Archive | April, 2012


25 Apr

I’ll start off by addressing the big pink elephant in the room (although maybe I’m the only one seeing it…).  I’m a bit mortified that not a single soul posted a comment on my call for opinions post last Friday.  I’m secretly hoping that it’s because no one ever wants to be the first commenter, but I know I’m delusional.  In reality, that actually answers the questions I asked in my last post just as much as your comments would have.  It tells me that I haven’t engaged you on a personal level, so that needs to change.

From here on out, I’ll be focusing more on content than posting on a certain schedule.  The posting will be sporadic for a few weeks while I figure out the changes.  I’m going to start up a few series posts and probably revive my Pin and Tell series, but lets face it, you aren’t invested in me enough to care about the minutia of what I started over the weekend (aside from a few of my friends in real life), you want RESULTS and meatier posts (more content, less filler).  So your silence has spoken volumes.  I hope you’ll bear with me through this transition and if it goes according to plan, this blog will be better than ever!

Until then, please enjoy this teaser of my newly painted and stenciled bathroom.



Happy Friday!

20 Apr

I’ve been very reflective lately.  Could be that the onset of Spring always makes me think of new beginnings, but that’s too logical.  I’m going to blame the show How I Met Your Mother.  In the episode 2 weeks ago, the guys reflected on their 3 year tradition of watching the Star Wars Trilogy and where their lives have taken them (in sit-com land of course).  So naturally, I’m blaming fictional people for making me think about my life.  Only a little weird I hope.

Part of my reflections have been how I can make this blog more worth reading and more worth writing.  I enjoy  writing here (and I hope you find reading it enjoyable most of the time), but I’ll admit, sometimes I’m at a loss of what content to include.  I started this blog a year and a half ago and since then it has evolved to be largely about my adventures as a new homeowner (much to my surprise).    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about improvements I want to make to this blog and I want you guys to weigh in.

The content has naturally evolved (without much of a gameplan), but the layout and design of the blog hasn’t changed one bit.  I look at the layout of other home/design blogs and I have some ideas for layouts to make the content that I already have more accessible.  Although I want to hear your feedback on EVERYTHING, (the good, the bad, and the ugly) I really want your opinions on which posts you like reading.  DIY projects always seem to be a crowd-pleaser, so those are most certainly here to stay (only limited by my ‘free’ time and how fast I can do them).  What other posts do you like seeing?  Or what would you like to hear more about?  Have you missed my Pin and Tell posts?  Do you want to hear more about my estate sale/tag sale treasure hunts?  I want to know what keeps you coming back!

Comment away!!!

A Long Time Coming

17 Apr

The push to get my nephew’s room done before he arrives is ON.  His future bff Yasha decided to be born 5 weeks early (one of my sister’s best friends was due with a girl 2 weeks after her), so it’s made all of us realize that he could join us at any moment.  All of the necessary things are in his room, but I want to try and get his room done before he arrives so my sister has 1 less thing to worry about- expect posts about that in the coming couple weeks.

Amongst all the little things I’m trying to get done for my soon-to-be-nephew, I was able to FINALLY start tackling a few of the issues that have been bugging me about the house.

#1: Lack of patio furniture is NO MORE:

Since the patio spent the entirety of last summer looking like this:

Wasted Yard

and then this:

Seeing it like THIS makes me so happy:

I can’t express how this latest addition just makes me smile.  The patio is starting to feel like an outdoor room that is actually usable.  (I had blogged my plans for this area here, and most recently here)

#2: IN PROGRESS: Bathroom Make-over

Check out my plans for the room here.

Stenciled Ceiling 80% done:

Painting walls 5% done:

Holes are patched and sanded, I’ve begun to tape around the room, but the stubborn old medicine cabinet just WOULDN’T let go!  It sat like that for 24 hours before I could fix it.  I had to go buy a pair of locking pliers, because one of the screws would not budge a bit.  Not with the drill, not with any of my screwdrivers.  And locking pliers were one tool I didn’t have yet.  I also had to tweak the paint color a bit from that in the picture.  The first color I came home with didn’t look as dark on the walls as I had hoped.  A very nice color, but I’m looking for the drama.  Or maybe I just get an idea in my head and need to make it happen.  And my idea for the bathroom is a dark graphite color.  I went back to Sherwin Williams and had them tint it darker- definitely a good choice!!

I can’t wait to get the paint done and the new medicine cabinet up!

Did you get started on any long awaited projects over the weekend?  Or wrestle with annoying medicine cabinets?

Curbing Awkward

11 Apr

Once again, I am plotting the demise of several bushes in my yard.  Considering that my yard is about the size of a postage stamp, 3 ousted bushes will be a pretty big deal.  If you recall, last year’s de-bushification of the yard included removing 2 suffering bushes to make way for the veggie garden, and removing the offensive overgrown bushes from the front yard.  This year we have 2 more bushes in the side yard planed for removal to fit more planter boxes for our veggie garden and one bush in the front yard just needs to go away.

From day one, the lone bush on the right side of the front yard has irked me (I really feel like ‘irk’ is a very underused word- I’m rather fond of it- its appropriate in so many situations).  Anyway, the bush- it’s healthy, not a terrible size, but the placement leaves a bit to be desired.  I gave it a year and hoped that I’d forget about it (to save us the manual labor), but it still bothers me much more than it should.  It probably doesn’t help that new episodes of Curb Appeal are on again, and I love seeing how huge of a difference just a few small changes can make.  Too many DIY ideas causes trouble & I’m totally going to get myself in trouble this summer (don’t tell Hubby).

The front yard started close to this.  I don’t have a FULL before picture of the front yard.  This picture was taken after we removed a few suffering bushes from the right side-yard right next to the house:

After we finished the last bush-ectomy, it looked like this:

See how the bushy guy on the right just looks a bit awkward?  There’s nothing grounding him visually- he’s just loitering out in the middle of the front yard.  Awkward.

Through the wonders of photoshop, here’s what I want to do there:

I know its not a MAJOR difference, but it looks more pulled together and hides the side yard/veggie garden.  Cost-wise, it won’t be a big investment, it’ll just be a full day project (optimistically).  Once we get the offending bush out of the ground, I want to plant 2 or 3 arborvitae in line with the house, leaving enough room next to the fence (all the way to the right, unseen in this pic) for a narrow path to the veggie garden.

Last year, the yard and gardens were largely experimental.  We weren’t sure what would grow or how things would work.  Now that we have a better idea of how we use the space and what grows successfully, we may go a little nuts.  I’m super duper excited.  I just want it to be truly warm enough so I can get started!

Do you have any epic yard/garden projects planned?


9 Apr

After discovering this past week, that Instagram is now available for androids, I may have gone a little crazy.  As I’ve admitted openly in past posts, although it generally speaks for itself- I did NOT get the photographing skills in my family.  Any program that makes my photography skills look less dismal, is OK in my book… plus its fun.  You should try it.  Everyone’s doing it.  Be cool, like me.

..Yeah, so, ANYWAY.

Since I barely had a chance to sit still all weekend (not counting my accidental 2 hour nap Sunday), I though I’d share it with you via instagram photo montage.


Road trip to NYC with the in-laws to see (my amazingly talented sister-in-law) Lily's play.

(Through the car window) Driving past Yankee Stadium- a few blocks from where Lily hopes to move this summer.

Lily's anticipated new home. It's so nice! I can't wait to help her make it amazing!

Lunch at Chop'd Times Square- YUM!

Zombies!!! Lily (left) after the show, showing off their fake gashes

Peeps at Easter dinner with my parent and sister (husbands were still at PAX). We didn't get to blowing them up this year, though

Low-key Easter dinner with ham and Mom's deviled eggs

Handy Dad installing the bookshelves he built for my nephews room

Shelves! Styled by Mom, the librarian

With no major events on the calendar for the next few weeks (phew, I survived all the bridal/baby showers & matron of honor duties of the past few months) I can now focus on finishing my nephews room!   The ideas are churning, I just need to get creating- stay tuned!!

Patio Dreaming- 2012 edition

6 Apr

I’m a video game widow all weekend thanks to the annual arrival of PAX East (aka Geekfest Boston).  Hubby and all his friends have taken a 3 day weekend starting today and will be celebrating all that is nerdy.  I’ll be adventuring without him, though.  Tomorrow, I’ll be spending the day in NYC watching my amazingly talented sister-in-law, Lily Goodman in an off-broadway play, 13 Fat Girls and a Dead Cat– go see her!!!!! Do it!!  Shows are Tonight, tomorrow, and Monday.  Since I know you want to go, you can buy tickets here.

Even though the weather is taunting us here in New England lately (is it freezing or summer-like?  who knows.  but don’t worry, tomorrow’ll be opposite), I’m starting to plot out my patio furnishings that I never got around to buying last summer.

Almost a year ago, I posted about my plans for some of the patio furniture here.  I almost had a patio crisis (yes dear friends who I know will mock me, its almost as bad as a shampoo crisis) when I realized that the red wrought iron chairs that I had my heart set on:

were no longer available from Kmart and they had a new style in its place that I didn’t like so much:

The newer chairs are a bit too frilly for my taste. I wanted LAST year’s chairs!! Waaahh.  After a brief internal temper tantrum, I got determined.  Lo and behold, Sears now sells my coveted ‘last year’s model’ chairs- AND they’re on sale!!  I wasn’t going to make the same mistake as last year- ya snooze, ya lose, right?

For a total of $301 I have 4 of these babies:

on their way to my local Sears just for me (it was free to ship to store and I like free).  These chairs have an overall silhouette much like their new counterpart, but I MUCH prefer the linear pieces in the back to the scrolling of ‘this year’s model.’  If you haven’t already guessed, those cushions need new fabric.  I’m hoping to find a punchy, graphic outdoor fabric to recover them.

Notice that I said I just have 4 chairs on the way- I did NOT order the matching table.  The table is not fully metal, the top is a plastic and got some pretty dismal reviews.  My first thought was that I would just buy a regular wrought iron table and either paint it to match the chairs or paint the table and chairs all another color.  I wasn’t convinced with my plan, though.  I kind of had my heart set on a vintage eclectic patio scheme and too much wrought iron would be in danger of getting too matchy for my tastes.  I had looked at wood farmers-style tables last year, but since I’m not willing to pay an arm and a leg for something that’s not revolting, I had pretty much abandoned that idea.  Enter IKEA.

This new-to-this-year wooden outdoor table I think has the perfect mix of rustic, vintage, and clean lines to play nice with my red wrought iron chairs (and it doesn’t hurt that the price is kind on the wallet at $139).  When I first showed it to the Hubs, he asked if the sides were a design feature or if they raised for more room.  BOTH, and that’s kind of why I’m in love.  I really like the look if them down (it feels very architectural that way) and I love the versatility of being able to put them up if we have a larger gathering.  I’m pretty much sold on it, but I do want to see it in person to make my final assessment.  Good thing I’ll be taking a trip to IKEA very soon to pick up frames, floating shelves, and other misc for my nephew’s room (just over 3 weeks ’till he’s due, I need to get to finishing his space!).

Phew, that was verbose!  If you’ve made it all the way down here you deserve a prize!  So, what do you think of my chair/table combination?  Am I’m nuts or will it look amazing?

*photos via sears, kmart, sears, & ikea

B+M= no joke!

4 Apr

On April Fools day, Becky and Mike tied the knot!!!

I don’t think I ever explained to you my sheer excitement for this wedding… it is kind of my fault.  You see, the groom is one of Hubby’s bffs (do guys have bff or just bros?) and I met Becky at my first job out of college.  Somewhere along the line, it hit me that they would go great together.  And they are great together 🙂

Their photographer has some AMAZING pictures posted on her website:

It’s awesome to see 2 of your best friends make each other so happy!

Love ya B!!!

They kept their guest entertained with dancing, a game room, and a photobooth.  Personally, I think the photobooth was a smashing success.  Once I figure out how to take a decent picture of the photo strips (or locate the install CD for my ancient scanner) I’ll share some of the amusements.

*pics courtesy of my sister and Geoff- I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures myself