Sunday, February 27, 2011

Small Project Sunday

We deemed today Small Project Sunday, and we rocked it!

It started out slow, actually. We needed to find a rug for the new bedroom (which, I am aware, is not a Small Project), so headed out to Dock 86. We didn't find anything there, so headed to Home Goods, which I had almost forgotten about — I won't make that slip again! We found the perfect rug right away, and then coveted lots of other things while Beatrix admired every over-the-top sparkly Easter item in the store. So yes, we all enjoyed it!

But during Beatrix's nap, we hit our stride. We finished an Ikea hack to cover up the litter boxes, and with that, the corner that usually looked so disgusting already looked so much better that I decided to whip up a quick set of curtains for the window. It's so nice to have a sewing machine set up so that I can do that!

Meanwhile, Patrick put up a shelf by the kitchen window that we've been planning on installing for years. He got to use the new saw I gave him, and now we are ready to start herbs for the spring:

We also:
- painted the bathroom grate and the living room grate (more of those to come)
- cleaned and spackled the front closet so that we can paint it
- primed and prepped the guest bedroom closet for painting
- polished my shoes and switched purses
- put away various odds and ends around the house
- cleaned through some of Beatrix's clothes
- reset her sun/moon clock
- cleaned and set up the top of her dresser
- cleaned through all her toy bins (ok, that was after she went to sleep, I'm not stupid!)
- plus cleaned though several other cabinets, posting lots of free lists and Craig's List

Friday, February 25, 2011


We went to Rock the Cradle this weekend, with which I have a love/hate relationship. I love the energy and So.Many.Kids out doing art — but man, it's a crazy, exhausting zoo! Beatrix enjoyed the disco, the instrument petting zoo, and the storytelling, but her favorite part was just looking at all the exhibits at the museum.

made me realize we should be spending more time going to museums and such. Our weekend free time is usually packed with such enriching cultural activities as trips to Target, running errands, and the occasional brunch for fun. We really need to make a concerted effort to go to museums, storytimes, and such. Want to join us?

Monday, February 21, 2011

More Domesticity

I've been asked for some more details about the bedroom.

Here is is with an actual bed and such in it. It was very cozy to sleep in last night!

Here's a detail shot of the whitewashed book pages above the chair rail. I'm pretty happy with it, if I do say so myself.


In other domestic news, we had a snow day today. I managed to muscle through a lot of work that I just had not had time to deal with, plus laundry and posting things on Craig's Lost (need a changing table, a computer desk, an activity table, crib sheets, a piano, or boots? I'm your girl). I also baked a cake, but in less successful news, have discovered I am as genetically unable to cook dried beans as I am in making fudge. Hours of cooking, followed the recipe exactly, and still crunchy and gross. I give up!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Bedroom

It's been a long time coming...

We've always wanted to have our bedroom in the front room of the 2F. It takes up the whole width of the house (actually 2 open connecting rooms), looking out onto Ashland and Dale. But, in the house's previous life as a rooming house, it had been a greasy kitchen area, and it was in really rough shape.

Our vision for the room actually came from a tea tin I got Patrick when we were first dating. The contrasting blues were feminine yet not too girly. A few years back, we got an enormous deal on some hardwood flooring, so put that in, but then with the baby and life changes in general, things kind of ground to a halt.

Over the summer, we finally finished stripping the woodwork (it had gotten it partially stripped with a heat gun years before, but only to a certain height, giving it that "bark stripped by deer in a winter forest" look). Once we finished the woodwork, there were wall repairs to make, and then painting and hours of Patrick's detailed stenciling. Then, because we did all of that exactly backwards, there were many hours spent cleaning up the floors...

The work was hard, but we had the details in our mind to work toward. We picked up the wardrobes last year at an Ikea sale, and they look great against one wall, approximating the "custom wardrobe" look we aspired to for a lot less. The curtain panels were also picked up on sale last year at West Elm, though I sewed the tiebacks last night during Mad Men. One of the lights we got at Creative Lighting with a Groupon, the other at Ikea.

While shopping at the Restoration Hardware closing sale last week, we were saddened by the sense of "You want character? Purchase it here for instant access in one fell swoop" nature, totally lacking in creativity. Here, while Patrick painted the walls, I spent hours gluing pages of my very first set of "The Chronicles of Narnia" to butcher paper, then cutting it to fit above the picture rails and whitewashing it. Then, once I scraped down the accumulated grime on the floor vent, it was just to pretty in all its layers of patina to paint over. These are the items that really demonstrate the room's sense of place.

It's a beautiful room, in a future we are building together.

(I'll add some "lived in" photos soon...)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Shopping and Big Sales

We just got back from the Macy's President's Day sale, where I got: 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of cords, a winter jacket, and 2 sweater dresses for $65 total, plus three $10 off certificates for a future visit. That said, it was hard work to track all of that stuff down — the racks were crowded, disorganized, and somewhat frumpy, and it was hard to get through the various departments to find things. Though I was excited to be getting things I really needed on sale, the experience was kind of awful.

I've noticed today that there are a LOT of closing sales going on this weekend. The Midway Borders, the Menard's on 394, Ultimate Electronics, the Restoration Hardware on Grand Avenue...

In all of these cases, I've seen a similarity. I've tried to shop at all of them, and have not enjoyed the experience. When recently at Borders, my thought was "No wonder they are going out of business — there's really nothing I want to buy here." We had the same experience at Restoration Hardware yesterday; everything they had was still to expensive (even at 30% off), and really did not appeal to us (as in "Really? Burlap furniture?")

I'm sad these places are going out of business. But I think that they have undervalued the shopping experience, and basically done it to themselves...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Best Valentines Plan Ever!

Normally, our plans for Big Romantic Holidays are pretty low-key. It's hard to get excited about, as Tony Bourdain calls it, "Amateur Night" at fancy restaurants and paying a babysitter, who would also like to be out celebrating Big Romantic Holiday, appropriately. (note I said "low-key," but not "disappointing" — our evenings are usually very nice.)

Well, this year we are shaking it up a little. Due to our awesome daycare person, who will be keeping Beatrix late, and the incredible people at Chowgirls, we'll be going to Locavore. Just peruse the menu! I can't tell you how excited I am for this! (I think there's still space left, you should think about going too!)

(then we'll have to do something exciting with Beatrix, who is very excited about "Valenztyne" Day.)

eta: I also don't know why the pdf of the menu is off center. But here's how to get tickets. Only a few left!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Carnival

Tonight we took Beatrix to the Winter Carnival Torchlight Parade. Lately she's been really into parades, and Clara took her to see the snow sculptures, so we were hoping she would have a good time — and we all did!

We planned it so we would be at the beginning of the route in Lowertown. We found a great parking spot, remembered to graw a blanket from the back of my car to sit on, and had a perfect place just before the parade started. We stayed warm, and Beatrix got a ton of candy, beads, and other swag.

Her favorite part? The princesses (and maybe the horses). Mine? The big trucks at the end that shot flame and warmed everyone up.


This followed a lovely day of shopping at some smaller stores we love but never get to (Martin Patrick, Pacifier, Nadeau, the soon-to-be-departed-and-will-be-sadly-missed Wonderment, and Karma.) All in all, a great day!