Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Curb Appeal Chronicles: Part 5

Over the last 2.5 months, Tal and I have been updating our home's curb appeal with new bushes and mulch.

On Saturday, Tal and I spent 7 hours digging up trees and pulling weeds, as well as laying landscape fabric and spreading mulch.
Here's what our yard looks like today:

In the flower bed to the right of our front steps, 
Tal and I pulled weeds and then laid landscape fabric: 

On the side of our house, several trees were overgrown 
from lack of maintenance over the last few years: 


Tal removed 4 overgrown trees, which will give the 
remaining trees plenty of space to flourish.


At the yard waste landfill, our family dumped all of our yard debris...

...and got a truckload of mulch. 

For a couple hours, Tal and I worked together to rake 
the mulch into the wheelbarrow and dump it in the flower bed 
and on the side of the house:

 This evening, Tal dug 4 holes and planted the 
boxwood and gardenia bushes below:

Now our 2012 curb appeal project is...done! 
Stay tuned for photos of our final reveal!


This week Savannah and I will be saying goodbye to our schools. On Monday, I start my new position as the teacher-librarian at a year-round elementary school that is 1 mile from our house. 

Saying goodbye is bittersweet. It has been a joy to work at my current school for the last 5 years. I truly love the students, staff, and library. On the other hand, it's a dream come true to have a shorter commute (an hour less each day), as well as to teach at the same school where Savannah attends (when she starts kindergarten in 2 years).

Since Savannah was 10 weeks old, she has attended a daycare that is 5 minutes from my current school. Over the last 3 years, Savannah's teachers have given her lots of love, attention, and instruction. Fortunately, Savannah has had a positive rapport with all her teachers. However, Savannah adores Ms. Carmen, her current teacher in the 3 year-old classroom. 

Ms. Carmen (and other teachers) affectionately refer to Savannah as "little teacher" and "little mama."  Savannah's teachers are convinced that Savannah will be a teacher someday (just like Mommy and Grandma Barbara). :-) Ms. Carmen says that Savannah follows directions really well and always helps clean-up the room. On the playground, Savannah tells her friends to get in line, listen to the teacher, and put away their toys...and the other kids listen to her. :-)   Savannah also takes care of her friends by hugging them or comforting them when they are crying or hurting. We'll miss the fantastic staff at Savannah's school!

Ms. Carmen and Savannah

In her classroom, Savannah stands in front
of the letter "S" (for Savannah):

During "circle time," Savannah sits in her assigned spot 
to listen to a story or sing songs.

Savannah sits on the flower with her name.

Savannah's Hand Print

As a farewell gift, Savannah's friends made the card 
below with their hand prints:

Caraline, Ms. Carmen, Ms. Jessica, Jack, and Adler

Dylan, Eliza, Olivia, Kelann, Brandon, Marlee, Grayson, Jake

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Yesterday Savannah's class made s'mores at school:

Check out what Savannah liked about her s'mores:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

For Rent

This is our rental house, which we've owned for 6.5 years. After 1.5 years, our excellent tenants moved out on Saturday. Over the weekend, Tal and I spent 3 hours pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and spreading mulch. Now that the yard is spruced up, Tal and I are ready for some new (and good) tenants, which we're praying our realtor finds us quickly!

At this point, Tal and I are keeping our rental house as an investment property. We might consider selling it when the housing market improves. On the other hand, we're seriously thinking about keeping our rental house as a long-term investment that will generate some income when we retire. We'll see what happens!

Daddy Day

On Sunday, Tal's family stopped by our house briefly to wish Tal a happy Father's Day. Then, Tal, Savannah, and I ate hot glazed donuts at Krispy Kreme for breakfast. After church, our family ate burgers, hot dogs, and french fries at Cook-Out. Yum! 

Savannah, Tal, Barbara, Benny, EJ

Check out the cute Father's Day card (which included her footprint and a poem) that Savannah made at school:

We love you, Tal!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In the Works

Here's a sneak peek at 4 projects I hope to accomplish this summer. To be honest, I'm a bit reluctant to share my home improvement goals because they might get pushed to the back burner over the next few months.  

As much as I love decorating and doing home improvements in my free time, I have more important summer priorities...like adjusting to my new school, going to the pool and park with Savannah, getting our rental house ready for new tenants, getting daily exercise, and soaking up family/couple time with Tal in the evenings.  

1. Spray paint the fireplace. See the gold on our fireplace?  I want to spray paint it black and bring our fireplace into the 21st century (for $11). The good news is that I have everything I need (newspaper, painter's tape, sandpaper, primer, and spray paint) to complete this project. 

2. Paint the backs of the built-in bookcases in our living room. This project is at the bottom of my summer to-do list. More than likely, I won't finish it this summer. In the coming months, my goal is to highlight our bookcases by painting the backs a teal or turquoise that complement the painting in our living room.

However, after giving it some thought, I think it would be smarter to first pick out the curtain fabric for the living room and kitchen and then select the paint color(s) for bookcases and kitchen.

3. Paint our garage entry door yellow. Tal, Savannah, and I (as well as our friends and family) use our garage entrance 99% of the time. Yet, it's so dirty and unattractive. My summer goal is to make our garage entrance more inviting by scrubbing the door and painting it a cheerful yellow. I've narrowed down the paint chips below to 3 yellow hues that brighten up our garage and coordinate with our living room painting.

4. Make a picture wall in our hallway. I've already planned the frame arrangement and printed the pictures. In the near future, I'm planning a trip to Ikea to buy the 39 frames I need to make our picture wall. Then, I can get it done!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Picture This

For months, I've been looking for a large, oversized piece of art to hang above our fireplace and guide the color palette for our entire house:

A few months ago, I fell in love with this painting. However, Tal hated it (or maybe it was the $450 price tag):

Gratefully, I scored this $80 piece of art at Homegoods recently. As you might have guessed, this painting is probably supposed to be a vertical landscape. However, to fit our space, I turned it horizontally:  

This painting hangs in a prominent spot, so we'll be using it to guide our paint, furniture, and accessory choices around our house.

The color scheme in our house is primarily blue hues (teal, turquoise, and robin's egg blue) with pops of lime green and sunny yellow. Our neutrals are whites and creams, as well as some brown (furniture).

Check out the cute kiddo who helped us hang our new painting:

Afterwards, Tal measured Savannah's height...38 inches!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Torrential rain storms are common in NC during the spring and summer. But heavy storms...with hail? Not so common. In fact, prior to last week, it had been years since I'd seen hail. For Savannah, last week's hailstorm was her first. 

From the shelter of our garage, Savannah and I witnessed the high winds, heavy rain, and pea-sized hail. We were so thankful to be inside...and not driving or walking outside!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Check out Savannah wearing Mommy's sunglasses: