Archive for the ‘Bowdoin the Bulldog’ Category

You try coming up with a clever title for this one using the word “Dream” when the obvious choice is “It’s a Wrap!”

The addition of Baby Dreamer to my belly is getting the creative juices flowing – or I’m entering the nesting phase of pregnancy.  Either way, I like it!  I submit the following as evidence:

A co-worker recently had a baby shower (something is in the water over there) and I had a challenge when it came to her gift.

First, the obvious choice was the gift I get for all of my momma-to-be friends… a personalized onesie from Mitetees.  Seriously – how cute is this?

But just one onesie does not a good shower gift make and so off to Babies R Us I went.  That place is crazy overwhelming for a newly preggers gal!  I thought I’d spend hours roaming and dreaming.  Nope!  I wanted to cry.  Too. Much.  I got the registry, a gift, and hit the road faster than you can say “epidural.”

This hamper was a great compliment to the onesie.  The right price and something my almost-new-momma friend wanted for her nursery.  However, how do you WRAP this?!

Cue: crib sheets

My friend also had a couple of fitted crib sheets on her registry – which gave me an idea.

The fitted sheets were a perfect fit to the odd-shaped hamper box.

I stretched two out to cover the box – but then was left with a rather boring, sheet-covered box.

Since I was in my sewing/craft room anyway, I looked around at my options – which all consisted of scrap fabric.

My friend is doing her nursery in green and brown – so the scraps from my still-being-assembled patio cushions were a perfect fit.  I had just the right amount of fabric to cover the awkward box.  Including this one really long piece:

I used straight pins to get everything just right.

Then, I secured the cute onesie in the middle with clothes pins and voila!  We have a cute baby shower gift:

Best part – none of it went to waste as the cute mom said she could even incorporate the fabric scraps into her nursery.

Speaking of nurseries, guess I’d better start dreaming up a creative one for our bun in the oven.

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The Dreamers are beyond pleased to announce the impending arrival of a mini-Dreamer!

We are humbled and blessed by this miracle and thank God for trusting us with one of His amazing creations.

11 weeks along and already the size of a pumpkin!

(In other news, I chopped my hair off – “for real” this time!)

The babe will grace us with his/her presence in May (or June?) 2011.  Until then, we’ve got to get to work on this:

And we already have a plan that includes this fun item.  Oh yes. we’re “those” people!

However, the real Bulldogs have no idea what’s coming.  NO. Idea.

Poor kids.  They’re not going to be “top dogs” for much longer.

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(This post contains some pretty darn cute videos of our “babies.”  Make sure you check them out by clicking on the links.  We’re too cheap to pay for the Video Upgrade.  We’d rather spend our cash on The Dream.)

What up blog-readers?  My name is Paris and I’m taking over this blog.

Sometimes, my mom & dad refer to me as “the cripple.”  Pretty sure that’s a term of affection. Right?  Anyway, they’re not that far off.  After all, I do have a pretty dramatic story to tell.  But… my hip has healed nicely, and I’ve recently surprised the whole fam by conquering the stairs.

You see, for the last year – since I was adopted – I haven’t been allowed upstairs.  Darn hip!   Every once in a while I’ll get carried up/down to hang out with the parents and my brother, Bowdoin – who gets an all access pass to the Dream. (Jerk!)


can't you just see the "don't you dare come up here" look in his eyes?


Meanwhile, I’ve been left all by myself in a gated area downstairs. I still can’t be trusted on the carpet (whatever, I like it when it smells like my pee – but, to each his own).  Both Bowdoin and I are terrified of the gates (baby gates) – not sure why… but mom & dad can just lay them down on the ground near an area we’re not supposed to go and we stay far, far away.

Even Bowdoin is terrified.  Need evidence?  Check out this video – it’s pretty hilarious. When I’m in that “prison” I usually whine really loud – and apparently sound like a cow moo’ing.  It breaks my mom’s heart (which is exactly the point!).


I've masted the pitiful look... it's my secret weapon (and the moo-whining)


Well, I spent a lot of time upstairs a few weekends ago when mom & dad were painting the Master Dreamroom.  That was so awesome.  I finally figured out what I was missing out on this whole time.  So, when I got left behind again for another fun time working upstairs, I’d had enough.

There was a small gap between the wall and the terrifying gate.  Somehow, I managed to drum up the courage to squeeze through it.  I made it up the stairs all by myself, bounded into the room where everyone was, and greatly enjoyed the shocked look on mom, dad, and Bowdoin’s faces!  Once they got over the shock – I got lots of pets and belly rubs!  However… they did carry me down the stairs… which is never very comfortable, because I’m kind-of a big girl.

But the adventure was totally worth it – and I got a good look at the Master Dreamroom progress – it’s awesome!

My mom was curious to see how I managed to go up the stairs all by myself, so I demonstrated for her and you can watch that here.  Compare that to how fast Bowdoin is here.  Please note the time difference!  It took me 6x as long as Bowdoin. Whatever.  It’s not a race. It’s cool.  Really.  I mean, I did break a HIP – so what do you expect?! Whatever. I did it and I’m proud of myself.

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This weekend, we had our friends over for dinner.  With the Arizona desert temps finally dropping below 100, we enjoyed our meal outside.  By candlelight.  Chowing down on the all-important Fall staples – cornbread & chilli.  Bowdoin the Bulldog drooled with jealousy.  It was a fabulous time!

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The Master Dreamroom is coming along nicely.  There’s a little of these, some of that, and even this. We think you’ll love it – but we need to do a few more things before a big reveal.  In the meantime, we ponder the question…

Maybe they’re born with it?

Well, one half of the dynamic-Dreamer-duo was definitely born with some super handy DIY skills.  That would be one, Mr. Dreamer.  His parents – affectionately referred to as the “Original Dreamers” – taught him everything he knows about home improvement and general homeowner-need-to-know knowledge.  And it all started here…

In this beautiful home in Maine.  A home that the Originals built themselves.  It’s the Original Dream.

We recently went back for a visit and what we both took for granted before is now fascinating.  You did these wood floors?  These STAIRS?  How about the plumbing in this bathroom?  Really?  The sundeck?  Amazing.  Brick oven?  Wow!

Needless to say, we were impressed and think you’ll be too…

these hanging baskets with pink flowers... contrasting the house... are gorgeous!

this front garden is a new addition...

the hidden canoe is a very "Maine" touch!

felix the guard cat

mr. original dreamer added this sun deck off the back of the house a couple of years ago...

it's become a favorite hangout spot in the house... for some Maine staples...

like blueberry pancakes....

enjoyed over long, late-mornings, with plenty of coffee

...and, of course, lobstah!


and most of those delectable goodies come from this brick stove, which we LOVE. Wouldn't a painted, white version be AMAZING in our Dream?

the whole house has these gorgeous wood floors... the staircase is particularly charming...

but these photos along the stairs may be even more charming... mr. dreamer in his football days...


Some of you just figured out where we got Bowdoin the bulldog’s name. 🙂

The Original Dream started 30+ years ago… around the time the Original Dreamers got hitched…

But the dreaming continues…

Last year, the Originals bought a condo just three miles from the Dream.  So, we get to enjoy their company during some of the colder months… and, when they’re not enlisted for the latest Dream project, they keep themselves busy improving the condo (Dreamdo?):

felix oversees the new tile installation

We can’t thank them enough for all they’ve taught us… their gentle encouragement… and tools. 🙂  Here’s to more Dreaming together!

(a fav photo from our wedding, 01/08)

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It has begun!

“The Great Master Dream-room Makeover 2010”


The results of our poll were clear.  The first project you thought we should tackle during year two in the Dream was our bedroom.  So, that’s what we’re currently tackling.  We have the sore backs, tired eyes and paint in hair to prove it.

To be completely honest – the true after pic is going to take a while.  After all, we do have real jobs and other commitments that limit our makeover-ing to weekends.  For example, we’ll have to live with the popcorn ceiling and boring carpet for a bit.  However – do we have to live with boring white walls?  Oh, H-E-double-hockey-sticks, NO.

For the overall room color palette, we decided to go with a soothing blue-gray.  The primary color – that Mr. Dreamer is so skillfully applying in the photo above has a quite blog-appropriate name, “Online.”  We love it!  But… we faced a bit of a dilemma when it came to the accent color…

We’re a bit impulsive.  So, we bought our paint without first getting samples and testing it.  No biggie with the “Online” color – we love it!  However, we thought more gray would show through than blue.  Wrong!  Again, no biggie – except that we bought a blue paint for the accent walls (bottom color in above picture).  Helloooo, smurf room!  That would be way too much blue.  So, we stalled the whole project – to actually go and purchase samples (imagine that?!) – and wound up with a lovely charcoal gray (above color in pic above), called Software.  Ha!  Paint names are ridiculous.  (Our paint, as always, is from Sherwin Williams.)

You’ll have to wait to see “Software” in all it’s glory – a few more touches need to be made to the room before we can disclose those pics.

As you can see from the “before” pic, we are the king and queen of bedroom hodge-podge furniture.  Nothing matches.  Everything was brought into our marriage from our single lives – which was also hodge-podge.  Mrs. Dreamer, does not mind the mismatched look.  In fact, she wouldn’t mind having all sorts of mismatched – yet coordinated – pieces.  Mr. Dreamer, however, was passionately against that idea.  So – there were some “discussions” about that in the Dream.  As most happily-married couples. we have fine-tuned the concept of compromise – and that’s what we went with for the furniture.  More photos to come – but here’s a sampling of what we did on Saturday night:

Ah… yes… self-assemble furniture.  Not the fancy-shmancy furniture fare the hubs wanted and not the needs-to-be-refinished kind the wife wanted.  Compromise.  Over a bottle of wine and an all-nighter on a Saturday.  Good times.  The bullies would tell you all about it if they could talk…

They witnessed it all from the front row called the master bathroom.  (Check out that super-cool linoleum – just screaming for a makeover of it’s own!  Someday…)

More from “The Great Master Dream-room Makeover 2010” to come… until then, Sweet Dreams!

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So, Mr. & Mrs. Dreamer – the two people who feed us SCRUMPTIOUS kibble twice a day – are outside working on something, so the Bulldogs are taking over this blog.

your guest bloggers for the day, Paris and Bowdoin

You can read more about how awesome we are here.

As you can imagine, this whole “Dreamscaping” nonsense totally rocked our world.  We had already spent several months peeing and pooping all over the backyard – making sure every inch was designated Bowdoin/Paris territory.  Then, this crazy “bobcat” invaded…

Dad calls it a "bobcat"...

…but there’s no way in the vet’s office that’s a cat.  I mean, we can totally take down a cat… but this sucker… (was a bit beyond our abilities.)


So, we just had to sit back and let it scoop up all of our favorite pee spots, then dump (rock) on them.


there was one incredible benefit to having this “cat” in the backyard.  It’s big paws churned up the BEST DIRT PIT EVER.  It provided endless good times…

for wrestling...

for playing "where's Paris?"...

what did you say?

I know, I know. I look like a beached whale. Shut UP!

we got our tongues...

and our noses caked in dirt.

In other words, it was AWESOME!

In fact, we’re kind of sad that it’s all cleaned up now – and so are we.  No more dirt pit meant the dreaded trip to the groomer for us.  BOO!  Stinky is so in right now, someone needs to explain that to our owners.  Anywho, we’ve about exhausted our word-base, so we’ll sign off for now, until some other crazy project rocks our world and we feel compelled to bully into the blog again.

'nite 'nite!


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Hiya!  Remember us?  Yeah, we’re The Dreamers.  That fun couple (probably friends of yours, lucky dog) who started this blog about renovating their new home (a foreclosure) all by themselves… who then got so lost in that DIY process they stopped blogging for a whole month!  SHAME. ON. US.

But, we’re ba-a-a-a-ack!  And boy oh boy do we have some progress to show you.  Here’s a glimpse…

Yep, we’ve been sweating up a storm transforming our hideous landscaping into something, well, not so hideous.  Actually, we think it looks pretty darn good.  I mean it wouldn’t take much to improve on this:


We’ve never done the landscaping thing before.  After getting a couple of estimates from the pro’s, we thought – to heck with their several-thousand-dollar-pitches, we can tackle this puppy ourselves.  And we are SO GLAD we did.

Just to prove to you that we are serious about this blogging thing, we’re saving the good stuff for a few different posts.  Here’s a sample of what’s to come in the coming weeks:

how we handled 45 tons (yes, TONS) of rock

the demo process (mr. dreamer had way too much fun with mr. bobcat)

the bulldog's take on the process

how we transformed this ridiculous eyesore into a beautiful and functional bbq

the awesomeness of helping hands (read: free labor)

which plants we chose, why and the GREAT deal we scored

Worth the wait?  We thought so!

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This weekend, we made a big dent in our DIY backyard landscaping.  We had a couple of estimates from the home show we attended, but decided we could do the bulk of the work ourselves.  Now, we understand why everyone we know over 50 whose seen our Dream says, “It has a lot of potential, but you’re young.  You can handle it.”  At the time, we thought “Huh?”  Now we know – and we have the aching backs to prove it!

The achievements of the weekend can be summed up in one big pile of…

bulk trash!

please note the pile of railroad ties in this mess... most of them are finally gone!

Once a month, we have a bulk trash pickup and we took FULL advantage of that this month!  The “rules” state that the collectors cannot be at your house longer than 20 minutes.  Our pile is so big, we’re a bit worried they’ll leave some behind.  Hope not!

So, we can’t reveal exactly what’s going on in the backyard, but here is a sneak peak…

several tree stumps...

edged grass... with several new pavers in the running...

many misc. yard tools and (of course) a bulldog.

We figure we have about a month to get the project finished before the real desert heat sets in and makes it difficult for new plants to grow – and even more difficult for Dreamers to work outside.

In other news, Mrs. Dreamer took a break from some of the fun in the back yard to hang out with the gals.

i made this (!)

for her. (well, for her baby)

We were MOH’s in each other’s weddings – she made me wear salmon and I made her wear dusty blue (neither was that bad – I don’t think!).  And now, my sweet friend, Carrie is having a baby girl!  So, we surprised her with a fun shower and I made a dress – she was as shocked as everyone else.  🙂  But this is cause to celebrate… the new little one is a Dream come true.  She’ll have two big brothers to look after her and we all cannot wait to meet her in June.

duck... duck... goose!

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Nope.  No exciting announcements.  (As if the blog is the place we’d first announce a dream in the oven?!)

Just another little Then & Now action for you… the Dream Family room.  As we’ve mentioned before, the family room is an extension of our kitchen – a lovely feature that was on our “must” list while Dream shopping.  We’ve already told you how we had a design challenge on our hands with our color schemes and how we’ve tied the rooms together with some A-list-Pottery-Barn-esque fabric.  So, here is what we were working with…




Everything is different, except for the flooring.  Which wasn’t hard because the house was empty and the walls were white!  The hubs did a great job installing a new ceiling fan that actually matches our decor…

you can see the box valances found their way into this room as well...

ah, yes, the cork collection grows. but do you notice anything different?

We opted to switch out the white frames you previously saw for brown so these photos tie in better with…

this collection of photos from our France trip that flank our tv

All of these frames are from Ikea — steals for $5 (5×7) and $10 (8×10).  We’re sticklers for cohesiveness and flow… while these may not be the best quality, nobody’s going to get too close… they perfectly serve their purpose for now.

And now for the rest of the highlights:

cozy chair in the corner with a "Mrs. Dreamer" original pillow - same fabric as the valances

There’s still a lot to do…

  • Clearly, we’re in need of a “real” coffee table!
  • We’d love to put an area rug under said coffee table – but two smelly, drooly Bulldogs make that seem unlikely
  • Eventually, we’ll replace the off-white leather (hand-me-downs-of-which-we-are-so-grateful) furniture with brown leather — easier to keep clean and will better match our aesthetic tastes
  • Next up: painting the ceilings the same color as the walls (Colonial Buff by Sherwin Williams) and adding CROWN MOLDING!  Can’t wait!  We think that’s going to take the room to a whole new level.

We did not pay full price for ONE thing in this room (YAY!). Most of it we had before and moved with us into the Dream, but here’s a rundown so you can see where we spend our time NOT paying full price:

  • Couch, love seat, chair, ottoman – hand-me-downs from the parents
  • Media cabinet – consignment store (My Sister’s Attic)
  • TV – gift
  • Bar – Craig’s List
  • Lamps by couch – from a woman who is dealer for a big-furniture-chain – she advertised on Craig’s List and now we’re on her “list” (!)  More exciting finds to come from that… 🙂
  • Lamp behind chair – we’ve had the stand forever, but scored a new shade at a charity auction for $5
  • C&B Wicker side table – charity auction (retails for $90, we got it for $12)
  • Tile side table – My Sister’s Attic
  • Frames – Ikea
  • Photos in frames – taken ourselves on our trip to France
  • Clock – Holland Boone, using a gift certificate from our wedding
  • Globe – Marshall’s/Home Goods
  • Black vases – Costco (with a coupon)
  • Throw – TJ Maxx
  • Pillow – self-made
  • Valance – self-made
  • Blinds – Home Depot (with coupon)
  • Curtains and rod – Ikea

Oh yeah, we feel g-o-o-d about that!

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