Friday, April 29, 2016

Outdoor Progress (And No Fuss Flowering Garden!)

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend in store. We have some good stuff planned. It should be a busy, but fun weekend!

I am back with some progress to the outside of our house. We started working on the curb appeal of this adorable house practically the second we got the keys! It is certainly slow going, though. Something about our house is that the previous couple that owned it only lived here a few weeks a year. They have family in the area, but live far away, so they kept this house as a vacation home to come visit grand kids. Because of that, some areas of the house didn't get as much attention as they needed, and the yard definitely suffered. Our "grass" is still more weeds than actual grass, and the beds have been a battle ground between me and these weeds. That is a WHOLE other story though. For another time... yikes.

SO anyway. Having said that, there has still been much progress! I am truly starting to love and appreciate the outside of our house. The couple living here had also made the house wheelchair accessible. The first thing we did was remove all the ramps. The wood was rotting in all of them and I am pretty sure that a colony of black widow spiders was living under one. Seriously. SPIDERS. GIANT BLACK ONES. I didn't look closely, but they were all hanging upside down from their webs. Yeah. No.

Also we found a snake skin under the one in the back yard. Yuck.

Since we moved in we:
-Removed all rotting wood ramps
-Painted shutters and front door (they had used a terrible flat paint that was fading and peeling)
-Switched out all hardware on the doors from brass to oil rubbed bronze finish
-Painted the kick plate on the front door
-Power washed all sides of the house and driveway/walkway/patios and washed windows
-Dug out every previous shrub (more on that in a second)
-Shaped the beds and installed edging
-Planted all new shrubs
-Trimmed trees

You guys, some of this stuff only took a tiny bit of effort but made a huge difference. For instance, just taking time to wash the outside of our windows a couple times a year basically doubled the amount of light we get in our house. I am not exaggerating. All the dirt filtering the light makes a difference.

The door and shutters were red and seriously tired and worn looking. As in, I thought we needed all new. But of course a lovely can of Wythe Blue paint by Ben Moore (mixed in Behr outdoor paint) made all the difference. Here is a far off picture of what we inherited:

I mean. Pretty cute here, too.

And here is a picture I took this week:

I love the door and shutters so much now!

Like I said, the weed battle is still far from over. In fact, I think they are gaining more ground than we are. Especially since a certain 3 year old loves to blow the dandelion seeds.... But it's hard to be mad about that!

The biggest change was digging out all the shrubs. I didn't like any of them and our cottage style ranch was begging for some kind of flower somewhere to bring some more color to the front of the house!

New flowering shrubs add so much color and charm!

The weedy side of the garden... but, progress!

Every plant we added is flowering. If you are going to add shrubs, they might as well flower. That's what I always say. They are also all extremely low maintenance (I made sure because 2 kids doesn't leave a lot of time or patience for fussy plants). We added 3 knockout roses, 2 carpet or mounding roses, and 3 phantom hydrangea plants. Some day I will go into further detail about these plants and what went into the choosing process. It was a lot of research, that's for sure. Ain't nobody got money for replacing dead plants.  

I am working more on these weeds and will do another garden update this summer once the hydrangeas bloom. 

It's easy to become frustrated with the lack of progress in certain areas of the yard, but it's important to look back at where you started and see the progress you did make. It overwhelms me sometimes to think of all we have yet to do, but when I see where we started it inspires me to keep working and putting the effort in that this house deserves. Everything we do adds to our home's curb appeal, which ultimately puts value into the biggest investment we ever made, so it would be silly not to keep going!

Have a great weekend friends!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Things are a little different now!

Hey all! I don't know if anybody will ever see this since it's been silent over here for about oh, something like, 4 YEARS. I love my little blog and I have lately felt a strong desire to return to it. It's a little different now, though!

Since my last post, when my daughter was 1 week old (yikes!) we bought a tiny little ranch style house, went through some crazy ups and downs of life, and had another baby! My son, Bennett, is now older than Lydia was in my last post. Nothing will make life go by faster like having 2 kids!

I still love decorating my home and diy'ing anything I am brave enough to try (or slick enough to talk people into helping me with *wink*).

I figured I would kick this off with some pictures of our house. This is our house as we bought it almost 3 years ago. (I can't believe we have been living here 3 years!) In fact, these are the pictures from the listing that the real estate agent took, which means you will get a look at the lovely furniture of the previous owners.........


Here they are! I will be posting updates about the progress we've made since these pictures were taken, and about the updates we are planning still! We certainly believe in a s-l-o-o-o-w approach when it comes to home improvement, but that is the pace that works best for us, our family, and our budget. Here we go!

Guest/Kids Bath

Back Guest Room (Now Nursery)

Lydia's Room

The Master "Suite" (hahahaha)

The Master Bath

I know what you're asking yourself. The answer is yes. Yes you may pin the above images for inspiration.

Okay, maybe not. BUT hopefully over time my house is becoming a slightly more lovely and happy place to be.