Monday, August 25, 2008

Which is best: East or West?

I haven't had much to post about the house lately because we have been too busy taking vacations and watching the Olympics to do any work! So I'll just share some picutres from our bi-coastal mini-breaks. First East Coast, then West.

The People

East Coast:
Margie and Terry celebrating 35 years of marriage - congrats!

Jenna and Lauren at 3 months

Kate showing off her moves from dance camp- almost three years old!

West Coast:

The beautiful bride and groom, Caitlin and Tory

Me with friends Caitlin, Ali, and Erin

Then just me and Kyle for a few days, here in Big Sur, CA.

The Places

East Coast:

On the porch at the Chesapeak Bay-front house in Reedville, VA

Tangier Island, VA- most of the area's soft shell crabs originate on this tiny island in the Bay.

West Coast:

The Lone Cypress in Pebble Beach, CAThe famous Bixby Bridge in Big SurOur ocean-front B&B in Pacific GrovePebble Beach linksThe view from our room!

The Wildlife

East Coast:

Practically impossible to make out here, but we saw a big group of dolphins swim by!The seagulls chillin' at Tangier

West Coast:

Bird Rock on Seventeen Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. Also impossible to make out, but there are sea lions playing at the base of the rock.More sea lions - one swimming and one perched on the rock in the top left corner.

The Tangier seagulls' crazy hippy cousin who moved out to Carmel, CA.

Well, folks, I think the seagulls have taught us that whether east or west, just living on the coast is best!

We're getting back to work this week by finishing up some details downstairs and starting to build the closets in our master bedroom. Details to come!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back on my Feet

This is a non-house related post, but one that is important to me!

As many of you know, I'm training for my fourth and fifth marathons this fall, in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Lots of people think I'm crazy for getting up at 5 AM most days to run, but I love how it makes me feel and appreciate the good health I have that allows me to do it!

Some people are not so fortunate, many of whom I see sleeping on the streets of downtown Baltimore as I run by with my friends. A woman my age in Philadelphia saw the same thing, and took action, starting a non-profit called Back on My Feet. BOMF partners with shelters to introduce running to the homeless. Through a structured program, BOMF's members start with one mile and many end up running marathons, gaining confidence, leadership, discipline, friendship, and important skills along the way.

BOMF is starting its first pilot program in Baltimore this spring, and I'm excited to be joining them as a volunteer! I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing yet, but they're just now starting to build partnerships around the city and raise funds to support the members with gear, race fees, job skills training, and much more.

As part of my training for Philly, I've set a goal to raise $3,000 for BOMF in Baltimore. I hope you'll consider helping me reach it, and more importantly, helping the homeless in Baltimore get back on their feet!

Please visit for more information about the organization, and to make a donation. All proceeds benefit BOMF and your donation is completely tax-deductible.

Also, let me know if you're interested in volunteering, or if you work at a place that might be willing to partner in providing medical or dental care, sports massage, job training, furniture, or running gear.


complete new bathroom - check!

It's not decorated yet, but the new bathroom is done! Ok, not completely, but almost. Geez, this is a tough crowd. I apologize for the bad photos - the bathroom is a tough shape to get good ones in.

We had our vanity custom made to look like one from Restoration Hardware, which doesn't come in the right size and is way overpriced. We're pretty happy with how it came out. Not like jumping up and down happy, but happy enough for the price. I did snag some hardware from there, though, on sale, to dress it up a bit.

The mirror was a steal at $50 from Home Depot (it became an even better deal when Mom offered to buy!), and it looks like it was made to go with the vanity. We did splurge on the Kohler faucet, but we love it. It brings a bit of modern style, without seeming out of place in the old house.

Oh, and the water-saving toilet was free from one of Kyle's subcontractors. Can't beat that!

Now, we've just got to give it a good cleaning, put one more coat of paint on the baseboards, have the tile guy come and fix the mess that the plumbers made in the shower, and do a little decorating.
And, we are excited to have JoAnn, our realtor, over for dinner and to play our own little version of HGTV's My House Is Worth What? to see how much value was added by going from a 1 bathroom to a 2 full bathroom house. We are sure that at least a lot of comfort will result!
Finally, Kerry - here's a shot of the new 'do for you. As they say in Atlanta, I got my hair did.

Have a great weekend! We're heading to a house on the bay with Kyle's parents and sister & family to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays. And we get to play with the cutest toddler and baby twins ever!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

HUGE pet peeve

UPDATE: We went for #10 in brown. On sale at West Elm... $299.99 for the 8x10, with a 10% discount coupon- not bad!

When store websites do not include sale items on the main page for that type of item. Like, putting the sale rugs in with the normal overpriced ones. Here are a few more that I missed that are late additions to the ballot. Also accepting write-ins.

#10: only left in brown

#11: in orange only
#13:#14:Ok, proceed. And, if you ever start a website selling your wares, put the sale items in the the rest of 'em. Because they're good enough, they're smart enough, and dog gone, people like them!

rug round-up

Since the living room is now painted (it's kind of a puttyish, mushroomy beige), complete with fresh paint on the crown molding, new baseboard, and quarter-round shoe molding all the way around, we are finally ready to start decorating! The first step will be choosing a rug to set the tone for the room.

Our couch and chair are espresso brown velvet, with dark brown wood feet. Since there is a lot of greyish-blue in the kitchen/DR, I'd like to stay away from too much more, and maybe bring some earthier colors into the living room. It's a very bright room, with light oak hardwood, so I'm not afraid to choose something on the darker side. Below are some that are currently in the running - if anybody out there is still reading after my long haitus, weigh in on your favorite!

#1:I love how cheeky this one is. It also comes in green.

#2: (not sure which color I would choose!)
#3: This one just looks so cuddly, like a nice sweater you're so happy to put on once fall finally rolls around
#4: this would be in brown
#5: This one does have that steely blue I'm trying to stay away from, but I think it's really pretty so had to give it a chance
#6: I am trying to stay away from the animal print trend in any long-term commitment type pieces, but I think this is just far enough away from being in-your-face animal print that you might not look at it in a few years and say, "that is so 2008" #7: Is the green a little too vibrant?
#8: See #s 5&6!
#9: Last but not least, this one is kind of a nice combination of traditional and contemporary, with some nice color choices. But, that might be a disadvantage for me, who is inheriting more of my mother's indecisiveness every day...

Cast your votes! You don't even have to be registered!