Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Special Edition - One Year in the House, Before and Afters

Yeah, so the whole blogging thing isn't going so well for me these days (or months rather). But I did think that the fact that we just celebrated one year in our house warranted a Special Edition on the blog. Thought it would be cool for us and for you to see some of the changes we have made around the place. This place will always be a work in progress for us, but I think you will agree with us, we have made a bit of progress :)     

Our House from the outside: Not much has changed on the outside.  We have moved some bushes and  trimmed some back, but there should be some big changes soon as we will be undertaking a reroofing project (we did do a small section in the back this past Fall)
After...well its just a cool picture of the snow:

The Kitchen:  Well, this is our next major work in progress (or work that hasn't made so much progress).  I feel like this is the room we keep putting off because it needs so much.  So far we have just painted the walls and refinished the hardwoods in the kitchen.  Hopefully my next post (which will probably be next year at the rate I'm going) will show some major differences here.  Also the "after" pictures were at night so I could get them posted, so the pictures don't really show the nice sunlight we get in there. 




After (excuse the complete mess...one would think I'd clean up my kitchen before I take a picture of it to post on the Internet...):

The "I'm not sure what I want this to be room": I don't have a before picture of this room, so this is just an after.  We just repainted the ceiling, walls, and trim.  I like the room, but I still have no idea what to do with it...its a room off of the kitchen and has a sliding glass door on the left, so its kind of a pass through room for now.

Living Room:  Well I bet you can't tell what the major changes were in this room...  The main thing we did was cover up the hotdog cart explosion and refinish the floors.  Its amazing what a little bit of paint can do...


Our Bedroom: One of the things I really like about our house is the huge master bedroom. I eventually want to put a "reading" area over in the corner this picture is facing. But for now, the major change was putting a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling, walls, and trim. This room still has some room for improvement, but its getting there :)


The next room that got some major color change is the office/2nd guest room/sewing room/place where everything that has no where to go lands.  Again, the major changes in this room was a couple coats of paint on the ceiling,walls and trim.

The Guest Room: And to round off the bedrooms, we have the Guest room.  I really haven't done much at all in this room.  The paint color works, so it has been the last room on the list.  Now that everything else has been painted, it is next in line.  I think I'm going to paint it almost the same color, but maybe with a little more blue in the color.  Why, you might ask, am I repainting it?  Well, the other big thing we (actually it was all Garin) have done is replace all of the windows in the upstairs of our house.  Thus there is quite a bit of touch up painting that  needs to be done around the windows and I don't have any of the original paint.  And well, there is nothing like a fresh coat of paint in a room, and I'd hate for this room to feel left out :)


And finally, the upstairs bathroom:  Well this room was special to start off with, I don't know whether it was the awkward shade of green, the beat up linoleum floor, or the fairies that were glued to the wall that drew me to it (yes, their were randomly placed wallpaper cut out fairies glued to the wall...you can kind of see one to the top left of the window).  I think this room has gotten the biggest overhaul.  I hate that the after picture looks so "yellowy"...gotta love fluorescent lighting!  We repainted everything, tiled the floor with travertine, got a new countertop and mirror, and I labored a month over stripping the vanity down and restaining it brown.  All, in all I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out...I mean, it couldn't have gotten much worse....


Well, that's all I have for now.  1 year down 2.5 left to go.  We still have lots of things to finish, so here's to getting them done over the next year so that we can enjoy our labor for the remaining year and a half!

Blessings to all :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Well, Maybe I Fell Off...

Yeah, so in the words of my sister-in-law, I think I have already fallen out of the blogging saddle. haha (well, said Rebekah!). But of course I have excuses. 1) Not much has really gone on to blog about. 2) My computer died and we had to get a new apparatus. We decided to go the "tablet" route and got an Acer Iconia...I love it, but I haven't had a chance to mess with it to see if I can actually download my pictures to it (that whole Android OS over the Windows OS is throwing me for some loops!). Soo...pictures right now are limited, and who wants to read a blog with no pictures?!! 3) I've been busy, but what is new?!

Well, hurricane Irene decided to give us a little drama this past weekend. The storm was MUCH less fearsome than the news people predicted (surprise, surprise...its all media hype anyway!). The wind blew a bit strongly on Sunday and knocked a couple of limbs out of trees in our yard. We did have one close one...a sizable limb fell and scraped the back of the house...a couple of feet over and it might have done some damage. The power was also out for about 7 hours, so I was a bit nervous about it coming back on, but it came back on just in time for the evening. We were the lucky ones in the area, I had a friend about a mile down the road that didn't get it back for 2 days!

My family (my sister, brother-in-law, and Mason) are in town visiting me this week. They got to "ride" out the storm with us on Sunday (so that makes me doubly glad the power wasn't out for longer!). They will be here until Saturday, so hopefully I will have some good pictures to post from the week! We are having lots of fun so far, unfortunately though I have to come to work for part of the week...ugh.

Well, there is my attempt at barely hanging in the blogging saddle :) Hopefully more pictures to come!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back in the Blogging Saddle`

I know it has been forever since I have blogged...and I'm sure I've lost all of my readers (if I ever really had any), but I decided to try to pick the blogging thing back up. We are as busy as ever trying to fix up our house...I'm not sure it will ever get to the level I have in mind, but we are chipping away at it one project at a time.

So much has happened since my last post. I really don't know where to begin. I don't have any pictures on hand right now, so this is just a words blog (sorry, I know pictures are so much more interesting).

Let's see, since my last blog on the house: we've painted most of the interior of the house (all but bedrooms and bathrooms), we've refinished our hardwood floors, we've rewired and updated electrical things, we've landscaped, and many other miscellaneous things that take up loads of time. On the family front: we had gained a new niece on June 1st, Elsa Amy Kirkpatrick (born to Garin's brother and Sil...Garin has gotten to meet her, but I have not, sniff sniff); and Mason, our nephew turned 2, I went home for a week to celebrate his B-day and Easter (they were on the same day!).

At the end of May, Garin left for Mobile, AL and was there for two months for more helo training. He got to come home one weekend and I got to go down there for one weekend, so we were able to see each other a couple of times during the long separation. I'm happy to report that he is now home :) He also is now qualified to fly the helicopters, which makes his job so much more fun for him. Oh and I do happen to have a picture of him flying the helicopter...yay, pictures!
This was a photo op they did with the "Eagle", the Coast Guard's sailing ship...if you remember, Garin was on this boat for two weeks when he went through OCS a couple of years ago.

And this is actually a picture of Garin flying although you can't really tell it is him...he is the pilot in the left seat.

Speaking of jobs, I found a job and started back to work at the beginning of June. I'm working for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) doing purchasing and contracts. I'm still learning the ropes and doing a lot of training. I just got back from a 2 week training class in DC, which was fun. Garin was on his way driving back from Mobile while I was there, the timing worked out perfectly and we were able to spend the weekend together in DC being tourist! Maybe one day, I'll get pictures of that up!

Well that pretty much sums up the big things going on in life for us. I have lots of pictures I need to post, but it might not happen. Maybe I should just start back up fresh without trying to catch up on everything...

Well here's to getting back into the blogging saddle!

P.S. So glad blogger went back to making it easier to move pictures around...that was one reason I dreaded blogging! Now if only they'd fix the spacing between paragraphs issue!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Guess what?! We finally closed on our house in Cape Cod and have spent the past two weeks moving in and getting things adjusted. We still have a LONG way to go on the house, but all the boxes are unpacked and things are starting to feel like home.

The front of the house from the street.

Another view from the front. I think that Spring is going to bring quite a few beautiful flowering plants! We have lots of Rhododendron, 3 Azalea Bushes, a huge Crete Myrtle, a hydrangea bush and lots of little green bulbs poking their way through the soil! Can't wait until they bloom! This is the back of the house...exciting, I know. And yes, the white stuff on the ground is snow! I took these pictures last Thursday...I called home and MW said it was in the 70s in NC...made me miss home!!
And this is my view from my kitchen window. The cute little storage shed is ours and is wired with electricity (which we were excited about!).
We have a brick patio right outside the back of the house that has hedges around it for privacy...can't wait to have some BBQs when the weather warms up!! (oh and that is our bulkhead door to the basement to the right...G put the porch swing upside down over it for some reason...but the house has a full basement that is not counted in the square footage of the house. We've never had a basement before so we are super excited!! Its unfinished at the moment).
And the huge selling point for me...a KOI POND (that needs some TLC when it gets warmer)!!! haha, what people do with their property (no offense to my readers that have koi ponds in their backyard, this one just seems kind of random...I mean we live in an area where water freezes for 5 months out of the year!). Guess it is gonna be a swimming pool for the neighborhood kids...and Mason when he comes to see me ;) And Elsa (my niece that's on the way) when she is old enough! haha, it just makes me laugh.
Okay, now on to the interior. This is the kitchen looking towards the eat in part (the lighting was pretty bad for these, so if you get real close to your computer screen and squint you can make it out ;)
And then this is looking into the kitchen from the dining table (ignore all of the mess that is still laying around, we are still in a state of flux!).
And then this is a "bonus" room that is off of the kitchen/dining room. Its a beautiful room with lots of sunlight, but I'm still not really sure what I'm going to do with it...ideas?!!
The Living Room...I really didn't like the paint colors when we were looking at the house (I described it as a hotdog cart that exploded), but then when I moved my stuff in, I realized that it matched all of my accessories!!! haha go figure. As I told my friend...its colors that I would accessorize with, not put on my walls. So, the bold colors will be covered up (even though I do like the red wall...might have to think on that one!).
And then this is from the living room looking at the door into the kitchen (to the right) and then the stairs (to the left). And the front door is even further to the left out of the picture.
And this is our Master Bedroom...its HUGE! So huge that I am hoping that we might get a chance to put a small dedicated master bath into it!!! That's on the wish list (and so is taking down the wall between the kitchen and the living room...a girl can dream right?!)
From the other side of the room looking at the door.
Another view of our sleeping alcove.

The guest room...this is where you get to sleep when you come visit us!

The other side of the guest room...it has a roomy closet that will be perfect for all of the luggage you bring when you come visit us!!!

This is the office/sewing room/craft room/extra closet/library/I'm not sure what to do with it yet so I put it in here room.

The other side of the multi-function room (it WILL be repainted!).

And finally, the upstairs hallway, just to give you an update of the layout. The picture is taken from our bedroom...going counter-clockwise - to the right is the stairway (not pictured), then a hall coat closet, then the "office", then straight ahead is the guest room, then a hall linen closet, and then the upstairs bathroom is on the left. Hopefully you get the picture :)

Welp, that is a tour of our new home. So far we are LOVING it! Like I said, we have a lot to do on it...it just needs some love...but that is what we are here to do! I feel like we have made some major improvements in it in just the two weeks we have been here. I can't wait to see what we can do over the next 4 years!

And now that we are somewhat settled, we are ready for some visitors!!! We are open for business and taking reservations :) The Boston airport and Providence, RI airport are only 45 mins away and have reasonable ticket prices!! Did I mention that we live ON Cape Cod, one of the most sought out vacation destinations on the East Coast?! What more do I need to say to get you to COME VISIT US?!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The things we do while we wait...

Well March has arrived and we STILL are not in our house yet. One day it will happen (hopefully within the next week or two!), but in the mean time we have been finding things to do to keep us busy and entertained while we wait. Last weekend Garin had a 3 day weekend so we decided to go on a spontaneous road trip.

We left Cape Cod after Garin got home from work and drove all the way up to Stowe, VT (home of the HGTV Dream home...in case you watch that stuff...that is the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear Stowe, VT...think I've been watching way too much HGTV for my own good!). Then the next morning we got up and hit up Smuggler's Notch Ski Resort for some skiing/snowboarding. It was a very uncustomary warm day in Vermont, which made for a wonderful day of skiing...you could actually enjoy your ride up the ski lift instead of feeling like your face was going to freeze off! I actually have some pictures of this ski trip!

After a beautiful day of skiing/snowboarding, we decided that since we were only about 2 hours away from Montreal, Canada, that it would be fun to drive up for the night to check it out (we had considered this before we left the house so we brought our passports with us!).

South of the Border

We arrived in Montreal at about 7 and set out to find some food and check out the city. Montreal is part of the French speaking province of Quebec, so everything was in French, which was a little odd for me. Fortunately Garin minored in French in college so we were able to navigate our way around fairly easily (and I'm sure you could do it even if you didn't know any French because most people are bilingual, being that close to the States). Since it was a rather warm night, the nightlife was hoping and the main street was bustling! We ended up walking down the main street for more than a mile, taking in all of the shops (you could find most mainstream US retailers, plus a few more shady places as well) and enjoying some great people watching!
This was one of the pretty churches all lit up and decorated with winter snowflakes :)

The Art Museum was across the street from our hotel (FYI, we got an awesome hook up on Priceline's Name Your Price!), had some kind of large orb exhibit on its lawn. The music accompanying the light show was really quite eerie. It was really pretty though!

The next morning we went for a walk around the Old Montreal part of the city (which I favored more than the newer part!).
While we were there Montreal was having a neat festival called the "Festival of Lights" (in English). There was a whole block dedicated to community activities such as ice skating, concerts, an ice slide, and then various "activities" throughout the city.

Translated: Montreal Festival of Lights ;)
Outdoor ice skating rink
The famed, ice slide! Unfortunately it was closed for repairs. The previous warm day melted part of it and so they had to replace parts of it with new ice...see ice blocks below.
Another part of the festival was a Cheese Expo. They had about 50 vendors that were there giving out free samples of their cheese! It was a wonderful lunch ;)
After lunch we figured we'd seen most of what we wanted to see, so we started our trek back home to the Cape.
A welcome sight to our eyes, nothing like America!
On our way back home we made one more important stop...the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Burlington, VT. I mean, what's a trip to Vermont without a trip to Ben and Jerry's?! So we took a tour of the facilities and then got our obligatory free sample (we sampled some kind that was caramel ice cream with caramel swirl with caramel chips in it...can't remember the name...wasn't really a fan...now if they had substituted all of that caramel with Chocolate I would have remembered the name ;)
Picture with ol' Ben and Jerry :)
Welp, that was our brief but action packed trip. Come join us on one of our adventures sometime!