Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Difference Between Men and Women

I found something when cleaning out my office that I just had to share.

I finally went through the exercise of going through and throwing out all of the leftover wedding paraphernalia and documentation. We're talking lists and spreadsheets and receipts and contracts and timelines. You can't even IMAGINE how many lists I made during the wedding planning process. We're talking Excel sheets that were pages and pages long. I snapped a few pictures of the madness:



And then I found this. My husband's "to do" list for our wedding:


A crumpled up post-it note with a total of 6 items on it.

This was what he had to worry about for our wedding.

At least he knew it was important enough that he needed to write it down.

And, I can safely say, this is a pretty accurate representation of how our life functions today.

Me with 8,000 to do lists and Lee with a post-it note of what he needs to buy at Lowe's.

Office Project Numero Uno: Worktable

After realizing that I didn’t want to spend more than about $30 on a worktable for my office, and realizing that $30 will barely by you one leg of a table, I found this beauty in the Dairy Barn on our family farm and decided to make her mine:


Once we got her home we realized she was in pretty rough condition. Lee got to work sanding the table down and cut off a few inches of each leg because they were dry-rotted a bit at the bottom. One whole leg had to be replaced completely, but Lee made one to match almost perfectly.

Even with sanding though, the top of the table still had a layer of grime on it. You see, the Dairy Barn was not used for the purpose you would think – milking cows – at least not since I’ve been alive. It was used for cooking greasy delicious meals of greasy BBQ, fried fish, BBQ chicken, fish stew and greasy hushpuppies. And the table still held a bit of that deliciousness from every one of those meals:


(The left side is the original table top, the right side is sanded with still a bit of grime hanging around.)

I didn’t necessarily want a film of grease on my worktable, so what do to? Enter: the pressure washer.

These days, Lee’s answer for everything is the pressure washer, and I have to say it worked miracles. Ten minutes later, grime was gone and it was time to move on to painting and sealing.

The bottom legs got a fresh white coat of paint and the top was left as natural wood with about 20 coats of Deft sealant.

So here she is now:



Not bad for the cost of a can of Deft, huh? (We already had the white paint lying around.)

Although most of our furniture is more contemporary, I’m finding myself drawn more and more to the vintage / farmhouse / cottage look. I was a bit worried about mixing the two styles but I think everything is going to come together nicely. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Office Introduction

I mentioned last week that I finally started to clean out our loft, which serves as my office slash craft space. Although in reality it has mostly been serving as storage for leftover wedding crap and boxes of scrapbooking supplies that I don't use anymore.

The loft really is a cool space -- as you walk upstairs it's off to the right and has a half wall that looks down over the living room. It's a big space though, big enough to be a bedroom, and has a large walk-in closet.

And now I'm on a mission to make it a space that is actually functional.

Although I don't scrapbook much anymore (because I'm now leaning more towards super quick and easy photobooks), I still love being creative and need a space for working on random crafts, wrapping presents, and scheming my next home design project.

Here's a glimpse of where the loft was a couple of weeks ago:



Not an ideal space for productivity or creativity.

Again, living with this mess for a year and a half has given me a pretty good idea of what I'd like in this space. So, here's the wish list:

- A large worktable for craft projects
- Lots of storage for books and magazines, craft supplies, and wrapping supplies
- Storage/organization for the closet
- Curtains
- A table fan (because it gets hot up here in the summer)
- Possibly a little sitting/reading area

I'm convinced that having all of my supplies nice and organized and a nice blank workspace (without having to run downstairs to the dining table to wrap a present) is going to be super inspiring. We'll see.

So, now that you know the plan, I'll be posting small projects along the way and will keep you up to date on the progress.

Tune in tomorrow for the first installation: Project Worktable.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hello Sunshine

I'm getting giddy just looking at this forecast. Is it possible we might have a warm Easter for once?


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Drama in the Cul-De-Sac

Saturday night.

Four cop cars surrounding the empty (under construction) house next door.

Lee and our neighbor go over to ask what's up. Cop says, "Some kids decided to hang out here tonight. Got a couple of 'em handcuffed up in the attic. Trying to figure out what to do with them."

So of course we sat at the window and waited to see what would happen (I wouldn't let Lee sit on the porch, that was too obvious).

Eventually, an SUV arrived, and then a van and a truck and two cars.

Their parents.

Needless to say, some of them were NOT happy.

I'm betting that was an awkward ride home.


Pretty much the highlight of our weekend.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend Recap

1. I cleaned the house all day Saturday and almost all day Sunday. What made it bearable? Open windows and The Judds radio station on Pandora. We're talking Pam Tillis, Patty Loveless, Mary Chapin Carpenter, John Michael Montgomery and old school Reba.

2. Lee spent Saturday at a civil war reenactment near Goldsboro. He's been wanting to go to one for a while. When he got home, he prepared a slideshow of his pictures to show me, along with stories to go along with each one. It was so cute. I tried to convince him to write a guest post about the reenactment but he says it's "too much work." (This from the man who complains if I don't update the blog regularly.)


3. I got to spend my Saturday night babysitting this little ham:

He's our neighbor's son Levi, and all he did the whole night was smile and look cute. Totally adorable.

P.S. - I downloaded the TiltShift Generator photography app after reading about it on Dooce and am totally in love with it. If you have an iPhone, it's totally worth the $0.99. I'm now convinced that my phone takes better pictures than my humongo camera.

4. I started cleaning out my office/loft this weekend. I've decided that instead of doing a big reveal once it's done, I'm going to do some posts about small projects along the way. More on that later. But this weekend was finally time to part with a lot of the junk that has been cluttering up my space. I was ruthless (or tried to be) about throwing stuff out or boxing it up for yard sale. The biggest hurdle? The three boxes of wedding crap memorabilia that have been sitting in a corner for a year and a half. It's just so hard to trash all of the blood, sweat and tears that this stuff represents:


But I did it. (After saving a few as keepsakes of course.) Out with the old, in with the organized!

5. Sugar thinks she's a mechanic.


Hope your weekend was fabulous!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Friday was Lee's birthday, and I had several small things in store throughout the day, including a gift and Happy Birthday banner on the kitchen island when he woke up, another gift in his truck as he left for work, Cadbury creme eggs in his laptop bag, and this waiting in his inbox:


Then we were off to the river for the weekend.

Sugar had the time of her life, managed to somehow lose her $150 invisible fence collar, and barked all night because she was so excited. She did manage to settle down long enough to spoon with Maddie for 10 minutes:


And after all the little things I did for Lee's birthday, nothing could compare to successful fishing trip:


We ended the weekend with a wonderful meal at Rucker John's in Greenville with Lee's family and Brandon and Caitie.

Hope you had a great birthday Lee!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Lee in his element

Happy Birthday Lee! You've got one more year until you're officially old, but that's ok. Here's hoping 29 brings you a year full of fishing trips, smoked meats, house projects, and Sugar snuggles. Love you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bedroom Makeover

The second room in our house that I'm willing to declare complete is our master bedroom. It underwent a serious makeover over Christmas break and now that I'm looking back at the Before pictures, I think it's safe to say that it was a long time coming.

Oprah always says that your house should "rise up to meet you." I'm not entirely sure what that even means, but I am sure that our bedroom was NOT rising up to meet us. Here are some befores:




See what I mean?

When we moved in, we transferred everything I had in my apartment bedroom into the master. Which left us with only one nightstand -- eventually Lee got sick of that and repurposed a TV tray as his nightstand. Pitiful, right? And while I loved the Nautica Highland bedding in my apartment, it just didn't scream "warm and cozy master bedroom retreat" when we put it in our house. Oh, and one whole wall adorned with nothing but a Tupperware tub and a $10 mirror? Niiiiice.

Our first order of business was installing crown molding. We thought it would be a simple little project that would be fun to tackle.

Umm, WRONG. I'll spare you the gory details but let's just say there was lots of math and ladder-climbing involved. But two days and lots of curse words later, the crown molding was successfully installed.

Painting was another two day project (we did the bathroom as well) but it was actually pretty enjoyable. Then came the really fun part -- playing with all the new stuff we had bought and seeing it all come together. Here's where we ended up:












I'm actually glad it took us so long to get around to decorating our bedroom because it gave us time to live in the room for over a year and see what we needed to make it functional. We knew we needed a proper nightstand for Lee and more dresser space (luckily Rooms to Go still carries this furniture line so we just ordered the two new pieces). And I also knew that I wanted a chair or bench in the room as I was having to go into the living room every morning to put my shoes and socks on.

And although I was opposed to having a TV in the bedroom, living in our house for a year with only one TV downstairs totally convinced me that we needed another. I'm so happy that we made that decision -- I love watching the news in there every morning and banishing Lee to the bedroom TV when I want to watch something on DVR other than Survivorman. Plus, we were able to mount it on the wall and Lee worked his magic to relocate the cable and electrical outlets so there were no messy cords hanging down, so I think it looks pretty chic in there.

Here's a rundown of the goodies we used:
  • Wall paint: Silver Sage, Restoration Hardware
  • Furniture: Rooms to Go Valencia collection
  • Chair: Dolce Lounge Chair by Target
  • TV: 32" Sony BRAVIA
  • Duvet cover, euro shams, boudoir sham: Italian Antiqued Floral in Eucalyptus, Restoration Hardware
  • Regular shams: Diamond Matelasse in Silver Sage, Restoration Hardware
  • Lamps: Target
  • Curtains: Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Curtain hardware: Lowe's
  • Orchid, candleholder: Target
  • Candle: Restoration Hardware
  • Mirror: Home Goods
  • Light switch plates and outlet covers: Lowe's
So now, our bedroom not only rises up to meet us, but it gives us a shoulder rub and says "come in, put your feet up, can I get you a glass of wine?"

Now that's more like it, room.
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