You Already Know!

This is NOT the first time we have talked about Weird Al Yankovic on this blog! This time though, I am literally writing a post entirely dedicated to him. This man is a genius. He has been churning out these loveable parodies for decades. From the hits of the past like “Eat It”, “Amish Paradise”, “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi” to the hits of today like “Party in the CIA” and the newly beloved “Word Crimes” and “Tacky”, this guy really knows how to keep a good thing going!

Right now, Weird Al is in the middle of a week-long streak of releasing a new video parody everyday. The context of today’s video really struck a chord with us. Watch and see for yourselves and just envision Andrew and me DIYing around the house to this tune!

For your viewing and listening enjoyment, Weird Al Yankovic’s “Handy”…

Designing a Nervous Breakdown

If you’ve ever moved before, you know how stressful it can be. With our first house, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into by planning a wedding, buying a house and fixing it up all at once! Now that we’re onto House #2, we are much wiser, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t just as stressed.

Anytime we take on a new project, it’s a lot to swallow. Our heads tend to run a mile a minute while physically, we are only able to take on so much at a time. And time is especially a factor since we seem to have so little of it. Between work, weddings, and being the weekend warriors that we are, we are constantly traveling to visit friends and family in not-so-far, yet far enough away places that nothing seems to get done as quickly or as easily as we would like it to.

With all of this being said, we are taking great care in doing so much more designing in this house than we did in our previous house. In our first house, we spent so much time rehabbing and fixing things that had to be fixed, we didn’t always plan ahead in terms of design. Hence, we ended up with a rainbow in our house (if you’ll recall in this post, here) and some other partially-planned-yet-never-started projects that just never seemed to get back onto the plate, like painting the entire basement (never even started) or following through on our drop ceiling replacement project.

I think what I’m trying to say is, we didn’t plan in House #1 and we ended up flying by the seat of our pants on this “nervous breakdown.” House #2 is no less of a nervous breakdown, but this time we are aiming to at least design each of our project plans with care and the expertise we’ve gained from the test run that was House #1.

The truth is, even with all the work we did, we never felt like we were 100% “at home” in House #1. The good news is, we are already feeling the difference with House #2. We feel like we’re up in the big leagues now – we tackled our starter house and didn’t do too bad of a job (if we don’t say so ourselves). We learned SO MUCH from that experience. We know what we like, what we don’t like, what works, what doesn’t work, what’s worth the investment and what’s not. Our priorities are in order and our “ready for anything” mentality is shining through.

Now if we could just figure out how to properly measure the opening for our new refrigerator, we’d be in business!

This post was way too heavy…enjoy some lovely outdoor photos for your troubles 😉

Pano of the backyard, styled by Andrew…

Backyard panoramic

Is this a Hibiscus? or Rose of Sharon?

Hibiscus flower Hibiscus blooming

Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel…Say What?!

If I said to you, “that’s a lovely shade of Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel you’ve got there” would you really believe I was talking about a color? Well you better believe it! Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel (herein referred to as “Clay Angel” because Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel is just too much to type!) is the lovely, subtle, grayish clay color we have painted the majority of the living spaces in our new house.

As many of our devoted readers may recall, we used a paint color called “La Fonda Mirage” on the front door of House #1. There was a great story behind this paint color and the reason for all of these funky names is because these paint colors are part of Valspar’s National Trust for Historic Preservation collection of paints. Again, you can read more about that here and here.

When paint shopping for House #1, we always admired these National Trust for Historic Preservation colors, but for some reason, we just didn’t end up using any of them in the beginning. Now, we are all about these. There is something so intriguing and inspiring about using colors that are designated for such renowned landmarks. What’s funny about all of this is that if Andrew and I had our druthers (and millions of dollars) we would find old historic places and fix them up, which is exactly what the National Trust for Historic Preservation is all about; yet more proof as to why we are drawn to these colors.

Andrew and I both love to travel and we have seen much of the U.S. together. We are wholly inspired by our travels, but we are also very much inspired by our roots, which are deeply planted in the Pine Barrens of Southern (and Central!) New Jersey. Thus, using these paint colors makes us feel like we’ve got a unique, yet personal, little slice of Americana right in our own home.

So, what’s the scoop behind Clay Angel?

Valspar Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel PaintThe photo above makes the color look very clay-like and almost pink, but I’d have to say that it errs on the site of subtle gray in our living room, downstairs hall and stairway.

Before painting in the living room

Living room before paintingAfter painting with Valspar Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel…

Living room after DIY paintingThe color comes from Hotel St. Francis (obviously) which is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to their website, the hotel has a rich history that dates back to 1924 when the hotel first opened its doors. The hotel, at the time, was described as an “early Californian Mission Revival with a touch of European elegance”, which seemingly still rings true today based on the looks of the place.

We are also using another National Trust for Historic Preservation color in this house. This one, which just so happens to also come from the La Fonda Hotel, also in Santa Fe, also from the same exact collection as our other House #1 front door color, “La Fonda Mirage”, is called, “La Fonda Ecru.”

Valspar La Fonda Ecru PaintThis very light, buttery cream-type color is nice and cheery in the room we have dubbed “the small room.” It’s small, yet powerful! With the back door slider, this room is SO bright and lovely. We plan to use this room as a guest space/closet overflow area.

Small room with new La Fonda Ecru paintSmall room after paintingIt seems as though, for some reason, we have really gravitated toward colors with a Southwester flare. Our overall style definitely doesn’t scream, “New Mexico!” (we don’t decorate with dream catchers and crazy, vibrant Mexican blankets or coyote sculptures, the list goes on…) but borrowing these natural neutrals from this South of the Border-style color collection seems to be right up our alley.