Phone Photo Friday

11/16/2012

Most of my Phone Photo Friday pictures are from my Instagram feed. Follow me @mahlbrandt if you’d like!


New Home Update

11/15/2012

Well things didn’t go quite as quickly as we had planned this week. The hold up has been getting the electric connected by the electric company, passing the city inspection and then getting the gas company to come out and set up the meter which involves a lot of people coming out and is completely out of our control. We didn’t have any problems, it just took longer than we were hoping and as I’m writing this on Wednesday night, we still don’t have gas (should be hooked up tomorrow) which means we don’t have heat, which means they can’t put the wood flooring in yet, which means the kitchen won’t go in until next week… which means… we probably won’t be moving in Thanksgiving week after all. The house should essentially be done, but there is a series of inspections the city has to do before we can get an occupancy permit and with it being a holiday week, it’s unlikely they will all happen before Thanksgiving. We can’t move in without an occupancy permit. The good news is that we were originally hoping we’d be in by Christmas and getting in by Thanksgiving was just a nice surprise. We don’t have any rush except excitement. Thank God we have a place to stay at my parents’ house for as long as we need.

So, what did happen this week? The HVAC was installed along with the hot water heater. We got power! At the point of me writing this, about half of our lights are installed. Door handles were installed. Jason and I took the master key on Tuesday night and had new specialty keys made for ourselves. We also picked up some LED lights to put up on our light shelf, but we need to get more. We guessed on the 100 lights/33 ft. set.

I had to run out to the hardware store to grab a couple of lights for closets that we had forgotten about. Jason was out of town and happened to have horrible reception while I was at the store so I couldn’t even consult with him. This was the picture I sent him to say, “I got these. OK?”

Outlets and some fixtures are in.

We were going to get fans for every bedroom but we decided to save money and get some cheapos for now and we’ll replace them one at a time later on.

We still got a nice fan for our bedroom and we’ll have one in the living room as well.

This is a silent “door bell” in Jason’s studio. Remind me to tell you about that later.

The HVAC looks like it was custom painted to match our house. It was not but that would be cool, wouldn’t it?

We like dimmers. We’re going to have a lot of dimmers.

It was foggy one morning while I was walking Lucy and I took this pretty autumny photo.

Lights! Jason, who is a perfectionist (I love that about him!) is straightening one of many crocked door handles.

We got these squarish door levers and it’s really noticeable if they’re a little bit off.

Jason is checking out the hall bathroom.

This is the first time we’ve really been able to see the tile and paint color because this is the only windowless room in the house and it has always been dark until now. That’s precisely why I wanted a light airy color on the walls (SW window pane) and I’m really happy with how it goes with the light gray tile and white tub (we’ll also have a white toilet, white vanity, white sink/countertop.)

Only 1 of 4 lights was installed so it’ll get a lot brighter in here.

We turned on all of the lights that we could and ran back outside in the cold to see what it looks like lit up. We have lights in the eaves around the house so once they’re installed it’ll really light up at night.

We have 2 workable outside lights on either side of the garage.

A custom house justifies custom keys right?

Kitchen:

Living room:

From mudroom/office (green room) pocket door looking toward the living room, kitchen and dining room:

Next update I should have pictures of finished tile work, finished hardwood floors, finished lighting, finished kitchen … hopefully a finished house!!


I Believe in Miracles

11/14/2012

Do you remember this story? One year ago tomorrow, a miracle happened while were in court feeling hopeless, thinking that we were about to say goodbye to our sweet baby girl after two months of fostering and falling in love with her. But, to our surprise she was taken out of state custody and put back into our arms so we could become her forever parents! We are so blessed, so thankful that we get to be this precious little girl’s parents!

November 10, 2011

November 11, 2012


New Home: Den/Playroom Plan

11/13/2012

Den/Playroom Room plan from myMCMlife.com

Sources

1. Sherwin Williams Greek Villa

2. Exposed concrete block wall

3. IKEA TROMSO day bed and pull out trundle $80 each (This is a big fat maybe. I was hoping our vintage gold pull out sofa would fit in here but it’s too big. We need some comfy seating that would ideally work also as a guest bed or maybe even a bed for a future child. No futons.)

4. Basketball hoop. $33 on Amazon. The top priority of this room is fun.

5. Natural hickory wood floors, like the rest of the house

6. Black chalkboard wall

7. Jason’s first guitar, which is now wall art. Second priority of this space is creativity and musical instruments will definitely be part of that.

8. Urban Outfitters zig zag rug, 5×7, in gray. Another big maybe but it’s my current top choice.

9. Pop & Lolli Build-a-Bot decal set. I won these on Design Mom’s blog and I’m pretty stoked to play with them… I mean, let some kids play with them.

10. Some kind of bookshelf to store toys, books, instruments. Vintage and metal painted a bright color would be nice. (This one is from UO.)

11. My old Apple iBook from 2002, which is still kicking, sort of, and hopefully has enough juice left to play some kid’s DVDs. Eventually we might add a small LED TV into this room.

12. Vintage footstool

13. Metal storage cart (painted a funky color) for toys and things

14. Child-size seating, like this metal folding chair, and maybe eventually a child-size table.


“Read It!” – Ali’s Favorite Books

11/12/2012

Evidenced by 15-month-old Alianna’s new two word phrase “read it,” she’s been really into books lately. When she’s getting sleepy before a nap or bedtime, she’s even more likely to have the attention span for me to get through a whole book. The other day my mom was reading my sleepy girl this book (below) and I wanted to capture the moment.

One, Two, Three by Sandra Boynton

These are some of Ali’s (and my) other current favorites to read everyday, sometimes many times a day:

Little Pink Pup – a great story for foster or adoptive families – it’s a true story so it uses real (poor quality) photos but it’s still very sweet

A Mother for Choco – another great one for adoption/foster dialogues about mother and child that don’t look alike, as well as what it means to be a mother

Rhyme Bible Storybook – the stories are just the right length and written as poems that are fun to read aloud. (Note: this is a huge book with tons of stories in it.)

All of Baby Nose to Toes – this is my favorite book to read aloud because it’s impossible for me to not sing-read it

Polite Elephant – we’re working on manners like “please” and “thank you” and how to welcome someone into our house, thank someone when we leave their house, how to play gently with other’s toys, etc. so this one is timely for us

Hug Time – about a kitty so full of love that he wanted to give the whole world a hug. Need I say more?

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – we use this one to practice animal names and sounds

Hop on Pop – this is the only one in our current favorites pile that was also one of my favorites when I was little. Good old Dr. Seuss.


Phone Photo Friday

11/09/2012

Most of my Phone Photo Friday pictures are from my Instagram feed. Follow me @mahlbrandt if you’d like!


New Home Update

11/08/2012

Last week the concrete was poured for our back patio and our driveway. The painters finished their work inside and outside. And the house had major clean-up done inside and outside as well. All of that was finished in time to get the house ready for a modern architecture home tour that took place on Saturday. Our house was 1 of 5 on the self-guided tour. The tour was good promotion for our architect and our builder but it was also fun for me to hear people’s feedback, questions and encouragement. I put Ali in play clothes and she finally had a chance to really explore the house, the driveway and the yard. (Usually there are too many hazards everywhere to let her just go and be a curious toddler.) I also had a chance to chat with some of our neighbors. I’m really thankful we get to stay in the neighborhood that we’ve loved for the past 6 years. We’ve got great people living all around us. I also had a ton of time to talk with one of the guys from our construction company and I’m again so grateful that we found them—such good, honest, hard-working people. Integrity is somewhat rare in the contracting business. On to the pictures (mostly taken before the inside was cleaned.)

The concrete guy was really sweet and offered to help us put Ali’s handprint in the patio. She kept trying to grab a handful of the concrete so it didn’t come out great, but he did his best to clean it up and he carved her initials and the date before it was dry. My parents built a house when I was a baby and all 5 of us had our handprints in the back patio. I always loved to put my hand in the prints to see how small my hand used to be, how close it was to growing into my big brother’s print and how small my hand was (and still is) compared to my dad’s.

Front door, entry, dining room (looking through the kitchen):

Kitchen and dining room:

Pocket door!

Living room:

The natural light in the great room is ahhhhmazing! (Credit for excellent design goes to our architect, Ryan Thewes.)

Kitchen:

The den/playroom:

Ali’s room:

Future kids room:

Front door (second door is a coat closet)

Again with the amazing natural light! We’re hardly ever going to need to turn the lights on during the day here.

My office and the laundry room. It’s green.

Jason’s studio. It’s not very photogenic yet.

Garage lights:

Electric meter is ready to go. Yeah, we don’t have underground electricity here. We have ugly wires that go from one corner of the house to a pole across the street. It ain’t pretty.

I got a new doormat at Target special for the tour. And now it’s filthy…but at least it was welcoming!

I love getting to watch Ali transform from a baby into a kid.

Walking all around like she owns the place! Oh wait, she does.

Next up HVAC, Electricity, Gas? Tile?

Next week we should have wood flooring, tile work, plumbing, kitchen cabinets. We’ll be living here in 2 weeks. Ack!


Simple Card Table Play House DIY

11/07/2012

I’ve seen some really creative and intricate play tents and teepees on Pinterest and other blogs. I was inspired but looking for a simpler alternative. My solution was a light blue twin flat sheet from a discount home store for $4 and a pack of fabric markers for $5. For less than $10 and in the time period of two Saturday afternoon naps for my toddler, I came up with this:

Here’s what I did:

1. I laid the sheet over the folding table and it covered the top and three sides.

2. I pinned the sides together and sewed seams up the corners of the sides and cut off the excess. (I”m no stranger to the sewing machine but this is pretty simple stitching.)

3. I used the excess (two squarish pieces) to make overlapping door flaps for the remaining side. The only unfinished edges were on those door flaps, which I pressed and sewed to make neat seams. That isn’t necessary but I figured I’d keep it somewhat crisp looking.

4. I added two velcro pads to hold each door flap open using hot glue.

That’s as far as I got during the first nap time. In a few spare minutes on a different day, I sketched out what I wanted to draw on each side of the house.

5. Once it was sewn, I ironed it.

6. I drew my design on the fabric, using the table as a drawing surface and a yard stick to make straight lines. I realized the design would show through on the inside of the house but I don’t mind. Potted plants work inside or outside.

7. I tumbled the fabric in the dryer to heat-set according to the fabric marker directions.

DONE!

The appeal of using a card table and a sheet as a play house is that it’s compact to store. At our last house our folding card table lived under our bed. The rest of the play house folds up into a 6″ x 10″ x 1″ cube.


IKEA 2013 Catalog Interactive App

11/06/2012

The first three times I thumbed through the new IKEA catalog I wondered what these graphics at the corners of some pages would really unlock and if it was worth the effort of downloading an app. One night I decided to try it out and I ended up going through the whole catalog, using the app, looking for all of the interactive elements. It was fun!

Scanning some pages with the IKEA Catalog app unlock a gallery of more photos of the space or piece of furniture.

Some lead to videos.

Some open an X-ray view of the inside of a cabinet.

Some make a 3-D model of the furniture seem to grow right out of the printed catalog sitting in front of me.

My favorite was the 3-D animated model of the BJURSTA table that demonstrates how the leaves slide out and into the table. I can see how this would be really beneficial.

This is without a doubt the most interactive catalog experience I’ve ever had and the first time I’ve tried an app combined with a print medium.

Have you ever seen anything else like this?


Recent Yard Sale Finds

11/05/2012

A couple weekends ago we had a gorgeous day for yard sales so my mom, Ali and I set out to see what we could find.

I was thrilled to buy this desk from a friend for $5. Since I had a “cloffice” at our last house, I didn’t have a desk. Now I’ll have a surface to work on in our new house. Hooray! This vintage desk is metal and laminate and will make a great sewing/craft desk once we find the perfect wood desk for me. For now, this will be just fine. The open shelf will be great for my sewing machine or printer.

The straps on one of our old strollers disintegrated and tore off a few weeks ago. This excellent replacement was just $4 from a different friend.

I got this chair for Ali for $0.50. She likes it. It’s a bit too big for her but I think it’ll be just right next summer.

This ornament tree was $5 and I talked the lady down to $3. I spray painted it green (it was brass) and I’ll use it for my Shiny Brites this year.

And this was from a consignment sale this past week. I have been looking for some kind of ride-on toy like a rocking horse or a Rody or one of these. She was too small for the first couple I tried but she really seemed to like this one.

My mom says it looks like it has a concussion because one of the pupils is broken. She helped me name it Dizzy. Ali’s not really into riding on it yet but she likes to push it around.