Thursday, September 26, 2013

Guess I Should Leave More Often

Last week I had to go out of town for a business trip and came home to some great improvements!

The first was an idea that I saw on Pinterest which replaced the plastic silverware tray with wood separators built into the drawer.  We purchased all of the wood before I left, and while I was in Jacksonville Chris sent me these pictures.

It's a little hard to get the big spoons out, but it's doable.  We rarely use them anyways, lol. Chris also did it for the drawer in the butler's pantry for our wedding silverware that will be used for special occasions.

The other improvement was creating a linen closest! I may have mentioned before that our house does not have a linen closet in it.  We actually didn't notice this until our 2nd or 3rd tour of the house.  Thankfully, the main guest room closet had a little bit of extra space in it which Chris utilized to install a track system and some shelves.  

You can make out the bump out in the closet from this picture of the game room corner.  That area where you see the electric outlet is the added space in the closet.  It's hard to get shots inside of the closet since it's small and there are no lights, but here's one from before I left of Chris measuring out the tracks.

Chris installed the tracks, cut and painted the wood for the shelves and I was able to come home and load it up with our extra towels and sheets.

I don't know if I can tell him enough, but I am so grateful for my handy husband!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Place To Lay Our Heads

Can I just tell you how happy I am that we can actually sleep in our master bedroom now??

First things first, we finally got around to painting our master bedroom.  We went with Behr Caribe and Ultra Pure White.  We originally were going to go with just the blue, but when we put it up on the wall I thought it would be a little too much to have the whole room in that color.

Chris went around and painted the baseboard in the matching white (it's still the original off white in the photo above) just in time for the arrival of our new bed frame!  I did a lot of online window shopping after falling in love with a headboard that I saw on This Casita.  I located it on Amazon, but ended up buying a version of it on Wayfair to get the foot rails as well.

Chris did all the heavy lifting, piecing together the frame while I worked on putting up our annual birthday pictures and the DIY map.

Once the bed frame was up, we took the plunge and purchased a king size Tempurpedic mattress.  I've never purchased a new mattress and Chris was rocking a futon before moving in with me. We have been eyeing one for some time, always gravitating to the same Cloud model every time we stopped into a Sleep Experts or Mattress Firm.  We used the rational that we need to invest in a good night's sleep, and this one has a 25 year warranty along with a 1 year love your mattress guarantee (which means we have 365 days to decide if we really like it, and if we don't we can send it back and get another mattress).  

The mattress was delivered the next day and I was quick to finally break open the bedding that we originally registered for our 2011 wedding, but ended up buying ourselves because it was discontinued between the time we set up our registry and our wedding date. This actually ended up working in our favor because when it was discontinued, all of the pieces were marked down AND I still got to use Bed Bath and Beyond coupons to reduce the price even more (just had to travel to 3 different stores in order to get everything)! 

I purchased pretty much every accent pillow that went with the set

As you can tell, the bed and the bench are the only pieces of furniture in our room.  We still need to find some nightstands and a dresser as well as some sort of seating by the windows for the reading nook.  But for now I'm just so excited to see where this room started and where it is today!

What do you like most about your bedroom?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not So Bare Walls

We decided to take a break from unpacking boxes and start hanging some of our framed art and pictures.

I've always wanted to have a gallery wall and could not wait to put one up!  Before finding this house, the plan was to use the staircase but that idea when out the window with our L shaped stairs.  Instead we decided to use the space between the coat closet and the kitchen opening.

We played around with the placement thanks to the ever popular trace method and ended up adding some more once the original set of frames were up.

I love that the gallery wall can be seen from the entryway.

We also hung some DIY projects like the chalkboard menu for the kitchen and a shadow box of the paper goods we made for our wedding that now resides in my office.

Speaking of my office, I have to give a huge thanks to my husband for mounting the tv in my office and putting together my desk (which we picked up at Ikea when we purchased our couch).

We're still waiting for Chris' diploma to come in so it can hang on the same wall as mine.  I guess my college was out of the norm, because we actually received ours at our graduation ceremony.  Other people I have talked to (including my brother and Chris) received theirs in the mail 6-8 weeks after the ceremony.

With so much bare wall space still left in this house, I can't wait to unpack some of our other frames and get them hung.

Do you feel like hanging pictures or art makes a place feel more lived in?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Travelin' Tuesday: Napa & Sonoma

I don't know if I can speak for everyone on our trip, but I have to say that our time in Napa and Sonoma was the best part of our Cali visit!

After our short, packed 2 days in San Francisco it was really nice to relax in wine country.  We drove in Sunday afternoon and checked into our B&B - Old World Inn.

Old World was a great find of Corinne's!  Chris and I have stayed at B&Bs before, and this one was very similar to the others in that we had a great room and delicious breakfasts.  Old World was walking distance from Downtown Napa which had some fabulous eateries for dinner.  After checking in, we checked out our surroundings and then actually ordered pizza and grabbed a couple of bottles of wine from the Safeway across the street for dinner. 

Monday morning we were up bright and early for breakfast before being picked up for our Sonoma Platypus tour.  Our tour guide, Sam, was so informative as we headed from Napa to Sonoma to pick up the rest of the tour guests.  Sam let us know that our 4 stops would be some of the smaller more charming wineries with owners that Sam knew personally.  Our first stop was at Ravenswood which you may have seen in your local grocery store.  

 Our tour was led by the owner, who took us through the various fields of grapes, telling us about the history of winemaking, letting us taste the grapes from the vines and explaining the upcoming harvest.

 I think there were 8-11 different tastings along the way including one right out of the barrel.

After wrapping up here (and buying a Moscato for my brother), we boarded the bus and headed to our next stop Nicholson Ranch.  This place was gorgeous with spectacular views!!


After a tasting inside, we headed out to walk around the property learning more about wine before heading down into the caves.

not really getting anything from the barrel

I'm amazed by the amount of barrels down in the caves!  Once our tour concluded, we headed back upstairs to enjoy our tour included lunch.

It was a little downhill from here, not because our stops at Homewood and Anaba were bad (they were just fine), I just think it was the amount of wine already consumed along with the tasty lunch and being out in the sun for so long that just made the group a little bit more tired.

Once the tour was over, and we were dropped back off at the Old World Inn, I gladly took the option to nap before we walked into downtown for dinner.

Tuesday, we were on our own and made plans as we went starting off with morning sparkling wine at Domaine Carneros Winery.  

Gotta make use of the beautiful backdrop

Chris learned a lot about Champagne and Taittinger through his elective class, so this was a place of interest for him.  From there we headed to my favorite Castello di Amorosa.

We opted for the full tour which included a walk and tasting down in the caves!

After picking up a couple of bottles of their famous La Fantasia we headed back toward Napa with a picnic lunch stop at V Sattui Winery.

Dinner Tuesday night was back in downtown Napa, before packing up and heading back to San Fran Wednesday morning.  We hit up one last winery stop on the way out of town (Viansa), and couldn't complete our California trip without lunch at In-N-Out - more so for Corinne and Dave who have never eaten there (we now have them in Texas).

We spent Wednesday night in San Francisco before flying out Thursday afternoon.  Overall, I think this was one of my favorite trips and I really think it was because we got to spend the time with such great friends! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

30 Before 30: Photobooth Smiles

As part of our wedding back in 2011, our guests enjoyed a photo booth that was set up near the bar.

The guests took home one copy of the photo strip and left the other in a box for us.

My original plan was to take the copies along with the postcards that guests signed in lieu of a guestbook and make a scrapbook, but there was always another idea in the back of my head.  Inspired by a Martha Stewart Weddings image, I decided to frame some of my favorite photo booth strips.

It was so hard to narrow it down to the final 28 that made it into the frames, but once the selections were made I split them into a frame of friends and one of relatives.

They are now hanging in the main guest room which I think is the perfect location so our visiting friends and family will be able to remember the fun times from that night!

One more item crossed off the list!