4.16.2014

Some More Nails and My Ring

Not too much progress to report, but I did work a little more on the upholstery tacks on our headboard. I am now exactly 1/4 of the way done, yay!

Zoe once again helped out, but this time allowed me to be much more productive, so that's wonderful


Nothing cuter than a baby just hanging out in a diaper, right?

I actually hit into a really good groove this time and got over double the amount of upholstery tacks in almost the same amount of time. Zoe was having fun playing, I had figured out good spacing and it just worked out well. I love it when projects go according to plan


Looking good, right? I hope so :)

I've still got to do the inside of that border piece and then move on to the other side of the bed. I also ordered more upholstery tacks because I won't have enough to get it all done with what I bought initially. I'm really loving how things are looking though and am glad that this shouldn't take FOREVER to get done, just a little while longer.

And another little piece of fun? My ring!

Because Chris and I decided to get married one night while brushing our teeth there was no large presentation of the ring. I had always thought it would be cool to design your own and so that's just what I got to do!

We went to a totally awesome local jeweler (Seelenbacher in Alameda if you're local) and got to pick everything out. I've been having REALLY bad eczema on my hands for the last almost year and so I've had allergy testing done to see what might be contributing to it. I found out (among other things) that I'm allergic to nickel and gold. I don't think I'm a platinum kind of person so when I was thinking about what metal I would want the ring made out of I was trying to think of something a little different. I liked the idea of stainless steel (a lot of men's rings are made out of it) because it was a building material. Upon talking to the jeweler though, we nixed it because he didn't feel comfortable setting stones into it because it is such a strong metal. Totally fine.

Then he brought up rose gold. Initially I was hesitant because I was afraid I would be allergic, but he was SO awesome and gave me a rose gold band and a platinum band to wear for a week to see if I had any reaction. He thought I wouldn't because rose gold is rose because of copper content so it does't have the same chemical properties as white or yellow gold. I didn't have any reaction to it, so we decided to go with it, which actually was totally cool because I love the shade of it and I love that the copper in it is a building material too.

I wanted to have my ring be a little different and always like colored stones, so I didn't want to go with standard white diamond. And also, because I'm active and always using my hands I find rings that have stones that pop out to be a little bit of a nuisance because you're always whacking it into things, so I wanted my stone flush with the band. We talked with the jeweler about all my ideas, got to pick out the stones, approve a wax mold and then...


...my ring was made! We picked it up last week and it's awesome. It's rose gold and black diamond and I LOVE it. I love that it's different, I love that the style is practical and I love that it's reflective of our hobbies and work because it's got that little bit of copper in it. It's pretty much the best ring ever :) And I think it's so cool that Chris and I got to design it together, it definitely makes it even more special. And you want to know the totally awesome part? I was completely terrified that this ring was going to cost an arm and a leg because we visited the jeweler several times, got to check out all the stones when they came in, got to have a wax mold made to approve the design, etc., but you want to know the cost of my ring? $900. How fucking awesome is that? I got to pick out everything about it, make it exactly what I wanted and it was not ridiculously priced. I love looking at it and seeing it on my finger - it's special, different, and perfectly me. Chris loves it too and opened it first when we picked it up. I love that he loves it. Yay!

4.14.2014

Bed Progress! Yeah, that's Right :)

Oh yes, that's fucking right, we've made progress on the bed! Now, don't get excited and think it's a ton of progress - because it's not - but it is progress. And every little bit helps damnit.

So what's our little progress? A drawer!


Yay! It took a little while, but we have a drawer installed in the bed, hallelujah! Chris wasn't sure whether he wanted to use bottom or side mounted drawer slides, so he bought one of both to see which one would work better. He would have preferred the bottom mount ones, but they didn't really work super great, so we went with the side mount ones


Zoe found the process enlightening


Once the drawer slides were installed Chris slid the drawer into place..


...and...MAGIC




A drawer to put stuff in! We still have 8, yes EIGHT, more to install, but now we know which slides we want to use and we've got them all purchased. Then we'll install all the fronts and hardware. It's still a little ways off, but at least we know how we're going to get there now.

Another tiny piece of progress? I FINALLY got to the nail head trim on the headboard


Zoe once again decided she needed to be heavily involved in the project by playing with my necklaces...


... and removing all my bras from my dresser (seriously, she has a weird bra obsession and takes them out of the dresser, puts them over her head so she's "wearing" it, and then crawls all over the house)


Little weirdo :)

I set up a string line to try and keep all the nails I was tacking in in a straight line, but after I hammered in the first one I sorta broke the line


So then I just said fuck it and eye-balled it from there on out


It's not perfect, but honestly, it doesn't actually bother me. I really thought it would, but it's close enough that it doesn't look terrible and reminds me that we made this whole bed and headboard ourselves. And that's pretty awesome.

I didn't get far because Zoe started getting very interested in all the hammering that was going on, but I think it's looking really good so far


Honestly, this is going to take me a lot longer than I thought it was going to, but as John from AZ DIY Guy commented on my post last Wednesday, it's always hardest to break the habit of not working on the house, and now that I've finally gotten started on one of these last bed finishing proects, it feels good to know there is actually a finish line.

4.11.2014

Zoe: 10 months

There is an adorable, crazy baby living in our house that is 10 months old


On Sunday Miss Crazy Pants hit the 10 month mark. And man oh MAN is she developing quite the little personality. This month has been filled with lots of mobility, and lots of silliness.

We don't quite have a walker on our hands yet, but I feel like it will happen soon. She's walking all along furniture, stands on her own for a couple of seconds at a time, goes from standing to squatting without help and is trying really hard to go from sitting to standing on her own. She does this weird little crawling thing that makes her look like a strange zombie because she's sort of trying to stand as she's crawling around. It's quite hilarious.

Even if she's not walking yet, she still motors all over the house and finds it very fun to explore on her own. I love that about her. She still wants to make sure you're nearby and gets a little worried if she hasn't seen you in a little while, but she is perfectly content to go crawling all over the house by herself opening doors, opening cabinets, pulling up onto furniture, finding any cup or paper that she can play with or just generally get herself into fun baby trouble


She LOVES music and loves to dance. We noticed this a month or two ago, but weren't quite sure if it really was the music she was responding to or not, but now we've got a full fledged music lover on our hands which is pretty awesome because if you didn't know, Chris and I met at Tower Records. I try to keep music playing in the house a lot and in the car because she enjoys it so much. She likes rap music a la the Roots or Mos Def, funk (LOVES), alternative/melodic (like Mumford and Sons, the Killers, Of Monsters and Men, etc.), and just general boppy music that she can clap her hands to. Sometimes she gets some hand action in there too and waves them all around. It's really all quite adorable


She's starting to be more communicative. She's always been a bit of a gabber but she's starting to be able to sign "more" and "food" which is pretty cool. She also says "momma" (she's had that word down for a couple months) and now also says "dada", "ba!" for ball and "do!" for dog. Ball and dog are definitely words that she gets really excited about saying and exclaims them. She also says "ab-ba" allllll the time. We're not quite sure what she's trying to communicate when she says it, but she says it all the time when she needs, wants or is just interested in something.

She also loves laughing. She got the sweetest little giggle and it's really fun to tickle and play with her to make her laugh. I don't think there's really anything better than a baby's laugh


She also really loves to share. If she's eating and she's happy about it and you're sitting there with her she will frequently smile so big and reach out and give you whatever she has. Almost as if she's enjoying herself so much she wants to make sure you are too. She also sometimes enjoys taking her food out of her mouth and giving it to you. That one isn't nearly as fun :) She does the same thing when she's playing - so excited about what she has and enjoying herself so much she wants to give you what she's playing with so you can have fun too. It's really quite sweet and a trait I hope never leaves her.

We've also started to try and teach her "no" the last couple of weeks. She's pretty good about it actually. She plays with something she's not supposed to and we say, "No, Zoe." She looks at us very seriously and will either stop, or get one more no and then she'll stop. But it usually doesn't take her more than 2 for her to understand that she's doing something she's not supposed to. She used to get really sad when we would tell her no - not mad, more upset with herself that she did something bad and that made her sad. Sometimes she'll start to do something she's not supposed to, stop, look at us and stop doing it and then get the BIGEGST smile on her face - so proud of herself that she knew she wasn't supposed to do it and she stopped on her own


That kiddo sure is funny.

She loves dogs so much. She sees one a block away and starts going "do! do!" and then just gets so excited if we kneel down and let her see it. She doesn't reach out a lot to touch them, but she gets very happy when they come close to her, make funny dog noises (she heard one sneeze one time and thought it was the most hilarious thing) and give her kisses. She doesn't mind their licks one bit.

And she still loves people lots and lots. She wins over people at restaurants, the grocery store, anywhere. Someone came up to me in a Costco bathroom the other day when I was changing her diaper and told me how beautiful her eyes were and how happy she was. It was a little awkward for a second (oh, here I am just wiping up some pooh), but it makes me feel very happy that she seems to bring joy to so many people with her smiles, giggles and inappropriate staring :) But honestly, it is wonderful having people come up to you randomly to tell you that your baby makes them happy. It's not a bad thing to hear


I love her smile sooooo much. Her giant smile is the best - so big that her little nose crinkles. I hope she never loses that smile. I could be having the worst day ever and that smile just lights up a room.

So that is our happy lady at 10 months. I can't wait to see her personality come out more and more and more and more. She's quite the little charmer :)

4.09.2014

Hey, Look! We Did Something!

Oh my fucking god we did some work on the house. It's a MIRACLE! Remember this rock wall in the backyard I said we wanted to take out and replace with bricks?


Oh, can't see it? That's because it sucks. Here's a better view


This rock wall was awful and I honestly don't know how we lived with it for so long. It was crappily built so it was all wobbly and we tripped on it more than a few times because there were weeds growing on it and the height was so inconsistent. It was a goal to get it out before the party because 1) it was ugly and 2) we didn't want our friends and family to trip on it either


So one day about 3 weeks ago while Zoe was taking a nap Chris and I got the sledgehammer and took turns taking some whacks at it. And surprise surprise, it didn't take long to get that sucker outta there


Once we broke out all the rocks and cleared out the space we dug out to make sure the path our new bricks would lay was straight and more or less even


Once that was done we hauled some bricks into the backyard to get started


We wanted the wall to be high enough so that you would see it and create a decent barrier between the grass and the veggie garden, but we also didn't want it to stick out like a sore thumb. We were debating between running the bricks either 2 or 3 rows high, and then we thought we could just run the bricks vertical (in a soldier formation) and that seemed like it would make the perfect height and also be a little more visually interesting.

So this past weekend while I was away at the A's and Zoe took some naps, Chris got started


He set a stringline to make sure he was laying them all in a straight like and things didn't get all wonky. And once that line was set, it was easy peasy


He wasn't able to get a ton done while Zoe was napping (because they're still pretty short naps) and then she wanted to "help," so Monday he was able to finish things off while Zoe and I watched and played.

And once it was done, it looked marvelous

hello soft morning light. Just trying to get this post published before Zoe wakes up!

Seriously so much better than that previous rock wall


And very exciting that we actually worked on our own house for once! :)

4.07.2014

The Party Vibe

My crazy week is over, yay! There are many other crazy weeks to follow in the next 6 months as baseball season has just begun, but I got through the first one, so that is good. And yesterday was actually a gorgeous day, and the A's won, so it was a wonderful way to finish it off

Photo: Beautiful day for baseball. Let's go A's!

Of course Zoe decided to cry and freak out for about 90 minutes before going to bed last night, so that wasn't a super fun night cap, but it was a week that she got way thrown off her schedule, so I can't really blame her. 

This morning we went back out to SF again early to drop off some building materials, so I didn't get a post up as early as I would have liked to, and well, not much work went on this weekend to talk about anyway. So I thought I would write about the vibe we're going for for the party. 

Lots of times weddings have "themes" or "colors." And now 1st birthdays are getting to be so damn popular they do too (I blame Pinterest). I mean, seriously 1st birthdays are getting a little out of control, and I must confess I am probably more excited than I need to be. After all, Zoe will have absolutely no memory of this day whatsoever. But still, I do get excited about making it special "for her." So what is our theme or our colors? Nothing really. I was texting back forth with my sister in law about this a little while ago and I told her that we're making the party as fun and colorful as we are. There are certainly many elements that are reflective of our personalities and the things we are interested in, but there is no one collective theme or color that plays itself throughout. 

Here are my ideas (I've been pinning the crap out of things)...

I want LOTS OF COLOR. I love that Zoe's room is colorful and happy and I really wanted that attitude throughout. I don't want to use any flowers (a waste of time and money in my opinion) and so I thought about fun ways I could decorate. And obviously paper chains are awesome

Paper chain wedding decor -- the bride, an elementary school teacher, was inspired by her classroom decorations.
found here
So I have made a bajillion of them


My idea is to string these all over the backyard. They'll be happy, colorful and I'll be able to recycle them after so I don't feel like a complete waste. 

I also loved these

DIY- Party Chandelier- This lady makes a festive party decoration with some hula hoops, ribbon and other cool trinkets! It would be a fun decoration in a little girls room too!  Would also be great with crepe paper streamers. Im so doin this for my birthday party :)
found here
So I made two medium size and two small ones. My idea is to hang them on the pergola around the area where we will be getting married.

We're going to have many tables set up outside for people to sit, eat and hang out at so I was trying to figure out what to do for tablecloths. I of course wanted something over the table because white plastic tabletops do not scream "party!" but I also didn't want to spend a ton of money. And then BOOM! I thought of it: butcher paper "tablecloths" so people can doodle and draw and I can have glass containers with crayons in them on the tables

crayon jar w your wedding color crayons. guests can leave you well wishes on the "tablecloths". No hire or washing of cloths - use butcher's paper. Can just throw away at end, or keep cute drawings!
found here
I can cut out fun messages and pictures that people draw for us and save them too. 

More "centerpieces" (again, no flowers) will be glass containers with baseballs, peanuts and sunflower seeds in them

Baseball Centerpiece - New vs Vintage (used) Baseballs - Peanuts - Popcorn - Cracker Jacks - Sunflower Seeds - Many Possibilities
found here
The bows don't feel too much like me, so I probably won't do that myself. But they do look cute. 

I bought a bunch of balloons too and don't know exactly what I want to do with them yet, but this is cute

balloon decorations for the yard. Totally doing this on my next birthday.
found here
And of course no birthday would be complete without a birthday banner

custom HAPPY BIRTHDAY BANNER with name--hot pink, yellow, orange, aqua. $30.00, via Etsy.
found here
I've got a ton of leftover scrapbook paper, so I'll be able to make something fun and really colorful. I'll also probably make a banner of some sort for all of Zoe's monthly photos I've taken, and I was actually thinking it might be kind of fun to do one of Chris and I for all the years we've been together (9 is a decent amount after all). 

I'm on the fence about whether I want a bouquet or not, but it would obviously have to be out of some sort of unconventional material (no flowers). I've seen a broach one done before, but this button one seemed kind of cool

Wedding Button Bouquet
found here
I'm not completely sold and have been trying to figure out if I could maybe somehow make one out of nails and screws. I think that would be fitting :)

Lastly - my dress. I'm not wearing white and I didn't want to waste a shit ton of money on something I would only wear once because I find that just completely ridiculous (but to each their own), so a couple weekends ago I went out shopping with my mom, step mom and sister in law and bought the cutest coral sundress. And I bought some awesome gold Converse to go with it (the Converse actually cost more than the dress)


Since I had knee surgery 8 years ago I've worn heels about 3 times. It hurts too damn bad and I don't want to fuck up my feet and back for the rest of my life, so I always wear flats. I'm more of a sneakers gal anyway and Converse are my sneaker of choice, so I thought fancy ones would fit perfectly :)

So that's where we're at - laid back, colorful and fun. I think it's a good vibe so far.

4.02.2014

Where are you House Fairies?

I wish Tinkerbell and some other awesome and helpful Disney characters (you know, Gus, and all those other dancing, singing, sewing, cooking adorable animals) would come on over Picardy way and help out a little bit.

I was hoping to get a teeny tiny bit of work done on the house yesterday to post about today, but that totally didn't happen. Monday was Opening Day for baseball, so we had a late night (Zoe was fabulous) and then we had to wake up EARLY yesterday morning to get out to SF to let in some floor refinishers at a property of my brother's. When we got home it was naptime for Zoe and because I was going to be away for the night I held her for her nap so we could get some cuddle time together. She took an epic nap (that 11pm bedtime made our little snuggler quite tired) and I actually had to wake her up in time to get her over to my neighbor's house for a couple hours of babysitting time. Then I had just enough time to shower, put away laundry, get caught up on email, send a proposal to my brother, make myself dinner for work at the A's, then go pick her up from my neighbor's, feed her, put her down for a nap, check in with Chris just as he came home, and then drive to work. Oh, and then the baseball game was cancelled (double header today). Sigh...

It was a long day yesterday, and it will be a long week. I thought I was only working at the A's Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but then saw that I was working Sunday too. Doh. That's a long week on top of regular job working. I don't mean to complain (because, let's all be honest, who doesn't like making money), more just make myself feel better for not having a proper post written for you wonderful folks about work I was hoping to get done that is nowhere near complete (or, really, even started). 

So, if you happen to see any house fairies - or don't forget about those little animals either - please send them our way! I've got a headboard that needs upholstery tacks


Drawers that are itching to be installed


A window that needs hardware so it's not naked anymore


Some plants that would like to be planted


And probably a bunch of other things I can't think of at the moment because I'm really so tired I can't quite remember what my name is. Alright, off to another day of work. But first, some playing with Zoe




Ok, now off to work.

3.31.2014

The Party Work Wishlist

The Big Day will be on June 7th. Big Day? Oh yes, our wedding and Zoe's 1st birthday :) And as I shared last week we haven't been working on our house very well these last few weeks because we've been so damn busy with our other jobs (and now, enter baseball season where this week alone [on top of regular work] I'm there Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday). But of course when there's something going on at your house, you want it to look good right? So Chris and I have started a bit of a "Work Wishlist," or things we REALLY hope we can get done in the next 2+ months. And here they are...

The backyard is nearly done, but there are still a couple items left to do. I'd love to get the second veggie bed planted with something other than weeds


Also, our pergola was built a couple years ago and we should have really painted another coat on all the wood before we hung everything because the elements have taken their toll a bit


It needs a good powerwashing and then touching up.

We'd also like to build a little brick wall here


It used to have these rocks


But we busted them out a couple weekends ago (they were ugly, ineffective and not entirely secure), and haven't had the time to rebuild it yet.

Lastly in the backyard it would be nice to get some lattice up on this wall between the veggie garden and the crawl space


Not sure if that one will happen, and it's really not that big of a deal if it doesn't. The other backyard items I'd really like to get done because 95% of the par-tay will be taking place outside. Of course there will also be general sprucing up (like all of the shit disposed of), but that's really always on the to do list.

Then for the inside...

I'd REALLY like for the bed to be done


All that's left is buying drawer slides and then attaching the fronts to them and then the hardware to that. But because these drawers are fairly large and deep, Chris wants some pretty strong slides (so they don't fall apart in 2 years - we really want this bed to last), and so far we've only been able to find pretty expensive ones. We might just bit the bullet and go with them (I'd rather pay more for something that I know will hold up to daily use), but we're still hunting a bit.

And lastly, the nook


I haven't posted about this little room in a while, and you can tell that last window still doesn't have a curtain up. We need to find some hardware to hang the curtain rod and that sort of hasn't been a priority lately. This room also needs a quick coat of paint in the pantry (just to freshen it up) and a very necessary coat of paint on the walls. It will also need the picture molding and baseboard along one wall. It also needs some ceiling repair, a skim coat on the ceiling and the light replaced.

Then of course there's the general purge, sprucing up and throwing things you can't find a place for in a closet that hopefully no one will look in. Everyone else does that too, right?