Monday, October 1, 2012

Keeping it real

I'm about to show you insanity.  It's cray cray around here.

I like to challenge myself every once in awhile, and the best way to do that is to invite 5 college girlfriends for the weekend in the middle of a reno.  Ah...nothing like a little pressure to get shit moving.

We started painting the exterior of the house last week.  I'm super happy with how the color turned out, seeing as Will and I went completely custom.  3/4 of the house is painted, but we have one side with rotted wood that needs to be replaced.  And you would think that a carpenter would be easy to come by.  Nope.  At least not one that wants to do any work!  We finally found someone to start today but they don't speak any English.  ZERO.  But did they show up?  NO!  And the only way I can communicate with the guy is through my painter.  Speaking of, he didn't show up today either.

I'm still picking out a front door color.  And we have the top to a lovely armoire hanging out on the front porch.  Why?  Because we can't get it upstairs.  So, Will is getting a scissor lift delivered from his office today to raise it up and take it through the upstairs porch.  Never a dull moment.

While we are outside, see that lovely trash trailer?  It's been sitting in my driveway since April 14th.  We have filled it 4 times and probably have one more round before we are done.  And then I never want to see that thing ever again.  A few weeks ago, I think something crawled into it and decided to die.  So not only is it an eye sore, it smells like shit.

We are definitely enjoying our new kitchen (which doubles as a catchall/work bench/project room).  Except for the little fact that the oven doesn't work.  We have a working oven upstairs, although "working" isn't really the correct term for it.  Let's just say that it gets hot. So, how fun is it that we have to go upstairs to cook anything in the oven!?!  Exercise and cook at the same time!

I have until noon on Thursday to get this place in order.  Which means that people better start showing up to work and my to-do list gets shorter.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's about time

I'm finally getting to do a bit of decorating around here.  How is it that something can be so wonderful and so stressful at the same time?  I'm all about giving advice to friends, but me?  It takes me years to figure things out.  2 full years to pick out a bed in my last house.  5 full years to decide on window treatments.

We started getting G's room together last weekend.  His headboards went up and they are amazeballs!  When I first saw the antique iron gates 12 years ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

Will's dad got the iron gates about 35 years ago in Mississippi while on a construction site.  They weigh about 300 lbs each and would kill someone if they fell over.  You can see our support brackets screwed into the wall, so G's life isn't in danger every night he goes to sleep.  Eventually I'll paint them to blend in.  Or not.

I also decorated my kitchen shelves last week.  A harder task than one might think.  I like how they turned out.  Will isn't as pleased - They need more color.  Which means they will stay just as they are for awhile.

The room I am having trouble wrapping my brain around is the master bedroom.  Here's the bed.  No mattress, no bedding.  I have no clue what to do in here.  So for now, it looks like this.  I bought white sheets and a white comforter, with the idea that I'll lay there at night and a brilliant design scheme will pop in my head.  I'm even thinking about using the bucket of adhesive as a side table.  Pretty cute, huh?

Friday, August 31, 2012


Sometimes I just like to hashtag things.

Clearly we are not finished with this little project.  And clearly I need to document it on a better camera.  But, here's a bit of eye candy for your Friday.   Although this is more like a half-ass eaten piece of melted candy because of the poor photo quality.

Downstairs Hall Bath

Dining room/kitchen (my before pic is the wrong angle but you get the point)

Another dining/kitchen combo

Living room fireplace

New master bath (was an office before)

Master bedroom

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Teaser time

Well, Pinterest and Instagram have been consuming my world wide web time, and this little blog keeps taking a backseat.  Are blogs becoming extinct?  If not, I'll keep on truckin'. 

Things have been happening so fast around here that I can't keep up.  Not that I'm complaining or anything.  I'll think of a million things to blog about and then something else gets done and I forget about the other stuff.  Vicious cycle.  And then I get overwhelmed and have to sit down and have a drink.

We went on vacation last week to Kiawah Island in South Carolina.  PGA Championship, the beach, and cake for breakfast.  My kind of vacation.  While we were gone, we had the floors refinished downstairs.  Coming home on Saturday night was almost as exciting as Christmas morning.  We left the house in disarray and when we came home, it was crazy how different everything looked! 

Before and after pictures are at the top of my list of my favorite things.  LOVE THEM.  So, I'll give you a little sneak peak with a before and sorta-after shot.  We still have a lot of small touch ups and little stuff to take care of, but you can't really see any of that in the pic. 



Damn, that looks good!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Up in here.

I did something ballsy yesterday and bought an orange velvet bed.  SAY WHAT??  I blame Brittany.

On the way home from San Antonio this past weekend, Brittany stopped at the outlet mall in San Marcos and texted me a picture of an orange velvet wingback bed from Williams-Sonoma.  It wasn't assembled and it was scrunched up with other beds, but I fell in love.  Lust.  We were meant to be together.

I know what you are thinking.  But Mimi, you already have an orange velvet wingback chair.  Yes, yes I do. But you can never have too much of a fabulous thing.  And I want to roll around in all of the wonderful goodness of an orange bed.  I can't do that with a chair.

So Monday night comes along and I dream about the bed.  Tuesday, dream.  Then yesterday morning, Will says that if a bed makes me that happy, then by damn we are buying it.  So after work, we picked up G and headed down to San Marcos in a big ass truck that was loud and bumpy for all 1.5 hours.  And we stopped 4 times for G to pee.  But it was worth it!  Feast your eyes on this baby (but in orange velvet).  Persimmon to be exact.

I can't find this fabric option on the WS site, so I'm guessing it's either a custom piece that was returned, or it's an old option that is no longer available.  Anywho, I got a fantastic deal on the bed and am one happy girl. 

And check out my other amazeballs deal of the night.  I found this zigzag floor pouf, without the insert, for $24.99!!  Who cares about the insert, right?  That's easy to get.  Or make.  

We are nearing the end of our renovation.  Sort of.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel, which means decorating is on my mind.  It's about to get dangerous.  Really really dangerous.  Fo-real.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Craigslist score!

Last night I went on my first Craigslist adventure.  Yes, I was a craigslist virgin.  I've sold a washer and dryer on there, but never purchased anything.  I've been looking for 6 dining chairs that have a wood frame but upholstered seats and backs.  Not parsons chairs.  And not necessarily Louis-style chairs.  I wasn't really going to be super picky because then it would take me 10 years to find what I wanted.

All I knew was that I wanted to paint and reupholster them.  I think I've been reading too much Little Green Notebook.  She makes DIY seem so easy  And I am not a DIY girl.  

So when I found 6 chairs this week for $45 each, I jumped on it.  Melanie and I loaded up the kids in their truck and trekked into Austin to pick up these beauties (with a McDonald's stop for ice cream as our bribe to the kids).

Aren't they just fantastic in all of their 1980's beach house glory??  I was shocked to find out that the lady, a retired decorator, had spent $400 a piece on these in 2000.  Seriously?  You bought these in the year 2000?    DUMB.

I have big plans for them though.  Here are a few of my inspiration pics, all from Pinterest.

I have an obsession with chairs.  Adding these to my collection makes 10 total chairs that I need to reupholster.  Does that qualify as an addiction?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oy! Obrigada! Bom Dia!

I went to Brazil last week for work and that's all of the Portuguese I know. I didn't even learn to say the word for their cheese bread, which I stuffed my face with for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I went to Brazil and all I came home with was a double whammy of Strep throat and a sinus infection. I would feel so much better if someone just chopped my head off.

Oh, I also brought home nail polish. Random, right? But apparently Brazilian nail polish is the bomb, so I bought 18 bottles of it.

Will was out of town last week too (and came home sick), so the house work took a little hiatus. We are back in full force this week and making progress. We had the downstairs hall bath demoed, Will tiled the master bath, kitchen cabinets were installed, bookshelves installed, and the bathroom vanities were installed. All while I laid in bed and watched Season 1 of Downton Abbey.

I wouldn't say that beadboard cabinetry is my ideal choice for a kitchen, but it's what I had to work with.  And matching it versus replacing it all was a helluva lot cheaper.  I think my cabinet guy did a great job!  Next up:  counter tops.  Probably the biggest decision that's making me sick to my stomach.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

50 Shades of Grey

Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m not talking about the latest mom-porn-book that is on millions of nightstands around the world. Although, HOLY-50-SHADES-OF-MOLY! Yes, the books are on my nightstand. And yes, I’m about to start book 3. Don’t judge.

I’m talking about grey paint people. For your house. It’s hard as shizz to pick out.

The biggest challenge with grey is that there’s blue-grey and green-grey. Some look silver. Some look brown. Or “greige” as they are calling it now. There are very few grey-grey’s. And that’s what I want throughout my entirehouse. Leave it to me to pick out the hardest color scheme there is. Our old house had a blue-grey color in thekitchen and upstairs bathroom…Mineral Deposit by SW. It was hard to tell if it was blue or grey onany given day, and I loved it, especially with my teal accent color on my chaircozies. So, that was my startingpoint. I knew that Mineral Deposit hadblue in it, so I went searching for colors that appeared greyer. Is that a word? More grey.

Well, my final selections turned out blue as crap. I even managed to pick out a black that looked blue. Ugh. Back to the drawing board. I bet I have a million paint chips in thishouse, all in different shades of grey and black. And in the end, I picked 3 that I absolutely love. Mindful Gray by SW, Dovetail by SW and Kendall Charcoal by BM. My problem? They don’t seem to be popular paint colors inthe design world. That knocks my levelof confidence down a bit. WHY? Why don’t people use these colors a lot???

At this point, the majority of the upstairs has been painted. 4 Shades of Grey. I played around with Mindful Gray and did it at 50% in an extra bedroom. That’s always a good route to take if you like a particular color but think it’s too dark. I might do the 50% in my masterbath downstairs now that I know I like it. We shall see.

My biggest nail biter was the doors. All of my interior doors (minus closet doors) are Kendall Charcoal. I was nervous as hell to make the move. Doors are not fun to repaint if you screw up. But, I LOVEIT! It’s delicious….and as we speak,Will just announced that he thinks they are too light. Great. If I change the doors, I have to change the color of my kitchen cabinetsdownstairs. I’m anal like that.

I have a few more weeks until I have to make final decisions on the paint for the downstairs.  Which means I may have to redo some of the upstairs.  

Btw, what is the difference between GRAY and GREY??  Why's it gotta be confusing like that?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's going....

At least once a day, I get asked how the remodel is going.  "It's going" is my typical answer.  Because do you REALLY want to know?  Do you really care??  It's like when I pass someone in the hallway at work.  "Hey there, how are you doing?"  When actually, I could care less.  

So if you really are interested, here goes.  

I feel like I'm living in a crappy little apartment.  Well, not little.  The upstairs has 3 bedrooms, 1 playroom, 2 baths, a kitchen and a tv area.  But, it looks like I stepped back in time 10 years.  The furniture we have up there is the same exact furniture that Will had in his apartment when we got married.  Exactly the same.  It wasn't intentional, and actually it's kind of scary that we still have all of it.  Maybe we should pat ourselves on the back for picking out decent pieces 10 years ago, right?  

So, by crappy little apartment, I really mean crap-ass-kitchen.  This thing is bad.  My cleaning lady told me that it's the worst oven she's ever seen.  And you know she's seen some shitty ovens.  Then she proceeds to turn to Noel, my brother-in-law, and they start talking about the oven in Spanish, and laughing their asses off.  Now I'm scared to turn it on.  

The kitchen sink?  Yeah, well, it didn't drain.  So Will tried drano which didn't help.  Then, the other day, I filled it up with hot water and oxy clean to soak a few articles of clothing with stains from a Pinata filled with airplane bottles of liquor (entirely different story!), and when I went back in the kitchen 30 minutes later, the entire contents of the sink were on the kitchen floor.  Lovely.  So I called Gustovo, the Plumber.  Turns out, the garbage disposal was so old and gross that it was rotting.  So I ran to Home Depot, purchased a new one, and had him install it.  Right before he left, he told me to run the dishwasher because it smelled so bad.  So I did.  And went about my business.  Yeah, bad idea.  The entire dishwasher drained onto my kitchen floor.  I am now hand-washing dishes, just like I did 10 years ago. 

Oh, and the washer and dryer?  They are in the kitchen.  They look all nice and new and fancy.  Turns out, they aren't.  The dryer wasn't drying the clothes.  It was heating, but not drying.  So I called around and no one services LG dryers.  I think that was my first sign that they must  be crap.  So, I call LG.  The customer service rep suggested that we pull the dryer out and make sure that nothing was clogging the vent.  Good idea.  You know what we found?  A bird's nest.  WITH EGGS!!!!  I am not even shitting you.  Eggs.  And then all of a sudden, the birds outside realized that we found their little secret, and they went all ape shit on us.  Will's exact words:  "Call Animal Control.  I don't do birds."  

So yeah, that's how the remodel went last week.  This week seems to be better.  Except that I went around the house yesterday to take pictures with my MIL's camera.  You know, because I am so smart that I packed up my camera somewhere and can't find it.  And then I proceeded to get her SD card stuck in Will's laptop.  Lovely.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Smooth far.

We are 2.5 weeks into The Reno and up to this point, it's been easy breezy. I'm waiting for the sky to fall on us. That's just how it always works, right?

We decided to go stay with my in-laws (AGAIN) for 2 weeks while we prepared the upstairs to be slightly more livable. The wood floors were sanded and one coat of finish applied. Then the painters came and did their thing, and tomorrow the wood floors get the last coat and we can move back in. So, 2 full weeks with Will's parents. Not bad considered the last renovation we did took 8 months. No matter how awesome they are, it's 8 MONTHS OF LIVING WITH YOUR HUSBAND'S PARENTS!

Everyone we have chosen to work with has been pretty easy-going. Except they all talk too much. I am not even kidding. Way too much. Dude, tell me what you need to tell me and then let me get on with my life. I don't need to know about your wife's job with the State, or your child's Communion, or your oldest son who is about to leave for the Marines. Please do not get me emotionally attached to you by telling me that your son died when he was 25 in a car accident. I'm not strong enough to take it. I AM WEAK! And I'm not paying you for that. And don't even get me started on Jody, the tree guy. One day I'll secretly tape us having a conversation. You will die.

Here's a little Before, During and After eye candy for your Wednesday. This is the same shot of our guestroom over the last 3 weeks. Ah, the progress. It makes me smile :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What just happened?

The past 6 days have been a whirlwind. And now I'm wondering what in the world I got myself into.

We closed on both houses Friday morning at 9am. It was easy, fast and painless. The calm before the storm. And then all hell broke loose. By 11am, there was a three-ring circus at the new house. Within a 30 minute time period, the realtor, electrician, painter, Will and I, the previous owner's daughter, the yard guy, and our friends were all at the house. And everyone needed to talk to me at once.

By 3pm, we had moved in a mattress and a few boxes of clothes upstairs. By 5p, happy hour was underway. Yep, we hosted a happy hour the same day we moved. And as usual, it turned into happy HOURS. By midnight, wallpaper was coming down, walls were being spray painted and sledge hammers were being used. By 2am, we finally went to bed.

Saturday morning came early. Workers showed up at 8am and we got the party started. 2 carpenters and the electrician worked all day...tearing down walls, taking out windows and doors and installing support beams. Let me tell you, these guys rocked it!

And then we had another party. Yes, I'm crazy. I planned a birthday surprise for Will months ago. Way before we had even sold our other house. And it just so happened to fall on this weekend. Talk about a lesson in going-with-the-flow. So, by 7pm, we were dressed and ready to walk out the door....and we didn't get home until 3am. DAMN GOOD PARTY. (more on that later)

Sunday morning came early again. Everyone was at the house at 8am ready to work. By 5pm, I started feeling bad and by 7pm, I was sick as a dog. DYING. I'm not even kidding - I almost died. A stomach bug rolled through our house with a vengence. And then Will got it.

Two sick parents and a house full of construction = BLURRY MISERY.

I'm going to stop there, get my pics organized, and post more on the craziness in a bit.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When I turn 4

According to Grafton, big things are going to happen around here when he turns 4.  Our lives will forever be changed.

"When I turn 4, I will eat green beans." 
"When I turn 4, I will take a shower instead of a bath."
"I'll go to Owen's house to play when I'm older.  When I turn 4." 
"I will like that, when I'm 4." 
"I will ride my bike when I get older.  When I turn 4." 

For some reason, I'm getting my hopes up, which is probably not smart because I'll just be highly disappointed on his 4th birthday when he refuses to eat green beans with his birthday cake.

My poor child has lived the first 3 years of his life with a semi-feminine, very baby-ish room.  So I told him that he could have a big boy room when he turns 4, but since we are now moving, he is going to get it sooner.

I have made my first purchase for the new home, and it was for G's room.  I have big plans for the space and cannot wait to get it all put together.  Here's the bedding that I found (on clearance) at West Elm. 

The problem?  He wants superheroes in his room.  Which is totally against my religion.  But then I found these vintage prints.  Totally doable, right? 

I'll let you know how it all comes together! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Make it stop!

My eye has been twitching for the last 2 weeks. Which in my world means stress. Hmm...I can't imagine why.

Everyone always asks if we are ready for another remodel. And at first I was all, hell yeah! Bring it baby. And now I'm thinking to myself that I might be slighty nuts. A coworker told me I was crazy this week and now I'm beginning to think that she was right. This time around will not be anything like the last.

Last time we hired a general contractor. We moved out of our house for 8 months. We had zero kids. We renovated an average sized home. Life was good. Easy Breezy. I was able to yell at the GC, the tile guys and carpenters when they screwed up.

This time? Yeah, this time I am the general contractor. We are moving into the house and renovating at the same time. WITH A 3 YEAR OLD. The tile guy? That would be my husband. He better not screw up.

In other news, last weekend we went to the Railroad Revival Tour Documentary screening at SXSW with our  neighbors.  Afterwards, Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros put on a show and it was SO GOOD.   Then half the neighborhood decided to stay up until 3am on the front porch.  I don't think my eye twitched all day! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You gotta plan?

Dumb question.  Of course I have a plan.  I have so many plans that I can't turn my brain off at night.  I can't even take a weekend nap because of all of the goodness going on in my brain right now.  And I love me some naps.

We are currently in the process of planning the space, gathering estimates and finalizing our budget.  A realistic budget, if that's even possible.  This week we are meeting about paint, carpentry, tile, cabinets, wood floors, countertops and tree trimming.   And then we have 4 weeks until we can officially call the house ours and start doing some damage. 

When it comes to rooms, I think I am most excited about the kitchen space.  While I love my current kitchen and want to keep the same style, I'm going to go bold with this one; bold being a relative term.  Here are a few of my inspiration pics (thank you pinterest).  If my space turns out half as great as these, I'll be damn happy. 

Totally random thought, but I'm now wondering if my use of the semi-colon is correct.  I am sure Helen will tell me.