Sunday, January 8, 2012


To Dan's disappointment, since the wedding I have yet to get to a point where I'm ready to just RELAX. I'm certain this has something to do with the fact that I spent the last several months prior to the wedding literally doing projects every single day so I'm not exactly used to having all kinds of evening and weekend free time. Something in me changed when we got married - it's like I suddenly feel like a "real" adult and I'm on a mission to get my entire life in order - starting with things like decluttering the linen closet and finally, finally, FINALLY cleaning our home office. David, a guy I babysit for, calls it nesting - and I think he's exactly right. I'm anxious to get to a point that I really and truly feel like I can relax in our house, and I think the fact that I can see the light at the end of this tunnel is what's giving me the insane amount of energy to work to get it all done sooner than later.

To that point, we (well mostly I) have been making lots of little changes around the house. As usual, I didn't bother to take real pictures of anything, so here's a good and LONG iphone photo update of what's been going on here at 9-oh-6.

We painted the hallway! I honestly cannot put into words how happy it makes me... or how huge of a pain it was to do. We went with Dolphin Fin by Behr, which was the color I painted swatches of ages ago, and I am endlessly giddy about it. Unfortunately, I still don't know how to really use my good camera, so the color looks different in every single picture below... but oh well.

To celebrate the newly painted hallway, we hung some stuff up in it...

The lyrics to our first dance, which I painted onto a canvas as a Christmas present to Dan -

 An adorable painting of Louie Louie, done by Manda as a Christmas gift to Dan -

An "I love you because..." frame, another Christmas gift from me to Dan.
Got this idea off Pinterest and LOVE it - 

A cool piece Bridget and I each scored on clearance from Ikea for a whopping $4 -

My favorite wedding card, which was from a colleague of Dan's. It's gorgeous and letterpressed, and reads "Build a strong foundation and you will sway through life's little earthquakes." Our gospel reading talked about building a foundation, so it really means a lot to us -

Louie Louie wanted to be in the photoshoot too - 

At the top of the stairs is one of my favorite random things ever. It's an owl statue I found on clearance at West Elm one night when Manda and I were out, and it made me laugh so hard I just had to have it. I still smile every time I see him sitting at the top of the stairs (on a free plant stand Bev found when we drove through Western Springs junkaway days last year - don't judge) -

In the bedroom, we finally got a bedskirt that works for our apparently overly large box spring and my new obsession with gray -

We also brought the ottoman from the living room upstairs to put at the foot of the bed, replacing the horrible white shelf thing from Ikea that we used to hit our knees on no less than twice a week. It's the perfect storage for my scarves and belts that don't fit in drawers. I THINK I can recover it in a bright patterned cotton someday if I want to, but for now I'll leave it alone since Dan told me to chill out and stop trying to change everything :) -

These sequined pillows were $6 each at Target on New Years Eve so I obviously bought them for the downstairs decor since we were hosting a party that evening. They're pretty close to the color of the couch so they were quickly relocated to the bed where they look perfect - 

The ottoman got to leave the living room thanks to my first major deal of the year - a $250 Pier 1 coffee table that I grabbed from the as-is section for $20. I have to get glass cut for it, but it shouldn't be more than $20-30 so I still think it's an awesome deal. AND, the airy design looks much less blocky than the solid ottoman in our tiny little living room and shows off more of my favorite rug, which is great -

I also replaced the fake wood $10 Ikea end table... with the exact same table in a super glossy lacquered gray. It was in the as-is section for $6 and I couldn't pass it up since one of my favorite blog posts ever is all about one of those exact tables in light blue being very simply turned into an awesome piece (see it here). I've put tissue paper flowers from the wedding in a few vases, including this one from my mom! -
(check out the reflection on that thing! I'm in love)

Crate & Barrel was having an insane after-Christmas sale that sent me home with two of these bright striped pillow covers for $4 each. My existing pillow inserts fit perfectly in them and I was able to get rid of the ugly velvety ones that used to be there and gave my brother's girlfriend the chills (the girl HATES velvet, and I sort of don't blame her) -

The loss of the storage space in the ottoman meant I needed a basket for blankets. Manda helped me pick this one out at Home Goods and it sits on the other side of the couch where Louie can't really get at it -

Speaking of Louie, here he is modeling the fun new green runner, also from the CB after-Christmas sale. You can't hear him, but he's telling Dan to put away his shoes - 

In the dining room, I am happy to announce that I FINALLY have a tablecloth for our table! We looked around a lot for one to register for, but couldn't find anything we liked. This was on sale at CB today for $30 and it's a perfect mustard yellow kind of color, in a heavy linen. You can also see my brand new napkins, which we registered for but did not receive and Dan sweetly got me for Christmas. They're pretty expensive for napkins (at least to us), and I'm sure it was tough for my frugal hubby to spend so much on something so small, so I really appreciated him getting them for me knowing how badly I wanted them! -
(PS - don't judge the amount of time I've been spending at CB - I stopped in today because we got a postcard saying our wine glasses are being discontinued and replaced with identical ones in a new kind of glass that will cost more, so I wanted to try and grab a few of the originals to have as backups. They were already gone so no luck, but at least I got a great tablecloth.)

I don't think I ever posted a picture of my finished little yellow cabinet! Like a lot of other things in our house, it makes me happy every time I see it, and considering I spent a grand total of $8 on the little knobs and it was otherwise totally free, I love it -

I styled one side of the top of the hutch with some of my favorite wedding things - the birdcage used for cards, and the candle, vase and frame of names in memory of our family and friends that were not with us that day -

And in the center below the window are the table numbers from the
reception that insure we will never forget our wedding date -

When I cleared out the hutch after the wedding to put all of our gifts away, I lined the back panels with a fun patterned paper I got at Paper Source. The sheets were literally the exact width of the panels, which made the project 100 times easier than I was expecting it to be. I like how it lightens up the hutch a bit and brings more color and pattern into my favorite room in the house - 

In the kitchen is the fabulous craigslist find kitchen cart, which I painted in navy blue the same weekend we painted the hallway. I'm having some issues with things sticking to the top and leaving marks even though it dried for days before I put anything on it, so I may have to redo the top and use some kind of sealant eventually. The endgrain chopping board was a wedding gift from my coworkers and the cake plate is one of the ones I made for the wedding -

Finally, back upstairs in the office... we've been cleaning like CRAZY and throwing away insane amounts of random old stuff that was just taking up space. It's a little embarrassing to admit, but I think this is literally the first time I've ever been able to set up my laptop at my desk and type. Dan hung up my DIY bulletin board last night and I love looking up at some of my favorite little things hanging there. We still have a bit of work to do and thanks to getting rid of so much I can actually style a few of the shelves so I'm looking forward to finishing it all up this week -

So, we've been busy, but I am thrilled about how great the house is looking. And, I'm excited to have things to blog about again! Here's to week 2 of 2012 being as fun as week 1 was...

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