Monday, March 29, 2010

What's That Smell?

The hubs and I were busy dog-sitting this weekend for my canine sister (aka my parents dog) Callie. She's such a sweet dog. She even let me stick my camera in her face to get some cute shots, like this one. The more we dog-sit, the more we realize that our cozy home could use a dog like happily greet you when you get home after a long day, to lick the crumbs off your lap after you just ate, to want to go for a walk only to chase squirles or to just nap with you on a rainy day.

Although we were busy with Callie this weekend, the hubs and I managed to find a tree to plant in our front yard. It will be delivered and planted in 1 week from today. I had a blond moment and forgot to bring my camera to the garden center with me so I have no photos to share. But will take a picture of the new addition to our lawn when it arrives. 

Next project...the porch makeover which is on the schedule for May. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tree Maintenence

The hubs and I have spent a good bit of time and money on tree maintenance over the past 10 months. And now I know why "tree work" costs so much. Because they must use a chainsaw like the one seen above. HA! We've removed a gigantic scrubby pine tree in the back yard that literally was leaning at a 45 degree angle into the neighbors yard, right over their kids giant trampoline...yikes! We've also had some trees sprayed for carpenter ants, stupid pests! And most recently we got an old, dead crab apple tree cut down in the front yard. I am all for preserving nature, but this tree was an eyesore, not to mention hollow and dead. So this weekend the hubs and I will be tree-hunting (while the hubs plays golf). We are thinking a purple leaf plum tree like this one...
We need something that will grow fast but not grow to large and we like the unusual purple color of the leaves. What do you think? Stay tuned for an update...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Floor Face-lift

This past weekend's DIY project was a success! The hubs and I gave our kitchen a tiny face-lift by upgrading our linoleum flooring with vinyl floor tiles. The existing floor was pretty level to begin with so we opted to lay the vinyl tiles directly over the linoleum floor. We decided to lay the tiles on the diagonal to give the room some interest...sort of like a little "botox" add-on to this face lift.  We used Trafficmaster vinyl tile (color: sandstone) from Home Depot.

We did a "dry run" with the tiles to see how things would look before we actually stuck the tiles to the floor. Seen here...

We were pleased with the outcome so went to town and started sticking down the tiles. Most of the room (using full tiles) took less than 1 hour. Then came cutting the pieces around the edges and cabinets. Below is the hubs hard at work...umm back breaking work...
4 boxes of vinyl tile + 2 razor blades + 34,567 cuts with razor blade + a bundle of laughs / a few (bleep)'s = successful DIY floor face-lift (and a few sore knees/backs/legs). We're hoping it lasts us until the major kitchen re-do. What do you think?

                  (Before)                      (After)
PS - You'll also notice in above photos that we upgraded the cook-top, a pre-blog project. A big thanks goes to our awesome neighbors for selling it to us for $25! What a steal and it was barely even used! And a HUGE thanks to my dad who helped the hubs "retro-fit" it into our counter.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Can You Say BLAHHH?

Take a good, hard look at the above photo. Hmmmm, what is it? I would like to introduce you to the most blah linoleum flooring on the planet. Yes, I have the privilege and honor of having this as my kitchen floor. But I must say it goes very well with the white metal...that's right....METAL cabinetry, white Formica counter tops and wall oven circa 1960. That was a JOKE! I have a hate-hate relationship with this floor. It shows EVERYTHING! Crumbs...check, dirt...check, dust bunnies...check and CHECK! And the funny part is that we are only 2 people with NO PETS and NO CHILDREN! Our grand plan is to do a major re-do of the kitchen, but that will have to wait while we accumulate more funds for such a project. In the meantime, the hubs and I have decided to do a temporary face-lift to our flooring by laying down a more modern vinyl tile. We are attempting to tackle this project this weekend and I plan on documenting it all, so please stay tuned!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Naked No More!

The last decoration I had on the front door was the Valentine's wreath which I took down several weeks ago. I couldn't STAND looking at a naked (yikes!) door. So looking at the calendar, the next holiday is St. Patty's Day. to hanging a shamrock or beer glass on my front door (which I don't think would go over big in our kid-friendly 'hood) I had nada, so I jumped to the next holiday which is Easter/Spring. Just for clarification, I am well aware that Spring is not a holiday! I thought about buying a Spring wreath for the front door (which I still may do) but I love all those wreaths I see in the stores made of mostly eggs. When I stumbled upon these plastic eggs at TJ Maxx, I knew what my next project would be. I bought a grapevine wreath, spray adhesive and a bag of spanish moss (which I am in love with BTW). This past weekend I was lucky enough to have a visit from Martha Stewart, uhh, I mean my sister, so she helped me whip up my wreath. We sprayed the grapevine wreath with the spray adhesive and covered with the spanish moss. Then sprayed each egg with a little spray adhesive and put on the wreath. Martha, I mean my sister, created a version of her own with more colorful eggs and green moss. Check out her wreath over at The Quirky Frog. Loving it! Great job!

UPDATE: Since our front door get's plenty of sunshine, the spray adhesive used to affix the eggs to the wreath was starting to heat up and soften and a few of the eggs started to fall off. So I ripped out my glue gun (random dollar store purchase a few years ago, cha-ching!)and re-glued the eggs to secure them better.

UPDATE #2: Should have followed Martha my sister's original advice and glued the eggs to the wreath and then filled in with the moss. Had to take the wreath down yesterday, moss was starting to sag. I think I am going to re-glue everything this weekend so it's more sturdy. Lesson learned!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Capital Home & Garden Show Recap

(Some garden inspiration above...)
My first trip to the Capital Home & Garden show was fun. Not 100% what I expected, but good overall. If I had to rate it on a scale of 1-5, I would probably give it a 3. It was probably 70% home and 30% garden with a few random vendors sprinkled in like teeth whitening (strange, I know) and even a few shamWOW-esq vendors sporting the headset with microphone acting overly excited about their products. Now thinking about it, I should have gotten some photos, it was hilarious. But I definitely expected there to be more garden inspiration. There were rows and rows of kitchen remodeling, siding, roofing, window and floor vendors. There's definitely a ton of products out there other than what you would see at your local Home Depot or Lowes, which is an eye opener. The above pictures were taken at one of the few live garden displays.  Some inspiration for our planting beds. Now all we need is for Spring to arrive! 

PS - I am in love with portico's and would love to be able to add one (like above seen at the show) to our house one day....but with a much larger stoop area. What do you think?