Future Plans

The semester is winding down around here and we are gearing back up for the summer.  We will be heading back to Europe in a few weeks.  Last summer we spent four weeks in Greece

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 and this year we will be in England with Eliza in-tow!  We are going back to Wolverhampton, the city where Joel lived during his last two years of college.  Wolverhampton, England is a very dear place to us.  Our favorite restaurant, Jivan’s, an Indian Balti house, is in Wolverhampton.

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Our first dinner date at Jivan’s

Some of our closest friends are from Wolverhampton.  Wolverhampton is the city where we fell in love!  I just can’t wait to introduce Wolverhampton to Eliza.  Last time we were there, in 2011, I found a charming antique shop that I am dying to check out again.  But what I’m most excited about is the new people we will meet and the friendships that will develop during this trip.

After we get back from England our plan is to finish painting the outside!!!! I decided to paint the window sashes in Weathered Shingle by Sherwin Williams.

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Before

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After

 We are also planning a master bathroom remodel.  Last summer, I was still suffering from morning sickness and extreme nausea so Joel remodeled our master bedroom while I laid on the couch, eating crackers all day.

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 I am sooo excited about this remodel because the state of our bathroom right now is just well, disgustingly embarrassing.  Our plans include extending the ceiling from 9 feet to 11 feet, adding antique ceiling tin, reconfiguring the layout, reworking our closet to utilize the maximum amount of space, changing the door from a hinge hanging door to a pocket door, a new vanity made from an antique dresser with a vessel sink and new hardware, new flooring, new subway tile on the walls and new light fixtures.  Pretty much a gut job!  The only thing staying is our claw foot bath tub that needs to be re-finished.  I’m not sure how it is all going to work with Eliza around, but it should be an adventure!

Here are a few inspiring pictures.

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I also had to add a few pictures of my little nugget! She has grown so much this month.

E and Joel E and Mommy E owl hat Eliza 3 months

With love,
Lauren

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A New, Old Front Door

It is a rainy, spring day here in San Marcos, Texas!  It is wonderful, my little one is laying next to me sleeping, my curtains are pulled open and I’m watching the rain fall. What a good day!  I love spring because everything seems to glow.  All the new leaves look flourescent and full of new life.   Here is how Eliza and I have been enjoying spring…

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just lying around in our yard.

The past few weekends have been productive ones around The Rescued Home.  We started the remodeling process on the outside of our house in the fall of 2010 and it is still not complete!  We are still chipping away at it.  Joel was able to get some sanding done and the first coat up.

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Since I can’t help Joel with the painting I have worked on smaller projects.  This past weekend I decided to paint our front door.  It needed a fresh coat so I thought I would go with a completely different color after looking through my latest Country Living magazine.

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What caught my attention was the colors on the seed box.

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I loved the blue-gray  letters, with the lighter blue accent against the yellow.  Since our house is yellow and I have a light blue bench on my front porch I decided to paint the door in Homberg Gray, a Sherwin Williams color.

I saw a tutorial on one of my favorite blogs, Jones Design Company.  She painted her house numbers on her door and then gave a tutorial on how to do it, including free downloadable numbers.  Here is the link for that tutorial.

I just love our front door! It has a great story behind it, we bought it at one of our favorite architectural salvage shops, Pieces Of The Past for only $100.  It originally hung in a 1920’s school-house in New Jersey.  When we first brought it home it needed to a little work, well actually a lot of work.  And on top of all the work it needed it didn’t even fit in the door frame because our house was soo wonky.   Joel and my very talented father-in-law had to push, pull, bang on, and shim the frame so the door would fit.

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We ended up painting it red and I have loved the red for the past three years.

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But I think I like the blue-gray color even better!

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We have plans to build window boxes (I will share that tutorial) and paint them the same color as the door.  Oh they are going to be soo charming!

With love,
Lauren

A Little Yard Work

I’m here on my in-laws back porch enjoying the beautiful Texas sunshine and some much-needed R & R!  My in-laws went skiing for Spring Break and we needed a place to retreat to, just the three of us, so we are here lounging around in our pjs, watching tv, reading, writing and eating junk food.  Life is good!

This is how Eliza is enjoying her time away.

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She was 9 weeks old this past Sunday!  I love being her mommy! Everyday I fall more and more in love with her and Joel.

For the past two months I have been sitting on our couch watching home improvement shows, dying to get my hands dirty.  We had some free time last weekend so we decided to do a little work in our yard.  We put in front flower beds last spring and plan on working some more on them this year.

Here is what the yard looked like when we bought the house.

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Here it is last spring after we put in new beds.

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A huge improvement!

 I have been admiring the rock in these flowerbeds for the past seven years.

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 I love how natural and organic they look, like they have been there for years.  My favorite kind of outdoor spaces are ones that look like they naturally happened there.

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So last weekend we loaded up in the truck and headed to the rock yard to find some rocks.  We came home with 1,500 lbs of rock!

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This is how it now looks when we do projects…with a little one in tow!

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After a few hours this is what we came up with.

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They are going to look great once the plants grow in.

I was so sore the next day but it was the best feeling to get to work with my hands again.

With love,
Lauren

Tea-dying Tutorial

We had a good weekend here at The Rescued Home. I was able to work in our new flowerbeds a little more.  I told Joel I feel like I have discovered a whole new part of our house that I can “decorate.”  I have been rearranging the plants how I rearrange the interior.  I will plant a plant, look at it for a few days then dig it up and replant it somewhere else and I will keep moving it until I find the perfect spot for it.  Ahh I love it, it is therapy for me!  I love getting my hands dirty.  I love mud under my nails.

Today I’m going to share a tutorial with you.  Tea-dying is something that I do with almost all the white fabric I have in my house.
I recently tea- dyed the curtains in my guest room and love how they turned out.

 I don’t like stark white or grey-whites in my house.  I like the whites in my house to have a little grunge to them.  I like warm whites or candlelight whites or whites with a brown undertone rather than grey.  To accomplish an aged white look I tea-dye my fabric.  It is super easy and free if you have tea bags in your pantry!

You will need:
fabric
3-5 tea bags
a kettle or small pot
a large pot

1. Heat water in a kettle or small pot.

2. Put the tea bags in your large pot.

3. Pour boiling water over tea bags in large pot. CAUTION: Do not burn yourself with hot water!

4. Let the tea steep for 20 minutes.
5. Pour in a kettle full of cold water.
6. Immerse your fabric in the tea.

7. Once your fabric is in the tea push the fabric all the way under the liquid, moving it around to make sure all of it is wet.

8. Let sit.  The darker you want it the longer you should let it sit.  I usually let mine sit for about an hour.
Every 15 minutes I will check the color and move it around to make sure all of the fabric is staying wet.

9. Once it is the color you want, lightly rinse it and hang to dry.  If  it is not as dark as you like, let it dry completely then repeat the dying process to darken.

If you want to iron the fabric make sure it is not set on steam or it will leave water spots.

Here is the finished product.  I especially love this look on these ruffle pillows.  It looks like an antique baby dress.

With love,
Lauren

A Little More Home Improving

Hi friends! I hope y’all had a great week.  Mine went by really fast.  Today is Wimberley Market Days and I’m sitting here trying to decide if I should go.  It is one of my most favorite places but I don’t really need anything and I know if I go I will buy something wonderful and amazing and it would probably look fabulous in my house.  OH I don’t know self-control….or no self-control??? I guess we will just have to see.

Ok, onto more home improving. The weather last weekend was so awesome so we wanted to do a bit of yard work.  We planted a few trees in the backyard 3 years ago when we moved in and haven’t put our green thumb to work since.  About a month ago our decision to landscape was set in motion after a quick search in the plant clearance section at Lowes. We found shrubs that were on sale for $1.75! We bought all 7 and figured we could find a place for them.  Our goal was to create 2 flower beds in the front yard and spend the least amount of money as possible.  This is how we saved money.

  • Instead of buying a truck load of dirt to create the beds we transferred a pile of dirt from the backyard.
  • We dug up a few plants that were already in the yard and used them in the beds.
  • USED PLANTS! Instead of buying all new plants, I dug up some from my neighbors and parents yards and bought a couple at an estate sale.

Sharing and transferring plants is the way my grandparents and parents gardened.  Growing up this is how my mom taught me to garden.  I planted a part of a plant, we call it a Maybelle plant, that came from my parent’s yard, that came from my aunt’s yard, that came from my grandparent’s yard, that came from my great-grandmother’s yard, that came from Maybelle’s yard, a family friend who my great-grandmother and grandmother lived with during the Great Depression.  I love having a story behind the things in and around my home!

Here is what the house looked like when we moved in.

Here is what it looks like today!

I bought two mature ferns at an estate sale for $3.50 each.  Next time you’re at a garage sale or estate sale look for plants.  Even if they look bad you can prune them and with a little bit of fertilizer and water you can give them life again.

These plants are transfer plants I had in pots.

I also did a little improving in our guest room.

Here is what it originally looked like.

Here it is after we put up the wall to enclose the extension on the guest bathroom.

Here it is today.

I also made window coverings.  You can see the blue tape that is still on the outside of the windows, oops:)
You can read my post about the inspiration I had for window coverings here.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money so I used what I had.  This is how I saved money

  • I tea-dyed white curtains I already had from Ikea.
  • I cut up an old table-cloth my neighbor gave me and made the two 1/2 curtains and bought 2 tension rods.
  • I saved over $30 by making the curtain rod.  I bought the rod and finials unfinished at Lowes and the brackets unfinished at Hobby Lobby.  Then painted all of it in the trim color, Summer White by Sherwin Williams.

I took this piece down and put it over our couch.

And moved this piece from the living room into the guest room.

With love,
Lauren

risk and a few house updates

Last night around 3:30 I woke to a very loud crash coming from the other side of our house.  Joel shot out of bed, flung open the bedroom door, and charged across the house.  Meanwhile, I sat in our bed trembling and praying that there wasn’t a scary man in our house!  Turns out, and I’m not surprised, that it was a metal shelf that was mounted to our laundry room wall that had waaay too much stuff on it.  I was so glad to see the sun this morning and to have the peace of knowing we made it through the night safe and sound.  I’ve been thinking about last night and Joel’s response.  He chose to, without fear, jump up and confront whatever could have been invading our lives.  He took a risk! He had no idea what was in our laundry room but he was willing to give up his life and the security of our bedroom in order to protect us.  This is love.  This is friendship.  In the Bible Jesus says there is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for his friends.   I think that statement is loaded with the possibility of risk.  I am learning when you love something you go all in for it.  You risk it all.

Now onto another subject, the house, our beloved Rescued Home.  We are well acquainted with risk when it comes to working on our house.  I feel like every new project we take on we say, “ok we are going all in on this one and will not stop until it is completed.”

We started on the outside of our house in October 2010 and it is not yet finished.  We thought it would only take 6 months and now, a year and a half later, we are still chipping away at it.  This is definitely a labor of love!  Other than repairing the foundation, this has been the hardest part of the restoration so far which makes working on it really unappealing when we have free time.  But, over Spring Break we buckled down and knocked out quite a bit.

Here you can see the aluminum siding that covered the original siding.  When the aluminum siding was put up all of the trim work was taken down so we are having to replace all of it.

We have decided that painting is not the hard part but all the prep work before.  Thanks to a paint sprayer we can knock out the painting once the sanding and priming is completed.

 Joel also installed this lovely dishwasher that we bought nearly two years ago. It is our habit to head for the clearance section every time we go to a home improvement store. We purchased this beauty for 75% off the original price!

I love it! It is so much quieter than our old one and actually cleans the dishes!

Back to risk taking.  What are you being asked to take a risk on?

With love,
Lauren

Decorating For The Reunion

Hi everyone! So I think this past week was the busiest week of my life!!! I worked until 1 in the morning nearly every night! No joke!
So here is my checklist

  • dig 18 inch ditch in front yard…check
  • re-plumb all of the cold water pipes in the house…check
  • install a new water heater…check
  • sew over 70 ft. of bunting…check
  • sew 12 table cloths… check
  • decorate, decorate, decorate…check
  • decorate for the Crosstalk Family Reunion… check
  • have a great time doing it all…CHECK! 

To say the least, I was exhausted at the end of it but, it was all worth it.  I was stretched to a limit I didn’t know was possible and I feel I had a pretty good attitude through it all:) 
Here are a few pics!

If you drove by our house on Monday you would have seen this… A trench, shovels, mud and a water heater on the front porch.
What can I say, we keep it classy!

I had to call in re-inforcements to help get all the sewing knocked out.  So, my good friend, Casey, came over with her sewing machine in hand and we got all of the bunting sewn in no time.

Here is a picture of my original plan.  My vision was vintage, 1920’s French circus.  I wanted it to feel like a summer celebration.

A few posts ago I had mentioned that I was going to have to cut back on some of my plan due to time constraints.  So instead of sewing 300 ft. of
bunting I settled for less than 100.  I simplified my center pieces and did not have a banner made. Even with all the cuts it turned out fabulous!! Check it out for yourself:)

The tables had mason jars with pens and shipping tags (you will see why in a few pictures) and snap shots of the Crosstalk family through out the years.


Our sign in table had picture frames filled with significant moments in Crosstalk’s history.

We created a timeline where people could write their names and the dates they were involved in Crosstalk.

It was soo cool to see the finished product!

We had a photo booth where people could dress up in silly hats and glasses and have pictures taken.

This was my favorite idea! Casey and her husband Chris painted this sign and I found this branch out in the woods. My idea was that people would write their name on one side of a shipping tag and then on the other side write why Crosstalk was special to them.

It looked amazing!

The night was a  great success!
We reconnected with old friends, we laughed, we cried, we ate and we were all reminded of how much God changed our lives in college.

With love,
Lauren