Trash to Treasure Update

The sun finally returned to Boston after a much-too-long hiatus and I can't tell you how happy I am.  In fact, everyone seems happier.  After 14 straight days of rain, a bit of a depression was starting to set in around the city.  Unfortunately I'm stuck inside my office all day, but hopefully I will be able to get out and enjoy the weather during my lunch break!  But the real reason I'm talking about the weather is because I was FINALLY able to take a picture of what I've done so far with the "trash" that I found at the transfer station a few weeks ago (check here for more information on that).  The lighting had been limited non-existent for so long that I wasn't able to capture it until this morning.  The pictures aren't great, since they are just from my iPhone, but at least this will give you an idea of the space until I can do a full post of the transformation. 

If you recall, the table looked like this when I picked it up at the dump....

Not too shabby, if I might say so, but it definitely needed some accessorizing.  So I grabbed some items from around the house and took a quick spin to Home Goods to supplement anything missing.  I ended up with some $19.99 artwork and a $6.99 ceramic bird (LOVE!).......so for under $30 I was able to update this blank spot.  I still need to find something for the adjacent wall (to the right) but I can't seem to find anything that is the right scale (since its a 6' stretch of bare wall from floor to ceiling.  Take a look at what we have so far and let me know if you have any suggestions....

It's pretty simple, but that is kind of the theme around our casa, so I wanted to keep things consistent.  I'm sure I will change up the little vignette every once in a while, but I think it works for the time being.  And even though the blank space to the right still bothers me, I feel better about it after this mini-transformation.  At least the corner isn't entirely empty like it used to be (well....except for when our christmas tree took up residence there for almost two full months....she was a survivor!).   For now, I'm enjoying the simple set-up and scheming (more than normal) about how to fill the rest of the space.  Any thoughts, opinions, suggestions would be more than welcome!!

So that's it so far for my trash to treasure transformation.  And although I didn't have to do anything to the table (which is always more rewarding) this time around, it still feels nice to fill up some space in the room for FREE (well, except for the giclee prints and the bird....isn't he adorable)!!!  Can't beat that price. 



Sorry for the delay in getting these pictures uploaded.  I feel like it has been a whirlwind since we got back from vacation and I can't seem to catch my breath.  As a brief update, we did find a washer and dryer late last week and it was delivered on Saturday.  YAY......except for the fact that the existing plug was a 120 V and the new dryer requires 220 V (Lesson learned: double check these little details before you have someone come to install something).  So needless to say, we have a beautiful set sitting in our basement at the moment, but no clean clothes in our closets.  B thinks that he can tackle the electrical update (which I will definitely write about whether he is successful or not), but he won't be able to get to it until Saturday morning.  EEK!!  Thank goodness we both own an ungodly amount of underwear, otherwise I would have to run out and buy some to get us through the week.  And just in case anyone is confused.......yes, we could definitely wash our clothes, but I don't like the feeling of rack-dried clothes (and since it has been raining for the last 12 days and hanging them outside to dry isn't an option).  Maybe I'm being picky, but I feel like the clothes are really stiff if you dry them inside.  Not my favorite.....but if this goes on longer than Saturday, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and do a few loads. 

And in other house-related news, our upstairs bathroom (which I don't think I've ever shown here on the blog....brace yourself) is causing us some problems as well. 

Lovely, right?  It's actually an old picture.  We have since painted the white door black, replaced the toilet with a white one (shame to see old blue go though) and removed the curtains, but overall it still looks pretty awful.  Enough reminiscing though, onto the story of the day.  So......during a routine lather-fest, the soap dish broke off and left us with a gaping 8x10" hole that goes through to the studs.  It would have been easily fixable with some grout and caulking except for the fact that it smashed into 1000 pieces when it hit the tub floor and is far from usable at this point.  I did find a replacement one at HD (they didn't seem to carry the same blue tile from the 60's anymore, but I settled for a white one instead), but its a little bit bigger than the hole, so we are going to have to chisel off a 1/16 of an inch to make it fit.  More on that later though....

But I digress.  Let's get to the pictures.....

It was paradise.  As I said before, we would have been really happy anywhere in the world (as long as it wasn't at work or at home), but this was definitely an amazing destination.  I would highly recommend Grand Cayman to anyone (with one small caveat....the exchange rate is 1.25 to 1, so the food is pretty expensive, but as long as you know that going in and budget for it, it should be fine!!!). 

And here are some shots of the happy couple....

And finally, on to the highly requested belly shots........duh duh duh....

I was 27 weeks when these pictures were taken, so just shy of the third trimester mark.  I'm finally feeling good, but the whole scale tipping thing is still a little hard for me to swallow.  The doc says that we are "on track" as far as the weight gaining goes, but it's still hard to see the numbers go up every week....eek!  We had an appointment yesterday in fact, (we are 28.5 weeks at this point) and I've gained 22 lbs since we conceived.  Ultimately everything looks good though and he is doing really well, so that's all that really matters.  My original goal at the beginning of this pregnancy was to stay in the lower part of the 25-35 lb. recommended weight gain parameter, but it's looking like I'm going to be closer to 35 when all is said and done.  I hear that breastfeeding helps a little to get rid of the weight gain, so I'm just going to hope for that and see how it goes.  I definitely don't expect to be back in my pre-pregnancy clothes for the trip home from the hospital, but I would also like to avoid wearing maternity clothes for too long after little B arrives...here's hoping!  Any tips on how to shed the post-pregnancy weight are welcomed!

I'll be back soon with details on the washer and dryer decision...stay tuned!


Back In Action

So sorry for the long hiatus.....we went on our "babymoon" last week and I have been scrambling around the last few days trying to get back into the swing of things.  It will probably take a few more days for me to adjust to doing more than sitting on a float and reading a book all day, but I'll manage eventually. 

Honestly, though, whoever thought up the concept of a "babymoon" is a genius....which means it was probably a woman!  It was so great to spend time together without worrying about work or the house or chores; just us.  I'm sure we will travel after he is born, but I have a feeling it won't be the same (even if we leave him with our reliable parents).  We are really excited about the future, don't get me wrong, but it has just been the two of us for over 5 years now and it's going to be hard to shift the focus away from the "two of us" to the "three of us".  It's sort of sad but exciting at the same time.  It is like a new chapter in our lives.  And to be completely honest, we spent most of the week talking about him to each other or talking to my belly and feeling his kicks together.....so at the end of the day, the adjustment will probably be easier than we think. 

I could go on forever about that though, but let's get down to the details.  For our little getaway, we decided to go to Grand Cayman for a 7-night stay.  It was ah-mazing!  Every moment was fantastic.  We probably could have been anywhere warm together and it would have been wonderful, but I was especially impressed with the beaches.  We have been to a few different islands in the Caribbean over the years and this has by far the best beach we've seen.  It was not too crowded, clean, walkable and the water was just breathtaking.  I can't think of a better way to have spent our last "hoorah" together.  If anyone wants more specific information or has questions about the island, please feel free to shoot me an email at simplebeautifulhome@gmail.com.  I could go on and on about the trip for hours, but I will spare you my diatribe. 

In house-related news though, we came back to a bit of a mess.  Our dryer broke the day before we left.....wa waaaa.  I'm pretty sure it was manufactured around 1975, so after a 36-year run we can't blame him for going into retirement.  Let's face it, that is a lot longer than I plan to work...haha (only kidding, honey!).  But despite the fact that we knew this day would come, we weren't exactly prepared to buy a new dryer right away.  I was hoping to shop around and get a really good deal before we actually NEEDED it, but obviously that didn't work out.  Best laid plans.....  So, needless to say, we are on the hunt for a new matching washer and dryer set at the moment and it is a bit overwhelming.  We were originally going to just buy the dryer, but since the washer is a bit older as well, we thought it would make sense to switch to a more energy efficient model at this point and sell the older one on craigslist to make up some of the cost.  We have been looking at consumer reports and online reviews for the last few days and I can't say that we are much further along in the process than we were before we left for vacation, but I feel like I'm pretty well-versed in the differences between a top loader and a front loader, as well as the cost-savings we could benefit from by using a high-efficiency washer.  So....I'm going to keep at it and I will be back with some details on what I find.  If anyone out there has purchased a set recently and would like to share their opinions or reviews, I would REALLY appreciate it. 

And on top of that, the ice maker in our fridge stopped working.  At first, we thought that it was smart enough to go into "vacation mode" while we were away and not waste the ice cubes, but it has been a few days now and we can't seem to get it going again.  Luckily we purchased the extended warranty though, so they are coming out to check it out next week!  Phew!  This really isn't too much trouble for us, but its just another thing that we have to deal with when we would rather be working on nursery-related projects and taking care of some landscaping needs (our lawn is finally looking normal....but I think it will take another year and maybe some seeding in August to get it to where we want).....ahhhh the joys of homeownership!

So that's it for my little update.  I have a lot of projects up my sleeve...and even some that I've already completed and haven't had a chance to blog about, so stay tuned!! 

Oh, and I will update this post with some photos tonight when I get home.  I have been meaning to upload them from my camera for the last few days, but lately I have been so tired when I get home from work that I just plop on the couch and fall asleep at 8:00....oops!  I guess that's pretty common for the third trimester though......EEEK I can't believe there are only 13 weeks left!! 

Happy Wednesday everyone!!


Patio Furniture: Round 1

So we finally scored some inexpensive patio furniture this past weekend from Home Depot and Home Goods.  We looked at Lowe's, HD, Wal-Mart, Sears, Ace Hardware, Target and a bunch of local seasonal stores over the last few weeks and ended up going with old faithful....the Depot!  Thanks to everyone for their suggestions on patio furniture though.  It's always helpful to hear personal reviews on things before you buy them!  We definitely checked out EVERYTHING imaginable, but at the end of the day, we needed a certain size/shape to fit properly on the deck so a wrought iron patio set from HD was the answer.  There were a lot of great rectangular options at all of the stores listed above, but none of them would really fit well on our deck....BOO!  But in the end, we are REALLY happy with the set we got. 

Check her out on the HD website and on my deck:

Nothing too fancy, but that's exactly what we were aiming for.  We opted for 4 chairs initially (since that was what fit well in our car) but I think we might head back over to pick up 2 more for additional seating when we have a party.  And since these chairs are stackable, we can just hide them away in the corner until we need them (or even in the garage)! 

The other great thing about this set is the price.  The table was $89.98 and the chairs were $29.98 each....for a grand total of $209.90.  And on top of that, my brother recently moved, so he was nice enough to let me use his 10% off coupon that he got in the mail.  YAY!  We walked out of there with an entire patio set for only $188.91!!  Unfortunately we still need to get an umbrella and umbrella stand, but I'm pretty happy with the cost so far.  If anyone has suggestions for that purchase, I am all ears!  I have looked everyone and have been hesitant to pull the trigger on anything for fear that it will only last us one season.  My parents gave us their old one to use last summer when the guys were still working on the deck in the heat all day, but unfortunately it got swept away one day in a storm and ripped in a few places.  We are worried that this might happen again depending on the type of umbrella we get (since we clearly get some strong wind gusts in our backyard) but it's hard to tell from online photos what style will hold up best.  So if you have an umbrella that you love, or you have a horror story or some words of wisdom to share, I would love to hear it!!

We are also looking for an umbrella that will match the cushions that I found at Home Goods.  They have light blue, dark blue, and a sage green in them.  They caught my eye as soon as I walked in the door.  I knew I couldn't leave without them!  I'd looked at a few other patterns and styles while we were hunting for the furniture, so I'd seen the prices and decided that $29.99/two cushions wasn't a bad deal!  Obviously I would have loved to get them on clearance, on craigslist, or for free, but after weeks of searching it just wasn't working out that way.  So another $60 later we have some nice comfy cushions (which I have to tell you are a MUST for me at this point in my pregnancy....I swear that I build forts whereever I go in the house in order to get comfortable....not sure if this is normal behavior, but it has gotten me through the last 6 months of this pregnancy pretty well). 

So I'm thinking of going with either a sage green or light blue for the umbrella.....what do you think?  Oh, and another concern I have with the umbrella is durability.  If you don't go with the sunbrella fabric, will it fade too easily and look terrible after one season?  I decided to go non-sunbrella for the cushions, but I also plan to keep them in a box on the deck when we aren't using them so they won't be constantly exposed to the sun.  Any thoughts on that would be greatly appreciated as well!  We are closing in here on the deck project, but I'll keep you posted (literally) on any other developments along the way!  Stay tuned!