4.17.2014

Norwegian Hardwood - Downstairs Edition

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When we first decided to fix up the Holland house for sale, there was one item in particular that seemed like an obvious 'must-do.'


At some point, one of the previous owners had covered up all of the hardwood in this home with carpet. I can't fathom what would possess a person to do such a thing, but my best guess is that they had children or something (personally I'd still rather have hardwood in that situation... less to clean when somebody spills... but we'll see when I get there).


We had never seen the hardwood floors in their entirety, but we had pulled up the corners of the carpet to see what was underneath. It's always a bit of a gamble, because for all you know, the floor underneath could be covered in glue or studded with unsightly nails. But, we took a leap of faith and decided to pull it up.

In strips, it was pulled out of the room and trashed. We later learned we should have saved some of it, but that's another story for another blog post...


It made a pretty incredible and immediate difference in the aesthetic of the house.


Once we had successfully revealed the hardwood floors downstairs, it was time to clean. We didn't want to use too much chemical on a newly naked floor, so I bought basic hardwood cleaner and brought over a swiffer to clean it.

There was a dance party, attendance of 1, and the floors ended up perfectly clean.

Finished with the downstairs floors, the next step was tackling the upstairs of the house. Let's just say it was full of hiccups...

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you ever ripped out carpet? Did you think it was hard? 
  • Thoughts on carpet vs hardwood?


4.14.2014

Stranded in Chicago

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As I write this, my husband and I are currently 'stranded' in Chicagoland due to a car problem we discovered yesterday as we tried to leave town and head back to West Michigan. Thankfully, my parents were able to pick us up and we are holed up at their place working today.

Friday night we had some very exciting news to toast to, so we had a nice dinner and a bottle of wine at my in-laws' with a view of the lake to boot. How gorgeous is this set up?


On Saturday morning, we recovered from said wine, made some eggs, and eventually left West Michigan around noon for a quick, expected-to-be 24 hours trip to Chicago. 

Most of the drive was pretty simple, but traffic was awful once we got into the city (there is virtually no traffic in West Michigan). It was a vivid reminder that, while Chicago is indeed a very fabulous city, it has its 'cons' just like anywhere else. Pack that one in the memory bank for when I'm missing the Second City...

^Can't wait to get out into the sun!

The weather was pretty amazing though, in the 70s and sunny, so I decided to be brave and don a crop top. I could probably get away with it in Grand Rapids, but I figure it'll blend right in here in Chicago.


We arrived at The Drake Hotel in the early afternoon. I had never stayed here before, but we booked the trip last minute and they had a good rate available, so we jumped on it. Not the most modern or updated of the Chicago hotels by any means, but it has its own old fashioned charm to be found in the vintage chandeleirs.


We quickly dropped our things in the room and headed back out. One of my best friends from college was in town, and my mom and dad were in town to see a play that night, so we all met up in the afternoon for a few cocktails at Rock It Bar and Grill.

We walked inside to ask for patio seating only to find out they were closing their patio, so my dreams of sitting and enjoying a drink outside were squandered. Oh well. Good thing we had amazing company!


After a few hours of chatting away, and a few mimosas and old fashioneds, my parents had to head out to get to their play, and they drove my girlfriend back to her hotel while my husband and I walked around a bit. It was a pretty nice day out, and we are huge fans of walking, so the fact that we could shop on the way was just icing on the cake...

Pet peeve: The board to the left says "mimosa's" instead of "mimosas." I'm just saying...

We passed this hilarious sign on our way to the stores, and I had to get a picture of it. My next plan is to find a way to put a chalkboard in our next kitchen and come up with clever notes like this for when people come over.

A few hours later, after I bought myself my husband bought me a few shirts, a dress, a necklace, and a hair bow (oh, the random things you purchase after drinking a few cocktails...), we were ready for dinner.


Hanging out in River North / Streeterville / Mag Mile is fun, but it is also extremely crowded and touristy on a Saturday night (read: tons of people randomly stopping in the sidewalk to look up at the buildings, thus causing a HUMAN traffic jam - yes, Chicago is not just the home of vehicular traffic). So, we opted to head to J. Patrick's, our old standard pub in West Town. 


The next morning, we packed everything back into the car (there wasn't much for a one nighter!) and headed up north to Andersonville. We met with some of our friends for breakfast at Lady Gregory's, and we were sitting outside when the temperature suddenly dropped like 15 degrees. It was crazy.

We started heading back and had just gotten on LSD (Lake Shore Drive) when we started hearing a weird sound in our Touareg. Eventually, we had to get off and drop it off at a nearby Volkswagen dealership. We were lucky my parents were able to pick us up and bring us home for a steak dinner!

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you ever do small 24 hour trips? I like short weekend trips because they are a short little surprise from life, and not quite as hard to "come down from" afterward.
  • Any Midwest suggestions for a short-and-easy trip?
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