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Since we spent our Christmas weekend in Cincinnati with Scott’s family (and Christmas Day here in Chicago), we packed up last Thursday and spent a long weekend visiting my family in Pittsburgh. It was the perfect time to do so, as the hockey season kicked off this past Saturday, and we were able to watch our team (win!) in a fun neighborhood bar. We got our fix of local brews, dined on fry-filled sandwiches and took advantage of tax-free clothes and shopped, shopped, shopped.

Of course we managed to pick up a fancy-pantsy gilded gold mirror while rummaging a resale store, but we stopped ourselves from hauling too much home. We’re hesitant to bring in new items as we play this weird home-limbo, but we’re also too weak to pass up yet another intricate mirror, you know?

I’ve always loved the landscape of Pittsburgh – so many hills! – with homes stacked upon homes, nestled in and atop the sides of rocky inclines. We got lost at every 6-way intersection downtown, crossing back and forth over the same bridge a countless number of times, and it seems that no matter how often we venture through the city, those 3 rivers will always confuse us. It is beautiful though.

How did you spend the last few days?

  • Hannah K. - January 21, 2013 - 11:53 AM

    Yay 2-0! Gorgeous pictures of a beautiful city!

    …and man, that Primanti’s sammy is making me salivate.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 21, 2013 - 12:00 PM

    Thanks, Hannah! We’re off to a great start, huh?!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - January 21, 2013 - 12:22 PM

    Wait. Waiiittt. I didn’t know your family LIVED in Pittsburgh! Kim. We ARE soul mates. Did you grow up there? I grew up in Pleasant Hills. And these pictures are making me seriously nostalgic. I can’t wait to introduce Chris to a Primanti’s sandwich and Kennywood this summer.ReplyCancel

  • jessie aucoin - January 21, 2013 - 12:50 PM

    im in the midst of interviewing for a job in pittsburgh and went there myself last week…if the job happens you’ll have to give me some tips on places to go and things to see. though don’t worry, i’ve already got a firm addiction to yuengling, so no need to recommend that!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 21, 2013 - 1:10 PM

    Julia, my dad grew up in Pittsburgh, but I grew up in Ohio. I spent all my summers there, and now my whole family lives there again – to make a long story short! I still haven’t taken Scott to Kennywood, but that’s definitely on our list! I went there every year. Awesome.

    Jessie, ooh, what did you think while you were there? There’s so much to do and see!ReplyCancel

  • jessie aucoin - January 21, 2013 - 1:52 PM

    I’ll admit that I didn’t fall head over heels in love with it, but I was more than pleasantly surprised. I’m super excited at the job, so even though i don’t think i would have to, I’m willing to “sacrifice” a lot in the city for the opportunity. Wish me luck!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 21, 2013 - 2:27 PM

    Jessie, good luck!! It really is a great city.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 23, 2013 - 2:46 PM

    These pics are awesome. I miss Pittsburgh, haven’t been there in a few years (was cruising around w/ Eric’s fam and saw Harry Potter at the IMAX or whatever it’s called). I think I’ve told you, we used to visit my aunt Kathy all the time when she lived there. That sandwich looks killer good. mmmmmmReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 23, 2013 - 3:01 PM

    Jill, have you ever had a Primanti Brother’s sandwich?! You would love it!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - January 25, 2013 - 5:53 PM

    I love the way this post starts with a picture of homes nestled into the hill: immediately I knew you were in Pgh. My younger brother still makes fun of me each time I ask how to get somewhere in Pgh (we’ve pulled up outside of perfect strangers homes on the wrong side of the city looking for the Zoo because that’s where our GPS sent us.) But I do want to ask about the bridge you drove over 3 times. It looks like on of the 3 sisters. Maybe you drove over 3 different bridges? (I’ve done that, too.)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 25, 2013 - 6:15 PM

    Kelly, our GPS was totally, absolutely USELESS in Pittsburgh! We drove over the Liberty Bridge 3 times trying to get to a bar to watch the first Penguins game of the year. And once you cross a bridge and enter a tunnel… well, good luck! It took us 45 minutes to go to a bar 3 miles away, ha!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 25, 2013 - 6:15 PM

    But the good news is? The Pens won.ReplyCancel

  • Julie - February 1, 2013 - 12:58 AM

    How did I spend the last few days? I moved to Pittsburgh from San Francisco. Great pictures. Love my new city.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 1, 2013 - 8:06 AM

    Thanks, Julie! Enjoy Pittsburgh – there are so many hidden gems.ReplyCancel

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On the first day of this year, we talked about what’s next. We feel a transition coming on in this family, and that has us moving and flowing in a different way, day by day. We’re moving towards our next big dream, talking with a realtor and carefully dancing around the possibilities of a bigger, cushier couch (for us), cozy nooks (for the girls), and a yard – maybe, just maybe! – (for Jack).

As we mentioned at the tail end of this post, we were hoping to making a few small changes in our bathroom – the teeniest, tiniest room in our whole home (like, you can wash your hands in the sink and turn on the shower without moving an inch). Yes, we’d re-painted that room a few times, finally settling on a soft shade of gray, but we were ready to upgrade our lone cabinet to open shelving, switch up the light fixture and replace our yellow mirror with something softer, something not so, um, bright.

But while shopping for said lighting, we realized, why? If we sell or rent this home, surely our taste won’t float everyone’s boat. We still wanted to update what we had – we never really liked our fine for now lights – but we had to put on a different thinking cap, one that was more safe. And while we had our hearts set on something with more of a vintage feel (we liked this one), we realized we should update our current fixture for something that could be universally loved. I texted our “safe” option to our friend Julia, and she agreed it was a go. (It’s still in the box, but we’ll share once it’s up.)

Oddly enough, the bathroom is the one room in our home that’s the most personal; it’s the only room with our funny-faced mugs all over the wall. These will have to come down as we prep our home for showings (ooh, that felt weird to say!), but we’ll still jazz it up with other loved art, because goodness knows, we have plenty of prints still rolled up in tubes:

In any case, this year has felt… different. We know there’s much more in store for us, and while we wait out this ‘tween-er stage, we’ve been easing into each week slowly. It’s these cold, slow days that have us wanting to purge our closets and reorganize our cabinets. I’ve been painting steadily while Scott’s back in the swing of his daily work routine. We’ve been feeling more balanced – in work and play alike – for now, anyway. Maybe most importantly, we’ve been relaxing a bit more than usual during the weekends, knowing that this calm before the storm (so to speak) could be over soon.

And that? That gets us excited. With every step we take towards our next-home-goal, it feels more and more real that before long, we may be waking up in a new-to-us bedroom and making dinner in a different kitchen. With every progressing phone conversation with our realtor, we get chills all over again.

Because we’re still wading into the unknown, we’re often a bit hesitant to talk about these things out loud. The hockey fan in me is full of superstition (thank goodness I can’t grow a beard for that very reason), because talking aloud could jinx something. Right? But the tides are changing, and right now – in this very moment – it feels good.

  • Kim @ See Kim Decorate - January 18, 2013 - 7:10 AM

    From one superstitious hockey fan to another, I understand. It’s a good thing I can’t grow a beard either. Wearing the same jersey every time they’re on a winning streak is bad enough.

    Good luck with the house search. What an exciting (and stressful) time for you guys.

    And good luck to the Penguins this year. (Your team is the Penguins right? If it’s the Blackhawks I take my good luck wish back. Preds fan.)ReplyCancel

  • Jimmy - January 18, 2013 - 7:15 AM

    I can’t grow a beard to save my life. It’s probably why I gravitate more toward baseball.

    But I’m very excited to hear about all this, and look forward to reading about it soon.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 18, 2013 - 8:36 AM

      Kim and Jimmy, ha! Lets be beardless together.

      And Kim, you’re right – we’re Pens fans all the way. Happy almost-first-day-of-hockey to you!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - January 18, 2013 - 8:50 AM

    Oh, I am excited for you. This year IS different, huh. I wish I could tagalong in the home search. I wouldn’t say a word I promise. Hahahahaha.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K. - January 18, 2013 - 9:05 AM

    Woot! How did I miss you were Penguins fans! Score!

    Good luck in all that comes your way…how exciting! Keep us posted!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 18, 2013 - 2:51 PM

      Hannah, huuuuge Pens fans!!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - January 18, 2013 - 11:22 AM

    Ahh how exciting! Just hearing you talk about a prospective new home gives me the new home itch. 0:) hehe!

    Shannon
    Shannon Loves Design
    Fabulously VintageReplyCancel

  • Emma - January 22, 2013 - 8:00 PM

    Yay! So happy for you all (including the fuzzies). Moving from an apartment to your first house is so exciting (overwhelming but exciting). I just did it myself 2 years ago. I am also happy for purely selfish reasons because I can’t wait to get new decorating tips from you guys. Good luck!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 22, 2013 - 8:13 PM

    Emma, thank you so much, lady!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 22, 2013 - 10:05 PM

    The time has come for you & me both. How exciting!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 23, 2013 - 2:49 PM

    Yes, def. exciting! I accidentally hit “Post Comment” twice on my phone last night, how annoying! And I think because of that mistake you didn’t post my response which I forget what it was exactly! haha…anyways, I found one lil pic of you, me and Kat w/ Nick Klosterman smooshed into the Beach Waterpark photobooth! haha, we must’ve cut the strip up and you, Kat and Nick each have a single pic maybe? I don’t know why I would’ve cut my own apart but we all know I am a weirdo, so whatev.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 23, 2013 - 2:51 PM

    And this is proof I’ve stared at a computer for too long today! I thought MY COMMENT WAS YOUR RESPONSE saying “Jill, The time has come for you & me both. How exciting!” hahahahaha, OH LORDY! Stop me now!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 23, 2013 - 3:02 PM

    Oh man, you are seriously cracking me up! I was like, huh? Anyway, I don’t have a piece of the strip you’re talking about – that is hilarious. You’ll have to show me next time we see each other!ReplyCancel

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After declaring our living room done! – even without the end tables that we just couldn’t seem to track down – we received an email from Susan of Jubilee Furniture (our favorite second-hand furniture heaven; if you’re in the Chicagoland area, go!). After scouring her store’s inventory, she lured us in with promises of the perfect end table. The dimensions fit our unusually shaped needs, and since we love a reason to visit Jubilee, we hauled ourselves to the ‘burbs to pick up the table.

But! More on that table later; I’m going somewhere with this. (Ugh, I know, sorry.) While picking up the table, Susan also left us a bag labeled Merry Christmas!, and inside? These:

We would have been stunned, but Susan is just that way – so super thoughtful – and we left the store wondering if we could adopt her into our family (Susan, is this possible?). Along with the birds, she left a note, too. (It reads: Mid 1940s gold leaf peacock, Maynard Anthony Freeman, Anthony of Freeman McFarlin figurines.)

We sent her a note of thank you, and she responded with a little research she pulled up on the peacocks:

I found the same set online for around $150 – so if you can’t find a home for them maybe you could sell them!

Hold. The. Phone. First, no way were we selling them. (We already loved them!) Second, a quick search of our own found our exact pair for $600. $600!

More research had us understanding the history of these collectibles hailing from Freeman McFarlin, a collaboration of Gerald McFarlin and Maynard Anthony Freeman. My expert internet-sleuthing confirmed these were the real deal, as evidenced by Anthony’s signature (see more images at the original listing, right here). Pretty neat, yeah?

On the other hand, we found this guy on Etsy for $35, and now, I’m really, really wishing for the giraffe.

For now, we’ve propped them against our subversive cross-stitch (which got a new mat and frame during the big-ledge-o’-art overhaul), and they balance out our gilded doughnut just right. However, we couldn’t help but think how sweet they’d look tucked into a dining room buffet – words straight from Scott’s mouth. (I suppose our bigger-house dreaming has been catching up with us.)

How many of you have picked up your own special thrift finds, only to find out – surprise! – they were worth much, much more than your original tiny price tags?

PS… If you’re on the fence about whether or not to make the trek to the Chicago ‘burbs, you can see (a small portion) of Jubilee’s current inventory on their blog.

  • Shannon - January 16, 2013 - 10:09 AM

    OH.MY.GOSH.
    .
    .
    ..

    I love these!! ahhhh! These are amazing!! :) Lucky, lucky you! And how nice of Susan! :)

    Can’t wait to see the table. :)

    Shannon
    Shannon Loves Design
    Fabulously VintageReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - January 16, 2013 - 11:49 AM

    That is amazingly nice. And they are so gorgeous. Coveting!

    p.s. such a tease about the end tables!!!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 16, 2013 - 1:16 PM

      Shannon and Julia, the table will need a little work… more on that next week :)ReplyCancel

  • Susan at Jubilee Furniture - January 16, 2013 - 5:18 PM

    So glad you like ‘em! The bling of the gold and the elegant lines of the peacocks immediately said, “Kim” to me!

    Can you adopt a 54 year old?

    Thanks for the wonderful plug for Jubilee Furniture!

    All my best to you and Scott!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 16, 2013 - 5:35 PM

    Susan, I think adopting a 54 y/o is absolutely acceptable.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - January 16, 2013 - 6:54 PM

    I love the crossed stitched piece you have them bordering. May I ask where you got it from?ReplyCancel

  • Emma - January 17, 2013 - 10:01 AM

    Ooooh. Pretty birds. What a lovely gift.ReplyCancel

  • kristi@SimplePrettyThings - January 17, 2013 - 10:44 AM

    I just found your blog throught ChrisLovesJulia (love them). I am now instantly obsessed with Freeman McFarlain. I just pinned a bunch of Etsy stuff. I’m off to check out the rest of your blog and I’ll be add it to my blogroll on my blog! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 17, 2013 - 11:37 AM

    Kristi, too funny! You better scoop some of it before someone else buys it!ReplyCancel

  • Christan - January 19, 2013 - 5:45 PM

    I love deals. I found these mid-century danish candleholders for a few dollars at a thrift store. have seen them for $40 or so on etsy. http://www.etsy.com/listing/119491268/pair-of-danish-modern-turned-wood-candleReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 21, 2013 - 11:34 AM

      Christian, those are beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 22, 2013 - 10:16 PM

    What a sweet gesture! They’re beautiful & I’m blushing they’re flanking my piece! @Emma, you can find the pattern in the Subversive Cross Stitch book. Wish I was genius enough to come up w/ the saying!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 22, 2013 - 10:17 PM

    Oooops! @kelly, my bad!ReplyCancel

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