I've had a lot on my mind...

  lately and not feeling particularly inspired, however, the weather this past weekend was glorious and the Hubs and I finally got to enjoy some grilling on our terrace as well as entertaining a few friends. It definitely did the trick  forgetting about real life for at least a few hours. I have attached some pics below of Magnus at work grilling up some burgers and asparagus (thanks for the recipe Melis and Ry). Also a couple pics of our little table and chairs. It is a great place to seek solace when you are stressed or confused and you may even catch a glimpse of some fireworks on a random Tuesday night a la last night ;)

Hopefully everyone has been enjoying the 1st day of summer and the weather we have been having as of late. We are really hoping to grab some new photos of the UpstateHaven this coming weekend when we stop off to my parents to drop off Emma (the cat) and before we head out on a New England driving tour on Saturday.

Pics and posts to come!


  I always feel like such a cheeseball for saying that, but it is SO true! This week has felt far longer than it should have so welcome weekend :) You are greatly appreciated!

The hubs and I will finally be viewing the latest reno projects going on at the house next weekend and it cannot come soon enough. The new roof has been worked on this last week and of course the garage roof needs MAJOR renovations (which we weren't shocked about, but our wallets were). A lot of the boards are rotted out and the old skylights either need to be replaced or just covered over. Since we are not sure what we are doing with the space in the garage (there is currently a drop ceiling in there and it was used as a hideaway for all the kids in the house since it is accessed by a closet in the upstairs hallway) we cannot figure out our exact costs quite yet. The thought of keeping it that way appeals to me, since we can let our own children play in there one day, but it would be awesome to build a loft in the garage for storage etc. So we will see what we end up doing! SO many pics to come of all of that roof reno next weekend so hold on tight :)

This weekend will be the first weekend we are in the city together in over a month, so there are lots of apartment projects slated to take place and organizing to commence. Let's hope we are both feeling motivated... especially with the lovely weather forecast for tomorrow ;) May have to take advantage and get some sun outdoors.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend and enjoy the nice weather!

Back from the weekend....

and feeling very tired and unmotivated. There are however a few things that are picking up my mood! My Dad called me yesterday to tell me that our roofer has finally started the job on our UpstateHaven and so far so good. In addition, he rented an extra big dumpster for the materials so we can throw out some remaining crapola from the house, which is beyond great! Here are a couple pics of our existing roof with hopefully more pics of the updated one to come in the next few weeks.

Look at all that damage on the garage roof! I can't believe it was left on there for so long.

Now moving onto a more fun topic, even though this blog is supposed to be about our new home/renovation and things that are inspirational, I feel like I should tell a little bit about my awesome weekend in Key West with some of my oldest and dearest friends to celebrate my friend Kristen's bachelorette party.

It started off with a smooth flight and connection to Key West, I got there and literally went straight into the pool, since our room was not yet ready. Lucky for me I also needed to rinse off my spray tan (sorry Albury Court for using your lovely pool for that purpose) ;) So, we lounged for about 30 mins and then were alerted that our room was ready and shortly after that, our 4th friend arrived. We got to the room and it was perfect! Next up on the list, drinks of course! Us ladies headed off to a deli up the street in order to pick up some wine and bubbly (apparently you can buy wine etc anywhere in those parts) and some snacks for the room. I guess it had been a while since we were all together for anything longer than a day, because we had a lot of catching up to do which meant a TON of drinking out in front of our hotel room while we basked in the sun.

3 bottles of champs and 2 bottles of wine later, it was time to finally freshen up and head into the main part of town, Duval Street! After perusing our food options, we settled on a pretty touristy joint and none of us can even remember the name of it, which is lucky for them since their food was terribly bland, even their drinks. How is that even possible I ask? We ended up taking a cab back after dinner and chitchatted for a while before hitting the hay. The next night was the big party and we need to get our beauty rest before all the fun stuff we had planned!

Saturday we woke up, had some breakfast at the Inn and then picked up some rental bikes (which were our method of travel for the next two days and I highly recommend renting bikes in any city you visit in order to see more and not rely on taxis/subways as much). After grabbing our bikes we headed off to the Beach for some sun and relaxation. We all rented foam floating mats in order to avoid the painfully rocky area of sand we had to cross before the ocean and also to just be a little lazy in the water. Key West is not known for the beaches, however, the one that was referred to us (Fort Zachary Taylor State Park) turned out to be pretty great actually. They had a great little snack bar and was a short bike ride from our hotel and downtown Key West.

Here's a photo:
After getting a little bit too toasty at the beach we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and grab some lunch/drinks. This time for food we hit up Mangoes and it was really good! I had the tastiest stack of tuna tartare, tomatoes, avocado, lump crab and micro arugula with a spicy aioli dressing, YUMMO!

A couple of glasses of vino later, we headed back to the hotel yet again to REALLY get prepped for the main festivities. Below is a pic of the bride-to-be at dinner. We chose to go to Grand Cafe since it's right on Duval and in the middle of all the action so we could just walk around.
We indulged our bridie in a few pamatini's and some delicious seafood and then it was time for the real party to commence! If you have ever been to Key West, you know their are a few very crazy drag joints but ours was straight up ridiculous and just what the doctor ordered for a ladies night on the town. I won't touch on that subject anymore, but you can imagine it was filled with fun music, outlandish guys/ladies and some nudity ;)

We did however hit up a few bars on the strip and then got our pizza fix and headed home for the night aka morning.  There may have been a phone casualty, but my friend Kelly and I managed to track it down at all hours of the morning and it was recovered before getting some shut eye for a couple hours.

The next day was spent relaxing, more beach time and just winding down after the crazy events. I'm glad to be back to normal eating/drinking habits but already miss my ladies so much words cannot express. Good thing we have at least one other fun weekend in the forseeable future :)

I should probably wrap the post up for now since I have rambled on enough. Hopefully the hubs and I will have more house posts for you all soon :)

Not too much to report on...

  on my end! Things have been pretty quiet on the UpstateHaven front for the time being and I have been busy busy busy just running around doing errands and getting prepped for this trip to Key West!

I'll be back on Monday and will hopefully have some great posts, if not about the house then about the girls only trip down south!

Enjoy the weekend everyone :)

Out of sight, out of mind....

  At least that is how the saying goes, but not for US! We haven't been up to the house now in over a week and will not be up there for a few more weeks and we are definitely wondering how things are going in the kitchen (flooring/wall paint/a few more cabinet doors being set in their place). I actually just emailed my Uncle to check in and see how things are progressing and waiting to hear back :)

In the meantime, I thought I would post about what is around the corner for this coming weekend ;) It is this little ladies bachelorette party in Key West. CANNOT wait!
Don't mind the ridiculousness of the hubs in this here photo. We were at another friend's wedding last August and we all know how that goes ;)

Back to this weekend... it is going to be 4 of us ladies and whenever we are together we have endless amounts of fun so it should really be a good time! Relaxing by the pool, taking in some sights and more importantly showing her a bachelorette weekend one only dreams about!

I will make sure to post more on that after I return. In the meantime, I think the hubby will be having a few boys nights of his own (don't want him to be left out of all the fun) and hopefully doing some organizing etc around the apartment.

Are there any places in Key West that you can recommend or restaurants we should eat at?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh .....

  That is the sound my brain/body made this weekend as the Hubs and I chillaxed with some of our closest friends and their little lady Jane and furry child Lola. It was so great to unwind and get out of the city for a weekend without doing any home improvement or apartment organizing. Since little Jane is still a wee one at 6 weeks old, we pretty much stayed close to home with the exception of a fabulous brunch at my fav VA spot, Eggspectations! I cannot pinpoint exactly what it is that makes this breakfast/brunch place so fab but they always do right by me! They have a ginormous list of Eggs Benedict creations and the French Toast is tdf! Plus we had the company of the lovely Lanthier family ;) Other than that outting, we were treated to some very tasty grill creations and an assortment of Wegmans (another major player in my life) goodies! Thank you for hosting us L family!!

Below are a couple BEYOND cute pics of the Lanthier siblings ;)

 All nestled in her cozy car seat :)


How I long to be.....

  in the south of France this time of year amidst all the Bougainvillea and rolling hills. Last year we were gearing up for a trip to France with Mags Mom (my MIL) and re-visiting the pics this morning made me really long for a European trip of some sort. Fortunately, we are headed to Ashburn, VA this weekend to see one of my best friends, her hubbie and their new little one Jane :) It may not be the South of France, but it will be so nice to get out of the city and spend some time with our good friends! Can't wait! In the meantime, here are a couple pics from our trip last year and then the Rhododendron outside of our UpstateHaven that really made me think to look at our pics in the first place!

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the gorgeous weather!

It's the little things ...

  As I've said before, one of the biggest reasons my husband and I love our UpstateHaven as much as we do is due to the small touches on the inside of the house that really make it special. One of those things is the awesome built in fan to export any smell/smoke/heat from the kitchen while cooking. It's really a throw back to the times before you had a range hood to take care of all that. We think it's pretty cool the way it has a little door and chord to pull in-order to get it fired up. I have posted a few pics below to showcase said fan in its closed/open state and in exportation mode ;)

It literally makes me smile everytime we fire it up! Soooo nerdy, I know ;)