Sunday, February 28, 2010

Open House #2

I've taken up the same position in the bay window seat I had during the last open house, but I'm minus a copilot. Mr. B and I decided that it would be alot less intimidating to prospective buyers if we took shifts and only one of us were in the house at one time. I totally agreed and now I'm bored. I got first shift and it's inky been 15 minutes since he left. Totally,utterly bored. I don't know how realtors do it. I'm such an inpatient person and I don't do well waiting.

I assume that I could go take some updated pictures for flyers and ads. My luck someone would come in just as I was pulling out my camera. At least my shift is only an hour long. In the meantime, Mr. B is going to search out some open houses for us and make a run to Wegman's for some bulk goods.

Not an interested person in sight yet, but I'll let you know how the rest of the open house goes!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

How to Make a Picture Frame Collage

I decided that the wall above the bed in the master bedroom just needed something. I had bought a few pictures, but nothing really looked 'right'. It's been about 4 years since we moved in here and I just found something worth trying. I love the look of picture frame collages, but my anal, symmetrical tendencies kept me from pulling the trigger and putting anything up on the wall. Until now.

I went to Ikea and bought 8 brushed nickel frames (4-4x6" and 4-5x7"). These sat in the office closet for a few weeks until I found the perfect things to put in them. I raided the local craft stores for interestingly patterned paper whose colors matched the ones we used in the rest of the house. Mr. B and I settled on using light blue, shades of green and some tans/browns. It was a blizzardy day outside when we did this project, which was probably best because we were forced to stick with the project and get it finished.

For this project you will need:
  1. Some kind of paper (wrapping, packing, construction...)
  2. Painter's tape (so it won't pull off your paint)
  3. A level
  4. A tape measure
  5. Frames
  6. Things to put in frames
  7. Pencil
  8. A helper (Mr. B was a great helper and you really need a second hand)
  9. Something to hang the frames with (we used Hercules Hooks)
The first thing we did was cut out paper forms that matched the frames so we could tape them on the wall and visualize how the frames would look without putting a million holes in the wall.

We found it was easier to lay the actual frames out on the bed and then mimic the pattern with the cut out pieces of paper on the wall. We found the center of the wall over the headboard and then found the point equidistant from the ceiling to the headboard. This gave us a starting point so the frames would be centered around the same point and hopefully result in a 'symmetric' display. Once we had a good pattern we taped up the templates.

We then went through the patterned paper we had picked out and decided what colors would look best where. We actually ended up rearranging the colors once they were up on the wall. After you fill the frames, you can begin to put up the frames in place of the templates.

It took some time to get the spacing right and make the pattern look random, but still pleasing to the eye. I think the final product came out really nice! I absolutely love it and I wish we would have done it sooner. It really draws your eye up and makes the room look larger.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First Open House Results

We had our first open house this past Sunday and it went really well. I was honestly thinking the worst--that no one would show up. I'm glad I was wrong!

We had 3 groups of people come. An older woman came and took a walk through about 30 minutes into the open house. A guy came in to look for him, his wife, and their little boy who was sleeping in the car. He liked what he saw and asked alot of questions about the association and the taxes. The final group that came consisted of two sisters that wanted to get a place together. Right off the bat try loved our place. It makes you feel good when strangers react that way :) They said that they really liked everything about it but the second bedroom was small. There's nothing we can do about the size of the rooms, unfortunately. Maybe the girls will reconsider and change their mind...a girl can dream, right?!

We advertised on and craigslist but no one from there came through. They were all drivebys without a realtor at the moment. We're considering having another open house this weekend, but I think we'll take turns being here.

We're off to a good start!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Open House

Today is our first open house. It's only been 15 minutes and I'm already worried that no one will come. We lucked out because there's another open house around the corner. Hopefully this will bring a few more people this way.

The house looks absolutely immaculate and smells like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Even if one person comes, I think it will make it worthwhile.

Wish us luck!

Friday, February 19, 2010

How we spent our Valentine's Day

Mr. B and I never really made a big deal about Valentine's Day. We usually get each other cards and either head out to dinner (early) or cook up something at home.

I have to say that this V-day was completely different than any one before it. First of all, Mr. B gave me my present 2 days early. He got me a new iPod nano :) He said that he would have gotten it for me even if it wasn't Valentine's day because I've been complaining so much about my old (so old it won't hold a charge) one.

The day of V-day began by ripping out the kitchen faucet and a quick run to Lowes' for some new faucet lines. That 'quick' trip to Lowes turned into looking for some laminate tiles for the laundry room to cover up the gross, original flooring. I do have pictures of both projects, but right now I'm blogging from my couch on my iPhone and I'm way too comfortable ( and lazy) that I'll have to upload them later. The faucet project was pretty fast (30 more minutes),but the 'oh babe, don't worry it'll be easy and quick' floor install took over 3 hours. Oops!!

Once I get into a project I don't like to stop. Pretty sure I get that from my dad. He is a habitual project starter, but once he starts he hates to stop. His hands could be falling off and you'd have to beg and propsition him from here to Monday to get him to consider a break. As a result, Mr. B had to bribe me with pizza to tear me away from tiling.

I'm so happy that we had such a productive day. It might not have been romantic, but I'm glad we could spend it together!

I hope everyone else had a great V-day! Pictures coming soon.

- Mrs. B

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How to make fabric panels

A few weekends ago, Mr. B and I packed everything up and took it to storage in an attempt to make our condo look more presentable. As a result, it looks completely empty and like no one really lives here. Since then, we've been trying to get some odds and ends to make our place look a little more stylish and lived in, but still spacious and move-in ready.

One thing we took out was our coat rack. It was a garage sale reject that my mom found curbside and it was the perfect fit for an odd little corner in the living room. I had intended to spray paint the dirty brass metal frame, but after we put some coats on it, you could barely see it anymore. Once we put it in storage, it made that little corner look crappy and uninteresting. I decided that something needed to be put on the way to draw the eye up and emphasis the high ceilings.

I picked up some stretched canvases on sale and bought a yard of some fabulous fabric that had some of the colors used in the living room. Other tools you'll need for this easy DIY project are some good fabric scissors, a staple gun, staples and an iron.

1. The first thing I did was layout the canvases and cut the fabric for each one. When cutting the fabric, you want to make sure you have enough to wrap around the edges of the canvas and staple on the back. Also make sure that the pattern is running the way you want it across the canvas.

2. You can either iron before you cut or after. I ironed the fabric after I cut. It's ok if not all of the wrinkles come out, because you'll be pulling the fabric tight across the frames.
3. Once the fabric is cut and ironed, you can start stapling the fabric to the canvas frame. Make sure the pattern is running the right way (i.e. straight, left to right etc.). I started on the long sides first. Pull the fabric tight across the frame and staple into place. With the first staple in place, make sure that you pull the rest of the fabric on the same side with equal pressure so the pattern doesn't get distorted and uneven.

4. Repeat on the opposite side, but on the second side you can pull tighter to make sure you don't have any gaps in the fabric on the front.

5. The other two edges are next. Think of this step as wrapping a present. I started by pulling the fabric from side 1 tight against the top of the frame and stapling into place so it doesn't move. I did all of them at the same time to keep the fabric tight all around.

6. The next thing you want to do is hold the very top edge of the fabric you just stapled and pull it across the top of the frame so that it lays flat against it. You are basically overlapping the fabric you just stapled to the top of the frame. Remember, you're 'wrapping a present'.

7. The last step is to pull the remaining flap of fabric up onto the frame so you can staple it. I found this step to be the most difficult to get right. Some of the edges, like this one, came out looking a little bulky close up, but up on the wall you can't really see it. You'll also see a little 'bubble' of fabric. It ended up not showing through to the edge, so that's ok too.

8. You'll want to repeat step 7 for the other edge and then repeat the entire process for as many canvases, or as much fabric as you have.

Mr. B and I were originally only going to do 3 panels, but we had extra fabric and 4 ended up looking better anyway. Since the canvases had a pretty thick frame on them, we just used a finishing nail to hang them. We ended up laying them out on the floor first to get the spacing and layout just right. Each panel is separated by 3" and centered on the wall.

What do you think? Does the wall look better before or after the panels were added?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good Eats

Last weekend Mr. B and I were snowed in with over 2 feet of snow. The news warned us early on in the week that we would get hit with a pretty bad snow storm, so I went and got some supplies to make two recipes that had been sitting in my Google Reader forever. They both looked delicious and I figured what better time to corner Mr. B into eating something than when there was nothing else to eat but that :)

The first recipe was from A Year of Slow Cooking. Steph always has great, easy recipes that pack a bunch of flavor and are great for leftovers. Since it was so chilly outside, I decided to make her Chicken Enchilada Chili. The picture looked delicious and the ingredients were relatively healthy. The only thing I had to pick up was the enchilada sauce and the celery. I stayed true to her recipe, but cut it in half since we put our large crock pot in storage. The verdict is that the chili turned out amazing! Mr. B was asking for seconds and he's already requested that we make it again. I love that you don't even have to cook the just plop everything in the crock pot and let it do it's thing. The chicken came out so tender that it was practically falling apart.

The second recipe we made last weekend was from Good Things Catered. Katie has such an elegant way of putting together flavorful menus and her pictures make me drool. When I saw her recipe for Sesame Chicken I made sure to keep it in my Reader for a rainy (snowy) day. This dish was super simple to make and had tons of flavor. I was worried that it would be too spicy for Mr. B, but the heat was actually pretty mellow. I ended up using regular sesame seeds instead of the black sesame seeds the recipe called for because they were no where to be found in the Superfresh by work. I put the chicken on a bed of cabbage and carrots with a sherry wine lemon-honey vinaigrette. The verdict is 2 thumbs up! The chicken was really yummy and so easy to make. Next time I'm going to try Katie's Sesame Noodle recipe with the Sesame Chicken. It looks equally delicious and I'll be sure to post about it.

Let me know what you think about these recipes if you try them!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I really didn't think we'd get this much snow! We were supposed to go to my cousin's 10th bday party tonight, but I'm not so sure it will happen.

- Mrs. B

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I've been trying to shed some of the 15 lbs I've put on since our wedding almost 2 years ago. I was good over the holidays and didn't gain any weight. And I've relatively good with eating well and working out. Alas, I haven't lost any weight or inches.

What gives?! I work out a minimum of 4 days a week for at least an hour each time. I try to lift 3 days a week and do some form of cardio 3 days a week. Nothing. Nada. Not even the satisfaction of my clothes fitting better. I mean I have been eating 3 girl scout cookies a day (oops) but, really?! Really?! That's what's making me stay exactly the same weight? I even started a killer new workout called the "skinny jeans" workout and I've seen absolutely no progress. I'm starting to wonder if my body has begun the dreaded 'change'. Where my metabolism slows to a crippled limp and I can't so much as look at a dessert without my thighs expanding.

I eat so well during the day that I thought 3 cookies wouldn't be a big deal, but obviously I was fooling myself. My thighs and buttocks were not fooled, so now I must limit myself, yet again, to only treating myself to a cookie once or twice a week. I should really buy a vault to keep those puppies in becuase man are they tempting. Damn you Girl Scouts with your delicious treats!!

- Mrs. B

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

DIY Sneak Peek

I made this decoration on Saturday night, but still haven't quite found a home for it yet. I love the design and the colors are amazing. Hmm...looks like my blog wallpaper :)

- Mrs. B