State of our Yard: Fall 2012

Posted by John on October 16th, 2012

Hey everybody!!  Hope everyone is enjoying their Fall weather!  We just had a great weekend and it was made all the better with the warm weather.  Saturday night we did a ghost walk through a town not too far from here and Sunday we met some friends and went to Sesame Place.  So our weekend was pretty packed and between that and some added car work, we didn’t do any more work on our garage shoe rack.  Whomp Whomp.

Last week we did manage to squeeze in some light yard work.  I don’t think we’re going to be doing much of anything out there until Spring.  We will be taking some photos though of the leaves changing though!

To improve the look of our lawn, we spread out a couple of very large bags of grass seed.  Since we don’t have a sprinkler system, nor do we plan on installing one, it’s important that we stay on top of it with regular seeding and fertilizing.  We’ve considered adding a sprinkler system, but they usually run around $2500 for our front yard and they can add around $100 per month or more on your water bill depending upon how much you water your lawn.  The alternative to using city water is getting a well drilled on your property and using what is essentially the free well water to water your grass.  The advantage of the well is you can water as often as you’d like, but the well can cost around $3000.  Plus, if you don’t drill down deep enough, you can hit a vein of water that has high levels of iron in it, which can discolor your sidewalk by giving it a rusty color over time.  Sucks.  So, for at least for the foreseeable future, we’re going to skip the sprinkler system.  I can think of a lot of better places to sink $2500!!


In addition to our grass, there are a few areas of our yard that we’re going to restyle and clean up. Our shed needs some TLC.  The flower beds were the first flower beds we made at our new home and I made some critical errors when I made them.


For starters, the plants have grown somewhat beyond their original zones so I’ll need to expand the flower beds.  We still need to find a flowering plant to go in that empty window box.  This is the second straight season where we didn’t put anything in it.  For shame! 🙂


The other thing you may have noticed is I didn’t follow my own advice I dispensed in our Lesson’s Learned post for better looking flower beds.  All of the shed flower beds are straight rows with sharp corners.  That’s normally not too big of a deal, but having sharp corners makes it difficult to cut it easily in the riding mower.  Every time I cut the grass, I have to go back around the ramp with a weed wacker.  In the spring we’ll be curving and expanding this whole flower bed to both improve its looks and its maintenance ease.

In our garage side flower bed, we’re going to be rearranging and cleaning this mess up.


Yikes, right?  It used to be so nice!!  When we planted everything, it looked much more tame.  Like this…


Most of these plants just grew wildly bigger than we expected and started to overcrowd the bed in a bad way.  Dense flower beds can be nice or a hot mess.  This one is a hot mess.  We’re going to have to figure out what to do with this bed.  More than a couple of these guys will probably be transplanted.  I think we’ll probably reshape the flower bed as well.

That’s the bad stuff.  Here’s the good..  tall-grasses-2-1024x682

We love these tall grasses, especially when the extend those tall seedy things.. whatever they’re called.  Paging Mike McGrath, there’s a blogger than doesn’t know what he’s talking about.


So, that’s what’s going on in the yard.  The trees really haven’t started changing color quite yet, but stay tuned for some yard pictures when they do.

Are you scheming and planning what you’ll do with your yard next year or are you just enjoying the Fall weather?

Posted in Outdoors and Landscaping. 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 ,, , , , , , , ,

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 ,, , , ,

Our Favorite Fall TV Shows

Posted by John on August 29th, 2012

Hey everybody!  If you can’t tell, we’re pretty much on coast around here until the weekend.  We’re soaking up the calm before the storm since we knocked out some big projects.  Lisa and I are super excited about the return of some of our favorite television shows.  In reality, we’re watching all of these on Hulu+ and not actually on our TV.  Same thing though, right?

1.  30 Rock.  We started watching this show while Lisa was on her maternity leave.  About five years late to the party, we really took to this show.  Liz Lemon gets quoted a lot around here. What the what?  She’s also originally from the Philly area and has dropped some Flyers and Bobby Clarke references on the show before.  Really looking forward to this one.

2.  Community.   We started watching this show while waiting for 30 Rock to resume and I was shocked at how funny it is.  I personally think Community is actually funnier than 30 Rock.  The humor is a little less subtle, but very clever.   Every character on this show brings a unique comedic flavor that usually leaves Lisa and I in stitches.  The cast is brilliant.   This is another show we started watching late.  We picked it up on Hulu after season three and quickly blew through every episode.  The school dean is a riot and we pretty much quote him all day long.  “Sweet Deans.”

3.  The New Girl.  This was one of those shows that Lisa checked out.  She was hooked after the first episode.  Halfway through the first season I started watching it with her.  Very good show.  The cast has great chemistry and the episodes are always fun stories.  The characters are all in their mid to late twenties, are approaching the “you should be married by now” age and are dealing with their respective places in life.  After a couple episodes you’ll get attached to the cast and start rooting for them.  We recommend it.

4. The Mindy Project.  Not going to lie.  I’ve only seen one episode.  Lisa’s watched two so far.  It’s hugely funny.  Mindy Kaling has a sharp biting wit that’s refreshing and most definitely worth watching.  I think it’s brand new.  Check it out.

Honestly, we don’t watch a ton of TV.  We’ve mainly watching a show here and there before bed with an iPad.  These four shows will definitely be on our radar though this fall along with the occasional Modern Family and Happy Endings now and then.

Are you looking forward to any shows this fall??

Posted in Favorites. Tagged in ,, ,

Our Thanksgiving in Pictures

Posted by John on November 28th, 2011

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Ours was fun and the food was delicious.  We got a couple projects around the house done this weekend and we’ll share them throughout the week.  But, for now, here are some awesome DSLR pictures for you to feast your eyes upon.

Yeah, so that post just made me really hungry again.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Have any great new recipes to share?  I promise I’ll like it.

Posted in Cooking,Holiday. 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 ,, , ,

Our Favorite Scary Movies

Posted by John on October 28th, 2011

Happy Halloween Weekend!!

For our first Halloween as bloggers, Lisa and I are listing our favorite scary movies of all time!!  Plus, we’re doing something new and providing our commentary as we discussed each of these movies for the list… In case you can’t tell, Lisa doesn’t like and doesn’t watch scary movies, so this discussion was interesting.

Here goes:

John’s Top Five Scary Movies

1.  Drag Me to Hell

John:  We Netflix’d this movie as soon as it was available.  Really scary all around.  The parking garage scene is ridiculous.  Lisa made me turn it off when we got to that scene.  Lisa:  For real, if you wanna have nightmares, watch this movie.
John: I had to watch this when you were out and it was no fun. I prefer having you around being more scared than me.




2.  Exorcist

John:  Supposedly scariest movie ever made.  The re-release back a few years ago was crazy especially with the added spiderwalk.
Lisa: For real, I refuse to see this movie.
John: I’m going to learn how to spiderwalk to scare you.

3.  The Ring

John:  I remember watching this movie in the theater with a couple college friends and having to cover my eyes during the “well” scenes.  The ending to this movie was incredible.  Very scary movie.
Lisa: I saw it after it came out on DVD and I promptly erased all memories of this movie.
John: Before you die, you see the ring… seven days.
Lisa: Before I die, I better see a bigger ring… on my finger.

4.  It

John: The first time I saw this made for TV movie I was still young and Tim Curry in a clown suit literally bothered me for weeks. I couldn’t watch this again for a while. Not so scary for me now though. Plus, the TV version is lousy compared to the book, so I’m told and the TV ending is really hard to get unless you’re a frequent Stephen King reader.
Lisa: Never saw it. Tim Curry is also scary in Home Alone 2.



5.  The Shining

John: The hotel scenes with the twin girls and the blood in the hallway is outrageously haunting. The rest of the movie with Jack Nicholson losing his marbles is creepy too.
Lisa: Again, never saw it, but I do know that Redrum is murder spelled backwards.

Lisa’s Top Five Scary Movies

1.  What Lies Beneath

Lisa: I don’t really remember much about this movie, except for a scary underwater scene.
John: That movie WAS actually scary. Amazing, a scary movie we both actually sat through.
Lisa: Lesson here is “Men, don’t cheat on your wives or a ghost will drown you in a river.”
John: Point taken.

2.  The Grudge

Lisa: Saw this in college. Made my roommate sit in the bathroom with me while I showered, no joke.
John: I saw the original Japanese version and it’s creepy, but not terrifying, mostly because you have to read the subtitles… whatever, I’ve never seen the Sarah Michelle Gellar version.
Lisa: I’m surprised how much of this movie I remember considering how much of the movie I was screaming with my hands over my face.
John: Haha



3.  Fatal Attraction

Lisa: Remember how we fast forwarded through all the scary scenes?
John: I still do that in most horrors I rent. This movie isn’t a horror, but it’s still pretty terrifying.
Lisa: Again, moral of the movie is “Husbands, don’t cheat on your wives.”
John: I see a common thread in your movie picks here.

4.  Beowulf IMAX 3D

Lisa: I thought the Grendel scenes were really scary.
John: I remember when the movie first showed his character screaming from the beating of the drums. You pretty much had a heart attack in the theater. I was concerned we were going to have to leave the movie. I had to calm you down.
Lisa: That Grendel really scared me.
John: You were literally crying.
Lisa: I watched the rest of the movie without the glasses on and I kept those 3D glasses as a souvenir.
John: Why would you want a souvenir from an Angelina Jolie movie that you cried and screamed watching?

5.  Sex in the City 2

Lisa: Although not in the horror genre, SITC 2 haunted my dreams. This movie was completely uncalled for. You know what else it scary, the amount of airbrushing used for the promotion posters.
John: womp womp. Lisa makes a funny. No, for real, it’s scary that this movie got made. Abu Dhabi? Really? You bump into Aiden? Really? Then you come home after essentially cheating on your husband and what does Big do? He gave you a giant piece of jewelry. Ridiculous. Scary Ridiculous.
Lisa: No, what’s scary is the amount that you remember from the movie.
John: (silence)
Lisa: Moral of the movie: “Ladies, cheat on your husbands.” (Not really)

Honorable Mention:

Bambi: Lisa doesn’t like that the mommy deer dies.
Amittyville Horror: John’s pick. The pig grunts; the red eyes; the whole “get out” to the priest. Margot Kidder before Superman.  Terrifying.
The episode of Family Guy where Brian eats Stewie’s dirty diaper: Completely uncalled for. Also not a movie.

Lisa: Can we sleep with the light on.
John: No.

(All Images Courtesy of Wikipedia!)

Thanks for reading! So what are your favorite movies? We’d love to hear which ones you love or hate and why!!

Posted in Life. 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 ,,

More Fall Decor

Posted by Lisa on October 5th, 2011

You know the Fall decorating doesn’t stop at just our house! I helped my mom decorate my parents’ house – and it turned out great if I say so myself.

Not too long ago I helped them with a plate wall above their server in the kitchen. Here’s the before.

Cute Scottie picture, right?

And the after.


And with Fall decorating.




They also recently painted their wood mantel to match their woodwork. I love the way it turned out! I really couldn’t believe the dramatic change a little paint cant do.

Here is what the mantel looked like before – prepped to be paint including frog tape


Paint is complete and waiting to finish drying …


Recognize the Scottie picture??


Here it is all jazzed up with pumpkins and decorating


I love the brass and pewter candlesticks my mom has!




I also added acorn vase fillers and placed a LED candle on top to one of their end tables.


It was a great day to hang with my mom and spend time with her. Both of us love decorating and it was great to do this together!

Posted in Fall,Home Decor. Tagged in ,,

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