Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Have We Been Up To (part 2)

For the past two weekends we had the awesome opportunity to have a little family time right here in Oregon!  This is a rare occurrence since our entire family lives on the east coast.  My parents came out for a long vacation and got to spend some time here in Portland and take some time away to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.  They were here for the weekends on either end of their stay and we were excited to show them the house and some of our favorite spots!

In a few weeks, Matt's parents will be out for a visit and they'll be sharing some of their expertise to help us prepare our garden for fall!

Next post, we promise, will be about the house.  Look forward to it!   - Caroline

Friday, September 16, 2011

What the **** Have We Been Up To?

Somebody seems to have fallen off the blogging wagon in the last two weeks.  So what have we been up to around here?  Or rather, first, what have we been up to not around here?

Right after our last series of posts we headed out for a weekend in southern Oregon in honor of our upcoming anniversary.  We headed down to Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  We had a Groupon Getaway for a half-priced stay at the Lithia Springs Inn, which features private mineral baths in every room.

We've been to Ashland before so we spent most of our time exploring the area outside of the city.  We visited a the Tashi Choling Center for Buddhist Studies in a secluded valley south of Ashland.   The monastery features a 35 foot tall statue of Vajrasattva, the Buddha of Primordial Purity, which is one of the largest Buddha statues outside of Tibet.  The Mandala Garden, where the statue is located, was undergoing some renovations but it was still a beautiful place to visit.


We also did some exploring of the area around the Monastery.  We took a dirt road up to the base of Pilot Rock and drove part-way up Mt. Ashland to find some amazing views.

We ended the day with a wine tasting at RoxyAnn Winery, and of course a play at the Shakespeare Festival.  We saw Love's Labor Lost in the Allen Pavilion, which is an outdoor Elizabethan Stage.

We drove back to Portland by way of Highway 101 which runs up the Oregon Coast.  We stopped at the Oregon Dunes, which are the largest sand dunes we've ever seen.  We also visited the worlds largest known sea cave which is a popular resting place for Steller Sea Lions.  The drive from Ashland to Portland along the coast took about twelve hours, so we were happy to be back home and that we had Monday off for Labor Day!

Watch for updates on what else we've been up to in and out of the house coming soon (we promise)!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Love List

We've been keeping track of things we love on Pinterest.  Click on each picture to be connected to our pinterest account where you can further connect to the original source.  Here's a new love list for your weekend!

Juliette Chair from Jayson Home

Branch Hooks from West Elm

Reclaimed Hangers from Paloma's Nest (unavailable)

Karlstad Sofa from Ikea

Outdoor Thermometer from

Don't forget to check us out on Pinterest:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bedroom Closet!

We are excited to share our bright new bedroom closets with you!  Before, they were dark, dingy and not very functional.  The closet rod was thick and wooden and you couldn't slide a hanger along it.  The shelves were made of dusty untreated particle board.  We're excited for our bright new colors, new closet rod, new shoe rack (!) and the ability to expand storage space later as we choose!

Here's the closet view BEFORE:


The inside BEFORE:


And guess what else?  In the last picture, right under the shoe rack, those are the wood floors that run under all this carpet.  They are painted there but they seem to be in pretty good shape!  What a happy find!

Our closet redo was really pretty simple but it made a huge difference.  First we took everything out and cleaned the whole thing.  We primed and painted all of the paneling but left the upper section of wall and the ceiling as it was (even though the two sides are different colors).  We used a good quality primer because the fake paneling was a glossy texture that paint wouldn't stick to well.  We painted and reused the custom-cut shelves but replaced the brackets and the closet rod.  We installed track for hanging shelves that we can add later but started ourselves off with a shoe rack.  That's all there was to it!

In case you missed this post, the colors we used are Martha Stewart Home's Whetstone Gray and Behr's Summer Breeze (color matched in Martha Stewart Home paint).

Here's the full cost breakdown:

1 gallon Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer:  $19
1 gallon Martha Stewart Home paint in Whetstone Gray:  $29

7 Shelf/Rod Brackets:  $23
2 Expandable closet rods:  $20
Shelves:  Free (reused)
Color Sample of Martha Stewart Home paint in Behr's Summer Breeze:  Free (donated by a friend who couldn't use it)

4 Closet Maid 5' Shelf Tracks:  $41 - after coupon*
Set of 2 Closet Maid Expandable Shoe Racks:  $22

Misc Hardware:  $15

Grand Total:  $169

*Did you know that Home Depot and Lowe's take each other's coupons?  We bought the shelf tracks at Home Depot on a transaction with a $25 off $250 Lowe's coupon that we received when we moved.  $41 is the return value for the tracks after the coupon.  $10 a piece isn't exactly bottom dollar for closet tracks but unfortunately the wide variety of accessories that Closet Maid makes aren't compatible with the budget shelf tracks that HD sells.  That figures.  But compared to some of those pricy closet systems out there, we think we did pretty well for a closet that we love.
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