Monday, December 31, 2012

week fifty two

Today marks the last day of the year and this will be my last weekly recap for 2012. Last week was pretty slow in terms of taking photos and sharing them on Instagram...

Thank you all for sharing my year with me here on my blog. Hope to see you again next year. Have a happy new 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

12 aus 2012 - 12 of 2012

The year is nearing its end and of course it is time to look back at what 2012 brought to No. 40. I cannot believe that the year is almost over but I am looking forward to what lies ahead in 2013. The days between Christmas and New Years are always a good time to look back and reflect the passing year. My overall year was good, we accomplished lots of things around the house, also had our 2nd anniversary of home ownership, I acquired a new skill (upholstery), got a new camera and now can't go anywhere without it. We also had fun vacations, great times with friends and many more fun adventures and experiences. Although in the summer I had a little health scare but further tests revealed that the findings luckily were nothing to worry about. I never wrote about it on the blog, I didn't even tell people around me until after I got the test results back because I didn't want anybody to worry. Yup, that's just so typical me...

Lovely Ricarda from 23qm Stil asked her readers again to share their highlights from the year and like last year I wanted to participate. You can find all other participants of 12 aus 2012 on her blog or on her Pinterest board. If you click on the twelve photos I selected from the year here on my little blog you will be directed to the original post. 

How would you describe your 2012? What were the highlights/low points?

Have a great weekend! I'll see you again on Monday for the last weekly recap of this year...

  Last years Christmas present from my parents finally found its place 
in our entry vestibule.

 I spray painted an old candelabra neon pink and my neon obsession 
was brought back from the eighties.

 Took my very first upholstery class and I won the fight woman vs chair 
after nine rounds. This is the result.

 April marked our two year anniversary of buying our house, I celebrated 
with some before and after shots of the kitchen.

 And some photos of the living room, dining room and the exterior.

 Attended the wedding of friends in California and took a road trip after. 
Hiking Bryce Canyon was breathtaking.

A cat with her five kittens moved into our back yard and I tried adopting two of them 
but unfortunately they moved again when they figured out my "evil" plan.

 Used carpet samples from work to create a mosaic floor for our entry vestibule. 
Now I just need to finish the door (missing on photo)...

 Attended my very first estate sale and came home with these beauties.

Saw this doggie rescue the day after Sandy hit.
I can't believe two months passed since then already...

I made a birdfeeder out of an old glass lampshade and pink rope.

We had the chance to walk along an undeveloped part of the Highline.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

frohe weihnachten - merry christmas - joyeux noël

I hope all of you are enjoying the holidays! Initially I had planned to blog as usual in between the holidays but I feel like I need a couple of days off. Maybe I'll be back at the end of the week with a recap post of 2012...

Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten! Joyeux Noël!


Monday, December 24, 2012

week fifty one

Can you believe the last week of the year has already started? It is unbelievable and I am not ready for this yet...

Last week went by in a flash, there was lots of work in the office because everybody want their projects finished by the end of the year. Our contractor also wanted to finish up our bathrooms by the end of the year and last week he installed the toilets, the sinks and cabinets underneath. And he helped us turn an old door, that was sitting in our basement since Christmas 2010, into a barn door. I will write more about that soon. Last Thursday the Hoboken Path train finally started running again after Sandy shut it down for nearly seven weeks, so my commute is back to normal now. Yay! I also acquired two more chairs for my ever growing collection. The one on the left will need some little repairs, a good sanding and new finish as well as new upholstery. The one on the right is in pretty good condition but the seat cushion will need some cleaning or new fabric. We'll see what I will do to them. At least I am never running out of projects.

The weekend was unfortunately not very productive as I am having yet another cold. I already felt it coming on Friday but today I am really starting to feel like crap. My nose is running like a faucet and I am starting to resemble Rudolf with his red nose. If you want to find me just follow the trail of tissues. Hope your weekend was a little better than mine...

Here is to a great week. Make the last one of 2012 count! xx

Friday, December 21, 2012

rocking around the christmas tree - eames rocking chair

If you have followed this blog for a while or my Instagram you already know that I have a thing for chairs. Most of the time I find them on the street but sometimes there are great bargains on Ebay as well. Back in September I snapped up an Eames upholstered armchair shell on ebay for 20 something bucks and knew right away I wanted to turn it into a rocking chair because I always dreamed about having a rocking chair for our home. The chair arrived in great condition, the fabric only has some minor wear and tear and the foam underneath is still in great shape. The only thing missing were legs or a rocker base. Of course I searched Ebay for that as well and bought a reproduction rocking base from Modern Conscience and once it arrived I assembled the beauty. Now the chair is living in our bedroom, which sometimes turns it into a catch all for clothes but we are working on keeping the chair clothes free. For the last photos I had to throw a sheepskin on the chair because everything looks better with a sheepskin on it and it feels so cozy sitting on one too.

I am looking forward to a long holiday weekend and a short week in between the holidays but I will be back blogging next week as usual...

Have a happy weekend!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

bathrooms - during renovation

As promised I have a bunch of photos from the bathroom progress for you today. Unfortunately I don't have any from the days we only had bare studs on some of the walls, it was always too dark to take decent photos when I came home after work. In the guest bathroom we only redid the walls surrounding the tub to add new cement board. When the new tile was installed I was a little scared to stick to our decision to use dark grout but once it was up I loved it. In the powder room we opted for white grout because we thought it might be overpowering the small room, the floor also got white grout because the tiles were so thin and we were afraid that the white tile adhesive might show through the dark grout. I have applied sealer to the grout twice and hope that will keep it looking fresh for years to come. After removing the banged up partitions in the powder room it was clear why it was always super cold in that room during winter, there was no insulation in the exterior walls. We already suspected as much but why didn't the previous owners go the extra mile and install insulation? In order to add insulation our contractor needed to make the walls thicker and the tiny room shrank even further but now it gets pretty cozy and warm in that room. Now you don't feel like using an outhouse anymore. The pipes underneath the floor were not insulated either and because they are in an area that can get pretty cold we were lucky that they never froze and burst in the winter.

Next was painting the walls but I didn't take much photographs of the process and will jump to the finished bathrooms in my next bathroom post. Hopefully I'll get that ready for next week!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

modern christmas trees

We have decorated our Christmas tree last weekend and it looks like it does every year. I always use the same ornaments in silver and white, although every year I buy some extra ones. There can't be too many ornaments in the tree if you ask me. I love the look and mostly the smell of a real tree in the house but on the other hand when thinking about it, it is a little weird to drag a dead tree into the house and decorate it with baubles. That's why I searched the depths of the internet to great looking reusable trees that sometimes already look great on their own and some you can decorate like your regular real or fake tree. I can't even decide which one would be my favorite. Maybe I need a tree for every room in the house...

What does your tree look like? And what do you use to decorate it?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

bathrooms - before

I know I have promised that December will be bathroom month on my blog but I haven't been able to post any photos yet. Today's post is all about the before conditions. 

First up is the guest bathroom. After moving into the house we painted the walls to match the green tiles in the shower surround and gotten rid of the pedestal piece under the sink to be able to add a storage shelf. I also replaced the old medicine cabinet and the light fixture. Throw in a new shade for the window and a shower curtain as well as small accessories and we called it a day as we had a functional and not too shabby looking bathroom. Unfortunately the tiles started to come loose around the tub and we thought about redoing them and this led us to wanting a new and deeper tub and eventually to redo the whole shebang. Luckily we made the decision to renovate the whole bathroom as the toilet had been leaking under the tiles for years, which you couldn't see in the bathroom or in the basement below.


Close to our back door we also have a small powder room in which we didn't do a thing besides cleaning it when we moved in. I used it to clean my brushes and rollers after painting and as a catch for all things floating around that I didn't want to see.The toilet had a hairline crack and we were afraid it might not make it for long and will start to leak soon. When we decided to redo the guest bathroom we wanted to make this tiny room look nice too. It is in a convenient location when you are sitting out in the back yard and need to use a bathroom. Once we have a real back yard and hanging out in it more often it will certainly come in handy...


Monday, December 17, 2012

week fifty

What a week! P and I still had stomach trouble all week, yesterday was the first day I ate with an appetite again. Remember back in November I mentioned that we wanted to go to a Smashing Pumpkins concert on Halloween which was postponed due to Sandy. The make up date was last Monday and we couldn't go thanks to our food poisoning. Big bummer! On Thursday I had my last upholstery class but wasn't able to finish my chair. It is almost done though and I want to sign up for the next course in February anyways. Not sure which chair I'll pick to work on after finishing this one. But that's not a decision I have to make now. I took the photo of the hallway is in the high school I was taking my upholstery class. It reminds me of all the high school movies I watched as a teenager, I always wanted a locker like those kids too. We didn't have any at my school.

This weekend I was a busy bee, checking out a craft fair on Saturday and after returning home in the evening I painted all the trim work in both bathrooms. Sunday I went to a kids birthday party, the daughter of friends turned two and when I came home I started scrubbing the bathrooms, to be able to seal the grout tomorrow after work. On Tuesday the toilets and the vanities will be installed. Which means we can work on the finishing touches over the holiday weekend. I also finally decorated our tree last night and like every year I feel like I need more ornaments. Maybe we'll stop at IKEA this week to buy some more, they might already be on sale too.

What did you guys do this weekend?

Friday, December 14, 2012

NYoy - discovering columbus

It was already the first weekend of December when P and I visited an installation by Tatzu Nishi called Discovering Columbus. And indeed we discovered and came close to the Columbus statue on Columbus Circle in Manhattan. The statue stands 75 feet tall on a marble column in the middle of Columbus Circle since 1892 but from passing it on street level I never payed much attention to it. I knew it was there and that's about it. Tatzu Nishi, an artist known for his temporary works of art that transform our experience of monuments, statues, and architectural detail, imagined a living room around the 13-foot-tall statue, complete with sofa, coffee table and TV. The wallpaper in the room was also designed by Nishi, who was inspired by the memories of the American pop-culture he experienced through Hollywood movies and TV shows he watched as a child in Japan. To get to the statue we had to climb up 6 flights of stairs and after hanging out with Columbus in his living room and enjoying the view we had to climb back down on the other side of the structure. It was such a fun experience to be able to see something that is usually high up in the sky and therefore of limits. I hope you enjoyed discovering Columbus with me...

Can you believe it is Friday again? I don't know where the week went but I am looking forward to the weekend and finishing up the bathrooms. Enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

decorating for christmas - poinsettias

So far we haven't decorated much for the holidays because our downstairs is still a big construction zone. On Saturday P started to put away things that weren't needed anymore as well as folding all the empty boxes (bathtub, IKEA, tiles etc.) while I painted the bathrooms. On our trip to the Home Depot, where we needed to grab some painting supplies we also grabbed a Christmas tree and a three pack of white poinsettias. The poinsettias were an impulse buy, I have never bought one before. I thought they might look nice on our dining room table and make the space look less construction zone and more like a livable space. They are planted in three old glass vases I had floating around. I used marble chips on the bottom of each vase and filled the rest with potting soil, both were leftover from some gardening project years ago. The little merry x-mas cut out was hanging on a present my parents gave me some time ago. We now have three live plants in the house, I really hope I won't forget watering them...

What are you doing to prepare your home for the holidays?

PS. Happy Hanukkah to everyone who celebrates it! :)
PPS. Can you spot where I missed cleaning up before taking my photos?
PPPS.  Fun fact in German poinsettias are called Wheinachtsstern meaning Christmasstar.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

week forty nine

Whoa, week forty nine really ended with a big surprise. On Sunday morning around 4am I woke up with a rumbling stomach and about an hour later it turned out I either had a case of food poisoning or some really bad stomach bug. A couple of hours later P followed suit. So we spent Sunday and Monday in bed and/or the bathroom. Now we feel a little better but whatever got to us left us pretty weak...Oh, well my plan to sift through all my bathroom photos and give you a before post on the bathrooms had to be nixed but I will try to post at least the remaining three days of the week even though I am trying to take things slow...

Otherwise it was a great week, we made lots of progress with the bathrooms. On Saturday we picked out the colors out of an array of grays. I chose the one for the powder room and P the one for the guest bath, with each confirming that the other one liked the choice as well. After buying the paint I started prepping for paint right away and started to work my painting magic. I have to say I love both rooms already. The only things left to paint is the baseboards, window frames and door frames. Hope to get that done soon. Then we need to clean up the rooms and I can finally show you the results. Another great thing last week was stumbling across these vintage Zodiac boots at a local Goodwill store near my office and the best part they fit perfectly and were only $15. We also got a Christmas tree last weekend, it is set up in its corner and I already put the light on it but we didn't feel well enough yet to decorate it.

How was your weekend! I bet it was much better than mine ;)

PS. Everybody in my office seems to agree that the ACME Sanitary Safe (below) was used to keep food cool in the colder month as it sits in the wall below the kitchen window. When I googled it I only found stuff about Hygiene and a lot of things about sanitary napkins...

Friday, December 7, 2012

happy friday

Today you can find over at Homestilo today with a little gift guide for the retro lover. I hope you will visit Santa and her beautiful blog! 

Our bathroom renovation is in full swing and it looks like we will be painting both rooms over the weekend. The camera on the photo stands for all the photos I took that I still have to go through for next weeks posts and of course the ones I will be taking this weekend...

Do you have any plans for the upcoming weekend? Whatever your plans are I hope you will have a great one!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

advent wreaths

Another thing I love about the time leading up to Christmas are advent wreaths. I like the idea of counting down the weeks until Christmas eve with burning down candles but I have to admit the history of where the tradition came from was a mystery to me. It is all explained in the wiki article I linked to. Last year I bought the Gloria candle holder (No.1) by Muuto at the Design Within Reach Outlet and like that I can use it as a regular candle holder as well as turning it into an advent candle holder, if you put only four candles in it.  Because I like non traditional wreaths or in this case candle holders I made a little round up of my favorites. All of them can be used year round, with the exception of No. 8, and pimped to make them look a little more like Christmas. I especially love No. 4 made out of copper pipes by Iris who writes the German blog Inspirationsquelle. I want to make one myself but I don't know if that will happen this year...

Of course I have another little story accompanying this post and it is about the word wreath. It is one of those words that I have read many times but never heard anyone actually say it out loud for a while after moving to the US, so I made up my own pronunciation in my head. When the time finally came to use wreath in a sentence I totally butchered it and my friend had no idea what I was talking about. Same happened with the words albeit and subpoena ;)

This year I only set up my Gloria candle holder again with four candles but haven't had the time to pimp it. Do you have an advent wreath at home? If you do what does it look like?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

woman vs second chair - half time

Back in September I mentioned that I was going to take another upholstery class starting in October and now it is nearing its end. There are only two more classes and then my chair needs to be finished because I don't want to wait for the next class to start in the spring. As a little reminder this is what I started with. So far I have ripped off all the foam, bleached the hell out of the seat and backrest. The dark spots you can still see is glue residue where I couldn't get it off. I have cut my foam to size and on Saturday I sewed the fabric pieces together, again with the help of a friends mother. On Thursday I need to glue the foam to the seat and the backrest and then the stapling can begin. The stapling is the most fun part of the process and because P knows how much I love doing it, he gave me a gift card for an air compressor for my birthday in August. I still have to pick out one though. For Christmas I am wishing for the matching staple guns. Aww, this man knows how to make his woman happy! And I have five more chair projects in the basement I can use the new equipment for...

Is anyone besides me working on a DIY project right know? 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

diy advent calendars

To get myself in the spirit of Christmas I thought I will post every day until Christmas, except for the weekends, almost like an advent calendar. I am not sure how many of you got an advent calendar when you grew up from your parents as I am not sure how customary it is in the US. My Mom made a calendar for me when I was a little kid from which she would hang twenty four little packets that contained candies, chocolates and of course licorice every year. Even as an adult I still get the same calendar when I am going home for the holidays, although it will only contain as many packets as days are left until Christmas. This year my Mom got one from my sister and me for her birthday, which was on December 1st. I had the idea but my poor sister had to make the calendar ;) There are so many great DIY ideas for calendars out there, it inspired me to get creative myself next year and make one for P.

I might have mentioned it before but another random fact about me is that I worked in a chocolate factory for a couple of weeks in the summer after finishing high school. I can tell you working in a chocolate factory is nothing like working for Willy Wonka. First assignment was working in the advent calendar production, I was sitting at a conveyor belt where the calendars would pass by me and my job was to stamp each one with the date. After I mastered that I worked myself up to quality control of delicious nougat chocolates. One or the other reject (for example one that had an air bubble in the chocolate covering) might have found its way into my mouth.

Have you ever gotten an advent calendar this year or did you give one to somebody else?

5. pottery barn calendar from years back 6. toilet paper roll calendar by morning creativity 

Monday, December 3, 2012

week forty eight

Week 48 has been a busy one but it was a good week! On Tuesday we started our bathroom renovation and it didn't start so great. When our contractor removed the toilet in the guest bathroom he discovered that it had been leaking as it was not installed properly. Whenever someone flushed the toilet a lot of water would find its way under the tile. We never saw any water around the toilet and it never came through to the basement, which is directly below. Luckily only the hardwood floor underneath was badly damaged and the subfloor was still in good condition. The guest bathroom was installed in what must have been the kitchen originally before the addition was built, which houses the kitchen now and the master bedroom above. After the addition was built the kitchen probably became a bedroom, hence the hardwood  floor under the tile...

On Friday I passed by a Club Monaco store that had gorgeous window decorations. The windows were curated by Fox and Flyte and apparently everything in the windows is for sale. I need to check the price for the mobile but I guess it will be out of my reach. Saturday we strolled around the City to check out the Christmas decorations everywhere. I still love to look at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree but I have to admit I am not a big fan of the crowds that surround it ;) Yesterday I stocked up on German Christmas cookies, can't wait to dig in. How was your week/weekend?

Have a great week 49!

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