Beach House Changes

Over the spring, our family made the decision to switch to a different rental company to handle all of our reservations and house upkeep.  The new rental company had some good suggestions to increase our rental volume and since Matt and I were there just before peak season, we did all the heavy lifting on making those changes!  

The two main changes we focused on were 1) ditching the tv armoir in the living room and 2) adding bunkbeds to one of the jack-and-jill bedrooms upstairs.  We did a little pre-work before traveling and had already ordered two sets of bunkbeds that were set to arrive the same day we did.  But as we rolled into town early that morning, we still had to shop for four new twin-sized mattresses, bedding for the new beds, a new tv to hang on the wall in the living room, and a piece of furniture to set underneath it.  Doesn't sound like much, but when you have only one day to do it all, one car to do it in, and two small, restless helpers in tow, it turns into quite a heavy day's work.  

I'll spare you ALL of the details (it was a LONG day and the kids did really well considering) but we did have to rent a truck from Home Depot at one point.  And here's a couple things we learned - none of the mattress stores we visited (about four maybe?) had four twin size mattresses in stock that we could walk out with that day.  We had to buy two sets of two from different places, or else we'd have to order them to be delivered in a week.  And, you can't legally sell a used mattress anywhere in Florida.  We had a queen set with less than a year's worth of sleeping on it but we couldn't do anything with it!  We could have sold it ourselves through Craigslist, but time was not on our side for that.  In the end, we had to pay one of the mattress places to let us drop it off at their dumpster to be hauled off.  Isn't that crazy?


Also on the list of activities for the day was to find a consignment store to sell the queen bed, dresser, and tv armoir that we no longer needed (and a few other odds and ends).  We learned that there is no longer a market for tv armoirs so once again, we were stuck with a piece of furniture we couldn't do anything with!  The consignment store let us dump it in their warehouse to be donated to charity.


I had to send pictures of the bed and dresser before the consignment store would agree to sell them.  

Here is an old picture from move-in weekend of the tv armoir we had in the living room.  Ironically, we originally purchased it from the consignment store that wouldn't take it back.


Here is how the living room looks now without the tv armoir, a slightly bigger tv on the wall, and a new piece of furniture from Kirkland's underneath it.  It's amazing how much bigger the room feels without the armoir sticking out from the wall.


I gotta give ourselves a hand and say we did a dang good job of knocking out everything on our to-do list that day.  Our goal was to have all the "house work" done before our guests arrived so we could actually enjoy the week's vacation.  Everything went according to plan until late that night when we finally started putting together the two sets of bunkbeds only to find we were one box short.   

We were only able to put together one set of beds that night which frustrated me and Matt but the kids were thrilled to get to sleep on them. (Pictured here with a comforter from Walmart I took back the next day.)


While we love the beds we ordered from Wayfair, their customer service over our lost box was pretty horrible.  I tried to leave a negative review on their site about it but it wouldn't ever post.  Weird.  It was the shipping company that eventually found our box and delivered it to us mid-week.  By the end of the week, we had both beds set up and the new bunk room ready for renters.


I purchased the quilts from two different Bed, Bath, and Beyond stores (again - why can't you get four??) and I love the way the stripes look on the white beds with the grey walls.  The other side has anchors which is a good touch for the beach house.  My mom made the throw pillows with some sailboat Premier Fabric. 


Hopefully the next time we visit the house all our new furniture will still be in good condition and we'll get to enjoy it without having to shop for it or put it together!  I hope that visit comes sooner rather than later!

Vacay in a Nutshell

Like I said in my last post, we've been at the beach house this week.  It has been wonderful; the weather has been in the high 80s, so definitely hot but not sweltering like it will be this summer.  The peak season here really starts this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday and we can already tell that as it gets close to the weekend, the crowds are getting bigger.  I'm really glad we were able to come before everything got packed! For the first time ever, we brought Lolli with us.  Riding in the car for that long was quite the adventure for her.  She couldn't ever settle down and nap for fear that as soon as she did, we'd arrive at our destination.  That meant a solid 8 hours of her standing in my lap looking out the window.  Good thing we had an audio book to listen to since I couldn't do much else.

First thing on the agenda was definitely to take the dogs to the beach.  Henry had seen the ocean before (see his first visit here) but not Lolli.  I just knew she was going to love it because she loves getting soaking wet outside.  If there's a rain puddle or wet grass anywhere near her, she's definitely going to roll around in it.  She completely surprised me, though, because as much as she was content with the sand, she hated the ocean.  Didn't want to have anything to do with it.

This is her giving me the stink eye after I'd drug her into the edge of a wave to get her feet wet.  She was not happy with me.  (As you can tell from the photo, I was so convinced that she'd love running in the water that I had all her hair shaved off before we left.)

She plopped right down in the sand and seemed to be telling me that she was perfectly fine where she was, thankyouverymuch.

Henry, on the other hand, was much more excited about the ocean this time around.  He loved running into the water and trying to lap it up.  (Henry is like me in that he doesn't have very cute beach hair...)

We were there too, but the only proof I have is our toes in the sand.

While my parents were here, Doc and my dad played golf a couple times which means Mom and I had some shopping dates.  We hit up several different locations and found some good deals but the Outlet Mall - usually one of my favorite parts about coming down here - just wasn't that much fun for me.  Being preggers, I found that none of the stores work for me, it's a whole lotta walking, and the bathrooms are spaced way too far apart.  I know, I know, first world problems.

We made two more patio chairs to go with the set here so we'd have 4 chairs instead of two.  With the extra chairs we were able to all eat dinner out on the patio one night while listening to a storm move in.  It was my favorite kind of meal - hot dogs from the grill, chip and dip, and fresh fruit. :)

On Mom and Dad's last night here, we went out to eat at La Crema in Rosemary Beach.   They specialize in tapas and chocolate and it's all so, so good.

I really hate this picture of me but it's the only one we took together the whole time we were there.

After they left, Doc and I spent a full day out on the beach and both turned into lobsters.  Re-apply your sunscreen, people!  We had a date night that night at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.  We ended up sitting out on the patio at Margaritaville for dinner.  The sun was setting as our dinner began and Doc tried to capture it behind me, but his phone didn't pick up all the pretty colors in the sky.

That's really about it.  We spent the last day under the shade hiding from the sun and cleaning up the house.  The next scheduled trip we have to come down here is when I'm on maternity leave.  I have a feeling I'll get my camera out a lot more on that trip!

Dear Beach House...

...It's so hard to say goodbye!  At the time that this posts, I'm probably sitting in the front seat of our rented minivan boo hoo-ing as we drive towards our house that's not brand new, doesn't have a pool in the backyard, and isn't within walking distance of the beach.  And, last I checked, it was raining cats and dogs at home so we'll likely be greeted by mud puddles and foot-high weeds.  Sigh...why can't we just stay here forever? This week was the kids' spring break so we brought them (and Doc's parents too) to see the beach house for the first time.  During building, we kept it a secret from them so they had no idea it even existed.  I mean, they knew we were headed to the beach and that we were staying in a house, they just didn't know it was our house.  As we pulled up, we told them we were all going to take a quick tour of the house and then we had to meet out on the patio for a family meeting.  Doc used his serious voice thinking he'd make them nervous (especially since last week we'd had a family meeting and told them about the new brother or sister they'll be getting in September!) but I think they just thought he was going to go over the "vacation rules."

Before telling them the house belongs to us, we asked them what they thought about it so we'd get an unbiased opinion.  They both thought it was really cool...they got their own rooms and it had a pool!  I had my camera poised to snap a pic when Doc told them that the house belongs to us.  I was ready to catch their excitement on film!

Um yea, not really the picture I was expecting.  What we actually got was about a billion questions.  " this used to just be an empty lot?"  "You've seen this house before?"  "We can come here anytime?"  "Other people can come here too?"  I guess it was a lot to take in.  We asked them if they remembered all the mattresses and couches that used to be in Mimi and Poppy's (my parents) garage.  "Yea?"  Then we told them those were the mattresses we'd be sleeping on the couches that were in the living room.  Slowly but surely it all started to make sense to them.

Then they got excited!  And also wanted to know why didn't build a third floor.  We tried to point out the positives; tweens don't really get mortgages and things like that.

We also told them that noone had swam in the pool yet so the race was on to see who could get suited up first.   Wyatt was first but we made him patiently wait for his sister so they could jump in together.

Finally she made it down and we counted them off.  They made sure I had my camera ready so we'd know for sure exactly who went all the way under first.

Three, two...!  Looks like Anna's off the ground first.

But Wyatt's catching up.

Looks like Wyatt made it under first.  The camera doesn't lie.  Just don't tell Anna, ok?

It didn't take long after they jumped in for us to realize the pool heater wasn't turned on.  Pool water on March 14th is COLD!  Doc spent a while on the phone with the pool guy.  Turns out the gas wasn't hooked up yet.

Wyatt became the pool boy and got to work cleaning out the leaves.

The rest of us pretty much just sat around and watched.

I spent about an hour out by the pool the first day.  I was finishing up a book on my kindle and just had on shorts and a tank top since it really wasn't that hot.  As it turns out, the sun was doing a job on me and it looked like I was wearing that tank top for the rest of the trip.  That, or a bright red bib.  Lemme tell you, it was awesome.

Before we got the heat turned on, Anna mastered the art of getting onto the raft without getting wet.

Poor Wyatt got soaked every time.  Luckily, he didn't seem to mind.

The second full day of our vacation was my birthday!  My sneaky little family turned into busy little bees while I was in the shower that afternoon, because I walked outside to a surprise party on the porch!


I wish I'd had my camera to show you things from my point of view.  Doc told me to come outside and I saw the balloons but noone was there.  And then Lala appeared from behind the bike shed, Anna and Papa rounded the corner of the house, and Wyatt pulled up the driveway on his bike.  And they all had presents!  (Anna's and Wyatt's were even wrapped in paper they'd decorated.)

Lala took lots of great pictures at the party but yea, I'd just stepped out of the shower so must of those will remain unposted.  One of the presents I opened was a new pair of TOMS ballet flats.  Super cute!

I also got a Built bag for my laptop.  Really excited about finally having something to cart my computer around in!

Doc baked brownies for the party and Anna arranged my candles into a 2 and a 9 (last year in the twenties!).  Unfortunately, there were no matches so I had to pretend to blow them out.  That just means I got them all and my wish will come true!

Later that afternoon Doc took me out for a quick shopping trip and a birthday dinner.  Of course I didn't take a picture of us actually showered and cleaned up, but it was a great date night!  It was a really good birthday and I'm so glad I got to spend it at the beach with these guys!

As for the rest of the trip, we did as little as possible.  We spent a day or two at the beach and lots of time lounging around the pool.  I spotted three of these guys (or maybe they were all the same one?) hanging out by the pool with us.  To be so afraid of snakes and other creepy crawly things, I actually think these little lizards are pretty cute.

We bought two more bikes while we were in town so now there's a total of four at the house.  There were lots of bike rides while we were there.


As always, Doc was the head cook and whipped up some great seafood meals.  Like the pool, we also broke in the dining room table and ate dinner at it a couple nights.

While I was in the back taking that picture of Doc grilling, I also snapped a couple of the back walkway since I left it off our tour (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four).  This is the view from the back door looking towards the pool.

We've got an outdoor shower with both hot and cold water.  Wyatt took a couple of ten minute "rinse offs" after swimming in the freezing cold pool; I think he liked it.  Next to the shower is a rack for you to hang your towel.


So that was our quick spring break vacation!  I'll leave you with this picture of Little Miss Sassy.

Beach House Tour: Part 4

Let's wrap this thing up, shall we?  The last stops on the tour are the master suite and the "mini master."  I think we'll start with the mini; it's downstairs and we got a small peek into it on Part 2 of the tour when we were in the kitchen.

The mini master is the only bedroom downstairs and even though it's probably the smallest in size, the tall ceilings keep it from feeling tiny.  It's located at the back of the house, just off the kitchen, and the builder called it a mini master because it has it's own full bath.  This is where Doc and I stayed while we were there and we give it a 2 thumbs up.  It's quite cozy.

So let's get closer.  Here's the view from right at the door.

Early on in our shopping, my mom and I were visiting my aunt and she took us to a great furniture outlet store.  We bought three of the beds there - all brand new and ridiculously cheap.  One was the footboard and headboard that we had to paint white.  We had to buy side rails for it since it wasn't a complete bed and now it looks great in the "Jackie" room.  The king bed in the master bedroom was the same situation; we had to buy side rails for it too but at least we didn't have to paint that one.  For this room, we got the solid wood headboard for 100 smackaroos.  We attached a metal bedframe to it and called it done.

Hopefully you recognize the flower painting above the bed.  That's the $8 Target canvas I made over a few weeks ago.

Here's a shot of the side wall.  The curtains (made by my mom) look a little wonky since we kept drawing them closed at night.  And in this picture, that mirror looks really low but I promise if you were standing in front of it checking to see if you had something in your teeth, the height is just right.

The floral fabric used for the curtains, shams, and bed skirt is a Premier Print.  The cream matlasee was another TJ Maxx find and it only had one sham to go with it, which explains the random single pillow in front.

Across from the bed is the mustard yellow dresser that I'm still in love with.

The last wall of the room has the closet and bathroom doors on it.  The green chair sits in between the two and, from this picture, kinda looks like it sticks out and would be in the way, but I loved having it there to throw my clothes everyday.

Beside the bed sits the little yellow side table we made.  Sorry this picture (and the others, too) is so dark.  My daylight was all gone and I didn't turn on my flash.

I completely forgot that the bottom half of the curtains in this room were solid yellow when I decided to paint the table that color.  So there's a slight yellow overload but I really don't know what other color I would've painted it.  I had also forgotten about this yellow lamp that we bought for this room.  The crazy thing is that it's the exact same shade of yellow, even the glazes match!  I probably couldn't have matched them better if I tried.

We added a few more buoys to the bottom of the table.

The bathroom is not tiny, but it was still had for me to get good pictures of.  I couldn't stand back very far to get a good shot.  And just in case anyone reading this really notices details, yes, the knobs on the drawers were still missing.  They're there now, though. :)

The countertop is another granite remnant that our builder picked out.  I'm so glad he had good taste!

This is about as good as I could get of the tiled shower.  The white strip of sheetrock on the right has since been painted.

Who's ready to go upstairs to the real master suite?  I am, cause I think it's my favorite room.  (Although I do change my mind about that a lot.)

The master suite is upstairs over the dining room and mini master side of the house.  Here it is from the door.

Let's start with the color scheme.  My mom bought this blue and cream chevron fabric (another Premier Print) completely by mistake.  I had asked her to pick up a different blue fabric and she grabbed this one because I had gotten a swatch of it too while at the fabric store.

It is not unlike us to have a few yards of fabric (or even a whole bolt!) that we don't even have a purpose for, so we just held on to this and figured we'd find a place for it.  Then my mom found this brown print somewhere and had the idea to use them together for the master.

Shortly after pairing the two together, we had our big score at the furnitre store that was going out of business and found the painting that's over the bed.  It was perfect.  (And if you're a Dooce reader, she has the same painting hanging in her house!)

So that's how the color scheme came about; we just then had to put it all together.  We went out on a limb with the blue walls (Rain by Sherwin Williams) but we wanted at least one room that wasn't a neutral color.  I'll admit, I was very nervous about this room once I saw it painted.  Before it had any carpet or furniture, the blue walls and white trim looked really, really bright.  I wasn't sure that our cream furniture was going to work.

I was nearing panic mode and ready to start over on the decorations when my mom told me to relax.  She reminded me the curtains would hide a lot of the bright white trim and the carpet would tone it all down.  I'm glad I choked down that chill pill because I really like this room now!

The cream quilt is Martha Stewart and is reversible.  The other side is a sandy brown, just a shade lighter than the fabric on the bed skirt.  Mom made all the throw pillows except for the round one in front.  That one came from TJ Maxx.

Remember the neutral Rast dressers with the neutral lamps and neutral lamp shades?  I'm glad that I stuck with all the neutral since they're flanked by the chevron curtains.  I love the way they look.

Across from the bed is the cream dresser I painted.

On one side of the dresser sits this cute little footstool.  It was not needed at all, but the fabric store was itching to get it out of their inventory so we did them a favor and bought it.  The top is a hinged lid for some hidden storage.

On the other side of the dresser is this chair we picked up for $100 at an estate sale.  We had to have it recovered but it was still a really good deal.

The painting hanging over the chair is the one my mom did at our painting class.

The master bathroom is obviously the biggest one in the house.

The half wall ledge at the end of the sinks was still missing a piece of granite when I took these pictures.

Mom made more faux roman shades to hang over the windows in here.  The fabric is a coordinating one to the chevron in the bedroom.

My freestyle painting from our paint night is hanging over the soaker tub.

The tile shower in this bathroom is a lot like the one downstairs, except bigger and with a bench.

Here's a final picture looking back into the master bedroom.

I guess this brings our Beach House Tour to an end.  Sadness.

I'm also at a loss for what I'm supposed to do on the weekends now, with no more furniture to paint or wall art to create.  I gotta say, decorating and furnishing an entire house from 450 miles away is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but I'm more than pleased with how it all turned out.  Doc and I are going back in just a couple weeks and will be taking the kids (who still don't even know it exists).  I can't wait to see their faces when we tell them its ours, but mostly, I can wait to just relax and enjoy it!

So what do you think about it?  Too much hype for what it is?  Glad its over so we don't have to talk about it anymore?  Or are you ready to come for a visit?  Which room would you choose if you got first dibs?  Give it to me straight.

Beach House Tour: Part 3

Wanna know something?  Part 2 of this tour took me 3 hours to write.  I'm not sure that's the exact amount of time since it was spread out over two days, but believe me when I say it took fooooor-ev-er.  And then I finally hit publish and half of it disappeared.  Poof! Gone.  Just like that.  So naturally I had to spend a good 45 minutes crying and flailing about before I could pull myself together and redo it.  And the second time around wasn't nearly as good as the first.  I didn't even re-write about the cute red and white polka dot bakeware we bought! All that is to say that I don't have 3 hours right now to spend click-clacking away on the laptop, so I'm going to break the bedrooms part of this tour down into two posts.  Forgive me, will ya?

It would probably make sense to start with the downstairs bedroom since that's kinda where we left off, but I'm gonna switch things up and go straight to the Jack-and-Jill bedrooms.  I'm crazy like that.

So come on, let's drag our hineys up the stairs and get this tour going again!

The picture above is of the upstairs hallway, so you can get oriented with where we are.  The door at the top of the stairs is the laundry room and then the two bedrooms are on the left (with a linen closet in the middle of the hall).

Also at the top of the stairs is this eye-sore of a breaker box.  Now you see it... you don't.  That was an easy fix.

And now let's peek our head into that room on the left.  We'll call it the Jill since it's got polka dots and polka dots feel girly to me.

Here's a straight on view of the bed.  The bedding is Martha Stewart and the painting was done by my sister-in-law, Beth.

Here's the wall across from the bed.  We bought two of those white dressers, one for each of the J-and-J rooms.  My mom made the curtains and they match the bed skirt and pillow shams.

On the dresser in this room sits two wooden buoys and a lamp.  The lamp is a Pier One lamp that I found at a yard sale.  My mom has the exact same one at her house and I definitely paid a lot less than she did. :)

There's another buoy hanging on the closet door.

In every bedroom closet, hangers are awaiting our guests.  This one has one of the luggage racks too.

Remember the Ikea Rast dresser with the grey top?  It landed in this room.  The lamp is from Marshall's, or maybe TJ Maxx.  Can't remember.

Lamp on!

Here's the other side of the room.  The door leads to the bathroom.

The bench is one that we made a long time ago.  It'd just been hanging out in the shop gathering dust, so we added some baskets to the bottom and thought it'd be a good place to put a suitcase or something.  The top is stenciled like the other Rast dresser.

The window pane mirror was just 20 bucks on sale from Hobby Lobby.  It's not perfect but it works.

That sums it up for the Jill bedroom so let's check out the bathroom that joins the two rooms together.

We let our builder pick out granite remnants to use in the bathrooms, and I love the color of the granite that he chose for this bath.  I think it looks good with the grey walls and the white cabinets.

These cute little jars came from a consignment shop and were the perfect color.  They're the exact same shade of blue as our other accessories.

We hung my ocean grass and beach rock shadowboxes above the towel racks.

The other side of the room has the toilet (obviously) and a bath/shower combo.  My mom made the shower curtain and that thing hanging above the towel rack is a shelf of votive candles that's got mirrors.  It's kinda hard to tell in this picture.

The trash can and shower curtain hooks both came from Target.

Bathroom tour...check!  On to the Jack room!

Well, I forgot that this room had some polka dots too so maybe it should be the Jackie room?  Doc says this room is his favorite because it's so white and clean.  We'll see how long the "white and clean" lasts after we start renting the house.

Straight on shot of this bed.  We found the bedding way early on at Marshall's and thought it looked beachy.  It seemed like it would be easy enough to match with all the colors.  Turns out nothing in the whole entire world is the same colors as the stripes in that duvet.  I'm not exaggerating at all.  The painting is another Beth original.  Oh, and that's the bed we painted white.

The stenciled Ikea Rast dresser found a home in this room.  I don't remember where the lamp came from but it's pretty cool because you can adjust the height of it.  The curtains and bedskirt were both plain white (you know, since nothing in the whole entire world matched the bedding) but my mom added some grey stripes so they wouldn't be too, too plain.

Across from the bed is another one of those white dressers with the mirror that my brother painted hanging over it.  We added a splash of color with the lamp I spray painted.  The white chair beside it is a good place to throw your purse, or something.

This wall is my favorite part of this bedroom.  I love the flower canvas I made hanging over those cute grey drawers.


Cute, right?

And that, my friends, wraps up the Jack(ie)-and-Jill bedrooms.  My favorite rooms - the master and "mini master" - are next.  Promise.  Be back soon!