Thursday, June 30, 2011

Picture Post

It's been a CA-RAAAAZY week work-wise so I'm too busy/tired/cranky to do a normal post this week. But earlier today I came across this pic I snapped on my phone and it made me smile. So I thought I'd post it in the hopes of making someone else who might be having a particularly rough week smile as well.

Two words: Holy sweetness :)

Okay, so that 's two words and an emoticon.

Peace, love, and here's to the weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mulch Makes a Difference

So remember when our back yard used to look like this?

And then we tore out all those forsythia and then it looked like this?

And remember in this post when I planted arborvitae, a pear tree, and some other shrubs and it looked like this?

Well, after a 3-cubic-yard mulch delivery, now it looks like this! :)

(the daffodils to the left of the gate are trimmed now since they're past their prime)

And remember when the gate area looked like this up close?

Well now, up close it looks like this!

We put large piece of flagstone (that we transferred from scattered places along the side of the house by previous owners - eventually we'll put in a new walkway entirely) in front of the gate, and now this little area feels so welcoming!

Another welcoming area is this little corner to the left of the house. 

I anchored our arbor there - the same one we were wed under :) - and also planted another arborvitae and transfered a butterfly bush to the center (it was given to us by my in-law's neighbor and we didn't think it survived the transplant...but look! I see greenery at its base!! I think it just might've survived after all. I can't wait to see it come back full force :)

Here's a wider angle of that area. The coloring of the photo is off cuz the sun was hitting directly into my camera phone lense: 

Here's the back left corner of the yard again. I can't wait for my tree and the aborvitae (but the tree especially!) to grow and hide the park's tennis backstop and fencing:

And here's the right side of the backyard. We've got our firepit and grill there now, but we've got big plans to install a patio at the back of the house and move this stuff there. That's something we'll tackle in the future, but for now, this setup works ok.

(The chairs are stacked by the grill because I'd just mowed the yard and left them like that before snapping the pic)
Also on our to-do list is to kill the plethora weedy areas in our grass and re-seed.
Oh, and here's one last backyard shot (well, two if you count the close-up photo after this one). This is a large tree off the left corner of our porch. It may or may not end up staying (it's dangerously close to the house if the right storm and wind took it down in that direction), but for now I dressed it up with some shade-loving hostas:

I anticipate them to get nice and big and leafy and fill in around the trunk a little more.

Well, that's what's been goin on at Casa de Storm as of late. Hope you're enjoying the start of summer and have a pleasant rest of the day!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

On the Road Again

Well, I did it! I completed my first 5K in a looong time. And I have to say, I felt better for this one than I did the last one, which was about 4 years ago.

Plus it definitely helped that I had my half-marathon-runnin sister there with me, running alongside me every step of the way. When I was slowing down or out of breath, she knew just exactly what to say and the exact right time say it...Is physical education a great career for her or what? :)

Oh, and these helped too. I LOVE my new sneakers!

Here's a picture my supportive hubby snapped of me just before crossing the finish line:

I'm the one in pink, number 312, in case you couldn't figure it out :)

The clock reads 33 minutes and 32 seconds, but by the time I actually crossed the finish (the blue mats) my final finish time was 33:33. Which is, A-cool cuz I like repetition of numbers :), haha, and B-cool because I wanted to come in under 34 minutes...and I did! :)

34 minutes was the worst time I can recall coming in at when running 5Ks in college. Since I'm just getting back into running now, I wanted, at the very least, to beat my worst time...and I did! So I'm proud of that, haha :)

Next up, this bad boy:

That's right. I officially registered to compete in the Harrisburg triathlon (.8 mile swim, 14.5 mile bike ride, and 5K run) on July 10 and I have one month until wish me luck! :)
Have a Happy Thursday and a great rest of the week/weekend!

p.s. Some of my recent posts haven't been house/DIY/or decorationg-related posts. But hopefully you, my wonderful readers, will allow me to shoot off on other tangients every now and then like documenting trips, camping, getting back into running, and other things that take precedence at various moments in my life. I don't want to focus soley on our house 24/7 because I don't live my life soley in my house 24/7 :) It is my opinion that being well-rounded in life, (as in blogging) is what makes a person's life full and fun.

Thanks for coming along with me on this ride!!! :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Old Cabinet/Buffet makeover

So I'm not exactly sure what my grandparents used it for, but this old cabinet or buffet was in their basement. And we found really old and super cool newspapers in its drawers when we moved it. Since I'm notoriously bad at taking before photos here's the cabinet with the top boards already removed.

They were CRAZY warped and I put a new top on it which I'll show you later.

Here's an aerial view of looking down into the drawers while the top was off:

The wood was really dried out, so I tried my oil and vinegar trick and it brought it beautifully back to life! Sorry I forgot to take a picture of that :/
I just love the old hardware latch on the doors:

K, so the first thing I did after I removed the warped boards was find a plank of wood to replace it with. I found what's pictured below at Lowes (I liked that it had the look of many boards but it was only one piece) and I cut it down by only about 5 inches in lenth. It's width was PERFECT and didn't need any adjustment.  I stained it in a dark Jacobean Stain by Minwax (which I think is my FAV shade) and ended up with this:

I also dinged it up with nail "worm holes" hammer dents and screw driver scrapes to give it a more worn, aged look and help it match the old base it would soon be paired with so it didn't look brand spanking new and like I had just replaced the top :)

And PLEASE forgive the messiness behind the cabinet top. That room's kind of a catch-all and it was holding yard sale items which have now been SOLD and are outta my life! :) Oh, but you can see one of the old, warped, barely still painted red top boards behind it...

Now, the photo below may look like I just threw the top on and started using it as extra storage (which I'm sometimes known to do if I get sidetracked in the middle of projects) but really I used a line of glue (Liquid Nails) around the perimenter of the top of the cabinet, added the board, and then the paint cans and box o' yard sale stuff on top to weigh it down while it dried. After the glue was dry I hammered in a few nails around the perimeter for good measure.

Then came the white paint...can you see the transformation happening? :)

I used this polyurethane for a top coat:

And it made that baby shine like the sun! :)

It made the wood so much richer in color and warmth. Love it! But unfortunately, this is where my camera died and I wasn't able to take a proper 'after' picture before it sold. That's right, this beauty was sold at our yard sale along with a few other pieces I re-finished. I was a little sad to see it go since it was my grandparents, but it had just been taking up space in our home and we never used it.

Plus it went to a good home - a young couple who first stopped to inquire about it, left, and then came back to bring it home with them. I'm glad it'll make someone else happy :) Speaking of happy, have a Happy Tuesday!

til next time,

p.s. Did anyone else watch HGTV'd last night? Was that girl's room makeover crazy or what?! I want a hidden karaoke machine in my living room now :)... 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Feeling Campy

*Warning: all photos in the post were taken with our phones and therefore stink in the quality department :)

Well we did it. We finally made good use of one of our wedding presents we received way back in 2009 - our camping tent! :) We finally pitched our tent (unless you count putting it up in our backyard for one night 2 summers ago) and camped for a weekend in Gifford Pinchot State Park.

The first night we had rain, but it was no biggie. We got cozy in the the tent and played quiz games (cuz we're nerds like that. We even brought Winston and he loved it! He was a GREAT camper :)

Here, you might think we were telling ghost stories, what with the darkness and mood lighting creating scary dark circles under my eyes. You might think that, but you'd be wrong cuz that's just how I look with poor lighting and a crappy camera phone :)

Jeez, winston looks better than I do in that pic, haha. Oh and speaking of Winston, look at the strapping fella now, saddled up with his hiking pack and all :)

We we went for a hike each of the two days we were there. Well, the first day was more like a walk on a gravel trail. The second day was definitely a hike through the woods along a mountain trail. At times that trail was so muddy and water-logged that we thought we might have to turn back. But we perservered and made it the whole distance. You should've seen us coming out of the woods back into the campground's main entrance all muddy and tired and breathing heavy (the breathing heavy was probably just me)...I'm sure it looked like something out of Deliverance :) 

And when we were just chillin out at the campsite, since Winston thinks he's a lap dog, he was sure to see that his curling up on the couch was not infringed upon. Case in point:

What a strange dog! Gotta love him...and that cute guy holding him ;)

Hope you're Memorial Day weekend was great and here's looking forward to the weekend ahead. Happy Friday all!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kick in the Pants

I've given myself the proverbial kick in the pants to get back into a regular cardio excercise habit, and so in that spirit, and to help me stay motivated, I've ordered new kicks - cuz, really what helps you stay motivated more than making sure you get your money's worth after paying a buttload (in my eyes) for a brand new pair of Nike Frees? :)

Feast your eyes...

These should be arriving at my door by the end of the day today and I can't be more excited. My sister has had a pair for awhile now and LOVES them - she even wore them in her half marathon.

I think watching her race a few weeks ago made me miss the days I used to run. Don't get me wrong, I hate running. BUT I used to run a lot and did some 5Ks here and there and even a triathlon once (when I was a younger, 15-pound lighter, more athletic me) and I like the competition aspect of it. Not competition with other people mind you, but being in competition with myself. Like I'd find myself thinking, "There's no way I'm gonna be able to finish this", and then finishing it; or "There's no way I'm going to be able to do this in such-and-such amount of time", and then TOTALLY beating that time and feeling so proud of myself...know what I mean?

So I've decided to sign up for some local races. I have a 5K coming up this Saturday, and I think I'm going to sign up for a triathlon in July and duathlon in August (on my birthday!). Here's hopin I don't die after the first leg of the swims :)

And you know,  it's a good thing I ordered my new shoes, too - my old running shoes have started to disintegrate and the rubber sole on the bottom has come apart from the shoe. It is now flapping more than my turkey wing underarms when I wave hello (and they wave goodbye back).

So I'm in the process of training for these events and looking forward to any physical sveltness that may come about as a result :) haha. Really, my goals are just finishing the races and simply being healthier, but hey, if a tighter buttocks and shapelier legs happen along the way that's fine by me too :)

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