Category Archives: House

Mother’s Day Weekend in Pictures

On Mother’s Day, we took our annual trip to IKEA and Trader Joe’s. I did good, and only spent about $100. We got ideas for our kitchen island, and really liked the layout of this walk-in pantry they had on the showroom floor. Of course, I had a list of things to get from IKEA, and had instant buyer’s remorse when I got home and didn’t get everything (curtains, photo ledge, white picture frames).

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At Trader Joe’s I got the most delicious falafel wrap. After I ate it, I realized it was 680 calories…oops!

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I also got tofu spring rolls.IMAG6821

And chile spiced mango. I wasn’t sure if I liked them at first, but the bag only lasted two days, so I guess they were pretty good.


I got this huge palm for $10.50 at IKEA, and I decided to try with another orchid ($9.99). The flowers are looking great, but I’ve already lost one dark green petal. I wasn’t sure about buying plants from a furniture store, but they were both cheap.

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I also got this beautiful lily as a Mother’s Day gift.


And this faucet (which was really more for my husband).


I did a little bit of de-wallpapering because this is where we’re planning to put the pantry. That’s a doorway from the kitchen into the living room, and we’d like to put up a piece of drywall to block it off. We’re not in any rush, but my job was to take down the wall paper, so now I can say I did my part!
Did you do anything special for Mother’s Day? Or have any home renovations going on?

Attack of the Killer Ivy!

This past week we’ve been trying to get some minor things done around the yard. We’re *still* raking leaves, cleaning up branches, trying to get rid of a stump, and contemplating what to do with all the ivy we have.


I didn’t even notice the stump since it’s pretty flush to the ground, but apparently it’s annoying to mow around it.

stump out

My husband bought this based on a recommendation from an employee at True Value. Apparently, you’re supposed to use lighter fluid and light it on fire to actually get rid of it faster, but it doesn’t say that on the outside of the bottle, so we weren’t prepared for that. We (read he) just skipped that part and did the rest of the steps.


We haven’t checked to see if anything has happened yet. We might have to do some research into other methods.


We still have a bunch of downed branches from an ice storm. This is about half of what we collected and there are still some huge ones along the road.


Somehow, we still have leaves, but it feels good to clear them out and find flower beds (and random rock piles, bird houses, and plastic frogs?).


Almost done with the leaves.


Probably the most annoying problem is the ivy in the back corner. I’m not sure something *needs* to be done with it, but we don’t want it to spread any more. I’m wondering if we get rid of most of it, but then start piling leaves and branches and generally composting in the back corner if that will keep it at bay.


There is SO much of it.


Sometimes I envision the ivy is going to come alive and take over everything, or that it’s an alien life force but it just moves really really slow.

This is probably what it would look like to be devoured by it in the back corner.

ivy3I knew there was some sidewalk going in that direction (there used to be a pool, so there’s a lot of random concrete/sidewalk in the backyard), and I actually couldn’t even find where the concrete ends.

See all the random mounds there too? There’s an old slide, some cinder blocks, and we don’t know what’s under the other ones…probably where they hid the bodies?

Do you have any tips for getting rid of stumps and/or ivy?

Weekend in Pictures – Fur Baby Scare, Lots of Leaves, and Online Groceries

This weekend, the weather was perfect, so we spent a lot of time outside.


Friday, I found a little bit of purple peaking out from underneath the leaves.

proteinCookiesAnd I made chocolate chip protein cookies. (Recipe coming this week.)


We had portobello burgers for dinner. I marinated the portobellos in balsamic and garlic, and used a garlic spread on the burgers. They were delicious.


Saturday morning I had a mint chocolate chip protein smoothie. The beautiful color comes from an avocado.

After breakfast, I was searching online for information about getting our heating system upgraded. I found information from Met Ed about rebates for new appliances and it turns out that our new (in Nov) washing machine qualifies for a $50 rebate. I dug out the receipt and submitted the application and we should have a check in 6-8 weeks. How awesome!

leavesPilesWe raked a lot of leaves…


This isn’t even most of them…we still have piles throughout the yard just waiting to get blown away. We didn’t mean to let them pile up until spring…it just sort of snowed before we got to them all. But I will say I enjoy raking a lot more in the spring than in the fall. It feels nice to get outside, instead of like a chore.


I found this neat, futuristic emblem on one of our doors and looked up what it meant to be a Gold Medallion Home. As outdated as our house is today, it was definitely top of the line when the previous owners lived in it. If/when we replace the door that this is on, I want to keep it and frame it or something cool with it.


Since we spent so long working outside, I decided we earned some cheddar bay biscuits. I don’t make these very often because I have no self control and eat all of them at once. Occasionally, I share.


After dinner, I looked around for Fox since I hadn’t seen him in a while and he was sitting outside while we worked. He always stays right by the door the few times he’s gone outside, but we couldn’t find him anywhere. Finally we heard a scratching noise… in the pellet stove. He crawled in a hole in the back/underneath it and got stuck. He must’ve been in there for maybe 2 hours, and it took us a while to figure out how to take it apart enough to get him out. Luckily the side cover plate was easy to take off, but it was scary to see him trapped like that.


Sunday morning I made chocolate black cherry protein shakes.


I also tested the blueberry ginger kombucha I had fermenting, and it was delicious.


Instead of going grocery shopping (which I refuse to do on Sundays anyway), I decided to try out the Giant online shopping. The closest store is about a half an hour away…actually at the Giant that we used to live next to, but I figure the benefits of just driving up and having them put it in my cart will save time shopping. Will report back after tomorrow!

What did you do this weekend? Were you sensible enough to get all your leaves raked before it snowed?