Our Trip to Wine Country…

I can’t believe that yesterday was my boys first day back to school!  3rd and 5th grade?  WHAT?  Craaazzzeeee! How did summer fly by so damn fast?   I also can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since June 1st (which was my boys last day of school). Oops!   🙁

Things just get busy when they are around all day and we traveled quite a bit this summer, and we didn’t get much stuff done around the house!  So since I dont have any rooms or projects to write about I thought I’d tell you about the trip that we took at the beginning of June to wine country.

A good friend was turning 40 and she is a big wine drinker.  I mean, she loves the stuff (and so do I) as you can see from this wine cork project and this wine bottle one too. So what better place to celebrate a big birthday then California wine country?

I had been to Napa before, twice.  Once when I was 14 years old and couldn’t truly appreciate it.  And once when I was in my early 20’s (but it was only a quick day trip).  Needless to say I was very excited to go again.

4 couples went.  We rented a house in Glen Ellen which was fantastic. The property was amazing.  The house had a pool and hot tub, a beautiful piece of land, bocce ball, corn hole, other games, a well stocked kitchen, was adorably decorated, was in a great location and had a winery right next door. We spent a lot of time at the house when we weren’t out at the wineries.

Day one…

We had a limo pick us up and take us to Napa for a jam packed day of visiting wineries.  Smart move since we knew we’d be drinking wine all day.  We got picked up at 9am.  Our first stop was Domaine Carneros for a champagne tasting.  In Napa it’s okay to have champagne for breakfast. 😉 It was a perfect way to start our day. The property was gorgeous and the tour/tasting was really fun.

Next up was Honig, a smaller vineyard but equally pretty. We did a private tasting there as well.  (Side note, I was at the dentists office recently reading O magazine and saw this winery featured.) Anyway, it was amazing and the wine was great and we got to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather. Coming from Naples where it is 92 degrees everyday and 100% humidity and going to Napa where it was 50’s in the morning then warmed up to 70’s was a welcome change.

After our tasting, we ate a quick lunch, and then we headed to Peju Winery for another private tasting.  What a gorgeous property!  Our tour guide was a little over the top, but the wine was delicious and we did have a lot of laughs.

Then we headed to Rutherford. Again, wow, beautiful property. No private tasting there but we did grab a bottle of red and one white and just sat in the beautiful courtyard for a bit.  It was getting late though and we wanted to try to hit one more winery, Sterling, and I am so glad we did.  One of the couples we were with had been before and convinced us we needed to check it out.  So we grabbed our unfinished bottles from Rutherford for the limo ride and headed there. And guess what? Sterling was probably my favorite winery of the day!  You have to take a gondola to the top and once you get up there it’s like….WOW, holy crap this is amazing.  The views are unreal and the wine is tasty too. It is one of my favorites.  It was a great place to end a completely awesome and fun day!

We had the limo from 9-6pm and we used up every second.  I think we got back to the house at 5:58.  That night we cooked dinner at the house and hung out in the hot tub drinking more wine and having tons of laughs.  It was fabulous.

Day 2…

We had a private tasting scheduled at Kunde in Sonoma and it was AMAZING.  We started in a private room, then toured the inside of the mountain (where they store their barrels), then headed up the mountain on a tour bus.  We stopped a few times along the way as our guide explained about the grapes, the winery, the wine, etc. and made our way to the top where there was an outdoor bar area for us to try more wines.  It was chilly and windy up there so they gave us blankets, but oh my goodness the views were breathtaking and the wine was so damn good.

After this tour we found a local place for lunch, then headed back to our house.  Later, we walked next door to the small vineyard called Loxton Cellars.  This place was super small but really cool and it was awesome to be able to walk to it.  We had a quick tasting bought a few bottles and sat outside and drank them.  Then we headed back to the house again to just hang out.

Day 3…

Our last day.  🙁

We started out at Matanzas Creek Winery.  The property here is so gorgeous and is known for it’s fields of lavendar, which weren’t in full bloom but gorgeous nonetheless.  We did a quick tasting here then walked around the property for a while.

We then headed to lunch and walked around Sonoma for a little bit.  Then to another tasting scheduled at Chateau St Jean.  Another stunning place.  Wow.  We sat outside for our tasting and then the clouds rolled in and it started pouring and we even saw hail!

After this we went home packed up our stuff and headed to dinner in downtown Glen Ellen.  My husband and I were heading to the airport straight from dinner, taking the red eye out of San Fran while the others all had flights in the morning.  Coming back from California is always a drag. You either fly all day or all night.  Anyway after a delicious dinner at the Glen Ellen Starr we headed to the airport. We weren’t sure how much traffic we’d hit but it was fine and we got there with plenty of time to spare.

Overall, we had THE BEST time and I am so glad we were able to go.  My husband was apprehensive to leave the kids for 4 days, but they did just fine with my mother and we had such a great time!  I want to go back again soon since there is SO MUCH to see.  I would love to make this an annual event!

Have you ever been to this area?  What was your favorite winery?

A Guide to Surviving Summer…

June 1, 2017….I can’t believe today is the last day of school for my boys.  Onto 3rd and 5th grade!  WHAT?  How did that happen?  This year sure flew by.

Last day of school means a neighborhood party with bouncy water slides, pizza, swimming, and the kids running wild.  And later the annual last day of school beach party that we’ve been going to since my oldest was in kindergarten.  How lucky are we???

It seems like June 1st is awfully early to be getting out of school, but we start in mid-August.  When I was growing up in Massachusetts school didn’t start until the day after Labor Day, and then usually didn’t get out until mid to late June, depending on how many snow days we had.  Things are different here in Florida.

Summer, summer, summer time…

Anyway, now that they will be home everyday we have to find things to do.  We have several vacations planned for July, and the boys are signed up for a few different camps but, they will be home a lot too.  I thought I’d put together a list of items to help us all get through the summer.

Pool Time…

We are lucky enough to have a pool and since it is so hot here in Florida we use it a lot.

Check out these fun pool slides from Home Depot. These are only sold online.  Our pool does not have a slide so I plan to order one of these.


Aqua Launch Slide


Cosmic Pool Water Slide

And who wouldn’t want to float around on this fun Lobster?


Luxe Lie-On Lobster Float, Red

from: One Kings Lane

Outdoor Fun…

Get the kids outside away from their iPads or PlayStations!  These are some of our favorite outdoor games.


Wildon Home Select 6 Player Croquet Set

from: Wayfair


Corn Hole Bean Bag Toss Game Set

from: Wayfair


48 Piece Giant Block Tower Game Set Size: 24″ H x 7.5″ W x 7.5″ D

from: Wayfair


5 Piece Kan Jam Game Set

from: Wayfair


LED Light Up Flying Ultimate Disc

from: Wayfair

Outdoor Relaxing…

After all this swimming and playing, its time for some relaxing.


Ava Canvas Hammock with Stand Color: Green/Blue/Teal

from: Wayfair


Pumpkin Swing Chair with Stand Color: Bark Brown

from: Wayfair

Teacher Gifts…

If your kids are still in school and you are looking for a unique teacher gift.  Check out this site.  I wish I had found it earlier.

Refresh Glass - Wine Bottles into Glasses and More!

I hope these items help you get through these long summer days!  Enjoy!!

 

Console Table Redo…

Are you guys getting sick of all my DIY painted furniture projects?  I hope not cause here is another one.  I would like to present my console table redo. 😉

Changing up this old table…

This console table is pretty old.  It used to have a TV on top of it for years, until we moved into the House house and started using it as an actual console table.  Except, it didn’t match anything once I painted all our other old dark wood furniture.  So, guess what I did?  Yup, I painted it.  But I added a map to the top to make it a little different.  Here is how I did my console table redo.

console table before
console table before

Step 1, the map…

I’ve been wanting to add a map to a piece of furniture after seeing a few projects on Pinterest that I liked, and thought what better place than my console table redo.  I started searching for one and was having trouble finding a map that fit.  This table is 42″ long and they don’t really make maps that big, at least none that I could find.  I did however find this stuff called a ‘project roll’ at Joann’s (see pic below).  It is almost like wrapping paper, except a little thicker. Bonus, it was on sale for $2.99! It still wasn’t long enough though so I had to cut it to size.  I mean, it was plenty long, as you can see below, only the map kept repeating itself and everytime it repeated there was a border. After brainstorming a bit, I decided to cut off the top and bottom border and then the middle border too. I had to overlap where I cut off the border, by matching up the exact location on the map.  Sounds complicated but it wasn’t.

It looked like this, see below.  You can see that the continents repeat but you can’t really see where I cut the border off and glued it back together.  I wanted North America to be in the middle, but as you can see there are 2 Asia’s, Europe’s, Africa’s, etc., one on either side.

First I used an exacto knife to cut it down, then I used the actual console table as a template and some scissors to make sure it fit perfectly.

Step Two, Painting…

Since I still had some leftover, I used this same blue that I used to paint this bar area shown below, and these bar stools.  It is also the same color as our dining room.

 

I brought the table outside to my “workshop”, aka the covered lanai, and started painting it.  I gave the top one coat and the rest three.  I wanted the top to be blue underneath the map since I cut the map so there is a slight border, maybe 1/8″ all the way around.

Step 3, Adding the Map…

To add the map to the table, I used Mod Podge to glue it in place.  I started at one end and slowly kept appling glue to the table top and then slowly sticking the map to the table.  Once it was all glued I tried to smooth out any bubbles.

Once dry, I applied 2 more coats of Mod Podge on top of the map to seal it, then 3 coats of Sealer. I used Minwax, Water Based Polycrylic Clear Finish.  I have to admit that all the bubbles on the top were freaking me out!  I kept smoothing them down with a rolling pin and my fingers, and the edge of a spatula, but some of them were stubborn.  I even popped a few with a pin.  I kept thinking, OMG what did I do, this looks terrible.  Anyway, after it sat and dried overnight all the bubbles magically disappeared! Whew!!!

And,that is pretty much it!  Overall, I really like how it came out.  Using left over paint and other materials in our garage, it only took me a couple of hours and a couple of dollars to do!  The only thing I had to buy was the map, and that only cost $2.99!

Here are some more before/after shots.  I styled it using the same stuff as before; a collection of shells, white vases and a shadow box that my bridesmaids made me the year I got married of all our wedding memorabilia.

What do you guys think?  Do you have any projects to share with me?

Our Year in Review…

A recap of our first year in the House house…

To all my mamma readers out there, I truly hope you had great Mother’s Days!  Mine was great. I got some nice gifts from my husband and kids, including a coupon book from my 10 year old for free hugs and other cute things, and my husband made breakfast (which hardly EVER happens).  My mother lives close by and my mother-in-law was visiting, so we took an all day boat ride with the kids.  It was a great day.

Anyway, speaking of Mother’s Day, I can’t believe that this Mother’s Day marked our one year anniversary of moving into the House house.  One year!  What?  That sure flew by. I thought I’d write up a year in review post to recap all the things we’ve done this year.  So much has happened inside and outside of the house, and there is still more to do.  Being a home owner is a never ending process.  Constantly decorating, rearranging, maintaining, stuff like that. Right?

So far in the past year, I’ve revealed; the kitchen, living room, dining room, guest bedroom, laundry room, and guest bathroom.  There are many more rooms that still need ‘revealing’ that I’ll get to eventually. Some are still not reveal-worthy in my opinion.  😉

Projects…

Also, in the past year I’ve been busy becoming a furniture refinisher/painter/updater/DIYer and have painted and refinished lots of our old furniture.  For example this dining table, these bar stools, this bar area, and our kitchen bar area too (what, doesn’t every house have 2 bar area’s??), my husband built this pallet fence, and also a few other items I never even posted anything about.  AND, I’ve got a few more pieces that I plan to tackle too.

Other stuff…

We got through out first Halloween here and handed out 14 JUMBO bags of candy.  It was crazy.  We live on the main road so had lots and lots and LOTS of trick or treaters.

We also survived our First Christmas here and I even wrote a whole post about these amazing balls (hehehe balls) that I made, and these easy wine bottles.  People warned us about living here during Christmas time.  You need to decorate your house to the nines and the traffic can get out of control.  People come from all over the place to drive through here to see the lights for pretty much the whole month of December, including tour buses and golf carts from all over not only from our neighborhood, but neighboring ones too.  Christmas Eve was crazy.  There is so much traffic that the cars go about 2 miles per hour through here.  If you see a friend in their car passing your house, you can literally have a full conversation with them as they are driving by. Many nights we had beers/wine/drinks with a fire pit and some friends in the front yard and we loved every minute of it.  Yes it is a HUGE pain in the ass putting up, and especially taking down, all the decorations, but it was all worth it.

Other random stuff…

We added an aquarium and have had many fish funerals since.  Oops! But most of the fish are surviving and many are going strong and getting huge.  Its been a bit of a learning curve figuring out which fish get along and won’t eat each other.

My husband and I went to the Super Bowl and had quite the experience.

Overall we’ve had a great year here.  It is so nice being in a neighborhood with so many kids and so many great parents too.  We look forward to many more years in the House house.

Playhouse Makeover

Check out what our neighbors did with another neighbors old playhouse they were giving away.

Y’all know I love a good makeover and upcycling story as I’ve done of lot of makoever-ing and upcycling myself.  As much as I’d love to be able to throw away all my old furniture and get all new stuff, it isn’t happening at the House house, at least not right now.  So since we’ve moved in here I’ve painted and/or updated a lot of our old stuff.  Like my dining room table, these old bar stools, some left over wood pallets, and even these wine corks just to name a few.  Anyway, I thought I’d show you how my neighbors made over this old playhouse.   Yay for makoevers!

Before…

Here is the before picture of the playhouse.  Our neighbor’s 2 girls had outgrown it so they passed it off to our neighbors across the street who’s little girl just turned 2.  It is the perfect size for her.  It was cute before, but definitely had seen better days.  The stain was fading from the sides and the blue trim was looking a little dull.

Kids Playhouse, Before
Kids Playhouse, Before

What they did…

This wasn’t a difficult project, just time consuming.

After they got it home (they live just 2 houses away from each other) they (mostly Bob, the dad) started working on it.

First, he sanded the sides and roof using a hand sander.  This took some time.  These projects are never ‘quick’, especially when you work full time and have 2 kids at home.

Once that was finished, he re-stained the sides and roof to freshen it up. He used a different color stain for both.

Lastly, he painted the trim and door purple (their daughters favorite color) and the accents pink.  He also got creative with the door and used a piece of wainscoting to fill in the bottom half.

Overall this was not to difficult and look how stinkin’ cute it came out!

I think it’s safe to say their daughter loves it.  Look how happy she is in it! And guess what, my boys like it too (and they are 8 and 10), and this little one’s brother (who is 9) and all the neighborhood kids.  They’ve been over there playing in it, even though some of them barely fit.

See what you can do with a little elbow grease and some creativity? And it saved them lots of money not having to buy a new house. These playhouses are not cheap!  Good job neighbors!

Check out one last before/after…

Featuring a Friends Amazing Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Makeover….

My friend (Jamie) redesigned her kitchen and it is so gorgeous I just had to share it with y’all.  Jamie and her family live in my neighborhood and bought their house several years ago.  As I’ve mentioned before, most of the homes in this neighborhood were built in the 80’s and many have not been updated ever, or for a very long time.  Jamie is in the design business and has amazing taste and style.  She and her handy husband did a lot of the work themselves, and were able to complete their kitchen makeover without the huge price tag.

If you missed the post about my own kitchen reveal you can find it here.

The Before…

First, let’s take a look at the kitchen before pictures. She didn’t have a whole lot of them to share, but you get the idea.  Here was the kitchen when they bought the house.  Nice, but a little outdated, dark and just sort of blah.

The After… 

Pretty different, wouldn’t you say?

The Details…

They replaced all the cabinets and installed a classic subway tile backsplash.  The gorgeous countertop is a honed Calcutta Apuano marble with 3 waterfall edges.  The cabinetry hardware is from School House Electric, the pendant lighting is Kitchler, and the sconce above the sink is Hudson Valley lighting.  They put up custom shiplap from sheets of plywood that they ripped to size, painted, and installed. They handmade the gorgeous barn doors from Brazilian wood that were former car pallets.  So cool.  (I really wish we had installed some barn doors somewhere in the House house, but I digress.)

They installed French doors, where there used to be a window, that leads out to the back yard.  The beautiful and cozy banquette was also custom made by Jamie’s husband. The art above the banquette is a DIY that features a beautiful indigo textile covered by acrylic sheets.  The lantern above the dining table is from Visual Comfort.

Pretty nice job they did, huh?  I just love their style!  What do you guys think?

Jamie and family are moving away, unfortunately.  But, they were able to sell this house (not surprisingly) very quickly.  Who wouldn’t want to cook in this kitchen?

Fun Friday Finds

Check out these fun items I found for you…..

How adorable is this coral colored rug for your coastal home?

Bethany Indoor/Outdoor Rug – $47.99

from: Wayfair

A 9 piece outdoor dining set?  I could use one of these.  Love this one.


9-Piece Alfredo Patio Dining Set – $1,540.99

from: Wayfair

I’ve always wanted one of these.  They look so comfy.


Arbor Swing Chair with Stand Color: Peridot – $559.99

from: Wayfair

Or, this is a much cheaper option.

Parker Woven Cotton Chair Hammock – $54.99

from: Wayfair

I love this wreath!  Classic and will go with any style.


Classic Elegance / Preserved Boxwood Wreath – $42.50

from: Decor Steals

Some fun beachy art.


Umbrella 4 Piece Framed Photographic Print Set – $53.85

from: Wayfair

Refinishing Bar Stools to Look New Again

A weekend DIY project…

I posted these refinished bar stools on social media and people seemed to like them, so I thought I’d put together a short tutorial on how I refinished them.

We inherited these hunter green bars stools from a house we bought and then later sold.  The previously home owners had left them.  I’ve wanted to refinish them ever since, and I finally did it! Here is how….

Refinished Bar Stools, Before
Refinished Bar Stools, Before

Dealing with the legs…

First, we took the tops off.  These are the kind of stools that spin around.  The hardware needed some WD40 anyway since some of them didn’t spin so great anymore. My husband took care of that while I did the rest.

I started by lightly sanding the stools legs.  I just wanted to scuff them up a bit so the paint would have something to stick to.

Then, I spray painted the legs using this Valspar paint with a built in primer.  I used one whole can per chair, and even bought an extra can, just in case, and used that whole can too doing touch ups. I flipped them upside down, sprayed, waited for them to dry, and then flipped them right side up and did the same, to make sure I didn’t miss any spots.

Dealing with the Tops…

I sanded the tops thinking that I’d try to stain them the same color as the top of this refinished table I did a while ago.  However, they looked terrible!  They just weren’t taking the stain the same way the table did.  We have a lot of left over paint in the garage, so I took a look and decided to use the wall color from our dining room instead of the stain.  And yes, that looked much better!  You can see in the picture below the one top I hadn’t yet painted.  Looked terrible, right? That was with at least 2 coats of stain. Maybe if I keep adding layers of stain it would have looked better?  I dunno. I didn’t think so.

Painting the tops of the stools
Painting the tops of the stools

After I painted all of them I was thinking, hmmmm, it needs something more. They seemed a little boring.  So off to Hobby Lobby I went looking for a stencil.  I originally was looking for a shell, preferably a starfish, but they didn’t have one.  Then I found this anchor and thought, bingo.

Back to our garage I went to figure out what color to use for the stencil.  I was going to use white but decided to use TopSail, which is the color in our living room, and such a pale blue that it looks almost white.  After they dried there were a few spots that needed to be touched up, which I did using a small paintbrush.  Easy peasy and they don’t look half bad!

Refinished Bar Stools, After
Refinished Bar Stools, After

Last but not least…

I added a few coats of polyurethane to prevent any chipping.  I was told to use water based, instead of oil based, to prevent yellowing.  We’ll see how it holds up.

I really like how they came out and they will be perfect for extra seating when we are entertaining. Also, the kids like to sit in these stools in front of the aquarium and check out the fish.

I’ve got a table to tackle next.  Stay tuned for that.  I hope you found this helpful.

Pallet Flag Fence

What to do with leftover pallets…

A while back I wrote a post about all the cool projects friends made with the leftover pallets from our renovation.  We saved some for ourselves too, and went back and forth with different ideas on what to do with them.  Here is what we finally used them for.

We have a very large backyard and we love it.  Last summer we put pavers down in the back section to make a sports area for the kids, and a sitting, fire pit area for the adults.  However, a piece (a triangle really) of the neighbors yard sticks into the back corner of this section.  This area of their yard is basically overgrown weeds.  To section it off my husband used the bunch of pallets, leftover from our renovation, as a makeshift fence.  It looked kind of cool and rustic, but he had an even better idea.  He wanted to paint it to look like a flag.  A pallet flag fence?  I must admit, I was like,”huh, what”?  I didn’t really see his vision, but he did, so I told him to go for it.

Neighbors area, before fence

The Tutorial…

Here is how he did it.  It is pretty self explanatory, but I’ll elaborate anyway.

  1. Buy some red, white, and blue paint.
  2. Lay all the pallets on the grass and start painting.
  3. Alternate red or white paint, and then paint 3 slats blue. We used 9 pallets and painted the first 4 with 3 slats of blue.

Once it was all painted and dried he put up the fence to see how it looked.

pallet flag fence before stars
pallet flag fence before stars

Not bad!  But we both agreed that it needed stars to make it really look like a flag.  So my husband cut out a star stencil and he got back to work.

Adding stars to our pallet flag fence
Adding stars to our pallet flag fence

And viola, here is how it looks now….Not a bad way to use up all those old pallets.

What do y’all think?

 

Living Room Reveal

Our Living Room…Before and After…

I’m back after a month hiatus.  Why so long?  Where was I?  Well, my mother-in-law was here for 10 days, then 4 of my high school girlfriends came for a long weekend.  We had SO MUCH FUN.  Then my boys had Spring Break and we went to Key Largo for 4 days which was also SO MUCH FUN. Busy busy!  Time to get back to reality.

The Before…

I decided to show you the entire living room hoping that you’d get a better idea of what our main living area looks like, and just how much it has changed since we bought this house.  This is where we spend most of our time.  You may remember my kitchen reveal, my dining table, bar area, and my aquarium post where you got a glimpse into this space, but today I am going to show you the entire thing.

I’ve been putting off showing you the entire living room space because I feel like it is still somewhat unfinished.  A new couch in this space would be sweet, and we definitely need a larger rug, and something to cover up the back of the sofa too.  For now I’m trying to make do with the stuff we already have (and have painted most of our old dark brown furniture white).

Anyway, here is how the living room and kitchen looked before.

The After…

Now, the living room is HUGE.  It measures approximately 26′ W x 31′ L (including the kitchen).  When we were renovating, we decided to add on to the back of the house by basically enclosing the old lanai.  This added about 10 feet to the back of the living room and the office/gym area.  We also tore down the wall and half wall you see in the before pictures that separated the dining room and living room.

This is how it looks today.  You can see it is much more open without that wall, and the room is large!

Decorating such a big room is challenging, especially when you don’t have a zillion dollars to buy all new stuff or hire someone to help you out, and there are only so many pictures in magazines, Pinterest, Houzz, etc that you can look at for idea’s and inspiration. I tried to keep a beachy/coastal vibe in here like the rest of the house.  I’ve painted all of our old dark brown furniture white, except a few things, which are on my to-do list.  The walls are a pale blue (Topsail by Sherwin Williams) and the floors are distressed light wood.

Half of the room is devoted to tv watching and so our couch faces the very large 75 inch tv (which actually doesn’t look that large on this very long wall).  As you can see,  looking at the back of that very long couch is not ideal,  so we need to get something for the back of it.  A long bench maybe or a long console table? Any idea’s?

Living Room, view from tv wall
Living Room Reveal, view of tv wall
Living Room Reveal, view of tv wall
Living Room Reveal, view of tv wall
Living Room Reveal, view of tv wall

The other half of the room contains the bar, aquarium, and our kitchen dining area (where we eat most of our meals). Here is the room from just about every angle I could think of.

We had these white shelves so we put them up on either side of the tv to hold my vintage camera collection and some family photos.

This is how it looks from the kitchen sink.  Not a bad view of the pool and backyard huh? Those sliders open up completely which is amazing for entertaining and to experience true indoor/outdoor living year round here in Florida (except when its too hot, then we shut those babies and stay inside and crank the A/C).

Living room reveal - View from the kitchen sink.
Living room reveal – View from the kitchen sink.

That is all I have for now.  I hope you enjoyed this post and now get a good sense of how this whole room looks and can appreciate all the work we did to this house. It truly looks completely different.

Any questions, comments?