Monday, February 27, 2012

Antiquing on I-20

On Saturday, we decided to make a trip to Madison Georgia and visit some friends who've renovated a dilapidated farmhouse. On the way, we stopped in a few antiques shops to find some odds & ends. Though I didn't find the nightstands I'm hunting for, it wasn't a total loss.

In Conyers, we stopped by Sadie's Antiques. I found her place on Craigslist & the inventory seemed interesting. She has over 6,000 square feet in downtown Conyers, so there was plenty to see. I'd never been to Conyers, but it was cute. It definitely has potential to be a super-cute just needs some TLC. I was quite disappointed that the Sandwich Factory wasn't open on Saturdays. What's a girl supposed to do to get a sandwich?

Apparently, go to Chick-fil-a. With everyone else.

We stopped in another shop in downtown Covington. It wasn't quite what we were looking for, but it DOES house the "In the Heat of the Night" museum and also sell t-shirts from "The Vampire Diaries" since both were filmed there. Cricket stumbled upon those - I somehow missed them. Not until we were back on the road did he tell me there was also a "Dukes of Hazzard" section. I definitely would've checked that out.

Then, we headed onto Madison. We took the "back roads," as in, not the interstate.

Once in Madison, we shopped around in a few shops. There was a bridal show in town which, for some reason, had a shop owner in a tizzy. I couldn't quite figure it out, but he mentioned it on the phone at least 3 different times when customers called to ask a question. I picked up a set of water glasses at his place: J&K Antiques.

After Cricket was "antiqued out"--he really is a trooper, we headed to our friends' house. Our friends have done an AMAZING job with their house. When they bought it, it'd been left untouched for several years. As in, doors wide open & home to an Owl & a few squirrels untouched. Now, it looks like a magazine. I was too busy visiting to get many photos, but maybe I'll share them soon once I've had a chance to browse through them. It overlooks a pond, has a great wraparound back porch, and his office is a separate structure sitting over the pond. The character of the house is fantastic and I could easily live there. Easily.

Now, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have some alterior motive for this weekend jaunt. I'm getting a slow itch to move out of the city, so this was an exploratory mission of sorts. And I hoped it'd get Cricket's mind turning in that direction. Of course, we both have great jobs in the city, and the commute already sucks. I don't know that moving an hour away is quite the answer. It's not anything we'll do now...maybe someday.

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, February 20, 2012

a pinning weekend

my mom joined us for the weekend, and we managed to get some good visiting time in while we weren't running around town looking at faucets, light fixtures, windows, granite, and appliances.

after a day of shopping, she spent about 4 hours sorting through her outdated quotes, magazine clippings, architectural sketches, and color swatches which she carries around in her portable file organizer. the entire time, i kept telling her that pinterest would cut those files in half.

eventually, she was organized enough to sit down for a pinterest tutorial. and i think she's hooked. her hubs too. he started his own "outdoor kitchen" board with some fancy schmancy grilling gear. considering that the contractor was at their house while they were 8 hours away at mine, and he was calling them to make decisions as the work progressed, it became a little apparent that they are about a zillion decisions away from completion of this farmhouse renovation. and i'm afraid i may have only added about a trillion new ideas in a matter of seconds.

mr. contractor, i apologize. but if you could please make sure we have a place to stay at the next family holiday, i'd really appreciate it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

gran is coming!

we found out on valentine's day that my mom + her hubs are heading our way this weekend. they're looking for some stuff for their house reno, so it'll be a fun weekend of shopping [and spending someone else's money].

they are re-doing their 60s ranch...i swear i told y'all about it but now the post is MIA. photos, inspiration, and all. ugh.

do any of you locals have any recommendations of where to shop for kitchen & bath materials? my mom wants a showroom where she can touch & feel & see the items up close before she orders them. being from a small town, the only local option is a box store without much selection. some things we're looking for:

lighting fixtures

i think we'll hit the 14th street/huff road corridor one day, and then the jimmy carter blvd area another. any suggestions?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

treats for my sweets

as i mentioned, we like to stay in for valentine's day. we've always cooked ourselves a nice meal, enjoyed a bottle of wine, and worn our lounge clothes. it SOOOO beats a rushed dinner at a crowded restaurant.

i surprised cricket with a homemade chocolate chip peanut butter pie (it's a WW recipe, and i saved my 11 points for the yumminess all day). he surprised me with half a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries (hmmm, wonder where the others went. those aren't points, right?). and we surprised lu-dog with some yummy treats from the neighborhood dog bakery.
[all the treats]

we pulled out one of the "good bottles" of wine - one we picked up during the oregon trip at penner-ash vineyards this summer.
we grilled the bone-in pork chops we received as our most recent share from the Moonshine Meats CSA we recently joined. these puppies could be were mistaken for ribeyes on Facebook!
[pork chops from moonshine meats CSA]

while the chops were on the grill, i set our pretty table...err island. notice the classy candleholder - a sheet of aluminum foil. cricket accidentally ruined our carpet last love day by over-zealously blowing out some candles, so this was a precautionary measure.
[glamorous tablescape. gotta love that foil!]
unfortunately, no bus boy showed up to wash the dishes, so we were on our own there. but it was worth it!

how was your valentine's day?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

valentine for my valentine

it's been a full week o' love. hope you're feeling it too. i ripped off an idea from something i saw on a few weeks ago and crafted cricket a little valentine.

we like to keep it simple around valentine's. here's a version of the convo we had leading up to the hallmark holiday:
C: "we aren't doing gifts, right?"
Me: "i guess that depends on how much you love me"
C: "oh come on."
Me: "i got you something."
C: "huh? i thought we weren't doing gifts. i thought we were saving money" [panic sets in]
Me:  "well, i made you something."
C: "oh."
Me: "are you counting flowers as a gift? cuz i expect some pretty flowers."
C: rolling the eyes

here's what i made him using a simple word processor, nifty font, and card stock:

popped it in a little frame and it's perfect for his desk:

i topped it off with an "i love you" balloon from the grocery store. high roller!

happy valentine's day. i couldn't post this before the big day in fear of ruining the surprise.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

going green

as i mentioned in the diy terrarium post, i need some green in this house! since the garden centers weren't on my side for doggy-friendly plants, i decided to add some greenery to the bathroom. Lula doesn't like going in there since she thinks it means bath-time, and it's really a great environment for some tropical plants who love the humidity. might as well make those hot showers pay off!

the "zz plant" in my new ballard pot. it fills the corner nicely + the filtered light from the picture window is perfect for it.
 a succulent found a new home on the shelves...
and a curly fern sits atop the shelves...hiding some of the stereo. i really love the texture of these leaves!

downstairs, i added a little potted ficus...

and another fern found a home on the newly revamped bookshelves:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

ballard designs shelf makeover

when we bought these shelves, they needed some love. but for the sweet deal we got on Tuscan media console, hutch, + bookshelves, it was totally worth it.

when we moved our bedroom furniture around, it was the perfect time to give these guys some long overdue attention.

the Lowe's shopping list:
  • quart of paint, matched to a chip from the busted backing
  • panel of beadboard to match the existing backing
  • 1x12" boards to make shelves
  • ribbed trim to match the shelf-fronts
  • brackets to mount the new shelves
we cut the new piece of paneling to fit, then rolled on two coats of paint. while that dried, we built the shelves and glued the trim to the front of them. once dry, we primed + painted. while all of the paint was drying outside, i touched up the shelves themselves.

once everything was dry, we put the shelves into place + replaced all of the accessories. it's amazing what a coat of paint does! the new shelves really help to anchor the fixture, and now the TV doesn't look so miniscule amidst the massive hutch. it's a much prettier site when you walk into the bedroom now, don't you agree?


[busted backing]

[there's a reason they call it scratch + dent]
the makeover cost less than $100, bringing our total for the Ballard Design Tuscan shelves to about $850...still WAY below the $2,600 retail price tag [plus delivery]! woo hoo. i think i could give william shatner + his negotiator buddies a run for their money.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

diy moss terrarium

the last few weekends have been gorgeous here, so it's given me a little spring fever. our house doesn't have many plants in it, since i'm not much of a green thumb. but i've been determined to change that + took advantage of the pretty weather to pot a few plants for the house.

indoor plants not only add softness, texture, and color, but they also improve the air quality in the home. i struggled finding plants that were dog-friendly, and this is critical in our house since Lula's been known to chew on them from time-to-time. i consulted the ASPCA website's plant listing and left many garden stores frustrated with their lack of options. ugh.

i saw these moss terrariums from Twig Terrariums featured on last week and figured i could make my own at a ridiculous fraction of the $99 flash-sale price. i even found this tutorial from Twig Terrariums themselves on how to do it.

a $5.99 vase from Homegoods, a 59-cent plastic saucer to use as the lid, a little moss, and a few supplies i already had, and i had myself a moss terrarium.

basically, just add the components in layers. the ladies at Twig Terrarium walk you through the step-by-step process, so i'll just show off my end result:

[i really love the vase i found. i may have to make some more of my own with a little gold acrylic paint + cylinder vases]

i also put together another terrarium, shown here on the bedroom bookshelves. it's not enclosed so it requires a layer of activated charcoal to keep it from getting funky. it has a simple fern in it for now, though i may add another plant so it has a buddy.

i got my moss from a craft store + a garden center. the rocks + soil i already had. i picked up the activated charcoal [aka activated carbon] at petco, and the smaller container was plenty.

i'm excited to see how these guys turn out after their ecosystems establish themselves.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

bedroom switched

as i mentioned a few weeks ago, we decided to give our master bedroom a big switch-a-roo. you saw the before pics + the state of chaos that our bedroom commonly is was. yes, i believe in being genuine, so you got to see the real mess.

before, when you walked into the room, you saw this...

now, you see this:

and on the other side of the closet door, where you once saw this...

you now see this:

do you remember these shelves from my New Year's Day 2011 score? well, they were a little beat up + we'd had plans to whip them back into shape. the switch-a-roo motivated that project, which i'll post about later this week. don't they look a zillion times better with the added shelves in the center?

the move of the entertainment center/shelves also required a rewiring. we had to run cable from one side of the closet to the other, and we had to move a light switch since we still needed the closet light to be functional and all. i'll tell you about that later this week, too.

and where the bed once was... now our "gym". we have plans to do some fun stuff in this currently blah space, so stay tuned.

and where's the dresser you ask? well, it's tucked behind the door here:

that's my grandma O's chair that I need to recover...but I can't decide what to do with it. i love the tufting + the trim of the pink brocade chair. and that's lula's mountainous bed of fluff next to it. the dog has more pillows + blankets than the queen of sheba. thanks to her Aunt Coco for the diy fleece blankie!

we still have some things to finish out this room--big + small. until that big reveal, rest assured we're sleeping a little better.

Monday, February 6, 2012

how to move a light switch

when flipping our master bedroom around, we realized we needed to move our closet light switch. previously, it was on the outside of the master closet. with the new furniture arrangement, it was now going to be behind a bookshelf--which is a bit impractical.

i don't have a lot of pictures here. apparently my handyman didn't appreciate my raw onion breath thanks to my spinach sald, so i was sent to brush my teeth + rinse my mouth out before i was allowed to help [read: take photos].

*note: this project involves electricity + we are NOT trained electricians.


[supplies: stud finder, wire caps, screwdrivers, pliers, and a little hand saw]
3: remove the plate cover + unscrew the switch plate from the existing switch. you may want to take a photo of how the wires are attached to the switch, just for reference when it comes time to re-attach in the new location.

 4: detach the wires from the switch plate, exposing all wires.

5: cut your new hole. use the new plastic gang box as a guide [you can actually re-use your existing gang box if it's in good shape] being sure not to cut the hole too big. for us, it was directly opposite the wall and a few inches over. it's important to make the new placement relatively close to the current placement, otherwise the wires may not be long enough to reach the new switch.

[you can see the prior switch box through the new hole]
6: un-ground the wires as necessary. we had copper wires clamped together with a little clamp. yours may be a little different.

7: with all of the original wires loose + a hole on the other end, you are ready to thread the wires out of the existing box and into the new hole.

8: once the wires are through the new hole [you may need to use a string to "snake" the wires into place so that you don't lose them through the wall], you can thread them into the new gang box. you may have to punch out a perforated hole in the gang box to allow the wires to come through--it should already be perforated for you.

9: re-attach the wires to the switch plate. refer to your photo from step #3 if need be. be sure to ground the switch with the ground wire, using a wire cap or copper clamp.

10: screw the switch to the box. attach with the switch plate cover.
you may want to test that it works before attaching the cover plate, so at this point, you may turn the breaker back on for the test. BE SURE TO TURN IT BACK OFF BEFORE YOU ATTACH THE COVER PLATE--just to be safe.

11: cover the pre-existing switch hole with a plain cover. no need to patch the wall.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

jewelry organizer featured

my little necklace organizer was featured over at Knock-Off Decor today. woo-hoo! check it out!
if you don't regularly follow KOD, you should. it's great inspiration for turning the pretties from catalogs + popular design sites into real, live, usable things--usually at a fraction of the price.