Country Living...Island Dreaming

August 29, 2012

Hardwood Floor Shopping

I am starting my research to find
the best hardwood floors
for my future office.

At the moment,
the door is closed on this...
 once playroom-turned dog-room....
...turned disaster room!
For those of you who missed that Weekend Pupdate,
Rosie was a little destructive that week!

I had planned on switching the carpet
for hardwood floors eventually.
But thanks to Rosie,
I am working on that a little sooner!

I am just undecided about what type of floors to put in there.
I know I want solid hardwood, pre-finished.
I don't want the unfinished and then have to deal with
the fumes from finishing them on-site.

I  need something that will stand up to a dog running around.
So a strong hard wood would be great.
I have heard that hickory is durable.
Although, I want a type that doesn't vary in color all over.
I think I have seen some hickory that is all the same tone.

I want a light to medium color,
but something that won't fade.
I have the Bruce Hardwood in Gunstock
in my living room and dining room.
Over the 13 years we have lived there,
there has been some fading issues.
Take a look under this rug...
How awful is that?!!
(I'd love to finish or replace this too!)
If I had plantation shutters like I had wanted in those two rooms,
this fading might not have happened.
So, not having plantation shutters
actually cost us money instead of saving us money!
Yes, my husband is just loving that argument!

any advice on hardwoods would be greatly appreciated.
Are there any brands you have been happy with?
Do you recommend a type of wood?


August 26, 2012

Weekend Pupdate #28

We just returned from another weekend at the beach
and I realized the only pictures I took of Rosie this week
were last evening.

As you may recall,
last week my father in law was not happy
with how Rosie behaves on a leash.
I will admit...she needs a little work.

But this weekend,
we were lucky enough to have our niece
the family "dog expert" with us.
She whipped Rosie right into shape!
Well, actually she put a choke collar on Rosie
just to try it out.
(After many protests from me because I don't believe in them.)
Within minutes,
Rosie was walking like a mature, well trained dog!

We even invited her along
on our ice cream excursion
for the evening.

I let my niece take charge
and Rosie obeyed beautifully.

She even behaved herself
as we all enjoyed our ice cream.
(And she was very happy to lick up any stray drips!)

So, I guess I am ok with using a choke collar occasionally.
But I do plan on enrolling her
in another dog obedience class in the fall.

Did you do any walking this weekend?


August 20, 2012

The Shark Boat

As I mentioned in yesterday's
Weekend Pupdate,
the kids and I built a boat this weekend.

But not just any boat...
a shark boat!

We signed up to race in a cardboard boat race at our pool and spent part of Saturday and all day Sunday putting it together.
At first,
we really didn't have much of a plan.
We had a large Pottery Barn box
from my son's recent desk delivery.

On Saturday we removed the staples from the corners (staples were not allowed in the race) and we taped up the bottom.  Our first plan was to make a train, then we decided to make a rowboat, then we thought a shark would be the best idea.  (We are a real decisive family!)

As you can see here,
we already cut the boat to make a rowboat
so we had to add the fins on.
The front part was an add on too.

We spent all day Sunday
taping and taping...

We could use duct tape or clear packing tape.
We used both - and lots of it,
especially on the bottom!

While I taped, my son started coloring in the mouth with a Sharpie.
We weren't happy with the results
so we found some electrical tape in the garage
 and made the mouth with that.

Already, it was starting to look better.

I cut some mailing labels for the teeth.

And my son added them on.

Both kids enjoyed adding the "blood"
to the teeth!

And after many hours, we were done!
(Yes, that's my 6 year old back there,
 still in his pajamas at 3:00 p.m.!)

Then it was time to load the shark in the car
for the big race!

The question was...
"Will this thing float?"

I had my doubts and my husband was sure it would sink!

In fact some of the boats did sink...or flip!

But we didn't let that scare us!

We could only race two boats at a time,
(because there weren't enough paddles or life vests)
and almost right away our competition flipped over.

So at that point,
we were just trying to get a good time on the stopwatch.
We were laughing hysterically as we paddled along.

Near the end,
I was starting to get wet
but we made it across the pool!

Which is more I can say
for one of the other boats!

I guess we shouldn't have listened to my husband
when we named our boat!
Now of course my kids won't let me throw this thing out.
Where am I going to put a huge cardboard shark?!!

Anyway, it was a memorable evening
and a fun way to end the weekend!
These summer days sure are dwindling down!

Did you do any "boating" this weekend?

Linking to:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesdays Treasures
The Stories of A 2 Z - Tutorials and Tips Link Party
Not Just a Housewife - Show Me What Ya Got
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
Shine Your Light - Sweet Summertime
At the Picket Fence - Inspiration Friday
Serenity Now - Weekend Bloggy Reading Link Up
Chic on a Shoestring - Flaunt it Friday

August 19, 2012

Weekend Pupdate #27

"Your dog cannot walk on a leash!"

Yes, that is a direct quote from my father-in-law
after he attempted to take Rosie out for a walk
when we were at the beach.

Yes, I am aware of this problem
and we are working on it!

After all,
she is only 8 months old.
I think he forgets that because of her size.

my father-in-law is used to his well trained
6 year old golden retriever.

One of the reasons
we bought Rosie the harness
was because she is so impossible to walk.

But yes,
we will be taking her to dog obedience
to take care of this walking issue!

So after giving my father-in-law so much trouble,
I think Rosie was feeling a little guilty.
So she spent some quality time with him
watching golf!

I think she was into the tournament
more than he was!

This week,
she also spent a lot of time chewing.

I had to buy her more bully sticks
because she is going through another chewing phase.
Luckily, nothing in the house has been destroyed...lately.

She enjoyed her time outside this week.

And she had the boys running after her
when she stole the duct tape
from our cardboard boat building project in the driveway.

(More on this tomorrow!)

They finally grabbed the tape back.
But not until everyone
was thoroughly worn out!

We just love our little girl.

Today the boys and I have to finish up our boat
for the big race.
We still have some cutting and taping to do!
Stop by tomorrow to see how that turns out!

The summer is just flying by!

What are your plans this week?


August 17, 2012

Keeping Busy in August

School starts around here the first week of September
so we still have plenty of days to fill with activities.

We spent this past weekend at the beach.
The water was perfect for swimming
and was also great to cool off in
as we played some serious games of catch
with the velcro ball and paddles.

At sunset, we watched some families fishing.
We just missed them catching some baby sharks!
They had to throw them back in
 but we saw their pictures.
Needless to say, the kids were thrilled!

When we came home,
we spent an afternoon at a pottery painting studio.
My younger son painted a crazy looking dragon.

My older son wanted to be ready for Halloween
so he painted the Jack-o-lantern.

Here are the masterpieces.
We have to wait two weeks to pick them up though.

This week, we also
spent several evenings shooting hoops in the driveway.

And the boys spent each morning at golf camp.
My 8 year old has quite a swing already
and is really loving the game!
My 6 year old is pretty good too,
but he mostly loved the snack breaks!

Before we know it,
they will be playing with Daddy!
They just grow up too fast!

Now it's time for another weekend!

What have you been up to?

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August 15, 2012

Getting Rid of the New Furniture Smell

As much as I love purchasing new furniture,
I hate the way the room smells when the furniture arrives.

I believe is the term.
And it really isn't very healthy.

Some furniture companies seem to be stinkier than others.
Fortunately, I have been pretty lucky with Pottery Barn.
We just purchased this new Pottery Barn desk
for my little first grader!
He is so thrilled to have a desk just like his brother.
In fact, he wanted the exact same one!
Right now the Pottery Barn desks are on sale too!

The new desk arrived the other day
and my husband put it together right away.
It did smell like varnish/stain but it wasn't terrible.
I mean, it wouldn't knock you out or anything!
Of course my crazy boys, (and husband)
thought it smelled good!

But being the neurotic, health conscious mom that I am,
I had to freshen the air in his room just in case.
I poured some baking soda in a few dishes
to absorb some of the odor.

I also mixed in some ground cinnamon, cloves and a little vanilla
to one of the dishes.
Why not make it smell nice!

Then I brought in a few live plants.
And I do use the word, "live" loosely...
I'm not exactly known for having a green thumb!

Houseplants such as Spider Plants, Philodendron and Peace Lillies
are supposed to be good for removing chemicals from the air.
Other good plants are Bamboo Palms,
(which I used to have in my bedroom but eventually killed it...)
Rubber Plants and Boston Ferns.

Anyway, besides the jungle I created in the room,
I also opened the window to get a little breeze.
But don't tell my husband
because the air conditioning was on!
I am willing to sacrifice a little on the energy bill
for some fresh air...
he is not!

Already, the room smells much better
and we are planning on making a trip to Staples
so we can buy all his special desk supplies and accessories.
He's so excited to have a desk!
Now I am planning on adding a few more things to his room.
Oh, it never ends...

What do you use to get rid of that new furniture smell?

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
DIY By Design - Sizzle into Summer Party
Homestories A to Z - Tutorials Tips Link Party
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