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Wednesday
Jul082009

Before & After

I love before and afters but they don't always work out. I try to up my chances of success by choosing projects that were so bad before, that almost any change would be an improvement. Check out this chair.

 

I have two of them and they aren't pretty, but they used to belong to my grandmother so I didn't want to let them go.

I removed the back cushion, added a little gray paint plus a little of this:

 

 And the result is attractive chairs that also have sentimental value. Success!

** After I posted this, my husband informed me that he still thinks this chair is pretty ugly. Maybe my project wasn't as successful as I thought? Oh, well. You can't please everyone :)

 

Monday
Jul062009

Profiles

This is what Riley and I gave Paul for Father's Day this year. Sweet, simple and easy. We love having a permanent reminder of those cute chubby cheeks and that big noggin. I might do one of the dog next :) 

Sunday
Jul052009

4th of July Weekend

These are images from our weekend. We had a great 4th. It started out Friday night with a cook out at the club. The next morning we got up early and went to the local park for a parade. I think everyone that lives in this town and in the surrounding areas was there. It was great - beautiful weather, funnel cakes, lemonade, car parade, kids decked out in 4th of July gear. We felt like we were in a movie from the 50s! In the afternoon we went to the pool and relaxed before coming home and grilling out. Since Riley is only 1 she wasn't able to make it to the fireworks (They didn't start until 10:00.) We lit off a few of the lame, legal kind in our driveway for her. She was somewhat interested. After such a full day, she actually went to bed early. So, Paul and I sat outside on our side porch and drank a few beers and listened to the fireworks in the distance. All in all, it was a great weekend. 

On a side note, I don't know if any of you out there have young children, but Riley is in the beginning stages of walking. Let me tell you, it isn't for the faint of heart! In one weekend she has skinned her knee, cut her toe, busted her upper lip and bumped her head! Here is a photo showing off her skinned knee. It breaks my heart every time! 

 

Thursday
Jul022009

Summer Tomatoes

This year my husband and I decided to try growing our own tomatoes. We bought 3 tomato plants about 2 months ago and planted them in some containers on our patio. Soon after we planted them, it rained for what seemed like 6 weeks straight. While I am sure this was good for the tomatoes, I was happy to see the rain go! Now it is July and I think it has rained once in the last 2 weeks! So we are having to remember to water our tomato plants ourselves. 

A few weeks ago we were very excited to see some tomatoes growing on the plants and our first one finally ripened! 

 


We are so proud of our tiny, baby tomato! (You can not tell from this picture but it is only about the size of a quarter!)

Luckily, the others look like they are going to be a bit bigger so we can hopefully use them to make plenty of BLTs!

 

Wednesday
Jul012009

2 Years Ago

Haas House l Vienna, Austria

On this date 2 years ago, I was flying back from Vienna, Austria. I lived there for 6 weeks and it was one of the best things I have ever done. I went with a group of architect/design students and we got to experience so many amazing opportunities. We stayed with local residents and had arranged meetings with firms such as Coop Himmelblau, EOOS, and Gregor Eichinger. It was such a valuable experience to meet with these designers in their firms, and sometimes on-site, so we could see how they live, work and create.

We also traveled to Ljublijana, Slovenia and a couple of cities in Switzerland, where we got to meet with the amazing architect Peter Zumthor. He won the Pritzker Prize in architecture this year and his work is really unbelievable in person. Not only did we get to stay at his famous Thermal Baths at Vals, but he was kind enough to invite us into his home for a private question and answer session.

Thermal Baths l Peter Zumthor l Vals, Switzerland


Peter Zumthor's Home

Monday
Jun222009

Riley turns 1!

I can not believe it, but the day is here. My sweet baby girl is turning 1! It seems like just yesterday, she was this size:

And now she is a full year! And it has been such a great year! My husband and I always say how we can't even remember life without her. What did we do with our time?

Who knew a 1 yr old's birthday party would be so much work to plan? We decided just to have a small party with friends and family at our house to celebrate her big day. We went with The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a theme because that is one of her favorite books. I made the invitations and sent them out a few weeks ahead of the party.

 

Next, I got to work on decorations and the menu. I didn't want to overdo the caterpillar theme, so I decided to make it more of an outdoor garden party and prayed that the weather would cooperate! I used a bakery for the caterpillar cake since I was cooking everything else myself. There was some drama with the bakery the morning of the party which taught me a very valuable lesson - always pick up your cake the day before the party to make sure that it is exactly what you want. On the morning of the party, they had to re-ice the cakes 3 times before they got it right! 

In the end, everything came together and we had a great time! The weather was beautiful, Riley was in a great mood and she seemed to enjoy the whole day. Here are some pics from the weekend!

The cake

 The food

The drinks

The party hats

The birthday girl

The big moment!

Wednesday
Jun172009

I must be crazy...

We have lived in our current house for a little over a year. There are so many things that we love about this house - the character, the details, the space, the yard, the location, etc. Our previous house was over 100 years old and was a true fixer-upper. While we loved that house, it was constant work and we were ready to move into a house that didn't require so much of our time. This house was built in the 60s and has been really well taken care of during it's lifetime. We are only the third owners, and by far, the youngest. Structurally, the house is in great shape, but the interior decoration left a lot to be desired. In most cases, it was nothing a little paint couldn't fix. 

One area that was especially outdated and just plain ugly, was the kitchen. When we moved into our house, this is what the kitchen looked like:

Where should I begin? The wallpaper? The tile? The giant track lighting? I was seven months pregnant when we moved in, but don't think that stopped me from ripping down that hideous wallpaper the day after we arrived. Once we were settled, we had the cabinets and walls painted and replaced the hardware and the light fixtures. All of this was a huge improvement, but the floor was still an eyesore.

One Monday morning as my husband was getting ready to go to work I said, "I wonder what is underneath the tile in the kitchen. Maybe we could just pull up a tile or two and see what is underneath." You are probably thinking that my husband must have looked at me like I am crazy but after knowing me for 8 years, he is used to these sort of statements. So, we pulled up a piece or two in a slightly hidden location and found an ugly subfloor underneath. That is what I assumed was under there, but I just wanted to see. My husband went on to work and I put Riley down for her nap. By the time he came home that evening, I had pulled up all of the tile and we had a dirty, ugly subfloor in our kitchen.

"Don't worry," I said. "I have a plan and it won't even cost us much money." I informed him that my plan was to paint the subfloor - then he looked at me like I must be crazy. But, he promised to let me give it a try and said he would reserve judgement until he saw the finished project. 

I spent the next week chiseling mortar and grout, patching holes in the floor, sanding and priming. Finally, it was time to paint. At this point, even I was starting to have doubts, but I figured I had come this far, so I might as well see it through to the end. After several coats of paint, endless touch-ups and two coats of polyurethane, we finally have our finished kitchen floor.

Riley loves it!

Some of you may be wondering why I painted the subfloor instead of installing a "real" floor. Basically, our kitchen is still a long way off from where we want it to be but we aren't ready to do a complete renovation yet. So, this floor is meant to be a temporary fix. It is much more comfortable on my feet and it is a thousand times better looking than the old tile. Once we are ready to fully renovate the kitchen, we will install a more typical floor. That being said, we both LOVE this floor so we may end up painting the floor again. What do you think? Have any of you ever painted a floor? 

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