Archive for ‘home’

September 19, 2011

How I Love Weekends.

These days I live for the weekend.  Monday through Friday is great and all, but the weekends are when I get to spend more time with my hubby and I get to spend some quality time at the house.  Cleaning is high on the list, but it doesn’t always happen.  Sporatic cleaning is my new tactic, that way cleaning doesn’t end up taking over a whole day where my hair gets pulled on the top of my head and I’m covered in dirt from head to toe at the end of five hours.  (Although, sometimes it’s necessary).  This weekend did not involve much cleaning, but it was a busy one!

The back door has needed some love for awhile.  It was off-white when we moved in, peeling paint on the outside, and it didn’t seal at all.  Levi put some weather stripping on it a few months ago, which helped in a huge way during our heat wave.  The dirty look of the door has been driving me crazy.  So this weekend, it got a face-lift!

It’s so happy now.  I just love it. 

The trim still needs some work, but that’s for another weekend.

Another new addition to the backyard is the shed that my husband, so graciously, put together.  We debated for awhile on building our own or buying a pre-fabricated shed.  After pricing everything, we decided to buy one and put it together.  One million pieces later . . . the shed is finally finished and organized!  Levi put everything in the shed yesterday.  The yard looks so much better (minus the dirt that is now our grass).  That man is a blessing.

Hagen is still growing, of course.  We think she’s around 90 lbs now.  It hurts when she steps on your feet.  But she’s a huge ball of love.

Weekends also bring time for gardening.  I’m starting out small this fall … and in containers. 

Weekend before last I planted herbs :: basil, cilantro, sage, parsley, and lavender.  Currently this pot is no longer stacked on blocks on the deck, because Hager beans still found a way to get to the plants.  We are down one parsley now.  I got two chains and hung the container from two existing hooks outside our office window.  The herbs like it there so far.  And it’s out of Hagen’s reach .. for now.

The front beds have two tomato plants, four red cabbage plants, and four cauliflower plants. I also planted lettuce, because I love it.  Bibb, Romaine, Arugula & Swiss Chard.  It sits on our stop sign table on the front porch.  The swiss chard has it’s own pot, because it’s large and in charge. The lettuce really took off this week with our spurts of rain. 

Last night we had our first salad.  It was delicious.

Some sort of baking or cooking frenzy normally happens during the weekend as well.  This weekend, the baking was for a coworker-turned-friend ..  Happy Birthday Matt!  He likes cookies.  He likes icing.  Hopefully the cookie cake will suffice! 

With that, I will leave you with my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe … for one of your upcoming weekends.
 

Advertisements
September 6, 2011

Ryan :: Autumn Wreath

It’s COOL outside! This weather, although probably short-lived, is amazing. I’ve been waiting to make our autumn wreath until we had a cool streak. Yes, cool … meaning two consecutive days under 90 degrees. So that day is today!

I realize that I still haven’t posted before/after pictures of the house. It’s only been what, 5 months?! I’ll get to it. For now, the front door. It was originally a dark olive green – yuck. I appreciate that this color holds a special place in the heart of many people, but I just can’t handle it. We took the door a dark charcoal color with the tiniest hint of violet. We also added the giraffe doorknocker from Anthro. I couldn’t resist this little guy. He welcomes guests and makes quite a racket to let us know when someone knocks at the door.

I have been gathering pieces of autumn goodness to make a wreath for this fall. All of the pieces for this wreath were found on sale at Joann’s, Michael’s, and Anna’s Linens. The wooden wreath form itself was picked up on the side of the road by yours truly. I’m not ashamed. It originally had some ghastly pink ribbons and hot glue ridden flowers. After removing all of the unwanted pieces, the wreath form was ready for a new life. Here is the result.

The straw-like pieces are from Michael’s. Levi actually spotted the 60% bins on the sidewalk while we were leaving BB&B. He regretted mentioning it after I started digging through the florals. We also scored some nice tiki torches for a few bucks. The little berries and feathers were a JoAnn’s find, with a 50% coupon, of course. Never buy anything from JoAnn’s without a coupon. Seriously. The burgundy hair-like pieces surrounding the center of the wreath were on clearance at Anna’s. I found out why too. They dye your hands hot pink. I mean solid pink. After working with those pieces, I had to scrub my hands so much to get the dye off. It was worth it though – I like the richness that the burgundy adds.

Yay for fall days!

September 5, 2011

Paint Chip Wall Calendar :: DIY

So the original plan was to have this ready to post for the beginning of September … but now it can be a September project for you to have ready come October!  For those of you on Pinterest (and for those of you who aren’t, but should be), you have probably come across the myriad of crafts and designs using paint chips. Garland, bunting, framed, decoupaged, you name it.. I don’t completely condone all of the projects, because some take a ridiculous amount of paint chips and some of them don’t really have a purpose other than to use a ridiculous amount of paint chips. I felt a like a little kid grabbing 7 of each color I used, trying to make sure the paint man wasn’t going to “catch me.” Almost like I was stealing, even though they are free. The fact that we bought a lot of paint for the new house made me feel better – like I was bartering with Valspar. I think they probably came out on top.

Now that I have that confession out there, on to the actual project. Stevo had an old frame. in a horse trailer. parked beside a pile of trash. ready to go to the dump. When I saw it, I snatched it up he gave it to me for “this calendar I’ve been wanting to make.” So here goes.

:: What you will need ::

A frame – any size will do, but the bigger the better {this is Texas}

Cardboard for backing

Poster board {white or color of your choice}

28 Paint Chips {colors of your choice}

Double-sided Tape

:: Let’s get going ::

The frame had a trash bag duct taped around it and onto the glass when we found it. I’m not sure exactly how much good the trash bag would have done in protecting it, but the duct tape did it’s job – it was very nicely caked onto the frame and glass. After some windex and elbow grease, the frame was ready.

Here it is without the glass.

Since there was no backing to the frame, I got a box out of our recycling bin that just happened to be large enough for this sucker. I had to cut the piece to fit and duct tape an edge on; but it’s ok because this part won’t show at the end.

I should also mention that it helps to have an audience. (Even if they are sleeping).

Now that we have the frame and backing ready, it’s time to make the calendar itself.

I used 28 paint chips from Lowe’s in 4 different shades of orange.  You could do all different colors, but I like the monochromatic look.  Remember you will be writing on top of these, so lighter colors will work the best.

Cut the paint chips down to the size that will work for your frame.  I got the largest paint chips and just cut the name of the color off, because I wanted them as large as possible.  It may take a little rearranging to see what size you need.  I placed my chips 7 across and 4 down, realizing that I would have some days at the bottom of each month that would share a block.  If this bothers you, make a 5th row! 

After arranging the chips, secure them with 3 or four small pieces of double-sided tape.. or do it the old-school circle of tape way (which I had to do on about a fourth of the chips).

As you’re arranging, you will want to leave a space on one side of the frame for you to write the month.  I decided to make it on the side.

As you can see, the poster board wasn’t large enough to cover the whole frame.  So I used it to place the paint chips on, and made a space on the side with a piece of toulle wrapped around the edge to add a little texture.  The toulle is taped to the back of the frame.  You could use hot glue if you’d like, but I wanted the option to change it out later.

After securing the poster board to the cardboard backing, assemble behind the glass in the frame!

Then find a place for your new calendar!  Our’s is in the office, and adds a nice detail of brightness against the gray walls.  I need to get some stronger expo markers, but they do the trick for now! 

Happy Labor Day!

August 9, 2011

Chairs :: An Obsession

I’ve always loved chairs. This love has grown recently first with the wedding and now with my home-focused-brain.. Chairs can make a huge statement, whether at a wedding or in the living room .. which is part of why I love them so much. I wanted to share some recent inspiration for things that yo’ bum sits on, both for parties/weddings and in your home.

First, I have to show you this picture.  How gorgeous are those ribbons?!  This was for a wedding ceremony for the guests’ chairs.  Time consuming, but sooooo worth it!  I am in love with this.

Another great idea for a ceremony or party is to add some color with pillows.  Not only do they increase the comfort level, but they are also appealing to the eye.

This is another wedding idea, which I love for hanging on the new couple’s chairs at the reception.

Now to the home..  I am currently on the prowl at garage sales, Craigslist, and side of the road locations with my eyes peeled for some kind of frame similar to these which I could recover.  At the moment, I’ve given up hope of buying something like these in a newer fashion.  But hey, I love a challenge.

How amazing are these?

Anthro, you would.

I love love love these bright chairs for a child’s play area or even for a big person’s desk chair.  Maybe I’ll repaint the office chair (currently red) with a fresh coat of highlighter lemon. 

Lastly, I am in love with the idea of tree trunks as chairs – side tables – footstools .. what have you.  Fortunately, I picked up some stumps off the side of our old street in the fall when some neighbors were cutting down a tree.  Yes, my husband still loves me. 

I have yet to tackle this project, but it’s coming sometime soon.  Maybe when we’re in double-digits again.

August 3, 2011

Chevron Canvas :: DIY

This is a project I did for the dining room over a month ago. I have been loving the chevron pattern everywhere lately, and I thought this would be an easy and cheap addition to bring some shine into the middle of the house.

All you need is a blank canvas (or three), acrylic paint or spray paint of your choice, a tape measure, and some painter’s tape — which I would highly suggest the frog tape. Blue painter’s tape is for those of you looking to make some sort of abstract blurred line. I was not going for that .. I want my tape to actually create a straight line. I’m a big fan of the green stuff.

To begin I took a pencil and made tiny markings where I wanted the points of the chevron to be for one line. I ended up making the points 6 inches apart vertically and horizontally. Next, cut pieces of tape the length you need between each marking. If you pre-cut them and have the pieces lined up, the process is much faster. I found it worked best to change the pieces of tape for the first line around until I liked the way it looked. Then, I used that line as a model to measure the rest. This is the hardest part.

Also, I taped off the edges of the canvases because I thought the white would leave a cleaner look. I like how they turned out, but you could easily paint the sides if you wanted.

Then tape off however many other canvases you are game for. I wanted a grouping of three, so this is what they looked like after taping them off.

I had the bright idea to use gold acrylic paint and brush it on like a real artist. For my patience level at the time, this was overrated. I completed one canvas with the gold acrylic and it wasn’t bold enough for what I was wanting.

I decided to do a second coat, which created the bright gold I was looking for.

At this point, I was tired of hand painting …. so I looked for another option. We had leftover metallic spray paint from some other projects around the house, so I decided to see how they looked on the canvas. Silver and bronze.

When I laid these two next to the gold, it just seemed like they were too bright in comparison. So I decided to paint over every other stripe of the silver and bronze metallic canvases to tie them together. Add a picture hanger on the back of the canvas and pick your spot to hang it up!

This is our dining room, complete with the chevron canvases. I think they add a nice contrast to the bread and wine picture that Levi’s father took in the 70’s. You basically have to walk through this room to get to any other room in the house, so I love that it has a warm, cheery feel now. It took me awhile to decide which way to hang them … “W” or “M” … I decided on “W” because Levi’s middle name is William.

August 1, 2011

Ryan :: A Proper Texas Pounding

Last month our parents threw a Texas Pounding to break Ryan in & warm our home with laughter & wonderful people. Most people have never heard of a Pounding, because they are kind of old-fashioned. Right up our my alley … Although I think Levi had fun with it too … Especially considering the many pounds of coffee we received. 

We had around 50 people through Ryan on that Saturday.  It was a hot Texas day, as I’m sure you can imagine.  Everyone stuck it out like troopers, and some staked out a spot in the office – which was the coolest room during the party.

Bran, modeling with the deer?

Every room.  More people.

The kitchen ..

The bathroom … For some reason, this wasn’t the room of choice to congregate in.  It did get a lot of action though, because I had to explain to everyone what it looked like before.

I’ll show you the bedroom once I have the curtains finished … but for now, just think electric blue.

The deck was a project semi-finished about two hours prior to the pounding.  Levi and Stevo worked their tails off in the heat finishing this.  I absolutely love it!  It’s so nice to walk out onto the deck instead of our now-crunchy-grass.  Once the upper portion is finished and it is stained a dark brown, it will be even better!  With the misters going, it almost felt better outside under the shade.

Bug – eyes.

Everyone wanted us to open the pounds they brought – so we gathered in the hottest room, the living, to open them.

I loved how creative people got with the gifts.  Among our favorites were : dolmas from Central Market, coffee, paper bags filled with screws, nails, and other construction goodness, a highlighter green hammer (so we won’t lose it), lantana plants, and a pound of ribs.  Of course, we have enough flour, sugar, peanut butter, and jelly to last us years!  We loved everything.

I think the boy was most excited about the bullets for his gun.  His brother knows him well.

Homemade spice mix.  Absolutely delicious on any kind of meat.

My parents gave us some of the doilies that my dad’s mom, who we called ‘Who Who’, had crocheted.  It is so special for me to have these to remind me of her.  I think I got a little bit of her craftiness.

Thank you everyone for your amazing generosity.  We love you!

July 13, 2011

Ryan :: Recent Happenings

This is what our living room looked like on Sunday afternoon.

Fabric bonanza.

Over a month ago, we bought 4 cane-backed chairs off of Craigslist to go with the beautiful dining table my parents gave us as a housewarming gift.  The table was my grandmothers and it’s gorgeous.  So, the chairs need to be something special too.  This is what the chairs looked like before.  They weren’t terrible, but I wasn’t digging the fabric.

Imagine this chair x 4 plus 2 chairs (one shown below) that were given to us by the previous owner of the house.  Four hours, hundreds of staples, and a swollen hand later … we had newly covered chairs.  They look pretty and they feel better too.  The fabric is so comfy on the hind legs.

The makeshift red curtains don’t do much to block light or heat … that’s the current project.  I’m sewing the rings on next!  Can’t wait to share them … think light blue, orange, circles, and texture.  The fabric was a gift from the amazing owner of Interior Fabrics, where I used to work over the summers.  I’m so excited for her to come see where the fabric is being used once they’re finally done!

On a more depressing note … I completely forgot my camera on our trip to Austin for Jen’s wedding!  I could have kicked myself!  You can believe me though, everything was gorgeous … down to every last detail.  Fabric Flowers.  Suspenders.  First Kiss.  BBQ.  Succulents.  Lemonade with crushed strawberries.  Photobooth.  Cake / Pie / Cupcakes.  Birdhouse.  Dancefest.  Spiced Pecans.  Sparklers.  It was beautiful.  Tim & Jenny are such a testament of God’s love, clearly shown throughout their day.  I. loved. every. minute.

On Saturday we took a detour to the lovely town of Fredericksburg.  We found this amazing little German antique store with hundreds of ski poles imported from Germany.  I don’t have any use for vintage ski poles, but if you do … head down South.  I agonized over this vintage dough bowl.  Vintage + Wood + Bowl + German = Something I had to pull myself away from … once I heard the price.  It was actually a good deal for a dough bowl, but I couldn’t justify the purchase when I didn’t know where I would put it.  The bowl was huge, which increased its awesomeness … but I will just have to enjoy it through this picture.

I also saw these chimes while we were there … I’ve been wanting to make a chime out of old silverware I bought at a garage sale awhile back, but haven’t taken the time yet.  I like the idea of hanging them from another dish – this platter was cute. 

These planters (with succulents!!! yes, I’m obsessed with succulents right now) were outside of a cool little shop.  Definitely want to recreate this idea for the backyard; maybe for some herbs.

Before the wedding, we spent the night in Round Rock with some family friends, Leland & Dana.  Dana is super talented … she is so crafty.  She has most recently been making her own metal jewlery.  Everything is unique and completely customized for the person.  She made me the cutest necklace with charms of different shapes and sizes that say different things.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it — but I DO have a picture of the decanter tags she made for us!  Yes, our liquor has jewelry too.  Look how amazing these are.  We have 10 or 11 in total … my favorite isn’t pictured, but these are the pictures that turned out the best.  Let me know if you need a custom necklace/charm, etc.  Dana can hook you up!

I was so happy to get back home to our Hager Beans.  She’s growing so fast!  Can you find her?

July 6, 2011

Ryan :: Growing

Hold the phone.  I have something that is growing for me.  Actually growing.  Look at these cuties!!!  Contrary to what you might think, with my mother’s outrageous gardening abilities, thus far in my life I have killed more plants than I have kept alive.  I am bound and determined to reverse this streak …. and this is the first step.

 This little seedlings are much more lively and beautiful in person.  It seems I only remember to snap photos at night lately, producing less than adequate pictures … but hey, it’s something.  These seeds were given to me by a family friend from her own hyacinth vine.  Hopefully in a few more weeks we will have something that looks a bit more like this.

We’ve had some help clearing the front beds and they now smell of wonderful pine mulsch.  We now have two knockout roses, two variegated privets, a plumbago, a hibiscus, some echinacea, and a hydrangea that is fighting for her life in this heat.  I know, July is not prime planting season — but seriously, that bed needed some color.  Everything besides the hydrangea is loving our weather.  Hopefully this continues….

I also have to share Hagen’s new necklace.  Yeah, it’s a vintage belt.  How great is that? Check out this super cute etsy shop for your doggy needs.

I’m kind of obsessed.

One of my closest friends is getting married on Friday!!!!  So excited to report back about their. amazing. day.

June 24, 2011

Ryan :: Hagen’s Bed

This pretty girl has been averaging a 5 lb weight gain every week. It’s very impressive. This obviously means she’s eating more, pooping more (well it’s true), and she’s taking up more room on the bed. Yes, when she was a puppy I couldn’t handle the whimpering when we were in bed and she had to sleep on the floor alone. Now, however … I take a different stance. We would need at least a California King (we have a Queen) to handle all three of us. More importantly, I would rather snuggle with my man anyday. All of this explains my urgency in making a bed for lovely Hagen beans.

The striped fabric came from one of my mom’s friends who was cleaning up leftover materials. The H was cut from a piece of a pillowcase that was included in a bag of fabric scraps I bought at an estate sale for $2. The stuffing is memory foam that was at one time on one of our beds, but most currently took residence in the cow trailer at my parent’s land. Don’t ask me why. After shaking the dirt off, it now serves a purpose as Hagen’s favorite place to sprawl out.

Today we head down to The Woodlands to visit a friend from high school, Logan, and his fiance, Hillary! We finally get to see his house! I’ve been excited about it for awhile. If we’re lucky we will make it to Galveston and soak up some sun while we’re down South. Did I mention we’ll have two dogs with us? This is them resting last night after wearing each other out.

That’s the best part … Hagen will have her buddy Romo (Logan’s pitbull boxer … I am dog-breed challenged) as a companion on the drive. Longest trip yet for our girl, so I’ll report back on the weekend’s happenings.

I have to share how great friends are. Steve not only made the amazzzzzzing turquoise cabinet for us, but he ALSO made a gorgeous towel rack in the same great color and even thought to pick up this little chair off the side of the road for me! He knows me pretty really well.. Can’t wait to refinish it!

June 20, 2011

Ryan :: Bathroom Renovation

This is what my Friday consisted of … yes, I took a vacation day to paint.  Frog tape, btw, kicks the pants off the blue painter’s tape.  It’s the shizz.  The gorgeous light blue covered yet another shade of green.  The green was more tolerable than the green in the kitchen, but it was still green.  It’s now nice and spa-like in our expanded bathroom.

That mirror is the original built-in medicine cabinet from when the house was built.  It’s placement on the wall is not convenient for us shorter folk.  I can see to the bottom of my eyeballs.  We obviously left this little piece of history in the wall.

On the other side of the room, there is now this amazing mirror … that we picked up for free from a family on craigslist.  We will add molding around the mirror to finish it off, but for now at least I can see to dry my hair!

My feet warmer, while holding the mirror up for Levi to screw in the brackets, was this little beauty.

One of my new favorite things in the bathroom, besides the mirror and resident foot warmer, is the cabinet that Stevo built for us!  In his words, “This color is new for me” … apparently not many people request distressed turquoise cabinets, but then again most people aren’t obsessed with the color like Brandy and I.  I love it.


The marble top was an estate sale find.  The couple brought it over from Spain on returning from their honeymoon.  A treasure for sure.

It’s a pretty backdrop for my morning coffee as well.

This isn’t really in relation to the bathroom … but it is in a way because of what Hagen pulled out of it.  I think the girl could live on paper. A little filler in between meals.

Better pictures to come (non-iPhone shots) once a little more beautifying is done. I just couldn’t help but share the fact that we have a bathroom again!!