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.

Venturing into Urban Gardening

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

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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).

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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…

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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

 

A Usable Backyard (Finally!)

Bet you didn’t expect to hear anything from me any time soon! It’s been so quiet here at This Sarah Loves.  Luckily, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been doing anything around the house – in fact I’m really far behind in updating you on all the happenings around here. Today I want to show off how great our backyard looks.  After 18 months of barely using our backyard, we have a gorgeous, fenced in, yard!

Backyard - BeforeBackyard After

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Office Progress: Closet Make-over Details

The teeny-tiny closet in our home office got a big make-over! We switched to a curtain instead of the hideous 1980s metal bifold doors. We also built in some shelves to storage our luggage, and a hanging bar for guest coats / closet overflow.

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The bi-fold doors in this room are the worst we have in this house. They even came with stickers! So we ripped them & the top track out. At least that part was easy!

Office Closet - Closet Doors Before SONY DSC

Let’s pause to appreciate the hideousness that was this closet. Go ahead – I’ll wait for you to pin this beauty…

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No, you are not imaging things. There is pink AND yellow in the closet. Oh and nice black marks from the closet doors too. Nobody ever painted the baseboards in there after the first coat of paint, so they’re a lovely shade of beige. When I tried to vacuum the carpet in there, I realized the whole thing was loose, so we yanked it out & plan to replace it with some inexpensive peel and stick tiles.

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After we painted the closet, we installed an extendable closet rod. We first installed one in our guest room rental back in our apartment, and this is the third one in this house. We love how easy it is to install & it holds a ton of stuff. We also installed a pine shelf (1×2 for supports (screwed into the studs) and 1×8 for the shelves). We installed this at a lower-than-normal height to ensure that we could put our luggage away in this closet. Don’t worry! We made sure that even knee-length dresses still fit.

We used exactly the same closet rod to hang the curtain at the top of the closet. It works really well with the tab-top curtain.

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Look how much it holds! All of our luggage, some extra guest jackets, plus extra blankets, bedding, air mattress, and some overflow clothes!The curtain is an old Ikea curtain. We may change this out for something else at some point, but for now it works well and cost $0.

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And one last look at the new closet:

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Sarah Signature

Dining Room Updates

Since the last time I showed you the dining room, we’ve made a few changes: we got a new, bigger table; two extra chairs; found a table cloth that fits the new bigger table; and switched some art around!Dining Update - New Table

We used to have the small Bjursta, which really only seated 4 even with both leaves pulled out, mainly because of the leg placement. We managed to get 6 people at the table for Easter when my parents and my cousins were in town, but honestly, it wasn’t the most comfortable!

After lots of back and forth, and spending way too much time looking at tables online and in person, we realized that we didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on a table that may only be our “just for now” table.  So we took advantage of Ikea’s family price on the bigger Bjusta (the 4 to 8 seater) and super-sized our table.

Dining Update - New Table

It may not be the prettiest, but it’s functional, and both the price and size I wanted! We never had any trouble with the little Bjursta in about 6 or 7 years and about 4 moves, so we’re hoping not to have any trouble with this one either!

And since we could now seat 6, we needed two more chairs. I like the idea of adding unique chairs at the head of the table, but wasn’t sure if I wanted nice upholstered ones that could easily be pulled into the living room or something more fun. When I found these metal bucket chairs for about half the price I thought I’d have to pay for anything else, I was sold, and immediately loaded them into my cart.

Dining Update - New Chairs and Table

I love how the rounded backs coordinate with the rounded backs on the wood chairs, without looking like we tried to make a set of something that’s clearly not a set. Penny approves too, although they’re not her favorite surface to sit on. (I think they remind her of the stainless table at the v-e-t-‘s office.)

I like protecting the table, and adding a bit of softness on that side of the room with a table cloth. This table has strange dimensions (long and narrow), so I had a bit of trouble finding the right size at first, but I found this linen look one at Home Goods and it’s a good size.  For once I’m actually hoping it shrinks a bit in the wash!

Dining Update - New Table Cloth

Here’s one last look at the table cloth. I’m thinking that once the canvases also move down to the basement (no idea what will go on this wall then!), I’d love to add some more of this golden yellow color to the room to add some warmth.Dining Update - New ChairsWhat room in your house seems to get a disproportionate amount of your attention? I feel like I should much rather be working on the master bath or the basement, (or the kitchen or our bedroom), but instead I keep tweaking the dining room.  Maybe it’s because I can see it from the couch?

Sarah Signature

Introducing the … Living Room!

The walls have been painted, the curtains have been hung, the extra boxes have been dragged into the basement, & we’ve even managed to get some art on the walls!  Which means I’m finally ready to show off the living room.  The color on the walls is tent green & I love how it gets greener and warmer at night and lighter during the day when we have natural light from the windows.

Here’s the view towards the T.V. from behind the couch.

Living Room - November Updates - ThisSarahLoves  

If you turn to your right, you see the window wall (and me!)

Living Room - November Updates 2 - ThisSarahLoves

The room is really long and skinny, so we set up a bar area behind the couch, so keep looking to your right and you see the retro-stereo-turned-wine bar.

Living Room - November Updates 3 - ThisSarahLoves

Here’s a better view of the wine bar.

 Living Room - November Updates 4 - ThisSarahLoves

We haven’t made any big purchase for the new house. We’re trying to live with things as they are before we spend real money. But that doesn’t mean we’re not trying to make this place feel like home!  We grabbed some gorgeous Indian cotton throws for the living room for snuggly winter nights (on sale, from West Elm) since a certain someone whose name starts with a P and ends with an Enelope claimed the gray ones as her own.  I love how the soft muted colors go with the rice sack pillow we used to have in the bedroom. As you can see, Penelope is also advocating for some more red in the room. As you can see, she’s started the process by adding both her red monkey and red rope.  I really want to bring the vibe of the throws and that pillow into the room.

Living Room - November Updates Collage - ThisSarahLoves

We have lots of plans for the space! I want to add some floating shelves over the buffet (I’m thinking long LACK ones in glossy white from Ikea).  I’m contemplating throwing the rattan chairs into another dye bath to see if I can get them more navy BUT I also really want one of the grey Ikea Strandmon Wingback Chairs to place next to the TV.  Eventually we’d like to switch out the couch for something new too – perhaps a sectional or 2 love seats (we can’t agree on what would be best) but we do like the Ikea Karlstad’s price & look.  Our room also lacks light once the sun goes down, which is before I even contemplate leaving work these days, so I want to add a standing lamp next to the TV near the window & perhaps one back by the wine bar too.  I’d also like 2 matching table lamps – one for the (not yet in existence) sideboard in the dining room & one for the side table next to the couch.  Oh and new scatter cushions – I’ve been very disappointed with how the premier prints fabric I ordered last year has held up & we’ve kind of outgrown the bright green, so it’s time for another pillow update (once I find some fabrics I like and time to sew them of course).

What have you been up to recently?

Introducing the …. Living Room!

The walls have been painted, the curtains have been hung, the extra boxes have been dragged into the basement, & we’ve even managed to get some art on the walls!  Which means I’m finally ready to show off the living room.  The color on the walls is tent green & I love how it gets greener and warmer at night and lighter during the day when we have natural light from the windows.

Here’s the view towards the T.V. from behind the couch.

Living Room - November Updates - ThisSarahLoves  

If you turn to your right, you see the window wall (and me!)

Living Room - November Updates 2 - ThisSarahLoves

The room is really long and skinny, so we set up a bar area behind the couch, so keep looking to your right and you see the retro-stereo-turned-wine bar.

Living Room - November Updates 3 - ThisSarahLoves

Here’s a better view of the wine bar.

 Living Room - November Updates 4 - ThisSarahLoves

We haven’t made any big purchase for the new house. We’re trying to live with things as they are before we spend real money. But that doesn’t mean we’re not trying to make this place feel like home!  We grabbed some gorgeous Indian cotton throws for the living room for snuggly winter nights (on sale, from West Elm) since a certain someone whose name starts with a P and ends with an Enelope claimed the gray ones as her own.  I love how the soft muted colors go with the rice sack pillow we used to have in the bedroom. As you can see, Penelope is also advocating for some more red in the room. As you can see, she’s started the process by adding both her red monkey and red rope.  I really want to bring the vibe of the throws and that pillow into the room.

Living Room - November Updates Collage - ThisSarahLoves

We have lots of plans for the space! I want to add some floating shelves over the buffet (I’m thinking long LACK ones in glossy white from Ikea).  I’m contemplating throwing the rattan chairs into another dye bath to see if I can get them more navy BUT I also really want one of the grey Ikea Strandmon Wingback Chairs to place next to the TV.  Eventually we’d like to switch out the couch for something new too – perhaps a sectional or 2 love seats (we can’t agree on what would be best) but we do like the Ikea Karlstad’s price & look.  Our room also lacks light once the sun goes down, which is before I even contemplate leaving work these days, so I want to add a standing lamp next to the TV near the window & perhaps one back by the wine bar too.  I’d also like 2 matching table lamps – one for the (not yet in existence) sideboard in the dining room & one for the side table next to the couch.  Oh and new scatter cushions – I’ve been very disappointed with how the premier prints fabric I ordered last year has held up & we’ve kind of outgrown the bright green, so it’s time for another pillow update (once I find some fabrics I like and time to sew them of course).

What have you been up to recently?