Category Archives: Home Improvement

Really? You wrote about this…?

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I really have the urge to write a new post.  But there isn’t really anything all that interesting going on at the moment.  I started a recipe post…but thought it might be weird to post about a recipe I made last night that was really really good, but not AHHHHMAZING, or anything.  I thought about writing about how busy work has gotten.  I even thought about lamenting the fact that something caused our overhead light and fan to stop working in the master bedroom.  But then realized, these are such mundane topics why would anyone care to read about them?

But that’s life at the moment.  So share away I will.  If only to satisfy my desire to write.

First, the recipe.  It’s called Spaghetti Rice and I found it on Plain Chicken‘s website.  I stumbled across her website on Pinterest yesterday while looking through a friend’s boards.  I liked several of her meal ideas and pinned a few to my Um, Yum board.  Looking forward to making two others this week.  I think what I like most about her recipes is that they’re fairly simple to prepare with everyday ingredients and typically have short prep and cooking times.  Perfect for a mid-week meal.  This is a direct correlation to the busyness of life/work.  Or is it indirect?–the busier I am the less time/effort I want my meal to take to make…I digress.  I made the recipe and it turned out great.  It was hearty, tasty, and fairly healthy (I used brown rice).  Brian even got three helpings of it so I know he enjoyed it.  It is definitely a re-do in the Lowther casa and will be added to this sweet write-in-your-own-recipes book my twin gave me when I got married.

Second, busyness.  Wow, life is about to jump into light-speed and not slow down for ohhhh about 2 months.  It happens to be annual meeting season in the HOA industry.  That means on top of my regularly scheduled Board meetings I get to add on neighborhood-wide meetings!  Joy!  Out of the 23 working days in October I get exactly 7 days without some kind of meeting, be it morning, noon or evening.  In November, out of the 20 work days (Thankful for Thanksgiving!) so far I have 7 scheduled meetings (6 of them annual meetings).  This is where I tell Brian, good luck making dinner for yourself.  Ha!  No, seriously, he’s actually pretty creative and has no lack of ingenuity in the kitchen.  I’m already looking forward to December when things will hopefully settle down for a month before picking back up again in January.  Breathe, just breathe!

Finally, the house renovation.  It’s coming along.  I’ll be sure to post a couple of pictures of the two-tone color scheme we’ve got going on at the moment before we move on to paint.  It’s really eye-opening how much damage we had that needed replacement when you see half the side of the house covered in yellow hardi-plank where blue siding used to reside!  I’m just thankful we’re getting it taken care of.  Unfortunately, when we got home from work yesterday our master bedroom light and fan wouldn’t work.  We’re not sure why it’s not working but can only assume it has something to do with the siding that was replaced on the front of the house right where our bedroom is.  We notified the contractor and he assured us we’d get it figured out.  I think Brian’s dad is going to help us troubleshoot the cause of the malfunction and hopefully it ends up being an easy fix.  I guess like with all things, they rarely go as smoothly as planned.

Speaking of smooth plans…Africa Team 3 is preparing to head out in about 2 weeks!  Wow!  It sure has come up quickly.  Thankful for the four that are headed out and the work they will get to do while visiting our adopted people group.  Excited about what God is going to do among the people and through our team.  Be praying for them and all the logistical and ministry details they’ll be dealing with!

This was quite a wordy post.  Thanks for getting through my scatterbrained comments!

Roof, Siding, Paint….Oh My!

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It’s coming along folks!  The roof has been replaced, we already like it so much better.  We were super impressed when the workers got started right at 8am and when Brian met the siding guy at 2pm later that day they were done!  Wow!  A whole roof in 6 hours.  He texted me a picture:

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The siding is in the process of being replaced.  They’re removing the rotted/water damaged fiberboard siding that was on there and replacing it with Hardi-plank.  Expensive, but worth it.

That should take a few more days and then they’ll prepare the house for painting.  After that they’ll get the new gutters up and we should be good to go!

We had quite the rain this weekend and the roof showed no sign of leaking.  The only casualty so far was my poor Japanese maple :(.  The top of the tree got taken off, so we’ll need to have it replaced.  Am I the only one that gets sentimental over plants you’ve planted yourself and watched grow for a year or two?  Other than that it’s been smooth sailing.  Now if this wet weather would clear out so they can finish up the siding!

We’re hoping this project will be done before October 14th when we have some friends coming to stay with us for a few weeks!  Otherwise, I think it will be chaos around the Lowther casa.  I apologize for the infrequent updating.  Life’s been busy.

Biting the Bullet!

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Well, Brian and I are biting the bullet and are preparing to move forward with painting our house and replacing our roof!  Being in the HOA management field, it is pretty much required that I properly follow all our HOA rules and go through the proper channels to get our house painting and roof replacement projects approved.  Therefore, we are preparing to submit our architectural appliation for review and we are pumped!

You may remember that waaaaay back in May we published this post about potential house colors.  That was really just our first attempt at throwing out paint colors and mulling them over.  Well, now that it’s been about 3 months we have had time to narrow down our pallette and we think we are pretty set on what we’ve chosen.  We’re set enough to go through the ARC process with the colors, so here’s hoping it turns out as well as we’re envisioning!

So, using the same program we used previously, we slapped on the new colors to visualize what our house might look like.  Here is the before and after, for your viewing pleasure. 

This is what our house looks like right now. We’re excited about changing it up!

Dovetail Siding with Tricorn Black Shutters, Extra White Trim and Plum Brown Door. The roof will be replaced with Charcoal architectural shingles (not what is pictured)

So, what do you think?  After we get it approved by the ARC we hope to move forward with our contractor.  If all goes well we may have a “new” home by the end of September!

Need your Opinion!

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So, Brian and I are preparing to paint the exterior of our home!  We’re excited and daunted at the same time.  We need your help!  Below are a few ideas we’re throwing around for updating the colors on our siding, shutters and doors.  We can’t decide if what we’ve picked is wonky or right-on!  Let us know what you think!
There’s a few so bear with me!

Classic French Gray w/ Needlepoint Shutters (1)

Storm Cloud w/ Black Swan (2)

Night Owl w/ Iron Ore, Decisive Yellow Door (3)

Peppercorn w/ Naval (4)

Proper Gray w/ Folkstone, Nappery Door (5)

Serious Gray w/ Web Gray (6)

Smoky Blue w/ Cyperspace (7)
Wall Street w/ Naval (8)

Ready, set, vote!  And these colors are far from set.  We may end up with none of these!

Bedroom Makeover: Frames

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We knew we wanted to put something over the bed.  We tossed around a few ideas and settled with a frame collage.  We brainstormed ideas of where to get inexpensive frames.  We were working on a fairly tight budget for this project.  Brian’s mom offered some old off-white and brown frames that she had in her attic.  We pounced on them.
Once again, we turned to trusty spray paint to get them looking a little more modern and our style.  You’ll notice we chose another bold color.  As I reveal more of the room you’ll understand that the blinds and the frames are the brightest pops of color.  So we figured it would be ok to make them a statement.
frames beforeframes during
I guess you get a better shot of the blue blinds here too.  Sorry, again, can’t give you a great shot because it would reveal too many other things. Once we got the frames on the wall we had to decide what we wanted to put in them.  Below shows what made the final cut.  In order starting clockwise from top left: Washington Monument, NM (some huge field, sorry Bec can’t remember the name of it), Ferris Wheel on Santa Monica pier, wedding photo, NM sky, Savannah staircase, NM highway (it’s hard to see, even in person).
frames after
The frames may look crooked in this photo…but believe me; Brian did an excellent job measuring and leveling to make sure they came out juuuust right.  We like them. 

Bedroom Makeover: Blinds

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So, another item we made over in the bedroom was our blinds.  We originally had these ugly orangebrown wooden blinds.

blinds before  Ick.

We saw this on Pinterest and wondered out loud if it was really doable to paint your blinds.  Our verbal processing went something like this:

DH: sure, let’s try it.
Me: really? won’t it turn out kinda crappy?
DH: nah, we’ll just lay them flat and spray paint them.
Me: what about the edges and sides?  we should take each slat out to paint them.
DH: good point.  and while you’re at it wash them off (they still had dust on them from our ceiling job we did 3 years ago…ack!)
Me: well, I guess here goes.  and if we hate it we can just go buy new blinds.

blinds during  There was SO much spray paint dust. Everywhere. Even got some blue boogers…

About mid-project, we realized these blinds, although ugly, were rather expensive being real wood and all.  Periodically had project-remorse until they were finished.

IMG_5677  What do you think?  Sorry; I would show you more, but it would reveal too much of the other make over items.  You’ll see them in a later post and if you don’t have an opinion yet you can let me know later.

I think it took about a week to get everything painted and cured.  We ran through about 8 cans of spray paint for this project.  Definitely wasn’t cheap, but way faster, smoother and easier than brushing them.

Bedroom Makeover: Chair

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Done with the bedroom make over.  Have been for a while.  I’ve really not had time nor the energy or desire to sit down and edit photos and prepare a blog post.  But I’ll do my best.  The whole bedroom makeover was DH’s plan for a fun anniversary present to ourselves.  Instead of taking a trip we funneled the money into making our bedroom somewhere we’d actually feel comfortable and enjoy.  Overall, we are really pleased with how it turned out.  My photography skills are zero…so the pictures to come really don’t do it justice.  You will just need to come by sometime to have a looksee for yourself.

This fun chair Brian rescued from the dump pile at his work.  It was in sad shape.  Dirty, worn and old looking.  Nothing a little sanding and a fresh coat of paint couldn’t fix.  We stuck to our tried and true gray and it became a nice addition to the bedroom!

Forgot to take a true “before”.  But here is what is looked like with just the top painted.

chair before

And after, with a nice new pillow.

chair after