Category Archives: furniture

Plumber Buts

Living room or plumbing supply warehouse

Living room or plumbing supply warehouse?

The bathrooms are done! This being our third major plumbing project in less than a year, I have a few things to say about our plumbers. Read my column at Angie’s List to learn why each of my plumbers has a big but.

We still have to add a few accessories, and the final electrical inspection is today, but for the most part, DONE. Now that my living room no longer looks like this, it’s time to start thinking about a cushy couch, maybe a relaxing chair and a coordinating rug and then we start saving for college again.

Of course that last line is a joke. What middle class family can afford college these days? We opened accounts for the boys practically at birth and if we’re lucky, those funds could get them through a year of school.

But I digress. My main point is that I hope we can coast for a while and put our time and energy into planning things other than home improvements. What? Oh, hello two cars in the driveway each with more than 100K miles on them.

My Big News Might Be a Snooze to You

Serta's Great mattress heistAfter sleeping sitting on this news for a few weeks, I’m delighted to announce that I’m serving as a Serta Blogger Ambassador through the end of the year. It’s been said that I do my best work in bed and I love to sleep, so it seems like a good fit.

From time to time I’ll be sharing news about the Serta and their products, and maybe a giveaway or two.

Speaking of which, after working with Serta last year and giving away an iComfort Sleep System on this blog, not to mention showing off my own, several of you asked if there’d be another chance to win an oh-so-relaxing Serta Mattress.

There is!

Serta recently a new campaign featuring those cute little counting sheep (several of which are scattered about my office).

The Great Serta Mattress Heist

It seems the sheep (which find themselves out of work due to Serta’s dreamy mattresses) have broken into Serta HQ and escaped with a Perfect Sleeper Mattress. They’ll soon be sharing clues on Facebook as to where they are stashing the purloined* goods.

Serta is asking Facebook fans to find and reclaim the stolen Sleeper by decoding clues left by the sheep. In addition to the grand prize, there will be weekly giveaways to fans featuring plush Serta Sheep (so your office can look like mine), Serta pillows and other tokens of comfort (I’m hoping this includes including their super soft plush blanket that I enjoyed until one of my boys snuck it away).

Once all three clues have been delivered, Serta will ask participants to complete a simple form and submit their guess as to the location of the hidden mattress. Correct guessers will be entered for a chance to win a new Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress set complete with a full Sleep to Go top-of-bed pack, a personal letter from Sheep #1 and an exclusive Serta Counting Sheep gift basket.

Speaking of a Serta Sheep gift basket, look what I received gave myself nearly a year ago. I can’t believe it’s almost a year since we bought the house! Though perhaps that’s because we’ve only been living here a few months. At any rate, it sure feels like home now.


(Please not that the giveaway mentioned in the video was held in 2011.)

As a Serta Blogger Ambassador, I will be receiving compensation as well as Perfect Sleeper mattresses for my boys, making us an all-Serta house (except for in our guest room, where we have a lumpy old futon–sorry guests!). All opinions are my own unless my husband writes a guest post in which case all opinions are his.

* Seriously, have you used that word since high school?

Are you still reading? Go channel your inner Nancy Drew and find that mattress!

The Master Bedroom

bedroom wall before renovationSo Hubs walks into the bedroom on Valentine’s Day to find our tripod, camera perched atop aimed directly at our bed. He was curious. Very curious.

“I’m making a video,” I said batting my eyelashes.

He smiled.

“For my blog.”

Such is the lot for the husband of a social media mom.

Let’s hope this sneak peek into my bedroom does not disappoint you as much as it did my dear husband. But before we get to the video, I want to remind you how it looked before our renovation. Take a look at the photo on the right.

And here’s a sense of how it how it looked once we raised the roof and bumped the room out a few feet.

bedroom during renovation

Now you’re ready to appreciate the new look and our fab new bedroom and our cool new mattress, er, sleep system. It can take a week or two to adjust to a new mattress. Had I not known this, I might have freaked out about our fancypants hi-tech bed, wondering if it was a mistake. But by night 7 or so, I adapted to my new bed (and my new bedroom) and now I sleep well.

Check it out!


And just for fun, this is what the wall behind my bed looked like just a few months ago. It’s a pretty amazing transformation, isn’t it? I’m grateful for it every day.


roof line before renovation


What’s that? You want to know more about my oh-so-pink vintage nightie? That will be a post of its own one day. Let’s just say I might not be where I am today without it.


Disclosure: The Serta iComfort System was provided by Serta.

I Am Not Buried Under Boxes

moving van pulled up to my house

Quite literally door-to-door service.

It just feels that way. We had movers bring over some of the larger pieces of furniture the other day. The driver took one look at our lawn which, sadly, is not currently covered with snow. I say sadly because it looks much like it did after the plumber left us back in July. Of course, there was a dumpster sitting on the land from September through December, so it didn’t make sense to sod until this coming spring. The driver asked if he could back his truck up onto our “lawn” and I couldn’t think of a reason he shouldn’t.

Plus, he said it would save a little time and since our four-man team’s hourly billing rate was higher than mine, it made even more sense.

They were pretty efficient, which is to say the guys from Happ Movers didn’t waste a lot of time wrapping stuff.

Some movers mummify everything in bubble wrap and tape and then charge you for materials plus time. A waste of money and bubble wrap, not to mention tape. These guys had large rubber band-type things and lots of moving blankets. Nothing was damaged.

Honestly, the only piece I was really concerned about was the piano- a 1920s player piano. There are few material possessions that I consider completely irreplaceable; the piano is one of them. When we moved it into my parents’ house, we used Burrows. I felt more confident with the way that team cared for the piano, but Team Happ moved our piano and about 5 other sizeable pieces of furniture for less than it cost just to move the piano a few years ago.

Most importantly, the piano and the player mechanism appear to be working just fine.

{wipes sweat from brow}

There’s still lots of unpacking and settling in to do, but I look forward to sharing more pictures soon. I finally found the piece I need to transfer photos from my camera to the computer, so the quality of my shots should improve soon(ish). Check out the before and after shots:

living room before


player piano 1920s

AFTER (note the mess in the foreground; it's called Keeping It Real or perhaps Too Lazy To Clean Up For The Shot)

Those white squares to the left of the piano are the song rolls. Wanna come over for old skool karaoke? It’s tons of fun.

(No, I did not get any special discount or deal from our movers. Just called around for prices based on recommendations from Angie’s List.)




See Me in Action!

You always need the right tools for the job. In this case, the right tools were, well you’ll see in the video.


I only wish this post was sponsored by Q-tips, but no, my eyes simply fell upon the multipack of nearly 2,000 cotton swabs during a vulnerable moment at Costco and I knew I had to make them mine.

On the bright side, I won’t have to buy Q-tips again until 2013.

I’m buying coffee for two people who comment below on at least one change to our interior. Not changed are the doors on the main floor. Likely, I’ll get a new front hall closet door Valentine’s Day, DH will get a basement door for Father’s Day and so on. We have lovely, new, matchy doors in the upper part of the house, with one exception, to be revealed at a later date.

Also unchanged is the banister (pricey!) and the wooden runners on the stairs. I imagine at some point we’ll paint these. We need to do something with the stairs, too, but maybe that will happen after someone slips and breaks a few bones. (God forbid.) Carpet? Stick-on treads? What do you think?


HGTV Magazine

image from

I received a review copy of HGTV’s new magazine a few weeks ago. It was a fun read, with coverage by and of many familiar names from TV. That said, I’d like to see a little more in-depth coverage as the magazine grows. I realize it’s supposed to provide a lot of eye candy, and it did, but I’d like a few more practical tips and detailed tutorials.

Of course, I’m so overwhelmed with plumbing and wiring and HVAC (oh, my!) that I don’t have time to ponder throw pillows right now. As much as I like our general contractor, I’d love for the Property Brothers* to burst through my door and sit me down for a screening of a 3-D rendering of my fully decorated open concept kitchen/dining room/living room. So far, the only decor decision we’ve made for the area is the color and style of pendants that will hang over the breakfast bar. And possibly the paint.

And then there’s the whole upstairs of the house….

*I’d open my doors to the Kitchen Cousins, too.