Category Archives: Home

A Space to Create

Yesterday I shared with you 2 fun pieces of art that I made utilizing coiled paper, and I also mentioned that I would share with you today what reminded me of my intention to share these pieces of art with you, prior to my forgetting.

Before we even moved into our home, we began discussions of the changes we would like to make (over time), allowing the house to evolve into something that is truly ours – our preferences, our style, etc. The prior owner’s wife liked to sew, or that’s the only conclusion I can come up with for the not so attractive homemade curtains that hang in the family room (we found a bolt of the fabric in the home, so we know they were a DIY). The other reason I come to this conclusion is because of the wonderful built-in desk/work station they had set up in a room in the basement.

We have different plans for this room. We intend to change it back to a bedroom so our guests have some space of their own when they come to visit. Soooo, what to do about this wonderful built in desk? Why, move it upstairs to the office, of course!

Poor J had to have my help with this ‘moving the desk’ project, and I moaned and groaned, and whined about how heavy things were and how my hands hurt…BUT in the end the desk has been re-located!!

desk

desk2

I have yet to unpack this room, but I’ve been strategizing how all artsy, crafty, function of the right brain supplies will fit into the space – allowing me a place to pull out all the necessary supplies to scrapbook, or sew, or whatever strikes my fancy WITHOUT the need to pack it all up and shove it back into a closet with I am finished.

My aunt calls a space like this a ‘studio’, because she is an artist. I am not an artist, so I feel awkward about labeling this space ‘studio’ – but whatever it is – I am VERY excited to get it all set up (on the agenda for this weekend as the weather isn’t forecast to be anything other than dull) and start crankin’ out some projects.

Now…if only I had a cricut…

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Home Sweet Home

I just felt the need to check in, real quick, with my blog world friends, and let you all know that we now have a place to call home.

After the headaches, hurdles, and hiccups that generally accompany a home purchase, we sealed the deal last Friday.

Here we are with our super wonderful realtor, and ridiculous stack of signed documents that make the place ours, OFFICIALLY!

photo (2)

I am so excited to have you all along for the journey that lies ahead. I’ve done a lot of dreaming the past 5 days about the garden and home improvement projects to come – so stay tuned!
H


Adventures in House Hunting

We have spent a great deal of time hunting for houses, and the past weekend was no exception.

The things seen along the way are sometimes hard to believe, which is why you must snap pictures.

Sometimes you load all your plants into the master bathroom bathtub. Home staging at its very best:
photo(5)

Sometimes you just feel like saddling up a buffalo:
photo(6)

Sometimes you want a giraffe in your front lawn, wearing a Santa hat:
photo(7)

Our realtor wanted me to get on it for a photo op but I feared the thing would break and I’d have some explaining to do…so I passed.

Other oddities we’ve seen (but, sadly, didn’t get pictures of) include:
-a home with a rack of wigs, include a grey mullet get-up
-a house with a door in the basement where “Dip-shit boy behind door” was written on the door to what appeared to be the grown son’s (who apparently moved back home with mom and dad) bedroom
-a place that was very clearly once the location of a busy marijuana grow business
…just to name a few.

I haven’t told you about our realtor. Her name is Tanya Stevenson-Becht and she owns Park Avenue Properties (click here for the link to her website). She is beyond amazing. If you are ever in the market for a house in Colorado Springs, she is, hands down, your gal!

Oh, and on another note – we are FINALLY under contract on a super fabulous property!  WOOO HOOOO!!!!Prayers and crossed fingers from all for a smooth run to closing! With any luck we will be out of this teeny, tiny apartment in 1 month!

So happy I could scream…
Hilary


A Work Weekend

Ever feel like you need to go back to work to rest up from your full and busy weekend? I hear ya!

This past spring I mentioned my summer ‘to do’ list for around the house projects. There were 3 large’ish tasks that needed done:

Re-finish the deck. Check.
Paint the outside of the house. Check
Replace siding on the garage. Check – as of this weekend.

This was a work weekend for me, and my parents. Saturday I spent the entire day bonding with my parents, putting up siding. Turns out, I’m not too shabby at swinging a hammer! I have only two wounds on my hand, and whacked my thumb only a couple times as well.

It is such a relief to have that project taken care of!!

Sunday was spent catching up on the cleaning & laundry that wasn’t addressed Saturday. I also had to take care of the tomatoes-sitting-on-the-counter situation, and turned out 8 jars of these:

Canned tomatoes are so wonderful during the cold winter months. I use them in casseroles, soups & stews. I love having my own harvest in the pantry as a go-to item all winter.

Canning tomatoes isn’t a real difficult task, here’s the procedure I follow:

-start by washing and sterilizing the jars. (I used pint sized jars for this these since it seems quart sized jars have more tomatoes than a typical recipe calls for)
-blanch the tomatoes, core, peel & stuff them into the sterile jars. Leave about 1/2 in head space.
-run a spatula around the outer edges of the tomatoes, on the inside of the jars to release any air bubbles.
-add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt
-wipe the jars down, including the rim, and screw on lids (the lids should have been submerged into hot water to soften the seals before they are screwed down on the jars).
-process in a hot bath for 85 minutes. (process time is the same for pints and quarts)

While the jars are processing it’s a great time to tackle a few tasks around the house – which is when I got my cleaning done. What an efficient use of time!

How was your weekend? Tackle any projects? Get to cross anything off your ‘to do’ lists?

Hope you have a wonderful start to your week-
-Hilary


Game Winner Announced!

Thanks to everyone who gave the game, posted here, a shot. You all noticed so many changes between the two photos.

Indeed, the house has been through many changes. You hit on them all, here’s a re-cap of what you pointed out:

-Change of season (one photo was taken just before spring, the other mid-summer) so the trees have leaves, there flowers are growing and the grass is green!
-Color of house. When I moved in the house was a tan’ish color with brown trim. It is now Slate Green with white trim (and the finishing touches will happen soon).
-Front deck re-finished. The front deck was refinished last summer. I also added a flower garden in front and hanging basket of flowers off to the side. The bush to the right also got a trim.
-Color of roof. After a terrible hail storm 2 summers ago the place got a new roof.  And, an addition of a satellite dish that the previous owners didn’t have.
-Lack of gutter down spout. These haven’t been re-hung since we painted because they need sprayed white before going back on the house.
-Fewer bushes/trees. When I moved in there were bushes and trees planted everywhere. Most have been taken out.
-No more birdbath. There was a birdbath in a random spot of the yard, that the previous owners took with them (the first photo was taken before they moved out and I moved in).
-No more trailer, addition of Greenhouse. Toward the back of the house they had a large trailer that overhung the driveway into the yard. This is the spot where my garden is currently planted, and protected by my awesome greenhouse. Also gone with the trailer is the truck you can see poking out from the side of the trailer.
-One participant also pointed out the trash can sitting in front of the greenhouse. Great find! It’s actually the can my grass clippings go in to so they can be hauled to the city compost area.

So…for the winner!

There were 6 people who posted their finds in the comments section. I found a random number generator online and asked it to give me a random number between 1 and 6. It told me the number was 2. The second person to post was Amy.

Yay Amy! You are the winner!!

Send me your mailing address to osbornhj@yahoo.com & I’ll get a fun little prize sent your direction.

Thanks to everyone who participated. This was fun!

-Hilary


Are You Up For A Game?

I remember as a child really enjoying the picture games where you needed to find the differences between 2 pictures.

In an effort to take everyone back to a simpler time (which, I hope was your childhood — if it wasn’t, I apologize), let’s play a game.

Below are 2 pictures, can you tell me what’s different between them?

#1

#2

Leave your answers in the comments box for this post. And, because every game needs a winner, how about simply participating puts you in the running (well, duh) and on Monday (7/16) evening (dinner time, mountain time) I will choose a participant at random for the winner! The winner will be surprised with a neat little something that will come to them in the mail!

A fun game and chance at getting something in the mail other than bills & junk? How could you NOT want to play?

Tip: get your kids involved. Not only do they love stuff like this, they happen to be very good at it!

Good luck!
-H


A Failed Dinner & A Finished Deck

I never got around to blogging yesterday. Monday evening I’d planned to cook, snap some pictures along the way, and blog about that. Well…after flinging potatoes all over the kitchen in an attempt to mash them, then fighting with a gravy that refused to thicken I said to heck with it and went for this instead:

There’s not a lot to tell you about this one. It’s a pomegranate margarita, made from a pre-made mix. I added tequila and a squeeze of a fresh lime. Regardless, it was delicious & made my failed dinner attempt tolerable.

By the way, did you notice how cool my margarita glass is? My aunt gave ’em to me. She originally bought them for herself, soon discovered she doesn’t drink enough margaritas to justify the space they took up in her tiny kitchen, and passed them along to me. They’re fun!

This week hasn’t been a complete waste though. While I was away from blogging yesterday I was completing this project:

I can cross something off my summer to-do list!! The deck is refinished and looks marvelous!!

Want a look from another angle? Here it is:

A little pressure washing on Saturday, then a full day of staining and here we are. It’s a large deck, and the railing leaves a lot to be desired as far as refinishing goes but it’s SOOOOOO nice to have this project done!!

Still need to haul the furniture back out of the garage and on to the deck, but I finished this project just in time to leave for the weekend so….guess I’ll wait until I get back home.

How are your summer projects coming along?

H


A Whole Lotta Should-ing

Today I am doing a whole lotta “should”-ing.  I should get up and clean this house. I should fold that laundry I finally hauled from the laundry to the living room. I should get a plan in place for dinner. Truth is, I should be doing a lot of things today but I just can’t seem to peel myself off this couch for more than a couple minutes at a time. You see, last night I worked until 4am for my dad and I resemble what can only be described as a zombie today.

So, instead of getting up and actually doing these things I should be doing, I’ll blog about it.

I have a strange love for cleaning. I think I get it from my mom. I find it somewhat soothing, and who can argue with the comfort of a clean house?

I’m always looking for ways to make the task of cleaning house easier. Do you have solid surface floors in your home? If so, you need one of these:

Or for a closer look:

It’s a solid surface, floor, steam cleaner! Mine is a shark, but other brands make them as well. I got mine for Christmas and I LOVE it!!

Over half the floors in my house are solid surface (wood laminate, and tile) and this thing has changed my cleaning life. Not only is the process much faster, but the floors are so clean they literally squeak under foot! Plus, when you’re done, just pull the pad off and toss in the laundry.

Now…if only I had the energy and motivation to actually use the darn thing today…  Oh well – maybe tomorrow!

-Hilary


Therapy House

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of being in my house.

This snapshot was taken of the house before I actually owned it. So much has changed since then, and this summer’s “To Do List” continues to grow…but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think I’d be a mid-20-something buying a house. Life took a drastic turn for me at that time and buying a house became more a necessity than a dream I had been aspiring to attain. For this reason, this adorable piece of property has been dubbed my ‘Therapy House’.
I could not be more proud of myself because this baby is mine-all-mine. Mine is the only name that appears on the title; Mine is the only name that appears on the mortgage; Mine is also the only name that appears on the check written each month to keep possession Therapy House (that last one is a bit of a bummer).

Most of the work has been done on the inside, and the bulk of it was done the first weekend (before I even officially signed on the house). Blood, Sweat, & Tears is an understatement for weekend #1. BUT – look how excited I was when we finally got in there the first night to start ripping up flooring:

I think my legs look like they are SO long in this picture. Go-Go Gadget Legs!
Yes, that carpet is pink. And, it was one of the first things to go.

Look how NOT-excited I was when discussing the plush, green carpet in the bathroom:

As I mentioned previously, LOTS of work has been done on the house. And I do have some fabulous before & after pictures, but I think we’ll get to those another time.

As for this summer, and the ever-growing “To Do List”, here’s what we have in store:

  • Paint Outside of House
  • Replace Siding on Garage
  • Re-stain Back Deck
  • Flowers, Flowers, Flowers
  • Gardening, Gardening, Gardening
    **The first 3 are a result of the hail storms (yes, plural, there were 3 really bad hail storms last summer) that damaged Therapy House.

It really is time for new pictures of Therapy House, especially the outside. Since I moved in, Therapy House has gotten a new roof, and the majority of the random trees/bushes/shrubs that were planted throughout the yard (with no apparent rhyme or reason) are gone. I don’t care how beautiful wild rose bushes are for 1 week out of the year, try mowing around 6 of them and then we’ll talk.

I’ll keep you posted as some work gets done and by mid-summer I promise fresh, new pictures of Therapy House.

Happy Friday, Everyone!
Hilary