Being Homeowners

Whenever Husband and I moved in together, many years ago, we made chocolate chip cookies.

It was about 10pm, I had work the next day and for some reason fresh cookies sounded like the best most delicious idea ever.  So, we went grocery shopping, made cookies and ate them in bed while watching reruns of Friends. Doesn’t get much better than that.

As we snuggled in bed with our cookies and Ross and Rachel, I looked at Husband and said, “Being a grown-up is fun”. Husband smiled and said, “I know…when we were little and forced to go to bed early we always imagined that our parents stayed up eating cookies and watching TV. Now, I know we were right.”

And, you know what, 6 years later, being a grown-up and living together is still fun, sometimes we still make cookies in the middle of the night and we definitely still watch Friends. HOWEVER, after the sugar rush, lack of sleep and a very messy kitchen reality starts to soak in a little. Bills have to be paid, chores have to be divvied up, bad habits must be endured and fights and arguments are inevitable. We quickly learned that being a “grown-up” is not all fun.

We lived in apartments for a couple of years in Tennessee, a year in Albania and a couple of years in New York. Those years were great, but our last year in New York we were getting the itch to be homeowners. We looked for months in and out of Manhattan, but somehow found ourselves in a modern home from the 70’s right in middle of Tennessee. Our first few weeks in our new house had a familiar feeling of euphoria…

We had SO MUCH space! A 3-bedroom home in the country is basically a mansion compared to our less than 400 square feet on the Upper East Side. We had friends over all the time to eat, drink and play games (still doing that). I had just found out I was pregnant, so lots of time was spent daydreaming about the nursery and raising kids in our new home. We have a garage connected to the house, which is amazing. We basically never have to face the elements…no more carrying groceries in the rain, defrosting my windshield or slipping through snow. We have a dishwasher, bathtubs, our own washer and dryer. We also have land, which means the dog and cat can run around freely whenever they please, and if I don’t feel like taking Belle on a walk, I don’t have to! Yay for owning a house!

Now, as you may have guessed the elation of being a homeowner has started to wear off a bit. Owning an older home means that basically everything breaks, and we can’t exactly call our landlord or super to fix it. EVERYTHING is up to us. Husband and I have learned a lot about being a handy-man this year. The really big nice yard has to be kept up. There is no trash service so we literally drive our trash to the dump. We have a ladybug infestation (yes, that’s a real thing). We got mice (problem almost solved), and we have a very pesky woodpecker.

A couple of months ago we were continuously awoken by the knocking of a woodpecker that we would walk out and attempt to scare away so we could go back to sleep. One morning, while Husband was shooing the bird away in his boxers at about 7am, he looked to his right and actually saw a deer standing next to him just watching the whole spectacle. Neither the bird nor the deer seemed to care that there was a human standing there screaming and flailing his arms about. Apparently, no animals fear us.

Now that pesky woodpecker has pecked holes out of the side of our house…one more thing we need to fix. Our to-do list of things we do not actually know how to-do is very very long.

The good news is, we are mostly still enjoying it. Even as we remove every single dish from every cabinet, and scrub down the kitchen with bleach and set-up mouse traps…even as we grit our teeth and sarcastically say “boy, being a grown-up is so fun”…even when the garbage disposal clogs for the 50th time and water floods under the sink… we are grateful. Owning our house is not easy and definitely not always fun, or even affordable, but it’s ours. It’s our home together and it will be our home for a very long time.

We may not always feel grateful in the moment, but at the moment when we figure out how to fix the broken garage door, finish painting a room or learn while my blow-dryer keeps blowing the breaker, it’s awesome. Hopefully those will be the moments we remember in 20 years, and hopefully we won’t be invaded and taken over by wild animals by that point.

Cheers!

DIY Chevron Table

I completed yet another Pinterest project and I must say, I am pretty darn impressed with myself. It is like pulling teeth to force myself to actually start a crafty project, but once I am going there’s no slowing down. I’m practically Martha Stewart and Super Woman rolled up into one nice package…modest too.

Here’s my latest project….

finished table

Looks good, right? Just don’t look too close. The yellow stripes smeared a bit, but you can only tell if you are sitting at the table looking for mistakes, so who cares?

I got this old iron table from my in-law’s storage. It was white at one point, but mostly dirt and rust when I rescued it. Here’s how I refurbished this cute café table.

before

-First I sanded every bit of metal.

There was A LOT of rust
There was A LOT of rust

-Once everything was smooth I washed off all the dust and dirt.

-Then I taped off the seats and covered them in plastic bags to keep them from getting sprayed with paint.

cusions

-Next, I spray painted everything white.

-Here’s the trickiest part. I used painters taper to create chevron stripes. This was by far the longest and most taxing step.

Green looks really good too...I was tempted to just leave the tape and call it a day.
Green looks really good too…I was tempted to just leave the tape and call it a day.

-Finally, I spray painted the top of the table yellow (my favorite color).

spray paint

-After the yellow was (mostly) dry, I removed the tape to reveal my pretty yellow stripes….which leaked out from under the tape and smeared in a few areas. So, if you try this either a)make sure your tape is pressed down really well. b) Use something other than painter’s tape, or c) expect some smudges and smears.

chevron

What do you think?

reveal party

Not sure what my next Pinterest project will be, but I’m hoping it’s something for the nursery!

Cheers!

Project Dream Home: Nursery

Yes! It is finally time to start working on our nursery! We have had so much work to do in our new home (and still have so much), that we have been putting off the nursery until it’s absolutely necessary to start getting it ready. We still have 4 months, but I think the time has come.

From day one, my friends and family have assumed that our baby room is going to be decked out in Mickie Mouse and Disney extreme, and why wouldn’t they? We are Disney fanatics…we worked, dated, got engaged and got married at “the happiest place on Earth”. Why wouldn’t we theme our child’s room after our favorite second home?

The truth is that we just don’t like character-themed rooms. It’s always too much. Plus, once a room has a theme, especially a nursery, people go a little nuts buying for that specific theme. I do not want Mickey and Minnie EVERYTHING, so we are going for something a little more simple… a lot more simple actually.

Our nursery is going to be neutral, lots of white, simple, timeless and gender neutral furniture. Husband and I both like the clean simplistic look of the neutral nurseries I’ve found on Pinterest.

The natural lighting and simple decor is so nice in this room.
The natural lighting and simple decor is so nice in this room.
The rug makes this room much more cozy than just a solid wood floor.
The rug makes this room much more cozy than just a solid wood floor.
I do not love all the teddy bears pictured here, but the colors are just right.
I do not love all the teddy bears pictured here, but the colors are just right.
A touch of color might be nice too.
A touch of color might be nice too.
There's just so much you can do with a neutral room!
There’s just so much you can do with a neutral room!

We  love the neutral rooms, BUT, we are going to sneak in a touch of classic Disney. I found lots of cute Disney touches to add on Pinterest. Not sure what we will choose (if any), but these are my favorites so far.

mobile doorknob book hanging

One Disney touch we definitely want to add is a couple vintage Disney posters. I found some amazing vintage ads from Disneyland! I think we will choose our two favorites, frame them and add them to our neutral room to liven it up a little. It’s Disney, but not too obvious or obnoxious. Right?

Here's a few...
Here’s a few…

CANNOT wait to get started on our little girl’s room!

Cheers!

Project Dream Home: Kitchen

While looking for a house, the room I cared the least about was the kitchen. I rarely cook, so I focused more on important rooms like the closets, the master bathroom and the decks. Now, that we actually have a home and are wanting to start a family, I am beginning to realize that learning to cook might be a good idea… Especially since I keep telling Husband that I will make a great stay-at-home Mom. I don’t know how long Husband will consider cooking frozen pizza and Kraft mac and cheese a decent meal. Eh, who am I kidding, Husband loves easy junk food just as much as I do.

Our new kitchen is a galley kitchen. If you don’t know what this is, don’t feel bad. I didn’t know either. It’s a two walled kitchen that opens up on each end, and you can walk through it like hallway. The best photo I could find online of our kitchen is this…

kitchen

 

Here’s a little view at the opposite end from the dining room…

peakatchicken

 

The colors will be the same as the living room and dining room since they are all connected. I think the living room walls will be champagne, one wall in the dining room can be sea-foam green, and maybe the kitchen wall will be rustic gold?

colorscheme

My first plan for the kitchen is to expand it into the dining area, but that may have to be done in a couple of years. Until then, we will need to use the bit of kitchen space we have wisely. Of course I found many genius ideas on Pinterst.

good.idea do.this.easy. do.this.too do.this.also

 

There is a skylight in the kitchen with a hanging rack for pots and pans under it, which is just perfect. I will use this and as much wall space as possible. I love keeping our utensils, cutlery and pots out where they are easily accessible, like on the wall.

use.wall.space

 

The kitchen does not need much work, but I would like to refurbish the cabinets soon. Doesn’t the color on the inside of this cabinet look awesome?

paint.inside.of.cabinets

One day I will get a deep sink and new appliances, but there’s no real rush.

ruggalleykitchen goodcolors galleykitchen

 

What do you think? Can I learn to cook in our galley kitchen? (Remember, if you say “no” I’ll have the perfect excuse to never cook!)

Cheers!

Project Dream House

I have decided to start a new series on the blog titled “Project Dream House” to track and share the story of our new home and how it will transform over the next few years…or ten years. (I was going to call it “Positively Panicked and Painting”, but it was too much alliteration for my liking.) We are in love with our house, but it’s far from perfect. The previous owner thought painting every wall brown, orange or red was a good idea, and decorated with wicker furniture and leopard print. Needless to say, this house needs some serious cosmetic help.

Since I have to design and decorate from a million miles away (give or take a few), Husband and I are constantly emailing photos and Pinterest ideas to each other. We are starting with the exterior. Nothing has been done yet, but I want to share our ideas.

This is our house now…

house

 

And, here it is in the snow, because snow is pretty, and I wanted to share this photo.

houseinsnow

 

We have lots of space, beautiful trees and four wonderful decks that I cannot wait to relax on with a glass of wine. However, it needs a new look and a fresh paint job. I want to brighten it up a bit. I think some white trim might do the trick…

exterior

 

A brightly colored door would be nice too.  I love the pop of color against the gray house!

gray,white,andgreen

 

Or maybe an all white house, a colored trim and bright door?

anothergoodymaybetoomuchwhite?

 

I am going back and forth between a few different color schemes.

notsureaboutdoorcolor lovedifferentcolors goodcombo

 

I think our favorite is a gray or bluish/gray body, white trim and a bright door, of course.

similarto1st

 

SO excited to get this project going! Suggestions, anyone?

Cheers!

P.S. If anyone happens to love painting in their spare time, Husband could really use a hand. He will provide lunch…and beer.