Monday, January 19, 2015

The Ugliest "After" Photo on the Internet

Our house has a baseboard trim problem.  It's either missing chunks

cut in weird places

Why use one piece that's six inches longer when you can stick two together so cleverly?

has chipped paint

is missing the quarter round

or is missing all together.

Then there was this in our kitchen:

Our cupboards were frankensteined together by the previous owner, and had some resulting weirdness at the bottom in the form of unfinished particleboard/brown toe-kicks/general ugliness.  Now that my son is in all.the.drawers.all.the.time, it was time to address this issue.  Most importantly, the jagged-ness (ooh good word) and gaps in the cupboard bottoms became the stuff of nightmares; the lurking place of food long fallen from the countertops.  Truly gross.  And also where my son liked to hang out.  So rather than sweep and vacuum and sweep and vacuum, we found this $7 roll of "Self Adhesive Flexible Baseboard". (Don't worry, I'll still sweep and vacuum, it just won't be such a pain to do!)

She makes it look so easy to stick it in there.

We just finished installing it last night, after we cut a few filler pieces where some cupboards sat farther back than their neighbors.  It's an improvement, I like to think. But still a pretty ugly "after".

Needless to say, someday we would LOVE to revamp this kitchen.  It's pretty tiny (coming from a gal who doesn't need space to "entertain" -ha!- but rather needs space for things like massive baking projects and food preservation).  The layout is a little funny, but we aren't really sure how to improve on it.  Maybe when we get serious about a new kitchen we will consult a designer.  We're thinking all new cupboards, nixing the orange countertops (and the non-matching blueish/gray), a space for the microwave, and actually utilizing the corner cupboard space instead of leaving it dead space (how it is now).  Also I'd love to tile a backsplash and work in some glass-front cupboards.  A matching pantry cupboard with space for a garbage/recycling cupboard would just be wonderful.  All topped off with new lighting, new floor tiles, and maybe a raised bar behind the stove.

Ahhh to dream.

Speaking of which, have you all ever checked out Ikea's kitchen planner????  Oh it's a good way to waste a few hours in dreamland.  I, briefly and with many mistakes, planned our kitchen and it came out to around $5,000.  Supposedly there are sales.  Let's hope!

Meanwhile I'll be here, saving pennies and enjoying our lovely new "self adhesive flexible baseboard" solution. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

8 months!

Well kiddo, you are 8 months old already.  You are getting so big so fast! 

-You are pulling up on EVERYTHING.  It's like you are so focused on standing up we can't distract you with anything else.  It's all you've been doing all month!  You are also creeping a bit along furniture, slowly, and without noticing.  Ha!  You will be standing up against the couch and just work your way over to the other end of the couch without really trying.  I didn't think we would be having this kind of movement for awhile yet!

-We had a blast celebrating Christmas with all the families, and you did really well considering we weren't home for most of the weeks around Christmas. 

-You continue to love the boxes and tags and ribbons and buckles of things more than the things themselves. 

-You are fully using your crib in your room now for all naps and all night. Still waking up 2-3 times a night, but that's not too bad!

-You're turning into a talker!  DaDaDaDaDa all day long.  Mama officially lost the battle of whose name you would say first.  Although you aren't using "Dada" when refering to your dad, just using dadada in general all the time.  We keep trying to get you to use some sign language (all done, please, milk, more) but you just look at us like we are crazy and smile like we just told a great joke.

Week 31

Week 32

Week 33

Week 34

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas Decorations

I thought I'd share our Christmas decorations from the year.  It's not too late, is it?  Well not for me.  I already told you about the little white dot garland I made.  I also made a pom-pom garland (yes, I realize everyone on pinterest did this already) out of some pretty blue and red yarn I had.  I swooped it around our railing (although the swoops had to be pretty short since a little boy can now reach them).

He really was that excited about the pom poms!

Next up I made this star.  It turned out a little wonky but I really like it and this could be adorable all year, I think.  Bonus: it was free!  I collected 15 straight sticks of similar thickness and length and grouped them into bunches of three, laying them out into a star shape.  Then I used some string and tied the five points together and tied the 5 center intersections together (it was really difficult to work with before I secured the intersections).  I wrapped the bunches with a ball of leftover yarn and called it perfect!  This was originally intended to be a replacement for the wreath I make every year to hang on the front door, because princess pine was nowhere to be found at my parent's house.  Something about a tough winter last year yada yada yada.  But then I realized how perfect this star would be on the wall in the stairwell so I hung it up there instead.

Speaking of the great outdoors, we didn't decorate it one bit.  We were the scrooges of the neighborhood.  We just didn't have time, energy, or willpower to do anything, so we skipped it.  I'm kind of glad we did!  

Along with the sticks I gathered from my parents', Dillon and I also gathered this tree!  It survived the 250 mile journey atop the car and is still alive and kickin'.  Those northern trees, I tell ya.

I love the fact that this is nowhere near a perfect "tree farm" tree.  And (last years) popcorn garland and homemade ornaments makes it even more home-grown.  I'm in love.  We weren't able to put a lot of ornaments on because of the lack of branches.  ahem.  Most of my beautiful vintage ornaments stayed safely in their boxes because of a pair of curious hands.

Very closely supervised tree touching

But I really really love this tree.  Particularly this ornament that was made by my sister using the picture from our Christmas cards on a wood slice.  She also took the photo-- she is talented! It takes some real skill to work with squirmy little ones.  Look at that face!

Lastly, I made some faux snowglobes.  I've been saving cool empty jars for awhile.  Okay, a long while.  And Dillon will be really glad to see them off our counter.  My favorite are the ones with the silver lids, saved from Archer Farms brand salsa.  I've been putting off buying bottle-brush trees because my son gets really crabby in craft stores.  Seriously no joke. It's tragic.  So I got creative with a tiny fake tree Dillon had from his dorm room and a strand of garland that we didn't use outside.  I just cut off a 2-3 inch piece with a pair of wire cutters, and went at it with a pair of scissors to create a cone shape.  I also trimmed some from the bottom of each tree to make a "trunk".  A little hot-glue was all it took to assemble, since I didn't put in any water.  Maybe next year I'll add some fake snow, but this year I like just the bare trees.  It matches the weather on Christmas.  No snow.  In WISCONSIN.  Not cool.