Saturday, April 30, 2011

preven[tion] of appari[tion]s

We are officially adults. We now own a lawn mower! Brian has been eyeing them for a while, so when the one he wanted went on sale at Lowe’s, he jumped on it. It’s electric (boogie woogie, woogie).

And because we had a coupon that if you spent a certain amount of money, you got a certain amount of money off, we did some other shopping too, and decided we needed to paint the ceiling of our porches, you know, to keep the haints, er… mosquitos away. So we chose a blue that sufficiently matched the sky, Valspar's Prairie Sky that is. And while Brian started on the yard, I continued my painting efforts. Although I must say, ceilings are not nearly as fun as walls. But the important thing is that it’s done!


Friday, April 29, 2011


Because our laundry room is so blah, I have wanted to find a way to jazz it up and really put our mark on it. So I am a fan of many blogs, but one of the blogs that I read was doing a promotional event for the company Well, I was intrigued by the image of the laundry room they showed, so I decided to check out the website. As it turns out, you can create your own quote/image, so I have a surprise coming, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

However, in preparation for this exciting reveal, I needed an accent wall, so the white lettering would really stand out. And, rather than purchase more paint for just a single wall, I started thinking of all the colors we have stored in the shed. Also, since the wall that the washer and dryer are on was once an exterior wall, I thought it could be fun to paint it the same color as the exterior of the house! Too bad that vinyl siding isn’t still there, not!

So here’s the before and after. Granted the room still has the surprise quote coming and possibly some cabinets & shelves. But for now, this is it, and it’s already better.

I will say that the paint is much darker on the inside, with a hint of baby-poop-green that I wasn’t really loving at first, but hey, it’s better than the white, on white, on white.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

frustra[tion] to satisfac[tion]

So, I'm still getting used to my role as 'landlord', even after renting my condo out for the past year. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. Of course, it's been heavy on my mind lately, since our renter moved out in mid-April, leaving behind all the grime of the past year that he didn't bother to clean. In a sense we were burned, and burned bad, financially and cosmetically. But after trying to clean it ourselves, giving into the fact that no matter how hard I scrubbed it would never be the way I remembered it, and having the carpets steam-cleaned, the Maid Brigade visit, and some touch-up painting here and there, by none other than yours truly, it was finally at a point that we could at least show it to potential renters. These are the photos after finally getting it all up to par.

And all that hard work paid off, because after 124 emails exchanged, daily postings to craigslist, bi-weekly postings to the musc housing website, flyers for the complex office, countless phone calls, and 8 appointments with various people, I am happy to report that we found a tenant! And SHE is awesome. Yay!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter celebra[tion] 2011

We spent the holiday in Georgia with Brian's family, and it was a fun-filled weekend of great food, family, and Easter festivities. What a beautiful Sunday, perfect for an Easter egg hunt!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


When I got back to work after lunch today, there was a beautiful pink flower in an elegant white teacup sitting on my desk. Well, I love flowers. And I do love surprises. So the surprise flower was a big hit. It really made my day (of course it doesn't take much to make my day a little happier). Upon further study, looking around the room, I realized all the girls in the office had the same little sursy. After asking around, it became apparent that the gift was from one of our bosses, Rick.

Not too much later, he sent the following email to explain the story...

Please accept the peony and the teacup I have placed on your desk. It is tradition for Bousquet gentlemen, in spring to give the (non-family) women ‘about’ them, fresh cut peonies from their garden in a teapot or teacup. According to the tradition (and Feng Shui); For the Mademoiselles, the flower shall bring romance. For the Madame, the flower shall bring happiness. (This falls under the phase-if Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy).

It is a big year for my family, as my peony bush (the youngest) has produced enough buds for me to carry on the tradition. It was only yesterday that a another bud appeared, to make the count….I wanted/needed 18!

These flowers are from an antique peony bush that has been in my family for many generations. It has been in Charleston for eight years. My Great Grandmother brought it to America (NY) from France the year my grandmother was born. Next week is my grandmother’s 95th birthday.

The original bush is located at the family homestead in France north of Montpelier, a few miles north of the French Mediterranean coast. Family folklore tells the tale that my great…great grandfather proposed to my great…great grandmother with a fresh cut peony from his humble garden next to his small cottage. She took a teacup off the table to set the flower in water, to keep it fresh. From there, things prospered…

Thanks for being a part of a tradition, with romance and happiness…my work here is done...

Just thought I'd share... too cool of a story to let pass by!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Brian designed shelving for the shed this weekend, and we made a trip to Lowe’s and he set to work. I helped a little, but for the most part I left him to his project, popping in occasionally to snap a photo here and there. Unfortunately, the shed is still home to several items of the contractor, including a huge window (or maybe 2?), a door, a doorframe, several rakes, and other materials that are hidden behind all those other things. So, we are working around all of that. But, we were able to get most of the shed cleaned out, and now it’s almost time to fill it up again with all the ‘stuff’ in our storage unit. The plan is to purge as much as possible, but lawn care, car care, paint & other house repair stuff, bicycles, camping gear, and a grill all need a home, and that is what the shed is for, right? Well it all adds up, and thank goodness we have a place to put it!

Here are a few progress photos...

And finally, the paint corner. All those paints and stains that have been living in our guest bedroom closet, now have a permanent home.

It felt good being in the shed again. That was our personal project through the house renovation, and it's been a while since we showed it some love!


Well, I did it. I finally painted the wall yellow between the kitchen and the dining room. Just the kitchen side that is! Originally it was gray to match the dining and living rooms, but it always felt a little off to me, when the rest of the kitchen is Sherwin Williams Bee's Wax. Seemed odd to have one wall in the same room a different color. So while Brian worked on shelving for the shed, I got out the paint bucket, and set to work.

 Much cheerier! I'm quite pleased. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I don't think I ever reported that we did finally get our master bedroom 3-over-1 window! It was the final thing that the contractor needed to finish, and thank goodness he stayed true to his word! Of course we still need proper curtains for it, since for now it's sporting a sheet or tablecloth or something from the previous owner. In due time we'll find the perfect draperies, and paint color for this room.

 And here you can see how it kind of matches the original windows on the rest of the house...

Friday, April 15, 2011

congratula[tion]s to the Charzewski's!

Last weekend I (& 5 of my coworkers) hosted a baby shower for our friend Jennifer. The shower was at our house, which was kind of a personal goal I had set for having the house presentable by a certain date! Mission accomplished. It was quite a relief! Here are a few photos from the event...

Amelia planted my flower boxes (along the stairs) that morning, and she made the sailing flags draped across the front porch.

Because they are having a boy, the color scheme for the event was blue, turquoise, and green, which are the colors she's using in the nursery. You can see the 'booties' that I made for favors, filled with hershey kisses.

I had also wrapped baby food jars in various ribbons, keeping with the color scheme, and used them as votive holders and vases.


To personalize the event I hung a 'clothesline' of onesies that I had made from iron-on paper that were logos and images that are specific to the future-parents. Also took baby building blocks and spelled out their last name on the mantle.
close-up of onesies
close-up of the blocks that spell out 'baby charzewski'
Since the party was at my house, and I don't pride myself on being the most excellent cook, the other hosts brought the food & wine. Check out the spread! I did however make the diaper 'cake' with help from Veronica & Allison when they were here for the bridge run.
close-up of diaper cake

the mother-to-be with me

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


As in recieving through the back door... which I just realized I never posted about the fact that our new back door has been stained and weather-proofed! And most importantly has a door knob! Check it out.

exterior view
interior view