Sunday, April 29, 2012

Me vs. the Tree

I actually hadn't planned on getting much accomplished this weekend, so I was pleasantly surprised to find our Sunday relatively free and was able to do some outdoor updates. Saturday was super, super busy for us, but all with fun things: a brunch with some girls with whom I used to be in Bible Study, a friend's birthday party and another friend's going away party. Good times. Friday, J and I watched Mission Impossible 4, which was pretty good and fairly corny.

Back to today. We went by Home Depot for supplies for a project J is working on. While we were there, I got some stuff for the outdoors: a few plants and some tree trimmers.

My hyacinths aren't looking so hot. I'm not entirely sure why. Are they getting too little sun? It has been raining a lot and I used fertilizers and minerals and good soil when I planted... Oh well.

Here are the new plants I bought today! They are annuals and are supposed to last all summer. Here's hoping!

And some pictures of the front. I also bought the hanging impatients today. Impatients do really, really well in our yard because it's so shaded and will definitely be planted soon for the summer months. But right now, our pansies are doing super well (except for the one that one of our neighbor's kids was jumping on -- that one isn't doing so hot).

Overall, the front of the house is looking bright and happy.

Now, for the back. I have been battling our tree in the back. I like the tree, please don't get me wrong. It blooms in the spring, provides privacy in the summer, and turns pretty colors in the fall. However, it also constantly wants to steal the sunshine. I feel like the thing encroaches on our house whenever I turn around. So, I went to take down some branches. Oh and this bird's nest came down too. I think that explains the dead baby bird we found on our deck last year.

At other points today, it looked worse than this...

See the branch closest to the camera? Yea, I took that down. :)

Now the back is looking more open:

To give some perspective, this is the tree last year during the previous owner's open house. See all the low hanging branches? Now, the deck is getting more sun and space, while still getting the benefits of the tree.

We also cut down another branch of the tree in the backyard that we have been taking down in pieces. One day, that project will be done...

That's all for now. Bathroom work starts this week so get ready...

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our first year as homeowners

This post is 2 days late, but this weekend J and I celebrated our first anniversary in our house! Can you believe it's been a year since we became homeowners for the first time? Looking back, we really have made quite a bit of progress this year in making the place more "us", so without further ado, here are some superlatives of our adventures this year.

1. Most refreshing: replacing all upstairs carpet, putting in a new shower and getting the master bathroom re-tiled (previous owners had a cat, so this was much needed)

2. Most warming: holding our housewarming, complete with new furniture and a pool table.

3. Most amount of painting over a three day period: when my mom, J and I painted our master bedroom, ceilings, and guest bedroom.

4. Most likely to require a gas mask: Spray painting the patio furniture

5. Why my mom is awesome: she painted the kitchen while we were at work

6. Biggest contrast: when I painted the bathroom cabinets a dark brown to add contrast.

7. Most artistic: Making my blue canvas artwork for the dining room.

8. Most thematic: Throwing our 17.5 hour Harry Potter marathon

9. Most necessary: painting the trim in the master bedroom, bathroom, and guest bedroom.

10. Most transforming in the furniture category: Refinishing the coffee table.

11. Super-woman moment: Replacing the pantry door, including getting it home in my Corolla.

12. Most illuminating: installing recessed lights in our kitchen

13. Whitest: repainting the kitchen ceiling and trim

14. Best deal: buying awesome dining room furniture from a friend of the family

15. Most unifying: brightening the trim on the main floor.

16. Largest paint job: de-beige-ifying the basement

17. Most tech-y: installing a wireless switch

18. Most carpentry: Making a new mantle

19. Most disastrous: My attempt at taking down the wallpaper in the powder room

20. Most satisfying (outdoors): Removing the monkey grass and cleaning up the backyard

21. Most amount of wall-patching: Repainting the guest bathroom gray

22. Most satisfying bathroom remodel (not requiring re-tiling): updating the guest bathroom

There were many, many other updates to our house, and the house tour tab goes through extensive before and progress shots. But I think I hit the major ones. It is our home, and we love it. I look forward to many more happy years together in our first home.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Guest Bathroom: Finishing Touches

This past weekend, I mostly wrapped up the guest bathroom makeover. On Saturday, I went to a homeless shelter with some folks from our church. It was great serving and feeding the people there. After that, I swung by Home Depot and picked up a shelf I thought would be about the right size for the area over the toilet. I used a wooden shelf and painted it with high gloss paint. Since the bathroom is pretty well-ventilated and doesn't get used all that often, I think it is safe.

Here are the shelf pieces, pre-painting.

I used Rustoleum's Sun Yellow spray paint, to make the shelf nice and bright. I basically did about 3 thin coats of it.

I carefully measured the space above the toilet, and used a level to determine where to drill. The reason for the error holes is that the directions were wrong. They suggested a larger drill bit for the screw anchors, but I should have used a smaller one. So, I moved slightly down, where I knew the holes wouldn't be seen and drilled the holes again. Oh well.

While my shelf was drying, I installed a towel bar. The only other towel bar is in the shower area and doesn't hold two towels very well. So, I added another one for outside the shower. It was pretty easy. I made sure the guide was nice and level and drilled in the appropriate spots.

Added the anchors.

And voila! Towel bar.

Once my shelf pieces were dry (~24 hours), I installed the bottom pieces and then used some liquid nails to adhere the shelf to them.

It turned out pretty level, or at least to the point you do not notice any slant, nor will anything roll off it.

The picture above the shelf is tilted in this photo, but here is the finished product.

And here are some shots after I decorated. I picked up the towels from Crate and Barrel. I thought they would make the room very bright and fun!

So, there she is: the yellow and gray bathroom makeover. I'm really pleased with what a coat of paint and a few colorful accents did in the room. I hope you all had a great weekend!