Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Letter to my boyfriend

To My Jeremy, my love, my husband,

I love you. You are the best man I have ever met. I am your Dwight Shrute and you are my Michael Scott. I am your Rachel and you are my Ross. I am your Marge and you are my Homer. You make me laugh through my nose...yes sometimes it hurts but then you are there to comfort me and wipe my face. You make me love being able to love. That is why I cry during Grey's Anatomy - because I wish Meredith could love McDreamy as much as I love you. You make me proud to be called the ball and chain. I wear that badge with honor because it means you married little old me!

My dear hubbie, so many people are always commenting on why I call you my "boyfriend" when you are clearly more - you are my husband. But is that more? I know that being married means we are able to procreate without judgement. I know that we get a sweet tax break for filing jointly. I know marriage means that it is perfectly normal to know what goes down in the bathroom. But is that MORE than being my boyfriend?!

In today's society people choose a spouse and a have a lawn guy (or a physical trainer or a pool boy) on the side. But you see, I want my cake and wanna eat it too. Sure you are my legal spouse. But people don't understand that you are also my boytoy. You are the guy that I chose almost one year ago. And you are the guy that I will choose tomorrow. But let's be honest, we live in a society that says husbands are not the same as being one's boyfriend.

Yes, you are my hubbie. You cringe when I poot under the sheets. You say "I think you are beautiful" when I bring up my poochy fat roll. You blowdry my hair when my shoulder muscle has cramped from the sixty pound hairdryer. But you are more than the things you do for me. Those are husband things. And baby - you are more than my husband.

You are my best friend. You are my best boy. And as my boyfriend, it is not about the things you do for me. It is actually about me. (like always!) It is the way I look at you. The way I feel about you. The way I ache for you. Those are the things that make you my boyfriend.

All I can hope for is that I will always think of you as more than my husband. And I pray that you think of me as your trophy wife.

Your sugar lump lump,

Down Under

The basement journey started with planning...lots of planning. Well, actually not lots. My boyfriend and I are fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kinda folks and we actually should have done more planning. I think our original sketch was on a napkin.

Anyhoo - I fully encourage extensive planning if you wanna undertake such a task as basement remodeling. And nowadays there are even programs, websites and the like that would walk you through the entire process. And I also promote getting permits - although we didn't. In fact, you might wanna hire a contractor and crew. Just be aware though, even if you hire out, that doesn't mean that you automatically have permits. And if you ever go to sell your house with a self-renovated space, the inspector will require you to have all electrical, building, and plumbing up to code. WARNING: DO YOUR RESEARCH!

BUT if you don't wanna risk it or if you just like the taste of danger - then continue reading.

This was our original floor plan for the basement. The stairs lead down to a landing area between the future "bedroom" on the right and our current workroom on the left. If you hang a left, the hall takes you toward the back of the house where we would like to have a hangout space - a "man-pit" as some like to say.

In the great state of Georgia, in order to qualify as additional square footage, the area must be enclosed and have air conditioning and heat. To increase the number of bedrooms, the add-on must have a window and a closet. So it was only natural to make the room to the right of the stairs a bedroom.

After some discussion, Jeremy and I decided our budget and also how to tackle the project. We only wanted to do one room at a time. (We I have a problem with taking on too many at once.) The bedroom was the lucky winner.

The room needed sealing from water and insulation. done.

Now on to the details. In the floor plan above, you can see we added a closet. Why there? Well, the doors prevented it from being placed against the wall with the stairs behind it. And if we placed it on the wall closest to the rec room, then the window would be in the corner and that wouldn't make a lot of sense. Practically speaking if we did it long ways on the window wall then we would have a hard time fitting all the furniture in. Aesthetically this wasn't the best choice - seeing on how you would enter the room and see a wall right in front of you. But then I thought, heck what a great place to display some Etsy finds or have a small luggage rack for guests.

The light gray area is where we had to work around the ducts.

The yellow dots are where lights will go. Jeremy suggested recessed lighting and I agreed. It would be perfect for a basement where headroom is a commodity. We also decided to put a few in the closet - just in case we end up putting a small desk in there. I love it too when there is enough light to actually identify what you are putting on. Why two? Actually we were just going to do one but the stud down the center prevented it. So double the pleasure - double the fun.

The blue squares show switches for the lights. One switch for the closet lights. Two for the overhead.

The red squares indicate outlets. All electrical work needs to be up to code. Here's a website that lists Georgia's code and amendments. Go ahead and read up on what your state requires - it will save you time in the long run. Outlets are pretty easy to determine. Just imagine your furniture layout - lamps, chairs, beds - and it is easy to say "hey yea, I would love an outlet here to dry my hair or plug in this lamp or charge my phone." Just be needy. It will come to you. Jeremy stuck one outlet in the closet for me because of my OCD. What if we have a charging station on a closet shelf? Or what if I would like to charge my dust buster outta sight? And let's be serious - a girl can't have TOO many outlets!

So those are our plans. If you wanna see how it has been coming together - click the BASEMENT labels to catch up. And if you have any other questions about renovating down under, let me know - I always need great ideas on what to post next!

Shower me with Invites

It is official, one more thing is getting crossed off my GOALS list. Man, that feels good! I completed assembling, addressing and affixing all the invites for my friend Brook's baby shower. And they are sooo cuuute!!!! The end result below actually looks really similar to my make believe version but with softer pink and brighter green.

My blogging friend Emily recommended the bow - and it is adorable! She just hosted a shower of her own and I must say that she could do it for a living...she's that good. I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Props to my boy for cutting the ribbon and helping me stuff...dontcha just love it when men do that kinda sweet stuff? Just thinking about it gives me weak knees.

Oh and I wanted to share with you the envelopes as well. I am a big believer in that the wrapping helps make the gift. The envelopes here are just wrapping for this cutey pa tootie invite so I wanted to jazz em up a bit. I got the idea from Martha for the liner. Her internShe is good. Real good.
Now that the invites are out, the next step is securing rental chairs and linens for the tables. And I have to ask if my lovely sister will photograph the event with her new shmancy camera. Also need to brainstorm about a menu that will rock...it is a luncheon afterall.
Any suggestions? Any help? Please don't hesitate to put it in the comments OR you can email me - Ooh Ooh - yes I have established an email address for those of you that don't like to come outta the lurkin closet. Throw me a line here people!

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Way Over My Head...

...and it's called the basement ceiling.

Yes, we finally made some real progress with our renovation downstairs. We have officially started drywalling. That's right - the layout is done, the electrical is in, the ceiling has been "dropped" and the drywalling has begun. We are shakin' & a bakin' people!

Our basement ceiling is rather tricky - as you can see in the picture below, we had a gas line (eekk - don't mess with that!) running down the center of the room and it was an inch or so below the joists. In order to avoid third degree burns or gas poisoning (double eek!), we decided it was best to build around this little obstacle instead of spending lots of time (and lots of money) calling a gas man to reroute our line.

Our solution was a grid. This grid was built out of 2x4s that fastened directly to the joists. The grid would be sturdy enough to support the weight of the drywall and also allow us just enough space to clear the gas pipe. The plan was to have the drywall directly below the pipe. This was a simple solution for less than $30 - half the price that it would have cost for a gas guy to just LOOK at our problem. Here you can see the beginning of the grid (when the closet was a twinkle in my eye).

Jeremy decided that it would be best to go with thinner drywall - 1/4" instead of the standard 1/2". It is still thick enough to support recessed lights but lighter overall. It was also better for our situation because it was just us two putting it up...with NO drywall lift. Talk about a workout! Next time, I am gonna have a friend or two help or just fork over the $30 for a 24 hour rental. And if you think that 1/4" is not sturdy enough - let me tell ya, it is definitely heavy duty - I was just barely strong enough to hold it in place on top of our wee step ladder. I'm sure I looked like a contortionist...I was using my head, my elbows, my arms, anything that could reach!

As you can see, Jeremy built a girl's best friend...a closet. I began the drywall in there too. And you can see, there are still a few ceiling pieces that need to be attached over near the far right. We came to a good stopping point because a few things need to be done first. The duct vent has to be installed and the boyfriend needs to still splice off the cable line so that we he can watch hgtv football in the basement. And after that we are like Taco Bell - good to go!

Here are some handydandy tips for you if you plan on drywalling stuff:

  • wear a mask and googles - even after a shower last night, I woke up several times last night with a crumb irritating my eyeball...I know better than that!
  • put your ceiling in first - this way the ceiling drywall weight can bear down a bit on the walls.
  • buy more drywall screws than you think you will need - it always takes a whole bunch!
  • buy a drywall T-square and a drywall rasp (that looks like a cheese grater for gypsum) - these make up for their cost by saving you time and effort. We actually bought ours at a yard sale for cheap cheap cheap!
  • be chill - it's ok if your drywall corners or joints aren't perfect - that is what joint compound is for! more on that later :)

Well, I am so glad that you came to experience another little stage of our basement journey with us. If you have any drywall installation tips to share - throw em in the comments! And if you missed any of the past posts about our renovation downstairs, you can check them out by clicking "Basement" on the column to the left.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Splitting Hairs

As you know, I have goals for the month of September. One of those goals being deciding on a hair style. It is a rather difficult decision because I have a lot of parameters.

1. My hair has to be long enough to wear in a pony...and to satisfy my hubbie.

2. If I have bangs - I want some versatility in how I can wear them.

3. The color has to be rich but be able to blend in naturally with my natural color.

4. Due to my huge head, I have a lot of hair...therefore it must be layered so I don't look like I have poof head.

So while watching Lipstick Jungle one afternoon, I thought to myself - I love the look of the girl who plays Victory Ford. Just look at her - she is gorgeous!

layered? yup!
rich color? sure thing!
versatile bangs? check.
long enough for a pony (& Jeremy)? heck yea!
So the decision has been made - my currently outgrown bangs are getting a chop. Man - conquering goals is so much fun...now if I could just get started on the ceiling projects!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Creating a Cacoon

When I read about the fabulous Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles 2008 Designer Showhouse, I knew that I found the perfect solution for our humdrum master bedroom. The designers showcased a master bedroom that featured walls covered with tons of curtains. The floor to ceiling drapes created a sense of a warm, cozy and soft cacoon that blocks sleep-disturbing light and noise. It is totally luxurious but also calls out for you to come in, cuddle up and take a nap.

One reason I fell in love with my boyfriend was because he knows how to sleep. And who am I to inhibit great Saturday sleep-ins or 10 hour celebrations of dreamytime?!? I figured that the best way to celebrate all things nocturnal was to create a cacoon of our own...and hope that this caterpillar blossoms quick!

Obviously we are heavy sleepers - hence the head dents in the pillows :) Probably should have cleaned up a bit for the "before" picture but I like to really see a HUGE difference with my "afters"...don't believe me - check out the dressing room transformation.

Our blah walls were not only drape-less but colorless to boot. The anitique white paint color didn't do any favors for our antique curly maple furniture or our sandy hued bedding. It was a major design blah. And since we are still about $906 short on our desired bedroom furniture, the current furniture AND the future furniture had to look good with our wall color. Enter TJMaxx. They were a big help in my overall design...mostly through their clearance section. I scored some great silk pillows in a blue-green that were on sale then discounted. (insert mini dance here) And Pier 1 had a matching accent pillow that tied the silk pillows into my existing bedding.

The beachy blue-green looked great on the walls and really tied in the antique dressers and the modern leather upholstered bed. And the draped wall solved some issues we had with the room.

Issue #1 - the single bedside window
On one side of the bed we have a window. When we tried to center the bed on our ceiling fan, the window sill got in the way. I was bummed. The bed pulled out a few inches to clear the sill looked stupid because it created a 'floating' bed...something had to be done. With the curtains, our bed could be pulled out and over in front of the sill without marring our leather headboard. Bed centered on fan - check. Wall no longer one-window lopsided - check.

Issue #2 - the morning light infused room
The light in the morning made it very difficult to sleep in - and when that happens, it is really hard to stay up for a John Cusack marathon. And peoples, we just can't have that. The curtains allow us to block out the harsh morning light and keep a few more of those needed zzz's. Nocturnal imitation - check.

Issue #3 - need to hide the cords (that we don't own yet)
I really want the sconces from JCPenney. But they will have cords - and nothing bugs me more than cords showing. Well, some things bug me more - but don't get me started. The thing is, I really like these lights - and much to my surprise, Jeremy likes them too! But the drapes are essential, vital, necessary to cover the cords. Hidden electrical neccessities - check.

Covering the wall with ($15 a pair) curtains not only eliminated our issues but made the room look larger and more lush. And when I saw the problem solving solution at This Young House on how to make the curtains look more built-in, my copy-cat skills set in motion. Hence the small board and the crown molding over the curtains.

Looks totally professional - right? My Jeremy did it. I did help - but he was the genius who rigged it up there. I'm so proud.

And ya know, with the new paint color in my very own cacoon, it helps me not dream about that furniture as much...yea - I could live with it for a very long time. Isn't it amazing how some paint and a few yards of fabric can change the way you live (and sleep)?!?! This is one sleeping (wannabe) beauty that is truly amazed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sales & Specials 09.26.08

You know the drill. Here is the deals that will make you scream louder than you did last night (when Jim and Pam got engaged!)...AHHHH!

1. Chainlink Vinyl Shower Curtain - Pottery Barn $13.99
Personally I dig the grey version but any color could add a splash of style into your bathroom. Perfect for a college abode or a kids suite to add flare combined with the easy to clean vinyl. I would even go so far to say that it would look quite dashing as a tablecloth for your next outdoor party.

2. Jamison Club Chair - Target $149
Microfiber is your friend. Why? Cause it is easy to clean and takes a beating and keeps on ticking. This tan version from Target is surprisingly similar to the Pottery Barn Spencer Armchair - but oh, $1150 cheaper....whatta deal, whatta deal.

3. PB Classic Stripe Pillow Covers - Pottery Barn $14.99 + free shipping
I am seriously considering getting a few of these in citrus for my living room just like Emily. I love the classic lines, the price, the nautical feel, the price, the free shipping...did I mention the price? And the great thing is that you can get the innerds for cheap at IKEA (for all you non-sewing types) and the overall price will be less than a pillow at Walmart.

4. Dane Pendant Lamp - Crate & Barrel $64.95
Brazilian sandalwood veneer shade is a throw back and a jump forward all in one. This natural forest-y pendent would bring the outdoors in placed in a modern cabin or a retro loft. It screams style and at 50% off, the only question is - why WOOD you not buy it?!?

5. Wire Balls - CB2 $3.95-$4.95
Handwoven goodness of IRON. Place them in a bowl on your coffee table, stack in a large vase, hang from the ceiling or use as side table flare. They look fantastic and individualistic - and the price is not gonna push your budget way outta whack.

6. Lollylane Modern Ceiling Light - Walmart $14
Sure it was designed to go with a childrens room - but imagine getting a few for over a dining room table, a playroom reading area, or even flanking your TV in your IKEA adorned home. The design is simple, whimsical and fun - interpret as you will. Are they little trees, mini dandelions or lollipops? Who knows and who cares! We just know they are charming.

7. Lemonade Carafe - World Market $4.98
Wedding tables would look a little country, a little refreshing, and a whole lotta fabulous with these lemonade carafes. Serve your next patio party, summer time picnic or parched guests from this green glass pitcher. It is sure to charm if paired with some of your canning jars turned glasses.

8. Sumersault Blooming Delight Rug - Walmart $18
The colors and the price are darling for a closet rug, a bath rug or a children's time out mat. Not only does this rug look fantastic on the floor but also in other areas of your home - case in point - use it to cover a bench top for a furry and fun cover. Or attach some loops to make a textiley wall hanging for the babies to stare and then later rub all over. oooh - fuzzy.

9. Shanghai Pitcher - Z Gallerie $14.89
Square etchings make this porcelain pitcher to die for. It looks beachy, Asian, high end and functional to boot. Makes me wanna serve lemonade on the back patio. And at 50% this would make a great hostess gift at the next holiday party - about the same price as a decent bottle of wine - and I promise she won't use just once!

10. Nobility Safari Bath Rugs - Dillards $19
Exotic flavor for your bathroom ahead. Too much and you'll think you are at the zoo but add one chic bath rug and all of a sudden you just turned your boring trip to the bathroom into a luxurious African safari. Granted they aren't on sale - but I thought they were too fabulous to not share.

11. Essential Home Faux leather Parsons Chair - Kmart $39.99
Kmart? Katie's Mart that is. Cause these chair designs are fantastic - even Restoration Hardware thinks so. And the price is even better. I drool over prices like this. And then I have to change shirts.

12. Christmas Morning Hemstich Table runner - Linen's N Things $7.49
It is never too soon to shop for Christmas and today is no exception. This runner would look darling down the middle of your next Holiday party buffet. The matching 4-ct. napkin set is also available at the same price for you matchy-matchies. And this pattern is simple enough to add a little homie-ness to any contemporary home.

13. Whole Home Solid Color Dinnerware Collection - Sears $7.75-17.99 for four packs
This price is ridiculous for stoneware that look like it should be adorning the likes of a Southern Living magazine cover. It is not only sturdy but stylish. This is the kinda dinnerware that glass front cabinets were made for. If you buy this and have a fiesta - can I come?

14. Scroll Bird Lampshade - Urban Outfitters $14.99
I know I posted two lampshade pendants but this one was so charming I could help it! Flocked bird pattern set against a white background can add interest in your next black and white room. And $9 off the original price helps too. It will really pop when paired with a spicy red wall or some hot pink pillows.

And for those of you that are new - welcome to Bower Power. Here lives the dollar saving, penny pinching, sales loving gal that would love for you to keep a bit more of your moolah while increasing the FAAHH-boulousness of your home. And if you come across any great internet sales or specials - post them in the comments to share with my other 8 readers.

(Not so) Fair Day

Last weekend, a group of us went to the fair. It was my first time ever going (as far as I can remember anyway). It was not a good experience for me.

Let me just tell you ONE of the things that happened that just made my whole fair day not so fair. Note that I am already in a horrible mood by the time this event happens. Jeremy had already cussed at the carnie running the rollercoaster ride because we were BOTH supposed to fit in this tiny bucket seat - and our butts are so big that the divider was hurting his thigh...and the ride was $5 a piece

seriously!?!? We should be able to be comfortable at that kinda price.

Back to the story - we are mad, and I really wanted a stuffed animal - but you have to win one. And most of the prizes are for squirting, shooting or nailing something. And I am good at none of those. So the group of us are standing there to decide what to do next and we hear a voice.

"Three dollars - three dollars, let me guess your weight within three pounds and win a prize!"

I could do this one. And nobody is around but my friends. So I cough up the three bones and tell him to have at it. But he continues to announce what is going on! A crowd forms. A big crowd. He strolls around me and guesses. A decent guess. I'll take it. And the moment he let the words escape his mouth, I knew that stuffed monkey was mine.

"One hundred thirty pounds. Not a pound more. Not a pound less."

He coulda omitted that last part.

So I said "nope, you are way under."

"Hop on the scale."

SERIOUSLY?!?! So I get on. There is a surge forward from the crowd followed by a collective gasp. When the scale passed 15 lbs over his guess, I jumped off. It was humilating.

The guy who guessed then says "WOW girl, you must had eaten a ton of funnel cakes tonight! You better lay off em!"

I heard whispers of "do you see that girl? - she weighs alot!" and "that guy guessed her weight WAY under" and "well she does have a ghetto booty".

But on the up side I did get a monkey. His name is F.C.

It stands for funnel cake.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Baby Shower - Julia Style

Brook is having like six baby showers I think. and one of them was planned by my friend Julia. It was this past Sunday. yea - it rocked.

I was super pumped to be dubbed the photog of the event. My sister even let me borrow her brand new camera. For the record, I stink at it. I need a lot of practice...hear that Jer? lots. and lots.

Overall - It was cool. Lowkey and chillin all max and relaxing all cool....(and shootin some bball outsida school...ok I'll stop.) And I am sure Brook thought I was getting annoying cause I didn't put the camera down. But hey, don't hate on the paparazzi Brook or the paparazzi will hate on you :)

In celebration of all things baby, I thought I would break down the event for you photojournalism style. and Julia style. she was the host afterall. And what is Julia? A teacher. So here are some photos & tips to learn to do a faaaaaabulous baby shower.
TIP #1 - Invite hotties. Sure the invite list is technically the job of the mommy-to-be but a little bling don't hurt nobody. Embellish the list with a few of your hottest friends...afterall you want to have something to blog about where you all look smokin! Bonus points if they bring pressies.
P.S. this is not a wedding where the honored guest HAS to invite the shower attendee to the main event...I'm pretty sure most hotties would opt out anyway.

TIP #2 - Have yummy food. This is crucial. You don't have to have a ton of food, but all of it has to be delish. And I would recommend just a bit of food not laden with highfructose corn syrup or sugar, just in case of that nasty old thing called gestational diabetes. Cakes are always a hit. Hollah if you like your name written in icing!! OOH OOH!

TIP #3 - Play you some games. Julia had two that were perfect for her low-key crowd. One required the guests to bring in baby pics, post them on a babylicious board and we all had to guess who's who. The other game was one where we wrote down as many BABY products as possible in two minutes. Doubles didn't count...the person with the most won a prize!
Another good idea, especially if you have experienced mothers in the crowd, is to write down some advice for the mommy-to-be. Have her keep each advise card in a photo book to remember all the times people mentioned poo...ewww!

TIP #4 - Give your gal a kick-A gift. And make it available for others to do the same. Most new mommies need EVERYTHING. And in this hightech world, I stick to the registry. After registering for my wedding, I realized that I only wanted the stuff on the list. Be creative at Christmas. Hosts should be sure to list the registry on the invite - believe me, your friend will love you for it.

TIP #5 - Central seating is superb. Let your honored guest sit somewhere that all the gifts can be seen. Girls love to ooo and ahhh over each mini bootie and fancy breast pump. After all - the guests spent a chunk of change on the tike - they wanna see what the baby will wear for oooh three seconds.

TIP #6 - Spend time enjoying the little things. Julia timed it just right - we had time to eat, play games, talk, and open presents. Afterward we even got to feel Brook up. Well, her stomach...and it was awesome! The baby fluttered just like the ribbons did coming off her gifts.

Tip #7 - Have a Dr at the shower. No not a doctor...although, if she is like 40 weeks preggie - then you may want to consider that. A DR is a designated recorder. Someone to write down all the pink or blue snuggle poos and winkle woos that the mommy-to-be receives. After all, when you are preggars, you loose like 50% of your short term memory. So this little slip of paper will be nothing short of a life-saver come thank you note time.
You can see that we had an amazing time - Brook was a glowin - the presents were a flowin - and the photog skills were a growin.
Do you have some helpful hints to share about how to make a baby shower a little smoother? Or do you just wanna say how adorable yellow shoes are next to a big pile of gifts? Either way - comment section available!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Before & After Extravaganza

I love me a good Before & After. Something about them is so fulfilling. Something so intriguing. Something so lazy. It is immediate gratification - and not lifting a finger. It is wonderful. And the best part - it is not another project that I have to add to my LONG list. I can just admire the work from afar. Cause like my mummum always said - "if the barn needs paintin, paint it!" - and thankfully now this is in regards to your basement and garage projects (instead of my makeup free face!)

And the people that perform these feets are nothing short of genius. They have inspired. They have created something clean and new outta a heap of furniture poo. In short - they are magicians of the spray paint can, dreamers of true beauty and the envy of their peers. We salute you creative kings and queens. We salute you.

Today we celebrate the greatness that is BEFORE & AFTERS. This is an extravaganza of all things redone, a fair of all things re-envisioned, a celebration of all things remade. It is a festivus for the rest of us! And when you visit these make over wonders - be sure to let the renovator know that you give them a huge pat o' the back (that's Irish for a round of applause!)

I dedicate this post to Eddie Ross...for inspiring me to turn my mammoth beast into something admirable. Eddie - your transformation is the bubbles in my diet Dr. Pepper.

And I want to host another Before & After Extravaganza in the near future - so if you have a project that you would like to show off, send me the link and I can add you to the list so that you also can get one of those Irish applauses too. You know I live for this stuff....

Shower Invitations

When I asked for your votes on the baby shower invites for my good friend Brook - you came back with the following advice -

"Keep it simple, stupid" - paraphrased of course.
"Love green"
"Prefer #2" - maybe because it is like totally simple(?)

So I went back to the drafting board and came up with this very SIMPLE and a little more GREEN version of #2. I figure since it is pretty basic that I can be more creative with the shower itself...don't want people to think that the best thing about the shower was the invite, right?

Oh and you can't see it but the white paper is actually adorned with tiny pink polka dots. Maybe I'll even add another layer of vellum to add some whimsy :) And I love 3D invites - anything with bows, texture or puffy paint is right up my alley...so I thought the cute little bow was just enough to sweeten this invite deal.

So whatta ya thinka? Is this shower ready or stormy weather ahead? ok - that was just super cheesy - seriously though, do you like it? Or is it too simple?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I heart Eddie Ross

Remember the mammoth beast curtesy of my bossman? Yes, it is still living in my garage. I was torn on where to put it, what to paint it, what to store in it...basically all I knew was that it needed a makeover. desperately.

Enter Eddie. When I saw the secretary makeover by Eddie Ross on his fabulous blog...I fell in love. Oh Eddie - please come to Atlanta and be mine! I will feed you and take you shopping. I will give you free reign of my home design. I will fatten you up and we can watch Dancing With the Stars together - or if you don't like that, then we can make prank calls to David Bromstad. It would be a grand time. And we would be best friends. foreverrrr.

Ok - enough creepiness.

Check out his fantastic before and after:

Me lovey. And that is when I knew what to do. I will paint the beast white - mirror the front window and place it in our lower bathroom to house towels, paper products, and maybe even some diapers (for when all my married-with-children houseguests come over...come on...ya never know when a blowout is due!) And it will hide the ugly but necessary bathroom products outta sight. AND it will still do it's job as a light reflector and decor uplifter.

Thank you Eddie. Thank you.

p.s. I hope you kick serious tooshie on Top Design! Go Team Eddie!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Theme me up Scotty!

When my friend Brook told me that she was preggars, the first thought was oooooohhhhh - it's baby shower time! Now in the last year I have hosted or co-hosted several wedding showers - but the ever elusive baby shower is something I have always dreamed of doing. So now that the opportunity is here - I am having a brain jam. The hardest thing for me is picking a theme. I have some listed below but if you come up with something cute - PLEASE let me know.

So that is where you come in - I need your help. Help with a lot. But right now - it is themes and invites.

Here is some info on Brook so that you can understand what a complex and interesting creature is popping out the little one. Also, this will be helpful so that you can make an informed decision. She is 27 and has been married to Kent for 5 years. She loves sports, art (she can paint like ANYTHNG!), crafts, and healthy living. She is a youth pastors wife. She has a modern edge to her decorating style. She loves the outdoors and nature. Oh and they are expecting a little girl (no name as of yet!).

So some of the themes I thought of were
  • Nature/Organic - inspired by her efforts to live, eat & grow healthily
  • Trees - inspired by her love of outdoors & her growing family tree
  • Birds - inspired by her nursery bedding from Pottery Barn
  • Pink/Green - inspired by the colors of her nursery
Ok - and here are some of the preliminary invites that I have thought of :

Option 1 - trees

Option 2 - Simple design
Option 3 - birdie birdie birdie
Option 4 - lots of green

Please please please - just let me know what you think or if you can think of other ideas, I am open to anything right now!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sales & Specials 09.19.09

It's shopping time! And Bower Power has the best deals to share with all nine of you...that's right...I counted. Nine of you, on 09.19.09. Will you pay full price if with the help of Bower Power? Nein. (that's no in German but it is pronounced like "nine" - get it?)

All cheesiness aside, I really found some great deals and hopefully you will be able to incorporate some of these into your own personal designs and save some cash too. Cause let's be honest - who doesn't like to save money?!?

1. Chesapeake Director's Chair Frame & Slipcover - Pottery Barn $28.98

This adorable director's chair is totally kid-friendly and fashionable. No more ugly beach chairs for my tween - especially at this price. The greatest part is that the slipcover can be thrown in the wash so it's good to go even after the little ones accidentally spill sauce at your next barbeque.

2. IGLOO Maxcold 40-qt Wheeled Cooler - Target $26

We need a cooler something fierce. And now is the perfect time to buy because Target has all their IGLOOs on sale. Now that it's football season you can tote your 56 nice and frosty cans of brew to your next tailgate party and come summer - you will be ready to hit the beach with coolness on wheels.

3. Label Hardware - Pottery Barn $3 ($20 for set of 6)

What a creative way to personalize your kitchen, office, or laundry room! Attach these bin pulls to drawers in a play room so that the little ones can identify wooden boxes for easy clean up. I think they would be devine for spicing up an old filing cabinet or built-ins storing your thousands of DVDs.

4. Sater 2.5 seat split leather sofa - IKEA $299

One of the best deals ever found is this great looking sofa. Just trendy enough for the young but clean lines make it a lasting piece in your home. I love the high legs with a hardwood floor and some super plush pillows. And these days - a 2.5 seater means that it will fit two normal size people just fine - that or six Renee Zellwegers and an Angelina - heck throw in two Angelinas.

5. Walnut Finish lingerie chest, 4-drawer chest or nightstand - Kmart $30

The prices speaks for itself. FYI - these are only available at this price through tomorrow!

6. Midtown Dining Chairs set of 2 in Maple Finish - Walmart $69.88

Sleekness gets a rollback at Walmart. These are actually cheaper than their cousins at IKEA...and we all know how hard it is to be cheaper than the big blue Scandinavians. I think these would look great gathered around a glass table with punchy blue accents.

7. Kassett DVD box with lid in white - IKEA $3.99 for two

These lovely boxes are my favorite. And you can use them as storage for just about anything. No, they won't hold bricks or anything ridiculously heavy but they do their job. And right now they are two for the price of one! So put em in every room of your house!

8. Metal & Glass Cylinder Lanterns - Pier 1 $1.98-$2.98

Originally 8 and 12 bucks, these simple and stylish lanterns could add romance to any setting at a quarter of the cost. Hang from a tree, a shepherd's hook, gazebo, line a path, place on a table, or use as favors at your next shower or birthday party. Perfect for weddings and more!

9. Spode "Baking Days" Dinnerware Collection - Macy's $7.99-$50.40

Since I spilled the beans about my OCDD - you know I am trying to come up with a good excuse to go to Macys. This collection is ADORABLE. Comes in four different colors - red, baby blue, black and lime. I especially adore the individual remekins - perfect in red for Christmas, 4th of July, and Valentines day.

10. Defiant Satin Nickel Deadbolt/Entry Combo Lockset - Home Depot $20

Home Depot has some GRREEEEAAT prices on all things home improvement. Everything you would need to renovate a basement, put up a fence, and change even the most minor of home elements. And remember if you find it for a lower price, Home Depot will match it and beat it by 10% (check their website for more details).

11. Billy Bookcase in Black-Brown - IKEA $60

Everyone loves a little more storage and these bookcases should do just the trick. And marked down from $80 makes this a little more affordable. Only during this weekend will you get these fantastic IKEA prices...so rush...run...push the little old lady outta the way...do whatcha gotta do...just go!

And if you lovely nine find any other appealing pricing events - please let me know ASAP! This girl gotta run - but good luck - and if it is you that I accidentally ram at IKEA, well, all's fair in love and shopping!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Inside the Box

My fine peeps, Bower Power has a basement update. We built a box. Not just any box but a box that our entire basement design depends on.

Presenting the box:
Ok - so maybe it wasn't much of a box. I'll admit it. But this creation - this brainchild of my boyfriend - this stud work from a stud (hi baby!) is EXACTLY what we needed to create a lowered ceiling around our duct work.

Because as you see in the picture below - we have ducts that are lower than our ceiling...so...who you gonna call? After you realize that there are no ghostbusters - well, not ones that have cool coveralls - you are gonna call on the Lord to forgive you for cussing - cause your square footage depends on having this basement finished.

And after the Lord forgives you, your brainstorming leads to this:

Ok - ok - it may not look like much now - which is exactly why I created this lovely Paint Picture which shows what it will look like when the drywall is up. The green is the walls - the white is ceiling. Oh and no, that will not be my color of choice upon completion - but for illustration sake it works.

So do you see how we constructed the box to fit around the ducts? I think it is pretty genius - but I can't take credit for it - the pat on the back goes to my Jeremy. Great Job Baby!

And come back later on - cause this bad boy of a basement has a lot more to come...