Sunday, May 27, 2012

More Improvements on the Homefront

Subtle though they may be. I've got the bug...the I-wish-it-was-summer-now bug. Not because I'm aching for the heat and humidity we're currently experiencing to stay for good, but because it will mean the annual calm-down at work, vacations galore, BBQs, and lazy hazy days spent at the beach or lake.

I initially intended to wait to start busting out the summer decor until next weekend, as a celebration of post-commencement happiness. But alas, after a feverish afternoon of shopping for fun things like fans and vacuums, I couldn't help myself. I assembled said fan and vacuum as soon as we got home, then got down to changing up the bedding, arranging a new dining room centerpiece, swapping out the shower curtain, and putting said new vacuum to use. Oh, yeh, baby!

Why am I so freakishly excited about a new vacuum? Our old one functioned rather well despite its age (John got it as a hand-me-down when he started college--I'll let you do the math). But it was a Bissel, and those suckers (haha) are built to last. It was starting to wear out, however, and I really wanted one with the attachment to inhale the mounds of cat hair that are piling up. And holy crap is it amazing! Revolutionary! Life-changing! I don't know if Hammy hasn't yet realized that this is a whole new monster (he was, of course, terrified of the older model), or mybe this one isn't as loud/audibly upsetting to him, but he remained in the room while I vacuumed, simply starting at the thing as if he wasn't quite sure whether or not to trust it.

The tower fan for the kitchen was a long-overdue necessity. As the kitchen is the only room in the house without a cross-breeze, when you couple that fact with the fact that the back of the house bakes in the sun pretty much from 1:00 onward, it gets rather sweltering in there. Doing dishes, cooking...forget it. You better hit the showers afterward. We meant to get one last year, but just never got around to it. This year it was at the top of the to-do list.

The last new and exciting piece was a towel rack for the bathroom door. Our current one had been with us since our first apartment, and performed admirably until the bottom rung broke and I kludged it back together with duct tape. Except that it recently reached a point where I could kludge no more. So we happened upon a great replacement at Target today, and we took it on home. It even has an awesome little shelf that's handy for solving another ongoing problem: lack of storage. We can now keep extra hand and face towels right there. Ahhh.

Here are some pics, cuz I know you're dying to see and be as excited as I am! Happy almost-summer, everyone! Make sure you toast our veterans and military personnel this weekend. I have a handful in my own life I'm thankful for.

 Oh, hey there, good-lookin. You must be the new kid.

Behold, my new cleaning obsession:

Ahh, this truly makes such a difference.

Goodbye, old busted towel rack.

Hello new multi-tasking genius!

My mom made the napkin rings--they look like life savers and say S.S. Riggi on them.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Garden: Check!

Well, it's as complete as it's going to be. My caladiums flooded and the bulb rotted, but I repotted and mixed in new, dry soil so maybe they're dry out and bounce back. I'm not giving up on them yet. : )

Here are some shots of what things currently look like now that the complex's landscapers have re-edged the flower beds and put down fresh mulch. Now the plants pop against the black background instead of blending in with the brown dirt. Just posting the before and afters. If you want to compare the whole process, read down one post.

Full garden, before:

Full garden, after:

Section one, before:

Section one, after:

Section two, before:

Section two, after:

End garden, before:

End garden, after:

And here is my Shepard's hook, finally completed with bird feeder and lantern:

I've also recently gutted and reorganized and cleaned the hallway coat closet, but forgot to take pics. But boy does it make me smile every time I go in there. Versus the anxiety-inducing cringing that used to happen. Next up: It Came from Beneath the Kitchen Sink! That is the other black hole...I hope to also take that from nightmare to dream. Stay tuned.

And eventually I'll pop back on with some pictures of recent baking adventures. Hello, muchstaches. 

For now, off to enjoy the balmy day with the bestie.