Baby Watch 2016

My friend Ashley joked that I should share our announcement with this blog post title.  Of course she said this back in February and I was SURE that I would blog before announcing the news to the world…

Well here we are on April 4th, and I’ve finally got around to blogging!  Obviously, we’ve been very busy with our biggest DIY to date ~ a little baby who is scheduled to arrive near the end of September.

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We have a few other things happening around the house, although our overall progress is significantly slowed down by my need for near constant napping throughout the weekend. I’ll share some progress as we get things settled & now that I’m starting to get some energy back.

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Penelope looked profoundly sad in all the pictures we made her take with the baby book we got.  Based on these pictures we joke that if she could talk she would tell us that she didn’t ask for a baby brother or sister! Overall though she seems to be taking it well, and likes to nap on me the minute I mention the words nap and/or blanket.

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Shopaholic: Stylish Patina & Rough Luxe

Hi NoVa gals (and guys).Have you guys checked out Stylish Patina in Falls Church? I discovered her store back when I was searching for chalk paint and she has the cutest things!  Once a month she opens her warehouse to the public, aka Rough Luxe Warehouse, and this weekend I finally found the time to go!  I snapped some pictures as we walked around, so hopefully you enjoy this shop-a-long!

 

How cute is this sign?  Would look pretty cute next to our wine bar.Rough Luxe 1Can we talk about these awesome German vintage wine crates?  I spotted them on Instagram leading up to the market, and was ridiculously excited that they were still available when we arrived on Saturday.
Rough Luxe 2There were lots of vintage signs. They would look great in a big farmhouse kitchen, or against a raw wood blanked wall too!
Rough Luxe 5I’m not sure what these wooden boxes are for, but they made a statement coffee table in this faux living room.  I’ll also take that brown leather couch please!

Rough Luxe 4I fell in love with both those art prints (although at $100 each they were out of my price range) and that cute pillow too!

Rough Luxe 3I forgot to snap a photo of the whole warehouse space (bad blogger!). Guess I’ll have to go back next month and do some more shopping! Since the warehouse is just down the street from the shop, we stopped there too.

This sign was a favorite.  I think Penelope would agree with it too!Stylish Patina 3

This ring dish is too cute for couples (like us!) who take off their rings at night.  I think it was about $5!

 

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Oh and they had these gorgeous flowers at both the warehouse and the store. I couldn’t figure out what they were made of, or what I would do with one, but I was obsessed! Aren’t they gorgeous!Stylish Patina 1
I’ll stop by later in the week to show what made it into the car!  We found some cute goodies, and if I had the need, I probably could’ve come home with multiple carloads of stuff! What did you do this weekend?

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Halloween 2014: Phase II

As I mentioned last week, I didn’t go home from the HomeGoods shop-a-long empty handed.  While I showed remarkable constraint (really, I’m just waiting for the basement to be done before I start buying ALL of the things), I did find this great stylish Halloween hand towel.

Halloween - Toil and Trouble Dish Towel - #thissarahlovesSince the bathroom is painted blue, the traditional orange and black Halloween color scheme wouldn’t work too well in this bathroom.  But when I found this grey and silver towel, I knew it would be the perfect accent!  I also love that it’s a bit more sophisticated than the usual Halloween fair.  Oh and at $2.99 I hardly broke the bank!

Halloween - Toil and Trouble Dish Towel 2 - #thissarahloves

Which rooms do you decorate for the holidays?

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MirrorMate: An Unsolicited Review

Last month, I made a quick visit to California. My parents had a long list of little tasks they wanted me to help with, while I was there, and like a good daughter, I was happy to help! Our biggest project was installing a frame on their extra-large master bathroom mirror. My parents researched and found MirrorMate on their own, ordered a sample, measured the mirror & ordered the product all before I got there.

Here’s how it looked after we were done. (Photo courtesy of Mom!)

Parents Master Bath - After 2

 

While we all agree that we LOVE how the bathroom looks with the mirror, I have to say that getting this mirror installed was a nightmare. There were three of us working together to get this mirror up & I REALLY wish we had a fourth set of hands!  This probably has almost all to do with the massive size of the mirror and the frame, but I wish their installation instructions/tools were a little more geared for an install of this size.

Here’s how the bathroom looked before. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing special either.

Parents Master Bath - Before 1

 

I didn’t get pictures of this part, but you have to put the frame together yourself. I followed the instructions, which were pretty clear. The one odd part was that it told you to use a marker to color the inside edges of the frame. Obviously this is a good idea, since if the frame were to be slightly off, you would see the same color as the frame and not the color of the composite the frame is made out of.  But I think it would be nice if they included a mini-marker in the box with the correct color, because it was only by luck that my parents had a silver sharpie in the house.

Parents Master Bath - Mirror Mate Corners

Next, we got to deal with these lovely corners. Good idea in theory – you hold the frame up, place the cardboard corners where the corners of the mirror needs to go, then peel the double sided tape off the frame and stick the frame up.  As I said, good in theory. The darn corners would not stick!  As you can see we tried to help the situation with some painters tape, but that didn’t really work either. We ended up using a dry erase marker on the mirror to indicate where we needed the corners to be, when these came tumbling down for the 4th time! These corners really need some re-working!

One more thing that I think would be nice of them to include in the box are those mini-levels that some picture frames come with these days. It would make it much easier to ensure that everything’s level!

 

Parents Master Bath - Close up - After

 

It’s a good thing the mirror and the frame looks this good, because it almost makes up for the installation nightmare! Overall, my parents are really happy with the end result, although we all agree the process could have been easier. They’re also really happy that they waited for me to come for a visit before trying to install the frame.

Parents Master Bath - After

 

Bottom line: We love the final result, but we wouldn’t use them for a frame of this size again.

Sarah Signature

 

I’m Back & a Weekend Getaway

Well that was an unintended month off!  The good news is that we didn’t stop the DIYing, just the blogging.  There’s lots to tell and share, and still lots to do around here, so don’t worry, I’ll try not to disappear again!

Last weekend, we went away for a long weekend. We had a very generous offer to stay at friends’ condo on Chincoteague Island, Virginia.  We had a very relaxing weekend – walking around the island, checking out nearby Assateague Island (and the wild horses), eating lots of delicious seafood, and taking long naps!

The condo we stayed at had gorgeous views of the marsh.  Just look at this!

Chincoteague Views 1

 

While Chincoteague is in Virginia, nearby Assateague Island is split between Virginia and Maryland. Both sides have wild horses.  On the Virginia side they are owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department & you can drive/bike/walk around on Assateague Island in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the “ponies”.

We went out to Assateague twice to see them. They are the white and brown spots near the treeline on the left.  Oh well. The views were gorgeous.  (P.S. If you really want to see them you need to drive around to the Maryland side, or take a boat cruise around Assateague.)

Chincoteague Views 2

 

I think my favorite time was driving around Assategue Island at dusk.  Oh and eating softshell crabs (twice!)

Chincoteague Views - Assateague

Oh, and I’ll be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the amazing food at The Crab Shack. It was our hands-down favorite!  In fact, we went back twice, in a row! Their soft-shell crab was amazing!  Andy enjoyed their soft-shell crab BLT and some or the other fancy burger. Service at lunch time was exceptional. Definitely ask to be seated in Johnny’s section when you arrive!  Service at dinner was a little slower, but the food was exceptional and luckily we weren’t in a rush!

Chincotague - Crab Shack

Via

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Getting your Bearings on the Main Level

Penelope and I spent a morning last week taking measurements of the main floor so that we could finally draw up a floor plan!  (Yes, she helped.  She’s OBSESSED with the tap measure). I didn’t have much luck with any of the fancy pants floor planners, so hopefully you don’t mind my MS Paint version.  At least it’s (mostly) to scale.
Main Floor Floor Plan

 

Kitchen:
– Do something to update those cabinets!
Add a bookshelf next to the windows
– Enlarge the pass-through to the living space
– Switch out the ancient hood for a microwave/venthood combo
– Tile the floors
– Replace the ceiling fan light monster
– Remove the wall-paper border
– Replace the backsplash
– Paint the walls
– Replace the blinds
– Hang some art

Dining:
Replace the vintage smoked glass light fixture
– Upgrade the dining table
– Add a storage buffet
– New rug
Paint the walls
– Stencil (?) the entry wall
– Hang some art

Living Room:
Paint the walls
Hang curtains
– Replace the blinds
– Add some lamps
– Floating shelves over wine bar
– Hang art
– Add a plant
– Sew new pillow covers