My boyfriend has been hard at work this winter! He’s just completed another house flip here in Pittsburgh, his fourth! I’m so very proud of him (tearing up writing this). He’s really getting into the business of flipping small, outdated homes , and revitalizing them for rental. It is so nice to see him meeting the challenge of transforming a neglected space into an actually habitable house for a family to call home!
The latest house is in the Crafton area of the South Hills on a charming little street. It’s surrounded by sweet, well-kept homes, but was the black sheep of the street. It was definitely a terrifying buy. I won’t subject anyone to any of the horrifying details, or pictures – but this home was previously home to a hoarder. It took the expert work of a junk cleansing team many hours, and a full dump trunk to clean out the space to even begin to start construction.
This is Phil’s most intensive renovation to date with: a brand new kitchen, updated bathroom, all new windows throughout, a few new doors, new flooring throughout, new central air, and all new lighting among the other cosmetic updates throughout.
Check out the before and after shots below to see the dramatic transformations for this Pittsburgh house renovation! Make sure to tell Phil how amazing he is 🙂
One thing I love about this home is the curved transitions between rooms and the molding around the window frames. The before state was just outdated with brown paneling that made the space feel dated and dark.
The paint color alone brightens and modernizes the space. The color is a cool stone hue Natural Gray by Behr. I didn’t think I’d like the flooring Phil picked, I thought I preferred dark flooring, but I truly love this lighter wood. Its a thicker board, with a scrapped wood texture, and a warm caramel color.
The kitchen was quite the eyesore with both yellow wallpaper and tiles, plus orange counter tops. Definitely needed to be updated from the 70s. On the positive side, the wraparound windows allow so much light to just flood in.
To update the space Phil installed dark cabinets, white quartz countertops (jealous), a deep kitchen sink with a super functional faucet (jealous) and stainless steel appliances. The white bead board adds a bit of character.
The only thing that was salvageable in the bathroom was the tub base. And even that was re-glazed with a fresh surface. Every bathroom material was PINK or mauve.
Bringing in fresh materials with a more modern and clean color palette was all this bathroom needed to make a HUGE difference. I love the combination of grey stone tiles, grey walls, white subway tiles, and white trim.
I mean, come on! There’s certainly a reason why subway tile is so popular now, its just clean and looks great.
The bedrooms needed a simple refresh of paint, new windows and lighting.
I really love the window framing, the vintage door handles, and the built-in storage.
Valentine’s Day is near! Whether you reject the day as commercialized nonsense, or take advantage of an official day to celebrate love – there’s no stopping it Valentine’s Day is upon us! The stores are full with chocolates, stuffed animals, and heart-shaped everything.
I believe, that regardless of relationship status, everyone can enjoy a special bottle of wine! So what’s the best drink to share or indulgence in alone, as a treat? I’m sharing some of my favorite sweet wines to enjoy for Valentine’s Day, no matter who you’re celebrating with.
Bubbly Pink Moscato by Barefoot
This pink moscato pick by Barefoot Wine is actually a sweet champagne, perfect for special occasions. It is very bubbly and deliciously sweet, with flavors of berries and citrus. Bonus – it comes in cute little single serving bottles, fun for sharing with Galetine’s or out on a picnic!
Sparkling Rosé by Cupcake Vineyards
Cupcake Sparkling Rosé offers delightful flavors of raspberry and strawberry with delicate floral notes. It’s not my normal indulgence, as it is an off-dry rosé, but it has an easy finish. Overall this is a fun pick for the sort of sweet drinker.
Stella Rosso by Stella Rosa
Rosso offers the perfect bit of sweetness and is just a tad bubbly. It is a deep red, slightly sweet and smooth, with noticeable hints of berry. Check out my other favorite wines by Stella Rosa.
Red Velvet by Cupcake Vineyards
It may not be actual cake, but this red wine is just as much of an indulgence. Red Velvet wine is a silky red blend with notes of cherry, blackberry, chocolate and mocha. Its intense and has a strong finish. I prefer this wine chilled.
For that extra romantic flourish (necessary) present your wine in a decorated glass. I decked mine out with vanilla icing and festive sprinkles. It is a mushy, over-the-top day, might as well go for it!
Whether you love or loathe the holiday, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to spread love ❤ I’m also excited to share a few handmade Valentine’s Day decoration pieces I’ve made to help celebrate. I am a true romantic, so I do love this holiday – hope you’re inspired to spread the love this year!
Happy February🌹! Whether you love or loathe the holiday, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to spread love ❤️ I’m excited to share a few handmade Valentine’s Day decoration pieces I’ve made to help celebrate! I am a true romantic, so I do love this holiday.
I made this LOVE painted bottle decoration set with Rustoleum’s metallic spray paint in gold, stickers, and upcylced kombucha bottles.
This rose gold roses set is upcycled Four Roses Bourbon bottles. I love the shape, glass color and roses detail on these glass bottles! I decided to spray Rustoleum’s copper metallic spray paint just over the raised roses emblem.
This piece is a little different, my first use of chalk paint. I used a light pink FolkArt® Home Decor™ Chalk Paint on an Orangina glass bottle. It took about 5 coats to achieve a saturated finish. I used the pearl red Martha Stewart paint to freehand a large heart. I added the Be Mine detail with a Martha Stewart stencil and a Sharpie® Oil-Based Paint Marker, which I also used to freehand the arrow detail.
I found this fun heart topped mason jar at the Target Dollar Spot! I couldn’t resist it and had to have one. I choose not to paint it, but fill it with fun metallic Valentine’s themed pompoms by Recollections at Michaels.
While shopping at Michaels I of course found a few more treasures like these loose hearts and love arrow sign.
I updated my open display shelving with all these fun Valentine’s day inspired pieces.
I recently got to fulfill a few dreams, taking an amazing 7-day trip to California with my boyfriend! We traveled in late September adventuring through San Francisco, Big Basin Park, Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and even Yosemite. We had a few mandatory must see things on our lists, but also took advantage of unscripted exploring in the areas we visited. Here’s a quick recap of some of our favorite sights and foodie spots throughout northern California. Hope you also get the opportunity to explore the beauty of California one day soon 🙂
We landed early in the morning in San Francisco without much of a plan – other than tacos. Phil’s request was to have tacos, so I did some Yelp research and found Tacorea. Tacorea serves Korean bowls and Mexican classics in a teeny-tiny, retro-cool spot. We enjoyed a delicious fiesta for two of tacos and tater-tot nachos.
San Francisco is known for fog, but we couldn’t have had a more beautiful, clear day. (Hence all the cheesy couple pictures at the Golden Gate Bridge park.) We wandered around most of the day, stopping at the famous Ghirardelli Square and drove down Lombard Street.
After exploring, we drove out to San Jose area to stay for the night in Silicon Valley at the Cupertino Hotel. (super quality for the affordable price)
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
The next morning, after an amazing complimentary buffet breakfast at the Cupertino Hotel, and a bit of driving around the Apple campus, we drove out towards the coast to Big Basin park. We loved the windy road drive in to the park, surrounded by gigantic trees. We were in awe, consumed by the forest as we explored the redwoods by foot, walking the famous Redwood Nature Trail.
We then drove out to the town that surfing originated in, Santa Cruz. We explored a bit by foot, shopping the original O’Neill Surf Shop, and again – had Phil’s favorite – tacos.
It was my turn to choose the activity, so on our drive out to our next stop we stopped at In-N-Out-Burger! Truly amazing place. The employees are so chipper and the food is truly worth the indulgence. I suggest the animal-style french fries.
Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Carmel-by-the-Sea
The main attraction to visiting northern California for us was having the opportunity to drive the scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1. The areas of Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Carmel-by-the-Sea are all along the breathtaking coast making it easy to be entertained just by driving around and stopping at scenic outlook points. Notable, easy-to-access spots are Lovers Point Park at the point of Pacific Grove, and the famous 17 Mile Drive including: the Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay, Stillwater Cove, the Del Monte Forest, and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Bixby Creek Bridge
A bonus highlight of the trip for me was experiencing the food scene in the Monterey and Carmel area. This area features many European and French-inspired spots, including many pastry havens! We ate at French restaurant La Bicylette, Lafayette Bakery & Cafe and Parker-Lusseau Pastries & Cafe. Each was truly delicious and worth a return trip back to Cali alone 🙂
We stayed at the recently renovated Munras Inn for 3 nights. This hotel was a great pick for the price with updated rooms, in room fireplace, air conditioning (surprisingly NOT common in Cali) and parking. I’d suggest asking for a top-floor room. Monterey seems to be more affordable to stay in over Carmel, when they are only a 15 minute, seriously scenic drive apart.
Yosemite National Park
We then drove about 4 hours inland, to spent 3 nights just outside of Yosemite National Park, at an Airbnb in Midpines. I really would have loved to stay on the park grounds, but we booked our trip only a few weeks before leaving. There are limited places to stay in the area and they are booked months in advance, so we were lucky to find such a a great house – even it was an hours drive to the central point in the park.
Our first day we conquered the famous Mist Trail, climbing to see the Vernal Falls and Emerald Lake. It was quite the hike. The challenge was worth the view. Its truly something special experiencing the vastness of the park. Many have raved about the feeling of reflection that washes over you when visiting Yosemite. Without getting too fluffy, I can say the fever/ high / serenity – it’s real. Great place to experience as a couple.