Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer (& Vacation) Begins

That's right, today is my first day of summer and we leave tonight for vacation! I am very excited to spend time relaxing with Greg and exploring the U.P. I will be taking a blogging break during our travels over the next 9 days. See you in June!

xo, Erin

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Second Anniversary: Cotton

We are sticking with the traditional anniversary gift theme. Last year was paper, this year was cotton.

Again, Greg takes this very literally:

Yes, that box is full of cotton balls..

I got Greg a personalized pillow for our bed, a shirt and new boat shoes.

Our big gifts to each other included lenses for my (our) camera and all the supplies needed to get the hot tub up and running. We are also leaving for vacation this weekend to the UP and Mackinac Island.. can't wait!

We celebrated by going out to dinner at Jag's, a nice steakhouse by our new house. We picked out dessert 'on the house' and it came out looking very fancy. After dinner, we came home and watched our wedding video. It is such a fun tradition to bring back memories of our special day. A videographer is definitely  worth the investment!

Next year is leather... I wonder what Greg has up his sleeve for that one ;)

xo, Erin

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two Terrific Years

It's amazing how fast time goes when you are in love with your best friend. This past year we enjoyed traveling together to Nashville, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Vegas, Traverse City and Florida. We spent many weekends with friends and family visiting Illinois and Michigan too. We sold a house, bought a house and moved. This past year was full of memories and new beginnings and I look forward to many years to come.

Happy Anniversary to my biggest supporter in life who pushes me to be my best and makes me laugh when I need it the most. To my 24-hour handyman, I don't know where I would be without you ;)

xo, Erin 

Monday, May 20, 2013

+5 For The Jeep

Last week when I shared outdoor pictures, our plan was to tackle this mess:

So we did...

From start to finish it took about 20 minutes to pull out 5 bushes. I would like to tell you that we have super powers and dug them up in minutes, but we had a little help from the Jeep. We tied a tow strap along the base and made a slip knot. We hooked it to the back of Greg's jeep, he slowly stepped on the gas, and out the bushes came. Yup, that simple.

I was also busy planting LOTS of flowers yesterday! The previous owners left lots of flower pots, so I took advantage and did most of my planting in pots this year. I'll let you know at the end of the season which I prefer: pots or garden beds.

That was our Sunday in a nutshell!

xo, Erin

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

House Tour: Outside

Now that everything is in bloom and is looking green from all the rain, I finally took some outdoor pictures to share with you. It is a work in progress. You will see in the pictures some of the bushes we whacked down last weekend, and some things that still need attention. I should also note it was very windy when I was taking the pictures. (I started taking pictures standing in the driveway, headed towards our back patio. Sorry, it's a little backwards.)

From the driveway, this path leads you to our back patio/hot tub

 A view standing in the garden, looking at our patio. The landscape provides a lot of privacy

Here is a lilac bush, tangled up with some big weeds, tree growth, and overgrown prickly bushes. (this mess is on our to-do list for this weekend)

Another angle of the mess. You couldn't even see the bushes prior to us trimming that tree up

That's the tree we trimmed up. We plan on pulling bushes out and planting smaller ones or just some flowers underneath

The view from our back property line

We love how much shade the pergola provides. You can also see how the hot tub blends in and is private in the corner surrounded by landscaping

We whacked those rose bushes down last weekend. They were growing into the tree

The view of our backyard, our property ends before the bigger tree in the distance

Huge lilac tree and overgrown rose bushes underneath

And now the front...

The Bradford Pear tree has sprouts everywhere! I am trying to convince Greg to cut the tree down...

This is an overgrown mess to the right of the front door. The Japanese Maple is looking crazy and hides everything behind it. The holly in the way back is almost as tall as the dining room windows!

These were found blooming behind the Japanese Maple

There is a large tree/bush type thing in the center of this picture. It is also slowly taking over the house

This is the view down the driveway. Large bushes try and hide the utility boxes

These beauties were found blooming by the mailbox

And back up the driveway there is one more garden bed..

..and a cute little light post growing more flowers

xo, Erin

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

when life happens

This past weekend was a wash. Most of it was spent lounging and relaxing because allergies got the best of me. We squeezed in a little cleaning and organizing and of course, some hot tub time.

Sunday afternoon when I was feeling a little better, we started to tackle our garden beds. There are a lot of them! (which reminds me, I still need to take/share outdoor pictures) I unfortunately didn't take any pictures because I was double gloved trying not to get attacked by rose bushes. A lot of our bushes were overgrown so we trimmed them way back. We also trimmed up a tree that is too close to the pergola, using a chainsaw and then bundling the branches. Everything is currently piled in our garage waiting for trash night.

I love discovering everything in the gardens (even though I don't know what half of it is). I get excited when things start flowering and adding color to the somewhat dull landscape. I cut some lilacs last night and brought them inside. They smell perfect!

I'm hoping this weekend to pick up some flowers and start planting them in pots. We also have a lot more tree and bush trimming to do. Outside has definitely been keeping us busy and not leaving much time to get projects done inside. Good thing yesterday was the last day for students which means summer is near! Looking forward to having more time to get things done and organized!

xo, Erin

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

DIY Gold Striped Pots

We have been in our new house a little over a month, and I haven't really had the opportunity to be creative. I was happy to see it was challenge time, and tried to do something simple that didn't require Greg. Let's get to it...

Gold dipped accents are everywhere! I was looking to add a touch of gold to the mantel. We recently purchased a clock at the Ballard Designs Outlet and it was looking a little bare underneath.

I was inspired by these beauties to add some gold and faux plants:



I went to IKEA looking for three small white pots. They didn't have the pots I was originally planning to purchase, so I changed my plan a bit. I found some silver pots for .99 cents each. Price was right.. just had to sand them, and spray them white. 

We (Greg is the master spray-painter) used Rustoleum Paint & Primer Satin finish to get this look. We did 2-3 thin, even coats for the perfect coverage.

After letting them dry for 24 hours, I was on track with my original plan. I wanted to add gold accent stripes. I used Frog Tape to cover the parts that were to remain white. Everything else was going to be sprayed gold. 

For this step, I used Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin- Caramel Latte. After a few, thin coats, it was ready for the reveal.

Love! This is the perfect gold accent to our mantel. I love how it coordinates with our lamp shades in the same room. 

Pots- $3
White spray paint- $6
Gold spray paint- already owned
Frog tape- already owned
Faux plants (from IKEA)- already owned
Total- $9

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