Monday, October 31, 2011

HaPpY HaUnTiNg From Rocco & Sadie

There are two things our dogs know about Halloween.  The first of course is dressing up (aka absolute torture) and then being told to sit still for several photos (lesser tortune).  The second is the excitement of new people knocking at the door, over and over and over (which becomes our torture as the dogs go bananas, over and over). Funny how that works out right?

Anyway, we are sharing the cute part of it all, Rocco and Sadie's costumes!  (click here to see last year's costumes)  This year Sadie is a Punk Rocker....

And little Rocco is her Agent, makes sense because he's the bossy one...

Trying to get a good picture of the two of them is difficult, but theses were the least awkward of the bunch.

Hmmm, still looks really awkward, or they are just confused?

We got the costumes at Target just like we did last year.  I thought these costumes might work better for the dogs since they were more simplified (no big parts for Sadie to consider a toy to chew on). We don't dress them up a lot because they never seem to like it, but we have to have a little fun with our 'kids' on Halloween. They end up getting treats too, not candy, but meat flavored chewy ones :)

So, are you lame like us and dressed up your dog for Halloween?
If you did, what were they this year?

I hope everyone is having a fun Halloween so far.  Alex and I are getting ready to hand out candy but first I have to tell you the results of... 
(Top: GALLOWS, Bottom: CHOMPS)

CHOMPS won the title with 17 votes, GALLOWS only raked in a mere 2 votes.

Looks like Alex is planning out next date night, hehe!  I was the mastermind behind CHOMPS, so this marks a 2 year winning streak for me! Oh, and gloating a little bit was fun when the votes started to come in so thank you to everyone that voted!  It made the challenge even more fun for my hubby and I!!!

Enjoy the rest of the evening, be safe, and HAPPY HAUNTING!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Interior Repairs Update: All Patched Up & The Ceilings Are Painted

 A couple weeks ago I was able to share that the hole in our Guest Room finally got patched up. Even though that was a HUGE step, we still had some work left upstairs that needed to be taken care of by the contractor before we got the house back in our hands.  Their work included removing and patching up the water damage on the walls and ceilings in the Guest Room, Office, and Stairwell/Hallway as well as getting them repainted. I was really excited about the ceiling considering I have had to paint some of the ceilings before and it is NOT a fun job!

Here's a look in the Stairwell/Hallway.  The walls were scraped and patched where the water damage occurred.

Then, the painters got set up to get the ceilings repainted.

It's been a really echo-y space for five months :)

Over in the Office they did more patching.

Then covered the room up to paint the ceilings as well.

The plastic got all loud and crazy once they turned on the fans for drying.

Lastly, of course is the Guest Room...

Here is how it looked after the hole was patched.

And now with the ceilings finished and painted.  I could barely believe my eyes when I saw this, the room looked normal again. Now this is kind of silly but totally true: When the two paint guys brought me upstairs to look at the work I actually started to tear up/cry when I saw the Guest Room. It was totally bizarre and awkward, but it just felt like such a relief! Almost like the whole tornado thing never happened! I managed to hold back from full on sobbing as best as I could because the paint guys looked really uncomfortable. At least it made for a funny story when I got to tell Alex what happened!

So now the house is back in our hands!  Alex and I decided to take on painting the walls DIY style instead of the contractor to save on cost and so that we don't have to figure out more timing to schedule work (it has been a pain with our dogs).  In the Guest Room, we have decided to keep the Cumberland Fog paint color.  I really thought I wanted to update it to a dustier blue but when I saw the room looking normal again I totally changed my mind.  I think it is special the way it is now.

Alex finished up doing some touch up paint and we were able to move the furniture back into the room. Although we still need to install the crown molding, it felt great to get the furniture out of the other rooms and back into the Guest Room (the clutter has been driving me nuts!). 
Stay tuned for more progress in the Guest Room, we are going to have some fun changes in store!
Notice the layout looking different?!?!


See you tomorrow for our last cheesy fun Halloween post!  Rocco and Sadie are excited to show you their costumes!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Head Over Heels Friday: Fall Comforts

Happy Friday everyone! 

It has been a busy week so I thought I'd keep this post short and share some of my favorite fall comforts.

Enjoying a glass of pinot noir in a lovely seasonal setting

Alex's grandma's homemade mac n' cheese

Sitting by our warm, cozy fire
And most of all, cozy-ing up with my hubby

I'm especially Head Over Heels for that last one:) 

Which is why I'm keeping this short! We haven't seen much of each other this week so I need to get away from this computer!

What are your favorite little fall comforts???

Thanks to everyone that voted for our pumpkins!  So far, Chomps is totally killing Gallows!  We will still count votes up until Halloween when we will annouce the victor! Hope everyone has a spooky and safe Halloween weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The 6th Annual Pumpkin Carving Challenge! You Decide Who Takes The Title!

As the Halloween themed fun continues, it is once again time for the ultimate grudge match pinning husband against wife....

It's the Annual Pumpkin Carving Challenge!

Alex and I have carved Halloween pumpkins every year since we started dating, and to make it more interesting it became a competition.  Even though this is our 6th time doing it, our challenge made it's first appearance last year on the blog.  I had declared myself the winner last year by default (since I was writing the post).  This year, Alex and I thought it would be fun to let our Halloween spirited readers decide!

(We won't reveal who carved which one until the winning pumpkin is determined)


Which carved pumpkin is giving the other a knock-out punch for design?

In this corner weighing in at.............."GALLOWS"!

In the opposite corner..... "CHOMPS"!
(We had to come up with names, Pumpkin A and B sounded so boring)

Will CHOMPS take the winning bite? Or will GALLOWS tighten the noose?

Really, we want to hear it in our comments (even on our Facebook page too)!  The stakes are pretty high, with the loser having to plan and execute our next date night. Okay, that's not that high, but just so you know what we are wagering on the outcome :)

Hope you'll let us know what you think in the comments!  See you tomorrow for Head Over Heels Friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Spooky "Zombie" Inspired Dining Room Decor and A Freebie!!!

After my trip to Donny Dirk's Zombie Den last week, a creepy transformation happened in our dining room just in time for Halloween...
I only planned on making a couple spooky updates to the fall sideboard decor, but I had waaaaayy to many fun ideas after seeing all the zombie-fied decor at Donny Dirks!  So, I kind of went bananas and got REALLY into decorating our dining room for Halloween. 

The only items I bought were all from Target including string lights, eyeballs, plastic bones, spiders, rats, faux spider webbing, decorative bloody & black gauze, and a mini skull.  The total came to around $25, not too bad.  Everything else I used came from around the house. BUT I did make a couple things that I will highlight as we take a closer look....

Here is our hurricane glass centerpiece on the dining room table.
I used 3 drippy/old looking candles and surrounded them with eyeballs, spiders, skeleton hands, and wine corks.
Above the table, I covered our pendant light with spider webs and spiders.  So simple and it looks so icky and fun!
Over on the sideboard...
 I covered it with the black gauze to start. Then I stacked a couple 'poison jars' filled with candy on top of a large old hard cover book with candles behind.  Oh, and more spider webs of course.
Do you like the Poison Labels??? 
They are one of the things I made, love how they turned out!

Along the other side sits our mini chalkboard complete with a Halloween appropriate menu (created by Alex) which sits on top of my vintage cosmetics case- and I love the little skeleton hands trying to creep out!
In the center is where our wine rack sits (we never really move it).  I added the vintage window's peak, faux skull, and covered the rest with lots of spider webs!
Behind the sideboard I added purple string lights for a lighting effect similar to what they did at Donny Dirks.

A few of the other fun little details to mention...

I added in some of those torn stacked books wrapped in twine and covered them with spider webs. I also used one of our vintage grave markers to sit along the window sill (and just below the bloody gauze window shades)!

I got a kick out of adding in the little hidden rat by the wine rack (center photo).  Alex let me use a couple of his empty homebrew bottles to add in my vintage wire basket along with a pumpkin.  I had to add some poison labels to those as well! Lastly, I made some dead flowers out of fake flowers we had in the basement, just had to coat them with black spray paint.  So easy, and they are just like the ones at Donny Dirks

What do you think? 
Fun? Spooky? Crazy?

Perhaps all the above?  But I can't wait to hang out with friends in this spooky space!

***Now to the FREEBIE!***

It's my first freebie ever here on the blog too (so it's extra special)!
I loved the poison labels I made so much that I thought I would share them!
 Just click, save, print, and add onto whatever you would like for Halloween!


I'm having too much fun getting ready for Halloween just as a warning :) Stay tuned for some more Halloween themed posts!

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Sadie Urkel" and Her Glass Bustin' Booty

This post mainly features a simple DIY tutorial for a broken glass pane door.  However, since our ample bottomed pup Sadie caused the damage, I had to have a little fun with this post at her expense! WARNING: to understand some of the quotes/references you would have to be familiar with the 1990's sitcom Family Matters (and Steven Q. Urkel).

 Here it goes!
On a lovely Saturday afternoon, Sadie and our smaller pup Rocco were happily & innocently playing together. Then, the fun took an ugly and unexpected turn.... Suddenly, in a swift, sharp movement, Sadie swung her 65lb booty right into our beautiful (and original) glass paned door. "-SHATTER-" Alex and I quickly ran over to find our two pups and a broken pane of glass (sorry, no photos from the scene of the crime).

Sadie had this "Did I do that?" look on her face that totally reminded me of Steve Urkel (this is where the goofiness begins). Then she shot Rocco a "Look what you did" glance in hopes we wouldn't pin her as the culprit (nice try, but no dice considering Rocco's head doesn't reach the height of the glass).

We were bummed, but thankful there wasn't a scratch on either pup! Broken glass is scary!

After we assessed the situation, Sadie looked over at Alex and said "Hey, Big Guy"..."You could fix this!".  Alex obliged with a "No sweat, my pet."

The Big Guy (Alex) started by taking out the wood trim around that once housed the now broken glass pane, using a box knife and screw driver. Alex made sure to be careful as he lifted each piece of trim in order to prevent further damage.
  He repeated those steps along all four sides of the frame.  With the trim removed from one side of the pane, we were ready to install the new pane of glass.

We picked up the new pane of glass at North End Hardware right here in North Minneapolis. They have a glass repair shop in house and they cut a 8.5" x 13.0" piece for me right there on the spot! No ordering, no waiting.... I highly recommend them if you are local and need any glass repair. Even better? The new pane of glass only cost us $3.00!!!  Alex added Dap's Clear Glass and Window Adhesive around the frame, then carefully added the new glass into place.
Lastly, Alex cleaned up any excess adhesive that ended up on the glasss and added the old trim back in.

This DIY fix is complete!!! 

Now I just need to get out some touch up paint and Windex :) Lots of finger prints and puppy nose smudges to clean up! Thankfully, the little door to our little entryway room/ space is now whole again!

So, after the door was all fixed up, Sadie knew she was back in our good graces stating, "You love me, don't you," and "I'm wearin' you down baby.  I'm wearin' you dowwwwwwn!"  She was so overjoyed that she even wanted to play some Polka music and had the nerve to ask....
Okay, okay, no more Steve Urkel references- can you tell I was a TGIF fan back in the day (or that I may have spent too much time on Photoshop this weekend)?  Oh well, I loved Family Matters!

Hope some of you out there got a laugh out of this one!  Happy Monday!
Visit this site for a complete list of Steven Q. Urkel quotes.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Head Over Heels Friday: The Ultimate Halloween Inspiration, Donny Dirks Zombie Den

I've been so anxious to share this Twin Cities haunt here on the blog and I couldn't think of any better time than Halloween!  If you are a local resident there's no doubt you have been to (or at least heard of) Psycho Suzies Motor Lounge. But, I bet you have never been to their creepier drinkery Donny Dirk's Zombie Den. Donny Dirks opened back in 2009 right here in North Minneapolis.  Alex and I couldn't resist checking it out when we heard about it...

A bar with a year-round zombie den theme???  What does that look like?

Well, it is pretty un-real, un-expected, and uh-AMAZING! I felt pretty stunned when I walked in, like I had crossed over into a surreal dream (errr, maybe that is after one of their 'poisoned' concoctions?). Alex and I knew we had found our new favorite little bar and have been going back again and again ever since.  I am sooo Head Over Heels for Donny Dirks Zombie Den!

The decor has been described as classy kitsch, a zombie-fied twist on a 1950's Vegas Lounge.  You are curious right?  Let's take a peek inside?  BEWARE OF ZOMBIE ATTACKS, here we go!
I am unsure of who Undead Frank is, but his neon sign glows as a centerpiece above their bar along with a set of samurai swords.  Random right?  That's the point!

Their glassware doubles as decor with green lighting and smokey mirrored tiles behind. The chalkboard adds to the fun listing their 'Zombie Poisons'.
Above the bar are more smokey mirrored tiles, spooky tray lighting to enhance the crown moulding, and a mounted deer head complete with a red mohawk of course.
I absolutely love how their drink mixers are arranged like medicines in a mad doctors lab. Have you seen a cocktail made using an eyedropper??? I have!
Here's a look at the booths and seating.  Note the mirrored tile walls, lighting, olive green tufted seating with nail head trim, and probably the most interesting detail of all- tiger striped carpet!  Meow!!! Getting that 50's Vegas lounge feel now? 
The decor behind the booths adds to the creepy zombie-like ambiance with gothic candelabras, dead flowers, distressed/ graffittied wood trim, and a blood stained paddle.
Along the wall opposite of the bar are some mounted zombie heads.
If you look up at the beautiful vintage tin tile ceiling, you get a glance of the classic glass chandeliers complete with faux crows.
And.... in case of an actual zombie attack emergency, they have a chainsaw on hand :)
Isn't this place just strangely amazing???

Even better, if you stop by to grab a drink, you can also enjoy a tacky horror movie!  They have a TON of them on hand that play on two flat screens at each end of the bar.  Alex and I often find these movies to be hilariously over the top and cheesy :) adds a little more kitsch!
They have a great selection of beers that are served in large goblets.  I always recommend their Dark and Stormy, a mix of Ginger Beer and Rum- it is quite delightful!
If you are local, are you going to go get your zombie on at Donny Dirks???  Keep an eye out for this little green brick building on 2nd and 21st just behind Washington Ave.
Zombies and non-zombies are welcome :)

Are you Head Over Heels for Donny Dirks Zombie Den?

My trip to Donny Dirks certainly gave me more inspiration for my 'spooky' sideboard decor! Can't wait to show you how it turns out!  Also, the ceiling painting is wrapping up today, then our home is back in our hands!  Today is certainly an awesome Friday! 

Have a great weekend everybody!

Update 10.24.11: The mystery of 'Undead Frank' is solved thanks to Megan at Nomi Passenger!  Undead Frank refers to Stand Up Franks- a bar that used to occupy the space that Donnie Dirks Zombie Den now sits in.  Stand Up Franks was a notorious hang out for gangs, the city eventually shut them down.  Thankfully,  this space was revamped into the unique establishment it is today! Gotta love it when something negative turns into something positive!