Saturday, February 26, 2011

Can't wait to show you the new...

It may be a few days before I'm ready to post all the pictures of what's going on here at our crazy house.

It all began like this:

Last Sunday we had a family girl scout outing -- we drove to a ski slope for some family tubing.  Great!  But first, I need to start a load of laundry.  Oh, we might not be back in time for me to get all the kids' school uniforms washed and dried by school on Monday.... Okay, I'll just throw them all in together, on cold so nothing will fade.  It'll be fine!

The wash cycle went well, but during the drain and rinse... not so well.  The washer (only 6 years old) started to hum loudly... What the dickens?  Guess what?  The washer was broken...

But it gets even better.  Because it's a front loader, the door locks... and all the kids' uniforms were locked inside.  The repair man charged us $126 just to come out and assess the situation.  Then he had to take the washer back off and check inside.  Guess what happened?

You know those little plastic hooks retailers use to hang socks on the slat wall?  Well, apparently we missed one.  The little bugger got through the wash cycle, the rinse cycle and into my drain pump...

Thankfully the repair man could just remove it and be done with it.  That's an expensive little plastic hook, huh?

Back to the remodel!  When said repair man drained our pump, water went all over the laundry room.  We cleaned it up, but in the mean time I had to move the washer and dryer down the long wall... Hmmm.  Wouldn't it be great to have cabinets above my washer/dryer?  Why, yes, yes it would!

So today we took a trip to Ikea!  We bought the cabinets...still waiting to decide on one other factor, but I'll let you know about that later...

I'll try to post up some photos soon of the laundry room... I can't wait to see the difference!

Until then,


Only by His Grace,


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Run! Run like the wind....

Okay, not exactly -- like the wind... but like a spring breeze...

I run.  Have I ever told you that before?  I'm not as consistent as I used to be.

It all started when.... Don't you love stories that start that way?

Mr. Lovey and I had been married about 5 years when we were told by 3 specialists that we would never have children.  There were complications that looked unable to overcome.  Unfortunately, I'd been taking some meds that caused me to gain an enormous amount of weight.  When Lovey and I married, I weighed 103 pounds.  (Of course I was 19 years old)  But after months of medications, I was nearly 150 pounds.  That was a lot for me.  I'm only 5' 4''.

So on January 1, 2000, I got on my treadmill and I ran.  I only made it .30 of a mile, but I was determined to become a runner.  Each day I got on my treadmill after work and I ran.  By the end of the week I was up to a mile.  By May of 2000, I had lost 26 pounds.  After a few more months I was down to 112 pounds.  Then I found out I was pregnant -- I was nearly 4 months pregnant.  It was quite the surprise!

After Kayla was born (via C-section) I was running again after 3 weeks.  I know it sounds crazy... but I was quite a young, naive, and prideful young woman.

When Miss Kayla was 2, we moved to a house in a subdivision with lots of hills... big ones.  And I ran with her in the jogging stroller shouting, "Faster, mommy!  Faster!"  I just considered her my coach.

Then I busted my knee.  The MRI showed the fluid that cushions your knee joint -- was missing.... Don't know where it went... but it wasn't in my knee where it was supposed to be.  The pain was excruciating!

However, that is how I met my dearest friend, Erin, a Physical Therapist.

Now, 10 years later, I don't run races or 1/2 marathons any more.... but I do enjoy a good jog on my treadmill...

My question is, "How may pairs of running shoes does one girl need?"

The answer?  Apparently, the answer is three!

The yellow pair are Adidas... they are specific for arch support.

The purple pair on the far right are Aasics gel, recommended to me by world-renouned runner Ken Combs right after I was diagnosed with the missing fluid situation.  They're very cushy and I can run in them when I can't run in anything else.

The pink pair in the middle are my newest pair.  I've only logged about 15 miles on them so far.  They are Saucony.  They're pretty squishy, too.  I'm liking them a lot!  They might end up replacing the Aasics.

Some people don't like the monotony of the treadmill.  They feel like they're going round and round and round without end...

But I love my treadmill... Call me crazy, but I feel like I'm running from my troubles, and running toward good health.

I can usually hop on my treadmill and run for 3 or 4 miles at a time before the pain gets too much to take... but I'm not often diligent.

Today, though, while at Target, I bought a little inspiration.  I bought four pair of new running pants; two black pair and two gray pair.

I'm only showing you 3 pair because I'm wearing one pair, and right now, I'm a sweaty mess.  I bought two full-lenth pair, and two capri-length pair.

Why you ask?  Because they were on sale, of course.  And because I needed them, Right?!?!

That's right!  Four pair of pants at $1.50 each.  That's $6.00 for four pair... Original price was $6.00 per.

Do you exercise?  What's your favorite thing to do for exercise?  Do you run, jog, cycle, swim?  Do you go to the gym for weight training?  Do you walk in the sunshine?

Whatever you do, I encourage you to take care of yourself.  And by all means, find something you enjoy.

Only By His Grace,


Monday, February 21, 2011

Small changes bring BIG results...

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and think... 
"Why didn't I think of that before?!?!"

That's what happened to me last night.  About 3:00 a.m. I awoke out of the blue with an idea... and boy, am I glad I did.  Of course, I was so excited I couldn't go back to sleep.... so since I'm sleep deprived today, it might not be as good an idea as I thought... Let's see what you think...

Remember, all comments are welcome.  I'm not a decorator, so if something looks terrible, it's your duty as my bloggy friend to tell me!  Thanks!

Ready or we go!

Welcome to my dining room:

Here is the view from the front door.  It is the first room you really see as you enter the house.  Because of that, I want it to be really friendly and welcoming.  Let me tell you all I've done.

In the far left corner, I have a corner etagere.  It has some really fun stuff on it, I think.  
I picked up the etagere at the Peddler's Mall for $10.00.

Here's a close up

Here are some close ups of the goodies displayed there...

a little lamp -- I bought the shade at Bombay before they closed... for $5.00!  Yay for bargains!

Here's my little bird and antique books...

A basket of ivy

And my rooster olive jar... love roosters!

Next to the etagere are my two sweet prints I bought at Cato of all places...
they were clearance for $3.00 each...

To the right of the entry way is my plate rack.
It has two rooster / hen plates and one Friends and Family plaque. 
I like it.

Here's the chandie I bought a couple summers ago.  I bought it at the Peddler's Mall for $20.  
I brought it home and spray painted it with black wrought iron paint for outdoor furniture.
I bought the shades at Peddler's Mall for $2.00 each.
For less than $40 I have a whole new chandie.

Here is our dining room set.  It was the first real set of furniture we bought.  When we first got married everything -- and I do mean everything -- we owned was given to us.  At 22 we bought our first house, and this was the first furniture we bought.  I may never get rid of it!  Ever.  Ever.  Ever!

Here is the edge detail.  I also mixed it up a little with yellow and red cushions...
 I like the two colors together.

Here are the three prints along the back wall.

And in the far right corner I have a sweet eucalyptus wreath with a red gingham bow
and my iron candle stand.  Picked it up at Peddler's Mall for $5.00

Now, for the Big Big change.  I hope you like it.  I LOVE it!
I'll be joining the girls and the gang at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphasis Monday.
I'm link # 258.  There's lots of good stuff to see... check it out!

About a year ago, someone in my family lovingly (and more importantly honestly) told me that my curtains needed to be hung on a different curtain rod.  Yes, they were right... But I never did anything about it.  I wanted something different than a new curtain rod.

Here's the before of the window:

I bought the curtains about 2 years ago at Target on clearance for $6.48 for the pair!  They're heavy duty cotton and they are embroidered!  Oh what a find!  Again, Yay for bargains!

I also bought some valances for the kitchen...but they didn't work out so well... blocked too much light.  
So I folded them up and put them in the closet.

Then at 3:00 a.m. I woke up and thought, "What if I combined the two?"

I'm so glad I did!

I added the valance at ceiling height and lo and behold, the window looks about 8 inches taller!  
And my hope is it brings attention to the tray ceiling.  We've lived here 5 years and my husband JUST realized we had a tray ceiling at Christmas...

Wanna see?



What do you think?

Leave me your comments!  I can't wait to hear your reviews!

And don't forget to check out Metamorphasis Monday at 

Only By His Grace,


Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's time to start updating...

We've had such wonderful weather this past week -- warm 60 degree weather -- sunny warm breezes... It's making me think of spring!  Of course, that makes me think of updating our deck.

Here are the before pics:

This is the view from the living room door to the deck.

This is the view from the kitchen door to the deck.

As you walk out onto the deck, you can see it opens up for a little more space.

The view from the stairs to the back yard.

My latest plant stand purchase... got it for $9.00 at the Peddler's Mall.  It's really heavy iron, and I can't wait to put some beautiful red geraniums in there :)

I'm thinking some spider plants or maybe asparagus ferns in here...

This is my ivy... it's hibernating right now.  But it will wake up soon.

So here are the problem areas:  

(1) The decking and all the furniture are all the same color.  Last year we had the deck cleaned and stained...but as you can see, it doesn't look like it.  The guys who did the staining said the deck was so weather beaten that the stain wouldn't take -- the wood just kept soaking it up... I'm not so sure -- I think it was a scam... but whatcha gonna do a year later?  Lesson learned.

Since we can't replace the deck -- it's a 2 story deck -- and it doesn't need replaced.  I think we may try to re-stain it this year ourselves -- but we'll see.

(2) Our adirondack chairs are chaffing... on us... every time we set down in them we get powder coated.
(3) The little square table is starting to peel.
(4) The coffee table isn't a coffee table at all... it's part of a storage shelf (at least it matches the rest of the furniture) No one has ever noticed... until now... since I've told you...

The plan is:

(1) Sand down the old chairs and repaint them black or chocolate brown.  

(2) Re-install my outdoor rung.  It's black and tan.  The seating area will resemble the one below.

(3)Move the storage shelf across from the chairs as in the photo above.  I may install the second tier and use it as a potting bench...

(4) Next, I think the metal frames of the chairs and table will get a matching coat of paint -- whichever I choose; black or chocolate... I'm not sure yet.  Install new seat cushions...these have seen better days.

 I'm hoping the color will resemble this:

(5) As we have the layout now, we will have one seating area and one dining area.  I love the red in the photo below, but don't want that much red... so we'll go with red accents.

(6) I would like to either add a new outdoor coffee table (I love those candles) or a couple of outdoor end tables.  I'm thinking the end tables at this point... I think they're more versatile.  If we need them separately we have two, if we need a coffee table we can pull them together.

(7) And when the weather is warm enough... plants... plants... plants...  although, maybe not this many plants.

Here's where we stand so far:  

Tan and black seat cushions for the adirondack chairs.  Two chairs, two cushions.

New red and tan cushions for the dining chairs.

We also have a red market umbrella from Lowe's -- wait til you see how Mr. Lovey installed this guy!  Ingenious! 

And a couple of large plants...

This one I rescued from my neighbor two years ago.  She was going to throw it away.  I need to repot it.  It's doubled in size.  Thanks miracle grow!

A Ponytail palm... my dear friend gave it to me.  I love it... the winter indoors has taken a bit of a toll on it... but spring in coming... it will bounce back.

So there's the whole plan.  I still want a couple of red throw pillows for the adirondack chairs, a couple of new tables -- but I have my eye on some used ones I saw that are just crying for a makeover... we'll see..., and a few red geraniums for those clay pots.   

I'm also looking at some outdoor lamps...  They have iron bases and thick glass (like stained glass) shades.  They aren't electric.  They use large candles!  I think I really might have to have a couple they were great!  If I can't find them, I'll just use outdoor candles and hurricanes.  

I'll have more photos when the weather warms up.. 

I can't wait much longer... Come on spring!  

Only By His Grace,