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Last One, I Promise

Oh hey, long time no see!  It seems as though I found the energy to post two days in a row, and then it wiped me out.  However, it’s finally Friday after what has seemed like the longest week in the history of the world and I’ve found some time to ramble.

Did you know it’s going to be hot this weekend? I’m sure you did, it’s all anyone is talking about.  Today in Arlington we’re expected to hit 104 degrees.  104.  What does one do/wear when it’s that hot out?  Sit in front of their window air conditioner and a bra and underpants?  Good, because that’s what I plan on doing all weekend.  Sorry to my roommate’s boyfriend ahead of time.

In all seriousness though, I really have no plans to go outside at all this weekend.  Unless you live under a rock (or not in the US) you know the US Olympic Trials started last week, and all of my TV viewing has been taken over by them.  My most favorite of favorite competitions started yesterday (gymnastics) and continues until Sunday night, so I have grand plans to hang out with some orange vodka in the AC and cheer on my favorites.  I’m also planning on tackling some craft projects for the new house, so we’ll see how that goes.

It occurred to me the other day, that I never actually showed you all any pics of our awesome giant backyard, and since I hate a pictureless post you’re getting them today.  The house is in a sweet neighborhood with lots of houses and kids and families, and we were fortunate enough to luck out with a lot that backs up to cornfields.  Do you know how nice it is to go outside and NOT hear screaming children.  It’s fantastic, although I’m slightly scared of our yard once it’s dark out.  There’s a lot of wildlife out there.  During our BBQ I saw not only chipmunks and rabbits, but also a giant fucking deer came strolling through.  And you know what live in cornfields?  Snakes.  Snakes live in cornfields. I shudder just thinking about it.  Anyway, here ya go.


standing at the bottom of the deck facing out

Back corner looking towards the house, obviously

Ok that’s the last of the house pictures until August.  I promise.  Well, unless something really cool happens.  Happy Friday!

Operation Deck

One of the things I was most excited for after purchasing our house, was being able to work on it and renovate it.  I watch a lot of HGTV, and I mean a lot, and so even though Darren said he didn’t want to spend time working on the house when I was there visiting, I was secretly hoping we would.  Luckily for me, Dar was absolutely disgusted by the condition of our deck and was refusing to have people over until it looked better, nearly thwarting our plans for a Saturday BBQ.  Instead of cancelling, we got to work on Friday afternoon.

Before: Old, faded, gray, ugly


After cleaning up some of the surrounding landscaping, and removing the bird-feeder you can kind of see up there in the corner, the first step of Operation Deck was to power wash the crap out of it.  I was having a hard time believing Darren when he said that wood was actually brown, but with one spray of the power washer I was convinced.

Power washing

Because of his line of work, Darren actually owns his power-washer, but I’m told they can be rented from your local paint stores.  However, I will say it’s not as easy as it looks and I sucked at it; leaving lines all in the wood.  So he took over while I cleaned up the yard some more.

Huge difference already

All clean and ready for the next step

Starting to look good. Note the cleaned up bed and missing bird-feeder

After finishing up with the power-washing, Darren then sprayed the deck with something called Revive, which is pretty much just Oxalic Acid, and helps to really clean the wood and bring out its natural color.

Scrubbing the Revive into the deck

After that, give it a quick rinse and let it dry.


Once the deck boards have fully dried out, you can then seal the deck or stain it.  We’re still trying to decide whether we just want to seal it with a clear coat, or stain it and then seal it, so we skipped that step for now.  Conveniently, our patio furniture delivery arrived just as we were wrapping up with the deck, so we got right to assembling it.

Whole deck, all clean and revived

Before and after one last time so you don’t have to scroll back up.


Pretty big difference for a few hours of work.  It looks like a brand new deck.  Here’s another view of the deck with our patio furniture set up.  That 80s awning came with the house, and despite the fact that it’s kind of ugly, it’s a lifesaver when the sun is out and beating down on you.  We’re going to hang on to it for a while, until we can afford an updated more attractive version.

The final finishing touches to the deck before our Saturday BBQ, were to buy a grill and add some bug control in the form of tiki torches.

And here’s my love in all his glory on Saturday night.

So, there ya have it, how we made our deck look brand new in about 4 hours.  Like I said, next steps are to pick a color and paint the house.  We’re getting rid of the brown siding and trim and going with gray.  Dar is hoping to have that done by the time I go out to visit again in August.  Can’t wait to see what a difference it makes!

Any questions? Throw em at me and I’ll try to answer.

The Best Ever

Hello, I’m back!  I say that less than enthusiastically, as yesterday’s goodbye may have been the hardest and saddest one in the past year and a half of long distance dating.  I had a wonderful, extra long, weekend in Wisconsin with my love in our house, and I don’t want to have to wait 7.5 weeks to go back.

I have lots of pictures to share, including a deck restoration post, but I’ll save that for tomorrow and just share some general house pics and stories from the weekend today.  After realizing it wouldn’t cost me anything to change my flight, I headed out to WI a day early on the 6:30 pm flight Wednesday night.  An hour and a half later, we were back on the ground in a new time zone.  Since I was super excited to get to the house, we just picked up some takeout on the way home, and then Darren gave me the grand tour.

The house is amazing. I love every single thing about it, and I was so happy I almost cried when we were walking around. It was just so surreal to think that it was officially ours to do with what we want.  The rest of the night we just kind of hung out watching TV and eating our dinner.  We both had to get up and work on Thursday morning, me from the comforts of our kitchen table and Darren was off to the condos he’s painting.  Can I just say how awesome it was to wake up together on a weekday, make our bed, and then go to work?  It almost felt like we were a normal couple for a minute.

This was my work set-up for Thursday

I hung out at the house all day, working and taking pictures of things, while also waiting for the AC repair guy to tell us what we already suspected.  Yup, it’s broken, haha.  We knew it would have to be replaced sooner rather than later since it’s from 1987, but 11 days after closing?  Sigh.  Luckily, the temps were staying in the high 70s and dropping into the 50s at night, so we didn’t really miss it that much over the weekend.

Since our bedroom is really the only fully decorated room in the house, I’ll start with those pictures, also because I’m obsessed with it.

Anything smaller than a king size bed now feels like I’m being smothered.

Darren mounted the TV on a rotating arm and hid the cables behind the wall. It’s sweet.  Also sweet? A ceiling fan above the bed.

This is the room that will eventually have my Pottery Barn furniture, but is currently serving as a guest room/office.

Now, the next few rooms strongly resemble a frat house from 1980, but that’s only because we’re currently using old furniture that we already had or was given to us until we can afford to furnish the rest of the house.  Ya know, cause we have to buy things like a new air conditioner.

Don’t tell Darren, but the wood paneling started to grow on me.

Just one of the 23 TVs in the house.

Giant couch and TV

At least the couch is comfy

The kitchen is nothing fancy, yet, but I did add some feminine touches to take away from the multiple containers of protein powder atop the fridge.


Wine rack!

Wine canvas, both from Target, duh.

Also, did you notice our floors?  They are real hardwood, and I am OBSESSED.  I think I cleaned the floor three times in the 4 days I was there.  I love them.

so beautifullll and this picture pretty accurately shows just how light they are

The outside of the house isn’t too shabby either, and we have a giant back yard and side yard.  The landscaping needs some work since the sellers hadn’t lived there for a year, so don’t worry, we’re working on it.

The brown will be painted gray shortly

our pretty birch tree

So that’s pretty much it.  We do have an unfinished basement that spans the entire size of the house.  It’s currently serving as our gym, Darren’s work space, and a paint storage facility.  I’m going to save the pictures of the backyard until tomorrow when I post about our deck restoration, but now here’s some photos of people!

Standing in front of our house

Enjoying our first BBQ.. I’d had a lot of sangria

Anyway, so happy Monday! How were all your weekends?