Trapping the Heat.

My dad came over on Sunday to put in our bedroom windows. The entire house needs new windows since the windows are original - original to our 1951 home. The glass is really thin which means you can feel everything through it.

We decided to start with the bedroom since that's where we sleep & it gets really cold. Not to mention, it's the only room with more than two windows which makes for a really cold room.

These windows are also the worst in condition. There are a few cracks.

The caulking has worn off and is impossible to scrape off.

And this window doesn't even have a screen & takes manpower to open & close it.

After prepping (moving the furniture, cleaning off the sills, and making room for the men), Ryan & my dad were off to work. It took them about three hours which included take off the stops, pushing the windows/storm windows off the roof, installing the new windows, foaming the cracks around the windows, and putting the stops back on.

After the foam dried, Ryan scraped off the "overflow". We still have to sand the rest but that's going to be done later when we are ready to paint the trim (which is soon-ish). Then he put the shades back on - what a good hubs.

& our windows are complete!

They can open & tilt in any way you'd like which is pretty nice.

My favorite part is not having to force it to lock. It's super easy.

Whereas Ryan loves the fact that you can move it up and down with only one finger!

Zooey just likes that she can fit on the sill & actually see out the window.

We rearranged the room a bit & now are enjoying the new warmth the windows bring!

Next project for the bedroom - wallpaper scraping & wall painting. I.cannot.wait!


And so it begins..

And so, northeast, here is begins... and I thought we were getting away from snow this year.



Wall addition.

After our wall art marathon a few weekends ago, one little frame remained lonely and unfilled. I had this key project I had done awhile back but it was in a frame that was too large and didn't look right. I decided this little guy would work perfectly.

We picked this bright blue scrapbook paper to really pop on our neutral walls.

I secured these heavy honkers with hot glue gun (and only burned myself once..a new record!)

I took out the glass since they would stick out a tad. And viola!

A great addition to our growing wall art!

(And Miss Zooey just had to make an appearance since she was jealous of Owen modeling)

There you have it! Inexpensive & cute.


Thinking. Planning. Wondering.

We have this b-e-a-utiful bay window in our living room that used to actually be the outside of the house before they closed the porch in to create a "sun room". That was the idea I suppose but then they decided to put these bushes in that blocked the sunroom. Makes sense..right? But that's an old story - and completely off topic. Back to the bay window...

We want to create some sort of curtain feature for these windows for a few reasons:
a. to trap the heat in the living room since the sun room isn't insulated.
b. to bring in color and texture into our living space.

We already have these roman shades I made in the fall for our other two windows.

Therefore, our fabric choice needs to play off of this idea. I was surfing pinterest & I spy with my little eye....

Immediately, I am smitten. I love the idea of having fabric cover the whole wall & I think the solid color will pair nicely with a floral textile which in turn would totally look great with the roman shades.

So, I'm thinking a mustard solid color with a grayish pattern curtain. Picture that, and put that here.

Yes? No? Too ambitious? Too crazy? Too cute?

I'm still pondering the idea but learning towards a "yes".



In 2011, we started a new "tradition". We decided to save some keepsakes in a jar labeled with the year "2011" & toss in keepsakes throughout the year. Then, on New Years Day, we would go out for breakfast, reflect on the year with help from the jar, and then make new goals for "2012" that would then go in our new jar. I really wanted to do this because we only seem to remember all of the BIG things that happened at the end of the year which is great but, I really wanted to reflect on all of the little things that we did together too.

So we followed through with the jar for 2011, but had to put the breakfast on hold because of the pending surgery & Ryan wasn't feeling too well that day. The night before his momentous surgery, we went out for a quick bite to eat at our beloved Prince Street Cafe & started our reflection there over a nice cup of coffee, a breakfast burrito, & a grilled cheese.

I took a note card I had lying around and divided it into two sides. One side was for reflecting on the big & little things we did together in 2011. The opposite side was for all of our goals in 2012. The idea is at the end of 2012, we can reflect and see how many (if any) goals were accomplished!

Some key moments that were both meaningful & cherished by the Donnelly's included:
- Buying our first home (of course!).
- Our first DFH brewery tour & experience.
- Me learning more about patience & Ryan learning about teaching technology (starting his graduate degree).

Some of our future goals for 2012 include:
- Paying off my car.
- Finding a Mr. Beans for our home (and if you don't know, that would be our future Boston Terrier pup. Luckily Owen can't read or he might been angry about that when he was posing for me..)
- Me mastering sewing & Ryan drumming more.

A new year to me always feels like you just went through a cleaning binge and organized every nook & cranny in your home. It's that fresh & re-energized outlook that recharges your mind, body, and soul. Who cares if your goals are outlandish & will never be met? Who cares if you don't go to the gym everyday? The point of all of this is to reflect on your past & step boldly forward onto a new "slate".

Here's to learning from 2011 & doing in 2012.


"Just, Hanging Around.." - Kevin McAllister

Sunday was the day.

The day of all days.

The day that we finally hung up our IKEA frames in our living/dining room. We've only had them for months. And by months, I could mean since the summer.

You see, we live in an older house. Our house was built in the 50's. And back in the 50's when dinosaurs roamed the Earth & fire was discovered (totally kidding, Mom..), plaster was the "it" thing. Sure, plaster is great! It's neat looking! It has texture! It also eats nails and screws alive and doesn't feel bad about it - not even in the slightest.

So hanging things was put on hold until we figured out a battle plan for this here plaster. Basically, we used the strongest/sharpest plaster nails and measured many, many times before hammering. When we didn't measure and it didn't line up the right way, when we pulled out our nail - we ended up with a crater. (The shelves fiasco will be posted at a later date. We lost many battles with those wimpy guys...)

Luckily, we won the war and we have a nice decorated downstairs living space. Here's what we have so far:
Our little collage of frames.

Our wedding "guest book" in our new frame (the other broke in transit).

A fun "space filler" until we get a flat screen.

My project- completed.

And if you're wondering where some of our pictures came from, they came from here.

Chime in with the celebratory speech! These homeowners are now champions of "The Plaster Wars." (Got a nice ring to it - maybe a new HGTV show?)


Owen's facination with IKEA.

Owen loves plastic bags. He likes to lick them, lay on them, and even attempt to eat them.

Except when Zooey jumps in too. Then he hates them. And her, too.


Happy Birthday Kkegs.

A very happy and special birthday shout out to my Katie. 16 years of friendship (holy smokes!) and still one of my favorite people to talk with, complain with, eat with, take crazy photos with, laugh with, cry through the Notebook with, and just to be with...take that as you may. Haaawink!

And I hope to do all of the above activities with you, soon.

Happy Birthday Lady!


Instagram Magnets

I saw these awhile back, forgot about them, and then Pinterest brought them back into my life.

Polaroid magnets? Genius! How cute would these look on our boring fridge?

I am sort of thankful I didn't do it back then because I wasn't familiar with Instagram yet. When I saw these again, I immediately thought that they would look way cooler with Instagram photos than just regular old photos. And a major plus was that these types of photos are already more square-shaped which fits perfectly in the Polaroid frame template (which I got from here along with the mini-how-to).
I decided to make mine a little bigger - I didn't want to have to squint to see them. Here's how they looked in the end.

I just used my Pages (office) program and photo paper to print the pictures out. Then I cut them.

Instead of chipboard, I used foam board which made them nice and thick AND foam board is already white...score! I used trusty-old rubber cement to paste them on and cut them out individually with an x-acto knife.

Then, I used a roll-o-magnets and cut two for each picture - one for the top & one for the bottom. I figured that way when the magnets are doing their job (you know, holding things on the fridge), then I have the option of putting the magnet on any way I'd like.

The end result: an awesome&cheap magnet. This one is featuring my handsome hubs in all his glory.

Here's our refrigerator friend before...

And here he is after...

I seriously love cheap-o projects like this one. I had all of the supplies except the magnets and foam board which cost me less than $5 (coupons to A.C Moore are always a steal!) and now I have left-overs to make some more (Did you notice we didn't have any photos of Owen Schrute? He can be a little camera shy & a crank so we will have to nab him at some point...).

I sure do love Instagram & am looking forward to putting them on canvas someday.