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#SouperSaturday: Smoky Farro & Chickpea Soup

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Oh my gosh, y’all!

This has been the most confusing winter I think I’ve ever experienced!
Bitterly cold for 2 or 3 days, then 60’s & sunny for 2, then back to ice and snow for another 4.
I guess it’s a good thing we never packed away our summer wardrobe this year!!

It also hasn’t helped in keeping us well…the ENTIRE family had the flu for Christmas.
And now we just keep passing around sore throats & stuffy noses.
I sure will be glad when Spring gets here!

Right now, we’re dealing with ice ...

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New Year’s Resolutions (and Making Them Stick!)

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How hilariously ironic is it that it’s almost March and I’m JUST now getting around to writing a post about New Year’s resolutions?! I’ve had this post on my mind since before the start of the year,but with all that has been going on (which you read about here), I just didn’t have the time. I hoped I would be able to get it to you in time for the lunar new year (Chinese New Year- Jan. 31), but alas, I am late there as well! It seems that procrastination strikes wherever I go! Nevertheless! I am determined to bring this information to you, because I feel it would be as relevant on August 1 as it is on January 1. Moving on… ;)
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I know a lot of people tend to pish-posh New Year’s resolutions-...

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Throw Me Some Bead(board), Mister!

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Alright, this is not a ‘Moms Gone Wild’ Mardi Gras post or anything- so don’t anybody get the wrong idea here! (Ironic the bead reference though, as the hubs and I honeymooned at The Orleans in Las Vegas and actually have several strands of beads around the house as a fond memory of the time we spent there- and no, we didn’t do anything ‘special to get them’! You can easily buy them in the gift shop!) Regardless, I’m not passing out treats in this post… at least not in that regard! What I will bare though, is the awesomeness that is our new porch ceiling and the trials and tribulations (of course!) that we went through to achieve it.

Rot is GROSS!

 

If y’all remember my last post, you’re very familiar with the hot mess of a house that we bought ~2 years ago. It was a foreclosure, so we got an awesome deal- but it has required SO MUCH WORK and we’re still not done with it yet. {read: still a hot mess} Of late, we’ve abandoned the inside for the outside as we just can’t take it anymore! The catalyst for this great migration to the outdoors was some wood rot that needed repairing and once that was fixed… well, it just kind of snowballed! *grins sheepishly*

 

We started out by replacing the front porch columns (they look sooooooooo much better!) and while researching the column wrap kits, I ran across this amazing vinyl soffit stuff that looks just like beadboard! This was an awesome find in so many ways:

  1.  In our initial repairs of the house we had to replace quite a bit of vinyl siding and Tim got really good at putting it up so I knew he could easily do this
  2. It is super cheap and I was totally able to find it local (and in stock!) so no waiting for shipping or paying freight charges!
  3. It completely covers our horrible plywood ceiling on our front porch which was that rotten butter yellow color and had all the rusty nails showing (GROSS!)

    Horrible plywood ceiling- YUCK!!

  4. It goes perfectly with our modern cottage/vintage/urban/farmhouse design aesthetic!
I WAS SOLD!!

 

Of course, we had to go about it all the wrong way in the beginning! We started out by pulling off the plywood and realizing that our studs were not 16″ on center as they should have been (our house isn’t THAT old- that rule was in place in 1980 when it was built!). Then, in reading the instructions for the beadboard, we saw it needed to be nailed every 8-10″ to prevent bowing, so we had to reinforce between the studs with 2×4’s. {Commence unhappy hubby here}. This added an extra day (literally!) to our project, just to cut 50+ 14.5″ 2×4’s and toenail them between the studs to add the extra support. But that sure beat sitting out there one evening and having the beadboard fall on your head or bow like sailcloth!
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I ‘Column’ Like I See ‘Em

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I couldn’t wait to show you the ‘AFTER’!

*Sigh* As much as I LOVE DIY projects, I do believe the NC summer is already starting to get to me. That, and the fact that we can’t seem to ever have an easy go of any project we attempt. The hubs always jokes that we seem to be cursed in this arena. No matter what we take on- it’s ALWAYS 5x harder! Like the fact that our house was apparently built by a bunch of crackpots who had not a care for state rules and regs (and probably paid off inspectors), so every stud in our house is not 16″ on center. Some are 14″. Some are 12″. You get the picture. We’ve even found some load bearing walls barely capable of bearing a bag of groceries, much less our roof- so we’ve had to reinforce. It’s just been a never ending process! But, like mama always said (gosh, did I just channel Forrest Gump?), ‘When you own a home, you are married to it’. She couldn’t have been more correct. However, our home is more like our fickle mistress because we are, of course, married to each other! :D

But I digress. We’ve spent the first two years working on the inside of our house and I’ll post all that DIY goodness later, because it’s still not actually done (that whole 85% girl thing, you know?). But here recently, we’ve gotten the wild hair to begin working on the outside of our home because it is just UG-LY! (Trigger cheer: U-G-L-Y- you ain’t got no alibi- you ugly!) Everything about it is awful- the bricks are all tones of brown on brown, the trim is painted this nasty shade of rotten butter yellow (yuck!), the shutters and front doors are baby poop brown, the 3-tab roof (original to the 1980 house) is brown as well and in terrible condition- it is just GROSS!

 

The house was obviously owned by a bunch of manic depressive when we bought it. It needed HELP!!

See the ugly column?

Another shot of the awful columns!

One of the things we always hated was the columns on the house. They were so small and spindly (and also painted rotten butter yellow) and were meant to be decorative, although they were anything but. I kept pushing my hubby to replace them with 4×4 posts (because even though I’m an 85% girl, he’s totally a 100% guy) but he was worried about how we’d get them out of the concrete and keep from losing the porch roof in the changeover (all totally valid concerns!)
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