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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Cleaning and Some Planting

It was a productive weekend! Since I was in the spring cleaning spirit, I started tackling the "pantry" area of the closet. We also got the flowers planted, and more of the backyard cleaned up.

My bird feeder went back up, too!

Pots on the porch got planted...


Flowers in our flower bed are starting to grow back. We just need some more mulch to fill in some spotty areas. And we still need to stain or paint the porch. Still weighing options in that department...


And we planted the purple flowers on the side of the house - the ones that smell really fragrant! :) They're called Blue moon phlox.

I also started tackling the closet while Trent was at work Sunday...specifically the area that will become our pantry. Brace yourselves...It's been much worse. But this is what it looked like before I started this weekend:

I got it about halfway cleaned out, after sorting it into 3 piles.
Left is garbage, right is donate.

This was the recycling pile that we took over to the recycling dumpsters in town. After we cleaned out the backyard, we had a whole truckload of recycling and ended up with a huge burn pile, too. 

I'm hoping we can get the pantry and closet areas all done this summer. Not quite there yet. But I'm glad we got a few things accomplished this week. It's supposed to be in the eighties tomorrow, so it should feel like summer around here! I'm super excited :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Future Backyard Plans

I've been thinking a lot about things we need to do in the yard, since spring is finally here. There is so much we need to do, especially in the backyard! I found this in my notebook the other day:
It's a layout of the house I drew last summer when Trent and I were measuring the perimeters of our yard for a fence. We want to put up a fence back there eventually for both privacy (Our neighbors on one side are really close), and for Saleen to run around back there. We were getting an idea for how much fencing we will need to buy.

We also really want to put down a nice paver patio back there with some patio furniture and a fire pit. We don't hang out in the backyard too much because our neighbors are so close and we just feel like it's awkward because there's no privacy.

Last weekend we were at Target and found this patio dining set:

It's from the Casetta Patio Collection. It's a nice, simple set. I love it and think it would be perfect for our backyard. It's even on sale. 
I really want it...And it has even gone down 10 more dollars since I took the above screenshot. But it would be nice to have a new patio laid down first, and a fence for privacy. Considering this is what the yard looks like now (Well, last year, but it hasn't changed much):
Definitely needs some work. So I think I'm going to wait, because it will most likely be on sale again. (I hope)...and we need to get more important things done first. I've found it's hard to decide what to buy for the house right now and what to wait on, since there is so much that needs to be done and it can't all be done at once. (Although I wish I could just snap my fingers and have our backyard redone instantly! Haha.)

Right now, since it's getting nice and we have so many outdoor improvements to tackle, priorities are key! Watching our pennies and checking off the most important things first....

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Upstairs Bedroom - Before

Our house is one-and-a-half stories. So we have an upstairs, but it's a fairly small one. When you walk upstairs, you are right in my office. Beyond my office...is the spare bedroom. Which is currently also used as a storage room.

This used to be Trent's bedroom growing up. Then when I moved in, it was my closet. I had clothes spread out in piles across the floor and it was difficult to find clothes to wear every morning. Finally we cleaned out the downstairs closet and were able to put most of my clothes down there.

We were able to clear a path to the bed in here, but we are still left with tons of things we don't use on a daily basis. Most of it is Trent and I's old stuff from our childhood and teenage years.

The whole left side of the room is one huge, gigantic pile of "stuff." Seriously, it's like an episode of hoarders. The goal for this summer is to go through it all and donate or try to sell them in a yard sale. The plastic totes are full of clothes, purses, shoes, etc. that were in our yard sale last year. There are also two rolls of insulation in that pile that need to go in the attic! Chaos, I tell you.

This room, besides all of the cleaning out of junk, needs some serious decor help, too! There's those brown sponge-painted walls I keep telling you about that filled the whole upstairs and stairway.

And that green carpet has got to go. Trent wants to put hardwoods up here. I kind of want a low-pile carpet since we won't really use this room too much, but who knows. There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to both. I may use this room in addition to my office as a kind of art/craft room, so hardwoods might be a better idea in that case.

I'm hoping by the end of summer I will have some progress/after pictures to show you! Wish us luck!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

New Mower and Flowers

This week we made a little trip to Lowe's. Trent bought a new push mower to help with some of the smaller lawns he mows around town. Now he doesn't have to borrow them from other people!



It was priced at around $280, but he got it for less than $200 with some gift cards and a 10% off coupon. More good news - He also got his truck back from the shop, finally! It needed a new transmission and was in the shop for two weeks. He finally got to pick it up yesterday, and it's running as good as new.

I instagrammed this photo when we were picking up the mower at Lowe's the other day: 
See those purple flowers in my cart? I had to get them because we were walking by and they smelled soo good! I'm planting them on the side of the house. I also bought a bunch of pansies to fill up my pots on the porch.
I've been waiting to plant flowers until it gets a little warmer. It's been about 60 the last few days but a little chilly with the wind. Hopefully today Trent and I can plant them after he gets done mowing his yards!  He just mowed ours on Thursday and put down some more grass seed in the patchy spots. I hope it grows in all lush and beautiful. Pretty soon we're going to get some seeds for the garden out back and plant them! We're determined to make it better than last year's, which was kind of a weed-fest due to leaving for vacation for a couple of weeks in June. Oops.

Anyway, here's a little sampling of how the porch is looking so far:
The purple flowers in the large pot are the ones I am planting on the side of the house. I need to buy something else to plant in their place.
I got these produce planters from Joss and Main and they are awesome. I'm planting some pansies in the top one, and I still need to pick up some flowers to plant in my little pot. Then plant and hang my hanging flower basket.

We plan on staining the porch floor - as you can see it didn't take paint well after we painted it a few summers ago. So the paint must be scraped away, and we have a plan for staining it pretty soon. There will definitely be more pictures of the porch in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned. In the mean time...come on spring! I'm ready for 75 degree weather! ;)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

For the Birds

I kind of have a thing for bird decor. Birds are on my living room pillows. Owls are scattered throughout my kitchen. And lately I've been seeing a lot of cute bird-related finds in the stores. So I thought I'd compile some of these items right here. All cute. All very birdy.
Owl bookends from Z Gallerie - Set of 2 for $29.95. Not too shabby!

Love Anthropologie pillows. Too bad most are way out of my price range! Check out these birdy pillows here and here.

Bird Serving bowls from West Elm - Love the one with the bright yellow feathers.

Owl hook from Anthropologie. THIS would be so fun to have! *cough*Anniversary present*cough* Trent, were you listening? Ha.

These paper maché bird mountings from West Elm are possibly the most interesting home decor item I've come across in a while...I haven't decided whether or not they would be borderline creepy in person. However, I quite possibly would still TOTALLY get one.

Society6 has THE best pillows ever. The artwork on the site is so unique and so awesome. Check out this robin pillow here.

Lastly, I leave you with this amazing parrot figurine from Target which I have been obsessing over for the past few months and is no longer available online or in store. Tear.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Office Progress

I was moving files to my external hard drive the other day, when I found this photo:
  
This was what the upstairs office space looked like before I moved in. Sorry Trent, but....it was a little BLAH!

Today, it looks like this:
Yep, me and my colorful self moved in!! I guess you could call it progress, but it still needs a lot of work. I showed you my office before, but now you can see that I'm running out of storage space. And I need to hang my artwork. We did paint about 3/4 of the walls in this room and hung beadboard, but the trim around the ceiling still needs to be done, as evident by the huge gap between the wall paneling and the ceiling.

It would also be extremely nice to have a cabinet for storing all of my art supplies. Instead of a bunch of storage boxes stacked on top of each other.

Last week we cleaned out the nook in the corner above the stairs where Trent's old stuff was sitting. It still needs painted. See the ugly brown sponge paint that this entire room used to be filled with?
That yellow cord hanging down is our power supply for this room. There are no wall outlets upstairs. Another joy of living in a hundred-year-old house. Extension cords are your friends.

My new WHITE bookcases are still sitting pretty after my little makeover. (See Part 1 and Part 2 of my bookcase remodeling project for more info). Someday we want to gut the whole upstairs, and redo the flooring. In the mean time I'll be happy with finishing the painting and trim, and putting down a rug!

That's all for today..Just thought I'd share some updated photos of my office and what still needs to be done. Paint, trim, a rug and some storage solutions are definitely on my to-do list this summer.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weekend Target Finds

Hello all! Trent had a good birthday yesterday! He went out with some friends after work then we took Saleen on a walk and rented a movie when he got home. It was a nice, low-key night. And we had perfect weather yesterday for Earth Day, too! Wish I could've enjoyed it a little more instead of being stuck at work all day!

Today I thought I would share a little more from my weekend. I made a stop at Target on Saturday. You know what that means. I found some goodies! :)

I got a couple more cute frames for the living room to replace the boring silver ones (for good - I moved them OUT of the living room this time!). One is on the end table next to the couch, the other is on the side table:




Cute huh? They were 6.99 each and they bring even more color into the room! Plus I love their cut-out shape.

I also picked up this journal:
I'm always making lists and writing things down that I need to remember. And I love the quote that's on the front. If you can't read it, it says, "Earth laughs in flowers..." - Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

The brand is called Green Inspired:

It was 7.99 and I found it in the Stationary aisle. The entire design of the journal is beautiful. Plus, it's perfect for Earth Day! Duh! This is why I love Target, people! It's amazing! (See Exhibit B Here - The Chalkboard labels from Target I just picked up last week)



Finally, I got this clipboard from the Target Dollar Spot:
I thought it was pretty much the coolest thing ever you could get for a dollar! I plan on using 3M strips to hang it up in my office.

So that is my weekly Target find! What have you found at Target recently? Anything awesome?

P.S. - Check out This post over on the 4 Men 1 Lady blog, where she shares her awesome DIY house number project, AND you can enter to win a Home Depot gift card! Woot!
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