Sunday, December 9, 2012


Since I only blog once in a blue moon this one's going to just be a big blog dump.

Not much has changed since last month but I finally did two "Dude Get On That, Already" projects.

I bought a dresser at a garage sale a few months ago for $15 that I knew would look great with a little love.

I borrowed my dad's sander and got to work.  My neighbor came home and told me he had a more powerful one if I wanted to use it.  I figured he knew more than I did, so I gave it a try.  I went from a little hand sander that I was just barely getting the hang of to a belt sander.  Guys.  It is powerful.  I had no idea.It almost got away from me the first time.  Good things my new neighbors weren't moving in across the street and don't think I'm a crazy person.  Whoops.  Anyway, I finally got the thing sanded down.

Don't laugh at me if you know anything about sanding furniture and think it looks wonky.

Also please disregard my mess of a garage.  

I was thinking of doing a gradient effect, and then saw it in the YHL book- so I took the plunge.  It was pretty easy, just took some time to paint.  It would have been faster if I was a little smarter and bought more paint brushes.  Washing the paint out after each coat was the worst part. 

I spent Veteran's day painting.  There really isn't a better feeling than being productive doing something you want to do on a day off.  Love it.

And final product.

I had also bought a door at an estate sale a few months back.  My poor dad.  I think every time he finishes a project I have a new one for him.  He may be rethinking encouraging me to buy a house.  I think he misses the handyman that rental properties come with.  Thanks, Dad!

Here's the original.  I really liked the color, but it was a really weird paint.  If it was even paint at all.  It was almost like someone had just rubbed an insane amount of chalk all over.  If you ran your hand over, your hand would be green.  It even puzzled the paint guys at Sherwin Williams.

This is after several "coats" of paint thinner trying to wash it off.  In the end, water was the best thing.  Weird, right?

He came over last weekend and we hung the door.  When I bought it, I really thought "I can just take the old one off the hinges and throw this one up there.  No big deal."

Well, turns out I know nothing about doors.  Whoops.

There was a lot of sawing, chiseling, and trial and error.

But, fast forward a couple of hours and it's hanging! And beautiful!

Well, not quite beautiful yet, I'm still trying to get paint stragglers off.  It's been a process.

It might be weird that there's a window, but I'm a little weird.  I have plans for a little curtain when I need there to not be a window into my bedroom.

And speaking of "Dude Get On That, Already" projects, I also took a little trip down to Dallas to meet John and Sherry Petersik. I know, you're jealous.

There are several of us at work who religiously read their blog.  I can't remember who read it first, but it spread quickly and we generally talk about them like we're family.  Is that weird?

Only two of us were able to go to their book signing at West Elm.  One of the downsides of working at a bank is having to work on Saturdays.  Sorry Heather!

Jordan and I drove down there thinking we were pretty early, but the line was already snaking through the store and then around the corner outside.  We ended up pretty much in the middle of the line when the doors opened.  I felt a little silly waiting so long to see people for a total of 2 minutes.  I kept telling myself, they're just people, just like you.  (because our blogs are so similar.  They have millions (!) of blog hits a month, I might have 5.  Thanks Mom!)

But despite my inner pep talk, I got totally flustered when it was our turn.  I rambled (about paramedics and firemen?) as I tend to do because I'm awkward in most situations.  Hopefully I wasn't much worse than everyone else.

Maybe I'll have a few Christmas posts a little later. I know, more than one post a month? We'll wait and see. I love Christmas so much, but it's hard to get in the Christmas spirit when it was in the eighties just a few days ago.  It's just in the seventies today. We're getting there slowly but surely!

This one's excited.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Part 3 (only 2 months late or so)


The night before we found some brochures for different hop on/hop of trolley tours.  I generally think these are kind of touristy and silly, but I'm glad that we decided to get tickets.  We started at a stop by the mall since we found that would be the easiest way to park.  Well...kind of easy.  Turns out you have to park in a parking garage, take some escalators up to the mall, and then find your way out.  Needless to say, it took me far too long to meet my mom back where I had dropped her off to find the tickets.  I'm going to blame it on the fact that it was still pretty early.  We started our tour ad learned interesting facts about Boston, like did you know that part of the city used be water and they filled it in (in the beginning with very limited tools)? And now all kinds of buildings and parks are just on the man made island.  I think that people are just amazing.  I'm not sure I would ever think, "well, it looks like we're out of room, might as well grab a shovel and start throwing dirt in the ocean." 

We took the obligatory picture at Cheers, but we got there too early to see a replica of the bar. 

We continued the bus tour until we got to the first stop of the Freedom Trail.  Then we got off and walked through all the historical sites. 

Here's mom with a statue of Mr. Franklin.  He was strangely in a courtyard of a steakhouse.  I'm assuming not originally, but it was still odd.

Here's the problem with waiting until 2 months later to do a recap of the trip. I'm pretty sure this is King's Chapel.  This picture shows how all of modern Boston has just crept up right to "Old Boston".  I think we were both surprised at how you almost had to search for some of the historical sites sandwiched in between "new" buildings.  For some reason I had imagined everything kind of set aside.  

Then we saw this, next to Faneuil Hall, a market that we passed by since we were getting hungry and wanted to eat in a section of town with lots of Italian restaurants.  There wasn't any explanation, just a big macaroni.  

This is Paul Revere's house.  It's amazing that so many of these buildings are still standing after all these  years.

Mom's happy about her lobster ravioli.  It was delicious.  I snuck a bite.

And here's my calzone.  There may have been 14 lbs of cheese inside there.  And it was also delicious. But we might have just been crazy hungry.  We had done a lot of walking and was pretty late.  That's what vacations are all about!

Then we stopped for gelato.   Mine was caramel.  YUM.  

Here's mom with 'ol Revere himself.  And up next we have the church he hung the lantern's in, Old North Church.

The pews were different than I would have imagined.  They were the same as Christ Church in Philadelphia.  They were made this way so the people could keep warm in the winter.  They were able to close the doors and keep some of the wind out.  

Not the original organ, but pretty impressive.

Another example of the city creeping in.  This was about the best picture I could get.  You really couldn't see all of it at once.

This tiny little house was just up the road from Old North Church.  I have no idea what it is, but the tour guide for that German group you see was telling a lot about it.  Anyone know?

We passed many different burial grounds.  It was so interesting to see the old tombstones.

We finished seeing everything around 4 or 5 and decided to drive up to Marblehead to finally see the ocean.  Since it was so foggy before, we hadn't technically seen it yet.  And it was beautiful!

Mom demonstrating a beautiful rock.

Happy to be at the ocean!

Then we just drove back to our hotel to get ready for our last half day!

We researched fun breakfast spots for our lat day and found The Little Depot Diner.

Not sure if you can see on the menu, but it says "We hope you will come Chew-Chew with us again soon!"  Bingo! I knew we had picked the perfect place.

There was even a little need a book-take a book station.  I feel like it would have fit in well in Stars Hollow.

Here's mom waiting for our food.  This place was tiny and so cute!

y-u-m.  definitely worth the wait.  Not much can compare with my beloved Old West, but the butter they gave me to go with that pancake was heaven.  It turned that plain little toast into a cinnamon roll in no time.  

Mom's came with baked beans, which I think is weird, but I think it's what they're known for.

We drove through Salem on our way to the airport and found this wonderful little cove tucked in a neighborhood.  So beautiful! And people live about 50 feet from here so they see it every day!

Mom started climbing these rocks.  Meanwhile I was standing far away hoping those rocks didn't belong to the house right next to it.  Ever the rule follower, I was worried she wasn't supposed to be there.  Mom just doesn't care.  :)

We found this little guy but he was already in little crab heaven.  Sad.

Then just a little drive to the airport and then a few (it seemed really long) hours later, home in blustery 40 degree Dallas! It was colder when we got home than the entire time we were in the northeast.  Weather is weird.

Well, all said and done, it was a really good trip.  

Just for kicks, here's a picture of us on our first vacation together, just 8(!) years ago.  Still having fun all these years later.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Road Trip (Part 2)

Small trip break to celebrate one year of owning a house! I should have made cupcakes.

Ok, trip time.

Day 4! It was time for more car time on the way to Connecticut.  We took the long way through, on purpose so that we could a scenic route all the way down Connecticut the next morning.  It was definitely worth it.  We passed several tiny towns, but alas no Stars Hollow, and even stopped at a roadside stand with apple picking!  It was almost like a Norman Rockwell painting.  Very quaint.  

I think I forgot to mention that on the way to Connecticut from Pennsylvania you have to drive through New Jersey and New York.  We chose to drive through around 5:00.  Worst Idea Ever.  I have a 3 minute commute to work, so I'm not used to rush hour traffic.  Much less virtually NYC rush hour traffic.  We also missed several turns but we made it!

We also stopped for homemade ice cream from Ebonk Hill Turkey Farm.  I know.  You're jealous.

And then mom found where she really belongs.  A tiny white Baptist church in the middle of nowhere.

We also passed a film crew for a Cuba Gooding Jr. movie.  I'm not sure what the movie is about and can't really remember what it was called. Something about whispers.

We finally reached state number 5, Rhode Island and our swanky "loft" for the next two days.  I'm pretty sure we're out of the tourist peak season so we scored a great deal at a bed and breakfast for a room literally as big as my house.  My entire house.  It was so nice to have a little more space than a typical hotel room.  

This is the view out of the back window.  It looks weird because it's through a screen.  There's a real farm back there! And that's our tiny rental car.  I think that's the only picture we got.  

And it came with gourmet breakfast! yum.  Definitely stay at Escobar's Inn in Portsmouth, RI any time you're up there. 

I wouldn't however recommend going in October.  I'm not sure if it's always like this, but the fog lasted from when we woke up Wednesday and lasted until after we left Thursday.  And this is no Texas fog, this is you can't very well see past about 20 ft fog.  yuck.  We toured some extravagant mansions (like 64,000 sq ft extravagant.  That is 65 of my houses put together) and they were very beautiful.  Most had what I'm sure is beautiful views of the ocean, but our view just dropped off after the cliff.  I was a little disappointed since the only time I've seen the ocean I was 10, so I hardly remember.  But I was trying not to let it bother me too much since there wasn't much I could do about it. 

We had lunch at a local place.  We were good tourists and got some clam chowder, and shared a lobstercado sandwich.  (a cold lobster salad with avocado and cheese on an english muffin)

Thursday we got up ready for our drive to Boston.  Well, we took our time getting there.  We didn't really get to Boston proper until Friday.  But Thursday we drove past Plymouth to see the rock and the Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower.  It was very tiny.  We didn't tour it, but I can't imagine being inside for as long as they were.  It's definitely no cruise ship. 

As you can see, the fog still hasn't lifted.  I've always had this weird thing ever since I saw The Truman Show that maybe my life was like Truman's.  I know, it's weird.  But this fog wasn't helping my crazy tendencies.  What was beyond that fog that someone didn't want me to see? I know I have issues, I think it's under control though :)

Anyway, we didn't stay in Plymouth long, because we were headed to Harvard.  My mom, aunt, two cousins and I took a tour of Yale two years ago and it was so interesting.  We were hoping Harvard would be the same experience.  There is so much history.  

I feel like I look a little crazy.  Probably because I was worried about our little rental car and it's parking space.  Parking is pretty non-existent at Harvard unless you pay around $30 to park in a garage, so we found a spot on a street with 1 hr meter parking.  Problem was the tour lasts an hour so Mom sat at the meter waiting until the last minute to put the quarters in, joining the tour a little late.  Then she left a little early to trek back to put some more.  But we've got Walton in our blood, so we'll do anything to save a penny!

Here's old Harvard himself (actually it's not him, there aren't any pictures of him so it's some random guy the sculptor though looked scholarly) and our tour guide. 

Harvard's working on it's way to 400 years.  wow.  I think I enjoyed Yale a little more.  It seemed a little more set apart from the city.  Harvard seemed much busier, everyone hustling and bustling.  But it was still very beautiful and so interesting to hear traditions and differences from my lovely alma mater SFA. (axe 'em)

Next stop, Fenway! 

I honestly didn't expect for us to tour the stadium since I didn't think it would be the top of my mom's list, but surprisingly she was the one who suggested it.  So now I've been to the two oldest baseball stadiums in America.  And my brother couldn't be more jealous.  He told me we could no longer be friends.  Whoops.  Surely he'll get over it, right? We got him a souvenir at least...

This guy was the hype man before the tour started and I loved him.  He told punny jokes one after the other.  One thing you should know about me is I love a good pun.  

Anyway, it was pretty amazing.  Most of the seats have been there since 1936.  That's at least 20-30 years older than most other baseball stadiums, let alone the seats that are there.  It is Fenway's 100 year anniversary this year.  We even got to make it up on the green monster.  

I didn't even know there were seats up there.  They're pretty new, and apparently crazy hard to get ticket for.

Then it was to the hotel with takeout.  Are you tired yet? 2 more days!