Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Clean & Green: Furniture Polish

Furniture Polish

1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar/lemon juice

Mix in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Prettier Place for Papers

One of my first DIY projects for the house was to revamp an old cork board.

I didn't take a complete before picture, I'd already painted the cork chocolate brown. But in this shot you can see the color of the wooden frame. The cork, as you'd expect was a similar color.

Nothing fancy, but still very usable. I just wanted something a little different to hold some things in the laundry room.

So after the cork was dry, I covered it in newspaper and a little painter's tape we had left over from painting the family room and kitchen area. Once that was done, out came the white spray paint. I went with a glossy finish, just to make the frame stand out from the cork even more.

This is what the frame looked like while it dried. And the photo below is my final product.

Not too shabby for a first real DIY project. And it's a much prettier place for papers.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wekend Plan Recap

It really was a busy weekend. But we did really well with our to-do list! I'm finally getting to be a bit more realistic.

1. Go to the grocery store. Picked up all our side dish ingredients and did it pretty quickly.
2. Pick up the big guy at the airport. After a cancelled flight and a thirty minute delay, I finally got him in the car and on the way home. It was a late night!
3. Prep food for Saturday. I did a little bit, but could have done more. I did get the table set. I'll post pictures later this week, I just have to get them off the camera.

1. Get hair cut. Done! I'm thrilled with how it turned out.
2. Clean the house. The big guy had most of this done by the time I got back from the salon. He's awesome.
3. Cook Thanksgiving dinner. Our trial run went really well. I've got a small adjustment to make to the gravy, but everything else came out just the way I wanted. And we learned that it takes about 4 days in the fridge for a turkey to thaw. Fortunately the Fresh Market down the street had fresh turkeys available. Put us a little behind schedule, but hey, that's why we did a trial run!

1. Watch the Colts beat the Patriots. :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend Plans

This is shaping up to be a busy weekend for us. Well, a busy Saturday at least. Here's what ee've got planned.

1. Go to the grocery store- yup, exciting stuff for a Friday night
2. Pick up the big guy at the airport. He's been gone all week for work, and I can't wait to have him back home. I know Loki's excited too.
3. Prep food for Saturday

1. Get hair cut. By this time tomorrow, I'll be a red head.
2. Clean the house. Not a lot of heavy scrubbing needs to be done, but some vaccuuming and dusting would be good. Maybe a quick pass through the bathrooms. I'll probably need the big guy to help with this while I'm working on the next item.
3. Cook Thanksgiving dinner. I know, it's not Thanksgiving on Saturday, but since we're hosting and I've not done a full turkey-day dinner on my own, we wanted to give ourselves a chance to practice. We've got some good friends willing ot be our guniea pigs.

1. Watch the Colts beat the Patriots. :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We've Been Framed!

Ok, we haven't really been framed, but I did make a headboard out of some pictures that I hung above the bed in our third bedroom. Our third bedroom is the last room on our list of priorities. It's going to eventually be the nursery, so there's not a whole lot we want to do to it right now. But I still think we can make it a nice place for the occasional guest who stays there.

We already had the mattress and box spring in storage, so getting them into the room was pretty easy. It's a queen size bed, which made us realize what a nice size room it actually is.

The bed is pretty simple. In general I don't like the look of bed skirts. I think they all feel to fluffy and frilly, even the plain ones. So I took an extra fitted sheet and put it around the box spring, over the metal on the bed frame.

So in order to hang the frames, I started with some very large sheets of graph paper. The graph paper we have is in 1-inch increments. This makes translating the measurements very easy. I wanted my frames 14 inches apart, so I made a brigt green mark every 14 squares.

Then we hung the already-marked paper on the wall and made sure it was level.

Then I followed the green marks that had been made on the paper and hammered my nails in the wall. I went through the paper to make sure that each nail was in the correct place.

Then I pulled the paper off the wall and was left with evenly spaced nails, ready for the pictures.

We hung the pictures up. They aren't actually pictures. They happen to be random black and white pages with little bits of text that I pulled out of some Anthropologie catalogs a few years ago. Arranged in a certain order, they make a slightly vague storyline.
The frames were $2.00 each at Walmart and I just painted them black. I had the same arrangement up in my first apartment after college, and we used them over our bed in the apartment.

We've got a small parsons table as the nightstand. The lamp has a beautiful carved base that's a little hard to see in the picture. It's got a square pattern that picks up the grid of the frames, and the straight lines of the parsons table and plays nicely off the floral pattern on the duvet. We also had it in our bedroom in the apartment.

The duvet and shams are from Anthropologie, ordered a few years ago, again as part of my first apartment. The floral pattern reverses to burgundy/cream stripes. Even if it hadn't been too small to fit on our new bed for the master bedroom, it's just a bit too feminine for the big guy. I did try to pick up on the stripes by using striped pillow cases.

The throw pillows are from Walmart, and are only about a year or so old. They were Loki's first exposure to throw pillows, and once they survived, we upgraded the pillows on the couch. These just happened to be the perfect burgundy to fit in with the duvet.

So there you have it. We used nothing new, and found some uses for things we were probably just going to have sitting in closets waiting for a trip to Goodwill. It's nothing fancy, but I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Congratulations to Reforming Indy Pilates Studio

Congratulations to everyone over at Reforming Indy Pilates Studio!

For the second year in a row, they've been voted the best pilates studio in Indianapolis in the IndyChannel's A-List Awards. Kristen and her team of instructors are amazing! This award is well deserved to say the least.

To celebrate the award and to encourage new clients to come into one of their two locations they're offering a great incentive. If you sign up for 2010 in the month of November, you'll receive 15% off of any 3 month package or 20% off of any 6 month package.
You won't regret it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Orange Crush

I have recently developed a new appreciation for the color orange. It wasn't that I didn't like it, but it was rarely, if ever, a color I tried to use. But then I saw a spread in one of the many decorating magazines I picked up after we moved into the house with a room based primarily in grays and creams, with punches of orange to warm things up.

So I started with this:

The new futon cover was the perfect shade of gray. I love anything with a repeating geometric pattern, so the octagons are perfect. We already had the blanket- a wedding present, hand knit just for us (Thanks, Janet!) So I had some color. Yes it was neutral color, but being my mother's daughter I can appreciate the beauty within various shades of beige.

Then while the big guy and I were out shopping at Pier 1, clearly a store I chose, he actually found the print pillow and then we pulled the solid orange pillows to go with it. He wasn't so sure about pairing the various prints and textures on the futon, but he's going along with me.

So now we knew that orange was going to be the accent in the loft. It would be a nice contrast to the beige on the floor and walls, and be able to pull in some warmth next to the black of the file cabinets and the desk.

But the pillows, just weren't enough. In a different magazine, and then several more since then, I saw the idea of using a bright color on the back of a bookshelf. It's a nice way to bring in more visual interest, and really the books hide a lot of it, so you can go pretty bold.

I took our two smaller bookshelves, both pressboard, with a veneer back piece, and decided to give it a shot.

I chose to do the shelves on this one as well as just the back. They got a few dings on them during the move, and this helped cover them up. Although looking at it now, I should have just used the books on the shelves to cover them. It's just a bit too much orange for me.

As you can see in the picture below, I've started grouping our books by color. Not sure if they'll stay that way, or for how long, but for now I'm enjoying the randomness it's bringing to our little library.

I know, I never thought I'd say something like that either. Usually randomness scares me.
This bookshelf is tucked into the corner on the angled wall, so it was able to handle some of our brighter books without being too bold. It's also nice because it's just the right height to be a bedside table if someone stays the night and sleeps on the futon.

Here's the other bookshelf. We added this one for two reasons. First, we totally needed more space for the books. I buy books the way I buy shoes. Second, it really helped to warm up the loft and make it feel more like an actual room as opposed to a place you pass through on your way to an actual room.

Since this is where the office is, the big guy spends most of his time at home during the day here. It needed to be something a little more welcoming and inviting. Hey, paper work won't do itself, and it helps to get it done when you enjoy the space you're in.

Here's how it turned out. I'm definitely happier with the orange just on the back of this one. Especially up against our neutral books. See, I'm using neutrals again. My mother would be so proud.

There are still some more pieces to bring in to the space, and some items to hang on the walls, but we're making progress! It's hard to imagine how empty it all was when we first moved in. We're getting there!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Panicking and Preparing

I'm panicking. Not like a little bit of nervousness, not like a slight flutter of "gosh I hope I do well." No, no. We're talking full on curling into the fetal position and hiding under the covers panick.

What causes this panick you ask? A yellowy-orange book.

This book to be exact.

I suddenly find myself three days away from taking the GMAT. The Graduate Management Admissions Test. The test that will set me up for a graduate program to earn my Master's in Business Administration. The 4 hours that will determine if I get into one of the better programs here or if I have to try again to get a higher score or settle for a less than ideal program. The $250 I paid to have someone assess my likelihood for success in such a program.

Here's the deal- regardless of how I do on the test, I know I'm going to get into a program and be successful once classes begin. How do I know this? I know myself. I'm a bit of an overachiever. I don't like the idea of putting forth anything but my best. This is how I know I'm going to do well in any MBA program I begin.

Plus, I'm a little competitive. Ok, if you ask the big guy he might say that it's more than a little. But in any event, I'm not going to do anything less than all that I can.

Does this test change anything about me as a person? No. Does this test mean anything, really, other than a line item on an entrance application? No. Do the results offer anything more than a brief period of bragging rights depending on the overall score? No. Do I think I might be being a bit of a drama queen over the whole thing? Maybe, but just a little.

Am I already planning to celebrate on Saturday as soon as it's finished and my pencil is down (well, keyboard really, it's all computerized)? Yes. Yes I am.

And then I'll wait for the official results. Which may or may not be less stressful than actually taking the test.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ethan Allen Style Quiz

I saw a link to this quiz today. I took it over lunch, and here's what it told me.

The verdict is in—your style is Metro. Metro is a great modern space. Chic, comfortable, clean. Do the math. Strong horizontals plus graphic clarity plus a fearless blending of metal, woods, leathers, and wovens; minus the superfluous and the clich├ęd; equals urban architecture domesticated, a vision for living.

I think that suits me pretty well! Whether or not I achieve any of that in our house is another discussion entirely.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ales for Adoptable Tails

The big guy and I had a chance to attend this event for the first time last month. It's an annnual fund raiser hosted by the Humane Society here in Indianapolis, http://www.indyhumane.org/. It was a wonderful event!

Hosted at Agio, http://www.agiorestaurant.net/, the event featured appetizers paired with various microbrews. The food was wonderful, the company was delightful, and it's definitely something we're going todo again next year. We're hoping to get a bigger group to g owith us. The more merrier, especially when there's food and beer involved.

Here's some more information posted about the event on the Humane Society's website. http://www.indyhumane.org/events/ales_for_adoptable_tails_2009/index.php

The Humane Society is an organization I feel strongly about supporting. Why you may ask? Look at the furry face at the top of this page. He's why.

There are dogs (and cats too) who want nothing more than to be with their forever families. The Humane Society keeps them safe, and often handles medical treatment to prepare these dogs to go home. Maybe they've been on the street, maybe they've been mistreated, maybe they've just had some unfortunate circumstances and good owners couldn't keep them. For whatever reason, they need a little love.

We got Loki from the Hamilton County Humane Society a little while after we moved in together. He was energetic, a little out of control, and exactly what we needed to start feeling like a real family. Neither of us can imagine what it would be like to come home and not be greeted by that waggly tail and tons of puppy kisses, whether we want them or not.

So if supporting the Humane Society means helping the people who help dogs like him find a safe and good place to call home, sign me up!