Crooked No More!

We moved into the house with this UGLY chandelier.


Very crooked. Because Nick and his big head broke it.


So boring and blah. Now it is finally time for our new chandelier to break out of its box…

it's looking at us, waiting...

And be strewn all over the floor… And hopefully not eaten by Vaquero…


New Chandelier, meet your new home…


Nick introduces the Chandelier to the Hole…


Until Elisa cannot hold up the Chandelier anymore. So they switch…


Almost done.. Just gotta tuck in the wires…


Screw in the screws… And we’re done!!


So happy, so gleaming, so new!


We love how the light reflects off the ceiling – very dramatic!

Good night, old chandelier. You will rise again… But not with us…


Ahh, that’s done and over with. What’s next?

Many thanks to Mom Kathi who took pictures while we put up the chandelier. She spent the weekend with us for her birthday and it was a lot of fun! XOXO

Organized Jewerly

One bright happy day around 30 years ago, I was searching the ‘net for how to assemble something IKEA. I stumbled into this great site – IKEAhacker.


They hack IKEA furniture to turn them into something else or the same thing, only cooler. Hacks can range from simply giving something a paint job to actually building something completely different using IKEA parts.

And I found this post:

Angie’s George Nelson Inspired Jewerly Cabinet

Finally, a great idea for all of my earrings and necklaces! So, I zoomed to IKEA and bought three Fira drawers.

Left them in our bedroom for a few weeks.

Primed them.

Left them alone for a week.

Then Nick and I got to work and gave them all a coat of black paint.


And they’ve been waiting ever since for their second coat and a few coats of polyurethane. (No, they’re not still on the floor – they’re in our bedroom, smiling along with our chandelier, on the floor)

And my necklaces have been badly tangled ever since.

And then I saw this: Procrastinator Proclamations


So my deadline is October 20.

Cool…. *glup*

The Color Purple

Our wedding was awesome. Our theme was PURPLE, white, DIAMONDS, coolness. Naturally, we want to remember the day we became one and put these colors in our most romantic room of the house: the master bedroom.

Hence, this moodboard….

Master Bedroom

1. Our color scheme for the room and design plans for the accent wall (one wall purple with the design, other walls gray); 2. Ashley Furniture, purchased; 3. ZGallerie; 4. Gift from MOM! This chandelier is a close replica of what I have; 5. West Elm. 6. IKEA, purchased; 7. IKEA, purchased; 8. Engagement picture; 9. Urban Outfitters; 10. ZGallerie; 11. IKEA, purchased.

Wow. We have seven out of 11 items on this moodboard! Very cool.

Not As Simple As It Mounts

Remember our tv set?

We finally mounted the TV… and it was NOT SIMPLE.

Here’s the before:


Yeah, it looks so dumb with an extra tv set in front of our new tv set.

First step:


Removing the stand from the tv. Now we have a lonely stand. Any ideas what we could do with that stand?


Cute mount from IKEA. Everything from IKEA is cute, even their screws.


I’m so glad I married a math teacher. Honestly, it comes in handy EVERYDAY. Measure the TV mount? Sure, that’s easy. What’s the tip? Sure, that’s easy. What’s 1/4 of a 3/4 cup? Sure that’s… Hey we have a magnet on the refrigerator for that.


Here, I was holding the mount as steady as I could, waiting for Nick to drill the holes. Then I looked over and saw him clicking away on the camera. Hey… My muscles are working here! (They seem to be missing from that photo)


ELISA: I’m scared…

NICK: You can do it.


ELISA: I’m doing it!

NICK: *waits*

ELISA: Now the drill won’t go through the hole anymore…

NICK: You’re holding it too high.

ELISA: *lowers the drill*

NICK: Too high, stop holding it too high.

ELISA: *lowers drill some more*



Interesting fact: That expression Nick has on increases his man-strength.


(A shout-out to Mike – THANKS for lending us your drill!) (If you ever read this, that is)


The calm before the storm. Seriously.

After vacuuming up all the sawdust, we rolled up our figurative sleeves and got ready to put the TV on the mount. Should be easy, right? Yeah suuuuuuuuuuuure.

We STRUGGLED to put the tv up for like an hour. Not kidding. That IKEA tv mount may be cute, but it’s deadly. We tried various methods, all resulting in more and more scratches on the tv set.

Advice #1: Tape towels to the corners of the TV to prevent scratching. Good thing we have a handy tiny (and cute) pail of IKEA black paint.

We even tried taking off the mount and fitting it to the TV, then putting up the mount with the tv attached.

Advice #2: Don’t do this. It doesn’t work well.

We put the mount back on and I went behind the tv set and guided the tv to the mount through the hole in the tv set as Nick used his muscles to hold the tv all on his own.

Advice #3: Marry a jock.

I present the AFTER:


It might not look all that much different, but trust me it is way better and the living room feels so much larger now.

I think that’s enough on that tv set. There’s a lot to be done, from the sliding doors to the shelves and accessories, but we’ll show that once its done instead of torturing you with details of every vase choice and strategetic placements of shelves.

Next up – the chandelier! Remember this? We decided to move it from the living room to another room. Care to take a guess where?

Making a Good First Impression

We made progress this weekend! 🙂

(I’m so happy that I’m not even going to mention that we only did two tasks out of the four we planned on doing this weekend)

We painted our entryway! Foyer! Landing strip! Whatever you want to call it!

The color: The same gray we used in our living room – Sherwin Williams’ Gray Screen.



Ignore the cheap vinyl flooring. That will be hardwood soon sometime later.


Ignore Tala. I have no idea why she’s smelling the outlet?!


All taped up and ready to go! Geez, sometimes taping feels like it takes longer than the actual painting. We have got to remember to try to tape everything up the day before we paint, so we don’t get bored and tired before even dipping a brush into paint!

(Let’s play I Spy.. Do you Spy one of our cats in the above picture?)


Go, Nick! Work that roller!

We like the little rollers better than the regular ones. The littler ones splatter less, result in less lap lines (the lines in the paint caused by rollers when they have too much paint or when you press too hard on the wall), are less tiring to use, and are just plain CUTER.



That’s so much better than the stark and unfinished white look before the paint. It looks calm and cool. I especially like how the white trim pops against the gray.


But, of course, it’s still unfinished. Nothing ever gets finished in this house.

After the first coat, I got to thinking about what we could do with the entryway. We usually dump our shoes there when we arrive from work and then the pile just builds up until Nick sullenly picks up his shoes and brings them upstairs and I sullenly follow suit. We need some kind of organization in the area, as well as some… beauty.

So, I went looking for inspiration.

First stop: The new Pottery Barn catalog, got through the mail last Friday.

Picture 5

Cute! A bit woodsy, but… Worth a try. Let’s see how it looks with our gray house…?


A bit too country for our taste… Moving on…

…to IKEA. They’re especially designed for small spaces and our entryway is NARROW.

I’ve been considering this combo for awhile ever since I saw it in our IKEA store (yes, it is OURS).


Time to finally see how it’d look in our house…



Next, please.



Uhmm. I would lose the white shelf and move the mirror up a bit, but I’m not loving the white… And it looks weird and.. Blah.

IKEA.. Will you fail me today? Or is third time the charm?



That’s it, we’re not doing any kind of white (or cream) furniture in our entryway. It just looks wrong. But I kind of like that mirror though. Something with mirrors…

Out of despair, I tried googling “entryway ideas” and came up with this photo from…

Picture 6

And I googled “console table” and got a picture of this cute table from



Now that finally has real potential!

Since our entryway is pretty narrow, I thought of another option –


A floating shelf would work well. But Nick has a good point – more chance for us (and guests) to bump against the shelf if it doesn’t have legs. I don’t know why, but it makes sense to me.

We’re still not sure – but this we do know:

– Black furniture for the entryway is required

– A mirror (or mirrors) is required

– Enough obsessing over the entryway (Nick’s requirement, not mine)

Come and Visit Our House!

If you move your eyes slightly to the right, you’ll see a section labeled “Pages” and below it, you’ll see a link, “House Tour”. There, you’ll see every room in our house (except a few that I need to add, like the master closet and the garage) and what they used to look like and what they look like now. I will be updating that page every time we change something in the house.

(I really hope I will be updating that page by the end of the weekend!)

UPDATE: The page is updated! (twirly dancing) (in my head only)

I Dream of Orangeness

I am totally new to photoshopping.

Frustrated with the lack of progress on our living room due to homecoming week at the school we teach and then now with the hubby being sick for two days…

If I couldn’t paint in reality, I wanted to at least paint virtually.

guest bedroom moodboard

I know, that looks so amateurish.

Well, I still gotta a lot to learn but this moodboard is at least a start… Will show it again when I’m good and done with that. Still a lot to add… I know, I’m like a kid in a candy store (Nick’s favorite words to describe me whenever we go to a home decor store).

For now, here’s the BEFORE photos of the guest bedroom! Can’t wait to make over that room, it’ll be the most fun room in the house… but as per my contract (signed in blood) with Nick, we have to finish the living room first. Sigh…

nursery before 1

nursery before

That settles it.

WE ARE GOING TO FINISH THE LIVING ROOM THIS WEEKEND: paint, hang tv, install light chandelier.

(guttural growl)

UPDATE: Nick just vetoed the orange chair. Oh no. Do you agree with him or do you think it’s oh-so-cute like I do?? Support, please, people.

The Windows Are Taunting Us

We added several upgrades to our house when it was being built, such as recessed lighting in the kitchen and gutters for the front of the house, but we declined to upgrade our window blinds. We could have upgraded to wooden window blinds, but we wanted to choose our own blinds instead of being limited to whatever choices Centex (our builder) had to offer.

So, when we moved in, we had this on all of our windows:



Cheap white plastic blinds.

Thanks for the free blinds, but no. No.

We wanted something dark and cooler. But you know, even a cardboard window covering would be cooler than plastic white blinds, y’know? So we thought that would be easy to find.

After a trip to IKEA, we had this:

Cool. Simple, understated, and it was gray!

But when we put it up, it wasn’t dark anymore due to the shining sun and it just looked… BLAH.

*rolls eye* (yes, one eye. it wasn’t even worth two eyes.)

We already patched up all the little holes around the windows so we couldn’t put the white shutters back in the living room windows.

Remember when I said cardboard would be cooler than plastic white blinds?





What do you think?


the blue tape's a nice touch

the blue tape's a nice touch


As much as we enjoy looking at THAT, we’re still searching for the perfect window treatments. We’re thinking about black/very dark brown faux wooden blinds (you won’t believe how EXPENSIVE blinds are!) but we’re not sure if that would be too dark, since we already have a very dark TV set.

Decisions, decisions.

Framing the Boob Tube

We admit it, we love a good TV. That little box shows everything from violent football games to thought-provoking movies to mind-numbing reality tv shows. On a trip to an outlet Sony store, we bought a 42-inch flat-screen TV on a whim (it was too good of a deal to pass up) and we love it.

But a thing of such beauty needs to be surrounded by beauty.

We looked and looked for a nice tv set that we would be happy to look at everyday…

We went to many furniture stores but a lot of tv sets looked too boring or too old-fashioned, but most of them was just plain BORING. They looked all the same.

Until we saw the perfect specimen at IKEA. {Oh, IKEA, people say that you’re cheap and low-quality but we disagree – you’re modern and fun and well-priced. Of course, you have some furniture that should be only seen in college apartments, but you have some great items, too.}



Immediately, we said, THIS IS THE ONE. Love at first sight. The lights at the top! The sliding doors! The pictures inserts on the cabinet doors!

But it was out of stock. For weeks! We kept on calling and calling and waiting until it came into stock and in the black color we wanted. Then finally, o happy day, it came into stock and we zoomed over to Round Rock and made the big purchase.


And then we waited weeks and weeks before we finally put it up. Sometimes I just don’t understand ourselves.



Here’s what our “tv wall” in our living room looked like before. Old IKEA tv set from my old apartment, the beautiful tv, and a cool vase of golden straws (a cool wedding gift from Nanette). You can see our cool bluish-gray paint on the wall.



Ok, on to work. First – untangle all the cords behind our tv. We have lots of cords that are like 10 feet long when we only need like inches long. Really smart, I know.

the wolf and the cowboy

the wolf and the cowboy

After pulling our cats out from the tangle and throwing balls in the direction of the dining room so they would leave us alone, we got back to work. Anytime we do anything around the house, the cats think its time to play.

Elisa and Nick painting the walls? Let’s jump into the paint tray and get paint all over ourselves! NO NO A BATH?? NOOOO!!

Elisa and Nick assembling a chandelier for the bedroom? Let’s play with all the diamonds and little things and chew on them!!

Elisa falling asleep on the bed with the laptop still on? Let’s play with the keyboard and destroy it! (Three of my keyboard buttons are still missing… I suspect they’ve been swallowed by the troublemakers.)


blank canvas.

blank canvas.


hard at work.

The tv set is actually different pieces stacked together. Later, we will get screws and whatnot to secure everything together.


Finally, we’re done…

Top Model Nick

Top Model Nick

For now.

still a long way to go.

still a long way to go.

Things we still have to do:

– Put in screws and a tv mount (we already have the tv mount) into the tv set so we can hang the tv (you still can see our old tv set in front of the new tv set, holding the tv. it’s so dumb – I have to hold the remote really low for it to connect with the DVR).

– Put in sliding doors

– Put in shelves

– Purchase two cabinet doors and put art in them, like the model at IKEA

– Buy a lotta more accessories

– Add lights at the top of the tv set to shine down on the accessories

– Take pictures and blog about it

bright happy o' new day

bright happy o' new day

We like how it looks now! We will have to decide whether we want to add another level to the top of the tv set… We loved the three “levels” on the model at IKEA, but our ceiling is just three inches too low for the third level. Frown. We could get a smaller cabinet to put on the top for a more built-in look, but right now we’re thinking about just adding more accessories, like vases and plants, on the top to balance everything out.

I also want a giant green plant on the right side of the tv set (near the window). But the tiny plant I got got destroyed and eaten up by the cats. And I basically killed an unkillable cactus somehow (I think I have a bluish-gray thumb, not a green one). So we’ll see about that…

I Like Shiny Things

this pic doesn't do it any justice

this pic doesn't do it any justice

I am posting this in the hopes that it will SPUR me and Nick to assemble this thing and put it up in our living room!!!!!!!

Right now, it’s in this box:

it's looking at us, waiting...

it's looking at us, waiting...

It’s so sad, I know.

Then look for a cute lighting for our dining room. We want something like this:



But without the $400 price tag.

Right now, the chandelier that came with the house is disabled. Handicapped. Lopsided. Limping. Off-balance.

After knocking it against our hard foreheads one too many times, one of the lights met its demise after a particularly hard encounter with Nick’s head.

Which isn’t a sad story. It’s a happy one. Because that’s more ammo for me to use to convince Nick to purchase a new dining room chandelier sooner than later!

Don’t tell him I told you this.