Monday, January 9, 2012

home renovation: laundry closet

The next room we tackled for our home was the laundry closet. This was a space that we had not expected to do for quite a while but once again the house had other plans.

When we first moved in we had bought our first ever very own washer and dryer. Lovely front loading LGs that play a little tune when their load is done and I fell in love at first use!

And they worked great...expect the dryer took like two hours. And even then the clothes sometimes weren't dry yet.

Karl did some investigative work in the attic and found that the lint exhaust wasn't really working. The problem seemed to be the hose that ran from the dryer to the outside was clogged up with lint and water. Eeek!

So, a little over a year ago, the laundry closet moved up the priority list!

Here's the before photos with the previous owner's washer and dryer. One of the other annoying quirks about this set up is that the cabinets were a little too shallow. The one that held my laundry detergent never closed all the way.

We ripped out everything. We found mold behind the cabinets but Karl cleaned it up himself and ripped all of the back wall. Karl redid a lot of the pipes and exhausts and put in a new lint exhaust including adding a fan that turns on automatically to help exhaust the lint outside. Then he put it all back together with new pretty cabinets from Ikea and I painted the walls a light blue. We even found new doors.

I was shocked the first time I did a load in the dryer and it only took 2o minutes!

Prettier AND more efficient!

Monday, October 24, 2011


This is cool: November is National Novel Writing Month.

That's right. It's time to write your novel.

Don't worry. The folks at will help you.

In fact, the folks at challenge you to write that novel.

Register for free at their website (but consider making a donation, please). If you finish a 50,000 word novel between November 1st and November 30th then you are a winner!

You don't win anything. You're just a winner. Plus, there'll be a new novel in the world.

Novels are good things.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Most of the time I feel like a clueless parent. Once in a while I feel like a not so good parent. And once in a while I feel like a pretty good parent.

Tonight I was good. Or at least I had fun. I taught my son how to make lemonade. My favorite. And his.

Squeeze 6 lemons. Add 1 cup of sugar. And 6 cups of water.




Thursday, September 1, 2011

pretty music

I didn't stay up late or wake up early to watch The Wedding but I did TiVo it. But my TiVo cut off before the kiss on the balcony. Ah well.

My husband is one of those guys who don't get the hype over The Wedding. I tried to explain...pretty princess, handsome prince, gothic church, choir boys, England, lacy dress...he didn't get it. He's such a boy.

But then he got me The Wedding on DVD for my birthday. So I could see the kiss, he said.

He's such a prince!

So I like to watch the DVD but not for the prince or the kiss or even the dress...but for the music!!

This is my favorite...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

home renovation: master bedroom

When we decided to buy this house we immediately began making renovation plans: both what to do and what order to do them.

We wanted to do the living room and kitchen first, but the house had other plans. We quickly found that need would end up dictating the order we would get things done. Which is why we did the baby's room first. The new baby just had to have new room. So then we were going to do the living room...

However, the walls of most of the house were painted in this awful fleshy brown-ish beige that was just depressing. And I was especially getting sick of it in our bedroom. So we decided to paint.

But once we got the pretty grey paint on the walls (the same Pebble Grey as the baby's room), the raunchy carpet just looked twice as bad. So we decided we might as well get some new carpet, too. And since we were doing that we ought to put in a new ceiling fan as well. And curtains, of course.

Master bedroom before: (with all the previous owner's stuff in it)

So we bought a new ceiling fan, took it out of its box, had second thoughts, then took it back and bought a different ceiling fan. Then we picked out some carpet, then checked at another store and picked out some different carpet, got the room measured, decided we didn't want carpet, canceled our order, then found some bamboo floor and got that instead. Karl spent two weeks installing our beautiful floor (I did help some) Then we installed new trim work (tall base boards and thinner crown and door molding) and I found some new curtains (that didn't weigh a ton) and voila! New and beautiful master bedroom!

Here's a video of our then 11-month old son playing in the new room without the furniture. You don't want to see it with the furniture. Our bedroom furniture is still very mis-matched and odd. One of these days...

But at least the floors and ceiling fan and moldings and curtains are beautiful!

Master bedroom after: (with my cute boy in it)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

blog: bookshelf porn

I recently found a great blog consisting solely of photos of bookshelves.

Looking through the photos I find the same words running over and over through my mind "I want to be there...I want to be there...I want to be there..."

Is there anything better than a wellstocked bookcase and a cozy nook nearby?

I don't think so.

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library."
- Jorge Luis Borges

Monday, June 6, 2011

home renovation: baby's room

Our home renovation was originally intended to begin with the main living spaces, the living room and kitchen. Very quickly those plans changed as we realized as we were physically moving into the house that the soon-to-be-born baby's room just wasn't going to cut it as is. I didn't want to bring home my first-born to this ugly room with yucky dirty carpet. We were already painting the room a lovely gray and decided the floor just need to be addressed, too. So in went new twist carpet, a modern white and silver ceiling fan, and pretty furniture. We also have new prettier lever doorknobs that still need to be installed, but Axel has a harder time opening up the current doors so we'll keep it that way for now. (Click on any photo for a bigger better quality view.)

Here's what the room was like before (with the previous owner's stuff still in it):

After we closed on the house and before we actually moved in my mom and sister helped me do a lot of painting...the Tinkerbell green just had to go. I decided early on in my pregnancy that I wanted a neutral we didn't find out before his birth if Axel was going to be a girl or boy. I finally settled on Pebble Grey by Glidden (Home Depot). I wanted all of my baby's things to bring the color into the room. And I love how it turned out! Axel's room is my favorite room in our house.

Some details:

The ribbon mobile I made myself...I used Martha Stewart's instructions found here. The crib is a discontinued model (I got a good discount!) by Amy Coe and all the other furniture (dresser, bookshelf, rocker, curtains, green mirror, the wall clock) are from Ikea.

The "Happy Axel" banner is from Axel's 1st birthday (where the banner hung in the dining room and I later took out the "Birthday" part of the banner and hung it in his room).

The quilt hanging over the crib was made by the women in my quilting group...I love it and it fits the spirit of the room perfectly!

Those are Axel's newborn footprints on the wall hanging next to the "Ich bin ein Kind von Gott" ("I am a Child of God") my sister made for my baby shower.

The pictures in the room include a picture of Chirst, photos of Karl and I when we were about 2 years old, photos of both our mothers when they were pregnant with us and a few family photos.

The round halo light also came from Ikea and gives out the perfect amount of light for nighttime feeding or calming night-night routines.

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