Archive for October, 2012

Planning The Nursery Gallery Wall

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Posted by Rebecca, October 25th, 2012

Oh hey, remember when I was working on that nursery? Yeah I still haven’t finished it. Why haven’t I finished it, you ask? Because the gallery wall I’ve planned has been a major pain.

I didn’t plan the gallery wall before Easton was born because I really didn’t know what to do with it. Then I decided to pick up a shadowbox from Michael’s to house one of Easton’s super tiny newborn onesies.

They didn’t have white frames, so I went with black with an awesome gray fabric and decided to paint it white. I used this as a starting point for the rest of the wall and just started playing with frames we already had. Note: this all initially happened back in like, July and all pictures were taken with my iPhone.

This was the first configuration I came up with and I thought it looked good. I then just had to figure out how it would look on the wall. I decided to use tissue paper as a template because a) the sheets were large enough and 2) I literally paid $1 for a whole huge pack of it. It was more flimsy than using say, cardboard, but it was cheap and easy. I just traced over each frame and cut the tissue paper to size.

Once on the wall, I wasn’t all that happy and felt like I needed just one more frame to the left (and some tape on the corners of that tissue paper, which I added after the fact)

So I started to play around once again. First there was this…

Yep, I actually added two more frames to the mix. I swapped out a few of the smaller frames and ended up with this…

Once the tissue templates were on the wall, it passed the test for me.

The only thing that I wanted to change was to hang them all slightly higher, which I figured could be done when they were really hung. No sense in messing around with tissue paper more than necessary.

Now all I had to do was make all of the frames white and plan what I wanted to go in them. Easy, right? RIGHT?!? No.

First, the simple frame spray painting. Instead of using what I’ve used in the past, Rustoleum Universal spray paint, I went with a basic Valspar one that chipped a million times. I sprayed the frames literally about 3 times because I kept chipping them by moving them or placing them in the garage.

Second, that shadowbox. It may be the death of me. I didn’t realize that the glass doesn’t come out. The fabric? Yes, totally removable.

Then I had the genius idea to tape off the glass and spray paint it (with shoddy spray paint mentioned above). I spent way too much time on this Corn Flakes box turned shadowbox drop cloth.

The spray paint not only ended up chipping like the frames above, but the coverage on the black was awful and it oversprayed onto the glass. I decided I wanted to hand paint this bad boy.

The strangely easy part of all of this gallery planning? Deciding what to put in the frames. I made a little sketch of the frame arrangement I went with and then doodled what I wanted to put in each to make sure I liked it.

Included are some photographs, fabric, some word art and a little painting that I made. Those all took no time. But painting frames??

Take several coats of spray paint that failed + returning to work and you have me, 3 months later with tissue paper still on my wall.

There is hope though, I recently picked up a can of the good spray paint and hand painted a coat of paint and primer in one on the shadowbox (plus I did a little sanding). Hopefully this neverending project ends soon or I may lose my mind. I am dyiiiing for a final nursery reveal.

2012 Survey Responses

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Posted by Rebecca, October 23rd, 2012

I originally started this post last week, then I got hit with thrush again. Easton is fine, he doesn’t have it, but my god is it painful for me. I’m on nearly 2 weeks of being in pain this time around and it is draining. Needless to say, I’ve faceplanted into my laptop several times since my last post. I apologize that some of the early numbers in this post are not the most recent. End disclaimer.

I posted our first reader survey last week two weeks ago not expecting too much. I was just genuinely interested in knowing who I was typing to. While I check my stats maybe once a week or so and have an idea of how many people come here, I always assumed most of those “visits” were by chance.

You guys proved me wrong.

When I posted the survey, I told Mike that if I got at least 20 responses I would post the results. The total was over 220 250! Mike and I are in complete shock. We watched as we hit those 20 responses within minutes of posting and looked at each other with our mouths on the floor. I had no idea that many of you were actually reading enough to take a survey. Thank you. No wait, THANK YOU.

Now I guess I should start using spell check and proofreading, eh? I suddenly have stage fright…

Anyway, since we were so surprised at the overwhelming response, I figured that what I learned about you guys deserved it’s very own post. And, since most of you wanted to know more about us, I guess I’ll reveal that I’m a data analyst by day and this is the type of stuff I do for a living. You know, percentages, graphs, spreadsheets… the stuff you don’t come here for :) So onto the numbers!

All but one, ONE of you, are female.

49% of you are in your 20s, like Mike and I. In a few months, Mike will join 34% of you that are in your 30s. I get to stay with 49% for another year…

75%, that’s 165 of you, are married.

Our 3 year anniversary was last week so I figured I’d throw in the wedding picture (courtesy of Zlatko Batistich). Plus posts with pictures are more fun.

None of  you spend your days at a bar. Instead 165 of you spend the biggest chunk of your days at work.

(image via CNN)

 77% of you live in a house.

No, not necessarily our house. We have enough mouths to feed around here :)

Speaking of that, 102 of you stated that you are responsible for dogs, 70 of you have cats and more than half of you are parents.

In a surprising twist, more than 20 of you wrote in that you are responsible for husbands who are like man-children. Many of you actually used that term, haha. Next time I may have to consider adding that option in…

Also, my apologies to the pregnant people out there for not including a unborn baby option. I feel your pain, remember this?

I know right? How could you not! I look at that now and I am amazed that my body supported that belly.. and that Easton was born over a week later.

We also had people who were responsible for a chinchilla, snake and a basil plant. Sometimes you don’t get to choose who you love…

As for the blog content questions, most of you are happy with whatever I want to post, whether it be DIY, design ideas & inspiration, Easton, personal things, the cats. Which made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Thanks guys :)

But, if anything ranked high it was more DIY posts, which of course we would love to do more of and share. At the bottom were cat posts. I usually don’t write much about the cats, so no hard feelings there. I didn’t tell them though, they would be heartbroken. Macky thinks he’s the star of this blog.

Occasionally I have strayed from the house related post, like when Easton was born, Darwin was diagnosed with cancer or Macky spent Christmas in the hospital. Those were three bigger-than-life events for us, so of course we’ll continue to share those life changing things with you. I think my goal here has always been to paint a well rounded picture of our daily lives, without abandoning why I started this blog. I think most people get that and do want to know more general things about us. It just sort of sets the scene. Which right now is that of a zoo.

Surprisingly (to me at least), most of you don’t follow me on any social media. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (lilhousecould) and sometimes I post things there as a “hey, I’m not dead I just haven’t had a chance to blog” type of thing. I now realize 90% of you haven’t seen those posts, whoops. But, for those of you requesting Easton pics, my Instagram account is also my personal account and it is full of Easton. Also surprising to me is that only 27% of you write a blog. I guess bloggers are more likely to comment, I know I never commented on blogs until I had my own :)

Oh and 10 of you follow me on foot. I am officially creeped out and will be looking over my shoulder for you. I would like to you know that I run fast. Okay, I’m lying, I haven’t ran in over a year.

Many of you left great open ended comments and questions, which I will have to address another time. Maybe a FAQs post is in order?

Once again, thank you all for coming here and for your incredibly kind words. I had this part planned out in my head when I was driving to work (seriously, why do I come up with the best sentences while driving?), but the important part is the thanks. Thank you for giving me someone to write to, thank you for challenging me to come up with bigger and better ideas and most importantly, thank you for letting me know it’s okay if I don’t.

Hey, What About You Guys?

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Posted by Rebecca, October 9th, 2012

I realized something recently. While I’ve been writing this blog for over 2 years and talking about myself, I’m not exactly sure who is reading.

I think I always assume that my readers know me personally (hi mom!) or are the faces behind blogs that I regularly read. But then as I get more emails and scroll through my Facebook page, I realize that I don’t recognize many of the faces there. Okay, I don’t recognize over 400 of the faces there.

Nope, don’t know any of those lovely people. But I want to :) (in a non-creepy smile, way that is) Funny note though, when I first went to steal that screen shot I had since logged into Facebook and the names that appeared were indeed the few people I do know who like this page. Threw me off for a minute.

Anyway, obviously, our lives and blogging habits have changed in the past four months. While we still have many, many projects in the works and my mind is constantly going, our time for them has decreased. As I receive questions about our crib choices or cloth diapers, I’m beginning to think many of you are new parents as well and in the same boat? But I can’t be sure unless I ask!

(moodboard from this old post about my baby shower)

So here’s your chance to fess up. The questions below can be answered completely anonymously– no email address or blog URL needed. I just want to know who I’m talking to when I type these things, why you come here and what you want to see in the future.

Here goes!

You know what’s funny? My class last semester included survey design. We had to make a survey and pass it around to make sure it was a good survey. You know, that all options were included, the wording was easy to understand, not offensive, that there was one clear answer for each question. I just disregarded everything that I spent 18 weeks learning and typed whatever I wanted. I tried to compensate with open ended questions at the end. My professor would be so disappointed right now.

Anyway, please respond if you’re reading. If there’s anything you’d like to tell me that I omitted, or anything you just want to tell me, please do! I love hearing from you guys, even if it sometimes takes me forever to respond :)

Four Months

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Posted by Rebecca, October 3rd, 2012

Last week, Easton turned four months old.

And he’s starting to look, and act, like a little boy.

This is the first photoshoot of his that I missed. We didn’t get a chance to take these over the weekend so Mike did them during the week. We were down one man to make the model giggle, so he’s quite serious this time around.

We switched to a long sleeved onesie this month because a) it’s more weather appropriate b) he outgrew the 3 month onesies he’d been wearing up until this point and c) I didn’t see a point in buying a short sleeved pack just for the sake of these pictures. Oh and that long sleeved onesie he’s wearing? 9 months. He skipped a size since I crammed him in the 3 month one for his last picture.

We also changed up the style of the text on the pictures. We were never consistent with the size and style of the text when we typed out the word “month”, so they all had to be redone anyway. I figured just the number was enough and easier to see when all of the pictures are side by side.

Back to Easton. Do you see that hair? The serious expressions? Don’t let those fool you, he is the happiest kid ever. He has recently developed a real giggle and it’s the cutest thing ever. It always comes out when you kiss his belly and more recently, when we fly him around like an airplane or he bounces in his Jumperoo. Total infant these days.

It’s not just giggles and fun he has developed, he has also become so affectionate. When he sees me he literally hugs me now– his little arm wraps around my neck and he squeezes tight. He also loves to slobber all over my face as kisses. Sometimes he combines the two and wraps his arms around my neck, pulls me in and proceeds to eat my face and giggle. God I love that kid.

It’s been such a big month for him maturity wise and until I saw these pictures, I had no clue how much he had grown.

He’s growing up so fast already and I forget what those skinny newborn legs were like.

Happy four months champ!

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