Monday, January 30, 2012

Before & After: Dining Room & Office Photos

If you look underneath my heading, you will see I've added a couple new tabs! One is my full house tour, and one is "before" pictures of our house. I thought it would be fun though to show a couple of the before and after photos side by side :) Here are the dining room and office:

Dining Room:


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Glimpses of the Master Bath in Progress

Here is an updated shot of what's going on in the master bath!

At this point, all we have left to do is the tiling. We had a tile guy lined up, but he basically fell off the face of the earth and won't respond to any of our calls, so of course we aren't using him at this point! Basically, we are back at square one on that front. We have all the tile, and we are so we are seriously considering just doing it ourselves ... when we find the time... in June perhaps??!!! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My cousin Charlie recently went to my family's old farm house in Wisconsin and found a bunch of my grandpa's old slides hidden away in a box in the attic. He spent a LOT of time going through them, and scanned and restored hundreds of these old pictures.. Let me tell you, they are AMAZING!

I've only seen maybe one or two pictures of my mom as a child before this, and it took my breath away! I feel it gives me new insight into her life and who she is by seeing all these pictures of her childhood.

And I love seeing how much we resemble each other! (And how much she resembles my sister too, in the last picture it is uncanny how much they look alike as babies!) Anyway, it just makes me cherish my mom and my family and where I came from even more :)

My mom's first communion :)

My mom is on the far left - I swear I looked EXACTLY like this!

And here she looks exactly like my sister... I love that she is looking at a book in this picture too, since now she is a librarian :)

I love you Mom!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Next Project: A Cute Closet!

So, my next project is my closet. I have kind of a love - hate relationship with it it.

Hate: It is the smallest closet I've ever had, by far.
Love: It is the biggest closet of every house we looked at in our neighborhood, by far.

There is a small hallway between our master bedroom and bath, and it is off of that hall.

When we painted our bedroom, I painted the small hall the same color, Martha Stewart's "Flagstone" from Home Depot. I also love my number sign for holding scarves and purses :)

The actual closet on the other hand... Ahhh!!

The walls are totally beaten up with scuff marks all over the trim. It is UGLY! And the one bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling is a little erie. But don't worry, I have plans to make it super cute :)

My idea is that the closet walls need some color... and a pattern!!

That being said, I've been collecting pictures of super cute wallpapered closets on Pinterest (where else!) Here are my fav's:

Source: Pinterest

I especially love the color and pattern of this pantry though, and this is what I'm going to try to replicate in my closet.. Only instead of wallpaper, I'm going to stencil and paint! (After how much wallpaper I've REMOVED in this house over the past six months, I just don't have the heart to add any of it!)

Source: Pinterest

And I think maybe I'll make the stencil a LITTLE bit bigger! I also want to add a new light fixture for the ceiling, baskets for the top shelves for storing my accessories such as swimsuits, hats, and gloves, and get new premium hardwood hangers...

But ah, just thinking of it makes me excited! :)

PS- Evan has TWO small closets on the other side of mine. Of course he only takes up one, so the other one we use as a linen closet :)
PPS - All of my jackets and coats are in the front hall downstairs or the mudroom.
PPSS - All of my dresses are in my office closet.
PPPSS - I have shoes EVERYWHERE!!! Ah, I love shoes :)
PPPSSS - If we live in this house another 10-years, we are contemplating the idea of blowing out the small hall, my closet, and Evan's closets, and making one HUGE amazing walk-in closet!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spring Things in Red, White, & Blue

I know its only the middle of January, but I'm already dreaming of April showers and May flowers (maybe because it was 50 degrees here today and raining cats and dogs!) Here are a few items on my wish list for this spring:

Northface Women's Varius Guide Jacket in Response Red (here)
J.Crew Ankle Stretch Toothpick Jean in White Denim (here)
Anthropologie Print Share Bikini (here)

:) Thats all for now!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Office Updates: Curtains and Corkboard!

I've made SLIGHTLY more progress on the office over the last couple of weeks! Most visibly, I've added new curtains (which I scored on clearance at West Elm - $29 each!) and corkboards (from Hobby Lobby, each 40% off!) I also repainted all of the trim white, which looks AMAZING but you can't really capture the difference in the pictures.

At first I wasn't so sure about the 96" length of the curtains, but now that they are up, I love them! (It was all they had left!) I think it adds a touch of elegance to the room, not to mention it makes the ceilings look higher. Nice surprise!

So, that leaves the following items to add and things to do before the room is complete:
        - Desk Chair
        - Throw Rug
        - Desk Lamp
        - Replace fan w/new overhead pendant
        - Organize my books/decor in a way that looks cute :)

Slowly but surely, I'm making some progress!

I should note... the budget on this room is LOW. I don't plan on using this room as an office forever.. I think in a few years it will become a child's room :)

That being said, I dont want to add anything that is too expensive or permanent (or hard to move). I just want it to be simple, functional, and a little inspirational for now! For me, this room is not about having a design that could be in magazine, but really just making the most of what I already have and getting a big bang for my buck on the other items I need to make it work!

I should note, this room is already simple, functional, and inspirational, and its not even done yet :)
Mission (almost) accomplished!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

After Christmas, the house feels n-a-k-e-d! How I fight that feeling!

I always feel like it's a bit of a sad day when the Christmas decorations finally come down. I miss the tree and the lights and the cozy decor. As I said in the title, the house just feels NAKED without it!

I,  however, have developed a game plan over the last year few years to help overcome this feeling and embrace the change. It involves the following:

1) Switch out the holly for some fresh, early-springlike sprigs...

2) Redo my vignettes around the house. This involves taking down the Christmas decor, but still leaving up some of the winter decor (snow, white poinsettias,  etc.) and adding just a few little signs of spring. As time goes on, I start to put away the winter decor and add more elements of spring!

3) Clean the house TOP to BOTTOM. Make sure the house SPOTLESS! It will make "naked" feel clean, organized, and simplified instead of sad.

I can honestly say my house has not been this put together and clean since we moved in, and I'm loving it :) It is refreshing!

 4) Candles are MAJORLY IMPORTANT for helping with this transition! I always miss the Christmas lights, so having candles lit around the house helps keep some of the sparkle in the atmosphere! I personally love the scent of lemon this time of the year.. 

(This C.O. Bigelow lemon scented candle is by far my favorite candle in the world!) 

5) It has also totally helped this year that it has been SO SUNNY! I dare say it was almost warm this weekend. This has definitely helped with the transition too, not that its anything I can control! :) I'm sure we'll get three feet of snow here any minute now!

And THAT is how I fight the post-Christmas blues and welcome in the New Year with my surroundings :) It's all about a fresh start! Hope everyone's year is starting off well :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ahh, Hawaii!

Last year at this time I was getting ready to head to Hawaii (for a work trip, but I stayed an extra few days with my friends/co-workers to enjoy our stay!) It was AMAZING! Perfect weather, incredible seafood, beautiful flowers, sparkling water, amazing resort ... I wish I were going back again this January!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A little recap of everything :)

First let me say that I had the BEST Christmas vacation ever!! My 12 days off were amazing. I loved having SO much time off with Evan, visiting my family and friends, wrapping up a long list of house projects, and just plain old relaxing! (Lots of naps, reading, and movie watching!)

1. Today my Amaryllis finally started to bloom, and we also got a TON of snow! It is beautiful and it made for the coziest day at home! It made for a great last day of vacation!

2. As I said before, we got a TON of house projects done over the last week! I cannot wait to share them all with you :) Here are a couple of sneak peaks of my new chalkboard wall in the eating area and the finished 1/2 bath downstairs! 

3. 2011 was an amazing year, one of the best years yet! We bought our first house, we are finally feeling settled and grounded and that is SUCH a welcome feeling (FYI - we've moved 4 times in the last 2 years!), we've both made great strides in our careers, we are healthy and happy and overall, life is just good :) 

4. I don't necessarily have New Years resolutions, so much as I have New Year's dreams for 2012. They are as follows: finish decorating/renovating the house, obtain more work/life balance, take a sweet vacation for our 4-year anniversary in August, and maybe even have a bun in the oven next year at this time! :) Like I said, dreams! :)

PS- I also have to say thank you to Shanna from Swoon Style & Home for naming The Fat Hydrangea as one of her favorite blogs! I am so touched :) Thank you Shanna!! 
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