Wednesday, April 23, 2014

House Shopping: Lighting Edition

Next thing on the shopping list: lighting!

{Click pictures for links}

The hallway, living room, and kitchen will have canned lights so no shopping necessary for those (unless I decide to have a standing lamp in the living room somewhere).

You guys should know though... These shopping posts are just that: window online shopping. Let's not forget I'm pregnant, emotional, hormonal, and indecisive so for me to actually commit something... yeah, that's not gonna happen.

Also, you'll notice that my first options for the kitchen/dining area had an industrial feel to them. After a brainstorming session, we realized that the kitchen is taking on a more vintage, farmhouse vibe so the second options reflect that. Sorta.

All 3 bedrooms will for sure have this white fan/light from Home Depot. It looks gray in their stock picture, but it's white. I like it because the blades have a wood grain texture that makes it look like real wood instead of those cheap plastic looking fans.
As much as I would've loved to install different lights in each bedroom, Brian really wanted fans (especially because it gets crazy hot during the summer). I wasn't totally on board at first but after having fans in all the bedrooms at our previous house, I realized it was a lot easier to cool down a room than running the A/C all day. Also, the fact that Brian made that decision meant that I didn't have to worry about options, like the other lights. Well, ok, you'll see.

I had pinned a few options and Brian liked this one best. We wanted black lighting in the entry/dining/kitchen area because it's basically one big room so we don't want the lights competing with each other (we mostly want the dining room light to stand out). This one will hang right above the front door to just provide light when we come home after dark.

But of course, I have to have another option... I actually haven't found the exact one I want, but to give you an idea, it's like this light but black and only 1 light instead of 3.
 Nautical Cage 3 Light Bath Light
At first I was going to have Brian make something like this light with his brand new welder (that he still has yet to buy).

Steel Polyhedron Pendant Medium

But now I'm leaning more towards something like this. A simple, clean light that won't be too harsh or distracting and blend in perfect with the open, airy vibe we have going on so far.

 Clear Glass Globe Industrial Pendant

Kitchen (for above sink/in front of window)

The pendant for above the sink is the one that I've definitely come nowhere near to deciding. We will most likely do Option #3 which is actually a DIY lamp kit (via A Beautiful Mess) using an Ikea platter and a light kit, because it's the cheapest, but I'm also considering using Entry Option #1 here.  

Kitchen Pendant Options

Decisions, decisions. The thing is that as soon as I think I've made up my mind, I start to second guess myself and then suddenly I'm changing everything. It's a good thing I have a steady husband and a lot of time before I really need to make a choice.  :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

House Update: Kitchen (aka No Turning Back Now)

I'm trying not to do too many house posts in a row, but since this is our life these days, that's what I'm going to blog about.

We finally ripped out the kitchen cabinets. Insert panicked face here.

Things don't look too bad but once we had discovered problems on the wall with the fireplace, we knew the cabinets had to come out. It was really just to give us peace of mind about not discovering these problems down the road in a really disastrous way.

Note: We're really, really glad we decided to rip out the cabinets. Our fears were confirmed and there are a few things that have to be taken care of before we can install new ones. But the good thing is, we caught the problems, Brian knows how to fix them, and his parents are all too happy that we are taking care of things. 


How we've been living for a month and a half...

Brian pulled out the cabinets and then I helped him rip out the drywall. There are some electrical and water lines that need to be moved and taken care of before new drywall can be hung so this is our view for now...

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Potty Chronicles: Day 2

Day 2

I've resolved to give this potty training thing another try. We can do this. I'm feeling calm and positive about it, thanks to an extra long prayer time (and an extra sleepy toddler). This is how the day goes...

Allie sits on the toilet for 15-20 minutes. Nothing happens. She gets bored and decides she doesn't want to sit. I repeatedly ask her if she has to pee. "Nooooo..." is always the reply.

I turn my back for a second to pour some milk on my cereal and she pees on the concrete floor in the kitchen. *Sigh. Not a problem. I feel overwhelming patience as I calmly remind her that pee goes in the toilet. Bleach soaks into the concrete and my cereal gets soggy while it's off to the showers again.

She starts playing again. No pee. No poop. No accidents. Time for a nap.

Wake up from the nap, time to sit on the toilet again. 20 minutes and an indented toddler butt later -- still no pee or poop. Off to play outside since it's nice and warm. While playing with the water hose, she decides it's a good time to pee. Well, at least I can just hose her off since we're already outside and clearly the soggy underwear doesn't bother her. She freaks out because the water is cold (and apparently that's only okay when she splashes it on herself) so it's off to the showers again.

A fresh pair of underwear and we're back outside playing with the hose. It's nap time now so time for another diaper and another 2 treats for mom.

I'm feeling strangely positive about this whole potty training thing but also pretty sure that she's not going to pick it up anytime soon. She just keeps peeing wherever she wants, because that's what she's been doing for a year and a half. Can't blame her.

The question haunts... "Do I give it another day or just throw in the towel and try again in a month?"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

House Update: The Pantry Install

We have a pantry. Hallelujah!

We decided to do the kitchen in phases because that would make going without counter space and a sink for a few weeks a little easier. Brian also decided to install a clean out sink in the garage so that we wouldn't really be without a sink. I mean, I did consider washing dishes in a tub out in the front yard, you know, Little House on the Prairie style, but when he decided he wanted a clean out sink in the garage anyway, I decided to go along with it.

Anyway, the pantry went up next so that we could have somewhere to store all the food that had been sitting on the floors or on the counters for the past 6 weeks. I didn't unpack food into the cabinets because they needed to be cleaned. But since they're being replaced, there was no reason to clean something that was going to be ripped out. So the pantry food sat in reusable bags on the floor of our kitchen.

Before... With a wall and tiny pantry...

Minus the wall...

Now. NOW. Behold... I got so excited to get an after pic that I took the picture before Brian put on the handles. But you can imagine black handles on the doors, right?

It's actually still not done. It needs toe kick and trim on the left side and top (which will go all the way to the ceiling to give it a built in look) and there will be a cabinet installed above the fridge with a panel to cover the side of the fridge. Since those are finishing touches, they'll be put on hold while we focus on the kitchen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

House Update: The Entry

One of the things we had to finish before starting on the kitchen was the entry. Brian wanted to patch the holes from tearing down the wall so that when we installed the pantry, we wouldn't have to cover and protect them from paint and texture overspray.

Brian had to install new drywall in the ceiling and on that exposed panel, then drywall mud over everything. After that came 2 coats of texture so that it blended in with the existing walls. Then yours truly stepped in and painted the ceiling and walls with 2 coats of paint while Brian installed the water box and outlet for the fridge.


Allie's new rug photo bombed



Don't mind the pink glow on the left side of the front door. It's because that wall is still peach so it reflects on the lighter, new color. Also lighting in here is already bad as it is, let alone when it's 11 p.m.

It's a small step but for one, there's no hot air seeping in from the attic and more importantly, it looks like there was never a wall there.

Still to do in the entry:
  • buy and install an entry light
  • paint ceiling and wall
  • install some floating shelves for keys, books, random decor (maybe some plants?) 
  • hang a mirror, for obvious reasons (you know... that going-out-the-door once over to make sure you don't have mascara on your cheek)
  • get a basket for shoes (Brian would usually kick off his work shoes right at the door to not track dirt everywhere but these days with concrete floors and all the demo work, we all wear shoes pretty much all the time)
  • install flooring (this will probably be one of the last things we do after all the demo work is done)
Up next, the pantry install...

Friday, April 11, 2014

House Shopping: Rugs Edition

Since we decided to do laminate floors throughout the whole house, I've been searching for some area rugs for the bedrooms and living room. I actually much prefer having an area rug that you can vacuum, shake out, and remove. When we saw the amount of dust that was hiding under the carpets that we pulled out of this house, I was fully convinced that I will never install carpet in another house ever, ever again. Ever. Never. Okay, just making my point.

{Click the pictures for links}

Master Bedroom

Option 1:

Rubicon Jute Rug

I finally found the perfect rug for our bedroom while dream shopping on West Elm. I was looking for a natural jute rug but I was hoping to tie in some white without it looking too pattern-y. I've read that having calm, neutral colors and textures in bedrooms encourages rest and relaxation. I have no idea if that's true but it all sounds good to me. I also wanted something that wouldn't be too fluffy, just enough for our feet to not hit cold floors first thing in the morning.

The only problem with this rug is it costs $599 for an 8'x10' which is waaayyyy out of our budget. I'm hoping I can find something similar for like half the price (or maybe even DIY a paint pattern on an all jute rug?) Or that everyone else will hate this rug and West Elm will be forced to give them away.

Option 2: 

Another option for our bedroom is to do 2 runners with an accent rug at the foot of the bed. I scored 2 of these runners at Target for $20 each (they don't have them online so that explains the crummy iPhone pictures on concrete floor).

They had a matching accent rug that was the same pattern (for $10!) but then I spotted this one right underneath that was $17. I decided to come home with both knowing that they'd be used somewhere.

I also figured that if I don't use runners in the bedroom, they might work in the hallway. We'll see...

Office/Guest Room

Detailed View

I'm going for a similar vibe for the office/guest room rug. I want something that will be flat and easy to clean, and basically just provide a little warmth and dimension. This rug at West Elm is actually my other backup for our bedroom in case my dream rug never turns out to be given to me for free. At a lower price with a similar jute/white pattern, it should fit in perfectly to either room.

Living Room

Option 1:
ALVINE RUTA Rug, flatwoven IKEA Handwoven by skilled craftspeople, and therefore unique.
This one is from Ikea, but is surprisingly pricey for a fairly small rug. I like the yellow accents especially because that's what I'm leaning towards for the living room area. However, I'd rather have a nice big 8'x10' since we have a huge sectional and I don't want the rug to look dwarfed by it. Either way, I'm keeping it on the back-burner.

Option 2:

MIAC Santa Fe Rain Wool Rug

This rug is actually on sale right now but still slightly over our budget. Plus I'm not completely sold on it. PLUS since the living room is like the farthest room from being done, I have plenty of time to keep shopping for a better deal and/or rug that might come along. Like this next one...


I first fell in love with this rug when I saw Dana over at House*Tweaking put it in her living room. But at $300 for a 5'x7' (plus the fact that it always seemed to be out of stock), it seemed like it would never happen. When I was shopping for a nursery rug, I definitely wanted something fluffy and soft that would be forgiving on baby skin. I had created an inspiration board with a few rugs from Ikea thinking I'd have to settle for something less than my dream rug based on our budget.

Thankfully, Rugs USA frequently has sales and come President's Day, I received an email for 70% off any rug. Yes, that means a $300 rug was going to be $90 with free shipping. As soon as I saw that, I frantically called and text'd Brian like it was an emergency. Because, let's face it, it basically was an emergency. He was unsure but his exact words were "If you think it's a good idea, I trust you." Boom. Done. Ordered. I didn't even have to think twice. I actually wish I had ordered 2 now but I suppose 2 of the same rugs in a house might be overkill.

Anyway, since the bedrooms still need to be painted, the floors are covered in rosin paper right now so I still have some time before making any final decisions (besides the nursery rug, which is still packaged up and stored in the office waiting to make it's debut). The office is done being painted but as you saw on Monday, it's full of boxes and furniture so putting down a rug is not high on the priority list.

And... if there's one thing I can do well, it's shop. Sometimes it means patiently impatiently waiting for a sale to happen so I can find that item I've been waiting for, all the while hoping it isn't out of stock. With the rugs being "big ticket" items, I'd hate to spend tons of money on something that I didn't love and then regret it especially if something better/cheaper came along later. I can be an impulse buyer, but Brian is definitely a wait/think/ponder life-in-general buyer so it actually balances out pretty nicely. (I mean, this is the guy who has literally been waiting 9 months to spend his birthday gift cards. And we all know that gift cards pretty much burn holes in my pockets.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Potty Chronicles: Day 1

"Have a kid, they said.

It'll be fun, they said."

This is what Brian said to me Monday night when we were discussing my day with Allie. Because. *Sigh....

I decided to try potty training her.

I know, right? I had heard from several moms that 18-20 months old was a good time and that girls catch on quickly. She was showing signs of being ready like helping me go to the bathroom (like handing me the TP and flushing) and had no problems sitting on her toilet. (I went with this simple Baby Bjorn potty chair.)

So Monday, I decided it was time. I was armed with M&M's, movies, books, toys, Lysol wipes and brand new big girl underwear. We were ready to be trapped in the house for 3 days of potty training boot camp.

This is my story.

Day 1
Allie woke up with her usual full diaper (#1 and #2). We put a pair of big girl underwear on her stuffed bear. Bear "went pee on the toilet" and received a treat. "Do you want to wear big girl underwear???" I enthusiastically asked. "Yeah!!!" came the emphatic reply.

After an hour of watching her like a hawk, I decided to load her up with some chocolate milk to get things going. And as I'm watching her drink her milk, I watch her pants soak up with pee.

It's okay. Rookie mistake. Should've known better. Clean it up. Thankful for rosin paper covering our laminate floors right now. I sit her down and try to repeat over and over "Pee goes in the toilet." but now she's screaming and crying because she's wet and I'm holding her so she doesn't run off and drip more pee everywhere.

I put her in the shower (since our bathtub is out of commission right now) and text Brian.

Morale is low.

It hasn't even been 2 hours and I'm already 0-1.

I have a meltdown. (Let's blame this one on pregnancy hormones.)

I eat 2 M&M's. I'm a grown up. I can have potty treats whenever. That's how these things work.

Allie goes down for a nap wearing her diaper because I don't even want to attempt sleep time bladder control.

2 hours later, she wakes up with a dry diaper. I immediately sit her on the toilet and pop in a movie.

She pees in the toilet.

I applaud, cheer, clap, throw confetti, and chest bump her. We wipe, wash hands, and she gets 5 M&M's because I couldn't be happier. She just looks happy to be eating candy.

Fast forward a few more hours and she is ready to pee again. Standing next to our bed. I quickly plop her on the toilet so half of it gets in the toilet. I cheer and applaud and point out she got some pee in the toilet. But this time she only gets 1 M&M and of course, requires another shower.

I put her in a diaper again for nap #2, which she decides not to take. Not only that, but she decides to poop in her diaper and then take it off in her crib. When discovered, its time for yet another shower, bleach, a load of laundry and another meltdown from mother and child. She goes down for her nap wearing a diaper (AND shorts this time) and then proceeds to spend the rest of the evening wearing diapers.

Things are not looking good.

To be continued...