June 30, 2011

Porch Update

So awhile back I mentioned that we were remodeling our porch - well actually adding a porch.  Right now we just have a stone pile sitting at the foot of our door.

We are wanting to add some oomph to our curb appeal and a lot of function.  Our front porch is lacking some serious function.

We've done a little work so far to help.  Last summer we replaced our old, completely ineffective door and fixtures.



Check out the way the house looked on closing day.

And last summer after we replaced the door and light.

I can't wait to show you the final outcome.  We have big plans to dramatically change the look of our house.  We are adding 4 feet width to the porch and then adding a gabled roof and beautiful wood columns and railings.  I am hoping we give it the great arched ceiling with beautiful wood slats.  That detail has yet to be confirmed but just the mere addition of a covered porch is HUGE for our curb appeal.  And then of course with such a great porch we will have to revamp the landscaping.  New bushes, plants and flowers.  CANNOT WAIT!

I am told the building permit is being obtained now and construction should start in a week to two weeks!!!  I'm giddy with excitement. 

Of course to help my neighbors not scoff at our porch in the meantime I put together a planter for the porch.  Nothing special but this time I did something different which totally got me all excited because I am weird like that.

I bought this planter last summer at the flea market and had a little trouble filling it.

I had a hard time fitting the nice cardboard pots in there.  Either too small or too large or too tall.  Grrr.  I bought those straw/grass basket things and those also were strange and bunched weird.

I was in a pickle with an ugly basket full of dying flowers.

Until this past fall when it dawned on me a few months too late that landscaper's burlap would be perfect.  So I went to a local nursery and was generously given old burlap bags that were used for landscaper's gravel or something.  Did I mention that they were free.  Because they were.  And I like them.  And I want to use them for other projects.  Think. Think. Think.

Well while we think let me show you how cute they made my planter.  

So that is the band-aid that I placed on my porch's boo boo.
I will keep you posted on all the porch remodel details - hopefully very soon.

June 29, 2011

Boston - corbels and picket fences

Okay, so I am sure you have seen enough of our long weekend in Boston but I have one final post to share with you.  I wish I had more time in Boston and I really would like to go back and really explore the area but this trip was more about family and graduation.  However, in between the family and graduation I did actually pick up the camera and grab some shots of the amazing architecture. So here are some house shots of my favorite things corbels.

You know I am addicted to corbels and boy did the homes in Boston have a lot of corbels.  Like real, old, weathered ones.  I wish I took more photos of them.  
I am not kidding you - every other home had a corbel.

I really loved the shape of these corbels.  Wish I could find them in a salvage yard somewhere.  I still am looking for the perfect pair to perch under my butcher block and these would be lovely.

No corbels but super cute anyway.  Black with a turquoise door - love.  The flag is cute too. 

And this house in Salem captivated me.  I love the chipping, peeling paint on the real wood siding and oh the picket fence.  How I love the picket fence.  Of course, I may be ashamed if it were my house but in Salem it seems historically correct. 

Oh and here is my favorite shot from the whole weekend.  I secretly snapped this photo of my dad and Bran waiting for us women to get out of the store.  Haha.  

Sorry that had no significance but just had to share.
That's all you'll get form Boston.  Done.  Promise.

I have some home projects I am working on so I hope to report on them soon.
I'm real excited about them.

June 24, 2011

my little piggy bank

I'm starting my own little piggy bank.  Just like when I was a little kid and would collect any extra money I could find whether from the couch cushions or my last lemonade stand just so I could stuff it in my piggy bank and dream of what I would buy with it.  It usually didn't last long with the ice cream man always driving by and our weekly trips to the Popcorn Shop to buy candy.  But this time will be different though.  This time I am taking whatever extra money I come across whether from my garage sale, selling baby hats or whatever other extra money might find its way into my hands and sticking it in my new and improved piggy bank. Well and of course still spare change from the couch -  it's just such a good opportunity and it adds up.

And unlike when I was little, this time I really am going to save it all for something I really, really want.  And even in my mind need.

A new camera.

And not just any camera - A Nikon D5100 Digital SLR.  I've been eyeing this camera for awhile but it really hasn't been a necessity warranting the money.  And really it still isn't a necessity which is why I am saving up to buy it.  I do not know too much about cameras but I've talked to a lot of people and a lot of photographers and most recommend Nikon.

I literally was counting the change in my "piggy bank" also known as a giant mason jar to start off my savings.

I was doing such a good job counting when the Big Man came and threatened my progress with his giant, clumsy paws. 
Fortunately he stayed where he was and watched while I finished.

The grand total came to $104.08 with 2 euros and a 1 pound piece.

I was pretty pleased with that considering it has just been sitting in the corner collecting dust and a few loose coins now and again.  I've had that random coin collection going for years now and really never thought twice about it.

So with that good start I also just added what I made from the garage sale last weekend.  I never really reported how it went so consider this your update.

The garage sale was last Friday and it was a lot of fun.  It was my first garage sale and I was the big money maker of the day.  We all did really well and sold a lot.

As you can see I pretty much had a full living room for sale on the front lawn.  I thought I would sell most of it but all I could get rid of was the black shelf and the coffee table.  I managed to sell a few baby hats but I think the prices kind of upset people.  They were definitely cheaper than my normal price but still not quite garage sale pricing.  I didn't really expect to sell any so I'm glad a few went.
I was really surprised how all the junk sold and how my nicer items wouldn't move.

But either way I am not complaining because I made $250.

Which makes my overall camera savings up to $354.08.  
All in one weekend.  

I hope I can get there by the end of the summer.  I am really needing a new camera (need being used very loosely).  My camera is crap though.  Half the picture is always blurry.  I try to edit it out but I'm ready for the upgrade.  Hopefully soon!

Now I am off to dig in the couch and junk drawers.  I have a few purses that need emptying too.

June 22, 2011

Never Enough Knitting

I have been a terrible blogger lately.  Life has been moving a little faster and I have to admit that I have not been in the blogging mood in awhile.  In effort to get back into it can you indulge me in one more post - and it is about knitting which is why I even started blogging in the first place.  And honestly....you can never get enough knitting.

While I haven't been blogging I still have been knitting here and there.  I saw this first hat on Pinterest.com and immediately had to try my hand at it.  I love it and really wish I had a baby to wear it this fall.  Hopefully we will have some football games to watch.  If not, this hat is still super cute for a daddy's boy or girl.

I also have made this white hat with some cute accessories for a little girl.  I love the simplicity of the white hat.  Plus it is a great backdrop for a plethora of pins.  You can match it with any outfit.

Now I am working on some orders for people.  Just the usual hats.  I hope I can play around and come up with some new ones soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Boston Vaca - the real one

Ok, so I got a little off track earlier but here is the real family vaca.

Brandon and I flew in Friday night, which is a horrifying flight story for another time.  Let me just tell you that we reached the house at 4:30 am on Saturday, slept until 7:00 am and then went straight to my brother's graduation.  That was a long two days........

So skip the graduation all together and head to the part where we went to the Red Sox game - and guess who they were playing.....The Cubbies!  Our home team.  It was so exciting to see Fenway and actually be able to cheer our home team on.  Plus it was the first time the Cubs had played the Red Sox at Fenway since 1918.  It was shocking how many Cubs fans made the trip to Boston to see the series.  And the Cubs won that night!  However, I must admit that not being the biggest baseball fan ever all I could really think about was the movie The Town and the scenes they shot in Fenway.  It was a fun night.

We also spent the day in Boston.  I didn't take many pictures there as we walked the Freedom Trail since we found most of the sites were closed but I did manage to snap this quick photo.  Who knew Bran was so successful on the east coast.

This coincidental salon was on a street which is similar to our Michigan Avenue - but not quite as big.

While out in Boston we also toured Rockport and surrounding quaint towns.

Our house.

The view from our house at low tide though.

Bear Skin Neck - downtown Rockport

The interesting story of Bear Skin Neck - how romantic

I really wish this little ice cream store was open.  So adorable.

The empty downtown.  Stores weren't really open yet.  I guess they don't open until Memorial Day when the crowds really come.  We were a week too early.

The fudgery.  Open but not the greatest fudge ever.  Not gonna lie.

A slight break in the clouds allowed for some views.

And a family pic.

Lots of canoes in downtown Rockport.  Not sure why there is a need for this many.  But they look cool.
I think my brother also took this photo.

And of course Motif No. 1

There were lots of lighthouses of course and this is a slightly big deal since I am from the midwest.

My cute sister.  My brother took this photo.  He's good.

We even visited a creepy castle some man built.  He modeled it after the castles in Europe of course, which he was obsessed with.  He was a strange man.  Even more strange was the man who ran the now museum castle.  He liked to pretend he was Hanibal.....creepy.

But he offered to take a family photo.

Pretty fake window things but a great view.

I really wanted to share even more of my trip - especially the beautiful architecture but unfortunately blogger is struggling to accept some of my pictures so hopefully I can load them tomorrow.

June 20, 2011

Our Mini Boston Vaca

I have been dying to share our mini Boston vaca with you all but unfortunately most of my pictures were sitting on my brother's camera, which permanently resides in Boston.  But being the great little brother that he is, he finally sent them to me this weekend!!

Speaking of my brother Ryan, he is the reason why my family journeyed to the east coast.  Ryan just graduated from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts.  He has been there four years and I have been dying to visit him and see Massachusetts ever since so it only made sense that I finally get there for his graduation.

He may kill me for putting up this photo.  It was really hard to get a good photo while they raced past and I definitely could not see the stage but it was a beautiful day and it was great just to be there and celebrate Ryan's accomplishment.

But I must admit that as much as I was there for Ryan's graduation I was also there for Boston and the cute, quaint coastal towns.

Speaking of cute and quaint.  We stayed in a cute, little beach house right on the beach in downtown Rockport.  You literally had to walk down a little alley right off the main street to get to our house down by the water.  It was so great to have the best of both worlds - shopping and the beach.

It's hard to see it but here is a view from the beach.  It is right next to that large, tall building which is their music hall.  The really neat thing about this beach is at high tide the water comes right up to the foundation of the house.  It was so peaceful at night to hear the waves lapping against the rocks.  

Here is a little frame of reference of Rockport to Boston.  It is about an hour drive into Boston from Rockport.  It was just minutes to Gloucester where my brother and his friends were renting another beach home and a few more  minutes to Manchester and Beverly some other beautiful, beach towns.

Do you want to know the coolest thing about Rockport?!  In my eyes at least.
It's where they filmed most of The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.  It is this tiny little fishing town and all the major movie sights were just feet away from our house.

I don't know about you but I love this movie.  I never get sick of it.  So indulge me while I share some of the famous sites from the movie.

Remember this hysterical scence?  When Sandra's character first arrives in "Sitka, AK" which is really Rockport retrofitted to be Sitka.

Well this famous scene took place here.
Rockport's Motif No. 1

Motif No. 1 is a very famous landmark in Rockport (well before it made it's national debut).  They even have a day set aside for the landmark - Motif No. 1 Day and it just so happened to be the very day we arrived.  This little festival is celebrated with a chalk drawing contest where everyone takes their best shot re-creating a picture of Motif No. 1 on the sidewalk in chalk.  I am so sad I did not take a picture of the sidewalks because they were covered in red sheds.  It was so neat as people of all ages and ranges of talent had fun with their red chalks.

Another scene takes place just feet away from the shed at the fudgery.  In this scene Sandra and Ryan go to town so Sandra can get a new cell phone.  Here they are walking down the street.

Here's my shot of this street.  There really aren't any cars because the roads are so small and the buildings are right off the road - no real sidewalks.  It gave it that real small town feel.  

I am so sad about this last one because I really wanted to share the amazing house that they shot the home scenes in.  It is located in Manchester, MA which is just down the beach a few miles.  We did drive by it one day but for some reason I cannot find the pictures I took of this house.  So sad.  It really looks the same though (from the outside).

Here is another picture of Rockport and Motif No. 1.  I couldn't replicate this one because I think it was taken from they bay looking in at the town.  Our house and the downtown is located to the right of the red shed (Motif No. 1).

Here is how they customized the Motif No. 1 to make it fit in Sitka, AK.  They really just added a Sitka sign and a large native fish picture.

And lastly, here is one last pretty picture of Motif No. 1 that I took.  I just love the feel of these fishing towns - the boats, the stone walls and old buildings.

Thanks for indulging my Proposal post.  Tomorrow I will share about the actual vaca because it was so fun.  And very beautiful and there were lots of great homes and architecture.

Thanks for stopping back by.  Sorry I have been so MIA.

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