Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm alive...

Big shock, but yes, I am alive =)  Since August, we have been traveling (both together and individually) every single week until today.  And just for the record, I hate traveling...I am just not a "jet-setter" - although I feel like I do a good job of faking it.  I have slept about 10 nights per month in my own bed since August and that makes me very very sad.

So, even though I know a ton of exciting things have happened to our little family of three (don't get ahead of yourselves...the three is myself, Marc and the dog), I haven't been able to share them with you.  Over the next few weeks/months, I hope to get caught up.  Here's a summary of some of the stuff we've been up to:
    • - We bought and moved in to our new home!
    • - Decorating our new home...this will take forever
    • - Heading home to see family and friends over Halloween
    • - Our amazing Thanksgiving in Fiji
    • - Vegas and seeing "O" for the first time
    • - Our first Christmas at the Treehouse
Bear with me.  My first task is going to be trying to capture what I can of some form of Christmas spirit...I'm going to start with trying to put up some Christmas decorations in our house (they are still in the basement today...and Christmas is less than 2 weeks away).

At least I take some comfort in knowing I'm not seems like a lot of people have a case of of the "bah humbugs" this year...although I don't know if that should be comforting or make me more sad.  C'mon,'s the most wonderful time of the year!

Are you buying it?  I'm faking...bah humbug =(

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Magic of Paint - Bathroom.

Alrighty, this is my last update.  After today, I'm crawling into the hole of chaos that is our new house and I will not emerge until we have gotten rid of all the boxes.

Scratch that.

I will not emerge until we have gotten rid of most of the boxes...upstairs...okay in at least ONE room upstairs.

Here was our upstairs bathroom before:
Purple window.  Purple mirror shelf...oh and if you opened the mirror, the whole inside was painted purple.  Eggplant purple.  And the walls were STARK white. white.

And again...with that half painted door.  And purple trim.

The previous owners had recently redone the tile and  it's  not awful, but the colors they painted were not helping the cause.  I was intrigued by the archway, but it was difficult to get excited when the eggplant purple trim kept distracting me.

One more before:
And after:
Now I am so excited to get decorating!  I've ordered a white ruffled shower curtain to soften the space a little and provide some contrast against the manly tile work, and working on getting some bathroom furniture in here for storage. 

We went with Burnished Clay for the walls, and Heavy Cream for the trim.  What a difference!
And with that, I will disappear until my home is slightly more put together =) 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Magic of Paint - Bedrooms

Continuing to share the glories and magic of paint =)

The upstairs bedroom...before:

And after:

Another angle...before:
Previous owners...what's up with the half painted doors?  They're weird...
This is much much better =)
We're going to be using this room for Marc's office.  Originally, this room was going to stay empty for a while, but now it's so awesome, that we had to use it!

The color we chose is called Classic Silver by Behr.   Very classic, indeed!
And now...we venture to the downstairs guest bedroom.  Before:
Um...we were very torn about whether we should get rid of the polka dots or just embrace them.

...joking.  We were SO happy to tear those suckers off the wall.  Every polka dot that was removed felt like we were taking a breath of fresh air =)

One more...before:
So much more soothing and calming for guests =)  The color is Sliced Cucumber by Behr from Home Depot.

I might have one more of these up my sleeve, and then I will be silent for a while.  We had the movers come this weekend, so we are living in a minor state of chaos right now.  Excited chaos, but chaos none the less!

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!  If you hate a room in your house, I strongly encourage you give it a face lift with a fresh coat of paint =)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Magic of Paint - Living/Dining Room

Holy cow.  Paint is an amazing thing.  I never realized how much paint can truly transform a space!

I wanted to document the facelift that our living and dining room underwent this week...just with a little paint!

Here is the before:
Yucky, putrid green on the walls and brown trim...
And after:
Light, airy and refreshing!
Wow!  Need to see more?  I don't get tired of sharing =)

Let me just tell you - I am THRILLED with how this has turned out so far!  There is still only primer on the moulding, but the walls are totally done.

I'm mostly excited about how amazing the fireplace turned out.

People gave us a lot of grief about painting over the wood, but I'm basically obsessed with it now =)

I have to say, these were the rooms I was most nervous about, as mentioned in a previous post, but I am just so so excited with the end result.  We had lots of options to pick from....
In case you can't count them all...there are 7 paint options on that back wall =)
...seriously...we bought, like, $40 worth of those tiny paint samples, but it was totally worth it.  The color that I was passionate about ended up looking terrible on the walls.  Marc actually picked out all of the colors we ended up using!

We ultimately landed on Charismatic for the living room:
 Caribbean Sunrise for the dining room:
And Heavy Cream for the trim and fireplace:
All colors by Behr, purchased at Home Depot.  Now I can't wait for the furniture to arrive!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


...our new home!!
This will be a super quick post, but I have provided a link to the photo library down below, in case you're interested in seeing more pictures of our new starter home =)
We have already started moving over carloads of stuff, and the movers officially come at the end of September.

Until then, we will have lots of work to do to get the house move-in ready!  Here's the list of tasks we have lined up so far:
  • Carpet cleaners
      • I used ZeroRez and they did an amazing job!
  • Painting - we have a LOT of painting that needs to be done!
      • Our guy is not only incredibly nice, but he's also going to be our milkman, too!  He works the Royal Crest truck for our street, how funny =)
  • Chimney inspection
      • We love the fireplaces and need to see what our options are regarding wood burning or gas inserts
  • Locksmith
      • Got alllll the locks changed =)
  • Tree service
      • We have a TON of trees on the new property and they need quite a bit of work
  • Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning
      • Need I say more?
And the list continues.  But, we have already made a ton of progress and we're just so excited to get in to our new home and get settled.
There will be many more updates as we make progress...I am so excited to see what the place looks like with a fresh coat of paint.  It will be a huge change!

If you're interested in seeing more pictures, click on the slideshow below  or check out this link to the photo library - Enjoy!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Just FYI, work is killing me.

A huge project I'm working on is coming to completion next week and I seriously can't wait for it to be over.

I have developed an insanely severe eye-twitch...on my UPPER eye-lid, which is weird.  Have you ever had that?  I've had my lower eye-lid twitch, but never my upper lid.  It's more annoying since whenever it twitches, my vision is impaired...and it twitches for about 5 seconds every 5-7 minutes.  NO JOKE!

Also, I have a grey hair.  I have never had a grey hair, and this one is right on the top of my head.  Sad.

Ugh - I can't wait for this to be over. 

Have I mentioned that we also just bought a new house and we're in the process of moving?  Oh, I have?  A million times?  Shut up about it already?  Alrighty =)

Pinot Grigio, I hear your call!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I made him laugh...

I love dorky jokes.  Seriously.  The dorky-er, the better.

The other day, Marc was in the kitchen and asked if I wanted any grapes.  He was grabbing himself a snack, and because he's super polite, he was checking to see if I wanted some.

So I said "Yes...I'll take some gwapes". which his response was "Huh??" which my response was "Have you ever heard the gwapes joke?"

Well, he hadn't, and I told it to him =)  I'm sure there are multiple variations of this joke, but this is version I told:
    • A duck walks into a bar and asks "Hey, you got any gwapes?"  The bartender responds "No...Sorry, I don't have grapes here."  So the duck leaves.
    • The next day, the duck walks back in and asks "Hey got any gwapes?"  The bartender responds "No!  I don't sell grapes!  Stop asking me that."  And the duck leaves.
    • The next day, the duck walks back into the bar and asks " any gwapes?"  The bartender, seriously annoyed, responds "No!  For the last time, I don't have grapes.  I don't sell grapes.  If you ask again, I'll staple your beak shut.  Stop asking!" So the duck leaves.
    • The next day, the duck walks back into the bar and asks "Hey got any staples?"  The bartender responds "No...I don't have any staples"
    • So the duck asks "You got any gwapes?"
Dorky.  Yes.  But it made him laugh out loud and that made me super happy =)

Polly the Pannus Pup

Our pup is sick.  Well...not exactly sick, but we discovered last week that she has an auto-immune disease called Pannus, which causes inflammation of her eyes. 

Sad day!

A few weeks ago, I noticed that she had some "eye-gunk" that seemed stuck on her it hadn't yet moved over to the corner of her eye so I could wipe it away.  No biggie, I thought.

Well, after about a week, Marc and I noticed that the eye-gunk was still there, and, shockingly, it was starting to turn red!  Off to the vet we go, where she was diagnosed with Pannus after a few rounds of tests.
Waiting for tests to be completed at the vet...
It turns out that this disease is not a huge huge deal since we caught it so early, but we will need to give her eye-drops every day...for the rest of her life.  Only a slight inconvenience, but it's worth it to have a pup with healthy eyes =)

The reason I share this is because I had never heard of Pannus before, and after doing some research, we realized that Polly is definitely German Shepherd!  Unfortunately, she also had all the odds working against her - the vet said this is an extremely common disease in Shepherds (it's almost ONLY found in them!) AND it's made worse by being at high elevations. 
Patiently waiting...she jumped up on the table all by herself!!
Well, least we know what you are and I'm very sorry that you were adopted into a family that lived at high altitude.  I'm sure going to the mountains every weekend in the summer didn't help the situation =)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ramblings from the Hubs

...I told you.  There have been a lot of these =)

While I am sitting on the couch, staring at my laptop, on the verge of a nervous breakdown and fighting back tears...
    • Marc:  ...what the...what are you doing?
    • Nicole:  ...*sniff*...I'm on Pinterest looking at color schemes.
    • M:  ...are you...are you actually crying over this?!
    • N:  No!  I mean...maybe...okay...Yes!
    • M:  ...
    • N:  Well, what if we paint the new house and it looks terrible and ugly and it will be all my fault?!?  (crying continues)
    • M:  Sheesh...okay we're painting all the rooms white.  Cut it out.
I never realized how stressful it can be to design a room from the ground up.  I'm sure there are artsy people out there who think this is fun, and it has been fun, but I just got hit with a wave of "Oh crap, my husband trusts me to make good decisions and what if I fail miserably" and it kind of freaked me out...

Thankfully, I found what I was looking for and we have settled on colors for all the rooms...and they are NOT white =)

Now I just can't wait for the painter to paint, and all our new furniture to arrive. 

Ahhh!  Hurry up and build my couch, Macy's!

Ramblings from the Hubs

Warning.  There will be a lot of these over the next few weeks, I'm sure =)

While we're packing up oodles of boxes and making car-trips to the new house...

    • Nicole: hands are TORE-UP from all this packing!  Look how dry my cuticles are...(sad face).
    • Marc:  Well...make sure you get your mani-pedi before your big conference next week.  Just  make sure you do it right before you leave, so you don't chip your nails.
Seriously.  I love him =)

And I know that "tore-up" is totally not appropriate English...but I was feeling illiterate that day.

...and can I just say again...I was packing up for the NEW HOUSE!!!  Ahhh!  (smiles!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

There's a cat in that bag!

...and I guess I should let it out =)
Yep - that's a picture of our current home...which is up for lease...because we are MOVING!

After living in Denver for almost 3 years, we decided to make it official by buying a home =)  We close this week and we are so so excited!

Unfortunately, I plan to keep this entire process very private and secret, so I will not be sharing any other details...

...uh, just kidding =)

Stay tuned for more updates and pictures (if you're interested), and I hope you have a great week!!!  I know I'll have a hard time focusing =)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Treehouse Update!

It's been about 3 months, so I figured it's time for an update on the Treehouse!  We have been busy busy bees this summer with travel and weddings and work and blah...but we have still managed to spend about 2 weekends a month up in our new little weekend getaway (or our "Chalet" as my mom likes to call it).

I think the last time I talked about the Treehouse, I had some quilts on the way...and I'm excited to say that we've made some great progress since then!  Get ready, this will shock and amazing you...

(okay...maybe not, but you can play along and pretend to be shocked and amazed):

First - progress on our living room.  Just to remind you, here's what we were working with...

The puppy is the cutest thing about this picture...
And after:

We hung some curtains and blinds (although you can't really see the blinds), got rid of the terrible light fixtures, added a few "mountain-theme" inspired pillows and, our pride and joy, hung some antique skis on the wall.  Overall, we are super excited about how cozy this room feels.

For the record - my design inspiration is "retro/vintage 1970's ski lodge".  I'm still working out what, exactly, that means, but that's the beauty of design - as long as we like it, it works  =)

And now, on to the loft!

We have probably made the most progress up here, and we still have quite a bit of work to do, but it's coming along...

Don't remember what the loft used to look like?  Thank goodness!  Here are a few reminders...
As you can see, there is ZERO privacy from the living room in the loft.  After our first few overnight guests, Marc and I knew this was something we wanted to fix, pronto!  Here's what we came up with... 
 We added some panels so you can keep the space open, but still have some privacy when you need it.  We're really excited with how this turned out!

Not fully impressed with the loft?  Check out some other things we's what we started with...

 It is very clear a boy lived here before.  Not a single concern for guest comfort, just cram as many people up there as possible!  Our first task was rearranging some furniture, and then we turned this into a fun little nook for our overnight guests =)
Ah, yes.  Case in point - the mattress on the floor...
And after: 
Furniture rearranged and you can see that you gain a lot of privacy with those curtains.  We also added a mirror to make the upstairs a little more functional for the ladies =)

 And seriously - who wouldn't want to sleep in this beautiful bed?
Care to see what those privacy panels are covering up?

Here's the before...
And after:
 We hung a thermal panel over the skylight since we learned that it gets extremely hot up in the loft at night.  I can't even imagine what it was like for people to sleep up there with this thing open!
Here you can see just how exposed the loft is to the downstairs.  After our first few overnight guests, we knew we needed to figure out a way to make it a little more private and comfortable up there.  The Treehouse is not very big, so any way we can streeetch the square footage, we're happy to try it!

And finally, just a couple quick shots of some fun "personalization" projects we've completed in the kitchen...
That sign on the wall says "Marc and Nicole's Treehouse" - a gift from Marc's parents!
Coca Cola and Heinz signs - little pieces of Atlanta and Pittsburgh =)  I love the Coke box - a gift from Annie!
And a fun project I completed (with the help of my artsy friend!) for our bedroom.  We bought a vintage "Arapahoe Basin" poster at an antique mall, and I was on a quest to get it framed in the cheapest way possible.  When I found out the framing and matting would be gulp over $700 (for a $20 poster?!  No way!!!), I was on a quest to get it framed on the mega cheap.

So...I went to TJ Maxx and bought a weird framed picture of  boat, took out the stock photo, and put in my poster!  Voila!  Looks like it was always meant for that frame =)
I love it!
Master bedroom - new blinds and the poster.
It's kind of difficult to make a picture of a wall look good...but you get the idea =)

And there you have it!  The fruits of our labor over the summer.  We've tried to find a balance between enjoying the space and finishing projects here and there, since we don't want our weekend trips to be all work and no play.

I've learned that being a homeowner warrants a never-ending wish-list, so I'm thankful that we've been able to hold ourselves to realistic expectations - we know that there will always be work to do, so we're taking each project piece by piece and making sure to enjoy our time up there.

Now who's up for a visit?  The next thing I need to buy is a guestbook =)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Future Soundtrack of my Life

...I didn't want to post this.  I'm trying really hard to get this out of my head.

"Yooour backyard friends, the Backyaaaaard-igans!  Toooogether in the backyaaaard, again!"

You do really need to appreciate how diverse their names are:  Pablo, Tyrone, Uniqua, Tasha, Austin...

The future soundtrack of my life.  Kill me.  Kill me now.

...wait...let me sing the song one more time and then you can kill me =)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Furry Friends

Marc and I had a close encounter with a furry friend while we were at the Treehouse a few weeks ago. 
This is Foxxy.  Foxxy hangs out around the Treehouse quite frequently, but usually you just see him wandering across the parking lot or the grounds and he's not really that close.  This time, Foxxy didn't seem phased by how insanely close we got to him, and it was pretty exciting!

Foxes don't really scare or bother me at all, but when I first saw Foxxy, I got a little freaked out.  There have been mountain lion sightings on our grounds over the past few weeks (yes...actual mountain lions as in cougars as in SCARY!) and I can't explain it...but I walked outside, saw wildlife, and my brain didn't process that it was a just a harmless fox.  My brain thought AHH!  MOUNTAIN LION!

Thankfully, though, you can see from these pictures it was just Foxxy, and he was just stopping by say hello =)

 I can't wait to see more wildlife up at the Treehouse!  When I see my first moose, it will be a very exciting day.  I think I would be fine with never ever encountering a mountain lion...
Designed by Lena