Monday, September 30, 2013

Oktoberfest & Deck project

  I am so sore today. We worked on our deck most of the weekend, and though it feels good {mentally} for it to be almost done, it does not feel good physically!
Before I get too deep into how to sand & stain your deck, here's a look at what we got into this weekend!
 Like I mentioned on Friday, Connor and I bought tickets to Charlotte's Oktoberfest at the NC Music Factory. We had a great time, once we got there!

It took us 30 minutes to drive to the Music Factory, which is normally a sub-10 minute drive. Traffic. Grr.
 We parked in a field by the Music Factory, then waited another 30 minutes to get inside! It was crazy!
It was a gorgeous day, and we stayed for about an hour and a half

There were about 350 beers to sample (I maybe tasted 10?) and tons of great breweries represented from all over, including some home brewers. They also had food tents, a band, and entertainment. These guys created the logo out of sand!
We even spotted Starr Hill there, from my hometown. I was sad that they didn't send any local people to staff was just the event staff pouring.
We had a big day, and I was glad to leave when we did because I got a little silly!
The great thing about the whole day-drinking at a festival thing is that we had a big dinner (wings at Kickstand) and went to bed early that night!

The next day, we finished our deck....something that has been hanging over our head for a while now!
The process has been a long one:
  1.  {Early September} Connor washed down the deck
  2. He used these {horrible} Behr products, to no avail (Deck Stripper & Deck Cleaner)
  3. We then decided to use our power washer (birthday gift from me!) on "strip". This process took us all day, and we switched every 30 minutes to not get burned out.
  4. We let the boards dry for a few weeks, and then purchased 2 gallons of Behr deck stain in Redwood to match what was already there.
5. {Saturday morning & Sunday} Connor got this Makita Random Orbit Sander and a pack of sanding discs for us to use. I really liked this sander, as it fit my hand perfectly. As you can see, it was a lot of work. We sanded all of the boards, which took us about 5 hours
Luckily, I had a LOT of help! {not}
Snuggle breaks were necessary
I felt pretty good looking at the before & after!
6. Then we went over each board with a tack cloth, from Home Depot, to pick up all of the dust. This process took about 25 minutes.
7. Finally, it was time to stain. We decided to use a deck pad to apply the stain, and a 3" paintbrush to back brush it as the stain recommended. We took turns with the pad and brush, as to not wear ourselves out. We did one coat in about an hour and a half and let it dry/had lunch for an hour before we started on the 2nd coat. The first picture below is after 1 coat. It was already looking great!
 And after the 2nd!
What do y'all think?  
We then cleaned up, relaxed, and had our Sunday tradition of "spicy Asian soup" (this week, we returned to Pho Hoa for Pho and Bubble Tea....yummmmm)
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Back to it: Five on Friday!

 It's Five on Friday time again! I love playing along with DarciNatasha, Christina, and April 
My new jam: Bastille. I heart the album. Download it now!

My new Philip Lim for Target bag. I've been carrying it everywhere! It's so practical & roomy, and tres chic
I saw this post on Style Me Pretty a few months ago and I knew I needed to make it!
Mine is a little wonky, and the lighting is horrible in our bathroom, but I needed a new place to hold our everyday toiletries, and this DIY totally spoke to me!

This event sells out every year, and we got our tickets early for once! The weather looks perfect for day drinking, and we are so excited to go!
We're planning on sanding the rest of the stain off our deck tomorrow, and hopefully we can start staining it on Sunday! This has been a project that has been hanging over our heads for about a year! It's going to feel so good when it's done!

Happy Friday, y'all! Hope you enjoy the weekend.


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Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Woah. Today's Wednesday. 3rd week of school + training new student employees = Bad Blogger. Forgive me?
Connor and I were invited to go to Charlottesville for a football game via private jet last weekend. It was incredibly baller. Weekend in pictures:
Excited dorks
Our plane {on the left}...a Cessna Citation XLS

View from take-off. What was cool about flying private was that we could keep our phones on the entire flight. It's the little things... 
 We brought a box of pastries from Sunflour and had some Champers with it. It was a perfect start to our trip
Connor and I signed up to host the Tailgate, since my parent's have an awesome parking spot. We drove around picking up food and booze as soon as we landed, and got quite a lot of grub. Ham biscuits, fried chicken, tater salad, antipasto platter, hummus, quiche, bacon/chive dip, artichoke dip all from Foods of All Nations. I made little drink stirrers, like the ones from my Etsy shop, and little skewers to decorate. I also picked up some cute chevron paper straws in orange & blue.

  We hung out for about 2 hours, then went into the game. It was quite a rainy day, so I didn't want to sit in the rain. Luckily, it lightened up during most of the game. The other couple we flew with got us 3rd row seats.  Like I said....BALLER STATUS
 Things got hazy after we started kicking VMI's you-know-what. We left after halftime, and tailgated just a little bit more. It started raining pretty hard then, so we made our way to our host's daughter's dorm (right by the stadium), and hung out with her a little bit before we had to get ready for dinner.

Dinner was also so awesome. Our hosts reserved the private room at Hamilton's for their family, daughter + 6 friends. It was a full house! There was even more food + wine that was passed around at dinner. We had a great time!

We had starters:
Crispy Cornmeal Dusted Calamari Salad
{Pepperoncini, Picholine Olives, Arugula, Local Cherry Tomatoes and a Lemon-Herb Dressing}
Tomato Red Curry Braised Polyface Farm Naturally Raised Chicken
{Golden Raisins and Bell Peppers over Housemade Gnocchi and Seasonal Greens}
I of course was 3 glasses of Pinot deep when the entree came around, so I forgot to snap a photo. I ordered one of my favorite dishes:
Housemade Spaghetti with Rock Barn Italian Sausage 
{Local Kale, Cherry Tomatoes, Local Zucchini and a Roasted Red Pepper Sofrito Sauce Caromont Mt. Alto "Feta"}
After dinner & dessert, we decided to take a cab home instead of going out. That was a brilliant idea.
Sunday morning, Connor and I got up early (not intentional), and headed out to the Corner for bagels and coffee. Vita Coco was also necessary.
Feeling refreshed, we walked around Grounds. The rain from the day before brought in incredibly gorgeous weather!
The Rotunda's copper dome is a sight to behold. Obsessed, Mr. Jefferson
We moseyed back to the airport, and it was just so gorgeous out that I simply had to take more photos
Our hostess rode on the baggage cart. She's a trip!
Our group sad to leave
Our ride for the weekend
Sad to leave! The pilot took this.

{sidenote: Boston Terrier w/ a bowtie sweater was a major find at Old Navy last week!}
Last view of the Blue Ridge for a while. Oh Virginia...I love you
When we got back, we noticed the NY Giant's logo on the plane in the middle back. I think it was the owner's. The "parking lot" was full that day...a lot of people must have flown in the for Panthers v. Giants game!
After taking a much-needed nap, we headed out to Pho Hoa on Central. This is my favorite place in Charlotte for Pho, and I ordered their Bubble Tea for the first did not disappoint! We like to eat "spicy asian soup" anytime we're hungover, and this totally hit the spot. Don't judge, but I almost finished my whole bowl! It was just what we needed.
Thanks for reading!
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