Hiking Season in Central Texas

Growing up in Chicago, I was always used to January and February being the *worst* months out of the entire year.  The holidays were over, and the snow was just really beginning.  Spring seemed so far off.  One of the things I've been really loving about Austin {this year in particular, as we've had an incredibly mild winter season} is surprisingly enough - January and February!  The past two months have been absolutely gorgeous, with sunshine and temperatures in the 70's for the majority of the days. 

I've been trying to take advantage of this weather as much as possible, and that has meant a lot of hiking on the weekends lately.  The sunshine and comfortable temperatures have really made me happy and enjoy being outside, and I've been on a mission to check out as many hiking spots this spring as possible.  The most recent places we've been are Barton Creek Greenbelt, Bull Creek Greenbelt + Hamilton Greenbelt - all within or right outside of Austin.

Barton Creek Greenbelt:

Bull Creek Greenbelt:

Hamilton Greenbelt:

Thanks for reading!


Powder Room Remodel

I'm back with yet another bathroom renovation project - this time, our downstairs powder room.  Bathrooms and kitchens are what sell the house, and they really are what has always drawn me to interior design.  They are my favorite parts of a home, which might be why I tend to tackle those projects first in my own home. 

While no home renovation project is without complications and bumps in the road {at least not for us!}, this one went relatively smoothly and quickly.  It all started with a toilet.  We had been meaning to replace all three of the toilets in our house, and one day when our plumber was over for another project, Matt just went ahead and ordered all three at one time.  Once the powder room toilet was replaced, it spurred me on to finally go forward with the renovation we had been planning from day one of owning the house.  After all, it was such a small space to tackle compared to the massive master bathroom remodel we had just finished up.  It seemed like a piece of cake in comparison! 



I already had a design plan in my mind of what I wanted it to look like - slightly farmhouse, rustic, industrial, and nautical  - all in one.  I also knew right away that I wanted to include Navy {Hale Navy from Benjamin Moore to be exact} somewhere in the house, and the powder room was the perfect size for such a  bold color.  And it turned out perfectly! 

I happily say that now, but in all honesty, there were many hours agonizing over the bead board that we used to give the back wall that plank effect.  It was not easy to get the holes cut perfectly where we wanted the lights to be, and after installation with a nail gun, we realized that we were left with a less-than-smooth-looking finish.  We actually ended up having to sand down the bead board where each and every nail was, prime the board, fill the sanded spot with drywall putty, sand that smooth, and repaint.  All to get the nail holes to vanish.  If it sounds like a long, tedious process, that's because it was.

But it was worth it in the end.  I love the final result! 

Thanks for reading!


Our First Brew

One of Matt's newer hobbies is home brewing his own beer, which is a trend that is gaining popularity lately.  I enjoy beer, maybe not as much as wine, but I do enjoy a good beer now and then.  While it started off as an idea of Matt's, I quickly became involved to help with the brewing process.  I do enjoy making our own food and drinks when possible, so I decided to join in, at least for the first brew. 

There are quite a few steps involved in the process.  We ended up hitting a few tiny bumps in the road to creating beer, but it wasn't nearly as difficult as I expected it to be!  It was hard to believe that we would actually have *drinkable* beer that we made, but at the end of this process, we did!  And it tasted better than I expected on top of that!  We ended up taking a bunch of the bottles with us on our road trip home to Chicago for Christmas, and after sharing a bunch with friends and family, we had almost none left for ourselves... time to find another recipe to brew!  Also, I'm kind of excited about the possibility of designing a logo of our own for the bottles... we just need to come up with a name first...

 We are so proud of our Texas Red Ale!  Stay tuned for more home projects coming very soon!