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. :)