And how has YOUR summer been?

Hi, everyone!  *waves* sorry for the radio silence over the past several months…  but as usual, low funds and busy schedules make Jack and Jenn dull MCM homeowners.  😛  Let’s see, what’s been going on:

At the start of the summer, Duck made a new friend…

…unfortunately she mistook the curious nose-boops through the window as an invitation to belly up to the salad bar on our back patio, also known as the container garden Jack has been working on all summer.

Enjoy our cherry tomatoes, girlfriend.  (You and your friends already ate our chard, peppers, and basil…  so what’s one more veggie among friends?)

Skunk has been his usual lazy self.  He is obsessed with building pillow nests on the long green sofa that was custom-made for the house when it was built…  dude has good taste (and a mastery of the dopey facial expression).


We’ve had a long run of lovely temps in the evenings, so we’ve been taking full advantage of the patio.  Jack found our old tikis in a box we hadn’t unpacked, and bought some citronella torches to keep the mosquitoes at bay.  We spend most nights out there grilling, listening to bossanova, and watching the sun set.  It’s heaven.

Probably the biggest project this summer was the overhaul of our front planter beds.  They were stuffed with overgrown old evergreen bushes, which blocked the view out of our big gorgeous windows:


After a couple of years of trial and error (mostly error — not a good idea to plant ferns under an overhang where they get no rain!  oops!), Jack finally tackled the project the right way and made them look SO much better.

After tearing out the leftover bush roots and prepping the soil…

(OMG doesn’t the view already look better out those widows, without huge bushes in the way?)


…he laid out bags of white gravel and these cute little Sweet Box bushes he bought, to make sure everything was spaced correctly.

…put our new little babies in the ground, surrounded them and our other existing plants with the gravel, and voila!  A much cleaner-looking front to the house, and a better view.  They’re already starting to fill in a bit, and next year will be even better.  Whew!


Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, everyone!  Talk at ya soon!  xoxo

Annnnnnd… we have a house!

We couldn’t be more excited about our new home.  The past several months leading up to closing were absolutely bonkers, and we almost didn’t buy it…  but that’s a post for another time.  Right now we just want to focus on giving this house the love and attention it’s needed for a long time, to bring it back to life.  It’s such a unique place, we keep pinching ourselves that it’s now ours and we get the chance to do right by it!

Let’s give you a quick tour and history of the place:

The house was built in 1957, custom-designed for a Philadelphia business owner who supplied appliances and furniture to bars and restaurants.

welcome home!

You can tell that he must have designed the place to do a lot of client entertaining at home; the open floor plan and massive back patio just beg to be filled with people drinking highballs and smoking.  😛

living roompatio

The family room (or “rumpus room” as we’ve started calling it) is what really got us when we first saw this place.  An entire wall of beautiful built-in cabinets, glossy wood paneling, and an amazing view of the backyard through the sliding doors.


The kitchen, back in 1957, must have been the height of modernity (especially given his business)…


More on the kitchen in another post, but to start, here’s a close-up of the fabulous ovens.  *drool*

love these ovens!

The amazing thing about this house is that the second owners (from whom we purchased the house) didn’t do anything to change it.  They purchased it in the ’80s, and in 30 years of living in it, they never made the effort to upgrade or customize anything in the entire place.  Which means it’s a total time capsule, with pretty much everything in the house original.  *squee*  I KNOW, RIGHT???

Except the bedroom, which got head-to-toe purple sponge-painted at some point.  That will definitely be going away.

master bedroom - eek!

The upside of having an untouched house is that we get to experience this home the way it was meant to be.  The downside is, while none of the decorative elements of the home have been updated, neither have the structural ones.  You can’t tell from the photos, but this place needs WORK.  So much needs to be fixed in order to keep it safe and livable — the roof, the electrical systems, the chimney, windows, years of hidden water damage, the list goes on.

The worst, though, is the SMOKE.  We don’t know if the original owners were regular smokers, but the second owners sure were. 30 years of chain smoking have taken their toll…  the entire house smells like a dirty, stale ashtray.  You walk in the door and the smell punches you in the face.  So our first order of business is getting rid of everything that’s holding onto those smoke particles — replacing the carpet and wallpaper, replacing the drapes, cleaning out the duct system, and scrubbing everything else that can be scrubbed.

This is the smoke residue from wiping just 6 inches of a door frame.  *gag*


We have a lot of work to do in the coming months, but we’re beyond excited.  It took us a long time to find our dream home, and we feel so lucky to be able to take care of such a gem.  As we go we’ll post all of the fun details of the house (OMG there are so many!) and a blow-by-blow of what we’re doing to bring it back to its glory.  We hope you’ll enjoy reading this as much as we’ll enjoy tracking our progress!