why i haven't finished my bed...

This is River. And these days I spend most of my time staring at her, wondering if she is going to pee on my wood floors. This means that I am not whipping out my bed frame and posting pictures of all of its glory. Still, I thank God I have wood floors and pee doesn't do much soaking in on a wood floor. Otherwise I'd proably be losing hair by the handful to stress.

Of course, this is just me. Joe on the other hand is on cloud 9. He has wanted a dog since he was a kid, but for one reason or another has never had one. Enter River and the simple pleasure of a long-held dream fulfilled.

Happy early birthday, honey!


the mason jar picnic

I first saw this idea on The Bright Life, a blog my sister recommended to me (Katie is one of her friends from college). Considering how many empty mason jars I have floating around the house right now...is it canning season yet?...I knew it would make for the perfect Sunday afternoon picnic. If only an opportunity would present itself, because let's be honest, who has time to picnic when you're painting, and building furniture, and painting, and cleaning, and painting, and hanging doors, and did I mention painting (I do not lie, if I have to wash one more roller I'm going to lose it...ok, maybe I exxaggerate a little...). But fortunately we have a great group of friends from church who all get together once a month to do something fun and this month was, you guessed it, A PICNIC!

So last Sunday, even though it was threatening rain, we all braved the weather and went for a picnic at one of the many local parks. I remembered my mason jar plans at the last minute while blowdrying my hair decided to go simple and only pack my main entree in a mason jar (turns out Joe only remembered to pack the main entree period, but that's another story). It was fun, quick and cute. Not to mention delicious. The only thing that was even a little bit irksome was that I used quart jars and they were a little deep for the pasta salad dish I chose to put in them. A slightly smaller size might have been better.

Try this yourself with all those mason jars you may have rattling around...you know, since the peaches and pears aren't ripe yet and canning anything but peaches and pears is a sin (or maybe those are just the only fruits I have experience with...it really could be either one).

P.S. Raise your hand if you wish your garden was actually ready for harvesting and you could make this whole pasta salad out of it? I can't be alone. :)

P.P.S. No plastic baggies or utensils were used in this picnicing venture which makes it a reuse and recycle picnic. Check this little guy out for some future fun. He carries all our picnic wares and stores handily on a shelf in the garage. Big smile.


garden, garden grow

I can't wait...

...to eat some delicious food from our first "for real" garden.

Don't mind all the weeds ;)

P.S. In the meantime, here's what I've been wanting to cook up lately. This and this...you know, while I wait for those veggies in my yard to magically turn into food. Yard into food, does anyone else think that transformation is a little crazy?!


hallway transformation

When we were considering the pros and cons of our house before we bought it one feature that weighed heavily on the con sid was all of the wood-stained trim and doors. I'm not against wood-stained trim in general, but I think that it needs to be done right, and the builder-grade, cookie-cutter version we had around here was not in the "done right" category. It made the hallway feel dark and dirty. This stain color in particular did an almost painfully good job of reflecting dirty yellow tones onto the whole area. Just see for yourself. Yuck!

 I knew from the start that we were going to need to re-paint all of the trim in a nice bright white, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. Of course, I checked out my fave house bloggers, Young House Love, who had conquered wood-stained trim and paneling before with amazing results, but I could find a step-by-step tutorial on their site. It seemed like every site I went too would tell you that it was possible to paint wood-stained trim, in fact dozens of people had actually done it, but no one would tell you exactly how. And without specific instructions I was a little hesitant to take the project on.

So Russia came and went and I came home to stare at breeze through as fast as possible the awful yellowy tones of my hallway again. So we went to the paint store (i.e. Lowes, oh how I love them) and picked up some serious stain-blocking primer and some Olympic no-VOC paint in Ultra White and began the project that would take a full ten days to complete.

We took down all of the doors, pulled sawhorses into the entryway (because painting in the over 100 degree temperatures of the garage was not an option), and started painting. We lived with plastic dropcloths on the floor for what seemed like years and I can't tell you how many times we were thankful that our only "kids" are furry ones that we could throw outside unsuperviesed for hours at a time. I can't even imagine what this project would have been like if we had had to clean everything up every single night. As it was, we fell into bed most nights too tired to think, much less conquer the ever growing mound of dirty dishes. I don't think I've ever eaten so many sandwiches in my life.

But now...it's done. It's white and beautiful and bright. And it was worth all of those long days of work.

Ok, so it's not quite done. We still haven't put the doorknobs back on and the wall need another coat of gray before they will be the right shade (the yellowy off-white they used to be is still showing throw this first coat). Still, the white made such a difference. I'm so glad that we didn't quit. The only thing I'm iffy about is the linen cabinet at the end of the hallway. When we took the doors off of it, it looked so great as open shelving that I'm starting to envision putting a custom built-in there. Especially since the cabinets now are so narrow you can't fit a regular-sized towel through the openings anyway and there is lots more storage in the laundry room for linens and other odds and ends.

Maybe something like this with a cabinet on the bottom for storing board games, movies, and other fun things.

Yep, I think I need me one of those. Right after I build my bed...you know, so we can stop sleeping on the floor. ;)


small town 4th of july

Joe and I got up early this morning and walked downtown to see the 4th of July parade. I love all of the parades in our area, but this is the first one I've gotten to just sit and watch without having a float or kids involved.

No parade is complete without a group of old men doing synchonized go-cart driving. They were gifted.

 Here's my other highlight: a street band. They were playing trashcans and also had a dance routine.

And finally, no 4th of July is complete without a backyard bbq. Thank goodness, the charcoal worked this time! Now we just have to finish up painting the hallway and doors and reward ourselves with some delicious chocolate chip cookies.