Archive for September, 2015

Sideboard savior!

The sideboard is here and it has solved all of my problems! Ok, not really. But I do love it. As usual, I’m kicking myself for not taking a before shot of the space, but just picture it more chaotic. And then the sideboard came and it looked like this for a bit:


Like that new bookcase against the wall? Me too! [Oh, that was awkward. Did you say, “Yes!”? I thought I heard a “Yes!” Moving on…] You’re wondering about that big silver and black thing on the wall, I can tell. It’s a fireplace of sorts. We had it in the condo and when we moved, we stuck it there. It’s from Overstock and it takes three gel fuel containers and it looks like a fireplace. Kinda. I actually like it, but I don’t like the big black panel against the wall in this room that doesn’t get enough light as it is. So, it had to go. We moved the art that had been on the wall that now houses New Bookshelf Number Two (the one most visible in the above pic) and we are looking at this now:


Although I love love love hanging art in groups like this, I’ve come to realize I’m never going to get it right. One, I don’t have the patience required for it. Two, I don’t think I have the precise math skills for it. And three, our house is all crooked. So, even if I had it exactly right on the wall, the furniture isn’t going to be sitting perfectly straight on our uneven floors, so the art will inevitably look somewhat crooked. I’m just letting it go and enjoying it as it is. Do I sound convincing?

Stay tuned for kateandgracie’s first guest post! Coming soon.



Holy moly. Molly asked to take a bath today. Around noon. I’m still fairly certain that we’re still related, but it was odd nonetheless (I actually like baths given the right environment, but we don’t have it). AO and I were flabbergasted. Out of what I can only assume was total confusion – and maybe some bizarre knee-jerk reverse psychology – AO said, “No”; I quickly interceded and allowed the aberration. I think we’re all better for it. I’ll let you know if it happens again. Stay tuned. 

End of summer projects

As AO and I gear up to kick off Fall 2015 Project Bonanza (I’m looking at you sewing room and front yard), it was important to kick out a few projects that should have been put to rest ages ago. For example, when we made our Mega Ikea Run shortly after moving into the house in 2014, we bought Bear a chandelier. But it didn’t work for her room (speaking of which, where is that thing and why haven’t I sold it on Craigslist yet? Oh how I love to sell things on Craigslist), so I bought this number from Overstock for her room:


In December. I bought the fixture in December 2014. When I was still in my thirties. In my defense, when we tried to install the chandelier, AO and I nearly had a collective heart attack when we took off the fixture that was there. I already have a pretty serious fear of holes and unveiling that hole did nothing to conquer it. At the end of August, though, we decided to revisit the project and try again. AO had to do some mudding (or something like that) with the ceiling, which required the ghastly hole to be uncovered for days. It was a very scary week (lucky for Bear, she was at my mom’s at the time). Here is what it looked like before:


We have eight or nine of these boob lights in the house – lucky us.

AO risking it all by staring directly into the hole.

AO risking it all by staring directly into the hole.

At the end of the project, this sparkly number emerged (and yes, every one of those sparkly things has to be hung by hand):

It has only 1/4 of the bulbs it can take, so just you wait.

It has only 1/4 of the bulbs it can take, so just you wait.

If you look carefully, you can see the disast-a-tent hanging out in the bottom of that shot. Oy vey. Anyway, moving on… The next project I’d like to share with you is titled Why in the Universe Did Someone Not Tell Me to Do This Immediately upon Moving in? or Holy Bananas I’m in Love! When I first saw our house, I thought the arched fireplace was particularly cute. But holy icky tile out front and the stone was so dirty. But I just kinda ignored it. I kept thinking we’d get to retiling at some point. I had a white and gray herringbone pattern in mind. And I also thought of painting the stones. But I kept staring. Or, rather, trying not to stare, because looking at it just made me sad. And I couldn’t really remember why I’d thought it was so cute. Here’s what it looked like last week or so.



That is Molly’s arm making its way into the shot. As you can see, it needs some love. As you can also see, ew. So, with AO’s blessing and the paint he found in the basement labeled “trim,” I set to work.


At first I tried to avoid painting the gray grout in between the stones, which made the whole thing tricky and, ultimately, dumb. Why was I trying to save splotched-on gray grout? If I really wanted gray grout to show, I could add it later, but why would I want it? I don’t. I want shiny, sparkly white. White! That’s what I want! White! On my fireplace! Everywhere! IMG_0906

I was careful not to paint the heinous tiles because … Hmm. Wait a second. And then I read the Young House Love blog post that seemed to fully endorse painting tile. I quickly got on board. IMG_0929


I can breathe so much easier when I pass this room. Hall. E. Lu. Jah.

Ok, next up, I bring you my Great National Park Gallery Wall. These projects look amazing in my head and pretty cool on the dining room table.


And then I start measuring. And marking the wall. And using the level. And making marks over my marks. And remeasuring. And then I start drilling. And placing screws. And then remeasuring. And taking screws back out. Basically, it’s a disaster. And then it’s so far from perfect. For a zillion reasons. But I ended up with this and I’m declaring it a success. Even if I think they’re a little too high. And you can totally see all the ways that they’re just still not (!!!!!!!!!!!) level.




And one last one.


Labor Day sales!


Trigger = pulled

So, it’s been an annoyingly emotional week for me. I won’t get into why. Ok, fine. Twist my arm. I will. It’s just because I’ve had two doctors’s appointments, a board meeting tomorrow, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at work, Bear started her first week of official preschool and I had to cancel a much-needed haircut because of the aforementioned board meeting. Anyway, I know: suck it up, Kate. So, because there is no therapy like retail therapy, I pulled the trigger on a sideboard. Just kidding. I mean, I did buy a sideboard (Mom, we can totally still go to Milwaukee! In fact, I’d love to!), but there are definitely better therapies than retail. I realized, though, that it’s been driving me so crazy that I spend way too much time every day going back and forth between the options and staring at the one in our dining room when I come home. So, there were a couple of deals that came together and I hit a few buttons and, finally, the big one: “submit order.” Anyone want to guess which one made the cut?

September 2015

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