Monday, March 3, 2014

Upstairs Kid Bathroom

What I was going for: Safari Bungalow Bath
What I achieved: Awesome Safari Bungalow Bath*

Thank you!
So what do I mean by Safari Bungalow? I wanted the kids bathroom to be a fun place that straddled that line between juvenile and not TOO juvenile. I didn't want to have to redecorate in five years or so. The bathroom needed to look like a bungalow bathroom if you were on safari somewhere: a loose jungle theme with bright pops of green with some classy hardware to finish it off. I also didn't want the hardware to be too matchy matchy.

See the towel rack on the first picture.
We have some modern hardware on the vanity that I liked and wanted to keep some of those modern lines. In an effort to compliment that modernity, I selected a soap dispenser/garbage can/bathmat combo that had a more modern feel. Then with the toilet paper and towel racks and hooks I followed the modern lines, with a different finish on the metal.

For the sink faucet, shower curtain rings, and hand towel rack I selected a more ornate bamboo feel. Which amazing plumber installed that sink  you ask? Oh, that is right, me. I did. Sure, Big Steve came to the house and held my hand during the process.

I love these great illustrations and frames. The angles are difficult so I didn't get a great picture of the other prints hanging, though you can see pictures of them if you scroll on up. They capture the whimsical feel without being too cutesy which was hard. They add the perfect element to the bathroom and really make it a warm space.

And Ta Da! I installed a toilet seat. This was the first item I purchased for the bath and the first of my installations. In the lower photo you will find my two helpers as they are drumming on the seat, because what else would you do with a toilet seat?

Now lets talk about some extras. I needed a place to store the toothbrushes, toothpaste, q-tips, cotton balls, etc. Of course I also needed a fake plant, some towels, and some cheesy grinning Squirmy. He does this thing where he closes his eyes now when he smiles for pictures. Weird. You can also see the base boards that we painted a shiny white! I could write epic poems about painting anything with my husband, but I will spare you... for now.

Special thanks goes out to: 2 8x8 prints, 1 12x12 print. The shop out of Canada can be found on Etsy and was great to work with. The 12x12 was a custom order and they got it out fast. I would recommend them for any projects you are doing, particularly things for kids that you don't want to look fun and yet sophisticated
Signed and Numbered: 2 8x8 picture frames, 1 12x12 frame. Another Etsy gem, but they have a shop in SLC, so I can cruise on by and pick up more frames anytime. The pics don't do justice to the craftsmanship.
Ikea: Toilet seat, toilet paper dispense, robe hook, towel rack, fake bamboo plant, bamboo pot, decorative baskets, cat tail shower curtain. Seriously, I am so glad I married the Beardocrat and he turned me on to the joy that is IKEA!
Home Faucet, hand towel rack.
Target: 2 brown/tan towels, 2 brown/tan hand towels, 1 tan wash cloth, bath mat, trash can, soap dispenser. Even though they compromised all my personal informations at various times during the holiday season, I still can't get enough.
Lowes: Shower curtain rings, white paint for baseboards.
Alan Wilson: Manual labor, hours talking about bathrooms, patience, $$ to redecorate. :x
Steven E. Sweat: Assistance with sink faucet.

*What didn't turn out perfect: I didn't replace the tile, mirror, vanity, light fixture, or the current window treatment. Though I can promise to replace the window treatment, I probably will not replace the other things. They aren't ideal, but I can live with them, as this was a primarily cosmetic remodel.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Things I Have Learned About Myself... Bathroom Remodel Edition Part One

*Backstory: Our house has four full bathrooms. I have never been a decorator. I simply have never cared what a house LOOKS like. I am more concerned about ceiling height and flow. My only opinions when it comes to decor are that vinyl letters are disgusting, and I like clean walls.

I am not sure how it happened, or why, but earlier last year I decided that we needed to do something about the bathrooms. When we moved in initially, I knew we'd need new shower curtains, but I thought that was it. Months later, still without proper shower curtains, we decided we needed to redecorate all of them.

I think all this transpired around the time we decided to put our townhome on the market and I started watching home improvement shows while I was at the gym. It began innocently enough with shows about selling homes so I could nod and grumble and relate. Then it morphed into DIY shows on hulu and shows about Sweat Equity and then Bang For Your Buck. While I was watching these pseudo educational programs I realized that I DID have some opinions about what I was seeing. I had LOTS of opinions. With the bathrooms, I could put those many opinions into practice. Now that I am engaged in the process, I've learned the following things.

Thing One: I am a control freak
This, I will admit, I've been told a time or two. If I ever doubted it, I certainly have proof. Before I began the process, I planned. And planned. And planned. The Beardocrat asked me to make a pinterest board (I know, I rolled my eyes as well, but apparently my use of "You know it will look kind of like brown, with some green" didn't evoke the mental images I'd supposed they would) so he could see what I was going for. Then he offered opinions. I DID NOT APPRECIATE THOSE OPINIONS. See, control freak.

Thing Two: I believe in loose themes
I do. I believe in them, but when people get too literal about them... I think it goes into cheeseville, which is not what I want in my bathroom. For the kids' bathroom upstairs I wanted a jungle theme. I can not express just how difficult it has been to find things that aren't cheesy, and that work with the vanity which I did not want to replace. Themes are important. They tie things together. Also, when you say jungle and kids all the sudden you only find cartoon artwork. Finally FINALLY on etsy, I was able to find some art work that I found acceptable.

Thing Three: Champaign taste, beer budget
I guess that isn't necessarily true. I am cheap, independent of size of budget. I gave myself pretty low budgets and looked into salvaging everything I could from the current bathrooms. Now that I am actually spending money for hardware and accessories, I realize that I like the good stuff. I like quality. I like beautiful fixtures. I like the idea of walking into something that looks like a model bathroom... I just don't want to PAY for it.

Thing Four: I hate throwing good things away
Many of the items in our bathrooms are serviceable, and not exactly ugly. They just don't fit with what I am trying to do. They don't work with my 'vision'. So I truly agonized over form versus function on this one. I despise getting rid of functional things, until I found out I could donate the hardware to Habitat for Humanity and they could be used by people who needed them. I still feel pangs about the loss, but they are lessened knowing the goods will find a new and appreciative home.

Thing Five: I have a vision
Like Lehi of old, I have a vision. I can see it in my mind, and it is awesome. One bathroom overflowing with hipster cherry blossoms, one in nautical victorian inspired, and on happy jungle oasis for children who will never understand the amount of effort that went into my dream. The Beardocrat does NOT have the vision, and as I said, I have a difficult time explaining what I see in terms the graphic designer might understand.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Our House is a Very Very Fine House...

Well, folks, we did it. We sold our townhome. I've  been approaching this day with mixed feelings. We haven't lived there for over a year, so it isn't as though we are scrambling to move and don't know where we are going. We are comfortably established in The Hills, and life is nice. The mixed feelings come with saying goodbye to a place that meant a lot to the Beardocrat and I as a family. I suppose I will have to tell you the whole story so you understand what I mean.

2009- The Beardocrat and I got engaged in February and kept moving up the wedding date. Eventually we settled on 24 April 2009. This left us about two months to find a house, buy a house, move into that house all while working full time and planning a wedding. We used my friend Casey's realtor, because my trajectory in life seemed to follow Casey's closely at that moment in time. I should blog about that another time, but I probably won't. We knew that we would only stay in this first home about 3-5 years, so we wanted something without much yard, not too big, vaulted ceilings. I have a thing about high ceilings. I have to have em. When our realtor showed us this new construction townhome, I didn't even want to go look at it. It sat smack in between two railroads and was close to several schools. After hemming and hawing we went to see it, and the place just felt right. It felt like home. We loved the open floor plan, all the LINEN CLOSETS (our current place has zero linen closets. I know, right? What kind of a place doesn't have closets for linens!?). So we did the new home buyer stuff, put in an offer, signed paperwork at 1:00 AM one evening after an Andrew Bird concert and before we left for Colorado at 2:30 AM. It was a whirlwind adventure, lets put it that way. And on the 18th of April we moved in most of our stuff.

Moving day. I am the girl. My brother is there and our Home Teachers. Good guys.

The townhome was where Alan and I stayed before we left on our honeymoon. It was where we planted (and promptly killed) an herb garden. It was where we ate dinners on the floor before we bought furniture. It was where we discovered we would be parents for the first time... and the second time, surprise! It was where I read books. Where the Beardocrat played Starcraft II. It was where we entertained our friends and family. It was where I threw up incessantly for nine months waiting for Squirmy to arrive, and the place we, as two bumbling first time parents, learned the ins and outs of baby gates, child proofing, and that we would never own anything nice again. It was where we played board games and drank Martinelli's on the date of the first snowfall of the year. It was the birthplace of our family tradition. The townhome was where I had a life changing career switch and spent many, many, MANY nights awake with Squirmy while he explored the world. It is the location where I embraced wearing stretchy clothing. In short, the townhome meant a lot.

When we knew that we were moving, and we started looking for our second home, I was worried that I would never feel the same way about a place again. I worried that I would not get that Crosby Stills Nash and Young feeling of closeness and comfort in another location. After all, the townhome was OURS, no one else had ever lived there. I am happy to report that the moment I walked into our home in The Hills, I did feel that it belonged to us, and we've made beautiful memories here as well, but it will never be the FIRST home that the Beardocrat and I made our own, together. So it is with a fond farewell that we signed the closing paperwork this morning. The townhome is no longer ours, but the memories are, and I can't wait to drive there one day with my grand kids and show them our first place. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Life Motto A

Never call something 'so stinkin' cute' when it is simply cute.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Crouching Line"

Squirmy's Handiwork

It is time to extol the virtues of my offspring. Young Squirmy has decided that he loves cars. This is actually nothing new, he has been lining up cars since... well since he learned to sort things which was very early on. This summer he's discovered Pixar's Cars which he calls "Race Cars". Now the latest installment of his car love is the discovery of Cake's Going the Distance

First off, who doesn't love Cake (the band and the food!)? One morning The Beardocrat entered Squirmy's room to discover him listening to Going the Distance on the iPod he has in his room. As The Beardocrat started singing, Squirmy chimed in as well... AND HE KNEW ALL THE WORDS! That is no small task There are a LOT of words in that song. There is nothing like hearing a two year old sing, "They deftly maneuver..." He wants to listen and sing "Crouching Line" all the time. He even requests two white colored pencils as his drumsticks so he can drum and sing. 

I know that other parents are proud of all As or that their children have mastered riding their bikes or that they've built orphanages in South America or other mundane achievements, but I am THRILLED that Squirmy loves to sing "Crouching Line".

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Evolution of a Ladybug

 Ladybug's first day at home... so confused with remnant of sticky hair bow.
                      Ladybug's blessing day. Frilly pink dress and attentive Beardocrat.
       Just showing the world how to look this good while swathed in layers of tulle. She rocks it.

I am an only girl. I played with trucks, in the mud, and despised personal grooming. Despite my love of cocktail dresses and pedicures, I still consider myself a 'not very feminine' female. When I got pregnant with the world famous Squirmy I really hoped for a boy. When I got pregnant with Ladybug, I also wanted a boy. I can recall the ultrasound revealing the gener and the Beardocrat and I were like, "Meh". You could tell the ultrasound tech was surprised and felt bad for poor, unborn, Ladybug.

I wish I could describe the metamorphosis. From utter fear and a 'what am I going to do with her' mentality, to liking her oh, so much. Having a little girl is just different from having a little boy. Both the Beardocrat and I agree. Little Ladybug is not super affectionate (unlike unto Squirmy who begs for cuddles) and one day the Beardocrat said in exasperation, "I just want to cuddle my little girl!" but she was busy arching her back and trying to get away from him. :)

Part of the reason I feel I relate to Ladybug differently is that I suppose I understand what her life might be like, being a girl myself. Now, I don't know if she will be like me, at this point she doesn't seem to have many of my personality traits, but who knows? But I feel like certain events that will take place in her life, are events that have already taken place in mine, and I will be able to relate to her in a way that I won't be able to relate to Squirmy. Maybe it is her sweetness, or the whole sugar and spice thing, but our whole family seems to gravitate to Miss Ladybug to shower her with kisses, cuddles, and to make her smile and laugh.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I am going to write a little snapshot of my day, for your reading enjoyment.

Time: 12:26 PM (which means afternoon... I know the whole AM/PM thing gets dicey around noon)
What I am up to: Blogging, obviously.
What I am REALLY up to: Avoiding packing for an overnight trip to my ancestral home while listening to the sounds of Portishead AND Squirmy who is running around in his room even though he should be napping.
What I am wearing: PJs, yep, still in the PJs, I have yet to brave real clothing today.
What I look like: AWESOME. My hair is in braids, I am wearing my reading glasses, and I probably look slightly drowsy because the Beardocrat and I went to bed WAY too late last night.
What I have accomplished today: All the children are alive, fed, and relatively clean. A load of laundry. Slight straightening of the kitchen and a gchat w/ Scandrew (smithfieldman) about current events and KBYU TV which neither of us actually get. Had a dance party with Squirmy.

So a pretty slow day over here, because it is about to get a whole lot more real. I am on my way to put Squirmy down for a SECOND time, and actually load up Forrest with pesky things like diapers, and blankets etc.

Until Next Time