Monday, January 23, 2012

Picture This

When our family moved in a year ago, our half bathroom was covered in wallpaper and didn't have a mirror:


A couple weeks after we moved in, Tal and I painted the bathroom blue-gray. This past weekend, we finally hung a mirror. For the last 13 months, the mirror has been propped on our fireplace mantel, but we decided it was too small for the space.


In addition, Tal and I hung Savannah's 18-months pictures in our downstairs hallway where we have our picture wall:

Finally, we hung Savannah's 1 year-old pictures outside our master bedroom:

Just Bead It

This past weekend, Tal finished installing beadboard in our kitchen bar area:

Take a look at the wallpaper that covered the bar area (and the entire kitchen) when we moved in a year ago (and for the last year):

Instead of painting the wallpaper, we opted to cover it with beadboard instead. We figure that beadboard will be more durable and less likely to get scuff marks and dents when we put some barstools there.


When Tal finished the installation, I painted the beadboard and trim, as well as the baseboards in the kitchen, eating area, and mud room. Tal and I love the results and look forward to buying 4-6 barstools in the coming years!

Say Cheese!

Shower Power


Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow Cute

Guilty Pleasures

On Sunday morning, I was working in the kitchen when I realized that I hadn't heard Savannah's chatter or footsteps in a few minutes.

As a mom, I've learned that Savannah's silence can mean two things: my girl's hurt OR doing something she shouldn't be doing.

On Sunday morning, it was the latter. Less than 5 feet away, I discovered this pile of lotion on our living room carpet...

...Savannah's arms and hands slathered in lotion...

...and this guilty face.

Lesson learned: put the lotion on a higher shelf.

Toolin' Around

Last week, Tal tackled our first organizational project of 2012: the closet in our garage.

I forgot to snap a "before" pic, but just imagine most of Tal's tools and equipment spilling out of the closet and sitting on the floor of our garage.


After clearing out everything in the closet, Tal put the bigger tools, including the saws and hedge trimmers, on the shelves:

Then, Tal hung cords, loppers, and hand saws from the hooks:

To maximize space, Tal hung the shovels, rakes, and brooms:

Outside the closet, Tal put our ladder on hooks to create more floor space:

What a difference! Everything has a place and fits in the closet!

TV News

Tal and I used our Christmas money to purchase a 50-inch TV for our upstairs bonus room (a.k.a. Tal's man cave):

Obviously the room still needs some curtains, end tables, and accessories. However, we really enjoy having cozy, second living space where our family can watch sports and movies.

Thanks to Tal's brother Benny who gave us the comfy black leather recliner and couch last Christmas. Since this is Tal's man cave, he has my blessing to decorate the room with leather furniture, masculine colors, and sports memorabilia. As seen above and below, Tal has already hung our degrees and some golf art on the walls.  Tal loves his man cave!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Memory Game

Tal and I (and Grandma Barbara, too) often marvel at Savannah's memory, especially when it comes to places and directions:
"Go that way to church."
"That's Luke's house." 
"Mommy's school is that way."
"My school is this way."
"There's Taco Bell!"
"That's where Grandma gets her coffee." (pointing at every Dunkin Donuts place she sees)
"That's Grandma's bank." (pointing at every First Citizens bank)
"Mommy, is that your bank?" (pointing whenever she sees our bank)
"Look! There's Bojangle's."
"I wanna hamburger from McDonald's."
"Look! That's where Daddy got Cheetos for me." (We only stopped at that store ONE time, but Savannah still remembers.)
"Look! Mall over there."

Perhaps all 2 year olds remember such details with accuracy, but Tal and I often look at each other, shake our heads, and say, "How does Savannah know or remember that?!"

Random Savannah Cuteness

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome 2012!

Here's a sneak peek at my goals for 2012:

1. Keep it simple. For a variety of reasons, the next 4 months are going to be busy and stressful for our family. Not only will Tal be finishing his 10-month long "project," but I'll be coordinating tutoring at my school, as well as finishing my National Boards. For that reason, I need to keep my priorities simple. I need to be available for Savannah and take care of her while Tal works on his "project" in the evenings and weekends. Second, I need to support Tal by giving him encouragement and time to work. Finally, I need to be faithful in my tutoring responsibilities and do my best on National Boards. Home improvements, exercising, etc. will have to wait until after April 30.

2. Simplify. This goal is similar yet different to #1. Over the last year, a number of people have told me that I do too much. I really strive to maintain a work-family balance, as well as to keep my stress in check, take time daily to relax, and get enough sleep. However, my life has gotten out of balance over the last few months. For that reason, in the coming year, I'm going to reduce my commitments. I've mentioned this goal to several close friends and family members, so they can hold me accountable.

3. Learn how to use my new SLR camera. My goal is to become good friends with the owner's manual. I want to learn how to use all of my camera settings, including ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

4. Become more active. After I finish National Boards and tutoring in April, I'll start walking regularly again. Doctor's orders. Recently, my doctor recommended that I increase my aerobic activity to lower my cholesterol. Sigh. It'd be an added bonus if I lost a few pounds, too. :)

5. Organize and declutter.  Overall, I'm pretty organized and do a good job of keeping clutter to a minimum. However, now that Tal and I've lived in our house for a year, we have a better idea of how we use each space. For that reason, this year I'd love to make our linen closet, pantry, and medicine closet more functional and pretty. And with color, labels, and baskets! 

6. Tackle a few small home improvement and decorating projects. Tal and I have big dreams for our house (which needs a lot of TLC). In 2012, our goal is to add more color, personality, and functionality to our humble abode by completing 6-8 of the projects below:
  • Add wainscoting to our kitchen bar area.
  • Hang a mirror in our half bathroom 
  • Hang some artwork in the living room and kitchen
  • Repaint the kitchen
  • Paint the backs of the built-in bookcases in the living room
  • Paint the backs of the built-in bookcases in the bonus room
  • Style the bookcases in the living room and bonus room
  • Organize Savannah's toys in the living room
  • Create a picture wall
  • Add some rugs for the kitchen, entry, and hallways 
  • Add a pair of lamps in the living room 
  • Buy and paint a dresser for Savannah's bedroom
  • Buy a larger (king-size) bedspread for our bed
Stay tuned to see what happens in 2012! I'm looking forward to this year!