Saturday, March 31, 2012


Andy and I tackled the rest of the landscaping work first thing this morning...

We stuck with the pine straw (and added more to it) because it is SO low maintenance and it's cheap.  Hopefully the combination of the weed blocker and the newly added straw will keep those pesky weeds away this summer!

We also added the weed blocker around our two trees in the front yard and topped it with new pine straw.

What did Duncan do?  He supervised the project.  He's not one to get his paws dirty.

All finished!!!

Next, I tackled what I assumed to be a tedious, difficult job...and it didn't prove me wrong.

In less than a year, we have started to see rust on our porch railing.  Boo to the hoo.  This is not good, friends.  Not good at all.  So like the weed blocker fabric, it was time to bite the bullet and prevent things from getting any worse.

I started by wiping down the railing really well.  We had a lot of pollen and spider webs that might have interfered with the paint.  After that, I started the ridiculously long process of priming the railing.  Yes, just me and my lil' foam brush.

A guy at Lowe's suggested using the "Rusty Metal Primer" by Rustoleum, especially on the rusted parts.  However, I didn't like the looks of the majority of the railing (it looked as if very little of the railing had gotten enough of a paint finish from the beginning), and I wanted to ensure that I would NOT have to do this again really soon.  So I chose to prime EVERY BIT of the railing. 

I ended up with this lovely color.  Neighbors kept driving slowly by as I primed (likely thinking the color looked terrible)--do they know me at all?  However, this was only the beginning...

After the primer dried, I went back with Rustoleum's satin black oil-based paint (intended for metal).  It took two thick coats to completely cover the primer.  Don't even get me started on that. 

It was by far the most tedious paint job I have ever completed.  Oil paint is so sticky and stinky to begin with, and then you are hot and sweaty outside, and it takes two coats, and you can't easily get your hands through the railing to paint without smudging the previous baluster, and...I could go on and on.

Well, it ended up turning out really well.  The only problem?  I only finished the right railing.  Yep two or so hours later and I finished PART of the job.  It was looking like rain, and my foam brushes needed replacing, and I was spent.  I just couldn't continue. 

I liken this experience to getting my ears pierced (at the ripe old age of 13).  Yes, I was ridiculously scared of the piercing gun.  There was only one girl working in Claire's that night, so she had to do one ear first.  Then do the second ear after that.  After nearly jumping out of the seat on the first ear, I so dreaded the second ear.  But, if I had not pressed on, I would have never been able to wear a pair of cute earrings...not to mention, I would have looked like a pirate.  The moral of this story is...I must keep going!  But not today.

Here's to hoping for loads of motivation to fall on me in the coming days.  Happy Saturday!

PS--When I finish, I'll post pictures of the exact primer/paint combo I went with in case anyone else is looking to do the same project.  And no, I don't believe I'll be available to help if you are! :)

On the list...

1.  Add leftover weed blocker fabric around trees in front yard.
2.  Add new pine straw to flower beds.
3.  Paint outdoor railing.
4.  Make it to Michael's to frame new crab paintings.
5.  ???
Details to come!!!

And a picture of the little guy sitting IN my purse in the car...for good measure. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The State of Things...

As of late, Andy and I (mostly Andy) have been trying our hands at landscaping and lawn work.  We are new to this, as we never really bought into a lot of that at the old house.  But it must be like a "When in Rome" thing because when others in your neighborhood have stellar-looking grass and non-weedy flower beds, you start to think, "I want me some of that."  We are definitely learning as we go, but so far we've...

1.  Put down weed fabric in our front two flower beds.  It was a little tricky cutting the fabric around the existing shrubs, but we got it done.  Hopefully that will keep the pesky weeds down this season.
2.  Andy rented an aerator with a friend and put little holes all over our lawn.  Which left behind rabbit poo-looking dirt pellets.  Weird.
3.  Andy seeded and fertilized the lawn.
4.  And since then???

Poor Andy has been stuck outside watering his work.  Yep, night after night (we need some rain!) he moves sprinklers to make sure the seeds take.  I'm crossing my fingers for him!

Being silly...

And what does his friendly sidekick do while he's working?  He sits and watches Andy's every move.  Yes, he did eventually earn some time outside with WaterBoy.

Like I said, we are new to all of this, but I'll let you know if we have luck along the way.  We've certainly gained knowledge and tricks from friends and Google, but we'll see if our stubborn, post-construction site lawn decides to work with us.

In other news...

The IKEA bed has been covered with fabric...and is still in pieces.  I know, I know.  I'm only telling you about it to make myself finally do something about it.  Just keeping it real, friends.

We've added a little something-something to the living room.  You see, my aunt was moving and gifted us these leather ottomans she had been using in her townhome.  I love them.  No, really.  All of the ugly junk (laptop cords, Duncan's toys, extra magazines) that I need to shove somewhere quick if someone is coming over can be tossed in these babies in no time flat. 

They can also serve as a miniature bench seat by the windows.  Genius, I tell you.  Storage and seating all in one.  And did I mention FREE?  Thank goodness for sweet family...

While a completely random post, it gives you a little taste of all of the things getting done (and not) around here.  Off to check on Mr. H2O...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Flea Market Finds...

Friday's flea market adventure wasn't the most successful, but it wasn't half bad either. 

The most practical purchase was this set of ferns.  My urns look SO much better with these puppies in them!

My mom ended up getting them for us for an Easter gift.  Thanks, Mom!

On to the not-so-practical...

Here's the deal.  I fell in love with these little guys.  I know part of it might have been that I am DYING to go to the beach, but I just thought the colors were so fun.  I still need to frame the pair, and then they are set to go in a guest bathroom.

Off to enjoy the evening!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And the bird prints are up...

Just a quick post to show the old, but new-to-us bird prints in their new home in the dining room. 

It's amazing what adding a little bit of framed art can do to a room.  I felt pretty good about the dining room as it was, and I wasn't really looking for anything art-wise anytime soon.  But when you find artwork that works, you start to realize what you were missing all along.  Kind of like when we switched Duncan's food from Kibbles n' Bits to Purina.  Changed his life, I tell you.

More to come!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Random thoughts from a day off...

Yep, that's right.  I took my last of two personal days yesterday.  I strategically attempted to schedule my day off to help ease the stress of the long haul until our very belated Spring Break this year (not for another week!).  Anywho, I enjoyed a slow morning of coffee and blogs (my fave), and spent the day with the Momster.  What did we get into?  Only our credit cards will tell.  Kidding, kidding.  Somebody tell Andy I was only joking--STAT.

Here are some things that are were randomly on my mind yesterday as I had the time to chill...

I enjoyed seeing this list of 30 things to do before you turn 30 on a new blog I've been reading.  For those that may not know, Andy is turning the big 3-0 this October--what a milestone, right?  Being three years younger, I am anxiously watching his every mood to see how he handles the big year/day.  I ask him occasionally, "Are you nervous?"  "Can you believe you are going to be 30?"  "Are you where you thought you'd be at this point?"  I think I worry about the milestone much more than he does--maybe it's a girl thing.  But when I saw this girl's post today, I immediately thought it was such a fun way to ring in this birthday.  Why not try 30 new things before the big day?  A great idea...

In other news, Andy and I saw this flick with some friends last night.  I read the trilogy a while back, and I finally convinced he-who-always-needs-convincing (Andy) to read it recently.  It's the first movie based on a book that we have seen that we both read.  We LOVED it and felt like it totally did the book justice.  A must-see, for sure.

Um, I finally broke down and bought an Instyler.  A friend recently was rocking an awesome looking do (which she had done with an Instyler), and of course there are the infomercials that get me too that I seem to always catch on Saturday mornings.  But I was unwilling to spend 120 bucks on one!  I don't care about my hair that much, friends--after all, I only get haircuts when I can find a decent Groupon.  However, the other day on Groupon Goods, I found this Instyler for 59 bucks and decided it was time to see what my locks have been missing all this time.  We shall see!

And last but not least, Mom and I had a bit of luck at the flea market yesterday.  I'll be sure to show our finds soon.  We also managed to hang the old, but new-to-me bird prints.
More to come!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A mix of old and new...

Not too awful  long ago, Andy and I were at my grandmama's house and she was cleaning out some artwork she had tucked away in closets.  While rummaging through her goods, I came across a few botanical bird prints that I just had to have (if she was willing to part with them).  The prints had been put away for long enough that she couldn't really place where they came from, so I am going to imagine that they are really legit and worth tons of money.  Regardless, I love having a bit of art from a VERY special lady in my casa. 

Here are just a couple of the prints in their new frames.  I love taking a clean-line, contemporary frame and pairing it with a little bit of old-school, vintage. 

Notice the reds and yellows in this one=perfect for our house!

A little bird-feeding-bird action in this one...

I really had no clue where I would put these in the house when I first framed them, but then I let them sit in the dining room for a bit and am really liking the idea of adding some art in there.  Maybe flanking the ZGallerie mirror?  When I get it figured out, I'll get back to you.

Thanks again, G-Mama!  There is nothing better than free art from one of my favorite people!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Living Room Accent Wall...DONE!

So I finally buckled down yesterday and got the job done.  The most tedious portion of the painting had me wanting to put it off, but once I got started it wasn't too awful bad.

I went with Sherwin Williams' "Griffin" (as seen in the dining room) for the accent wall since the dining room and living room are very open and seamless, and introducing another paint color seemed like a bit much.  I'm sure somewhere along the way when choosing the color for the dining room it must have occurred to me that this browny-gray color is also found in our kitchen granite and in the specks in our fireplace tile surround (thus also making it a great color for the living room), but if not, it was a very happy accident!

Here is the big picture...

Another angle...

Close-up of the fireplace with the new wall color.  Yep, stole the artwork from above the black piece in the foyer.  Might be a permanent change--me likey.

Another shot...

And the miniature hallway that was not so fun to paint (yes, this would be the previously mentioned "tedious portion").  I had to cut in around a smoke detector, doorbell box, and ADT box.  Not to mention, I had tight corners to work in and had to paint that little bit of "ceiling" above my head (awkward!).  But all is well that ends well!

And a shot of the old wall as a reminder...

Much better!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Flashback to February...

First off, thanks so much for the sweet texts, emails, and words of encouragement in the past couple of days.  I appreciate the support so much, and I owe all of you a virtual fist pump and hug for the motivation to keep chugging along on this blog.  Bear with me as I take you back approximately a month ago to an event that was photographed, but not blogged about.  Valentine's Day...

I was truly getting in the spirit this year, as I ended up with double pink eye on the Hallmark holiday of love.  I stayed home from work that day--considering my eyesight was iffy at best and I was highly contagious at that point.  Thankfully, Andy gave me one present early that benefitted me greatly on my unexpected day off...the latest Twilight movie!  Poor guy had to stand in line at Wal-Mart to get me that DVD--shot to the manhood, that was. 

The night before the big day, I made these suckers for my students.  And yes, they got them the day after Valentine's...

The boys were given mustaches...

And the girls got lips...

All in all, a very cheap option for Valentine's cards for 21, and they thought they were hilarious.  It kept them quiet for a bit too!

The morning of Valentine's, I squinted open my crusty eyes and still made the cinnamon roll hearts I had planned to.  In case you were wondering, these looked nothing like hearts when I baked them.  It's the thought that counts, right?

As far as gifts go, I made Andy 14 paper fortune cookies with fortunes that fit for him. 
Such as: 

your next vacation may be breezyin the city (we are planning a trip to Chicago)
wanting another national championship? saban’s recruits bring good things(if you know Andy, this makes sense)
mexican food sparks romanceeat it oftenand soon (um, I love eating out)

He thought these were really fun.  After all, he LOVES fortune cookies.

He's also gotten in to puzzles lately, so I got him a football shaped Alabama puzzle (that he has yet to finish). 

Andy missed the memo on the amount of money that was appropriate to spend on the other, so one of my handful of gifts was a new Crockpot.  He took considerable flack for this at church the next night, but I really had been saying I needed one with a timer (yes, I'm the bimbo who registered for one without a timer for our wedding).  So, needless to say, I was stoked that he had listened and got me what I wanted/needed.

I picked Duncan up a stuffed pig while getting my prescriptions that day at Walgreens.  The pig had a flattened, empty water bottle in it, and well, he loved it.

Shortly after giving it to him we realized that he could care less about us.

It was like puppy-crack.  He just had to get to that water bottle!

Yep, he was done for.

So overall, it was a good day (other than they eye funk).


In other news, around this same time, I decided that this wall in the living room just had to go dark.

Yep, this whole wall.

So, last weekend I broke out the same paint that we used in the dining room and went to town.  I'm really loving the results, but I have a few touch-ups to finish before it's ready for its debut.  Updates to come!