Par for the Course

This past weekend was an interesting one, with a good mix of things on the calendar along with unscheduled time to manage. There was a balance of Getting Sh*t Done and stopping to smell the roses (figuratively and literally thanks to my beautiful V-Day bouquet), and I found myself thinking a lot about this stage I find myself in in life.

Saturday, for example, I finally motivated myself to paint the outdoor trim around our front door (check it off my list), and even decided to get a little crazy and repaint our house numbers. It’s insane how happy this before and after makes me:


And when the trim was freshly painted in all it’s glossy-white-glory, I found myself opening and closing our front door repeating, “Oh my gosh, it looks SO much better.” I may or may not have asked Joey to “just come look” a few times too many.

There I am on one hand, a girl who was way too excited about updated trim, and on the other I was also a girl with plans for a girls night in the city. It was a dinner date at a swanky wine bar with girls I hadn’t seen but for a handful of random encounters since High School. It ended up being a fun night filled with lots of wine, great food, and conversation that ranged from babies, weddings and relationships to “whatever happened to _____” and “Omg, do you remember when_______.” It was fun to see just how far we’ve all come since 2002, but also how, on some level, we’re all still those same girls from way back when. Juxtaposed to my afternoon in homeowning-adventures, I realized that maybe this is all just par for the growing up course.

You hold on to the person you are, but continue to create the person you want to become. You learn new skills, work to stay off the HOA’s bad-list and gain a multitude of responsibilities, but simultaneously you still find time to get dolled up for an evening out, you learn that housework should always come second to time with family and friends, and you work to create the magic that life is really about. We only get this one wild and crazy life, so swing the club, yell “fore” and just enjoy where each drive takes you.

All A(chalk)board

Given that my summer list didn’t get too far, I’m going to stop short of making a fall list because, in all honesty, my brain is still functioning in can’t-think-past-tomorrow-mode. And I know that once fall comes so do holidays, and in reality life doesn’t slow down but rather does the complete opposite. That being said, I’m still operating under the false pretense that after this weekend, which marks the end of wedding year season for us, life is going to slow down a bit. I’ll finally have time to catch up on laundry (ha!), paint the trim around our front door before the HOA decides to kick us out of the neighborhood, and do some fun DIY home and holiday projects (pinterest is life, the rest is just details) such as…dundadaDUNNNN (that’s my version of trumpets)…paint a chalkboard wall!

I kind of think chalkboard walls are the coolest and I’ve determined that our humble kitchen would be exponentially more fabulous with one. So mark my words – if I get nothing else accomplished by the end of 2011, our kitchen WILL get a chalkboard wall. Now about getting Joey on board with the idea…

Little Space, Little Project…

…big time satisfaction! As you know, I’m always looking for ways to add some style to our humble abode. I get overwhelmed when I think about all the projects I want to do – paint rooms, tile floors, replace vanities, update mirrors, update appliances, get new window treatments etc, etc, etc. It makes my head spin to the point of total home design paralyzation. So I decided to pick one, easy, doable-in-a-day project to tackle and check off my list — our front entrance. Here’s what it looks like on a normal bad day:

Small, nothing special. Basically a good place to throw boxes that need to go out in the recycle pile. But I knew it had a little potential. So I drew a sketch of what I envisioned for the space:

Are you laughing at my drawing abilities???

I’ve been dying to hang my “Keep Calm” print so I thought it might make a good addition to a small shelf-hook combo with a storage ottoman below. Just a cozy little nook where you can sit to take off your shoes, or hang your keys.

The space is only 31″ wide, so I knew finding a decent bench might be a challenge. I fell in love with an entryway bench from Crate & Barrel but priced at nearly $400 it wasn’t only too wide, but also much more than I wanted to spend on this tiny-space makeover.

So armed with a tape measure and a sketch I headed over to Homegoods and Marshalls.


Have I told you how much I love those stores? Not only did I find an awesome mirror/shelf/key hook combo (sorry Keep Calm print, we’ll find another spot for you) but I also found a charming storage ottoman that was the perfect size. A little measuring and two nails later, here’s the final product:


I couldn’t be happier with the results! Now, I know the carpet isn’t the most attractive, but with amount of dirt/leaves/twigs that Moose drags in on a daily basis, it’s the most practical, so it stays. Here’s the breakdown of the rest…


I adore this piece! I found it at Homegoods and it was just as nice and sturdy as similar pieces I’ve seen at Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. Priced at only $50, picking it up was a no brainer.

I found the little “Welcome to our home” block at Marshalls for $2, pulled the little vase out of some things we have stored away, cut a few twigs off our holly bush and VIOLA! ((Hi Mom!!))


And here’s the storage bench (again, ignore the beautiful carpet beneath ;)). I picked this up at Marshalls for $50. Not only was it the perfect size, but it offers additional storage and has a super charming, light blue, french inspired print. Best part is that it’s light enough to pull over into the living room if we ever needed an extra seat. Multi-functionality is always a plus in small spaces!

So there’s my little project that I can now cross off my list. All said and done it cost less than $110 dollars and took a couple of hours max if you include shopping. Now to decide what’s next…