Fall and Winter 2016

Nothin’ like blogging months and months and months behind, amiright?! So, fall 2016. ‘Twas a good time. And by good, I mean stupid hectic. We were still relocating from Louisville to St. Louis but were determined to have fun and not waste those few months being stressed out.

So, what do we do when we want to have fun? We invite Danny and Sara to town!

It was Labor Day weekend and we were supposed to spend it on my parent’s boat, but the river was too high so instead we basically spent the weekend drinking. First stop was to Fast Eddies, a local favorite that any and all out-of-towners need to experience. Then we went to the winery over in Grafton for some tastings.

Up next was Old Bakery Brewery in Alton. And lookie who showed up! My cousin Katie.

Shout out to my mom for being our DD and stopping at Jack in the Box, ordering an obnoxious amount of tacos for all of us.

Fast forward to the next weekend, and we went to LouFest in Forest Park courtesy of the amazing Do502. I wanted to go to see Band of Horses and Shakey Graves, and they were both ah-mazing. We also saw Big Gigantic for the second time live and they. put. on. a. show.

Later in September, we visited Cincinnati to see Kevin’s mom, her new place and celebrate Oktoberfest. Cincinnati is home to America’s largest Oktoberfest celebration and while it was super crowded, it was so much fun. We had beers, ate wurst and listened to some good ole fashion polka. My kind of night!

In between all the fun events and visits, we tried out plenty of restaurants in St. Louis. My personal favorites were Tortillaria and Mission Taco (both Mexican, go figure). Tortillaria recently closed, but Mission Taco and their street corn are currently my jam.

Since living in St. Louis, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to visit with family here, especially my parents and brother. One night we went out on the town. And by out on the town, I mean we went to the local brewery, 4 Hands. 

PS my dad is the greatest selfie taker ever.

The Monday after moving into our house and working our tails off for five days straight, Kevin and I had concert tickets to see Saint Motel. We really debated not going because we were so tired, but I’m so glad we did! We were introduced to one of our newest favorite bands – Weathers – who opened for the main act.

In November, we celebrated Kev-o’s 28th birthday! It was on a Sunday, and all he wanted to do was watch football, drink beer and eat wings. So we did just that and had family dinner at Felix’s in Dogtown.

One of my clients is Anheuser-Busch and I helped with Brewery Lights, which meant I got to hang out with the Clydesdales one day. Seriously the gentlest giants.

Later in November, we went to Louisville for our first visit after moving away. We ate and drank way too much, per the usual, but it was so good to be back to the place we called home for nearly four years.

Late nights at Holy Grale and boozy brunches at Wild Eggs were just what the doctor ordered for the two of us, who were really missing Louisville somethin’ fierce.

We visited with friends and drank a. lot. of. bourbon. As one does in Louisville, right?

We were also suuuuper creepy and drove by our old house. We just had to! It didn’t look much different, but it took every ounce to not go knock on the door and ask to go in. I MISS IT.

I am skipping right over Thanksgiving because there were more important things happening that week… GILMORE GIRLS RETURNED. And it was equally horrible and great, and I ate Chinese food and watched all four episodes in a row without interruption. It was the best day after Thanksgiving ever.

Hah, good joke, Gabby. Before Thanksgiving I came down with a stupid cold, but after Thanksgiving I got a full blown sinus infection. I even took a day off work, which I never do because I hate wasting PTO, and finally, a week later, I emerged from sweat pants and dirty hair to meet up with my family for dinner out. I felt like a real human again!

Okay and then the real highlight of winter 2016 was my little brother’s graduation! He graduated from Missouri State with a degree in GIS and starts his new job in Charlotte next week.

I am of course so, so proud of him but always knew he had a bright future ahead.

We had a whirlwind weekend, going to his graduation on a Friday, driving back to STL that night, driving to Cincinnati the next day to make it to Kevin’s family’s Christmas party. It was worth it, though!

Maybe I’ll write about Christmas in July? 😉

House #2 In Progress

I’m back! I still haven’t figured out if blogging is something I want to do regularly, or if it’s time to say goodbye. But, today we took down Christmas decorations and I looked around at our now seemingly empty house, thinking it might be time to share some of the DIY/renovation projects we’ve done so far. Also, I just painted the basement stairs so I can’t go down them, and Kevin has football playoffs on the TV upstairs, so basically I’m bored.

This post is essentially a photo dump of our move in process, but thought it’d be good to share more or less for my own memory of how we made house number two a home.

We closed on our new house on Tuesday, Oct. 4 in the morning, and had the movers scheduled to deliver our things that Friday. We both went to work on Tuesday, returning to the house that evening to slap up some paint samples, prep the floors and drop off a few things (i.e. toilet paper) to have until our things arrived.

I took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off… Kevin took Thursday and Friday off, and my parents basically gave up their lives to help us during the week. Kevin’s mom and aunt came to down to help too! They arrived Thursday night, and were a huge help!

Before our stuff arrived, we had an aggressive list of things to get done. Mainly, we really wanted our living room, dining room, hallway, entry way, master bedroom, guest/office bedroom, and entire basement painted. And because the house is old, we painted errything, including the trim, ceilings, baseboards, crown molding, door jams, etc.

I hate picking out paint colors. As you can see in photos, I had a bajillion different samples to chose from. For the living room/dining room/hallway, eventually, we went with number two (from the top), which was Grey Owl by Benjamin Moore. In our first house, I thought the grey color we chose for the main living area was too blue and I really wanted this color to be very neutral, and slightly warm. Grey Owl is perfect. I couldn’t be more obsessed with how it turned out!

Guys, painting the majority of a house in four days is not for the faint of heart. I swear I’ll have carpel tunnel by 30 now. Many beer breaks were taken.

Finally, Friday arrived along with all of our STUFF! Having your things packed away for months is no fun. I was so happy to see this truck! (However, not happy to see multiple things damaged/broken, including but not limited to: our washing machine, three of our four dining room chairs, my childhood piggy bank, two wine glasses we got for our wedding, and much more. Thankfully, the moving company reimbursed us for everything but the claim process was no fun by any means.)

ANYWAYS. Our stuff.

The movers didn’t mark the boxes (they’re on a roll, guys), so Kevin and I opened each box when it was brought in, and told them where to put it. We had my whole family, and Kevin’s mom and aunt over helping unpack boxes as they came in.

We also found some fun treats while unpacking…

Shoutout to my old coworkers for hiding these gems at our going away party (which, by the way, I need to blog about. #isuck)

My grandma was in a nursing home at the time recovering from a hospital stay, so my aunt went to go get her so she could see the new house. She brought lunch! It hit the spot.

Here we are… some of the crew helping break in the house.

First family photo in the new home! #nomakeup #haventshowered #butsohappy

So let’s talk moving in weekend. Because the upstairs was painted, and some of the boxes were slowly but surely being unpacked, we wanted to tackle the basement next.

Kevin and I really really wanted a finish basement in this new house and now that we have one, I’ll never go back. I had a vision for this area and was so glad to see it come to life.

Originally, the basement had a wall separating the main living space into two awkward-sized spaces. The back area was used as a bedroom, though it couldn’t legally be called a bedroom as it didn’t have an egress window. So we decided to knock the wall out to create one big open space. We weren’t losing a bedroom, and we really wanted a large spot for a big couch, big TV and eventual bar.

We got up early on Saturday morning and began knocking the wall down! It was my first time tearing one out, and it was so fun. Basically, we took down the trim, then ripped out the paneling, then finally knocked down the 2x4s. There were no outlets or vents in this wall, so it was pretty painless. We did have to fix the flooring, as there was a big gap left from the wall. We luckily found the same exact laminate flooring and laid a few new pieces down. That wasn’t easy or fun, but with a little bit of patience and muscle, I knocked that out Sunday morning. Here’s a time lapse video of the wall coming down:

Once it was was down, we started painting and putting up the wood wall where the TV is at. I saw the idea of a wood wall on Pinterest, and immediately fell in love. We originally wanted to do this in the bedroom, but I love it in the basement so much, and glad we decided to do it there. And actually, this isn’t wood. It’s stick on flooring!

I don’t have any pictures of the process, because it was the stickiest mess E.V.E.R., but it was pretty simple. We started on one side, and put up an adhesive (to make sure the flooring stuck well), and then placed the wood. We used my scrapbook tool, which is now trash (so, so, so sticky) to cut straight lines when needed. Overall, it took us about four days to get this done because it was pretty much just Kevin putting up the panels. I was in charge of the adhesive, and because it was so sticky, I couldn’t do anything else. So he measured, cut and placed, and I essentially stood there covered in glue. It was miserable.

But, worth it because it turned out so great!

I’m so happy with the color we chose for the basement. It was originally brown, with a pink tint. Basically, it needed to go. We opted to go neutral again, but a little darker than upstairs, and painted right over the already-painted wood paneling. I actually like the textured look, so we didn’t even consider dry walling over it.

The color we chose was the oh-so popular Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.

Sunday was an exciting day for Kevin because he finally got his lifelong dream of a big screen TV. We went up to Best Buy and gave them all our money (kidding), and came home with the bad boy.

So move in week was insane, and exhausting, but it was amazing to have a lot of the big things out of the way so we could focus on smaller projects, unpacking and getting settled. We, of course, could not have done it without our family’s help!!

In the weeks after moving in, we purchased a sectional for the basement. Guys, it’s so comfortable. Many of movie nights and naps have taken place since we brought her home.

Because our house is so old, the doorways are very small, and a standard sectional probably wouldn’t fit down the basement. So we decided to look at Ikea, since we could take the boxes down one at a time. However, joke’s on us, because the boxes wouldn’t even fit through our doorway, so we ended up taking each piece of the couch, one cushion at a time, down the basement. Anyone that has put together Ikea furniture knows how much fun it was trying to figure out what was in what box. (see above photo)

Also right after moving in, I painted the back of our built ins. Again, inspiration came from Pinterest and I’m obsessed with our living room now. I painted them either Naval by Sherwin-Williams or Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore (I can’t remember, and the samples are downstairs, which I cannot access right now #wetstairs) to add contrast and help make the built ins stick out.

I’m still working on filling in the shelves – there’s a lot of space! – but hope to pop in with a “finished” photo soon.

Of course, we’re taking one project at a time. As with any house DIY project, mistakes will be made. But it’s coming along, slowly but surely, and we are so in love with house number two!