Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 Goals List For the Home

I was sitting out on my back patio this morning making up my new To Do list of goals for the next year. I really thought I would have finished everything before this year was up, but my neighbor that was helping me sort of starting working on another project and my projects got put on hold. Hopefully he is finishing up soon or I can find a new neighbor to get this ball rolling.  :)

I've owned my new place for almost a year now (purchased Feb 28, 2013) and everything has worked out great. I chose this place because it was only 10 min from the beach and I did get to frequent the beach a lot this year, more so than I ever have before. I'm loving the warm beach life year 'round. Hello - 85 degrees in December!!!  

Here was my original To Do list when I first moved in...
Move In To Do List

2014 Goals

  • Update Kitchen door
  • Put wood on garage wall to organize tools
  • Put hooks on garage wall
  • Shelves on garage wall
  • Clean clutter out of garage
  • Shelves for Laundry room
  • Wall Clothes rack for Laundry room
  • A table for the living room (to go between the 2 chairs)
  • Drapes for dining rm
  • Rug for dining rm
  • Put lights in dining rm
  • Table for office
  • Terrazzo floors professionally cleaned in office
  • Throw rug for office
  • Window treatments for office
  • Organize office closet
  • Window treatments for Master Bedrm
  • Put a door on Master bathrm
  • Paint Master bathrm vanity
  • Add hardware to vanity
  • Paint Master bathrm walls
  • Hang pictures in Master Bath
  • Remove glass stall in Master Bath
  • Get grout in bathrm cleaned
  • Small nightstand in both guestrooms
  • Tile the back patio
  • Hang pictures on walls
  • Fence off the rest of the yard
  • Get Little Foot a doggy door
  • Paint walls
That list doesn't look too painful. Hopefully I can get all of this done next year. 

 I did landscape the front yard, but the leaves all fell off of my bougainvillea and I'm waiting for them to grow back before I take the picture. All the plants and trees are babies right now, so they need time to mature some. 

I have been working on all of the rooms, I just don't have any completely finished because instead of finishing one, I keep doing a little bit at a time to each room. I'm going to focus on the garage next though so I can show a picture of it finished. I brought a bunch of my dads old tools down from NC and am organizing them on peg boards and shelves that need to be finished. I put a piece of peg board up myself from watching how my dad did it in my shed at the last house I lived in.  It turned out great! Dad would be proud.  :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Farm Fresh

There is nothing better than eating fresh picked food from a garden. The way nature intended for us to eat. I've heard a lot about CSA's, Community Supported Agriculture, you can join so you can benefit from local farms in your area. I finally took the plunge and joined one. Some CSA's let you work and be part of the experience in return for the food, others let you pay a small fee. It depends on the local farm and how it's set up. 

I joined a month ago and I've had farm fresh produce coming out of my ears! I live alone, so it really is way too much food for me, I'm having to freeze things so they won't go bad. If you have a family, it would be the perfect amount. 

I pay $25. a week (paid up front) for a basket like this.

You walk in, empty the contents into your own bags that you bring and it always fills up about 3 bags. They stuff A LOT in these baskets. It also comes with a list of recipes to use your produce up in. I made some baked acorn squash stuffed with apples and it was divine.

Everything is local, in season, freshly picked, and only organically treated. 

If you would like to find a CSA in your area, go here
and type in your zip code and hit search. 
It will give you a list of all the CSA's and local farms that participate close to you.

For those that live in or near the Brevard County area here in Florida,
Rockledge Farm is right across the street from Rockledge Gardens on US-1.
Here is their website.

They will let you pick the food yourself, too.
I picked strawberries the other day. It's really neat, so they can get more in, they vertical garden and use hydroponic production. 

Check out these strawberries!

More of the farm.

You can also buy produce there without being part of the CSA. They have it set up like a farmers market in the front of the farm, so you can just go in and grab what you want, pay and go. I may end up having to do this instead since the CSA gives me more food than I can handle. I'm so glad I found out about this place.  :)

Picked my own strawberries.

There are so many reasons to get your food from a farm than the grocery store. One of the things I like about it is, there are no guessing games about what is in season and what's not. Everything they grow is obviously in season, it hasn't been shipped hundreds of miles from around the world using who knows what types of pesticides and farming practices.  You can see with  your own eyes how the vegetables are being taken care of and you know you are getting healthy food. No waxed up artificial things being done to it trying to make it last longer or look all shiny. Just fresh raw food the way we are intended to eat.  

Have I convinced you yet?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Guest Room - Before & After

The main Guest Room.

I am using a bed that belonged to my mom and that chest is an antique that my dad refinished many years ago, back when I was a kid. I use to have it in my room when I was a teenager. I remember taping up Madonna and David Lee Roth pics on it. haha

The Before pics, just a plain empty room.

Indian Tapestry on wall:  Urban Outfitters
Throw pillow with elephant: Ebay
Silk Thai pillows: from Thailand (gift from friend Eha in Thailand)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Backyard Makeover

I spend a lot of time outdoors, especially living in Florida. Since I'm on my patio or out back so much, I ended up having my backyard makeover done before doing the front yard. 

When I first bought the house, the yard had been neglected for years and the well was broken, the sprinkler system broken and there were no plants or anything. Very sad looking. 

After months of waiting for a company to come drill me a new well, which ended up being a very bad experience (do NOT use Perry & Leighty if you're in the area), I'm finally able to water my yard. 

Here is the before photo.



It looks like a real home now! :)  I have to give the credit to a friend in the neighborhood. She has her own landscaping business and she's a master gardener.  Lois Harris at Custom Garden Design. If you're in the area, I highly recommend her. She does everything all natural, no spraying harsh chemicals to kill off grass, no commercial fertilizers or anything. She dug up the grass by hand, well, she used a shovel! She ordered mushroom compost and some bark from a local supplier and it all turned out great.

The trees and plants are really tiny right now, but when they mature they will be a lot taller and fuller, I'm hoping by next summer they will have really filled out.

I had this little area on the side of my house, it was just grass...



My neighbor put some pavers down for me and they turned out so wonderful. There was no outside area to just sit besides the screened in patio, so I had this small little area fixed up.

And look! A shower, too!

He also installed the shower, so when I come back from the beach and I can rinse everything off or when I'm outside and get hot, I can just jump under it!  

My well water is very high in salt content, so I was only able to pick from a few select things that were highly salt tolerant. I didn't get to have my lime tree like I wanted, but I now have a fig tree instead. Here are some figs already growing on it.

Fig tree

Here is a list of some of the plants:
  • Hibiscus
  • Angels Trumpet
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Travelers Palm
  • Oleander Tree
  • Ixora Palm
  • Firebush
  • Adonida Palm
  • Fig tree
  • Crotons

 I'm  not sure when I will be having the front yard done,  now that the weather is starting to cool off, I  may have to wait until next year.

So that's the backyard makeover. I still have a few more things that will be done to the house and I will post those as they get done. Things took a lot longer than anticipated, but that seems to be how it was at the last house I lived in, too. Always plan on things taking double the time you expect! 

The house is really coming together, so no complaints!

My hibiscus.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ahhh Coconuts!

I may have said it before, but coconuts are one of my favorite things. 
I found a health food store not far from my home that sells them, 
when I first moved here I couldn't find them anywhere and was going into a panic!
I couldn't get these in the area of NC where I lived, so I had gone long enough without them.

I don't really care for those little brown hairy looking ones you see in the grocery stores.
I like the young green Thai coconuts.
The water in them is soooo sweet and such a wonderful coconut flavor.

The meat inside the Thai coconut is so soft you can just spoon it out with a spoon and eat it.

If you haven't tried a Thai coconut, I really encourage you to try one.

You can just eat the white coconut meat by itself or put it in a smoothie.
The same with the coconut water.

You can even save the empty coconut shell for later and have some ice cream in it.

I'm sure you can find a lot of things to do with a coconut.  :)

Do you have any coconut tips or recipes?
I'd love to hear.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Glass Door Kitchen Cabinets

I posted the before and after photos of my kitchen already, but it wasn't 100% completely finished. The glass inserts are in the cabinets now and I really love how they turned out.
I have the oak cabinets with the panels in them, so you just cut out the panel and put glass in its place. I didn't do it myself, I've just been so lazy about doing things lately, I guess after all the work I put into my last house, this time, I'm just getting someone else to do a lot of it for me.  Can't blame a girl can you?

So here was the kitchen cabinets before...



The kitchen just looks a little more customized and I like the open feel of the cabinets.
I may paint the shelves in them white.
Everyone wants me to paint the back of the cabinet inside turquoise.  :)

You probably noticed the bananas on the counter,
I'm still getting tons of bananas from my trees.

I freeze them for smoothies.  

I'm sorry, I had to disable comments on this post because of the high volume of spam I was getting. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email. I reply to all emails. Thank you!  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blue Front Door

It's really funny that I had a color picked out ahead of time that I was going to use and noone chose that color. I had decided to use (C) Windjammer by Behr.  So that's the color on the door in the pic above. I know it's really hard to tell the way color looks on a computer screen, this color looks more vibrant than it did in the sample pic in the post before this one.

I'm going to live with it for about a week and see how I like it, then go ahead and paint the shutters and outer storm door area. I'm thinking this color may look too light for the shutters, I could go with a darker color on the shutters and just leave the door this color.  It also looks different at different times of the day. It's facing east, so in the morning, the color is really washed out looking with the bright light on it, but after noon and around 3pm, the color is really nice and perfect. 

Well what do you think? Do you like this blue? Keep trying different ones? Once I pick a color and do the shutters there is no turning back, painting shutters are a pain! :p

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paint the Front Door

I'm in the process of trying to pick out a color for my front door.
Last time I tried to pick out a blue for my family room, I must have went through 15 different paint samples! So far I have found 3 colors and I'm pretty sure I have picked out the one I like. I painted the whole door that goes from my garage to my kitchen with the color so I can see how I like it for a while before I commit to painting the front door with it.

The colors are,
A. Cool Colbalt - Glidden   (A deep darker Colbalt)
B. Ocean Sigh -  Valspar   (Lightest of the 3 colors, sort of an aqua green undertone)
C. Windjammer - Behr      (A medium blue, more of a true blue)

Which color do you like the best?

I'm considering painting the shutters also.
Here's the pic of the front of my house again for reference.

I have some inspiration photos I've posted below.
I know my house isn't Mediterranean, greek, etc. style, but I am in love with these color combos.  I love the white houses with the blue trim on them with lots of hot pink flowers around.

My plain Jane house needs some help, so what do you think of the blue accents?
Any other suggestions?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cool Clothesline Idea

You like my new birdhouse? 
Well, actually the birdhouse isn't new. 
My best friend gave this to me when I lived in NC and I never
got the chance to put it out in the yard.
 It came without the pole and was the natural wood color,
 so I painted it white and my neighbor put it on a pole for me.

The neat thing about it is that it doubles as a clothesline.

I wanted a clothesline and we were trying to figure out how to connect the lines to something, so we thought just sticking a pole out in the yard would look awkward, so I had the neat idea to put the birdhouse on top of it so when the lines aren't connected, it doesn't look like just a pole sticking out of the ground.

You can attach any retractable clothesline like this to the pole.
 I am using the 5 line one from Home Depot,
 but they have a lot of different ones to choose from.

I am loving my air dried linens, so much better than using a dryer!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A video of My Island

Here is a video I found that Tiki Tyler made of the island I live on.  

Merritt Island, Florida


I truly love living here and have met a lot of wonderful people. The people in the neighborhood where I live have reached out and helped me in so many ways, to get settled into my new home.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Family Room - Before and After Photos

Here is the family room, it's almost done, but not completely. I figured I could go ahead and put a pic of what's done so far. 



I still need to get a table to put between the two chairs. I was thinking of getting another white chair in place of the wicker chair there, since the wicker chair is not as comfy as the white one. 

I love the artwork on the wall of the palm tree and the ocean. It's by a local artist named Rick Piper. To see more of  his artwork, go to Rick Pipers Art - A Gallery.

Art by Rick Piper


New wood window sills.

I'm loving the way the house is turning out. It has such a cozy relaxing feel to it.
It's definitely a different feel from the more country cottage look I had before in my NC home.
This one is taking on more of a sea side look, which could be because I'm only 10 minutes from the beach now. I'm definitely back in my element being in the warm FL sun and the beautiful ocean waters.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

To Do Lists

  • Appliances delivered
  • Porch light and doorbell installed
  • Paint walls
  • Fence up for Little Foot
  • Fix garbage disposal
  • Install counters
  • Install back-splash
  • Paint front door
  • Paint cabinets in kitchen white
  • Find hardware for cabinets and install
  • Paint cabinets in master bath
  • Mirror for master bath
  • Paint guest bathroom
  • Put up bamboo shades
  • Put up drapes
  • Electrician is replacing garage lighting, adding an outlet on back porch and fixing aluminum wiring throughout the whole house.
  • Sprinklers working right
  • Tile the family room floor
  • Install storm door
  • Remove partial wall between dining and kitchen
  • Put up wall to hide furnace
  • Put up a new mailbox
  • Have a new well dug
  • Have the range vent area over stove reopened to vent outside. (a recirculating microwave was there before)
  • Put pavers in the backyard next to screen room
  • Add a faucet to side of house
  • Tile the screened in patio
  • Landscape the backyard
  • Landscape front yard
  • Plant Oleander trees along front fence
  • Put in a doggy door for Little Foot on the screen room
  • Put up a clothesline (attached to birdhouse)
  • Put peg board up in garage
  • Get a cabinet for garage (to store tools)
  • Clean and buff terrazzo floors in office
  • Paint desk, locker and bulletin board in office
  • Get a table for the office
  • Throw rug for under desk
  • Chairs for back patio
  • Plants for back patio
  • Lounge chair 
  • Shower installed outside

Mom has been staying with me while her house was being built. It's finished now and she just signed the closing papers. She's packing to start moving into her new home. 

So many changes for us!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Kitchen Remodel - Before & After Photos

Kitchen Remodel on a Budget

The kitchen turned out just how I envisioned. I really love  how the backsplash turned out the best, it reminds me of the ocean. It sparkles and shines, also picking up other beautiful colors like abalone.

You know how they say kitchens sell houses?  Well the kitchen that was here when I first walked in sure didn't sell the house to me. It was my least favorite room and I knew I was going to rip into it first thing if I bought the house.  The rest of the house was so bright and calming, but the kitchen sort of had a dark grungy sad look, not a kitchen I felt like cooking in.

This is what I saw of the kitchen the very first time I ever walked into this house.



Amazing what painting everything white can do!
It brightened the room up so much.
I changed out the appliances (the old ones were broke),
the counter tops and backsplash.







Here is a list of where I purchased some things, please email me if you have more questions.

My next door neighbor is the one who put in the counters and backsplash for me and also installed the new cabinets and opened up the wall.  A huge thank you to him!