Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy Fall!

I know it's still technically the summer, but fall is my favorite season and once Labor Day is over, the fall decorations come out. I love living in New England because it's great to experience all of the seasons, but I love fall the most. I love the cool weather, apple picking, the beautiful foliage, the tastes and smells of fall and it also starts off the holiday season.

It's also when the fall baking starts. Jim's happy for fall to arrive, too. Labor Day signals the end of his busy season. To celebrate the end of the summer/beginning of fall, I made these cookies over the weekend for him and his co-workers to help them get through their busiest day of the year.

What's your favorite season? Why is it your favorite?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer Adventures

It's been quiet around here for awhile. We last left off mentioning an upcoming bathroom reno. Well, our house had different plans as our kitchen started falling apart. Right as we were looking into quotes for the bathroom, it seemed like something would break or go wrong in the kitchen almost on a weekly basis, so the bathroom project was put on hold as the kitchen moved up the priority list. We're in the saving phase of that project. That's party why it's been pretty quiet around here. ... no projects to share. 

Our family also had some other exciting news. My sister and her bf bought a beach home at the beginning of the summer, so we were fortunate to get lots of invites and spent many fun days with them by the water. We've had a blast relaxing this summer spending time with lots of friends and family, but we're excited to start working again on some projects around here and some fun projects for the beach house!

Here's a glimpse of what we've been up to....

 We celebrated my mother's graduation... a life long dream of hers. We are so proud!
We even were able to pull off a surprise party with friends and family. 

 I took a girls trip to Disney with my mother, sister and niece. We had a blast!
 We spent lots of time at the beach house with friends and family.
 We took our first trip to Martha's Vineyard. We had never been and our friends gave us a full tour of the island. We just went for the day and had a blast checking out all the different areas, including the location where jaws was filmed. 
We also got to invite my in-laws to the Beach House and spent a week with them showing them the area and they taught me how to golf! 
 We celebrated my birthday over the summer with family. 
 As part of my birthday gift, my sister took me and my mother to see Finding Neverland with Jeremy Jordan (also from Newsies and Smash). It was amazing and a highlight of the summer. It just got picked up for Broadway in the Spring! 
We also attended a few weddings. We're so happy for all of our friends! We had so much fun celebrating with them. 

It's been an amazing summer. Probably the best one yet. What have you all been up to? 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Congrats on dropping anchor!: Housewarming Gift Ideas

When I heard my sister and boyfriend were moving in together, I wanted to get them a little something. My sister, like me, appreciates a good theme so I thought it would be fun to go nautical  (surprise, surprise). Their home isn't in a beach town though, so I don't want to get nautical gifts that may not fit with their home. Here are some of the things I thought of:

one Scouts Honor Co. card
two Chelsey Emery custom address stamp
three Steveston Wine Co. merlot
four Crane & Co. anchor stationery
five homemade cookie inspiration via Martha Stewart Weddings 
six Anchor & Arrow anchor wine stopper

We decided to go more nautical with the wrapping and note in the card than the actual gift, but I sttill think it was fun to tie it into a theme. We went with the Scout's Honor Co. card, a Chelsey Emery address stamp and found a pretty navy and white pillow from a local shop that will go well with their new living room design. We received a lot of wine when we moved in, which was greatly appreciated, but I figured it would be fun to do a little something different for my sister and her bf. I do think the Stevenston Wine Co. merlot would pair perfectly withe the Anchor & Arrow wine stopper as a gift, so I'm keeping this in mind for the future. I also love home made cookies and stationery. All being held in the back of my mind for future gift giving.

What are your favorite housewarming gifts to give or receive?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Art: Custom State Art Print

One of our friends, Meghan, recently gifted us with a really nice gift- a piece of art for our home!

We've been in our home for over three years now and haven't really put up a lot of art, even though I think homes look so much better with it. I just have a hard time choosing art for our home, so we have lots of bare walls or art that has yet to be hung.  I was so excited when we received the custom print that works perfect in our guestroom, which currently has bare walls. It's a print of Rhode Island, with a heart over Newport, where we were married. It has our names and wedding date on the bottom. If you've followed along since our wedding, you've probably noticed I love sentimental touches, so this was the perfect gift. I love how it looks in our guest room. It even inspired me to add a few pops of pink to go with the little heart on the print. Thanks Meg!

Have you received any personal items you were really excited to display in your home?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bathroom Inspiration: What to do with the walls?

At this point, we've pretty much picked out everything for the bathroom, but we have yet to decide on the walls. Originally we were going to tile halfway up, then we talked about just painting the walls, then we talked about grass cloth wallpaper, or some combo between these.

We' both really love grass cloth wallpaper. I really love variations of gray or greige. Now that we are going more neutral and simple in our bathroom reno, I like the idea of adding subtle details like the texture of a grass cloth wallpaper.  I originally wanted to do a patterned wallpaper and Jim wanted to do a  darker charcoal paint, but I think this will have a greater impact while allowing the room to stay light and airy.

I really love what was done in this space:
We're on the fence though because there is a lot of moisture in the room since it's so small. We also don't know if it's worth it to higher someone to wallpaper such a small area. We thought about doing it ourselves, but if we're paying for everything else in the reno, we don't want to mess it up with this one last piece if we make a mistake with something we aren't familiar with. 
Would you go tile, paint, wallpaper (grass cloth), or some combo of these if you were us?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Neutral Nautical - Bathroom Accessories

one Serena & Lily AHOY Bath Mat 
two Serena & LilY Fouta Bath Towels -Dove Grey 
three Wayfair.com Zodax Anchors Away Wall Hook 
four Serena & Lily Beacon Sconce - White 
five West Elm Stripe Shower Curtain - Feather Gray 
six Anthropologie Shoreline Mirror 

 Now that we've decided to go with more classic styles and less details in the main design of the bathroom, I've been looking for fun accents to add some personality to the space.

No matter how many times I tell myself we don't live near the ocean, I still can't seem to stop myself from falling for nautical details. I can already see Jim saying no, but I'm really wishing we could add some of these touches like the AHOY bath mat. We really just need to move closer to the water. A girl can dream?

Are you drawn to any specific style? Do you notice certain themes popping up throughout your home?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Updated To-Do List

Each January, I tend to make lists of what I want to accomplish over the next year. This year, the house is a big focus. It was put on the back burner in 2013, but in 2014 there is a lot to be done.Since moving into the house, we've kept a list of things we've wanted to accomplish. We've made great progress, but have a lot of the bigger (more expensive) projects left. We're really excited that we're going to start working on one of these (the bathroom) soon! Here's everything we hope to accomplish with the 2014 projects highlighted. The darker the shade of green, the more likely it will get checked off this list by the end of 2014.

Outside (front)-
Purchase and install new front door and screen door
Remove walkway and step and add new walkway going to driveway
New mailbox
Buff and paint awning
Remove rotting trees and add new trees
Remove overgrown bushes and add new bushes
Add flowers out front
Purchase door mat
Add urns on either side of front door with flowers or greenery
New shutters
Fix broken siding
Choose and install new front step

Outside (back)-
Remove pebbled patio and add a deck or new patio
Paint back door
New shutters
Create fire pit area
Remove rotting trees
Remove old fence, purchase and install new fence
Add a raised garden
Purchase patio furniture

Complete reno - new cabinets, counters, back splash and appliances.

Dining Area-
New door to patio
New door to garage
Add art
Add hardwood flooring
New furniture

Entry way
New coat closet door
Paint hallway
Purchase a rug
Purchase something to hold keys, mail and winter wear

Master Bedroom
Purchase bedding and accessories
Purchase and hang artwork

Guest room
Purchase bed, bedding and accessories
Purchase and hang art work

Office/craft room
Update closet- paint and add shelving
Purchase office furniture and craft storage

Move oil tank outside of garage
Add more storage

Complete reno

Living Room
Purchase and hang art

Did you plan to do a lot of work after purchasing your home? How long did it take to tackle the bulk of it? What projects are you planning to do this year?