I’m tired. Yup, it finally happened. At 39 weeks (plus three days!) pregnant, I am ever nap-ready and having a hard time finding much motivation these days to do a whole lot of anything. Which, according to all sources (Sweetie, my friend Jess over at Little Townhome Love, my family, random strangers), is exactly how it should be: for the past few weeks they’ve collectively urged me to nap more and relax lots and just sit and enjoy the time that I have right now. For the record, I’m terrible at relaxing. My most common response to these subtle suggestions to sloth: but I have things to do.
But now I think I’m done.
Not because there aren’t a gazillion things I could be doing. (Dear neighbours: please please please disregard our front flowerbeds. I promise to be a far better gardener next summer.) (And dear dustbunnies: please stop multiplying so quickly in the corners.) But because I just don’t have the energy right now.
It’s a super hard thing for me to admit. I’m definitely feeling a little defeated.
That said, I had two joyously productive moments yesterday: I finished a couple of tiny little projects. And I’m quite proud.
First, I swapped out the front entryway doormat for a new one I picked up at HomeSense (oh how I love HomeSense!) a few days ago. I went from this stripey snore-fest…
(Obviously file footage, since I’ve since painted those super ugly green walls!)
Admittedly, it’s not a massive change, but it makes me happy to think that any post-baby visitors will have a much nicer mat to land upon when they walk through my front door.
Project number two involved dressing a long-naked window in our living room. When we moved in, the previous owners had left some rather hideous and dirty-looking blinds on this window (which I promptly removed.) I was left with this…
Unfortunately, and rather oddly, this window frame is positioned unusually high – it almost reaches the ceiling (I’m guessing that at some point someone dropped the ceiling in this room to run new, non-knob-and-tube wiring through the house since other ceilings on the main floor are a good foot taller.) As a result, I’ve hummed and hawed over what to do with this window for several months now. Yesterday, I had Sweetie hang a curtain rod right at ceiling height. And yesterday, I finally added curtains to this window.
And today, I am very happy with the result. The curtains (which are Ikea’s lovely Matilda panels, btw) don’t hide the ugliness of the window itself (see all that stuff on the window? Spray foam. Between the panes of glass. Yup, some not-so-bright but likely well-meaning previous home owner decided that this would be a good solution to winter draftiness.) (For the record, spray foam between the window panes is never ever a good – or, at least, nice looking – solution to draftiness.) But the curtains do make the window look better (which this soon-to-be momma is content with for now, until we find a way to disassemble the window and scrape out the offending foam.)
So there. Those are my two most recent tiny little accomplishments at the old mauve house. Significant? Not particularly. But I at least feel like I’m still making some progress, despite that my body is most definitely slowing down.
Now, if you’ll please excuse me for a moment (or two), this momma-to-be desperately needs a nap. :)
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Doing the drapery dance (which doesn’t at all look like the Safety Dance) (ok, it actually kinda does, but just a little)
It’s spring! Well, sort of. I’m still wearing a winter coat on some mornings (albeit a very tight one due to my ever-growing and beloved baby bump.) And I’m keeping my toque and mitts and scarf close at hand. Just in case the weather turns wintery. Again. Since, you know, Mother Nature has cursed us with a never ending winter this year. (Dear Mother Nature… I love you, and you’re awesome, but you’re being completely irrational this year. Stop it. Please. Thank you!)
And while I despise the ridiculously cold snowy winter we’ve had this year, I despise my current window coverings even more. The previous home owners (being the
insane awesome people that they are!) left us a plethora of flood-ready bright white sparkly-swirl sheers for our windows. An intended act of generosity? Perhaps. But regardless of motive, the result is the same: the curtains are making me a crazy person.
Enter: Ikea. Yep. My beloved and dependable go-to for window coverings. Their curtains are cheap. They’re very cheerful. They come in really long lengths (for those of us who prefer to set our curtain rods a tad higher than the average population.) And their curtains come in pairs (which seems to be a bit of a rarity anymore.) (But really, how many people only need one curtain?) (Cough, cough, rip off, ehem…) During an Ikea trip about a month ago I purchased no fewer than six (much needed) new drapery sets along with the accompanying curtain rods and hardware and doodads and such. After a second Ikea trip a few days later (because a certain someone with a wee bit of baby brain forgot a few crucial curtain rod components…) we finally got everything up last weekend.
Here’s my front living room window before (with its icky swirly silver sheers all aglow):
(Here’s a closeup of the sheers’ sparkly swirls, just in case you’re interested. Snazzy, eh?)
I’m a happy girl! But why did we get another pair of sheers? The glass panes in this window are no longer sealed properly (one of the hazards of buying a fixer-upper with archaic windows) so there’s condensation and dust between the panes and this window always appears dirty from the street (despite that – I promise! – it’s very very clean!) The sheers help mask that a bit, which means we’ll likely be sheer-people until we replace that entire front window (which, sadly, will be a very expensive venture) (which, also sadly, means it’s pretty far down on our list of priorities right now.)
The Ritvas are waaay too long right now (I’m all for little drapery puddles, but this is a little silly) and will likely require shortening. Tip I’ve learned? Wash and dry Ikea drapes a couple of times before shortening them. They sometimes shrink. A lot. Whenever they’ve accumulated enough kitty fur to require a trip through the laundry (which, sadly, will likely be soon) I’ll get around to making them a bit shorter. For now, however, I’m just happy that they’re not sparkly. Or swirly. Or bright white.
Next up? Here’s the before of my dining room window…
Apparently the previous owners weren’t bothered by the too-short panels (or, um, lack of baseboards) but I think the windows look much lovelier now that they’re dressed with a few Borghild panels from Ikea…
And we added the same curtains to this previously un-adorned window at the end of our dining room too. Here it is pre-curtaining…
…and here’s the much improved after…
All of which makes me a very happy girl. :)
The last set of the six sets of curtains I purchased is earmarked for the baby’s room (should we ever get around to starting the nursery) (hello? Ambition? You should probably kick in about now…) If they don’t end up used in the nursery, we’ll hang them in our bedroom (since a certain black kitten has pretty much destroyed our bedroom drapes.) (He thinks bedroom curtain-clawing is a really fun pastime.) (Particularly at 5am.) (It’s a good thing he’s cute.)
And now, for your viewing pleasure (and a little post-title clarity), here’s a little
Drapery Safety Dance from Men Without Hats…
…because, well, it’s really, really weird, but so fun. :)
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Getting springy with it (a little organizing, a couple pretty print cushions, and a plethora of new curtains to freshen up our little mauve home)
It’s official: I’ve come down with a serious case of spring fever. After months and months of never-ending snow and cold (and more cold) (and more snow) and wind, the weather is (finally!) starting to suggest that the seasons have changed. Maybe. (Although, as I type this, I see evil little white frozen droplets of water softly falling outside my window.) (Sigh.) But I saw my first robin of the year last Thursday (on the first day of spring, in fact – he was a punctual little bird!) And I suddenly have this unbelievable urge to clean and purge and renew and make the house pretty and lighter and fresher and lovelier. These must be good, spring-is-near-type signs, right?
(Although all this might also just mean I’ve hit the “nesting” phase of pregnancy. Does nesting feel a bit like uncontrollable and obsessive spring cleaning? If so, consider me a momma bird eagerly vacuuming her happy little nest.)
First it was my loo: after months of cursing over our overflowing (and not particularly pretty) bathroom cabinet, I finally tidied it up last week. I ruthlessly threw out any old or outdated cosmetics and prescriptions, and then made it a bit more organized (and way more user-friendly) using some random baskets (courtesy of Bouclair) that I already had kicking around. The result? A much less chaotic and cluttered little cabinet that is not only far prettier from the inside…
…but looks way nicer from the outside too.
(I’m not a huge fan of these clear-ish frosted doors, btw. These doors may eventually fall victim to a little DIY-ing. Because, really, why would anyone want a semi-obscured glimpse at the inside our medicine cabinet? The same medicine cabinet that, while tidy right now, will inevitably end up looking disheveled within a few weeks I’m sure.) (It makes me super sad to type that, but, really, I’m a realist about these sorts of things.)
Organizing this tiny little utilitarian cabinet probably took less than half an hour, but it made me feel about a gazillion pounds lighter. Like stripping away a big bulky winter coat. And mitts. And scarf. And a super static-y winter toque that makes your hair all flooffy (techincal term) but you defiantly wear it anyway because, seriously, if you didn’t, your ears might actually fall off from the cold. Good hair days be damned.
(Have I mentioned how much I dislike winter? I really dislike winter.)
Next, I turned to my couch (which, btw, is overdue for its quarterly date with our washing machine. Don’t look too closely.)
After months of looking at the same dark brown (and, admittedly, very boring) throw pillows, I turned to the brilliant, pillow-scouting buyers at HomeSense with a great deal of pillow-related optimism.
They did not let me down. I found these…
And I think my exact words at the time were “Oooooh. You’re pretty.” Does anyone else talk to decorative objects while out shopping? I most certainly do. It helps me to bond with the blankets, and create rapport with rugs. In this particular case, I got a little complimentary with the cushions. They didn’t mind. And now they’re sitting happily on my couch, looking all spring-ish, like this…
And, they almost match the spring placemats I pulled out of winter storage…
It’s textile fate. It was meant to be. :)
And, speaking of textiles, and continuing in my must-organize-and-improve-the-house-in-celebration-of-that-one-lonely-and-cold-looking-robin theme, I then went a little crazy at Ikea. I purchased no fewer than six (six!) new sets of drapes for our living room/dining room (and all of the required curtain rods/brackets/fancy pieces to accompany said curtains too.)
Pictures of all this drapery actually hanging are still in progress (since, well, Baby decided I needed a day off from all this craziness and urged me to take a very long nap yesterday afternoon) but believe you me: it’ll be one epic and super happy day when the new curtains go up. (Because the sparkly white sheers must go.) (Immediately.) You just wait!
So that’s the story of spring coming to our little mauve-coloured house. At least so far. There’s lots more cleaning and organizing and nursery-decorating and probably another trip to Ikea looming (yay! I heart Ikea so much), but for now I’m happy with the progress made to date.
Now, please excuse me while I go play with my new, non-stark-white, living room drapes. Whee!
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You know how when you move into a new house, and the previous owners have left the existing curtains, and they’re ok for the time being (because, really, who has the time or money to buy all new curtains immediately upon moving into a new house), and you say “oh, I’ll change them soon”, but then three months later you’re still living with the same bright white tacky-silver-swirl-adorned too short too ugly gross sheer curtains and it suddenly dawns on you that you should really swap those things out asap?
Yeah. That’s me.
And when I say that our curtains are too short, I’m not exaggerating:
Yep. We have flood-ready curtains. And no baseboards in our dining room (for some unknown reason.) (But that’s a completely different story for a completely different day.) And this picture is obviously from the day we moved in (I promise! Our house is now fully furnished. We’re not extreme minimalists!) But just look. Look at those curtains! I’m not an interior decorator, but I’m pretty sure I speak somewhat accurately and knowledgeably when I say: that’s not how you hang curtains.
In our little 1940s home (oh, how I miss our little 1940s home!) we hung Ikea’s Ritva curtains in the front window. And they looked lovely (and apparently lulled a very cute orange cat – who we miss very much – to sleep on our sofa the day I took this picture.)
My only criticism of those Ritva curtains? They were wrinkly. Like, mucho messy wrinkly. They were definitely not wash-and-wear sorta curtains. Nope! A whole lot of ironing went into making sure that anxiety-inducing wrinkly-frumpiness was kept at bay.
So is pulling out my iron each time I wash my Ritvas a deal breaker? I really really do hate ironing. A lot. A whole lot. But, as much as I hate ironing, I do truly love Ritva. The curtains have a linen-y texture that makes them seem far more expensive than they really are (since Ikea drapes are as delightfully cheap as they are cheerful.) And Ikea’s long-length curtain panels will definitely be appreciated in this old mauve house, since our dining room ceiling height is quite high (Sweetie says 9-ish feet, but it seems way higher to me.)
Oh Ritva, you sneaky devil. You really do have a hold on me. You may be once again forcing me to dust off my iron. But you’re worth it.
Queue forthcoming curtain-collecting Ikea trip. Woo! I heart Ikea. :)
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Last night’s dinnertime conversation went a bit like this…
Me: Yay! The new Ikea catalogue is out!
Sweetie: Ooooh. That is exciting.
Me: I know! However, please note that I don’t yet have one. This is extremely upsetting.
Sweetie: Well, can’t you just order one?
Me: Maybe? [Insert frantic Ikea-website search here.] Crap. No. It looks like they no longer send them out upon request to any household that’s beyond a certain radius from a store. The site says that we need to visit our nearest Ikea location for a catalogue. Oh despair. My world is crumbling.
Sweetie: Well, we’ll just get you a catalogue the next time we pass by a store then.
Me: But there’s all sorts of amazing new stuff at Ikea now and I don’t yet know about it. I need a catalogue now. Now now now.
Sweetie: [Eye rolling]
Yep. That all actually happened. And yes, it’s sad but true: the FAQ section on Ikea’s website does indeed state that I cannot order the catalogue and have it delivered by mail. I must now trek to my nearest Ikea store in order to view the catalogue that’ll tell me what I want to buy at my nearest Ikea store. To quote my favourite blue and yellow retailer:
The IKEA catalogue is mass-distributed annually in the area around each IKEA store. If you did not receive this year’s catalogue, stop by the IKEA store near you for a free copy.
It’s all a little silly.
Of course, I could peruse the catalogue online. The website reminds me that I can flip through virtual pages as much and as often as I’d like until my heart’s content. There’s even an app for that, the website claims, if I’d like to saunter through the virtual catalogue on my teeny tiny little smartphone screen.
Call me a purist (hell, call me archaic and silly and an outdated poop-head if you’d like) but I want my catalogue, with it’s slightly glossy, thin (but surprisingly durable), glorious real-life pages. I want to dog ear the pages that feature those items that I really really want. And I want to flip leisurely through the catalogue and marvel at all the Ikea awesomeness. Over and over and over again.
However, despite my better judgement, I did indeed visit Ikea’s website. And I did indeed view some of their new products. And I did indeed squeal just a bit in delight.
(Although I would indeed still like a catalogue.)
Here were some of my favourite new items…
There’s marvellous Majviva, the pretty purple-ly duvet cover…
And Ullgump the spectacularly spotty rug…
…which claims to be listed at a new lower price (but I don’t remember it ever existing at an old higher price.)
And while we’re chatting about rugs, I absolutely adore this cheerful yellow swoon-worthy Stockholm rug in yellow…
…which actually does appear to be new to Ikea. And actually does need to come home and live with me somewhere in some room in my not-yet-officially-mine house. :)
Despite being a wee bit (ok, a lot) feminine, these beautiful Borghild curtains may eventually reside in our living room…
(Maybe Sweetie won’t notice that they’re floral?)
And I love that Hemnes now comes in blue…
And there’s more. There are new kitchen items I’m swooning over. And new lighting that I’d like. And new storage options and mirrors and frames and so… much… more.
All discovered while perusing the Ikea website.
I still really, really want a catalogue though.
Dear Ikea folk: If you’re reading this, I adore you lots. Lots and lots and lots. Please please please send me a catalogue.
Love, Melissa. :)
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