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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alaska trip: Cruise portion

So i read a blog where the girl just got back from an Alaskan cruise.  And this reminded me that i never shared the photos from the cruise portion of our bucket list anniversary trip.  You know, it's only over a year later...i think it's about time.  I broke down and bought a DSLR camera for this trip, and it was well worth the cost and the lugging around of it for the photos.  They're not in order, because it's a rainy, dreary day, my coffee hasn't yet kicked in, and i'm lazy. The stops on the cruise portion were Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juno, and Ketchikan.  We didn't do any extra excursions because we opted for the more expensive land portion, but we did rent a car in Skagway and drive to the Yukon.  Okay, enjoy! 


Hell yes, this is why we have the DSLR.  This was the closest we got to a bald eagle, it was just chilling by the ships in Juno's port.
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Creek Street, Ketchikan.
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Glacier Bay.  The best advice we got was to be on the port side of the ship, and then getting a balcony was a must.  We literally did not leave our balcony on that day.  This was the only day that was rainy and overcast, and as we entered the bay we could hardly see anything at all.  I had no idea how close we were to the glaciers and was disappointed that the day was going to be a bust.  Thankfully, the fog cleared and we were able to progress. 
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The blue ice was amazing.  We got to see some calving (when a chunk breaks off into the water).
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And this guy!  How stinking cute!  The naturalist on board said there was a seal on the port side, and when we went out he was directly in front of our balcony, which was in the middle of the ship.  We thought he'd be something we were approaching, and have time to focus the camera, but nope.  He was right there, and we zip zipped right by.  Again, the DSLR was quick enough to take the shot before he was just a tiny blip in the expansive water.
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The glaciers aren't all beautiful crisp blues, but most are.  Also note the people huddled and bundled on the bridge outside.  We were glad to have our own private space and be able to go back inside once we got too cold.  It was freezing right here, i mean, you're pretty much on top of a glacier, but it was also raining.  I had on every layer of clothing that i could, gloves, and my hood up.
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More glaciers.

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We thought this was going to be the closest we got to a bald eagle, but see picture number 1.
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This shot of another cruise ship gives a good sense of the height of the glaciers. 
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Mendenhall Glacier, Juno.  We took a quick ride out to see the glacier and then had lunch at Tracy's Crab Shack which was on the Food Channel.
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Emerald Lake, called such for it's gorgeous green water.  We rented a car in Skagway and drove into the Yukon on our own.  We watch a lot of Gold Rush, and the boyfriend had images of just chancing upon some gold.  Seriously.
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This guy just moseyed on out into the street, and did not care that there were cars.  I was concerned that even though we were in a car that we shouldn't get too close.  I mean, it's still a bear.  There were books for sale titled "Don't Get Eaten" for goodness sake. 

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We considered ourselves extremely lucky that we were able to see the amount of wildlife we did, especially with the moose babies we saw in Fairbanks and the bear and caribou we saw during our tour in Denali.  This was truly an amazing trip, and an anniversary that we will never forget.

More people opt for the cruise portion than the land portion since it's more affordable, so please share with me your experiences if you've gone.  But. If someone was going to ask me for my opinion, i wholeheartedly encourage you to go all out if you can and really experience the interior of Alaska, too.




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Monday, August 4, 2014

Don't be fooled by the rocks that i got

Cats. Squirrels. Two creatures, apparently, who are not so into the fact that i have potted plants.  Or rather, they're a bit TOO interested in the potted plants.  They're just not interested in how i intend these plants to live, which is INSIDE their pots and with the dirt UNDISTURBED.  I have found, both inside and out, my plants dug up and unearthed, dirt on the stairs and dirt covering the carpet.  No more.  For i have found the answer.

Rocks.

Don't be fooled by the rocks that i got, i'm still (i'm still) planting in my pots.  That's right.  Nothing a little j. lo wordplay can't fix.



This may be a no brainer-certainly this is not rocket science-but it IS one of those "why didn't i think of that" moments.  Because, people, this WORKS!  Consistently ALL summer, no more dirt on my front steps.  I seriously stand behind this.  The other idea for keeping squirrels away, that gets pinned a millllllion times, that didn't work for me.  But this works.  Pin THIS a million times.  Because i wish i would have known about this sooner.




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This also keeps my cat Lily out of my indoor plants.  Yet another genius idea from the boyfriend, one that i didn't fully grasp right away.  When he said i needed to add rocks to keep her from digging, i assumed he meant the ones from our travels. 

So, i tucked in a few heart shaped ones from Aruba and France, added a little pottery shards from Israel, some shells from Hawaii...and expected it to work.  Not so, my friends.  For outdoor use and for consistency across the top of the pot, you're gonna need the little stones that come in bags from the dollar store or Ikea.






Gives it an added bonus of a finished, decorative look.  And not coming home to dirt on your floors or your stairs is always a good thing.

Go forth and rock on.

Get it???

I refrained from using this one, but i can't get it out of my head now.  "I like the way you work it...no diggity." Remember that song?

J.Lo ain't got nothin' on me.




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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer bathroom decor

Can you believe it is almost August?  Where on earth did the summer go?  I, for one, am thrilled to be so close to Fall and a certain little holiday called Halloween.  My cousin posted on facebook that there are 99 days until Halloween.  Pretty soon, fall decorations, outfits, and porches will be de rigueur on blogs and pinterest and i can't wait!

But if you (crazy person) are still hanging onto summer and want to inject a little summer style into all the rooms of your home, look no further for inspiration than My-Bathrooms.co.uk.  Their animated video shows tips on bringing some summer touches into your bathroom, with my favorite tip being the addition of greens and plants.  As you know from my living room plant collection, i'm really into greens this time of year.  A snake plant is a no fail plant, and can withstand the shade if your bathroom doesn't have a window.  Since our hall bath no longer has the window (it's now the sunroom shelving niche) this would be a change i can easily make.


 


What about you?  Can you see yourself incorporating any of those ideas into your home?  Do you already make summer changes to your bathroom?  And be honest, who else is happy over the Halloween count down.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Here comes the sun (room) remix


Not gonna lie.  Totally sit in the sunroom and gaze with approval and love at the state of the backyard. There may be satisfied nodding and "mmm hmming" with accomplishment, as one does with a finished project. When one is alone. And isn't being asked a question. Sure.

I'm loving on that bold black and white so much, i brought into the sunroom using the same pillows, and one clearance blanket.  Talk about a deal and a steal.  Apropos of this room, in which everything was bought at a yard sale, a thrift store, or taken from the neighbor's trash.


That sofa frame right there?  Neighbors trash.  The scrolly arms were never my favorite, but one does not look a gift sofa in the mouth.  Much like the outdoor set, i think the bold stripe in the black and white modernizes the look.


If ever you wondered if you needed a skylight that opens, i assure you, you do.


Ahh, the things we do for our animals, like putting out tray tables so they can sit at the same level of the windows.

These white chairs are probably the best yard sale find ever at $12 a piece.  I had to pretend i didn't want them, as i watched the couple who arrived before us sitting in them.  I proclaimed to the boyfriend loudly "No, i think i'd rather have wicker." The couple looked at each other, clearly contemplating the same thing, and walked away.  SOLD to me.  Sometimes you have to play the game, sorry (not sorry) other couple.

If anyone would like to recover these cushions, though, i'd be more than happy to support that, lol.  I just pretty much ignore the faint plaid pattern.  That green damask throw is what i had on the sofa before, and was just not modern at all. But she's mighty soft.

Fake plant for the win!


We created this shelving niche in what was formerly the bathroom window.  That's right.  You could be in the sunroom and peek into the bathroom.  I mean, you'd be a total creeper, but you could do it.


Here's a better sense of what i'm talking about. This was the exterior wall (read: brick) with the window in the bathroom looking to the outside.  Dry walling totally changed this to a more finished and definitely brighter space.

A much nicer look.


Now when i sit out here nodding to myself, it's over the cohesion of these two spaces, with their bold black and white patterns, and lush and vibrant greens.

Talk about a before!  This was one of the first before and afters ever shared on the blog, a whopping 4 years ago. 


I thought we could all use a refresher on this, my favorite project, as i changed the room to reflect my style more.

Any readers from all those years ago remember this project? If so, thanks for sticking around.  Hope everyone had a relaxing holiday weekend.




sharing is caring:  living savvy outdoor extravaganza, thrifty treasures @ southern hospitality, travel photo mondays @ travel photo discovery, places i've been @ the tablescaper,  travel photo thursdays@ budget travelers sandbox , Monthly projects @ Evolution of Style Make it Pretty Mon @ Dedicated House Throwback Thursday @ Sweet Pea, inspire me mondays and power of paint @ domestically speaking, Places I've Been @ The Tablescaper,  Before and After @ Thrifty Decor Chick,   Sundays @ Suburbs Mama  Mod Vintage Life, Motivate Me Mon @Keeping it Simple give me the goods @ rain on a tin roof, home stories a-z, nifty thrifty @ Coastal Charm, be inspired @ elizabeth and co, the scoop @ stone gable,  inspire me tues, lil luna, get your craft on, sugar bee crafts. inspire me weds @ 733, wow us weds @ savvy southern style,  work it weds @ the blissful bee, outdoor weds @ a southern daydreamer, whimsy wednesday, wicked awesome weds @ handy man, crafty woman,  whatever goes weds @ someday crafts charm of home, link party palooza @ tatertots and jello, Flaunt it Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring, open house @ no minimalist here, creativity unleashed @ shaken together,creative connection @ making home base,  inspiration gallery @ Craftberry Bush, Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, my romantic home, jennifer rizzo, Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity nowfurniture fridays @ mustard seed, Feathered Nest @ French Country Cottage, design it fridays @ finding fabulous, best diy @ 36th ave, overflowing w/ creativity @ it's overflowing, nifty thrifty sundays, under the table and dreaming. inspire me please @ liz marie blog,sunday best @ the girl creative  shaken together, seasonal sundays @ the tablescaper, 

Monday, June 30, 2014

you're killing me, basement

Friends and countrymen, the basement reno is almost done.  I know i've been telling you this for years, literally yeeeears, don't think i don't know that.  But.  We have made progress on those incidentals that have a way of bringing the whole thing to a hault.  Or in our case, prolong something from progressing.  I guess that's actually what bring it to a hault means, but that implies there was actual work being done.  We sort of go in spurts where we focus on the basement, and then refinish a tv cabinet, and then go on vacation, and then build a patio. And then we're like, so what are we doing about that thing in the basement?

So.  There were two situations with the basement looming over our heads.  What do we do with the pole, and what do we do with all the electronic equipment for all the theatre stuff.



Starting with the pole, we wanted to make it have a purpose.  It has to be there, it may as well DO something.  So we're making it a table, for that little retro chair and for people who may be congregating in the bar area.


And since my darling knows i'm a visual person, he printed out templates from work so we can get a general idea of what the table would like like.  We like the look of the bottom boxed out, but for the top we may just paint it. 

Just enough space to rest a beer on, i don't want the table to take center stage.  Here i think it looks too big, but the picture below doesn't leave much room for your beverage.  However, if we don't drywall the top of the pole, it will mean the table will be plenty big.


The height is a little higher that the chair so that people standing can still use it.


This feels unobtrusive, right?


The many sizes he brought home, each adding an inch to the table top.  S keeps calling it a guitar pick shape, but to me it's a ouja board piece. 


Some a little less unobtrusive. Lordy. I think he was just trying to annoy me.

Some apparently, quite comfortable. 

And then finally we have the component bench!  This looks simple (at least to me) but it took him ages to draw up and was full of mathematical thought. I am telling you, this, for some reason, was a lot more complicated than it looks right here.   It looks like a pretty simple box....right?  I had hoped we could rig something from Ikea and be done with it.


But my darling is a man's man, and a man's man's theatre room has surround sound and wi fi tv and remote controls i can't even begin to understand. He put a lot of thought into making it perfectly line up with the electrical and computer input things...yeah.  I love how the sub woofer (that big speaker on the left) is partially sunken behind the face so that it looks just like the right hand side.


We realized the receiver gets too hot when it's in use, so he installed a fan on the right  The man just thinks of everything.  We'll install a flip down door that covers the whole front except that very bottom, and he (of course) has a fancy pants remote that works through the door. We'll also add pillows and cushions up top for seating.


Listen, just as long as i don't have to see this mess, i'm golden.

I need some input with the wall behind the bench, if you would indulge me.  So when the theatre screen is down, it won't be a problem.  When it is up in the ceiling (like in the photos) and we're using it as a bench, it's a big empty wall with an off center and high, typical basement window.  How do i decorate this?  Any sort of artwork would have to go really high so that people sitting on the bench aren't uncomfortable.  Should i just do something to balance out the window?  Do nothing at all?  Maybe just look into pillows for now?  Help!

 
 
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Black and white backyard makeover

Well, i have to give the boyfriend some credit.  He was totally right about the patio, and i was wrong in my need for immediate gratification.  I didn't want to put the extra time and money into leveling the yard around it by adding dirt to perfectly fine and green grass, and then putting sod over said dirt.  I was fine with the step down into the grass because it meant it was done.  And you know how projects go.  Done is good, in fact, done is better than good.  But done done wrong is never good.  You follow?


Since all the main furniture is neutral-the table and chairs, the swing, the gazebo-it allowed for a bold pop of pattern with the rug and the pillows. 



And you can see how there's no step down from the patio into the grass, it just floooowwws.


I have wanted to put out these thrifted plant stands for years, and they look great now that there's a patio for them to stand on.  Imagine that garage stuccoed.


Love how the bold black and white stripe works with the bold square planters on the garage wall herb garden.

These pillows are double sided, and were a steal at 2.99 from Ikea.  Got 'em in case the ones on the swing get ruined, but since none of them are technically outdoor pillows, they'll only be put out when we're entertaining.

Remember how i felt bad about covering the herringbone pattern?  I think we still get a good sense of it around the outside of the rug.  The patio itself is 12x14, the canopy is 10x12, and the rug is just shy of 8x11.  Shout out to Dawn at Inspired Living for giving me the heads up on this Frontgate rug.  It is exactly what i had in mind for this space.

The Hampton Bay dining set is 7 years old from Home Depot and has held up fabulously.  The viney backs were never my cup of tea, but in the past i let things being on clearance count for way too much.  I'm trying to get away from that mentality.  I actually think the bold rug balances the more traditional table nicely, and think this space does reflect my style now.



The swing is about 5 years old, and it looks much more updated with bold pillows.  Such a relaxing spot. Swinging should not just be done by children. 

Trifecta of backyard gorgeousness.  Listen to your partners sometimes.  Sometimes they might be right.  Sometimes. 



The netting, you can see, is just collected at each pole and fastened until we need it, like if we're eating a meal and we want to be bug free.




Obviously this is before the rug, but we were testing out the lighting.  So cute, right?




These are just strings of globe lights attached with electrical tape to the hard structure.  This, too, has held up for a few years.  Hopefully i'm not jinxing anything with talk like this!


Bold, graphic, colorful, lush.  Finished.  Never thought these words would describe my backyard.
 
Ready for summer and outdoor living, right here. 




sharing is caring:  living savvy outdoor extravaganza, thrifty treasures @ southern hospitality, travel photo mondays @ travel photo discovery, places i've been @ the tablescaper,  travel photo thursdays@ budget travelers sandbox , Monthly projects @ Evolution of Style , inspire me mondays and power of paint @ domestically speaking, Places I've Been @ The Tablescaper,  Before and After @ Thrifty Decor Chick,   Sundays @ Suburbs Mama  Mod Vintage Life, Motivate Me Mon @Keeping it Simple  home stories a-z, show and sharev@ Coastal Charm, be inspired & garden party @ elizabeth and co, the scoop @ stone gable, the makers @ persia lou,  inspire me tues, get your craft on, sugar bee crafts. inspire me weds @ 733, wow us weds @ savvy southern style,  work it weds @ the blissful bee, outdoor weds @ a southern daydreamer, whimsy wednesday, wicked awesome weds @ handy man, crafty woman,  whatever goes weds @ someday crafts charm of home, link party palooza @ tatertots and jello, Flaunt it Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring, open house @ no minimalist here, creativity unleashed @ shaken together,creative connection @ making home base,  inspiration gallery @ Craftberry Bush, Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, my romantic home, jennifer rizzo, Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity nowfurniture fridays @ mustard seed, Feathered Nest @ French Country Cottage, design it fridays @ finding fabulous, best diy @ 36th ave, overflowing w/ creativity @ it's overflowing, nifty thrifty sundays, under the table and dreaming. inspire me please @ liz marie blog,sunday best @ the girl creative  shaken together, seasonal sundays @ the tablescaper,  lump it or link it @ delineate your dwelling,pinterest party @ just us four, diyers @ homecoming.