Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hiatus

So I've been MIA again. Worst blogger ever. I apologize for the break but I'll be back soon with some fun posts :)

Thanks for your patience and I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Love Jenni

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus!

I went up to Boston to visit my friend Laura recently, and it ended up being the day of the Red Sox parade...not spectacular for two Yankee fans. We didn't go to the parade but did try to catch the duck boats on the Charles River.
Even though they never came even remotely near us it was still an outrageously gorgeous day.
And we met some really cute die hard Sox fans.
This is just a small glimpse of what the city looked like....after the parade mind you.
And these are all the soon-to-disappointed peeps when the duck boats stay one mile away.
After the duck boats disappointed us, we headed to Salem and spent the afternoon doing a bit of sightseeing. I'm convinced this was a fake graveyard. Laura's convinced it's real. We're still undecided on that (wink).
We saw the Bewitched statue...
And an actual witch....I guess.
Then after debating our Salem plan over a few beers, we decided that the best plan of attack would be to find all the places from the amazing Hocus Pocus movie. So without further adieu, here they are.

The Salem Town Hall:
In the movie they have the Halloween party here and it's where the Sanderson sisters sing "I Put A Spell On You."
Then we went to Allison's house. Or, you know, some actual person's house.
In the movie this is where Dani tells Allison that her brother Max likes her "yabos." Classic. Nothing better than throwing your brother under the bus :)
This is SUPPOSEDLY the cottage of the Sanderson sisters. I'm not sure I believe it. It's now some weird museum.
This was the sign in front of the house and I just thought it was pretty.
Then we headed to another area of town by the water to find Max's house.

This is what happened when I told Laura to "point at the house...."
Ok, take two. This time don't pick my nose please.
Yes...definitely Max's house!
This I just thought was comical. If you've seen the movie you'll understand. If not, then drop everything you're doing, go back in time to when you were old enough to watch movies and watch it every single Halloween six times. Got it?
We hit golden hour so I took 10,000 photos.
Let's end with this one.
So that was my brief trip to Boston/Salem last weekend. Thanks Laura for a wonderful time!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

So.....this happened...

Remember when I told you back in April I couldn't finish the living room until we got couches? Well, we did it...we finally bit the bullet.

We saved up, waited for a good sale, and snagged these beauties. A sofa and a loveseat.

It was time...look what we were dealing with. It was getting embarrassing. I mean, these were around twenty years old, they've done their time.


You must be thinking....is she crazy? White couches? With a dog? And a husband!?! No, I'm not crazy, and here's why...

First, they are slipcovered, so in the event that they get dirty, which I'm sure will be alllll the time, I can wash the covers. I did a lot of research on this and it seems that most people that have white couches actually think they're easier to clean than upholstered sofas. If there's one chore I actually enjoy, it's laundry. Thanks Mom.

Second, we bought them at Raymour & Flanigan, who offers a 5 year protection plan on furniture. If we get any stains whatsoever on them, we can call them and they'll take care of it. If they can't get the stain out they'll replace the cover. I mean....seriously??? That makes getting white sofas a much easier decision. R&F, you had me at hello.

I am planning to get a nice dog cover for the sofa anyway, although we're convinced that Oats will take one sniff and lay everywhere but on the cover.

Here's the room before:
And here's the room now:
It's been gloomy out so there wasn't a lot of sunlight and I had to take these with the lights on. Thanks a lot rain. If it's pretty out tomorrow I'll update this post, mmmmkay?
We are going to have the corner chair slipcovered, and a new coffee table is coming....stay tuned :)

P.S. The old sofa and loveseat didn't go far - we now have a seating area in our dining room. As much as I'm kinda diggin' that, if anyone would like dibs on the old ones for a basement or something, please let me know :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dock Diving

I've mentioned before that Oats has an excessive, unending amount of energy. If I could suck just one ounce of it from her every morning I could be President. We do our best to keep her active, so this summer we added dock diving to her workout repertoire. I'd been reading that for some dogs it takes a while to catch on or gain the courage to dive, but I'm sure you guessed....not for Oats. This dog dove right off the dock...no hesitation. She's a natural. Just wanted to share a few fun pics of her in action.

These were from the first time we went this summer...
David does the throwing, I take the photos. Pretty typical.



And these are from just a few weeks ago at the very beginning of fall, so the trees were looking quite stellar. This is the night I sprained my ankle, but at least I was able to get a few nice shots first.







She isn't jumping any crazy distances, but maybe that will come with time. She loves it, so it's already fun.

I should also add congratulations to the Red Sox. I'm not a fan but David and Oats both seem to be...just a little bit. Much deserved by the incredible city of Boston. #BostonStrong

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mirror, Mirror on the...thermostat?

I'm not sure if I've mentioned before but David and I have a heck of a time finishing projects. Not because of motivation...trust me I'm very motivated to make our house beautiful. Our problem is that we cannot do something simple without a thousand snafus. Hence why it takes me so long to blog our projects.

One of the projects we recently finally completed is this mirror for our living room. Isn't she purdy?!?! Well this is a project we started about a year ago, and it's finally time to put the fork in her. She's DONE.
The design was based on something I saw on Etsy which was really pricey, so we opted to make it ourselves. Seems simple enough, but it took forever to get here. David actually built the frame twice. The first time we used cheap pine, and we didn't realize how warped it was until it was together. It was so bad we had to scrap it (Homeowner Lesson #467 learned - don't buy cheap wood). For the second attempt we used poplar, which is a little nicer yet not a whole lot more expensive. Then we built it a second time.

The wood, stain and mirror were all from Home Depot. We bought a beveled edge mirror only because it was the right size, but we made the frame to cover the beveled edge because we were going for a less formal look.
It was a pretty simple build. We cut the pieces to the size we wanted for our wall and David used the table saw to make a groove on the back of each piece so the mirror would sit flush.
 Then we used wood glue, the Kreg Jig and the brad nailer to put the frame together.

Then we beat them up! If you haven't done this with a wood project yet, I highly recommend it, for both the childlike fun and the awesome look. We used hammers, chisels, a chain, and anything else we could find, to give it the "reclaimed wood" look. Oh yeah, and we accidentally stained it first. This project was a disaster that somehow managed to turn out great in the end...thank goodness.
We drilled a couple holes in two opposing corners and glued little dowel pieces in the holes to make it look like old nails (adding to the reclaimed look).
We also added an extra frame around the outside but I didn't get any pics of that. Then we made little indents around the frame so the mirror holders could also sit flush in the frame.
These are the mirror holders since I didn't get a close up...
And then the moronic part from me...I decided to just dive right in and stain it, you know, before I knew anything about staining. I'm awesome at projects. I...just...kept..staining...it. Three times. Why? Don't ask. But that's what I thought I was supposed to do I guess. As you can guess, it was way too dark (excuse the horrific photo quality, and the horrific stain job).

I had David hang it because I thought I was brilliant at staining and that was exactly what it was supposed to look like. More on that in a minute. As for the next snafu...this was as low as we could possibly hang it because of the location of the thermostat, but this put it higher on the wall than the door frames...

So we had to move the thermostat. More fun times. We removed it from the wall...

Then drilled a new hole, and spent a good amount of time getting that wire down through the new opening.
When we finally got the wire, we were able to move the thermostat down several inches, making it possible to move the mirror down so it was in line with the height of the doors (again sorry about the pic - I guess I took this before they invented white balance).
So it was built and hanging in the correct location, with a relocated thermostat and all. But even at the right height, we knew it looked funny, and we both knew it was my ridiculous staining job that was the issue. I waited to blog it because I knew it still needed some help. It could be perhaps, that wood stain ISN'T PAINT. Three coats was ridiculous and it looked too dark, not to mention that you couldn't see any of the wood grain or all the cool marks we made to bang it up and make it look reclaimed.

So just last week, I finally took it down, took it all apart, completely re-sanded the whole thing, and hung it back up.
And I think it finally looks perfect.
You can really see all the details now that were lost before under too much stain.
And I think it looks great with the autumn decor...
So there you have it, a homemade mirror almost a year in the making. Yay for everything in our house being awkward, like the stinking thermostat in the off-centered middle of our living room wall. And yay for one more completed project in our living room...finally! More to come very soon :)
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