Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Great Fence Debate!

Before we moved, Puddin' was uneasy and I wasn't sure how she was going to handle the transition.  Two and half weeks later, I can safely say she's settling in quite nicely.  Our old house was small and full of wood floors, so she couldn't really run around and when we did play fetch she would slide all over the place.  At the new house, we have a large family room with carpet that is perfect for a pup!  She's been more interested in playing fetch than I've ever experienced before and she loves wiggling across the floor to scratch her back.

Although the house is great, the outdoor dog situation is not.  As I anticipated, the run we have strung up between two trees is not cutting it.  Puddin' doesn't really understand the run.  When we put her on it, she usually just stays in one general spot or sits down and stares at us.  Why mom why?  We are also lazy.  When I let the dog out in the morning, I know she will run out, do her business, and run right back in.  Walking her out to the run is way more involved.  I have to beg her to come over to the run with my nicest pleas, so she doesn't feel like I'm dragging her there as a punishment, it's not exactly right next to the house (I picked the tree, so Dave will roll his eyes when he reads this), and it's getting cold.  It's supposed to drop down into the 20s next week, yikes!  However, when she sprints into the woods on the other side of our driveway, I'm always terrified she will keep going into the road!

So now installing a fence has become our top priority.  We got an estimate on Saturday from a company our friend highly recommended.  The consultant was extremely nice, made friends with Puddin', and told us about his dogs at home.  The prices he emailed to us a few days later were very close to the ones I had already found on their website, so it wasn't too shocking.  But in case you didn't know, fences are expensive, especially when you need approximately 365'!

And now... The Great Fence Debate: Wood or Aluminum?

Things we want from a fence:
  • Keep the dog (& additional future dogs & babies) in the yard and away from the roadway
  • Something we don't mind looking at every day (why chain link isn't even in the running)
  • Blends in and doesn't completely block the view (hence ruling out vinyl)

And it will never look this good again, since we will not be hiring Bob's landscaper lol.

The aluminum is my first choice.  It's so beautiful.  It's very durable and requires very little maintenance.

Our other option is split rail wood with wire mesh.  Despite the moist conditions of our yard, the fence consultant said it would last for 25 years and I believe split rail fences require less maintenance than regular wood fences.  I still think this option will require more upkeep in the long run.

So what's the deciding factor?  The aluminum is twice as expensive!  We could make either option work financially, but we know we have a lot of other expenses coming up and the wood is the sensible choice.  Even the fence guy suggested the wood saying "you're young, you should spend your money on a cruise or something."  On the flip side, it's something we're going to be looking at every day for the foreseeable future!  I just keep wondering, if I go with something I'm not in love with, am I going to have fence regret for the next 25 years?

What would you do?!  Fancy aluminum or sensible split rail?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Weekend: Couch Shopping, 12 Hours of Cheerleading, and Laziness

I started my weekend by taking Puddin' to the park down the street.  We walked there once before but didn't really go through it.  Apparently our town doesn't have strict leash laws and all of the dogs are the park were running around free!  Someone actually asked me if my dog was poorly behaved since I had her on the leash.  I was a little reluctant since I wasn't sure exactly what Puddin' would do, but after talking to a few of the really nice owners and thinking of all the times Puddin' had been fine off her leash in Valley Forge, I let her off.  She did some laps with the other dogs and got some loving from the other owners.  I didn't want to overdo it or outstay our welcome with the other dogs that all knew each other, so we headed home shortly after.  The other owners told me every Saturday and Sunday morning, there's usually 20-30 dogs that all come to play.  I'm not sure we're quite ready for that, but we're going to keep easing into it.

Friday night Dave and I checked out two furniture stores.  We decided to set up all the furniture we had already in our family room and that we would get a nice new matching set for the living room.  We're still working on painting that space so we're not really in a rush to purchase anything.  It's nice that we can shop around and see what catches our eye.  The prices vary so much.  I know we want to get something that will last, but I'm still not sure how much we should be spending on couches!

This set caught our eye.

But it is definitely more pricey than the other couches we were considering.  This one was half the price!

We're painting the accent wall special gray and the other walls ivory brown, so we're thinking a dark gray or brown couch.

This was my original inspiration:

(The source was the Benjamin Moore website, but the page is unavailable now.)

And here is some of my further research:

(Another non working pinterest link.)

I'm not sure my living room will end up looking anything like any of those spaces, but decorating is completely new to me and the inspiration pictures really help me start putting ideas together.  The idea of decorating our entire house is so overwhelming, I know putting the whole thing together is really going to take a while.  But we have plenty of time, well... I will after cheerleading is over ;)

My Saturday involved over 12 hours of cheerleading.  I volunteered at a full day of 30 minute critiquing sessions with each of the squads in our league moving on to the Regional competition.  It was a long but very rewarding day.  Various coaches expressed their gratitude for our thoughts and suggestions.  The girls were working hard all day and my team did well during their session.  Our routine was complimented by some people there that definitely know their stuff!

So naturally, today was a lot of this.

And football, obviously.  Not only did one of the games start at 9:30 am this morning since it was played in London, but we also upgraded our cable to include the Red Zone (aka every touchdown from every game).  Heck yes.  I also plopped this Chicken Tikka Masala into the crockpot and made some simple cauliflower rice (chopped cooked cauliflower + butter + garlic + salt + pepper).  The recipe was pretty good, I think I could've put in a little more garam masala though.  I also wish I had used fire roasted diced tomatoes for a little extra kick and I really shouldn't have skipped the fresh cilantro.  (Tip to future self: never skip the fresh cilantro!)

So my cauliflower isn't very riced... I need to actually unpack my food processor!

The weekend always goes by way too quickly.  I hope yours was fun, relaxing, and enjoyable!

How much would you spend on a quality couch?  Please give me some feedback people :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Move Update & Some Fun Links

We are officially in our new house!  We had a ton of awesome helpers this weekend and everything went pretty smoothly.

 Our entertainment center being sent to it's final resting place in the burn pit!

There's still a ton of work to do, but it feels good to be in!  Our immediate to-do list consists of painting the living room and purchasing new couches.  I think we're going furniture shopping on Friday.  Then next weekend someone is coming to look at our chimney and we're getting an estimate for installing a fence.  I'm not quite ready to share a house tour or anything, but here's a sneak peak at the bedroom that we painted.

We obviously need to hang curtains and stuff on the walls, etc.  But I love how a fresh coat of paint alone can really transform a space.  More about the house soon to come, but in the meantime how about some fun links?!
  • Just so you know, this video is definitely not work appropriate so bust out those headphones, but I seriously love it! 
  • Speaking of love, who loves their crockpot?!  I haven't been using mine nearly enough.  We're trying this slow cooker chicken tikka masala for dinner tomorrow.

  • This video might be life changing.  This is one of my most hated tasks.
  • I love this trick for finding the best prices online!
  • I'm obsessed with this little corner.  I'm still brainstorming how to organize and decorate my dressing room. 

  • And let's plan a road trip, ok?!  Who am I kidding... I hate long car rides, let's book our flights ;)

Have you purchased living room furniture recently?  Where did you get it from?  Any recommendations or advice?

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