Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Working hard to make wish{list}s come true

We know I love that "check off the list" feeling so be prepared to see a lot of this in the future, plus some before and after pictures (brace yourself for the "befores", they are quite frightening!!) So far, our to-do list looks kind of like this:

  • Paint All Rooms/Hall/Stairwell
    •  Ceilings (prime, 2 coats paint)
    • Walls (prime, 2 coats paint)
    • Trim (2 coats paint)
    • Doors (2 coats paint) 
    • Closet Doors (spray: prime, paint)
  • Stair railings
  • Chandelier and new lighting for stairwell/hallway
  • Carpet
    • bedrooms
    • hall 
    • steps
  •  New hardware on all doors
    • door knobs
    • hinges
    • door stops
  •  New Closet doors for Master (french-style), move current ones to office and pantry.
  • Add pot lights to all rooms and hall
  • Bathrooms
    • Redo Hall Bath (all white pieces)
      • New vanity
      • New light
      • New medicine cabinets
      • New tub (soaker, deep!)
      • New Toilet
      • New tile floor
      • New faucets (sink, bath, shower)
      • New fan
      • Close up wall between bathroom and vanity/closet area (where new bathroom will go)
      • New fixtures (shower curtain bar, towel bars, toilet paper holder, etc)
      • New shower curtain, towels, accessories
      • New cabinet over toilet
    • Add Master Bath
      • Run plumbing
      • Change drywall to water-resistant
      • New vanity
      • New light
      • New medicine cabinets 
      • New stall shower with glass door
      • New floor
      • New faucets (sink, shower)
      • New fan
      • New cabinet over toilet
      • New towels, accessories.
      • Move existing door to current bathroom to other side to opening between new bathroom and master bedroom.
  • Move furniture upstairs (from basement and storage)
  • Hang plantation blinds, curtain rods, and new curtains in all windows.
  • Decorate.
Downstairs... AHHHHH
  • NAPALM kitchen
  • Hire arsonist for living room/dining room
  • bead board in powder room.
Ok, not really.... The real list is here:

  • Paint all ceilings (prime, 2 coats paint)
  • Paint all walls (prime, 2 coats paint)
  • Paint all trim (2 coats paint)
  • Paint doors (prime, 2 coats paint)
  •  New hardware on all doors
    • door knobs
    • hinges
    • door stops
  •  Kitchen
    • Take down vertical blinds (and destroy them!)
    • Take down ceiling fans (let them go the way of the vertical blinds)
    • Clean and organize cabinets and pantry
    • shelf liner inside cabinets
    • New flooring
    • Add closet doors to pantry (use doors from master bedroom closet)
    • New hinges and hardware on cabinets
    • New stainless appliances (fridge, range, dishwasher, over-range microwave with vent)
    • Bead board back splash
    • New stone counter tops (some light whitish-gray color)
    • New kitchen table & chairs
    • Add moulding around windows and doors + new base boards
    • Add island with 2 stools
    • Decorate: chalk board!! and memo-center stuffins
  •  Living Room
    • sand walls to remove the lovely faux finish (which also is sand)
    • see above
    • Hang plantation blinds, curtain rods (from Shiela and Jay), and new curtains in all windows.
    • Hang TV above fireplace
    • Decorate: need rug and furniture and lamps... 
  • Dining Room
    • Hang chandelier
    • Recover chairs for dining room set
    • 2 new chairs for table-heads
    • Decorate: Rug, mirror above buffet
  • Powder Room
    • Bead board or board and batten
    • new medicine cabinet
    • new flooring 
    • new fixtures (towel rack, toilet paper holder)
    • new lighting - vanity style
    • new fan
And don't even get me started on the basement. The thought of that room makes my head explode. I don't want to be cleaning brain matter off the walls along with all the other crap I've been scrubbing up!

    Friday, February 22, 2013

    HomeGoods Goodies

    Let's talk about my OBSESSION with HomeGoods for a minute. I might have a problem... however, given that my only other addiction is coffee, I'm ok with it. Full Disclosure: I have a closet full of Homegoods bags, filled with Homegoods merch, that I've been collecting over the last 3-4 years in anticipation of someday being a home-owner. And that's enough talking about my issues.

    HomeGoods is BY FAR my favorite place to shop when I'm not shopping for anything in particular. I feel like I can always find something I want need and it's always too good a deal to pass up.

    My most recent score - wedding related - are these super cute reception necessities.

    You can't really tell the size of these bad boys from these pictures, but let me assure you, they are HUGE! The cake stand is at least 18 inches across and will be able to easily withstand 7+ layers of confectionery heaven. Oh and that Lantern, seriously, I'm in LOVE! The weathered white wood, the beautiful pierced tin top, I can just see it nestled in a wreath of flowers and filled to the brim with well wishing wedding cards. I'd be lying if I said I can't wait to use it in the house after the wedding is over. I've been dying to have a reason to buy one like this from Pottery Barn and West Elm for ages but could never justify it. Enter my obsession and the super-discounted price (less than 1/2 the original cost!) plus, the Wedding (which I'm finding to use as an excuse for just about every behavior/impulse buy imaginable).

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Painting... and painting... and painting...

    I left you last with Paint colors...'s what we did with them!

    We painted the hall bath in Reflecting Pool, it's super soothing and definitely has a bluish green look to it which we love. We painted our room Nimbus Cloud (even though it's a MSL color, we had the sweet people at Home Depot color match it to the Behr paint). Jay wanted to paint the office white, I wasn't having it so we agreed on an almost-white that is very neutral and pretty-much looks white until it's right up against the trim or the ceiling.  Last, we painted the the spare room in Quietude, which we originally bought to paint the hallway and stairwell but after we got 1/2 way through the upstairs, I made the boys stop because it was wayyyyy too light for such a high-traffic area and it also has a slightly bluish tint which I didn't like for that area since it's the main transition between all our rooms, upstairs and down. I love the color, just not for that space, and I'm so happy with it in the guest room since it will pretty much match any and all bedding that I like for that room. As for the hallway.... we're now considering these:

    Friday, February 15, 2013

    The Game Plan

    We have officially started working on the house!! And by we, I mean I since Jay was crazy-busy this weekend with work and his wrestling coaching stuff (regionals, districts, and states are all coming up this month, plus we're going to Alabama for his cousin's wedding) but I was just too anxious and needed to get started!

    Our plan is to knock our the whole upstairs first because we want to get new carpet up there and on the steps. It's sooo much easier to paint when you don't have to worry about the mess you're making on the floor. We also are hoping to work through one level of our house at a time, that way we don't have to run up and down for tools and we can actually enjoy some livable, non-construction/renovation space while we work.

    I went to Home Depot on my lunch break earlier this week to pick out paint swatches and we picked colors for all the upstairs rooms and the hall way and painted blocks on the walls to see which ones we liked best.

    I have looked at them in literally every type of light at all times of day and night imaginable and after some seriously painstaking reviews, I am happy to report that we've picked the colors below.

    When I showed my mom and sister these colors, they totally made fun of me for picking such "different" colors. The last thing Jay and I wanted to do was end up with a house that is all the same color, ala builder's grade white, which was everywhere in our house: the ceilings, walls, trim, EVERY inch... Except in the office which was orange and sponge paint and our hall bath was that color but feather duster-finished with Dutch Blue and Dusty Rose. We also didn't want it to be like Joseph's multi-colored coat either, where you have a veritable rainbow around you if you stand in the hall. So yes, maybe we might end up with an all-gray house (there are worse things) but all these colors look so nice together. I think they'll also look fantastic with the white ceilings and trim.

    We had spackle from another job we did in the house so I just used that to fill in all the holes and we'll sand then prime it up tomorrow. We also have primer left over from that same job so we"ll use that to start but I know we'll need more before we get through the whole upstairs.

    More tomorrow!

    Things I Love: Toasting Flutes

    So my sister asked me the other day (and by the other day, I mean about a month ago... when we didn't have any decisions made with certainty for our big day) if I'd thought about toasting flutes for the wedding.

    ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? N O ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ?

    So of course, I set out that day on a mission: to find the BEST TOASTING FLUTES EVER... and what did I come up with?

    Well my lovely Sister/Matron of Honor suggested these beauties from Pottery Barn which is what go the whole thing started. They're totally pretty and they do match my sweet silver Homegoods impulse buys from the other day. I love the shape of them, I love that they can be engraved with our initials and I love the price. I just feel like I have an aversion to metal + glass... I know, I'm crazy! These are seriously so sweet and match great with the other stuff that we've already purchased and have way less glass/crystal for me to worry about breaking so they really are ideal... and perhaps it's because they are the first ones I saw, either way, I just don't think they're "it" for us.

    These Galway Crystal flutes with the Claddagh sandblasted image are really pretty too, and bonus that Jay LOVES them (because they are very representative of our Heritage) but they are the same ones I got for Gary and Jenn when they got engaged. Since we're already getting married the same day (Black Friday, not the same date) as they did 2 years ago, I almost feel like enough's enough and that we should let these go.

    Which brings me to the next culprit... oh Crystalline... so pretty, but soooo much money for 2 glasses that are more likely to sit on a shelf in a curio or china hutch than ever be truly "used" again.

    So after being scared off by the price of Crystalline, which I swear, has literally doubled since the first time I looked at them (5+ years ago) and thought, "Yea! Whenever I get married, those are totally the ones we're using for toasting! If I could just find the right guy to marry"

    So I searched the Macy's website, checked out some stuff at Bloomy's and Neiman's and eventually abandoned my search.

    Then this week I had a flashback to our trip to Vegas (that wasn't about our engagement) So I started searching for the MacKenzie Childs Hunter Boots that I fell in love with while we were in Vegas. This adorable little boutique in the Bellagio had a whole bunch of her stuff and I decided to just check and see if they were available online, and how much they were gonna cost me. note: they're actually not  unreasonably priced... all things considered. double note: I have 2 pairs already, so I'm really not in the market for a 3rd pair, I just wanted to "window shop".

    So whilst on my little trip down Memory Lane, I came across these little sweeties!
    And I thought, WOW! FINALLY!!! And like most of the best things in life, they came to me when I wasn't looking

    They are the ones that I love the most and are so completely significant because of our trip to Vegas where it all started... So that's what I'm loving today :)

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    If the Shoe Fits... and is under $30...

    You buy that shit. I don't care who you are!

    Although I did have dreams of walking down the aisle in some red-soled beauties, or channeling my inner-Carrie and rocking some Manolo's... my beer budget knocked my champagne taste right back in check.

    Maybe spending an entire paycheck on 1 pair of shoes... that I would only wear once... that no one would really see since my dress is long... and I probably wouldn't even be able to wear all day since I will want to dance... well maybe that wasn't the most financially sound decision I was ever going to make. Maybe.

    So of course, I can say that since I found a great pair of shoes, at DSW of all places, on SUPER CLEARANCE. When I tell you super clearance, I mean like less than 5% of what I was going to spend on crazy-expensive designer shoes. $26!!!!! Can you believe that!

    sorry for my crappy picture below... but check out childMode's pic above - they are super cute :) Or Google-image search it: The Glass Slipper Collection "Cinderella" pump.

    Thank God Alyssa called me today in need of some retail therapy! Just like me, shoe-shopping helps her feel better :) So off we went in search of some soul-soothing, and found some great shoes for the wedding!

    She got these killer feather pumps for the wedding. I wish I wore the same size shoes as she does because I'd totally steal them from her. As it is, hers were also on uber-clearance so they were less than $40 and really, I could go get them for myself... if only they had my size!

    The bottom is a lighter pewter color in real life and super sparkley so it looks so cute peaking out from under her dress when she walks. <3

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Good Hair Day

    Ever since this post, I haven't been able to stop thinking about how I'm going to do my hair for the wedding. I've been terribly anxious about it, and anyone who knows me knows that when I get fixated on something, it dominates every waking moment until I take care of it.

    SO I did.

    Instead of worrying needlessly about the "what ifs" (what if mom or Shiela can't do my hair the way I like it? What if I can't find a hair dresser to do it for me at a reasonable price? What if I hate my hair? What if what I'm thinking looks terrible on me?)

    The AMAZING Steph created this look that I'm dying to copy. Too bad she's all the way out in Utah or I'd be hiring here to do my hair and make up. And don't think for 1 second that this was not my first solution to my anxiety over this issue. BUT I don't have extra money just lying around fpr me to fly a hair/make-up artist in from across the country. Clearly, I'm slightly crazy for considering this from the get go?

    Obviously, the fixation started to spiral out of control, ever so slightly... but we nipped it in the bud! This morning I packed up all my combs, brushes, curling irons, hair sprays and products, bobby pins, and even make up into my Vera Miller and rolled out to my sister's house.

    I swung by our favorite Bakery (Distelfink) and picked up a dozen doughnuts... because they are my sister's and my niece's favorite food, Elisabeth has even been heard saying, "you should have a doughnut every day!" She's the sweetest little thing, and now we know why! (she's chock full of sugary dough and icing and jimmies!)

    So after dilly-dallying most of the morning/afternoon away, we got to work. I had curled my hair and sprayed it before I left my house but to get the volume we were looking for, I did it again, teasing it slightly as I went.

    Then it was Shiela's turn to take the helm! And did she ever! 2.5 hours and about 30 step-by-step pictures later, my hair was complete and a Masterpiece! It looked amazing!!! As with most things, I was kicking myself for ever worrying at all! I never doubted that she could make my hair look awesome, but I never, in my wildest dreams thought she'd be able to make my hair prettier than the inspiration picture.

    Friday, February 8, 2013

    Eating Pizza and Coloring on the Floor

    Today was moving day for Carol! She left this morning with her dad to make the drive to Charlotte. Jay and his Uncle Jim will be driving the U-haul full o-stuff down tomorrow, not so bright, but waaaay early (they're leaving at 4:30am!!)

    So Jay rallied the troops this afternoon and was able to wrangle his best friend, his older brother and our neice, my younger brother and his girlfriend/my friend.I don't know how they did it but in just a couple hours, they had everything out of the house and onto that truck! I felt like a bum when I got home because I had been at work (and lucked out) and couldn't help. I did swing by the liquor store while I was picking up pizza for everyone to ease their aching mover-muscles :)

    So we did what I've been told is customary when you spend your first night in your new home. We ate pizza... while sitting on the floor, steps, random bar stool, 1 kitchen chair and partially-cleared-off sofa.

    After Fid, Buddy, and Alyssa all left we hung out with Jay's brother and niece and just got to soak in that the house was really ours. Weird.

    Jay's niece is 4 and so stinking cute I could just put her on a shelf! She taught me ballet in the living/dining room where we quickly discovered that Hunter boots are not optimal dancing shoes. We told secrets and talked about our favorite things while hiding out on the landing of the stairs. Then she and I made sure there were no ghosts upstairs in any of the empty bedrooms and finished off the night coloring pictures in a Shrek 2 coloring book on the floor (apparently when you're 4, the floor is the place to be... but at 28, I was hurtin' after about 3 minutes and had to suck it up).

    It was definitely a night for the record books... but not one full of photo-ops. Again, sorry for a long picture-less post.

    Tomorrow and Sunday will be jam-packed full of cleaning, organizing, and donating/trashing stuff (I love a good purge!!). I see a lot of Craigslisting in my future, and a yardsale as soon as Spring breaks!!

    Consider yourselves officially ON NOTICE... this is no longer just a wedding blog :) It will now be wedding planning + house lovin + anything else that happens in our lives from here on out that will change now that we're becoming "grown ups".

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    If it's Free, it's for me!!!

    I gotta hand it to him, the man knows all the right people! I sure did pick a winner :)

    Jay talked to our friend who was bff's with his Dad and Carol and has known his family for-like-ever (that's a real length of time, look it up) and because he is awesome and totally amazing and loves us so (and is terrified that Jay's dad has some killer lightning-bolt connections in heaven) he is going to DJ the wedding for us... as a gift to us! How super sweet it that!? And he's a terrific DJ! He has done a lot of the local events in our area, including a dinner we attended last year for St. Patrick's day and an awesome benefit we went to this year at the Elmwood Park Zoo in honor of Fallen Officer, Brad Fox.

    Monday, February 4, 2013


    So the other day,  I took this picture of my to do list:

    Today that list looks like this!

    I can only imagine how this legal pad will look once November rolls around. 

    I might be having visions of this:

    In an effort to prevent that ^ hot mess, let me regroup here:

    The great news is that I did manage to knock a few things off the list.
    1. Photographer (videographer?) - in process, we are waiting on info from another videographer before we call to book Steph and Brent for both (packaged deal may mean better discounts, right?)
    2. Room block - DONE! 35 rooms reserved at the nearest hotel with an attached bar (that stays open til 2am) and it just so happens it is newly renovated and very nice :)
    3. Transportation
      1. Limos for home to church and church to reception
      2.  Buses for to/from hotel and reception - got quotes, need to finalize guest list before we decide how many buses we'll need, I hope none of you are above riding in big yellow school buses :) if you are, don't tell me! Thanks!!
    4. Confirm start times for Ceremony and Reception
    5. Confirm date/time for Rehearsal/Dinner
    6. Find a Rehearsal Dinner location - some ideas in the works, more posts to follow.
    7. Registry - hahaha... I might have started this without Jay's help... we could maybe be registered at Crate & Barrel and Bed Bath & Beyond already.
    8. Attendant gifts - ideas are all I've got, and not very good ones.
    9. Parent gifts
    10. Florist - must remember to call tonight! Fortunately, centerpieces are included by the venue (kaching!) but my Godmother (Aunt Kathy) gave me info for her friend who is going to help us out with bouquets and boutonnieres.
    11. Hair/makeup/nails/facial?? preliminary discussions with my personal stylists (mom & Shiela) regarding the veil and headpiece dilemma posted earlier this week, need to schedule a time for them to work their magic on this mane and see what we can come up with, otherwise, I will be salon stalking in the not-so-distant future.
    12. Wedding Website - Done, see it here.
    13. Finalize Guestlist, send copy to MOH
    14. Find/order Invitations
    15. Buy a dress - Done! See the post here.
    16. Bridesmaids dresses - partially complete... 2 of 6 have dresses. 
    17. Speaking of bridesmaids, ask last girl to actually be one! 
     (did you notice how the list grew just now?)

    Friday, February 1, 2013

    Keep you head-piece Up

    Tiaras, and facinators, and clips, OH MY! (or nothing at all!?) Obviously, I have some big decisions to make here... hair up or down? What kind of accessories to wear? What kind of veil? I will say that I did also get a headpiece for the wedding the same day I got my veil and my dress. Again, buyer's remorse. Not because it doesn't look pretty, everything looks absolutely stunning all together. I just don't know if the look we purchased is the one I'm really going for... and then I see these and I think yep, I need to re-think this...




    So now I have some decisions to make... And of course, I have a list for that...

    1) up, down, 1/2 up?
    2) sleek and refined or fluffy and messy?
    3) swept across forehead or pulled back off face?
    3) braids?
    4) Curls?
    5) accessorize... with what? Tiara? Comb? Barrette?  Flower? Feather?

    And I seriously HAVEN'T A CLUE what I want!  Let's look at that list from another angle... it's kind of the only way I can narrow things down these days...

    1) up, down, 1/2 up?
    I'm thinking up, just because I have kind of thin, kind of fine, kind of blah hair that doesn't hold a curl for more than a few hours, and that's without sticking a veil on top for a few hours... the other thing is that we like to dance. Hair down + dancing = stringy hot mess.
    2) sleek and refined or fluffy and messy?
    Let's be real, there is nothing sleek or refined about me... so I guess we have an answer :)
    3) swept across forehead or pulled back off face?
    I love the swept look... evidence - only 1 picture above doesn't have it. There is a slight problem though, and it goes back to the equation put forth under #1... I don't want my hair to look like a hot stringy mess, so we may have to pull a MacGyver and figure out a way to have both (I'm thinking we may have something in the 5th & 6th images up there)
    3) braids?
    I go back and forth on this one. I think if we were getting married in the spring or summer, or even the fall, I'd be all about it. Since we're getting married, in what I consider winter, I'm just not feeling the braids.
    4) Curls?
    Yes, but not in the crazy kinky prom way. Not in the tendrils around your face way, and definitely not in the tight Shirley Temple ringlets way. More like the soft, floaty, Image 1, 2, 5, & 6 way.
    5) accessorize... with what? Tiara? Comb? Barrette?  Flower? Feather?
    Today a tiara, tomorrow a feather... who the hell knows what I will end up with!