2012 Survey Responses

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Posted by Rebecca, October 23rd, 2012

I originally started this post last week, then I got hit with thrush again. Easton is fine, he doesn’t have it, but my god is it painful for me. I’m on nearly 2 weeks of being in pain this time around and it is draining. Needless to say, I’ve faceplanted into my laptop several times since my last post. I apologize that some of the early numbers in this post are not the most recent. End disclaimer.

I posted our first reader survey last week two weeks ago not expecting too much. I was just genuinely interested in knowing who I was typing to. While I check my stats maybe once a week or so and have an idea of how many people come here, I always assumed most of those “visits” were by chance.

You guys proved me wrong.

When I posted the survey, I told Mike that if I got at least 20 responses I would post the results. The total was over 220 250! Mike and I are in complete shock. We watched as we hit those 20 responses within minutes of posting and looked at each other with our mouths on the floor. I had no idea that many of you were actually reading enough to take a survey. Thank you. No wait, THANK YOU.

Now I guess I should start using spell check and proofreading, eh? I suddenly have stage fright…

Anyway, since we were so surprised at the overwhelming response, I figured that what I learned about you guys deserved it’s very own post. And, since most of you wanted to know more about us, I guess I’ll reveal that I’m a data analyst by day and this is the type of stuff I do for a living. You know, percentages, graphs, spreadsheets… the stuff you don’t come here for 🙂 So onto the numbers!

All but one, ONE of you, are female.

49% of you are in your 20s, like Mike and I. In a few months, Mike will join 34% of you that are in your 30s. I get to stay with 49% for another year…

75%, that’s 165 of you, are married.

Our 3 year anniversary was last week so I figured I’d throw in the wedding picture (courtesy of Zlatko Batistich). Plus posts with pictures are more fun.

None of  you spend your days at a bar. Instead 165 of you spend the biggest chunk of your days at work.

(image via CNN)

 77% of you live in a house.

No, not necessarily our house. We have enough mouths to feed around here 🙂

Speaking of that, 102 of you stated that you are responsible for dogs, 70 of you have cats and more than half of you are parents.

In a surprising twist, more than 20 of you wrote in that you are responsible for husbands who are like man-children. Many of you actually used that term, haha. Next time I may have to consider adding that option in…

Also, my apologies to the pregnant people out there for not including a unborn baby option. I feel your pain, remember this?

I know right? How could you not! I look at that now and I am amazed that my body supported that belly.. and that Easton was born over a week later.

We also had people who were responsible for a chinchilla, snake and a basil plant. Sometimes you don’t get to choose who you love…

As for the blog content questions, most of you are happy with whatever I want to post, whether it be DIY, design ideas & inspiration, Easton, personal things, the cats. Which made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Thanks guys 🙂

But, if anything ranked high it was more DIY posts, which of course we would love to do more of and share. At the bottom were cat posts. I usually don’t write much about the cats, so no hard feelings there. I didn’t tell them though, they would be heartbroken. Macky thinks he’s the star of this blog.

Occasionally I have strayed from the house related post, like when Easton was born, Darwin was diagnosed with cancer or Macky spent Christmas in the hospital. Those were three bigger-than-life events for us, so of course we’ll continue to share those life changing things with you. I think my goal here has always been to paint a well rounded picture of our daily lives, without abandoning why I started this blog. I think most people get that and do want to know more general things about us. It just sort of sets the scene. Which right now is that of a zoo.

Surprisingly (to me at least), most of you don’t follow me on any social media. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (lilhousecould) and sometimes I post things there as a “hey, I’m not dead I just haven’t had a chance to blog” type of thing. I now realize 90% of you haven’t seen those posts, whoops. But, for those of you requesting Easton pics, my Instagram account is also my personal account and it is full of Easton. Also surprising to me is that only 27% of you write a blog. I guess bloggers are more likely to comment, I know I never commented on blogs until I had my own 🙂

Oh and 10 of you follow me on foot. I am officially creeped out and will be looking over my shoulder for you. I would like to you know that I run fast. Okay, I’m lying, I haven’t ran in over a year.

Many of you left great open ended comments and questions, which I will have to address another time. Maybe a FAQs post is in order?

Once again, thank you all for coming here and for your incredibly kind words. I had this part planned out in my head when I was driving to work (seriously, why do I come up with the best sentences while driving?), but the important part is the thanks. Thank you for giving me someone to write to, thank you for challenging me to come up with bigger and better ideas and most importantly, thank you for letting me know it’s okay if I don’t.

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Hey, What About You Guys?

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Posted by Rebecca, October 9th, 2012

I realized something recently. While I’ve been writing this blog for over 2 years and talking about myself, I’m not exactly sure who is reading.

I think I always assume that my readers know me personally (hi mom!) or are the faces behind blogs that I regularly read. But then as I get more emails and scroll through my Facebook page, I realize that I don’t recognize many of the faces there. Okay, I don’t recognize over 400 of the faces there.

Nope, don’t know any of those lovely people. But I want to 🙂 (in a non-creepy smile, way that is) Funny note though, when I first went to steal that screen shot I had since logged into Facebook and the names that appeared were indeed the few people I do know who like this page. Threw me off for a minute.

Anyway, obviously, our lives and blogging habits have changed in the past four months. While we still have many, many projects in the works and my mind is constantly going, our time for them has decreased. As I receive questions about our crib choices or cloth diapers, I’m beginning to think many of you are new parents as well and in the same boat? But I can’t be sure unless I ask!

(moodboard from this old post about my baby shower)

So here’s your chance to fess up. The questions below can be answered completely anonymously– no email address or blog URL needed. I just want to know who I’m talking to when I type these things, why you come here and what you want to see in the future.

Here goes!

You know what’s funny? My class last semester included survey design. We had to make a survey and pass it around to make sure it was a good survey. You know, that all options were included, the wording was easy to understand, not offensive, that there was one clear answer for each question. I just disregarded everything that I spent 18 weeks learning and typed whatever I wanted. I tried to compensate with open ended questions at the end. My professor would be so disappointed right now.

Anyway, please respond if you’re reading. If there’s anything you’d like to tell me that I omitted, or anything you just want to tell me, please do! I love hearing from you guys, even if it sometimes takes me forever to respond 🙂

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Four Months

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Posted by Rebecca, October 3rd, 2012

Last week, Easton turned four months old.

And he’s starting to look, and act, like a little boy.

This is the first photoshoot of his that I missed. We didn’t get a chance to take these over the weekend so Mike did them during the week. We were down one man to make the model giggle, so he’s quite serious this time around.

We switched to a long sleeved onesie this month because a) it’s more weather appropriate b) he outgrew the 3 month onesies he’d been wearing up until this point and c) I didn’t see a point in buying a short sleeved pack just for the sake of these pictures. Oh and that long sleeved onesie he’s wearing? 9 months. He skipped a size since I crammed him in the 3 month one for his last picture.

We also changed up the style of the text on the pictures. We were never consistent with the size and style of the text when we typed out the word “month”, so they all had to be redone anyway. I figured just the number was enough and easier to see when all of the pictures are side by side.

Back to Easton. Do you see that hair? The serious expressions? Don’t let those fool you, he is the happiest kid ever. He has recently developed a real giggle and it’s the cutest thing ever. It always comes out when you kiss his belly and more recently, when we fly him around like an airplane or he bounces in his Jumperoo. Total infant these days.

It’s not just giggles and fun he has developed, he has also become so affectionate. When he sees me he literally hugs me now– his little arm wraps around my neck and he squeezes tight. He also loves to slobber all over my face as kisses. Sometimes he combines the two and wraps his arms around my neck, pulls me in and proceeds to eat my face and giggle. God I love that kid.

It’s been such a big month for him maturity wise and until I saw these pictures, I had no clue how much he had grown.

He’s growing up so fast already and I forget what those skinny newborn legs were like.

Happy four months champ!

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Random Ramblings

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Posted by Rebecca, September 25th, 2012

The last time we had a bunch of little things projects/thoughts floating around, I threw them in one post and called them my random ramblings. Since I feel like I have a lot to ramble about at the moment, I figured it’s time for another installment!

Last time I numbered them, so why not aim for consistency?

1. We finally hung some shades in the new office.

Please excuse the night time photo I took just a few minutes ago. They’re nothing special, just some Allen + Roth white roman shades from Lowe’s. We obviously didn’t get around to caulking and painting all of the trimwork yet, but at least we ditched the white trash sheet we had hanging as a window treatment.

2. Three years after our wedding, we have an album

Okay so long story short, I started making this book on Shutterfly right after we got married. I made two small books for our parents for Christmas right after we got married (about 2 months after). I started making this and would work on it on and off, when I received a 40% off Shutterfly coupon. Then I forgot about it for probably a year. Shutterfly recently emailed me to say that if I wanted my book, I had to order it by next monday. So I did, I just need an impending deadline to get stuff done. It came in this awesome box which I want to save to frame or something…

I’ve never met an orange cat I didn’t like. Or love. Or wasn’t the sweetest most lovable, laid back animal in the world.

Anyway, the book ended up being 100 pages, each of which I chose photos, layouts and backgrounds for (as well as cropped or hunted down any pictures). Here’s one of my favorite pages…

The pages are glossy so they all have glare in these pictures, but you get the idea. It’s a 12″x12″ book with hundreds and hundreds of pictures.

I was able to fit in a bunch of pictures that most people wouldn’t include in their limited space albums, like this two page spread of the action on the dance floor…

We have every single photo the photographer took on a CD. Best investment ever, and it was included with the price of our photographer. While our photobook ended up not being as cheap as I intented, it was still hundreds less than what the photographer was charging. Plus I saved all of those hours of hard work from being deleted, worth every penny.

3. I’ve been getting a lot of requests for my alphabet print, so I’m thinking of opening an Etsy shop.

Since I’ve always wanted to open an Etsy shop, why not start with that! I would like to make it in girly shades as well as some gender neutral ones. Maybe I can whip up some other sort of prints as well, who would be interested? Anyone have any color scheme or art suggestions?

4. Easton went to the doctor today and he weighs over 18lbs. We need to retire the infant car seat since I can hardly lift it.

5. We’re getting a facelift.

I’ve been nagging Mike for a new blog design for well over a year now. I haven’t added any features or really updated much on the stationary pages because I figured we’d be fixing them up anyway. We looked into hiring someone to do it, but I’m spoiled with custom designs. Turns out they are super expensive even for basic designs, so Mike decided to do it on his own. I can’t tell you when it will be done and up and running, but it’s in the works and he’s doing a fabulous job so far (that entire design was done without a single suggestion from me).

Okay I nodded off 3 times. When number 3 hits it means I have to wrap it up. Third time’s a charm?

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King-dom

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Posted by Rebecca, September 19th, 2012

A few weeks back, I mentioned that we inherited a king sized mattress from my brother and sister-in-law. We passed our queen sized mattress to my other brother, who just moved into a condo. We didn’t have a frame for it, but we figured we could always pick up a cheap one.

After a few weeks of sleeping on the bed, I was hit with back pain. There was one weekend where I couldn’t step up and down the single step in our family room without doing this embarassing yelp of pain. The mattress was much too soft for us and Mike’s back wasn’t far behind mine. We knew there was nothing we could do to really help it, since we found out that my brother had the same problem, so we didn’t want to invest money in any sort of topper. We slept on the couch most nights until we finally decided to bite the bullet and head to Sears for their Labor Day mattress sale.

We bought our queen mattress there 5 years ago and knew the prices were ridiculously low at this time of year. The last time we went mattress shopping we shopped around for days, hit every possible store, layed on bed after bed and made an educated decision. This time we went to Sears with Easton, left his pacifier in the car on accident, had an overtired baby with no paci and picked out a mattress in less than 10 minutes.

We went with a Sealy Posturepedic and chose it like Goldilocks. Sterns and Foster? Too expensive. Basic Sealy? A little flimsy feeling. Then there were two priced in the middle $100 apart. I compared the features while running back and forth across the department and decided to go with the one with the stay cool fabric memory foam Eurotop. I think Sears called it the Gibson. Then I tried to make Easton forget about his missing paci while Mike played the same game and landed on the same mattress. We had the option of getting it plush or firm and after the two of us were walking around hunched over for two weeks, we went with firm.

This was also a great opportunity for us to add on that standard bed frame so that our mattress was no longer on the floor. We saved some additional money by keeping my brother’s box spring. All in all, it was way cheaper than I ever thought we’d be able to get a middle ranged, king mattress for. I think in the end we paid around $1000. I was too busy keeping my finger in Easton’s mouth while he slept to watch the register…

Our mattress was delivered on Monday and since we now have a frame, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to show you the pathetic state of our bedroom.

We moved in 2.5 years ago. Still no paint. Still no window treatments. This room kills me. At first I was like WTF, the pillowcases don’t match for the picture? Then I realized that it just adds to the trailer park chic 🙂

Part of the reason why we haven’t done anything in here is that the room is overwhelmingly huge. For example, we just got a king bed. In this picture, you will see that our queen frame (and bedding) is still living in the room, fully assembled….

And there’s a full sitting room behind it that can accommodate another king bed. And we can probably fit a full by the door. Maybe we should just rent this space out to some nice college kids?

Since we added a wall with french doors to close off the sitting room (it was one giant room before), we still have yet to prime it. We also have yet to caulk or paint the new trim in the room (new meaning 2 years ago). Since we’ve put this off for so long, we think it’s best to hire someone to tackle it. Let’s face it, we’re not going to do it. We always put the rest of the house first and this job is HUGE. I’m fully confident we could do it in a weekend, but it has taken me 2.5 years to realize that I’m fully confident that I don’t want to. I would like a nice hotel like feel in here, but I also savor every bit of my weekends now. If we opt to paint it ourselves, we’re just going to put it off again. I think we finally need somewhere cozy to sleep.

Operation bedroom starts now. I’m thinking medium gray walls, an upholstered headboard, maybe I’ll make another bedskirt and some curtains. I’m feeling inspired by this extra set of sheets we picked up at Target…

Maybe I should finally make a mood board?

ps- Sorry my posting has been inconsistent, I’ve been battling my second and third nursing illnesses… in a single week. Just when I feel like I’m making progress in the juggling game, I am put back in my place.

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