Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Easter 2014

I love Easter. It's such an important holiday to Christians. We love dressing up and heading to church and singing great songs about the resurrection of Jesus. We would normally get together with friends as well, but since Hope has a little cold we kept it low key. We did, however, still die eggs and do a small Easter egg hunt in front of the house.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NYC Weekend

Since we are moving so soon, we tried to cram in a little trip to New York City. I told Richard I would cry if I never got to see the Statue of Liberty the whole time we lived here. Isn't that how it goes? You live somewhere for a long time and still never get around to some of the most popular destination in the area. We have actually done quite a few. The only two things we didn't get to do are a bit further away. They are Niagara Falls and Boston. And those are worth a trip with the kids later on. So I won't cry over them.

For our NYC trip, we drove in late Friday night, and saw the Statue of Liberty via the Staten Island Ferry. I got a great tip that you actually get a much better view and photo opp of the statue via this free ferry. It was a nice 25 minute ride, and we saw the statue on the way there and back. However, squirmy kids and poor lighting (it was after dark) made for lousy pictures. So instead of trying to get the perfect shot, we just hung out at the railing of the ferry and enjoyed our view.

The next morning, we made our way to Central Park. Gabriel enjoyed climbing some rocks and we all had fun on the carousel. Gabriel had double the fun, since he got to go twice!

We then soaked in the sun on a bench in the park and ate some amazing sandwiches made by a local shop. The shop also had a window to order espresso and to-go sandwiches. I tried an espresso since we're moving to Italy. Nope. Not good. I'll stick with my drip coffee. But I did love this cute sign they had out front. "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free kitten."

After lunch we finished our trip with a visit to the Swedish Cottage right in the middle of Central Park. The cottage was actually built in Sweden in 1875, and placed in Central Park in 1877. It has since served many purposes, including being used as headquarters for the Civil Defense during World War 2. The cottage is currently the home of Marionette Theater. They write their own plays and make they're own puppets, which makes for a truly unique show. Both kids were entranced by the performance of "Bessy's Big Shot", a story about a cow who tries to join the circus. Very cute!

I'm so glad we were able to squeeze in this fun trip! Now Richard doesn't have to hear me cry about missing out.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ci stiamo muovendo per l'Italia

We are moving to Italy!

Richard's job is taking us on a great adventure. The tentative schedule is to leave in June and go to Milan, Italy for 18 months, then Antwerp, Belgium for another 18 months. I am looking forward to lots of gelato and pasta! And Richard tells me Belgium is the diamond and chocolate capital of the world. Count me in!

The kids passports just came in, so I suppose we will take them with us ;) At least Gabriel knows how to say "ciao!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Upcycled Bedside Tables

Our master bedroom is still unfinished after living in this house for almost two years. It has paint on the walls, but that's about it. Even our bedside tables need help. One side has an ikea table, and the other has a plastic storage unit. It's been practical, but not very pretty. We also have a mismatched dresser, as you can see in this picture. But that's a project for another post.

We have searched for some matching bedside tables, but the ones we want were pretty pricey and wouldn't fit too well in this room. So when I recently got handed down some free bedside tables, I was eager to make them work! Here they are the day I got them. Sort of ho-hum. Nothing special. They don't even have the same stain color.

I had an idea of painting them an off-white color, but needed some encouragement first. Fortunately, I have a friend, Joy, who is an awesome designer. You can see her projects on her blog Beautiful Protest. Her style is more mid-century modern, and mine is not. But she's been to my house and knows my taste. So I asked her to help me out. She recommended I try Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It goes on without needing any prepping or priming. Just slap it on, and finish with rubbing in some wax. Chalk paint also does well if you want a distressed look. So I decided to go for it! Joy also gave me some hardware she grabbed that she thought I would like. I love them!

So after painting, distressing and adding the new hardware, here is my finished product! I didn't realize before starting that the holes for the door handles were at different heights. Fortunately no one will notice, when the tables are on opposite sides of the bed.

I also got some lamps at Target. Richard is really excited he no longer has to climb out of bed to flip the light switch.

I think it all turned out beautifully, and I really could not be happier! Now I am thinking, "What can I paint next?" I have my eye on that mismatched dresser.