Vacay in a Nutshell

Like I said in my last post, we’ve been at the beach house this week.  It has been wonderful; the weather has been in the high 80s, so definitely hot but not sweltering like it will be this summer.  The peak season here really starts this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday and we can already tell that as it gets close to the weekend, the crowds are getting bigger.  I’m really glad we were able to come before everything got packed!

For the first time ever, we brought Lolli with us.  Riding in the car for that long was quite the adventure for her.  She couldn’t ever settle down and nap for fear that as soon as she did, we’d arrive at our destination.  That meant a solid 8 hours of her standing in my lap looking out the window.  Good thing we had an audio book to listen to since I couldn’t do much else.

First thing on the agenda was definitely to take the dogs to the beach.  Henry had seen the ocean before (see his first visit here) but not Lolli.  I just knew she was going to love it because she loves getting soaking wet outside.  If there’s a rain puddle or wet grass anywhere near her, she’s definitely going to roll around in it.  She completely surprised me, though, because as much as she was content with the sand, she hated the ocean.  Didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

This is her giving me the stink eye after I’d drug her into the edge of a wave to get her feet wet.  She was not happy with me.  (As you can tell from the photo, I was so convinced that she’d love running in the water that I had all her hair shaved off before we left.)

She plopped right down in the sand and seemed to be telling me that she was perfectly fine where she was, thankyouverymuch.

Henry, on the other hand, was much more excited about the ocean this time around.  He loved running into the water and trying to lap it up.  (Henry is like me in that he doesn’t have very cute beach hair…)

We were there too, but the only proof I have is our toes in the sand.

While my parents were here, Doc and my dad played golf a couple times which means Mom and I had some shopping dates.  We hit up several different locations and found some good deals but the Outlet Mall – usually one of my favorite parts about coming down here - just wasn’t that much fun for me.  Being preggers, I found that none of the stores work for me, it’s a whole lotta walking, and the bathrooms are spaced way too far apart.  I know, I know, first world problems.

We made two more patio chairs to go with the set here so we’d have 4 chairs instead of two.  With the extra chairs we were able to all eat dinner out on the patio one night while listening to a storm move in.  It was my favorite kind of meal – hot dogs from the grill, chip and dip, and fresh fruit. :)

On Mom and Dad’s last night here, we went out to eat at La Crema in Rosemary Beach.   They specialize in tapas and chocolate and it’s all so, so good.

I really hate this picture of me but it’s the only one we took together the whole time we were there.

After they left, Doc and I spent a full day out on the beach and both turned into lobsters.  Re-apply your sunscreen, people!  We had a date night that night at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.  We ended up sitting out on the patio at Margaritaville for dinner.  The sun was setting as our dinner began and Doc tried to capture it behind me, but his phone didn’t pick up all the pretty colors in the sky.

That’s really about it.  We spent the last day under the shade hiding from the sun and cleaning up the house.  The next scheduled trip we have to come down here is when I’m on maternity leave.  I have a feeling I’ll get my camera out a lot more on that trip!

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Dear Beach House…

…It’s so hard to say goodbye!  At the time that this posts, I’m probably sitting in the front seat of our rented minivan boo hoo-ing as we drive towards our house that’s not brand new, doesn’t have a pool in the backyard, and isn’t within walking distance of the beach.  And, last I checked, it was raining cats and dogs at home so we’ll likely be greeted by mud puddles and foot-high weeds.  Sigh…why can’t we just stay here forever?

This week was the kids’ spring break so we brought them (and Doc’s parents too) to see the beach house for the first time.  During building, we kept it a secret from them so they had no idea it even existed.  I mean, they knew we were headed to the beach and that we were staying in a house, they just didn’t know it was our house.  As we pulled up, we told them we were all going to take a quick tour of the house and then we had to meet out on the patio for a family meeting.  Doc used his serious voice thinking he’d make them nervous (especially since last week we’d had a family meeting and told them about the new brother or sister they’ll be getting in September!) but I think they just thought he was going to go over the “vacation rules.”

Before telling them the house belongs to us, we asked them what they thought about it so we’d get an unbiased opinion.  They both thought it was really cool…they got their own rooms and it had a pool!  I had my camera poised to snap a pic when Doc told them that the house belongs to us.  I was ready to catch their excitement on film!

Um yea, not really the picture I was expecting.  What we actually got was about a billion questions.  “Wait…so this used to just be an empty lot?”  “You’ve seen this house before?”  “We can come here anytime?”  “Other people can come here too?”  I guess it was a lot to take in.  We asked them if they remembered all the mattresses and couches that used to be in Mimi and Poppy’s (my parents) garage.  “Yea?”  Then we told them those were the mattresses we’d be sleeping on the couches that were in the living room.  Slowly but surely it all started to make sense to them.

Then they got excited!  And also wanted to know why didn’t build a third floor.  We tried to point out the positives; tweens don’t really get mortgages and things like that.

We also told them that noone had swam in the pool yet so the race was on to see who could get suited up first.   Wyatt was first but we made him patiently wait for his sister so they could jump in together.

Finally she made it down and we counted them off.  They made sure I had my camera ready so we’d know for sure exactly who went all the way under first.

Three, two…

…one!  Looks like Anna’s off the ground first.

But Wyatt’s catching up.

Looks like Wyatt made it under first.  The camera doesn’t lie.  Just don’t tell Anna, ok?

It didn’t take long after they jumped in for us to realize the pool heater wasn’t turned on.  Pool water on March 14th is COLD!  Doc spent a while on the phone with the pool guy.  Turns out the gas wasn’t hooked up yet.

Wyatt became the pool boy and got to work cleaning out the leaves.

The rest of us pretty much just sat around and watched.

I spent about an hour out by the pool the first day.  I was finishing up a book on my kindle and just had on shorts and a tank top since it really wasn’t that hot.  As it turns out, the sun was doing a job on me and it looked like I was wearing that tank top for the rest of the trip.  That, or a bright red bib.  Lemme tell you, it was awesome.

Before we got the heat turned on, Anna mastered the art of getting onto the raft without getting wet.

Poor Wyatt got soaked every time.  Luckily, he didn’t seem to mind.

The second full day of our vacation was my birthday!  My sneaky little family turned into busy little bees while I was in the shower that afternoon, because I walked outside to a surprise party on the porch!


I wish I’d had my camera to show you things from my point of view.  Doc told me to come outside and I saw the balloons but noone was there.  And then Lala appeared from behind the bike shed, Anna and Papa rounded the corner of the house, and Wyatt pulled up the driveway on his bike.  And they all had presents!  (Anna’s and Wyatt’s were even wrapped in paper they’d decorated.)

Lala took lots of great pictures at the party but yea, I’d just stepped out of the shower so must of those will remain unposted.  One of the presents I opened was a new pair of TOMS ballet flats.  Super cute!

I also got a Built bag for my laptop.  Really excited about finally having something to cart my computer around in!

Doc baked brownies for the party and Anna arranged my candles into a 2 and a 9 (last year in the twenties!).  Unfortunately, there were no matches so I had to pretend to blow them out.  That just means I got them all and my wish will come true!

Later that afternoon Doc took me out for a quick shopping trip and a birthday dinner.  Of course I didn’t take a picture of us actually showered and cleaned up, but it was a great date night!  It was a really good birthday and I’m so glad I got to spend it at the beach with these guys!

As for the rest of the trip, we did as little as possible.  We spent a day or two at the beach and lots of time lounging around the pool.  I spotted three of these guys (or maybe they were all the same one?) hanging out by the pool with us.  To be so afraid of snakes and other creepy crawly things, I actually think these little lizards are pretty cute.

We bought two more bikes while we were in town so now there’s a total of four at the house.  There were lots of bike rides while we were there.


As always, Doc was the head cook and whipped up some great seafood meals.  Like the pool, we also broke in the dining room table and ate dinner at it a couple nights.

While I was in the back taking that picture of Doc grilling, I also snapped a couple of the back walkway since I left it off our tour (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four).  This is the view from the back door looking towards the pool.

We’ve got an outdoor shower with both hot and cold water.  Wyatt took a couple of ten minute “rinse offs” after swimming in the freezing cold pool; I think he liked it.  Next to the shower is a rack for you to hang your towel.


So that was our quick spring break vacation!  I’ll leave you with this picture of Little Miss Sassy.

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Beach House Tour: Part 4

Let’s wrap this thing up, shall we?  The last stops on the tour are the master suite and the “mini master.”  I think we’ll start with the mini; it’s downstairs and we got a small peek into it on Part 2 of the tour when we were in the kitchen.

The mini master is the only bedroom downstairs and even though it’s probably the smallest in size, the tall ceilings keep it from feeling tiny.  It’s located at the back of the house, just off the kitchen, and the builder called it a mini master because it has it’s own full bath.  This is where Doc and I stayed while we were there and we give it a 2 thumbs up.  It’s quite cozy.

So let’s get closer.  Here’s the view from right at the door.

Early on in our shopping, my mom and I were visiting my aunt and she took us to a great furniture outlet store.  We bought three of the beds there – all brand new and ridiculously cheap.  One was the footboard and headboard that we had to paint white.  We had to buy side rails for it since it wasn’t a complete bed and now it looks great in the “Jackie” room.  The king bed in the master bedroom was the same situation; we had to buy side rails for it too but at least we didn’t have to paint that one.  For this room, we got the solid wood headboard for 100 smackaroos.  We attached a metal bedframe to it and called it done.

Hopefully you recognize the flower painting above the bed.  That’s the $8 Target canvas I made over a few weeks ago.

Here’s a shot of the side wall.  The curtains (made by my mom) look a little wonky since we kept drawing them closed at night.  And in this picture, that mirror looks really low but I promise if you were standing in front of it checking to see if you had something in your teeth, the height is just right.

The floral fabric used for the curtains, shams, and bed skirt is a Premier Print.  The cream matlasee was another TJ Maxx find and it only had one sham to go with it, which explains the random single pillow in front.

Across from the bed is the mustard yellow dresser that I’m still in love with.

The last wall of the room has the closet and bathroom doors on it.  The green chair sits in between the two and, from this picture, kinda looks like it sticks out and would be in the way, but I loved having it there to throw my clothes everyday.

Beside the bed sits the little yellow side table we made.  Sorry this picture (and the others, too) is so dark.  My daylight was all gone and I didn’t turn on my flash.

I completely forgot that the bottom half of the curtains in this room were solid yellow when I decided to paint the table that color.  So there’s a slight yellow overload but I really don’t know what other color I would’ve painted it.  I had also forgotten about this yellow lamp that we bought for this room.  The crazy thing is that it’s the exact same shade of yellow, even the glazes match!  I probably couldn’t have matched them better if I tried.

We added a few more buoys to the bottom of the table.

The bathroom is not tiny, but it was still had for me to get good pictures of.  I couldn’t stand back very far to get a good shot.  And just in case anyone reading this really notices details, yes, the knobs on the drawers were still missing.  They’re there now, though. :)

The countertop is another granite remnant that our builder picked out.  I’m so glad he had good taste!

This is about as good as I could get of the tiled shower.  The white strip of sheetrock on the right has since been painted.

Who’s ready to go upstairs to the real master suite?  I am, cause I think it’s my favorite room.  (Although I do change my mind about that a lot.)

The master suite is upstairs over the dining room and mini master side of the house.  Here it is from the door.

Let’s start with the color scheme.  My mom bought this blue and cream chevron fabric (another Premier Print) completely by mistake.  I had asked her to pick up a different blue fabric and she grabbed this one because I had gotten a swatch of it too while at the fabric store.

It is not unlike us to have a few yards of fabric (or even a whole bolt!) that we don’t even have a purpose for, so we just held on to this and figured we’d find a place for it.  Then my mom found this brown print somewhere and had the idea to use them together for the master.

Shortly after pairing the two together, we had our big score at the furnitre store that was going out of business and found the painting that’s over the bed.  It was perfect.  (And if you’re a Dooce reader, she has the same painting hanging in her house!)

So that’s how the color scheme came about; we just then had to put it all together.  We went out on a limb with the blue walls (Rain by Sherwin Williams) but we wanted at least one room that wasn’t a neutral color.  I’ll admit, I was very nervous about this room once I saw it painted.  Before it had any carpet or furniture, the blue walls and white trim looked really, really bright.  I wasn’t sure that our cream furniture was going to work.

I was nearing panic mode and ready to start over on the decorations when my mom told me to relax.  She reminded me the curtains would hide a lot of the bright white trim and the carpet would tone it all down.  I’m glad I choked down that chill pill because I really like this room now!

The cream quilt is Martha Stewart and is reversible.  The other side is a sandy brown, just a shade lighter than the fabric on the bed skirt.  Mom made all the throw pillows except for the round one in front.  That one came from TJ Maxx.

Remember the neutral Rast dressers with the neutral lamps and neutral lamp shades?  I’m glad that I stuck with all the neutral since they’re flanked by the chevron curtains.  I love the way they look.

Across from the bed is the cream dresser I painted.

On one side of the dresser sits this cute little footstool.  It was not needed at all, but the fabric store was itching to get it out of their inventory so we did them a favor and bought it.  The top is a hinged lid for some hidden storage.

On the other side of the dresser is this chair we picked up for $100 at an estate sale.  We had to have it recovered but it was still a really good deal.

The painting hanging over the chair is the one my mom did at our painting class.

The master bathroom is obviously the biggest one in the house.

The half wall ledge at the end of the sinks was still missing a piece of granite when I took these pictures.

Mom made more faux roman shades to hang over the windows in here.  The fabric is a coordinating one to the chevron in the bedroom.

My freestyle painting from our paint night is hanging over the soaker tub.

The tile shower in this bathroom is a lot like the one downstairs, except bigger and with a bench.

Here’s a final picture looking back into the master bedroom.

I guess this brings our Beach House Tour to an end.  Sadness.

I’m also at a loss for what I’m supposed to do on the weekends now, with no more furniture to paint or wall art to create.  I gotta say, decorating and furnishing an entire house from 450 miles away is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but I’m more than pleased with how it all turned out.  Doc and I are going back in just a couple weeks and will be taking the kids (who still don’t even know it exists).  I can’t wait to see their faces when we tell them its ours, but mostly, I can wait to just relax and enjoy it!

So what do you think about it?  Too much hype for what it is?  Glad its over so we don’t have to talk about it anymore?  Or are you ready to come for a visit?  Which room would you choose if you got first dibs?  Give it to me straight.

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Beach House Tour: Part 3

Wanna know something?  Part 2 of this tour took me 3 hours to write.  I’m not sure that’s the exact amount of time since it was spread out over two days, but believe me when I say it took fooooor-ev-er.  And then I finally hit publish and half of it disappeared.  Poof! Gone.  Just like that.  So naturally I had to spend a good 45 minutes crying and flailing about before I could pull myself together and redo it.  And the second time around wasn’t nearly as good as the first.  I didn’t even re-write about the cute red and white polka dot bakeware we bought!

All that is to say that I don’t have 3 hours right now to spend click-clacking away on the laptop, so I’m going to break the bedrooms part of this tour down into two posts.  Forgive me, will ya?

It would probably make sense to start with the downstairs bedroom since that’s kinda where we left off, but I’m gonna switch things up and go straight to the Jack-and-Jill bedrooms.  I’m crazy like that.

So come on, let’s drag our hineys up the stairs and get this tour going again!

The picture above is of the upstairs hallway, so you can get oriented with where we are.  The door at the top of the stairs is the laundry room and then the two bedrooms are on the left (with a linen closet in the middle of the hall).

Also at the top of the stairs is this eye-sore of a breaker box.  Now you see it…

…now you don’t.  That was an easy fix.

And now let’s peek our head into that room on the left.  We’ll call it the Jill since it’s got polka dots and polka dots feel girly to me.

Here’s a straight on view of the bed.  The bedding is Martha Stewart and the painting was done by my sister-in-law, Beth.

Here’s the wall across from the bed.  We bought two of those white dressers, one for each of the J-and-J rooms.  My mom made the curtains and they match the bed skirt and pillow shams.

On the dresser in this room sits two wooden buoys and a lamp.  The lamp is a Pier One lamp that I found at a yard sale.  My mom has the exact same one at her house and I definitely paid a lot less than she did. :)

There’s another buoy hanging on the closet door.

In every bedroom closet, hangers are awaiting our guests.  This one has one of the luggage racks too.

Remember the Ikea Rast dresser with the grey top?  It landed in this room.  The lamp is from Marshall’s, or maybe TJ Maxx.  Can’t remember.

Lamp on!

Here’s the other side of the room.  The door leads to the bathroom.

The bench is one that we made a long time ago.  It’d just been hanging out in the shop gathering dust, so we added some baskets to the bottom and thought it’d be a good place to put a suitcase or something.  The top is stenciled like the other Rast dresser.

The window pane mirror was just 20 bucks on sale from Hobby Lobby.  It’s not perfect but it works.

That sums it up for the Jill bedroom so let’s check out the bathroom that joins the two rooms together.

We let our builder pick out granite remnants to use in the bathrooms, and I love the color of the granite that he chose for this bath.  I think it looks good with the grey walls and the white cabinets.

These cute little jars came from a consignment shop and were the perfect color.  They’re the exact same shade of blue as our other accessories.

We hung my ocean grass and beach rock shadowboxes above the towel racks.

The other side of the room has the toilet (obviously) and a bath/shower combo.  My mom made the shower curtain and that thing hanging above the towel rack is a shelf of votive candles that’s got mirrors.  It’s kinda hard to tell in this picture.

The trash can and shower curtain hooks both came from Target.

Bathroom tour…check!  On to the Jack room!

Well, I forgot that this room had some polka dots too so maybe it should be the Jackie room?  Doc says this room is his favorite because it’s so white and clean.  We’ll see how long the “white and clean” lasts after we start renting the house.

Straight on shot of this bed.  We found the bedding way early on at Marshall’s and thought it looked beachy.  It seemed like it would be easy enough to match with all the colors.  Turns out nothing in the whole entire world is the same colors as the stripes in that duvet.  I’m not exaggerating at all.  The painting is another Beth original.  Oh, and that’s the bed we painted white.

The stenciled Ikea Rast dresser found a home in this room.  I don’t remember where the lamp came from but it’s pretty cool because you can adjust the height of it.  The curtains and bedskirt were both plain white (you know, since nothing in the whole entire world matched the bedding) but my mom added some grey stripes so they wouldn’t be too, too plain.

Across from the bed is another one of those white dressers with the mirror that my brother painted hanging over it.  We added a splash of color with the lamp I spray painted.  The white chair beside it is a good place to throw your purse, or something.

This wall is my favorite part of this bedroom.  I love the flower canvas I made hanging over those cute grey drawers.


Cute, right?

And that, my friends, wraps up the Jack(ie)-and-Jill bedrooms.  My favorite rooms – the master and “mini master” – are next.  Promise.  Be back soon!

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Beach House Tour: Part 2

Well, you’ve been patient long enough.  Come on inside!

When you step inside the double red doors…

…you’ll find yourself standing right in front of the stairwell.

To your immediate right is the dining room.

I am more than pleased with how the dining room turned out.  The striped rug completely fills up the room, which I love.  I was nervous it would be too small for the table, but that’s not the case at all.

Speaking of the table, it’s made of some awesome textured wood.  I love the top of it.  Kinda wish it lived in my house.

Even though the light fixture is not what I originally had in mind, I like the way it turned out.  It looks nice over the table.

The items on the back wall (with horizontal paneling) should looke pretty familiar to you.  The lamp is one that we scored early on, that’s the red buffet that I made over, and of course, the mirror that I recently painted.  I’m glad I went with the grey for the mirror, and I liked that we turned it to be vertical instead of horizontal since the ceilings are so tall.

Those tall skinny birds were a TJ Maxx find.

Over in the corner hangs Beth’s chocolate cake painting.  Mmmmm…

This last shot of the dining room was taken standing at the door to the screened-in porch.  The door beside the hutch is a closet, and over to the very far left you can see that just past the stairs is the living room.

Speaking of the living room, let’s head that way.

From this view, we’re back at the front door like we’ve just entered the house.  You can see the living room and kitchen are all one big room.

Let’s focus on just the living room for a minute.

Let’s see…the tv armoir came from a second-hand store in Florida.  Besides building the black box to raise the tv, we also added a few things to the bottom shelves so it wouldn’t be so empty.

I wrote a post about some bargain deals that we got when a local furniture store was going out of business.  That’s where the couches, coffee table, and side table came from.

We added a couple Target throw pillows to the big couch.

Standing in the living room, if you turn back towards the front door, this is your view.

The red chest is another bargain deal we got at the furniture closeout sale.  It came in a box and sat in the garage for so long that we completely forgot what it looked like.  I could’ve sworn it was smaller, but luckily, it seemed made for that space.  The lamp was purchased with all the others a while back, and the bird painting was done by Beth.

The painting in the corner, back behind the love seat, was purchased from a local artist back home.  We thought that corner needed a little color and that the flowers cheered it up.

I almost forgot to mention that the curtains hanging in this room (and the dining room, too) are the ones that I painstakingly put all the grommets on.  Glad they turned out well!

During the whole process of purchasing things to furnish this house, I would say we only had two real splurges: this red leather chair and the rug.  The red chair came from Macy’s and reclines.  It’s so comfortable!  (The floor lamp came from the same place as all the others.)

The rug is like a cloud under your bare toes.  I could walk around on it all day.  Or just lay down and take a nap…I’m better at that.  It came from Capel Rugs.  I really expected it to shed all over the place, but it didn’t at all!  I’m gonna watch it for a few months to see how it holds up and if it does well, I may be taking out a small loan to purchase a rug like this for every room in my house.

Beside the big couch is an end table.  We actually purchased two of these but just couldn’t make the other one fit.  I’d say only having one piece of furniture that didn’t work out was pretty good!  We kept this plain and simple with just a lamp and another bird since we know it will be used a lot by visitors for remotes, drinks, cell phones, etc.

Just behind the end table and couch is what our architect called a “game niche.”  We really didn’t know what to expect for it.  I thought it would be a cutout that went all the way up to the ceiling and you could put a piece of furniture there.  As it turns out, it’s really just a couple shelves to store games on.

We did have a few games that we put in the big basket on the bottom shelf.  Mom also cleaned out her book collection and donated a few romance novels.  What’s a beach vacation without those, amiright?

We also stuck a few buoys there (they match the ones on the dining table) and added this oh-so-cute beach bike on the bottom.  It came from Hobby Lobby – 50% off, of course.

And I’m sure you noticed the Sunrise and Sunset birds hanging over the shelves.

Before we make our way to the kitchen, let’s make a quick pit stop. As you can see in the picture below, just past the game niche but before you’re technically in the kitchen is a door.  That’s the half bath.

Ok, actually, before we make it to the half bath, can we stop and look at the in-need-of-a-mopping floor for a minute?  I voted for a darker finish and was outnumbered…and I’m so glad I was!  This is pine wood with a coffee stain and I love the way it turned out!  Oh, and maybe you noticed in the picture above that there’s no shoe mould.  The builder didn’t automatically put it down but we requested that they put it down.  When Doc and I left Tuesday morning, the builder hadn’t even arrived yet, but my dad texted me just a few hours into our drive and said it was already done.  Check that off the list!  I think it makes it look a lot more finished.

Ok, ok, now we can peek into the half bath!

It’s a small bathroom nestled under the stairs and has horizontal wood paneled walls.  We didn’t realize it wouldn’t have a mirror when we arrived so we had to go shopping for one.

The cute little nautical weights hanging to the left were found at Hobby Lobby.  I thought they were kinda fun.

On the back wall we hung two little sailboats.

The only other thing in this bathroom is this picture of footprints on the beach.  This is actually a picture that I took on our honeymoon.  Doc and I were they only people on the beach one morning and I loved the look of our married footsteps.  (Awww…) So we brought a little bit of St. Lucia to our beach house in Florida.

Ready to head to the kitchen?  Here we go!

The bar is looooong and I love it.  We have 5 barstools at it right now but it could easily fit 6.

I also really like how the black granite on the white cabinets looks.

And the pendants hanging down are perfect.  I love the industrial feel that they add to the room.

Let’s hop over to the window over the sink.  It’s got another pendant hanging in front of it and we added a faux roman shade to the window.

Long time readers will remember that before we started this whole house building process, we actually put an offer on an existing house.  That was a rollercoaster in itself…one day it was ours, the next it wasn’t, and on and on.  Well, one of those days when we thought it was ours, my mom and I jumped the gun and bought this fabric for the kitchen.  The walls were painted red and we thought this would make the cutest little cafe curtain with the red walls.

Have you ever heard that having a rooster in your kitchen brings luck?  That must’ve been what I was thinking about when I saw those funky little roosters.  We could use some luck!  We bought a coordinating red and white polka dot fabric to use as trim and were more than pleased with our purchase.

That same afternoon, while browsing through Marshall’s, we stumbled upon this guy.

A red and white polka dot rooster!  It’s like it was a sign or something!  We couldn’t leave the store without it.

But, as the story goes, we didn’t get that house with the red kitchen.  We still liked the fabric, though, and since we already had it, decided we’d go ahead and use it in this kitchen too.  Of course, that kitchen had much bigger windows than our kitchen, so if anyone needs a rooster throw pillow or something, we’ve got quite a bit of extra fabric we could get rid of.

Keeping with the rooster theme, we added this little fella to our collection.

We even added roosters to the walls.

We found this plate at a consignment shop and thought it’d fit in great too.

My dad says that we’ve gone and “country-fied” our beach house with all the ‘chickens.’  I don’t think so; I think they’re fun and funky!  What do you think?  Too many?

The rest of the kitchen is just your typical ol’ kitchen stuff – stove, oven, microwave, ice maker, sink, and fridge.

Here’s the view from the kitchen into the living room.  Hi Mom!  Hi Doc!  Don’t mind me…just taking a gajillion pictures of the house…

And this is the view to the other side of the kitchen.  The door on the right is to the half bath and over to the left you can kinda see into the bedroom at the back of the house.

And with that, I think we’ve come to a good stopping point for this part of the tour.  We’ll check out the bedrooms next!

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Beach House Tour: Part 1

I have way too many pictures for one post so forgive me, but I’m going to have to break this up a bit.  Seeing as how this something we’ve been working on and talking about for months, it seems fair to give it more than one measly post, right?

‘Spose we better start outside.  Now, first, lemme tell you that while I was there, there were still several things left to do.  Thankfully, most of those things have been completed by now, but I may not have a picture of them after completion.  So keep that in mind while we go through these photos.

You’ve seen this shot several times, but never before with red doors.

Up close, though, you can tell that there’s only one coat of paint on the door so far.  A rain shower kept the painters from finishing that before we arrived.  The cross bars in the windows will also be painted red.

This view, below, shows the door from the front porch to the screened-in porch on the side.

And here is that porch from the side.  The screen was just installed the week we arrived, and I have a good feeling there’s going to be a lot of time logged on that porch.

I forgot to take a picture of it once we put furniture in it, so that’ll have to come at a later date.  For most of the weekend, the front porch was crammed full of empty cardboard boxes and trash.  We were that house on the street.  I’m sure our neighbors were thrilled when we finally took it all to a dumpster.  When we first got to the house, the porta-potty was still on site.  As excited as I was for it to arrive to officially mark our worksite, I was way more excited to see it go!

Right now on the upstairs balcony, we just have two comfy papazon chairs.  Hopefully soon we’ll build a hanging bed to go up here too.

Here’s a pic of our little bike shed.  The floor hadn’t been installed yet while Doc and I were there, but it’s since been done.

I didn’t take too many exterior shots while I was there because the landscaping still hadn’t been done.  All we had were a few palm trees and a lot of sand.  It was a bit of a hot mess.

My mom texted me photos later in the week to show that the sand has now been covered up!  Our plants are in and the beds are covered with pine straw.

The pool still needed some work so I didn’t take many pictures of it either.  While I was there, the water had just been added and didn’t have any chemicals in it.  The heater also hadn’t been hooked up and, after a huge storm we had one night, it was full of leaves.  With no pool tools, we couldn’t do anything about them.  We bought 3 lounge chairs (on sale!) from Target while we were there.  I’ve already tested one out and I must say, they’re great for napping!

The pool man came later in the week and got everything cleaned out and up and running.  It’s ready for someone to take a dip in it!  Mom and Dad also went back to Target to pick up a few more patio chairs and tables.

A view from the top.

I hate that we didn’t get jump in it while we were there.  Doc and I will be going back in just a few weeks so hopefully, assuming it doesn’t rent out in the next few days, we’ll still get to be the first ones to swimming in it.

So that’s the exterior.  I guess I forgot to take a picture of the back porch.  That’s where the grill and outdoor shower are.  I’ll invite you inside next…

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Adventures In Moving: Days 3 & 4

Let’s get through these last 2 days quickly, shall we?  On Day 3, before showering, Doc and I decided to hop on the bikes and take ol’ Henry to the beach.  My brilliant idea to just let him ride in the basket failed miserably when I realized only his butt would fit in.  Most dogs could probably just run along side the bike, but Henry has the short leg syndrome.  Doc was a champ and said he’d just carry him.

I rode in back and had a lovely view.

Our trip to the beach didn’t get to happen since we realized we were past Henry’s visiting hours.  On this strip of beach, dogs are only allowed before 8:00 or after 4:00.  Bummer.

It was really hard to feel good about the progress we’d made in the house when everything still looked like this.

The furniture may have been somewhat arranged and the curtains may have been up, but there was still stuff sitting ev-ry-where!  These two days were all about finding places for the knick knacks, hanging pictures on the walls, and making trips to various stores to pick up forgotten items.

Since Nick had already left, we were down to one hammer and one level, so there was lots of stealing them from each other.

“Who stole my hammer?”

Mom and I did lots of staring at boxes and wondering where the heck to put things.

I thought once we left home we’d be done with the projects, but I was wrong.  The tv sat too low in the armoir so we built this make-shift box for it to sit on.

I guess it wouldn’t have felt right not getting to paint something over the weekend.  We picked up a can of black spray paint to help our homemade box blend in.

Henry made sure to try out every position on the couches.  I think he really likes them.

On Day 4, ol’ Henry finally got to see the beach!  He had no idea where we were going.  I tried to ask him if he was excited, but he wasn’t really sure.

Here he is arriving at the beach, only I don’t think he’d even noticed the ocean at this point.  He couldn’t see past those monster stairs he was about to have to climb down.

It was a great day to visit the beach.  Not many people out, but the weather was really nice.

Oooh wee, Henry was not so sure about that ocean!

Seems ol’ Henry had a few things to say to the ocean, and I don’t think he used his nice words.

Dad kept trying to trick Henry into getting close right before a big wave would come.

But those short little legs of his can back-pedal faster than any of us imagined!  He did get brave and take a bite at the foam.

But that’s as close as we got to Henry going for a swim.  Maybe this summer when it’s blazin’ hot he’ll want to go in.  We’ll see.

That’s all I’ve got for Days 3 and 4.  The house tour starts next.  Yeehaw!  For now, I’ll leave you with paw prints on the beach.  Awww.

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Adventures In Moving: Day 2

Day 2 started bright and early and, for my mom, started with kisses from Henry.

I’ve gotta hand it to my dad.  After his shower in the dark the night before, he got a little more creative the next morning.  He took the blind-free, curtain-free windows into his own hands and found a solution: polo shirts.

After seeing that, I decided Day 2 would be all about hanging curtains.  We could not go all weekend with all of our clothes hanging on the windows.  You’d be amazed at how long it takes to hang curtains in an entire house.  It lasted aaaall day long.  Especially since my helpers kept quitting on me.

We started in the downstairs bedroom and Dad was on the ladder.

While I supervised Dad, Mom steadily ironed so that the curtains wouldn’t be so wrinkly.

First window done!

And then my dad quit and passed off the tools to Doc.

With the first room done, the boys tried to take a break but I pointed out that Mom already had the curtains ready for the living room.  Carry on, boys!

Somebody doesn’t look very excited about hanging those curtains…

While the 3 of us worked our way around the downstairs, Nick was busy setting up the tvs and dvd players around the house.  This was originally the job we’d saved for my other brother, Ben, since he’s the techy guy in the family, but at the last minute he wasn’t able to make the trip.  I’m just glad Nick was able to step in and get it done…Lord knows I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

After finishing the downstairs windows, Doc and Dad switched gears and started to work on the washer and dryer that currently weren’t working.  Assuming we’d have access to them all weekend, Doc didn’t pack enough clothes.  He either had to get them up and running or we were going to have to go shopping.

While they were out buying supplies, Nick, Mom, and I rolled out the rug in the dining room and completely rearranged the living room from how we’d done it the night before.

With Doc and Dad on laundry room duty, Mom and I recruited Nick to help us with curtain rods in the Jack and Jill rooms.  He couldn’t help without the proper tools: beer and basketball.

Whatever it takes, brother.  Just climb the ladder and hang some curtains!

These two rooms took longer than expected because Dad and Doc (the new Frick and Frack) kept cutting the power to the whole house.  Apparently there were lots of issues with the washer and dryer.  But no power meant no ironing and no light and not a lot of progress made.  Henry took advantage of the pause in curtain ironing.

Eventually, we got the curtains hung in those rooms and Frick and Frack Jr. gave up on the washer/dryer unit, though not until after completely soaking a load of clothes.  Hunger set in so Doc got to cooking up dinner while I turned my attention to finding somewhere to do laundry.  We got really lucky because there was a laundry room in some nearby condos that we were able to sneak into.  Only problem was that it was on the second floor and we had a laundry basket full of sopping wet clothes.  Dad came to my rescue and lugged the basket upstairs, which is why it kinda looks like the wet his pants in this picture that was taken shortly after.

Also, if you send two boys to the store to pick up a tension rod for your all white bathroom, they’ll come back with a black tension rod.  Take my advice: don’t send the two boys.

With our bellies full, it was very tempting to collapse on the couches and call it a night, but we were just one room away from completing the curtains.  I begged them to push onward, and my sweet husband obliged.  I love that every time he hung a set of curtains, he also took the time to arrange and fix them.  It’s like I’m rubbing off on him or something.

Mom and I cheered him on while he worked.

Poor Henry was so exhausted he couldn’t even hold his head up anymore.  He’d had a long day of having to move from room to room with us.  Heaven forbid he stay in a room by himself.

And with the last of the curtains done, we called it a night!  Actually, I still had to go get the laundry, but then we were really done for the day.  We were all looking forward to drawing our curtains closed and sleeping later than sunrise the next day.

So there I go again, dragging one day out way too far.  Sorry.  Maybe I’ll do better with day 3…

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Adventures In Moving: Day 1

We have officially moved in to the beach house!  And the whole experience was…adventurous.  It started with the house not being quite finished when we rolled into town.  But ready or not, the movers were on their way.  We were moving in anyway.

My brother arrived into town late Thursday evening.  His plan was to sleep on the floor at the house, but when he talked to our contractor, he was thrown a little kink in the plan: the hardwood floors had just been sealed that afternoon and couldn’t be walked on.  Ruh-roh.  Luckily, our contractor had a friend that had an available carriage house and, long story short, my brother suddenly had a place to sleep.  I guess in the end, that kink wasn’t so bad since he ended up with a bed instead of a sleeping bag on the floor.

Doc and I had driven late Thursday night and made it more than halfway.  We woke up bright and early Friday morning and headed to Pensacola so he could have a quick work meeting.  The meeting didn’t last long and we were quickly back on the road.  We were in town meeting up with my brother shortly before noon.  We were just as surprised as Nick as the lengthy list of things still left to do.  At least people were there working away.

The construction cleaning lady was there tidying everything up.  She did everything from vacuuming up sawdust to wiping down surfaces to scraping stickers off the new windows.

The painters were also at the house working on the stair rail.

Feeling good about the progress that was being made, Doc, Nick and I headed out to grab some lunch.  We took our time since there really wasn’t much we could do at the house and we definitely didn’t want to be in anyone’s way.

I wish I could say that when we arrived back from lunch, everything was spic and span and the house was complete.  Instead, we arrived back to a completely deserted house.  No workers and an empty house.  Nick had picked up a couple of bikes from Target that morning, so we killed time by cruising around the neighborhood.  We were in constant contact with my parents who had left their house early that morning and would be arriving sometime that afternoon.  The moving truck (and two movers who we affectionally named Frick and Frack) had also left that morning and the main office put their estimated arrival time between noon and 2pm.  After traveling all morning with no calls from Frick and Frack, my parents finally got ahold of them around 1pm and found out they were at least an hour behind them.  They (my parents) wouldn’t make it to town until around 3, so we weren’t banking on seeing the moving truck before 4.  We settled in for a long afternoon wait.

A few months ago, we purchased a table from World Market and, since our house wasn’t ready at the time, our contractor offered to store it at his office until move-in day.  That got delivered around 2:30 so Nick and Doc finally had something to do.  They got to work putting the table, benches, and chairs together.

I’ll admit that at one point in the afternoon, I got so bored that I grabbed my snuggie and went upstairs to a carpeted bedroom to take a nap.  You can only wander around an empty house for so long.

Shortly after my parents arrived, a big moving truck turned down our street!  Only it wasn’t the moving truck.  Rats.  This one was a delivery truck from a local furniture store where we’d purchased a tv armoire.  We’d scheduled the delivery for Friday and they were right on time.

This piece actually came from a second-hand furniture store that my parents found when they were at the beach before Thanksgiving.  This was my first time to see it in person and I was more than pleased with their purchase.

For anyone keeping score, it was now around 4 or 5 in the afternoon and all we had was a dining table and tv armoire in our unfinished house.  Not winning.  Our neighborhood association only allows moving trucks in the neighborhood until 6pm during the week, so we started scrambling to get permission to move-in after hours.  The head of the HOA understood our delimma and gave us the green light to do what we needed to do.  With still no Frick and Frack in sight, we treated ourselves to some dinner.

The guys were so hungry they couldn’t even stop eating to take a decent picture.

After scarfing down pizza, my mom gave up on the movers and left to go get groceries for the weekend.  As luck would have it, they pulled up right after she left!  6:45pm and our furniture was finally in town.  The guys were more than ready to get this show on the road, so they hopped on the truck, grabbed some furniture, and got to moving.

I stood at the door and pointed everyone to the right location for whatever they were carrying in.  From my vantage point, I can safely say that my dad, brother, and husband definitely double-timed it compared to the two movers.  What were they doing after taking their piece of furniture upstairs?  This was no time for a break!

The living room was the catchall room for things that didn’t have a set home.  It filled up very quickly.

And it was a good thing we’d already had dinner because there was no longer any room for eating in the kitchen.

The mattresses and box springs were at the very back (front?) of the truck, so we knew as soon as they came off, we were almost done.  Here they come…hooray!

It took the movers 3 hours to load the truck up the night before, and with the help of my boys, it all came off in 45 minutes flat.  This is what real furniture movers look like.

Poor Doc was battling a bad cold too and did not feel well at all.  I felt really bad for him because you know he can’t halfway do anything.

Even though we were exhausted (and it was barely 8 o’clock!), we unwrapped the couches, unrolled the rug, and semi-set up the living room so we could collapse and finally sit (on furniture!) for a few minutes. Guess who was the first to try out the new love seat?  This guy.

Yep, my parents brought ol’ Henry along for the trip.  (We left Lolli with some friends.)  Henry had stood guard and barked and whined at the movers the whole time, so we was pretty worn out too.  He gave the new couch and love seat his seal of approval.

With no blinds (ordered, but not in yet) or curtains on the windows, we knew we better go to bed soon.  We’d be up with the sun the next day.  Showers were necessary since we were so stinky.  I’m sure my parents thought they were lucky by getting the master bedroom and bath, but considering the bathroom has two large windows in it and backs right up to our neighbor’s house, they found themselves in a bit of a situation.  Especially since my mom is a bath-taker, not a showerer, and one window was right beside the bathtub.  I’m pretty sure the neighbors weren’t home, but waving to them from the tub was not a risk she was willing to take.  Her solution?  A bath in the pitch dark.

Originally, our rental company was going to drop linens and towels off at our house on move-in day.  Because the movers were so late, they rescheduled to bring them the following day.  Doc and I (and my brother too) were completely prepared for this.  We brought our own towels and a set of sheets (Nick had his sleeping bag and a blanket).  My parents?  Not so much.  They didn’t bring anything.  Doc and I were very generous and gave them one of our two towels to use, although the thought of them having to drip-dry after their shower/bath in the dark would’ve been pretty funny.

They didn’t have sheets for their bed but we did have the mattress pad, blanket, and quilt.  We made them a pallet on top of the mattress and they said they’d be fine.  My mom reported back that by the time morning rolled around, my dad had managed to get under the mattress pad and slept on the bare mattress.  Only my dad.

I didn’t intend to drag day one out this long, but what’s done is done.  I’ll try to go through the next days a little more quickly and I promise that a home tour will be at the end of it all, so stick around!

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One Last Project

Ok, I have one last beach house project to share and then I promise I’ll stop for a while.  With the projects, that is, not the beach house.  I have lots to share on that front!  But first, this project.  I meant to post this last week and just didn’t get time to finish it.  Oopsy.

Way back – maybe a couple months ago – I made two “canvases” using recycled fence slats.  The slats were from the same pile of old fence that we used to make the lemonade stand and the potting stand.  To make the canvases, I cut 4 slats to equal lengths and then framed them on the back with 1x2s.

I love the look of the naturally weathered slats, but obviously the fresh new wood frame wasn’t working with it.  To try to blend it in, I smeared some grey paint on it, trying my best to match the color and look of the old wood.

After that, I also took some grey paint, majorly watered it down, and then washed it over the whole thing – the slats and the sides.  My thinking was that it’d help blend the two woods together a little.

So that was done, and that was the easy part.  Now I had to figure out what to paint on them.  Going into it, I had a good plan.  We had already purchased several buoys to use in the beach house, so I was going to paint some buoys on the canvases and make them real texure-y and colorful.  Problem was that every time I tried to draw the buoys, they just looked like flat squares.  I couldn’t get them to look right, and definitely not 3D.  So I tabled the project for a while.

Last week, between cutting holes for grommets, I picked them back up to finish them.  I knew I wanted to keep the weathered look of the fence slats as the background, so I needed some kind of beachy object I could just paint in the center (that wouldn’t require a background, so no beach scenes).  I also knew that I wanted the canvases to stay horizontal so that the individual slats were vertical, just in case these ended up getting hung on a wall with horizontal paneling.

The winning object was birds.  Ducks?  Sea gulls?  I don’t really know what they are exactly, but they’re bird-ish.

First I drew a stencil out of paper so that I could trace it onto the canvases.

I wanted these two canvases to be so that they could hang together, or on either sides of something (window, piece of furniture) and still go together.  I toyed with doing one big bird on one canvas and two baby birds on the other, but ended up just going with the same bird on both but turned in opposite directions.

I lightly traced the outlines using a pencil.

And then I had to tape it off.  Taping all the curves and details (tail feathers) was hard!

With the outline traced off, I then taped newspaper over the rest of the wood to keep it safe from splatters.

If you’ve ever watched an HGTV show where they were painting stripes on a wall, you know the first step after taping off is to paint a coat of the original color.  That way, you seal off the taped edges and if there’s any bleed through, it’s of the color that’s already on there and thus won’t be noticeable.  Keeping this in mind, my first step was to do a coat of grey that sorta matched the weathered wood background.

Finally, I was able to start having a little fun.  I slapped on some yellow in random places.

Added a little red.  (Looks like someone went duck huntin’…especially with the holes from the fence nails.)

Thought a little turquoise might help the bloody situation.

I wanted the bird to be mostly white with these colors peeking through, so I spread a thin coat of white paint over the whole thing.

I had no idea how this was going to turn out, but I was done messing with it.  I let the paint dry and then took off the newspaper.

I peeled off the tape outline and was left with two bird bodies!

Every duck/bird/seagull needs some little legs and an eye, so I added those and called it done.

My mom and I named the birds Sunrise and Sunset because that’s what we think they look like.  And guess what?  They’re already hanging on the wall at the beach house! Yep, so many pictures to share this week, so get ready.

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