Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-changes! Part II - master bathroom

Welcome to the only room in my house that I haven't painted... my master bathroom.

Problem #3 - Too many towels!  (and washcloths, and duvet covers, and random sheets for beds we don't have)

Hi.  My name is Heather and I am addicted to buying linens.  Well, at least I was.  That's what happens when you work in the bedding department at Linens n' Things for over 2 years.  Just like how my high school boyfriend got a greeting card every other day when I worked at Hallmark.  And how I read a lot when I worked at the Everett Public Library.  (Hmmm... maybe I should work at the library again...)

Anyway, my linen closet was bursting at the seams.  I didn't take a "before" picture - too hideous.  But I gave away 4 duvet covers (don't worry, I still have 2 spares besides the one on the bed!), 2 sets of full-size sheets (by the time the kids get full-size beds, they'll want their own), and a ton of towels.  Chad and I have carried the "let's buy more so we don't have to do as much laundry" mentality for way too long.  I kept 6 of the largest towels (which is more than enough) and bagged up the rest.  I also cleared out a ton of expired or rarely-used bathroom products (who knew I had so much sunscreen??)  After my big clean-out, I ran out to Michael's and bought some baskets (40% off!) to hold everything and make it look cohesive.  Whatcha think?  I could probably stand to lose a few pillowcases, but I'm not ready yet.

Love that I have a place to lean our scale, which Chad and I were always tripping on.  And having all of my bathroom products at eye level is a big improvement from before (I used to have them in plastic drawers on the floor, hence why they were all expired!)  Here are my bags of giveaways and trash... eek.

I also took down the boring white curtain rod and replaced it with this stainless steel-looking one from BedBath&Beyond.  It's hard to capture the real color of my shower curtain without the flash, so I broke down and used it (and yes, I have more green in our bathroom.  Green is everywhere!)

(this was the day I discovered a smudge on my lens... see it???  No, that's not a shadow on the ceiling!)

And after years of scrubbing my plastic shower curtain liner, I finally wised up and bought a fabric liner (thanks to young house love for the tip.)  You can just throw them in the wash and voila!  Soap scum gone!  Duh.  $13 at Target.

Last but not least, the window got an update too!  Down with the gingham checks - up went a woven shade (from Amazon.)  Now if only I had wood-wrapped windows! 

So that's the master bathroom.  Not too much, but improved nonetheless.  On our wish list: new floors, new countertops, new sink fixtures, new toilet (Chadly-size), and a tiled shower!!  haha  One can wish, right?  : )

Psssst!  If you missed part I (fireplace and TV cabinet), click here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-changes! Part 1 - fireplace & TV cabinet

Everytime I blink, something's changing in our house.  Aidan's in a big boy bed, Aidan's out of a big boy bed (at 4am, that is.) Lilah's eating rice cereal and grabbing at her feet to pull off her socks.  Chadly's working at home less and hanging out with family more. 

And I've been making some changes in the house.  Summer is my time to redecorate and clean out.  After getting addicted to those "hoarding" shows and realizing we had way too much stuff in certain areas, I decided to do some major overhauling (with Chadly's help.)  I mostly threw out/gave away, but I did get a few new items too, for something fresh.  Come on, you knew there would be shopping involved.  : )

My summer list...

Problem #1: I hate brass!!  Since we moved in six years ago, I've replaced every brass doorknob and closet handle with brushed nickel.  So you can see why I loathe my fireplace.  And it just occurred to me this summer to paint the brass strips.  Duh.  I was seriously ready to buy a new fireplace.

(Sidenote: have I ever mentioned Chad's penchant for wanting to buy new?  If his battery stops working, it's time for a new watch.  If the gutters are dirty, it's time for a new house.  Ok, ok, I'm just kidding!  He's not that bad... but he would totally consider a new fireplace to get one without brass!)

Solution: I took off the grill pieces, brought one in to Home Depot, and left with a can of black spray paint.  Only problem was the guy recommended flat spray paint, and I had a feeling I would need one with a slight sheen to it.  Sure enough, the flat paint on those two strips really stand out (they almost look dusty.)  But at least they're not brass anymore, so I'll leave it for now.  To paint it, I covered the grills (except for the brass strips) with plastic bags and wrapped them tight with painter's tape.  That way, only the brass pieces were exposed for the spray paint.  Two coats and voila!     

Problem #2: DVDs are everywhere!  This summer, Aidan finally discovered the DVD cabinet.  Yes, it took over 2 years, but it was like a gold mine when he pulled his first stack of DVDs out (and promptly threw them on the floor.)  I think I'd organize DVDs at least twice a day and we (ok, mostly Chad) were getting tired of it.

(I couldn't find a "before" of the inside.  Was seriously tempted to go downstairs, put all the DVDs back in, and snap a photo of the mess.  Sounds like something I'd do.  Anyway, you can see our Wii discs stacked up on the left and what used to be on top of the cabinet.  Sidenote: Chad just asked if that was Lilah in the pic... and then said, "She seems kind of big.  And I don't remember her crawling yet."  Oh, Chad.)

Solution: Box up DVDs we don't watch (which is most of them) and keep them in the garage.  Since we are blessed with a 3-car garage, we might as well take advantage of it and tidy up our smaller living space.  I bought two white DVD boxes from Ikea, which store our Wii games and Aidan's favorite DVDs.  Now there's even space in the cabinet for a few of Aidan's bigger toys (like his box of Legos and a talking car.  Everyone needs a talking car.  Especially a bilingual talking car.)

Sidenote: our cabinet was a hand-me-down from Chad's parents when we first got married.  It was an outdated oak cabinet with ornamental brass pulls and hinges.  After painting it black and changing up the hardware, I gave it a whole new life!  It was my first official DIY project and I'm still proud of myself.  heehee  Too bad I never got around to painting the INSIDE.  Oops.

Makeovers coming up:

* laundry room - goodbye wallpaper!
* linen closet & decluttering years of  "Linens n' Things" purchases
* new accessories everywhere (kitchen, bathroom)
* dining room transformation  

Click here! Click here!

It's hard enough to remember to take Lilah's weekly onesie picture on the right day... so to expect that I'll get that picture online in a timely fashion is a joke.  Seriously.  But I know you non-facebook friends are dying to see my chubby baby and the latest creation of my Photoshop magic... so I decided (along with my snazzy new blog design) to make Lilah her own little button in my sidebar that links to my flickr account. 

Just one click on the picture above or in my sidebar, and you are whisked away to all of the weekly pics, in one handy little spot!!  Eventually, I'm going to upload everyday pics too... you know, like of that other kid in the house... what's his name?  Oh yeah... AIDAN.  : )

If you want to comment on the weekly pic (how much you love the fabric, how you want to eat up Lilah's chunky legs, or how I'm a huge dork for not ironing again), you just need a Yahoo account.  They're free to set up.  OR just leave me a comment on another blog post - I'll get it either way!

So go click and check out her 20-week shot.  I used a favorite blanket this time, which she was almost too big for!  

By the way, do ya like the new blog design??  Love the black and whites?  Too many rounded corners???  heehee  I'm diggin' the change, so I hope you are too.    

Friday, September 24, 2010

Aidan's cleft journey...

Here are some quick links about Aidan's cleft lip & palate (for my sidebar)...

Aidan's birth and cleft surprise

Cleft lip surgery at 3 months

Cleft palate surgery at 14 months here, here and here.

(more links to come)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Firsts

First apples from Farmer's Market.  First apple pie.  First homemade pie crust.  (Yeah, yeah, I know you can't believe it's my first.  Shush.)

First beef stew.  First time using crock pot.  First time cooking something with red wine.  (Shush again.) 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flower power!

Late as usual, but here's the little miss at 19 weeks. I ran out of fabric, so I thought her fabulous PBTeen rug would make a good backdrop.  Hard to decide what makes me drool more... the rug or the roly poly baby on it?  : )  And she thought that lens cap was mighty tasty! 

(Kam is thankfully sending me some fabrics to use... no sense buying 52 weeks worth when I won't use it!  I'm not sure how Young House Love scores such cute clearance fabrics - the sale section at our JoAnn's is NOT great.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cereal for two, please!

Aidan's first time eating Cheerios, with milk.  Yes, this a big deal.  He's slowly, but surely, branching out.  (And it appears he's ambidextrous.  Come on, be a LEFTY like Mama!!) 

And... Lilah's first time eating rice cereal!  I know, I know, you're saying, "But she can't be old enough for that!!"  Well, they say 4-6 months OR when they're showing signs of readiness.  Lilah watches us eat like a hawk.  She literally will follow my spoon/fork from my plate to my mouth and back again.  Aidan did that at 6 months.  What can I say?  She's a chunker!

The first two nights, she only ate about half of her bowl and cried when I wasn't going fast enough... but the last two nights, she has devoured it up!  With Aidan, it seemed like his tongue was always in the way.  Might've been a cleft thing.  But Lilah is an eating champ.  Uh-oh.  Better slow down, girl, or you'll end up with thunder thighs like your Mama.