Posts Tagged ‘twitter home tour’

Reality Strikes Back

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from the Twitter Home Tour (and thank you to everyone who stopped by) but I don’t think anyone bothered to read my disclaimer. Guys, my house is not clean. It’s not even KIND OF clean. I actually think I’ve scared all my real life friends out of ever inviting Baby Evan and me over for a playdate because they’re afraid I’ll judge their houses based on the TOTAL LIES in my post. Not only did I move crap around like crazy for those pictures, I took them in such a way that hid most of the dirt. Notice the total lack of close-ups on…anything. If you could SEE the actual, visible dirt on my floors and the pet hair on every horizontal surface in the house you would feel a lot – A LOT – better about your own housekeeping. No one would ask me how I find the time for everything, or how I keep it all together or wonder if I’m secretly a speed freak who doesn’t every sleep because she’s too busy baking pies and hunting down glass chickens on Ebay.

And so, in the interest of honesty and for the sake of Baby Evan’s social life, please enjoy a little more reality.

My real kitchen

This isn’t actually my kitchen when it’s dirty. This is what I consider CLEAN. There are only some dishes in the sink. MOST of the ingredients from dinner last night are put away. All the junk is to the right of the stove, which is where the junk goes, and thus it is considered put away.

The reason there are dishes in the sink is because there were SO MANY I couldn't fit them all in the dishwasher.

I suppose complaining about my lack of counter space when I use it this ineffectively makes me a whiny bee-yotch but guuuuuuys, where am I supposed to put this stuff? And don’t say “away” because that’s TOTALLY FULL of crap too.

And then there's THIS.

Mere hours after I posted the home tour, E decided it was time to get moving on the First Annual Rewiring Of A Really Old House Because We Need To Move ONE Outlet. Because the previous owners (always read as: preeeeeevious owwwwwwwners while shaking fist at sky) painted over wallpaper – textured wallpaper – what should have been a  20 minute project now involves scraping, sanding, patching, spackling, and painting the WHOLE KITCHEN. So I’m living in a construction zone. The dust, it is epic.

More junk.

Here we have three – count ’em – diaper bags, none of which I am currently using; a pile of unread magazines that date back to January that I can’t bring myself to throw away (or better yet, STOP SUBSCRIBING TO IDIOT YOU DON’T READ THEM ANYWAYS); my knitting bag; a dirty glass from two days ago and some trash. All things sitting (as in, currently, as I type this) right next to my couch. Besides the trash, that’s actually where this stuff goes.

Ah yes, the crowning joy of my decorating.

That right there is a genuine early 21st century early childhood entertainment device and tactile experience. Someday it will be a real collector’s item. That is, if the cats don’t get to it first. A smart person probably wouldn’t leave it inflated in the middle of her house all the time. Too bad smart people don’t live here.

Also, for the record, we eat far more fast food than is wise, I’ve never (literally, never) vacuumed our bedroom, I currently have laundry in every stage except for “clean and put away”, half the plants I bought are still sitting unplanted on my porch, I haven’t showered or brushed my hair today and tonight I fully plan to sit on my ass watching 30 Rock instead of doing any of those things.

So please, friends and readers, don’t shun me for what you see on the internet. It is full of lies.

Twitter Home Tour

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I’m not really sure how I got involved with this crazy undertaking, but let it serve as a warning to you, dear readers. Don’t ever say “Wow, that sounds like a good idea!” on Twitter unless you are willing to dedicate at least a week of your life to that idea.

Today, I’m participating in the Twitter  Home Tour with 10 12 14 a bunch of other fellow bloggers. Instead of our usual posts where we open our lives and families and joys and struggles to the world, we’re opening our doors. Literally.

Now, before I start with the eighteenbazillionty house pictures, let me share a tiny disclaimer. The home you are about to see does not exist. It is an illusion. A fallacy. A lie. A figment of my imagination. It is impossible to come and visit this home in any city, in any country, on any planet. The home I am sharing today is not where I live. Oh sure, technically it’s my address, the land and walls and roof we pay our mortgage on each month. But the house I actually live in does not look like this. It is a perpetual MESS. There are toys everywhere, dishes in the sink, laundry piles waiting to be washed or folded, boxes that have only made it half way to the attic and wait in the hallway to ambush your ankles at night. My home is lived in. It took a ton of work to make it even kind of presentable for these pictures and even then I dragged stuff in and out of every room as I took the shots. And you’re probably going to look at these pictures and think “Jeez, this is her house at its BEST?” so my disclaimer is unnecessary. But I started this blog to share a truly honest view of pregnancy, babies and life, so I couldn’t do this tour without being honest.

OK, since you haven’t given up yet, on to the tour!

View from the street

First let me tell you the story of how we bought this beautiful house. I used to work in a real estate office (sidenote: BEST. JOB. EVER. for nosey busy-bodies like me, especially nosey busy-bodies who love houses)(which is really why I’m doing this house tour thing at all) and one day this house came on the market. It was waaaaaaay out of our price range but I loved it so much I printed out a copy of the listing and taped it to my fridge. Every time I looked at it I thought “If only I could live in a house like this SOME DAY.” I’ll spare you the long version of the story but eventually they lowered the price, we worked out our financial problems and VOILA! Home sweet home.

Front steps

In a couple more weeks those stone flower boxes will be filled with flowers, but I can’t plant until Mother’s Day. It’s the #1 gardening rule in New England – once the weather is nice, WAIT A MONTH or you’ll lose all your plants to a late frost. The old wash bucket is for flowers too. I try not to keep junk in my yard for no reason.

Front door

A porch swing is for swinging

It's a pretty big porch

My father, mother, E and I rebuilt that porch last summer, knowing that THIS year those bars to keep the baby from falling through the screen would come in handy.

Ok, NOW you can come in.

Entry table and mirror - found in an empty rental house next to the one I used to live in. I adopted them for my own.

Entry bench - old seats from a real theater my mom bought at a garage sale and that I envied EVERY DAY growing up. Now they're MIIIIINE.

Not pictured: Dirty socks, newborn size diapers, popcorn machine from the party, three pairs of shoes, about a zillion books and possibly some Christmas decorations I keep meaning to bring upstairs.

To the right of the entry is my Formal Living Room

Facing the front of the house

Mantle of the fireplace

Why yes that IS a large mahogany buffet in front of a wood burning fireplace. No it doesn’t usually go there – I moved it for the party and decided it can just stay for the summer. We bought it at a flea market to use in our dining room…and then bought a nicer china cabinet later the same day. So this buffet was a sofa-back table in the living room until I threw out the sofa. Now it’s homeless. If you’d be interesting in adopting this very well behaved, totally housebroken buffet, it’s available for a very reasonable price. Also, I used to have really cool stuff hanging over the mantle but took it down for the party and fell out of love with it. I’m currently accepting suggestions for what to do next.

One of my best flea market finds: $20 cane and bent wood chair. Came with the cushions too.

Our floors. I loooooove our floors. Someday we'll have them refinished and restored but I swear we will never, ever change them. Scout's honor.

AHA! Collection #1: Decanturs. These are actually E's. We keep them in one of the built in cabinets by those half columns in the living room.

Ok! On to the dining room! Most of which you’ve already seen from the living room!

It took me three tries to pick two shades of yellow I could live with in that room.

And those CURTAINS. I debated over those curtains for MONTHS. Oh Pottery Barn, thy name is hell.

Last wall of the dining room. As promised, my glass chicken collection is on the piano. Everyone should have a piano on which to display their glass chickens.

Oh you don't have a glass chicken collection? What a shame.

This is the cabinet that replace the homeless buffet. There are more glass chickens in the left hand side. OH! AND! The top "drawer" is really a fold down desk. *SWOON* Hidden desk!!!

Did you happen to catch Collection #3 in those dining room photos? Here’s a hint: it’s milkglass vases. The kind you can buy at Goodwill for 25 cents. The kind people at yard sales GIVE YOU because no one wants. What can I say, I like junk.

OK, back to the entry. If you go straight from the front door, here’s the hallway.


The door on the left goes to the basement, the second door on the left is the half-bath. The door on the right is the pantry, the second door on the right is the coat closet.

The way to the basement also as a side door to the teeny little fenced side yard.

And THOSE stairs go down to the basement. Which you will not be seeing. It's dirty and gross and full of tools and boxes and cat litter. Really, just a basement.

Half bath. Teeny tiny half bath. Let's call it quaint.

Yes, I would definitely call this quaint. And yes, I did clean that tile.

What every quaint bathroom needs: a GIANT FLOWER PAINTING. $10 at a neighbor's garage sale.

OK, done with the boring stuff and on to the parts of the house we actually LIVE IN. I’m going to start with the kitchen.

Why yes, this is part of the kitchen.

Remember how I talked about my lack of counter space? Well that spot right there, with the shoes and the high chair are, is where my new kitchen island is going. But until it’s installed, please admire the truly gorgeous tile floor my husband and father installed.

Here's a quick peek out the back door to the one car garage and part of the garden. I hear there's going to be a garden tour post in June.

Back to the kitchen. Here’s your free tip for today: No matter how nice you’ll think it looks, don’t install tile on the diagonal. Just trust me.

We call this our wall-o-kitchen.

Even at its cleanest, please notice the total lack of work space on the counters.

Now on to a room you’re probably going to recognize if you’ve ever seen a single picture of my kid before. I would say we spend 95% of our at-home, awake hours in this room.


Oh yeah, THAT'S why we hang out in here. And I don't mean the books.

Our renovations include: painting the walls (Ralph Lauren suede in case you were wondering) new ceiling fan, having the floors refinished and E’s woodworking projects – both bookcases and the toy box.

The first of two wall word decals. 10 points to the dork who names the source! Here's a clue: E and I both love this movie equally.

Collection #4! Bird pictures over the toy box. Purchased from Etsy for less than $12 each.

So that’s the first floor! How excited are you to find out there are TWO MORE TO GO? I promise I’ll try not to drag it out forever. But first lets go back to the entry so you don’t get lost.

See, NOW you remember what the entry looked like! For future reference: note the green things on top of the window. They might come up later.

The stained glass window is from a flea market (and please note, when I say “a flea market” I really mean “all the same flea market I go to far too often”). I hung it up because I couldn’t find curtains I liked and that window looks RIGHT out onto my neighbor’s house.

Collection #...what are we up to? 5? I bet you don't even know what these are. But I do. And I collect them.

We made it! We're actually up the stairs!!

All that crap hanging on the walls are awards, certificates and other random crap E has collected during his time in the Navy. Other military families will recognize it as an “I Love Me Wall”, although in our case it’s an entire “I Love Me Stairwell”. If he gets any more commendations I’m going to need a much taller ladder.

Upstairs hallway and another of E's certificates. I think he got that one for going through the Suez Canal.

The following rooms are featured in a clockwise direction starting from the door on the left in the picture above. Try to keep up.

Not pictured: TONS AND TONS OF CRAP.

I know the giant tub LOOKS awesome but I'd trade a normal tub-shower combination for that giant tub and the HORRIBLE stand up shower in a second.

Not pictured: Blue plastic baby tub, the three dozen bath toys, a large pile of towels and several pairs of baby pajamas I usually keep in that adorable chair.

Adorable Chair: $30 from a neighbor's garage sale. Perfect for hiding tubes of Preparation H under when you don't want all your guests to know about those hemorrhoids.

Back when this bathroom was for grown ups, I used to light these candles and relax with the jets in the tub and a glass of wine. Sigh.

BEST PART OF THE UPSTAIRS BATHROOM: Laundy hookups. No more carrying baskets to the basement!

A note about the room you’re about to see. All the stuff, including the wall color, used to be in what is now the nursery. I had redone the WHOLE ROOM less than a year before I got pregnant without thinking that room made most sense for the baby. Doing all the painting just about killed me.

Do you see Collection #6? I do. And part of collection #7. Please ignore the elliptical machine in the corner. PLEASE.

The chandelier was 75% off at a Bombay Company store that was going out of business.

Why yes, I did used to watch a lot of Trading Spaces. Why do you ask? p.s. That pillow is totally held together with hot glue.

Art deco furniture is from...can you guess? A neighbor's garage sale. I got the dresser, mirror, headboard and footboard for $100. Plus she delivered it!

Cedar chest from a flea market. Globes from a flea market. Chair in the reflection from a flea market.Cat in the reflection from...the devil.

Now you get to see where the magic happens. I’M SORRY. I HAD TO. PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

Why yes, that bed IS enormous. Thanks for noticing.

Wall words #2. Whatevs. I think they're cute.

And here's all the proof you need of just how uncool I am.

And I'm back to redeem myself! How cute is this idea? I think I saw it in a magzine but I will totally take credit for inventing it myself.

How about that Navy guy kissing the nurse poster? Is that +1 or like -10000 on the cool scale? Wait, don't tell me. I don't want to know.

Just in case you’re STILL READING this post (bless you) now you get to see the nursery. Where the baby sleeps! I have to say, when I set up and designed the nursery I had no frickin’ clue what a baby needed. Take  for example, a night light. With the light on, Baby Evan wakes up every couple of hours, notices I’m not there and cries. In the PITCH BLACK, he wakes up, gets bored and goes back to sleep. Seriously, if you’re struggling with sleep problems, turn off the nightlight!

This room used to have carpet. Horrible, 3-D looking carpet. THIS IS WHAT WAS UNDERNEATH.

I’m actually shocked by how much I HAVEN’T changed since we first set up the nursery. Besides the size of the clothing, a lot more books and toys and the foam mats for naked baby time, it’s almost the same. Of course, I also added the chalkboard wall but since I put the changing table back upstairs it’s kind of hidden. I’m still in love with my Where The Wild Things Are slash Pirate slash Palm Tree slash Adventure theme. Very cohesive.

Someone still rocks Baby Evan in that chair every night. Good purchase.

Cool design feature time! This is a plate rack I used to hang clothes because the closet is already full of my own stuff. The Wild Things are from my sister.

Evan's crib friends. Quite a mixed crowd.

This was my whole inspiration. I like to think it gives Baby Evan good dreams about good books.

This concludes the Twitter Home Tour. Good-bye. Nice to see you.

What’s that you say? I mentioned the house was THREE floors? No no, you’re imagining things. There’s not third floor. OK, well, TECHNICALLY there is. TECHNICALLY that’s where the fourth bedroom is.

Sigh. Fine. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Scared yet?

This is just the landing. Run while you can.


Would you believe me if I swore on my baby's life that this is an IMPROVEMENT over what the room looked like when we moved in? It used to have black and orange giant zoo animal wall paper. For real. Some day we're going to recarpt and paint the walls a color that can't be described as "flesh" but for now, it's just junk. And not the good kind.

Oh my God, I am EXHAUSTED. I hope you aren’t bored to death of me by now and wondering where the mommy blogging went. I promise to never do this again. Mostly because it was WAY too much work for one day but also so you don’t have to read it. No one needs to know about my glass chickens and my globes. That’s what she said.

But if you’re enjoying being a nosey-parker house-peeker, please check out the rest of the bloggers taking part in today’s Twitter Home Tour. You can find their links below.

Once upon a time, @MomNom, @jennandtonica, @emmie_bee, @heirtoblair, and @ColeEmmett were talking about home decor on Twitter. We thought it would be so great to be able to see each other’s homes! A *bunch* of other tweeps joined in, @Alena29 put together a terrific button, and #twitterhometour (or #twitterhouseparty) was born! Feel free to join us – add a link to your home tour post (pictures, video, or both!) below.