Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Card 2011

2009: (Pentax, kit lens, lightscoop)


xmas card 2010_v3_black out

(Link to last year’s post here.)

Every year I spend time looking at lots of cards to decide what I want to do.  I always have more ideas than I can execute, so I try a few to see what I can come up with.  ‘Let it Snow’ is what worked this year with the twinkle light background and blowing snow ideas from Pinterest.  The kids LOVED participating in the card this year and I am happy that everyone is on the card!

(I took the photos, except the one of me…my husband helped.  I also designed the card in Photoshop.)

Christmas Card 2011_web

And here are some of the other great photos that I had a tough time deciding not to use.



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Busy Weekend Part 1 –Movie & Sledding

We had a very busy, very fun weekend.  We got invited to a special showing of Happy Feet 2 by the real estate agency and mortgage company we used when we bought our house.  The movie is adorable and the kids had a blast. (iPhone)

happyfeet_coop_wm  happyfeet_char_wm

Then we went sledding after lunch.  This is the first time the kids have gone sledding and they LOVED it.  Our neighborhood has greenbelts between all the houses that have pretty good hills.  It was so convenient to just take a short walk down the block.  My husband and I joined in on a few of the hills and we had a complete blast.  Now Cooper keeps asking when we’re going to the mountains to go sledding. (all iPhone pics)

sledding_char_edit    sledding_coop_edit_wm

Cooper helped Charlotte by giving her a push.sledding3_edit_wmsledding2_edit_wmsledding1_edit_wm

Then they learned to paddle with their hands and Cooper figured out very quickly.  Charlotte isn’t quite as strong so it took her much longer.


They tried to carry their sleds back up the hill but they kept falling or letting go of the sled.  It was a lot of up and down for me. 

sledding7_edit_wm   sledding8_edit_wm

And they insisted on pulling their sleds home.coop_pullsled_edit_wmchar_pullsled_edit_wm

The best thing was they were so exhausted, went right to bed, and slept so well all night!

Stay tuned for the visit to Santa!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Work Holiday Party

Last night was the holiday party for work.  It was great to get dressed up and go enjoy ourselves sans kids.  There are nearly 1,000 employees that work in my office, so the party was huge.  The set up was fantastic with a cocktail/casual lounge set up outside the ballroom.  They had dancing heads green screen (kind of like this) as part of the entertainment in that area, which was so funny to watch.

Inside the ballroom there were multiple stations set up for food:  salad and carving station, sushi station, salt/veggie/bread station, and pasta station.  I took this pic with my phone of the salt station.  I have never seen one and I really have no idea what to (23)

Of course it was a full open bar with several bars strategically placed around the ballroom.  It felt very much like a club with a live band, dance floor, and lounge couches/pillows/chairs.  There were several tables to either sit or stand at to eat and mingle.

The toughest this year is that I barely know anyone because I just started a few months ago.  Not surprising, but I saw many people introducing themselves to each other and proceeding to ask which half of the couple works for the company.  One of my coworkers said it was so tough for him because everyone looks so different all dressed up.

We had a really great time, although we came home a little early because it had been a long week and day for me and I seem to have picked up the cold from the kids.

(Thanks to my friend who took a picture of us when we dropped the kids off!  Love it!)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ryan & Reese

My friend asked me to do photos for her daughter since she is turning 3 and try to get some sibling photos as well.  I’ve taken photos of both girls before, but Reese was a newborn the last time I took them.  Amazing how she’s grown!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sneak Peak of Christmas Card Photos

I did some twinkle light photos this year with the kids.  Once I’ve created my card and sent them out I’ll post it here with the rest of the photos.  They are adorable!

Cooper took her cars.  It made her very sad.  And cute.


Before I could move the couch out of the way he wanted to be super cute.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Basement Reveal

We finally finished our basement remodel!  The same contractor who did our master bathroom also finished our basement for us.  The basement was already finished, but the previous owners used it as a live-in nanny space, while we wanted it to entertain.  Since the space was already finished, we only had to move or remove a couple of walls/doorways and then put all new surfaces in.

We wanted a more modern entertainment space with a water/rain ‘theme’.  My husband had more influence on the space since I had more influence on the master bath.  He tends to prefer contemporary and modern, plus very masculine spaces.  I actually really love how the space came together.  My favorite part is the aluminum backsplash.

Here is what it looked like going down into the basement.  We sold the carpet on Craigslist for $300 and the guy who bought it was a contractor so he also removed all the carpet!  You can still see the carpet on the stairs.  The biggest change was adding a wall to hide the pole, opening the wall on the right to make a hallway, replacing the carpet with hardwood, and moving the rail to the other side so that we could pass inspection (the space was previously unpermitted and we permitted the space).



This is another view looking back up the stairs.  You can see that we removed the doorway leading to the new workout room and opened up the side of the stairs a bit to the new hallway.  The stair rail is all custom welding work done by our contractor.


This was the bedroom that we converted to a workout room.  I took two before pictures to show the wall where we put the mirrors (the TV is in the same spot) and the number of doorways we were dealing with.  We took out all the doorways, made the closet slightly smaller and put new double doors on at a 45 degree angle.  I only took one after picture since we have large mirrors installed.  The mirrored wall is on the left in the picture and the room extends to the right.  The tv is in the same place in the before/after.


This is the view of the new hallway.  Before the entire hallway was part of the bathroom and didn’t make much sense.  We moved the wall to widen the hallway and removed the door.  This made the closet slightly smaller.  The first set of pictures is looking toward the bathroom while standing in the workout room and the second set of pictures is looking back toward the workout room.


The bathroom had quite the remodel.  We completely gutted it and had custom cabinets installed.  We also removed the tub (we have 2 other bathrooms in our house that have tubs) and removed the wall in the corner to make a larger dual shower.


We removed the door way to open the hallway and made the bathroom smaller.  We also automated the house using Control 4 so we built a new ‘closet’ for the rack system.


We left a little play area for the kids under the stairs, but moved the entry to the other side of the stairway.  Here you can see the new 45 degree door to the workout room and how we opened up the stairway and hallway.DSC_4768_edit_textDSC_6983_text

We put in a new theater system and made the zig zag wall flat, plus hid the pole.DSC_4766_edit_textDSC_6985_edit_textDSC_4767_textDSC_7054_text

The basement already had plumbing for a kitchen, so we used that area for the new bar.  The contractor did the foot rail, counter supports and wine rack to match the rest of the metal work in the basement.DSC_4788_edit_textDSC_6986_edit_text

The contractor created the custom wine rack and we put glass doors on two of the overhead cabinets.  We used the same pulls in the bar area as the bathroom, as well as the same backsplash.  The wine fridge also has a regular drink side.  We installed a dishwasher in the other corner opposite the wine fridge to avoid moving dishes up and down the stairs (not shown).


The new pool table/game area worked out well for the space.  We used the beam on the other side to hang the pool cues on.  Out of reach for the kids, and a great use for the beam.  Our contractor also made the drink rails in the pool table area.DSC_4765_edit_textDSC_6981_edit_text

We’ve had a party in the space and it is a perfect entertainment space.  Tons of fun and lots of space to spread out.  Lucky for us the workout room seems to double as a playroom with large mirrors.

Info on finishes, paint colors and furnishings.  We purchased nearly everything at local stores, so many of the links aren’t where we actually purchased from, but rather pictures to show you the items.

Paint colors:  Benjamin Moore Old Navy (theater area), Benjamin Moore Blueberry (bar area), Benjamin Moore Platinum Grey (pool table and other major areas), Benjamin Moore Urban Nature (workout room), Valspar Mountain River (bathroom), Behr Frost (white trim)

Flooring:  Handscraped Engineered Maple, forgot stain color, walnut maybe?

Bathroom Floor:  Porcelain Moutain Slate Iron (20 in x 20 in) from Floor and Décor Outlet

Shower wall tile:  Porcelain Soho Lafayette from Floor and Décor Outlet

Shower accent tile:  Bliss Random Waterfall Mosaic from Great Indoors

Shower floor tile:  Carrera Brick Mosaic Marble from Floor and Décor Outlet

Backsplash in bar and bathroom:  Eden Mosaic Tile 3D Raised Brick Pattern Aluminum Mosaic Tile

Bathroom Granite:  Blue Pearl

Bar Countertop:  Quartz Fresh Linens

Bar Sink:  Single Bowl Stainless Kitchen Sink

Bathroom sink:  Kohler Ledges in Sea Salt finish

Bar Faucet:  Delta Vero

Bathroom Sink faucet:  Kohler Loure

Hansgrohe Raindance airfall shower heads

Kohler Flipside hand shower sprayers

Bathroom light:  Metro Park Bathroom

Bar Pendants: Blue Bobo

Pool Table Pendants:  Rocket Mini Pendant from Lighting Universe (do not use this company, they have filed for bankruptcy and do not note it anywhere)

Theater Room Sconces:  Arc Panel Glass & Chrome Lamps Plus

Umbra Zen Towel Bars from Amazon

Theater area rug & throw pillows:  Homegoods

Sitting area rug:  River Waves Rug from World Market

Union Square Grommet Window Panels in platinum and Indigo and Twilight Pewter rods from Bed Bath & Beyond

Faux Fur Chinchilla Throw Blankets from Amazon

Sectional: Crate & Barrel Axis in Douglas Coffee

Bean Bag:  Lovesac

Loveseat:  Preston Vanilla Beige Leather from American Furniture Warehouse

Black sitting chairs from American Furniture Warehouse (can’t find link on website)

Coffee Table:  Archer style round coffee table from Overstock

End Table:  Carlyle Chairside End Table from American Furniture Warehouse

Pool Table:  Olhausen Madison

Benny Sofa Tables from Amazon

Cream white faux leather and wood barstools from Overstock for under sofa tables

Bar stools at bar countertop:  Amisco Madison Swivel Stool with upholstered seat