Tuesday, July 30, 2013

House Update: Exterior, Pre-Trim

It is with great excitement that I present to you the front of our house, pre-trim work.

Obviously, our columns will soon be much nicer and the shutters will be painted a charcoal grey; still, it's like a glimpse into our future.

There are also two new houses that have been framed, including one with our same elevation. Even with that, the most exciting development from our trip has to be:

Our kitchen cabinets are here and ready to be installed!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five on Friday

Well hello there. It's good to see you.

Today I've decided to depart from my normal house-blogging duties and join several talented bloggers for Five on Friday. I've been reading these for several weeks, but could never think of five non-house things I'm really excited about. Today, three immediately came to mind so I figured this is my week.

1. Baby Cambridge

Well duh, I'm obsessed. I thought it might get a bit better now that the baby is here, but it hasn't; if anything I'm more excited. One thing I'm not too excited about: his name, George. Sure, "King George" sounds great, but what will this kid be called for the next 60 years? At least it's better than North.

2. Pure Barre

Those of you who are close to me already know I'm loving me some Pure Barre; now I'm going to bore the rest of you with my workout. I've wanted to do barre classes for quite a while and my husband generously purchased me a Living Social deal back in June. I'm now six weeks in and definitely seeing a change in my body. I just purchased a six month deal so I'm in it for the long haul.

 3. These pet tags on Etsy

I'm trying to check some things of the moving to-do list and getting the pets new tags and collars is on the list. I've mentioned before that I'm especially nervous about the cats getting loose at the new house, so they'll go to wearing collars 24/7. Sucks to be them.

Since they'll be uncomfortable anyway, I decided they should at least look good. They'll be getting leather/suede collars from the same shop as Boone's. But what I'm really excited about are their new tags. And because they're so fun and no more expensive than the ones at PetSmart, Boo gets one too.

4. My new shoe rack

Okay, okay, it's only half new. We got the bottom three shelves for Christmas last year. It helped with the front door clutter so much, we decided to add even more shoes to our rotation, necessitating a second shoe rack. The reason I love it so is they stack neatly and provide storage for 18 pairs of shoes. It's super sturdy and has an oil rubbed bronze finish so it will match all the fixtures at our new place.

5. This bag from Madewell

I'm in the middle of an epic search for a new purse. I 'm really hoping to find something season-less so I can carry it year round. I also want something that in somewhat trendy, but still classic and maybe even a little vintage. I found a couple options I really like...in the range of $400+. Not quite ready to bite that bullet, I eventually found this satchel made from vintage looking leather. It's not to big, not to small, has the necessary cross body strap and it can even be monogrammed. I think this may be the one!

That wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it'd be; maybe I can start being grateful for more things. Thanks for listening to me ramble at the things I'm enjoying in the here and now.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

House Update: Siding is Going Up!

Surprise, surprise! On a routine visit to the house, I discovered that our siding is going up!

This caught me a completely off guard because it's about a week before I was expecting it and the house that is a bit ahead of us had no sign of siding on my last visit. Now both us and that house have one side...sided?

On the inside, our drywall is being finished up. I really don't know what to call this step, but I think it's similar to spackle-ing.

This is all obviously very exciting; I'll be stopping by the house quite frequently until a lock goes on our door so look out for a lot more house updates.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Baby Cambridge Cupcakes!

Call me crazy, but I am absolutely fascinated by anything Will, Kate, and Baby Cambridge. Today, as we welcomed our little future king, I was dared at work to throw a "Baby Shower" for the Cambridges.

Not so much a shower as an excuse to have sweet treats plus Baby/England paraphernalia.

I rose to the challenge.

These little cuties just a store-bought Funfetti mix and icing, with blue food coloring spray,  and gold sprinkles. The little plastic babies are from the baby shower aisle at Michael's and the Union Jacks are hand crafted from tooth picks and washi tape.

I even decorated my cupcake carrier for the occasion.

Thanks to Pandora for deciding I needed to listen to Disney songs and Celine Dion tonight. Seriously, "A New Day Has Come" played twice. Coincidence? I think not.

Is anyone else harboring an unhealthy obsession for William, Kate, and their brand new baby?

Friday, July 19, 2013

House Update: Drywall!

So, last week our builder mentioned we could have drywall installed by the end of this week. But given the delays with the foundation and then inspections, I was not so sure that we'd be sticking to a timeline (no precedent).

Despite that, I naturally headed over there as soon as I got off work on Friday evening. Officially the end of the week. Between knowing we're not the timeliest bunch and not knowing what could have possibly delayed us this week, I was 50-50 on what to expect.

But I was pleasantly surprised.

Drywall! This is the view from outside our front door. Pat refused to wait on me for almost anything and I was so excited I couldn't even wait for him to get out of any pictures.

I feel like the camel in those Geico commercials: "Pat, Pat, Pat! Do you know what got installed today? Dry-WALLLLLLL!"

Here's our dining room.

Super excited the tray ceilings are in. Don't know why they wouldn't be or how they could be done without it, but still surprised and giddy.

Here's a glamor shot of the powder room.

View as you enter the kitchen area, looking into the living room:

The pantry. This half is storage.

And this precious nook, will be our coffee bar!

This is the view from the family room into the kitchen, pantry on the far right:

Love the mountain of sheet rock. Now let's go upstairs:

Sorry, I couldn't resist. This is what the loft looks like as you reach the top landing:

 Off the loft is the laundry room.

That little door on the right is the "linen closet" aka litter box nook.

Here's the second bedroom, followed by the third bedroom.

The window is still busted and probably will be until right before closing.

The upstairs bath:

And the master suite, complete with tray ceiling, blue walls, and a beautifully large closet.

And did I mention the garage's foundation went in?!

This is probably the single biggest change we've seen since we started building, definitely since the frame went up. While the frame took about a week, all of this happened since the last time I visited two days prior. Not too shabby StanPac, not too shabby.

Father Knows Best

I've asked a lot of people for a lot of home building advice over the five months since we signed the contract to build our house. I've read those "what I wish I'd known" articles on Houzz and Pinterest. I've daydreamed about every possibility and thought about how I can avoid a headache later on. Through all that, the best home building advice I've gotten is from my father: take a lot of pictures before the drywall goes up.

Now take it with a grain of salt; the house isn't done, so my opinion will likely change in retrospect.

I'm obviously as sentimental as the next gal, especially when it comes to my house, so naturally I've taken a lot of pictures. But the advice isn't so I can cherish this exciting time once the house is completed; my dad suggested I take pictures of what is in the walls, so when we want to change things later, we will have a record of where important "invisible" things are.

All in all, I took about 50 pictures of details inside our walls. Should we decide to add pendant lights over our island down the road, we will want to know where that prewire is. If we want to add some storage between wall studs we'll need to know which studs have air ducts, electricity, gas, or water lines running through them. Seriously, there's like no rhyme or reason to how that stuff is laid out. And if I ever decide I want to rip down a wall, I'll have a perfect record of everything that's in there and quickly be talked out of the task.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

House Update: Open Wall Tour

Just a mini house update today; so there's no pictures.

We had our open wall tour yesterday, which is basically where we walk through the framed house as a last step before we go into drywall. We're basically making sure everything is in the right place so they don't have to rip out walls later to fix any mistakes.

The only things we found were a few ceiling fan prewires were missing and a couple of outlets needed to be added. Everyone I've asked for home building advice said you need more outlets than you think, so get as many as you can afford; we chose to add extras in the pantry (for a potential coffee bar), the stairs (night light!), and the master closet.

Given all that, we should have drywall up next week and the exterior should be getting done in 2-3 weeks. Currently, we're looking at a mid-September move-in.

Oh, and our garage is about to go in! The foundation is boxed up and once again, we're just waiting for it to stop raining so they can pour the slab and put all the pieces together.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Look Inside Our DC Hotel Room

For our brief stay in DC we picked the swanky Loew's Madison Hotel. And you need to see the decor to believe it:

Excuse the dog; he doesn't understand why a camera would be out and not taking his picture. 

This room had virtually everything I look for in interior design and even managed to pull off some design cliches I'm more than a bit skeptical of. Much to my delight, it had that seasonal-less (yet warm) grey, cream, and pops of red color scheme. I love love red, but recently it's been getting passed over for blues and greys - not that I don't love cool colors, they just don't have that warm cozy feeling I need near Christmas or a rainy summer day. Though you can barely see it, the pillows had Ms on it, inspiring me to embroider Rs on our pillows.  

 There was even a focal wall with 'Merica themed toile wallpaper. 

The bathroom was so fantastic, I wish I'd seen it before we chose the finishes in the new house. Not that we could afford it, but I'd like to have known. It's stunning, with off-white subway tile and a beautiful granite vanity that was unlike any granite I'd every seen. Wish I'd taken a better picture now. 

If you look closely, you can even see the innovative shower drain which was merely a slit in between tiles.

And here's Pat and Boone waiting in the lobby. Now, I know the boys are cute, but the lobby is gorgeous. The chair Pat is sitting in is a slate grey velvet. The whole lobby is a blend of leather and velvet with ikat accent pillows. And the molding is to die for.

To avoid going all crazy tourist, I tried to limit the pictures I took outside our room, so the rest are from the hotel's website. 

Can we all just agree that this hotel has the perfect amount of swag with none (okay maybe just a little, the perfect amount) of pretension? I think so.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Washington DC Mini Vacay!

I've had lots of questions about the spontaneous mini vacay Pat and I took to Washington DC and Virginia Beach to celebrate the Fourth of July, so I figured I'd take a moment to share.

Our trip was very spur of the moment, the type of thing we never do. Pat and I started planning our trip on Tuesday and departed on Wednesday, which was super gratifying. We popped into Chesapeake, VA to visit Pat's bro and sister-in-law to spend the night before heading onto Washington on Thursday morning.

Before heading to the National Mall to stake out a good seat for the fireworks, we did a little bit of sight seeing with one very hot dog.


Renovation, DC style.

Then we went and camped out for a few hours to wait for the greatest fireworks display in the nation. We got there early enough to get seats with a view of the reflecting pool and the Lincoln Monument.

Then, it started getting dark and crowded...

Then this happened:

(the Fourth of July makes me cheesy)

That's the grand finale of this year's show. Thanks, US government. 

In the morning, we headed back down to spend another couple nights with my Pat's bro and SIL. We went to downtown Norfolk to see the air craft carriers.

Here's Pat and his brother, Paul.

Then a little beach time and back home. Very low key and very fun.

Sidebar: on the fourth, I decided to wear a new pair of Rainbows that I believed to be broken in. I was mistaken.