March 27, 2014

Welcome Home, Tim & Samantha! (Gabby post)

Hello again, readers! It's been awhile! I hope everyone survived Winter. I'm still not sure I have! BUT, enough about Winter, let's talk about Spring and all the cool projects we get to do now that the warmer weather is here!

Last year when my husband and I moved into a new townhouse, we finally had a little porch of our own, so I was looking around the internet for some cool front porch ideas. I found these cute welcome posts:

Welcome Post How-to
Another cool How-to

I didn't immediately make one though. It wasn't until I found this really cool cast iron hook (see pic below) on a trip to Roanoke with the husband, Tim & Samantha. Samantha and I were roaming around Black Dog Salvage (such a cool place!!) and we came across them. I loved it and knew I was buying it and using it for the front porch post welcome sign!

I went to Home Depot and got all the wood I needed (and they even cut it for me). The rest was super easy (don't worry, I'll give you all the details below). All I did was use wood glue to glue all the pieces together and spray pain the post white. I sprayed a polyurethane coating on it since I knew it'd be outside. The hubby helped me drill a hole in the post to screw in the hook!

I went to Michaels to buy a wooden sign and stained it a walnut color (brush on, let it sit a few min, then wipe off with a towel). I also bought some stencils and spelled out "WELCOME" and painted the letters white to really stand out. I decided to add some dark wax (check out Annie Sloan Dark Wax) to the post and the sign to add some texture. I also sanded the post a little to get a distressed look. The hubby helped me drill some holes into the sign and I used some thick wire to hang the welcome sign. And the rest is history!

My welcome sign in all it's glory!

I bought a ton of different holiday signs and wreathes to put out, so I definitely use the post year round. I love how it makes our front porch more home-y even though we're still renters!

I loved it some much I decided to make one for Samantha & Tim for a housewarming gift. So here comes the DIY part! I had a bunch of extra wood from the one I made, I didn't have to buy any more except the wooden fence post topper.

Here's a list of all the wood I used:

1-1X8 (@ 7.5") (bottom)
1-2x6 (@5.5") (glued to bottom)
1- 4x4 (2 ft in length) (post)
1-decorative wood fence post topper (top)
Gorilla Glue

I marked each piece of wood so I could get each once centered on top of the other, then glued all the pieces together on a warm and sunny day. Make sure you read the Gorilla Glue instructions, it definitely helps to wet the wood surface like they recommend. It didn't take long to dry (maybe an hour) and I was ready for my paint job!

I tried spray painting the post, but it wasn't turning out how I wanted, so I opted for some paint I had on hand- Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint in the color 'Wedding Cake'. It turned out beautiful and incredibly easy to paint with. I just used a sponge brush, nothing fancy at all. It did take 2 coats to get it fully painted (I did wait between coats, didn't take long to dry). I sprayed the post with a polyurethane coating so if it rains it will be protected.

I was having a really hard time finding a hook that I loved until I remembered Anthropologie has a ton, and who doesn't love that store? Seriously, it can do no wrong...

Here were my favorites to choose from Anthro:

I chose the one on the right, I wanted something that would stand out on the sign, but would work for anything she decided to hang on it!

I love this hook! Even better in real life! :)

Post with the hook, getting close to the finish!

The final touch was a welcome sign. I wanted to do a pallet sign, so I went to Etsy to see what I could find. I found a shop in Lynchburg, VA and ordered a framed blank reclaimed wood sign from StudioElevenVA. They had a ton of different sizes and even put the hanging hardware on there for me! Reasonably priced and definitely unique, which is what I was going for.

Front of the pallet sign

Back of the sign. The hook is great in case they decide they want to hang it up on the wall instead!

I bought some stencils and placed them on the pallet sign, I had to get creative with the stencils to make them fit.

Then I just used regular Scotch tape to hold the stencil down while I painted.

 I used the rest of the Wedding Cake paint to add the 'WELCOME' to the pallet sign. I used a sponge brush to get the paint in the stencil, the used big strokes to even it out.

 I love the way it turned out! I sprayed the sign with the polyurethane coating too to protect the pain and the wood from weather.

The final touches, a teal ribbon to hang the sign (OF COURSE!) and it was ready for the new homeowners! :)

This was a great way to welcome Samantha and Tim to their new home! I was so excited to give it to them, I could barely keep it a secret!  Check out my blog to see part 2 of their housewarming gift!

Welcome Home, Tim & Samantha!

Love, Gabby & Tyler

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March 25, 2014

J'adore Vox Box

I was so excited when my latest J’Adore VoxBox came. Unfortunately it was at a very crazy time for me so I didn't get to share as much on social media as I would have liked. I do however want to do a quick review of what I received. If this isn't your thing, I promise to have a fun post about paint (hopefully tomorrow).

  • Red Rose Simply Indulgent Tea- I am not really a tea or coffee drinker. I was however really excited to see this product especially because the flavor was creme caramel. I am going to admit that I have not tried it out yet but I do know that many other ladies that received it LOVED it. 
  • Frizz Ease 3-Day Flat Iron Spray- This was the most intriguing product to me. I used to use frizz-ease products as a teenager and all I remembered was having really greasy hair because of it. However, this was by far my FAVORITE product (well besides the chocolate).Yes I went three days without washing my hair and you would have never known. It left my hair silky, straight, smooth and grease free for 3 WHOLE DAYS. I am glad its travel size so I can take it with me wherever I go. I will be purchasing more when I run out.
  • Vaseline Men's Spray Lotion- Tim was excited to find out that he was going to receive a product as well. He was hesitant at first but I have used the spray-n-go lotion before and told him I loved mine. So he tried it and I don't think he would admit that he likes it but he keeps using it so...actions speak louder than words. And it smells amazing.
  • Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask- I have really dry, sensitive skin so I was very nervous to use a face product that I didn't know much about. But after reading the label I decided to give it a try. My skin did feel softer and cleaner initially but I did notice the next day it was especially dry. I am sure it would work wonders for someone with oily skin. I will definitely try out other products from this company.
  • KISS Looks So Natural Lashes- I haven't worn these yet. In fact, I have never worn fake lashes. From the looks of them, they appear natural not over the top. I will let you know when I find the opportunity to try them.
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses- Wow! A family size bag....just what I needed!! Lets just say there were lots of red, pink and silver wrappers all over our apartment. This part of the J'adore vox box made this girl really happy!
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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March 12, 2014

The Voice

I have a fun little story to share today but before I get to that....

Our closing is TODAY! We will officially be homeowners :D Will be doing a separate post on that later (perhaps High Five for Friday??)

We found out a while back that our wedding singer Caleb Elder was going to be on The Voice. He just told everyone to watch so we didn't know what his fate would be. If you watch the show then you already know what is coming but if not let me give you a little back story. When we were planning our wedding I pretty much handed the "music" category over to Tim so he was in charge of figuring out the ceremony and reception. We knew we wanted 2 special music songs to be sang during the ceremony. Tim told me about Caleb who went to his church. I had never heard him sing but I trusted the hubby and so I said sure as long as he could do the songs we wanted. Well the day of our wedding the girls and I were getting ready upstairs at Tim's parents' home. Caleb was rehearsing on the front porch and let me tell you it gave me chills and I am very angry that I didn't have a videographer to capture that part of our ceremony. Moving along....
(photo by Lani Patrick)

We watched and we watched the Voice on NBC for 3 weeks on Monday and Tuesday for a total of 9 hours. And guess what he was THE LAST person to audition on the show!! Crazy! That also means there was only one spot left and that was on #TeamAdam. We are so excited that Adam chose him and now we will be cheering him on this season.

And if you are interested here are some videos. The first is his audition clip and the second is his 1st music video.


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March 10, 2014

GE, Whirlpool, Kenmore oh my

(If you missed the Big News announced on Friday, read that first or this won't make sense)

Having always been a renter (until now) I haven't had a lot of experience with shopping for appliances (well not for myself----plenty for clients). Let me tell you, it's overwhelming. Do you want white, black, stainless, panel-ready? Do you want top freezer, bottom freezer, side-by-side, french door? What features do you want? Energy efficient? Are you confused yet?

I want to share our experience to hopefully help some of you in the future and just because it was a big part of buying our first home.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I knew the existing appliances were a mix: black dishwasher, black and white range, and beige? fridge. The fridge wasn't staying so we knew we would be shopping for that but we decided to go ahead and get a new range to match as well. The homeowners were also taking the washer and dryer so that was on our list too.

Now, I knew I didn't want black appliances to match the dishwasher because I think a black fridge just stands out way to much (especially since I plan to paint the cabinets white eventually). We decided stainless would be the next best option.

Here comes the tricky part. I really wanted a side-by-side because in my opinion they have a better layout and french door options were out of our price range. We found one that had been "returned" (basically the customer ordered it, got it delivered and didn't like it) and marked way down-- like from $1300 to $800. It was perfect but I was so concerned about the width fitting that I overlooked the height. It was about 1 1/2" too tall. We were back to square one. We now realized we had to work with the even more limiting existing cabinetry dimensions of 36" width and 67" height. Well friends, the new "standard" fridge height is more like 69". So there were very few side by sides that would fit and those were way out of our budget. Ultimately we decided on this Whirlpool one. I still love the ones we picked it was just a challenge to get to that point. I can't wait for delivery :D

 Then it was time to choose a washer and dryer. I didn't have as much of a preference on this. We were lucky enough to have brand new front-loader Frigidaire washer and dryer in our apartment so I knew I had been spoiled by that. But it also helped me realize what I didn't like so much about front-loaders. They are very popular and you will also pay up for them quite a bit. Not to mention they are more work to clean (the ring can get really gross) and since ours were stacked we had to basically squat to load it. Instead we focused on choosing an energy efficient model since we will be using them so often. I told Tim that if possible, I would still love to have a digital display.

Lucky me, they had a dryer model on the floor that was marked down for "open box" (don't worry its all still under warranty) that was an upgraded version of what we were looking at. We decided to get the larger dryer and still awesome, but smaller capacity washer since that was a better fit for our budget.

(yes I know I spelled Whirlpool wrong...I didn't want to redo the whole thing)

So we ended up with all Whirlpool appliances and I will be doing a review down the road after we've used everything

Tell me about your appliance shopping experiences. Did you have to adjust your wants and needs based on your existing kitchen?? How did you narrow down the million options out there?

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March 6, 2014

The Big News

Some of you have probably figured it out by now but if you haven't....WE ARE BUYING A HOUSE!!! I didn't want to say anything too soon but we are now past the inspection, loan approval and appraisal. We still would appreciate prayers that everything goes smoothly.

We close on March 12th. CRAZY. Seriously friends...that's less than a week away!!

I have felt so bad about leaving everyone in the dark but I didn't want something to fall through and then I would have to back track. So I'm guessing you wanna see pictures, right?? Well I will show you a few but I want to take my own pictures instead of using the seller's.

I know it has been quiet around here but it's about to get crazy. You know I have tons of ideas floating around in this head of mine and I can't wait to share them. And I will probably even refer back to some recent posts about countertops, fireplaces, and housewarming ideas :)

First up, I will be showing you what paint colors we I decided on (Hubs really didn't have a preference. He just said no yellow or pink haha) I will also be sharing the furniture plan I came up with. It was kind of a tricky layout based on the fireplace location and windows. And coming later on will be long term plans for the home (like kitchen updates) and our "to-do" list and wish list. I will also be going backwards a bit to share our house hunting story and our appliance shopping adventures.

(first stab at picking colors-I now have an entire board)

We are both so unbelievably blessed and excited for this new journey we are about to take. I can't wait to share it with you.

I will be sharing my bittersweet feelings of moving out of first place as a married couple. It has been a whirlwind of emotions but we are both so ready to have more space, a BACKYARD for Artie and an actual guest room!! (and a place to call our own!!)

Oh and one more thing, I would love for you stay up to date by following our adventures with #horsemansfirsthome on instagram and twitter. You may have already seen this one of our recent Target adventure. that all of that is off my chest....I can back to more regular posting!! (I can't promise it will be immediately though since I will be busy painting those tall ceilings, cleaning, unpacking/organizing and more)

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