House Updates – Parlor Playroom

How is it mid-March already? I have been busy with so much. Cooking and baking and painting and meetings and planning. Oof. I need a clone. Also, it took me a startlingly long time to remember the word clone. You lose brain cells as you age, don’t you? Going crazy. Okay, wrapping up this stream of consciousness… right…. now. Okay.

So one of the things I’ve been busy doing is fixing up the room next to our dining room. I call this room the  parlor. Because I’m fancy. The kids call it the playroom. Because it houses a million toys. Brent calls it the family room. Because that’s probably the most rational name for it.

Obviously I didn’t take “before” photos of the room because I’m not a design blogger, or really any kind of blogger anymore. But here’s what it looked like when we toured the house for the first time.

Please note the gross, off-white, just dingy looking paint color, and that lovely 80’s forest green wallpaper border. The wood trim I wouldn’t have had a problem with, but I want it all to match on the main floor, so it had to be painted white.

And! I managed to take an “after” photo from the same angle. Except I don’t have a wide-angle lens. But you get the idea.

So the major changes here were: remove the wallpaper border (this was the biggest hassle and took 2-3 weeks, working an hour or so each day during nap time), paint the trim white, paint the walls this beautiful teal color.

The light is casting a yellowish vibe over the picture that doesn’t appear in real life, but again, I’m not a professional and can barely work the camera, let alone edit a photo, so, oh well. Here’s a before and after of another angle.

Side note – how do you sit on these couches and watch that TV? Seems like a recipe for a neck ache. (I know it’s just staged that way, but why?) And here’s the same view after.

The wall color is Peacock Blue from Benjamin Moore and it is, to quote Tim Gunn, a whole lot of look. AND I LOVE IT. Seriously. I have been pinning teal rooms since before we closed on the house, and when Brent crushed my dreams of having teal cabinets, I agreed only under the condition I could paint this room teal.

So from the dining room, here’s what you see through the pocket doors.


The boys love that chalkboard, and for some reason writing on a vertical surface is much easier for Cormac, so he’s getting lots of fine motor writing practice with it!

The room is actually pretty minimally furnished. We’ve got a couch, rug, tv and cabinet that holds the TV junk.

Couch is IKEA and thank goodness. With the way the kids (and Brent) treat furniture, I would be super sad to spend more than $800 on a couch. This serves it’s purpose just fine. The rest of the room is used as a wrestling arena, race track, and jumping pit. As you can see, the walls are pretty blank. Such is the case with all the walls in our house. It took me like 3 years to put pictures and art up at our old house, so who knows when it’ll happen here.

Oh, and in case you didn’t believe me about the million toys, they’re housed in the closet in the corner.

It’s kind of weird to have a closet in a living/family room, but the fact it came stacked to the ceiling with shelves has been perfect!

So that’s a wrap on the parlor playroom! I’m 95% done with the entire main floor now (only the tiny laundry room is left), and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. And pretty exhausted, honestly.



We’re having a heck of a winter over here. Lots of snow days and sickness. Here’s a few snippets.

Cormac had no school all last week for mid-winter break. (Kids these days, man. I definitely never got two winter breaks when I was in school.) We had plenty of activities to keep us busy. Brent and I took the boys to the aquarium the weekend before last.

Cormac’s favorite part was seeing the ferry. I think he gets it from me. Ferries are my jam.

Since there was no school, I also took the boys with me to a rally outside our congressman’s office on Thursday.

I think it’s good for them to be exposed to things like this. I’m aware they have no clue what’s going on. I know some other 4 year olds may, but abstract concepts like government and elections and disagreement are hard to explain to Cormac, which is why giving him real life examples for word’s like “rally” and “protest.”

When Brent got home from work, Cormac was able to tell him we went to a rally and listened to people talk and we chanted.

We also did super fun things like meeting some friends for a Happy Meal playdate at the McDonald’s playplace. Definitely the highlight of the week for both boys.

Cormac finally went back to school yesterday, only for us to have a snow day today!

Guys – in all seriousness, I was kind of pissed about today’s snow day. The boys had like 1/2″ of snow to play in last night, but it was nearly all gone by morning.

But the school distract called for a two hour delay, which means all preschool classes, even the afternoon ones, are cancelled for the day.

So even though there was no snow, we decided to enjoy our random day off and head to the zoo since we haven’t been in a while and I wanted to get out of the  house.

Highlights of our trip included actually seeing the hippo moving out and about. He’s usually hidden under the water. AND Cormac got up close and personal with a snake.

Cormac let me know it felt “a little  bumpy.”

Other things worth mentioning this month. I made this weeknight porchetta from Bon Appetit, along with this kale salad with sauteed apples, and it was one of my favorite homemade meals in recent memory. Highly recommend.

Oh, and on the beverage front – these palomas were amazing.

The salty chili sugar rim was my favorite thing ever. Addictive.

I’ve been working on the parlor/playroom as promised, and i finally removed all the wallpaper border!

So I’ll start priming and painting the trim in this room now, and I think I’ve got a wall paint color picked out already, so hopefully I can cross this room off my checklist soon.

Oh and the other big news! I got a new (to me) car. We had a Volkswagon Jetta TDI wagon, and I had no complaints about it, but the EPA did, and the result of a settlement is that VW bought back our car for significantly more than it was worth. I’ve been thinking about electric cars for a while, and the prices on used Nissan Leafs are hella cheap, so we bought one.

I pretty much love it. I love that I never, ever have to go to get gas again. For real, we all have “adult” tasks we hate doing and for me, I’ve always hated getting gas. I usually attempted to con Brent into filling my car up for me, so this solves that. Additionally, I’m thrilled it’ll lower our carbon footprint, at least a bit. Science y’all.

Plus I actually like driving it, and it has a heated steering wheel which has ended up being my favorite little bonus. We already had electricity running out to our driveway, so we just put the charger into the car, toss the cord over the fence and plug it in.

Looks a bit odd, but totally works. Yay! I’ll do an update on how it’s working for us once I’ve had it for longer than a few days, but so far, so good.