Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 2015 Favorites - Part 1...

March 2015 - Part 1

Spring has finally sprung in Maryland... sort of... minus a few extra random inches of snow that arrived yesterday morning.  But, thankfully, the sun is up and we are ALMOST back to bare ground again... for the second time this week.  It's time to open the windows and air the house out from all the time we've spent indoors this winter. 

Some of the most common questions I get from readers are about the paint colors in our house, so I'm devoting two separate March favorites posts to recapping all the random paint colors in the house.  There is no real over-arching theme to the colors we've used in our house.  We use lots of neutrals - browns and khakis are all over the place in this house.  Most of our colors are just colors that we've been drawn to, have used previously in our condos, or spotted in someone else's house and coveted for our own walls.  We've now been in the "new house" for almost four years and we've only got a few little areas that we haven't conquered yet.

I've tried to take multiple pictures of the walls in our house, especially in different light, because colors can look very different dependent upon your lighting, surrounding furnishings, windows in the room, etc.  Some of my favorite colors are hues that I wouldn't have thought I would be drawn to and the opposite holds true too.  There are colors that I'm already planning on replacing in the 5 year plan!

I should also say that we would probably still be surrounded by our boring builder beige walls if it wasn't for Papa Kevin.  The poor man was painting the morning after our closing while movers hauled furniture around him and hasn't stopped over the past four years.  He can't come visit without me putting him to work on some room in the house. 

Onto the main level of the house...

Color #1 - Carrington Beige
The color that is most prevalent throughout our house, including in the kitchen, family room, Georgia's room and the main level halls is Benjamin Moore's Carrington Beige.  I admit to stealing this color from my cousin, Melissa, years ago and I've since used it in my condo and I think several other family members and close friends have used it too.  It's the perfect khaki neutral.  We recommend it to everyone!

Carrington Beige (HC-93)

Carrington Beige --- one side of the kitchen (with natural light and recessed lighting) vs other side of the kitchen (with just recessed lighting)

I also wanted a neutral in the "nursery" when I was pregnant since we were going to put a large and bright vinyl design on the wall.  Four years later and that "nursery" is now Georgia's big girl room.  The beige definitely plays second fiddle to the hot pink accents in this area!

Georgia asked to be in the picture after following me room to room!

Color #2 - Lenox Tan
One of my favorite colors in the entire house is Benjamin Moore's Lenox Tan, a darker shade of khaki/light brown that we used as an accent wall in the foyer.  The other walls are all the same Carrington Beige from above, but we used the accent color for the tall wall above our front door.  We then also used the color in the upstairs hallway. In all honesty, if I had met Lenox Tan before Carrington Beige, I most likely would have used it on most of the walls in the house.  It's only slightly darker, but really makes the white trim and woodwork pop much better than the lighter beige color.

Lenox Tan (HC-44)

L- Lenox Tan on the upstairs walls and Carrington Beige on the left wall and lower walls.
R - Leno Tan above the front door and Carrington Beige on the other walls

Color #3 - Davenport Tan
The dining room is the ONLY room in the house that I painted.  It was my "therapy" painting job that I completed one day while Georgia was in the NICU.  Nick and I rotated weekend days visiting her, so that the other could relax and get some other tasks done around our new house.  Unfortunately, I found that when my relax day came, I was unable to do anything except pace nervously around the house!  So, I busied myself with painting the dining room... and then Papa Kevin had to fix all my mistakes the next time he was in town.  It also happens to be the darkest paint color in the house and I absolutely love it... Benjamin Moore's Davenport Tan.

Davenport Tan (HC-76)

The main reason for going "dark" in the dining room was because of the chair rail and crown molding in the room.  It also gets a ton of natural light from the big double windows in the back of the house, as well as bright light from a chandelier hanging over the table.  I figured this room could best handle the dark color.  However, that didn't stop me from second guessing myself the entire time I was at the paint store.  I still remembering staring at the paint chip wondering whether we should go with the color one shade lighter (Alexandria Beige) and even tried a sample of each on the wall before committing to go dark!

The room itself is still a work in progress.  I'll most likely add a big area rug, a banquet table and a few other wall touches in the coming months, but I'm happy with the paint color!

Color #4 - Fresh Butter
Directly off the dining room is a small little Butler's pantry, which houses my favorite area of the house - the wine and adult beverages!  Since the dining room next door is so dark, we went the opposite in here and went for bright and sunny, Benjamin Moore's Fresh Butter.

Fresh Butter

Even though it is the smallest area of the house, it's one of my favorite little spots in the house and I love the contrast between the bright walls and the dark shelving and cabinets.

The bright yellow walls in comparison to the dark brown in the dining room

We carried that color into the front "formal" living room.  We're not very "formal" people, so we just refer to it as the "front room."  I would say this is by far the least used room in the entire house.  We've slowly been moving some toys in there in the hopes that Georgia might start to use the room and free the family room of all the stuff that comes with a 3 year-old.

We also used the remaining Fresh Butter in the half bath/powder room on the main level of the house.  It's a very tiny space, so we figured the bright color might help it appear a tad larger.

Color #5 - Grecian Green
Once upon a time, I started dating a boy with a great condo in a high rise building.  The condo was beautiful and had pure white walls.  That boy decided he wanted to paint his living room green.  9,383 sample greens later and more green squares painted on the wall than I can count (both might be slight exaggerations), he discovered Benjamin Moore's Grecian Green.  Thank goodness for the Pottery Barn catalog that arrived that month and advertised the color.  Once we moved out of that condo, we knew that we absolutely had to use Grecian Green again since it took so long to find it.

Grecian Green

So, shortly after we moved in, our home office/study area got the Grecian Green treatment...

So, that's the main level and all the colors we've used to pull that floor together.  In Part 2 - I'll review our upstairs and basement colors...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Do the Irish Eat Almonds???

Question of the day - Do the Irish eat almonds?  Who knows!!

Back in January when we did our most recent round of blood work at the allergist's office, Georgia showed a positive to almonds for the first time ever.  It was very slight - 0.64, but it was still a positive.  The allergist followed it up with a skin test and it also showed a positive reaction.  Interestingly, the previous year (2014), Georgia tested negative to almonds and her skin test was negative.  So, the allergist wanted us to proceed with an oral challenge in the office.

Today was Georgia's oral challenge to almonds.  Up until this point, I've always accompanied her to the appointments and hovered like a good little helicopter Mommy while she completed her previous challenges.  Unfortunately, due to state testing and snow days, I wasn't able to go to the appointment today, which meant it was Daddy day at the allergist's office.  Luckily, I started receiving silly text messages and pictures from the event to update me on the progress...


This weekend, I bought some slivered almonds and almond milk.  However, knowing Georgia, we really didn't think she would eat or drink those options.  So, I googled a chocolate almond cookie and Nick whipped up a batch this weekend (using crushed almonds in the recipe) and promised that she could eat them at the allergy appointment today.  Well, apparently when they got there, the allergist wanted to start with the milk or the almonds.  That wasn't gonna happen in Georgia's world when she had been promised cookies!!  According to Nick, the allergist caved pretty quickly to her tactics!

Three cookies and several hours later and the kid didn't haven't a reaction.  AMEN!!!!

So, onto pistachios next month.  Georgia has always tested negative to them in her blood work, but tested positive on skin tests both this year and last year.  So, we'll see what happens!  For now, we will keep eating almonds and exposing her a little bit each week.  17 months until kindergarten!

Following her appointment, Nick dropped her off at daycare where they celebrated St. Patty's Day by chasing leprechauns around school and getting treasure!  Someone didn't even want to leave when I showed up to pick her up, like most days!

So, not sure if we just had the "luck o' the Irish" today or if the skin test this year was a blip, but we were most than happy to pass almonds!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Week in Review - March 2015...

This working 5 days/week is completely exhausting!!  After weeks and weeks of snow days and 2 hour delays, it finally happened and we all had to work a full week.  We survived... barely.

The random from the week...

Since Georgia passed her heated egg challenge, weekend mornings have included pancakes or French toast with egg in them so that her system will grow accustomed to eating them...

After a wild and crazy Saturday sledding in the back yard last weekend, the warm weather arrived on Saturday afternoon.  By Sunday, our sledding hill and our snowman were done!

Nick and Georgia retrieving my scarf from our melting "Frosty!"

Even with our warm afternoons, the mornings are still quite chilly.  Then again, it might just seem chilly because the cat hogs all the warm heat from the vents...

Who me?????

Showing off a new outfit before a birthday party this weekend...

Happy 1st birthday to John (our friends, Becky and Conrad's little boy).  Georgia LOVED the karaoke machine at his party.  Nothing like "Let It Go" on repeat...

My favorite picture of the week from the internet was perfect for the pediatric Speech Language Pathologist in me, as well as Mom to a preschooler.  Our favorite "Georgia-ism" these days is when she is dancing and spinning around and declared that she is getting "bizzy!"