Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Enchanting Homes Part 2

Like I mentioned in this post, while in Albuquerque on our latest trip, we visited a few homes from the 2012 Homes of Enchantment Parade.  The next one I want to share with you is from Paschich Design Group.  It has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and is 1,800 square feet.  That's it on the left in the image below.  Quite modern for the location with a beautiful view of the Sandia Mountains beyond.  It is also sporting some swanky photovoltaics.

You are greeted by a vibrant plum colored door that opens to a small foyer and then to the open kitchen, dining and living area.  I was immediately struck by the steel structure exposed in the main room.  The kitchen sports a large island that reminded me of ours and an awesome barn door for the pantry.  Barn doors like this one are great space savers when you are limited on space for a door to swing out. 

The natural light in this house was fantastic.  The house was oriented where it took advantage of the southern exposure the most. 

The open living room was made cozy by the fireplace and built-in media console. 

The faucet in the hall bathroom had a nifty sink faucet where the top moved back and forth, side to side to control water flow and temperature.  I also love the green interior.

I loved these wood carved masks hanging in one of the 2 extra bedrooms.

The master suite was a comfortable size with nice details like a sliver of frosted glass from the master bath to the master bedroom.  I loved the quilt on the bed also...

The master bathroom was clean and simple.  I liked the vanity lights although I just kept thinking that they were right in your line of sight and could be blinding....

I enjoyed the no fussiness of this home and the clean and simple design.  It was a good use of space also.  I have one more home to share with you so stay tuned...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Enter at Your Own Risk

It seems this year has flown by and October was here before we knew what hit us!  This month is always crazy busy for us, but I managed to get the Halloween decorations out a couple of weeks before the candy goers arrived!  Yay!  The fact that Devin and I both were sick the week before with a horrible stomach virus made our front door sign that much more appropriate.

I kept the decorations fairly simple this year, using mostly black and white with punches of color in different areas. 

The dining room had punches of red because black, white and red are the typical colors in that room anyway.  I added the tablecloth I purchased from Target last year I think and the sparkle pumpkin and skull from Target also.  My favorite items are the very tall long legged spider votive candle holders from Pottery Barn a couple of years ago.  I don't think you can see too well the bat hanging from the chandelier and the bat that has landed next to the skull...but they are there.  In the picture above, if you look really hard, you can see the black crows sitting on top of the wall cabinet and the chandelier...

In the kitchen I have just a couple of nods to Halloween like in the dish towel hanging on the stove...

and the Frankenstein's Monster candy jar by the sink.

The breakfast area also has a couple of things like another black sparkle skull on the newly finished buffet...

and a couple of black and green feather wreaths from Target on the french doors.  I used a little orange ribbon I had on hand to hang them. 

Finally, in the living room, I kept the pallet black and white with a couple of orange candles in the lanterns on the hearth.  Pay no attention to the grass in the fireplace, now that summer is over, the grass needs to be replaced with pumpkins or something.

A couple of my favorite Halloween decor items are on the mantle.  The witch there on the left hand side is a "dip and drape" doll that my mother made when I was a child.  I just love her.  Next to her is the mummy cat that I purchased at World Market a year or two ago, and it just cracks me up.  When my cats are misbehaving, I just show them the mummy cat as a sort of threat of things to come if they keep clawing at my sofa!

Now we are fully prepared to watch scary movies for the rest of the month and dole out candy to the little ghosts and goblins that ring our bell on All Hallows Eve!  How about you guys?  Any festive decorating going on for Halloween?  Am I the only one who absolutely adores this holiday?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dressing up a Dresser

Operation Baby Nursery is still in effect, slowly, as in baby steps.  All of the furniture that was in there as a guest bedroom is now gone.  It was either sold on Craigslist, currently for sale on Craigslist or being re purposed in another area of our home.  Hence this dresser discussion.  The plan:  re-use the dresser from the guest bedroom as a buffet in our breakfast area in the kitchen.  It took a little convincing my husband that this was a fabulous idea, but sometimes when in doubt you just have to do it and see how it works out.  So that is exactly what I did, with him doubting every minute of it.  Oh he of little faith.

Here is said dresser.  Let me just say that it is old.  As in my mother and her baby sister used it as children and I love it.  It is a great height at 36 inches and it is a narrow 15 inches so it doesn't protrude into the room very much.  Win win for our breakfast space!

This is not it's original condition of course.  It had been painted several times and I had painted it again and changed the hardware from knobs to handles while living in an apartment in college.  It was about to go through another change.  My mom has been in town several times to help us with projects prior to baby's arrival so she was here to help with the transformation as well as my sister.

I love how her shirt says "Staff".  Oh and we had lots of help from her little dog Jazz too...

First step was to remove the hardware and sand.  We set up shop outside in our backyard for the dusty task.  The sanding step was to simply smooth out the layers of paint.  Otherwise we could have just used a deglosser and then moved on to priming. 

After sanding, we moved the dresser and drawers to the garage for priming and painting.  The wind was picking up slightly and we didn't want stuff flying into our wet paint, and it was a little chilly that weekend...which I loved.  It is a treat in Texas to have cool weather!

A few minor repairs were made to the dresser frame like securing a couple of rails that had come loose. 

Then it was priming time.  We used water based KILZ primer.  It is easiest to use and clean up.  We applied it with a small foam roller and a foam brush for a smoother application with no brush marks. 

After one coat of primer, we did two coats of white paint.  We used the same white paint we had on hand from painting our kitchen cabinets.  It is Valspar interior latex in an eggshell finish from Lowes. 

Once the two coats of paint were dry, I applied two coats of Polycrylic with a foam brush.  It is the same water based polyurethane that I used on the fireplace tile.  And the final result turned out great!  It looks like a new piece of furniture. 

Here is the before...again.

And after...

There have also been small changes to this breakfast area to make it more functional so I will have another post about those details soon and hopefully some movement on the nursery front!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Enchanting Homes Part 1

One of the perks of visiting Albuquerque in October is that the 2012 Homes of Enchantment Parade is happening.  It is their parade of homes and it usually offers a variety of styles and locations of homes.  Albuquerque has very distinctive areas of town like the foothills of the Sandia mountains or down by the Rio Grande river in the Bosque and one can be completely different than the other.  There is a nice mix of the Southwest style all the way to more contemporary modern homes.  We were able to visit only 4 of these houses this year as our schedule was super tight and I only have pictures for 3 of them.  I thought rather than fill one post with all of the pictures from all 3 houses, I will make this a 3 part post. 

The first home I'm sharing is brought to us by Marie Enterprises and is 1,679 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  The entry is marked by concrete paved stepping stones.  We love this idea and can envision some beautiful grass or river rocks between the concrete pours. 

We loved the open concept and the kitchen wall of tile. So simple and delightful. The natural light from that large window above the sink is awesome.

The pantry right off of the kitchen has the same tile work and lovely rain glass doors.

Notice the concrete floors.  They are finished impeccably and have a nice cozy feel.

The outdoor space was small but had a huge impact with this awesome lime green fireplace all wired up for television and such!  Love that you can really have an outdoor space without the Texas sized mosquitoes like here!

I had to take a pic of the laundry basket in the laundry room because I LOVE it...

The master shower had nice tile work and I loved the walk in and shower design with no door.  Oh and I love the idea of being able to turn the water on without having to walk all the way into the shower since there is another shower head around the right corner.

That's all for this house folks!  Stay tuned for the next installment of Enchanting Homes...:)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Showering Baby with Love

While we were in Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta, my BFF Renee and her mother threw me a baby shower!  Since Devin and I lived in Albuquerque for 8+ years, we made some great friends and it was super special to be able to see some of them and celebrate the future Young'un.  It was a beautiful day, the hostesses were amazing and the food was delicious.  That's me below, not so much the top of my head but with full baby bump in tow. 

Renee's brother-in-law Frankie actually made the cake and it was splendid!  Complete with cake pops.  Thanks to Amanda for cutting the cake...you are a pro.

Of course, when you have a shower, you simply must have games to bring out the real competition in these women.  My favorite game was sculpt a baby out of Play Doh.  Each guest had to sculpt a baby and then I judged them to determine the winner. 

It was so hilarious to see the stress of the chore in their faces and then the results were pretty darn funny.  I have to say, they did an awesome job, but there can only be one winner.  Amanda took the prize.  Her baby came complete with blanket, bonnet and almost anatomically correct.  So funny!

After games and cake, we dug into the gifts.  Baby girl received some great gifts and Devin and I will be better prepared for her big arrival at the end of January.

I am truly blessed to have some of the most amazing women in my life and I am grateful that we were able to share the afternoon together.  Thank you so much for showering my new family with love and joy.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Devin and I were excited to be able to make a trip to Albuquerque this year for the 2012 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  It is my goal to try to attend every other year, and this was our year!  We loaded up the car, and the hound dog and headed north west.  I have to say that the Balloon Fiesta never ceases to amaze me.  There is just something about waking up before dawn and bundling up for the cold weather to witness one of the most beautifully amazing spectacles of my life.  I grew up attending this fiesta and it just never gets old. 

Here we are...

Like always, we took way too many pictures of balloons, but this year Devin captured some beautiful pictures that will document our baby girl's first official visit to the balloons (although she didn't get to see any of it)! 

Hot air balloons come in all shapes and sizes and it is so fun to see what new "special shapes" will be unveiled.  This year it was Elvis! 

The bees are among one of the crowd favorites, as the pilots can make them kiss and hold hands.  How sweet are those bees!

One of the things I love most about the Balloon Fiesta is that it is totally interactive.  You are able to walk right up to the balloons and talk with the crew members as they are preparing to launch.  It is awesome to see the sheer scale of these balloons...especially Airabelle the Creamland Cow. 

The weather that day couldn't have been more perfect for the event.  It was cool but not freezing and not a lick of wind.  The mountains were also sporting a beautiful blanket of clouds.

Happily we were able to enjoy the festivities with my mom and my sister. 

I also picked up a balloon for our baby girl to commemorate her first Fiesta!  We might be able to incorporate it into her nursery.

They are truly breathtaking...

It was a GREAT Fiesta and we look forward to 2014 for our next one. Baby girl will be able to witness the grandeur firsthand and not in my belly!

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