Friday, May 31, 2013

The B Hive Tour!

We got the keys to the B Hive yesterday! And, I have to say, I don't know what I'm most excited about- how beautiful it is, or the fact that I get a new project I don't have to pay for. I of course forgot my camera yesterday, so I took some crappy phone pictures and a shakey video tour. I also committed a terrible sin and realized half way through the video tour that I did it vertically, so you all will just have to forgive me.

Without further adieu, here is the B Hive!



And for those of you who can't video at work, here are some awful pictures I snagged from the video/took off my phone.

Kitchen:




Looking into the bedroom from the living room:


The bathroom:


We have lots to do, including painting, decorating and uh...furnishing...but the apartment is so incredibly Brenna I can not WAIT to have it all done for her.

We hope you have a fantastic weekend and we will see you next week!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

DIW: Jillian's Potting Sink

Do it yourself, and do it right, then you can write! Today's DIW comes from Jillian in Michigan!

After seeing thousands of potting sinks on Pinterest, Jillian yearned for one. (That's right. I said yearned). Then, when she struck gold and found a farmers sink on Craigslist for $40, she knew Memorial Day weekend was the perfect opportunity to create her own.

First, she supplied beer.

Then, the guys began to construct the base for the sink out of decking material.


Then, the made a shelf on the bottom, and added a back out of fence posts.


When they flipped her up, they added a shelf for misc. supplies. and moved her into place.


They didn't attach plumbing to the sink, but think it'll be fine when they use the hose in it for now.

And here ya go! Jillian's sink!


How stinking cute is that! Now I might have to make one...


Do you have a project that you would like to submit? Send us your before and afters with an explanation to lansingbrokeasshome@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rained on our Day!

This weekend, Nate and I had the opportunity to be involved in one of the best weddings ever. Yeah, it happened to be Nate's cousin- but they're also one of our best couple friends. It really was beautiful.

But yeah, so while most of you DIYers were rocking out all your projects this weekend, we were busy rocking out some matrimony.


Something about weddings always make you love your spouse just a little bit more, right?

Yesterday, after all that marriage stuff was wrapped up, we were trying to get some furniture redone for the B Hive (which happens Thursday, yay!) and with only a 20% chance of rain, we thought we were going to get the coffee table, chairs, and dining table done.

Well...we got the coffee table primed and then it started pouring.

Pure Michigan.

So, we are working on some furniture pieces to show you guys later this week. That is, if the rain ever lets up.


We've also got a pile about 2 miles high for sewing stuff that needs to get done so we'll either be sewing or doing furniture stuff! Things to look forward to...

What did you guys get done this weekend? Please show me how successful you were as I got nothing I set out to do accomplished (other than drink a lot of wine and dance all night...)


Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

We just wanted to pop in and wish you all a Happy Memorial Day! Stay safe, be good, and we will see you tomorrow!



Thursday, May 23, 2013

The B Hive

Sorry we've been quiet- we've been shopping till we drop for Brenna's apartment (which I'm dubbing the B Hive- haven't asked her yet so I hope she approves) and prepping for the wedding we've been looking forward for two years (Nate's cousin! SATURDAY! YAY!).

Brenna has a very different style than Nate and I. I'm hoping you guys will enjoy seeing a different style- Nate and I love bold graphics and colors, Brenna is what we call "Young Victorian" or "Sassy Steampunk" or something like that. Brenna loves delicate patterns, black and white, pops of color and anything antique.

What's also interesting is Brenna loves my paint colors, so you'll get to see how to use them in a totally different way.

Brenna's apartment is the front half of a federal style house about 3 miles from Big Blue (and built very similarly in time) The landlord has done a great job keeping the original woodwork intact and adding cute features (like shelves over radiators and french doors on her bedroom). She'll be getting a 600sqft 1 bed 1 bath unit, and we've been given that landlord's blessing for her to paint as long as she protects the woodwork (can you believe they insinuated the BAH team would hurt woodwork?! The shame!) So we'll be going in next week and getting rid of the current mauve and puce colored walls to make a cool monotone unit with splashes of green. 

May I present our progress on the B Hive.


I'm very excited to get working on it. We spent Saturday at Ikea getting linens and decorating stuff (like the mirror which is pure Brenna) and we're hoping to get a key to the unit this weekend. We also already have about 1000 pieces of furniture we need to strip, stain, or paint.



We totally scored a Queen Anne dining table for $15. It's really beat up, but painted the awesome seal color it will be fresh and modern while still having those traditional lines. I'm telling ya- sassy steampunk.


We also got 4 chairs for it that put our total at $65. We scored this at a local store called Bungalow 47 when they had their furniture blow out sale- it was essentially like the hoard sale, but in Michigan, so I got to go! hahaha.

We're super excited to get started and to get some good before pictures for you guys- it is going to be adorable and it's so very Brenna we're hoping she'll be there for awhile (to make all this work worth it).

What has everyone else been up to? What's shakin' bacon?

Oh, and here's a Brenna moment for you... we were at IKEA on saturday, and I told her we had to take a horrific selfie for the instagram so you Brokies could see, and she said, "You call them brokies?" and I was like "uh yeah, because they're my broke groupies." and She replied, "Can we call them asshats? I feel like it matches your satirical personality better..."

So what do you guys think? Brokies, or Asshats (I literally burst out laughing typing that...oh god.)

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Miss O'Leary.

When I was younger and would attend church camp, we'd sing the Chicago Fire song.

"Late light night, when we were all in bed, 
Miss O'Leary took a lanturn to the shed,
and when the cow tipped it over,
she'd winked her eye and said, 
"It's gunna be a hot time, in the ol' town tonight.
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE.
Pour on water, pour on water, 
Save my children, save my children!
Jump, Lady, Jump!
Splat."

When you're a teenager, it seemed like a funny song. After yesterday, I'm no longer amused.


When Nate was 9 years old, he lost his house to a fire. He lost everything. And when I would jokingly flick a lighter, or a horse around, Nate would freak out and yell at me that fire was nothing to joke about.

So yesterday, I was home alone and I decided to make myself some dinner on the George Foreman. I was grilling myself some sausage and pineapple, and had just put my cous cous mix on the stove. I thought since I had 5-10 minutes that I'd take the dogs out. Besides, I wanted to see if my neighbors were outside grilling because something smelled like it was getting wood burned. Like a hickory log or something.

So, I shut off the stove, ushered the dogs outside, and when I walked through the mudroom, I saw smoke outside of the window.

I thought- "I didn't light the grill...why is there smoke?"

It almost looked like smoke coming out of the little holes on the top of the grill.

But...I didn't light the grill.

My thoughts were racing as I walked onto the deck.

"Is the sun really so hot it relit the coals in the grill? Is that even possible?"

But no, when I came out through the second door, there was a 2 foot flame eating the back deck.

It had ignited a black plastic dog bowl on the railing that was flinging burning plastic through the air, and almost looked like an electrical wire fire.

But there's no electric back there.

I immediately flung into action running back into the kitchen and grabbing the dogs' two gallon water jug (that thank god I'd just filled up about 10 minutes earlier). After dousing the flames with the water, I ran back inside and grabbed our fire extinguisher and emptied the whole. thing. on the fire.


It wasn't until I didn't see any more flames that I fell to the ground and started to cry.

We had just grilled the night before so there was lighter fluid on the table about a foot from the fire. And the fire was only 3-4 feet from the house. One big gust of wind and the house could have been up in flames.


Once I regained a shred of realization what happened, I grabbed the melted bowl off the railing and threw it into the dirt, and started to piece together what happened.

I looked up and saw the sun. It hasn't rained here in about two weeks, so all the wood on our deck (which isn't pressure treated or anything) was so dry. The sun was placed in the sky just so it could make a beam of light off the grill onto the plastic bowl. I don't know if there was debris in there or not (it's the dog's outside water bowl) but if there were any tree droppings (flowers, pollen, etc.) in there, the sun could have heated up the black bowl to the point whatever was inside just combusted or something. But, at the end of the day, we'll probably never know what started the fire. In this picture, if you look in the lower left, you'll see the remnants of the bowl.


So I drug the grill in the shadows, the lighter fluid got put away and I stared at the hole in my deck filtering through all the "oh, my god. What if..."

What if I'd been taking a nap?
What if the wind picked up?
What if I hadn't taken the dogs out?
What if...
What if...
What if...

And even after I'd called the fire department and they told me that if there wasn't smoke that it was gone, I still sat there and stared at it for half an hour. Then looked out the window every ten minutes until Nate got home. Just sure it was going to combust again. 




I know it is nothing to losing your home or family (as many have) but it certainly shook me up enough. Looking at the damage, the flame had to have been going for awhile and I was none the wiser. 



I just wanted to share this with everyone and beg you all to check your family's fire extinguishers. We didn't even purchase the one that was in our house- it was left here by a previous owner. If it hadn't have been in the house it could have been bad.

Please check your smoke detectors, check your fire extinguishers, and make sure to put away your dangerous materials immediately after using them. I can't imagine where we'd be if that fire had hit the lighter fluid.

Stay safe everyone. Love you guys.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Free? I LOVE Free!

Good Morning!

We had a very fruitful discovery the other day that I'm excited to share with you.

BAM!


I know, I know, it doesn't look like much, but if you remember on our someday nursery list, we put that we would love to have a french door on the room but they're so expensive it would definitely be a "if we can swing it" type thing.

Then, the other day, while driving through our neighborhood, this guy was in someone's trash pile! I immediately pulled over and was amazed that every pane of glass is still intact. So as it was only 2 blocks away from home, Nate jumped out of the car, slung it over his shoulder and carried it home!

We need to measure it and see if it will fit on the nursery door frame- if it does, I'll be hanging out with my ol' friend Zip Strip and get to the hardwood hiding under that paint (the thing weighs 1000lbs, I'd be shocked if it wasn't oak or something). If it doesn't fit on the nursery, our other ideas are to put it on the kitchen door frame (as there used to be a door there and there isn't anymore/there is no spare doors to be found) since we'd love to actually be able to block the dogs off somewhere on the main floor (the main floor has no doors except the bathroom). And if that doesn't work, then we'll probably turn it into some cool garden piece or something.

One does not simply leave a french door on the side of the road.

In other news, remember how my begonias started out like this?


Look at them this morning!


That's what I like to see!

The begonias, hydrangeas and lilac bush are doing really well. For some reason though my impatiens are not growing as quick as I'd like them to. My neighbor did mention an "impatiens disease" that she heard someone talking about at Home Depot, so I may have to do some research and see what's going on.

If I can't find anything revealing- those bad boys are getting miracle grown because I want BIG IMPATIENTS.

How was everyone's weekend?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Our humble juggling act

There are some weeks that I feel like we are so busy we don't see each other.

And, as much as that sucks for us, there are moments when the juggling act is totally worth it.

Nate and I really are best friends- we don't enjoy time apart (call us weird). Yes, we do enjoy girls/guys nights, and we're not together 24/7, but our time together is really special.

We both work full time, and along with my side projects (jewelry, blogging, DIYing, etc...) Nate is also going to night school. We hate the days that he is at school because he leaves for work at 5 in the morning and does not get home until 10 at night. That is a long time for me to miss him.

He just finished up the Spring semester and has decided to take the summer off so he can de-stress a bit before hitting the books again in the fall. And, when I went to check his grades (Nate's a hands on kind of guy, I'm the computer person so I check stuff like this for him) I was estatic to find that my dear hubby got a 4.0 this semester!!!



I had to take a moment to brag for my wonderful husband.

Love you, Nate! Congratulations!!!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Frost Giants

Hi Everyone!

I hope you guys had a great weekend and enjoyed your Mother's Day. Our weekend was filled with apartment hunting for Brenna, but we did have to go into emergency action when we checked the weather and there was the evil report that last night's low was going to be 32 and frost.

Oh no!

Did I not just spend a freak amount of time planting flowers in my garden?

I called my expert mom and she said that if we went out front and put bags and tarps over everything that that would protect them overnight. It wasn't so much the cold that was going to be a problem as if the frost weighed down the plants (and froze them to death. Ain't nobody like to be frozen)

So, our garden went from having beautiful hygrandea bushes...



To garbage bags...



A sassy lilac bush and moss roses...


To garbage bags...


And our beautiful impatient patch...


To a painter's tarp...


All I have to say is...


Once the sun comes up a bit more we will go off and take all the plastic off- it acts like kind of a mini-greenhouse and keeps you about 5 degrees warmer. The plastic needs to come off before it gets too warm or else everyone will fry. I must say, flowers are fickle things. 

What did you guys do over the weekend?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Just Shake it like a Dead Rat.

"Just shake it like it's a dead rat!"

Those were the words my mother was yelling at me the whole time we turned a dead patch into a flower bed.

Why that is the first thing that came to her mind, I don't know. I don't question.

This is the same woman who instilled such phrases in me as;

"It's colder than a bear's butt in a snow bank!" and,
"Slick as snot" (or the long version) "Slick as snot on a doorknob"

The woman says weird things. I don't know, I go with it, and when I pull one of those out on Nate he just laughs at me and says, "Okay, CQ" (by the way, we call my mom CQ)

So, CQ was visiting and helping me revamp my front yard and about twenty minutes before she was about to leave, I looked at her and said, "Do you think that could be a flower bed?"

And she said, "Do I think...jeeze oh pete's...get in the car."

And just like that...this happened.


Our house is equipped with this odd shaped patch of grass between the driveway and the sidewalk. I don't know if it is something to do with code that you have to have a separate walkway and driveway, but that's the way it is. The person before us had planted some grass there, and even though it wasn't offensive it wasn't pretty.

I like pretty.

A logical person would have gone and rented a rototiller, but...I didn't feel like dropping the rental money so I had the brilliant idea to nearly kill myself by doing this by hand.

That's right. I murdered that damn thing with my bare garden gloved hands.

The trick with grass is that it has to be pulled out. For something my dogs can kill so easily it certainly is a bitch to get out. This was especially true since we discovered in this process the soil was infested with grubs (bad for grass and soil okay!) and was compacted to dust. We did find a few worms so we knew there was hope and the Robins appreciated all the grubs I was throwing onto the driveway for them.

To make your own garden bed from scratch you will need:

-A shovel
-Lots of land waste bags
-About 6 large diet cokes and copious amounts of water
-Tylenol
-Bubble Bath
-Peat Moss (ours was premium Canadian with fertilizer mixed in. In our delirious state by the end we were calling it Wolverine Moss because obviously Wolverine is from Canada and he's as premium as you can get- he is full of adamantium after all...)
-Stuff to plant
-Mulch

Note: The bubble bath is because your back will wish that you were dead after doing this by hand. But hey, what's owning a house without a little bit of sweat equity?

Remember, we started the day looking like this. Well...without the dug up bits at the top. I realized after I started that I should probably be taking pictures.


We had a system. I went through with my shovel and chopped up sections of the lawn about 6 inches deep. Make sure you get it completely out of the ground.

While I was ripping the lawn up, my mom was going through with her hoe chopping up the clumps trying to get the soil separated from the grass roots. Then, by hand, we'd go through each clump of grass and "shake it like a dead rat" and throw the remaining clump of grass into the yard waste bags. The soil would also be broken up by hand just to make it more aerated. Some clumps are okay, but nothing ridiculous.


Whatever you do- do not water this thinking it will be easier! You'll just be working with mud!!!

This process continued the whole length of the bed.

Shovel, shovel, shovel...


Hoe, hoe, hoe, dead rat, dead rat, grub throw... Until we were left with this.


It was this point that we spread that premium Pete Moss into the soil, just for some extra oomph since some of the soil wasn't salvageable. The good news is that since your soil will be so fluffy and aerated, don't be afraid to throw soil in the yard bags that is completely dead (i:e, clay, dust, or just nasty looking shit)

After we raked in the Peat Moss, we planted ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTY FOUR impatients.

I know. It sounds amazing, but it was really only 4 flats and about $50 worth of flowers.

But just in case you wonder what we were calling these 144 impatients while we were delirious and exhausted:

"That is a metric fuckton of impatients" (not my mother. she laughed when we said it, but I was told not to give the impression that she said it)

"Damn, why did we get so many impatients?"

"I feel like we need more impatients" 

"Jesus Christ, more impatients"

"Who the hell's idea was it to get all these impatients?"

"Why doesn't someone go buy more impatients?"

"This is literally a gross amount of impatients" 

Literally.


It was worth it though. And I actually think we could have gotten more impatients. They'll be about bread plate size, but damn, they're sexy.


We did a mix of red, orange and white impatients and topped it off with red mulch.

As much of a pain in the ass as this was, it has made a huge impact on the front of our house and it has motivated our neighbors to work on their yards. Our neighborhood is getting quite the case of "Keeping up with the Wagners" (Their words, not mine) but that is how neglected neighborhoods change. Our block has been very good, but if it starts to trickle into the other blocks our neighborhood could bounce back at an amazing pace. I'm loving having cars pull over to tell us how nice our yard looks!

After all, she does now look like this.


I hope everyone has a wonderful mother's day, and I will see you guys next week!

Linked Up To:
Our Fifth House

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Waste Not, Want Not

For the longest time, I've been wanting a big planter by the front door for a little pizazz. Unfortunately, at garden centers and nurseries, big ceramic pots ranged from $120 and way, way, way up.

Happily, Home Goods came out with their garden center a weekend ago and when my mom came to visit, I told her we had to go. Right as we walked in, this big, gray blue pot screamed my name and was priced at only $40.

Sold!

Now, big pots like these can be a money pit when it comes to soil, but not when your super awesome master gardener mom is in town!

(Note: This project helps if you have a beer drinking honey stuck in your house)

First, drag out your recycling bin.


Fill up about 2/3 of your pot (potted plants don't need much space for roots) with your assorted bottles.


Then, we put down a paper bag to keep soil from just falling between the cracks.

After your pot is prepared, pour in your potting soil- if you're not using your pot for food, feel free to use Miracle Grow (I don't recommend chemically enhancing your green beans, but you know, whatever floats your boat.)

When potting plants, make sure you plant them level with their root ball. If it has a 3 inch root ball, only plant them three inches deep. For our pot, we used a papyrus plant and different kinds of begonias, which are all awesome porch plants as they love the shade.

Waddle you pot over to where you want it and enjoy the view!


While we had the potting spoil out, we also planted our hanging baskets. We scored these iron baskets at Lowe's for $4 a piece (which are cheaper than the plastic ones at Target) and match our house numbers.

We planted some perky Tuberous Begonia (orange), 3 or 4 dark blue Lobelia, and a white feathery thingy...because that's the technical term and I can't remember.


The flowers certainly help with the curb appeal while we wait for the weather to dry out to paint the front porch. I love potting plants because they are instant gratification.

Do you guys have any hints for potting plants?

Monday, May 6, 2013

So...My Mom Came

So...my mom came to visit me this weekend and...uhh.... if you don't remember, this is what my house looked like on Friday.


Lots of dead space and lots of dead plants.

Lots of dead.

Especially because we had this weird dead spot between the sidewalk and the driveway.

48 hours later, Blue is rocking this look.


Now, since I can't feel any limbs- this week we'll be going through all the goodies that happened over here, including planters and creating a garden bed from nothing!

What did you guys do this weekend?

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Pin that I Pinned that I Did: Salad Jars

I'm sure by now you've all seen salad jars- a.) because they're genius and b.) because they're genius.

I was drawn to them because a.) I'm really not supposed to be eating gluten with my PCOS and b.) I'm so bad at packing lunches that I usually order Jimmy Johns, wasting money and going against point A (because I ain't orderin' an unwich.)

So I thought I'd give these a go in hopes of saving us some money and making us eat better. We really have no excuse not to eat well when one literally just has to grab a jar out of the fridge and go to work.

These are how salad jars work.

Source
There are different combos all over Pinterest and I thought I'd give some a try.

First, I soaked all my veggies in a water/vinegar/salt mixture to clean them and draw any yuckies out from hiding. And yes, we've lived in the house almost a year and still haven't found the correct size sink plug so I rock the tupperware container when I need to soak something.


While that was soaking, I browned some chicken, and cleaned off my counters. Then the millions of chops ensued.


I was really careful to dry everything off- it sounded like a mold motel to me if I put damp produce into a sealed jar. Next time I do this I'll probably wash my veggies the day before just to give them extra time to dry.

As for stuffing the jars it as fairly easy. I opted not to put dressing in the bottom of our jars as I felt like they'd last longer without it. I poured our favorite dressings into 1 oz containers from our local party store (cough- jello shot containers- cough) for an easy dressing option.

Then basically, mushy liquidy stuff goes on the bottom, and then you just have to have a hearty veggie like carrots in between that and the lettuce so the lettuce won't wilt and turn to dressing goop.

I managed to make 8 (although it would have been 10 if Brenna hadn't seen me making these awesome salads and come in and steal a huge handful to make herself one for dinner) of 3 different varieties (the last two were kind of throwing the rest of the stuff I chopped up into a jar) in one night- so hopefully for the three of us it will get us through the rest of the week.


Right now, my verdict on these is that if they don't get eaten I'm not going to do it again. I can always use the jars (which I got at Wal-Mart, make sure you get the wide mouthed) for leftovers or something and it was honestly a whole nights worth of time between washing, chopping, prepping and stuffing. This is certainly not a ten minute task unless you happen to have stuff chopped up from leftovers (like if you made tacos one night or something)

However, they look good, and we're two days into it and 6 of the 8 are already gone!

 I'll let you guys know how they fare if they last past tonight!