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!

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!!


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!

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!

I’m officially a Hacker…

Our last major furniture purchase was back in our first apartment together.  We had a little 1 bedroom apartment and our bedroom had no closet.  Luckily we had 2 huge armoires that were able to hold lots of the husbands clothes and the tv, but when I moved in, the place had very little “style”.  I couldn’t handle the “dorm room” thrown together-ness and when I came in, we went to the great Ikea for solutions!

I know Ikea isn’t the most original, but it is pretty cheap and you get a lot of storage for your money in a decent style.  We went with the black-brown Malm nightstands and some dressers.  I hated those nightstands though!  They were perfect for what we needed…which is why they have been with us for the last 3 years, but I’ve been on the search for something better.

In our new bedroom there are a LOT of built-in cabinets with mirrors and a cherry wood frame in arches.  The floors are walnut colored.  The windows frames and baseboards are white.  We also have a guest room that we furnished with that old Malm stuff, so I found myself on the hunt for new nightstands again!  I couldn’t make up my mind…its a problem!  Everything I liked was VERY expensive.  Another problem!

I came across a post somewhere in blog world where someone “hacked” an ikea RAST dresser.  I thought…WHOA…I can make that work for my bedroom!!!!

Here’s where we started:

Rast undone...

Here’s where we ended up:

Rast A La LK

I stained the frame to match mostly to the built ins, and painted the drawers white to bring a more modern look to it.  Finally, I added some antique brass knobs to coordinate with the built ins without being too matchy-matchy.  Total damage to the house fund = $75 for 2 custom nightstands!  The next addition to the bedroom will be a headboard that we just purchased and hopefully I’ll find a rug I like too!

More projects to come!

What a mess!

Here’s part of what’s been keeping us out of the blogging world the past few weeks.

Our new house!

I’m in love – even though its been a LOT of work so far, and it’s going to be A LOT more work…I don’t care…and as crazy as the old lady who wanted to sell/didn’t want to sell/wanted to sell/didn’t want to sell/refused to leave/finally sold, I’m crazier, and I’m never leaving!  A’s totally going to have to tie me up and drag me out!  She said she’s cool with that.

Here’s a before tour:

View 1: Dining Room

More Dining Room


ok, that’s the dining room.  Check out the SWEET paneling!  its gone now, but what’s NOT gone is the awesome ceiling with all those pretty highhats.  These people loved lights.  The only thing they loved more than lights, is light switches.  You can only see about half of the highhats in this photo, but there are 6 light switches.  Some work for the living room, some operate only 1 light, most we’ll never know what they do!  One thing I do know now is how freaking expensive highhat replacements are.  If we had to replace all of them in the house, I’d have to figure out how to breast feed 7 months later because we’d have no more money left for A’s food!

Living Room

Living Room facing foyer

This is the living room, as seen from the foyer.  Holy mirrors batman!  I love them.  They’re so 70’s and I’m going to channel Tim Gunn and make it work.  There’s certainly no hiding from yourself in this house!  Also, the floors were originally covered with a sexy white stained up carpet, but the other LK works very fast, and it was pulled up before I could pull out the camera!

Master Bedroom

Here’s the master bedroom.  All I can say is padded wall.  I don’t know who these people think they are, telling us we’re so crazy we need padded walls, but the biggest surprise came when we pulled down that padding.  There are 2 windows behind there!  Light!!  Some more fun can be seen where the old owners decorated AROUND their furniture.  I am pretty sure that any furniture they had, remained in place for 40 years.  You can see the outline of the dresser & nightstand that was wallpapered around!  Oh yea – and on the top left, there’s the start of the best closet system I could want in my house!  There are closets for EVERYTHING here!

A's room!

Moldy wall around the AC unit….now GONE!  A’s not going to know what to do with so much space!  Her room now is pretty tiny, and she never really gets to play in there.  I think I’m going to take some inspiration from future husband M’s room since A had such a great time playing in there last week!  Now where will I ever find a “dreidel dreidel” singing teddy bear and a yodeling sheep?!

A's Bathroom

Fun huh!!  This….has not changed! A gets to enjoy this pretty funky bathroom in all its 70’s glory for a while.  I think with a few trips to HomeGoods, I can make this more “fun” than “funny”.

Guest Room

Pretty pretty formica right?!  There was similar furniture in A’s room too.  These took an entire weekend to take apart and throw away.  Good thing our city has unlimited bulk pickup!  In this particular room there were 3 separate cabinets specially designed for a TV.  Why???  Oh yea, behind this, on the right side of the photo, they covered up another window!


More Kitchen

Oh my new old kitchen!  The first photo is a real before, the second is my start to priming!  We ordered new countertops and are going all white.  Thats right Auntie E – more of mommy taking the color out of A’s life.  I need a blank canvas before I can think about color!  The floors are staying and so are the appliances except the oven.  We’ll call them oldies but goodies!