August Update & Harvest Report

Sunflowers on Lost and Fawned

Since July has come and gone (seriously faster than I could imagine), I thought it was a good day for a little update.  This has been the summer of craziness and I’m looking forward to fall now.  I feel like we haven’t even had a summer since we have been so busy.

The garden is still thriving, despite our neglect.  Next summer I am going to have to share a tutorial on the bean trellis we built this year.  It’s working perfectly and the beans are loving it.  We are picking a handful of beans (see below) nearly everyday, but as I have noted in our garden journal, Kentucky Pole Beans are not our favorite variety.  I find they get pretty woody if they get too big.  We will have to find something different next year.  My decorative sunflowers have been blooming all month.  These two were knocked over in a nasty summer storm, so I am enjoying them in the living room.  We had in a battle with our resident chipmunks over the tomatoes.  We keep finding half eaten cherry tomatoes and skins all over the yard.  We have managed to pick a few and I’ll be making a nice sauce out of them on Sunday.

Bean Harvest on Lost and Fawned

As you may have noticed, the blog got a facelift last week.  I have been just as neglectful to this blog as I have been to the garden this summer.  I kind of fell out of love with it this winter, but I’m feeling inspired again.  Ever So Splendid (my quilting, sewing and DIY blog) is growing and healthy, and so is Lost & Fawned.  They both reflect different sides of my personality and I intend to keep them separate but equal.  It’s been a rocky transition as I have been learning to balance both, but things are falling into place and it has pushed me creatively.  I’m looking forward to my blogging future.

Today is going to be crazy.  I’m dealing with a perfect storm of appointments, while trying to prepare to get on a plane on Tuesday to visit my mom for 10 days.  We aren’t making too many plans other than heading to the coast and spending a ton of time watching Netflix on the couch together.  I’ll return home on the 15th which is also our 5 year wedding anniversary.

Hoping all is well with you and yours.  Thanks for sticking with me during this busy busy summer.  Once things calm down and the weather cools, everything should go back to it’s normal pace here.

Summer 2014 Mid-Season Update

Summer 2014 on Lost and Fawned

We are in the middle of a very busy summer.  We are about halfway to autumn, so I figured it was a good time for an update on everything that is occupying my time.

  • 4th of July weekend was a whirlwind.  We took our 4 year old niece to the zoo for the day.  She has more energy than any other kid I’ve ever met.  We stayed at the zoo from open until almost close.  That afternoon we picked up a huge pan of fried chicken and went to fireworks with Jared’s whole family (all 6 kids and their families).  Traditionally we celebrate 2 birthdays at fireworks every year (including mine), and this year we added one more due to the birth of our nephew last summer.  The next day we had another birthday barbeque to attend.  By the end of the weekend we were passed out in bed in front of the fan.
  • My birthday was lovely.  Jared took me to dinner, but we ended up skipping the movie since I had a little migraine forming between my eyes.  I went to bed early.  Jared bought me a new gaming mouse to replace the one I wore out and a white jelly roll for a quilt I’ve been planning.  I treated myself to my first watch (this classic beauty from Marc by Marc Jacobs).  From family I received a generous amount of gift cards for the local craft store, some adorable bookends, nail polish and a dress I’ve had my eye on.
  • Our garden is flourishing.  It may be our best garden year yet.  Our tomato plants have exploded.  We started getting ripe tomatoes this week.  Soon we will have more than we can eat.  Our herbs are also completely out of control.  I can’t use them fast enough.  I’m going to have to start cutting and drying or freezing soon.  Our peas are about done, but were delicious while the lasted.  I froze one bag to save for a later stir-fry.  We might get our first bean harvest tonight.  The new trellis we built is amazing.  I’m so pleased with the design.  I’m going to have to put together a DIY post next spring.  The one thing I’m regretting not planting is onions.  It totally slipped my mind and I’ve really missed having them on hand.
  • We picked up this notebook to start keeping a thorough record of our gardening ever season.  I’ve recorded the brands and types of seeds we planted this season as well as planting dates, added nutrients and other important details.  Every year we will reference it, learn from it and add to it.
  • The wedding shower I’ve been planning is this Sunday!  I have a busy weekend ahead of me, mostly shopping and cooking.  I’ve never cooked for this many people.  I have a lot of help, but I still have to make multiple dishes, including the largest batch of chicken salad I’ve ever made.  Wish me luck!
  • My flight to Portland is booked.  On the 5th I’ll be heading out to spend 10 days with my family on the west coast.  I’m counting down the days.  I can’t wait to see my mom and spend a few days at the coast drinking Mexican Coca Cola on the deck and watching Netflix.  My brother and I will have to track down the best nachos in Portland (as is tradition) and do something touristy.  And I will of course have to spend a day shopping at Nordstrom with my grandma.
  • I’ve been shampoo and conditioner free for over a month.  It seems to be going well.  I don’t miss the suds of shampoo yet and my hair looks light, shiny and soft.  I’ve added some oil to my after-shower routine to keep the ends from drying out and I’m loving playing with essential oils to add a little fragrance to my hair.  I’ve also given up face wash and I’m trying the Raw Honey challenge with Crunchy Betty.

I hope your summer is going well!  Wishing you all beautiful weather and plenty of adventures (or plenty of time relaxing if that’s more your thing).  I’ll be popping in with new collections, covets and content next week!

Spring 2014 Book Duo

Spring 2014 Book Duo via Lost and FawnedLooking for something new to read?  So was I.  I was feeling overwhelmed by my choices so I consulted the experts and asked a local librarian.  I told her the titles of the last 3 books I loved and she gave me a short list of recommendations.  I’m a quarter of the way through my first pick and I’m so pleased.  The librarian nailed it.

Both of these harken back to classics.  The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a retelling of Jane Eyre set in 1950-60’s Iceland and Scotland.  Even though I know what should happen next, I’ve been plowing through it.  Next on my list is Longbourn, which tells the imagined tales of the servants working for the Bennet family.  Kind of a mash-up of Austin with Downton Abbey.

If neither of these peek your interest, visit your library branch and chat with a librarian.  I’d love to know what they recommend for you!  Hopefully soon the weather will be nice enough to take my new books to the park and read in the fresh, spring air.

 

One Year Finniversary

One Year - Finnick

A year ago this week we brought Finnick home.  He has gotten so much stronger and so much more confident over the last year.  And we have grown closer as a family.  Logan and Finn are brothers.  They comfort each other when we are gone, wear each other out in the evening and every once in awhile we catch them having a moment.  Their routines have merged and having two dogs is no more time consuming than one was.  But we get double the unconditional love.

I seriously don’t know what I would do without those big brown eyes and comically large ears.  He is the most cuddly dog I’ve ever met.  He is grateful for every meal (seriously, when he finishes eating he seeks us out in the house to say thank you) and a soft spot to nap.  He still crawls into the closet at night and he has no shortage of quirks.

So happy one year Finniversary to us!

Back on Track

Vintage Mug of Tea

 I know things have been quiet around here.  My computer finally died sooner than I had anticipated.  Since our winter so far has been extremely expensive I had to wait to replace the computer until we recovered a little from the bathroom and the trip west.  Then there were shipping delays due to weather.  But now I am back to work.  I’m still getting all my software installed and my files transferred, but I’m functional again!

I normally don’t mind winter.  I don’t love it, but it doesn’t make me as grumpy as others.  But I am so over this winter.  Today will be -4 degrees before windchill (feeling like -20’s).  During the last big polar vortex our furnace died and car battery got zapped.  An adventure would be a gentle way of describing that day.  We have been guzzling tea by the pot and limiting our trips out of the house.  I got my seed catalog today and my rose catalog last week and it’s making me pine for spring.  On a positive note, hand quilting is the perfect winter hobby.  I sit in bed with my quilt draped over my lap and watch Netflix.

So back to business!  I’m ready to start gearing up for spring gardening, style and home improvement!  What are you looking forward to most when winter ends?

2014 // Resolutions

2014 Resolutions

Like most, I’m pretty terrible about sticking too my resolutions. But I always try.  Another year and here I go with another attempt.  Only a few this year.

  • Spend less, Save more.  We have some lofty goals.  And some of these require more than hard work.  We are fairly frugal people, but we could do better (me especially).  After tackling some big projects this year, we are left with much less in our savings.  So this year I’m going to try to curb my spending on fun things and put more away for bigger goals.
  •  Purge, purge, purge.  Our basement is full of stuff.  When we moved in and the floors weren’t totally dry most of our stuff went right down to the basement.  We unpacked down there slowly, finding what we needed when we needed it.  What we are left with years later is a mountain of open boxes full of stuff we obviously don’t need.  I don’t know if I’ll pull together a garage sale next summer (I would sure like to try), but by next fall I want the basement organized and all that stuff to be gone.  I also need to purge my clothes again.
  • Focus on health.  I could eat better.  I could exercise more.  Same old every year.  I’m still making this resolution because it’s important to try.  I only get one body and I need to try and take care of it.
  • Finish the Wedding Quilt.  I’ve been working on our weeding quilt since the wedding, but at the end of last year I picked up momentum on it and I would love to finish it by our 5th wedding anniversary.  If you don’t recall, here is the last progress update.  I bought the fabric for the back and I’ve begun the tedious process of hand quilting it.  I thought about machine quilting it, but it’s a special project and I feel like if I’m ever going to hand-quilt, this is the project to do it on.

How about you?  Any new resolutions?  Any old ones to try again?  Happy New Year.

 

To you and yours

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I hope you all are having a safe and happy holiday today.  We are just waking up on the west coast with my family.  The weather is gorgeous and we plan on spending the morning exploring a secret beach while the turkey cooks.  I’ll be taking a break from blogging until I return to Ohio, but you can follow my daily adventures on Instagram in the mean time.

Happy Christmas!  -The Fowlers

Taking a Moment

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Between enjoying the new tub, cleaning the house from top to bottom (holy construction dust!!), working extra hours and trying to get us ready to leave town, I have been overwhelmed this holiday season. I apologize for the quiet this week. I just finished a fun DIY post I’ll be polishing up this weekend. Next week I’m aiming to squeeze in a couple more gift guides. I’m still putting some finish touches on the bathroom before it’s ready for sharing. We’ll be back on our regular schedule next week. Thanks a bunch!

Outfit & Update

Professional Look with Florals on Lost and Fawned

I’m currently working up the confidence and fine-tuning the technique to show off some of the new wardrobe I’m building.  It’s not quite blog-worthy yet, but I’m making progress.

I bought this dress for Halloween and I love it so much I’m dying to wear it everywhere (but trying to wait until after Halloween).  The blazer was a piece I added to my closet this autumn when it went on mega-clearance.  It’s structured jersey, so its comfortable but still looks tailored.  The handbag was another steal.  It’s almost new (a little stain on the inside lining) but it was $38 on eBay.

Sources:  Blazer via J. Crew (no longer available) – Clearanced for $39  //  Dress via Modcloth – On Sale for $35  //  Shoes via Seychelles (no longer available) – Similar for $29.99  //  Bracelet from HanjiunSimilar for $15  //  Handbag from J. Crew via eBay – $38  //  ‘Tart Deco’ Polish by Essie – On Amazon for $5.49

And now for an update.  It’s Jared’s birthday week and he is sick as a dog.  It’s not the flu, but he does have a pretty nasty cold.  We are postponing his birthday dinner until he’s feeling better.  Finn is also going to the doctor today.  He is having a dewclaw issue.  I’m not feeling great, but I am determined to not be sick.  So far my head is winning and I’ve been able to stay on my feet.

We put in a bunch of new plants.  We split some of my grandma’s coral bells and helleborus and some of Jared’s grandma’s peonies.  They all look pretty shabby right now, but hopefully this spring they all come in nice and healthy.  We will be putting in new beds around the front window in the spring.  The yard is going to looks so much different than it did this summer.

We’ll be spending the holiday with my parents this year in Oregon.  It will be my third trip out this year, but it will be the first time Jared has been out there in awhile.  We are planning to spend some time at the coast.  We haven’t been out there since our wedding.  It will be nice for him to kick back a little and relax.  I’m counting down the days.

Things Left to Do // Our Home

Our Home To-Do List

We have done a lot to our little house in the past couple of years.  But it still has a long way to go.  This isn’t our forever house, but we are thinking we can get another 5-8 years out of it.  There is still a long list of things we would like to do before we move on.

  • Bathroom
    • Gut the whole darn thing and start from scratch.  Seriously the worst room in the house.
    • New floors.  We have out eye on white ceramic octagonal tile.
    • New shower surround.  In a perfect world we would have a beautiful tiled shower, but in this house a new clean surround will do just fine.
    • Storage.  It’s the only bathroom in the house and the only storage is a small medicine cabinet.  There is a ton of room in the toilet nook though.
    • New sink.  The sink is an opportunity for more storage or a really beautiful sink.  There is not a lot of room though.
    • Regular height toilet.  Our toilet is “comfort height”.  Being a vertically challenged individual (without getting too graphic) I hate it.  I know comfort height is preferred by most… but not by me.
    • Art.  Some art in this bathroom would really help.
    • Vent out the house instead of into the crawl space.  Seriously, when we moved into the house we discovered they vented the bathroom into the attic.  *mind blown*
    • Miscellaneous things.  Laundry basket, towel storage, new window, new lighting, new medicine cabinet, etc.
  • Kitchen
    • New floor.  This is still up for debate.  The rest of the downstairs has the original oak hardwood floors we restored when we moved in.  Tile floors would be nice, but we have also considered painted wood floors.
    • New cabinets.  The cabinets in our kitchen seem to have been built by someone who had no idea what they were doing.  The drawers are not on tracks (just boxes in cuts outs that fall when you open them).  The shelves don’t make much sense in their layout.  Plus they will never look clean.
    • New back-splash.  The back-splash is the same cheap faux marble tile that we have on the floor in the bathroom and kitchen.  In my dreams we have a white subway tile back-splash.
    • Install our garbage disposal.  It’s one of the first things we purchased and it’s still sitting in it’s box in the basement.
    • New faucet.  The one we currently have has to be pushed a little to the side to prevent a continuous drip.  It is also pretty basic.  I would like something with a little more visual impact and function.
  • Dining Room
    • New Dining Set.  Our little table from Ikea was perfect in our small apartment, but we need something larger now.  It seats the 2 of us just fine, but 3 or 4 gets a bit crowded.  We love this one (in antique stain) from Ikea.  In a perfect world we would find a lovely mid-century table of a similar size.
    • Art.  I have no idea what I would want.  But we have a large bare wall.
    • Clean up the built in shelving in the hall.  I’m thinking of painting the shelves and back wall semi-gloss white for a cleaner look.
  • Guest Room

    • Last room in the house that needs a fresh coat of paint.
    • Restyle and reorganize.
    • New light fixture.  Still have a florescent light on the ceiling.
  • Upstairs Multipurpose Room

    • Replace florescent fixture on ceiling.
    • Add shelves and hanging storage to closet.
    • Seal the access to the attic to prevent condensation in the closet.
    • Reorganize and reconsider the layout and furniture to make the room more useful and efficient.  Right now it’s fine, but it could be better utilized.
  • Shed
    • You can see the tentative plan in this post.
  • Yard
    • Have front steps demolished and rebuilt.  We toyed with having a porch across the whole front, now I think we’ll probably settle with just having it structurally sound and clean.
    • Cut down front hedges.  They have never looked good and are impossible to keep up with.  It’s time for them to go.  Hedges are gone!
    • Landscaping!  We will need to do something to jazz the front up when the hedges come down.  We’d like to actually grow grass.  We need to do something in the front under the window and something along the shady side of our house.
    • A few more beds along the back of our lot.
  • Miscellaneous

    • Finish painting the stairwell.  Just need to get the right ladder and finish it up.  UPDATE //  We made progress on 8/31/13 but still need a special ladder to do the edging up in the peak of the ceiling. 
    • Have an electrician look at the light in the stairwell.  The switch has never functioned well and has stopped all together now.
    • Build built-in shelving in the nook in the upstairs hallway.  We have this sweet little nook in at the top of our stairs.  We have always thought it would be the perfect place for some built in book shelves and a hamper.  You can check out the finished shelving here.
    • Patch ceiling in the upstairs hallway and paint.
    • Steam clean the carpets upstairs.
    • Clean out the basement.  When we moved in the floors on the first story were still drying.  So EVERYTHING went in the basement.  We used that as a base camp and “unpacked” everything.  In reality, the basement is full of half empty boxes.  It’s impossible to navigate and I have no idea what is actually down there.
    • Hold a garage sale.  We REALLY need to purge.  We have a lot (mostly in the basement and shed) that we simply don’t need.  Most of it has been sitting in the basement since we moved in.  If we haven’t looked for it in three years, we probably don’t need it.
    • Add quarter-round around the whole downstairs floors.
    • Have the chimney tucked and reinforced.

This list may grow, and as we knock things off the list I’ll cross it out and link to an update post.  It looks like a lot, and in reality there is so much more.  But we are trying to take it one day at a time.

- The Fowlers