*I don't normally poach blog material, but this was too delicious not to pass on.
I won't elaborate on it now because I don't want to spoil the surprise - each item will get a full post once it's completed or installed. However, I will give you a basic run-down.
1) color scheme
2) fabric for crib bedding
4) nursing chair
5) possible decor idea
7) adorable art
9) inspiration for DIY mobile
10) inspiration for DIY fabric collage
Picture it: I was in the zone. I was uploading vacation pictures and writing posts like a mad woman. This is why I love the 'schedule post' feature. I can write posts in batches, when I have the time to make them worth reading, and then schedule them to appear later in the week.
Only Blogger was in no mood to cooperate. As soon as I hit 'Publish' the post would appear on the blog, no matter what post date I had assigned. I was beyond frustrated and about to pull out my hair.
Enter my hubby to save the day. He grabbed the laptop and commenced googling. He googled my topic, which led him to a blogger forum, which led him to a message feed which contained the answer to my problem. All in about 5 minutes. That search would have taken me an hour. It's an odd skill to have, but he should totally put "Internet Ninja" on his resume.
Incidentally, if you are having the same problem and would like to know how to fix it follow these steps:
1) Click 'edit post'
2) Click 'post options' and set the appropriate date and time for your future post
3) Click 'save now'
4) Click 'return to lists of posts'
5) Click 'edit post' again
6) Click 'publish post'
Apparently the problem comes when Blogger gets hung up on the date on which you wrote and saved the original draft and posts your content then as opposed to following your posting instructions. By resaving and reposting this somehow refreshes things and gets you back to sanity.
I was willing to admit that our couch needed to be comfortable, but I wasn't quite ready to concede on sleek design lines.
but hubby wanted a couch that was as comfortable as this:
We didn't exactly start on the same page, did we? Allow me to diagram why our couch was a great compromise for us.
A- Pillows, pillows and more pillows thus providing the necessary comfort factor.
B- Relative squareness. Not quite as dainty as my ideal couch, but the lines are clean are there isn't a pleat or cup holder in sight.
C- Feet. It was important to me that our couch sit off the ground - even just an inch - to keep it from looking so weighted.
Color was perhaps the greatest challenge for me. As you know, I had already established a color palette of grays, yellows and shades of white. I really had my mind set on a nice nubby tweed fabric, in a gray that was darker and richer than my wall color but still on the warm end of the spectrum. As you can probably guess such a specific fabric was not available (at least not on my budget). I was really against the idea of microsuede, it just seems cheap to me. Unfortunately 75% of couches sold in mainstream furniture stores only come in microsuede. So that eliminated many couches right off the bat. When we were browsing at Z Gallerie I was beyond excited that they had a huge stack of upholstery options to choose from.
Other than no microsuede, the only rule we had to follow was no leather. We learned early on - our first couch was a leather hand-me-down - that cats and leather are not a good combination. Leather is great for furry pets, not so great when those pets have claws and like to leap off your furniture. Our sad old couch was so covered in track marks it looked like it needed an intervention.
Even with so many options, most of my fabric choices were in the warm sand/beige family. Don't get me wrong, I love a good taupe, but they just wouldn't have worked in our room. I came across the navy blue velvet swatch and said to the hubby "It's so crazy it just might work!" Several days after we ordered (and paid for) the couch I began to panic that the blue would look too foreign with my grays and yellows. Now that we have it in the living room, and have added some navy blue accents, everything looks nothing short of harmonious.
However, there was one major "Doh!" moment: about 30 seconds after the delivery men were out the door, the cats hopped on the couch and immediately set about their mission to coat the entire thing in fur. For those of you who say "Just train them not to jump on the couch," I say "Yeah right! Have you ever met an obedient cat?" Enter our two new best friends:
1) A navy blue throw blanket. We already had this laying around the house, but it just so happened to match the couch almost perfectly. We tucked it over the back cushions - this been claimed as a prime spot for bird/squirrel watching - and we can whip it off when company comes over and pop it in the wash.
2) The Fur-Zoff pet hair remover. The hubby found this after some internet digging and it works wonders. For just under $10, it has already earned its keep. No sticky, disposable rollers to deal with and it's made from 90% post-consumer recycled materials right here in USA - and it works like a charm! Who could ask for more? If you have cats, dogs or other furry critters I highly recommend ordering one of these bad boys to help combat your pet hair problems.
PRICEWhile on our couch hunting expedition the hubby and I knew we were looking for a couch that was "only a little expensive" - yes, we actually agreed on something! We wanted to invest in something of quality that would stay with us for many years. We didn't want a cheap, but potentially flimsy, sofa from Target or Ikea. We also didn't want a huge $4000 couch from some fancy designer. So our Z Gallerie sofa was the perfect fit for us. The price tag said $1299 but with the fabric upgrade* and shipping it came out to around $1550. Don't worry, we think that's a lot of money for a young couple starting out and we thought long and hard before laying down the cash. In the end we think it was worth it to invest in a couch we love.
So there you have it. The how's and why's of picking our couch. Do you have anything in your home that you had to search high and low for? Do tell!
A few things you should know about my Dad:
- He is an avid outdoors man - hiking, camping, backpacking, canoeing, skiing, fishing, biking, climbing, diving - you name it, he's probably done it at least once, and probably better than you. The easiest way to make his day is to mistake him for a Park Ranger and ask him for directions. He will happily whip out his map, tell you not only where to go, but where to stop for a scenic view on the way.
- He is a passionate writer. Like myself, he enjoys writing whether anyone will read it or not. Several years ago he married his passions and started a website, Blue Ridge Outings, where you can find essays and videos from his trips, gear reviews and sign-ups for future adventures.
- He is really, really good at driving a truck in reverse. This sounds like a strange skill to have, but he has it. When you spend your time driving in the back-country searching for streams, campsites or hiking trails you often take a wrong turn somewhere and end up on a narrow dirt road. So narrow, in fact, there is nowhere to turn around and the only choice is go go back out the way you came in... backwards.
- He loves babies. Yeah, most people like babies, but he goes nuts for them. His favorite thing to do is to wave to or make faces at a baby, any baby, and get a drooly little smile. To say he is excited about being a grandfather is an understatement.
The older I get the more I see his traits in myself. As a teenager I would have been horrified by that, but now I don't mind. We have the same analytical (and often stubborn) nature and we have little patience for pretension or social obligations. We share a fondness for bluegrass music and I have been told we have the same amused giggle.
Happy birthday, Dad. I love you!
There were no markings to show when or where it was made, but I don't care. I think it's pretty bad-ass for a watering can. So bad-ass, in fact, that I chose to display it in my living room rather than hide it under the kitchen sink.
My second find was a set of 6 acrylic canisters. Nothing particularly special, but it was a steal at just $2.
Once I got them home, I could hardly wait to get them cleaned, filled and tagged. Again I pulled out my stash of manilla tags and made labels for my baking goods, this time by hand - I'm all stamped out after making Morgan's favors a few weeks ago. I used more of the black bakers twine to hang the tags.
I just love seeing them lined up next to my shiny red stand mixer!
I found a few other goodies worth mentioning but not worth photographing. I picked up a stainless steel flour sifter for $0.75, 12 glasses that match our everyday set for $3 and a box of 40 metal 'L' brackets for $3. Those deals are great but they're nothing compared to the mother load I found later.
I spotted a large rubbermaid box with a sign that read "Cake Stuff - $10." I peeked under the lid and saw a tackle box for cake decorating supplies and 2 plastic cake carriers. Those things alone were worth way more than $10, so I paid the man and loaded the box in the car.
I don't claim to be a talented cake decorator, but I plan on making homemade birthday cakes for my kids, so it's nice to have the tools to do so. Just wait, it gets better.
I got the box home and emptied everything out to clean it and the loot** just kept coming out. The box contained:
1 tackle box2 plastic cake carriers (1 for round cakes and 1 for cupcakes)
1 lazy susan
5 piping couplers
12 assorted cake boards
75 piping tips
Yes, you read that right - 75 piping tips. I don't know why an individual would have that many tips, or why they would sell them for such a steal but you don't ask questions when you're the one doing the stealing. The contents were easily worth over $250 if you were to pay retail prices!
The family goes yard saleing every weekend in the Spring, so I hope this is just the first round of great finds. I challenge you to try your hand at yard saling next weekend!
*I already had a head start with the cardigan collection and fondness for Jeopardy.
** I apologize if all this cake talk is way over your head. All you need to know is this stuff is valuable if you know how to use it.
As a thank you to all her guests, Morgan wanted to do some simple table favors at the reception. I had the idea to give out small bags of red rock candy. Red Rock Canyon... rock candy... get it? Yeah, I love a good pun. We ordered strawberry candy and it was a little pinker than I had hoped, but I still the favors look adorable.
I ordered the chipboard tags and baker's twine from Etsy. The front of each tag had the wedding date and the back was stamped with the guests' names. The best part of making the favors was getting to use my rubber stamp kit again. See, I told you I had big plans for it!
The wedding and reception were beautiful and we had a wonderful time. Once everything got started it was nice to be able to relax and just be a guest.
We finished off the vacation with dinner with the hubby's grandparents and some crib shopping - you'll have to wait for my nursery design posts to hear about that!
For those keeping track of the vacation days, Day 4 was spent prepping programs and favors, chilling in the pool and enjoying some great food at the Welcome Dinner (you can't really call it a rehearsal dinner since you don't have wedding rehearsals when you get married in Vegas). It was a great day of making new friends and catching up with old ones. Now back to Day 5, the wedding day!
As I mentioned earlier, Morgan is a no frills kind of gal so she didn't want much out of her programs. In fact, she didn't even want them but her mom is traditional so programs were made. They're quite simple - just a list of parents and grandparents and a quick thank you paragraph.
Morgan had the idea to put a personalized crossword puzzle on the back of the programs, which I loved. She used some software to create the puzzle then I drew up the puzzle in CAD - I didn't want it all gross and pixelated from bringing in the jpeg.
She also ordered some pens to give out with the crossword puzzles. They were just simple pens from Oriental Trading, but they made such a nice touch.
My best "aha" moment came when I figured out how to incorporate the pencil into the program. I toyed with tying it on with twine or ribbon, handing them out separately, but none of that seemed right. Then, out of nowhere, it occurred to me to use the "Valentine's Lollipop" method. All I did was add the guide lines to the printed program then cut and scored them by hand. Easy, peasy.
At the ceremony it was my job to hand out the programs so I served them up in this fancy, schmancy basket.
Stay tuned for part 2 later this afternoon!
the view looking back
Well, the time has come to begin designing our nursery, and that just happens to fall under the categories of 'design' and 'babies.'*
So, my point is that any nursery design content will be posted on both blogs. If you happen to be a reader of both, please disregard the duplicate content. I just thought it would make things easier for the folks that only read one or the other - they get the full nursery scoop without lots of blog hopping and cross-linking. I will try to make up for this by continuing to post awesome stuff to the individual blogs, but don't hold your breath. I do have a job, a life, a husband and a PERSON TO GROW.
My goal is to pick paint colors and set up a mood board over the weekend, so I'll be sure to share my progress.
*No, I don't think you're too stupid to grasp that concept without a visual aid. I'm just a nerd that really likes making diagrams.
The hubby and I were making our way around town on the city bus when we got off at Santa Fe to change bus lines. First I spied this charming terminal sign. I can't explain why but I was very inspired by the way it was flanked by the towers with the beautiful sky in the background. Maybe all the blue, perhaps?
When I stopped drooling over the Santa Fe sign I turned around, spied the Copley Building and immediately nerded out over the board-formed concrete. The Copley Building is one of several locations of the Museum of Contemporary Art. We took a few minutes to walk through the museum but I couldn't take any pictures of the exhibits, obviously.
This type of concrete is one of my favorites in the vast palette of building materials. Just as yummy was the pairing of the rough concrete and the slick corrugated metal panel.
I would have grabbed a shot of the whole building for you but someone decided the best place for a dumpster was on the sidewalk in front of the building. Sigh.
Stay tuned for the Salk Institute!
At first this guy was being stubborn, strutting his stuff up on the roof. As you can see, this isn't exactly the best angle for taking pictures.
Because the hubby was getting frustrated with my peacock stalking, we went on our merry way. As we looped back past the flamingo exhibit...
I have to say his face looks quite striking with his face framed by that luscious green plumage. Once I had my precious peacock photos we wandered off to enjoy other parts of the zoo.
One of my favorites was this little guy keeping watch in the meercat exhibit. Something about his expression reminded me of my kitties back home.
Obviously we saw many more interesting animals that day, but I was trying to enjoy the moment and not have the camera out every second of the day. I think the hubby has a lot more fun when I'm less of a shutter-bug and more of a chill person to hang out with.
Our hotel was just a block away from Balboa Park, which houses walking trails, museums and the San Diego Zoo (more on that later). Many of the buildings in the park are Spanish Colonial style, but I later learned they were built in the 1920's for an expo exhibit. Original colonial or not, they really are quite lovely.
One of my favorites was the lattice roof of this Botanical Building.
And speaking of lattice, I just love the unique growth pattern of this tree. The trees and plants in California are truly remarkable - it is like being in another country!
The most amazing part of the park is the incredible size. Not only does the park house the HUGE San Diego Zoo, but there is acre after acre of walking trails, dog parks and other landscaped goodness. It feels to be on the same scale as New York's Central Park but it has a very different feel and character. Stay tuned for our trip through the zoo.
Over the next week or so I will post highlights from my trip, one little adventure at a time. I might intersperse other posts in between, but for the most part it will be West Coast all the way.
This set of frames is hanging on the angled wall by my front door. Much like the landing strip and the china cabinet, this area is impossible to photograph because you can't get far enough away from it to take a decent picture, so here is my best attempt. I think these frames are too important to not show.
On the left is an antique piece my great-aunt gave me as a wedding present. The drawing is a drafting exercises done my my Great Grandfather in 1922. He was trained as an engineer but the techniques are more similar to architectural drafting and rendering because back in 1922 most colleges didn't separate the two educations.
Here is a close up of the drawing. At the top you have two examples of a compass (used on drawings to indicate the direction of North) and on the bottom are some types of decorative borders that would be used to frame a drawing.
I absolutely love this piece and I am so thrilled my great-aunt gave it to me. I have an older cousin that's also an architect, but I guess I lucked out by getting married first!
On the right are a pair of photographs that I won in a charity auction to benefit Hurricane Katrina relief. I don't know the artist and as far as I know they don't qualify as 'fine art' but I love the style of the photography.
So that's just a quick peek at some of the art around my house. I hope to take more pictures as I get things hung on the walls. I love that our house is starting to get that lived-in, homey feeling!
1) Just put the boxes in the right room and we'll rummage as we need to.
2) Boxes are making me crazy! I don't care if it's organized, just put everything AWAY!
3) I can't live like this. MUST. ORGANIZE. EVERYTHING.
As you can imagine, phase 3 is a long, long process. I am not afraid to reorganize something until it "feels" right. Usually these fits of organization come when I am supposed to be doing something else. Case in point: Last weekend, while folding and putting away laundry, I reorganized most of my folded clothes because I didn't like what drawers they were in.
Often these organization sessions cause me to re-examine what I have, how I store it and how I can make it work better. Because these moments are almost always spontaneous I don't have the chance to buy any supplies beforehand, so I'm solving problems on the fly.
Most recently I was re-re-reorganizing the contents of my kitchen cabinets. I have lots of big pots and pans, but they hang from a ceiling mounted pot-rack. This is great for the pots, but it means I end up with a big pile of orphaned pot lids.
I really, really don't like shoving a pile of lids in a cabinet and calling it a day. The lids are hard to find, they can scratch each other and I dread the loud crash that inevitably happens when you want the lid on the bottom of the pile.
I was wandering around the house, looking for a solution, when I noticed this little guy peeking out from my toaster oven.
It's actually a baking rack from my old, broken toaster oven - and it doesn't even fit in my current toaster oven - but I kept it becuase I MIGHT NEED IT SOMEDAY. In the past I have used it as a cooling rack for cookies, but on that fateful day I looked at it and knew it would be the answer to all my problems.
Moral of the story: pile of lids + toaster oven baking rack = organizational miracle.