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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Living Room Reno

When we moved in to the house, our living room looked like this:

After moving in, it looked like this...for months:

Until it looked like this:

You may see in the last picture the darker spots in the foreground, slightly rust colored if you will.  This was part of our ongoing battle with animal messes throughout the house.  Our first order of business when moving in was to remove all of the carpet upstairs because it was nasty.  There was not a room whose carpet could be saved, including this one.  

Unfortunately, the first half of 2013 was filled with out of town guests and wedding prep so tearing out the carpet and having a construction filled room was not an option (even though we do all of our entertaining in the finished basement).  So we rented a Rug Doctor and bleached the hell out of that carpet.  It got us through the wedding season and upon return when Jeff asked if I would be okay with a carpet-less room, I wholeheartedly gave him the thumbs up.

So out came the carpet.  Then we decided that we were going to take out the bookshelves, while leaving in the cabinets, and our living room now looks like this:

I cannot wait to update you all on the progress we're making in this room.  As it turns out, the wood paneling isn't as hard to remove as we once thought, and Jeff is getting more comfortable on that 22' telescoping ladder.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

5 Pins to Pine For

I make no bones about the fact that I loved my granite countertops and deep sink and beautiful backsplash in our previous house.  I try not to bring it up too often because I don't want Jeff to feel bad, but it was tough moving out of that house and into one that was less finished.

But, we have a different vision for our current kitchen.  Instead of going with white cabinets, we're exploring our options for gray cabinets.  If I had my druthers, we'd have the gray cabinets, white subway tile backsplash, a nice granite countertop, and stainless steel appliances.  It would look sharp, crisp, and updated.

So I did what I do best and I took to Pinterest for a few inspiration pictures.  The best thing about a handy husband is that these can become a reality for us at a fraction of the cost we'd have to pay the pros--no dream is too big! 

I love the use of teal and cream in the cabinets and the white tile backsplash.

In addition to the color, I'm really enjoying the wood floor and the tall, glass front cabinets.

My favorite part about this bar seating are is the use of the gray table agains the white trimmed counter.  Also loving the dark coffered ceiling in the background! 

I love these brackets and love the nailhead trim look for a polished look.

Definitely the most simple of the pictures, but there is something about the clean lines and simple hardware that makes this one appealing.

And while I need another magazine like a I need a hole the head, I'm looking forward to picking this guy up Friday night and camping out on the couch to read it cover to cover! 

Happy Weekend! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hi, We're New Here

Jeff and I moved in to our house the week of Thanksgiving last year, not exactly prime horticulture season.  We managed to clean our gutters with the help of my dad and mow the yard to tidy things up before winter.  Come spring, we got a good look at what we were working with and it wasn't much.  While we didn't want to invest a ton of money into landscaping so early in the game, we did want to clean the yard up so our neighbors stopped giving us the stink eye when they drove past.  Or maybe that was my imagination.  

Here's where we began:

A ton of random rocks were strewn throughout this bed

Completely overgrown....ground cover?

After a couple of weeks of getting back into a routine post wedding and honeymoon, we took advantage of a beautiful weekend to hit up the local nursery for flowers and mulch.  

We also figured that while we were cleaning things up, we might as well get rid of our mailbox.  Circa 1989, this guy was in pretty bad shape.  Jeff was so sick of the mailbox that rather than wait until we purchased the new one that morning, he ripped out the old one and left it sitting along side the road while we ran our errands.  Needless to say, we didn't get mail that day.

So, 12 hours, one new mailbox, 8 bags of mulch, two flats of flowers, and an edger purchase later, we had a cleaned up yard and a less overgrown look.  We didn't want to be those neighbors.

Since then, we've maintained the yard and set up a plan for next spring which entails updating the paint on the stucco and the stain on the cedar trim pieces.  Maybe a few new light fixtures for the front as well.  But this will definitely get us by for now.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Honeymoon Finale: London

After 7 days in Ireland, Jeff and I packed our bags and headed to London for three and a half days.  We weren't sure the next time we'd be in that part of the world, let alone just an hour's flight from London, so we tacked on a few extra days there.

As my gift to Jeff for our wedding, I surprised him with tickets to tour Old Trafford in Manchester - home of Manchester United, Jeff's favorite soccer team.  I figured we could use Monday as the travel day from Ireland to London, see some sights, take Tuesday to go to Manchester, then we would have Wednesday and part of Thursday to see the rest of London.  I'll be honest, you need a solid week to see everything if you really want to soak in every last bit of the culture.  But here's a good summary:

The view of London from the London Eye

Anyone else watch PBS?  Anyone?

Big Ben

Horse Guards Parade

Tower Bridge

Side view of Westminster Abbey
Buckingham Palace

Kensington Palace

Tower of London

The street our hotel was on

And of course, our whole trip would not have been as seamless without Jeff's travel binder (I love that guy...):

So, now that we've covered the wedding and honeymoon, we'll move on tomorrow with updates on the many many house projects we've been working on.  You know, the whole point of this blog.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Honeymoon Part 2: Ireland - The Rest of the Story

So, what happens when you make your blogging re-debut and have a bunch of blogging ideas ready to go?  You get the stomach flu.  And then you're behind at work, at home, and on the blog.  But I'm fully recovered and back up and running.  Now, for the rest of the honeymoon! 

Here's a map of Ireland highlighting our route through Ireland (the purple stars are some of the stops we made):

After we made a quick trip to Cobh, we went back to our bed and breakfast in Kinsale and prepped for our big road trip the next morning.  We were heading from Kinsale to Galway, which would only take 3 hours if you drove from point A to point B.  However, we had plans to travel to the Western coast of the country and then head North to Galway--all in all, the planned route was set to take 8 hours in the car.  At this point I should mention that Jeff planned the honeymoon from start to finish.  I consulted the travel agent and physically booked our package, but Jeff planned the driving routes, the bed and breakfasts we'd stay in, and the cities we'd stop in along the way.

Our last view of Kinsale

This view never got old

We saw many of these roads

Sheep in the road! 

Watching rain come in over Dingle Bay

The Cliffs of Moher

Our last stop in Dublin before our final night in Howth


Of all of the places we visited in Ireland, Dublin, Kinsale, and Howth were my absolute favorites.  The scenery alone is worth the trip, not to mention all of the fresh seafood.  I'm thinking a second honeymoon trip back to Ireland is in our future.

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