Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A New Deck!

Finally!  I have been hoping that I could write this post for weeks, but it is time to show you our finished deck!

First the back story.  When we moved into this house 3 years ago, we knew we would need to replace the deck.  It was 25 years old, and was definitely showing its age.  This has been on the top of our list for a while, but things just kept jumping in the way.  This year, we saved up specifically for the deck, and finally made it happen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I'm Still Here!

Hi Everyone!

Just in case you have traveled over in the past couple weeks, only to find nothing going on over here, I wanted to assure you that I haven't forgotten about the blog!  If you know my job well, or have talked to me in the last couple weeks, you know that I have a busy season in the fall where I spend most of my time at work, which we call a refueling outage.  It's a neat time at work because I get to leave my desk a lot more than I usually do, but my home life tends to suffer a bit.  This year, the outage is particularly long, so posts may be somewhat scattered for the next month or two.

I have a nice long post coming soon about a big project that is finally finished(!), and a few already completed projects that I can write about, but believe me, the wheels are turning dreaming up new projects! (I can hear my hubby now: noooooooo!!)

Thanks for understanding!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Easy To Check-Off #2: Fresh Paint

Hey y'all!

First, there are still about 3 days to enter my contest for some greeting cards made by my favorite artist (and sister)!  Check out this post to enter.  Hope you love her work as much as I do!

On to the real subject of this post- may favorite way to change up a room!  You may have read about my reason for repainting some of the rooms in my house, and I hinted that I was going to be bringing in a more dramatic change in the kitchen and dining room.  Today's the day I'll be showing that to you!

I mentioned on my previous post that I am working toward a more cohesive paint scheme in my house.  Not necessarily painting each room the same color, but trying to keep in a consistent palette of color.  After repainting the living room a more soft color, the dining room and kitchen really stood out in all of it's guacamole colored glory.  Here's what we had before:

Now, I really like this color, but I may be the only one.  This is the first room that I mentioned I would be painting and got the response of "oh, that sounds good" from my hubby.  I think he more has an issue of the walls being named after a Mexican condiment that he despises more than the color itself, but hey, he was happier than usual about my wanting to paint, so I'll take it. 

To recap, here are the colors that I just put in the adjacent living room:

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and Colorado Gray

And here are the two colors that I narrowed the kitchen down to:

Benjamin Moore Summer Shower and Woodlawn Blue

Ultimately I chose to go with the Woodlawn Blue because it was closer to the 'mint' color pictured in my head.  I chose to go with BM's Royal line of paint this time, and it certainly was thicker than the Ben line that I used a few weeks ago.  I still needed 2 coats, so the paint didn't quite go as far as the Ben paint seemed to, but I used less than a gallon, so no big deal.  I'm hoping that it will hold up well.

So, here's the "new" kitchen and dining room!

And some before and after:



It has definitely 'cooled down' the room by a lot, for better or for worse.   I like that our darker furniture doesn't compete with the wall color any more, and I like the contrast that's there now.

Eventually I would like to replace the kitchen counters, which are in kind of rough shape, and right now I'm leaning toward a dark butcher block, although it's so far down the road that I'm sure I'll change my mind about 15 times before then.

So, for about $50 and a few hours of my time, I was able to change the look of my room pretty dramatically.  Now this room had minimal furniture to move, so painting may not always fit in the 'easy to check-off' category, but it's definitely a good bang-for-your-buck investment.

Any painting projects going on out there for you all?  

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Time for Fall- and My First Giveaway!

Hello again!

Now that summer has officially moved out, it's time to brace ourselves for awful winter enjoy warm drinks and pumpkin everything (I'm really trying to be positive!).  I have finally given up on my summer flowers on the front porch and have replaced them with fresh pumpkins.  Soon I'll be bringing my more delicate plants inside and hoping I can keep them alive over the winter.  Then again, as I type this it's 80 degrees outside, so who knows what to expect!

I have seen a lot of fall party ideas come across my computer screen lately, more than I remember from previous years.  Plenty of table decorations, pumpkin lanterns, and cider recipes.  Even with all of the internet's ideas, I think the most ingenious idea that I have heard so far came from my Aunt.  Rather than dive into pumpkin everything right away and be sick of it by Thanksgiving, her family created a "Feast of Pumpkin", where they took one meal and made it all about pumpkin.  They put pumpkin into everything they could think of!  Isn't that a great idea!?  I mean really, how many of us will be sick of pumpkin by Halloween at this rate?  What a great way to actually enjoy the season, and a great excuse to get together with friends and family.

If you are thinking of throwing a party this fall, consider sending invitations by mail to invite your guests.  I don't know about you, but I still like getting cards and invitations in the mail, and I think most people do too!  

Which brings me to another family member with great ideas- Michelle from Michelle Miller Illustration, who happens to also be my sister.  Michelle is an artist, local to South Eastern PA, who has been making art for as long as she has been able to hold a pencil.  One of her recent projects is to develop a line of greeting cards.  She paints the designs by hand in her signature style, which is really awesome by the way, and then prints the cards on heavy cardstock.  Just look at this one!

You can view her entire line here.  As I mentioned, she is currently working to build this greeting card line, so check back often for more designs.  She also has some great original artwork, so make sure you check that out as well.  Speaking of original, if you really want to have a special card to send out this holiday season, talk to Michelle about a custom card- maybe with your family or favorite pet?  Hard to beat that, huh?!  She has a great imagination, and I love getting to see whatever she is working on next.

So, to get your fall party started, Michelle and I are teaming up to bring two deals to you today!  First, Michelle is generously offering everyone reading the blog free shipping from her Etsy site through DECEMBER 15th (code: Lancasteraveliving).  Also, one lucky reader will be given a free set of 5 cards in any one style from her shop!  In order to enter, I'm asking the following:

1. Please enter the contest by visiting Michelle's site and picking your favorite design.  Then, leave a comment on this post with your selection.  I will randomly pick the winner on October 8th.

2. If you happen to be the lucky winner, please use the cards!  This is a great way to promote an up and coming artist, and it works best if those cards go in the mail! 

I hope you all have enjoyed the little taste of Michelle's work, and maybe have the motivation you needed to pull that party together!

Good Luck!

Update: Thanks to those that entered my giveaway and offered kind word's for Michelle's artwork.  I picked the lucky giveaway winner in the most random way I could think of: I wrote your names on a piece of paper, put them in the floor, and chose the one Lucy Dog tried to eat first!  And the winner is...

Cady Bond!

Remember, everyone is offered free shipping on Michelle's Etsy site using the code Lancasteraveliving through December 15th.