A much needed vacation and celebration

I haven't been on a vacation since December with Allison. And chaos is very quickly about to ensue in the Gibbons/Stamps household.  What better time to get away!

Actually, I've had this trip back to Delaware planned for a while now, because Kristen is going to be graduating high school!  So excited for her, and wouldn't miss being there to support her! And of course while I'm in Delaware, there's 10 other visits I have to make with family and friends.  Not gonna lie, Delaware is going to be chaotic.  That pretty much seems to be the trend though these days.
Kristen at her Senior Prom.  Wish I could have been there.  She looked stunning!

The relaxing, calmer part of the trip that I only planned, oh, 2 weeks ago or so, is that Kristen and I are going to go to the Bahamas on a cruise for 4 days!!  We leave out on Monday from Port Canaveral and will be visiting Cococay and Nassau on the trip. Before she heads off for college (!!!), it will be a really fun way for us to spend time together.  And she's always wanted to go to the Bahamas, so it's a win-win.

Much much needed calm before the storm!


Turning in the Good Ol' Resignation Letter

Welp, today's the day.  I'm turning it in.  It's going to officially start feeling real.  I know that's silly, considering we've been working on the house all this time in preparation of the move, but it still just doesn't feel like reality.

Our real estate agent is coming to look through the house on Sunday to see if any changes need to be made before we finalize listing our work of art over the last 3 years. That's going to be the kick of reality setting in.  I'm going to be out of town, which is probably for the better for Terry to handle the start of this process, as I have a sneaking suspicion my emotions are going to be a rollercoaster in this upcoming month. 

LOTS of wonderful but major changes happening, and quickly.  Buckling up now.


The Kitchen: Final wallpaint and we're happy!

Refreshing the memory; we've had horrible luck with painting our kitchen.
Memorial Day was a doozy.
We've gone from Tan to primed white to green, to darker green, to Miami Orange, to mellow orange, to our final product.  Ugh! 
Here's the best photo I could find of a blank canvas for the color. Pre-backsplash and pre-gas stove and matching microwave. 
The kitchen color fiasco was all solved when Terry brought home this color palette one evening after a Home Depot trip.
Of course, me being me, I immediately said, "Purple?!" (although to be fair I think I had a little reason to think that was far-fetched).  He stuck with it and we went and bought little paint samples to test it out.

We started with T painting the ceiling. It was looking pretty dingy, and when we put up the new paint, it made it almost look gray up there. Oops. Then we tried out the three colors to see if it would work.  Elephant Skin would go around the main band along the ceiling, Burnished Clay would go on the main wall with the french doors, and Darkest Grape would be our accent coloring behind the refrigerator and in the nook leading down the main hallway.

I was a little hesistant about the purple still, so we went and bought another paint sample to ease my worries.  You can see that we put that up next to the original purple in the photo below, and it was just too dark.  It was a major help in my concern, and well worth the $2.99 for the sample.
Next, Terry trimmed in the Burnished Clay over the dreadful Orange.  
 We Love it! It works well in all lighting , and with that space getting all light-options of the day, it was a win!
 So much of a win, that we opted to paint the main hallway and entrance-way the same color.  It has made our home look very crisp and more contemporary. 
Another shot leading down the hallway, and base trim and french door trim!!!  It is all finally coming together!
 Here's all three colors in a night shot, and it doesn't get too dark and washed out.
 Here's in the daytime, and it still looks crisp (There's painters tape up still along the cabinet in the photo below. Oops)
 Last photo when we first painted behind the entryway into the dining room next to the refrigerator.  Later, I ended up pulling out the fridge and painting the entire wall so that there wasn't the tan cutoff like you can see in this picture.
We love how the space looks now! Finally colors that coordinate and bring life to the kitchen, and that aren't neutrals to fade into the rest of the neutral space. 
And, yes, our kitchen has purple......and it rocks!


Hall Bathroom Update Continued

So we left off here.

What is up with the half painted wall, you may say? Well, we opted to install wainscoting! (bad picture, sorry)
Adding on the trim and base boards. Mind you the vanity came in and out roughly five times so we knew proper cuts and edges.  Putting my puny little arms to work.
Another angle
Which I guess is a great segue into how the vanity has turned out.
We sanded all the previous stain away and started from scratch, applying Jacobean wood stain.  It took several coats, but we were happy with the outcome.
 I think that it looks a bit dark in this photo as far as the color goes, but you can see that it's super glossy with the polyurethane layers we added to it so it would be durable in a bathroom setting i.e. high moisture area.
One last check before we brought it in with the vessel sink on top to set it firmly in place and glue it in place.
 Again, from the picture above I think it looks so dark, but the true shade is closer to the picture below.
 We brought in the sink to measure exactly where it would sit on top of the vanity. We marked it off, then shimmied the vanity out to have a little extra room, spread a silicone bead all over the bottom of the sink, and set it back down in place.  What a stinky mess!  But the reward paid off.
Note: I think that from this angle, the sink looks tiny.  So tiny that it makes it look silly to have two faucets on it. 
In actuality, it's a very long sink.  I made Terry model a 280'ish lb man on one side using the sink comfortably and he's still not close to the center of the sink. (Bad picture again, but I didn't have time to fool with it when he agreed that he'd model for me. These chances happen so infrequently)
 The final step in securing the vanity permanently into the bathroom was to silicone it to the wall.  FYI, this stuff smells like concentrated white vinegar, so I took this shot and then was coughing for 5 minutes. 
Voila!  Oh, and we just hung the mirror.  Double Voila!!  Oh and the mirror gives away that we've hung a shower curtain and framed in the laundry area, but we're not complete with that part yet.....so you're gonna have to wait until after this weekend!
It really looks so amazing in person.  Just still so hard to believe how it started and what it's become. 


Hall Bathroom: I don't know where to start, so I'll start here

Since I've last posted about the bathroom, we are essentially a toilet and shower head installation away from a finished product.  That being said, I clearly haven't done a good job of keeping up with posting.  We've been busy.  So rather than spend an exorbitant amount of time in attempting to figure out the best breakdown of posts, I'm just gonna go with it.  It may be out of sync, it may be a little hard to follow.  Sorry.  Otherwise, I'll more than likely dawdle a few more days away before I start to post about it again.
Here we go!
From where I left off with finishing the floor in travertine tile, we decided to also run the travertine around the shower wall to make a more cohesive look to the space.
We had to tear out the previous shower wall and backerboard due to mold growth.  Pictures not necessary....lets just say it was black on some parts.
 New backer board
 Water sealant.
Midway through the shower tile install...
Shower tub to ceiling finish.  I think it creates an illusion to the eye to make the room seem taller.  Especially while standing in the shower.
And what you may or may not have caught two pictures before was that in the midst of tile installation, we started priming and painting!  Yes, don't adjust your computer monitors, that is in fact YELLOW!  Butter Cream to be exact.  Picked out by the one and only Big Man of the house. This isn't a great picture, but it's the only one I can show at this time point and not give away a ton of the other fun that has happened.

Also in the midst of shower tile installation and painting: Installing the backsplash around the sink.  We rented a tile saw, so we had to do things a bit out of order and mock up where we were going to place the sink, then pulled it back out to finish the vanity. I know this picture is a big giveaway (duh) of what to expect of the vanity, but its the only way I can show the backsplash and it make any sense.  And the vanity looks entirely different since this photo.
And certainly a lot different from how we bought it when we moved in......

So here's how I'll leave it for today. I'm writing up the next post now (slow day) so there will certainly be a post for tomorrow.  Continuing with "Why is the wall only half painted?" and "Whats the vanity really look like now?"
 Again, one final reminder of where we started (below) and where we're headed (above).  Crazy pants!


Cardinals vs the Braves

We got tickets from a friend who works for the Cardinals to go to one of the games while the Atlanta Braves were in town last week.

This was the same game that the Cardinals honored Tony La Russa on his retirement.  They officially retired his number and put up a permanent sign of him in the outfield.  Throughout the entire game, they had video snippets of players, coaches, staff, and friends wishing Tony well in his future.  It was a very nice tribute to be a part of in the crowd.  
The game went into overtime up to 12 innings.  We left during the 11th inning to try and beat traffic, and because it was getting so late.  The Cardinals ended up losing, so I feel bad that they may have lost because we as good luck charms left so it was good that we left early. ;-)


Mary Poppins

Last week, I went with a friend and her daughter to see Mary Poppins on stage at the Peabody Opera House. We went and had a quick dinner at Lola before dinner, which was delicious! 
Excuse the horrible iPhone photos, but we weren't allowed to have cameras as they "could harm the actors". 
The sets were remarkable.  I wish I was able to show you what I can still visualize in my head.  I just felt transported to my childhood.  Singing along to "ohhh it's a jolly holiday with Mary" made my heart swell.
This picture doesn't do any justice, but the way they manipulated this free-standing house was almost like magic on stage. 
I'd never been to the Peabody Opera House before here in St Louis, and after seeing it inside, I wished we'd been more.  Stunning space, everything an Opera House should be!

Who wants to go to the theater with me next??


Dinner at Harvest

Mom wanted to celebrate our engagement with a nice dinner in St Louis.  She has quickly recognized that the main path to our heart is through our bellies ;-)

We at a restaurant that is new to us; Harvest. All of their food is from local farmers in the St Louis Region.

Mom and I both wore outfits that we bought during our shopping adventure for the photo shoot.
 Boyfriend (yah yah, fiance, same thing) looked so handsome.
We took a bottle of wine with us that Mom got us for a Christmas present 3 years ago.  She's been hounding us to open it, but we've always told her that it needs to lay down for longer and that we wanted to open it on a special occasion.  We thought this was a good a time as ever to open it.  Then we read the tasting note for the vintage....and it is stated to be in its best years through 2024.  Opened 12 years too soon.  Needless to say though, it was delicious. (It was a 2004 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cab Sauv for those curious)
Terry and Mom bonded over Oysters.  Who would have thought.  They ordered 2 of each different type of Oyster they had on the menu and they both said they could have sat and ate those all night for their entire dinner.  Silly!
I didn't take any other photos during the evening, but we all enjoyed our main dishes.  Mom and I each had Angus Hanger Steak, and Terry ordered the Fish of the Day. No one had any room for dessert.
It was a wonderful and thoughtful gift from Mom.  Much more than either of us every would have anticipated, and certainly nothing we expected.  Good memories. 


Springfield, IL: Frank and Abraham

Mom and I spent the day in Springfield during one of her days on her visit.  She found out that there was a Frank Lloyd Wright House in downtown Springfield (you may also remember from this post when we went to a FLW house here in St Louis) so she immediately wanted to go.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but when we got there, I was amazed.
The home, the 72nd building designed by Wright, contains the largest collection of site-specific, original Wright art glass and furniture. Wright’s first “blank check” commission, the home has 35 rooms in the 12,000 square feet of living space which includes 3 main levels and 16 varying levels in all. Can you imagine living in 1900 and saying you had a home that had 16 levels.  Also, another interesting fact; when she commissioned FLW, he was given a limitless fund for his design, and the owner was bequeathed her fathers estate and estimated $6 million dollars. FLW's total bill invoiced: $60,000.  You couldn't hardly get an addition built on to your house in todays world for that money. 
 We weren't allowed to take any photos inside the home, but let me just say that the glass on the outside pales in comparison to the views of the glass on the inside.  Sheer works of art. 

Frank was in love with Japanese design and modernism in his time, so he added nuances to his home to reflect his respect and admiration of their architectural design. If you are ever randomly in Springfield, you NEED to go to see this home.  It was amazing. 

After leaving the Dana-Thomas house, we drove past the State Capitol Building (shame on me that I've lived in Illinois for almost 3 years and this was my first time there).  Your random Capitol fact of the day (brought to you by my Mother): The Illinois capitol is the tallest non-skyscraper capitol, even exceeding the height of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC.

We ended the afternoon excursion with a visit to Abraham Lincolns Tomb.  Again, I had no idea what to expect, but it impressed me.  

There's a bronze statue in from of the monument that you're supposed to rub Abe's nose for good luck.  Mom followed suit; I couldn't stop thinking of the germs and bacteria from all those hands.  Blegh.  

Inside, there was a roundabout walkway with several statues and busts of Abe over the years, and then you were able to approach his headstone.  They told us that he's not actually buried directly below the monument, but 30 feet behind it and 10 feet into the ground.  Apparently there were several successful attempts at grave robbing the President that they had to bury him that deep. Poor guy. There were a few interesting facts: there are no blood ancestors left of Abraham Lincoln.  I find that fascinating.  Also, all of his family (wife, daughter and younger son) are all buried with him except his oldest son.  He was adamant to be buried with his family when he died, but his wife ignored his wishes and had him buried in Arlington Cemetery. 

Very fun day together.  Lots of history, but so many interesting things so close to home.  Who knew?!