29 April 2011

Throwing in the Towel

Well, I finally sucked it up and went to the mall and bought a few new items of clothing. My plan was to last as long as I could with the clothes in my closet and resort to leggings once my belly band no longer allowed me to squeeze into my jeans. Ideally, once that happened the warm spring weather would kick in and I could just wear all my dresses. What I did not think through is that most of the dresses I own are seamed at the waist and not flowy or empire waisted like I now need.

While I did "throw in the towel" and buy some new clothes, I still have refused to purchase anything from a maternity store. This is for two reasons. First, they are pretty expensive! I have no idea what size I'll be next week, much less for the remaining 11 so I hesitate to spend the money on something I may only wear once or twice. Secondly, I honestly haven't found any maternity clothes I like. I'm pretty picky about my clothes, especially because I have such a small frame to begin with that I despise most of the maternity clothes available and how they look on me. 

The weather has been gorgeous lately and so I pulled out an old favorite maxi dress I purchased from Urban Outfitters about three years ago and wore it to work with a white crochet vest.

photo courtesy of urbanupdater

I was so comfortable all day and the flowy high waisted material perfectly suited my every-growing belly. 

THank goodness maxi dresses are back for 2011!! Lots of stores are carrying them now and they have quickly become my maternity saviour. 

Hubby gave me one for Valentine's Day that it was finally warm enough to wear on Easter.
(Sidenote: My belly is much bigger in person than it look in this pic!)

After work that day I hit up H&M at my mall and scored three more great maxis for a total of $60. 
- a racerback black and white striped maxi
- a turquoise maxi with a black lace cutup on the upper back
- a strapless floral maxi

I was looking on their website to snag a few pictures of the dresses I bought so I could share, however none of them are there. I haven't decided if I'm comfortable enough yet to take pictures of myself in them to post like many of the fashion blogs I follow, but maybe I'll muster the courage and just do it.

What I did find on their website was that H&M has a Mama maternity line!
The selection looks pretty limited so far, but I see potential for some good basic tanks as well as shorts (which I've been hoping to be able to wear).

Tank - $7.95

Dress - $34.95

Dress - $24.95

Shorts - $24.95

Pants - $24.95

Top - $19.95

The best part is that the prices are normal! I'm not sure yet if any of these are available in any of the stores since I wasn't really looking for maternity clothes when I was there. I will say that I have been able to score a few non-maternity items at H&M over the past few months that have worked so far.

Well, we are off to NY for the night for a wedding in Staten Island. I'll be back to fill you in on our next project in the living room that involves removing the bookcase. And maybe snap a few pictures of my new maxi finds for any mommy-to-be's out there looking for some fresh spring clothes.

26 April 2011

New Floor: Part II

Finally! After 3 years putting up with stained, frayed, uncomfortable berber carpet, we've ripped it out and replaced it with gorgeous hardwood.

Here is what our living room looked like Friday night after we cleared the room. We were instructed to move all "small" items as well as electronics. The men installing the floor would shuffle the large furniture around the room as they worked.

Here are a few up close and personal shots of the awful berber:

6 hours of installation, and almost 2 hours of cleaning and putting the room back together, we now have this. 

 We still have more work to do on the room itself, but the flooring alone is a huge improvement. 

A few close ups of the floor and trim work.

We chose a more rustic, rougher wood. We have glossy cherry pergo flooring in the dining room and between the old owners and us, it shows scuffs and knicks galore. Since we have two animals and a little one on the way, we wanted something more durable and live-able. 

Here is our gorgeous new area rug from Anthropologie.
Coqo Floral Rug in Tomato

This rug was my compromise for getting rid of Jordan's beloved red wall. :)

Our entire first floor looks like a different house. Jordan and I comment to each other every day how much we love the improvement. The room not only looks different but feels ten times better. Our timing was great too as we've been having 70+ degree weather and the cool wood floor is much more pleasant to walk on. 

More work on the living room includes:
 - replacing the curtains with something lighter (maybe white)
- getting rid of the now empty book case (we have plans for that nook of the room)
 - possibly swapping out the accent pillows, although I'm sort of digging the red carpet with the chartreuse pillow

But for the time being, we are enjoying our new living room. :)

20 April 2011

Quick Fix

Did you notice any other changes in the last post? Between our flooring consultation and the carpet appointment, I decided to do a quick fix and paint the rails on our banister. 



I still need to do one more coat to touch up, but I think it looks cleaner and more polished with the pop of white on the stairs. I've been debating whether or not to paint the railing a deeper black-brown, but I'm content with it for now.

The project cost me $0 (leftover paint, sandpaper, brushes and painters tape were all I needed) and just a few hours to complete.

Hardwood install is this Saturday! Can't wait to see the finished product. 

17 April 2011

New Floor: Part I

We had our Empire estimate last Saturday for our carpeting and hardwood. As I mentioned before, we are ripping out the carpet in the living room and replacing it with nice hardwood and accent rugs. Since we were having them come out anyway, we decided to tackle a few other areas in the house that we weren't happy with.  About two years ago we had the carpet in our master bedroom, upstairs hallways and stairs ripped out and replaced. When we bought the house 3 years ago, the master bedroom was covered in a dark, cranberry carpet. The upstairs hallway, down the steps, and into the living room was a light berber. We aren't sure how long either had been in the house, but they were both showing signs of wear and tear.

Figuring it was low maintenance and easy to clean, we opted for a light, tight berber carpet. Here are a few shots of that carpet.

It looks nice, right?

When we first had it done, we were thrilled with the result. But in less than two years, the berber quickly wore and began to show signs of distress. Having animals has proven a bad combo when mixed with berber carpet. That and the fact that unfortunately the quality of installation seemed to be lost. 

Needless to say, we were very disappointed within a few months. Seams began to show, corners and edges were fraying, and it began to look just as bad, if not worse than the original berber we replaced. 

Once we decided we were ready to rip out the living room carpet, Jordan said he wanted to do everything at once: living room, steps, hallway and bedroom. We had our estimate last weekend and picked our new flooring. Since we were doing both carpeting and hardwood, we had to schedule separate installations. The hardwood needed to be special ordered, so the carpet was done first. This past Friday, Empire came out and our crappy berber was replaced with pretty, fluffy carpet.

(Excuse our unmade bed. Keeping it real.)

Ahh - we love it! It's so pretty and soft. We keep commenting to each other how great it feels to walk on in bare feet. Also the room immediately feels warmer and more finished. The berber was so low and hard that we didn't realize until we replaced it just how unfinished it made the space feel. 

Not a single seam shows and every edge is clean and perfectly installed. 
We couldn't be happier with the result.

Once the hardwood comes in we will schedule that appointment. I cannot wait to replace that flooring. 

Just for fun, here's a sneak peek at the area rug we chose for the floor in the living room.

13 April 2011


I made my first purchase from Zulily tonight. 
What is Zulily? 
It's an online shop that has daily deals up to 70% off infant, children and mom clothes, accessories and gear. Each day they roll out a dozen new deals for a limited time. 

I purchased this adorable infant aqua pettiskirt. 
Originally $40.00, today's deal was for $19.99.

I signed up for Zulily a few months ago but this is my first purchase. I can't wait to receive it! If you're a mom or even a mom-to-be like I am, be sure to check out Zulily