Friday Randoms

Another day, another week, another month. Every time I stop and realize that it’s Friday, I’m amazed at how fast the week went. And then I realize that I haven’t even blogged anything or done anything that could fill out a complete blog post.

Hence, I’m trying something new here. Friday randoms, where I stop and look around and groan at our slowpoke process at making this house our home. Here goes!

The first thing I’m going to do after I finish this blog post is to order this pendant light for our living room:

Oversized Equator Pendant light cb2

I am so excited! I will have to put away a few months’ of spending money to get this, but I know it will take our living room to the next level. I’ve been looking for the perfect light fixture for that room since I wrote this post.

I’m still plugging away on the laundry cabinets… well, I should be honest and say that I’ve abandoned the project for two weeks now. I keep on saying, “It’s too late into the day now, I will do it tomorrow, I WILL!” and then I don’t. It’s the last lap around the track, but when you’ve run 1,000 miles, the last lap is the hardest.

laundry cabinet doors

I will finish it this weekend. I will. I WILL.

After all, the cabinet frames have been completed since April 11.

painted cabinet boxes laundry room

Poor, patient, and lonely cabinet boxes. I’m sorry, guys. You’ll be reunited with your beloved doors soon.

Remember the art I want to work on for our master bedroom? I have several large pieces of plywood in the garage waiting for me to get started on it, but I wanted to experiment on a small piece to make sure that it will look good. So far, I’ve sanded it, added wood filler, and primed it on one side. Next, I will add gesso on both sides and see if the primer is really necessary.

plywood art experiment 1

Once that little project is done, I will update you all and hopefully have a tutorial on how to do DIY art on plywood!

Back to the laundry room – we haven’t put up the art that I made on the wall because we wanted to experiment with templates first and see what layout would look the best. I originally thought we would have the four frames in a grid (two on top, two at bottom), but it didn’t look right with our short ceilings and the second row was too close to the floor. We realized that we were planning to remove the door anyway (to bring in more light to the game room), so we could use the whole wall and line up the frames, side by side.

templates for frames in laundry room

Looks great! We will put them up this weekend. I hope. Sometimes weekends have a way of fooling you on Fridays into thinking that it’ll be long, productive, and full of events. And then on Sunday night, you look up from your laptop when you’re sitting on the sofa and realize you’ve done nothing all weekend. No? Just me? Okay.

Oh, we used wrapping paper to serve as our templates to determine the location of our frames. It worked very well!

Our girl Janella loves strawberries. At the end of a strawberry eating session, she looks like Dexter, according to Nick.

janella loves strawberries

Janella is working on her crawling. She’s not there yet, but she definitely can move forward towards something she wants. However, you need to put the right thing to entice her into crawling/lunging forward. Put a toy in front of her, she will give you a blank look. But if you use a necklace, a working phone (somehow she knows the blackberry I give her is broken), a camera, or a leather purse, you’ll see her move with determination.

I found some redness on her knees, so I told Nick we needed to buy baby legs. But I read in this fun book that I could just cut up some old socks and put them on her legs. I tried that with a pair of argyle socks that I never wear and they look mighty cute on her legs!

baby legs from cut up socks

I’m gonna cut up more socks now. It takes 3 seconds to do – my favorite kind of DIY project.

Oh, and do you see that cute white/gray/yellow pillow in the photo above? Nick gave that to me for my 30th birthday. Love it.

Last AND least, I’m eating this greek dip right now. It’s really good and aside from lots of chopping, it’s ultra easy to make. I mean, if I can make it while entertaining a watermelon-eating baby, anybody can make it.

making greek dip

The end. I wish you all a great and productive (or lazy, that’s good, too) weekend.

Advertisements

How to Caulk Without a Caulking Gun

Just call me MacGyver… or a cake decorator.

This post might be a little boring to you, but I’m so proud of my hard work that I just had to show you what I did. Plus, my little adventure here is a testament to how the little things that you do around the house can make you so happy, even though nobody else will notice what you did.

Let me introduce you to the closet of the nursery:

It’s a pretty roomy closet, so we’re fixing it up in order to maximize its space and… to make it pretty, of course. I’ll show you more of this closet later on when we make some more progress, but today I want to talk about caulk.

This house was brand-new when we bought it, but the builders did a BAD job with the caulking. I can’t believe how many cracks we can see in the caulk all over this house.

It’s ridiculous. Caulking isn’t rocket science. It’s not even freshman biology.

The nursery closet was full of gaps and ugly cracks due to a bad caulking job.

Ugly.

Unfinished.

Since this closet will be dedicated to our special baby, I wanted it to be perfect. I also didn’t want to fix the caulk later on after the painting and the decorating. So I decided to grin and bear it and caulk everything NOW.

Out came the caulking gun and the caulk tube that came with the house.

I put the caulk tube in the gun and squeezed. Squeezed. Squeezed some more. No caulk was coming out. I kept on squeezing and squeezing. There was a small pop… Weird.

Squeeze. Squeeze. Squeeze.

Until I came to the end of the caulking gun’s squeezing range. Did that make sense? I mean, I couldn’t squeeze any more. The caulking gun was all squeezed out. And there was no caulk coming out. Huh?

I pulled out the caulk tube and found this…

Oops. I broke it.

I think the caulk dried up at the top so all my squeezing was for naught and it just pushed through the bottom of the caulk tube. Good times.

I sighed and contemplated asking Nick to buy some more caulk on the way home from work.

I stared at the caulk tube.

The caulk was soft and plentiful. Wasted caulk, wasted money, wasted time.

I squinted my eyes… wait a minute. The caulk itself was still in good condition.

Now this is where the MacGyver (or cake decorator) part comes in. I grabbed a ziplock bag and put a few spoonfuls of caulk in it.

I cut off just a little bit at the tip and tested it out.

It was beautiful.

I hate hate hate hate using the caulking gun. It’s messy and it makes me all paranoid because the caulk won’t stop flowing, so I have to caulk with my heart beating fast and then quickly pull the handle on the gun to STOP THE MADNESS.

With this ziplock bag method, I could just caulk at my own pace. The bead of caulk was also tiny, so it was really easy to just wipe it down with my little finger. It felt nice. Relaxing, even.

I think I won’t ever use a caulk gun again.

Much better, right?

I caulked everything and gave the shelf and supports two coats of white paint to cover up the dingy white that was there before. Do apartments and buildings shop at the same paint store? Is the store called Dingy White Paint? Why can’t they use Ultra White? I will never understand their obsession with dingy white.

Better. Ahh. Never mind the white paint on the walls, we’ll paint over that.

Yes, much nicer.

The whole time I was doing this, I felt like I was channeling Benita from Chez Larsson – she does things like this all the time, doing the “little things” and making them all pretty and white.

So that was my caulking adventure!

I’ll tell you more about the closet very soon. I have to go and work on it right now, actually. I’m 38 weeks now and my hands are kind of swollen, so I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, Baby will come soon. I gotta hustle, people!

A little glimpse at our progress:

In a perpetual state of progress.

You’re welcome to come and visit our home sweet home, where you’ll find uncompleted projects strewn about.

Towel hooks for the bathroom primed but not painted yet. We decided to go white instead of yellow once we saw it primed. Yep, we’ve got some left over white spray-paint, perfect, perfect. I’m banned from spray-paint because of the little shrimp in my belly, so honey, can you do it sooner than later? After you do the cat litter, the dishes, the drilling, and the massaging. Love you honey, at least your body won’t be ripped apart in a few months, don’t complain.

A hanging all painted purple and happy, but sad to be hiding under our dresser, waiting for it’s time to shine above our bed. What’s the hold-up, you ask? We want to play with our room arrangement first before adding another hole to the wall. So, my little purple sweetie, you’ll remain hidden until… Who knows when?

Three RIBBA frames all ready, waiting and waiting and waiting for some homemade art. Darlings, you’ll be waiting for some time… Hate to tell you this, but it’s probably the truth. We’ll try our best, but I predict this will be a summer project, after school’s out. Until then, we toil away in our classrooms by day and lounge at night.

Our poor little exercise room, being used as a giant tool box, now going through some identity confusion. You’re a guest bedroom now, little one, you’ll have sweet people sleeping in you instead of sweaty people trying to get in shape. The good news, my dear, is that you’ll have a makeover sooner than you would have if you remained an exercise room. Next decision: green or blue, blue or green? I think blue…

Bathroom cabinets painted on one side, let marinate for five days, turn over, lovingly caress the other side, let lounge for another five days, realize you should have painted the front side last, turn it over a little angrily this time, slap on another coat, grumble for five days, and then realize that they need some drillin’… almost there, almost there, almost ther….

The project that will never end. After months of priming, painting, priming and painting all the supports and shelves, it’s finally installation time. After testing out some anchors and figuring out where the studs are, the first support was installed. After this successful run, the plan is to purchase lots and lots of anchors and get to drilling. After that… lots of little steps, such as filling in the screw holes with wood filler and painting over it. Oh, joy, joy, joy!

But there is a small bright spot of joy in our house… very, very soon, we will have the first completed room in the history of this house! Our bathroom is practically finished, except for the towel hooks and the cabinet knobs I whined about earlier. So excited about this – photos will be shared by Monday, for sure. We’ll be done by then, for sure. For sure. For sure.

But the shelves won’t be done. They will never be done. I didn’t realize how hard it is to style shelves, wow. At least there’s a cute bird on it. A bird, you ask incredulously. Hasn’t it been done? Yes, probably, but it is cute. And I don’t have any other animals in the house, except for two real cats and a bison, so I think we’re allowed.

And when I showed Nick this post, he said that he thinks we can complete everything by Monday morning. Ah, I married an optimist!

Seven is my favorite number. (unoriginal but true)

Thanks to sweet Mary Ellen from lucky little stars for awarding us the Stylish Blogger award!!

As part of getting this award, I have to list seven things about us that you might not know. Sorry, but I’m not a very interesting person… Hence, here’s seven things you might not know about our house!

1. One reason why I hate our carpet so much is this hole our sweet, dear Vaquero made:

Yes, that Vaquero is quite the charmer. He has abandoned this spot on the stairs altogether and is focused on another area – this one between the dining room and living room. Let’s hope we can get wood flooring down before another hole is created and unleashed on this world!

2. We live in Austin and it’s home to a lot of hippies, musicians, homeless people, and ANTS.

And they bite. Furiously. We battled these huge ant hills for a while, along with crazy WEEDS, until we gave up and got a lawn care service. Best decision we’ve ever made. This is an old photo from before we got the lawn care service… we just don’t see them (the hills, not the ants) anymore. Whew.

3. We can see cows, donkeys, goats, and horses from our bedroom window.

Sorry for the bad photo, but you get the idea. In early mornings, we can see all kinds of animals and it feels cool – like the city is north of us and the country is just behind us. All that land is a ranch… so we shouldn’t be worried about housing development happening there for a while. Hopefully!

4. Our garage is 1/3 painted.

Actually, probably not even 1/3. Nick started painting the garage as a surprise two summers ago when I was away on a road trip, but he stopped when he realized the paint was bubbling up. Turns out that you aren’t supposed to paint in extreme temps… and temps in Austin in summer is extremely hot. So he put it off for milder weather……………………………….. Well, let’s move on.

5. This house is where headless lamps come to die. There’s these lamps hanging out in our room sans shades, and then there’s the green lamps you already saw.

We got these great purple/gray/smoke glass lamps from Target a while back, but we haven’t gotten around to getting shades for them because they don’t even have nightstands to rest on, so what’s the point? But I hate seeing them on the floor, looking all forlorn.

6. We have a Bison in our house.

When we saw this at Home Goods, we were like, interesting… but the longer we looked at it, the cooler it seemed, and bison are pretty special to us because we’re proud graduates of Gallaudet University. Their mascot is… you guessed it, the mighty Bison! It hangs out on the top of our TV set.

7.  We have too many glass vases.

We finally got around to cleaning up our wedding stuff from boxes in the garage. We have all these glass vases – like 10 in total – from our reception. I’m not sure what to do with them. Nick wants to use them in decor, but what can you do with glass vases… I mean, ten glass vases? I’m thinking about painting them in the inside, but Nick is resistant to the idea. He always is, at first, but I have my ways…

So that is our seven! Be sure to check out Mary Ellen’s blog! Thanks, again, Mary Ellen!

Christmas This and That

I am aaaaaaaaliveeeee! It was our first Thanksgiving that we hosted and we just about died from all the preparations and cooking and hosting and air bed frustrations and rapping. Yeah, rapping. My brother made this hilarious Thanksgiving Rap video. And, no, I will not be showing that on this blog.

But we’re alive and well and ready to tackle Christmas. It’ll be a low key event – just the two of us. I am SO looking forward to these two weeks off from work!!

Last weekend, we finally got around to setting up our tree! (By the way, last Saturday was around 70s. Booyah… Move to Austin if you’re jealous.)

Nick is a ornament ninja. He stalks from side to side, holding his weapon ornament, looking for the perfect spot to strike. It’s nice, because then I can focus on torturing our cats with our camera and drinking homemade eggnog.

But then Nick, way too focused on the tree, trips over my precious eggnog and spills it all over our ugly carpet. Ah, who cares. With every spill and cat-damage this carpet endures, I smile because gorgeous wood flooring is going to happen sooooon.

Homemade eggnog! You MUST try this eggnog!!! I went to a Puerto Rican themed recipe party and a smart lady made this eggnog and I fell over and died and then drank some more. Nick loves his eggnog and raised a skeptical eyebrow at my ranting that P.R. eggnog is so much better until he tasted it. Now he physically forces me to make him some when he wants it. Here is the recipe. You are welcome!

I love this glass. Nick’s grandmother gave us a couple of these glasses and a great gold/glass pitcher and five little cute wine glasses. All vintage. I have dubbed the gold pitcher and glasses our eggnog equipment.

From all this eggnog talk you just know I’m going to gain 32 points this holiday season. I’ve gained ten pounds already just talking about it.

OK – our tree! I love that it looks like a cute little girl, with a bow on top!

Traditional colors, red, gold, silver. It’s just sweet and it cheers us up every day when we get home from work. We’re still building up our ornament collection and got these snowflake ones from Target recently.

December, Oh December, I love you. I have one and half weeks of work left and then I will spend the rest of it drinking eggnog and working on the house (more specifically, the office bookshelves). Merry, merry, merry!

Looking at Shade Samples and Pictures (while locked out of my house)

Decided to leave work a bit earlier than usual today (I usually work late on Fridays to finish up projects) because I was so tired from a long meeting, but ended up getting locked out of our house because Nick took my key because our roo… whatever, it’s a boring story. The point is, I am locked out.

I am still happy because I live in Austin and the weather is perfect right now and I have my sweet laptop and webcam with me. This is exactly what I wanted to do anyway – blog, read blogs, chill. Only I get to do it outside. No complains! (And I get to procrasinate on my workout for today – bonus)

I got the fabric sample from The Shade Store in the mail today!

The colors are not accurate due to the webcam – it is light gray, not blue. But I think I really like it. I have to put it up on the wall to see if the colors work, but I like it right now. It’s a fabric from DwellStudio, in the pattern Maze Work, and the color is Dove.

I also got this:

I would scan some pages and show them to you, but I am locked out. Oh, and I don’t have a scanner. So, I’m sharing some pages middle-class-ghetto-style. Via webcam.

There’s a lot of different styles in the catalog and several styles were new to me.

This is really pretty – they’re called cascade roman shades. This is perfect for windows that have no trim, like ours. The color is nice, too – smoky purple, with a lighter purple/gray border.

The Shade Store also sells vertical blinds, which, I mean, what, who still buys them? But strangely enough, they look almost futuristic in this photo:

I guess they only work in rooms with pools. Whatever.

Something else that was new to me – decorative pulls!

Aren’t these so pretty? They start at $5 each.

Then I got to the fabric section. I really love this fabric, but it’s only for roller shades or panel systems or vertical blinds (???) –

In gray, of course.

Hmm.

I also like this fabric:

It’s also a DwellStudio fabric, called Gate. The color I like is Brindle. But the cost… is… stupid. Remember, I am middle-class-ghetto.

I am also checking out Tonic Living (thanks, Kate!). They do custom roman shades, too, at better prices. I did see two or three fabrics that I might like, maybe not as much as the DwellStudio Maze Work fabric I have now, but I think I will ask for samples and then make our final decision from there. Hopefully!

See you later. I’ll be here, at our front porch, waiting… waiting… and waiting.

Dreamin’ of a Green Bathroom

Ain’t painting yet, but can’t I dream

Of a green, green bathroom?

So green, like the stem of a flower

So green, like a well-fed lawn

So green, like my birthstone

So green, like a teacher’s pass

Ain’t painting yet, but can’t I dream

Of a green, green bathroom?

So green, you’ll say Oz

So green, you’ll say Emerald

So green, you’ll say Nature

So green, you’ll say Whoa

Ain’t painting yet, but can’t I dream

Of a green, green bathroom?

So green, but not envious

So green, but not naïve

So green, but not sick

So green, but definitely not a reptile

Ain’t painting yet, but can’t I dream

Oh can’t I, can’t I, can’t I dream

Of a green, green bathroom?

1. leonxx 2. decorista 3. byzantine design 4. decorista, via mfamb 5. urban grace 6. apartment therapy 7. sunset via apartment therapy