Thursday, May 29, 2014

♫ I did it all for the “Nook” ♫

Another post due to rain checks consisted of us assembling some furniture for the breakfast nook. With the new paint job in progress, we were able to open some delivered boxes and kill some time. Here's what we have:

These were all purchased on and we are planning to stage them around this existing table:

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stuck Indoors

So I know we said we'd stick to the back yard until it was done, but we had to make a U-turn inside, not by choice. What if we just call it done back there? She says "NO!" Of course not! I was just kidding anyways. We are enduring a week long of thunderstorms and so we had to shift the fun indoors.

We started with repainting all of the wood stained trim in the kitchen. First up is the breakfast nook. We took the lazy route and just painted over the glossy stain. Looks like it's taking 3 to 4 coats to get an even Simply White coat.

{rained out}
Upstairs was coming along, but the downstairs walls weren't. So, since Ace was having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on paint, we jumped on it. Sarah has made a couple changes to color scheme so I had to rig some scaffolding to paint the stairway walls, while at the same time painting the ceiling over the stairs.

{from the top}
I spent the bulk of the next few days after work cutting and edging so Sarah can roll the remaining paint. 

We've decided to paint this upper wall a chalkboard paint, design on it left to her heart's desire. I tried my own above but I doubt she'll let that one slide? Alright Alright, here's the cut wall:

{roll time}

On to the next room!  Stay tuned for other rained out projects!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's Not Easy Being Green

At our previous house, we built a raised garden in the backyard and were very successful at growing some vegetables. The Basil grew pretty wild. Okra was too abundant for us to use. And then, we transplanted some Opa Squash from my parents garden and it was over! The Opa took over the whole garden. We put up a plastic enclosure to keep out any pest but the Opa, being the ivy that it is, wrapped all around it and extended out onto the patio. It also grabbed hold of our window screens, and if it weren't the end of the season, the plant probably would have climbed the house. Lesson learned!

At this current house, there's also a raised garden built behind the garage. The previous owners told us that they've had pretty good luck growing tomatoes, squash, aloe, and even cauliflower. Tomatoes weren't big fans of ours, so we haven't added them to the garden, yet.  A couple that made the list are cilantro, squash, cucumbers, okra, peppers, and basil.


We have family that's had difficulty in growing cilantro and we can see why. Once watered, the stems aren't strong enough to stand back up, so it requires continuous fluffing of the stems and leaves. We also have 1800 pine trees in our backyard that have pine needles falling like snow. TLC is a constant must. We have the peppers, okra, and basil in a starter tray in the house. They'll soon be transplanted to this garden within a week or two. I may also need to replant the squash and cucumbers because they are flourishing and I think I've planted them to close to each other. Oops!

A success story that we'll claim credit for is our Lemon Fig tree. This tree was left by the previous owner and they claim that the squirrels steal all the fruit. We did see some fruit in August last year and they were pretty sweet. With the 16 freezes (more like 2) that we had over the winter, we were sure that we had gained a new spot for any new tree that we wanted to plant. But us being lazy for two weeks allowed the Lemon Fig to grow again and it's this healthy:


{preserves with Brie please}

We're getting there! Some of which we didn't have to do much to, but we'll claim credit! Next to tackle would be shrubbery around the patio. Maybe if we plant enough to hide the rest of the backyard, we can start entertaining earlier! Sarah won't mind.

Are you going organic?!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Do Not Stray!

Am I bouncing back and forth? ok ok... Let's stick to the backyard. Remember that picnic table that I sanded down? Well, consider it done. I stained the table top and seats a Red Mahogany and spray painted the legs a Navy Blue, per wife's instruction.

{blue moon}


This is a picture of the picnic table after a light shower. We liked how the Red Mahogany showed up a little darker, so I applied another coat of stain, let it dry and sprayed a light Rust-o-leum Lacquer on it.

{accidentally in love}

And since the showers have subsided for a bit, I pulled the Big Green Egg table out and set it where it needed to be. But with this Texas heat I'm going to need a cover for the grill table too, so the BGE doesn't fade and the table doesn't get too weathered. Great idea huh? Yup, another project :)

{trough needs ice}
Ready to Grill!?!?!

Monday, May 19, 2014

So Much for Man Cave!

Will I ever get a Man Cave? Maybe the Gameroom upstairs? Maybe not!

Just joking.  I never thought of having a Man Cave in this house of ours. If anything it'd be a separate barn house on a remote piece of land, decked out with all the amenities. Some day....

As for this house, we have pictures below showing the progress on the upstairs game room. The last update you saw were of the finished bathrooms and then of all the doors being spray-painted in the non-carpeted whole upstairs. Well before the carpet was installed we also painted the walls, Benjamin Moore Grey Owl, and made some modifications to the bookshelf. We removed the cabinets doors of the top level and created more open shelving. All of the bottom doors and drawers had new nickel hardware installed.  We also replaced the recessed light with an LED bulb for brighter lighting. As you can see in the below picture, even with the blinds fully open, it still didn't brighten up the area as much. The gloomy rainy day didn't help either.  

Also hung on the wall is a magnetic board for our son to play on. Yes, 9 months and he knows the alphabet - not really. You can also see the edge of the Pottery Barn train table sitting right there.

Moving further into the room, we have the mounted TV and entertainment center. See what I mean about lost Man Cave? Yeah the room is cluttered with toys. I won't show you what toys are on the other side of the room.  

Due to the studs behind the wall and the TV mount that Sarah bought, the TV is slightly off-centered. Joking again! We went with the non-traditional off-centered approach and are planning on flooding the walls on the side and top of the TV with picture frames. Luckily the opposite wall is big enough for us to move the sectional sofa to be centered with the TV. Those pictures are to come once we decide on the artwork for the wall above the sofa.

{game on!}
The remaining work on this room is at the top of Sarah's List, hopefully. On to the next one for me!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Joining the Cult

Yup! I'm doing it.. I'm joining the Big Green Egg Cult! What did you think I was talking about?

Bought this beauty over the Easter weekend:

We've actually been able to use it already to make some jalapeno onion burgers and even smoked some ribs this past weekend.  I would say they both turned out very delicious, especially for a first time go at it. 

As you can see, we did the inaugural grilling with the BGE sitting on some pavers. So, naturally, the next project would be....? You got it! A table to set this grill/smoker in! And so my job was to build a table that can handle the weight of this 100+ lbs BGE (MEDIUM!!!) and still have enough room to hold all the necessary accessories. I was able to find set of plans on and made a couple of modifications for it to span the length of our chimney enclosure outside.

{first coat}

I used the 12x24 tiles that we had left over from the upstairs bathroom reno and used them as a plate setter on the top shelf and a heat barrier for the lower shelf. Four caster wheels were installed into the legs with the two on the BGE side having brakes on them. 

With all the boards screwed in and 3 coats of BEHR Redwood Semi-transparent Weatherproofing stain applied, it was time to see how my math modifications held up.

I would say that the table turned out nicely. Sarah would say that it looks a little orange!  Well, it's just an unintentional slip to support my Longhorns! I mean intentional slip!  

Remaining items that still need to be added to this table: a bottle opener with catcher for the chef hard at work, hooks for the different utensils, maybe a dowel rod installation for towels.  And maybe I'll install a pull-out tray beneath the lower shelf to store some of the BGE accessories, still to be decided upon.

Looks great yeah? Thanks, then will you come help me lift the BGE into this stand??

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

♪ ♫ Summer, Summer, Summer.. Tiiiiime ♫ ♪

Anyone recognize that song? Are we showing our age? and your age? Yes, old school Will Smith! And that's the theme of today's post

It's been about 4 months now since we've last posted and the reason being?.?.?... this guy:

{easter bunny}

Naturally, we have been devoting a lot of time to this handsome devil. Not to say that we haven't had projects around the house, but we've prioritized time spent.  

So, the last post was about the upstairs bathrooms.  We were glad to get them done in time to host Christmas for about 17 people.  They still need some TLC, caulking clean-up, window sill paint, and of course, decors of more vibrant colors to offset the white and grey bathroom base colors.  We've added some furniture to the master bedroom as well as some window treatment - some things to make if feel like an adult bedroom.  The mauve-ish walls were repainted to a 25% lighter Grey Owl.  The brown carpet remains until we decide to update the wood floors for the downstairs floor. It's coming along!

Now back to the theme.  In Texas, summer comes a little early, to where Spring was just a  passing two weeks at best.  And so, what we've moved up to the top of our priorities list, are the front and back yards. And for us to work on either one, we would need a place to rest during our sweaty breaks.  Hence comes this project:


{beer me}

This will be perfect place for our summer yardwork breaks.  I'm working on sanding all the previous grey stain down and re-staining it a red mahogany color.  And since this will also be our entertaining table (off of Craigslist for $25), I've decided to cut out the middle plank to put in some drink troughs.  The planters have holes drilled into them with stoppers to prevent a wet floor while guests are at the table.  The troughs will be recessed underneath so the planks will still lay atop for table space.  I'm hoping to get this done before Mother's Day weekend.  Can this pass as my Mother's Day gift? Of course not! Give me more credit than that!

But it'll help.....

Hope your Summer is off to a good start!  What do you have planned?