Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Girls on the Flying Trapeze

We're finally finished with Christmas - just in time for New Years Eve!  I'm not going to lie and say it was the best Christmas ever (mostly due to the fact that I worked the entire time my family was in town so I feel like I barely saw them), but it had some really nice moments.

The gift I was definitely most excited about was a trapeze lesson for my two girls.  The boyfriend and I are big believers in giving the kids more "experience" presents than just more material items.  We love making memories and I think the trapeze lesson will be something neither girl will ever forget.

We did the lessons at Trapeze Austin.  Of course, even especially at Christmas I have to get a deal.  Regular 1-hour lessons are $47.  I went through a Groupon deal (they frequently are on both the Austin Groupon and the San Antonio Groupon, which is where I bought mine) where they were only $23.  But I also had a Groupon coupon for $10 off and so I got both for $18 each (61% off!).

When we got there, I could tell my 8-year-old, Lauren, was getting nervous.  I thought for the beginner lesson, they would probably be hanging from a bar about four feet off of the ground.  Not the case at all.  I'm not the best at judging measurements, but the platform was probably about 30-40 feet off of the ground.  Very intimidating!  I was super happy with the choice to do it for both of the girls, Chelsea being there definitely helped build up Lauren's confidence.

They had a couple of minutes of vigorous stretching and warm-ups, which the girls were not too keen on.  Lauren made the comment that "This is worse than P.E.!"

Safety first - they attached belts for the safety rope. 

Next, they practiced bringing their knees up on the low bar.  I was really impressed with the coaching style.  Both of the trainers were very enthusiastic and supportive.

Now it was time for the real deal.  Look how high it is!

Lauren definitely had it harder - being so small she couldn't hold on to the trapeze and the stand on the platform at the same time, so they lifted her.

I didn't think she would take another turn after that, but she worked up her courage and did it one more time!  Afterwards she said it was a lot of fun, but didn't want to do it again.

Chelsea, on the other hand, was a natural.  They suggested she come back for the two-hour class and she's excited about doing it again!  I might even join her next time, it looked like so much fun.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dining Room Storage

Everyone ready for another entry into "Kai Does Not Know How to Photoshop"?  You would think I'd be too embarrassed to show you how much I suck at it, but since 80% of the suckage is due to the fact that I don't have enough time to write a blog post, much less design moodboards for them, so I'm okay with total strangers laughing at my complete lack of skills.

Let me introduce you to the dining room.

Forgive me for once again posting pictures from when we first moved into the place.  It's just easier to explain what I'm talking about without exposing my mismatched/half-finished dining room as a giant distraction.

I love our dining space - it's large enough for our table and some storage.  The problem is, I've been seesawing back and forth as to where that storage should go and what type of storage it should be.  Now that the table and rug are in place, storage is the last big item that I need to find.  So it's decision time.

With only one full wall, I've always envisioned putting the storage there.

Flanking bookshelves?

A credenza?

A whole wall of shelving?

Since this back wall is the first thing you see when you walk into my house, I want to make sure whatever I do there doesn't make the entire place feel smaller - which any large storage piece has the possibility of doing.  Something with mirrors would be nice, but probably pricy.

I went back to the drawing board (literally) and started playing around with the idea of moving the storage to the same wall as the sliding glass door.  The door is centered on the wall, so there's about 48 inches on either side.  Even when you take some of that away for curtains, that's still three feet of storage space for a total of six feet - which is pretty much the same amount I would get on the large wall.

That's right, I threw in a table and some curtains.  It's practically 3-D.
I love the idea of using Ikea wall cabinets hung low to make two floating cabinets.  Eliminating the legs of a piece makes the space feel larger.  And wall cabinets are designed for dishware, so they're a better choice than using bookshelves like I previously posted about.  Here are a few awesome Ikea cabinets turned into floating credenzas that I found.

Fauxdenza via Door Sixteen

The Brick House Floating Credenza

Made By Girl Floating Cabinets
I really love the above - only with a slightly more rustic top (like the middle picture).  By my calculations, I'll need two 36" wide wall cabinets.  I love the glossy look to the doors, but for some reason that makes them much more expensive, so I'll probably get the plain ones and dress them up with some pretty knobs.

I also loved how Naomi dressed up these Ikea shelves with some gold spray paint.  So I thought I could put them above for extra open storage.

I'm 79% sold on the idea.  I just have to get the supplies.  Then there is still the big wall to address...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rug Score

Yes, I'm still alive.  I've just been ridiculously busy between work, Christmas shopping and more work.  I picked up some assistant work with my friend who is an event photographer.  Love the extra cash around the holidays.  Can't say I loved the drunks at Vegas Night quite so much, but I did get to hang out with 3 Elvises at once so it was a memorable night.

Anyway, I'm very close to being finished with Christmas shopping.  I do realize that Christmas is less than a week away and I'm actually very behind schedule, but it's just one of those years. 

I was luckily able to find things online for most of our out-of-town friend and family and had it shipped directly to them, which helped a ton.  I am a huge fan of online shopping, especially stacking sales with online coupons.  So, despite the fact that I am not finished shopping for other people, I couldn't resist using a $20 off $100 coupon Overstock e-mailed me this morning.

What did I get?  This rug, of course!

I've been eyeing it for weeks now, and the price fluctuates all over the place so I wanted to make sure I got it on the low end.  Area rugs are currently 15% off, so stacking it with the coupon and the free shipping promotion made a big dent in the price (which I have seen for as much as $158).  I never really expected to be able to get it for under $100 (even if it's just a smidgen under at $98.99), so I am extremely happy.  Let's hope I stay happy when it gets here and I see it in person.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Folding Screens

Since I keep saving pictures of folding screens, one will probably make its way into my house eventually.  Not sure where it will go (or how I will afford one), just that I love them.

Unexpected Interiors

Traditional Home

Elle Decor via Meet Me in Philadelphia

Sorry some of the pictures are missing sources.  It's late and I'm too tired to do the necessary research.  I know, that's why people love Pinterest - it's just not my thing.