Behind the Scenes 2014

the baloney bug

I think this year’s card might just be my favorite one yet.  We were a bit intimidated at the thought of trying to get a toddler and a dog to cooperate, but give them a cookie and some cream cheese and you’ve got a sure fire way to keep their attention.

I’ve been tossing around ideas for a kitchen scene for a while, and Jon was never on board.  When I suggested that he could be in the background pouring some booze into his coffee, he was suddenly a lot more interested.  I figured my favorite cards have always been the ones where something funny has been happening (Jon tied up in the Christmas lights and Brady pulling Jon down the street), so we went with it.  The original idea was for us to be dressed up in suit/tie/sparkles but last minute ditched the idea for pajamas.

Adelaide sat on her mark the entire time, happily gobbling down two very large chocolate chip cookies that we made earlier in the week.  I was running back and forth putting cream cheese on the island so Brady would jump up and lick it.  We had to take a small break to get him a step stool, because he was too short to really be seen in most of the photos.

This was our first year using lights.  We don’t get great lighting in our apartment, so Jon brought home some strobe lights to light the set.  I wish we had taken a photo of the entire setup, but it was too hectic to even think about it.  My friend Ashley came over to stand behind the camera and to get Adelaide’s attention, which was crazy helpful.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

^^I swear he wasn’t about to bite her.  Adelaide spent a good amount of the shoot trying to snuggle Brady.  She loves him so much.  Seriously, she just loves her dog.  Brady is so good with her, especially when she’s sneaking him food.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

The final image was actually 3 photographs (Adelaide and me + Brady + Jon).

I guess there are some benefits to being married to a photo geek.

(PS. You can see all of our past Christmas cards here.)

We’ve Moved!

Well, sort of.  But really. 

A few weeks ago our neighbors told us they were moving and if we wanted their apartment, it’s up for grabs.  It’s still a one bedroom, and an identical layout to our current apartment, but it’s on the first floor.

Between the baby, the dog and the stroller, climbing a few flights of stairs has become a bit of an issue.  There’s no where in the lobby to leave our stroller, so we’re constantly lugging it up and down the stairs.  So we thought, “Move downstairs?  Sure, why not?”

Turns out this little move is a big move.  Moving is still moving.  There are a few different things about this apartment than our old ones.  Just a few inches here or there, but when you live in a one bedroom apartment with a baby, a few inches translates to a lot.

Jon came back from Thanksgiving early to get us moved in, and has been working like crazy to get us settled.  I’m so thankful for that man who works so hard for his family.  And my parents agreed to keep Brady until Christmas, which has just been the biggest help.  We miss him like crazy, and I’m sad when I go to sleep that he’s not at the bottom of the bed keeping my feet warm.  But the extra few minutes of sleep in the morning not having to get all bundled up and walk him has been a nice break.  I’m excited to bring him back and when he sprints up the stairs to the third floor I’ll call him back and say, “No Brady, we live here now.”

In other news, Adelaide says “da da” like crazy, so I’m making it my sole mission in life to get her to say “ma ma”.

And her favorite toy is keys.  And phones.  And rocks.  Anything but baby toys, really.  Love that kid.

Winter Gear Storage

back of closet door storage

In preparation for baby, we’re trying to make every inch of space count.  One thing we’d been struggling with was having somewhere to keep our hats and gloves organized.  So I bought these filing trays from the office section of Target and had Jon hang them on the back of our coat closet door.

They’ve probably become the most useful thing we’ve done in quite a while.  They’re right next to our coats, they’re out of the way, they’re easily accessible.  And for under twenty bucks, the price was also right.

getting crazy up in here

that's all there is to it Let’s just hope finding an efficient way to store baby’s things is just as easy.

“Nursery” Progress

Since we’re staying in our current apartment when the baby comes, we don’t really have much decorating to do.  Nothing like taking an already small space and adding another roommate to make you realize you really do live in New York.

I’m still not terribly worried.  We’ve got plans to set up the crib in our bedroom and add some storage to the living room.  But it also means that all the “extras” that new moms get for their bundles of joy most likely won’t be making an appearance in our apartment.  I’m trying to decide what’s really necessary versus what you get just because everyone else did.

We decided to skip on the glider.  As much as it would be lovely to have, we couldn’t justify putting another piece of furniture into our apartment.  Instead I’ll use the Eames style rocker we got a couple of years back.  This weekend when we were walking around Ikea looking at different storage options I spotted this faux fur rug and knew immediately that its new home was on my rocking chair.

Well, we might not have a crib or a changing table or a name for this child, but least I have a fuzzy chair to sit on once she arrives.


If anyone is interested, the owl pillow is something Jon picked up years ago on a trip to Denmark.  Is he good or what?

Summer Survival

Summer makes us wanna barbecue every single meal, and living in New York with limited to no outdoor space that’s generally not an option.  So when hubs tracked down this tiny little gas grill we were immediately in love.  As was Brady.  Is that little dog head not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

We recently discovered that rubbing an onion on the grill after it’s all heated up will not only clean the grill (chemical free!) but also keep your food from sticking.  And guess what?  It works!

That makes two very happy New Yorkers.  And one equally happy dog.

Pink Potted Plants

Hubs and I decided that our balcony needed some finishing touches in the form of potted plants.  Of course we couldn’t just throw some plants into a pot and call it a day.  We headed to IKEA and bought these grey planters.  Then drove to our friend’s house so we could borrow his backyard and get our spray paint on.  A little tape, a little spray paint and these babies were good to go.

While I was in Spain hubs chose out all of the flowers on his own.  You know, with the very specific list of pre-approved plants that I gave him.

We also picked up these over the rail planters that we decided would be the perfect spot for our herbs.  This is our very first attempt at growing anything on our own, better yet in tiny little pots.  I’m pretty excited about being able to grab some mint on a warm summer evening and put it in my lemonade.  Or my vodka lemonade.  Tomato, tahmahto.

Now we just have to try to make sure Brady doesn’t think these new plants are an invitation for him to mark our balcony.


Kitchen Mini-Makeover

I realize I’ve never actually shown you our kitchen, and that’s mostly because it’s a tiny nook in the corner of our living room.  Hubs and I actually prefer the nook in the corner over our old kitchen which was a galley down the hall on the other side of the apartment.

I mainly like it because I can bake, watch tv and have air conditioning all at one time.  It’s the small things.

So when hubs and I got a burst of inspiration to take on a couple DIY projects, painting the outer wall of our kitchen was one of them.

The paint job definitely helps define the one big room into two separate spaces.

We actually ended up using the paint that we bought for our last apartment so this paint job cost us all of $5 for a roll of painter’s tape.  The difference is only oh so subtle, but I think it helps make our cookie cutter apartment just a little bit more custom.

(PS. I’ve been meaning to change out that fabric on the island and possibly give it a paint job, but it’s not currently at the top of my priority list.  White wine currently occupies that spot.)

The Rest of the Apartment

Due to high demand of Apartment Therapy readers (!!!) here’s the rest of the apartment:

The Bedroom:

And the Bathroom:

Don’t forget to vote for my apartment here!

I’m on Apartment Therapy!!

I’m so excited- my apartment just got chosen as a contestant in Apartment Therapy’s “Small Cool Spaces”.

Vote for us here!

Arts and Crafts

I recently had a meeting with my company’s HR department and when asked what my ideal job would be I replied, “arts and crafts”.  Luckily I work for a very creative company and there’s more than enough room for getting artsy.

So a couple of nights ago when I was sitting at our table cutting out the silhouette of my dog’s head out of glitter paper I realized how little I had been joking.  I could definitely do arts and crafts for a living.

Living in New York I’ve learned to not take any spaces for granted.  I literally said to hubs last night, “Oh!  Here are a couple of inches we’re not using!” as I was re-arranging some dishes in our kitchen.  It’s that serious.

And that’s how this little awkward wall space became the spot we keep Brady’s leash.  There wasn’t room for anything else so I convinced hubs that adding a silhouette of our boy would polish it off.  I’m pretty sure he thought I had lost it when I came home from the craft store with some gold glitter paper, but I think in the end he agreed I was right.

Like always.