Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Craigslist Score

I'm not typically one to get excited about something until it's an absolute (which is basically until i have it in my hands) but I cannot resist on this one.

After a couple months of stalking Craigslist, I finally found some outdoor furniture that is perfect for our needs.

I had tight parameters, which usually happens with most of my chases, but I think it comes down to this: I want what is right for us from the get-go, and I don't want to beat around the bush with temporary fixes that I don't like. Good things come to those who wait. (And wait....)

Anyway, this is what I wanted:

1. Something that was used. Why get new unless it's really necessary?
2. Something that was not plastic.
3. Something that was budget friendly (and damn was i being frugal with this one...)
4. Something that didn't have to have cushions unless I wanted it to.

(photos direct from the listing)

6 chairs (one not shown) and 2 tables for $200.

I have big plans for the dining table. Since I want a lounge area outside, so I'm going to cut the legs down and turn it into a coffee table. I'll use the dining chairs by the fire pit and the other 2 chairs on the deck with the tables. Perfect.
Not much fire pit progress has occurred, mainly due to work, rain and get togethers, but I have 2 hours slotted for it before I head out to work. That's why working at 11:30 on some days is awesome- I actually get stuff done.
In other news, I finally bit the bullet and am going in to seek Rosacea treatment today. Now this probably isn't a big deal to a lot of people, but when you aren't one for this sort of thing and would prefer the natural route, it's kind of a drag. I've tried numerous topical lotions (and potions) to no long term avail. Working outdoors doesn't help because the sun is a definite trigger, and if it's not the sun it's the wind and if it's not the wind it's the cold...you get the idea.

I don't really talk to people about it, but I thought I would blog just in case it is any help to people who have Rosacea. I suppose what it comes down to is that the effect of people telling me that I'm sunburned, blushing, look tired or that I must have been drinking is really starting to take a toll on my mental status. Sure, we all have our days, but when a comment is made multiple times, daily, it is something that frequents your mind whenever you are in public. And so I figured it was time to make the phone call and just go in. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fire Pit Progress

So not a whole lot has happened with the fire pit. I've been calling around to source/price fire bricks since I didn't get a chance to before the construction started (oh, that hurts) and I don't want to get too far with the building before we have them. I heard the bricks were pricey, but I was thinking more along the lines of like $1.20/brick or something. Not the $2.30 I was quoted today. Ha!

Luckily I found them for less, but not quite what I was hoping for. That's okay,we're still within our budgeted cost for the project.

So rather than work on the fire pit today, I chose to paint more of the trim/vents/etc. in our living room.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike painting? One would probably never guess, judging by how much I enjoy making stuff, but I can think of hundreds of other things I'd rather do besides paint. And when I'm standing there with the brush in my hand, I usually
do think of a hundred other things I'd rather do. Which doesn't make my situation any better. But I'm getting there. And my mom did most of the painting in the living room anyway, so I can't complain.

What projects do you like & dislike most?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Parents = Awesome

Okay, let me just start by saying that if it wasn't for my parents, Joe and I wouldn't get nearly as many projects finished. And the thing is, I shouldn't even be using the term "Joe and I" because it's mostly them that trudge along, project after project. Of course, I know it's because it's all stuff that they have a lot of experience with, where as this is our first Spring owning a home. Translation: we really have no clue how to do things, even though we have a general idea. Over the weekend, this is what we got done: (Heads up that this is mostly for my own documentation and don't expect anybody to actually read this whole list...)


+Parents arrived.
+Ate at Green Acres in Sauk.

+Got up at 5:45am.

+Joe went to play paintball somewhere like 45 miles away.
+My parents and I drove to Madison to go to Home Depot and Midwest Stone and Lan
dscape. +We picked through and loaded almost a ton of stone.
+I headed to work from the landscape place.

+Parents c
ame back to the house and then went rummaging at garage sales.
+Joe got home.

+They cut down 4 dead trees (which wasn't even on the "to do" list!)
+Cut & stacked limbs into fire wood piles.

+My mom painted more in our living room (a continuation from when she was here last.)
+My mom pressure washed our retaining walls.

+They dug the fire pit.

+I got home from work.
+Grilled dinner.

+Slept in till 8!
+Coffee & breakfast.

+Mixed, poured & leveled concrete for fire pit.

+Unloaded and sorted stone according to size.
+Made a template to set up mock fire pit base.
+Moved stone back and forth, trying to make a circle. It was fun for me- geometry is the only math I ever liked!
+While we did the fire pit, Joe and my Dad got our wood chipper working! (a gift from my parents. my dad got it at an auction and fixed it up for us!)

+More fire pit stuff. Simultaneous wood-chip action.

+Burned all the small (and I use that term loosely...) branches from downed trees.

+Ate lunch & dran
k malts.
+Planned out new design for garden for better flow around the fire pit.

+Dug up grass to prepare garden area.
+My mom divided/transplanted like 20 of our plants that were taking over our garden.
+I finished pressure washing.

+Stood back, admired our work, and thanked my parents.
+They went home.
+We're sitting on the couch.

Fire pit progression photos to come!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Breakfast number two.

One of my greatest strengths is procrastination. I call it a strength because it's something that I do well. Of course, deep down I know it to be an actual weakness, but I am trying to look on the bright side...

I got up at 5:30 with Joe, as I do every day. I didn't sleep well last night because I kept replaying my "to-do" list in my head. When I got up, I wrote out my list and then decided that I wouldn't get anything done without more sleep. So I took Clementine with me and snoozed on and off (more off than on) for about 2 hours before finally deciding that it was time to start the day.

The day always begins with 2 or 3 cups of coffee and a bowl of granola cereal, and it never goes further than that until I get my internet time in.

By the end of that, I'm ready for a second breakfast, which I should just call lunch since I don't eat lunch on my days off. And that's where I'm at now. Oh, and on the internet again. It's 10:40. I wanted to get this day started at about 9, but that never happens. Maybe I need to mix things up a bit, I don't know. I always feel like when I'm doing something, I'd rather be doing something else! Unless I'm online. Then I'd rather just stay there. Please, somebody, tell me that you have the same problem. Maybe it's the cloudy day, I don't know. I should just have Joe take the laptop with him to work. That would solve much of my issue.

Anyway, I hope you are having a good Monday! I will get around to doing something, which you'll probably see on the blog. Off I go.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Host & Hostess Gift

We're going to a housewarming-esque potluck in about 2 hours.

I saw this on Martha Stewart the other day and I thought it was perfect.

So this morning I went to World Market for a dishtowel and a spoon, Michael's for some raffia and then the grocery store for some French bread and jam. I had a budget of $20, so I couldn't get the jam I wanted to, so I got some organic something or other kind with a terribly drab label. Pretty paper + Xacto = quick fix.

Dishtowels, pkg of 2: $8
Small Spoon: $1.50
French Bread: $1.75
Jam: $3
Raffia: $4 (to be used in the future as well)

I could only find long loaves of French bread, so I cut one in half and made a little paper wrapper for the part that I cut.

We also got them a flowering plant for their yard.

The best part of this party is that it's less than a mile from our house!

Okay, well that's all for now. Time to get ready!

Monday, April 05, 2010


Yesterday I picked some daffodils for us. They bloomed about 2 days before that, and there are even more this morning. It's fun to see what the previous owners had planted for spring, since we haven't lived here during this season yet. My favorite thing about owning a house is seeing how the last residents did things. I'm constantly noticing small details and it always makes me smile.

Anyway, I keep telling myself to pick up vases at the thrift store so I can give some small bouquets to my friends, but I get there and then I don't buy any. What kind of flowers do you bring in from your garden?

I have been buying a lot of outdoor pots lately because they are a great deal when thrifted. Photo to come.

Joe has the day off and I'm about to get ready for work. It's supposed to be 70 again today- perfect weather to be outside.

Sunday, April 04, 2010


Similar to the February/March tablescape. This is about half of my decorative birdhouse collection. The other half of my collection is red, but I might paint them to match these ones. I'm not much of a fan of red in the home.

AND and and- notice the new paint color? It's Canyon Echo by Glidden and I am so very happy with it. The green color before wasn't my favorite by any means, and this is like a breath of fresh air. Minus the paint fumes. Not so fresh. But they're gone now. Anyway, it took months for me to decide on a grey, and I have a stack of paint swatches from numerous manufacturers to prove it. Then winter came and the glow from the white ground threw everything off. So I waited for the grass to show again, and from there I was finally able to choose. I knew I had to go with a grey that had red/pink undertones in order to cancel out the green cast brought in by the yard. Most of the greys I found had green undertones. Ick. The others had purple undertones, which was okay but felt cold.

I should add that the living room would not be painted if it wasn't for my mom. She spent 4 days with us and she got a lot done. I'll show you in the coming days. For now I'm off to cut daffodils from the garden, which just bloomed 2 days ago.

Happy Easter!