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Monday, May 23, 2011

Mantel, Decor and More


We hung our curtains really tall in the living room. We lucked out since we had these cream ones from the condo on North Street (aka: Land of Windows).
I found the bamboo shades at Home Depot in the right size. We have very non-standard sized windows so finding blinds or shades in the size we need that we also like is a challenge. These are almost the same color as the wood floors so they pull in the same tones nicely.


I am using the existing wood mantel above the fireplace right now. It was hung very lopsided and droops to the left a bit. I have not had a chance to really mess with that and eventually want to use my pewter brackets we got way back when we bought my condo at UT. We have been saving them for something special so I think after 11 years this would be a great use.

I used a variety of finds and old favorites on the mantel. I found this neat architectural gate print at HomeGoods with mom when I was in Houston a couple months back. It was a real steal! I had been wondering where to put it and I really like it here. I incorporated a bright vase from Anthropologie and a fabric letter, old clock and Gothic inspired candle holder.

You can't see it here but on the left I have an old wooden white star that we had in my condo from college as well. (It is barely visible in the photo up top.)


I really like how this is turning out. I found this cool rose window mirror at Hobby Lobby for just $35 and the neat butterfly framed prints at HomeGoods in Houston for just $25 each. The day after I got them I saw them on One Kings Lane for $135 each on sale... I don't think so!

I am really excited about our new cork collector! Its super tall so y'all better come help us fill it up... it could take years!


I was not too thrilled with these curtains at first but once I put the butterfly prints and rose window mirror on the adjacent wall they really tied together. I found these at World Market and the shade only cost me $1 from! That's right... $1. I joined their O club a while back since I knew we would be getting deals for the house there and so I get 5% back on everything and you can use it immediately once the other purchases ship. So it was originally $17 and I had over $15 in club credits so it really only cost me $1!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

And on the 60th day there was LIGHT!

Today marks two months since we closed on the house!

We have so much to show everyone. Justin has become so super handy, he is practically an electrician. He has told me how he can't imagine doing this all day for a job. I just want to know when my super muscles are coming from holding things over my head while he connects the wires.

Last weekend we changed out the terrible track light in the kitchen to one with a much lower profile. Not only did you almost hit your head on it, they were really hot fluorescent lights so they made you sweat before you even started cooking.

Here is what we have now... much more sleek.

Since the first light change out experiment went so well, this weekend we tackled two more as well as the master ceiling fan.

First came the breakfast area in the kitchen. We first ordered a lantern style pendant from Overstock and it ended up being way to large but we loved it so it is now in the downstairs bath (see below). So I went looking for something a little smaller and found this nice discreet shaded pendant. Since it does not hang as low, I wont be staring at the bulb in my eyes like the one that came with the house. Before


The lantern in the downstairs bathroom replaced a really awesome cheap spotlight. It reminded me of those old desk lamps from Ikea in the 80's. I totally had one on my Ikea desk I just "had to have" and I remember having it in my room while watching The Arsenio Hall Show... woot woot woot! (You have to do that with your arm in the air.)

Although we don't have a before photo, I am sure you can imagine a really ugly spotlight being used as bathroom lighting.

And now... sparkly fancy lighting!

Coming soon...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sneak Preview

I have been a really bad blogger.  Justin and I have been doing some wonderful things around the house and I have not sent photos of anything.  Here is a sneak peak of a couple things I did yesterday.  I promise to take more photos and post more to the blog this weekend.
Clothespin Sunburst Mirror
Inspired by a DIY blog post from Design*Sponge
Check out the fun butterfly prints and rose window mirror in the dining room.
Don't check out the mess... I told you this was a preview shot.
You can also catch a glimpse of the fun curtains in the mirror.
Can't wait to show you more!
Have a Fab Friday!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tiny Prints Giveaway from Simplified Bee

Cristin over at Simplified Bee has a wonderful giveaway from Tiny Prints

We used their sister site for our wedding invitations and could not be more impressed.  We also used Tiny Prints for our New Years cards last year (sorry none went out this year with all the moving).  I would love to win some of the new home announcements so we can send out our new address to everyone. 

What would you want to win? 
Enter by leaving a comment on her blog or facebook page.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blonde Blogging

Thanks for your patience while I learn how to do this whole blog thing.  I am sure many of you have received 3 or 4 emails of the same post that has been tweaked and edited.  I do apologize and I still don't know how to stop that.  I am learning some things on here and adding some cool features.  I am sure as this goes along it will grow and be more fun for everyone!

Today I learned how to make it easier to sign up for my postings, added pages for us and added some of my favorite blog links to the homepage as well.  So far Bluebell has been very productive in filling out her deets... check it out. 

I pulled some stats and we actually had 225 blog hits since I started it a month ago!  That is alot for us since we don't even know that many people!  So I better get to making this look good and more interesting.  Got to impress the masses.

You may have noticed the name change the other day to "Tall Blonde and Handy".  There are a ton of "Keep Up With the Joneses" sites out there so it was very hard to find if you searched that.  Also,  I think this new name is kind of fun and different.

More home posts to come soon!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Top This!

After the whole butcher block countertop fiasco we lucked out with a great deal at Home Depot to order some nice quartz countertops by Silestone for our kitchen. 

Here are some samples of the color: Bianco River

It's hard to tell from the photos but it has a slightly matte finish in white with grey river rock-like striations.  It reminds me of a more Americana version of carrara marble.  I just came up with that term so no making fun!

In about 4 weeks or so we will be able to show you them installed with an undermount sink and our cool faux-ceiling tile back splash!  We can't wait!


Craving Creativity?

Craving Creativity?

I want to share with everyone a really great post from Centsational Girl.

Click here to check out her blog!

Here are some ideas she has me ready to try once we get more settled...

Last year, Darby introduced me to the world of blogs. It really helped me to get my creative juices flowing and inspire me to try new things and get excited about something. With the new home, I have really fallen in love with the home design blog world. It is amazing all that is out there. No need for magazines anymore, they are outdated by the time you get them. Everything new and interesting is on the blogs.

One of my faves since day one is Centsational Girl. She is a lawyer turned creative guru/entrepreneur.  Sounds like a good career change to me.  Today she posted an entry about how to get your creative juices flowing and where to find inspiration. This is so true!

I hope you all enjoy,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Make like a tree...and get outta here.

So, the photo from the first post of the outside of the house was a little misleading.  The tree had grown quite a bit, and leaves were everywhere.  In fact, it looked something like this:

I know there is a car in the way - but it helps to show how low the tree was hanging down.  You can also see the row of shrubs hanging out in the back.  After a little slicing and dicing, you can actually see the front of the house!

There has also been a lot of progress in the kitchen and getting settled in the house in general.  I've been taking some photos of the transformation - but we'll save those for later.  I wouldn't want to ruin the Big Reveal!  In the meantime, some people asked about the hardware and what it looked like - so here is a close up shot. 


Monday, April 11, 2011

"...nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should." - Julia Child, My Life in France

Well Hello! 

Sorry for the delay everyone.  I know you have been in such anticipation of our next post that you haven't left your house for days in fear you would miss something... NOT!

We knew cabinets would take a while, but man, they REALLY do take a while.  You get to prime then flip, prime then flip, 1st coat then flip... and so on.  We have a few that did not make the first round of sanding and painting but you can get a good idea here at how bright and fun our kitchen is coming along.  Just wait until we have the back splash, counter top, lighting, drapes and seating to go along with it.  Oh, and I can't forget decor... Justin loves decor!

Sherwin Williams Calypso, Amerock Essential'z Hardware

Gayla Jones let us in on a really cool fact that we did not know about.  Julia Child's kitchen was also turquoise!  Chef Justin will be sure to impress! Here is a photo of her kitchen which is now featured in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

In the words of Julia, "bon appetit"!
Lara & Justin

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Goodbye Brown Cabinets.... Hello Calypso

It did not take us very long to get started on ripping out the faux wood laminate backsplash and start sanding the cabinets.  By the first night we had all the doors down and ready to go. 
Here are some photos of what it looked like before...

And the fun begins...

First Comes Primer

Then comes paint... first coat on the walls of Sherwin Williams - Faraway Blue

And now here is a preview of the cabinet color.  Very exciting!

1st coat of Sherwin Williams - Calypso
 More to come soon!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Welcome to Wycliff

Justin and I decided it would be a lot of fun to include everyone on our excitement with our new home in Austin, TX!  I created our blog "Keeping Up with The Jones'" so you can do just that... not that I am sure you don't mind all my crazy design and style emails all the time anyway ;)  I hope you enjoy and look forward to our changes and design style and we can't wait for you to visit.  Stay tuned for more fun coming soon!