Entries from October 30th, 2012

Vintage Nightstand: Before and After

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30.10.12

Something great happens when you find the perfect piece of furniture at the perfect price. I wasn’t actively looking for a nightstand but had it in mind that I’d pick one up for Nik’s room if the opportunity presented itself.

Nightstand 1   NIghtstand 6 I found a great candidate on craigslist for $25.00. Unheard of in our area where craigslist prices tend to be a tad overinflated. Good for when you’re selling something but not so good for when you’re bargain hunting.

Nightstand Before 1Here was the nightstand before it was a solid piece, very heavy with dovetail drawers along with a few scratches and and spots of chipping veneer.  After a very thorough sanding and a few coats of Valspar dark gray spray paint on the frame and sides and Minwax English Chestnut on the drawer fronts and top it’s got a new lease on life perfect for a Nik’s soon to be made over little boys room.

NIghtstand 3

I’m really impressed with how it turned out. It’ll look perfect in Nikolas’ room.

Batten Down the Hatches

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29.10.12

Stormy 1 Stormy 3 Stormy 2

Happy Monday everyone. We’re gearing up over here to brace ourselves for Miss Frankestorm Hurricane Sandy, Battening down the hatches, tying down furniture and gathering supplies. They’ve been warning us to prepare for long term power outages (YUCK) which means we’ve gathered (along with the rest of the tri-state area) a stock of food water and gas for the generator. We went to Target last night to pick up a few random things before the storm set in and they were completely sold out of bread and water. It’s crazytown here!

We’re praying for the safety of everyone in the path of Sandy and for those who have already lost. Have a happy Monday wherever you are and see you here soon!

Laying Sod Against the Clock

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16.10.12

Unexpected Sod 9

In the midst of our deck building project we had an unexpected but welcomed surprise in the form of some free sod. How did we happen upon free sod? Well it pays to have a relative in the construction business who was working at a job hat ordered too much. They  were about to throw out almost 2 pallets full of perfectly good sod and we snagged it for free, all for just knowing someone in the right place at the right time.

Unexpected Sod 1

Scoring the free sod was a blessing for our wallets in the long run. However, in the short term it left us scrambling to get the remaining white stones removed and a truckload of top soil brought in to frantically finish prepping. On an particularly hot and steamy Saturday morning a large truckload of topsoil arrived and we were ready to get prepping.

Unexpected Sod 4

Sod needs to be laid as soon as possible after it’s cut. Ideally you would lay it the same day, so once we were left with the sod we knew time was ticking to get the stuff down in place and start watering. To prolong the lifespan of the sod until we were able to lay it all out we unrolled a number of pieces in the shade and continued to water it to prevent it from drying out, turning yellow and ultimately dying on us.

Unexpected Sod 7

The guys (and Nikolas too) work hard to move stone as quickly as possible, which unfortunately still left us with a terribly rocky base. To remedy the unfriendly soil conditions we lay down around 6 inches of top soil over the entire area to be grassed and raked it out by hand so it was a smooth and even foundation.

Unexpected Sod 11The old stones had a reflective quality in person that blinded you, throwing a force field of heat back at you. That combined with a severe lack of shade made it feel like you were sitting on a sheet of tinfoil rather than a refreshing retreat near the lake. By just removing the stone and adding topsoil the area already looked a million times better than before despite it’s still unfinished state. Unexpected Sod 12 Throughout the day work continued. Trimming out a few odd and ends and creating a nice edge for the sod through the walkways and gates so that everything would look nice, clean and ultimately finished. Once all the prep work was complete the sod was ready to be laid out. We were hoping and praying that it would survive despite the longer than ideal time it hand been waiting.

Unexpected Sod 13

Although quite heavy, sod is relatively easy to lay down once all the prep work is done. You simply set it down, roll it out and stagger where the ends meet so that it’s laid out in a brick pattern. When it comes to a corner we’d lay it up to the edge and cut it around the object. Probably not how the professionals would do it but we’ve found that a long serrated bread knife works wonders for cutting through the grass and roots.

Unexpected Sod 5

Overall most of it survived and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Over time some of the spots unfortunately did yellow on us due to the time it spent hanging out waiting to be set down. We remedied that by adding in some top soil and grass seed. By next spring you won’t even be able to tell which was sod and which was patched by us.

Reimagining the back yard

In the end we love the new found lushness of the space.  So much better than the barrenness of the white rocks before.

Unexpected Sod 6

A Pumpkin Picking We Will Go

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16.10.12

Pumpkin Picking 2012

For the past few weekends we’ve been talking about heading off into farm country and doing what every respectable family does this time of year and enjoy the fleeting warm temperatures and glorious colors of fall by going pumpkin picking. So with the weather positively glorious Sunday afternoon. Think 75 degrees and bright blue skies streaked with a few passing clouds. A 2 year old that refused to take a nap and a desire to check one of our October activities off our list. We decided to head out and take advantage of the beautiful fall day that had presented itself to us.

We hopped in the truck and drove about 30 minutes southwest to Long Valley, New Jersey and the home of Ort Farms. Of course our non-napping toddler dosed off promptly 5 minutes before arrival but upon hearing that there were monster trucks and pumpkins to be picked he perked up rather quickly.

Ort farms did not disappoint, with the warm weather, crowds of people enjoying the fall festivities and Nikolas excitement at riding in the back of a tractor and picking pumpkins from a patch, we were together and having a blast. Not to mention the views and hot apple cider topped off a lovely afternoon.

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Pumpkin Picking 2012-3

The Best Junk on Craigslist – New Jersey Edition

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12.10.12

Maybe it’s the possibility of finding something really cool at a really good price but I love scouring craigslist multiple times per day even when I’m not in the market for anything. There’s a lot of wading through over priced crap on our craigslist but sometimes I find the best junk.

Unfortunately most of the time I have no place to put it. Big bummer. Instead of all of these good finds going to waste or having my husband divorce me because our living room is full of junk we don’t need I thought I’d share some of the great stuff I found recently.

I’m dying over this first find at $495 it’s a little more than Id normally consider spending on something I found on craigslist but it’s gorgeous and so worth it.

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/atq/3314604652.html

This Ethan Allen couch is really pretty with great lines and comes with your own custom plastic covers. What more could you want from a second hand couch?

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/fuo/3293222296.html

I’m kind of digging this chair could be really cute recovered with some contrast piping and for $50 how can you go wrong?

http://images.craigslist.org/3G53M23Jc5I85L65Hbcab90890e4bdd5a1482.jpg

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/fuo/3331329996.html

Spindle beds are hot right now and this one could be so cute for $380. Leave it as is or paint it a bright color for a fun teen bedroom.

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/atq/3290710066.html

A five piece French Provincial bedroom set for $165, would be killer painted white and put in a little girls room.

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/fuo/3332609223.html

I’m loving this walnut sideboard. It’s perfect as is. Asking $465. I’d probably try and ask them t go a bit lower.

And there you have it, the best junk on Jersey Craigslist.

How’s the Craigslist in your area? Find any good junk lately?

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