Catch Up

It happens every time. Just when I think I’m done blogging, I find myself logging back in and wanting to brain dump. So, here I am. It’s been a long time, and a lot’s going on. I miss the outlet.

My husband got a new job a few months ago. It’s an hour to an hour and a half drive away from where we live, so naturally, we’re (slowly) escalating the amount of work we’re doing to our house, because that kind of commute twice a day, every day, is just ridiculous. There have been sporadic internet real estate searches so we can start getting a feel for what’s out there, and now that I have a few favorites saved I’m impatient to be out of this house and move on to the next chapter. It’s slow going, though, because trying to accomplish any kind of home improvement as you’re paying down debt – while not accruing more debt – is a challenge. So we’re working on the free and/or cheaper projects for now. Popcorn ceiling removal (yep, still) is what we’ve been working on lately. I completed the popcorn removal in the master bedroom, closet, and bathroom in 2014, and in the past few weeks, we’ve removed popcorn in our upstairs hallway, our half bathroom, about two thirds of the kitchen, and most of our entryway. We’ve still got to finish up the kitchen, a bit over the stairs, probably the rest of our upstairs closets, our laundry room, and the living room. All of the downstairs has popcorn ceilings as well, but I’m seriously considering just installing white planks over top of it, because I am SO tired of the dust and mess. I hate to do that, though; it feels like a crime on the level of painting over wallpaper, or covering one wallpaper with a different wallpaper instead of removing it all and starting over AS ONE SHOULD. We’ll see how I feel once I get the upstairs done. Maybe we won’t touch the downstairs ceilings at all.

Anyway, so once we finish up the popcorn removal, we’ll be doing lots and lots of painting, ceilings first.

In the midst of the mess, my husband has suggested that we go back to eating paleo and improving our health. While I can’t disagree that we need to do that, I feel like going paleo before is kind of what killed any enjoyment of cooking that I had because there was SO. MUCH. COOKING. And the sink and dishwasher were ALWAYS. FULL. OF DISHES. But, he’s right, better off healthier; I might be more energetic, for starters. So we have been slowly easing back into clean eating. I am committed to going paleo, but also finding ways to make it easier so I’m not spending all of my time in the kitchen. I’ve picked up a few more paleo cookbooks – particularly the ones that promise “quick and easy” or “one pot,” and have well over a year’s worth of recipes saved on Pinterest, and I’ve started following more paleo blogs to help me find new things I can try, as well. With all of the mess from the popcorn removal, cooking has been a challenge, so we’re not 100% there yet, but we’re getting better.

2015 was just not my favorite year. January started off with a hell of a bang last year and it seems like we’ve spent this long recovering from it. I think that’s part of the reason I stopped blogging last year; so many stories but they weren’t all mine to tell, so we just focused on getting through it. Now we’re happier, the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train anymore, and it feels good. Seeing your family happy is about all you can ask for, sometimes.

Bright

I can’t believe it’s going to be MAY at the end of this week, what the hell? Isn’t it supposed to still be February?

On the bright side, AVENGERS!

On the other bright side, my bedroom is almost done. It’s coming down to the last three things: lamps, light switches, and linens. And, okay, a few spray painting projects. But we finally moved back into our bedroom over a week ago, in spite of still not having curtains up. New curtains and hardware have just arrived, so we need to hang those, then get over our nerves and DIY those lamps, THEN poke my husband into getting light switches since he’s not satisfied with anything I’ve brought home, and I’m planning to get new sheets, a blanket, and a quilt for our bed.

On the other other bright side, my birthday was the 18th. It was a milestone birthday but I’m not sure I’m feeling any different than I did after my birthday last year, except for the two weeks of unexplained – or non-examined – pure crabbiness surrounding my birthday. I started a Glee marathon and bawled my eyes out several times; not sure but I think it might have helped me get over being Midlife Crisis Years Old. Also, there were pretty flowers involved:

Birthday #flowers and my orchid. I’m almost sorry for hogging all of the #pretty. Almost.

A photo posted by Michelle (@koobychelle) on

On the not so bright side, OMG ALLERGIES. All I want to do is sleep, thank you sinus pressure and drowsiness-causing non-drowsy allergy meds. Outside, yellow pollen is everywhere, along with all kinds of big clumps of dusty and dead stuff from the trees. It’s not really a good time to get my aforementioned spray painting projects back outside so I can get them finished up, oy vey.

But, because I like to end things on a positive note, back to the bright side. AVENGERS!

ADOS

The number one cause of all the stops and starts on any project is when I get a random, fleeting idea for a different project somewhere else in my house. Chances are, that little wisp of a thought will become a full blown obsession, and I cannot get back to what I’m doing until I have PINNED. ALL. THE. THINGS I can find relating to that idea.

For example, I’ve been idly considering ideas for what I might do with my entryway and stairs when the time comes. How do I let more light in? Pros and cons of knocking out this closet and using this other closet over here for coats? What if I square off this curve? I like this light fixture, need to find a way to incorporate that into the eventual redo. Carpet must go, we’ll do hardwood. Hardwood floor in the entryway, which way do I lay the planks, perpendicular or parallel to the door? Neither seems as though it would look right, what do I do, what do I do, what do I DO? WHAT ABOUT HERRINGBONE?!?! Wait, I don’t really like pattern, why am I all of a sudden obsessed with herringbone for a piece of my floor? But it could look good, maybe I should really consider herringbone? Something subtle, not too dark, not glossy, with a border around the edge, like this: herringbone-floor-border02 And then I get all distracted by Pinterest and Google image searches for herringbone wood floors and then I’ve suddenly gone a week without touching anything in my bedroom. Not to mention mental Spring cleaning – by which I mean that I am mentally, not actually, Spring cleaning my house at this time, which is SUPER helpful and productive, I know – and deciding how to celebrate my upcoming birthday.

My coworkers like to call it Attention Deficit OOH SHINY! Syndrome. Which, basically? Yeah.

It’s amazing that I’ve actually managed to search out and buy the last few things I need to complete those DIY lamps I’m attempting for my bedroom – the drill bit and some cork.

Progress, I Swear

We are slowly but surely getting our bedroom back in order. This past weekend we finished – without breaking any light bulbs this time – installing our closet light fixture, continued the meticulous task of revamping my bathroom sink light fixture with spray paint, and continued cleaning. We wiped down the doors, the baseboards, the windows, the crack in the door jambs where the hinges are, wiped down the walls and shelves in the closet, and vacuumed (again.) We took Sunday off to get out and have an adventure; we took a drive to browse an antique store/flea market that we haven’t been to before in a town we nearly never visit. My husband found something to bring home, but I didn’t grab anything this time – doesn’t seem fair since the trip was my idea! After we got home on Sunday evening, we started moving some of our things out of the living room back into our room.  And…this is where we stall. The problem is the furniture arrangement in the room; there is no ideal layout that works for both of us right now.

20150324_16510320150324_165131

I’ve been toying with the idea of the layout above. If I go this route with the layout, I intend to cover that entire wall with curtains, thank you amazing 1980’s asymmetry. My dresser would go on the wall directly opposite the glass door and headboard, and my husband’s dresser would need to go into our closet. My husband’s objection to this arrangement is to blocking the door: the light and access to the back porch. I’m not concerned about blocking access to the porch because we access it most often via the door in the kitchen anyway, and there’s still plenty of light coming through. We should be able to get to the door well enough to open it to let a breeze come through, as well. With this arrangement, I can create some symmetry in the room by hiding the off center window/door behind the curtains. I like the idea of the coziness that a wall of curtains might invoke with this arrangement, and I’d prefer to do the shorter wall in curtains than the longer one.

If you take the furniture arrangement above and rotate it to the right by 90 degrees, you see how our furniture was arranged from the time we moved in until we pulled everything out of the room last year. I’m not crazy about that arrangement because that way the right side of the bed lines up with the edge of the window, and the night stand covers the bottom half of the window completely. I also have my aforementioned newly framed art to hang, and the only place I’m thinking of hanging it is on that wall just to the left of the window. If I center it above the headboard, it’s not centered on the wall, and if I center it on the wall, it’s not centered over the headboard, which would make me crazy. Again, with that arrangement, my dresser would be on the same wall as noted above, across from the sliding glass door. My husband’s dresser would go on the wall that the footboard is leaning up against in the photo above. The only other place I can think of to hang the art is above my dresser, which means I’d wouldn’t mount my mirror and would need to find somewhere else to put it. That’s not a hardship, I guess I’d just rather lose the use of the door than reconsider where to hang the art.

Beyond the cleaning and the back-and-forth about the furniture arrangement, we’re also fixing one of the supports on one of the side rails on our bed, and I’m working up the nerve to get a drill bit and make lamps:

I need a drill bit. #diy #lamps

A photo posted by Michelle (@koobychelle) on

And…that’s where we are right now. Since we’ve moved some stuff out of the living room back into the bedroom, I am reminded how good it feels to declutter and find space again. Organizing is the next project! (One at a time, Michelle, one at a time…)

Buzzzzz…

I woke up yesterday morning to blue skies, sunshine, birds chirping, and crocus in bloom. Spring is trying to happen here and it’s brought with it a renewed sense of urgency to accomplish something in my house. I hopped out of bed, got dressed immediately, and went right to it. We finished replacing the electrical outlets and the landline phone jack and cleaned and reinstalled the ceiling fan. I partially installed the light fixture in the closet and smashed a four foot long fluorescent bulb into 47 billion pieces in the process, which my husband was kind enough to clean up for me. We are having some issues replacing the light switches, though…thanks, weird 1980’s wiring! I also have a small revamp in progress for the light fixture that goes over our bathroom sink, which sits out in the bedroom. You can kind of see that setup here:

1736916466_4780cfe470_zThis photo was taken from the bedroom when we first went to see the house. The door to the right goes to the toilet, linen closet, and tub/shower. The light fixture I’m revamping is the one above the mirror over the sink. It has a semi-glossy nickel finish with white shades that have a marbleized frosty white finish to them, and the opening of the shades point up. I’ve discovered that I’m not a fan of that orientation because dust really builds up and bugs get in there and fry. I’m painting the fixture black, swapping out the shades, and – assuming all goes well – I’ll be pointing the opening of the shades down to the sink. No more insect cemetery.

(Also, the paint wasn’t really that bluish-green color, it was definitely more of a drab, sage green.)

I think things might finally be coming together with this re-do. When I found the potential lamp bases at Hobby Lobby last week, I also found some bedding at TJ Maxx that grabbed my attention. I didn’t pick it up at the time but came home and Googled to see if I could find anything similar. I didn’t see anything at a reasonable price, so I went back a few days later and brought it home. The next thing I’m looking for is a blanket for the bed in some shade of purple to bring in a color that’s not blue; I’m also looking to bring in some green as well.

I have two main points of inspiration for this room. I have a print of this painting by Monet:

Seine%20near%20Giverny%20-%20RISDI’ve had it about 15 years or so and it was in a crappy plastic silver frame and the acrylic had cracked in one corner, so I took it to have it turned into grown up art: new frame, new mat, new glass. Right after I brought it home I was struck by this image in a Wisteria catalog:

W9582_2And I knew then the direction in which I would take my bedroom. I pinned a few white, blue, and purple bedrooms after that, and now that I’m back on track I’m anxious to get it finished up! I’ve only got a million other things to work on in this house and I want to be working on all of them right now. That sound you hear is the drone of all the ideas flitting around in my skull like a swarm of bees.