Summer Gardening, Part 1

This summer has been successful for our gardens. Our efforts started out a little rocky, especially for the vegetable garden, but now we are enjoying the fruits of our labor.

In our front flower beds, the day lilies, hibiscus, gladiolus, petunias and black-eyed susans are looking beautiful this year. Early in the summer, we experienced moderate temperatures and rain which helped keep our flowers happy. They are in better shape than they were during last year’s heat wave.

Here is a peek at our blooming flowers:

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Up next: an update on our vegetable garden.

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Guest bedroom

Prior to the arrival of our July 4th guests, we made a few updates to the guest bedroom.

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We added curtains, which previously resided in my office and we also arranged a collection of West Virginia postcards on the wall.

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BJ and I both lived in West Virginia for many years, and although I wasn’t born there, it definitely feels like home. If you haven’t been to West Virginia, it’s worth a visit, especially for the beautiful scenery and great people.

While at a family reunion this summer, I picked up a few postcards honoring West Virginia’s 150th birthday. I carefully taped each card into place in a mix of white and black 4×6 frames from Ikea.
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Our guest bedroom now contains a mix of furniture that we will eventually replace. In the meantime, the furniture is serving its purpose. For bedside tables, we are using two old end tables that came with our previous couch set. I think we may keep these end tables, but they desperately need sanded and finished. I’ve added them to my list of fall projects once the weather cools down.

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I’m still debating if I want to try my hand at painting the dresser. It is a hand-me-down dresser from BJ’s college years family and he does not have any sentimental attachment to the piece. Because it is veneered, it will be difficult to paint, or even spray paint. I will have to score the surface before any paint will stick (if it even does). If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I’m interested to know if there is a more effective/easier way to paint veneered furniture or if I should just let it go and buy a different dresser for this room.

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We have a few more projects slated for this room, but here is our progress to date:

1. Hang curtains
2. Add a headboard to the bed
3. Add throw pillows
4. Hang WV postcard collage
5. Update dresser
6. Refinish end tables turned bedside tables
7. Paint?

Two down and five more projects to go! We are well on our way to completing the look of this room.

Fantastic Foyer

Hello everyone! We hope you had a great Fourth of July! We had a great time celebrating with family this holiday.

So, you might be asking, what have we been up to lately? Well… a lot, actually. Keep your eye out for new posts coming soon.

Up first is our recent foyer updates. A few months ago, we started designing a larger layout for our existing foyer photo collage. We finally finished the collage and also added some artwork and and a mirror to our foyer. Since we brought in our (very heavy) 22ft ladder for the collage, we decided to go ahead and hang our artwork and mirror before we put the ladder away again.

You might remember the paper templates I created to map out where we would hang out new additions to our photo collage. Not only did they help us to visually see how we planned to hang the photos, they also served as a way to tell where to place the nail on the wall. Once we hammered the nail hole using the paper template, we removed the paper, put the nail(s) back in the wall and then placed all the photos.

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In order to hammer on the wall, we first removed all of the photos and left their nails in the wall. I took a picture (seen above) of all the photos so we would remember how they were arranged. While the frames were down, I swapped a few of the photos for new. After we finished hanging the frames we got out our trusty level.
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And here is our finished collage!

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Thanks to a friend who told me about the Kirkland’s Friends and Family sale a few months ago, we found a great inexpensive mirror to hang in our foyer and help distribute the light from the window. Here is the empty wall before the mirror:
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And after:

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From the upstairs guest bedroom there is a nice view of the stairs from our new mirror.

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In addition to the mirror, we also found an inexpensive painting to hang above my office door. I love the scene in the picture. It’s raining but the bright red umbrella looks so cheery. My mom also said that the couple in the photo remind her of BJ and me. ūüôā I would definitely wear that coat.
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Here are a few more photos of our updated foyer, including BJ’s Formula One vintage wooden photo. I posted a photo of it on our Instagram.
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How do you dress up a large wall? With photos, artwork, or both?

Pinterest Picks: Summer Table Settings

Summer is almost here and I’m so excited! The first official day of summer is still a few weeks away but I’m already thinking about BBQs, picnics and pool parties.

I’m looking forward to enjoying dinners out on our patio again. To spruce up our outdoor decor, I bought this yellow-green hurricane¬†for our patio bistro set during the Crate and Barrel 20% off outdoor sale.

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Inside of the hurricane, we added an indoor/outdoor battery-operated led candle from Target.

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Our new hurricane inspired me to put together a fun summer table arrangement for our bistro set. To find some ideas I searched for “summer table setting” on Pinterest.

Here are a few of my favorite pins:

I love how the table setting below incorporates red, white and blue as well as a coastal theme with the seashells. The yellow flowers also give off a bright summery feel.

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This table setting incorporates a few of my favorite summer colors. I love the bright yellow and green dinnerware and patterned napkins.

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I love lanterns and this table setting reminded me of our wedding. For our wedding, we incorporated lanterns as our table arrangements. We still have the lanterns and use them in our home decor.

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This summer table setting is simple and classy. The clear milk jug vases and white flowers are an elegant touch. I could definitely see us incorporating a simple flower arrangement in our own summer table setting.

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This last table setting is a fun way to use fresh fruit in a centerpiece. You could even put a cute little sign in the fruit arrangement that says “please enjoy.”

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After I looked at all of the summer table settings on Pinterest, I put together this setting  for our bistro set. What do you think?


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Getting Our Garden On: Take 2

So our first go around at a vegetable garden didn’t work out as planned. Only a few of our seedlings survived the cold weather.

After a few weeks of rain and cold, our garden looked like this:

IMG_5875 (2)All of the seedlings except for our sweet corn and some of our herbs didn’t survive. We were also left with a lot of tiny weeds.

To replace our failed seedlings, I bought a selection of mature vegetables and some garden soil from the Home Depot. These vegetables (and technically “fruits”) came in really neat biodegradable pots that you can plant straight into the ground. To learn more about the biodegradable pots and how to plant them, check out the Bonnie Web site.

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In addition to the mature plants, I also planted new green bean and red pepper seeds. I planted the seeds in garden soil in hopes that the rich soil will produce better results.

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Our sweet corn stalks are doing really well despite a few cold days. The stalks are getting pretty tall compared to when we planted them.

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How are your summer gardens going?

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Before I wrap up this post, did you notice anything different about our photos? I’m working on some upgrades to Frame By Frame Style and this is the debut of our new photo tag. Hope you like it!

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A Rustic Wedding Weekend

Earlier this month, we attended a friend’s wedding at a farm. It was a fun and unique site that allowed for a rustic country wedding theme.

The ceremony and reception took place in the little red round barn, which used to be an old feed barn for cows. The top floor of the barn had a large round area where the feed dropped down to the lower floor’s troughs. Today, the barn is used¬†as a museum and wedding reception venue.

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The night before the ceremony, we were at the location for the rehearsal and I captured these images of the storm rolling in. “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Thankfully, on the day of the wedding, the rain held off and the weather was a perfect mid-60’s with a slight breeze blowing.¬†IMG_4477

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The venue had a few other old log buildings that were perfect for rustic wedding photo opportunities.

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With the potential for rain, the couple decided to hold their ceremony in the upstairs section of the round barn. They created rows for seating by using hay bales covered with sheets. They also hung twinkling lights around the barn which created soft romantic lighting.

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The aisle that the bridal party walked down was lined with lemons to go along with the yellow and brown color scheme.

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After the ceremony ended, everyone headed downstairs for the reception. The couple chose to have an open seating arrangement and used this fun chalkboard to tell everyone that they were free to pick their own seat.

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In the reception location, tables and chairs lined the circle on the bottom floor.
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Mason jars with tea light candles and icicle lights were hung around the reception venue.
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The centerpieces were arranged with different types of glass bottles, jars, candles and dried flowers on large round logs like below. IMG_4547


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For their favors, the couple set up a self-serve popcorn bar. The chocolate drizzled popcorn was my favorite.

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One of my favorite photos from the day is this shot of the bride’s bouquet on one of the bright white chairs.
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As the sun set that evening, it seemed like a great ending to a fun day.IMG_4927

It’s Rugtastic!

Along with our subtle decor upgrades to the fireplace, we also recently added a decorative rug to the living room.

We shopped a few different stores including Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and West Elm, before we settled on a Threshold rug from Target.

What we discovered in our quest to find a suitable rug was that several stores seemed to have very plush, comfy feeling rugs. However, if you lift up their rugs you will uncover a nifty secret: carpet padding. Some stores display their rugs with carpet padding underneath to make the rugs seem more plush. With this tidbit of knowledge, we decided on the Target rug we picked out because it was a nice, yet lesser expensive option that we could simply add a carpet pad to.

We have plenty of leftover carpet padding from when we replaced the carpet in our dining room. If you do not have extra carpet padding lying around, you can check your local carpet or home improvement store for carpet pad remnants.

Once we brought the rug home, we roll it out in the living room and BJ took a few measurements to cut a piece of the carpet padding to fit the rug.

Zoey, aka our “project manager,” also took a few minutes to assess the rug from the couch to make sure it was okay.

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Next, we lined up the carpet padding on the back of the rug. BJ cut the pad about an inch short on all sides so we could tape it in place.

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We used Gaffer’s tape (which is often used for lighting and film work) to tape the rug to the carpet, but you can also use Duct Tape.

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To ensure that the carpet pad stays in place, we taped it on all four edges.
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Here’s the “before” of our rug installation:
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And here is the “after:”
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With the pad underneath the rug, the carpet, and then another pad under that, standing on our new rug feels awesome. It’s super plush and soft. The carpet pad under the rug also adds an extra layer of protection in case we spill something. It keeps the stain from going through to the carpet.

By adding a carpet pad under your rugs you can make a lesser expensive rug feel extra plush!

Enjoy!