Falling for Fall

Here in Chicago, we had a dramatic drop in temps in the last couple days (it’s been in the 50’s).  Feeling the crisp cool air brings back many beautiful memories of when I was a teenager and of my college years.  Being from the Midwest, it’s easy to say that Summer is our favorite season because we endure such brutal and nasty Winters.  However, I have come to realize that Fall may be my favorite season after all.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some warm sunny days, but I feel as though the Summer season ends up being super busy because there are festivals, parties, etc. to attend to every weekend from June through August.  What’s worse is that we usually have more than one commitment on the same day, so we are torn between which to go to.  Sometimes we end up going to both or even three (!) parties in one day and it’s just plain exhausting!!  On the other hand, if you have made no plans you feel like some sort of anti social loser and you just wasted a precious Summer weekend doing nothing.

So when Fall comes, it’s almost like we can finally relax.  Plus, who doesn’t love boot and sweater weather?!  I’m looking forward to spending some time indoors cuddling with Vivian, catching up on shows, and baking, baking, and some more baking!  I have a pile of recipes I want to try and experiment with.

This is my last weekend on maternity leave before I have to return to work (booooo).  I”m excited to have some adult interaction and conversations, but sad to leave my little girl.  Thank goodness for nurse schedules….three 12 hour shifts never sounded better.  Here’s my little Vivian just the other day…

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The Living Room

The living room is my favorite room in the house.  It gets the most light than any other room, it’s spacious, and it just makes me feel good being in there.  I finally shelled out the money and purchased the rug I’ve been wanting forever.  I’m so glad I did because it adds a whole other dimension and texture to the room and it really warms it up too.  For the price, it’s an excellent rug that feels great on your feet and sheds minimally.  The navy blue wingback chair is from IKEA and it’s been the best IKEA purchase to date.

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^^I’m still looking for a great indoor plant to fill the empty corner by the windows, but I can’t seem to keep them alive.  More on that later.  I would love a fiddle leaf fig tree, but I’m nervous I’m going to kill it.  What to do, what to do…^^

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There is also this big ol’ wall I don’t know what to do with.  Just last week I hung that landscape canvas print I bought at Homegoods.  It’s shifted to the right because I want to add a console table to the left of the sofa and some sort of quirky mirror or artwork above the console table.  I really dislike the view of the living room when you first walk in from the entrance door.  I think by adding the table it will designate an “entry” space, if you will, and will hopefully look less awkward and not like you’re walking right into the sofa.

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^^This wall is also a work in progress., but for now, it’s in the back burner.  All throw pillows are from Homegoods.  The coffee table is from Hayneedle. ^^

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The view from the sofa (obviously).  I am also in search of an organization system for all the TV cables.  The basket is perfect for storing blankets.  I eventually would like to create a gallery wall around the TV to fill the empty space.

And because everyone likes to see a “before” picture, here ya’ go..

IMG_5115IMG_5116IMG_5114It’s soooo yellow!!  Things are-a-changing, slowly but surely. :)

Changes

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It’s been a while since I was last on here and a lot has changed since then. The biggest change being the addition to our family! Vivian surprised us all with her early arrival on June 23. She was only 34 weeks and stayed in the NICU for 2 weeks until she could learn how to eat and started to gain weight consistently.
She’s home now and I couldn’t be happier. Vivian is feisty and isn’t afraid to show it! When she’s hungry she makes sure she lets you know! I already took her to get her newborn pictures. I love what a great job Kristen did! I highly recommend her.

On a different note, I have continued to do things here and there around the house, I just haven’t gotten around to post anything on the blog. What I would like to do is photograph every room in the house and give you a rundown of what I have updated since I was last on the blog and go through what still needs to be done. This is my goal and I hope I stick to it. It is also my intention to post on a more regular basis.

A Table For Eight

The dining room is shaping up nicely.  I searched high and low for the perfect table that would seat eight.  Trust me when I say that.  The dining room was without a table for about 8 months.  So when I saw the Paloma II dining table at the Crate and Barrel outlet in Naperville, I couldn’t let it pass us by; because it had already happened to us once.  We went to the outlet one weekend, fell in love with the table but went home empty handed to “think about it.”  Sure enough, when we went back, the table was already gone.

What I ended up doing was call the outlet once a week to check their inventory for this particular dining table.  Surprisingly, all of the employees I spoke with were really nice and didn’t mind scouring the floor for the dining table.  When the table came back on the floor, I went and bought it the very next day!  I am so happy with the table and friends and family always comment on how beautiful the table is.

The chairs are the Threshold Brookline dining chairs from Target.  Dining chairs can be pretty pricey, especially when you’re springing for eight of them all at once.  I knew I had to look at budget options.  I originally saw the chairs in  Katie’s dining room, and I fell in love.  I waited for a furniture sale to pop up on the Target website before shelling out the cash for them.

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This is Katie’s dining room picture that inspired my dining room chair choice.

Below is my dining room.  I am very happy with how the table and chairs look together.  The wood on the chair legs match perfectly with the table base.  Now I just need the perfect rug and pretty chandelier to place over the table.

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2nd Unit Renovations

We are up to our eyeballs with work on the upstairs unit.  We’ve spent the last few weekends working up there, and when I’m not working I usually go up there to get some work done during the week.  We’re hurrying up to finish the apartment by the end of April because we have a family interested in renting it (eek!).  They’re actually coming over tomorrow to take a look at it.  I warned them it’s not finished and still a work in progress.  They don’t seem to mind.

I took “before” pictures of the apartment but never posted them on the blog.  The layout upstairs is identical as our first floor unit.  The only big difference is that there is carpet in the living, dining, and 3 bedrooms upstairs; whereas our unit has hardwood floors throughout.  We contemplated tearing out the carpet upstairs but ultimately decided to leave it for acoustic purposes.  Carpet decreases the noise heard from people walking upstairs, and this is especially important since I work nights and need to sleep during the day.

I’ll quit my rambling and show you what the upstairs looked like….

The living room, complete with a built-in faux fireplace which we are keeping for charm purposes.ImageImage

The dining room and a sad looking chandelier :(ImageImage

A very vintage bathroom.  I absolutely love the floor in this bathroom, and it’s in great condition too.  We kept all of the tile in the bathroom and only replaced the sink, vanity, and mirror.  The hubby also drywalled the upper half of the walls because the plaster was cracking, peeling, and in simply terrible shape.  So it was just easier to put sheets of drywall over the plaster.  I will show you updated pictures of what the bathroom looks like now.  :)ImageImageImage

And last but not least, the saddest kitchen and pantry you will ever see…

We easily decided that in order to make the apartment more desirable we needed to replace the kitchen cabinets all-together.  And we did!  And they’re up now!  I’m most excited about this room in the whole apartment because it makes a world of a difference with the new cabinets in. Just need to measure for the countertop to place the order and then have it installed.

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Gardening Fail

Last week I picked up a couple of herb plants from my local grocery store.  I had no plans to do so, but I went to the store to pick up a bunch of cilantro and came across these pretty potted herbs.  I thought to myself, “I can save myself future trips to the store if I just grow my own herbs at home.”  So I picked up a cilantro pot and a pot of parsley, two herbs I frequently use.

A week later….this is what they look like.  FAIL.  I have a hunch they need a ton more sunlight than what comes in through the kitchen window.  I’ve been watering them daily like the instructions indicate to do so.  So frustrating.  The really sad looking one on the left is the cilantro plant.  The parsley looks like it might make it.  I also think the stems are a little long which makes it more difficult for the stems to remain perky.

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Living Room Update

The living room has come a long way.  But there’s still a lot of work to be done.  First, let me take you back to where we started.

IMG_5707After almost a year of living in our house, we have transformed the living room into a much more pleasant room to hang out in.  We painted the walls, ceiling, and crown molding.  The walls are my favorite color ever; BM Edgecomb Gray.  Friends compliment on it all the time.  I donated the old pillows and replaced them with pretty new ones from Homegoods.  Installed a pair of beautiful wall sconces.  The difference they make in the room lighting at night is worth the investment.  Found a pretty coffee table at Hayneedle.com.  This was a last minute purchase before hosting my husband’s 30th birthday party last November.  I added accessories to the coffee table, but that’s still a work in progress.

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This pretty blue chair is my favorite seat in the house.  It’s from IKEA and I think it’s fabulous.  It definitely makes the room.  The side table was another Homegoods find, also known as my favorite store ever.

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Remember this?

IMG_5115This wall is obviously nowhere near done, but it has come a long way from the overly yellow walls that once were when we moved in.  I’m thinking about adding a console table to the left of the sofa or maybe a tall bookcase?  Not sure yet.  The wheels are still churning on that, but when I find the right piece I’ll be sure to update on that.  I’m thinking two large artwork pieces for this wall?  I already have a artwork gallery wall in the adjacent dining room.  I think another gallery wall will be overkill.  This is a huge wall, so whatever I put up there needs to have a huge impact.  Like boom!  I feel a tear coming on looking at this picture and the last Elvis photobomb (Sigh).

I’m also on the hunt for the perfect rug.  I bought this one from Crate and Barrel but it got dirty so quick I pulled it up after about two months.  The rug is now sitting in our basement waiting for the perfect spot, I’m thinking a less traffic area such as our bedroom.  But we’ll see.ImageImage

I’m thinking another chair to go next to the blue one to fill up all the empty space.  This living room is huge!Image