Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Big Reveal

I have been waiting for all the stars to align, the final touches to be made, and the "ah ha" moment. That moment has finally arrived this week! A large section of the back of our house is complete! The transformation hasn't seemed drastic over the past year, but when I compared the "Before" and "After" pictures the difference is incomparable!  Is it even the same house??

Over the past month we invested in the outdoor shower which debuted not long ago; a beautiful stone walkway completed by our friends at It's About Thyme Gardening out of Portsmouth, RI; some steps for the back porch (a novel idea); and pretty summer flowers that I found in nearby Bristol.  A lot of hard work and time went into this house project and we love the results! 

I was hesitant about hiring a contractor to landscape, but the end result was well worth the added expense!! The curve on the grey stone pavers and the cobblestone flower beds really pulled the whole back area together.

Eventually over time the entire house will look like this back section with fresh paint and new cedar shingles. We chose Sherwin Williams "Naval" and "Gray Clouds" as our colors for the exterior. We found that their Duration paint is the best exterior paint - a little bit pricey, but a nice gloss finish and  excellent durability.  The cedar shingles are from Liberty Cedar in Kingston, Rhode Island and the materials for the outdoor shower are spay leftover from Andrew's sister's house construction.  The outdoor light we found online at Lighting Direct

Stay tuned for the front porch reveal in the next few weeks...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Monograms & Margaritas

I have a fun house update for the weekend, but in the meantime I wanted to share some special photos and memories from my wedding shower a few weeks ago.

I only wanted 1 shower…1 big fuss, 1 excuse for people to travel near and far, and 1 all out celebration. And that is exactly what I got last month! I even requested the theme. Some say you can't do that, but ladies and gentleman, I did. I've wanted a "Monograms & Margaritas" celebration ever since I was old enough to realize if I got married one day someone might throw me a fun shower. My fabulous hosts, all friends from different times in my life, went along with my idea and went above and beyond my expectations!

My dear friends Anne, Robyn & Lauren truly thought of ALL the details. They even got monogrammed cupcakes from a college friend, Cakes by Casey, and gluten free to boot!

The picture above are all my special "mamas"…each of these women mean the world to me. I felt unbelievably spoiled on this special occasion - it was a weekend to remember!

Some of my inspiration for monograms: 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Outdoor Showers

Growing up I learned quickly that summer time meant 10 cent lemonade stands, waking up early to fish or crab, fun dip at swim meets, white blonde hair, freeze pops on a humid Virginia summer day, Otis Redding and Jimmy Buffett, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, slip 'n slides, sand in my bathing suit bottom, and outdoor showers. 

I don't know what it is about outdoor showers, but in my opinion, they represent everything good in this life. They remind me of long, hot summer days…relaxation…simplicity…family vacations…and wholesome, refreshing days.  Every house we've ever rented or stayed in at the beach, lake or river that has an outdoor shower is 5 stars in my book. I could care less if the place has cable tv, a fancy bar or pool, or a killer view…give me an outdoor shower and I am sold! 

So when I asked Andrew last year if we could build an outdoor shower, I got no arguments!  Just two weeks ago we went to a pool party and there was an outdoor shower. I suddenly had this urge to have one of my own…NOW…before the summer disappears into the fall leaves. So as Andrew and I are discussing house projects and priorities, I quickly moved "kickass outdoor shower" to the top of the list and bumped "stairs to front porch" just below. Sorry mail lady and visitors…eventually, we will have steps to our front door again, but for now, we have a kickass outdoor shower. 

My future husband stole my heart again with this one...

How it all came together: 
Epay wood - leftover from Andrew's sister's house
Mixer and shower head - Home Depot, installed by Andrew
Towel Hooks - Pottery Barn (on backorder)
Monkey's Fist - DIY by Andrew
Brass Cleat - Repurposed from a boat

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