Living Room Progress (Rental House)

{before}
May 2011
the day we moved in
I not so affectionately referred to the color as Colonel Mustard. To be fair, we first viewed the house with the previous tenants still living in it. The color went with their furniture and style so it wasn’t so overpowering as it is with the room being empty.
{before}
May 2011
the day we moved in
The carpet was in great shape and the ceiling fan updated so aside from the color, we had a lot to work with when styling this room. We were able to see beyond the color (we knew we would repaint) and the minute we stepped into the space, we knew it we found the perfect rental house to make our home for a couple of years (we decided to buy later that year!).

5 months later…
{in progress}
September 2011
We painted the room Oregon Coast by Valspar.

And created a collage that told the story of us.

{in progress}
September 2011

We bought a new couch – a small sectional that is perfect in the space.

{in progress}
September 2011

We mounted our TV and created a useful area in the entryway, which included swords.
{in progress}
September 2011

$20 Swingset Improvement – Rental House

After a short trip to the east coast, we’re back and ready to tackle more projects. However, I am finding that my momentum to blog such decorating endeavors is beginning to slow to a snails pace. Maybe because the summer from hell in Oklahoma is beginning to fade or maybe because I am overwhelmed by the design blogging world. But enough blah blah blah blog talk, let’s take a look at some changes I made to the existing swing set in the backyard.

{before}
This is a picture of the swing set the day we moved in. We have made some changes to the backyard since then (example 1 and example 2), but we’ve mainly kept it as-is (except for weeding, removing stumps, etc…), because who wants to dump a lot of money into a yard they don’t own and can’t take with them when they move? As you can see, the swing set was in rough shape. In fact, the landlord offered to dismantle it and haul it away but I told him that I could salvage it. The structure is fairly sound and the slide, monkey bars, and ladder (sort of) were safe to use. However, the wood was faded, the swings in sad shape, and the tarp cover just complete tattered due to the Oklahoma wind.

{after}

But after some elbow grease, a coat of dark stain, some spray paint on the plastic slide and blue monkey bars, and a new swing from Amazon, the swing set is looking a lot better. We spent about $40 total for the swing, stain, and spray paint and since we will take the swing with us when we leave, only about $20 is invested in the piece. I am sure some people would have kept the swing set as-is (or dismantle it), but we figure that $20 is worth having a swing set for our toddler that isn’t an eyesore anymore.

Oh, and please forgive our sunburned yard. I think it has rained maybe once during the past three months. Can you tell?

Our Labor Day Weekend

I hope everybody had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. We’re back from Wilmington and for those keeping track, this means that in a span of 7 days, we went from hanging out on the Pacific in Alaska to chillin’ at the Atlantic in North Carolina. We’re tired but happy that we gathered the energy to make the trip back east. It was nice seeing Clay’s parents and we had a blast at the wedding of dear friends. Clay and I made our way up to Raleigh on Saturday morning and stayed through Sunday afternoon. After checking into our hotel, we headed downtown for lunch and a drink.

We ended up at The Raleigh Times Bar. Believe it or not, despite living in the area for two and half years, it was our first time at the place. We’ve heard people rave about it before and decided that we couldn’t pass it by this trip. I opted for a wheat beer and Clay went with a fall blend that our waiter described as Thanksgiving in a glass.

Clay had beef steamed pastrami with house made kraut, melted gruyere and spicy brown mustard on rye. I had a blackened chicken romaine salad, which had grilled romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, red onions, garlic croutons, and an avocado jalapeno dressing. Both were delicious. And the fries were perfect with malt vinegar and our beers.

 

After walking around downtown, we headed back to our hotel and got ready for the wedding. The ceremony and reception were held at The Rand Bryan House, a historic 19th century residence. The bride was beautiful and the groom quite dashing in his uniform. It was nice seeing friends again and having a child-free evening.

 

After brunch on Sunday morning, we drove back down to Wilmington, excited to see our little guy. Grandma and Grandpa gave him a glowing report card and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Weston. We relaxed Sunday afternoon and then all went to Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn for dinner. Anyone who is familiar with Wilmington has more than likely heard about this quirky gem. If you’re ever in the area, you must have a burrito here. Delicious.

In my world, it doesn’t get much better than the pineapple salsa at Flaming Amy’s. It is simply pineapple, cilantro, salt, and jalapeno peppers. One of my goals this week is to make this creation myself. Lofty goals over here people, lofty goals.

 

After dinner, we went for a walk along Carolina Beach before heading back to Clay’s parents. Before bed, we watched an interesting CNBC documentary about American Airlines that painted a pretty dire picture about flying in the United States. Having flown a fair amount as a child, the differences between then and now are quite jarring. Flying certainly isn’t what it used to be and I have to wonder how much worse can it actually get.

We woke up at 4:30am to catch an early flight. After a layover in Atlanta, we arrived at DFW around lunch time. Luckily, the weather didn’t impact our trip at all and we were delay free the entire time. It was a quick trip to North Carolina but one that we’re glad we took. But we’re looking forward to staying put for the month of September and exploring the local area a bit. The temperatures will be in the 80s this week so I think we’re going to spend a lot of time outside. Hallelujah!