Friday, December 23, 2011

Home Works//Pipe Shelf Unit in Boy's Room

I think it's safe to assume that anyone who visits the Ace hotel walks away feeling a little inspired. Sparse, mod decor, cool canvas and pipe contraptions everywhere. And the overall relaxed vibe the hotel has so perfectly mastered is sort of intoxicating. Plus they have an amazing pool and a great cafe.

Needless to say, I was impressed. Especially by their lobby pipe/wood shelf unit. I had seen images of Morgan's version over at The Brick House floating around the web and decided it would be the perfect solution for that big empty wall in the boy's newly redone master room we had been trying to figure out how to fill within practical means. In other words, we wanted something cool but also a place to store toys and supplies. There are LOTS of them attached to 3 little ones.

Because Mike happens to a union pipe fitter by trade, all the material came free and he was actually really excited about this particular project. A few things we changed to suit our likes were the size of the pipe (Mike insisted we use 1 inch pipe because the wood width we choose was thicker) reclaimed wood planks that had to be sealed multiple times to ensure a smooth surface, as well extending the base of the entire unit to allow room for a desk (designated homework spot!) and then left space beneath the last shelf for two wooden carts we plan to put on casters to store their favorite toys. Blocks and Lego's that are easily accessible & they can roll around the room. But first things first.

Here is the finished version to date. I've had fun rearranging their stuff and figuring out what belongs and what doesn't. Also what they need (art utensils/school supplies) and what makes for a visually interesting centerpiece. Not as easy as it seems. I'm sure I'll be messing with it forever. But so far, I am super happy with how it turned out. Seems perfect for a little boy's space.

Now on to the next thing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Party, a Photograph

Our annual Christmas party happened this past Saturday. And the sad part is, I don't think I picked up my camera more than twice during the entire event, so there are no pictures to tell just lovely it was. To my defense, my "real" camera has become increasingly disappointing in non flash settings (possibly time to make the jump & buy a real adult camera to feed my immature photography wants? Maybe so) and my phone - my second option - was playing dj, busy throwing songs from a party playlist instead of capturing all the lovely dresses and old faces that came to celebrate the season with us. 

My dress, above, is the only proof I have. 
You can't tell by the picture. But she had a fabulous time. 

Hope everyone else did too.

Cheers to holiday festivities and plenty of handsome friends to toast them with,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Keeping Up

Seems every year, somehow, we manage to add more to our plate.

Trying to keep up with the December babies in our family & the celebrations attached to the fact.

Scouring to finish Christmas shopping, which grows harder as the weeks pass seeing that certain little boys frequently switch up the "want" list.

Preparing for our annual Christmas party. Lots of work but more than worth the effort and chaos involved. One beautiful night to spend with old friends and fancy dresses.

Wondering how long this cold streak will last. Loving the big gray clouds we wake to, but hoping it all passes by Saturday. In time for the party.

Watching lots of holiday movies.

Visiting Arlo's class on a regular basis. Getting familiar with all those sweet little kindergarten faces.

Building things for the house of habit etsy orders, as well as the random word of mouth requests that roll in.

All in all, doing our best to keep up with this wild season.

Hope you are all merry & well. I'm afraid I've missed out on lots here lately. Hopefully getting back in the swing of things soon,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Family Portrait

By Arlo.

I know, all kids draw incredibly cute things in school. But I found this "what I'm thankful for" booklet today, while digging through his backpack, and believed it was so sweet I could have cried. Look at the 3 boys, each a little smaller than the next. Hands reaching for each other. Big happy smiles.

Sweeter than sweet I tell you ....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Home Works // Out with the Old, in with the Wood

This weekend we finally ripped out that god awful carpet plaguing our master room (now Arlo & Leon's quarters) though not the same version we have in our loft area. Replaced it with some snap together laminate flooring we found for a super fair deal last week at the outlet stores in Orange. Ideally, we had hoped to match the wide planked wood we have throughout the downstairs but our budget had different ideas. And really, these look pretty darn good for what we paid. 

We also came to an agreement on the design for a large built-in to house all their favorite toys, books, blocks, craft tools, as well as offer up a nice space for homework and drawing. I was thinking along more modern lines but Mike is leaning towards semi industrial, train track styled planking with roll away carts to keep all of their things both orderly and accessible. We'll have to see how this combination works out in reality  - Hopefully this weekend's plan of attack.

Other than home workings, we're still busy building for etsy - sewing the teepees & working out stains,  and obviously trying to keep everything else in order while this constructive home chaos ensues. As for my birthday, I had a great time with a few girl friends in the city. Amazing dinner and wine with two of my oldest friends, and then my very first experience at the Rose Bowl Sunday morning, which I'll be excited to share here later in the week.

For now, off to carpool duties! 

Friday, November 11, 2011


"I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. Why did the oil refineries around Carquinez Straits seem sinister to me in the summer of 1956? Why have the night lights in the bevatron burned in my mind for twenty years? What is going on in these pictures in my mind?"

- excerpt from Didion's Why I Write

My favorite lady wrote another book. Blue Nights. Which I fully intend to pick at some point during our rainy day romps around the city this weekend. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Love from The Long Bonds

Hey guys,
I wanted to share my little slice of gratitude for yesterday's highlight. I am so honored by the warm write up featuring House of Habit by Morgan over at The Long Bonds. Her complements fully embrace what I initially hoped my blog would inhabit when I began, almost a year ago now. Seeking to carve out my own personal outlet to house the daily happenings of suburban living, the way we as a young family know it to be. A creative corner for a modern housewife who at any given hour of the day might feel overwhelmed, inspired, informative, or even completely frustrated with the plight at hand, as well as a way to connect to others who might share the same plight, or even exist in totally separate circumstances but still identify with blog's overall vision. After all, any blogger will tell you there are defiantly days when you do doubt yourself, or your posts, or worry that you are maybe too insignificant, idle, or even downright simplistic to embrace (especially when you don't get out of the house very often) and in turn, may cause you to question the very idea of keeping a personal account here on the blog at all. Which I do. Often.

So indeed it is a great complement to see that Morgan, and hopefully others, find something refreshing here in my corner. Where I see it like a modern option to Woolf's urgings in A Room of One's Own. 

Per Morgan's request, I've offered up some background info seeing that I really haven't done so, mostly due to the fact that I have very little time in the day that belongs to me and me alone so posts are typically shorter & sweeter than I might prefer. 

Mike and I dated nearly 10 years before we had Arlo. He was in fact a surprise for me at 26, and the best one I ever could have hoped for. We were married shortly after and although we had loosely agreed to wanting three children down the line, we are not the kind of people to really "Plan" for anything like that, so before I knew it I was pregnant four times, in four years. One baby I lost, and was expecting far sooner than anticipated following the miscarriage. Our third boy was then born 16 months after Leon. Again, not planned - And let me tell you - their age difference is extremely trying at times, and probably not an age gap I would recommend, but the three of them are endlessly entertaining to make up for it so we take it as it is and try to laugh as much as we can along the way. 

I have people ask us constantly if we'll have more children, or whether we will in fact "try for a girl" and really I don't think we've quite decided. But I do know that me and my body are enjoying the "break,"and that I would never have another baby simply to try and score a specific gender. In other words, yes I would love to stock up on little vintage dresses and wood doll houses, but we surely won't be spinning sperm, or following weird wise tales to see it through. For us, the idea of a healthy baby in itself is always the ideal outcome. 

The Carpet: 
I have to say it does photograph better than it looks in person. Just a standard, medium shag with flecks of gray mixed in the brown that we choose because it looked like it would hide most of the awful things children do to carpet. And it's done it's job. Held up pretty well for the past few years, hiding old milk spills and far worse. But we're actually pulling it out of the three bedrooms this week to make way for hard wood, which means plenty more room for block building and hot wheel races. 
Oh, the joys of boys. 

Thanks for stopping in & please be sure and check out Morgan' lovely site.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

'Round Here

We are celebrating school awards, 
enjoying a change of weather, 
eating popcorn for lunch, 
chasing ragged dogs down for baths, 
playing indoors, 
and growing mighty anxious for all the Holiday festivities just around the corner. 

But first, own personal celebration spent with a couple friends in L.A as a little birthday getaway this weekend. Thrifting, dining, drinking, and possibly a first trip to the Rose Bowl Flea Market Sunday morning where I'm bound to find something I absolutely can't live without, right? 

I'll let you know what I stumble upon.