Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter, Resurrected

OK, I'm finally getting these Easter pics up here! I really wanted to get them posted before we head down to DC this weekend for Ana's birthday party - one thing at a time!!

We were supposed to go to our friends' house for a huge Easter egg hunt with tons of kids on Saturday but it was rained out so we headed up to NH to Gram and Grandpa's a little early. When we got there, Gram was all ready with almost three dozen eggs to dye, which the girls loved!

Kate was really able to participate in the dying this year. Last year she was a mess, threw a tantrum, and then just ended up eating a popsicle and watching Maggie finish up.

After the eggs dried, the girls added some stickers. They LOVE stickers!

They also got to make some popcorn with Grandpa...

... and have some yummy jelly bean cake that Gram made.

Of course they woke up at the crack of dawn on Easter morning and rushed downstairs to look for their baskets.

Much candy - and not much breakfast - was consumed.

Then we all got dressed. My mom sent these little matching dresses to the girls, which I had intended for them to wear to the egg hunt, but we put them on them anyway. They called them their princess dresses!

Getting dressed up really wears a girl out!

Posing for the cameras - I think they have their mouths full of jellybeans here!

Since the weather turned out absolutely beautiful on Easter morning despite the storms from the day before (they actually had had a little bit of snow in NH right before we got there!), we headed outside to hunt for eggs. The girls thought hunting Easter eggs was VERY exciting!

Even after all the eggs were found, we just stayed out in the yard playing and enjoying the sunshine. The girls took a walk down the road with Grandpa to see a tree that was cut down.

And they plopped down in the damp street in their dresses to look at a worm!

A family photo - I never can look directly into the sunshine when my picture is being taken and always end up either squinty or with my eyes closed completely!

After lunch and a nap, Kate played Mike's drums. She may have some hereditary talent!

Maggie, on the other hand, developed a new obsession with Legos! Like the drums, these also once belonged to her dad.

It was a great weekend!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Maggie Sez...

... Slushies are great because they are a fun treat that turns into a delicious drink!

*Note the sweet ensemble on Mags - she picked it out herself. The knee socks have neon colored peace signs on them. Gotta love it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Open For Business

We've spent the last few weeks working on our finished basement room and we're nearly done with it. Here's what it looked like when the former owners lived here:

You can't really tell from this photo, but that is some dirty carpet. You can tell from this photo that it is clad in some swanky brown panelling from the 1970's and has attractive steam heat pipes running across the already low ceiling. We decided to set it up as a guest bedroom since the girls already have a playroom off the living room. We ripped out the carpet and Mike (and me and Dale, but mostly Mike) spent WEEKS painting and painting and painting (the ceiling, the pipes, the walls). Then last Thursday, the new carpet was laid and....voila!

Notice the umpteen electrical outlets... and how all of them are black! What the heck were they doing down there that they needed an outlet every 1.5 feet? Combine that info with the fact that there are only two outlets in the kitchen and the unanswered questions just multiply.

The built in shelves are nice. I hope to paint the insides light green at some point in the future.

Kate kept pointing to the walls and saying, "White, white," over and over again. The color is actually Eggnog by Behr, which is a very light creamy yellow.

Somersaults on the great expanse of carpet. They were loving it! Here's a video of them going crazy after the carpet installers left:

Yesterday we started putting furniture back into the room. That old phone table was down there when we moved in and Mike likes it for some reason! That little blue thing is Kate's potty. We've been at it seriously this past week and it's been a mix of success and mopping. We persevere. So far she hasn't pee pee'd on the carpet, though, thank goodness!

This bed used to be ours, but the movers couldn't get the box spring up our stairs when we first moved in here! We had to buy a new queen bed with a divided box spring and put this one in the basement. The bedspread was a wedding gift! We haven't used it in a while, but I hoped it would make this subterranean room look a bit more cheerful and warm. It's actually green, and I thought it would contrast more with the walls, but the odd basement light through the small windows makes them look similar. I'll need to add more green accents to the room, maybe bedside table lamp shades and whatever ends up going on the walls.

The girls couldn't wait to test out the bed. They gave it two thumbs up. But don't take their word for it, come and visit us and see for yourself!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Madness Continues

Thank you so much, everyone, for the feedback on the house paint colors! I really appreciate it, and it's heartening to hear so many people say, "Go bold!" Maybe I'm not losing my mind? I probably am anyway. At least there's some OCD going on here. Are you ready for round 2??

After eliminating (or perhaps moving upstairs to the bedroom) River blue, we turned our attention back to Vanderberg blue, which was my original color of interest when I first started trying to pick a paint. Ironically, Val, we discovered after we bought the testing samples that Yorktown green, which you love, is essentially the exact same color. Yorktown should technically have a tiny shade more green in it than Vanderberg in some light, but mostly they look indistinguishable from one another. So... I managed to pick out the same shade twice from hundreds of colors in the deck, listed under two different names in two different color collections (Vanderberg is a "Classic Color" and Yorktown is a "Historic Color"). Fate, perhaps? Insanity? I'm focusing on Vanderberg just because I found it first and I like the name better! Here's the board painted Vanderberg blue:

Too teal?

Up against our side door, which is black with white trim like the front door

And, again, in many kinds of light...

With Maggie! She and Kate picked blue over grey, so that's their opinion on the record, for what it's worth.

The neighbors behind us also have a blue house, and while it's a shade we like very much (lighter and grayer, no green; a very common and classic New England color), we are trying to avoid painting our house exactly the same shade - seems a bit stalkerish!

And then there is this house. It's in a neighboring town and Mike and I ran across it on the way to a gardening center (I know, what has become of my life?!) last weekend. It used to be a kind of taupe-putty color until it was recently painted this color! It's a bit lighter and greener than we wanted to do, but it's striking. According to, this house is worth $1.3M and it's HUGE - what do you think, crazy or genius?!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Teal Zeal

Waaaaay back a long time ago, I wrote a post on this blog about trying to pick a shade of white to paint our whole house interior. There are so many shades of white and they all look very similar when you're just staring at tiny squares of paper. After a while I had a kind of snow blindness and just threw up my hands and picked a color and ran with it. It's turned out fine, but it was stressful.

You know what's worse than that? Way worse than that?? Picking a color to paint the shingles on the outside of your house. Way worse. Especially when your husband is color blind and can't help you at all and the neighbors already hate the current shade of turquoise (which you secretly love even though you know it's a bit too much really) and almost all the other houses on your street are just white even though the rest of your neighborhood town area state looks like an Easter basket.

I'm having a small mid-life crisis about this paint color thing. I know that no matter what color I choose some people are going to love it and some people will inevitably hate it. I know that whether you love turquoise or not, the current paint is chipping and horrible and any color of paint at all will look better merely because it will be clean and new and smooth. I know it's only going to last about 5-7 years (think of it, Maggie's already 4 years old - how time flies!) and we can choose a new shade then if the color isn't awesome. I know terrible things are happening in Libya and I'm fretting about paint. I know, I know!!

My problem is that I hate the idea of going from TURQUOISE!! to *boring* and just choosing a safe color where the house loses all it's fun personality. I hate the idea of settling for something safe just to please the neighbors who all like white. But in my heart of hearts I know that I'm really not that much of a renegade and I don't want people blaming me for their falling property values (as if they aren't bad enough already). And I'm not so brilliant with color and visualization that I feel confident choosing something off beat and having it come out perfectly. What if it ends up looking like a circus tent?

We've driven around looking at houses in the area trying to find one that is painted a color we like. There is a house of nearly every single color you can imagine within 10 miles of ours, but I just can't seem to find exactly the one that makes me feel confident. Some are too green, some are too blue, some are too light, some are too dark, etc...... I really think Mike wishes I would just shut up about it already. You probably wish I would just shut up about it already, and you're only 5 paragraphs into this here (and maybe a couple of several emails if you're related to me).

At any rate, here's where we stand at the moment.

I know, isn't that board hilarious. I asked Mike to paint a largish piece of wood from his basement collection of pieces of wood in a color I'm considering so that I could carry it around outside in different light and see it away from the turquoise. He and his dad cheerfully added this front door and trim to it for me. It's nice to see the contrast with the black (our front door is black) and white, but... it's a little cute. Especially when I'm dragging it around the house taking photos of it. However, Kate loves it.

The color swatches on the house are (above) Narragansett green, Yorktown green, (below) Knoxville gray, Templeton gray, Vanderberg blue, and River blue, all by Benjamin Moore.

The board is painted Knoxville Gray, which is the front runner at the moment. I had really wanted to do a dark teal, hoping to bring down the turquoise a notch or two without giving up the WOW factor of a bold color. Teal on the exterior takes some moxie that maybe I just don't have in the end. (I'm so disappointed in myself.) I like gray, but I felt like it might be too boring and conventional. Knoxville Gray is leading the pack right now because it does have kind of a teal undertone to it. It's a pretty weird color that seems to change shades in different light. Check this blog out to see a designer's photos of it under different light in an interior. I love the fact that it has a chameleon quality to it, even if it is just plain ole gray.

Are you still awake? Did you pass out from the monotony just then? Or do you find this scintillating? Perhaps you're loving this?? Eh, eh?? You are still reading this, you glutton for punishment. Is it because you just can't get over how cute that little door is? It's even got a doorknob. Hilarious, right?

One last thing before you run off. Here's a shot of the color of my dreams, River blue.

Pretty, right? But here's what it looks like in bright sunshine:

ACK!! Circus tent!! Oh well, I think we're just going to try it out painted on the walls in our bedroom instead. I think it'll look gorgeous with my lime green sheets and maybe a yellow throw pillow or something.