March 29, 2012

Adoption Part II: A Puppy

As I promised yesterday, I'm back to share with you another adoption - one that's more important than a light fixture.

For almost 2 years now, Joey has been begging me to let him get a dog. I've said no for 2 years. I didn't want the mess, the work, and the trouble of taking care of a dog. We both work full time and have very busy lives. Our cat, Spike, was enough maintenance for me.

But this last time I caved. Maybe it was the fact that we both turned 29 years old this month, and I felt the need to give Joey a special gift for this last year in our 20's. Maybe it was just a change of heart toward my husband's feelings. Maybe it was something else. But I couldn't say "no" any more.

So, last week, Joey - who had already been searching online for litters of puppies for sale - found our new little family member from a local breeder. Meet Rosalita (aka Rose)...

Rose is a mixed breed - half yellow Lab and half Siberian husky. Her body shape represents the lab and her color markings are all husky. I die for her eyes. They're beautiful. We picked her up at just 7 weeks old for $400.

Joey was instantly in love her. It took me a few days to warm up to her.

While most people think, "Oooh, she's gonna be a big dog with that mix!", her parents were actually medium sized dogs for their breed, and Rose was the runt of the litter. So, we're hoping for a not-too-big dog. Maybe 50-60 lbs.

When we brought her home, she was very timid and sleepy. She would run around the coffee table 4 times and then pass out.

Spike was very unhappy about becoming a sibling to a thing as detestable as a dog. I could see him "rolling his eyes" in his mind. Oh bother.

Spike glares at Rose and has stayed away from her most of the time. The puppy is becoming more and more curious about Spike and has made several attemps at interacting with him. Most often it involves Rose getting right in Spike's face as if to kiss him, and then Spike sloooowly backing up and eventually taking a swing for her head. Rose just gallops off as if nothing bad has happened.

The last week has been fun as we've seen her becoming really energetic and spunky. She loves to run around in circles for hours and play. She wears us out. She knows her name now. She listens to the word "no" pretty well. The potty training is still a work in progress though.

I will say that owning a puppy has got to be like prep work for having a baby. Getting up late at night to let her go potty. Cleaning up after her "accidents". Feeding her. Playing with her. Wearing her out so she'll sleep through the night (got that twice this week). Training her. Thankfully, Joey takes on most of these responsibilities willingly since he wanted her so much. But I've done my fair share of helping out too.

And we have wonderful dog-loving neighbors who offered (for free!) to come over at noon each day (while we're at work) and let her out to eat, go potty, and even come over to their yard and have play time with their 1 year old dog. The 2 dogs are becoming fast friends. The report yesterday said they played for a couple HOURS together. Rose chewed on all the other dog's toys (like the foam bottle seen below) and eventually fell asleep in the other dog's kennel.

We are pretty smitten with Rose. I guess that's why they call it puppy love. You just can't help but love her. Puppy breath and all.

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March 28, 2012

Adoption Part I: A Light Fixture

Yes, I have some random topics related to adoption to share with you today and tomorrow. This blog is just all over the place, isn't it?

For today, I wanted to tell you about a light fixture I picked up at Goodwill a couple weeks ago. I don't know who owned it previously, but I've now adopted it as my own for the grand price of $4.99!

I can only imagine why it was discarded (pardon the blurry shot - I got a different camera and apparently don't know how to use it yet)...

The brass is out of date. The chain is long and gangly. It's probably an odd shape/size for many rooms. But to me, it is just crying out for a DIY face lift.

Remember what we did to revamp our old chandelier in the dining room (seen here)? We took our black and orange chandy and painted it white...

Whelp, I'm hoping to perform plastic surgery on this brass fixture and make it pretty enough to hang in our downstairs hallway. Here is the current light fixture we own (half-hanging because we almost took it down when we moved in but didn't have a replacement yet)...

There is just no helping this bad boy. It's going, going, gone. I've been wanting a lantern-style fixture to hang up in this space, but most of what I found was around $200+. For $4.99, this was worth a chance.

I like the bevelled panes of glass as it matches all the bevelled glass panes in the doors of our old house. I also like that it has space for 3 light bulbs. We need some major light action in this dark hallway.

Most of the chain will be removed as the light can't hang down very far. Otherwise the hubs would bump his head on it every time he walked down the stairs.

I'm going to try painting it in a polished chrome finish. Haven't really seen that done much. So, no clue if it will work out or not. Second choice will be white - like the dining room chandelier. I'm hoping to knock this out on Saturday. Wish me luck!

Tomorrow = Adoption Part II. Stay tuned!

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March 23, 2012

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Sorry, I've been MIA all week. There are a lot of personal reasons for that, including the passing of one of my best high school friends last week, but hopefully I'll be back next week with some new updates around the house. In the meantime, here are a few my latest Pinterest additions.

Art and Photography: Paint Chip Art

Paint chips are becoming a hugely popular, free way to create your own art and decor for you house. The image below was crated for a little girl's bedroom using a heart punch, paint chips, and foam stickers to attach them to a canvas.

Bedroom Inspiration: Green is a Go!

If you ask me my favorite color(s), I'd say blue and yellow. BUT I'd have to say green is my favorite color to decorate with. It's a bit warmer than blue and a bit cooler than yellow. Right smack in between them on the color scale. I heart it.

Bathroom Inspiration: White Subway Tile

Joey and I are in the pre-planning stages of our full bathroom remodel. White subway tile is a definite, and I'm considering running it 1/2 way up the wall as shown below. I love the tile on the floor too.

DIY Ideas: Stenciled Artwork

I may try something to this extent soon. A few horizontal boards painted with a stencil. Could even add a framed picture in the middle or something else creative. Endless possibilities.

Entry, Hall, & Stairs: Striped Runner

Don't know why, but this is my favorite board on pinterest. I love stairs, I guess. And this striped runner is hott. I love the overall craftsman feel of the space.

Tips and Tricks: How to Decorate Shelves

Beth gave a great tutorial on her blog about how to decorate shelves using the triangle method. Very helpful!

Happy Pinning!

Side Brag Note: This week, one of the Pinterest pictures I posted on my blog back in July 2011 (seen here) made it's way to the world wide pin market and received about 1,300 repins...

...most ever for one of my blog pins. Whoop Whoop!

To see items pinned from my blog go to:

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March 14, 2012

Dining Room Window Treatments: Part 1

At then end of January, I blogged the question on what to do with our dining room windows. They were barren. Naked. In need of treatment. So, I went through a list of potential solutions to cover them (if you need a refresher, click here).

I’m back now to share the start of my decision. I’ve chosen option numero three – white wood blinds PLUS full curtain panels. Whew. Glad that decision is complete. Now, for the implementation part – starting with the (faux) wood blinds.

Given our old house has some odd-sized windows, finding the right size blind/shade can be challenging. That's why I adore Lowe's Levolor brand, which can cut anything to the size needed! We wanted to hang our wood blinds inside the window frame. So, we measured the interior frame and needed 3 blinds cut to 25 inches in width and then a 4th blind cut to 33 inches in width.

I went to the store and picked out the White Faux Wood 2" Slat Plantation Blinds by Levolor. They come in a lot of sizes and the price goes up as the size goes up. So, I just got the size as close as I could (a little bigger then needed) to pay the lowest price possible, and then had a little bit cut off the ends to make it fit perfectly.

Here are the blinds installed. In the picture below, I have them open. As you can see, they almost blend in with the window. You hardly notice them, but they do filter the light some and make the next door neighbor's house not as visible.

Joey installed the blinds very easily based on the hardware and instructions provided.

One of the many things I love about wood blinds is the ability to angle them based on the sunlight. Most of the day, I have them tilted up. It allows light to come in, but not have it blaring in your eyes. Plus it provides even more privacy.

It's just the right amount of filtered light.

Now below are pictures of the blinds fully closed. It keeps the room pretty dark...

Even on a sunny day, I had to turn the dining room light on to see well. And it provides total privacy.

And here's the view at nighttime. No more peeping neighbors. We did pay a few extra dollars to get return caps on the ends of the "valances" at the top of each blind. Since that valance sticks out a tad past the window frame, we don't want to see the metal hardware behind it.

So, there is Part 1 of the dining room window treatment process. After living with these for about 5 weeks, I still love them. And with the white blinds, I don't think it looks any different to have the faux wood rather than to have "real" wood blinds. Even when I compared them in the store, I could hardly tell the difference. And the faux wood are so much cheaper. I plan to add them to other windows in the house. Just so functional (and architectural)!

Next up will be adding curtain panels to these windows. That's the tough part. What color? What pattern? What style? What kind of rod? How do I address the 3 side-by-side windows that bump into the china cabinet on the right?

This may take a while to figure out...

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March 12, 2012

Shout Out: 2 Pretty House Tours

Want to see some super awesome home design? I highly recommend checking out the house tours these lovely ladies below posted over the last 48 hours.

First up is Julia from Hooked on Houses.

She gave a tour of a new house with turn-of-the-century style (for realz). The architecture is lovely.There are many, many design ideas I’d like to steal from this new home…
Want to see more of this house? Click HERE.

Today, she showcased a lovely house designed by Jeanette Van Wicklen. This house has an airy, beachy feel. The pool is AMAAAAAZING!

Want to see more of this house? Click HERE!

I know I’ll be doing some serious pinning on these houses tonight!

Which house is your favorite???

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March 9, 2012

New Carpet: Final Details

This is it. My sixth (!) and final post on this new carpet we installed last week. Don’t cry. I’m sure you’ll see many more home pictures with the carpet in them. Ha!

To wrap things up, I just want to post a few detailed (aka random) pictures of the hallways and staircase - to show you the quirky things I LOVE about this new carpet in particular. I may toss in a little Q&A to explain the method behind our madness. And I’ll have some final Before & After shots to display the difference in the look and feel of the spaces. So, hold on to your hats folks, we’re going for a looong ride.

To start out, I’m actually going to address the Q&A segment. In reality, it’s just one question with multiple answers. If you don’t want to read our reasons for why we did what we did, feel free to skip down to the pictures below.

Question: WHY would we possibly want to cover up hardwood floors in the bedrooms and hallways and stairs with carpet? Aren’t most people ripping out carpet to install hardwood floors?


  1. These floors were covered in shag carpet for 30 years before we bought the house. They are roughly 80 years old and not in the best of shape. While we were willing to bite the bullet and pay to have the hardwood floors in the living room, den, and dining room refinished (seen here), we just aren’t willing to put the cost into all that would go into refinishing the rest of the house. We do plan to refinish the hardwoods in our Master Bedroom in the next couple years – possibly a DIY job, but the cost savings of carpet elsewhere was a big incentive to us. And to top it all off, the floors in the halls and the stairs had 2 different stains on them plus some paint. A nightmare.
  2. Since we ripped said 30-year-old shag carpet up within a week of purchasing the house, but didn’t lay new carpet until now, we’ve actually lived in a house with ONLY hardwood floors for 21 months. This has been a blessing because it has actually revealed to me why I don’t love having just hardwood floors:
    1. Maintenance of cleaning (vacuuming and washing) all the floors on a regular basis. The baseboards also get extra dirty/dusty without carpet to grab some of it.
    2. The loudness of pounding footsteps when people walk around and go up/down stairs.
    3. Echoing voices/noises because we don’t have enough textiles to absorb sound.
    4. Cold feet in the winter (yes, the hardwood floors get cold in this old house).
  3. I want our future babies/children to have some soft space to crawl/walk/play. And if an accident happens (like falling down the stairs), cushioned carpet is a safer way to go.
  4. The first floor rooms have a variety of flooring as is (old hardwoods, new hardwoods, tile) and the hallway is right in the middle. Carpet was the only way to marry it all together.

These are the TOP reasons for our carpet choice. Carpet may not be what everyone else would choose, but it’s perfect for us and our current life circumstances.

Now, on to some detailed pics of halls and stairs to show what I love and why. We went with a very low pile carpet on purpose because we knew the carpet would butt up against hardwoods in other areas and we didn’t want there to be a big “bump”. Here’s the view from the kitchen into the hallway…

The carpet makes the hardwoods look more polished. More finished. Better.

And here’s the reverse view from the living room to the hallway…

The new hardwood floors in the kitchen are completely different than the old oak floors in the living room, but you don’t notice the difference as much with the carpet in the middle. It would have been terribly obvious if the two floors had met together had we gone with refinishing them in the hallway.

Underneath the built-ins in the hallway is on old air return. The grate must have been bigger at one point because there’s actually plywood in front it (that we would have needed to patch if we had refinished the floors). The carpet helps it look better.

I may eventually paint the grate white. You don’t really see underneath the built-in unless you get on your knees (or you’re a cat that crawls into tight places). Pardon the dust…

The tile in the bathroom looks nice against the carpet too. Since the tile is meant to look like a wood floor, it also would have looked strange against the oak floors in the hallway.

Next up, the stairs. We chose not to have a “runner” look but instead to have the carpet go all the way to the wall on the right side, but stay about an inch off the spindles on the left side. Practicality drove that decision. As much as I love design, my logical mind takes over sometimes.

I’m very glad we painted the ends of the treads and the spindles white. This enhances the beauty of the old the stairs. The contrast between the white paint and dark carpet is nice and adds visual interest. And the carpet guys did a nice job wrapping the carpet around the front of the treads.

Here you can see the spacing between the carpet and the spindles – an even amount on either side…

Don’t ask me why, but I love the landing on the stairs even more than before. It just looks so fresh and so clean, clean (name that song).

I can’t wait to dress up the walls of this area. It’s the “focal point” of the staircase. I’m collecting ideas via Pinterest (of course)…

You can see below our icky Master Bedroom floors next to the new carpet. It will be nice when we can refinish these hardwoods.

As I said, the hallway layout of our house is such that it just makes sense to put carpet in the space. It runs right down the middle of the house with an entrance into EVERY SINGLE ROOM. Not joking. The only room the hallway doesn’t touch is the den, which is connected by the living room. Otherwise, the hallway joins everything else together. And in the almost-two weeks we’ve lived with the new carpet, I continue to love this decision more and more every day. It solves all the problems I mentioned above. It was worth every penny.

Lastly, here are a few Before & After pictures.

I realize these aren’t the greatest pictures, but I hope they convey the big difference we feel in the rooms. And minus a little touch up painting that’s needed, it’s FINALLY time for the fun stuff – arrange furniture, hang curtains, and decorate walls. This, my friends, will be a long, large task, but I will enjoy every minute of it!

Note: If you missed the previous carpet posts, you can check them out here, here, here, here, and here.

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