Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And Then There Were Four

Well our blog is officially one month old and we've had over 1400 hits, we are amazed! Didn't realize we had that many friends/loyal readers!

I also promised you all a big surprise. We have a new roommate! My college friend, Scott, got relocated here for work and was in need of fast housing since his job wanted him to move ASAP. Since we are still young and have no kids (yet) we said he could bunk up with us until he figures out what he wants to do or we get married (which ever comes first). This being said, I had to relinquish my guest bedroom/office and put a hold on plans for the dining room since Scott works from home and needs desk space. I can still paint them the colors I want but all demolition for the living room/dining room separation has to come later (boo).

Scott and I at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field

Scott showed up late Friday night after driving straight from Kansas City, MO. Max and I helped him unload his trailer and get his bed set up. His girlfriend, Shaunna, and our mutual friend Brian showed up later from Minneapolis for the festivities. A few beers were cracked to celebrate and a little euchre was played. Scott's parents came down from Green Bay to visit early Saturday.

Later that day, Max and I headed off to the Anderson cabin (we go there a lot so be prepared for many other posts about it) to celebrate his mom's birthday and to take the boat for its first summer spin. I got to enjoy a giving myself and his Grandma Muriel mani/pedis outside on the deck while the boys put the boat lift in. We ended up seeing a baby fawn hiding in the bushes.

This Memorial Day weekend we had a couple of house first's. We had our first overnight house guests. Max's friend Nick from college and his dog, Jack. Turk loved having the company and let Jack know that he was welcome. Max enjoyed it too.

Not much for housework was done this weekend except getting Scott settled but it was relaxing and I think we all need that from time to time!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Master bedroom color winner...

After many comments on here and Facebook, with much personal debate, the winner is...

Lunar Eclipse

The deciding factor was the chair. I was leaning that way all week and as soon as my vintage yellow chair was added, I knew for sure this was the one for us. It pulls out all the right tones in the room without overpowering anything. 

I'm hoping to put some long, draped white curtains to help with the very high windows and the gray should make the whole room seem brighter since there isn't a whole lot of natural light.

Hope everyone has fun this Memorial Day! We have some surprises coming up! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Can you stay statement piece?!

After two months, I finally headed over to Crate & Barrel to use the gift card Max bought me for my birthday. Pretty sure I took about an hour to choose the right items and every sales person had asked me if I needed assistance. I ended up with the ever famous 5-piece Parker bowl set on sale for $29.95, four stemless wine glasses for $2.95 and two Ikat dishtowels in pink on sale for $2.95 for my summer towel collection. Grand total = $50.32 minus $50 gift card so it was only $0.32.

But that's not the best part!
5-piece Parker bowls
Stemless wine glass

Ikat dishtowel in pink
I headed on a whim over to Goodwill found this amazing vintage chair that would go perfectly in my bedroom (can you tell how much I'm emphasizing this). Total of the chair...$6.99! You can't beat that! Its is almost in mint condition and so comfy! I'm been waiting for a great reading chair and found it.

Super awesome yellow chair

Putting the chair to good use

Turk even loves it

RAPTURE (I mean recap)

Max touched base with the stuff we did but I just wanted everyone to see our progress, it may not look like much but it was a lot. We woke up Sunday morning to find that that Rapture had not happened and that we were all alive, score one for us. I really wasn't worried I assure you. I was more worried about the massive rain storm that was supposed to happen later that day with the predicted hail and tornadoes. Temperature highs were supposed to be in the upper 70s so I felt today was the perfect day to tackle our front lawn. You may recall this is what the start of our house looked like with patchy weeds everywhere, a giant Monster plant and mismatched hosta everywhere.

Gross front with Monster plant on left
We started by ripping up and evening out the other side of the house which previously was covered with rocks, miscellaneous weeds and random Hosta that had somehow survived the replacement of the sewage pipe replacement. I saved the Hosta but everything else got ripped out and regraded.

New blank canvas
 There was a little patch of mow-able grass next to the pathway to our front door. I asked Max if he wanted to waste time mowing it or get rid of it and he said get rid of it. So I tore that up to make room for a flower bed.
Bye bye grass patch

The rest of the Monster to be removed

The remains of the Monster
 Th next step was refill the bed on the right side of the house which was now completely bare. I wanted to balance the two sides as best I could knowing that it would take a year or two before they will look the same again. Although I hated that everything was really overgrown, this left me with lots of extra plants for transplanting. Around a mid-lawn rock bed, was a Hosta surround rock that was way overgrown. I decided to split all the Hosta around it to make a walled bed to match the left side of the house.

Me midday breaking Hosta, covered in dirt
and sunburning (I did apply sunblock)

Trying to look cute
Rock bed remains

More remains
Then it was onward to the transplant. I had a ton of plants to make this a success. I even gave a few to our new neighbors who wanted to put some around a tree so they wouldn't have to mow or trim it anymore. Everything looks even and symmetrical now and it was a huge load off my mind. I still have to fill in the white and green ones more in the front but I will probably wait until next year when I can split those up from the other side.

Even Hosta
One project Max left out of his post was that he used random rock from our dirty pile to frame out our drainage pipe. Pretty nice! We have more to do the other side when the water/mud dries up.

Reusable rock
 The final step was to plant some perennial flowers just to spruce it up for summer. First I mixed in an organic potting soil in with the current soil to add some nutrients back and give it that nice deep color. Then I added some white snap dragons across the back of the Hosta for height. I think they will show up really nicely against the brick. In the front, I added pink begonias for height in the front and purple alyssum to fill in and spread over the flower bed. There is still the corner where the Monster stump remains with the two juniper bushes it choked out. I have decided if I'm keeping the bushes yet or not.

Flower bed with bush remains
 That concluded our Sunday's work. This was about 8.5 hours of straight work with the occasional break for water or the random neighbors who stopped by to say hello. We meet six different houses all together. I think they were waiting until we settled in to say hello. Everyone was super friendly and it is reassuring that the neighbors have each other's backs.

The only bad thing of the day was the sunburn I sustained. Battle wound not for the weary. I did apply sunblock but as Max tends to say, I am a member of the "Aryan" race so in other words, effin' pale. I wish I could hop in an assassin wax bath via Angelina Jolie in Wanted and just wake up and be totally healed. Why can't stuff like that happen in real life?

This is the sunburn I sustained, remember I did apply sunblock

 The rain came but not as bad as we were anticipating, other areas got the really bad stuff. Monday night we finished cleaning up and mowing the lawn to give you this final look. I planted some flower pots and a few extra flowers on the right side including some Stock and yellow and purple petunias. Not too shabby huh?

Left side of house

Max smiling at a job almost done

Right side of house

Flower close-up

Planted flowers framing the door

Sunday, May 22, 2011

1st of many!

There's going to be some changes around here! This will be the first posting by the co-blogger and co-owner max! Now it's time to hear about the home refurbishment project from another perspective...

Today was the first and possibly only nice day of the year so we decided to spend the whole day doing yard work and getting the outside of the house fixed up. We were up early, we had a chance to plan out what we needed to get done, we had all the tools we needed for once to start getting things done without 5 trips to Lowe's first. I just didn't know where to start...

But here's the short and sweet list of things that we where able to take care of with the help of my girl we where able to get a good start. I was able to get rid of the gross disgusting pool of water that was sitting in front of our house.

It looked kind of like this:

But don't fear it's now nice and I couldn't have done it without the shovel my parents bought me for a house warming gift (thanks Mom and Dad). Add in a few hours of digging, some sweat, and a few more colorful uses of the English language and you wind up with this.

It doesn't look like much and that was kind of the point, but at least there isn't a huge puddle in our front yard that would be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The only draw back is that it's still pretty muddy and you don't really want to go for a stroll through in any times soon.

I also had a chance to tear up a good sized chunk of the front lawn (JOY!) and replace it with some nice bushy plants called hosta. So now our front yard looks a little nicer, but when it comes to plants I really don't care that much.

All in all it was 8 hours of work on the one nicest days of the year, we where able to tear up the extremely overgrown gardens, finally remove the a large dead pine tree from the front yard and pull out a post that was sitting in the middle of our yard for no apparent reason.

The nice thing about working outside today was that all the neighbor's stopped by to talk to us and welcome us to the neighborhood, I had a little trouble with all the well-wishing since I was frickin' tired. But all in all we got to meet all our neighbors and they all offered that if I need any tools to just stop by. We also got to hear about the last guy who owned the house before we moved in and apparently he was a little "strange", I guess that explains the post that was in the middle of our lawn...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hostas Hotness

Today after work, I really got motivated to start tackling some of my replanting of all the hostas in front of the house. It was supposed to rain so I was excited to get a break with the weather. I want to state for the record, I learned I really enjoy digging holes. I don't have any clue where it came from but it was definitely fun!

Massive holes
Max was pretty impressed to come home from work to see me digging away at the lawn. I yelled at him to get a saw and start hacking away at "The Monster". Come to find out, with Max's massive tree knowledge from working on a tree farm he identified that this baby was in fact a tree and not a bush as I previously had thought.

It's a tree!

Go! Go! Gadget saw!

The more he hacked away the more we could tell that not only was this a tree, but the previous owners had it manicured below. Only flaw with their landscaping, they did not kill the roots of the tree, just landscaped right over the top of it. So the tree came back, with a vengeance. Max got it down to just tree stumps, now we just have to figure out a removal process. Add another project to the list!

Bye, Bye Monster!

I plugged away all evening with the plan to align all the green hostas closest to the house and the white and green ones farther in. There are way less of the white ones I found out and will have to buy a couple to fill them in. After about 3 hours of after-work yard work, I now have more even foliage.

Professional digger for hire

Turk checking out the displaced hosta

Final daily work, more even foliage

Random side note: As I was digging, the neighbor dogs ran in our yard. One came up to Turk to get a sniff and looked at him, sniffed and lifted his leg and peed on his face and he just stood there and took it. After he just stood there licking his face as pee dripped off... I can't make this up people...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Great Paint Giveaway!

A little birdie, or faithful reader Kristin, let me know in on a sweet deal going on right until midnight tomorrow (May 17th, 2011). Glidden is giving away a free quart of paint! I signed up and scored my future dining room. Winning! It's pretty easy. You use their "Room Painter", find your shade and 8-10 weeks they send you the shade you picked out! Flippin' sweet!

Remember this deal is only going on until tomorrow so hurry!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Parkland Project Poll: Bedroom Paint Color

Periodically, I want you the readers to help with a little input. Feel free to comment away (just nothing vulgar)!

So we have begun with the painting projects. From my graphic design background, I don't like to brag, but I know my way around a color wheel. Right after we had our bid accepted I pretty much had planned out every color in the house (pending I saw the lighting changes), minus the master bedroom. I knew I wanted to somehow incorporate our current duvet that I love, but that was it. Naturally when we started painted, we decided to start with the master bedroom. I though that with our natural light, a light warm grey would nice. I heard that Lowe's had paint samples for half off this weekend (bonus) so I figured why not get a couple and try them out. (Did I mention I am now the current Mayor of our local Lowe's on foursquare?) I find grey that I think is perfect for what I had in mind, then I look right next to it and there is another perfect grey with a slight blue undertone... they are both from Olympic and I'm not partial to a certain brand, it was just the samples were on sale and the colors caught my eye.

This brings me to you and the poll:
 Forevermore vs. Lunar Eclipse

Forevermore is the grey with the blue undertone. It also sounds like it could possibly be the long lost cousin of Edgar Allen Poe's color grey "nevermore".

Lunar Eclipse is a little bit cooler of a grey.

Left Forevermore, Right Lunar Eclipse

In natural light - left Forevermore, right Lunar Eclipse
 This is the duvet set that I love and want to match. From this view I think Forevermore is pulling a little more color out of the green yellow accent pillow. What do you think? You can ask Turk too if you really want.

In artificial light - left Forevermore, right Lunar Eclipse

So what do you think we should go with?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gardening Green Goddess...maybe...

So I decided I need a new hobby, not just home renovation. Max has beer brewing which he loves. Surprisingly because I started him on it three years ago from buying him a Mr. Beer kit for his 26th birthday. And by the way, and he swears by this, don't buy Mr. Beer!  He upgraded to a kit from a local store Northern Brewer and it makes delicious, delicious beer fitting of the finest Wisconsinite. Anyways, this makes me want a new hobby.

Max's first beer kit
I have always liked the "green" movement. I blame it on a book I got at our yearly elementary school library Scholastic book fair in the early 1990s. 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save The Earth (and I'm happy they are still revising and printing it) was sort of a guide book for me. I'm sure I annoyed my Mom with their tips. Since we have started looking for houses, I have been in overdrive on how I want to green our home. I already recycle, use reusable grocery bags and try to reuse something before I throw it away (recycle, reduce, reuse). Things I want to start now are composting (Max and I are in a huge debate about it, he wants a trash compactor instead), a rain barrel and organic gardening (aka my new hobby). I got him on board with the rain barrel after a trip to Stein's Garden and Gifts and showed him how attractive and functional they can actually be. 

I decided to be a true hobby, you have to start the garden from seeds. So I get mostly organic seeds (couldn't find two organic ones), organic compost mulch (hmm is that where the composting comes in Max?) and some seedling trays. After reading each of packets and which ones need to be started before they are planted and which ones should go straight into the ground, I was in business. Below is the area I plan to take over for the garden. It is an odd spot behind the house and the garage. Luckily for the energy company, they read meters electronically now.
My perfect garden space

Future edible goodness
Here are some of the hostas my Mom identified this last weekend. From the looks of it, they are basically a wall of flowers and I'll have to fill some of them by breaking the plants up and adding other fillers (since all one plant type is super boring).

Another gardening project is to remove this behemouth that I like to call "The Monster". We aren't quite sure if it is a bush that is way overgrown or an Evergreen tree that was cut at the base. Either way, this thing has got to go. It is literally choking out the juniper bush next to it. Esh!

"The Monster"
The third major project we have is regrading most of the lawn. We learned from the inspector that the sewer lines were recently replaced (yay us) but no one regraded and fixed the lawn (boo us). So that is a weekend in itself.

Turk is slowly trying to get used to his new dog lead. Each day he gets a little farther off the step into the lawn. He's even pooping on the lead! Sounds stupid but Turk can be kindof scared of the world sometimes.

Frickin' Fridge Fail

So after we purchased our refrigerator, we noticed that it was too tall to fit into the spot designated for it currently. We are pretty sure the "standard" size had changed since the cabinets were installed. Point in case here is the original fridge:

Original refrigerator and cabinets

Everything seems fine with it. But we get to the store and all the refrigerators are at least the height we bought or larger. Can anyone confirm if they got taller?

So we had two options:
1. Either order a smaller, garage-size refrigerator for our very full-size kitchen and sacrifice the food space. OR
2. Take out/modify the existing cabinets to fit the "new standard" size refrigerator.

In my mind, there really was only one option #2. Max dabbled a little bit with the first one. I said, "We should just rip out the cabinet. I am not living with a little tiny fridge." Max of course called "Mr. Fix-It" Mark, aka Super Dad, to see what our options were. He said he'd be over Wednesday afternoon to check it out. So he arrives and after an assessment, the cabinet had to come down. He looked it over and said he could modify the cabinet to be shorter and still fit. So we thankfully went with that option.

While he was here, Mark decided he should fix our roof (don't mind Max's butt crack).

Roofing Anderson men 

So another problem with our new refrigerator, since our kitchen is mostly to the right of where it is located, we needed a one that opened up to the left. We knew this going in and made sure the model we picked out could have the handles mounted that way. The sales guy said this one would so we were happy. A Lowe's person actually called the day before it was delivered to confirm that is how we wanted it. There had to some miscommunication because this fridge arrived. The handle was mounted on the wrong side. After all that! The delivery guy's call and confirm how it was supposed to be. Since it was their mistake, they are letting us use this one until ours arrives 7-21 days from now, special order.

Handle on WRONG SIDE

Refrigerator sans cabinet
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