Showing posts from 2014

Christmas came early! (aka a HUGE update from the Pheasants)

Our wonderful painter finished the entryway/stairs two weeks ago, and I haven't had a chance to blog about it since because I have been staring at the walls. Who am I kidding? It's the crazy holiday season and there has been no time for blogging! We picked the color Oyster Bay by Sherwin Williams for the walls and it is gorgeous! It's green, it's blue, it's gray. Depending on the light and time of day, it could be any one of these colors and they are all beautiful. We even got the thumbs up from Jesus on the color choice, which made us feel even better. Check it out!

In these pictures, the green really shows through.

Progress at the Pad

I took a few pictures of the progress made at the house over the past few days. Check it out!

Goodbye wallpaper, goodbye yellow walls, hello white primer!

Thank You, Jesus!

It's Thanksgiving week and we have a lot to be thankful for. Right now, I'm thankful for Jesus. Not the man of 2,000 years ago, Jesus the Painter we hired. Yep, our DIY capabilities have run out in the entryway/stairway/second floor and we are asking paying Jesus for help.

One thing we have been extremely thankful for since moving to this house, are our wonderful neighbors. They all love their old homes so much and many have called this neighborhood home for 30+ years. They have so much pride in taking care of their properties which has provided endless inspiration for us. They also aren't afraid to share their opinions about good and bad contractors.

During a discussion in the 'hood with our lovely neighbor, Carole, owner of the Italinate-style house below, she recommended using the painter she has worked with for 18 years. An experienced old home pro. She let us know they would both be over on the weekend. Alrighty then!

They came over to discuss our "unique&quo…

You're Outta Here Part 6 and 7!

Big news here at the Pheasants' house. We have been busy removing the wallpaper in the entryway, stairway, and the second floor common area. For those of you keeping track, we've now taken down wallpaper in seven areas and only have two more to go! Woohoo!

I have to give a shout out to Big Ken (my dad) for starting the process of removing the wallpaper back in October. He removed about half of it and I took down the rest. Remember this print? There was a lot of it!

Twin Babies

Twin baby Olive Trees, that is! During a beautiful weekend in May, I took Cinderella to the Flower Farm Garden Inn and Nursery for some special mother/daughter time. We planned to have lunch and return home, but these rascals came home with us.

Two fruitless olive trees for the backyard at a great price, $35/each! They've added some much needed symmetry to our backyard.

It's here! It's here!

Hooray! Hooray! The dishwasher is installed and has been used...a lot! It's a beautiful thing, and I can't believe we lasted this long without one. The contractor was great! He removed the old drawers to make space, installed and leveled the dishwasher, rebuilt a portion of a very narrow corner cabinet so it is more functional, and hooked everything up. He even installed a garbage disposal, which has also made a huge difference--though I'm a little nervous about how this will work, long-term, with our old pipes. Fingers crossed! It took a few weekends to accomplish but it's finally in!

Here's a picture of the kitchen when we moved in.

Making space for the dishwasher:

Dishwasher! Hooray!

To say that Nate and I are tired of hand-washing dishes is a major understatement. So, we took advantage of the Lowe's Labor Day Appliance Sale and bought a dishwasher for the kitchen! Hooray! 20% off plus $75 gift cards was too good to pass up. We scored this baby for $600 instead of $800.

GE 48-Decibel Built-In Dishwasher

EXCEPT, that we don't actually have a place to install it yet so we have a meeting with a contractor/handyman today to review our options. I would like to remove the drawers next to the kitchen sink to put the dishwasher in the most logical place. Someone else, who shall not be named, would like to install it where the current portable dishwasher (that doesn't work) resides. Of course, that seems like the easiest fix, but it's a little further from the sink than I would like.

Regardless of the solution, we are hopeful that by October 1st, we will have this baby installed and crankin'! Wish us luck!

Guest Bedroom--It's Done!

Wow! I can't believe it's already been over one month since my last blog post. We've had a lot going on in our world and the energy to blog about it has been at a minimum. I do want to share with you our awesome guest bedroom makeover! We actually finished it right before our friends, B&J, came to town at the end of July. When we moved in, you'll recall the room looked like this:

In mid-June, my sister came in and took all the wall paper down but the glue decided to hang out a little longer.

The tedious process of spraying, scraping, and sanding was left up to my Handy Man and he made great progress on the glue:

Before spraying/scraping and sanding and after:

Realizing this was as good as it was going to get, we started priming with TWO coats of Kilz. We chose the Kilz Max because it was supposed to cover up foul odors and this glue has a serious chlorine smell. In all honesty, I can still smell a faint whiff of glue. Here's the room "primed":

You can…

An Inherited Cat

When we toured the house with our realtor, we noticed that a cat was being fed on the back porch. Nate and I didn't give any thought to it at the time, but once we moved in we were faced with the fact that we were new cat owners. I will point out that this addition wasn't disclosed on the purchase agreement.

Our lovely neighbors, toting blueberry scones (aka a bribe) and a bag of cat food, introduced to Spotted Kitty aka Callie Cat. Apparently, the previous owner adopted the cat to keep the mice and rats away and they had been feeding the cat while the house was vacant. Meet Callie Spotted Kitty, our new, outdoor cat.

We haven't seen any critters lurking around the house or garage, so she's doing her job well. She's figured out that we're the ones who feed her so she comes running when she hears our car and occasionally allows us to pet her. Mostly she just wants food and to be left alone. Don't we all? ;)


My mom brought her 42 year old Singer sewing machine to the house about a month ago and we finally got around to making a curtain for the 1/2 bathroom. I picked up the fabric at Ikea on sale. I think the fabric was about $6 and the curtain hardware was less than $10. Check it out!

One thing we discovered while measuring for the curtain is that the window is completely off-centered in the wall. I never noticed this before! Gotta love old houses.

Proud Owners of a Whirlybird

About ten days after we installed the whole house fan, we started to hear a squeaking noise. What the what? We paid a lot of money for it to be QUIET! Now, it sounded like a schizophrenic cricket calling for a mate. It was inconsistently annoying. Since it was Saturday, we had to wait to call the Fan Man on Monday morning.
The next day, around 9:30 p.m., we heard a knock at our front door. It was our backyard neighbor letting us know that she had been all over the neighborhood trying to figure out where the squeaking was coming from and determined it was our house. Apparently, dogs were barking in the 'hood and other neighbors noticed it too. It was much louder outside than inside the house. Totally embarrassing.
The next morning, Fan Man came out to inspect and determined it wasn't the fan. It was the Whirlybird. The what? Yeah, the little turbin vent thing that's on the roof. Apparently, the fan's suction is so powerful that our rusty, decrepit vent, aka Whirlybird…

Fourth of July

I hope everyone had a fun Fourth of July. We spent our weekend working on the upstairs bathroom and hosting a roll-your-own-sushi party on Friday night. I love when we get to actually enjoy the house!

You will remember that the bathroom looked like this when we bought it.

Then, in May, we took down the wallpaper and painted the walls, but we still had a lot to do.

This past weekend, we tackled the vanity, cupboards, trim and ceiling, and let me tell you, it looks A TON better! Wow!

Here are a few "in process" pictures, because I want to wait to post the big reveal until the new hardware and light fixture is in.

Wine Country Backyard

My happy place is Healdsburg, CA, specifically Dry Creek Road, my aunt and uncle's house, in their backyard. It is so beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing.

Their yard is full of treasures my aunt has collected over the decades. She has a real knack of taking seemingly odd items and putting them together in a cheerful and stylish way.

Nate and I were married there five years ago which only expanded my love for Healdsburg.

Feeling Blue

Goodbye June! Hello July! 
We've been spending a lot of time outside since the days are longer and evenings are so nice. The downside is that our ugly, dirty-white, exterior paint keeps staring me in the face. I want to punch it! We have a long way to go before we have the money saved to paint our house, but a girl can still dream, right?
We have gone back and forth about painting the house in a more historically-accurate color scheme, but they all seem too pastel, brown and dull.

Nothing says love more than a bistro set

This week we celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. Go us! We aren't big spenders on gifts and, truthfully, our anniversary kind of snuck up on us. So, in true, new-home-owner-fashion, we splurged on something for the house. A bistro set for the front porch. The reclaimed wood table satisfies the "wood anniversary gift" year and it is definitely something we can enjoy together while sipping a cold beverage or five. Happy anniversary to my main (handy)man!

What did the rug say to the floor?

...I've got you covered. (harhar)

The irony of wood floors is that they are so great, you have to cover them up with rugs to protect them. And, rugs are expensive (in a whiny voice)! So, we headed to Ikea on Sunday to see what we could find and we found one, well, technically two. Check it out!

Here is the picture of the living room after we moved in:

You're Outta Here Part 4 & 5

While we were away in Sonoma last weekend, a magic elf my sister lent us a hand and removed the wallpaper in Cinderella's bedroom and the guest room. Woohoo! This was definitely a much needed boost to home improvement plans and it feels great to cross off a few more items on the To Do List. If you remember, here's what the guest room/sleeping porch looked like when we moved in.

 And, here it is, minus wallpaper and lacy curtains + messy guest bed:

A Sweet, Sweet Delta Breeze

After a short hiatus from blogging due to attending a family wedding in Sonoma County over the weekend, I am excited to share with you the most amazing thing to happen to our 99 year old house. We installed a house fan!!! It is awesome!

What are sisters for?

As a poor graduate student (who graduates tomorrow), my sister is pretty much willing to do anything around the house for a little cash. Before we moved in, I roped her into painting the mudroom with me. In this case, creamsicle orange was not so sweet.

Here's my sister with the lovely orange walls. Check out that hand-painted flower in the lower right. Priceless!

And, You're Outta Here Part 3

What's out, you ask? Another wallpapered room. Hooray! Nate and I got busy (Heehee) over Mother's Day Weekend while Cinderella was at my parents' house and took down the full bath's hideous, HIDEOUS, wallpaper. We were feeling so ambitious we even went to Sherwin Williams, bought some paint, and painted the sucker. Happy Mothers Day to Meeeeee!

Check out the before:

A bowl full of cherries. Literally, one bowl.

We have two cherry trees in our backyard and one of them is big and beautiful and has to be at least 30 or 40 years old. In late March, it bloomed with the most fragrant smelling flowers. The whole backyard was intoxicating.

I had visions of our family picking cherries, just like we did at my grandparents' house when I was a child.

After waiting over two weeks for these babies to ripen, I finally picked the "good ones" on Tuesday and let the birds have the rest. They must be Rainer cherries or another yellow/pink variety because they never turned red. If you know or have any ideas, please leave me a comment.

We literally have one bowlful of cherries.

When life gives you a lemon tree...

...dig a hole and plant it!

When we moved from Kansas to California, my mom's childhood best friend, Sarah, stopped by our rental home in Sacramento with a lovely, totally California, housewarming gift--a lemon tree! We potted it in hopes it would survive until we found a more permanent home for it (and us).

This little guy gave us two lemons last year, and is loaded with 18 lemons right now. I can't wait to make lemoncello, lemontini, lemon fizz, and lemon drops this winter/spring. There might just be enough for lemon bars, lemon pound cake, and lemon cream pie too. I'm a sucker for booze and sweets.

Two weekends ago, I planted it in our backyard and it's starting to bloom again! It must really love its new home just as much as we love ours.

I {heart} School House Electric and a front porch update

As I drooled over the old homes in Lawrence, Kansas, where we lived for seven years, I dreamed of one day owning my own historic home. I would note websites and resources for my future home and fell in love with School House Electric, makers of iconic lighting and home furnishings, based out of Portland, Oregon. Their stuff is seriously cool, and I couldn't wait until I had a home worthy of their accouterments.

On a recent work trip, I was able to stop by their showroom and it exceeded all my expectations. First, it has its own coffee shop and if you know anything about Portland, you know they are serious about their coffee. It was ah-mazing! The staff was also super friendly and helpful (read: they didn't call the cops when I wandered aimlessly for two hours while hopped up on caffeine) . Here are a few pictures (not great quality) from my visit.

This is what home repair looks like with a 3 year old

She calls herself the Fairy Princess Plumber

Instant Gratification or You're Outta Here Part 2

Another quick project we did the minute after getting keys to the house was take down the wallpaper in the kitchen.

We both kind of liked the bright yellow/brown/white flowers, but it was either falling off the wall or being held to the wall with duct-paper. Super classy. It had to go!