You Make Plans….

And gd floods your house so you can make the design/decorating plans happen!  Right?

Construction is well underway, and even though our house still has a gaping hole to the outside & elements, they’ve made a ton of progress and I’m excited that they are going to start electric & plumbing tomorrow!  Our contractor is still convinced he’ll be done by April, and I am not.  However on the off chance that he wants to be able to spend some time with his family instead of being out in Long Beach all week long, I’ll say he’s motivated to get this rare winter full house renovation done with!  I thought I had better start planning!

mood boardI know that some of my inlaw family is going to be critical of how little color there is here, but I need to be inside the space to pick the color items.  I do not buy furniture or expensive items in colors since my color taste changes so frequently.  I like to use art and accessories to put the color in the rooms.  That will happen once we’re in the house.  Clearly Miss A is not afraid of color since her room is super colorful.  She helped me pick out almost everything for her room.  There will be sparkles incorporated as well since that is her main request!

It is crazy that we have to pick out every single item in every single room.  The only things we don’t need are dishes and wine glasses!  Crazy.

Will post more about my kitchen design when our layout is complete and we pick a cabinet maker!

If Mister LK and I are able to agree on these things, I’ll consider 2012 a success.  It has been quite a crazy year in the world & we’re looking forward to a better 2013!

 

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Every Mother Should Have Some Pink In Their World…

I’ve mentioned before that I come from a family of all girls.  I (so far) only have nieces.  And…well…there’s A.  When I was pregnant, I didn’t find out the sex until she was born.  I know a lot of people who hate that…but for me, I wanted that surprise.  I also didn’t want to shop since we’re superstitious and didn’t bring anything baby-related into the house until baby was home.

When Dr. W announced that A was a girl, I  nearly fainted.  Yes I did just have a C-section after almost 30 hours of labor and I was exhausted, but I was just so sure “she” was a “he” that I couldn’t catch my breath.

Obviously, all I hoped for was a healthy baby.  But deep down…I wanted a girl!  I’d be lying if I said otherwise.

Now…my beautiful friend DR just had her 3rd baby.  (WHOA).  And like the other 2, she didn’t find out the sex.  Her first 2 are really 2 of the most amazing, beautiful, smart, funny, sweet boys I’ve ever met.  But when I got the txt about #3, I can’t say I wasn’t just super super excited that ITS A GIRL!!!!!

Every mommy should have a little pink in their world…and I was completely floored and honored that DR asked me to put together something for their nursery!  Mood boards for nurseries are something that I love.  I wish I put together some more for my own use when A was cozy in my belly, but I was busy living a life of a childless person and didn’t have time for silly things like decor in my nursery.  Until she arrived and I smashed together some ideas and got her all set up!

So now, I just hope that more people I know get pregnant or decide to decorate their kids/baby’s room & let me get creative!

What makes it even better, is that DR loved it and I think it’s actually going to look a lot like this inspiration board!  For sweet AR. (another A baby….they have a special place in my heart!)

She's so pretty and delicate!

Perfection!

A little inspiration!

Why Santa Doesn’t Visit Our House…

Firstly…we don’t let strange men in costumes into our house in the middle of the night when we are sleeping.  Ever.

Secondly…we are Jewish.

I have never felt envious of any of my friends who celebrated Christmas.  I never felt like Hanukkah was not as “fun”…in fact, quite the opposite.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting presents for 8 nights in a row.  I thought it was kinda sad that my Christmas celebrating friends had only 1 day to get presents.  I know Hanukkah is more of a subdued holiday…there aren’t as many decorations, our house wasn’t lighting up the night sky like the sun, but I appreciated it.  We knew what Christmas was…although I don’t remember a time when I thought Santa was real.  I remember when Auntie S thought so, but I don’t remember thinking it.  We got to go to friend’s houses & see Santa & have dinner, and always I knew that Christmas was a holiday “they” were celebrating.  We did Hanukkah.

Now that I have A, I can see why she’d think Christmas was cooler.  There’s so many lights & decorations & things that will grab her short little attention span at every turn…but as parents, we get to teach her the fun of Hanukkah.  I’m pretty excited to do that!

We started by showing A that if anyone knows bling…its the Jews…

Then we got to decorating!

And tonight…we had Gramma over to celebrate the 1st night of Hanukkah!  It was great 🙂  A’s first present was from Gramma & here she is showing me how to multi-task!

Happy 1st Night everyone!  Can’t wait for the next 7!

Built Right Renovations…Siding done right so far!

I have not been paid for this review.  I wish I was!  It would have helped!

I never thought we would be the people that did improvements to the exterior of the house before the interior.  I usually just don’t care enough about curb appeal – especially when compared to how I care about the interior design of my space!  The thing (or thousands of things) that pushed us to do the exterior first were the ants…and bugs…there is nothing I hate more than bugs.  We knew the house was in need of a better barrier between outdoors and in!

We met with a few contractors who specialized in siding & decided that Built Right Renovations were the ones who gave us the best impression, had the most knowledge & were reasonably priced.  They were not the cheapest, but when we thought about all that was needed for maximum protection, we thought they gave us the best bang for our buck!

First…let me show you what we were working with!

Front Door

Front Patio

Side Door

View from the backyard

Back of house

not too bad right?!

hahahaha

check out what was under all that vintage (read: old as Moses) cedar shake…

complete destruction...

There was a LOT of rot.  The sill plate around most of the house was rotten, the plywood was non-existent…and we discovered a small roofing problem too!  I can’t imagine where all the bugs were coming from!!!

Built Right came to us with the damage, and obviously the price went up, but the work had to be redone and I do believe they did great work.  I suppose more time will tell since they have just finished about 2 days ago, but I was watching pretty closely & they were very pleasant, clean, & quick.

Here’s what we look like today!

New Front Door! (Header coming soon)

New Patio View!

Backyard !

My new entrance 🙂 Makes me so happy!

For anyone who is interested, here’s the company’s info!

Tell them LKSquared sent you!!

ELFA Shelves + LKSquared = BFFAE

Our laundry room/mudroom/storage room/tooclutteredtomove room needs some work!  Its gross really.  When we moved in, Auntie E was kind enough to gift us some brand new very nice laundry machines.  That made the room WAY better because I could actually DO a load of laundry, but it also made the room look worse, since everything else in there born in the year of the flood.

Everything has this yellowish, creamish, dirty looking paint.  The walls and trim are falling apart.  Its terrible.

My next improvement was to change out the decrepid cabinet/shelving unit above the laundry machines.  It was dirty, too narrow, too high & completely non-functional.  We bought an Elfa shelving unit about 4 years ago in Mr. LK’s first apartment.  It has served us well everyday since!  We were looking for the perfect place to put this system & we finally found it!!

Before:

The shelves are already torn out before I could snap a photo! But you can see where they lived on the left!

Not exactly the cleanest tear down, but not terrible either!

Mr's fabulous spackle job!

At this point, Mr. LK wanted to paint that wall where he spackled.  I told him not to.  If he painted this wall, it would make the rest of the walls look especially dingy…leading me to want to paint the whole room.  See above where I mentioned the tooclutteredtomove status.  Not a good idea.

Turns out – I want to paint the room anyway!  This is a year long project though since most of the walls are crumbling & at some point in the future the walls will be completely torn down, I don’t want to spend more than spackle in there!

My shelves however, make my life a dream!  Doing the laundry is not an annoyance.  I can reach all the supplies!  I also have a place to store the summer-time stuff for A.  Perfect 🙂

Ahhhh 🙂 The things that make you happy at age 31!

Another update - check out the old beige gross door on the left...

Now look! This door is making me smile 🙂

That door was disintegrating from the bottom up!  Now I don’t have to vacuum 50 times a day over there because the door actually keeps the dirt OUTSIDE!

Confession:  This is only 1 side of the room…wanna see the other side???

Yea....it's next on the list of clean/organize/improve! I close my right eye when I walk into this room so I don't see that side!

Sneak peak for the gorgeous CJ!

When I found out the Auntie S2 was gonna have a baby, I started planning and planning and planning what I would do to her nursery!  Then I hoped that Auntie S2 & Uncle B would like it enough to let me make it happen.  This is proving a little difficult since I live so far away and have this loony 15 month old running around, BUT, even if it takes some time…this nursery is going to come to life!  I’m working on lots of little things here that are going to make it down there when A can rock CJ to sleep, and Mommy can get to decorating!  For now – here is my mood board …

The furniture turned out to be dark wood, which is perfect too, and the other things we’ve changed is to include birds & owls since her mommy likes that!  I sent them a sheet from this Etsy shop, CottageBelles, in this fabric that I think is going to be perfect!

some art that I have ready to go:

I unfortunately do not remember where I got this print from, so if you recognize it, comment & give the place some credit!

Auntie S2 knitted her little girl a blanket with tons of colors and it is beautiful!

I have a cool little project that I have in the works here….and I can only give a sneak peak b/c I want to surprise miss CJ and I think she reads our blog (yes – she’s THAT smart)

Next projects up are a paint chip art piece and that rug in the mood board – I want to make it.  CJ might be 12 by the time she has the rug, but I am committed to getting it made…BY ME!

Love you little miss CJ 🙂

Why oh why did I buy…

My glider for my nursery?!?!?!

If I knew that this would be available a year later, I DEFINITELY would have waited.  I’m not sure where I would have hung out with A for the past year, but I do know that this is exactly what I wanted.  A glider that IS a recliner!!!

 

I love it.  Not enough to have another baby so soon & decorate another nursery.  But I am definitely keeping this in my nursery file for the day that I forget what my days are like recently with a walking, screaming, demanding baby!  I miss the whimpering, snuggling, demanding formula every 4 hours, happy afterwards, swinging in a lamb swing, bathing in the bathroom sink days.  My baby is becoming a big girl.  I’m distracting myself with furniture.

Some things don’t change 🙂

Getting our butts on A’s room decor!

In our last house, I was SO on top of A’s nursery.  It was all decorated once she got into her big baby crib & out of her bassinet.  I made art and framed it and hung it as soon as I could.  In this house….it was kind of enough just to get her bedding on, rug down, and paper shades up!

I started to need more decor in there…let her know we love her and want her to have a pretty pretty room!

I ordered some tissue paper pompoms from Etsy, which in retrospect was idiotic.  I could SO have made these…with NO trouble.  I didn’t though, so I waited until they came in the mail, which they did on Friday & happily I had our friend N over to help us!  She fluffed the pompoms & she did all the knot tying!  Then LK2 came home & we taped those suckers up to the ceiling.  I’m not sure scotch tape was the best way to hang them, since I know they will need some more securing sooner than later, but its working ok so far.  The room needs A LOT more in terms of art hanging and mirrors and girly things like my plans to customize her curtains…but this is the pompoms for now!  Its a little bit difficult to see because of the stupid zoom…but hopefully soon I’ll be able to take some better photos!

 

Daddy hanging up A's pompoms with some tape!

Ceiling centerpiece

Close-up!

We’re going to get on top of making some pompoms for A’s bday party!  not paying someone else to make them!

 

Column renovation…

Oh 70’s mirrors….how you epitomize the common thought that everything looks better with black!

When we inherited these beautiful smokey mirrors, they were surrounded by navy blue shiny columns.  See below:

Our walls are painted grey, “edgecomb grey” from Benjamin Moore.  With these Navy columns, the grey was looking more blue than I’d like.  My mom hates my grey walls with my sofa, but the sofa is going to Auntie H hopefully very soon.  It will be replaced by a Charcoal grey sectional TBD.  You can see how smokey the mirrors are since the color reflected in them is the same all around the room and it looks much browner in the mirrors than on the real wall to the right.

I decided that I hated the Navy.  I plan to use some blue in the accents, but the columns had to be black.  I am still unsure of flat vs shiny, but right now they are flat and I love them…

Side by Side...

All black....shiny part is still drying

Here's what A was doing while Mom was painting!

She will chew on ANYTHING!

Master progress…

I need to get my butt in gear and complete the master bedroom so that I can sleep at night and not be thinking about it!  Really – the rest of the house needs completing too, but I don’t sleep in the rest of the house!

I already posted the nightstands…here are some of the photos I used for inspiration!

I also have this pretty little piece on its way home to me, which should help me in completing my room!

I know the photo is tiny, but I’ll have a real life photo very soon!

Lastly, I would LOVE this…

Also tiny, but it incorporates the grey and beige and white that I’m using and would really be perfect…I’d also need to win the lottery to get it though, so I’m sure I’ll be looking for a copy!

Next up, the search for art for the bedroom wall.