Mar 30, 2015

the renovation: move-in ready or not, here we come!

Last weekend was the big "move-in weekend" and we've been living in the house for a week now! It feels so good to finally be here and not running back and forth trying to get things packed at the apartment and ready at the house at the same time. It's not "done" by any means, but it's certainly livable. At the time of move-in we did not have a bathroom door or vanity top (still waiting on that), and there was plenty of trim left to put up and paint, along with several other details. But it's all still moving along and every day we see some new progress.  I tried to snap a few "after" pictures of some of the rooms on the main floor in the few odd minutes that they were completely clear of any tools and construction dirt, or our piles of boxes. Some of the rooms, like the kitchen and bathroom, will deserve before and after posts of their own, but they're not quite ready yet.

I am absolutely in love with our foyer. Maybe it sounds silly, but I've never had a true foyer before and I've always wanted one. In this space we took down the faux wood paneling, had new plaster put on the walls and ceiling, had the floors refinished, changed the light fixture, and gave everything a fresh coat of paint.

Even though it seems like dining rooms are going out of style with the preference for open concept floor plans, I had never had one of these either, and am really looking forward to using this space. So it's another favorite (honestly, I could say this about almost every room). This room was completely gutted to it's studs, because after we removed the wall paper and paneling, the walls were in pretty bad shape. We also removed half of the wall that separates it from the kitchen, which I'll show in the kitchen post in the future. This room got new plaster board and new plaster, refinished floors, a new light fixture as well as can lights, board and batten and a fresh coat of paint. Currently, the window trim is back up and ready to be painted, and of course, Riley was (finally) okay with taking the cardboard paper off of the floor.  

The before and after pictures of the living room are from opposite sides of the room, but I think they still show its transformation pretty well. This was one of our lower maintenance rooms, and was good to go after new plaster, paint, and refinished floors.

Not only was the office (now officially the nursery!) a horrible shade of green, but it had a built out closet that took up a good portion of the room. Even though we are short on closet space in this house, we decided to go ahead and tear it out. Again, this room got new plaster and paint and refinished floors.  I still can't believe what great condition all of the floors were in. We are so thankful that there was so much carpeting and linoleum that kept them protected!

We decided to make this room, which we were considering a den, our temporary master bedroom until we renovate the upstairs. We removed the paneling, had the plaster and floors refinished, and painted the walls. We were pretty excited about the wood trim in this room, especially since it cut back on the painting! Although why the window trim was painted we will never know…


We are so incredibly happy to be living here and are excited about all the changes that are still to come. I'll be sharing the kitchen and bathroom as soon as they are ready, as well as some of these rooms as we get them decorated. And of course, we still have the entire exterior to come! This renovation has been an overwhelming task at times, but so far the process has been fairly smooth and so rewarding. Thanks for following along with us!

Mar 20, 2015

winter in the city


This winter season brings our one year (and one month) of downtown apartment living to an end. And all I really have to say is, it's time to move on.

I really have enjoyed the opportunity to live in a downtown apartment, and I would do it all over again. But just like our sailing experience, there was a definite moment when we realized we were done and ready to go "home." Funnily enough, the end of both experiences coincided with winter weather. But let's face it, nothing is quite as enjoyable or convenient in winter as it is the rest of the year.

It's interesting how quickly we start taking small conveniences for granted. We moved into the apartment straight from the sailboat, so automatically everything seemed bigger and easier and just plain more enjoyable. The living space was small, but much larger than the boat, and the kitchen had a dishwasher and a fridge and a regular sized oven! We had to walk up and down three flights of stairs to bring loads of groceries in or take the dog outside to the yard space, but hey, we actually had a car to transport our groceries, and we didn't have to use a dinghy just to get to shore!  Even noisy neighbors seemed amusing rather than annoying after spending so much time by ourselves.

Eventually the novelty of these things began to wear off. Combined with the fact that a lot of the benefits of living downtown, like walking to dinner and outdoor festivals, weren't really feasible in the winter, and the fact that we're looking forward to moving into the house that we're renovating, we're ready to say goodbye to downtown living. Some people are cut out for it, and some people aren't. I was cut out for it for exactly one year, no more, no less.


One highlight of this winter that I will always remember fondly is the first day of the first real snowfall. The city was so quiet and pretty, and we bundled up and walked down the street to the best pizza place and it was the perfect way to spend our first snow day of the year downtown.

I am so grateful that we were able to have this experience, and even more grateful to be moving on to a new place that we are excited about calling "home."


Mar 13, 2015

the renovation: a progress report


So much progress has been made on the house in the last couple of weeks!  The hardwood floors have been refinished, Riley laid the bathroom tile, and the kitchen cabinets, appliances, and countertop have all been delivered and installed. Every bit of progress has been such an exciting step and it's all coming together just as I hoped it would, and maybe even better. Right now, every room is in need of some varying degree of paint and trim work, and these things seem to take forever! This house, with it's walls, ceilings and abundance of trim, needed a lot of paint, and we wouldn't be even close to the point we're at now without the much appreciated help of my mother in law, my parents, and my sister in law. The good news is that we're making some serious progress on that front and that the paint color choice was a success! (Whew!)

This weekend and next week we'll be focusing on more trim work and more painting, and a few more details (like finding a bathroom door), before we're finally ready to move in. The main floor won't be completely finished by move-in, but it will be close enough, and it will certainly be easier to get some work done in the evenings without having to travel back and forth from the house and apartment.

I can't wait to officially call this house "home!"

Mar 12, 2015

visiting san diego: mt. soledad, torrey pines and crystal pier


We started off our final day in San Diego by heading up to Mt. Soledad to take in the views. We had actually attempted this a few days earlier, but by the time we had made it to the top the fog was so thick that all we saw was 360° of white. This time around was a completely different story!

We went to breakfast afterwards, and although we were half tempted to go back to Snooze, we tried The Cottage instead, and it was another delicious success!  It was a small restaurant, but had a nice outdoor patio where we could enjoy the warm weather, very good food and excellent service.  

After breakfast the rest of the group went to Torrey Pines, and even though I really didn't want to miss out, what this extremely congested, exhausted and completely stuffed pregnant woman really needed was a nap.  So that's what I did.

I did borrow some photos from my sister, however, so we could all experience it together vicariously through her.  It definitely looks like a place you wouldn't want to miss (if you didn't need a nap)!

We regrouped in the evening and all headed over to Pacific Beach to watch the sunset from Crystal Pier.  We admired the tiny cottages that lined the pier and watched the surfers do their thing before the sun even started its show.


After a beautiful sunset we went to Pacific Beach Fish Shop (for the second time that week) for our last dinner in San Diego.  It was the perfect place for the fish (or shrimp) tacos that I had been dreaming about!



I still can't believe all that we got to do and see in our four full days in San Diego. The weather was absolutely gorgeous the whole time we were there, the food was delicious and the sights were absolutely breathtaking. I highly recommend visiting if you ever get the chance!

What's the next destination on your travel bucket list?

Mar 6, 2015

twenty six weeks

a 26 week bump and our ready-for-paint dining room wainscoting 

How far along: 26 weeks

Size of baby: a head of lettuce

Maternity clothes: yes, finally. I don't know now why I put it off for so long, but I'm so grateful that Riley, my mom and my mother in law were very generous in encouraging me to get a few pieces that I can wear and feel good in for the next couple months.

Gender: a girl!

Movement: quite a bit now, and Riley's even been able to get in on the excitement a few times, too.

Sleep: not happening.

What I miss: eating anything without worrying about acid reflux.

Food cravings: I'm always craving something cold like ice cream or sorbet because it sounds good on a burning throat!

Food aversions: I'm still not incredibly fond of chicken or eggs, but I have eaten both a few times, so it's not too bad.

Symptoms: Congestion, insomnia and acid reflux. But on the plus side, my skin looks better than it has in years and I really haven't had any moodiness (other than 1 or 2 uncontrollable crying spells that Riley and I both found amusing).

What I'm looking forward to: getting this glucose test over with next week. Also, moving into the house so that I can start getting our home and the nursery decorated. It's getting really hard not to buy baby stuff!

Mar 5, 2015

visiting san diego: balboa park, point loma and sunset cliffs


I still have so much to share from my trip to San Diego. And yes, I am trying to draw this vacation recap out as long as possible.  There is still snow on the ground here after all.

Day 3 of our San Diego trip was packed to the absolute brim, and I think we planned it out pretty well. We started out right by having an amazing brunch at Snooze. I can't say enough about the fun atmosphere, excellent service and delicious food. When pancakes were debated but not ordered, our waitress surprised us with a gigantic cinnamon roll pancake for the table to share before our food came out. Now if that's not a good way to start the day then I don't know what is.


After breakfast we made a quick stop at The Donut Bar to pick up some donuts to save for an afternoon treat. After sampling the Creme Brûlée, Samoa, and Blueberry with Meyer Lemon, the Samoa got my vote!

When we couldn't possibly think about food any longer, we made our way to Balboa Park. Now, Balboa Park is the kind of place that you could spend an entire day, or even a few days if you wanted to. There are plenty of museums and gardens to keep you busy. Since we had such a full agenda we prioritized a few (free) stops and I think we all felt like we got a pretty good sense of the park overall.

After Balboa Park we drove to Seaport Village, which wasn't quite what I was expecting it to be. It was a little touristy, but would be a good place to go if you were looking to do a little shopping. However, we did get to see the USS Midway and the kissing statue, so I'm still glad we checked it out.

From Seaport Village we drove to Point Loma to check out the lighthouse and amazing views.  Although a little chilly and very windy, this was probably my favorite stop of the day. We had brought some lunch along and had a little picnic to keep us going for the rest of the day. It definitely pays to plan ahead on a long day!


Our last stop of the day was Sunset Cliffs. Between the San Diego rush hour traffic and the fact that we were usually thinking about dinner at this time of day, we had yet to see a San Diego sunset. At Sunset Cliffs we were able to park our car right along the cliff so that we got prime seats for the view.

By the time we made it back to the house that night we had had a very full, delicious and beautiful day.

Mar 4, 2015

currently… a fixer upper takeover


dreaming: of moving into our house so that we can finally appreciate all of the hard work that has gone into it and start getting settled before this baby girl is born.  We only have a few weeks left before we move in and then I fully expect to become a nesting maniac!

planning: on stopping by the house this evening to see the kitchen countertops that are supposed to be installed today and the bathroom tile that Riley has started laying. Such exciting progress!

making: the fastest, easiest dinners possible. Spending every evening working at the house doesn't leave a whole lot of time for dinner prep. But who am I kidding? Fast and easy is my favorite way to cook anyway. This salmon recipe is one of my new pinned favorites.

baking: nothing. But after making this skillet brownie for our Valentine's Day dessert last month, I think about making it again every single day. Topped with some vanilla ice cream, it was a warm and gooey mess of deliciousness.

watching: Fixer Upper every Tuesday night. Even while we're in the middle of the process ourselves, I still can't get enough.

What are your favorite shows lately?  And do you have any favorite quick and easy dinner recipes that you'd like to pass along?


linking up with Jenna and Anne today.

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