November 16, 2014

11 Months in 1925 {Inside House Pictures}

It's almost been a year in our new old house! We love our little arts & crafts cottage and while there is always more to do to make everything perfect, it feels just right for now.

How things look now...
Master Bedroom = White paint coming soon

Around the House Updates {April-November}
April
-Rearranged bedroom furniture
-Rearranged/hung new living room art
-Started regular yard maintenance and bug-killing for roaches and ants
-Professional pool cleaning and filter grid replacement that should last 10-12 years (and a flooded yard thanks to a pool guy mistake, luckily no was harm done and we got a decent discount in return)
-Bought/assembled 2nd outdoor deck storage box
-Replaced tail of the pool cleaner
-Added a fern and basil to the last deck pots
-Weeded all beds and re-weeded the side yard for new ivy growth-hope that's not a theme this summer!

May
-Cleaned the spa, and figured out how to use it properly-woo hoo!
-Added 4 Mexican heathers to fence baskets and asparagus fern to last deck pot
-Bought new pot for a katherine fern
-Re-weeded front and side beds for remaining ivy (4 bags and counting)
-Weeded/cleaned gravel area next to garage, removed twigs, briar/ivy, and weeds and started leveling gravel
-Planted two wax myrtles for privacy screen in side yard by the front metal fence
-Landscaping the last backyard area: added stone path and 23 liriope grasses bordering the bed and deck, a gardenia, white hydrangea, blue potato bush and 3 Japanese mockorange bushes to hide pool equipment, 35 bags of mulch, 19 new stones plus some already on the property
-Bought/assembled wrought iron patio table and 4 chairs
-Painted upstairs office walls Crisp Linen White, replaced orange-painted switches/outlets with new white ones
-Cleaned outside windows
-Had the indoors and outdoors professionally treated for insects
-Reorganized kitchen cabinets, pantry, and laundry closet
-Added a new outdoor bench made by my dad, moved old bench to the garage

June
-Bought a new cushion for our broken outdoor bench
-Fixed some pool algae issues
-Did more weeding and caring for our landscaping - the grass grows like crazy here with no watering (not sure if it's the shade, soil, or both) but we'll take it
-Mulched side bed by driveway and back door deck area
-Relocated the hydrangea to a shady corner and moved potato bush from planter to soil by holly bushes
-Bought/assembled two adirondack chairs and ottomans

July
-Added plants to bed by the driveway - a gardenia, 4 Japanese aralia bushes, 6 variegated liriope and mulch
-Bought 2 tabletop tiki torches for mosquitos
-Bought/assembled patio bistro set
-Bought new bathroom towels and master bedroom pillows
-Updated empty front left bed - 4 Chinese fringe flower bushes, a Chinese privet bush, 10 aztec grass plants for border, fresh mulch, and moved stones for when it rains
-Updated front right bed/side - removed 3 overgrown privet bushes, pruned back large holly, removed overgrown grass (this phase took about 4 hours), then added 17 Aztec grass plants, 22 dwarf mondo grass plants, 3 large Chinese fringe bushes, 5 small Chinese fringe bushes, 4 bush germander shrubs, 1 large Japanese aralia bush, and lots of mulch (about 6 more hours) - this bed is actually the biggest one we’ve redone and kind of happened on a whim, we love how both the front beds all turned out with purple bushes and contrasting light and dark greens
-Added a toilet paper holder to the upstairs bathroom (since there wasn't one for some reason)
-Bought new master bath medicine cabinets, those will be going up soon when we paint the bathroom and bedroom

August
-Completed a minor pool skimmer repair - Matt has become quite the master mechanic updating this hard-working little machine one piece at a time
-Did a fairly easy, big impact, update to the master bathroom: primed and painted the walls granite gray (from faux wall treatment green), installed new rust-proof medicine cabinets, installed new light fixture, updated cream light switches to white, added decorative metal switch plate covers on all outlets, and installed new towel ring
-Changed/moved decorative switch plates in hall bath and kitchen
-Added an awesome new palm tree from Shannon+Andy, it will be moving from it's pot to the ground before winter hits
-Kept most of the plants alive through the 100 degree days (I think we've lost 3 of 200+), trimmed growing bushes, killed off the remaining vestiges of ivy and weeds, and started raking leaves (too soon!)

September
-Bought/assembled a small composting bin behind the garage
-Replaced switches and sockets from cream to white downstairs
-Replanted sego palm from Shannon+Andy and converted old pot into hose holder
-Updated upstairs bathroom with new shower curtain, towel holder, and accessories for guests
-Uprooted and returned dead plants (4 germanders and 3 big holly bushes) to Lowe’s and Home Depot - boo for dead plants but yay for the one-year guarantee
-Replanted potted the hostas in containers to the side yard and added 2 petunias and 3 pansy pots for the winter
-Matt started raking and collecting fallen leaves, the bagged leaf count is up to 7 and it's barely begun

October
-Finally completed the professional porch repair - Carlos from Home Renovators pulled up the old porch (revealing a round concrete porch below), replaced the boards with properly pressure-treated slats, replaced the moldings, added new trim, created new lattice work under the porch, and painted everything - whew!
-New stained glass panels from the ORLY market - two for the den and one for our bedroom
-Bought one large and one medium square planter for the front porch

November
-Bought 2 more front porch planters and added plants - two fortnight lilies/African irises, one abelia bush, one frost-free gardenia
-Bought/assembly a iron porch swing for our anniversary gift
-Bought a new filter bag for the pool cleaner
-Prepped the yard for winter - trimmed back cannas, tossed ferns/potted plants after an early freeze, and raked tons of leaves

What's left for year two? Paint the master bedroom, paint the upstairs bathroom, paint/touch up some interior doors & other small spots, add to the front flower beds/replace plants that don't survive the winter, get a bookcase for Matt's office, and the big job-get the outside of the house painted someday - fun, fun!


November 4, 2014

Love ya Mom+Dad!

Congrats on 36 years!

October 31, 2014

October in Review

Adventures
-McKinney girls night out with Shannon, Megan, and Jennifer: dinner & drinks at Cafe Malaga, chocolate pie at Emporium Pies, and shopping/people-watching on the square
-Fun State Fair trip with my parents (via Dart Light Rail) for people-watching, animal-watching, and lots of good food: 2 corny dogs, fried cuban roll, french fries, 2 funnel cake ale beers (with powdered sugar rims), grilled corn, fried sriracha balls, and fried biscuits and gravy!
-League of Women Voters voting workshop from Junior League, volunteering at the American Girl Fashion show again, and book club
-Lots of busy work things (getting Google-certified, book fair, and purchasing season), and started by birthday challenge for next year - giving 35 ways, in time or money before I turn 35
-Trick-or-treating with the Motts and Seilings in Shandy's perfect fun-for-kids neighborhood

Around Downtown Challenge
-Cafe Malaga
-El Juarez
-Harvest
-And repeats to The Pub, Churchill's, and Emporium Pies - we had fun this month!

Around the House
-Finally completed the professional porch repair - Carlos from Home Renovators pulled up the old porch (revealing a round concrete porch below), replaced the boards with properly pressure-treated slats, replaced the moldings, added new trim, created new lattice work under the porch, and painted everything - whew!
-New stained glass panels from the ORLY market - two for the den and one for our bedroom
-Bought one large and one medium square planter for the front porch

2014

October 11, 2014

The Next Birthday Challenge - Giving 35

I love a bucket list, so as a personal challenge I'm going to give to the community 35 ways before I turn 35 next September.

Either in $35 increments or time spend directly impacting the community (so I'm not counting internal volunteering with Junior League or work). For the rest of my 34th year, I'm on alert for extra ways to give. Can't wait!

Giving 35, in time or money....
  1. September 18 - $35 to North Texas Giving Day
  2. October 11 - $35 to 5th grade Camp Jolt trip fund
Upcoming:
October 16 - Get Out the Vote with Collin County League of Women Voters
October 26 - American Girl Fashion Show
October 28 - Book Fair Night
December 2 - McClure Caroling
Clean-up my neighborhood parks and trails
Donate to my sorority
Donate to my colleges
Donate to school PTO fundraisers