Archive for September, 2012

Random Ramblings

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Posted by Rebecca, September 25th, 2012

The last time we had a bunch of little things projects/thoughts floating around, I threw them in one post and called them my random ramblings. Since I feel like I have a lot to ramble about at the moment, I figured it’s time for another installment!

Last time I numbered them, so why not aim for consistency?

1. We finally hung some shades in the new office.

Please excuse the night time photo I took just a few minutes ago. They’re nothing special, just some Allen + Roth white roman shades from Lowe’s. We obviously didn’t get around to caulking and painting all of the trimwork yet, but at least we ditched the white trash sheet we had hanging as a window treatment.

2. Three years after our wedding, we have an album

Okay so long story short, I started making this book on Shutterfly right after we got married. I made two small books for our parents for Christmas right after we got married (about 2 months after). I started making this and would work on it on and off, when I received a 40% off Shutterfly coupon. Then I forgot about it for probably a year. Shutterfly recently emailed me to say that if I wanted my book, I had to order it by next monday. So I did, I just need an impending deadline to get stuff done. It came in this awesome box which I want to save to frame or something…

I’ve never met an orange cat I didn’t like. Or love. Or wasn’t the sweetest most lovable, laid back animal in the world.

Anyway, the book ended up being 100 pages, each of which I chose photos, layouts and backgrounds for (as well as cropped or hunted down any pictures). Here’s one of my favorite pages…

The pages are glossy so they all have glare in these pictures, but you get the idea. It’s a 12″x12″ book with hundreds and hundreds of pictures.

I was able to fit in a bunch of pictures that most people wouldn’t include in their limited space albums, like this two page spread of the action on the dance floor…

We have every single photo the photographer took on a CD. Best investment ever, and it was included with the price of our photographer. While our photobook ended up not being as cheap as I intented, it was still hundreds less than what the photographer was charging. Plus I saved all of those hours of hard work from being deleted, worth every penny.

3. I’ve been getting a lot of requests for my alphabet print, so I’m thinking of opening an Etsy shop.

Since I’ve always wanted to open an Etsy shop, why not start with that! I would like to make it in girly shades as well as some gender neutral ones. Maybe I can whip up some other sort of prints as well, who would be interested? Anyone have any color scheme or art suggestions?

4. Easton went to the doctor today and he weighs over 18lbs. We need to retire the infant car seat since I can hardly lift it.

5. We’re getting a facelift.

I’ve been nagging Mike for a new blog design for well over a year now. I haven’t added any features or really updated much on the stationary pages because I figured we’d be fixing them up anyway. We looked into hiring someone to do it, but I’m spoiled with custom designs. Turns out they are super expensive even for basic designs, so Mike decided to do it on his own. I can’t tell you when it will be done and up and running, but it’s in the works and he’s doing a fabulous job so far (that entire design was done without a single suggestion from me).

Okay I nodded off 3 times. When number 3 hits it means I have to wrap it up. Third time’s a charm?

King-dom

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Posted by Rebecca, September 19th, 2012

A few weeks back, I mentioned that we inherited a king sized mattress from my brother and sister-in-law. We passed our queen sized mattress to my other brother, who just moved into a condo. We didn’t have a frame for it, but we figured we could always pick up a cheap one.

After a few weeks of sleeping on the bed, I was hit with back pain. There was one weekend where I couldn’t step up and down the single step in our family room without doing this embarassing yelp of pain. The mattress was much too soft for us and Mike’s back wasn’t far behind mine. We knew there was nothing we could do to really help it, since we found out that my brother had the same problem, so we didn’t want to invest money in any sort of topper. We slept on the couch most nights until we finally decided to bite the bullet and head to Sears for their Labor Day mattress sale.

We bought our queen mattress there 5 years ago and knew the prices were ridiculously low at this time of year. The last time we went mattress shopping we shopped around for days, hit every possible store, layed on bed after bed and made an educated decision. This time we went to Sears with Easton, left his pacifier in the car on accident, had an overtired baby with no paci and picked out a mattress in less than 10 minutes.

We went with a Sealy Posturepedic and chose it like Goldilocks. Sterns and Foster? Too expensive. Basic Sealy? A little flimsy feeling. Then there were two priced in the middle $100 apart. I compared the features while running back and forth across the department and decided to go with the one with the stay cool fabric memory foam Eurotop. I think Sears called it the Gibson. Then I tried to make Easton forget about his missing paci while Mike played the same game and landed on the same mattress. We had the option of getting it plush or firm and after the two of us were walking around hunched over for two weeks, we went with firm.

This was also a great opportunity for us to add on that standard bed frame so that our mattress was no longer on the floor. We saved some additional money by keeping my brother’s box spring. All in all, it was way cheaper than I ever thought we’d be able to get a middle ranged, king mattress for. I think in the end we paid around $1000. I was too busy keeping my finger in Easton’s mouth while he slept to watch the register…

Our mattress was delivered on Monday and since we now have a frame, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to show you the pathetic state of our bedroom.

We moved in 2.5 years ago. Still no paint. Still no window treatments. This room kills me. At first I was like WTF, the pillowcases don’t match for the picture? Then I realized that it just adds to the trailer park chic :)

Part of the reason why we haven’t done anything in here is that the room is overwhelmingly huge. For example, we just got a king bed. In this picture, you will see that our queen frame (and bedding) is still living in the room, fully assembled….

And there’s a full sitting room behind it that can accommodate another king bed. And we can probably fit a full by the door. Maybe we should just rent this space out to some nice college kids?

Since we added a wall with french doors to close off the sitting room (it was one giant room before), we still have yet to prime it. We also have yet to caulk or paint the new trim in the room (new meaning 2 years ago). Since we’ve put this off for so long, we think it’s best to hire someone to tackle it. Let’s face it, we’re not going to do it. We always put the rest of the house first and this job is HUGE. I’m fully confident we could do it in a weekend, but it has taken me 2.5 years to realize that I’m fully confident that I don’t want to. I would like a nice hotel like feel in here, but I also savor every bit of my weekends now. If we opt to paint it ourselves, we’re just going to put it off again. I think we finally need somewhere cozy to sleep.

Operation bedroom starts now. I’m thinking medium gray walls, an upholstered headboard, maybe I’ll make another bedskirt and some curtains. I’m feeling inspired by this extra set of sheets we picked up at Target…

Maybe I should finally make a mood board?

ps- Sorry my posting has been inconsistent, I’ve been battling my second and third nursing illnesses… in a single week. Just when I feel like I’m making progress in the juggling game, I am put back in my place.

The Playroom Carpet Hunt

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Posted by Rebecca, September 13th, 2012

I’ve mentioned multiple times that since we’ve moved the office upstairs, the former office downstairs will be Easton’s playroom. You know the room, it’s the one where we painted our sweat stripes on the wall.

The beige carpet never matched with our paint choice, so I’m happy to be on the hunt for something different.

One of my requirements was that the carpet be gray. I don’t care what shade of gray (nope, didn’t read that book), really I’d take anything. My number one priority is that the carpet be safe and as free of toxins as possible. Thus began my hunt for the eco friendly carpet. Dun dun dun!

I’ve posted about our search for a solid wood crib, my relevation about Easton’s Ikea dresser, the hunt for a wool area rug, using no-VOC paint and our use of solid wood/low-VOC adhesive on Easton’s paneled wall — all in the nursery. It should come as no surprise that I also want the playroom to be as non-toxic as possible. Or maybe that statement is surprising? I’m sure there are people who think that once your baby comes you become more relaxed about such things, but really, I think I worry about it more now. I mean, when you see your kid react to tummy time by immediately licking his playmat, you realize that what you lay him on should be as safe as possible.

Assuming that most carpets come in some shade of gray, I figured I’d begin my search with the eco friendly requirement. I simply googled for “eco friendly carpeting” to find out what brands made options. I knew that major retailers were starting to come around because we had spotted something in Lowe’s a few months ago, before we were really ready to start looking. My googling led me to Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet which has received glowing reviews from eco-friendly companies as well as carpet salespeople (and apparently Better Homes & Garden).

(via Mohawk)

This line of carpet has stain resistance somehow built-in rather than sprayed on with a chemical and supposedly can be cleaned WITH JUST WATER. So not only are you dodging the chemicals in a strain treatment, but you are also dodging the chemicals from cleaning it yourself. Let’s face it, kids are messy and the less you have to use the Resolve or the SpotBot, the better. Oh, pets are messy too and that’s the only reason why I can use both Resolve and the SpotBot with my hands behind my back… and my eyes closed.

Re-read the above sentence about Easton licking surfaces and you’ll see why chemical free is number one above looks. Granted, he won’t be licking flooring forever (he’ll stop for about 18 years then resume where he left off in college), but so much of his little body is still growing. The thought of toxins entering that little body cannot be good. So this weekend, the 3 of us trekked to check it out in person.

First, we headed to Home Depot, where we didn’t see any eco-friendly carpeting. We had the guest of honor with us and thankfully he let us put him back in the car and drive to a nearby speciality flooring store. There we hunted down the SmartStrand!

I wish I snapped pictures in the store, but I completely forgot to. The salesperson showed us where the carpet was and explained that you could tell it was SmartStrand just by touching it — it was that soft. There were all different levels of softness and then a million colors to choose from, so it was very overwhelming. She also told us that our room was so small (11′ x 11′) that we could get a remnant. Unfortunately, when we entered the remnant area, there were no SmartStrand carpets in any weight or design, in gray.

We decided to continue to shop around and to check out Lowe’s this weekend. We had seen the carpet there a few months ago and we’re hoping they’re running some sort of promotion. We’re also open for suggestions of other brands/types of carpeting that are safe for Easton. While being “green” is extremely trendy these days, it’s still hard to find products that are affordable and safe. Suggestions welcome… I’d take shag, carpet that leaves vaccuum marks, berber or Beiber.

Just look at him, he loves carpet :)

To Da Beach

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Posted by Michael, September 12th, 2012

I seriously always find myself on 20×200 which releases great, but affordable, art each and every week. Being on the site always makes me want to post on here and show off some cool stuff I find like I did here, here and here some time ago.

So it’s no surprise that tonight I’ll be showing off some 20×200 finds.  Act like you love it.

There were two photographs that instantly jumped out at me.  They are essentially the same topic; just different angles.  But the topic in photography is always one that sucks me in.

The topic?  Old pictures of crowded beaches and especially Coney Island.

Rebecca and I have lived close to the Jersey shore our entire lives; we’ve been to our share of beaches here.  And while some get crowded today (think Seaside Heights), they never seem to be as jammed packed as what beaches were like 50-60 years ago.  It always blows my mind looking at beach pictures from the 1960s with what seems like millions lounging on the sand and another million standing in the water.

“Parachute Jump and Beach Scene, Coney Island, ca. 1965″ via 20×200.

“Coney Island Beach, June 10, 1947″ via 20×200.

Seriously, look.  Look at all of those people on the sand, in the water and on the boardwalk.  I’m totally geeking out over here.  Perhaps one day we’ll have a library where I’ll dedicate one area for vintage crowded beach photographs like the one above.  And Easton will stand there, holding his iPad 15 and asking, “what is a library?”

In other art news outside of :gasp: 20×200, a few weeks back I stumbled upon www.wearedorothy.com.

And my jaw dropped to the floor when I discovered a piece of art which was a map.  A map made up of 390 song titles.  Before I even decided to read any of the road and street names, I already had the thing purchased.  Talk about a total impulse buy.  An awesome impulse buy, I might add.

“Song Map” Original Open Edition via wearedorothy.com

The print is still rolled up in it’s tube.  It needs a great frame and then we’ll rock it somewhere in the new office.  I’d love to perhaps center this above my desk and have some of my favorite album art flanking each side of it.  Stay tuned. :)

Projecting

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Posted by Rebecca, September 6th, 2012

Projecting or project-ing? I guess either one works. Projecting the projects? Yes, that’s what I’m doing.

At the end of my desk I have this little pile going. It looks like this…

There’s some countertop paint, white spray paint, spray primer and a can of chalkboard paint. Each one is for a different project.

I always keep track of my to-do list and goals in my glorious Erin Condren life planner. None of the items on the to-do list and goals for August got done. Not a single one.

So, I naturally transferred them all over to September. That is where all of those random paint supplies come in!

Before I went back to work, we were in such a nice groove with Easton sleeping that I felt like I had some nice time to myself to do fun things. Then I went back to work and the concept of free time disappeared. We started so many projects that we haven’t even touched in weeks. I am determined to make some time (ie- give up sleep) to tackle that little list. So here’s the (September) goal list in a little more detail…

1. Finish Easton’s room.

This “project” is like a major thorn in my side. It’s so close to being done but I just can’t get there. Ever have those dreams where you’re trying to get somewhere but you never actually make it? Am I the only person with those dreams? Anyway, this is what the nursery feels like. I wanted to have it done by now but I keep hitting road blocks. Spray paint frames? Can clogs and need a new one. One week later get new can? The paint chips as you’re carrying frames into the house from outside. Make print to put in frame? Shutterfly cuts off part of your text. So that explains why the gallery wall still hasn’t been hung since I started it two months ago. The spray paint and spray primer belong to this action item.

We plan to hang some hooks in the little area behind the door of Easton’s room, which is a small project, but one we can’t do when he’s asleep.

That corner behind the door is the one I’m talking about. The picture is not the most recent, but you get the idea.

2. Work on new office

The goals here are to caulk and paint trim and paint a chalkboard wall. For weeks, the new built-ins have been sporting the raw wood look.

It’s one of those things we finished only about a week before I went back and I’ve been itchiiiing to get some paint on these things! But first it needs caulk, which isn’t as fun. I’m hoping to get some time after Easton is asleep this weekend to pretty it up.

We decided a few weeks ago to paint one wall in the office with some chalkboard paint. It’s this little wall…

We bought Hudson Paint chalkboard paint in So Stone, which is a darkish gray color. The other walls need another coat of paint, so if the gray doesn’t look that great with the blue, we can always change things up. I’m so excited and anxious to get this one done! But first comes the caulk, primer and paint for the rest. Boooo

Okay, so maybe the list only had 2 main items with additional bullets, but I like to think that means it’s manageable. I’m setting realistic goals, even if they have to be pushed back again. Let’s face it, I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to type this (I’ve dozed while sitting up twice now!), so I think a few small paint projects is enough.

Oh wait, what’s that can of countertop paint for? You shall see :)

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