Hello and Goodbye… For Now

Well hello there my faithful friends. I’m sure you all know exactly where I’ve been for the last 2 months. With this adorable guy…

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He is 5 months old now and the most amazing thing ever.  If you have kids, you know what a blessing and privilege they are… and also how busy they keep you.  And if you don’t have kids, just trust me.  A handful… delightful, but a lot of work.  I would love to keep blogging but my days have gone from a lot of me time to spending most of my time caring for the baby.

I also made a career shift after the baby was born.  I work in the office one day a week and from my home two days a week. It’s the perfect situation and I am extremely blessed to be given the opportunity to work (and stay mentally in-touch and active) AND raise my child at home, all at the same time.  I love my new bosses and colleagues.  Every one of them are an absolute delight.  However, all of that being said, three days out of the week I am busy from 8 to 5.  And on Fridays I keep my nephew, who is absolute joy!!  In the evenings, I try to do housework and spend time with J.C. and Jackson.  So, that leaves me with one day a week to get things done.  Unfortunately, blogging is at the bottom of the list… along with “projects” that I could actually blog about.

All of that to say, I truly wish that blogging was at the top of my list, but Jackson will only be little once.  I would hate to look back a couple of years from now and wish I had spent more time with him and less time blogging.  After all it just a hobby, not my career.  I hope that one day, when he gets a little older and more independent, I can pick back up where we left off. Until then my friends!

Texture is Everything

Texture.  It can make or break a room.  A room without any texture tends to feel cold and sterile.  A room with texture should feel warm and inviting.  I don’t know about you, but I think the only rooms that should be cold and sterile are at the doctor’s office.

There are many ways to add texture to rooms.  The flooring, wall treatments, moldings and trim, curtains, decor, rugs, etc.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be costly either to make an impact.  Materials that are hairy or rough or bumpy can add in texture.  And no, I’m not referring to your husband’s backside.  His hairy, rough, and bumpy rear end doesn’t count as “free” texture in your home.  Got me?!

Here are a few pictures of rooms I think personally think could use a little more texture:

I’m sure they styled it like this purposefully for the photo shoot; however, this room doesn’t have much texture at all.  The floors are helping some but not enough.  A vase of flowers on the counter and maybe a colorful runner rug would help this space tremendously.

Oh my goodness does this bathroom need some texture.  I know that modern is some people’s preference but this is just too much!!  I personally would like to see a stack of rolled towels on the tub deck along with a warm, wooden picture frame.  That would bring this space to life.

Now, let me show you two images that I love and think have tons of texture, which in my book,  equals tons of character.

This may be one of my favorite living rooms of all time.  We have leather chairs a lot like those in our living room so I hope that one day our space can be just as inviting.  But let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  From the antlers hanging on the wall, to the braided basket sitting on the floor, to the leather chairs, to the colorful rug, and the fun artwork (on an easel), there is texture everywhere.  I just cannot get enough!!

Then there’s this room:

Think about how boring this room would be without the green throw pillows and chair, the plant and woven basket on the nightstand,  and the small artwork on the wall.  Those details were probably added for not much money but made a huge impact in this room.

It seems that just about every room in our still-new-to-us-newly-remodeled house could use a lot more texture… and believe me I’m working on it.  If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband.  I’ve got new projects that I need his help with all the time.

Recently I ordered a rug from Joss and Main and bought two baskets from T.J. Maxx for our front bathroom.  The “texture” instantly warmed the room up.  Here’s the before and after… just with the rug and baskets added in:

There isn’t a huge difference, but with just a fun and colorful rug and those baskets, the room instantly felt warmer.  To see those baskets under the sinks makes me want to find a pretty bamboo roman shade for this room REALLY bad.  We have them in the living room and our bedroom and LOVE them.

The weather has sort of been cruddy here so if I tried to take a decent picture, I couldn’t get one.  Once the sun comes out again, I’ll snap a shot of some of the other “texture” that we’ve added.  I can’t wait for you too see it… and to see what you think.  Here’s a little sneak peak to tide you over…

Eekkkk!!  So, tell me… are you a person who loves texture?  Is your home lacking texture or full of it?  Leave a comment to tell me what type of texture you want to add to a certain room in your house.  Our master bedroom is begging for a new headboard (which we have all the materials for).  Once we get it done, that will definitely be adding texture… and comfort :)

 

 

More Wacking

Sometimes in life, people agree on things… and sometimes they don’t.  Here’s the deal, J.C. and I definitely agree on one thing- we don’t like a lot of bushes.  The end.

If you will recall, we already “wacked” every single bush on the south side of the house, next to our driveway.  We haven’t replaced them with anything… it’s just blank over there. At this point, we like the blank look more than the over grown bushes look. That was the time we hauled the rubble off with a boat. Remember that? It was quite the scene. Make sure you read that post. You are welcome for the free entertainment!!

But, let’s start at the VERY beginning shall we??  I wish I had a better quality photo of the front of our house but this is how it looked when we bought it.

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Then I painted four of the eight shutters in Oyster Bay by SW.  We love the color!  The problem was, those bushes were so overgrown that I couldn’t get to the other ones.  So, I just left them alone.  That was months ago.  Last September, we moved out of the house to have the inside redone (sheetrock, mini kitchen makeover, bathrooms, etc.).  We moved back in on December 26th, which means it was too cold.  Then I was pregnant for another 7.5 months.  So, once I had the baby I was ITCHING to do something outside.  Those bushes on the front side of the house were my target.

Here is where we are now:

Can you tell a difference?  I sure can!  When J.C. got home from work, he immediately noticed and said how much better it looked already.  We also added dirt to this small area between the sidewalk and house.

Every time it rained last winter and spring, it ended up looking like a small pond… right outside our front door.  So, the dirt was much-needed and appreciated.  Yes, I am thankful for dirt… and many other things.  I also cleaned out this flower bed, which I hadn’t done since we’ve owned this property (2 years next month).

It had the black plastic border around it.  We pulled that up and I raked everything out of there.  It’s blank looking now, but it’s a lot better than before.

Now we are really looking forward to making some landscaping and exterior changes to the house… paint the brick, new wooden shutters, wooden columns, and much more!  All of that will come in time but I’m so glad I trimmed the bushes and got rid of some others.  I can actually see our house now.  And if I wanted to, I could paint the remaining shutters without getting attacked by a bush.  Maybe I’ll add that to my November hopes?!  We’ll see… just don’t hold your breath.

Well, I know this was a short post and a quick and easy update, but sometimes those are the best kind.  A little one-on-one time with the loppers and a whole lotta sweat gave us some major results.  We hope to have all of the unwanted bushes/shrubs removed before next spring/summer so that we can make plans to add other plants… the kinds we like!

September Hopes Update

HOW ARE YOU?  It’s a different day, but the same tune.  Hands on mommy to an almost 3 month old + career change + not having more than 5 hours of sleep at a time for the last 12 weeks = not the best blogger.  But I’ve missed checking in with you guys and had a little free time so here we are.

I’ll just be straight up… our September hopes were not accomplished in the month of September.  There were only three and we still failed miserably.

1. Hang artwork in the laundry room-  This so didn’t happen in September… but we did get it done within the first two weeks of October.  Does that count?  Remember this window turned mirror from our old house that caught fire in February ’13?

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We hung it up on a tall, skinny wall with this watercolor over it-

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If you don’t remember these “works of art” or weren’t around then, just click here and/or here.  I’ll try to take pictures soon and show you the progress.

2. Hang curtains in the living room-  Again, we did not accomplish this hope in September, but got them hung up the same day as the art above.  Want to know why we got so much done?  Because we were having our first get-together at our place since we’ve lived here.  Let’s just say it lit a fire under our rear.  But just an imaginary fire.  Not the real thang.  Been there, done that, no fun!!  And again, I don’t have a picture but this is what our living room looked like last time I blogged about it.  So so so much has changed… cannot.wait. to show you!!  New throw pillows, artwork, curtains, accents, recessed lights, etc.!  It actually looks like someone lives here now… instead of a furniture showroom.

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3. Install shoe unit in the closet-  Didn’t happen.  Not even close.  No excuses, we just didn’t get it done.  Oh well.

Well, seeing that I’m just getting around to telling you how miserably we failed in September and the fact that it’s the 15th of the month, I’m not setting October hopes… not officially anyways.  We’ve gotten a lot done lately so I guess I don’t need to write things down?!  Seems like when I put the slightest pressure on myself to get something done in a certain month, it doesn’t happen.  Every October I have the same hope… just get the personal property taxes paid on time.  I put them in the mail on Tuesday, so that means I’m ON THE BALL!!!  Maybe I’ll be back on the wagon in November… maybe not… we’ll see!

Rental Renos

Hey all!!  I’ve missed you guys so much.   I have also come to a very good conclusion – at this point in my baby’s life, I can be a very good blogger and very bad mother OR a very good mother and a pitiful excuse of a blogger.  I think I’ll take the latter.  One day I’ll look back and be glad I chose to be a hands on mom instead of a hands free mom.  Ya feel me homie?!  So, I don’t know how often I’ll be showing up here, but for now I hope it’s once a week, maybe twice.

Let’s get on with it shall we?!  As some of you may already know, we have two investment properties, the Missouri house and the Etheridge houseWe flipped the Missouri house, top to bottom, and it’s rented out.  The Etheridge house has also had some work done to it, but it was just sitting unfinished.  Want to know why?!  Life happened.  I got pregnant and couldn’t do much (per my hubby).  J.C. got really busy at work and the list goes on and on.  So, guess what we decided to do??  We hired out the remainder of the work.  Are you shocked?  It wasn’t something I was jumping for joy about but it was the smartest decision.  Once it’s done we can rent or sell it and make our money back almost instantly.

I wanted to show you some of the progress that’s been made.  It’s so close to being finished I can taste it.  And once again it tastes like paint.  :)  Here’s what the back bathroom (avocado alley) used to look like:

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And now…

I know it isn’t the same exact angle… and the room is nowhere near finished but it does look better already.  The avocado tub has to stay because the doorway would not allow for another tub to be brought into the room and we didn’t feel like gutting this bathroom since we had to gut the other one.  I’m going to get J.C. to help me take down that gold shower door and hang a curtain.  That should make it feel much more open in there.  I think I’ve also talked JC into a new countertop and sink.  Just a few more bats of the eye and he’ll be sold!  Might just do concrete like we are planning for the kitchen.

Next up, the bedrooms!  Remember this monstrosity?

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Buh bye ugly… hello beautiful:

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And another bedroom:

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Isn’t the paint color just lovely?  Painting is reasonably cheap and easy, but makes a huge impact.  Case in point, the laundry room (aka the saloon).  Here’s the dreadful before:

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And with a little lipstick and rouge:

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The rest of the house is coming along as well, but the spaces were sort of messy so I didn’t take pictures.  I’ll show you those soon.  And speaking of paint, one last thing.  We decided that since we had somebody working, we would have the wooden parts on the exterior of the house painted.  They’ve already started and it has made a world of difference.  We scored our paint at Sherwin William’s recent 40% off sale.  I cannot WAIT to show you the outside.  Soon and very soon my friends!  Until next time…