Friday, December 3, 2010

Blast from the Past

Stumbled upon this great pic from the first few months of our relationship- love it.

3 month mark- Sept 2008

Happy Holidays everyone.

-n + j.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chair Re-do!

Howdy everyone. It's a wet and rainy morning here in Baltimore- and I thought I'd add a little sunshine to everyone's morning by posting some pics of a chair reupholstering Before and After I did recently (I'm so thoughtful- haha!).

I decided about a month ago to completely re-do our boring, and bright yellow office/3rd bedroom- but of course, to get Josh on board- it had to be on the cheap.

I didn't need much in the room, and it was essentially already furnished with a bookshelf and computer table- but it really could use a comfy reading chair, better lighting, and paint (EVERYTHING is better with a new coat of paint!). I decided to rummage around the basement (chock full of goodies from the old house that were just too good to throw away) and see what I could use in this space. I found all sorts of frames, paintings, baskets, and even a slightly used set of curtains and curtain rods. I decided that the 'piece de resistance' would be a super comfy vintage armchair that I would scour the local thrift stores to find on the cheap (less than $50) and then reupholster with a fun and funky print fabric.

I grabbed my little sister, (who for privacy reasons- since she's a young hot college kid- will be referred to as Mini on the site), and went thrift store adventuring in Baltimore. We visited the Goodwill on Bel Air Road and on Joppa Rd (there's also a Salvation Army right across the street). No luck. Finally on the way back home, we stop at this vintage salvage store called, Ryan's Relics, on Bel Air Rd. The place is PACKED with goodies- the key is to find the diamond in the rough (they buy whole estates at a discount and resell the items). Finally in a back corner of the store- we find this gem:

Fabric= Not so Perfect.
It's EXACTLY what I was looking for- and ONLY $25 bucks!...The only downside is the super uggo, basic tan, checkered fabric on the seat. Fortunately, this was going to be my first upholstery project- and I definitely was ready to tackle it. I stopped off at Jo-Ann's fabric in Carney, MD and spent an hour with Mini looking for just the right print. We finally settled on a playful, yet mature gray/black/beige polka dot pattern (2 yard- $4 bucks!). We headed home, and I immediately got to work. I spare you the gory details of hot glue disasters and shredded fabric- ultimately after 45 minutes of hard work- this is the finished product:

Thought about spray painting the chair bright yellow for more fun!
Love this Print!
Great, huh?! I was thrilled! After finishing the chair successfully, the rest of the room was a breeze! I threw up some paint over the weird mustardy yellow- (leftover paint from our bedroom- $Free). Spray painted the old bookshelf a glossy black color ($2.47-Spray Paint)- and hung up the forgotten basement prints and curtains. In less than 2 hours, and for less than $50 bucks- I had this:

You can see our energy saving space heater in this pic!

And Josh in 'energy saving' footie pajamas!
Now I can surf and blog- in style.

*Coming Up Next: Budget Backyard Deck Re-Do


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We've been nominated- Vote for Us! Nov 2nd-12th!

Click here to vote for my blog ... early and often

Halloween on Hamilton Ave!

Boo! Scary, Huh?

Happy Halloween Everyone! We've finally settled in to the new house (more pics on that later) and welcomed some local kids over for Halloween Trick or Treating. They arrived between 5pm-9pm- adorned in everyday clothing with a smidge of makeup on their cheeks, wings, or a mask. And they carried Superfresh plastic bags. Only in Baltimore.

I recently painted our door red- I think it looks great! More Hamilton House before and afters to come!

We scored these great footie PJ's at Target for $24.99 each. They're made by Nick and Nora Designs. I absolutely love them! At first it was just something silly to wear around the house- but as the weather got colder, I really began to appreciate how WARM they are! I had to twist Josh's arm to get him to don a pair- but he loves them now (even though they are itchy to him!). Not to mention we haven't had to turn on our heat once this winter (even when it hit 35 degrees at night!) we've just been using space heaters in our family room and bedroom- and wearing our onesies (and, of course, they doubled as Halloween costumes!). Best purchase this winter!

I think this was Josh's scary face? For the kids? In a onesie?

*Recession friendly tip*

My neighbor, Vanessa, hosted a Halloween themed 'Candy Hunt' in her backyard for her children. Vanessa has 4 kids- and it was significantly more cost-effective (and safer!) for her to purchase candy and set the kids loose to find it. She said she saved $100 bucks in costumes- not to mention saved time from walking the kids around the neighborhood in 40 degree weather! Post backyard hunting, the kids came in for scary movies and popcorn. I think this may be a plan we'll use when we have little ones of our own.

*end of Recession Friendly tip*

Josh and I got into the Halloween spirit and decked out the house in webs and ghouls- and I even carved a classic Jack o' Lantern! We threw on our footie pajamas (not entirely costumes- we wear them around the house to reduce our heating bills!) - and ate candy in between visitors! It was a blast!

So eerie at night, huh? I'm super scared!

Just a small note to our readers: We haven't been good about posting (sorry all...) But that's about to change since we've been nominated for a MOBBIE!!! (The Baltimore Sun's Award for Best Maryland Blogs!) See the post below to vote for us!

The challenge is on- and we're going to give you what you've been asking for! Read below for a 'Year in Review' posting by Josh, and soon to come; more local restaurant and bar reviews (Hamilton-Lauraville is the BEST place to live in Baltimore) and of course, Our Hamilton House 'before and afters' (lots of inexpensive re-do and decor options!) 

Thanks for reading everybody, and stay tuned!


The Year In Review

No doubt we'll soon be posting some retrospective photo montages to show the passage of time over the past 11 months or so. Just to provide a basic overview of what our life has been over that time, sort of a table of contents (subject to review by my wife):
As a post-script to our Ravens game visit, the team made the playoffs and destroyed the New England Patriots before losing to the Indianapolis Colts (an unfortunate pattern, particularly for those who, unlike myself, are old enough to remember when they were the Baltimore Colts).
Nicole picked some depressing sports photos.
The Maryland Terrapins lost in an absolute heartbreaker to Michigan State after winning over thousands of reluctant fans. Personally this was my favorite team since the 2002 National Championship, and I absolutely hated to see them go the way they did.
This picture just breaks my heart.
Wedding planning and execution was immensely emotionally and logistically difficult and not something I would recommend to anyone, unless they do it simple and small. (I was nowhere near as involved in the planning as Nicole, who found the process to be completely exhausting.)

The classic jump shot- Did you notice Josh's Yarmulke floating above his head?
We were married at Chase Court in Baltimore- but we had to get a pic with the Belvedere Hotel, a Baltimore landmark.
Nicole and I got married in June and took our honeymoon in Jamaica, which was gorgeous and where she was, let's say, worshiped by the locals (really more of an inordinate amount of ogling, honking, catcalls, etc.).
All-Inclusive Package + Nothing else to do = 3 lbs. gained in a week!

Took this pics from a Catamaran out on the water- isn't it amazing!
Hanging by the pool- yes, those are our toes!
We celebrated 2 years of being together, by being together some more. I think we might have gone to Clementine, as well.
Another organic, sustainable and savory dish by Clementine
I turned 31, much to my chagrin.
We celebrate all big events with Carvel Ice Cream Cakes!
For my birthday I had a party - we actually were forced to celebrate on September 11th - I sent out an eVite that told people that "if you don't come, the terrorists win." A few of my friends showed up early with their wedding gift, a dual-sided grill, which they assembled and we immediately used for a big batch of Nicole's tasty hamburgers, along with some vegetarian stuff for a few of our guests. As a man, it's sad to say that I have to cede the grilling of meat to Nicole due to my red-green colorblindness (which makes me unable to gauge how well cooked something is). On a positive note, she does a great job at it, and we've been using the grill several times a week ever since it arrived.

Grill- AFTER
 Our dog Morty died, about two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer (we went to the vet on my birthday, August 30th, and passed on September 14th). Our Vet, Dr. Meridith Brand is wonderful. She works out of Fullerton Animal Hospital on Bel Air Rd. and we highly recommend the facility- they are caring, compassionate, and reasonably priced. It was a difficult process- and they made it a lot better.
We miss you!
We attended several other weddings of several friends, and some other friends got engaged, including all of our wedding party besides Nicole's sister (though not to each other).
Nick and Jen- 10/10/10
Sharif and Joanna - 9/28/10
After some grieving, about two weeks ago we adopted another dog, Joseph B. Walters (who we wanted to name Regis Philbin but he was already responding to "Joey"), who recently decided to chew up everything he could whenever he escapes our sight-line.
Joseph and Delilah- They look sweet here- but they're waiting to pounce!
They destroyed the Kosher Bone...
This past weekend, we were forced into replacing/upgrading Nicole's another used car, of course - buying new is not our style due to the immediate loss of 20% of the value of the car once it's driven off of the lot.
2000 Volkswagen Jetta- 160,000 miles later...
Woo Hoo! Jettas for life!
Nicole will turn 26 on Saturday, and will be taking the new Jetta for a short road trip with her sister, who is now enrolled at a local University as a freshman.

That's at least a quick overview of what's happened so far in 2010. Nicole will do a few posts with photos and details from various events, before and after pics from a bunch of decorating and Do-It-Yourself projects that she's undertaken (though I've helped her on a few, and I am the designated furniture assembler), and money saving tips.


We've been nominated for a Mobbie!

The 'Baltimore Sun Mobbies' recognizes outstanding Maryland Blogs. We've been nominated for outstanding blog in the 'Misfits' category! Click the link below to vote for us (you can vote everyday!) Thanks!

Click here to vote for my blog ... early and often

Click here to vote for my blog ... early and often