December 31, 2014

December in Review

Adventures
-Lots of special work events (Christmas caroling, Frozen movie night, PJ day, parties, etc.) and dinners with friends
-A special trip to "the death star" for the Cowboys vs. Colts game for Matt with Sean thanks to free suite tickets, lucky guy
-Enjoyed a relaxing winter break at home: reading+working out for me, disc golf+dissertation for Matt. Last year was too busy with moving and next year we're heading to DC so we soaked it in at home this time.
-3 days of Christmas celebrations: chili at our house on Christmas day, tamales in Carrollton with M+J+L, and enchiladas with the extended family on Saturday - fun times!
-NYE at our house with the Sieling crew

Around Downtown Challenge
-Filtered

Around the House
-Decorated for Christmas
-Finished the winter yard work with 7 bags of leaves
-Trimmed/removed dead branches the oak tree in the side yard
-Rehung the hall bathroom pocket door
-Filled the rest of the outdoor planters with pansies and cabbages as the fall flowers died

And a look back at my 2014 Goals too:
  • Eat at all the restaurants in downtown McKinney - yep & it was awesome. Standouts for me were anything at Hutchins, Rick's, or Cadillac Pizza, a glass of wine on the patio at Landon, deviled eggs at Harvest, and the bacon-pimento cheese melt at Snug - so good!
  • Blog our new old house as we get moved in - yes
  • Find a new place to volunteer - since I ended up changing jobs I replaced this goal with 'work lots of uncompensated days over the summer' or what I like to think of as the 'volunteering at work' that teachers do so well. And, I did start my Giving 35 goal, due September 2015.
  • Go on a big road trip this summer - 4 Corners Vacation
  • Keep taking weekly photos (for the 5th year) - yes
2014
January :: February :: March :: April :: May :: June
July :: August :: September :: October :: November

December 28, 2014

Instahouse

Our 1st year in the new old house {via Instagram}
Chop goes the cottonwood tree
 Lots of this...
Year one done for us, year 89! done for the house.

December 22, 2014

For Mike

- Another Fun Year -

November 30, 2014

November in Review

Adventures
-Helped serve Thanksgiving lunch to tons people at work (with the help of McKinney PD), that was a busy day!
-Celebrated our 9th anniversary - that came quick...
-Enjoyed a relaxing week of for Thanksgiving hanging around the house and attending McKinney's cute Home for the Holidays festival
-A fun trip to Spring for Thanksgiving/Lydia's Birthday

Around Downtown Challenge
-McKinney Sweet Spot for coffee and cupcakes
-Fancy BBQ and sausages from the Local Yocal Christmasfest booth
-Repeat trips to Square Burger (anniversary dinner) and the Louisiana St. Grill

Around the House
-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

2014

Thanksgiving in Spring

We hoofed it down to Spring this year for a special Thanksgiving/birthday celebration. One is fun - happy birthday sweet niece!
Corn hole + cupcakes + baked brie + Bucee's, we have so much to be thankful for.

November 22, 2014

A + M = 9

Another year down, and I'm sure it will come to be known as the year of the house. Kudos to Matt for making my wish to live in a historic home a reality. After living here a year it's clear it just wouldn't be possible without his hard work and handiness, he even let me make this cute porch swing our anniversary gift.

We celebrated the end of year 9 with a weeknight dinner at Square Burger and awesome cupcakes from the Sweet Spot, then followed up with a daytrip to Sherman with the Machens for catfish at Huck's (worth the trip) and tasty beers at the 903 Brewery
Can't wait to see how we'll celebrate year 10 - I think a big trip is in store!

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, it feels just right for now.

How things look now...
Master Bedroom = White paint coming soon
Around the House Updates {April-November}
Previous
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 its 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 sago 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 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
-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 workshop from Junior League, volunteering at the American Girl Fashion show again, and All the Light we Cannot See at book club
-Lots of busy work things (getting Google-certified, book fair, purchasing season), and started my 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

September 30, 2014

September in Review

Adventures
-Continued my birthday fun with DQ blizzards, baked ziti, and dress like a cowboy day at work (plus a sweet serenade by a cute first grade class)
-Dinners with friends for my birthday and plus a fun surprise dinner at Mexican Sugar for Megan's birthday
-Lots of learning through Junior League with a weekend-long workshop for Facilitative Leadership training, a graphic skills class, and my 2nd book club meeting for All the Light We Cannot See - an awesome WWII historical fiction read
-September in McKinney = Oktoberfest, we visited the square Friday and Saturday for German fun, and hosted our first Oktoberfest party Saturday night for a crew of 20 now that we're just down the street

Around Downtown Challenge
-No new spots but return trips to Patina Green, Bayou Jack's, and the Pantry... and 8 more places left before 2015

Around the House
-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

2014

September 7, 2014

Labor Day Birthday

Another year, another fun holiday weekend. After the busiest first week of school in years, we kept it low key for labor day with local fun and lounging around the house.

And since 34 is in the books, I guess it's already time for a 35-before-35 challenge. For 30-before-30 I did a lot of new things just to enjoy myself. For 35 I have a plan in the works with a generosity spin.

Meanwhile....Hipster Dallas Saturday:
Truck Yard for craft beer & food trucks
Nasher Sculpture Center
Opening day at The Shed @ Dallas Farmer Market
Four Corners Brewery // Trinity Groves
Yay for birthdays!