Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lazy post on home updates

Here are some of the recent updates to the house, lazily photographed with my iPhone so as not to have to upload/download with my real camera. I'll take better pics sometime, but for now enjoy this sneak peek...

New dining room wall "art"...

Inspired by The Nester and her lovely white plate arrangements.
New light fixture and mirror frame in the guest bath...

(note the new fishy art in the mirror, too)
Fresh paint and some new art in the master...

The prints are from our honeymoon in St Lucia that I finally framed.

And it's all done, with a top-to-bottom cleaning, just in time for our house guest who arrives tomorrow! I am really pleased with the updates and am also psyched that most of the new purchases were major bargains! Gotta love Homegoods, Marshalls and Michaels.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Works in Progress

There's nothing like the anticipation of company to make me tackle some projects I've been putting off around the house. My dear friend is coming to stay for a night before we spend our 5th annual girls' weekend at the beach later this month, so I've got to get moving!
Our guest bath has actually been in pretty good shape since I moved in (after spending an entire day bleaching and scrubbing the you-know-what out of it from the boys that lived here before me) but little things have needed some work.
The mirror didn't have a frame and the sink console was showing a lot of wear from water taking off the stain.So a little bit of trim and some blue paint, and voila! (The trim still needs to be attached - pending a new light fixture, if I can find one that works.)
And on the other side of the house, paint samples have finally made their way onto the wall in our bedroom. It's only taken a year and a half!
I'm leaning towards the top, or far left, color. I told Ryan that once the samples went up it was no turning back, so we're committed to painting now!
Stay tuned for the "after" photos and other projects that may or may not get done in time for our visitor. I have quite the list!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Michael Buble!

I've only been to a few concerts in my time, so when I was given the opportunity to see Michael Buble live with a bunch of fun girls, I jumped at the chance!
It was all the way up in Jacksonville - a 2 hour drive on a good day - so we drove together and stopped by an adorable wine and tapas bar before the show. I love having a little of this and a little of that, so tapas are the perfect meal for me.
Then it was on to the arena to see the man himself. His voice is amazing and I knew he was a charmer but I was surprised by how funny he was. At some points of the "party" (as he called it) he was even cracking himself up!
We all had a great time and loved singing along to his music.
After a great evening, it was back on the road and on the way home. We didn't get in until 2 am but it was worth the trip to say I've seen Michael Buble!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ryan's 30th in HHI

To celebrate my wonderful husband's birthday (ahem, 30th birthday), which also happens to be the day of our nation's independence, we hit the road once more and headed up to Hilton Head Island.

Along with two other great couples, we rented an adorable villa in Sea Pines right by the beach and in pretty much one of the best locations - close to the water, close to Harbor Town and close to South Beach, home of the Salty Dog Cafe.We spent the long weekend being silly playing board games and lounging on the back porch, watching golfers wrap up the day on hole 18 of the Ocean Course...Shopping around South Beach Marina for Salty Dog t-shirts and souvenirs...Dressing up and heading out to Harbor Town to celebrate the birthday boy...And the 4th of July...Bike riding to South Beach and Harbor Town (and home again in the pitch black darkness, only to see an older woman bite it in the bushes off the bike path)...Hanging out with good buddies...Watching the crowds gather to watch fireworks from the Harbor Town golf course...

Enjoying the sites and beautiful landscape...
People watching while waiting for the fireworks show to start...Admiring the genious idea of climbing to the top of the lighthouse to watch the fireworks...

And overall having an amazing celebration weekend!

I love Ryan so much and he tends to downplay birthdays, so I am so glad we were able to make it a big deal this year and spend it with such good friends in such a fun place. He's already taking about making this an annual event - only next year we're taking a cue from the crowds and bringing our own picnic out to the 18th green to watch the fireworks. And maybe taking the whole week off next time, too!

Nathans in Newport - the wedding

Phew! All those posts and we are just now getting to the wedding! I'll let the photos do most of the talking, but here is a quick recap...
Kathryn Nathan and Ryan Coller were married in a quaint chapel on the campus of Salve Regina University in Newport. There ceremony was brief but sweet and Kat was beaming! Such an adorable couple and so happy together!
Baby C got all dressed up for the wedding and was so well-behaved (for the most part).
The reception was a short car ride away at the Astor's Beachwood Mansion. AMAZING! This was the original mansion and such a fairytale location for a wedding.We enjoyed cocktails on the back lawn, overlooking the cliffs and water. They had peach sangria (yum!) and a sushi bar (double yum!) among the highlights.
My amazing parents looked stunning!And my handsome husband was quite the looker that night, too.I got to spend time posing with my earliest photo buddy and one of my best friends, cousin Jess.Before we knew it, we were inside the grand ballroom and ready to welcome the bride and groom inside.
Their first dance was to "At Last" and the sweet lovebirds sang to each other for most of the dance.
After a delicious meal of surf (shrimp) and turf (filet), seated at the cool "cousins" table, it was time to really get the party started!
Nathan and Laux girls hung out in the foyer, waiting for the dancing to begin.My lovely sisters, all dressed up. Look at those blue-eyed beauties! (And how is it that of all the blue-eyed cousins on both sides, I have hazel eyes?!)Cousins from both sides of my family joined in for a photo opp with the bride and groom (minus a few that didn't make it in the pic in time).
The sister of the bride and matron of honor, my cousin Tricia, did a great job on the toast - passing the torch to have babies along to the newlyweds so she could be off the hook! Haha!I had a blast dancing with my love and reminiscing about our own wedding day. It was such a fun night and such a celebration!

Best wishes to the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Coller, who are happily settling back at home already (that's how late I am on the post, I suppose)! Here's to a very happily ever after!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Nathans in Newport - Part Three (more cliff walk, more mansions)

Day two in Newport started with blueberry pancakes and the second half of the Cliff Walk. We got more folks to join us that day, and headed off for another hike. This part wasn't quite as rocky or adventurous, but it was just as beautiful.After lunch, we toured more mansions, including the Breakers (amazing...that is some serious wealth).

We had lunch down by the wharf, watching a storm roll in through the harbor. It was a bit ominous eating our lobster bisque and watching the clouds build. By the time we got our check, it was pouring and we made it back to the cars just before getting completely soaked.
The evening was filled with lawn games and fun in the backyard of the house while the wedding party rehearsed for the next day.
On the day of my cousin Kat's wedding, the boys played golf while the girls toured a few more mansions (Kingscote and one of my favorites, The Elms). When we made it back to the house, I went straight up for a nap in my third floor sauna to rest up for the night to come. I had caught a cold during the week and was feeling quite drained. The wedding recap will come in the next post but we didn't take any other pictures from the daytime, unfortunately.
The morning after the wedding, we were back at The Elms so Ryan could see our next vacation home. Haha! I appreciated that tour the most, with all the interesting historical tidbits about society back then. And the grounds were amazing, despite not even being on the water.
We ended our last night in Newport with a family bbq and double sets and runs games in the dining room. The rookies proved to have beginners' luck and it was fun to challenge all the family members in our traditional card game.
Before heading to the airport on Sunday we had time for one more mansion - Rosecliff. They were hosting the annual flower and garden show on the grounds and throughout the first floor so while we got to tour a bit of the house we missed the audio and the second floor. I was bummed, too, because it seemed like this may have been one of my favorites had it been all done up.
All in all, it was an amazing trip to a truly gorgeous location. I cannot even imagine the splendor and elegance of living back in the early 1900s with the socialites of the times but I was happy to have a glimpse into their world through the mansion tours. Being with extended family made it all the more special and I cannot wait for the next occasion for us all to be together!

Nathans in Newport - Part Two

Continuing our first day in Newport...
We went for lunch at a gorgeous inn overlooking the water, Castle Hill. It was a clear, perfect day and we all enjoyed a yummy lunch (my first of many lobster meals) watching the boats come in and out of the sound.After lunch, we couldn't resist the photo opp, taking advantage of all the adirondack chairs scattered about the lawn.Later that evening, the entire family (from both the bride- and groom-to-be sides) met in the harbor and boarded the Adirondack II for a sunset cruise. I L-O-V-E the water and to be on a boat hearkens back to childhood memories, so it's such a comforting, nostalgic feeling for me.This is my new all-time favorite photo of my dad...he is a stubborn subject when it comes to smiling in pictures so to capture such a genuine burst of laughter from him warms my heart. Clearly, my love of the water is in part thanks to his passion for boating.Uncle Ryan got some quality time with Carter...Before sharing him with me.My cousin Jess and I grew up together and she is one of my closest friends, so it was great to spend the week with her and catch up in person.
Phew! That was only day one of our trip. I better speed this recap up...before I know it, I'll be needing to post about the next trip (countdown in two days!).