Monday, December 12, 2011

Outside Lights

Ok, so here's the worst photo ever taken, but these are our outside lights this year!

Our little pear tree has big bulb lights on it, but we don't have it plugged in because of extension cord issues. We also got icicle lights for the roof eaves, but it keeps raining/sleeting/snowing, and ladders and inclement weather don't really mix. So we'll probably just wait and put those up next year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I love the holidays!

Yeah, yeah, I'm a bad blogger. I know. Forget about that and oogle the pretty:

I always love our Christmas setup :) I'll have to take pictures of our gorgeous fireplace setup and the outside as well. I'm really loving how our house looks this time of year. And I hope by next year to have furniture in the fireplace room so I can TRULY enjoy that part too.

And then, I shall call it the library. And it will make sense because of the obscene number of books we keep there.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I wonder how many posts like this I'll have in the next 18 months?

The final is complete. I have no idea how we did, but I'm checking for my grade about every 12 minutes.  I'm really excited for this week off! I didn't do a darn thing tonight. We had cheese filled pretzels for dinner, but I seriously don't care. It has been absolute heaven to just be a bum for the evening!

(Sorry Brian, I'll be a better wife tomorrow)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dining Room Lust

I am sooooo in love with this dining room from Better Homes and Gardens:

I have been obsessing over this room all day.

The orange chairs!
The leaded glass!
The built ins!
The french doors!
The floor!

I could go on.


Monday, October 10, 2011

There's fun on the horizon!

To break the unintentional post hiatus, I just want to say I have a new project brewing! It involves the following things:

1. Going through people's garbage.
2. Hideously gaudy stuff.
3. Paint fumes.

Should be a good time! I'll post about that, and the seasonal decor and other fun stuff I've been up to as soon as I'm done with my beast-of-a-final for this class!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The last few weeks at DSIFQ can be summed up by 1 word: FENCE!

I promised Brian that he could write the recap post of building the thing because it was all him and his dad. The worked soooo hard, and it paid off bigtime. While they were doing that, I was taming the rest of the yard. We had weeds galore, and lots of trimming that had to happen. It rained a lot while we were on vacation, so when we got home, I had a lot to catch up on! And along with that I had to get the house back in tip-top shape before we start another busy school year.

Without breaking my promise, I'll leave you with a teaser before/after-ish of the fabulous transformation of our yard!

When we moved in.

Down with the old!

And Up with the New!

And no yard transformation is complete without a great group of people to share it with!

Our informal deadline for the fence was this past weekend... so we could celebrate Brian's birthday in style with the whole family! (And the dogs, obviously)

Monday, August 15, 2011

We're baaaack!

So we're back from the most amazing trip! We had a blast, and it's taken us a while to pick up the reigns again of regular life. I think in prepping for this I let some things slip through the cracks... I'm going to post a recap soon, but I'm just not ready yet.

Last weekend we went up north for an impromptu family reunion. It was great! I got to see my Aunt Laurie and Cousins Ciara and Christian for the first time in YEARS. Christian had no idea who I was... the last time I saw him he was about 2! We had a fabulous day out by the fire, it was so wonderful getting to see family and catch up in the most beautiful place on earth.

(We're the two on the far left)

I love you guys!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We Have to What?

So, there are only 9 DAYS until we head off on our amazing-belated-honeymoon-of-bliss and leave our home and kittycat in the loving care of Lord Bob (also known as the amazing Sanjeev). 9 days, we can get all packed and ready by then right? I was thinking about it this morning and I'm not so sure...

I've been dealing with a LOT at work getting ready to go (bad timing for a software conversion!), and home has not exactly been the chillaxed 'palace of prep' I was hoping for. Along with me working late, and Brian working every night/all weekend, we have been social butterflies! Seeing friends and family like there's no tomorrow, and it continues right up until go-time.

Between now and next Saturday we have to:

1. Dinner with Brian's Aunt tonight.
2. I have a hair appointment Friday night.
3. Brian works all weekend.
4. I have to finish 2 weeks of work and a full software conversion by Wednesday.
5. Next Thursday night we're driving to Okemos for my sister's birthday.
6. Next Friday night is our weekly double date with some friends.
7. Also next Friday night, some other friends are coming into town to spend the night with us.

So sometime, within that, we have to pack, get the house nice and clean for all this company, get all the travel-bank-stuff straightened out, pull our boarding passes, etc.

Hopefully we'll get through it all so we can relax in style for a whole entire week! Well, at least Goji's ready to go...

Too bad he's not allowed to come.

Also... pray that we don't get any hurricanes in the next week!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And the Awesomest Person Award Goes To....

I would like to take this opportunity to thank someone for impressing the hell out of me. My dear hubby, has begun a glorious transformation from apartment-dwelling gamer nerd, to functioning homeowner handyman gamer nerd! In the last couple weeks he has:

1. Fixed the broken Garbage Disposal
2. Identified the problem with our dryer (a dryer is supposed to DRY right?) located a replacement part and fixed it HIMSELF.
3. Found us a massive deal for our car insurance (I'll take that 50 extra dollars a month back THANK YOU!) saving us a boatload of money.

Wow. I'm so amazed, I've gotta step-up my grown-up game next to this guy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Am I the only brat?

Here follows a confession followed by overly mushy crap. You have been warned.

So, I woke up this morning toooootally on the wrong side of the bed. Just a bland mass of simmering rage. After my shower (where I forgot to unwrap my new all-natural soap that smells like breakfast) I had to pick out something to wear, and that's where it just got bad.

I gained some weight about 1-2 years ago. About 30 pounds of weight actually. Well I lost it again (and then some!) pretty quickly last summer and have had no trouble keeping it off. BUT most of my clothes just don't fit right. Sometimes this makes for a cranky Bre in the morning. I have bought some new clothes, but I still can't find jeans that fit, and old favorites now look like poo. So this took my simmering rage, and turned it up to full boil. I was being a major, huffy, BRAT. So I was grumping around this morning, left in a huff, proceeded to insult at my car who's windshield wipers broke again (mechanic guy who apparently didn't fix them right, you'll be hearing from me!), etc. It was not a mood I would recommend for any young lady with a shred of dignity.

Well, all the time that I'm in this funk and behaving like I'm 4, Brian is just being sweet as ever. And when I got to work, he had posted this video on my facebook:

I had to run to the bathroom because the sweetness of it all made me tear up. Even when I'm undeserving of it, he's the best. Yes I called him to let him know that.

My mood being in much better shape, I've been thinking about how lucky I am. We haven't gotten to spend any time together lately because of work schedules, and that has been draining. But he's still as wonderful as ever, no matter what I do, which I don't deserve.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A little Up-North is good for the soul!

So we trekked on up to my grandparent's house in Leelenau County this past weekend. I've been going there my whole life, and I never get tired of it. There's something about those clean woods, fox kits, and the waves that really does wonders for your state of mind. Also, seeing my totally amazing grandparents isn't too bad either! We spent lots of time around the fire, grandpa playing taps at sunset, and played games. Thanks G+G for a wonderful weekend at Windsong!

The backyard. See Lake Michigan out there?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

UGgghh! Bad timing!

Do you ever have an idea for a project or something you want to do, but it's just about THE WORST possible time? This just happened to me. I have a fabulous idea for a new quilt. And I still haven't finished my other sewing project. Or my final. Or a bunch of house stuff (I'm looking at you boxes of vinyl fencing in the garage!). Also being broke from car repairs throws a wrench in as well.

I hope when I finally get to this ambiguous mystery quilt I'm as excited about it as I am right now.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Taking a Break from a Break

So DSIFQ has been fairly busy this past month! We're both finishing up a spring semester of higher education, in 2 weeks we get the whole summer off! We also have been planning our first REAL vacation for later this summer, I've been sewing a lot, we've had a slew of house guests, I got older, and we've spent a plethora of time in the backyard grilling and just enjoying it!

Sometimes life does just fly right by, but when it's not always a bad thing!

Monday, May 16, 2011

iPhone fun

So I got a new iPhone, and I've been having so much fun with it! An app that I love is called Photosynth. It stitches together panoramas for you! While sitting in the backyard this weekend I tried it out.

It's not perfect, especially while I was trying to get around the patio umbrella, but now you can be IN our backyard with me! I wish I'd done it when the trees were REALLY going crazy.

As you can see, we've been sloooooowly cleaning up all the tree and fence mess. Hopefully we'll get rid of it all soon, we'll need room for the new fence that's on its way!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Here we are again!

So remember last year when it rained for about a straight month? Yeah well, here we are again! It's been raining on and off for what feels like weeks. But this weekend it's supposed to clear up and I'll be able to work in the yard!

In the meantime, Brian and I made our first BIG grownup furniture purchase.... we got a new bed! I love it, he loves it, the cat is... unsure. It's a queen Simmon's Beauty Rest, and my side is softer than Brian's. I've actually been sleeping better! I thought our last bed was good, but this one is GREAT. The cat and I are still trying to get used to it being 6 inches higher than the old one!

The old bed is now in the guest room, which we can actually call a guest room now! I mean, it's not decorated at all, and it has boxes in it, but it can now house a guest!

Overall, I recommend Simmons Beauty Rest. Also, we had a lot of fun picking it out at the store, the people at our Art Van really helped us figure out what to look for and feel for in a bed, and since we'll be sleeping on this for at least the next decade, we're thankful!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Gardening is nice :)

So I've been plugging away on our gardening! So far we're off to a much better start than last year. I've got some new barberry bushes planted in the front (they're still tiny) as well as some sedum and pinks my mom gave me. I don't know if the pinks are going to make it though, they're acting all traumatized by the move.

I also moved a bush from the side of the house, to the fence line in the backyard, waiting to see what that one will do too.

Overall we are making great progress with weeding, and just general upkeep outside. There's a lot more to do of course, but this year it's less 'jumanji' and more 'fixer-upper'.

Also, we're hoping to order our fence this week!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our Moat

Hey! Check out our new water feature!

This new moat should protect us against coyotes, crusaders, and the Wicked Witch of the West!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Whew! That was.... 'fun'

So my second class of grad school is finally completed. I have no idea how I did, but it's over and I get my life back for a whole week!

I've spent every free moment of the last couple weeks working on my final (don't you love it when those are 50% of your final grade?) and I finally turned it in at 11pm last night.

So now that I can, I'll be returning to our regular scheduled programming. I've got some fun projects to talk about, including the nightstands I mentioned eons ago!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Quest for BBQ Fun!

One of the reasons we've been so excited for summer to get here is that Brian and I are finally ready to get our first REAL grill!

Rest in peace tiny charcoal Weber...we know charcoal is the best, but your 2 hamburger maximum is just not cutting it. And frankly, I don't want to spend so much quality time with you waiting for the coals to be ready... I'm hungry now! Bon chance.

So after scouring home stores and the internet trying to decipher grill lingo, we selected this beauty by Kenmore from Sears (picture is also from
Originally $350, down to $279. It has over 100 good reviews, and was the size we wanted and everything. We waited for a while to buy it, had to put it in the purchase queue... well it's a good thing we did! It's apparently being discontinued for a newer model, and when we bought it, it was about to go on sale even farther, and they gave us the extra sale price even though it hadn't started yet! So for $250 dollars, we will be grilling fiends this summer! We also picked up a cover and a nice grill set with skewers, a cleaning brush, spatula, etc.

Brian and I both have grown up grilling often in the summer, and I can't wait to continue the eating outside goodness!

We ordered it for in-store pickup as to avoid the ridiculous shipping costs associated with mailing something so large. But of course, there is where we hit snag numero-uno. This grill is sold out at every store within 50 miles of us. So we decided to check the Sears by my parents house an hour away, they had them! In the event that we had trouble getting there, my parents could always snag it for us. So we placed the order.

Monday, we got very gung-ho about grilling and decided we didn't want to wait anymore, so after Brian got home from class we hopped in the car and drove up. After driving to multiple entrances at opposite sides of the store, and fighting with the order-pickup machine, we sat down to wait for our item. About 5 minutes later they wheeled out... a fully assembled grill. Crap.

Brian drives a 2004 Chevy Malibu, there is no way this was going to fit. Also we did not order it assembled. 30 minutes, 1 manager and multiple declarations of 'there are no more boxed ones' later, the jerkface guy went to check. Low and behold, they found one. Aaaaand it was even bigger than the fully assembled version (how is that possible???). After seeing if it would fit (not a chance) we got in the car to drive all the way back empty handed. I was pouting.

Then I said to Brian 'what if they just detached the actual grill part from the base? Then they'd fit'. He ran inside and came out with the only non-jerkface guy that was working in this Sears, and we had it loaded in seconds! We did have to go buy a bungee cord to hold the lid of the trunk closed though.

And so, the simple act of picking up a grill had turned into a massive quest which finally culminated in our successful acquisition of our new mostly-assembled toy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

DSIFQ Continues the Lanscaping Offensive

I'm hoping that last weekend's demolition will be the "Gettysburg" to the civil war between us and our backyard that helps turn the tide in our favor. Although, as I once heard a genteel Charlestonian woman say 'it should not be called the Civil War because there was nothing civil about it.' And our landscaping is anything but civil.

Saturday Brian's family came over to help us rip out trees and the old fence! It was really exciting actually, because I was sooooo ready for the overgrown trees that were RIGHT on the fence and house to be gone, and that fence was barely 'fencing' as it was. One section blew over in a storm last month!

Unfortunately, my 'before' pictures don't really show how craptacular it really was, I avoided seeing it close up as much as possible, and they were from last summer, and a sea of green always helps! See all the pine trees and shrubs on the fence line? They are RIGHT ON the fence line. Also, you can sort of see in the picture that the fence is sort of tacked together... It had boards and random pieces of wood all nailed together haphazardly, trying to keep this thing standing. Half the posts were rotted through, and there were short beams propping it up in some parts.

Well Brian's family came over with a wonderful chainsaw and other tools for the job and we started chopping. I don't have any 'in progress' shots because I was also helping (champion branch hauler at your service!) but the trees all came down quick.

While stomping around we realized again how bumpy and weird our yard is. We'd both love to have it completely graded and drained properly, but that's just not going to happen.

We also cut down a very large, very dead ash tree from the other side of the fence. It was leaning pretty far over into our yard, and it was libel to crack and fall soon. When it went down, it was so dry that it shattered! Almost into a big puff of dust and twig. I'm glad (and so is my mom) that it's taken care of, because it was apparently quite the danger! After the trees were chopped apart and piled accordingly I made lunch, then we ripped out the fence.

At the end of the day, the yard looked like this:

You can see the branch pile, and one of the trunk piles (there's another one over to the left, and stumps stacked on the patio area). There is also the fence pile over there too.

We have since moved everything around. Most of the branches have been taken by Brian's parents, and we moved the rest of them to the side yard off the grass. We also stacked the trunks/stumps firewood style next to the garage door for easy removal, and less grass death.

Another nugget of progress was calling Miss Dig. They have now come out and marked all our electrical, gas and water lines. I'll try to get a picture of that. So once we measure and order the new fence, we should be set to install the new bad-boy! I can only hope that we will continue our forward momentum, and have a backyard we can be proud of soon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DSIFQ Declares a Yard War!

Well, as anyone who has been to our house will know, our house sits on a lovely little 1/4 acre backing up to natural space. I use the term 'lovely' very very loosely.

We don't think Frank ever did much yard work, our earth is like cement, and there were over a dozen overgrown trees right up against the house, and the existing crap fence. Also the garage is even in rough shape! Well last weekend we made the first attack on the outside. Right now it still appears to be reeling from our betrayal, so we will continue to strike while the iron is hot, and before the mess can rally.

The weekend was FULL of projects and progress, but I'll break the update into two posts for easy digestion (chew your food, people!). Friday when I got home I began my assault on our much-maligned garage. We were very lucky to get a two car garage in our price range, but it does need some serious help. In the long run I'd love to gut it and re-drywall, but small improvements can still make a huge difference.

At the back of the garage is a little step up where items can be stored, a "cabinet" of sorts and the door to the backyard. Initially, most of this step was taken up by a huge home made work bench. This thing was a death trap, with 2x4s sticking out, and it basically made it impossible to neatly keep anything on it. And since we moved in last year already in the middle of gardening season and had to get the hang of home ownership, this bench became a dumping ground.

I started by getting everything off the bench (and out from under it) and piling it according to purpose and future location. I also swept up all the grass seed that had somehow spilled everywhere...

Lovely isn't it?

I did not get a picture of the bench covered in stuff, but imagine everything on this plastic sheet is on that piece of crap surface:
All of those boxes are from wedding gifts, we've been slowly recycling them. But see all that mess? Our 2 car garage has been 1 car only :( With the bench we couldn't even get the garbage can up there! Talk about annoying climbing around a car just to take out the trash...

I then attacked the bench with a claw hammer. Now, I was home alone, and had never demo-ed anything in my whole life... not a combination I would recommend. But for this table, I had it apart in moments! There was not a single bolt in the whole thing, just a random assortment of nails and staples. If anyone had ever tried to sit on it they would have come straight down. I'm really glad it's gone.

After the bench was gone, I started organizing the garage for the very first time. We got a freestanding shelf unit, and some more hooks for the pegboard. After another morning of organizing, our garage (while far from done or 'nice') is much improved!

Once we get rid of the rest of those boxes and install the other garage door opener we'll be able to put 2 cars in here! Of course there is a mountain more to do, but now our garage is usable, and not a death trap!

And I usually consider that a plus.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just real quick...

I FINALLY fixed my analytics! I'm still not sure what was wrong, but I pulled out the old code and redid it, and now I'm registering visitors again. I know you guys are all like :

'why do we care?'

Well, you don't.

'Why would you tell us this? Now I'm creeped out that you know too much about me!!!'

Yeah well, tough. I like knowing if anyone is actually reading my text-babble. And then I like making a random posting about it for my own personal enjoyment!

More 'real' posts are coming. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm a homemade fashionista!

You know what I HATE shopping for? Jeans. I can never find the perfect jeans. I own jeans from just about every store that sells the darn things. How many of them fit just right? Yup, NONE.

Well actually... that would be ONE now!

I was going to donate 2 pairs of jeans from American Eagle. They fit great upon purchase, but then they shrunk too short in the wash (a constant problem for me because apparently I'm 95% leg) but the waists were all baggy and giant. Then I had an epiphany... I've been wanting some hot skinny jeans, but those are just as hard to find as regular jeans, I bet I could tailor these crap jeans into the pants of my dreams!

So I set to work, it was super super easy. Here's how to do it:

How to take your old jeans from the pit of lame-ville to the summit of fashion-guru-ness!
1. Put on your jeans inside out.

2. Pin your jeans tighter to your leg on the inseam. It helps to use safety pins for this part so you don't poke yourself later. Make sure to leave enough room to get your feet out! If they are too tight now, they'll be too tight later too!

3. Take off the pants and lay flat. Replace safety pins with straight pins. you can also mark the line they make so it's easier to see, and straighten it out a little if necessary (eg, one pin is farther out of line than the others for some reason). They should be fairly straight diagonal lines like this:
4. Use a straight stitch down the lines. Remove the pins and try on right side out. DO NOT CUT EXCESS FABRIC YET. If they aren't even, or you're not satisfied, repeat steps 1-4 until you are happy.

5. Turn pants inside out again. Use a lock stitch, or zigzag to keep the denim from fraying, then cut off the excess fabric.

6. Look totally hot in your jeans!

To bring in the waist of pants that are too big, replace step 6 with these steps:

6 (option 2). Use a seam ripper to detach the top edge of your two back-corner belt loops.

7. Create darts in the waistband and stitch together like below:

This will create little triangular 'darts' that will be hidden by the belt loops.

8. Try on, if satisfied, go over the seam a few more times for strength, and reattach belt loops. It is probably not necessary (or advisable) to remove extra fabric.

9. Look fabulous in your 'new' jeans!

Here's how mine turned out, sorry but all you get is the one blurry pic since my camera is on its way out:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

STUDIO progress! Yay!!!

So I mentioned I've been working super hard on organizing my studio. When we moved in, there was a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. We moved in and unpacked the somewhat necessary things, like the kitchen, and then had to turn all our attention outside to begin battling with the wild jungle that is our yard. Everything else just kind of sat for a while.

Of all those things, the worst of them was my studio and art supplies. The basics got put where I wanted them, tables, sewing machine, etc. But the actual supplies themselves just hung out in half a dozen GIANT cardboard boxes hidden within the closet.

"But Bre," you say, "that looks pretty nice, you even painted!" Yes, but looks can be deceiving. I will now explain the horror hidden behind the box flaps...

When we lived in the 650 square foot apartment, there was NO WAY to keep my stuff straight. I didn't have anywhere to work, so everything had to be kept in our one big storage closet, and then come out to the main room to work, and then go back. And I have a plethora of interests. I don't JUST paint or JUST sew... I also build dollhouses, make miniatures, draw, embroidery, scratchboard, etc etc etc. So in my non existent space things tended to be stored according to project. And that usually involved a plastic Joann Fabrics bag as the primary vessel.

So my boxes were full of bags that were full of a mix-mosh of beads, clay, wood dowels, paint, miniature flower pots, silver trim, and about 345669532 yards of tangled fishing line... it could have made hoarders proud.

Now, this worked when it was the only option. But it was not easy, invariably I spent 30 minutes just getting out the materials to work on a project, so I could never just do a little, then put it away and go make dinner... now that I had my own space something had to be done.


This is about midway through. After total destruction, but long before a semblance of order. Also, this kept happening:

But I suppose that's to be expected when you have a cat... well, this cat. After several days/evenings of hard work, it has come together in a totally usable way:

Yay!!! Usable space! The boxes! The organization! So very happy. I'm sure I will tweak everything as I experiment with actually 'using' the space, and still have one more big box to get through. But that's a mix of super random, hard to organize stuff, and my airbrush equipment. So I'll get to it, but 90% of my studio is done!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Change and a Question

Well, I've decided that I'm going to expand what I talk about on here a bit. I realize the byline is 'the to-do list of a young Ann Arbor couple' and all I've talked about is our home adventures! I have a lot more that fits under that umbrella that I'd like to document. So there's that.

In other news today I got to deal with a super fun surprise... Yours-truly was not aware that an airline can up and change your flight plans on you, WITHOUT ASKING. So when I got a notice that our flights for our vacation this summer had been changed (to a time that would not at all work) I was 'curious' to say the least. After a long conversation on the phone in which the phrase 'this is unacceptable' was tossed around, we finally got things rearranged into a usable scenario. So now... Brian and I have 24 hours to kill in the Big Easy before we get in a pretty boat and sail off to other super cool destinations.

So my question is... if you had 1 day in New Orleans, what would you do? Where would you stay? Help!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Planning the front yard

So I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do this year in the front. We're going to actually get to plant things since those trees are gone, and now this year we won't be THOSE neighbors... I hope.

I put together a rough mockup of our front yard online:

You may notice that we don't actually have that little brick walk at the front stoop... YET. We want to install one, and since the space is seriously less then 6 sq feet, it may happen this year. It may.

The edge I'd like to do petunias. They are easy, cheap, and fill in nicely. And given that I'm still new to landscaping and such I don't want to try to bite off more than I can chew.

The blue thing in there, I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but there and in any open spaces I'd like to put something low as filler to compliment the petunias. Possibly dianthus or silver artemisia.

In the back is the part I'm most excited about. I'd like to grow zinnias. I'm a little nervous because I've never grown anything from seed, but apparently they are super easy. Also I want something taller in front of the lower level window. Anyone have any advice for a novice landscaper?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


This just in, I am grumpy. I cannot find my camera cable. ANYWHERE. And I have pictures to share! Grrrr.

Also, dozing off on the couch really is not good for your neck, I don't recommend it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sigh~* I guess they can't all be winners

Well, in true Hyperbole and a Half fashion, we went from a tornado of productive awesome to the empty plains of lazy-sofa-land pretty quick. We did NOTHING this weekend, and i do mean nothing. We sat on the couch, and ate things. Ta-da! Weekend.

In other news, work is busy, school is back, and life is speeding by like a  freight train. We are going to be mailing in our taxes this week. And when we get our nice refund we are going to use it on one of these bad boys:

That is a 4' tall classic white privacy fence. In vinyl for durability and ease of maintenance. I'm so excited because this is really going to improve our backyard. We will be putting a gate on the side that doesn't have one, and I'd like to put one in the back wall as well so we can get to the field back there. I don't know though, because the gates are so expensive!

Before the fence goes in, about 6 trees need to come out. The previous owner (Frank, I'm looking at you here) planted a bunch of pine trees on the back fence, and I do mean ON the back fence. They are soooo close that the branches are cut off up to about 4 feet, so they don't even look nice. Also we have 2 big square junipers that are off center. And I hate junipers. So that's gotta happen first, probably in March or early April, and we'll pull the old fence at the same time. So as soon as it's advisable we can install the new fence!

We're currently trying to decide how to remove these items. Do we pay someone to do it like the trees that were on the front of the house? Or do we do it and rent a chipper? Do we do it and haul them to some sort of compost place? Lots of options that are complicated by the fact that we can't get any big equipment back there. Oh decisions! When will you learn to make yourselves?

Whatever we do, it's going to look way better than the current fence:
Imagine that the trees are all dead and there's a foot of slushy snow everywhere...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wooo! Stuff!

So I got so much done this past weekend I think I should get a medal. It was kind of like spring cleaning, really refreshing. Until we got over a foot of snow on Sunday night, but that's beside the point! Here's the breakdown:

Friday Night:
Nada, a friend came over and we had pizza. I went to bed at like 9:30

Up at 8. Hang 5 picture frames
Pull down wonky curtain rods
Patch drywall from wonky curtain rods, let dry.
Touch up paint around the house (new switchplate that was smaller then the old one, big scratch from a suitcase, etc)
Paint over now-dry drywall patches
Re-hang curtain rods
Bask in self satisfaction
Start to pull apart and organize studio (It still looks like something exploded in there, but it's actually better then it was when it was all hidden and shoved into the closet. I'll take a picture of the during/after)
Cleaning and laundry
Organize dresser drawers
Discover the show "An Idiot Abroad" and die of laughter

Ikea with the Husband. Lunch and misc purchases ensue like:
   -Another DVD tower
   -New front door mat (was promptly covered in over a foot of snow that night)
Assemble DVD tower while watching a movie with the Husband
Clean and Pick up some more
Sink into the timesuck that is grad school for the next 10 hours (repeat until Tuesday night when Final is due)

It's amazing how a super productive weekend can completely change your mood... only to have it brought right back down by the crap that just comes up. Bah!

But hey, at least my curtains are straight and I'm done with my first grad class! Sort of... I don't have my grade yet.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thinking thinking thinking...

So there's most definitely been a mini posting hiatus around here again, I forgot how many obligations we have this time of year! So many birthdays and events, and dinners this month... but there has been progress!

It's mostly been of the 'talking and decision making' variety. And it mostly involves a short wall designed to encompass a plot of land behind a domestic domicile.

But there has also been speculation as to what orbital sander I want... I've gotta redo those darn nightstands *grumble*.

I'm hoping to go pick one out tomorrow night, I can't go to the HD tonight because

Happy Birthday Dad! I <3 you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Woo! Progress!

Ok, I lied. This isn't the REAL progress post. This is the pre-progress-post in which I tell you how much of a change these little projects are making! I still have a few things to finish, like putting the drawers back on the nightstands, picking out lamps, a new bedskirt and such. I also found a dresser I really like for Brian, and even better he likes it too! It's this one from Amazon.

I think it will offset the tall brown one I have pretty well, and the price is right too. I probably won't buy it for a little while though, we're paying for some other stuff right now.

I also need to make our headboard. I'm being mildly indecisive, but I think I'm going to go with basic, rectangular padded ivory. Then there's my jewelry storage plan... man, I keep adding projects like I have actual time or something... At any rate, I'll make an actual progress report once the nightstands are reassembled.

On a completely unrelated note, my Google analytics stopped functioning properly at the new year. I have not registered any hits at all for the last month. And I know I have been visiting at least! Anybody ever hear of an issue like this?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Craigslist strikes again!

So the nightstand debacle has been driving me up the wall. I'm tired of losing my glasses 4 times a week. And having to get up and turn off the light when it's two degrees above absolute zero is rather less then pleasant.

So I was checking craigslist again last night hoping against hope to find something that would be both cheap and uber-stylish. When finally, score! You won't be able to recognize them by the time I'm done, but here they are. Goji was very insistent on being part of the picture:

These are solid pine, stained red and coated with a light acrylic lacquer. I got the pair for $50. Not the steal of the century, but a pretty good deal all the same. One of the reasons I like them is that they are smaller and not solid boxes. I will be sanding them down and painting them. What color? Well if I told you it would ruin the surprise!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oops! And review

Oops! I never mentioned what the rest of our bedroom looks like! That might help with our paint debacle... I really need to post a picture, but it appears that I have never taken a picture of the room with our stuff in it. In the interest of selecting the right paint color, I'm going to rectify that, but in the meantime, here is the only picture of our room that I have:

The bed is too the left, facing the closet doors, and I'm standing in the bathroom door. Here's our stuff:
And I swear I'll take a real picture asap!
Another thing I wanted to discuss today, is that through a fabulous special sale brought to our attention via my fabulous friends on the knot, we were able to get a 16x20 canvas print of one of our wedding photos from!

We got 50% off on any canvas, so we figured it was worth a shot. The order came when it said it would, and it's perfect! I have had one heckuva time taking a picture of it though:

We want to put it in the living room next to the stairs, but it's a little small for the space so I'm shopping for the right frame for it.

I think I might start using exclusively this place for printing canvases, for different reasons I've had to order them multiple times in the past. What I like about this place, is that their upload system is easy, and their prices are competitive. Also, while you should still always treat these with care, so far the print hasn't chipped at the corners just by looking at it funny. Other printers I've had the ink just flake right off!

So canvaspeople, are apparently my kind of people! Well done!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Colorful Ideas

Ok, so the trip into the depot was pretty much a success. I've got the stuff to finally get our curtain hung in the lower level window. And I've got our paint choices for the bedroom wall narrowed down to 2.

Brian's mom sent me a super helpful email in response to the bedroom post. She thought blue would be better then green for the accent wall, and I think she's right. I brought home the usual 4,235,753,941 paint chips and held them up on the wall all over the place. These are the two finalists:

Behr Dark Storm Cloud

And Behr Prelude

Ok, so they look similar, but in the room they are really different. I'm kind of leaning towards the first one, but it's a pretty similar weight to a lot of the colors I've already used, and I don't want things to get flat. But my concern with the other one is that it might get too 'easter egg' next to the yellow of the bathroom.

Thoughts? Opinions? Help??!?

Also if there are other colors people like better that I haven't heard of pipe up!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wish me luck!

Ok, may I just say this whole experiment called 'school' is kicking my butt? I feel like I don't do anything else, and losing having my evenings to myself is totally not cool.

In an attempt to get some stuff done at the house tonight I am mounting a trip to the Home de-pot. I will attempt to cross a few things off our to-do list!

Wish me luck!

Ps: This post is way cooler if you replace "Home Depot" with "Jungles of Borneo" and imagine me wearing this hat.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Wedding: Wrap-up

So I know these have owned this page lately, but I have one last wedding post for you. We got our super amazing professional photos back from the best wedding photographer ever, Amanda Williams. I want to share some of our favorites with you, because she did a great job of capturing the day.

Beware.... there are a lot of them...

 I see you are gangster... I'm pretty gangster myself.

 Here's a little "Abbey Road" reference.

 Album cover time!

 Wind courtesy of one of the bridesmaids.

 We also don't look at explosions.

 Nature cooperated and displayed the wedding colors.


Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers 'aint got nuthin' on us!

What a wonderful day. And these last 3 months since have been some of the best ever! Thank you sweetheart, I less then three you.