Monday, October 31, 2011

Versatile Blogger

A big THANK YOU is due to Ms. Brandi from hisshabbyherchic for passing along the Versatile Blogger Award to me! 
The rules of the award are as follows:
- Thank and link back to the person who gave the award to you
- Share 7 things about yourself
- Send it along to 15 other (new/newer) bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

Okay, I'll be honest - I don't read a ton of blogs. I have a few that I like to click over to every day or so, but most of them are either well-established blogs or they've already been nominated. So, for now, I am going to pass the award to 2 very deserving blogs that I do read & enjoy. If I come across 13 other awesome blogs at some point I'll be sure to point them out too :) Without further adieu, the 2 blogs are . . . *drumroll*
These two blogs are great and as my grandma would say "they're going places". Check them out!
Now, onto the 7 facts about me that you never care to knew:

1. I am afraid of almost all amusement rides. I'm okay with the teacups and merry-go-round, but anything that moves quickly or goes up high is no bueno in my book. Look at this picture below - my face is pure terror. Never again.
2. I love spending time with my family. Honestly, my family rocks and my in-laws are fantabulous.

3. I have a slight milk glass obsession. We used all my vases as centerpieces for our wedding. That's how many I have.

4. I have had stitches on my chin 5x. I'm a little bit of a klutz.

5. I married my best friend.

6. I'm a game addict. I don't discriminate - I love them all :)

7. And lastly, but most importantly, everything I have is because of Jesus. He lived the life I should have lived and died the death I should have died.

Thanks again Brandi!

In other news, Justin & I have been working tirelessly on a new project. Hopefully we finish it in the next day or two. So don't travel too far :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

I am leaving for work before the sun is up. Something is not right with this picture.

Anyhow, I may or may not post something more substantial this afternoon - in the meantime check out my new page "About the Rothenbergers". You can learn facts about us that you never care to knew! :)

And just to make this post pretty here's a picture of a beautiful sunset at the farm. You hear that work - sunset, not sunrise! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stranger Danger

Justin & I both grew up on farms that sat back from the main road. So having random strangers stop by our house is a new thing for us . . . and each time the doorbell rings I jump up a little bit. I'm just not used to all these stranger visits. And the worst part is that I can never see who is behind our door. Every time I open the door it's a constant guessing game - is this person holding a weapon or not? 

Needless to say, we needed a peep hole. We bought the Gate House 200 degree Wide Angle Door Viewer in Oil Rubbed Bronze from Lowes for $4.98. The installation was really simple too - I broke it down in to 6 easy steps (the last two steps are optional, but I'd recommend doing them just for fun!)
Step 1: Measure the door to figure out where you want the peep hole to go.
Step 2: Use a 1/4 inch drill bit to make a starter hole.
Step 3: Create the hole using the required drill bit.
* The packaging on the door viewer will tell you what size bit to use - we used a 9/16th drill bit.
Step 4: Slide the front of the door viewer onto the outside of the door & the back of the door viewer onto the inside of the door.
Step 5: Look through the peep hole to make sure it works.
Step 6: Ask your husband to stand on the other side of the door and pretend to be a creeper.

And you're done! It's seriously the best $4.98 we spent last week :) Is anyone else making safety-conscious improvements? What's the best $5 you spent recently?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lying Like A Rug

Sometimes you're knocking down ceilings and replacing cabinets, and other times you're buying new candlesticks and vase filler. This update is going to fall in line with the second set of changes: small and possibly inconsequential, but still large enough to make me grin from ear to ear.

The last time I left you off the front door landing in our living room looked like this.
It's cute and very Rothenberger-esque, but there was one big issue that the picture doesn't show. Those white tiles were a magnet for dirt. Half the time it looked like a herd of truckers just came barging through the front door. So, needless to say, we needed a rug. Something to catch the mud/leaves/squirrels (just seeing if you were paying attention).

Seriously, do you see all those leaves outside? They were just begging to come indoors and join the Rothenberger clan. In order to keep our family of two happy, I got this beautiful braided rug. I have a thing for braided rugs. Anyhow, it was on clearance at Khols for $14 and I had a gift card - double whammy. First, I had to check the clearance on the door though.
Don't worry, this is all very scientific. I opened and shut the door several times to see if the rug had enough clearance. Check. Then, I bought a rug pad from Christmas Tree Shops for $9.99. It was 4' x 6' so I'll have plenty of leftovers to fulfill my other rug pad needs.
Then I laid the rug pad out and got to cutting. Again, very scientific. Eyeball in a few inches from the edge and cut in a semi-straight line.

 * You'll have to excuse the strange angle of my hand. It's hard to take a picture and cut at the same time.

After the rug pad was cut to size, I stood back and admired my handiwork.
After seeing this photo though something didn't look quite right. So, I scootched the rug back a couple inches and it was pure perfection.

Now we're a 3-rugs-in-the-family-room kinda family. I thought about moving the blue braided rug to another spot in the house - but I think I kinda like all the rug action. What do you think? Is it overkill?

Oh, and in other not very important news . . . I filled our little basket by the stairs with old Country magazines this weekend. My dear mother-in-law gave them to me and I'm so excited to have all those beautiful glossies nearby. :)

Anyone else been making small changes lately? Or maybe you're a bit more awesome and you're laying hardwood and rewiring your electrical... :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Interview with Linds

My older sister Lindsay came for a visit yesterday! She lives in North Carolina, so I don't get to see her too often. But we had so much fun together - we even found this shop downtown that sells used craft supplies for super cheap. I got a wreath mold & fabric scrap for $1. (Blog posts about how to craft with these coming to a computer near you soon!) Anyhow, while she was here I decided to do a quick little interview with her for the blog. Linds is a very adventurous, free-spirited gal who has traveled lots and lived many different places. Among many other things, she's passionate about living simply and using the natural resources around her. So, without further adieu, enjoy!

Q: What was the most interesting place you lived at?
A: The most interesting place I lived at was on a 26 acre communal farm in the beautiful western north carolina mountains. There was a main house with a kitchen, shared lounge, and upstairs apothecary. There were 5 cabins which housed 10 people, 12 dogs and a double-seater outhouse with a chilly, but beautiful, morning mountain view. 

Q: What was the cabin that you lived in like?
A: My cabin was a south-facing, 2 story structure that had waney wood siding on the outside. It was designed to be passive solar which means that it utilized the most sunlight in the winter to warm the house and kept our cabin the coolest in the summer. It had one room on the bottom that was used as a private kitchen and living room area. Upstairs, there was one bedroom.

Q: You seem to have left out the bathroom. What did you use?
A: Well, a couple of my friends bought this property in the beginning of summer 2010. It was intended to be a spiritual retreat and was left unfinished by the former owner. When my friends took over the property the main house and a couple cabins were mostly finished. The bathroom had not been installed in the main house and we used a compost outhouse.

Q: So if you didn’t have an indoor bathroom, what was the water situation like?
A: My boyfriend Carson and I moved in there in August, a few months after my friends bought the property. At this time there was no running water and we acquired our drinking water from a spring box on the property. Our showering situation, throughout the warm summer months, was in a creek on the property and my friends put a PVC pipe in a natural drop in the creek to spout out the cleanest mountain water you could ever shower with.

Q: Did you ever have any strange encounters while showering outdoors?
A: Honestly, it was one of the most peaceful ways to wake up in the morning by having a cool shower in the creek. I did however on one of these mornings encounter a copperhead. He gave me a fright but then went on his way.
Q: What did you do when it got colder outside?
A: As the months got colder showering in the creek was less desirable and we began to install a water system for the house. The guys living on the farm dug the water line and installed the water pump in to the well.

Q: Did you have electricity at the property?
A: The main house had electricity, but the outcropping cabins did not. At night we lit a lantern and used this for our light source in our cabin. It was fun to read by the lantern light at night. I felt very pioneer-esquee.

Q: How long did you live there?
A: I was there from August 2010 to December 2010.

Q: What was your favorite part of living there?
A: I loved how close I lived to nature. It was all around me. From the southern sun shining in my bedroom in the morning to the coyote cries at night, I was constantly reminded that nature was the reigning queen. With the lack of modern conveniences (water and electricity), one is forced to live a more simpler, resourceful life. I enjoyed the outdoor kitchen and washing dishes from our rain barrel, I enjoyed using native herbs and making tinctures, and I enjoyed getting up in the morning and collecting water from the spring box to make the coffee. I now still live on top of a mountain, but with a more plush set up (water and electricity and indoor bathroom!), but I still try to live a simple lifestyle. Being resourceful and utilizing the natural elements around me. 

Q: What tips can offer to people who would like to use the natural resources around them more?
  • Rain barrels are a great way to collect water and then distribute it to your garden or favorite indoor plants. Do not use this water for drinking though. 
  • Look up the plants native to your region and try planting a few in your backyard. Chances are they’ll thrive in their local landscape! 
  • Try composting your table scraps and then give your garden a nutritive boost. 
  • Passive solar is an amazing design in houses, it allows you to utilize the most sunlight when it’s winter and efficiently cool in the summer. However, most of us can’t have the luxury of building our dream houses, so you can install solar panels and in time save on energy bills! 
  • My number one tip though is to get an outdoor clothes line - our grandparents were on to something!

So there you have it! Are you all running out to buy a clothesline now? Seriously, I am so blessed to have Linds for a sister and I hope you all enjoyed reading about her cabin adventures. So what is the most interesting place you lived at?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Let me see ya grill!

I am a firm believer that burgers, hotdogs, steaks, and potatoes (along with 1,000 other things) taste better when grilled. So, before summer completely ended, a grill was something we had to have. Justin's grandparents had graciously offered to buy us a grill as a wedding present, so all we were left to do was pick it out.

Like any true twenty-first century kiddos, we first turned to google. Ah google. Both of our parents have Webers and we knew we wanted that brand, but in terms of specifics we needed to do some research. Who knew there were so many things to decide? The choices were as follows . . .
1. Gas or charcoal?
2. How many burners?
3. Cast-iron or porcelain-enameled cooking grates?

Okay, maybe there weren't that many decisions to make. But either way we wanted to choose correctly. This grill was going to be the life of our backyard BBQs for years to come - he had to be handsome AND able to cook meat really well.

We ended up choosing the Weber Spirit E-310 3-Burner Gas Grill. So our answers to the above questions would be . . .
1. Gas
2. 3
3. Cast-iron - this was actually really important to Justin - he wanted his meat to have the grill marks. And who can blame him? Meat really is better that way.

After deciding on what grill to get, we went to Home Depot. Lowe's only carried the porcelain-enameled grates, so HD was our go-to place this time. We had a purpose so we walked right in, picked out the grill, paid for it and pushed it to our car.

Yes, I said car. And yes, it didn't fit. Who knew grills came in such large boxes? We tried manuevering the box a thousand different ways but it wouldn't fit. Ugh. It was like those kids who take the pumpkin buckets trick-or-treating. Come on, all your candy won't fit! You need a pillowcase!!

Anyhow, my grandmother ended up picking up the grill for us (she's got a large trunk - no, not like that). And that whole experience put the final nail in the we really need to get a truck coffin. (details on that soon!)

So once we finally got the grill home and opened the box it looked like this.
You'll have to excuse my  face & the rug pad I clearly hadn't cut to size yet.

Several hours later we finally had a grill! Seriously, putting a grill together isn't for the faint of heart. You will get frustrated and want to quit, but remember the prize... steak!

Weber fits really nicely in our house. He is a black beauty after all.

Check out those two handsome fellas. And they're both mine :) I'm such a lucky lady.

So that was our grill adventure. Anyone else ever put a grill together? Did the 29 steps test your patience too? Let me know! Or maybe you just want to tell me that I talked about meat too much . . . that's okay too.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Living Room Rebuild, Part 5/Reveal

Disclaimer: When I said yesterday that today I'd be doing the living room reveal, I should have said that I would be revealing our living room which happens to be only about 68% complete. The hardest parts (ceiling, painting, fixtures) are finished, but we still have a lot left to do in terms of decor. Oh yeah and trim work. But, just like how you need to meet people where they're at. . . you need to meet our living room where it's at. Even if it's only at a D+ in terms of completion.

First, let's remember where it came from. Water-stained popcorn ceiling, tacky brass fixtures, and poopy brown walls.

Sorry the photo is grainy, it's a listing photo from our realtor

And now it looks like this. . . 

You can't see all the recessed lights in this picture, but we have 2 rows with 3 lights each. And they're on a separate switch so you can choose to have only one row on if desired. Ya know, mood lighting :)

The front side of the room.

The right side of the room. This side is very bare because we still haven't found the perfect loveseat yet. Remember, D+ - the room is still coming along.

This picture is the most zoomed out I could get.

This is the view as soon as you walk in our front door.

This is a close-up of our white display cabinet. I got this for free off Craigslist! We are a no-tv family. We may or may not get one in the future, but for now it just gives us more time to paint and conquer house projects :)

A few close-ups of our fall decorations.

*My amazingly-talented husband painted that bird. Isn't she pretty?

Our guard cat. Seriously, check out her smile.

And lastly, the ceiling fixtures I attacked with a can of spray paint. I used Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover, color: Flat Black. It took 3 thin and even coats to achieve the black beauty look.

So there it is, our living room after the ceiling room demo but still before the arrival of decor/loveseat.

Here is the list of what we'd still like to do in that room:
  • Hang art/pictures on walls 
  • Get a rug for the front door
  • Get a loveseat
  • Paint trimwork
  • Find/make throw pillows (I can't seem to find ones I like anywhere, so I may end up having to make some)

Okay, if anyone is still here after my ridiculously long post - what do you think? Do you know of any places to find great textured off-white throw pillows? What are your weekend projects? 


 Alright alright, I'm done.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Living Room Rebuild, Part 4

Remove old plaster ceiling
Install recessed lighting
Stop creaking in shower
Fix ceiling joists
Tape, mud & sand

Next up? Painting!

We painted the ceiling first. Since there was new drywall up, we had to prime it. 
Photo from
We used 1-2-3 Primer for All Surfaces. It took just 
about the entire gallon to cover the ceiling. Drywall is super absorbent that's why you want to make sure you prime it - because primer is cheaper than paint!!

When we first started, Justin was cutting in around the edges like usual... using our trusty Wooster brush. But, then I remembered that our friend Steve had given us his old Shur-line edger. Now, I have to be honest, at first we were skeptical.

Like how does Santa get to all those houses in one night skeptical.

But - the little thing is a gem! A true diamond!

Photo from

It really does make cutting in so much easier! A few tips though: you'll want to dab the edger off on the paint tray so you get all the excess paint off - otherwise it will come out gloppy. You'll also want to keep steady and even pressure when you're going along the walls.

Check out the edger in action!

While Justin was going around and painting the edges, I was rolling the ceiling. And even though we don't have any pictures to prove it - you've just gotta believe. It's like faith :) 

Once the ceiling was primed and painted (we used Valspar Interior Eggshell in Ultra White by the way), we moved on to the walls. That poopy brown accent wall needed to go.

We taped all the possible paint colors up on the wall and let them gel for a while. We needed to see how the colors interacted with the room - make sure they got along. Eventually we decided to go with Heavy Cream for the main walls and Warm Buff for the accent walls. For the main walls we used Olympic Paint & Primer In One Interior Eggshell Enamel in Heavy Cream. And for the accent wall we used our trusty Valspar Interior Eggshell in Warm Buff.

We continued the same process of Justin edging and me rolling.

Again, it's called faith people. Once the main walls were finished, it was time to do away with the poop.

And now . . . 

At first we were worried that the color was too light. It definitely looked darker in the paint swatch. But after living in the room for several weeks we can honestly say that it's pure love. The lighter color really helps brighten the room and bring out the nice wood floors.

Anyone else do any painting lately? Did the color turn out like the swatch or did you have any pleasant surprises? Make sure you come back tomorrow for the final living room reveal (and then you can see what I did with those brassy fixtures)!