Obsession with remodeling...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

As you know, we are in the midst of remodeling our little, tired kitchen. Many people have put in a lot of work and time into this remodel and I amaze myself when I start thinking about a bathroom remodel. Why do I even let my mind go there? Why can't I just think about one thing at a time? Does anyone else struggle with this?

Maybe it's because of the emails I get with so many beautiful ideas! Like the Southern Living email I received yesterday with 98 Luxurious Master Baths. They are so pretty and now I yearn to relax in this tub...
Or, brighten up my house with this beautiful, bright sliding bathroom door...
I am seeing these sliding doors more and more and each time I see them I love them more and more :).

Or, how about brightening up my bathroom with this beautiful and cheerful piece...

So many great ideas that I need to just enjoy and not act on. We do not plan to re-do our bathrooms in this house, but I will start filing away my favorites for the large master bathroom we will have one day...one day...maybe, one day...

Oh, what I would give to have this kind of storage!!

Ok, now I will focus my thoughts back on my new kitchen and put the bath dreams away...for now ;).

It's all happening!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yep...you guessed it...that's my kitchen! The project has begun. They took the fur down today and will take the cabinets out. If you don't know what a fur down is, that's a good thing. You will most likely only find them in older houses. There is no need for them.
We have moved into the in-laws because they will begin working on getting rid of our popcorn ceilings tomorrow. Yea! It will be a mess, but a mess that is totally worth it. Why oh why did anyone ever think popcorn ceilings were a good idea? I'm sorry if you love them, I just don't understand them:).
This weekend was wonderful! We visited the Southern Living Idea Home, which I will post pictures of later this week. After the home tour, we headed to Horseshoe Bay Resort to celebrate our first year of marriage! It was hot, but extremely relaxing and so much fun to reminisce on the many memories we had at Horseshoe Bay just one short year ago.

Later gators!

Cheers to one amazing year & Happy Vacation Friday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

First of all, my thoughts and prayers are with all of you that live on the East Coast. I hope you and your families have gotten out and are in a safe place where you can stay for a little while. I will be praying for your safety.

Before we escape on vacation Friday, I want to dedicate this blog post to my amazing, loving, incredible husband of ONE year! We are celebrating our first anniversary this weekend and looking back over the past 12 months...I have no doubt this has been the best year of my life and it just keeps getting better! B, it seems like yesterday when we were standing lakeside in Horseshoe Bay and celebrating the happiest day of our lives. This year has been nothing short of incredible and I'm the most blessed girl in the world to have you as a husband, and, more importantly, my best friend. I look forward to growing old and gray with you.
B, I love you and in honor of our anniversary we are going to one of your most favorite places on earth for vacation Friday...COSTA RICA!

B has been telling me about Costa Rica since the day we met. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to go to Tamarindo, a small, wonderful surf town in Costa Rica over spring break. B has two young nieces, which is great because that means we get spring breaks again when we join family vacations!

So, why does B love Costa Rica so much?

Maybe it's the beautiful beaches...
Or, maybe it's the fact you can surf or fish out your front door...
Tamarindo is known for it's consistent good waves and great sport fishing. Unfortunately, B and his brothers did not catch anything on this trip, but they did see numerous dolphins, which made for some beautiful pictures.
 Maybe it's the wildlife that surrounds you in Costa Rica...
Or the delicious food and laid back restaurants and bars...
 Or...I have no doubt...it's the sunsets that will make anyone's heart melt for Costa Rica...
It truly is a magical place where so many things are at your finger tips. We zip lined and we even took a sailing trip that gave us the opportunity to watch, yet another, perfect sunset.
We stayed at the Tamarindo Diria Beach & Golf Resort. It was a great place to stay. You walk out your door and you are on the beach. There are great restaurants on the resort and many good ones that are in town and everything is walking distance. One of our favorite things to do each night was sit on the lawn, next to the beach, with a glass of wine, the i-pod playing some good tunes and watching some of the most beautiful sunsets any of us had ever seen!

Costa Rica is a great place and I look forward to going back one day. The people are wonderful, Tamarindo has a great, cozy feel and Costa Rica has a welcoming cultural that you just want to immerse yourself in when you visit.

We are headed to Horseshoe Bay to celebrate this weekend and we are making a stop at the Southern Living Idea house! I'll let you know how it is. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I have missed all of you! I have been knee deep in kitchen decor. We have been slowly preparing a kitchen renovation that all of a sudden began to move much faster than we had expected. My mother in law is an extremely talented kitchen designer. Thank goodness for her! She thinks of every little thing...things I would never think of, but that are important. She has patiently guided us through this entire process and I have no idea how we would have done it without her!

First lesson learned, we work on the the contractors schedule. He and the cabinet guy were both available right away (supposedly this rarely happens), so we hit the ground running fast last week! There are so many decisions to make and I just get so confused! I wish I was more like many of my blog friends and had a knack for knowing what looks good, how to pull in color without going crazy, knowing what lights to choose...should they match or not? Way too many things to think about! I continuously turn to pictures and blogs for inspirations, so thank YOU for all the inspiration you are providing me!

We are moving out on Sunday for the demolition to begin Monday. I can't wait to see our beautiful new kitchen. I love our house, but this little kitchen definitely needs some TLC and a little spunk. We are not taking down any walls, in order to keep the price down. We are keeping the structure, but remodeling most things inside the structure. Below are some pictures of our current kitchen. I look forward to sharing some "after remodel" photos with you in a few weeks!

What am I looking forward to most?

How about some new cabinets and drawers? Our current drawers aren't on tracks, they are uneven and sag once you pull one out.

New appliances! We are getting all stainless steel appliances. This move alone could greatly update our humble abode. We decided on a farmhouse style sink and I think it will be one my favorite things in the new kitchen.
We are getting granite. Yea! No more stained counter tops. Seriously, the ones we have now show EVERYTHING. They always look dirty, regardless of how often I clean them. Also, we will be using bead board as back splash for most of the kitchen. We will use tile or something other than bead board above the stove, but we are putting bead board wherever we can because we love it! Bead board will also go under this small bar area and we might paint this area a different color than the rest of the kitchen. I love color, but we can't go too crazy because we will most likely have to sell this house one day.
I might be most excited about this next part...our breakfast nook! We have small window nook in our kitchen and right now there is a small table where it's really on feasible for 2 people to sit. To maximize the area, we are putting in a window seat! I think it will look great and will be a wonderful use of the space.

There are many other things happening, but these particular changes get me the most excited. I honestly have trouble envisioning the whole thing, but I know I'll love it. We have my mother in law's great design and advice and B's Aunt is an interior decorator who is helping us with color...I need as much help as I can get with this. So, thanks to B's talented, creative family, our kitchen is in great hands! We are very fortunate for all the help.

That's all for the kitchen now...I'll keep you updated on the progress and will reveal the final product once it's completed!

I will finally be here on a Friday and will see you all tomorrow for VACATION FRIDAY!

Great weather weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2011

To all of you that live in California...I'm officially jealous! We got back from a wonderful trip to Ojai, CA last night and all I can think about today is how I miss the 80 degree days, 50 degree nights and sitting by a fireplace every evening.

I must admit, I have never been a HUGE fan of California, but I can say with confidence that Ojai has changed that. I was just going to the wrong areas! The mountains that surround the Ojai Valley Inn are breathtaking and the grounds are full of floral that are beautiful beyond words.
It was such a relaxing weekend. We hiked a lot and came upon many beautiful creeks and waterfalls. We enjoyed the insanely peaceful spa services and pool/hot tub at the resort and the delicious seafood. Our favorite thing was grabbing a glass of wine, sitting by the fire wrapped in our scarves, enjoying lots of girl talk and looking into the huge trees covered in beautiful lanterns hanging down providing the perfect amount of light.

It was an amazing weekend for an amazing person, my sister! If you have not been to this area of California...I highly recommend it! The people at the Ojai resort could not have been nicer and the feeling of ease you get while at the resort is one you get from very few places. The best thing...the coast is right down the street!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Happy Birthday Weekend to Annie!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm about to spend the weekend in Ojai with my mom and sister to celebrate my amazing, beautiful, loving sister Annie K! Annie, you are the most incredible friend anyone could ever ask for and I am the most blessed girl in the world to have you as my sister! You have been by my side my entire life and always seem to amaze me with your continuous love, strength and friendship. You are wonderfully beautiful inside and out!
I cannot WAIT to celebrate with you in OJAI! Love you with all my heart and soul and HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet sister!

Inspiring Ideas...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More pictures have come out of the 2011 Southern Living Idea House! Get ready to drool some more...it has so many unique touches and Southern Living has walked through each room and created 101 Inspiring Design Ideas from this home and have shared them with us. I cannot wait to visit this home next weekend! Just so you know, the laundry room is still my favorite room:). It's amazing!

Surf is up!

Monday, August 15, 2011

We had a wonderful weekend in Port A! We arrived Thursday night and went surfing first thing Friday morning. I don't have pictures, unfortunately, but it was my best surf day yet! I'm still learning and really haven't surfed beyond whitewash yet. Well, Friday morning was beautifully calm with waves that were slowly rolling near the end of the pier...perfect for scaredy-cat surfers, like me. At first, I was thinking no way...not ready, but I kept looking out there and it really did look calm. Also, a Roxy surf camp headed out there and my competitive side was thinking...if they can do it, I can do it :). We began to paddle and boy is it hard! I cannot imagine paddling that far when the waves are rough. We finally get out to the end of the pier and we can just sit on our boards as waves slowly roll under us while we wait for the next set. It's a very relaxing moment. Then, the next set comes and I am able to practice my "turn and go" which looks easier than it is, especially with a long board. I sat on the back of my board and slowly turned toward the shore. I was almost afraid to look back to see how large the wave was, but I did. It was a little scary, but is was so smooth...no whitewash and no roughness. I start paddling with all my might and feel the push of the smooth wave. I jump up and before I know it I'm surfing my first wave that is all face! I don't even realize what's really happening, I just keep surfing down the wave and as it turns to whitewash I take the wave close to the shore! BAM...I'm addicted! It truly is an amazing feeling, especially after spending a year getting pounded by whitewash. Now, if it's rough...will I head out to the end of the pier? No, probably not, but on days like Friday, I'll be out there all day. It was truly incredible. Thanks to my sweet husband for being a wonderfully patient coach. He's much, much better than I am and spent the whole morning helping me out. Surfing is tough, but exhilarating and hopefully I'll keep moving in the right direction. I'm still very sore from paddling...obviously the muscles I use for surfing have been on vacation for a while :).

After surfing, B and I headed to the Cinnamon Shore cafe, C. It was adorable and the coffee is delicious! We also got a goat cheese, pesto and tomato panini that was to die for! I feel at home when we visit Cinnamon Shore. As soon as we leave, I always want to go right back. The decor was amazing and the atmosphere is perfectly beachy and laid-back. We went back later that evening for gelato with the fam and it was delicious as well. We have a few pictures from the cafe that I have yet to upload and will share with you later this week.

Saturday morning B, Greg (B's little brother), and Julie Winn (Greg's girlfriend) woke up bright and early (4:15 AM) for a fishing trip. Yes, 4:15 am...for real! I know, I questioned it too...believe me. "B, are you sure he said we needed to be there by 5am...you don't think he meant 6am?" hahaha...Well, he was right and so we arrive at the dock at 5am, ready to fish:). The guide must know what he's doing because from 5:30-7:00am, each time one of us put a pole in the water, a fish would bite in a minute or less. We caught a total of 31 fish and probably 25 of those were caught in the first 2 hours! We did get to watch a beautiful sunrise and thank goodness the fish were biting or I would have been dead asleep. We caught a variety of fish...lots of speckled trout, a few red fish, a skip jack, a couple catfish (yuck!), and a mangrove snapper. We have lots of fish to eat over the next few weeks, so if you have some recipes, please share them!

We did a lot over the weekend, but we were able to relax Saturday afternoon and enjoy an amazing sunset on the beach. I read "Heat Wave" by Nancy Thayer and it was the perfect beach read. It's such a great book and a very quick read. It was recommended by a blog a read and I recommend it as well!

Hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend!

Paddle Boarding

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Austinites are known for loving outdoor activities, but, as you know, it's 107 degrees here, so it's difficult to get out and run or bike in the afternoon. You might be asking, "what does everyone do in 107 degree heat?" Well, we get on the water and cool off with a little stand up paddle boarding (SUP)! Town Lake/Lake Austin is right in the middle of the city and everyone flocks there in the summers. Thanks to Nick Matzorkis, founder of SUP ATX, Austinites can enjoy paddle boarding any day of the week. Nick brought SUP to Austin from Malibu. You can watch the fun journey they had here. I know many of you live on the coast and see this sport in action all the time, but I think it's great they brought the fun to the Colorado River! Austin has embraced the sport...it's a great workout, but more importantly, it's great fun!

Thank you SUP ATX for bringing a piece of the coast to Austin, TX!
SUP is a great way to see the city...

SUP is relaxing, good exercise and a great way to spend time with your dog!

I don't know about your dog, but I know Penny Lane would be swimming along beside me rather than standing on my board :).

We are off to Port A for the weekend! I finally get to visit R&R cafe at Cinnamon Shore! Hopefully, I will get a little surfing in (maybe some paddle boarding), some reading, and some delicious seafood. We are fishing Saturday morning and I hope to bring home lots of red fish to cook for weeks to come!

Have a great weekend!

Nautical lights

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dear all talented coastal decorators,

THANK YOU for sharing your brilliant ideas and talent with the world. You are a huge help to all the challenged decorators, like me. You save me from making terrible decisions when it comes to my nautical kitchen.

B and I are working on the very beginning stages of remodeling our kitchen. Nothing huge....just catching our little tired kitchen up with the times and adding a few nautical touches that B and I have come to love so much. I'm not great with decorating details. In fact, thinking about this kitchen and making decisions on every little detail can be very difficult for me. I'm not a decorator and will never claim to be one, so a remodel is a bit out of my comfort zone. So, I'm writing to all my amazingly talented blog friends that share nautical decoration inspiration every morning!

I say I don't like thinking about details, but for some odd reason I think a lot about the lights I'm going to put in our kitchen. I'm especially drawn to nautical lights (surprise, surprise), like these...

I know I like these lights, but how will I ever decide what to use and what looks good? Thank goodness for inspiring kitchens with nautical touches that I have found in blogs I follow...

Each of these kitchens use nautical lights in a the perfect way.

Continue to inspire and share ideas because you have no idea how much you are helping (ME) those out there who have trouble seeing the big picture and worrying about the small details...small details that make all difference in the finished product!