Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Great Expectations

You know what really helps moving/packing? Lowering your expectations. Or removing them completely. Here's my revised checklist of things to do:
  • Have the glider chair covered before the move. Wait until my parents come after the baby is born to paint and recover it (need a project to keep my dad busy while my mom hogs the baby, so says my dad). 
  • Pack clothes nice and neatly into moving boxes. Throw clothes into trash bags. So college. So easy.
  • Get more moving boxes. Throw anything soft into trash bags. So college. So easy.
  • Finish crocheting baby blanket. It's August and like a million degrees outside. She won't need a blanket for at least a few months.
  • Pack hospital bag. Who am I kidding? It will literally take me 5 minutes to throw some leggings, underwear, and a shirt into a bag with my makeup and other toiletries. I'm not the "I need to have my special playlist on my iPod with my squishy robe and my organic snacks" type. We already decided we're going to hit up Little Caesars on the way to the hospital. I kid. Kind of. 
  • Have nursery ready before baby gets here. Have changing table and crib set up. Decorations and DIY mobiles can wait. 
  • Pack diaper bag for hospital. Done! Don't ask me how that one got accomplished because I don't remember.
  • Pack up the rest of the apartment. I feel there is no way around this one. So instead I will watch the Olympics.
  • Eat all the food in our fridge so I don't have to pack it up. Done. I kid. Kind of. Mustard and prunes anyone?
  • Finalize which washer/dryer we want. Wear everything in our closet until we run out.
See? I already feel so much better, like I've already accomplished so much just by lowering/removing those expectations. Ahh...

Friday, July 27, 2012

A list.

It's been awhile since I've done a list so here goes...
  • I finally de-tagged and washed all the baby clothes up to 6 months. There are like a billion tags on each item of clothing - especially the sets. Goodness. I even managed to cut my finger with one plastic thingy. It was dangerous work I'm telling you.
  • The house is moving right along. I don't have a ton of pictures because I'm not allowed over there (something about being 8 months pregnant around paint fumes and dust and construction sites. Whatev.) except to bring my husband lunch so it's basically what I can snap on my phone while I'm there. I'll post some progress pics next week.
  • Our apartment is filling and filling and filling up with stuff for the baby and the new house which means I haven't vacuumed in 2 weeks. Yuck. It grosses me out just writing about it.
  • We're on the hunt for a washer, dryer and refrigerator for the new house. We might get a free fridge or be able to get a new one for a really good deal. So if you see kitchen reveal pics with fancy new cabinets and pretty new counters and an old fridge, it's because we're not bazillionaires and the really good deal wasn't as good as we hoped. Is it too much to hope for a brand new fridge that costs $100? Probably.
  • Between now and my due date in 3.5 weeks my husband is starting a new job, we have a wedding and 2 baby showers to attend, we're moving into a new house (including packing/unpacking), I've got to finish crocheting Baby Girl's baby blanket and also recover the glider chair which I've still been procrastinating, I have to find moving boxes and pack which I've also been procrastinating, I have to pack a hospital bag in case I go into early labor which I'm also procrastinating, and I have to still keep on top of things like paying bills and buying groceries. Pfft. I'm already tired just typing that all out. Is it really obvious that I like to procrastinate? I think you may have already picked that up with the whole "we're having a baby and have had 8 months to think of a name and still haven't". 
  • Tomorrow I go with my mother-in-law to Ikea where I will show her the wonders that are Swedish furniture making. She's never experienced it. We're also picking up the crib and changing table and a few other house things. I'll have to try to control myself but I seriously LOVE Ikea. 
  • So many things to do and yet what to do... ahh... I think I'll go "exercise" in the pool and enjoy my Friday. Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Once upon a time there was a restaurant called Great Wraps. It was a little hole in the wall place down the street from my high school. When my little sis was a senior in high school and I was a sophomore in college, I would come home every weekend and we'd usually go to Great Wraps. They made the BEST buffalo chicken wraps and seasoned fries.

Then one day it was gone.

Just like that.

We cried. I think. We went on the website to find the next closest one. It was in Century City (like 30 minutes away). Turns out that one had closed down too. We desperately emailed the website requesting that they open a new one in the LA area right away but I have yet to ever find a Great Wraps or anything like it again.

So in an effort to keep our meals fun and new, I decided to try to make them last night. And...

I totally did! They were SOOOOO delicious. Just as I remembered. Now if I only had an industrial size fryer, I could try recreating the seasoned fries and then my life would be complete.

Recipe
1/4 cup oil
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. Frank's Red Hot Original Sauce
6 chicken legs
4 pieces of pita bread (looks like a really thick flour tortilla)
Monterey Jack Cheese
Bleu (or blue?) Cheese Dressing
Shredded lettuce

Heat the oil in a skillet. CAREFULLY place the chicken in it and fry until golden brown. Remove to a plate and pull the chicken from the bones. Sometimes in my instructions, I wonder if I need to include things like "discard the chicken bones" even though it seems like common sense... In a smaller pan (or rinse out the skillet you just used, like I did) heat the butter. Add the sauce and stir until combined. Add the chicken and toss until coated.

Heat the tortilla/wrap/thingy on a skillet with the cheese. Add the chicken and let it sit until the cheese is melted. Remove from the skillet and add dressing and shredded lettuce and enjoy! But have some paper towels handy because this is MESSY.




Monday, July 23, 2012

Demolition. Part 1.

The cabinets are out! I have to tell you that my husband gets strangely excited about demolishing things. Must be a guy thing. He was like a kid on Christmas except armed with a crowbar and sledgehammer (which I could barely lift).

Some bad news: we can see daylight behind the sink fixture (which my husband says is never good) and there was a pile of dirt and chewed up insulation just hanging out under the cabinets which he says is probably from rats (ewwwwww!!!!!).



The VERY good looking handy-man himself. :)

And the weird wall is gone! And yes those are paint samples on the wall. I'm going with neither of those. I really, really am really, really bad at picking paint. But check out that fancy wall paper... it's so retro...

Saturday he did this (sorry for the fuzzy iPhone pics):



The new shorter wall is already up (which will be an island/bar top) and you can't see it, but the popcorn texturing has been scraped off of the ceiling. I think that's it for the demolition. There are some holes that need to be patched throughout the house (especially the hole that goes all the way through the wall behind the sink) but I believe the "putting in new stuff" process starts now!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On the hunt

I finally went to Joann's yesterday to get some cloth to recover the glider chair for the nursery. I decided on solid navy blue duck cloth so that a) it could be used for future nurseries for boys or girls b) it's more durable than regular quilting fabric but cheaper than home decor fabric and c) it probably won't show stains as much as a white/neutral color would.

With a 50% off coupon I was able to get 2 yards for $10 which was just in our price range. I really wanted a small wide pillow that could fit behind my lower back and offer some support so I hunted and hunted at Joann's to find something that would blend the navy/coral/neutral theme I have going. I found nothing...

But I did find this on Pinterest.



How perfect are those fabrics??? Well don't get too attached like I did because after doing a little research, I found out they were $60/yard.

SIXTY DOLLARS FOR ONE YARD OF FABRIC.

Oh, but I could've just bought a small pillow for the same price. *insert rolling eyes here*

I was crushed. That fabric is exactly what I was looking for and completely and totally out of my price range. So now I'm still on the hunt for the perfect fabric that will tie the nursery colors together and make my glider chair makeover complete.

By the way, after buying the fabric to recover the chair yesterday, I sat down to get started and then realized I was scared. I've never recovered a chair before and people on blogs make it look so easy but when it actually comes time to do it? I feel like it could turn into a really big fail of epic proportions. EPIC proportions. Wish me luck! Or stand by to mock my slow demise as I attempt a DIY that is probably too sophisticated for me.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Batcave - Before Pictures

Kitchen with the front door/entry just beyond that wall straight ahead. The hall closet is off to the right. 

The hall closet

Kitchen is off to the left in this pic. It's connected to the living room which has a fireplace... seen below.

Looking down the hallway off to the bedrooms. Bathroom on the left, nursery is the first bedroom to the right, master bedroom second to the right and guest bedroom/office straight back.

Bathroom

Nursery

Master bedroom

Guest bedroom/office
 
The plans are to replace everything. Tile is getting ripped out, cabinets are getting ripped out, weird wall in the kitchen is getting torn down. I can't really list everything we're doing because it would take too long and frankly, I don't really know everything that's happening. I leave that to the hubs who knows what he's doing. I'll keep you posted with some updating pictures and things like "then he ripped out some electrical thingy and put in some flooring and painted walls and stuff". 

Or maybe I'll just let him guest blog in case you want to know more specifics.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A place to call home.

We got the keys to the house last night! Praise GOD!!! I think the excitement of finally having the house and knowing that work is going to start on it was too much for us. We stayed up past midnight talking and then for some odd reason (ahem... pregnancy), I woke up at 4 am and was unable to fall back asleep. We had a meeting with Brian's boss today at the house to go over the final details so unfortunately right around 7:30 this morning when I started to feel the effects of less than 4 hours of sleep, we had to leave the house. After the meeting, we ran a few errands and now Brian has gone back to the house to start demo-ing and I'm off to run more errands. I should have some "before" pics of the house for you tomorrow but for the moment I must keep going so that I don't fall asleep and repeat this whole "waking up at all hours of the morning" nonsense. Hmm... I think a few bites of chocolate ice cream is just the thing I need to wake up...

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Paint, granite and carpet. Oh my!

In anticipation of having to start work on this house as soon as we get the keys (which could be Thursday or Friday - eek!!!), I have been busy comparing swatches of paint, laminate floors, granite counters and carpet.

Oh. My. Bleeding. Eyes.

It is so tedious. There is no perfect color and after awhile, everything starts to look the same. I finally decided on the other details but the paint is really proving to be the hardest thing! I think I've narrowed it down to 3 so we're going to get some samples and test them in the house first thing when we get the keys.

Essentially this home makeover is going to be quite satisfying for you impatient people (like me). Technically we're hiring contractors but does it really count if my husband is a contractor for a living? I would be helping but he hardly lets me do the dishes and vacuum, let alone lift heavy things or tear out tile. I suppose growing a baby is hard work but I still feel like the same person who can do stuff like that so it's weird for him to freak out when I stand on a chair to reach something on a top shelf.

I'll keep you posted and share pics as soon as we are able to. In the meantime, we are praising the Lord that He has been so good to us!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!!!

Nothing says "Yay freedom!" like shooting guns. #righttobeararms #babysfirstshootingtrip

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Housing

Our current situation in a nutshell: we will be renter's in a house we found that Brian's parents have bought which will close on the 16th and his work crew will renovate (hopefully) getting finished by the 31st when our apartment lease expires.

I know that's one big run-on sentence but it's hard to explain all the aspects of our nutshell. This is not going to be a slow, DIY process because the house needs to be liveable asap. The reason for that is that we don't want to add an extra month or 2 onto our apartment lease because the cost would go up significantly. Also remodeling a house with a newborn would be just a little difficult, I think.

So, with that in mind, we literally have a 2 week deadline. Brian's boss is confident they can get a crew in there full time and be in and out in 2 weeks but his parents are pushing to close sooner than later so it won't be so hectic. We were very fortunate to have free-reign in looking for this house and the part that excites me the most is that since they don't have time to bother with the details, they're also letting us (read: me) choose cabinets, paint, flooring, etc.

Hello Pinterest.

We'll be heading back sometime this week to get some measurements and to check on a couple of things with the a/c and electrical stuff so I'll try to get some good before pictures. I have to admit, I'm still a little bit apprehensive about getting too excited about this whole thing because there are a lot of variables. BUT I am confident that God will provide for us, no matter what and He has already blessed us so much in HIS perfect timing. I am definitely seeing God's hand in all of this and I am SO THANKFUL for His blessings in our lives!

Did I mention we'll be moving in 3 weeks before my due date? My parents moved into their old house 2 weeks before I was born so I suppose it's like a family tradition to move when you're 8 months pregnant... We're just masochists like that.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nursery Mood Board

We are still in our apartment with a possibility that we'll be moving into a bigger place in a few weeks. We are praying and know that God will provide whatever we need but in the meantime, I've decided to put together a mood board just in case we do get into a bigger place and I actually have a minute to put together a nursery for this baby girl. Nothing fancy but just a few simple things that will dress her room up a bit.
Nursery


1. IKEA Sundvik Crib, $119
We decided on Ikea furniture for the crib and dresser (which will be used as a changing table). I really just wanted a grayish crib but the only ones I could find were really expensive. The other option was to paint a white crib but I don't think I could've done that without worrying about poisoning my baby... 
 
2. RugStudio presents Rizzy Volare VO-2132 Navy Hand-Tufted, Good Quality Area Rug, no price listed
The house that we might be moving into (Lord willing!) has tile throughout the whole thing. We're still deciding if we want to rip it all up and replace it with laminate wood flooring, but it appears to have just been installed not too long ago so it's in good shape. As much as I don't love tile, it's an expense that we might not want to invest in just yet. If we decide to keep the tile, I'll have to get creative with lots of rugs to dress it up a bit and make it a little easier for little bodies to be crawling on. (The baby's... not ours.)

3. IKEA Aläng, $30
Odds are that her bedroom will just have a normal ceiling fan like all the other rooms will but I still thought it'd be fun to see what a cool light fixture would look like... 

4. IKEA Lenda, $20
Obvs Ikea is like my favorite place to shop and these neutral curtains seem like just the perfect addition to a neutral room. Although I'd probably double them up or hang a blackout curtain behind so the room will get nice and dark for nap times. 

5. IKEA Hemnes Dresser, $149
Like I mentioned before, the dresser will be used as a changing table and then when she's older, she'll just have a normal dresser handy. 

6. Dutailier Round Back Cushion Design Modern Glider And Ottoman Combo, $489
This isn't the glider we got but it's how I plan to make the one we have look. I don't think that sentence has the best grammar but whatevs. Right now the glider is a natural wood with a forest green cover but I plan on painting it and recovering it (and possibly adding more padding since the cover it has is pretty thin). 

7. Thomaspaul Mod Mex Banner Coral Pillow, $78
There is no way I'm paying $78 for a pillow but I DO plan on making one for like $7. A little bit of batting and a coupon to Joann's for some fabric and I'll be in business. 

8. Coral Homestead Afghan Throw Blanket 50" x 60"- Simply Home-Bed &..., $50
I'm actually going to crochet a blanket for her that is coral, peach and a creamy color (sort of an ombre look). I sort of haven't started yet but I have 7 weeks left... that's plenty of time, right?

9.  Etsy Nursery Prints
Love Poster - Peach Coral Typography Print - Nursery Art for Girls..., $18
Navy and Coral, Scripture, Bible Verse, Psalms, Be Still and Know,..., $18
Personalized Custom Wall Art Print Chevron Zig by LaurelTreeLane, $26
I probably won't buy these prints because I happen to be pretty handy with creating my own but I love the idea of verses in her nursery. My mom had verses in frames throughout our whole house and without really trying to, you memorize those verses because you see them all the time. Never to soon to start storing Scripture in her little mind. :) 

So there you have it. If we actually do get this house, I'll have plenty of before and after pics for you in the coming month. It needs a LOT of work (for starters, there is no kitchen left - just a few partial walls and one really old counter). But fortunately for us, my husband happens to do remodeling and has some very convenient hookups so hopefully we can get this place liveable before a) our lease is up at the end of July and b) this baby pops out.

Can you see now how the Lord is DEFINITELY growing my faith in Him??? :)