Saturday, December 31, 2011

Missouri for the Holidays

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Chris and I just got back this morning from a whirlwind tour of Missouri to visit our families for the holidays. During our 9-day trek, we covered 3,000 miles, stayed in three Missouri cities - St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia - ate waaaaay too much, spent a little too much money on after-Christmas sales, and got to spend some great time with family and friends.

Now, if you're a smart cookie you're probably thinking, "3,000 miles from DC to Missouri? That seems awfully long?" And you know what? You're right. We made a oopsie-daisy when we were leaving DC that required us to turn around not once, but twice, turning a 14-hour drive to St. Louis into a 24-hour drive. OOPS! Let's just say, if you are going somewhere cold make sure to grab a winter coat, and if you are going anywhere and rented a car in your name, don't forget your wallet and driver's license! Honestly, 24 hours in a car doesn't seem that much longer than 14.... and at least we didn't strangle each other!

Tips to those that plan on taking a long-distance car ride - 5-Hour Energy's work wonders, travel pillows will be your best friend, and watch your liquid intake because you'll definitely only want to stop when you have to!

Here are some highlights from our trip . . .

Our first stop was lunch at Bogart's in St. Louis' Soulard neighborhood. Nom, nom.


Then, we had a siblings' drink at International Tap House. (That handsome guy is my little brother!)


Chris and I sported our Holiday-best on Christmas morning.


And we enjoyed some family bowling (which reminds me that I need to find cheap bowling out here in DC!).


In Kansas City, we spent time on the Plaza shopping, eating, and enjoying the holiday atmosphere.


Oh, and I tried my first Winstead's Skyscraper shake. Yummy!


We checked out the Magic Tree, a Columbia, Missouri tradition!


And, lastly, we stopped in Newport, Kentucky to enjoy some beer and food at Hofbrauhaus. It might not be the same as the Munich Hofbrauhaus, but it was good enough.


Chris might have needed to get out of the car too . . .

We hope everyone has had a wonderful and relaxing holiday season so far, and has a safe night tonight on New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Operation Finish Bathrooms: Part 1

While all of you (or most of you I would guess), were gorging on turkey, watching or playing football, and Black Friday shopping, Chris and I were hard at work on 3 of our 3.5 bathrooms. The TLC that each of them needed was long overdue, so we decided a few weeks ago to dedicate our entire Thanksgiving break to finishing up our bathrooms, finally. (This decision trumped our initial idea to spend the entire Thanksgiving break camped out in front of the TV re-watching LOST. Oh, the woes of homeownership....)

We spent 4 days over Thanksgiving sanding, priming, painting, taping, painting, cleaning, etc. our basement, guest, and master bathroom. Fun, no? And, believe it or not, we still aren't completely finished. Although, we are much closer than we were a month ago!

So it's time for Part 1 of Operation Finish Bathrooms: The Once-Cruise-Ship-Sized-Dreaded Basement Bathroom!

The most troublesome bathroom from the moment we moved in was the one in our basement. It was ti-tine-ey. Seriously, cruise-ship bathroom size, if not smaller. Too small to even take an okay picture of it. And, we realized shortly after we moved in that water was leaking in near the bathroom right onto our carpeted basement floor. Want mold? No, thank you. As I wrote about way back when, we spent last fall and winter making the bathroom bigger, thanks to some door maneuvering. Since then, Chris has been painstakingly patching up the leaks, re-bricking parts of walls, waterproofing, tiling, plumbing, electrical work, drywalling, mudding, painting, trimming, etc., all when he's not laboring away on statistics homework. Fun, no? Here are some pictures of all that fun . . .

Here's the bathroom last spring, after we moved the wall making it bigger, but before we found the water leak. (The gap in the tile floor is where the old wall was before we made it bigger.)


Then we realized that water was leaking in from under our outdoor steps and through the bathroom, so those pretty walls had to get torn down to find the leak.


Yup, this is rotting wood that was behind the bathroom drywall. Gotta love water damage over years and years and years.


And, here's more rot. Oh, and see that hole that's under our outdoor steps? Yup, that's where the water was getting in. Notice the rotted wood in the bottom of the whole. Gross.


Chris cleaned up the hole and sealed it from future water trickling in. Much nicer looking.


Since we moved the wall out, we also had to fix the light switch and put up the new dry-wall. Pretty much the entire bathroom got new drywall. Some walls got new drywall twice. Lucky us.


Here's the extensive list of what we Chris accomplished in the basement bathroom:
  •  Re-framed the new bathroom entrance and door after we moved the wall out.
  • Discovered the water-leak culprit: a strange empty space under our outside stairs.
  • Cleaned out the space under the stairs, waterproofed it and bricked it up.
  • Created a door to access the space = new storage!
  • Put in a new vanity and sink (we used the one from our master bath, more on that in another bathroom segment!).
  • Re-drywalled the entire bathroom, including the ceiling. Mudded it, then painted it.
  • Put in a new light switch for the bathroom.
  • Re-framed the bathroom window.
  • Re-tiled parts of the bathroom and the area outside of the bathroom.
  • Added trim everyway.
  • Cleaned the bathroom, which was covered in dust. Bleh.
  • Put on a new toilet seat cover. Fancy, I know.
  • Re-hung the old fixtures, and added some new ones (towel racks).

And, voila! Here is our new and greatly improved basement bathroom!


Notice the door next to the toilet. That's the hole we found under the stairs that is now extra storage!

Check out our nice recycled vanity from our master bath. The mirror might be off-center, but it's a basement bath, who cares!

Our lazy-selves are relishing in the fact that we can now actually use the bathroom in the basement while we are down there watching TV and working out, instead of running upstairs! Yippee!!

So, that's it. Our basement bath is DONE. Done, done done!

Part 2 of Operation Finish Bathrooms will be coming soon . . . (as soon as we hang up shelves and clean!) So, stay tuned!

Post-School Weekend

Well, we finished our classes for the semester! And passed! Sometimes, Chris and I lament on how sad it is that we are late-twenty-somethings and we are still taking classes, doing homework, and worrying about finals and grades, but what can I say, we lurv learning!

Anyway, this past weekend was our first weekend free of the burdens of school work, and big home projects (like water leaking through the roof and an unfinished basement bathroom). So, naturally, we did whatever the heck we wanted!

The weekend started with a great dinner with friends at Parkway Deli. Gosh I love that place and their humongously delicious desserts. Mmmm eclairs and cannolis! If you come in town and visit us, remind me to take you there!

Saturday and Sunday we did a little bit of everything and a little bit of nothing. For instance, we decided to go to Goodwill to donate a few bags worth of stuff that have been piling up in our house, and ended up buying these two gorgeous Pier One chairs. For $5 each. FIVE DOLLARS, EACH! They are even more beautiful at that price, huh?



Right now they are just siting in our living room and I have yet to decided where I want to put them... any ideas?

We also visited DC Brau, one of the first local breweries in DC that started selling their beer last spring. I wanted to buy a couple of "Sixers" for Christmas gifts for people, but Chris couldn't resist taking the quick tour. It's decent beer and fun to tour a local brewer. Again, if you are a beer-lover like Chris, this is a good, free place we can visit when you are in town.





But, while we ran some random errands and did some fun stuff around town, we were also lazy. Lay-zy. Let's just say, we are now both obsessed with Breaking Bad. If you haven't watched the show, you should. It's dramatic, funny, and even nerdy.Yes, it's about "cooking" meth, but it's not your average drug show. Although, I don't really know what an average drug show is like....?

This was a really random post, sorry, but this is what our Washington life is like, a little boring, and a little interesting, mixed with some natural and home disasters. ; )

Monday, December 12, 2011

We'll Be Right Back . . .

 . . . After we take care of the usual end-of-another-graduate-school-semester craziness.

I tried really hard to keep writing blog posts after Thanksgiving, especially about our bathrooms updates that we accomplished, but as usual things got very busy very quickly with our semesters wrapping up. Believe it or not, I have two posts in my draft queue that just need pictures, but alas, I have no time to take, edit, and upload them. So, posts are going to be paused until this weekend because, right now, our life looks like this:


Let me tell you, not only can I not wait for our dining room table to be free of papers, textbooks, and the laptop, but I cannot wait to have Chris back because he's been super super busy with doctoral classes and needs a break!  Almost. done. Wish us luck!

(PS - Our dining room table is now our office because our office still has holes in the wall from the molding drywall we had to remove from the "hurricane." Yes, school needs to give us our lives back!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's a Washingtonian Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

This year, Chris and I are celebrating Thanksgiving in the complete opposite fashion that we did last year. Last year was our first year in our new house so we invited both of our families in to town to celebrate the holiday with us. It was great for everyone to see our house for the first time, to cook them a huge Thanksgiving meal, and just spend a few days enjoying everyone's company, but it was definitely completely exhausting.

Our table was set for 9. . .


My brother was anxious to eat. I just wanted to get that bottle of wine open . . .


My family and sister-in-law, Courtney, ran the Washington, DC Trot for Hunger for So Others Might Eat.


An intense game of Sorry! after dinner . . .


While we'd love to be with family again this year and repeat all of the fun we had, we couldn't make the trip back to Missouri and we didn't want to make everyone come back out here, so we decided to take the very low-key, Washingtonian-approach to Thanksgiving. We're staying here, working on house projects, catching up on some movies and TV, and going out to dinner for our Thanksgiving meal! Yes, that's right. We are going out for Thanksgiving dinner. No cooking, no mess, and no carry-out, but waiters, a restaurant, and a check at the end of the meal! It seems to me that anyone who stays in town for Thanksgiving just goes out to dinner. At least that is what I've seen from other Washingtonians I've run in to!

Chris and I will be headed to Jackson 20 in Old Town Alexandria for our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. We love taking advantage of all of the great restaurants around here, and a lot of the deals they run for things like Restaurant Week and holidays, and tomorrow is no exception. Jackson 20 is offering a three-course prix fixe meal option, that includes a turkey dinner complete with pumpkin pie! I am all game for dressing up, not cooking, not cleaning, and still getting to enjoy a big, yummy turkey meal at a steal of a price!

On top of that, Chris and I will be focusing a lot of our attention the next few days to Operation Finish Bathrooms. Yes, that's right, bathrooms plural. Not only is our guest bath still not finished, but now our Master bath is a mess. By the end of the weekend, my goal is to have them completely done and checked off my house to-do list finally. I promise to have a post about it next week. I am so looking forward to that being done!

How are you all spending your Thanksgiving? With family, friends? Out of town, in town?

We hope that where ever you are and who ever you are with that you have a great and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend!! Also, I used to work retail, so be nice to those men and women up at the crack of dawn to work so that you can shop on Black Friday!!  ; )

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Surprise trip to STL

Two weekends ago, while Chris was busy at home finishing up our basement and working on homework, I flew to St. Louis to surprise my Mom on her 50th Birthday weekend! I was only in St. Louis for something like 30 hours, but it was great to see my mom and dad, brother and sister, meet my brother's girlfriend, and also see a lot of my extended family and family friends. You see, not only was my mom celebrating her 50th birthday, but my uncle was also celebrating his 60th birthday, so my mom and uncle did a low-key joint birthday party at a bar that my parents frequent and invited pretty much everyone they knew.

Here is the fam at the birthday party . . . (My Dad decided to take a "serious" picture.)


My little brother, Will, and sister, Danielle . . .


My uncle and cousin playing together for the first time . . .


My dad with his girls . . . (minus, my mom)


The birthday kids at the end of the night! (Happy Birthday and thanks for a great party!!)


In lieu of gifts, my mom and uncle decided to ask for donations to Operation Food Search. This is all of the food they collected that night!


So that was my whirlwind StL weekend. (It was even more whirlwind because I seriously just almost missed my fight back to DC!) Lately, I've been looking forward to the weekends even more as a way to get away from the chaos that is work during the week, so being able to see my family over one weekend was a good break for me. Seeing my family, even if it was for only 30 some-odd hours, was just what I needed!

Thank you, Dad, for arranging the last-minute flight for me to come in, and thank you to all of my family for carting me around that weekend and hanging out with me!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

On this Veterans Day, give to those who make us proud to be Americans

The week before Nov. 11, Chris decided that he was going to post a different veteran or military organization on Facebook each day for that whole week preceeding Veterans Day. He wanted to post organizations that people should not only be aware of but also donate to in order to help our veterans and their families. It is an incredible thing what that the men and women in our armed forces and their families do for us, for our protection. every single day, and it is something that Chris and I both feel strongly about, especially after the loss of our friend Jeremy this summer who was killed in action in Afghanistan. So, after sharing all of these great organizations on Facebook, I asked Chris to write a blog post (his first blog post here at OWL), listing all of the organizations that he shared. Below is his post . . .

It's Veterans Day, so here are a list of well-run and impactful charities that help our servicemen and women and their families. I invite anyone that reads this to take a few minutes out of their day and read about what these charities are doing for the men and women who have done so much for each and every one of us. And, if you're willing, please make a donation -- every little bit helps!

Disabled American Veterans
DAV is a non-profit charity dedicated to building better lives for America’s disabled veterans and their families.  DAV is historically given a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, primarily for it's financial transparency and accountability.
Donate to DAV

Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront is a 4-star non-profit charity.  They provide emergency assistance and morale to our troops and their families, and to wounded warriors when they return home. Operation Homefront has more than 4,500 volunteers and has provided assistance to more than 100,000 military families in need.

Homes for Our Troops
Homes for Our Troops is a 4-star non-profit charity that builds specially adapted homes for severely injured servicemen and women through donations of money, building materials, and professional labor, all at no cost to the veterans.

Fisher House Foundation
The Fisher House Foundation is a 4-star rated non-profit charity that manages "comfort homes" on the grounds of military and VA medical centers, enabling family members to be close during hospitalization.  These "comfort homes" have provided millions of days of lodging to the families of injured and rehabilitating servicemen and women, all at no cost.

Walter Reed Society
The Walter Reed Society is a non-profit charity that benefits the Walter Reed Army Medical Center though its educational, treatment, patient, and research activities.  They manage a fund that provides assistance to servicemen and women injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project is a 3-star rated non-profit whose vision is to "foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in this nation's history."  They raise awareness for the needs of our injured service members, help injured service members aid and assist one another, and provide various direct services and programs to help meet the needs of our injured service members.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a 4-star rated non-profit, consistently considered one of the most well-managed charities out there today. They specialize in providing assistance to the special operations community, which consists of Army Special Forces (Green Berets), the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Navy Small Boat Teams, Navy SEALs, Air Force Combat Controllers, Air Force rotary and fixed wing squadrons, Marine Corps special operations personnel, and, of course, their families.  They help severely injured special operations personnel and provide financial assistance to the families of fallen special operations soldiers, including scholarship grants and educational and family counseling to the children of these fallen soldiers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My work has been really crummy the last couple of weeks months, to put it nicely, and so every day I hang on to those things that make me happy. My walk to work this morning was one of those things . . .

First of all, on my way to work I pass two historic cemeteries, a sprawling armed forces campus, a high school, and other various places that have a lot of green space. As you can guess though, there isn't much "green" about these spaces lately. They are literally bursting with beautiful fall colors - reds, oranges, yellows. The image below is of this magnificent tree in one of the cemeteries that I pass in the morning. Brilliant, no?

Anyway, this morning not only were all of the trees bursting with colors, but a thick fog was still hanging in the air making the colors seem even more vibrant than usual. On top of that, there was a slight breeze making it literally rain brilliant fall-colored leaves. It was gorgeous, and made me happy.

Even though I live in a huge city, I'm so grateful that I get to pass through lots of green spaces every day that often remind me that whatever crummy day I've had (or will have) doesn't really matter. Right?!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fun with Fun Paint

So, while I was yet again procrastinating on our bathroom project, I decided to start another DIY painting project in our house. You see, I had been inspired by Martha thanks to Pinterest . . .

. . . and decided that we needed to make a more permanent calendar, like Martha's. Somehow I convinced Chris because on the next trip to Home Depot I purchased some Rustoleum Magnetic paint primer and Chalkboard paint (in Fresco Red).

Here was our wall before, just gray with our old calendar-turned-wall-art.


We decided that we wanted to paint the entire "bump out" section, floor to ceiling, with magnet paint, and then cover it in chalkboard paint. I wasn't going to be like Martha and make the fancy, different colored squares because, let's be honest, I'm too indecisive. I figured this way we could use the space for a calendar, to-do lists, grocery lists, and for a drawing space for very-distant-future kiddos.

Step 1 was to paint on the magnetic primer. For those of you who have not played around with this fun paint, it's really not so fun during the actual painting process. First of all, if you buy this stuff get it shaken at the paint counter and then use it right away. Don't be like me. I bought it, let it sit around in our house for a few weeks, and then opened it only to find that all of the magnetic "stuff" had formed this huge mass at the bottom. Some quick internet searches revealed to me that you needed to get the stuff shaken, and shaken really well, or you could stir it for 15 minutes or more (and no, the directions on the box didn't mention that). So, I went back to Home Depot and had it shaken, and then still had to stir it. Ger. I repeat, if you buy this stuff get it shaken at the paint counter and then use it right away. 

After running back to Home Depot and then stirring, I was finally ready to actually paint. The directions on the box state that you need to apply 2-3 thin coats. Lies, lies I tell ya! I think I probably applied 10 thin coats. Yup, I spent an entire day painting on a thin coat, waiting 30 minutes for it to dry, and then painting on another. After every coat dried, we'd test our magnets on it, only to find that it wasn't quite strong enough yet. After 10 coats, it was decently strong. And, I was tired of painting (the stuff smells too). As you can see from the "after" photo of the magnetic paint, there were also patches that didn't cover too well - Chris thought it was because of a poor dry-walling job . . .


Then, I moved on to the chalkboard paint, which was much much easier. I chose the Fresco Red tintable chalkboard paint, and if you happen to chose it too, don't be alarmed if it looks hot pink. I was a little nervous about it too, but the Home Depot-paint-counter-guy told me it'd dry much darker, and it did. After about 8 thin coats of the chalkboard paint, the wall was done! (These instructions also told me 2-3 thin coats. Lies.)

The chalkboard paint instructions tell you to let the paint dry for 2-3 days, and then cover the entire surface with chalk for 7 days before wiping it clean with a damp cloth to "cure" it. It was really really hard to be patient and wait all of that extra time before I could actually use it, but I think it paid off. Here is our new wall now complete with our new chalk calendar and magnets!


By the way, if you haven't caught on to my habit of having a short project turn into a long one, this small project is a great example. I bought the paint around mid-September, I got around to actually painting the first week of October (before our vacation), we finally started using it last week, and I am just now blogging about. That's our life, I guess!

What do you think? I'm not too crazy about how our November calendar is set-up now, but at least I can erase it and start over! So, that's the story of our almost-two-month long fun chalk/magnet wall project!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Seeing Red

I never thought today would come. (This day being Game 7 of the World Series!!) Like many Cards fans out there, I never ever expected them to make it to the Worlds Series, much less make it to a Game 7. This whole season I've thought the Cards weren't all that great, just average (still better than the Royals and Nationals though). Even that last week of regular play, I didn't think they would beat the Braves in the Wild Card race. And now look where we are - Game. 7. of the. World. Series.

One of my co-workers, a Phillies fan, aptly pointed out after we beat the Phillies and the Brewers that maybe it's been my low expectations of the team that has gotten them this far. I don't know if it's their underdog status in many people's eyes that has somehow pulled out all these wins (or, it could be major hitting by the likes of Berkman, Pujols, and Freese), but I'll keep doing whatever I'm doing to help - you know, the typical superstitious rituals sports fans do.....

Soooo, for the last 3 weeks (since the Cards/Brewers series) I have been wearing something red and/or something St. Louis-y, every. day. Call me crazy, but it seems to be working. Me wearing something red or St. Louis-y = Cards winning each series. Makes sense, right?

Now, I'm not going to turn this into a fashion blog with pictures of myself in all of these fantastic red outfits, but here's a list of my "ritualistic" Cards and St. Louis garb:
  • 2 Cardinals baseball hats
  • 2 Cardinals t-shirts
  • a red American Apparel tee
  • 2 red cardigans
  • a few red sweaters
  • a pair of red flats
  • St. Louis map pendant (a "bad day" gift from Chris a few weeks back)
  • Missouri state necklace (a "honeymoon" gift from Chris. I seriously have the best husband!)
  • To top it off, I have a wide array of Cardinals cups and glasses to put my beer water in as I watch the games!
And, maybe to make you laugh at my ridiculous "red"-wearing, here is a photo Chris took of me last night in the midst of the extra innings. Complete with my red American Apparel tee, St. Louis necklace, and, yes, a double-rally cap. (Excuse the crazy face. I maybe had too much wine/beer and it was past my bedtime...)


 So far, my red-wearing has worked because the Cards had an outstanding night last night in Game 6 and are on their way to beating the Rangers and winning their 11th World Series! And you better believe I am wearing red again today (a cardigan and my trusty St. Louis necklace). Let's hope it holds out for one more game!
Go Cards!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vacaciones (spanish for vacation)!

I have a good excuse for being MIA the last couple of weeks: Chris and I finally got to take our vacation!! Not only was it one of my 2011 goals, but it was also our "honeymoon." Yes, we did technically take a honeymoon after our wedding (over 2 years ago), but really our 4-day trip to the beautiful Hermann, Missouri was not enough for us semi-world-travelers! So, we finally found the vacation time and moolah to get away, just the two of us :)

Not to make anyone jealous on these frigid fall days (ok, maybe a little jealous), but here are some photos of our perfectly relaxing vacation to Playa Mujeres in Cancun, Mexico. Sigh.








The trip was perfect. We had our own private rooftop pool with amazing views of the beach. We had ah-mazing weather the entire time. We took a trip out to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza one day, which included a dip in a freshwater pool in a cave! We definitely took advantage of our all-inclusive status by sipping on fun drinks all day and ordering room service at night. And, I even convinced Chris to get a mud massage with me, which included an awesome hydro-therapy session (that we both secretly liked better)!
But, it's back to reality. We both dove back into work, homework, and life this week . . . but not before brainstorming ideas for our next vacay - Greece again? Napa? Germany? Vancouver, Montreal, Alaska? 

Until then, I'll keep looking at these pictures and dreaming!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lazy productivity?

Have you ever had one of those evenings where you intended to work-out, but then didn't feel like doing it so out of your guilt for not exercising you do something else productive? No? Yes? Well, that happened to me the other night. I fully intended on busting out my running shoes and jogging on our treadmill while I caught up on Days or Castle, but then my plans changed. Chris ended up going to a local community meeting, I caught up with both my brother and my parents on the phone, and before I knew it, it was 8pm and hadn't worked out. I didn't feel like jogging anymore, or doing anything really (except watch the Cards game), but I also felt pretty guilty for wanting to be lazy, especially since my "to-do" list is looonggg.

So, I decided to work on a small project that I just came up with over the last week. A project that, *gasp,* wasn't on my original "home" to-do list. See, we're going to make a more permanent calendar in our kitchen, so the calendar I got on sale from Paper Source last winter wasn't needed anymore. Plus, it was more "pretty" than functional. See what I mean . . . .

(Paper Source)

We can't really write much on the dates, so it isn't really working as a calendar for us. Boo. I didn't want to throw the calendar away, since it's pretty, but I didn't really want to hang it anywhere else in our house either... oh the dilemma!

As I was trying to decide what to do with the calendar, I also kept coming back to this wall in our house that has been bothering me lately:

I can't hold a camera straight.

It just seems so dark. No?

The black shelves, the shadows from our recessed lighting, the dark table, the dark greige walls, plus the sepia wedding photo with the black frame all just makes that wall so dark. It has been bothering me for a while when a light bulb went off in my head - I could swap the wedding photo for images from the garden calendar framed! And, I didn't even have to buy frames since I bought 4 silver Ribba frames from Ikea last year a while ago for our bedroom that I just haven't gotten around to using. (Of course, this idea also required me to find a new location for the wedding photo, and then a new location for some decorative plates. Needless to say this created a snowball effect and I decided we needed to move a lot more around besides the wedding photo!)

So, Chris and I picked out the prints we wanted to use and the other night (when I decided to not be too lazy and to be somewhat productive) I began to prep them to be hung. Luna wanted to help us pick out prints. . .

Gosh I love Ikea frames because they are so gosh-darn cheap, but man do I hate the hanging hardware that comes with it - i.e. the wire-across-the-back assembly you have to do. See below, ergh.

Not only do you have to add the wire and pick its height, but if you are hanging a grid of frames, you have to make sure all of the wire heights of your frames are even. Grrr. What we do for affordability . . .Anyway, once I put the prints in the frame, it was Chris' job to hang them. Since he likes math and all. And, apparently he need a lot of tools just to hang four frames . . .

And, to make a long story short, here's our finished product:

Voila! We both think it definitely lightens that wall up a bit and adds some of the red and turquoise colors that we have on our main floor. It might look a little busy, the verdict is still out, but I do know that those bookshelves are always a work in progress for me. Ask Chris, I am constantly changing what is on each shelf in the hopes that some day it will look perfect and balanced and still be functional and purty. (My expectations are high.) Oh, and our walls don't usually look a khaki color. The lighting in our dining room area at night casts strange shadows and makes the paint look funny in places. Stupid recessed lighting, someday we'll change that.

Here is each calendar image up close:

So, what do you think? Have you ever had one of those nights where you are surprisingly productive when you just wanted to be lazy?

And, by the way, my goal for Saturday is to FINISH our guest bathroom. Finally. Cross your fingers that this actually happens and that I don't get lazy or start working on another project!
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