Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to decorate my loft or, an overly long story about carpet.

Because my life wouldn't be complete if I didn't have something shallow and meaningless to stress out about, I am currently plagued with the constant thought of how to decorate my loft.

Here's the deal.
I knew almost instantly what I wanted to do with the downstairs but, for whatever reason have been unable to come up with a design plan for the upstairs. Most of my indecision and stress can be attributed to one thing. My carpet. It's basically the color of tan carpet after about 200 kids walked on it with their rain and dirt soaked shoes. I know what you are thinking, "um Allison, didn't you pick the color out?" Why yes, as a matter of fact I did. And yes, I did purposely choose a medium toned neutral (insert medium toned boring) color on purpose because I knew I wouldn't want something that I had to worry about keeping clean, or a color that would force me to incorporate it into a color scheme.
So at the design center I was down to two choices. We'll call choice number one 12 grain wheat bread and choice number 12 grain bread that fell in a puddle. In other words tan or grayish tan. My initial thought was the fresh bread, but both Christian and John liked the puddle bread better and so after much deliberation puddle bread won.

But I can't seem to shake the idea that it looks a little like dirty carpet. I keep telling myself that it won't once you add in about 1200 sq feet and more doses of natural light than are necessary but the thought still lingers. It stays and whispers to me like an annoying little dwarf peeping over my shoulder.

I told you that story so that I could tell you this one. (Bill Cosby anyone?)
I know that what we have is a loft but what I want is the feel of a den. You know that warm, cozy, slightly dark, comfy furniture, come stay and relax kind of room. So I'm naturally drawn to the darker gray and taupe colored walls. I wont do gray because that is what is going in the MB and taupe is well, taupe. I'm more of cool than a warm palette kinda girl so I wont be doing any reds or oranges. But maybe a cool toned chocolate milk brown? I don't know.


I spent some time searching the internets for inspiration. I just saved every picture I liked that didn't look like my downstairs.

Notice a trend?
I'll let you guess which one is my favorite. And obviously any input is VERY much appreciated.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to follow my blog. aka, A post for my mother.

For those of you needing a little more assistance with following and commenting on my blog, (ahem, mom) here is some VERY detailed help.

To become a follower.
When you are a follower the comments you post will have your name next to them. You will also be notified via email when there is a new post.

Step 1:

This is what you see when you pull up my blog. See that followers box on the left?

Yes, this one. Press the button that says, Join this site.

This window will come up.

Sign in to your email account. Yes, you must have one of these choices. And quite frankly if you don't have gmail you should. Cause its just better. Way way better. But if you don't there was a little link at the bottom that says "Don't have any of these? Create a new google account." Click there and follow the directions. And yes you can forward all your email from your old address to your new one.

If you had clicked on google it would look like this.
Simply sign in.

And then this will come up. If you follow pubicly your name will appear next to your comments. Press the button that says "follow this blog"

And then this will show up. Congratulations you are a follower.

For commenting.

At the bottom of every post you see this.

See where it says "0 comments"? Press that.
This will show up. Write your comment in the box.
Then select your profile. You can choose anonymous, or if you are a follower you can select, for example, your google profile, wherein it will have you log in. And then select "post comment".

You will then see this. Congrats your comment was published.

If you are unable to do these things. Namely sign up to follow or comment there is a very good chance that it is because your firewall has a popup blocker and therefor you are not getting the window to log in. If this is the case you need to turn your popup blocker off before you proceed with the process.

Hope this helps!

Its always something isn't it. Or is it?

A very wordy rant.

Things on my mind:
My house. Of course.
My loft.
My wish that I had bought a piece of jewelry in Europe.
My exercise routine. Or lack there of.
My cat.
My school

I'll break it down.

In case you haven't already heard, we have our move date. August 26th. Which puts us at exactly a month from today. One month. Oy! I'm suddenly feeling that I-know-I-have-a-ton-to-do-but-can't-think-of-any-of-it stress. And pearl is really making progress. I went and saw her yesterday and she is decked out in the most unique color of Arizona dust you ever did see.

See how perfectly she blends with the dirt?
This is our entire "backyard". Tiny. Tiny. Tiny. Its basically the width of a one car driveway. Kind of a sore spot but John assures me we'll like it more once its landscaped and we've put our personal touches on it. I hope so.
Our big sliding glass wall. Its much more dramatic from the inside. Its one whole side of the kitchen. Tons of natural light.
A very dirty (taken from outside) pic of the kitchen cabinets. I went down and picked our granite last week. We can't wait to see it all put together.

Which brings me to my next point. My HOA. Personally (not that I've owned a slew of houses or anything) I've never heard of an HOA that is so strict as the ones in Arizona. I dream of having a beautiful navy or dove gray house with bright white shutters and a funky colored door. But someone up on capital hill thought. "You know what I would like? If communism came back. I'll force every single house in this state to look exactly the SAME. Yes. This is an excellent idea. I'll order them to only have five color choices, they can only choose certain plants, certain exterior styles and they must keep their house up to MY standards or I will evict them. Yes. People will love this." Cue shattering dreams of any semblance of uniqueness. Ugh.

How do I cope? By decking out the inside of my house as beautiful as possible. Complete with a big 8'x11' clementine colored rug right in the living room. BAM! Orange in your face! Take that communists! But I'm totally clueless on how I want to decorate the upstairs loft. Which is kinda bothering me cause we need new couches in a serious way and I can't start looking for any until I know what I want to do with the space. Don't get me started on the couches. This post is already long enough.

I think this is going to be a our new table. Just the table, not chairs. I want something different for those. Amazing low price though. And its not as if we need something that seats 12.

Call me selfish. Call me greedy. Call me whatever you want but I really really regret not buying a piece of jewelry while I was in Europe. I really really wanted a little ring or necklace or something that I could wear to remember our first anniversary/my 30th birthday. Don't ask me why I didn't, (Ahem, frugal husband.) I just didn't. So I'm thinking I'll settle for something I buy off ebay from there and then I'll just pretend like I got it there the whole time. No?

Vintage Austrian crystal

As for the rest of the stuff. I have no exercise routine. But that will be fixed when we move cause there is a gym across the way we plan to join. Sundae, has become a real pest as of late. Waking us up at all hours of the night for who knows what reason. And when we try to throw her out of the room to get some sleep, she cries outside the door like she's being mauled by a bear. I am starting school the same week I'm moving. And my campus is over an hour away. That should be interesting.

What a whiny baby right?
Love ya!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Smooth Sundae

We have to be very careful at our house to not leave the pantry door open.
Every time anyone walks into the kitchen Sundae comes barreling in thinking she's going to guilt you into giving her some treats. She's a big loudmouth about the whole thing too, meowing excessively and really loud as if she's trying to tell you she has just escaped a prison camp and hasn't eaten in a month. I mean she'll even jump into the refrigerator when we open it hoping to catch a bite. Ugh!
Anyway, despite her near constant begging for food, once in a while we'll hear a soft crackling and chewing sound coming from the kitchen at which point I know exactly what has happened. She has found the only thing she like BETTER than cat treats...

She has virtually peeled away the outer packaging and if you look at the bottom you'll see she has actually managed to puncture the bag but just can't quite get anything out. Yet.
Fortunately the package has proved to be cat proof. Especially since her brother has been known to get in on the action trying to help her out from time to time. So what is it?


But she has such a little baby cry and the sweetest face you ever saw that you can't possibly stay mad at her for more than eight seconds. I mean really, just look at her here. How could you resist this?

Of course I had to give her some! And don't talk to me about how I'm just teaching her that if she gets into the bag she'll get some. We are practicing a new and very modern discipline at this house its called; spoiled rotten.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Lucifer Tree

Trees are generally considered an image of peacefulness, tranquility, and beauty. There is the majestic oak, the beautiful blooms on a cherry tree, the soft boughs of the weeping willow etc. I can honestly say I never thought I would find a tree I hated. That was until we moved to Arizona. I'd like to introduce you to;

The Lucifer Tree.
This is an up close of the branches. In the background on the left you can see the trunk and curled over branches of a whole one.

And as luck would have it there is a giant one out front of the house we are renting.
(Its technically called the Screwbean Mesquite but you'll soon learn why this tree decorates the outside of Satan's house.)

Allow me to list its many horrendous attributes:
1) The branches grow at a out and at a downward curve. Like an upside down "U". This makes the thin willow like branches hang down. ie. in the street, over the sidewalk and generally in the way.
2)It produces MASSIVE amounts of seedpods that drop all year round. When I researched this tree it says its "low litter". That's a load of dung! Cause my sidewalk is constantly covered in the disgusting brown poo looking seed pods.
3) (this is the best part!) It is COVERED in these giant thorns. Covered. Wiki says " the mesquite has needle-sharp thorns up to 75 mm (3 in) long. The spines are tough enough to penetrate the soft soles of sneakers or similar footwear, and can easily puncture tires." TIRES! My skin is much thinner than a tire.

Why am I complaining about this angel of darkness turned shrub? Because apparently our HOA has been complaining about how "unsightly" and "messy" and "covering the sidewalk" it has been. And then the city of Chandler came over to tell us the same thing. And when I talked to our landlord about hiring someone to chop the devil down, she said that that falls under rental responsibility for routine maintenance. Major pruning is routine? Whatever. There is no way we are hiring someone. We are moving in a month. So I went out there with some gardening clippers and a saw and started hacking away. After about two hours I got enough chopped off that I think the HOA will lay off for a while. But now my arms look like this.

It looks like Sundae got a poo stuck to her bum again so I have to go cut it off now. Bye.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A homely update...

As I said before, I did some thrifting over the weekend. I was on mission for frames. Lots and lots of frames. I have always loved the look of a gallery wall so it was kinda a no brainier that I wanted one in my house. And so in the upstairs loft it shall be!

This is the look I'm going for:

I love everything about this room.

Since I did spend all that time, searching for, filling and painting the frames and I have the wall space I figured I test it out in our house now. So this is what my living room wall presently looks like:

Its totally logical to plan out and hang 36 frames a month before you move. Right? .....Right?

By the way, should you ever contemplate hanging your own gallery wall, planning your frame locations like this is BY FAR easier than nailing them all into the wall and hoping for the best, only to end up making a couple hundred holes in the wall before you really get it right.

And yes, we have a little over a month until we move into this guy:

The front

The back

Ahhhhh! Can you believe it? I have dry wall! And windows! And scafolding! haha I'm so excited!!!!! (as if you couldn't tell)

Friday, July 8, 2011

It was a little dusty here....

For those of you who live in a hole and did not here about what happened in phoenix the other day, God gave us a preview of the apocalypse.
It came in the form of a behemouth dust storm called a haboob and looked exactly how the news described it. A straight out of a movie, 70 mile wide, ominous black cloud rolling toward you at a very fast rate. It quite litterally looked like the end of the world was enfolding before you and all you could do was watch.
I, being completly obvlious to anything that does not involve the immediate world revolving around me, had no idea what was going on. That is, until I recieved a paniced phone call from my husband who was watching the cloud of doom coming toward us from the top floor of his building. The conversation went something like this:

John: Hey, are you home?

Naive Allison: No, I'm grocery shopping why?

Slightly concerned John: "Because there is a huge dust storm that is coming our way and will make it hard to drive. Can you go home now?

Disregarding Allison: Oh well, I'm just right next door to the neighborhood. I'm about halfway done and I'll be home soon."

Worried husband: "Uh... ok.... well...try to get home as soon as you can ok? It looks bad..."

Moron: " Ok! Call ya when I get home." *click*

~5 minutes later~

Store intercom loudspeakers: "Attenion shoppers. There is a big monsoon coming through. If you live close you should finish your shopping now and head home. If you are far, please feel free to stay in the store till it passes. Its big. Really big. "

Completly brainless and stubborn idiot: (thinks to self) " Wow they are really making a big deal out of some dust. What whimps."

~2 minutes later Fire alarm at store goes off. ~

Stubborn Idiot again: (After noticing I have three missed calls from my husband) "...hmmm maybe I should look outside."

~cue stygian black view outside~

Total blockhead: ......staring outside for 5 minutes...."Ok I'll go home."

Here are a couple of pics and a video of what went down.

In other news, I hit up many a thrift store today so expect a crafty post next!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I need curtains to save my marriage.

So as most of you know I'm nocturnal due to my work schedule. My husband is one of those "normal" people who actually sleep when its dark outside. Weird.
Anyway, we have ginormous windows in our bedroom, and there are even more in our new bedroom. We also live right next to the surface of the sun, aka. Arizona, so its bright for like 27 hours a day.

You see where I'm going with this?
No? Let me show you:

See? Allison + trying to sleep with blinding, heavens-are-opening-before-her, bright light = crazy and irritable. And a crazy irritable wife = a no bueno marriage.

Don't worry our marriage is great but I can no longer wait till we move to get something. I gotta get me some curtains. STAT! So I went over to tar-jay and picked up some blackout curtain liners. Those were a FAIL! They were so darn heavy that almost ripped the rod right out of the wall. Now I'm turning to my trusty internets.

This is what I want.

Love these but at $90 a yard they are a NO.

These are a cute alternative I found on etsy but are still a little pricey.

The plain bright yellow of the next two are just as beautiful though.

Or I may give this DIY chevron cutain tutorial a try.

Whatever it is I need to do it NOW! I'll keep ya posted.