Besta Husband Ever


Posted by Rebecca, January 5th, 2012

Today is Mike’s birthday, yaaaaay!

But he’s not the best husband just for being born. Today the Philly Ikea got 17 units of the Besta cabinet bases that we tried to buy on Monday in stock. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here, but Mike left his full-time gig at Merrill Lynch just before Christmas to dedicate his life to SongMeanings. Since he wanted to put the cabinets together ASAP so we can get the new office rolling, he decided to go pick them up this morning. When I told him he should call just to make sure they had them his response was “well I haven’t moved my car in a few days and I should probably take it for a ride”. Ahh to work form home… especially when the wind chill makes it feel like 2 degrees out like it literally was yesterday morning…

Mike told me that Ikea was completely empty. Gloriously empty. He even considered stopping for some 99 cent breakfast, which strangely for all of our Ikea trips, we have never been in the cafeteria. Occasionally we’ll grab a drink or a frozen yogurt on the way out, but we’ve never been in the full size place. Instead he got his cabinets and cruised through to the register with his 2 bases. Hallelujah! We considered them to be a joint birthday gift since mine was last week and we decided not to exchange in order to save for the many larger purchases we have coming up (babies are mucho dinero).

Not only did the Besta Husband Ever to go Ikea alone on his birthday to buy cabinets, but he assembled them. Not only did he assemble them, but he made a video of the assembly then emailed me at work proclaiming that he had a video for my blog 🙂

Please note the Italy shirt and the fist pumping music in honor of the season premiere of Jersey Shore tonight! Of course he also included some Kanye and Jay-Z terminology. This may be the only house blog out there where you also receive an education in the latest rap music. The music he used is by, which replaced his initial choice of Jay-Z and Kanye. When I played it, it was full of bad words. I had to remind Mike that my mostly female population of readers do not necessarily appreciate the eff word…. Thankfully, even on his birthday, he changed it up. Keeping it PG-13 around here 🙂

Anyway, seeing the cabinet frames together made us even more excited to get to work on this project!

The before shot, which is hard to see because of the lack of window treatments and dark paint…

The in-progress with some cabinets…

We played around with some configurations to see how we’re going to work this all out. By we, I mean Mike because I was still at work 🙂 He also added some paper blinds in an attempt to block out some of the daylight for the pictures. They failed.

When I got home, Mowie decided to give the new bench a trial run, despite the fact that it needs 8 million additions to be a bench…

Where Mowie is sitting will probably be the final placement of the cabinets. At least as of today. We’re going to have to tweak our inital plan and therefore, ditch the single cabinet we bought at the last minute on Monday. We plan to build small bookcases on each side (though at one point today we considered doing a center bookcase, or no bookcase). We also have to build a base for the cabinets and raise them up a few inches to add baseboard. Then we’ll need to add some filler pieces, paint everything, add crown molding, put the doors on, make a cushion… oh and do something with those window sills until it looks somewhat like this…

(from Plans Now via Pinterest)

This weekend should give us enough time to do all of that, right? 🙂 Probably not, but a girl can dream.

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Map Gifts, That Ish Cray


Posted by Michael, January 4th, 2012

Rebecca and I randomly exchange gifts for Christmas; some years we do, some we don’t.  When I asked Rebecca if we were exchanging this year, the conversation started as a no and then moved onto ‘how about something small?’ We agreed and I started to panic because I’m the spender of the family so keeping gifts a minimum was going to be difficult.  But then I thought about the gallery wall we’ve been planning for months now — and how we have tons of frames but nothing to put inside them.  Instant gift!  Some framed things!  That ish cray!

Thank you Kanye for introducing a new word into my vocabulary.  I love the unofficial video below by the way; check it at about a minute and 15 seconds in.

The first idea that popped in my head was to find maps of old locations that are special to us and frame them.  I shot some texts and emails out looking for old vintage maps.  Nope, no one had anything of value.  I ran to a couple of stores like Barnes & Noble, Target and Walmart.  They all had great map selections, but they were very road centric for driving and trip planning. I was stumped as to what to do.

A few days passed and I was on Google Maps looking for directions; and it hit me!  Google Maps!  I quickly took screenshots of the areas I wanted, enhanced them in Photoshop and sent them off to be printed on 4×6 matte finish paper.

First up, Old Bridge High School, where we met and essentially grew up.  We met in math class while I was a senior and Rebecca was a junior.  I used to copy off of her.  We stayed friends while we went off to college, mainly chatting online, and didn’t start dating until 2003.

Next up is the pier in Deerfield Beach, Florida, or that little stick jetting into the blue area in the map above.  My parents have a small home just miles from the pier and we often use it as a means of a cheap, but fantastic, vacation.  We absolutely love it down there, so when I was ring shopping, I knew I wanted to propose to Rebecca on the pier.  We took a night time walk on the pier — a perfect time, right?  Nope.  You see little did I know that at the end of this pier were people fishing.  As we were approaching the end, the stench of raw fish was just everywhere.  So we turned around and headed back towards the beach.  We stopped about halfway (that’s why the pin is in the middle) to enjoy the views, to talk and that’s when I asked Rebecca to marry me.  She said yes and I quickly put the ring on it (I still hate you, Beyonce).

And then Rebecca asked if we could go get ice cream.  A perfect match.

The last map is a farm where we got married.  We got married at a Bed & Breakfast that sat on preserved farmland.  It was absolutely amazing.  We get to pass the farm quite often and because of this, we often get the chance to talk about our wedding.

They still haven’t made their way on the walls (surprise!) but I know they will shortly. Picking areas to map was easy, but I had tens – if not hundreds – of areas I could have used.  It was fun getting the chance to think back to all the memories and adventures we’ve had and narrowing it down to just three.

But how about you?  Have any great areas you’d like to map and frame?


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Project Planning


Posted by Rebecca, January 3rd, 2012

We took it easy last week on the posting side of things because we needed to catch up on some project planning! With school, I didn’t have too much time during the past few months to tackle things on the weekends. Now I feel like a 500lb sumo wrestler has been lifted off of my shoulders and I have my life back!

We spent some of last week and this weekend getting back to house brainstorming. We have a slew of projects coming up and we finally took some time out to come up with a game plan of what to tackle first and how to tackle it. We started with an Ikea trip… or 3.

Remember how we said we wanted to make this built-in bench and bookcase combo in our new office (the one we just painted?)

(via Anything Pretty)

Well we decided to make the bench out of some cabinets so we went to Ikea yesterday to weigh our options. I also wanted to pick up some supplies to organize some gift wrap and general supplies in the office, a la this inspiration picture…

(via Brooklyn Limestone)

We figured this would be a quick trip and we could come home and organize some craft supplies that are hanging in a spare bedroom, then begin to assemble the cabinets and decide how to frame the rest out. We found a cabinet solution rather quickly– we decided to go with the Besta frame in white with shaker style doors.

 (via Ikea)

We swung by the kitchen hardware section to get the bars to hang the wrapping paper when we realized that they were completely wiped out. They had the bars but not all of the accessories I wanted, since they appeared to be marked “Last Chance”. Can I tell you that “Last Chance” at Ikea stalks me? I swear if I want it, it’s guaranteed it will be marked “Last Chance” and will send me on a wild goose chase. So we left the area with the possibility of heading to another Ikea another day and seeing if they had them.

So we proceeded to the furniture pick up area to get our Besta pieces. We picked up 4 doors right by the entrance then went to hunt down 2 of the double bases in white. But they were completely wiped out. Nada. Since Mike had his heart set on assembling these things during the week while I was at work, we decided to try another Ikea that was nearby…

There, I found what I needed to organize gift wrap, yay!! But guess what we didn’t find… Besta bases! Booooooo!!!!

We headed home after that. I learned a hard lesson while Christmas shopping that my pregnant body cannot walk around all day and survive. I go from zero to lightheaded with swollen ankles in a matter of minutes, so I had my first Sonic blast (I seriously had no clue there was a Sonic 5 mins from our house?!) and set to nap.

Mike wanted to head to a 3rd Ikea. Yes ladies and gentlemen, living in NJ smack in the middle of NYC and Philly gives us at least 4 Ikea options to shop. I agreed after sitting on the couch for an hour, which I figured was a sufficient time out me and the baby. It actually worked out well because since we knew we wanted the Besta cabinets now, we had an information sheet with the exact measurements and we could better plan out our bench. We decided we needed a total of 5 cabinets: 2 double bases and 1 single.

We managed to find the single base we added on but the double? SOLD OUT. Oh and this Ikea didn’t have the shaker style doors, so we’re down a single door now.

However, this was the first time where there was actually a “temporarily oversold” sticker on the double bases. At least then we knew someone else wasn’t running around the NJ/NY/PA area buying up the white Besta bases. After seeing the sticker, we asked a sales person what was going on with them and when they were expected in. She let us know that they would be getting a shipment next week. It killed Mike’s plans of assembling them this week and starting to build our base this weekend, but at least we knew that they weren’t discontinued or anything.

It sets us back a little since all of our projects seem to domino effect into each other. We want to get the office done now because we need to move the furniture from the former office upstairs in order to replace that carpet and make it a playroom. I figured the only time we have for this is now, because we need to get working on the nursery once we nail down those plans.

Speaking of nursery plans, it’s coming together…. in my head 🙂  We know the gender and I actually picked out and ordered some bedding this weekend. I know I know, I said I wasn’t going with a bedding set, but there was one I absolutely loved which met much of my criteria and the price was right with clearance. But it’s not gender neutral so you’ll have to wait about 4 months to see it 🙂 We also selected a crib this week but we still need to order it, so once all of that is settled we can start working in there.

We also have some serious plans for the baby’s closet that we stumbled upon randomly while at Lowe’s looking for cabinets for the office bench. I’m anxious to get started in there, since the little one is already acquiring some clothing and gear that I want to organize.

I’m super excited about everything we have planned and it’s nice to be back on the project wagon. Hi I’m Rebecca and I’m addicted to Pinterest, Twitter and making multiple Ikea trips in one day, remember me? 🙂

ps- Mike has informed me that the Philly Ikea will get a shipment of Besta bases on Thursday… maybe we can start this one late this week/this weekend? Hmmm…

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Our Favorite Projects of 2011


Posted by Rebecca, December 29th, 2011

2011 is over already, can you believe it? Since this year was our first full year of blogging (and living in the house), we figured we’d jump on the end of year list bandwagon! So without further adieu, here is a list of our top 5 favorite projects that we completed around the house this year…

5. Powder Room Paint Job

Though painting is nothing all that special, we took a flying leap out of our comfort zones with this near-black paint choice. I think it paid off 🙂

4. Pencil Eraser Art

This was another project that didn’t take me long, but had a big impact. I still love looking at this thing and I’m thinking of ways to use some pencil eraser art in the future.

3. Entryway Chair Rail

This was our first molding adventure and we got a serious high off of conquering those funny angles. Therefore, we loved it this year.

2. Stamped Concrete Patio

While we did not attempt this one ourselves, we definitely did not expect to have an awesome patio this year. It’s a reader favorite so our wood plank stamped patio gets the runner up position on our 2011 list!

1. Office stripes

Measure once, measure twice, okay measure 5 times then level, remeasure… 18 hours later peel off tape and have clean stripes! The amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into taping this room and the almost perfect finished product (we needed a few touch ups) make this our favorite project of 2011. Plus looking at the stripes through our french doors everyday makes it even better!

Honorable Mention:

The Baby.

Look at the little chin chin! I couldn’t resist the baby bomb 🙂

Hopefully 2012 will bring even bigger and better projects. We’re really surprised at how many things we’ve checked off our to-do list this year. We have a bunch of things to get started on for 2012 ASAP! What should we tackle first?!

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The Non-Existent Christmas

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Posted by Rebecca, December 27th, 2011

Aaand we’re back! We had a rough Christmas around here. I wrote a very lengthy post about our Christmas, or lack thereof, over at Macky & Co since I felt the post was more appropriate for that blog. But I figured I should fill all of you guys in on what’s been going on around here and how Macky is doing, so you can read aaaall about it by clicking here!

Needless to say, we never finished our Christmas prep around the house. We never decorated outside. I didn’t get around to setting the dining room table. We never decorated the mantel or even hung stockings. It was one of those “sometimes life gets in the way” type of years and it seems like life was getting in the way a lot. Not only did I just finish school on Tuesday, but we ended up having a Macky emergency on Friday.

We’re completey drained here and we’re trying to take a few days to catch our breath. I originally planned to use this week to refocus on the blog, but I feel so exhausted that I doubt I will get as much done as I wanted. But! We did begin our crib shopping today, so I’ll have a post about that experience soon 🙂

For now, I’m in complete awe of my Macky Noodle and I just want to squeeze him so tight.

This guy scared the living shiznit out of us this weekend and I never thought in a million years that I’d spend Christmas without him. But he’s back and all is well! Except maybe those few gray hairs Mike swears he sprung…

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