Thursday, November 4, 2010

Home Office Inspiration

I am so excited to get started on our new home office. We just closed in the old school room and will be moving our computer into that room now. We used to have the desk and computer in the formal living room. It worked, but with Kevin occasionally working from home we needed to do something different. It will be nice to have a designated space to shut the doors so it isn't the first thing one sees when walking into our home.

When designing this new space, I was on the lookout for functional furniture that looked good and wasn't going to break the bank. Where else would you go for that but Ikea?? We are lucky to have one that isn't far from our home.

Our desk will seat two people and house two computer workstations. One computer isn't enough for all five of us!! The Vika Amon desk was the perfect solution....


Most likely I will get some dark espresso colored chairs from World Market with some nice cushions for this desk. The other thing I knew we needed was a lot of storage for books. We homeschool and are avid readers, so we have an abundance of those!! I have always loved the large scale and simple lines of the Expedit bookcase, so that's on our list as well!!


As far as color, I knew I wanted a crisp apple green for the walls. Since we'll have white trim and curtains to soften the bright color, it'll be perfect. Here are some gorgeous home office photos with green walls that gave me my inspiration:




And these don't have green walls, but aren't they lovely?? Doesn't it make you want to redo your office space???







Caution: Life Under Construction

Woo hoo! Elections are over!! You all know how hard I try not to talk about politics or religion, but I just have to say I am so glad all the political bashing is over for now. I think! Man, there's nothing that can divide people more than politics. I think running for election has become less about standing up for what you believe in and more about knocking the other guy down. That's sad to me. But it is what it is and that's all it will ever be. Que my political playlist......

Anyways, we're keeping busy!! Though most of the big demo is done, we are still under construction. It's starting to take shape though!! Even though it isn't done, I thought I'd take the time to post some quick photos of our progress so you could see what we've been up to around here. Basically, it's been me starting more stuff before other stuff was finished. Big suprise right???

Phase 1 - Demolition

The school room was cute, but we were ready for a change!! So we sold all of the furniture in there and were left with an empty slate. The plan was to frame in the room and close it in with double french doors. We started out by ripping into the drywall on the ceiling & walls. Can I just say how much I loathe drywall dust??


Ick. Ick. Ick!!!!

Kevin is overjoyed about this as well!! ;)

It's important when you're doing something like this to have the right tools. ;P

All framed in and ready for drywall and doors!!!

Phase 2 - MORE Demolition!!!

So after getting the school room aka new office framed in, we moved on to the next very messy project. Why not get all the messy work out of the way right?? Right. So next we cut out the half stair wall. It was super fun.

He's not pissed. I swear. The sawzall was just super loud.

We took the wood cap and trim off with a hammer and pry bar.....

Then Kevin scored the wall where we needed to make the cuts....

Lulu thought it was too loud.

Ethan enjoyed knocking out the wall with a hammer!!

Abby enjoyed it a little too much!!!

And voila!!!! No more stair wall!!!!

This last picture is where we've stopped for now. We still have to finish taping/sanding the new drywall in the new office and finish the rest of the trim work on the stairs.

Those railings right there were a marriage tester. We had a little trouble! I didn't realize how much math and figuring would be involved. We had to drill down into the concrete to sink bolts to hold the posts in. Then we had to figure out how many balisters needed to go in and how far apart to space them and how tall it all needed to be, etc, etc, etc. Luckily we got it built and are still friends!!!

So that's about it for now! Hopefully we'll get some more done this weekend so I can start painting. I have a ton to do! Ceilings, all the walls and all the trim. Yowza. Good thing I like to paint and can survive on small amounts of sleep. If you don't hear from me or see me for awhile, you know where to find me!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where Have YOU Been?!?!?!

Um, hi? I'm not sure if you remember me, but I occasionally hang out here. It's been too long!!! I have had so many intentions of sitting down to write a post about home improvement, recent travels, new recipes, great music finds.... but time has eluded me. The longer I went without posting, the more awkward writing one felt! Hopefully this post will be like ripping off the band-aid and I can make a better effort to be a regular blogger. At least I can try, right?

We've been having a great fall so far. The weather has been insanely gorgeous and it has me very nervous for what's in store this winter. Mother Nature has a way of getting us back, you know? Speaking of that, how is it possible Halloween is this weekend?? Gah! Time is flying! We are dressing up as a family this year and I will let this photo be the hint as to what our theme is......


So, let's catch up a little. I've been super busy in between homeschooling and teaching up at the studio, but we did manage to get away for a long weekend up to the northwoods of Wisconsin with our friends Dan, Amanda and their son Landon. It was so much fun. We were about eight hours north all the way up at the top of Wisconsin near Lake Superior. It was absolutely beautiful! We saw lots of wildlife, waterfalls and really enjoyed our time together. Here are some photos courtesy of my amazing photographer.... you can view her other work here at

This was the view every single night from our cabin on the lake...

Ethan enjoying the view of Lake Superior!

My pretty Abby! Abby is turning eight in two weeks!!

Lulu.... where do the curls come from?

Both of our families!!

A quick family picture near the waterfalls...

Once we got back from our trip, we started on one of the biggest home renovations we've ever taken on. We decided (okay, I decided) it would be a good idea to close in the school room and make it more of a multipurpose room. Our computer was what was considered to be our formal living room before, and I was tired of it being the first thing you saw when you walked in the door. The plan is to make the school room more of an office space for Kevin as well. The formal living room will be more of a sitting room. We also needed to paint pretty much the entire downstairs (we're going for a more neutral color palette this time - bye bye heavy curtains and accessories)..... and I had always wanted to knock out that stair wall (I think there was a previous post somewhere here about that)..... so ya. One thing lead to another like it ALWAYS does and we found ourselves in the middle of a demolition zone. We are living amidst drywall dust and destruction! But it's looking better all the time and will be so nice when it's done. The school room is closed in & drywalled, the french doors are up (thanks to some help from my brother and neighbor). We finished the stairs this weekend without too much trouble. We now have two beautiful banisters and newel posts instead of a closed in stairwell! It's really coming together and I promise to post photos of the before, during and after once I can find the cable to upload pictures! So stay tuned for those!

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Music Monday - Halloween Music Week 1

I will admit it's a little early to start thinking Halloween, but I can't help it. The weather is sooooooo halloweenish tonight. Cool breeze, leaves blowing in the wind. Halloween is my favorite. I can remember every single costume I wore growing up! Man, we had some great ones! My mom always came up with something cool for us to dress up as. That woman is pure magic with a pair of scissors, some felt and craft glue. :) Anyways, Halloween. I love everything about it - the dressing up, the creepiness, the getting and eating of the candy and of course the music. Most people don't know there is actually a ton of great Halloween music out there besides the theme to Ghostbusters and Thriller.

So in honor of my favorite holiday I will be posting ten creepy songs every new music monday right up until Halloween!! Yes, there are that many!!!! I hope you're as excited as I am for this!!!

The first song on the list is 'Dead Souls' by Nine Inch Nails. It's a great tune and you just don't get too much creepier than Trent Reznor. Dead Souls was on the soundtrack for 'The Crow' movie that came out wayyyyyyyy back in good old 1994. The song is actually a cover as it was first done by the band Joy Division.

Next we have the song 'Bloodletting' by Concrete Blonde. Love it!!!!

A cover of The Doors classic 'People Are Strange' by Echo and the Bunnymen. A great song from the 'Lost Boys' soundtrack!!

Nothing says creepy like The Smiths' song 'How Soon Is Now.' You'll remember it from the hit tv show 'Charmed.'

'Fresh Blood' by the amazing band The Eels. This track made it on to the True Blood soundtrack for season two! Good stuff!!!

I have been a huge fan of The Cranberries since their first album came out in the early 90s. You can't have a Halloween soundtrack without 'Zombie.'

One of the creepiest songs of all time for me is 'Lullaby' by The Cure. I am scared to death of spiders and that's what this song is all about!!!

'Ghost Town' was a huge hit in 1981 for the british band The Specials. Uber creepy and quirky at the same time.

'Creep' by Radiohead was so freaking huge back in the day. I know it doesn't scream HALLOWEEN!!! like some of the more obvious songs do, but it's such a cool tune I had to include it. It's about being a freaking outcast. Outcasts are creepy.

Last one for this week!!! I have always loved The Bravery and their song 'The Spectator' is uber creepy. It's about being an outsider. Love the line 'His eyes are like two cats scratching in his head, begging him for sleep, starving for a bed.' Ya. Creepy.

Well, that's it for now!! Until next week!!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Gram's Apple Crisp


Cooler weather is upon us and that means apple season is here. I love apple season!! I have so many great apple recipes, so I thought I'd share one of my very favorites. It just happens to be my gram's apple crisp. Gram just turned 84 years young last week and she can bake like no one else I have ever known. She is the coolest!! I love you, Gram!!!!!

Now let me start by saying that I know there are thousands upon thousands of recipes for apple crisp out there. What makes this one better than all of those other ones is that a) it's simple b) it does NOT have oatmeal - I do love oatmeal, but not in my crisp c) it has crisco AND butter in it. So there. This recipe is not good for you. Deal with it. Not everything has to be good for you, people!!! I'm not saying you should eat this every day or put crisco in everything, but I think it's okay to have something "bad" once in awhile. I mean, you're going to die anyways so you might as well enjoy yourself. Moving on.... I like to use a couple of different varieties of apples in the crisp - it varies based on what's available and what I feel like! Just make sure you get some that will hold their shape when cooking or it will be more like apple sauce with crumb topping. Cortlands are the best in my opinion. Red delicious and granny smith work as well especially if you like it a little more on the tart side. The possibilities are endless!!


Gram's Apple Crisp

4 cups peeled, sliced apples
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon (I LOVE penzy's Ceylon cinnamon)
1/4 cup Crisco
1/4 cup real butter (if you try and use margarine it will suck and I will personally beat you)
1 cup granulated sugar

Peel and slice the apples. Lay them into a greased 9x9 baking dish. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. Top apples with crumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!!! Oh, and caramel sauce is really good on this too! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Music Monday 8/30/2010 'Stars'

August is on its way out, folks! Fall is on its way in!!! The latest 'Stars' album titled 'Five Ghosts' came out back in June, but I haven't had the chance to give it a proper review until now. One of my favorite albums of all time was 'Set Yourself On Fire' by Stars. I always get all nervous when a band I love comes out with something new because I am worried it will suck and I will hate it. Thankfully that was not the case with this new record!!!


'Stars' is an indie band out of Toronto. They are also members of the band 'Broken Social Scene' which just happens to be my brother's favorite band ever. And one of the other members of Broken Social Scene just happens to be Emily Haines from the band 'Metric' which just happens to be my favorite band ever. So I do love Stars because of their relation to BSS and Metric, but I really just love them because they are so great.


This is Stars' fifth studio album and it is everything I love about them and more. Pitchfork gave it a pretty lame review - called it boring and claimed that all the songs sound the same. I couldn't disagree more! This album is anything but boring and I think the way the record is mixed is genious. Each song flows effortlessly into the next. I mean, to each his own but shame on you, pitchfork with your crabby review. Stars has still got it going on in all the right places. They've still got that amazing, layered electro pop thing going on. Amy Millan's voice is just as beautiful as ever - in my opinion one of the best female vocalists around right now. Stars is one of the coolest bands around. Sadly, they are also one of the most underappreciated bands around. While their records have been highly regarded by lots of critics, their fanbase has remained small. Sad face!! You people don't know what you're missing out on!!! Listen up.....

'I Died So I Could Haunt You' Sheer musical genious.... lyrically and musically - I love this one!!!

'Wasted Daylight' - :)

'We Don't Want Your Body' - references to drugs and sex, but I think the deeper meaning is less literal.... like, propaganda - we don't want what you're selling...

'Dead Hearts' - reflection on people who have meant so much who have now moved on and are "dead" to her.... or so she thinks....


'He Dreams He's Awake'

'How Much More'

'The Passenger'

'Changes' could have written this myself

If you've never heard 'Stars' before, this would be the album to start with in my opinion. 'Five Ghosts' is perfect for this time of year. I mean, with Halloween on the horizon how could you go wrong with a title like that? Trick or Treat??? :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Paint It Black

I love fall. I love everything about it. The food, the sweaters, the football playing in the background, the cooler weather, the trick-or-treating, etc. There's just something about fall and the change of seasons that makes me want to renovate. We've been doing a bit of sprucing up around the outside of the house and it's really coming together! One thing almost always leads to another when it comes to home renovations as far as I'm concerned. So this weekend while painting the trim around the front door, I decided it was time to take off that old screen door. It's nice to be able to open the door and let in the fresh air, but honestly the door was toast. It was faded, broken and we've never had a key for it since we bought this house on foreclosure. So off it came!!! It looks a lot better.

Door without fugly screen door... before I painted it a new color.....


I have been needing to paint the front door for awhile - it's dirty, scratched and faded - plus I am kind of over its color. My mom suggested a black door which I thought would look pretty great! So I picked up some paint at Menard's today and painted it black after we were done with school. The paint color is called "gargoyle shadow" and I absolutely adore it. It isn't quite black black, but more of a grayish black with just enough brown so that it compliments our hardware and the colors in the brick. I will also be painting the faded poo brown shutters to match the door. Crappy thing is that I can't get them off the house - the screws won't budge. Minor detail. I will just have to get on a ladder to do it. So ya..... I will be sure to post pictures when it's all finished!! For now here are the "during" photos.

I love this color!! It's Dutchboy's new "maxbond" paint and primer in one and it's called 'gargoyle shadow.' Love!!!

From afar - don't mind my paint mess.... you can see I have one shutter done on the right. It looks so much better! I knew they were faded, but yowza!

Proof that you CAN paint just about anything. Kevin was all worried about painting the shutters since they're vinyl, but this paint is supposed to stick to any surface and it seems to so far..... shutter on the left is painted, shutter on the right hasn't been painted. See the difference???

So that project is coming along just fine. Other things on the agenda are staining the concrete out front, getting new house numbers, maybe painting the garage door and planting some sort of flowers in a big awesome pot next to the front door. Not sure if it's too early for fall foliage or not, but I'm gonna check it out today!! :) Fall. It's on.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Music Monday 8/23/2010 'Pomplamoose'

Holy busy Monday!!! I wasn't sure I was even going to have time to blog about this amazing new(ish) band. We started school today (in case you don't know, we homeschool). We were all ready to start, but the first couple of weeks of getting back into a routine are always a big adjustment. Ethan's doing fifth grade curriculum, Abby's doing 2nd and some 3rd and this will be Olivia's first year of preschool! Talk about being a little overwhelmed!! On top of it all, Abby has had a fever/headache thing going on the past couple of days. Ethan's allergies are so terrible he wants to peel his face off. And Lulu has croup and so many bugbites on her face that she looks like the elephant man. If you don't know who the elephant man is, google it... it's not pretty.

So, Monday has been interesting to say the least!! But it's all good in the hood - kids are in bed and I have a few minutes before I work out (gawd, I don't want to) to make sure that you all get to know a sweet little duo called 'Pomplamoose.' It's very important because I love them.


Pomplamoose (which just so happens to be the french word for grapefruit) is Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn. They are a fan-freaking-tastic indie jazz duo!! I first heard them at the salon!! My amazing stylist Kat (who just got married, Congrats!!!!!) doesn't just have style when it comes to hair. She is responsible for my current obsession with Pomplamoose. A thousand thanks to Kat!!! Anyways, Jack and Nataly are what you would call "multi-instrumentalists", meaning they play all sorts of different things. But not just your normal things - I'm talking kid sized piano's, wine bottles, spatulas and other oddities. They have secured a pretty solid fan base as internet musicians and people LOVE their videos. They are so cute and they make me smile. With Pomplamoose, what you see is what you hear: no lip-syncing. If you hear it, you see it. There are no hidden sounds. They've recorded all of their videosongs in this so-called "glitz-free" manner. Nothing fancy, just music. I fell in love with their cover songs, but their original tracks are just as lovable! Take a look/listen for yourself!

The covers.........
'September' - seriously, this song is MY HEART!

'Single Ladies' Awwwww, yeahhhh!!!

'Beat It' - yes, they went there.... and I happen to love it!

'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing' tee hee!

'Telephone' Lady Gaga!!!!! LOVE this!


The orginal tracks......

'Little Things'

'Beat the Horse'

'If You Think You Need Some Lovin' :)

'Expiration Date'

'Twice As Nice'


There is a lot more amazingness to be heard/seen as far as Pomplamoose is concerned, so check out their youtube channel and then head over to itunes or amazon and buy their albums!!! Fill your ears and your heart with the goodness that is Pomplamoose. Oh, you're welcome!!

psssttttt!! In order to listen to/watch the vids, just mute or turn down the playlist - the volume is on the far right corner......

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Making It Happen

So summer is pretty much over. Boo. Hiss. But, I have to admit I'm sort of ready to get on with it. We're starting school over here next Monday. I can't believe how fast our summer break went! I always freak out trying to get things packed into the last couple weeks of August because I never feel like I got everything done that I wanted to do. But looking back, I think we really made it happen around here! We did lots of fun family trips, spent time with lots of great people and I even got one project finished - Ethan's room. (I won't tell you how things many I started that aren't finished!!) But at least I can say that his room is officially done. I guess if you don't count the fact that I have to do the quarter round.... but ya, it's done in my book!!

We actually moved Ethan into Olivia's old room. His old room is now Abby's new room and Abby's old room is now Olivia's new room. Make sense? Ya, it doesn't to me either. I still go into the wrong rooms!!! But it did make sense as far as changing them around. Now Ethan has the biggest room. His old room was a sort of primary colored pirate theme - very cute, but not really grown up enough for a ten year old kid. So we decided to go with a music/skateboarding theme this time. It turned out really well I think!!!

Here are the before pics of what it looked like when it was Olivia's room - we sold everything we didn't need anymore on Craigslist or Ebay....




Here is what it looks like now! Quite different!!!

bought the curtains and 'I Am Music' wall art from Target...

bedding is from Target and the loft bed and full bed are from Walmart - we got a great deal on them with site to store shipping...

dresser is the 'Malm' series from IKEA....

found the sweet skateboarder wall decal at our local Menards - you can also see that I painted the ceiling the same color as the trim & doors....

wall color is called 'Quiksilver' and it's by Olympic paints for Lowe's.... I had originally bought another trim color which turned out to be a nightmarish, bad prom dress teal. It's amazing how different colors can look in the store compared to at home!! The second color turned out to be just right...

Ethan got this shelf from my mom for his birthday from PB Teen....

I also painted the inside of his walk in closet the same color as the walls, but it's always messy so we keep the door closed! The mirrors were originally in my brother's old room and are from IKEA....

Phew! One room is technically done and I feel good about it. And Ethan loves his room!! Win!!! We also love the fact that it can sleep all three of the kids at once because that leaves other beds for when we have overnight guests. They also have frequent sleepovers in there just because. Especially during storms!!! :) I hope to be able to cross some of the other projects off the list soon. I will post pictures of the girls' rooms once I feel like I can call them done. So goodbye to summer and hello there, fall!! Here's to making it happen some more!!!!

About Blogging Molly

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I am a mom to three great kids - Ethan is 12, Abby is 9 and Lulu (Olivia) is 5. I've been married to my highschool sweetheart for almost fourteen years. I love to paint, renovate and live for anything DIY. I love music and I love to bake. I also teach dance at a local studio. Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!

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