Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Heart Hugh...

It's been a crazy couple weeks trying to pack up the house in between working full time and toddler wrastlin'. But I had to pop in and make note of something I saw this morning at Starbucks that made me giddy and so distracted the cashier had to ask me twice if I wanted my receipt.

Dr. House Mr. Laurie has released a New Orleans Blues album. I haven't even heard it and I already love it. If you know of my borderline stalkerish appreciation for Harry Connick Jr. then it should be no surprise how much I love a scruffy man who sings the blues.

I see an Amazon purchase in my immediate future.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Great Paint Update

I strongly believe that just putting paint on the walls can really make a rented space feel more like your own. We painted before we moved in our current place, and have repainted a couple of the rooms in the few years since then.

I knew I wanted to paint in the new place, and was more than happy to do it myself, but when the Hubby struck a deal we couldn't refuse with the painters, I was more than happy to hand that part over to them.

The professionals did the three big rooms: the Living Room, Baby Bear's room, and the Master Bedroom. I am planning on painting the bathrooms, but since they are small and I couldn't decide on a paint color for the Master Bath in time I will do those later.

The Living Room is painted "Lyndhurst Gallery Beige" by Valspar (Lowes).

It is a slightly warm, yet pretty neutral beige. We had recently painted the old Living Room a nice grey by Valspar, but I wanted to warm up the Living Room based on the new cabinets in the new place. I like the way it turned out and think it will be a good neutral backdrop for bringing in different accent colors.

Baby Bear's room gets the award for Most Adorable Paint Color Name Ever with "Sea Tickle" by Valspar (Lowes).

I wanted a nice semi-muted aqua color to really add a playful feel to what will be a playroom/bedroom for our growing toddler. I love how happy it is, and it makes me, and Baby Bear, smile every time we go in there!

For the Master Bedroom, we went with Chromium by Valspar (Lowes).

I love the color we just painted the Living Room in our current place, but I think it would have been too dark in the new Bedroom. I couldn't find the swatch, but I was smart enough to write the name on the paint can we had used (Grey Plank by Valspar). When we got to Lowes, I couldn't find that color in any of the greys. I asked the guy at the counter if I was remembering the name right and he was able to find the swatch on their paint color ring (apparently they no longer keep that particular swatch out.) I asked if he could find out the color one step lighter than "Grey Plank", and apparently it is this one.

The last paint I chose is called "Light Marine" by Waverly (Lowes).

I chose this for the Hall/Guest Bath, although I haven't painted in there yet. I like the nice soothing feel of this muted blue (it's lighter in person than above) and I think it will be nice in the small bathroom accented with crisp white linens and silver accents. I love the color Katie used in the Master Bathroom of their old house.

I haven't decided on what color to use in the Master Bath. I am sort of thinking of doing horizontal stripes in the same grey we used on the walls, or maybe go another shade lighter for more of a tone on tone look like this from John & Sherry. (Oops, think I just dropped some names there...)

Or, maybe a solid grey with a lovely striped shower curtain like this:

West Elm Horizontal Stripe Shower Curtain
What do you think? Stripes in the Bathroom? No Stripes? Or maybe something completely different, like a ski jump? I just can't decide...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Blank Slate

So, it's finally starting to hit me that we actually have to move into the new place, not just talk about it. We are hoping to be moved in by September 1st and that date is rapidly approaching! There are so many things I want to try and get done before we start moving over and I am very thankful that we have the flexibility to have access to our new downstairs space while we are still in the old space.

I took some "before" pictures to share (and so I have a record of how things have progressed.) First I will start with the layout, so we know what we're working with. We have approximately 1010 square feet, the same as what we have now, just a little different distribution. The following layout is not exactly our layout, but gives an idea of our place, just rotated approximatly 180 degrees and slightly tweeked. (For instance: our upstairs unit has a bay window and balcony, but no patio; and the new place has a patio, and a bigger dining area.)

Here are some "before" pictures we took before we had some of the rooms painted. You will notice there are no fronts to the cabinets in the kitchen or bathrooms, this is because we are getting all new cabinets! Yippee! I can't wait to see them once they are installed next week sometime.

These pictures are completely un-edited, so that my "afters" will look that much better. :)

As you come in through the front door, the Living Room is to your left. (Note the old cabinet doors, so glad to see those go!)

There is an alcove in the Living Room which is where I am working on a little Entertainment Center/Built In project for the TV.

To the right is the Kitchen/Dining Area. 

We will be bringing over our much newer stove, thank goodness.

This is the view down the hall, there are two closets on the right, the Hall/Linen Closet, and the Laundry Closet, with the Guest Bathroom in the middle. (That light fixture looks like a pimple in our hallway!)

The Guest Bathroom: 

The first door on the left is Diego's Room, I'm excited to give him a new bigger boy room to play in!

Diego's room, looking back towards the closet.

The Master Bedroom is at the end of the Hall, it opens onto the patio (which I haven't taken pictures of yet.)

The door on the right leads to the Hall, the door on the left leads to the Master Bath. The MB has a nice walk-in closet with lots of storage.

The Master Bathroom. Both Bathrooms have shower/bathtub combos.

That's about it for our little home. Stay tuned for some paint updates, and some more fun projects to come!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Viva la Fiesta!

Old Spanish Days Fiesta has been a yearly tradition in Santa Barbara since 1924. It is a week long celebration of the Spanish heritage of the city and includes parades, carnivals, street fairs, music and dance performances, and food. Oh, the food!

We headed up last weekend for some Fiesta-ing and were able to meet up with friends and family throughout the day. Baby Bear slept the whole way up, but as soon as we parked the car we woke right up, as if he knew it was time for some fun!

"Mamaaaa!" (I think he was enthusiastically thanking me for his first sprinkled cake donut experience.)

Traditionally, El Desfile de Los Ninos (the Children's Parade) is held on Saturday morning. We made it there and found a spot just as things were wrapping up, but were still able to see some great floats and adorable costumed little ones.

note adorable mustached baby in front...

Miss Hawaiian Tropic and her minions. (I could be wrong on the minions thing, I didn't actually read their signs.)

No Fiesta celebration would be complete without my favorite tradition, Cascarones! These hollowed out confetti eggs are one of the things I remember enjoying as a kid during Fiesta. Although it seems like the 4 for a dollar price tag hasn't changed since then, the attention to detail and decoration has increased dramatically. Just look at some of these festive little eggs:

But I think it was a tie for my favorite between these Darth Vader ones:

And these little guys complete with sombreros and cervesas:

The one in the bottom left looks like he's had a few too many!

Baby Bear had his first cascarone experience after the parade finished. It went a little something like this:

"Oooooh pretty, and sparkly! Thanks Mom, I love it..."

"Look, you can break it on Dada's head!"

"Whhhyyyyy!? Why would you give me something so wonderful and then break it right in front of me?!?!"

Poor little guy. We made up for it and gave him another, which he held close (and he kept a closer eye on us this time.)

Then he got the hang of it and realized he could poke out the top...

...and make a mess (which is his life's mission at this age) all in the name of Fiesta!

We met up with friends after the parade to check out El Mercado de la Guerra, have some food, and enjoy the entertainment.

I love how it looks like the boys are having a conversation in this one. 

There was some tickling by Poppa Bear.

More tickling.

Then time to fight the crowds with a stroller and a wagon. I had to snap this picture of these two pushing the kids along because 5 years ago we would have celebrated Fiesta a LOT differently!

The kiddoes enjoyed some churros from their sheltered little spot amongst the crowds.

Mmmm, cinnamon & sugar goodness!

Don't you just love those curls, I am continually jealous. (I know, grass is always greener...)

As we were leaving we ran into our lovely friend who, at 9 months pregnant with baby #3, was taking part in another traditional Fiesta activity: attending to her daughter as she performed countless dances thoughout the week with her studio. I think at any given moment during the first week in August there are at least 15 different places you could be watching a dance performance.

We also ran into two of Baby Bear's Tias with a few of his cousins. (By a few, I mean at least 5... there are 12 of them after all.)

Baby Bear loves his cousins!

After enjoying a popsicle followed by a change into a dry shirt, we headed to the Courthouse Sunken Gardens for the Tardes de Ronda childrens variety show to check out the dancers. You can't really ask for a more picturesque backdrop...

Not surpisingly Baby Bear loved it, and danced along with the kids on stage from our spot on the grass. He even insisted on climbing over, under, and through all the chairs and blankets on the lawn to get to the very front of the stage to watch the performances. But we settled on the steps for a while.

With a quick stop back at the wagon for a snack.

Before more fun with the remaining confetti eggs.

In between performances, he found other ways to amuse himself.

But eventually it was time to call it a day, so we headed home to wait another year for tacos and confetti!