Rainy Tuesday

I can’t seem to find the camera….so I’m not sure when pictures will return….it’s here somewhere, I’m sure. My hand has been sore and recuperating, so no painting has happened for days. Since it’s my right hand, I must use it for other more important daily tasks (like cooking!), so painting will happen next week.  If I can’t find the camera soon, I’ll at least have James take some photos of our lovely new couch, which got delivered today! The living room is really coming together, just quite slowly. I also painted the fireplace as I felt like it was too dark. It’s still not exactly right, but it’s much much brighter which we both really like. I thought about how today would be a great day to build a fire…..and one day we’ll be able to do so!

Stay dry, everyone

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Quick Monday updates

  • I got the master bedroom half primed!
  • I figured out a solution to the three different wall textures we have in the half bathroom!
  • We explored Abt electronics for a new fridge, got lots of good ideas and ended up buying a floor model couch for over half off (it’s a Bernhardt Interiors couch, hehe)!
  • We finalized a half bathroom…err powder room plan and it doesn’t involve any major work right now – just cosmetic upgrades, please!
  • James is on his way to digging out the flag pole….we aren’t really flag people…..

Kids are off from school today and our babysitter is back in town, so I’m off to do some errands, hooray! I’ll try and get up some pictures soon….I have to locate the camera charger……

Parent teacher conferences

An alternate name for this post is: Unabashedly gushing about my kids! Let’s start with Conrad, shall we? He is polite and helpful in class, highly self motivated and seems to enjoy himself and has made friends. That all sounds great to us and honestly what we could have guessed (and did guess). Our kids are rule followers at school and tend to be more serious and more quiet. It’s at home where they unleash….which is also what you want! Home is a safe place!

Nat is also doing really well and her teacher is quite impressed with her story writing skills. She was the only one in class that received a perfect score on her short story and that is due to her love of reading and definitely due to her Gomo who spends time sharing stories with her and giving her tips, so thank you, Gomo! Natalie is also on track to be pulled for the gifted program, this isn’t a goal of ours per se, but we do think that she needs the extra challenges. She scored in the 99th percentile for reading and 92nd percentile for math and based on math pre-tests that the teacher gives out in class, she has placed Nat in the high math group. She is also polite and helpful in class and participates more than I ever did, but her teacher does ask her to speak up for she is quiet!

The kids are fine at home as well. We have them do more clean up and I require that they help out more with getting things for themselves and with Humphrey. They love their Saturday morning classes – Nat is taking piano and Conrad is taking tae kwon do. Nat moves quickly through her piano books and though we do remind her to practice, she enjoys playing too. It’s important to find that balance! Conrad is more excited about tae kwon do than he is about going to school, so that has been a great class for him. We’re proud of our kids and we really think that they are turning out to be terrific people!

I’m hoping to work on the house a bit today – our bedroom needs to be primed! I can’t wait to show off the finished room!

Happy Saturday!

Powder room

update: I also was interested in swapping out the front door, but I went back and forth about it more often than James did. I didn’t mean to make it sound as though it was just James that wanted to change the front door.

That sounds fancier than half bath….so we’ll stick with powder room. Anyhoo, I almost have all the wallpaper off and it’s like unlocking a mystery when you see the walls….I have zero idea what they looked like before this 80’s wallpaper, but I can see lots and lots of patch areas with spackling everywhere humanly possible, so that’s been fun to get in my eyes. We’re in the middle of trying to decide just how far to go with this renovation…I’m genuinely not sure. I think a full blown reno would be pretty stressful right now, so I think it can wait until a later time. Then again, it is a small space, wouldn’t cost that much or take that long and would be done! I’m sure we’ll figure it out, but in the meantime, here she is!

The first picture was our house tour and the second is how I left it last night. It’s getting there!

It’s already seems more spacious to have the toilet paper holder off the window sill and the ugly, badly homemade radiator cover wasn’t doing anyone any favors. The black toilet seat is much nicer and once the new sink is in, it will feel like a palace! A palace I tell you! I’m very much looking forward to having a completed powder room and master bedroom, so I’m focusing heavily on those two areas right now.

If you’re wondering about other projects, here is what’s going on there:

  • The front door stripping project: the summer weather was the least cooperative for getting this done. It was either too rainy, too windy or just too plain hot. Then James got a job in the middle of the summer that took him downtown every week. This made it much harder to have help to take it off and put it on each day for a full day’s work. Then I started school and we got a puppy. In the end, we discussed what to do about the front door and since James has wanted to replace it since we moved in, this is what will happen in the spring. New front steps and a new front door are on the agenda for the spring. Hello dutch door of my dreams!!!!!!
  • Conrad’s room: in theory this shouldn’t take too long, but he has also written on his walls and I find it rather disheartening to put in so much work when I see this. He will have to clean his walls first before I complete this project. He also gets crabby about his room being in chaos while work happens, so I tend to do a little bit, then let him get settled before I start again.
  • The basement: it’s so dark down there….it’s been really challenging to find a color that works. Plus we have a slight leak issue so I’m not interested in priming and painting when we will have to rip out two sections of paneling to find the source.  Plus we eventually want to renovate down there, so I think a lot about what can be done easily and simply down there until that day comes in addition to thinking about how to renovate the space! In the end, it’s a basement and kids don’t care a lick if it’s painted or not.

I would also like to publicly thank James for never EVER saying a word about half painted walls that sit for a year while I figure things out. I, on the other hand, berate myself daily about it, so I am blessed to be married to someone who knows that I’ll get it done eventually and who knows that I am hard on myself.

The kids are off school until Tuesday, so we’ll be busy I’m sure…..hopefully we can fit things in around the expected rain!

Master bedroom

I’ve struggled with how to decorate our master bedroom….it’s frequently a catch-all and this is the first time ever in our ten years of married life that we can afford to adequately create a space for ourselves! When we bought this house, it was also the first time we’d gotten a real bedroom to ourselves since having Conrad! Sure, when we rented from my Dad we had a bedroom, but Conrad’s room was the master closet, so I don’t really count that as being our own dedicated room. It’s exciting! I finally have nightstands that are similar but not matching and I found a paint color that I love (after trying several!). I’m doing something different with the trim in here and I’m very excited to complete this room. I don’t believe that it will stop becoming a catch-all until we get our closet in order, but baby steps, people!

My right hand still hurts if I grip too much which forces me to take my time. I’ve also begun scraping our half bathroom because why not do fifty things at once?!?! Where I work in the house depends on what all the littles are doing (sometimes I can step away and do a room on another floor, sometimes I really need to be present so I work on the same floor, sometimes I have to stop and let the puppy out 3 times in an hour). I’ve also started work on the mudroom/basement part of the house, I’d really like that space to look more finished since it’s where most people enter our home….we’re in for several days of rain (thank goodness!) and the garden will happily soak up the water and I can sit back and paint! I have bulbs to plant and while I added a bunch to my gardening to do list for the fall, I may just work on the inside….we’ll see.

Parent teacher conferences are this week and it’s been a scramble to organize our week! Our usual babysitter is out of town, but I asked friends for help and we are lucky to know such lovely people! Happy Wednesday!

Sunroom

A while ago we got this new rug for the sunroom, but I never got around to photographing it and then we had to take it away for Humphrey’s sake. This weekend I was able to put back two rugs and a runner, as my test run to puppy safety….I’ll let you know how that goes…..Anyways, I went with a brighter green, but in a larger size and a different pile (our old green rug that was in here is now in a part of the living room – it’s a wool Pottery Barn rug that we got about nine years ago free from a friend). The size fits the sunroom a lot better and makes the whole room feel more cohesive. Not much is left to do in this room except eventually recover the couch?? I don’t mind the pattern so much in this room, so it might just stay. We got the couch for free so either way, it’s a win-win! Without further ado, here is our sunroom…perhaps the most photographed room we own…..Here it is when we toured it and how much work we put in to get the look for today:

It’s hard to see the floor in the before picture thanks to the abyss that is black carpet……

Before and after

I decided to include the landing and powder room in my first floor redecorating plans and so the landing is done! Picked up some curtain rods, James hung them for me (thanks!) and all the painting is done up past the third step or so. It feels good! Let’s take a look back and see how it looks now – dark trim is the bane of my existence…thank goodness for thick primer and patience!

 

Now, you may notice that the curtains do not match and you would be correct! Working on that area of the stairwell scares me since I have to have some weird ladder on the stairs configuration and I’m not super fond of that AT ALL. So for now, this is sort of how it will be until we can hire someone to patch and prime and paint up there. The color is a bit more saturated which I really really like and it has more of a sheen to it which is better in this darkish area of our house. The white door is growing on me…..but the stained railing and newel post are here for good! One day, the carpet will be gone and the stairs refinished and a beautiful oriental runner will showcase the stairs, but that is super low priority so it will remain this way for some time.

Next up on my list is the powder room! I’ve been collecting things for this space for nearly two years now, so I think it will turn out quite lovely. I have the mudroom and the kitchen still on my list, but I do like to take my time and think about how we best use the room, since I don’t fancy redoing these spaces again and again. We’re also in the market to replace our refrigerator, since in order to keep things frozen in the freezer we have it cranked so high that things in the back of our fridge get icy……..

For now though, I’m going to sweep up the dirt that Humphrey took from my houseplants…..sigh……Happy Saturday!