Archive - Outside RSS Feed

Getting Outside to Explore in the Garden

This is what the garden looked like on the day we bought the house, in late August of last year. Almost no grass (there’s a small patch out front), but plenty of greenery.

The Garden, When We Moved In

Aside from the snow we had last week, spring is pretty much here (yay!). Trees don’t start getting their buds until now in Chicago though, and the earliest spring flowers and plants are just starting to push their way up through the soil. After we raked our yard, we were left with a few patches of green shoots and a whole lot of dirt.

Garden Exploration

Oh, and antique objects, likely collected from flea markets. A spinning stone wheel, upon which we can sharpen our broadsword? Check. Antique washing machines? Yep, we’ve got a couple. Old street signs, spotlights, and various child impaling artifacts? Check, check, and check!

Antique Garden Objects

Some of it is cool. Some is dangerous. We’ll have to pare down.

We were out there all weekend, cleaning up the front and back yards. The kids loved to help, which basically consisted of them digging holes. (Great job, guys!) We got good and dirty playing and exploring outside, and then the kids fell asleep.

Shhh… They're "Sleeping"

Ha! I wish we still got naps out of them sometimes. Nah, we finished up outside and then went in to wash our hands and get cleaned up before dinner. Lemon Verbena is our usual soap, but when I switched to Basil, Eleanor actually commented on it (“something smells yummy!“).

Washing Up

Switching gears to talk about that sink for a second… Have you lived with double taps before? Some people can’t stand using them, but I don’t mind at all. You just have to get used to using a stopper, and then it’s no big deal. And the antique sink here is my favorite because not only is it adorable, it’s an inch or two lower than usual and the height feels really good. Maybe it’s not so great for taller folk, but I love it and the kids can wash their hands without needing a step stool.

Washing Up

But back to the garden. We’ve heard from neighbors that the previous owners spent a lot of time outside, tending to the garden. There are mature boxwood hedges, peonies, roses, hydrangeas, various hostas, several trees and bushes, and at least three types of vines. I know enough to recognize some of it, but the rest will be a surprise. It will be interesting to see what pops up throughout the spring and summer!

One more shot from last year…

The Garden, Last Year

hr 644

Mrs. Meyer’s is hosting a giveaway, and the Grand Prize Outdoor Contest winner will receive a custom-designed pre-fabricated greenhouse by Studio Shed, along with everything you need to start your very own vegetable garden. Once installed, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day will help you celebrate the tradition of homegrown food with a catered farm-to-table dinner party for you and 30 of your closest friends.

Visit for more details, and to enter.

The Victorian House: Kitchen, Bathroom, Office, and Back Porch #1

Here’s the rest of our new house’s first floor! Think of this as ‘The First Floor: The Wallpapered Edition.’ (There will be more upstairs, too.)

You’ve seen a glimpse of the kitchen already. Here she is, in all her glory.

Wallpapered Kitchen



Tin ceiling! Not original, but period-appropriate.

Tin Ceiling

The stove is not vented. It’s wood burning on the left, gas on the right. We immediately blew out the pilot light five minutes into owning the house, and had to run to a neighbor for matches. Then it happened again, and again (but at least we had the matches to relight it). Good times! Continue Reading…

The New House

I’d been waiting to share the house with you until everything was in order. We’re still waiting on the financing though, and that’s waiting on the appraisal. I believe it’s scheduled for this week, and then there will be further processing time after that. We were pre-approved for a larger mortgage than we would actually want or need, but pre-approval is different from underwriting. Our broker has been confident that we won’t have any problems, but I worry anyway.

I figure I can worry and share the house at the same time.

The Rainbow House

Part of me can’t believe that we’re getting this house. Part of me is still waiting for that other (financing) shoe to drop. We sold our house to buy this one. I have cried over it, not from worry or stress, but because I never thought I would live in a house so beautiful, that I loved so much. I’m being terribly schmaltzy, I know! I love it though. I love it.

One month after touring houses on the Wright Plus Housewalk and thinking about starting to look for a new house, we bought one. It turns out that the open house I stopped in on my way home — the house I talked to Brandon about in a wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a house like that kind of way — is the one we’ll be moving to at the end of August. We hope.

I shared plenty of photos from the MLS listings from two of the other houses we had considered buying. Both of those were estate sales though, so the homes were vacant. The house that we are buying is still occupied by the current owners, and out of respect for them, I won’t be showing detailed photos of the interior yet. It is gorgeous, but even staged to sell it is still filled with their art, furnishings, and personality. We’re scheduled to close on the house in late August, and I’ll go through and take plenty of pictures then (too many pictures, I’m sure!) to share.

The exterior is fair game though, right? Because whoa, the exterior.

Pink Roses on the Front Porch

Page 1 of 212»