Archive | November, 2011

Living Room Update

30 Nov

Time to show the living room a little love! Along with my recent updates to our dining room (described here and here), I also made a few adjustments to our living room. It definitely did not look like much before:

Living Room Way Before

This was very shortly after we moved in – we did not have a lot of furniture, and the living room was a very sad place for a while. Here it is a little while later, getting just a little better:

Living Room Before

Ok, not really much better at all, but at least two people can sit down. Luckily after our wedding we were able to combine a bunch of Crate & Barrel gift cards and return credits and buy an awesome couch – the only problem was it took for-ev-er to be delivered. Anyway, that was last Christmas and after that, I pretty much did nothing else to this room.

Until recently. I finally got around to putting up some curtains (with my wonderful parents’ help), and although it wasn’t my original plan, I also swapped rugs with the dining room and the new rug makes me very happy. So without further ado, here are the after photos.

Living Room After

 

Living Room After

Also in case you didn’t notice in the photo above, Sebastian really likes the new rug:

This rug must contain catnip

He was literally rolling around and army crawling across the rug, like it was a pool full of catnip and he was swimming in it. Such a weirdo.

Anyway, so that’s our living room. Of course, these photos were taken when my fall decorations were still up, so it looks decidedly more Christmas-y now (as seen in yesterday’s post). Also, I realize the curtains are hanging a few inches above the floor, which looks kind of weird. The curtains I bought weren’t quite long enough, so I plan to add a strip of colored fabric to the bottom of them at some point in the future.

Overall it’s quite an improvement though, amiright?

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Christmas Decorating

29 Nov

It’s officially Christmas time!!  I’m a stickler for holding out until after Thanksgiving to decorate/listen to Christmas music, so I was pretty excited to get started on all of that this weekend.  Here’s our beautiful tree:

20111128-200525.jpg

Now we just have to keep an eye on Sebastian for the next month.  He was very sneaky last year…

Yes, that is the cat about 4 feet up IN the Christmas tree. Playing with an ornament. Oy. Let’s just hope he doesn’t try that stunt this year – he’s quite a bit bigger and I’m afraid he’ll bring the whole thing down. So far he’s just tried playing with the ornaments on the lowest branches. Right now his thing is still jumping up on the mantel, which is even more fun with all the garland and Christmas figures up there. So I’m sure he’ll manage to break something either way.

My other favorite thing now that it’s Christmas time and has gotten colder is the fireplace! It totally completes the Christmas-y feeling.

Hooray Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving!

24 Nov

I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful day with lots of food, family, friends, and football. 😉

Here’s a little holiday spirit from the internet – anyone see the Google doodle this week? It’s a super fun interactive turkey – you can change out his head gear and feathers with a click. There are probably a million combos.

Ok, as I was posting these I discovered that you can also change his feet/shoes:

And you can also click his wing and it spins through all the options and gives you a complete random result (like a slot machine):

How fun is that? Now, go make your own!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Did Groupon Just Convince Me to Work Out?

23 Nov

I admit it, I’m terrible about working out. And by that I mean that I don’t do it. Like, at all. Sometimes on a weekend I will go out for a brisk 20 minute walk, but that barely counts. I just really don’t like it. It’s sweaty, it’s painful, and there’s just a million things I’d rather be doing.

If I’m going to work out, I really need some way to be entertained while I do it – just walking or running doesn’t work for me. The work out I think I’ve actually enjoyed most in the past was a couple years ago when my sister-in-law convinced me to go to a couple of sessions of Bikram (hot) yoga with her. It was mostly miserable and I almost threw up/died, but I felt really good afterwards. Maybe it was the drama of surviving a near-death experience only to feel healthier in the end that did it for me.

Yoga is also my favorite exercise on my Wii Fit… that counts, right?

Anyway so when I saw that there was a Groupon deal for 25 yoga classes for $25, at a yoga studio that really couldn’t be any closer to my house, I figured it was time to force myself to do something. Plus a friend mentioned she had bought the Groupon too, so hey. Buddies always make things better.

I’ll let you know how it goes…

Dining Room After

22 Nov

If you read this post about my recent dining room table upgrade, you may be waiting for the promised “after” photo. Or “you” may not exist at all.. does anyone read this thing? Regularly? I doubt it. Oh well. 🙂

Anyway, like I said in that post, I’ve been on a renewed decorating kick lately, and my dining and living rooms have benefitted. I talked about the dining table the other day, so here’s the full dining room update. We went from this:

Dining Room Before

And upgraded the table and added curtains and a rug to get to this (click to view full size):

Dining Room After

Wowza, even I didn’t realize just how much difference those curtains make until I see the before and after! So much warmer. The rug helps too. That rug actually was in our living room until the other day. I had ordered a different rug for the dining room, but when it came we realized that the dimensions of the new rug made more sense in the living room, and vice versa. So there ya go.

Here’s another shot:

Also, did you get a good look at those curtains? Here they are again up close:

I LOVE them. They are from IKEA, and believe it or not, Jon picked them out. I had looked at some curtains online and was planning to go really tame with neutral solid curtains in both the living and dining. Then when we were at the store, we both saw these, and my initial reaction was “I love them, but they’re too crazy, plus they’re more expensive.” But Jon was all for it, and he convinced me to get them, and now I’m in love. It probably didn’t hurt that I have since been told that Sarah Richardson uses them a lot, AND they have kind of a starring role in the TV show Up All Night:

Notice some familiar background eye candy? Anyone watch that show? It’s pretty funny, not the best show on TV (Modern Family), but we’re still watching it.

Anyhoo, that’s all for my little dining room update. Stay tuned for the Living Room version!

We Have Power!

21 Nov

I never thought I’d be so excited to turn on a light. After all the electricity drama we had (power surges due to a bad wiring situation which we had to pay big money to have fixed, which I talked about here and here) we finally had our power reconnected with everything fixed on Saturday around 12:30pm.

The electrician was able to get started on the wire replacement on Thursday. I had to call CenterPoint at 7am to submit a request for them to disconnect our power, which would take up to 4 hours. So, at around 11am I called to check on the status, and was told it had been completed. I communicated this to to electrician, who called me back 30 minutes later to say that they were at the house, and it still had power. Grr. So I had to call CenterPoint again and re-request the disconnect, which was finally completed around 3pm. So of course, the electrician was not finished with the repair that evening. Fine, one night without power, no big deal. I stayed at my parents’ house in Katy, but Jon toughed it out without electricity because he was at work pretty late and had to be there early on Friday.

I called the electrician a couple of times on Friday to check on things, and finally around 5pm he said everything was finished, they were just waiting on the inspector to come and approve everything and then CenterPoint could come and reconnect the power. That happened pretty quickly, so just before 6pm I called CenterPoint to submit the reconnect order. The lady I spoke to (for the third time that week) said that they would do their best to get out to our house that night, but they ‘had to cut it off at some point’ (even though a different person had told me they do reconnects 24hrs a day) and if they didn’t come Friday night, they’d be there first thing Saturday.

I assumed she was just telling me what I wanted to hear – surely there was no way they’d make it out on Friday night. And she didn’t say anything about someone needing to be home anyway (no one needed to be home for the disconnect), so Jon and I went out to dinner. About 9:15 Jon’s phone rings – it was a CenterPoint tech, at our house, needing us to let him in to access the breaker box. We probably should have left to let him in, but it had been a long week and we’d just gotten our food. So we said sorry, can you come back tomorrow? “Yes but you’ll have to call tomorrow to submit a service request again.” Double grrr.

So Saturday morning we woke up at 7am to call CenterPoint to re-submit a reconnect request. When we finally got a hold of someone, they told us (again) that they’d do their best to have someone come out that day, but since they had fewer people working on the weekends there was a good chance it wouldn’t happen. For heaven’s sake. I was so frustrated at this point, especially since I’d been told a different story from every person I’d talked to at CenterPoint. Not to mention we’d now been without power for going on three days, and we had to be somewhere (and I had to cook something to bring with us). So I went out to my parents house to cook while Jon waited impatiently for CenterPoint to maybe show up.

Luckily, they did, and just in time. They got everything reconnected, and we have power again. It’s such a relief to be able to turn on more than 2 lights at one time, AND the TV too! We’ve checked pretty much all the electronics, and it seems the only casualties of all the power surges were our dishwasher and our little wine fridge. The dishwasher should be covered under our home warranty, and we’re hoping to claim the wine fridge with our homeowner’s insurance (and possibly the cost of the repair too). We’ll see if that works.

Wow, sorry for the long post, I meant for this to be a quick update! But it was such a frustrating process, guess I had to vent a little. 😉 Hope no one else is experiencing any of these issues. Anyone have experience claiming repairs with vague causes like this through homeowner’s insurance?

Dining Room Update

18 Nov

As I mentioned before, we have lived in our current house for about a year and a half. It was really fun when we first moved in to organize and decorate everything, but once it got to a certain livable point, I kinda ran out of steam. There were still a few things missing, more that needed to be done, but I had started a new job and life just got in the way of making much progress.

I think what finally spurred me into action to get back into a decorating kick was my book club. I volunteered to host for the month of October, and then realized that I didn’t have any window treatments in the living or dining room (or any room, for that matter), not to mention my “dining table” was a cheap-o IKEA purchase that didn’t really seat more than two people.  So I knew I had some work to do.

Dining Room with tiny IKEA table

I had been thinking of upgrading our dining table for a while, so I kind of had an idea of what I wanted. One of the first places I looked was Crate & Barrel. Freakin love that store. We registered there for our wedding, so by the time we added up all our gift cards and duplicate-item-returns, we were able to buy a living room sofa for 66% off. Since the dining room is right next to the living room (basically the same room actually) I knew that a C&B table would go well with our C&B sofa. And C&B even had exactly the type of table I was looking for (pedestal with a leaf), in the right color (black), for a very reasonable price ($500).

Avalon Table - C&B

The kicker was that the chairs that went with the table were identical to the IKEA dining chairs I already had. And the IKEA chairs were less than half the price of the C&B chairs. So I figured I could save some serious money by buying a couple more IKEA chairs, and no one would know the difference.

C&B Chair

IKEA Chair

So I showed the table to Jon, and he was on board (as much as a guy can be on board with any home decorating decision), so I was ready to purchase – but then we hit a snag. The C&B table was on back order and wouldn’t be available until mid-November (keep in mind I was aiming for this update to be complete for my late-October book club). So that was a bummer, but I didn’t see a way around it, so I was still going to make the purchase and just wait. But then Pinterest came through for me.

Do you know Pinterest? If you are a female, and have any time at all to kill ever (or even if you don’t), you should check it out. Let me know if you need an invite. It’s super fun and addicting. Anyway, someone happened to post a photo of a dining table that looked a lot like my C&B table, but what caught my eye was the price – $400. The only problem was, it was brown. But I figured I’d check it out and see if they had a black one. The table was from Pier 1 (which incidentally, we actually have quite a few Pier 1 items already in our house as well). After a quick search on the website, I discovered that not only was the table available in black, but it was also in stock at our local store! Did I mention it was $100 cheaper? Score!

Ronan Table - Pier 1

Needless to say, it was a no-brainer. My lovely parents met me at Pier 1 after work and helped me haul the table home and put it together. We also did some serious curtain-hanging, but that’s a story for another day. I will also share some after pics of the dining room (and living room) soon, but there is one more piece I am waiting for to get the final “after.” (Spoiler alert – it’s a rug, and it’s being delivered today. Sweet!) All in all though I am very happy with my dining room up date (and the living room update which I will share soon). Pinterest FTW!

Psst – If you’re interested in any of these items, the photos are links, so check ’em out. The Ronan table is even on sale for $350 now (kinda wish I hadn’t seen that)!