Friday, May 29, 2009

Why my parents rock: Part 1

So, my lovely husband spends every Memorial Day weekend with a bunch of dudes in the back of a Ryder truck. All his college buddies make this pilgrimage to Indy 500 each year, keg wagon, Kaboom and Ryder truck in tow. I keep waiting for them to realize their bodies are too old to sleep on the floor of a moving truck, but so far the tradition continues...

So, HDog and I are left to fend for ourselves. We have visited my sister & her fam, my parents in Indiana, but this year, we convinced my parents to visit us.

My father, being an engineer and the son of a carpenter, is quite handy. And enjoys a project/challenge. Despite my best efforts to talk him out of it, he insisted not only in tearing down this monstrosity, but rebuilding a suitable replacement.'s the before (pardon the white lines, they are measurements I sent to Dad before he arrived):

The cheapos who flipped our house from a 3 flat to a SFH thought it a good plan to build the basic structure with good treated wood and then just put regular old painted lumber up top, along with the plastic lattice work. So basically the entire top layer was rotten. As in, it took my Dad less that 2 hours to tear the whole top off. It was a huge relief to get it down, as I feared falling in on us during a peaceful dinner some night!

After much discussion, we decided to just build a framework inside the existing structure. And so, in less than 72 hours with just a tiny bit of lifting help from me, my fabulous father took us from the scary thing pictured above, to this: Now, I know it doesn't look like much, but there was much measuring, cutting and hanging that went on to get us to this point (and a couple trips to the store and a rented truck to haul lumber!). Please imagine it sanded, painted and with beautiful drapes of fabric running through it! Seriously though, I've ordered this Waverly Yacht Club sunfabric:
It will run up and down in five lovely strips of fabric and then across the front, with a bit hanging down in front so we have shade as the sun sets in the west each evening. Also on it's way - this outdoor chandelier so we can enjoy dinners/parties on our patio. I might even put in a dimmer switch if I think we need it...

The light is a bit fussy for my taste, but turns out, it's kind of hard to find an outdoor light that isn't too simple, too ugly or TOO EXPENSIVE. So this is gonna have to work. Promise to post photos when it is all done!

In summary, my Dad rocks. He always does such cool things for us. I can only hope that I can be a fraction of the great parent to Henry that he has been to me.

Soon to follow, Part Mom!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Condo Flashback

I just realized we have passed the one year anniversary of purchasing our home! I know the big move day was May 17, 2008, so we haven't passed that date. I also realized I've never added photos of our condo to this blog. Hell, it started as more of a journal of my knocked-up-ness, morphed into sleepless complaints of being a new mom and of late is my ramblings about decor and fashion. Anywho.

In honor of the move from our little condo...a tour...

I particularly loved our living room! We originally painted this room more of a periwinkle color. Once the first full coat was in place, my husband pulled me aside (we had family there helping) and told me he thought it looked like a zoo! The room had so much natural light, we didn't realize how bright it would look. A mid paint session change brought us to this gorgeous dark grey blue shade. I missed how 'finished' this room looked because I know it will take time to get there in our new place.
I don't miss the kitchen! We did the best we could with the tiny space. I did like having white cabinets, but that's about all I can say about our crappy old kitchen.

Similar to our living room, I missed the finished feel of Henry's room. Probably because I had all that pre-baby nesting energy and had every tiny thing in place before he was born. That and now that he's a crazy toddler things are never in their place! OCD me tries hard to let this go on a daily basis...

Ah, onto the master bedroom and bath. I was never over the moon for our bedroom, but did love some elements of it, for example the chandelier (sniff, sniff, I was a bit sad to leave it), our custom built bookcase bedside tables and I'll always have a special place in my heart for all things black & white damask. The good news, if ever you have the pleasure at staying at the Heaven In A Paper Cup household, our lovely guest suite is outfitted with most of this ensemble! I admit, I'm way more excited for our awesome aqua & green master here in the new house (note to self, take better photos of new bedroom, the work in progress photos kinda suck!).

Our two bathrooms from the condo represent such a labor of love since we lived through their complete gut rehabs. I spent many an hour researching attractive, yet cost effective options for tile, vanities, etc.

The last two rooms are the guest room/my office and the guest bathroom. I'd say the guestroom represents the least complete room in the condo. I always wanted to put a big collage of 8x10 photos above the daybed, but I never put in the time to make it materialize.

Finally, the tour ends with the other renovated bathroom. We actually had this one converted from a half bath with a weird closet into a full bath. In the end I loved this bathroom even more than our master! The mosaic tiled custom shower with the adjacent tiny linen closet turned out absolutely amazing. And who doesn't love a pedestal sink?! My favorite piece of both bathroom redos? The tiltable beveled glass mirror in this bath, that could totally pass for a Restoration Hardware piece, but I found it at Lowe's for $70!

I did love our five years living within earshot of the Cubs seventh inning stretch and loved our little condo, but I must say, I don't miss it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Epic win!

We are currently enjoying a beautiful Sunday morning in Chitown - sunny, warm and nothing much on the agenda. This morning I slipped on this combo plus a simple white tank, walked to Starbucks with HDog in his wagon and in that short time received two compliments on my attire! I'm been struggling to find better work/stay at home ensembles and am really loving this choice :-) Epic 'mom' clothes win!

Friday, May 1, 2009

In times of stress...

I shop. So, between my husband getting back on the road, my basement being jackhammered up (more on that later), work and one non-stressful factor (I'm only 6 pounds from the 'goal' weight I set for myself - yay!), ummm...I've done a bit of...damage! Really it's nothing too 'bad', but I have been ordering/shopping away. The highlights:
Two pairs of shoes from L.L. Bean heading this way: This adorable navy blue hooded sweatshirt dress for only $20 from the Norma Kamali for Walmart line (as posted by Elements of Style - thanks!):
This shirt and shorts from Old Navy, the colors were just too perfect for me to pass up (which were really so cheap it should be illegal!): A new Hobo International Zoe wallet from Lori's Shoes (also v. necessary, as my old one was literally falling apart and Lori's had 25% off Hobo!): Last night's big haul was from BodenUSA. I've never ordered from them, but always think they have cute stuff. So when they sent me a coupon for 25% with free shipping and free returns, I decided it was time to give it a try. I always think this vest look is cute, pulled together yet not too fussy, which seemed perfect for my work from home life:So I ordered a couple of vests (one was reg price, the second was from the sale section), the scoop neck t for under it, a grey pre-layer t-shirt combo, and since I love polka dots, I couldn't pass up the green & aqua spotted pull over: Whew! I think I still see the smoke coming off my credit card! I swear I'm done for a while ;-)