Thursday, October 30, 2014

Destinations & Directions Sign

Hi all.  Long time, no post.  I know.  Annoying.  I have consistently been waking up an 1 1/2 later than I usual.  This is not a bad thing because I do need the sleep and I am now waking up at an acceptable time.  Having said that, the 1 1/2 hours I am sleeping through used to be when I would blog and edit photos.  Normally, I wake up between 5 & 5:30, make my coffee, then sit on the couch with the dogs and edit photos and type blog posts.  Now, I don't have that much time in the morning so blogging, once again, has been neglected and put on the back burner.  One day I will figure out how to do it all...or at least that's what I tell myself to stay hopeful.  :)

We have had several home projects going on the past few weeks plus tons of furniture I haven't shared.  Today, I want to show you the destinations and directions signs we made for our yard.

In 2012, Blittle and I went to the Exumas in the out islands of The Bahamas.  (If you have never been to an out island....go.)  We stayed on Great Exuma but there was an island across the bay that had a restaurant/hang out place.  Chat n' Chill is the place to meet your friends for volleyball, cards, or lunch on Stocking Island.  This is where we saw our first destinations and directions sign and knew that we wanted to make one for our home.

We were living in New Orleans at the time, which we knew was temporary, so we wanted to wait to make the sign when we were in a more permanent place.  I originally thought I would place the post in a planter, concrete around it to make it heavy so it won't blog over, and put the sign on the dock.  That way everyone can see it that passes by or is at the house, and it can be moved if it is in the way or we decide we don't want it anymore.  Well, Blittle had another vision.  We ended up putting it in the corner of the yard on top of the fence.  I am not going to lie, I was nervous.  Before, I thought it was going to be an understated conversation piece for the dock and now it is going to tower over the yard and be an attention getter.

This project did not cost much.  The post was $4 and the signs we made from left over wood and paint.  We used bolts to secure the sign to the fence so it can be removed if a hurricane comes or we want to move it.

The places we chose all have special meaning to us and are places we have been to together.  We did not put every destination we have been to.  As you can see, we travel to the east a lot!  That's where the Caribbean and Florida is.  So we felt it was a little monotonous to have more arrows pointing in the same direction.  So these are the places we did choose:

Ludwigshafen, Germany - This is where my parents currently live.  It is the only destination on the sign we have not been to but we are going in the Spring.

New Orleans, LA - We lived in New Orleans for 2 years.  It will always have a special place in our hearts and we love to go back and visit.

Turks & Caicos Islands - BLittle and I did not go on a honeymoon.  Long story short we moved our wedding date and planned a wedding in 3 weeks.  He had started a new job and there was no time to worry about a trip.  We decided to go on an amazing 1 year anniversary trip and  Provodenciales, TCI had been suggested to us.  At the time, very few people we talked to knew what the Turks & Caicos islands were and where they were located.  It was our first time to the Caribbean and at the time, I was treating it as the only time I might see the Caribbean.  You never know what is going to happen and traveling is not cheap so our attitude was to do it all while we are there and enjoy what could be our only trip like this.  We snorkeled, ate amazing food, went to some crazy places that felt like the end of the earth to fish.  It was unbelievable.  Such an adventure.   Grace Bay is hands down one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen...EVER.  I just thought I loved the beach and Caribbean, then we went there and I became obsessed.  :)

Shimeck, TX - This is where Blittle's parents live.  It is no longer called Shimeck but years ago, the land that they live on now, was called that.

Long Island, The Bahamas - Every trip we go on we love.  Every island we have been to, we have enjoyed.  Every time we go to the Caribbean our vacations are a little different.  One time we rented a boat and island hopped on our own.  We stayed in a nice resort.  We have stayed in a house on the bay side and could fly fish behind the house.  We have stayed in a elevated, camp house with no air or tv right on the beach.  They have all been so different so we love them each for different reasons but Long Island was special.  Something about it.  This was one of those trips were you have to get on a small, chartered prop plane to get to it....don't even get me started on the duck taped windows....thought I was going to die.  Anyway, Long Island was gorgeous like all the islands and the place we stayed was great and it was the first time I fly fished on a trip.  Blittle always brings his fly rod and we either fish on our own or get a guide.  On this trip, we got a guide and it was an amazing day.  He was patient with me and waded with me all day constantly giving pointers and helping me improve.  I hooked my first bonefish but a shark got him before I could reel him in all the way.  The water was so calm and flat that you could barely see where the water stopped and the sky began.  We saw a 6-prong and 5-prong star fish.  It is a place I would definitely visit again...scary plane included.

Sabine Lake - This area is where I grew up, where BLittle and I met, and where we lived the first years of our marriage.  Obviously, it means something to us since we named one of our dogs after it.  :)   Most of my family still lives there and where my parents have their home.  Although, I never plan to live there again, it will always be special to us.

Charleston, SC - I know this sign isn't up yet but will be soon...and it to will be pointed to the east.  We loved Charleston.  It really is a great city and I was pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed it.  To be honest, BLittle and I have not traveled in the USA much.  I have been LA, NYC, DC and other random spots but we didn't do any of those places together.  We have been to Destin and have visited family all over Texas but Charleston was the big USA trip where neither of us had been there before.  BLittle kept saying, "I want to do something America", so that's what we did.  It was so much fun to see and hear about all the history that city has and the food was just....there are no words.  The food was unbelievable.  And lets not forget the fishing.  We fish every where we go.  Learning about the flood tides and to witness it was so interesting.  Thanks again to our guide for that day.  We had an amazing time and the sunset was gorgeous.  I can't wait to go back and see more of the city.

We have a long travel to do list so there will be many more islands and cities added to this sign over time.

I am hoping to update y'all on furniture tomorrow.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

The Coastal Kitchen Makeover - One Year Later

One year ago today, I revealed the first DIY kitchen update.  One year.  Where did it go?!  There have been many exciting things happen over the past year because of the kitchen.  Things that I never thought would happen to me.  Things that I didn't even think to think of.  Sometimes life is weird and crazy.

In late May, right before the magazine feature was out, I posted new pictures of the kitchen.  That post was to show the small details and decor I was added to give the space a little more character and the polished, finished look.

The kitchen has held up well.  It is definitely a kitchen that is used and not just for show.  I cook almost every night and mostly from scratch.  Plus working from home, I am usually making myself breakfast and lunch as well.  Over the year, the space has been broken in and our product choices have been tested for sure.

The only thing I am slightly disappointed in is the dishwasher.  I had read that LG dishwashers were good but not great.  LG is still considered a new company to appliances.  I chose them because of the stove.  I wanted a high BTU, 5 burner stove with a double convection ovens.  LG offered the highest BTU burners with all the other options.  All the other appliances have been amazing and I am extremely pleased with them but the dishwasher is ok.  Good but not great is an accurate description.

We are still absolutely in love with the space and the house.  It has changed so much in the 16 months we have been here.  I am looking forward to updating our bathrooms and finishing the inside of the house.  They are the last "big" projects we have inside and I can't wait to see their transformations.

And for my new readers or those of you that missed it, here is my finished kitchen.  To see before pictures, click here.

Thanks again to Jessica, with Ever & Anon Photography, for the amazing pictures.  I can't wait to finish the house and have her take more beautiful photos!

See more of our home makeovers and updates here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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