the happiest place on earth

No, not Disneyland - Hawaii.

Between all of my stress from work and the hard work we've been doing on the house (not stressful, but physically demanding), I am *so* looking forward to our trip to Oahu for my 30th later this summer.  I was a little bummed about our hotel at first (through Hotwire, so we didn't know until after we paid), but it'll be great since we tend to get in the car and drive anyhow.

View from the hotel

Recently a friend of mine came back from Oahu and recommended we take the LOST tour, so I'm definitely looking into that.  I think we'll also hit up some of the beaches on the North Shore that we couldn't when we went with Jenny & Sean b/c of the treacherous surf.  I also want to go to the waterfall at the Waimea Valley Audubon Center since it sounds like the water is warmer than what we encountered in Maui, and it's much easier to get to as well. 

HGTVs Rate My Space

Thanks to the fine folks over at Fixer-Upper: A Victorian House blog, I have spent the last hour or so on HGTV's new Rate My Space. It's exactly what it sounds like - Hot or Not for houses, and yes, it's addicting.  During that time I have found what is quite possibly the world's most perfect bathroom.  That floor is just exquisite!  Alas, it also reminds me just how awful our own bathroom is. So while the time spent on the site was good in that it got my creative juices flowing, it also brought out the green-eyed jealousy monster.  That said, I'm off to clean the bathroom and hang our new shower curtain.  Maybe that'll make me feel better.


I've been struggling with what to do with our bathroom.  The layout is awkward, but we don't have the time, money, or energy to do much beyond basic cosmetic updates right now.  It's somewhat dark and just very drab and not at all a place you want to be.  I never take a bath in there because ... well, why would I want to spend any more time than I have to?  This doesn't have to be the case, I know ... but I just don't know *what* to do with it.  Or at least I didn't, until a couple of days ago.

Like so many situations in my life, I blame Martha Stewart; this time around, her "Thinking Pink" cover story.  I'm not normally the type of girl who likes pink, flower decor.  I never felt the urge to spend thousands of dollars at Shabby Chic (although I did used to live around the corner from one and would stop in when I was feeling frenzied and could really see why people might fawn over that style). 

Anyhow, the other day I decided I want to paint our bathroom a very pale shade of pink ... almost white, with just a hint of blush.  (I'm reminded of Julia Roberts saying "blush & bashful" at this moment).

But paint alone cannot undo all that befalls our bathroom.  No.  We'll need a new shower curtain too, and by golly, I found it!  What you can't see from this picture is that the shower curtain is almost textured.  The giant pink dahlias are ... um ... quilted on.  It looks like a gorgeous old quilt that's been handed down through the generations.  It's just ... well, so girly.  And I love it. Of course, this means Alan is going to hate it, but boo to him.  I clean the bathroom, so I figure for all that hard work, I should at least be able to reap some sort of reward.

I also picked up a couple of little glass vases to put up on the top shelf that I can add fresh flowers too.  Oh, and I have a couple of distressed white frames I picked up at Pottery Barn back in the day (like when I worked there and with my employee discount they only cost $3.99). 

Oooh, this bathroom is going to be just so purty.  I doubt we'll paint anytime soon, but I can feel better knowing that paint is coming and it'll be gawjus!  And I'm loathe to admit it, but just a bit Shabby Chic.


neighborhood real estate

Because we paid enough over the asking price of our house last summer, Alan sometimes has a bit of buyer's remorse and starts asking himself, "did we get screwed?" I don't think we did, given what else we were seeing at the time in our price range, but I think it's always a good idea to stay on top of the market and understand what the houses in your neighborhood are going for. Today, I found a house that is directly across the street from Children's Hospital whose asking price is over what we paid. A house one block over (which albeit a beautiful brown shingle house) is located right around the corner from a pretty notorious liquor store and selling for $699k. A house 5 blocks away that has had a superficial cosmetic makeover (lots of loud, bright paint to detract from the fact that the home is seriously lacking in character) is new to the market at $719k. This makes me feel better. I was worried when we moved to the 'hood that we had bought the most expensive house in the neighborhood and would spend years trying to build equity. Given the houses that are currently selling all around us, I think we're in a really good spot. Plus, we're constantly making improvements to the house that in the end can only help us, not hurt us. Still ... it does get me to thinking about our curb appeal (or lack thereof).

yard progress

As I mentioned in a previous post, we haven't been able to do much yard work b/c of the weather. Looking back through old pictures though, it's amazing how far we've come from the ghetto yard days.

If I remember, tonight I'll take pics to prove our progress. We now have grass where the dead, brown weeds used to reside; we have rose bushes that are producing roses, and it generally looks ten times better. Still not finished however ...

almost done

We spent a significant amount of time this weekend updating the bedroom.  We started painting on Friday around 6pm and finished around 8pm on Saturday.  Obviously, we took some breaks.  I was really thankful we had the guest bedroom so sleep in b/c there was no way whatsoever we could have slept in the master overnight.  Of course, I hightailed it back to our bed the next morning around 7am b/c the guest bed is a double and Alan is a blanket hog.  Not a good night sleep, to say the least.

We still need to add the sconces above the bed and put up some artwork, but we've made a lot of progress.

Alan's painting the bathroom door and will have that hung probably by next weekend so that we can close the door between those two rooms.

I am really pleased with the way it looks.  The paint didn't dry perfectly and we could likely use a third coat, but it's good enough, especially since our plaster walls have so many inconsistencies and imperfections.  Yeah, let's blame the plaster.

I'm also hoping to get a chandelier for the bedroom.  That's pretty far down on the list of "things we need" but we do need to address some of the lighting issues in that room sooner rather than later.

house progress this week

When Alan came home today, we immediately got to work emptying the bedroom and starting on the first coat of paint. The color we chose is called Tropical Skies from Behr. Since Behr sucks, we color matched for Ralph Lauren, which is what we used on the furniture, in the hallway, and in the office.

At 9pm, we finished our first coat. We need one more, at least. Maybe two (although I hope not).

The bed is going in the window and my dresser is going against the long wall in the second picture. Our china cabinet goes on the wall by the bathroom entrance, and Alan's dresser goes across the room on the wall by the door.

Last Friday night I came home from dinner with my friend U to find Alan hard at work in the bathroom removing the shower doors. They were gross, old, and did nothing but annoy us.



No "after" pictures yet because I'm probably going to change shower curtains and my bathroom is a mess and I don't want to subject y'all to it.

We continue to work on the yard. We had hoped to rototill and tamp the location for the gazebo we still need to buy and assemble, but the weather hasn't been cooperating as of late. Instead, I decided to take a weed wacker to the side yard which had reached jungle proportions. Not a smart move! For the next three days, my allergies were out of control. By Tuesday I wanted to rip my eyeballs out.