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Monday, February 3, 2014

Beatles Party and Concert

When I found out over a year ago that our Philharmonic was going to have a Beatles concert with the Classical Mystery Tour fab faux to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles American invasion, I was so excited!!

I love the Beatles and I made sure we got our tickets in plenty of time.
I also planned to host our wine club event with the concert in mind.

We hosted a pre-concert Beatles appetizer party before heading out to the concert.  Which was absolutely amazing.  The guest performers were incredible, and the Philharmonic sounded really, really cool with them.  It was an incredible evening.

The themed party was a ton of fun for me to plan.
David was traveling back from Germany, but the boys got in on the fun and were a huge help.

It was a really, really fun night.
I want to do it again.  Soon.

I used this great graphic from etsy for the invitations (changing it to a wine party instead of a birthday party).  I customized it in Photoshop.

We have a long, winding driveway. 

We set out the 13 official Beatles (not the anthologies, oh there's a ton of background on which were the original releases, etc. trust me, I read up).  The green apples are a nod to Beatles' record label Apple Records.

And the themed foods were a ton of fun to think about

I always worry there won't be enough food, but this was just in one room.  Everyone brought delicious dishes!

And we set up a candy bar

And while it was a wine party, I had to make up a batch of Lovely 'Ritas to go with the wine and beer selections.
(which were delicious - the best recipe from a friend in Mexico - 1.5 oz reposado tequila, 1.5 oz triple sec, 1 oz fresh lime juice, served over crushed ice, never blended)

Of course, the friends are who make the evening each and every time

My concert date is as big a Beatles fan as I am.  I had an absolutely wonderful time with him.
Thomas has been a Yellow Submarine fan since he was 2.
He said as we were driving home "this may be the best night of my life".  Awww!

Again, my photos will never do the night justice.
But what a great concert.

All you need is love.

A Few House Projects

In 2013 we took on a ton of house projects.  Exterior paint, new gutters, new roof, chimney repair, repaired garage doors, new porch screens, the list really goes on.  

This year I wasn't looking for anything big, but did want to fix a few things in this house that I love so much.

I may be done (???) for the year.  Although I had a couple of unexpected repairs last month, I also took on a couple of little projects that I wanted to share with you.

Tying Up Cords
I have a photo somewhere and I can't find it now.
We have cords that are a jumbled mess in a couple of spots in the house - especially near electronics.  I purchased black velcro cord ties from amazon and asked David to improve the look.  He fixed all the cords around the house so they look a lot cleaner now.  It wasn't a big project, but it was an eyesore and I'm so thankful he and Thomas took on the challenge.

I Love You Because
I saw this quick little project by Lulabelle on Pinterest and duplicated it  (down to the fonts) for our master bath.
It's just a card inside a small frame and a dry erase marker tucked behind the frame for writing a quick note.

Shower Grout
Our house is 30 years old and the grout in the master shower was certainly showing its age.  I have tried all sorts of products to clean the stained grout.  It's just bothered me for the 9 years we've lived here.  A contractor who remodeled Thomas's bathroom a few years ago is working on a friend's bath.  I asked him for advice and he fixed me up one night!

As always, these photos don't do the results justice.
But, here is the before.  As clean as I could get it.

And, the after!  Soooo much better.  Looks brand new.

He ground out a lot of the old grout with a drill bit and used an epoxy as he had in Thomas's bathroom.  
A benefit is that it never stains.  I love it.

Above the Cabinet Solution
We have tall cabinets in the kitchen and above one has been a decorating struggle for me while we've lived here.

Here is the surface I'm talking about, taken from the loft.  This is before we even moved in.  
Ugh, those white cabinets - luckily we got those painted pretty quick.  And the butcher block was so lifeless.  But I digress.

I started with a few baskets but that was just pretty sad.

And then I placed a lot of Mexican pots that I loved - but they just got lost up there.  They looked great across the room on the other side, but here, you just couldn't see them.

Then a friend of a friend decorator came over and told me the solution was easy - a baker's rack to take advantage of all the pretty pots.  So, she got it up there and decorated for me, but I certainly never loved it.  And David hated it.  And they rattled every time you walked past.  But it was better than before. (notice she put it up with the price tag still on.  grr)

From the other angle and with the price tag cut off, I still didn't like it but had no idea what to do.

Then, along came my new BFF Gina.

Graphic designer, decorator, and wedding florist extraordinaire.  And really, really sweet person.

She walked in and said - oh it's easy Bonnie - let's get a big piece of art and I'll get a couple of pretty plants for the two big pots.  Boom.  Obvious.  

I asked David what he thought, he gave me a thumbs up, I narrowed down a few paintings online, we chose one, and just like that a 9 year dilemma was solved.

Of course, then we had to hang the painting 15 feet high (from the other side), and get the trees in the pots, but minor details.

Please don't say anything but that you love this.
Because I certainly do.  AGAIN, my photos don't do it justice.

You'll just have to see it for yourself.

Before, recent, and now

As you can imagine I'm truly very happy with all the changes around here :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January Photos

January has come and gone, and what a strange, strange month it was.

We had an extra long Christmas vacation because of the way the weekends and holidays fell this year, but also because of SNOW!  Lots of snow.  We went back to school 2 days late and hardly had a full school day in January.  Lots of snow days and lots of 2 hour delays.  

While I don't love having to miss our second week of Spring Break because of it, it certainly made for a much more relaxing January in Casa Boatwright.

We played a lot of games (Thomas's favorite thing to do), we had lots of free time and movie watching time (Brennan's favorite thing), and we generally hung out a lot together.  No complaints from me.

Brennan had his friend Vivek over one day.  They are both math geniuses.

Had some fun with fireworks one night.

Watched lots of football of course
(David's showing them the Bowl Schedule)

Since my Y'all Come Eat blog is in flux because I lost the domain name, I'll just show you the potatoes we made here.  Saw this on Barefoot Contessa.  They were delicious.

Cut a little of the bottom off a potato so it stays flat.
Slice the potatoes almost all the way to the bottom.
Season with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.
Bake in a 400* oven for 20 minutes or so.

Finished product - really tasty!

I spend a lot of time with this guy.  I think we'd just dropped Thomas off at youth group.

Speaking of Thomas - he's very, very active with our church youth.
Here he is in a play last Sunday.  He also sings in the youth choir, plays trumpet in the youth brass ensemble, and is looking forward to his 9!!!! day mission trip to a Native American reservation in South Dakota this June.  You can imagine my mix of pride and dread about that trip.

Thomas is leading Hot Meals for the youth at our church this quarter as his Service Learning Project for school.
He led this night, and works every Friday night at our church.  The adult coordinator said she couldn't believe what a great work ethic he has.  I love it.

I took the boys to my evening book club Thursday.  They loved the food, trivia, and of course they got to read (Thomas) and play on his iPhone (Brennan), so life was good.

The Litwits

The most unusual part about our January is David's absence!  He's spent 3 weeks total in Germany this month, helping build a new plant.  He's outside of Frankfurt, but got to travel to Wurzburg over the weekend that he was gone.  He gets home tonight and I can't wait!  2 weeks this time was a long time.  FaceTime and daily calls and emails help though.

Some of David's photos

The plant

The city where he is staying

And his sightseeing trip with colleagues to Wurzburg

It's been a great month.  Oh wait - you probably want to see the snow.

Just one of the many snowfalls we've had in the last 2 months.

Thought I'd better start David's Acura so took it to get the boys from school one day.  Couldn't get back into the garage because of the driveway hill, curve, and a thick sheet of ice.  Neighbors helped.  Phew.