Hellooooo Summer! (Patriotic Decor)

SONY DSC

Do you guys decorate for Memorial Day? I love putting out some cute red, white, and blue decor to celebrate the beginning of Summer. Memorial Day is also when we put our flag up, which stays out pretty much through Labor Day.

Last year I found the “USA” and stars wooden decorations at the ($3) dollar spot at Target.  The wreath is a pool noodle, burlap ribbon, & lots of hot glue! I found the paper straws, the jars, and the green container at Michaels.  The blue frame is a universal donation center find, which I cleaned up and painted with DIY blue chalk paint.

Patriotic DecoPatriotic Decor

Do you have any fun plans for the long weekend? We’ve both taken an extra day off work and plan to knock some of our bigger to-do list items off the list before this belly starts getting in the way even more!Patriotic Decor

Advertisements

Baby Watch 2016

My friend Ashley joked that I should share our announcement with this blog post title.  Of course she said this back in February and I was SURE that I would blog before announcing the news to the world…

Well here we are on April 4th, and I’ve finally got around to blogging!  Obviously, we’ve been very busy with our biggest DIY to date ~ a little baby who is scheduled to arrive near the end of September.

SONY DSC

We have a few other things happening around the house, although our overall progress is significantly slowed down by my need for near constant napping throughout the weekend. I’ll share some progress as we get things settled & now that I’m starting to get some energy back.

SONY DSC

Penelope looked profoundly sad in all the pictures we made her take with the baby book we got.  Based on these pictures we joke that if she could talk she would tell us that she didn’t ask for a baby brother or sister! Overall though she seems to be taking it well, and likes to nap on me the minute I mention the words nap and/or blanket.

SONY DSC

 

Hosta Watch 2015

Hosta Watch 2015 #thissarahloves #growgardengrow

Just dropping by to show off our front garden’s insane growth over the last six weeks. It’s hard to believe that it was covered under multiple inches of snow until just a few months ago! We inherited all of the large hostas with the house and added 2 small ones of different varieties. The crepe myrtle (aka Pride of India) is very late to the party again this year, but it’s finally starting to fill out.  Oh and we replaced the pokey shrubs under the windows with some gorgeous holly I found at Costco for a steal.

Basement Remodel: Paint and Crown

Last week, I showed off the new basement floors.  It took us a while to get to the point where we were ready to install the floors. Earlier this Spring we hired out the job of painting the ceiling, installing some crown and doing a final count of paint on the walls.  It was probably the best decision we’ve made in a while! (Thanks Jim!)

On the left is where we started (this picture was taken during our home inspection) and the right is where we were when all the painting was done. What a difference right?Basement Update Before and After

Looking back, I almost can’t believe we bought a house with a basement that looked like this! All of that wallpaper! The hideous dark brown molding everywhere! The blue carpet. The hideous wetbar.

Basement Wet Bar - Before

Oh, and then when we got the first layer of wallpaper off, we found the second layer… Oh man, then stories this wallpaper must have been able to tell.Tikibar Basement Wallpaper

The place already looked SO much better after Jim got the crown up. We selected a narrow composite crown molding since our ceilings are low and we needed it to fit between the window molding and the ceiling.

I was really happy that we realized that the ceiling needed painting, as it looked seriously yellow once we had the crown up.

Walls and Ceiling - Crown

And here it is after Jim got some paint on the ceiling. What a difference right?! Oh we also updated the bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling with inexpensive lights from Ikea. Andy’s dad helped to install them last fall when he was here (thanks Chris!) and although they’re not the most beautiful, they are unobtrusive, inexpensive, and bright!Walls and Ceiling - Ready for Floors

We have Basement Floors!

Overall Memorial Day weekend we finally installed the floor in our basement.  If you’ve been around for a while, you know that this basement remodel took a bit more time than we initially attended. We finally have the walls done with planking we painted white (I owe you an update), molding around all the doors and windows, a painted ceiling AND crown molding (thanks Jim-the-contractor!), so the floors were really the last thing we had to do.

SONY DSC

We used the TrafficMaster Allure Hickory Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring (describe on the box as “The Easiest Floor Ever!”). They have no idea who we are – we did some research about what floor we could install over the glue we couldn’t get off the cement, and found this. We special ordered it from Home Depot about a year ago and we have to agree that this floor was pretty darn easy! And affordable, which really counted in it’s favor for us. Look at us NOT overcapitalizing our house. 🙂

Overall, it took about 8 hours total to install our about 350 square feet of flooring.  The longest part was figuring out how to start (since NONE of our walls are square) and cutting the final little pieces around the doorways. Once we got into a rhythm the floor was definitely ridiculously easy to install!New Floor - Beginnings

Here we were about 30 minutes in (once we started laying the floors).

New Floor - 30 minutes in

And after about 60 minutes of putting planks down.

New Floor - 60 minutes in

This is where we found our rythm, so another 30 minutes allowed us to do pretty much the rest of the main room.

New Floor - 90 minutes inAt this point we took a break to have a late lunch with friends (this was about 4 hours in).  We found that working really hard in the morning and then doing something fun in the afternoon makes us happier and more likely to be productive on Sunday. This night, we came back from lunch, lounged around for a few hours, and then worked from 7 to 11 pm.

The final long stretch along our back wall took a while as each plank had to be cut in a different width, and one even had to be cut at an angle! Getting halfway down the hallway took about 2 more hours.  Here we are! The end is in sight.

New Floor - Finish Line Is In Sight

We made the turn and got most of the planks into the landing area. We realized we were going to have to make some complex cuts to finish the floor. Luckily we had to presence of mind to realize we were too tired to make these accurately, so we went to bed and saved the finishing touches for Sunday.

New Floor - Done for the night

It took a lot of patience (and a little bit of cussing) to finalize the last 2 rows of planks, but it was worth it! The floor looks awesome.

SONY DSC

We are so excited about the basement! And so is Penelope, even though the whole thing is like a giant slip and slide for her! We obviously still need baseboards, but the furniture is down there & it’s a functional space. I’m hoping we’ll get some art on the walls this weekend. I also need to order blinds ASAP so we can use the space as a guest room later this month.

Have you gotten any major projects checked off your “Get it done in 2015” list?

PS. Sharing at Show and Tell and Tutorials & Tips

Venturing into Urban Gardening

Basil! Radishes! I can’t believe Andy’s gardening adventure is already paying off.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Oh, I guess I should tell you how we got here.  With the lack of blogging and all it was probably to miss that we built a veggie garden (although I did post about it on Instagram {ThisSarahLoves} – you should follow me there for little in-progress project snippets).

We meant to build a raised garden bed last summer, but never got around to it. We saw a DIY vinyl kit at Costco a while back, and almost bought it, until we realized that 4’x8′ was WAY too big for our backyard. Instead, we found this 4’x4′ cedar kit at Home Depot. We added organic dirt, and grabbed a bunch of seedlings and some seed packets to fill it.

The kit was SUPER easy to put together. In the time it took me to run to the car and back (to grab the weed barrier pins) my dad and Andy built pretty much the entire thing!

Backyard - Garden Bed Build

We filled the bed with organic raised planter bed dirt (we just found it at Home Depot) and used twine and a staple gun to divide the garden into 16 square feet. Next, with Penelope’s help  we planted our seedlings and seeds. We bought a selection of herbs and veggies. (The unlabeled one, is bee balm, to help attract bees and butterflies to our garden).

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

It looked a little sparse when we first planted everything, but we probably should’ve been a little more careful about the size some of these would get! The poor lavender in the back corner is being a little over-shadowed by the Zucchini, and two dill plants were probably one too many.  Oh and we realized we don’t really like basil all that much…

SONY DSC

Here we are one month in! Can you believe how much everything has grown?! The carrots stand a chance now that we pulled out the crop of radishes in the front-center part of the bed. The basil also looks a bit healthier after a trim.  Oh and the rosemary got a bit of a haircut too to help season the leg of lamb we had this evening.

Can you believe this is where we started about 18 months ago? Shrubs, shrubs, and more shrubs!

Backyard - Before

 

New Mom Gift Basket

SONY DSC

On Friday, I got to go visit my friend and her new baby. I was taught to always bring food, but I wanted to bring her something just for her too. I quickly poked around on Pinterest and found a list at Happy Home Fairy that seemed like it had some good suggestions. I jotted down some suggestions and we hit Target to pick up some supplies.

Continue reading