Monday, March 13, 2017

A New Non-Leaky Roof

Back in April 2014 (yes, again I've waited too long to blog about something…procrastination is my middle name), we bit the bullet and had our roof replaced. We were told before we bought our house that a new roof would be needed soon because it still had the original twenty-two year old roof.

We made our offer with that in mind and just hoped we could get a couple more years out of the original roof. Now, we knew that there had been issues with water leaking in the attic since the home inspector found it but we had the previous owners replace the flashing around the chimney as advised by the inspector.

Then we had a stormy day in March and found water damage on the ceiling in the living room. We called in a great guy who looked around and felt like new shingles would solve the problem. Within a few weeks, his crew was spending the entire day on the roof and giving me a headache (note: if you're having your house re-shingled, don't plan on staying in the house or at least have Tylenol handy).

The original shingles were a lighter multi-color with some green but we went with a much darker and more dimensional shingle. This really changed the look of the house (especially because the design of our house shows so much of the roof).

We were sittin' pretty with our new roof until another spring storm rolled through. A new water spot showed up beside the first one in the living room. We called the roofer and he came to check things out again. He found the dormer window upstairs had a gap under the ledge that when the rain fell at the perfect angle, it would come in the house. This was an easy fix with about 10 minutes and some caulk. Update: we are still having issues with leaking when we have a bad storm. We are hoping new siding will fix the problem completely. One of the perks of being a homeowner is there is always a new problem/project to complete. :)

We were a little bummed that our new roof didn't help the leak. But, in the end, we have a new roof that will last for a long time and has added value to our home! We were also excited to check another major upgrade off our list. We still have a few more projects that we will do over the next couple of years that will continue to improve our nest.

It may surprise some of you how many things we've done to this house in under four years but we've done it all as we are able to pay cash for each project. We purchased a home on the low end of our budget so we have been able to afford these nice upgrades. If we had purchased another home we liked, none of these projects would have been possible so quickly.

In the 3 years that have passed since we did this project, we've done several small things and gotten a new HVAC unit. That's not really a blog worthy project but it was a major upgrade! We are saving up for our next projects which are new siding (our little green nest isn't too green right now) and new energy efficient windows. The siding will be a major undertaking and blog worthy project so I'll try to update the blog when that time rolls around. Or a few years after. Be patient with me. ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Little Stain Goes A Long Way!

I know it's been too long since my last post. Thank you to everyone who still mentions how much they like my blog. It's so nice to know people enjoy it and it helps me remember to update it! Sorry it took about 6 months… :)

Now, to make things confusing I'm jumping back to October to share some before and afters of our front porch and deck. I figure it's 95 degrees outside and everyone is melting, so why not share some pictures that include Fall decorations to help cool things down??

The front porch and deck were in pretty good shape when we bought the house. We did think the front steps needed to be safer so Colin put new boards there. Here's the handsome guy doing some painting to help them even more!

After we saw the new steps, it was a huge difference with the older wood on the rest of the porch. It was very gray and we think it was never treated or sealed. The deck had the same problem and we decided it would be nice to have everything power washed and stained. 

Just being power washed really made everything look better. You can see the big difference between the only power washed versus the stained sections on the deck. Yes, I did creep on the workers from the upstairs bathroom several times that day.

The front porch swing was on the updates list from the very beginning. That thing was in rough shape. We chose to have it painted black to match the shutters instead of staining it. I'm glad we did because it really stands out now. These shots show how extreme the differences were with the stain too. The after is a huge improvement!

And to finish it all off, we added two black Cracker Barrel rocking chairs. The rocking chairs are the perfect Southern touch that make the front porch adorable. I found the "table" between the chairs at an antique sale right down the road. It's an old apple basket that we thought would look just rustic enough. 

Here's a shot of a cute kitty enjoying his new front porch. Actually, he was most likely begging to come inside. Now I'm wishing it was a cool October night on the front porch instead of a sweaty June afternoon. :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

First Christmas in Our New Home {2013}

I've had a couple of people request a Christmas post showing my decor and am happy to share with y'all. We had a blast decorating and showing off our nest to family. This is our third Christmas being married but our first in this house. Everything wasn't completely decorated since this was our first time having a mantle and fireplace. Hopefully next Christmas it will be more like I want it. 

The first picture is a shot of the living room from our front door. We did some rearranging to accommodate our chubby little Christmas tree but it's not much different from how it normally is set up.   We even got to pick and cut our tree this year up in the mountains with Colin's family. My sister-in-law was sweet (and brave) to invite us all to stay the weekend after Thanksgiving. Thanks again Nicole! :)

One of my favorite decorations is my great grandmother's dough bowl. I'm sure I've mentioned it before and tell all my guests about it. It gets new decor with every season but hasn't been used to make biscuits like she always did. 

Riley was my Christmas present 3 years ago so I call him my Christmas kitty. His favorite thing about Christmas is drinking from the tree. Now that the tree is gone we actually have to remember to fill up his water bowl. :)

Our buffet got a full makeover with Christmas decorations. It made our kitchen very festive! Here are some other shots of Christmas decor around the kitchen:

I try to update my chalkboard every holiday to add some personal "art" to keep things interesting. I added an old bottle and some berries plucked from our yard to my antique scale. My blue mason jar was filled with an assortment of small silver ornaments to add a little cheer.

See that green bread box? It's an antique our neighbors found and gave to me. It's a perfect addition to the kitchen and I love it! My mom cleverly filled a mason jar with candy canes to add some color and holiday spirit. My little reindeer was an after Christmas sale find last year. He holds our Christmas goodies for guests (and us). Again, we stole some berries and leaves from outside and stuck them in an old bottle. That cute bird with a top hat was a welcome winter guest.

Colin was very excited to decorate the outside of the house this year. He's already talking about how we need to get more lights and decorations to keep up with the neighbors. We got these little trees from my grandma for Christmas and I think they are adorable!

See our nice stained front porch? I was slack and didn't share the before and after pictures of that yet. Maybe I'll get that post up soon because it was a huge difference! I love how this picture shows off our rocking chairs. 

And here's a night shot of the whole house. We're missing the candles in the windows and the trees on the front porch. It was so nice to come home when the house was all lit up and pretty!

Lastly, here's a picture of us on Christmas day at my grandparents house. Thank you to all the family that came by to get the tour of our nest. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to show it off. To all those who couldn't make it for the tour, I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Half Bathroom Makeover

Finally, another before and after to share with you! I must say, this is one of my favorites so far. Our half bath is down a short hall from the kitchen and across from the master bedroom. It not only serves as a bathroom for guests, but is also my laundry room. It's not the biggest bathroom/laundry room but I think it's perfect for us. 

Check out the before and after. The paint color went from yellow to Barcelona Beige to tone things down a little. We replaced the dated and yellowed flooring with a richer hardwood linoleum. Then, we tore out the old laminate countertops and sink and had a new cultured granite countertop installed. After the major changes were done, we found a new mirror, light fixture, and decorations to finish off this little bathroom.

The light we chose is actually an exterior light from Lowes. We wanted something rustic and none of the typical bathroom light fixtures had that look. We thought it went well with the oil rubbed bronze faucet. The mirror was snagged at HomeGoods and helps give a more customized look.

Here are some closeups of some little details that I love. The little bumblebee ceramic bowl is from Target and so is the straw wastebasket (both are from their Threshold line from late spring/early summer). The blue and white chevron rug is from Marshalls and inspired the color choice for the bathroom. 

This mason jar with wildflowers print is from Katie Daisy and we got the frame at Michaels. I love how it goes with the rustic feel but is fun and colorful. 

And here's my little laundry room! At the moment it's not really blog post worthy so this is the only shot you get. Maybe one day once it's a little more organized I will share it. :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2 years together!

Since I haven't posted in over a month (wow...sorry about that), I thought I'd share some pictures from our 2nd anniversary. We've been very busy the past couple of months and were so excited to get a vacation. We went to the beach for a long weekend and had an awesome time.

We made it just in time before my favorite donut place closed for winter. I think my total for the three days they were open was five donuts but I could have eaten more. Trust me. Here's a no makeup picture of me during a late night donut run after checking in for the weekend. That's pure happiness right there. :)

We spent almost every day enjoying perfect beach weather. This is our favorite time of the year to go to the beach because the crowds are gone and the room rates have dropped. At night, we went off in search of things to do. Warning, this time of year is perfect for uncrowded beaches and low room rates, however, most of the shops have closed. We were able to find some yummy food though. That's a very important part to any vacation of course. 

We did spend one afternoon at the aquarium and pretty much had the place to ourselves! And I finally broke out the "nice" camera instead of my iPhone. Please enjoy a quick internet trip to the aquarium via my pictures. 

The aquarium trip ended up being on our actual anniversary so I wanted to have a picture of us taken. I've decided to try to have a picture of us on each anniversary (maybe for a picture collage or just to say we did it). We will see how long that lasts. Well, this year I asked a sweet lady take one after we got to the aquarium but it's pretty blurry. So, we had a little photo-shoot where we attempted to get a decent picture of ourselves. 

This extremely close picture with our heads chopped off was the only one that turned out okay. Oh well, at least we can say it was taken on our 2nd anniversary. Then we thought we'd take one of each other and photoshop them together. Hmm..maybe have me flipped and casually floating in the water facing Colin. I'm sure it will look very natural. :)

After our visit at the aquarium, we made a quick stop at a Civil War memorial. It was right by the ocean and had a gorgeous view. We always like to add little historic stops to our trips whenever we can and it was a bonus that it was right by the ocean. 

Well, I'd say that's a pretty good summary of our beach trip! Hope you've enjoyed the pictures and my rambling. I'll be back soon with some updated pictures of the inside of the house. Oh, and we're getting some updates done to the exterior of the house this week so those pictures will be coming also. :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Surprise 25th Anniversary Party!

In honor of my parent's 25th wedding anniversary today, I wanted to share their surprise party from a couple weekends ago. My sister Kristin and I had been planning the details for a few months and the party wouldn't have happened without her and her husband. Here's the invitation we sent out and then framed for a decoration at the party (my parents names and my address have been blurred out). We ordered them from Shutterfly and I love how they hinted at the chalkboard theme.

My first thought was that a 25th anniversary party should probably be decked out with silver and fanciness but we wanted to take a more casual approach. We decided red, white, black and some silver would be nice. Coke bottles and chalkboards were chosen as the main decorations to go with the color scheme and casual feel.

We made these adorable Coke bottle place cards/favors for each guest and the name tag was actually made from chalkboard paper. I used a tag paper punch and Kristin wrote the names using a white felt tipped pen since chalk would rub off. We did go back over it with chalk to make it look a little more realistic. I had some black and white baker's twine that we used to tie the name tags in place.

Of course we had a huge storm come through as the party started and had to change some of our plans. Only about half of the guests were able to have a spot at the kitchen table and a card table set up in the living room. So, everyone chose their own seats (wherever they could find one) and the Coke bottles just served as a personalized favor.

The desk area in the kitchen was transformed into the drink station. Kristin came up with another decoration idea just hours before the party. We used baker's twine taped up with some washi tape and made a little picture bunting. The tiny clothespins are from the dollar section at Michaels and Kristin wrote on each one to spell LOVE. Isn't cute? Oh, and the adorable pictures really help with the overall cuteness.

Next up with decorations, we have the amazing cake. We ordered it from the baker who did both of our wedding cakes. She makes beautiful cakes and they are soo tasty (just ask any of our wedding guests or party guests)! Kristin already had the white cake plate and we wanted to play off the chalkboard/silver theme so we came up with this beauty. It was cinnamon chip cake with a layer of cream cheese in the middle and buttercream frosting. Yummm. 

I used a chalkboard I made for our engagement pictures for the "You are so loved" sign. I found chalkboard markers at Michaels (they come in all kinds of colors) and they showed up so much better than regular chalk. I still have this pretty sign sitting in my kitchen because who doesn't need a reminder every once and a while that you're loved. :)

We made the "chalkboard" cake bunting with black scrapbook paper and a white marker. Michaels actually had chalkboard scrapbook paper (what we used for the name tags) but we wanted this to be something that would last and not rub off. We used glue dots to hold the bunting in place on the baker's twine and tied it to dowels. Oh, and after the bunting was taken off the cake we put it in empty Coke bottles and gave it to my parents.

Now that I'm done showing off the decorations, it's time to share the semi-surprise! My mom knew about the party because we decided she wouldn't like being surprised. Word to the wise, know the person you are throwing a surprise party for and how they will be affected. If you think there's any chance they may pass out, wet their pants, or run away crying, you may want to clue them in. Now, my dad on the other hand, we thought would love a good surprise and my mom helped us make it a complete surprise. Just to prove this fact, I'm sharing the pictures of the actual surprise below.

Please note the massive amounts of rain falling in the background. Colin was assisting with an umbrella to get my mom inside without being soaked. Now, notice the look of shock when he saw me and Kristin with our cameras pointed at him. Next, when he turns and sees the group of twenty people yelling "surprise". Finally, when he realizes what the party is for and that we got him good. Oh yeah. 

The minutes that followed were filled with laughter and quite a bit of blushing. Once everyone settled down, we had a great supper. We served hummus and pita, chicken kabobs, veggies, rice, and salad from a restaurant our mom and dad love. Everyone found a place to eat inside (because of the flood happening outside) and seemed to enjoy the food and company. 

During dinner and before the cake cutting, our guests were able to flip through some old family albums for entertainment. There was also a slideshow of pictures playing on the tv in the living room. We found that everyone loved getting to see my parent's wedding album and pictures of us as kids. This also gave everyone something to do since we weren't able to play corn-hole or be outside as planned.

Now, on to the cake pictures. I thought these turned out great! Isn't it a wonderful feeling when you get pictures you love and will cherish for the rest of your life??

Happy 25th Anniversary! We love y'all so much. Hope you enjoyed your "surprise" party!! Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us! We loved getting to show off our new house and were so proud to be able to host such a big milestone. Also, a huge thank you to Kristin, Stephen, and Colin! The party wouldn't have happened without those three. Now to start working on the theme for your 50th...  :)