Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Doors

They're not particularly sexy and hip, but oh so necessary. We have a couple different types of original doors in the remodel, so today I plunked down some cash to order Shaker style single panel replacements that will help pull the design together. Bedroom doors, closet doors, pantry doors. And these contemporary looking Schlage doorknobs I really like in satin nickel. The only door still swinging in the unordered breeze is the barn door. The one our fabricator designed was just plain boring and it's in a very visible spot leading off the open concept living area into the master bedroom suite. So I'm gonna think about it some more. Maybe consider something out of wood and glass. Maybe toss in some stainless steel accents, too.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fireplace & Fan Friday

Yesterday I was rocking the alliteration on social media posts. Suicidal Squirrels. Fan Friday. I'm a former English teacher - what can I say. I've always loved to play with figurative language.

I've recently hit the remodel wall and am about ready to break out the little kid whine, "Are we there done yet?" The good news is that I'm about finished selecting and shelling out cash for the "hard" selects. All that remains are doors, knobs and the herringbone tile backsplash for the secondary bathrooms. We're waiting for the final estimates to wrap that up and move forward to furnishings/decor. Thankfully a lot of our current furniture will work in the new digs, and we'll only need a few key anchor pieces.

So back to yesterday... I paid for the last of the lights and fans. Then designed custom closets with the organization guru whereupon my inner OCD freak was thrilled beyond belief. Finally, I got to see the front room's new fireplace facade. The split face rock turned vertically is an interesting twist that makes it more contemporary and I'm really digging it.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Pool Cabana, remastered

It's official... we're over budget on the remodel. Which I figure most fixer-uppers face. But we're WELL over what we initially wanted to allot to the updating. And then even more over what I thought would be the *real* price we'd pay to get everything done. Forget that early retirement at 55, honey. You're gonna be working well beyond that to pay for this 1950s to 1990s to 2017 spruce up on our property.

The cabana, AKA man cave, is just about finished. They still have some final things on the punch list to address, but it's nothing big. Here are some pics from the last couple weeks of how it's morphing into a more modern look to match the main house.

I'm just wondering how long it will take for the teen to step in and claim the cabana as her own personal entertaining space for friends. Sofas, a full kitchen, bathroom, TV and pool table. I figure she'll end up getting lots of friends in there for movie nights, sleepovers and tons of giggling over the next few years. And I'm happy about that, even if the husband has to fight her for cabana time... making memories in this house before she fledges the (now) overpriced house for college.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Aloha to Spring Break

The girls wanted to hit a nice beach for spring break, so we opted to visit Hawaii a couple weeks ago for some fun in the sun and surf. Which translates to them getting a burn and me slathering on the industrial strength 500 spf every day to keep the sunspots at bay.

We flew out of Houston Saturday morning, so we made the drive there on Friday after school. The traffic was nuts, but slowing down gave us the chance to realize this big rig was transporting BEES! I don't even want to think about how it would go down if that guy got into a wreck.

Our historic accommodations on Waikiki Beach in Oahu for the first two nights was in a prime spot to enjoy the tourist trade. Lots of cute shops, restaurants and a lovely stretch of beach. 

We dined at Duke's on the beach, which had a very filling salad bar. And by salad, I mean a whole lotta mayo based dishes and so it wasn't particularly light. But it was still good. Below is a statue along the beach of Duke and his surfboard, but he's best known for being an Olympic gold medalist in swimming.

One morning we trekked a couple miles to Leonard's for some malasadas. It was brought to the islands by the Portuguese, which sounds fancy and exotic. But it's really just a big lump of fried dough, often with a filling like coconut or chocolate, and then rolled in sugar. Fattening, for sure. 

One of my favorite things to do in new places is book a tours by locals. You just can't go wrong when you get a local guy or gal to give you some history about the place you're visiting. Our guide in Honolulu was great. He drove us up into the hills on a nausea inducing road full of switchbacks, but the view from the top was well worth it.

The hibiscus growing along the wide of the road were beautiful. We had the opportunity to visit the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and it was a touching tribute to those servicemen who lost their lives in the Japanese raid.

We had an interesting lunch at Pier 38, where I dined on Loco Moco at Nico's. This consists of grilled beef patties on a bed of rice, covered with brown gravy and onions, then topped with two eggs cooked however you want. The sides were an Asian style noodle salad as well as macaroni potato salad. It was carbalicious!

In the afternoon we visited the local military cemetery that's located in the Punchbowl, an old volcanic crater. 

In the late afternoon, we had a cyclo ride around the area adjacent to our hotel and ended up with a good view to Diamond Head.

Book 'em, Dano! Fans of the original Hawaii Five-O series will recognize the facade below from the opening credits. 

By the time we returned to our hotel, the Honolulu Festival's parade had kicked off. No matter where you go, you're gonna stumble across fellow Texans. And sure enough, the band from Littlefield was marching in the parade. God bless Texas.

After a visit to the local Avanti Hawaiian shirt shop - Elvis made famous with his wardrobe in "Blue Hawaii" - where I got a nice silk for the husband and one to use as a swimsuit cover up for myself, we enjoyed a great fireworks display from our balcony.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

All Clear

The pool company guys came out on Wednesday to get the pool back into shape. One new pump and plumbing upgrade later, plus a tile patch, and we're back in the swim of things. Now we just need to cut down that nearest tree hanging over the pretty blue water to help with the hassle of keeping it clean. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Prayers for London

I was so sad to read about the maniacal driver that purposely hit folks on Westminster Bridge today in London, crashing into Parliament Square and stabbing a police officer. Such senseless violence. 

That bridge holds special memories for us, and not just because we walked across it every time I took visitors into the city for some sightseeing. It's iconic, and so of course that's why it was a target. The grad student had her senior year high school portraits made on that bridge. Sigh. A sad day, indeed, for this wonderfully historic area we once called home.

A Work in Progress

We were gone eight days for spring break and returned to see quite a bit of progress with the remodel house. I'm loving all of the light in the kitchen and custom banquette area now that we opened up that space by removing the wall. 

The remodel, AKA our own personal money pit, is really taking shape. I'm not looking forward to throwing more cash at it, but I am looking forward to moving in and enjoying it this summer.