Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Little Solutions to the Things that Bother me A LOT!

I'm not a crazy housekeeper- I am not super into everything being perfect- but there are a few things that make me twitch so bad that I couldn't stand it anymore and I had to do something about it!

1.) The upstairs bathroom door creeks closed and doesn't stay open or closed.

This has been making me miserable- I don't care if the door closes- TMI: we don't actually close bathroom doors in our house anyway because it is just us and the dogs just push them open anyway. But, it doesn't stay open! The floors upstairs are slightly pitched so it veers closed leaving you to stub your toe on your way to the bathroom in the dark.

So cranky.


This adorable cast iron bird doorstop from World Market. Now the door stays open, and it totally goes with the adorable bird theme in the bathroom.

Cost of solution: $8

2.) Dog Toys. EVERYWHERE.

I don't mind that the dogs have lots of toys and I certainly don't mind them being out- but now that no one is being crated (yay!) There's no where to put them when I'm cleaning/taking pictures/etc. I really believe that if something doesn't have a home, it is always going to be a problem.


This plicker (plastic-wicker) colorblocked basket from the patio section at Target. (Couldn't find a link- sorry!)

We put the basket next to the fireplace and threw everything in there. Granted, Seamus takes them all out right away- but at least they have somewhere to go when I'm frustrated. It makes me feel much, much better.

Cost of solution: $25

3.) Pillows EVERYWHERE.

See, this one was my bad. I love thousands of throw pillows on the bed. Buttt....when I don't make the bed there's thousands of throw pillows on the floor. I have now been making the concious effort to wake up five minutes earlier to make the bed. It makes a huge difference on how I feel when I crawl into bed at the end of the day, and it makes the room look 1000% cleaner without the pillows all over the floor.

Cost of solution: Sleep. Precious Sleep.

So those are the little changes we've made that make me feel much, much better about life.

What are the little things that drive you CRAZY and how do you remedy them?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Our First "Baby" Project

If you haven't already read Friday's post, please take a moment to do so as a preface to this.

We have started working on the Kid/Playroom and it is making me super, super happy. The room is so dark and dreary that any little thing I can do to prove we're moving in a forward direction instead of staring at an ugly, empty room is good news to me.

This weekend, I thought I would revamp the dresser in the space. Now please remember that we haven't done the walls yet, so all of the pictures until we do that are going to look ugly as hell. I know the end game, so I can see past it, y'all are going to think I'm crazy.

Our inspiration for the nursery is being drawn from a post card that I found at Rock, Paper, Scissors in Ann Arbor, MI- that really sums up how Nate and I feel about our ability (or lack thereof) to have a child.

Here is how I incorporated it into the room this weekend:

I decided I wanted to do a two toned dresser, but decided to leave the wood "as-is" currently on the outside until we paint the walls. Once our wallpaper comes in we'll be able to see if it's going to be more white or cream and there's no point in doing it twice. I'd love to paint the shell of the dresser white to match the walls and let it kind of disappear.

To complete this project I emptied and removed the drawers, then using 100 grit sandpaper and my palm sander, I gave each drawer front a quick sand.

Then I wiped it down with some water on a paper towel, let it dry, and started in with my foam brush and my sample of paint and primer in one in Pencil (which I already had from the beanstalk. woo!) It took about 5 really thin coats to get it to the brightness I wanted it to be, but since the wood was unfinished they dried so fast, I had the dresser painted within a few hours (only interrupted by husbands, dogs, and neighbor kids ambushing us in the yard with nerf swords and a war had to be waged luckily, we're fully stocked in nerf.)

After the war was lost (you have to let the 3-9 year olds win when they ambush you...) we started throwing around ideas for drawer pulls. Previously, there were really cloudy crystal drawer pulls that were just a little too frumpy for a nursery. We went patrolling to our usual favorite stores and ended up finding exactly what we wanted on clearance at World Market  (the same place we found our awesome bird/owl pulls for the bathroom) for $1.40 a piece. Heck yes! They are ceramic sky blue with creamy white polka dots. Perf for a kid room.

In this picture you can actually see how banged up the dresser is too)
We then threw a couple books that we've picked up over time and the frame on top and called it a day!

All in all, this project cost us $11.40 this weekend- just the 8 drawer pulls! Talk about a cheap facelift!

It was a really strange feeling for me doing a project for this room. For over a year (even when we were house hunting) every room that could be turned into the "well, this is the baby's room so we can't put anything it it" room. It is really nice to start just...doing it anyway. Life can catch up with us- we're moving forward.

What'd all my lovelies do this weekend?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pictures, Plans, and Feelings

Today's post is going to seem really odd to some people as I'll be talking about a room that is very, very important to me, and it is a room that doesn't even exist yet. This is going to be long, full of pictures, and probably more about me than you'd care to know. This is my disclaimer. This is not a post for sympathy, "tips" or compassion- it is in the interest of transparency (as this is what we will be working on) it's just the way it is and this is how we're dealing with it.

Let's preface this by saying that I am not pregnant.


NOT pregnant.

Let's finish this by saying we'd like to be pregnant.

I won't go into the whole long schpeal of our situation or why we're "having kids so young" etc. But I will give you the short hand. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS (surprise, another blogger with PCOS and an unhealthy obsession with dogs...) you can google it if you're really interested in the chemistry behind it, but basically my body is trying to turn me into a hairy, infertile, chubby man child against my will.

It's lovely, really. But, the downside (ha, like it's the only one...) is that even with treatment (which I've been on for a year as of last month) your periods are very sporadic causing infertility.  Because women with PCOS are used to not having periods, if you do get pregnant sometimes you can be quite a ways into your pregnancy before you discover that you are- or as my doctor and I kindly put it "until your body gives up the goods and makes magic pee". It's been a long, hard, personal road already, but in the event of a happy day where we find out that we are pregnant it will cause me to be very careful for the remainder of the pregnancy. AKA- no me doing what I do right now ("hey, that's ugly, where's the sledgehammer?")

Because of this, we are very motivated to have a nursery ready so I'm not inhaling sawdust and painting furniture potentially 6 months pregnant.

BUT, because no one knows when/if I will be get pregnant, we don't want to stare at a room full of baby stuff as a daily reminder of how we're not pregnant.

That is why we will be working on what we're calling the "Emergency Nursery." We are calling it this because we want the room to be ready (all the hard work done) and be usable, but also transferable to our nursery with just the removal of a few pieces of furniture and the addition of the basic baby stuff. If this process is unsuccessful and we can't get pregnant, we fully plan on adopting (actually, we are highly interested in having a mixed family regardless, and you never know when an adopted child will show up either, so an emergency nursery is useful for that too!)

This means we will be doing a happy, colorful, small guest room with a playroom attached to it. It will get used, especially since Brenna is currently living in our main guest room we need somewhere for people to sleep. It also means when our nieces and nephew visit us, they'll have their own little master room to play and have adventures in.

This also seems a little more fun to me because instead of a basic "baby" playroom, we can incorporate the stuff that I find fun. I'm much more of a 3-6 year old person than a 0-3 year old person. As soon as you can tell me what the hell you want, we're cool. Nate does the whole baby thing. I want books, and chalkboards, and art stations, and play houses. So since we're doing this technically for our older kids in our lives, I get to do all the fun, cool stuff.

Anyway, we have started to make a list of everything that we need to get done and I thought I'd share it with you guys. Let's start with the obvious.

Note: These pictures are not saturated or tinted, the room really is this orange which is why it is driving me crazy.

1.) Rip down the walls

This room has some weird angling. And,  when we tried to remove the wallpaper, we discovered the previous owner of this house wallpapered a cardboard like backing and then spray adhesived it to the plaster. This means all of it needs to come completely down to the studs and get re-drywalled. We tried just taking the wall paper down, but it wasn't going anywhere. Then we noticed it was attached to the plaster and if you try to get under it the plaster comes down too. Rather than dicking around with it and releasing god knows how-old plaster dust into the room, it's just coming down.

We hope to leave the bead board up as removing it could damage it and we actually would like to keep it to paint. We'll see if this has to change. We will then add a new wallpaper that we've already picked (we'll go into the stuff we've picked when we get to it)

2.) Install overhead lighting

While we have wall/ceiling down (yes, the ceiling is wallpapered) we want to have an electrician come in and move the junction  box from the wall to the ceiling. The room is so, so, dark. It really needs some overhead lighting. The electrician also needs to come look at some janky wiring that has been hiding in the closet.

3.) Paint the dresser

We bought this antique dresser earlier this year because the spindles on the mirror match the Jenny Lind crib that we love. The sad thing is that because the room is so dark and small, we need to incorporate as many happy, light colors as possible. And, after owning the dresser for six months we've noticed a lot of flaws with it that sanding and staining wouldn't resolve. It will be getting painted. 

4.) Find a new place for the "office stuff" 

We currently stash all of our home office stuff in here because they just would not fit in the jewelry studio space. We need to find a new "home office" solution for filing and office supplies. Please note: beer bottles will not be present in the nursery when a baby is present. Thanks, Steve, for not cleaning up after yourself!

I guess this should really be, move all the stuff not baby room related out of the room. We'll need to find somewhere for our guitars, the extra linens, the camping stuff and other misc crap that keeps getting dumped in there (hence why we call it the room of doom).

5.) Annex the closet.

Because the house doesn't come equipped with a linen closet and this room has a very large closet (seriously, right now we have a dresser in there and two hanging rows of like formal gowns and winter coats) that touches the hallway at the top of the stairs, we'd like to annex about 2.5 feet of the closet and create a linen solution in the hallway. Something with cabinets and drawers instead of a full closet as that will just get filled with crap instead of being usable. The nursery will still have plenty of closet space and we'll actually gain a selling feature that a lot of houses in our neighborhood don't have. 

6.) Paint all the things.

The playroom and the main room will be getting a really, really light wall color to improve lighting in the spaces. It will be the lightest color in the wallpaper (which is like a creamy white). We will not be painting the trim or doors, true to our "no painting original wood" rule.

7.) Re-wallpaper the ceiling.

Yep. I said it, we are voluntarily going to re-wallpaper the damn thing. The way I see it is that babies look up all the time, why not have something awesome to look at?

8.) See if there's flooring under the toy box. If yes, then remove it, if no, then paint it and sew a cushion for it. 

The fact that the room has a built in toy box is really cool. But, my problem with it is that it's really tall, and the lid is really heavy, so any kid playing in there won't be able to open the box and put stuff away themselves. If they can't get to the cool stuff, then what's the point of having it? It's also so tall that you can't sit comfortably on top of it making the bench thing kind of stupid. But, if there is no flooring under it, we will have to make it work. If there is flooring under it, we'd like to build something like this custom to the space:

I'd love for it to be wall to wall- I love that it can be made with buckets for toys and books on the top sections and having a space for toys on the bottom that any kid can get to. This means no "MOM I NEED THIS OUT OF THE TOYBOX". It's all about planning ahead.

9.) Remove the clothes rod in the playroom

This is the old terrifying picture of the room of doom, but you can see that previous owners used this valuable space as a giant closet. So we need to remove that so there's more headroom.

10.) Paint and Upholster cushions the Rocking Chair/Ottoman

We scored a really awesome rocking recliner (not gliding! we'd never seen anything like it before!) so they need to coordinate.

11.) Install bad ass front facing bookshelves along the wall.

I'm sure you've seen this everywhere, but we love the thin front facing bookshelves that a lot of people make out of spice racks so kids can see the covers. We'd love to do two rows of them along the long wall for board books. Pretty hardcovers will go in the shelving unit so they don't get ripped, etc.

12.) Upholster a pretty headboard for the temporary twin bed to make it look more finished. Also, buy bedding.

Since at this point, we're thinking it will probably be about another year before it is time for a baby to be in this room, we want the twin bed to look more substantial and to look like part of the room. Since we already have the bed, and mattress, this should be very affordable. We can also then store it until it's time to upgrade to a big bed in there. Plus, it needs bedding that fits as the queen comforter on it now looks damn silly.

13.) Window treatments

For obvious reasons. 

14.) Possible French Door(s)?

I really like the idea of taking the solid door down temporarily and installing a french door on the main room/the playroom/both. The only way I would put a door on the playroom would be if there was glass so the light could still get through. I like the idea of one on the main door so I could check in without letting a herd of dogs into the room. The main french door will probably happen closer to baby time so that our guests don't feel like we're watching them sleep.

15.) Create a storage solution in the basement.

I know this really isn't for this room exactly, but all of this stuff needs to go somewhere. Even things like the twin bed- when we do get lucky enough to have a baby we need to have safe, easy ways to store things that will keep them up off the floor for a few years while the baby needs a baby room.

I think that is all I can think of for now...(2000 words later...) I'm sure this list will evolve over the next few months as we begin undertaking this room.

I really hope I didn't overwhelm anyone, but I work better with lists and with something as complex as this explaining myself helps sort it all out. This will be what we'll be doing the next few months, if you'd like to come along for the ride, we would really love you to join us :)

Again, this was not to fish for sympathy or old wives tricks on getting pregnant. We are not stressed about it, we are not sad, we are just trying to plan for our future and no matter what it brings us. We know we could be in a much worse place right now and are glad to have the support system that we do. I also ask that while we are going through all of this, every time we work on this room we don't get a thousand comments of "are you guys pregnant yet?" We promise when the time comes, all of you will know (hell, we'll probably be shouting it from the brand new roof top!) and we'll all have a virtual party together. Thank you in advance for all of your understanding while we work on this!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Foster...Room mate?

Just when we got rid of foster dog, another stray wandered into our house. Such is our life, isn't it?

You've probably seen Brenna's name on this blog or her butt on the side of pictures. Brenna and I have been friends since high school and we grew up about 2 miles apart from each other (she was a year ahead of me though, so of course, until high school grades don't cross much) Brenna is also the one who threw a hissy fit and ripped down the wall paper in the stairwell.

You know... Brenna.

Here's our awkwardness circa 2006.
Well, Brenna graduated from college a few weeks ago and decided "I want to live in Michigan!" and then three hours later she was in my driveway with a car full of crap.

Not that much of a surprise to Nate and I since she has been making the drive from Ohio at least twice a month to stay- on average, Brenna is with us about 1 week a month.

Well, we are happy to say, we've had Miss Brenna for about 2 weeks now full time and we are thrilled to have her. We are also thrilled that she landed a job the third day she got here- because we're badasses like that (who says Michigan doesn't have jobs?).

2011 Awkwardness
Kenz actually has a really awesome post about having room mates when you're married but luckily for us, we've basically been living together part time for so long that this really hasn't been a big deal. It's actually super fun to come home from work and have your best friend waiting for you with a Diet Coke on the back porch.

We're considering it more of a foster room mate situation than a lease/income situation. Nate and I don't need to take rent from her as money has always been fluid between the three of us anyway ('hey, I really need Chinese food, but I'm broke, can you buy it?' or 'Dude, will you pick me up a chocolate bar on your way home?') I'm sure "rent" will get paid through bullshit throughout the month. We have however been working on a "room mate agreement" and a way to divide utilities.

(Big Bang. Obvs. Source)
We are actually so used to Brenna being in our house that when we were house hunting we had to have a room big enough for Brenna to comfortably stay- I think we all knew this was going to happen anyway. The 'guest room' has always been referred to as 'Brenna's Room' and she even helped me paint it and I made sure not to do it in a color scheme that would make her want to stab her eyes out (the girl is particular...)

Don't be deceived though, this is not just my friend.

These two. I tell you what. Nate was so excited when I told him Brenna had moved in. (Yeah...it really happened that fast, but like I said, Nate and I have kind of seen this coming for a few years now) Brenna and Nate are nerds x1000 so I frankly love having someone to ship him off to the comic book store with so I can get drunk have a glass of wine in the bathtub.

So, that's why stuff has been kind of quiet this week. We are currently apartment hunting/moving her stuff up from Ohio/trying to find places to put all of her hoop skirts (I'm not kidding).

I can tell you for sure, you guys are in for some fun stories this summer. This weekend we're hoping to make the bedroom a little more useful for someone actually living in there (aka somewhere to put a jewelry box, hanging clothes up, adding some personal touches, etc.)

Have you guys ever had a bestie crash your house?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DIW: Stephanie's Wall

My really dear friend Stephanie over at Sandpaper & Glue did an awesome project this week and I thought I just had to share it with you all!

Do you want your room to look like this without using wallpaper?

What if I told you it was a paint pen?


Go over and check out Stephanie's post for the full how-to!

Do you have a project you would like to submit? Email us at lansingbrokeasshome@gmail.com

Monday, April 22, 2013

Using Curtains to Update the Look in Your Home

Today's post is written by Terry's Fabrics and is regarding the importance of curtains. As you've all seen my recent tribulations regarding curtains, you'll understand why I agree with everything that Terry's Fabrics has said. Have a good weekend everyone!

Using Curtains to Update the Look in Your Home

When it comes to interior design, many people overlook the fact that curtains are quite often the focal point of a living room or lounge area. In uncertain economic times, simply changing your curtains is an incredibly easy, economical way to completely transform the look and feel of a room without having to break the bank. Choosing the ideal pair of curtains can serve to completely change the ambience and overall tone of a room, giving it an entirely new lease of life in the process. There are a number of ways in which you can completely overhaul your room, simply by making some changes to your curtains.

Changing the style of the curtains you currently have can make a dramatic difference to a room. If your sheer curtains are perhaps a little too light, or you require privacy (or perhaps darkness in a bedroom) simply switching to a heavier set of drapes can make a huge difference. Likewise, some people may feel that a room is perhaps too dull with drapes, and might decide to make the switch to something lighter. Whilst many of us see curtains as a decorative feature, they also control how much light enters a room – changing the amount of light will therefore have a noticeable effect on the appearance of the room in general.

choosing a new pair of curtains for a room, be sure to concentrate on colour – it’s arguably the most important aspect of interior design. Choosing a colour which clashes with the rest of your d├ęcor and furnishings can completely spoil the mood, look and feel of a room. It’s important not to make any rash decisions or judgements, and if you’re uncertain as to what colour to choose, try and get hold of some fabric samples (many soft furnishing retailers will make these available free of charge to potential customers) just to be 100 per cent sure of making the correct choice. Remember that colours will affect different rooms in different ways – a loud, lively pair of curtains might brighten up a dull living room, but more neutral tones might be suited to a bedroom, for example.

The size of a curtain is also worth thinking about when considering a change. Many people feel that dining rooms benefit from a longer, more formal style of curtain - although it’s simply down to personal taste at the end of the day. Shorter curtains tend to give off a friendlier, more informal vibe.

Whatever your tastes and choices, changing your curtains is a fantastic, money-spinning method of bringing some fresh air and a new lease of life to your home.

This has been a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

Open The Window.

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a splendid weekend- ours was full of fun and excitement! (Bridal Showers, best friend moving in with us, bbqing and playing in the sun...) But before we show you what we did this weekend, let's back track a little bit.

A few weeks ago when we got our roof done, we had also decided that along with new gutters, we really wanted to replace the three windows on the front of the house. The windows that were there were the original single paned windows that came with the house....so they were 110 years old. They definitely needed to be replaced as they were drafty energy suckers from hell. Though, because they were original to the house I wanted to keep them with the house.

I had called the roofing company to put in our file to leave our old windows here. Our plan was to make little greenhouses with them and some crafts, but sadly, Nate forgot to remind them to leave them here and my windows landed in a dumpster.

Cue me rocking in the corner sobbing for like two days.

I had called immediately after they left with pathetic cries like "even if the glass is broken, please bring the frames back!" and the company was like "you want the frames still?" and I was like "Yes! They're 110 years old!"

Immediately after saying that, the company was totally sympathetic to us and they actually dumpster dove to find our window frames.

110 year old wood does not belong in a dumpster. 

A few days went by and magically my window frames appeared on my front porch. I was so thrilled I could have cried.

Most of them went into the garage while we get supplies to do some of our crafts for them, but otherwise we'll have to buy new panes or salvage some other windows for our cold boxes.

We had one window still intact, but it really was the perfect length to put over the bed in the guest room which had been driving me crazy with the giant blankness of it all.

We took the one window that was still intact and gave it a thorough washing and hung it up on the wall using our trusty tape method.

Seamus, of course, had to model.

The beautiful thing about the window is that you can still see where the sash was, the original wood and all the weathering that this poor thing endured.

Of course, when I get the quilt back from the dry cleaners the room will look even cuter!

What did you guys get done this weekend?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our Roofing Experience (One million words)

Our roof, gutters, and windows, start to finish lasted five days. And now that we've had about two weeks of rainstorms, I can feel comfortable with saying- I think it was a success.

Not only does the front of our house look way better, but we've been way less drafty and we've been watching water pour out of our gutters instead of over them.

Today we'll be talking about the roof. 

We went with a local company in Lansing and were confused but pleased for a lot of the whole thing. They didn't end up coming for about 5 weeks after we'd paid in full (long enough to the point I was calling them asking when the hell it was going up) and then when they did show up, it was a subcontractor, which, if you remember correctly, the company specifically said they weren't going to do. Luckily, when I called the office I was told the roofers were staff but there was a guy or two from other companies that were working with them temporarily. They were all licensed with the company and they were employees.

(it still sounded like subcontractors to me, but whatever, too late now.) 

The guys, no matter what company they worked for, were very rowdy, sweet, dirty, cussing guys (just the way Nate and I like them!) and we actually enjoyed having them around for a couple days.

The worked 11 hours at a time and were fast.

Day one really went off without a hitch. They came, they did half the roof, they cleaned up, they left.

(but they didn't have a dumpster with them?)

The lack of dumpster didn't bother Nate. It bothered the hell out of me. They were dumping stuff in the driveway and then when the pile was too big to deal with anymore, they'd shovel it into a trailer and drive that back to the office and dump it, then come back. It seemed really ridiculous to me. Get a dumpster, dump the shit in the dumpster, take the dumpster away. Whatever.

However, despite my crankiness, when we went outside to do the day one check, my yard was spotless and the half of the house looked wonderful, so their crazy methods obviously worked. They even cleaned up the back yard so we could let the dogs be in the yard for awhile that night.

Then the really weird thing happend.

They told me they needed to talk to my neighbor because our houses were so close that they wanted to remove a piece of her siding and nail a tarp to her house. That way, when they were flinging shit down tomorrow they wouldn't scratch up her house.

Okay, yeah, that makes sense, but you guys couldn't tell me that sometime in the five weeks before you did the roof? Or hell, maybe last week when I saw you guys scoping out my yard? (Bridget was not amused by that, by the way.)

Talk about putting my poor neighbor on the spot, and thank god her and I are really good friends or that could have been an awkward introduction.

Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but my roofers are here, can we rip apart your house?

Thankfully, she was cool with it (but what could they have done if she said no, really? Come on.) So the next day, they came back, ripped part of Jen's house off, then did the second half of the roof. It was day 2 they removed my satellite dish too. PRAISE BE. I hate satellite. They're fugly. Not a fan. GTFO MY HOUSE.

Day two I wasn't as happy about. We told everyone when we signed the contract, every night the back yard had to be empty so our dogs could be out (call me crazy, but I'm not taking three dogs for a walk through the park in the dark, in Lansing. Nope. That's why I bought a house)

After the roofers left we went to let the dogs out and they'd left all their stuff in the back yard. And I mean pallets of shingles, ladders, metal, everything. I was pissed but at 8pm, it's not like you can call the office to be like GET THIS SHIT OUT OF MY YARD. Then I looked over...they had not put Jen's siding back on. Nor was it covered with a tarp.

THAT pissed me off. Luckily it didn't rain that night or it could have ended really badly.

I wasn't home when the roofers finished up the third day, but Nate said they were very professional, the whole yard was spotless and Jen's siding was put back up.

After all was said and done, they were fast, clean and effective. Our roof looks awesome, they were super thorough with clean up and all of our neighbors have roof envy. Three days of chaos is worth that, right?

Have you had your roof done? What were your experiences?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

If we had a million dollars we'd be done already.

Our yard is a hot. damn. mess.

When we first moved in it was really sweet, it had nice grass, a tree in the back, some weed issues but nothing to be flabbergasted about...

Then these guys came in. And stuff like this happened.

And then the drought came, and since we were new homeowners we didn't have a hose, and the hose faucet size was really weird so we had to buy adapters and....by the time we were able to try to save the yard...this happened.

Pardon Bridget's blurry face...but she is sitting in the exact same spot that Nate is standing in the picture above.

Here's where I go crawl under a table and sob in shame.

We do not have grass, but we have lovely piles of dirt.

We do not own a shovel, but there are holes in the yard.

We do not know how to take care of a lawn, but we're trying.

If we had a million dollars we'd just call the trugreen people and have them show the world how amazing their product is on our lawn (that sounds lovely, doesn't it?)

We were going to get fake grass, but we need to rip the deck down and move it so we don't want to do that until it's done. But we love the idea of fake grass (like SYNLawn who's beautiful grass samples are pictured) because of the no maintenance, and the fact that fleas can't live on a lawn that doesn't exist. Lemme tell ya, getting fleas off 3 dogs is a full time job (if you haven't, try Trifexis, it's their heart worm medicine but it has flea repellant in it so there is no oily topical treatments!)

So, since this several thousand dollar project got put on the back burner (stupid roof...) we are still stuck at the mud pile in the back yard.

If we had a million dollars, we'd hire a lawn service, move the deck, rip down the mudroom and have an awesome post for you about how all this stuff just magically appeared in the back yard.

Sadly, instead we are stuck doing this.

Last night we got a huge yard bag of dead plants, poop and weeds pulled (and I still can't feel my face from the allergens)

I think our attack plan for this year is to mulch under the tree in the back (yeah, we have a tree, just one. The things you learn reading our blog), create a step stone path around the perimeter of the yard (anything we plant will be killed because the dogs do their patrols around the fence line, notice where Teagan is in that picture) and to try and get some grass growing. But even that sounds taxing and exhausting.

What are you guys' yard secrets? How do you get your yard looking acceptable?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Good, Sad, and Wonderful.

 (Before we get started, I believe that the blog world should be a place for all of us to escape, but at the same time, I also believe we need to take a moment and give our love and thoughts to everyone in Boston...thank you)

Today we have another chapter of Foster Dog.

For those who don't know, we took in a foster dog about a month ago and sent him off to a home. Sadly, the initial home for him did not work out. Jack (formerly Artie, formally Tank...) had to go to another home. Luckily, I had a second home in place for him.

Jack is a sad victim of impatient neighbors and a strict home owners association. The neighbors were not willing to wait the needed time for him to get adjusted in the home and threatened legal actions from violating "noise ordinances".

There is no one to blame in him having to be re-homed again, it just wasn't a good fit in their community.

Luckily, my other close friend, Robyn, had a major crush on him from the first time I posted his picture on Facebook and she took him in with open arms.

Jack now has a wonderful home with a patient new mom, a wonderful playmate (actually named Tank! Which is why he could go back to his original name, and he wasn't responding to Artie) a big yard and tons of toys.

He also is enjoying the non-crate life. Through talks with Sarah (my friend who took him originally) Robyn and myself, we decided that Jack probably had crate anxiety which was making him bark/violate those stinky noise ordinances. While I do strongly recommend crate training dogs so traveling and being alone can be easier/safer, in some cases, the dog is just too old and too scared to be able to handle it (especially if they've never been in a crate before).

Plus, he has Tank to keep him company. And no dog likes to be alone :) Especially since we know that Jack's original home had multiple dogs and he hung out with our terrors terriers. Some dudes just need a friend.

Robyn tells me his favorite hobbies at his new home are running in his yard full speed into the kitchen so he can slide on the tile (what a dork!) and playing with his toys. He also is still a giant snuggle machine, and his super intelligence gets him into some mischeif. Robyn said one day she came home and he'd opened the drawers in the kitchen and taken the tupperware out! He didn't eat it, he just wanted to take it out.

He also lost a ball on the countertop (they're working on the counter thing...)

Robyn finds him hysterical, his doggy brother loves him, and he is doing well on his training. Robyn likes to run marathons so Jack is even training to run with her- she says he keeps pace wonderfully!

I am so thrilled that he has landed in his forever home. I am still sad for Alex and Sarah that they had to make a hard decision, but as we've mentioned before, sometimes the best and hardest thing can be making the decision that is best for an animal.

I think he's hella happy where he is, and I'll be going to visit him soon!

In other doggie play date news, we found a dog we are 90% sure is Seamus' brother! The timelines match up perfectly and the pictures are so obvious. The family was considering rehoming him so we almost jumped them trying to get this dog for Brenna, but they are going to keep him awhile longer, so we are trying to get a play date set up. For comparison, the one on the left is Seamus and the one on the right is his brother, Moe.

Hopefully we'll see him soon and see how the bros interact!

How are all your guys' babies doing lately?