Monday, April 30, 2012

We've got blinds

So, I bought blinds (from Select Blinds) for our kitchen and living room a long time ago.  We kept meaning to put them up, but were much too lazy to actually do it.  We actually did it this weekend, and we are very happy with them.  As happy as you can be about blinds, anyway.  After we figured out how to install them, it was pretty easy.  I would mark the screw holes for the brackets, and Shaun was in charge of drilling and mounting them.    
My job was clearly very important.  I would also take many annoying photos of my husband while he was trying to do this.  
Because our window stops were only an inch wide, we had to center the bracket on them and use the big square holes for the screws.  Is this ideal? I'm not sure, but that is the way it worked.  
Once these were mounted, the blinds snapped in and the magnetic valance simply got stuck on.  Easy!  I do have to mention that all the valance pieces were a quarter inch too short to cover the blind frame, so I will be contacting Select Blinds about it.  Pretty annoying.  
The color I chose for the blinds is Pecan, It's a nice warm color that looks great with our floors.  Blinds are pretty necessary in here, since our neighbors are about 15 feet away and the right window looks directly into our bathroom.  We don't always close the door all the way while in the bathroom, are we the only ones?
In the living room, the windows have been blindless since we bought the house in 2008.  We never really feel exposed in here being pretty far from the street, but I still wanted the added privacy of blinds to deter possible baby-stealers.  You never know...
The day is cloudy and I have pregnancy brain and can't operate my camera too well these days, so here's the best pic I could come up with for the 'afters'....
We also added some new sash lifts to the windows, we haven't had hardware on these windows since we got them installed in 2010.  I didn't want to pay for Marvin lifts when I could find cheaper ones myself, famous last words until two years later.  I chose these nice, solid brass ones from House of Antique Hardware:
For $25 including shipping, I'm sure we saved at least $75 from what Marvin would charge for the same thing.  I'm so happy these windows are finally complete!
And, here is an exersaucer we put together yesterday.  I think the assembly made Shaun bleed, baby things are serious! 
I guess I should just get used to seeing brightly-colored plastic in my living room....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hi Sugarplum! guest post

Hey guys, go check out my Marry, Make Out, Muzzle picks on Hi Sugarplum today!  Cassie has put together the most fun guest post series I've ever participated in.  And this one is helpful, because you gotta keep a list of men you'd like to date handy, even though I'm already married to the perfect guy, carrying his baby, OH...and the men I chose are all celebrities that have no clue I exist.  Details, details. 

Speaking of baby, and because a post without pictures is ZZZZZ, here's me at 34 of yesterday, I'm 35 weeks and THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING FOLKS. 
I look 'officially' pregnant no matter what I wear, and strange people are starting to ask my due date...guess there's no denying it now. 
This might be my favorite belly pic yet:
I do a great cross-eye.  And here's one of me holding up a printout of my hubby when he was wee, given to me by my mother in law.  I love it!  I can only hope that our little boy looks just like dad. 
As for me, all my vitals are great, baby is great, I've gained 31 pounds, and I'm extremely tired 24/7.  I think I might miss out on that 'last trimester nesting/energy' thing I keep hearing about?  Maybe it will come later when I'm even more huge and resorting to adult diapers.  My biggest complaint is the constant pressure on my bladder, but I just deal with it the best I can.  I got a maternity belt and it helps a little bit.  I'm also sleeping like doodoo, but I should just get used to it, eh?  (insert half-hearted laugh here)   

PS - Does anyone else wonder how the heck Jessica Simpson is still pregnant?  She looked 5 months along last Halloween!  It's a mystery that is occupying way more of my brain cells than it should right now.  I need resolution.     

Monday, April 23, 2012

It was exhausting

Heh heh, I'm a funny fatty these days!  Our range hood is up.  Taking care of exhaust and such.  When we prepared to put up this hood, we thought it was going to be tricky but not impossible.  Ok, I thought it might be impossible, but I was hopeful.  
We got the proper drill bits to go through the tile, lined up all the tools, and grabbed the instructions.  Then I had a pregnant-lady meltdown because the outlet we had already tiled around was almost 3 inches too low on the wall.  Not sure how that happened, but it has something to do with our electrician not reading super carefully.  
Broan recommends this thing hang a minimum of 30 inches above the range, and that means the outlet needed to be 42 inches high.  It was not.  I cried.  And cried.  And went to the bathroom a bunch of times.  Possibly ate some chocolate.  And then Shaun decided to call a handy friend and he came over in 30 minutes and put the universe right again.  
Ok, we still had to cheat it.  This was as high as we could go and still be able to plug the sucker in.  Not ideal, but it worked.  I just thank the Easter Bunny that we used a 'clock' outlet that recessed into the wall.  At least something was right. 
I had taped some paper up on the sides because the metal hood was making marks on our new tile.  This was a good solution to avoid dings on the visible areas all along the sides, without getting in the way.  And after I took this pic, the guys left for Home Depot because we didn't have the 6-inch round duct connector.  DUH.  Finally, it was done.
I'm so happy that it doesn't look or feel too low, even though it is 28.5 inches above the range instead of 30.  You might also notice we opted to put the vent portion of the decorative flue on the bottom instead of at the ceiling, because you could see that ugly duct through the vent in that position.  That would be silly!
My favorite thing about it is definitely the lights.  I love how they light up the tile!
And that is that.   
One step closer.  Note to everyone doing a kitchen renovation - take very careful measurements, and read the instructions for appliances well before you place your outlets!  Also, don't be pregnant for your entire kitchen renovation!  Only weirdos do that.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012


My gracious mom has offered to sew the curtain panels for the baby's room for me, since I don't know how to sew and I don't think '8 months pregnant' is the best time to learn. 
I was sure that I wanted blackout liner for the curtains, so I went to Joann and got this Roc-Lon Budget Blackout liner during a half off sale, for $3.50 a yard.  Then we cut a 90-inch length of the fabric and a slightly smaller panel of the liner to get started. 
I got cold feet on the blackout liner as soon as we started cutting it, I happen to love the look of light filtering through curtains, so we decided to pin up one with liner and one without to see what I thought the next day. 
The blinds are closed, and clearly there is just too much light coming through the fabric alone.  The two windows on that wall are east-facing so the light in the morning is crazy bright.  Not a good thing when mom wants a little extra sleep, huh?  And, there is a south window that could sabbotage afternoon naps while mommy is having a drinky.  Noooooo!
The lined curtain is much better.  I suppose a better test would have included blocking off the other two windows in the room, but OH WELLS. 
Another thing to decide....this fabric is a whopping 57 inches wide.  Even with side hems, that is a ton of width when you combine 2 panels on 30 inch windows!  Should I cut some width or just hang them wide and embrace the full look?
We are planning to do 'tabs' on the back of the curtains to make them fall nicely and avoid creating a rod pocket, like Kim I'm considering making the tabs out of strips of fabric I cut off the sides.  Send me all your curtain-making posts, friends!  I sure need them.     

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kitchen tile

Things are moving along slowly in the kitchen.  Mostly because I am enormous and the thought of doing anything in there is quite distasteful to me, whether it's installing tile, cooking dinner, or (I'll be honest) even doing dishes....thankfully I have a wonderful cousin who just happens to be a master tiler, and he did this for us last week!
I just about cried when I came home to all the tile set after just one day.  In my pregnant state, there is just no way we could've moved this quickly. 
He had to float our walls out about a quarter inch on this wall, and you can't even tell.  We would not have been able to finesse the issue like that. 
And at lunch time on day 2, he had everything grouted with bright white grout - perfection!
The man is talented. 
And I'm so happy that we decided to go with simple white subway tile as opposed to something colored or glass.  It looks so clean and classic.  The tile we used is Imperial Bianco Gloss 3x6 from the Tile Shop. 
We love it.  Thank you so much, Jim! 

Still to do in here:
Install range hood
Stain and install open shelves above microwave
Install blinds
Paint touch ups

BAH, it's never going to be done! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Q-Tips Precision Tips Review

I was recently contacted to do a review for new Q-Tips Precision Tips, and I was happy to agree when I thought about all the great uses for the new pointy swabs around our house. 
When I got my package, I immediately brought it upstairs to tackle something that had been irritating me. 
Do you see that purple paint howing in the corner?  I admit I was lazy and didn't remove all the corner plates before I painted (or paint the inside portion of the dresser) because I'm pregnant and....LAZY. 
The precision tip was the perfect size to get right up next to the brass plates without removing them because, again....LAZY. 
Look at me go with my new disposable tool!
All I wanted was to cover the purple enough that you couldn't see it with the drawers closed.  Because we can't have Vikings colors up in Packer country, you know what I'm saying?
Mission accomplished, thanks to these handy little Q-Tips!
I can't wait to use these things for dusting in the little crevices of our blinds, cabinet trim, and how about my camera equipment??  Ok, to say that I can't wait to dust is not entirely correct, but these Q-Tips will certainly make the job easier.  And there are some other tips on the Q-Tips facebook page, so go check it out.

Would you like your own Q-Tips Precision Tips to try?  Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a package!   I will choose a winner on Friday the 13th...I promise nothing bad will happen. 

I was provided with Q-tips® Precision Tips™ cotton swabs, a $25 American Express gift card and information about the product by Rocket XL. All opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Freeze watch

Thanks to the local weatherman, who shouted 'Freeze Warning!  Mayday! Mayday! Your flowery leafy plants are goners!' on Wednesday, I took the time to run to the garden center to pick up some supplies to save my delicate (and brand new last fall) Japanese Maple, and my already-leafed-out hydrangeas that I adore. 
Yeah, this stuff was on clearance so I thought, what the heck?  It's supposed to add a few degrees of protection to your ornamental and fruit and veggie plants. 
I then waddled and grunted through my yard wrapping up my plants like mummies using the garden cover and binder clips. 
I got kinda lazy with my Endless Summer hydrangeas, since they are several years old and seem to be real tanks, anyway. 
After covering, I sprayed the rest of my stuff with the Freeze Pruf just for funsies.  Then, I find out that because we are near the lake it didn't even go below 32 degrees.  BUT WAIT!  THURSDAY NIGHT IT WILL BE EVEN COLDER!  So, I removed everything during the day on Thursday and recovered it all again Thursday night.  Guess what....
It didn't get colder.  It stayed the same.  And I did all that work for nothing.  So now, I have $20 of stuff that I didn't need and I officially don't care what happens.  BAH!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baby shower fun

Sunday I was the guest of honor at a fabulous "She's Ready to Pop" baby shower hosted by my lovely mother....
And these two party planning ninjas, Stacey and Jean.... 
These girls did it up right, the food was outstanding - thanks to Mary, you should be a chef, my friend!
Check out the adorable sweets table:
Fill-your-own popcorn containers of 'popable' candy:
And pop-themed cupcakes, chocolate cherry coke (with cherries inside!) and salted caramel with popcorn on top.  Uh, yum!!
The gift table was stacked high with goodies.
My mom brought me my original potty chair (with a new bowl, ha!) you just don't see things like this anymore. 
Shaun and I had a fun time reading all the well-wishes and opening gifts that were each more adorable than the last.
Of course, I don't do parties without my photo booth setup!  I made some little baby props and we had some photo fun. 
I had a couple pregnant friends in tow for this event, here is a momma that's really ready to pop!  I hope I look as good as Lindsay at 38 weeks.
Many thanks to everyone that came to celebrate with us!