February 2017

Guest Bathroom Reveal

The Before…

A while back I showed you our guest bedroom, and today I am going to show you the guest bathroom.  When we purchased this house, the bathroom (well, the whole house really) was very outdated, had laminate floors, bad lighting, fake wood cabinets, and old school fluorescent enclosed lights, ya know, the whole nine yards.  However, it was a decent size.  Perfect for a guest bath.  This bathroom has a bedroom on either side of it.  One we use as our guest bedroom and the other the guest ‘lounge’, aka the man cave, tv and movie watching room, etc.  It is a room with many purposes, but when guests are here they use it as a living area.

I really don’t have a lot of ‘before’ pictures of this bathroom,  just these 2 below and one looks so yellowish even though the walls were white. I think that picture was from the real estate listing. Anyway, here they are…

Getting Started…

We started by gutting the whole space except for the toilet. And then it was left that way for what felt like forever, as we waited and waited and waited for everything else to get done.

Gutted empty guest bath
Gutted empty guest bath

The layout stayed the same but we turned the tub into a stand up shower with some beautiful river rock tiles, and replaced the floors, vanity, toilet and window.  Here are some in progress pictures.

The Reveal…

And here is how it looks today. (Not sure I’m diggin’ this mirror, but it works for now.)

And, one last before/after…

So, there you have it.  A nice updated bathroom.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

My Super Bowl Trip

I just got back from the most incredible trip.  My first Super Bowl!

Maybe my close friends are tired of hearing about my Super Bowl trip, but I don’t care.  I’m still on a ‘high’ from it. It was amazing.  Also, I really wanted to write a post about it while all the details are still fresh in my mind.  So here goes…..

When I met my husband (Chris) 17 years ago I learned he was a die-hard Patriots fan (as many people are in New England).  He grew up just two towns away from Foxboro in the town of Norwood, and his family had season tickets, which meant he grew up going to games.  He went to his first game was when he was 8.  Later he would split the season tickets with his dad and go to ALL the games, and they still go to this day.  Even after we moved to Naples he continues to fly up to MA for every home game, although he has missed a few here and there.  That means he’s been going to games for over 40 years and his family has been season ticket holders for 47 years.  He has been to all 9 of the Patriots’ Super Bowl’s, including the one in 1985 against the Bears, and 1996 against Green Bay (both of which we lost, by the way) and not just the more recent ‘Tom Brady, Bill Belichick’ ones. Needless to say he is a huge fan.

Chris and John Hannah (Patriots, Offensive Guard), 1984
Chris and John Hannah (Patriots, Offensive Guard), 1984

When the Patriots beat the Steelers back in 2001 to advance to the Super Bowl, we had a party at our condo.  As soon as they won, my husband was on the phone with his dad making plans to go to Louisiana.  I remember thinking, WOW, he means business. I also remember thinking, WOW he has had a few too many beers.  But he wasn’t going to bed until he had a flight and hotel room booked.  He was going to that game no matter what.  And he did.

And he did the same with all the other Super Bowls that the Patriots have been too.

Chris and his dad, Super Bowl XXXVI, 2001
Chris and his dad, Super Bowl XXXVI, 2001

I tell you all this just so you get the picture of what a super fan he is.  He loves football.  He played it his whole life and in college and even went on to become a head college football coach at Curry College in MA and then the Defensive Coordinator at MIT, and still continues to coach as the Special Teams coach for a local high school team here in Naples.

This year after the Patriots beat the Steelers to go to the Super Bowl, his dad told him to take me.  He’d been to enough games and said, ‘take your wife this time’.  Lucky me!  Thanks father-in-law!  I don’t claim to be as die hard a fan as my husband (or his father), but I grew up watching games too and after I met him have become a huge fan.  Needless to say when he told me I was going, I was ecstatic.  Who wouldn’t want to go to the Big Game?

Over the years my husband has upgraded his season tickets to club level seats at Gillette Stadium, and as such he gets 2 automatic Super Bowl tickets.  These tickets were decent but we were able to upgrade those to the most incredible seats ever.  We were on the 45 yard line, 14 rows from the field.  These seats did not suck!  They were amazing.

The Game….

The hardest part of the trip was having to wait all day for the game.

We went early to find parking and hang out a little before hand.  It was a huge party.  There were bands playing, food trucks, all the tv stations and big time announcers there.  It was so much fun.  We went into the stadium around 4pm, for a 5:30 kickoff.  Different time zone.  I just wanted to get to our seats!

Expectations were high, of course, as the Patriots were favored to win, so when the score at the half was 28 – 3, things were not looking good.  I was determined though to enjoy myself win or lose, and just soak in the experience.  Yes it would suck big time if they lost, but I was lucky enough to be there and I was going to try to enjoy every minute.

The Lady Gaga half time show was great.  She was amazing.  My husband on the other hand was freaking out the entire half time.  He kept saying, thats it, it’s more than likely over.  The coach in him was thinking ‘it is mathematically close to impossible based on the clock and number of possessions for both teams for the Patriots to come back from that big of a deficit’.  I thought differently and was trying to cheer him up.  Ya just never know.  Miracles do happen!  Things started to turn around and they scored a touchdown, but then missed the extra point.  Then Atlanta got the ball back and I said to my husband, ‘if only they could get a turn-over right now’!  And guess what, they got a freakin’ turn-over.  And then a touchdown.  And then a 2 point conversion.  And then that cray cray, totally amazing Edelman catch, another touchdown and another two point conversion to tie up the game.  What?  The place was going absolutely crazy. They had done the impossible.  The unheard of.  It was the biggest come back in Super Bowl history.  Everyone was freaking out, screaming, cheering, and some people were even crying a little (and by some people I mean me).  Then overtime (the first overtime in Super Bowl history) and then we scored the final and winning touchdown.  IT. WAS. AMAZING!  Confetti flying everywhere, the team celebrating on the field, the crowd going absolutely insane, more tears, strangers hugging and high-fiving each other, my husband and I hugging and screaming.  It was the best game ever and one of the most incredible things I’ve ever had the privilege to witness.  I feel so lucky to have been there.

To say my husband was happy they won is an understatement.

Patriots win the Super Bowl
Patriots win the Super Bowl

Post Game…

We stayed for the Lombardi presentation, of course.  When Comissioner Goodell came out the boos were so loud.  It was a collective F.U. to him for the 4 game Brady suspension, which most people thought was an unfair punishment for that stupid alleged ‘Deflategate’ scandal.  Then the Kraft speech and the Brady speech.  More tears from me as they showed Brady on the big screen with tears in his eyes.

Then we met up with some friends at the Patriots post game party.  Again, I am so lucky to have been able to go to this.  We scored tickets from a friend at the very last minute (they were meant for his client who decided not to go), and it was awesome.  Live music from John Legend, Old Dominion and PitBull.  Open bar, food, fans and players walking around celebrating.  We finally left around 3am and the party wasn’t even close to being over.  I think they may have even had more music acts planned.

We then had to walk like 2 miles to get to our car.  Back to the hotel around 3:45 am.  I haven’t stayed out that late in a LONG time.  I try to sleep with no success.  We turn the tv on to watch the replays and the news reports.  They all agreed it was one of the best Super Bowls in history.  Doze off for a little while but then have to get up and get ready to go to the airport.  Back to reality.  So exhausted but so worth it!

Thank you to my mom for watching our kids and to my father-in-law for letting me go AND for watching the kids too.

Now, I know all of you reading this might not feel as happy as we did about the outcome of the game, but this is my team and we support them always.  In good times and bad.  Just like you support yours.  I know how people feel about the Patriots saying we are cheaters, but you can’t deny that we had the best comeback in the history of the Super Bowl, and the best winning percentage of the 21st Century, and the most Super Bowl championships of the 21st Century – 5!  You just can’t.

Oh, and number 6 is next year in Minneapolis.  Go Pats!!!!!

Adding an Aquarium to our Living Room…

An Aquarium?  In our Living Room?

I must admit I was VERY skeptical about adding an aquarium to our living space.  I mean, they are not exactly an interior designer’s dream.  Am I right?  You don’t usually see them in pictures of living rooms in the home design magazines or on the design tv shows, unless they are the super fancy ones like on the show Tanked.  But, my husband and boys really wanted one, so I reluctantly agreed.  And I am happy that I did.

Since we don’t have the kind of money to invite the TV show Tanked into our home to build an amazing, huge and super cool aquarium, we had to settle on one we found at PetSmart.  It is a 55 gallon tank, which is a pretty good size.

The first thing we had to do was build the stand that you see in the below picture to hold the tank.  My husband saves everything, so we had the cabinets (which we previously used as a seating bench in our old kitchen), the legs (which are leftover rails from our staircase railing), and even the screws to attach them.  Score!  When my husband said he was going to build this cabinet, I was skeptical, but it doesn’t look half bad and there is plenty of room in it to hold all the fish tank supplies.

We took the kids to the pet store to help us pick out the stuff that goes into the tank, i.e. the plants and decor.  Of course they both went straight for the SpongeBob stuff.  We let them pick out a few ‘kid’ things and then my husband and I picked out some ‘grown up’ stuff.

Here is how it looks, complete with a mini Bikini Bottom (that’s where SpongeBob lives, for those without kids and who don’t watch SpongeBob) including SpongeBob’s pineapple home, Squidward’s house and the Crusty Crab. LOL!!!…

Filling the tank…  

We didn’t know this, being fish tank newbies, but you need to fill the tank with fresh water, not tap.  Well, you can use tap water but then you have to treat it with chemicals and then there is a waiting period before you can add fish, and we were all anxious to add the fish.  So, what do you do when you need 55 gallons of fresh water?  You go to Sam’s Club and buy 10 cases of water to fill the tank.  OMG!  It took a while, and there were bottles everywhere, but we got the job done.

Here it is filled with water and waiting for fish.

We waited over night before we went back to the pet store to pick out our fish.  We decided to go with freshwater fish vs. saltwater fish.  Again, we are newbies and apparently salt water fish are not for newbies.  Salt water fish are prettier and larger (and way more expensive too), but we managed to find some colorful and pretty freshwater fish.  The experts say to only add a few fish to the tank at a time to see how they do and so they can acclimate to the tank.  We each picked one for a total of 4 fish.

We’ve had them for a few weeks now and none of them have died or eaten each other!  Whew!  The kids and the cats are fascinated by them. And, I have to admit, the tank looks better than I thought.

Here is one final look,

Do you have a fish tank?  Do you love it or hate it? Any advice for us?