a yawn is a silent scream for coffee.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ever since S2 was born, I've had this love affair with coffee.  Don't get me wrong, I was a daily coffee drinker before I got pregnant, but not quite in the same way that I am now.

I think it's a psychological thing.  I tried to stay away from caffeine altogether when I was pregnant.  I didn't drink coffee for 8 months, y'all!  But I didn't really want it.  In fact, it was not appealing to me at all.  But after I stopped breastfeeding, I was all GIMME ALL THE COFFEE.  2 years later and my coffee addiction hasn't waned.  Usually a cup of hot java in the am, and iced in the pm.

Anyway, I came across this quote the other day and literally laughed out loud.  "A yawn is a silent scream for coffee."  Truer words have never been spoken.  I promptly made a printable for you guys so all you coffee addicts out there can shout your love from the rooftops.  Or from a frame on your desk, whichever. :)



Just right click and save as to download.

Enjoy!

home tour part iv: view from the street

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Our landscapers finished up several weeks ago and now that the grass is finally coming in, I thought it was high time I share some full shots of the outside of our house.


It's not big or fancy (in fact, this house has less square footage than our last house), but it's perfectly suited for us.  I don't take for granted how lucky we are to have been able to build our "forever" home in our dream neighborhood.


We picked out every aspect of the house, from how many mullions each window had (none in the back, traditional in the front, craftsman mullions in my kitchen windows) to the floor coverings, to the kitchen cabinet knobs to each and every light fixture.  It was a labor of love, making all those decisions, and we are entirely pleased with the result.


Siding is James Hardie "Light Mist," stone is Centurion "Kentucky Ledge," brick is Statesville Brick "Casablanca Oversized." You can hardly see the brick in these photos, but I'll share photos of the back soon where the brick is the real star.  I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get a decent shot of the full back of the house... I may have to do some trespassing onto the neighbor's property. :)


The house is 2,277 square feet on the main floor, 600ish finished in the basement and another 750ish unfinished that we consider "Phase 2" and will finish at some point into a rec room, powder room and media room.


S2 already has her little domain in the back yard.  Living on the lake, we knew we would have to compromise on the yard.  As in, we don't really have a back yard at all, just the little mulch area where S2's swingset is and a narrow strip of grass.  We have a huge patio and deck though, so I don't think we'll be deprived of outdoor space.


See: narrow strip of grass.  Patchy at this point, but we're working on it. :)


The mulch bank off the patio, above, will eventually be covered with some type of plant material, although we're not sure what yet.


One of the things that people like to ask me is, what do you wish you would have done differently?  There are three things I've found so far:

1. We didn't take into account that the laundry room window is directly perpendicular to S2's bathroom and closet windows.  Her bathroom/closet windows have mullions, and the laundry room window doesn't.  It doesn't really bother me, but if I'd thought about the fact that they are so close together, I would have made them all match.

2. In the master bathroom, the drawers beside my sink can't be open when someone needs to come in the bathroom.  They block the swing of the door.  Not an issue when they're closed but I have to think about it in the morning when I get up before S1 so he doesn't come barging in the bathroom and knock the door into the drawers.  We couldn't really have done anything about that though, it's just the best layout for the vanity space.

3. We stained the front door to match the garage doors, but you can't really see the front door and the garage doors at the same time, so I wish we would have painted it to match the shutters (gray) or a different color altogether.  This will be remedied someday... when I talk S1 into it. :)

Okay, now to figure out how to get a decent shot of the back... :)

front porch dreams.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

All my life I've wanted a front porch made for swingin'.  Ploppin' down on the porch swing, sippin' some sweet tea, wavin' to the neighbors as they walk by on their evenin' stroll, watchin' S2 catch lightning bugs in the front yard, seein' the ferns blowin' in the breeze... this is what dreams are made of, my friends.

We're a couple swings short, but I can now check "get front porch ferns" off my bucket list.




This was before landscaping, which is now complete - I'll show you soon!

I won't talk about all the swearing it took to get the house numbers up and we only had one shot because the columns are PVC so holes are permanent and the numbers only came with the exact amount of anchors and those things are pieces of junk and the 6 might be hanging on by one screw, but we won't talk about it. :)


We're focusing on the back deck, for obvious reasons, so I don't know that the front porch will be swingable this summer, but I'm happy just to have my ferns. :)

simple stool makeover.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I've been stalking Craigslist like crazy lately.  A lot of our old furniture doesn't fit quite right in the new house but you know, we can't afford to just go out and buy all NEW furniture, so I Craigslist.

Well, we did finally order a new sofa, which paid for itself (after selling a 9-year-old leather sofa and chair and a 7 year-old sectional).  Ah, I love it when people buy our old things so we can buy new things. :)  

Anyway, back to my most recent Craigslist find.  (But not the best one of late - I'll share that one soon!)

I bought this little stool on a whim thinking it might fit under the vanity in our bathroom.  Sadly, it was too wide (I'm still on the hunt for a vanity stool that doesn't break the bank... harder to find than you would think), so honestly I'm not sure where it will end up, but I couldn't resist breaking out the spray paint.  Oh spray paint, how I've missed thee!

It's not the highest quality piece by any means and had definitely seen better days:


Sidenote: I thought I took this before photo on my phone and spent 5 minutes freaking out when I couldn't find it before I remembered that no, I'd taken it with the good camera. D'oh.

After a coat of navy blue paint and some cute fish fabric that I had in my stash...


I think it's so fun.  I haven't found an obvious place to put it yet.  I might even sell it and see how much of a profit I can make on it... I'm in for about $27.  How much would you pay for it?  Mama needs some new end tables... :)


Before I go, can we talk about HGTV's Tiny House, Big Living for a minute?  First of all, I can't imagine living in 180 square feet.  Second of all, much respect to those who can.  Third of all, obviously I'm watching it while writing this. :)

home tour: part iii, the great outdoors

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Hello and happy Thursday to you!

I'm finally getting around to posting little snippets of our new house.  Today I'm showing off our outdoor living areas out back!  (We also have a front porch but that's a post for another day.)

When we bought this piece of lakefront property, we knew it would be essential to have plenty of deck and patio areas so we could really enjoy it.  I think we definitely accomplished that.  So much so that figuring out a furniture arrangement (and actually getting furniture that doesn't break the bank) is proving to be a challenge.  But here's where it stands right now!


The upper deck is 12' wide and approximately 60' long.  We splurged on composite decking and I'm here to tell you: it's worth every penny.  We walk around barefoot out here with no worries of splinters or rough boards.  It's nice.


The vaulted windows above are in the living room and the door at the far end leads into our master bedroom.


The view of the other direction shows our (too small) dining table and grill.  We have been doing a ton of grilling and it's so nice to throw something on the grill and sit out here and enjoy time together.  The windows in this direction are all in the kitchen.


We love hanging out in these chairs after S2 is in bed, so the patio heater comes in handy on chillier nights!

Obviously this furniture and placement is what we've put out here for the short-term, but we have goals to really get this deck to be a functional space this summer.  It might take all summer to get it there, but we'll do it!

Here are the plans:


The grill will stay where it is, S1 is going to DIY an outdoor dining table, we'll add a couple of adirondack chairs, and we'll DIY a sectional.  Add a few plants and I think we'll have a fun space!

While we're out back, let's take a look at the lower patio (which we've done absolutely nothing to at this point, but we'll get there eventually).

The stairs from the deck down to the patio have riser lights which is fantastic at night.


The area down here is really pretty with the stone and cedar columns and the brick that we splurged on (it's an oversized style which added some $$, but well worth it).  I don't have a definitive direction down here but I know I want some swings, a hammock and lots of seating and play space for S2.


The garage doors leads into S1's tool bench area and just general basement-type storage.  The bikes are in here.  The lawn mower would be in here if it hadn't bit the dust, etc.


Right now the view includes lots of red dirt, but our landscaper started this week (hallelujah), so it won't be red dirt for much longer.


The flat area below is where S2's swingset will be.  The landscaping/yard is a whole post by itself, which I will be sure to share as soon as we have grass! :)


I can't wait to share more as we work on our outdoor areas!

home tour: part ii, the master

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hello and happy Wednesday to you!  I'm back with a long overdue continuation of our new home tour!  Today I'm focusing on our master bedroom, bathroom and closet.



I haven't done any decorating in here other than hanging the curtains and shades.  We have all the same furniture that was in our last house, although I've been on the hunt for an upholstered headboard   to replace the square lines of this one.  Although truth be told, I do love this bed and it's very craftsman which fits with the style of our house, but I prefer a little bit of a softer look in the bedroom.


This door leads out to the deck.  The curtains are on a track system so they close by pulling a string over on the right side.  They were the biggest splurge decorating-wise that we've made on this house so far, from Regal Drapes, fabric name is Serenity.


Wall color: PPG "Blue By You"

One thing I will mention about building a house is just how many decisions have to be made.  Take the below photo of the entrance to our bathroom for example... The silhouette of the crown molding?  Decision.  The trim around the doors and windows?  Decision.  The size of the can lights?  Decision.  Placement of the alarm system keypad?  Decision.  Exact locations of every single outlet and switch? Decisions, decisions, decisions. :)

All good and fun decisions, mind you, but toward the end it's almost like I don't even care, just put it wherever you think is best. :)


We spend a lot of time in the master bathroom, so function was a number one priority for me.  There are still some things I want to add to make it work even better for us (a vanity stool and a clock between the mirrors, to name two), but I'm pretty darn happy with the way it turned out.


cabinets: hargenrader custom woodcraft // faucets: delta cassidy in venetian bronze // mirrors: local flea market (see them in our last house here) // sconces: lightingdirect.com // wall color: PPG "Sky Diving"


tile: florida tile "tides" in sea salt


shower enclosure, towel bars and robe hook: lake norman glass and custom closets


shower heads: delta (but I'm sorry - I don't remember which style!)


toilet: american standard // sidenote here: before I had made a single decision about anything in the house, I knew I wanted skirted toilets.  In fact, we bought all of our toilets before we even broke ground!  They were on sale at Lowe's and I forget the circumstances but I think they were being discontinued?  At any rate, we had 5 toilets sitting in S1's uncle's basement for 6 months or so - ha!  One is still sitting in the box downstairs for the future half bath down there.  The idea of all our toilets not matching made me a little twitchy, hence the purchase of the extra toilet with no immediate plans to use it.  If you click on the product link up there, you can see the toilet from the side - no "exposed" pipes to dust.  My heart is full. :)


Between the shower and toilet is the entrance to our closet.  One of the builders we met with tried to talk us out of pocket doors, but there was no talking me out of them.  I puffy heart pocket doors, always have.


closet system: lake norman glass and custom closets


Originally, we had planned to have an island in the closet, but in the end, there wasn't really enough space for one so we had to compromise with the shoe shelves in front of the window.  Ideally, there wouldn't be this large of a window in a closet, but it's on the front of the house, so there was really no getting around it, for the sake of the exterior elevation.  It is nice to have some natural light in here though.


Sorry, I didn't really "stage" the closet - this is how it always looks (albeit fewer pairs of jeans strewn on the floor).



Getting the entire vanity in a photo is nearly impossible.  I stood on the back of the tub to get this one!  I almost forgot - our granite color is andino white.


Looking at the photo above, it reminds me of the funny things I was fairly insistent on and the things I couldn't really care less about.  I knew I wanted: skirted toilets, 5 panel doors, square molding and a farmhouse sink in the kitchen.  Things I didn't give much thought: the appliances (S1 picked them out), the wood flooring (we went with what the builder had quoted and just put a coat of semi-gloss poly on it - no stain), closet systems (hindsight: I should have informed the installers that I'm short because I can't quite reach the upper bar in most of the closets).

I still have lots of spaces to show you guys.  Soon, I promise!

nyc.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The week before last, we went up north to visit my brother, who lives in Connecticut, a short train ride from NYC.  I didn't bring my "good" camera so the following shots are the best I got with my phone but I just love them.

S2 was such a trooper (most of the time), and we had a great (short!) trip.

I love hearing her say "Uncle Jamey."  It's so cute.


It was kinda chilly and rainy while we were there, so we came prepared with rain jackets.  S2 lost this one somewhere (I think at the train station) on the second day, which was a major bummer!  Especially because she has matching rain boots and now no jacket to match them.  Sad.


Grand Central Station is a favorite of mine.  I just love the history and the ceiling and the moldings and the lighting and the clock and the stairs and basically everything.


We got a new stroller for the trip because our other one is really too large to fit in the car with all the luggage too (yes, we drove! yes, we're crazy!) and I have to say that this one is a winner.  It's the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience stroller.  S2 actually enjoyed sitting in it which, if you know our girl, is a small miracle.


There's that lighting and those moldings!


I knew when planning the trip that we needed to do something that would entertain our girl and hopefully wear her out so she would take a nap while we were doing other things.  I have to say that the Children's Museum of Manhattan fit the bill perfectly!  It's 5 stories of all kinds of fun things, but driving in all the vehicles was her favorite...




Those are just the three I got pictures of!  There were at least 4 or 5 more that she had to try out too.

When she wasn't driving, she was sliding down a big tongue approximately 1,283 times.


Or trying to climb in things that weren't really meant to be climbed into.


After we left the museum and strapped her back into her stroller, it took about 5 minutes before she was passed out.  Luckily, it turned out to be a pretty nice afternoon, so we ended up walking through Central Park.  We won't talk about the two times we got lost and couldn't find our way out.  It was fun nonetheless.



After Central Park, we rode the subway down to Times Square, and took a minute to have a snack. :)


We had dinner in Times Square, then caught the train back to our hotel.  It was a long day and we were all exhausted!

The next morning, we went to the 9/11 Memorial.  It was a sobering experience and one I won't soon forget.  About halfway through the exhibits, I had to stop reading the plaques and descriptions because it was just too much.  I'll never forget where I was when I heard (11th grade Spanish class with SeƱor Richardson) and it was good to finally get to visit the memorial.  My friends and I took a trip to NYC in 2007 and visited Ground Zero, and I remember it was all roped off still and there was really nothing in its place.  Crazy.


Going back to S2's lost raincoat, she got a replacement from BabyGap (this one for 40% off) and it's too too cute.  I'm a sucker for a baby in a yellow rain slicker. :)



So that's pretty much our trip in a nutshell.  It's getting a little bit easier to travel with her but I can't wait until she's a little older and we can do even more fun things.