t think we’d have to do it. There were way too many risks (and 6 windows not counting the bathroom/closet), so we decided to move our troops.

Two adults, three cats and a litter box in this space…

But you know what? It worked. After that we didn’t hear/feel a thing. The cats were fine, in fact, Macky was snoring at one point in the middle of the night. We hardly slept (though Mike tells me I slept through some really strong gusts), but my blanket and pillow did just fine on the floor. We moved the chairs out of the way, of course, so we both fit quite comfortably.

Our families did fine as well, despite the fact that my parents live close to the shore and were concerned about some trees in their area. In fact, we may have ended up the worst, considering we woke up to this in our basement…

Those are just wires that Mike ran for the network, don’t mind those ;)

While our basement has never been flooded, us rookies never realized that if the power went out, our sump pump would stop working. We have now learned our lesson and will no longer decline that option on our homeowners’ insurance…

Thankfully, Mike’s dad, brother and his friend Chris came by with a back up generator and emptied our basement rather quickly. We’re very fortunate that our basement is not finished and there’s not too much down there. It may be a blessing in disguise as we’ll now have to go through whatever the heck is in that cardboard box up there :)

Many of our neighbors were not as lucky as I saw houses and houses with furniture and carpet at the curb today. Another thing I didn’t know is that you can’t just clean up a flooded basement. I thought you can just shampoo those carpets and go about your day, but apparently not when 6 inches of water sits down there for 24 hours. I will be keeping that in mind when we finish ours…

Our power didn’t go back on until late last night, so late that we were in bed and Mike happened to see the street lights kick on. For those more than 24 hours without power, we showered at Mike’s parents’ place and had a few things that made life easier.

First, this USB charger than runs off of a battery, genius for keeping phones charged…

Then, the classic cooler…

You know, BECAUSE WE COULD NOT RISK LOSING THE TORTILLAS AND MUSTARD.

There’s milk down there too… somewhere. Glad we have our priorities in order.

All in all, we’re glad everything worked out as well as it did. The only thing in our yard was someone’s plastic flower pot and some leaves. Which is quite amazing, considering even 12 hours after the worst of the storm had passed, we were still experiencing 30 mph winds…

Now you know why my initial fear was that tree falling into my family room windows :)

ps- Lana from Making a House a Home posted some more pictures from the Emily Henderson event, since I literally took just one. I am the one with the… creepily red eyes.

On Earthquakes, Hurricanes and…Emily Henderson

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Posted by Rebecca, August 26th, 2011

I think those 2 words and a name would sum up my week pretty well.

On Earthquakes:

This came first, the first one I have ever experienced. As I’ve mentioned before, it broke one of my beloved Ikea frames…

On Emily Henderson:

Then, last night came meeting Emily Henderson…

Wait, whaaat?!? Yes you read that right. And yes, that is me standing next to her since you probably wouldn’t know that otherwise because I have no pictures of myself on here. I suppose I should rewind a little, eh?

A few weeks ago, I was sent an invite to a meet and greet with Emily. The catch was, I wasn’t allowed to post about it until after it was over. Maybe the other catch was, I had never been to anything like this before I had no clue what to expect. But I figured it would be a fun way to meet people and get to talk about one of my favorite things- this blog.

So I hopped on the train into the city and headed to the restaurant solo. I was a little early (totally strange for me) so I met Emily right away. She’s one of those people that makes you entirely comfortable off the bat. Just so genuine, humble and easy to talk to. I love her so much more now. Not that I didn’t love her, but you know what I mean. What a gem, that Emily :)

I had no business cards, as I decided I was going to wing it and go for fun. Turns out, everyone had one and I never realized how long my blog name was until I repeated it a million times at a loud bar.  Also turns out, that no one really knew my blog which made it even harder to explain what I do at this gig. The overachiever and perfectionist in me was kicking myself for not being more prepared. It’s a flaw and a blessing all in one.

All in all, I met some really amazing bloggers, writers and people starting new businesses and I am so thankful for the experience. It was such a nice change from the norm and it was great to feel like I was there to build something I love so much and put my blood, sweat, tears and minimal spare time into. Though I wasn’t sure at times if my lil blogging self belonged there, it was a great learning experience for me to see a whole industry I’ve never been exposed to. I normally sit at a desk, doing math all day, which may explain why I’m awkward. Mike told me I should be proud of myself. Proud that I walked into a room with a bunch of people I didn’t know and managed to not get drunk before talking to anyone. So I guess I’ll be proud and quit kicking myself now :)

I’m off to invest in some cards that will fit www.thelilhousethatcould.com….

On Hurricanes:

On Sunday, we’re expected to get hit by Hurricane Irene. I have never experienced hurricane force winds, so now I’m getting an earthquake and a hurricane in one week! We’re planning on moving our beloved patio furniture in to protect it…

We stocked up on food and we are just hoping that none of the giant trees in the backyard find their way through the house. The perks of living in a new house? We have no power lines out front as they are all underground. The downside of living in a new house? They don’t build ‘em like they used to! Let’s hope this place can withstand some strong winds. Cross your fingers for us and fellow east coasters, please stay safe. There’s a difference between being paranoid and being prepared.

I think that all explains where I’ve been this week. Okay, maybe it only explains where I was last night. Do you think it would be safe to use a nail gun during a hurricane? Just kidding… sort of… I have molding to finish and if I’m trapped in the house… :)

A Room With A View

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Posted by Rebecca, August 24th, 2011

Remember back when we painted our office stripes? I last left you with the office looking like this…

Months later, we haven’t done anything else to this room. I lost steam, inspiration and I was no longer excited about it. Mike and I always planned for this to be a temporary office, as we always thought that when we have kids, we’d make it a playroom. Which is why we bought some Ikea desks instead of going with the built-ins we priced out at Lowe’s back in the fall. The past few months we’ve found ourselves saying things like “someday when we move the office”, or “in our dream office we can do x, y, z”. Usually, the office looks like this…

We have (okay Mike has) a lot of hardware that needs a home. Those boxes are full of parts that he’s putting together to give us some additional storage space for pictures, etc. This room has no closet. This is a problem, especially since this room is pretty much in our entryway.

Last week we finally admitted that this office was not working for either of us. It’s not my dreamy, crafty, inspiration filled space and it’s not ideal for Mike either, who wants a desk that doesn’t connect to mine and a wall to write some notes on. We realized it was idiotic for us to continue to work in this space if it’s not well, working for us, just because it’s called the office on the floor plan. Especially when we have 3 spare bedrooms that are not being used!

Cue the future office!

This is our largest spare bedroom. It’s still rocking the builder grade carpet and white walls. In fact, it doesn’t even have a light fixture yet.

But it does have a small walk-in closet for some much needed storage (which is currently housing just my wedding dress and some spare bedding..)

Printer, computer parts, random stuff that I don’t know what purpose it serves can live in here. Our current office has no closed storage, so this will be a nice change.

One other thing Mike and I decided we wanted is our own walls. While it looks pretty and sleek when desks are one piece or along the same wall, it’s not going to work for us. We have two completely different sets of needs and this room is large enough to handle a desk on each wall.

Probably Mike’s side…

And my side…

This room also has something else, a little pond view :)

We had an awesome pond view for a good 6 months until they built the house across the street from us. Sidenote: the other name I considered for this blog was Across The Pond, which thankfully I didn’t choose because a blog by that name already exists! :)

We don’t have any concrete plans yet and we have only just begun to look around for ideas. We’ll probably move our current furniture up there in the next couple of months and feel it out. We really have no concept of the size of the room since there is currently nothing in it, so we’re not sure where we can put bookcases and a seating area (which we definitely want!)

One idea I stumbled upon while reading Made By Girl was this built-in shelving/bench area from Jenny of Anything Pretty

(via Anything Pretty)

Don’t see the shelves? Hold on there’s a close-up!

(via Anything Pretty)

The bench also has storage, how genius! This would fit in perfectly with this spare room and would provide us with some much needed storage. I’m not sure if I’d want to do the curtains since this will be an office, but we shall see. I’ve been looking for a room to do these built-ins I pinned on Pinterest a while ago, so it’s nice to see how I can accomodate two windows!

(via Pinterest, original link is broken :()

Don’t worry, we will never, ever paint over our office stripes. In fact, we hope to do them more justice by getting some furniture out of that cramped room because we love them that much. Like I said before, we don’t have any serious plans but we have plenty of time to think this out. It is not easy to design a space for 2 different people with different needs. Rather than meeting in the middle and having us both settle, this time we want to make sure we both get exactly what we want. And that is going to take some time and some long hard thinking…

ps- We were not spared from the wrath of yesterday’s east coast earthquake. One of our Ikea frames did not make it out alive :(

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