The Never-Ending Fixer Upper

So my husband and I bought our house about 3 years ago with the full intention of fixing it up room by room.  It sounds so easy doesn’t it.  I’ll tell you one thing, it would be a whole lot easier if we had endless money to do it with.  My parents always told me, “it doesn’t have to be done all at once”.  It doesn’t, but I want it to be.  The house we bought sat empty for 2 years because the man who owned it bought it for his wife without showing it to her first and she said her furniture wouldn’t go with the house.  I’ll tell you one thing, no furniture would have gone with the house.  The house was full of wood paneling and wallpaper.  I like wallpaper when it is more modern but the stuff that was all over our house was horrible.  Example:  Hall bathroom had pink tiles, wall and floor, with green and red striped wallpaper.  Awesome.  Oh, and had an old oriental rug cut up to look like they had carpeted over the pink tile floor.  Seriously.

The first thing we did was prime and paint the kitchen cabinets and scrape all the wallpaper off in the entire house.  It was in every room just about.

note to self: never buy a house with wallpaper in it, not even in a closet.

It has slowly come together over the past couple of years and is very livable now.  We haven’t even touched the basement yet but we haven’t had a reason to until we had Maggie.

My problem is that I change my mind on how I want to style the place every couple of months.  We haven’t really bought any furniture besides a couch and a coffee table so far.  My goal in the next couple months is to get rid of the older furniture and start making the right furniture choices for us.  Another problem is that everything I tend to like it’s not so kid-friendly and every thing my husband likes is too comfortable.  When I say comfortable I mean puffy and reclining.  Not in my house.

When we moved into the house we traded the soft-padded hot tub for a dining room table.  Great trade but the dining room table is so not my style and the chairs weigh as much as I do.  Craigslist is going to have some new posting come this spring and my house is going to be very empty.  This will be a hard task, especially if I don’t plan on telling my husband until the furniture magically disappears.

I have secretly picked out the furniture I want for the living room and I know my husband won’t like it.  Another little problem we have is that we have 2 medium-sized living rooms.  I think we are going to have to have a grown up room and a children’s room.  Now the big question, how do I make a room child-friendly without it screaming kindergarten class room.  i think I will enlist the talents of my friend KB on this project.  She has the best sense of style and fashion, practical but nothing too over the top or trendy.  I like to call her classy all the way around.

I will post pictures throughout the makeover process.  Hopefully things will go well on convincing my husband that I know what I am doing.  I can just seeing him now, shaking his head and telling me that I’m going to change my mind a million times before I will make a permanent decision.

Minneapolis

My husband and I just back from a much-needed vacation to Minneapolis.  We went up on Memorial Day weekend to celebrate the marriage of two dear friends of ours and had a blast.  It was the first time we had left the munchkin so it was pretty sad leaving her with my parents.  It is very strange being without someone who has been connected to my hip for the past 6 months but I knew it would be a very good thing for me.

Minneapolis is such a great city.  We stayed downtown during our stay and all I can say is that city set it up right.  They had it all down there, stadiums, bars, and shopping. I wish Kansas City would have built our baseball stadium downtown because it would have a completely different atmosphere.  We arrived late Thursday night and went to meet our friends at a bar called Brit’s a couple of blocks from our hotel.  This bar was great!  Yardball on the roof, best thing ever.  I wish I had taken pictures this night but had left my camera at the hotel.  The following evening we went to the married couples favorite bar called The Local which was a great choice.  I love bars that have all the detailed wood surrounding the bar and the little alcoves with booths in them.  We had such a great time that evening. 

During our stay we also went to Ikea next to The Mall of America.  I have been dying to go to Ikea for years but the only problem was that the Minneapolis location was the closet one to my house and a 7 hour drive was stopping me.  If my husband wasn’t with me during our shopping trip I would have done a lot more damage than I actually did, I only spent $100.  I always feel like I have to rush through stores while shopping with my husband because he is bored.  I also feel like I should curb my spending when he is with me, we all know that I would have spent a lot more if he wasn’t there.  Ikea wasn’t what I had built it up to be in mind.  I see all these design shows on television that are always using items from Ikea and I am so impressed with the end result.  So on our trip there we purchased lots of picture frames, cutting boards, and some towels.  A disappointing shopping trip compared to what I thought it was going to be.

The wedding was beautiful, and I knew it was going to be.  I am the luckiest person in the world to have had all my best friends in the world in the same place for 3 days.  After having a baby my social life was kind of non-existent for a while, so when there is a opportunity for everyone to get together I jump on it.  The wedding was just perfect.  We had great weather, great drinks, great food, and great dancing.  There was a live band that kept the crowd of the dance floor throughout the entire night.  The riverfront backdrop that just made the experience that much better.  I couldn’t have had a better time with my friends and my husband.  A big thank you to the married couple for such a great weekend, it made my year.

My Ode to Coca-Cola

Have you ever noticed what kind of soda people drink and what they call it?  There is Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and then the generic brand.  Some call it “soda”, some call it “pop”, and then there is my family and we call it “coke”. I would consider us the Coca-Cola family growing up.  My parents would always purchase either Coca-Cola or Sprite for the house, never Pepsi products.  From many people who I have spoken to I think it might be a midwestern thing.

I remember growing up hating the generic brand of soda like “Dr. Thunder”.  Kids aren’t supposed to taste the difference but if you grew up on Coca-Cola then there is a huge difference.  I remember the soda we would get after a soccer game in elementary school, always praying for the “real” thing.  There were always the parents that showed up with the stupid foil bags of Capri Sun or the Always Save Cola product.  For reals.  As an adult I ventured out to the west coast and everything is freaking Pepsi.  As big as a corporation as Coca-Cola you’d think that they would have the west coast market.  Nope.  That would be another reason I do not like Los Angeles.  Then there is Las Vegas, biggest little place in the United States.  I woke up one morning, or afternoon, in search of my hangover cure and could not find one for the life of me.  If you have never tried drinking a Coca-Cola Classic after a gnarling night of drinking it really is a must.  No where in the hotel Paris could a Coca-Cola be found, all Pepsi.  Do you know where I finally found a coke that day, at the Coca-Cola Store on the strip.  I bought 6 bottles.  Plus you can’t drink a Captain and Pepsi, that’s just gross.

The reason I bring this odd debate up is because I have co-workers that say “pop”.  I couldn’t tell you why but it is the most irritating thing.  “Pop” is what a 4-year-old says.  “Soda” is okay but I will call it a “coke”, even if it is a Dr.Pepper.  I believe the last time I was in Las Vegas the prestige Coca-Cola Classic was more readily available but it took them a while to get the hint that Pepsi just doesn’t do the trick.  Quite dumb considering the amount of booze they serve in that city.

Made in America

Recently ABC World news has started a series on items/products that are made in America. After looking around at some things in my house it seems to me that not many things are made right here in America. I think I am going to start researching a little more before I buy something, maybe try a little harder to purchase things that are made here. I’m not saying I am going to strictly buy everything from American made hands because that would get super expensive. It is just a little challenge I am going to give myself.

Baby Shower Gifts

Sleep Sheep (or as we like to call it Maggie's Bear)

We received a lot of things I never knew we needed for our little one.  Before I registered I asked my friends, who were mothers, what I needed to put on a registry.  The answer that I received from everyone was, “keep it simple, just the basics”. Done and done.

One item we did not put on our list was a Sleep Sheep.  We received it as a Christmas present from a neighbor and it is wonderful.  Maggie has never had a hard time sleeping but it does sooth her.  At around 1-2 months old I would have to go into her room and put her pacifier back in and hit the Sleep Sheep once again so she would fall back asleep.  It has always done the trick.  Honestly, we have never been without it so I don’t know for sure.  We are not even going to experiment when it comes to sleep.

Another item that I absolutely love are the Aden and Anais Swaddle blankets.  My friend HH introduced me to these when she had her little girl and I thank her for it.

Swaddle Blankets

Basically thin blankets used to Swaddle your baby as infants, but they can be used for anything.  I use them for burp cloths, blankets, and for bath time.  They are now available at Target and Babies R US but I bought some at Lauren Alexander in the Brookside area of Kansas City (favorite little baby boutique).  They carry some bamboo cotton ones that are the softest material EVER.  Just through them in your diaper bag and you’re off.

Having a baby in November in the midwest is brutal.  Harsh cold means that your baby is not going to be outside for a couple of months.  I went ahead and bought a JJ Cole Bundle Me for our car seat.  Again, it is super soft and that is basically why I bought it.  It fits in almost all baby car seats and you can zip it on or off as you’d

JJ Cole Bundle Me

like.  I wish they had these for adults.  Maggie never woke up from a nap because of the cold or that sun was shining in her eyes.  I kept it over her face in our car rides too so the bright light would wake her.  They are available in different colors and will cost about $50.00 at Babies R US.

I will keep posting on the products we use as Maggie grows up. For the past 3 months we have been pretty basic, just bottles, pacifiers, and diapers.