Friday, February 24, 2012

Wop wop.

And of course, the tile is asbestos. Cue the woe and dollar signs. Sigh. Well, this will cost us a little more and push back the timeline, but fortunately we don't currently have any possessions in the house so it will be much easier to remediate than it would be after we moved. Plus, the ugly floor in the downstairs bath has to go! Optimism FTW!

Be well,


It begins.

As delighted as M and I are with our new house, we are finding out bit by bit that what we really bought is an opportunity to spend lots more money. Every time we start on one project, we find two more that need to go on the list. Alas, we cannot afford to tackle everything at once, so we are starting with the two things that emerged at the top of that very long list: painting the entire house and remodeling the kitchen.

Almost every wall, ceiling and closet in the house is in desperate need of a paint job. I don't know when it was last painted or by whom, but all of the off-white paint is dingy and depressing, and even that isn't as bad as the lavender in the second bedroom or the horrible china blue in the downstairs guest room. There are literally hundreds of holes in the walls of various sizes and the hardware holding the rolling blinds in place has been painted over at least 5 times, rendering it almost part of the wall. One wall downstairs has water damage behind the plaster, which makes the paint chip off in charming little geometric shapes and the windows in the bathrooms are all edged with rust. Thankfully, we found a contractor whose painters seem up to the job and they started prep work on Wednesday. All the floors we care about are covered in pink paper and the long process of removing a million wall anchors is begun. Hooray! We are having the entire house painted the same color: Benjamin Moore's Distant Gray in their no-VOC Natura paint and primer. With a 2 year old and a little one on the way, we want to be as health conscious as possible. We may go back and do some accent walls in different colors later, but for now we are going with a clean slate.

The second item on our pre-move-in list is the kitchen. And oh my, does it need help. The cabinets, countertops and (I think) sink are original, and the dishwasher is of a late 1980's vintage. The range hood is offset from the actual range by about 8 inches and the automatic ice maker isn't even connected to a water source. Not to mention the awful tile floors, which may or may not contain asbestos. (Fingers crossed that we don't have to do asbestos remediation before commencing work.) So, we are going to essentially start over. Both doorways are going to be widened to open the space and we are installing all new cabinets, floors and countertops, as well as replacing the sink, faucet, dishwasher and range hood. The refrigerator and range are both new-ish and will remain until I can find an awesome deal on the range of my dreams (found here; my mom has the same one and I love cooking on it and so does she). Ditto for a counter-depth refrigerator, but since I don't want an icemaker/water dispenser in the door this is actually a harder search than I expected. The good news about the kitchen is that the contractor's estimate came in right where we anticipated and so far, we are within our budget! We are planning to do an IKEA kitchen and the very first thing I chose for the space was the DOMSJĂ– double-basin farmhouse sink. I LOVE IT. The very thought of having enough space to wash pots is enough to make me dizzy. We are going to pair it with the HJUVIK faucet with hand sprayer. The cabinet and drawer fronts will be the NEXUS birch veneer with LANSA handles. M used the IKEA kitchen planner to lay out all of the cabinets and we are pretty much ready to buy everything, but rumor has it that the semi-annual kitchen sale begins in March so we are waiting to see if we can get another 20% off. We still need to choose a dishwasher (leaning towards a Bosch but they have less interior space due to better sound-proofing), flooring (likely either slate or a porcelain tile that looks like slate), a countertop material (laminate or Caesarstone) and a backsplash material (thinking glass subway tiles in a sea-glass green color). The walls will be white to match the rest of the house.

We will probably give the contractor the green light as soon as we get good news (please, please, please) from the asbestos test results and hopefully will be starting work in the kitchen by the first full week of March. It's getting exciting...

Be well,


Sleepover kit planning.

Sleepovers are fun. I can remember how much I loved both having and going to sleepovers as a child and hope that one day, our new home (!!) can be the site of many awesome all-night giggle fests. Even though my little friend MK isn't quite ready for big girl sleepovers, I think that having a kit of the necessary supplies will help her to prepare.

Admittedly, the only progress I have made is to map out my plan and purchase anything that I didn't already have. Oh, and all the fabric is washed thanks to the mister. I decided to start with the pajamas and let them guide my color choices. Since the pants of the PJs are pink with monkeys, I decided to coordinate with the pinks and browns. I chose the following fabrics:

- Bubblegum pink fleece, which matches the bows and hearts on the PJs
- Hot pink/white flannel houndstooth print
- Hot pink flannel-backed satin
- Brown minky fabric (which I already owned)
- A medium weight blue denim

It sounds like too much, but bear with me and I think you will see where I am going with this. This is the breakdown of what will be used where:

1. Pajamas - I found some adorable PJs at Carter's (on sale!). You can see them here, but just in case the link expires, they are pink, flannel and have monkeys on them (MK loves monkeys).

2. Blanket - I am going to make a simple blanket with the brown minky on one side and the pink flannel-backed satin on the other. For the edging I am going to make bias binding with the pink/white houndstooth using this tutorial.

3. Pillow - A toddler sized pillow with a simple pillowcase using the pink/white houndstooth.

4. Slippers - Bubblegum pink fleece elf slippers using the maya*made tutorial found here.

5. A sleep mask - Pink flannel-backed satin and pink/white houndstooth using this Whipup tutorial.

6. A toothbrush and toothpaste - I still need to pick up a toddler toothbrush and some toothpaste at Whole Foods.

7. A stuffed animal - If I have time, I am going to make a bunny similar to this one with either the pink flannel or the brown minky. Either way, I will line the ears with the pink/white houndstooth.

8. A bag - I made some simple, reversible drawstring bags for the Numa and my niece and nephew over the holiday. I will use the same pattern for this bag with the denim and the flannel-backed satin and will post a short tutorial on making the bags, since they are cute and sturdy. Below is the bag I made for my nephew...the train fabric is a Kokka medium weight cotton/linen blend I found at a local fabric store. The bag reverses to a dark denim and the bottom of the bag on each side is in the contrasting color.

Elliott's fort kit.

Wish me luck. I have a long list of projects and a limited timeline!

Be well,


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

All your brain cells are belong to me.

We have news! I am currently about 18 weeks pregnant with baby #2. M and I are thrilled and can't wait to welcome a new baby into our family. The Numa will be roughly 2.5 when the new baby comes and will hopefully be very excited to be a big brother. I am almost giddy at the thought of another tiny person who sleeps on my chest and has that new baby smell. Isn't that just the best?

While I am very happy to be expecting a new baby, I am growing increasingly concerned about my inability to function in what I consider a "normal" fashion. You know, where I remember to do things and can recall simple words and concepts during conversations. The other day, I was telling a coworker about a new show I was watching on __. It took me almost 10 seconds of thought to fill in that blank, which was "television." That's right, TELEVISION. TV. I could not remember the word for that big square thing on which I watch shows. In the main, this isn't such a huge deal. Sure, I take my fair share of teasing for the resulting ridiculousness, but hey, that's life. However, tonight my non-functional recall ability caused me to forget our monthly meat CSA pick up. Which takes place approximately 5 minutes from our apartment. By foot. Like I could have walked there at any time after arriving home up to about 6:45 and still made it in plenty of time to pick up my share and chat with the lovely farmers who provide it. The cooler was even in the car...I could have stopped on my way home. And I read the email reminding me to pick up my share right before leaving work. But no, my fetus-eaten brain failed to remind me that I needed to do this until a full hour after pick up had ended. Damnit.

In other news, we closed on our new house last Friday! We went to the house after the closing to make a list of what needs to be done before we move in late March and one of our neighbors rang the bell to say hello. Our new neighborhood is fantastic - we have met several of our neighbors and each is nicer than the last. There are several families with kids and a family expecting a new baby sometime this spring, so at least one of our little people will have similarly aged pals to hang out with. I will post lots of pictures of the house in it's current state. There is much to do!

Be well,


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Homeowners and sleepovers.

Tomorrow is the big day. We close on our new house in the morning and will become officially poor. We are super excited and just hope that all goes well.

In other news, I am planning to give a friend of the Numa's a Sleepover Kit for her 2nd birthday. So far, my list of things necessary for a sleepover includes:

1. Pajamas - No nude sleepovers when you are 2. Once you are an adult, you are free to have nude sleepovers whenever the mood strikes you.
2. A blanket - Because it gets cold at night.
3. A pillow - To provide a gentle but effective weapon against your fellow sleepmates.
4. Slippers - For when you need to pee in the middle of the night.
5. A sleep mask - Because it is adorable.
6. A toothbrush and toothpaste - Fresh breath is not optional.
7. A stuffed animal - To keep you company all night long.
8. A bag - To carry the essentials.

I am liking this list so far and will pick up most of the supplies this weekend. What did I miss?

Be well,