Thursday, March 31, 2011

Headboard Dilemma

We purchased a fabulous Temperpedic king size mattress before Christmas last year (Merry Christmas to us) and as a result ended up having to buy all new everything since this was an upgrade from a queen to a king.  So of course, we sped off to IKEA to find a new bed frame.  We had a Malm frame previously and really liked it, but since we were going to have to use a foundation for the mattress (for best results per Temperpedic) we wanted something with a little more substantial headboard that wouldn't be hidden by the stacked up mattress.  We opted for the Hopen bed frame, which is very similar to the Malm in the clean lines and simple design, but has a taller headboard. 


BUT, not quite tall enough for me now that we have "slept on it" for a while now.  My genius thought is to remove the existing headboard that is attached to the base with a few screws and replace it with a new DIY-ed headboard.  I am leaning towards a white upholstered headboard since the head wall is a dark gray (Devin may not be a fan of the idea...YET).  I have sent him the following image from here, for encouragement.


This particular headboard may not be upholstered but it is white with a dark base, which was concern number one.  An upholstered headboard with our hairy children is concern number two, which I am still contemplating.  I am toying with the idea of laminated fabric that can be easily wiped down, but am a little worried that it might feel like grandma's house with plastic on the furniture, which I am definitely against.  I found this image here, of a beautiful headboard that is sans upholstery which is another option.


I did purchase this beautiful quilt from Target cause I just couldn't resist it's gorgeous-ness and the way it just "went" with our new master bathroom colors. 

The master bedroom of course is another work in progress but I will be sure to keep you posted as to what the decision will be. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I've Got the Goods on Home Goods

I almost had an aneurysm this weekend when I figured out that Austin has a Home Goods store now.  WHAT?  I know that is what I said.  Come to find out it opened last October and I didn't know!  Apparently there was a write up in the paper about it coming to town, but since we do not get the paper, I was not privy to such important information. 


Ok so here's the scoop, it is located in south Austin.  290 and Brodie lane, occupying a old Circuit City building.  So even though we were in the midst of planting trees in our back yard and organizing our plan of attack for the next phase of the Big Back Yard Plan, we had to take a trip to Home Goods. 

http://www.homegoods.com/index.asp
I have heard so many good things about it from a variety of sources, some known to me and some not, but they were RIGHT!  There are great bargains to be found including giant room size rugs for less than $300!  We purchased a few items that we needed, but I can't wait to go back with some extra time and with a specific item in mind.   

Monday, March 28, 2011

Love the Earth, Plant a Tree

So, you know how you start doing something that needs to be done and that leads to something completely unplanned that you didn't know you needed to do that day, well that is where this story begins.  It started with some harmless yard work, mowing, pruning, and sprinkler repair.  My job, trim the crepe myrtles back and Devin's job, mow the front and back yards.  We would tackle the sprinkler repair together as one united force.
 
Crepe Myrtle before pruning
 Yes those are the loppers stuck in the tree, they are patiently waiting for Devin's big muscles.  I can do anything almost anything, some things I love to have my husband's help with.
Crepe Myrtle during pruning
Of course I had help other than Devin...

Sophie "the help"

Crepe Myrtle with her new haircut
Before Devin could mow he had to replace the drive belt in the mower.  The mower has the lovely feature of self propelled-ness but the belt had broken umm...like a year ago.  So rather than have to push it super hard, he opted to replace the belt to make the mowing job a little easier.  Good Plan!

Devin doing his job so well
Here is where the story takes us for a little twist (the suspense is killing you I'm sure).  We had to make a trip to Home Depot for some supplies for the sprinkler repair job and of course when you are at Home Depot, you can't help but walk through the garden department and dream of what you barren back yard could look like.  Well, we stumbled across some beautiful Bald Cypress trees on sale for a great price.  15 gallon trees that were about 8ft tall each for $34.95!  So straying slightly from our Big Backyard Plan, we made plans to purchase two.  How could we not really! 

We returned home and made the repairs to the sprinkler system that we had intended to do.  And began planning where we would put the two beauties.  We had the perfect spot for one between two existing trees (we have no idea what they are) to replace the beautiful bushes I had put in the middle to mask the fence for the time being (which by the way are totally dead now).  The other would go between the existing crepe myrte and the rocks where the old playset used to be. 

The perfect location
With some idea of where we would put the new trees, we head back to HD in my super duty XBox (Scion XB) to purchase the trees.  We are always very optimistic as to what we can fit in my car, cause it is AWESOME!  We buy the two trees which we have named Jay and Reas, as they were graciously sponsored by the Rea family for dogsitting (which was totally unnecessary as they dogsit for us all the time as well, but it was so sweet of them).  We roll the trees over to my car and here is where the doubt set in.  Holy Moly, these trees are much bigger when they are placed next to my little car.  At these point it is about 15 minutes to closing time and renting the hourly HD truck was out of the question.  So our solution...

The XBox prevails once again!
The next day we plant the trees because as you can see, it was dark when we got them home.  We (ok mostly Devin) had dug one hole prior to buying the trees to make sure we did not have super rocks right under the surface of our back yard, so it made the first tree planting go super fast. 

Hole number 1
You may also notice that there is part of the irrigation system pvc pipe above the ground in the back there, yes the beauty of our previous owner's installation.  Ugh, we will deal with that later.  Oh and of course we had help from the Great Wheelbarrow and Roxie.

            



Tree number one a.k.a Jay

I call this the "moat" around the tree

You can see the location of Jay and Reas here
The moral of the story is, sometimes it is a good thing to fly by the seat of your pants and stray from your big plans.  I'm so happy we did because in no time we will have two beautiful big trees named Jay and Reas that look like this!


                      

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fun Friday Free Giveaway!

To thank all of you who follow our blog and come by to check in every now and then, we are giving away a FREE gift card to IKEA.  YAY!  That's right folks, as you have seen their products numerous times in our home and on our blog, we would like to spread the love and share them with you!  That's just how we roll baby!  Click here if you would like to do a little browsing to see what you will purchase with your free gift card.

  • Giveaway Prize:  1 IKEA gift card valued at $20
  • To Enter:  Post a comment on this post saying "IKEA ME PLEASE".  (If you don't have an account that is listed, you can open a google account with your existing email address)
  • Extra Bonus: Explain what your favorite IKEA purchase/experience has been or will be in the future
  • Enter By:  Sunday March 27, 2011 9pm CDT
  • Results Announced:  Monday March 28th at 12:00pm CDT
  • Shipping:  Within the United States only
  • Rules:  Only one entry per email address.  Winners will be selected at random using random.org.  To find out who won, please return to this post.  Good luck and may the force be with you. 
And the winner is...Renee!  Congratulations to you and you can expect to receive your prize in the mail soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paint Contractor Hired!

When Devin and I bought our house almost 2 years ago (how time flies) we knew the exterior would have to be painted soon.  It had original builder paint from 1998, which FYI for those who don't know, builders use the least expensive paint and it is not the last forever paint job.  So this year's tax return was devoted to the paint job.  Taxes are filed and check is on it's way so we got a couple of quotes from local paint companies and have decided on Southern Painting.  Southern is a Texas based company and overall had the best price for the service.  The paint job will include power washing, scraping, repairs, caulking, priming exposed wood, and finally painting. 

The front of the house currently looks like this, minus the overgrown landscaping.  Devin trimmed the tree and bushes prior to moving in.  You can actually see the front porch from this angle now. 



We opted for a two-color paint job where the siding will be one color and the trim will be another. 


The front door will receive a fresh coat of black paint also!  We will also install a stainless steel kick plate at the bottom of the door once the painting is finished. 




We decided to go with a gray tone for the siding and a white for all the trim.  We are going to use a premium paint (Sherwin Williams) so that it will last longer and generally look much better over time.  We have chosen Pure White for the trim and either Mindful Gray or Dorian Gray for the siding.  These colors have of course been submitted to the HOA architectural board for approval, and I have no worries that these will be approved.  Finger's crossed.


Dorian Gray is slightly darker and will provide a little bit more contrast.  I have ordered 8X10 size paint samples to tape up so we can make our final decision. 

The back door will also get a fresh coat of black paint to match the front door and the white trim around the windows will get a coat of white to match all the other trim.  The light fixture will get replaced FOR SURE and the thermometer will get a facelift or be replaced, not sure yet but we like having it.  For a little fun I photoshop-ed the back door photo to kind of get an idea of what to expect with Dorian Gray.

Existing
Photoshop-ed
Be sure to stay tuned for the after pics as the work will start the week of April 11th!  Just in time for Easter, when my family is coming to stay the weekend.  Perfect timing!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top Ten Ceiling Light Fixtures

Since I have been on the hunt for a ceiling light fixture for my new navy blue bedroom, (see New Inspiration = Quick Project post) I will share with you my top ten favorite ceiling light fixture options for the room.  I would like to stay budget friendly, but some of these lovelies are just too good for budget friendly!  This fixture must also be functional, as it is the main source of light in the room and it has to provide light for those makeup applying guest that I have stay in that room (yes that means you Mom).  Luckily, the room has a great window and natural light floods the room nicely, but Mom might want to put on makeup at night or perhaps view and model any precious purchases made at many of the fine shopping establishments in Austin (this may or may not be a common occurrence when Mom and Cassie come to visit). 

Some things to consider for this fixture:
  • Ceiling height is 8ft
  • Main source of light
  • No "Builders Specials"

    Decisions, decisions!  What do you guys think?  Post a comment and let me know which one you like best and why.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Give Me More Horsepower!

Ok, I realize that not everyone will be as excited about getting a new garbage disposer as I am, but after living without one for a week, you might be stoked too.  So this little project jumped out at us as our old 'builder special' peetered out on us.  We spent a week throwing out left over food scraps in the trash, YUCK!  I guess after 13 years it was time to replace.  So there went some of our paver budget (see the Big Back Yard Plan post), but hey you gotta do what you gotta do, which includes grinding food in the disposer. 


Old 'Builder Special' garbage disposer
After a little research and perusing at our local home builder stores (Home Depot and Lowe's) we opted for the InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposer from Home Depot.  It got great reviews and was significantly better than our old Badger 1/3 Horsepower.  So now I have MORE horsepower, multi-grinding action and is 30% quieter!  Yeah Baby!  Now we're talking! 


The installation was fairly simple and only took my wonderful husband about an hour to complete the task, thanks to my fantastic instruction reading ability and overall project management skills.  Ok, he did the heavy lifting and prep work like getting all the crap out from under the sink, and for that I ADORE him! 




This also was a great time to clean out the bowls of the 'under the kitchen sink' area which can get a little scary sometimes!  Toss what we don't need, and relocate things that don't need to be under there.



To be honest the most difficult part of the project was getting the old disposer out, but that really took about 10 minutes maybe. 



Out with the old and in with the new Super Duty Food Grinding Love Machine.  Oh Ok, maybe not love machine, but of course now I have this song in my head...






Voila!  Finished garbage disposer.  It works beautifully and I am so in love with food grinding now.  I am also in love with the fact that I am reducing my carbon footprint a little by not sending food to the land fill where it becomes methane gas and depletes our precious Ozone!  YAY us!  So to quote Woody from Toy Story, "if you don't have one (garbage disposer, not moving buddy) get one!"


Isn't she lovely!

So shiny and new!

One last little bonus for this project was that it allowed me to install a piece of leftover vinyl flooring (the owners left from their installation in the laundry room) under the sink.  A nice little trick my momma taught me!  Thanks mom!  It helps protect the wood cabinets if lord forbid there ever be a leak under our sink! (It certainly wouldn't be from our awesome plumbing skills I know!)


Now please excuse me while I find something to grind in the garbage disposer...
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