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SHOW US WHERE YOU LIVE: YARDS

It’s that time again, folks. Time to show another part of your house! This week is garages and yards. I would love to show you the garage but you would fall over from shock and horror at the amount of clutter that has magically managed to find it’s way inside. It’s embarrassing and nobody deserves that kind of a shock on a Friday morning. So I shall spare you all.

This is the front of the house. We have another bed of plants and flowers that is not shown in the picture. Matt is solely responsible for keeping the plants alive and well kept. I have a black thumb. I’m not kidding. Not even a little. Next year we are going to be replacing the roof and replacing the hardboard siding with premium beadboard vinyl siding. I cannot stand the blue siding, in fact it was almost a deal breaker for me when we were looking at houses. We almost didn’t even go inside this house. And don’t even get me started on hardboard siding, what a disaster! We live in the hot and humid south. Hardboard siding is prone to wood rot in such climates. We’ve spent several thousands of dollars over the past few years fixing wood rot. I’m over it. So next summer our house will be a nice neutral dark khaki instead of bright ass blue.

Our back deck is pretty large, it stretches across the entire length of the house and has several tiers to it. I can’t find a picture that shows the entire deck all at once and I’m too lazy to go take one right now. Ahem. This picture shows the hot tub that is sunken into the gazebo side of the deck. We love this hot tub. The original owners were going to remove it because it was broken and we asked them to just leave it. It’s a 12 seater hot tub that would have cost us around $8500 to replace because of the shape and size of it. It ended up costing us only a few hundred dollars to fix what was wrong and then another few hundred to buy a child proof lid. Worth the investment. This picture is from last fall, hence the leaves and the still alive Begonia plants. They have since been murdered by me died and been replaced by Ferns. Let’s see how long it takes me to kill them. We really want to put some kind of a cover over the gazebo but we haven’t decided what kind yet.  It’s murder trying to keep the leaves out of the hot tub when the cover is off.

Here is a shot of the hot tub being used by the kids and my sister. From this angle you can see the french doors leading to the family room and the first tier of the deck.

Here is the view from the back deck into the yard below. That is the kids gigantic play set that takes up half the yard. This picture is from the day they came to install it so we have since mulched the entire area. It looks better now and I really should go take a new picture but again, the whole lazy thing.

This picture shows part of the other side of the deck, complete with Matt and Ty working the grill.



SHOW US WHERE YOU LIVE: MASTER BEDROOM

This week is master bedrooms and mine is a hot mess right now. I mean, really. A Hot Mess. I just cleaned out the kids closets and all the excess ended up in our room while I sort through it. I’ll post a picture from last year before I finished decorating though.

The room is large, which is good and bad I guess. Great that we have so much room, bad because it seems that clutter collects in our room. The furniture placement has changed since that picture was taken, the chest is directly across from the bed and holds the TV. We have a nice bench where the chest used to be. Oh and I have new curtains to replace those sad, sad ones. Sigh…..I may just have to go clean out the clutter so I can take new pictures. The room looks totally different now but still not all the way done the way I want it.

When we moved into the house, Matt had one request about the master bedroom. No flowers on the bed or the curtains. I was happy to oblige as flowers are really not my thing. I found this great brand new striped Pottery Barn duvet and shams on eBay and ended up winning it for $45 included shipping. We didn’t want to spend money on the bedroom set yet so my parents gave us the one that they had in their guest room. It’s totally 1980’s personified but it was free and that was totally within our budget when we moved. I know exactly what bedroom set I want and eventually I will talk Matt into upgrading it.  Eventually….



SHOW US WHERE YOU LIVE: PLAYROOM

Woo hoo. This is my favorite room in the house, probably because I used to hate it and spent so much time decorating it to make it bearable. It’s the very first room that you see when you come in my house, which I really really hate. But I have 4 kids. Five if you count Matt. And let’s face it, most days he counts as a kid. About a year ago, I decided to convert the formal living room into a playroom. I was tired of tripping over toys that covered the floors in the family room. I was tired of trying to keep kids out of an area that we never used.  The space had to be organized, fun and good for all the kids to enjoy but I didn’t want to paint the enormously tall cathedral ceilings. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Enjoy.

This is the view from our second floor. Please excuse the little monkey in the middle of the picture. He refused to move even after my repeated attempts to bribe him with cookies
I asked him nicely:

This is the view if you’re coming from our family room. I know what you’re thinking. Those windows are wide open to anyone walking past our house. I had formal curtains in there but they just didn’t jive with the whole playroom vibe so I took them out. I’m going to replace them with bamboo blinds but I haven’t had the chance yet. Luckily our house in on a fairly private street. Plus we get so much natural light from those windows that I almost hate to cover them up.

This is the view from the front door. Sigh. Yes, I know. This is the first thing that visitors to our home see when they walk in the front door. My Southern ancestors are rolling over in the grave as I type. At least it’s clean for now.

This is the view from near the bar area where I get my drink on and hide from my kids we have posh wine tasting parties and good conversation with friends.

So now you’ve seen the room as a whole. Now let me show you some of the ways I tried to make it fun, playful and organized. I spent hours working on this wall. I bought the wood letters, painted the sides of them orange and covered them with scrapbook paper. I hung twine underneath and used painted clothespins to hang up some pictures of the kids. The bottom of the wall took me forever to do. It started out as a way to help our special needs 6 year old, Cam, with transitions during the day. He has a terrible time transitioning from one thing to another. I pained the big blue square on the wall, painted the streets, added the house at the top and the other painted decor. I even painted a blue lake around and through the wall outlet. I found some little wooden houses, a school and the cars at a local craft store. I glued some magnets to the back of them and painted the street with magnetic paint. Anytime we had to transition Cam to leave the house, we’d use the magnets. For example, if the school bus was coming soon, we would have him drive the bus to the house so he knew what was going to happen. It actually worked! Now Mase loves to play with it.

This wall is my attempt at some sort of organization in the playroom. Two basic bookcases and the cubes contain most of the toys in this room. The bins hold all the toy sets: Little People, Mega Bloks, Little Pet Shop, Snap n Style girls, Imaginext Batcave toys, Disney Cars…..you know, the stuff. I keep a small assortment of un-destroyable books for Mase as well. The bookcases are great to hold the bigger toys that don’t fit inside the one toy bin. The black wire basket on top holds the Nintendo DS stuff and the remotes. I keep all the art supplies on the top of the other bookcase. I found 2 magazine holders on clearance at Target and made some little tags for them. One is for coloring books and one for construction paper. I found a cute little box that matched the magazine holders and I use it to hold the markers, the colored pencils and the paintbrushes. I found the Wall Words at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off and I found the 3 Little League baseball prints on clearance at the same time. I didn’t want to frame them and hang them up because I just know my kids would hit them with a ball and break the glass. Instead, I painted the black rectangle on the wall and stuck the prints inside the box. It looks crooked in the pictures but in real life, it’s perfectly straight. I found the little animal frames on clearance too. I want to spell something out with them but I’m not sure what. I was debating between FAMILY or JOYFUL.

This is by far Maia’s favorite part of the room. I got the inspiration from Pottery Barn but didn’t want to pay the price. I had an unused curtain rod in the garage so I had Matt hang it up for me and I used the roll of brown paper for craft paper. The kids can unroll the paper onto the table and draw. This way I don’t have tons of pieces of paper all over the floor. It’s all contained. As a side bonus, at Christmas time I can replace the brown paper with wrapping paper and viola, instant present wrapping station! I looked for Wall Words that would work for this area and finally gave up and made my own stencil on the computer.

There’s our playroom. I hope you enjoyed the peek inside. Oh, and for all of you who think to yourselves ‘How in the world does she keep it so clean?’ here is what it normally looks like.

Yeah. Sigh. I know. Ancestors are spinning in their graves and my mother is hanging her head in shame and mortification. What can I say? I’m a rebel.



SHOW US WHERE YOU LIVE: BATHROOMS

It’s that time again folks. Show us where you live Friday over at Kelly’s Korner. I had to skip last week because I no longer have an office. Instead we have a nursery. I have a small cramped corner in the family room where I get to put the laptop. Don’t be jealous.

When we were shopping for a house, the number one thing on my list was a great master bathroom. I drove the real estate agent nuts because I refused to compromise. She became acquaninted rather quickly with Buffy when she told me I might have to compromise. For the readers new to Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama, Buffy is my inner diva. She’s kind of a bitch. Anyhoo.

The house we bought was the very last house we toured. We walked through more than 40 homes in 2 days. Finally, I found it. The holy grail of master bathrooms. It was as if God opened up heaven and shone down a big light on the bathroom of my dreams. Even Matt was impressed and pretty much all he requires in a bathroom is a toilet and a shower. The rest is just gravy, according to him.

I knew the minute I walked into the house that I was looking at my future home. It was completely 100% remodeled with upgraded everything. It even had a built in hot tub on the huge back deck. I wanted this house. It all hinged on the master bathroom. I was afraid to look. I cautiously peeked and I swear to you, I heard angels singing. The light of God shone down upon the bathroom. Matt says it was the skylight, but I know it was God rewarding me for not killing the real estate bitch who had tried to talk me into buying an inferior home with a builder grade bathroom…as if! I know…I’m a bathroom snob. So be it, I’m okay with that.

The bathroom has imported Italian travertene tiles, a dual sink marble vanity that was totally gorgeous framed by 2 large amazing mirrors. Now the tub, oh the tub…I was in love. The surround was done in complementing Italian travertene tiles, the tub itself was a super deep marble soaking tub that the owners had ordered specially because of the thermo doo hickey layer on the bottom that keeps the temperature the same for the entire time you’re in the bathtub. OH MY GRACIOUS, what a marvelous invention. So if you’re in the tub for 20 minutes or 2 hours- the temp of the water remains the same the entire time. I told you that God was shining down upon this bathroom, didn’t I? One of my most favorite ways to relax and de-stress is to take a long, hot bubble bath with a great book and a nice glass of wine. Ahhh…..

There are a few things that we are going to eventually change though.  I want to tile the shower and get rid of the horrible 80’s gold framed door in favor of a seamless glass one. I also want to change out the existing shower head to a rain shower head and either re-stain or replace the vanity cabinets.  I’m also planning to replace the little light over the tub with a hanging chandelier. Eventually. It’s on the very long To Do list, the one that makes Matt twitch when I show it to him.

Here is my master bathroom:

I love my bath. These are the only three pictures that I have on this computer. I wish I could show you more. I would also love to show you the other 2 bathrooms in the house but….well, to be honest one is the kids bathroom. No matter how often I clean, it always seems to look like this:
 



SHOW US WHERE YOU LIVE: CHILDREN’S BEDROOMS AND NURSERIES

[UPDATE Jan 2010: To see The Girl’s Newly Redecorated Room please go HERE]

What time is it? Show us where you live Friday over at Kelly’s Korner! This week it’s kids bedrooms and nurseries. I am hoping to get some great inspiration for the kids rooms this week. I’ve been wanting to redecorate the kids bedrooms for awhile but haven’t figured out exactly what to do yet. It’s on the list of stuff to do soon.

The Big Boys Room is first up on the tour today. They’ve been rocking the sports theme for quite awhile now and they are tired of it. Cam is only here part of the time now but Ty is begging me to redo his room in a pirate/treasure island theme. I haven’t found the exact right thing yet though.

Maia’s room is up next. She has been promised that she is getting a total room redo for her birthday in November. She’s had the same butterfly/flower theme since her very first nursery. I’m even tired of it. She has grand plans. She picked out a gorgeous princess carriage bed that sent Mr.McHunky into heart failure when he saw the cost. I found a plain white head and foot board set at a yard sale in my neighborhood for $10. I’ve already sanded it down and I’m going to repaint it bright white with some pink accents. Maia fell in love with the pink princess bedding and accessories at Tar-jay but she also likes the pink and brown animal print sets too. I’m excited to start working on her room, she’ll go to her grandma’s house for a weekend before her birthday and I’ll do her room as a surprise.

And the final stop on our kids bedrooms tour in Mase’s nursery. His sailboat room is pretty recent, after all he is only 16 months old and he slept in our room until he was almost 7 months old. His room is the first one in this house that I totally redecorated. I got his sailboat bedding and accessories from Tar-jay and I love it. It took me a while to find all the pieces and get it put together exactly as I wanted. I really want a wall mural of a sailboat on the wall with the Wall Words. Wow- could I possibly work in the word wall one more time in that sentence? Maybe this summer I’ll do his wall mural on the wall with the wall words. Nope, couldn’t get it in there again.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my kiddos bedrooms. They’re actually clean, for once. It doesn’t happen often so these will be the last pictures of their bedrooms for awhile. Ha! I can’t wait to see the other bedrooms and get some great ideas.