Friday, December 24, 2010

....and to all a goodnight!

Hope everyone has a beautiful Christmas Eve tonight and a wonderful day tomorrow celebrating!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Halls are decked! Connecticut Gal's holiday best.....

Welcome to my holiday home dressed in its finest! Our Living Room decked out in its finest. Being from Connecticut and seeing how we spend every Christmas there, I couldn't resist this picture above the mantel.
View from the front door.....

Close ups of the tree...used a hydrangea, white pointsettia and pale blue theme - along with a faded brown zebra stripe ribbon.

Close ups of the mantel...

My Byers Choice Caroler collection - I have about 25 now I think....The factory where they are made are close by to me in Pennsylvania, its really a fun thing to go visit during the holiday season!

Our family room with the more "fun" holiday stuff.....

Close up of the tree, yes its missing its star! Looking for a new one to top it!

Nighttime View

Photo of us on our first Christmas 9 years ago
as well as a photo of my husband playing Santa at work!

My wall of autographs from "A Christmas Story". We roadtripped to Cleveland, OH a few years ago to visit the "real" Ralphie house where the movie was filmed and we got to meet many castmates!

Dining Room - this room is next to be re-decorated. Hopefully going to start after the holidays!

Kitchen - Everyone needs a copy of Paula Deen's Christmas! Also, a great book on the left called "The Gingerbread Architect" - its blueprints to make a fabulous gingerbread house - which I have yet to do!

Hot cocoa station - I just recently saw something similar posted on another blog
- I guess great minds think alike!

Front Hallway with Santa Greeting - LOVE his green toile coat!

Bannister going upstairs - ribbon done in a brown zebra stripe -
same ribbon used on the living room tree.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Halloween Soiree

A little late to the game, but better late than never, I guess? Just wanted to share a few pictures from our Halloween Soiree we had back in October....

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Part 3: Rehoboth Beach - The Bellmoor Inn

We had never been to Rehoboth Beach before and what a lovely surprise it was! After receiving some hints from a fellow blogger, I took her suggestions and booked a room at The Bellmoor Inn. It was pure luxury. We were booked on the 4th floor, where there are no children allowed, and its private card key access to get into.
We had a well stocked library with a roaring fireplace right across the hall from our suite and you could help yourself to snacks and drinks.
They served a great complimentary hot breakfast the next morning in the sunroom and common room areas. We enjoyed walking the town and walking the boardwalk, even though it was October, it was quite busy probably because it was such a beautiful day.
We finished our evening at the "Cultured Pearl" restaurant. All I can say is Best. Sushi. Ever. Actually, every single thing we ordered down to the carrot cake with ginger cream cheese frosting was some of the best food we have ever had.
Luckily Rehoboth is only about an hour and half way from us, so I see us making frequent trips down there in our future!

This bed was so comfortable, and check out the size of that pine armoire! Entrance inside our suite - I was in love with the grasscloth wallpaper!
This was the other side of the hotel room. The gas fireplace made is so cozy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Part 2 - The Virginia Hotel - Common areas

For being a fairly small hotel with only 24 rooms, they have truly created some wonderful living spaces. Cape has described this hotel as walking into a F.Scott Fitgerald novel because of the 1930's feel that it reflects. The Virginia was recently renovated in the past few years and decorated by NYC's Colleen Bashaw, whom I just recently read that her brother owns The Virginia and also their much larger sister property a block away, Congress Hall.
This is the room to the left side of the lobby that houses a small bar in the corner. The hotel is in a great location where people shopping or dining can stop in for a drink and enjoy it out on the front porch.

This is the area right off the front desk. There is a piano in the right corner that they have a pianist playing most nights, with the fire going and all the candles lit on the mantel, it is a truly relaxing space.

This little nook was new this time around for us. It was in the far corner of the inside porch. I finally found it empty so I could snap a photo - most people were using it for coffee and Sunday newspaper reading.
Here is a view from the porch looking back towards the lobby. Love that starburst mirror with the sconces over the piano and also that tufted ottoman. The same style of Osborne and Little wallpaper that covers the downstairs was also continued in the guest rooms.
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8 Years? Where does the time go? Part 1

In the first few years of our marriage, we would usually plan a great vacation for October and incorporate it into our anniversary. The past few years that we have been living in the 'burbs, we have stayed pretty low key. This year we decided to do a little getaway that wouldn't be too far from home. This gives me a chance to share a couple of great hotels that we stayed at.
First we were off to Cape May, NJ. This is the entrance that greets you from the fabulous front porch of The Virginia Hotel in Cape May, NJ. They are always on the ball with making sure that the porch is decorated to the appropriate season. We have never stayed here in the fall, so we were delighted to find the cornstalks, pumpkins, gourds, etc. that welcomed us as soon as we pulled the car up to valet.
We have only been lucky enough to stay here twice now and have enjoyed in both times....

Our room this time was a large corner suite style. I am in love with the wallpaper and the pops of red and coral they use against the turquoise.
Unfortunately for me, it was football Sunday so the quietness of the room didn't last too long once my husband was settled in front of that flatscreen.
I have this same mirror hanging in my living room. Do you think they were frugal like me and found it at Home Goods? Probably not. I love hotels that use fresh white linens as their bedding. It adds such a crisp feeling to the room....
Next up: The common area's of the hotel

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Do-it Yourself Fire Pit for people that are NOT Do-it-Yourself!

My husband and I are not handy people. Not even an ounce when it comes to building things. However, after watching a step-by-step video on good ol' Lowe's website, we felt very confident we could turn some stone blocks and a run-of-the-mill fire pit bowl into something a little more special. It was so easy! The hardest part was trying to get the blocks home. Not realizing how heavy they are, we split the 68 rocks into 2 trips back and forth to Lowe's, and almost popped a wheelie in the Jeep after realizing how heavy the load was!

First step, take the cover off the bowl and place down where you want to start building. Layer the blocks in a circle around the cover.

Second Step, just start layering the next level, staggering them from how you built the first layer. Each layer will take 16 blocks for this particular bowl, which was 35" across.

This is what it will look like once you have all four levels complete. You can do 3 layers, but we wanted it a little bit higher.
Next, if your fire pit came assembled (as did ours, since it was the last one, a perfect floor model that they took $30 bucks off, score!) you will need to take the legs off it, so you are just left with the bowl. Place the bowl on top of the rock layers, making sure that the lip has enough overhang.
Eventually we would like to get some snazzy furniture to put around this, but for now, these $17 ace hardware adirondack chairs will have to suffice. We haven't lit it yet, I think we will christen it next Friday night when we have family coming over for my husband's birthday.

Cost breakdown:
64 Lowe's rocks - $2.48 ea+, minus 10% coupon I had = $143
Lowe's fire pit - $60
Adirondack chairs - (we already had two!) $34
Total Spent: $237, which I don't think bad, as alot of people I know have fancy installers come and built them one. Another plus? Its totally moveable since it doesn't have to be cemented down. So when we finally figure out next spring what we want to do with our yard, it can easily be transferred.

Halloween Mantel

I started decorating & cleaning today for our Halloween Soiree that we are having next Saturday. Today I spent a little time working on our living room Mantel. Thought I would take a quick break to share a photo of the finished product.....

Linking up with The Stories of A to Z for her fabulous Fall Mantel Party.