Miscellaneous

8
Feb

Papers Papers Everywhere!

I need to get organized!  Before Emily was born I started trying to get everything in order.  Unfortunately, I bit off more than I could chew – nesting gone wild!  I pulled out so much stuff, convinced I could get through it all and purge our house of every unnecessary item.  That great plan combine with Emily’s decision to come into this world a week early was a recipe for chaos…and I have been living in that chaos for 10 months now (yes, Emily is 10 months old today!).  Needless to say, it is driving me crazy!  The problem is my husband and I are both savers.  That combined with no time makes for a lot of mess.  I can’t even bring myself to show you what our home office has become.  We are in desperate need of purging and reorganization!  So I need an action plan (aka a list because I love lists and they make me feel better and in control).

I have very little spare time and my husband has even less with the demands of his job.  Every once in a while I have visions of getting a burst of energy and going on a cleaning rampage.  That never really happens, but just in case it does one of these days I asked my husband if there is any system to his piles of papers that cover every surface in our office (including the floor).  Sometimes there is organization within the chaos, and I don’t want to throw off his whole system.  So just in case my fantasy of a cleaning rampage comes to fruition, I wanted to see what the consequences would be if I cleaned up all of his mess in addition to mine.  I think I got a tentative nod from him that it would be okay.

Okay, back to the action plan.  Here is what we are dealing with: papers that need to be filed (I have gotten as far as creating a super organized filing system), papers that need to be recycled, papers that need to be shredded, old magazines, old newspapers, my craft supplies, and lots of random stuff.  The problem is the amount of time it takes to go through all of this stuff and determine what should be kept and what should be trashed.  To make it manageable, I think I need to break it up into small goals instead of waiting for my burst of energy (which lets face it, will never come because I am a crazy sleep-deprived mom who can’t drink coffee because then my baby gets wired from the breast milk).  Enough rambling.  Decision made (drumroll)…Quadrants!  I am going to separate the room into quadrants and focus on one quadrant at a time.  In addition, I will put all of my magazines together and go through them while I watch television at night (multitasking, what?!).

Magazines

So here is the action plan/list:

  • Quadrant one: my area of the office
  • Quadrant two: the wall of storage
  • Quadrant three: the seating area
  • Quadrant four: my husband’s desk area
  • First clear off my crafting/sewing table (this will provide a work area to sort papers)
  • Get a bag for recycling and the shredder ready
  • Put away all crafting supplies
  • Sort papers into filing piles and recycle/shred any unnecessary stuff
  • Start a list of any organizational supplies we need to get for things that don’t have  a place yet.
  • File papers after each quadrant has been sorted.

We’ll see what I am left with after I tackle this list.  Fingers crossed that I can make some progress and bring sanity back to our home office.

Category : House Fixing | Miscellaneous | Blog
2
Feb

Big Changes Coming!

Little Owl

Now that the holidays are over and things are settling down, it is time to turn my focus to what this year will bring…a new baby!  My husband and I are having a baby in April – our first baby.  Having made it through the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, I have reached the “feeling good” part of pregnancy and feel the urgency of getting lots done before the “feeling really big and uncomfortable” phase of pregnancy kicks in.  Of course designing a nursery is every domestic diva’s dream.  It gives you permission to get a little bit crazier, try different colors, wall decals, etc.  And everything is so cute!  So that brings me to my inspiration and jumping off point…

Owl Inspiration

I found this fabric at fabric.com and immediately bought a ton of it since it was not going to be in stock again.  The owls are so cute, especially the one with argyle, and I like the colors too.  So this became the jumping off point for the nursery. The colors will be light turquoise, light green, and white – nice and gender neutral.  I decided that it would be fun to paint the ceiling a color instead of just plain white, so the ceiling will be light green, and the walls will be light turquoise.  The furnishings are all going to be white. So as a person who is obsessed with making lists, here is the to do list for the baby’s room:

  • Clear out all of our junk from the baby’s room – this is no small task.  I’m not sure how, but somehow we have managed to fill our entire house with stuff in 2 years.  We have 3 bedrooms upstairs in our house.  The plan is to make one a nursery and one a play room for now.  That means cleaning out 2 rooms!  Yikes!
  • Tear out old closet system.  The old shelving in the closet was pretty dirty from the previous owners (we’re talking melted jolly rancher candy dirty), so it has to go.
  • patch and paint the closet.
  • Put in new closet system (to hang all the super-cute baby clothes).
  • Patch and Paint the ceiling and walls
  • Remove old ceiling fan and put up new ceiling fan.  Not all of the lights work on the old fan, plus it is pretty ugly – so out with the old and in with the new!  We decided to go with another ceiling fan because air circulation is supposed to help with SIDS when the baby is sleeping.
  • Get a dresser/changing table and crib.
  • Build the crib.
  • Get an area rug.
  • Decorate walls with decals and artwork.
  • Put up curtains.

Stay tuned to see the progress on each of the items.  Oh the anticipation!

Category : Baby | Design | Miscellaneous | Blog
13
Dec

You will be missed!

You were there for us for so many years.  When we needed someone to lean on, we could always count on you for your support. You were so generous with our friends and guests, giving them a place to relax and sleep.

Okay…I am talking about the first couch my husband and I ever bought together.  Actually, I think it was the first major purchase we ever made together.  It was a great couch – very comfy and it doubled as a guest bed for our guests when we were living in our one bedroom apartment.  I remember the day we got it.  We had been contemplating and rationalizing and convincing ourselves we needed it.  The daybed that we tried to make look like a couch just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  This was our big “We are adults now” purchase.  No more hand-me-downs. So it was decided!  We were getting the couch!  We rushed out the door to get to the store before it closed and the sale ended.  That’s when we realized, neither of us had grabbed our keys.  Great! Our couch is waiting for us on the last day of the sale a few minutes before closing and we have no way of getting to the store or back into our apartment. Hmmm. We called the weekend Help! line for our apartment complex.  Finally someone showed up, but it was going to be $150 to let us in since it was the weekend…or maybe some of the cookies I just baked could sweeten the deal.  Yes!  He took the bait (I think it helped that he had been at a party and has been drinking before coming over).  Whatever the reason, the cookies were payment enough!  Phew! OK, now to get the couch. We made it to the store just in time, splurged for the sleeper sofa and picked a wonderful sage green microfiber.

Today that couch left to go live with another family.  Our new house arrangement just didn’t leave room for it.  I was so excited to move on and open up space in our house, but after the couch was gone, I have to admit I had a more emotional reaction than I had anticipated.  Our first couch…first major purchase as a couple…gone. It is a bittersweet moment even though it is just a couch.  Times change, things change, people change. It was a wonderful couch, but we have grown and changed and it time for the next chapter (or couch).

Living Room

Category : Design | Miscellaneous | Blog
6
Nov

House Fixin’ is Super TIme Consumin’!

This Domestic Diva Clean

After a long break with no posts, I am finally ready to get back into blogging again.  We overloaded ourselves for the past several months with projects and work and left no time for things like blogging.  On top of this Adobe Photoshop and my computer decided to go through a messy divorce and would no longer play nice together.  The good news is that Adobe and iMac have seen a therapist and are trying to make things work and I now have about a million things to post about.

So what have I been up to?

Guest room, laundry room, gardening room, family room, living room, dining room, baking, cooking, quilting…

So stayed tuned for all of this and more.

Category : Miscellaneous | Blog
25
Oct

The grocery store of my dreams opens!

Wegmans Grand Opening

Growing up in Syracuse, New York my family shopped at Wegmans.  I did
not understand at the time that I was spoiled by this and that this
would result in years of suffering.  In 1992 my family left Syracuse
and Wegmans for Tennessee.  Where was the gourmet food, the amazing
bread, the prepared food section?  18 years, 3 months, and 3 states
later I can finally return home to Wegmans.  Yesterday marked the
Grand Opening of Wegmans only 15 minutes from my house, and even
though I had just driven 5 hours back home from New York, there was no
way I was missing this.  My husband and I got off the beltway and
immediately saw cars backing up and police directing traffic.  Could
all this be for the grand opening?  Yes.  Traffic was rerouted to
avoid major jams.  As we navigated the traffic circles and craned our
necks around every bend, the beautiful signature steeple of Wegmans
came into sight followed by the glow of the neon Wegmans sign.  We
parked our car (in overflow parking) and got in line (yes there was a
line) to enter the store.  It was beautiful.  The produce was all laid
out perfectly under the golden lighting (which is saying something
since this was 6PM and the store had been ravaged by customers all
day).

The best part of the experience came when I realized that I was able
to get everything on my shopping list.  I love to cook and bake and my
shopping lists often reflect that.  Every time I go to the grocery
store there are several crucial items I am not able to get.  This is
extremely frustrating and makes grocery shopping very unpleasant.

To read more about this (for those who are as excited as I am):

Wegmans on Fox

Washington Post: Often-snubbed Pr. George’s scores the grocery holy grail

Washington Post Wegmans Video

Washington Post: Prince George’s Shoppers Welcome Grocery Mecca

Washington Examiner: PG has something to prove with Wegmans debut

Category : Miscellaneous | Blog
4
Jun

Pantry Reorganization!

There is a small pantry in my kitchen for which I am very thankful.  However, it has been getting more and more out of control lately.  Time for The Container Store! Yes, the store is a bit on the pricey side, but I love it.  It’s every perfectionist’s dream!  OK, back to the pantry.

So here is what I was working with:

Pantry Before Final

Total Chaos!

After picking up a few essential organizational items from The Container Store:

Expand-A-Shelf

First I emptied the entire pantry and grouped like items. Spices, baking supplies, canned goods, etc.  Here is the final result once everything was categorized and put away:

Canned Goods

Baking Supplies

Pantry After

Now finding things is a snap.

Category : House Fixing | Miscellaneous | Blog
10
Feb

What are the odds of back-to-back blizzards in Washington, DC?

I think we are being put to the test to see if we can handle being new homeowners.  We picked the snowiest (70 inches so far!) winter in DC to give the whole home owning thing a try. Snowmageddon  and Snoverkill (the names of the two back-to-back blizzards) brought with them some true tests including 30 inches of snow with Snowmageddon and another 15 inches with Snoverkill, 80 hours without power (brrrr!), and one small casualty.  Sadly our fish (officially named Killer but more fondly called Fishy Fish) died of hypothermia during the power outage.  We were constantly refilling his tank with warm water, but it was too much for him in the end.  We also learned the joys of shoveling endless quantities of snow.

Shoveling Snow

Of course there is a lot of beauty with these storms as well.

Snow on Branches

Snow on Deck

Snowy Street

Crape Myrtle in Snow

Backyard in Snow


Category : Miscellaneous | Blog
29
Jan

Who doesn’t love plants?!

Everyone who knows me knows that I love plants.  I love buying them, taking care of them, watching them, talking about them – you get the idea.  Everyone who knows me also knows that my obsession occasionally becomes their burden.  Like Angeliki who had the daunting task of watering all of my plants for a month while I was in Japan, and my coworkers who had to watch and listen when I took a plant that was pronounced dead and placed it in plant E.R. to bring it back from the dead (and thanks to another coworker who rivals my obsession for caring for plants and cared for this plant until it bloomed again about a week ago).  No one carries the burden more than my husband who had to move all of my plants to our new home (see Marathon Move) and who knows that it is not optional when I ask him to come look at the latest growth or blossom on one of my plants.  I have no idea why this is so exciting for me, but it is.  I love plants!

Plants

Category : Miscellaneous | Blog
20
Dec

The World was Covered in a Blanket of Beauty

The anticipation was great!  It was supposed to be one of the biggest winter storms to hit D.C. Reports went from expecting 8 inches to 15 inches to 20 inches!  I woke up at 4:00 in the morning and decided to take a quick peak outside to see if the snow had started.  The world outside was covered in white.  It looked like about 4 inches had fallen.  I went back to bed and woke up again at 9:00, and the snow had doubled!  The plants on my balcony were slowly disappearing including my Japanese Maple.  At dusk, my husband I ventured outside.  The street lights were beginning to turn on and the world was blanketed in the wonderful silence that comes with snow.  Everything was glistening and then the kid in me wanted to play!  The snow was up to my knees (not including the piles from the plows)!  I haven’t seen snow like this since growing up in Syracuse.  We got 23 inches when it was all done!

Japanese Maple in Snow

My poor little maple was almost completely buried.

Me in Snow

Play time!

midnight snow

Midnight Snowfall

snow cars

Cars?

Icicles in SunIcicles in the sun
icicles blue sky

More Icicles
pine tree

Category : Holidays | Miscellaneous | Blog
19
Dec

Another One Turns 30!

Today was my husband’s birthday.  It was also the day of one of the biggest storms in Washington, D.C.’s history.  We had a party planned, but due to the weather outside being frightful, it ended up being the 2 of us staying warm and cozy with a large cake.

cake

cake top

candles and cake

Category : Entertaining | Miscellaneous | Blog