May 30, 2015

Front Door Make Over: Before & After

I suppose nothing can top my last post, but I haven't posted a DIY since the beginning of the month and I'd say it's about time!

To kick off my summer of fixer-upper projects, I decided to paint the front door. The heinous looking hunter green is not my taste in the least, and when Matt's mother had her house painted and adorned her front stoop with a fresh, black door, I realized it made all the difference. Of course this means that we'll have to replace the shutters, but one thing at a time, folks.

Front Door Before & After

Front Door Before & After

If you're going to paint your front door, my first piece of advice is to plan to be home. If you do like I did and took your hardware off, you have to wait a considerable number of hours before you can replace it. After I painted the first coat, I sat on a mattress in my living room (long story) thinking of all the places I needed to go and not being able to do so, unless I left the front door wide open - not something I'm comfortable with.

Also, the second hardest decision after choosing your color (I'm not adventurous enough to try a bright, bold color, but I love when people do it right - like here and here for instance), is choosing whether to do latex or oil-based paint. I decided to do oil based to help it stand up to weather because we don't have a storm door. Oil base is something I rarely ever use it and so I painted on a coat without reading the directions because, ya know, it's paint - how hard could it be? But I completely forgot just how looonnnggggg it takes to dry. I am not a patient person and this stuff requires you to wait 24 hours to recoat - and I had plans to put on three coats of paint. So keep in mind, if you're planning on oil based paint for your door - it's going to take a while.

Next, you're going to need to gather some supplies. So let's get to it!

May 26, 2015

Surprise, Surprise!

This past Friday, Matt and I decided to meet up at our favorite walking place after work. The views there are lovely and we almost always see a critter or two. We're on an endless hunt for an alligator and the weather was beautiful so it was a perfect day for walking. We were coming around a corner and I saw a guy taking pictures of a family. As we started to pass he asked if he could please take our photo for a photography project at the local tech school. Of course I said yes! Why not?

So we're standing there, and I'm posing like an idiot, and I turn to look at Matt, and then this happened:

May 22, 2015

Summer To Do List

I just got back from a trip to my hometown in Connecticut where I got to visit with family, help my brother finish a fire pit, did some planting, some cleaning, and some recovering from an absolutely dreadful cold.

As usual, I didn't get to visit with everyone I would have liked to, nor did I accomplish a handful of things on my list - due in part to being sick, but I'm planning to go back towards the end of summer and perhaps then I will have another chance.

On thing that I did get to do was visit with my sister and brother-in-law and their three crazy little kids. My nieces and nephew are 5, (almost 3) and 1 years old respectively, and they are just gosh darn adorable. I'll be honest though, I don't know how their parents can keep up with them. Just a few hours on a playground and I was wiped out.

May 16, 2015

Garage Sale Scores & Other Weekend Fun

So if you read my post last weekend, it got a little serious around here.

Sorry about that. Don't worry though, we're back to crafty and frugal and sarcastic and whatnot.

Which brings us to two weekends ago, when Matt and I went out for our Saturday morning chicken biscuit and on the way home happened upon a garage sale (or for us Yankees, a "tag" sale) sign in the adjacent ritzy neighborhood. Naturally, my frugal senses started tingling and I asked Matt if he would mind driving through.

May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

An enormous thank you to all the mothers out there who raise their children with love and support; who teach them things about life that they may never learn in school such as compassion and strength.

Thank you and happy Mother's Day to the mother figures in my life, and there are many of you, who stepped in without being asked or forced; who gave a needed hug or a needed scolding when such an occasion called for it. I am grateful, beyond measure, and there are no words that could truly define my appreciation.

If you are one of those lucky people with a mother figure - whether by birth or by association - who is your best friend, your confidant, your inspiration, please don't take her for granted. Call her up today if you live far away, take a ride to see her if you don't. Spend the day enjoying her laugh and the memories your share. Life can change in a minute and tomorrow is no guarantee. You just never know.

*NOTE: In the paragraphs to follow, I have written about a very personal experience that fails to produce the rainbows and butterflies that one might expect on this day. By the time this post goes live, I will be in CT visiting with my mother, under circumstances that are hard to explain without divulging the detailed information below. I am choosing to share the information in an attempt to reach out and support others who struggle with this day. I reserve the right to delete any comment that I deem as inappropriate, bullying, offensive or unsavory and will do so without hesitation.*

May 2, 2015

How to: Install a Glass Tile Backsplash

I woke up a few Saturdays ago and decided I was going to tile our kitchen backsplash. I had been talking to Matt about the backsplash for months, looking at tile just about every time we visited our local Home Depot (about once weekly). I had not planned to tile the backsplash on this particular day. In fact, I had actually decided I would paint the front door, rake/blow leaves in the yard, clean the gutters, paint the mailbox, organize the garage AND vacuum the house. I'm ambitious, I know. But it was Easter, and I anticipated that I probably wouldn't have much time on Sunday to finish whatever I didn't finish on Saturday, so I completely derailed my plans and decided that a backsplash overhaul was the way to go.

After Matt got back from the gym, he and I headed out to Home Depot to go pick up supplies. We checked out the tile options, decided we didn't know what we actually wanted, went across the street to Lowe's where we decided THEY didn't have what we wanted and back to Home Depot we went.

I love Home Depot.

Anyway, we picked up a handful of supplies and honestly, it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. A bit time consuming and it definitely helped to have a second set of hands, but very manageable. We did an entire side of the kitchen without any kind of tile cutter, but eventually we ran into a little road block and Matt went and picked one up for $15. 

We were able to tile about 33 square feet of wall for about $250. Depending on your tile, methods and space, the cost might vary a little for you. It seemed like a huge (expensive) undertaking, one that we had no experience with whatsoever, but those seem to be the projects that I enjoy the most. On that note, let's get started.


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