{Upstairs} TV Area

The *future* TV area...

This side of the upstairs is on the East side of the house, facing the street. It's a good size area and it's next to Doug's closet (between the 2x4 posts and the furnace in the photo below). But check out this mess...

See how dark the color was? I'm so glad I chose a bright color with white trim instead of dark reddish and a dark mustard-ish brown with a brown trim. The brick walls were nice but dark and not insulated at all!

See the furnace? It didn't work. We had our electrician and HVAC guys completely shut off the gas supplies and we took it out. Well, most of it. The guts of the thing are still there as there's a brick chimney in there. To the right of what's there in the photo below is where the new duct work went in and we boxed around it and added two shelving units. One is in place of the the furnace exterior that you see below and one is on the other side of the new duct work, facing the stairs. I'll get photos of that part later. The smaller built in shelves are pictured below.

Now this is what it looks like today. We moved our old TV unit from our TV room upstairs when I bought the antique dresser for downstairs. This piece has been with us since we moved in together ans is from Target. Although not the prettiest thing, it's free for now and will be replaced at a later date when I feel like it and/or when I find a really short two drawer chest (to store items TV related and blankets or such). This is definitely not a working area right now but we are going to hook up the old TV to our Wii so we can play games if we feel up to it or work out up there. I'm in the process of looking for two leather club chairs to put on the opposite wall.

Here's the small built in that my dad made. He built the entire thing from scratch in his garage and installed it in the wall. That way it's nice and even (nothing upstairs is level) and it seemed easier to do it this way. Don't you like the bead board background? I thought it was a nice touch and it matches the two crawl space doors.

The knick knacks are just what I had lying around. The two angels are from Hallmark that have been gifts from Doug. One is holding a dog and one is holding a cat. I'd like one that's family related at some point! Next to the angels is a hippo made from stone (soap stone I think) for Doug's love of hippos. The two rock lamp like items are actually candle holders that I found at Marshalls. We have a rock lamp in our dining room that I really like. Three of the incense holders were my grandmother's and one is mine from about 16 years ago. The two boxes are random auction buys (well, the small one might have been a gift, I can't remember). I have a small box collection that my aunt and mom have been giving me for years. My aunt travels all over the place and used to bring me back ones from other countries. Some day I may have to display them all on this shelf! The little one is carved. The frame on the bottom is a framed wedding invitation. I had it framed in a shadow box at Hobby Lobby after we got married... almost 6 months ago! I kind of wish I hadn't done white but maybe it'll meet a can of spray paint later....

If you look closely, you'll see that the carpet is slightly cut out away from the trim. That was from the previous unit being there and we haven't dealt with it. It's one of those things I only think about when vacuuming and cleaning upstairs. We have a piece that can go there that just needs cut and placed... but that's just one item that can be added to the list.

{Upstairs} Office Update

This afternoon Lily went down for a HUGE nap! It's my gift after we got up at 7 (not complain'!) and were at the mall before 10. We shopped for over 4 hours, played, walked around, and had a lot of fun with just the two of us. She slept for maybe 2 1/2 hours and I got bored playing around online (for once). So I finally got the energy up to tackle some of the upstairs projects that keep getting pushed back.

My office... or whatever you want to a call a collect all room with the desire to be an office... is pretty much a storage place for a lot of things. It's still a work in progress and will be for awhile. There was once a built in closet where we will build built-ins in the future. We ripped out the closet during the gigantic upstairs remodel a couple years ago.

Thanks to my parents I have a desk. It's a beast of one and my mom bought all new hardware for it while she attempted to use it (she didn't care for it and I think it was too big for her in her space). I'll admit the color isn't the highest on my list but you know what, it's staying. It was free, in great shape, and let's admit, I'm not a huge painter of furniture. I also have a to do list that's a mile long! So for now I'm going to focus on the rest of the room and the future purchases to help tie the room into a real, functional office that's CUTE!

The desk... oh so much work is needed! Things definitely need to find homes!
So, I have the desk. I also have an armoire that was also my parents. You may notice a theme for that one! The problem with the armoire is that it's super old and has been with my parents forever. During the moves over the years, it's lost one of the doors. But that's ok, I have plans some day. I haven't put the big door on because I'm using it to hold stuff and the door wouldn't close with what's inside it. However, I do have plans for that side of it too... including another built in shelf! It's a good thing I know someone who'll help me (my dad!).

Craft "closet" aka the armoire. It's a work in progress!

We kept the original built in desk and shelves when we remodeled. My dad took part of it home to help sand and varnish it and I think (hope!) that the hinge is at his shop. I have the rest of the parts to put it all back together but I need the hinge. It's a super long piano hinge for the whole length of the desk.

Yes, I'm fully aware that I have four frames that need photos. I've had that blue long one for probably 10 years (or more!) and it's been moved from home to home with nothing ever being done. It matches another frame that has a picture of me and my cousins on one side. I've since moved the books around. The back color of the built-in is the same as the wall color, I kept the shelves varnished, and the trim white to match the floor trim. I may paint the back a fun bright color or do a pattern. Not sure though. It'll probably be one of the last things I do to the room though.
Original built-ins that need some sprucing up (not to mention the drop down desk portion to be put back in place!

Floor, pre mopping for the second and third time!

The future built-in area. Notice the change of floor color and even the direction of the wood? That change was where the closet used to be. I didn't want a closet anymore and we wanted built-ins. We're going to go all the way from wall to wall and take up the whole short wall you see here. It'll be where we store our school books, boxes to store items (I'm thinking a trip to IKEA will be in the future) and the home to our future printer and anything else that doesn't need to sit on my desk. I do have a filing cabinet so I don't have store that type of stuff. We keep the filing cabinet in one of the crawl space closets so it's not taking up useable floor space. The two posters here and the black CD cabinet were my brother's and the painting is one of many I did in college (the assignment was a self portrait with hand - which I hate - and I added my dog at the time, Rugby). 
Future built in shelf area!

So there is the current state of the office. Here's a little before photos:
And I'm wondering why I can't get some things up by mopping three times?!?!? I don't know why we didn't protect the floors... live and learn!

Insulated, drywall, mud, new electrical, and new windows... Ready for paint!

Working on paint, haven't added trim yet...

The Office To Do List... (as of now)
Continue mopping floors, scraping may be necessary
Burn/shred personal items that I don't need anymore
Organize paper work
Build built-in shelves
Buy organizational items... boxes for CDs (music and storage), magazine storage, school papers, etc.
Paint back of original built-in
Buy curtain hardware and curtains
Buy office chair (so my dining room chair can go back to where it belongs!)
Put zebra rug in place (you can see it one of the above photos)
Buy accent chair... maybe a DIY if the right chair comes along
Decorate - hang posters, frame photos, etc.
Get computer - this summer! Waiting on the Mac to release the version of the iMac desktop

I do know what color combos I'm going with... teal/blue-ish color, green (like lamp on desk), and zebra print, plus the colors already going on - wood floors, tan walls, white trim.

{Holidays} Easter 2010 and 2011

After posting the Easter pictures from today, I thought I'd look at the pictures from 2010 and 2011. Lily was almost one in 2010 and she actually started walking on Easter. Easter 2010 was great and all seemed well in the world. 2011 was a completely different story. My brother wasn't doing well but we tried to have a normal holiday. I put three of my favorite photos from each year so the post wouldn't be long.
Crawling on the floor in her bedroom. Such a cutie!!

Sitting on our porch swing.

Family photo, 2010.
Hanging with Uncle Jesse, 2011.

Family photo, 2011.

Tired Lily, 2011. She was exhausted by then and you can tell by her chin, she had already enjoyed her share of chocolate!

Happy Easter everyone!

More photos from 2011 can be seen here in Part 1 and Part 2.

{Holidays} Easter

Happy Easter to everyone! Miss Lily is our shinning star and has gotten us through a lot as a family so instead of focusing on that, I'm going to focus on her. And her Easter this year.

We stayed at our house for the hunt and then went out to lunch with my cousin, aunt, uncle, parents, and our little family of three. My other cousin was working during the time and got to come over for a few minutes for going to work. Plus, she was our waitress, so that was kind of fun. Too bad she couldn't have been eating with us though, but when you're 21, the money is always good when you can make it!

As you can tell by the photos to come (there's a lot!), the Easter bunny was very generous. :-)

Getting into the swing of it after some help with the first few eggs.
Finding the eggs in the front flower garden.

Sneaking some chocolate in with Babby and cousin Lauren.

Enjoying the egg hunt (this was basket number 1 of 3!)

One of the best photos we've had in awhile.

LOVE this photo!!!

Counting her loot.

Walking the bridge after lunch.

The other bridge (not in service anymore) and the Missouri River.

Turtles! There was a snake too but I don't think he's in this shot.

Lily's new favorite toy after the Easter bunny left some for her. She is in love with "George" the horse (she didn't name it, she'e never named anything but likes to have names for things) and it was "Brad" the turtle but then she said it was a girl, so I think we've decided on Daisy. Those two must be her favorite as they made the cut for lunch and our the only two she's carrying around with her right now.

{Front Porch} The Mailbox

One more thing off the list!


Before with the door that needs painted desperately!


This is a temporary fix until we can find the perfect, more vintage type of mailbox that both the hubs and I want. But have you priced vintage style mailboxes?! Insane!

Anyway... I'm on a yellow thing lately and I figured this would go well with the new pillow, the soon to be painted front door, and some of the other accents like flowers.

I know the pic has a nice glare but I just put it back up and it's almost 9 here.

So for all that mumbo jumbo about painting... I did wash it first as it was really gross and it got the residue off from a previous (really old too) sticker. I then sanded it as there is some rust and popped up paint (but too not too much because I'm lazy and wanted it over with!). I coated it with a few coats of primer and then a few coats of the yellow paint. All in all, I'm happy with the transformation and it was right up our alley with being cheap ... just the cans of paint with some left over to paint something else. The primer was used on something else today too but it's not done yet!

{Side Yard} Front Side Yard

As we continue to move the cactus garden to a real garden, we needed to find places throughout our yard that could use the rock "mulch" without being too big of an issue (as in cost a lot of money or be a lot work). After putting some rock in our big front bed, by the Big Rock, and the two beds in Lily's garden, we needed another place. There was a lot of rock!!

So for those that don't know our yard, this is the south side (or right side as you're looking at the house) of our front yard. The rock is right next to our front porch and the sidewalk goes back to our back yard and the fence, plus it's near all the irises shown below.

This area of our yard is not dealt with at all. The bush on the left grows like crazy but does have pretty flowers on it. It may still come up though and be replaced with a lilac from my parents that was my grandmothers (and I think it's white, which helps with the whole white garden theme I want for the front yard). There is some ivy in all of this and I want to keep the English ivy. The other type could all die and I'd be happy.

You can see in the picture that we had some containers to hold up the dirt from the big raised bed in the front of our house and I haven't planted them yet. The black shephard's hook held a small bird feeder last year but our neighbor's cats keep the birds away. I'd like to have a hummingbird feeder but may just do a small hanging planter.

Another angle of the bed... this one shows the English ivy growing up the side of the house. The white bar is the side of our porch.

We bought the 10 retaining wall stones at Menard's for a reasonable price (can't remember, less than $2 each though) and 10 stones were enough to hold the rock in. It's not the prettiest thing but once there are some flowers in there and the yard can get trimmed up around it, it'll be just fine. We mainly needed the stones to hold in the rocks so that it wouldn't wash into our yard every time it rains, causing trouble for Doug when he mows.

The irises along the sidewalk (pictured more above) that go between our front yard and back yard. These can be seen out of Lily's bedroom, our TV room, and the front bedroom.


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