Monday, September 16, 2013

Lights, Camera, Work!

We needed a working office. I was getting tired of having stacks of papers and books everywhere and spreading my materials in various rooms. Most nights I sit on the couch and read or do homework, but it's very distracting. We finally found a desk we love, which got our butt in gear to work on the office.

My husband is awesome. He can figure out how to do any project around the house which saves us so much money! Oh, and he enjoys doing it too, bonus!

The lighting situation in the office was horrible. There was this ugly ceiling fan/light combo with the dimmest light ever. You couldn't see what you were doing at all. Greg had already cut in to the ceiling when he had to repair the leaky pipe. We never patched it back up because the plan was to install recessed lighting.

Greg traced the diameter of the lights and placed them on the ceiling for an idea of where we wanted them. The plan was to install four lights, one in each corner. He then used a stud finder to adjust the lights accordingly and then remeasured to make sure everything was centered. The ceiling fan also got taken down at this point.

He cut four wholes in the ceiling, ran the wire and installed the lights. He installed a dimmer switch just in case they were too bright. Spoiler alert: they were too dim! The room needed more lights.

We decided to install two more lights in the center of the room right above the desk. We figured that would add another 100+ watts, and if needed, we could use a desk light too. It is now perfect, the lights reflect off the white desk and make it even brighter.

We snagged this huge Tuscan Desk from the Ballard Designs outlet for a steal! It is a partner's desk so if needed, we could have chairs on both sides. There is plenty of room to spread out books and such while doing school work. (Don't mind the pile of cords under the desk, we need a power strip and will rearrange)

The room in the evening, plenty of light with the new lights installed

I want to accessorize the desk a bit, paint the chair white and get some new carpet. Love how the desk AND lights make such a big impact to the space.

xo, Erin

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Too Busy To Blog?

My new job is crazy-fun, in a hectic kind of way. I am so busy throughout the day I sometimes don't eat lunch until 2:00. The day goes by so fast, which isn't always a bad thing. I have been getting home later, not really a big deal, unless I hit a lot of traffic. Then I come home annoyed and needing some wine. This week I have been exhausted. I came home from work Tuesday (which was a super crazy day because the principal was out) and crashed on the couch for two hours. I probably could have slept until morning, but knew that wasn't a good idea.

Class started back up which takes up most of my 'free' time. I am trying to develop some kind of schedule for work, class, the gym and maybe even one night off. Just an FYI, blogging may be a little sporadic. I don't want to give it up because this is how family stays in the loop with our life and home improvement projects. But unfortunately, it's not a priority right now. I have taken on a lot by accepting this new job and look forward to the new adventures in my career.

Greg is currently in the middle of installing lights in our office. We finally bought a desk and want the room somewhat complete so I have a place to do both work and class work. Greg also needs a place to land after traveling for the day and then coming home and designing projects on his computer. This is the current state of the office:

There are still other things that need to be done in here (::cough, cough:: new carpet), but for now, we are on the right track.

xo, Erin

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Laundry Gets Easier

Is there such a thing as a perfect drying rack? The Ballard Designs Outlet store is dangerously close to us, only about 5 minutes away. Every Monday they advertise new specials, which means Greg and I try and swing by there to take a peek.

I have had my eye on these drying racks for a few months, waiting for the right price and one that wasn't damaged. The Labor Day sales were just right, so a large white one came home with us.

I have always been one to hang dry shirts that shrink, jeans, work pants, skirts, etc. I had a collapsible drying rack that I would setup in the bedroom once a week, that was becoming a nuisance.  I was constantly running up and down the stairs while doing laundry and it was getting old.

The drying rack didn't sit around for more than two days before Greg wanted to get it hung. We removed a shelf and some hooks that were hanging in the laundry room from the previous owners. We briefly planned out how we may want to re-do things in the future, so we wouldn't have to re-hang the drying rack. We also had to look at where the doors were, and the height to hang it, so it wouldn't be get in the way.

After we removed the shelf.. the blank wall

Greg making sure the hardware was level, then he had to find the studs

The finished product

I have used it twice to hang clothes and it is perfect! You only have to open half at a time and it holds so much. We have also used it to hang wet towels after coming in from the hot tub. I am spoiled by a handy hubby who makes my life doing laundry much easier!

Another Ballard Designs purchase to share soon-

xo, Erin

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Recap

This weekend was full of celebrations. The weekend started off with a job offer on Friday night. I had two interviews last week, and after a lot of thought, I accepted a job as the Assistant Principal of the building I have been working in the past two years. Looking forward to the new adventure and challenges along the way!

Saturday was spent at the Gentleman of the Road Stopover in Troy, OH -- with the main act being Mumford & Sons. The day was exhausting, but so worth it. The concert was amazing!

Sunday was spent catching up on sleep and running some errands. We vegged most of the day because my allergies have been a hot mess. We were happy we still had another whole day off together.

Monday-- my birthday! We went out to lunch, did some browsing for new hardwood floors in our house and relaxed until dinner. Greg made reservations at Ruth's Chris downtown Cincinnati to celebrate both my birthday and new career. The food was delicious and did not disappoint.

Class starts back up Saturday and my schedule will be a little more hectic. House updates soon!

xo, Erin

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day Off

Spending this fabulous Labor Day with my two boys and celebrating my birthday. A lot to be thankful for, looking forward to what 27 has in store for me!
xo, Erin

Happy Birthday @ Chris Dracup!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Patio Lighting

The previous owners left Christmas lights up around the patio. While they served a purpose of having light when we were in the hot tub, they were rather ugly (they run along the brick on the house).

We have been on the hunt for some string lights to be used along the pergola. In the beginning of the summer, we loved these lights from Ballard Designs. Lucky for us, we waited it out until the end of the season. Two weekends ago, they had all their outdoor furniture and accessories an additional 50% off at the outlet by us. We snagged two strands for $35 a piece.

I looked on Pinterest for different ways people hung them, and we ultimately decided to make a zig-zag pattern. We started planning it out to see what would work best.

We picked up some screws with hooks on the end and drilled it into the pergola. 

Greg didn't like the string lights having all the pressure from being pulled, so we picked up some wire and threaded that through. It was quite the process.. we already had the lights hanging, so we had to take all the light bulbs out, bring the cord in and start from scratch.

Here is how they look after. We re-hung them using the wire and pulling the string of lights along with it. We alternated every three beams on the pergola, which worked out pretty perfect. The lights bulbs we found here.

And at night. I love how it creates a room outside on our patio.

xo, Erin

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Water Spots

A mysterious water mark appeared on the ceiling of our study over the summer. It was very small so we didn't think much of it. Greg assumed it was coming from the toilet in our master bathroom because it was a little wobbly. We bought a new wax ring and hoped this would fix it, but it didn't.

We started brainstorming what else it could be with our realtor and she mentioned something about a pipe... and it clicked. During the inspection, our inspector mentioned something about the copper pipes in our area 'pitting' and creating super tiny pin holes that slowly leak water. Greg had already replaced some of the copper pipes in the basement. That had to be it, or at least we hoped that was the root of the problem.

Greg measured off a section of the ceiling he was going to cut open to take a look.

Sorry for the blurry picture. The good camera had a dead battery

Sure enough, that was the problem. Next step was cutting a few more holes where the bends in the pipe were and getting that sucker out.  I disappeared to run a few errands and came home to this: three holes in the ceiling, the old pipe out, and the new pipe cut and ready to be soldered.

The after-- I got to help with the blow torch

The remaining problem? Drywall work to patch the ceiling. Oh boy!

xo, Erin

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Sorry I disappeared for awhile. I wanted to spend my last week of summer doing fun things with friends and spending time with Murph. We also had back to back visitors so we were busy entertaining.  We took my brother in law and his girlfriend to the Cincinnati Zoo. This is one of the best zoos I have ever been to.. every animal is actually out in their exhibit.

That bird on Greg's shoulder started biting his shirt and sunglasses seconds later

My friend Kelly came to visit for a few days so we had lots of girl time shopping and chatting. I bought a new planner for work at Lilly Pulitzer and it is amazing! Not only is it cute, it is super functional.

The last day of nannying was spent going out to lunch and playing glow in the dark mini golf. The little girl was sick with strep the last day so unfortunately it wasn't all fun and games. She was very sad she couldn't join us.

Here's Murphy.. snuggling with me on my last day of sleeping in. I'm going to miss that. Last week I was headed out the door for work and forgot something upstairs. I quickly ran back upstairs and found Murphy already getting cozy in our bed. What a little stinker!

We are finally back into the grind doing things around the house. Once the cooler weather hits, we will be doing bigger projects. Until then, we need to patch the office ceiling (details tomorrow), transplant bushes and cut two trees down, begin to update the powder room, and finally get around to hanging things in our bedroom. Oh.. and hang lights on our patio. We snagged these awesome string lights at the Ballard Designs Outlet for a steal and are excited about getting them up on the patio. 

xo, Erin

Monday, August 5, 2013

Road Trip out East

Sorry I have been M.I.A. We got back from our trip last week and have had non-stop company.. and I love it! I have another friend coming in town tonight for a couple days and I plan on enjoying my last week of summer to the fullest!

In the meantime, take a peek at some pictures from our road trip. We stopped in Baltimore, Atlantic City and other towns in New Jersey to visit family, with the real reason for our visit being my sister's bridal shower.

Inner Harbor at night..

..and in the morning

playing around with the self-timer

submarine outside the aquarium

our view from our fabulous room at The Revel

ocean for miles, even on a cloudy day

walking the boardwalk

xo, Erin