Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dining Room Makeover

I think we can officially say my nesting instinct has kicked in.

Justin and I bought our house in March of last year (and were fully moved in May 1). In the last year, we have done almost nothing as far as decorating goes. Well, we bought furniture for the basement, but that mess is a story for another day.

Our walls? Are almost 100% bare. In my defense, this comes from years as a renter. I moved something like 8 times in 6 years, so it’s always been kind of a pain to hang things just to patch them up again. Plus, my parents STRICTLY FORBID us from hanging anything on our walls most of our lives, so I’m used to everything being bare.

Between the bareness and the fact that every wall in the house is one of 3 shades of tan, I am SO READY to start finishing off the rooms, one by one. The dining room has been at the top of my list since it’s one of the first rooms you see when you enter the house. This is also our only eating space, since our kitchen is too small for anything other than a bistro table.

This is what the dining room looks like when it’s properly decorated (the previous owner had AWESOME taste – very similar to what mine would be, if I had (lots) more money and no kids, but I do like a bit more color).

Now, it’s naked except my Amaya table from World Market, which you can see crammed into our old apartment in the pic below, and some toddler and mail clutter. It’s a really dark brown wood, but it’s not black. Click here for a better pic in someone else’s house.

I was hugely inspired by John and Sherry over at Young House Love. Lacey linked to them a while back, and I have been spending tons of time in the archives ever since. Their mood boards are pretty amazing, and I realized that this is a great tool for the design-impaired like me.

My biggest challenge was the fact that I already have a table, but no buffets / hutches / sideboards. The room is certainly big enough for more furniture, and I need the storage. My first instinct is always to go matchy matchy, which was not an option since the Amaya line has since been discontinued. I decided that since my everyday Corelle dishes have black accents, I would try to find some black buffets and a rug that would tie everything together.

This was my first attempt:

1: Hillsdale Furniture Embassy Sideboard Table, available at Amazon

2: Silk Dupiono Grommet Window Panels in Blue Sage from west elm

3: Capiz Hanging Pendand from World Market

4: Avery Parson Chairs, available at Target

5: Corelle Livingware 16-Piece Dinner Set, available at Amazon

6: Oval Iron Mirror, available at Target

7: Pahket 8x10 Rug, available at JCPenney

I ordered 2 of the buffets, planning to put one on each side of the window. I think the symmetry will help me deal with the fact that they don’t match the table. I also ordered the curtains, at which point I ran into my first snag. Despite them being ALL OVER west elm’s website, they are apparently out of stock and are possibly never coming back. SIGH. [Update: since writing this, the rug apparently sold out as well. WTF? These products have reviews at least a year old, but the second I want to get them, they disappear!]

I only wanted the rug with those particular curtains, so I replaced them both and came up with a much more neutral design:

2: Flax Sheer Linen Window Panels from west elm

7: 9x12 Woven Jute Rug from Pottery Barn

I actually think this MIGHT be a happy accident, since a) the curtains are $100 cheaper, b) the curtains and rug will lighten up the room with all of that dark furniture, c) the new rug is a 9x12 instead of an 8x10, which I think is a more appropriate size for the room, and d) now I can regularly switch out my accent colors as seasons change or if I get bored.

I ordered the curtains, rug, and buffets…I will probably get the mirrors soon (one above each buffet), but will wait on the parson’s chairs – that’s more of a “down the road” thing that I’m hoping will tie the table and buffets together better. Same for the capiz shell chandelier, artwork for the walls, and some knick knacks and lamps for the buffets. In the meantime, some fresh flowers are a cheap way to make the room look nice without spending tons more cash.

What do you think??? Was going neutral a good idea, or should I have tried to find something more like my original plan? Do you think the buffets will look okay with the table? (Hee hee, I really want to ask if the rug matches the drapes, because I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Second Baby Checklist

Update:  I also have a regular baby registry checklist, if it's been a while since kiddo #1.


One of the ways this pregnancy is SO DIFFERENT from my first is that I am a mere three months away from birthin' time, and I haven't done jack as far as preparation goes. It's definitely time for one of Laura's famous OCD lists. I'm posting it here so that a) I can access it at any time, and b) some of my lovely readers can chime in with their thoughts. 
  Things to buy sooner
· Cosleeper???
· New nipples for bottles
· New pacifiers
· Maybe some lighter weight clothes in 0-3 months
· Count bottles and see how many more to get (at least 16, and 20 total nipples, rings, and lids)
· Size newborn diapers
· Set up amazon mom subscribe and save for bigger size pampers and for sensitive wipes
· Lighter weight swaddle-me and swaddling blankets
· 3 blankies just for Kid B
· Extra humidifier
· Extra sound spa / white noise machine
· Extra monitor (make sure it won’t interfere with Adriana’s)
· Changing pads for living room
· Stock up on diaper genie refills
· Big sister gift for Adriana
· Baby book for Kid B
· What’s Inside book for Adriana
· An assload of batteries in all sizes
· Stuff for tender mom parts

Things to buy later (keep looking for deals in the meantime!)
· Double stroller
· 2 more roundabouts

Things to wash
· All newborn and 0-3 month clothing (determine if everything is seasonally appropriate and make new clothes list for any gaps)
· Pump, nursing cover, boppy covers
· All bottles, rings, and caps, pump parts
· Car seat bases, cover, snuzzler, and toys
· Pack n play
· Stroller
· See if cloth parts of swing and bouncer can come off to be washed
· Play mat and toys
· Teethers, rings, and other 0-6 month toys (get a separate bin)
· Sleep sheep (if possible)
· Changing table covers
· Diaper pail
· Glider footstool
· Bumbo

Things to get out of storage
· Everything above that needs to be washed (duh)
· Baby bjorn
· Itzbeen timer
· Breast pump (check to see if it works) and all milk storage stuff
· Crib bumpers, blanket, pillows
· Nursing stool
· Nursing bras and tanks

Things to put into storage (for now)
· High chair
· Weed out Adriana’s toys, store anything that is appropriate for 6-18 months that she doesn’t play with)
· Adriana’s outgrown clothes

Adriana’s New Room
· Get Adriana pumped up about the big girl bed ~ make sure she doesn’t feel like she is getting kicked out of her room
· Organize bins and get them to basement or goodwill
· Paint???
· Decide if we are doing toddler bed or getting a rail for the twin
· If toddler bed, order bed and dresser; put twin bed and dresser in storage (or move dresser to dining room and maybe paint and add new hardware???)
· If twin bed, order rail and stepstool; attach mirror to dresser
· Order bedding for whatever bed we go with
· Move Adriana’s clothes to dresser and closet
· Artwork for walls

Kid B’s Room (once Adriana is out)
· Make it look just as nice and decorated as it was when we took Adriana home ~ she deserves the same love you put into the room the first time around!!!
· Raise crib and put up bumpers (repair strings)
· Hang artwork and flowers back up
· Cover back on changing table
· Hang mobile back up

· Start potty training Adriana
· All traces of cat hair removed from entire upstairs
· Figure out something to put on stair rails so cats can’t get through
· Check expiration dates (and any recall info) on unused mylicon, tylenol, etc.; throw out open stuff
· Toy storage for living room
· Devote coffee table drawer to diaper changing stuff and flip around
· Freezer meals? Or a “first week home” grocery list with easy stuff
· Have Molly Maids come out last week of July for another deep clean
· Maternity photo shoot
· Revisit hospital packing list and get bag packed
· Maternity leave paperwork for Laura
· FLMA paperwork for Justin
· Pre-register at hospital
· Finalize arrangements for Adriana during hospital stay

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bed Makeover

I have been on a fun little "house cleaning / home improvement" kick lately. I have no idea which one of you mentioned My Happy House on your blog, but THANK YOU! I have loved reading through the archives and getting motivated to really clear out the clutter and start doing a better job on the housekeeping front.

To be perfectly honest, my house has still not recovered from my first 20 weeks of pregnancy, in which I was a worthless lump of tired with a side of barf. Molly's 10 week challenge has really been keeping me on my toes! I have been kind of a failboat on the dishes and clutter front, but quite a champ at making the bed. And – GET THIS – after 9 days in a row of making the bed, I came in from the shower to find that JUSTIN had stepped in and made it for me. If I had been wearing pants, I would have soiled them.

This newfound love of making the bed made me a) finally purchase some new sheets (#41 on my 101 in 1001 list), and b) finally bust out the new duvet I bought at Ikea in September.

First, a shot of my bed, pre-makeover. Bedding courtesy of Target (a wedding registry item, so it’s not like it’s that old, I just wanted to mix it up).

Next, the new sheets. Something like 6 or 7 years ago I was an overnight guest at my ex’s friend’s house. Her sheets were the softest, most amazing sheets I have ever slept on. I raved about them the next morning, noted the brand, and have thought about them ever since. Within days of posting my 101 in 1001 list, Bed Bath and Beyond had the silk version on clearance. I figured that if the jersey version was that fabulous, the silk must be heavenly. I loooooooooove them, but would still love to get a set of the jersey some day. They were that amazing. I might have to get them soon, because I just noticed that the silk aren’t available anymore, and the sateen are now on clearance. Hmmmmmmmm….

Here is a shot of the bed with my handy dandy new Ikea duvet and pillows. Justin HATES extra pillows, but I really like the way the black look. I also want to get some smaller square bronze or brown or golden ones too. Deal with it, hubs.

Here is a close-up.

I was complaining about how either the cat, the kid, or both kept popping into the shot, so Justin felt the need to treat us with this. Buttface.

Next up: wall art for above the bed. Suggestions?

Another Cryptic Baby Name Post

WOOHOO, the 2010 baby names are up on the social security website!!! I am a little disappointed to see that Kid B's name, which didn't budge from 2007-2009, jumped up 40 spots in popularity. Get off my name, bitches!!! Oh wait, those kids were named first. Damn.

Adriana is much more stable:

Even that OTHER version isn't jumping a ton. 90210 isn't the trendsetter it was when I was in 7th grade.

How did your kids' names do?

***UPDATE: Why am I not slightly surprised that Swistle beat me by mere minutes? I have been checking every few days this year, since baby names are obviously on my mind lately.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Adriana Milestone: My Baby Can Count!!!

This was a big weekend for Adriana! First, she started saying her longest sentence on Friday ("I want a wipe" - by Sunday she was also saying "I want a drink"). My kid is kind of a weirdo in that she LOVES to carry around a baby wipe until it dries out, washing off her face, legs, arms, toys, the coffee table, the it's not suprising that she asked for wipes in full sentences all weekend.

Another interesting thing happened Sunday afternoon. I didn't feel like cooking or going grocery shopping, so we ordered sandwiches for us and chicken tenders and jojo's for Adriana. We almost never do this - it's been something like 2 months? But when Adriana saw me come in with the box, she instantly lit up and yelled "Jojo's!!!!!!!" This has only been the second time she clearly remembered something from the past (the first was when she pointed to her hand weeks after Tiny Tots ended, saying "bee?" because she used to get bee stamps after class).

But the best milestone occurred last night. Adriana and I were sitting in the living room by the window, watching all of the people go by, hoping that we'd see some doggies. She was eating a leftover chicken tender, and then she started pulling it apart in tiny bits and setting it on the windowsill (gross, but she had wiped it off like 50 times already, so I let her). She lined the pieces up in a row, and then said "one, two, three, four, five, seven" (no six, haha) as she pointed at each piece! Justin and I were shocked - we have an Eric Carle counting book, but she was usually more interested in identifying the fruit than watching me count it. We have actually been working with her a lot more on her colors, but she pretty much just calls everything either "yellow" or "purple". I love this age - she surprises me every day.