friday favorites: 3 sense edition

Things I am loving:

A few weeks ago, Keith decided he was going to start watching SNL again. Since we are old people, he records it and watches later. He was watching one episode the other day and the musical guest came on. I wasn’t paying any attention but partway through the song I looked up and said “I have no idea who this is…but I really kind of like them.” And then I went back to ignoring the tv. A few days later, I couldn’t get the snippet of song out of my head, so I looked it up, saw it was Hozier and downloaded the album. And I have listened to pretty much nothing else since. I can’t remember the last time I have had an album on repeat like this…it’s so good. Another perk of my job is I can listen to music since I’m not out in the open/have to answer the phone. So I’ve been playing this album on repeat but also rediscovering some other albums. When I drive, I have to have my music shuffling, but that is too distracting for me at work, so I’m actually listening to straight albums for the first time in a really long time. So tell me, any favorites? Old or new? I like indie-ish stuff mostly, not into country, not really into rap. I will not listen to Kanye West on principle…but I’d give most anything else a chance.

Two Dots and 2048:

I’m not really into games because I suck at them. But these two games have had my attention for the past two weeks. When I get stuck on Two Dots, I’ll go and play 2048 for a while. They are both more strategy than skill and that’s something I can get behind.

 

I was at Target a few weeks ago and wandered into the candle aisle. We have some sort of caramel candle in the basement that we light while we are down there, but I wanted something for the living room while I’m doing homework. I picked up a few wintery sort of scents to sniff but everything was overpowering. Then I grabbed Cozy Nights because I liked the name and knew it was the one. It’s kind of autumny/wintery, I can’t even place what it smells like but it is delightful.

IMG_0223

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bunny friends!

Geez I have had these photos on my camera for weeeeeks, I just kept forgetting to upload them and share.

A while back, Keith went out to cut the grass and when he started the lawnmower, a flock of bunnies (or actually just two) went hopping. He came back in after a little while and warned me to watch Daisy by the door because there were baby bunnies outside. I immediately jumped up and ran to the door and sure enough, two tiny bunnies. I said I wanted to get my camera but didn’t want to scare them away and he said he’d walked past 2-3 times, they were terrified and weren’t going anywhere.

baby bunny!
baby bunny

 

So, I went out and snapped a few pictures and sure enough, they didn’t move at all. Look how teeny! He could fit in your hand! (There were two but I apparently only took a picture of one.)

I thought that I couldn’t just leave them there, there are railroad ties and two steps blocking the part of the yard they left from the driveway. They hopped down the steps, but couldn’t hop back up. Eventually down the driveway the railroad ties stop, but it’s close to the road and I didn’t want them to get squished.

So, not knowing much about bunnies…I went in and got our heavy duty work gloves. I figured this would protect them from my scent if that was a thing and protect me from their baby claws or teeth or I don’t know much about bunnies so I didn’t want to take any chances.

So I attempted to scoop the first one up and he evaded capture and I literally chased him in circles in the driveway for 4 minutes. By the time I caught him, he was scared almost to death and his little heart was going so fast. But I deposited him in the yard and he hopped away.

The second bunny I scooped up from the front and he basically hopped into my hands and I deposited him into the yard as well.

A bit later I went back outside and neither bunny was where I left them so I’m imagining they made it back home and all was well in bunny land. So I did a good deed and got a cute photo out of it. That’s a win in my book!

 

 

basement bathroom: done!

Last weekend Keith went to Erie and I went to Home Depot. Twice.

He had invited me along but I decided I would stay home and hang out with Daisy and get a bit done around the house. My plan, initially, was to finish up the trim in the hallway/entryway since after that I can start on the dining room! But at the last minute, I decided I would be a good wife and paint Keith’s bathroom instead. Plus I’d get that instant gratification of starting and finishing one room instead of just repainting stupid white trim.

Keith’s bathroom is in the basement and was previously a pale yellow-beige color. It was pretty ugly. Couple with no natural light, it just looked grimey. It was on my list to paint eventually, but since literally no one uses it but Keith…it wasn’t very high on the list. I thought about asking Keith what color he wanted it, but I didn’t want to ruin the surpise of painting it, so I just went with white.

Since it’s a bathroom, and a tiny one at that, I went to Home Depot on Saturday and grabbed a quart of Behr Ultra in Snow Fall (that’s the white I’ve used throughout the house and I didn’t feel like picking another one).

I was JUST barely able to finish one coat with the entire quart. I felt like such an idiot since 1 quart is $15 and 1 gallon is ~$30, but in my defense, the wall is covered in some sort of burlap that has been painted over and all those little divots really sucked up the paint and I did not expect that. Also the room is very oddly shaped, there is a little nook for the toilet and another for the tub and the i-beam in the ceiling…had the bathroom been a regular box, I think I would have been okay. But I wasn’t. So I went back to Home Depot and bought a gallon.

I wasn’t able to get to the second coat until Sunday morning. I started painting at 10am and Keith was due back at noon, so it was a race against the clock but I did manage to finish!

full bath

Before: This was before we bought thehouse, that seat cover/painting/flowers were not ours. You also can’t see the dark green carpet that was in there before I ruined it (when our pipes broke).

Untitled

After: So! much! better!

I was really lazy and used the same satin paint for the walls/ceiling/trim. Who cares. I haven’t had a chance to paint the door yet. Maybe I’ll go out on a limb and paint it a fun color. But Keith’s shower curtain is brown and green and I hate both of those colors, so who knows.

I really wish I had painted the room when everything was all torn out during our plumbing fiasco, it would have made paining around all those stupid corners so much easier. The bathtub is old and stained and should be replaced eventually (hence no picture) so this bathroom’s probably got another makeover in it’s future…that’s why I didn’t think too long about the color.

And! I wish the stupid contractors who finished the bathroom after our plumbing disaster had NOT used silicone caulk between the sink and wall. I get why they did but it is not paintable so there is a stupid halo of yellow-beige paint around it so I’ll need to remove it, paint and then recaulk, but I was not ready to do that.

I also removed a towel rack that was on the other side of the sink and so placed that if you hung a towel there it would have gone IN the sink and so it was of no use to Keith, but it pulled up the stupid burlap making it sort of ripped/bubbled, not even sure how to remedy that. I could cut it out and then patch it, but it will be a smooth patch on a textured wall.

WHO DECIDED BURLAP-ED WALLS LOOKED GOOD?

lights, camera, action

I can’t make a “let there be light” joke because I think I’ve done that at least 3 times in the past two years, but our hallway lights are finally working! Hooray!

I bought an Angie’s List deal and got an electrician for 4 hours for the price of 2. I had a long list of things for him to do and he did end up going over by 30 minutes but I am so glad it is all done! And so glad it was him and not me!

First I had him fix the entryway/hall switches. My cousin had attempted to do that but the wires are old and he couldn’t quite get it, hence my calling in a pro. He did those and then moved onto replacing 2 of my light fixtures. I had posted about them before but I am soooo happy to have them up!

I actually have no before pictures since I never thought to take a picture of an ugly light until he was here and working on them, but I did snap a picture of one before I threw it away.

This was the entry light:

 

entryway light: old
And I had it replaced with this beauty:

 

entryway light: new!

entryway light: new

 

It’s so pretty. It makes me so happy. It peeks out under the archway so I can admire it while sitting on the living room couch. ❤

And the upstairs hall light I don’t have a picture of but it was very small, brass/etched glass, straight out of the 80’s ugly. And I had it replaced with this:

hall light: new

hall light: new

hall light: new

 

I am not as in love with it as I thought I’d be, I think it might be a bit too low. He originally had it twice as low, like nearly touching the banister. I think the hallway just might be too empty and once I get some art up or something it will look better.

He also put a motion sensor/flood light off the back of the house but I got distracted by bunnies when I was trying to take a picture and forgot. It’s nothing special to look at but it’s pretty great to be able to see back there. Hooray!

My home improvement stuff has to be on hold until the wedding is over, but then I’ll have a solid month until my summer class starts to get some stuff done and I’ve got big plans. You’re on notice, wallpaper/fish glass/off-white everything.

katrina oh, wildlife photographer

I saw some bunnies frolicking in the yard the other day. Either frolicking or fighting, but by the time I had grabbed my camera, one of them had hopped off. I did spot some other friends though.

I am very thankful our laundry room glass is so reflective. I can stand there and snap forever and the deer are none the wiser.

 deer friendsThis was later, looking out the sunroom windows. These windows are also very reflective, but on the inside as well.

you bore me.
Really? More deer photos?

sigh.
Sigh.

deer friend

deer friend

Deer are actually pretty grimey up close. I want to bathe them or at least brush them.

deer friend

deer friend

bunny friend
He must be the reigning champion of the yard. I had to go outside for this shot and he barely moved.

I took these photos on Thursday and mentally titled the post. Thursday night I dreamt that I was out back shooting more photos but this time caught a camel (who I was calling a moose in my dream, but he was definitely a camel), a gorilla, and a tiger. Keep dreamin’, Katrina.

talk nerdy to me*

*We went to see Captain America on Friday and got there probably 20 minutes before the movie started. They were playing all sorts of commericals including a nearly 5 minute long “commercial” for some Lifetime show. That Talk Dirty to Me song was…well it wasn’t even playing in the background, about half of the commerical was women walking around and the other half was whatever** dude*** sings the song with some scantily clad women twirling around him.

“Is this a music video?” I asked Keith, amazed that they now played music videos before movies.

“How should I know?” he retorted; which…good point.

It wasn’t until nearly the end that they flashed the name of the show and I realized that it was the most bizarre commerical ever. They played a shorter version at least twice more before the movie started and I have since been unable to get the song (or really just the snippet I know) out of my head.

 

Anyways….last week I had a paper due for my dirt class. We were given the latitude and longitude of a piece of land and had to write up a survey of it, talking about the soils and landforms and whatnot. My professors provided us with a lot of links for information since we couldn’t just up and travel to this plot of land.

The coolest**** link we were shown was for Penn Pilot. It is a database of hisotric aerial photography for the entire state of Pennsylvania. Two days before the paper was due, instead of pulling it up and typing in my homework assignment, I immediately typed in my home address.

They have 3 eras of photography, 1937-1942, 1957-1962, and 1967-1972.

So you type in an address or a city and all the little red dots show where photos were taken. For each era they are slightly different, but luckily I live close enough to an intersection of two major roads that I was able to locate my house pretty easily.

39

In 1939, my home did not yet exist. It would later be built where the blue arrow is, right on the edge of a field. The pink arrow points to the original farmhouse, which is still there! And for sale! Someone buy it so I can go look inside!

56

In 1956, my house was 6 years old! Just a baby! Out in the middle of a field. I wish there was google street view back then, I’d love to see what it looked like up close.

67

In 1967, my house was 17! Almost an adult! with a swimming pool! (That has since been filled in. I keep threatening to go dig it up but now that I realize it is almost 50 years old, I guess I’ll let it be.)

14

And now, 2014, my house is 67! She can retire! She now has lots of neighbors but the most amazing part (to me) is the amount of treeeees! There were some in the tip of the triangle back in ’39 but the majority of them were not even there in 1967. I really would love to know what it looked like without any trees. I would say more than half of our property is covered in trees and while I like that (more privacy, less grass to cut) it would have been cool to see the whole ~3 acres bare.

Pretty awesome to see the evolution of the neighborhood and our property. Can I get a job doing this? Just looking at old houses and maps all day? And adding little arrows in Paint? Please?

 

 

**Yes I am 83 years old, living under a rock. Proud of it, too.

***I just looked it up and apparently it’s Jason Derulo and I have heard that name before but I thought he was a country singer. See above asterisks.

****If you are a super nerd like me.

and then my laundry room tried to kill me…

A few weeks ago, the fluorescent lightin the laundry room went out. Not a huge deal as I don’t do much night time laundry, but the laundry room also leads to the backyard and it’s where we let Daisy out. Having no light in there was pretty annoying even though the kitchen light does shine in there.

We’d been putting off on changing it because it was annoying to get to, behind a plastic panel in a drop ceiling, no real convenient way to get it out, but by Saturday I had had enough.

I pulled up a chair, climbed up and after a minute was able to pop the plastic out and then BOOM.

light1

A metal piece which was formerly attached to the light fell out, knicking my hand on the way down.

light2

I guess I’m lucky that it hit my finger with the edge and not my face (or my eye!) with the corner.

light3

Once I was able to get the tube down, I measured it and got 47″ and then I went to Lowe’s where they only had 48″ tubes, so I grabbed some and just hoped my measurements were off.

Got home and turns out I just can’t measure because they fit, hooray! And now we have light again! And now I have two spent fluorescent tubes and no idea what to do with them. And some nasty slices on my finger (they look worse now than in the picture) and I hope my tetanus shot is up to date because my finger still hurts.

I also spent some time unpacking gifts from my bridal shower (finally!) and yikes! Our recyling man is going to hate us on Friday. I also broke in our new memory foam mattress topper and rice cooker and I am in love.

boxes

 

Two weeks left of class and then I can get back to some real home improvement. Like painting! And hanging pictures! And peeling wallpaper! Can’t wait!

Year Two: Master Projects List

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of buying our house!

Time flies!

I had grand plans for the 1st year and slightly less grand plans for year 2…and accomplished even less.

Here are the things I have accomplished since we moved in and the things I still wish to do.

 

Starting with the top floor and working down:

master bedroom

Done:
Painted blue – Year 1
Bought bed – Year 1
Bought desk for vanity – Year 1
Bought lamps – Year 1
Replaced hardware on my bedside table – Year 1
New sheets/duvet cover – Year 1
Temporary “art” for over bed – Year 1
*Bought long, low dresser for wall across from bed – Year 2

To do:
Touch-up paint along ceiling line
Replace ugly green carpet
Replace ceiling fan – we have to push start the current one
More substantial art for over the bed
Art or mirror for over the long, low dresser

weird room

Done:
nada

To do:
Paint
This will likely be the (distantly) future nursery so I am not doing anything else until then.

guest room

Done:
nada

To do:
Paint
Buy matress, nightstand, dresser?
buy/make headboard
Art for walls
Window treatments
Replace ugly green carpet

upper bathroom

Done:
Painted – Year 1
Bought shower curtain – Year 1
Bought cute bird hooks – Year 1
Bought soap pump/water glass – Year 1
*Bought new shower curtain which makes me want to repaint – Year 2

To do:
Replace caulk strip
Hang floating shelves above toilet
Replace shower curtain rod
Install fan

living room!

living room

Done:
removed wallpaper – Year 1
skim coat of plaster on walls – Year 1
painted – Year 1
bought couch! – Year 1
*second and third coats of paint on one 😦 built in – Year 2
*replaced outlet covers/switchplates – Year 2

To do:
second and third coats of paint on built-ins/doors
give the coffee table a makeover
possibly rearrange furniture
replace the fireplace
maybe re-tile over the hearth tile?
put things on the built-ins other than a bottle of resolve
make curtains (i have the fabric!)
hang curtains
replace crafting table with white desk for crafting

 

after! ish

Done:
*Painted walls! – Year 2
*Replace lightswitches – Year 2

To do:
Paint trim, doors and ceiling
start frame wall
*replace light fixtures (2) – someone coming in 2 weeks
replace doorbell (you can only hear it in the entry way)
replace rug
build out upper closets
replace carpet
*swap lightswitches upstairs since they are backwards – someone coming in 2 weeks
*replace stained glass window – we have one! just need to replace it!

dining room

dining room

Done:
changed out dimmer switch for one that worked – Year 1

To do:
tear down wallpaper
paint
either paint or replace chandeleir
make/buy curtains
replace furniture with something more modern…one day.

IMG_6012

kitchen

Done:
removed wallpaper – Year 1
painted – Year 1
replaced switchplates/outlets – Year 1

To do:
make/install faux roman shade
replace backsplash (something pearly?)
replace countertops (butcher block, please)
put in some type of island/dresser-turned-island?
replace light fixtures

laundry/mudroom

laundry room

Done:
bought rugs – Year 1

To do:
paint
clear counter of all the painting supplies

family room

sunroom

Done:
nada

To do:
clean out the *(now two!) year-old boxes

Powder room, I apparently have no picture.

Done:
nada

To do:
paint
hang shelf above toilet
hang towel ring/bar/holder/thingy

office 2

basement

Done:
Entire plumbing torn out and replaced – Year 1
Carpet ripped out – Year 1
Two walls removed – Year 1
One wall rebuilt – Year 1
rubber matting installed – Year 1
carpet replaced – Year 1
bathroom floor replaced – Year 1
changed out office doorknob – Year 1

To do:
skim coat of plaster over burlap
paint walls/ceiling/ducts
replace wainscoting where it was removed
replace office carpet
remove/restructure office desk
put up some sort of shelving on a far wall
replace lighting
hang artwork

 

The next room I want to tackle is the dining room, so maybe we can enter into 2015 wallpaper-free, but I am not letting myself start on that until the living room and hall/entry way trim is painted.

I am also dying to start on my frame wall in the entry, I got lots of frames for Christmas from Keith’s parents and I bought photos for them and everything, just need to hang them.

I’ve also decided this summer that I need to clean out the sunroom. There are still a few boxes in there from when we moved in 2 years ago and I pretty much just need to throw them away. If I haven’t touched them in 2 years…

And another minor project will be organizing all our files. We have 3 little file cabinets in the office, yet no hanging folders so everything is just throw into them like drawers. I ordered some folders/hangers on amazon and plan on going through/sorting/throwing away/filing things and make some sort of sense of the office. I want to rip the whole thing out since the desk area is huge and just collects stuff.

I am free for June so I plan on getting LOTS done.

let there be light fixtures

A few months back, my cousin came up to replace some outlets/switches for me. We were taking them from the dirty almond to fresh white. He got everything done but had some trouble with our hall/entry switches. He came back up over the weekend but just couldn’t get them to work so I have to hire someone. Not a huge deal, I found an Angie’s List coupon for 4 hours for the price of 2, so we tried to figure out what else we could have him do in 4 hours.

Keith wants a spotlight installed off the back porch so we can see Daisy in the dark. I want pretty new light fixtures. So I went shopping. I’ve known forever that I want a moravian star somewhere, the entryway seems like the perfect place. I bought this guy from Direct from Mexico and I can’t waiiiiit to see it put up. Maybe that will motivate me to finally finish painting the trim in there.

light3

source: directfrommexico.com

I spent a really long time trying to find something for the upstairs hallway. It hangs over the stairs so it can have some length but nothing was really calling to me. I kept going between light flowy sea-glass or capiz chandeleirs or bold geometric pendants. I really had no idea. there is literally nothing in the hall, so it’s not like I had some theme to work off of. I had 2-3 that I was going between but they were all more than I wanted to spend. I finally found a few from Urban Outfitters that were half the price of the others I was looking at. This one immediately caught my eye but I hemmed and hawed for a day or so before buying it. I really like it, it’s fun and I could probably reuse it somewhere else down the line if I decide I want something else up there.

light2

source: urbanoutfitters.com

light1

source: urbanoutfitters.com

The next day I found one on World Market that I wish I would have seen previously, I think it would have been great for the upstairs hall. I am tempted to buy it for somewhere else but I don’t really have anywhere else to put it.

light4

source: worldmarket.com

Maybe above the kitchen sink, but I currently don’t have a light there so that will probably have to wait until I can do a full-kitchen makeover. One day.

My urban light is on backorder, so I probably won’t get them up until mid-April. Trying to be patient until then!

monday prepper

So I was off work yesterday and accomplished so much that I deserve another day off just to keep my momentum.

Yesterday I was woken up by Daisy/the smoke alarm. A few weeks ago one of the smoke alarms in the basement was dying and it took me a little while to get around to changing the battery. Daisy acted weird that entire day, hiding and shaking and I never connected it to the smoke alarm until she followed me down to change the battery, it beeped again and she took off running. Poor baby.

So yesterday the alarm started chirping and Daisy was in our bedroom and freaked out. I went down to get a new battery and figured I’d let her out while down there, when I unhooked her from her lead to come back in, she bolted back into the yard. Pretty sure her thought was “I’d rather live in the yard than go back in where that terrifying noise is.” I finally got her back inside, changed the battery and went back to sleep.

Woke up at 9am, did a little reading, made myself a delicious breakfast of leftover carnitas topped with dippy eggs, some guacamole and tapatio.

leftover carnitas + dippy eggs + guacamole + tapatío.

I had a million things I wanted to do yesterday but I figured I’d do some food prep and laundry first. In two hours in the kitchen I was able to make breakfast/lunch/dinner for the entire week.

Breakfast = Pumpkin protein muffins

pumpkin protein muffins

They aren’t the most amazing thing in the entire world but they are good enough that I ate them every day last week and plan on eating them all this week as well. Seven ingredients (because I add chocolate chips) and made in one bowl. I also was able to get 12 muffins, using a 2TB scoop. They are best if you pop them in the microwave for like 30 seconds before eating. I’m a fan.

I also made lunch for myself for the week = Honey Sriracha chicken thighs + cauliflower rice

sriracha honey chicken thighs + cauliflower rice + broccoli

I’ve also made these before and they are great. I doubled the sauce this time and didn’t baste them, just saved it to pour over. (That broccoli is frozen, not moldy, haha.)

Dinner for last night was Smoky Maple BBQ chicken + veggies.

photo

smoky maple bbq chicken + onions, peppers, sweet potatoes

Basically marinate the diced chicken in 1/3 bottle of sauce. Cook with chopped veggies (I like doing onion, pepper, zucchini and sweet potato but I forgot the zucchini) in oven til chicken is cooked through. Once chicken is done, take it out and broil veggies for a few minutes. It is seriously the easiest thing I make but seriously delcious. “Recipe” from The Dolce Diet book.

I also made Southwest meatloaf for dinners. It’s similar to my beloved Pioneer Woman cajun meatloaf but paleo. (I don’t eat totally paleo but lean paleo-ish.)

southwest meatloaves after

I couldn’t yet make the guacamole to top them with because my avocados weren’t ready.

So there we go. A week’s worth of food in two hours. If only I had every Monday off to prepare like that.

After that I finished up some laundry and even whipped out the paintbrush. I did another coat of white on the living room bookcases which haven’t been touched since January of last year. I figure I won’t be able to spend an entire day painting anytime soon, but I can spend like an hour every weekend and maybe finish painting by 2018. It looks like the bookcases are going to need yet another coat and that is kind of infuriating, but whatever. One coat at a time.