House Updates

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It's been a few months since I gave any updates on the house, I think the last status was right after we moved in so we've made a bit of progress. Not a ton, but some. Baby steps.

The family room is probably the room with the fewest changes. I did get new slipcovers for our couch and loveseat (Ektorp, Nordvalla dark gray) and a new mirror for the fireplace mantel. I love the new slipcovers! They make our boring ol' furniture seem new again plus we got the deal of a lifetime on them which always makes me like things more.

I'm working on painting the room and hope to have that done soon. Next update. Also on the lookout for end tables and curtains. Long term we'd like to have built-ins on the sides of the fireplace so I'm trying to decide how much effort I want to put into decorating that area.

Things are moving forward in the living room as well. I picked up some furniture from a Facebook sale group, while it's not perfect the price was right for a room that's barely used. The rug is from Target that I managed to snag during a rug sale a few weeks ago and the tables are from Wayfair. The tables were such a pleasant surprise, much higher quality than I expected and I'm thrilled with them. The rug is good too.

I'm working on the curtain situation. I picked them up from Homegoods but they still need to be hemmed and hung properly. I like to use thumb tacks to test the waters! Painting the living room is also on the horizon. And lamps. As pretty as the bare bulb lamp with chipped paint is, I think actual lamps meant for the space would be a good idea.

The dining room has been painted and we have chairs! I painted the wall about the chair rail Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore (color matched at Ace Hardware with Clark & Kensington paint) and the lower portion of the wall is Simply White also by Benjamin Moore (also color matched at Ace). Loren and I also made a magnetic frame for our magnet collection.

The trim still needs to be painted and I need to get the curtains hung up but having chairs was a huge improvement. Oh, and I picked up the rug from Ikea. It's the DYNT rug and our store also had it in gray but I'm not seeing it on the website. I liked that it was low pile since chairs need to move easily but still had some movement to it. Plus, the price couldn't be beat for such a large sized rug. We're still looking for two more chairs, a new light fixture, and some additional wall decor.

I did get the entryway painted and a gallery wall added to the space. The paint color is Anew Gray by Sherwin Williams and it's the same color that I'm painting the family room and other areas on the first floor of the house.

As you can see, I picked up a table from HomeGoods but haven't decorated it yet. We plan to replace all of the white tile but we're still trying to figure out what the replacement is going to be.

Okay, I think that's all for now. Upstairs is still sort of a hot mess, but we do have a bed! No more mattress on the floor. :) Some progress is better than nothing, and little updates make it feel more like our house which is good for my emotional state. As always, thanks for reading!


Wine Tasting on Old Mission Peninsula

Friday, August 5, 2016

While we were in Traverse City last month we were able to get out and do some wine tasting. Is there anything better than time with family and wine?! The wineries on Old Mission Peninsula are gorgeous and so fun to spend time at. Not the best picture, but you can sense our excitement! 

The first winery we visited, and I believe the newest winery on the Peninsula was Mari Vineyards. Mari Vineyards is a beautiful place and the views of East Bay are incredible. You can do a wine tasting flight or grab a glass of wine to sit outside and enjoy the scenery. They have nibbles available too if you need a little snack after all the wine! :) 

We hung out for a bit (and then of course had a little photo shoot) before ending out to the next stop. 

Next up is Bonobo Winery. Bonobo is owned by Todd & Carter Oosterhouse and you might recognize Carter's name from Trading Spaces or other shows he was involved with on HGTV. My cousin and I may or may not have been hoping to meet him and this visit our wish came true!

We got to chat with Carter and his wife Amy Smart, they were so kind and it was really cool. I was totally star struck and didn't contribute much to the conversation but still! :) Bonobo also has gorgeous views and all of the staff are so friendly and knowledge about the wine too. The tasting room is beautiful, has a Restoration Hardware look to it. The staff will also encourage you to bring a game and hang out for awhile, it's a great atmosphere.

2 Lads was the last winery we went to this particular day. The tasting room has a really modern feel to it and is located at the top of a hill that is perfect for rolling down! :) I would not recommend doing this in a dress unless you want the tasting room to see your undies...not that I would know. The wine at 2 Lads was great but the sangria they were serving was AMAZING! They used some Vernors Ginger Ale in their mix and I feel like that was what set it apart.

That was all the wine tasting we could handle for the day but before I left town my cousin and I went to Brys Estate. The first thing we did at Brys was check out the newly opened Secret Garden. The Secret Garden is the CUTEST shop filled with handmade lavender goodies made with the lavender grown on site. The grounds surrounding the shop were beautiful. We were giddy to have found this little gem and ran around admiring everything!

The actual tasting room at Brys was equally gorgeous. The wine was great and then they have a great patio area where you can grab a glass of wine and a snack while enjoying the views.

That concludes our wine tasting adventures on Old Mission Peninsula. It's such a good time and if you find yourself in the area definitely try to check out one or two. Cheers!


*Some of these photos were shamelessly stolen from my cousins. :)

Catch Up

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My random blogging breaks have been because I haven't been home much and while I have good intentions of posting while I'm away, I always seem to become too busy having fun to sit down at the computer. So here's a quick update on what's been going on. :)

After getting back from Michigan (where we spent July 4th) we had a week of birthday celebrations! Our sweet Ruby girl turned three! We took her annual birthday picture, gave her some steak and chicken, and gave her lots of extra lovies.

Loren and I also celebrated our birthday that week, though I have no photographic evidence. We had dinner at Ditka's in Oakbrook and it was so yummy. If you ever get the chance to go to one of the Ditka's restaurants I highly recommend it! We came home intending to have a relaxing night in but instead Ruby got sprayed by a skunk! So, we spent the rest of the evening giving her a scrub and trying to get the stink out of the house.

We did get out to the Naperville Ale Fest and Loren really enjoyed it. It was a cool event and nice to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Plus, pretzel necklaces.

I left a couple days later to head to Washington for almost a week. It was such a great trip. I managed to see a lot of friends, spend time with my sister, and just feel like I was home for a few days. There was lots of eating, some wine tasting, and a trip to Pike Place Market.

Every time I visit now, I go to the Future of Flight museum and sit outside watching the airplanes come and go. I always feel so proud when I think that I used to work so close to the airplanes that I'm watching. It's also fun to listen to the tourists that are so impressed.

Leaving is always the hardest part of the trip, but I'll be back. Hopefully sooner, rather than later! :)

Thankfully Loren and I had some fun planned for this week to keep me from being too sad. We hit up the Goo Goo Dolls concert last night in Chicago. It's our third time seeing them and they always put on a good show. I don't have many pictures because I don't feel like they ever turn out great but I thought it was really neat when they had a bunch of giant balloons sent out into the crowd!

I have plans for two more concerts within the next 10 days so apparently I'm in a musical mood! I think that wraps up my busy July. I'll be back soon with some house updates (I painted!).


Milwaukee is for Lovers

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Okay, so that's actually Virginia's slogan but Milwaukee is where we headed to celebrate our ten year anniversary a few weeks ago. We were totally last in, Loren came home from work, we decided to go, packed, and left. Thankfully the drive is about an hour and a half from our house so we all piled in the car and headed off.

You can see our always faithful road trip companion in the backseat. :) Once we got into town our hotel options were limited because it was so last minute, and we had our fur-baby with us but we ended up getting a great deal at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. A little hotel booking tip, we saved over $30 a night by booking through Priceline's Express Deals versus just booking through Priceline or Hilton directly. EXACT same hotel just cheaper! Crazy right?! We literally booked it on our phone right outside the hotel and then Loren went and checked us in. Anyway, just wanted to share that tip with you all.

Once we got Ruby settled into the room, Loren and I ended out to explore a little. We decided to get dinner at Pier 106 so we could get seafood and sit out by the river and enjoy the evening. The food was okay, but I fully admit to being a seafood snob. After living in the Pacific Northwest for so long it's hard not to be! We stopped for a nightcap on the walk back to the hotel but left once the hair band started playing. :)

Saturday was a fun-filled day! I had found this post from and it was helpful for us to find activities we could do with Ruby. We walked along the Milwaukee River for awhile and then headed over to Brady Street to roam for a bit. We mostly just window shopped but places had water out for pups to cool down after being walked all over town. Nomad World Pub was a nice place to stop for an afternoon drink. It was nice to sit outside and people watch.

After we left Brady Street we headed to the park for some paddle boating. Paddle boating with a dog, while wearing a dress turned out to not be the smartest idea ever so we only lasted about 10 minutes.

After the paddle boating experience, we decided that going on another boat was a good idea. This time it was an architecture tour with MKE Boat. It was a nice time. The boat took us on the river and then out onto Lake Michigan. The boat also had a bar so you could get a drink and snack while on the cruise.

After the sightseeing cruise we went back to the hotel for a little snooze and then Loren and I headed out for dinner. We went to the Milwaukee Ale House. The food was good, beer was good (according to Loren), and they had Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling. :) A win in my book. This is the best picture I have.

That's a wrap on our weekend in Milwaukee. It was a fun little getaway to celebrate our anniversary and it's always nice to explore a new place with my adventure buddy. Until next time...

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