Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hundred Dollar Hump Day (15)

Happy Wednesday!

1. The Provence Cafe Bar Table from Ballard Designs is a little more than $100, but at $119.99 I thought it was a steal.  It would be great in a small apartment or eat in kitchen.  It comes in deep walnut and black.  Regularly $199.

{Image from here}

2.  Also from Ballard Designs,  I really like the Evan Pot Rack.  It's great because you can use the top shelf/basket for additional storage, as well as hang your pots and pans. On sale for $69.99, regularly $119.

{Image from here}

3. This Dresser Wall Art from World Market is really neat.  It features a silhouette against a vintage dictionary page.  Other silhouettes include a chandelier, lamp, chair, and birdcage.  $53.99 each, regularly $59.99.

{Image from here}

4. Some people say Ikat is out, but I hope not!  I love the colors and pattern of this Amber Ikat Walter Chair from World Market. $99.99, regularly $149.99.

{Image from here}

Hundred Dollar Hump Day is a weekly post about home decor items I  find online for $100 or less.  I don't get paid to promote any of these products, I just really like them!  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kitchen Dreams

The contractors are coming over tomorrow and we're talking about how we can turn this:

Into this:

{Image from House Beautiful}

{Image from Traditional Home}

{Image from Traditional Home}

{Image from BHG}

On a budget.

Our current kitchen is fully functional and really not all that bad, but like a lot of things in this house, it's not our style.

My ideas are to paint the existing cabinets white and change hardware, keep our current granite countertops, replace floors and backsplash, replace appliances (refrigerator, stove, and microwave), buy a wine refrigerator, paint and simplify hood vent, paint walls and trim, buy new light fixtures, and add a breakfast table.

Can you picture it? :)  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Do you wanna swap with me? - September Sponsor Swap

Hello bloggy friends! Do you want some free advertising for your blog? Starting this September, I'd like to try a monthly sponsor swap!

You send me a 200x200 ad to place on my sidebar and I send you an ad (size of your choice) to place on your sidebar.

At the end of the month, I'll feature you in a sponsor roundup blog post!  

Who's in?  If you're interested, shoot me an email at by August 30th.  I'll choose the first 3 people who email me. :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

To buy or not to buy?

Since I'm nearing the finish line redecorating the den, I'm getting ready to resume work on our living room. I think the last time I posted about this room was back in February so I'll refresh your memory.

Like a lot of the rooms in this house, the walls in the living room were "artistically" painted. They were also very dirty!

I scrubbed and sanded the walls, re-caulked the crown molding, gave the walls a couple coats of Benjamin Moore's Light Pewter, and painted the trim BM's White.  I also bought the Queen Anne's Lace window panels from West Elm.

We had the hardwood floors refinished in April.

And that's about where we left off.

Our current furniture consists of a coffee table, side tables, and a sleeper sofa from our old apartment and a piano gifted to us by the previous homeowners.  The table lamps pictured above are now in our master bedroom and "Baxter's couch" is in the basement waiting to be Craigslisted.

Originally I was going to keep the sleeper sofa because 1. it's practically new and 2. it's nice to have an extra bed when guests stay.  I've been trying to think of ways to work the sofa into a design for the room, and I'm just not loving it.  That's one of the pitfalls of accumulating a lot of furniture before you buy your first place; you're probably not going to want the same things in your new house.  The coffee and side tables are also getting the boot.  They were cheap and aren't very good quality so I feel a little less bad about them.  Once all of that furniture is gone, all I'm left with is the piano.

Jake and I talked about making the living room a more formal room but have recently changed our minds.  While our house isn't teeny tiny, it's not super big and I think that once we have a family, we'll need a second family-type room where our kids can play and we don't have to worry about the nice furniture getting ruined.  Also, because the living room is open to the dining room, guests naturally gravitate there to sit and relax after we eat, so I want the space to be comfortable.

What screams comfortable?  A big 'ol comfy sectional!  And because we can't fit one in our den, I kind of want one in this room.  I've been super close to purchasing the Pottery Barn Comfort Slipcovered Sectional in white.

{image from here}

Jake and I tested it out at the Pottery Barn store and it's so comfortable.  The only thing I'm worried about is the white!  It's what I love and hate about it.  I've read (and been told) that the slipcovers wash really well, but I'm still a little nervous.

Has anyone else owned a white slipcovered chair or sofa?  Were you constantly cleaning it?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Half Marathon Training

It's been about a month and a half since I told you about the half marathon I'm running at the end of September.

{Image from Pinterest}
The training has been going really well with the exception of this week.  I've been feeling a little under the weather so running has taken a back seat to rest.  But I'm starting to feel better and am almost ready to lace up my running shoes again.

I'm on week 7 of my 12 week training schedule and this week's long run is 9 miles.  Last week I successfully complete 8 miles in 1 hour and 17 min, which is way better than I thought I'd do!  It's hard to believe that when I started this training, even 1 mile was hard.  I've yet to feel the runner's high that some people talk about, but it's true that once you get over a certain mileage (5 or 6 for me), the remaining miles don't seem all that hard to finish.  I'll let you know if I'm singing the same tune once I reach the full 13!

Sticking to a training schedule has definitely helped me improve, but so has regular check-ins with my sister about how her training is going.  When I don't feel like running all I need is a text from her saying she just did 8.4 miles and "feels amazing!".  Well, I guess I better put the cookies away and turn off Real Housewives. Doh.

If you've been thinking about signing up for a race, I encourage you to just do it!  It will give you the motivation you need to stick to a training schedule and it feels so amazing to reach goals you didn't think possible.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hundred Dollar Hump Day (14)

First off, I have an unexplainable need to change my blog header every week.  Please bare with me.  I think this one's a keeper (for now:)).  I'm having fun learning this web design stuff, so I like to play around.  I know that I will eventually need to settle on something.  If you have any feedback about the website (navigation, appearance, anything), please let me know.

Now on to our regularly scheduled program.
1. I'm cheating a little bit with this first item because I already own it.  But it's awesome.  This Latitude/Longitude sign from L.L. Bean can be customized with any city or town.  I own it for "Kennebunkport, Maine" where Jake and I got married.  $34.95

{img via here}
2. Pottery Barn is having a 20% off sale on select baskets, lighting, and home office items.  I think that this Havana Recycling Bin on wheels is pretty nifty.  $79 regularly $99.  It's a little too pretty for me to use for recycling, but I can see storing many other office items in it for easy access.

{Image via here}

3. I love the design and wash of this Ashwell Mirror from Wayfair.  $72.50.
{Image via here}

4.  These 100% wool throws from Wayfair come in a ton of colors.  $55 each.

{Image from here}

Hundred Dollar Hump Day is a weekly post about home decor items I  find for $100 or less.  I don't get paid to promote any of these products, I just really like them!  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A little at a time

If it seems that I jump around from project to project, room to room, it's because...well...I do. in our house needs some TLC and I find it hard to concentrate on just one space.  I could be working on the guest bedroom and an idea about the den will pop into my head, or I'll be searching for accessories for our master bedroom and instead I'll find something that looks great in our dining room. I love that I always have projects in motion, but sometimes it leaves things feeling a little unfinished.  I just keep telling myself that it'll all get done one day.

A few weeks ago I shared some photos of our den.  This was the first update that I'd given you since our major remodel back in April.  I've been slowly adding furniture and accessories, buying things (and returning them), moving things from one room to another, and trying to "finish" this space.  It will be great when it's done because we spend a lot of our time in there.

The other day I stopped by Home Goods, Pier One, and Pottery Barn and found some new things for the room.

Tripod lamps from Pier One.

Green pillow from Home Goods and patterned pillow covers on sale from Pottery Barn.

Side table/stool from Home Goods.

Vases and filler from Pier One

Framed photography from Home Goods.

I didn't expect to find so much, but was certainly happy that I did!  I think it's a little easier to find things that go with this room's color palette now that stores have their fall merchandise out.

Still a work in progress, but much closer to that "finish" line. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Color Me Crazy

I've stopped crying over spilled milk a poorly chosen paint color in the guest bedroom. I put the paint brush down and decided to start from scratch.  I went to Lowe's and my local Ace Hardware store and picked up paint chips.  I taped them to the wall and looked at them in different lighting.  I Googled some colors and came up with 6 finalists:

They are all a little more gray and less blue or green than I was originally leaning towards, but I'm learning something about myself.  I like neutrals and I like them to be the background for the space.  But I like to accessorize with color.  I don't like really bright colors on the walls.  I can appreciate a bright and fun color on someone else's wall, but I can't live with it in my own house for more than a couple of months (hence why I'm thinking about repainting our master bedroom already).

But back to these 6 colors above.  They are all light gray, but all very different.  Some look gray gray while others look green gray, and still some others look blue gray or purple gray.  The paint warriors before me were right.  Colors are hard man.

The last color swatch, Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage, has a little gold star next to it because that's the color I'm leaning towards.  I don't have a physical paint chip for it, but I found it on the www and I LOVE how it looks in pictures:

{Image via Apartment Therapy}

{Image via Unskinny Boppy}

It's been described as a gray with the perfect amount of blue AND green and has been used as a neutral in many a home.

Has anyone used this color before?  What did you think?  I'm going to order a sample and hold my breath. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hey Paint, we're not friends.

So begins another paint failure story.  I took this morning off from blogging to make some headway on the guest bedroom.  Armed with a gallon of Benjamin Moore's White Rain, I got to work.

The color looked so lovely on my design board.

So lovely, in fact, that I balked at the idea of "wasting" time and money on a sample and went balls to the wall with it. Literally.

When I opened the paint can, I thought "Ooh this is pretty.  A little more green than I thought it'd be, but pretty." When I got the first section of wall done I thought "Ooh, this is bright.  Why does it look so much brighter on the walls than in the can? It's as bright as the baby blue I'm painting over, just greener."  Then the sun went behind a cloud and the room darkened and I thought "this is actually a really pretty color."  And then the sun came out again, and I lost my sh*t... cried.   It looks nothing like the soothing, blue/green/gray I was hoping for.  It looks nothing like "white rain."

And if you don't believe me.  Here's evidence.

It looks more like Ace's Palm Beach that I used in my master bedroom.  And I ain't too crazy about Palm Beach either.  I'm thinking of changing that color later this year....but that's another project/story.

Having to repaint an entire room isn't anything new to me.  I've already repainted the dining room and we've been in our home for a year. But I was SO SURE that I would like this color.

What's the moral of the story?

 I can't pick paint colors.

No, but seriously, something must be learned or I will lose my mind.  On my quest, to figure out how and why White Rain had failed me, I decided to do a little research.  I Googled "white rain" and very quickly stumbled upon this post from Manhattan Nest called "Colors are Hard." To paraphrase, the author buys BM's White Rain with the same great anticipation that I did, paints one coat, and has a volatile reaction.

 "I painted one coat on one wall before deciding that it wasn’t something I could live with. It’s not a bad color for an asylum or an androgynous nursery, but it was a bad color for our kitchen."

Well, that would have been helpful to know. Surely I don't want our guests feeling like they're locked up in an insane asylum.

So lesson learned.  Well a few lessons learned.  Pick a color, Google it, look at lots of pictures of rooms in that color, read reviews, go to the Hardware store and pick up a paint chip, bring it home and tape it to the wall.  Look at it in sunlight, shade, and artificial lighting, buy a paint sample, paint a couple of swatches, then take the plunge.  It's a lot of work, but it's really worth not having to repaint an entire room. Painting sucks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hundred Dollar Hump Day (13)

1. The shape of this Massai Bowl from Crate and Barrel is really neat.  It really does look more like a bowl than a basket.  $59.95

{via here}

2. These Porcelain Stripe Trays from West Elm range in price from $6 - $16.   Yellow and gray stripes. Yes please.
{via here}

3. This Perch Table Lamp from West Elm comes in 3 different colors: clear, yellow, and mercury.  $79.

{via here}

4. Hmm...I can think of many ideas for these Produce Crates from Home Decorators.  Pantry, closet, home office? $69 for a set of 4.
{via here}

5. Oh the storage possibilities.  This Dark Trunk from Target is super functional and attractive.  $79.99
{via here}

Hundred Dollar Hump Day is a weekly post about home decor items that I find for $100 or less.  I don't get paid to promote any of these products, I just really like them!  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunshine Award and Nominations

When Amy from Home Happy Home awarded me the Sunshine Award, I was super surprised and honored.  Amy whips up the most amazing home projects on a budget.  Hello, have you seen her basement reveal?  Head on over and show Amy some love.

                    This award is given to bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others.

Here are the rules;
  1. If you are nominated you must blog a post linking back to the person/blog who nominated you.
  2. You must answer some questions, nominate ten fellow bloggers and link their blogs to the post. If you get the award you can use the image above on your post or blog itself.
  3. You should comment on your nominees' blogs to let them know you nominated them.

Here are the questions;

Who is your favorite philosopher?

I only took a semester of philosophy in college.  I believe the class was at 8:30 AM on a Friday therefore I tried my best just to stay awake.  Sorry, I don't remember much. Now I'm feeling a little dumb.  Maybe I should revisit philosophy 101?

What is your favorite number?

I don't have an exact favorite number, but I love odd numbers.  7 is a favorite because it's my birthday day and also the day of our wedding anniversary.

What is your favorite animal?

Baxter, duh.

What are your Facebook and twitter urls?

Well, since you ask my Facebook is this and my Twitter is this.  I would love it if you'd take the time to follow me.  I'll try not to be anymore annoying than I am here on the blog.

What is your favorite time of the day?

It's a toss up. Right now I love my mornings to myself with my coffee, the blog, and Baxter.  But I also love dinner time when Jake gets home from work. :)

What was your favorite vacation?

I've been blessed to go on some pretty amazing vacations, but hands down my favorite was our honeymoon in Hawaii.  We went to the Big Island and Maui and had the best time exploring the islands, laying by the pool, and eating and drinking.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Depends on the season.  In the winter I like to downhill ski. Right now I'm into golf (Jake and I go a few times a week) and I recently took up running (training for a half marathon).  I also love to dance.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Who wants a non-alcoholic drink?  JK.  I like flavored seltzer water.  It's healthy and refreshing.

What is your favorite flower?

I really like tulips, hydrangeas, and roses.

What is your passion?

I have many passions some of which are taking care of our home, spending time with Jake, spoiling Baxter, traveling, golfing, reading, eating (yes that can be a passion) and learning.  My newest passions are this blog and home decorating.

My ten blogger nominees {in no particular order, but clearly I have a thing for Jessicas};

Jessie @ Cape 27
Whitney @ The Cerniks

Stop by and check these ladies out.  You will be impressed and inspired!

Thanks for stopping by.  And if you're haven't already followed Home with Baxter, you can do so by clicking on the link below.  Easy Peasy. :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Half Bath/Laundry Design

Welcome to Italy.

Oh no, wait.  That's just the half bath/laundry room in our Colonial style home.  Every time I sit down on the toilet I can look up and admire the beautiful sky and birds.  WTF?

No, but seriously, the woman who painted this mural has serious talent.  And I can appreciate all of the detail, but I JUST DON'T WANT IT IN MY BATHROOM.  Mmmkay.

After a year of bird watching I decided it's time for a change and whipped up this design board:

The project will  involve replacing vanity, toilet, mirror, light fixture, floors and painting.   I am in love with the marble herringbone tile and I think a pedestal sink will help the space feel less cramped. I've been wanting to add wainscoting, but haven't decided if it'll make the final cut yet.  This room contains our laundry closet which I recently painted and had new Samsung washer and dryer installed. I'd like to have custom shelving built in the closet.

The contractors will be out next week to give us a quote. I can't wait to get started!

By the way, I created this design board using Olioboard.  Create a free account and follow me at homewithbaxter.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back from the Cape

Last week we vacationed on Cape Cod with our family and friends to celebrate Jake qualifying for a senior discount turning 30.  If you were wondering, that's why the blog was pretty quiet.  I guess I don't like to blog and vacation.  I heard it was dangerous to your health anyways.

I'm back with new energy and lots of plans for the house.  We're having the same contractors who completed our den remodel come out next week to quote us on a kitchen and half bath remodel.  Exciting stuff!  I'll be sharing my ideas with you soon.

Before I jump back into the house stuff, here are some pictures from our trip:

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