For Kevin’s Birthday I got him a glass terrarium kit from Red Envelope.  It came with the container, dirt, plants & rocks needed to build a pretty little terrarium.

We enlisted Liam’s help to get it started.  First we spread a layer of rocks/gravel on the bottom of the container.  The container is not water tight so it does have to sit on something to protect the surface you put it on.


Next we added some charcoal pellets to the rocks

And then the layer of mossy stuff

After Liam stuck the spoon in the dirt and ate a tablespoon, it was time for Monkey to take his place as helper.

Dirt went in on top of the moss.

Next we unwrapped the cute little ferns & placed them randomly around in the dirt.

Monkey approved the placement.

Some lighter green moss went in around the plants.

And then a few little rocks for decoration.  We might add some people/animals to the scene at some point – like this – but for now it’s done!  Monkey approved.

It looks pretty cool as a centerpiece on our bar.  It’s been a couple months since we put it together and so far everything is still alive.

UPDATE: After another month or so – this thing is dead as a doornail!


Linked to The Style Sisters

Nursery – Rearranged

I rearranged Liam’s nursery and it has been much more functional now that he is a toddler.  Before the room felt a little cramped even though it’s the biggest bedroom in the house other than the master.   The glider was shoved in the corner between the crib & changing table and since he’s gotten taller this became a hazardous for Liam’s head.

After – I moved the chair to the opposite corner of the room & made space by moving the Expedit shelf to our master closet where it made a big improvement and moving his chest of drawers down a few feet.  I moved the art around a little as well – the Kings of Leon poster moved into the office.

Books are in 2 baskets on the floor next to the glider so he can easily pick out what he wants to read at bedtime.

Cute little flying piggy bank he was given by Kevin’s aunt.  We picked up the giraffe at FAO Schwarz in NYC on a trip before Liam was born.  The block letters were a gift from Liam’s cousin Eli.

We really don’t use Liam’s closet much since his clothes all fit into the dresser & there is a separate linen closet for the sheets and towels, so I just moved his few toys that we keep in his room (most are in the playroom & basement) to the floor of the closet.

Here is the attached bathroom.  Love the frog toy scoop.

I painted the whale after I saw the idea on Pinterest.

This cute graphic came from this Etsy shop to add a little color & life to the bathroom since we haven’t painted this room & don’t have plans to anytime soon.


Office Makeover

Our office finally got a makeover!  After over a year of working in an off-white bland box, I’m excited to get to work from home here:

Last time I shared the office – it looked like this.  Blah.  No color, ugly fan, brown blinds.

Since neither Kevin or I was too eager to paint above the stairs using a ladder scaffold like this:

We decided to bring in the pros again to paint the office.  We combined the project with wood rot repair & painting for most of our exterior windows & a few pieces of trim.   That was a big project & even though it doesn’t change the overall look of the house it was necessary for maintenance.  We used Greenwave Solutions again for this project & they did a great job and were easy to work with.

Back to the office…

The wall color is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (mixed by Sherwin Williams) and SW Snowbound for the trim (matches the rest of the house).    The color is hard to photograph accurately – it changes between grey & greige depending on the light but it goes well with the existing carpet & looks good from the kitchen.

Kevin and I also had an AWESOME time replacing the ceiling fan last Sunday.  It’s pretty cool for a fan & the black finish looks much better in the room than the old one but it was a PITA to install.  This room can get pretty warm in the summer with the light coming in from the windows & the warm air rising into the high ceilings in the foyer so a ceiling fan is a must.

We replaced the old brown blinds with white and it is a much lighter, fresher look with the new white trim.  Kevin had to install the blind on the left by crawling out of the right window, standing on the roof of the screen porch & reaching in the window with the drill to install the brackets.

I really like how the clocks turned out.  Many of the people who I work with regularly are outside the US so I thought it would be fun to give the office a global touch.   The clocks are from Ikea & I ordered the city name decals from Etsy.

The area over the bookcase looked lonely & this frame my dad gave me for a different project but fit perfectly so I filled with cute family pictures from the past year.

My chalkboard project has a fun story.   I bought the frame for $25 from a art auction at work.  The art department was disposing of a bunch of pieces so there was a silent auction on my floor one day and the proceeds went to United Way.  No one wanted this one so I got it cheap.

I painted the frame with one coat of SW Grand Canal from a sample.  There is still some gold peeking through that gives it a litttle texture/vintage look.  The inner trim piece the same color as the office walls.   I tried using chalkboard paint to paint over the camels but that didn’t work out – the board just bubbled up.  We went back to Home Depot to get a piece of hardboard to paint with chalk board paint & instead found a 2’x4′ sheet of chalkboard!  Score!  That saved several steps (& weeks).  The opening was exactly the width of the board so it only took one cut with the circular saw & it was done.  I dropped it in the frame, primed it with some chalk and hung it up.

Please excuse my kindergarten effort at art – chalk is hard to write with.  I’ve ordered a chalk mechanical pencil that I hope will be more successful.

Kevin got me this awesome level for my birthday that made hanging this & everything else in the office SOO easy.  It is around 3′ long & has 2 sliding “targets” that allow you to space where the nails need to go so it’s really easy to mark the spots & know they are level without trial & error.  If only the fan had been that easy…

Overall the office has come a long way from where we started.  I enjoyed my first work from home day there last week now that is no longer a boring off white box!


Linked to Between Naps on the Porch, Home Stories A to Z