I love these monthly reviews. They bring to mind all we’ve accomplished in the last 30 days and remind me of the things I’ve forgotten with early wake-up calls, vacations, crazy dogs, volleyball weekends, delivery hiccups, hosting parties, and raising teenage girls.
Keeping track helps me stay focused and positive. I hope you enjoy them, too. Even if you’re a faithful follower, I add extra photos, updates, and cheeky insights just to keep things fresh.
So with that, let’s take a look back at April in the Big White House. We ended March with the big first floor paint reveal (check out Grinning Like a Fool) that we love, love, love (don’t worry, the gray around the fireplace will grow on you), but unfortunately some of our paint choices threw into stark relief a few features we truly hate. In A Little Tile Update, the MR quickly tore out baby blue tile in the powder room for a lovely subdued mosaic in shades of brown and copper.
I love the way the new tile blends with the wall color rather than sticking out like a sore thumb. Last weekend, a friend suggested a built-in cabinet for the sink using more of the same tile for the counter. A custom cabinet could mimic the shape of the sink alcove and maybe make more sense of an unusual space. Sounds like a great idea; I guess we’ll wait and see. Decisions never come quickly.
It’s not all big and little renovation jobs around here. I like to add some crafts and cooking in now and then. A friend and I went shopping at Value Village and found a cute cotton sweater that I turned into leg warmers for Sweet Miss (check out Now Fancy That). The leg warmers might look a little crazy if worn on their own, but they look quite cute peeping out of the top of her boots and add a layer of warmth against the cold winds.
Fun and funky leg warmers can be her little secret. A friend on Facebook told me she’d done the same thing for her sweet little girl. Can you imagine a toddler running around with leg warmers? It pays to be creative.
I Hate Ladybugs taps into my evil side. I’m just a firm believer that bugs belong outside–not in my home. I’m thankful ladybug season just lasts for a few weeks. I was worried that we’d come back from vacation to find hundreds of dead bugs on the floor, but I was pleasantly surprised to see just a few scattered here and there. They haven’t totally disappeared, but I’m no longer sweeping up dozens morning and night. Maybe diligence is paying off, and next year there will be even fewer to deal with.
I got all pumped up about Alternative Energy, and absolutely nothing has happened on our end in the last few weeks. I met with the electrician the morning after we got back from Hawaii, to discuss how to run the wiring for the solar energy panels we’re having installed on the portico. He’s doing all he can to make sure the wiring and conduit don’t show on the front of the house–that makes me happy. And the MR is meeting with a roofing guy who is determining the best way to install the system on our roof this afternoon, but we have no hard dates as to when they’re installing the system. Looking outside at the clouds and rain, I don’t think this would be a banner day for solar energy anyways. I guess we’ll wait for the May sunshine. I’ve decided working with people in construction is a lesson in patience. They have materials to order, weather to work around, and other projects to complete. We’re in no hurry.
I was disappointed when we got home, and my purple potatoes weren’t in the pile of mail (check out I Love a Novelty). Most of my gardening books suggest planting a few potatoes with a wink and a nod on St. Patrick’s Day. These are in homage to the Irish saint not in true hopes of a bumper crop. I just figured you’d wait a week or two and the conditions would be right for a real planting–not so much. We’ve had hail, snow, and freezing rain in the last half of April. After the sunny days last week, it seems that the weather is finally cooperating. The potatoes are currently getting chitted out in an upstairs window, but I do believe this is the week for planting.
Home Sweet Home and Maui Magic showcased the beauty of the islands. I thought about naming the second post Maui Wowie, but then I started thinking and Googled it. Maui Wowie is a type of marijuana. People who came to this site searching for that would just be disappointed. They’d be like the people who searched for handsome man’s behind and came up with the MR painting our bedroom. While I think he’s quite good looking, a man in ratty jeans and an old t-shirt is probably not what they were looking for.
Lessons from Hawaii featured the beautiful resort we stayed at and their modern take on island chic.
When you find a space that draws you in, why not try to incorporate some of that same feel at home?
It can’t all be vacations. Sometimes I have to deal with the mundane, like a ratty looking desk chair. Simple Changes can make a big difference even if it’s just something old in need of some TLC.
Now that we’ve begun locking the door to the garage, so Cocoa can’t randomly go munch on dog food, I need to get Baby Girl a house key. Sweet Miss will be home for the summer before we know it–make that two house keys. The MR has already added one to his key chain so he can unlock the front door. In Lock It Up, with the aid of a locksmith, we wound up with a front door we can actually open from the outside. It may not look as sleek as it did before, but it makes so much more sense.
I’m enjoying having a mantel to decorate each season for the first time in my life. My ranunculus from Springtime Charm are getting a little wilty. They still add color to the fireplace, and they’ll be back next year to share their cheery charm. Besides, the farmer’s markets open this week.
And finally last week, I spent hours weeding along the driveway. While I know Every Little Bit Helps, I still have a long ways to go. I was pleased when my housekeeper this morning noticed the difference without any prompting. I’ll be honest, if my family doesn’t notice, I show it to them over and over again until I get the proper response. This might be a long sleeves kind of day, so I can attack the barberry.
Wouldn’t it be nice if just this little stretch of flower beds could look well-maintained and cared for? Last year, we had workers redoing the deck, redoing the siding, redoing the heating, and painting the house. With all sorts of vehicles coming and going, I spent next to no time fixing this area up. I’m so glad we’ve got all that behind us–once the solar is done.
For those of you with sharp eyes, you may have noticed a large pile of dirt in this photo. We have big plans. I hope I’ll be able to share them with you this week or next if all goes well. Cross your fingers and pray that they don’t try to send a semi to our house again.
How was April at your house? Are you surprised when you look back to see all you’ve accomplished this month?
On a personal note, Baby Girl and her team placed first in the silver bracket at regionals this weekend. They won one and lost two matches on Saturday only to come back and win all four matches on Sunday. Way to go Valley View. It was a great way to end the season.
Across One April is my obscure reference to a book I read and enjoyed ages ago. Across Five Aprils is a novel by Irene Hunt published in 1964 and winner of the 1965 Newbery Honor. It’s the story of a boy coming of age during the Civil War and the joys and struggles of being part of a family–loving people even when you don’t agree with them.