Thursday, September 29, 2016

Jack at Nationals

Jack's at club nationals in Chicago right now. Follow along here:

Or on their twitter:

Or on Ultiworld:

Jack's team is Ring of Fire. If they make it to Saturday then we'll be able to watch their games streamed!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Guest Room Quirks

I think the quirky things in rooms make your personality really come out and help a room look unique and fun. I wanted to avoid a super long post yesterday but today I thought I'd give a close up of those fun little features that made there way into the guest room. 

I really love the moose sheets I found at Homegoods on clearance. I look through the sheets every time I'm there but the fun ones are usually smaller than a queen so I snatched these up super quick.

My fabric swatches came in for the curtains and this is the winner! I really thought I was going to lean towards the Harry Potter ones I found but it didn't read as well in person. Even Derrick preferred the deer with glasses. Now I'm just waiting for the fabric to come in and I'll whip these up.

I don't remember exactly when I got this little owl but I think it was at a secret santa party. He's a tea bag holder and came with a matching mug and tea pot. He's holding my mom's earl grays for when she comes to visit!

Here's a close up of that Crosby picture in the bathroom. It's my favorite part of the room.

And the shower curtain arrived! It's kind of a hempy-linen fabric and is nice and simple. Just what I wanted. 

The tassels are my favorite part though.

And finally, the bath mat. Do you know how hard it is to find funky bathmats? I searched for a while and this was about as cheeky and fun as I could find without looking like it belonged in a kid's bathroom. I think there's a market there.

I thought our first visitor was coming tonight but Jack stayed with us last minute and got to take the room on a test drive last night. He gave it a stamp of approval!

Monday, September 26, 2016

New Guest Room

I've been working on switching up the guest room forever it seems like and I'm finally almost done! There are just a few more things I'm waiting on to come in the mail and it will be officially done. I am SO happy with how it turned out.

Here it is before the revamp. I really tried to like the green because other people liked it but I never could come around to it.

It was a hodpodge of furniture. Derrick's bed from his old apartment, a nightstand and a lamp from my room growing up, and a dresser that I found at goodwill.

For the walls, I decided to use Sherwin Williams "Silver Fox" in honor of Derrick :) We also had a whole gallon and a half left over from the living room. I painted the top 18" white and this was about the time Derrick walked in the room and asked what the vision was. It wasn't much of a looker at this point so I had to promise him that I thought it would look good. At least I hoped it would look good. My visions don't always turn out the way they look in my head.

In the bathroom, I decided to rip out the builder basic towel holders and light fixtures and replace them with brassy/gold ones. Not the old, outdated brass/gold...the newer modern version that's popping up everywhere. The bathroom isn't a huge change but paint and new fixtures definitely makes it feel less like every other bathroom in this neighborhood. Emily Henderson writes a blog that I follow and she recently redid her bathroom. I really loved the sconce she used in her bathroom but I wasn't ready to pay $400 for it. I found a similar version at Lowes for only $35, spray painted it, and wallah! It looks awesome!!

Changing a light fixture is SO easy. The hardest part about this one was getting it level. I also ran into an issue with the light box hitting a wall stud and preventing it from sitting flush so I had to run to Lowes to get a grinder to grind the box down. I'd never used a grinder before and it was pretty crazy and a tiny bit scary. After that glowing review...if anyone needs to borrow an angle grinder, I have one!

We got a queen bed from Michael and Rebecca that they weren't able to use anymore so that replaced the full bed that was in there. I bought a $35 headboard off of Craigslist and spray painted it with hammered copper spray paint. I can't decide if I love how it turned out...I'm still on the fence for the headboard but I think it's probably going to stay this color. It's more subtle in person than it looks like here.

The coffee bar needed to stay in the room in order to keep it out of the kitchen. Derrick and don't drink coffee or tea so I liked the idea of it staying accessible for guests but out of the way of our everyday. I had a vision in my head of a bar height plank stained to it's natural color. When I went to Lowes I found a 7 foot poplar board for $5/foot. It's the most expensive wood I've ever bought but the bar turned out beautifully! I love it! I angled one end so no one gets caught on a corner when they enter the room and I notched a back corner for the kurig cord to slip through.

Sand, natural stain, and polyurethane was exactly my vision for it. I'm so happy with how turned out and it fits that little corner like a glove.

Ok...enough chit chat. Here's the new room!

The nightstands are made from the leftover 3 feet of poplar I had from the coffee bar. I wanted to use every inch of that $5/foot board and I didn't want to pay for nightstands. I finished them in the same manner as the coffee bar and I am thrilled with how they turned out. The lamp is a clearance steal from Target and I'm just waiting on another one to be delivered for the other side of the bed.

I love incorporating my grandpa's paintings around our house and this one had fantastic colors. The mat was a little dated though so I cut a new white mat for it, painted a frame black and it looks awesome over the coffee bar.

The full length mirror from upstairs came down here...I'm thinking about painting or re-staining it but we'll see if I ever get the motivation.

This is probably my favorite part. I've had these half-buckets, from the target dollar spot, for over a year. I was brainstorming what to do over the dresser and I think these look awesome and make a real statement.

The bathroom is still missing the shower curtain and the new mirror but I did get this awesome new shelf installed and it features one of my favorite pictures of Crosby right after bath time.

I'm still waiting on a shower curtain, mirror, and side table lamp to come in and I'm probably going to make some curtains but I've been working on this room since before labor day and I'm so happy that it's almost done. Our first guests come in on Wednesday so I hope they love it as much as I do!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Here We Go Again!

As soon as club season ends, high school season begins. Derrick and I have committed to coaching high school for the second year in a row and it started about two weeks ago. In one sense, the timing couldn't be more perfect because it really does start up immediately after club ends. On the other hand, we have no break in between major commitments.

Our first week of practice reminded us how much we love it though and why we do it. Our kids are so good, and so fun to be around, and it's such a fun thing for Derrick and I to do together. I've heard that parents always talk about their kids, even when they are away from their kids, and we fall into that same pattern...talking about our high schoolers, planning practices, and brain storming new drills and new ways to teach.

Derrick and I have also learned how to play off of each other and have fallen into our roles pretty easily. He's so much better at teaching strategy and calling lines and I handle breaking down the basics and team morale. We're stoked for another season and are excited to watch our new guys grow and our older guys grow into leaders.

Go Falcons!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fondu and Sunburns

Alison's boo had a bachelor party in Wilmington last weekend so we decided to have an impromptu girls weekend to relax on the beach after club season.

I drove down on Friday after our high school practice and we dined at Flaming Amy's...the BEST burritos in Wilmington. It's where we always went after playing all day on Saturday at the Wilmington frisbee tournament. No better way to start off a girls weekend than queso and photo boards.

On Saturday we hit up the Limited outlet so Alison could get some professor clothes. I only left with one thing! That's pretty unheard of for me at the Limited. Derrick was shocked.

The beach was gorgeous!! The forecast predicted rain all day so I think it scared off the out of town beach crowd. In reality it was 85 degrees and breezy. AKA perfect beach weather. Unfortunately we both got roasted though. We wore sunscreen but I think the perfect temperature lured us into forgetting to apply enough. 

Guess what we did on the way home?? I bet you won't guess because it is so random. 

Yep...batting cage! I used to play softball but I haven't played in probably 15 years so I was very rusty.

Alison was very Mark McGuire-esk. You know...without the roids. She doesn't need roids.

Saturday night we had the most amazing fondu dinner at the Little Dipper. We were cold from our sunburns and the host overheard us saying that she asked if we'd like to sit on the patio. The magical, totally empty patio.  There was a wedding venue directly behind us so we had fondu and music and it was perfect. 

Bottom line this was an awesome weekend and I have the sunburn to prove it. I'm thankful for Alison making all the plans and inviting me along!

Monday, September 19, 2016

2 Year House-iversary!

We've been in our house for two years! Two years of mortgage payments, and lawn mowing, and problem solving, and being as loud as we want without worrying about bothering our neighbors. 

This year we hosted both of our families for Thanksgiving, had all our highschoolers and their families over for the end of year party, hosted the whole family for college nationals, had Jack live with use for the summer, and had countless friends use our guest rooms. 

I'm sure our neighbors think we're crazy that we moved into such a big house without kids but we've used every inch of this house and it's crazy how often all 3 extra bedrooms are full. I've loved having the space to have people over comfortably and maybe we'll grow into it eventually.

The biggest house-related highlight of this year was definitely painting the outside. Holy smokes it looks so good!! I still love the color we chose and I still get giddy looking at it.  Maybe I'm biased but I think we now have the best looking house in the neighborhood and I love turning onto our street and seeing it waving from the end of the cul-de-sac.

We also just recently found a 2 mile running route to our climbing gym so we can run to the gym, climb, and either walk or drive back if we drop a car off. The location is so perfect for us and we are so happy to have snagged this house when we did. Here's to many more years!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Surprise Dog Days in D.C.

The Friday before Labor Day Derrick texted me in the middle of the day and told me to clear my schedule for the weekend. He wouldn't tell me anything else except that Crosby could also be excited. Friday afternoon he came home, told me to pack, and we hit the road to some secret place. It was awesome!

Finally, after we'd been driving for over 3 hours, he filled me in that we were heading to D.C. for a dog friendly weekend with the Cros. It was such a sweet surprise. We stayed in the Carlyle Dupont Circle hotel. It was pretty nice but it raves about how dog friendly it is online. I don't think the hotel experience actually lived up to the dog friendlyness the website said.. When I asked for two dog bowls the front desk lady looked at me like I was crazy and had to get the manager. It was still a good hotel though and a great location!

This was Crosby's first time staying in a hotel and it took a while for her to settle down and realize we were here to stay.

She eventually managed to relax though.

Saturday we got over 35,000 steps. We walked EVERYWHERE and it was awesome. Derrick found a canoe rental that allowed dogs so that was our first stop of the day. Our hotel was on embassy row so it was pretty neat walking past all of the various embassies and seeing which ones got shafted compared to Canada! Canada's embassy is amazing!!!! 

We settled on canoeing since we could both do it together and we thought it would be most comfortable for Crosby. There were tons of other boats on the water but not many motorized ones so it was so serene while we were out there.

I wish I'd taken my phone and gotten a picture of Crosby on the canoe but we weren't sure if we'd be at risk for dropping it in the Potomac. Turns out we could have easily taken our phones or even my big camera. I at least snagged a picture of Crosby in her lift jacket before getting in. How cute is she!?

After canoeing Derrick found an online scavenger hunt right around the area we were already in. It had us hunting down all sorts of answers to clues including the artist of this giant mural on the side of a building.

And this other mural where we were instructed to get a photo under the painted arch.

This was about the time when Crosby tuckered out. We decided to head back to the hotel and drop her off before our next adventure at the Smithsonian.

All of the escape rooms were kind of far away and we knew we'd have Crosby with us on our way out of town so Derrick did some research and found another, better, scavenger hunt for us in downtown DC. It was so good....there were actual puzzles to solve, ciphers, and logic.  The average team finished in 3 hours and we were gunning to beat that time.

It was about 3 miles of walking and took us everywhere from monuments, to museums, to the home Lincoln died in.

Everything was submitted over their website and once we submitted a correct answer we were given directions to find the next clue.

We finished 6th all-time and we'd argue it could have been better! It keeps rolling stats as people complete the hunt. We stopped to chat with some friends, which hurt our time, and one monument was under construction so it was required that we use a hint, which hurt our point total. We finished in just over an hour and 55 minutes which I think is pretty good!

Derrick found a nice restaurant only  a 10 minute walk away. We headed back to the hotel to get Crosby and head to dinner. It was delicious and they had an all sides option which was the obvious choice. The three guys sitting next to us were enamored with Crosby and even stole my bowl of french fries to try her tricks.

That night we crashed hard and slept in leaving just enough time to walk for bagels in the morning before we needed to check out of our room.

I'm so glad Derrick planned this little get away. It was the perfect length for a long weekend and we still made it back home in time to rest up for our Monday scrimmag the next day. I loved staying in a different part of  D.C. than I'm used to and we discovered what a dog friendly place the city really is. So many shops had dog bowls sitting outside which was much appreciated during our 35,000 step day.

The whole way home and all day Monday looked like this for the Cros. Signs of a great weekend!