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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bless His Heart

I have lots of pictures to share from Gus' first birthday party and I will do that later this week but today I want to tell you about Heidi "The Hurricane" Vining.

My cousin Heidi is a drill sergeant fitness instructor and I joined the gym specifically to take her class three days a week. The class which I have not been back to in two weeks because either Gus or myself have been sick for two weeks. And also because I am scared of Heidi.


I'm scared of squats.

And lunges.

My point is Heidi is a tough cookie.

Good example: one time Michael and my brother-in-law Jay were talking about what kind of animal they would rather fight, a bear or a wild boar.

They decided to up the ante. Jay asked, "Okay, would you rather fight a bear, a wild boar or Brandy?"

They both concluded that fighting both the bear and wild boar at the same time would be a better option than fighting me alone.

I feel so dainty and feminine after that story.

Well, when Michael shared this with me he started talking about girls he knows that could beat me up and he couldn't come up with any that matched the beast that is me.

So I tossed out Heidi's name and he was all, "Ohhhh, good one. Wow. I don't know who would win."

He texted Heidi's brother, Clint and told him the Heidi vs. Me scenario and Clint replied, "I don't know who would win but that's a fight I would pay to see."

Again, I feel like a delicate flower.

Heidi - tough cookie that she is - must be feeling a little afraid right now. She and her husband, Ryan, are facing something no parent should have to endure.

Their 5-month-old Garrett is scheduled for his second open heart surgery (the first being when he was only days old) this coming Friday morning.

I won't go into all the medical details but let's just say this makes for a lot of anxiety for Heidi and Ryan.

And while she seems tough as nails, surgery of any kind on your infant son has got to bring a Mama to her knees.

And while you are down there you can either curse God or pray.

With incredible strength and hope, Heidi has chosen to hit her knees and pray.

I ask that you do the same. It's okay if you are somewhere that hitting your knees might get you some funny looks. Just close your eyes and talk to God.

Even if you aren't the "praying kind" or you typically say 'I'll pray for you' and then forget to, just stop for a second and pray that Garrett is safely cradled in Christ's arms during surgery and recovery and that God's hand guides those of the surgeons and nurses caring for this sweet baby boy. And that this tough little buckaroo (he takes after his Mama) gets to come home with his Mama and Daddy real soon.
"Hi, I'm Garrett. I'm cute. I'm fat. And my mommy will fight you!"

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I love you, Heidi. I am so proud of your faith and hope, and yes, your ferocious mama bear-ness.  You are such an inspiration.

Your Favorite Cousin, Brandy

P.S. If you want to leave a comment for Heidi I will make sure she reads them.

P.P.S. Heidi, I'm pretty sure you would kick my butt :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Paybacks are hell

A few weeks ago Gus and I took a little trip to visit my sister Misty and her kiddos in Mansfield. Her husband, Jason, was out of town and she is a big baby and scared to be there by herself has been wanting me to come visit for a long time now.

We had so much fun and Gus did really well sleeping in a strange place. Not that Misty's house is strange...just foreign to an 11-month-old.

Have I ever told  you how gullible Misty was as a little girl?

As kids, Sunday sucked. Not because we had to go to Mass and CCD (that's Sunday School for the Protestants in the room)  but because it was Cleaning Day.

We used to complain to each other as we dusted and vacuumed that "Mama only had us to clean her house."

Which now cracks me up because that's the only reason I had Gus and it's why we are working so hard on having a second child because how do I expect a one-year-old to get the whole house clean in a day? 


You know I'm kidding, right? Don't be callin' CPS or anything. I'm pretty sure before long Gus will have them on speed dial.

Okay, so I devised a gee-nee-yus plan when I was about 12 and Misty was 7. I would ask Misty to show me how to clean my bathroom and - bless her heart - she would oblige.

Well, I did this four or five times before she decided I was the dumbest person on earth because I wasn't picking up on how to clean my own bathroom. She eventually started refusing my offer to teach me how to clean do it for me,  stating she was busy playing with Strawberry Shortcake or My Little Pony or whatever.

She told me years later that she thought I was such an idiot for not knowing how to clean my bathroom.

Mm-hmm, who was the real idiot?

Back to the real reason we're all here...Misty has been wanting to create a collage wall in her living room for a while now and my visit was the perfect opportunity for me to help her get it done do it for her.

To the right of her fireplace there is this massive six foot gap on the wall that she sees every time she walks out of her bedroom and it was just begging for something to take up residence there.

One thing I decided she had to have was a moss covered letter a la Dear Lillie...
So we buzzed through Hobby Lobby and once the hooligans were all in bed we broke out the glue gun and took this...
Okay, not this because Misty's last name doesn't start with a T. I forgot to take a before pic of the R so this is what you get.
we turned it face down on a sheet of moss, wrapped it and secured it with hot glue. Easy breezy beautiful Cover Girl...

To give it a little more importance, we "framed" it in this flat basket/tray we picked up at HL and then we used it as the focal point for the collage wall.
"R'nt you glad this post is almost over?"
Then we just played around with I think 38 different arrangements on the floor before going with this one.

Voila! A wall worthy of a PB catalog photo shoot! (the pictures, not so much...we fired the photographer...who shows up to a photo shoot with just their iPhone?)

And if you have kids you are probably familiar with the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series and that's what happened to us...once the collage wall was done, it made the mantle look boring. So we tackled it next.

An amazing family portrait served as the centerpiece and we flanked it on one side with a peacock platter Mama gave her and with Misty's awesome Wisteria warehouse find...a really cool egg shadowbox thingy...that's the technical name...because it's my blog and I say so.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket...one shadowbox thingy, that's fine...just not one basket

And for the other side she retrieved the bird cage from the attic.

So there you have it...

Gus and I had a great time on our visit and Misty got a living room wall makeover...I taught her well...wait, she did just stand there a lot... 
What an idiot...

she doesn't even know how to hang stuff on the wall...

I guess I'm the idiot...

Well played, Misty. Well played.



P.S. Gratuitous Gus Shot and a comment: Gus will be one year old in two weeks...sigh...just a year ago I was waddling around in ignorant bliss with absolutely no idea how much my life was about to change...and here we are today and he's already driving...
and what a ride it's been...

Monday, March 28, 2011

A "Ta-Da" and Just Who Is The Imaginary Mouse?

Ta-Da!!!!! (From here on out when I have anything big to share with y'all, we'll call it a "Ta-Da!"...got it? It'll be our thang...)

"Ta Da!" (allegedly my first words)
 Where was I? Oh!!! Look what I did to my blog! And it only took 6 days...

I have plans for The Imaginary Mouse to go global...I mean, its totally doable considering that I already have seven followers and two of them are people I don't even know!!!

(Okay, so two of them are my sister Misty and I have no idea why she is on there twice but that still counts as seven followers...because I make the rules up around here, that's why...)

 I had a revelation this morning...I crave creativity in my life and sometimes it's just not possible to haul a piece of furniture to the carport, clean it, strip it, prime it, paint it, and seal it with a baby like Gus sprinting crawling around...and don't even get me started on working with a hot glue gun...

But this...this sweet little blog...it can be my creative outlet for now...I can't tell you how good it makes me feel when I see I've gained a new follower or, even better, have a comment left about a post...(hint, hint)

So I am going to try to post more often...not everyday...but maybe twice a week...It may not have a lot of "big reveals" involving furniture but I will share with you ideas and dreams I have for our little abode and maybe it will inspire you to try something in your home...you know, to think outside the box...

In light of the new look, I thought I should explain just who The Imaginary Mouse is...

Her name is Tressa...I made her up befriended her when I was two or three years old and we spent many a day playing dress up, sharing our hopes and dreams and just talking like gal pals do

She is gray with big pink ears and she always wore a pale aqua shift dress...I have no idea why I named her Tressa...She had a brother named Johnny and a sister named Apple...(yep, Gwyneth Paltrow totally stole that name from me)

Here is an artist's rendering of Tressa
as she was late to today's photo shoot...
 The reason I named my blog The Imaginary Mouse is because my memories of Tressa represent for me the first time I can remember using my imagination...

I can also remember pretending I was a cheerleader by running to my room and grabbing two of the throw pillows off my bed and bounding back in to the living room and performing to "Dueling Banjos" for Daddy while he sat there drinking his "funny tasting coke" waiting to applaud my performance...

 Speaking of applause, I also thought that when I swished water around in my mouth it sounded like applause so I did it often...when I had no family to entertain (or maybe they were hiding from me? Hmm...)

Go ahead, try it...you know you want to...take a swig of whatever you are drinking...we won't judge just because its not even noon yet...

Doesn't it sound just like applause???

So the next time you are feeling blue or neglected or your boss tells you that you aren't turning in your T95 PL Reports fast enough, take a swig and let the crowd go wild...

Oh, and look...here is the fabric I got to make panels for the French doors in our Breakfast Room...
Please disregard the dead fern on the left and get a load of all that happy going on all over that fabric!
 I was so excited because I found the fabric at a boutique fabric store in Tyler for $25 a yard and then found it online at Fabric.com for only $17.95 and free shipping! Score!!

I think I will even have enough left over to create a border on some window mistreatments a la The Nester I want to do in the den...

And another project I want to take on is to use some moss somehow in my house...I'm thinking moss letters, like these:
Pottery Barn letters
Maybe to spell GUS for his room or a giant T (for Traylor) or maybe even spell out NEST or ABODE to hang in our den...

I first saw the idea here at Dear Lillie, an incredibly talented blogger that has a beautiful home and an adorable daughter and another on the way...how does she do it?

There is something about the fresh green moss that just sings spring to me...If I get really brave (and have a three hour time slot to wield a glue gun safely without Gus around) I would love to go after this mirror:
Silver mirror that needs some pizazz...it just seems embarrassed to be hanging behind the incredible Horchow Finale lamp and Anthropologie lamp shade
Who knows if I'll get around to it but I promise to show y'all pictures and a how-to if I do...but I'm learning that right now the point of this blog isn't necessarily that every idea I come up with comes to fruition for me and my home but maybe it's about inspiring y'all...and not just to pick out fabric or cover stuff in your house in moss...but to be brave and take chances in your home and, heck, in life...

So what do y'all think of the new look of The Imaginary Mouse?

Hey, I have an idea! Leave a comment (pretty please) and let me know!!!!

(and Tressa, The Imaginary Mouse)

P.S. Gratuitous Gus picture alert:
Doesn't it look like they are saying the blessing? They weren't but this sweet moment certainly makes me count mine

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Broke My Blog

My blog is a mess. I was trying to gussy up the place and I seem to have misplaced some things and made what was already a bad blog design look worse.

I was trying to give The Imaginary Mouse a new look because this morning I linked one of my post's to a popular blogger's link party...

The Nester is uber-cool and her blog, Nesting Place, is the first blog I visit every morning while I drink my coffee and Gus crawls around acting like its the first time he's ever seen the toys he played with the day before.

You need to go to her blog and check out all the awesomeness that the other cool kids brought to the Take A Risk Day Link Party. I just wanted to fit in with the other kids. And look what happened...I didn't want to be embarrassed of my blog design's lameness and I only made it worse.

I don't know what I am gonna do because I want to throw my computer across the room and curse the little elves that keep un-saving all the changes I am trying to make at Blogger.

Does anyone know someone that is savvy at blog design?

Because this is kind of like when I put Sun-In Hair Lightener in my hair three days before I started my freshman year of high school and when it didn't seem blond enough, I followed the instructions on the box and blow dried it...

uh oh.

So to detract from my orange hair, I cut bangs.

I know. It's getting worse.

And I thought, "Well since I cut bangs and I butchered them, I should go and get a whole new look to start high school off right! That'll turn all the boys' heads!"

(Someone stop me, please!)

So instead of this...

"I've fallen and I can't get up because my hair is too heavy"
I got this...(Yes, I totally took a picture of a page in my freshman yearbook...I'm gonna win all sorts of blog awards with this epic talent...P-Dub, Nester, watch out because I'm on your heels!)

"Hey, I didn't know Ryan Seacrest was from Jacksonville, Texas!"

So if anyone knows how to fix my blog, let me know...or send someone to stop me from moving on to cutting my own bangs again.

"Seacrest Out!"

P.S. You know who's not lame? This guy...

"My Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"- The #3 High School Yearbook Theme of 1987

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Makeover, A Sunday Garage Sale and a Big Fat Fib

 Warning: This is a long post...go get yourself a cup of whatever it is that gets you going and settle in...

Remember this ol' girl? Her name is Gertrude. Gert for short. She is sensitive about her age spots and wrinkles...

"Hi, I'm Gert. Does this orange extension cord make my butt look big?"
Like any good makeover, you have to see the before pictures so you can see what an improvement the transformation is.

Speaking of makeovers, when we were in college, a certain someone was in "the pageant circuit"...Her pageant director/mentor/friend Nikki managed to get her a sponsor in the form of a very high end hair salon in Houston...a very French can't-get-in-for-12-weeks-$250-haircut salon...In exchange for my the pageant girl's "hair sponsorship", the salon wanted to do a photo shoot of before and afters to submit to national hair magazines and they wanted to use about 6 girls...so the victims "models" loaded up in College Station and drove to the hair salon early, early on a Sunday morning.

In the blaring morning sun, they took "before" photos of each of the girls with no makeup and disheveled hair. (Except one girl named Mercy cheated and wore concealer...that annoyed me the pageant girl so much because Mercy looked all fresh and rosy and I looked all sick and corpse-y...

Are you on to me yet that I am the "pageant girl" in the story? Good. I can quit using the strike through key...although it is kinda fun entertaining...

So, one of the other "models" was my sister Jenny and as she recalls, when they did our makeup, they called in all the dropouts from clown school...

Her eyeshadow was purple and her lipstick was red. (If I were a professional blogger, I would take the time to track down some of these pictures but let me assure you red lipstick on those full plump lips of Jenny's is a little, well, much...and I'm sure they were trying to play off her gorgeous green eyes with the purple eyeshadow but, really?)

Any who, my recollection is that they didn't feed us all day...it was like torture...I mean I know they were French and only eat parsley and old cigarette butts but, come on...I think finally at like 5 o'clock they broke down and ordered some dry pita bread and ice cubes for us and then made us do 5,000 jumping jacks each because we were all looking a little too "tous les américains"...in case you are wondering, that means "All American" or "healthy" in French...

Back to Gert...

Here is a closeup of her top...Despite the sanding block in the picture, the top hasn't been sanded yet...Yes, that's what she really looked like...Bless her heart...
"Don't look at me, I'm hideous"

So on Saturday, Michael was serving as CGO (Chief Gus Officer) and after a trip to Wal-mart for the proper supplies, I got to work stripping the top of the table and once the toxic stripping goop was cleaned up, I sanded her and cleaned everything off before starting to paint. I didn't sand or strip her legs because I wanted to be able to antique them and have some of the stain peek through.

I started with the legs and I loved the coverage of Behr's paint and primer in one because I only needed to do two coats, including priming. Once the legs were dry, I flipped her over and started on the top.

I created a stain using equal parts water and the same paint I used on the legs. I wanted the top to have a whitewashed, beachy look. I just painted the homemade stain on and then rubbed it in with tack cloth and it took no time to dry. I still need to put a sealant on her to protect her from future tonka truck races and errant backpacks that will be casually tossed on top of her but I went ahead and brought her inside because Wal-mart didn't carry the sealant I needed...

So here she is...in all her glory...let me introduce to you the new and improved Gert:

Check out those gams!

It's amazing what a few highlights will do for a girl's confidence

"Call me!"
So that's what I did this past Saturday...and on Sunday...I was driving home from grocery shopping at The Walmart (that's what some people around here call it...The Walmart, I have no idea why) when I passed a garage sale...I know, random to have a garage sale on Sunday, but it's on a street where some of the same houses have a garage sale every weekend (most likely consisting of things they bought at garage sales the week before) I like to call these Perpetual Garage Sales...

Where was I? Oh, I spotted this cute round table and pulled over to check it out. It was sitting in front of two night stands and a small oval coffee table that were clearly from the same set but I just wanted the round side table but the guy wouldn't budge from selling them as a set...all four pieces for $40...total...wow, that is a good deal...and who am I to pass up such a bargain?

Here they all are:

Prudence the side table

Opal the oval coffee table and Dr. and Mrs. Thornton the night stands...I'm not sure where all these names are coming from

So in true Brandy form I might've bitten off more than I can chew in my newest creative endeavor...I mean, I already have a list of things sitting around that I want to paint, including:

1. The entryway mirror and dresser...Vera and Nigel...they will be painted the same color to look like one piece...aahh, the cohesiveness of young love...
Vera the Mirra (say it, it rhymes) and Nigel, her dapper beau

2. The Lisa-and-Dan-Wedding-Present hutch, Evelyn...she's going all light and airy with some distressing on the beautiful woodwork to show it off...
Evelyn...pardon the clutter

3. An old  dresser of my parent's for our master bedroom, Charlton Cheston...sorry, no photo available
 (because I don't want to drive to Mama and Daddy's just to take a pic)

4. And two twin beds for Georgia's big girl room, Freddy and Petunia...
See those scary lilac/pink bed frames in the background? Meet Freddy and Petunia!

So there you have it...I've got my hands full...and that's not including this guy...Lord help us when he starts to sprint walk...
I want ten more just like him...can you even stand it? And Gus is cute, too :)

Be afraid...be very afraid

P.S. I'm pregnant...just kidding, I wanted to see who made it all the way to the end of this Epic Post

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Hi. It's been a while. Where have I been, you wonder?

I hosted a lady bug themed baby shower in my new home for my cousin Amber,

Tissue pom poms we later added to Adalynn Virginia's room and the adorable banner Misty made her (pre-broken arm)
carnation lady bugs  
The front door sign welcoming guests...one of the signs that my MIL, Grace, painted for Adalynn's room...she is SO talented!

a sick baby,

The pathetic Spokesbaby of RSV and Double Ear Infections
 my 39th birthday,

39 is the new 29...or so they say
 training Gus to sleep through the night (sorry, no picture but trust me, it has been so fun!)

and just the "daily-ness" of life.

I spend a lot of time thinking of ideas for my blog and things I would like to write about. As you can see from the infrequency of my posts, I don't always get around to it. The best time for me to blog is when Mr. Gus is asleep but that's usually when I shower and clean the house. But today, his morning nap is longer than usual so here I am...showered and done with an art project!

For a while now I've been designing a project for my kitchen. It's something really special to me and I love how it turned out.

Growing up, Daddy was always carving things. One of the most common was spoons.

Which one of these is not like the others?

A few months ago I found a box of them at Mama and Daddy's house and asked if I could take them to display in my new kitchen.

I took an old frame, spray painted it and added chicken wire. But the spoons didn't stand out the way I wanted them to because they were against a khaki wall.

So I decided to take some black and white ticking fabric that was left over from Gus' crib bedding and I stapled it behind the chicken wire. Then I hung the spoons with vintage ribbon I found in Canton last week.


I love that when I walk in the door, I see the spoons that we used in our kitchen when I was growing up. That's what makes it so great...most of these spoons we actually used on a daily basis...

That middle spoon never met a soup it didn't like

...to stir Goulash, spoon out Peanut Butter, ladle Vegetable Beef Soup and spread Goo Cake into the pan.

There is even one spoon Daddy carved just for me...

The Spoon of Hope

...a left handed ladle to go in my hope chest.

I never had a hope chest...but I always hoped I would have a chest...sorry, I couldn't resist...

Thank you, Daddy...for making one of your 753 hobbies carving. Because now I have something to display in my home that no one else has. An original piece of Joe Peacock art. And just like the artist, it's one in a million.

Two One-In-A-Millions...Does that equal Two Millions?

So that's what I did this morning. I'd better go...my bangs are going to dry sticking straight up and I hear Gus waking up.

P.S. I got the boots!!!!!!!!!! Michael gave them to me for my birthday and I L-O-V-E them. They are SO me!!! Thank you, Michael. I love you more than all the turquoise boots in all the world.
Brandy Boots

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Valentine's Day Wasn't...and Was

I've been wanting to post about our new house and its adorable-ness.

 I also want to post about the baby shower I hosted for my cousin, Amber, this past Saturday.

 But today, I want to tell you what I am learning about love.

First, I know it is not the "romantic" love a la The Bachelor that consists of zip-lining through the rain forests of Costa Rica or awkward yacht rides in Anguilla. Or being on a group date with three other girls. Bleck. I know all this. Yet, I can't look away from the train wreck that is Brad Womack's love life.

 It's not a forced $100 dinner at some restaurant that as a part of their "special" menu gives you the choice of Prime Rib, Salmon or Chicken.

Michael sent me flowers yesterday and they brightened the day. He knows me well enough to know that although I'm not a "flowers" kinda girl, the occasional bouquet can lift my spirits.

At present, there is a puddle of throw up in the hallway, laundry piled up on the den ottoman and antibiotic dripped all over the floor of the kitchen….Gus, bless his heart, has RSV and an ear infection so putting him down so I can clean is not really an option. My typically energetic, crawling, in-to-everything baby Gus just wants to be held. And I am choosing to treasure that.

Although I hate that he is so sick, I am enjoying the snuggles because I know that I will blink and he will be 5...too cool for hugs from Mommy...and then I'll look away and turn back and he'll be asking for the keys to the car, rushing out the door to hang out with friends, no time for hugs from Mama. It is all happening so fast.

Yesterday, I really wanted to have my house shiny and clean as a "present" for Valentine's for Michael. Instead, he came home to a mess and me in a snot-covered t-shirt.

He texted me during the day to say, "I'm sorry you're spending Valentine's Day with a miserable baby."

And I replied, "Valentine's Day isn't just about romance. It's about when someone you love is sick, you take care of them and don't mind when they get snot all over your boobs when they eat."

That's love, people.

I love our new home.

I love my sweet, hilarious, snotty Baby Gus. 

I love my rock, my protector, the love of my life, Michael.

I love my family...that's the family I was born in to and the family I became a part of when Michael and I met and fell in love.

I love that I overcame some major demons and heartache to be able to love all of the things I have now.

I love this life I live. I love this beautiful mess that is what I get to wake up to every day.

I love God for giving me eyes to see it all with such clarity and gratefulness.

That, my friends, is what Love is. And it should be celebrated every single day of the year. No card or box of chocolates can convey all that.

Friday, January 21, 2011

And In Closing...

We have a closing date, folks!!!!!!

Whoohoo! Ladeedah! Skittledy-Skatt!!!

This Tuesday will be the day we sign on the dotted line and turn over our house to the new owners. This could all change but give me my Pollyanna moment!
Hey, I didn't know our cousin Amber was a child actress!

If you read my last post you know how I feel about closing on this house. If you haven't read it, well do so now...I'll wait...I need to file my nails anyway...go ahead.

Okay, where were we?

Oh, I had planned on doing my next post about "Befores"...pictures of some of the painting projects I want to take on and was planning on braving the cold to tackle this weekend.

Instead I feel like I should probably start packing, otherwise known as moving stuff from drawers and closets to the middle of the room and letting it sit there until moving day.

But for fun, let me show you some of my inspirations and ideas for The Rental...

All of the interior is actually a very warm khaki so it isn't that bad but to be honest I'm kind of over the "safe" khaki walls...I'm not saying I'm gonna paint any turquoise or chartreuse, I just think its time for some "new" neutrals.

So with no walls to paint, I want to paint some furniture in a pale, dingy (?) gray-turquoise, like this:
Image from Life in the Fun Lane

So I picked a color similar to the one above and have two pieces I want to start with.

One is a farm table of sorts that has been in our family for years.

I think Mama got it in Canton and it was behind our forest green & red Christmas sofa at our old house on O'Keefe Road...Does anyone remember Mama's love of all things Christmas no matter what time of year? (Love you, Mean it, Lana!!!)

aforementioned farm table and not the forest green and red Christmas couch

The second piece is a desk that Mama and Daddy gave me as a birthday gift in the fifth grade. Do all fifth graders get antiques as birthday gifts? Mama was grooming us early.

She bought it in Canton and spent many nights sanding and staining it out in Daddy's garage/workshop.

My sister, Misty, who would've been 5 or 6 at the time came to me and said, "I know what your birthday present is...and it's not in the ga-raa-aage!"

That little punk never could keep a gift a secret...more on her later.

Its not in the garage, its in our master bedroom serving as M's nightstand
I picked the table and desk because I wanted to start with some easy pieces but things that wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't like how they turned out. Paint is like bangs. If you don't like them, they will grow...or you can paint over it, same concept.

I want to put the farm table back behind our sofa so Gus has a place to jump off of on to the couch and use the desk in our new office as the printer stand.

There is another piece that I want to paint but there is much controversy over the subject. It was a wedding gift from my dear, dear friend Lisa and her husband, Dan. I have actually asked her permission to paint it and she gave me her blessing.

Michael, though, says he needs more convincing:
Thanks, Lisa and Dan!
Where it sits now in our behemoth of a house, it looks great because the room is huge and light and airy. But The Rental has very small rooms and not a lot of natural light.

I know, we won't be there forever but since we found this piece I've always pictured it in a lighter color to take away from some of its heaviness.

I want to paint it a soft, creamy white with a little bit of distressing to bring out some of the beautiful woodwork. Then I want to use it as an entertainment center in The Rental. It would be awesome, trust me. (I've already measured and the TV and all its components will fit...Just go with it)

And here are some inspiration pics for some of the plans I have for The Rental, just for fun:

Pottery Barn awesome wall

I can't paint but I can "wallfake-per"...I just made that up...somebody call Webster's...

From what I can tell the maps in the picture are just tacked to the wall. I already have two huge vintage maps that we've never used and some old empty frames so I've got me some Pottery Barn Wallfake-per!

I also really want a gallery wall like this one:
Gallery wall from The Nester.  Random kid not included.

I already have lots of artwork so its just a matter of arranging it and not making 6,723 nail holes in the wall in the process.

I have lots of other ideas that I'll share with you along the way. Mostly things that will cost little to no money but can really turn The Rental into The Dream Home. Who knows how many projects I'll actually get to...I do have a nine month old and a domestic empire to run.

9 month old

Portal to The Domestic Empire

I'll let you know how the closing goes and I'll be waiting Wednesday morning for all of you to show up (8 am sharp) to help move...crickets...crickets...