Friday, July 5, 2013

Before and After

Hi, faithful readers!  I really appreciate those of you who take the time to stop by my Home On the Web.  It's so gratifying (and a bit surreal, and very humbling) to know that people actually read my words.

I'm hesitant to post these pictures because they might come across as a bit "braggy."  However, several people have asked for updates on our new house.  Personally, I love seeing before and after pictures of real houses, but if you don't, then feel free to stop reading now.  I'll never know.  :)

Our house is still very much a work in progress, but we have mostly completed the living area (it's all one big open space for the kitchen/dining/living, as you'll see) and the office/homeschool room.  Some of the pictures aren't the greatest.  I'm still trying to master taking good pics on my phone.

Kitchen before:

Kitchen after: 
(I'm still wanting to replace that rather hideous fluorescent light.)

Dining area before:
(The turquoise was along half of that wall, to the right of the fireplace.  I actually liked the color, but it didn't coordinate with anything else that we have.)

Dining area after:

Living area before (complete with TV on the floor):

Living area after:
(Remind me to do a post sometime about the cabinet under the TV.  David is particularly proud of that DIY project, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out.)

The verse above the window means a lot to me because of all our moving around.  It's very hard to see in this picture, but the pictures along the window are maps of the cities/areas where we have lived, roughly in chronological order.  (Sometimes we backtracked - for example, we lived in Knoxville, TN two separate times with two other places in between.)

Now on to the office/schoolroom.  Some of you may recall this picture that I posted on Facebook when I was choosing the paint color:

While the majority voted for either the third from the left or the large square, I confess that I stuck with my original opinion and went with the fourth one.  I love it!  I was afraid it might be too dark, but the color makes me happy, happy, happy!  (And since I spend A LOT of time in this room, that's a good thing.  :) )



The cabinet to the left of the piano came from our last house and will likely be hung (horizontally) above the piano.

Pictures via Pinterest and Etsy.





So there you have it!  The bedrooms and bathrooms are all still "builder beige," and the backyard jungle seems to grow visibly each day, but I am enjoying the process.  I'm certainly no Martha Stewart or Erica Bartels (Hi, Erica!), but I really do enjoy decorating (once I stop constantly second-guessing myself!).

So what projects are you working on?  Got any before and after pics to share?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Feeds and Followers and Friends, Oh My!

If you follow very many blogs at all, you have probably heard that Google Reader has gone away.  Why?  Because it kept people from seeing advertisements in the sidebars of blogs.


If you are reading these words right now, then obviously you get blog content through some other means: Facebook, going to individual blogs, or another feed reader.  If you are happy with your current choice, that is awesome!  But if you've been visiting individual blogs because you didn't know there was another option, I'd like to suggest three alternatives:

1.  Social Media
Most blogs these days post links to their content directly through Facebook or Twitter.  If you are already on one of those pretty frequently, this can be a very convenient way to access lots of different blogs.  (Have you "liked" my Facebook page yet?  You can do that by simply clicking the "Like" button up at the top of the right-hand column of this page or by going to  

2.  E-mail
Many blogs also give you the option of having posts delivered directly to your inbox.  If you like that option, you can go again to the right-hand side of my blog and enter your e-mail address where it says "Follow By E-mail."  This is a great option if you only follow a few blogs, or if there are a few that you particularly don't want to miss, but it could quickly fill your inbox if you follow lots of blogs this way.  Of course, another option is to set up a second e-mail address just for receiving blog posts.

3.  Feed Reader
A feed is a means of distributing blog content to the masses (or in my case, the hundred or so).  A feed reader is how that content is accessed.  Up until yesterday, Google Reader was one of the most popular ones.  But as I mentioned earlier, if that's what you've been using, you'll have to do something else now.
My personal favorite is Pulse.  I use it for reading blogs on my iPhone and iPad, but I believe it is also available for Android devices and for desktops.  If you have been using Google Reader, this is a great option because you can painlessly import your feeds from Google right into Pulse without missing a beat (pun intended).

One of my favorite features of Pulse is the ability to categorize blogs that I follow.  This is helpful if I'm looking for content from a particular blog or type of blog.  I also created a "Time Crunch Blogs" category of ones that I want to be sure and check if I only have a small amount of time.

Another reader that I have seen recommended many times now is Feedly.  I have very limited experience with it personally, but you can read all about it (along with a better explanation of feeds) at

So how do you access blog content?  Have I left out any methods that you would recommend?

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