Oscar the Rug

A hunt for a living room rug has been going since before we moved into the house.  We knew we wanted something that was comfy for our toes and felt right for the time period of the house.  Our first color choice was green, the same green that is in the rocking chair, Terry.  We searched Overstock, RugsUSA, Home Depot, Urban Outfitters, Ebay, Etsy, you name it.  We found a lot of rugs that we thought looked right, but we didn’t want to spend $400- plus on a rug that would take a beating from 3 kids and a dog.

We found a rug on Ebay that we fell in love with and thought it would work perfectly with the room.  Thanks to the “make-an-offer” option, it was a steal.

The orange is not quite right, but we were hoping that it would compliment the couch and that it would be OK.  We were wrong.  It just didn’t work. So, back to the drawing board.  This rug found a home in a different room (more on that later).

On Tuesday, after getting completely frustrated with finding a cheap rug, in the right color, with the right amount of vintage vibe, we broke down and ordered an area rug from Home Depot.  It was something cheap, neutral, slightly shag like and would be here sometime in the next few weeks.

Mmmmm, beige.

Well, sometimes life likes to mess with you.  After you give up and settle for something, you suddenly stumble across what you’ve been looking for all along.  Or at least that’s what happened today.  I had an hour to kill after visiting Home Depot for our bi-weekly trip before I had to pick Ben up from preschool.  Oh, my, what’s a thrifter to do with an hour of alone time?  The toughest decision I had was which thrift store to hit.  Goodwill won since I hadn’t been there in forever.

I always start a thrifting trip the same way.  I start in dishes and cups, work my way through the holiday decorations, move on to baskets and wood items, then through pictures, linens and bedding, and I finish with the furniture.  Today, waiting at the end of the thrifting rainbow, was a pair of old shag rugs.  I may or may not have run to them when I saw them.  One was green (10’x10′) and the other was blue and green (7’x10′).  They both looked hand hooked and in great shape.  And at $60 for the pair, there was no doubt they would be coming home with me.

I tried my darnedest to get them into my cart, but the cart was too small.  I was petrified that if I left them, someone else stronger would nab them both.  So I took the price tags off of both of them and took off for the registers, still petrified that someone else would get them.  I think all the employees there thought I was crazy.  I know I stumped the guys who loaded them into the car for me.  They were surprised by my age.  They thought only people in their 60’s would be interested in such amazing rugs.  Ok, so they didn’t say that last part, but they are amazing rugs.

Oscar’s first photo in our home (via Instagram)

I’ve named the green one Oscar.  He looks great in the living room.  Just the right size, color and price.  I may or may not have jumped up and down a few times since getting them home.  I may have punched Jamie out of excitement too, but I don’t remember.

It is so thick and soft, I love it!  All we need now is some anti-slip stuff to put under the rug (it is very slippy) and a cool coffee table.

We have several places where the blue and green rug will work well. Now, it’s off to the adventure of finding out exactly where it will live.  Thankfully it’s light and easy to move.

Oh, about 3 hours after I got these rugs home, Home Depot called.  The rug we ordered is in.  Oops, I guess I’m going to have to return it when I pick it up.


Stop the Presses!

We have a color!  It has taken more than two months and 20-plus paint samples to finally find one that we both think looks right.  We started with whites. I thought that white-ish stark walls would really make the bright colors pop, but then I started to worry that too much white would make them pop too much.

We even went as far as buying a 5 gallon bucket of Glass of Milk by Martha Stewart before I chickened out of white.  We ended up using it in the boys rooms, so it didn’t go to waste.

I played with the idea of a light grey next, then taupe and beige. I mixed my own colors one day trying to get just the right feeling.  What makes it even harder is that I worry too much about stuff that really doesn’t matter.  I always have.  Is grey too trendy?  Is it too cold?  Why does the beige always look peach?  How did I manage to custom mix the exact color that is already on the wall?  Maybe these colors aren’t fun enough.  Does this color say mid century modern surfer?  Am I being too trendy by trying not to be trendy?  Will the kids think “oh remember when mom went through her (fill in the blank) phase”? Will this color be enough to unite all the rooms while still fading into the background so the art and accents can pop?  Yes, I’m crazy.

I even asked the super nice people on the Friends of Atomic Ranch Magazine what they thought.  The popular colors there were white, grey, a shade of green, and turquoise.  So today we made a trip to Home Depot and collected even more samples.  Brighter colors than what we had been originally thinking.  I picked out a pale green, pale turquoise, a pale yellow and even a pale pink (who knows, it might be amazing).  Come home and slapped them on the “sample wall”.

We’ve been using this wall as our sample wall so that we could see the colors with the couch.  This picture makes it look so much more red than it really is.  I don’t think we will ever get an accurate picture of this couch.  You might notice the construction pile is much smaller now that we are, fingers crossed, a week away from being done with the construction part of the kitchen.

We also wanted to see the colors against the fireplace.

The pastel colors that I picked up today just aren’t right.  Not the look we are going for.

NOTE from Jamie: For two months we couldn’t agree on a color. It’s probably the most we’ve ever been in a disagreement about something. In the 1950s, colors were colors. Solid colors. Blue was blue. Not Smurfette blue summer-breeze! I found a color palette online and wanted to stick to a deep, rich solid color. To avoid Morgen’s flavor of the week paint scheme, I would just wait her out. But after a couple of weeks, I realized the colors – weren’t getting any darker. So finally, in the interest of getting some paint up on the walls by Thanksgiving, we agreed that if she picked out five finalist paint colors, I would pick the winner. After painting carnival-blue cotton candy and banana creme pie on the wall, I was happy she left a couple previous samples in the running. I should have snatched up her idea weeks ago. The color we picked really helps accent the furnishings and lets everything in the house shine.

The color is one that I custom mixed, so I guess we get to name it.  Let’s call it Groovy Grey.

I guess the hard part is over.  Now we just need to paint the inside of the house.  Thankfully the “sample wall” offers the right amount of incentive to get it done.

Yes, after all of that we picked grey.


I’ve been checking the weather, setting alarms for before dawn and scouring the internet for information for the last three days.  You might wonder what would have me this excited. History in the making on the Space Coast. Today the Space Shuttle Endeavour starts its final flight from Kennedy Space Center to The California Science Center.

The Space Shuttle Discovery made a similar trip a few months ago traveling to Northern Virginia and I missed it.  I had remembered up until a few days prior to the event and then, BAM, life happened and I forgot.  I was so disappointed that the kids and I didn’t get to see it.  Jamie was on a flight heading to DC and saw it during his flight (lucky dog).  So, when I saw that I had another chance I jumped on it.

The flight was scheduled to take off at 7:15 AM, so like any good over-achiever, I got everyone up at 6 AM, even though the beach is a 2 minute drive.  We left the house at 7:05, got to the beach at 7:07, and waited around.  I love modern technology.  We stood on the beach and watched NASA TV broadcast the takeoff on my iPhone.  It was a beautiful morning, slightly overcast, which was a blessing and a curse.  It was great for taking pictures, we didn’t have to stare into the sunrise to see it go by.  The downside was that the flight was 1,500 feet over the ocean which seemed to be right where the clouds where hanging out too.  Ok, so enough of me blabbering.  I did manage to get a few pictures:

We could see it as soon as it took off from Kennedy Space Center.  Then it disappeared into the clouds. It was a bit surreal watching it come out of the clouds.

The call sign for the “ferry” carrying Endeavour is Pluto 95 Heavy.  I don’t know why, but I found that pretty funny.  That jet looks so tiny in comparison.

Shortly after this picture was taken we all dusted the sand off of our feet, hopped back into the car and got the kids to school.  Not a bad start to the morning.  Now I can say I’ve seen one of the space shuttles leave for it’s new home.  Hopefully the kids will remember it.  A little piece of Space Coast history.

Still Here

Sorry it’s been a while since we updated our progress on the house.  A lot has happened and we plan on giving you full details on all of it, once we get back on track.

  • The outside of the house has been painted
  • We have our tile backsplash now
  • Our range hood went in
  • We have started using our “new” dining room table
  • I painted some art for the front entrance
  • Started work on our super gross linen closet
  • The sink is no longer in the living room
  • The office has had some progress

All these details will have to wait a little while longer, but I thought I would share something that struck me as funny today.  Our contractor and the guy who is making the doors for our cabinets were here today.  I gave them pictures to illustrate how I want the cabinet knobs and pulls to be put on.  I work better through pictures than words.  I’m guessing these aren’t your normal inspiration photos.

This one shows how I want the lower cabinet pulls to all be horizontal.  We bought our pulls from Home Depot.  They remind me of my car door handles from my first car, a 66 Mustang.  Those bows on the curtains are sort of amazing.

This picture shows how I want the upper cabinets knobs to be set slightly higher than what is the norm.  Our upper cabinet knobs are vintage and were bought on ebay.  They are really big chrome knobs like what is in this picture.

Then this picture shows them both together, except I would like the upper ones a little tiny bit higher.  Other than that, it’s perfect.  I was bad and didn’t get any of the sources for these pictures.  They were some of what came up when you google “mid century kitchen”.

I will hopefully be back soon with more updates, but right now I have to go play Cuddle, Cuddle Friends with our 3 year old and his large stuffed animal collection.  He has been laying on the floor yelling “Mommy, let’s go” the entire time I’ve been typing this, which was maybe 10 minutes.  Oh, to have the patience of a 3 year old.

Have a great rest of your day!




Taking Back the Yard: Part 2

Last night the sun cooperated and went down just enough (was there any doubt)  to get some less harsh after pictures of the side yard.

During our trip to Lowes, the kids and I picked up a red ti plant, a philodendron, 2 types of liriope, some type of garlic, and coleus.

The palms were already growing here, so I made Jamie carefully remove the chicken wire that they were growing through.

Now we just need to figure out how to use this extra patio space.

Maybe a little storage container for kids toys.  We could make a little sitting area with potted plants and a couple of cute chairs.  There is always leaving the space open for the kids to use the area like a racetrack for their various wheeled toys.  I guess we don’t have to figure it out right now.  We’ll live with it for a while and in time maybe it will tell us what it wants to be.

Taking Back the Yard

We’re learning.  Almost everyday holds a new lesson.  Today, don’t start any project until you have taken “before” pictures.  Because when you tell someone you unearthed a new patio they probably won’t believe you unless you show them the before pictures.  Well, today we unearthed part of a patio.  Our side yard to the west has been over-grown,   covered with leaves and home to hundreds of lizards.  There is, what we thought was a concrete walkway that lead from the gate to the back patio.  Turns out that most of our west side yard is patio too.

This discovery probably wouldn’t have happened until the fall if it hadn’t been for the AC dying Friday afternoon.  The soonest we can get someone to come and look at the AC unit is Tuesday, after the holiday weekend.  So we have been spending the mornings and evenings outside where it’s cooler and the heat of the day inside where it’s barely cooler.  This morning Jamie headed out to mow the lawn, so I decided to tackle some of the leaf piles in the yard.  Well, about two hours later and a trash pile that rivals our moving in trash piles, the side yard looks like this (the side where you can see sunlight was the part covered in leaves and branches):

You will just have to take my word for it, this is a vast improvement.  There was leaves and debris all along the fence and it was about 2 feet wide.  Some areas were a little bit wider.

The dark areas on the concrete along the fence are the areas that the leaves were covering.  That is all new patio!  We had no idea the concrete went that far over to the fence.  I love the circle planters that are built into the concrete.  There are technically 3 of them, but one is filled with a tree trunk.

Sorry these pictures are so contrasty, Florida sun is not very forgiving when you are trying to get pictures.  Look at all that reclaimed space!

There was chicken wire running the full length of the fence on this side of the yard.  Jamie worked on getting that off.  He’ll write more about that later.  It was something that made you wonder why one of the previous owners had put it up.  It was buried under the ground in some spots and even had the trunk of a tree that had grown on top of it.  Bizarre.

After it was all cleared I felt bad.  We had just removed the homes of lots and lots of lizards. I didn’t want them to leave our yard, they eat so many bugs, so I headed out to Lowes and bought a bunch of plants and mulch.  I’ll show you the end result after the sun goes down a little and I can get some decent pictures of the side yard and new patio space.


UPDATE:  Check out the after pictures here.

The Stereo Room

We have a room that some would call a Florida Room.  We were calling it the Sunroom, but now it’s the Stereo Room.  It has one wall of sliders and opens to the rest of the house through a couple of arches.  We think it was a screened porch that became part of the house.  When we first moved in, it housed our old sleeper sofa, or laundry couch as we have come to call it and the terrarium left behind by the previous owner.

We had bought some furniture for the room, an awesome Magnavox record player, an amazing green vintage couch, some great Lane end tables and coffee table.  Then the kitchen installation started kicking up dust, dust, and more dust.  We moved all of the furniture to one side of the room and covered it up with blankets.  We were trying to keep everything as dust free as possible, especially our high-tech record player.  The room became our new kitchen and started looking like this:

Since so much was accomplished Thursday we were able to start moving things into the kitchen cabinets, putting the food away in the pantry, get the stove into place, and we were able to start arranging the Stereo Room.  We got rid of our old laundry couch, moved out everything that doesn’t belong in there, and vacuumed the rug.  Then brought all the fun stuff back in. We hung our peacocks on the wall above the Magnavox.


The green couch, the stereo cabinet, peacock wall art and the fabulous blue lamp all came from our favorite local vintage store Rocket City Retro.  The owners Nicole and Billy are just as awesome as the items they sell.  I think 90% of the “new” furniture we have bought has been from them.  And, come to think of it, 99% of the furniture we have bought for the house isn’t new at all.  It’s all been previously owned.

The peacocks are our newest additions.  Every time we’ve gone into Rocket City Retro I’ve seen them.  Over time they have grown on me and now I love them.  I have such an awesome husband that he encouraged me to buy them last time we were there.

There are still projects to get done in here.  We want to paint, find another comfy chair (maybe two), some more art, some fun pillows, and we’re thinking maybe some wood paneling for one of the walls.  I don’t plan on having curtains for the sliders.  They’re huge, I’m cheap, and fabric is expensive in large quantities.  And finally, maybe an overhead light.  There is a box in the ceiling right now that is covered with a lovely grey cover.

The rug we used in our bedroom in our last few houses.  The Lane end tables were a craigslist find.  They were the ones we were going to see when we found Terry.  The Lane coffee table was found on ebay.  The chair in the corner is one of the ones we found in the shed, it just needs to be redone.  The vase is my favorite vase.  We bought it at a flea market a few years ago.

So, that’s the Stereo Room for now.  It’s now the cleanest, most pulled together room of the house.  Our glimmer of hope for the rest of the house.


Here’s the short list for this room (in no particular order):

  •  overhead light
  • paint walls, trim and ceiling
  • throw pillows
  • more decor for the walls
  • comfy chair or two
  • record storage
  • refinish chair
  • find a runner to put in front of the door the kids use (to wipe feet on)
  • clean the floors, outlet covers, and the sliding glass door tracks