Saturday into Sunday we got about 10 inches of snow….
And that’s the story of our first Halloween as homeowners!
Saturday into Sunday we got about 10 inches of snow….
And that’s the story of our first Halloween as homeowners!
Matt & I thought we had 2-3 more weeks to prepare our yard before the first heavy snowfall, but the news is reporting up to 10 inches by morning so we had some serious work to do. Usually when they say 10 inches we only get 4 or 5, but even that would destroy the pool and make everything else an inconvenience to get done so better safe then sorry!
I’ve shown the yard very seldom, if at all, on this blog because it is an abomination- but I’m proud of all we got accomplished this morning so here it goes- try not to snicker.
This is a view of the yard from right in front of the pool. Any green you see is astro turf, not real grass. The wooden box around the house is a make shift sandbox, which I’m pretty sure the squirrels have taken control of. The shed faces the driveway, not the yard, so you have to leave the yard to access anything in it. The smaller shed that’s actually inside the yard is completely infested with mushrooms and mold. We have a lot of work ahead of us… but when it’s nice, it’ll be nice and huge.
My grandmother, in typical fashion, saw that I wanted a table runner and immediately got to sewing. She’s awesome like that.
How cute is this table runner?! Nonna sewed it in just one day then put together a package with a few other things and mailed it to me just in case anyone comes over before I get to see her. I love that the black and orange fit perfectly for halloween, but that it’s got the sunflowers and some brown so that I can really keep it out through Thanksgiving.
It really is exactly what my lonely centerpiece needed. It’s not super long so it doesn’t overpower the table and we can still eat around it- there’s just two of us and the table’s up against a wall so we just leave it pushed back all the time. I added the strand of pearls to the centerpiece tray as well; I’m not crazy about them, but they’ll do for now.
In addition to the table runner, she also sent a few placements and a lace doily. The place mats are a nice bright white so they work really well with the end tables in the living room:
Today I tried to squeeze SO MUCH into the two hours I have free in between jobs, and I’m pretty proud of what I accomplished. First, I took a little detour on the way home to the brand spanking new Dollar Tree that was just built around the corner from me. It is awesome there, and it is especially awesome because since it just opened this week it is not disgusting yet.
I got all sorts of stuff I don’t really need there, including a project I hope to share this weekend. The main reason for my detour, though, was to pick up 4 gallons of bleach. Yup, four gallons. Matt and I have learned that we don’t need to buy insanely expensive chemicals to shock our pool before closing it- all we need to do is add four gallons of bleach a day for 3-4 days (while running the filter and skimming it regularly). Once it’s looking clear, we drain it halfway and it’ll preserve throughout the winter! I decided it was best that we buy our bleach in stages and not all at one place, because I’m pretty sure if we bought twelve gallons of bleach at once someone would think we were covering up a murder scene.
After I finished bleaching the pool, I moved inside to once again work on my living room shutter project. I am finally able to announce that it is 90% completed!
The front of each shutter has been spray painted black and two white framed prints have been tucked into each one. It’s so hard to photograph exactly what each print looks like, but trust that they are adorable. I’ve mounted them all unevenly within each shutter so it doesn’t look to matchy-matchy, but they all are all matching patterns in the same frame. To have the yellow, gray, black, and white room theme all contained in such a small space really shows how nicely the colors go together. The black painted wooden shutters also look like a set with the black painted wooden mirror and the black painted wooden occasional tables… I think I have a thing for painted wood….
On the back of each shutter you can see that the frames are all held in with their own stands, so there’s no nails or glue needed for that part. Since the shutters weren’t really meant to hang on a wall, they didn’t have any wire or hooks on them. To fix this, I used the metal tabs from soda cans hammered in at the bottom opening and slightly bent out at the top opening (which will be the hook part). I’m hoping they hold up well, I’m pretty confident they will.
After adding the tabs and straightening the frames, I moved on to the part of the project I know will be the absolute death of me. I am terrible with spacial relations when it comes to hanging things on the wall- I am known for making hole after hole until things are even, for drawing marks right on the wall then repainting it later when I find out it’s in the wrong place, and for giving up all together and just sticking things to the wall with velcro. For all of this, I am determined to get this right! I measured the length of the wall (you can see the measuring table in the picture above)and placed my shutters at even intervals then wrote down the intervals instead of thinking I could memorize them.
Then, I cut three strips of paper and traced where the hooks were on each tab. I taped the strips on the wall at the height and space they needed to be and used a level to redraw the hook mark and exact spot I need to nail. Currently the middle shutter is a little off center, but I had to go to work so this is where things stand at the moment:
You can see the shutters are all placed correctly (and looking adorable, if I may add), but the center strip of paper is a little off. I plan to correct that when I get home tonight and hopefully get these hung once and for all! Wish me luck!
Linked up to the THRIFT IT party.
Yesterday in between a baby shower and a play I stopped by my parents house to grab some more boxes and sort through more things. I ended up coming home with a tote full of Christmas tree ornaments, three boxes of china and stemware, six metal folding chairs, a stainless steel dish rack, and some paper goods. It’s concerning how much I’ve accumulated over the past few months just by going home two or three times.
I have inherited a lot of kitchenware from my aunt, and it has all been stored at my parents house. Yesterday I finally got to started bringing back the good stuff now that I’ve made some room in my cabinets.
In addition to numerous wine glasses, plates, dishes, and knick knacks I now have a twelve piece tea cup set of bone china that I absolutely love. Unfortunately right now it’s mostly hidden in a cabinet, but some of the tea cups look very seasonal so I anticipate using them in centerpieces throughout the year. I also put two of them on the living room shelves- a black and white set and an all white set. Next to the tea cups are what I think may be sherbet glasses, and then next to those are champagne flutes. I’ve decided that we’re never going to have a fancy enough party to need to “save” these things for and I’d much rather enjoy them everyday. I don’t understand why people have china sets stowed away in boxes, just in case. In case of what? Is the president ever going to come over for dinner? Are you close friends with the Queen of England and she may breeze through at any given moment? I doubt it, so just use them!
Most of my morning has been spent washing and drying and stacking and reorganizing, but it’s nice to see these things that I saw growing up now in my house, so I took great care in doing everything slowly and carefully.
Once that was all done, I was feeling inspired enough to work on my Fall decorations. Matt’s pumpkin is now gross enough to move outside without him getting upset, so we needed a new kitchen table centerpiece. I also wanted to work on the end table in the living room:
The kitchen table is looking quite festive now, if I do say so myself. This arrangement definitely needs some leaves or straw, and I’ll be adding a table runner underneath once I acquire one, but for now it’s simple and cute. The pumpkin snowman is from Pier One, the votive holder and tray are from Ikea, the gourds were purchased during our pumpkin carving party, and the champagne flute is the perfect amber brown to fit into the fall theme!
The entrance to the living room can be seen from the kitchen, so I wanted to draw in a few coordinating things. Since I have such colorfully different walls down here, I am trying really hard to bring the room together through decorations. So, the gourds are more from our party, the votive holder is twin to the one in the kitchen, the orange dish is another piece I got from my aunt, and the rooster normally sits on the kitchen table but has been relocated because I felt this arrangement needed some height.
Overall, I’m really pleased that we moved the end table here and I look forward to decorating it with each season- what a strange thing to look forward to… I’m definitely feeling old.
Warning: this post contains A LOT of pictures. Two new additions to the house are making a world of difference. I’m so pleased with how our whole downstairs is looking. Everyday it’s feeling more and more like our home and less and less like this strange other family’s house that we’ve taken over.
The first round of pictures today is presented to you by The Sunroom, now open for small talk and mixed drinks!
The bench is located right next to the side door, which is the door we use most often, so it’s perfectly placed for sitting down and taking off shoes. The camp chair will eventually be replaced by a small upholstered chair (I’m thinking Pier One or Homegoods). The end table will most likely be painted, but I’m going to wait until we have curtains to decide. I’m also wondering whether or not this room should have a rug- I’m leaning towards leaving the floor bare because with people entering the house through the side door and trekking to the yard through the sliding doors I think a rug would get beat up pretty quickly. Also, the granite on the top of the bar goes really well with our floor, so I don’t want to take away from that.
And speaking of the bar, let’s go in for a closer look…
Hello, Handsome! The stools swivel, the bottom shelf holds everything the built in wine rack doesn’t, the open frame keeps the room from feeling to heavy and full, and there’s a footrest just begging you to sit down and have a drink. I love it! And it was so nice to get a piece of furniture that I did not have to assemble. The Bob’s Furniture delivery men came right when they said they would, got it set up in no time, and even left behind a sheet with information on the product and phone numbers we could call if we have any problems. Perfect!
I think we need to take just one more look at him before we move on to the next room….
Next up today is the living room, which is now fully curtain-ed and looking fine! The curtains are really helping to pull the room together, now all that’s left is a rug and two oversized chairs. In the meantime though, the couch is perfectly set up for lounging around spying on the neighbors.
The painters tape on the floor is due to my still trying to figure out with size rug will be best, but I am leaning towards an 8×11. The 5×8 just looks to skimpy to me. I think the few pieces of furniture and accessories we own right now are really working well together in this room, and I’m really glad we went with a more bold wall color.
This picture is the view from the kitchen, which is painted the same yellow as the accent wall so the two are working really well together. I’m also pretty positive that the trim of the bay window needs to be painted white, and I have plans to repaint our doors on Sunday so hopefully I’ll have time to do that then as well. The wood is in poor shape anyway, so I don’t mind painting over it, and it really does stick out the way it is right now.
The next (and final) picture is the view from the second level stairs into the living room. You can see how the white trim on the smaller window really pops, and how much the bay window really should match it:
I’m not quite sure what the strange reflection on the mirror is, or why the picture came out so grainy- but I am sure that I love this room.
I absolutely could not wait until Friday to see what the curtains look like, so in between jobs today I put a little hustle in my bustle and ironed all four panels then put up the rod and curtain for the side window. The bay window still needs to get done, but at least I get a little sneak peak!
Unlike the dreadful sparkles on the master bedroom, these sparkles really make me smile. I hung the rod up and above the window sill and put the brackets about two inches out from the sill to extend the reach along the wall and make sure the curtains wouldn’t be too bunched up. I like that the rods are nice and simple and that the finials are square (so they match the coffee table set). The curtains are a few shades darker then the walls, but in person the woven shimmery fabric really brightens the room. I spent a good 10 minutes fluffing them up and spacing them just right, trying to figure out if they look good hanging straight down or if I should get some sort of tie back for them. I’m still not really sure, but there’s no rush to decide that. I think that’s a decision that can wait until the rest of the room is completed and we’re wrapping up finishing touches.
Once the curtains were ironed, they only took about fifteen minutes to put up. I measure the space for the brackets on both side so they’d be even, then used nails instead of the screws that came with the rod because I have an easier time with them. Once it was up, I just colored in the silver nail head with a black sharpie so that it wouldn’t stand out.
They’re here! They’re here! After such a long wait my living room curtains have finally arrived: They’re Maddox brand curtains, which we found at Bed, Bath, & Beyond but had to have special ordered to the house because they only sold 83 inch length in the store and I need 63. In person, they’ve got the slightly silver shimmer to them that doesn’t show up in the above picture- and they’re multi-toned so they won’t look flat and boring up on the wall. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to wait until Friday to get them up because there’s just no time in between jobs to iron all four panels and hang the rods. I’m waiting to take them out and really see their size up against the window before I hang the rods because I may space things out a bit and try to create an illusion that my side window is bigger then it really is.
Also, my poor moldy jack-o-lantern has officially been banished to the rear driveway lawn (ps- how cool is it that we have 3 different lawns?!). I used Matt’s pumpkin, 3 of my gourds, a candle holder, and a ceramic knick knack to create a real sloppy centerpiece on the kitchen table:
My goal is to one day gather up some fabric doily’s and sew them into a table runner, but I’ve yet to even start looking for them so for now this will have to do. I must add to this that my kitchen wall looks incredibly dull in this shot- it’s so hard to photograph a yellow wall. But I assure you that it’s bright and cheerful and awesome!
Yesterday Matt & I hosted our 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Party… which I think will turn into one of my favorite days of the year. Our new house is literally down the street from two greenhouses, so you can pit stop on the way to our carving party and pick out the perfect pumpkin!
I may have gone a little overboard, but gourds were just $1 each so it was hard to pass them up! The big pumpkin was for carving, the little pumpkin was just too adorable to leave behind, and the four gourds are for a yet-to-be-created centerpiece. I also thought that the three smaller gourds had a ghost-like shape, what with the bottoms being bunched up, so I’m going to try and paint one to see how it comes out.
Here’s all our pumpkins lined up in a pumpkin parade:
We’ve got quite the array going on here. A zombie hand coming out of a grave, a jack o lantern, the headless horseman, a pirate, a spooky night, and a bat on a pumpkin (that’s mine!). I love them all!