Husband and Wife at Home: March Madness

When we moved into our house last June we hit the ground running with paint, more paint, furniture and art. We were pretty eager to break out of the confines of renting and make our new house our new home. In fact, within the first few months we had painted all but two rooms (including hallways) in the house. As of now, we’ve painted all but one.

But before we get to that, let’s show you this:

This was our master bedroom as it was listed before we bought the house. Nothing fancy – just your typical St. Paul half-story upstairs. (We got a real kick out of looking back at the photos of our house from the listing. Sure, the guy selling the house was a bachelor. But would it have killed him to at least straighten up the bed a little bit before photo time?)

For the last nine months, our bedroom really didn’t look much different from that original photo. Although we did replace the old, smelly carpet (which did make a substantial difference) we pretty much just bought a dresser and set up a bed frame and called it good. When guests came over it was easy to close the door to the upstairs and say, “there isn’t much to see up there.” But this winter we finally got sick of walking upstairs to the barren wasteland that was our boudior. March Madness 2011 was then official for Basketball and the Bedroom. So it seems fitting that on the night of the NCAA final, I introduce our new and improved bedroom:

Ahh, that feels better, doesn’t it?

The rundown of our process is best-suited for another post. And by no means is this room complete. Next up: curtains, a chair for the desk, colorful knobs on the dresser, and I have *big* plans for a white-framed gallery wall around the corner from the desk (and even bigger plans for how Stedman is going to hang everything whilst perched upon those stairs).

For now I’ll give you the item-by-item rundown in the form of a conversation I had with my dad after I sent him a few photos of our latest project:

Dad: Where’d you get the dresser?

Me: Ikea (purchased shortly after moving in)

Dad: Where’d you get the duvet cover?

Me: Target, $19.99 on sale (Yep, really)

Dad: What about the nightstands?

Me: Homegoods, $59.99 each

Dad: And the lamps?

Me: Homegoods, $59.99 each

Dad: The desk?

Me: Target, $75 on sale

Dad: And how about that TV?

Me: 1992.


Add in a fresh coat of paint (about $40) and our March Madness Bedroom-a-thon total comes in at just under $375 (we don’t count our nearly year-old dresser in the total). And of course, the relief I feel walking up the stairs to our new, Omigod look what we did upstairs! oasis, instead of our, Omigod please don’t go up there! embarrassment is priceless. (Although I’m sure Ross put that feeling somewhere on the Excel spreadsheet budget, too.)


{This is part two in a little series called Husband and Wife at Home. Check out the first post here.}

Cupcake Love


This post is half about cupcakes and half about me playing with the macro focus my our new camera.  It’s also a little bit about showing Ross why I brought home a giant box of amateurly-decorated cupcakes and made him wait to eat any of the “pretty” ones until I had some natural light for photo snappin’.

I took these photos on our front porch today after I got home from work. Our house is pretty close to the house next door and our porch is pretty much just a room of look inside! windows so I had to be sly.  Of course I was less worried about our neighbors seeing me set cupcakes on top of mirrors and taking photos than I was about them seeing the cupcakes and coming over to eat some.

Oh, and where did these cupcakes come from, you ask? I get together with a few girlfriends every couple of months to put on cute aprons and bake festive things. We each decorate up a storm and bring home our creations. Last time was Christmas cookies, next time is Easter eggs. And next time I’m hosting. So naturally Ross is covering our entire house in plastic wrap and I’m breaking out my bedazzler.

February 1

Our Christmas lights are still up (and on). Which officially makes them “winter lights”, I suppose. That said, do you think winter would take the hint if we finally turned them off?

48 days to spring.


Did I mention we were kitten-sitters over the weekend?

Her name is Dolly, and she’s a Ragdoll.

She was sweet and cuddly almost the entire time she stayed with us – even greeting us at the door every time we came home.

Although once she learned this trick she was all, If you need me you can find me in my bowl.

That Little Blue Box

Stedman and I do a pretty good job of staying connected during the work day. We like to check in with each other to see how the day is going. So thank God for cell phones. Without them, how would Ross know that omigod someone is clipping their fingernails two cubes down from me, or, guess where Brangelina adopted a kid from today?? Our little exchanges are critical, as you can see. And it doesn’t just stop at little sound-bites from our days – sometimes there are even photos!

Last week Ross sent me a series of photos via text that went a little something like this:

(Commence inner monologue)

What the what?!

Am I awake?

…am I in a montage from Love Actually?

Will there be hand-written signs?

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa – how am I supposed to wear that?

Turns out Ross’ company had sold some really impressive number of widgets or zip-zorps or thingamajigs and by golly they were celebrating with engraved precious metal! In other words, that box was not holding this.

Later that night Stedman and I had a little chat about what a Tiffany box striptease does to a woman – and that he should think twice before sending such graphic photos.

Those things’ll come back to haunt ya.


Party People

On Saturday night we co-hosted our very first holiday party and had an absolute blast.  We’ve certainly come to appreciate the new homeowner push that comes with opening your home to the viewing public (i.e. – we can’t seem to get anything done around here until we know people are coming over – you know, normal people who actually hang their artwork instead of setting it on the floor against the wall)…

Tonight we’re keeping warm by our “fire” while Decemblizzard #2 hits the Twin Cities – while filling up on party leftovers, natch.  Copious amounts of extra yummy food *and* drink seem to be an added bonus of playing host and hostess.   We even discovered a bottle of belly-warming Jameson whiskey hiding in a basement cupboard.  Finders keepers!

Five Things That Sparkle

the sequin tank I’m wearing at work today


the cranberry sparkler (in five different versions!) from Rachael’s blog


the gilded leaves nestled in our antique sleigh at home


this silver tinsel ribbon for tying up Christmas packages


the lights on Christmas tree where Ross proposed exactly two years ago


Have a fantastic weekend, all!  We’re expecting snow in Minnesota tonight – which will no doubt add a little more sparkle to our Friday <3

Decking the Halls (Without Decking Each Other)

Somehow tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  How did this happen?  Weren’t we just crafting our Halloween costumes?  I’ll admit that the swift jump I took to my holiday Pandora station has had me a little more focused on tree-trimming than tryptophan – but regardless, here we are.

With the weekend quickly approaching, Ross and I started recapping our plans which include Thanksgiving dinner with his extended family and a little outdoor light-hanging help from his parents…

R: Oh, by the way, my mom got us a wreath – so I’m sure we’ll be getting it this weekend.

K: Nice! I wonder what it looks like – I hope it’s a pretty one!

R: What do you mean, pretty?  It’s a wreath.

K: Well I mean, there’s such a thing as an ugly wreath…

Flashbacks of our first Christmas tree quarrel filled my head as I struggled to articulate what I meant by “pretty” and “ugly” wreaths.   Luckily a few days later one of my favorite bloggers, Joanna Goddard, posted a few lovely seasonal circulars from one of my favorite home decor shops, terrain.  Delighted at the chance to give my husband a visual on what I meant by a pretty wreath, I emailed him the photos Ms. Goddard shared on her blog.

Our email exchange went something exactly like this:

K: Remember when you were all…what do you mean, pretty wreaths??  This is what I mean.

R: Oh God, those are awful.  I wouldn’t even consider those wreaths.  They’re Christmas mistakes.

K: Are you kidding me?!?  You are no longer invited to contribute ideas to our Christmas decorating scheme this year.

Our email exchange turned into a phone call where phrases like, I thought I knew you – I thought you had taste! – immediately followed by, I could say the same about you!

Before hanging up Ross sternly informed me that a Christmas wreath should be nothing other than evergreen branches with a big red bow.

I sternly reminded him that he is working on Friday and I am not…

…and that when the cat’s away, the mice will play (and hang up pretty Christmas wreaths).

photos from terrain

Civic Pride

We went for a literal look for Halloween 2010 when we put together our “Twin Cities” costumes…

Ross as “Saint Paul”

(Note the “Hello My Name Is Paul” name tag)


And me, as “Minnie-Applous”

 (If you didn’t see me that night you didn’t get the chance to hear me explain at least fifteen times that I made my ears (!) )


We wore our costumes to a friend’s Halloween party and made everyone try to guess who we were.  Some of our favorite responses were “Adam and Eve” and “Johnny Appleseed”. 

My uncle saw a photo of Ross and offered up these fine suggestions for his costume:

A. Lothar of the Hill People

B. Rabbi Ross

C. Garth Hudson of The Band

A for effort?  C for creativity?  Either way, we had a blast!