The Playroom Carpet Hunt

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Posted by Rebecca, September 13th, 2012

I’ve mentioned multiple times that since we’ve moved the office upstairs, the former office downstairs will be Easton’s playroom. You know the room, it’s the one where we painted our sweat stripes on the wall.

The beige carpet never matched with our paint choice, so I’m happy to be on the hunt for something different.

One of my requirements was that the carpet be gray. I don’t care what shade of gray (nope, didn’t read that book), really I’d take anything. My number one priority is that the carpet be safe and as free of toxins as possible. Thus began my hunt for the eco friendly carpet. Dun dun dun!

I’ve posted about our search for a solid wood crib, my relevation about Easton’s Ikea dresser, the hunt for a wool area rug, using no-VOC paint and our use of solid wood/low-VOC adhesive on Easton’s paneled wall — all in the nursery. It should come as no surprise that I also want the playroom to be as non-toxic as possible. Or maybe that statement is surprising? I’m sure there are people who think that once your baby comes you become more relaxed about such things, but really, I think I worry about it more now. I mean, when you see your kid react to tummy time by immediately licking his playmat, you realize that what you lay him on should be as safe as possible.

Assuming that most carpets come in some shade of gray, I figured I’d begin my search with the eco friendly requirement. I simply googled for “eco friendly carpeting” to find out what brands made options. I knew that major retailers were starting to come around because we had spotted something in Lowe’s a few months ago, before we were really ready to start looking. My googling led me to Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet which has received glowing reviews from eco-friendly companies as well as carpet salespeople (and apparently Better Homes & Garden).

(via Mohawk)

This line of carpet has stain resistance somehow built-in rather than sprayed on with a chemical and supposedly can be cleaned WITH JUST WATER. So not only are you dodging the chemicals in a strain treatment, but you are also dodging the chemicals from cleaning it yourself. Let’s face it, kids are messy and the less you have to use the Resolve or the SpotBot, the better. Oh, pets are messy too and that’s the only reason why I can use both Resolve and the SpotBot with my hands behind my back… and my eyes closed.

Re-read the above sentence about Easton licking surfaces and you’ll see why chemical free is number one above looks. Granted, he won’t be licking flooring forever (he’ll stop for about 18 years then resume where he left off in college), but so much of his little body is still growing. The thought of toxins entering that little body cannot be good. So this weekend, the 3 of us trekked to check it out in person.

First, we headed to Home Depot, where we didn’t see any eco-friendly carpeting. We had the guest of honor with us and thankfully he let us put him back in the car and drive to a nearby speciality flooring store. There we hunted down the SmartStrand!

I wish I snapped pictures in the store, but I completely forgot to. The salesperson showed us where the carpet was and explained that you could tell it was SmartStrand just by touching it — it was that soft. There were all different levels of softness and then a million colors to choose from, so it was very overwhelming. She also told us that our room was so small (11′ x 11′) that we could get a remnant. Unfortunately, when we entered the remnant area, there were no SmartStrand carpets in any weight or design, in gray.

We decided to continue to shop around and to check out Lowe’s this weekend. We had seen the carpet there a few months ago and we’re hoping they’re running some sort of promotion. We’re also open for suggestions of other brands/types of carpeting that are safe for Easton. While being “green” is extremely trendy these days, it’s still hard to find products that are affordable and safe. Suggestions welcome… I’d take shag, carpet that leaves vaccuum marks, berber or Beiber.

Just look at him, he loves carpet :)

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To Da Beach

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Posted by Michael, September 12th, 2012

I seriously always find myself on 20×200 which releases great, but affordable, art each and every week. Being on the site always makes me want to post on here and show off some cool stuff I find like I did here, here and here some time ago.

So it’s no surprise that tonight I’ll be showing off some 20×200 finds.  Act like you love it.

There were two photographs that instantly jumped out at me.  They are essentially the same topic; just different angles.  But the topic in photography is always one that sucks me in.

The topic?  Old pictures of crowded beaches and especially Coney Island.

Rebecca and I have lived close to the Jersey shore our entire lives; we’ve been to our share of beaches here.  And while some get crowded today (think Seaside Heights), they never seem to be as jammed packed as what beaches were like 50-60 years ago.  It always blows my mind looking at beach pictures from the 1960s with what seems like millions lounging on the sand and another million standing in the water.

“Parachute Jump and Beach Scene, Coney Island, ca. 1965″ via 20×200.

“Coney Island Beach, June 10, 1947″ via 20×200.

Seriously, look.  Look at all of those people on the sand, in the water and on the boardwalk.  I’m totally geeking out over here.  Perhaps one day we’ll have a library where I’ll dedicate one area for vintage crowded beach photographs like the one above.  And Easton will stand there, holding his iPad 15 and asking, “what is a library?”

In other art news outside of :gasp: 20×200, a few weeks back I stumbled upon www.wearedorothy.com.

And my jaw dropped to the floor when I discovered a piece of art which was a map.  A map made up of 390 song titles.  Before I even decided to read any of the road and street names, I already had the thing purchased.  Talk about a total impulse buy.  An awesome impulse buy, I might add.

“Song Map” Original Open Edition via wearedorothy.com

The print is still rolled up in it’s tube.  It needs a great frame and then we’ll rock it somewhere in the new office.  I’d love to perhaps center this above my desk and have some of my favorite album art flanking each side of it.  Stay tuned. :)

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Projecting

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Posted by Rebecca, September 6th, 2012

Projecting or project-ing? I guess either one works. Projecting the projects? Yes, that’s what I’m doing.

At the end of my desk I have this little pile going. It looks like this…

There’s some countertop paint, white spray paint, spray primer and a can of chalkboard paint. Each one is for a different project.

I always keep track of my to-do list and goals in my glorious Erin Condren life planner. None of the items on the to-do list and goals for August got done. Not a single one.

So, I naturally transferred them all over to September. That is where all of those random paint supplies come in!

Before I went back to work, we were in such a nice groove with Easton sleeping that I felt like I had some nice time to myself to do fun things. Then I went back to work and the concept of free time disappeared. We started so many projects that we haven’t even touched in weeks. I am determined to make some time (ie- give up sleep) to tackle that little list. So here’s the (September) goal list in a little more detail…

1. Finish Easton’s room.

This “project” is like a major thorn in my side. It’s so close to being done but I just can’t get there. Ever have those dreams where you’re trying to get somewhere but you never actually make it? Am I the only person with those dreams? Anyway, this is what the nursery feels like. I wanted to have it done by now but I keep hitting road blocks. Spray paint frames? Can clogs and need a new one. One week later get new can? The paint chips as you’re carrying frames into the house from outside. Make print to put in frame? Shutterfly cuts off part of your text. So that explains why the gallery wall still hasn’t been hung since I started it two months ago. The spray paint and spray primer belong to this action item.

We plan to hang some hooks in the little area behind the door of Easton’s room, which is a small project, but one we can’t do when he’s asleep.

That corner behind the door is the one I’m talking about. The picture is not the most recent, but you get the idea.

2. Work on new office

The goals here are to caulk and paint trim and paint a chalkboard wall. For weeks, the new built-ins have been sporting the raw wood look.

It’s one of those things we finished only about a week before I went back and I’ve been itchiiiing to get some paint on these things! But first it needs caulk, which isn’t as fun. I’m hoping to get some time after Easton is asleep this weekend to pretty it up.

We decided a few weeks ago to paint one wall in the office with some chalkboard paint. It’s this little wall…

We bought Hudson Paint chalkboard paint in So Stone, which is a darkish gray color. The other walls need another coat of paint, so if the gray doesn’t look that great with the blue, we can always change things up. I’m so excited and anxious to get this one done! But first comes the caulk, primer and paint for the rest. Boooo

Okay, so maybe the list only had 2 main items with additional bullets, but I like to think that means it’s manageable. I’m setting realistic goals, even if they have to be pushed back again. Let’s face it, I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to type this (I’ve dozed while sitting up twice now!), so I think a few small paint projects is enough.

Oh wait, what’s that can of countertop paint for? You shall see :)

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The Nursery Rug

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Posted by Rebecca, September 4th, 2012

Hello! I’m finally back with a house related post! First off, thank you all for your incredibly supportive comments, emails and tweets for my post about returning to work. I’m trying to kick my ass back into gear and get back to regular posting and project-ing. Hopefully I stick with it because it’s therapeutic :)

I posted once before about trying to find a non-synthetic area rug for Easton’s room and many of you gave me great suggestions. It wasn’t extremely urgent since he didn’t move much, but now the kid rolls in his sleep, rolls on the changing table and pets the wall (?) and tries to catapult himself off of our laps. In conclusion, time for rug(s)*.

I found some online that were possibilities, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable making this purchase online. Minus the shipping costs, this rug had to be pretty and functional so that Easton had a nice cushion under him. The rug had to pass the fluff test.

Mike was in Montreal this weekend so I got to soak up a few days with Easton all to myself. Minus the lack of showers, it was some much needed momma and Easton time. On Saturday, we headed to the mall to get out a bit and I browsed Pottery Barn Kids since I still have some giftcards. There I saw a sale section with a light blue 5’x8′ rug. It was the Somerville rug and it was nice, fluffy, soft and worthy of petting. It was a solid blue with a subtle diamond pattern. It was made of wool, so it met my healthy nursery requirement. SOLD!

(via Pottery Barn Kids)

It was marked down to $280ish from $399 (cheaper than listed online!) plus I had 2 giftcards so we ended up paying about $150 for it. Once we got it in the room, Easton was impressed.

By those decorating rules that most interior designers say are meant to be broken, we probably should have gone with a bigger rug. The rug mostly floats in the center of the room, though it goes underneath the front of the crib. The problem with bigger would be that it would cover almost all of the hardwoods in the room, which we just installed and we don’t want to hide completely! Oh yeah, and an 8’x10′ rug is mucho dinero. 5’x8′ it is!

I actually like the size and that it gives the crib a red carpet effect… with a blue carpet.

I also like that there is a relaxing blue on both the ceiling and the floor. When I first started on this room, I thought it would be mostly light blue and green with some navy. Then I was afraid that ‘some’ navy wasn’t going to be powerful enough so I kept adding navy. Now the room is mostly light blue and navy and I love it. The last minute chevron crib skirt I made days before Easton was born was a total game changer for me in this room.

The size of the rug also makes for a nice little walkway on either side, especially in front of the changing table.

I take my shoes off whenever I go near the carpet to make sure it stays nice and clean for the monster. Sidenote: I almost never take my shoes off as soon as I get in the house. I like having all of my shoes in our closet and if they’re on my feet? One less thing to carry up at the end of the day.

Here’s a close up of the pattern of the rug. I love that it adds another geometric print to the room. It really makes it a room he can grow into with a few tweaks.

The crib is currently sporting a breathable bumper on 3 out of 4 sides and a spaceship sheet that came with the bedding set. I prefer a light blue sheet with the chevron crib skirt, but laundry had other plans. Or rather, Easton’s bodily fluids did. The regular spaceship bumper was removed once Easton was old enough to move around at night.

Oh wait, what are those tissue paper things on the wall? Well, they’re… tissue paper. I planned out a gallergy wall weeks ago and haven’t gotten a chance to hang it. I spray painted frames, ordered photos and made a few art pieces. Both art pieces had to be redone after I didn’t like them in the frames, some frames needed an extra spray paint and my shadowbox needs to be handpainted.  So as of now the gallery wall looks like this….

Once that is all done, the nursery is almost all done. We decided to hang some hooks that we already had by the door. That should take Mike all of 10 minutes and then maybe I can squeeze in the big reveal!

One last rug shot?

Mmm so cozy now.

* playroom rug shopping is underway as well!

ps- Just literally fell asleep 3 times while sitting up and writing this…Hysterical? Yes. Pathetic? Yes that too…

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Three Months

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Posted by Michael, August 29th, 2012

Whenever Rebecca and I talk about Easton milestones, it usually starts with, “seriously, how is this kid X months or Y weeks?”  So seriously, how is this kid 3 months already? It seems like just yesterday Rebecca was writing about E being two months.

Easton’s personality has really started to show.  He does this thing we call the “shy smile” where he’ll quickly smile at you and then turn away as if he’s being bashful.  He does it hardcore style when Rebecca comes home from work.  He even does this excited thing with his arms to go along with the “shy smile.”

Our little guy has definitely discovered his hands and fingers.  He loves to shove them into his mouth along with anything else he can get his hands on including toys and blankets.

Three months in and for the most part our fur-babies are mostly over Easton.  For the longest time, Diggy would come running to Easton’s aid whenever he cried.  But now, they barely raise their heads in concern.  I think they thought he’d be another warm body that feeds and plays with them.  Not yet my little fur-babies, not yet.  While they’re over the NEW! baby, they’re certainly not over Rebecca and I.  I still wake up with a cat sleeping on my head and a cat on my feet.  I swear these cats are more work than Easton!

Happy 3 months champ!

Just a heads up, I try to post daily pictures of Easton in our more family related blog, Macky&Company

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