Monday, November 30, 2015

Bathroom Vanity Reveal

Three years ago my dad helped me load up a U-Haul to move all my belongings from Virginia to Rhode Island. In the process, he started loading it up with things he'd had stored away for years and was looking to get rid of. As a brand spankin' new home buyer with next to nothing in homely possessions, I pounced at just about everything that was offered.

Andrew, my then boyfriend, shook his head as the U-Haul was unloaded at our new place. Three wooden antique sleds, an antique fan, boxes of my childhood crap, furniture, "gently used" rugs, and two ancient walnut doors. These walnut doors had been in hiding for 25 years...25 years since my dad acquired them from someone else looking to purge.

Well, these walnut doors have never looked better. It's hard to believe that Andrew was able to chop up the doors and make something like this. I can't begin to put my mind around this kind of ingenuity, talent, and ability to create something out of nothing. 

We are so thrilled to have this special piece in our new bathroom and in AC Grayling's portfolio. It's a far cry from the red laminate countertop vanity and "gold" faucet in our old bathroom.

Vanity Sources: 
Kohler Vessel Square Sink |
Hansgrohe Faucet | Hand-me-down
Classic 6" Thin Pull | Pottery Barn
Plumbing | Home Depot
Epifanes Matte Varnish | Jamestown Distributors

Full bathroom reveal coming later this week!! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Adult Carnival Party

A few weeks ago we celebrated Andrew's birthday. I personally love the fact that his birthday falls on election day in the beginning of November. It's in between the craziness of summer and the craziness of the upcoming holiday season. Which makes it the perfect time to throw a party.

It's kind of become a trend now for the past 2 years, to throw a party for Andrew's birthday. When Andrew turned 40 I did a Budweiser theme which was as you can imagine got rowdy. So after the night of drinking 40s I promptly drove us to Newport at 4:30am to run the Pell Bridge Run (5 miles!) and ring in the next decade - clearly a bad idea on my part but memorable non-the-less.

Last year I went with the fall theme and cooked up a big pot of chili and had a DIY grilled cheese bar, the ultimate comfort food as the leaves are changing and winter is knocking on the door. It was also a crowd pleaser as it was kid friendly and smores could be devoured in the backyard.

This year I bounced around a few ideas on my favorite time waster, Pinterest. I finally came up with an Adult Carnival theme. Invitations read: HAB - Hire a Babysitter. No kids allowed. Sometimes adults need an excuse to be kids free for a night, and thats what we did.

We had all the carnival favorites, ring toss & darts, as well as some spins on the classics, Bobbing for nips and mango margarita snow cones were the highlights. My personal favorite was the cotton candy machine  and the homemade kissing booth. I mean, who doesn't love spun sugar?!

We didn't just serve sugar though…I served all the greasy, "fat free" favorites you get at a carnival - tator tots, soft pretzels, popcorn & peanuts, corn dogs, and sliders. Carbo load.

And to finish it off, everyone won a goldfish for the night. The kind you get in the bag at the state fair and it dies the next day…that kind. Except we still have 5 living and swimming in a bowl in our bathroom - I guess that plan kind of backfired on us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Fleeting Season

I went for a walk on Sunday at the "golden hour". Besides the early hours of the morning, this time of day is undoubtedly my favorite. It is a combination of things really, but mostly it's the light.  The rays of light as they dance on the fields down the street from our house; the fierce glow as the sky lights up before going completely dark; the shadows that creep into places in my house that only beg to be lit up again.

It's also the feeling of another set of hours gone, productive or creative or wonderful or NOT, another day in my storybook. Another season that will be erased with time.

I think about it often. Seasons. Time. Nature. Light. Dreams. Life's simple things.

I always tell myself that in "this season I will do this"...And then life happens and suddenly one season has turned into the next. I always feel that way. That these seasons in life are fleeting. That I can't quite grasp it all. I try. I take a LOT of pictures. It is my way of holding on. Of seeing. Of being present. Of remembering. And of creating my storybook.

But seasons are not just falling leaves or christmas trees or budding tulips and glorious warmth from the sun...there are seasons in life as we all well know. Seasons of sadness, success, pure joy, relief, transition, and grief. At one time or another we have all experienced these seasons.  They evolve and change and take on new forms just like the leaves.

And what I came to think about on my walk, was how things change with every season. That even when I try to hold on to the present, the next season is coming full steam ahead. No reserves, no hesitations, the change is imminent.

I feel this way about fall. That I could drink the crisp air, watch the leaves fall, pick apples, and watch that golden sun set, one more time, forever.  But it's not forever. Nothing is. It's for a season. And fall my friends, it is fleeting. And I have been determined to capture that feeling. With the only way I know how…in my photographs.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Moneypit Monday: Front Exterior Reveal

The last Moneypit Monday we had was back in JUNE. Insert horrified emoji here. 

But, TODAY, I am bringing back Moneypit Monday because we have an exciting face lift to show off. A face lift that was 1 year and 8 months and 2 days in the making. One that required lots of new materials, fighting off swarms of bees, climbing ladders, installing windows, kicking out bird tenants, nailing up 10 bundles of shingles and the inevitable blood, sweat and tears.

But we had a vision. And we made it a reality.

We are thrilled to finally reveal the FINISHED front of our house!

So you may ask…how in the hell did it take you 1 year, 8 months and 2 days?????

Don't worry, we ask the same thing some times. But then, we go back and look at all the photos I've taken to document the process and instantly remember. It's like a time capsule. And these things take time. And money. And patience. And they all fit together like a puzzle.

Here's our time capsule in the front of the house…

March 2014: Removal of big pine tree & yard cleanup
Removal of front porch due to ROT & POOR CONSTRUCTION
June 2014: New Stone Walkway out onto the driveway

June - September 2014: Completion of porch, tyvek & shingling on the lower half
November 26, 2014: Replacement of Picture Window
Summer 2015: Staging, shingling & trim 
September 2015: Removal & replacement of all shingles & trim on upper half
Young, Eager & Oblivious
Older, Wiser & Accomplished
You know that song by Sam Cooke - "A Change is Gonna Come"??  It's been a long time coming... 

But some things are just worth the wait. We have experienced so much through this house and all its different forms. Our marriage has become stronger. Our patience strengthened. Our wallet emptied. And our eagerness dulled and then revived again.

Just like the house's appearance, we have gone through many stages in this renovation and in our life. It all takes time…a lot of love…a team mentality…some bumps in the road…some victories...and a vision.

I'm pretty proud of how this vision turned out.

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