Let’s just start right out with this since it makes me laugh out loud. Let’s just say that my first afternoon attempt at using a paint sprayer didn’t go as planned. It was actually kind of another one of those “what I learned about my husband while trying to learn how to use a paint sprayer” days. Like the whole closet door making experience. Just getting started in trying to get this thing figured out was just kind of intimidating to us. It has been looming over our head in our shed for months and we were finally to the stage where we’d picked out a color we wanted to try and it was time to give it a go. So Joel took a nap. :) Yeah, he wanted no part of what was sure to be a paint sprayer fiasco. Smart, smart man. And lesson learned, this guy really does hate painting as much as he claims. But, want to see something cool? I figured it out! Well, that is not entirely true, but more details on that in a minute. I actually instagrammed this picture as it was happening and many thought this was white paint. It’s actually Dewey House Grey, it is a custom color that matches a hotel in town. We liked it and knew we would have to get our color approved by the historic approval committee so we thought an easy way to go would be to pick a color that had already been approved. We figured there was no sense getting our hearts set on a color just to have it denied. And see how it’s so much lighter on the right, in the sun, than on the left, in the dark. We’re realizing the “50 shades of gray always a different shade … continue reading
Alternate titles in consideration for this post were “that day I was thankful the neighbors weren’t around”, “I guess painting isn’t like riding a bike” and “dude, ladders are hard”. All I can say is that I really was happy no one saw me fall off my ladder on our front porch the other day. Yep, that totally happened. And my paint tray went flying onto the sidewalk and this happened. Not my finest moment, but one of those four little ladder legs got unruly and slipped off the porch while I was painting the ceiling joists on the underside of the porch ceiling and although I saved myself, there was really nothing I could do about the sidewalk. Let’s take a look at a little illustration, please don’t be distracted by the man powerwashing in the photo, that really has nothing to do with anything. There is about a 5 inch gap between the edge of the patio and the front wall where there used to be weeds flowers. I’m not exactly sure how the ladder leg got in there, but at some point while I was painting over my head I lost track of what was happening below my feet and things got hairy. But just for a second. I wasn’t hurt, well, maybe my ego, but after a quick perusal of the street there was a sigh of relief for no witnesses. Heck, the tourist train could have been going by with some unsuspecting tourist getting me on their vacation video. Aaaanyway, it’s never dull around here. :) The front porch progress so far has included Joel using the scariest tool he ever used to grind off nails poking through the bottom of our porch roof and then we finished up the trim around our new exterior siding. … continue reading
So, something funny happened to me when I was in Chicago. I got on the treadmill. haha That alone isn’t funny, but it kind of reminded me that it had been a loooong time since I’d actually gone for a run. And I can have a tendency to love a good jog, so it’s funny that I’ve gone so long without one. And then something notatall funny happened. I was going to buy a shirt at the concert, so I tried on a larger size than I normally do, knowing the sizes tend to run snug on those kinds of shirts, and when I turned to Sue to ask her if it was too tight, she said, what all best friends would say, “It’s fitted.” Except that’s not at all what I would have said. I’m not the girl who always has the right thing to say. I would have had more of a “I can see your every bulge” look on my face that would have spoken for itself and been inadvertently offensive at the same time. Anyway, for those two little reasons I’ve come home and ventured down the path of trying to find some new healthy things to add into my day and I decided it was high time I tried my hand at something I’ve heard many people try, fat-free baked kale chips. This is what kale looks like raw, incase, like me, you’d need to take a double-take when looking for it in the grocery store. And I surprised myself with how much I ended up loving them. You know, there’s the kind of food love that is just because it’s awesome, like peanut butter cups and fluffernutter (affiliate link) and pie. And then there’s the “I love this because it doesn’t taste like charcoal and … continue reading
Well, it has been a while. Over a year actually. But my girls’ trip to Chicago in February has inspired me to resurrect the foto friday series. We had such a good time. There’s just something about best friends. You can’t go wrong no matter what you’re doing. You know? So, some of these might be a little grainy, and repeats if you’re a fan on Instagram (@thespacebetweenblog if you’re there too), but I just had to share a few snippets from our trip. From the snow. To the sky. Or maybe you’d prefer this view from the top of the Willis Tower, 103 stories up. And yes, sneakers are as close as I get to ”winter shoes”. I did somehow find a barn coat, gloves and an awesome wool scarf that doubled as a hat. But, since my bff is awesome, she also brought me ear warmers because she knows I have this ear thing. They always get cold. It’s weird. And random, when I’m running in Key West and my ears are cold … and it’s 70 degrees outside. Don’t ask. I don’t get it either. :-) But our second day was beautiful and sunny and we saw the bean. And went underneath. And I tried out a new lens I have. It’s this one, an 85 mm lens that can focus on a very specific area and create that awesome blurry effect all around it. I practiced on a row of shrubs by the road. And then I took a picture of my beautiful friend on a bridge. And then we had a little too much fun with some metal statues in a park. I loved this wall … ignorant American question here … was this a real building? It’s outside of The School of Art Institute of … continue reading
Hey hey! Hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day whether you spent it with your love or yourself or your cat, whom you refer to as your love. :-) I’ve actually skipped away for a few days with my BFF to warm and sunny … Chicago. Yeah, not sure how that happened, Chicago in February that is, but we’re hoping to spend some time walking around with our cameras since she just got a new one so you may end up seeing more of our trip than you hope to. But, I have a HUGE tip for you today. One that I feel like I should have known. Or at least I should have deduced. (Just because I wanted to use that word in a sentence.) Because it actually makes total sense, I just didn’t realize it. And it’s about how to caulk exterior siding and why not to caulk newly installed pressure treated wood. So, pressure treated wood is lumber than has been chemically treated to resist against rot, fungus, insects and other random grossness that happens when things live outside. When we built-out our exterior wall over the old faux brick that was all done in pressure treated plywood. And then when my dad and I tackled the exterior trim we used all pressure treated lumber as well. After we had all of the trim installed and had a solid start of the hardiboard siding installation I got busy with some caulk. (Please resist the urge to giggle.) Any guesses how many tubes I’ve used so far? 12 tubes so far. And I’ve declared 3 tubes at a time to be my limit. And I haven’t even started on the soffit or any of the areas above the porch roof. But I will. Soon. But I need to thank … continue reading
Joel made an unfortunate realization around here the other day. Actually, unwittingly, I kind of surrendered my hand, and gave up a bit of my DIY strategy. We were hanging out with friends and talking about the house and they asked “how do you decide who does what when it comes to house projects?”. Totally joking I said “I just ask Joel to do everything I don’t want to do”. (Clearly someone has been dismantling pallets around here.) This, my friends, turned out to be a classic case of foot in mouth disease. See, Joel decided to put some serious thought into this strategy and proclaimed “HEY, that’s exactly what happens”. Doh! Dangnabit! Goshdarnit! I’ve been figured out. Luckily my partner in DIY crime kind of likes me and indulges my frequent requests to do all kinds of random tasks from manning the insulation blower from the attic to doing the dishes. (I did much more than this picture implies on insulation day.) So it came as no surprise to him when I declared grinding off the nails on the underside of our patio porch was his job. We exposed the ceiling joists on our porch roof back in September, when we removed the luaun that was on the ceiling to uncover that the porch wasn’t even attached to the house. With that porch roof now securely attached and the hardiboard siding installation finally complete we keep plugging away on the front of the house, making some exterior progress, a few small projects at a time. We are working towards a pretty traditional southern porch ceiling look with exposed joists and the ceiling painted blue. The end result will look something like this. (I can’t find the original source for this photo anywhere so if you know please let me know … continue reading
I feel like celebrating this hardiboard siding installation accomplishment, but before I go giving myself a pat on the back I feel like a little background information is in order to explain how we got to our new look. Maybe it’s because this project actually started over Labor Day 2013, that would be almost 5 months ago for any other score keepers out there. Granted, she is a far cry from finished, but remember the peach paint, faux brick facade, stubby windows and unfortunate brown color shutters that made us say “we need to own this house” back in April 2013? That photo hurts my head. We knew if we were going to make any significant impact on the overall curb appeal of our diamond in the rough the whole front look of her needed a facelift. So we hired a small crew who worked over Labor Day weekend and got rid of that awkward 3-roof-line look and raised the roof on the front part of the house to line up with the gable we had over the rest of the house. Here’s another shot of the roof raising in process. Here they are leveling the new ridge board, the length of that shows the length of the roof we raised, it’s just over 6 feet of new vaulted ceiling. That we still adore. You can also see on the section on the right where they heightened the wall, they framed it in with 2 x 6s so it would stick out farther than the previous exterior wall so we could hang the siding over the old faux brick. Oh faux brick, how we don’t miss you one iota. Once we had the new exterior framed out to a flat surface, all the deets on that here, and all of the … continue reading
Well hello there. I’d like to say I’ve been busy whipping this house into shape, but that has been tasked to my dad for this week. And don’t worry about those bike tires hanging there or all the scraps of wood on the chaise lounge chair. This area is much more work shop than it is back yard these days. And I think those bike tires got hung there on moving day and I haven’t noticed them since, until this picture. Note to self, put the mountain bike tires in the attic since there are no mountains in Key West. Ever since the book announcement my world has been pretty much all about the book. And I know this blog isn’t all about the book, but I do try to meld in everything as it relates to our DIY adventures and I’ve gotten some great questions from some of you guys asking “how did this all happen?”. And honestly, who knows how the process works from the publisher’s side and how long they had been looking for an author for this book and how they landed on me, but I thought it’d be fun to give you the run down from my end and a bit about how it’s going. You guys have been awesome in sharing my excitement and I really wish I could invite you all over so we could settle in on the couch and dish about the whole thing, but I guess a blog post will have to do for now. But picture us sitting in these chairs chatting the day away, ’cause it’s been cold where many of your are. Yikes! That was from our first ever trip to Key West before we even knew we were moving here, see more pictures of the trip here. … continue reading
Hey y’all! Today marks the official 50% deadline for the book. I really can’t believe how time flies sometimes. No blinking allowed because you might just miss something good. You know? I might be feeling just a wee bit pushed to the limit these days. Just trying to do everything and do it all really well. Picture me singing “I’m doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well”. Well, that’s what I’m trying to do at least. And basically out of nowhere last week I saw a little idea for the UNword. It’s kind of a blogger thing to declare a word of the year at the beginning of each year. I’ve done it in years’ past, here’s my word for 2012, and just decided it wasn’t my thing this year. But the UNword, that’s kind of where I’m at right now. In a undeclaring stage. I’m consciously not defining goals and not outlining objectives and not making proclamations for the year. That’s just how I’m feeling. That I really want to absorb 2014 and make myself available for what it brings my way instead of getting tunnel vision on any particular objectives. That doesn’t mean I’m not focused, and motivated, and trying to accomplish things. I find it to mean just the opposite. I’m giving my all to everything in front of me and just seeing where it takes us. So my UNword for the year is pressure. UNpressure, if you will. In this day and age of bigger, better, faster, stronger I am going to release the pressure of any thoughts that creep in and encourage me to keep up with that mantra and instead enjoy. Well, there you have it, I guess I do have a word of the year. Enjoy. All of our daily obligations, … continue reading
You guys! We bought all new appliances!! I own a dishwasher again. By “own” I mean “paid for but Home Depot is holding it because we really don’t have a kitchen renovation on any immediate plans and our current kitchen doesn’t have the space for a dishwasher”. Which kind of takes all of the fun out of actually owning a dishwasher. But it means I can see the light at the end of the 4-years-without-a-dishwasher tunnel. If I had to pick my least favorite task it would be doing dishes, hands down. I’ll clean a toilet any day of week. Seriously people, that takes like 3 seconds. And do it right before you get in the shower to wash off any skeeve factor. Doing dishes takes an eternity! I have lost years off of my life I can never get back standing in front of the sink doing dishes. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. I must mean that I have no real problems in life if my biggest one is doing dishes. So, I’ll concede to that fact. But in December Home Depot was having an appliance sale we just couldn’t turn down. And even though it doesn’t really seem to make sense, timing-wise, we went for it. You know, ’cause we don’t live in a perfect home improvement world. And, because Joel and I don’t really exchange gifts I may have sent him an email with our order confirmation that said “Merry Christmas to us”. Making this a big Christmas year since I already got the floor plan program. I’m also the girl who asked for an Oreck for Christmas one year and may have stalked a silent auction table at a charity event to actually get said vacuum for about half off regular price. … continue reading
I was just organizing our always growing pile of receipts and thought “Hey, you haven’t met Cheny yet”. You first saw her in this glowing night shot. And real quick, does January just make you need to organize? I am actually resisting the urge on many levels because the impractical nature of me trying to get organized when I really should just be gutting our master bedroom, bathroom and closet isn’t lost on even me. But order and organization are taking over the interwebz these days and it reminds me of the time that I was going to organize my file cabinet and instead I ended up covering the outside in book pages. (You can pin this idea here and it will link directly to the tutorial post.) Anywho, back to the whole point I was going to make originally. If you have people in your life who enjoy a practical gift might I suggest to make it a habit of giving them the same gift card for every occasion. I know, I know, this doesn’t sound sexy, and on the surface probably doesn’t even sound thoughtful. But, I disagree. Here’s the thing, I’m originally from Maine and we Mainahs love us some LL Bean, or L and L as Joel calls it. He’s from Iowa, he doesn’t know any better. It’s been a pretty solid family tradition that from at least one or two relatives we will get and give LL Bean gift cards. They even kept coming when we lived in Curacao. And since I wasn’t doing much shopping in those days they kept accumulating and when I started looking for rugs for our dining room I realized I could combine them all get a pretty sweet rug for a pretty decent price. Yep, that’s me stockpiling $355.61 … continue reading
So, here’s the deal. Last August I posted about my DIY dilemma and got so many great responses. Basically, I asked you guys a few questions and you responded with some answers and more questions of your own. One thing many of you mentioned is that you’d like to see more photos in and around Key West and I plan to focus on that in 2014. I totally failed on that idea around Christmas, there were so many decorated houses with fun lights, like a fishing Santa complete with moving fishing pole and swimming dolphins, and I just never got around to heading out on the town at night with my camera. This year, I swear. And then there was this great comment that Kim left on the post: “I love your blog. I always wonder: What do you do for meals and how you manage the pets and kids when you are knee-deep in renovations? How do you do your day job with all this work? Where do you sleep and eat and get some clean space? What does it all cost? How do you decide what you will do yourself and what you will contract out? How did you learn how to do this in the first place? What is safe for me to do and what will I mess up? How would I be able to finish/apply this project at home?” And I responded: “I think I’ll actually write up a post to address all of these questions … because they’re all really good ones and deserve a thorough answer!!!” So, 5 months later, here it is, wicked sorry for the delay! What do you do for meals? I’m no chef but we do seem to manage to eat well in spite of the renovation madness. … continue reading
Hello there!! You settling into 2014 smoothly? We’ve hit the ground running with everything the new year has brought our way and am already looking forward to more company coming soon. My dad and his girlfriend are coming back for a “project” trip. How cool is that? Remember when they combined a bit of projects with their first Key West vacation a few months back and when they heard I had to reel back a bit on house projects to move full speed ahead with book projects my dad was all “why don’t we come down just to work on projects?”. And I said “I’ll start making your list right now”. So that’s pretty cool. And prioritizing some of the next-step things that we want to accomplish got me thinking about this house project as a whole. I mentioned when I told you about our little closet updates that our house guests are pretty surprised at our high ceilings and tall closet doors, well they are also enlightened by the in-real-life walk through of the house because man it’s hard to put some of our awkward little spaces into perspective on this here blog. So I made you guys a floor plan! Pretty cool, right?!?! I may be having way too much fun with this little program. It’s from HGTV and it’s available on Amazon for anyone interested (aff link to the program here). They have no idea I’m using it, and I’m not getting paid for this post. A friend of mine had the program and helped me come up with some space planning for a really awkward closet/hall/bath area we currently have, more on that in a bit, and I thought it would be helpful to have as we delve into some of the more complex updates we’re … continue reading
Holy 2014! Where did you come from exactly? Hopefully you had a festive new year celebration. It is odd for Joel to not have to work on NYE so we enjoyed our own little night of merriment and saw our first Key West new year’s eve party live. Funny enough we actually saw the coverage of Key West’s new year’s eve party last year from Curacao on CNN. Yes, we were home, just us and the dogs, watching the world celebrate. We are rock stars like that. Remember the wall-to-wall closet we made for our guest bedroom way back in 2013? She has definitely come in handy to house all of our stuff that doesn’t have a real home yet. Right now that consists of all of my project supplies, lamps and lamp shades, vacuums, unhung artwork (which is basically all of anything we have ever hung on a wall except these guys) and all of my clothes and shoes can be found in there. Oh, not-yet-built-master-closet how I yearn for you. I have high hopes for more organization in time as we get to creating what I hope to become a craft corner in the guest room and an office nook on a wall between the living and dining room. But, until then, this closet is probably my most used accessory. And, what once looked like the picture above, after a few short months started to look more like this. One thing that I’ve learned from our house guests that doesn’t translate well on the blog is just how tall these guys are. They are a full 8 feet tall, which is the height of the ceilings in many houses. Our ceilings are 9 1/2 feet tall throughout the house and I guess I don’t do a good job … continue reading
Well hello there again! I’m not exactly doing my part to stay away until the end of the year. I can’t quit you. A bajillion points to you if you can name that movie. How was your holiday? Awesome as can be I hope!! I’m taking a little book project break to reminisce a bit about the year and take a look back at what posts seemed to resonate with you all. In this day and age of Pinterest I find it really interesting to watch what information people are drawn to. So, in case you missed any of them the first time around, here are the 10 posts that reached the largest number of people in 2013. Just click on the post titles to read the full posts.
Hey there!! I just had to drop in and spread some holiday cheer and let you know how much I sure do love you all. True statement. This year has been incredible and that you continue to choose to drop in to see what shenanigans we’re up to means the world to me. I dropped off our friends at the airport a little bit ago and enjoyed a few days of down-time, games and sunsets, with one late night picture in front of the tree as photo evidence.
I’m writing a book!!! You guys, I can’t even believe these words are coming out of my mouth fingertips. I still have to take a minute to really let it set in every time I say it. I’m writing a book. My face may go like this every time I say it out loud.