Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Put a Ring (of Stripes) On It

My other recent project has been to put horizontal stripes in our powder room on the main level. This is another project inspired by Young House Love. I pinned their powder room a while back and after creating chevron stripes in my craft room, I was ready to tackle a more public spot in the house, it just took me 18 months later to tackle the project.

I started in July by painting the base cream color. The room started as a dull blueish grey.
Photo from the house listing in 2012
Not a huge difference yet, hard to tell the color difference in this lighting
 
It took me about 8 weeks (I'm sensing a theme of procrastination here...) to finally get to the contrasting color. 
 
I had sketched out measurements to fit in 11 equal sized stripes and allowed me to have the top and bottom stripes to be the original color so I wouldn't have to tape the baseboards or ceiling as well. 
 
The first (and smallest wall) took almost an hour to tape thanks to slightly bowed drywall. Each stripe was 10 1/4 inches wide. Unfortunately I'd measure both sides of the wall, connect the tape, and the center would only measure 10 inches wide.
Luckily the rest of the walls only took another 3 1/2 hours to tape.
Painting went pretty quickly and in a fraction of the time it took to tape, two coats of the contrasting color were up and on the wall.
Then came the scariest part, removing the tape to see how well I did. I started this as soon as I was done painting so there wouldn't be any dried pieces to peel off with the tape.
I kinda started freaking out after the first couple of rows of tape came off. Just like the chevron stripes, I was shocked at how clean the lines were. I did learn the hard way after pulling off the first small piece, it is VERY important to pull the tape AWAY from the painted section and not towards it. A few chips of paint came off that I'll have to touch up eventually. Once I started pulling the tape AWAY, it all came off cleanly.
I've never loved the builder grade mirrors in our bathrooms, so as I'm painting each one, I'm replacing the mirrors as I go as well. While I was at Ikea shopping for Ribba frames, I had glanced through their mirrors to see if I loved any. My requirement was something big enough to cover the screw holes from the old mirror so I wouldn't have to worry about spackle and painting those as well. The only mirror I liked at Ikea didn't fit the height requirement, so back to the drawing board. I found exactly what I was looking for at Target, clean lines, framed mirror, tall enough to cover existing holes.
I also grabbed a small rug while at Target to cover up the sad looking tile since I'm not quite ready to retile yet.
Now all that is left is to find some prints or artwork to hang on the walls, maybe put up a shelf or two and I'll call it another completed room!

Phew, another project crossed off of my 30 while 30 list and just under the deadline since my birthday is TOMORROW!!!!!!

Yikes!





 
 

Dressing up the Walls

It only took me about 27 months to finally hang something in the living room. I don't know why the thought of putting nail holes in the wall paralyzes my decision making. We have a big empty wall that needed filling and I couldn't decide on prints or artwork that I was in love with and wanted to commit to for the long term.

When we first moved in I had envisioned several picture ledges spanning the entire length of the wall and mixing and layering in different style frames and pictures. Picking out that many frames and pictures was a little overwhelming, so I decided to go with oversized frames that would take up a lot of wall real estate.

Finding affordable frames was the next challenge. I have IKEA Ribba frames in several other spots in the house and like their clean lines. There is a 20x20 frame for under $20 that fit my vision. I wanted to be able to switch pictures out frequently and thought my Instagram would be a perfect source for the wall. I envisioned small 4x4 pictures matted inside the large frames. When I got to IKEA, the matting had an opening of almost 12x12. This was much larger than I wanted and larger than most Instagram printing sites would print.

I thought of John and Sherry over at Young House Love using different color paper when they hung smaller pictures in large frames and Googled "Young House Love, Ikea Frames" and got this post. As I scrolled down I saw how they went from color backgrounds to a fabric background. The wheels started turning and I remembered the several yards of burlap type fabric that I had bought at a going out of business sale over a year ago. The fabric background looked so much more polished, so I got excited about that idea and headed home.

Once home I ordered about 3 dozen of my favorite Instagram photos to be printed at Walgreens and got started prepping the frames. My mom was helping out with the project and she got to work cleaning all of the glass while I started cutting fabric squares for the backgrounds. Walgreens was done with my prints in about 35 minutes, so we headed over to pick them up.

After getting 5 of the 10 frames prepped, it was time to hang the first row.



With the first row completed, it was time to figure out the easiest way to get the second row lined up directly below. I came up with tying a paint key to the end of a ribbon and marking exactly where the next hook should go.



This method was so much quicker than trying to measure out and level the lower row of hooks. The second row went up pretty speedy and I couldn't get over the results. It turned out exactly how I had hoped. 






Hubs and I both agree that even though we've been in this house for over two years, this makes it just that much more 'homey' and even more 'ours'. 

You can follow me on Instagram to keep up with pictures that may make the wall in the future!



Friday, May 23, 2014

5 on Friday - Hubs' Birthday Weekend Recap





I missed the big "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TONY!!!!" post last week, so let's dedicate this 5 on Friday to his birthday weekend!

FIVE - Bars visited on our Falls Church bar crawl (6 if you count the bar where we did a quick shot, but didn't stick around). We started at Open Road then headed down the street to a roof top bar, an Irish bar (where I may have posted "DAY DRINKING!!!" at 7PM, shhhhh the sun was still out), a beach bar (didn't stay here), then onto SpaceBar for grilled cheese, and finally Chasin' Tails for a crawfish dinner.
 Day drinking at 7PM
 Quick stop at the beach bar for a photo op

SpaceBar: All Grilled Cheese, All the time. It's what dreams are made of.

FOUR - Days of celebrating!!! Thursday night HH at Ford's Fish Shack, Friday night movie with friends and Bar Louie, Saturday bar crawl in Falls Church, Sunday food festival at the Taste of Arlington. A busy but fun weekend!!! I was definitely dragging on Monday morning. I needed a day to recover from my weekend.

THREE - Years in a row we've been to Chasin' Tails for your birthday.
 2012
2013
2014

TWO - Showings of Godzilla. Hated it the first time, loved it the second. How can you not love anything on IMAX????

ONE - More year in the books. This past year was so much fun and I am so glad I got to spend it with you. Can't wait to see what this coming year brings!!!!!

Love you!!!!! XOXOXOXO

Monday, April 7, 2014

a weekend of PRs and wine slushies

I hope everyone's week is off to a fabulous start and everyone is recovered from their exciting weekend!

We had a busy busy weekend, I feel like I was on the go since I got off work on Friday. I'm happy it's Monday and I can finally get a break!

Friday after work Hubs and I went out to run a couple errands. Our last stop was to try out a beer he had heard all about and was only on tap at one bar locally. We stopped by, grabbed a beer (he hated it), then decided to move across the street to another bar for a drink and apps before heading home. Well, as it happens most Friday nights, our intentions of just having a drink then heading home for a quiet night did not happen. Friends met us out and we didn't end up back at our house until after 10. All in all, it was a great night of friends, fun and laughter.

Backing up a little, Friday morning when I had gone to the gym I saw signs for a race that would be held that weekend. I asked my friend at the front desk if he knew about it so I could be ready if it would interfere with any of my planned classes to take Saturday or Sunday. He said the race was Saturday morning and was a 10k/5k.

My plan for Saturday at that time was to go to spin class and drag Hubs along (since he finally had a Saturday morning off) and then to go for a run afterwards. I had 6 miles on the schedule since I'm gearing back up for the Broad Street 10 Miler next month. Well, as it turns out, Hubs was really not feeling spin class in the morning, so I started thinking of maybe running the 10k race the next morning.

I wasn't sure how hungover I'd be after a couple cocktails the night before, but I got cash from the ATM for the registration fee, set out my running clothes and set an early alarm. I told myself that if my alarm went off and I felt terrible, no loss, I'd get my miles in solo later on. Turns out, I set my alarm for PM instead of AM so it never went off, but I did have a dream a buddy was texting me to see if I was going to make it to the race. When I checked my phone for the text I saw that it was late, but if I could make it out the door in 10-20 mins I would still be able to make it. I hustled out of bed and was thankful everything was laid out and ready to go.

Registering the day of was no problem, so I got my bib and waited for the race to begin! The 10k started 10 minutes before the 5k and I was glad we got a bit of a head start. I was about two miles in before the leaders of the 5k started passing me. The race was two laps of the 5k route, so I just trucked along and was feeling a little smug when I kept going at the split and all the 5kers turned to the finish line. That smugness didn't last too long when I realized I was only half way and the 2nd lap would be a lot more lonely without the 5kers out there. I trucked along at the back of the pack and just tried to stick with my run 4/walk 1 intervals as much as I could. I knew I could PR the race since my last 10k was with absolutely no training and I had to walk most of the 2nd half and ended up with just under 15min/mile pace. I was aiming to come in around 1:15 or 1:20 for this one. As I hit the 6mile mark I had just about 3 minutes to beat 1:20. I knew it would happen and was thrilled when the race clock read 1:19 as I crossed.

After the race on Saturday I lazed around the house trying to catch up on sleep and rest my weary legs. We started watching The Following and were hooked after the first episode. We've only watched two so far but it looks pretty amazing. I did have a nightmare about the lead antagonist from the show last night, but that just motivates me to power through a couple more episodes to see where his character goes. Saturday night a couple of friends came over for some beers and Final Four action.

Sunday I woke up, hit my favorite Step class of the week, ran home and showered to get ready for a fun day of wine tasting with friends. We were having another couple over for breakfast before hitting the vineyards and I was trying out the cinnamon rolls on the waffle maker that are such the rage on Pinterest. Survey say: These are AMAZING. So delicious and so quick!




From there we headed about 20 minutes down the road to our first stop for the day: Chrysalis Vineyards. Hubs and I have been to Chrysalis several times, so we skipped the tasting and just grabbed a bottle of their Patio White to share with the group. We hung outside at the picnic benches and other friends started showing up. Hubs had gotten a nice little group together and surprised me with the other couples that came out to play!

From there we headed just across the main road to Cana Vineyard where I did a tasting and then enjoyed a glass of their Rosé. After hanging out on their patio for a couple of hours we headed to the final stop, one of our top 3 vineyards in the area, Quattro Goomba. Our favorite thing about this vineyard is their laid back atmosphere. They have pizza and wine slushies, what could be better! Our group enjoyed the carafes of wine slushies and soaked up the afternoon sunshine.


Enjoying a slushie with Reneé!



After our last stop we headed home and just tried to stay awake for the premier of Game of Thrones. I watched the last two episodes of last season to take us right into the first episode at 9. This season is gonna be a doozy and they kicked it off with a fantastic first episode. Once it was over I have never been happier to pour myself into bed and pass out for the night.

Happy Monday! What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever run a spur of the moment race? 



Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday - Anniversary Edition


 Happy Friday!!!!! I'm actually sad to see this Friday arrive since it means the end of our week at the beach. It's been such a laid back and relaxing week. Alarm clocks are going to come as a rude awakening next week.

So without further ado, my 5 on this Friday

One (year ago) - Dinner at L'Auberge Chez Francois to celebrate our 4th anniversary. Easily in the top 3 meals of my life. As we were sitting down we hear the woman at a nearby table declare "This is the best carrot I have ever tasted", so clearly we had to order something with carrots. When hubs' dinner came it it did indeed include THE. BEST. CARROTS. EVER. Weird memory from that night, but that place is so stinkin' good. Also, the Baked Alaska. GET IT. You're welcome.

Two (years ago) - Celebrating our third Anni in the Dominican Republic. We got upgraded to a suite bigger than our condo and then spent the whole week daydreaming about buying a bigger house. The house we ended up buying had an Open House the day we got back so we were off the plane and straight to see the house we had been obsessing over on Red Fin. After some drama with it getting an offer before we could work out financing (sad) then that one falling through and our offer being accepted the minute we found out it was available again (HAPPY) it would finally be ours.
Best friend to make at the resort? 
The bartender who saves you the good beers every night.


Three (years ago) - Spent our second anniversary in Chicago. What a fun city, but they weren't lying about it being windy. That place was cold!!! We had such a blast exploring the city and had some of THE BEST FOOD. I can't wait to go back someday and explore the city even more.
At The Bean 
(minutes before my camera died and I had not brought my charger)

Four (years ago) - Our first anniversary!!! We went to New York City and planned our entire itinerary around our lunch and dinner reservations. So glad we took an entire week there, there is so much to do and we didn't feel rushed through anything. It rained for several days and we had to make a purchase of rain boots while there, those things are still kickin and one of my favorite items I own. We were on The Today Show asking the financial experts about 2nd mortgages (that wouldn't come into play for two more years when we pulled the trigger on the town house (see #2 above)) We went to Peter Luger for our anniversary dinner and stayed at The Pierre for the night. Amazing dinner, even more amazing hotel. I've never felt so fancy.
 We totally saved the top tier of our wedding cake and carted it up to NYC on the train. 

Five (years ago) - BEST. DAY. EVA. I can't even sum it all up in a few sentences. The whole day was a dream and I got to marry my best friend. Totally had the time of my life.




Love you Hubs!!!! Cheers to our first FIVE years and here's to the next five (and then the next five and the next five....)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five on Friday - What's been happening

Happy Friday everyone!!!!  This is the winter that never ends....I can't wait for the spring and to get outside and do some new things. We've had a busy week over here, some of the highlights for this Five on Friday.


5. Last Sunday hubs and I took a little road trip to help transport a rescue dog from Alabama to Connecticut. We had a 90 mile drive from Front Royal, VA to Hagerstown, MD. If this pup wasn't heading to a forever home in CT, I would have driven him straight to my house. He was so sweet and such an adorable little guy. He slept in my lap the entire trip and I might have cried a little bit when we had to pass him off to the next person.



4. Wilbur had his first dental cleaning on Monday. His breath was BAD and his teeth were pretty gross. We were probably a year past due for getting it done and he had to have three teeth extracted. While he was under he had a skin tag removed and now has a couple stitches on his leg. While I feel bad for the little guy going through so much, a dog in a cone is so stinkin adorable. I've nicknamed him Flower for the next week until he gets his stitches out.


3. Thanks to Hubs getting a company vehicle, we found ourselves with 3 cars and only two drivers. Having car payments on two cars that we wouldn't even be driving seemed silly, so we traded two in to upgrade from a coupe and sedan to an SUV. Tuesday we both had off of work and spent all afternoon on car stuff. Picked up his new car, took our two cars to CarMax to be appraised (walked out with written offers for our cars), went to the Honda dealership that we knew had the color/model we wanted, had them match our CarMax quotes for our trade ins (Honda had come in $500 lower on each), and walked out with a new car a couple hours later. Some of my favorite features are: I now sit high enough to see over the hill by our house to be able to tell if I closed the garage door, the cup holders are big enough for my Nalgene, and calling hubs on the Bluetooth. Now we have so much more room for tailgating stuff (and friends!) for this coming Penn State football season.

2.. We just booked a beach house down at the Outer Banks in a couple of weeks. I can't wait to hit the road and take the pups for a week away from it all.

1. My 1/2 Marathon is tomorrow!!!!! The longest run I got in while training was 9 miles and that run was AMAZING. I felt like I was flying and could have gone all day. A week later I went out to do 10 miles and was so miserable I quit after 6 1/2 miles. I'm hoping tomorrow is more like two weeks ago. I'm spending today with my feet up and drinking plenty of water.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

30 While 30 - Check In


Whooooooooa we're halfway there, WHOOOOOOOOA livin' on a prayer!

6 months until I turn 31, time to check in on how my list is going.....

Healthier Me:
 1. PR a 5k  38:03 12/31/13
 2. PR a 10k - Don't have one scheduled yet
 3. PR a 10 Miler - Broad Street (May 4)
 4. Run 1/2 Marathon - Rock & Roll DC (March 15)
 5. Complete a Triathlon Tri for Love, September 15
 6. Complete a mud run - Not scheduled yet. Hoping for a fun one to come up this summer.
 7. Try every class on the schedule at my gym (15?/62)
 8. Ride entire W&OD Trail from Purcellville to Shirlington - Hoping to do this one sometime this summer.
 9. Try CrossFit - Keeping my eye out for a Groupon
10. Lose 30lbs (11/30)
11. 30 consecutive days off from drinking - I had planned to do this in January and fell off the wagon 12 days in, I don't know that this will happen now that we're heading into spring/summer. Can't imagine 30 days of no patio drinking.....
12. 30 days of Paleo - Not important to me anymore, more likely to try 30 consecutive days of food tracking.

Financial Me:

13. Pay off one car - Nope
14. No credit card debt - Nope
15. Follow all cash plan for one month - Not yet
16. Make $300 outside of my day job - I need a plan for this....
17. Have 3 month emergency fund - Not even close, and it's becoming more clear how important an emergency fund is since we don't current have tenants in our rental condo.
18. Build a wardrobe of 30 essential pieces - I'm starting to get some pieces that I know I can wear over and over again and mix up. My current favorites are black skinnies and distressed boyfriend jeans. My chambray shirt is another favorite I can wear at LEAST once a week, and so many different ways to style it! I think once I get closer to my goal weight I'll pick up some more classic pieces.
19. Donate 30 items of clothing - I have a big bag of clothes to go to GoodWill, not quite 30, still working on paring down the closet. I will probably have several more items once I start pulling out summer stuff.

Experiences:

20. Travel to a new country - London, England
21. Take a spur of the moment out of town trip - Have some ideas, but that kind of defeats the purpose of spur of the moment, yes?
22. Attend an outdoor concert
23. Volunteer for 30 hours
24. Have professional pics taken
25. Read 30 books (8 books read)

Around the house:

26. Try 30 new recipes - I've tried probably about 10 recipes so far, many more on Pinterest to try though!
27. Get all recipes and magazine tear sheets pinned - I've gotten through a couple big stacks of recipes, still have a lot more to go through.
28. Paint powder room - Thinking of completing this soon actually.
29. Hang pictures in living room and fill empty frames around the house - Two more empties hanging on the wall, 10 more planned to go up in the living room.
30. Minimum of 30 blog posts (21/30)

So only 3 items completely crossed off, but a couple races coming up in the spring and several in progress. I think I will be crossing off many more come spring/summertime.

What have you been working on this year????

Linking up with Renee at SassyWife for Tuesday Tea