Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Life on Amelia Island

As many of you know, my husband and I packed our family up and moved down to Amelia Island for a little part-time island living. I feel like a real-life version of House Hunters, or one of those shows where those couples decide to go live on an island and escape the freezing place they live. Tony's landscaping business is still running full tilt in Pittsburgh while we're here, and we've been taking turns working with a local home renovator till we find more permanent avenues of income. I still have my real estate license in Pittsburgh, but I've yet to decide if I'll get it in Florida.
Here's a little glimpse of our life so far in pictures...

Things I've been loving so far:
-very little traffic
-beautiful weather
-walks on the beach
-bike riding out my front door to the beach or town
-closeness to my parents
-my kids are already saying "y'all"

Things I miss about Pittsburgh so far:
-owning my house and being able to do things to it without having to ask :)
-all the hustle and bustle of city life, access to museums, fountains, more variety in restaurants 
-the Pittsburgh left turn

Things I don't miss:
-tunnels and bridges to cross/traffic
-the thought of winter and freezing my face off

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Open House Sunday May 15th: Industrial Loft/Play Space

I have the privilege of listing a friend's place in McKees Rocks. If you know anyone looking for an awesome space to live, work and play, this is your ticket. It's zoned R-2 so realistically you could split into two units, rent one out and live in the other. BUT, as it is, it's a super-creative place that has a huge open living room (currently used as a recording space) and kitchen downstairs, then loft style living upstairs. There's an industrial, yet cozy feel to this house.
Come join me for an open house Sunday, May 15th from 11-2pm and see for yourself. 
208 Helen St.
McKees Rocks, Pa 15136

Friday, April 29, 2016

Cute Place in the South Side Slopes for Rent

This is our little South Side abode. It's rented from August 15-December 15, 2016, and will be available again to rent January 1, 2017- May 2017. Rent is $1800/ month fully furnished, and that includes all utilities, internet, tv, etc. There are public steps that allow easy access to the flats. Parking in front of house for one car, and plenty more spots at the park down a few houses away.


At the park a few houses down

Everything's a quick walk away...love it. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Easy/Stylish Pillow Craft (with the kiddos)

I was inspired by this article in HGtv Magazine where this blogger  painted ikea pillow covers to look like designer pillows. I'm not crafty, but I figured I could handle this and I happened to have some spare Ikea pillow case covers on hand. I think they're like $4 at ikea.
 Anyways, I whipped out some craft paint and started painting some dot like shapes. I didn't even have the fabric medium to add, and it turned out fine- a little rough, but fine. 
Taliila saw what I was doing, and found one of her pillows that she wanted to paint, too. 
Then Gus woke up from his nap, and of course had to have a go at the paint brush as well. Turned into a family affair. Here are the results:
From left to right, Gus's rad pillow and Taliila's pillow says "kindness". 
Taliila used q-tips for her dots. I thought that was a good idea. 

The end result and my attempt at the dots that turned out more like animal tracks. 

I love the idea of temporarily covering my pillows with a fresh new look. Especially with my kids artwork. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Get Inspired: Big Chill Color Challenge

I've got kitchen renovations on the brain, so naturally when Big Chill invited me to do an inspiration board using the Pantone colors of 2016 as inspiration, I got a little giddy. I've been eyeing these stoves for a while and the pink lemonade color has always been one of my favorites.
Before testing out my own style board, I always thought these stoves were typecast to a strictly retro-cottage theme. As you can see here, both inspiration boards have a more modern, chic feel to them. While I love myself a good beach house as much as the next person, I'm really digging the incorporation of the colorful pink stove with the sophistication of all the classic black and white.  It's very much what I'm trying to accomplish in my own kitchen...sort of a French inspired grotto with a touch of pizzazz. 
This next one is really my favorite and jives more with using both the pink and the blue colors together. I love pulling in hues of pink with fabrics, and I can just picture a vase full of peonies on those soapstone counters. I'm also a huge fan of mixing metals. I convinced myself of this a while ago, but here it just shows how you can totally get away with it. Matchy, matchy out. Mixing in. 
And one more thing I learned from my mom- lamps are a must on the countertop. It adds a certain warmth that I just can't explain. Trust me. 

 Left to Right: PendantTile: Soapstone Counters: ChairBig Chill Stove in Beach BlueCabinetHardwarePillow: RugLamp

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Renovations Week 5,6,7...

We're finishing up on some major renovations in our new house. We actually had a contractor come in and remove a wall in between the living room and kitchen- a job too big for us to handle on our own since it involved moving duct work and electrical. He also redid the entire bathroom for us.
My husband and I were talking the other night about it and realized we both never intended to fully gut the bathroom. Like so many renovation stories you hear, one thing lead to another and before we knew it, we were down to the bare studs. There was such bad mold and water damage under the tile, we really had no choice once we saw it. The good news is it's done, and we didn't have to do the work! Yay!
Bathroom Before Gut Job
Bathroom During Gut Job
Bathroom Completely Ripped Out, Re-plumbed, New Window Installed

My original pick for the floor didn't match AT ALL once I laid it next to the shower tile. 
I was so bummed because the tiles I picked totally looked right together in the store, but once I got them in my bathroom under my lighting (and not in the big store), they clashed. Both of them have that marble look, and it was just way too busy. Thankfully I caught it before they were cemented to the floor, ran to Lowes that night, and lugged 100 lbs of new tile back up to the bathroom. 
Floor tile from Lowes, shower tile from Home Depot

Need to add a coat of paint and hang my mirror.
Light from Lowes.

The vanity was an old cabinet I had already, and I ordered the sink and faucet from overstock. 

Living Room Before Picture: see that tiny entry way into the kitchen? 

Living Room: Ripping up the flooring 

Ripping out the wall and framing the opening/reworking the duct work.

View from the kitchen into the living room
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Experimenting with some fun designs on the steps
Living Room with new floors and ultra white paint.

TrafficMaster Lakeshore Pecan Floors
I'm pretty pumped about these floors. Remember when I told you I picked the cheapest floor option Home Depot had? These were it, at only 79 cents/sq. ft! I was second guessing myself, but I really liked them regardless of the price. Laminate flooring has come a long way.
Back upstairs the hard wood floors are a little lacking in comparison. We tried sanding them with a belt sander to no avail. Not wanting the expense (or the backache) of lugging in a commercial floor sander (been there, done that), I decided to paint them. 
Floors before

Hallway Floors Before

First coat of floor paint.

Looks like it's gonna take a few more coats of floor paint before these look right. 

So there we have it... lots of loose ends to be buttoned up before we can move in, but we're getting there. I'm hoping my next post will be the finished product.


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