Monday, March 29, 2010

Life is a comedy?

I was born into an entertainment-loving family, so bear with me as I relate my life to the general plot of a sit-com.

All sit-coms have a few staples, or "go-to comedic situations" that will make an appearance. I'm thinking of these on the fly, mind you, but I'm pretty sure you can apply these situations to most any sit-com, and recall the episode.

Every sit-com will have an episode where someone accidentally sees someone else in a compromising position (i.e., walk in on them in the shower, walk in on them in going to the bathroom, glance over at the wrong time in a locker room...) It's inevitable.

Then there's the oh-so-popular bad hair cut/hair style/hair day episode. Trust me, it's on every sit-com.

Finally, there's the ever-present handcuff episode, where two opposing characters somehow end up in the situation where they're handcuffed together.

Which brings me to my life.

Today has been a rough day in our house. Mainly for Kennedy & Cece. We are currently brainstorming ideas, but decided that the only way to get Cece used to humans is to tether ourselves to her 24/7. This excludes any time sleeping or working.

Stay tuned as hilarity ensues!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Donuts, Dog Park, Deconstruction & Done.

Kennedy and I had a very relaxing and productive day today. What's our secret? Relax first, work second!

We started off by getting some Donuts on our way to the dog park. This was the first time Cece has been. We didn't take her before because she was in heat, and well, that would've just been a disaster. But now she's all "fixed" up and healed. She was a little overwhelmed and stayed close, but did really well!

Elvis hadn't been in forever, so he was running around, high-fiving everyone. Glad to be back.

Anyway, I took a lot of photos while I was there, so I will now share my favorites.

This dog was so adorable...

Check out those eyes!

Sometimes Cece would be the only dog around, and she really got into the posing thing...

Pride & Joy

My absolute favorite Elvis picture of the day.

Loves in my life.

My absolute favorite picture of the WHOLE day.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I know I neglected it for about 2 weeks, but I wanted to bring to your attention that I'm back on my Photograblog wagon! You can find a link to the photograblog in the right-hand sidebar.

Check back each day as I try to keep up with practicing my photography. Please feel free to leave comments with tips or assignments as well! I NEED practice. Badly.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stupid Spring, or "How our backyard is a metaphor for the Island on LOST"

NEVER, in my entire life living here in Texas, has it snowed in March. Oh, except for yesterday. I'm so sick of the cold. This is one of the reasons I could not handle South Dakota. Cold weather = increased mortality rate. Go look it up. I'm worried that the end of the world is upon us. Like, hell hath frozen over end of the world type stuff.

Anyway, that's my rant for the time being. Allow me to share a recent project that Kennedy and I worked on last weekend. I'm only NOW getting around to posting it because after we finished this project, I was tired. For like a whole week.

A couple of weeks ago, we had the window in our dining room replaced with a french door.

Since this is not the project I'm posting on, I'll hold off on before and afters of the dining room.

Long story short, right outside that window was just a big patch of mud and weeds. After we had the french door installed, there was nowhere to step out and admire the even bigger patch of mud and weeds we call our "yard". (If it ever stops snowing here, maybe we'll be able to plant some new grass. Stupid spring.)

So we decided to pave a mini-patio to step out on. It has also become a landing spot for all my herb pots. Except yesterday, I had to pull in ALL of my potted plants due to the snow and freezing weather. And yes, I'm going to keep complaining about this snow throughout the post.

And now to the part where my backyard is essentially the inspiration for The Island on LOST. Last fall, while doing a big overhaul in the yard, (which included pulling things out and cutting things down so it didn't look like a jungle,) we found a huge pile of flagstone.

This little treasure literally came out of nowhere. I'm serious when I say that the pile of flagstone you see in the photo above was found when I pulled some WEEDS from around the foundation of the house. Now you tell me, how does that much stone just appear from under a pile of weeds? I mean, Kennedy had probably mowed the yard 5 times at this point. Just a little weird, in my opinion.

We didn't know what to do with the pavers, so I threw them down behind our little wall. They looked ok there.

When it came time to pave a patio, the Backyard told us through a series of hallucinations that this was what we were to use. (What? Don't you believe me?)

Let's take a look-see at our before shot of the mud & weeds, shall we?

Here we are...our big, beautiful muddy weed patch. We almost hate to cover it up with a patio. But alas, we must! The Backyard told us to.

So straight away we got to digging out a small semi-circle area for the flagstone. We hoped we would have enough to do the job.

Here is the semi-circle shape, dug out and tilled of weeds. I promise I did the work as well! Kennedy just does a better job modeling than I do.

This project was rather easy, but it wasn't without its trials. For one, we were visited by a mysterious polar bear.

He left almost as quickly as he came, never to be explained!

Then, this crazy smoke monster came out of nowhere and whooshed all around. Luckily, we got out of that one unscathed. 

 (I hope I'm not taking this whole LOST analogy too far.)

It was like a big game of Tetris, but a couple of hours later we had laid out the stones the way we wanted them. We hoped we were done, but unfortunately, stepping down onto unlevel stones is not the most stable thing. So I made Kennedy get down there and dig out individual holes for each stone. This took him forever. I tried to help, but too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the pot, you know?

Here's my boy genius' handy-work. Half-way through, that is. Notice his mud-stained knee on the far right. Such a trooper!

While Kennedy worked on that, I decided to go pull more weeds. They were growing rather large, so it needed to be done. Well, the Backyard giveth when you give to it! On my little weed tirade, I found something I'd been searching for in stores for MONTHS. 

I had looked every time I went to Wal-mart, or Target, or any other discount store, for a plant stand. For some reason, I couldn't find one that I wanted that was reasonably priced. But I needed it for a plant Millie gave me. 

But lo-and-behold, here is this plant stand, sitting in our little un-used greenhouse. In perfect condition, no less

Now answer me this, how could this plant stand have been sitting in this green house for 9 months without us seeing it? The green house walls are CLEAR. I'm convinced that the backyard had been hiding it until I pulled those weeds. Thank you, Backyard.

What's that?? You don't care about my comparison of the backyard to LOST? You just want to see this patio all finished? Fine.

BAM! There you have it. Patio, done. Painted around the new french doors, done. Next on our list is to overseed the yard so the grass will be nice and lush to walk on!

And also, I'm not finished with this LOST analogy. I have several more theories to share, but it's getting late and I'm developing carpal tunnel syndrome from this post alone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mantle made easy!

I thought I'd share this easy little project that we did when we started re-doing the fireplace. Excuse me for any incomplete thoughts, as I've locked Elvis up in his kennel and he is steadily barking away in hopes of sudden freedom.

We had a very nice mantle to begin with. However, it just wasn't what we wanted.

It was too small, not the right color, blah-di-blah.

So Kennedy and I decided we would make our own. We like the look of reclaimed wood, but honestly, where can I find reclaimed railroad ties to build a mantle out of? I've scoured the internet for local reclaimed wood places, but couldn't find any that weren't selling it in bulk. Noooooo thanks!

All that to say, we decided to distress our own wood to make it look old. It was a fun process.

First, we got some 1x8 pieces of wood. We only needed two 6ft pieces (or was it 8ft?).

Then, we got some tools. Hammers, nails, screws, and some gravel.

Here is my darling dear husband with two hands full of gravel. We laid the wood pieces down on top of the gravel, then jumped around on it. The wood was soft enough that the gravel scratched and dented it up. We also scraped screws and hammers across the surface.

Next, we cut the wood down to size. In our case, we measured where the mantle could "wrap" around the fireplace brick to cover the sides.

Here it is in phase one. You can't tell in the picture, but the corners were cut at 45 degree angles so they could meet pretty seamlessly.

Then we added a top piece.

This took a couple of tries to get the wood cut to fit exactly. It involved putting it together, realizing the piece was a hair too long, taking it apart, cutting it, re-putting it together....

You get the idea. It was frustrating.

Then, we took some ebony stain, and stained that sucker.

We applied a few coats, then it was done! Ready to hang!

I won't bore you with details, but basically we attached a 1x1 piece of wood to the brick using masonry screws. Then we set the mantle on that piece of wood and screwed it in. Easy!

See? It was so easy, Kennedy yawned while screwing it in.

Hope that was helpful! Now go forth and build new fireplace mantles for yourselves!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Calming Stripes?

Well, it's been a while. But that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy. Kennedy and I have caught the renovation bug and are running with it! I can't stop doing things to this house. Hallelujah for this renewed energy, because it only took a weekend of painting right when we moved in to overwhelm us.

We finally took advice that was given to us by practically anyone who knows anything, and are going at it a room at a time.

This time, that room is the bathroom!

I stole this idea right off of one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love. They did this in their bathroom, I loved it, and I had to have it.

Here're the befores.

This horrible green faux finish wasn't so horrible at first glance. However, spending morning after morning getting ready in this bathroom (it has the best natural light of all the bathrooms in the house,) I got sick of it. You can't tell from this photo, but there were screws and nails and holes scattered in the walls as well. And LORD KNOWS I wasn't going to try to match this faux finish to cover them up. Ew.

Also notice that the cabinets and trim are that lovely cream color that we love so much (not).

Here it is at another angle. Gorg.

So I painted the trim and cabinet white. It now matches the tile in the shower and the lovely tile counter top. Kidding about the counter top. I hate it. But it will have to wait until I'm rich enough to get a custom marble-top vanity. Or until I can find something I like on Craigslist. (Who wants to place a bet on which one it will ACTUALLY be???)

Here it is!

And listen, those stripes took me a long time to tape off, so if you don't like them, keep it to yourself!

Elvis took this picture.

Here is some custom art-work. I took all those photos! You might recognize the one on the right from my Photograblog, (also a little neglected at the moment), while the other two were taken at a park in Sioux Falls on the very last day we lived there.

And here's the last one from a different angle. 

Is it wrong to want to be in this bathroom all the time now?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thanks, Heather!

I wanted to give a shout to Heather H. for giving us a great color idea for our shutters and front door! Kennedy painted them over the weekend while I was out of town (and apparently almost fell off the ladder & died - can't tell you how guilty I'd feel if that happened! Not to mention devastated...)

But I digress...

Here's our house this summer after Kennedy risked his life cutting a bunch of tree limbs down (The man's an adrenaline junkie).

According to Neighbor Karen, the previous owner (once-removed?) thought it was a good idea to paint the shutters and front door the exact same color as the roof. But to me, it just looked horrible and boring!

Heather H. suggested we do black shutters with a red front door. I wasn't sure at first, because I thought we probably needed to just paint the whole house a different color. Maybe one day we will, but for now, I'm loving the mini-facelift! (And I think Neighbor Karen is, too!)

(What's that weird glow all over the picture? OH, the sun?!?!?! That's right, it's practically 70 degrees outside.)

So here we are, no leaves on our trees, and the deadest lawn in the history of suburbia. But man, do those shutters and that front door look great!

And here we are a little closer so you can see that we do have some green up there. Plus, this is a pretty good red for a front door. Did you know a red front door is supposed to be good for the feng shui of your home?

You can bet a new lawn and some other landscaping will be on our project list in the near future! I have another post coming up soon that addresses some detail about the fireplace (i.e. how the mantle was built.)

And for the anonymous comment about the office, well, just you wait! The office is pretty high on my project list as well!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fireplace Reveal!

Kennedy and I (but mostly Kennedy) have been working tirelessly on this fireplace remodel. Really it isn't a remodel so much as a resurface, but it was hard nonetheless!

Yesterday, I counted how many times Kennedy said "nothing can be easy!" concerning the fireplace. 37.

Here's a picture of the room around Christmas.

Ignore all the Christmas decorations. Pay attention to the brick on the fireplace, and the mantle (hung too high, and much too small for the fireplace.)

Here it is, sans Christmas decor.

Kennedy adding on a support bracket for the mantle we built!

Aaaaand, here's the new mantle! But we're not done yet!

So, I hate to be completely lazy, but I just went ahead and skipped all the stuff in between. Let's just say, it was an ordeal, and I can't find the pictures from said incidences at the moment.

See how the fireplace changed the way the whole room looks? Amazing!

Don't fear, the room is not done. Missing are curtains, things on the walls, and perhaps a bright accent color. 

In other news, I simply cannot stop listening to Kari Jobe. If you get a chance, go to her myspace page and listen to the Revelation song at the bottom of the player. Or ANY of them. Obsessed, I am.

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