Increasing Curb Appeal : Garage Door Revamped

I'm going to let you in on a little secret... 

We haven't shown many photos of the exterior of our house. In fact, the exterior was our least favorite part of the house when we saw it. The front boasts a slightly modern / Brady Bunch kind of style which is cool, but very different. 

If we had money growing from our elbows, we would paint the orangey-pink brick and tan accents, knock down the whole entry way / give it a mod-cottage twist and add a completely new garage door. 


Unfortunately, we haven't mastered the money trick yet, so we settled on adding a Black Decorative Hardware Kit to the face of our garage. Once again, my awesome mom came to the rescue and picked up a kit for us before she came to visit last time. *Thanks mom!


It was super easy! All you need is a kit, a drill and some muscles. Great neighbors help too!

{thanks Elizabeth, Alyssa and Ava for helping me measure and handing me the screwdriver when needed. Alyssa and Ava also performed a marvelous ballet recital after we finished. The freshly-decorated garage acted as their backdrop.}

Tip: There are several options for the layout of your hardware. The back of the box has great design ideas! I taped all of the hardware in different designs so that I could figure out which way looked best and decided on this one...



We still have a few additions to make on the front of the house, as our budget allows, but the hardware kit added a great amount of character!

Do you think the hardware kit made a big difference?
What was one of the first things you changed on the exterior of your home? 




The Garden : Generations of Green Thumbs

Welcome to the home of robins, bluebirds, blue jays, squirrels, chipmunks, fireflies, and whimsical plants.

AKA: Our Garden

I wish we could say that we built it from the ground-up, but we didn't. With the simple sign of a pen, we obtained this absolutely amazing garden along with our new home. 

It's magical.


Forget a green thumb. These previous homeowners must have had green streaming from each of their fingertips. A number of people are terrified that we're going to ruin have a little trouble keeping the garden up since I haven't always had the best luck with something as small as a potted plant... but I really think we'll get the hang of it eventually.

When all else fails, we must remember that all things will [hopefully] grow back.

At least, that's what my mom tells me.

I think that's one reason I love this garden so much. It reminds me of both my mother's and my grandmother's gardens. They are - hands-down - the best gardeners I know. Their gardens are both extraordinarily lovely, charming and peaceful. I loved walking through Gingin's gardens with her when we lived at the Bungalow; and no time is sweeter with my mom than when we play in the dirt and have conversations surrounded by rich blooms. 

"I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falls on my ear
The Son of God discloses"

That's one of our favorite hymns. I have no doubt that we all sing it when watering our gardens. 

{Side Note: I butchered Gingin's hydrangea bushes (my favorite flowers) at the Bungalow when I attempted to "prune" them for the first time. That was my first terrible gardening experience. But, just like mom and Gingin said, they have grown back. There is hope for me yet!}

mom and her garden

mom and dad's raised garden beds

deeply thankful for these green-thumbed lovebirds


Dad is an incredible gardener also, especially with vegetables. He is a master scientist. It comes in handy when growing all of your plants from little seedlings!

JD and I have confidence that we will be able to keep a beautiful garden because we have our families as a resource.

JD and dad spent a lot of time tackling this task before we moved into our new home.
Next week, we'll share our raised garden bed project with you.


In the meantime, here are a few of the perennials in bloom this week:

Balloon Flower

 Coneflower 



The Anniversary : Rose Petals, Flooding & a New Home

We have finally moved into our new house! 

We were planning on staying our first night the weekend after we signed the contract. Unfortunately, I began washing our sheets for the bed and quickly found out that the washing machine drain was clogged.

Yeah.
First day of move-in: The laundry room floods. 
Good thing it has tile flooring down there.

So we called Roto Rooter out to unclog the drain and decided to wait it out a few more days until our anniversary.

Ends up, the first night was more than perfect. Way more perfect than it would have been if we stayed there the originally-planned evening. JD had a few wonderful surprises waiting for me on our screened-in back porch (candles, bouquet of flowers and scattered rose petals surrounding our tiny chairs). 


My sweet husband is so brilliantly romantic that he scattered rose petals on the bedroom floor - on top of bubble wrap so that our floors wouldn't get stained. 

That's love, right there, y'all.

We prepared the popcorn, got cozy in our completely unorganized living room and watched "Up", the first movie we watched together on our first date four years ago. I cry more and more during that movie as each year passes. Only now I don't need 3D glasses to hide my tears. ;)

In the past week, adventures in home ownership have thrown us for a few surprises and left us with several moments of frustration. 

{we'll tell you more about that later}

Yet, we are truly having the time of our lives. After our first shock of an old-house issue (laundry room flood), we laugh about all of the other huge and tiny problems that arise.

It's our house now.

Our home.

No maintenance guys to call or leases to let run out. It's our responsibility - and challenge - to take care of.

And it's awesome. 

For now, we will share at least one small victory from our first week: a freshly mowed lawn. 


Whoop whoop!


House Search Update

It's official. We have found a house!!

We signed the contract for it Monday and are having our home inspection TODAY!

I can't believe how quickly everything is going now that we have found a house we love.

The last few weeks have been uber stressful since our apartment lease is up at the beginning of July but we had to notify the apartment complex 60 days before moving out (beginning of May). Time was running out. We were at the point of either finding a house reallll quick or staying in the apartment for another year.

We looked at eight houses in one day. Not gonna lie, that day transpired from complete excitement to a major headache by the end of the home tour. Only one house blew us away though.

It was an older home, vacant, freshly painted in neutral colors, move-in ready, super amazing accents, a huge master bedroom suite and had a FABULOUS garden. Those were merely the small bonuses though. (Yes, an old home was a bonus for us.)

We're waiting to actually close on the house before we show photos or write much about it, as we're still trying to guard against loving it too much (sometimes things don't go as smoothly as hoped). Granted, I have already designed the "We've Moved" postcards with the new address so I guess we're not guarding our hopes too much.

Whoops!

We are so ready to move into the house and transform it into a home. The Pinterest boards have been filled, revamping lists have been created / prioritized and our minds have been racing with tons of ideas.  But it will all have to wait until the final documents have been signed.

With the crazy and stressful month we've had, I haven't had hardly any time to read about my bloggin' buddies lives. Please know that I miss y'all and can't wait to catch up soon!!

Obviously the next few weeks will be crazy still because of the house goings-on as well as another big adventure we'll be embarking on (we'll discuss later), but no worries. A few of my favorite bloggers will be taking over Jitney's Journeys in our absence to keep y'all entertained and challenged.


Do you have any suggestions for new homeowners / people who are buying their first home? What was your biggest joy and challenge in the process?