Thursday, November 27, 2014

happy thanksgiving

Hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving and spending some quality time with their families, friends, and loved ones today.  We're all set-up and ready for our family today and hope you are too!
















Sunday, November 23, 2014

being thankful...

Well Thanksgiving holidays are here and I am really excited to get a few days off of work to spend with friends and family.  When I think back on Thanksgiving dinners growing up, one small tradition I remember was that we would go around the table at dinner and each person would say something that he or she was grateful for.  Although the tradition seems simple and trivial, it is one of the first things that comes to mind when I think back to the holiday.  This year, I decided to incorporate that tradition into a little project and I made a "Tree of Thanks".



The base was something I purchased on clearance at Home Goods a long time ago.  The branches and paper tags are from Michael's.  I made the banner letters using the KG A Little Swag font from dafont.  I simply printed the banner, cut out the letters and strung through some jute string to hang it on the base.



Link to Printable


The burlap wreath is a DIY project from last year {here}.



I'm looking forward to having some folks over this week to start filling up the tree!  Hope you all have much to be thankful for this year and that you have a great holiday with your loved ones!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bonaire, Netherlands

I just wanted to share a few pictures today from a recent family trip we took to Bonaire.  Bonaire is a small island in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela.  Together with Aruba and Curacao, these 3 islands form the "ABC Islands".  Bonaire is definitely not the place to go if you are looking for beaches (because there aren't many).  However, for anyone that is looking for a great place for scuba diving or snorkeling, this place is for you as the island is well known as a popular destination for scuba divers.   Unfortunately, our underwater camera broke the first day so I do not have any underwater pictures to share.  However, here are a few "land" pictures from the trip.





We rented a condo at a place called Belmar Oceanfront Apartments.  The kitchen, living room, and balcony were all completely open with amazing views like this one...


We went snorkeling right off the dock most of the days and then hung out at the pool  Very relaxing and so convenient!






One of my favorite "touristy" spots was visiting the Donkey Sanctuary.  The Donkey Sanctuary rescues and helps stray donkeys on the island.  Here you can drive through the sanctuary, purchase hay to feed the donkeys, and even check out some of their youngest residents.   The baby donkeys are ridiculously cute and super friendly!







Wednesday, November 5, 2014

before & after: refinished pool

Since buying our house a few years ago, we have mostly concentrated on updating the inside.  Last month, we took a big step and addressed what I always felt was an eyesore in the back of our house…the pool.  Our house was built in the 80's and had never been updated so the pool was way overdue for a facelift.  The "rock" siding, blue tiles, and the original plaster were all outdated and starting to fall apart so we decided to refinish the bottom of the pool and replace all of the tile and stone.

Here is what it looked like before…




And here is what it looks like now...


The whole process was pretty quick and only took a week.  Here are a few pictures during the process:

After removing the plaster... 


Replacing the tile and stone...


Close-up of the stone and tile...



With the pebble pool finish...



We opted to get a pebble pool finish instead of the standard plaster finish.  The pebble pool finish does cost more than plaster but we picked it because it lasts longer, is more stain-resistant, and (in my opinion) looks better.  


And some more "after" pictures…






And a quick comparison...


I think the pool looks a million times better than before.  If anything, it definitely looks more welcoming!