Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tiny House

My son is now over a year old and a few months ago, he out grew his old baby carrier type car seat. So we bought him a big-boy seat that he can use until he is 100 pounds. Such a seat comes in a very big box. Like every other kid I've ever met, my son apparently likes boxes very much. So, although the purchase was months ago, the box is still in my living room because I can't bear to take his "toy" from him.

Instead, I think I'd like to replace it. I have a project in mind... a play house! I am still assessing my skill level and my dedication to the project because although I want them, I don't have too many woodworking power tools. I think I could build something pretty nice if I had a few key things like a table saw and a compound mitre saw (yes- I actually know what these things are AND what they are used for!).

This is my first, not-so-sophisticated design:  

I know, not much more than a box. Again, assessing my skill level. I am also thinking he may not be able to use a playhouse effectively for about a year until he can play somewhat unsupervised (i.e. farther than 10 feet away from mommy) at least some of the time. So, by then, I could have built my tool collection and maybe practice a little bit.

Have you ever considered a play house for your child or did you have a dream house in your younger years? Tell me about it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I had fun with last week's Decorating with Pounce feature, so here we go a again!

Again, I cycled through pounce until I found a decorative item:

Find it here
 I am excited because this was a seller that is local to my area, how cool! I also like the fact that it is summery. My first thought was lakeside cottage, so I am running with that.

1. You have got to have kitch. It is a lake house afterall. And what are lake houses for? Entertaining of course! This item has the perfect balance. The classic boat shelf, reimagined for entertaining.  Find it here

2. What is a lake house without a dock? I love this coffee table. It reminds me of a well-worn dock. I just want to sit on the end and stick my feet in the water. Find it here

3. Entertaining is important, as I mentioned above. So you need a nice serving tray for all the goodies. When it is not being used to dish out appetizers, you can always use it to keep your remotes nice and tidy. It gives the room a little pop of red to tie into the statement art piece. Find it here

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This Week

On Saturday I picked up some supplies for sprucing up the homefront while my guy is in San Francisco this week. My power bill was a whopping $300 last month, so I decided one really good investment would be programmable thermostats. I also wanted to address the kitchen floor that is drawing my ire, so I also bought a scrub brush and some grout stain.

Everything started out just fine. I got about 1/4 of my floor done thanks to naptime for the Pumpkin-Monkey and help in the evening from my mom. I have to do the staining in stages and it is a multi-step process.

When I got home from work last night, my kitchen was unusually hot. I chalked it up to the 97 degree+ day we were experiencing in the Atlanta area. I made dinner for Pumpkin-Monkey and I, then it was bath time. Last week, the thermostat needed batteries, so the AC stopped pumping. It was really hot in the upstairs bathroom so I checked the thermostat and it said the batteries were low (I replaced them last week!) so I opened it up, took the batteries out and put them back in and turned the temp down again. The fan was blowing so I though it would cool down in time for bed time. Oh no.

It was still sweltering when I put the Pumpkin-Monkey to bed. This just can't do. I looked outside and although the fan was blowing upstairs, the actual AC unit was doing nothing at all. Great.

All I could do was strip the tot down to his diaper and turn on all the fans upstairs and leave his door open. Even then I felt guilty, so I tried bringing him into my room where I have a fan. That didn't work at all. He just wanted to play. After an hour or two of that, I thought it had cooled down enough since after dark the inside temp went down by 5 degrees, so he went back to his own bed. Instantly went to sleep (c'mon, REALLY??). Ugh.

So today I called the service company and they are yet to return my call. We may have to resort to sleeping on the couch tonight.

With that- the adjustable thermostats are kind of moot, for the time being anyway. So much for my plans!

Friday, July 8, 2011

What Next?

Next might be a strong word in this case. I guess "next big project" might be more accurate. I have several big projects that I would like to tackle, but like most people these days, I have a very limited budget for them. Not to mention, a home that has seriously depreciated since I bought it. So what would have a grand impact with minimal fundage? Maybe what would have the greatest value for resale?

Let's see...

  • I have a nice "looking" kitchen that is not entirely (or remotely even) functional. I have six cabinets and four drawers. Seriously, that is it! I like to cook and bake and buy small specialty appliances. Where do you put all that in a kitchen with SIX cabinets?? The garage. So item one on my kitchen wish list is more cabinet space.

  • In my first walk through of my house, I thought I had granite counter tops. I am not so naive that I don't know what granite looks like- I guess I just focused more on the cabinets (not enough to realize there were so few apparently). Not only are they laminate, yeah, the lowest of the low as far as counter tops go, but they are trimmed in wood stained to match the cabinets. However, the stain is just a gel stain or something of the like and it looks like this (and did after only two months of being in the house). I have to re-stain it a few times a year:
  • My floors are GROSS. So pretty when you first see them, but utimately GROSS. The grout is stained, the tials are chipped and the coloring just looks like dirty tial no matter how clean they may be:

So I would love to re-do my kitchen and make it to my liking, but that would be cost prohibitive at this point in time. So maybe counter tops would be a good first step? Since I don't have much counter space, I could replace them for less than $1,500. These are some samples I was looking at:

Something that would go with the cabinets and black accents I already have:
 Go dark:
 Go light and match the backspash with hints of the cabinet color and black accents:

In the end though, is it worth it to go quartz or stone? Maybe I should just do a solid surface composit. I know it doesn't make sense for me to considerate when I'm not a fan, but it is about 1/2 the cost and I am not sure how long I want to stay put. Hmmm...

Friday, July 1, 2011


I decided to try something new. I am an Etsy merchant and from time to time, I like to play with the gadgets they have on their site. One of those is the "Pounce" feature which allows users to see recently posted or sold items. I used pounce until I found a decorative item and I thought I would build a design plan around that:

The item:
Find it here
Check out this pillow- super cool, no?
Okay so a pillow would be used for a living room or bedroom, most likely. Let's flip a coin... living room it is.

So we need art. I want it to be contemporary, but not TOO abstract or geometric like the pillow. How's this?

Find it here
A little girly, perhaps, but girly can be great and I think it will work. So next up, a little jewelry for the room.

Find it here
Want to see it in a room? Well here you go!

By the way, this is much harder than it looks.