Big Weekend

So I totally forgot for a spell that Mike and the girls are heading to visit his folks in Michigan this weekend, so I can get some stuff done around the house that I just can't do when the girls are around (I realize this is funny, since I painted a kitchen and a stairway with two kids at home).

Now...The Westchester Fun Fest or Westchester Fest or "Go See Everyone You've Known Since You Were Four Years Old" Fest or whatever you want to call it is this it is going to be a challenge for me to stay focused and on task to get things done. I feel somehow if I post my "To Do" list here, I'll feel more accountable and get more done.

So here goes:

* Clear out and organize the hop-in pantry

If anyone has any suggestions on long term organization for the pantry, PLEASE comment!! I need help. I'll organize it and then, 3 days later, the proverbial stuff hits the fan and things get tossed in and jumbled and it ends up looking like this picture.
As you can see, it's a good sized pantry. But it isn't a walk in, it's a hop in. The entry starts higher than Char's head, so it isn't easy to get into the back area. You have to literally clamber into the thing, so if you want to reach the back, you don't want to have anything in the middle. But that wastes a lot of space. HELP!
* Clear out and organize the kitchen cabinets, get rid of old baby bottles, etc.

Spice cabinet

Plates, glasses, cups, old unused bottles, sundae glasses...jumble!

Baking cabinet. On an awkward space-eating angle (Narrow opening, bigger in back)

Wine glasses, kids' plates and bowls, Lord knows what else???

* Paint ceiling and stone wall and floor of back stairway
* Kitchen floors (Peel-n-stick)
* Organize linen closet
* CLEAN UP THE BASEMENT - pack up baby stuff and realize, finally, that I'll never have a garage sale and just DONATE everything. Also realize that I'm not going to fit into size 10s from 5 years ago and let them go to a better place, too

Yeah, disgraceful. As I do laundry and come across stuff that's too small for Eleanor, I toss it onto that massive heaping pile. Then there's the excess blankets, sheets, old shower curtains I'll likely NEVER use again, ugly curtains, and so on. Oh, and tons of stuff on top of a gas stove. Totally safe, huh?
* Wash the windows
* Clean and organize the girls' bedroom

Tomorrow, depending on how open and unashamed I feel and just how accountable I want to be, I may take pictures of the offensive areas and do before and afters for each as I go along. MAYBE.

Back Stairs

After the hit success of the fancy schmancy Bellagio Faux paint job in the kitchen, I got cocky. Shan claims it wasn't cocky since it looked good, but I was cocky. I embarked on eliminating the blah tan walls of the back stairway.

I had long contemplated a terra cotta color, but then made a last minute switch to green. HULK SMASH!

So I had the paint for awhile, and then decided one day to just go ahead and do it. And you know what? I'm an idiot. I don't know if you can get a feel for it, but this picture is taken from the top of the stairs down to the back door. The ceiling is as high as it is upstairs in the house, which is pretty stinking high when you are by the back door and trying to reach up to the ceiling. So there was like a 3.5 foot swath that I couldn't get.

Eventually, after trying out several precarious positions with several different rickety 50 year old ladders from the garage, I was able to pretty much get the top part painted, but it was done haphazardly and there's some green on the cruddy ceiling which I have to touch up with some white, methinks. Which I'll do. At some point. Or I'll just claim that it adds to the charm.

Next phase of the project is doing a picture collage on the big wall - I have a bunch of pictures from my mom and aunt growing up in this house in the 40s and 50s that I want to enlarge and hang. The rough part is I don't want huge pictures, but will it look dumb if they are small (4x6 or 5x7)? I guess time will tell.

Couldn't get the pictures from the cell phone, so here's a general idea picture from the top of the back stairs..