Archive for the ‘Home Decor and Renovation’ Category

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Yap Originals hosted Valentine’s Day Mini sessions this year.  Walter built the entire set in our office and our poor kids had to do the guinea pig session.  They had a lot of fun, too much candy, and I love the photos we got out of it!  We also had our always willing model and the kids’ BFF, Ayla, join us for a sugar high!

The girls had so much fun!!

Ayla managed to pin Noah down for a few hugs.  This was one of the few times he couldn’t escape; she was so proud!!


Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Recently we picked up some butterflies at Butterfly World for Kate’s room.  I feel in love with them the minute I saw them and knew they would be an adorable addition to her decor! 

The one on her monogram is my favorite!

And, yes, we still have the origami cranes from her baby shower up too!

The reason I thought this was occassion was blog worthy was because when I took this picture I got a wave of deja vu.

THIS picture is all I could think of.  It was taken by Amy Hill when Kate was 9 days old.  She was so tiny!

So I couldn’t resist -

Almost two years later she barely fits on her changing pad!  Baby no more!

Family As Art

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

So I’m pretty sentimental, bet you never would have guessed, and because of it I torture my family with all the memories I want to make.  We have a gazillion photos – pretty ones, crying ones, down right ugly ones.  We have hours upon hours of video of milestones, fun events, even what the kids’ crys sounded like as babies.  Well it’s gotten even worse since Kate’s arrival.  Now that our family is complete I feel compelled to document as much as possible.  Here are two of our most recent projects.  We also did the kids’ handprints in plaster (made into ornaments) at Christmas but that was such a disaster we don’t have a single photo from the “experience”.

Handprint Art
So we stole this idea from Red Envelope.  We had a lot of fun doing them and enjoyed the challenge of trying to make a newborn hold her hand flat.  The canvases are hung in our family room.

Here’s Walter doing his print -


We had to one-arm swaddle Kate to keep her from making a huge mess.


I think Noah had to do his 3 or 4 times.  Guess it was harder than it looks!

hands02   hands03


And here’s the final product -


Way back when I was still in college taking photography classes Walter and I did a photo of our feet for one of my assignments.  It was taken with old fashioned film and developed in our bathroom darkroom so it’s not so easy to crop and throw online but I’ve included a photo of it.  Well that’s been hanging in our family room for almost 8 years now and we couldn’t help but do one with each addition to the family.  Here’s the progression -


Yes, I have huge feet.  Walter and I wear the same size.




Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Whoever taught my son the concept of “why?” needs to be stoned!  My God, EVERYTHING is “why?…but why?…” and after awhile the answer is “BECAUSE I SAID SO!”.  For the most part we try to answer all of his questions, which we require to be actual questions, hoping he’ll retain a little bit of the information but after awhile you just want to hit your ahead against the wall.  He is just too curious – or nosey!

“Why are these lights on?”
“Why are these lights off?”
“Where is our house?”
“Why do we live there?”
“What’s that (total stranger) man’s name?” (that we’re standing within earshot of)
“Why are we going?”
“Why are we stopping?”
“What are you thinking?”
I am not exaggerating even a little and the questions don’t ever stop, not even for him to breathe!  Any idea when it stops?  Is it to late to ask Santa for a mute button for him?

Kate is doing well.  She just yells at us so far but luckily her needs are still simple.  She loves to smile and flirt now and it’s so much fun getting her to grin.  She has found her hands and thinks they are the coolest thing ever.  We often find her liking her fist or doing tai chi when no one is looking.  We’ve also discovered that she has a dimple!  The ying to Noah’s yang.  Each of them have just one, on opposite cheeks, like they share a pair.  Today is her 3 month birthday!

Walter and I are very well also.  He’s off until the end of the year – which I love!  We are trying to do fun things, catch up with friends, take trips to attractions we don’t get to often, and generally just spend time together.  We’ve been doing quite a few photoshoots for friends, family and clients.  It’s been a long time since this was something we did so often and to be honest we didn’t think it was something we would every do with regularity again but we enjoy it so much that we’re making it work.  We charge just enough to cover the babysitter and our time to do the shooting, editing, and airbrushing and we’ve really been having fun.  Maybe when the kids are older we’ll set the studio stuff back up and play with that again.  For now only our kids get studio shots.

We hope you all are well and are enjoying the holiday season.  I will try to blog about our adventures since Walter’s been off, we have been diligent about taking photos!

Here is part two of decorating the house for Christmas -

I told Noah he had to wear his Santa hat if he was going to help decorate the tree.  It was the rule.  He was thrilled.

He loved hanging ornaments though.  This year we invested in an entire collection of shatterproof ornaments.  It’s a good thing too, Noah has tried to spin the tree a few times.  Lovely.  He couldn’t stay focused on which set we were hanging at the time and went back and forth between all the choices.  He loved putting the hook on himself and hanging them.  I couldn’t help myself, after he went to bed I rearranged some of the ornaments.  Who needs six hanging off the same branch?!


The next evening the kids and I were going to hang lights outside in the bushes.  What a disaster.  I think they were both crying before the second strand was up.  I did them another time, by myself, and they look fabulous!  Of course Noah likes everyone else’s lights better but at least we have them up this year.

This was before we started hanging them.

And when I realized my car was in all of the photos I dragged them to the front door.

I just realized I don’t have any photos of the final products.  I’ll work on that, and my Christmas shopping!

State of the Uterus Address and Nursery Update

Friday, September 19th, 2008

I wanted to share the latest (and last?) update regarding the baby.  As most of you know she has become a bit of an over achiever in the weight department (measuring almost 9 pounds on Tuesday) and because of this we have a very small window in which to naturally welcome her into the world.  Unfortunately my body has no interest in moving things along and Kate continues to “just float around” (like an astronaut?) leaving us with very few options.


We have decided to check again on Monday morning to see if she’s changed her mind about joining us although our doctor isn’t hopeful.  If nothing has changed we have decided to have her via c-section that evening.  I cannot believe this is our last weekend as a family of three.  We certainly have it jam packed with fun things to do and some hard work.  For Walter and I we are taking one last night out to have dinner and a movie.  I expect this will be the last time we can have a date for a very long time.  On Saturday we’re getting everything in order to be sure we’re ready, with the generous help of some great family and friends.  We’re also going to make a huge pot of matzo ball soup to help this sick, sick house.  Everyone who lives here is ill and on antibiotics.  It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.  On Sunday we’re taking Noah to Disney on Ice.  Through the generosity of one of his classmate’s parents we are actually going to enjoy the show from Wayne Huzienga’s private box.  For those who don’t know, that’s the man who owns the building and several sports teams in our area.  I’m sure it will be quite a treat for us all! 


Then the real show begins on Monday.  I will try to update you once we’ve had the OB appointment and decide which route to go.  I have a feeling I will have a c-section but I’m still hoping for change.  Either way we will try to keep you up to date and share pictures once we have them. 


Until then I leave you with a nursery update.  Walter finally had an opportunity to put Kate’s monogram above her crib.  Here’s a photo of the final product.  You may also notice a change in the bedding.  As soon as Lindy saw it put together she called to inform me of my lack attention to sewing detail – the bumper was on inside out and backwards.  All is now right in the crib world.



And I also thought I’d share a laugh from this morning.  After eBaying all of Noah’s leftover clothes we had bins laying around the office.  He likes to play in them but this morning decided he could fit in one with the lid on (while supervised of course).  He reminded me of Kate all curled up in there.  I’m hoping she’s a bit smaller since I don’t think my uterus came with a 50 quart label like these great Rubbermaid containers but I couldn’t help but laugh.




Wouldn’t it be nice if giving birth was this easy? -




Nursery Update!

Monday, September 15th, 2008

So as I mentioned below my uber-talented sister, Lindy, made Kate’s crib bedding and got it here in time for the surprise baby shower.  She almost came unglued when I had time to tell you about that and post photos but didn’t have a single one of the bedding on the crib.  So after much anticipation here it is – Kate’s bedding!!!!

And yes, I know I need a course in bow tying (anyone, anyone?) and I am also abundantly aware that the monogram is yet to find the wall.

The colors are off in this photo but it’s a more overall view.  On the glider you can see the blanket Lindy made for Kate.  Unfortunately those taggie people get their panties in a wad when someone else makes one of these so it was a one time deal but let me tell you, it’s fabulous and minky!

This is the best shot of the colors.  Aunt Lindy also made this pillow for Kate.  She made one when Noah was born too and he still sleeps on it.  Also, notice the piping on top of the bumper, she did an amazing job!

And here’s the rest of the nursery (again with color correction issues) -

So the bedding is gorgeous and fits great.  One of the ties is off on the front but Lindy will move it on her trip down in November when she comes to meet Kate.  To give you an idea of how challenging this was for her she’s never seen the crib and made everything off of a photo with a tape measure held up to the furnuiture.  She’s never done bedding before either so there were a lot of hurdles but it is absolutely incredible.  She’s also making window valances that match the crib skirt, which if you can’t tell from the position of the crib (at its highest setting) is a white box pleat skirt with a pink ribbon trim that matches the ties on the bumper.  Isn’t she amazing?  To see more of her work you can check out her website  She’ll be selling on Etsy soon too! 

Thank you Aunt Lindy!!!

Oh, what a day!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Yesterday was a very big day in our house, filled with lots of joy and drama.  Over the weekend we had a few concerns regarding Kate and we weren’t sure what was going on.  I had spots in my vision, pain and pressure, contractions, chest pain and the little booger wasn’t moving.  We even tried to wake her up with a giant wedge of chocolate cake from New York Prime, where we celebrate my parents’ and our anniversary Monday night (and oh my is the food there amazing!).  Well, nothing.  She was going to be stubborn.  Because I was worried I went to my doctor’s office first thing Tuesday – no call, no appointment, just a big surprise me.  They were so great and accommodating.  They checked everything out and the good news is all seems to be well.  I also won myself an internal exam (my first this pregnancy) and we found out that while I am having contractions, absolutely nothing is happening because of them.  That’s good news for Kate and a message to me to get my patience in check.  We have an ultrasound tomorrow to make sure everything else looks good and in the meantime I have to count her kicks after every meal.  By the way, it took Fig Newtons, apple juice and belly jiggling to get her mad enough to move.  Apparently she’s lazy and out of space.

Later in the day our friend Rachel called.  When she saw Kate’s pink room and her birth announcement she was inspired to add some flair to our plain walls.  She’s an amazing artist and did a great job on her daughter’s room so we told her to go for it.  Robby, Rachel and Ayla came over so we could all eat dinner together and let the kids play while she got down to business.  I’m still amazed that she started and finished everything in one night. 

*Warning: we took a lot of photos last night!

The kids had a blast although they were both a little crabby.  We should have timed it but for the record it only takes a few seconds for two toddlers to wreck a living room!  And doesn’t he totally look like a dwarf doing the “Whistle While You Work” song?

After baths they went for a ride.  Robby calls this “Driving Miss Ayla”.

And then they talked us into cookies.  No one actually wanted the cookie though.  Ayla ate all the frosting off of hers, Noah picked every last sprinkle from his.

And Rachel painted away.  How she can freehand this and it all be the same scale is beyond me.  I got to help put a second coat on one corner.  She couldn’t believe how slow I was!  And yes, that’s paint on her chin.  LOL!  She did an amazing job!

After the white was all done she added a dark pink shadow and here’s the final product -

I’m not sure if you call it a mural, but the mural is only on one wall.  Kate’s monogram will go over her crib on another wall and the third will stay blank for photos or whatever (the fourth wall is a closet).  I’ll post more photos and room photos as we make progress.  I’ll also get some better photos with proper lighting, these were taken around 11pm and the colors seem to look different in every photo.

“Noah Help!”

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

First, the update from the doctor – return the newborn clothes.  Kate is over 6 pounds already and if she were to make it to her due date she would likely wind up over 10.  The problem?  I’m not sure I’m physically or emotionally prepared or equipped to birth anything that big, even a child who I’m so anxious to meet.  There is a chance the due date could be off since she’s been measuring ahead for the majority of the past 9 months in which case she would likely come before her due date anyway.  But just in case it’s because she’s been enjoying too many of mom’s late night snacks the doctor is encouraging us to force her out by inducing labor.  They will do a final ultrasound in the middle of September and should things remain the same (meaning she’s still measuring 3 weeks or more ahead) we will pick a day to get things moving.  It’s very exciting but nerve wracking all at the same time.  We’re so not ready, and now having to be ready so much sooner is making things even crazier.

One of the things I insist be done before she arrive is her room.  Granted, she’s not going to sleep in there on her first day home, but the girl has stuff and it needs to be organized.  The room isn’t painted, the crib set isn’t done, her monogram is still in a tube, her furniture is still in Noah’s room… it’s enough to make me nervous we’ll be decorating around her.  But my fabulous hubby is heading my warning (and dirty looks) and is finally getting a move on the painting.  Because Noah (who constantly refers to himself in the third person) is such a great big brother he insists on helping and every time Walter goes into Kate’s room he begs “Noah help!  Noah help!”.  So today, we let him help.  Of course we got a few photos of the scribbles he added to the decor and personally, I think they look fabulous!  Have a great Labor Day Weekend.  We’ll be working hard on the house!


And no, we didn’t sign him up for the military.  We were trying to grow out his hair but he has a very stubborn cowlick in the back of his head that makes all of his hair back there fan out like a peacock on parade.  The stylist recommended we keep it short for now, hoping things work themselves out eventually.  It’s that or give the kid permanent bed head.

What’s in a name?

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

A really awesome room accessory, that’s what!  Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I’m not into anything “too baby” and anything princess practically makes me gag.  My daughter will probably be destined to love everything uber girly just to taunt me but while I still have some control over the look of her room and style of her clothes I’m going to exercise it.  So naturally, since I’m the only non-girly girl on the planet, when it came to picking out a theme for her room I struggled.  I don’t like purple, baby animals are not my thing, anything crazy busy and bright pink were immediately excluded, so we finally settled on this -

A monogram piece over Kate’s crib as the biggest decor accessory, probably ever. I absolutely love it and can’t wait to pick it up tomorrow. The monogram was copied, errrr, designed by Walter and printed by Alicia at Dali Decals (, who by the way has been amazing if you’re looking for any wall graphics. It will be in white and her walls will be – ready? – pink. Yeah, I know, but it was the lesser of all the evils. We got our inspiration from a magazine photo from The Land of Nod that looked like this -

I can’t wait to get it all put together. I already enjoy sitting in the glider in her room. It’s the quietest place in the house. I can’t believe there will be a baby in there in just a few weeks. Thank you as always for letting me share these stupid little details and thoughts that occupy my mind.

Getting Kate’s Room Ready

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Since it appears we’re now planning for a September baby we’re kicking preparations into high gear.  Her room is one of the biggest projects on the to do list and it definitely needs some love.  We’re still desperately searching for a dresser and bookshelf for Noah, or a changing table and dresser for Kate.  Either way we have just enough bedroom furniture for one child but no one seems to sell anything as nice as what we originally purchased, which of course has been discontinued.  The other big obstacle is painting the room.  It’s best for me not to participate in the painting, given my “condition” and all (and the fact that if I have to lug this kid around it just seems fair that someone else can get ready for her), so it’s all on Walter.  To help I decided to tape off the trim work in the room.  Noah couldn’t resist helping though and we got several laughs out of his techniques.  I don’t think my son will become a master painter anytime soon!  Here is the taping process through Noah’s eyes -

First, you supervise while catching up on important phone calls -

Then you work very hard to properly tape your friends -

Next you take camera phone photos of everyone involved -

And then you assist in the taping process (apparently Kate is going to have random polka dots on her walls, ummm, and carpet) -


And once you’re done you give all of your employees a big hug for a job well done -