Archive for the ‘pet friendly’ Category

it’s a Christmas miracle!


Posted by Rebecca, December 5th, 2010

One of the items on my Christmas to-do list was to do something with the window treatment situation in the family room.  Incase you didn’t catch Kerry’s perfectly imperfect post on our family room, here are some pictures.

Hard to tell in this picture with the sun, but the window on the left has no paper blind on it. It’s naked. The things would not stick in this room for some reason and that one in particular fell down like 30 times before we gave up on it.  The rest were just stuck to wherever they would stay…

I couldn’t tell you how many times we stood on the couch, did three bounces then attempted our highest jump to slap these suckers up.

These paper shades weren’t hung because of laziness.  In fact, we tried hanging 3 different shades before deciding that we didn’t like them.  This has been a 7 month ordeal.

My first idea was a cordless bamboo shade from Macy’s, since we had a lot of gift cards from our wedding left to cover the cost. I wanted bamboo shades to bring in another wood element since the room felt very fabric heavy. They were custom order, so I only ordered one to see if we would like it. Apparently it comes directly from China and took about TWELVE weeks.  So we got it, hung it, looked and each other and immediately hated it.  That was attempt one.  I wish I rehung it and took a picture.

Attempt two is also undocumented.  Since I was stuck on the additional wood element idea, we thought maybe we should do the 2 or 3 inch blinds in a dark stain.  Do you have any clue how hard it is to find those things in a stain as dark as our entertainment center??  Most in-stock wood and faux wood blinds come in white, light wood and cherry.  We would have had to special order blinds which would have cost us more than $100 each… we needed 5.

Attempt three, a woven shade from Lowe’s.  The first time we hung it, it was completely sheer.  So we decided to pick up some privacy liners, which required going to two different Lowe’s to get 5 of them.  Then we attached it, which was no easy feat with Macky around.

And when we hung it it looked like this…

Definitely not right. I needed time to properly sew this thing on and since I was extremely frustrated with it, I sidelined it for a few weeks.  Plus we only have weekends to work on things, so just finding 5 shades and privacy liners took up about 2 weekends.  So I finally did get it right and…. we hated this one too.  The brown was too dark and it looked cheap.

So then! I decided to forgo the wood aspect and go with good old fabric roman shades.  We already have them in our office, formal living room and kitchen.  The ones in our living room and office are from Lowe’s Allen + Roth line and we love them.  Our downstairs windows are all 72 inches long which is actually the standard in-store length for these shades.  The problem was that they have limited colors… we have blackout version in smoke in our living room and the ecru in our office.  We ideally wanted blackout shades again, since Mike doesn’t like that he can’t see the TV during the day.  We tried one of our ecru ones from the office and the color clashed with our accent chairs.  I wanted a dark brown, but Lowe’s didn’t carry them.  So I thought I’d try JCPenney, where we got our custom sized kitchen shade from, but the 72 inch shades were custom also and would have been about $90 each, plus shipping.

We then decided to give the white roman shade from Lowe’s a shot.  I liked the idea of the white since it wouldn’t make the room too dark and would keep the bright and airy feel.  It wasn’t a blackout shade, but for $25 each, could we really go wrong? Then we hung it and the white was too white against our mantel…

I was bummed and very confused.  What the heck was the solution? Then a light bulb went off in my head.. I could dye them off-white! This was my new mission, until I realized there is no slightly-white dye.  I would have to take my chances with a diluted beige.  And the color we needed wasn’t even off white, since our Ikea curtains in our kitchen are off white, as are our cabinets, yet the trim work in there looks bright white.  So I could potentially ruin this shade trying to dye it.

I scratched my head for a few more weeks, then realized this was really stupid.  We should just go with the white shades.  Mike wasn’t a fan, but I told him that when we have people over, our shades are always up.  They are only down for us and really, I’m sick of seeing the neighbor in his kitchen every night since he has no blinds either.  So last weekend we went to Lowe’s and we were only able to get 2 more in the size we needed.  Then this week THE SHADES WERE RECALLED.  No, no this could not be happening. I panicked a little, because I am the most paranoid pet owner ever (for good reason) and these shades are all over my house.  I read about the recall and it wasn’t a mandatory recall, so we decided we think we’d be okay.  The shades have a very sensitive safety release, so sensitive that we often accidentally unhook the entire shade.  So we knew that if Macky really got stuck in there it would release.  We also try to put them up before we leave the house.  But now the problem was, could we get the other two shades we needed??

Today we traveled to another Lowe’s and found the other two shades we needed and strangely, there was no sign, no warning, nothing about the recall.  If I didn’t read the news religiously, I would have had no clue.  So long story short, today we finally hung window treatments in our family room!!

Adios paper blinds! Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out!

Macky shared my resentment.

“Peace out paper!!!”

They just need to be steamed at this point and we’re good to go!

And right now, we can watch Dexter without worrying whether or not Jordan Chase is stalking me through the naked family room window.

That sense of relief alone is worth it.  Doesn’t the fire look photoshopped? It’s not, totally real.

So there ends the Window Treatment Saga of 2010. Hopefully. I still want to go to Lowe’s and ask them for 12 of those release clips I just read about. Better safe than sorry!

Oh and I think I want to add some curtains…. but first I need a break from worrying about these windows 🙂

things I love


Posted by Rebecca, December 1st, 2010

Small storage ottoman, HomeGoods, $39.99

Small cat, PetFinder, free priceless.

Two of my best finds yet.

shelving the issue


Posted by Rebecca, November 30th, 2010

Back in our condo, we had these lovely Pottery Barn crown molding ledges

And I loved them.  We painted them to match our trim, they were 100% sturdy, easy to hang and looked great. Plus they were a place to keep breakable things away from Macky.  I can’t find the MLS pictures from the condo (they’re somewhere on a CD…), but I found some to share.

Shelves on Darwin’s first Christmas with us…

Shelves behind Mike and my best friend at one of our many parties…

They will both probably kill me for this, but this is how I can see if they actually read my blog 😉

So when we sold our condo, they were the one thing I really wanted to bring with us.  I envisioned them over my Ikea Stornas buffet in the dining room.  We didn’t have the buffet yet, but I wanted that thing for YEARS. We got an offer on the condo quickly given the market and it was a great offer.  Mike told me the news and then came the but……….they wanted the shelves written into the contract! My immediate reaction? No. At the time they were discontinued and I wasn’t sure we could find ledges of that quality anywhere.

I came to my senses and gave up the shelves. Here are some shots as we said goodbye to our shelves, the day we handed over the keys to the condo (iPhone quality)…

Of course I couldn’t be so lucky to find a single picture where the 3 of them fit in one shot!!

For months Mike and I considered making them, googled and came up with other solutions (hence the mirror over our buffet).  When suddenly, they were back! Pottery Barn had them again! So sometime in the summer, we went to Pottery Barn and picked up the same exact ones we had… a 2′, 3′ and 4′ ledge.

Flash forward to before Thanksgiving when Mike had a few days off.  One of the items on my Christmas To-Do List was to hang things we’ve already purchased, shelves included.  He nicely offered to hang the shelves while I was at work, but wanted to know where to put them.  In that moment, I walked into the dining room and had cold feet about our 2, 3 and 4 foot arrangement.  Over the past few months, I’ve seen my style change, which is a good thing.  I’m learning more, finding more sources and branching out.  I think this shelf arrangement has fallen prey to my evolution.

So here’s where I once again beg for your assistance, since you guys were so overwhelmingly wonderful with my area rug plea.  I think want to keep the crown molding ledge theme, since we have a lot of molding in the room and I think it would look nice, though these Rustic Wood shelves are fabulous…

Okay they both come in the same sizes, so how should I arrange them? Here are the approximate measurements…

I think I’m leaning towards two 4 foot ledges, so I have enough space in between them to put larger frames, taller vases, etc.  Plus I think it would look much cleaner than having multiple sizes.

How would you arrange them? And since I came up with a new question while writing this post, Crown Molding or Rustic Wood?

I hope I grow out of my indecisive phase soon… 🙂

the longest day ever


Posted by Rebecca, November 14th, 2010

Yesterday we did it.  We completed the first item on our pre-Christmas list and cleaned out the garage… for the most part.  Though I had dreams of it being completely done and organized in a day, we quickly realized those expectations were extremely high. Once again, the before picture…

The process was completely overwhelming and we often felt like we were getting nowhere.  Those small boxes on the bottom left of the picture? Full of random papers/clothes/unorganized things that were packed in the last minute.  So we’d get through a small box, only to look up and see a mountain of things that remained.  One of those crates contained nearly Mike’s entire sock collection. Quite funny.

I didn’t go into detail about how our garage got to look like this.  When we moved out of our condo, we were completely organized and the process was seamless. Boxes packed in an organized manner, labeled nicely and put into storage while we all moved in with Mike’s parents for 10 months.  The majority of this mess isn’t from our condo move, it is from the move from my in-laws’ to our house.

Six weeks before we decided to sell our condo, our worst nightmare came true and Macky began having seizures like his brother that we lost less than a year before.  We believe stress triggers them for him and long story short, Sunny once had a seizure while in a cat carrier with Macky and he is know terrified of carriers.  So when we moved Macky from our condo to my in-laws’, he had a seizure while en route.

So for 10 months, we dreaded moving to our house because we were terrified of losing Macky the way we lost Sunny.  We had a very detailed plan, which was to not put him in a carrier and instead put him in the back of my mother-in-law’s SUV with me.  It was only a 5 mile drive and we could move him from their garage to ours, without him ever going outside. (Note: I do not recommend this under normal circumstances.  A cat carrier is equivalent to putting your kid in a car seat, so please don’t try this at home) So we set a date about 2 weeks after closing because we didn’t want to move him anywhere near the anniversary of Sunny’s illness, which happened to be the anniversary of Macky’s first seizure AND which happened to be their 4th birthday.  April 27th is a bad luck day for us and sometimes I am a crazy worrier, but when I told Mike that if our closing date fell near the 27th, we needed to wait to move.  He agreed.  Two years of bad birthdays for Macky was enough.

So we planned, closed on March 30th, emptied our storage unit into our garage and began unpacking.  We would unpack after work, then go back to Mike’s parents’ and sleep there with the kittens.  Then we got a phone call that the week we planned to move the cats, our driveway would be paved and we wouldn’t be able to drive on it for 7 days. Cue the panic attack.  So we ended up moving the cats on during bad luck week.

Because of our garage to garage moving plan for Macky, we had to be able to park a car in there.  So we quickly pushed things over to one side, moved some things to the basement and managed to get him in the house. We decided not to bring any boxes in the house for a few weeks, so he was as comfortable as possible here.  Also so he didn’t know what was going on, we didn’t move any of our things out of our bedroom at Mike’s parents’ before we moved Macky. Elaborate scheme, I know, but he means the world to us.

Turns out he moved perfectly fine, though I was crammed in the back of a CR-V with him and had bruises all over my legs from his pacing back and forth, but he didn’t have a seizure!  In fact, within a few hours he was roaming the house like he’d lived here all along.  Finally, FINALLY, we could be excited that we closed on our house and our whole little family made it here with us.

We would run to my in-laws’ after work and quickly throw some of our belongings in a random bag/box.  I believe I emptied our bathroom there into a grocery bag in about 5 minutes.  I found a shoe box of things that were in my nightstand, which was not only my nightstand while we lived there, but my desk, medicine cabinet and wedding planning station (Yes, we also got married in the midst of this).  Most of this stuff ended up in the garage.

Spring came and went, the hottest summer ever made our garage 100 degrees most days. Plus it was just so disorganized from our hasty box consolidation that two bikes and a dresser blocked all of our smaller boxes.  Not something we were looking forward to tackling.  AT ALL.

Yesterday we managed to at least organize the space, find where things were and get Mike some damn socks to wear…

It isn’t completed, but it’s a huge step.  Most of the stuff left in this picture is old office furniture we plan on selling/donating.  The bikes are going to get hung on the wall.  At one point, Mike pointed out that we were just moving the stuff to other rooms, which was true.  But it wasn’t trash… so the boxes labeled “office” were put in the office to be sorted and we got rid of very little.  Our small piles of trash/recycables…

Though at the time we didn’t appreciate what we did, we now know that if we need to, we could fit our two cars in the garage and with some shelves/organization system, we’ll be done.

It’s a start, which is usually the hardest part…. and it feels pretty good to close the “living out of boxes” chapter of our lives.

ps- it’s ironic that the longest day ever resulted in the longest post ever… sorry about that guys 🙂

the kids’ table


Posted by Rebecca, November 8th, 2010

Our cats have quite the elaborate food set up in our eat-in kitchen area.  They each get a bowl, plus there’s a bowl of water there…

We started out with just the placemats underneath the bowls, but Macky loves to fling his food EVERYWHERE puppy style.  So we bought some plastic trays from petsmart that are actually for dogs to a) collect the hard food he drops and b) protect our floors incase the water spills.

Sometimes we underestimate the mess that Macky can make, as you can see from the image above that he has managed to get several pieces of hard food underneath the plastic trays.  But even we were surprised tonight when we were eating dinner and Macky was drinking some water.  The aftermath…

Yes, my puppy cat has managed to splash water all over the wall and baseboard…and he was only drinking it, not playing in it.  Maybe we should tile their backsplash too….

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