Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DIY - Bathroom Completed!

    Ahhh!  Our bathroom is finally complete!  Okay, mostly complete... we still need to add the vent/exhaust fan + light and paint the ceiling, but really for all intents and purposes, the bathroom is done!  It's actually been done for quite some time - just over 2 months as we finished a couple weeks before Walden was born.  But, adjusting to life with a baby has sucked up nearly all of my blog-posting time.  :)

     I am really happy with how the bathroom turned out.  It's so different I can barely remember what it looked like before without the pictures!  We lost a linen closet in the renovation but gained the refinished double-sized vanity (with one really large sink), a beautiful clawfoot tub, tile instead of linoleum, a new toilet, amazing fixtures and a really nice black, white and purple color scheme.  Here's a quick look at the before and after! 

     Here's the finished vanity complete with the anthropologie mercury glass candles that were the inspiration for the mercury glass sconces.  We put a three-pronged antique style cast-iron hook on the wall for hand towels.

     I also found this cute toilet paper holder.  It's not an antique, but it's a nice reproduction.

     Our built-in shelf turned out wonderfully.  We added two more of the cast iron hooks by the back of the tub for easy towel access post-shower.  

     I really love the hardware and shower conversion kit that we chose for the clawfoot tub.  The tub faucet matches the sink faucet perfectly and adding a shower to the tub was a must.  I'd heard that showering in a clawfoot tub was really inconvenient, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by how not-bad it was!  The hardest part is getting into the tub because it's quite a bit taller than a conventional bathtub.  Other than that, I barely notice a difference.  I did have to buy 3 shower curtains to fit around the full length of the tub, but I used my sewing machine to shorten them lengthwise and convert them into 2 extra wide curtains.  For the back curtain, I sewed in an overlapped opening so we would have easy access to the toiletry shelf without flooding the back wall with shower water.

     Lastly, even though we got the tub standing on its feet and it seemed very secure, Clint didn't want to risk the tub falling and busting the pipes/tile/etc.  It would pretty much ruin the bathroom if anything went awry, so we built little wooden support stands to go under the tub.  They sit about 1/8th of an inch below the height of the tub so that if the tub were to fall, it would be just barely. I was really concerned about adding something that would look terrible, but they're nearly invisible if you're not looking for them and gave us some peace of mind.

     That's it!  It was a lot of hard work and it took forever (from November until April, working mainly on weekends), but it was definitely worth it.  And although I spent way way way too much time picking out every little detail for the bathroom, I really enjoyed my little venture into the world of interior design!  That being said, I wouldn't recommend anyone take on a bathroom renovation project at ~3 months pregnant...  :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

38+ Weeks and A Finished Nursery!

     Well, apparently it has been forever since I did a pregnancy post - 10 weeks ago on Feb 17!!! - and my belly on my last pregnancy post was still so tiny...  And the nursery was still a complete mess filled with bathroom junk!  Fortunately, much has changed in the last 10 weeks, so it's time for some good updates.

Baby Belly

     At about the 31 week mark, I decided to change practices for my maternity care and went from a hospital based midwivery unit (Signature OBGYN) to a birth-center based midwivery group (Special Beginnings).  I was really interested in the option of a waterbirth, and hoping for an environment that would be as conducive as possible to a natural and drug free experience.  One thing that happened with the switch was that Special Beginnings reassessed my due date and pushed it back from May 11 to May 16.  Kind of sad, hehe.  While I'm not a *completely* miserable pregnant lady yet, I am excited to meet Walden and super curious about what he will look like!

     As I was just uploading photos for this post, I *did* find one previously unpublished belly photo from between the Feb 17 post and now, and interestingly I wore the exact same outfit as yesterday. The growth comparison is clear.  :)  The left was taken at ~33 weeks on March 26, and the right was taken at 38.5 weeks yesterday (May 5).  Clearly, my belly has gotten GIANT.  I'm not sure why Walden would want to stay in those cramped quarters any longer! 


Nursery Updates

     The bathroom is basically complete with just a couple of really minor touches left (post coming soon!), so with that done we have recently had a lot of time to dedicate toward finishing up the nursery and getting the house ready for Walden's (hopefully imminent) arrival.  Perhaps I've been nesting because the last couple of weeks I've been on a huge push to get things done, but I'm feeling relieved that things are starting to come together!

     Neither Clint nor myself wanted a very fancily decorated or uber-themed nursery for Walden.  We originally painted the nursery very early (before we knew Walden was going to be a boy), so we picked the gender neutral tan/brown palette and figured we'd just try to make the room look nice.  At long last, after finding out Walden was a boy and naming him (dually inspired by the book Walden and my love for Wall-E), we decided we'd do a very very slight Wall-E/space theme for the room.  This was also fitting with Clint's love of astronomy.  Here's how it turned out: 

I think that Bear Bear thinks the changing pad is for him...

     On the whole, the room is pretty simple but it does have some cute space and Wall-E elements, many of which were gifts to Walden from Clint's mom!  For Christmas she gifted us the beautiful quilt hanging on the crib, and for our baby shower she got us this super cute Wall-E piggy bank and light switch holder.


     She also got us this awesome planets mobile and some matching fabric that I used to make my very first fitted crib sheet with my sewing machine.


     We also found these nifty minimalist Wall-E art posters on Etsy. They were the perfect color scheme for a brown toned Wall-E nursery.

     And lastly, we are borrowing this amazing antique armoire that has been in Donna's family.  It's gorgeous, and is the perfect spot to keep all of my childhood stuffed animals that will soon belong to baby Walden.  :)

     Though it's nothing fancy, we are happy with the way it turned out and hope that Walden will love it too!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Wedding Highlights - 1 year later :)

I can't believe that Clint and I are 
already celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary!
((happy anniversary nugget!  i love you!))

Since I never got around to the original wedding post I was
going to do, what better way to reminisce about our wedding than with a 'wedding highlights' post - a small compilation of 
details and photos of the big day.

The resort:

We had a destination wedding at Couples, Tower Isle
in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  It's an all-inclusive resort for
couples (adults only) and we basically chose it solely because they have private island you can rent for your reception. 
All I can say is that it was amazing!

the island (nude beach by day, wedding venue by night)

The dress:

When my friend +Mira Lynn got engaged and started looking
for dresses, she asked me what kind of dress I wanted. I thought
about it a bit, and drew her a picture of what I wanted -
even though I'd never seen a dress like that.

Then I found it online when looking at dresses for Mira.
A near exact match.  The Alix & Kelly 'Kate' Dress...  I found my dream dress only to learn that the designers had left the dressmaking business about a year prior.

After months of futile searching on pretty much every 
used-dress website known to man (I found tons of people looking to BUY the dress, but no one was selling it), I was lucky enough to find one on ebay - new, never worn and possibly my size! 
(Who really knows with wedding dress sizing??)

So I bought an expensive and unreturnable dress on ebay,
sight unseen, having no idea if it would fit OR look good,
and basically hoped for the best.

Oh wait, did I mention this all occurred before Clint and
even got engaged?  Hehe... Clint (my lovely boyfriend at the time) assured me that if I didn't like it I could always try to sell it, but at least someday I wouldn't be haunted by a
phantom dream dress that no real-life dress
could ever live up to.  (So wise!)

And that was how I ended up with the Alix & Kelly Kate Dress. :)

And while some may think that weddings are all about
the bride, Clint was not to be outdone in his super sharp, super slim Hugo Boss suit.  So sexy...  and look at that tie.
He looked so handsome!

is he a model??

The photos:

For our photography, we went with Justin Lee - 
a phenomenal photographer from San Diego.  He shot the
photos of the resort that sold the resort for me, so I figured
we couldn't go wrong with him!  His photography has a distinctive character - slightly vintage, slightly Americana
and slightly edgy.  We LOVE our photos! 

One of the best things about the resort was that there 
were so many unique areas to shoot - we got a really wide 
array of backgrounds for our photos.  Choosing just a few to highlight from ~700 photos is no easy feat, but here's
some of our absolute favorite shots from the day.


Overall, our wedding day (and wedding week), was 
everything we could have asked for and more.  If we could do
it again, we wouldn't change a thing.

We're so thankful for the friends and family that were 
able to celebrate with us!  We hope that everyone enjoyed the wedding - but who wouldn't love a wedding pool party??
(Did I mention the private island had a pool & pool bar?)

p.s.  big thank you to +Mira Lynn for leaving the party to bring Clint and I some swimwear.  :)  <3

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bathroom Updates - Tile, Toilet, Mirror, Lights and Vanity!

     Thanks to a lovely mid-March snow-day induced 3-day weekend, the bathroom has come a long way since the March 1 update!  I mean, ITS PRACTICALLY ALMOST DONE!  It's not really done - there's no bathtub - but seriously, it's practically like a real bathroom now! And most importantly - it has a toilet!  Which means I don't have to run downstairs at 2, 3, 4 or 5 in the morning to pee. :) Yay! It was a lot of hard work, but totally worth it!

     After getting the wonderboard in and priming the walls for paint, it was time to start tiling the floor.  We weren't really looking forward to this because we chose admittedly difficult tile to work with - the tiles are a mosaic lantern pattern, and each tile is approx 2"x3".  We started by laying our initial straight line (which is hard when there isn't a straight line in your bathroom, period, haha), and then worked out from there.  Clint dedicatedly laid thinset, and I laid the tile behind him.  Though seemingly harmless, this was a little tiring at this stage of my pregnancy. And then I was (stupidly) laying tile while moving in a backwards direction and I managed to squarely step into the open vent hole on the bathroom floor.  My leg fell in and got scraped from my foot to my knee... and I tweaked my preggo back... and I'm lucky that there's a drop ceiling in the kitchen below the bathroom and I didn't poke my foot or the vent shaft through the kitchen ceiling!  :)  Other than that the process went pretty well.  


     The next step on the checklist was getting paint on those walls.  Unfortunately it's been tough to get a good picture that really captures the colors well between the never ending gray weather and the unnatural lighting - but I tried.  The lighter wall is called 'lavender heather' and the darker wall is dark purple with the faux brushed pearl effect.  I was afraid that the faux effect would be really difficult and time consuming, but it wasn't that bad!


     The following day we finally grouted the tile. And by we, I mean Clint and his brother Erin.  So I'm not really sure how tough the grouting process was, but I'm sure it was arduous.  It was also really messy since we decided to use a black grout to really accentuate the shape of the tile.  A bit after the initial grouting was done, Clint and I had to go up and buff the tiles and clean them up.  !!THAT WAS HELL!!  I think we waited a touch too long and the grout wasn't coming off very easily.  We had to hard-scrub every curvy grout-line, for hundreds of tiles.  We literally spent hours doing this.  So the moral of the story is - if you want to make your bathroom tiling experience way more time consuming and difficult than it can be, choose a curvy white mosaic tile and pair it with black grout.  :)  But at the end of the day, I love the way the tile looks, so again, totally worth it.

     After the paint and tile went in, we could actually begin to install some of the bathroom elements!  This was the part I was most excited for because I spent days and days looking at thousands of sinks, faucets, lights, dressers, tiles, mirrors, etc. trying to find elements that would match my vision for the bathroom.  (If you know me, you probably know that I'm very particular...)  So while I was excited, I was also nervous because it's hard to imagine what things will look like before they're actually installed.  Would I love it or would I hate it?!?!  Fortunately, I'm super excited and really pleased with the way things are shaping up so far! 

     With the help of Clint's Dad, the first elements to go in were the wall faucet and the light fixtures.  I absolutely love the antique look of the chrome elephant nose faucet - and the cross-bar handles are nearly a perfect match to the set on the tub.  I debated heavily about if we should use these Pottery Barn sconces because they weren't chrome (and pretty much all of our other fixtures are chrome), but I figured at least the bases are black, which should match our vanity top, and the shiny metallic mercury glass had a bit of a chrome feel to it as well.


     Next up was the toilet, mirror and vanity.  For as much as I tried to save money in this reno, there were certain elements I couldn't find "cheap" and didn't want to compromise on.  So, our toilet is a really pretty and slightly antique-y looking Kohler, and the mirror also came from Pottery Barn.  I actually had a hard time finding a large mirror that was wide enough, but narrow enough to fit between the vanity and our short ceiling.  

    I wasn't savvy enough to take any photos of the toilet with the seat down - but if you could see the tank, you'd see that it has a nice rectangular shape, and the front bows out - which matches the shape of the vanity and also draws in the curves of the tile.  (I'll make sure the seat is down for the completion post!)  So here's everything that we have currently installed!

     You may remember that the sink was a vessel sink, and I was contemplating dropping it into the vanity.  As you can see, we did just that.  We found that there wasn't a ton of space between the faucet and the sink, so the extra 1-2 inches gained made a big difference in the usability of the faucet.  :)  I also think that dropping the sink into the vanity gave it a more seamless look.  The size and shape of the sink ended up fitting the vanity perfectly!

     And here is one last picture of the space in 'natural' morning lighting.  I really love the way the light lavender draws out the brushed pearl element on the darker purple wall, and I'm really pleased with the way the purples coordinate with our 'black and white' elements.

     Hopefully the next bathroom post will actually be our completion post!  We still need to grout the tile in the over-tub toiletry bump-in, and then we need to frame that up to match the window/door trim and add the baseboard.  Then we just need to install the tub and the shower enclosure.  And then we'll actually be done!  I hope it turns out well.  Stay tuned!