Archive for August 2010

in 7 weeks

mike's parents are coming to visit us in 7 weeks. we are super excited, but i am also feeling some pressure. you see, mike's parents have not yet been able to visit us in our house. my parents were actually visiting us when we first looked at this house with our realtor, so they know how far we've come. my parents are able to come visit us enough that i feel that they can see our progress even though there are many things left to do. the "now" is a little more explainable if you know the "before". but since this is mike's parents first visit, i would really like our house to look its best (well, the best that it can). mostly it would just be nice to finish all of our half started projects. lately i seem to be really good at starting something and just not having the time to complete it. typically i work a little better with a deadline...

so with that in mind, over the next 7 weeks, i hope to finish the following projects:

- super clean the basement. it's starting to smell funny and is just really dirty. we are having a garage sale in a few weeks anyway and will need to go through everything for that. i'd like to paint the walls in the basement and possibly paint the floor. we haven't done anything to the basement since we moved in (except fill it with all of our stuff) and it would be nice to just freshen it up. the stairs going down to the basement are bright bright blue, it would also be nice to paint the stairs. we went to lowes over the weekend and bought a random assortment of basement supplies, including some organization containers, commercial strength cleaner, some new insulation, and new ducts so that we can finally properly vent the dryer. exciting, i know.

- finish the buffet. we need to have it done so we can gain the much needed storage space. we've tried to fix the top of the buffet without sanding it, but it just wasn't working. so we're back to sanding, and it is taking forever...

- finish the guest bedroom projects, including finishing up painting the closet. right now we are using the guest bed as a temporary linen closet. which means the cats are loving sleeping on all of the clean towels and sheets, and now i will have to do a bunch of laundry to wash everything again before putting it all away.

- remove the last of the wallpaper in our stairwell, paint, and install our new light fixture. we bought the light fixture months ago and have everything we need... except for a tall ladder. so we need to just go out and rent a ladder and then not be afraid of climbing a ladder over the stairs. this might be mike's job....

i wish that i could add installing the floors downstairs to that list, but i just don't see how that can happen. along with house projects, we also have a lot of other things going on in the next couple of months. plus football is starting, and we can't miss that!

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favorite $10 purchase

awhile ago i was reading one of my favorite blogs, chezerbey, and saw a picture of a clock that they had in their bathroom. i really liked the clock and was excited to see that the clock was from ikea and was only $10.

i have been to ikea several times since and have looked for the clock but could never find it. then it disappeared from ikea's website so i assumed that they no longer were carrying it.

when we went to ikea in cinci, guess what i found?? the clock!


the only working clock on the first floor of the house was the one on the coffee maker, so i'm really excited that i can now know what time it is when i'm in the living room. we had to do a little rearranging, but it is now part of our photo wall:


and, the clock is now back on the ikea website. what do you think? i still can't believe it was only $10!


thrift store find

i have been waiting to do the final reveal of the dresser in our room until i was able to take some better photos. but after 2 weeks and still not remembering to take photos in the daylight, i give up. plus our room is super messy right now and the trick of only cleaning the area that you're taking a photo of does not work when the photo will include a giant mirror. hello unmade bed... our room is no where near done anyway, i'm sure that the dresser will appear again in better photos in the future.

as i hinted in this post, when my mom and brother were visiting last month we started a few projects around the house. my mom was staying in the guest room and mentioned that the giant armoire that was in the room made it difficult to move around. i completely agreed with her but was hoping she wouldn't notice :-) when we were arranging our existing furniture in this house we ended up not having a good place for the armoire. it is a nice solid piece of furniture and provids a ton of storage, so we decided to try it in the guest room. our reasoning was that we could use it for linens for the 11 months out of the year when no one was in our guest room. this worked out fine, until someone actually tried to stay in the room and had to squeeze past it anytime they wanted to move around in the room. plus, because it was so tall, it didn't even provide a surface for a guest to put their things on. i was not against finding something new for the guest room, but per usual, didn't want to spend much money on it.

mom said she'd help out with the cost, and after looking through craigslist and even considering some of the furniture stores in the area, i decided that we would go thrifting. really, we only take our guests to the best of places.

we went to an area with several stores that i have driven by a few times but had yet to visit. we had no luck at the first couple of stores. then we went to the last store and right away i spotted this:


at which point we reached a problem. you see, the guest room is small. and this dresser is not so small. so that's when i decided that instead of getting a dresser for our guest room, we would be getting a dresser for our bedroom. and the smaller dresser that was in our bedroom would just move the the guest room. problem solved. plus, this dresser would actually work better with the other furniture in our bedroom.

at this point i should tell you that this dresser was actually part of a set. the store had the dresser, a queen size headboard, 2 large nightstands, and a mirror. i seriously thought about buying the entire set, but didn't really have a need for everything else. and i generally don't like rooms with furniture sets. so we talked to the woman at the store and she said she'd sell us just the dresser for $40. and throw in the mirror for free since it went with the dresser. sold.


i should also mentioned that 2 other groups of people also wanted to buy this dresser while we were waiting to load it up, good thing we got there when we did. i know that this campaign style of furniture has been floating around the blogs and while i didn't set out looking for it, i was excited about the find. while i love my other mid-century modern furniture finds, i was hoping to find some other unique pieces that would mix well with the mcm - i didn't want to keep buying the same thing. i thought that this piece, with the brass detailing and cool hardware and clean lines would look nice with our other furniture.

once we brought the dresser home we started to really look at it. overall it was in good condition but the veneer was scratched in a few places on the dresser and the mirror seemed like it had a slightly different finish. and this finish looked strange with the wood tone of the other furniture in our room. so i decided to paint it.

first we took off all of the brass hardware and cleaned and polished it with a brass cleaner we found at lowes. i can't remember the name, but it worked great. once all of the hardware was removed, we sanded, primed, and then painted. i decided to go with a medium gray. i thought about something bright and fun, but in the end, i went with a color that i know i could use anywhere in the house. it's funny, i've been trying to decide for months if i should paint the buffet, and if painted, what color. but for the dresser i decided to paint it and had the color picked out and the paint bought within an hour.

so anyway, not sure why this post turned out to be so long.... here's the before (with the dresser that will now be moved to the guest room):


and the after:


as i mentioned before, our room still needs a lot of work but i'm really happy with out this turned out. i love the gray color with the brass hardware and i think that the gray is a nice addition to the blue color that is already in the room. as always, it's a work in progress...



last weekend mike and i had a wedding to go to in cincinnati. once we realized mike was going to be off of work for the week, we started looking into extending our trip to cinci with some kind of quick vacation. we decided to stop for 2 nights in french lick, indiana.


we stayed at the french lick resort, which is a historic hotel. i didn't really know what to expect when we booked it, but the hotel had been recently restored and was really nice.


we had a great time and it was exactly what i needed for a relaxing trip.


we left for french lick (does anyone else find the name funny or is it just me?) wednesday morning and stopping for lunch along the way. we arrived at the resort mid afternoon and spent some time exploring the hotel and the town before grabbing dinner at one of the resorts many restaurants.

on thursday morning we got up to go golfing. actually, mike went golfing and i drove the cart. i had never been on a golf course before, but have been to the driving range a couple of times. i own one golf club :-)


i decided that next time i need to find some more clubs because i want to give it a try. the course was really nice, the only downside was that it was hot. really hot.


see that? we looked at mike's phone when we went back to the car after golfing. feels like 117*? and that was at 11:30 in the morning, it just got worse later in the day.

after golfing we went to the french lick winery for wine tasting and a leisurely lunch. then we spent some time at the pool before heading over to the other resort (there are two historic hotels 1 mile apart owned by the some company) for a nice dinner.


the west baden resort has a beautiful atrium space. i didn't have the right lens on my camera to get a good picture of the entire space.



after a delicious dinner at a restaurant at west baden, we decided to sit in the atrium space and get coffee and dessert.


at night they light up the top of the dome and we really enjoyed spending time sitting in the atrium, watching all of the people.

on friday morning we slept in late and then grabbed a quick breakfast before saying goodbye to french lick to continue on to cinci. we spent the rest of friday and all of saturday with the wedding - one of mike's fraturnity brothers got married and mike was in the wedding.



it was great to be able to see our friends from college, i wish we were able to get together more often. and i loved their bridesmaid dresses, they were perfect for the hot weather!

on sunday we spent a few hours at the ikea in cinci before driving back home.

so that's it! our mini-vacation. i wish we could have taken a long vacation this year but the budget and work would not allow it. at least we got those few days, we had such a great time and i really needed a break, even if only for a little while.

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have you met trevi?

so we have this cat. his name is trevi.


let me tell you a little bit about trevi - when he was a kitten i thought his neediness was cute. he would follow me around my apartment and when he couldn't see me, he'd meow, looking for me. he liked to play fetch and would always bring me random toys so i could play with him. he could do this one trick where he'd jump high up in the air and do back flips trying to catch a string. he was super friendly and loved any kind of attention. all of my friends thought he was the coolest cat ever and would threaten to steal him away.

fast forward 6 years and not much has changed. except now he is a giant cat. and he thinks he is in charge - of everyone, including the dogs. and he seems to lose me in our house, which results in him wandering around meowing as loud as he can (which is really loud) until i respond to him. this will go on and on until he "finds" me. it's like the marco polo game, only no one is a winner.

he also does not like it when we leave him for long weekends away. and to prove this to me, when we arrived home last night after being away for 5 days, he meowed at me. all. night. long. i'm not really sure how he lost me, especially since he was sleeping on my face.

so i'm really excited (sarcasm) that he seems to have a new thing. because for the last few weeks, this is where he has been every morning while i'm getting ready for work. he jumps out of bed when my alarm goes off and runs to the bathroom...


to sit on the back of the the toilet. and meow at me.


what's new?

i'm sorry that i keep beginning posts on random projects (the guest room, the dresser, the buffet..) and then not finishing them! if it helps any, the projects aren't finished either :-)

besides the normal busy of working and studying, we've also been busy with 2 out of town weddings in the last 3 weeks, a last minute mini-vacation last week, and exciting news - mike is in the process of transitioning into a new job! mike's last day at his old job was a week ago, and he still has another week before he starts his new job. i'm super jealous of his time off!

i'm hoping to have some time over the next few weeks to finish up some of the house projects. i think we are done traveling for a little while, so that will help! i'll also do a post on our trip last week as soon as i download the photos.

hope you all had a great weekend!!

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sneak peak

after much debate, i have decided that i am not going to paint the buffet gray just yet.

why you ask? well reason no. 1, i am just having a hard time committing to painting it. i think that i am going to try to sand the top and see if i can stain it to match. overall the buffet is in great shape, and the color/grain of the wood looks fine with our table. plus we already have gray curtains and gray chairs. if the sanding/staining does not go well i might come back to painting it, but for now, i'm moving forward with leaving it unpainted.

and reason no. 2? i found something else to paint instead. here's a sneak peak:
after photos to be posted soon.


dear friends,

thank you for last weekend in detroit. jacob and laurie got married! and i am so happy that we were all able to share the weekend with all of you.

the ceremony was filled with friendship and love, it was perfectly fitting.

dear jacob and laurie,

thank you for having so much laughter in your relationship. i know that your marriage will be forever filled with joy.

dear michigan,

what did you expect? we're buckeyes, we had to.

dear husband,

you are cute. orange may be your color.

and dear friends,

thank you for humoring me with the partridge family style photo pose. i still stand behind my statement that the slide was not in danger of breaking.
group photo cropped
i miss you, i love you, i can't wait to see you again soon.


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it's like they know me

i kind of have a thing for chairs. i know, surprise, right? i am getting more selective with the chairs that i bring home because honestly, we are running out of space. and money. and mike said no more chairs. we are only 2 people, i am trying to come to terms with the fact that we do not need a dozen seating options in each room of our house. but, there is a certain chair that i have been keeping a look out for, and that is a bertoia side chair. there is just something about it that i always drawn to, and i've never seen an image of a room with a bertoia chair that i haven't loved. one of my co-workers has 2 that are in storage that i've tried to buy from him many times. i've even considering buying one that is in very bad shape at a nearby antique store just because i was worried i would never find another one (that i could afford). but i was patient, and like most things, figured that if it was meant to be, something would come along.

so imagine my surprise when, over the weekend, i received a call from my mom. it went something like this:

mom: "your dad and i went to this second hand store near the house and saw these weird looking chairs. we thought they might be something you'd like so i wrote down the name."

me (assuming the "weird" would actually be something "weird" and not something i would want): "oh, really? what did they look like?"

mom: "there were these white wire things. the name on the chairs was something like bertoia"

me: silence. long pause... "you found bertoia chairs? are you sure? in the suburbs??"

mom: "yeah, we went home and looked up the name online. the images matched the chairs at the store. they seem like something you'd be in to. kind of like your crazy fiberglass eames chairs."

and a day later, i am now the proud owner of these:
my bertoia chairs! finally! thanks mom and dad, you are the best! i'm even more excited that you found 2!

now i just need to figure out how to get them to st louis...



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