Thanksgiving, Revisited

Posted by Lisa on November 14th, 2012

Hey hey! Can you believe Turkey Day is a week away? I feel like Halloween was just last week! Wait a sec, if you live in New Jersey, then Halloween may have been celebrated last week. Time is really flying by. Good ole Saint Nicholas will here before we all know it (or have time to shop and decorate!). I am thinking about decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I usually wait a week or two after, but I am thinking about changing it this year – do any of you decorate early?

With the big day fast approaching, many shopping trips to the grocery store have already occurred and at least one more is needed for next week to pick up my fresh grocery items needed for my recipes.

We aren’t hosting Thanksgiving this year, but we do plan on making our own Thanksgiving meal Friday for extra leftovers and to refuel from Black Friday shopping. Here is our traditional Thanksgiving menu (all from scratch):
– Turkey, oven roasted
– Dressing/Stuffing, cooked outside of the bird
– Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows
– Mashed potatoes
– Cranberry sauce
– Green bean casserole
– Dinner rolls
– Pumpkin pie

My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner are the sides, we could definitely skip the turkey, but then John couldn’t make Turkey BLT sandwiches!

Here are some pics of Thanksgivings past for your enjoyment.

2009, in our old home:

My first cooked turkey!

The tablescape.

I loved those DIY tea light pumpkins. All I did was carve the tops of by Jack-be-little pumpkins to fit a tea light, and voila – a beautiful candle holder!

2010, John and Lisa plus one at my parents’ house:

2011, in the new house:

Pumpkin candle, take two.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?? Are you hosting it this year or are you going to a friend or relative’s house?

Posted in Cooking,Crafts,Fall,Holiday,Home Decor. Tagged in ,, ,

Our Simple Fall Decor

Posted by Lisa on September 25th, 2012

Hey everybody!  Hope you’re enjoying the cool Fall weather we’ve been having recently.  It really puts me in the mood to decorate for Fall and buy more pumpkins!… and apple cider donuts!!  This year we’re keeping our home’s fall themed decor simple by reusing some of the decorations we had up last year and adding a couple small yet festive new ones.

Our front door is finally finished.  John just painted the sidelights to match the front door.  If you recall, they were still somewhat blue-er than the gray door.  The door was originally this gray color, but we attempted to paint the sidelights and the door a year ago and didn’t get the color right.  Here’s the before, with the door painted the right gray color but the wrong sidelight color…

Here’s the door now, complete with a very cool blue pumpkin…  If you don’t notice the color difference in the sidelights from the before and after, it’s okay, it’s pretty subtle.

We also picked up some burnt orangey mums.

On the inside of the house, we added a burlap wreath.  We made the wreath ourselves from some basic craft supplies.

Our mantel looks nearly identical from last year, with the pumpkin banner and all my little pumpkins I’ve been picking up.




I also like to add some fall theme ribbon to my normal home decor to dress it up a little.  See those orange ribbons around the candles?  There are more than a few of those around here.

Like on my fleur de lis candles…

and our dining room lights…ribbons-on-lights



We also have a couple simple items for our kitchen table.mirror-wreath


That’s what’s in our home at the moment.  I’ll admit it, I had these decorations ready to go the day after Labor Day!    I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more pumpkins here and there!  Fall is the best!  We’re looking forward to visiting a pumpkin patch with the baby soon!

Enjoy your decorating!!  Looking forward to seeing everyone’s decor.

Posted in Fall,Home Decor,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,, , , , , , , ,

What I’ve Learned About Flower Beds

Posted by John on September 19th, 2012

Instead of bringing you a post on some of our latest outside work as I’d planned, I’m forced to goto Option B and discuss something else.  I was hoping to come home from work and snap some quality photos of our mums, and the finished front door paint.  However, due to some pretty nasty weather, those pictures will have to wait for now.  So, onto Option B, What I’ve Learned About Flower Beds.

Full disclosure:  Lisa and I still do not consider ourselves to be green thumbs.  I think I can say with some level of confidence that when we moved into our current home, we had sort of a blackish gray thumb.  Let’s call it a charcoal thumb.  We killed plants.  It happens.  They just tended to die on us.  We’ve since improved our game through many lessons learned.  Our garden isn’t perfect, but I think we’ve learned enough to dispense some garden advice.

What I’ve Learned About Flower Beds

1.  Curved lines are more attractive than straight.  This one is a biggie.  If you’re just starting to make flower beds, try to add some curves.  Professional landscapers rarely lay down straight flower beds.  Some straight sections you may not be able to get away from, but when possible go round or go home.  If you already have straight beds, it’s easy to add some curvature.  Just shape a garden hose to the profile you like and mark the outline with spray paint or a shovel.

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2.  Use landscape fabric to keep weeds out.  Unless you love spending your free time yanking weeds every week, I’d pop for the fabric.  It’s not hard to incorporate it if you already have beds.  It’s also perforated enough to allow water to run through it.  They tend to come in varying levels of quality identified by their life expectancy.  I’d go with a good 15 year roll or better.

3.  Add a drip irrigation system if you don’t already have a sprinkler system for your lawn.  These systems consist of a roll of flexible tube that gets run in the flower bed.  You punch holes in it or add nozzles and you connect the hose to a battery powered control valve/timer that sits on your outside faucet.  It’s very inexpensive and supremely DIY.  The hose can sit under the landscape fabric or over it, so if you already have an established bed, you can add this and throw some extra mulch over the hose to hide it.  It’s a great way to keep your plants alive without having to water them everyday by hand.  After all, these plants can get pretty expensive.

mailbox flowers

(via greengardenista)

4.  Add depth by planting flowers or shrubs with varying height.  In my opinion, this is the hardest part of having a sweet looking flower bed.  Staging the plants appropriately so they all show off their natural beauty yet getting the height and depth right to maximize the wow factor.  If you stick with plants that all have roughly the same height, you could be losing out on some visual interest and curb appeal.  We need to add a lot more depth in our garden.  Right now it’s too one dimensional.  This mailbox photo is from Lisa’s Outside To-Do List.  We’re hoping to get to that mailbox project done in the spring.

I’m hoping to get some much needed outdoor work done before it starts to get too cold.  This weather is perfect for garden work.

What are your tips or suggestions?  Are you planning on any Fall garden upgrades?

Posted in Fall,Outdoors and Landscaping. Tagged in ,, , , , ,

Our Fall To-Do List

Posted by John on September 11th, 2012

Hey everybody!  Another busy work week here for us means less project doing and more project planning.  Since we’re more or less into the whole Fall thing by now (I’m going along with it, although my feet are still in the beach sand), it’s time to post about all of our Fall projects.  What better way to kick off Fall on OHFS than with a to-do list.

We love chores (no, no we don’t).  Here’s the ones we’re most looking forward to crossing off our list this autumn. You can expect at least one post on each of these.fall-mantel


1.  Fall Decor.  Every year it’s the same thing.  Lisa buys more and more pumpkins and pumpkin paraphernalia, puts them EVERYWHERE and I try to pretend that we don’t have a galactic number of orange tribbles around the house.  Aside from the squadrons of black triangle eyes staring at me in every room, Lisa also just finished a pretty sweet pumpkin-less wreath for our front door.  I’m sure she’ll be posting on that one soon as well as her favorite pumpkins.

2.  Built-ins.  You may have seen this idea in our guest post at Decor and the Dog.  We’ve been thinking about making some proper built-ins for our home office.  While we’re probably not actually going to start the office demo and floor installation until right before or after Christmas, the built-ins can be made well ahead of time and then installed once the room is ready for them.  Just like kitchen cabinets.  Beats waiting around for them!photo


3.  Car stuff.  I’m going to have some gnarly dude stuff on here.  I’m behind on some much needed car maintenance.  The work will vary from things everyone can do to things that I’m not sure I can do myself.  It’s going to be fun and we’ll all learn something.  I’m in need of an oil change, I’d like to clean up and paint my alloy wheels and repair some rust, which may or may not involve welding.

4.  Paint more stuff.  We haven’t showed your our master bedroom or our master bath yet.  Plus, we have a small sitting room in our master bedroom that’s got zero stuff in it right now.  Nada.  It needs furniture, paint, the works.  Hopefully, we’ll get to some of these.  We still have a LOT of white, unpainted walls.

5.  Yard Updates.  We haven’t had a yard post here in a long time since we were pretty much consumed with wainscoting.  We owe you one.  Even if we don’t actually do any projects out here while it cools off, we’ll show you where we’re at.  We’ve got some ideas to help improve the look and ease the maintenance.

So, that’s what’s coming your way before the holidays.  Yikes.  Christmas will be here in three months!!  Too soon, too soon.

What’s on your fall agenda?


Posted in Fall,Home Decor. Tagged in ,, , , ,

Flashback Thanksgiving

Posted by Lisa on November 23rd, 2011

Way back when… when John and I were newlyweds we hosted our first Thanksgiving. It was kinda a big deal and of course I had such a great time planning, cooking, and decorating. I thought I would share some photos.

Our table..

Yes! There were homemade place cards.

Yummy food (without any mishaps!!)

My turkey… I was so proud!

I always cook the traditional side items including sweet potatoes, stuffing, and green been cassarole. Does anyone have any great Thanksgiving recipes or traditions they want to share!?

Posted in Fall,Holiday. Tagged in ,

Our First Poll and Mums!

Posted by John on November 4th, 2011

So, yesterday on Twitter I promised our readers our first poll.  We’d like to add more interactivity and it’s a great way to get feedback on some of our projects and ideas.  Specifically, I said we’d be voting on a new catchphrase, with our current one being “building our home one project at a time.”  Ehhh.  Very appropriate phrase, but we’ve since seen it on a few blogs already and we wanted to come up with something more custom tailored for us.  But last night, when we sat down to review some of the options we I came up with, we realized they weren’t ready for prime time.  So, that particular poll will have to wait.

We do have a poll for you today though.  We need help picking our paint for our downstairs.  I’m not promising we’ll pick the paint that’s the most popular in our poll, but it will definitely help.  Leave a comment too if you have any constructive criticism.  Picking colors is hard!!!

To jog your memory, here are the paints…

From left to right, they are Accessible Beige, Practical Beige and Latte.

And here is our poll…

[poll id=”2″]

Oh, and here are some mums Lisa picked up and that crazy looking pumpkin!

Thanks for voting! 

Posted in Fall,Home Decor,Polls,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,, ,

Halloween and a Garage Update

Posted by John on October 31st, 2011

Happy Halloween everybody!  Hope everyone gets all the candy they can stand.  Lisa and I will be taking the baby out for her first Halloween later today.  Really looking forward to it!  She’s going to be a ladybug!  Two years ago, Lisa and I went to a party as Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife, Beth.

Those tattoo sleeves were from Walmart!

An update on our garage plans:

  • We had a drywall company finish the last two coats of spackle.  It came out awesome.  I’ve very happy with it.  We’ll post pictures when we start painting.  The company we used was JA Drywall aka Juan Alonzo.  Juan and his company did an amazing job with our garage.  We hired Juan a few years ago when we were renovating our first home in Philly.  We’ll definitely hire him again when we finish our basement (especially if I don’t feel like hanging the drywall myself!)
  • So this weekend, we had grand plans of painting the garage walls.  I bought a five gallon bucket of Olympic ONE in flat sheen and then it rained all day Saturday.  Sunday it was about 40 F, so I’d rather not spend the day in the garage painting in non-ideal conditions.  We plan on painting sometime next weekend since the weather will be much warmer (near 60 F).

We’re looking forward to wrapping up the garage project ASAP because we’re rapidly approaching morning windshield frost time and I don’t want to be scraping my car in the morning.  Can’t fight mother nature though!

Anyone have any funny Halloween Costumes to share?  Post a link in the comment section to the photo or email us a photo and we’ll post it.


Posted in Fall,Garage and Tools. Tagged in ,, , ,

Heirloom Pumpkins Galore!

Posted by Lisa on October 27th, 2011

The pumpkin obsession continues …

Heirloom Pumpkins (aka Cinderella Pumpkins) have been everywhere this year! The pumpkin patch we visited had so many to choose from.

My favorites this year are the blue pumpkins!

The market also had these cute hanging pumpkin baskets.. perfect for a porch, or deck, or inside your house in the family room.

.. I am currently in the process of decorating the front door with the goodies I snatched up!  That post is coming Friday!  See you then!

How many pumpkins did you pick up this year?  Is there such thing as too many pumpkins? 

Posted in Fall. Tagged in ,, ,

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Posted by Lisa on October 24th, 2011

Notice anything different around here?  Maybe our spooky Halloween banner?  Thought we’d be festive!  This week and next we’ll have some Halloween themed posts.

Yesterday my mom and I took the baby to an apple and farmers market that turns into a great pumpkin patch and Mum garden in the fall.  This was our first visit there and won’t be our last.

So many beautiful Mums! I am sure you will be seeing some later on this month at our house…

Time for pumpkins! They had so many different types and sizes.

Spooky Haunted House …. nestled between the Mums and fresh local produce.

Inside of the market was organic foods, fresh breads, and homemade pies. I loved the fireplace where you could sit down and enjoy a hot cup of apple cider.

Stay tuned to see what goodies I brought back and used at the house… I know you can’t wait!!

Posted in Fall. Tagged in ,,

Little Pumpkin Baby Shower

Posted by Lisa on October 12th, 2011

Last Fall my Mom (and Dad) threw me (and John) and our little one to be a beautiful baby shower. The theme was “Lisa and John’s Little Pumpkin.” I was thrilled! We did not find out the gender, so everything was neutral. The pumpkin idea was great (…and you know how much I love pumpkins!).

We had a lunch at a historical hotel followed by dessert and gifts.

The invitation was from Simply Cre8tive – it turned out great!

My Mom set up a clothes line with pictures of John and I growing up with an adorable onesie for the little one.

Two prize baskets …. filled with fall themed godies.

Table decor – of course it was pumpkin and fall themed!

Yummy dessert trays!

.. and the amazing cake!

I requested to make the favor. My mom said it should be something fall themed. I made pumpkin cake pops for everyone to enjoy.

.. and just for fun we snapped a few shots of the two of us. All pictures courtesy of Elissa Tuerk Photography.

It was a beautiful fall day for the shower and everything was amazing. My parents were so generous to throw us such a wonderful shower. I love them both so much!

The best part of the entire day was that my mom asked everyone for donations for a local charity that helps women who are pregnant with necessities such as baby wash, diapers, and wipes. Everyone was so generous with their donations we had much to donate to the charity. I am truly blessed with such a wonderful family.

Thank you Mom and Dad for your generosity and love this special day and every day!

Posted in Baby Stuff,Cooking,Crafts,Fall. Tagged in ,

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