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You Know You’re Obsessed With DIY When…

1. You have a painting belt. Yes John has a belt that is specifically designated for painting. We learned early on that you can lose many an outfit to permanent paint drips so we each have one “summer painting outfit” (which consists of one pair of shorts and a tee shirt) and one “winter painting outfit” (which consists of one pair of jeans and a sweatshirt) to keep us from ruining everyday clothes all the time (and from having to dedicate an entire drawer to painting clothes). However, John did get paint on one of his belts pretty early on, so it has become an important part of both his summer and winter painting ensembles. He argues that he’s not very efficient if his pants are constantly falling down while he’s trying to get his roll on and I have to agree.

2. The first person to rub your baby belly is a Home Depot employee. Yes this is a true story. Thanks to my short torso and my genes, I started “showing” pretty much right after I found out I was prego. And although I heard stories of strangers and friends spontaneously reaching out to pat pregnant bellies, no one other than John had been near mine. Until we went to Home Depot to pick up a few things and one of my favorite cashiers immediately noticed and congratulated me by reaching out and rubbing my tummy! The funny thing is that I didn’t really mind. See, there are a bunch of employees who work there (and at Lowe’s and Ace and True Value for that matter) who are all like family to us. Why shouldn’t they be when we practically live there right along with them? So that’s how the first non-husband-hand to rub my belly came to be that of a Home Depot cashier. Think we should put that stat in the baby book?

3. Four out of the eight drawers in your kitchen are dedicated to tools and painting supplies. Yes it’s true. One is devoted to silverware, two are “junk drawers” and one is full of plastic bags, tin foil and wax paper. The other four are full of everything from hammers and screwdrivers to sandpaper and even rollers and paint trays. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home so I guess our tools have a special place in our heart.

4. Your eight pound chihuahua isn’t the slightest bit startled by the sound of a power saw or a hammer (and he’s afraid of pretty much everything else). Somehow over the years Burger has become immune to the sounds of us bashing out walls and nailing in trim, so even though his eyes snap open and get wide with terror when he hears a leaf rustle outside, he actually falls asleep to the sound of us noisily pulling our house apart (and just as noisily putting it back together).

5. There’s no limit to the extent of uncomfortable acts that you’ll commit in the name of home improvement. Showering outside with icy hose water in 40 degree weather since the shower’s torn apart? Check. Sleeping on an air mattress in the den because the bedroom floors are getting refinished? Check. Going without a kitchen for 113 solid days while you assemble a new one? Check. Waking up on New Year’s Day at 8:20 to hit up Ikea? Check. It’s like an episode of Survivor around here. We’re just crazy in love with our house and we’ll pretty much go to the end of the earth just to spruce things up. It’s a sickness people. And you know what? We’re oddly proud of it.

What about you guys? Do you deserve some insanity badge when it comes to your commitment to home improvement? Have you endured something truly strange or especially trying (at least now that you look back on it) in the name of DIY? Do tell.



Budget Blooms: Starting The Year Off Right

Thump. That’s the sound of us falling off the fresh flower bandwagon last October. From the first of 2009 through September we were enjoying one inexpensive (and even free) bouquet for each month of the year (a super sweet Christmas present from the hubs). But somehow the end-of-the-year madness (toss in a few holidays, a growing family, a bathroom gut-job, and an impending nursery makeover) sadly derailed our year of budget blooms.

Well, John was determined to kick this year off right with a happy and cheerful January bouquet for me (actually purchased on 1/1/10- what a nice “fresh start” to the year). This month’s arrangement hails from the grocery store and only ran us $4. Nice. And to stretch our flower budget even further, I separated the blooms into two mercury glass candleholders-turned-vases and proudly displayed our mixed batch of daisies, mums, and alstroemerias in this rarely seen nook of our kitchen:

We love how they look sort of New Years-y and cheerfully festive with the cake stand full of ornaments and ceramic fruit… but of course since these flowers are all long-lasters we’ll soon be replacing the ornaments with some edible treats (cupcakes if we’re bad, fresh fruit if we’re good) as the month goes on.

We really like how the happy pops of yellow in the alstroemerias (they’re almost springy- which is encouraging on some of the coldest days) pair with the fresh green of the mums and the big white daisy (along with all the other white accents like the cake stand, ornaments, and lotus candle holder). It’s sort of a winter-white-meets-New-Year’s-sparkle effect… with an optimistic splash of spring tossed in for good measure.

And of course for $2 per arrangement we’re pretty happy with our re-commitment to at least one affordable bouquet per month. But what about you guys? Do you have any favorite seasonal blooms that you whip out each January? Is there any other greenery that you love having around to start the year off right (a gorgeously scented potted rosemary? a luxe bouquet of red roses?). Do tell.

Wanna see our first grocery store bouquet from last January? Itching to check out February, March, April, May, June July, August, and September too? Just follow the links for some pretty sweet cheap-o (and even free) bouquets.