Halfway there!!!

20 Weeks

I’m 20 weeks pregnant today, halfway there already!  So far the time has flown by and my little man is growing like a weed.  Yes, my little pea is a BOY!!  The first trimester was a bit rough, but the second so far has been wonderful.  We’re really looking forward to meeting our bundle of joy in October.

In the meantime I have started planning away.  The baby will be staying in our room for a while, so I am not doing a nursery.  He will have a nice nook in our bay window with lots and lots of cute things.  My creative energy is spent redoing our guest bath for the little tyke.  We are currently striping the wallpaper out of there and then we can paint.  My plan is to do a sea creatures theme for the bathroom.

I found this beautiful wall color, called rainwashed (pictured below).  My bathroom tile is about the same color and the trim is white as well.  There isn’t a window in my bathroom so this will really brighten the room up.


Next I will fill it full of sweet touches, that I will either buy or make depending on my energy levels.

Octopus Clock

Found on Etsy, here

Growth Chart

Found on Etsy, here

And finally for even more fun, this pirate collection from Macy’s.  We’ll see who enjoys this fanciful bathroom more, my little babe or my guests!  Either way the theme items can be removed when we are ready to sell the house or simply redecorate.  I will keep you posted as progress is made.


What? It Fell Out of the Tree that Way!

Mr. Pea & I bought our Christmas tree on Sunday and ended up with a few extra branches.  The man cutting the fresh ring on the tree had to clip off a few of the low hanging limbs and he was about to throw them into the pile of other discarded branches when I stopped him.  We just paid for those limbs why discard them!  Christmas is the best time of year for a DIY project and those extra branches could make lots of nice decor for your home.

Here’s what “fell” out of my tree:

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Bough Decor

Christmas Bough

In total I ended up with four of the lowest (and biggest) branches to play with.  Here is all you need to transform your extra branches into beautiful decor: 2 Wire Hangers, Pruning Sheers, Wire Cutters, and Green Wire.  That’s it!

Wreath Making Tools

2 Wire Hangers, Green Wire, Wire Cutters, & Pruning Sheers

The green wire I have shown is 20 gauge and easy to manipulate, floral or other easily bendable wire will also work.  If you have a wire wreath form floating around, omit the wire hangers.  Now, shape the hangers into a rough circle, line up the hooks, and using the green wire secure at the top, bottom, & sides of the circle.  I found it hard to even see the hangers anymore once the wreath was done, but if you’d like wrap the hangers with green floral tape.  Now clip one branch at a time into 10″-12″ lengths and secure to the wreath form you just created with the wire, overlapping the ends of each length.  Continue doing this until the wreath is as full as you’d like.

Now it’s time to decorate!  I had these clip on decorations from my usual grapevine wreath.  I got them at Michaels.  You could spice yours up using ornaments, bows, pine cones, or lights.  Whatever you have around the house or find in the yard even.

Here are a few inspirational ideas:

  Wreath Ideas

I really love the use of different plants for varying texture in all of these wreaths.  For more tips and how to add live plants to a wreath check out this article on Apartment Therapy.

My wreath took less than an hour to put together and I had enough branches left over to put together the bough on my front step.  I couldn’t believe how easy (and cheap) this was to put together!  Literally, this was free!  Now go make something beautiful!

Homemade Fir Wreath


DIY Paper Star Garland

To me Thanksgiving is such a nice primer to usher in the Holiday Season.  Right away you get to start off your Christmas decorating with a clean house (if you hosted), and all the leftover pumpkin pie is yours to nibble on while you dig through your box of goodies.

I like to add at least one new decoration to my holiday collection every year.  It is too expensive to buy it all at once!  This year I made a Paper Star Garland and I’d love to share this cute little DIY decoration with you today.

First you’ll need the template!  I cut these out with my Silhouette, but they could easily be cut out by hand.

Grab this template and scale it to the size you want.  I used a 4″ star and a 2″ star.  Cut along the solid lines and score along the dotted lines.  Cut out 2 for each finished star and glue them together with the tabs.  Once they’re glued you can push them together to get the 3-d shape.  You should end up with a pile of stars like this.

I made 8 large stars and 4 smaller stars for a 6′ length of garland.  Next measure the length of intended span and add a few inches for slack.  For instance, my window is approximately 5′-6″ so I added another 6″ to allow for a bit of slack in my garland.  Now cut out double that length for the rope or twine, I cut 12′ of twine.  Tie the two loose ends together so you end up with a doubled over 6′ length of twine with a loop on each end.  I hang mine by looping each end over a thumbtack, preferably the same color as your molding or clear to not draw attention to them.

Hang up your twine at this stage to make sure the length is right and make any adjustments necessary.  Trust me you want to do this now before the stars are added.  Now back to the stars!  I cut out 6″ of twine for the larger stars and 18″ for the smaller ones, but make this your own, keeping 6″ as a minimum.



Once you have them all stung through (broaden the hole on the little stars if need be), tie them off where you would like them to meet the rope.  Don’t tie them too close to the star because you want it to dangle.  For the larger stars I tied them off roughly in the middle and for the smaller stars I tied them off closer to the loose ends so they would hang farther down.

Now take your long length of twine down and lay it out on a table or the floor.  Take your stars and space them out along your twine.

Now keep an eye on your helper.  They might steal one of your cute stars or try to run off with the string entirely.  SO very helpful!

Now once your helper is wrangled, and your stars are arranged as you like them it’s time to tie them off!

Finish with a little bow or just a knot, it’s up to you!  Once you’re done tying them all to the twine you can hang and enjoy your beautiful work!

Here’s to the Quilt

I typically end the week with a Friday Reflection post and in a sense this is partly a reflection.  For my High School graduation I was given a quilt.  It was made just for me by a family friend who sadly passed away not so long ago.  At first I wasn’t quiet sure what I would do with it, but I was touched she would go to the trouble to make this for me.  So it came with me to college and immediately became my favorite thing to curl up under.

Here is the quilt in my college suite, I pray my younger brother will forgive me for posting a picture of him sleeping.

This quilt has graced every couch, in every apartment I have ever lived in since I was 18.  Today it is still the blanket on my couch that my husband and I cuddle up under almost every night.  For nearly half of my life and ALL of my adult life (outside my parent’s home) this quilt has been with me.  It holds memories of late night gab sessions with roommates, days of being sick as a dog, days of being sad or happy, but mostly it has taken the chill out of any room and kept me and those I love warm.

So it was a great honor when Mr. Pea’s family friends, Denise Konicek & her husband Richard, wanted to make us a quilt for our wedding.  Knowing how significant the gift of a quilt is, I was deeply touched.  Denise brought preliminary sketches and fabric to the rehearsal dinner.  She emailed us for personal preferences here and there on some of the design details throughout the year.  In honor of our first anniversary (and their thirtieth) she had us all over for a lavish brunch and unveiled the quilt.  We were floored to say the least at how beautiful, how detailed this quilt is!

Here we are being presented with our wedding quilt

The quilt incorporates several traditional tiles including, true lover’s knot, steps to the altar, wedding rings, and finally their wish to us, peace & plenty.  These tiles all wrap around our intertwined initials.   How incredible is this quilt?!  To top it off each square has its own unique stitching pattern.


True Lover’s Knot

This quilt is an instant family heirloom!  It graces our bed and keeps us warm while being light and cozy.  It changed what was once just a bed into our marriage bed.

Thank you Theodore for the beautiful quilt that holds so many memories for me, and thank you Denise for this treasured family heirloom!  I know this quilt will hold generations of memories for our family to come.

You can find out more about Denise and her quilting at deelightfulquilts.com, or her incredible tiling at www.denisekonicektiling.com

Theodora & my mother created several children’s books together before Theo’s passing, you can find them at www.barnesandnoble.com/c/theodora-choffel


Happy Friday!

A Studio in The Making

Howdy Yal!  I am so excited to tell you I am blogging today from my brand new desk!  I have to say this is the nicest desk I have ever worked from.  The typical desk at an architecture firm is an old door, painted and propped up on filing cabinets.  The sleek glass top paired with the shiny aluminum frame, and the handsome suspended drawers is a million miles away from a painted door!

It is thrilling to see my studio being reborn.  Having a dedicated work space has me itching to get Mrs. Peas back up and running full speed ahead.  Of course setting up my computer’s surround system in the room also helps. 😉  I have moved the desk into a sunnier location of the room than my previous studio set-up.  I also situated the room’s lighting better so I’m not working in shadows.  It was great to have had the previous set-up so I knew the flaws to correct for when setting up something more permanent.  Tasks for the studio still include installing a shelf above the desk and getting a new office chair.  You can see in the photo above I’m temporarily using a folding chair.

Finding an attractive, well priced office chair is a bit of a challenge.  Most office chairs out there are too big and boxy, too expensive, or too cheap.  I do not want a college dorm room chair, nor a big leather chair meant for a CEO’s den, and I can not afford something interesting like a Herman Miller.  My coworker who also recently bought a desk suggested this chair from the container store.

It comes in a variety of colors and has great reviews.  She’s going to let me know how she likes it.  While its attractive and well priced, I’m concerned about sitting on bungees for a long period of time.  Even my coworker mentioned getting a cushion to sit on.  Currently my front-runner is this chair from Ikea.

This chair is a third of the price from the Container Store one.  It also comes in a few colors, but to me those look silly.  I like this one in black!  I love the pattern on the seat cushion and the Herman Miller inspired mesh back.  Is it comfortable?  I have no idea, the cushion does look a little thin.  Luckily, Ikea has several affordable office chair options, so it looks like a trip to try them all out is in my future.  Of course that means I’m already thinking about all the other things I might want to buy at Ikea.  More desk organizers, new bedside lamps, more picture frames… more, more, more!  Ikea is a dangerous proposition for my wallet.

Ikea is actually coming to my town in the next year or two, NOW that will be dangerous for everyone’s wallet!  In the meantime it remains blissfully far enough away for a day trip on occasion.

Now back to the cutting board!

And I’m back!

Happy Monday everyone.  I apologize for disappearing last week, the last two weeks have been crazy for me.  Painting the bedroom turned out to be a much bigger task then I allotted time for, especially while starting a new job.  We finally finished on Wednesday night, only to scramble to get the our room and the guest room pulled back together for our guests, my step-mother & sister, Friday night.  My father’s heart procedure was Friday and everything went well this time around!

Finally I have photos to share of the room!



Paint Close-up, El Camino & Desert View

Mr. Pea Paints too!

I couldn’t resist adding a little note under the primer. 😉

I hate to say it but after all that work, the paint colors aren’t quiet what I was expecting.  In full sun they appear to be purple and pink, in the shade and artificial light they read as the intended taupe and gray.  The purple and pink aspect is going to take some getting use too, otherwise in the evenings it looks lovely.  I am certainly NOT repainting! I think adding more sophisticated curtains in a gray will really enhance the room and pull it together for me.  Right now I am loving these from Crate & Barrel!  They are on the expensive side, but serve as good inspiration.

It feels so good to have this part of the room’s make-over behind me.  I gave this project my all and even hurt my right hand in the process.  Today is the first day I have been able to use it without pain.  That feels good too, I was about to call the doctor!  Next up for the room addition is getting a light on that ceiling already!


Friday Reflection: Chores

No one really likes to do chores, but I think we all enjoy the results of a clean, tidy home.  I am convinced there are certain chores each person disdains above all others, for me it is mopping (and ironing but mostly mopping).  I HATE mopping.  I would rather clean the toilet than mop.  Mr. Pea isn’t too fond of mopping either so, as a result, our house does not get mopped up very often.

When spring cleaning rolls around, Mr. Pea like to vacuum.  He does a VERY through job of this too.  With two cats in the house he can spend hours vacuuming every nook and cranny.  I usually clean the bathrooms and the kitchen but neither of us touch the mop.

There are times when mopping is unavoidable, like after a New Year’s party and the floor is sticky from spills, but generally those don’t come around all that often.  Today I broke down and mopped the kitchen floor.  The dirt spots where everywhere and I can only take so much.  It didn’t even take me that long, but ugh, I am not expanding into the living room that’s for sure.  Lol!

I am not sure where this hatred of mopping came from.  My mom doesn’t mop all that much either, but she’s never claimed to hate it.  Honestly, I think it’s the fact that you have to sweep first.  Mopping seems redundant after you’ve swept a floor clean.  Then once you are done mopping you can’t use that room for a while.  For instance, immediately after mopping the kitchen floor I needed to get in there.  You can’t win.

I am happy with the results though! 😉

As an aside, I’ll share a childhood story about chores.

I did not like cleaning my room as a kid and figured out one day how to make it go by faster.  I hid all my clothes, clean or dirty, under my bed or in piles in the side of my closet.  Then I stayed in there playing with toys long enough to make it seem like I had done a good job.  When laundry day would roll around I took all my hidden piles out to be washed, only to throw them back in the closet or under the bed when my mom returned them to me.  I got away with this for maybe a week or two before my mom started questioning why I had so much laundry all the time.  She started seeing clothes she knew she just washed and that I hadn’t worn.  It was then she discovered what I was doing and broke down into tears.  Let me remind you my mom was doing laundry for a family of six!  I felt so bad I had brought my mom to tears.  I didn’t understand how much laundry she was doing for everyone.  I also didn’t understand that she would rather be playing too.  As a punishment, I had to do the laundry that day, for everyone.  She also stood over me and watched me fold and put away my clothes for a good while after that.  I understood why this was such a big deal to her.

Now it is my second nature to fold and put away clothes immediately.  This drives Mr. Pea a little nuts.  He HATES folding about as much as I hate mopping.  Therefore it’s really sweet when he does fold, especially my clothes.  He likes to fold my clothes up as small as possible, so it always makes me laugh when I open a drawer and see a very little stacks of shirts.  That’s love right there!

Happy Friday Everyone!