Archive for November, 2011

How often do you…

…clean out your closet? Once a month? Twice a year? Once a decade? Never?

I don’t have a set schedule. I do the occasional purge, but I wait for the mood to strike. A lot of times, I get rid of things as I come across them at the bottom of a drawer and they make me think, “Why do I own this? I actually hate it.”

Or I wait until I don’t have room for even one more t-shirt and the purge is a necessity. I’ve been on kind of a shopping binge lately, so I might be coming around on one of those.

Andrew, on the other hand, had a pile of hoodies as tall as me, clothes he hadn’t worn since high school, nowhere to put them, and he didn’t get rid of anything until after we had moved it all into the new house and I had nagged him for maybe a month (out of character because Andrew loves getting rid of stuff).

Closets are just weird, I guess. So spill: what’s your closet personality – hoarder or purger?


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I previously mentioned that I was hanging new curtains in the living room. I finally got around to taking some pictures, so I’m giving you a peek. First though, let’s see what the window looked like when we bought the house:

And now:

This time, I took into account how far from each other I’d be mounting the brackets so I wouldn’t have a sad, saggy curtain rod like last time, and I’m happy with the way it all turned out. From a different angle:

Close-up of the panels (from Ikea, as previously seen here):

They’re a light greige with big, shiny white polka dots.

Just like most projects once they’re done, I can’t believe it took me so long to hang these bad boys! Next up, we’ll be painting the adjoining wall in the living room a greige that matches these curtain panels and painting all the trim semi-gloss white. Maybe someday soon after that we’ll be painting the brick fireplace, finally figuring out what to hang above the mantel, buying an area rug, and replacing our TV stand (which is starting to bow from the weight of the TV). Stay tuned!

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Black Friday 2011

Andrew and I may not have been Christmas champions on Friday, but we did venture out for a few hours. Our two stops were PetSmart, where we bought some dog treats and a 60%-off bed for Widge (as if he doesn’t have enough beds), and Avalon Carpet Tile and Flooring, where we looked at tile for the bathroom(!).

Guess what? There are a LOT of tile options.

We warned salesperson Donna right off the bat that this was our preliminary, info-gathering trip; that we didn’t have our bathroom dimensions; and that we had no idea what we wanted. She gave us a quick tour, pointing out where the natural stones and the porcelains were, and explaining to us the maintenance requirements for each. Of note: marble needs to be sealed right after installation and then at periodic intervals over the years; it also cannot be cleaned with your everyday grocery store cleaners or with vinegar as those products are too abrasive.

Despite the maintenance, we are both strongly drawn to the look of Carrara marble.

We talked about having marble in the shower AND marble on the floor.

I also loved all the glass tiles we saw…

… so maybe marble with glass accents?

And we like the idea of built-in alcoves or shelves for holding our bath products (these shelves cost $50 apiece though – does that seem steep to anyone else?):

Overall, the trip to tile wonderland was exciting, tantalizing… and overwhelming. So much to think about! I’ve decided I really need to buckle down and find some Internet inspiration so we can focus our energies, but our first TINY baby steps toward new-bathroom-2012 are behind us. If anyone has images of beautiful, minuscule bathrooms, send ’em our way!

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Last night, we had a snake in the basement. AGAIN. That’s our second one; the first one showed up last year, a couple weeks after we had moved in. At that time, I was really sad that Andrew was out of town, and I had to take care of the little critter myself. Well, last night Andrew was home, but Andrew… has a phobia of snakes. So, I guess I’m the unofficial snake exterminator of the household.

That’s not to say we-slash-I killed it. They’re “good” pests and all that. Plus, killing it would have been gross. So I put on my Hunter wellies (in case Snakie tried to bite my toes), grabbed a broom and a tall trash can, and scooped that sucker up. It looked like this:

NOT my hand

I did find it comforting that Google images shows a lot of people handling these snakes – Northern Ringnecks, if you’re wondering – so I could feel pretty confident that my life wasn’t in danger. When I shared my research with Andrew, however, he told me that a woman down the street from us had recently been BITTEN by a COPPERHEAD. I’m never leaving my house again.

Oh, and Andrew met Snakie once it was safely trapped in the trash can. He was even the one to release the little guy back into the “wild” (aka, our yard), so he’s facing his fears.

Let’s get a wildlife count going. Spotted since we moved in:

  • 4 snakes (two of those were in the basement)
  • 2 mice
  • more deer and rabbits than we can count
  • 1 fox

The woman who did our home-visit before we adopted Widge also warned us about coyotes in the area, but we haven’t seen any of those. Supposedly, people also sometimes spot turkeys (our neighborhood is built on the site of a former turkey farm) but we haven’t seen any of those either.

And for anyone who doesn’t get the post title… It’s half of the most famous quote from Snakes on a Plane – the edited-for-TV version.

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It’s Friday, so I wanted to share a couple of photos from our jaunt to Cali.

Venice at dusk:

Last weekend involved no travel; not for me, anyway. Andrew went to Philly for a while on Saturday while I bought some more spray paint at Home Depot, then worked on some curtain hardware. I may actually be getting the hang of it! It went better than my last attempt (here). While at the Deepe, I also picked up some paint chips. I’m working on the living room, y’all. …guess I just gave away the plans for this weekend.

Who’s doing something more glamorous than hanging curtains and buying paint? Anyone? Happy Friday!

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“You will win this.”

Those Target commercials have me thinking. I’ve never done the “real” Black Friday: camping out, throwing ‘bows, etc., but maybe we should do some research.  We might be able to find a steal for an extra-tall ladder so we can keep our gutters cleaned out (thrilling!). I smell a Christmas present for Andrew!

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A Declaration

During a recent casual conversation about all the big projects we want to do with our house, Andrew and I came to a decision. (Drumroll, please…)

Our Valentine’s Day present to ourselves and each other will be to tackle the bathroom. Our current b-room is an improvement over the fish-and-wood-themed cave we lived with for four months, but there are major changes afoot.

the bathroom we bought

On the agenda:

  • replacing the existing walk-in shower surround with a shower/tub combo. That phrase conjures such un-chic images, but I’m hoping we can choose a semi-stylish design, or at least explore those options before we decide they are totally illogical. (This element might excite me the most. I hate… pretty much everything about our shower. Good water pressure though.)
  • exposing the window that currently hides behind the shower surround (but is still visible from the outside of the house).
  • waterproofing said window and coming up with a privacy solution – we like the idea of blinds between two panes of glass, as seen in Andrew’s coworker’s house, but we’ll see.
  • tiling the shower and maybe the bottom half of the walls and MAYBE the floor – Sarah Richardson always does interesting tile mosaic floors in small bathrooms, and while I don’t MIND the current ceramic tile situation we have, Andrew says he DOES mind it, especially the wide grout lines that never look sparkling clean.
  • swapping out the ceiling light/vent for something that provides more light (and less hideousness).
  • dealing with any water damage we might expose – I’m pretty much expecting a disaster behind that shower surround; a lot of the seams aren’t even caulked (I’m scared, and I’m not even being sarcastic or snarky right now).

the bathroom we live with

We’ve got three months to research products and prices, design ideas, and exactly how to do all this work. Three months to save up the moolah for a bathtub, some tile, a lighting/venting solution, and the rest of the bathroom trimmings,  and three months to stockpile our vacation days at work to allow for complete bathroom focus.

Let me remind you; we have one shower, so we’ll either need to bathe at the YMCA or be grungy until the bathroom functionality is restored. That will be another challenge. It’s all very daunting, but hopefully this public declaration will help us stay motivated and focused!

And here’s what our bathroom will never look like:

Restoration Hardware

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