Thursday, April 17, 2014

The house next door

I mentioned a month or so ago that the house next door was getting remodeled. They've completely gutted the interior and I am amazed at their progress!

I planned on waiting until it was completely finished before sharing the pictures with you, however, yesterday they painted the exterior and it is so pretty...I just couldn't resist!

Here is the before:

Scary shrubs are gone!

Remember that really cool door?

Goodbye windows!

Goodbye door!

Getting ready for the new door!

...and the front porch is looking a little different too!

New windows & a new front door!

Ahhhh, fresh paint. Darling pale yellow with white trim!

They still have a long way to go, but it's really coming together. Our little street is so happy now!

I really do feel as though I'm living next door to rehab addict!

Just for fun, let's look back at the before:

and the after:

Sooo much better! Not near as scary!

Maybe I can sweet talk the owner into letting me take a few pictures inside once it's all finished...stay tuned!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Last Week

Hello Internet!

I can't believe we are half-way through April. It has been such a busy month! I never knew how much work it takes to maintain a yard. There aren't enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished (hence my silence on the blog...) 

So here's what I've been up to:

My dad came down for a visit and brought me this gun. I never thought I'd own a gun. However, after experiencing a few scares in the doll house, I've had a change of heart. 

*you can read about my most recent "scare" here.

I hope I never have to use it, but I can sleep easier knowing it's there.

We went for a little target practice. 

It was a lot of fun! The perfect daddy/daughter date!

I've spent HOURS getting my front yard in order. Oh my, it wore me out! I pulled weeds, laid mulch, mowed, hedged, raked leaves, pulled more weeds. It took days! -and I am so sore. Who knew doing yard work was such a workout?

I not going to lie, I am a little scared of the back yard. 


So many bushes to trim! 

So many weeds! 

In the mean time, I've been itching to plant a little succulent garden (I followed this tutorial). I love how it turned out! It looks so cute on my dining room table.  

Yesterday we had our first bout of severe weather. We didn't have any tornadoes or anything... just a heavy thunderstorm. As much as I hate those scary storms, I love the way it makes everything pop. The plants seem to get a little greener and more vibrant after it rains.

These trees in my front yard just came to life! Beautiful!

In other news, I've been helping my little sister with her graduation announcements. 

She wants something a little unconventional, something to show off those beautiful senior pictures!

I can't wait to see what she comes up with! 

Did I mention my brother is graduation college too! I'm going to be a big bawl bag come May. 

This week I'm making a quick day trip to Tulsa (my hometown). No matter how long I've been away, it still feels like home. 

So what have you been up to? Have you been working in the yard? Did you survive our first round of storms?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hello Monday

Spring is here! I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the warmer temps and beautiful blooms. It's both refreshing and energizing, I crave the outdoors (and by "outdoors" I mean sitting on my back porch with the grill fired up and a glass of wine).

It's a new week and I'm joining Lisa Leonard for Hello Monday!

Hello grilling on the back patio! It's been sooo long. I almost forgot how to do it! 

Hello beautiful pink flowers that smell enchanting. 
After a quick google search, I've discovered your identity: Viburnum farreri. I think you must be related to the honeysuckle, so sweet and fragrant. 

Hello warmer temperatures. 
I've been spending a lot of time at our local park, it feels amazing to run jog outside again.

Hello spring cleaning! 
I picked up a lucite organizer this weekend.  
I love being able to see all my products without having to dig through my cosmetic bag. 
Also, there's just something about lucite that feels so glamorous. 

Hello yard work, I can't seem to get caught up.

Hello dinner with friends and trying out new recipes. One of my favorite pastimes.

Hello visit from Dad! I can't wait to target practice (with my new shotgun). 

Hello clean cotton sheets, goodbye flannels.

Hello new week! Another week closer to summer...

Which means another week closer to my vacation...

Which means another week closer to wearing a swim suit...

Which means another week of diet and exercise.

What are you saying hello to this week?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Secret Garden

I've never truly appreciated spring. I think it's because I've never maintained a yard or garden. I've never cared about curb appeal or green lawns. Also, I'm totally in love with fall...the rich colors and pumpkin themes.

But this year, spring has never looked more beautiful.

It's my first spring in the doll house and I can't believe all of the surprises popping up in my garden!

I find myself searching for gardening ideas on Pinterest and reading the gardening section in HGTV magazine.

Who knew gardening could be fun (and not a chore!)?

I snapped a few photos of some of the blooms around my house, I'm swooning over each and every one of them.

There's a window above my kitchen sink and I love to look out into the backyard. It's so colorful and magical.

Of course, a gardening novice, I have no idea how to care for these beauties. Actually, I don't even know what they are! Let me know if you can help me identify them!

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

One Dolla Plates

The kitchen is my least favorite room in the doll house. The laminate countertops and metal backsplash make me cringe. I dream about running into Alison Victoria at Lowes and being on Kitchen Crashers. Unfortunately, HGTV doesn't scout in Ada, Okla. Also, we don't have a the likelihood of that happening is zero!

As a result, I've been holding off on making any decorating choices in the kitchen. I plan on replacing the countertops and backspalsh (I'm envisioning subway tile!) down the road (like YEARS down the road) but until then, I have to make due with what I've got.

My new banquette seating has motivated me to start tackling the kitchen.

I love the red ticking stripe with the blue & floral accents. I've decided to use primarily blue and white in the kitchen, however, there will be a few small accents of red.

Last weekend I went to a local antique store (going out of business). It was their last day open so everything was a dollar!

I picked up several Churchill England saucers. They remind me of my late grandmother. She loved blue and white chinoiserie dishes. Her kitchen was filled with them! I remember eating cereal out of the bowls and pecan pie on the dessert plates. So when I saw them at the antique store I couldn't resist.

I hung a few over the stove and they have made a world of difference!

As much as I detest the metal backsplash, I love seeing these little plates. Every time I walk by, I think about my Grammy. I know she would love them too!

Another change in the kitchen, I've decided to switch to wooden cooking utensils. They look better (sitting on my countertop) than the black utensils and they seem to last longer. I still have some rubber utensils stored away in a drawer. Also, I picked up a little tea pitcher to use as a utensil holder.

I know these changes seem small but they go a long way into giving life to my otherwise bland kitchen.

Here is a shot of what the kitchen looks like now:

-Remember my instagram display

I still have a long way to go but I'm making progress!

I'm not sure what to do with the space under my keurig...Currently, it's where I store the trashcan (I didn't think it would be pretty in the picture so I took it out!).  The previous owners had a small stool there and used it as a little desk. I considered doing the same, but I knew that I would never use it.

If you have any ideas on what to do, please please let me know!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Breakfast Nook Banquette

I've been dreaming about this banquette since the first time I walked through the doll house. It's the only project I've been 100 percent sure about.

The only problem? I had noooo idea how to build a banquette so that meant I would need to hire a pro to help me out. Also, the house needed a lot of attention in other areas so it wasn't at the top of my "to do" list (or my budget for that matter).

But a few months ago, I decided to take the plunge! I spent a lot of time looking for a "pro" who could build the bench for me. I asked several friends for contacts and never seemed to find someone who fit within my budget or time frame.

In the mean time, my stepdad was working on refacing the cabinets in their new lake house. My mom sent me several pictures of the cabinets and I was very impressed! Why hadn't I thought of this before? Ron was handy! Maybe he could build the bench!

After a few weeks of begging and pleading, Ron agreed!

This is what the nook looked like before:

I sold the table and chairs on our local facebook yard sale site. -Do any of you have something like this in your area? I think it's a little safer than craigslist. It's a public forum. Everyone can see your (real) name and your communications.  

I gave a little sneak peek on instagram before it was painted...but it's finally finished and I love the way it turned out!

The cushions were easy to make! I think it took me and my mom 30 minutes to do them both!

We used this no-sew tutorial.

Another thing I love about the banquette is the extra storage!

Because the storage isn't easily accessible (you have to remove the pillows, cushions and the lid), I plan on storing seasonal items. -which means I can buy more seasonal Christmas decor! Yippee!

If you recognize the pillows, it's because they used to live on my couch.

I guess I'm on a red stripe kick (remember the table runner?) I can't help myself... I love the good ole' red-white-and-blue!

Another small update: the curtains.

I wasn't happy with them. I thought they looked a little sloppy. Here is a picture of what they looked like before:

I picked up some curtain clips (on clearance) from BB&B and it is amazing how much better they look!

My next update will be replacing the existing light fixture.

I'm replacing it with a pendant light. I ordered it this week (free shipping on St. Patrick's Day!) and as soon as I get it up I will post the pictures!

It's all coming together!

I'm still shopping for a round pedestal table. I'd love something like this from Restoration Hardware but I refuse to pay that much for a little table! So I will probably find something similar and paint it white...

Anybody else working on projects around the house? I'm thinking about moving my focus outdoors! After all, it is the first day of spring! I'm seeing a lot of sweet potato vines in my future!

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Creepy Guy

It was 5:30 a.m.

I woke up to the sound of a man’s voice: “turn off the light! Turn off the light!”

My eyes darted open.

It sounded as if he was standing right outside my bedroom window.

Groggy and unsure of whether or not it was a dream, I looked out the window. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It must have been a dream.

I got out of bed to use the bathroom and I heard a car door shut. The sound came from the house next door.

“That’s strange, no one lives there…it’s being remodeled.”

Surrounded by the darkness of my bathroom, I looked out the window.

Everything was so still outside.                      

The moon lit house appeared to be empty. I could see straight through it to the house next door.

I could feel my heart beat.

“Someone’s out there, I know what I heard”

Suddenly, a man walked past my window.

A chill went through my body.

I ducked under the window.

“Had he seen me?”

He was wearing a hoodie with a baseball cap. I couldn't see anything but the outline of his body as he walked by.

Feeling brave, I peeked through the window once again. I saw him get into a white van and drive off.

I tipped toed back to my bed, scared.

My mind racing.

“What was he doing? Obviously, something illegal…It's a construction site so maybe he was after tools or copper? (gasp) or maybe he was disposing a body?”

“What if he saw me watching through the window?”

“Why didn't I take my dad's advice on getting a gun?”

“What will he do to me?”

“Maybe the witness protection program would take me in?”

I spent the rest of the night wide-awake. Lying in bed pondering what I'd seen.

I felt like a little kid who’d just woken up from a scary dream, I wanted nothing more than the comfort of another human being lying next to me.

Eventually, my alarm went off and it was time to start the day.

I still have no idea what that man was doing next door.

I’m probably being paranoid…but I don’t like having strangers lurking near my house in the middle of the night.

The next day, I ran into the contractor working on the house. When I told him what I’d seen, he knew nothing of it; his team wouldn’t have been there at that time.

When I bought the doll house, I knew there would be obstacles (Like the pipesfreezing). I knew I would be pushed outside my comfort zone (like texturizing the walls in my bathroom).

But I never, ever, thought about things like being scared in the middle of the night.

I’ve lived alone before and it’s never bothered me. Maybe it's because I've always lived in an apartment, sharing a wall with my neighbor? If I screamed, they would hear me. But living in a house is different.

What would I do if someone broke in?

The thought is horrifying.

Being a homeowner is one of the most rewording experiences of my life, but it’s also one of the most terrifying.

I wrote about my struggles back in January, one of them is the fear of things I can’t control.

It’s usually a distant thought in the back of my busy mind…but every once in a while, it gets to me.

Have any of you experienced this?

If you live alone, how do you control the fear of the “creepy guy?”