Sep 24, 2010

Curb Appeal: Paint Your Front Door

Recently, I was studying our house from the street and came to the conclusion that it could pack more of a punch in the curb appeal department. It's a pretty house and we like it a lot, but the design is relatively flat with no veranda or dormers or multi-level roofs to give it interest. All of the ways I thought of to create depth involved some pretty expensive architectural changes, except for one: paint the front door. It's currently a tired shade of white - in fact, it's not even painted. The previous owners only primed it! So it needs to painted anyway, and at some point we may make a major change to the front of the house. But after just having a baby, the $25 fix is mighty appealing.

If you read my post on how to pick paint colors for an interior room, you might guess I didn't rush out willy-nilly to the nearest home improvement store and bring home just any old can of paint. Oh no. There's a process.

1. I looked at the colors in the stone surrounding the front door. Shades of brown and gray were predominant.

2. Then I went to paint section of Lowe's and grabbed about 50 swatches. I was pretty sure that red was going to be our new front door color, but just in case, I also chose many different tones of brown, blue and gray.

3. With swatches in hand, I stood at the edge of our property. With one eye closed and one arm outstretched, I held various swatches in front of the door, immediately eliminating the ones that wouldn't work.

4. I still wasn't ready to make choice out of the final three. So I took pictures so I could ruminate further at a later time. These are three that made the cut:

5. My husband vetoed the red right off the bat. Though I'm still intrigued by the unforgettable wow factor it could give the house, I have this fear that the sun will fade it to some awful shade of Pepto Bismol pink. And we absolutely cannot have that. The lighter gray is too flat. So 'Cracked Pepper' is the winner!
6. The next step is to check out some websites that have tips on how to paint an exterior metal door. There is one from the DIY network that looks comprehensive but easy to follow.
7. Before tackling the front door, I'll practice on the door leading from the garage to the house, and let you know how it all turns out. To be continued!
If you've had experience with painting your exteriors doors, I'd love to hear about it. Feel free to comment on this post!

Makeup - Simplify Your Daily Routine

I wear makeup everyday, but not a lot of it. So I couldn't figure out why it was taking me so long to apply it and get out of the bathroom. Then one morning as I was rooting through a bunch of makeup I only use for special occasions to find eyeliner, it finally occurred to me - I was spending a lot of time rooting. I was also getting distracted by the endless sparkly tubes and bottles, and forgetting what I was originally looking for! (I'm not very bright B.C. - that is, Before Caffeine.)

Now I keep my DAILY makeup in one bag, and SPECIAL OCCASION makeup in another. In the morning, I dump the contents of the DAILY bag out on the counter and put each item back in the bag as I use it. It may not seem like this is a gigantic time saver, but those minutes add up day after day, week after week.

An added benefit is that when I'm preparing to travel, the bag is ready to go, and there's enough room for a special item or two to snazz my face up.

So simple - I wish I had thought of it years ago!

Sep 12, 2010

It's About Time!

A dear friend, TallL, kindly pointed out it's been awhile since I've added anything new to the Living Arrangements site . . . and wow - she is right! Many, many months have passed, and I would feel bad about it except that so many wonderful things have happened in the meantime.

In a nutshell, my husband and I started a family - yay! and when I wasn't drained from being pregnant, I was OBSESSED with getting ready for the baby's arrival, and then trying to create some semblance of order with a baby in the house. I'd like to say all my ducks are in a row (they aren't) but at some point, I realized that between baby care, laundry galore, never-ending housework, and playing with my cute little peanut, that I just have to TAKE the time to do whatever it is that renews my sense of self. A nightly soak in the tub was the perfect indulgence for the first few months. However, the time is right to move to something a little more challenging. Don't get me wrong I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom. But I'm also a person with many interests. I'm a writer, reader, friend, wife, artist, music lover (and the list goes on.) I'd like my son to know all these parts that make the whole of me.

(on his first vacation)

The upside to this blogging sabbatical is that I have tons of ideas for entries regarding baby care, time management and personal fulfillment. So hang in there, faithful followers - there is plenty more to come!