Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chickens (Why the kitchen remodel is going to take forever, volume I)

So I’ve been trying to write this short little post for the last two hours, but instead I’m just sitting here because He’s Just Not That Into You is on TV.  I know he was so 1997, but Ben Affleck is cuuute. I guess it helps that he plays a really nice guy :)

Anyway, this post is really about chickens. Matt and I have officially bit off more than we can chew (isn’t a kitchen remodel enough?). We adopted chickens. I am a sucker. My cousin teaches 5th grade and they have a lifecycle unit where they hatch eggs and have little baby chicks for their class. I had the misfortune duty of babysitting one night and totally fell in love. Wouldn’t you?

Seriously, adorable. I can’t get enough. Fast forward three weeks later: the class was done with their lesson, and I have three week old chickens in my dining room.

IMG_4619 (Sorry about the color. They sleep under a red heat lamp. I don’t know what to do about that, photographically.)

So while Matt is finishing up the framing plans for our kitchen, I’m trying to convert our shed into a chicken coop. Dude. Its hard. Whoever built that shed thought it would double as a storm shelter should climate change ever bring tornados to Oregon. My arms are really sore. 

Oh, and don’t let me lead you astray, Matt definitely helped a lot. I’d go stand next to the window of our office and whine for him to come outside if I needed a little more muscle. 
 IMG_4623 (Stripey and Violet love my sister.)

Anyway, I’m leaning heavily on Back Yard Chickens, recommended by Anna of Take the Side Street, to make the coop. I can’t find any plans with exact measurements but I have a good idea of things I need to do to make the coop comfy for the chicks (or I’ll beg ask Anna to post more details). They have to be inside under the heat lamp now, but can go outside in a month or two. So I have a deadline, which is good.

I’ll keep you posted on everything. I must ask for your patience though. Between the kitchen and the chickens, I’m exhausted.  I’m just trying to keep the laundry clean and the cats and chickens (and Matt) still alive and well, so I may not post more than once or twice a week. But I still love you all, thank you so much for reading!

What did you do this weekend? Did you have fantastic weather like Portland?

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Eye Candy: Toddler Birthday Party Ideas

Oh man. I need a nap. Matt and I had a busy weekend that included staying out way too late dancing (yes, Matt actually danced!), soccer, a run, and not enough sleeping in :) We spent time catching up with some great friends, and I got to see my fabulous cousin in action as she set up a birthday party for my nephew.


(Like all good parties, the display centered around the food.)

I’ve bragged about my cousin, Hannah, before (remember her cute Easter cookies?), but it was so fun to see all of her ideas come together for Hanzo’s 2nd birthday party. (If you need help with a party, let me know! I can give you her email to hire her :)

My sister-in-law booked a clown for entertainment (clowns totally freak me out, but I’ve learned kiddos love them), so she and Hannah went with a circus theme for the party. All the little details were so clever!




I love how the streamers look like a circus tent and all the food is like stuff you’d buy there! So creative! And the mini milk jars and straws? Love.

Hannah and I set everything up and then blew that popcorn stand* so we didn’t see the clown or many of the kiddos. But my in-laws reported that the party was a great success – everyone loved the food and decor, the kids loved the clown, and the parents enjoyed relaxing while their kids were entertained!

*Or is it popsicle stand? What do you say? This is a perennial argument in the Newcomb household.

How was your weekend? What did you do? Drink too much champagne and then spend all weekend playing sports to make up for it? No? Just me?

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Outdoor Ideas (from Pinterest)

Hi all! I hope you enjoyed hearing from all the guest bloggers last week. I was so excited to have them! Thank you again Michelle, Heather, Connie, and Allison :)

My week in Madison was wonderful. I worked a lot… earned like 16 hours of comp time! I learned a whole lot during all that work and met some great people, but I’m very happy to be home.

The weather in Madison was straight Spring. Not any of this snow-in-March business we’d been having in Portland. I was pleasantly surprised to come home to a warm, sunny weather in Portland too! I was inspired to revisit my Outside pinterest board and day dream. Because of our kitchen remodel we may not get much done in the yard this year. But I can dream!

What do you think of these ideas?

I want this... what a way to save water!
Rainbarrel. Would love to take advantage of all the Portland rain!

Wine Cork Plant Labels.
Super cute labels for my future garden!

Coffee beans and tealights
A fun outdoor party idea.

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A DIY fire pit for the late night gatherings.

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Outdoor Jenga, How fun!

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This chicken coop is fancier than my house, almost. Can’t wait to have some chickens!

What do you have planned for your yard this summer?

PS. Don’t forget to enter the Miracle Gro Expand ‘n Gro Giveaway! Please enter to win by April 15th.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beautiful DIY Wall Art by Allison (at Two Thirty Five Designs)

Howdy howdy howdiiieeee.

I am giddy to be guest posting for Katie, so much so, it took me forever to get this post up. Yup, that's how awesome I am...pshhhh.. How awesome I am not.

I am Allison over at Two Thirty Five Designs. I am painter, for reelz, wannabe crafter, pretend to be able to cook, obsessed with furniture and fashion, avid music listener and have somehow managed to have three offspring. Rock on. We get our hands in just about everything we can, (most recently for me is Stella & Dot, oh so badd, but ohh soo good all rolled into one) and one of those is real estate. So guess what? We move. A. Lot. Over. And. Over. I think it's been 15 or 16 in almost 13 years. I’ve started to not count, kind of like with our cars, hmmm...anywho...

I am always changing stuff and totally changed styles in this current house, so here is an itsy, bitsy look into it. Enjoy.

Don't worry...I don't have any aquariums in my house. I have just been OBSESSED with this idea since I first saw a picture of it, and haven't been able to forget it. I knew I wanted to something similar, just not actually attach it to the wall like Kara did. I wanted it to look like a piece of finished art, because 1.we move quite often, 2.didn't think the Mister would like the idea of 687 holes in the wall, he can tend to be a bit whacko... and 3.Our entry is super tall so I really needed height and not drop our mortgage payment on something I will get tired of in 38 days....not literally, but kind of....
anyshwayzzzz.... moving on

I am digging how Kara's lighting really reflects on her art, and I am getting there, I am planning on replacing the entry light, just ran out of time. Also, I noticed she traced and cut her circles, which is hawwwesome that she has stick-tuitivness, but I don't....and I have a circle cutter I use for banners, party on on garth. I HIGHLY recommend this, got mine at hobby hell, er..uh, Hobby Lobby. I think it runs around $20 buckaroos, but with the 40% off coupon, it's umm, less than that.

I knocked these babies out in about three days of NOT consistently cutting. I used 19 sheets of posterboard. I figured it up, by now you know how well my math is, and knew I needed 687 circles.

Here is less than half, a tad depressing...

Layed out about 1/16th to paint. FYI they fly around like little gnats with spray paint...

So on to attaching them first. I opted for mdf board, thicker, heavier, mayyyybe won't start to bend? Whatevs...

Drew out my lines so I would stay straight and even. SO glad I took the time to do this!

All stapled on, NOW I can start to paint, again...sheesh...

Wanted trim to make it look 'finished', and it was too thick for glue, mixed with running out of time and being impatient equals a girl using the staple gun...

Wanted more 'texture' and a tad bit of greenery...

Garnish anyone?

LOVING all the textures here together...

Should I say it looks like waves with the scales? Nah... I'm not that deep..

I HEART this console from IKEA. Definitely one of my fav's in the house.

Love the shape...

Many, many thanks to Katie over at Newcomb Home for letting me guest post this. I truly look up to you and admire everything you do!!
To many more, A

Thanks so much Allison for sharing your fantastic art and entry way! It was so fun having you here today! Everyone, please go say hi to Allison over at Two Thirty Five Designs! Pin It

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Meet Connie from Salvage Savvy!

Hello Newcomb Home readers! My name is Connie and I'm thrilled to swap blogs with Katie today!! I have a little blog called Salvage Savvy, where I share tips and ideas for making thrifty look fabulous. One of my all-time favorite transformations is this dresser. It turned out wonderfully- but when I purchased it, this thing put the "ug" in ugly!! Check out my Vintage Dresser Makeover post if you want to see just how bad it was, and what I did to turn it into this beauty :)

Now, in "real" life I am a design consultant, so I just love sharing design and decorating tips at Salvage Savvy. Have you ever chosen what you thought was the perfect wall color, only to discover that... it wasn't? Did it go something like this excerpt from a post on Selecting a [Non-Ugly] Paint color:

"We’ve all done it…you get the first coat of paint on the walls and think, “It’ll be better with two coats.” [Deep, deep down you already know that it won’t; nonetheless, pride, denial and hope all converge forcing you to press on]. Once the second coat goes up you think, “It’ll dry to the perfect shade that I chose at the hardware store.” Then, once it dries… it looks worse. You immediately rush over to the paint can thinking, “They mixed this color wrong, I should’ve waited for the old guy who knows what he’s doing- that teenager who helped me looked like he was high.” Finally, you hold your selected paint swatch up against the wall and… it’s a perfect match. D’oh. "

  If that story sounds at all familiar to you [and trust me, it's written from experience!], please check out the post to learn super easy tips on selecting the perfect color for your room!

Lastly, I also love getting organized [even though I never actually feel organized...]. I've discovered that I'm totally visual, so if I want to have any chance of staying organized I have to make it pretty! This is a DIY Organizational Project that has completely changed my life [basically because I don't spend half my day hunting down all that daily life "stuff" now!]

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my little "Salvage Savvy Buffet" today! And I want to thank Katie for her hospitality today, I just love meeting new readers and bloggers!  ((hugs)) Connie!

Thanks so much Connie! Its great to have you here today :) 

Please go say hi to Connie at Salvage Savvy! Pin It

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Mudroom Design from Heather (at For the Love of Shorties)

Happy Spring!

I am so excited to be guest blogging here today. A huge thank you to Katie and Matt for having me here today! My name is Heather and I blog at For The Love Of Shorties with my shorties, Chaos and Mayhem. Yes, they "help" me. With. Absolutely. Everything. So many good things come out this time of year! The birds singing their songs, butterflies circling the blooming bushes, all of the beautiful flowers popping up out of the earth...

...and our mudroom came outta the closet. Finally! YEAH! A few weeks ago, with spring in the air, I decided to start tackling a few things on my to do list. One thing on my list was a Crappy Closet Crackdown!

Our closet was one of those that probably looked really good on paper. It was in the pass-through (for lack of a better term, I call it a pass-through because it is hardly big enough to be called a hallway in my opinion) between the kitchen and door to the garage, across from the laundry room. Coming out of the laundry room, it's straight ahead with the kitchen to the left and the door to the garage to the right.

Looks innocent, I know. Maybe you have one too. But we park in the garage so this pass-through is a high-traffic area. It seemed to be the ideal place to keep our jackets, scarves, hats, shoes, umbrellas, and school bags. Seemed is the operative word here.

This crappy closet had a lot of issues, which prompted the Crappy Closet Crackdown! The closet door and the door to the garage opened into each other. The rod was too high for my shorties to hang their jackets and backpacks. Things were constantly falling off the hanging sweater organizer and ending up in a pile on the floor. And my shorties usually sat on the floor in the pass-through, with the closet door open, while putting on their jackets and shoes, which meant I couldn't get to/from the garage. Crappy closet, I tell ya!

Soooooo, I decided to remove the door, patch the latch and hinge holes, paint the trim, paint the closet, build bench seats and shelves on each side, build a shelf across the back wall, and make this space really fun and functional! Crappy closet crackdown was a success and I'm excited to say that our mudroom came outta the closet!

Such a big difference! Here's what I did:
  • painted everything and added a few stripes across the back wall just for fun
  • added a coat rack on the back wall within the shorties' reach so they can hang their own jackets, sweaters, and scarves without any help
  • added hooks within their reach in the recessed areas on each side to hold their school, sports, and dance bags
  • built two bench seats, one on each side in the recessed areas so shorties can sit down and put their shoes on or take them off without blocking the pass-through
  • placed metal tubs under each of the bench seats to hold the shorties' shoes
  • built three shelves: one on each side and one across the entire length of the back wall
  • added fun accessories

I found the hooks and accessories at Target. The chalk board caddies are awesome! One holds umbrellas (we love Totes umbrellas which are small and fit perfectly inside the caddies) and the other holds sunscreen and sunglasses. The bulletin board and magnetic black board are a great place for the lunch menu, special events info, and important reminders. Oh, and those chalkboard frames ~ LOVE them! Perfect for fun photos or seasonal printables with little love notes written on the chalkboard frame. The two baskets on the top shelf hold out of season items such as heavy jackets, scarves, and gloves during the summer and light jackets, hoodies, and flip flops during the winter.

My shorties LOVE their new space! Score one for the mom team! Woot woot! I love it too! It's so much more fun and functional and I know it's a space my shorties will use every day for years to come. Thank you again for having me and I'd love if you drop by my blog to say hi! And thank you for sharing your blog with me, Katie and Matt! xo, Heather

p.s. ~ please excuse the I shared, this is a pass-through and there is about ZERO natural light in this space and the single overhead light in the pass-through is also on my to do list.

Thank YOU Heather, for sharing your Crappy Closet Crackdown! Your new mudroom looks fantastic. 
And please don't apologize for your photos, they show off your new mudroom well. Please go visit Heather at For the Love of Shorties and say hi! Pin It

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