Category Archives: House

The Dyson

The Dyson

I love to clean, vacuuming in particular.  Call me crazy, but there’s just something I love about those perfectly straight lines the vacuum cleaner leaves on the carpet.  (Yes, maybe I’m a little OCD about certain things.)  As much as I love to vacuum, I’ve always hated our vacuum cleaner.  It was a wedding gift, 5 years ago.  We registered for it and I should have returned it after using it the very first time.  But, I didn’t and I’ve hated vacuuming for the last 5 years.  It was loud, heavy, and didn’t seem to suck all the junk out the carpet, especially after we added a dog to the family.  Because it technically worked, I never really thought about getting rid of it.

Fast forward to the day after Christmas.  I was doing my usual post Christmas house cleaning, putting away Christmas gifts, taking down Christmas decorations, and taking down the Christmas tree.  We got the tree undecorated, lights taken off, and hauled out the front door to the curb, and obviously since it was a 5 week old (once) live Christmas tree, there were needles EVERYWHERE.  No problem…this happens every year and comes with the territory of having a real tree, just vacuum them up.  So that’s what we started doing.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), after only making it through the entry way, the vacuum cleaner died.  I assumed something was stuck in the roller or the belt had broken, but that wasn’t the case.  Time to buy a new vacuum – FINALLY!

We spent the evening and most of the next day agonizing over what to buy.  We consulted Consumer Reports and various other sites and finally decided to just splurge and get a Dyson.  Talk about a dream come true.  I’ve always wanted one, but never wanted to spend the money on one.  We used our Christmas money we had gotten from family (adults do such boring things with their Christmas money!) and order our Dyson DC41 Animal from Amazon.  It arrived 2 days later and we all took turns trying it out.  Matt, my mom, and I were all completely impressed and it’s safe to say that my love for vacuuming has returned!

The suction on this thing is AMAZING!  It has pulled so much dirt and dog hair out of our carpet that I’m kinda disgusted.  It will clean the tile and wood floors with just the push of a button (to turn the brushes off) and cleaning the stairs in relatively painless!  It is absolutely wonderful to have a vacuum that actually does what its supposed to and does it extremely well.  It makes me feel alot more comfortable about having little Parker down on the floor knowing that it’s clean and not full of dirt and dog hair.

If you are in the market for a new vacuum, you should most definitely consider this bad boy – you won’t regret it.

Baby’s Room

Baby’s Room

Baby M’s room is finally finished.  It turned out more perfect than I had even imagined and I’m just giddy with excitement to think of all the fun memories that are soon to be made in this space!

baby’s room pre-conversion

We have 2 extra bedrooms upstairs, along with a game room and bathroom, so making room for baby has been a breeze.  One of the upstairs bedrooms is just slightly larger than the other and has a much better closet, so naturally, that’s the room that has been designated for baby M.  I have known all along that I did not want a theme oriented room, but instead something clean and simple that could easily grow with baby.  We also knew that we weren’t planning on finding out the gender of the baby, so we started throwing around ideas for a very simple, gender neutral bedroom.  I’ve always loved the look of beadboard and after talking to my parents (who installed it in their house) and finding out it was relatively simple, we decided to go with a bluish gray color on the walls and white beadboard along the bottom third of the walls.  Matt removed baseboards, hung beadboard, and reinstalled the baseboards like a pro!  He’s just downright handy to have around!

Once the walls were finished, the room sat empty for several weeks while we waited on furniture to arrive and then slowly, but surely baby’s new space started to take shape.  We’ve moved the furniture around a few times trying to figure out the perfect placement for everything and I think we’ve finally found it.  I’m so happy with how everything has turned out.  It’s exactly what I had been picturing in my mind and really seems like the perfect space for our newest little family member.

Decorating the walls on the other hand has been quite the ordeal.  It has taken MONTHS to figure out what we wanted to put on the walls and after tossing around a bunch of ideas, we finally decided to continue our theme of clean and simple and have framed both a vintage nursery rhyme print as well as three adorable animal prints in big white frames.  They added the perfect touch of sweetness to the room!  My mom found the nursery rhyme book at an antique store in Abilene and I ordered the animal prints from Zulily…my new favorite website!  We’re also hoping to get a cute little piece of wall art from my sister (hint, hint Aunt Gigi!!!) to hang on one of the other walls above the baby’s bed.  Here are pictures of the finished product!

Baby M, your room is completely finished now!  We hope you love it and feel as peaceful in it as we do.  Your daddy and I are so excited to meet you, anytime you are ready to make your appearance, we’re ready and waiting for you!  We love you sweet baby!

Pictures of the Baby’s Room!

Pictures of the Baby’s Room!

Well…the baby’s room is finished!  We finally got all the painting finished today and will be moving furniture (that we have) into the room tomorrow.  Matt did such a great job with the beadboard and chair rail…it’s exactly what I had pictured in my mind and I’m certain that it is absolutely perfect for our sweet baby.

proof that I actually did help in the room!

looks like I hired a professional to complete this massive project!

all finished!

Tomorrow, our plan is to do some minor touch-ups around the windows and the railing, put outlet covers back on, vacuum really well, and then move in a little bit of furniture.  The only 2 pieces of furniture that we don’t have are the bed and the chair, so we’re slowly making progress!  Now I start looking for decorations…so excited!

Our Weekend

Our Weekend

This weekend, just like the last few and next several, were spent working on the baby’s room.  We spent Saturday morning running errands and getting supplies for our (Matt’s) day of work.  We bought 3 cans of paint, nails for the nail gun, attachments for the air hose, and a paint roller.  Once we got home, Matt got all of his supplies hauled upstairs and started hanging the beadboard in the baby’s room.

beadboard up on the first wall!

on to the 3rd wall…the tricky one with all the windows…

After finishing the 3 walls, Matt had a great idea for us to write a note and some Bible verses on the last section of wall before we covered it up with the beadboard.  So, he stopped for the night, found Bible verses this morning, and we finished everything up after writing on the wall.

our note to Baby M and the Bible verses we chose

the last panel goes up!

Now that the panels are up, the baseboards need to be nailed back on, chair rail put up along the top edge of the panels, nail holes filled, and finally it all needs to be painted and caulked.  I am so beyond thrilled with the outcome!  It is exactly what I had pictured in my mind all along and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together once we get all of the furniture and decor in the room!

Productive Saturday :)

Productive Saturday :)

It has been a very productive Saturday!

We have had a canvas painting sitting around the house trying to figure out where to hang it and we finally decided we wanted to put it in the art niche in our stairway.  Only problem was, the painting was just a tad too small for the area we wanted it in and it needed a frame to make it stand out against the walls.  Because giant picture frames tend to be a little pricey, I picked out some molding at Home Depot and Matt built the frame for me and then we painted it.  The building of the frame was done last weekend and then we painted it over the last few nights.  This morning it was all dry and ready to be hung!

isn’t it lovely?

Because this space we wanted the picture in was along the wall of the stairway, it was going to require some fancy ladder or scaffolding or something.  We weren’t interested in renting any such contraption, so a little ingenuity and some leftover lumber and Matt had a “ladder stool”.  Yes, he put the ladder on that lovely contraption!  Thankfully there were no trips to the ER this morning!

my handyman at work!

finally…something to fill that space!

Now…on to the next project of the day! We’ve had an old table sitting in our garage for years and its always just been a place to pile junk.  Matt decided to put new, more sturdy legs on it and add some wheels and make it a portable work bench!

Workbench in progress…soon, no more working on the floor!

all finished!  Not too shabby for an old tabletop and some scrap lumber!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

A few months ago, Matt built us some planter boxes for the back patio and we planted some herbs and veggies.  It seems like its been a slow process, but we’re finally starting to see some “fruits” of our labor!

little jalapeno

little cucumber


We also have some okra that has started budding and even a few zucchini.  I can’t wait to see how it all does!

Bailey vs. the Opossum

Bailey vs. the Opossum

Last week, our dog had a run in with a opossum (better that than a skunk, huh?).  One night, around 11:30, Matt let her out the back door and after being outside a short time, she started barking fiercely.  This is not uncommon as she’s barks at pretty much anything that blows into the yard, so Matt went outside with a flashlight to see what it was.  As soon as the flashlight hit the opossum, Bailey looked back at Matt and lunged forward, grabbed it her mouth and tossed it a short distance.  He finally got the dog back in the house and kept checking through the window to see if the opossum was dead or just playing dead.  Eventually, it made its way out of the yard and we figured we were in the clear.  What kind of dumb creature would come back into our yard after being tossed around by the dog?

Fast forward a few nights…

After pretty much standing guard at the back door (it has a full glass window) every night since the attack, she scratched to go outside, so Matt let her out.  The opossum was back, but this time, he was right at the back door.  She grabbed him, shook him around, and gave him a good toss.  Once we got her back in, we kept watching to see if it would leave again.  A couple hours later it was still there when we went to bed…and still there the next morning when I let the dog back outside.  Now it was time to dispose of it…not exactly what Matt had planned on doing at 6:30 AM that morning.

We figured it probably crawled into our yard from our neighbor’s back yard…they keep their trash cans in the back yard (gross, I know) and I’m guessing he was trying to get in the trash can.  Oh well…the opossum is no more thanks to our ferocious puppy dog…haha.  Now, if only the dog would let her guard down a little and go back to normal, it would be great.  She still stands at the back door from dusk until bed time protecting her yard.

pretty gross looking, huh?

Testing Out My Green Thumb

Testing Out My Green Thumb

Matt built us some really awesome cedar planter boxes for our back patio.  We’ve been talking about growing a few herbs and veggies and have also wanted to add some color to the back yard.

This box has cucumbers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, okra, & green beans.

This box has rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, basil, jalapenos, & bell peppers.

This is our lavender

I don’t have anything in the square boxes yet…I’m either going to put an orange & lemon tree in each of them or something bright & colorful…not sure yet.

Love my planter boxes & my super handy hubby!



New Curtains

New Curtains

Matt and I decided to use some of our money from Christmas to get curtains for our living room.  We have one wall that has 3 huge windows and super tall ceilings in our living room.  I didn’t want to necessarily cover the windows, I just needed something to kinda define the space and break up the neutral tones.  I found the curtains at Pottery Barn and luckily they came in a long enough length that would work for our tall ceilings.  We ordered the curtains, found the hardware, and got them hung this past weekend.  I am beyond happy with the turnout!  They are exactly what I have been looking for.  Unfortunately they don’t match the couch…at all…but a new couch is also on my list in the next few months, so I decided it was a better idea to spend money on curtains that I loved, instead of curtains that would match the couch I don’t really love.

isn’t the pattern just great?

I told you the patterns don’t match…haha!  Oh well…only a few short months and hopefully that couch will be relegated to the game room.

Our New Bed!

Our New Bed!

I had been looking for the perfect bed for our bedroom for a few years.  I had decided I was going to make one using an old, antique door, but those weren’t easy to come by.  Then, I decided I was going to make just a headboard out of a fireplace mantle, but later changed my mind.  I found a bed at an antique store in Abilene that was exactly what I wanted and was a really great price, the only problem was that it was in Abilene…and I needed it in Houston.  When we started looking for plans for the desk, we stumbled across building plans for a “farmhouse” style bed and it was exactly what we had been looking for.  We got the plans from the same website as the desk ( and we’re super happy with how it turned out.

Shortly after finishing the desk, Matt printed out the plans for the bed and we bought all the lumber.  While I away on a Ladies Retreat with the church, he built it for me and then we sanded, primed, and painted everything.  I’m so happy with how it turned out and I’m so glad Matt is as handy as he is!

the foot board…primed, waiting for paint

the headboard (laying on the ground)…primed, waiting for paint

…almost there…

all finished!  I’m so happy with and Matt did a fabulous job!  Merry Christmas to Jenna!