Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I kept meaning to do this earlier, but since today is Halloween, let me show you how we spookified our house. Well, the main living area at least. I didn't go too overboard this year. But tomorrow, when all the Halloween decor is on sale, you bet I'm going over to Michael's and Target to stock up for next year!
First, up the kitchen.

I picked up this wreath at a craft fair this year only to find out that it's just s smidge too wide to fit between the front door and the storm door. So it's hanging on our bathroom door instead. My favorite part is defintely our mantle. I like how our normal candle sticks look just a little more eerie with the trees and pumpkins around them. I picked up the trees and the pumpkins at Target.

They're festive, and you know I have a hard time turning down something sparkly ;)Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekend Plan Review

Over the weekend, I had a few things I really wanted to get accomplished. A few little projects to finish up around the house, some blog posts to put together, and lots of great pictures to download from the camera.

Pictures are downloaded! They're all up on Snapfish, and now they just need to be organized so they can be added here or on Facebook.

Little projects areound the house are done! We have newly painted bookshelves and organized books, we have a picture frame headboard in the third bedroom, we have a new lamp and nightstand in the guest bedroom. My painted corkboard is up on the wall. Here's a sneak peek at one of the bookshelves.

I've got our white/gray/beige books on it, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

I even found some time to start studying for the GMAT.

Then I rested. And so did Loki.

Poor guy gets worn out just watching us work. Thank goodness he has a comfy spot picked out on each bed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekend Plans

Last weekend, I totally missed the Weekend Plans post- but for good reason. We only had one thing planned for the weekend- drive to Philadelphia and help my grandfather celebrate his 85th birthday with the rest of my dad's side of the family.

We had a great time. We got to spend a little time with my mom's sisters as well, which is always good times. It's nice having the extended family close enough that we get to see everyone in one visit.

We spent a total of 20 hours in the car between the drive in on Friday and the drive home on Sunday. It was a really quick trip, and the big guy is unbelievably awesome and supportive for making it.

So this weekend, I have a few little projects to finish up, some blog posts to put together, and lots of great pictures to download from the camera.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day. More than 7,000 bloggers around the world have agreed to write a post today on the same topic to encourage people to learn more about it and to inspire a positive change.
This year's topic: Climate Change
We know it's bad. We've all seen the various episodes of South Park and Little Bush making fun of Al Gore and his crusade to save the planet. But humor aside, it is important. There are some simple easy changes we can make that will make a big difference.

I read a book a few weeks ago that spoke about what seems like an unlikely source for global climate change, the meat industry. Not only are there health benefits from eating a diet based primarily on fruits, vegatables, and grains; but there's also a positive impact for the encironment.

In his book Food Matters, Mark Bittman covers the impact that the meat industry and the industries that support it are having on the environment.

Here's one of the reviews of the book on Amazon:

Cookbook author Bittman (How to Cook Everything) offers this no-nonsense volume loaded with compelling information about how the food we eat is doing damage to the environment, what changes to make and why. Authors have covered this topic before (Michael Pollan, for example, in The Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food), but Bittman takes a practical turn by concluding with 77 recipes that make earth-friendly eating doable and appealing. His collection of reliable recipes even includes such meat dishes as Thai beef salad, which isnt meat-heavy, but rather has just the right balance of meat to greens. There are also such staples as super-simple mixed rice; chicken not pie; and modern bouillabaisse. Bittman decries consumption of over-refined carbohydrates, but doesnt leave off without some sweets, including chocolate semolina pudding and nutty oatmeal cookies—suggesting, as the whole book does, that a diet in synch with the needs of the earth doesnt result in a sense of utter deprivation. (Jan.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

If anyone is interested in learning more about this topic, I recommend this book. Mr. Bittman is an easy writer to follow, and an engaging one as well. Rather than just giving you facts to fill your head, he also provides recipes so you can fill your belly.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lazy Afternoons

I took this picture over the weekend. Sometimes I think Loki's got the right idea.

1. Find yourself a nice sunny spot to take a nap. The more sun the better, and if you happen to get some pillows thrown in, well then you've got it made.

2. Then shoot your person a look with some big puppy dog eyes to try and convince her that she should put the camera down so you can play. Add in a really big sigh, just to drive the point home even further that she's being boring playing on the computer and not with you.

I'd like to say that I didn't fall for it. But no one would believe me if I did.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weekend Plan Review

Here's my list from the weekend. I did pretty well this time, which is impressive considering that Sunday was our anniversary.

1. Laundry Got three loads done. Didn't realize that the big guy hadn't unpacked his suitcase, so there are a few more to do this week before we head out of town.

2. Clean Master Bathroom Done. Nice and sparkly, well until somebody gets toothpaste on the mirror at least. Not sure how we manage to do that, but it happens.

3. Goodwill box Filled, and dropped off at Goodwill. Even started the next one. It's a much bigger box so it'll take a while to fill.

4. Organize closet Got the boxes organized on the top shelf, and a few more things pulled out for donation to Goodwill. Now if I could only get the stuff on top of my dresser organized. That will have to be on a future list.

Some additional things we did:
1. Planted tulip & hyacinth bulbs. We think we did it right- but we'll know in spring when we get flowers or not.
2. Got pumpkins and gourds for outside and some apple cider. I like Tuttle's Orchard. I'd never been, but it was a very nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon with friends.

And my favorite extra thing from the weekend (drumroll)

We ate year old wedding cake. Sunday was our first anniversary and we had a great time. Just relaxed all day and then went out to dinner at the same restaurant where the big guy proposed. Awwwwwww.

Totally fun. I'm looking forward to many more anniversaries with him.

Going Green Tip: Write a Check

This week's tip for living a greener life:

Write a check

At the very least donate what you can afford to organizations that help the environment. Visit to find one.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Plans

Here's the list for this weekend. I kept it a little bit smaller since this is the big anniversary weekend. I'm not interested in doing any work on Sunday. I'd rather spend the day with Andrew. I think I might be able to get most of it done tonight. Maybe.

1. Laundry But just a little bit. I've already gotten one load finished and put away. Only three more to go. This will probably spill over into tomorrow.

2. Clean Master Bathroom This will be easy to get done tonight. And we'll have a nice sparkly bathroom once I'm finished. It's one of the rooms in the house that I always want to have clean. Bathrooms and the kitchen.

3. Goodwill box Even if the closet isn't completely organized, I can at least pull out the items we aren't going to keep and get them boxed up. No reason to keep them taking up space being unused any longer. Maybe they're exactly what someone else is looking for.

4. Organize closet I got a pretty good start last weekend, so there won't be too much left to do. The biggest thing will just be getting on the step ladder and putting things up on the shelves.

That's it. I'm staying in tonight to get a few of these things checked off the list. We're heading to the pumpkin patch tomorrow, so there will be a little less time available for the chores. I'm excited to get some pumpkins. Any decorations we can put outside that will just help to confirm that people really do live here now are good. :-)

Should be a really fun weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Favorite Chair

Have you ever seen something for your home that you just love? It can be hard to explain exactly why you like this particular item and why it's inspired such strong feelings, but you know that there's just something about it.

That's how I feel about the Barcelona Chair. The chair was designed in 1929 by Mies van der Rohe. (All images below from Google Images.)

The graceful curves of the chrome.

The polish of the leather.

The $7,000 price tag for an original. Ok- so maybe I don't love that part. But I have been able to find reproductions for $500 or less.

It's classic, it's timeless, and oh-so-swoon-inducing in white.

We happen to have the perfect spot next to the bar in the front half of the family room for one. Perhaps someday we'll be able to fill that spot. For now it will just have to wait. But someday, maybe I'll get to be at home sitting in my favorite chair.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Going Green Tip: Don't Idle

This week's tip for living a greener life:

Don't idle

You'll save gas and emissions by parking and turning off the car instead of idling in the drive-thru. It also gives you an opportunity to add more steps to your day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend Plan Review

Time to check in with what actually got accomplished this weekend.

1. Paint corkboard. Bought the white paint to use. Didn't actually use it. I'm thinking this will get done Wednesday night.

2. Hang new shower curtain in Guest Bathroom. Done! It looks good too, slightly more spa-like than I thought it would, but I like that.

3. Clean. Done! Although I did discover that we're out of vaccuum cleaner bags. I'll have to finish that one up when we get a chance to go buy more. Buying more will probably be part of this weekend's to-do list.

4. Laundry. Done! For now at least.

5. Organize Master Bedroom closet. Well, not completely, but it's better than it was last week. Maybe that can be Thursday's project.

6. Finish Goodwill box. Not so much. Until the closet gets cleaned out, I'll be keeping the box as an open item. Or until it gets full. Whichever comes first.

So only three got completely done, but I at least made progress on another. And I picked up some new accessories for the guest room, a Halloween wreath for the front door at a craft fair, and took Loki on several walks.

And I got to watch the Bears and the Colts win. If only Purdue would start playing like they used too, it would have been a perfect football weekend.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Weekend Plans

Ok, here we go with my second round of weekend plans. I'll check in with the list on Monday and compare what I planned to do with what actually got finished.

1. Paint corkboard. I've got a corkboard that I'll be putting up in the laundry room. It's functional but pretty blah. I'm planning to paint the frame white and the cork chocolate brown.

2. Hang new shower curtain in Guest Bathroom. It's nothing fancy, just white with a sublte textured horizontal stripe. I got new shower curtain hooks to go with it.

3. Clean. Not glamorous, but very necessary. Especially vaccuuming, with the leaves on the tree in the backyard already falling down. Loki keeps bringing them in. He eats parts of them, realizes they aren't potato chips and then leaves them randomly on the floor.

4. Laundry. Yup, did some last week and already need to do more.

5. Organize Master Bedroom closet. I figure this is a natural next step once the laundry gets done. I'll have to put it away, so I might as well take some extra time and unpack the last of hte boxes sitting in there. I also need to sort through my clothes and finish pulling out what's going to get donated to Goodwill. Hmmm...

6. Finish Goodwill box. In addition to the clothes, we have some glasses and other things that we just aren't going to use in the house. No need to keep them and try ot figure out a place for them. There's a Goodwill donation center just up the road from my office, so I'll take it on my lunch break.

There are more things that I want to do, but this is a good start. If I can get more in after these things are done, I'll be thrilled. I'm going to a craft fair with Ashlie on Sunday, so we'll see if I even get these things done!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Loki's Chair

Whenever we paint there are a few key things that must be done first. We tape off the trim, we set out our brushes, we lay out the drop cloths (hello new use for Andrew's old slip n slide), and we make sure Loki is out of the room.

He'd eat the paint. Especially paint like we used in the master bedroom that looks like a chocolate milkshake. He's cute, but he's not smart about what he should and shouldn't eat. He also likes mulch. Sigh.

So what does one do with a puppy who's far too curious about new smells and flavors for his own good when one has a room to paint? One puts him in the backyard.

But we haven't put in the fence yet. So he has to spend a few hours on his really long outdoor leash, attached to a metal stake in the ground. It's not his favorite way to be outside, but for now it's good. Better than having him crated the whole time we paint. This way he gets to move around, stretch out in the sun, and snack on mulch. Sigh again.

But sometimes, he decides he's had enough of outside, and just wants to nap on the furniture. I think he gets that from me. So while we were finishing up the paint in the master bedroom, I snuck these pictures of Loki, claiming one of our two plastic adirondack chairs as his own.

Something tells me that he won't be too upset to give up his new chair for the couch once we're done painting.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It Looks Like a Chocolate Milkshake!

It really does look like a chocolate milkshake. Andrew, Janet and I all commented on that. We had to really stay focused on painting the walls in the master bedroom and not running out to Wendy's to get some Frosties instead.

Originally Andrew and I wanted to do a rich chocolate brown on the walls. It's a big room, so it can definitely handle color. But as we looked at new beds, we kept going towards beds in that color. I thought it might not be enough contrast, and that the room would start to feel a little cave-like if everything were to be that dark.

So then we thought about a nice taupe. We knew it would work, but would it really do enough to warm up the room?
So we landed on mocha. Somewhere in between the taupe, with a little more personality and punch, but not quite as dark as the hot fudge color we used in the apartment's family room. The color we ultimately decided to use- Olypmic's English Saddle. It really did look like a milkshake when it was wet and going on the walls.

It dried a little bit darker than what we'd originally expected, but it looks great. The white trim really pops against it, and it even brings out more of the blue in our duvet.

You can see it in the pictures below, but as always, the pictures aren't as good as the real thing. But you do get to see a little more of the lamps we just got.

He's so happy I keep coming up with projects to do around the house.It's all starting to come together :-) Which is good, because Loki's already bored with all this painting and decorating stuff. He'd much rather be playing.