Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How to Add Stress to the Holidays

The subtitle to this post should be "Why We Decided the Week Before Christmas was a Good Time to Renovate Our Bathroom." The answer would be pure insanity. Well, not completely. The bathroom was finished before family started arriving and in the grand scheme of renovation, this one was fairly minor. Did I mention this was our guest bathroom? Or that it's the only bathroom aside from the master bath? It did add a small amount of mayhem to our pre-Christmas planning and I was definitely in the final stage of frantic cleaning while my parents were driving up from the airport. But I'm still happy we did it.

Our guest bathroom is decent sized with a full tub/shower and a large vanity. The layout is fine but the features were... lacking. Though we had repainted right before Baby was born, the removal of painters tape had revealed not only the limey green layer below but the bright pink under that. There was also paint peeling off the door frame, which we had ingeniously covered with masking tape to prevent any little hands from helping themselves to a delicious paint-peel snack. The vanity was a typical builder-basic cabinet with a faux-marble countertop. The sink was chipped and the mirror was your standard wall-to-wall unframed masterpiece. Lovely. I didn't get to take a before but the Hubs did manage to get a few shots during the process.

The pink was such a precious shade of pepto that we kept joking with the contractors that we might just keep it. Don't be jealous. In the second picture you can see the unpainted section of the wall that was covered by the fabulous mirror.

The contractor is a friend and did such an amazing job. He installed a new vanity that we picked from Home Depot but feels like Pottery Barn. He got us a steal of a deal on a new granite countertop. He put in a new toilet, sink, medicine cabinet, mirror AND repainted in the same color as the shower area in our master bath. Here is the after!!

I am in love with the new vanity! The bottom drawer pulls out for extra storage. All six drawers are also functional. The center cabinet is mostly filled with the pipes and undermount sink but I don't care because of the awesome bottom drawer. In the first picture you can sort of see the shower curtain, which is hanging off its new hotel-style curved rod. It was so wonderful to show our family this bathroom update. The difference was dramatic and everyone was pleasantly surprised. It was great to have it done for the holidays but I think next time I'll allow a little more leeway before guests are expected!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winding Down

The last month has flown by and now it's hard to believe that Christmas is over. We had a wonderful holiday full of celebration. This was our first year combining families for Christmas and it went very smoothly. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and get along, and Baby gladly took on the role of "official center of the universe." I was a little concerned that we hadn't gotten her enough presents and bought a few extra things at the last minute (even though she won't remember this Christmas). I won't make that mistake again. The grandparents spoiled her rotten.

Looking back on the past year, we have been fortunate to have many blessings, not the least of which was our fabulous wedding. Our family has been healthy and happy, and in a time when financial security is in question for the entire nation, we have been steady enough that I have been able to remain at home full time. Baby continues to grow and thrive, and I am now married to a man that I had been hoping for my whole life. I have many goals for 2010 and I feel ready to hit the ground running. For these last few days of 2009, I'm trying to relax a little, take a deep breath, and really count my blessings.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

So far this season, I'm making very slow progress on our holiday decorating. I think the biggest challenge is having to keep our decorations child-proof for the first time. Last Christmas, Baby wasn't mobile yet so valuable heirlooms didn't have to be protected from curious little hands. This year those little hands are more than capable of reaching all those breakables and the fact that they are shiny and sparkly makes them all the more desirable. I've seen lots of beautiful Christmas decorating that has me inspired but it's taking a lot more thought to make things look nice and keep them safe at the same time. I'm also trying not to buy too many new decorations and instead use what we have in new and different ways. Here are a few inspiring pictures until I get my own act together enough to share...

Melissa at The Inspired Room has a natural and simple mantel design that I love.

Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick also went for some natural touches. You can read her whole post here.

Naptime is just about over so that's all I can manage for right now. And maybe I should get back to decorating my own house. Maybe.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Some Pleated Poppy Love

If you've never been to The Pleated Poppy, you really need to check it out. Lindsey is incredibly talented and has some really fun things in her shop. Her blog is full of her creative talents and is very inspiring. One of her creations is called the Petal Pusher and it's a simple but pretty fabric flower pin. She sells them in multiple colors and they could be used in a variety of places to add some extra embellishment. For example, I recently used one of her snow white petal pushers as a hair accent during my wedding reception. I wore a long veil during the ceremony and pictures but wanted something to dress up my hair after the veil was off. (Bear in mind the picture was taken after some serious dancing had taken place so my hair is a bit undone.)

I just slid a hairclip through the pin that was already fitted to the back of the flower and then clipped it into the side of my updo. I'm sure the flower started out higher but like I said... dancing and more dancing. This little guy was a fun addition for my hair and cost a lot less than most of the floral hair accessories I had looked at in bridal shops. And now I have this sweet accessory to add to another outfit whenever I want. Definitely check out The Pleated Poppy soon. I'm sure Lindsey will have all sorts of crafty goodness going on for the holidays!
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