December Projects: The Backyard

In anticipation of our big holiday party, we realized our backyard could also use a little help. Remember that freak snow we got at the beginning of 2011? Not only did the freeze claim some of our plants, but our photos of the falling snow also show the demise of our grass (notice the patches on the left and right):

Even here, I'm so happy to be playing in the snow, but our grass is so very sad.

By spring we basically had little dirt and weed patches (and way overgrown rosemary).


So in December we took a referral from one of my coworkers and had a crew come in to till, regrade and place down new sod! (Not to mention some general upkeep for the front and backyards - yipee!) Here's a span of the new backyard from left to right:

Ahhh, grass! I feel like I took it for granted while living in California, but it's so precious and rare here in the desert that I feel like the luckiest girl ever! I'm off to go walk outside barefoot again! ;)


December Projects: The Entry Light

As part of the original Southwesty decor, we inherited this turquoise stunner in our entryway:

It was our last of the green lights to come down. Here's a close-up of the sponge painted turquoise goodness:

The light fixture itself was actually really well made and very heavy, just not our cup of tea. Max Herculesed it down from the 18 foot ladder.

The ladder base, by the way, was wider than our entry steps. Max had to be creative to make the ladder work. Looking back, I don't know how I let him do this. In my defense, it was midnight, I was tired and he had the whole I have a Ph.D. in engineering thing going for him so I figured he had to know better than me.

Up went the new light.

And here it is with our holiday kissing ball. It's not our forever light (we have our eye on some beautiful coral chandeliers), but for the foreseeable future, it makes us happy. Bonus points that we are (finally) officially turquoise light free!

December Projects: Tackling the Turquoise

Next after the baseboards, we had the goal of de-turquoiseing the lighting in the house. We inherited tons of southwest inspired green light fixtures like our first dining room chandelier:

Which we had already replaced with this crystal one:

But some of our downstairs lights are on high, high ceilings so we took a Saturday to head to Home Depot and rent an 18 foot ladder to get to them. Have you seen an 18 foot ladder? They are ridiculously long and heavy. We took it home on top of Pepper.

I felt a bit crazy.

Maneuvering this huge ladder was interesting! I don't know how we got it off Pepper - I completely thought my end was going to fall on me. Max did a great job moving it around once we got it in the house, but there were some close calls with it fitting in some of the spaces:

I actually didn't snap a photo of our turquoise fan before Max took it down, but here he is, 18 foot ladder in place, taking down the long fan pole.

We couldn't find another pole long enough to replace the turquoise one so we decided to spray paint it and just put it back up.

We used an Oil Rubbed Bronze color.

Here's the pole after it dried, back up and installed with the new fan base. Perfect color match!

Hi, new fan!


December Projects: Baseboards

Back in November, I volunteered to host my school's staff holiday party. At the time, our house looked something like this:

We were stumbling through installing baseboards and I figured that having a set date would help us kick our butts into gear and get the house looking presentable. Max (assisted by his miter saw, trusty air compressor and nail gun) cut and put up all the boards.

Then I went back and finished them all. This was the project where I finally took to heart the term sweat equity. There were hundreds of feet of baseboards to tape, caulk and paint.

Luckily I had my cute (but not really functional) Lowe's handy belt to keep me smiling!

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