3.29.2012

Fence Installed

The fence is in and it is fabulous.  The cedar smell is awesome.  
Anyone else walk around sniffing their fence?
We went with 6x6 Gothic style posts on the driveway and I sure am happy we spent the extra money.  We have a gate to the backyard and then a very large gate to the utility yard.  It made sense to have all the posts 6x6 otherwise it would have looked a little silly with 6x6 then 4x4 then 6x6 again.
I can't tell you how happy I am that this gate closes smoothly and all by itself.  Our old gate sagged and had to be lifted up in order to properly close and lock it. 
The guys that did the installation had to custom make all the gates in order to match the convex style of the fence.
Here's a reminder of what the driveway looked like after the old fence was down.
 
 This is where the 2-8ft sections are going to be to make a 16ft wide gate.  In order to do this a galvanized pipe frame is being custom built and the wood fencing will be installed on top of it.  No more sagging!
The pipes were cemented in and the gate will be installed in a few days.  Hubs is super excited about this.
Remember the old fence?  Almost 14 years old.  


 What a difference a day and a dollar (well, lots of dollars) make.  We are so happy and blessed.  Happy Spring!


3.28.2012

Fence Tear Down


Hubs was all action today taking down the fence!  I came home from work to this.  I love it.  Bring on the new cedar fencing.

What would you use the old fence boards for?




3.27.2012

Porch, Flowering Trees and Old Fence

When there are blue skies, everything just looks better. I repaired the damaged porch rocker and put the runner back on today.  A little wood filler, some sanding and black spray paint. You'd never know.
On the to do list is to spray paint those shutters.  This is our second set, but because the house gets full sun most of the day, they get faded.  
I'm hoping to try spray paint rather than buying yet another set. Keep them green?
I love my wreath on the front door.  Wal-mart.  Yes, I kid you not.  Better Homes and Gardens brand. I did buy 2 stems of coordinating flowers and hot glued them on too to give the wreath a little more fullness. I think it cost me under $25 bucks.
The front door is in need of some paint too.  I want to go with a brighter color like yellow, but the Hubster likes the brick red.  What do you think?

The flowers on the cherry tree just started to come out yesterday.  Aren't they the prettiest pink?
Here's another cherry tree in the front yard in a very pale pink almost white.
I love looking at this every morning.  My neighbor's flowering tree is just beautiful.
Say good-bye Mr. Fence.  You are getting replaced.
  Out with the old, in with the new.
 Hope you are having a great week.  I'll be sharing more with you soon.

3.25.2012

Front Porch: Rockers

Hubs and I have wanted porch rockers for a while, but they always either seemed too expensive, the quality was less than desired, or the style didn't fit our fancy.  We did see rockers at Cracker Barrel during one road trip and always said we'd find a Cracker Barrel and purchase them.  That never happened.

Last night we went to Lowe's looking for wood trim and and a grill cover. We came out with neither of those, but with two big boxes, each housing a Craftsman style porch rocker in Black.
The best part, they were $99 each, way less than we've seen and there was a floor model on display, which  we happily tried out.
The rockers come in White, Natural (which has a reddish hue) and Black.  There were only 3 Black rockers left and we took 2 of them.
 Today I assembled both of them.  It wasn't bad.  The directions were detailed and the pieces all fit together.  The time spent was about an hour and half for both, but I was wiping everything down, finding my tools, making sure not to ding them, etc.  I probably could have shaved some time off if I wasn't dilly dalling.
 There was one piece (come on you know there is always one) that was damaged beyond black magic marker repair. It is is the rocker rail.  I'll have to call customer service tomorrow to see if they'll send me a new piece.  In the meantime, I did a little sanding and wood filler.  The quality of the rockers was worth the price in my opinion.  I tested the good to go one out and it's rather comfy.
 The rockers have updated the porch already.  I can't wait to keep at it.

3.24.2012

Hallway: Beadboard?

I'm at a point where I am not sure what to do next.

This is my upstairs hallway which is very teeny, tiny.  Three bedrooms, a hall closet and my full bath all come off this crammed hallway.  I put up additional trim pieces thinking that I wanted to continue the board and batten treatment from the bathroom.  However, once I tried to space everything out, the trim boards didn't flow right.

I had a neighbor, who has awesome decorating taste, come over and tell me what she thought. She thinks I should keep the board and batten by itself in the bathroom and do something different in the hallway.

Her vote was beadboard for the texture.
What do you think?

This is the view once you pass the bathroom and turn to enter either of the 3 bedrooms.
The closet backs up to the stair wall.
Rounding the corner looking back toward stairs.  The bathroom is to my back.
This is the barn door wall, which is the largest blank wall in the hallway.

3.22.2012

Porch: Ideas and Photo Editing

So there is a teeny tiny debate in our household if we should get porch railings and new posts or leave it alone and spruce up the porch with flowers, rockers, paint.

I did a little photo editing last night to get a visual...now I just need to get some rockers...

3.21.2012

Master Bedroom

So it's been over a year since any sort of updates have crossed my mind for the master bedroom.

I painted the furniture, invested in a pillow top mattress pad, purchased new white sheets and called it a day.

I like the clean feel of the room, but I want to add trim around the windows, maybe switch out the furniture hardware, hang curtains or drapes and most of all do something with the back wall that the bed is on.

I either want to:

Install a board and batten type treatment with wood and white paint along the back wall.


Or remove metal headboard and create upholstered headboard.
Or just paint the back wall an accent color.
I like the green hue of this chalkboard wall.
Or go crazy with wood plank accent wall.

3.20.2012

Porch: Flower Boxes

So I am worried that installing porch railings on my porch may make the house look like it's in jail.  The porch is less than 5 feet deep and our windows are rather tall.  Hubs and I are wondering if when sitting on porch rockers that the railing would cut into our view.  I was rather bummed until I had this idea.  

Why not use large patio/porch flower boxes to fill in between the posts.  Imagine colorful cascading flowers!



 via

3.19.2012

Garden: Raised Garden Beds

We will be changing up our side yard when we have new fence installed in a few weeks.  I am giddy with excitement to be able to plan for raised garden beds.  I can't wait to plant veggies and flowers.  We are still working out the layout and determining how many beds we can fit, but I've been doing some research for inspiration.  There are many different ways to construct the beds and pros and cons determining the type of wood to use.

I like this design because of the top ledge.

via
Hmm, should I paint the wood?

Simple design and tall enough to not bend over so much.

via
Another one with a great top ledge.

3.18.2012

Share a little something


Go ahead and laugh but you might just share a little something with me.

1. I am an only child who had imaginary friends much longer than I should have and slept with my stuffed monkey, affectionately named, Monk, until I went off to college.  And yes, I still have Monk.  He's in the closet waiting to be loved again.

2. I wish I could have someone wash my hair for me every morning.  I just love when I go to the hair salon and get my hair washed.  Half the time I wish the gal would stop talking so I can just close my eyes and savor those minutes.  There is nothing worse though when water gets in my ears.  Totally ruins the whole experience.  This stems back to my youth when I had hearing problems and had to put wax in my ears when I went swimming.  Ever since, a drop of water leaks in, and I'm done.

3. Whenever I have to speak in a meeting at work, I flush.  My face feels hot, I know it happens and people look down thinking that I am embarrassed.  Crazy thing is, I'm not.  I don't mind speaking in front of people.  It don't love it, but I don't mind it.  Heck, I was on the Debate Team in college and had to get up and speak in a room full of strangers about a topic I knew nothing about.  Talk about blah, blah, blah.  So I have no idea why I flush, but it happens and I've learned to accept it.

4. I have an aversion to big dogs.  When I was a kid, my neighbor had a big golden retriever.  It was the sweetest dog, but I didn't like it.  I still have visions of that big dog.

5. I can't paint my own nails.  Do share your secret if you can.

6. I have OCD about certain things.  Making sure the oven is off, iron is unplugged.  I've on occasion called a family member to go to my house and check to be sure.  I am pretty sure I have a fear of fire in general because I can remember in grammar school having to plan an escape route if a fire were to ever happen in our home.  I told my parents I would just jump out the window because I was on the ground floor.  What I never got over was the fear of what my parents would do because their room was upstairs, second story.  Hubs and I have a wood burning stove that we use as our main source of heat.  Never fails every night I ask, "Is the fireplace closed?"  The answer is always yes.

7. I don't know how to dive into water.  I like to swim, but I can't dive.  I tried as a kid.  Took lessons.  Asked friends to teach me, but never liked it.  Can I blame it on I don't like water in my ears?

8. I love to read sappy romance novels. Anything Nicholas Sparks makes me cry.

9. I cry at the drop of a hat when watching emotional TV shows.  Lately it's been Intervention when they all sit in a room and try to get the addict to go to treatment.

10. I can't watch shows like American Idol or Dancing with the Stars because I get "embarrassed" if they make a mistake.  I flick back and forth.  Why do I care?

So share a little something too.

3.16.2012

Front Porch

It couldn't have been any grayer out the day I took this picture, but get ready, this is what Hubs and I want to spruce up this year.

The front porch needs a little bling...like hot mama come look at me.  Hubs envisions porch railings, black porch rockers and hanging flowers.  I have to say I'm liking that idea, but I hate our front steps.  I want to rip them out and put in a brick walkway and steps. Picture a larger mulch bed with flowers and a lazy "s" of a walkway.

But a funny thing called money seems to always get in the way.

We are brainstorming to see what we can do short term for the biggest bang for our buck.

Hubs said "You know we can save money. You can install the porch rails."
Rolling of eyes.  Now it's game on.  I just might do it.  Of course I upped the anty and said "Yeah well you can rip out the sidewalk and put a new walkway down."  Rolling of eyes.  But I saw the light in his eyes glimmer.

We did get a quote to resurface the porch to look like faux flagstone.  For a split second we almost thought we'd really do it, but then the funny thing called money got in the way (and I think I'd like brick better).

We are now thinking about repairing the cracks correctly (see those dark grey lines that we squirted concrete fix into?) and maybe painting the porch floor or maybe just getting some outdoor sisal rugs.
Lots of exciting products to explore.

It should be interesting how much we actually tackle this Spring.  What's on your plate?









3.15.2012

Spring Break: NYC

Hubs and I took a long weekend and spent time in NYC. The weather was a pleasant surprise for this time of year. Sunshine and warm breezes made it fabulous to walk all around.

We stayed at The Eventi in the Chelsea section. The area was home to lots of stores selling handbags and costume jewelry. Few blocks south there was an abundance of flower shops that received large deliveries of shrubs, cut branches and flowers on Monday morning. By the afternoon, most of the goods were sold. It made me want to go home and cut my own branches. Signs of Spring.

On one of our strolls, I was yacking on the phone and Hubs waved wildly at me to stop.  I peered into this large room filled with all sorts of goods.  It was so much fun to see two floors worth of stuff being sold.  I did walk out empty handed just because I am on this "no more stuff" kick, but I really enjoyed checking out the goods.  There was costume jewelry in huge piles to pick through.
We were so excited to see this view from our room.  Hubs proposed on the top of the Empire State Building on a cold January day, so this was a special view.
Here it is all light up at night in red, white and blue.  The last night we were there, the building was light up with green and white.  I assume in celebration of St. Pat's Day.
We ate thin crust, oven baked pizza at a joint called Waldy's.  It was in walking distance and was awesome because thin crust pizza is my absolute favorite!
We saw The Black Keys at Madison Square Garden.  The show was great, but I felt like an old fart because I had to stuff tissues in my ears to dull down the noise.
This was the crazy view looking out our floor to ceiling window down at the street.  Anyone afraid of heights?
View out the same window to the southeast.  The building dead center had these crazy lights on the roof top at night.  I wondered if there was a party going on every night!
We enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the villages and ended up at the 9/11 memorial site.  This is a view from where we obtained tickets and saw the construction on one of the new towers.
This is the view from within the memorial and the pools where the original tower stood.  It was an experience I did not expect.  I instantly remembered where I was when the planes hit and quietly thought of all the people whose lives were taken that day.
We also wanted to take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, but the wait was over 2 hours and we ran out of time.  This is on my to do list for the summer.  I want to head back.
I cracked up when I saw this photo of me because I am trying so hard not to smile and show my braces.  What a dork.  
Hope you are enjoying some Spring weather too.  The weekend here in NJ is supposed to be great again.  I'm ready to pull out all the weeds that have appeared.