The Perfect Gray

Ok, even though I’m in the process of painting over this gray in my home (not because it’s a bad gray, I’ve just decided to go a different direction) I’ve had numerous requests for the formula for it. For all who’ve asked, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to post it. Here you go:




Happy Anniversary Locks

I know I owe the blogging world a final kitchen post. Yes, it’s done….for the most part. Labor Day weekend we finally bit the bullet and bought a water softener (which we desperately need – all our dishes have a white film on them after being in the dishwasher, which means twice the washing for us). So technically, I don’t consider it done. I mean we’re able to cook, and put things away and that part is lovely. But until all headaches are gone, I’m holding off on posting the final photos. We’re just having a tough time scheduling the plumber to come and install it. Arg.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to celebrate my  anniversary…..AND to document how fast/slow my hair grows. One year ago today I donated 11.5″ of my hair. Sometimes I regret not going pixie short and just going for it – but during the short hair phase of this adventure I realized how much I love having my long hair, and then I thank the gods that I didn’t go crazy short, since that would have taken maybe 2 years to grow back. So let’s look at 1 year ago and how far it’s come along!


….and TODAY: (ok well technically yesterday when I snapped this photo, but close enough)


Looking back on the photos, I’m about half way there. So I grew roughly 5.5 inches in a year. I only got my hair trimmed just once (crazy I know, but I was determined to grow it back). Now that it’s past my shoulders again, I feel so much more comfortable. But I can’t wait for another year to pass (but not too fast!) so I can get all my length back and really get back into the swing of braids again.

In all honesty, I did color it darker over the winter and then blonder again in the spring, but now I’m back to my natural color. Why fight a good thing? It just feels (and looks) right.  Notice that awesome tan I’m rockin’? Yea, didn’t put a bathing suit on all summer – TOTAL FAIL! I was a swimmer for most of my life for Christ’s sake! What is happening to me!? I’m determined to get in über awesome shape so next summer I’ll just live in my suit. Here’s to lofty goals.


Can’t it just grow faster!?


On another note, thinking of doing some third floor Man Cave / Craft Room updates soon, as well as some landscaping this fall. I’ll do my best to keep this blog updated!

Decisions, Decisions…

We’re in a bit of a lull right now, just waiting for the countertops to get installed. They were templated last week and should be in by the end of this week or early next. In the meantime, I’ve made some decisions.

I finally decided on a light fixture. Mostly based on budget…which is basically dwindled down….
I first found this beaut on Pottery Barn


But the price tag wasn’t the best. And that’s when I spotted this amazing deal on World Market.


Boom! Well, I had to check with Ry first and I gave him an option of that light as well as this one:


I liked them both but the difference was really their sizes. Which I then turned to elevations to help make the decision easier.


I apologize for the crap picture, but I drew it up quickly, snapped a phone pic and sent it to Ry to see what he thought. So what you’re seeing is what he saw. We both agreed once standing in the kitchen that the large would feel too overpowering in the small space so we went with Henry. I liked that he was cheaper too, so that helped. Regardless if we loved the light or not once we install it – at least we didn’t break the bank, and we could always replace later down the road. Henry should be in this Thursday, so I should have a photo of him installed soon. I love that the ORB look will tie in the new faucet and handles we picked out. Simple, sleek, industrial.


Then came a decision on shelves. I pretty much had my mind made up, but then our contractor asked how many shelves and if we wanted them wrapping the corner and I started to second guess myself. Back to the computer.

I did an elevation to decide how many shelves – took a vote at work, all my fellow designers agreed that 2 was the way to go. I sent it to Ryan and he took a poll at work and all the men chose 3. Go figure. So 2 shelves it is.

Then came the wrapping the corner debacle. I broke down and did a quick sketch up (again sorry for the crap photos / iphone screen shots) and I’m glad I did. The practicality of more shelf space would have made me chose wrapping it, but once I saw it I realized I had to stick with my initial gut instinct and go with no angle/wrap.


I love the symmetry and something about the angled shelf reminds me of our old awkward angled shelf that used to be in that corner. Speaking of…Let’s take a quick check point look at the kitchen….

Oh yea, our hood got installed too! Can’t wait for this project to finish up! Is it the 4th yet?

The New AA: Appliances & Accessories

This feels like a Kitchen Reveal!!! ….but it’s not. Not there yet, but yesterday I came home to this:


And in place! If you remember our old and disgusting kitchen of yore we used to have an electric stove, and due to the fact that we have gas in the house we made the switch. The range is all hooked up (with a power cord for now) and looks just beautiful. Dishwasher is in its place just waiting to clean up all my insanely dusty dishes in the dining room. Eek! It’s a beautiful thing.

Our appliances are all GE to match our already (pre)owned (not new – but new to us) fridge that we got from Ryan’s parents. His parent’s were so kind in also gifting the range and dishwasher to us as a belated wedding gift! So fitting as our one year anniversary is just around the corner. But enough of the gushy thank you, thank you stuff (but in all seriousness, Thanks Mom and Dad!) and on to more pictures…

Floors – perfect. Cabinets -so pretty and clean (and soft close feature!). Appliances – sparkly and drool worthy. Wrap it all up and it’s Christmas in my kitchen.
Not only do I love that our fridge is finally out of our dining room, but our contractor hooked up the water line to it (with a filter system!) Yay!

I mean not only do we have filtered water (I’m a water drinking freak and carry a bottle with me everywhere) but for the first time in 2 years we can make ice that doesn’t involve using an ice tray! Oh happy day!

After all my happy dance/stand around drooling / pretending to prepare a meal in my new kitchen it was time to hit Home Depot. Next on the list is counter tops (which we picked out on Saturday and shared with you in this post) and they are scheduled to come out today to template which meant we needed to pick out our faucet.

And that’s the guy we went home with. I’m not 100% sure it’s the perfect faucet – but it fit the budget and we were leaning towards the black ORB look. Something about the stainless fixture we originally thought we’d go with felt too modern for our brown stone home. We’ll see how it looks when it’s in. Regardless we like the single feature (as in no soap pump or side sprayer) so the countertops would at least be correct in having just one hole drilled. While we were there we also decided to pick up my new best friend:

Pretty aint she? Haha, in this box is our new garbage disposal! Can’t wait to use my new sink!!

We also perused the hardware aisle and though I’ve seen other blogs that have my desired pulls and claim they got them at HD, they were nowhere to be found. Rather than settle and pick something else out we left the store and I went straight to my second favorite source as of late.

Ok, so we only needed 15 pulls, but I couldn’t beat the price. Similar pulls on the HD website were $6 a piece. Making 15 pulls $90. Why not just get a pack of 25 then? Especially since I could use them on other pieces of furniture I plan to refinish (like our dining room buffet). So to checkout I went.

You better believe my OCDness kicked in and I had to do a little elevation of the cabinets with the 8-inch length pull to ensure that that was the perfect length pull. Hey, I have the tools so why not use them to help ease my nerves in deciding such simple matters?

Next up for us is to finish trimming up the kitchen – our contractor also put in new wood in our window yesterday as well…

So that just needs to get some trim, as well as the walls need base trim. Electrical needs to be finished up (which should be happening tonight if I heard Ryan correctly) and I seriously need to get my tush on the painting train. The last big to-do item on the kitchen list is the open shelves. Been doing a lot of google and pinterest searching lately for other inspiration but I keep coming back to my original love: (from this blog here)

Although we do plan to tweak it a little, in that we’re going to add a piece along the front to not only bulk it up and make it feel heavier but to also allow us to add under- shelving lighting. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and let me tell you – it’s pretty. 🙂

Weekend Craze

This weekend. Gosh, so much happened in a short amount of time that it’s tough to begin. Well, Friday night we decided to go to my younger sisters dance recital which couldn’t have been more exhausting. What we thought would be an hour of dance routines was actually 3 and a half hours. Longer than a LOTR movie. No intermission or nothing. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see my sister dance her little hip hop routines (she had two dances) and she did do great, but some of the kids did 7 dances (I had some free time so I played around with the program) what happened to 2 dances each?!

Regardless of being exhausted from Friday night (we ended up grabbing a bite at Applebees afterwards with the fam, which meant we didn’t get home till after midnight) I had previously mentioned to Ryan about wanting to go to Rices Market on Saturday morning and since he had been excited about the possibility of getting some goodies he eagerly encouraged me to stick with my plans and get up at the crack of dawn to go. So I did. Cause I love him.

I planned to go to see if I could grab some good staging props or items for the home/kitchen and found nothing. So I filled my bag with some Flyers Ts’ for the hub and tons of bones for the dogs. In an effort to splurge on myself I also picked up a necklace too.

After Rices the hub met me at the granite and marble showroom (Akropolis for any local Montgomery Counters) to pick out a countertop for the kitchen. I initially really wanted quartz, and was stuck on a mid grey color – I wanted to imitate the look and feel of concrete. Though to be fair we also looked at their granite slabs and took a liking to this one

It’s called Black Impala…yes black. Eek! In person it’s much more grey and has a nice beige in it which softens the look. I like the smaller texture and could see this working with the kitchen and still letting the brick wall shine. So we priced both quartz and granite. The quartz came out to $2600 – totally doable. …but the granite came out to $1800. $800 difference. Once I realized the difference in price I realized that’s basically the price of a water softener (item and installed) and as we’re closing in on our budget and I realllllly want a softener I had to be practical. I buried my inner desire for the quartz and we purchased the granite. They’ll be out this Wednesday to measure and we should have it installed a week from then!

That basically covered the kitchen progress for the weekend. Even though I mentioned I wanted to get some spackling done in this post, I took the nice weather opportunity to work on the yard a bit. Since deciding to have a “kitchen reveal” party on the 4th I’ve been stressing over the appearance of the rest of our home. Granted people will be there to look at the kitchen, but I couldn’t have my yard looking the way it did. After running around on Saturday (after the countertops) delivering some props for a friend hosting a baby shower I realized I had one free hour before I had to shower and ready myself to go to a family graduation party. So what did I do with that free hour? I decided to cut up our wood pile into fire wood.

Two years ago we cut down the ant infested tree and overgrown bush in our front yard and piled the limbs (which I just realize I never posted about – don’t worry it’s on the docket now), where they’ve sat ever since. Two years. So ridiculous. Where did the time go!?

I got it just about done, but had to call it a day and figured I’d finish up Sunday morning. But this is what it was looking like after an hour of work on it:

found this love note from nature in the pile 

I had gotten all the usable firewood cut and had the bottom of the pile to deal with. If you’ve never dealt with a wood pile before, the bottom is the yucky surprise. The wood pieces at the bottom were covered in slugs. Ugh! Aasdlkfj:IOJE;lkj!!! Slugs creep me out and skeeze me like none other so it was a good time to call it a day. We had a great time at the grad party, and afterwards came home to go to another little get together to see some friends in for the weekend from Louisiana. Another late night and I was up again at the crack of dawn on Sunday (regardless of the fact that I told myself to sleep in). Sundays yard work consisted of the usual bush trimmings, dog duty clean up and mowing along with the addition of shoveling the slug infested wood into the trash.

 the solo snail in a sea of slugs

 A few hours later and the yard was clean and I finally gained that wood pile space back. My stomach was growling, so I decided to run to Wawa to grab some food – lucky I did cause I passed by my neighbor’s yard to find they were getting rid of some old porch furniture! PERFECT for our new back yard spot and allowing me more seating for this 4th party!!! The sofa needs a good scrub, and spray paint along with a cushion – but I couldn’t beat the price!

To add to my play-by-play of the weekend after all my  yard work I went to style an engagement shoot with Colleen (belovely) and we couldn’t be more pleased with how everything came together! Can’t wait to see the final photos!

How was all your weekends? Is anyone out there as jamb pack crazy scheduled as I? Fingers crossed I’m not the only nut who can’t sleep in even when she’s exhausted.