Posted in Uncategorized

Efflorescence, old newspapers, and atomic spies

So I’ve been huffing and puffing about this old brick in my fireplace for a couple weeks now. You see it’s slowly being covered with these white patches on the exposed brick.

No, it’s not mold. I know this because I already had that minor heart attack when I saw the same splotches on the exterior walls in our basement. After obsessively googling and scraping away at the walls, I’ve determined our masonry has efflorescence, which is basically just salt deposits surfacing from porous material.

A dead giveaway of efflorescence if the way it sheds a sparkly dust when you scrape it with something. Efflorescence also dissolves in water whereas mold will not.

No biggie. It’s fine. They make cleaner for it and I figure I’ll use it on our fireplace since we actually see it every day but today we found a surprise when John started to tear out the old particle board from the fireplace insert.

At some point in the 1950s the owners decided to brick up our fireplace rendering it useless (I’m fine πŸ₯Ί) and in the process they must have packed it with old newspapers. Although very brittle, they were a nice little surprise on this otherwise boring Wednesday.

We’re guessing this paper is from sometime in 1953 judging by the article on the Rosenberg’s (Atomic Spies) ☝🏼

We’re total nerds so we thought it was cool.

Here’s to hoping we unearth some more surprises in our old Craftsman to go along with the old newspapers, dirty brick, and the huge pile of coal still waiting to be used at the bottom of our coal chute.

Posted in DIY

Our β€œlazy” DIY patio

I’m a sucker for a good Pinterest inspo photo. So when I saw these cozy English garden inspired backyards I felt the nagging pull to start nagging my husband about it.

I wanted flagstone with clouds of ground cover blooms around the perimeter πŸ₯°. Let me be the first to tell you…I did NOT get flagstone. When we no longer have toddlers and dogs that trash our yard, I’ll splurge on expensive landscaping. Until then, I’ll be doing the as seen on TV version. And that’s fine.

(Here’s our DIY budget saver patio)

Now in the spring, I’ll probably give it a border of perennials but I’m happy with the end product. I also plan to build some planters with lattice that extends over the fence so we can grow some vines for added privacy in select areas.

We found this concrete mold at Home Depot that gave us the faux stone look for cheap.

The process was pretty simple. It took us one evening to dig up the yard and nail down the shape and size we were going for. The next day (or two πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈwe have kids remember) we leveled out the dirt. When it was time to pour, the husband used Sakrete. Within a few minutes of filling a mold, the stones were firm enough to pull the mold away. So there’s no waiting or needing to buy several molds.

In the process of digging up the yard for this project, we made a minor discovery. Our house was built in 1900, right? Well apparently there used to be a stable on the back corner of our lot and we found the walkway leading out to the foundation.

We investigated around the fence and discovered the bricks go all the way back to a concrete foundation, complete with a brick floor. Once we finalize our plans for the storage building, we’re going to push that fence back and uncover the entire path and landscape around it. English garden vibes am I right?πŸ„πŸŒ·πŸŒ»

Posted in DECOR

{Come on in}

You won’t find anything remotely “farmhouse” in here and I don’t mean any offense in that. It’s just not my jam. No, I’ve been dreaming of owning an old house for as long as I can remember, and with that comes a mashup of vintage and modern trinkets.

(I’m would never call my style feminine. I tend to favor a more masculine approach to decorating and a small portion of John’s collection of tobacco pipes fit in nicely on our kitchen shelves.)

We didn’t do any of the remodeling restoration work here, but they nearly nailed every detail in what I’d call my perfect home. Which is crazy because we’d never met them in our lives.

Needless to say I was thrilled at the prospect of filling this house up, but we started from scratch with most of our furniture. Because we were coming back from Alabama to stay in John’s family farm, we sold most of our furniture just to avoid packing it up. Enter IKEA!

(The couch, coffee table, and side table are all IKEA finds. I mixed patterns with the rug and curtains but I think it works πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ The rug is an Amazon find. I refuse to splurge on my floors with two dogs and two kids.)

Another large portion of our downstairs decor includes bits and pieces I’ve snagged at antique stores and flea markets since we moved in together in 2011.

(Like these Colt prints I picked up in Deland, FL.)

(Or this gossip benched I discovered at a yard sale a few years ago)

I guess I’d label our house as eclectic with classic touches here and there. My favorite decades are the 20s and 30s and my dream house looks like a speakeasy, so I try to bring that in wherever possible.

We’re nowhere near done, but the first floor has a definite vibe already. While the upstairs, including the master bedroom, is still a bit of a blank slate. Stay tuned for peeks of how we’re decorating the second floor, including IKEA hacks for toy storage 😬.