Monday, April 28, 2014

Showing Off

I really do love a good opportunity to show off our new house!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this feeling of pride when a new visitor comes to our house for the first time and we get to give them the tour.
I'm sure the excitement and eagerness will die down a little as time passes by, but even to us it's still a novelty that we own this house, it's ours, and we really do live here.

This past weekend we got a chance to show off our house to my Grandparents, all the way from Brooklyn.  Two people who have unwaveringly supported me in all of my endeavors, and are always proud of my accomplishments.

Thanks for coming to visit Grandma & Grandpa, your pride in us and love for us is a gift I never want to take for granted.

And thanks to my parents who came with them and provided dinner so I didn't have to cook :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Happenings

I always enjoy taking pictures... Pretty much everyone knows that about me.  I'm a very Novice photographer, I take pictures mostly of people, and most of the time I get the settings wrong.  I've tried some books to help me figure it out, and I follow a bunch of photographers' blogs to get pose ideas, but I really would love someone to sit down and teach me about MY camera, ya know?

Anyways, I digress...
Easter is always a fun time for me to take pictures, for a couple of reasons.  1: I always spend Easter with my family, and they usually tolerate my attempts at photography pretty well, 2: somehow the lighting always seems to be good on Easter weekend.  So without further ado, here are some photos from our holiday weekend.

Crazy colors in Flowers from my brother, with our Egg-Coloring masterpieces in the background:

Delicious baked clams for Good Friday dinner, courtesy of my dad.

Crafty project, all supplies and the idea of course provided by my mother!

The fruits of our Craftiness, or lack thereof.

And The Fam, smiling for the camera on Easter Sunday.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend with your families and friends.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Swap Shop

I don't know what I'd have done all my life without the Swap Shop at the local dump near my parent's house.
My first apartment was almost completely furnished by swap shop finds. And of course, now that we have an entire house to furnish, it's coming into play again in a big way.
Some of the items in our house that are from that very special place include a grandfather clock I've had for 6 years and moved with me twice, my favorite bookcase, and my husband's nightstand.

The latest addition to that list is this display cabinet!

When my mom found this guy he had only half of a backing board, and some cobwebs, but otherwise is in great shape.

He has become a great addition to the craft room to make it multi-purpose as an office too.  I can't wait to put a fun backing on it and fill it with my office supplies and files.
Thanks to Mom and her Swap Shop!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Typical WeekNight at our House

Just thought I'd give you a glimpse into our lives on a weeknight after getting home from work and what the process looks like...

I arrive home from work after my 40 minute commute, Mr. Man has Brody on a walk, so I am alone for the moment.  My plan is to do laundry and grill pork chops for dinner for a low-key evening in our house.

  • I hang my coat on the hooks we installed in the mud/laundry room and go upstairs for the laundry basket.
  • Bring basket downstairs and start a load in the washing machine.While doing this I realize there's a load in the dryer from who remembers when, so I fold those clothes.
  • The sun is out so I pull up the shade on the window as I fold and realize the window is filthy.
  • I take the laundry upstairs and put it away before grabbing the Windex & paper towels to go downstairs and clean the window.
  • After spraying the window and wiping it down I realize that the dirt i'm seeing is on the outside, so I head outside in my slippers to clean the window out there.
  • Cleaning the window uses the last of the paper towel roll, so I head back inside to get a new roll and install it upstairs in the paper towel spot.
  • As I passed by the door to the guest room downstairs I find a blanket crumpled on the floor.  As I start to fold it Mr. Man arrives home and asks me my plans for that room. (At this point we had literally done Nothing to that room, and it was completely empty but for a blow-up mattress.)
  • I told him my plans, and he immediately got out his industrial demo-hammer and went to work taking apart the crooked crappy shelving while I headed upstairs to get dinner marinating.
  • While that's marinating I pull up my bank's website and research auto-pay for a new bill of ours.
  • After taking care of banking, I open the pantry and remember that stuffed peppers were part of my meal plan for the night, so I start throwing together a filling and stuffing it into the mini sweet peppers I had bought.
  • I fire up the Grill! (I absolutely LOVE having the grill right outside the French doors on our porch!)
  • I take advantage of this pre-heating moment to photograph my man during his Demo before putting our food on the grill.

  • When it's done I pry him away from his progress to eat dinner.  We finally have our few minutes of quiet together and enjoy our meal.

  • After dinner I go to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, but it's full of clean dishes, so that has to get emptied and all dishes put away.
  • The leftover food gets put away, pans get washed, and the dishes get loaded into the dishwasher.
  • The empty beer bottles were headed for the recycle bin when I realized it was full, so I take it down to the garage bins to wait for trash day.
  • While downstairs, I realize that I never went back to switch the laundry, so the wash switches to the dryer, and Finally it's time to sit on the couch.
  • Before long Brody needs to go out, so he starts talking and nudging my elbow as I sit on the couch. After our 20 minute walk around the neighborhood it is finally time to be horizontal, off my feet, and go to sleep!!!

I know there are many people out there who have evenings that look like this.  There is always something to do, and I try to follow the mantra "Don't be Lazy" when a chore comes up that I'm less than enthused about doing.
Life is busy, and there's always lots to do, and I wish you all enough energy and dedication to do it!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Simple Things

It seems like every minute of every day I'm thinking about what the next project is, and where we can get the most bang for our buck. There's always some project going on or some daily chores to be done.
What I'm realizing as all these tasks pile up and are constantly being crossed of the to-do list... It's important to take time for the simple things in life that just plain old make you Happy :)
This weekend my mom visited, and she and I made time to go to a craft show in Boston. We even managed to somehow have lunch at an awesome restaurant!

I also stole 45 minutes for myself and painted my nails a vibrant pink!
These little time-out items make all the other stuff even more fun and better appreciated.

Don't worry though, plenty of house stuff got done this weekend too...we worked on the gardens (by 'we' on this one I mean Mr. Man.) Painted a door, Demo-ed some poorly built built-in shelves, vacuumed the entire house, did 5 loads of laundry, cooked many meals and made more curtains for the rooms upstairs.

Everything in moderation...!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Coat Closet Part Deux!

Yes, I am a little obsessed with our coat closet.  Which is kinda silly, because it's not even really where we hang our coats on a daily basis.  But whatever, it's fine.

We started with some random hooks thrown into a closet with patchy dry-wall and no paint:

Then we graduated to a nice freshly painted white walled closet with black trim hooks:

The last thing that this closet needed, was character!  And a good utilization of the upper space above the top row of hooks.  So in order to not disappoint any closet-lovers (wait that sounds wrong) out there, I went to work making the shelf my dad got us perfect for this space....

Masking tape stripes....

Black paint to match the trim....

Put some of Brody's stuff on our new shelf...

And call this Make-Over Complete!!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014


There are so many DIY sites and blogs out there, and I will be the first to admit: I'm hooked!!
When I see someone else make something totally awesome for $15 worth of supplies that I just purchased at a store for $30, I get really mad!!!

So I decided that Curtains in our new house weren't going to be one of those things for me!
Step 1: Borrow my mom's sewing machine!  (there is definitely one of my own in my future, but just not quite yet)
Step 2: Buy Fabric. I purchased a Groupon to a local fabric basement store, so pretty much got it all for 50% off!

Step 3: Figure out how to make a valance curtain and start sewing!!
Step 4: Hang it on the curtain rod and realize that I missed a very vital line of stitching that would Keep the curtain on the rod...
Step 5: Fix that problem
Step 6: Hang curtain, admire curtain, call husband over to admire curtain!

 Step 7: Post Before & After pictures on the Blog!!

I'm in love with the fact that I lined the back with white fabric so it looks professional from outside the window, and the light doesn't come straight through it screaming "this is a homemade curtain"
All in all, this was a complete success, and I may or may-not have already lost at least 30 minutes of my life staring at my creation!