Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beach Bound!

We are beach bound this weekend and I CANNOT WAIT! Yes, I know, I've been on "vacation" all summer... but there is just something totally different about GOING on vacation. And we are going to one of my favorite vacation spots in the Outer Banks.

I probably need to throw out this disclaimer.... I'm not a huge fan of the entire Outer Banks. I'm not big on the whole "touristy" area with the five million seafood buffett restaurants and beach shops on every corner. If this is the only way you've vacationed in the Outer Banks, I'm sorry... but you need to try the 4 wheel drive beaches. I was like you.... traditional OBX vacationer.... until I went on vacation with the Rudacille clan (Ryan's maternal side of the family).

The 4 wheel drive beaches begin where the road in Corolla ends. Literally. It's nuts... you are driving on regular road with double yellow lines, and then all the sudden.... there's the ocean and no more road! And this is where the most beautiful beaches and HOMES (yes, homes!) are located. Turn on the 4wd and be ready for a turbulent drive down the beach!

We stay about 7 miles down, which is a pretty hefty drive... which means that once you get to the house, barring any emergencies, you are probably going to be staying down by the house for the extent of the vacation, which I love! I love not feeling like I need to visit the shops at the beach, or going out for a night at a restaurant. I don't feel rushed to end my day at the beach so I can go to that "new spot" or that "highly recommended spot" down the highway. When I tell people about where we stay, I always say, "When we get to the house, I take off my shoes, and I don't wear shoes again until we leave!". I think perhaps Kenny Chesney was singing about "our spot" when he said "No shirt, no shoes, no problems...."

One of my most favorite things about where we stay is that we are right in the middle of where the wild horses live. Yes... wild horses! There is honestly nothing more magical than waking up early and seeing a herd of horses eating seagrass right outside of your house. They come out when you aren't expecting to see them, like right after an evening storm.... we saw them racing each other along the shore. Last year, we saw the horses every single day.... I hope we are lucky enough to see them at least once this year!

Here are a few pictures of the horses from last year.... I hope I have the opportunity to add to my collection of photographs this year! We'll be back sometime on August 1st! Have a great weekend and week everyone!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is this our garage?

Let me remind you of the state of our garage before the clean-up...

Holy disaster area, Batman! We had stuff, literally, strewn everywhere. We didn't even walk through there, because... well, we couldn't!

After 2 truck loads of furniture, decorative items that had no place in our new home, and other random items we had no use for sent to Goodwill, and 1 truckload of stuff that was determined to live at the dump, we now have a much more organized and clean space to call our garage!

Ignore the saw set up in the middle of the garage, as well as the PVC pipes in the floor. Ryan is working on assembling an ECU themed ladder golf game. We would have liked to do shelving in the garage, but all we could manage in about the 5 hours we spent in there was to clean and discard. Shelving is on the project list...

Speaking of projects- in going through the garage, we found a bounty of projects to tackle! There were a couple of "too good to part with" items in the garage that didn't quite fit with the decor in our home now. Well, stay tuned.... we are going to transform a couple of things to put in the house!

I'm pretty excited.... however, when I'll get to them is another issue entirely. We leave for the beach this Saturday, so hopefully I can utilize some nap times this week to get a start on my projects. If not, I have time when we get back!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Design inspiration please!

Ok fellow bloggers and lurkers... please turn your creativity in this direction! We need some ideas in decorating our kitchen! Our kitchen is painted green (yes green)... Behr's "Asparagus" to be exact. A great little aloe plant given to us by Brandon and PJ is our design inspiration...

The walls are actually very close to the green in the aloe plant (despite the way the walls photograph), and we loved the contrast of the green with the black and the white in the pot, so we would like to incorporate black and white in the decorative elements.

Issue #1:: The big wall at the back of the kitchen.

Please ignore the light fixture... that will be switched out soon. But the wall... what do we do with it? I have no idea! I'm not really into shelving... the thought of shelves in the kitchen kind of bugs me because of all the dusting that would inevitably need to be done. I'm not sure if we should go in the route of traditional kitchen-y artwork... and if so, what would be best? Any ideas?

Issue #2:: The large (beautiful) windows....

These are adjacent to the wall that needs decorative elements. I'm not sure what kind of window coverings to go with. Cafe style curtains that cover the bottom half of the window? Full length curtains? And then, what color? Ryan is quite partial to the damask pattern on the flower pot, and the only other pattern that I'm a bit open to to coordinate with the damask is stripes (which continues into our living room, which is connected to the kitchen). So, solid or patterned curtains? No curtains at all, and blinds instead? I'd prefer not to completely cover the windows with something that blocks out the light because I do love the natural light that comes through said windows, plus it is going to eventually have an even better view once the patio is put in. Ugh.... I'm going bonkers with this.


Spring, er- Summer Cleaning

Oh what fun... look what Ryan and I are tackling tomorrow!

Yep folks, that's our garage. And only about 75% of it, I might add. This has been the "catch all" since we moved in late February. We are borrowing a truck, loading that bad boy up, and taking almost everything to Goodwill! We haven't even started yet, but I'm crazy with anticipation... I can't wait to be able to WALK through our garage, and easily find stuff I'm looking for. It is going to be SO cathartic to get rid of a lot of this stuff too... much of it brings back the days of apartments, renting, and a mish-mash of "stuff" used to decorate old spaces.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Let me tell you 'bout our best friends....

As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that quality over quantity is important in life. This rings even more true in regards to friends. I consider myself (and Ryan) to be very outgoing, easy to get along with people. Unfortunately, not everyone is in our boat, and over the past 2 years, I've come to see a large amount of friends disappear due to our personal life changes. However, one specific person has been there as a constant reminder of true friendship to us.... so let me introduce you to our wonderful friend, Brandon!

Now, every time I introduce people to Brandon, I get a look like, "Your husband is ok with you being best friends with a GUY?!" Oh, heaven forbid, right? Well, here's the story on Brandon. We met because we had a mutual love for awesome dance moves and booze. Yep- we met at a not-to-be-mentioned-because-it-will-date-my-age club in the city during my time of hanging out with aforementioned friends that are now no longer friends. Ryan was playing baseball and was gone for the entire summer, so I had nothing else to do but dance and drink the night away. So, one night, up comes this gentleman who demands that I shake my groove thing with him. I flash the bling and kindly tell him I'm off the market. He laughs, and tells me that he isn't interested anyways, but that I can dance and he wants to dance. He is a great dancer and quite funny. Night ends, we part ways. Throughout the summer, it turns out that we both enjoy the same hangouts so we dance and have fun, but never hang outside the confines of the bar. Fast forward a few months to me regaining some brain cells and realizing that I need a new place to hang out. Wouldn't you know- Brandon frequents this new bar. Now, I know what you're thinking- STALKER!- but no, this bar is actually close to his apartment. We decide that fate is telling us that we must be friends, and we become Sunday brunch buddies.

At this point, yes, Ryan is becoming a bit uneasy. Who is this guy that hangs out with my fiance (and now at this point, wife)? Luckily, Ryan and Brandon hit it off. Long story short (wait, was this short?), we've been connnected at the hip ever since. And thank God Brandon has good taste in women, because his girlfriend is AMAZING! I love her and highly approve. Campbell loves them, too, which I think speaks volumes since they are unmarried and without kids. Could our lives be anymore different? You wouldn't know it if you saw us together.

Brandon and PJ

We dominate a good amount of Brandon and PJ's time. From cookouts to nights out, we're together a lot, but even if we go weeks without getting to see each other, no time has passed when we get together.

I guess the moral of the story is this.... all those cliche things you've heard about people coming and going, true friends, blah blah blah- it's true. I didn't think that at first, and was really heartbroken to see my large friend group dwindle down to about 2 (this is not counting my best girlfriends in the world, who do not live close by :( sad.). But last night, as fate would have it, who happens to show up at the bar we were at but one of those long-lost friends. In seeing her, I immediately knew that the universe works the way that it is supposed to, and that she (along with the others) were never true friends anyways.

And knowing that makes me beyond happy.