Monday, June 28, 2010

When "Thank You" doesn't seem like enough

This past weekend my mother and father in law (Susie and Steve), my sister in law (Elise) and brother in law (Scott) all came to Richmond to help us with our renovation project...otherwise known as our home. Daniel and I had a rather long list of "to-do's" for them! I went up to Arlington Saturday through Sunday for a friend's wedding shower, so after training a client Saturday morning I made my way up north and let the family get down to business. I knew they would work hard while I was gone, but man or man did they ever! When I got home Sunday I was in awe!!!

This is what they accomplished:
-Painted guest room #1 (beautiful!)
-Installed ceiling fan in guest room #1
-Installed new light fixture in upstairs hallway
-Removed nasty moldy vanity in upstairs bathroom
-Installed new light fixture in guest room #2
-Fixed up some sheet-rock issues in kitchen
-Installed new light fixture in foyer
-Installed new outdoor sconces (yay!)
-Finished ripping up vinyl floor in foyer, so it is prepared for tile
-Put paint coat #1 in dining room (love it!)
-Patched a couple spots on walls
-Halled away remains of old kitchen that was in our backyard and took to the dump

...Am I leaving out anything??

As you can see all five of them did A LOT of work in just over a day. Man, what a team! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you all for everything!!! You all were a huge help, and this hard work and help is really appreciated. You are were so sweet to spend a precious weekend driving to Richmond only to work, work, work. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts! :)

I am very happy to say that our home is coming together. As of today, we have only owned the house for a month and we have gotten SO MUCH accomplished (maybe that explains the bags under my eyes??)! On Wednesday our tile will begin to be laid in our kitchen and next week our kitchen and foyer will be completely DONE and guess what??!!? I'll be able to COOK again...wahooo!!!!

Any suggestions what should be first on my menu in the brand spankin' new kitchen??!

I promise I'll post pics soon!

Oh, and we're heading to the beach on Saturday through Wednesday for a nice, fun, relaxing time with the Hoffman family...I.can't.wait!

Thank you, Daniel, Susie, Steve, Elise and Scott again for everything you did this weekend...I love you!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Year One!

I really don't know where the past year has gone. Man, it has flown by so fast! This time last year we were preparing for our wedding and for the reception. It was seriously the most amazing, fairy-tale day of our lives! It was so perfect...everything...nothing major went wrong and it was just what we had hoped for and more.

Last night Daniel and I went out for our anniversary dinner. We did the sames things we did on our very first date, and we had a blast. We went to the Jefferson Hotel for a drink first. Over our martinis (yum!), we reminisced of the past year...we moved into our apartment together, I got a couple new jobs, our niece-Lily was born, Daniel's brother Scott got married to Erin in October (lovely wedding!), we got another pug, Zoey, our nephew, James was born, we bought our first house...and now are working on making our house a home. After our martini, we went to dinner at Mama Zu's...a super delicious Italian restaurant in Richmond. We went here on our first date...and believe it or not, we ended up being seated at the same table as we sat at on our first date (the restaurant was packed and this was the only table left for two---we didn't plan this!), and we ordered the same things as our first date! How crazy is that? Daniel had the pork chops (amazing) and I had their Eggplant Parmesan (yum!). We told our waitress that we came here on our first date and that now we are married and celebrating our 1st anniversary...she thought it was the cutest thing ever and loved the story.

It has been a busy, yet wonderful first year of marriage. I know that life will not slow down from now on...but I am happy with this and very blessed with such a wonderful life. Daniel has been such a strong, loving, smart and most of all...hilarious (always gets me laughing) husband. He helps so much around house...with the dogs...with cooking (sometimes, he's good at it though!) and he's always there for me when I need him the most. The first year of marriage is an adjustment, but thankfully we make a good team, work well together and couldn't be happier. :) I love you, Daniel!

Also...Happy Father's Day to my Dad and to my father-in-law! What wonderful father's we have in our lives...we are so lucky to have such great role-models who love us, care about us and are always there to offer advice. We love you!

And more exciting best friend (and Maid of Honor at our wedding!) got engaged last night!!!!!!!! I couldn't be happier for the two of them. I am still smiling in excitement for Charlotte and Ty. What a great couple they are, and I am looking forward to celebrating with them and helping Charlotte with wedding planning. CONGRATULATIONS...enjoy every moment. The day we got engaged is still fresh in my mind...that day and our wedding day were the two most wonderful days of my life. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Caution...Construction Zone ahead!

This week has been a little better in terms of my emotions. I know last week was just SO overwhelming! This week has been better so far. This past weekend the hubs was at the beach for a guys weekend, so while he was enjoying relaxing in the sun, I did a few home projects to surprise him when he got home. I am happy to say that I totally finished our master bedroom...and it looks amazing...the most beautiful bedroom I've ever had! Before we moved in the master bedroom was painted an ugly pink, with an even uglier flower wallpaper border. We took the wallpaper down, painted the ceiling, prepped the walls, and then painted the walls a dark tan color. Then we moved into the house, and although the paint/walls looked much better, the room still needed work. I thought while Daniel was gone I'd work on making the room a special retreat for us to go to get away from the stresses and construction parts of the rest of the house. While he was gone, I painted the trim and baseboards (the previous owners were sloppy on their painting and pink paint was all over the trim, yuck), I hung curtains (or my Dad did), put up our new gorgeous ceiling fan, and decorated the room by adding a ginormous body length mirror and other various artwork around the room. Daniel was pleasantly surprised when he came home! We both LOVE our new room. The only thing left to do in the room is for Daniel to put new outlet switches in...after that is done, I will post before and after pics!

Currently our kitchen is a construction's a total huge mess. On Monday our cabinets are being installed. Our new kitchen should be done on Friday the 25th...boy I can hardly stand it. :) Things are coming along and we are making great progress. Once our kitchen is done, we can focus on working on the rest of the house and our lives can get more back in order. Phew, who ever thought it'd be this much work?! Whoops! (haha)

On a very happy note...the hubs and I are coming up on our 1st year anniversary. We are so very excited and really don't know where the year has gone! Since our anniversary is on Father's Day, we are going to celebrate on Saturday. We are going to do the exact same things and go to the same places we did on our first date. I am actually VERY excited about will be a fun and special time. We also get to eat our wedding cake that has been in my parents freezer. I LOVED our wedding cake, so I am looking forward to this as well. I'll let you know how it tastes after being frozen for a year!

That's the update for now. I'll post pictures soon!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Emotional Much?

These last few days have been very trying. My Type A personality where I like everything to be under it's place...clean, etc...has not so much been the case since we moved. Now, obviously when you move it's not fun and it's always complete chaos. Add on top of moving we have no kitchen (ours is destroyed as we are preparing for a new one--horray!), horrible bathrooms, and we are painting every single room and bathroom and other home projects/repairs.

I am not a typically emotional person, but man...I have been a wreck. Almost every day I have found myself crying over the stupidest things. My poor husband can attest to this! Thankfully, I do see that all this work will pay off...we've already done great things to the house and it will only get better from here. Our new beautiful kitchen will be done in about 3 weeks...and we will hopefully have a new bathroom upstairs as well. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel...but's harder than I ever imagined it would be. To top it all off work has been insane...I'm still personal training but that has been my stress reliever that I love...when I get home at night right back to work on the house. Never a moment to sit and relax...but I had to take time tonight to relax for myself and blog about my feelings (haha).

Thanks to my wonderful, hard working, understanding and loving husband for being so great through all of this. We both realize this is a major stress in our lives, but are helping each other through it. Also, thanks to my fabulous parents for all they have done to help us with the house...they have let us crash at their house...they are watching our sweet puppies that we miss dearly (so that they aren't around this construction mess), and my sweet Mom has been bringing us over food so we don't have to eat out all the time. Tonight she brought over home made pork chops, sweet potato fries (the healthy kind in the oven), a soy bean/cabbage salad, broccoli...and amazing cookies. The love from our families and friends is so important right now and we really appreciate it. :)

Things I am looking forward to in the next month:

1. A new kitchen...holy crap, I can't wait!
2. A new bathroom...or at least...almost a new bathroom
3. More rooms painted that we can check off our list
4. Going to the BEACH w/the lovely Hoffman family to RELAX and spend precious family time that is much needed

p.s.- So I didn't think I'd have much time for blogging since we moved for a while, but looks like this blogging is like therapy for me. It feels good to let it all out! (ok, you all think I'm wack now........unless you have always thought this ;) )

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Making a House a Home

My Grandpa e-mailed this article to me. I loved it so much, I had to share it with the blog world. Enjoy!

44 things that make a house a home
By Elizabeth Bettendorf
Published January 26, 2007

I turn 45 at the end of this month, and to celebrate growing older, I've decided to make a list of some essential things I've learned in the past four years covering homes. They're in no particular order, but they offer a few gems about how to make a house a sanctuary - a refuge that nourishes both the senses and the soul.

1 Declutter, but not so much that your home feels like a real estate open house.

2 Surround yourself with things that have sentimental value. In 20 years, your grandmother's claw-foot side table will mean more than a stack of glass nesting cubes from a furniture chain store.

3 Have a collection and display it. Those vintage postcards, 1950s aluminum coffee pots or antique fountain pens give your home a sense of identity.

4 Use your silver flatware, wedding china and antique French linen pillow shams. If you don't, someone else will; quite possibly a stranger who buys them in an antique store long after you're gone.

5 If it's one-of-a-kind treasure at a far-from-home place, buy it. You'll be sorry if you don't.

6 Surround yourself with the color you love. Hot pink? Over 40? Who cares!

7 Don't buy art to match the sofa - buy it because you connect with it.

8 Break down cleaning chores and do one or two every day - that way your house will always look guest-ready.

9 Don't be lamp poor. Invest in lamps that are both beautiful and fun. Nothing warms a house more.

10 A feather bed atop an ordinary mattress makes for sweet dreams.

11 If you hate making the bed, buy a duvet. When you get up in the morning, all you have to do is smooth out the wrinkles.

12 Keep your palette neutral and bring in color through throw pillows, art, rugs and accessories. That way, if your mood changes, it's easy to change your decor.

13 White towels are the best because they make your bathroom look like a spa, and a little bleach keeps them looking fresh.

14 It's okay to have one messy closet. More than one is a problem.

15 Lots of books add coziness to a house.

16 Light a candle every night.

17 Don't hang your art too high. Eye level is usually perfect.

18 Round dining tables are conducive to the best conversation.

19 The best cooks don't always have the fanciest kitchens.

20 A beautiful fountain or pond - no matter how small - can turn the most humble yard into a place of beauty.

21 It's okay to eat dinner at the cocktail table. Most of us do.

22 Creating a comfortable outdoor seating area gives you more living space - and feels like a luxury in Florida in the winter.

23 When house guests visit, always have things on hand to make them feel loved: fluffy towels, candles, good coffee, a few good magazines in the guest room.

24 A pot of soup simmering on the stove, a roast in the oven, oatmeal cookies cooling on the counter. These things smell much more like home than plug-in oils or room fresheners.

25 Grandma was right: It really does take a heap of living to make a house a home.

26 A good view can make up for almost anything.

27 If you don't have the money to remodel right, sometimes leaving the original fixtures or cabinets looks better than a cheap job.

28 Grow fresh herbs in the garden.

29 Even an ordinary rental apartment can look like a million-dollar condo with some planning and style.

30 Smaller, more reasonably sized homes tend to be the most inviting. Come on now, does anyone really need 15,000 square feet?

31 Xeriscape.


32 Little white lights might be a cliche, but they really do look great all year long.

33 Hang blue willow plates on a yellow wall.

34 Charleston-style courtyards look lovely in Florida, too.

35 The best children's bedrooms aren't cutesy.

36 A Barcelona chair or other design classic always looks in-style. So does a good Oriental rug.

37 There is no substitute for a great, architect-designed house.

38 A skilled interior designer or decorator can make all the difference in the world - especially if you're design-challenged.

39 Dogs and kids feel good in a house.

40 Hang a chandelier in the garden. Burn candles in it at night.

41 A beautiful, imaginative tree house for grownups (depending on zoning and neighbors) is the next best thing to being Peter Pan.

42 Nothing offers more comfort on a chilly night than a fire in the fireplace.

43 Money doesn't buy good taste.

44 Make your home your bliss. Spend time in it, enjoy it, be thankful.