Raisin’ Some Cane

Things are a little slow around the Little House these days. We’re grilling, spring cleaning, and finishing up our backyard reno – but all that doesn’t leave much time for any other projects.

Luckily, I have an awesome sister who was willing to let me share one of her projects with you. Say hi to Steph (and Nate) everyone!

Steph and Nate for LHBH

Like Kev and me, Steph and Nate love hitting up thrift shops, auctions, and yard sales. Although, they’re much better at it than we are. Just this weekend they bought an antique piano for $5. Turns out it’s worth more than $1000!  And take a look at these Louix XV Cane chairs they scored for $40 (for the pair!!) from Goodwill.  Gorgeous, right?

 

Louis XV Cane Chair Repurpose Before 1

Louis XV Cane Chair Repurpose Before 2You’ll have to ignore Cojack. He’s lazy.

A quick search on Pinterest and Etsy will show you lots of examples of just how gorgeous these babies can be. Click on the photo below to be taken to the source.

Vintage Cane Chairs

Vintage Cane Chairs inspiration

Steph is currently in the middle of completely making over both chairs. When she’s done, we’ll be back with a play-by-play of exactly how she transformed her chairs from Goodwill to gorgeous.

For now, here’s a taste of the direction she’s going (and it’s awesome).

Louis XV Cane Chair Repurpose During

Does thrifting run in your family? Do you have the gene? Or are you at the shallow end of the thrifing gene pool?

Dear Hubs.

Dear Hubs,

Today’s post is for you (because I know you’ll read it before you get on the plane to come home this morning). This may come off as bragging (and to be fair it probably is), but I just had to say that you’re awesome. Amazing. Probably the best husband I’ve ever had.

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I wanted to say thanks for supporting me like you do. You’re always right there beside me; whether it’s my job or the blog or washing dishes, I know that you’re going to be there (and that I don’t even have to ask).

Bowersock Photo

I’m so proud of you. I love who you are (even if you drive me nuts now and then) and who you make me want to be. I’m so blessed to be married to such a loving, Christian man.

Bowersock Photo

And so even though we don’t usually do anything for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to let you know that I love you. A lot. You’re a wonderful husband and I’m so, so glad you picked me.

I’ll see you tonight!

This entry was posted in Family.

Running Out of Time

Even though it’s all we’ve been writing about lately, the backyard isn’t the only thing getting in shape for our St. Patty’s day crawfish boil! Kev and I will be running in our very first 5K race, the Dash Down Greenville 5K, on the same morning (PS. There’s still spots open, so if you’re in the DFW area you should sign up and run the race with us!)

Dash Down Greenville

Back in December, we mentioned that we were starting the Couch to 5K training program. We thought we’d give a little update on our progress (just to keep us honest).

We’ve been traveling a ton since since the holidays, but we’ve managed to stick to the program pretty well. We’re starting our fourth week today and the workouts start to get pretty intense from here on out. The program uses intervals of walking and running to build up your stamina. We’re currently running right at 1.5 miles (halfway there!) and walking about one. We’re trying to keep our running around a nine minute mile (in hopes of finishing the race under thirty minutes).

couchto5k progress

We’re taken to running around a park on our evening runs. There’s always something going on there to distract us from the burning in our lungs: softball and kickball games, kids the playground, and pickup basketball games.

On the weekends (if the weather’s nice – and this time of year it always is), we take the puppies out to White Rock Lake and run down along the shore. It’s a great run and the girls love getting out and stretching their legs. We’ve even bought them backpacks so we can take water along for them!

doggie backpacks

We’re so excited for the race and for the boil! March really can’t get here soon enough!

How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you ever run with your puppies? Would your pup wear a doggy backpack?

Stacking the Deck, Part 2

Last weekend Kevin and I got busy repairing our poor, misused deck. We spent most of the day last Sunday working on it, but by the time we wrapped up we’d only managed to replace about six deck boards and a few stair treads.

DIY deck repair

With Kevin’s parents coming into town this past weekend we didn’t expect to get anything done in the backyard. Boy, were we wrong! Kevin’s parents jumped into our backyard project feet first and helped us finish replacing all the beat up and busted deck boards yesterday.

We followed the same process as last weekend. First, we pulled up the offending deck boards using a crowbar and hammer.

Deck Repair

DIY deck board removal crow bar

Once the old boards were up, we cleaned and debris that had collected along the sides of the decking and slid the new boards into place.

individual decking board removal repair

individual deck board repair

Then it was just a matter of screwing the new boards down using  coated decking screws.

coated deck screw DIY

A few of the boards had to be cut to fit in and around the existing deck structure.

cut around deck posts DIY

The deck’s really starting to come along. It’ll be ready for its professional clean and stain in no time.

diy deck board repair

builtin deck bench repair

We only need to finish building out the railing and adding the last few boards along the skirt of the deck and she will be finito! We’ve got the final post for the railing installed, so it’s a little easier to imagine what it’ll look like when we’re done building it out.

DIY deck repair

We’ve decided on our roofing and sprinkler contractors (we think), so once we meet and decided on our fencing/decking contractor, we’ll be ready to plow full-steam-ahead into the next phase of our backyard remodel!

What did you do this weekend?

Megan and Greg’s Wedding

Kevin and I spent a wonderful weekend in Tampa, Florida this weekend celebrating the wedding of his sister, Megan, and her new husband Greg. We took our camera along and were able to capture a few shots of the weekend (although we didn’t really get many of the wedding itself – we were too busy being a bridesmaid and usher :) ).
The wedding was at the incredibly gorgeous Palmetto Riverside Bed and Breakfast. Seriously, if you’re staying the the Tampa/St. Pete area… stay here. I can’t say enough about how beautiful the B&B was… and how wonderful Wim & Mieke, the owners, were.

Megan looked beautiful for the rehearsal here with her dad (just before they walked down the aisle for the rehearsal).

That’s yours truly on the far left (I’m taller than almost everyone!). Isn’t that Spanish moss draped live oak amazing??

Megan’s dress was amazing and even with my cell phone, the photos at sunset were incredible.

The day after the wedding we all went back to Kevin’s parent’s house, where we helped Kevin’s dad put up a swing for our niece Isabella.  The tree was a perfect swingin’ tree.

I think she enjoyed it.

What did you do this weekend?

Let’s Make a Date: Fifteen Competely Free Date Ideas

Today, I’m thankful for Dallas’ weather. I’ve never been a cold-weather kind of girl and Dallas completely gets that. Today, it’s supposed to be 80. In November.

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Since announcing that we were going to participate in our own version of No Spend November (after discovering we’d really, really gone over our going out and entertainment budgets), we’ve had lots of requests to share the free date ideas that we come up with.

Here’s a list of our favorite fifteen ideas. Some of these ideas we’re planning on doing. Most of them, though, are tried, tested, and Little House approved and they’re all completely free.

1. Visit a museum! Most museums have free days and many are completely free for locals. Google your city’s museums to check for free dates.

2. Tape a cooking show. Cooking something sentimental: the dessert you shared on your first date, the spaghetti he dropped the ring in, or the fish you had on the beach on your honeymoon.

3. Play high stakes version of your favorite board games. Sure, Scrabble’s fun. But Scrabble with laundry duty on the line is down right intense. Come up with with your stakes before you start and be sure to write them down so there can be no going back once the game’s over!

4. Curl up and watch your favorite movie from your childhood. You’ll likely be surprised at all the adult humor sprinkled in that you missed when you were little. For us, it’s always Lion King or Aladdin.

5. Spend the day at the park. Bring a couple of books, some snacks, and even your puppies. Leave the phones in the car and enjoy the sunshine.

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6. Go window shopping! Walk around the upscale part of town and look at the homes. We love to imagine ourselves living in those huge houses with manicured lawns and gated drives. And if the living room curtains just happen to be open and we just so happen to peek in and get some design inspiration… no harm, no foul, right?

7. Go stargazing. For us, this involves driving waaay out of Dallas into the country where we can actually see stars, parking on the side of a country road, and laying on the hood of our car. It feels just a little daring to park out in the middle of nowhere and even more daring to warm up in the car together once it gets too chilly to look at stars (if you get my drift)!

8. Have a movie marathon! Rent all the movies in a series from your public library (this weekend, we’re renting Bond, James Bond). Mix up a cocktail (Vespers for us), grab some popcorn, and settle in for the perfect (free) rainy afternoon date.

9. Find free wine tastings. Many local wineries and liquor stores have weekly free wine tastings. Kevin and I once stumbled on a “case tasting.” It was a tasting of (very) fancy wine for collectors wishing to purchase entire cases to put in their cellars as as investment. The bottles we sampled ran anywhere from $50 to $300+ each! The best part? It was completely free and they have the tastings every two months!

10. Go for a walk (feel free to take your puppies but leave your cell phones behind). Walks are not only a great chance to catch up with each other after a long day, but they’re also great exercise, they allow you to interact with your neighborhood, and offer few distractions from each other. Night walks are some of our favorites!

11. Exercise together! Kevin and I are starting a Couch-to-5K program to help us get ready for a friend’s remission run in January. Not only is it a great way to spend time together, but it’s also an awesome way to motive and hold one another accountable!

12. Teach each other something new. Most likely, you know how to do something your significant other doesn’t (and vice-versa). Spend some time together exchanging what you know! I’ve been teaching Kevin how to cook and he’s teaching me to play tennis (and I have to say he’s picked up cooking way faster than I’ve picked up tennis).

13. Volunteer together! Whether it’s at the local animal shelter or Habitat for Humanity, I guarantee you’ll come out feeling closer to your mate and better about yourself. Plus, you’ll have helped your community in the process. Win Win Win.

14. Go to Walmart. Trust me on this one. As horrifying as Walmart can be, it can also be ridiculously fun. Try a people watching scavenger hunt (mullet? check. plumber’s crack? check.). Try to get kicked out (ride the bicycles, take pictures, whatever it takes). Add obvious items to unsuspecting shopper’s carts, then watch their faces as the discover the granny panties nestled in amongst their groceries. It’s dumb. It’s immature. It’s fun.

15. Go on a scenic drive. No matter the season, taking in the scenery on a leisurely drive is always amazing. We love trying to get lost in the country, looking at Christmas lights, and taking in the fall colors. The best part? You never know what you’ll come across!

What do you and your hunny like to do for fun? Do you have any ridiculously awesome free date ideas?

Rock the Vote

Today, I’m thankful for the good ‘ol US of A. She has her problems, but I’m so thankful for the rights and opportunities I have and I pray that I can learn to not take those privileges for granted.

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Stop reading this post.

Stop what you’re doing.

And go vote.

This political message brought to you by Little House. Big Heart.

“My name’s Indiana Beals and I approve this message.”

This entry was posted in Family.

I’m Thankful

In case you missed it in all the hubub of Halloween and Sandy (still praying for all you up that way!), it’s November. Seriously guys, we’re only 52 days away from Christmas and 59 away from 2013 (in which I’ll be 26). Yikes!

Not only are we doing our own version of No Spend November this month (check it out here), but we’re also going to do our own little Thankful November. At the beginning of each post we’ll name one thing we’re thankful for here at the Little House to help remind us that Thanksgiving is about more than turkey and pumpkin pie (although, to be fair, that is my favorite part…note last year’s turkey below).

Today, we’re thankful for you, our amazing readers. That you keep coming back to read the ramblings of two wanna-beDIYers/engineers/newlyweds takes our breath away. You cannot imagine how much your thoughts and comments means to us.  We started this blog to let our families know how we’re faring down here in the Lone Star State and it has become so much more than that. It’s become a part of our lives and so have you. We feel so blessed to be a part of something as fun and incredible as this little blogging community. So… thanks for stopping by.

What are you thankful for today?

One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those mornings where, in hindsight, you would have been better off rolling over, pulling the covers up over your head, and going back to sleep?

Yeah. Today’s one of those days.

I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that if it could go wrong, it’s wrong, if I could forget it, I forgot, if I could lose it, it’s lost. For example, I got to work at about 6am this morning, thinking I’d get in a few hours overtime. Wrong. I forgot my key card to get in the building, so I was locked out of the office until someone else showed up at 6:45.

I had plans of showing you our bedroom curtains today, but the SD card that contains the pictures has vanished. Like *poof* vanished. Like I took it out of the computer, grabbed my keys and phone, walked to the front door, and it was gone. Just disappeared out of my hand. I’ve turned the Little House upside down looking for it, but no dice. I’m fairly certain it fell into a black hole located somewhere between my bedside table and my front door and is now residing in some parellel universe that probably won’t appreciate the beautiful curtain tutorial on there.

At any rate, I’m taking today off blogging. Have a great Thursday!

At least this weekend is going to make up for it!

Dear Old Rose

…the sweetest flower that grows.
Here’s to your colors rose and white
Here’s to the ones who’ve kept them bright.
Colors true for those who honor you
Here’s to everything you’ve done,
Here’s to every fight you’ve won
Dear old Rose.

That, my bloggy friends, is Kevin and my alma mater’s fight song. I’ve had it stuck in my head since we stepped off the plane from Homecoming this morning. I used to dance to it at football and basketball games on the Rose-Hulman Dance team. :)

We were up and at ’em at 2:00 am to make our flight back to Dallas, so I haven’t had much time to write a post. I’ve got a great fall recipe for you tomorrow, but until then, here’s some pictures from our trip to Rose-Hulman in Indiana this weekend for Homecoming 2012!

It all started with the bonfire… in a torrential downpour.

Campus is beautiful this time of year. The leaves are changing, but there’s still some green.

We ended the weekend with my family, catching a (devastating) Colts game (I’ve lost my voice from yelling at the referees) and cooking them dinner (which we’re going to share tomorrow).

Have a great Monday!