Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lori's dreams came true...

for a white Christmas!

I, on the other hand, was not too happy about having a wide driveway and no snowblower!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Thanks to Uncle Rick for giving our chimney a quick inspection. We had our first fire Friday night, and this weekend we are hopefully building the mantle so we have something to hang our stockings on, stay tuned!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Let There Be Light

I finally bought the light fixture for over the dining room table.

I looked around but really liked the pole mount that is available at

They are having a sale and free shipping until Monday and let you customize in tons of different ways. I like the wood veneers and this one with the Japaneese cane, but Justin wasn't having it so we went simple and clean with the white linen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

It's been a while, but I'm back folks!! Justin here, making my second guest blog appearance.  Things have been a little slow lately on the construction front, so with some of this extra time we've started organizing our belongings and established where we can put all our extra stuff so Lori doesn't have to keep asking 'what are we doing with this?' 

With winter right around the corner, I decided we needed a wall mount rack for the boards in the basement. I picked up the Pegboard courtesy of Lowes, and bought the support arms from the 'going out of business' sale at The Fabric Store in the 'ham. Total cost: $5.50

The main reason I purchased the pegboard was to start my tool wall in the bike workshop. The wall looks kinda empty, so I think Santa might need to make a stop at the hardware store before sliding down the chimney.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We've still been plugging away at the inside, but nothing is really finished yet so here are some updates from the yard.

Two weekends ago we cleared out a big section of the backyard closer to the resevoir that had a lot of little bushes and tiny trees and other brush. We're planning an ice skating party this winter and need a good spot to hang down by the ice. It is crazy how much bigger the area looks now that it is cleared out!

When we were down there, we saw that the beavers across the Res have been working hard. That tree is HUGE!!!

On Saturday, Justin meets me at the front door to tell me that a woodpecker has been pecking our house!? WHAT!? I didn't believe him until about 20 min later when we heard TAP TAP TAP TAP. We poked our head out the window and it flew away. At least it wasn't that awfully annoying Woody the Woodpecker laugh. It apparently likes one particular shingle, so Justin patched up the hole it had made with some wood putty. Haven't heard any tapping since.

Yes, I know our house really really needs a paint job.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Finally we have something on our windows in the bedroom.
This might be the first sewing project that I have EVER finished.
The Fabric Place is going out of business and I found this pretty Amy Butler print, Silver Wood Fern.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Justin had a sweet craigslist find. Perfect for putting on shoes on the way out and the drawers hide our slippers and the build up of shoes by the front door.

We'll have a furnished house soon enough!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No frost yet!

The dahlia that my aunt and uncle discovered when they were digging out the weeds in front of our house looked pretty sad at first. I'd been waiting for it to bloom and once I gave it some support to stand up straight, it started popping flowers!

What do you think, next tattoo to commemorate my first house?!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Dirt

The compost bin has been built for a while, but we finally got around to posting a pic of it. Even though Justin didn't necessarily measure twice and cut once, it came out pretty sweet. It is filling up fast, but I heard once it gets composting the pile shrinks. I can't wait for it to make lovely dirt for the garden next spring!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Omnia Vanitas

"All Is Vanity" by C. Allan Gilbert,

Omnia Vanitas means "All is Vanity," in Latin. This phrase comes from a Latin translation of the Book of Ecclesiastes.

This weekend we visited Justin's mom in CT and she very sweetly gave me this piece of furniture that she was planning to store.

It works perfectly as a vanity in the bedroom - now I just need a chair for it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vote for Our Kitchen!

We are stuck at a crossroads in our kitchen design. Which one do you like better?
*Edit - Option one is on the left, option two on the right. You can click the pictures to view actual size.

Note that in option two, we would be walling off the hallway that connects the kitchen and the bathroom. This means the only access to the bathroom would be from the hall off the living room. Option two also means that we'll have a larger bathroom (big enough for a double vanity) once we renovate the bathroom. I'm also hoping for a window bench in this design.

Option one keeps the basic layout the same as it is currently, but updates the cabinets and adds a few more. We keep the peninsula and add bar stools.

In both designs we will have a corner bench and two chairs around the dining table.

We have decided on white cabinets to keep the space bright, and I think we are leading toward the beadboard style.We did real work on the house this weekend - I swear! It just got too dark before we took pictures of anything.

I'm going to try to stay on top of updating this more frequently in the coming weeks as we make a decision on the kitchen and move forward.

Comment with your thoughts! Is it weird to loose the walk-through to the bathroom from the kitchen? I'm worried about guests/outdoor parties and walking through the living room... Does the peninsula cut off the room and make it look smaller? Are the beadboard cabinets going to go out of style quicker than other more classic designs?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Good Fortune

Look at the fortune Justin got in his cookie last night!!

We should probably play the lotto with those lucky numbers...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Res Life

Justin spotted a beautiful pair of swans in the Res this morning!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Open Invitation!

Just wanted to post this blurry pic of the view of the guest bedroom from the hallway since Justin left it out of his update. Guests are welcome!

Outdoor Update

After clearing the yard of the many crab apples that fell when the tree came down, I am less sad to see it go.

It was gorgeous out today, with a hint of fall in the air and I spent some time in the yard after work. I can't believe that it's already the last official weekend of summer.

Five bug bites and some OFF later, I walked down to the edge of the reservoir in the backyard. I hadn't really ventured down there yet because there is a lot of brush that needs to be cleared out, but I wanted to see if I could catch a glimpse of the heron that we have seen hanging around down there. It was there! But apparently it is camera shy. After I came in to grab the camera and went back out, it was gone.
Here is where it usually lounges.
I think that there are some animals that like to chomp down trees that live in the area.
And we might have some blueberry bushes! They look like blueberries, but to be safe, I wasn't doing any field research. What do you think? Because of all the rain this summer, the fungi have really been thriving. We have our share of mushrooms.
I hope there are some more days like today left in the summer!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yard with a view.

I can't let Lori have all the fun here, so I (Justin) will be making today's update post.
Since next weekend we are taking a much needed break from home renovation, we had to get a lot done today.

First on the list was to move the location of the wiring for the eat-in-kitchen light. Now all we need to do is find a light that doesn't cost $300 (ahem*lori)

While I was building Lori's mega-awesome double-bin compost container, Lori worked on getting the guest room ready.
And to save the best for last, one of my requests since moving in has finally come true.

While making one of a MILLION trips to Home Depot/Lowes, my dad made some good use of his chainsaw to get rid of the crap apple tree!

Now all thats left is to get rid of the Pine tree and i'll be satisfied with the back yard.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Little By Little

Sorry for the gap in posting! We weren't as productive through last week, but I have some updates from this weekend.

The bathroom has been mostly finished for a while. We tore down some wallpaper and put a fresh coat of paint in there until we are able to totally rehab. You love the pink and blue tile, right? It's kitschy?

I'm trying to convince Justin that we need a new vanity, but (thankfully) he is keeping us focused on the kitchen.

Another big accomplishment this weekend was the near completion of the half wall. Justin and his dad got the hole all sheetrocked up and ready for muddin'. It's so fun to watch all the progress! The backyard needs to be mowed... On top of that bird bath is the mirror that I'm in the process of rehabbing. Two coats of spray paint and it looks (almost) brand new! In other yard-related news, our butterfly bush has its first bloom!

Bedroom pictures should be up tomorrow - we finally found the most perfect shade of pale blue/grey!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend Work

I wish that I could take the rest of the summer off from work to make my house look pretty.

We got a lot done this weekend.
After the brush dump trips we focused on more demo in the kitchen and getting the bedroom painted.
I'm still wavering between two colors in the bedroom. I was going for a light grey-blue, but the more I look at it, the more I'm not really feeling the grey.
What do you think?

Justin's father, Steve, has been coming up on the weekends with Nancy, which has been a HUGE help. We are so lucky to have his expertise and his help.
Here they are finishing up some of the demo between the kitchen and the living room.

We opened up the header at the top of the pass through and took out another piece of the wall that goes into the "working" kitchen. I can't wait until the kitchen is done. The below view is from the kitchen - we need some mantle inspiration too - that needs a facelift.

Thanks to everyone who came this weekend!!

I can't wait until all the renovations are finished and we can throw a huge party!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Yay Yardwork!

Today I really felt like a home owner.

This morning we cleared out a little bit more brush in our backyard in efforts to improve our water views. And that plus everything that was ripped out of our front lawn last weekend made for 3 trips to the brush dump. Thankfully mom let me borrow the truck.

On the way home from the the dump we went to Home Depot. That's when it started to sink in that I actually own a home.

.Justin also tried out his new lawn mower today. I wanted him to get a push one that doesn't use gas, but since he'll probably be doing most of the mowing I didn't press the issue.

I really love the smell of fresh cut grass.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome to the Jungle

This year, inside. Next year, outside.

That is what we have been telling ourselves. The house really needs a paint job, and the landscaping in the front was overgrown and out of control.

Then, my absolutely fabulous Aunt and Uncle swooped in and upped our curb appeal by about 10million points.

Underneath all that overgrowth and weeds there were acutally some flowers!

Here's a before and after. If you click on the picture for actual size, you can see how much work they really did.

Thanks to them both - and to my sister - who found out that she actually doesn't mind spreading mulch. I hope she comes back next spring!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Welcome to Suburbia

We've done it. We're living the American Dream of homeownership.

We closed and moved on the same day and after a little legal hiccup, we were officially declared the owners of a 3bdrm/1bath ranch.

After a weekend of cleaning and tearing down wallpaper, (OH the wallpaper! Now when I say the previous owners went overboard with the wall paper, I am not exaggerating. She even wallpapered the outlet covers and the closet doors.) we are starting to feel settled in.

First on the agenda was a little demolition!

This wall and bookcase separated the living space from the eat-in-kitchen. Without the wall the entire space is brighter. We also removed that awesome light fixture over the dining space. After everyone who helped with the move hit their head on it at least twice, we decided it was time for it to go.

This is just part of the kitchen renovation, which is already underway. The kitchen is original to the house, which was built in 1954, so it is most certainly time for an update.

A HUGE thank you to all the friends and family who came by this weekend to lend a hand and check out our new digs. We feel truly blessed to have such fabulous families who are willing to help out.

You could say we got a fixer-upper. We are continually being told not to rush. Not to wear ourselves out. Enjoy the process. So, I decided to blog this little adventure we are on to share the joy of the process.

Any suggestions and/or thoughts are more than welcome!