Posts from December,2011
Posted by John on December 31st, 2011
I can’t believe it’s already New Year’s Eve! I can still remember starting this blog back in July and wondering if we’d keep it up. So far so good! If you haven’t noticed, we haven’t been blogging as regularly as we were back before the holidays… not because we’re closing up shop but because we’ve been super busy working on the house and spending time with our daughter… typical holiday stuff. Once we get back in the rat race next week, things will return to our normal ~3 posts a week. For now, we’re enjoying our brief tech-disconnect.
This week, we thought it would be fun to write a brief list of our new year’s resolutions for our blog.
1. Improve the look and layout of our blog. Right now, we’re rocking WordPress’s basic Twenty Eleven theme. I’m SOO sick of how bland our site is. Even the banner stinks! I threw that photo in last July as a temporary pic and we haven’t changed it yet!! Yikes! I’d like to do some basic functional improvements. We spent most of our blog related time trying to write quality posts, so I’m not too too upset about our appearance, but it definitely needs an upgrade. I’ll be spending the next few weeks trying to read up on theme design and improvement.
2. Blog when there’s something to write about and not because we haven’t done one in a couple days. This one I’m definitely guilty of and not so much Lisa. Although, if I let Lisa do ALL the posts, we’d be averaging one post a month! haha! I often feel like I need to pop out posts before we may be ready. I’m going to try to ease up on that and only write one when we have the bones of a good post. I don’t want any fluff here!
3. Blog more about our plans. This is going to start sounding like a therapy session real soon here because all of these pet peeves I have are with myself. I prefer to blog about projects in action, mostly because they have photos and concrete progress worth writing about. However, I need to start blogging about our plans for projects. Lisa and I spend a good deal of time discussing and deliberating our ideas and don’t say much about it. We started to change that some with our Grand Plans post, but we need to do this more often. After all, planning is the hardest part of any project.
4. More interaction with our readers and our peers. We love reading our fellow bloggers’ posts. This year we’re going to try to get more involved so to speak and maybe try to do a couple guest posts or even have some people guest post here
5. More videos. We had such a great time with our first video, that we’re going to try to do them more often. Room tours, house tours… This will be awesome!!
Thanks for reading this year!! Hope you enjoyed reading our posts as much as we loved writing them! Have a happy and blessed new year!
Here’s a sneak peek at what we have coming your way this week…
Posted by John on December 26th, 2011
I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! Lisa and I are mostly kicking it old school in our pajamas most of the week. We’re not trying to go too crazy with the upgrades around here, but we have been getting quite a lot of our grand plan done and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.
BUT, for now it’s my turn to list my favorite Christmas songs. Especially since we’re still listening to ‘em around the clock. On Wednesday, Lisa listed her’s. I tried writing this post late last week, but I just too tired from all the shopping and gorging myself with holiday food. So here goes..
1. Please Come Home for Christmas – The Eagles
John: I have to say, I’m totally relieved that this song is sung by the Eagles and not just Don Henley. I was worried that my musical interests are something out of a 1980′s VH1 special.
Lisa: I like this song. Nothing smart to say about it.
2. That Spirit of Christmas – Ray Charles
John: Best song from the greatest Christmas movie ever made.
Lisa: I’m pretty sure when James Caan asks Buddy the Elf to sing in his office is the best song from the greatest Christmas movie ever.
John: There is no way Will Farrell sings a better Christmas song than Ray Charles. Not possible.
Lisa: I’ll give you that. But Elf is still the best movie ever.
3. Blue Christmas – Elvis
Lisa: Whoa! I’m shocked. Almost speechless.
Lisa: Awesome song by and awesome-est singer.
4. Oh Holy Night – Josh Groban
Lisa: Again, a very nice pick, I’m impressed.
John: Excellent song. Nothing really funny here. Wait, why are you impressed? What kind of Christmas music did you think I listen to?
Lisa: I dunno… Mariah Carey?
5. All I Want for Christmas – Mariah Carey
John: Nah, just kidding. No way!
5. Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas
John: A timeless classic.
Lisa: I like it too! I’m impressed with your picks.
John: While I’m mildly offended that you think I have terrible taste, I’m happy that we agree.
Thanks for stopping by! What are your favorite Christmas songs? Are you still listening to them even though we’re past Christmas?
Posted by Lisa on December 21st, 2011
Well kiddos it’s that time again… for John and I to share
our my favorite Christmas songs with the world! This list is going to be lengthy, so we are going to split this post into two posts.
Lisa’s Top Christmas Songs:
1. Neil Diamond – Joy to the World
Lisa: This is one of my favorite songs, I probably picked this as numero uno since it’s sung by one of my faves, Neil Diamond. I really like the lyrics, and Neil’s spin on the tradition song, and the gospel singers in the background. I mean if this song doesn’t make you smile by the end.. .then you are a scrooge. *smiling is my favorite*
John: I would like to add that you listen to this song all year long and by Thanksgiving I’m about done with it. At least it’s not in your car anymore.
Lisa: Actually, it is in my car, I just put it in yesterday. You can listen on the 2 plus hour car ride on Christmas!
2. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Lisa: Awesome song. I like the beat and the clearly 80s feel to it!
John: You’re one of seven people in this country who actually know who sings this song.
Lisa: You’re an angry elf.
3. Up on the House Top
Lisa: This song is great! I really started liking this song in high school when we would sing this in choir and made all these really sweet dance moves to go along with the lyrics.
John: Number one, if you can do these dance moves on the couch, they aren’t sweet. Number two, the kids in this song get terrible toys. One of the kids gets a whip. In 2011 that’s called poor parenting. How about a knife that shivs while we’re at it.
Lisa: That’s what’s great about the song!!! Finally we agree on a song!
John: And who wants a whip before Indiana Jones made it cool? This song is from like 1962 AND I can’t believe I have to tell you how to spell “Indiana” because you never saw those movies.
Lisa: One, this song is like from the 50s and two, I think we just figured out our next “favorites” list – movies you like that I haven’t seen!
4. Dominick the Donkey
Lisa: Awesome song because it’s about an ITALIAN Christmas donkey who speaks Italian and climbs the hills of Italy – what more could you want from a Christmas song?
John: I never heard this song until I started dating you and I agree it’s an awesome song. It makes me want to grow a serious mustache. That youtube video was directed by Scorsese… Joey Scorsese.
Lisa: You can’t even grow a non-serious mustache if you tried. Back to the song. La la la la la.
John: I’m going to write the Polish version and it will be called “Stanislaw Worcheski the Buttered Polish Pierogie”
5.The Hanukkah Song – Adam Sandler
Lisa: Adam Sandler is a genius! I don’t know who all the people mention in the original version of this song… but it’s awesome! Also, Neil Diamond did a version of this song as well and it’s great!!
John: I don’t have anything to say about this song. Technically, this isn’t a Christmas song, but it’s still a great holiday song.
My honorable mentions (in no particular order):
6. Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springstein
Lisa: I’m not a huge fan of the Boss, but I really enjoy his take on this song.
John: Neither am I, but legally that has to change since we moved to Jersey – it’s required by state law.
Lisa: That seems fair.
7. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Lisa: I’m pretty sure I listened to this song about a million times one Christmas when I was little. I couldn’t get enough of it!!!
John: I have never heard this song before. Ever. And I never hope to again.
Lisa: the song doesn’t like you either.
I have a lot more songs I want to share with you later in the week because the truth is I love ALL Christmas songs and it is so hard to pick my favorites! Plus, I think John wants to pick some too (BOO!). So stop by later.
Obviously John and I don’t see eye to eye on Christmas music. What are your thoughts? Are my picks really that weird? Is there a song (or album) you and your family have to listen to each year?
Posted by John on December 19th, 2011
The last week or so has been crazy busy. On top of the regular Christmas run-around, Lisa and I have been furiously busy with our grand plans; add to that a last-minute work trip to San Diego. So bear with us as we try to squeeze in a couple quality posts between now and Christmas!!
This past weekend, we were able to finish painting our added trim and finally started painting the beige!! Not gonna lie, it looks awesome! Most importantly, Lisa LOVES it. Pheww! If she’s happy = I’m happy.
First the trim: after two coats of semi-gloss paint on the actual trim piece and three coats of paint on the wall between the trim and the crown molding, it looks pretty decent. The in-between part is still not quite as glossy as the wood, so we may revisit this once all the beige is on and maybe UP the glossy level for that small section. TBD.
Now for the beige. We prepped and painted the morning room and we’re really happy with everything…. the level of shade, the paint quality, the overall look, you name it! Although, I definitely could have done a cleaner job cutting in the ceiling. I used a crappy brush and now I’m going to go back and clean it up with my Purdy brush later this week. Oh well!
Here’s a photo of that room before we painted it.
Even more fun than painting is the new time lapse video we shot!! I setup the camera and recorded me painting the morning room from painter’s tape to finish! Check it out below. I’m no Steven Spielberg, but it was a lot of fun to shoot. See if you can catch Lisa goofing off!! If you blink, you miss it!
Pretty cool ay? Later this week, we’ll have the after photos from the morning room. All I have right now is the photos from the movie.
Plus, before Christmas… Lisa and I are listing our favorite Christmas songs! Not guaranteed to be free from Elf quotes, but I’ll try to keep them at a minimum. Anyone else doing any holiday home improvements?
Posted by Lisa on December 14th, 2011
If you’re a child of the 90′s like me … this title may remind you of the best boy band ever – *NSYNC! Don’t worry, I won’t go on any more about the awesomeness that was (and still is) *NSYNC. This post is really about decorating our home for the holidays.
Ever since our first Christmas together, I have been decorating with snowmen, snowflakes, blue, and silver. This was the first year I am starting to stray a little from this theme, but not much.
Our decorated tree – no tree topper yet! I am still searching for one. This tree has so many lights it can be seen from space…
Our mantle… I had to move all the pictures from the mantle since the garland takes up so much space. Maybe one day I will get around to fixing a picture permanently to the wall..
Cute tinsel reindeer I picked up this year at Michael’s.
Our stockings were hung by the chimney, with care….
Beaded wreath on the mirror (obviously)
Remember all the plate wall posts? Here’s one plate decorated with jingle bells. I attached the bells using a ornament hanger.
Mirror in the dinning room. I love these snowflakes… I wish I remember where I purchased them so I could pick up a few more.
Tinsel tree undecorated and unlit. This was supposed to be temporary but looks like it’s staying this year!
White tinsel tree in the baby’s room!!
I really have some more decorating ideas for the house but I think I will wait until next year.
I cannot believe Christmas will be here so soon! I really should stop decorating and go out and finish my shopping. I started well before Black Friday and am still not done. You know, I have all the random side gifts to purchase yet. Have you finished your holiday shopping yet?