Archives For March 2012

I started thinking of ideas for Jack’s nursery well before we found out whether it was a boy or a girl. If I’m being totally honest, I had a few ideas swimming around in my head before I even knew for sure that I was pregnant. So, of course, I had as many, if not more, plans for a girl’s nursery as I did for a boy. Here’s what I would have done if we’d found out we had a little girl on the way:

  1. Jenny Lind crib – $170
  2. DIY Tissue Paper Poufs (tutorial from Martha Stewart)
  3. Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
  4. Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad – $16
  5. Secondhand dresser painted coral pink (image from here)
  6. Bentwood Rocker – $15 secondhand (image from here)
  7. Anthropologie Rose Landscape Shade – $98 (I would try to DIY something similar for less)
  8. Z Gallerie Lemon Gelato Frames 
  9. Yellow Suzani Pillow Cover from Etsy – $19
  10. Waverly Modern Essentials Fabric, Fun Floret in Licorice – $12/yd

A lot of things would have been pretty similar, with the exception of all the PINK. I’ve been dying to paint something a perfect shade of orangey pink for months and months and a little girl’s room would have been the perfect opportunity. Yellow is kind of my favorite color of the year and I love it paired with coral and gray. So pretty. And those poufs! I made a bunch once for a bridal shower and they were super easy. A collection of them in similar shades would be beautiful hanging above the crib, but it just seemed a little too girly for me to carry the idea into Jack’s room. I’d bring more punches of coral and yellow in with fabrics and accessories, but just like In Jack’s room I’d avoid anything too obviously baby-fied so that the room could more easily keep up with the times (I’ve heard they grow up fast).

Nick and I definitely plan on having more kids, so maybe I’ll get to put this plan into action someday. For now, I’m totally thrilled about the little man scheduled to arrive in about 14 weeks (and believe me, I’m counting them down). If you missed it before, you can check out my plans for his room here. Now, to actually get started…

I’m always fascinated when other bloggers write about what a typical day looks like for them. What with my dearth of projects this week, it seems like a fitting time to share mine. My day job has very little to do with my blog other than motivating me to take up some sort of creative outlet to cope with the emotional demands, but it’s such a big part of who I am that I didn’t want to just gloss over it by writing 8-5: work. For those who are unsure, I have a master’s in social work and I provide counseling to kids in the community. I work for a private agency and our services are funded by Medicaid. Let the day begin.

7:00 wake up. I’ve been kind of in and out of sleep for a few hours because I couldn’t get comfortable, but of course now that it’s time to get up I’m perfectly snug and wishing I could stay. I decide to lay in bed for another 20 minutes or so on the condition that I use the time to put the finishing touches on the morning’s blog post using the Wordpress app on my phone. Nick is always chipper in the morning so he’s up getting dressed and making jokes while I’m still groggy. He leaves for work before I’m even out of bed.

7:30ish Get up, get dressed, head downstairs. I scarf down a spoonful of peanut butter for my morning protein. I usually have protein bars on hand to eat in the mornings but I’m currently out.

7:45 Say bye to the pets (Juliet is particularly pathetic when I leave) and head out the door.

8:00-9:15 Weekly meeting with the other two workers on my “team” at work. I’m the team leader so I’m in charge of coordinating our caseloads and some other administrative stuff, but I’m not the boss or anything. The weekly meeting is a nice time to debrief what’s been going on with our clients and–bonus–when I walk in the awesome baristas already have my bagel and cream cheese waiting on the counter and are almost done mixing up the special not-on-the-menu juice concoction they sweetly allow me to order every time (to any locals, the CC’s on Airline at Bluebonnet has the BEST staff).

9:30-10 I make my way out to the neighboring parish where I spend most of my days. I’m feeling a little funky so I stop and grab a protein bar from a gas station. I get a call on the way letting me know there’s a situation with one of my clients I have scheduled for later today. Ugh.

10-11:30 My first session of the day. This one is with a little girl who’s homeschooled. We play UNO and talk about treating others as we’d like to be treated. She follows me out to my car when I leave to give me a hug and beg for one of my special pencils.

11:30-12:30 I drive right up the road to meet my boss at a middle school. I’ve been out of grad school almost three years and will be eligible for licensure soon, so she wants to observe me in a session before she signs off that I’m ready. We meet with a teenage girl and talk about negotiating compromises.The session ends earlier than I expected because apparently the school is on a weird schedule today (I’m only allowed to keep kids from class during PE or elective periods). Afterwards my boss gives me some good tips on asking more open ended questions and I take the opportunity to ask her about that situation I got a call about earlier. As always she is full of wisdom.

12:30-1 I drive to another part of town and grab a quick burger before my next session. One perk of pregnancy is feeling less guilty about this sort of meal than I used to in my calorie-counting days. It’s full of protein and iron and much more substantial than anything I could pack for myself to eat on the road.

1-2 I pick up a parent who doesn’t have her own transportation and drive her to the middle school her child attends so we can talk to the school counselor together. On the ride back home we have a good talk and she shares some things she’s never told me before.

2-2:30 I show up at the primary school where I have five clients because there’s one kindergartener I really wanted to pop in on, but when I get there I realize they had early dismissal today and the kids are all gone. I do run into the school disciplinarian though, and he pulls me into his office for a few minutes to talk about a fifth grader that I see. I figure at least my trip to that school wasn’t a total waste. I’ll be back there all day tomorrow.

2:30-4:30 I head to what ends up being my last session of the day (with a teenager and her parents). I’d had another teen scheduled for 4, but I think this one’s going to be a doozy and will probably run late so I call my other client to reschedule. The session was worse than I’d anticipated. I got yelled at a lot. I was really glad I’d talked to my boss about this case earlier so I could feel confident in my response. Thankfully, the situation seems to be stabilized by the time that I leave.

4:30-5 I spent the whole car ride home calling various folks I work with to update them on the situation (including my boss, who asked that I keep her posted)

5-6 I get home, let the dog out, and make one more call to check in with the client I’d rescheduled. I feel guilty for not hopping on the computer to enter my notes into the new electronic billing system, but I’m sick of work for today so I decide to do it first thing tomorrow. Nick gets home a little earlier than usual and I help him prep dinner (meatloaf muffins and roasted potatoes. Delish). Pistachio starts throwing up her food while dinner is cooking, but she seems to be in a good mood so we don’t worry too much. A little while later she tries to eat again and throws up again, so we google it and decide to pick up her food bowl for the night so she doesn’t dehydrate herself. We’ll give her breakfast tomorrow and if she’s thrown up when we get home from work we’ll take her to the vet (they take walk-ins until 8pm).

6-7 we eat dinner on the sofa and watch CSI: Miami on DVR

7-8 I still can’t bring myself to work on the computer, so I draft this blog post on my phone while lying on the couch and watching Netflix’d episodes of Saved By The Bell with Nicholas.

8-9 I drag myself upstairs and take a bubble bath, then climb into bed. I read blogs on my phone for a few minutes before drifting off to sleep. I require a solid ten hours a night so I’m out pretty quick.

No day is ever the same for me. Sometimes I start or end earlier or later. I almost never help with dinner. I usually spend more time blogging. Sometimes I have orders to ship out. And I don’t always get a bath before bed (although that is my goal since it helps me relax and, you know, cleanliness is important). Today I won’t leave the house until 8:45 but I probably won’t be home until after 6, then my friend Cassie is coming over to visit for a little bit. I used to have a job where I had to report to the office every day at 8am and I hated it. I really prefer the flexibility this job offers (even though it does mean doing more work at home). And although some days my blog and my shop just seem like more work piled on, having those creative endeavors in my life really does help me stay happier.

Thanks for reading. I hope I haven’t bored you to death with the minutia of my daily life. If only I could tell you more about my clients! Now THAT would be fascinating!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, although I’m extremely happy overall with the kitchen we inherited when we bought our home there are lots of little things I’d like to change. And I’m not a picky person. I don’t mind at all the mismatched old and new cabinets–adds character, I say. The biggest beefs I have with this space are functional.

Exhibit A: Why are there no upper cabinets on this side of the kitchen?

I really want to add some attractive storage on either side of the range hood. I was thinking cabinets for a long time, but the more I think about it open shelving seems like an easier option. I could DIY it and easily customize the length to fit the space available. I’m digging the look of these, from Young House Love.

But I think I like the bracket style of these shelves better (from Pure Style Home). And that beadboard is pretty amazing, too.

Also on my list of complaints for this area of the kitchen is the range hood. I like the way the big metal cover looks (although it could use a good scrubbing and a few coats of paint), but the vent inside has seen better days. It doesn’t really even work at all, just makes a bunch of noise. I don’t know how to go about replacing it, though. Do I just buy a new vent and mount it up inside there?

Exhibit B for the case against this kitchen’s lack of function: the lighting. This is the only light fixture in the room. Lots of people come over and oooh and ahhh over the fact that it appears to have been designed to double as a pot rack. The only problem with that is that it hangs smack dab in the middle of the room, as opposed to over a counter or island, and even our nine foot ceilings are not tall enough for us to be able to hang pots from it and still walk underneath. Well, I could walk under it, since I’m only 5′ tall, but anyone closer to Nick’s height would have some serious problems.

The other issue with it is that it is always behind me when I’m working, casting the area in front of me in shadow. I get so sick of prepping meals in shadow. That’s my excuse for why I make Nick do all the cooking these days. I’d like to move it to hang over the section of counter I’m about to talk about in my next point and maybe add recessed lighting spread throughout the room for better lighting overall.

And third in my list of stupid things: this.

I think the official name for it is a pass-through. I hate it. It’s better than having a solid wall there, but not by much. If I had unlimited funds I would call a structural engineer right this minute and get that wall knocked down ASAP. I have dreams of someday opening it up and adding a bar overhang to make it a bona fide breakfast area. Check out my very, very rough mockup below.

Doesn’t it make so much more sense? The kitchen feels bigger already just looking at it. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly the kind of project Nick and I can tackle ourselves over a weekend, or even feel comfortable hiring a handyman to do. We need someone professional to come out and determine if it’s structurally safe to take that wall out and make sure it’s done right. Can’t have the house falling down on our little family. And when I think “professional,” I think, “expensive.” How much would a structural engineer charge for something like this?

So that’s my list of complaints, in order of most simple to remedy to most difficult. What would you do if this were your house? Would you just leave well enough alone, or chip away little by little at turning an okay kitchen into a really nice one? Would you knock out that wall? I don’t know if I’ll ever be brave or rich enough to do it, but a girl can dream.

Happy Monday, lovely readers! Did you have a nice weekend? I spent most of mine laying in bed trying to get well. I keep getting sick and let me just tell you, I am so over it. I hate missing work just to lay there and do nothing. The good news, though, is that all that R&R seems to have paid off. It’s Monday morning and, although I’ve still got a little cough and a bit of nasal congestion, I’m ready to get back in the saddle of real life.

A weekend of rest is generally followed by a week of boring blog posts (as indicated by my entire first trimester), but I do have a few things I’ve been meaning to write about so we’ll see how it goes. Today I want to share with you a little dilemma that’s been rattling around in my brain for months.

When we bought our house one of the big selling points for us was that the kitchen had been updated relatively recently. It’s waaaay too messy after pretty much three weeks straight of being sick to take any wide angle shots, so here are some older pics borrowed from our house tour page.

Overall, I’m really happy with this kitchen. There are lots of little things I’d like to change, but that topic deserves a post all its own. One thing I thought I could do to bring a little bit more of my own style into it is to change out the hardware. And one day at Lowe’s I bought these cup pulls on a whim. There are only five drawers in the whole room so it seemed like a cheap and easy upgrade.

I came home so excited to switch them out, but quickly realized that would be easier said then done. One thing I didn’t take into account whilst impulsively sweeping those lovely cup pulls into my arms as I pranced down the fantasy-ridden aisles of Lowe’s is that maybe the new hardware would not match up perfectly with the old. Uh-oh.

And you may not have noticed, but some of the cabinetry in our kitchen is new and some appears to be original. In the image below, the cabinets on the left are new and the ones on the right are definitely not.

My problem is twofold:

  1. The new hardware requires new holes
  2. The new cabinets and drawer fronts are not solid wood

I don’t know what they’re made of. I guess particle board with melamine or whatever is the standard composition for inexpensive cabinets these days. I do know that I’m scared to drill into it. How do I prevent the smooth surface from cracking? And, although I think the new hardware will hide the existing holes should I choose to just leave them, what if do end up needing to fill a hole to hide it? Will regular ‘ol wood filler and a few coats of white paint do the trick? I’m really scared of messing it up and having to replace the drawer fronts altogether.

This is scary stuff for a gal like me. Any advice?