Before the power went out last week I had a sudden flash of productivity (probably due to the fact friends were coming to visit for the weekend).  I was tired of the throw pillows on the couch that looked like this: Fraying pillow 1

and this:

Throw pillow 2

The pillows I picked up at Ross for something like $6 each, and they complemented the chair we have in our living room perfectly so of course I grabbed them, couldn’t beat that price!  But since we don’t have a “no dogs on the couch” rule at our house – Roxie and Jackson were using those new pillows as their own personal pillows when laying on the couch.  I think they got more use out of them than us!  So pretty quickly the seams were splitting and they were looking frayed.  If I didn’t do something soon the stuffing was going to be pulled out and strewn across the living room…kinda like all their stuffed animals!

I had been looking at pillow covers on etsy – but when they were $20 each at the low end I realized that it was something I could do.  I just needed to make the time! We had an extra 6×9 canvas drop cloth left over from another decorating project (future post).  So my neglected sewing machine and craft table were dusted off – and after just 45 minutes of measuring, pinning & sewing I had newly recovered pillows that were more durable and now washable for the dogs paw prints and drool that is sure to come 🙂 They are actually both snoring on the couch next to me as I write this!

Here’s the after:

Throw pillow after

What do you think? Not perfect, but it will do…I do think I need to add a brown ribbon stripe(s) or some sort of stencil print to it, perhaps next time – especially now that I know how easy it was to do! And literally not 15 minutes after I finished the two pillows – the power went out & productivity was over 🙂


Hall/Guest Bath Update

Sorting through all the random pictures we’ve taken it’s hard to know what to post next! The before pictures showed the pink wall color, droopy shower curtain rod, crooked pedestal sink and the fixture I don’t like.  So what’s changed….really just the first two things, plus some new caulking/waterproofing around the shower and bath fixtures – the sink and fixture are still on the someday to-do list 🙂

Hall/Guest Bathroom 1

Hall/Guest Bath 2

The wall color is “cornhusk” – a crisp green…probably not a color for everyone, but when faced with your first opportunity of putting some COLOR on the walls it’s hard to know that what you like will actually look good.  Fortunately, this is a color that worked out and I even found that shower curtain at Target that matched the green perfectly.   The print hanging in the white frame is something  I found on etsy and had saved as a favorite for a few months…it’s called ‘wild air’ and is from the shop thewheatfield.  It says: “Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.” A quote by Emerson.

1st Snowstorm

Even though we first looked at the house in December 2009 with snow on the ground – and snow was our major delay factor during the entire closing process (I’m sure we’ll eventually get into that story), this past week we had our first big snowstorm living on the mountain.  We got about 12 inches up on Bull Run Mountain – while DC only about 40 miles to the east got 5ish.  

I left work early that day, just before 3 to leave the rush that was sure to happen since  federal workers got a 2 hour early release.  And good thing I left when I did, the ride home took twice as long as usual!

Ridge Road - just after the last switchback.

"Stoneman's Hill"

Stoneman’s Hill is a personal name we use to describe a section of road along Summit Road.  That area deserves pictures and a post of its own.  Needless to say it’s a sight to see!

Last Stretch!

Taking pictures while driving probably isn’t the smartest idea – but really gives a first hand view of some of the drive up the mountain in a snowstorm.  We had just about 3 inches on the ground at this point.

The power went out at about 7pm on Wednesday night – right about the time that the puck was supposed to drop for the Caps game.  Meaning Tim was cranky! Fortunately we kept the fireplace going, had plenty of candles and flashlights, and put on a few extra layers before bed (thank god for under armor!) and woke up on Thursday to still no power.  Before the shoveling could begin we got the grill on the back deck going and cooked up a big breakfast.  While of course cereal was the easier option – bacon and eggs always sounds better!


Keeping the perishables cold out on the back deck…

We got power back about 3pm on Thursday and were really some of the lucky ones to get it back so quickly.  The heavy snow brought down a lot of power lines in the Northern Virginia/DC area – at the height of the power outage there was something like 400,000 people without power.

After the storm:

The Backyard

Snowy wonderland

Of course we had to play outside with the dogs – they LOVE the snow 🙂

Roxie & Jackson

Looking for something to chase in the backyard...

After the first winter storm since moving up to the mountain dropping a foot of snow and an 18 hour power outage, we are back with a few updates!   We left off with the before pictures of the hall bathroom and the front hall bedroom, so now to show how things look now – first up, the front hall bedroom…

Front hall bedroom 1

New wall color is Dolphin Fin (very pale grey) by Valspar from Lowe’s and the trim is a no longer pale yellow but a crisp white that Tim painted all by himself while I was traveling in December for work! What a nice surprise to come home to – a project checked off the list!

Front Hall Bedroom After 2

For the items in this room:

Bedding – New Land’s End Duvet Cover, everything else (sheets/pillows) was stuff we already had and made work here in this room. 

Nightstand and Blue Lamp – hand me downs from my grandma – with a “new” lampshade from Goodwill 🙂

Curtains and Hardware – Target

Chair in corner – Ikea, but again something we already had and found it a home in this room.

Tall light behind chair – inherited it with the house…

“Dream” sign – a housewarming gift from my sister that she picked up at the local consignment shop in town for $5 (i’ve taught her well with finding treasures and being thrifty!)

What’s left for this room: find a spot to hang the shelving we made last weekend, most likely next to the window; repaint the door to the room since the last owner left it a bit splotchy and didn’t even take off the hardware before painting; replace closet door or just paint it white to match the other door; find a solid wood dresser for this room to possibly refinish and use for storage; and one day replace all door hardware in the house – most all of them have paint somewhere on them, plus that brass color could go! But that’s certainly not an immediate to do – since what’s there is working for now 🙂

It’s been a while…

Wow! We closed on the house 8 months ago – maybe it’s time to start showing some of the changes.  It seems as things get crossed off the to-do list we add three more things back onto the list 🙂 Little by little we’ve changed paint color, fixtures, furniture, window coverings, taken down trees, and made more trips to Lowes and Home Depot than you could count…

Lets start with some before pictures and move room by room through the house.  The photos below were taken on one of the walk throughs we did prior to purchasing – everything in the photos is from the prior owner packing things up!

First up – the front guest bedroom “before’s”

Front Guest Room - more of the Before

Front Guest Room - the Before

Notice the “baby yellow” wall color, and though it’s not pictured very well here – the trim is actually painted that color as well!

Next, before pictures of the hall bathroom:

Hall Bathroom Before 1

Hall Bathroom Before 2

Another questionable paint color here, somewhat of a “pepto bismol” pink – yikes! Notice the droopy shower curtain rod and crooked sink pedestal (still on the to-do list!).  Light fixture is not pictured so I’ll have to get a picture of that – before it gets switched out as it’s also on the “the list” – i’m not sure if Tim know’s of that addition 🙂

Pictures to come of the rooms to date…

Primed and Ready

With some questionable color choices on the walls selected by the former owner – priming is a necessity in the master bedroom as the upstairs living room area.  We started last night in the master bedroom to get rid of a hideous red accent wall.  It was a little harsh for us – and not quite the neatest painting job I’ve ever seen  (I’m not sure the former owner ever used a roll of blue painters tape).

As we got started last night after a quick dinner from Panera, we weren’t sure how much we’d actually get done.  Tim conveniently forgot to tell me that he had actually never painted before, while I was under the assumption that he had at least some minimal experience! Ha, my mistake! I was happy to find out he’s a quick learner – and his height leaves him doing all the ceiling work – lucky him!

Master bedroom is primed and ceilings are painted – we are ready for some color on those walls!

Pictures to come…I’m doing my best to document as much as possible 🙂

We closed! After a 5 week delay, Tim and I officially became first time home buyers yesterday afternoon! After the frustration of the snow, more snow, and yet more snow – we really thought the issues holding us up would never be resolved.  The septic work that had to be completed was truly a thorn in our side for the past few weeks – but we are very thankful the work was taken care of prior to closing and inspection went smoothly.   We can now proudly call that little grey house on the mountain our own. 

We’ve now made 6+ stops at Home Depot in the past five days, and we’ve just started (and Tim has plans to stop again tonight!).  Clearly we need to better plan the trips to be more efficient with them 🙂  At least we are mixing it up between multiple locations!

This will be our little spot to document and share with family and friends this move to the mountain and making our first home our own.   More to come, we’ve just begun!