The Pond at the New House, finished!

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It’s nearly June and I’ve been working on the yard like mad. It was pretty much a moonscape when we bought the place, so I have much to do. The first area I tackled this Spring was the pond. The previous owner did the hardest part, digging the big 3′ hole, as well as lining it and adding the filter box and pump (see the “BEFORE” pics). I dug out the stream and hole at the top for the filter box, lined it and added all the rocks. (thankfully there is an great rock place right up the road from us). I’ve been adding plants and the dwarf Japanese maple bit by bit and now it’s done! Feels good to have one big project completed.

I have bits and pieces of other projects done as well, but will wait to post those images until they are complete. Still a long ways to go but making headway! Other projects I am in the middle of: Adding a cutting garden to the side of the house and adding 3 small raised bed vegetable gardens on the lower level. (Working on the inside of the house as well, mainly painting and wallpaper) Yard projects still to go:

Painting the fence, Staining the decks, Adding walking paths on the lower level, Adding a low rock retaining wall/planting bed on the lower level, Adding a bit of artificial turf (for Max the Pug!), Landscaping two bare areas behind the house, Planing along the back fence (likely lilacs and snowball viburnum), Adding a graveled seating area on the lower level. Painting the arbor, Painting the house. All this and then the upper level by the entry, which will require a landscape contractor. I sure have my work cut out for me! It is very satisfying work though and I know I am adding to my property values πŸ™‚ So without further ado here is the pond project:

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Most of the plants came from Costco (a fantastic source for plants in the spring! Great deals) and Lowes. We brought the gazing ball, pots and most of the decorative accessories with us from our Denver house, and the new patio furniture came from Houzz.com and Wayfair.com.

Thanks for looking! Hope your Spring is colorful and bright πŸ™‚

A Little Sparkle for the New Year in the New House

Call me Scrooge if you must, but the Christmas decorations are all packed away. I wanted to do something I haven’t before, and decorate a bit just for New Years (without it having to compete visually with the Christmas decor.) The man and I are having a nice quiet evening at home, just the two of us, with a special dinner (we’re making seafood paella!) and champagne. I thought it would be lovely to have a simple and elegant table-scape we could enjoy all week. I dug through my holiday decorations and found 4 lengths of sparkly silver beaded wired garland (I think I bought it at the thrift store years ago) and added some chandelier crystals from my stash of craft supplies. I draped these over the current light fixture (I have a new one that will be going up soon) and that’s it! A sparkly New Year for us πŸ™‚ I also picked up about $13 worth of hydrangea and spray roses from trusty ol’ Trader Joes. Simple, elegant and easy. I think this may have to be a new tradition for us.

I’m liking the way things are looking here at the new house, (but of course I can’t wait to paint, wallpaper and change out the light fixtures! πŸ™‚

newyear2017aanewyears2017anewyear2017dHappy New Year everyone!!

Holidays at the New House Part Deux…plus the First Big Project!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

As promised, here is the outside of the new house gently done up for the Holidays. You may recognize the decorations from previous years at the old house, all recycled here this year. The one new addition is our delightful Christmas Goose, a curbside find (ie: free) here in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago. I’ve named him Gustav the Goose (yea I know, I’m a dork :-). He is lit by a section of led rope light. (I just poked it up through the hole he has in his feet πŸ™‚

Also FIRST BIG PROJECT REVEAL!Β  We had new steps and a gate put in a couple weeks ago. We love what it does for the entry to the house both functionally and aesthetically. We are planning to add wall caps to the new concrete walls as well as paint the house a coordinating grey in the spring and will also refinish the deck. Here are the before and afters, during the day and at night.

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AFTER:

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…and here are some more decorations outside.

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…and at night.

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Until next year!

Have the most amazing holiday season & a an incredibly prosperous New Year.

Thank you so much for reading my blog!

We Moved! First Holiday in the New House…

2 months ago we moved from Denver, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s been a crazy whirlwind but we are finally starting to feel settled in our new city. There is still a ton of work to do, lots of painting, wallpaper, landscaping etc. etc., and of course I will be blogging lots of “Before & After” projects as things progress. It’s been a big challenge as we have seriously down-sized (the new house is much smaller) and got rid of at least half of our stuff in the move. It’s been good for us πŸ™‚ Even though I havn’t had time to do any painting yet, I just had to get some holiday decorations up. It’s definitely scaled down after our over-the-top Denver Victorian, much more streamlined. On the bright side, I can do it in a day instead of the 2-3 days it took in the old house. You’ll see that most of the decor has been “recycled” from the old house. The only new holiday stuff are some stunning flowers and fresh greens from good ol’ Trader Joe’s (I wouldn’t have moved here if SLC didn’t have a TJs πŸ˜‰Β  I spent a total of just $29 on 3 bunches of flowers, a bunch of greens, and cedar garland, and got enough goodies to make 3 flower arrangements and had enough greens left over to spread around the house. Oh and a tried a couple waxed amaryllis bulbs on the dining room table (also from TJs, $7.99 each) and I love them! Zero maintenance, perfect. TJs is the BEST place for flowers!

 

I will get pics of the outside in the next couple of days. In the meantime, enjoy. Happy Holidays!

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The entry to our house is actually what was originally the back of the house. Long story, but they apparently moved the street some time ago, so we live in the Backwards House πŸ™‚ For now our front door is a sliding glass door ( we may change it to French doors in the future). The front room serves as an entry and my art studio. More pics in the near future, I promise. holidayhouse2017o

I spoiled myself with a lovely flower arrangement and an orchid on my desk. (all from TJs) It’s the perfect spot to work at, with a view of the yard and the city and mountains to the West.holidayhouse2017m

Our quirky home came with this antique wood-burner (yes it works!) Right now it is functioning as a fancy plant stand.holidayhouse2017e

Our little dining room is just big enough and flooded with light. This area gets the most action in the house so it has most of the holiday decor. You may recognize most of these metallic ornaments as being on our mantle in the old house in previous years. They look great in their new space.holidayhouse2017lholidayhouse2017j

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The living room is much more minimal than at the old house, just the tree and holiday flowers under the TV (I really need to work on hiding the wires! Add that project to the list πŸ™‚holidayhouse2017dholidayhouse2017c

Can’t wait to see how it all looks next year after I’ve painted and wallpapered…

I will post the outside decorations in a few days. Have a great weekend everyone! Happy decorating!

Fabulous Finds Spring 2017

Hello my beauties…I have neglected you, I admit it, and I apologize. Life has been, well, intense and fascinating! What’s been going on? Well next month will mark my 1-year Tattoo “Graduation” Anniversary! I am happily putting art on people’s skin at Preying Mantis Tattoo in Lakewood, Colorado with a bunch of great guys. (…and still painting of course πŸ™‚ You can see what I’ve been creating at http://www.vlasicstudio.com, just click the “Tattoos” link. I have a few openings so message me to book your tattoo! In other news, We spent a week in my favorite city, NYC, a few weeks ago to meet some of my hubby’s long-lost relatives (Ancestry.com, we thank you for hooking us up with our fabulous “new” cousins!) It was a great trip, and we’d move there in a heartbeat if we could…This weekend finds us with a multitude of hounds in the house, ten in total,Β  (we are still dog-sitting, 4 years and counting!) and having lots of furry fun.

But what about the “Fabulous Finds” you ask? Well 2017 has thus far been a treasure trove of amazing from my favorite thrift store and more. Here are a few of the highlights so far this year…bagsshoes

Manolo Blahnik slides, Goodwill, $7.99, Marc Jacobs key holder, $1.99, lace-textured Botkier bag $8.99, and a Furla “Candy Bag” for $30 at Buffalo Exchange.

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3 Beautiful Bangles from Goodwill, left to right J Crew, Tory Burch and Kate Spade, $1.99 each.

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Burberry translucent blouse, $28 from the Buffalo Exchange outlet.

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Vintage Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress, Goodwill $8.99.

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Stuart Weitzman blue suede envelope bag, $6.99 at Goodwill.

What amazing finds have you scored lately? Id love to hear about it in the Comments section…

 

Happy Holidays House Tour 2016 – Outside

Happy Holidays all! As promised, here is the outside of the house this year, scaled back from previous years but still festive and fun. (See he inside here:Β https://theyearoflivingfabulously.com/2016/12/23/happy-holidays-house-tour-inside-2016-with-helpful-hints-tips/ It’s all multi-color lights out front (the secret to a mish-mosh of decor items, a cohesive color scheme). Nothing new this year, just a few things moved around. Everything is either alley finds or thrift store scores collected over the years.

At night, all sparkly bright πŸ˜‰ My favorite is still the bubble lights, I’d cover the house in them if I could…

By day…Those lovely ornament-packed garlands were an alley find! (the wreath on the door, too!) I am still amazed someone threw them away, they are marvelous, and packed with led lights. I’ve been hanging them over the porch for 3 years now, they still look great, and inspired the multi-color light theme outside. All the garland, the rope light, the bubble lights and icicle lights came from Goodwill over the years. The only things retail are the lights on the garlands (Target). Oh, and I do buy a bag of those cinnamon-scented pine cones each year. After they loose their aroma they go outside to help fill in the pots.

Happy Holidays! However you celebrate the season, wishing you joy πŸ™‚

Happy Holidays House Tour, Inside – 2016 (with helpful hints & tips)

 

2016 has been a rather mad year (broken foot in March, graduating my tattoo apprenticeship in July, getting married in September, hubby’s surgery in November, and that crazy election). I am very much ready for 2017, but that won’t stop me from sending 2016 out with a good time. We have so very much to be thankful for…

I scaled back just a bit this year (I know, it’s still completely over the top πŸ™‚ We now have a smaller tree (I’ll describe what I did below) and I left a few decorations packed in the basement this time.

The table isn’t too different from last year, I did add a fuzzy leopard runner just for fun. (I had bought it at a yard sale for $5 years ago). Everything else I had, just moved things around a bit. The beautiful flowers are from Trader Joe’s. (Tip: They have the best price on flowers in town! Better than wholesale in most cases.) Everything you see has been collected from thrift stores and yard sales over the years.

The one addition to the mantle this year are the gold “pine” branches, a thrift store find from a couple months ago. (Everything on the mantle has been collected from the thrift store over the years). I usually add some fresh pine boughs but decided to stick to the fake garland this year for easier clean-up :-).

I was lucky enough to find a second set of clear bubble lights at the Goodwill this year for $3.99 (I LOVE bubble lights! I’d happily cover the house with them.) and put them on a garland by the front window. I usually put all the peacock feathers in the tree, but since we scaled down the tree this year I made a little display of them with the green balls in a vase in the corner.

I love our tree this year! A bit smaller and fits the space better. It is still covered with all our delightful Asian/Indian inspired ornaments along with feathers and new this year, flowers! (see below for a step-by-step on the tree).

Because I went so nuts on the front room, I keep the living room a bit more simple. Just my favorite pink tree and the big pink ornament. And of course flowers (Trader Joe’s again) Holiday Decor Trick!: Many places that sell fresh trees will let you take the branches they trim off the bottoms for free! I use these in my flower arrangements and outdoor pots. Just be sure and ask first if you can take them πŸ˜‰

Here is the step-by-step on the tree:

Our new tree. It is a 6.5′ fakey with white led lights. I put it on top of 4 paint cans to make it taller (and keep the pups off it). Stage 2 I added 4 strings of pink lights as well as my favorite string of color-changing star lights. (Hint: wrap the light strands around the branches for a professional look). Stage 3 I layered extra bits of fabric to form a tree skirt. Next came 3 pink feather boas tucked inside the tree and a few pretty pink silk orchids. I love the way the pink feathers add a glow to the tree. Next came all the ornaments. (Hint: layer your ornaments throughout the tree, from inside by the trunk all the way to the tips, saving your nicest ornaments for the outside.) And lastly, I added some jewel-toned feathers to fill it in and top it. The only new thing this year is the tree, everything else I had from previous years or was re-purposed from other projects.

Happy Holidays everyone! I’ll post pictures of the outside tomorrow.