Container Gardening

Our second-floor balcony

We’re lucky to have a fairly large balcony attached to our second-story apartment home. In times of nice weather, we enjoy eating dinner, drinking wine, lesson planning, reading, or just getting some sun out there. This year, I decided to try to spruce it up a bit.

Spruced-up balcony

It’s nothing fancy, but I added a few plants and a small container herb garden. The color and life brings vibrancy to what was bland and grey last summer.

Two larger pots of petunias stand on the floor.

White petunias

Pink petunias

Planter on the railing

Dianthus

Vinca Vine

We’ve also really enjoyed using fresh herbs from our “garden” in our cooking recently.

Herbs on the railing

Oregano

Parsley

Sage

I’ve used the oregano in a few pasta dishes, and the parsley I used in a vegetable side for our family Easter celebration. The flavor is so much more full and intense with fresh herbs than the dried stuff that came in our Martha Stewart spice rack.

I’m pretty impressed that I’ve managed to keep all of these plants alive so far. I haven’t had much success in this area in the past, killing the two plants I had in my classroom this year, as well as the plant I had in college. (As soon as I moved home, I forgot about it and left it to rot in my parents’ basement alongside the boxes of plastic dishes that had come out of my college kitchen.)

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Three Newly-Accented Walls

After all the hard work in our apartment two weekends ago, I was feeling super-motivated to make our rented abode feel more like a home. Back in the spring, when we moved into the apartment, I had dreams of painting the walls all sorts of colors. However, a little voice in the back of my mind kept saying, “This is an apartment… We’re just going to have to paint it back… It’s not worth the money…”. (I think that was B’s voice, actually.)

In July, I squashed that voice briefly and tackled our bathroom, taking it from white and bland to green and grand.

Before

After

Recently, though, a slightly stronger voice had arisen in my head. It was the one that said I really needed some more color in my life. A few weeks ago, I decided it was going to happen.

One obstacle that had stood in my paintbrush’s way in the past, was our tall vaulted ceiling. I knew I wanted to do an accent wall in our living room, and I felt like because of the fireplace and the high ceiling, it had to be this wall:

Tall Ceiling = Tall Wall

The issue of getting a ladder tall enough into our apartment to paint all the way up there JUST to turn around and repaint it in a couple of years when we move out didn’t seem worth it. HOWEVER, after watching some Nate Berkus over Winter Break, I decided maybe it didn’t have to be that wall. Maybe it could be this wall instead:

I’ve never been a great color coordinator. I lack the ability to picture color in my mind. Looking through a magazine or a home-decorating blog, I can tell you what I like and don’t like; but in order to achieve a similar look, I’d need to refer to that picture and recreate it. So, last weekend, I enlisted the help of my BFF, Mollie. She was lucky enough to inherit her mom’s incredible eye for color and decor. With her help, I decided to paint not only that wall, but these TWO walls (please excuse the horrible lighting–this was at night and is not photoshopped!):

Being as we’re in a teeny-tiny apartment, I flattened myself against the door to try to get this picture, but the two walls we’re talking about are the one behind the couch, and the closet one to the camera. Just off to the right is the entrance to our kitchen and our dining area/office/storage area. (Yup, we squeeze an awful lot of furniture into one tiny area.)

So, after two trips to Home Depot, and a few rounds of paint chips taped to our walls, we took the plunge. Last Saturday, we tackled the job. The first step was moving furniture and taking down pictures, etc. B did most of that.

What our living room looked like while the project was going on...

Then we started the taping process. It went pretty quickly.

We decided to paint only above the molding on this wall.

Then, I started trimming. On the recommendation of a friend who had bought a house and done a lot of painting recently, we invested in one of these trim thingys (that’s the clinical terminology). It was AWESOME! This is me being really excited about how quickly the trimming went. I’m talking, like, 15 minutes. Tops.

Yay, new trimming tool!

After three coats of the dark, and two coats of the light blue, we had two painted accent walls:

Bright blue wall

With furniture & decor in place

Finished kitchen wall

Sideways view from kitchen into living room

Finished small wall

Two complementary walls

We are exceedingly pleased with the finished product. We were especially pleased to finish all the dirty work within 24 hours of starting, and with only about three hours of actual work time.

And, with all the moving of heavy items, we tried some different furniture arrangements… Only to realize that in a small apartment like ours, you really only have so many options. But we did make one change, moving our blue armchair to the front wall of the room, and adding a lamp to the end table next to it. Not a big change, but one I’m excited about, as it’s a much cozier spot, now, to curl up and read (or blog… or play Sims 3… or lesson plan). AND the chair faces in such a way that I can thoroughly enjoy our pretty blue walls.

My new favorite spot in the apartment

If you’ve been observant in these pictures, you’ll notice through our open bedroom door that there was some work being done in there as well. We don’t have everything put back yet, and there’s a large heap of laundry on our bed, so I don’t have “after” pictures of that project yet. But I’ll leave you with this teaser:

Preview of the bedroom color

 

Small Improvements

It’s January now. I’ve been a first-grade teacher for about five months, and am finally feeling settled into the position. I’m ready to re-address my duties as a housewife. As you know, I’m trying to do more cooking and I’ve organized our closet. I’ve also been making a few other small improvements that I’d like to share.

New TV/Entertainment Stand at Christmas

What the TV/Entertainment Stand normally looks like...

We used our birthday money this fall to invest in a new TV and entertainment stand. That means we had our old entertainment center free from electronics, so we decided to move it into our dining nook for a little extra storage. It now houses some of our less-frequently used kitchen items, candles, vases, craft supplies, my yoga gear, and our printer. Phew! It’s amazing how much we’ve packed in there. Now my to-do list includes purchasing some small bins to make this piece look as nice as it is functional.

New spot for the old entertainment center

Another organizational scheme I’m pretty proud of is our front closet. This closet houses our coats, vacuum cleaner, air mattress, paper files, tools, wrapping paper, and pet supplies. We’ve basically just stuffed as much junk into it as possible.

Stuffed-to-the-brim front closet

Anyway, while strolling through Bed Bath & Beyond one day, I got the idea to buy an over-the-door pocket organizer. We moved some of that little cluttery stuff into those pockets. Now, we don’t have to dig through coats and bags, etc. to find the doggy-poo bags, and our gloves and hats don’t get stuffed in between coats.

Front closet organizer

On Sunday, B broke in the new drill he got for Christmas. First, he put up these shelves for me, that I mentioned in this post.

New closet shelf

Then, helped me hang this wine glass rack. This baby freed up a TON of space in our cabinets. Now, we can actually fit all of our casseroles, coffee mugs, and drinking glasses without precarious stacking.

Wine glass rack

Finally, he hung this fruit basket. We were pretty nervous about hanging something from our popcorn ceiling. We’ve actually had this fruit basket since the wedding, but visions of popcorn ceiling crumbling in around us made us a little anxious. However, B’s dad swore by these hooks, so we decided to give it a shot. (As we speak, I’m glancing at the bananas hanging there out of the corner of my eye…)

Hanging fruit basket

Get excited, because there’s more to come. We bought some Indian Ocean-colored paint today… I’ll let you dream about where that’s going to end up, and surprise you next week.

(Trying to Get Better at) Sharing Closet Space

My inept organizational skills are really quite disgraceful. And I’m pretty sure it’s driving my husband crazy. At least, if I were my husband, it would be driving me crazy.

My to-do list over Winter Break boasted one goal: Organize the closet. However, my two-and-a-half-week-long sinus infection had a different goal: Knock Katie onto the couch.

Unfortunately, in my two-week break from work, the only step I took toward that goal was to buy the shoe rack and bins I needed from Bed Bath & Beyond. (The bins were on clearance, and I had a 30% off coupon for the shoe rack, so I was able to get 10 bins and the rack for only $50. Woohoo!)

Anyway, with a three-day weekend and a great audiobook, I was finally ready to tackle the closet. With about two hours of hard work, I got rid of this much clothes (I had to include the pups in this picture, because they were just being so darn cute):

Clothes for Goodwill

And got these plastic crates and drawers out of our room to take up to my classroom:

Previous High-Class Storage system

I don’t have any before pictures (I don’t know what I was thinking; it may have been out of subconscious embarrassment at even showing you what our room was looking like). But, here are some afters:

The bottom half of this side of the closet is all that B actually gets (pre-shelves).

Previously, that entire top rack was STUFFED full. I’m talking, like, no more hangers were going to squeeze themselves in there no matter how much coercing. I moved all my sweaters, hoodies, tanks, and tees to bins and drawers. Then, I sorted the remaining hanging clothes into “Going Out,” “Comfortable,” and “Work” clothes.

New shelves for bins

The next day, B helped me hang some shelves on that vacant right side. Now I can stack those bins vertically.

The remastered shoe pile

My shoes used to be thrown carelessly on the floor of this half. After paring down my collection into shoes I actually wear, and putting summer shoes and sandals into under-the-bed tubs for storage, I was able to actually fit all of my shoes on this 20-pair rack. Wow!

Scarf solution

Oh, and I also found a solution to the tangle of scarves for which I could never find the right place: two packs of $1 shower curtain rings from Target, and an old hanger. Yes, it was Pinterest inspired.

New laundry corner

The biggest difference for me is not having those dingy plastic drawers sitting out in our bedroom. No matter what we did, our room was just never going to look put-together with anything Rubbermaid sitting out. So, I was able to relocate my gym clothes into the dresser, and we were able to fit B’s drawers inside the closet. Now we have these nice $9.99 Target laundry hampers* instead (which saves us from the pile of laundry on the closet floor).

*I couldn’t find the exact product–but these are very similar, AND they’re on sale!

As I mention in my About Me section, I have often likened the compromise of marriage to the compromise of sharing a closet. See, the compromise is this: Just like I get 75% of the closet, I get what I want 75% of the time. Bahaha. Just kidding. (Although I’m not sure B would think I was kidding.) But, honestly, I think that taking our closet out of its state of disarray was a testament to the respect I have for B. He had mentioned a few times that my “shoe pile” bugged him, and I knew that the piles of clothes creeping out of our closet into our bedroom were making our shared space anything but a romantic oasis.

Basking in Our Basketed Bathroom

At the beginning of the summer, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish before the end of the summer. The over-arching goal was to make our apartment feel more like a home. I accomplished many of the smaller tasks (like making over our couch) but not as many of the big to-dos. Last week, the week before New Teacher Orientation began, I finally got around to tackling one of the big ‘uns. (The rest will have to wait until Winter Break, I guess.)

One downside to apartment living is that it tends to have such a temporary feeling. Even though people often live in one apartment for years at a time–often even longer than they live in one house!–the knowledge that you don’t own the place and it’s a cookie-cutter model of the 300 other apartments in the complex makes it feel less like a home. However, after being “in transition” for the last five years in college–living in the dorm, a rental house, and my old bedroom–I’m ready to settle into one place for an extended period of time again. That’s why it’s so important to me that B and I stay in this apartment for awhile, and really make the effort to make it feel personal and homey.

It’s hard to make a place feel homey when all the walls are stark white. Our apartment has a “you-can-paint-it-as-long-as-you-paint-it-back” policy, so I decided to start with the bathroom. Here’s a reminder of how boring it looked when we moved in:

Our bathroom upon moving in (April)

Then, we added a new shower curtain, some shelving, etc. It started to look a little better, but the white walls still felt pretty institutional:

The tiny bathroom seemed like a good place to begin my painting conquest, so, after three trips to Home Depot and much deliberating over paint color, I finally chose Behr Scotland Isle green. Some people, I feel, are gifted with the ability to pick a stunning paint combination. Colors that contrast and complement perfectly. I am not one of those lucky people. I matched it to our towels.

The painting process went surprisingly well. I didn’t spill the paint, didn’t make any huge errors (just a couple dots of green on the popcorn ceiling), and only had to go back to Home Depot once for more paint. The dark color took three coats, but as long as you don’t study the part of the wall under the towel rack too carefully, I’m the only one that will notice the patchiness of the area.

Here are the afters:

In the process, I also got rid of my stack of plastic drawers that had served me well since college, replacing them with some coordinating baskets from Target.

Now, we have one room in our apartment that feels complete. It’s decorated, organized, and personalized. Unfortunately, it’s the bathroom, so we don’t tend to do much entertaining in there.

Next on tap is the living room. This will be a challenge though, because 1. I can’t seem to pick a color for the life of me (we’ve had five paint chip cards taped to our wall for almost three weeks now) and 2. the high vaulted ceilings are going to require more than just the kitchen chair that I used in the bathroom.

A Lived-In Living Room

I want to share with you a couple of updates we’ve made to our apartment over the past three months. For some before-before pictures, check out this old post.

This week, I accomplished something I’d been thinking about since before we even moved. Residing in our living room is my couch from college. It’s actually a couch I inherited from an older roommate, and I’m pretty sure she had inherited it as well. I’m really not sure of this couch’s origins, but let’s just say that it is showing it’s scars. As a matter of fact, I just looked through all of my pictures, and could not find a single picture of this couch in its original state. This means that never once did I find it at all suitable, even for a post-AYCD night picture in college.

However, it’s a couch. And we need a couch. And would prefer not to buy one (yet). So, I gave it a makeover.

The first thing I did was buy this super-cute slipcover from Target’s Simply Shabby Chic line. However, when I tried to stuff the back cushions under the slip cover, it looked like… well, I can’t think of a PC description, so we’ll just say I was not a fan. I knew I needed new cushions, and decided I could easily make them myself. You see, back in the day, I had a business. Yes, the year was 1995, and I spent the summer selling homemade Beanie Baby beds on the corner. Every afternoon, I would wheel my red wagon filled with little pillows and sleeping bags down the neighborhood street, and do business with the community Beanie Baby fans. And, because I know you were wondering, yes, they did come in sizes (regular and teenie).

Due to all of this pillow-stitching and -stuffing experience, I felt confident in my ability to make new couch cushions. All summer I’ve been planning this in my mind–looking at fabric, pricing European pillows, and playing with color combinations. Through the planning, it seemed as though the pillows themselves would run about $20 a piece (and I needed five of them), then it would take about 2 yards of fabric per pillow, not to mention the fact that I’d need to coerce my mom into helping me set up and thread her serger (which is a pain in the *&@). Plus, in all honesty, I had to admit that the likelihood of my actually creating five pillow shams successfully was slim-to-none, meaning I’d need to splurge on at least four extra yards of back-up fabric.

However, I was determined. Until I went to Bed Bath & Beyond, found the pillows on sale for $10, and shams on clearance for $5. I bought three of those, and splurged on two fancier accent pillows, thereby transforming our couch.

I am so excited about our “new couch” because it has really transformed our living room. Check out the difference between our living room in April, and our current room.

The difference a few small changes have made in our living room


You will also notice the addition of the shelves and picture frame above the couch, and the new curtains. This isn’t the greatest picture of the curtains, but I love that they tie the green and creamy-white of the couch with the blue of the arm chair. Oh, and then there are the candles in the fireplace, which I love. They’re just there for the summertime; with these 100+ degree heat indices, we really have not been wanting any fires.

I need some advice on another aspect of this room, and this is where you come in.

We have this huge empty space above the fireplace. And while I fully intend to paint soon, which will diminish slightly the glaring-white effect, I need to put something there. I originally pictured a big, round, ornate mirror. Maybe with some rustic-looking swirly-ness around the outside. But, at the same time, that seems a little overdone. Anyone have a more creative idea?

Hello May!

This weekend my two cousins are graduating. I remember, when we made our hotel reservations waaaaaay back in October or so, thinking “Wow, that’s so far away! By that time the wedding will be right around the corner!” Well, guess what, folks. It’s not that far away anymore… and the wedding is right around the corner!

I’m the queen of cliff-hangers lately, aren’t I? Like, last week (and, okay, for two months prior), I talked non-stop about our big move… and then didn’t give you any details.

Well, here’s the gist of it: We’re exhausted.


The following is a brief photo tour of the “before” of our new apartment (click here to see the floor plan again):

The living room from the front door–don’t you love the fireplace? It’s gas. We thought it was wood-burning (because that’s what the brochure says) and were pleasantly surprised to find out we wouldn’t be needing to chop down any of the trees in the complex.

Another shot of the living room in which you can see the beautiful vaulted ceilings that I am absolutely in love with. P.S. The door on the right leads to our balcony (which I forgot to take any “before” pictures of).

View of the dining area/kitchen from the living room–yes, I forgot to take pictures until we’d carried in the first few loads of stuff.

The kitchen. It’s snug. But, the cabinets are nice and deep, so there’s more storage than it first appears.

Our cute little bathroom. Just wait until you see the “after” of this shot. One of my proudest accomplishments, for sure 🙂

Our bedroom. There are no ceiling lights in here, so this picture is super-dark. Behind me there is a sliding door that opens to the balcony. This brings in some natural light, but (obviously) not a ton. We will be purchasing more lamps!

Our closets… sigh…

At least it goes all the way across the wall… (yes, I’m searching for a silver lining…)

Our hall closet. Double sigh.

The good news (for me) is that we do have a laundry closet with a relatively large amount of storage space. The bad news (for you) is that I don’t have a “before” picture, and I don’t want to ruin any surprises.

We had fun camping out the first week–since our move-in day was a Monday, and we both work full-time, we didn’t move our furniture in until Saturday.

We had a picnic of pizza, salad, and wine our first night at home.

Our makeshift couch and end tables. Classy, huh?

Delilah’s spot. She’s taken well to her new home, and seems to enjoy having her whole family together under one roof.

Things are looking a little different now that we have all our stuff moved in. Be ready for an awesome mini-series of before-and-afters…



A Peek at What’s to Come

 “Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.”
~ Charles M. Schulz

Recently, as I dreamt about the rooms of our new apartment, I began to worry that we had never really pinned down a specific decor style. Now, I’m not really one to have a “themed” space, or to stick to just one color, or to choose something so in mode that we’ll have to redecorate within the month. But I do realize the importance of tying things together just enough that the space feels connected. As I reviewed our online registries (which are, by the way, extremely addicting), I started to wonder if our choices were going to feel more disjointed than eclectic. So, I decided to take a hint from one of my fave daily reads and create a mood board for each of our rooms.

What is a mood board, you may ask? Well, a month ago, before I started reading up on home decorating blogs, I would have asked the same thing. A mood board is simply a collection of images (usually created in Photoshop or the like) that portray the mood of a space. If you’ve never seen a mood board before, please click here or here and look at a few created by more-experienced decorators. In other words, please don’t let my amateur try below steal your mood board virginity.

Here’s my first try at a mood board. (Please don’t laugh.) I have mentioned that my graduate degree is in education, right? And certainly not home ec.

Living Room Mood Board

I pulled this together using photos of items we’ve registered for and ones we already own. The background color is an approximate version of what I’d like to paint that room–through it will probably be a shade or two lighter (I’m really not all the adventurous.) Some of the objects are just similar to what we own. But, all in all, it gives a pretty good idea of the feel of our future living room.

What do you think? 

 

In the Mood


If bad decorating was a hanging offense, there’d be bodies hanging from every tree!
~ Sylvester Stalone

My apologies for the rather graphic quote. It was the best fit I could find!

Decorating was never a priority for my parents. I grew up in a nice house, with nice things, but with no real decor. Plans were always in the making; the basement room was “in progress” and we spent seven years picking a paint color for the master bathroom–it never did end up painted. We did have matching furniture, a few pieces of framed art, and place mats on our table–but the style ended there. 

I was always a little envious of friends whose moms spent afternoons antiquing, who arranged fake fruit in vases on the kitchen island, or whose dining room table resembled a picture in a catalog, no matter what time of day/year. In my surly teenage years, I even became ashamed when I’d have friends over. I’d find reasons to explain, like “Oh, we’re re-doing that room right now” or “We’re in the process of painting.” But those who knew us well knew these were excuses and that if they came back in six weeks–or even six months–nothing would have changed.

Nowadays, I’ve come to love my house the way it is. My parents are wonderful people, dutifullly involved in church activities, family relationships, and friendships. Staging a scene from House Beautiful is just not in the mix. I appreciate that now. The hours when I was younger that my mom could have spent arranging furniture or on DIY decorating projects, she instead spent taking me to the library, a movie, or on a walk. Currently, she spends those moments baking cookies for church members’ birthdays, pursuing her dream of being a writer, planning Bible Study lessons, and lending a hand to family and friends whenever they call. I absolutely cherish her for these qualities, and would not wish for anything different.

However, I’ve got a decorating itch to cure. For the past two years, I’ve drooled over Trading Spaces, Martha Stewart Living, Good Housekeeping, and more recently, now Young House Love, Bower Power, and iHeart Organizing. I pride myself in being an independent, educated young woman… but I’ll admit that I can’t wait to be a housewife. Visualizing the unexplored frontier of my future home, a space for me to decorate, organize, and care for, provides a rush of excitement.

As we near our April 25 move-in date, the ideas are pouring in. And some decorating anxiety has started a-rumblin’ in the pit of my stomach, as I realize that these painting, lighting, and sewing projects are actually mine for the doing–no longer a far-off dream, but a present-day reality. Buying new lamps last weekend was only the beginning–our (okay, my) list of to-dos to make our apartment a home is growing steadily by the day. I won’t go into all the details–the list is quite extensive–but here’s a run-down on two projects I hope to get done before we move in.


1) The Bookshelves.


Once upon a time, when I was just a young girl, in a rush of decorating genius, I decided to Scotch-tape photographs all over the sides of my wood-composite bookshelves in a haphazard manner. Here’s the end result:


Pretty, huh? Well, now I’m kicking my thirteen-year-old self, because we just don’t have the extra $$$ to buy new bookshelves, so we’re going to try to make these work. I’ve done some reading, and my plan is to gently sand the contact-paper-layered-wood-composite sides, and use a couple thin coats of primer before re-painting. I’m also planning to wall-paper the back board. Oh, and lose the ceramic dolls, Coca-Cola tin, and fishy lamp.

2) The Entertainment Center


My parents have decided (just in time!) to replace the entertainment center that currently stands in their hearth room, and they’re passing this old one down to us. It’s really in pretty good shape; I just want to tweak it a little bit.



The main beef I have with this piece of furniture is the doors. For starters, we have a wooden coffee table, wooden pantry unit, wooden desk, wooden end tables, and wooden bookshelves that we’re going to be cramming into a small apartment. They all match fairly well, but I’m trying my darnedest to avoid the rustic cabin look. In addition, as you can see in the picture that I’ve so nicely labeled for you, one of the doors cracked clean in two about ten years ago (thanks to yours truly leaning on the open door while trying to pick a movie one evening). I know it’s not very noticeable, but it bugs me (probably because I did it). So, I’m hoping to find some replacement doors that have some glass panes or something. I don’t know. We’ll see how that goes.

I know that decorating is a gradual process, and that if I try to dive into all of these projects at once, I’ll either 1) burn out or 2) go flat broke. We’re planning to take it in steps. Eventually, of course we’ll also need to buy a couch, a kitchen table, replace our mattress… Oh man, I can’t even think about it right now.

The reason for my excitement is obvious. It really doesn’t have as much to do with decorating, but with creating a comfortable space that B and I can call our own. I know we can be happy in a place with mismatched furniture, unpainted walls, and Scotch-tape marked bookshelves (okay, maybe not that last one…). But I so want our first home to be a reflection of who we are as a couple, and a product of our own inspiration and hard work. 

Our decorating process will be much like our relationship, I’m sure. We’ll be excited, we’ll work hard, we’ll sometimes be in over our heads, we’ll occasionally not have any idea what we’re doing. But, hopefully, with some dedication, both our decor and our marriage will become as inspired, coordinated, and comfortable as I picture them to be.

Shedding New Light on our Living Situation

May the roof above us never fall in
And may we good companions beneath it never fall out.
~Irish Blessing

Our strain of good luck continued yesterday, when we met with the leasing agent at our apartment complex of choice.

Remember our indecision over Floor Plan #1 and Floor Plan #2? Well, we’ve mulled over the options and come to an answer! 

And the winner is…


Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrumrollllll, pleeeeeeease…

Floor Plan #2!!!

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, we opted for the separate laundry room, fireplace, and extra square-footage over the first-floor walkout with the cute little linen closet. 

So, after making this decision in light of the fabulous news about my job (my job! my job! my job! golly, I could say that all day), we made an appointment for Saturday–yesterday–to officially be put on the waiting list.

Good things come in threes, right? Well, if we had to number the past week, it would look something like this:

1. Katie gets a job.

2. B’s apartment complex lets him move out early.


3. We sign a contract on our first choice apartment!

That’s right. It just so happens that a guy living in our favorite floor plan on the upper level is moving out in April. AND the leasing agent worked a dealio with the manager to hold the space for us until our official move-in date of April 25.

We’re so excited to have a clearer picture of our life together. I spent part of yesterday afternoon making a to-scale model of the floor plan and cut-outs of our furniture (thanks Young House Love for the help!). I tagged along with my mom and aunt to Nebraska Furniture Mart, where I came to the conclusion that we’ll be retired by the time we can actually afford to furnish an entire house–no, actually, I was surprised/impressed with their reasonable prices! 

Last night after dinner, I talked B into going to Target where we hemmed and hawed in the lamp aisle before finally choosing two lamp shades and posts (that’s right, we know how to live it up on a Saturday night!). If you haven’t seen their mix-and-match lamp collection, it’s marvelous. Although, for someone who deliberates far too long over every little decision, it can get a little dangerous.

WARNING: I apologize for the poor quality of these pictures. My 6-year-old digital camera has begun to show it’s age (we’re registered for a new one, so I’m trying my darnedest to restrain myself from buying a new one), and these are taken with my iPod touch.

Last night I was haunted by dreams of furniture-arrangement dilemmas (thank goodness we don’t actually have 10 armchairs to fit in our living room). But during my waking hours, I’ve been daydreaming of paint colors (muted green), giant mirrors (on the wall of our dining area), and bookshelves (how to cover the tape marks on my childhood furniture??).

We have a lot to do between now and April 25. But I can’t complain, as the end result will be waking up next to, cooking dinner with, and grocery shopping with my one-and-only.