Monday, July 30, 2012

I was just going to hose off the patio....

Have you ever had one of those days when you get completely sidetracked and start tackling something greater than the project you originated with? Or a particular project just snowballs into something much more involved?  Well....I had one of those days. Or two.

See if you can keep up with my train of thought....

We've started the planning process for Ada's upcoming backyard birthday bash. The back patio is a perfect setup for a shindig. It has access to the basement (potty) and plenty of beautiful sod to play around in. But due to the lovely crepe myrtles lining our retention walls the patio was looking a bit "snowed" on. That and the fact we had yet to clean up the place since we moved all our yard belongings on it. So....I thought I would hose off the patio.

I managed to get the patio almost finished before I started up the brick walls... Surely a party would require me to hang a banner up there. But not long after we moved in Alan cut down some creeping vines coming from the other sides of the brick retaining wall over onto the patio. This left moss on the walls. As I washed the patio and then started up the walls I noticed the moss was coming off with the hose, as was some loose mortar (apparently moss eats mortar. yea.) There definitely wasn't enough mortar flaking off to be concerned about, just enough to keep me busy. So washing the walls I went.

As I washed the green off the bricks, the wall led me to the flower beds. If I was going to have a party out here I would want to hang some lanterns and have the shrubs looking their best. So to the flower beds I went... I started by snipping a little off the top and sides. That didn't last long. I quickly grabbed our serious pruning clippers and did some thinning. The flower bed wraps around the back retaining wall from the bottom to around to the top. So around I went.

I clipped and clipped until my fingers felt they were permanently in the clinch position. I managed to get just up around the corner before I called it. Six hours later I managed to have an almost clean patio, brick wall and a thinned out flower bed. Six hours. (there are no before shots because this task was never thought of in the first place.)

That was day one.  You still with me? Fun stuff I know.

So the next morning I decide I better get back to what I started and finish that flower bed on the top.  Since Alan had cut back all the creeping vines right after we moved in, all that was really there was some new growth and a few weeds. Since we're wanting fresh starts around here I decided to keep pulling the vines up to get them back to their origin. It was really misleading to see the vines on top of the ground. That was not where they lived. They lived about two inches under the earth. So I pulled and pulled all day. And now my fingers are cursing me as I type.

But I think I managed to get everything pruned back to it's original source. 

And as if pulling up everything under the ground weren't enough, we (Alan helped me on this one)tackled another monster as well.

On the opposite side of the patio is a very large rose bush and butterfly bush combo. While beautiful when they bloomed, Alan and I wanted to also give those babies a fresh start. So a punning we went.

Now, even I am surprised as to how far down we went. But there really wasn't any other choice. Once we started clipping we realized if we just clipped the top off we were really just left with a large bush of sticks. To really get a newer, stronger bush we had to cut it down and allow it a do over.

It will be exciting to see how everything grows back. In the mean time I think I better plant some annuals....We have a party to make pretty.

So there you have it. Two days (and two wasp stings) later I completed some projects that weren't even on my to-do lists. All because I wanted to hose off the patio.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Have you met the gorgeous magazine Life:Beautiful?


It is absolutely one of my favorite magazines.

Life:Beautiful is a christian women's magazine filled with real life stories, inspirational ideas, both spiritually and physically, and beautiful photography.

Contributors are the likes of Joyce Meyer, Dr. Valerie Saxion, Dr. James Dobson and more. And the stories are about honest to goodness people like you and me.

 I am inspired by every single issue I pick up.

I've found that these sell out quickly. (I seriously need to get a subscription already!) So pick up your Late Summer issue today!

Monday, July 23, 2012

week in review {photo overload}

Well, as much as I thought the last month wiped me out...this last week was even more exhausting.  To start it off we had Alan's Mom, Step-Dad, niece and nephew Mom and Step-Dad, sister, niece and nephew come out to see the new place.  This was the first time for everyone.  We had some good food and great conversation. 
Alan enjoyed taking the kids for rides in his tractor. He also got to show off the land and his new truck to his Mama and his Dad was able to play around with the new lawnmower. I think it's safe to say he enjoyed himself.

Our kids don't get to see their cousins very often due to distance. But when they do they always have a blast. I loved watching them get dressed up. 7-10 years old....dressing up is fun. Alex's getup is a pirate's costume with a Captain's hat....Work like a Captain and Party like a Pirate my friends.
Don't mind that garbage bag tied to a door knob....we're classy entertainers.

 After everyone left, my tween (did I just use that word right?) niece was able to stay with us for the week. She was absolutely perfect. I had wanted to do so much with her in just one week...paint, sew, craft, shop, laugh....but time (and my own kids) did not allow for all my big ideas.

 We did manage to pull off an Ikea trip....  Andy (who's now too big to stay in the kid area) found a chair he liked for his desk. I like the blue.

Loving these glass spray paint perhaps?

I also thought these DVD holders would be neat in the basement. Spray painted a fun color and hung along side the TV cabinet. These might help the "I don't feel like opening the game box so I'll throw this wii game where ever" situation. And for $5.99. Score.

I don't know why but I kinda like these plastic chairs. Made for outdoors, the have a hole at the back for drainage. The hot pink one stopped me. There's always a lot to take in at Ikea.

I think my niece enjoyed the trip. But our fun didn't stop there....

Every week we go to a summer camp put on by one of my dear friends. I would love to give you the whole scoop but that would be a post in itself. Let's just say for now...we have FUN! We learn scripture, play games, craft stuff etc.

Ada was on a mission... Put on your heels before you run back silly girl!

Alex almost found that life saver under the whip cream.  Look Ma! No Hands!

Andy found his lifesaver! (I love this next image....Life Saver)


We did also manage to get some painting accomplished. I picked up some small two inch square canvases and let the kids go to town.

I'm loving having this table in the basement. I still haven't cleaned up all our messes down there!

During another session, Tiffany and I sat down to make larger paintings. Hers was the only one worthy of a photo. Mine patiently waits for a do-over. (People...that's why I love!)

 We also crafted us up a pretty gold pennant for Love's room.

Our crafty fun with Tiffany came to an end on Friday when Ada ran herself into a mid-air boomerang.  You read it right....boomerang. Sliced her head wide open. So to the ER we all went.

Luckily Alan hadn't made it to work yet (he stayed home an extra hour to teach our boys how to throw a boomerang) and was able to meet us at the hospital.  That is his little girl after all. Those bandages are my doing not the hospitals. Much to Alan's relief. Instead they gave her glue.

And a blanket. She was SO good she earned herself an ice cream for sure!

It didn't take long for us to pick up those paint brushes again. Unfortunately after Tiffany had left us.  The boys created a masterpiece.

And here's a sneak peek at what I was up to today...

Well....are you exhausted now too? Summer is flying by.  How much more fun can we fit in?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ada's new room

Ada now has a new new room. It's amazing the difference a coat of paint can make on a space. Her walls have gone from the blue we moved in with, to a creamy white.

Why, oh why, did I paint it white?

Ada's last bedroom was very much the pink wonderland our little girl loved. But in her new room I was wanting something that would grow with her a bit more. I'm wanting something clean, simple, playful and cheery. I also love a neutral backdrop where pops of color can be the star.

I'd love to fill you in on the crazy train of thought that was/is this girls room. Maybe a later post. Right now I'll just show you some before and after paint shots.

It's pretty stark as it stands.  On the list of things to do.... add shelves for books, add a natural element (i.e. shades, rug), hang window treatments in a fun fabric, paint ceiling, paint dresser, make/frame artwork, recover chair....oh my.

For now we have a clean slate. That should keep my mind crazy for the next few weeks. 

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

it's been a month?

Man! Where does time go when you're unpacking, sorting, lifting, taping, painting, organizing, rearranging...having fun?

It's been one month since the whole family (because Alan got here a week before us) moved into our new home.  We were pretty lucky to have him give us a head start. He was able to put all of our belongs into the house (from our storage unit) and most of the items into the right rooms. If it weren't for his hard labor that first week without us, we wouldn't have accomplished nearly as much by now.

So what have we done in a month?

Well...a lot. And a lot more than I've even shared on the blog.

We managed to get all (with the exception of frames, shelves and wall decor) our belongings into the right rooms and unpacked. (oh, also the office...the office is a big fat mess) We did however get all of the outdoor items situated in their new permanent/temporary home.

I have painted the living room, dining room, kitchen, mud wall and hallway. And I just finished painting Ada's room today.

Alan has cleaned out gutters, trimmed bushes, put up a new mailbox, cut down dead trees ("we are now proud owners of a chainsaw" -the man) and pretty much busted his butt everyday doing something to help make this house our home.  He has also figured out all that cable/DSL/satellite/wire stuff we need to function daily. Bless him.

Alan also changed out our Master Bedroom closet light just yesterday. Love it.

Together we completed a closet overhaul in the basement ...(one last thing to do before I share.)

Among the things we have purchased...oh my...a new sofa for the basement, two new mattress for Ada and ourselves, a new bed for Ada, towels, sheets, and a chainsaw. And I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something.

Time has really flown by this past month. I feel I have a good handle on my home and now need to dive back into my family.  The summer is almost over and I'd rather have memories than painted walls. 

So here's to the first month...but now I think I'll try to put my mind to more kid centered activities for a little while. Hope you'll stay around and join us!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

the hallway & inspiration

When you enter the house from the front door the foyer wall is on the left, off that wall is a small hallway which grants access to Ada's room, Ada's/guest bathroom and the master bedroom.

It' a small space. A small space screaming for something big. As you can see in the below photo, this space also got a dose of the Gray Ghost.

I have always wanted a family tree wall and think this will be the perfect space to frame and display our beloved family photos of generations past. I like the idea of hanging photos all over the walls...all over! Here are some gallery photo walls I'm loving....

I like the all white frames in the Young House Love hallway but I also love multi color frames as well....

The idea of the same frame but different prints for a bit more pulled together look....

Colored frames with black and white photos...

Colored frames with colored photos....


Different frames mixed with artwork... (More the route I'll be taking)

living rooms - chevron painted wall mixed media photo gallery wall Windsor Smith Riad fabric pillows tufted grey wingback chair gold frames wall letter framed butterfly potted orchid

Tons of vintage photos...Love!

entrances/foyers - mixed frames eclectic photo gallery  Gorgeous foyer entry design with eclectic photo gallery in mixed frames.

I found this next photo on Pinterest and have no idea who it belongs sorry. But I love the almost no frame look. It really lets the photos be the star of the show...

This last photo is probably my fave. Different frames and art work on a patterned wall. Love it!!....

Well, there you have it. My hallway and inspiration. Now to see how many frames I can find around here.