From Ours To Yours

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Posted by Rebecca, December 25th, 2012

We hope you had a Merry one!

We’ll share the details of how we made our Christmas card, along with pictures of the house all decorated tomorrow. But for now, the three of us are overtired from 3 days of Christmas celebrations, cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping, decorating and going to bed ridiculously late. Time to step back, finaly take a breather and realize that holy crap, Easton just had his first Christmas.

We love you guys.

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Making Spirits Bright

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Posted by Rebecca, December 18th, 2012

I think we have all had heavy hearts lately, saddened that the world can be such a cruel place for those who are so innocent. After watching/reading the news all day on Friday, I decided to doodle on something I made the weekend before. Doodles always make me smile, maybe they do the same for you.

I started with an Ikea frame we already had.

I checked to see what the backing to the frame looked like. Turns out, it was a nice smooth board. Perfect for some chalkboard paint :)

As a kid, I always loved playing school and writing on the blue chalkboard I had in my room. I was always the first to volunteer to write on the board at school and I loved trying different types of handwriting (my middle school speciality was that I could write on a chalkboard just as well with my left hand as my right). With the chalkboard trend making the rounds, I have wanted one for over a year. We’re planning on making one wall of the office a chalkboard wall, but I got impatient. Need. Doodles.

While I was taking an initial look at the frame, I broke the glass. It was a total accident that actually worked out for me because I felt bad wasting it. Now the only part I wasn’t using was the mat, which I ended up placing behind the board to keep everything fitting tight. Whew?

I used Valspar’s chalkboard paint in black and rolled it on with a foam roller we had hanging around.

Each coat took me about… 1 minute. I waited maybe 10 minutes between each coat and ended up doing 3 coats.

I let it completely cure overnight, then I rubbed some chalk over the entire surface. The Valspar can said nothing about doing this, but I had seen it all over other blogs. Better safe than sorry.

Once it was all done, I got to writing. In the past, I’ve watched some YouTube videos of professional chalkboard writers and took some hints. One of these days, I’ll try something elaborate with proper spacing and planning but for now, this is what I did in a total of 10 minutes.

Needs work, but not bad for a first attempt at chalkboard art. I then stuck it on the mantel, which is still a work in progress.

We’re waiting for some Christmas prints of Easton to arrive to fill a frame or two, then I might add some wrapping paper to the remaining ones. Once that happens I can take some decent daylight pictures of our Christmas mantel.

I planned this post out in my head and then jumped in the shower. It didn’t feel right to me to not fully address what happened in Connecticut, though I really don’t feel like I have the right words to say. “Making Spirits Bright”, while positive, still felt like I was being cold.

So I just ran downstairs, erased my chalkboard, and changed it to this.

Twenty little hearts, for twenty little hearts.

Because a picture is worth more words than I could string together.

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A Soft Place To Land

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Posted by Rebecca, December 12th, 2012

Last week, it finally happened, we got our playroom carpet!

Here’s the old, smelly, flat, beige one…

And our new cushy gray one!

There is always a cat photobombing my pictures. I’ve just accepted it at this point.

Anyway, I first have to admit that the true color of the carpet is hard to photograph. It often looks beige like the old one, but I promise you it’s gray. It goes quite well with the stripes and actually falls in between the two colors on the wall. It does have a slight brown undertone (the color is sugared bronze afterall), but it’s perfect because the paint does as well. The room definitely has a slight greige going to it, which we like because it goes with the entryway. It’s Mohawk’s SmartStrand Preston carpet in sugared bronze.

Our favorite part, other than the part that it’s a completely green carpet, is that it is so soft and cushy. I don’t mind that it’s the type of carpet that leaves vacuum marks because it’s so comfy for Easton. And us. We may or may not lay on the carpet all day now.

I didn’t properly white balance the camera before taking these pictures and I couldn’t manage to make the above picture less orange-y. Photoshop is not at all my speciality and the early sunset doesn’t help.

I picked up 2 gray felt storage baskets at Target last week to try to wrangle baby toys and add some style to the room. I love them, they add some texture yet are soft enough for Easton to reach in.

They are where we hide that puppy we both hate. Easton loves him more than anything (except maybe his snowman book), so I guess Puppy (his official name) can stay. First thing I do at night is throw Puppy in a basket. Usually he yells “Bye-Bye!” which just makes me hate him more.

The only other things in the room at the moment are a pack ‘n play and a jumperoo hidden behind the door.

I was cleaning off the shelves as I was taking these pictures, but then Easton started to wake up from his nap. I cut the cleaning short and just snapped some quick pictures.

The shelves and fan are going. We bought a light fixture a while ago, so we’ll move the fan upstairs. The rest of the room doesn’t have any concrete plans for now. We would like some built-in bookcases for storage, but we’re not in any rush.

Right now the open room makes someone very happy.

We spend most of our days in here now.

Easton’s favorite uses for his new playroom? Rolling from wall to wall and back again. Over and over…

Reading books…

And reading books to his puppy…

All in his pajamas. We clearly take most of our pictures in the morning…

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No Longer Naked

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Posted by Rebecca, December 5th, 2012

Housekeeping note: I’ve been trying to publish this post for the past 2 nights but the blog has been down. I had no clue until I tried to get on myself, so I’m sorry if anyone has had trouble visiting here this week.

Ladies and gentlemen (or man, since I apparently have a single male reader), Mike and I did something on a whim on Saturday. Are you ready for this?

We took down the paper blinds in our bedroom. I repeat, we took down the paper blinds in our bedroom!

Yes, we moved in nearly 3 years ago and had not touched these crinkly jerks until Saturday. We’ve actually been on project overdrive, gearing up for Christmas and finishing Easton’s room finally. Oh and the playroom. I have a lot to blog about, but I’ve been too busy checking things off our nagging list to stop and write.

Right, back to the blinds. We’re DIYing some Christmas cards and we were having a photoshoot for Easton in our bedroom. The walls are white and there are windows on more than one wall, so it was perfect. When we went to “raise” the paper shades to let the natural light flow in, we decided to just rip those suckers off finally. Bold move, considering there are 4 windows in the main part of our bedroom and it was already around 2pm.

We ordered roman shades from JC Penney about a year ago. We got 6 for our room (4 in main room, 2 in sitting room) but we used one in Easton’s room since they were just sitting around. How funny is this Photoshopped picture of Easton’s navy chevron curtains?

Once our photo shoot was done (we will share details once the cards are designed). Mike started drilling brackets. During Easton’s late nap, I helped him hang a few. The last 2 or so had to wait until Easton was in bed. And those last ones of course were stubborn and wouldn’t screw in.

But they’re done and it feels like a luxury resort to us.

I’m not a huge fan of these particular blinds since they don’t lay flat no matter what I do, as I mentioned in the post about the one we hung in Easton’s room. But they were inexpensive and they work. I plan to add some curtains to them anyway.

(Yes, I’m sure our neighbors are thankful to no longer have a view of crinkly blinds.)

(And that is an awful iPhone picture taken into a bright window surrounded by bright white walls…)

The bedroom is now blindingly white. White walls, white blinds, white bed (which I didn’t care to make for these pictures I snapped with my iPhone). Though it needs some loving, all of that white is strangely clean and refreshing feeling. For now. Someone get me a roller in a few weeks…

For now, I must get back to gallery walling, Christmas decorating/crafting and rolling around the playroom with Easton. I’ve forgotten how good it feels to be inspired, now if only my blog server will continue to cooperate…

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Playroom Under Construction

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Posted by Rebecca, November 27th, 2012

Has it seriously been 2 months since we started looking for a playroom carpet? We didn’t plan on waiting this long (we wanted it done for Thanksgiving), but some things happened and we ended up ordering it much later than planned. But the moral of the story is… we ordered a playroom carpet!!

Need a refresher? The playroom is actually our former office that is downstairs with the striped walls and french doors.

Thanks to that little cat, who ironically photobombed this picture, we have to completely scrap this carpet. Darwin was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year and had a few very, very rough months that included… peeing on our carpets. We tore up the family room carpet this spring and now it’s time for this one to go.

(For those of you wanting a Darwin update, he is doing amazing. He was the first cat with renal lymphoma that his oncologist has ever treated to live past 6 months. It’s just an awful form of cancer for cats that essentially causes kidney failure even if chemo is suppressing the cancer. Darwin beat the odds and has since made it to a year post-diagnosis. Though he does suffer from some loss of kidney function, cats can actually live normal lives with something ridiculous like 75% of their kidney function lost. He has been off chemo for almost a year now!)

A few weeks ago I discovered Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet, which is eco-friendly and you can clean it with just soap and water. We looked around some major retailers, but we didn’t see anything that you could clean with just soap and water. So after being frustrated that Easton had no where to roll free (though he has carpet in his room), we realized that we really need to choose something. I am generally a pretty decisive person, so we headed to Lowe’s all set to choose something. And choose we did.

So we trekked up to the salesperson, with this board and baby in hand and were like, “okay, we’ll take it”. That guy made the easiest commission ever. We wanted Lowe’s to install it (what the heck do we know about stapling carpets??), but we didn’t know that regardless of if we had the measurements on hand, they still had to send someone out fo measure. Whaaamp whaamp. So they wrote down what carpet we wanted and took our information. Then we had to wait to hear from the installer.

He called us within a day or so and scheduled a measurement for a few days away. He came, confirmed our measurements and called them into Lowe’s. Lowe’s then called us and told us the price and that we just had to come in to pay, yay! Except they lied. Mike got there and they needed all of the carpet information again, which is how I have the above picture. Since I was carrying Easton and whatnot, I trusted that Lowe’s was recording what I was choosing and didn’t take any pictures the day we selected it. Thankfully my memory is ridiculous and I remembered the style name, so I asked Mike to send a picture of the board because I knew the position of the color we wanted.

So we went with the SmartStrand Preston in Sugared Bronze with the recommended carpet pad. Using the SmartStrand pad protects the warranty and was seriously something like 10 cents more a square foot. Our room is incredibly small so it was something like $15 for the better pad. Sold!

Here is where I would normally give you pictures of the carpet I found while googling… but I can’t find any. My google-age (new word) has led me to believe that the big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot carry their own lines of SmartStrand carpet. Quite like mattresses, this makes it impossible to compare across retailers. So I’m guessing that my Preston is someone else’s Harrison and someone else’s Mason. My sugared bronze is someone elses shimmer metallic brown. It has to be in limited availability to have no history on the internet. Bizarre.

Anyway, we really just guessed what color would look best. We knew the paint color of the stripes in the new playroom has a tinge of brown to it. A bluish gray wouldn’t go as well as one with more of a taupe undertone. From there we just picked a mid-tone color that wasn’t too dark or too light.

As for the style of the carpet, we petted the larger samples to see how each one would feel on little knees. Then we compared prices and weighed the pros and cons. For example, our room is between 100-150 square feet, so we knew if the prices differed by a small amount, we would just go with the nicer one. A 20 cent price difference wasn’t making a big dent in the budget if it meant we were getting a more dense carpet. Using that method, we went with a mid-range carpet that was the best in it’s group. So it’s like the upper middle class of carpets.

We were told that the carpet would take only 2-3 weeks to come in, since the room is so small and the manufacturer should have enough on hand. We ordered it about a week and a half ago, so we’re hoping to hear from the installer soon. We were told that the whole room would take them less than an hour to do. I can’t wait :)

ps- Am I the only one that manages to kill an entire sleeve of crackers each time I open one? One blog post = a sleeve of saltines gone. Whoops.

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