Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A.D.D. at its finest

The weekend of my Tampa baby shower, we had a house full of people.  We have four bedrooms and an office room in here, and every single one was booked.  We actually had to have two people (thanks Jenny and Christina!) bring their own air mattresses so they had something other than the couch or floor to sleep on.

The Wednesday before everyone arrived, on our nightly walk, Chris and I were talking about how much we needed to get done around the house to prep for everyone getting here.  Our fridge was empty, the floors needed to be mopped, the bathrooms needed to be cleaned, I needed to fold and put away my laundry, and everything just in general picked up, amongst other things.  I don't know about you guys, but when we're busy projecting, much of the rest of the house gets pretty neglected.

So we got home, made and ate a quick dinner, and decided we were going to go our individual ways to get our specific chores done.  Normally we do things together, but my preggo belly limits what I'm capable of getting done, so I pick the 'easy' tasks while Chris does the chores that includes chemicals and things that are going to kill my back to do.  We put our hands in, said "ready...break" and went about our business.  Yes, we're dorks...I know.

Our house is large enough that it's easy to lose each other in the midst of tasks.

About an hour later, I came inside from the garage to see how Chris was doing.  Let me digress a bit and explain that when we moved in, we had a full speaker system throughout the house.  It was so rocking the 1980's vibe with its yellow face plates and huge knobs.  As we've redone every room, we've removed the speaker...but not necessarily fixed the holes that the speaker was in.

I asked Chris to spackle the hole we made in Kalia's closet when he got a right after we built the closet, and when I came in last Wednesday, this is what I came into :

Kalia's closet is now spackled

The speaker hole in the daybed room is now drywall patched and spackled

As is the speaker wall in our bedroom

Along with this little hole in our vanity / closet area. (Sorry for the pic quality, no natural light comes in this area!)
I put my hands on my hips and asked Chris why the heck that was important to do before everyone got here, and he grabbed my hand off of my hip and directed me to the garage, where I'd been hiding for the last hour doing this :

Hmmm...he had a point!  Apparently it was more important in Chris's mind to patch the holes than do any of the actual cleaning chores, and it was more important in my mind to get the first coat of blue on Kalia's dresser than it was to take care of this mess :

This is my pile of clothes that I frantically try on anytime I have to go out in public.  They all cover my big 'ol pregnant belly, but for some reason I have to put all of them on before I can decide on an outfit!
or this one...

Chris does laundry in our house.  Most of the time I get a pile of neatly folded clothes on my side of the bed.  Chris apparently ran out of steam to do laundry too and just threw them all up on my dresser!

We actually did get the house to a 'good enough' state, with all of this stuff picked up, before everyone got here on Friday.  Even if it wasn't really what our A.D.D. selves wanted to do!  And we even had dinner on both Friday and Saturday night, as well as breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday, and lunch on Saturday ready for everyone too!

And then once everyone left...I passed out!  Just keepin' it real!

Oh, and on a side note...don't get too excited about the bright blue you see on the dresser.  It's gone through a million different steps since I took that picture...that's just a sneak peak of the base layer!

Happy Wednesday!
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nursery Room - Rug

This past weekend was one of those where lots of things get done, but nothing gets finished.  I'm guessing I'll finish up Kalia's dresser this next weekend, and hopefully have it next week to show.  We finished up one other project, but we still have to put everything back in place before I can share.

Thankfully, I'm getting to the bottom of the list of things I have to build/do myself for Kalia's room.  Less than 9 weeks to go until my due date, and I feel like I'm slowing down  Chris asked me last week when I was going to realize that I was pregnant.  I told him that was an absurd comment, I'm carrying around this huge bowling ball of a belly!  He meant it as a when am I going to slow down kind of thing.  For those of you that have been pregnant/are pregnant, you probably understand the nesting / need to get things done NOW.  I take breaks...I take naps...I just start back up where I left off when I'm rested enough!

On Friday, Kalia's new rug was delivered.  I was so excited to just unwrap something and put it in the room instead of making it to put in there!

I know a lot of you liked the black / white rug that I had gotten from Anthropologie :

And I actually liked it better in the picture than I did in real life too.  The problem with the rug, minus the fact that the daybed cover is brown, was that it just felt entirely too busy.  My sister Jennifer and Erin can both attest to it!  You can't see it in the picture, but when you walked into the room, the rug almost felt ... psychedelic.  It almost hurt your eyes to look at...the pattern was just that crazy.  I actually thought about getting the green and brown one that's on their website, but they sold out before I got a chance.

I decided that I wanted more of an accent rug than a stand out rug.  I wanted something that complimented the room, but wasn't the main focus.  I've got a lot going on in there already, so something soft, comfy, and soothing was more appropriate for the floor.

Picture was taken on a rainy day...sorry for the quality image!  The walls are grey though...see image below!

One day I'm going to fix the basket liners.  They only drive me nuts after I've already uploaded the pictures!

I ordered this rug through The Land of Nod.  Once we get her dresser and glider in here, and add the crib bedding, I really think everything will tie together really well!  I also like that I can pick this rug up and move it into another room if I ever decide I want's neutral enough that it'll fit anywhere.  I'm not painting Kalia's dresser a real neutral color, so hopefully my final vision of this just complimenting everything once it's all in there plays out.

On a side note, we'll never be able to get a dark haired dog.  We take into account Kodi's hair color for all of our flooring decisions.  Hmmm...if Kodi's that spoiled, I wonder how Kalia's going to be!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!  Happy Tuesday!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Nursery Room - Book Shelves Filled!

First things first...thank you guys so much for all of your incredibly sweet comments and compliments regarding all of the blood sweat and tears we've put into the nursery!  Lets face it, I'm pregnant, hormonal, and clumsy, so all saying all three of those is no exaggeration!  I'm having a hard time just barely keeping afloat these days between my for real job that pays the bills :-), doing the nursery, and blogging about it all, so please forgive me for my lack of responses back.  I so appreciate every comment and read through every single guys are the greatest!!

Okay, now that my hormonal side has gotten it's fill...onto the post!

As I mentioned previously, my first baby shower was this past weekend.  (When you have eight parents, 4 siblings, 3 sibling-in-laws, on top of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents that all live in the same get the benefit of having TWO baby showers...lucky us AND Kalia!!!)  My friend Jenny was in charge of invites, and one of the super cute things she did (I might have mentioned we did it for Janelle's baby shower that I did back in November...details smetails) was to add onto the invitation "In lieu of cards, please bring your favorite children's book to help Baby Hart stock her bookshelf!"

I'm so excited to say that Kalia's bookshelves no longer have any empty shelves!!

She, of course, could always still use more books, we'll just go for the layered effect for any more books that she does get!

This is such a cute idea for a baby shower by the way.  All the girls wrote their card to Kalia inside of the book, which definitely is a great memory that we'll forever cherish!

Here's a bunch of pictures from different angles (you're welcome for not posting all of them that I took!)

View from the closet with her alphabet wall
View from when you first walk in
View from Kalia's Crib
Two walls down, two more to go!!  We're getting there!!

I've got to do it, even though you've probably seen it a million last good before and after shot of this wall...

Before...gross.  Just gross.  And embarrassing!
After!  So much Better!

Hope everyone has a great weekend...I, of course, have baby and nursery stuff (including maternity pictures with Erin--woot!) planned for my weekend.

And for those of you getting tired of nursery room posts, believe it or not, we have a few other house projects going on that will show up on here before too long.  Hopefully...ha!

Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nursery Room - Alphabet Wall Decor

As I mentioned on Friday, I had my first baby shower on Saturday.  It was so much fun!  Kalia is going to be one spoiled little girl when she comes into this world, and having so much actual baby stuff is making me so excited and anxious for her to get here!  I'll post more on the shower later...

...but having so much baby stuff also made me really anxious to get some more stuff done to Kalia's nursery.  Less than 10 weeks till my due date, and my belly is just getting bigger and bigger.

I've had wall decor for above the daybed for quite some time now, but I knew it was going to take some patience to get it up.  Why?  Well, because I found these alphabet cards on Etsy, and fell in love.
With all 26 of them.  They actually went out of stock before I could buy them, so I looked all around for alphabet cards that I liked just as much.  The only semi substitute I could find was these cards from The Land of Nod...

Which made me laugh.  The first one is A is for adjustable wrench.  They're right up my ally!

But really they weren't quite as cute as the initial ones.  Luckily for me (and Kalia!), the Etsy store owner convo'd me back when they had another set in stock.

I looked all over for picture frames that weren't too expensive (I did have to get 26 of them!), and finally settled on some from the dollar store.  For $1 a piece, I couldn't beat it!

The frames, shockingly, compliment the flash cards pretty well.  I went back and forth between black or white frames, but Erin and Chris both liked the black frames better on the light gray wall.  I think with the alphabet letters being black, they were definitely right!

There was a lot of measurements and math to get this to come out exact with the correct spacing, but after I had figured all of that out, it was simply a matter of me holding the level while Chris marked off where the frames would go, and then nailing 26 nails into the wall.

Yes, if we ever change our mind on these flash cards, patching the wall is going to be a pain!  But I really love the way these tie in with the pillows...

And the overall daybed wall in general!

I definitely love a nursery that has a lot of decor on the walls.  Not busy by any means, but just filled.  I think between the bookshelves and this wall, Kalia's going to have a lot of fun stimulations for her little eyes!

It's definitely much better than where we started.

I'll show you on Friday how all of this looks with Kalia's bookshelves.  Hope everyone is having a great week so far!  Happy Wednesday!

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I'm linking up to the parties in my sidebar...go check out what everyone else is decorating!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nursery Room - Crib

Item numero uno that we're not building in Kalia's room is her crib.  For obvious safety reasons.  I'm actually pretty sure that Chris and I could build some sumo type crib that would be about 900 pounds and the safest thing she could possibly be in, but that wouldn't be all that cute.  Or all that practical, so that's out!

When we started looking at cribs, Chris wanted to know why we couldn't just get a crate.  His logic/reasoning was that cribs just look like a glorified crate with the top removed.  Hmmm...he sort of has a point.

But since we don't want child services showing up at our door for our unborn daughter, we decided to go the more conventional route and buy a for real crib.

I'd say this was our crib criteria, but Chris's only concern was that it was safe.  Other than that, he was largely uninspired and uncaring when it came to the look and feel of the crib.  See...sometimes he is a normal guy!

So my criteria for the crib...

  • Safe (obviously)
  • I wanted it to be pretty (of course)
  • I didn't care if it converted to a toddler bed.  I actually almost preferred that it didn't.  There's a few reasons for this, but the main one is that I know we can build something that I'll love more than something I can buy off the shelf.  In looking at cribs, I was disheartened by a lot of the qualities of wood and build jobs.  Prior to me ever building my own piece of furniture, I wasn't such a snob.  But knowing that I can make something to my taste for cheaper than I can buy has made me a huge furniture snob.  It's slightly annoying at times.
  • I wanted it to be gender neutral.  Because I don't care about it converting to a toddler bed, I want this to be the end-all be-all crib for all future little two legged critters we have.
  • It has to last.  It can't get teeth mark / beat up / etc. and then get tossed in the trash.  See bullet above for reason why!
  • I did not want to paint it.  I have zero desire to paint the individual spindles in a crib with a paintbrush.  One day when I win the lottery, I'll invest in a paint sprayer.  'Till then, my impatient self is not painting any cribs!
  • I wanted it to be somewhat unique.
  • I didn't want it to cost us an arm and a leg.  We need both of those for chasing Kalia around one day!
Impossible list?  I thought so initially too.  But we set out to find a crib and came home time and time again defeated.  I'm honestly the most annoying person to shop with at times.  I got depressed in Pottery Barn Kids.  Yes, they have cute stuff...but I'm not a pastel pink and off-white kind of gal.  And lets face it...the nursery design is for Kalia, but Chris and I are going to be the ones that notice the design of the room until she gets to toddler stage.  So I have to like it!

And I finally found one that I loved.  That we both loved.  Chris initially thought the pictures of it were okay but once we got it in Kalia's room and all put together, he stepped back and said, and I quote! "Wow!  I actually really love it."  Woohoo!!!!!

Allright, allright, enough's Kalia's crib...

Minus the empty mattress, isn't the crib beautiful?!  Here's a few details shots:

And here's what it looks like when you walk in Kalia's room :

The long poles can be removed, or the canopy portion can be added to the top to go all around the top of the crib.  Without any bedding in there, this is our favorite look thus far.  

Now, I know some people are going to have objections to a wrought-iron crib.  Please keep in mind that we're both Engineers, overly anal, and we overly research anything before jumping on buying anything (which includes checking out  Everyone has their own personal opinions on what's right for them, and what they're okay with.  And this crib was right for us.  It was actually perfect for us.  The wrought-iron will most definitely withstand the test of time!  We couldn't find anything on serious accidents related to wrought-iron cribs, and those that have owned them, love them.  Most of the negative comments we could find on the wrought-iron crib were people who had never owned one.  Which is a.okay by me...I like that we all have different tastes and preferences!  It makes for a way more interesting world.

The crib is from Bratt Decor and we managed to scoop it up for right around $400, which is an absurd price for this beauty!  It's an older model, but it's never been recalled, and Bratt Decor has free hardware for the lifetime of your crib, and they also have a free stabilizer kit they sent us to make this crib go from drop-side to stationary.  We're skeptics though, so we did test out the hardware replacement.  Within two days of calling, I had a replacement screw fed-exed to my front door.  So awesome!

I'm actually working on Kalia's bedding right now (I know she can't sleep with it for a long time...).  I have a few ideas for the crib skirt, so when the dresser is done, I'll switch to baby bedding mode.  It seems like my to-do list is piling up, and my time is getting shorter and shorter!  She'll be here before we know it!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  We've got a house full of people coming in town for my first baby shower tomorrow, so mine will be really fun and exciting!  For fun, lets end on a before and after shot of this wall, now that we've decided it's the cribs permanent home!


After much better!  Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nursery Room - Biggest Build Yet!

Chris and I have been working on our latest biggest project for the past three weekends.  It's that big.  And it took that much work.

We're obviously not making Kalia's crib (for safety reasons), and I have no idea how we'd make a glider (which my super sweet hubs and mother-in-law got me for my bday!!), so the last big/main thing we need, besides decorations of course, is a changing table.

But I didn't really want a changing table...Kalia's room has space for a dresser, and part of my goal when designing this nursery was to design it in such a way that the room would grow with her.  So I scoured craigslist to try to find one that I liked to redo...and I failed.  The cheapest one I could find that was solid wood was $150.

I, of course, went looking at Ana White's website to see if she had any plans for a dresser.  And she did!  I told Chris we could just build one, and to my complete surprise, instead of telling me I was crazy, he said "sounds good!".  Woohoo!!

We followed Ana's plans to the T to build the frame of the dresser.  Instead of having Home Depot cut all of our wood for us, we just had them cut the full sheets of plywood down to 1x16 boards, and then we did all of the rest of our cuts ourselves.  We knew how important it would be to keep the entire thing square, so we wanted to make sure our cuts were as close to perfect as possible.

We glued, wood filled, and used a square to make sure we were level on both sides in-between each step.  We also sanded in-between almost each step, which is unusual for us.  We took our time building this in hopes that it would all turn out well.

After about an eight hour day of building, gluing, nailing, and sanding, we had this :

Isn't she a beauty?!?!

After this, everything got a whole lot more tricky.  We wanted to make drawers with metal drawer glides.  Because this is going in Kalia's room, and will get lots and lots of wear and tear, our thoughts were that the drawer glides would hold up longer and be easier to use than just having the wood slide against the wood.

We went to Home Depot, bought 5 sets of metal drawer glides for about 7$ a piece, and installed them to the frame of the drawer opening.

These drawer glides came with instructions on how to measure your drawer to account for the width of the actual drawer glides themselves, and the height of the back, to account for the fact that the wheel on your drawer is going to go up over top of the glide wheel in your dresser.  Easy peasy, right?  Wrong.  They were off on these measurements by about 1/8" total (1/16th on either side), which may seem small, but being exact with drawers matters.

After figuring all of this out, sanding, sanding, sanding, and finally just taking apart and rebuilding one of the drawers, we finally got a system figured out.  We made sure to use our square for each drawer we were building.

After all of the drawers were built, I rubbed two coats of polyurethane on the insides and sides of the drawers (we had yet to put the faces on)...

Ah yes, I'm looking quite large in in charge these days!  Nothing like building a dresser at 7 1/2 months pregnant!
While Chris ran the sander, for the millionth time, along the body of the dresser.

Next up was the finishing work...putting the actual faces on the dresser!  I applied a bead of glue to the outside where the face was going to attach.

For the top drawers, to keep everything even, we wanted to leave 1/8" gap around each edge of the face.  We searched all over the garage and came up with stacking two of our paint supply plastic stick thingies (I use them when I'm trimming the baseboards on the wood floor, but I have no idea what they're actually called), and using that to hold the bottom of the drawer level.  Then Chris used the nail gun to shoot the face to the actual drawer base.

There was a lot of holding our breath during this nerve wracking!!  Minus taking this picture, my face was peering in the back of the dresser telling Chris "you got it!!  The nail didn't go into the dresser...woot!"

Once the bottom was nailed in, we pulled out the drawer, and Chris pushed the nail gun as tight as he could to the face and attached it.

Then we stood back and admired our down, four to go!

The bottom drawers actually had almost 1/4'' spacing on either side.  Most boards measure about 1/2'' smaller than what they, for example, a 1x2 is really 1 inch by 1.5 inches.  A 1x6 board is really 1 inch by 5 1/2 inches.  Well, apparently once you get to a 1x8 board, they start measuring 3/4'' off.  It's due to the drying / shrinking when they actually cut the lumber (google it if you're really interested!!), but initially we thought we had bought bad 1x8 boards from Home Depot.  Nope!  Our spacing around our larger drawers was just slightly bigger.  We actually used our old tile spacers to hold those up and nail them in place.

And wala!  A fully built dresser!

There's actually one drawer on here that slipped (top left) while we were nailing it in.  After this was all together, I sanded and sanded and sanded till I was happy with the outcome (with the drawer faces in, after applying wood filler to all of our nail holes). 

Here's our new pretty drawers :

You can tell that the inside and sides are finished with the rubbed on poly, but the faces are not.  We're actually painting this piece to match Kalia's closet, so you don't get the actual full reveal just yet!  I can't even wait to see how it turns out once it's all finished...anyone want to come over and paint it for me?!?!  I know it's a really pretty piece as just wood, but it just doesn't go in the nursery without being painted, and I'm excited about the visions I have in my head for this piece!

Now if I could just keep my belly out of my paint...hmmm.

Hope everyone's having a great week so far!  Happy Wednesday!
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Nursery Room - Daybed

On Wednesday, I showed you my mis-adventures in pillow making.  The reason I needed five new pillows is because one of my daybeds from the daybed room landed a new home in the nursery.  That's been my plan for their more permanent home all put them in our "someday kids" room, which has now become Kalia's nursery.  I really like the idea of having a place where Chris can sit and hang out too while I'm nursing.  It'll also be a fun place to read Kalia's books to her when she gets a bit bigger.

I drew out the plans for this room, but still wound up changing my mind on placement.  Initially, the daybed wound up on the closet wall :

I took this picture for my own see how everything tied in together.  And now it's the only picture I can find of the daybed along that wall. Sorry that I don't have a better picture of the daybed with all of the pillows and nothing extra on it!

Location wise, it was okay there, but it was kind of the star of the room, and I really want Kalia's crib to be the star.  I also didn't like that it pretty much completely covered up Kalia's toybox from view when you walked in.  I let it sit there for a few weeks to think and process it.  Do any of you guys do that?  Move something, then see if it'll grow on you?

That area rug is another one of those things...I left it down for a bit to see if it would grow on me, and it didn' don't get too excited about seeing it in that space.  It's on the list of things to return relatively soon!

On Saturday, I had Chris help me move the daybed to the wall next to the bookshelves.

I think it's found it's permanent home...

At least for now anyways!  From the view above, it looks like the daybed is a lot closer to the bookshelves than it really is.  There's another image later on where you can see that there's still walking room to grab a book on the lower shelves.  Here are the views from when you walk in Kalia's room :

Too bad I don't have more of a panoramic lens...but you get the idea now that the daybed isn't covering up Kalia's toybox anymore.

The pile of frames that were on the bed in the first picture are what I want to hang above the daybed, but I needed to make sure that I really liked the placement of it before I put any holes into the wall.

So far for Kalia's nursery, we've built everything.  We have one more major thing to finish building, and then we're putting up our saws and getting onto the decorating!  That actually kind of makes me sad...I'm much better with power tools than I am with crafts, so we'll see how the rest of her room turns out!

And now for my favorite part, the before and after!  Which I'll do again once I get something on these walls, but it still amazes me every time I put up an image that we started with after we emptied out what was once the junk room.

After : Removed carpet, installed flooring, painted walls, painted baseboards, removed old intercom and patched hole, hung curtains, built and hung bookshelves, moved daybed that we'd previously built in here, made new pillows for daybed, painted ceiling, installed new fan (barely visible, but you can see how much more light is in here), and installed new window.  Whew!!
You can see from this viewpoint that there's still room to walk / stand between the bookshelves and the daybed.  It makes me so happy to think of Kalia toddling up to pick out her book, and the three of us cozying up on this bed to read them together.  Beyond happy...beyond excited...words really can't begin to express it!

Stay tuned for a big project reveal later on this week!  Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Happy Monday!

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