Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Joys of Water

I've always said I need to live in an area where there is a body of water.  I could never live in a landlocked place.  There is something about bodies of water that bring me inner peace.  In fact, when Jason and I got married, we decided that one of the most important factors in choosing a place for our ceremony was that it had to be outside near water.

We are fortunate to live in a place that boasts one of the highest waterfalls East of the Rocky Mountains and also has many beautiful waterfalls tucked away in gorges throughout the region. 


Although I don't live directly on the water, I do a lot of driving for my job and get to see all of the beautiful lakes and waterfalls throughout the region every day.

Not only is water beautiful, but it is critical to our bodies and to our Earth.  After all, the human body is made up of 70 percent water and the Earth's surface is between 70-75 percent water.  We need it to survive.

Last night, Jason satisfied my love for water once again.

That's right, our plumbing is all hooked up in our upstairs bathroom.  This means that when Imani gets up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I can remain sleeping in my bed because she won't have to go downstairs to go to the bathroom so she won't be scared.  Yes, having water in my upstairs bathroom means I get to sleep more.  It also means I can go to the bathroom upstairs, brush my teeth upstairs and do anything else that requires H20.

 Our bathroom has come a long way.  You might remember that when we bought our house it looked like this.

Needless to say, we didn't use it.  Instead, we used our downstairs bathroom and gutted the upstairs bathroom.  At one point, we even used it in place of a crate for our dog, Maggie.

When we finally got around to renovating it, I had a genius idea.  Over the course of working at my job for the past five  years, I've had the opportunity to stay in some fancy schmancy hotels when I travel so I decided I wanted a bathroom like one of those hotels.  I wanted the entire thing tiled and I wanted a clear glass shower.  So being the amazing husband that he is, Jason tiled

and tiled

and tiled

some more until we came up with this.

I will admit that I often worry that this bathroom, which is really just a dormer in the upstairs of our Cape Cod home, might break off the top of  the house because of all the weight from the tiles. 

But Kelby says it won't and he's our 'go to' guy. 

He's always right.

About everything.

Oh, and did I mention that we called some plumbers before we started this project and they quoted us $2,000?! Fortunately, we listened to Kelby (we've learned to listen to Kelby), and Jason did the plumbing himself so we kept our $2,000, thank you very much.
Now all we have to do is install the shower and this bathroom will be considered "complete." 

Back to water . . . Some people are deathly afraid of water, while others -- like me-- are drawn to it. Admittedly, water can cause massive destruction in the forms of natural disaster.

It is a powerful piece of nature.  Jason's fear of water kicked in after he finished the plumbing last night.
Before we went to sleep last night, Jason told me he was nervous. 

"Why" I asked.

"Plumbing just makes me nervous" he said.  "I am afraid maybe I didn't do something right and when we wake up in the morning, our dining room will be flooded."

When we woke up in the morning, the dining room was perfectly dry.   I knew it would be. Jason doesn't give himself enough credit. 

I brushed my teeth in the upstairs bathroom just because I could.

I am a happy girl.

BTW - If you get a chance, check out the newest page of our blog "Two Addicts Become One."

Linking to:  My Romantic Home, The Inspired Room

Transformation Thursday

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

I used to think it was corny to decorate for any holiday except for Christmas and Halloween.  I didn't think there was a way to do it without having it look cheap and cheesy.  For Easter decorating, I had visions of plastic window decals and plastic eggs and plastic Easter grass. 

The problem is, I don't particularly like plastic. 

I have a nine-year old daughter and I know good Moms decorate their houses for holidays.  At least my Mom did, and I think she's a good Mom.  I always liked all the different decorations out around the holidays and I didn't much care if they were plastic.

When I joined the blogging community just over a month ago I started seeing some really creative people who managed to decorate for the holidays in simple, yet festive ways.  Some even managed to make plastic look good!  And then there is always the Pottery Barn catalogue, which is always a great source of inspiration.

Photo: Pottery Barn

I decided it was time to step up and decorate for Easter, starting with my table. 

Remember that grubby duck and that grubby bunny I got at the Salvation Army?  I know there were some doubters out there who thought I was crazy.

  I gave them each a fresh coat of white spray paint (although they could be a bit shinier).  Well here they are after their facelifts.

I stole the burlap table-runner idea from Jessi over at Yankee Belle Home.  I thought it was such a great idea to use a piece of burlap for the runner, so I cut it and frayed the ends a bit.  It adds a nice texture to the tablescape.

I got the candlesticks at the Salvation Army too.  I just added the raffia bows around them to add a little extra detail.  I got the little nests and bunnies at AC Moore.

The eggs are plastic.  Yes, I used plastic.  I spray-painted them blue and then used a tootbrush dipped in brown paint to make them speckled.

I bought some Spanish moss and put it in the bottom of a big vase I got at TJ Maxx, tied a ribbon around it and put the eggs inside.

All I need now are some beautiful flowers to make the table complete. 

Now the question is, who's coming for Easter brunch?

I'm linking up with:


The DIY Show Off

Keeping It Simple


Decor Mamma

Monday, March 29, 2010

Merci Beaucoup

And that's about the extent of my French . . . 

I am very honored and excited because I recently was awarded TWO blogger awards!

 Kerry over at A Tranquil Townhouse recently gave out some awards and I was one of the lucky chosen. She broke the rules a bit (which I love) and let the honored bloggers she selected choose which of three awards they wanted to pass along. I chose the Happy 101 award. 

 I am supposed to list 10 things that make me happy and then pass the award on to 10 other bloggers but I am only going to pass it along to three, because I think it makes the award more special and because three is my favorite number!

First, 10 things that make me happy:

1. Seeing my nine year old daughter Imani's big smile when I pick her up from her after school program each day.

2. Holding hands with my husband, Jason (it makes me feel 16 all over again)

3. Dark chocolate with raspberry creme filling

4. Seeing my vision of a renovated room to completion

5. Receiving real letters in the mail

6. Sand beneath my feet

7.  Slipper jeans (let's just say, my Dad is short)

8. Flying to New York City to see my sister on a private jet. (Thank you Lori!)

9.  Knowing I can call my mom whenever for whatever and she'll be there.

10. Knitting 

It was really hard to limit myself to just ten! I realize there are so many things that make me happy!

And now . . . I figured I would give these three awards to bloggers whose blogs make me happy.

1. Lola B's - If you haven't read Kasey's blog yet, get on over there quickly.  I usually am not a big fan of music on blogs, but I like hers!  Kasey's posts inspire me to be an even better mother.  LOVE her site and get so giddy when she has a new post.

2.  Katie at Philigry.  This is the blog I just happened across when I found a pattern I liked on Ravelry.  I discovered Katie's life and became envious it wasn't mine: stay at home mom who knits, sews, bakes, has an amazing eye for decorating and has chickens! Ahh, the life.  Katie and Layla over at The Lettered Cottage are the two who inspired me to create Decorating Addiction.

3. Micah at The Yellow Front Door.  Micah is chronicling her home renovation projects too.  I like what they've done around their place and I like that they painted their front door yellow!  That alone makes me smile. 

Thanks Kerry, for choosing me for an award!

The second award I was given was The Sunshine Award, which was given to me by Three Ring Cottage, I am quite honored to receive this award because it is given to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others. Thanks so much Three Ring Cottage!

And now it's my turn to pass it along. I am going to pass it along to three people (although I think the rules state that you are supposed to pass it along to 12 people but who cares about rules, right?). 12 just seems like it takes away from being something special. Three is my favorite number and it just so happens that there are three bloggers who are very special to me right now.

1. Meg at House Notes. Meg and her husband are fixing up their house and blogging about it just like Jason and I are doing over here. I like to check into Meg's site almost daily to see what they've got going on. It's inspiring to see other couples who are re-designing their house. If you get a chance, head on over and check out all the work they've done.

2. Deborah at The Fairfield House. Deborah was the first person who consistently commented on my blog who I didn't know. Her comments really kept me in this blogging world for my first month! Thanks Deborah. Oh, and she is an amazing writer. My favorite posts are: .Awakening, Bearings, and  Bottom's Up And if her writing isn't cool enough, she is also hosting a postcard exchange. Once she gets a postcard from every state, she is giving away a New Jersey themed box of goodies. You don't even have to have a blog to participate, so head on over and get with it. All the cool people are doing it. :-)

3. Jessi over at Yankee Belle Home. Jessi has an absolutely adorable site and she has a great sense of style. I recently copied her burlap table-runner, which I will be showing later this week.

Thanks again to Kerry at A Tranquil Townhouse and thanks to Three Ring Cottage for the awards.  If you have a minute, check out both of their sites.  You are sure to be inspired.

Congrats to all the newest recipients. Feel free to pass along the awards if you so choose. If not, that's fine too. I won't be offended at all. Just know that I love all of your sites and I'm watching you even when I'm not commenting! :-)

To everyone else, thanks for reading my blog and commenting. I love to know I am inspiring someone. If you get a minute, stop by some of the other blogs I follow. There are some amazing bloggers out there. Don't let them pass you by!

Treasure Hunt Stench

The other day, when I was on my way home from work, I spotted a place out in the boondocks with lots of rusty junk piled all around the outside of the building.  Feeling like the guys from American Pickers, I immediately pulled in to see if I could score anything good.  It didn't matter to me that it was muddy out and I was rocking some three and a half inch heels and a business suit.   

It turns out that this place was actually an auction, but the owner lets people root through the junk during the weekdays and offer him prices.

When I first entered, I thought about turning back and leaving because of the overwhelming smell of cat urine.  There were four cats visible, but from the overpowering smell, I suspected more were lurking behind old treasures.  As I eyed all the piles of stuff, I decided I could bare with the smell just for a few minutes until I scoped the place out.   

Have you ever had something in mind that you were determined to get and then you actually found that perfect item?  I knew I wanted a new mirror to hang in the guest room for our redesign.  It had to be hung vertically and had to have feminine lines.

Here, among the putrid smell, I found it.  Can  you believe I actually picked it up and smelled it just to make sure one of those cute little fuzz balls didn't decide to use it as a litterbox?

We're not sure if we are going to keep the wood or paint it white. 

I also found this tray:

And this old iron. 

I'm so glad I dealt with the smell.  Ahhh the things we will do in our treasure-hunting adventures!

By the way, I'm sure by now, you've heard about Matthew Mead's holiday book-azine.  I am so excited for it!  Head over to Holiday with Matthew Mead to find out how you can win the opportunity to have your blog or online shop mentioned in the magazine. Holiday with Matthew Mead is a "book-azine" celebrating and offering inspiration for the Christmas holiday season. To be released in October 2010, Holiday is offered via online orders only - in limited quantities - and will not be sold on newsstands. But, by simply following the BUY HOLIDAY MAGAZINE link below their banner, you can reserve your own copy of this beautiful magazine, with guaranteed delivery of the magazine straight to your mailbox! Holiday with Matthew Mead is144 pages of holiday inspiration with well-known and admired designers, bloggers and top-notch features, printed on beautiful paper and not drowning in ads!

Now, head on over for your chance to win!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Guest Room Re-design Teaser



Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Defining Your Style

"Why do we love the things we love?  The question might seem simple at first, but try answering it -- not so simple!"

So begins this month's issue of Cottage Style Magazine.  It's a good question.  Why are we drawn so strongly toward some items and turn away quickly from others?  If you're anything like me, your sense of style is always evolving.  It changes with time just like I do.  Certainly I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago (thank God).

I recently read an advertisement for an interior designer with a tagline that basically said she'd help you to choose a style that you wouldn't need to change five years from now.   Not only is this ridiculous, but it's boring!   Changing our design and style keeps things fun and fresh.  Just like I might not want the same haircut I had 10 years ago, I also might not want the same paint colors.   Call me crazy, but updates (whether in fashion or home design) keep you looking attractive.

Maybe this is all just one big fat excuse for me to change my house again

and again

and again

and again. 

We've only lived here for a few years, and our home has already undergone a number of changes - mainly paint colors but recently furnishings as well.   This past weekend I woke up and decided I no longer like chair rail with two different colors like we have in our dining room and in Imani's room (no offense for anyone who is hot for chair rail dividing two colors . . . it's just not my thing anymore).   

I don't want my furniture all matchy-matchy anymore either.  My sister warned me about this years ago, but as any sassy little sister would, I told her in no uncertain terms that she didn't know what she was talking about.  Jason and I have spent more money at Raymour and Flabby (as Jason calls it) -- I mean Raymour and Flannigan -- than I care to admit.  The pieces we bought just a few years ago are already falling apart.

And so I am on a mission to re-define my house again but I'm not exactly sure how I would label my style.  Shabby chic? Cottage?  I'm not sure; it's ever-evolving.

Kerry over at A Tranquil Townhouse blogged about an awesome online tool to check out your own personal design style.  It's really cool and it only takes a few seconds (literally).  Here's what it said my style is:

I'm not sure I agree with it here. I like the bottom right image, but I want to take a piece of sandpaper to that coffee table and make it look older!   I'm definitely not into the bottom left's modern style.

Here's what it said a magazine cover designed by me would look like:

Head on over to the International School of Color and Design Website and try the interior design style tool.  See what it comes up with for you!

Happy Thursday!  Yeah! It's almost the weekend.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Finding Sleep with a Fan

    In most relationships, each of the partners has certain preferences that are oftentimes non-negotiable.   Usually these are in regard to big issues like where they prefer to live or how many children they want to have.  But sometimes they are in regard to much smaller issues.   

Jason has one of these non-negotiables.  He has a habit of sleeping with the fan on.  In fact, he cannot sleep without one.  When we first met, I tried many times to convince him that the fan wasn't necessary.  I would burrow deep down under the covers because I was freezing, but he insisted he just couldn't sleep without a fan blowing directly on him when he slept.

I used to think he was lying, but then I tried to test his story by shutting off the fan in the middle of the night.  It's like setting off a smoke detector; he wakes up immediately.

As you can imagine, this whole fan business poses a bit of a problem when we travel.  No matter where we stay, Jason either requests a fan, or packs it in his suitcase.  In the rare instance that he forgets to plan ahead to make sure he'll have a fan at our destination, there are many sleepless nights for Jason.

When we go camping, Jason packs a small fan with batteries for the tent.  Yes, we have a fan in our tent.  Otherwise, my husband wouldn't sleep. 

This little habit has also rubbed off on Imani.  She too has found the comfort of sleep in a fan.

You're probably wondering what all of this has to do with decorating.

Because the fan is a permanent fixture beside my bed and this:


One of my non-negotiables is I refuse to have a ceiling fan in my home.  For all you ceiling fan lovers out there, please take no offense.  To each his own, but I just think ceiling fans are unsightly. 

I was thrilled when I was reading one of Layla's old posts from The Lettered Cottage and she had this to say about ceiling fans,

"I mean, really, who wants a four foot by four foot appliance that's shaped like a gigantic spider hanging from the ceiling? It looks like a helicopter crashed into the roof of our house!  I am ripping down every one by the time I'm done here.   Mark my words, it won't be long before someone finds another, less bulky way to circulate the air in our rooms, and then we'll all look back and go, 'Gosh, remember when we all had those HUGE PROPELLERS hanging down in the middle of the room!?'"

I couldn't have said it any better.  And so, because of my unwillingness to have a ceiling fan and Jason's inability to sleep without a fan, the fan must remain next to my bed.

A few years ago I found this stylish fan at TJ Maxx but the problem is I've come to hate it. 

It's just not my style.  Not only is it a little too Victorian for my taste, but it towers over my bed on a nightstand and just looks too big for the space.

So I've been on a mission to find a new fan -- something with character that will enhance the space in my bedroom rather than detract from it.  I wanted something with a vintage look, so I found this fan

but not only is it a little too worn for me, but Jason and I both question its safety.  Afterall, the thing looks ancient and who knows how old the wiring is.

So the mission for the perfect fan continues. 

Oh and just to let you know, I was traveling for work a few months ago and was alone in my hotel room and couldn't sleep.  I couldn't figure out why. 

Then I realized, I missed the slight breeze and soft humming sound.

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