I have kind of a love/hate relationship with bringing my DSLR to weddings. I hate trying to shove my large camera into a medium sized purse. I hate standing around cocktail hour with either my camera hanging around my neck or on my shoulder. Then I’m always paranoid it will get broken or stolen if I leave it at the table to go dance or grab a drink. And then sometimes I just like to experience things through my own eyeballs instead of a camera lens. Inevitably, I bring my camera anyways and then end up loving
all most of the photos I take, and being glad I lugged it along. Sigh.
Anyways, here are some of my favorites from the first of many weddings David and I are attending this year. A little bit of rain didn’t hold this one back. And how have I never been to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens before? Mental note, plan on coming back here soon. What a gorgeous setting!
It’s nice to look back and see progress so I’ve gotten into the habit of taking photos of our house on our closing day anniversary for the past 2 years. You can check out the sets on Flickr: closing day, last year, and now this year. We still haven’t moved all of our furniture back since getting the floors done, so pardon the random empty spaces! And honestly I was too lazy to photograph the entire house, so I just left out spaces that haven’t changed recently.
I also finally (mostly) updated the house tour page. There are still a few pictures I need to re-take and swap out, but that is the latest and greatest. And yes, there are at least 7 random blobs of a paint sample on our master bedroom walls. That’s next on the list, I promise!
David and I headed to Turner Field last week to celebrate our 4 year anniversary. What do you mean baseball tickets aren’t the traditional 4th anniversary gift?! The weather was a little crummy, and we lost, but otherwise it was a good time. Here are some of my favorites from the night:
We also hit our 2 year “house” anniversary. I need to take pictures to document that, and hopefully update the house tour page at the same time!
My baby sister’s bridal shower was over the weekend, and it sported the theme of “southern”. You’d think that is inherent to all showers taking place in Georgia, but I guess they had to call it out specially.
Large hats were worn (by some…):
And now this girl has more wine glasses than she knows what to do with (not a bad problem to have, in my opinion):
And in true southern fashion, one of the attendee’s got her car stuck in the mud. No photos of that, it was still pouring down rain at that point! Showers at the shower, if you will.
If you’re a Pinterest user, I’m sure you’ve seen a bunch of tips and tricks that may or may not work. Well I can give this one the Laura stamp of approval!
Since I am in deep cleaning mode around here, and the cook top was covered in a layer of sawdust, I decided to try this trick out. Basically you put the grates in a gallon plastic bag with some ammonia (the source says to use 2-3 tablespoons but I’ll let you in on my little secret that I just eyeballed it and dumped some in there) and let it sit overnight. I don’t know about you guys, but I wasn’t about to include cleaning off the grates in my morning routine, so I let them sit overnight and the whole next day, waiting for me when I got home from work. After wiping off the grossness with a sponge and laying them to dry, they look great! Well, as great as a 10 year old cook top can look.
Ta-da! Now the hard part is just keeping them clean while making spaghetti!
After a stressful week, it appears we have arrived at completion. Living with your parents for a week and sleeping in a full size bed with a 6’3” husband is not for the faint of heart. Add to that the dog broke out in hives on Monday (and then throwing up on Friday and not eating or drinking), finding out that the half bath toilet has a leak, and getting our move-back-in date pushed out, I think we were all ready to be home.
Here’s what we started with on closing day:
And after sanding (yes I totally stalked my own house…someone had to check the mail daily, right??). I love how this already looks better than the ‘before’. Sorry for the mega glare, this was shot in creeper mode through the side lights. This reminds me of the gorgeous hickory floors at Melissa’s house at The Inspired Room, but darker we must go…
And here it is now. And for reference these floors are red oak, and the stain color is DuraSeal Coffee Brown, which is similar to Minwax Dark Walnut — DuraSeal and Minwax are owned by the same company, DuraSeal is just only available to contractors.
We’ve still got a bit to do before it is truly in ‘after’ condition, including repainting most of the baseboards (ugh…) and cleaning off the thin layer of sawdust that is on every. imaginable. surface. Add to that a major ramp up in our social calendars (birthday, shower, anniversary, and bachelorette party in the next 2 weeks alone), it should be interesting to see if we can ever find the time to get that done.
We are really happy with how it turned out!
The flooring guys showed up bright and early this morning to get started. Let the chaos begin! Somehow we found a place to put everything. Don’t underestimate your bath tub storage!
David left for work, so I was tasked with the stressful decision on picking THE color. I stared at these samples for what seemed like 10 minutes.
The one on the right was the winner. I really liked how the grain had a lot of contrast, even if it is a little darker than I had originally wanted. Both of the samples were “popped” which just means they put down denatured alcohol before the stain to make it super absorbed. Luckily David agreed with my choice via text.
And yes I will be that crazy person stopping by and peeking in the windows tonight on my way home from work!
You know Spring has officially hit Atlanta when everything starts to get covered in pollen. It appears we have arrived!
Last week I attended the most beautiful wedding shower at a N. Georgia winery, Wolf Mountain Vineyards. It didn’t quite look like spring yet, but it was perfect weather for an afternoon of good friends and drinking sparkling wine! We’re already thinking about coming back for a girl’s lunch and then hitting up the outlet mall on the way back.
Things are about to get hectic around here as hardwood floor refinishing starts on Monday. We’ve opted to move all of the furniture ourselves to save money (we’d have to move all of our knick knacks ourselves anyway and we don’t have that much furniture, luckily). On top of that, we’ll have to pack up ourselves and the dog to stay at my parent’s house for 5 days. Of course then move everything back, touch up and repaint the baseboards, and dust everything…just trying to remind myself that it will be worth it in the end!
Happy baseball season! David and I headed to Braves opening day for the 6th year (I think?) in a row. The weather turned out great and the Braves won, 7-5.
The next day, Craig Kimbrel, the Braves closer, came out to my workplace for a little event. I stood in line to meet him and get my photo taken, and then I was so excited that I forgot to sign up for the giveaways they were doing! Here is me and Kimbrel — his cheeks are just as rosy in real life as they appear on TV
With March coming and going in a blink of an eye, I admit that this month’s home goal of getting the hardwood floors refinished was not going to happen. What DID happen was getting 3 different contractors out to give quotes on the job. We’re still trying to determine which one we will go with, but one added bonus ‘decision’ that we didn’t expect to make was a choice of new wrought iron balusters!
Because they will have to basically take apart the stairs to sand, stain, and poly the treads and handrails it makes sense to go ahead and replace the existing white balusters. The difference in cost between new white balusters and wrought iron is pretty minimal, mostly because the existing ones are in pretty sorry shape and even re-painting would be more expensive in labor.
Balusters can get quite fancy (frou frou if you ask me), so I am looking at options that keep things pretty simple. Here are some of my favorites:
With the stairs taking up a lot of presence in the ‘great room’, I think it will look really nice. Here’s a picture from closing day to remind you what we’re starting with. (And don’t worry, I have plans for that ugly light fixture!)