Archive for August, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

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Posted by Rebecca, August 22nd, 2011

We have had non-stop rain here all week…probably longer. It’s been a very thunderstormy summer and while our grass is looking pretty, the weeds are out in full force. Every time I planned to pull them in the past 2 weeks or so, it has rained. Finally tonight after dinner, while it was just around 80 degrees with no direct sun, I decided to tackle them.

This normally would not be blog worthy, though I have blogged about my ginormous weeds and my hatred of them before. But it became blog worthy once I saw what the rain has grown around my beloved hydrangea…

Now, I don’t know what the vine thing is. Every now and then a miniature version of it would pop up behind the hydrangea and I’d pull it, with gloves on. Knowing this could very well be poison ivy, I was sure to put on sneakers, pants and gloves. Once I climbed in there and saw the extent of this beast, I texted Mike and asked him to bring out a long sleeve shirt for me as well. I had a mysterious rash earlier in the summer and I’m starting to think this may have done it. I wasn’t taking any chances!

You may think I’m a moron for not noticing this thing sooner, but the bushes in front of the hydrangea are currently taller than it because we planted the 2 hydrangeas ourselves last year. Unless I stand on the porch steps and peek my head back there, I can’t see it. Early in the summer I did this often, but with the rain and being busy with Darwin, I haven’t walked out front in a while (we enter/exit through the garage).

The viney beast was just starting to grow around one of our trees and had wrapped itself around our security sign multiple times. I didn’t whip out my iPhone to take pictures until after I had unwrapped these parts.

This thing was such a mess that I had to pull out some giant landscaping scissor things. I just started cutting because I realized I would never be able to unwind it. I did it carefully so that I wouldn’t injure my beloved hydrangea. Soon, (okay maybe not soon, maybe it took an hour..) it was freed.

It seems to be unscathed. The back is a little flat from where the vines were, but I think she’ll be okay πŸ™‚

I needed a wheelbarrow to cart all of the viney stuff out of there. The strangest part? It was all connected to the ground in just ONE place. It was one giant vine!!!

Now, here is where I ask for your help in identifying the beast. This is obviously my first house and I have never touched poison anything before. I know about the good ol’ rhyme of “leaves of three, let it be” but these leaves? Single leaves that look like mittens.. if you had 2 thumbs…

Everything I google seems to go back to pictures that look like this…

Though I was careful (okay I could have been more careful), I can’t help but feel itchy at the thought of all of the vineage I handled (even with gloves). Plus I’ve heard of people who have taped their gloves to their sleeves and still manage to catch a rash :::scratches face, shoulder and hand while typing:::

At least I saved the hydrangea?

 

Poison plants image from here

Master Bath

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Posted by Rebecca, August 18th, 2011

I figured I should get back to working on My Casa tour I started two weeks ago, eh? I kinda lost steam because well, most of the other rooms in this place we haven’t done much to. Most of the rooms I have left to cover are still in their “before” stage. Quite like our white box of a master bedroom, our master bath is also still sporting some paper blinds and white walls. Woohoo.

Here’s where it lives on our floorplan.

The two good things about this room are the vanity and the tile. Here they are while the house was still under construction…

These two elements were two of the few upgrades we made to the house through the builder. I didn’t think that ripping out brand new tile after we moved in was environmentally friendly, so we made sure to pick one that we liked, even if we paid a little extra for it. For the vanity, I love super dark cabinetry and chose the darkest one that the builder had available. I wish it was even darker (since they are actually glazed) but I think once we actually decorate this room it will have that spa like feel I was going for πŸ™‚

Without further adieu, the current state of the master bath (as I cringe a little….)

I wasn’t going to include this last picture because my hair is wet and fresh out of the shower, the towels are mismatched, there’s a hat hanging on a towel hook and my funny shower cap is clearly visible in the shower. But it’s the best room shot I have. It’s hard to stage a bathroom when you just showered in it, so here’s my very realistic shot πŸ™‚

I wanted that giant corner tub so bad and I even tried to get the builder to put an outlet on the wall across from it so I could watch tv from there. But they told me no, something about passing the electrical inspection because I’d get electrocuted and blah blah. Since we’ve moved in though, my favorite spot is my little Target stool and make up mirror at the vanity. I never realized how lazy I am until I realized I can brush my teeth while sitting down. It’s wonderful.

I often forget to mention this even in real life tours, so if you’re wondering where the toilet is, it’s behind this door…

There’s a window in the potty room, so maybe I should have left the door open to show you. But that window also has a paper shade on it, so maybe it is best that I left it closed…

We have a lot of things we’d like to change in this room… the vanity lights, the standard countertop, the public restroom looking fixtures, the paper blinds, the hardware on the vanity, the frameless mirror, perhaps adding some sort of cabinetry/shelving on the center of the vanity to conceal that Listerine. The list goes on and on. But for now, it works and it’s not completey awful, so it’s on the long list πŸ™‚

And that’s the master bath’s blog debut! It only took a year to make an appearance…

One Fish, Two Fish

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Posted by Rebecca, August 17th, 2011

We haven’t done too much around here lately because we’ve been so busy with Darwin…and watching Modern Family on DVD…but really, it’s been hard to plan things and think ahead because we weren’t sure if he’d be around in the near future. It scared the bejeezus out of me, especially when we bought our couch and we were told it would come in three weeks. My first thought was that Darwin might not be around when the couch comes, which made me not very excited for the couch to hurry up and get here. There may have been a hysterical episode that day…

Thankfully, I’m pretty sure that Darwin will be around when the couch comes, so I’ve begun to focus on the family room again in anticipation of it’s arrival in two-ish weeks. A few weekends ago, we picked up two of these adorable white fish at West Elm.

I love having them mixed in with our books. I know items grouped in threes are normally more appealing, but I bought two and I like them. They add a nice pop of white to the dark entertainment center.

Our general inspiration for the family room are our pictures from our honeymoon. Mostly, this one that Mike took…

I mentioned a while ago how we are also incorporating some tealish accessories into the family room (psst, there are more dreamy Hawaii pictures in that post!)

I’ve always wanted some sort of large driftwood piece to sit on top of our entertainment center. I haven’t found one, but I did find a driftwood… turtle!

I found him at HomeGoods the day we bought our couch. Mike looked at me like I was weird for wanting him, but how could I say no!

He’s going to hang low on the entertainment center a) so that his pretty details can be seen and b) because he’s a cat proof accessory that Macky can’t break. Those gems stay low πŸ™‚

Since I now have some driftwood, I feel justified in wanting this weird wood sphere that looks like an urchin from West Elm.

I’ve liked it for a while, but it’s one of those things that you really don’t know what to do with. Then I was watching Candice Tells All this weekend and I swear she put one in front of a fireplace. I couldn’t find a picture anywhere but now I really want one. Maybe two…because everything Candice Olson touches turns to gold.

I think I’m going to pick up a few other things for this room this weekend since I think I finally have a plan. Some of it will have to wait until the couch arrives to decide, but I’m feeling good about everything.

So maybe I should change the title of this post to One Fish, Two Fish, Sea Turtle, Urchin? πŸ™‚

ps- I also recently picked up two new books on Amazon that I’m itching to read. One is Decorate by Holly Becker and the other is Undecorate by Christiane Lemieux (founder of the beloved DwellStudio). Am I the only one that noticed that a decorating book called Decorate and one called Undecorate were released at the same time? I love stacking them on top of one another because of the funny word play πŸ™‚

A Happy Update

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Posted by Rebecca, August 16th, 2011

Remember last week when I mentioned that we were told that Darwin most likely would not beat his cancer and that there was very little hope that his kidneys would regain function? At the time I said that all we needed was that little hope to keep us going and guess what? His kidneys are currently functioning at a manageable level!!!

I rushed home from work today, snapped some pictures for a post on another topic and ran off to our weekly chemo appointment. The doctor was running late so it took forever, which only made the weekly knot in my stomach grow larger. Then we received the great news. So that other post can wait πŸ™‚

We still have to keep that little bit of a guard up since he is still battling cancer and it can come back at any time. He skipped chemo tonight and will receive it next week if need be. Regardless, this is a huge hurdle we have gotten over, one which we were told from day one would be very difficult to achieve. Now the cancelled vacation, constant cleaning of accidents (his kidneys were so bad a few weeks ago that he was having accidents in his sleep :(), the twice daily fluids, the pills and the emotional rollercoaster were all worth it for this week. I am so proud of him, unbelievably proud of him. No matter what happens from here on out, he has proved that he is such an incredible little life. One in a million. And all mine.

I’ve always loved this sign from Barn Owl Primitives on Etsy… it seems appropriate to have now πŸ™‚

I’m off to smile myself to sleep. Cautiously, as the vet always says πŸ™‚

Modeling

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Posted by Rebecca, August 15th, 2011

During our staycation last week, we finally got around to swinging by a local model home we’ve wanted to check out. No, we aren’t planning on moving, we just love house hunting. I think we also like feeling justified in buying our house by seeing what else is around. I’m that person that types random cities in Realtor.com and just looks for the house with the most pictures.Β So far our house is still our favorite πŸ™‚

We went into this model not expecting too much. I knew the homes didn’t have much land and I wasn’t thrilled with the exteriors. I didn’t even plan to include our little real estate outing on the blog, but I loved the floor plan of the house we saw. Plus this house had some major perks as standard: 10 foot ceilings downstairs, finished basement included, hardwood floors, entire downstairs and upstairs hallways painted in a color of your choice, granite counter tops, fully sodded lot.Β After we walked through once, I had to go back through with my iPhone and snap some pictures. The house was super bright, so please excuse the poor quality in some of these.

First, the front door was wood and oh so charming.

Then, the entryway. Not entirely different from ours, but with one major difference- the basement stairs were also open.

I have never seen anything like that before and thought it was a great idea!

Through the entryway was a family room that opened to a kitchen/nook area, probably my favorite part.

Our floor plan is also open, but as I’ve mentioned before I am seriously disappointed that there is no room for stools at our island. We were told there would be space (since there was no model of our house when we bought it) and after we moved in, we realized it would be way too tight. And with that, my stools at the island dreams were crushed. Otherwise, I guess we have a similar vibe going.

The family room had what appeared to be thick crown molding. Upon further inspection, we realized it was just regular crown molding with a half round piece of molding under it. The space in between was just painted white- totally doable in our living and dining rooms! πŸ™‚

I just realized I lied to you. The family room/kitchen combo was not my favorite. My favorite room was the imagination room. No, I am not Willy Wonka, this house really had an imagination room instead of a formal living room. It was very small, but it was left open… to your imagination.

On the wall they offered some suggestions for what you can do with this room…

Craft Studio!

Wine Gallery!

Fun Place! Yaaay!

Second Servery! (Is it me or does this sketch make it look like a man-kitchen? Is this a new trend?…)

Pet Lounge!

Guess which one I would use? And why I loved this floorplan?…

…Pet Lounge. Or as we call it around here, A Place To Put The Litter Boxes. They are currently in our laundry room and I would love the separate the spaces. I hate hanging out in their bathroom for more than 5 minutes at a time, especially since Macky has no shame and will not wait for me to leave the room to start his business. This is why I have never even taken a picture of the laundry room, nevermind post it here.

Onto the upstairs, which wasn’t fully staged so the only room I have pictures of is the master. I loved these blue flowery pillows and white pintuck comforter on the bed. Probably too girly glam for Mike though πŸ™‚

I loved the mass amount of storage in the master bath…

Hey look, it’s a rare glimpse of Mike and I πŸ™‚ I recently realized that I am that person with no pictures of myself on my blog. I’ll work on including more than just my elbow in the future, but the focus here should be how each vanity has that nice tall cabinetry on the side. I would diiiiie for that.

Finally, on the topic of bathrooms, the hall bath had a nice little feature I wish we had. The vanity was separated from the shower/toilet by a door. I’m sure our future children would appreciate that.

We were really impressed with the floor plan and the little perks, though we love the exterior of our house and our larger lot more. As we were leaving, Mike said something interesting… we had looked in this development during our house hunt. We only drove through and left because the homes were so close together. So I guess we didn’t love the floor plan too much to choose it over our current place.

Lil house wins again! πŸ™‚

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