Thursday, October 22, 2009

Baby Steps

A little more about our house to set the tone for what's to come...

When we bought it, it was actually in fantastic condition. Absolutely nothing "needed" to be done, it was completely move-in ready. That said, there were (and are) plenty of things we want to do, and as time has gone on a few "must do's" to throw in there as well. Let's not forget that we're still adjusting to a giant mortgage payment during tough economic times, so everything we have done and will do is on a very strict budget. (Hmmm... that sounds like a disclaimer, but it's not!) Basically all this means is that we have to be patient and creative to get things done around here.

So when I had a $100 gift burning a hole in my pocket and promises of rain to come, I found the perfect project to tackle: the planter box in front of our house. The eyesore that greeted me when I came home at the end of the day was starting to get depressing. It's not that it looked like a dump, it just didn't look like we had put any effort into it at all - uh, because we hadn't. A 3 hour project turned this (actually, by the time the project started all but the giant bush in the middle was dead):

Into this...

Moving a big bush to a better spot, adding a few new plants and some festive pumpkins and the house looks so much better. We had already changed out the porch light and added the house number to the front by the garage and love the results. But we're definitely not done yet. Also on the list? Shutters for the window on the right (can't decide on a color - I want to paint the whole house a new color scheme, but, again, the money issue. Thoughts?? I'd love some input here!!), potentially painting the front door, and a bench for the porch. And what about the brick of the planter? I like the natural brick look, but for some reason it just looks.... messy? Anyway, we also need to fill in the back corner of that planter box, but you can't really see it due to the giant lemon tree that mostly blocks it, so I'm focusing on the rest first.

I'm opening this and every other project to feedback and ideas. I have the creativity of a fruit fly, so any help would be much appreciated. :)

PS. The before and after pictures look glaringly different mostly because the Before pics were taken at noon in May and the After pics were taken at 6 pm in October. Oh, and my photography skillz are nonexistent.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Property Virgins

Well hello!

I heard from a little birdie or two that I need to update this here blogorino, so off we go!

The last time I checked in I mentioned that we were busy with some house hunting among other things and I'm happy to report that we were successful! On June 18 we closed on our very first home - an 1100 sf, 3 bedroom, 1 bath house that is all ours. We've painted, planted, drilled and hammered to our hearts' content over the past few months. My favorite part of all of it has been not having to ask anyone for permission first or debate whether or not the original effort will be worth it since we'll just have to "undo" it in a year or two when our lease is up. Everything we do increases the value of our investment, and when a huge chunk of our income goes to keeping this roof over our heads, that's a really good thing!!

I'm thinking that for awhile this blog will serve as a documentary of little projects and big projects... at least until I come up with something more interesting to write about. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My, my, my...

Where has the time gone?

All of a sudden it's almost the middle of March?! Nutso. Anyway, lots going on 'round these parts. A little house hunting, a couple pregnant friends (yay!), some volunteer work, a bit o' party planning, the new kickball season... All I can say is if all goes well, the next few months are going to be pretty freakin sweet. I don't usually have a lot of exciting things to look forward to, so you can imagine how thrilled I am that there is a lot going on. :)

For now, I'll share a little story with you.

The other morning as I was driving to work, I noticed some major junk and trash at everyone's curb. Turns out it is "pick-up week" in the next town over (which is, like, 2 blocks from our house) where residents can essentially unload the contents of their overly stuffed garages and the nice Garbage Fairy will come, wave his wand, and take it all away. ::sigh:: Unfortunately, we don't technically live in that city, so our garage remains depressingly cluttered with our crap. But I digress.

As I'm driving along, I start to get really annoyed that I'm having to constantly swerve all over the road to avoid running into/over said junk. A chair? Check. A mattress? Check. Mattress Numero Dos? Check. A toilet seat (just the seat)? Check. And so on. Alright, so we're putt putt putting along and I'm glancing into these piles because... well, I just can't help it. I'm intrigued by that little glimpse into other people's lives. For some reason I find it fascinating... ANYWAY. For the love of Pete, I cannot stay on point.

Where was I? Right. Peeping. Which, to tell you the truth, has absolutely nothing to do with this story. Sorry. After I passed the second mattress laying in the middle of the road, out of absolutely nowhere this random guy pops out right in front of my car, snags something out of the road and runs. I busted up laughing when I saw what he took. It appears as though he was going through pile after pile of junk tearing each one apart to find the one thing that alluded him.

A used toilet seat. Lovely.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So what was I listening to as I soaked up some rays this morning?? My favorite "new" artist is Adele. She is amazing. Beautiful voice, absolutely adorable girl. I first heard her on Saturday Night Live and was completely mesmerized by her voice, I think my jaw was dragging on the floor the entire time. Her entire album is incredible, but my favorite songs are "Chasing Pavements" and "Cold Shoulder."

If you haven't already, I strongly urge you to go download 19 by Adele. You won't be sorry.

"Chasing Pavements"

I've made up my mind,
Don't need to think it over
If I'm wrong, I am right
Don't need to look no further,
This ain't lust
I know this is love
But, if I tell the world
I'll never say enough
Cause it was not said to you
And that's exactly what I need to do
If I end up with you

Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place
Should I leave it there
Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements
Even if it leads nowhere

I build myself up
And fly around in circles
Waitin' as my heart drops
And my back begins to tingle
Finally, could this be it

Or should I give up
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place
Should I leave it there
Should I give up

Or should I just keep chasin' pavements
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place should I leave it there
Should I give up
Or should I just keep on chasin' pavements
Should I just keep no chasin' pavements
Ohh oh


Just stopping by...

You would think that being away from blogging for a few months would give me a lot of material. And you would be right, except that it would take me a few months to recount everything that has gone on around here! Suffice it to say, I think blogging for me was something that I used more as a procrastination tool than anything else. Now that school is finished and I actually have a life, I'm out living it and don't have a lot of time to blog about it. Either way, I'm not giving up the blog, but entries will continue to be sporadic, I'm sure.

A quick update on just the last two weeks:

- We spent over $700 at the vet for a biopsy on a gigantic mole that sprouted up on Harley's leg, vaccinations for both dogs, some weird procedure on Harley's eyes that ended up clearing his sinuses so he doesn't snore anymore (Honestly? This alone was worth the money!), and two different kinds of eyedrops for the H Bear. No word yet on the biopsy. Please cross your fingers it's benign.

- Rusty's car had to go into the shop the same day as the vet. We're not even going to discuss how much that cost.

- I taught my very first class at work. I had been freaking out over it for weeks for no reason at all. My course evaluations came back from my "students" and I got nothing but positive feedback. Woot! Go me ;)

- Kimmie came to visit!! I think she took exception to the fact that it snowed at home so early this year. Whatever the reason, I'm so glad she came. We had a ton of fun, without stopping for a second. After a visit to Santana Row for shopping, eating and a mani/pedi for each of us, my kickball championships, two parties, a new drinking game based on Gordon Ramsey and how often he cusses, and meals at the best Mexican and brunch places in San Jose - I sent my oldest friend home a happy girl... if a bit sad to leave us (and vice versa!). Luckily she'll be back in the spring for a trip to Napa!

- Brodie broke a window on Monday. The mailman had the nerve to actually deliver our mail. Sheesh, what was he thinking? Don't worry, Brodie is fine, not a scratch on him. We have a cardboard box in the window now (which is not ghetto at all) and when all is said and done, it will cost us almost $1k. God, grant me the serenity to not kick this dog's ass...*

- I spent most of the morning laying in the sun, listening to my iPod. Did I mention it's over 80 degrees here? It's the middle of November!
I'm spending this weekend relaxing, running some errands and catching up on sleep. It is so nice to have a break! Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

*Please don't worry, no dogs were harmed in the destruction of our house. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hope you all have a fun Halloween weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Welcome Baby A!

Our new nephew was born!! And he is just perfect.

Baby Ashton
Born September 15, 10:34 am
7.8 lbs, 20 in.

Of course, we can't forget the super-amazing, Kylah!! Monday night after work, we called the hospital and had a special chat with the new big sister. She was so excited to tell me that she got to hold her new baby brother, it was adorable! I can't wait to see the two of them together in action, but for now I just have this picture. It is so sweet, I think I just got a cavity.

Talk about a cure-all for any kind of sour mood. Every time I look at this picture, I smile. Which is great since it is currently the background on my laptop at work. How lucky am I to get to be their Aunt?? :) :)