More Progress....

As with most weekends, I didn't complete NEARLY as much as I would have liked....but we made progress nonetheless!  The yard sale went off without a hitch and we were pretty successful.  We definitely didn't get rid of everything, but what we didn't sell is being picked up by the Vietnam Vets this week to be donated (other than a few bigger items).  It feels good to have a clean(er) and more organized basement and garage.  B even moved his work bench and tools out into the garage (from the basement) to free up more space down there for storage.  We have a long way to go, but its a start. 

Also this weekend, we were able to paint the side door to the house.  I used Rustoleum's Painter's Touch paint in black and it is coming out nicely.....but I've already done three coats and it looks like it might need one more.  The door is made out of some sort of metal/composite (which this paint claims to be perfect for) so I'm hoping that the fourth coat will get it done! 

Here's the transformation (if you can even call it that)!!

B also added some molding around the door and re-installed the doorbell.  We have some work to do on the bottom piece (not sure how to do that one) and maybe a little filler piece at the top.  Hopefully we will get to that this week though.  My parents also came over to help out with the yard sale and my mom ended up doing some much needed weeding around the front of the house.  You can see a little of that in the pictures above.  She is such a rockstar!!!  Again, lots of work left to do, but we are slowly chipping away at it.  It's actually nice to see all the small little changes along the way!  It makes the final reveal feel not so far away!

More to come....


Exterior Progress...

I realized yesterday that I haven't included many photos of the exterior of the house on this blog yet.  And since I will be going into detail about our shutter installation and door painting over the next week or so, I thought it would be helpful to offer a little taste of the progress we have made so far.

Here is what the house looked like before we moved in. You can see the white storm doors with the scalloped edges. I know they are popular and a lot of people have them, but they are just very dated for the house. Not to mention the fact that they are beaten up and worn out from 45+ years of wear and tear!

This next photo was also taken before the trees were removed for the installation of the new septic system.  The privacy that the trees provided was great, but it was so much darker in the house with all of that shade (not to mention the CRAZY amount of pine needles and sap that would amass in the fall).  Ultimately, though, we didn't have a choice whether they stayed or went since the new septic was going to force them out anyway.  BONUS!!!

Since these photos were taken, the trees were removed, sod was laid and grass seed was strewn about (resulting in a less than stellar lawn, unfortunately), and we also pulled up some of the dead plants/bushes/trees from the front of the house.  Also, as you saw the other day, we installed new black storm doors and painted the front door black!  I'm still working on the other door, but here is where we are at today.....

There is definitely a lot of work left to do (landscaping, painting and shutters), but it has come a long way already!!!  I'm excited to see the shutters up next week!!!  I think it will help to balance out the space between the front door and the windows.  I also feel like it will add a little dimension to an otherwise box-y house.

The only transformation that is close to completion is the front door.  We still have some patching and painting to do on the trim around the door (water damage and the like), but we are getting there.  I think that painting the door black helps to make it more of a focal point.  Before it almost disappeared in the facade, but now it seems to stand out. 

Here are the before and afters (since I always love a side-by-side comparison):


So there she is.  Not that impressive, I know, but we are getting there.  I can't wait to show the shutter install process next week, and then the final reveal shortly after!!  The exterior of our casa is shaping up....slowly but surely!!

Happy Friday!!!



I can't tell you how happy I am that tomorrow is Friday!  This has been a long week at work, and all I want to do is be home to focus on getting organized for the yard sale.  Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow night to do the pricing and (fingers crossed) dig up more items to put out for sale.  I am so excited.  It's a little strange actually.  I always hated waking up really early when I was younger and my mom was having a yard sale.  I would always be on sign duty and I would purposely take longer than necessary so I would avoid dragging out and setting up all of the items.  I was such a brat when I was a teenager.  I hope my kids aren't like that down the road.  But seeing as though I am a lot more like my mother than I thought I EVER would be....it might already be written in the cards.  I also think it has something to do with the fact that I'm not a morning person.  I never was and probably never will be.  I can stay up all hours of the night...and I usually do....but for some reason I am just grumpy when the alarm goes off the next morning.  6 am always comes too quickly!  The funny thing is that I don't really like to sleep in either.  Occasionally, depending on the previous nights' events, I will snooze a bit longer than usual, but since we moved into the house, it has been rise and shine and paint/sand/caulk/build/miter at 7ish every morning.  The motivation to finish our projects usually kicks in around 8-8:30, but that first hour is brutal.  Just ask my husband.  And I know that my attitude is going to have to change when we have kids, but for now, I will enjoy my grumpiness while it lasts!! 

But enough rambling.....onto the more important news of the day......we ordered shutters!!  YAY!  This is step 2 of the exterior transformation (at least for this year).  Step 1 was the installation of the storm doors last weekend.  We still need to paint the other door black, but we are close to finishing up that project too!! 

But back to the shutters.  We have been looking around for a while, discussing options and budgets and styles, but we could never pull the trigger on it.  Finally last week, while browsing the Home Depot website, I noticed that they were having a sale (online only) on their Builder's Edge shutters.  I'm not sure how long the deal lasts, but it saves you about $10 off each pair of shutters if your order is placed online.  PLUS, with free shipping on orders over $249, it makes it a pretty easy decision!  We knew all along that we wanted to add shutters to the house to give it a bit more dimension, but the budget wasn't really allowing us to take the plunge.  Depending on the material (vinyl, wood, aluminum, etc.) the price ranged from between $35-$150/pair.  With this sale though, it is a lot more affordable, so we bit the bullet and decided to go for it.  I really would have loved to go with wood, since our siding is original to the house, but vinyl will last longer and stand up better to our tough New England winters.  And keeping with the rest of our exterior house plan, we chose black shutters to coordinate with the new black storm doors and eventually the garage doors (which will be painted black soon).  The instructions seem to be pretty straight forward, so I'm hoping to have these up next week before we head out on our vacation (which I will talk more about later on).  It's a relatively inexpensive ($28.13/pair) change to make for the house, but I think its going to make a really big difference. 

Photo Credit

The other detail that I forgot to mention is that we went with the louvered look.  I considered board and batten (which is beautiful), as well as raised panel (also really lovely), but after taking a stroll around the neighborhood the other day, I noticed that our collective style leans more towards the traditional look.  AKA louvered doors.  Board and batten would have been my first choice if our house were more country looking, or even an antique or victorian style.  That brought me down to two choices, and ultimately I felt that the raised panel looked a little more contemporary than the louvered (which is usually a good thing), but considering the age of the house (45+) and the style (colonial), I went with the louvered ones. 

Photo Credit

I'll keep you updated on our progress of this project, as well as the yard sale in the next few days.  The shutters just shipped out this morning, so I'm hoping they will get here by next Wednesday!!


Storm Doors

We finally got around to installing the storm doors this past weekend!  And when I say "we", I really mean B and his dad.  I still need to paint the other door behind it black (which will match the front door) and do the trim in white....but that shouldn't take too long!  I'm so happy to finally be focusing on the exterior of the house.  We have been up to our eyeballs in the kitchen/bathroom renovation that the front yard (and even the backyard) have suffered.....A LOT!  I didn't show a whole shot of the front of the house for a reason.  As you can see by this little snippet, the weeds are slowly taking over the walkway.  Our plan is to pull up the brick pavers and reinstall them in a different pattern.  I also need to edge and plant around the doorway and put up the black shutters on the windows.....projects, projects, projects!!  I swear that its never ending....but to be honest, that is actually the fun part for me.  What would I do (or write about) if we were DONE with everything in our house.  Our lives would be so much more relaxing boring!  Ha!!  I wouldn't know what to do with myself! 

But since that isn't the case, we will be spending the next month or so working on the exterior of the house.  More details to come...

And while the boys did the heavy lifting this weekend, I spent my time unpacking the rest of our boxes and organizing everything for our yard sale this coming Saturday!  I don't know what it is about yard sales, but it really gets me motivated to organize and clean.  Getting rid of unnecessary things is such a cleansing experience.  We have so much stuff piled up everywhere........in our garage and basement and closets......needless to say, it was high time to do something about it.  I was also inspired by Sarah's post on "stuff" over at Thrifty Decor Chick.  She is in the process of going through her basement and organizing, so it got me motivated to do the same!!  Kind of like a spring cleaning...but in the fall!  Plus, if we make a little money from all of this stuff, then we can put it towards the items that we really NEED in the house (window treatments, couch, rugs, etc.).  The essentials!!  [Honestly, at a certain point our neighbors are going to start thinking that we are deliberately showcasing our lives through our bare windows.  "Look at those voyeurs over there, honey!!  Can't they put up some blinds or something.....haha, sorry neighbors!!!] 

Well, at least that is my plan for the earned cash.....I'm not sure B shares the same theory on that though!  It will be nice to finally settle into our new home with ONLY the things that we really love.  I told B while I was cleaning out the garage on Saturday that if I can't think of a place for it in the house within 5 minutes, then we don't need it!  And it worked.  We would look at something and say, this is going ____, or, more often than not, "where is this from and why have we kept it so long???"  There were also a few, "Ack, I can't believe you owned that!!!" but that was mostly the old college dorm items and things from our childhood.  I mean, do we really need to keep our 7th grade science project??  Even if it was prize winning....haha? 

So, that is how we spent our weekend.  Anyone else out there gearing up for a fall cleaning or a yard sale?  Any organizing tips??  I am all ears!  I could clearly use the help!


Good news!!

I've been featured on one of my favorite blogs!  So exciting!  Lindsey over at Better After has featured our kitchen transformation on her blog today (well, actually I think it was yesterday)!  I'm so honored to be included with her other DIY friends in blogland! 

Thanks, Lindsey!!

And if you haven't been over to her blog before, I definitely suggest checking it out (and not just for another peek at my kitchen).  She hosts a bevy of awesome transformations which is great inspiration to anyone who is hesitant to take the plunge into their own DIY or renovation project!  Go for it!

Oh, and as promised, I have a photo of the wedding menu for the client I spoke about yesterday!  I hope she likes it!

Happy Wednesday!!


Wedding Menu

Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a nice long holiday weekend!  We just got back home last night after a little jaunt to Bar Harbor/Winter Harbor for a few days.  It is always so great to get away from everything, but I feel like the work week hits me that much harder when I've been resting all weekend long.  Ugh!  But when the alarm clock went off this morning it was back to reality!  A reality filled with a busy work week and a very special client wedding project. 

I am really excited about this one!  I love doing all sorts of wedding projects, big and small.  Even addressing envelopes is kind of fun for me (I know...this is where you start to understand my craziness).  But, back to my new project.  This bride is a friend of mine and she is having her wedding at the Boston Public Library (gorgeous!!!) this coming weekend.  I am only working on one piece of the puzzle, but it sounds like it is going to be an absolutely amazing event!!  Her theme, if you can call it that, seems to be italian-influenced romance.  There will be old poetry books on the tables with lots of flowers and candlelight.  The library is a beautiful spot as is, but with all of this ambiance,  it is sure to wow the guests!  And I hope that my added touch will help her vision all come together. 

I'm working on a handwritten scroll-looking menu the size of a poster.  It will be placed at the entrance to the dining area so the guests can stroll by it whilst finding their seats for dinner.  I believe it will be showcased on an easel.  I have sketched it all out, so all I need to do is work on the coloring and detail.  The paper is a very fine parchment paper that looks beautiful and worn, but is often difficult to do calligraphy on.  I tested out a piece last night and it took well to it, I just might need to go very.....very slowly!  Pain is beauty my friends.  I am also adding in some vine work with grapes to give the piece a little pop of color.  Her palette includes brown, gold, purple and green, so the vines will hopefully tie into the flowers and other decor! 

I will take some photos tonight when I'm finished and share them tomorrow!! 




I stopped into Anthropologie at lunch today....BAD idea!  There were at least 10 things that I HAD to have and another 20 or so that I could definitely wear/use with pride. To be honest, I want to move into the store after wandering around for only 5 minutes.  Everything is just designed and staged so perfectly.  I love the styling, both clothing and home wares.  I always leave there with a million ideas and a ton of inspiration to infuse in my house.  The problem is that I just can't afford it all.  In fact, I walked around with this one top the entire time, but I just couldn't bite the bullet on the $39.95 price tag.  Granted...it was originally $68.00...but still!!  Occasionally I will treat myself to a cute top or a cute dress, but only if I know that I will be able to wear it A LOT in order to get my moneys worth.  I just couldn't justify that with this shirt.  It's a little too casual for work (although a cardigan or suit coat might dress it up enough) and I'm not sure how appropriate it will be in the fall/winter season.  See...I'm talking myself out of it even MORE now!!  Welcome to my internal battle.  I'm always reasoning with myself.  Does that make me crazy??

But at least this shirt was on sale.  Most of the other items that were on my "had to have" list were full price....which made it IMPOSSIBLE to stomach.  Here are a few of the gorgeous pieces that I was drooling over...

Don't you love all of it?  My favorite is the ivory belted cardigan.  It is such a great versatile fall piece.  It is $98.....which is not my favorite number when it comes to shopping.....but when its a good wardrobe staple, I SOMETIMES make an exception.  I'm going to sleep on it tonight and see how I feel in the morning. 

Not only do they have great clothes, though...their housewares are amazing as well!!!  I fell in love with a few of the items while browsing around.  Now that I'm back in the office and its all sinking in, I can't believe I walked away from some of the deals....

These sea grass coasters were only $7.95 for the set!!  I love the colors!!
The colors are AMAZING in this rug.  It was pretty pricey though....
This rug would look perfect in my dining room.....but it was a little pricey as well... boo!!

And these gorgeous glass knobs were only $2.95!!!!  They would look great on my dresser...

Ahhhh.. I'm in love. I could have spent all day just wandering around in there. I tend to get that same feeling when I'm looking through a Restoration Hardware, PB or Ballard Design catalog as well. It all works so well together and I want to bring it all into my home......but then reality hits and I have to talk myself out of spending a whole paycheck on things that we don't need! 

I think that's the big difference when it comes to buying things for the new house.....or for myself, for that matter.  I always try to ask myself, "do I REALLY need this."  Sarah over at Thrifty Decor Chick did a nice post today about accumulating "stuff" and it got me thinking about the whole concept of why we buy and keep certain things.  We are in the process now of unpacking all of our own "stuff" and its unbelievable the amount of crap that we have accumulated over the years.  All of his stuff from college and his condo and then all of my stuff from college and my apartments over the years....then combine that with all of our wedding stuff and the stuff that was handed down to us....and it's just a MESS of stuff everywhere!!!  We really need to weed everything out and donate it or have a yard sale in the fall.  It will definitely take time and be a pain in the butt, but the end result will be worth it!  One step closer to a simple, beautiful home. :)  [I initially wrote ..."to becoming America's Next Top Model" because I watched a marathon of that show last night from the DVR and my subconcious just took over...haha, weird!!]

To make a long story short...if you are even still with me...I think that my ultimate goal is to weed out all of the extra stuff in our lives over the next few months so that we can make room for a FEW nice coveted items here and there.  A few staples for our home and for my wardrobe....and then we can add on to those with IKEA and Target and thrift store/garage sale finds.  I will always love being thrifty, but its definitely nice to splurge on a dream item every once in a while!!!

What are some of your must-haves???

Photos all from here


I've Been Featured....

Go check out Remodelaholic for a feature post on the kitchen remodel...

And if you haven't check out this blog before, poke around!  I absolutely love it!  It's a great forum for DIY inspiration, design ideas and fun transformation eye-candy!  Thanks, Cassity, for featuring our kitchen remodel on your site!!  This is so exciting!!