Thursday, May 30, 2013

throwback thursday: Vegas, baby!

I seriously love Vegas.  Over the last four years, I've been lucky enough to party it up in this great city five different times. According to my calculations, that's a whole lot of sin.  Four of these trips were for, what else, bachelorette parties!  Cue the feather boas, strippers, and penis paraphernalia!

Jk.  There have never been strippers...

The only trip that was not bachelorette-related was with my good friend Natasha, and it was actually my first time in Vegas.  It's a long story, but we were lucky enough to score a free trip, and even got to see Dane Cook perform!  (You know, back when he was relevant.)  Somehow I have no pictures from that trip.  I guess what happened in Vegas really did stay in Vegas that time around!

Now allow me to take you on a walk down memory lane...

Side note: these pictures make me miss my bangs!!

I am SUPER excited for my 6th trip coming up in July!!  This will be yet another bachelorette party, but I'm sure you could have guessed that!

Have you ever been to Vegas??

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Absolute chaos! That's what we're living in right now.  You know that point during the moving process where you're mostly unpacked, but you don't have a "place" for everything just yet, so it's all just kind of spread over every surface, in limbo?  Well, that's the point we're at right now.

Allow me to prove my point:

What a mess, right??

The good news is that our new floor is about halfway installed, and all of our kitchen appliances are hooked up as of last night.  Yay for being able to finally cook on a stove!  Even though we only went 3 days without an oven, it felt like an eternity.  An eternity of pizza and Subway...over it!

In case you missed it, we went with Hampton Bay laminate flooring from Home Depot, in "Blackened Maple", and I love how it turned out.

Now you may notice a theme in these next few photos.

The theme is: Tony did all the hard work.  I'm so grateful he's able to just jump in and try something new, like installing the flooring, doing some plumbing under the sink, and messing with the wiring behind the wall.  The fact that Tony is such a handyman has saved us a ton of money so far!

While he was doing all the backbreaking labor, I was either unpacking box after box with Chloe on my heels, or helping her build this super-awesome fort, complete with a tunnel entry.

It was hard work, I tell ya!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

throwback thursday: blonde edition

So there was a year or two in my life when I decided being platinum blonde was the way to go.  I was about 23 or 24, had a weird obsession with Paris Hilton (can't believe I just admitted that), and somehow got the idea stuck in my head that blonde hair was for me.  Sadly I can't find any clear pics from when it was practically white, but you can see the evolution of the blonde in these photos.

I started out gradually, and got blonder and blonder as time went on.

I should point out that I was bleaching my own hair each time.  And I didn't just bleach the roots, like you're supposed to.  I did all of my hair...every single time.  I really don't know what I was thinking.  (Actually, I'm pretty sure I was thinking super blonde hair = hot.)  I finally stopped bleaching it when I noticed several chunks of my hair were way shorter than the rest of it.  So basically, my hair was breaking off.  My poor locks!

So, I decided I'd dye it back to plain ol' brown.  By myself.  Without using a toner.  If you are like I was and don't have any knowledge of hair color, than you might not guess that this would turn my hair bluish-gray.  Because I sure didn't guess that's what would happen.  But it did.  I really wish I would have taken a picture of that, but I rushed to the salon the next morning to have it fixed.

Since then I've had brown hair, with the occasional highlights.  By a professional only!  And my hair has thanked me for it.

Got any embarrassing hair stories of your own?

will we ever be done painting?

The answer to that is a big fat no.  No, we will never be done painting.  In fact, here's a fun little list of what we have left to paint:

  • Hallway
  • Entryway
  • Wainscoting in the hallway
  • Trim in all rooms except two
  • Windowsills in every room
  • Three bathrooms (possibly bathroom cabinets as well)
  • Every door in the house, included the front doors
  • Exterior of the entire house (plus trim!)

Seriously, I never realized how exhausting and time-consuming painting can be!  All you bloggers make it look so dang easy.  To make things worse, I keep finding spots that were missed or imperfections that need to be touched up, but the thought of dragging the paint can, paint tray, paint brush, and painter's tape back out of the garage to fix one tiny spot is making me think that maybe I can choose to live with these mistakes.  If that sounds lazy to you, than you are right.  Lazy I am.

But anyways, we did finish the trim in the master bedroom and Chloe's room last night, so I finally have some before & afters for you.  The "befores" were taken during the day, and the "afters" were taken at night, so please excuse the filthy blinds (which we will be replacing soon!).  It seems like we always finish projects after the sun goes down, and by that time I'm too excited to wait until the next day to snap my "after" pictures.

I'll start with Chloe's room.  The new color is Behr Cool Jazz.  I was originally going to go lighter with Behr Teal Ice, but Tony was afraid it would end up looking like a baby boy's nursery.  I'm honestly not sure if I love this color yet.  It sort of feels like I'm inside a giant mint when I'm standing in her room.  Hopefully once we start decorating, it will grow on me a little more.

It's actually a lot brighter in person than it looks in this photo.  You can tell the color is a bit off by how different the carpet looks in each picture, even though it's the same carpet.  As a reference, here's the color swatch, which is more true to the actual color.

For the master bedroom, we used Martha Stewart Cement Gray, which is the same color we chose for the living room.  We also painted the ceiling and trim white.  They were actually silver in the first picture, if you can believe that.  You can see it if you squint really hard.

I cannot wait to replace those nasty ol' blinds!  Yuck!

We officially move in on Saturday, and I'm so excited!  Even though this means we'll be spending all of Memorial Day Weekend unpacking....and possibly more painting. 

Because, ya know, we will never be done painting.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, we also bought our flooring!!  We made a last minute switcharoo because the flooring we originally wanted had to be special ordered, and we didn't want to wait that long before installing our kitchen appliances.  So after browsing the available options at Home Depot on Monday, we decided to order Hampton Bay laminate in the "Blackened Maple" color.  I didn't think I'd like floors that dark, but after viewing some photos online I decided I love it!

Can't wait to install it have Tony install it!

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ruggish thuggish rug

Oh heyyyy guys!  So as of last week, I'm obsessed with a new trend: kilim rugs.

Now I know that not all of the rugs pictured below are "kilim" print.  Some of them look more southwestern or aztec, and to be honest I don't really know what the difference is.  I'm pretty sure kilim rugs are made in Turkey, though.  But there is something I love about each one of these pictures, which of course I will explain below!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

1 - This rug is a little too bold for my taste, but I love the combo of the rug with the rustic table and the fur throws over the chairs.  (Faux for me!)

2 - Another awesome rustic table with a bold rug, and I love the random white chair at the end to keep things modern & playful.  But again, this rug is a bit too wild for my taste.

3 - LOVE this kilim rug from West Elm!  The print is still fun but it's more toned down.

4 - Another awesome rug from West Elm, and I love this one even more because it's not quite so girly and I think Tony may approve.  What I don't approve of is the $549 price tag.  Oh, West Elm, you are such a tease!  What I also love about this pic is the mid-century modern chairs.  I keep coming across images of similar chairs paired with rustic tables and I really like the combo.  (I'm trying to talk Tony into building a farmhouse table for the dining room - more on that later!!)

What first got me hooked on this trend was Emily's post about her journey to find a similar rug.  And then she found the perfect one!  Except it was on the floor of a bar with no tag, so it's origin is a mystery.  She snapped this picture of it, and I love everything about it!


So of course I started daydreaming about how awesome it would look in our new dining room, paired with a rustic farmhouse table, modern white chairs and a faux fur throw over the two end chairs. *swoon*

Can you see my vision??  I know it's not for everyone, but something about it just speaks to me!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

I searched the internet high and low to find this elusive rug, with no luck.  This is the sasquatch of rugs, I tell ya!  But during my search, I stumbled about this tutorial on how to paint your own kilim rug.  Whaaat???  I can paint my own rug?  This means I could basically create whatever rug I wanted for under $50, if I start with a plain Ikea rug.

After some more searching, I discovered that Jen over at Tatertots & Jello has painted several of her own rugs and they look amazing!  Here are some of her creations:


These are so inspiring!  I cannot wait to tackle this project and paint my own rug.  I love that this will give me the freedom to choose colors that tie into our house, and that I can do any pattern I want, whether it be kilim or something totally different.  (Tony is not totally sold on the kilim idea yet.)

Have you ever painted a rug??

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Monday, May 20, 2013

more paint & less floor

I hope your weekend was more relaxing than mine!  

We spent a total of 13 hours at the new place over the weekend.  It really is amazing how little you can get done in such a huge amount of time!  But we did manage to accomplish a few things.

Here's a before & after of the playroom.  I'm loving the bold teal color!  It's Behr Tropical Tide.

While I was busy painting away, Tony was doing all the back-breaking labor.  He pulled up all the carpet in the formal dining room, the area next to the kitchen, and the front entryway.

This is where things got tough.  He found a second layer of old linoleum underneath the carpet by the front entryway, which is the dark brown flooring you see in this picture.  See how it's broken into tiny pieces?  Yeah, that's how he had remove the floor.  Piece by aggravating piece.

It took forever, and this was only a tiny patch of linoleum by the front door! You can imagine Tony's despair when he ripped up the kitchen linoleum the next day, only to find about three times more of that same hard-to-remove layer underneath.

Luckily, he had a great idea that saved him a lot of time and stress.  Since we are going to install laminate flooring in the kitchen, he decided we can just lay the laminate over this linoleum, since it's pretty much flush with the rest of the floor.  Our friends Nathan & Laura came over Sunday to help out, so Nathan and Tony spent the afternoon hammering all the remaining staples deep into the floor.  They tried removing them but there were probably a thousand staples, and they weren't budging.  Laura and I spent our time painting Chloe's room and then painting the trim in the master bedroom (and trying not to pass out from the fumes!).  I'll be doing another coat on both rooms tonight, and then I'll have some more pictures to show you! 

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

bathroom daydreamin'

...because, isn't that where all important daydreamin' takes place?  No? Just me?  Moving on then...

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do for "Chloe's bathroom".  She refers to it as her bathroom, but it's actually our main bathroom that guests will use, so I'm trying to avoid anything themed or overly kid-like.  But because she will be the main person to use it, I do want it to be fun and girly, without being over the top.

Here are two crappy pictures (no pun intended!) of her bathroom, just so you can see what we're starting with.  Very basic and dated fixtures.  Lucky for me, the counter-top is white and although its nothing special, it's not hideous and we can learn to live with it for awhile.  Same goes for the floor, which you can see in the lovely toilet photo.  It's not what I'd choose, but it will work for now.

I think this bathroom could undergo a cheap & easy face lift with some paint, a new mirror, and new light fixtures.  

Right now I'm really loving the teal cabinets in pictures 1 and 2 below.  I especially love how it ties into the color scheme of our walls, since Chloe's room is going to be painted a light aqua, and the playroom is a deep teal.  I also love the white ruffly shower curtain in picture 3.  But my favorite thing is probably the amazing mirror in picture 4!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

As for the walls, I'm not sure if I'd want to do a bright white paint or maybe a super light gray, or even a light blush pink.  There's no window in this bathroom so it won't have the lovely bright white-on-white effect like picture 3.

I noticed that a recurring theme in these photos is keeping gorgeous flowers in the bathroom.  Do people really do that?  Amazing how much more glamorous a few blooms can make a bathroom look.  I gotta remember that trick!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

making progress!

Oh man, this weekend was a crazy one!  It included:

27 hours spent on house updates.
7 trips to Home Depot.
1 pizza ordered, 3 fast-food runs.
5 rooms painted.
1 wall knocked down.

Here is the updated dining room (the kitchen is connected, but I forgot to take an "after" picture).  The dining and kitchen are the same color, Glidden Smooth Stone.

This next room was intended to be the formal dining room, but we'll be using it as an office/sitting room.  The new color is Behr Puddle.  In real life it's more gray and less brown, but it does have really warm undertones which I love.

Here's our new living room color.  I forgot to take a "before" pic, but it was the same blue color as the dining room. The new color is Martha Stewart Cement Gray.  We painted our bedroom the same color, but I forgot to take pictures of that too.  I'll take some next time I'm there, promise!

And now for our biggest project of the weekend (drumroll, please!).  We knocked out the wall down between the living and dining room!  This was all Tony, so I can't take any credit.  It's amazing how much bigger the place looks now that it's open.  It turned out exactly how I pictured.  We'll be staining the beams at some point too, so it will have a more finished look.

We also found this note from the original homeowners on the drywall!  So cool.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you this amazing tool that I discovered at Home Depot.  It's called Shur-Line Pro Paint Edger, and it's so amazing for painting around trim.  Such a time-saver!  And it's less than $5.

Just look at these nice clean lines!

I'm so happy that we accomplished so much this weekend, but we still have a ton to do, including:
  • Painting Chloe's room
  • Painting the playroom (halfway finished)
  • Painting the laundry room
  • Re-painting all of the trim white
  • Installing hardwood floors in kitchen, dining room, entryway, and hallway
  • Vacuuming and steam-cleaning the carpets
  • Installing all of our kitchen appliances

Those are just the things we'd like to finish in the next few weeks before we move all of our stuff in.  The to-do list for after we move in is too long to even think about!  Oh, and I'm not even thinking about the yard yet.  It's a disaster!

On the plus side, I feel less guilty about skipping the gym now that I've developed huge biceps from using the paint roller.  It's hard work!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

50 Reasons My Mom is the Best

1. She’s been an amazing example of how a loving marriage can last almost 35 years.
    2. We’ve put her through a lot over the years, yet she still loves us like we've never done anything wrong.
      3. She rarely missed a field trip when I was in elementary school.
        4. She knows how to text!
          5. She always said we couldn’t get a dog, but we ended up with three dogs (two of them brought home without her permission, oops!)
            6. She has followed a strict skin-care regimen every night for as long as I can remember.
              7. She used to let us design our own t-shirts with puff paint and wear them to school.
                8. She exercises all the time.
                  9. She taught me to put York Peppermint Patties in the freezer for a refreshing treat.
                    10. She used to crush up children’s Tylenol pills (grape-flavored, yuck!) and add them to my kool-aid or pb&j sandwiches when I was sick, because I couldn’t stand the taste of medicine and it was the only way I’d take it.
                      11. She’s very generous with her time, money and advice.
                        12. She used to cook me “special dinners” (usually plain noodles with butter) because I was too picky for whatever the rest of the family was eating
                          13. She taught me how to shave my legs.
                            14. She used to hum "Lullaby and Goodnight” when she was rocking me as a baby (and yes I can still remember that!)
                              15. She is incredibly honest and not afraid to give her opinion.
                                16. She always baked our birthday cakes from scratch and let us choose what color icing we wanted (mine always had pink trim).
                                  17. She didn’t judge me when I went through my bleached blonde phase.
                                    18. She would tell me to “look at the monkeys on the ceiling” when washing the shampoo out of my hair during bath time, something I now do for Chloe.
                                      19. She has such strong faith.
                                        20. She always made us wear helmets on our bikes, even when they weren’t cool.
                                          21. She cries during Hallmark movies
                                            22. She passed down her love of root beer and banana flavored candies.
                                              23. She put up with my constant whining and pouting as a kid when things didn’t go my way.  Whenever Chloe gets whiney, I remember that I was 100 times worse as a kid, and wonder how she was able to resist smacking me.
                                                24. She makes the best homemade cinnamon rolls.
                                                  25. She brought home boxes upon boxes of books that she got for free when she worked at the book warehouse, including the entire set of Baby-Sitter’s Club books.
                                                    26. She supports me in spite of my bad decisions (and there have been many!)
                                                      27. She took pictures of me on the first day of school, every year, even college.
                                                        28. She and my dad would watch patiently while my sister and I put on numerous “shows” for them in the living room, which usually included dancing, singing, or both.
                                                          29. She fries tortilla shells in oil for taco night.
                                                            30. She always cleaned up after us when we were too lazy to do our chores.
                                                              31. She loves all of her step-grandchildren as if they’re her own.
                                                                32. She let us ride on the big carts at Costco.
                                                                  33. She taught me how to parallel park.
                                                                    34. She still has most of our school projects and favorite toys boxed up in the attic.
                                                                      35. She had incredibly strict rules, for our own good.
                                                                        36. She still loved me, even after I broke all of those incredibly strict rules.
                                                                          37. She kept necklaces in her jewelry box that I made out of string and barrettes.
                                                                            38. She’s sacrificed so much for the happiness of her kids.
                                                                              39. She did my laundry and even put my clothes away until I was a senior in high school (can we say spoiled?).
                                                                                40. She made sure we had what she didn’t have as a kid: fluoride and swimming lessons.  As a result, I’ve never had a cavity, and I was on the swim team in high school.
                                                                                  41. She gives me great tips on finances and budgeting.
                                                                                    42. She handmade several of our Halloween costumes and a few dance recital costumes.
                                                                                      43. She always let me invade her bathroom to do my makeup, because it had better lighting.
                                                                                        44. She spent our childhood working odd jobs so that she was able to work during school hours so we never had to go to daycare (lunch lady, book warehouse, cleaning lady, envelope stuffer to name a few).
                                                                                          45. She encourages me and prays for me.
                                                                                            46. She found my “hidden” letter to Santa when I was little, and even replied to it.
                                                                                              47. She prefers silence over music in the car, something that used to drive me crazy, but that I can now appreciate.
                                                                                                48. She would go all out choosing a bedroom theme for us, and even went so far as to cover the ceiling in fishing net for our “Little Mermaid” theme.  Must be why I’m so obsessed with getting Chloe’s room just right.
                                                                                                  49. She’s probably getting teary-eyed right now reading this.  (Hi, Mom!)
                                                                                                    50. Because she is my mom.

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                                                                                                      Friday, May 10, 2013

                                                                                                      throwback thursday (a day late)

                                                                                                      This week has gone by way too fast for me!  Work has been insane, especially since I was out sick on Monday.  So it should be no surprise that I'm just now getting around to posting my Throwback Thursday pic.  Oops!

                                                                                                      This photo is really embarrassing, but it completely sums up my high school years:  My obsession with Eminem & Snoop Dog (I will never refer to him as "Snoop Lion", by the way), pants that went up to my belly button, severely over-plucked eyebrows, crunchy curls with lots of hair gel, and best friends who look like models while I was still struggling through my awkward phase.  Ok, who am I kidding, I'm still in my awkward phase.

                                                                                                      I'm just glad Facebook wasn't around back then.  I don't need any more incriminating photos like this one floating around the interwebs!

                                                                                                      Happy Thursday Friday!

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                                                                                                      Wednesday, May 8, 2013

                                                                                                      playing around with the playroom

                                                                                                      Today I've been toying around (pun intended) with different color schemes for the future playroom/guestroom, and here's what I've come up with so far.

                                                                                                      Paint color: Behr Lagoon // Yellow chair // Pendant Lamp // Alphabet Print
                                                                                                      Throw pillow // Ikea Shelf // Pear Print // Map Print

                                                                                                      I'm still racking my brain for the perfect color palette for the entire house, but I think I'm going to go with "beachy" colors.  I love the teal color above, and Chloe's bedroom will be a light aqua, which are both very beachy and fun.  I was planning to use some grays as well but now I'm wondering if I should switch to beige to keep things looking warmer?  Or maybe "greige", which is the best of both worlds?

                                                                                                      Here are two examples of greige that I think I might like:

                                                                                                      And to keep with the beachy feel, I'm envisioning bamboo window treatments and sheer curtains like these on at least a few of the rooms.


                                                                                                      So many decisions, so little time!  Have you ever used "beachy" colors in your home?  What are you favorites?

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