She’ll tease you
She’ll unease you
Just to please you
She’s got Bette Davis eyes

We are back in our house. YEAH!!! We have been super busy unpacking and implementing all of the plans that we made sooooo many months ago.

I have to say, it is all coming together even better than I planned. As each room gets finished(-ish) I will give a full room tour. We are waiting on hanging artwork until absolute last. I’m not sure if I will be able to wait that long to share.

I want to give you a quick tease of a tour!











Self Awareness – via Apartment Therapy

One of the best blogs on the net for interior inspiration and aspiration is Apartment Therapy. This little gem came through today and I HAD to share.

Click the image below to read Know Thyself: Setting Realistic Decorating Expectations on Apartment Therapy.

Hall Closet Makeover

This past weekend I had two major wallpaper projects.  The first was the kitchen, but after pulling off part of the countertop I realized it was actually going to be a two day job. So onto the next project…. the hall closet.

As I had posted the other day… here is the before:

Before… cramped, cluttered, can’t see the floor or any of the jackets inside.

annnnnd the After:

Wouldn’t you want to keep this neat!!!!

And how did we get from there to here… well let me tell you, it WASN’T EASY.

First I unwrapped the wallpaper and after reading the instructions three times realized it wasn’t pre-pasted. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! It’s 2012 how can it NOT be pre-pasted. I’m hoping one of my interior designer/DIY/crafty-crafter can tell me this because I find it reDOINKulous. So after being all fired up to finally get started, it was quite the wah-wah-wahhhhhhh moment.

Clearly I had a lot to get done, and that now included running to the hardware store. To have at least a small sense of accomplishment I pulled everything out of the closet.

A blank canvas

without the shelves or bar.

So now I was at a standstill…. off to the paint/wallpaper store I go.  I made a conscious decision to NOT go to Home Depot because I didn’t want to be sidetracked by shelving or anything else and I wanted personal care. So I went to our local Benjamin Moore Dealer, Young Paint & Wallpaper. Feeling all sorts of confident, I walked in and asked the nice man at the front desk for wallpaper paste.  …………

There was palpable silence, he was clearly waiting for me to say something else. But what? I had no idea!!!! So I just started blurting…. I know nothing about wallpaper, I ordered this online and one roll came in prepasted the other didn’t and I just want to hang it up. I did all my research on how to do it but it was based on prepasted yadda yadda yadda…. can you help me?! It soon became clear that this guy was more of a paint than wallpaper guy. So he directed me to another woman who after asking me a series of questions to which all I could answer “I don’t know.” She gave me your basic wallpaper paste with the suggestion of taking a solo cup drizzling it onto the back and then using a sponge roller to spread it.

Now I was set…. I had my supplies

One gallon of wallpaper paste… check
One sponge roller… check
ready for this???? NOPE!

I put a long drop cloth on the ground and measured off 96 inches (the height of my walls). [I probably should have thought that one through a little better, but when you get to my wrap up you will see my takeaways.]

When this stretched out the width of my living room I should have thought twice about the length

Then I started the task of applying paste. When someone tells you that you should be able to drizzle it on and then spread that would give you the impression that it is somewhat more liquid on the viscosity scale …. you would be wrong. It was much more like Vaseline. So I would scoop a bit out and plop it on the back and start spreading.

Plopping the paste

It wasn’t so difficult, just tedious. And exhausting. So after all 100 inches were properly coated (I was told to put extra at the top and bottom) I “booked” the wallpaper which meant folding it in half and then in half again paste to paste and pattern to pattern and let it rest for 3-5 minutes. Much like a well cooked steak.  I realized this would be a good time to draw my plumb line.  That is a line that is perfectly level regardless of your walls and ceiling. I took out my trusty level and put that sucker up… With no regard for the width of the wallpaper…. Then I brought the wallpaper over to the wall, crawled up onto my ladder and unfurled my “book.” Since I was by myself I don’t have any pictures of the hilarity that must have been me hanging up the wallpaper. It was on my head, attached to my legs, wrapped around me at various points. thankfully I didn’t rip any of it. After a few minutes the first sheet was up….

so proud!!!!!

After that was up, I stood back to admire it and though to myself… HOLY HELL how am I going to get the seams to match up?! What was I thinking???? Wouldn’t PAINTING have accomplished the same luxury????

ANSWERS: Very carefully… Its so pretty… and yes probably but this is WAY more fun.

So after a few tries, I figured out how to line up the paper and……. I made that seam my bitch!

what, whaaaaat?!

I AM SO HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS!!!!! Not only am I very proud of myself I am also in LOVE with the pattern and how lovely and luxurious it came out. And let me tell you I am so so so lucky that I had enough wallpaper to cover the whole thing. The seam on the right side doesn’t exactly match (except at eye level because that’s important). I never would have thought I would have run out given the area was 2′ deep and 3′ across, those 8′ high walls really killed it!

Next that needs to happen is that we get the closet organizer in there. But that’s not going to be for a few weeks. We have quite a few things going on the next few weekends.

Here is my takeaway from the project, if you are thinking about wallpapering here are a few tips that I think would have been helpful

  1. Buy pre-pasted wallpaper. What, are you like me and didn’t know that it COULD come unpasted?!
  2. If you DO purchase unpasted wallpaper, use a sponge roller to spread it! Also tape down the edges so it doesn’t roll up on you.
  3. Have a helper. Now I had wanted to do this by myself so this one is my own fault but another set of hands would have come in handy.
  4. Cut and tape up first before applying to the walls. Little things would have come to light if I had done that such as the physics of a 62 inch person applying a 96 inch strip of wallpaper to a wall.
  5. Measure twice, cut once!
  6. Hire someone!!!!! HAHAHA


Let me first start by saying, I love my husband and kids more than anything. Let me next state how they are up at my in-laws tonight so I could do some DIY (more on that later). And I will follow that up with a William Wallace cry of…..


What have I done with my day you ask? Well they didn’t leave until after lunch so all four of us went out to lunch together. E did the absolute cutest version of Twinkle Twinkle.  E at the Diner

Then it was a few errands around town, then it was down to brass tacks. Like I said, some DIY’ing around the other place. On the list was the backsplash in the kitchen and the hall closet. I’ll go step by step with that in another post, they are both a work in progress (mostly because I’m planning on finishing the kitchen tomorrow) and the closet because I have to figure out a few things.

If you’ll remember, this is what the closet looked like before we left:



Everything was thrown on the floor, it was hard to get to the shelves at the top for hats/gloves/scarfs even though I did have them in lovely bins. We had an over the door organizer for hats, which honestly isn’t very functional. It is hard to close the door with all the hats we… ahem, my husband… have.

Step by step will come in another post, but here is the first stage after…. cue the oohs and aaahs

Wouldn’t you want to keep this neat!!!!


The only piece of advice I will give is to make SURE that you get pre pasted wallpaper. This stuff…. not so much.

Now that this is done I have to figure out the shelving situation. Originally I wanted double hung bars. Then today, I got nervous about that because I realized that the kids jackets aren’t going to be so small forever. So I think I am going to get adjustable shelves. The kind that you put the metal in the back and then insert shelves… you know these:

Clearly not this big but something like it.

I am not going to have time this weekend to hit The Home Depot but it’s good to have a game plan.

So now I’m home, had myself some leftovers, a couple of Woodpecker Ciders and watching Man on A Ledge…. doesn’t suck.

I’m loving life.

Summer Rental – Part 2: Multi-Purpose Room

Next stop of the home tour is our multi-purpose room.

We treat it as our playroom, dining room, hangout, and hallway. It is the central room in the house.
Here is a crude diagram showing the layout… probably should have done that before but hey I’m new to this!

Our abode, absolutely not to scale, it’s to my best guess =)

I really do have a new found respect and love for ranch houses. It’s not a style I would have thought that I liked but there is something to everything being on the same floor and the kids not feeling left alone anywhere in the house. The’ll even sit in the family room watching TV while I cook dinner or clean the kitchen. They’d NEVER do that at our house. Hopefully little things like that will stick when we relocate back across the street.
Anyway, originally we had wanted to put the kitchen table into the kitchen, but once we were in there was no flippin way that would fit. And I’m so much happier with the storage we gained. Part of me actually is thinking about getting rid of the kitchen table and having us eat in the dining room everyday and putting storage in the kitchen as well but I don’t think that really makes sense. Plus I’m the kind of person that really digs a formal dining room and I totally heart mine. I would hate to let it get all casual. But that’s another conversation all together. This is about the Summer Rental.
We basically decided to line one wall with kid things and the opposite wall with adult things. So we have our kitchen table and a small love seat on one side and all the kid’s toys on the other.

Through the kitchen window

a little less “moody” of a shot

Have I mentioned how much I love this setup! The best part about everything in the rental is that we truly don’t care what happens. You want to draw on the walls, sure go for it. Paint the couch, go for it! (we’re not planning on bringing back either of our couches, upgrade baby!)

All the toys

Originally, G didn’t want to hang anything up. And if you knew G you would know how monumental of a statement that is. Whenever we move anywhere the FIRST thing he wants to do is hang things up. Regardless of not knowing where the couch, bed, chair, bookcase etc are going to go. It grounds him. I respect that… I don’t like it and I fight it tooth and nail as I will plan things out for years before putting a single hole in the wall but I digress… again.. (I do that).
I always had a plan to hang the kids art in the Summer Rental. I think it’s a great way to add some personality for cheap. You know in a child labor kind of way… totally kidding! I have everything that I’ve saved from their school up on the wall. From the time the Big One was a little one until now. I tried to group them together by both theme as well as time.

My favorite part of the whole house!

The only thing I’m truly anal about is the toy organization. Not so much in a “no wire hangers” kind of way but more in a “I can’t be bothered to try to find Perry the Platypus’ fedora every time you want to play with it” kind of way. I broke down and got one of those bin things from Target. The reason I say broke down was because I foolishly thought we could contain all the toys we had in our basement built-ins. However I don’t know if your kids are like mine, but they tend to be a bit more “I need to see it to want to play with it” so all their toys were always out and in bins strewn around the floor. Not very organized. Basically I try to keep the Big One’s toys on top and the Little One’s toys on the bottom. All SuperHero related toys go on the top right, all Transformers go on the top left and then wen have SuperHero vehicles below in the center. After that things start to get wonky. I had at one point had all licensed characters in one bin but that was soon overrun, so then I tried Disney and Nickelodeon/Viacom but that was too ridiculous, even for me. So the only other bin I keep neat is the Little People one. Ironic since I brought all of the kids’ Little People playsets back to the house (minus the figures).

Our toy bins in action

What else…. OH YES. My GORGEOUS lamp that I bought, assembled and hung all by myself!!!!

The dining area was a little dark, so I ordered this on Amazon and 4 hour later I got it up. Every single one of those cones has to get assembled by hand!!!! INSANITY! But I LURVE it! I might actually hang it in E’s room when we move back in. Here it is from another angle:

dining area

So that’s that…. Next up the family room.

Here’s one last shot of the multi-purpose room….

Love this filter on Instagram!!!