Gallery Wall Makings

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Posted by Michael, November 28th, 2011

Rebecca and I have been discussing the whole gallery wall thing for quite awhile.  So much so that we’ve probably purchased nearly thirty to forty frames in anticipation of finally getting the wall going.  The only problem besides finding time to do so?  Actually determining what to put in these frames.

We have a couple of pictures in mind such as a handful of our pictures from our honeymoon in Maui, our nephew leaping into some fall leaves and, of course, pictures of the cats.  But, those might only fill up — at most — 10 of those frames; certainly not enough to fill out where we’re planning on doing the gallery wall.

While looking for our marriage certificate (yeah, you read that) the other day, I came across some little cards we picked up from a small shop in New Hope, Pennsylvania (if you can ever get the chance to visit New Hope, please do so).  They are 5 x 5 inch cards with inspirational quotes on them.  Now, we’re not ones to do sappy quotes on our walls, but the ones we found actually have some meaning behind them for us.

So where does this all connect?  Well, we bought the cards to frame … and to hang on our eventual gallery wall. We’re not sure if we’ll frame all the cards we bought, but we couldn’t narrow it down to just one at the store.

Probably one of my favorite all time quotes, outside of “Keep It Simple Stupid”, comes from good ol’ Teddy Roosevelt.

Our second pick was a quote from Gary Lew.  Simple and to the point, but enough to get you thinking.

And our last pick and probably the one getting my vote for the gallery wall is a Zen saying.  It also happens to be a Jason Mraz line in the song Make It Mine.  But most of all, it’s stays true to a decision we recently made in quitting my job to do SongMeanings full time.

The company that made these, Quotable Cards, has many many more — some great, some corny and sappy.  I just found “grow old with me! the best is yet to be!” by Robert Browning, which is also a famed John Lennon line.  Or even Lincoln’s “whatever you are, be a good one.

We’re planning on lining our entry way, up the stairs and the upstairs’ hallway with frames.  Rebecca had it as an item on our to-do list for our staycation way back in August.  Yeah, we never got to it.  Rebecca has been swamped with graduate school (oh and growing a baby) and if she leaves the entire thing up to me, it’s going to be filled with album art, hip-hop lyric quotes and pictures of kittens — some of which won’t even be ours.  I think it’s best if I wait for her, eh?

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Posted by Rebecca, November 23rd, 2011

Last year I did some table decorating for Thanksgiving… the day before. I figured, why break tradition! So today, I once again decorated our table using most of the same materials (hey, I only own one set of placemats and napkins). This year I was without the apples and pumpkins, plus it has been raining for two days so my plan to collect some sticks and leaves instead was foiled. I was able to whip up a little something with what we had on hand :)

When we went grocery shopping yesterday I picked up some flowers in pretty fall colors. They look much more pink in the pictures, but they’re really red, orange and yellow. I figured they would add some much needed color to the table.

I used the same ramie runner from Target last year and the placemats and napkins are also from Target. No, I did not iron the placemats, obviously. I did this at about 8:00 tonight with a very curious Macky trying to attack my flowers. I don’t think our parents are going to mind the creases tomorrow. Or I might even just throw down our brown table cloth, which definitely has to be done while Macky is sleeping since he thinks that anytime a clean piece of cloth goes on a flat surface, it means the bed is made. We seriously cannot get sheets on our bed without wrestling with him because he wants to live under each layer…

I put some pine cones and some leftover sticks from last year scattered on the runner to keep the earthy, fall thing going. I also tied a little piece of twine around my bundles of daisies to more easily arrange them and make them slightly more rustic.

The twine was leftover from our wedding and I wish it was a little thicker. I didn’t have to tie the flowers in the rose bowl because well, the bowl kind of shapes them for me :)

Probably my favorite addition this year are these West Elm napkins I picked up a while ago. I liked the bright white on the table so much that I added a square appetizer plate to each setting (which have no utensils and glasses because well, I’m lazy)

Makes me want a white runner or placemats or something…

I couldn’t fuss over the table for too long though, because we have lots of cooking to do :)

Computer printouts=modern day cookbooks….

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it involves no fuss, no pressure to shop for a month and just good food and good people :) Plus we have a lot to be thankful for this year. This summer, we honestly thought that once the holidays rolled around, we’d be just a family of 4. Little did we know that Darwin would be a miracle kitty and the baby in the belly would bring our family headcount up to 6. Plus, I’m thankful to have a husband that texts me things like this…

Mike: I think we need to paint the powder room ceiling bold and add some crown.

Me: You mean gray?

Mike: No…. I’m thinking an accent color… like a pale aqua.

And with that, I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! :)

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Live Your Life and Stay Young on the Floor

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Posted by Michael, November 21st, 2011

I’m channeling my inner J-Lo with this post title.  Oh yeah.

Since Rebecca has a human growing inside of her, we decided to rip up the builder-grade carpet in our spare bedrooms this week.  Just over a year ago, we replaced the carpet in our bedroom, sitting room and hallway with hardwood floors.  And a few months ago, the builder had to come in to rip up our existing hardwood floors downstairs and replace them.

Seriously.  I am sick of looking at hardwood floor boxes.  But the good news is we’re actually almost finished with them!  (Because we really don’t have anywhere else to lay hardwood down anymore.)

Here are some before shots with the builder-grade carpet.  They’re a goldish tanish color (I’m horrible with colors.  One day my kid is going to ask me what color something is and I’m going to be all, it’s a reddish grayish color with a hint of greenish.  And then the kid is going to give me the same WTF look that I give my mom today (love you mom!)).

This is the bedroom that is nearest to our master bedroom.  It’s also a potential baby room.  It has one window (just off camera to the right) and faces the woods.

And here is the other potential baby room which is at the back corner of our house.

This is the 3rd bedroom also known as office 2.0 around here.  We’ll be moving our current office to this room as the downstairs office will become a playroom.

And here is that same room with the new floors!

Here is a view with our backs to those windows and looking towards the hallway.

This is the bedroom in the corner of the house.

And this is the bedroom nearest to our master. Followed by a shot of looking out of this bedroom into the hallway.

The hardwoods will be completed tomorrow (hence the dusty and dark pictures) then we can clean this place up and get you some better ‘after’ pictures. It’s incredibly hard to get full room shots of these rooms, but it’s already so nice to have seamless flooring from the bedrooms, to the hallway, down the stairs and into the kitchen!

Now I guess we should decide which room will be the baby’s, eh?

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Our Second Chair Rail

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Posted by Rebecca, November 17th, 2011

Not only are we having a baby, but our best friends Shannon and Dom are having one less than a month before us! Yaaay, you get two nurseries for the price of one in a way :) So this weekend we headed over to their house to help them install a chair rail in their nursery. We’ve only done one chair rail install ourselves and that was in our entryway a few months ago, but we were more than willing to help them out. Our entryway was actually more complicated and larger than their room, so the process was pretty simple this time around.

We were the brains, the boys offered the brawn.

Very important to this process this time around was our brand new nail gun. We picked up this small pneumatic nail gun while it was on sale at Lowe’s a couple of months ago. We paid about $75 for it (which I think we put some of on a gift card) and it was worth every penny. The compresser was nice and small, light and not very loud at all.

We knew this was a smart investment because we have plenty of other molding plans up our sleeves (including our own nursery) and our previous nail gun was electric. It weighed a ton and wasn’t powerful enough to shoot the nails all the way through the molding, so we had to go back and hammer them in. Not only does this thing fully sink in nails, the compresser can be used to inflate tires. Who knew? :)

The rest of the process we pretty much explained in our entryway post. Please excuse the inconsistently weird colors in these pics, they were taken at night.

We didn’t caulk or paint it, but at least you can see all of our cuts and nail holes :)

We also got a chance to add my favorite little part of a chair rail to this room… the end pieces. We once again just glued them on (I wasn’t putting my finger on that small piece of molding and shooting it in!) and held them in place with some tape while they dried. We didn’t have any painter’s tape on hand, so plain ol’ Scotch it was!

They haven’t done anything else to the room yet (it’s not staying yellow), but the uncaulked, unpainted chair rail already makes such a difference!

Mike and I looove all sorts of molding and we don’t mind installing it either. Painting is another topic for Mike, he hates painting. With our new nail gun, we’re looking forward to finishing up our entryway, molding out the baby’s room and making some built-in things. Hopefully we can start planning all of that soon because our new flooring has been delivered and is set to be installed next week! :)

Please excuse the iPhone picture, but this is literally the third time since we’ve lived here (which has only been a year and a half) that we’ve had boxes of flooring in our living room. Okay twice was because we wanted it, once was the builder’s fault, but hopefully this is it for us and we can get to decorating some new rooms! :)

ps- As I was searching through my old chair rail posts, I re-read this one from July 11th when we painted the bottom half of our entryway wall. It also happened to be the day we found out Darwin has cancer, so reading it nearly broke my heart all over again. BUT, in a happy way. Everything written that day, that he lost even more weight, that he had lost more than 75% of his kidney function, has been reversed. As of Sunday, Darwin finally broke into the 7lb range (7lbs 3oz at that!) and has begun to regain some of his muscle mass. I felt sick on Sunday so when he came back from the vet with Mike and happily trotted over to me on the couch, I was the proudest momma in the whole world :)

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Da Nursery

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Posted by Michael, November 16th, 2011

I will not paint stripes in the new nursery.  I will not paint stripes in the new nursery.  I will not paint stripes in the new nursery.  I will not paint stripes ever again.

Okay I feel somewhat better.  It’s funny that while browsing on Pinterest, I find nurseries with stripes.  You’d think after painting stripes in the office, I’d refuse to look at any inspiration involving painted stripes.  Oh and crap, I just admitted I browse Pinterest. Wife, I am NOT painting stripes in the nursery.  But don’t these look awesome?

Especially this one posted on Color Chats.  The stripes are very similar to the office which is probably why it immediately caught my eye.  I also love how the light fixture’s dark color really stands out against the rest of the room.

And then I saw these zig-zag stripes featured on Chic & Cheap Nursery.  Why do I feel like I’m going to be painting something similar one day?  Again, similar colors to the office, but with a splash of yellow.  And if you check the link, the design board also includes our giraffe lights.

Rebecca and I had once talked about doing stripes on the ceiling so it was no surprise when I stumbled upon this nursery on Project Nursery.  I love the stripes on the ceiling with the black-ish wall and furniture.

Enough with the stripes.  The sconce on this nursery below first grabbed my attention.  I always enjoy simple lights like these especially used over bedding.  And then I realized what the sconce was mounted on — barn doors.  How freaking awesome?  Where does this guy get barn doors from?  The muted colored crib against the doors is awesome, too.

And the typography on this wall above the crib?  Um.  AWESOME.  Love the fact that it’s an alphabet mural but they totally thought outside of the box with it.

Looks like I’ll have plenty of painting to do between the crazy stripes and the alphabet mural.  You win this one wife.

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