September 25, 2018

Update on Life in 2018

It's been eight months since my last post, and even before that, my posts were sporadic.  Since we moved, I have felt like my creative juices, motivation and energy to decorate dwindled severely.  I missed this little outlet but felt like I didn't have anything worthwhile to share.

January through May, I trained for my third marathon, the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, and finished in 4:17.  We drove out there and stayed with my aunt, which was SO MUCH FUN! Since I didn't meet my goal of breaking 4 hours, I got a crazy idea to attempt to break 4 this November in the Richmond Marathon.

Training this summer has been alright due to humidity and work travel.  I normally run here and there in the summer and get back to a training schedule at the end of August.  This month training has gotten better; it started to feel like fall, I quit my part time job at the beginning of the month, and this week is my last week at my current job. It was a difficult decision, as I have a truly wonderful boss (and her boss!) but over my almost two years working from home, I learned I need to be around people.  Working from home is very isolating.  Mike works nights, so when I sign off between 5:00 - 5:30, we have an hour together before he leaves for work.  This summer was really difficult for me.  I have learned so much from my boss and her boss in my 3.5 years there.  While I will forever be grateful I had this opportunity, I am looking forward to being back in an office setting, making lunches, picking out my clothes for the week, etc. (and I do have the option to WFH as needed. 🙂)

In May, I turned 30.  My dad came up that weekend to visit.  We ventured out to Connecticut and he showed me where he grew up. The next day, we went down to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome to see old planes.  On my actual birthday (which was on Mother's Day), we went to the Albany Tulip Festival and met up with Mike's parents. Afterwards, everyone came back to the house and we cooked out.  It was a BEAUTIFUL spring day.

Memorial Day weekend, my sister and her family came up to visit. Even though it rained, we had the best time catching up and hanging out.

At the end of July, I went out to Colorado to visit my cousin and her little family.  The trip was quick but so much fun.  I hope to get back and spend more time visiting and exploring.

We've also worked on the house a little this year - I'll work on the following posts to share.

  • February, we finished the hallway painting project, that included painting the stairwell (downstairs foyer, stairwell, upstairs hallway.)
  • In March, we painted our living room.  
  • In August, we redid our bedroom
  • Yesterday, we replaced our front door.  We bought the door and the paint back in May and our schedules finally aligned to tackle this project.

With my new job, I'm hoping by getting out of the house, I can appreciate being in the house if that makes sense.  I'm hoping my joy and creativity will come back and I can share more on this little blog.

January 31, 2018

Washing Our Pottery Barn Slipcovers

A few years ago, we ordered our sofa and loveseat - the PB Comfort Roll in Parchment Twill - from Pottery Barn.  Eight weeks later, they were delivered as we moved into our first apartment together in NJ.  You can ready more about those details in this post.

With family coming over for Christmas, I knew they were way overdue for a washing but with no pets or kids, they weren't looking grimy.  We also don't eat on them anymore since getting a dining table and we are a shoe free house.  To be honest, I was intimidated to wash them. What if they shrunkWhat if I couldn't put them back on?  When we got a new washer and dryer this past summer, (our washer broke in July and the dryer was on the fritz during the home inspection) I specifically wanted a top loading machine with no agitator for the sole purpose of washing the slipcovers!

I had some PTO to use at the end of this past year, so one of the days was spent washing the slipcovers.  As they washed, I cleaned the rest of the house in preparation for Christmas Eve. (You can see more pictures post-wash here.)

It wasn't bad at all! It did take a good portion of the day, as I washed them in 4 loads:
  • 4 loveseat cushion covers
  • loveseat slipcover
  • 4 sofa cushion covers
  • sofa slipcover
Before they went into the washer, I vacuumed them, checked for any stains, and pre-treated the stains with Shout.

I followed the washing instructions for my fabric, as shown in the image below.  They washed beautifully.

After washing, I placed them in the dryer on medium heat for 40 minutes, removing them while they were slightly damp.

For putting the slipcover back on, I referred to this Pottery Barn video for help: How to put on a slipcover.  I then went over any wrinkles with my steamer.

Overall, it was fairly simple AND I got a good workout in, running up and down the basement stairs all day! 😉 Going forward, I plan to wash them quarterly, using this schedule: March, June, September, December, as the seasons change.

December 25, 2017

Christmas Home Tour

Merry Christmas! We have a white Christmas here in New York. About 4-5" of snow fell overnight, a serene sight to wake up to.  Yesterday, we successfully hosted our first holiday gathering, Christmas Eve dinner. You can read more about the menu and planning here. It was so much fun having our family over and 100% stress-free thanks to the Holiday Planner and Schedule, linked in my Christmas Eve post.

And photos from Christmas Eve dinner last night :)

Gingerbread place settings - a tradition my paternal grandmother had when she hosted!

Bayberry wax comes from boiling the berries and skimming off the precious wax coating.
It is the rarest and most prized of all candle waxes.

According to tradition, to bring good luck, you must burn a Bayberry Candle on Christmas Day.
If the flame burns bright and the light shines clear, then heaven will bless you throughout the year.

Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2017

Hosting Christmas Eve Dinner

A dream of mine is finally coming true this weekend - getting to host a holiday dinner! I've been collecting/inheriting dinnerware + serveware for about 10 years.  Now that we are in our first house and have a dining table, it was the perfect opportunity.  We'll be having Mike's family over for Christmas Eve dinner on Sunday since he has to work on Christmas Day.

I finalized the menu last week and the timeline earlier this week.  Here is what is on the menu for 8 people:
King's Arm Tavern Sweet Potatoes recipe (from Colonial Williamsburg)

And this is how I've kept my sanity all week!  This schedule and checklist were a lifesaver.  Literally.  Dinner Planner and Setup Checklist (via Jenny Steffens Hobick)

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas! Do you have Christmas tradition(s)? What are your plans for Christmas this year?