Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring Cleaning Volume 2

Sorry that its once again been a million years since my last post. Perhaps we're not busy enough for a blog - or maybe its we're too busy?

Anyway, this weekend was a great one, even if it involved the electricity going out on Sunday and me getting sick.

Saturday, we headed up to Flemington, NJ to meet up with Bill's parents for lunch and a little shopping. We went to his mom's favorite tea shop, Teaberries. Its the cutest little Victorian home converted into a restaurant and tea shop. They kept the original layout, so you get to eat in the old bedrooms and parlors. After we had our fill of yummy food and tasty tea, we headed down Main St to a vintage shop where I might have went a little overboard. I could have bought everything in the store, it was such a good shop. I had to force myself to pass up a set of numbered napkins, outdoor chair cushions and about a million other things I had my eye on.

I did however, pick up the following...

This set of six retro glasses. They remind me of 60's picnics with Coca Cola! 

These great pear and apple framed prints were a steal. I realize they are apples... in a bathroom. But I think they look like rear ends, which is pretty fitting, haha. 

And then there was this little guy. Bill thinks he's weird and amateur looking. I love him, and his mom backed me up. I love all the negative space. And though you can't see it in this picture, there is this great layering of paint so you can see the turquoise and tan used to make the dark shadows. Love it. Still need to find a home for him, but love it. 

Lastly, I got this great turquoise mason jar to use as a vase. 

On the way back home, we actually pulled over so I could walk in the Jersey woods to pick wildflowers! The other drivers must have thought I was insane. Whatever, it was worth it. Look how cute they are!

Besides buying too many things, this weekend was about more Spring Cleaning. I finally got around to working on my above-the-bed art. I bought a floating frame that started out like this... 

and ended up like this... 

I will change the leaves, and obviously hang it on the wall.... above the bed... but that's for another day. 

We did finally get rid of the boring, gray slab! 

Take a look...

Its a definite improvement. And we get to write little love notes to one another now! 

Next weekend I plan on cleaning up the base boards and freshening them up with some new, white paint. Hopefully that post won't be in a month from now...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Cleaning Volume 1

This last weekend I finally got around to tackling a few of my spring cleaning to-do's.

#1. Cleaning the kitchen!

      Cleaning the kitchen usually means cleaning out the dishwasher and wiping down the counters. But I really wanted to scrub it down everywhere. So that's what I did.... for three hours. I scrubbed all the cabinets and shelves, including the cabinet tops which had obviously not been cleaned in 20 years. I scrubbed the backsplash and all the appliances too. I even rehung the fabric backing in our open shelves. You probably can't tell in these pictures, but its seriously sparkling clean!

I even spruced the place up with a little of our backyard bamboo.

Now I just need to get a new utensil organizer and figure out how to tame my ever-growing pile of table linens. 

#2. Fix broken tables

      We aren't particularly careful or tidy people, so its only karma that we should break things occasionally. Our glass console table and one of our plastic coffee tables broke within the last few months. 

So I attempted to fix them with a little super-powered glue. 

They aren't perfect, and I still need to clean them up from all the glue, but at least it seems to be holding! 

#3. Add a little something to our giant, gray slab

I love our living room, but looking into the kitchen has always been a bit of an eye sore. There's a giant bicycle hanging from the ceiling (which, I've actually grown to love/ignore), a large glass door with some type of mold on it so that sun light never fully comes in cleanly, and a giant gray slab that is the back of our kitchen counter. Our cabinets are a dull gray laminate that I've tried to liven up with new hardware and by removing several cabinet doors and adding striped cloth. However, there is still this giant slab of gray laminate that backs the breakfast bar that I've been dying to do something with.

I had several options in mind. My favorite, and the most expensive, idea was to use some type of 3-D wall panel to add some architectural interest to the dead space. My favorite a panel from Inhabit Living

But as this project would cost about $100 (not terrible, but not super cheap) and take more time to construct, it wasn't the first thing on my list to try. 

Other options included cork board or burlap, like this...

(Image courtesy of Elle Decor)

Or chalkboard, like this... 

(Image courtesy of Creative Compass)

I asked Bill what his favorite was and he said he was most intrigued by the chalkboard. So, that's what  we did. I bought a $30 chalkboard Wallie...

...which allows me to peel and stick and remove really easily (a renter's dream!)

I only ordered one, but here's what we came up with

Its in compare-contrast mode right now, but I just ordered another one so we should have a finished product to critique shortly. 


Three down, about 10,000 more to go. Have you been accomplishing anything around the house lately?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Weekend

This weekend felt like a long one. In a good way, that is. We just had a lot happen in three days.

Bill had Friday off so his friend from Jersey came down to hang out. They did boy things while I went to buy my bridesmaids dress for my friend Leah's wedding.  Afterwards, we went to a friend's house for a BBQ and some drinks. All in all, not a bad Friday off.

Then came Saturday, during which I began my Spring cleaning craze (updates to come soon). Saturday night we headed to Bill's sister's house for his little sister, Sam's, 21st birthday. I attempted to bake a birthday cake for her, but let's just say that it was less a cake and more an icing-glued pile of dough scraps. Yeah, not great.

I tried to conceal my poor baking with a giant paper flower as a topper.

Can't really see it at all here, which is probably a good thing. You can see, however, that I chose to do this last minute save on the trunk of Bill's car outside of his sister's house. Typical. 

Sam was sweet and posed with my mess of a cake. Bill was sweet and blurred out the mess again.

We went to a pub that night at midnight. Sadly, it wasn't a ton of fun for the newly-legal girl. We did, however, have an adoring fan of a bartender. We couldn't really figure out who he adored, but he constantly visited our group, shook our hands at the end of the night and even followed us out the door to tell us Thank You. We didn't tip him well enough for such adoration. 


Then came Easter, which brought spectacular, stay-out-all-day-in-the-sun weather. In fact, that's exactly what we did. 

Bill and I sunning ourselves 

Mary and Marie enjoying the porch swing

Sam even gave me beautiful hair! 

The inside was enjoyed in other ways... 

And then there was the cooking...

...and the eating...

...and the eating...

...and the eating.

Did I mention how much we ate?

Birthday girl cupcakes were mandatory. 

As were family pictures. Reading left to right: Mary McEwan, William McEwan, the birthday girl, Sam McEwan, and Jon McEwan. 

That was it! How was your holiday weekend?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Gritty Weekend

Unlike back home in Illinois, where it has apparently been steadily climbing into the 80's, its been pretty cold and miserable here. This week brought nothing but chilly weather and cloudy skies and the weekend was no different. Friday, I went out to my car to find a flat tire, so I lazily let it sit till Sunday, which meant I stayed pretty close to home the entire weekend.

However, Friday night, Bill and I did cab it downtown to see an amateur boxing contest at the Sporting Club, aka the celebrity and rich people's gym. Our friend, John, was interested in participating in next year's bout so his wife suggested he go see what it was all about first. So we packed into an immaculate gymnasium with a center ring for a pretty entertaining night.

Most fights ended in split decisions as everyone was around the same skill level. However, hands down the female fights were 100X's more intense. The girls just went for blood every time, throwing face punches with no lack of energy. After a female fight, the male fights just seemed boring. 


Saturday, Bill had a climbing competition (which is less competition and more just an excuse to climb outdoors) an hour away near Harrisburg. He got to go play on giant boulders with a few of his climbing buddies. It was pretty cold and wet, but I still think he had fun. 

King of the mountain. 


After staying in and doing a little work, I got to finally change my tire in the rain, which was a fun task. 

And, sadly, that just about wrapped up our cold and gritty weekend. 

Did anyone make any fun out of this weather, inside or out?