Apr 29, 2016

Ryan's Office Renovation

There is a room off our family room that the previous owners used as a man room/office.  We knew this would be Ryan's office, but needed to make the room more functional.  Is is long a narrow with windows in the corner.  I knew we would want wall to wall built ins, but I had to be very creative in order to work around the windows.  
Here is a before of the room taken while previous owners still lived here.  
 The room was very dark and just a lot of black leather furniture and hunting decor in there.
 I spent a few weeks with a carpenter designing the size of each area, the trims, where custom pull out drawers and electricity would go, etc.

 I decided to paint the entire room he same color- walls, bookshelves, trim, window frame, doors...everything grey!
And the after!!!  Obsessed with how this turned out. 

 The ladder was mainly added to hide the weird space in the corner, but it totally makes the space.  Our carpenter put wheels on the bottom (and was able to make them hidden which I love) so it easily glides back and forth on the railing.
 He added custom clover moulding to inside windows box.
 We have a printer station, laptop station and two large filling cabinets.

And of course a bar cart that is always fully stocked!  We also put two new glass doors on in order to brighten up the room a little.
So proud of the way this room came together.  Ryan has come a long way considering his desk in our old house was in the mudroom/laundry room!

Apr 26, 2016

Turks and Caicos!

I could not have asked for a better week with my sweet family!  We decided a few months ago to take a family vacation to somewhere warm and tropical.  We settled on Turks and Caicos and all I can say is we will definitely be going back!  We had the best week!  It was also the kids first airplane ride!  They were perfect angels...seriously we were shocked at how great they did.  Neither Graham or Ellie has ever played with an iPad and we downloaded a few tv shows and games and they were mesmerized.  

After a short flight and cab ride we arrived in paradise.
We grabbed some food first since it was lunch time. 
I got the conch salad with plantain chips!
I love spending time with these three.
Our hotel had several pools and we split our time most days between the beach and the pool.
The first night we walked to a restaurant at a hotel a few doors down from ours.  
My sweet little boy enjoyed lots of snuggles and attention from us all week.
We stayed at the Somerset resort and would highly recommend it.  Their one bedroom villas actually have a separate room so this particular one could have slept 7 with the fold out couch.  The kids rocked out their big beds in the hotel.  And Ryan and I stayed up listening to island music, playing cards and sharing a bottle of wine on our porch nightly.
 Ellie loved the chocolate croissants for breakfast.
Day two was all about the beach!

 The twins would constantly hold hands and take walks together.
"Mommy I think I have some sand on my face..."

My favorite pictures of the entire week....

For lunch day 2 we went to Mr Groupers which was a short walk from our hotel.
We taught Ellie how to take a picture!

 After long naps we put on fresh suits and headed back to the beach.  The twins loved all the beautiful conch shells!
 Snorkling was one of Ellie's favorite things to do!

That night we went to the local fish fry.  Apparently it is mostly tourist 5-7ish and then it gets rowdy until late in the night.
 We were able to walk a bunch, but occasionally we would take a taxi and the kids loved riding around free!!
 Right when we arrived Ellie started shopping.
 We ordered lots of local grub!

 Then the music started!  These two attempted the pretzel....lots of people started gathering at this point.

 Graham got a little shy when he realized how many people were watching (and taking videos of them) but Ellie danced for almost an hour.  She was on fire! The main singer from the band even came down to dance with her at one point!  She loved every second of the attention!
 Day 3 was more beach time and lunch at the pool.

 We snorkeled and made sand castles after naps!

And went to Infinite for dinner.  This was one of our favorite restaurants. 

 Luckily our kids are very slow eaters and will sit at a table for almost an hour without wanting or asking to get up.  This drives me crazy at home sometimes because I get bored or we need to get out the door, but on vacation it def comes in handy!
 We watched the sunset and then headed home to put the twins down.
On our way to breakfast each morning the kids would play in the courtyard.  It became our morning ritual.
Day 4 we took full advantage of the resort!  Kids kept asking to lay down here and read some magazines (mostly because they would constantly see people doing that haha)
More kayak rides with Daddy!
And Ellie would build a sandcastle and Bobo would knock it down!
 We walked to Mr Groupers for lunch again....amazing blackened grouper...I couldn't get enough!

 After naps we swam in the pool for a while and then it started raining so we showered and went to Coyaba for dinner.  This was our favorite meal.  It was so relaxing sitting under a tin roof and listening to the rain with a breeze.  Ellie loved the gazpacho they brought us! Our kids have never been picky eaters, but I was surprised at how much Ellie tried- octopus, gazpacho, conch, grouper, mahi mahi, etc!
She also loved the slider they made her.  They had guava ketchup which the twins loved.
 I am one lucky lady to have two handsome boys!
 On the way home we stopped for ice cream!  The family favorite was Jamaican mix- pineapple, pistachio with chocolate chips!
 On our last day we woke up and went straight to the beach!
 Ellie loved being turned into a sand mermaid!
 And Bobo loved stepping on her!
 Grahams favorite thing all week was sitting on a raft or the side of the pool, doing his "Pizza arms" and diving and swimming to Ryan.  He did this over, and over, and over!  By the end of the week he was swimming 20 feet plus.

 Ellie preferred relaxing in the pool!
 Our check out was at noon but our flight wasn't until 3:30 so we had a taxi drop us and our luggage off at Da Conch Shack and we hung out for a few hours.  They had picnic tables all in the sand right on the beach.  They even had several little kid picnic tables.
 We got to see where they collect and cook the conch!
 They showed us all the different types of conch...
 and taught the kids how to blow into them!
 Ellie worked on her photo taking!!!

 How beautiful are all these conch shells laying in the crystal clear water?
Ryan's Dad is a pilot and was able to pull some big strings and be the pilot on our flight back to Charlotte!!!! We headed to the airport and watched Pop's plane land!
 When he walked in the gate they squealed and ran to give him a big hug!

 He got us on the plane first and escorted the twins on the runway!
 What a special memory.  Ellie loved singing in the intercom (before everyone boarded of course).
And once again they did great on the plane!  We made Pop proud!
 Bye bye Turks and Caicos...we will be back soon I promise!