Sunday, April 24, 2011

Green Thumb

If you would have told me a few years ago I'd be spending my weekends doing yard work, pouring mulch, pulling up weeds and having lengthy conversations with the hubby about exposed tree roots, I would have laughed at you. About as outdoorsy as I get is laying out poolside. Well, we are now full-fledged home-owners (insert virtual badge of honor) and spend quite a bit of time taking care of our baby (which is our house, currently).

For several weekends, we've been trying to get our yard in order. We basically ignored it for the past six or so months and one day went outside and realized 1. there were weeds E-VER-Y-WHERE. 2. the yard was out of control 3. we now had the worst lawn on our street. This was quite a blow to our proud home-owner egos so we set out to fix it.
BEFORE: (It was much worse than these photos show)

We quickly realized we needed a service to come out and spray. Lucky for us, because of how terrible our yard looked, we were getting flyers and postcards for lawn services in the mail on a daily basis. (This is not an exaggeration.) OK, folks, WE GET IT. (If you ask me, I'm guessing these were from the crazy HOA president.) So we got that taken care. Then, it was time for a trip to Lowe's. (Side note: My employer should probably just withhold a percentage of my paycheck and send it directly to Lowe's because, good lord, we sure do spend a lot of money there!)

Greg took care of all the serious items (mulch, top soil, etc.) while I got to pick out my own garden gloves (blue polka dot!), cute hand trowel, knee pad and watering can. This is how the hubby has to entice me to get me out working in the yard...

While I'm really not an outdoorsy person, I've really taken a liking to pulling weeds. I seriously think it's the most therapeutic thing ever. I've become a bit obsessed. If I'm walking to the mailbox and spot a weed, I'm like "Oh hell no..." (as I run to get my cute hand trowel). Had a rough day? Is someone driving you crazy? Take it out on the weeds.


The only thing left for us to do is add a stone border. But after the 6-hour day in the sun yesterday, we're adding that to a to-do list for another day. You'll also notice we opted for no flowers in the landscaping - only in two flower pots. We are newbie gardeners and with two full-time jobs and busy lives, we just don't have time to maintain. Watering flower pots on our drive three times a week? That I can do!

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Home Decorating Continues: Guest Bedroom

Here we go again. We've tackled the master bedroom (although let's face it, that's still to be continued...), the master bathroom and now the guest bedroom. Or GB#1 (guest bedroom #1 for the slower ones) as we affectionately call it. So, let me explain where we are now. This was the only paint color in the whole house I was absolutely NOT OK with. And this includes that god-awful baby blue in our master bedroom. The paint color in GB#1 is called "chocolate cheesecake," but I think it's more of a "Oklahoma red dirt" or really just like someone took clay and rubbed it all over the walls. See for yourself.

Here's how the previous owners (shakes fist at them) had the room decorated. If you're wondering how I got these photos, I creepily took photos of each room at our inspection.

Not my cup of tea, but I guess they made it work.

Basically, the only thing in the entire room is a bed. We bought new bedding and sheets from Tarjay but we're pretty much starting from scratch.

If you've ever read this blog, then you probably know that this guest bedroom will become my gray and yellow themed room. (I've mentioned it a time or two.) I'm shooting to get this room together (although probably not 100%) by mid-May, when we have some guests coming to stay. First thing's first, paint color. Greg has been pretty hands-off on this room as he says it's "my vision" and let's face it, after the green paint color debacle in the master bathroom, this might not be a bad thing. It's still tough, though.

I'm hoping to choose a shade, test it and get the walls painted within the next few weeks. Although, I still have quite a few options. I've drawn arrows to my fave colors.

Any faves?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Um, Excuse Me. Your Louisiana is Showing.

Over the past weekend, me and the hubby (along with my older sister and her hubby) road-tripped to Louisiana for a good ole-fashioned family reunion. While I've spent a good number of years in Oklahoma, I was actually born in Louisiana and still have quite a bit of family there. Anyways, the reunion was great, it was really good to see lots of family, but I want to talk about the trip.

On our 16-hour round-trip to a small town outside Baton Rouge, I started to take note of what makes Louisiana totally awesome.

First and most obviously, the food. I'm a total sucker for cajun food. Of course, we ate our way through the state and then ate and drank throughout the entire reunion. Top of the list? Crawfish, of course!

I come from a family of great cooks, so when the family came together there was a lot of food. A lot of meat, in particular... Various kinds of sausage, seafood and more. I think someone called it a "meat parade." (Editor's Note: This is not the same kind of a meat parade that you would find in the Gayborhood Bars in Dallas, although I hear those are fun, too!)

Second, Louisiana Lottery tickets. Does Texas sell Lottery tickets? Yes. Are they mildly trashy? Oh ya. But when in Louisiana, we couldn't resist buying four $1 scratchers. And guess what? Greg won 12 bucks.

So, what do we do? In the Louisiana state of mind, of course we bought four $3 tickets. Then, something crazy happened. He won $25. I think it was the high of winning (I'm scared I'm developing a problem), but we took that money and bought five $5 tickets. And would you believe they all lost except mine. I won $50! So that paid for our lunch on the way home in a quaint little cafe in a small town. I've gotta tell you, I'd never really noticed the Lottery ticket machines at the grocery stores in Texas before, but now I see them and I've got to be honest, I'm getting an urge. But it's just way too embarassing to have a gambling problem, so I'm letting this one go.

OK, let's get back on track. The third thing that's so great about Louisiana? It's so... let's say vintage. (And I don't mean that in the pretentious way that it probably came across.) Driving through some of the small towns, I see things I haven't seen in years. Case in point: local grocery stores (I swear I saw a Piggly Wiggly). Also, really, really old gas stations. Check out this old gas pump. This has gotta be from at least the 80s, right? I think it's so charming!

Finally, and this is by the best, you can buy liquor in grocery stores. Cheers to that!

All in all, it was great to be back in Louisiana!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Gettin' Hot in Herrrrre

I'm quoting Nelly's 2002 classic hit only to make light of a very NOT FUNNY situation in our house right now. Our air conditioner is broken. The unit is blowing air but it's warm air. The current temp in our house?

The hubby actually asked me why I hadn't blogged about our newest (not-so-fun) homeowner adventure and the truth is... I couldn't find anything funny about it. The purpose of this blog is not to complain (unless it involves our homeowner's association in my neighbhorhood because come on... they're redic) unless I can find something funny about the situation. Sitting on your couch watching TV and SWEATING is not my idea of fun.

Add on top of that (and this is where it's about to get pretty douchy), Greg and I have started P90X. So, not only are we working our asses off, we're doing it in 80+ degree temperatures inside our house.

Nothing we can't do without our pal, Tony. Do your best, forget the rest.

Anyways, back to AC issue. We've been having issues cooling our house ever since we moved in. After our homeowner's warranty company sent out an AC guy, he told us we needed some re-working of our ducts. OK, cool? No, not for me. Because I'm obsessive, I think everyone is out to take advantage of us because we're young and don't know better, so I have to research everything. Google is my best friend and worst enemy.

After an hour of Googling, I've learned that we need to have a specialist come out and perform a "Manual J" on the system. Um excuse me, you want to do what to my AC unit? Is there a website trying to trick me into calling a business to ask for a "Manual J"? (If you're like me, you automatically wanted to go to to learn what that really means.) But either way, we're hoping to have a resolution on the AC unit (one that doesn't involve buying a new unit for five grand) very soon.

In the meantime, hope everyone is having a great (much cooler than me) week!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Two Peas in a Pod

I've been blessed in that I met my perfect half about 7 1/2 years ago. Before I get too lovey-dovey and you all click the close browser button, I'll make my point. While we are two different people, we also have quite a lot in common. I mean, just look at us. We're both tall, lanky; can be mildly awkward at times. (Side note: we've actually discussed when we decide to procreate and finally have a newborn baby, we totally see it coming out sort of looking like an alien... you know, with a long skinny body, lanky arms and legs and a large head. Awww, sad, I know.)

OK, let's get back on track. We have so much in common, but nothing more so than our uncanny ability to... screw up song lyrics. I can't tell you how many times we've been driving around rocking out to the radio and we're singing the lyrics to a song when we suddenly look at each other in total confusion and gently let the other know they don't know the lyrics. There have been MANY a Google searches to clarify lyrics and countless bets.

Because we think this is so hilarious (could be crickets on your end...), here's a just a couple of the songs we've butchered (I'm sure there are more):

- Taio Cruz "Break Your Heart"
Actual Lyrics: "I'm only gonna break break yo break break yo heart"
My interpretation: "I'm only gonna brick-breaker brick-breaker yo heart" (you know, like the phone game?)

- Creedence Clearwater Revival "Down on the Corner"
Actual Lyrics: "Down on the Corner, Out in the Street, Willy & the Poor Boys are Playing, Bring a nickel, tap your feet"
Greg's interpretation: "Down on the corner, Out in the Street, [mumbles something] boys are playing, man the meatloaf can't be beat!"

- Gloria Estefan "Turn the Beat Around" (Editor's Note: Why my husband was singing this song, I just don't know.)
Actual Lyrics: "Turn the Beat Around, Love to hear percussion"
Greg's interpretation: "Turn the Beat Around, Love to hear a question"

- Seal "Kiss From a Rose" (Editor's Note: I would argue that NO ONE actually knows the words to this song...I'm not kidding, go look up the lyrics and you'll be like "Um, what? What does that even mean?")
Actual Lyrics: "To me you're like a grown addiction that I can't deny, yeah"
Greg's interpretation: "To me you're like a ronadictionary every night, yeah"

It was at this time I asked what a "ronadictionary" was. He couldn't quite tell me, but I have no room to talk because generally I'm the one who doesn't know the lyrics. His just happen to be way funnier than mine. (There's gotta be a lyrics apps somewhere that we both need to have put on our phone immediately.)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Home Decorating Update: Master Bathroom

I've been talking on and on about our bathroom project for a while now, but guess what? It's finally done! (OK, it's like 99% done.) We have done a lot of work and made lots of improvements. We've had some high points (finishing the no-sew curtains) and some low points (realizing the paint color, in a certain light, really channels a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret of the Ooze" hue). Once we realized the bright color, we began doing everything we could to add in dark shades to tone the ooze down.

Over the past few months, we:
1. Texturized and painted the walls.
1a. Had a meltdown about the paint color (This included lots of swearing, pacing back and forth, staring at the walls and more swearing).
1b. Decided we would not be re-painting, accepted the "ooze hue" and moved on.
2. Replaced the ugly gold lighting with new fixtures (uh, gold. We hate gold.).
3. Replaced the standard bathroom mirrors with matching framed mirrors (we scored them both for $110 total from Garden Ridge!)
4. Replaced all the bathroom hardware and electrical outlets with bronze fixtures

5. Made no-sew curtains and hung using tension rod
6. Added wall art and decor (including a modern candelabra from Pier One, a DIY vase of white hydrangeas and a magazine basket from HobLob)

7. Re-tiled floor (said goodbye to that nasty carpet!)

8. Bought and put together (or at least the hubby did) a bookcase that we're using to hold towels/decor (I still plan on adding more decor to this as well as baskets for the bottom shelf, so just imagine that's there... Also, I must note that we got this bookcase from Target - on sale - for $75! The online reviews were really good and I must say, it looks WAY more expensive/higher quality in person than it actually is!)

So, I'm still going to ask my stepdad to build me a vanity chair (he's really talented with woodworking!) and maybe add more decor, but overall, we're putting a fork in this one. We'd still love to re-do the shower and bathtub backsplash, but we're happy with the result and are ready to move on to another area of our home.

Next on our list is the "yellow-and-gray" guest bedroom and saving up for bedroom furniture. I'm already looking at paint samples for painting the guest bedroom! (As I say this, the hubby is probably huddling in a corner somewhere rocking back-and-forth, shaking his head, but he'll come around...)