Thursday, April 28, 2011

Organization Freak

My mom loves organization, and I think I inherited that gene.  Nothing gets me more excited than being organized in life. Everything that can be organized, will get it.
When you have a lot of things, you need organization. I can’t understand the folks that have a messy desk or messy toolbox and claim to know where everything is. My dad is an example. I remember as a kid trying to “help” him with his toolbox or shop area and him getting so mad! He did not like you touching his things. His mess made no sense, but me moving them to places where they should go, threw him all off and he felt lost. Sometimes though, he couldn’t find what he was looking for. Explains why he has five camera cases… he couldn’t find one, so he bought another.
I realized I couldn’t organize people if they didn’t want it. I can only help myself. I wouldn’t say I’m completely organized, but I’m 75% there.
Our house has lots of closets, but the shelving in the closets what pitiful. The closets were huge but only had 2-4 shelves in them! It was so much wasted space. I envisioned closet systems that made life easier.

My pantry is one place I like organization. We’re lucky to have a huge one, but it only had four shelves. I added four more at the same heights as the existing, and then I added two more even higher. I’ve always loved looking in Crate & Barrel at their pantry organizers. My dream is to have my fridge and pantry look like their models. I’m getting close.

And here is our current pantry

I got carried away and should have bought stock in Rubbermaid closet shelving. I tackled the laundry room.

I tackled the spare bedroom

I tackled the other spare bedroom

I transformed the bonus room closet

I even managed a couple shelves in the master closet and the laundry room’s closet. It’s really hard to take pictures in closets. You just can’t get all the angles.
I just can’t take wasted space. Although our kitchen is big, the cabinet space is limited. Don’t get me wrong. I have triple the amount of space I had in the condo. At least now I can keep all my dishes in the kitchen instead of in the buffet in the living room. But somehow, the cabinet space still felt inadequate.
A lot of organization is putting things in view so you will use them more. It does you no good to have something if it is shoved in the back of the shelf. And that’s what I felt was happening with the cabinets.  I contemplated the idea of building more cabinetry in the breakfast nook idea. That idea hasn’t been completely ruled out, but the money for the project is not here yet, so we will make a cheaper option that will get us by until the money shows up on our front step.
Ahh, organization!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mood Painting

Designing my parents’ house has been fun! I’m all about color and it setting the mood. I have a MILLION paint swatches I have collected and kept. If I need a color, I go to my stash first before I go to the store. I obviously picked the color swatch because I liked it, so why not go to my favorites first.

My Paint Swatch Collection
When it came time to pick the details of my parents’ house, my mom told me what she liked of my house. She liked my green kitchen and the color in my hallway.

I can’t blame her. I was jealous she was able to pick her colors and have professionals paint it for her. Our house was a dark and horrible “Paper Bag” color that just didn’t make me happy. I had to change it all myself. The only room left with that color is the garage. I’d like to change it, but that’s too much work for me. Dark walls hide the dirt. I’m okay with that.
My mom also liked the blue we picked out for Mr. JCrew’s man-cave. If you remember from a previous post, we used two shades of blue. You can’t tell unless I told you (darn, gave it away.) We chose the lighter blue of the two. The builder allows for two colors to be chosen. If you want more variety, you have to pay. And the price is high! Mom wanted to make the spare bedroom her blue room. Her favorite color is blue. We were okay with painting this room after closing, but we got lucky. While the painting crew was there, we kindly asked if they would paint the bedroom a different color if we brought them the paint. They agreed!!! Yipee.
The blue room turned out awesome and Mom had a quilt that had blue that tied in to it.

The green color chosen got mixed up in translation. The floorplan has the kitchen, dining room and living room as one big room. It’s an awesome layout. You can definitely tell where one room starts and finishes. The green paint was our accent color in the kitchen. But when the painters painted, they decided to paint the kitchen, dining room, living room and foyer all green. WOW! Good thing we liked the green color! My mom didn’t mind the mistake and told them they could keep it.

The rest of the house is the hallway color from my house. It’s a bright tan that lightens up the house. Lighter colors tend to open spaces up and reflect light better. Highly recommended in small spaces.

We’re really happy with how everything turned out. It was a long process with a lot of bad moments, but in the end, it worked out just how we wanted (except for the nine month delay!)
In This Post:
Living Room Paint: Bunglehouse Grey
Hallway Paint: Sherwin Williams Portico
Bedroom Paint: Behr Dark Pewter

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

23 Weeks

Twenty-three is the atomic number for vanadium. Normal human sex cells have 23 chromosomes. Psalm 23, known as the Shepherd Psalm, is possibly the most quoted and best known Psalm. Michael Jordan’s number for the Chicago Bulls was 23.
Twenty-three weeks today! Last month in the second trimester. All of Baby J's organs, except for the lungs, are almost in full gear. The baby can definitely hear noises from outside the belly. It’s good to know that Baby J will be use to the dogs barking. Coolest part about this week is that the babe can feel me dance! Time to crank the music and move!
Baby J is just over 11 inches and slightly over a pound now. I really feel like this past week I’ve grown outward!
4-26-11 23w

We have seven more weeks until we find out the gender of Baby J. Let's take guesses on what Baby J could be.
Here is a list of Old Wives Tales for both boy and girl. I have bolded the items that apply to me.
Baby is low and out front
Heartrate = below 140 beats per minute
Hair grows faster on the legs, nose widens, feet are colder, no growth spurt in chest
Little to no morning sickness
Craving Sour
Husband gains weight during your pregnancy
I add my age at the time of conception and the number for the month I conceived and the sum is an even number.

Baby is higher and I got wider
Heartrate = faster than 140
I have a rounder face, acne, looks worse, chest grows dramatically
Morning sickness all day and lasts longer than first trimester
Craving Sweet, crave fruit, crave orange juice
Husband doesn’t gain weight with you
I add my age at the time of conception and the number for the month I conceived and the sum is an odd number.
You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread
How Far Along?: 23 Weeks
How Big Is Baby?: the size of a papaya
Maternity Clothes?: Slowly moving into them. Pants can’t button. Loose shirts work.
Sleep?: I sleep really good until 3AM. I’m starting to think it’s because Baby J wakes up then and moves around. He/she is a morning person like me!
Food Cravings?: Bagels, fruit, juice
Movement?: Lots of kicks and rolling around
Gender?: Will find out June 18th!
Belly Button?: I can see the back of my belly button! Still looks cute.
Special Moment of the week: Mr. JCrew got to feel his little babe kick! All the movement I’ve felt is hard to feel from the outside and even harder to cue it on command. But I’ve got the timing better. Friday night at church I poked two fingers into my stomach. The baby kicked my fingers over and over. So, when we got home, I had Mr. JCrew poke me. He didn’t really want to poke, but he got to feel the kick! Just happened once. Then Saturday night Baby J was active so I had him lay his hand on my stomach. The little babe performed and repeatedly kicked. Mr. JCrew thought it was the coolest thing. I’m so excited he got to experience it. I look forward to stronger kicks, but I don’t look forward to the possible pain associated with it as the babe gets bigger.
What are you guessing for Baby J? Boy or Girl?

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Dream Job

My mom and dad decided to move to Huntsville from Ocala, FL. My parents were raised in Jackson, Ms so the culture is not far off.  They chose to build a townhome with the same builder we used and made the big move in July of 2010. They stayed with us while their house was being built and they finally got to move in on March 25th!

Although the process was long, I enjoyed designing her house and yard. Before she moved up here, she left me in charge to pick out all the details for the house. I loved it. We started with what she liked and disliked about my house, and went from there.

Living Room

Guest Bath
Guest Bedroom
Living Room/Kitchen
Glimpse of Dining Room

Master Bedroom (crib ready for Little JCrew!)

Everything turned out great. The colors and finishes inside were perfect. The outside was designed to make you look at it. The neighborhood was against having townhomes built. I admit, I was one of those that was not enthused about it. But as I learned about the floorplans and liked what I saw, I passed on the information to my parents and neighbors that the townhomes were not going to be bad.

To make sure that the townhomes didn’t get a bad rep, I pretended I was working in my dream job and started a plan for the curb appeal of my parents’ unit. My mom picked out an awesome floorplan that was an end unit. It has two porches and the front door is actually on the side of the building. Of course, the artist rendering of the floorplan shows landscaping will be done all along the base of the house, but we know that is not reality. The builder has a budget and does only what they want to do.

I came up with several drawings that got more and more involved with each revision. We used plants that I had experience with and plants I knew Mom liked. I was proud of our design, but knew it would be a lot of work for us.

Luckily, I knew the landscaper doing the job, and worked with them on the plan. We wanted to save them time and money with what they could do and what we needed. I didn’t want them laying sod in places we were planning to pull it up. And I didn’t want them wasting money on plants we were not interested in. I provided them a copy of our plan and they were able to lay sod only where we wanted it and bought plants they were allowed and were on our plan. It worked out so nicely!

Of course, the builder’s budget didn’t allow the landscaper to get all the plants we wanted. Mom and I bought the remaining plants to complete the yard. I can’t get over how well it looks.

Mom even found these sedum-type plants that have blue flowers. They weren’t on the original plan, but I love them! From a distance, they look like they are a blue bush.

I had left-over cobblestone from one of our projects that I did not need, so we used them to make a pathway to one of the porches. The porch is a beautiful place, but there was no way to get there.

How much do you love the lanterns added on the porch? I’m in love! I have them on my back porch, but they aren’t in symmetrical locations like this.

The fence was just added last week. The dogs now have a place to roam without leashes. We picked the iron fence because the space for the yard was so small, a wooden fence would look ridiculous. The yard should have been larger, but the builder decided to pour the sidewalk in the middle of the yard. Out of all yards in the neighborhood, the townhouses have the smallest yard, and they want to make them smaller with a sidewalk close to the house! Doesn’t make sense.

I’m so happy for my parents! It’s such a nice place and what such a great deal. Best part… they are only 0.5 mile away from us!
In This Post:
Lanterns: from Old Time Pottery
Plants: Fragrant Tea Olives, Indian Hawthorne, Limelight Hydrangea, Sunny Knockouts, Blue Rug Juniper, Holleri Holly, Loropetalum, Maiden Grass, Double Red Knockouts,
Trees: LaceLeaf Japanese Maple, Natchez Crepe Myrtle, Osage Crepe Myrtle
Stone: Tennessee Cobblestone from Across the Pond

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bailey Longfellow

Bailey may have learned a few things from me in his 13 and a half years. However, some things I won’t take credit for.

Lately we’ve been noticing him staring at walls. Now, when I stare at walls, I’m at a good distance away from the wall. I do admit to zoning out as I’m trying to visualize something. But Bailey is inches away from the wall when he stares.
I’m pretty sure when he’s staring at the bedroom wall, he’s checking to see what color it is this week! He knows I’m on my third paint color with that room, but I hate to disappoint his excitement by telling him I’m keeping this color.
Bailey, you can stop staring at the walls!
And the poor dog is getting confused a lot lately. I leave the cage door open so he can get in his bed anytime he wants. Sometimes he walks around the table and sees the cage door open. But to him it feels like he's closed in. He won't cry or whine to get out. He just sits there until you come move the door and he'll go running.
He's the best dog though, and wouldn't trade him for anything. He even shares his bed with his brother.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Baby Has A Name

We picked out names for our potential kids shortly after we were married. Mr. JCrew is a “Third” and I am not into naming kids the same exact name of a parent, so the issue was discussed early on. I’m also not a fan a too traditional names that are common. My style is classic, yet uncommon.
We picked out four names. Two girls and two boys. We picked up on a theme we had. All our names started with the letter “B.” This could make things very easy!
Since the yellow room is our nursery, and we stuck to a gender neutral theme, everything else we’ve planned out has stuck with having multiple uses. Hopefully, the room will never have to be painted again (except for accidental writing on the wall,) and the artwork and furniture will last through children. It’s definitely not a “Baby” room, but a room they can grow into.
A trend with baby rooms right now is writing the name of the baby in wooden letters over the crib.
You know I’m unique, so I couldn’t just paint letters like everyone else. I searched out for different designs. I found quite a few.

I searched out for circle/oval wooden plaques to make my own. I was unsuccessful. There were none in the size I needed. They were all too small.
I ended up changing my design and used a rectangle wooden plaque.
My design would vary from the idea I had. Because we don’t know the gender of the baby, I couldn’t make the whole name. I then decided I would hang the initials above the bed. “B” and “J.” They could be used for all the babies we had and I wouldn’t have to make so many or any more with each kid.
When I found my wooden plaques, I also found the perfect piece of scrapbook paper. I would cut out the letters from the scrapbook paper and adhere them to the painted wooden plaque. The scrapbook paper looked like it was a bunch of scrap pieces put together. It was an added bonus that it was the perfect colors of blue, green and brown combined!

I first started with painting the wooden plaques. I used normal arts & craft paint. One plaque would be blue; the other brown.

Once those dried, I used a white paint pen to draw dash lines as a border, to look like it had been sewn.

The paint pen work dries fast. After the letters were cut out of the scrapbook paper, I glued them onto the painted plaques.
Now when I did this project, all our names started with “B.” Then we had a change with one of our boy names, and switched the order of the first name and middle name. I now needed to create another letter incase we had a boy.
The finished look made it look like it was handmade. It’s not a bad look at all, but I wanted it to look finished. I got my Modge Podge out and started putting the finishing coat on.

Modge Podge can be used for many things. You can use it to preserve a finished puzzle. I even used it on my pointe shoes when I first started pointe. It stiffened up the toe part to make the shoes last a little bit longer.  When modge podge is applied to the wood, it looks opaque. You can still see your design, but there is a white haze to it. Don’t worry, it will dry clear.

Let your masterpiece dry overnight. Evaluate to see if you need another coat. Monitor it while it’s drying. Sometimes you can get air pockets you need to fix, but can’t do anything about once it’s dry.
Once dry, I attached ribbon to hang them with. The ribbon I chose was a funky, chunky brown ribbon. Because it was so wide, I glued a thin ribbon down the middle of it.

To attach the ribbon to the plaque, I used a staple gun. I measured the ribbon and made sure it was the same length.

My new letter “W” for our boy name had to have the plaque turned sideways. My ribbon then had to be a different length.
Once the ribbon was attached, I glued bows to the top. It looked really plain without the bows for some reason.

I love the finished product. I’ve got my “B” ready in case it’s a girl and I’ve got my “W” ready for a boy. It will be an easy switch to fix!

In This Post:
Wooden Plaque:  6x8 rectangle, Hobby Lobby, $1.99
Scrapbook Paper: 2 sheets of 12x12; Hobby Lobby
Craft Paint: Navy (23653) and Espresso: $0.99 each; Hobby Lobby
Ribbon: 1 yard of brown wavy ribbon; $1.47; Hobby Lobby
Ribbon: 15 feet; $0.99; Hobby Lobby
Paint Pen: Galaxy Marker in white, broad tip; $3.99; Hobby Lobby
Modge Podge: $2.49; Hobby Lobby

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Meet Me At My Crib At 2AM

Our crib cost us absolutely nothing. Our neighbors got this crib for $5 at a consignment shop sale and intended on staining it. They got a new crib instead. I had a Sunday School friend who was pregnant but still had a baby in a crib, so I knew she’d need another crib. I asked our neighbors if we could offer it to the Sunday School friend. We picked it up that afternoon and gave it to our Sunday School friend. She was so thankful and elated to know she wouldn’t have to pay the money for a second crib. Well, they got a 3-in-1 convertible crib and tried to offer the $5 crib to another person. No one wanted the crib! I admit it wasn’t a pretty color, but it had potential! I took the crib back and put it in our attic.

Since the crib was going into the Yellow Room, I decided to use the paint used on the top board for the twin beds. My mom helped with this project. It was intended to give her something to do as she experiences the long days just after retiring.
She sanded down the crib to get the varnish and old stain off.
Electric Sander

The crib took so long because of the railing. I owe my mom!
After painting it with two coats, she added the clear top coat to seal it in.

I can’t get over how perfect it is. It’s not fancy, but it does the job. Best part, it matches the furniture in the room. It was meant to be.

In This Room:
Crib: Hand-me-down
Crib Bumper: Pottery Barn-Kasey (Navy)
Crib Sheets: Caden Lane
Crib Mobile: Pottery Barn – Elephants

Crib Bed Skirt: From my green room (childhood days) cut down to size for a crib

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