Friday, July 27, 2012

I like too many things...

My decorating style/signature color identity crisis is in full swing again. My plan to pick up 'jump-starter' items means I have several items that I'm not sure how to relate & pull together. Definitely don't want to be living in a museum, "And the dining room is our bohemian room, and the bedroom is the beach room.." So I thought I would share what I've purchased so far and give you all the opportunity to tell me if I am insane or not. My guess is that I'm not the only one who has dealt with this sort of mega crisis.

The top three I've shared in earlier posts. This picture above was a $12 impulse moment at The Salvation Army. I walked out with 6 woven, oval place mats, a red wire tray and table runner.

 Yep, pretty much all over the place, huh? I know the saying is over-used, but if this isn't a first world problem then I don't know what is! And then just today I came across a few more items, lucky for them (or me?) they were on the larger and more expensive side so they didn't come with me. I completely love this chunky wooden framed mirror. Oh and since this is about as close as I've gotten to an outfit post in a while--the shirt I'm wearing is the latter half of June's clothing allowance. It's a wannabe-silk racer-back from Target and cost me $8.99. And now I'm noticing those jeans were part of my $5 jean-a-palooza and my nude heels are also both from Target. But back to home decor...

Now I'm not sure I'm a papasan person, but I was super excited to stumble across this cushion in Pier1. It has every color in it. And it doesn't give the kindergarten classroom vibe either! I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Before & After: The First of Many!

We finally have good internet! We've been doing lots of work around here and we're so excited with our progress here so far. So with that, here is an update on our little abode....

Cody replaced the door to the shop, the old door was pieces of plywood nailed together. The new door is a bit more trustworthy--solid core! With that complete, we were able to use it for dirtbike & camping gear storage. Next on the list is organizing the garage into a shop for Cody and the backroom of the garage into a chic shop (aka MY shop!). Very excited about having my own 'woman cave' sort of space.

And while we're outside, here is the view of the back porch area after the men tore out the screens on our moving weekend.

Moving indoors, we put the corner bookshelf in the kitchen because a) that's pretty much the only place it fits and b) its a make-shift "open air" pantry. Not exactly what Cody had in mind when he built this for me back when we were 18! He also built the table holding the coffee maker and the microwave.

And by now you've all seen the new stove (here). Major improvement right? We are pretty much bursting with ideas for this kitchen, it's quite roomy so it may be tough to decide what dream to go with. It's been pretty funny to get reactions to the "lovely" green floor however, its about 60/40 split on guests who have loved or hated it!

Our new, pretty toilet! I'm not completely sold on my bathroom choices. I can't decide yet what color to bring into the space or if I should just leave it black/white/gray. I do know for sure that a black rug is definitely the wrong choice. It shows every little fuzz from your socks, towels, etc. Not to mention the inevitable dirt that ends up here. It needs to be cleaned twice a day--at least. Drivingmeinsane.

Here is our dining room space that I didn't previously have a picture to show you. (One of our kitchen ideas is to open up the wall to the right of the picture). Our dining table set is a mix and match collection that I'm super energized over. The table belonged to my parent's neighbors and the chairs are dumpster treasures saved by my dad! They're all slightly different, but of the same style. The drapes (from Target) I've since moved because the print is not complete on the other side and it just looks awkward since that window opens up onto the porch. And I realize everything is oak/neutrals here...really need to finalize my house colors/theme so I can jump into bringing some life in.

Finally, here's Cody and his dad hanging our TV above the fire place. We totally love it up there. And you can see to the right where I moved the dining room drapes to. These windows open to the sideyard so its my print OCD is no biggie here!

And now I'm realizing there's so many other spaces/nooks/items that I need to photograph to share....So what home improvements have you all been making? Or rather, were you running around like mad to do everything at once when you got your first place too? What was the first thing on your lists??

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quickie Update

So we're still waiting on establishing a fully functioning, reliable internet connection at our new casa, hence the near silence on this here blog...But courtesy of my phone, here are some updates!

An avocado fell from our tree! Tanner got to the first one before we got home, guess that was his payback for leaving him all alone in a strange backyard. But luckily another dropped a few days later and I beat him to it. I let it sit with a banana (supposed to help) for a few days so it could soften up. And within 2 days it felt soft, but tasted completely dry. Definitely a disappointment. Thankfully I found another on the ground yesterday so we'll give that one a try next. Our neighbors assured us our tree produces really good avocados and the previous owners would leave bags on their porches (a hint, perhaps?!) so I still have faith. 

Annnnd we got a new stove!! The old one had a broken microwave, unsteady stove-top heating and I never worked up the courage to test the oven due to the above mentioned issues. So we trekked on down to Sears' (pronounced Sear-es in honor of my grandmother!) and got a brand spankin' new one for $500ish. We are sticking with electric, I've never cooked on a gas stove and I know everyone raves about it. But this was a quick fix and maybe down the road I will make the switch. Plus we would have had to run a new gas line. 

This picture makes me laugh, my dad who is usually such a go-getter and thinks he is still 20 is standing here with his hands in his pockets while the young guys (Cody & our vacation angel--Kyle) muscle the stove out of the truck and into the house. Yep, we've already had overnight guests! Our vacation angels from our motor blow out in Arizona last year finally squeezed in a trip to Cali! Just in time for us to begin returning their help by giving them a place to stay. We had a total blast with them and they were super laid back about our house being in disarray with boxes and take-out meals!!!

I know I have a picture of the old stove here someplace, when I find it I will add it in! I am also struggling to decide what sort of mood/theme/color direction to go in. So far I purchased this painting from Ross for $19.99 and these 4 fat quarters for $2.75/each. We shall see if they make the cut....

Fingers crossed for a stable internet connection this weekend, I have LOTS of pictures to share!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bacon Grease: 0, Foil: 1

I saw this idea on Pinterest a while back and decided to give it a try last week. I thought it would be a cool way to easily dispose of bacon grease, but it didn't work so well. Basically you line a small dish with foil and pour the hot grease into it and when it cools in a hardened glob you just ball up the foil and throw it away. Easy enough right? It has been some time since I made bacon, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't take that long for the grease to solidify. Maybe it's because the weathers been so warm or foil and grease have a funny reaction, but my grease only partially solidified overnight.

Maybe I will try again in the winter. I couldn't find the original Pin for this idea. Anyone else tried this trick?

Friday, July 6, 2012

And it Begins!

Life has been packed to the brim with cleaning & un-packing & demo-ing & Goodwill-piling! Cody & I had an awesome team of family friends devote the weekend to the beginnings of our home. We had many truck loads of boxes and furniture to load and un-load. And then lots of cleaning, some repairs and demo. The house has fresh interior paint and freshly refinished hardwood floors, so grateful for two less big jobs! Here's what we have accomplished so far:

New toilet
New kitchen faucet
New shower head
New locks
Clean drawers & cabinets + they're freshly contact papered
A fridge that fits
Kitchen stuff all unpacked & put away
Bathroom stuff all unpacked & put away
Drapes hung
Bagged excess clothes to donate
Clothes put away (will still need some re-organizing/round two of donating)
Bought a new mattress (delivery on Saturday!)
New shop door
Demo-ed patio room
Demo-ed broken brick BBQ
Demo-ed back storage garage room
Power washed backyard concrete & back of house
Snooped two open houses on our street (its all part of being a neighbor!)

I think that's everything. Oh and I have officially made dinner in my own kitchen :) It was a BLT celebration. So how about a house tour? (The stats: its a 2bed/1 bath, 980 sq feet on a 6500 sq ft lot)

Front door/porch (that wood post is gone now too!)

I'm thinking this door needs a fresh fun paint job (as well as the exterior of the home). The engravings remind me of sunflowers, a nice little nod to our wedding!

Love the corner kitchen window (the sink is just below the windows) and the garage is the full depth of the house, making it feel much larger than your typical single car garage.

See? Cody took this standing in the garage storage room pictured below.

Lots of big cabinets here, which we removed over the weekend. They were just a bit too large, we'll have to build or find some smaller ones down the road once we settle on what this room will be for.

This is an inside view to the patio room which we tore down over last weekend. Without it our yard feels so much bigger (and it was big already!) and lets in a lot more light to the back of the house windows (bathroom and two bedrooms).

Most of that brick is gone now (the line down the yard & the BBQ area). We love the idea of an outside kitchen, but weren't sold on the placement of this guy so we let my brothers have at it! We have a TON of use-able brick left over and lots of ideas for it.

We have an avocado tree! So excited about that. On my dream house list, I wanted an avocado tree, lemon tree and a lime tree. Well I got two out of those three! We have a lemon tree, orange tree and persimmon tree. Yum!

We were a bit skeptical of this shed, it certainly didn't appear to be in the best shape. But my Dad discovered its high quality redwood inside, with no rotting since it sits on a concrete slab. Cody has since replaced the door with a solid core outside door (this one was pieces of plywood nailed together) and plans to use it for storage/dirtbike space. So we'll have to work on ripping down the black paper inside and its already got some serious electrical power...whether that has any relation to the multitudes of clay pots also found around and under the house we'll leave up for debate.

Now for the inside! (All the furniture you see? Not ours, these were taken when we first toured the house.)

There's a lot of room in the kitchen and we have a lot of ideas for what to do with it. More counter space and a dishwasher are definitely on the top of that list!

I am in love with our open living space. This is the view from the door to the kitchen. Check out that huge front window! Seriously sold me on the house. Love, love, love it!

Here it is from the front, we're thinking a bay window down the line?

And this is what sold Cody on the house. Ok, not really, but you know that man loves his air conditioning. 

The window AC unit above and this heater means a HVAC system is also on the to-do list. But check out those hardwood floors. Love them.

And the closets! This was another "this house is meant for us" moments. Cody's great-grandmother's vacation home (then it was Cody's grandparents and as of two weeks ago Cody's aunt & uncle's!) has closets exactly like these--raised up with drawers underneath. I think its such a fun detail.

And bedroom #1! 

And bedroom #2. Although it doesn't look like it in this picture this bedroom is a bit larger and we'll be using it for the master.

And the bathroom, so happy to have that long counter top.

The privacy it has a much prettier toilet (I didn't think toilets could be pretty til I had to buy one!)

And the shower, now it has a new shower head and no whales in the tub. It's also got a fresh line of caulk to seal up our walls & sub-floor.

And that's the OUR house! I have so many more pictures since our first walk-through that I need to download so please bear with me while I get around to that!


Dad--for keeping me focused and being the 'jack-of-all-trades'
Mom--the original clean freak
Steve--heavy lifting and truck packer
Cathy--bringing over yet another load of stuff
Matt--demo master and truck loading
Joey--another demo extraordinaire
Christian--more demo & hardwood floor polisher
Sarah--bringing our second wind to unpack the kitchen
Blake--demo master & brick slinger
Katy--contact paper queen/slave 
Preston--master plumber 
Ashley--cabinet cleaner & contact paper support
Byron--for keeping the mood light and breaking in our backyard
Emily--cleaner & drapery advice
Chrissy--cabinet cleaner & contact paper support
Gram C--huge supporter and source of our first piece of mail
Our Lord--providing the means, house and all the right people to get us here!

I really, really hope I haven't missed anyone....