Thursday, April 28, 2016

Strawberry Season!


My favorite season is upon us... strawberry season!  Not only because I'm not sure there's a more tasty treat than a freshly picked strawberry straight from the farm, but also because it seems to mark a season of warm days filled with sunshine and evenings spent outside together.  I particularly love the warm evenings together - wandering around the yard watering plants, watching the girls, playing ball together, relaxing in the hammock.  This time of year just lifts my spirits and I feel like you'll know exactly what I'm talking about!


There is a local farm that brings their strawberries in daily to a little red cart in town.  The strawberries literally melt in your mouth and taste so sweet (and this particular farm also does not use pesticides, which is wonderful).  I'm almost embarrassed to admit how many gallons we go through during strawberry season!
 

The hammock gets a lot of attention around here... I'm not sure how we lived without it for so long.  Not only during the evenings, but it's the perfect spot during the day to stop and take a snack break when the sunshine is beating down.  The huge old tree it sits under provides just the right amount of cool shade.



While there are so many delicious ways to eat strawberries, my very favorite is simply by themselves.  The strawberry season seems so short, and I savor these few weeks we can eat strawberries this sweet and ripe. 


Nevertheless, now that the days are so warm, the girls have been begging to make popsicles.  While both girls love to help me in the kitchen, Jillian is especially enjoying learning how to make certain things. Since she is eight now and so capable, I've been making more of an effort to give her independence in the kitchen.  (She's made Rosetta and I scrambled eggs almost every day this week for breakfast.  ;-) )  


"Is this how you do it, Sissy?"


 And so, this was our treat tonight... strawberry popsicles eaten in the back yard as we enjoyed every last bit of the warm evening light.  What a sweet strawberry season this is! 



Friday, April 8, 2016

April's Arrival


 Sunshine.  Freshly mowed grass.  Birds singing.  Blooming trees and shrubs.  Afternoons outside.  These are just some of my favorite things about Spring's arrival.  Most of all, I think I like the newness that comes in April.  Everything feels fresh and full of hope.  

One of my favorite memories was in April.  It was the arrival of our first daughter and I'll never forget stepping out of the hospital with a new, precious bundle in my arms and feeling the warm sunshine.  It was just one of those perfect moments and everything felt different in the best way.  My mom came to stay and we had the most wonderful month together.  We enjoyed what seemed like endless sunshine.  We walked, we talked, we admired all the hot pink blooming azaleas, but most of all, we cuddled and loved this precious sweet little baby that was all our own.

Now I find myself anticipating April's arrival all winter long.  When we're in the midst of a cold, dreary day, I remind myself that April is just around the corner.  And now it's here, and like every April before it, I remember why I love it so much.  Now our oldest daughter will soon be eight years old, but even though the years pass by, April still feels as sweet as ever.  

My camera seemed to stay put all this winter, but boy has it been busy the past couple weeks.  ;-)  I hope you don't mind me simply sharing some pictures (and memories) of our Spring so far. 






 








Hope you all have a lovely April weekend!  (And please do share your favorite things about April's arrival, too!) 


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Master Bedroom Remodel


Happy Spring!

After spending at least an hour every evening (after the girls were put to bed) and Saturdays that weren't already planned, we finally (almost) completed our master bedroom renovation!  For five years we stared at styrofoam ceiling tiles that covered a ceiling that couldn't be salvaged and walls that were covered in paneling that had been wallpapered and painted over. During our five years here, we've had a lot of house projects that have been doozies - both bathrooms top the list - but this bedroom project was right up there too.  I imagine we put this project off for so long, not only because we had other projects that took priority, but likely because we knew this wasn't going to be a fun one!

BEFORE:

 

 This picture pretty much sums up the bedroom in its former state.  Yes, there are those styrofoam ceiling tiles, and once the paneling was removed, we discovered more very old wallpaper.  Underneath the wallpaper was the original bead board, which was overall in pretty good condition.  We did have some places around the fireplace that had been damaged by water, but not noticeable at all once painted.

 

I can still hardly believe how in tact this very old wallpaper was.  You'd like to think it would be easy to scrape off after so many years, but it was very time consuming and laborious.   I first pulled this section off two years ago.  Justus came home from work and said something along the lines of, "Oh, Andrea, what have you started?!" 


 My heart actually dropped for a second when I downloaded these pictures onto our computer.  I realized that somehow I deleted all of the "in progress" photos of this renovation and all I could think was, Where is all the proof of how horrible this was?  :-)  I did find the above one on my cell phone.  We were able to use all of the original bead board, with the exception of adding some new pine bead board to cover a previous doorway (more on that later).  

It took us a few weeks to remove all the paneling and wallpaper.  We took it in small, manageable sections because of the mess, and I also painted as we went along, which helped so much. 


Two years ago, when I first removed a piece of paneling, I wondered if I should leave the wood bare.  After living with a few sections bare for the next (gasp - was it really that long!) couple years, I realized that I couldn't live with the walls in our bedroom that dark.  Fortunately though, I didn't have to feel guilty at all about painting the wood as there were areas that were water damaged and we had to do quite a bit of caulking to seal cracks and holes. Painting was certainly the best solution. 

 

As you know, most areas in our home are a mixture of white and wood, but in our bedroom, I felt like a little change.  I painted the walls in a light gray called Titanium by Benjamin Moore that I used in our living room and staircase.  Once painted I had to laugh though, because while the same color does indeed look gray in other areas of our house, it took on a bluish tint in this bedroom.  It made the room feel so calming and peaceful though - I just adore it.  

I painted over the bare wood with Zinsser BIN Primer.  It smells positively horrible and drips everywhere, but it works like nothing else I have ever used in sealing the knots and stains in wood (both new and old).  I applied one coat of primer, and then only two coats of paint after that.  I use Regal Select by Benjamin Moore, which is fabulous.  Both of these are more costly, but the end result is so worth it. 


 While were were able to use the original walls, the ceiling was unsalvageable.  We purchased pine planks and installed with the beaded side showing.  (We could only find this product at one Home Depot store.)  This is a large room and we had to purchase about 65 planks - phew!  I primed and painted one coat before Justus installed and then applied the final coat once it was hung.  I painted the ceiling and trim Simply White by Benjamin Moore.  We purchased the light at our small local hardware store. 



I sewed the curtains a few years ago... anticipating that one day I might have a pretty room to use them in.  :-)  

BEFORE:


Above is one of the only photos I could find of our bedroom shortly after moving in that showed a previous doorway between the master and another bedroom.  This was fabulous when we had an infant, but not so much now.  ;-)   We had one doorway leading into the dining room, another into the bathroom and then this one into the guest room, not to mention the closet.  A large room with little useable wall space! 


 We decided to create a wall over the doorway in both rooms.  Fortunately Home Depot sells pine bead board that looks almost identical to the original bead board in our home once painted.  

AFTER:


 It's nice to have a little more wall space - and privacy - in the room now!  The little doorway to the left of the dresser is a closet that sits under the stairs.  It's quite primitive inside - there is still bark on some of the wood in there, although we did add some new flooring! 


 I purchased both dressers in our room last year at an antique store.  I think they are my favorite antique find to date!  We went shopping to look for a his and hers dresser, not imagining we would ever find a set.  I walked into the last store of the day and I spotted this dresser at the far end of the store.  It looked in such good condition that I imagined it would be far out of our price range.  When I looked at the price tag, I gasped and after proclaiming that this was it!, I said to Justus that now if it only came in a set.  At that point, I literally turned and there was the other dresser sitting, that piece in our budget too.  We purchased them right then and there!  ;-)  They were made in TN and are guesstimated from the 1930s. 


The quilt is from Restoration Hardware (purchased on sale, I might add).  Justus doesn't much care how I decorate the house, but he has always drawn the line at having a floral bedroom.  ;-)  So I tried to compromise by purchasing things he wouldn't feel were too feminine, yet were still things I found pretty. 


The fireplaces are capped off and are unusable (they were coal burning).  We added new pine bead board in the insert to try and make it look more cohesive with the rest of the room.

BEFORE:


Above is a photo of the bedroom when we did a walk-through.  Seeing pictures like this always help me - I realize how far we have come! 

AFTER:


We have not replaced the closet doors yet and we plan to replace the door going into the bathroom with a sliding barn door in the next couple months.  We also have not decorated yet as you can see, so I'll share more pictures again after we make these last updates.  :-) 


We are working away in the guest bedroom now.  At the first of the year we decided to spend every spare minute completing the last of our interior house projects.  We are both so ready to be finished and not feel like we have projects looming over us all the time.  ;-)  We had a finish date of April, which looks more like May at this point, but we have an end in sight, which is very exciting!  So my blog posts might continue to be sporadic for now, but I sure hope to get back to regular posting after things settle down a bit.  :-)  

Hope you all are doing great and are having a wonderful Spring! 





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...