My dad bought his first SentrySafe product when I was just a little kid; large enough to hold anything relating to our identities or home or insurance, the safe was a primary method of security and organization in a pre-cloud world. When I wasn’t being a snot, he even let me undo the lock for him. Special days.
SentrySafe’s claim to fame in my young mind was that it would be safe if our house burnt to a crisp; he somehow instilled in me that this was a very likely possibility (although me watching Rescue 911 too young might have contributed to this also). Miraculously, by the manufacturing abilities of this company, all of your important documents would be preserved and retrievable; this was amazing to me. And still is. So, when I left for college, Dad bought me my own. A smaller version, it was enough to hold all of the important documents (birth certificate, account information, savings bonds).
It’s moved around with me, finally finding it’s way into my home. And when Pete moved in, he brought his too. Matching little safes to keep our respective treasures protected.
The fire-safety-obsessed fan that I am, think they could do a mad-cool state fair display by burning the product (you know, maybe in conjunction with the state’s firefighting display). And yes I hope I get a radical commission if they ever follow through on that proposal. I kind of think you all should own one.
So, here’s where it gets fun like it’s never gotten fun before: The crew over at SentrySafe have generously jumped on the opportunity to giveaway not one – but TWO locking safes to my readers. Wanting to giveaway the girliest safes ever, because that’s the kind of mood I was in, I requested PINK which had been created and sold in support of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. They retail for $35.99 a piece if you decide to buy directly from SentrySafe.
Here’s how you can win one of the two safes:
The contest ends Thursday 5/19 at 10PM. Winners will be randomly chosen and contacted Friday 5/20.
And dudes, if you don’t want pink, consider entering and surprising your girl. Or mom. Earn brownie points.
(And full-disclosure: I didn’t accept free product or payment for this giveaway, I just like them.)
Peonies are easily my favorite flower. And that’s why Pete included them in my latest blog header, how sweet. Mom and dad had a big ol’ peony patch that I coveted year after year; I even (tried to) paint the blossoms during the summer I was really into oil painting (circa. 2000). Because Mom spends time taming back some of her plants every fall, I ended up with some really hearty, well rooted peony plants for my own garden in the fall of 2009.
Unfortunately, as they started to grow last spring, the dog doused them, if you catch my drift. They didn’t even have a chance. I expelled lots of emotions over this and I subsequently trained the dog not to pee in that corner of the yard. This isn’t a post about my dog or excretion. Moving on.
I can happily report that they’re back this year. And then it gets annoying again; mine are much more stunted than others I see in the community. Maybe they don’t get enough sun, maybe the cooler weather by the lake is delaying their development. But today they look like this. Here’s to hoping I get one or two or maybe three blooms. Even little blooms would do.
Oh sweet embarrassment, I really need to weed and mulch back there.
That was a nice long way of getting to my real point, that I hope those peonies keep on keepin’ on so in another month I can retire these babies:
I found them at a garage sale a few years ago (for a sweet $2) and I don’t have any history accumulating fake flowers, but being peonies, in good condition no less, I decided to give it a shot. The stems were kind of long, which I felt was oddly distracting to the overall look and feel I was going for, so this year I hacked the stems a little shorter to display in a smaller vase.
Hell, I’ll even admit that I misted them with some Peony Bath & Body Works body spray someone gave me one time. These can work for me until the real deal is in bloom.
Ooh, how about a bonus shot with Cody, since be was behaving while I snapped from a few different angles:
This weekend (5/15) marks the two year anniversary of me. Of “grown up” me. Of me living in my home. My very own home. Any of you who knew me when I made the decision to buy a home may recall that it was very much something I decided upon on a whim.
The short version of the story:
You’ve probably perused the before/after section of the site before. But seriously, when I pull together the photos side by side like I’m about to show you, I’m blown away at how much I’ve done to this place in 2 years.
Please enjoy, and celebrate homeownership pride with me; afterall, forbes.com is – it announced this week that Rochester, NY is the best city in which to buy a home. Frickin’ HIGH FIVE, people.
On to the photos:
Exterior of the house: It was stripped. (Thank you, tax credit.)
The front entryway is a work in progress – that front porch should be finished within the next few weeks (it’s been begging for railings):
The deck and pergolas on the back of the house are entirely new. DIY’ed too, just search “deck” on this site (or click right here) and see a whole slew of posts about this project. Impressive change, right?
The Living Room: A dramatic makeover from carpeted drab space to bright and slick (I can’t describe it any other way) happiness.
The Sunroom: It was storage for children’s toys before I moved in. And it was carpeted. What can I say, anything was an improvement. Yes, there’s a margarita in my photo; call it a grown-up toy.
The Dining Room: It’s more so a workspace for me than a functional dining room, but it too received a nice makeover from floor to ceiling.
The Kitchen: The initial change involved painting it white. It’s hard to tell in the original photo, but each wall was painted a different shade of blue. And then I removed 7 upper cabinets to make way for open shelving.
The stairwell recieved an updo too. Not just paint, I swapped in a new closet door and made a collage of frames on the wall more recently.
The view down the stairs is improved too; those horizontal faux-wood blinds are throughout the whole house and really change each room dramatically in a way that plastic blinds don’t. Plus, the hardwood landing looks sexy. People don’t usually call hardwood floors sexy, do they? Just me?
The Nursery-turned-Walk-In-Closet: Animals were painted over, and the room was neutralized and made highly functional with the help of some big IKEA shelves. I was lacking closet space in every single apartment I lived in, so you could say I’m making up for it in a big way.
The Basement: We built workbenches over the winter, but the biggest change was the installation of glass block windows. Let there be light!
Thank you again for all of your support, encouragement, and kind words about the projects you’ve seen so far; lots more to come.