Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Projects: Closet Makeover

Happy Monday Folks!

It's been over a year since we moved into our home and I have yet to share any house updates with you. Truth is, we've made a lot of progress since we moved in, and I plan to share a whole lot more with you in the upcoming weeks and months.

I'm going to start today with a small project we took on this weekend: A makeover of our master closet.

When we moved in, I was excited to finally have a closet big enough to contain all of our stuff. The apartment we lived in immediately after our wedding had tiny closets, which meant our clothes were divided between the master bedroom, the guest bedroom and the downstairs linen closet. A walk-in was a definite upgrade.

We didn't do much to the closet when we moved in, outside of loading it with clothing, shoes and all of the miscellaneous things that didn't have a home anywhere else. But I have always dreamed of a cozy closet that really feels like an extension of the bedroom, and knew that eventually I'd want to make some changes.

What really prompted the design of the new closet was a cedar chest that was recently passed down to me. My dad made this chest for my mom before they got married, and it has been used to house pictures, documents and other memories ever since. When it came into my hands, I knew I wanted to display it beautifully and still let it stand out for the piece it is. I didn't want it buried among other furniture, taking away from the specialness of it. (yes, specialness is a word, at least for my purposes here)

I thought it would be a perfect piece in the closet with a couple of pillows to create a mock seating area along the back wall of the closet, and from there I let the inspiration flow.

Here's the closet before:

Don't judge how messy it is. I wasn't going to clean it up right before completely redoing the whole thing.

This wall unit held t-shirts, shorts and workout gear before the re-do.

To begin, we emptied out everything in that space, doing some spring fall cleaning as we went. We then pulled down that wire shoe rack along the back wall, pulled out any miscellaneous brackets that were still in the closet walls (and there were a few) and spackled in all of the holes that were left. Where the shelving unit was, I removed the doors to create an open space for shoes and accessories. Once dry, the spackle was sanded down and we began to paint. It's hard to tell in pictures, but the before color was an odd light yellow and the color we ended up with was a much warmer beige that just feels cozier in that space.

Once the walls were painted, I moved the cedar chest onto the back wall, hung a large mirror above it, and added some throw pillows for color and comfort. From there, it was just a matter of rehanging clothes, putting shoes on the new open shelving unit, and reorganizing the miscellaneous stuff that was once housed in that space. The only thing left to do is add a tension rod above where my boots currently live to house scarves, belts and other accessories.

Here's our after:

Overall, I am thrilled with the outcome, and even more thrilled with the cost. Because we had all the paint and decor we needed on hand, this project was totally free to us. Next project, the guest room. I can't wait.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What I'm Looking Forward to This Fall

I don't know if you've all caught on, but we are officially 17 days away from the official start of Fall, my absolute favorite season of the year. Sure, other seasons have their redeeming qualities. You can't beat Christmas in the winter, and beach time certainly belongs to Summer, but oh how Fall has my heart.

Let's be honest, Fall looks nothing like this where I live, but it's okay. A girl can dream.
Now, living in Florida, Fall is short lived. It's realy just an extension of Summer with slightly cooler breezes and less threat of a Hurricane stampeding down our door. But that fall smell coupled with the excuse to once again wear boots and chunky sweaters; yes please, sign me up.

This fall, I've got some exciting things coming up that I am just so excited for.

1) This girl's bachelorette cruise.

Throwback to my wedding last year

Even further throwback to college

November 1, I will be setting sail for the Bahamas from Miami for a lovely 2 night cruise to celebrate this gorgeous lady's upcoming nuptials in March. Our little group of girls is going to have so much fun, and I just cannot wait for November to roll around.

2) My birthday.

I'll be 24 on November 9 - old lady I swear :), and already have some things on my wishlist this time around. Luckily I have such a loving husband who will just do anything for me, right honey? (I can already hear the crickets now)

3)This sweet girl's bridal weekend.

She may kill me for this throwback :)

I am so blessed to be able to celebrate not only one, but two of my closest friends weddings early next year. I've known this girl since I was practically a toddler and am so glad to get to share in her wedding and festivities.

Of course, I'm looking forward to the obvious things as well. The holiday season getting underway, the deliciously rich foods that are really only appropriate post September 22, all of it. I'm so ready. Bring it on, Fall.

What are you looking forward to the most about this Fall?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tybee Island Vacation Recap

Back to life... Back to reality

We are back home after a long weekend in Tybee Island. We ate, we explored, we relaxed. It was the perfect vacation and came at just the perfect time. We drove up Friday afternoon after Anthony got off work and arrived on the island just in time to meet up with Anthony's family for a late dinner and a couple of drinks.

Saturday morning, we walked over to the beach and spent a couple of hours lounging around and playing in the water. The weather was beautiful, and the water was calm, much to Anthony's disappointment. He was hoping for at least some sort of swell so he could get some surfing  in while he was there. Oh well, he just had to hang out with me instead. My only disappointment was that the beaches were dog free, meaning Obi has still not experienced the ocean. Sheltered pup, that one.

Later that afternoon, we hit the pier for some easy fishing. We dropped our lines, and it seemed to be a slow day for everyone already there. Within 15 minutes I had a bite, and my line was running. Stupidly, I reached for my rod, grabbing it up by the line, and the running line sliced right through my fingers. Brilliant, I know. Either way, I had a big catch, the biggest of the day, and though it got away, I gave everyone on the pier a show.

For dinner Saturday evening, we hit up a little gem in Tybee Island called The Crab Shack. The food was delicious, all low country style boils and steamed seafood. But what made this place so great was really the atmosphere. There were alligators and exotic birds to see, indoor seating as well as water-side outdoor seating, and a variety fun things to look at. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend this place. 

I also recommend The Tybee Island Social Club, where we later stopped for dessert and coffee. We sampled their warm bacon fudge brownie and Irish coffee, while listening to the live band perform. This place was a more upscale cafe, with incredible looking drinks and a delicious looking dinner menu. It's on my agenda to hit this place up for dinner next time we're in the  area.

Sunday, we took a short trip into Savannah to hit up the city's highlights (The City Market, Forsyth Park, The River Walk, etc.) My favorite way to get around is always to hoof it all the way. I believe there's so much you can miss along the way, especially in old cities, when you take any other mode of transportation. You miss the little details in the architecture that really give a city character when you don't take the time to really walk the streets. So walk we did. A lot. In some really lovely heat. But it was so entirely worth it. 

To cool off on the way back, we stopped at a little place called The Beer Growler. The Beer Growler is a draft beer location that sells to-go bottles of the beers on tap, which can later be refilled at any growler location. Such a fun concept, but unfortunately the only locations are currently in Georgia. Whoever wants to franchise these in Florida, let me know. 

We finished Sunday evening with a Labor Day fireworks show on the beach. Ah, how I love fireworks. It was perfect.

We finished the vacation Monday with a trip to the Tybee Island lighthouse and Fort Screvens. The 178 steps to the top were a small price to pay for the gorgeous views. I was so glad to get to experience the history of Tybee Island in such a beautiful way.

All in all, this vacation was a total success. I always tell Anthony I'm  looking for two things in every vacation we plan. History and good food. And I certainly got to check both of those boxes this weekend. We're all worn out, so now it's just time to relax before heading back to the real world tomorrow.

How did you spend your Labor Day weekend?