Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lazy Summer

Well it has been a long lazy  busy summer and I can't believe it is coming to a close!  I have an endless list of projects to still do both outside and inside the home and I'm getting an office remodel soon as well.  I love projects!  As we wrap up our summer, here are a few pictures of where we have spent most of our free time - the pool.  Having a pool makes the summer just not feel as hot and also makes you want to overindulge in adult beverages.  I know I certainly don't feel the need to rush off to tropical locales anymore!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pool Project - Part III

Here is the pool filled and running! 

Landscaping is underway.  Those palms already make such a huge difference and we were still missing one at this point

Sample of concrete stain color.

FINISHED!!!  This is a picture taken in the evening when the palms really shade the backside of the pool and the water is a deep blue.

Another shot from above the wall.

Late morning without the water sheers running.

From the other side taken in the late morning.

We are absolutely loving it!  From start to finish it took 2 months.  It only took 6 weeks to get water in it but 3 more after that until it didn't feel like a construction site anymore.  It's going to be a fun summer!  Next project will be a pool house/shop where that line of bushes/fence are now.  Plans are in the works now!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Pool - Part II

Gunite complete!

Close up with gunite

Tile and coping install

Tile, coping and raised beam complete.  Water sheers installed.  Tabletop set.
Another angle of raised beam.

Concrete formed.

Pouring concrete.

Concrete complete!

Pergola is up!

Plaster day 1.  We went with Crystal Stones Mini Pebble finish in Caribbean blue.  Only had one picture of a completed pool to base my decision on but we have traveled to the Caribbean many times so I figured we couldn't go wrong!

Another angle after plaster day 1.

Plaster complete!  Time to fill 'er up!

Still filling and will continue to fill over night.  Can't wait to wake up and see what it looks like!  The boys and several neighbors have been so anxious to get in there.  They were trying to fill it up with buckets after school today. 

All in all things have gone very smoothly.  I am definitely ready to be finished though!  Hopefully tomorrow it will be full and the pool guy can start the pumps and begin adding the chemicals.  Friday the dirt will be graded around the pool.  We are working on our landscape plan and will be shopping for plants this weekend.  Next week we will have the fence put up and start landscaping.  We will also have rock put around the pergola posts and a rock fire pit built.  The concrete deck will be stained in 2 weeks.  Hopefully by mid-May our project will be complete! Maybe this weekend I can  get some of my pots planted with fresh flowers and start playing with a furniture arrangement and shopping for furniture and umbrellas.

Sangria anyone?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A project to share - The Pool!!!

We started on our pool about 2 1/2 weeks ago!  Even after much agonizing, sketching, perusing of pictures on the web and looking at neighbor's pools, it was difficult trying to decide the exact design.  The pool builder called one Friday and said the digger could come out on Tuesday of the following week so I pulled out my grid paper and some printouts of pools I liked and sketched out a design.  We sprayed it out on the ground and I stared at it for a few days.  I find that I do a lot of staring.  I look at blank space and imagine what the finished product will look like.   I did this all throughout the building process and am still doing it with the pool.  Do you do this? My kids know exactly what I'm doing so they think I am normal but I'm sure the neighbors think I'm nuts!

Here is the before of the yard.  As you can see, there is some asymmetry happening with the windows on the porch and the wall longer on one side than the other.  Those windows are a whole other post but they have caused me much angst over the last 2 years!  I love my vantage point from the inside of the house with corner fireplace and centered tv but it didn't translate very well on the exterior elevation and I didn't really notice it until we had been in the house a few months. (Even after all of that staring...) The wall was an afterthought that we put in at the end of the building process to keep from having a large slope to the yard.  We centered it with the back porch which only magnifies the off-centeredness of the windows.  All of this is to say that I really struggled with where to place the pool exactly based on all of these factors...

The diggers laid the pool out again, moving it back about 3 feet and adding a foot around it.  I was really struggling with whether or not to center it up with the steps or the house.  Telling them to start digging was probably the hardest thing I have had to do yet!  I have never been so nervous about something! 

I took the boys out of school early so they could witness the giant excavator in their yard.  There's R watching the digger work.
And here is T checking out the finished product.  Dig complete and framed up!  I was much more relaxed after all was said and done.  I like how the curve lines up with the steps when you are standing on the back porch. 
About 10 days later the crew came out and put in the steel, plumbing and set the equipment.
Then the gunite was sprayed in!  This was another nervewracking moment for me.  I was relaxed about everything when it was just sitting there in dirt but to have it set in stone was another terrifying experience.

More to come...

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Dream of Spring

Well, I received some bad news today.  I have a herniated disk - L5S1 - in my back and that is what has been causing all of this pain.  I will be referred to a specialist to determine the course of treatment and I am pretty down.  Chronic pain is not fun.  I am soooo over it!  The only thing keeping me going at this point are the signs of spring all around!

Did you receive the new Southern Living this week?  I got mine today and it cheered me right up.  I'm dreaming of hosting a tea party like the one featured on page 112 (if my memory serves me correctly).  I could eat all of those foods everyday and never grow tired of them.  I'm tempted to invite some of my neighbors over for a girlie gathering this spring.  That is if I can get this back pain under control...  Last year at this time I had a few soirees going, a February baby shower with a bird theme for my sister-in-law out of town, March bunco with my Bunco Babes and an owl-themed baby shower for my sister in April. It's no wonder I am getting a little stir crazy and wanting to entertain! Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure...

First a few taken around the house as things began to bloom...
(and before the great drought of 2011 hit and zapped everything)

 A fabulous pool coming soon at the bottom of those steps!  
That bouganvilla eventually got repotted and grew to be e.nor.mous.

 One of my girls walking up from the pond.

 Geraniums on the front porch.

 These are some sort of petunia that I just fell in love with at the growers.

I bought this furniture last March after much shopping and I love it. I am in the process of re-imagining my back porch though.  It needs some wind protection, privacy and just needs to be dressed up a little architecturally.

And now the shower...
 Henry the owl's cake.

 I made that cute diaper cake!  I also made one for the shower that we hosted for my sister-in-law last February along with some flower arrangements made from wash cloths and bibs.  I can be crafty when I want to be but it doesn't happen often!

 My other sister-in-law made these.  Adorbs!

 Fresh flowers and a bookish owl. 

Sweet Henry is now 8 months old and the most precious thing.  That was a fun day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Happy New Year, I'm still here!  I was off to a great start this year.  Organizing, rearranging accessories, purging, zhushing and fluffing and then bam! - no sooner had I gotten my boys back in school and started to tackle the mountain of paperwork in my office, my back went OUT.  Like totally down and out. On January 18, after my morning workout, I bent over to pick something up off the counter, not even the floor, and something twinged and by the end of the day I couldn't sit.  I am a bookkeeper, I need to sit!!!  I have been battling to get "back" to normal ever since with daily visits to the chiropractor and just taking it easy.  Today is the first day I have felt little to no pain.  Yay!  So now I can actually sit at the computer and compose a post!

On a good note, while I have been laid up in bed, I discovered Downton Abbey.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show!  I was able to stream it through Amazon on my Kindle Fire.  (Love my KF as well!) I can't get enough of it.  So good!

I've also discovered!  OMG, where has it been all my life?!?!  Apparently right there under my nose but I have just discovered it so it has become a serious addiction.  I had always seen pictures sourced from there but never really ventured over to check it out and now I have Ideabooks out the wazoo and want to build another, more contemporary house.  Oh dear...  And I've also recently joined Pinterest but since I am more of a house junkie I don't play on it as much.

This week I am getting started on our pool plans!  If we want that sucker in by summer we better get cracking!  Be on the lookout for a pool post from me.  Until then, here are a few pictures that are inspiring me at the moment.

On this dreary February day (we even had a little snow shower earlier!) these warm, sunny pictures look especially inviting!