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Baby #2 is a…

Spoiler alert: It’s a Girl! A few days before Halloween, we finally got to find out what the sex of our baby was. Ever since we told Bear about the baby, he has been convinced that it was a sister. Like, he would not even entertain the possibility that it could be a brother. And he never wavered on his conviction. Geoff and I were both hopeful, we both really wanted to have a daughter. Her name has been picked out for literally years. So of course I had built up the whole gender reveal in my head A LOT. And it did not go exactly to plan. I’ll give you the condensed version of the story, but I came up with idea to do donuts for the reveal, mainly for Bear because, as you can see above, kid is obsessed with donuts. Not gonna lie, I am too. So I set it all up with the donut place, dropped off the envelope to them in the evening for pickup the next day. In the morning, I called to see if it was ready and the conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hi, I have a special order for Lisa Bardot. Is it ready to pick up?”
Them: “What was it?”
Me: “They were the gender reveal donuts.”
Them: Pause….”Oh, the girl ones?”
Me: “Uhhhhhhh….”

So yeah, that’s how I found out. From the donut person, over the phone. Not quite the moment I had anticipated to say the least. And honestly, I’m really playing down my disappoint here. I was crazy emotional. There was a lot of other stuff going on at the time that contributed to this, but I don’t really want to get into that. Geoff came in the room and immediately noticed something was wrong in my face. I told him “It’s a girl”. Then started crying, and not the tears of joy I would have if the situation happened differently. I told him I still wanted to go get the donuts and do the reveal for Bear. So we did. Then we rushed off to our midwife appointment where Bear was being a crazy person and pooped his pants (yeah, and I forgot a change of clothes, awesome). After we got home we put him down for nap and I decided to edit together the video of the reveal. That truly was my saving grace. Re-living his excitement made everything “okay”. At least sort of. As we got to share the video with family and friends, my anger and frustrations slowly faded to happiness and excitement. I really am grateful. Whenever I imagined having kids when I was younger, I always said I wanted at least one of each, a boy first, then a girl, and I am getting exactly what I have always wanted. I seriously cannot wait to meet her. It’s crazy how much more excited I am to have the actual baby than I was the first time around. I guess knowing all the great things about having a kid will do that to you.

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Yard Sale Recap

With my little blogging break, I never got the chance to follow up on how our yard sale went. In short: AMAZING. The amount of people that came was insane. Between the hours of 8 and 9 am alone, our street (which has tons of parking around our house) was packed. People were double parked. We were so busy! We made a sum of money that definitely made it worth our time, and we got rid of a TON of stuff. I think there a few factors that contributed to our success, and I’m happy to share them here.

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Getting prepared

First of all, prep for the sale was pretty minimal, but necessary. I had exactly one week from when we’d decided to actually do a yard sale until the big day. This week comprised of cleaning out the garage, kitchen, bathroom, closets, and dressers, taking photos, posting online, and making and hanging up signs.

Great photos

I photographed some of my favorite/the best items from the yard sale. This was partly so I could always remember them, but mostly to showcase the goods we had. I used these in all my online postings and got many pre-sale inquiries about the items in the photos.

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Social Media

I reposted my ad text and photos to Facebook and this drove several friends, both old, new, and current, to the sale. It was so cool to see old friends from high school and I even got to meet some online friends in real life. Super cool bonus.

Cool stuff (and lots of it)

It really helps when you actually have good stuff to sell at your yard sale, go figure huh? I highlights these items in the photos I posted online. Tons of cute clothes for men, women, and baby, jewelry, baby gear, vintage items, furniture, electronics, etc. We also upped the quantity of sellables by inviting my sister (who had SO. MUCH. BABY. STUFF.) my mother-in-law, and one of our friends to also bring stuff.

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I had a ton of fun writing my ad and I actually got a few comments from people about it. I think when you can make people like YOU, it makes them think they might like owning your stuff too. Haha. Plus a funny ad will stand out amongst the sparsely written ads that are abound on craigslist.

“Branding”

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Of COURSE I branded our yardsale. I just can’t help myself. “OMG YARD SALE” was the name of our game. Again, with the humor. It was on every sign, and in every online ad and post. All of our signs were the same day-glo yellow with bold black text.

Incentives

We devised a scheme to provide a free donut to anyone that made a $5 purchase. It actually worked. There were several people whole were at a $3 or $4 total and deliberately bought more stuff to get the donut. There were actually a TON of people that asked how much it was to buy just a donut. I told them $1, haha, those donuts are for paying customers!!

No price tags

I bought packs of price tag stickers to use at the yard sale, but it got so crazy that morning that I just did not have the time. I think this actually was a great benefit. People had to come up and ask us what the prices were and we could cheerfully yell out “one dollar!!” “ummm…two dollars!!” “a quarter!” It was exciting. It was fun. Whenever a little kid came up asking about a small toy or something, I’d give it to them for super cheap. It helps to be cute, people. Most things sold for one or two dollars. Shirts were mostly $1, pants were $2-3, dresses were around $3, baby clothes were 50 cents, but the sheer quantity of them made the day very lucrative. There were also few “big ticket” items like our Rock Band set $45, monitor $40, small furniture $15-20, vintage scale $15, kitchen appliances $10 or so.

If I had to do it all again, there is one thing I might do differently.

Get up way earlier

I woke up just after 6 am and starting really setting up at 7 with the intention of “opening” at 8. People started showing up at 7:15. I was completely alone too, yikes. Geoff was out getting the donuts, hanging signs, and getting cash to make change with. My sister who was coming to help out hand’t yet arrived either. People were asking how much stuff cost and I was not even close to set up. By 8:00 there were at over a dozen people riffling though boxes of clothes that weren’t even hung up or set out. I hand’t even gotten the chance to think about how much to charge for my stuff. I was forced to think on my toes and start giving prices. I was actually pretty nervous about that part, but once I started I was ok.

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One last little cool bonus story from the day. There was this guy who bought our record player and the king figurine pictured below. He was so excited about the king because he has the matching queen. No joke! I gave him my card and told him he had to email me me a photo when he has the set together. So random and cool.

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The cutest yard sale worker ever. Check this kid out, he’s already reppin’ his parents out and handing out business cards. 

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We ended things at 2:00 pm when most of the stuff was gone and people were no longer showing up. Everything (well, almost everything) we didn’t sell, got loaded (crammed) into our car and taken to Goodwill. Goodbye stuff! 

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It’s a yard sale!

Today I posted about our yard sale on craigslist and I was weirdly proud of my post so I wanted to put it here for safekeeping. I took photos of our stuff partly for the sale, but mostly so that I could keep a record of the things I am letting go. Going through my jewelry was probably the hardest. Nothing is expensive, and much of it is still pretty fashionable — I just don’t really wear them anymore. But I kept thinking, “if I have a daughter she would have so much fun playing with all of this. Or maybe she would actually wear some of this stuff” I loved going through my mom’s jewelry and would feel really special wearing her old pieces. I’m still half tempted to take it all back out of the “sell” pile. 

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We are purging like crazy in our household and letting go of a ton of stuff. You know, the stuff you are holding onto because you love it but maybe it doesn’t fit anymore, or you really have no use or space for it? That stuff. Come help us say goodbye to our belongings by giving them a good new home. This is our first yard sale (in probably ever) so there is loads of stuff.

WE PURGED THE CLOSETS: Tons, and I mean TONS, of men’s and women’s clothes, shoes jewelry, accessories (and we have pretty good style, so don’t miss out). Men’s dress shirts, cool casual clothes, lots of cute dresses, tops, jackets, winter coats, hats, etc.

WE PURGED THE KITCHEN: Dishes, cups, bakeware, trays, slushie machine, etc.

We have a baby so WE PURGED THE NURSERY: loads of baby clothes, toys, gear, etc.

OMG WE PURGED THE GARAGE (applause, applause): cute modern and vintage decor, lamps, blankets, a clock, sports stuff, Rock Band for PS3, vintage meat grinder, curtains, freestanding mirror, furniture, this really cool midcentury modern side table that I bought with the intention of refinishing but never got the time, etc.

Did I forget to mention the VINTAGE 1963 VESPA? Oh yeah, it’s for sale too.

FREE DONUT with $10 purchase (while supplies last!!)

Look at the photos, but know that there is WAAAAAAY more stuff than I could sanely take photos of.

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Dresses

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Letting Go

Lately I have been determined to purge my belongings. I literally want to go through every room cabinet and drawer and get rid of anything I can. On Sunday, Geoff and I spent the entire day cleaning out the garage. It was well overdue. I was going through a box of old things and I came across my CD wallet. My first thought was to get rid of it, then it immediately switched to KEEP it once I opened it up. So many memories!!! What if I want to look through it again sometime for MEMORIES!?? It was like flipping through an album of old photos. Ultimately I decided to rely on a little trick I learned a while back about decluttering, and that is to take a picture. Once you have a photo of the physical thing, you no longer “need” it. You can conjure up that memory again just by looking at the photo. 

So, here in memoriam of my CD wallet which will be going into the yard sale, is my photographic archive of the object. You can get a glimpse into my musical tastes circa 2002-2006, the, now seemingly brief, period of my life that I bought or used CDs. There is a lot of Dixie Chicks and Dashboard Confessional. An obscene amount of mix CDs. I am exceedingly embarrassed by what I apparently chose for the first “page”. Napoleon Dynamite and A Walk to Remember soundtracks? Really? 

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New house numbers!

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With the house paint complete it was time to put up the new numbers. Unfortnatley the silver numbers we had were impossible to read on grey brick, so a creative solution was in order. I had the idea to mount them to a board and came up with two options. I was in LOVE with the idea of mounting them on stained wood. Geoff was in rooting for a white background. I photoshopped a mockup of each option and posted it to Facebook for a poll. The results were 23 votes for wood, 37 votes for white, and 2 votes for glitter (trust me, I seriously considered it). We agreed with most people that while the wood was sexy and cool, the white was just easier to read and went better with the house. White was the winner!

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We’ve had these new modern house numbers (you can buy them here for only about 4 bucks a pop) for a couple of years, just sitting in our garage. Time to put them to use!

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I laid them on the ground and measured them out, then added a few inches of space around the edges to get my board measurement. I would need a board that was 7.5” x 30”.

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We found this piece of red oak at Home Depot for about 8 bucks. 7.25″ is close enough!

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I measured it, finally able to put my T-square from graphic design classes in college back to good use.

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“I pity the fool who takes my t-square.”

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I asked my friend Ryan to cut it down (we don’t have the right saw). Here I am testing the number spacing out again. Yup looks good!

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I played around with the numbers for a while…

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Then I got to work sanding and painting the wood. I did two coats of the leftover paint used on the trim of our house — satin exterior paint.

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I took a look at the hardware that came with the numbers and know those weren’t going to work.

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Geoff went to the store and found #6 1-1/4 screws that were perfect.

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The numbers come with these cool little templates. I trimmed them down so that I could line them up and they would be equal spaced. I measured to make sure they were even and taped them down.

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Once I was sure everything was straight and even, I used a nail to hammer little holes throughout the guides in the templates.

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Then I drilled holes through.

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Then I screwed in the screws, just far enough so that they poked through a tiny bit on the front. I held my finger against the hole as I screwed and waited until it poked me. Haha.

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This allowed me to line up the numbers on the screw points so I could screw them the rest of the way in.

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To attach the board to the house, we decided to use picture hanging hooks on the back of the board and use a screw in the brick to hang them on. The last step was to attach the hooks to the board! I realized I need to paint or seal the back of this board still to protect it from weather. I will do that soon!

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I made a little guide to help line everything up on the brick.

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Too bad one of the hooks fell RIGHT ON the space between the bricks!

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So I moved the hooks over…

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…and marked the holes on the bricks…

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…and Geoff drilled holes into the brick using a special concrete drill bit.

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Then the special concrete screws went in, sticking out just enough to hang the board.

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And DONE! Too bad it was too dark last night to take a proper picture.

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Fear not! I went out today and took a better one. So happy with the outcome! I do  like the way the white looks too. It really matches the house well. Next step for out home makeover, plants!

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Color for the House

Our house has been getting quite the transformation lately. We are in the process of refreshing the (IMHO) ugly exterior into something we’ll love. The photo on the left below is our house when we bought it. As you can see, a lot has changed already. That HORRIBLE monster hedge was eradicated back in 2011 (the photo on the right). And in preparation for this paint job, the hedges touching the house were all removed.

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This was our house this morning. Our painters have been hard at work for the past few weeks removing a ton of dry rot and re-siding a majority of the house. The brownish color is a primer to protect the raw wood from the rain.

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Here is a shot from the backyard. A future project is converting the side-yard into a garden with raised planter bed. That side gets a TON of sunlight (hence all the damage and repair) so it would be perfect for a small veggie garden.

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This is the house this evening! The primer is up in a shade very close to the final paint color. We decided to go with a medium gray with clean white trim. It will be a little less yellowish than the color pictured here. I’m really loving the look of the darker color.

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Our next task is selecting the final color for the door. I have always LOVED the idea of a really fun color for the door, especially against a neutral like the gray. Geoff and I have narrowed it down to two colors. I really love a bright aqua blue and Geoff is leaning towards yellow. What do you think? Below are some search results from Pinterest to get an idea of the looks we are going for.

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We picked up some sample paint today and tested it out on the door.

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I’m loving it! Our painter thinks we are crazy. Geoff still wants to try out a sample of the yellow, so we will do that next.

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I love a modern aesthetic and I want to accent the house with some colorful planters with maybe some palms for the front yard around the house.I  love this colorful porch from A Beautiful Mess. THAT is a bright blue door!

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Check out these rad pots from Pop & Scott. Smells like a DIY project to me…

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Or maybe a couple of tall, modern colorful planters to flank the garage door. (left | right)

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And how cute are these cool house number/plant displays? (Both are from Etsy seller Urban Mettle)

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Although, since we have to display our house numbers vertically and we have already purchased these same house numbers, maybe we will do something like this.

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Maybe we will stick out like a sore thumb in our ordinary suburban neighborhood, but so what? As long as we love it, that is all that matters. Plus these are all things that can be easily removed or changed should we ever decide to sell. In all honesty we long for an old place with character in downtown or midtown Sacramento, but until then we’ll work on making this house the place we want.