Friday, February 25, 2011


I've heard of women nesting when they become pregnant, but I think I may need to coin the term "pre-nesting" if it hasn't already been coined. My husband and I have recently made the decision to start our family and I have gone on a home improvement rampage. I've always enjoyed updating small details in rooms from time to time, but now that I know we could have a baby in the very near future, I have this (almost) uncontrollable urge to truly turn our house into a home.

My latest conquest was our full bathroom. I wish I would have taken a true "before" picture (before I put up pictures or added decorations). The best I can do is paint a mental picture: an aqua blue shower curtain that shrunk in the dryer and became too short, grimy looking towel hooks/paper towel holder, a patch the size of a dinner plate on the wall by the towel paper holder, and a padded toilet seat that had definitely seen better days (something about using a padded toilet seat that had previous owners creeps me out). The picture I took before I painted still shows a major improvement. I tried to be practical since A) we're renting & B) we've got a little more than 2 years left here.

I tried to ignore the annoying buttery yellow color on the walls, the ugly patch, and the less than attractive towels hooks/toilet paper holder. I tried, and succeeded, for 8 months... until one day I just snapped. On a whim, I picked out a new shower curtain. This led to a new bathmat, coordinating hand towels, two pictures to hang, two candle holders + candles, and a matching soap pump/covered to go with the trash can I already had.

Once I got my new little pretties up, I could not bare the thought of that horrible buttery yellow on the walls any longer. Then I thought of the color my husband suggested when I talked about wanting to paint the bathroom long ago... gray. I had not given his suggestion much thought at the time, but it suddenly just clicked. I dragged Mike to Home Depot a couple of days later, stared at various shades of gray for about ten minutes, and settled on Behr's "Graceful Gray". Once I got it on the walls, I knew it was absolutely the perfect choice... I've got the pictures to prove it...

Before: better with the new decorations, but the butter yellow is still not cutting it

After: Ahhh, much better with the Graceful Gray

After: I call the bathroom's look "Beach Chic"

I wish I could wow everyone with an incredible budget, but the makeover kind of just happened. For future home improvements, I hope to make planning & budgeting a bigger part of the mission. Anyway, here is a rough rundown of what I got and what I spent...

Behr paint in Graceful Gray: $32

Towel bar/toilet paper holder set from Home Depot: about $47

Shower Curtain from Kohl's: on sale @ $32.99

Seahorse Pillar Candle Holders from Kohl's: on sale @ $9.00 & $6.75 (if I am remembering correctly, they were 55% off at the time).

Short Pillar Candle & Tall Pillar Candle from Kohl's: on sale @ $4.95 & $4.50 (I think these were also 55% off at the time of purchase. Normally, I would not include such a small detail... but these candles smell absolutely heavenly. Even when they are unlit, my bathroom smells a-maz-ing!

Bathmat similar to this one (from the same brand) from Kohl's: on sale @ $8.99

Hand Towels both from Kohl's: on sale @ $5.99 each

Framed Art both from Kohl's: on sale @ $24.99 each (I can't find a link, but the artist is Cynthia Coulter)

Soap pump & covered dish on the sink both from Home Goods: $9.99 & $7.99 (they are beautiful & made from 100% recycled glass).

Grand Total = about $226.12. I didn't realize I'd spent that much, but it's not so bad when you consider that the price includes paint, hardware, some linens, wall art, & quite a few accessories. Oops, I forgot about the toilet seat, so tack on another $15 or so to that total.

Items already owned: small green vase (purchased @ Ross for $3.99 years ago), coordinating trash can to the soap pump & covered dish (purchased @ Home Goods a few months ago for $19.99), shower curtain hooks (purchased on sale @ Kmart months ago for $8.99).

I know I could have worked harder to complete a similar look under a better budget, but I am completely happy with the bathroom (as in: I inhale deeply and let out a 100% content sigh every time I walk into the bathroom). I was feeling a bit superficial for swooning over a room because of material items, but then I considered something else. While it is basically just a room with stuff in it, now it reflects my (and my hubby's too) personality and it brings me a feeling of comfort. So, all this "pre-nesting" business is an effort to create spaces in the rooms throughout our house that make it a HOME. What better gift can we give to ourselves and our baby-to-be than a peaceful home that brings all of us both comfort and joy?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sooooooooooooo...'s been a while. My trip to CA was fantastic! I should write a post to recap before I forget all the details. Long story short... family*friends*disneyland*beach*sunshine*warmth*shopping*good food*HOME

Not much has happened since I've returned to IL. Just snow... lots and lots of snow. We had a blizzard last week that brought ridiculous amounts of snow and it's snowed a couple more times after. Enough.snow.already. Pleeeeeeeeeeaseeeeeeeeee!

On a happy note, I am very pleased to be home with Mike and the kitties. I did miss them quite a bit... it's saying a lot if I came back to IL for them ;D As much as I complain, I know it could be worse. Life goes on. It's not as if the snow stops us from having a life. We actually had a completely full weekend, which has not really happened since leaving CA. I was invited to a brunch on Saturday. I wasn't looking forward to it since I did not know anyone there really well, but I ended up having a really good time. Saturday night was game night. It had been on hold since I had gone on vacation, so it was nice to get back into it. Of course the girls beat the boys... that's nothing new ;) We were invited to a Super Bowl party on Sunday. Again, I was kind of dreading it, but that turned out to be fun as well.

I'll leave you with some pictures I've taken over the last week and a half. No captions needed, really... just pictures of my driveway & yard covered in LOTS of snow.