• house stuff!,  unpackamania,  urban life

    Home Sweet Home

    self portrait in my round mirror

    Things are really good right now. So good that I have this terrible sinking fear that the other foot is going to drop. I know I need to relax and have faith that everything is going to be okay but whenever things get this good something bad always happens, usually. So silly, I know.

    I LOVE love love my new place. It’s so pretty and bright and happy. I walk around it dreamily taking it all in like I’m living in my own movie.

    I finished the turquoise gallery wall ages ago but then I dropped exhausted into bed and never got around to blogging it. So here it is in all it’s intense Emerald Coast glory:

    The Gallery Wall

    If you have a flickr account you should really click through and see it big because this wimpy 500 pixel wide photo is not really doing it justice. Just imagine it BIG and BLUE GREEN and INTENSE. Like standing on a cliff over-looking the ocean intense. Well, maybe not that intense but somewhere near there.

    vacuum cleaner needs a home...

    Here it is from the side with the afternoon sun streaming in. I love it at this time of day the best. The light plays tricks with the art and every day makes me smile.

    I seriously need to find a better place for my vacuum though. There is no broom closet in this place. The big hallway closet is filled with shelves (which I love! post on those to come) so there is no vacuum stashing there. I’ve temporarily (possibly forever) moved the vacuum into the walk-in closet but I’m scared that dusty vacuum smell is not going to combine well with stinky running shoes smell. I’ve got a smelly candle in there now but it’s a worry spot.

    more wall

    More side view. I love my red lamp (though I hate the anal bead stem of it. Ew! Someone pointed that out to me and now I shall forever be grossed out by this lamp. Ugh.) but I think it needs a bigger lamp shade. Who is this picky interior designer I have become? Someone needs to get her a real job.

    Le Chair

    Hello Pretty Chair. We’re calling her Betty, after Betty Draper. So now we have Beatrice and Betty. They tolerate each other.

    You know what’s funny about these chairs? When people come over, they don’t sit in them. They sit on the floor and lean against them. I’m not sure how I feel about this. While I love to admire them all day long, it’s kind of silly to have chairs too pretty to sit in. Or maybe I’m the weird one who likes old thrift store furniture and everyone else is afraid they’ll catch bed mites or something. Which I promise they don’t have! My pest control uncle taught me how to check for bugs and I’m the expert. Trust me.


    Hello old self-portrait inducing round mirror! I love this old mirror. It has this permanent stain that makes you think you need to clean it but I don’t see it anymore. I just see charm. There is nothing like an old family heirloom to charm a place up.


    I almost don’t want to show you my office because it is not quite right yet. Something is very out of zen here. Probably the clutter. I’m working on it. But it is functional, which is very important, obviously.

    sunny yellow rug

    Here’s my kitchen with a new sunny yellow rug. I love my kitchen. You know what’s weird about it? I’ve never had a kitchen that wasn’t open to the main part of the house. My last kitchen was right smack in the middle of everything. You had to walk through it from the front door and it was pretty much the main thoroughfare. That was all fine and dandy. I never hated people hanging out in my kitchen or passing by me as I cooked but now that I have a kitchen that is a complete room in itself with no walkway to anywhere else, I find myself walking in there randomly and thinking, Oh yeah I have an extra room I forgot about, The Kitchen! It’s weird. I’m probably not explaining that right but it’s kind of a cool feeling in that I-just-discovered-a-bonus kind of way.

    right side

    Other side.

    dining room progress

    The dining room is still completely in progress. But I have big things planned for here so stay tuned. Big things. Like big heavy free furniture things.

    But you know what I love best? This is the best best best part of my house right now.

    …Drum roll please.

    my all white bedroom

    I love my bedroom. It looks even better in real life. I’m not a professional home photographer so I didn’t vacuum before I took this photo or even expose it quite right but you get the gist. I just love it in here.

    I finally have my all white big puffy bed. Ahhhhhh......

    This instagram kind of captures the mood of it. Soft, white and dreamy. I’ve always wanted a room like this. Always.


    Bug likes it too.

    It’s like we sleep on a cloud. It’s also turned me into a complete neurotic clean-freak. Poor Bug. She’s taking it all very well and thankfully she is a bit of a neat freak herself but I’m constantly reminding her to remove her shoes and keep food and crumbs to designated eating areas. There is just so much white.

    The rug doesn’t have any spots yet and like a new car, that first stain is going to kill me. I know it. I’m not even going to have a house-warming party because I can’t bear the thought of someone spilling a glass of red wine on it. This is just wrong isn’t it? You know me and parties. How could I let a perfect clean carpet keep me from planning a party? I don’t know. I think it’s a disease I’ve caught. Hopefully I’ll get over it.

    Bug's reading corner

    I know a lot of you were concerned about Bug having her own space now that we are sharing a room. I’ve handled it a little differently. I was going to portion off a corner of the room and fix it all up and call it hers but you know what? She has too much stuff! Seriously, this kid has toys out the ying yang. And I even got rid of half of them by telling her they were going to go live at Grandmas! So what I’ve done is create two corners for her. One has her old hedgehog bean-bag thing and a bin of stuffed animals (her number one toy to play with) and the other has her coloring table that we were gifted from the kids I babysit.

    Bug's corner needs some fixing up still...

    The coloring table corner needs some work. I might hang an understated print there or add some shelves for her things. But for now it’s just a quiet place for her to sit and play bank or illustrate her own books and restaurant menus (She does this). She seems to like puttering around here quite a lot.

    Bug and her stuff.

    The rest of her things I put into an new white expedit bookshelf. I love expedits. I could seriously line all my walls with them and still like them. I especially like them because they are only $69 and I can fit them in my tiny hatchback car all by myself. I can even put them together all by myself but I got lucky this time because my Dad came to visit and he put it together for me.

    My dad came to visit! @thomas_mcconnaughy

    I love my Dad.

    the day bed

    But back to the room. We have a big giant oaf of a futon that we keep around for company. That thing weighs a ton. I had a brilliant idea on how to make a headboard out of it but for now until I meet some handy carpenter guy, it’s just staying by the window like a day bed, which is also kind of nice. The cats think it’s just for them.

    the watcher

    Speaking of cats, they are adjusting quite well. I was really worried that they would hate apartment life after being allowed to roam my old giant backyard any old time of the day or night. They seem super keen on the new arrangement and haven’t even tried to escape yet. I’m sure it’s coming but so far so good.

    They are everywhere; sleeping in the closet, perching on the windowsills watching the birds and bunnies outside (yes, we have bunnies!), getting into trouble in the kitchen and bathroom and then going completely bezerk from three in the morning until five. I think they have ramped up their nocturnal habits because they don’t have all those bugs to catch and dogs to run from like they used to. So they chase each other like the Indy 500 over the top of my bed when I’m trying to sleep. It’s been, uh, interesting. They also have discovered doorstops. Which might explain why I’m writing this post at 3:17 in the morning.

    But you know what? I still love them.

    We miss Holly though. I don’t miss her black hair at all. Ugh. Can you imagine? That would be the end of the white bed for me. I am glad I didn’t move her here though. It’s just too small. She’s happier at my mom’s place with all her old friends and lots of room to roam. It would just be sad for her here.

    Our neighbor downstairs has some kind of big dog that barks this deep woofing bark every once in a while that makes us feel safe. He’s really old and hardly ever comes out but it’s kind of cool to know that there is a dog around to keep us tied over until we can visit Holly.

    peeking blue

    And that pretty much concludes part two of this home tour. Things are good. I love the crazy intense turquoise wall still. I especially love it in contrast to the all white bedroom. I’m still working on the other areas and I’ll keep the posts coming.

  • unpackamania

    Messy Progress

    living room scene

    Unpacking a house always looks worse before it looks better but things are coming together. As you all know I’m a manic unpacker so I’ve been up at all hours busting down the boxes and rearranging things. My knees feel like I ran a marathon and maybe I have. I’m drinking coffee at the oddest times so that I can stay up even later (or earlier) to get my usual work that I do in the daytime done at night

    It’s like a giant tetras game to fit all my dishes into cabinets and craft supplies into closet shelves that do not fit all my usual baskets and storage methods. Stuff is everywhere and it’s driving me crazy, of course. It’s so hard to not want to go out and spend a zillion dollars on more things to make the space perfect.

    But perfect is not worth an empty bank account and now that I have a substantial rent payment looming, you can imagine what keeps me up at night. Well, that and the over-consumption of coffee…It’s a constant battle between my inner banker, inner decorator and inner caffeine junkie. But I’m not complaining! It’s a crazy fun place to be.

    kitchen zone

    So I’m really showing you these photos so you can see what a mess it is. That way when I’m done it will be super fun to see the improvement. I’ve actually made a lot of progress since these photos and I’m starting to feel like this place is home.

    nearly empty dining room

    Look at all those boxes! That’s called CRAZY PROGRESS.

    office mess

    Amazingly I’ve been keeping up with my work deadlines too. My new office is strange. I’m not sure about the temperatures here. It starts out cold in the morning and then heats up pretty quick in the afternoon. It’s perfectly manageable without using the air conditioner if you keep a careful schedule of window opening and closing but I’m not sure I’m going to love having my desk in the afternoon sun come August. We’ll see.

    Also, I can’t see Bug out the window as I had hoped. The outside patio wall is too high. All I have to do is stand up and peer over it or take a walk to the kitchen window and look out there but I kind of miss the old house where I could quickly glance up every once in a while and see her playing happily. We’ll work it out.

    The neighborhood is also about a thousand times safer here and she’s already made friends with the family across the way but you can never be too safe so we are taking it cautiously. She plays inside most of the morning and then I turn into the frantic window-watcher in the afternoon when the friendly sounds of children outside become too much for her to bear. She seems really happy though. She’s already organized a scooter gang with about four other kids which is kind of awesome.

    Bug helps

    Here she is putting Pink Kitty down for a nap in our very-much-in-progress bedroom. I have visions of a giant white puffy comforter with big white pillows stacked up at the end like a real bed for a change. I’d love an equally giant print of Paris over the non-existant headboard but we’ll see. I have this amazing print I bought off etsy a long time ago that’s all dreary and gray with the Eiffel Tower off in the distance but after I bought the giant rectangle IKEA frame to fit it, I found out the print was sadly too square and too small. I really should have measured first. Blarg. I see a lot of merchandise returning in my future and I HATE that.

    bathroom mess

    Here is my messy bathroom vanity which is actually all unpacked now. Bug and I gave ourselves pedicures here sitting on the counter with our feet in the sink. I see lots of future girly bonding going on here. Another thing that is weird about this place is there are mirrors everywhere. So along with future merchandise-returning, I also foresee working out. I can’t stand looking at myself all the time and seeing all that flab hanging out. Hopefully the mirrors are motivational and don’t send me into a spiral of self-hate.

    I had that happen to me once back in my college days. One day I was a perfectly happy, healthy twenty-something and then I moved into an apartment with one wall that was completely covered by mirrors and a window beaming sunlight in from the side. It was nice until you stared at your body every waking moment and saw every flaw in the light of day. I thought I was so ugly all the time and then one day I moved into a new place with no mirrors and I suddenly became ten pounds more beautiful in my mind. Funny how that works. So I’ll have to be careful with all these vanity mirrors going on.

    coming together

    Back to something that won’t give me a complex: the turquoise wall! It’s a funny thing, so much color in one space. So far I really love it but it’s intense. I can’t wait until I hang all my art on it. But I save that for last because that’s the best part, also the hardest.

    Breakfast in the garden.

    Another happy place is our patio. We had breakfast out there yesterday morning and it was so nice. I finally figured out that the cats can’t get out of the patio without jumping six feet (which they can and will figure out eventually, unfortunately) so we let them join us. I really love it out here. I might not have as much room to garden but that just means that what I do garden will just get more attention. I think my plants are going to love it here.

    still to go

    And that pretty much concludes our tour of the half-way unpacked house. As you can see I have a lot more work to do. But I’m getting there!