Sunday, September 19, 2010


When we first looked at the house, the previous owners had put in a gorgeous planting bed in front of the house.  By the time we closed... the bed looked like this:

No weed blocker was put down, and the mulch was minimal at best.  Its a bit embarrassing... but it actually ended up looking worse than this before it got better.

N and I decided to stick with the house colorings (and to keep the HOA happy...).  We went with a red edger and cedar mulch.  We pulled up all the weeds, and turned the soil over to make sure all of the weed roots were torn up.

N lays the edging...

While Peanut supervises!

Laying the edging on top of the over pour from the concrete.  N says it guaranteed the edging would be level - I just nodded and smiled  =0)

We planted some dwarf mondo grass along the edge.

Peanut says he did a good job!

We pulled up all of the plants except for the 2 day lilies and 2 evergreens.  We covered the bed in weed blocker, and put down 2 - 2.5" of cedar mulch.

Close-up of the mulch and edging.  The bed was in full shade, so its a bit difficult to see the tan color in the mulch

All finished!

We still plan on adding some more plants, but wanted to wait until spring so we don't have to worry about an early frost killing them off.  We'll plant a few perennials, and some annuals.  Our plan for annuals is to "bury" some flower pots in the ground after lining the holes with the weed blocker.  Then we can change out the annuals through the years without compromising and cutting too many holes in the weed blocker.  N came up with the idea, and we'll find out how well it'll work in the spring!

New Fridge!

 After a couple of weeks, this nasty leak had gotten much worse.

The caulk refused to hold anymore, and rusty water would drip out into the fridge.  The weather stripped around the door started falling apart,and the door no longer sealed well.  We could not control the crazy amounts of moisture, and food was going bad way too fast. 

We hung on through Labor Day weekend in hopes of catching a good sale - and it was worth the wait.  N and I spent a Friday evening pouring over different options and ended up with a:

You'll have to excuse any sideways pics... I've tried over and over, but CANNOT get them to upload correctly.

N and I both forgot to measure...
 and got lucky that the fridge fit!  We might move it and redo some cabinets.. but that would be a ways off.

N's favorite feature was the dual ice makers.  A small one in the door, and a larger one in the freezer.  I like that the freezer drawers were plastic and not just wire baskets like some brands.

There is TONS of space in the doors

 I'm sure we'll be able to fill it up one day - but for now it all seems huge!  We like the large deli/defrost tray at the bottom, and that some of the shelves slide out of the way for taller things.

Throw in the LED lights, and this fridge just "glows"  =0)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lights, lights, and more lights!

 An uncovered light bulb gives off harsh, intrusive, unfriendly light.  It is not pleasant to sit under,and does not facilitate good conversation or good company.  If N and I can't decide on a light fixture for the dining room... we might end up with a bare light bulb.  We've picked out a few we think we like - but none are REALLY striking home.  We haven't re-visited this topic since we picked out the rug, so one of these may very well be an option.  These choices are from Lowes and Home Depot.  We do have plans to visit a House of Lights as well.  We'd love any opinions on the following options to help us decide

We're looking for a dark metal.  Other than that... nothing to traditional and something a bit "straight-lined".  We also want the bulbs to face up instead of down.

Option 1: I don't love it, but I don't hate it.

Option 2: N is leaning hard towards this one.  I'm... not sold.  It seems a bit dungeon-y to me, and that's not the way the room is looking.  Definitely correct me if this doesn't make you think of a castle though.

 Option 3:  The globes may be a bit too yellowish, but I know you can buy different globes.  I'm just not sure how this would look with white ones. 
 Option 4: a lighter bronze - it looks a bit darker in person.  the points on the ends remind me of the berry stems on the rugs. 
 Option 5: This is a strong contender.  There's also a 3-light version.  I love the smoothness of the curves.
 Option 6: N saw this one and thought it was pretty neat.  At first we thought the room was moving towards a rustic look, but now I'm not so sure.  I don't care too much for the drum - as we are dealing with a formal dining room.  This just screams eat-in kitchen to me.
 Option 7: My favorite.  But - we've got two problems.  The ceiling in the dining room is a bit low - so I'm not sure if this would be too long.  I think I'd also like something with a bit more "spread".  But the uniqueness has caught my eye.  The second problem?  I can't find it ANYWHERE.  Its on Lowes' website, yet it is unavailable and I can't find any of the stores that have it in stock.  The brand is Portfolio, which looks to be a Lowes-only brand.  Major bummer.

As you can see, we are a bit all over the place.  This is the "last" thing that we have to figure out for the room, aside from the furniture.

Dining Room Extravaganza!

After completely the living room walls (I'll get a pic up of the finished work I promise), N and I decided to tackle the dining room.  After lots of image searches on Google and debating a few ideas back and forth, we determined that the color scheme was going to be based off of our wedding colors.  Those were a light blue, pink, and orange.  Throw in the fact that my dishes (and placemats and napkins) are black and off-white, and we had our colors.  A dark brown jumped in the mix as we decided we didn't want a ton of black and we want a dark wood table/chairs.  I know it sounds like a ton of colors... but it'll work.  I promise  =0)

Our wedding colors.
We decided that the blue we used for the wedding would be a bit... intense as a paint color.  Instead we decided that the blue the previous owners used in the kitchen would work perfectly.  It has just a bit more gray to tone it down.  The pink and orange will be very minimal - you'll find it in flowers on the table and as a highlighted color in black and white photos.  The black will be limited to the dishes, placemats/napkins, and the frames for the pictures.  The off-white color will be in the dishes, placemats/napkins, and in the dining room chairs. 

After tons of searching, we found our rug at Lowes.  I was extremely impressed by the number of options that they had, and the pricing wasn't too bad either.  I was concerned we were going to "need" to drop $1,000 on a Capel rug to find one like we wanted.  Peanut decided he wanted to pose for the picture.  =0)

 These are the curtains - they came from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I'm debating on putting a sheer white behind it to help the chocolate brown stand out.  That'll also help the wavy lines to pop, which was my favorite thing about them.  I was a bit disappointed that they came out looking so thin.

The (semi) finished product!  Yes, the flowers are fake, and I want to get pink gerbera daises to go with the orange ones.  Its the wrong time of year to find them though.  We were just looking for something simple to try out the pink and orange with everything else.  When we're expecting guests, they'll be replaced with real fresh flowers.

I'm not sure that the sailboat picture will stay, but it works for now.

That leaves us with lighting (which will be a separate post), wall decorations (which we still have to figure out), and furniture.

We know that N and I are going to get my Mom's china cabinet.  Its all in just figuring out when.  Its a fairly small cabinet, that's more of a tall display case in my opinion.  It would not provide a ton of storage, but would give us a place to show off my Grandmother's china, or any other important knickknacks we find or inherit.  The plan is to get a serving table/buffet that we can use to store the rest of the china and our barware.  That'll get the barware out of my kitchen cabinets, and free up some more space.

We know that we want upholstered dining room chairs in an off-white color that matches the napkins.  I know, I know - we don't even have kids yet and I'm wanting white furniture.  N and I have already discussed how we would handle that or any other spills that may happen on them.  The napkins have stripes on them that alternate from a matte to a sheen finish.  I'd love to find fabric like that to cover the chairs.  I'm looking for chairs with the fabric of the second one, yet in a style more like the first.

The wood of the table is pretty close to what we're looking for and that's the general overall look.  I'm not sure if we'll go oval or rectangle... it most likely will depend on what we find.  It'll be awhile before we're ready for furniture... but it is nice to know that we have our plan!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


We've spent any free-time during the weekends on finally getting the house together. We now have a 90% completed living room! If you look under the chair rail, you'll notice that one corner is brown and the other is not. The plan is to finish the painting by the end of this week.

Large couch:

Love seat and the front window:

Mounted tv and the two bookcases Nick built. I love them - as we can display our books and create a bit of storage for the video games, controllers, and the dog's toys.

The brown wall close up. I think this is really going to make the room pop!

We're planning to hang a few more pictures on either side of the tv as well - and then it will be done!

Birthday Surprises!

My birthday was on June 12, which was a Saturday this year. We went camping with my parents and my oldest sister, and had a great time. This meant that it was the next weekend before my parents gave me my gift.

I got... rocking chairs for the front porch! It was a few weeks before we got them together, but here they are in all their glory!

My mother-in-law gave me two ferns to hang up as well. They've taken a bit of a beating with the heat the past couple of weeks, but are starting to rebound back.

I want to find a small white wood table to put in the middle. Then I'll put my lime green coffee cup planter there with either a vine or a few flowers... and my front porch will be complete!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


We knew when we put an offer on the house that we would need to purchase a washer and dryer. I was really excited about this, as most of the ones I've used are either older than I am or extremely overused. After tons of research (and the help of the Energy Star rebates and sales) we picked some out! We went with the Whirlpool Cabrio set - the washer is a top loader HE with a low agitator. The dryer... is just awesome. =0)

We originally scheduled a delivery date in mid June, as this was our closing date. The sellers wanted to move up closing by two weeks, and we agreed. N called and changed our delivery date... or so we thought. We realized on the day that they were to be delivered that we hadn't heard from the company. N started calling around, and found out that not only was the date not changed, but that the washer and dryer hadn't arrived from the warehouse yet! The store was pretty backed up from the rebate, and we nor the sales guy anticipated this.

After two long weeks - we finally have them =0)They are so pretty and awesome.

We did not know, however, that the fridge would need to be replaced sooner rather than later. We knew it was an older model and on the small side, but figured (and hoped) that we could get a year or two out of it. We've quickly learned that its REALLY small and is rusting through on the underside of the fridge compartment.

(That's marinating meat, not a science project)

The offending rust spots, after Dad filled the holes with caulk. Its better than the water pouring out, but it does still leak

Due to wall placement a larger traditional fridge is not an option. This leaves us with french door or a side by side. I am NOT a fan of side by sides, but N finds the additional price for the french door style to be a bit much. We're still hashing it out for now and trying to deal for at least a few more months, but this is the one that I like and will fit. =0)

In a white finish, the white in the pic doesn't show up as well. Its a 22.2 cubic ft GE Profile.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hot Hot Hot!!

Our original plan this weekend wasn't to work in the yard, but thanks to our dog Peanut and his Houdini antics, our plans changed.
This is Peanut: And this was the problem: The yard slopes here, and the previous owners used a mesh screen to keep their larger dog from digging out. However our 20lb dog could squeeze under the mesh. N decided a patio/walkway would be the best solution so that the gate could still open but not wash out from the front yard drainage.

After 1+ hours in Home Depot finding blocks that go together and a pattern that gave us the right size, we had our plan.
Stringing out the form:Laying the pavers:All done! The plan is to extend it as a walkway in the backyard to the deck, but we're going to hold off until it's a bit cooler out. =0)

My job was to work on the mess in the front planting bed...but after battling 1000's of baby spiders I unearthed and trying to keep N from overheating not much progress was made. We also worked on cleaning out/cleaning up the old house. I will be so glad when we can stop going back and forth!