Come and knock on our door

Welcome to our humble abode!  Yes, it’s a little more humble than we would like but come on we are in a recession!  I figured that a tour of the place should be in order, maybe it will help you picture some of the things we tell you about in our later blogs. Plus- Jenn and I have some ideas of sprucing up the place to maximize the usage of our smaller space.

So it all begins with the living room. Jenn’s background is in interior design so there is no question who does the decorating in this family, although I throw my opinion in every once in awhile.  The tables were hand made by yours truly, and Jenn contributed the painting, the dragon pillow (rawr), and organized the book case (that will be getting a face lift soon).

Make your way into the dining area where you will see no lack of jobs to be completed. Jenn needs an office area desperately, table refinished, decorating the wall, and Jenn has an idea for a new light.  We will get to all of that later, just come back and see.

Now turn and you will be in our kitchen (which is a step up from our last place, yeesh). It has a really neat mirror back splash (hmmm) and plenty of room for all of Jenn’s cake stands (Not sure why she has so many cake stands when she doesn’t bake).  The pantry leaves me wanting but only because I like to do something called prepping… more on that later.

The bathroom has gotten a few upgrades already (shower head installation) and a shower curtain we grabbed at Target with some store credit. This bathroom has a great vanity with a huge draw back in the form of one sink…  Side note: any of the men reading this with one bathroom and a female living with them, please comment and tell me how you manage to get ready at the same time.

The bedroom is quite literally that, the room taken up by a bed. In college Jenn and I got used to a king bed so it kind of stuck. With the bed taking up 80% and the TV taking up 10% we are left with the walkway around the bed.  I know-“Kris where do you put all your stuff?” we have had to find ways to conserve space…spoiler alert: it’s under the bed. Plus, the room has two closets with a good amount of space.

10 points if you can spot our photobomber.

We went back and forth on getting a one bedroom or two, but since we knew we would be so-sleeping for at least a year, we figured we could save the extra money (those student loans aren’t going to pay themselves). Well that’s our place guys! I hope getting a picture of the apartment can help you picture things a little better and we also wanted to document the state it’s in now so when we start making some upgrades we can look back and feel good about our progress. In fact, Jenn has been working on a little upgrade that she’s planning for Wednesday that is going to help out that empty space syndrome going on in the living room…stay tuned!

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DIYing some not so “cliche” baby artwork

Having a baby around changes everything…instead of having my apartment clean and impeccable 95% of the time there is now a baby swing that lives in my kitchen, a vibrating baby chair in my bathroom, Ergo babies and Maya wraps strewn about, not to mention all of the burb cloths, baby wipes, and baby blankets  that seem to float around from room to room. I was so determined before having a baby that I didn’t want his “stuff” to take over our house…and while I really do try to keep it to a minimum there are just certain things that make life easier and end up being worth the eye sore. So when it came time to do the classic baby footprint artwork, I thought there had to be a way to make it cool and modern and not so…baby. No offense to all you babies.

So here is what I ended up with. An abstracted painting where you barely notice the baby footprint, but it’s still there to preserve the memory and be adorable. So a couple months back before Phoenix got here I bought two of these 16×20 canvases at the Hobs (Hobby Lobby) they were on sale $7  for both of them (um. score!). I wanted to get the artwork portion done before the little guy got here to simplify things. So to create my abstract artwork I just picked out some colors that I love (I originally thought these might go in our bedroom so I wanted something that was masculine enough for Kris to handle), I found a couple of inspiration pictures online and just went to town. I think the important part of creating abstract art is to layer, there have been several times when I have started a piece, worked on it for awhile and stopped…only to realize a few days later that the reason it didn’t look quite right was because it wasn’t “done” and just needed several more layers. More layers equals more texture which equals more interest. So after finishing my two canvases (that I wanted to go together, but not be identical), I had these guys to work with.

All done and ready for cute little baby footprints. I used Ceramcoat in Sea Foam for the footprint. I did a bit of research before using this, checking their website to make sure that it was non-toxic and water based. Most acrylic paints are but you can never be too careful when it comes to a baby.

We used a make-up sponge to apply the paint, Kris dabbed a light layer onto Phoenix’s foot- if it’s too globby you won’t get good definition. The make-up sponge worked really well to get just the right amount of paint on his foot. We made sure to get every last adorable little toe too!

Then we gently pressed his foot into the corner of my painting. Phoenix didn’t seem to mind the paint or the foot pressing action.

We were left with the cutest little footprint! We thought we would do his hand too and kind of overlap the two, but Phoenix wasn’t having it. He’s a fist clencher  and he was not interested in un-fisting his hands for us… he is quite strangely strong. I think that boy has some superhero in him or something. I like it better with just the footprint anyway, much simpler.

And there you have it…baby artwork that isn’t going to make your living room look like a nursery. I originally thought Kris and I would hang these in our bedroom one on each side, but the scale is all wrong and they are way too small.

So I put this little vignette together for photos, but we will find a permanent place eventually. Don’t you love my little owl? He makes me smile.

Has anyone else been cooking up any baby artwork? How do you keep your house looking like it hasn’t been overrun by a baby? Any ideas for those monstrous swings?