...because home doesn't happen overnight.
06.21.13 / Five Things

Last year was mine and HH’s tenth year wedding anniversary. We always thought we’d do something fun and new together to celebrate the big 1-0. Well, that fun new thing turned out to be the arrival of a surprise lil’ girl into our family. Don’t get me wrong. We’re head over heels for her and cannot imagine our lives without her but we weren’t able to seize the opportunity for a getaway anniversary celebration. Mabrey refused to take a bottle until she was almost ten months old. I was happy to breastfeed her until she was ready to wean and so our getaway was postponed.

Until now!

fontana lake

Next week, HH and I are headed to Bryson City, North Carolina for seven nights. WITHOUT KIDS. I am so excited but I have to say I am a little sad about leaving our boys and babygirl. They’ll be staying with grandparents and in good care so there’s really nothing for me to be worried about. An “adults only” vacation is unfamiliar to us. HH and I went away for three nights once when Everett was a baby and that’s it. Even before kids, we only went on one short vacay just the two of us. So, yeah, this is BIG. The mommy guilt has been plaguing me all week.

But HH and I desperately need some time together. He works long hours and travels frequently for work. On the weekends that he is home, he’s usually tackling a home improvement project while I watch over the kids. If you have littles, I’m sure you can relate to putting “us time” somewhere near “cleaning under the fridge” on the list of things to do. We’d really like to change this and this vacation is a start. Obviously, we can’t take weekly vacations {man, wouldn’t that be nice?} but we’ve talked about trying out monthly date nights for starters. We don’t want to be one of those couples who don’t know how to be together after the kids fly the coop.

We’re staying in a one-bedroom cabin in the mountains and, to be honest, I have no idea if it has wifi or not. That wasn’t a must-have. I may or may not be offline next week. Here are five things I will be doing:

*zip lining over the mountains on a two mile course {a first for me}

*white water rafting {another first}

*reading a book from start to finish {nowadays this rarely happens and if it does it takes me weeks or even months}

*eating locally {i.e., not cooking}

*mountain biking

And hangin’ out with my HH, of course. We’ve been to Bryson City, NC, once before. {You can read about that trip here and here.} It’s a great quiet place to just get away from everything. Phone coverage is spotty. The scenery is beautiful. Don’t worry. I’m taking my camera ;)

Tell me. Do you do kid-less vacations with your significant other? Or regular date nights? What do you do to keep the old flame burning?

image: City-Data

bedroom window tx1

Since posting updates of the bedroom, I’ve fielded many questions about our window treatments. Many of you have questions! I thought it might help to turn my answers into a bona fide post. But first up…

bedroom window tx2

…I finally got a chance to hem the curtains on the window…

bedroom window tx3

…and on the closet. They are the RITVA 118″ panels. If you look closely, you’ll notice I hemmed the four closet curtains {94″} a few inches shorter than the window curtains {96″}. At the closet, we open and close the curtains daily to gain access to our clothing so it helps that the curtains graze the floor instead of pool onto it. At the window, we never close the curtains so a little pooling action gives a luxe, relaxed look. I prefer to sew my curtain hems versus using the popular hem tape. Sewing is cheaper and I think the curtains fall better with a sewn hem. But that’s just my personal preference.

Our ceiling in the bedroom is 8′. In a room with 8′ ceilings, you might be inclined to buy the 98″ version of the RITVA. However, if your plan is to hang the curtains floor-to-ceiling, once they are pre-washed there’s a good chance you could end up with flood water curtains. In my experience with IKEA curtains {and I’ve had quite a bit}, you lose about 4″-6″ of length after pre-washing and drying. Of course, it depends on the material you choose but either way you are going to lose some length and that needs to be considered – especially when you account for 2″ for your actual hem. I know it sucks to spend more on the longer version but, trust me, buy the longer version if you’re in doubt.

So the curtains are hemmed. Now to address the popular window treatment questions.

bedroom window tx2

Source list: RITVA curtains // black cafe curtain rod // petite rustique bamboo shade // Levolor room darkening shade

bedroom window tx4

The bamboo shades are functional but we don’t close them. Our windows are wide but relatively short so the 54″W x 74″H stock size woven blinds are a bit heavy and cumbersome to raise and lower daily. If we don’t close the curtains or the bamboo blinds, how do we maintain privacy at night? On all bedroom windows in our house, we use Levolor room darkening shades. Anything to catch a few more zzzz’s!

bedroom window tx5

We bought the inexpensive Levolor shades at Lowe’s right after we moved in last summer. They can be cut in-store to your desired width. Just be sure to measure each individual window opening precisely. Even if all of your bedroom windows are 52″ wide, you need to measure the exact opening where each shade will be installed. The smallest of measurements can throw off the fit and function of the blinds. This is coming from someone who measured one window then had all the bedroom shades cut to the same width. Guess what? They didn’t fit. Luckily, we were able to recoup our cost by selling them on craigslist and then re-measure EACH WINDOW for a proper fit. Now you know.

bedroom window tx6

When closed, they do a great job of blocking light and providing privacy although they aren’t much to look at. The tension needs to be readjusted sometimes, too. When a shade loses its ability to recoil completely, I just roll the shade all the way up and reset it into the metal holders within the window frame. It’s not difficult but it’s something I thought you should know. If you’re thinking of trying these shades out, expect a good price and great room darkening capabilities but also expect loss of tension over time.

bedroom window tx8

To disguise the roller shades, I don’t pull the bamboo blinds all the way up. The blinds are installed outside of the window frame and close to the curtain rod to make the window look taller than it really is. Lots of window trickery happening in this little brick ranch! When adding woven blinds, typically, I like to see them mounted outside the frame of windows without molding and inside the frame of windows with molding. There are always exceptions though.

I’m still hunting for trim to add to the curtains. I’ve checked out every possible option near me but nothing has really caught my eye. I’m happy to wait it out until I find “the one.”

I think that covers everything pertaining to our bedroom window treatments. If there are still questions, post them in the comments below and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Check back later today for five things I’m doing next week. It’s going to be a fun one!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking