Wednesday, August 29, 2012

bathroom re-do - the finale

When we bought our new house we went in with eyes wide open, knowing there were lots of projects ahead, but lordy lordy…we had no idea. The previous owners didn't do the place and favors and any work they did do was really bad. BUT, potential there was and that's what I saw when I squinted and day dreamed of what it could be. I was able to overlook a lot, I mean a whole lot, but the master bathroom? Not so much. It was tiny and poorly designed and don't forget the two lovely glazed windows overlooking the rec room. Weird. So, we secured a contractor (based on recs from our real estate agent) and moved merrily along, except as you know it didn't go quite so merrily. He was a total unprofessional, lazy, hot mess and we basically fought with him for 3 months, but by golly we stuck it out and it's done. We learned a ton through the process. I learned renovation is super stressful when you've just moved to a new town and can't call in reinforcements, like your momma, for support. I also learned budgets can quickly get blown and you just gotta roll with it.
I also learned there are endless shades of white paint and yes, they really are different. I started with a creamy white, but after I saw it on the walls, I realized it was way too yellow. After staring at paint chips with no clue, I ended up getting in touch my blog-buddy Brooke, who has fab taste. Apparently you can paint walls, cabinets, trim, and ceilings all the same white. Who knew? Not moi. And so I stuck with the one white I knew I loved "Cotton Balls" and went with it all over. She also helped me pick Delorean Grey grout after my floors had to be completely pulled out again and re-done. Devil is in the details and definitely don't listen to your contractor if you think he's kinda a moron with bad taste. Especially when he tells you your taste is very "white" and out of the ordinary. Please.

What I'm really trying to say is, even though I wanted to pull my hair out and fire our contractor multiple times… it was totally worth it and I L.O.V.E. our bathroom! It's bright and "white" and probably the nicest part of our whole darn house and I get to use it every single day. Most of all, it just feels peaceful and functional and it's where Moosh and I get to have some girly time alone during our weekend shower dates. Don't you just love a slippery little baby-cakes?

So, here she is all shiny and new. Still need to do a little stylin' and art hangin' and would really like a cool new bathmat and matching towels, but pretty much she's all done. Hmm, now maybe it's time to tackle the kitchen!
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Friday, August 24, 2012

lightning struck

Been a big week at our Texas cottage. New roof, stone re-pointed on chimney, new gutters, and new patio happening next week. Can't you just see the dollar bills just floating out the windows? I swear, we're practically building a new house. Not really, but this place had been sorely neglected before us so we're bringin' the love back. That crazy hail storm a couple months ago did some damage to the roof so it was toast. Gutters installed cheaply and at a slope in = not good for foundation. Then we realized the stone around chimney had cracks and was letting water into our living room. Actually it started pouring in through the ceiling & ceiling light last weekend during a major storm. Yikes! I felt like The Clampetts with towels all over and bowls piled up under the dripping ceiling. It rained like crazy and then when we didn't think it could get worse… lightning struck our neighbors house. Right next door y'all! Trevor was holding Miriam actually, and we all felt a huge BOOM and lights went out. Next thing I knew, fire trucks were coming down our street. Our neighbor was terrified the attic or something was on fire, because there were black streaks coming our from her ceiling lights and her land line phone had busted off the wall and across the room. Can you imagine? Anyway, thank goodness nothing was on fire. Never a dull moment around here. Somebody up above, just keeping us on our toes I suppose.

Anyway, needless to say, we're knocking out some big"to-do's" lately. Miriam loves all this hustle and bustle. Big trucks and tools and new people everywhere. Very exciting for a two year old. Our nanny, Blanca, brought her daughter one day too and that was big stuff. At first the girls were totally shy, but they quickly warmed up and having a new playmate made for a special day. The ladies have been at our house more lately, because… drumroll… Miss Whitney is having her baby… today! I can't wait to hold her and it's brought back all these memories for me. I woke up early today and laid in bed thinking about the day Miriam arrived. How ready I was, how my body felt, and how full of anticipation the air was around us. So I'm saying some big prayers for the Schicklings today. Life is about to get a whole lot fuller for them very soon.

Friday, August 17, 2012

lowcountry : part two

While describing my trip last night with a friend I found myself mostly talking about how great it was just "being" with my family for a whole week. Waking up together, cooking meals, grocery shopping, driving, conversation - just normal stuff. But it's that down time I love. Yes, we totally drive each other crazy, but not for too long. Just the everyday activities…that's what I miss about being away.
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So, we did spend a lot of time together, but we young folks got one night out on the town. I got to wear my new "zebra" and high heels which felt very fancy. Rooftop cocktails, followed by more cocktails at Squeeze, followed by dinner with one of my best Auburn friends Andrea & her husband at Cru Cafe. Done and done. I don't get out much, so yeah, I was a wee tipsy & loving every minute of the evening.

You know those friends who you don't see & you don't talk to very often, but you can just pick right on back up like it was just yesterday? Andrea is one of those friends. Never met a stranger, will crack you up, and just sincere and sweet as they come.

Untitled Now, I know I'm in Dallas and all, but I had some of the best BBQ ever in Sullivan's Island. Oh my goodness gracious… Hometown BBQ knows how to do it up. We literally ate and ate until we couldn't eat no more! Momma had a "painkiller" cocktail so of course she loved it. Daddy loved the ribs, Will killed some chicken wings, Trevor had the platter which kinda blew his mind, I ate some of everything, and Moosh - well, she cleaned up every last morsel of her bbq quesadilla. A sign of a good meal for sure. And she got to twirl around in her new dress (via Hannah Kate via Miss Winsy). Something about her twirling around in a dress… she's getting so big and sassy!
new-dress Untitled Faster than I'd like, my affair with Charleston came to an end and I was boarding the plane home. Some day I'll be back though and until then I'm keeping all these memories close by for day dreamin'.
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

lowcountry : part 1

After visiting the Charleston area last week, I'm surprised we all don't pack up all our things, hitch on a trailer, and drive South. I'm still dreaming of that sticky air. It makes my hair a complete hot mess, but I'd be willing to wear a lot of headbands to live the life.
Every morning I would roll out of bed, grab the baby, grab some coffee, grab a nibble, and head to the porch straight in my pajamas. There was always a light breeze and we would entertain ourselves with beach toys, shells, rocks, and whatever we could find outside, until the rest of the crew woke up.
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The stove got cranking a little while later and breakfast got underway as we discussed the plan of the day. Our biggest decisions were… When are we beaching it? And where are we going to eat. Ahh, vacation life sure is something.
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After a heavy dose of sunscreen and packing the wheelbarrow full of gear we would roll out the caravan and make it to the sand. Miriam's face would light up at the sight of blue umbrellas and as soon as she was out of that stroller it was go time. Back and fourth to the ocean we went. Construction of castles and moats began and the guys loved digging her a little baby-pool she could plop down in. All I can say is she was obsessed with the ocean like I've never seen and was not a bit scared, which of course scared me to death. Couldn't take my eyes off that little fish for a second! I wouldn't say it was the most relaxing, in fact I rarely sat down, but I loved seeing her so excited. The days of sitting with a magazine and getting a tan are over for a while. I shall return to you some day US weekly.
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After a few hours we'd head in for a bite of lunch and nap time. Now that was my time. I'd graze on leftovers and dive into my book on the hammock with a cold beer. Oh yes, the beach life was good.
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We ended up having our share of rainy days, but I didn't mind. It brings out the moodiness of the tide. One day the clouds really set in so we took that as our chance to take a drive. Momma stayed behind with Miriam (thank you momma) and the rest of us headed for Charleston for some history. First stop was Drayton Hall which kinda blew my mind. There sits this empty southern plantation house amongst these ancient old oak trees. All this beautiful detail, and symmetry, and history just waiting to tell it's story. We took the tour and took it all in. They sure don't make houses like this anymore.
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By the time we left, stomachs were growling so after a quick debate we ended up at Butcher & Bee in the city. You kinda can't go wrong in Charleston with all the great food and this place hit the spot. Heirloom tomato & cucumber sandwich with a side of roasted okra… don't mind if I do.
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Daddy decided we also needed to see the Aiken-Rhett home nearby which was very special. Not gonna lie, the audio tour was a little long and I was yawning after my large lunch, but it was still a must see.
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As we were headed back the island we did a quick detour to a  gallery on Church. Saw some gorgeous art that was, way, out of my price range, but what was in my price range lay right across the street at Goat. Sheep. Cow. My wallet opened right up for some french bread, salami, some sort of amazing cheese, and some red wine. That pretty much covers all the food groups right? Oh my lordy, my mouth is watering just describing it. Lunch bells ringing… guess I'll just have to do a part 2… be back later.