Archive for April, 2012

ABC, Easy As?

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Posted by Rebecca, April 26th, 2012

Confession: I love lettering, typography, whatever you want to call it. I’ve known forever that I wanted to make some sort of alphabet art for the baby’s room, but I put off actually making something until I had a better idea of the space. Now that we have the elusive glider and ordered a bookcase, I know that we can add a mix of pieces to the wall over the bookcase (which has not yet arrived…)

Which means I can finally decide what to do with the space on the other side of the room, above the dresser. Mike talked about our adding some framed art here, but now that we know we can add a TON of frames to the space above the bookcase, I’m leaning towards one giant artpiece.

Of course I don’t have a head-on picture of the dresser, on the wall it’s staying on, that includes the height of the ceiling. But you get the idea that the wall above the dresser is a giant blank slate.

We’ve waited to install our giraffe sconces until we were sure of where we were putting the dresser. Which meant we had to have the glider. Which we just got last week. See how everything comes back to that damn glider?

Now we know we can install our giraffe sconces over the dresser like our inspiration picture…

(Honey & Fitz via Centsational Girl)

Then in the middle, I want to add some giant, horizontal alphabet art. Like this…

(from Free Home Decorating Ideas via Pinterest)

Or like this…

(via Project Nursery)

I’m partial to styles that have multiple fonts, sizes and are not perfectly aligned. Like this one…

(via Project Nursery)

Or this…

(via Etsy)

Or even patterned like this one…

(via Area Fare)

You notice how all of those last 3 have blue in them and 2 out 3 also have green? That’s for all of you people who have tried to tell us that you know we’re having a boy because of our nursery paint choices. Muhahaha.

Up until last night, I figured I’d draft something using a couple of different fonts, then paint the final product on canvas. As I fiddled with Photoshop last night trying to do that fancy mock up of our new bookcase that I posted above, I realized that we can just design something in Photoshop and have it printed on canvas. This would save me a TON of time and be a lot more fool proof than my free handing. I looked up the prices of printing on canvas using Kodak Gallery and was shocked to see that it would be about $150 for a 24″ x 36″, which is about what we would want.

So I went back to doing it myself, when Mike reminded me that the last time I went to Michael’s to buy a canvas that large, they were super expensive too (even with 50% off sale). I do know how to stretch my own canvas, which is always an option, but then I would still be freehanding the letters. Humpf.

Then I thought of just doing a print in a matted frame. I decided to see how large of a print we could order and I was shocked to see that they come as large as 20″ x 30″ for just $20! I checked the Ikea website to see how large their frames go and it seems as though they sell them pretty large. We’d probably want the finished product, meaning the outside of the frame, to be around 24″ x 36″. Ikea notoriously has awkward sized frames, so I think we’ll pick up a frame first. Then we can see how large the opening is and plan a print to fit the opening. The whole thing– print, mat and frame should run us about $50 and would be less tedious than painting by hand. Though I need Mike to be in charge of the Photoshopping magic, I am still a rookie and what takes me 2 hours takes him 2 minutes.

We’ll keep you posted on our progress (though not the specific colors we’re using just yet!). Hopefully the logistics work out and between the 2 of us, we can whip up something awesome :)

ps- My last day of work is Monday. Let’s hope the baby gives me a full week to wrap up all of this nursery business!

The Missing Furniture Piece

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Posted by Rebecca, April 25th, 2012

The last time you saw the nursery, the furniture was arranged with the glider in the corner.

Oh and there’s a Mamaroo temporarily in the other corner. We just put it together and wanted to make sure it worked. The point is, there’s a giant empty wall next to the glider.

I was waiting to have the glider to decide what type of furniture to put next to it. I wasn’t sure if we’d want a small table, toy storage, bookcase, etc., but I knew we’d want something to use as a surface to put down bottles and other things. Then we realized how small this room was getting with everything in it…

I had the glider positioned on the right side of the window…

So I just slid it out to the other side of the window.

The good thing about this is now we can get a small bookcase that will be closer to centered on the wall, but still next to the chair. Then we can fill the wall space above the bookcase with a nice gallery wall or something similar.

We measured about how large of a bookcase we’d want after moving the chair. The ottoman does stick out into the room a little bit more now, but there’s still plenty of space to navigate to the crib. As the baby grows, maybe the configuration will change.

I searched the Ikea website and saw that the only short bookcase they had was the Expedit, which I wasn’t crazy about in this room (though we have a black/brown one in the office). I turned to Target and quickly found the Carson 2-shelf bookcase.

(via Target)

The image on the Target website isn’t great, but you get the idea. The dimensions worked, plus I was able to get free shipping and 5% off for using my Target debit card. Since the image wasn’t great, I wasn’t yet sold and turned to Google, where I discovered that this was just the shorter version of this bookcase that Jessie from Cape 27 has that I blogged about last year!

(via Cape 27)

Which of course got my wheels turning further…. not only should I buy the bookcase, but I should paint the back of it green like the nursery closet!

It would look a little something like this…

So I ordered it. It will be here early next week and will make a nice home for some books, a humidifier and a gallery wall :)

Family Room Hardwoods

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Posted by Rebecca, April 23rd, 2012

In the midst of the glider chaos of last week, we forgot to tell you something.

Not only did we decide to go with hardwood in our family room (we discussed the reasoning here), but it was delivered and installed.

We didn’t have much time to flip flop on our decision and just decided that the carpet had to go… and quickly. We had stopped spending time in the family room because the cats follow us around the house and if we were in there, it meant Darwin was there, which meant an increased possibility of accidents. Plus, being 9 months pregnant and having to jump over SpotBot crop circles (as we called them) to get on to the couch was not a fun process. We scheduled our install about 2 weeks in advance and we could not wait until the day came. I was counting down the minutes until that carpet was gone and I told the baby that it could not come until that weight was off my shoulders.

So on Friday, we said our final goodbye to our carpet.

I was never in love with the idea of doing anything but carpet in this room. I liked our dark ottoman and dark entertainment center and thought the contrast of the carpet looked better. I accepted the hardwood as more of a necessity.

And I am completely impressed with how it looks. I love it more than the carpet (note: the floors come off strangely orange on camera)

One of our concerns was that the new floors would not match the existing floors, since they were installed over a year apart. But much to our surprise, they match perfectly.

The slate around the fireplace is now more level with the floors, which is a plus (we still need to find a way to paint this or something)

With the hardwoods, we also had to add an additional quarter round piece of molding. By we, I mean our contractor. We didn’t do these floors on our own!

We had to move everything off our of entertainment center so that it could be easily moved for the install… I still haven’t put it back.

I’ve wanted to de-clutter and restyle our entertainment center for months and this is the perfect opportunity. But, right now I am loving the zero clutter look. Does nesting include wanting your house to look like you just moved in? Though our dining room is suffering now, since it’s home to all of our misplaced clutter…

The lack of clutter isn’t going to last long, since we plan on dedicating this corner to a Pack ‘n Play.

Okay we put the Pack ‘n Play together tonight, but I didn’t take an after picture because we had to stuff it with cardboard and a random globe. We had to make it feel less than cozy since someone liked it a little too much…

Don’t worry, we would never forget about our first babies. Macky will be keeping his corner of the family room.

I haven’t brought their toy box back out yet (it’s just a wicker basket that they know stashes the toys) since I’m trying to enjoy the lack of stuff, but Macky’s bed was a necessity in the room. That guy LOVES his bed and will cry if it’s not around. We think that to keep life as normal as possible for him when the baby comes, he needs to keep his little safe zone. He’s much more sensitive than Mowie or Darwin who adapt more easily and aren’t as attached to routines. We’re trying our best to make the baby transition easy for them. Maybe that’s another post for another day?

Strangely, I think that my iPhone better captures the color of the floors.

They’re still cherry, but not an orange cherry. The ottoman and entertainment center mix in well with the darker spots on the floor. Now maybe you can see why we are so impressed with the new floors? Plus they seem to make the room appear larger, which is always a bonus!

ps- for anyone interested, all of our hardwoods throughout our house are Bruce Oak, Dundee Plank, 3 1/4 inch planks, cherry color

Have Glider? Will Travel.

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Posted by Rebecca, April 19th, 2012

Yesterday, Mike spilled the beans that we were able to hunt down the glider we were unable to buy on Monday. He also spilled the beans that he was born in Staten Island. That’s another story for another day, but I guess good things come from Staten Island!

How did we get it? Well, after I was slightly depressed after returning from Babies R Us on Monday (and stopping for a hot fudge sundae to lessen the pain), we came home and googled to see if we could find the glider elsewhere. We also searched for alternatives and really could not find anything for less than $1,000. I emailed the manufacturer, Klaussner, asking if the glider was sold elsewhere. We then went to bed.

On Tuesday I woke up feeling less defeated and more determined. If our local Babies R Us claimed they just sold the floor model on Saturday, there had to be more floor models somewhere! One of the perks of living sandwiched between New York City and Philly is that there is no shortage of natural resources retail centers.

These were our options within 100 mile radius, actually there were probably even more but I cropped the image. I did what any desperate person would do and I started calling stores.

I literally called about 10 stores that told me they had sold their floor models. I was feeling defeated again, especially when one store immediately responded with “Oh no! That’s been gone for a LONG time!” Then I called one store that never even had the floor model, but the woman was extremely helpful and checked what stores were showing that they had 1 in stock in the system. First she searched NJ, which I had already called both of the stores that supposedly had it. So I asked her to check Pennsylvania. Not a single store in the whole state had one. Then I asked for NY and got a nice little list that looked something like this….

  1. Staten Island
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Union Square
  4. Long Island
  5. Upstate somewhere

I figured I’d start with good ol’ Staten Island, since it’s really not that far from NJ. In fact, I grew up right across the bay from Staten Island and I thought that it was some sort of distant land. My childhood dream was to make it to the other side. I guess dreams come true?

I called and nearly died when the guy very casually told me that yeah, they had that. I asked if I could have it reserved for me and his response was, “you want the floor model??” So I told him that the chair is no longer in stock and all that is left is the floor model. He looked it up and verified that I was right, then told me that he had to talk to his manager to see if they could sell it. He called me back about 5 minutes later and told me that the manager said he could sell it. This whole part of the story confirmed what the employee from our initial visit to Babies R Us told us– that they have no idea when things are going out of stock. I guess this happened at a lot of stores and since people weren’t able to order the chair, they just took the floor model. They said they would hold it for me for 24 hours.

So, I took my insanely swollen feet across the Outerbridge on Tuesday.

Yeah those flip flops aren’t usually tight… I actually have quite narrow feet in my usual life.

When we got to Babies R Us, I explained that I was buying the glider they were holding for me and I had the same exact conversation with the manager on duty that I had on the phone. He questioned buying the floor model and I told him that it’s no longer in stock. He looked it up, confirmed that I was right, then said I could take it. But wait! It’s a floor model! Don’t I get a discount? He told me no….

So I gave puppy eyes and said that the ottoman had a spot on it (which it did), so he gave me a 20% off coupon and allowed me to use it for a furniture item. Woohooo! This was all great and better than I thought I’d be able to do, until I realized something. THE PRICES ARE HIGHER IN NY!

That 20% off exactly offset the price hike and the additional tax so that we ended up paying the full NJ price. I was annoyed for a minute, but I didn’t want to be too annoyed because I didn’t want to give up my glider. So I just swallowed my pride and paid full price for a damn floor model. Granted, it’s in perfect condition, but I didn’t even want to pay full price for a brand new glider. But that mentality is what got me in this position in the first place and after thinking I may not even get the glider at all, I’ll take it at full price!!

Thankfully, it fit in our small SUV. After driving all the way to Staten Island, I was afraid it wouldn’t fit.

When we got home, Mike was able to get it up the stairs all by himself. It’s really not a big chair, so it was nice to be able to get it in the room just 24 hours after I thought I wouldn’t even have a glider. However, when we put it in the corner that we planned on, it did not look right.

The crib dwarfs the chair.

The dresser dwarfs the chair.

So we had to rearrange everything tonight. We played with a few configurations…

Dresser on opposite wall, which I liked a lot.

Crib caddy cornered? Nah.

Crib straight with chair back facing door? Just okay.

Chair by window? LIKE!

But then that meant the dresser had to be moved back where it was originally to keep things balanced…

The crib was also re-centered on the accent wall and we were happy!

The chair is slightly in front of the closet, but there’s still plenty of room to get in and out of there.

We can also play with it more once we have the closet system in and some curtains up. This configuration leaves lots of open floor and wall space. Warning: Photo bombing cat ahead.

I want to get some sort of small storage to put next to the glider to use for books and toys, which will work now because we have a nice empty wall to use.

Mowie approves of the new location with nice view…

It’s seriously insane how small this room got with furniture in it! I always imagined that this room would be massive for a baby, but I guess not.

I feel 100x better now that we have the glider. Even if I had to travel to Staten Island and pay full price, it is still much less expensive than similar styles of gliders. And it looks great with the bedding, though I can’t show you those pictures yet…

How’s that for a happy ending? :)

We Did It

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Posted by Michael, April 18th, 2012

On Tuesday morning, Rebecca made about 8 million phone calls to various Babies R Us stores.  She started out calling New Jersey stores and working outwards.  In between calls, she’d vent to me about no one having it.  And I certainly didn’t help when I kept recommending different places to call — “call Maryland!” and “call South Carolina!” and “call China!”

Yeah, I’m the dramatic one in this relationship.

After a ton of calls, Rebecca finally got a hit; we finally found the glider!   She’ll tell you a bit more about the deets at a later time, but there was a floor model available at a store in my favorite part of New York City: Staten Island.  Better known as the place where I was born.

And here she is in all of her glory.  I wish I could have taken a wider shot of the room with the glider, but Rebecca had some stuff on the crib that screamed I AM THE GENDER OF THE BABY, so I had to be selective in my shots.

Despite being the floor model, it was in top shape.  There was a smudge on the ottoman, but as soon as we got home Rebecca was able to quickly clean it up.  God bless micro-suede.

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