Girl’s Weekend in Tybee!

People. There is a real, tangible benefit to following and reading blogs. In my honest opinion, of course. One of the blogs I read is called Unskinny Boppy. She’s got some AMAAAAZING projects (this is one of my favorites), that are so easy and approachable. That, and she’s a nice person. I was reading sometime in the spring, and she hosted a giveaway for a two-night stay at an “island cottage” in Tybee Island, GA. (Tybee is about 20-30 minutes east of Savannah.) Naturally, I clicked my happy little fingers and submitted for the giveaway. Lo and behold, Beth emailed me a few days later, letting me know I WON. I WON A TWO NIGHT STAY IN A COTTAGE. I almost died of excitement.

Fast forward to two weekends ago, where I met up with two of my girls. One lives in NYC and has a fancy job and wears cool clothes and is hip and fresh. The other lives in Jacksonville with her Naval-Officer-Husband, is super kind and encouraging, and has an incredible laugh (the contagious kind). NYC and I flew in to Jax and spent one night there before heading up to Tybee.Frands_HouseofGoldWe made a pit stop on our drive in Savannah and found this INCREDIBLE sandwich shop. I say incredible because the people were kind and had gluten-free bread and MADE ME A SANDWICH ON GLUTEN FREE BREAD. I’m pretty sure they also said they loved me. In sandwich form.   Wright Square Cafe_HouseofGold

So that was super-fun, but we also set out to go visit the bus bench where Forrest Gump sat whilst telling his story. *spoiler alert* It doesn’t actually exist. The square in which the bench sat does exist, but the bench was just a movie prop. But we did find this guy, which made up for it. He played the mouth trumpet, and that was awesome. (You’ll have to turn the volume up, if you want to hear him sing. It’s worth it.)

Then we headed out to Tybee and found our cute little cottage. It’s managed/ owned by Mermaid Cottages, and they own a few other cottages throughout the island. All of them are way cute. And clean and just perfect. I’d highly recommend them to just about anyone in the whole world. They were super-easy to deal with, and the doors (GENIUS) were very similar to my front door- just punch in a code, and you’re in. No keys to mess with and/or lose. So the cottage we stayed at is called Paws & Paddles. And could you even imagine– it’s all DOG THEMED! Obvs, my kind of place. Paws and Paddles_HouseofGoldTybee Weekend_HouseofGoldAcross from this little cottage is a restaurant called Fish Camp. It’s only been open for 4 months (or so that’s what the Waiter said), and the foods were delicious. The Owners of this restaurant also own Tybee Island Social Club, which is decent as well.Fish Camp_HouseofGoldIt was such a good weekend to get away and hang out with some heart friends. Heart friends, you say? You know… the kind of friends that just know you. The ones that you don’t have to qualify any statements you make, or give history/ background to your stories… the ones that know your heart. Oh, and they got to meet the #goldnugget, which was so fun.GoldNuggetBump_HouseofGold

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Magic Cleaning Products!

In case you were not aware, dog-animals have wet noses. If they don’t, your dog is sicky, and you should probably nurse it back to health. Our dog-animals enjoy putting their wet noses on just about everything. Dishwashers, refrigerators, glass doors, windows, our faces… everything.

This is the storm door that greets all of our guests. With dog-nose-smudges. Screen Door Glass Before_HouseofGold

And here’s our sad dishwasher. Lennon helps “clean” dishes while I’m loading this thing up. And it gets allll kinds of spotty.

Dishwasher Before_HouseofGold

Lucky for me, when I went to Haven, I came across the nice people at EnduroShield. They make these fancy state-of-the-art-sciencey glass and stainless cleaners. I talked to Jeff, the expert, about these products for a while, and he said some kind of words like “molecule”, “binding agent”, “scientist”, and “smart person”… I don’t exactly remember, because my brain got tired. But then he sent me the information later, along with their Stainless Cleaner and Glass Cleaners to try out. I may have audibly squeaked out of excitement when I discovered both boxes of cleaner in the shipment. (I forgot to take a picture, so here’s what they look like, courtesy of Home Depot’s website.)

EnduroShield ProductsSo I started off with the Stainless Cleaner. I figured this would take around 4 minutes to swipe on and “install”. Imagine my surprise when that did not happen. At all. Don’t think that this is something you can do right before guests arrive. This whole process actually takes more like 45 minutes. There are a few steps, which include a pre-clean, buffing, and final sealing, before you can call this dunzo. ALSO. I was super happy to have Jeff on standby when I was putting this stuff on. You see, I cleaned the dishwasher, fridge, and stove all at the same time. The dishwasher and stove posed no issues. The fridge, however, put up a bit of a fight. Right before the last phase, I noticed that the surface had a whiteish sheen on it. Turns out, it was an “alcohol sheen”… and no, not the fun “yay, wine!” kind. No biggie- you just use some rubbing alcohol to remove the alcohol sheen. Get that? Alcohol removes alcohol.

Here’s what the fridge looked like before. All sads and smudgey.

Fridge Drawers Before_HouseofGoldSo, at first, I was completely not convinced this was worth it. In fact, I was going to recommend that you skip it. But on a Saturday (right before the gender reveal party), I figured I should clean off the refrigerator and dishwasher. And, guys. This is where my mind was changed. I just got out the little microfiber wipey thing (that comes in the package), wiped the surface off, and viola. Good as new. I didn’t even have to use a squirt of water. (But you can for tougher spots.) Just plain ol buffed the spots off. So it’s back on my good list.Lennon Kitchen After_HouseofGoldDishwasher After_HouseofGoldThe window cleaner: MUCH easier to prep, in my opinion. Just two steps here. First you clean, then you treat. This is something you can knock out in 10 minutes before guests arrive. As for the cleaning/ upkeep, this actually did require a little squirt of water and then some rubbing. Annnnd the picture window before. Quite triste. Picture Window Before_HouseofGoldBut it was oh-so-squeaky clean in the end!

Picture Window After_HouseofGoldAll in all, I’d say these two products are pretty daggum good. They came through for us in the end. Sooo yaaaay for helping us party prep!

** So because I’ve never stated it before, here it is: whenever I review a product, I test it out, give it some time (to see how the product wears), kind of abuse it a little, and then report back to you. The product may not always be perfect for us. But I promise to always be honest with YOU. After all, you’re my bff’s. Now let’s hug. **

Catering to the Dogs.

No, I do not make specific catered foods for our animals. I’m not that cray. But with Mom and Dad in town, we had an opportunity to take advantage of Big Poppa’s experience. Namely, in installing a doggie door. Years ago, when Ed was a puppy, Dad installed a doggie door in our house in Northern Virginia. Ed is now 15 1/2 years old, so he’s an old pro at LIFE. Also, doggie doors. So here you go. A how-to. How to Install a Doggy Door_HouseofGold I first went to Home Depot and picked up this guy (for extra-super-large dogs… AHEM, LENNON), for about $85. *cough* That seemed a good bit pricey. Doggie Door_HouseofGold

So then I checked Amazon (after the fact, of course), and discovered thesameexactdoorforless. So I ordered that sucker. See below. A couple days later, and this buddy was at our front door. Yay, free shipping! (Affiliate Amazon link)
This whole project happened while I was slaving away in Corporate America, so Mom and Dad managed the entire bit all by themselves. Hooray, them! So first, they took the door off the hinges. Much easier that way. And Lennon decided to help. Lennon is a Helper_HouseofGoldNext up, they used the super-secure plastic closing-piece as a template to mark where the door needed to be cut. Door TemplateThen they drilled a pilot hole in one of the corners of the rectangle, and used the jigsaw to cut out the square. And then smashed it out with a rubber mallet! Such strong, they are. Cutting Door Hole_HouseofGoldOnce they got out their aggressions, they attached the door- there’s a front piece and a back piece that sandwiches the door in the middle, and then screws together. Pretty simple process. Finishing Door_HouseofGoldThe hard part of this? Teaching two dog-animals how to get through this tricky tricky hole. Mom and Dad said it required almost an entire treat jar and lots of positive reinforcement.

But hallelujah! They can do it! And Ed kind of can, too. Sort of. Let’s not get too crazy. This is them still testing it out. Sorry about the pic of Lennon’s butt. He’s not very modest.

Dogs Testing_HouseofGoldNext up for this door? And yes, there is a next. As you can see, the door is still pretty rough. We’ve long neglected our side yard, as you might be able to tell. First, it most definitely needs an awesome coat of paint. Hopefully this will be complete by next week, so I can show you some finals!

WE HAVE PRODUCED AN HEIR.

Well, I’m growing an heir. He’s not fully produced. We are SO excited to be bringing in a little life into this world, and unbelievably excited to dress this little one in overalls. We’re not even halfway into this, so we have A LOT more growing to do! So if you’re the praying kind, continue praying for health for this tiny little miracle.

Excited Baby AnnouncementAnd in case you’re curious, I did a little mashup of our faces, so we’ll know exactly what the heir will look like when he makes his appearance. Totally accurate, too.

BavidI’m currently at 18 weeks as of today, so here’s hoping for more energy and getting back to projects ASAP! I’m missing dirty fingernails and the feeling of accomplishment after a hard day’s work!