Thursday, August 18, 2011


Ok, I really do feel super bad and guilty about this blogging break. It turned into a big one! We have had some weird health issues going on (everything is fine) so house stuff majorly took a back seat and I felt like I didn't have much to contribute blog-wise.

And lots of spare time has been spent with family as well; most of mine is abandoning us moving to Charlotte, NC for: new jobs (my dad, brother), college (other brother), and to finally get that pool they've been wanting for years (my mom).  I'm doing everything I can to hold on to my sister though, including recruiting her as free labor a roommate while she finishes up classes this fall!

We also, full disclosure, just got really sick of doing stuff. I wouldn't recommend moving at the start of your favorite season (mine is summer) because you really don't get a chance to enjoy it and you start getting all whiney and house-resenty even if the nice little house didn't do anything to you, per se. Note: in typing this I realized Mike's favorite season is fall...I hope he doesn't have the same season-based resentment I do, or we're going to be propping up a Christmas tree with a ladder and tools...

BUT we have made some fun updates (that didn't involve power tools or a contractor) that I'm looking forward to sharing.  But sorry again for gettin you hooked (your words) then leavin you hangin. So rude!

And because I like to include pictures, here's a day in the life of lazy homeowners (you can see the new rug and bedspread though!):
What, did you think those were going to be like actual photographs from a camera of Mike and I working away?  I told you, we've been bums! 

Bums whose phones are embarassingly full of pictures of our dog. 

What?! She's freaking adorable.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Let's be democratic about this...

Update: I also found this to be in the running:

I need a vote friends. I am lucky to have such people around with wonderful taste, because I am having the hardest time ever picking a coffee table. 

For reference, this room has two dark brown bookcases on either side of a dark brown table stand, all fairly traditional and pretty plain. 

Then there's a dark leather couch, a patterend white, black, and khaki chair, a khaki ottoman and a light gray rug.

I also have two very vintage slightly femme side tables with carerra marble tops (gray/white) - I haven't decided what I'm going to paint the bottoms of those yet, depends on the coffee table somewhat! But that's why I'm thinking a cleaner coffee table is best. 

Oh and PS I'd prefer not to spend over $500 or so. And yes I have looked in stores, but haven't been thrilled, and online prices seem to be better. 

As you can see by the pics below I'm not set on a style, but would love to know your thoughts!
Simple but classic
The room is a little narrow, so thought this could be useful. Essentially the same color as the other furniture
Nice leggggs
A bit utilitarian. I like it a lot, but it might be TOO different?
Probably the most like the other furniture we have
My fave. But it's on the large side and of course the most expensive.  I like the grey tinge, but I'm worried about bulk
The only non-wood option, but love the lines and it might be nice to do a metal? But I don't want it to look like glorified outdoor furniture

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fireplace... In Progress

Thought you'd enjoy seeing the fireplace progress (plus another biggie)

This weekend we were able to paint over the previously poorly painted stones - for the record, I would have just left it natural stone if they hadn't painted over it and ruined it already!  I tried sanding paint off but that didn't work unfortunately.
Let the cleaning begin!
This is as clean as I could get it; that soot is burned on. And I wasn't planning on cleaning the inside!
Almost done! I'll explain the mantle paint below...
Mike came in to help me finish
So this was the fireplace. Definetly better than before, but still looked odd to me.  So I impulsively painted part of the mantle, since we had to repaint it white either way. Oops! Looked awful.

BUT I think I found a solution - see the white trim on the right side below? It really made a difference, especially in person, so I think we are going to build (hold the laughs please) a little frame out so the mantle won't look so just plopped on there, which I think is the problem. Stay tuned!

And did you notice? The FLOOR?! More on that later...

Floors: Before!

So I don't have pictures ready yet of the NEW floors, but we were prepping all last weekend for our new kitchen, powder room, and den floors to be laid (we thought a professional was best for this, the floors are a bit uneven).
The den before
Close-up of the floors - yuck
Why it's a subfloor
The kitchen. Pretty obvious why this one needed to go
Another (bigger than anticipated) project was the powder room.  Smallest room = biggest grief!  It was wallpapered, so we cockily were like oh we'll just get some goo gone business and strip it down.  But it was barely coming off like that. Torture. So we bought a cheap steamer (I wanted it for cleaning anyway) for like $40 and that seemed to do the trick a little better.

And then the walls were in terrible shape. Awesome.  But sanding helped, as well as some spackling. But basically, it looked like a total crack den in there the night before the floor people came, observe:
Hole behind the old medicine cabinet?
Mid project (I was sitting on the trash bag)
Realized we needed to take the baseboards down because the wallpaper went under them. Ugh!
Mike does the stuff that requires the ladder. Also, we took the door off. But not before I sweated my face off with it closed like an idiot
After photos coming soon! Sorry to be such a tease, but it looks great :)

Outdoor Livin'

So all of our outdoor furniture finally arrived! And we have been loving it! Sitting outside for eating and just hanging out has been great!

We cleaned every inch of the room with the shop vac, regular vac, Clorox wipes, etc., and finally put all of our (assembled!) stuff in there. Then accessorized with some pillows, plants (see below) , and citronella candles.  I have more stuff (of course) like lights, a bucket for Lemon's toys, and possibly going to put a crate out there for eating and grilling stuff. Exciting! And definitely better than before
View from the inside
Another view
Floor pillows for overflow (and Lemon's water dish in the background)
Our favorite vintage cooler
The only coffee table we own
Rocking chair set with accent table
My attempt at gardening...story below
Ok, so I am not a gardener. Not at all. But i have kept these succulents alive for almost a year! They came from the little gardening shop at Reading Terminal in their own little terra cotta pots.  A florist told me that succulents like to be all close together and do well transplanting, so it struck me the other night to do this. Yes, at night. In the dark. But that wasn't my only obstacle...

But Katie, you don't have any soil!
No worries, I have a whole yard, I'll just dig some up!
But Katie, you don't have any garden tools!
It's ok, I have a big metal spoon, don't I ?!

And that is how Lemon came to find me huddled by the hose, wetting the ground so that I could dig up clumps of dirt with a serving spoon and then carrying this surprisingly heavy and filthy planter back into the sunroom. Mike asked me what I was doing and I yelled "nothing!" while scrambling to cover my mess like a little kid.

I think I need to leave gardening to the professionals... aka just buy already potted plants at Lowe's. And leave them in the pots they come in.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I have a billion things to share with all of you - lots going on around the casa and in life, which unfortunately means I'm too busy to update as much as I'd like! But I took these pics a few nights ago so I thought I'd at least share this DIY upgrade.

Note: sorry the past few posts have had incredibly crappy photos, we've had workers in our house so I hid my camera...then forgot where I hid it. But don't worry, I found it while doing laundry (obviously)

There was nothing wrong with our master water closet (I can call it this cause it's just a little room with a toilet and shower. And it makes me feel fancy) per se, but I knew the shower could be better - it's a fairly large stall shower (about 5 ft x 3 ft) and the water pressure is good. Buuut there was shelving, and I am NOT down with my shampoo, etc., on the floor of the shower and neither was Mike.  Also, I've always wanted a handheld shower sprayer; I grew up with one and always missed it - plus, it's excellent for Lemon bathing :)

SO! We found a super cool Moen shower head at Sam's of all places (go in for bulk chicken breasts and salmon, leave with a shower head, natch) 
Here's how it looks all closed in
The set
Shown with my meaty paw for comparison
  The other big-ish purchase is this awesome hold-everything stand we got at Bed Bath & Beyond.  It's a Simple Human (makers of $4000 trash cans) so I assume it's up to snuff - it got great ratings and is supposed to be rust-proof and quite sturdy. So far so good!
Useful area
Some asides: no bathroom (or room in this house apparently) is without its quirks, including this one.  Behold the demon light!
It's really probably just a room heater that we'll super appreciate in the winter, and there is a timer involved, so it's also probably more high tech than I even realize haha. I just think it's funny that our WC is the red light district.
Also, I am super duper extra skeeved out by bare feet in showers/any tile floor that is unfamiliar to me. Like it's my weird thing. So yeah, I'm still rocking the flip flops, college style, in my own shower. Shh.
Must add bleach to the Target list
 So that's a little tour of our new(ish) and improved(ish) WC! Since only one of them slides on the track we are hoping to get new shower doors soon (shocker: they are not standard sized doors) and possibly a new toilet as well (since we assume cracks in the tank that have been superglued are not optimal...)- Mike's obviously saving up for one of these probably in gold. Go big or go home, right?!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Slowly but surely things are starting to come together in the screened-in porch room!

Mike is definitely wary about the preponderance of multi-colored pillows but I think it looks suuuper fun.

Eileen and I used our he-man skills to put together the lovely rocking chairs on Thursday - I cannot even explain how comfortable these are - for sure my favorite purchase in a while!
No pictures "during" - we needed all our hands
This was to show the chair and highlight the ridiculous floor tearing up that needs to happen
So when the bench came yesterday, Mike wanted to build it right away. But the Phils were on. And Cliff Lee was working on his 3rd shut out in a row!
What to do?
Build it in the living room of course! It's hot outside anyway.
Needed all hands again, but here he is finishing it up
Someone thought it was their new living room spot
Weirdo dog loves watching TV
So anyway, after Lee blew minds of color commentators everywhere with his stats, we took all the stuff outside and dressed it up!:
Zombie Dog
Lemon is showing off a new floor cushion as well - wrapped in plastic, obvs

See bug zapper, bottom right. We really need to replace those screens...
This is the view a stalker would have. Pretty.
So that's what we're working on now. Waiting for the tables. The rug is here but we need to at least hyper clean the floors and walls before we put that down (we might have to wait to tackle ripping up that outdoor carpet, it is pretttty determined to hang on).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Little Mikey's Birthday

We want need to have some budget-friendly birthdays every this year, and luckily we are both summer babies, so nice weather always allows us to hit up the beach or something for our special day, which is my plan of action this year (yay Green Family vacation 2011!) but Mike decided on his own day o'fun!

It was nice to explore our area a little and get a better feel for some close-to-new-home fun.

After sitting in some awesome seats for a weird Phillies game on the day of his actual birthday with my Dad, I planned to get in on the bday fun Saturday since we both had the whole day off.

His ideal day (note: he's turned 28 not 8) was thus: out to breakfast at Lucky's a cute diner with stellar homefries, then hitting up the batting cages and mini golf at Maple Zone for some super competitive fun and then out for dinner (and ice cream natch) with our favorite Graham to round out the evening.

The batting cage was HILARIOUS - there was this super serious guy next to us who was wearing an ankle brace, gloves, and a tall tee (of course) and brought like 5 bats of his own, for softball slow pitch! Amazing. I couldn't take any pictures though he was quite large and scary, even in his ridiculousness.

I did however take lots of pictures of Mikey's day out :)
Strike a pose
Fine form
About to conquer the links
Sizing up the situation
BAMF (see sign)
So competitive and we ended up tying!
Annoyed at tying
Super excited about tying. But NOT about that sunburn. Owww
I think we had too much fun Saturday - Mike slept until like 11 on Sunday. I haven't seen him do that in MONTHS.

Eventually, we made our way over to Mike's parents' house on Sunday for some fun catch-up and cake!