May 27, 2011

Home Tour

It all started with the bathroom. I just needed to paint it. So I woke up on a Saturday morning about a year ago, and I did it. I loved it. And suddenly I felt the urge to paint it all. Mike had lived in his place for about 5 years at that point, so after 5 years of wear and tear the entire place could have used a fresh coat of paint.

And now, it has it. This past weekend Mike and I tackled the final room in our place that needed repainting - the kitchen. I was looking forward to repainting this room the least. I knew with all the cabinets and the edging and the crap on the walls that it wouldn't be easy. It actually ended up being the room we painted the quickest. It helps when you've already had four other rooms to practice on. I absolutely love, love, love how the kitchen turned out, but first I feel the need to revisit the rooms we've already done that I didn't post.

Up first - our second bedroom. It's gray!

I fully admit it doesn't still look like this today. The walls are still the same color but random crap has made it's way back into this room. This room has always suffered from an identity crisis. It used to have a second bed in it, it's had the dog crate in it, it's got our desk, it's where Mike's clothes and laundry live, where Taylor's toys live and also where Mike jams on his guitars. So it's got a lot going on, and I've never really figured out a way to make it all peacefully coexist. But for the weekend that we focused on this room, it did look really put together.
This basket holds many of Taylor's dog toys, but somehow they always end up on the rug in our main room anyway. 

The shelves that we added actually did make a big difference. Mike's got a ton of moments and memorabilia that was previously scattered. My favorite part about this room redo was organizing these shelves with pieces of my man's life. 

And since these photos were taken, I've added a few photos to the room. Two weekends ago, Mike told me he wouldn't clean until I hung up all the frames that were lying around our house. There were eleven total. Four of those eleven frames went in this room.
 The painting is by Mike, the photo on top is by me and the photo on the bottom I won at a charity auction.

These photos now by the desk, are a collection of Mike's family photos and ones from his childhood. Fact:  when I first met Mike, these photos were the only decorations on his living rooms walls.

You've already seen the living room, but I did add this one print below. It's a three foot by two foot canvas print of this image. And I love it, so much. It's the first thing you see when you walk into our place.

Back to the recently painted stuff. Up next is my and Mike's bedroom.
No home tour is complete without the presence of animals.

The color on the walls in here is called Not Quite White. I wanted to paint the room something a little more bold, but started thinking resale and decided to tone it down. The room previously had a green tint to the paint, and I really liked that. But I also hated our dark brown bedding and wanted to go with a lighter wall color. This room doesn't get as much ambient light as I'd like, so I knew I couldn't go dark. The paint I bought I originally thought had more of a yellowish tint to it. It doesn't. But it's light and airy, so I still like it.

And it allowed me to get green bedding. I absolutely love how the green patterned bedding goes with these new sheets we got. And in case you're wondering, the photo on the right is all the books currently on my night stand.

Six of the eleven photos that I hung a couple weeks ago went above our bed. I absolutely love how this little collage turned out. Although that's not originally how I planned it. How I originally planned these frames looked awful once they were up. So I just started putting holes in the wall. The end result is much better, holes and all.

This is the top of my dresser (AKA jewelry storage) as well as the wall opposite our bed. Just the other night Mike commented that it looked bare. I couldn't agree more. However I can't bring myself to hang another thing in this place. I have hung enough.

And now, the kitchen, which is currently my favorite room in the house. But first, let's look at how it looked before.
It had the same greenish paint that was once in the bedroom. And it was a flat paint. Who paints a kitchen with flat paint? The developer who sold Mike his place that's who. These walls were so gross between all the food splatters and pet wear and tear. I could not wait to paint over it all.

And now, now it's awesome. 
The rearrangement of the art is probably my favorite thing about this room. That and that the paint color is called Hummus. My kitchen is painted Hummus. How cool is that!?! Also, Mike and I have a lot of wine. You should come over and drink some.
The elephant who lives on our window sill I won at a bridal shower. In fact it was this bridal shower. I won it for the TP bridal dress. And the Vermouth print Mike and I got at a resale shop we donate to for a steal - $15!  It fits perfectly above our sink.
This room wasn't really so much of a remodel as it was a repainting. The kitchen is already pretty great. It's got cherry wood cabinets, granite and stainless steel appliances. So paint and cleaning really goes along way to pulling this room together. 

So that's it. That's my little house tour.  In case you've every wondered what my place looks like, there it is. I really wanted to share all this because Mike and I honestly don't have people over all that often, so chances are not many people will ever see all of our hard work. And if you ever do get to see it, I can guarantee it won't be as clean as it was in these photos. Darn pets ruin everything.

May 18, 2011

Mother's Day with Macy

 I love when people come to my by way of a referral. I know a lot of awesome people who happen to know a lot of awesome people. And photographing awesome people is one of my favorite things.

This awesome family came to me via referral. Little miss Macy - the subject of this Mother's Day shoot - is a cousin to these boys. I met her and her parents on the south side of a Chicago at a little park I did not know existed. I hope to be back to it soon though because it is a great location. And this is a great family.

 My absolute favorite shot of the day.

Madeline, I hope you enjoyed your first Mother's Day. It was an honor to share part of it with your beautiful family.

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

For my 30th birthday, my mom gave me this photo album among a few other great presents.
This photo album is filled with photos of me from birthday to age 18. She spent a long time compiling these photos and putting this album together. I had no idea she was doing this and one of my favorite memories from my 30th birthday was looking through this album with Mike.
I have a terrible memory, which I think is part of the reason I have always loved photography so much. It takes me back to moments and places that otherwise would have been long lost in my subconscious. This album however did so much more then refresh my recollection of my childhood. It showed me what a great childhood I had - a childhood made absolutely wonderful by my wonderful mom.

Me and my mom- probably one of our first photos together.

You see, my mom is the kind of mom who made my birthday cakes.

My mom is the kind of mom who planned and organized a trip to Disney World when my sister and I were kids.

My mom is the kind of mom who was a Girl Scout Troop leader - but also didn't let her girls slack on their Girl Scout duties just because she was the troop leader.

My mom is the kind of mom who sewed our Halloween costumes.

My mom is the kind of mom who took us to the Detroit Thanksgiving Day parade and then propped us up on a van so we could see better.

My mom is the kind of mom who helped us decorate our wagons and bikes for Elementary school parades.

My mom is the kind of mom who chaperoned school trips to Washington D.C.

My mom is the kind of mom who bought me all the stuffed animal cats in the world and even let me decorate my entire bedroom in cats. (I wanted nothing more than a cat when I was young and she's allergic.)
And even though I couldn't have a cat, my mom nurtured my love of animals. My family had a dog, guinea pigs and bunnies while we were growing up.
My mom also is the kind of mom who when a baby squirrel falls out of its nest, she'll get books from the library and figure out how to raise the baby squirrel herself. My mom, sister and I did this, and we named that squirrel Scampers.

My mom is the kind of mom who came to every school play, every church play, every parade, every award ceremony and every orchestra concert I was in.

My mom is the kind of mom who paid to fix my grandpa's violin, so I could learn how to play it. She also always encouraged me to play despite that it was painful for my entire family for the first few years.

My mom is the kind of mom who planned really great trips all over the U.S. during our summer vacations.

My mom is the kind of mom who took me (and my friends) to Chicago several times in my childhood, which is one of the main reasons I live here now.

My mom is the kind of mom, who even when I am sure money was tight, let my sister and I take dance and gymnastics classes.

My mom is the kind of mom who took us to lunches with Santa when we were young enough to believe.

My mom is the kind of mom who every six months made sure we went to the dentist and took us to the eye doctor just as often.

When my parents got engaged, they were offered by their parents money toward a wedding or money toward a house. My mom is the kind of mom who had a small wedding but invested in her unborn children's future. She and my dad got married and bought the house that I grew up in. They still own that house. It has a great backyard which used to have a great swing-set.

It has always been a real challenge to shop for my mom. Every year, my sister and I try to think of what to get her, but I felt like this year that challenge was even greater. This album showed me that she's given me more than I could possibly ever give to her. She's shaped and molded me in so many wonderful ways. She's given me a lifetime of opportunity and countless amazing memories, all lovingly documented. She's provided an example for what it means to be a great wife and a great mother. So on this Mother's Day I could think of no more appropriate gift than this - a public display telling the world (i.e. my small blog readership), just how wonderful my mother is.

Thank you mom for all you have done and all you continue to do. I love you, so very much.