Friday, November 26, 2010


I have an ample stash of pinecones that Sean and I retrieved about 6 years ago from Fort Benning.  I have such fond memories of hitting the less beaten path and scouring around for the best ones.  We filled up the entire Jimmy (RIP) with these large pinecones.  I have given many away over the years and they are a staple to my Christmas decorating...mostly because:
a.  they are free
b.  they have sentimental meaning to me (and I am such a sap for things like pun intended)
c.  I like them :)

Anyways, in this house, I don't seem to have many places to display things.  Both in Columbus and Boston, I seemed to have many more shelves/nooks, etc.  So...this is probably a good thing for me...hopefully it will encourage me to continue to donate/sell things that I simply don't need. 

Back to the topic...I recently saw a cute idea where someone painted some pine cones white and then strung them across a window on the second level of a bunk bed.  It got me thinking about somehow trying to adapt that idea for our house. 

My mom helped me while she was here (thanks again, Mom!) and we tried to first string them (using baker's twine) across the window, but that just looked silly.  So, I am still not sure that I am in love with this idea, but I love the fact that I can see these sentimental objects!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bear Mountain

Recently, I have had a thing for Carousel rides.  Okay, I guess it is just since Paddy has been born.  We took him to the one in Central Park, and recently, on his birthday, we took him to the Bear Mountain Carousel.  Bear Mountain is such a great park to visit anyway, and I hope we will continue to take advantage of being so close to it.

The ride only cost $1/person, and Paddy was free - I can't remember what the age cutoff is for a free ride...but you can't beat $1 ticket!!

The beautiful building that houses the carousel...

Love the detail...
We had to get a bear for Paddy to ride on...he loved it.
If you are ever in the Hudson Valley, this is definitely a place to check can rent cottages, go hiking, rent paddle boats, go to their zoo, have a picnic and use the CUTEST grills ever...what more could you want after seeing this owl grill?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Red Hook

Sean learned about this amazingly generous program that some BB owners take part in where they give free rooms to Veteran's on Veteran's Day.  Sean booked us at the Red Hook Inn, about an hour and a half north of here in beautiful upstate NY.  Because my mom came in early, we were able to do our first official getaway without baby.

We arrived in time to grab a drink in Rhinebeck at Terapin, which is a restaurant located in an old church.  Having a yummy cocktail with my husband at a nice restaurant reminded me of our DINK (dual income no kids) days...ahhh, how the times have changed.  It was fun to get out to a somewhat swanky place, even though I felt/looked like I had a long day with an almost one year old :)  We then went to Flatiron Grill for a scrumptious dinner.  The next day we hit up all the local antique and cute gift shops before heading home.  I love trips like this because they always feed my soul and provide lots of unexpected and welcome inspiration...

Since I am such a detail lover, I loved that the B&B always had fresh chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa in the foyer.  They also had a 24 hour snack station area, which I think is genius.  It can't cost them that much, but little touches like that can go such a long way.  They also had a vast library of DVDs and interesting books.  Nice.

Here is some of the inspiration...

French Fries with Wasabi dipping sauce...need to re-create..

Vermont Cheddar Ale soup with homemade pretzel...need to make those homemade pretzels again, pronto.

Many thanks to the beautiful Red Hook Inn for their incredibly generous Veteran's Day deal...

This antique store was by appointment only, and I was so tempted to try to break in because their merchandise was so cool and even more beautifully displayed.  I had a hard time walking away from this store...

 look at those shovels!  LOVE.

Then we went to a very cool paint and gift shop, Tivoli Mercantile.

They have colored chalkboard  Loved the vintage ornament display.
They also had a great book that Paddy will be getting for Christmas - No No Yes Yes by Leslie Patricelli.  I felt like this was written for a very 'curious' one year old like our Sean Patrick.

Love these flashcards suspended from string...would be fun to make different sayings...

I love scales and when I saw this huge vintage one, I decided that this would be something I would love in a dream house kitchen.
We then went to Rhinebeck where we hit up the cigar shop and a few antique places (overpriced...or, I guess, more appropriately, out of our price range).  We then grabbed some slices of pizza, and then stopped in Grand Cru - a Beer and Cheese shop (genius!) to bring home a mix and match 6 pack of local beer and some stinky Hudson Valley cheese for happy hour before the Toby Keith concert here at West Point....ahhh, what a day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lucky Find.

Since we have moved in, I have been wanting to figure out some way to conceal this large, unsightly radiator in our entryway.  It is unfortunately some wasted space, so I have been hoping to stumble across a radiator cover for a VERY cheap price since this is something I won't really be able to use after living here.

In a series of lucky coincidences, my friend Jen grabbed one for me from Habitat for Humanity's REStore in Newburgh.  It was intended to a be a tall radiator cover, but after sitting down and conquering my fear of using my jigsaw (yes, I actually read the directions - and that almost never happens), making a few cuts, and flipping the cover on its is now re-sized to fit our radiator.  I may paint it, but it is fine for now.  It was the the most lucky find, and I am so thankful to Jen for saving my mom, Paddy and I the trip!

The Find...the open end that you see here should have been the bottom, but I figured, I could make this the 'right' side of the cover as it would pretty much bump up against a wall and not be very noticeable. 



If I am being completely honest, it is just one more place for me to put a bunch of stuff that I probably don't need to have out.  But...this pretty milk glass bowl can catch our keys which always seem to be scattered around, and at least it looks prettier.  I find myself looking at this more than the has definitely brightened my last few days!

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's about that time...

For pinecones, berries and greens, oh my!

And maybe a Christmas candle and some carols too!

Fill 'er up...

These make me want to paint something green. 

I used to dread the chore of pumping gas.  Now I find that it is an errand that I don't mind just because it means not having to pull Paddy out of his carseat and then fight to get him back in.  I would be so happy to pump my own gas if the pumps were still this cute.

My mom and I saw these in Cold Spring the other day, so I had to stop to get a picture!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kiddo Chairs

When I went to order these chairs for Paddy's birthday about eight weeks ago, my worst nightmare came true.  I have had these chairs on the brain since I saw them on say YES to hoboken and Oh Happy Day.  And, granted, I love getting six chairs for $20, but since that isn't always feasible, I figured that these would be a splurge, but I was willing to do it.  I finally caved and decided I need to get on to ordering these so that they would arrive in time for the big day.  I looked at the website and it is said the dreaded words, Sorry Temporarily Out of Stock.  I searched and searched, and all the others that I found were at LEAST double the price of these.  BOO.  I emailed Room Service to see if this really meant that they were 'temporarily out of stock' or if they were 'forever' out of stock so that I knew if I needed to give up my dreams.  When I didn't hear back via email, I decided to go old school and pick up the phone and call.

Dreams can come true, ladies and gentleman.  They just got a bunch of chairs in stock!!  Hooray.  They arrived a few days before his birthday, we had an assembly party before the Toby Keith concert, and now Paddy thinks they are his new walkers that he can push all over or his new climbing toy.  NOTE - these are not very heavy chairs...especially not to hold a very tall, climbing one year old.  The cuteness makes up for the light frame, in my opinion.  Up next...hopefully a table to go along with poor dad :)

Lesson - don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call!!  The Room Service website is STILL showing they are out of stock :)

Two labs...

We saw the perfect wooden toy for Paddy at The Black Dog store in Newburyport before we left Boston.  I took a picture of it and texted my dad to see if he might be able to recreate it for Paddy.  He hit this one out of the park...

Could this be any cuter?  He even cut out little ears for the lab.  Paddy has been pulling it around, and my heart just sings every time I see him with this new creation from his grandpa.

We can't thank you enough, dad :)  Glory says thanks too...she thinks it is a pretty good looking replica of herself :)

Monday, November 15, 2010


We went from this...(pre moving in...notice the standard mirror - can you see how they placed two nice big screws in the middle of the top and bottom of the wood frame?  Genius design move.)

To this...(horrible paint color choice, meghan!)

To this...

Now I just need to work on the side wall!  I am still hoping for a collection of unique mirrors painted white...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our sweet smiley boy.

Hard to believe that our sweet smiley boy is one today.  We can't wait for all the milestones, memories, smiles and hugs to come. 

'A year of Paddy' has consumed our stairwell art.  It is fun to reminisce through all these photos, and the best part is seeing Paddy's face every time we go up or down the stairs...he smiles at himself the whole way!

Happy first birthday, Sean Patrick!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Got one!

Finally, eBay and I can be friends again.  I got a mirror for the gray bathroom.

This girl is in the process of becoming glossy white as we speak.

I only wish that the mirror was a little bit longer.  When you have a house full of tall people, I always worry that mirrors/art/etc. will be too high for those shorter than us :)


Veteran's Day is such a special day.  It makes me reflect on all the sacrifice that all the men and women in uniform have made.  I am so thankful to live in this great country and have all the freedoms that we do.  As Toby Keith said tonight, here at West Point, "Never apologize for being patriotic. 'em."

Today makes me think back to Sean's deployments, to homecomings, to news of friends who have been injured while deployed, to news of babies being born (our godson) while the dad was gone, to weeks upon weeks without a call from my husband, to hearing of friends reunions on R&R and how their children quickly took to their dad, to unbreakable friendships that this Army life has helped us form, and most of all, to my husband and his selfless service.  My heart just swells with pride when I think about Sean and what he has chosen to do with his life.

Today also makes me remember our Vietnam Vets who were never treated with the amount of respect that they should have been given.  They are true heroes.

Today is one of those days that helps me put things back into perspective.  Time to forget about the silly things that I can let myself get upset about and just be thankful for the fact that, right now, I get to see my husband every day.  Several of my very dear friends and their children are without their husbands/dads today as they are still deployed.  I am incredibly grateful to their husbands and to them, for their service at home. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In Progress - Half Bath

So, I was hoping to have all these blog posts about all the 'finished' rooms in our house and be happy with everything that I posted.  However, a few things...

1.  Our rooms are NEVER totally done...something can always be tweaked.
2.  I was starting to feel like I wasn't being very authentic if I waited for everything to be picture ready...
3.  I would never have ANY posts if I waited for things to be perfect or until I had the budget to buy everything I wanted :)

So, I figured I might as well post about progress and mishaps...trying to 'keep it real'.

So, our half bath...first, it was painted yellow.  It was a very last second color choice that I was never very happy with/sure about.  Again, trying to find something to go with the oak accents felt challenging to me.  After seeing the yellow on the walls, I knew it had to go. 

(Please notice how the towel rack was hung so close to the toilet paper that you almost can't find the toilet paper!  That has since been fixed.)
 The white accessories don't pop at all...

So, the yellow went.  Welcome, gray.  (By the way, I think it is so funny how I have been so anti-gray for so many years, and now I can't seem to get enough of it.  Just one more reminder why I have to remain open minded.)
My Goodwill elephant and some of my milk glass finds...

I love the color...I matched it to the Ikea floor mat.  I decided it might be fun to find some cheap mirrors to paint glossy white and hang on the wall.  This is the most 'petite' bathroom I have ever been in, so maybe the addition of mirrors may make it feel a *little* bigger??

I have been SEARCHING, and SEARCHING on eBay.  I feel like I don't know the right search words to you ever feel like that?  I, of course, don't want to spend much, and thought I wouldn't have any issues after getting such a steal on my federal mirror!  Well, that hasn't turned out to be true...I have lost several last second eBay is killing me!!  I would share a picture of the mirror that I am bidding on, but OH.  I was just outbid.

I will keep you posted if I make any progress...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pelmet Boxes...

Our kitchen really needed a little something..some infusion of color, for sure.  And, fabric that would tie together the buttercup yellow walls with my red matted "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" print.

Once again, I relied on Jenny's instructions.  I followed her tutorial on how to make Pelmet boxes

I ordered two yards of Robert Allen's Kiki Pinata fabric.  I was hoping it would be enough to serve as a curtain to cover up the space below a shorter section of the kitchen counter and to make a couple of pelmet boxes.

I used some leftover boxes from our move, and got to work.

First, I cut shapes out of the boxes...(notice that the larger box has two folds in it due to the size of the box I used...this has since caused some issues b/c the pelmet box is now bowing out in those spots!)

I tried to reinforce those spots...but that wasn't good enough :)
Then, I laid the batting out, and cut it to size.  Then, I repeated that with the fabric.
Then, I used the staple gun and securely attached the batting/fabric.  It took me a while to figure out how to hang these bad boys, but I finally 'screwed' small eye hooks that I had from some picture hanging kits into the back of the pelmet box, and hung the eye hooks from some picture hangers that I nailed into the wall...see below picture...

Eye hook...

Then I slid the hook onto the bottom picture hanger...

I love the pop of color...the larger pelmet box is bowing out on the folds in the box, so I REALLY need to fix that :)

I used the fabric for the pelmet boxes and as curtain coming down from this random section of counter that was set lower than the rest.  We stash Glory's food, our recycling bins, and a three drawer organizer behind the curtain...thank goodness for hiding places!