Archive | May, 2012


30 May

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend and Memorial Day!

I had such a fantastically productive weekend that I needed an extra day to recover before sharing with you.

We planted flowers, dug out and trashed 2 bushes, relocated another bush, trimmed even more bushes, weeded a forest of weeds, dug up some MONSTER rocks, installed a new porch light, planted some arborvitae, added another veggie garden planter, and started planting in this year’s edible garden.  Phew!!  It’s tiring just listing it all!  Luckily my super duperly helpful parents were willing to lend a hand.  It was their idea, I swear!!  When they offer to come visit to help dig out a bush (or three), I would be a complete fool to say no!

This is what the front yard looked like just a week and a half ago:

Last weekend, the beautification began with planting flowers in the front of the house.  Planting a few (or in our case, more than a few) flowers is a quick way to make a big impact.  It instantly brightens up the yard and makes it feel more landscaped.

That brings us to the holiday weekend.  Remember my plans for the front yard that I detailed here?  Well, I am please to report that major progress has been made on that front.

Bush: gone.  Arborvitae: planted.  Rock wall: created from the gazillion rocks I dug up in my few days of landscaping.

As a reminder, this was the offending bush:

And now:

I planted the arborvitae a little further from the house than I initially had wanted, since we have meters on the house in that spot.  I’m hoping that they fill in and fill out as they’re supposed to, then they’ll bridge the gap a bit more.

Since removing the large bush was shockingly easier than any of us expected, we decided to move our focus to the next targets:  the side yard’s bushes.  They were in the way of us adding another raised planter,  more tomatoes, and a rain barrel.

The azalea was kinda cute and, aside from its location, quite unoffensive, so it got relocated to a formerly empty corner of the yard.  The holly bush, however was not as lucky.

With those bushes out of the way, we added 1 more raised planting bed in our veggie garden and got started on planting.

This was all done, of course, with the proper supervision.

The cherry on top (curb-appeal-wise) was installing the new porch light that we’ve had hanging out in the closet for almost a year.  It has such a fresher look than the rusted, dated fixture of yesteryear.

Now that I’ve teased you with all the pieces, this is what the entire front yard looks like right now:

After spending the majority of my weekend covered in dirt, I wish I had finished products to show for it.  I do find it reassuring, though, that with all we did last year in the yard, and all we’re doing this year, we’ll be pretty well set up for next year and will just have regular maintenance- or at least that’s the plan.

Remaining 2012 Yard To Do List:

  • Potentially regrade the front yard a bit
  • Plant grass in front
  • Put down landscape fabric, stepping stones, and mulch around veggie planters
  • Fill all 3 veggie planters with edible goodness
  • Mulch.  A lot.
  • Plant ground-cover on the driveway side of the house
  • Get a rain barrel

Getting Fresh in the Bathroom

24 May

Remember when I started telling about my bathroom make-over way back when?  Well, I’ve finally worked out some final details and am ready to show you the reveal!  I know, you can hardly contain your excitement, right??

First, let me remind you of where it started.

It was nothing special at all.

Kind of a snooze actually.

Even the burnt orange walls didn’t add interest.

Drum roll please…..

Now the bathroom has a whole new personality!

Step 1 Paint!  I splurged on Sherwin Williams Duration paint and it was money well spent.  The bathroom walls used to look like they were dripping even when no one had taken a shower.  It was delightful, really.  Well, the bleeding walls are no more!  I stenciled the ceiling, then painted the walls a darker shade of the same gray.  Let me tell you- stenciling a ceiling is not for perfectionists.  Gravity is trying to foil you at every turn.  It is NOT easy!!  I still have to take my little detail brush and touch up pretty much the entire ceiling.  At least I can say the effort was worth it- I love the way it looks!

Step 2 (and the catalyst for this whole project)- medicine cabinet!  She’s a sexy beast, no?

Step 3– Accessorize!!!

I would like to draw your attention to the painting- my personal version of Van Gogh’s Lilies.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but I am NOT a painter.  I’m a DIYer.  I think painting and DIY use different parts of the brain.  The brilliant idea that is the Paint Bar, however drew out my inner painter.  My birthday was a few weeks ago (one more b-day before the big one) and I really wanted to try a lesson at the Paint Bar.  Best. Idea. Ever.  Myself and 5 of my closest friends (in addition to about 20 or more strangers) were lead, step by step, into creating awesome pieces of art (facilitated by good wine and an awesome playlist).

Of the 6 of us, 4 are interior designers, 1 an architect, and 1 a (self admitted) non-artistic accountant. Even Corryne, the accountant’s art came out amazing!

And now for a few more indulgent pictures of my finished bathroom.

Pending ceiling and trim touch-up, the bathroom will be officially the first room ‘done’* in this house!

*of course when I say done, I really mean “not in need of any immediate projects, but will still be constantly evolving”

X Marks the Spot

22 May

My tag sale attention span was a little low this weekend, so I sought out with only 5 potential stops on my list (I can generally make it to 10ish in a motivated morning of tag-saling).  After looking at 2 disappointing tag sales and driving by another that wasn’t even worth parking for, I started following signs.  I’m a sucker for tag sale/yard sale/garage sale/estate sale signs.  It adds another dimension to the hunt for awesome stuff.  At first glance, this sale was nothing special- a grandmother cleaning out her spare room by the looks of it.  I was about to cut my losses and just go home, when I spotted a frame leaning against a sad chair.  When I looked closer, the frame contained a (reproduction) of a map of my town from 1895.  Score!!  The sticker on it priced it at $3.  $3 was already a great deal for it, but I always ask if they’ll go lower (you don’t get what you don’t ask for).  So, I adopted this baby for just $2!

I also learned that, although our street existed in 1895 (records say our house was built in 1900), it had a different name.  Fascinating!  After a good clean-up, the frame and mat are both going to get a shot of spray paint to brighten them up.

Charlie approved of my new purchase.  Even Hubby loves it!

I need to giddy-up and start hanging things on the walls- I’m amassing quite a pile.  I also haven’t shown you guys a ‘house tour’ since we moved in almost a year an a half ago *blush*  sorry ’bout that.  It’s high on my to-do list, I promise!!

I’ll be posting my finally finished bathroom make-over later this week, so I hope you’ll come back and check it out!

Eli’s Nursery

16 May

Now that the cutest nephew ever has seen his room (and christened it more than once), I can finally show you guys the big reveal!

So, what do you think?


Dream Big poster from Earmark Paper
Metal ‘E’ from etsy
Rug from CB2
Custom cordless roman shades by Eli’s Grandpa, Gerry Martin
Radiator cover, bookshelves, & changing table ‘lift’ by Handy Dad
Photographs by the new mom, herself, Lisa Martin

Treasure Hunting: Brimfield!

15 May

Ah Brimfield, that magical event that happens 3 times a year in Brimfield Mass.  The largest outdoor antiques show in the us, aka heaven only an hour away.  On Friday, I played hooky from the 9to5 (and by played hooky, I really mean worked lots of extra hours earlier in the week so that I could take the day off without taking a vacation day) so I could join my parents treasure hunting for the day.

I always go into Brimfield thinking about the car-full of all the amazing finds I’ll be bringing home with me and I only end up with a few things in the end.  There are so many amazing (and some not so amazing and/or really bizarre) things packed into such a dense space, it’s hard to appreciate everything individually.  Here are some images to help you imagine:

I love the beautiful antique chairs right across from the Captain Morgan cut-out

Piles of salvaged metal ceiling tiles

hehehe.  Aren’t the stained glass pieces to the right amazing?

The treasures that I came home with were:

Vintage fan for $20.

Plastic Marquee “G” for $4

and my splurge at $45 was this cut-glass bowl

The bowl was one of the first things that caught my eye in the morning, but I didn’t buy it then.  After thinking about it all day, luckily it was still there when I went back.

Did you find any wonderful treasures over the weekend?

Pin and Tell: Bold Entrance

10 May

This week’s Pin:


An entryway is your first chance to impress your guests, why not make a statement?!

The space itself isn’t overly large or grandiose on its own, however the designer used scale perfectly to maximize the space visually.  The large console and oversized frame serve to make the entry feel much larger than it actually is.  The pattern on the floor not only draws you into the space, but it’s an optical illusion, again making the entry seem more spacious.

This entryway is a stellar example of filling a space to make it seem larger.  Less isn’t always more, interiors-wise.

In addition to all the entryway’s amazingness, that drum light is also calling to me.  It’s telling me that it wants to be in my dining room.  I think it’s right, don’t you?


If you missed my previous “Pin and Tell” posts, check them out here.

Desk Chairs and the Gender Divide

9 May

Pretty vs. functional, can’t we have both?!

I have been itching for new desk chairs since we moved in almost a year and a half ago.  I mean it, literally itching.  The current ones absorb cat hair like it’s their job.  Our Dyson is powerless against their hair-grabbing abilities.  They were a great deal when Hubby and I first moved in together (prior to kittens): 1/2 price at IKEA, for $15 a chair, we couldn’t beat the price.  Now, the desk chairs are the first thing you see as you walk up the stairs & cheap IKEA ‘good enough’ chairs are no longer ‘good enough’ for me.

I’ve been telling Hubby this for a while, but I just haven’t bit the bullet and bought anything.  A while back, I had shown him some un-upholstered chairs that I thought were cool, but he requested something comfy.  I can handle comfy- my mind went straight to upholstered ‘dining’ chairs or side chairs.  So, a few months ago, I saw these chairs on Joss and Main and thought they’d be absolutely perfect.

When I showed them to the Hubs, he suddenly proclaimed his desire for a swiveling task chair on casters.  I had to swallow my initial disgust, though… for some strange reason, he doesn’t like it when I balk at his design ideas (no, I will NOT allow a bird bath in my yard).  Anywho, the office is carpeted, casters don’t work well, but the bigger issue here is: task chairs are f’ugly!!!  Pardon my french.  I understand the functionality and ergonomics if you’re going to be sitting in a chair 40+ hours a week, but task chairs still aren’t pretty.  Not even close.  Ok, I’ll admit there are some well-designed task chairs that I can appreciate, but generally the ones that don’t make my retinas burn, make my wallet cry instead.  Prior to living with me, Hubby used a Jimmy Buffet-inspired directors chair as his desk chair, so I know his sensitive rear end doesn’t require a scientifically engineered task chair.

Side chairs can be comfy and pretty.  Allow me to demonstrate.

In the end, I win… (Not that Hubby conceded, it was more like me trying to discuss the enthralling topic of desk chairs while he was trying to concentrate on Draw Something, and gave me the standard “Whatever you want, Babe, I trust you”)

*Maniacal Laugh*  Now I just have to decide- do I stick with my initial gut and go with this one?  (which is back on sale again on Joss and Main)

or do I go a little more traditional and cushy with this one? (which is also on sale in the same place)