Weekend Recap – Cheesecake, Wedding & DIY

How is it Monday already?! I feel so exhausted after this weekend, especially since we also went out almost every day during the week too. Summer is such a special time because we always spend a lot of time with our friends and we aren’t very idle. Maybe that’s why we tend to hibernate when it’s colder outside? Either way, our weekends are never dull when the weather is nice!

We started the weekend off with a good friend’s birthday over burgers on Thursday night. I love nothing more than a big, juicy hamburger during the summer. Burger Bach

On Friday I took the day off early to finish cleaning our house and preparing for friends of mine from college to spend the weekend with us. They were in town shooting a wedding for another set of our college friends. We had dinner with them at The Cheesecake Factory, where I ate entirely too much food. Cheesecake Factory

Jesse woke up Saturday morning to make pancakes for our friends (we treat our guests right!) before they left for the wedding around 10:30. After they headed out, Jesse left to play Ultimate Frisbee with friends so I had some down-time with my cup of coffee and Netflix. Busy weeks really make alone time necessary! Coffee and alone time

The wedding was on the bride’s family farm near Charlottesville, about 1.5 hrs. away. Despite the long drive it was a beautiful wedding! Street Wedding selfie

We had plenty of friends there to keep us company too, so we had a lot of fun! Street Wedding

It was around 11pm before we got back home and we all got up around 7am the next day. Jesse and I made breakfast and after we ate our friends headed out to spend Father’s Day with their kids. Jesse and I took a nap, then ran errands and I finally finished putting together our new tv stand. Can’t wait to share more about that whole ordeal on Wednesday! Tv Stand Sneak

Now I’m going to pour another cup of coffee and try to stay awake for the rest of the day! I hope everyone had a great weekend! Did you do anything fun? Any weddings? We still have 2 more weddings to go to before the summer is over.

Patriotic Deco Mesh Wreath

I cannot tell you how good it feels to be back in the craft/DIY saddle! Putting the things that were getting me down last month off to the side and focusing on things that make me happy has already been a game changer for my attitude. I still have to do those non-fun things, but for this week they were put on hold for a project or two. One of my favorite craft activities is making wreaths for the front door, so I decided that would be my first project to get me back in the groove. Since July is right around the corner, and we’re planning a big Fourth of July bash, I went patriotic with an awesome red, white and blue deco mesh wreath. 4th of July Deco Mesh WreathMost of the deco mesh wreaths I’ve seen come in a kit or are made using a wire wreath form, but those options were a little on the pricier side for me. (I just saw that wire wreath forms are only $7 on Amazon!) I decided to just buy a standard foam wreath form at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts, which was only $5 thanks to a 50% off coupon. I also picked up the patriotic mesh for 40% off thanks to a sale they were having. Overall, this project came in around $15 total. Deco Mesh Wreath - Foam FormThis wreath is super easy to make. Basically, you just bunch up the mesh so it looks nice and bubbly and then you pin it to the foam wreath form. I alternated the direction that I bunched, toward the outside first and then toward the inside, to give it an even look. You can bunch as tight or as loose as you want, I spaced my pins out by about 3″. The snag that I hit with this project is that I tried to use sewing pins to attach the mesh, like I did with my burlap bubble wreath, to the form. I’d make it halfway around the form and then the mesh would come undone and I’d have to start over. This was an easy fix with some floral pins from Wal-Mart though! Floral pins for making wreathsSince these pins have 2 prongs they held the mesh in place much better than the sewing pins, which let the mesh slip over the balls on the ends. It was only $2 for a pack of 100, so I have plenty of pins left over for future projects. I also love that pins are removable so I can recycle wreath forms whenever I get tired of a certain wreath style. Patriotic Deco Mesh WreathFor the sake of recycling I decided not to paint the form. Instead I pinned shiny blue ribbon with white glitter stars around the inside and outside of the form. You can’t really see it, so I probably could have left it white, but the ribbon is fun if you happen to catch a glance between the mesh. Or if you’re coming to my house to study and critique the wreath up close. ;) Patriotic Mesh WreathAfter I was done with the mesh and the ribbon I felt like things looked unfinished, so I painted a few wooden stars and glued them together. I hot glued the stars to one of the floral pins and just stabbed it through. I chose a spot that was a little flatter and had less mesh so the pin could go all the way in. 4th of July Mesh WreathI love how big and festive the wreath is! It will definitely set the patriotic mood for our party as our guests arrive. What I love even more is how much mesh I had left over. It came in a giant roll so I should have enough for a table runner and a few vignettes around the house!

Are you doing any decorating for the Fourth? I usually dont, so it’s fun to mix things up a bit this summer. What is your favorite type of craft or project to work on?

If you want to see some of my other wreaths, just click on any of these links:
- Simple Spring Wreath
- Valentine’s Day Ribbon Wreath
- “BOO” Wreath for Halloween
- Felt Wreath for Summer
- Burlap Wreath with Felt Flowers
- Burlap Bubble Wreath

*Linking up at Serenity Now, VA Bloggers, Liz Marie (Summer Celebration Link Party), Remodelaholic, It’s Overflowing*

A Night Out at Chuy’s

I know I told you guys I’d have a craft post for you today, but I’m a liar and your going to have to wait until tomorrow. I made an error with my project and it kind of fell apart, but I figured out a solution and will fix it today so I can post it tomorrow. I’m so anxious to get back to crafting and posting about crafts and DIYs again! In the meantime, how about some pictures of delicious food? Jesse and I had the opportunity to attend a soft opening for a new Tex-Mex restaurant in our area called Chuy’sChuy's Richmond, VA

Chuy’s started in Austin, Texas in 1982 and is not only known for their delicious food, but also the super fun atmosphere. The restaurants are full of metal palm trees, bright colors and shrines to Elvis, some of the dishes even pay homage to the King. It’s seriously impossible to not be happy in this place. Chuy's decor

It also helps that the food is AMAZING! We started off on Monday with a tour of all of their sauces. They have like 10 different sauces ranging from mild to spicy. My personal favorite is the Creamy Jalapeno sauce. That stuff is delicious! Our waitress (Anna) was so awesome and she gave us a container of the sauce to take home because we loved it so much. Chuy's sauces

I also love their Boom-Boom sauce. It’s slightly spicy and has some cheese in it and it is bangin’! In fact the meal I ordered is their Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom which is a chicken burrito smothered in Boom-Boom sauce. Chuy's Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom

The staff there was amazing and were constantly refilling our sauces, chips and drinks. I had several glasses of their sangria, which is a mix of wine and tequila!, and our friends’ beers were never empty. It was a great time! To top off the night we had their Tres Leches cake for dessert. It’s made with three different milks, served over creme fresh and topped with caramel and strawberries. If you’ve never been to Chuy’s before I HIGHLY recommend trying to save room for dessert and giving the Tres Leches a try. Chuy's Tres Leches

Richmond now has two Chuy’s locations, one near Short Pump on West Broad and the new one on the Southside on Hull St. There are also locations in Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and of course Texas.

I know people usually aren’t fans of chain Mexican restaurants, trust me I’m one of them, but Chuy’s is so unique, from the food to the atmosphere, that it’s a must try! Have you ever been to a Chuy’s? 

Weekend Recap – Hiking and Brussels Sprouts

Hey there and happy Monday! Well, I don’t know if Mondays are ever really “happy” but we can pretend! I hope everyone had a good weekend! Ours was relaxing, and mildly productive. Which means this week needs to be highly productive because we have guests coming into town to stay with us on Friday. Cue the cleaning rage!

We started our weekend at home with Chipotle and binge watching 24. It was nice to just relax and eat a meal at home without the hassle of cooking or cleanup. Sometimes date nights in are really the best. Chipotle date night

Saturday we slept in until 10 am and then headed into the city. We hit up our favorite food truck, The Grey Hill Cafe, which is sadly closing this week. The owner said that he and his wife, newlyweds, don’t have time for anything right now so they are taking some time off so they can spend time together. Which I totally understand, but boy am I going to miss the best crab cake in Richmond! Grey Hill Cafe last meal

After lunch we went for a hike around Belle Isle. The weather was gorgeous and everyone was out in full-force enjoying the sunshine and the river. Belle Isle

We hiked for about 2 hours, going around the island almost twice and taking the harder trails that required climbing and jumping over rocks. I definitely felt like I had gotten a workout for the day! photo (6)

After hiking we stopped by JoAnn so I could grab some craft supplies. We are planning to throw a 4th of July party in a few weeks so I need to start stocking up on decorations! I bought some mesh ribbon and am working on a deco mesh wreath for the front door. I’ll share more about that on Wednesday!

Sunday we woke up early for church and then spent a few hours shopping at the mall. I was in need of some new wedges for summer and I found a pair, but they didn’t have my size in store. I ended up ordering them online though, so hopefully they will be here this week and I can wear them to a wedding this weekend! They are from Charlotte Russe, in case anyone was wondering. Charlotte Russe wedge sandal

After the mall we hit up the grocery store and then spent the rest of the evening cooking dinner, and relaxing. I tried a new recipe for roasted Brussels Sprouts and I thought they were really good. Jesse wasn’t as big of a fan, so I’m going to doctor the recipe a bit more before sharing it ;)

How was your weekend? Did you do anything super fun? I’d love to hear about it! :)

May Recap 2014

I’m going to be really honest, May was kind of a bad month for me. A whole lot of minor and intermediate things have been going on that added up and really weighed on me mentally and emotionally, which naturally transfers into physical stress. I won’t can’t go into a lot of details right now, but you know that I’ll share when I can. I will say that I have family members and friends that are not in the best health, I’ve got baby fever bad but too many student loans to even think too much about trying and in the meantime I have zero idea what I want to do with my professional life. I’ve been questioning and doubting myself and feeling kind of blue because of it. I’ve had little to zero motivation for things I used to enjoy and just wanted to quit life for a few weeks and stay in bed most days. This weekend Jesse and I had a good talk, and I’ve had a few good therapeutic cries, and I feel better, refreshed. I’m trying to look at my job, my health, the blog and life in general in a new light. A more positive light. Sure, there are a lot of things that I can’t change, but I can change my attitude. Laying on the couch everyday after work with ice cream and potato chips isn’t doing me, or my hips, any good. Most of the time that kind of lethargy makes me feel even more down because I hate the feeling of not accomplishing any thing. So for me June is going to be all about getting my eating, exercise, attitude, house, and of course the blog, back on track to where I’m happy with them. Let’s start this summer off kicking butt and taking names!

May wasn’t a total bust though, Jesse and I had a few fun weekends, like when we explored the Richmond Homearama. I wrote 3 posts reviewing all of the houses from the show, which you can find here, here and hereMay Recap - Richmond Homearama

I started a container garden, which is still going strong thanks to the Sprout It app keeping me on track! Container herb gardenI also had the amazing opportunity to help organize and host a Search Engine Optimization seminar with Key Web Concepts, a local web design firm, Virginia Bloggers, and Saison MarketVA Blogger SEO Seminar

Jesse and I also attended a cheese class in Richmond where we got to sample cheeses from Murray’s Cheese and beer from Hardywood Brewery, a Richmond favorite.  Cheese class with Murrays and HardywoodWith that being said, I can’t exactly say “Good Riddance” to May as a whole, but I am saying it to those weird May blues! Here’s looking at you June! You’re full of possibilities and I’m determined that you will also be full of happiness!

Weekend Recap – Maleficent and Food

Hello all! Is it just me or do weekends feel shorter in the summer? We are always so busy once it gets warm that we can barely remember what we did! Hence the need for a weekend wrap up! The weather this weekend was gorgeous, so we spent most of our time outside but we did go to the movies on Friday night to see Maleficent.Maleficent

I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie for the past year, ever since I heard Disney was making it. It was a new spin on the tale of Sleeping Beauty, which is my favorite Princess movie, and I really enjoyed it. If you like the Disney Princess stories, then this is definitely one I’d recommend seeing. Plus Angelina Jolie made a fabulous Maleficent!

On Saturday we woke up and went to brunch in the city to celebrate our friend’s birthday. We went to The Continental and I had the largest French toast ever. It was topped with berries and Greek yogurt whipped cream and was delicious. Continental French Toast

After brunch we walked up the street to Pearl’s Cupcakes, one of the only Richmond bakeries with good French macarons. I know, I’m addicted. Pearls macarons

We then headed to the Richmond Greek Festival. Jesse and I used to go to the festival when we were dating, but hadn’t been in years. We got wine and beer and wandered through the bizarre, but the lines for food were ridiculous, like over an hour ridiculous, so we opted for Chipotle up the street instead. We can get pretty delicious lamb gyros not far from our house anyway. We also walked up the road to the Kroger where Murray’s Cheese Shop is located and bought more cheese. We got a chevre, a smoked gouda, a smoked cheddar and a mild Parmesan. Murray's gouda, cheddar and Parm

We spent the rest of our Saturday working on a few house things, grilling some hot dogs and watching 24. With the new season on Fox right now we decided to go back and watch from the beginning because I’d never really watched it when it was still on. 24-logo

Sunday we spent most of the day helping my little sisters move into their first apartment. It was an adventure moving 4 girls into a townhouse downtown. It also made me a little sad that my baby sisters are growing up. After helping them move we went to birthday party for another friend. There was delicious food and some drinks, but after the stress of dealing with my sisters vs. my parents I just wanted to kick back with Miller Lite, so I went and got some. It was a lovely evening hanging out and catching up with friends though and when we got home we immediately crashed in the bed. Its Miller time

Now I need to detox from all the sugar and food we ate over the weekend and get in a workout! Plus I’m almost done with our tv stand, I’ve been saying that for how long now? How was your weekend? Any fun adventures or good food? Do you tend to get busy in the summer too?

Weekend Recap – Cheese, Godzilla and a Wedding

What a weekend! And a reminder that I am not as young as I used to be! I remember the summers of staying out all night and running on just a few hours of sleep, but it was ok because you were having a great time! Now I’m barely dragging on those few hours of sleep and spending the day catching up on the lost sleep of the night before. This girl needs her 10:30 bedtime if I want to get anything done! It’s alright though, that’s what coffee is for! ;)

Before the weekend even started Jesse and I had the awesome opportunity to go to a cheese class hosted by Murray’s Cheese Shop, Hardywood Brewery and Kroger. A few of the Krogers here in Richmond are now going to be selling Murray’s brand cheese and they wanted to raise interest in the area. Murray's at KrogerMurray's Cheese selection

The delicious cheese was paired with beer from a local Richmond brewery called Hardywood. Apparently cheese goes better with beer than wine because the carbonation of certain beers lifts the fat of the cheese off your tongue and it’s not as overpowering as red wine. It also helps that the beer was delicious. Murray's Cheese CourseHardywood Brewery

Each of the five cheeses that we sampled were paired with a different Hardywood beer. The pairings were amazing. And I learned so much about both cheese and beer.Hardywood Cream Ale tasting

Jesse was in heaven because cheese and beer are two of his favorite things.Jesse cheese tasting

After the class was over we couldn’t wait to go buy some of Murray’s cheese to take home with us. We bought a delicious Flagship Cheddar and a Bucheron, which is basically a harder chevre. We also took one of the beers that we sampled to a cookout over the weekend because we thought it was so delicious. It was a bourbon barrel brewed beer, say that five times fast, so if you like bourbon and like beer then you would love this! Murray's cheeses

Our weekend was fabulous. We started things off right with dinner at the little Mexican restaurant by our house and then headed downtown for drinks with friends. We went to Mom’s Siam on Cary Street (for any locals that wanted to know) where I had a Singapore Sling. It’s a gin drink with cherry brandy, simple syrup, club soda and lemon juice. It was my mom’s favorite drink when she was in her 20′s, before I came along, and I’d never had one. Good choice Mom. After drinks we decided to see Godzilla, which did not live up to the hype at all. I spent most of the movie laughing to myself or leaning over and saying “What the heck?!” to Jesse. We got home around 1 am and crashed into bed.

Saturday we both slept in until almost 11 am and then did a lot of laying around when we finally did get up. I managed to sneak another coat of poly on our tv stand between my stints of laying on the couch. Around 2 pm I got up, showered and got ready for the wedding we were attending at 5. It was an absolutely GORGEOUS wedding! The ceremony and reception were held at the historic Berkeley Plantation in Charles City. The river was in the background and the weather was perfect. Wedding at Berkely Plantation

Since a lot of our close friends were there we had an absolute blast dancing until late into the night. Night #2 we were up until 1 am. Jesse and I at wedding

Jesse and I were incredibly sore on Sunday from getting low on the dance floor. ;) We managed to get out of bed and to the grocery store before 11 am though. The afternoon was fairly productive, we set up lights in the kitchen so I could take pictures of Jesse making croissants. He has a series on the “French Pastry Trifecta” coming up later this month here on the blog. Jesse's cooking show

Later in the evening we went to grill out with friends and spent the night hanging out on their deck and chatting. We ended up being there until after 1 am, so there’s night #3!

Yesterday I had a lot of cleaning to do, and a little bit of gardening. I’m so excited to see sprouts coming up in my container gardenSprouts

We spent the evening on the couch watching movies, including Monuments Men which I thoroughly enjoyed! We went to bed at our usual bedtime of 10:30, but I’m still dragging today. Oh well, I guess it’s the sign of a good weekend. ;)

How was your weekend? Did you spend time with family or friends? Were you actually productive or just having fun all weekend?

It’s a DIY Kinda Weekend!

Three cheers for Friday, and let’s cheer one more time because it’s a three day weekend! There’s nothing better than an extra day at the end of the weekend! I never have enough time to get everything I want to done in a weekend, at least not if I also want to hang out with friends and have fun. Now that it’s warm out, I really feel like my DIY wheels have been turning. I’m in the middle of a few projects, but I’m also thinking about what’s next on the agenda. It’s impossible to not be inspired by the amazing projects around the blogosphere!

Have you seen the AMAZING Card Catalog Cabinet from Decor and the Dog? It is seriously the most amazing DIY project that I’ve ever seen. How mad do you think Jesse would be if I asked for one? DIY Card Catalog Cabinet Tutorial - Build your own card catalog!

Speaking of Jesse being annoyed when I ask for things, I’ve been bugging him about building a closet storage system for our master closet. I’ve been totally obsessed with Kelly’s custom built closet shelves for weeks. I’m determined for us to do something similar this summer because my closet needs some serious help! View Along the Way closet storage

We have plans later this summer to throw our annual all-out party. We are aiming for a Fourth of July ‘Murica themed party, and when I saw this Lazy Susan Serving Tray from Hi Sugarplum! I knew that I had to make a few for our party. Instead of crabs, I think a flag pattern would be the perfect for the party. Lazy Susan Tray

In the meantime, this weekend I will be working on finishing up our tv stand, yep I’m still working on it. I’ve got some awesome hardware picked out and I really can’t wait to show it off. I even used power tools this time instead of making letting Jesse do all the work. ;)  Using a Dremel for the first time

I hope you all have an amazing weekend! Enjoy your Memorial Day! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Do tell! 

Also, if you want to pin those amazing projects, please do so from the source! I disabled my Pin It button to make it easier for you. ;)

Gardening with the Sprout It App

Now that spring is in full swing, Jesse and I are guaranteed to spend at least one day of the weekend outside working on the yard. He has returned to the dreaded task of mowing the lawn, and I’m trying to keep the flower beds and plants looking pretty. I may be a weirdo, but I actually love doing things like trimming the hedges and planting flowers. If flowers weren’t expensive I’d probably have a victory garden going on! This past weekend I spent a good couple of hours in the yard, tending to some existing plants and planting some new ones.

I started off by finding a spot for the hydrangea that Jesse bought me for our anniversary. It’s one of the small potted plants they sell at Kroger, so I’m going to see if the little guy can survive in the yard. I transplanted a Kroger hydrangea our first summer in this house (it’s going on summer #3) and he has been loving it! (Apparently in my head hydrangeas are boys.)Transplanted hydrangea after 2 yearsThe trick is that I planted him a shady spot that stays pretty moist. The above picture is pretty much the max amount of direct sun it gets. That being said, I knew my new little hydrangea needed a shady spot. At first I was going to plant him in our right, facing the house, flower bed, but I then he would be blocked by the larger bushes. I wanted this guy to be visible from the road to make our yard more happy and colorful. (See him between the big bush and the tree?)Gardening in the the front yardI decided to try him in the front left, facing the house, bed instead. He’s under a tree and will be mostly shaded for the majority of the day. I’ve been really diligent about watering him until he gets used to his new home. I also moved a baby azalea to that front bed next to him, so they can be friends. And add some color to that part of the yard. (Ignore the weeds and grass clippings, we still need to mulch this year)Transplanting hydrangeas and azaleasThere are day lilies at the front of that bed, but they are pretty small since they need more sun to get big. The right side of the driveway is where the day lilies do best because it is pretty much always sunny. They seriously grow like weeks over here! Day lilies in full sunI can’t wait until I start to see some more blooms in our yard! All of my azaleas bloomed weeks ago, but then we had a few freezing days and the blooms fell off, so things have been pretty bare. My big hydrangea is almost ready though. I’ve seen some blooms coming the past few days.Growing hydrangeasWhile gardening outside, I also decided to try a little gardening inside. I’ve been wanting to plant a garden at this house since we moved in, but somehow we always miss prime planting time and don’t do it. Instead of not having a garden at all I decided to grow a few herbs and veggies inside in containers. I picked up a few cheap terracotta pots and some potting soil at Lowe’s and got to work. Indoor Container Gardening with Sprout It appLast year the folks at Sprout It sent me some Gro-ables Seed Pods to try out in my garden, but since I never started the garden, I never used them. I decided to give them a try in my containers, so we’ll see what happens. I’m going to be attempting grow two pots of Basil, a pot of Spinach and two pots of red lettuce. Gardening with Miracle Grow GrowablesFor those of you wondering what Sprout It is, it’s an awesome online app that walks you through taking care of your garden. I wrote a post about it last year when I tried growing Basil from seeds, but since the app was on my computer I never really checked it and the Basil never grew. Well now, Sprout It has an app for my phone! I’m always on my phone, so this works out way better for me! There was even a special selection for using Gro-ables Seed Pods, so my instructions are super specific for my seeds.Red loose-leaf lettuce Gro-ablesWhen it’s time to water, or fertilize, my plants I get a Task alert that reminds me to check on my baby seeds. Easy peasy! It also helps that the seed pods are low maintenance. The instructions are literally:

  • Tear label off of pod.
  • Stick pod in the soil, until it’s even with the top of the soil.
  • Water pod.
  • Watch pod turn into plant.

Container gardening indoors with Miracle Gro GrowablesSo now I’m just waiting for all my little pods to grow. According to Sprout It I should have some Basil and lettuce by early July! Sprout It app virtual gardenFor now I’ve got some lovely pots of dirt sitting on the window sill in the dining room. Container herb gardenAre you doing any gardening this summer? What are your favorite things to grow? Any tips/tricks for container gardening?

*I did not receive any compensation for this post, the pods are from last year. I’m just super excited that Sprout It has an app for my phone now!*

Richmond Homearama Recap – Houses 5, 6 & 7

A few weeks ago Jesse and I went to tour the Richmond Homearama. We spent the day wandering in and out of the show houses, snapping pictures and taking mental notes. I’ve already shared tours of Houses 1&2 and 3&4, so today we will wrap it up with Houses 5, 6 & 7. I’m going to try to stay as objective as possible, but just as a fair warning, these were my least favorite houses.

House #4, “Rustic Stonemill Retreat,” aka “The One with the Weird Secret Room” and a lot of wasted space.Richmond Homearama 5 - Layout

The main living space in this house was very open and was a gorgeous mix of rustic and chic. There was a lot of natural wood and stone, but it was mixed with white cabinetry and trim that kept the house from feeling like a lodge. (Photo via HomearamaRichmond Homearama 5 - KitchenThe living room had a gorgeous vaulted ceiling (are you guys seeing a trend in my favorite features yet?) and amazing windows. Seriously, gorgeous. (Photo via Homearama)Richmond Homearama 5 - Family RoomAnd just for a realistic perspective, this is how the space looked at around 1 pm on a Saturday. Richmond Homearama 5 - crowded Family RoomI loved the vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom as well, though I was less in love with the location. There was a small hallway/mudroom behind the kitchen that led to the bedroom (on the left) and the garage (to the right) and it just made the room feel disjointed from the rest of the house. Richmond Homearama 5 - Master BathroomThe bathroom was lovely, but I couldn’t understand why they put a giant armoire in the middle of it. The picture doesn’t show it well, but the armoire is on the wall between the show and the tub. It’s a gorgeous piece, but I’d be worried about some sort of water/steam damage from having it in the bathroom. Richmond Homearama 5 - Bathroom ArmoireGoing back through the living room and outside to the deck there was a lovely outdoor fireplace under the covered porch. It was like an outdoor living room, and there was a dining table on the other side of the deck for more entertaining space. I liked that the outdoor “living” furniture and the dining area were close to each other on this deck, so that everyone is in the same space when entertaining. Richmond Homearama 5 - Outdoor FireplaceI would have been happy to see the backyard left grassy and open, since there was no need for extra patio space or a fire pit, but instead they put a weird fountain in the middle of the yard. It’s between those two chairs and it just looks so out of place. (Photo via Homearama)Richmond Homearama 5 - BackyardThis house only had three bedrooms, but there was a large bonus room upstairs that could be converted into two bedrooms, or maybe be a shared room for a few kids, if needed. This room was set up as a playroom/tv room for the show, and I surprisingly didn’t hate that concept. Maybe because there was only one large family room downstairs. Richmond Homearama 5 - PlayroomThe part about this house that stuck out the most was the “hidden room” behind a book shelf in one of the bedrooms. A lot of people on the tour thought it was the neatest thing, but Jesse and I thought it was weird. We called it the ________ station (hint the missing room rhymes with station) and could only thing about the hidden magazines, alcohol, people, etc. that teenagers would put in this space. Not that they couldn’t hide all that in their bedroom, but seriously a secret room is just asking for it. Especially with the master bedroom downstairs and on the other side of the house. Richmond Homearama 5 - Secret Room


House #6, “Viniterra,” had a strong wine theme going on throughout the house and the upstairs was a complete waste of space. It did have a pool, but it wasn’t a full pool so why bother?Richmond Homearama 6 - LayoutThe dining room/living room/kitchen/breakfast area were all open to each other in a giant room with high ceilings, which made the house look huge and open. (Photo via Homearama)Richmond Homearama 7 - Living RoomThere was enough storage in the kitchen for like 100+ bottles of wine, but the wine storage was right across from the windows so it would be damaged by the exposure to so much sun. Why would you have that much space for wine if it’s just going to go bad?! (Photo via HomearamaRichmond Homearama 6 - KitchenThe bedrooms were all set up around the perimeter of the house. Two of them were down a little hallway between the dining room and family room and the master was behind the kitchen and breakfast nook. The master bedroom was huge and filled with so much natural light, perfect for people that like to be up with sun (aka not me). Richmond Homearama 6 - Master BedroomThe master bathroom was ridiculous though. Jesse asked me if we were in a locker room at the YMCA. I would feel so awkward standing naked in the middle of a space this big. Almost as awkward as Jesse looks in this picture.Richmond Homearama 6 - Master BathroomThe only doors leading out to the pool are in the main family room/breakfast nook area. As you can see, it’s not a full sized pool, lame. There was also a weird fire/fountain setup going on out there. Another poor layout factor in this house was that you have to walk through the house to get to a bathroom or a bedroom from the pool, so you just track water everywhere. All over those beautiful hardwood floors.Richmond Homearama 6 - PoolThe upstairs of this house was the weirdest thing ever. You go up the stairs and there was a small landing with two doors to two different, weird rooms. One of the rooms was painted an awful, eye gouging salmon color and was chopped up by the strange ceilings. RIchmond Homearama 6 - Upstairs BedroomIt was also a strange “L” shape that made it look like a room, in a room. Richmond Homearama 6 - Upstairs Bedroom2There was also a bathroom with a shower attached to the salmon room. I sure hope you don’t have tall guests staying up there. Or that your guests don’t mind feeling trapped in a cave while showering.Richmond Homearama 6 - Upstairs BathroomThe second room was more open, and not a terrible color, but the ceiling angles chopped up parts of it too. This part of the room would be totally wasted once your kids got older and taller. Richmond Homearama 6 - Upstairs PlayroomBasically, this house gets a big ole “What were you thinking?!” from us.

House #7, “Chateau on the Green,” had a similar living space layout to the YHL house. Some parts were better executed and others, not so much. Richmond Homearama 7 - Layout

The family room and kitchen areas were the most similar to YHL’s house, just done in a different style. The whole curved fireplace with the tv on a shelf to the left thing was odd. It would have been better with the tv over the fireplace and full windows on either side. The way it was felt kind of like a cave. (Photo via Homearama)Richmond Homearama 7 - Kitchen&Living RoomI did prefer their breakfast banquette setup though. It felt so bright and open, rather than being surrounded by bookshelves. Richmond Homearama 7 - Banquette seatingI didn’t get a picture of it, but there were giant windows in the living room (to the right) and doors in the breakfast area that led out to a covered porch. The porch had an outdoor fireplace that faced in towards the house. It was really weird because you could see the outdoor fireplace from inside and vice versa with the living room fireplace. I felt like I was a mime trapped in a glass box.

I did like that there was a guest suite downstairs in this house, rather than the master being separate. It’s always nice to have a bit of privacy as a guest. However, the funky colored/patterned lower wall was awful.Richmond Homearama 7 - Guest Bedroom weird wall artUpstairs there was a large media room with a bar. Again, weird. Why would you put the bar upstairs? Wouldn’t you want to serve drinks downstairs? Richmond Homearama 7 - Upstairs BarThe trim in the bar room was painted black, which was cool, but it made for a weird transition into the hall way since there was no door separating the spaces, just a few stairs.Richmond Homearama 7 - TrimThe worst thing about this house was the layout. I seriously felt like I was in a maze. You could walk through bathrooms into other bedrooms and the master closet was basically a hallway. You started off in the “hers” part of the closet, walked through that into the bathroom and then through the bathroom into the “his” part of the closet. That is way too much walking for me in the morning. (Photo via Homearama)Richmond Homearama 7 - Master BathroomJesse did like the shower in this bathroom though. It ran the length of the back wall with a shower head on either side. It was like a his and hers shower. He liked that it utilized the space of the room well, and that all my special soaps, and gobs of hair, would be on the other side of the shower.

Another design element in the house that I liked was the cork covering in one of the bedrooms. If you could attach it without damaging the walls it would be the perfect solution for a pre-teen with posters. Richmond Homearama 7 - Cork Wall

Overall, the Homearama was a fun experience. Jesse and I had a great time touring all seven houses and talking about what we liked and didn’t like. It’s our dream to one day build a house, so it helps to walk through open houses like this and get a feel for what we like and don’t like. You can always change the decor of a house, but you can’t change the bones. Overall, I’d say that House #1 had our favorite layout and House #3 was my favorite as far as design elements were concerned.

Did you make it to the Richmond Homearama? Whether you did, or didn’t, which house was your favorite? I’d love to hear some other opinions! If you missed the tours of the first four houses, you can find them here and here.

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