RIP Roo - June 2010 to August 2014

It's with a heavy heart that I have to let you know our dog Roo crossed the rainbow bridge. He was just one year old when he became our foster dog in June 2011. We loved him so much and he became a part of our family.
Even though he did come with pre-existing medical health conditions, his death was unexpected. It really sucks.
Here are some of my favorite Roo photos:


annual summer fun in the neighborhood

Sad to be counting down the days of summer, but we still have Riot Fest this weekend.
Here are some other summer events in our hood that we try to hit up annually:

Green Music Festival
held the weekend of June 21st - 22nd at North and Damen

Taste of Latin America 
held the first weekend in August on Armitage between Central Park and Avers

held the first Saturday in September, between 3400 to 3800-ish West Armitage

held the second weekend of September in Humboldt Park

the second Saturday in September along Palmer Boulevard and Humboldt Boulevard

Humboldt Park - Chicago Park District
all summer long the park has activities, festivals, trails, and entertainment

At least we have The Bloomindale Trail to look forward to next summer.

Front porch

When we moved into our place, the front porch was in desperate need of some major tlc. The spindles, railings, and posts had wood decay, and were unstable. Financially we were not in a position to completely gut and replace it, but we did need to make some repairs. So out of necessity, this became a diy project. It didn't seem like it would be too difficult or expensive.
I took the measurements to my local big - box - home- improvement- superstore,  where they helped me with my building plan, supply order, and scheduled a delivery for the materials. Once I got started assembling, things were pretty smooth. Just like a puzzle (with screws) or Ikea furniture. 
photo of front porch after closing

removed rotten spindles
Instead of just painting everything red and white again, I apparently lost my mind, and went with green. Did I get inspiration from other houses or photos- nope!  Just my imagination and a love for this color. At the time I truly believed we would have a brand new deck in the next year or two (aww so naive), and this was a temporary "fun" color. With overgrown empty lots, abandoned foreclosed homes, gangbangers and drug dealers on the corner, a green porch should have been the least of anyone's worry.
Now that the neighborhood has been quickly gentrifying, it's time to fit in with the color schemes of the community. Does that make sense? We don't want to be "that house with the green...". Plus I am just so sick of it.
with new spindles and green paint (2009)

September 2009


the most recent photo with hostas, a fern, and boxwoods (2014)

{ The new front porch plan }

1. Paint the porch ceiling a Haint blue. 
The stained glass window is part of the large picture window facing the porch, so the shade of blue for the ceiling will compliment the window. 
stained glass in front room facing porch

2. Prime and paint the railing, spindles, and posts white.

3. Paint the steps, floor, and lattice a dark charcoal grey.

The photo seems to be the best example of what colors I would like to use. I think the dark color on the bottom will help balance out our new roof (scroll down for pic).
The trim around the roofline and windows is white. Otherwise black trim would be my favorite option. You can see what I mean here.
Not sure what to do with our front door. We do need a new one, but need to figure out a way to make this one work in the mean time. Better to leave it black? or paint it white? or another color?

my photo of a photo via apartment therapy
This new color scheme will work with our overall interior aesthetic and create a better flow. I will follow up with some "after" photos soon (hopefully).
new roof 2012

Front door: leave black? paint white? or another color?
front door 2009


Master Bedroom Floor

Remember when I primed the walls and floors in the bedroom (here)? Well I just finished with the final coat of poly, along with 2 coats of paint. Let's take a look back, this is the bedroom at closing.
with dark blue/ gray industrial carpet.

Check out photos of the floor after removing the carpet:
Hardwood patched with plywood.
Hardwood floor in sad condition.

Hardwood floor patched with plywood. Hole from radiator. 
plywood patch 

After talking to our floor guy, I realized that we really need new flooring due to all of the damage. Since that isn't in our budget right now, paint was the next best thing. I have always been a fan of painted floors, especially white. My Pinterest inspiration pics are here.
The damaged areas will be easily concealed with furniture and rugs. Once we get some color on the walls it won't look sooo WHITE.

Here are some snapshots after the primer and two coats of paint:

Hardwood floors after primer and 2 coats of paint.

Floors- after primer and 2 coats of paint

Hardwood floors- primed and 2 coats of paint

Floors- primed, 2 coats of paint & poly
Now we must wait for the final coat(s) to dry.
Little Miss
Mr Doggy
Mr Kitty

a place to sit outside

We now have a place to hangout and entertain in our backyard. My in-laws recently remodeled their patio and sunroom, and then generously gifted their old furniture to us. It's so nice to have real patio furniture.
Over the years the furniture has been painted different colors, and will probably have a new look next summer. Of course I am thinking black for the paint (surprise, surprise), but will be considering other options. 
Slipcovers for the cushions and throw pillows should be easy, and reupholstering the dining chairs will take like 5 seconds.
Check out our new(to us) patio furniture:
* oops, forgot to put the seat cushions on the chairs

I started a Pinterest board with backyard and patio inspiration photos. Click HERE to check it out.
Below are a few of my current faves:

Love this black and turquoise combo!
photo via

Love the yellow too!
photo via
photo via
Simple black & white stripe is nice.
photo via

Love the white, but keeping it clean would be a problem.
found via

Would love any of these Trina Turk swatches for the seat cushions and throw pillows!
photo via

There goes the neighborhood

In gentrification and real estate news, Humboldt Park has been declared one of the hottest neighborhoods in the country. This is according to Redfin (found via Curbed and Dna info).
It is nice to read good things about our neighborhood (our house is on the edge of Humboldt Park and Logan Square).
We sure are seeing lots of real estate buying and selling, rehabbing, new construction, and more businesses opening. It is all very exciting!

photo of my computer screen from the Redfin website