we did it

We did it. We finally did it! I'll give you a hint...there is documentation of this momentous occasion in my last post.

We've been wanting to do this for several years now, and every season would come and go and still nothing. Well, we finally bit the bullet and mustered up the courage to give it a shot.
My dear friends, this past weekend we started our very first vegetable garden!

To start, we planted arugula (my fav), spinach (the huz's fav), butterhead lettuce, carrots, broccoli, radishes and green onions. We have plans to slowly add in a variety of other vegetables and fruit over the next coming months. If all goes as planned, the first to pop up should be the radishes. Then, the arugula and butterhead. Green onions won't surface for another couple of months, but we'll have the grill hot and ready. Delicious!

Here is a before shot of the corner before we had our fence installed. It kind of resembled a burial mound so we transplanted most of the plants to other areas, and leveled this corner with the intention of starting a garden:

Here is the after, or maybe I should say "in progress" since we still have lots of love to give before our first harvest:

The sun was behind a huge tree in the early evening when I took this photo, but you get the idea!

You will notice that I also painted the fence. It was a deep red color, and deeply weathered so I decided to spruce it up with a little exterior paint. I chose Benjamin Moore's Wrought Iron, and I love it. The photos don't do it justice at all. It is a deep charcoal, but has a lovely blue undertone. I chose a satin finish so it reflects the sun just a tad and can be sprayed down with a hose when it gets dirty.

Next up, tomato plants in large pots to the right of the bed, and herbs in pots mounted to the fence, like this:

Source: google.com via Larissa on Pinterest

This summer, we plan to add a second bed to the left of this one. This will not only produce more to harvest, but it will also allow us to practice crop rotation which is important in maintaining an organic garden.

The finishing touch will be to install flagstone and ground cover surrounding the bed to help combat weed infestation.


{ spring }

The past couple of weekends have been absolutely gorgeous in Seattle. The sun has been out, the birds have been chirping, and all the lovely buds are starting to blossom. It is amazing how a little sunshine can put a spring in your step.

Here are just a few photos from my weekend, filled with soft light, warm sun, cool breezes, and the beautiful colors of spring.


notes from our Friday night

This past week, our oldest dog Bailey gave us quite the scare.  For a 12 year old dog, Bailey is rather spry, but age has started to take its toll.

Thursday night we rushed him to the emergency animal hospital because he was repeatedly falling over. We immediately feared the worst - stroke, brain tumor, toxins - these were all possibilities. After what felt like forever waiting at the vet, we were finally brought in to talk to the doctor. Luckily, we were wrong about our fears. He has what is called Intervertebral Disc Disease, and it has caused loss of full function in his hind legs. The good news is that it is manageable, and with bed rest and anti-inflammatory medication, we can likely restore his quality of life.

Now, bed rest for a lab isn't an easy task. Oh, and try to keep them off the furniture when they've been allowed to their whole life. Not so simple. Last night we decided to try something a little different to make sure Bailey didn't feel left out (you laugh, but he gets super pouty). Or, some might say it was just a great excuse to have a movie night and slumber party just like when we were kids!

Belle is the one on the couch. Bailey is in the other room pouting.

He absolutely loved it. As soon as the huz and I put in the movie, dimmed the lights, and tucked ourselves in, Bailey walked over and snuggled right up against my leg. He stayed there all night with us. It warmed my heart.

We might just have to do it again tonight!


chalk it up

We all know how popular chalkboards have become. After years of having it on my crafty to-do list, I finally made my own. My inspiration?

Several visits to Goodwill over the past month or so, and I finally found the perfect starting point. Ornate frame? Check. Fit the scale of the large blank wall in our kitchen? Check. Lightweight enough for our old walls? Check.

With some elbow grease and patience allowing the paint to dry, here is what I ended up with:

In addition to the chalkboard paint, I also used magnetic paint as a primer. It is a lot more functional now that I can put up a calendar and any to-do items that come in the door.

I decided to go with a white border in high-gloss because I already had it on hand, and I am so happy I did because I love it!

This was #24 on my 30 before Thirty list. Keep checking back as I cross more items off my list. I have a lot to do in 3-months time!


Progress on my 30 before 30...

I am pleased to report that I have made some progress on my 30 before Thirty list! I promise I'll share photos soon. Seriously, I will!


This morning, as I was lost in the wonderful world of Pinterest, I came across a pin by my dear friend, Erin.

I knew it was Venice, which the huz and I had the pleasure of visiting last spring, but it looked almost too familiar. Most of the streets in Venice looks the same, making it very easy to get lost, but I just had a hunch that I had been on that street.

Looking through my photos from our trip, I can across this photo:

Look at the end of the street. It is the same, no? This was the street of the small boutique hotel we stayed at, which was lovely, by the way.

This has, of course, left me dreaming of my next destination.


for a cohesive look

Last year, I shared with you my labor of love. Ever since then, I've been trying to find pillows that coordinate with this piece for a more cohesive look. I knew I wanted a deep blue color, and some sort of graphic print. I have plans to bring in a couple more colors to liven it up, but this is a good start.


blending the seams

One of the biggest challenges of our home has been trying to blend the seams where the previous owners did remodels. The most recent example is the connection between the front part of our house and the kitchen. Case in point:

We have big plans for our kitchen, but that is a little ways away. In the meantime, we wanted to continue scrubbing away at the design decisions made by the previous owners. Take a look at the photo above one more time. Say good-bye. Now, look at the photo below.

Better? This is not the best photo, but the wall is the same color. We also painted a wider "door jam" to create the look of a real doorway. The baseboards are different (and will remain that way until we install new kitchen flooring), but painted the same white to blend. Time to check one more item off my 30 Before Thirty list!


30 Before Thirty

Have you ever heard of the 30 before 30?

The idea is to create a list of 30 things you'd like to accomplish before you turn 30. I started a couple months ago, but I'll be turning 30 this June which leaves me with less than 6 months to go. I've decided to post this list here as a journal of my accomplishments, and a means of holding myself accountable.

Follow along as I slowly check items off my list:
  1. Learn how to use all the settings on my camera (almost there... but still need practice!).
  2. Finish caulking/painting our bedroom moulding (a task that has been 2.5 years in the making).
  3. Frame family keepsakes and photos.
  4. Build 5 "go-to" outfits I love from items I already own.
  5. Discover 5 "request-worthy" healthy meals. (Done! I should share these with you, huh?)
  6. Start composting. 
  7. Create an important docs filing system that works for both of us, and finally merge all our personal files. (Done!)
  8. Paint basement guest room (in progress).
  9. Get/make pillows that coordinate with my labor of love. (Done!)
  10. Paint/decorate our bedroom in a more sophisticated color palette. (Done!)
  11. Remove kitchen door and paint over blue wall. (Done!)
  12. Take another romantic vacation with huz.
  13. Successfully bake a chocolate souffle.
  14. Reevaluate investment accounts and plan for future.
  15. Start daily gratitude journal.  (Done!)
  16. Start blogging again. (Done!)
  17. Make family binder with important information and documents.
  18. Go to the eye doctor (for pete's sake)! (Done! I now wear contacts.)
  19. Install new porch light.
  20. Get new fridge (We bought a dishwasher instead...progress is progress!)
  21. Finish gardens flanking walkway up to the house. (Done!)
  22. Paint inside of front door (the outside can wait until we paint the entire house).
  23. New kitchen windows.
  24. Make chalkboard for kitchen wall. (Done!)
  25. Install trellis in front of car port, and plant gorgeous vines (Just need the trellis now... and soon).
  26. Take and frame one new picture of each pup (must accomplish #1 first).
  27. Start a vegetable garden (Done!).
  28. Finish mudroom.
  29. Take a mini vacation to one of the many nearby islands. 
  30. Cut personal debt in half (we are fortunate to have very little debt, but I'd still like to set a financial goal).
Wish me luck!
(Don't worry, I'll share some pictures of  some of the items already scratched off my list. We still have some catching up to do.)


Out with the old. In with the new.

Has it really been almost one year since I last did a post. Yup. Pathetic, isn't it? Oh well - Out with the old (i.e., not posting). In with the new (i.e., posting). To make up for lost time, I'll do a brief recap of 2011 so we can close the book on that chapter and open the door to the next!

Finished out 2010 in New York visiting the huz's family. Trip was planned as a week-long stay. Turned into almost a 2-week stay due to a crazy snowstorm that shut down the NY airports for a couple days. Although we were anxious to return to our dogs and get back to our own home, we decided to make the most of it and took a train for a romantic night stay in the big city.

January 2011 - Sick dog gave us quite the scare, but everything turned out okay.

February 2011 - Decided we needed a proper vacation just the two of us, so we booked a trip to Italy.

March 2011 - Pipe burst in basement bathroom. Not fun, or cheap. Considered cancelling trip to Italy. Decided against it (so glad we did!). Had all new carpet installed in the basement, as well as new walls/baseboards/lighting/mirror in the bathroom. We also decided to move the washer and dryer to the basement. Fun times.

April 2011 - Amazing trip to Italy. Here are a few photos to make you jealous.

May 2011
- The huz was brought on as a trainer at CrossFit Seattle, and given the opportunity to do what he loves for a living. We also celebrated our 2 year anniversary this month.

June 2011 - We celebrated my birthday with close friends at Olivar in Capitol Hill. Exactly what I needed. Good food, good company, and good conversation.

July 2011 - The huz's parents visited, and we took them on a seaside adventure to San Juan Island.

August 2011 - The huz's sister and her boyfriend visited, and we took them on a true Pacific Northwest adventure - camping. There was beer, brats, lawn sports, and river kayaking.

September 2011 -  The huz made the difficult decision not to return to teaching, but instead to pursue CrossFit training full-time.

October 2011
- We celebrated the huz's birthday, and I surprised him with a flight home for his niece's 1st birthday/Halloween costume party. It was a surprise to his family as well!

November 2011 - Thanksgiving was quiet this year, but lovely. Just the two of us, at home with the dogs. Yes, I did still make a turkey. This girl needs all the practice she can get!

December 2011 - My parents flew in for Christmas, and we took them on a mountain snow adventure to Leavenworth. The Sleeping Lady Lodge was the perfect escape. The added bonus was that my brother was also in Seattle visiting his wife's family and we were able to steal him away for dinner at Spring Hill, and then again for board games and family festivities!

And that, my friends, brings us to the close of a wonderful year. Now...bring on 2012!