Monthly Archives: January 2014

Room(s) by Room(s) – Upstairs!

So, we missed our self imposed deadline by two days (we wanted to get an update of the entire house out before our one year anniversary in our new digs), BUT two days isn’t bad, right?  The downstairs rooms had the most dramatic changes and in some way, were a lot easier to make progress on.  Something about, oh I don’t know, having a toddler in bed at 7:30 makes it a little more difficult to break out drills, hammers, and nails and start getting things done in the master bedroom or the guest room which are just feet way from the precious, little sleeping ears.  That’s not to say that we haven’t completely changed the look and feel of the bedrooms, but they are not what you would call, complete, by any means.  Slowly but steadily around here- no judging please! If you missed it, we’ve previously shared the dining room, living room and sunroom, herehere and here.

First up, let’s take a look at how G’s room has changed over the last year.


Large, yes… ugly? More YES!





Before we go any further, yes, we still need to paint all the trim in that room.  It has a coat of primer on it and has been patched in some places where the old heat vents were removed, but overall, you can still see some of the original deep pink coming through. It drives us crazy and is high on the list of things to tackle when the weathers a little nicer and we can air out the room while we paint it.  The room is coming together and G LOVES it.  It is LARGE and all of her small furniture (from her first nursery) seem a little dwarfed and we are trying to plan out some significant built-ins, but it’s come a long way.  The paint color, curtains, and light fixture all came with us from our old house, so being in the room is a sweet reminder of Port St. for us.  Here’s what we tackled:

– LOTS of plaster repair and paint

-New windows (Marvin)

-Carpet (Berber)

-Bookshelf (Ikea)

-Curtains/furniture/artwork/light fixture – all from her first room!

Let’s tackle the Master Bedroom next.  This room is almost three times the size of our former master, definitely one of those, ‘WOW’ moments when we walked in and thought this might be our house.  Ok, ok, it’s not huge, but coming from a 12 foot wide row home, this is spacious!  Here’s what we saw:


Biege and orangey – definitely not what we’d choose!





Someone upgraded to an ‘adult’ bed!  ha!  Our full size, Ikea platform bed served us well and was VERY comfortable, but with this new space, it was time for an upgrade.  Still lots to do in here, too, like, um… closet doors.  Yeah, we’re still not actually sure what we want to do for them so rather than put the bi-fold doors back up, we’ve just been living without them.  Does help make us keep the closets organized, I’ll say that!  The fact that this house has two closets in the master AND that they are decent sizes is actually pretty great.  We still have plans for a second floor addition to create a master bath and closet (through that window in the last photo) but for now, we’re making it work.

– Just like the nursery – lots of plaster repair, paint, and new windows

-Refinished/stained original wood floors

-All new furniture: (we had a 6 foot by 12 foot walk in closet in our old house – so we needed clothes storage!) dressers (Ikea), bed (Joss and Main), duvet (West Elm), pillows (Marshalls), nightstands (Marshalls), lamps (IKEA)

– New ceiling fan (Home Depot)

Fun factoid for you, the grey rug (which we kinda just threw in there temporarily) was actually the rug we used in the living room of our row house and yes, it basically covered the entire floor there!  “Movin’ on up, (movin’ on up), to the east side..err…North side!…”

The last bedroom, the guest room, got arguably the most dramatic update.  Overall, our home is a collection of cooler, contemporary neutral colors.  When we started thinking about the guest room, we thought, if not here, then where could we really experiment the most with color?  Let’s see what you think:







Thoughts on the green?  We’re really digging’ it.  The room, overall, is still a miss match of furniture but offers a great place for guests to stay (and we’ve had lots, which is great!).  Aside from the plaster repair, paint, carpet, and new ceiling fan, this room was put together with things we already had!

So that rounds out the tour of the bedrooms.  Since we’re upstairs, we’ll give you a quick peak at the full bath too.  Lots of room for improvement in there and we already have new tile picked out and plans for a huge overhaul, but the bathroom is completely functional right now and it’s just not the highest priority.  Some paint and new fixtures (some of which still need to be installed, so bear with us) and we got from here:


Literally a ‘bath-room’ with no sink and a toilet that might have technically worked, but looked like the crime scene of a very gruesome movie.

To here:


You can’t see it in the photos, but there’s a new toilet on the other side of the shower wall.  We (Anthony) also spent a solid 3 hours scrubbing the floor and grout with a toothbrush and bleach and then a Magic Eraser to clean it up.  New window, paint, sink/vanity/mirror (all IKEA) and lightfixture (Home Depot) and we were in business!

That’s where we’re at!  Not too shabby for 12 months of owning this place with 4.5 months of major renovation/construction and moving in mid-May, right?  We’ve definitely learned that trying to renovate and DIY projects is MUCH more difficult and takes longer with a toddler running around.  We also try to remind ourselves that we’re planning to be here a while and Rome wasn’t built in a day; some things will take some time to get just right… and by then, we’ll be ready to repaint something anyway, knowing us! 😉



January 27, 2014 · 11:31 am

Month 21…and 22…and 23…

…oh my!

Today happens to be a certain someone’s 2nd birthday and we have about enough developments, milestones, phrases, favorites, opinions and preferences to share as there are sprinkles on a birthday cupcake…but since we’re a teeny tiny tad bit behind with this post, we’ll just hit the highlights…I’ll save my getting all sappy until her 24 month photoshoot (coming soon!). 😉 You’ve been forewarned.

Over the last 3 months Gabriella has become quite an independent, well-mannered, fun-loving little girl. Her laughter is infectious, her smirk is contagious and her conversational skills are more advanced than some adults I’ve met. She questions everything she sees and studies everyone to the point where I’m pretty sure she is a better judge of character than the rest of us. Her appetite for fruits and vegetables still makes this mama so proud. 🙂

Here are some of our recent conversations:

  • “Mommy, I need a napkin. I made a mess.”
  • “Gabby, do you want a bite of Mommy’s dinner?
  • “I not finished chewwwwing.”
  • “Do you want another cookie?”
  • “No, it’s not a cookie Mommy, it’s a gaaaaaham cracker.”
  • “Morning Rieeeeeese! She tired. She no getting up.”
  • “Ok, Gabby, Mommy needs to open the oven. It’s going to be really hot…”
  • “I stand over here and cover my eyes.”
  • “Love you. Night, night. See you ‘morrow.”
  • “You look like a little marshmallow, Gabby!” (while getting her snowsuit and puffy jacket on…)
  • “I not a marshmallow…I Gabriella.”

And with that, here’s our G-Strausy, who seems way too grown-up all of a sudden.

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January 19, 2014 · 3:42 pm

Happy Everything!

Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays (which stretched from Thanksgiving right through New Years in our house!).  Here’s wishing you the very best in 2014!  Daycare was closed between Christmas and New Years, so we’ve been home with these little monsters all week:




Needless to say, between our PJ dance parties, cookie-making, and generally just running circles through the house, we haven’t focused much on work or the blog.  Another installment of ‘room-by-room’ reviews and some other fun new developments will be coming soon!



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January 8, 2014 · 3:28 pm