Taking a Moment

20131213-170055.jpg

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

Summer 2013 Update

Summer Update

Long time, no chat!  Yikes!  I feel like I’ve been running around all summer, but looking back I’m not sure where all the time went (do you ever get that feeling?).  It’s hard to believe August is already well on it’s way.  I figured it was a good chance to take a moment to catch up.  Incoming wall of words…

It’s been a tough year for me.  I’ve been dealing with some personal issues that I’m not quite ready to share on such a public platform.  It’s caused me a lot of stress and I’ve isolated myself a bit.  I’m trying to deal with things in a more healthy way these days and be more honest, but it’s tough.  I apologize if I haven’t been keeping up with things or if you feel like your comments have gone unnoticed.  I promise I will do better.  And maybe soon I’ll be brave enough to talk more openly.

Last month I said goodbye to one of my part time jobs.  I’m slowly transitioning into another position and it was time to consolidate my life a little.  I’ve had a foot in about 3 different jobs for awhile now.  It feels good to clarify things a bit.  As with all change, it’s caused some adjustment, financially and mentally.  But overall it’s a good thing and will help in the long run.

We are busy planning our next big home renovation.  We just have to wait to cross some T’s and dot some I’s before I can show you the full plan.  I will tell you it’s our bathroom!  FINALLY!  Ever since we moved in, the bathroom has been my arch rival.  And we are finally going to do something about it.  I’m really looking forward to being able to relax in a tub and have enough storage to hide all our products (we only have one bathroom, so all of our personal hygiene products are right out in the open).  I cant wait to show you more!  I’ve been buying some little things here and there and saving them for a fresh bathroom.  It’s going to be a huge makeover.  It’s a pretty bad ‘before’.  If budget allows, we may do another small project, but we’ll have to see.

We don’t have any firm plans for the rest of the summer.  Maybe another backpacking trip if we can sneak it in.  Otherwise we just have some tasks around the house I would like to achieve before the weather gets cold.

How has your summer been?  Any fun trips planned?  Or were you swamped like me?

Photo from my Instagram.  This gorgeous hydrangea was a parting gift from my former employer’s garden.  Perfectly thoughtful gift.

Back from Hiatus

July in Portland

Sorry it’s been so long since I posted!  I was in Portland visiting family last week for the holiday and may birthday.  I ever since I’ve been busy busy playing catch up.

I had a great week.  I dragged my brother along to the Zoo and OMSI (I love museums) and a (super warm) evening at the climbing gym.  I did a ton of shopping with my mom, grandma and aunt.  I took the summer heat with me from Ohio.  It was a blistering 95 degrees at points.  I lived in skirts and dresses and spent a lot of time on the deck.  It was so nice to see my family healthy and happy.

But now I’m BACK!  And ready to get some fresh and beautiful posts up for you!  I’ve found some great deals to share and lots of new summer stuff on the way!  I hope you all had a safe and wonderful holiday last week!

Date Night In // Experimenting with Herbs

Date Night In - Herb Experimentation

We are starting to save up for some bigger projects on the house, so lately we’ve been cutting back.  A big area where we have chosen to save, rather than spend is Date Night.

Instead of a movie or dinner out, this week we had a Date Night In.  I made a dinner and after we ate, we gathered some fresh herbs from the yard and had a tasting.  We have a few different mints we put in last year that (pineapple mint and chocolate mint) as well as some pineapple sage and lemon balm.  Jared has been wanting to try some fresh herb teas (or as he calls it “survival tea”).  So we got out our little tea cups (this set from Ikea) and put the kettle on.  We made a cup with each type of leaf and gave them a try.  3 out of 4 were OK, but nothing special.  The tea made from our fresh chocolate mint was the clear winner.

We also harvested the lavender I have been drying in the kitchen.  I have a few projects planned for my lavender.  We are also planning to make some mint oil.  We are trying 2 methods.  One with a carrier oil (in our case olive oil) and distilling out the oil with vodka.  Both of these take some time, but we have them started.

 photo 2

Fresh Mint Tea

Lavender Drying in the Kitchen

It was a lot of fun, and in the end didn’t cost us a penny (other than the groceries).  Stick around for more Date Night In posts over the course of the summer.

Feel free to pin, post or share, but please link lovingly back to the original post here on Lost & Fawned.  Thanks a bunch!

Finn Update

Hello I'm Finn

Finnick has officially been a part of our little family now for over 3 months.  And it feels like it was always meant to be. I figure it’s a good time for an update and share our experience as a 2-dog household.

Finn and Logan get along like brothers.  They  disagree on occasion, but are learning how to tell each other when they have had enough.  They are learning how to play with one another and finding each others limits (though we still sometimes have to intervene when things get too rough).  Meal times are getting a lot better.  They are sharing toys.  Things are really coming along beautifully in their relationship.

Finn is fully crate trained now and it’s really made him so much more secure and confident in the house.  We switched to a large plastic crate (from a wire crate) after a break-out when we were at work.  The people at the shelter were wonderful and helped tremendously with suggestions and support.  He loves his crate.  It’s become his safe and cozy place.

He’s still not sure about strangers, especially out in the world.  He’s doing better when we have guests, but still avoids people for the most part.  On walks he really struggles if a stranger approaches us.  It’s going to take time.

Finn

Finnick

Jared and Finn

We took him backpacking last weekend.  Logan went to the Pooch Palace since our tent is only big enough for one dog (not that he minded… he got to flirt with girl dogs all weekend).  Finn did great!  He found a new “safe spot” in the bushes and spent the day basking in the sun and nights curled up with us in the tent.  We did find out he gets a little car sick when we were on the curvy back roads.  A messy lesson learned.  We’re working on finding a bigger tent so we can take them both next time.

All in all, things are going really really well.  I already can’t imagine life without him.  He is the best cuddler and is so grateful for every morsel of attention.  We really couldn’t have asked for a better addition.

Card Gifts with Sent-Well // Sponsored Post

Card Gifts with Sent-Well

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just around the corner.  Like many of you, I’m quite a distance from one of my parents (my mom).  It can be tough this time of year.  With recent shipping hikes, sending a bulky gift can get expensive.  So why not try a gift you can ship in the envelope with your card.  Nicole of Sent-Well and I teamed up to come up with some ideas…

Pictured Card:  Bunnylope Card on Sent-Well – $4

Gifts in Cards with Sent Well

  1. Gold Heart Stickers – $4
  2. Dogeared Always Necklace – $66
  3. A Gift Card for her Favorite Local Restaurant
  4. Letterpress Sunchoke Soup Recipe Card – $5
  5. A Copy of a Personal Family Photo
  6. Basil Seed Packet – $3.75
  7. Fortune Fish (Pack of 144) – $7.45
  8. Christa Kimble Feather Photograph – $10
  9. Fortune Cards – $13.95

Many of these won’t need extra postage, but some might.  So it’s best to take it in to the post office and have it weighed so it reaches your loved one on time.

This post is in partnership with Sent-Well as part of a large ad package.  All opinions are my own.  For more information on sponsoring Lost & Fawned, please visit my Advertising Page.

 

Mid-Week Belly Rub

Belly Rub

How is your week going?

I know it’s only Tuesday, but I know I’m kind of feeling like I could use a belly rub.  Not a literal belly rub, but a metaphorical, happy thoughts “belly rub”.  So how about we share some happy thoughts.  What video, story, quote, photo, good deed, etc. made you smile recently?  Lets share.  I imagine those kinds of things feel like what a belly rub feels like to a pup.

Photo from my Instagram.  Follow me @lostandfawned.

Team Finn // Bark in the Park for Pawsibilities

Bark in the Park - Team Finn

This post is a little different than my usual blogging, but I know many of my readers are animal lovers so I wanted to reach out.

You might know that recently we brought a new dog into our home.  He was a homeless dog that was lucky enough to get picked up by Pawsibilities or Humane Society of Greater Akron.  They took great care of him, helped him put on some weight, gave him lots of love and rehabilitation and then helped match him up with us.  It was the most wonderful experience and we are so thankful to have Finn in our family.

This May, we’ll be joining Pawsibilities for their annual Bark in the Park walk.  As a nonprofit, they rely on events like this to keep going.  We’ll be walking with Finn and are aiming to raise $200.  If you would like to contribute, you can visit our team page on First Giving and make a donation.  Even $5 can go a long way to help feed and care for a furry friend in need.  It’s quick and secure.

///

To find out more about Pawsibilities, visit their webpage or check out their Facebook page to see the newest lucky animals to find themselves at Pawsibilities and watch their journey to finding a forever home.  Or visit Bark at the Park if you are in Northeast Ohio and want to join us in May.

And now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.  Thanks for your support!