Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Office Updates

I don't think I ever showed you my new "office" since we redecorated. This room used to be a combination office and library, but now it's just my office. The library has moved across the hall to the former, mostly-unused living room. The office is very Ikea-heavy, and I was afraid it would look too much like a showroom, but I don't think it does---do you?

This is basically what you see when you walk in the front door of the house---Mom's paintings and the new secretary. The secretary was supposed to house the printer, but the printer is huge. The kids' papasan chair is in the corner for some reason. I guess Pip got tired of it in his room! It goes, but I'll be happier when there is a nice armchair in that corner! That awesome lamp is also Ikea.

The rug is jute from Homegoods. It's all turquoise and blue blended together which I don't think comes out clearly in the photo.

My new desk from Ikea. My friend Kathleen and I were scouring Ikea for good options, and we kept seeing this new line all over the store----bookshelves, tables. It was pretty, but expensive, so I didn't even consider buying any of it. When we got to the end, and they didn't have the desk I had chosen, I was ready to go home without it and come back another time. Before you pay, though, you have to go through the Clearance, As Is room! That's where we found this table which had some black gunk on the top and was, consequently, half-price. At Kath's suggestion that a Magic Eraser would do the trick, we got a wrench, took it apart, and I brought it home! The Magic Eraser took care of the problem in the blink of an eye! The tabletop is solid wood and beautiful, and the slightly-pink, whitewashed legs (pink-washed? lol) give it character.

Notice anything missing? Yeah, my chair. I haven't found one I like, but I have it set up as a standing desk, anyway, and I haven't felt the need to buy a chair. I thought I would get tired of standing. Honestly, I do sometimes, but then I get the laptop and relax. Most of the time, though, I work quite happily while standing. I've spent several hours there at a time when necessary! The rolled up yoga mat is to put my toes on and stretch my calves while standing.

I found the crate at HomeGoods to elevate my mouse and keyboard. It's the perfect height. I had Meg sand it for me (she is working off a large debt. ;-) ) because it was a bit too rustic for my delicate skin. I'm not completely thrilled with the color, so I'll probaby paint it white when the weather outside is perfect.

Oh, and did you notice the external hard drive and the router hiding in the 2 metal file/magazine holders?

Just yesterday, before taking these pictures, I wrapped up the cords with this plastic Spiral Wrap that I found at The Home Depot. I was skeptical of the price and the look, but it actually wrapped around the 4 cords pretty easily, and when I had to let one out to go it's own way, that worked easily. I like having the cords tied together, especially if I can't hide them altogether!

I expected this set of shelves to hold mostly decorative items, but that didn't happen. It has overflow from the main library, and, yes, there is yarn in those crates! The too-large printer sits atop the shelf so it is much less visible than it was. 

Aaaaand, the bare windows with trim that needs to be painted so I can rehang the curtains. The sofa-table is useful for piling stuff that I'm in the middle of doing. I really take up a lot of space when I'm working on something, so having the large table surface and the sofa table are really nice. The trick is not letting it get too out of control! I'll let you know how that goes. ;-)

I took the pics early yesterday (too much sun coming in the windows!) and decided I had time to paint, so I spent half the day working on the windows and the door-frame. Now the curtains are back up and I can mark a couple of things off my to-do list!

What do you think? Too Ikea-ish? It looks so much nicer than it used too. It wasn't very well organized with all the bookshelves and much less space for me to work.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A New School Year

::Weekly Rambles::

What’s really on my mind and heart?
It's the first full week of school, and we are trying to get into the new routine. I'm starting a new carpool tomorrow---something we've haven't done in many years!!---I hope it works out for both families. If I don't have to drive in the afternoons and interrupt whatever cleaning or crafting project I have going on, that will be awesome!

What am I thankful for?
I'm thankful for routine. One could argue that I have less time now than I did during the summer, but now I know that I have certain blocks of time at home or out of the house. I have to get my chores done during the home block. Before, I either worked on something until I was completely exhausted, or I did nothing for far too long. Usually the former. Neither option is great, so I'm happy to have a more regular schedule.

What’s going on in school?
Just getting started, learning the ways of our new school building. It's not really "our" building as we are leasing it for one year while we close on our new property and build our own permanent school. That will be something to look forward, too. This temporary location is farther away for us, closer for others, and really far from some families. We are all adjusting to new traffic patterns and times on the road. It takes a while to figure out the nuances---and how to find the right time to leave so you don't get trapped behind a school bus!

What’s on the needles?
Oh, there's a blanket....soft, cozy, alpaca blend.

And this shawl/scarf which I despair of ever finishing. I like the lace, but it takes so much concentration that I don't do more than 20-30 rows in a day of heavy knitting (which doesn't happen often!).

And I'm starting a Catan Afghan because we love Settlers of Catan so much. I'm not sure what I will do with it, or how long it will take me to finish. The project will become a permanent fixture in my car when I finish the other blanket, because little hexes are perfect tagalongs to meetings and carpool lines.

What’s special about this week?
New carpool and getting ready for a neighborhood yardsale! This is almost perfect timing after this summer. Now I have to do some really fast work to go through the house and get everything together that we're getting rid of!

What am I reading?
OMG. So many books on my nightstand! I just started another Philippa Gregory novel last night: Wise Woman, because it's less pressure and requires less brain power at bedtime. ;-)

What am I praying about?

  • Our country
  • everyone with cancer
  • all my children (that sounds like a soap opera!)
  • for all our priests and deacons and religious
What projects are happening at home?

  • trim painting
  • yard sale prep
  • cleaning out the basement for new flooring
  • choosing that flooring (HELP! What would you put in your basement? What do you have and how do you feel about it? We are back to considering carpet again, but I'm not sure. Frankly, I'd like something that doesn't require a complete overhaul if there is ever another sewage backup!)
Tell me about YOUR week! :-)


Thursday, August 6, 2015

PHFR Bathrooms

round button chicken

Linking up with the ladies at Like Mother Like Daughter


You guys, I love, love, love this bathroom! (And bathrooms, especially orange ones, are very difficult to photograph! Sorry about that!) I was seriously doubting myself after taking the "Funny" photo, but it turned out beautifully. I think so, anyway.

It all started with this paisley shower curtain from HomeGoods a couple of years ago, but we finally got around to stripping the wallpaper, painting, and replacing the vanity, countertop, and toilet. Sadly, since I drowned my phone at summer camp, I lost all my "before" photos. :-( This post has a picture of the wallpaper in the process of being stripped.

The shower curtain is not as peachy as it looks here (hard to photograph in an orange room!). It has a tan/cream background.

I picked up the perfect little striped bowl in the Dollar Spot at Target. That's probably where the toothbrush holder came from a few months ago, also!

 Loving these Kohler Devonshire faucets and accessories that I put in both bathrooms.

I'm thrilled that this beachy picture works better in this decor than it did with the old paper!

I wish you could see how well the counter and floor tile look together. The colors are perfect and the marble-like print on the floor looks great with the small pattern on the quartz counter.


We are all happy with it, now! (And yes, that's a good photo of the true color behind Meg) I'm especially happy that I found the perfect mirror at HomeGoods. Katie and I hung it and got it perfectly centered and level the first time around. (Can I get a high five?) 


The first photo I took of the bathroom as soon as the painter left. It was still wet, which makes it brighter, and the afternoon sun was streaming in, so I was was not happy. I went to a swim meet after taking this, and kept looking at it thinking, "what have I done?!" Leila was the only person who encouraged me and thought it would be pretty!


If you look closely at the Happy picture, you can see that there are still (STILL!) 2 missing drawer handles on the far end. They seem to be lost in the mail. 

(ha! they JUST arrived!) 

Both bathrooms are finally finished, and I think they're lovely---so lovely that I can forget the stress and heartache and indecision. It was a happy accident that most of the accessories work well with the new design, so bonus likes for that! I'm getting a serious urge to do my bathroom now....but we still have to deal with the basement, and then there's a little matter of money....so my husband can probably breathe a sigh of relief that we won't be taking on that project for quite a while!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

AHG Summer Camp

Last week I had an unexpected "vacation" as a last-minute substitute at an American Heritage Girls summer camp. It was a vacation from my ordinary household duties and the never ending home renovations, but I traded that pretty comfortable routine for an intense week of heat, humidity, bugs, long days, and lots of girls!

I have a variety of feelings about summer camp since I didn't go as a child and this is only my second time as an adult. It's sort of a love/hate thing.

LOVE: being in the great outdoors most of the day
HATE: unrelenting humidity

LOVE: lots of other women to talk to all day long
HATE: listening to 8 of them snore at night! You thought your husband was bad---try 8 roommates!

LOVE: cabins with electricity
HATE: the permanent structures that are also permanent homes for spiders of all types and ticks galore (and some super-creepy crawly thing that we have never seen before and have not been able to identify! )

LOVE: pavilions that provide sturdy shelter from afternoon thunderstorms
HATE: tin roofs that make it much hotter underneath

LOVE: young girls
HATE: the frustrations of dealing with little girls who hate camp, bugs, bathrooms, cooperating, and really shouldn't be there

LOVE: badge sessions like Shooting Sports and learning to shoot along with the girls
HATE: badge sessions after lunch and in the late afternoon which are soporific no matter what the subject!

LOVE: cell phones and the opportunity to talk to my husband sometimes, when I'm not too busy with those unhappy little girls
HATE: dropping my phone in the toilet on the last day!!!! (stupid shallow pocket in my shorts)

LOVE: my new iphone6
HATE: losing all my photos from the past 2 months :-(

LOVE: going home!
HATE: saying goodbye to new friends

(These girls got stuck in traffic on the way home and had a chance to honor the fallen Marines from Chattanooga)

I am STILL tired from the week! It seems like there is frequently work to be done after the girls FiNALLY go to bed, and if there isn't, the Leaders stay up too late talking. What's the best part? Sharing the week with my daughter and sharing stories with other women all week. What are your memories of camp?


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