Our friends are having a baby…

and we couldn’t be more excited for them!

Maternity Photo 5

There are times when I still can’t believe we’ve reached that age in our lives where we could possibly be responsible for another human life, but based on my Facebook feed it’s happening. 🙂

If anyone’s ready for the responsibility it’s our sweet friends Ben and Grace who are due to welcome their first little one – a girl – in a matter of weeks. And before the big day arrives they asked if I would snap a few last photos of them as a family of two. I was honored to help, but it’s pretty easy when Grace is such a cute little pregnant women.

With their permission (of course), I wanted to share a sampling of this adorable couple before they become parents for the first time!

Maternity Photo 10Maternity Photo 11 Spainhour Maternity Photo 13Maternity Photo 15Maternity Photo 4 Spainhour Maternity Photo 7Spainhour Maternity Photo 6

They’re adorable, aren’t they? Send all your positive thoughts their way. We all can’t wait to meet their little daughter soon!

P.S. a big thanks to my talented photographer/cousin over at Nicole Clifford Photography for giving me a few pointers before the photo shoot. If you’re looking for a photographer in the Kansas City area you should look her up!

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It’s for the dogs…

A few years ago if you’d told me I would willingly spend a weekend at the lake with six dogs (yes, six) I would have thought you were crazy. Now, I just think I’m crazy for loving my dogs a little too much. 🙂

Chase, Piper and Cosmo in Lake

A meeting of the minds.

At the risk of going a little overboard (no pun intended), I took lots of photos of Piper and Cosmo hanging out with Jeff’s parents and sister’s dogs this past weekend at Lake Anna, Va.

Lake Anna

It’s one of my favorite places in Virginia.

Chase in Water 1

You may remember, Jeff’s parents adopted both Piper and her brother Chase at a shelter in Texas and then generously let us take her back over Thanksgiving. Well this time, his parents and their three dogs made the drive from Texas to Virginia to hangout with all of us for a few days. And Piper and Chase (the dog in the photo above) couldn’t have been happier to be reunited. It warmed my heart.

Chase and Piper Fighting Over Sock

Fighting just like any brother or sister would do!

Chase and Piper in the Lake 2Chase and Piper in the Water

You might have noticed that Cosmo’s not in the water with them, well…he’s very fast and has a tendency to run away, so he can’t be trusted off the leash. Poor guy just had to standby and watch. 😦

Cosmo Staring at the Lake

Oh, and they just adopted a new nine(ish) year-old Pomeranian (no one’s entirely sure of his age) named C.J., who I’m quietly plotting ways to steal. This dog is not only adorable, but so calm. If you walk him a block he’ll be ready for a good three-hour nap. Similar to my way of life. 😉

CJ

This dog. He gets me.

Peyton and CJ

Peyton the puggle on the left, whew is she full of personality. She starts a little trouble every now and then.

I promise there were humans present this weekend too, it’s just all those photos aren’t quite as cute.

A two cent fix…

literally!

Two Cent Fix

So remember the desk we bought off Craigslist a few weeks ago and refurbished? Well, one of the hitches of buying used furniture is sometimes it’s not perfect. For example, the uneven space between the drawer and the top of my desk.

Desk After Cropped

And because this was the first time EVER in our relationship something minor like this drawer bothered Jeff more than myself ;), he came up with a cheap and easy solution to fix the problem.

Two pennies and some super glue later, all was right in the house. Well, pretty much. 😉

Desk Drawer Fix

Thought I’d pass along this little trick in case you come across some furniture where a few pennies might just fix the problem.

P.S. stay tuned for lots of dog photos later this week. In fact, I can barely contain my excitement!

Oh hey….

Piper

do you need something?

Yep, this was our crazy puppy Piper’s (say that three times fast) general state this morning.

Sometimes that girl is just too much for me.

Happy Friday!

Some of the best bbq and frozen custard I’ve had in a long time…

if the title didn’t give it away, I’ll go ahead and warn you that unfortunately this post is not for someone watching their calories. Don’t worry, Jeff and I have to watch our waistlines 99% of the time (we’re still waiting for those fast metabolisms to kick-in), but we decided to have a little fun on Friday and check out a few places in Alexandria, Va.

Banana pudding custard anyone?

The Dairy Godmother Alexandria 6

I’m cheesy and love any date night, but this one was especially great because, who doesn’t love bar-b-Que and ice cream? Jeff being from Texas and myself from Kansas City – known for their excellent bar-b-Que (ahem, KC anyone?) – we can be kind of snobbish at times. On Friday though, we found a place we both loved, and as a bonus got warm weather and a nice date out of too!

I’d still be just as happy if all I did was spend time with this guy… 😉

Jeff on Date Night

Though I’d say he’s equally lucky for finding me. In fact, I think I was going for another bite of some bbq when he snapped this photo.

Me on Date Night

So for starters, we ended up at Pork Barrel BBQ in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. Jeff heard about this place and suggested we check it out.

In the name of giving you all a proper recommendation, we ordered LOTS of food. Which of course was the only reason we had enough food to serve a small army. 😉

Pork Barrel BBQ Alexandria

Pork Barrel BBQ in Alexandria 5

^^^Let me tell you, those BBQ nachos were amazing. Two of my favorite foods in one sitting? Yes, please!^^^

So even after the brisket sandwich, baked beans, sausage and macaroni and cheese (yikes, it doesn’t sound so good when I write it all out) we still found some room for dessert. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. 🙂

The Dairy Godmother Alexandria

Long lines are always a sign that it must be good.

The Dairy Godmother Alexandria 5

The Diary Godmother’s banana custard (pic at the top of this post) was out of this world, but that marshmallow was quite possibly the softest one I’ve ever eaten. I’m not exaggerating, you should probably try one if you ever stop there.

And then…we went home and ran ten miles.

The last part might’ve been a lie, but since we enjoyed both places so much we thought we’d share them with all of you. Just doing our civic duty.

For those of you reading this outside the D.C. area, use this as motivation to come visit. I’ll happily take you there.

P.S. Thinking about all those in Boston.

One last cherry blossom photo for your Friday…

Cherry Blossoms at the Capitolpartially because the peak-bloom season is really short and they’re already not looking as good, and partially (again) because of the crowds. They’re still nuts.

If it weren’t for the beauty of the city right now, I’d probably be looking to buy property in the middle of nowhere and live off the land. A totally reasonable idea for someone like me. 🙂

Thankfully, this picture didn’t require quite as much effort to get as the ones I shared with all of you earlier this week. One of the perks of working on The Hill is that this is right outside my office building. It’s hard to complain about this view.

Also, Jeff tells me he doesn’t understand why people flock to the National Mall to see them, but look at that. How could you not?

Happy Friday all!

*Photo taken with iPhone and Instagram.

Checkin’ out the Cherry Blossoms…

and while only about a third of the trees around the Tidal Basin were fully-bloomed, I did my best to capture what was there so far this season!

I wanted to go ahead and share these photos with all of you, because not only was yesterday a beautiful spring day, but I might not make it down to the Tidal Basin again before the very short Cherry Blossom Season is over. Besides, I’m not sure I’m ready to brave those crowds again. I should have known (this is where I ignored Jeff’s recommendations) what I was in for, but for some reason I went there hoping everyone else had forgotten about the festival and the amazingly warm weather. I was a little wrong on that prediction (not that I’m admitting Jeff’s right or anything ;)).

I shouldn’t complain too much, the National Mall is stunning and yesterday was no exception.

On that note, I’ll stop talking and let the pictures tell the rest…

Cherry Blossoms 2013 1Cherry Blossoms 2013 3 Cherry Blossoms 2013 4Cherry Blossoms 2013 5 Cherry Blossoms 2013 6 Cherry Blossoms 2013 7 Cherry Blossoms 2013 8 Cherry Blossoms 2013 9 Cherry Blossoms 2013 10 Cherry Blossoms 2013 11 Cherry Blossoms 2013 12 Cherry Blossoms 2013 13

If you find yourself in D.C. over the next week or two make sure to stop and see the Cherry Blossoms. Don’t let my complaining about the crowds discourage you. 🙂

Refurbishing a desk in six easy(ish) steps…

it depends on who you ask. I thought it was a little challenging at times, but for Jeff it was a piece of cake.

Jeff Sanding Desk

In case you were wondering (I’m sure you were on pins and needles), this is the project we worked on in the SUN last weekend that I bragged about sharing with all of you. I might have oversold it a tad, so I hope you’re not too disappointed. 🙂

Last week, Jeff and I took to Craigslist to see if we could find a small desk that would work for my little room. Luckily, we ended up buying the first one we found for only $30 dollars! Doing this instead of purchasing a new desk is more time-consuming, but definitely more budget-friendly. And these days, Jeff and I LOVE budget-friendly solutions. It’s all part of that being young and poor thing, right? At least that’s what we keep telling ourselves.

Desk Before

Since this project is more user-friendly than some of the others we’ve worked on, I thought I would walk you through our process in case you wanted to try your hand at a desk or other piece of furniture. If you’re as lucky as I am, you have your own version of Jeff around to help.

Here are the steps we took to refurbish the desk (with Jeff’s consultation of course):

1. Remove the old handles and knobs. I knew a head of time I wanted to replace the old ones, but if you plan on reusing them that’s great. Besides, you’re probably doing the environment a service too. 🙂

Removing Desk Knob

2. Sand off the old finish. Jeff says you can do the entire desk with sandpaper, but it’s much easier to use an orbital sander (don’t worry, that’s a new term for me too). Start with 80 girt sand paper and follow-up with 180 grit. Sandpapers with lower grit like the 80 we used are best for removing old stain. The 180 grit sand paper is best for preparing furniture for the stain and finish.

Jeff with Sander

3. Apply the stain. On this particular desk we used two coats, but it’s totally up to your discreation. You brush on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off.

Staining Desk

Wipping Off New Stain on Desk

Wood Stain Can

In case you’re wondering we used Minwax Wood Stain in Driftwood

4. Apply the polyurethane. Once the stain is completely dry brush on a coat of polyurethane. Jeff also says to look out for dripping, because you don’t want drip marks to dry on the furniture.

Polyurethane Can

5. Let the polyurethane dry overnight, do a light sanding with a high grit sandpaper, and apply one more coat of polyurethane.

Polyeurathane on Desk

6. Last but not least, put the knobs and hooks on the drawers. I chose ones from Anthropologie, which you can find on their website, here and here. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that these cost more than the desk, but I guess that’s what happens when your desk is only $30.

New Desk Knobs

7. And this is completely optional, but show it off to all your friends! In 3, 2, 1…

Desk After 2

I’m still not 100% sure if this is going to serve as a desk, vanity or both, but as soon as I figure it out you’ll be the first people to know!

Desk Before and After

Hopefully this post came just in time for your own weekend DIY project! Let me know if you have any questions or advice for others.

Hello Spring…

Where have you been? I’m still not convinced you’re around to stay, but at least we got a full day’s worth of sunshine and warmth.

Cosmo Smiling

Can you tell someone was a little excited about the sunny Saturday?  He wasn’t the only one.

I don’t have too much room to complain about a harsh winter (remember our snow day?) compared to some of my friends and family in the midwest, but gosh am I just as ready for Spring to stay around for good.

Jeff Painting

We literally spent our entire Saturday outside working on a little project I’m excited to share with all of you later this week. It’s not quite finished, but as soon as it’s done I’ll be sure to highlight Jeff’s handy-work (and a tiny bit of mine) for all of you. It definitely has Pinterest written all over it.

I know the suspense is probably killing you, but I promise it will be worth the wait. 🙂

Piper 03.30.2013

So…after a long and productive day in the sun we were exhausted. It’s hard work chasing around Jeff and the pups all day photographing their every move. Sadly, I’m still not sure who has more patience for my hobby, but I’m hoping they’ll all thank me for it some day. 😉

Also, it’s worth noting it’s baseball’s opening day (Nats won in case you were worried) and if that doesn’t say Spring, I don’t know what does.