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.}


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.

Honey, have you seen my keys?

This past summer I caught a clever little DIY project on Young House Love and thought, I could totally do that.  John and Sherry, the delightful duo behind YHL, made a habit of holding onto the keys from their old living quarters.  Rather than tossing them into a junk drawer, John and Sherry have four keys from their past framed up in a shadow box and on display in their home.

To be honest, the idea of keeping our keys hadn’t ever occurred to me.  But this post popped up just as we were preparing to surrender our condo and I decided to get crafty.

My decision to get crafty and my actual attempt at craftiness occurred about three months apart (typical).  But within that time I also stumbled upon the YessJess Etsy shop and fell in love with her adorable knit creations. I found this Little Knit Heart in Mustard Yellow and decided it was the perfect addition to my key collage.  

Adorable, no?

A few drops of super glue later I had the newest addition to our home decor:

Probably the only missing piece is a tiny hammer with a “break glass in case of emergency” sign for when I inevitably lose my house key.

Ladies, just another example for your men on the extreme importance of decorating your home.

Husband & Wife At Home: Our Favorite Place

Summer flew by, as it always does.  On September 23 we will officially enter fall.

Although fall is one of my favorite seasons (what other season boasts a holiday where a cat ears or a bed sheet over your head solicits free. candy. with just a knock at the front door)  it also brings on a bit of anxiety.  It can be difficult for me to enjoy fall when old man winter is right around the corner rubbing his frigid, bony hands together and maniacally muahahaha-ing in my general direction.  These are the things that haunt my dreams.

Thankfully our new house has softened the impending blow a little. Slightly cooler temperatures mean Ross and I can now fully enjoy our new favorite place in the house, our front porch.  This past Sunday was not only the most freakishly beautiful day I’ve seen in ages, but also the perfect chance to spend some time relaxing in our sun-filled haven.

Before and afters usually showcase some horrifying display of I can’t believe they bought this place turned Martha Stewart masterpiece. But this isn’t that kind of a before and after.  Ross and I aren’t exactly what you call “handy”  – unless you mean handing someone else the tools or cash to do the job.  However, we’ve done a few things here and there to start making the place our own.  So without further ado, I present you HWML’s first installment of:  Husband & Wife At Home.

I have only one “before” shot of the front porch.  And if you’re like us, the “before” doesn’t scream help! so much as it screams I want to go to there. The previous owners really knew what they were doing out here and created a major selling point for the home.



We kept the wall color because it felt relaxing, but decided to change up the seating areas to accommodate a table and chair set for semi-al fresco dining.  The table and chairs were my grandparents’ and came over to the house from our condo.  Some new cushions, spray paint and several numb fingers later, we had this:

We added breezy white curtains from here to filter a bit of light and, most importantly, make me feel like I’m in the parachute hanger scene from Pearl Harbor.


On the opposite side of the porch is a built-in bookcase, which we painted white and filled with antiques and pretty much anything else that fit into our color scheme.

We purchased a neutral cover for a couch we already owned and Ross has occupied it ever since.  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve sat on it yet.  And knowing me, if I did sit on it, I’d have a glass of red wine in my hand.  And the terror in Ross’ eyes whilst waiting for me to spill would cancel out any chance I have to relax on it.


When I brought home that fan Ross said, Awesome! Does it work? to which I replied, Sure does. Its job is to sit there and look pretty.


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


We’ll Always Think of you Fondly…


We’re finally fully moved out of the condo. 

Oh!  Were you under the impression we had finished moving on moving day?  Oh no, no.  We weren’t exactly what you’d call “fully packed” when the movers arrived and therefore spent the last three weeks slowly and painfully moving the stragglers over to our new house. 

But now its time to turn in our keys.

And although I won’t miss those damn stairs or the fact that we shared a bathroom wall with our neighbors (yes, everything you’re imagining is true), I’ll still remember it as the place we had our first Christmas, the place we battled our first live-in rodent and the place where Ross got ready for our wedding.

The last item we moved out of the condo was my wedding dress, so photographing it in the now empty space seemed appropriate.  I really love this snapshot as a reminder of our first little home…

…that, and a photo for Ross of our fully vacuumed carpet, finally free of my hair.

Back Away from the Paint Brush…

Yesterday, one of my friends sent me this:

…at which I of course laughed out loud and immediately planned to post here for the world to laugh along with me.  I look at this thing and I’m all, that’s right you don’t know what you’re doing.  Have you seen the NICKELODEON SLIME GREEN on your roller brush home slice?  Please, tell me more about where you’re going to paint that color.  Because really, I’d like to know which room to avoid in your house.  Seizures are not a joke.

And until my sister arrived home, this blog post would have stopped there.  But the stars aligned for you my friends. Because within the first hour of her arrival Beckie started telling me about this “hilarious commercial that you are going to love.”  And love it I did…

All I can picture at this point is her parents on the other end of the phone saying:

I told you that green would make you cry.

it was five o’clock somewhere…

By 10am today we were homeowners (!)

After closing, we rushed back to the house to open up a bottle of bubbly…

…which we drank from plastic cups…

…on the floor of our furniture-less house.

Even though we haven’t officially moved yet, we’re feeling right at home.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to have a drink on our new deck…

…while sitting on our fancy Target lawn chairs.

For Your Consideration…

I was honestly a little embarrased when I turned the page in my planner and saw this:



…and then I thought to myself, What’s really more embarrassing here?  The fact that I wrote CLOSING DAY! in kindergarden-esque capital letters in my day planner?  Or the fact that my immediate decision upon seeing it was to take a picture and post it on the Internet?

…I think we both know the answer to that one.

Zen Ironing

Dear Mom,

I thought I’d let you (and the rest of the Internet) know that last night I did something totally and completely out of character—something so mind-boggling I felt it was important to publicly document the event.

This post begins with “Dear Mom” because I think my mother will find this either, (a) most relatable or (b) most hilarious.  And this post is a post, instead of an email, because when I try to deny that I ever did this crazy thing, my mother can search for it, pull it up and say, Oh yes you did!  You wrote it, I read it, and our neighbors down the street read it too. Don’t lie to me, young lady!

(the back story)

The household iron and I were not meant to be friends.  Not only do I loathe ironing, I’m not just that good at it.  So it should come as no surprise that the number of gotta-iron-it-to-wear-it clothing items in my closet is fewer than what I can count on one hand.  And ironing any other kind of household item?  Fuggedahboutit.

(the incident)

Yesterday I had my first moving mini-meltdown. Ross and I both knew it would come, it was just a matter of when.  The only thing we both knew for sure was that it would come when we least expected it.  So yes, we went from:

lovely sunny weekend at the lake


browsing paint chips at Home Depot


Omigod our condo is ripped apart and everything is in disarray and yes of course that means my whole life is in disarray too.

It was all so very dramatic and eventually the tears subsided and Ross brought me back to reality.  I really do understand that there are much more important things going on in the world than the fact that our lives are shoved into dozens of boxes marked FRAGILE, I MEAN IT!.  But somehow I just found myself in the meltdown zone.  We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

(the totally out of character thing)

Later that evening I took a set of clean sheets out of the dryer and prepared to make the bed.  Of course I had left the sheets in the dryer long enough to allow a hefty set of wrinkles the chance to make a home on the flat sheet. I looked at the sheet in my hands and thought, I absolutely cannot, will not, go to sleep under a messy, wrinkly excuse for bedding and dammit, (Mom, are you sitting down?) I’m ironing this sheet.

That’s right, Mom. Have you come-to yet?  Give your cheek a good slap, drink some water, you’ll be fine.

I’ve always considered ironing sheets and pillowcases to be right up there on the crazy scale with ironing jeans. Who has time (or the energy) for that crap?  But you know what?  Last night I ironed the hell out of that sheet.  I finally had the chance to see some “disarray” and do something about it.  And with each wrinkle that surrendered under the hot metal in my hands (muahahaha!), I felt like I was getting a piece of my sanity back.

…For now :-)

Eight days until closing!