Archive for the ‘techy’ Category

Goal Setting 2012- Blog Edition

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Posted by Rebecca, January 23rd, 2012

Last week, I listed some goals we’d like to achieve as far as house projects go. After I wrote that post, I realized how many goals I have for this lil bloggy that deserve some of my time. So hey, why not another list?!

1. Complete Casa Tour

I started assembling a bunch of pictures from when the house was being built and where it is now, but it quickly got overwhelming with trying to add to it, while going to school and writing posts. Now that I have a little more time, I need to finish it.

2. Make everything easier to navigate

One of my pet peeves is that my archives and categories lists are incredibly long over there. I’m not sure how to tackle making everything more user friendly (Mike, are you reading? Help?), but I’m thinking a drop down menu and being a little more conscious of how Mike and I categorize posts are a good start. Like realizing that I started an “outdoor space” category and Mike started an “outdoors” category. Whoops…

3. Add a list of our personal favorite projects

The current list we have over there on the right is a list of ‘Most Popular Posts’ that WordPress provides. It counts popularity as the posts that are most commented on, but we’d like to have a list of posts we like the most, complete with pretty thumbnails :)

4. Add a Macky & Co button

Since we started our other, more personal blog we haven’t added any way for you guys to find it easily. We want to find a way to integrate it so that you know it’s ours and can check for updates without us having to tell you we posted or be obnoxious.

5. Prettier design!

The most important part and the part I’ve wanted to do for a good 6 months. I have no clue what I want to do with this part and this is pretty much why I haven’t accomplished numbers 1-4. I can come up with design ideas for pretty much any other discipline, but I cannot translate into website design. Mike always asks me to find some inspiration pictures or write down what I want since he designed our current layout, but I can’t visualize these things. I definitely want the current header gone and a cleaner look, but as far as colors, fonts, patterns and navigation… I am clueless.

Now that Mike ditched the full-time gig, I’m hoping he has a little more time to set aside to fix some of these things ::wink wink:: I patiently waited for him to have some more time and it would be nice to get this place in order before the baby comes. You know, like nesting :)

Office Bribery

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Posted by Rebecca, February 24th, 2011

Tonight we started to put our office back together. I say started because the process will probably take us most of the weekend. Over the past couple of months, the office as become a dumping ground of sorts for tools, vacuums, holiday decor, gifts, clothes that need to be donated and a million other things. It drove me insane, but I knew the organizing part was a huge undertaking that we would need to plan for. The miscellaneous junk is currently being housed in the entryway…

The office is a no cat zone at night (they like to chew wires, we apparently raised puppies), so anything that needs to be kept away from them gets closed up behind those french doors. It is definitely our most useful room because of those french doors, so nice, neat storage is key.

We moved our desks back in last night, Lucy and Desi also made the move…

Considering they were framed and matted for our previous office, they look quite good in here! I am looking forward to getting them up on the wall soon! (please excuse all of the nighttime pictures, this all literally happened tonight)

We also moved in our Expedit bookcase and put together some storage cubes that we bought way back when we got the bookcase in the fall. The green as an accent will be staying, but the purpley boxes and trays will probably get a makeover since they don’t go with our last minute, more gray than purple paint decision…

Oh, and we bought and mounted a TV while we were at it…

I know, somewhere an interior designer is crying. You see, the painting of the stripes story had a little part I left out. When I asked Mike if he wanted to paint stripes on Friday afternoon, he said he would only agree to it if he could put a TV over the bookcase. Of course I said yes! I like to work with noise in the background and I figured if I could look up and glance at HGTV or How I Met Your Mother reruns every now and then, I wouldn’t feel like I was sitting at my desk at my day job or anything. Plus I really wanted to paint stripes last weekend…

So that was Friday, then we painted stripes and touched up through Sunday. On Monday, Mike was off for President’s Day and I was at work. I got a phone call from him telling me he drove an hour away and bought a TV on sale. Leave it to my husband to not procrastinate a single day when he’s searching for electronics! I trust his judgement and we did talk a little bit about how we didn’t want the TV to be bigger than the bookcase. So we got a 26″ LG TV with a low profile swivel mount.

The location above the bookcase means that a) we can hide all wires and devices within the bookcase and b) it can’t be seen from the entryway when you look into the room. In this picture, the screen is turned to face Mike’s desk…

The wires still need to be concealed since we just mounted this tonight. We’re planning on making an Ikea trip this weekend to buy some doors for two of the bookcase openings to hide the Mac Mini we have in there. Then it’s time to organize and find a home for everything else! I can’t wait to finally have some organization in my life :)

that whole house audio thing

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Posted by Michael, December 16th, 2010

Multi-zone and multi-source audio for the house.  Sounds pretty sweet, eh?  I’ve been wanting to do this since we first purchased our home.  It was just too expensive to go through the builder.  And even if we had the cash to do it, they didn’t exactly offer what I had in mind.  I wanted functionality with components Rebecca and I were already comfortable with (read: iTunes and Apple products).  Builder wasn’t offering such capabilities.

I also thought about doing a ton of pre-wiring throughout the house while it was being built.  I figured this might be a good idea.  But much like everything else, even this was insanely expensive.  They wanted $125 to run one network cable from the basement to the master bedroom.  If you don’t know about network cable, it’s relatively cheap so this was pure profit for them – something I just couldn’t stomach. 

So where does this leave us?  Right now, I have an Apple TV powering our “entertainment center” in the family room.  The Apple TV allows us to manage our music on a remote computer and stream it to the family room.  The thought here is to expand this streaming capability throughout our house.    Music in the formal living and dining rooms, music in the master bedroom and bathroom and music in the basement.  But here is the catch:  I want to be able to control each “zone” independently of one another.  That is, if Rebecca is in the bedroom and wants to listen to Jack Johnson at a very low volume, she can.  And at the same time if I’m downstairs in the family room, I can be rocking out to, and pretending to be, Justin Timberlake at a very high volume.

But how do you pull this off?  And how do you pull this off using Apple products?  Oh and how do you do this without going broke?  The answer is the a combination of some stereo equipment collecting dust, some speakers, the Apple Airport Express and the Apple TV.  Plus the iPad’s and or iPhone’s Remote app to control everything.

First mission?  Get speakers mounted in the living and dining rooms.   The speaker wires will be routed through the walls and into the basement.  The basement will hold all the wonderful stereo equipment.  I’ve used my elite Photoshop skills to show you what this might look like.  Displayed below is the living room looking into the dining room.  Between these rooms, we have columns (with just enough room inside for me to fish some wire without wanting to kill anyone).

On each side of these columns, we’ll have a speaker.   Once complete, we’ll have two zones — each zone will have two speakers.  For those out there who are interested, I went with Polk for the speakers.  I wanted something a bit more towards higher end, but these were ridiculously cheap on sale and solid white, so I could not pass on these (plus they’re refurbished so I saved even more money).

So there you go, the first mission.  Stay tuned.

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