Second Anniversary Gift Guide | Cotton

We made it back from our #PickensinSEAsia adventure earlier this week and we have slowly but surely been getting back into our routine. The trip was beyond anything we could’ve imagined, but more on that later.

Our second anniversary is right around the corner and has practically snuck up on us with all that we’ve had on our plate’s lately! Last year I mentioned that we wanted to keep our anniversaries simple with a nice date and a traditional gift. In keeping with that, and being just over a week away, I thought it was only appropriate to brainstorm some good 2 year gifts.

The traditional gift for the second anniversary is Cotton. And the primary warning I’ve been given (along with many funny stories) is to make sure that whatever you buy actually has some cotton in the make-up. A lot of fabrics you might think are cotton are a whole blend of other stuff, so pay attention!

  1. PJ’s: Perfect for a lazy Sunday morning of snuggles or breakfast in bed, I love the idea of a new PJ set for each other. His, a classic cotton set from Brooks Brothers; Hers, sweet little polka dot set from Kate Spade NY with an adorable bow at the nape of the neck.
  2. Robes: I love a good robe and this is the perfect excuse to add a new robe to the rotation. If you’ve ever felt pima cotton, you know why I’ve selected the first two options, that said I’m also loving the little lace detail on the alternate option for her. His, classic pima cotton robe by Daniel Buchler; Hers, classic pima cotton robe by Skin OR a lace trimmed cotton robe by Daniel Buchler.
  3. Sheets: You really can’t beat sleeping in a set of good cotton sheets. Most people won’t splurge for good sheets for themselves but from my time working in the linen shop as well as working with my clients on their own linens, it is something that I insist on for us, and you should too! Use this cotton anniversary to get a good set in your life, you really won’t regret it! Pictured: Dashiel by Matouk in Chambray, I think we need these; We have a set by Matouk that we love, and we also have these by Ralph Lauren and I love this percale set by Ralph too… percale is the stuff dream sheets are made of.
  4. Pillows: As an alternate to just buying ‘stuff,’ I love the idea of getting something that offers a little bit more sentiment. Though it was easier to find something for year one which is paper, I love these customizable pillows that you can put anything from your wedding venue coordinates to the coordinates of your first home together or where you met. You could also do a meaningful phrase or song lyric… the possibilities are endless. Here’s a link to the Etsy shop (Love You More Boutique) where I found the pillow pictured.
  5. Blanket: A blanket is the perfect snuggly gift. You can get something for the living room or bedroom, something cozy and stylish. If you are handy at all (many of you know I knit), you could get cotton fabric or yarn and attempt a little DIY for your gift. Nothing says I love you quite like something handmade. These chunky cable-knit cotton-blend blankets from Pottery Barn are cozy and chic for any space.

These are all ideas perfect for either spouse, or something you may opt to buy together for you both to enjoy. What do you guys think? I have my heart set on something specific for P, so I will share that on Instagram come our actual anniversary (if I can swing it), but I’m curious to see what he is thinking for me…Time will tell🙂

Have you guys kept with traditional gifts in your marriages or do anything special to honor your time together that is your own tradition? I love classic traditions but there is something really special about setting your own tradition with your loved ones that makes it so much better.

Anyway, I’m hoping to get through some of our travel pictures over the weekend and see if I can start to get some posts together to share our adventures next week.

What have you all been up to since we were gone? Anything fun this weekend?? I’m going to be busily working on my gift for P as well as sifting through all the pictures! Have a great weekend!!

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Summer Travels | Southeast Asia

Practically the biggest and most exciting personal thing we’ve been working on this summer is hammering out the details for a big summer trip! We are headed to Southeast Asia.

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After a lot of reading and research (primarily with this Lonely Planet Guidebook), scanning pictures, scouring reviews and chatting with people who have been there, we’ve landed on a plan.

In a little less than 2 weeks, we are heading out.. here’s a breakdown of what our trip will look like, once we arrive:

3 Days in Singapore

3 Days in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

3 Days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a day trip to Cameron Highlands

7 Days in Bali, Indonesia with a day trip to Lombak

Then back to Singapore for a night before we fly home.

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It was so hard to narrow it down to these countries and then these specific locations. When we chose Southeast Asia, we wanted to cover the whole region and see everything, but with limited time away we decided that we would be better off limiting our stops and taking more time in fewer places. Quality over quantity. Slow and steady like our snail friend from our wanderlust reading nook.

If you’ve been to any of these places or areas and you have recommendations, send them our way! I can’t wait to go and experience this trip. It really will be the trip of a lifetime, except hopefully we will go back to the region again at some point to explore the countries and places we aren’t getting to this time around.

I can’t wait to share all the nitty gritty details and what I imagine will be all the stunning imagery once we return. And if you can’t wait to see some of our adventures, follow along with us on social media for updates as we go! (Links below.)

What trips have you been on or been planning this summer? Anything you have dreamed about for ages? Hopefully your summer has been filled with fun!

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Project Update: 1893

Summer is my busiest season with my workload and the whole work-life balance. Things have been moving right along and I have a few projects underway right now, a few of them that should be wrapping up soon(ish). And I wanted to give you guys an updated look at the progress on the 1893 House!

The tile work is done in the bathrooms, the new wood floors have gone in where needed, all the windows are in and we are only waiting on the custom french doors leading out from the kitchen. The cabinetry started to go in over the last week or so and the counters have all been templated. We have selected paint colors and had the guys swatch them on the walls for us and we will be meeting at the house on Monday to review and finalize so they can paint. All in all, good progress has been made and I am starting to really see the light at the end of this one! And if you ask me, it is looking pretty bright!

How has your summer been so far? I hope it’s going well, filled with a lot of competed projects and fun adventures on your end too! More updates to come… Happy Friday!

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Camping in PA

When P and I first started dating, I discovered he had never been camping before! I grew up camping and had always loved it, so the first Memorial Day weekend we were together, I planned a little camping trip for us up in Maine, and ever since he’s been hooked!

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Unfortunately with work and life and all the things, we haven’t made it camping in two years! The first years we were together, we went as often as we could and camped in Vermont, Connecticut, Texas and Louisiana in addition to the first trip in Maine.

This year for hubby’s birthday one of the only things he had on his list was to go camping. I really didn’t know if we were going to be able to get the same time off together, but not only did it work out, last minute we ended up with a fourth day off and were able to leave a day early!

We headed out to Raystown Lake in PA for the first night (the bonus night) and it was a beautiful spot to camp. The restrooms were a little less than desireable for a campground (no running water), but considering we were only there for 24 hours we didn’t really need much.

The scenery was gorgeous and Brantley even went into the lake with us and attempted swimming for the first time. He had so much fun splashing in the lake even though he kept at least his back feet firmly planted the whole time! It was great!

Our second stop was at Keystone State Park about an hour east of Pittsburgh. We chose this destination specifically for it’s proximity to Pittsburgh as we attended a pup night at PNC Park while we were on our trip.

The first night we set up camp and explored before dinner, and of course ended the night with a campfire and s’mores.

The second day we walked be all around the grounds over to the water and back up to our campsite. No swimming for him here, but still nice to see the water. We headed back to camp and made lunch before some rain rolled in… we ducked into the tent and played a card game, read a bit, and even snuck in a nap.

Then we headed into Pittsburgh and we had such a fun time with the pups in the Park! Brantley met 3 other wheatens, which he’s only ever met maybe one or two before ever and it was cute seeing them together. We (or at least I) didn’t really watch the game because there was too much going on with the dogs, but it was a really cute set-up and everyone had a good time. That said, we both agree that we will have to get back to this ballpark sans Brantley to actually enjoy the park and the game, but it was definitely a fun detour!

The third day, we slept in! I haven’t slept in in ages and I got over 8.5 hours of sleep (I’d like to have that again right about now)! We took B on another walk around the grounds, had breakfast and got cleaned up (the bathroom facilities here were great), and then slowly but surely started taking down camp.

We made lunch at the campsite, finished loading the car and were on the road home by 1pm. I had a serious hankering for ice cream and P knew that there was a creamery at Penn State which we were going to be driving within spitting distance of, so we added it as a detour and we were all happier for it–even Brantley!

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The only other stops we made on the way back were for gas and bathrooms, and we spent the car ride home reading through our travel guides to plan our next adventure (which I will share more on later). But all in all I’d say it was a great trip!

Always good to be home, but now the camping bug has most definitely bit us again, and although we likely won’t be able to go at all for the rest of this year, we are already thinking about next summer!

What is your favorite type of family vacation? Do you have any fond memories of family trips you took as a kid? Are there any great places to camp that we should put on our list for the future?

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The Done List

It has been well over a month since I last blogged and I have been missing this outlet as a way to express myself and share the happenings of life and work. I had been seeking inspiration and making a lot of lists until last night. On our way home from our weekend away, P and I were listening to “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, and she mentioned getting great blog ideas and wanting to save them away but needing to trust yourself to come up with new great ideas for posts all the time and to use them when you have them.

I don’t recall the exact quote but it was something like creativity grows more creativity, or inspiration in place of the word creativity… something like that. However she put it hit me and I was sitting there thinking, you know what, it’s time to log back on and get back to it. It’s been too long! (Check out her blog and book to get more inspo for your own happiness–I think when we finish the book I might start listening to her podcasts too.)

The other thing that had me feeling so inspired the other day was @EliseJoy‘s #100aysofelisepeptalksmake a DONE list.” I’m a list maker anyway so this one really struck me. It’s easy to think of all of the things you need to do, or that you want to do, or even to beat yourself up for the things that you haven’t done yet. But if you stop for a minute and really think about what you have finished and make that into a list, you will feel so much better. I’m paraphrasing what Elise said in her post here, but it resonated with me, like really really resonated. (Check out her blog for and jump over to her instagram links above for a lot more inspo.)

I spent the time away from the blog doing a lot of things, but one of the things that I think is pretty interesting is that I spent time email and talking to other bloggers (or following and reading other blogs) and telling them that I missed writing and I missed this outlet, yet I still couldn’t find the drive to get back here and get going. Sometimes you need a break, sometimes something that you love so much and that you really want to do, you just have to take some space from before you can really get back into it. I tried to come back a lot sooner with a post in late May after a shorter hiatus post One Room Challenge, but I wasn’t ready yet.

So anyway, I think I’m back… I think I’ve found my voice a little more, and I am feeling inspired. Some of the coming posts will be of the catching up variety but some of them will be all new and progress reports that you’ve not been getting. I hope your still here to read through it all and offer continued support.

My Done List since I’ve been gone:

  • Finished the living room, like it’s really really done.
  • Adjusted to hubby’s new work schedule
  • Committed to a fitness class 2x/week and have actually gone and loved it every week!
  • Finished knitting a baby blanket for my dear friend’s newest little one.
  • Spent some time with said friend and met the new baby.
  • Worked my ass off.
  • Taken on a few new clients and focussed on getting their plans done and materials specified.
  • Taken a dozen naps.
  • Spent some quality time with Brantley.
  • Spent some quality time with Pat.
  • Worked out our new budget.
  • Started a “no spending” challenge at home.
  • Went on our first camping trip in over two years.
  • Enjoyed a relaxing weekend at the shore.
  • Hosted my in-laws for a night.
  • Reorganized the linen closet.
  • Cleaned countless times and remade the mess.
  • Lived.

I could go on, but I think you get the point… making a done list is so rewarding. I feel like this ‘quiet time’ around the blog hasn’t been a huge waste or isn’t time lost. I feel like it has been time well spent on a few other things. Or, well a lot of other things by the looks of the list above.

I would challenge all of you to make a done list. It feels so good, I promise! Need a prompt, What have you done in the last month? Over the holiday weekend? I’m sure you have done a lot more than you are giving yourself credit for.

If you made it all the way through this picture-less post, thank you so much for reading! Feel free to comment below and let me know if you’ve taken a time-out in any areas of your life lately. I hope this post inspires you to get back on the horse!

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I Guess I Needed a Break

After the whirlwind that is the one room challenge, I guess I was a little burnt out and I had a lot to catch up on with my clients as well, not to mention the adjustments we’ve been making with P’s new schedule.

Weekend Snuggles 1

Speaking of, he is on day shifts now, which is great because we get our evenings together which we haven’t had in years… like years. so it’s nice to actually have some face time with the hubs. But he is now working only in the office (never at home, which I actually really love… just that he’s not in the living room with a constant stream of sports and his laptop and papers, etc., it’s kinda nice) and he is working Thursdays through Mondays. So while my days out of the office are Sundays and Tuesdays, and Tuesdays I’m often juggling client details, materials sourcing, drawings and blogging. So to say the least it has been an adjustment.

I’m still not willing to give up Sunday to a day of really working even though sometimes I do a lot of the behind the scenes legwork, I don’t want to do it all the time… you need down time too people, and it is important to block that out. But we are trying to balance out my schedule on Tuesdays to be able to enjoy more time together as well. So we will see how it all works out.

For now, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my Sundays home alone with just me and Brantley Bub! I’ve been catching up on my DVR’d shows, reading, cleaning and even knitting! Yup, I just cast on for one of my dear friends baby blankets (she is due June 22nd, so wish me luck!). Of course, I’ve been working on floor plans and brainstorming blog stuff too, but it’s nice to just be in the house, or around the neighborhood soaking it all in.

Weekend Walk

My favorite new tradition that we have started is walking from home to the train station to go meet P after work on Sunday evenings… it’s so nice to then walk home together. As the weather gets better, I’m planning on definitely keeping this tradition up! It’s a nice long walk too so we all sleep well, and B is good to go for his day at home Monday!

What have you been up to lately? Doing anything fun with your down time?

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Living Room Revealed | ORC Week 6

Stick a fork in me, I’m done! Last week I didn’t know if we were going to pull it off. I even shared about the delay of our window treatments… but ya know what, we did it! Even without the window treatments, in my opinion, the living room looks pretty damn good.

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So, if you are new around here, we’ve been participating for the last 6 Thursdays in the One Room Challenge, which is a design challenge graciously hosted by Linda at Calling it Home, where 20 host design bloggers and countless guest bloggers transform one room in 6 weeks and share all the plans and progress along the way. It is intense to say the least, but worth every stress-filled moment once you make it to the end.

Here are a few before pics to remind you where we started:

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We transformed our living room with the miracles of paint, lighting and trim. It sounded easy enough when we started, and I can’t tell you how many times I was filled with excitement or tears throughout this process, but I am thrilled with where the living room is now. (I’ll be even happier next week when the Roman shades are up, but you can come back next week to see how those fit in.)

Without further ado, the full reveal:

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What do you think? I love hearing your feedback, so please comment below! It was a grueling process for sure, and the pictures really don’t do the space justice, but it is a bigger change that it looks, and we couldn’t be happier!

I know Brantley is happy to not have to hide in the bedroom while the living room is filled with noise and chaos, and I know P and I are thrilled the our living room furniture isn’t crammed into our bedroom anymore.

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The little things that we did, and the sheer work and effort we put into getting this room done, are huge! This living room project has made us love our little corner of the world that much more. And I don’t know about any of the other participants, but I’m going to have the best sleep of my life tonight!

My step-dad (Handy Dad as my mom and I refer to him) was an insane resource for us during this process. I wish he lived closer, but we talked on the phone almost daily with questions, tips, etc., throughout the challenge, and I really could not have done it without him and his advice and support. The local contractor and friend I do a ton of work with, Greg, was a huge resource for this project as well. He connected us with the floor refinishers, the lighting guys, a carpenter to help with the weird molding issues that we were unable to deal with on our own, the list goes on. My neighbor A, who came in with her muscle, not only kept me company while I worked on the room, but she was willing to get covered in paint to help me keep my sanity and my timeframe. And of course to Linda at Calling it Home, for not only hosting this great challenge, but for cheering us on through the weekly blog posts and on social media updates to keep us going especially when it was tough!

I’m so appreciative of all the advice and support from all corners… our tiny home has never looked so good!

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And if you think our space looks good at all, wait until you see the host designers revealed spaces. OMG, if you haven’t seen them yet, hop over here and prepare to be wowed. Once you recover from that, don’t forget to get back to the Calling It Home guest participant link up where other guest participants are sharing their reveal today too! There are some really incredible transformations floating around on the web today!!

Check back next week (or follow on any of the linked social spots below) to see the room truly completed with window treatments, and then a follow up post on the budget for this space, which I think it’s always helpful to see a real perspective of how the numbers break down. Thanks so much for following along, I hope to see you around the blog again soon!

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Hope + Confidence

Last Wednesday, I shared a quote from Helen Keller about optimism, and today I wanted to share the second part of that same quote.

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“Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Sage advice from Ms. Keller, on a background of Jet Stream. Seriously though, nothing really can be done without these key ingredients. You have to have enough confidence to move forward and enough hope to dive in, even when you think it might not work or you might not make it.

It’s the perfect recipe for accomplishment. I love it.

What are you trying to accomplish this week? We were trying to get our ORC done for tomorrow’s big reveal and I cannot wait to share… be sure to check back tomorrow so you don’t miss it!

Other than that, I’m confidently hoping for a few of my large projects to continue trodding along smoothly. Things have been going really well and I’d like to keep them that way. Hope all is well with you and your endeavors too!

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From Napa, With Love | A Travel Guide

It’s Monday again, but don’t fret! Instead of getting your typical gloomy case of the Mondays, start dreaming about the perfect weekend getaway in Napa.

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About a month ago, I was sitting in a tasting room learning how to properly drink wine. (Because apparently just pouring way more than the standard amount into your glass a couple times/week or more, is wrong.) I met one of my best friends from Seattle in the Napa Valley where we wined, wined, wined and dined, for 4 days… in short, we had a blast and I found my new happy place.

Here’s a little breakdown of how we spent our time while we were there and how we balanced out our days to round out an excellent trip to wine country. A travel guide for Napa if you will.

Day 1:

Food:

Breakfast at Pacific Blues in Yountville (a must) and dinner at Tarla Mediterranean in Napa for yummy risotto and a great gluten free selection.

Tastings:

We decided that before we went around acting like we knew what’s up with wine tasting we should take a class, so our first stop was a wine tasting course for beginners at Robert Mondavi, and it was a great first stop. Their grounds were beautiful, their wine was good and the class was just right to get us started.

Our second tasting was to Odette which had stunning architecture, beautiful landscapes and great service, with good wine to boot! We enjoyed the tasting and stayed just the right amount of time. I’m not typically a fan of white wines, but they had a delicious crisp and light Chardonnay that I will have to find locally or try to have shipped for any summer gatherings this year.

The last tasting for the day was at Chandon for some bubbles! Who doesn’t love a good glass of champagne to toast to the greatest weekend getaway ever?? Talk about a pretty landscape! We were fortunate enough to have gorgeous weather to sit outside and enjoy our cheese plate and bubbly while soaking up the sun!

Other:

After our first tasting, we went back to Yountville for mani’s and pedi’s and to soak up some much need girl time sans booze at Lavender Nail Salon, where the place was clean and the service was good. Yountville is a great little town either to stay in or to just stop into and walk the main street… it’s very charming and sure to please.

 

Day 2:

Food:

We started our morning with coffee and juice from the Oxbow Public Market before making the trek up to Calistoga for some spa-time. Post spa, we enjoyed brunch in Calistoga at Sam’s Social Club which was so good, very fresh food and fun interiors! For dinner we opted for Mexican and ended up at Don Perico’s in Napa which hit the spot as standard Mexican fare.

Tastings:

First we headed to Sterling where they have a gondola car that takes you up to the winery for the tastings. The wine was nothing special, but the views were incredible and the architecture was like a little slice of Santorini right in Napa.

Second we headed to Mumm for more champs. Again the bubbles, you can’t go wrong. Next to the parking lot there were rows of the mustard flowers that were so pretty! The service wasn’t great at Mumm, but supposedly they are known for that, and the bubbles were delicious (we took a bottle home with us) so I would recommend going anyway.

Third we headed to Artesa, which became one of our favorites of the trip. We started our tasting late and they closed, but let us finish our tasting and my new favorite wine is their Tempranillo… the stuff that dreams are made of. They had so many delicious red wines to taste that we really enjoyed, in addition to their prime location, which on a clear day you can see all the way to the San Francisco Bay from, and their beautiful architecture… it was a win all around.

Other:

We kicked off Saturday with a mud bath in Calistoga… it was something that sounded so luxurious and it was on my bucket list, so we fit it in the schedule. What I will say about that… it was interesting, I’ve not laughed so hard in such a long time and my skin has also never been so soft. Now it’s checked off the bucket list… if it’s on yours, try it, you might like it, but try for an early bird special (which we did) or a groupon or something, rather than splurging for the full priced package right off the bat… it’s expensive and it is a different experience, so be open minded.

 

Day 3:

Food:

We kicked off the day with coffee from the Napa Valley Coffee Roasters, which was delicious and then we made our way to the wine train.

The Napa Valley Wine Train had a lot of mixed reviews on the web, but it included lunch and we opted to add a wine tasting to it as well and just give it a try. I’m glad we did. The train itself was charmingly restored, and the ride was a good way to view a chunk of the valley to see if there were any additional wineries we should put on our list. It’s also a good way to orient yourself with the layout of Napa, so it would be fun to do in your first day or so there. The food was pretty good and the wine was okay (nothing special compared to what’s available in napa), but the experience overall was worth it.

For dinner, we booked the Farmstead tasting menu with wine pairings at Long Meadow Ranch. It was one of the best meals I’ve had ever, like seriously, the food was so simple, so pretty (the appetizer in the top right got asparagus soup poured over it which made the flowers float… talk about presentation) and beyond delicious… looking at the pictures is making my mouth water. If you like food as much or more than you like wine and you are in Napa, this is a must!

Tastings:

We had a red sampler on the wine train, as noted above, nothing to write home about and in hindsight, given the day we had planned it might have been worth just having one glass on the train and then skipping the tasting here.

We booked a tasting and tour at Jarvis the day before while we were waiting for the mud baths to start and if you are visiting Napa especially in their peak, book this one in advance. Their Willy Wonka-esque wine caves were very cool and the details they put into the design are worth seeing in person. We sampled 6 delicious wines and both brought home a few bottles… we had a good group on this tour and the tasting was fun in addition to being good wine.

The wines from our pairing dinner at Long Meadow Ranch were perfect. I’m really not kidding when I say this meal was in the top 5 of my life… it’s not your every day kind of thing but it was such a great treat. The wine was so good. The service, amazing. Everything about this last stop was perfect. I found out about LMR by purchasing a bottle at my local wine store in preparation for Napa (I was buying a lot of Napa wines leading up to the trip) so I didn’t buy any wine here, only because I knew I could get it back home.

Other:

A note about our Day 3 agenda… we tried to split up some of these bigger things and do one a day (the tasting course day one, mud baths day two, etc.) but we accidentally booked both the train and the tasting at LMR on the same day. Were we to do it over again, we would split the two up… that said, we still thoroughly enjoyed this day, so do what makes you happy if/when you go!

 

Day 4:

Food:

Jax White Mule Diner in Napa for breakfast and we literally had the place to ourselves. It was good enough but don’t drink the water. For dinner we went to Bounty Hunter BBQ and again, good enough but nothing to write home about, though the portions were huge, we shared a sampler plate and still took home leftovers.

Tastings:

First stop, Inglenook. Talk about good wine and a great experience. This place is like a chateau it is so pretty, down to the details. I loved the chandeliers and rugs especially… well and especially the wine! They were so slow (on that particular Monday morning) that we ended up getting a private tour of the wine caves and to see the back vineyards. Seriously worth the stop.

Second, we had a tasting scheduled for Brown, which was great. What a cool story of their estate and how they became wine makers after previously just selling their fruit. They make a lot of Zinfendale and for someone who isn’t a big zin fan, I have to say, their wines changed my tune. Their property is also stunning and great design details here as well… but I won’t give away their secrets, you will have to go do the tasting yourself! We got to meet David the wine-maker… this guy definitely has a lot of fun, and it was a fun experience for us!

Lastly, we went to Nichelini (right next to Brown, and we stopped just for that reason). Although we hadn’t heard of them or their wines, we both ended up joining their wine club. The wines were delicious and we tasted them all! We were pleasantly surprised by many of them here, hence the new wine club memberships, it was definitely a worthy stop.

 

Day 5:

Gluten Free, Vacation Eats, Brunch, Corned Beef Benedict, Eggs Benedict, Boon Fly Cafe, Napa Eats, Brunch in Napa, Breakfast in Napa

We loaded up the car, stopped for a delicious brunch (maybe the best we had all weekend) at Boon Fly Cafe in Napa, complete with fresh squeezed orange juice which we may or may not have added to a water bottle filled with Mumm champs… Just sayin. We walked around downtown Napa, went to a yarn shop and some art galleries and then headed back to SFO to fly to our respective homes.

 

Overall:

I can’t say enough positive things about this weekend. The trip was so needed and so wonderful. We made it happen and we soaked it up! Napa is definitely in my list of happy places. Especially Napa in Spring (so what if that is my only point of reference), there is enough going on but nothing is jam-packed and you can typically get into tastings without reservations (but do your research to see where reservations will make sense), the flowers are in bloom and everything just smells delicious. I can’t wait to plan another girls weekend with L, hopefully this time it won’t take us 8 years!

Where’s the last trip you took with your bestie? Your happy place? I need to start adding to my list of destinations! Where have you gone or are you planning to go that I need to make sure to get to? I hope you are taking some fun adventures, we will be continuing down the rabbit hole that is our living room for the One Room Challenge this week and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel… check back Thursday for the big reveal! (Or find me on Snapchat (@designbykrystle), I’ve been sharing lots of ORC living room progress in real time over there.)

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We’re Not Gonna Make It | ORC Week 5

Welcome to week five of our One Room Challenge, where we are guest participating in a challenge to transform a room in 6 (or really 5) short weeks! If you missed our previous posts, see what our room looked like before and our plans/progress up to this point here.


It’s the home stretch as they say, our list is still long with lots of things remaining to be done. Throughout this process I have had several flashes of anxiety along with the thought that we’re not gonna make it in time for the deadline, but I’ve pushed through anyway, and with gusto. 

This past weekend P was out of town, so I bribed one of our neighbors to come and help paint in exchange for sharing take-out and a bottle of wine from my Napa trip. Let’s just say, not only did we get the walls done, but we also painted the ceiling! We went with option 3 from he swatches, which is Benjamin Moore’s Jet Stream, and even though I really had a difficult time deciding on the color, I love it! 


Monday the floors were refinished and that meant that we stayed elsewhere until last night. So from P’s perspective, he left for his weekend trip, there was still furniture in the living room, the walls were barely primed, etc., etc., and now he’s home to a freshly painted room with gorgeous new floors! I think he is starting to see the new space! Even for me though, having moved the furniture out and being responsible for the painted space, coming home to the floors makes a HUGE difference-my excitement to finish this room has been renewed!!

So, from a visual perspective, we crossed 2 things of the list this week… We still have a long way to go. Lighting is scheduled to go in tomorrow and I have the day off to cut and prep moldings for installation, so I think we might just make it. The only thing is the window treatments. I had told the company I needed them installed by May 10th, and I found out Tuesday they are shipping on May 10th instead of arrivin on May 10th and transit time is 3 days. That puts us at Friday the 13th best case scenario. I looked into expedited shipping but it’s not worth the additional expense, so just a heads up, the room won’t really be DONE next week unless the ORC shipping Gods are shining down on us. 

Here’s a look at our list:

  • Remove old moldings
  • Install new moldings
  • Light fixture/ceiling medallion
  • Radiator-clean up
  • Paint radiator
  • Re-Hang Gallery Wall
  • DIY Art Project
  • Refinish Wood Floors
  • Prime walls
  • Paint
  • Window Treatments

That said, With or without the window treatments though, the room will feel so different that we will be okay for the reveal anyway.  Our living room has come such a long way with the changes that we did make (and have scheduled over the next few days) in the space so I’m still going to post pictures in full reveal mode, all spruced up and pretty, and it is still going to be fabulous. (And then maybe you’ll all come back the following week to see the final final living room complete with window treatments.)

Don’t forget to hop over to the Calling It Home Blog and check out yesterday’s post for the ORC hosts’ progress, and then today’s post for the other guests’ progress too! I hope you are having as much fun following along as we are!!

PS, I wrote this post entirely from the iPad since my desk is currently buried behind everything we had to move out of the living room. I wish I was joking… But, this too shall pass… And if you see any post errors on this one, please let me know!!